We’ve spent countless hours testing out the most popular mattresses from all of the leading brands. We judged each mattress using standardized metrics such as comfort, structural integrity, and durability.
After extensive testing, we determined that the best mattress is the DreamCloud. A close runner-up are the mattresses offered by Puffy. Any brand that you choose from this list is sure to be a good choice. If you scroll down you’ll see that we have a section with information about mattresses that is designed to help you make your purchase decision. We’ll also go over any relevant scientific information so you can figure out which mattress is best for your unique health situation.
Our Top Picks
The overall best mattress is DreamCloud. We like it because it’s designed to provide a cooling effect because of the ventilated coils and moisture-wicking construction.
Our favorite bed for pain relief is Nectar. It’s our top pick because it relieves pressure by contouring to your body shape, which helps reduce aches and pains.
If you’re looking to buy a hotel bed, we recommend St. Regis Hotel Bed. It does a phenomenal job of reducing motion transfer, which is great for you if you sleep with a partner.
Our #1 choice for people suffering from medical conditions is Saatva. We chose it because it offers a large amount of pain relief and conforms to your body shape, which helps reduce pain and helps alleviate postural issues.
The best mattress for kids is Bear. We like it because it helps prevent overheating, which is one of the most common reasons children wake up during the night.
Our preferred bed for senior citizens is ZenHaven. It’s our top choice because it’s dual-sided so you can choose between firm or soft by flipping it over.
Our favorite mattresses
DreamCloud is a company that makes hybrid mattresses, meaning that the interior contains both gel and innerspring coils.
This mattress has eight different layers included a quilted euro top and a comfort & contour layer.
The reason we rank the DreamCloud in the #1 spot is because it provides a cooling effect. The gel is designed to wick away body heat, and the innerspring coils are ventilated to give you a more comfortable night of sleep. This is an extremely important feature because a cool temperature is an absolutely essential aspect of sleep hygiene and will help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Puffy is a company that manufactures award-winning memory foam mattresses. Their multi-layered mattresses contain enough memory foam to give you that soft, relaxing feeling combined with a firm support core that provides stability.
The reason we added Puffy to this best-of list is because it provides pressure relief and conforms to your body shape. This is extremely important for people who have sore backs and joints and need support but also want that soft memory foam feel.
How to pick the right mattress
A mattress isn’t like other pieces of furniture – you need to think carefully and weigh out all the options before picking the right one for you. This is the place that’s going to host you for about a third of your time.
Are you a side sleeper? Do you get hot when sleeping? Do you have enough money for the right mattress? Are you suffering from any health problems? The list of questions doesn’t stop there. You may want to know what mattress types there are and the pros and cons of each.
We’ll give you all the important information so you can begin choosing the perfect mattress feeling confident about what you’re doing.
What types of mattresses are there?
- Memory foam. These mattresses are made of memory foam layers only. They support the body and its position by shaping around it, relieving pressure, pain, and stiffness. Pros of memory foam mattresses are their anti-allergenic properties, movement absorption (you won’t feel when your partner tosses and turns), and spine support. The most frequent con is a high chance of having the long-lasting smell of the new mattress which doesn’t go away because of chemicals used in production. You are also likely to become hot while sleeping (even in gel-infused mattresses) due to material density. Hotness doesn’t only result in sweating but also in having worse sleep quality.
- Innerspring. Innerspring mattresses have coils in them. Some mattresses have more, some fewer coils. They don’t absorb movement as well as memory foam mattresses but they have a much better airflow which means you are less likely to be too hot. Innerspring mattresses are typically the most budget-friendly of all types; however, this comes at a price – they typically don’t have high consumer satisfaction ratings and their lifespan can be quite short (depending on quality).
- Hybrid. Layers of memory foam and innerspring make hybrid mattresses. They offer coil support with some bounce, have better airflow than memory foam mattresses, and some pressure relief. Hybrids can be pricey and you may need to rotate them to prolong their lifespan. If you opt for a cheap hybrid, bear in mind that you could get caught in all the memory foam and innerspring cons – sleeping hot, no pain relief, and too much bounce.
- Latex. Latex foam mattresses can be pricey but are quite popular. They are either natural, made from tree sap or synthetic, coming from petroleum compounds. The first one is safe whereas synthetic latex can be toxic. If you care about natural products and safety, double-check the materials. Some manufacturers make blended mattresses that contain both types of latex. The latex that’s 100% natural is very durable, hypoallergenic and quite breathable. It relieves pressure points, although not as much as memory foam.
Less common mattresses include airbeds, rollaway (folding beds), and waterbeds. Airbeds and rollaway mattresses are great when you’re having guests over and you can easily take them out and put them away but do not offer comfort and pain-relief like standard mattresses. If you opt for a waterbed, see if you can find one that’s very firm because they are typically not motion isolating at all. They do provide some pressure relief, though.
What side are you on?
I’m a side sleeper.
You’ll feel the most comfortable on medium or soft mattresses. A bed too firm may cause pain in your shoulders, hips, and knees. They should be able to slightly sink in the mattress and keep your spine straight.
I’m a back sleeper.
Your back and the rest of the body will be supported well on medium to firm mattresses. Too soft ones will cause your torso to sink into the mattress and create points of high pressure and pain.
I’m a stomach sleeper.
Sleeping on your stomach is generally not recommended because it creates strong pressure points and pain in the neck, knees, and lower back. If you really can’t change it, you may opt for a firm mattress (but not too firm!).
I always change positions.
A medium mattress should be a good compromise for you. If you sleep on one side more frequently than others, it may help you pick a slightly firmer or softer mattress in the medium range.
Bear these things in mind – a medium bed may be firm for a petite person but too soft for a large or heavy person, so go with what feels good for you, not what the package says. Anything too firm or too soft for any sleeper position may be painful and uncomfortable. After you cross a mattress off your list, you may want to consider buying a pillow for your sleeping position, whether you’re a side, back, stomach sleeper or you’re just looking for a high-quality pillow.
All shapes and sizes
It’s not a bad idea to double-check the bed size you’re about to buy. Do you always feel like you’re being pushed around the bed by your partner? If Full XL isn’t enough, you may need a Queen-sized or Olympic Queen-sized bed. Maybe you need a downgrade if you’ve been sleeping in a large bed all alone and your room could use some extra space.
Twin beds are made for small children who outgrew cribs. However, they are 74” long and your kid may outgrow them pretty quickly as well. Twin XL is narrow but the length of an adult bed makes it perfect for kids and teens.
A Full XL could be just right for two skinny adults, although if they like to toss and turn they may not have enough room. Standard Queen and Olympic Queen are wider and provide enough space for two adults. California King and California Queen are for taller ones among us with 84” in length (as compared to other adult beds which are 80” in length).
Sleep problems, medical conditions, and the right bed
Arthritis, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia. People who experience pain may have a hard time falling or staying asleep. Memory foam seems to be the best at reducing joint pain. The bed should be all-foam because they offer the best tension relief. It doesn’t mean that the softer is better because if you sink too much in the mattress you may have a very hard time changing positions or getting out of the bed.
Sleep apnea and snoring. Sleep-related breathing problems can be alleviated by sleeping in a position that allows the airways to remain open throughout the night. One way to deal with these is a firm mattress and a wedge pillow (sleeping on the back) and the other is an adjustable bed. Both of these should hold the upper body in a slightly alleviated position which makes breathing easier.
Allergies. Mattresses which allow the growth of mold and dust mites are the worst choice for people who suffer from allergies. Choose an eco-friendly mattress made of organic, hypoallergenic materials or at least buy an eco-friendly mattress protector. Don’t forget that a natural pillow is equally important for your allergies.
Be smart about trying and buying
You can’t know if a bed is comfy or not until you try it out. Lie on the mattress and spend some time in your preferred sleeping position. Be sure to wear clothes that allow you to relax fully and try to picture yourself spending all night on that bed. Is it too soft? Too hard? If you are still not sure, ask to get a mattress trial – some companies will let you sleep on a mattress for up to three months.
Some stores will offer a refund or exchange if you decide to give it back. Inform yourself about the return policy and whether they will come to pick the mattress up. It really depends on the retailer. Some will do it for free while others request you to pay for it. Don’t forget to ask about the warranty and what’s covered under it.
Let’s say you’ve found the perfect mattress but it’s too expensive. To lower the price by a couple hundred dollars, don’t buy a new box spring if you already have a good one at home that goes well with your new mattress model. Once that’s been set, don’t be shy and ask the salesperson for a lower price. You can ask for price matching or insist on a sale price even after the sale has ended. Don’t be hasty about buying a mattress. Take your time, go home and do some internet research looking for lower prices. It’s easy to order a mattress online if you already know it suits you.
Inspect the mattress thoroughly when you get it delivered while the delivery guys are still there. Consumer reports suggests looking for an “all-new material” sticker. A missing sticker means the mattress has been used and you have the right to refuse delivery. If there is even a slight damage or dirt marks that you’ve noticed after unpacking the mattress, take a photo on your phone as evidence and call the customer service.
Never buy mattresses that are too cheap or overpriced. To make sure you don’t get played, do your research well before buying any mattress. You should avoid mattresses and beds with little or no warranty as well as those with no return or exchange policy. Too soft mattresses may be tempting but they are not good for any sleeping position and can give you a lot of headache. Among memory foam mattresses, avoid ones that are too hot and constrictive and when it comes to innerspring, make sure they have good motion isolation.
How we rate mattresses
We rate mattresses using the following criteria:
- Structural integrity and durability
- Firmness and support
Learn more about our mattress rating process and methodology here.