Curious about who has the best beds this year and which brands are duds? This article outlines the best mattresses in 2020 and our updated guide can help you as you shop.
Every year brings new beds, technologies and trends claiming to be the best. Consumer reviews are a helpful way of gauging satisfaction and a great tool for comparing mattresses. Someone with first-hand knowledge of a product can provide feedback that is indispensable.
Best Mattress Reviews of 2020 Overview
- The Amerisleep AS3 is our recommendation for the best mattress of 2020—it features extra-cool and responsive proprietary memory foam, zoned support technology, a risk-free 100-night trial, one of the best warranties in the business, and over 6,000 verified customer reviews rate it 4.7 out of 5 stars.
- The Zoma Mattress is targeted towards those who need the most recovery. It’s an all-foam mattress with an 11-inch profile that uses gel-infused memory foam to provide cool, pressure-relieving comfort. Plus, it comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
In this article, we considered over 100 leading brands, researched dozens of reviews and articles, and spent 30 hours on research, writing, and revision.
Best Mattresses of 2020
|Amerisleep AS3||Three inches of pressure-relieving Bio-Pur® foam and dynamic zoned support.||$1199|
|Zoma Mattress||Gel-infused memory foam to keep you cool and comfortable||$750|
|Avocado||An eco-friendly latex mattress with great bounce and support.||$1399|
|Purple.4 Hybrid Premier||Four inches of pressure-relieving hyper-elastic polymer||$2999|
|Nolah||Flippable all-foam mattress for customized comfort.||$1019|
|Bear Pro||Uses copper-infused and gel-infused foams to help keep you cool.||$1090|
Some readers have asked us to just boil down this entire article into the highlights and say what we recommend. This mattress is it. Read on for details, or, if you want the quick pick, you can just check out the AS3 by Amerisleep, which is the best memory foam mattress.
The Amerisleep AS3 has the best mattress reviews on the brand’s website earning 4.7 out 5 stars from nearly 6,000 reviews from verified customers and rating high on third-party review sites as well. It is one of the more popular plant-based memory foam models from Amerisleep, in the mid-range of its collection.
So many things stand out about the Amerisleep AS3. So we’ll start at the top, with the soft, breathable cover.
Amerisleep’s covers are designed to keep air flowing throughout the mattress so body heat never builds up. This airy material keeps you cool and comfortable all night. The cover is also removable and completely washable so it is easy to keep your mattress clean.
Amerisleep uses its own Bio-Pur® memory foam in all of their mattresses. This advanced memory foam has an “open-cell structure” that does two important things.
First, it allows more air to flow through the foam to keep you cool and comfortable. Second, it allows the foam to bounce back faster, so you don’t feel stuck as you change sleeping positions during the night.
The Amerisleep AS3 also has a special transition foam layer that provides additional, targeted support and pressure relief for common sore spots like the shoulders and lower back. Using their proprietary Harnessing Intelligent Ventilation & Energy technology (HIVE®) they add precision-cut channels to this layer. HIVE® technology creates targeted areas of support and pressure relief, so it’s soft where you want it and firm where you need it. (81% of consumers say targeted back support is important for them when choosing a mattress). Plus, the channels allow for even more airflow to keep you cool and comfortable through the night.
All of these innovative layers rest on top of Amerisleep’s Bio-Core® foam. This durable support foam stands the test of time so well, Amerisleep offers two decades of total warranty coverage to prove it. No other mattress on our list has a longer warranty.
Another way Amerisleep protects its customers, in addition to their industry-leading warranty, is with their risk-free 100-night sleep trial. As long as you give their mattress a fair chance for 30 nights, they will give you a full refund if you’re not completely happy. They’ll even help you find a place to recycle it!
Speaking of recycling, Amerisleep also has a company mission to protect the environment. Their foam partially replaces the petroleum (crude oil) with plant-based Castor oil, which is more sustainable.
The Zoma Sports Mattress is targeted towards athletes or those who live an active lifestyle. Why? Because the technology Zoma uses to provide optimal comfort and support is meant to lead to better sleep and better recovery.
The first layer of the Zoma is made of Triangulex™. Triangulex™ is a gel-infused memory foam that uses triangular-shaped cutouts to provide a cushion in high-pressure areas, such as your shoulders. These triangular-shaped cutouts also provide air channels on the top layer which is a great feature to help you sleep cool throughout the night.
Beneath the2-inches of Triangulex™ material, Zoma uses 2-inches of a highly-responsive transition layer of foam called Reactiv™. Reactiv™ can be described as “latex-like”. It’s a bouncy foam that contours to your body but doesn’t give you the “sinking in” feeling associated with memory foam.
By putting the Reactiv™ layer directly beneath the Triangulex™ layer, the Zoma mattress combines pressure relief with a bounce.
The third and final layer of the Zoma Sports Mattress is a 7-inch core called Support+. Support+ is a durable support layer that helps support you and your mattress.
The Zoma Sports Mattress comes with free shipping, a 100-night trial, and a 10-year warranty.
As an all-natural, organic option, the Avocado Green is a great addition to the list. With a rating of 4.8 out of 5, it’s a favorable option for those seeking an eco-friendly hybrid choice. The Avocado is priced below-average compared to other hybrids with all-natural materials.
Standing at either 11-inch or 13-inch (depending on choosing to add a pillow top), the Avocado topper is made with organic cotton and wool and two layers of Dunlop natural latex followed by an 8-inch support core of pocketed innerspring coils. Even with the pillow top addition, there have been reports of the Avocado feeling too firm. This mattress was received well by stomach sleepers and back sleepers.
Side sleepers struggled the most with this mattress, claiming stiff joints and pain during the night and morning. Some customers, while finding the mattress, both comfortable and supportive, still missed the sinking sensation that comes from memory foam.
4. Purple.4 Hybrid Premier
Purple is one of the more unique options on our list. They don’t specialize in latex or memory foam, but their own third option: hyper-elastic polymer. Purple started as a one mattress company but since has grown into having four models. And while they used to be an all-foam mattress, their newest models are technically hybrids.
For this guide, we are going to focus on the Purple.4 Hybrid Premier. The “4” in the title designates how this model has 4-inches of hyper-elastic polymer, which is the most of any Purple mattress. Arguably, this makes the Purple.4 Hybrid Premier the softest and most supportive of the lineup. It is also the most expensive.
Beneath the 4-inches of hyper-elastic polymer, Purple places one inch of 2.0lb PCF poly-foam. This layer of poly-foam serves as a transition layer between pocketed coils and the hyper-elastic polymer, providing cushioning that sleepers call “luxury firm.”
The mattress itself is 13-inches tall and weighs 168lbs in a queen size. Like all Purple mattresses, the Purple.4 Hybrid Premier comes with free shipping, a 10-year warranty, and a 100-night sleep trial.
Nolah makes two mattresses: the Nolah 10 and the Nolah 12. The numbers help distinguish the mattresses by height. We like Nolah 10 because we think it offers a great value for its price point.
As the name suggests, it’s a 10-inch mattress. The first two inches of the Nolah is made up of what the company calls its Cooling AirFoam™. It’s important to note: this foam tries to comfort you like memory foam, but it is not memory foam itself. This could help explain the more affordable price point, as memory foam tends to be one of the more expensive parts of a mattress
Beneath those two inches of cooling foam, Nolah puts 1-inch of “Deep Supportive High-Resilience Foam.” Nolah describes this foam as “stronger and more durable” than latex. Part of what we like about Nolah is how it makes a comfortable mattress without using memory foam or latex. This means if for whatever reason, you are looking for a non-memory foam, non-latex mattress option, then the Nolah may be right for you.
All Nolah mattresses come with a 15-year warranty, a 120-night sleep trial, and free shipping.
6. Bear Pro
Bear made their name as a mattress to help you recover, thanks to their use of Celliant® in the cover. Since then, they’ve released two other mattresses: the Bear Hybrid and the Bear Pro.
The Bear Pro is 12-inches thick and features four layers. The first layer is Copper-infused foam. Mattress companies like using copper to promote a cool sleeping surface. We like that Bear addresses heat concerns with the very first layer. Beneath the copper-infused foam is a layer of gel memory foam. Again, gel is used by mattress companies to help reduce the chance of your bed becoming a heat trap. Based on their design, it’s clear Bear is aiming to make a mattress to help you sleep cool. Bear puts their memory foam layer as the second layer, which is a common practice but means you aren’t lying directly on the pressure-relieving foam.
Beneath the two layers of comfort foam, Bear places a layer of transition foam. The transition foam serves a simple purpose: it works as a transition between the soft copper-infused and gel foams and the firmer, high-density support foam. With these layers and its construction, the Bear Pro has a medium-firm feel.
Bear mattresses come with a 100-night sleep trial, free shipping, and a 10-year warranty.
Things to Consider When Purchasing A Mattress
We researched several brands, from big names to start-ups. While focusing on the more popular mattress types, innerspring and memory foam, our guide also showcases the best and worst the mattress industry has to offer.
While the most popular mattresses aren’t always the best ones you should buy, our team found that some of the bed’s people are talking about most really do stack up against the competition. In general, memory foam mattresses have an average owner satisfaction of 80% compared to innerspring’s 60%. But don’t think that just because its memory foam your bed will be great. There are huge differences between brands in terms of quality and performance.
To create this guide, we combed through Based on owner reviews, consumer review publications and online review websites for all of the top mattresses. Then we scored each one based on what research says consumers care about the most when buying a mattress. Finally, we curated five of the top-rated memory foam mattresses and five top innerspring mattresses available this year and ranked them accordingly. Read on to compare specifications along with detailed notes on each bed.
In looking for the best mattress, there are a few things that need to be considered. These factors can affect how you sleep and whether or not you have a good experience. While companies may offer their top picks, it will ultimately come down to your personal preferences.
Something to keep in mind before shopping: the ultimate goal should not only be finding a comfortable mattress but finding one that provides proper spinal alignment. One of the reasons why many wake with a sore back is because their mattress is not supporting the spine as it should. Other factors that need to be considered are mattress type, size, sleeping position, and budget. If looking for the best mattress for back pain, choosing your preferred type of mattress is a good place to start.
Determining each of these will help you in finding the right mattress and achieving the best sleep.
Type of Mattresses
Mattresses can come in a variety of different materials. Each material has its own set of pros and cons. The type of mattress you choose can also depend on your sleep position, budget, and personal preference.
Some materials may cost more than others; for instance, latex will come with a higher price tag due to its natural material. If you’re not sure about a specific type, see if a sleep trial is available. We’ve outlined each type of mattress to give you better insight into what to expect.
Memory foam mattresses are a good choice for those looking for a material to conform to the body, wanting that “hug” sensation. Memory foam contours to the body’s shape and sleep position, while relieving pressure points, and providing healthy spine alignment. This type of mattress is constructed of layers of foam.
The top layer will contain memory foam with the base layer consisting of high-density foam for support.
This material has little to no noise or bounce, so there’s less of a chance of waking in the night due to a sleep partner moving throughout the night— making these beds excellent mattresses for couples. It’s also hypoallergenic, making it particularly ideal for those who suffer from allergies. Because memory foam is a denser material, there could be less airflow causing possible heat traps.
Innerspring mattresses are made up of coils that can either stand-alone or interlock with each other. The higher the number of coils, the more support a mattress will have. Most innerspring mattresses will include a comfort layer, most likely made of gel memory foam for cooling, or you may be offered the option to add a pillow top for extra comfort.
It might be a good idea since innersprings lean more towards the firm side. However, if you’re someone who prefers a firm feel, then an extra comfort layer may not be needed. Many people grew up sleeping on coil mattresses and may continue to do so. Innersprings offer excellent breathability with the open airflow from the coils but may lack pressure point relief. This type of mattress will have a definite bounce and may be noisy from any movement due to the coils.
A hybrid is a combination of innerspring and memory foam. This type of mattress uses coils as support with memory foam as comfort layers. The number of layers of memory foam will vary depending on the manufacturer.
Many see hybrid mattresses as the best value because of its 2-in-1 construction: it offers contouring with pressure point relief and has firm support and bounce. However, the risks are still the same, but now combined – there is the possibility of sleeping hot because of the denseness of the memory foam, and less pressure point relief because of the innersprings.
Latex is a natural material that comes from rubber trees. Eco-friendly and hypoallergenic, many consumers like latex because it offers body contouring and has a slight bounce. This type of mattress may come at a higher price point due to its natural material and luxury feel.
There are two types of manufacturing; Dunlop or Talalay. The difference is Talalay has an extra step with the placement of rods in the material to create several holes for added softness and airflow. Dunlop latex offers better support to heavy sleepers, while Talalay latex provides better pressure relief. A latex mattress may be ideal for those seeking the conformity of memory foam but with a firmer feel.
Airbeds offer a more customized sleep experience due in large part to its adjustable comfort and support. Air can be removed or added to help customers reach their preferred firmness level. Basic airbeds will contain two air chambers.
Some, more high-end ones will consist of six chambers, offering a zoned support system for the body. They can stand between 10” to 15” high, and may have two layers: air chambers and a comfort layer of memory foam or latex. With a longer lifespan and its ability to absorb movement, many people prefer an airbed over a traditional mattress. Please note there may be some drawbacks to an airbed, including noise from the electric air pumps, possible malfunctions that result in costly repairs, and their high price point.
While popular option in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, waterbeds are still very much present today. Like airbeds, their adjustable firmness all depends on how much water is removed or added. There are three different surface feels of waterbeds: free-flow, semi-waveless, and waveless.
Free-flow contains no restrictions, leaving the motion of the water to move around freely. Semi-waveless slightly restricts movement with foam bolsters and baffles, but still has the small motion of waves. Waveless completely prevents water motion with foam bolsters, baffles, and fiber padding.
A waveless mattress isn’t much different than an innerspring, memory foam, or latex mattress. It might be better to look towards a traditional mattress if you’re seeking a waveless mattress because, unlike a water bed, they require little maintenance and may last longer.
Also known as folding beds, the rollaway is best suited for temporary sleeping arrangements like guest bedrooms and hotels. They usually come with a thin foam mattress between 4” and 6” thick. Rollaways are one of the more less expensive mattress options, many available under $500.
Constructed of lightweight metal frames and wheels, they can be folded and stored easily. As one of the less expensive types of mattresses, the rollaway comes with some disadvantages. Because of its light frame, it may not be as durable or as supportive as a standard mattress.
Rollaways last less than seven years. They’re notorious for being noisy, most of it from the squeak of the frame and wheels. Also, it’s rare to find a rollaway that includes a sleep trial, a warranty, or a refund.
How Long Does a Mattress Last?
It is important to keep in mind that the length of the mattress warranty does not reflect the life expectancy of the mattress. Although most mattress warranties are 10 years, this warranty will cover manufacturing issues but not normal wear and tear. Innerspring mattresses have the shortest lifespan, about 5 to 8 years, while a high-quality memory mattress will last 10 years. The elasticity of latex makes these mattresses more durable, giving them a lifespan of about 15 years.
When Should I Buy a New Mattress?
When sleeping on an old mattress, you will be more likely to wake up with sore muscles and joints. Take time to look over your mattress and make sure that there are no rips, broken coils, indents, or sagging. These defects are a sign that the mattress is no longer supporting you.
When it comes to your bed, size matters. Before shopping, establish what size mattress you want. It can influence your budget since larger mattresses will cost more: a queen size mattress will have a higher price tag than a twin. Another factor that can determine choice in mattress size is body type. Lightweights may lean more towards a softer mattress, while a firmer mattress may be ideal for heavyweights.
Also, measure your bedroom to be sure that the size that you want will fit in the space. You may also want to consider how you sleep, whether you tuck your body in, sprawl outward, or a combination of both. Wider mattresses like Queen or a King size might be better for those who stretch out in their sleep, while a Cal King is great for those who need more length. A Twin, Twin XL, or Full mattress may work well for those who sleep curled up.
Sleeping alone or with a sleep partner can also influence your choice in size. Twin, Twin XL, and Full are better for single sleepers. Queen, King, and Cal King are best for two sleepers. A Split King can also allow you to customize your side of the bed.
Sleep position can determine what type of mattress you buy. Some materials may be better suited to specific sleeping positions. For example, those who sleep on their side may find a medium-firm mattress ideal.
Its contouring abilities help to hug the body but maintain needed support to the spine. In contrast, stomach sleepers may prefer an innerspring because of its firmness needed to alleviate lower back pressure.
Side sleeping is the most common and healthiest sleep position. It provides better breathing and reduces the risk of snoring and sleep apnea symptoms. Additionally, side sleepers can benefit from improved digestion and spinal alignment. Sleeping on the left side is better since it puts less pressure on vital organs and eases acid reflux. Those who suffer from shoulder pain or issues should avoid sleeping on their side – back might be better.
The best mattress for side sleepers cradles your shoulders and hips while still supporting your lower back and keeping your spine properly aligned.
Stomach sleeping is the least recommended. Neck pain from twisting the head to the side increases pressure on the lower back, and tossing and turning can result from stomach sleeping. If you do sleep on your stomach, we suggest a firm mattress.
Possible solutions to help alleviate these issues include placing a thin pillow under the hips for better support and pressure relief and switching to the side sleeping position. Some stomach sleepers may not need a pillow for their head, especially if they are sleeping on a firmer mattress.
Back sleepers face fewer problems than stomach sleepers but are still in danger from possible health risks. These include snoring and developing sleep apnea. This is due to the collapse of soft tissue at the back of the throat and the tongue blocking the airway.
Side sleeping would be a better alternative. A couple of benefits to sleeping on the back is that the spine is better aligned and there is a lower risk of facial wrinkles since the face is not in contact with the pillow during the night.
If you’re a combo sleeper, it usually means that you may fall asleep on your stomach and wake up on your side. Combo sleepers change positions several times during the night. They may benefit from each sleep position, but may also face the increased health risks of each sleep position as well. These include the neck, shoulder, and back pain, blocked airways, and poor spine alignment.
Motion Transfer and Motion Isolation
You may not know the technical name, but almost every sleeper can relate to the struggles of a bed with high motion transfer and low motion isolation.
Simply put: a mattress with high motion transfer is one that doesn’t absorb motion. So if you move through the night, your movement is felt across the bed. If you’re sharing a bed, this can lead to the other person feeling disrupted throughout the night. But even if sleeping alone, no one wants to feel like every small movement leads to a major shift.
Finding a mattress with good motion isolation helps reduce tossing and turning. In our experience, memory foam mattresses and latex mattresses tend to get the best reviews when it comes to combating motion transfer.
A Mattress Budget
It’s important that you have a reasonable budget set in place before shopping for a mattress. Mattresses are available at a wide price range, depending on what you’re looking for. It helps to research available features and to know what to expect from a standard mattress.
Some factors can help influence your budgets, such as mattress size, materials, and extra features like cooling gel. Bigger size, natural materials, and added features will drive the price higher but may include special perks better warranties.
Most mattresses with high-quality materials and extended warranties can be found at $2,000. In contrast, beds at $500 may be limited in available materials and features. Customers can expect a 10-year warranty, no matter the price.
Bed in a Box Mattresses
Ordering your new bed from a bed in a box mattress company is the latest trend.
Unlike traditional mattress shopping, online mattress companies offer several unique perks. First, most online mattress companies provide generous, risk-free sleep trials. A sleep trial allows you to try the mattress in the comfort of your own home and for a significant period of time. Second, bed in a box mattresses are often a fraction of the price of beds sold from more traditional brick-and-mortar stores. There is less overhead, fewer commissions (if there are any commissions at all).
Sleep Trial and Return Policy
Despite what companies may advertise, it’s impossible to find the perfect mattress within a one day trial. In some ways, online retailers offer a better advantage than traditional brick-and-mortar shops. They can cut out the middleman and save customers from the added pressure to buy on the spot.
Most online manufacturers offer a sleep trial of at least 30 days to allow customers to properly break in a mattress. Sleep trials give customers an adequate trial period to test out a mattress to see if it’s the best fit in offering the right amount of comfort and support. If not satisfied, companies will have the used mattress donated to charity at little to no cost to the customer.
Sleep trials offer customers the chance to decide whether or not a mattress is right for them. Choosing a mattress is not as simple as an hour’s visit at a local retailer. It takes serious consideration that may not be helped by added pressure to buy.
When searching for a mattress, take advantage of a sleep trial and give yourself the time to really try one out to make sure it’s the right one for you. A sleep trial is a perfect way to properly test out a mattress.
It may be a good idea, if a mattress doesn’t have a sleep trial, to look at the return policy. Mattress stores have a uniform message of wanting to ensure their customers a good night’s sleep, a message that’s reinforced when they offer reassurances that their mattress purchase is a good one, like a return policy. Return policies offer customers the ability to return or exchange a mattress if unsatisfied.
With how expensive mattresses can be, an available return policy may help to assure customers that their comfort matters. Companies who don’t offer any type of reassurances with their mattresses, especially a return policy, should be avoided since they may not be looking after the customer’s well-being and more their own.
Before buying a new mattress, always look to see if a warranty is available. Customers can expect a 10-year warranty with most mattresses, no matter the price tag. Be sure to read the fine print to know what to expect from the company and what the company expects from you.
It’s important to know what the warranty actually covers, especially when it comes to repairs and possible replacements. For instance, while warranties do cover some damages, water damage may void the warranty if the mattress wasn’t protected by a waterproof mattress protector. On the other hand, should you purchase a memory foam mattress, for instance, and after two weeks, there’s a 3” sag in the middle despite following the proper care and handling instructions, the manufacturer can provide repairs or even a replacement if the damage is verified.
Always read through any warranty before purchasing a mattress. Some warranties may serve to protect the company rather than the customer, leaving them stuck with a poor-quality mattress.
Edge Support and Foam Density
One of the more popular questions we get on this site is whether or not a mattress ought to have edge support. Edge support was more common in mattresses in the 90s, 80s, and even further back. Now you mostly see edge support in traditional innerspring mattresses or in hotel beds. First, edge support is neither good nor bad, but there are trade-offs to having it (or not having it).
Edge support, simply put, is when a mattress is designed to be firmer or more resilient around the edge of the bed. Think of a picture frame. The photo itself is the mattress and the frame is the edge support. Edge support benefits those who want to sit on the corner of their bed and not sink. Also, edge support gives some sleepers a feeling of safety. Because of the firmer edge, it feels like you are less likely to roll off in the night.
The lack of edge support is called “run-off”. When a mattress has “run-off” it means there is a slightly curved design at the edges of the bed. The benefit of run-off is simple. It increases your sleeping surface. With edge support, you are technically getting less of the mattress you chose. With run-off, you are getting more mattress.
Since most mattress companies are embracing all-foam beds, edge support is becoming less and less popular.
Best Mattresses for Specific Needs
Sleep is a fundamental pillar of health. Quality sleep impacts your day-to-day activities, physical and mental well-being, and overall health. While a mattress isn’t usually a one-stop solution for bad sleep, it is a factor worth considering.
Best Mattress for Arthritis
Arthritis is the swelling of joints and can lead to significant pain, at night, and during the day. Depending on the severity and location of your arthritis, a new mattress and foundation can be a huge benefit.
The best mattress for arthritis takes the pressure off your body, reducing aches and pains.
Best Mattress for Snoring
There are several ways to reduce your chances of snoring. First, it is more common for back sleepers to snore than side sleepers. Because of this, finding a mattress is great for side sleeping is a good place to start. Second, snoring can decrease if you elevate your head and chest. Finding an adjustable bed, which allows you to articulate your head and chest up, will open your airways and reduce snoring.
Best Mattress for Hip Pain
Hip pain is a common sleep disruptor. If your bed is too firm, it can lead to increased pressure on your hips, which leads to tossing and turning. If your bed is too soft, your hip sinks into the mattress and puts pressure on your lower back pain.
The best mattress for hip pain helps alleviate that pressure while still supporting your hips and the natural curve of your spine.
Best Mattress for Athletes
Sleep is a key way your body recovers from daily stress. When you are an athlete or someone who lives a very active and busy lifestyle, recovery is essential.
Uninterrupted sleep is the best way to recover. This is why the best mattresses for athletes are those that promote even balance and excellent support and comfort.
Best Mattress for Adjustable Beds
Adjustable beds can significantly improve your sleeping experience. An adjustable bed is a bed frame that moves your mattress up and down. Raising the head of your mattress helps open your airways, leading to a reduced risk of snoring and other benefits. Raising the legs of your mattress takes the pressure off your lower back and helps increase blood flow to your heart.
The best mattress for adjustable beds will be able to bend and contour to new shapes without losing its ability to support you.
Temperature Regulation and Air Flow
Generally speaking, a person only wakes up in the middle for two reasons: they are in pain, or they are overheating. If you are in pain, your mind will tell your body to move or shift positions to help alleviate the pain. If this happens enough times, you are bound to wake up. If you are hot, again, your body will move to try and cool itself. Everyone is familiar with the feeling of kicking the covers off to try and cool down.
Because of this, it makes sense that when you’re looking for a new mattress, you want a supportive and cooling mattress. Though cooling isn’t the best word, it is the word used in most marketing. What you really need is a mattress that helps you regulate your temperature and doesn’t add to your body’s natural heat. If you’re a hot sleeper, chances are outside factors (diet, medical conditions, room temperature) will play a bigger part than the bed you are sleeping on. When looking for your next mattress, look for breathable layers put at the top of the mattress. Surprisingly, plenty of companies will put their cooling layers deep down in the mattress, which doesn’t help as much as a cool, breathable layer right at the top.
Ten Worst-Rated Mattress Types to Avoid
Looking over the worst-rated mattress models and brands on Sleep Like The Dead’s website and other consumer mattress review websites, we also noticed a few trends. The following traits frequently have the lowest customer reviews. Watch out for these trends in order to separate the best mattresses from the inferior ones.
1. Promotional Mattresses
Promotional mattresses are those sold for a limited time only, often as doorbuster deals during major holiday sales. Their primary place is to catch eyes during sales. Since the models tend to be limited to a specific store and time, it can be difficult to research reviews or accurately compare them to other offers. These mattresses are typically priced very cheaply, but have significantly lower quality than average and may also have limited or no warranties.
2. Very Cheap Beds
With the exception of temporary use/guest mattresses and children’s beds, very cheap mattresses (under $500 or so for a queen) generally tend to have worse overall ratings compared to mid-priced beds (in the $800-$2000 range). It is important to carefully weigh quality, reviews, and expected lifespan against the price.
Cheaper mattresses can provide good comfort initially, but where satisfaction tends to suffer is in the longer term, as the lower-quality materials tend to break down faster and lose comfort sooner. These types of beds also tend to have less warranty coverage, meaning they will likely need to be replaced sooner.
3. Too-Thin Mattresses
Thinner mattresses tend to have lower comfort ratings in most lines, especially among side sleepers and larger individuals. This is because the comfort layers in the bed need to be able to adequately cushion the sleeper against the coils or support foam to prevent pressure points.
People over 250 lbs prefer beds of at least 10”, while those over 300 pounds tend to prefer mattresses at least 14” thick. If you are a side sleeper, your ideal mattress will likely have at least 3” of cushioning material.
4. Hot or Constrictive Memory Foam
Memory foam can vary considerably by density and formula. As a whole, memory foam mattresses tend to earn the highest ratings, but those that dislike these beds tend to either have an issue with the heat or difficulty moving on the mattress.
Both issues are most closely linked with beds that use thick layers of foam (over 5 lb) that are highly temperature-sensitive.
5. Mattresses with Low-Density Foam
Low-density foams, whether regular polyurethane or memory foam, tend to be associated with lower satisfaction over time when it comes to pain relief and durability. For memory foams, low density would be considered under 3.5 lbs. For poly foams, low density is under 1.4 lbs.
Because low-density foams have a “less dense” structure, they are more prone to compression and provide a less buoyant feel than higher densities. However, these foams are typically cheaper so they can be budget-friendly for infrequently used or temporary mattresses (beds you expect to use less than 3-5 years). Heavier people should consider a foam that is more dense, as it will likely wear less under their weight.
6. Innerspring Beds with Poor Motion Isolation
In innerspring mattresses, one issue that can receive considerable complaints is a lack of motion isolation. This is an issue for couples particularly, as one person’s movements can disturb the other’s sleep. Because of this, when looking for the best mattress for couples, be cautious about choosing an innerspring mattress.
Mattress types most associated with poor motion isolation are those with bonnell and continuous coils. Pocketed coils and beds with memory foam or latex layers tend to have fewer issues with motion disturbances.
7. Beds with Little or No Warranty
The other complaint seen often in the worst-rated mattresses is related to warranty issues. It is hard to judge how a bed will perform over time even if you are diligent in your research, which is where the warranty comes in. A mattress typically is only useful for a fraction of its warranty length, as the table indicates.
For a mid-range and higher bed, a good mattress should have at least 10 years of full coverage during which the retailer will repair or replace defective beds at their expense. Many will also have extended prorated periods during which a portion of costs are covered.
The important thing to look for in a warranty is how deep sagging must be before the warranty kicks in – sagging over 1” can dramatically affect comfort and support. Sagging not covered by warranties is a frequent complaint in many of the worst-rated beds.
8. Too Soft or Firm for Your Needs
Mattress shopping is confusing for many, many people. It can be difficult to know which type of bed to choose or to decode different manufacturers’ terminology. Many mattress complaints stem from beds feeling either too firm or too soft. It’s also important to note that most beds with foams will soften slightly over time, so showroom models may not always feel like the bed you receive. If you are looking for a mattress that is truly soft but still supportive, check out our post on finding the best soft mattress.
There is no 100% accurate formula, but generally back sleepers should opt for medium-firm to medium beds, side sleepers medium to plush, and stomach sleepers medium-firm to firm. Side and stomach sleepers put pressure on the bed in different areas than back sleepers. Softer mattresses allow them to sink into the bed for better spine alignment.
It is important to note that sleeping on the stomach is not medically recommended. This can make finding the best mattress for stomach sleepers a challenge. This is because stomach sleeping goes against the natural curvature of our spine, can put extra pressure on our internal organs, and can lead to a narrowing of the airways, limiting our ability to breathe as we sleep.
Sleep studies find that people with back pain generally feel best on medium to medium-firm beds. Since manufacturer descriptions of firmness may be arbitrary, it can be helpful to look for IFD/ILD ratings or read mattress reviews to see if there are any trends in comments regarding firmness. These measurements are meticulous and accurate and refer to the amount of weight needed to compress the foam a certain distance.
9. Overpriced Mattresses
Another complaint often seen in reviews stems from owners feeling they overpaid for their mattress. Even when they find the bed comfortable, this can be enough to affect satisfaction and ratings.
Several mattress brands price beds high, but use only average materials. Retailers can also use sales tactics to exaggerate prices, such as making comparisons difficult or using high-pressure tactics.
The best way to avoid buyer’s remorse is to carefully compare beds and read reviews. Be sure to get information on all layers and be leery when retailers and manufacturers won’t tell you what is in the mattress they are selling – chances are it’s because the bed is not competitively priced compared to peers. Make sure you stay within your budget constraints, also.
10. Beds with No Return/Exchange Policy
A lack of a return or exchange policy can dramatically affect your satisfaction if the mattress you buy is not quite right. Many dissatisfied reviewers complain about being stuck with a bed they don’t like or having to pay high charges for returns.
Especially when buying online, make sure you can return or at least exchange the bed if you don’t like it with reasonable fees. It can take a few weeks to get used to a bed, so you should have at least 30 days to make up your mind. Some retailers will require you to try the bed for a certain number of days prior to returning, so be mindful.
Ultimately, taking the time to research a little and compare different beds makes it easier to find the perfect mattress for your situation and avoid surprises. Armed with basics and with a little work, you’ll be sure to come away with sweet dreams rather than a nightmare when you buy your next bed.
Always ask about what the mattress is made of, see how prices compare to similar offers and don’t forget to check in to retailer policies. Looking online for reviews can also help provide more information on factors such as comfort, durability, and performance that can be difficult to judge as well. You can do your research without leaving the house. Some brands also sell their mattresses on Amazon, so be sure to price-compare before purchasing. In most cases, price, sleep trial periods, and warranties will be better when purchasing direct.
Don’t get pressured into making a purchase. If a salesperson won’t let up, walk away and come back after doing some careful consideration. Some retailers thrive on customers they can push into a hasty decision. By shopping online you can avoid this for the most part.
It’s Decision Time!
Now that you’ve got all the information about the best beds of the year, plus the ones to avoid, it’s time to decide which one is right for you. Our top recommendation is the Amerisleep AS3, but of course, you have to factor in your own preferences and budget.
Adjustable bases may improve your sleep even more. We provide an in-depth guide on what to look for. And if you want even more information on finding the right bed, take a look at our previous guides for more information on buying an online mattress.