In our experience there isn’t one mattress that fits everyone. The same way there isn’t one couch or one way to cook a steak. This is because a mattress responds to your specific weight, shape, size, and needs. A mattress that is great for someone who is over six feet tall, two hundred plus pounds, and has a back problem may not be right for someone who is just over five foot, weighs under 100-lbs, and sleeps on their side.
If you’re on the hunt for the best mattress, you may be struggling to find one that best fits your needs. It can feel overwhelming when you try to sift through all the different mattress types to decide on one that will be the most comfortable and supportive.
Some of the key things you should consider are your sleeping position, any current health issues affecting your sleep, whether or not you share your bed, how much you want to maintain the mattress, and if you want a mattress that comes with a sleep trial and/or a generous warranty.
To help us write this article, we’ve consulted with sleep health experts, leaders in the mattress and bedding industry, and analyzed some of the most popular mattress brands on the market today.
The Amerisleep AS3 uses three inches of pressure-relieving, plant-based memory foam to reduce aches and pains and limit tossing and turning. The AS3 also uses clinically-proven zoned back support which is shown to reduce pressure points by nearly 50%. Plus, like every Amerisleep mattress, the AS3 comes with a 100-night risk-free trial and a 20-year warranty.
The Zoma Mattress is designed to help athletes sleep deeper, recover faster, and perform better. Even if you don’t lead an active lifestyle, Zoma can upgrade your night’s sleep. Plus, they offer a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty with every bed.
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Best Mattresses of 2020
|Best Mattress of 2020||Amerisleep AS3||Features thermo-reactive material that increases circulation and cell recovery.|| |
|Zoma Sports Mattress||Designed to help athletes sleeper better and recover quicker; features state-of-the-art sleep-enhancing technologies.|| |
|Bear||Includes cooling graphite-gel memory foam, used to help sleepers recuperate and encourage tissue rejuvenation during the night.|| |
Depending on your needs, you may prefer a specific mattress material. Some sleepers enjoy the contouring of memory foam, while others favor the bounce of latex. In this article, we will cover the pros and cons of leading mattress brands and technologies, the most common sleep issues, and answer some questions you may have while mattress shopping. Hopefully, after reading you should have a more solid perspective on the best mattress for you.
We like the Amerisleep AS3 for a few reasons.
First, it’s very affordable. Currently, with its live promo code, you can get the Amerisleep AS3 in queen size for only $1199. If you break that down by 10 years (the average life expectancy of most mattresses), that’s less than $10 a month. That’s a huge return on investment. Quality sleep for 10 years (if not more) for $10 a month.
Second, it’s just a very comfortable mattress. It’s a medium firmness mattress which means it does its best to not be too firm or soft. And after a long day, you want something you can look forward to getting into.
Amerisleep’s AS3 incorporates advanced mattress technologies and materials to improve your sleep.
For example, under a soft, breathable cover lies the first comfort layer, made of a responsive, plant-based memory foam called Bio-Pur®. Bio-Pur® sleeps cooler, rebounds faster, and is more comfortable than traditional memory foam. The addition of plant-based oils also makes the foam eco-friendly and less toxic.
Beneath the soft and conforming Bio-Pur® is AS3’s pressure point relief system. Amerisleep uses HIVE® Technology. This technology reduces pressure points by using hundreds of hexagonal cut-outs that give support to the five major comfort zones: head, shoulders, lumbar region, hips, and legs.
HIVE® also creates air passages to promote better air circulation, letting you sleep cool.
Sleep Trial and Warranty
20-Year Warranty: Amerisleep’s warranty is one of the longest in the mattress industry. The 20-year mattress warranty covers sags above 3/4 inches (most companies cover sags if they are greater than 1 inch).
This warranty is prorated, meaning repairs or replacements in the first ten years are covered by Amerisleep. During the second ten years, Amerisleep will replace your mattress for 50% off.
Sleep Trial: A sleep trial allows you to try out your new mattress for a number of nights— the average sleep trial is around 90 days, while some companies offer even more. Amerisleep’s mattresses all come with a 100-night sleep trial. At any time during your sleep trial, you can send the mattress back and get a full refund, and you don’t have to pay a restocking or shipping fee.
Amerisleep does recommend you try out the mattress for at least 30 nights since that’s the typical break-in period. If your body has not adjusted past the recommended 30-day mark, Amerisleep recommends you give them a call to either talk with one of their Comfort Specialists or start the return process.
Once you let Amerisleep know you no longer want your mattress, a local partner will pick up the mattress to either recycle it or donate it to a local charity.
Next up on our list is the Zoma Mattress, a memory foam mattress for athletes. Zoma was engineered to help athletes leverage their sleep to perform better during their day-to-day. It’s designed to induce deeper sleep, promote muscle recovery, and help you wake up feeling more refreshed and ready to take on the day. In our Zoma Mattress review we will look at each layer of the bed to see if it’s the right mattress for you.
Zoma can upgrade anybody’s sleep, not just athletes; in fact, it’s helpful to anyone who suffers from frequent aches and pains.
The top layer of the Zoma is gel-infused memory foam with Triangulex™ technology. When you lay down on the bed, this layer molds to your body to offer instant cushioning comfort. The gel within the foam combats body heat to keep you at a comfortable temperature.
Triangulex™ technology offers zoned support and promotes a healthy spine. Near your midsection, this foam feels firmer to offer extra lumbar support and prevent uncomfortable sinkage. Around your shoulders and hips, this technology contains triangle-shaped cutouts to allow for deeper compression and pressure relief under those major joints. Triangulex™ works to keep your spine in line with the rest of your body while still providing enough cushion for adequate pain relief.
Next is a layer of latex-like poly-foam called Reactiv™. Designed to be more responsive than memory foam, Reactiv™ boosts this bed’s bounciness and creates a more “on top of the bed” feel for the sleeper. Because it’s so bouncy, it prevents the feeling of being “stuck” in the bed and makes it easier to change sleeping positions.
The third and final layer of Zoma is Support+, a durable poly-foam. Support+ is in place to reinforce the layers above and provide extra support for the sleeper. It prevents sagging throughout the mattress and extends the life of your mattress.
Sleep Trial and Warranty
10-Year Warranty: Zoma will replace your mattress within the first 10 years of ownership if it develops a sag greater than 3/4 inch.
Sleep Trial: Zoma offers a risk-free, 100-day sleep trial in the comfort of your own home, starting the day it’s delivered. If you decide you don’t like it, they’ll arrange for your unwanted mattress to be picked up and donated locally or recycled responsibly.
3. Bear Mattress
Bear created their mattresses with athletes’ comfort and performance in mind. Putting their energy into research, Bear’s engineers created a great mattress to help athletes reach new levels of performance. But what makes a mattress good for those living an active lifestyle?
High-quality materials in the mattress, such as Celliant® fabric and cooling graphite-gel memory foam, help sleepers recuperate and encourage tissue rejuvenation during the night. Rejuvenation is key.
Why would athletes need special material to help tissue regeneration? Constant and rigorous training exercises strain and break down your muscles so they can later build back up stronger than before. While you sleep the body makes repairs and starts developing stronger tissue. A good mattress helps this process instead of hindering it.
Celliant® lends a hand in tissue repair. Celliant® stimulates blood circulation through infrared light. When blood flow increases, more oxygen is transported to damaged tissue at a faster rate. This causes muscles to repair quicker.
Sleep Trial and Warranty
10-Year Warranty: During the first 10 years of original ownership, the mattress will be repaired or completely replaced for free. However, Bear will not cover the cost of mattress transportation when it is repaired or replaced.
Sleep Trial: Bear offers a risk-free, 100-day sleep trial in the comfort of your own home. This sleep trial starts when the mattress is delivered to the customer’s doorstep. Bear recommends you try out the mattress for at least 30 days. This 30-day period will allow your body to adjust. Afterward, if you find the mattress isn’t working for you, you are more then welcome to return it.
Contact customer service and they will schedule a free pick-up, after which your mattress will be delivered to a local charity or recycling center.
What is the Best Type of Mattress?
Mattresses are made using a variety of materials. Depending on the combination of these materials and the way the materials are arranged within the mattress, you may be sleeping on an incredibly comfortable bed, or one that doesn’t quite give you all the support you need. The best mattress type for you will depend on a few different factors, such as your weight, whether or not you sleep with a partner, and health conditions affecting your sleep, such as back pain or insomnia.
Mattress brands are constantly innovating to address customer’s many different needs. For example, lots of companies have begun to make more breathable memory foam mattresses infused with gel, charcoal, copper, and more. These memory foams draw heat away from the body instead of trapping it underneath the body like traditional memory foam.
We’ll go over the most popular mattress types below as well as the characteristics of each.
Memory Foam Mattresses
When memory foam mattresses were first introduced in the early 90s, they were renowned for their conforming abilities and softness. Before it made its way into mattresses, memory foam could also be found in car seats, medical equipment, and more. Here are the main types you’ll find in your mattresses today.
Memory Foam (Viscoelastic Foam): Memory foam is also known as viscoelastic foam, meaning it takes on viscous and elastic properties when it is warm and compressed (i.e. when someone is sleeping on it). It’s close-conforming, meaning it’s quite comfortable for most sleepers. Common complaints associated with memory foam mattresses are that they trap heat and sometimes have an off-gassing “odor” when first unboxed.
However, lots of companies are addressing these concerns by using plant-based foams, which emit little if any off-gassing odor, and cooling foams, which we will go over a little bit later.
Polyurethane Foam: Polyurethane foam, or polyfoam, is similar to memory foam, but most often a high-density variation of it is used as the base in memory foam mattresses. Polyfoam is typically closed-cell and firmer than memory foam and doesn’t have that sinking feeling associated with a memory foam feel.
Gel-Infused Memory Foam: Many brands infuse their foams with cooling materials, such as gel, charcoal, copper, and plant-based extracts. This is a great feature for hot sleepers, because research shows your core body temperature needs to drop to reach the deeper stages of sleep. Memory foam is open-cell, meaning it allows for greater airflow throughout the mattress. Open-cell construction also creates a softer, more responsive product with quicker conforming capabilities.
Convoluted Foam: Convoluted foam, or egg-crate foam, is not usually found in the top layers of a mattress, but lots of brands use it as their “transition” foam because it circulates air better than memory foam. It’s also a little stiffer than memory foam, so it offers good support.
Latex comes from the sap of a rubber tree and is manufactured using environmentally-friendly processes. Latex is naturally hypoallergenic and designed to outlast the traditional innerspring mattress— the average latex mattress lasts for up to 15 years! Typically, most companies use two different “types” of latex in their mattresses— while both are made using 100% natural latex, the manufacturing processes are slightly different and produce a slightly different feel.
Talalay latex is a bit more bouncy than Dunlop. Some say it is “softer” than Dunlop, but truthfully, it’s hard for the average person to tell the difference unless they are a latex expert.
Dunlop latex is a denser, heavier foam, but this doesn’t always mean it’s firmer. Dunlop is said to be more springy than bouncy.
Be wary of synthetic latex as it does not have the same characteristics or level of quality that 100% natural latex does. Keep in mind that latex mattresses are usually more expensive than other types, but this is mainly because they are so durable and long-lasting.
Innerspring mattresses continue to be a very popular mattress type because they feel familiar to most of us. However, they are also known for sagging after only a few years. Companies have begun to address this by using stronger, more durable coils in the base.
The top layer of innerspring mattresses is almost always some kind of pillow top made using memory foam, latex foam, or polyfoam. Between the coils and the top layer of foam, there is usually a “buffer layer” of felt or other fabric. The base uses coils for superior bounce and even support. Typically, mattress brands will use one or more of these coil types: Bonnell, continuous, offset, and pocketed. Each type serves a different purpose and offers varying levels of durability.
Bonnell Coils: Bonnell coils are shaped like an hourglass. The wider part of the coil is very flexible and sinks down when pressure is applied to it. The more narrow part of the coil offers stable support. While Bonnell coils are quite common in innersprings, they are also not linked together like other coils types, making them susceptible to motion transfer.
Continuous Coils: Continuous coils are more durable than Bonnell coils thanks to their construction. If you are looking for a relatively cheap mattress but want something that will last you a bit longer, you should look for a mattress that uses continuous coils in its base.
This coil type is actually formed with one long piece of wire making up an entire row. Each row is tied to the one next to it using a wire (also known as a “helical wire”). Because all the rows of coils are linked together, continuous coil mattresses have better motion isolation.
Offset Coils: Like Bonnell coils, offset coils are hourglass-shaped, but unlike Bonnell coils, they are linked together using helical wires. When pressure is applied to the mattress, these wires hinge and expand, giving the user good support and limiting motion transfer.
Pocketed Coils: Pocketed, or wrapped coils, are the newest coil type to come on the scene. They are often found in hybrid mattresses (50% foam, 50% innerspring) and they offer the most pressure relief and motion isolation of any coil type. Mattresses using pocketed coils are also more expensive because of the added material. Because each coil is individually encased in fabric, they provide a customized feel to whoever sleeps on them.
Coil type greatly affects the feel of an innerspring mattress, but you should also consider the coil count and the gauge. A higher gauge coil is thinner, while a lower-gauge coil is thicker. Most coils are made of a combination of high and low-gauge coils. If there are higher-gauge coils in the mattress, they are usually in the top layers for added bounce.
Additionally, don’t think that the higher the coil count, the better the mattress will be. Sometimes a company advertises a very high coil count to overcompensate for other uncomfortable parts of the mattress. On the other hand, a very low coil count can create an uncomfortable sleeping experience. A queen size mattress should have at least 400 coils, but most on the market have much more than that.
When you see the word “hybrid” next to mattress, you might be wondering what exactly that means. A hybrid mattress is 50% coils, 50% foam. The coil and foam types will vary across brands, but a hybrid must have at least three inches of foam and some coils in its base to be considered a hybrid. Hybrids are excellent options for anyone who likes the bounce of an innerspring and the pressure-relief of foam— with this mattress type, you get the best of both worlds.
A hybrid’s construction varies across brands, but typically they all have these same components:
- A memory foam or latex foam comfort layer (sometimes polyfoam is used as well)
- Another layer of higher-density support foam or transition foam
- A supportive coil base (usually wrapped coils)
Hybrids are sometimes a bit more spendy than your typical memory foam or innerspring mattress due to the extra materials used to make them.
Water beds were a huge fad in the 90s. They are firm and conform to your body better than other mattress types. While these beds are a fun novelty, they don’t offer much in the way of support or motion isolation. They also come with the risk of mold or bacteria growth if the mattress is punctured and water leaks out.
Air mattresses are convenient because they can easily be compressed, rolled up, and stored in small spaces. For that reason, air mattresses are meant for travel or camping and not long-term use. Air mattresses are relatively cheap and most come with a pump you can plug into the wall to blow up the mattress. Some more expensive models come with a few extra features such as heart monitors, sleep trackers, and more.
Organic and Eco-Friendly Mattresses
Some companies have begun to make their mattresses using plant-based foams, GOTS organic certified materials, CertiPUR-US® certified foams, and more to give their customers peace of mind. Traditional memory foam is made using petroleum, but plant-based foams use a combination of plant-based oils and petroleum for reduced risk of off-gassing smells or allergy irritation. If an organic mattress is important to you, look for certifications on the mattress website and always make sure the certification is accompanied by a trademark symbol.
What is a Bed in a Box Mattress?
Shipping a compressed mattress in a box directly to the customer is becoming the norm in the industry. Before the popularity of bed in a box mattress brands, shoppers went to mattress showrooms and big-ticket department stores.
Most of these stories sold by comfort. This means the shopper tried several different brands and styles, looking for the model which felt the most comfortable. While this is a decent approach, it left plenty to be desired. Just because a bed felt comfortable at the store, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to work for you in the long-term. To make it worse, a lot of mattress stores had very restrictive return policies, making it difficult (if not impossible) to get a full refund.
Enter: the bed-in-a-box model. Brands realized they can make foam mattresses, compress them down (using huge factory machines), roll them up, and ship them directly to a customer. This business model leads to a few significant changes. First, high-quality mattresses became more affordable. Delivering mattresses straight to the customer allow companies to save on warehouse fees, showroom expenses, and more. Second, bed-in-a-box brands offer generous sleep trials. While the sleep trial varies from company to company, most provide their customers at least a 60-day sleep trial where the customer can return the mattress, at no cost to them, getting a full refund.
What are the Top Mattresses on a Budget?
How much should you pay for your next bed? Figuring out your mattress budget is important. A budget helps you eliminate options not within your price range. However, it’s good to have a baseline when deciding on how much you will spend.
Some blogs say to look for a mattress around $1000. We recommend you focus more on the features. Your next mattress should come with free shipping, a 100-night sleep trial, at least a 10-year warranty, and quality materials. There are plenty of options which meet those criteria within the $1000 price range. If you find a mattress that cost less than a grand, just spend a little longer and read some reviews, see if you can try it out in person. If you find a mattress that is significantly more expensive, it could still be a good value, but do the little bit of extra research to find out what you are really paying for. Are you paying for the name or the quality of materials?
When are the Best Mattress Sales?
Like any big-ticket items, most mattresses do go on sale from time to time. The major mattress sales are:
- Labor Day Weekend
- Black Friday and Cyber Monday
- Presidents’ Day
- Memorial Day
Mattress Options for Specific Needs
Some companies have begun to market their mattresses to very specific groups of people, such as athletes, heavyweight sleepers, or those with chronic pain. You should expect these mattresses to have slightly different construction and/or materials in order to address the needs of their customers.
For example, a customer with chronic back pain will be looking for a mattress with excellent back support. Hybrids made with steel, wrapped coils or foam mattresses with high-density foam in the base are good options. You can even filter customer reviews “by concern” on some websites, letting you read experiences from others who share your same concerns.
You may not even know what your dominant sleeping position is, but it has a huge impact on how comfortable your mattress is. Above all, your mattress should align your spine and keep pressure points from becoming inflamed. If you’re sleeping on a mattress that’s too soft, you may sink down and throw things out of alignment. On the other hand, if your mattress is too firm for you, you can wake up with aches and pains. All of these issues affect sleep, and poor sleep can cause a host of other issues.
Best Mattresses for Back Sleepers
Back sleeping is one of the healthiest sleeping styles for postural alignment. However, it’s also the least popular style— only 8 percent of the population sleeps this way.
Sleeping on your back allows your mattress to support your spine in a neutral position. Your weight is dispersed evenly across the mattress, which means you experience fewer aches and pains. Those who sleep on their backs also reduce their risk for developing wrinkles prematurely because they don’t press their faces against their pillows like side and stomach sleepers do.
Sleeping on the back can be unhealthy if you suffer from snoring or sleep apnea, as gravity presses down on the tongue, which sinks down into the throat and obstructs the airway. If you struggle with either of these issues, you should consider side-sleeping instead.
Considering these factors, the best mattresses for back sleepers are typically medium to medium-firm, and back sleepers will probably enjoy memory foam, hybrid, or latex mattresses the best. Innersprings may be too uncomfortable for back sleepers as the coils can feel like they’re digging into the back.
Best Mattresses for Stomach Sleepers
We do not recommend sleeping on the stomach because it comes with a high risk of misaligning the spine, hips, and pelvis, especially if the customer chooses a mattress that’s too plusht. If you sleep this way, choose a medium-firm or firm mattress that will keep your posture neutral throughout the night.
The straightening of your spine causes the spinal cord to become inflamed. It could also cause the gelatinous disks to burst. Gelatinous disks are protective gel-like cushions that stop the vertebrae from rubbing against each other. Obviously, if these burst or become inflamed, it can cause serious pain or injury.
Stomach sleepers will find they are most comfortable on hybrids, innersprings, or latex beds, and the best mattresses for stomach sleepers are firm— regardless of the type of bed you choose. Firm mattresses usually offer enough support to keep the torso lifted and prevent misalignment.
Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers
Side sleeping is the most popular sleep style, and it’s also considered one of the healthiest. Sleeping on the side aligns the spine and opens the airways for better breathing. If you sleep on the right side in particular, you may enjoy better heart health.
Side sleeping can come with some risks— sleeping this way can place a great deal of stress on the sciatic nerve, which can cause lower back pain that can spread to the hips, buttocks, and thighs, leading to sciatica.
Side sleeping can also lead to poor blood circulation and paresthesia, or that “pins and needles” feeling you get when a limb or limbs are compressed for too long. Side sleepers who sleep with one arm under their head are especially prone to this problem.
If you’re looking for the best mattress for side sleeping, choose a bed with medium firmness. Medium mattresses are soft enough to keep pressure from building up at those sensitive areas and firm enough to evenly support healthy posture.
When it comes to mattress type, side-sleepers will probably enjoy memory foam, latex foam, or hybrids the best.
Best Mattresses for Combination Sleeping
Combination sleepers have the benefit of improved blood flow because they constantly shift from one position to the other during the night. This style of sleeper also benefits from a reduced risk of snoring.
Because this sleeper is constantly shifting through positions, they can develop the same pressure points than any other sleeper develops. These issues can develop more intensely if the sleeper weighs a little more.
Like all other sleepers, combination sleepers should consider spinal alignment first when mattress-shopping. They will probably be most comfortable on a medium to medium-firm mattress, but some may even prefer a medium-soft feel. Combo sleepers will probably prefer memory foam, latex, or hybrid mattresses.
Other Factors to Consider When Mattress Shopping
As we mentioned earlier in the mattress type section, many mattresses are made to address specific customer needs, such as weight, physical activity, and couples with different sleep styles. If you just need a basic, comfortable place to sleep, you probably don’t need a special mattress addressing these concerns, which is great news as these typically cost a little bit more. However, you may find a mattress with all the bells and whistles is just what you need for a good night’s sleep.
Best Mattresses for Heavy Sleepers
Heavy Sleepers: Heavier sleepers should consider a mattress’s density, thickness, and firmness before purchasing.
Heavier individuals, or those who weight more than approximately 230 pounds, need a mattress with extra support to keep them lifted in the bed and prevent uncomfortable sinkage— that’s why the best mattresses for heavy people are firm. We don’t recommend soft mattresses for heavy sleepers because they’ll often sink too far into the mattress and feel “stuck” or sleep in an unhealthy position.
Firm mattresses can be compressed without sagging, sinking, or deteriorating quickly.
Hybrids and latex mattresses are great for heavy sleepers because they’re more responsive than memory foam beds. Latex mattresses offer a more “lifted,” “on top of the mattress” feel in terms of firmness and don’t usually allow for a lot of sinking. Hybrid mattresses contain innerspring systems that give the bed a lot of bounce and prevent sinkage, as well.
We also recommend heavy sleepers look for a thicker mattress because they’ll be more resistant to sagging and deterioration than thinner mattresses. Thin mattresses may also feel uncomfortable for heavy sleepers because they don’t have thick enough comfort or transition layers to prevent bottoming out on the mattress’s core.
Best Cooling Mattress
Cooling: For those that live in hotter climates or those whose body temperature runs hotter than average, sleeping hot is a major concern. Thankfully, most mattress types address this issue some way or another. There are even specific mattresses that sleep cool. Innersprings and hybrids are naturally more breathable than other types thanks to their coil base. Latex is aerated, promoting circulation, and most memory foam mattresses are made using either open-cell foam or gel foam (or a combination of both).
Best Mattress for Couples
Couples: It’s hard enough figuring out your own personal preferences for a mattress, but what do you do when the person you share your bed with has wildly different preferences than you? Most couples find they are both happy with a medium mattress since this firmness is considered “universally comfortable.”
Additionally, look for mattresses with excellent motion isolation so you won’t feel your partner moving around all night. A mattress with dense support layers will keep you both from “sinking” in or rolling to the middle of the bed.
Best Mattress for Athletes
Athletes: Weight distribution and pressure points are the biggest concern for athletes. Constant pressure on the body during sleep will hinder healthy recovery. Athletes should look for a bed that can cradle pressure points, such as memory foam mattresses.
Athletes should also look for a mattress with zoned support. Zoned support technologies offer dynamic full-body support to both alleviate pressure and maintain healthy spinal alignment. These technologies are often found in the comfort or transition layers of mattresses and contain specific comfort and support zones.
Comfort zones are often found under your shoulders and hips for extra cushioning and pressure relief while support zones are often under your midsection or torso to keep your spine in a neutral position.
These technologies are beneficial for all sleepers, but are especially helpful for athletes because they facilitate healthy sleeping positions and prevent pains and soreness.
Mattresses for Back Pain
Back and Neck Pain: Back and neck pain typically results from poor posture, which can be exacerbated during sleep. The human spine has a natural curve that helps us maintain balance and posture. The spine is also a protective pipeline for the spinal cord and major blood vessels. This is why a misaligned spine can cause loss of data transmission in the spinal cord and reduced blood circulation.
Consider again sleeping style, mattress type, and mattress firmness when you’re shopping for a new bed— these three factors can either make or break your sleeping posture.
Mattresses for Hip Pain
Hip Pain: While hip pain can be a result of poor posture, more often than not, it stems from sleeping on a mattress that’s too firm for your body— this is especially true when it comes to side sleepers. The best mattress for hip pain relief cushions that major joint, allowing it to sink into the mattress just a bit for pressure relief. However, your mattress should not be too soft where it throws your spine out of alignment.
Mattresses for Arthritis
Arthritis: Arthritis is joint inflammation due to cartilage deterioration. 80 percent of those who live with this disability have trouble sleeping due to aching, itching, or swollen joints. Poor sleep can make pain worse, which leads to further debilitation and even mental issues.
The best mattress for arthritis is conforming, motion isolating, and responsive— these traits are most likely to be found in memory foam and latex mattresses.
Fibromyalgia: Like arthritis, fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder. Fibromyalgia causes widespread musculoskeletal pain, which is often accompanied by fatigue and sleep issues.
Conforming mattresses with pressure relief qualities are best for those who have fibromyalgia. Motion isolation would be a good quality to look for too.
Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is the weakening or deterioration of the bone or loss of bone density through disease or diet, causing the patient to be more susceptible to broken bones.
When it comes to mattresses, people who have osteoporosis should look for models with superior pressure relief, spinal support, cushioning, and responsiveness.
Mattresses for Sleep Apnea
Snoring and Sleep Apnea: Both sleep apnea and snoring are caused when the sleeper’s airway is obstructed. Snoring is not as life-threatening as sleep apnea since it usually only temporarily obstructs the airway and only causes disruptive noises. Sleep apnea, on the other hand, can cause the sleeper to stop breathing completely. While no mattress can “cure” sleep apnea, adopting different sleeping positions and using pillows that keep the head elevated can help.
Mattresses for Snoring
Snoring: Snoring is disruptive sleeping habit that can impede not only a partner’s rest, but your own, too. Snoring occurs when your windpipe slightly closes, restricting your airways. The result is noisy breathing during sleep. Nearly 90 million Americans snore, and 37 million do so on a regular basis. While snoring isn’t a serious sleep condition, it can be a symptom of more serious sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Addressing snoring can help you get a better night’s sleep, and help you determine whether or not it’s a symptom of something more serious.
The best mattresses for snoring are those that can pair with an adjustable base and contain zoned support. We recommend zoned support to those who snore because it can promote healthy sleeping positions, and we recommend adjustable bed frames because they can elevate your head, align your posture, and open your airways. Some of the best adjustable beds even come with a “Snore” button you can click to lift your head just enough to keep your airways clear and open.
Most of us know the best mattress size for our needs. It helps to know the exact dimensions for the most common mattress types, especially when you’re trying to imagine the bed in a particular space or if you want to buy compatible bedding to go with it.
- Twin: A twin mattress is a practical choice for teenagers and children who need more room in the bedroom to move around and play. The size of this mattress is 75 inches L x 39 inches W.
- Twin XL: A twin is not suitable for those who are taller. Height problems can be addressed by purchasing a twin XL, which is 80 inches L x 39 inches W. A twin XL gives the sleeper a little more height to sleep comfortably.
- Full: Full mattresses are for those who need a bit more sleeping room. It’s also a good option for children who share a bed or teenagers. This mattress measures 75 inches L x 39 inches W.
- Queen: A queen is a popular choice since it’s suitable for couples or single adults who move around a lot in bed. A queen mattress is 80 inches L x 60 inches W. However, it doesn’t give a couple the benefit of spreading out, so if both of you move around a lot, you might consider an Olympic queen or king.
- Olympic Queen: This queen mattress gives a couple more space to move around. It’s the same length as the queen, but the depth is 6 inches longer. It doesn’t sound like very much. However, it does make a difference when a couple needs a bit more stretching room.
- King: For those who need some more room, a king size mattress is a fantastic option. It is 80 inches L x 76 inches W, which leaves plenty of space to move around.
- California King: The California king is longer than a king, but not as wide, measuring at 84 inches L x 72 inches W. California kings are best for taller folks (over 6 feet tall) who sleep alone.
- Split King: A split king is essentially two twin mattresses placed side by side. The two mattresses side by side are equivalent to the size of a conventional king mattress. Although it may seem odd for a couple to be sleeping on two separate mattresses, it’s an easy solution for couples with different sleep preferences. It also eliminates most motion transfer issues.
Together, the two mattresses are 80 inches L x 76 inches W, which makes each mattress 80 inches L x 38 inches W.
Firmness Levels (and which one is right for your body type)
One of the first things customers always ask about a mattress is: is it too soft or too firm? The different firmness options are a big deal when it comes to mattress shopping but it can also be frustrating. Sadly, there is no objective measuring use for firmness levels. For example, one company’s medium firm may be another company’s medium. To top it off, there are a lot of different marketing words used to describe mattresses, such as “luxury firm.”
Generally, mattresses can be found in these firmness levels:
- Extra Firm
- Luxury Firm (also a medium firm)
- Soft (sometimes called plush)
- Extra soft (or ultra plush)
On top of these levels, there is also:
- Pillow top and Euro top
Should Your New Mattress Have Edge Support?
The function of edge support is contested by some mattress companies and obviously it follows that if a company provides edge support then they promote the feature. Whereas companies which don’t offer edge support (usually memory mattresses) will talk about how edge support isn’t needed and in fact can make it harder for you to sleep.
Who is right? Well, it depends.
The whole idea of edge support is that the edge of your mattress should be firmer than the rest of the mattress. This helps if you’re sitting on the bed to put on your shoes in the morning. But it doesn’t really help with sleeping and, in fact, it can lead to complications if you’re planning on using a mattress with an adjustable bed.
Plus, our feedback shows a significant amount of people sleep on the very edges of their mattress. So, if you have a mattress with edge support, chances are you’re sleeping on a firmer part of your mattress than you realize.
What Makes a Budget Mattress Different than a Luxury Mattress?
Sometimes people are looking for a good budget mattress – maybe for a guest room or maybe because you don’t plan on using the mattress for very long. But what makes a mattress a budget mattress vs a luxury mattress? What features are offered or removed?
Obviously, consider price. A mattress sold at a low price is a true budget mattress. Based on our research, the mattress industry can be divided into three main tiers:
- Mattresses Under $1000
- Mattresses Under $2000
- Mattresses Over $2000
Most of the high-quality mattresses we recommend will be between $1000 and $2000. But for the sake of this article, we let’s group mattresses into “budget” and “luxury” by their features, not their price tag.
Luxury mattresses should have:
- Increased breathability
- Pressure relief
- Some type of specific back support (zoned support is ideal).
- A 100 night sleep trial (or longer)
- A 10 year warranty (or longer)
- CertiPur US Certified foam (if foam is used)
- Individually wrapped coils (if coils are used)
Budget mattresses generally have:
- A non-customer friendly return policy
- A warranty less than 10 years
- Non-CertiPur US certified foam
- Low profiles (thinner than 10 inches)
An Online Mattress vs. In-Store Mattresses
As a blog, we mostly focus on online mattresses. There’s a few reasons for this. First, online mattresses are generally more consistent and transparent. For example, if you walk into one mattress brick and retailer that sells legacy brands (think Serta) the names can change from retailer-to-retailer. This makes it much more difficult to mark the differences.
We want our readers in Arizona to get the same quality sleep as our readers in New Hampshire. Online mattress companies offer this by selling their own models directly to consumers.
There are some pros and cons, however, of each business strategy.
- Generally more affordable (due in large part to the reduced overhead)
- Longer sleep trial (due to the fact that you are buying the mattress without trying it)
- More transparency (online companies rely heavily on social proofing and can be easily compared with other brands, so they are generally more eager to provide you, the consumer, with more transparent information, such as foam density, ILD, and more).
- Generally free shipping (due to the fact the most online mattress companies ship their mattresses to the consumer in easily broken down cardboard boxes.)
- Generally more expensive (due to increased overhead and commissions)
- Generally a shorter return policy (in the store you get to try the mattress and the sales rep will do their best to leverage this as a way to make sure you pick the right mattress).
- Generally less transparency. Depending on the retailer, it’s possible they aren’t even selling their own brand, so the info they have is all that is given to them by vendors. Most brick and mortar mattress stores
Warranty and Trial Period
Before choosing your next mattress, check to make sure it comes with a warranty and sleep trial (or return policy). If you’re shopping online, your mattress will likely come with a sleep trial, but if you’re shopping in store, it may come with a return policy, instead. If you can find an in-store mattress that comes with a sleep trial, that’s great, but return policies work, too.
Sleep trials make online buying possible, as buying a bed without having the opportunity to test it out is difficult. These typically span 90 to 120 days, giving you a couple of months to try your new bed at home. More often than not, online mattress brands offer these sleep trials risk free, meaning if you decide against keeping your mattress they’ll return the mattress for you free of charge and issue you a full refund. However, some brands do charge restocking or return fees. Always read the fine print of the sleep trial information so you are aware of the terms and conditions.
Return policies are usually much shorter than sleep trials, most lasting only 30 days. These give you a few weeks to try your new bed and make a return if necessary. Like sleep trials, most returns should be free, but some brands do charge restocking fees. Of course, always read the fine print of these agreements, as well.
Last but not least, consider the warranty offered with your mattress. Most mattress warranties are 10 years, so if a brand is offering only 3 or 5 years of coverage, it could indicate that the bed is of lesser quality. Some brands, on the other hand, offer warranties longer than 10 years, and will have 20-year or even lifetime warranty agreements. When possible, search for a mattress with a longer warranty, but always read the warranty conditions to understand what’s covered and what you’d be responsible for in the event of a warranty claim. While some longer warranties may seem better, there’s the chance their coverage is subpar.
Remember, always read the details of these agreements so you have a full understanding of their terms and you’re not surprised should you have to return your mattress or submit a warranty claim later on down the line.
What’s the average cost for a mattress?
Mattress cost depends largely on mattress type, the warranty and return policy, and even the brand name. Mattresses costing less than $300 are definitely more affordable, but they don’t last long and offer very much support. You should expect to spend $500-$1,000 for a good-quality, queen size mattress. That cost can go up if the mattress is made with latex, wrapped coils, or cooling gel foams.
Does age have anything to do with the type of mattress I should buy?
Yes and no. Most adults know fairly well the type of mattress that suits them best. However, babies obviously will not be sleeping on king-size beds, and elderly people may need mattresses with more pressure relief and conforming materials. In their first year of life, babies should sleep on a crib-size mattress with no pillows or blankets to reduce the risk of SIDS. Toddlers can sleep in special toddler-size beds, but some can even transition to a twin-size bed.
Children and teenagers will be most comfortable on a twin or full-sized bed, and they will probably like any and all mattress types. As kids get older, they might prefer more resilient materials, like latex, foam, or hybrids. When choosing the best mattress for kids, consider how your little one sleeps, and how much growing they have left to do. If your kid is about to hit a major growth spurt, you should buy a bigger bed to accommodate them for the upcoming years.
How reliable are customer reviews?
Customer reviews are incredibly useful because they give us an idea of other buyers’ experiences with the product before we take the risk of buying it for ourselves. Even though most companies offer a no-risk sleep trial with their mattresses now, it’s still nice to know if a mattress will really help with your back pain or if it sleeps cool like the company says it does.
Read customer reviews carefully— even the lower-rated ones. Sometimes poor reviews have less to do with the mattress and more to do with shipping times or customer service. If you can’t find negative reviews on the company’s website, that’s a red flag. Most companies use customer feedback to improve their product, so it shouldn’t be impossible to find.
Need More Information?
Just in case you didn’t find what you needed here, check out our other posts! If you’re interested in buying the best mattress, check out our post covering the top-rated beds of 2020. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a solution to your sleep troubles, check out our article on beds to relieve chronic pain. If you’ve already settled on your next bed, why not start the search for new bedding? Nothing complements an upgraded mattress better than comfortable sheets— check out our guide on how to find the best bedding for your sleep needs.
Now that you’ve read our mattress guide, we hope you feel more confident as you prepare to buy a new mattress. A bed is no cheap investment, but choosing the right one for your needs can mean a world of difference to your sleep and overall health. Remember, the best mattress for you will be compatible with your sleeping style and keep your spine in healthy alignment.