Best Mattresses

Updated December 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Pros
Cons
HOW WE TESTED

After going through an intensive research process to narrow down our short list of top products in this space, we tested most of our top five — the Saatva Classic Mattress, the Casper Wave Hybrid Mattress, and the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress — to be sure that these products are worth your time. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter and test to verify manufacturer claims.

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Buying guide for the best mattresses

Is your mattress conducive to a good night’s sleep, or do you toss and turn every night? Finding a mattress that provides comfort, durability, and affordability can be somewhat of a balancing act. What’s more, mattress manufacturers routinely introduce new technologies to lure customers away from the competition. It can be tough to separate hype from reality.

Before jumping into an investment, let our handy shopping guide answer some of the most pressing questions mattress shoppers face. For example, which mattress type is right for you? Your preferred sleeping position — on your side, back, or belly — can influence this. Are you a “hot sleeper” who needs airflow or a cold sleeper who needs extra blankets or even a weighted blanket to keep warm? Do you suffer back pain, arthritis, or other issues that may influence what works best for you? And of course, if you share your mattress with a partner, is there a way to strike a happy balance between your needs and theirs?

We believe you can find a comfortable mattress for a great night’s sleep. Read on to learn how the right mattress can enhance your life —  and how to find one.

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Mattresses are worth the time and money you invest in them – you spend almost one-third of your life sleeping.

Key considerations

When to replace a mattress

First and foremost, you must decide if it is truly time to replace your mattress. A quality bed is no small investment, but if you make the right choice, you could greatly enhance your sleep quality and your life. Durability is key, but even a high-quality mattress won’t last forever. Our recommendation: if you have had your bed for more than 10 years, it’s time to consider buying a new one.

If your older mattress still seems comfortable to you, consider this: mattresses collect dust, human skin cells, and body fluids over time. You could certainly try to revive an old mattress with a professional deep cleaning or a new mattress topper. However, these temporary solutions are stop-gap measures at best.

Here are some situations in which it’s definitely time to replace a mattress:

  • The top of your innerspring mattress is so worn that the springs are exposed. As we mentioned, a topper only masks this problem. Exposed springs threaten your comfort and support, and they’re definitely a safety hazard.
  • The mattress has developed structural problems. Older mattresses may sag in the middle or collapse on the sides. Some people try to adapt to these inconveniences, but the fact is, an unsupported mattress puts unnatural stress on the body.

Other warning signs that you may need to consider a new mattress include the following:

  • You’re experiencing chronic stiffness or back pain, especially in the morning.

  • You’re not sleeping well at night.
  • You’re experiencing increased nighttime allergy symptoms.

  • You notice that you get better rest in other places, such as a couch, chair, hotel, or friend’s guest room.

Types of mattresses

Innerspring

Hundreds of internal metal coils support the sleeper on an innerspring mattress. The ideal innerspring perfectly aligns the spine and fully supports the extremities. But since different parts of the body exert different amounts of pressure on the springs, this type of mattress may or may not provide adequate support. Your comfort depends heavily on the total number of coils your mattress has. An inexpensive mattress with 400 coils might not feel very comfortable, whereas a pricier model with 900 coils might feel so fantastic that you have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning.

That said, the total number of coils is not always an indicator of mattress quality. A mattress with 800 coils might use an inferior grade of metal, whereas a 500-coil mattress might incorporate coils of high-quality steel.

Pros

Innersprings cost less than most other types of beds. Some people appreciate the slight “bouncy” feel and the mobility that bounce gives them. The springs inside this type of mattress tend to be highly supportive, providing a firmer sleeping surface, alignment of the spine, and pressure-relieving support.

Older innersprings require a box spring, but some modern innersprings do not necessarily require it. Some people prefer to place their spring mattress on a platform, which creates a bed with a lower profile.

Cons

We mentioned that these mattresses often cost less than other types. If the price is lower, unfortunately, there is a chance that durability will suffer. We urge consumers to avoid dirt cheap mattresses because, well, you get what you pay for, and you certainly don’t want a spring poking your back in the middle of the night.

If you like the idea of a less-costly mattress but would miss the cradling comfort of memory foam, consider purchasing a topper for an innerspring bed. For example, Saatva makes toppers with your choice of materials, including graphite, which draws heat from the body, and latex, which is a little more bouncy. Indeed, the market boasts a great number of quality mattress toppers that could enhance your sleep experience.

Memory foam

Memory foam mattresses are made of high-density foam with heavy viscosity. These models incorporate a solid foam support system rather than a set of internal coils.

Pros

Memory foam conforms to your body, contouring to your shape and creating the appropriate highs and lows for personalized comfort and support. For many people, the urge to toss, turn, and assume various sleep positions throughout the night greatly reduces (or disappears altogether) with memory foam. Motion transfer is minimized with this type of material, too, so if you share your sleeping space with a partner (or even a pet), you may appreciate fewer disturbances throughout the night.

Memory foam beds used to be quite pricey, but today, the price of one is comparatively lower than that of latex and hybrid mattresses. You can get a memory foam bed from a lot of reputable companies, including Puffy, Leesa, the Nectar mattress brand, and the Casper mattress brand.

Cons

Perhaps the best-known drawback of memory foam is that it tends to trap body heat. If you sleep hot, a mattress made of memory foam could exacerbate that problem. However, manufacturers of all-foam mattresses have addressed this issue by incorporating support layers of breathable “open-celled” foam and gel that encourage airflow. If you sleep hot but want a memory foam bed, look for one that is purported to have gel memory foam or is advertised as a “cooling mattress.”

Hybrid

Hybrid mattresses are layered mattresses with different components. Although composition varies from one product to the next, many hybrid mattresses have a cushioning layer of supportive coils and one or more comfort layers consisting of memory foam, latex, or gel. The idea is that these mattresses borrow the best from tradition (the old-fashioned innerspring) and combine it with the best new technology to create something special.

Pros

The beauty of this type of bed is that it can be quite personalized. The layers of a hybrid mattress serve to create a desired effect. For example, a base layer may be added below the coils for extra support. A cooling gel layer, designed to enhance pressure relief and promote cool sleep, may be included. A top layer that promotes airflow may also be part of the package.

If you like memory foam but don’t want to “sink in” so much, this is a great mattress to try. Another perk of hybrid mattresses is that they tend to have firmer edge support than some other mattress types. If you prefer the secure feeling on the side of the bed as well as beneath your body, a hybrid mattress is a good choice.

Cons

Chemical off-gassing can be an issue with the foam in some hybrid mattresses. And, although they are often more durable than memory foam and innerspring products, they tend to cost more upfront.

Adjustable "sleep number" air

A recent development in mattress technology is the adjustable air/memory gel hybrid. With this type of mattress, you dial in your desired level of support, and air bladders inside the mattress inflate or deflate to match your command. (Note: the pumps that control each air bladder can be noisy, so middle-of-the-night adjustments are not advisable!)

The obvious benefit is that two sleepers with different firmness preferences can share a bed comfortably. These mattresses tend to be quite pricey, but satisfied users say the cost is worth it.A bit of advice about sleep number beds: while firmness level plays a role in your overall comfort, it’s wise to avoid extremely high or low settings. A too-soft mattress could cause problems over time because it doesn’t support the spine enough; an ultra-firm mattress that holds the body in rigid suspension all night could also cause problems.

Foam mattresses often have three layers of foam: a base layer, support layer, and comfort layer. The latter two exist primarily for your support and comfort. Some deluxe mattresses have more than three layers.

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Features

Mattress size

Twin

When it comes to getting the best mattress for your situation, size matters, especially if you will be sharing the bed with someone else. The smallest size available for adult sleepers is the twin, although it is barely large enough to support one average adult. A twin bed works best in a child’s room or spare guest room. Two adults would likely not feel comfortable sharing a twin bed for long!

Full

The next size up is the full mattress. It’s the smallest size that can reasonably accommodate two average adults. Because of its relatively narrow width, there can be a lot of motion transfer if one sleeper leaves the bed or climbs back in. For tall sleepers, full mattresses are available in extended lengths. Sheets, blankets, and pillowcases for full-size beds are easy to find.

Queen

Many people find contentment with the next largest size, the queen. Two adults can sleep comfortably on a queen-size bed without making incidental contact. If you prefer a few inches of separation between you and your partner, this could be the size for you. Motion isolation is also better with this size than it is with a full.

King

The ultimate mattress size is the spacious king. Size variations exist among king-size mattresses, such as the California king and the split king. It’s a popular size in the hotel industry because sleepers can maintain a comfortable distance if necessary. People who prefer a lot of independence while sleeping enjoy the benefits of a king.

Notably, a king-size bed’s sheets, blankets, and pillowcases are larger and tend to cost more. If you’re considering a king-size mattress, be aware of this additional investment. Before buying, it’s also wise to make sure your room’s dimensions will accommodate this larger bed.

Firmness

Firmness is a hot issue with mattresses, and for good reason. The right degree of support encourages the body to let go of tension and sleep restfully, whereas an incorrect degree of support can prompt the body to feel tight, cramped, and uncomfortable the next day.

If you have a slight build, a soft mattress that allows you to sink in and that conforms to your body may be your ideal.

If you have a heavier build, look for a mattress that will support your body weight rather than allow you to sink too deeply into the mattress. While you sleep, a mattress that is too soft for your body type could strain the muscles in your lower back and elsewhere. A firm or medium-firm mattress is ideal.

If you suffer back pain, you would do best to avoid extremes. A soft mattress likely would not provide enough support, but an extra-firm mattress is also bound to make you feel uncomfortable, according to recommendations from Harvard Health.

Sleep trial

Many of the best mattress makers provide buyers with a trial period of time in which they can keep the mattress at home and “test it out.” At the end of the trial, which may range anywhere from 28 days to a year, the consumer decides whether they want to keep the mattress or return it. A 100-night trial is common. The reasoning behind this is that only after sleeping on a bed for a certain period of time can a person get a sense of the “mattress feel” and whether it’s a good fit for their body. It instills confidence in the buyer as well, as it suggests the company is highly confident in their product — so confident, in fact, that they are willing to wager a bit of financial loss on customer satisfaction.

You will likely need to pay the entire price of the mattress upfront. If, after the correct amount of time has elapsed, you determine you do not want to keep the mattress, you can get your money back. However, we advise consumers to read the fine print for unanticipated stipulations. For example, if you do not use the mattress within 30 days of purchase, the money-back guarantee may be voided. Another stipulation often made is that only one mattress may be returned per year per household.

You may be wondering which mattress companies offer this special deal. We cannot cover them all here, but we can comment on a few makers of popular mattresses. If you were to purchase a Purple Mattress, your free trial would likely last for 100 nights, though it may be less, depending on the details of your agreement. Tuft & Needle usually offers 100-night trials as well. DreamCloud is one company that offers an exceptionally long test period of 365 days. The company advertises free returns should you decide not to keep your mattress along with a lifetime warranty. Nectar Sleep is another company that advertises a yearlong trial period.

And, in case you were wondering (we were), most often, returned mattresses are donated to charity by the manufacturer or recycled.

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Caution
Chemical off-gassing can be a problem with brand new all-foam mattresses. Allow your new purchase some time to air out before sleeping on it.
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Tips

Your preferred sleeping position may dictate which type of bed is best for you. Here are some tips for side sleepers, back sleepers, and stomach sleepers in the market for an improved sleep experience.

  • Side sleepers tend to appreciate pressure point relief at their hips and shoulders. They usually appreciate a mattress that is not too soft but also not too firm. (A surface that is too soft won’t provide enough support, but a surface that is too hard may simply aggravate pressure points.)
  • The preferred firmness of a back sleeper depends on body type. A back sleeper of average weight would likely prefer medium firmness, whereas a heavier back sleeper would likely feel more comfortable on something firmer that supports the hips and shoulders.
  • Stomach sleepers need medium to firm support to prevent their spine from sinking uncomfortably into the mattress. Stomach sleepers usually prefer a mattress on the thick side for the same reason: it provides more support than the average thin mattress.

Some companies advertise mattresses made of “adaptive” foam. This foam is purported to be more resilient and springy than traditional memory foam, resuming its shape quickly when pressure or body weight shift.

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Mattress prices

Lower price: Innerspring mattresses with decent coil counts, independent spring designs, and thick padding should not cost more than about $1,000. Pricier innerspring models do exist, but the difference in quality is often negligible.

Mid-range price: Memory foam/gel mattresses are generally promoted as high-end models, so customers should expect to see price tags of $1,500 or more. Manufacturer financing is sometimes available, but the interest rates can be considerably higher than average.

Higher price: Adjustable air mattresses with memory foam or gel can also cost a lot. A price tag of $2,000 to $2,500 is not unusual for such a bed. People with health issues related to poor sleep may want to make the leap to an adjustable sleep number mattress, but others may conclude that the adjustable nature of this mattress doesn’t outweigh the initial investment.

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If you’re currently experiencing aches, pains, stiffness, or difficulty sleeping, a new mattress may help. While it may be tempting to save money and buy a used mattress, you just might inherit someone else’s problems by doing so. A new mattress can provide the structure and support you need to get a good night’s rest and enjoy better overall health.

FAQ

Q. What is edge support, and why is it important in a mattress?

A. When you sit on the edge of a mattress, your weight could really bring the edge down were it not for edge support — the purposeful reinforcement of the perimeter of a mattress. A bed with adequate edge support is less likely to sag, and you are less likely to inadvertently roll off of a bed with good edge support.

As if these reasons aren’t enough, a mattress with a reinforced edge is simply easier to get in and out of. This may not be an issue for everyone all the time, but for people who are sick, injured, or infirm, a mattress with a supportive edge can mean the difference between a struggle getting into bed and an easy time getting into bed.

Q. What is a good warranty for a mattress?

A. Expect to be offered anything from a 10-year warranty to a lifetime warranty on your purchase. The longer the warranty, the more confident the maker is in their product. Note that a warranty covers defects in the product but not incidental damage that you cause after you purchase the bed. Defects often covered by warranties include unusual and premature sagging, broken coils, broken mattress handles, and poorly sewn seams, among other things.

As the buyer, the onus is on you not to void the warranty. A mattress warranty may be voided if you remove the mattress tag, stain the mattress with liquid (use a waterproof mattress protector to avoid this), or fail to put the proper support beneath your mattress to keep it free from harm.

Read your warranty carefully to know exactly what is covered and what is not. If you are purchasing a mattress from a site like Amazon, be sure to read the information that comes from the manufacturer about the warranty. This information may or may not be found on Amazon itself; you might need to visit the manufacturer’s website to get all of the information.

Q. What can you tell me about mattresses that boast “eco-friendly” measures?

A. Eco-friendliness is a selling point that many mattress and bedding companies have embraced. It’s good for the environment and also good for business because it attracts consumers who are concerned about their carbon footprint. Let’s take a look at some of the eco-friendly measures companies have taken.

  • Casper incorporates recycled bottles into its mattress covers.
  • Saatva makes an organic mattress of latex. Also, in the Saatva Classic and other Saatva products, organic cotton is among the environmentally friendly materials used.
  • WinkBeds makes the Avocado mattress, which consists of organic cotton, wool, and latex. WinkBeds’ EcoCloud consists of the same, and it also features zoned support.

Q. Why should I consider investing in an online mattress that I have not personally tried out first?

A. With websites like Amazon, it’s easier than ever today to purchase items unseen and enjoy free delivery (or pay for enhanced white glove delivery, if that is your preference). However, we understand that there may be a bit of angst involved in doing so, especially for consumers who have never purchased an online mattress before.

A huge advantage of the internet is the seemingly unlimited access to a great variety of products. If you want an organic latex mattress that is luxury firm, you can find it online. If you want an affordable bed-in-a-box for your guest room, you can find it. Many mattress companies have responded to online consumer hesitance by offering generous warranties and, perhaps even more importantly, trial periods that allow you to test a mattress in your home with the knowledge that it can be returned if it’s not to your liking.

If you are thinking about purchasing an online mattress, reading mattress reviews, like the ones provided here, is a smart strategy. We suggest that you opt for a product with a generous trial period (with a money-back promise at the end of it) as well as 10-year warranty or longer.

 

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