According to the National Sleep Foundation, you should replace a mattress every eight years, or more often if you’re over the age of 40. Though that number is subjective to the sleeper, if you’re finding your quality of sleep has decreased and your body aches in the morning, you’re probably due for a new mattress.
The market for mattresses is oversaturated with brands claiming to give you the best sleep you’ve ever had. Some flaunt better materials, innovative fabrics, lower prices, etc. Independent of those brands’ marketing strategies, we took a hard look at some of the best mattresses in the game to find the ones that should suit even the most stubborn sleeper’s needs. From budget-minded mattresses to the best of the best, this definitive guide offers up the best mattresses for every kind of sleeper.
Best Overall MattressSaatva Classic Mattress Read More
Best Splurge MattressAirweave New Airweave Mattress Read More
Best Budget MattressAllswell The Allswell Mattress Read More
Best Memory Foam MattressThe Nectar Memory Foam Mattress Read More
Best Cooling Hybrid MattressTuft & Needle Hybrid Mattress Read More
To put it simply, mattresses can fall into three general categories: foam, innerspring or hybrid — a combination of the former. Your sleep preferences will dictate which material will best suit you.
Foam: Foam offers excellent support and body contouring. It’s notorious for trapping heat, but recent innovations allow for better body heat dispersion for cooler sleeping.
Innerspring, springs or coils: Think of your classic spring mattress. Typically, more springs in a mattress mean more support but a higher price tag, too.
Hybrid: Hybrid mattresses fold the strengths and weaknesses of foam and spring mattresses into a single product — the comfort of foam and the support of springs. Brands continually come up with inventive ways to mix materials for varying sleep preferences, and hybrids are easily the most popular with modern mattress brands. Hybrid mattresses can get pricey, but for those who have specific needs for their sleeping situation, hybrids typically check off the most boxes.
Twin-sized mattress: What you’d find typically find in a dorm room. Measures 38 inches by 75 inches, and is fit for a single sleeper at most.
Full-sized mattress: Measures out to 54 inches by 75 inches, which adds enough width to a twin-sized mattress to comfortably sleep two people, or enough space for one person to sprawl across the surface of the bed.
Queen-sized mattress: Clocks in at 60 inches by 80 inches — comfortable for two people to move around freely without disturbing their sleeping partner.
King-sized mattress: Offers enough space, 76 inches by 80 inches, for two sleepers who tend to move a lot in their sleep. Also great if unexpected guests like pets or children want to hop into bed.
California king-sized mattress: Despite sounding like it would be the biggest option, a California king offers slightly less surface area than a standard king. A California-king mattress comes in at 72 inches by 84 inches, so compared to a king-sized mattress, you lose four inches in width but add four inches in length.
Beyond personal preference, the way you sleep can affect how firm or soft you want your mattress to be and may even dictate whether you'd sleep better on a foam or hybrid bed.
Side sleepers: According to the Sleep Foundation, most people are side sleepers. If you're a side sleeper, you'll want a mattress that provides support and relieves pressure to avoid pain in your lower back and shoulders. For example, we named the Helix Midnight Mattress the best option for side sleepers because it's topped with two layers of foam that do just that.
Back sleepers: Those who sleep on their backs usually benefit from firmer mattresses to keep their spine aligned while sleeping. But we're not saying go for the firmest option out there — personal preference and how much you weigh can affect the amount of support you need. The main thing is you want to avoid a bed with any kind of sagging.
Stomach sleepers: If you sleep on your stomach, you're in the minority. But that's ok as there are still plenty of mattress options to accommodate your sleeping routine. Like back sleepers, spine alignment is your main priority, so you'll want to focus on finding a mattress with no less than medium firmness.
How to Clean a Mattress
Proper mattress maintenance will keep your valuable investment in your life for as long as possible (through the warranty, at least). Before you have your first sleep on your mattress, you should buy a mattress protector, a layer of protection between your messes and the actual mattress. Mattress protectors, which are usually machine washable, are easier to clean than a stained mattress. Should your mattress end up getting dirty, cleanup isn’t all that difficult. Wash your sheets, vacuum your mattress (paying close attention to grooves and crevices) and spot-clean stains with a stain remover.
Now that you have a clean mattress keep in mind that you can increase your mattress’ longevity further by rotating or flipping it. How often and which method depends on what kind of mattress you have. For example, a pillow-top mattress would be better off rotated than flipped. Many of the mattress brands recommended here will have guidelines for how to maintain your mattress.
How to Dispose of a Mattress
Each state has its own procedures for people to get rid of their mattress. For example, in New York, mattresses must be sealed in a plastic bag before being put on the street for disposal. You can donate a mattress to places like The Salvation Army, but consider this first: if the mattress is no longer good for you, would you expect someone else to use it? Check out websites like LoadUp or Bye Bye Mattress to see what options you have for disposing or recycling your old mattress.
More Mattresses and Bedding
- The Best Mattresses on Amazon
- The Best Cooling Mattresses
- The Best Cooling Comforters
- The Best Linen Sheets
- The Best Flannel Sheets
New and Upcoming Releases
Purple NewDay Mattress: Purple finally has a firm mattress option in the form of the NewDay. The mattress has a single, thick support foam layer under the brand's signature GelFlex Grid for a firmer feel than the brand's classic Purple Mattress.
Casper Element Pro Mattress: This foam mattress from Casper boasts extra breathability thanks to the perforated foam layer that tops the mattress.
How We Tested
Just like testing any type of bedding, our testers have been hard at work — and very well rested. From delivery to set up to sleeping (and lots of it), our reviewers took note of the support, comfort and temperature regulation these mattresses had to offer, asking themselves questions like: Does the mattress require extra cushioning like a mattress topper? Does it provide edge support? Is it comfortable enough to share with another person who has different sleeping habits? We narrowed our list down to the best of the best, from a range of price points and types. And in such a saturated and always-changing market, we're keeping our eye on new models and brands to test out in the future.
You'll never go to bed angry knowing you're sleeping on one of the best bed frames on the market.