This synopsis of in-depth reviews helps you quickly identify mattresses you may be interested in without having to spend days researching the options because we’ve already done the research for you. For example, we continually watch the bedding market, identify the highest rated, most popular, and newest products for testing. We read reviews written by other customers because enjoying a mattress is a very subjective experience. As a result, manufacturers often reach out to us and send us a sample that we test. Several people try each product before we write our review.
We also keep up with the latest sleep research to understand the newest innovations, as well as topics related to solving sleep problems and safety. Depending on the topic of the article, we research around 5 – 50 research reports. For example, while writing our most recent article on eco-friendly mattresses we read research so we could write a second article on chemicals that might be in the products, as well as whether organic is defined by governmental agencies when the product is not edible, and other research on health and safety related to textiles and the mattress industry. In addition, we take the following steps:
We look for research published in peer-reviewed journals (Free, Downloadable) and consider any conflicts of interest the authors may have before considering a source as credible.
We also reach out to the founders and other employees at the manufacturers to get additional information, such as which materials they use to meet the fire safety requirements in each of their products.
Honest Reviews are Important to Us
Although we receive a small commission when you use one of our coupons or links to make a purchase, it doesn’t cost you more. Above all, our main goal is to provide you with accurate and useful information. In addition, because sleep is important for your health, we want you to get a bed that gives everything you need to sleep well every night. Your trust is important to us.
We keep ourselves and our reviews honest by focusing on earning our followers trust and refusing to accept any samples that are conditioned on whether we like the product or not. For instance, we won’t agree to give specific ratings for any reason. Our ratings are based on the qualities of the product including comfort, support, price, firmness, pressure relief, responsiveness, materials, motion transfer, edge support, temperature, warranty, return policy and the reputation of the company.
If you want to compare mattresses the right way, you have to compare the features that matter the most. You can download our checklist to help you compare various mattresses.
Although we think it is important to take your time choosing a mattress, we realized that some people simply don’t have the time and just want someone else to tell them what they should do. For that reason, we begin by telling you about three products that meet the needs of most people who are focused on the area where each one performs the best.
Nectar is the best mattress overall due to the combination of an affordable price, great warranty and sleep-trial, and the benefits it provides at this price level. Above all, a good sleep trial allows you to try the product in your home for months before you are required to make a final decision about whether or not to keep it. Nectar provides high value for the price and most people who have a Nectar are very happy with it.
Best Affordable Luxury
Dreamcloud is the best affordable luxury mattress because it has a reasonable price (less than half the price of many luxury products) while delivering on their promise to bring luxury into your bedroom. Add their Everlong warranty to the equation and Dreamcloud delivers more than you would expect at an affordable price. Use Coupon code BMR200 to save on a Dreamcloud.
It is finally easier to find a safe, eco-friendly, and reasonably priced sleeping surface. For example, Plushbeds offers three latex options, including a vegan mattress, at much lower prices than many eco-friendly options. They even let you take eco-friendly products on the road with their RV versions.
BEST MATTRESSES BY CATEGORY (Quick Guide)
First of all, you should know that thousands of hours of research went into the articles we wrote from which we extracted the winners in each category in this guide. As a result, this chart helps you quickly identify products that are the best in the categories you care about the most.
Mattress innovations have exploded during the past decade. Consequently, if you’re shopping for a new mattress, most of the options that are available now didn’t exist when you bought your last one 8 – 10 years ago. The type you choose will depend on your priorities.
If you want a comfortable and affordable mattress, you’ll go with a memory foam. Because memory foam contours to your body’s curves to provide support so your muscles can relax while you sleep. As a result, it can alleviate aches and pains many people feel when they wake up in the morning.
You used to have to avoid memory foam if you didn’t want to sleep hot. Now, newer models add cooling gel layers, graphite, copper, silver, and even diamond dust to reduce the amount of heat the mattress retains. Today, you can find memory foam products that sleep cool in any style today.
If price is your primary consideration, memory foam will give you the best features at the lowest prices. On the other hand, you might be able to find an innerspring product for a similar price at a discount store, but it won’t be comfortable—not even in the beginning.
If you’re willing to do your best for the planet regardless of the cost, you’ll go with a latex mattress. Because latex is the most durable eco-friendly material. First of all, latex is made from the sap from rubber trees, it is sustainable and eco-friendly. Secondly, organic and vegan versions of latex are available.
Innerspring mattresses have coils topped by a thin layer of latex, foam, or other padding. In addition, the springs give the bounciness that made beds fun to jump on when you were a child. This type is also available in Euro Top and Pillow Top versions that provide additional padding between your body and the springs. To clarify, most people grew up sleeping on innerspring products. Therefore, if you want what you’ve always had, you’ll go with an innerspring model.
Hybrid mattresses come in every style you can imagine. The newest type of design is created by combining two or more types in one. With this in mind, the varieties are endless. Generally speaking, common versions combine latex and innerspring coils, memory foam and coils, and latex with memory foam.
You can get a more affordable latex product with many of the health and eco-benefits of latex by going the hybrid route. Thus, if you want the contouring and hug of memory foam but also want bounce during intimate moments, a combination of coils and memory foam will give you the best of both those worlds.
You’ll be drawn to the hybrids if you prefer the qualities of more than one type of product.
Air mattresses have come a long way since their early designs. While they are still frequently used as guest beds because they can be packed away when they are not in use, many people use air mattresses for their own bed. Some offer dual-sided controls that allow couples who prefer different firmness levels to choose their own comfort level and automatic pumps, so you don’t have to blow it up or physically pump it up.
The popularity of water beds has declined since they reached their pinnacle in the 1980’s, but they still have die-hard fans who love the feel of sleeping on water. With firm-sided designs, a waterbed can look just like a traditional bed. The ability to heat the water makes getting into a waterbed something you’ll look forward to on a cold winter night. Low motion designs don’t feel as if you are drifting on water.
If the firmness level is most important to you, it won’t narrow things down for you because you can find any type of mattress in any firmness feel. We have selected the product we feel is the best in each category.
Our favorites from those that made the final cut on the Best Mattress Lists on our site are shown below.
Our Best Affordable and Best Value Mattresses consider price, durability, and comfort as well as other personal preferences such as sleeping cool, firmness level, and motion isolation. Secondly, we consider the expected life of the product when we determine affordability. There are less expensive mattresses that may be as good during the first six months or year, but they won’t last as long or provide the support and comfort you need as long as the most affordable products do. Remember, the best affordable mattress won’t be the best mattress, but for the money, it is the best value.
Cheap vs. Best Value
We don’t recommend buying a cheap mattress if you have other options because sleep is so important for your health, but we understand that sometimes you don’t have another choice. We’ve read thousands of reviews to help you quickly identify the best cheap mattress because we know that time is often tight when money is limited and you have more important things to do.
Products in the Best Cheap Mattress category won’t last as long as other choices. For that reason, they aren’t the best value. However, if you need one now and a cheap product is what you’re able to afford, our best cheap mattress list will help you avoid a lemon. If you need a cheap bed quickly, check out our list of mattresses in the $200 – $400 range for a queen.
Another option when money is tight is buying a more durable product on credit. Many mattress companies offer financing, some with interest rates as low as zero percent. Be wary of layaway plans at retail bedding stores; they are not a good option. Financing at such stores and department stores is usually high.
Firmness is very subjective. You will experience the mattress as firmer or softer depending on how much you weigh. They feel softer to people with heavier bodies and firmer to people with lighter bodies.
In general, back and stomach sleepers prefer (and need) a firmer surface to support their body while they sleep. Side sleepers need a softer surface that fits the curves of their body to keep their spine aligned when they are on their side.
If your bed doesn’t allow good alignment of your spine while you sleep, you won’t sleep as well and you are more likely to wake up with aches and pains in your neck, shoulders, back, or hips. The illustration shows you the correct sleeping position for side and back sleepers.
A double-sided mattress is designed so that you can sleep on either side of the mattress. We like them for guest rooms because most of the current designs have two different firmness levels. One side is usually firm while the other side is a medium-firm feel. This allows you to provide a comfortable bed for your guests in multiple firmness options. It is also economical if you’re comfortable on both firmness levels because it will last longer if you flip it about every six months.
There are other times when someone who usually sleeps on a firm surface will want a softer mattress. For example, during pregnancy, women are encouraged not to sleep on their back. Sleeping on your side on a firm surface adds to the discomfort of pregnancy. Being able to switch to the medium firm side of a flippable product during pregnancy could save you the expense of buying a new bed.
Aches and pains can come from a variety of sources. It is not uncommon for someone who begins waking up sore to blame their pain on aging only to realize when they finally buy a new bed that their morning aches and pains disappear. During sleep, your muscles need to be able to relax. If your muscles have to work to keep your body in a particular position while you’re sleeping, they’re getting a workout that can lead to sore muscles. When this is happening to you, you won’t be sleeping as deeply as you should to optimize your ability to function.
It is also not unusual for someone who finds it difficult to stay in bed for more than six hours to find they can sleep deeper and longer on a new mattress.
Individuals who have pain from an illness, disease, or injury will get the best relief from their pain on a surface that provides the support they need where they need it. Side sleepers often develop shoulder and hip pain without realizing it is the result of pressure on their joints while they sleep. Stomach and back sleepers can develop back problems if their mattress is too soft.
Mattress companies and scientists have been working hard to find solutions that reduce pain. The pain-relieving benefits of at least one product are so well documented that you can use your HSA (Health Spending Account) or FSA (Flexible Spending Account) to purchase it as a medical device if you have a prescription from your doctor.
Before deciding you’ll have to take pain pills for the rest of your life or that your pain is just a sign that you’re getting old, you may want to see if a new sleeping surface provides relief. With no-risk sleep trials, you can try it out and if it doesn’t help, you can send it back. There are several pain-relieving products in our Best Mattress for Pain list.
Luxury mattresses are for those who want everything—not just what they need. You can expect them to come with features like cashmere covers, extra height, and premium materials so they can deliver a comfortable oasis for you to dream in every night.
Although you can spend more than most people do on a car or even a house to buy the world’s most expensive luxury beds, there are affordable luxury products that provide their owners with a fantastic place to sleep every night. There are a number of luxury beds in the $4,000 – $6,000 range, but most of our picks come in at about half that which means affordable luxury is available at a reasonable price.
The features that make a mattress great for sex may not be the same features that make it the best bed for a couple to sleep in together. The best beds for couples provide each person with a comfortable sleeping platform even if they don’t enjoy the same firmness level as the person they sleep with. The best beds for sex are responsive and provide bounce, won’t bottom out when the weight of two people is concentrated in one area, and include great edge support. There is nothing sexy about worrying if you’re going to slide out of bed onto your head.
Couples usually want motion transfer control, so they don’t feel their partner move when they’re trying to sleep. If they are different sizes, they don’t want it to depress where the heavier person is which can make the lighter person feel like they have to fight rolling downhill toward their heavier partner. A split firmness mattress allows each person to choose the firmness level they prefer for their side of the bed without resorting to trying to keep two twin sizes together with a sheet.
We don’t name an overall best mattress for couples because the best mattress for any specific couple will vary based on the individual preferences of two people. With so much potential variety, you’ll have to choose based on the features that are most important to you. We do encourage you to consider split firmness options.
Eco-friendly mattresses consider the entire life cycle of the product beginning with the impact on the environment during production and transportation, the use of toxic chemicals, the durability of the mattress, organic or vegan materials, and whether it can be recycled at the end of its life.
Although eco-friendly varieties can be made with other materials, for the most part, eco-friendly mattresses will have latex as the primary material because latex is made from the sap of rubber trees that clean carbon from the atmosphere. Each tree produces sap for about thirty years, and, at the end of the tree’s life cycle, the wood is used to create furniture and new trees are planted.
There are memory foams that use plant-based oils instead of some or all of the petroleum that was used in early memory foam models. Latex can also be synthetic, which means it won’t be as eco-friendly as natural latex. Manufacturers of latex products tend to use natural materials like wool or plant fiber as a fire retardant so they don’t need to add toxic chemicals that can cause health problems.
Due to an increased demand for eco-friendly and healthy alternatives, the number of options has expanded the choices that are available in this category. You can easily find a vegan and/or organic mattress to satisfy your demands. Just a few years ago, that was a very difficult task.
Other than your arms, your baby’s bed should be the safest place for them to be. This means a non-toxic environment with a bed that will help their growing spine and bones develop so they’ll have a healthy body to live in throughout their life. Because the government recognizes that babies are vulnerable when they are exposed to certain chemicals, it places higher restrictions on mattresses designed for babies and children under age three.
In our line up of three crib mattresses, we’ve included one for those whose budget is tight as it so often is when a baby is on the way as well as eco-friendly options. Keep in mind that you’ll want your crib mattress to fit snuggly so there aren’t any crevasses where the baby could get stuck on the sides of the crib. Additionally, you’ll also want some protection against wetness because babies sometimes make messes no matter how attentive the parents are to the child’s needs.
Firmness and Fit Matters for Babies
Babies should have a fairly firm mattress. In light of research showing that pillow top designs can put them at risk for SIDS, make sure you follow your pediatricians’ recommendations to keep your little one safe.
When your baby is a toddler, they will be safe on a larger variety of designs although innerspring designs make using it like a trampoline a significant temptation. Given that latex and memory foam won’t spring like a trampoline, your child isn’t as likely to fall off the bed because they won’t be tempted to jump on the mattress.
If your bed doesn’t allow you to rest well during the night, you won’t be ready for your day. As a result, you’ll struggle to accomplish the things you want to do. Given that most people sleep better when they are cool, a mattress that doesn’t sleep hot is important.
The firmness feel someone prefers is largely determined by their weight and sleeping position. The amount the mattress hugs your body makes a big difference. Some people prefer a snuggly feeling almost as if they are being hugged while others find that level of contouring uncomfortable.
Issues with Weight and Pain
One of the most difficult problems to overcome is a body that just isn’t that comfortable—whether it is due to pain or carrying extra weight. For this reason, when someone is carrying more weight than their frame can comfortably carry, it can be difficult to find a comfortable mattress and position. Given that the body can’t rest well if the muscles are working to support the body’s weight. As a result, a product that is designed to support a larger person is one of the most important considerations for someone living in a large body.
Many mattresses will degrade quickly if the people sleeping in them weigh more than they are designed to support. However, buying a product that is designed to support heavier bodies can greatly improve the quality of sleep you achieve and provide you with a satisfying purchase that lasts much longer.
Heavy bodies are considered those over 230 pounds. Because of this, even a lean person who weighs 230 should consider a product designed to support more weight. Keep in mind that it is the amount of weight, not whether the person is overweight, that determines a heavy body for the purpose of deciding which type to purchase.Best Mattress for Heavy People
Standard mattress sizes don’t work for every situation. RVs, campers, and travel trailers often require sizes that don’t line up with the standard King, Queen, Full, and Twin-size mattresses that are readily available from any mattress retailer. Because some RVs use sizes that are unusual, they have to be replaced with custom made mattresses.
The mattresses RVs come with as original equipment are notorious for being uncomfortable. What is the point of traveling to the great outdoors if you’re sleepy all day because the mattress in your RV is uncomfortable? As a result, many RV owners replace the original mattresses within two years of purchasing their rig. I wouldn’t suffer with a bad mattress that long—I’d consider new mattresses part of the price of the RV and get comfortable ones as soon as I knew what sizes I needed. If it is uncomfortable, then why suffer when you don’t have to spend your vacations on an uncomfortable mattress?
Custom Mattress or DIY?
Custom sized mattresses can be expensive. As a result, some people take a do-it-yourself approach and cut down a regular size mattress to fit the dimensions they need for their RV. While their ingenuity is commendable, they need to be sure the mattress they choose to cut won’t expose them to harmful chemicals.
Keep in mind that many mattresses aren’t designed to be opened. Due to the use of fire protection that can contain fiberglass or toxic chemicals that are not too dangerous as long as they are sealed within the mattress, you should know what is in a mattress before you open it up. Given that these materials can quickly cause issues, especially lung issues if you are exposed to them.
Another key point is that adjustable beds require a specialty mattress although many of the new mattresses are compatible with adjustable beds. The first thing to remember if your mattress will be used on an adjustable bed is that it is important to verify that the mattress will hold up to that type of use. For instance, there is one mattress that would work on an adjustable bed frame, but the warranty becomes void if you use the mattress for sitting rather than laying down. Even though the mattress would work, it wouldn’t be a good choice if you plan to sit up in bed.
Many factors need to be considered when evaluating a mattress purchase. Remember, over the time you own it, you’ll spend thousands of hours on your mattress. Most importantly, the quality of your life while you are awake is affected by the quality of the rest you get at night. As a result, this is an important decision.
We also know that many people are busy and don’t have a spare twenty hours to research which mattress would be best for themselves. That’s why our list is designed to save you time by guiding you to mattresses that are the best in each category. Because individual preferences vary, we can’t guarantee that you will be happy with a choice from this list, but the products wouldn’t be on our list if we didn’t think most people would be happy if they used this list to select their next mattress.
Also, with the exception of purchases from Amazon where return policies vary, the products on this list have no-risk sleep trials that allow you to try them and return them for a refund if it doesn’t isn’t comfortable for you. Be sure you know the terms before you buy.
What to Avoid
There are some things you absolutely should not do when you buy a mattress. For example, the biggest mistake many people make is buying in a retail store. We have nothing against mattress stores, it is the store policies we find abhorrent.
However, most retail stores do not allow returns. In addition, most that allow exchanges heavily penalize customers who exercise their right to exchange a bed that isn’t working for them by charging re-stocking fees and charging the full retail price of the product they exchange for, even if it is on sale at the time. Also, most of them don’t provide a warranty after an exchange.
Once a retail bedding store has your money, you’re not getting it back. For instance, we tried to find a retail store that treated customers with the respect they deserve and gave up after spending over 100 hours reading complaints and reviews. The result of that work is summarized in this article.
Knowledge Helps You Avoid Mistakes
But most people who go to a mattress store are either unaware of the variety of mattresses available online or they think they need to try laying on it before they buy. Most importantly, if they read all the reviews where dissatisfied customers complain that the product that was delivered doesn’t feel like the one they tried in the store, they’d see how futile that approach is if your goal is to be sure you will be comfortable.
The second thing they don’t realize is that online retailers almost all have a no-risk sleep trial that allows you to try their products in your home on your bed for months before deciding if it is right for you. Sleep trials leave the risk with the manufacturer.
The Best of the Best
In conclusion, you’ll notice that the three overall winners we mentioned at the beginning of the article deserve their titles because they show up as best in class again and again. Nectar, Plushbeds brand, and Dreamcloud provide excellent choices.
If the rest of the vendors in the industry disappeared tomorrow, most people would still be able to get a bed they really like out of those choices. We’re not suggesting that the rest of the companies don’t offer value, they do.
Competition is good. Maybe, in time, increased competition will make retail stores come around and adopt less punitive policies for customers who don’t get the comfort they need on their first try. In the meantime, use our coupon codes to save on your next purchase.