If you carry a lot of weight, sleep on your stomach, or just like the feeling you’re floating on top of your mattress rather than sinking into it, a firmer sleep surface is often your best bet. I’ve been using my GhostBed for a couple weeks now, and I’ve found it to be a great solution for certain back problems. Since the bones absorb most of the force, the firmness of the GhostBed puts less strain on your muscles. If you’re wondering why it’s called GhostBed, it’s because the founder was afraid of the possibility of ghosts hiding under his bed as a kid. Today we’re going to focus on this product’s three-pronged approach to a great night’s rest.
Falling back on years of experience, GhostBed’s construction was created to provide:
These three components are pretty common goals in mattress construction. GhostBed’s mission was incorporating them all at a reasonable cost. Every element has a distinct purpose in the fulfillment of these goals, so let’s get started by taking a look at each.
Don’t want to read the full review? Watch our video review instead.
GhostBed’s CEO, Marc Werner, underwent three neck surgeries. After this, he became very familiar with the struggles the associated pain presented when it comes to achieving restful sleep. He had trouble finding a comfortable mattress/pillow combination for proper neck and back support, so he set out to invent one himself.
This spurred the foundation of Nature’s Sleep and he went on to apply his sleep philosophy not only to GhostBed but also in the creation of:
- Various other mattresses
- Box springs
- Adjustable bases
When you invest in GhostBed, keep in mind you’re not working with one of the many very new companies that have hit the market since the bed-in-a-box concept took off. You’ll be doing business with seasoned professionals with decades of experience. They also offer an all-wood matching foundation for a complete sleep set designed to work well together.
Quick Note on Unboxing
Because GhostBed is vacuum sealed, it can take a few hours to a full day for it to completely decompress. In my case, decompression only took about three hours. Regardless of how long it takes, you can sleep on it almost immediately. During the colder winter months, it can take up to five days for full decompression to complete. This is because there’s a chance the mattress has spent time in a cold truck or warehouse, and the temperature-sensitive materials like the gel foam inside the GhostBed need plenty of time to assume their natural form.
A Look at the Three Layer Lineup
Let’s take it from the top and examine the plush cover. You can see it’s very thin and stretchy, and it snaps back into place quickly. Its durable blend of viscose and polyester gives us a good durability expectation. The fabric sleeps cool by wicking away heat and moisture. I like that it allows you very close contact with the first comfort layer.
The Comfort Layers
The comfort section consists of the first two layers. This starts with 1 ½” of aerated latex. Latex is well-known for its springy feel, and I think its placement in layer one makes it really easy to move around and get in and out of bed without compromising on motion isolation. It’s created using the Dunlop process. Although latex is naturally very breathable, you can see the material also includes small holes to further promote a cool sleep surface. I think it does an excellent job working with the next two inches of proprietary gel memory foam in providing great contour. Traditional memory foam was known to sleep hot, but the material used in GhostBed’s middle layer takes two measures to keep hot sleeping under control:
- Larger cells to encourage airflow
- Gel beads to absorb heat
You don’t get that traditional sinky memory foam feel. So if that’s what you’re looking for, this may not be for you.
The Base Layer
The 7 ½” high-density base is firm enough for good spinal alignment without being uncomfortably hard for the average person. It provides the primary support for the combined unit, and the total mattress thickness is 11 inches.
GhostBed Performance: What’s It Feel Like?
Let’s talk for a moment about what the three-layer lineup of GhostBed feels like to lie on. It’s designed to offer the right combination of support and comfort for any sleeping type, and I think it does a very good job at accommodating back and stomach sleepers. If you sleep primarily on your side, I think you may find it to be a little too firm. When your weight is stacked up in a side-sleeping position, this can cause pressure points in the hip and shoulder areas, and this is often more noticeable for people who carry a lot of weight. However, it does offer excellent support.
A Topper Goes a Long Way
I found the addition of a mattress topper to provide a great balance. I think this can also be a great solution for back sleepers who don’t carry much weight. It can be difficult on a firm mattress to achieve proper contour in the lumbar curve of the lower back, but I was very comfortable in this regard using the topper. Aside from these minor modifications, I think GhostBed on its own does a good job keeping the spine aligned and the body properly supported.
Firmness & Contour Expectations
GhostBed rates this mattress as a 6.5/10 on the firmness scale, so let’s take a look at what that means. For the average person, this firmness rating should be soft enough to relieve pressure while firm enough to support the spine. Again, if you sleep on your side and/or don’t carry much weight, this firmness rating may be a little high, and a topper could provide that added buffer you need for ideal comfort.
A Look with Our Firmness/Contour Testing Tool
Using our firmness and contour testing tool, we took a look at how different areas of the body will interact with the GhostBed. You can watch the resulting sinkage as I add weight in 25-pound increments in the video above.
Plugging this data into our firmness comparison chart, we can see very precisely how GhostBed compares to other products out there. It falls around a medium to medium firm, and this is very well-aligned with the rating GhostBed claims on their website.
To get an idea of how you can expect to experience contour on the various areas of the body, here’s where GhostBed measures up. You can see there is a large amount of difference in the contour you’ll experience in areas like the head and feet compared with the shoulders. However, this difference tapers off significantly when we compare contour in the shoulders and hips. This is because we typically carry more weight in the hips, so this area of the body is engaging more with the deeper mattress layers.
GhostBed doesn’t publish their indentation load deflection ratings, which is a measure of firmness, but I’d venture to say there is a sizable increase when we reach the base layer which causes this drop in contour. If you suffer from pressure points in the hips and/or don’t carry much weight and struggle to engage with the mattress layers, I’d definitely recommend adding a topper to provide a little more cushion while still enjoying good, solid support.
Sleep partners often struggle with motion transfer. This is when one person moves or gets in and out of bed and causes a disruption on the other person’s side. That’s where the combination of latex and memory foam comes in handy. Both materials are excellent at keeping motion isolated to the point of impact. Where memory foam is known to cause you to sink into the mattress, the latex kicks in and adds support and bounce while maintaining the desired contour each material features. I like that the latex is in layer one. This helps keep you from feeling stuck in the mattress since latex has a rubbery composition. It does a great job at providing a bounce to aid in mobility without compromising on motion transfer reduction, which I think is very well depicted when I drop a 20-pound medicine ball next to a resting one. You can watch the results in the video above. I think sleep partners will be pretty happy with this choice of layer lineup.
Heat Transfer Reduction Results
We’ve touched on the various efforts GhostBed made to keep this product sleeping cool both inside and out. To review:
- The fabrics found in the cover are known for their heat and moisture-wicking qualities, and this allows you to keep both heat and humidity under control.
- The aerated latex allows ease in air flow.
- The proprietary gel memory foam has larger cells of gel beads that capture heat.
With all this being understood, let’s take a look at how this product weighs in compared with the many others I’ve tested out. I lied on my GhostBed in a controlled temperature for 30 minutes and proceeded to monitor the cooldown process using a thermal imaging camera. It only took nine minutes for it to cool back down to room temperature, and this is about 10% quicker than average. If you sleep hot, I think you’ll be happy with GhostBed’s performance.
While many products made entirely of foam lack in edge support, this is not the case with GhostBed. It actually features great edge support. Whether I sit with my knees against the edge or directly on it, you can see I am very well supported. Even when I sit on the corner, I don’t bottom out as we typically see with all-foam products.
Again, I think this is a reflection of an increased firmness in the base layer. If you have a sleep partner, this feature works to extend the sleep surface and give you more space. It also helps keep you from falling out of bed and makes getting in and out of bed much easier, a great feature for anyone with mobility issues.
Will the GhostBed Last? A Look at Durability Expectations
I was very impressed with the quality of the materials used considering you can buy a queen-size GhostBed for under $1,000. We always take a look at durability expectations since you’re making such a sizable investment, and GhostBed really did a great job in succeeding in their goal of providing quality at an affordable cost. I think their 20-year warranty speaks for itself. Here’s the breakdown of the details:
Latex is Durable by Nature
Latex is one of the most durable materials on the market, and durability is another reason why placement in the top layer was a good move since most wear and tear takes place here.
Memory Foam and Poly Foam Densities
As we move into the memory foam, we’ll examine the density. Three to 3.5 pounds per cubic foot is pretty common for this price range, but we really want to see a pcf of 4-5 for best expectations. GhostBed’s memory foam layer weighs in at 4 pcf. In polyfoam, you want 1.8 pcf for good durability, and GhostBed’s polyfoam base has a density of 2 pcf.
How You Can Improve Durability
This product is made in the USA, and GhostBed offers a very helpful guide on how to clean memory foam that can improve your mattress’s lifespan. The cover is removable and can be spot cleaned with cold water and mild detergent. You can even order a replacement cover if the need ever arises. While GhostBed isn’t designed to be flipped, you can maximize durability by rotating head to toe every six months.
Quick Note for Those with Latex Allergies
According to GhostBed, latex foam mattresses do not trigger latex allergies. Medical literature has not cited a single case of this occurring, and latex allergy risk associated with mattress cores is negligible. This is because the latex is thoroughly washed, and the high temperatures associated with the vulcanization process denture the proteins that trigger such reactions. As a finishing touch, the mattress cover prevents direct contact with the skin, not to mention the barrier provided by sheets, mattress protectors, etc.
Maintenance, Protection, Care & Warranty
If you do buy one, GhostBed asks that you try it out for 30 days. Firm products like this can take a little time to get used to if you’ve never used one. If you find it’s not right for you, you can return it between days 31-101. GhostBed will arrange for it to be donated to a nearby charity or recycled. Check out the FAQ for more helpful information that’s handy if you become a customer.
GhostBed Reviews & Feedback
All foams used are CertiPUR-US Certified, and the 750-pound weight limit is accommodating for the majority of customers. If you weigh more than 300 pounds, GhostBed recommends ordering the king size option along with the GhostBed foundation. I made efforts to provide a well-rounded review. However, some information provided is based on my opinion. That’s why I took some time to look at other reviews and see what people are saying about GhostBed. Check out the Pros & Cons for details.
Who We Recommend GhostBed For
Overall, I think GhostBed offers excellent value. Because of its superior edge support and motion isolating properties, I think it’s a great option for sleep partners. The bounce offered by the latex makes it a mattress to consider for people with mobility issues who don’t like innersprings, and the firmness is accommodating for stomach sleeping. In a nutshell, I think GhostBed is worth close consideration if:
- You have a sleep partner.
- You have trouble moving around and getting in and out of bed.
- You’re looking for a mattress that’ll last.
- You sleep hot.
- You’re looking for a complete sleep set and want to save on bundled pricing.
Our Final Verdict
If you don’t like a firm sleep surface, this isn’t going to be a good choice as it is firmer than an average mattress. This could be problematic for people with a BMI under 26 or those who sleep primarily on their sides. However, if you think the qualities like its excellent durability and heat transfer properties sound good, I can’t stress enough the difference the addition of a mattress topper makes in softening the sleep surface and providing more contour in the hip area. If you’re looking for a firm mattress that sleeps cool, has great edge support, and should last for several years, GhostBed has my seal of approval.