The physical and mental demands that athletes sometimes encounter daily make restful sleep even more essential for these individuals to recover from their active lifestyle. It isn’t a passive activity. Instead, it’s imperative for muscle repair that occurs during strenuous workouts.
Sleep also helps athletes learn from their training sessions through brain plasticity or the organ’s ability to respond to changes in its environment. Therefore, getting a good night’s rest is vital for peak performance. The right mattress is one of the most critical factors.
Our guide to the best mattress for athletes will go over what you should look for in a product, along with answers to common questions. We’ve also included an overview of the different types of mattresses so that you can make an informed choice.
Best Mattress for Athletes: 30-Second Summary
- The Zoma Sports Mattress is our favorite mattress for athletes because it’s specifically engineered to help you sleep deeper, recover faster, and perform better. Designed to facilitate more reparative sleep, Zoma can help you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. Plus, it’s dynamic support technology helps wipe away aches, pains, and soreness as a result of your active lifestyle.
- The Amerisleep AS3 is another great mattress for athletes because it features HIVE® technology to facilitate healthy spinal alignment and pressure-relieving memory foam to prevent pain and soreness after strenuous workouts.
Best Mattresses for Athletes
|Zoma Sports Mattress||Features Triangulex™ technology to alleviate soreness and promote healthy sleep positions.||$750|
|Amerisleep AS3||Features HIVE® technology to alleviate pressure points and promote healthy sleeping positions to help you get deep, restorative rest.||$1199|
|Bear||Contains cooling gels to combat body heat and promote undisturbed sleep.||$840|
|Purple® Hybrid||Features innovative Purple Grid™ for No-Pressure support.||$999|
|Luxi 3-in-1||Offers adjustable firmness to customize your bed.||$1,399|
|Sleepenvie Hunter||Includes gel memory foam to wick away body heat and keep you cool.||$459.99|
|Nest Bedding's Alexander Signature Hybrid||Combines cushioning foam layers and bouncy innerspring coils for good support and comfort.||$1299|
|Eight Sleep Smart Bed||Features a sleep tracker to help you monitor the amount of healthy sleep you receive each night.||$1095|
1. Zoma Sports Mattress – $750
Our recommended mattress for athletes is none other than the Zoma Sports Mattress, a memory foam mattress for those who live an active lifestyle. Zoma is engineered to facilitate deeper, more reparative sleep and faster muscle recovery. Zoma helps athletes leverage their time spent snoozing to improve their day-to-day performance. If you’re looking for a mattress to boost your active lifestyle, Zoma is perfect for you.
Zoma has three layers: gel-infused memory foam with Triangulex™ technology, Reactiv™ foam, and a Support+ base.
When you lay down on Zoma, the top layer of cushioning memory foam contours to your body to offer instant pressure relief. The gel within the foam combats body heat and helps you sleep comfortably without overheating. Triangulex™ comes into play to offer your back dynamic support.
Around your midsection, Triangulex™ offers firmer lumbar support to ensure you don’t sink too far in the mattress. Then, under your shoulders and hips, this technology contains triangle-shaped cutouts to allow for deeper compression and better pressure relief on those major joints. This design keeps your spine in line with the rest of your body while still feeling cushioning enough to alleviate pain points.
The second layer of Zoma is Reactiv™, a latex-like poly-foam. Designed to be more responsive than memory foam, Reactiv™ gives Zoma a bit of bounce. It’s increased responsiveness prevents you from ever feeling “stuck” in the mattress and makes it easier to climb in or out of bed.
The durable poly-foam Support+ base reinforces the two layers above and prevents sagging.
Zoma backs each of their beds with a 10-year warranty. If your mattress develops a sag greater than 3/4 inch, they’ll repair or replace it free of charge.
Plus, every Zoma comes with a 100-night sleep trial, allowing you a few months to try it at home. If you’re dissatisfied with it, simply contact Zoma’s customer service team— they’ll arrange for the bed to be picked up from your home and refund your money.
2. Amerisleep AS3 – $1,199
The Amerisleep AS3 is another great memory foam mattress for athletes because it contains pressure-relieving, breathable foams and clinically proven zoned technologies to promote healthy rest. Amerisleep’s AS3 is medium in firmness, so it offers a good balance of comfort and support, and is most comfortable for side, back, and combination sleepers.
Amerisleep’s AS3 stands 12 inches tall and has three layers: 3 inches of Bio-Pur®, a plant-based memory foam; 2 inches of Affinity with HIVE® technology; and 7 inches of Bio-Core®, a durable poly-foam. Plus, it features a soft, breathable cover to promote airflow so you always sleep cool.
The first layer of this mattress is 3 inches of plant-based, pressure-relieving Bio-Pur®. By using plant-based, advanced open-cell foams in their mattress, they lower the risk of their memory foam mattresses trapping heat. Air can flow more freely through Bio-Pur®, preventing heat retention and ensuring a comfortable sleep. Most importantly, though, this layer is designed to mold to your body to alleviate tension and prevent soreness and pressure points.
Below the layer of memory foam is the Affinity layer with HIVE® technology. This Affinity layer is in place to act as a transition between the cushioning memory foam above and the sturdy poly-foam base below; however, this layer has added technology giving this bed superior support. It’s firmer under your torso, head, and feet to facilitate proper spinal alignment, and softer under your shoulders and hips to allow for deep compression. HIVE’s® design is especially beneficial for side sleepers, but it promotes healthy rest regardless of how you sleep.
The third and final layer of the AS3 is 7 inches of sturdy Bio-Core® to give the bed shape and prevent sagging.
Every Amerisleep Mattress comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty.
3. Bear – $840
Incorporating gear in their advertisements such as bikes, weights, and running shoes, Bear is all about the active lifestyle. Bear is a great company that most athletes can depend on.
Bear produces two mattresses, the Bear all-foam Mattress and the Bear Hybrid. Out of the two, we liked the Bear Mattress the most. Their memory foam mattress is built to reduce body heat with its four layers of foam encompassed in a Celliant®-infused cover. Transforming heat into infrared light to be absorbed back into the body as energy, this feature helps to improve muscle recovery and relieve pain and pressure. It also helps improve blood circulation and reduce aches.
A high-density poly-foam core provides an even sleeping surface. This bed is a great choice for athletes all around.
Bear offers a 100-night free trial, where they’ll deliver and set up your mattress, free of shipping and installation fees. At any point during the trial, if you don’t love this bed, you can return it free of charge with a full refund.
For purchased beds, should a defect arise, Bear will cover the cost of shipping as long as it falls within the 10-year warranty. Returned mattresses are donated to charity. Shipping is free, with the exception of Alaska and Hawaii, where a charge of $100.00 will be added.
4. Purple® Hybrid Mattress – $1,599
The Purple® Hybrid Mattress combines excellent support with cooling technology on top of a coil-support base. The key is its top layer that adapts to your body position to relieve pressure points comfortably. The construction also addresses motion control with an environmentally friendly product.
The 2-inch top layer consists of hyper-elastic polymer material with its signature Purple Grid™ technology. That ensures optimal airflow to help keep you cool during the night. A 1-inch, 2-pound, high-density polyurethane foam layer follows with a base of 7.5-inch, pocketed springs. It is CertiPUR-US-certified. The fabric is a blend of polyester, viscose rayon, and lycra that feels soft against your skin. You should only spot clean it and not put the cover in the washer.
You can try your mattress risk-free for 100 nights with the No-Pressure Guarantee. It has a 10-year, limited warranty against defects. However, you will need to keep your original receipt to make a claim. You also cannot upgrade or downgrade if you return it. Otherwise, the terms are straightforward and common sense. The warranty on the zippered cover is two years.
5. Luxi 3-in-1- $1,399
With its message of “Achieve the Optimal Level of Softness, Coolness, Breathability, and Comfort,” Luxi nails it with their 3-in-1 mattress. Besides offering excellent comfort and smooth airflow, this particular bed has a customizable option of altering the layers.
The Luxi arrives feeling “medium” in terms of firmness, but if this doesn’t match your comfort level, it’s easy to unzip and rearrange the layers to a softer or firmer option. Incorporating its own Shape Match Technology, one layer consists of foam pillars constructed to relieve pressure when collapsed. Ideal for a night before a major sporting event or marathon, this mattress is a great choice for those who want a more customizable option.
Offering a 100-night trial and free shipping, Luxi also provides a 100-night pledge. In this, Luxi states, that if you’re not finding the best comfort in your adjustable mattress after 30 days, they’ll offer a consultation to help you reach maximum comfort within 100-nights.
If you’re not completely in love with your Luxi 3-in-1 bed, they offer a full refund and will help donate the returned mattress to charity. Plus, they offer free shipping in the United States.
6. Sleepenvie Hunter Mattress – $459.99
The Sleepenvie Hunter Mattress addresses two of the primary concerns that may affect the sleep quality of athletes. Its construction focuses on both support and temperature control with its multi-layer construction. The former helps manage pain while the latter ensures a comfortable sleeping environment. Let’s look into the design behind these benefits.
The mattress is a hybrid model consisting of 609 7.5-inch pocket coil springs for the queen size along with 2-inch gel memory foam over two additional premium layers for a total height of 14 inches. The coils provide the necessary back and body support for achy muscles without the tension of a product that is too firm. Athletes expend a lot of energy during workouts, which elevates their body temperature. The gel layer keeps you cool during the night for less disruptive sleep and better motion isolation.
The manufacturer gives you a 100-night sleep trial with free shipping and returns if you’re not happy with your purchase. They also offer a generous 20-year warranty with the first ten years covering defects. The remainder is pro-rated for exchanges or repairs at 55 percent of the purchase price and 5 percent after that per year.
7. Nest Bedding’s Alexander Signature Hybrid – $1,299
The Nest Bedding’s Alexander Signature Hybrid stands out as a candidate for the best mattress for athletes because of its high-quality construction. We think it manages both support and temperature control superbly with an industry-first lifetime warranty. It is also USA-made, which we always like to see in a product. The manufacturer uses several proprietary technologies in their comfort layers.
The 14-inch hybrid mattress consists of four layers under its 0.25-inch, 4-pound quilted gel memory foam. The first is a 3-inch, 3.5-pound TitanChil Endurance Foam for keeping you cool and comfortable at night, followed by a 1-inch, 3-pound SmartFlow Support foam, 8-inch pocketed coils for optimal airflow and a 1-inch dense foam layer. The foam is copper-infused for strength and durability while drawing heat away from your body. It is also CertiPUR-US-certified, making it an eco-friendly choice. There are three firmness choices: medium, luxury firm, and plush.
The manufacturer provides a 100-night sleep trial with the option to pay 50 percent of the cost of a different model. They also offer a lifetime warranty and comfort guarantee. The former covers any defects for repair or replacement only, while the latter gives you a one-time 30 percent off on a new mattress. The new one will not have this same coverage.
8. Eight Sleep Smart Bed – $1,095
The Eight Sleep Smart Bed takes it to the next level with technology to monitor your sleeping and make real-time comfort adjustments. You can also connect it with your smart home device for ultimate convenience. These advances, along with its quality construction, put this product on the shortlist for the best mattress for athletes.
The mattress starts with its smart-technology cover, which gives you several tools for ensuring better quality sleep, including the ability to adjust the temperature of each half of your bed. You can also track 15 metrics, including heart rate, REM sleep, deep sleep, and respiratory rate. These data provide excellent indicators of your health that can affect your athletic performance. The mattress can trigger a smart alarm when you are sleeping lightly to make waking up easier. It has three premium foam layers for optimal support.
The manufacturer will ship or accept free returns with your 100-night trial. They also offer a 10-year limited warranty on defects with no deductible. The smart-technology cover has a separate one-year warranty. It’s worth noting that non-breathable bed linens will negatively impact the benefits of this component and interfere with its data collection.
What Athletes Look for in a Mattress
While people, in general, want the best mattress to will help them sleep, an athlete’s needs are more specific. Why? Because athletes push their bodies further than the average person on a daily basis and follow a stricter regime to stay fit. Athletes undergo intensive physical strain while stretching their mental focus to the limit. Athletes need to maintain a healthy weight, relying heavily on strength, speed, and accuracy. Training systems and strict diets help athletes to reach optimal performance. Yet one aspect that is under-valued is sleep. Getting a full night’s rest is just as important as training and diet.
To stay fit and active, adult athletes need an average of 10 hours of sleep each night; adolescent athletes (ages 10-19) need 9 hours. Here’s why:
- During the first two stages of the sleep cycle (non-REM, or nREM), the body begins to relax and decrease in temperature, allowing cell division and regeneration of muscle recovery to begin
- In stage three (deep sleep), cortisol regulation occurs (stress hormone)
- In the final stage, REM cycle, hormones are produced and muscle/cognitive memories of the day are stored in the brain.
If this sleep period is interrupted during this time frame, it could lead to negative consequences such as:
- Less energy – less sleep produces increased cortisol which blocks the release of natural chemicals that produce energy.
- Slower reaction time – less sleep means less time for muscle/cognitive memories to be stored in the brain which results in slower reflexes.
- Lack of focus – less energy and an imbalance of hormones can strain the body mentally.
- Longer recovery – when sleeping hot, the increased temperature can prolong muscle recovery.
- Weight imbalance – the body actually loses weight with a full rest. Lack of sleep can cause an imbalance of weight, throwing athletes off their game.
When facing these setbacks, athletes may not realize that the problem is the mattress itself. Thinking instead that their body is lacking or struggling to keep up with the training, they could increase their supplement intake, whether for energy or sleep, leading to chemical imbalances and off performances. This is why it’s imperative that athletes have the best mattress that is right for them.
To enter and maintain a full 10-hours of sleep, it’s imperative that athletes select the right mattress. It’s not as simple as choosing a popular option, as there are other factors to consider when choosing a bed. In the next section, we discuss the factors influencing your best mattress.
Mattress Types to Consider
We covered a few different kinds of mattresses that may lead you to ask which one is right for you. Let’s review the facts in detail to guide you through the selection process.
Memory Foam Mattresses
Memory foam mattresses are excellent if you are a light sleeper because they are quiet and perform well in controlling motion transfer. The softness of the material allows it to contour to your body’s shape to relieve pressure points. That’s a desirable feature after a strenuous workout when all you want is a good night’s sleep to recover. They’re also a smart choice if you have an adjustable bed frame.
Most foam mattresses are made with layers of foam that vary in densities. The layers are designed to provide a combination of cushion and support so you experience a “cloud-like” sleep. Memory foam is also resistant to bedbugs and mites too.
Latex mattresses offer several of the same benefits as memory foam models with a bit more bounce and are bit firmer. It will also provide decent back support if that’s an issue for you. That sweet spot between firm and soft makes them a suitable choice if you have lower back pain. They don’t retain body heat, so you won’t have worries about getting too hot at night.
If you have a latex allergy, you probably should avoid getting one even if you don’t come into direct contact with the material. The other downside is that these mattresses are often expensive.
An oldie but a goodie, the innerspring mattress is an affordable option that you’ll find in a broad spectrum of firmness levels. Padding and individually wrapped spring coils provide the support that contouring features of memory foam and latex mattresses give. They are an excellent choice if you like some bounce.
On the downside, all those moving parts mean that they may wear out quicker compared to other materials. You can expect to get up to 10 years from one. They also tend to be noisier with less motion transfer control.
Hybrid mattresses tackle a lot of the issues facing athletes in need of a quality product. They provide the bounce of an innerspring model with the cushioning and support of materials like memory foam.
You’ll typically see them with a design that combines a coil base with multiple layers. These newer technologies provide optimal airflow and cooling properties that tick off a lot of the boxes for the features you may need.
You’ll find mattresses in a broad range of prices, depending on the type and material. Size is also a factor, especially if you have a less common one like a California King. A queen-size mattress will run anywhere from several hundred dollars to well north of $1,000 or even higher for luxury brands.
There are a couple of caveats to bear in mind. First, remember that you’re spending a third of your life in bed, based on eight hours of sleep each night. Multiply that by the expected lifespan based on the length of the warranties, and you’ll see that it’s worth spending more to get a quality product.
Second, the business model for mattresses has shifted dramatically in recent years with the rise of the direct-to-consumer market and bed in a box mattress brands. Without the overhead of brick-and-mortar stores, you might get a better deal when you deal with these companies.
Finally, there is the issue of customer satisfaction. Most experts agree that you should try out a bed for yourself before buying. After all, how else are you going to know if it’s comfortable? You can lie down on a mattress at a store. However, it can’t match the reality of trying one out in your home, in your bed frame and pillow. That’s why many manufacturers offer risk-free sleep trials.
But, most require you to keep the mattress for 30 days to give you time to test it adequately. If it doesn’t work out, you have to wait until you can return it to get your money back and start over again.
Most people fall into a regular pattern of the sleep position they prefer often influenced by their body types. It usually is a matter of comfort. Many individuals may find it difficult to relax if that can’t get in their ideal place.
This position is a good choice for alleviating neck pain because it allows you to align with your spine. It doesn’t put any strain on you and can help relieve acid reflux, especially if you don’t curl up your legs too close to your body and restrict blood flow. It’s also a smart choice if you snore. The best mattresses for side sleepers are typically medium in firmness, as they’re soft enough to cushion the shoulders and hips yet firm enough to promote healthy spinal alignment.
Sleeping on your back also allows you to align your neck and spine for comfort and support. If you have concerns about wrinkles, it’s the better choice since you won’t lie on either side of your face. However, you’re more likely to snore in this position. You should also avoid it if you have sleep apnea.
Sleeping on your stomach is not unrecommended and unhealthy, as it can aggravate or even cause neck and back pain. We recommend switching to side sleeping to prevent chronic pains. If it’s too difficult to switch sleeping positions, we recommend firm mattresses for stomach sleepers to prevent sagging.
Sleeping Cool and Airflow
Temperature is one of the most critical factors affecting your sleep quality. Your body temperature drops when you rest because of the lack of physical activity and muscle use. It’s time for healing and repair. There isn’t a magic number because so many things can affect your comfort levels, such as the ambient temperature, your mattress, and blankets. It also varies seasonally.
Many manufacturers incorporate open cells for improved airflow in the designs. Some foam layers can trap heat. It’s one solution to finding that middle road. They will also use different cooling technologies in their materials. It’s an ideal way for you to control your body temperature to find that sweet spot.
You’ll also see products that use copper-infused layers. The concept is that it will draw heat from the surface, again, to modify the comfort level of the cover that touches your body. They also create an antimicrobial environment for a healthier sleeping space.
Is a Firm Mattress Good for a Bad Back?
Contrary to popular belief, a firm mattress isn’t always the best choice if you have back pain. These types won’t conform with the curve of your spine and can end up making your discomfort worse. Likewise, going too soft will put your body in an unnatural position by extenuating the spinal alignment. Many people find that medium-firm to firm is the way to go for better sleep.
Can a Firm Mattress Cause Shoulder Pain?
The same guidance applies to firmness and pain. We’d suggest looking for a product that provides pressure relief. Depending on the location of your tender spot, you may find it helpful to lay on the opposite side if it’s comfortable for you.
Which Type of Mattress Is Best?
The best mattress is the one that will create an ideal sleeping environment and minimize disruptions from movement, temperature, and noise. It will provide adequate support without creating pressure points. It will also accommodate whatever sleeping position you prefer. It’s an individual choice that you can make, knowing the strong points of the different types and how they manage the issues you have.
Don’t be afraid to take advantage of risk-free trials. Your comfort is your most crucial consideration. Fortunately, many manufacturers make it easy for you to find the perfect one, whether you prefer something softer or a firmer mattress.
The best mattress for athletes will help your muscle recovery from regular workouts and provide what you need to fall asleep and stay asleep all night long. Advanced technologies in materials and construction allow you to home in on the product you need with the quality assurances of a fair guarantee and a multiple-year warranty, preferably with free shipping and returns.