The mattress-sphere has only gotten more crowded, with more brands continuing to debut and existing ones rolling out new models and phasing out older ones. Meanwhile, the essential question, “What mattress should I buy?” has gotten trickier to answer.
We’ve described our guide by trying these beds out ourselves. Determining which mattress to buy will always depend on you — your sleeping position, temperature, firmness preference, and budget — and the perfect mattress only becomes obvious once you’ve actually slept on it. The writers and editors on our team described their individual sleeping profiles, and as best we could, we each tested a mattress that we might have bought for ourselves if we were shopping based on other online reviews. So if you’re a stomach-sleeper who runs hot at night, look for the Strategist editor who is, too. The same goes for if you’re a side-sleeper, or if you hate foam, or if your back hurts all the time.
A couple of things to note: All the mattresses here are some of the best-reviewed on the market, so there are no duds. Rather than name the “best mattress for everyone” (which we’re convinced doesn’t exist), we set out to judge each on its own terms. The starting prices we’ve listed are for queen-size mattresses. In some cases, for companies that offer more than one mattress design, we picked only one option. Still, we hope the review serves as a baseline for how firm, springy, or cushy the brand’s other products might be. We’ll be adding more mattresses from other companies as we go, but for now, here’s our answer to that question about which mattress you should buy. If you don’t want to scroll through all of the options, you can click on any of the links below to jump to their corresponding mattresses.
What to know: Saatva, which has been around for almost a decade, was one of the first online innerspring mattress companies. It offers three versions: soft, luxury firm, and firm. In each, an organic cotton pillow top — some people call it “Euro-style,” or “hotel-style” — covers a top layer of eco-friendly memory foam, which sits on a level of individually wrapped coils above another layer of recycled steel coils, then a poly foam base.
The fine print: Saatva allows customers a 180-day trial run as well as a full return or exchange. The mattress is covered by a 15-year warranty. All sizes are available in two heights — a custom slim (11.5-inch) and a premier luxury (14.5-inch) — and give the same level of support. The company offers free white-glove delivery and mattress removal.
The tl;dr: Saatva’s firmest option is a true firm, making it a good choice for those in need of back support. Plus: Saatva uses organic and eco-friendly materials, so while all the mattresses listed here are certifiably safe, there are fewer chemicals in Saatva’s.
What to know: Each of Nolah’s U.S.-made, all-foam mattresses are constructed with Nolah AirFoam — a proprietary, temperature-neutral foam the company says is created without using the chemicals found in traditional memory-foam mattresses, which can trap heat. This proprietary foam, Nolah claims, makes its mattresses cooler than any other memory foam mattresses. The Original 10 mattress I tested is topped with two inches of Nolah AirFoam; beneath that is a one-inch layer of high-resilience foam that the company claims makes the mattress 300 percent more durable than the average memory foam mattress. The rest of the ten-inch-thick mattress consists of high-density breathable base foam. Beyond being cooling and durable, Nolah says the mattress is also particularly comfortable for side-sleepers like myself because its combination of foams results in a plush-but-supportive mattress with a medium amount of body contouring. Side-sleepers apparently need pressure relief on their hips and shoulders, along with a mattress that supports the alignment of the spine, shoulders, and pelvis; Nolah claims its AirFoam puts 376 percent less pressure on the shoulders, hips, and back, providing 22 percent more pressure-relief overall.
The fine print: Nolah offers free shipping and free returns within a 120-night trial period; if you decide to send a mattress back within that time, the company will donate it and give you a full refund. Nolah’s mattresses are also covered by a lifetime limited warranty that applies to normal deterioration and craftsmanship errors. Currently, Nolah does not ship mattresses to Alaska and Hawaii.
The tl;dr: Based on my experience, if you’re a side-sleeper who moves around and skews hot, the Nolah original is a superior option. And if you’re another kind of sleeper who skews hot, I’d recommend checking out its other mattresses given that they all include the brand’s proprietary cooling memory foam.
What to know: Leesa is one of the OG mattress-in-a-box companies — it’s been selling an all-foam mattress since 2014 — and according to Sleepopolis, it’s a solid option for back- and side-sleepers. In August, Leesa reformulated its basic mattress for the first time, replacing its top layer of trademarked Avena foam (a latex alternative) with a layer of what’s called “LSA200 foam technology.” According to Jamie Diamonstein, one of Leesa’s co-founders, the new foam has improved “pushback,” meaning it better fills in the gaps around your body when you lie down. “The goal was to enhance the pressure relief of the body through this technology,” he says. “We’ve created a foam that responds to the shape and the sleeping position of your body, then it pushes back and balances your body out.”
The fine print: Standard shipping is free, though Leesa can arrange white-glove delivery, which includes mattress removal, for an additional fee. You have 100 days to try your Leesa mattress; if you don’t like it, the company will coordinate a pickup from your home, then refund the full purchase price.
The tl;dr: This is a foam mattress but a substantial one that offers excellent pressure relief. It should suit all kinds of sleepers and is a good mattress for anyone who doesn’t want to overthink it.
What to know: The Aviya mattress itself is a hybrid model with three layers of high-density foam over a coiled innerspring system. The brand offers three options for firmness: plush, luxury firm (Aviya’s most popular style and the one I tested), and firm. It’s possible you’ve already unwittingly slept on one, as a couple of popular (but undisclosed) hotel chains use the Aviya luxury firm bed. That may be because Sleep Advisor, Sleepopolis, and Real Mattress Reviews gave it a near-perfect all-around score for comfort, materials, and support.
The fine print: Aviya provides free shipping, which includes in-the-door delivery through a third-party service. However, that might not cover getting the mattress upstairs in a walk-up apartment (it didn’t at my Brooklyn brownstone), so customers living in cities should ask ahead of time. Mattress setup and removal are available for an additional fee, and Aviya will set this up during a two-hour window, Mondays through Fridays only.
The tl;dr: The Aviya is supportive but soft and is another can’t-go-wrong choice for those who don’t want to overthink it but know that they’d prefer an innerspring system.
What to know: If you’re reading this, what don’t you know about Casper? It wasn’t the first mattress-in-a-box company to launch, but it quickly became the most prominent, thanks to factors like shiny branding and venture-capital funding. The original premise of Casper was that one mattress could make everyone happy. The company has abandoned this Goldilocksian ideal and made two other models (read on for those), but this is the original: a four-layer foam construction with firmer support around the shoulders and hips in the newest update.
The fine print: You get the standard (with mattress start-ups, at least) 100 days to decide if you like your Casper. Free shipping and returns come with that, and the company says it tries to donate returned mattresses when possible. Formerly called the Casper Mattress, the company has rebranded this as the Casper Original Mattress and claims that the latest version has “enhanced support and cooling features,” as well as a “new cover made with recycled materials.”
The tl;dr: As a company, Casper is a well-oiled machine that makes delivery a cinch and offers other high-quality products along with the mattress, which is convenient if you want new, say, pillows. As for the mattress, it skews just a tad softer, and hot sleepers don’t always love the foam. For everyone else, you can’t go wrong.
What to know: Tuft & Needle launched early, in 2012, and in 2018, it was acquired by Serta Simmons. Tuft & Needle offers three mattresses: The Original foam mattress; the Mint, an upgraded version of the original; and the Hybrid, which has both foam and springs. The original has just two layers of material: a seven-inch support layer of dense foam as the base and a three-inch top comfort layer of proprietary Adaptive Foam infused with a “cooling gel” and graphite to keep sleepers cool. Its simplicity may explain its lower price — it’s a couple of hundred dollars less than other foam competitors — but its appeal is meant to be broad and is aimed at a wide range of sleeping preferences and body weights.
The fine print: Shipping is free, and if you don’t like it after a 100-day trial, the brand offers a full refund and free removal to a charity of your choice. It also comes with a ten-year warranty.
The tl;dr: Another crowd pleaser for anyone who’s happy with foam, Tuft & Needle is a very smart choice for anyone looking to spend a bit less.
What to know: Avocado set out to create the greenest mattress on the market using nontoxic natural and organic materials (as well as eco-friendly production processes). The brand offers two different adult-size mattresses (in addition to two for cribs): the Green and the Vegan, which is like the Green minus the wool. Both are foam-coil hybrids that layer eco-conscious natural Dunlop latex (made from tree sap), recycled steel coils, organic cotton, organic wool, and hydrated silica (a food-grade-quality flame retardant). You can choose from the standard mattress, which rates a 7 out of 10 in firmness according to Avocado’s own system, or the same mattress with an additional two-inch plush Dunlop latex pillow top — the one I tested — which rates a 6. If it matters to you, Avocado also makes its mattresses in California and negates its shipping and delivery emissions through carbon-offset projects.
The fine print: Avocado lets you test a mattress for 100 days with free returns if you don’t like it, and it offers a 25-year warranty. Delivery was easy — I got a call a few days out to schedule a drop-off window and again on the delivery day to let me know my mattress was ten minutes away. I opted for an additional mattress-pad cover (because dog accidents happen) and two standard pillows, which came separately via FedEx.
The tl;dr: If you want a lot of support plus cushioning, Avocado is a foam-coil-hybrid mattress that will give you both. The layers of organic wool and cotton help to regulate body temperature and wick away moisture for warmer sleepers, too. For those who prefer a very firm mattress, the pillow-topper is an added expense that you may not enjoy (you don’t need it). And it’s especially good for any sustainable/eco-conscious types, though you don’t have to be to appreciate it.
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