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Best Mattress Guide

Updated September 15, 2020

Choosing the perfect mattress is not an easy feat: it’s an investment that should last you years to come and make sure you have great sleep quality, so there are plenty of factors to consider before buying. Our comprehensive mattress guide will help ensure you’re making the right decision for your own needs, whether you’re looking for a firm mattress, a mattress for back pain, a mattress that keeps you cool and comfy, or anything else in between.

To make sure that your new mattress will be a perfect match, you have to consider your needs and sleeping style first and then analyze which factors could influence your decision (e.g. back pain or side sleeping position). From different mattress types to varying firmness and support levels, these are the most important mattress features to look for.

Rank Product Highlights
#1

Classic Brands Mercer Pillow Top

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  • Mattress type: Hybrid pillowtop
  • Material: Steel coils and memory foam
  • Height: 12 inches
  • Available sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Split King, Full, Queen, King, California King
#2

Zinus 12 Inch Cloud Memory Foam Mattress

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  • Mattress type: Memory foam mattress
  • Material: Memory foam, high-density foam, comfort foam
  • Height: 8 inches, 10 inches, or 12 inches
  • Available sizes: Twin, Full, Queen, King
#3

Pure Green Natural Latex Mattress

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  • Mattress type: Latex mattress
  • Material: Natural latex foam
  • Height: 8 inches
  • Available sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
#4

Lazery Sleep Air Mattress

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  • Mattress type: Air mattress
  • Material: Vinyl
  • Height: 19 inches
  • Available sizes: Twin, Queen, Camping Queen

Mattress Guide: How to Choose the Best Mattress for Yourself?

You’ve heard it one and you’ve heard it all: a firm mattress can be good for back pain, memory foam is the comfiest of the bunch, couples should get a mattress with pocketed coils, and so on. There are so many misconceptions and preconceptions about mattresses that it can be difficult to figure out which will work best for you. Before you get your credit card out (and end up with a mattress that’s not comfortable or supportive enough), you should first consider the way you sleep.

The sleeping position will largely influence your choice, as side sleepers, stomach sleepers, and back sleepers all need different things out of mattresses. People with back pain and aches will need a mattress that’s both sturdy and supportive and adaptive to their body in a way that relieves key pressure points. If you sleep with another person in bed, you will want to pay attention to motion transfer. The list goes on, of course, and the surest way to figure out which traits your own mattress needs to have is to learn more about what features best define a mattress in the first place.

Mattress Types

Each mattress type is made from specific materials with a specific design in mind- there can be plenty of variations to the original type but the major characteristics always remain present in the end product. Here are the most popular and commonly used mattress types these days- in no particular order.

  • Memory foam mattresses

These mattresses are usually made from multiple layers that consist of different foam types, with high-density foam as a base to ensure sturdiness and support, and body-hugging memory foam on the top for a cradling, pressure-relieving effect. They can also include infused foams, such as charcoal-infused foam for neutralization of odors or gel-infused memory foam for its cooling properties.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Relieve tension in the body and pressure points
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Good spinal alignment
  • Solid motion transfer properties

Cons

  • Can get overly warm
  • Some people dislike the sinking feeling
  • Cheap memory foam can be treated with dangerous chemicals (look for certified and safe options to be sure)

Who are they good for?

Memory foam mattresses are a good choice for people that prefer a body-contouring effect while they sleep, side sleepers, people that have back, neck, or hip pain, or people with mite allergies.

  • Latex mattresses

This type of mattress is made from latex foam (rubber-based foam) that can be either synthetic, natural or a blend of the two. Latex mattresses are also body-conforming but much more durable and bouncier than memory foam. Firm and supportive, these mattresses will provide comfort but make sure your spine is properly aligned at the same time.

Pros

  • Superior comfort
  • Durable
  • Made from natural materials
  • Good thermo-regulating properties
  • The right amount of bounciness

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Unsuitable for people with latex allergies
  • Can feel too firm for some people

Who are they good for?

Latex mattresses are the best choice for people that like memory foam but find it lacking in some aspects, those that prefer firm mattresses, a good bounce to mattress, mattresses that stay cool, and those that are suited to all sleeping positions.

  • Innerspring, coil, or hybrid mattresses

Coil mattresses are somewhat old-fashioned but still a common choice- as the name suggests, the base of these mattresses is constructed from a layer (or two) of steel innerspring coils, cushioned with a layer of wool or foam, or another type of softer material. In a more modern take on coil design, each of the coils is individually pocketed for better durability and more comfort. But the most popular design solution that involves coils is the hybrid mattress: a combination of individually pocketed innerspring coils at the base, with at least 1.5 inches thick layer of memory foam at the top for superior comfort and cushioning.

Pros

  • Sturdy back support
  • Springy feel
  • Good edge support
  • Affordable

Cons

  • If cushioning is not good, can be uncomfortable
  • Don’t absorb motion well

Who are they good for?

Innerspring mattresses are good for people that require more support, overweight people, and people that are on a tight budget (when it comes to more basic models).

  • Air mattresses

Inflatable mattresses are usually made from PVC or rubber and filled with air: this is a portable solution for camping, guest rooms, RVs, and other temporary sleeping spots. The mattress is inflated with a pump which usually comes with the mattress itself.

However, in addition to the usual inflatable bed option, there’s also the more high-end variation of the air mattress. These have a base that is constructed with air-filled chambers and then upper layers of foam. This is a good design option for people that need a fully adjustable mattress as you are in control of firmness in different areas of the bed.

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Portable
  • Great for travel and guests
  • Easy to store when not needed

Cons

  • If damaged it becomes unusable
  • Not a long-term sleeping solution

Who are they good for?

Regular inflatable air mattresses are only a suitable choice for temporary use, whether it’s for travel or as a place for your guests to spend a night or two when they come over. Air mattresses with a chamber base and memory foam top, on the other hand, can be a good solution for people that are bound to bed because of an injury or people that prefer different firmness levels in different bed areas.

Best Mattresses 2020

Classic Brands Mercer Pillow Top

Specs:

  • Mattress type: Hybrid pillowtop
  • Material: Steel coils and memory foam
  • Height: 12 inches
  • Available sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Split King, Full, Queen, King, California King

Best mattress for back pain

Waking up with sore muscles, stiff neck, and an aching back is no fun- and chronic pain and tiredness can leave a serious impact on your health and wellbeing. That is why mattresses that are made to feel comfortable and offer proper support are a must for people with back pain, and this clever hybrid design by Classic Brands really ticks all of the boxes. By cleverly combining the best features of multiple mattress types, this design manages to offer a product that suits a wide variety of people. The base is 8 inches high and constructed from individually wrapped coils, which are encased in separate pockets for better responsiveness and support.

The remaining 4 inches are made up of multiple layers of foam, including various types of comfort foam with a top from cooling gel-infused memory foam that contributes to great cooling properties of this mattress (boosted by air circulation between the springs). But the best part is that the top layer is actually a quilted pillow top that gives this mattress its distinct comfortable feel and a dream to sleep on.

Pros

  • The hybrid design offers great support and comfort both
  • Suited for all sleeping positions
  • Great for back pain sufferers
  • Budget-friendly price
  • CertiPUR-US certified foam
  • 10-year worry-free warranty

Cons

  • Takes a while for the memory foam layers to inflate
  • Possible off-gassing

Who Should Buy This?

If you’re waking up with pins and needles in your back, this hybrid innerspring and memory foam mattress will help you restore sleep quality and get some much-needed pain-free rest. By combining a sturdy innerspring base with body-contouring memory foam layers, it will make sure your pressure points are relieved and your spine properly aligned.

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Zinus 12 Inch Cloud Memory Foam Mattress

Specs:

  • Mattress type: Memory foam mattress
  • Material: Memory foam, high-density foam, comfort foam
  • Height: 8 inches, 10 inches, or 12 inches
  • Available sizes: Twin, Full, Queen, King

Best mattress for couples

Sharing a bed with your significant other is not as idyllic when you get constantly woken up by their tossing and turning- but a mattress with good motion isolating properties will be just the thing for light sleepers and lovebirds both. Zinus delivers a fantastic design for couples with its memory foam mattress that combines 5 different types of foam to offer support and coziness without transferring motion from one side of the bed to the other. The base is constructed from 5-inches thick layer of sturdy high-density foam, followed by 3 inches of soft comfort foam, 2 inches of body-conforming memory foam, and 2 total inches plush microfiber and foam quilted top that will make you feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud. To boot, layers of foam are infused with either green tea or charcoal to help mitigate the odors.

Suitable for all sleeping positions and supporting up to 500 pounds of weight, this affordable memory foam mattress is a great choice for couples looking for a versatile and supportive mattress with minimal motion transfer.

Pros

  • Comfortable to sleep on
  • Suits all sleeping positions
  • Motion-isolating properties
  • CertiPUR-US certified
  • Meets OEKO TEX standards
  • Worry-free 10-year limited warranty included

Cons

  • Not good for hot sleepers
  • Can start sagging after a while

Who Should Buy This?

If your partner’s movements are disrupting your sleep (or vice versa), body contouring and motion isolating properties of foam will have you both sleeping peacefully throughout the night. Not to mention that the cradling effect makes sure that each partner enjoys comfort despite the differences in weight- each side will adapt to the body shape and sleeping position of the sleeper on it.

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Pure Green Natural Latex Mattress

Specs:

  • Mattress type: Latex mattress
  • Material: Natural latex foam
  • Height: 8 inches
  • Available sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Best mattress for stomach sleepers

Whether you sleep on your stomach or simply prefer a firmer mattress, then latex is a great choice for you. And if you’re looking for high-quality, natural latex, then the design of USA-made Sleep On Latex mattresses will impress you. The mattress is completely constructed with proprietary, specifically developed natural latex foam and nothing else- and it is rated as a firm. The base is 6 inches of PureGreen natural latex foam that is very sturdy and firm, followed by a 2-inches thick layer of the same foam only in a softer density, which in combination with a 1-inch thick wool quilted cover makes sure that the mattress still stays comfortable to sleep on despite its firmness.

Made with natural and organic components only, this mattress is also a great choice for anyone that is looking to keep away from chemicals and allergens.

Pros

  • Dunlop process natural latex foam
  • Highest quality components
  • Retains its density and shape after years of use
  • Motion-isolating properties
  • Firm mattress great for stomach sleepers and back pain sufferers

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Low profile

Who Should Buy This?

When you simply prefer sleeping on a firm surface and want something that is durable and hypoallergenic, this high-quality latex foam mattress is just the thing. Made purely from natural latex, it is rated as very firm and will give you unparalleled support.

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Lazery Sleep Air Mattress

Specs:

  • Mattress type: Air mattress
  • Material: Vinyl
  • Height: 19 inches
  • Available sizes: Twin, Queen, Camping Queen

Best air mattress for the guest room

When you have family or friends over for a few days or a surprise guest over the night, an inflatable mattress is a literal lifesaver. Not to mention how great they are for travel: you can get almost the same comfort you have when sleeping at home even when you’re camping! There are many great options out there, but Lazery Sleep’s design stands out because of the fact that it’s not just really comfy to sleep on, but extremely easy to set up, as well. The built-in electric pump with LED remote will completely inflate the mattress in just four minutes, and as there’s an auto shut-off feature, you don’t have to worry about overinflating it.

The dual-chamber design with 40 air coils gives this air bed sturdiness need for good spinal support and the fact that it has 7 firmness settings you can choose from means that you can tailor the sleeping experiences to every guest’s individual needs.

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Comfortable to sleep on thanks to air coils
  • Built-in pump
  • Auto shut off safety feature
  • 7 firmness settings for customized comfort
  • Takes 4 minutes to inflate or deflate
  • High-grade puncture-proof material

Cons

  • Electric outlet required for inflating

Who Should Buy This?

Whether you often travel by RV or go camping, or simply want to make sure that you always have a bed ready for your overnight guests, this high-quality inflatable mattress won’t disappoint. Quick to inflate and deflate, it is not just convenient but also very comfortable to sleep on due to air chambers and customizable firmness.

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In Conclusion

Our mattress guide can help you narrow down your list of options and figure out which type of mattress will work best for your needs. From memory foam that adapts to your body’s unique shape all the way to air mattresses that make traveling cozier and guests more comfortable, each kind of mattress comes with its own pros and cons.

Your sleeping position, firmness preference, back issues, and many other factors will play a role in your decisions, so make sure that you carefully consider all the important aspects of different mattress types to find the ideal match for your needs and your budget both.