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When you spend money on a new mattress, it’s natural to expect many years of sound sleep in return for your investment. Luckily, there are many reasonably priced models that guarantee a long lifespan as long as users properly care for them. Knowing what to look for can help you discern between good-quality builds versus mattresses made with cheap materials that might break down sooner.
We’ll discuss how to choose a durable mattress and share recommendations for the best mattresses that won’t sag.
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Why It’s Best Overall
Specifically designed for people who weigh at least 230 pounds, the Helix Plus is an ultra-supportive hybrid that mixes thick foam layers with a robust coil system. The perimeter – a common site for sagging – felt particularly stable, even for our testers in the heaviest weight group. Other strong performance areas for this mattress include motion isolation, pressure relief, and ease of movement.
What It’s Made Of
Designed for plus-size sleepers, the Helix Plus Mattress utilizes high-density foams to prevent premature sagging.
The 13-inch hybrid mattress includes layers of memory foam, responsive polyfoam, and transitional memory foam atop a pocketed coil base. Rows of stronger coils around the perimeter help reinforce the edges, and a polyfoam base layer adds stability to the bed. A Tencel cover provides a breathable sleep surface.
How It Performed
The Helix Plus has a firm (7) feel designed to provide moderate contouring for individuals over 130 pounds. Whereas individuals over 230 pounds may find they sink too deeply into plusher mattresses, the Helix Plus supports the spine in a neutral alignment, especially for back and stomach sleepers. The memory foam also conforms to relieve pressure points.
Thanks to its sturdy build, the model absorbs most motion transfer and makes little to no noise when bearing weight. Most individuals should find the edges hold up well under pressure. Although memory foam is not known for being responsive, the coils in the Helix Plus help ensure sleepers don’t feel stuck in the bed and allow for easier movement. Airflow through the coils also helps prevent excessive heat retention.
Helix provides a 15-year limited warranty, free shipping, and a 100-night sleep trial with a 30-night break-in period.
Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on DreamCloud mattresses
What It’s Made Of
Measuring 14 inches thick, the DreamCloud is a hybrid mattress with a medium firm (6) feel. The cover is made of a moisture-wicking cashmere blend quilted with polyfoam. Beneath this lies a layer of gel-infused memory foam and an additional layer of transitional polyfoam. The support core contains pocketed coils that rest atop a polyfoam base.
How It Performed
The balanced feel of the DreamCloud Mattress lends itself well to side, back, and stomach sleepers of most weight ranges, although side sleepers under 130 pounds may find the bed too firm. With its pocketed coil support core, the mattress has a slight responsive feel that enables combination sleepers to easily switch sleeping positions.
The memory foam and polyfoam layers help absorb movement, helping couples experience minimal disruptions when one person rolls over or gets in and out of bed. With individually wrapped coils, the DreamCloud is also fairly quiet.
Although memory foam is notorious for trapping heat, the gel infusions are designed to draw heat away from the surface of this mattress so it can dissipate through the coils.
DreamCloud offers a lifetime limited warranty and a 365-night sleep trial with a 30-night requirement. Shipping is free for customers in the contiguous U.S.
Best for Back Pain
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What It’s Made of
As a mattress designed for people who weigh more than 230 pounds, the WinkBed Plus begins with a top layer of high-density polyfoam and a second layer of zoned latex. Both of these materials are highly responsive, adding extra bounce to the surface and reinforcing the firm (8) feel. A Euro-top surface adds some plushness for comfort without sacrificing the Plus’s supportive qualities.
The support core contains 7.5-inch pocketed coils in a zoned arrangement. Thicker coils lie beneath the midsection to provide push-back and prevent sagging around the sleeper’s heaviest areas. The coils are also bolstered along the perimeter to reduce sinkage when you lie near or sit along the edges. A cover made of breathable, moisture-wicking Tencel fabric encases the mattress.
How It Performed
The WinkBed Plus performed well across the board during our hands-on tests – no small feat for a mattress this firm. The testers who felt most comfortable were those weighing more than 230 pounds, but the Plus also fared better than expected with lighter sleepers. This was especially true of testers who primarily use the back and stomach positions.
The latex retains very little heat, air flows freely through the coils, and the Tencel cover is both breathable and absorbent. As a result, the Plus is a great choice for people who frequently sleep hot or sweat in bed. The zoned coils also provide excellent push-back to ensure little to no sinkage around the torso and hips, as well as superior perimeter protection.
WinkBeds offers free ground shipping throughout the contiguous U.S. Each order comes with a 120-night trial. If you find the Plus too firm, you may exchange the mattress for a model with a different firmness level at no extra charge. WinkBeds are backed by lifetime warranties.
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What It’s Made Of
An innerspring mattress with a firm (7) feel, the 15.5-inch Saatva HD is designed with heavy-duty elements engineered to support sleepers up to 500 pounds without compromising pressure relief.
The Saatva HD has a breathable organic cotton cover certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). Quilted polyfoam adds extra padding with an integrated, hand-tufted Euro-top design. The comfort system also includes five-zone natural Talalay latex and memory foam. These layers contour to the sleeper and provide additional support to the lumbar area to help prevent pressure buildup.
The support core consists of a layer of thick 12.5-gauge innerspring coils. The coils feature a polyfoam encasement around the perimeter, allowing more usable surface area for sleepers. The layer also has a spinal zone wire for additional lumbar support.
How It Performed
The Saatva HD helps maintain spinal alignment for back and side sleepers over 130 pounds. It also supports stomach sleepers across all weight categories, and the combination of latex and springs helps facilitate movement.
This model stands out for its temperature neutrality. The latex is perforated with tiny holes to increase heat dissipation, and the innerspring support core allows air to flow freely.
The Saatva HD is available in the six standard mattress sizes as well as split king. Like Saatva’s other mattresses, the HD is delivered with complimentary White Glove delivery and old mattress removal. Saatva offers a lifetime warranty and a 365-night sleep trial, with a nominal $149 return fee to cover handling costs.
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What It’s Made of
The Leesa Sapira Hybrid is constructed with a mixed-foam comfort system. The top layer consists of aerated polyfoam that feels both adaptive and responsive, creating a light bounce as the material molds to your body. A second comfort layer of medium-density memory foam provides additional contouring. Although the mattress is medium firm (6), both of these foam layers are fairly plush.
The mattress also contains a transitional layer of high-density polyfoam, followed by a pocketed coil system and another high-density foam layer for base-level support. Dense foam also encases the coils to help protect the edges from deep sinkage. The coils have a gauge of 14.5, which is on the lower and thicker side, so this layer delivers strong stability and extra push-back around the midsection where people tend to carry extra weight. A knit polyester cover encases the entire mattress.
How It Performed
Finding a mattress that doesn’t sag too much and also feels comfortable can be challenging, since less sagging is often associated with a firmer, stiffer feel. The Leesa Sapira Hybrid successfully toes that line thanks in part to its deep foam layers near the surface. Most of our testers experienced little to no pressure buildup and received adequate support from the coil and base layers. The hybrid was particularly popular among our side sleepers weighing at least 130 pounds, and back and stomach sleepers under 130 pounds.
Temperature control is another area where the Leesa Sapira Hybrid excelled during our hands-on tests. The ventilated polyfoam layer pushes air near the surface to keep you comfortable, while the coils circulate additional air to cool off the mattress interior. The knit cover is also breathable. None of our testers felt excessively hot lying on the mattress.
The Leesa Sapira Hybrid is priced competitively and shipping is free of charge for customers in all 50 states. Each order comes with a 100-night trial period and a standard manufacturer’s warranty that covers structural defects for up to 10 years. Additionally, you can purchase an accident protection plan that covers other types of damage such as stains and tears in the cover fabric.
Best for Side Sleepers
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Side sleepers tend to put more pressure on their joints than other sleeping positions, so they often prefer mattresses with softer comfort layers to help alleviate aches and pains. The GhostBed Luxe has a mixed foam design and medium (5) feel, balancing contouring and support for side sleepers up to 230 pounds.
What It’s Made of
A cover composed of proprietary Ghost Ice fabric encases the mattress. This breathable material is made from a blend of polyester and viscose. A layer of gel-infused memory foam is quilted into the cover for an extra plush surface feel. Following that is a Ghost Ice layer made with phase change material, which is designed to absorb excess body heat and regulate temperature.
Next is another layer of gel-infused memory foam. The gel in this layer helps keep the surface cool by limiting heat absorption. The foam, which has a medium density, relieves pressure buildup and evenly distributes weight to align the spine. A 2-inch polyfoam transitional layer acts as a cushion between the comfort system and the support core. This layer is more responsive to prevent the sleeper from sinking too deeply into the mattress. A 7.5-inch layer of high-density polyfoam makes up the support core.
How It Performed
Side sleepers and those who frequently experience joint pain see the most benefit from the mattress’ mixed-foam design. The thicker comfort system closely contours the hips and shoulders to help relieve pain, while denser foam layers lift the body to maintain spinal alignment. The comfort system also does an excellent job at absorbing movement transfer and noise. This makes it a strong choice for couples, who should notice little to no disturbances when their partner switches positions at night. Compared to other all-foam models, the GhostBed Luxe keeps quite cool thanks to breathable fabrics, phase change material, and less heat retention. Sleepers who like the feel of memory foam but find it traps too much heat may like this pick.
GhostBed offers free shipping to the contiguous U.S. Mattress purchases are backed by a 25-year warranty and a 101-night sleep trial. You can return the mattress for a full refund after the 30-night break-in period.
Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Birch mattresses
What It’s Made Of
Crafted with organic and natural materials, the Birch Luxe is a hybrid model measuring 11.5 inches thick. The mattress has a Euro-top organic cotton cover with an organic wool and rayon fire barrier. Additional layers of cashmere and wool help wick moisture away from the mattress surface and add responsive pressure relief.
Natural latex in the comfort system adds responsiveness and supplies a firmer transition to the pocketed coil support core. The coils feature targeted lumbar support and perimeter reinforcement. A second wool and rayon fire barrier completes the base.
The cashmere, wool, and cotton are certified organic by GOTS, and the mattress holds Greenguard GOLD certification for low chemical emissions. Additionally, the natural materials don’t off-gas like foam mattresses, which may be an advantage for sleepers who are sensitive to smell.
How It Performed
The Birch Luxe has a medium firm (6) feel that provides balanced support and pressure relief for back, side, and stomach sleepers. As expected from a latex hybrid mattress, this model also has a highly responsive surface that makes it easy to change sleep positions.
Due to its exceptionally breathable construction and moisture-wicking wool layers, the mattress retains little to no heat, helping sleepers stay at a comfortable temperature all night long.
The Birch Luxe ships free to the contiguous U.S. and to Canada for an additional fee. Shoppers receive a 100-night sleep trial with a 30-night break-in period. The mattress is also protected by a 25-year limited warranty.
Finding a mattress that will stand the test of time can be a challenging task, especially since many newer manufacturers don’t yet have a proven track record. Our experts are well-versed in mattress construction, and our vast experience has helped us learn how to identify well-built designs with a long-expected lifespan.
We back our recommendations with an extensive testing process during which we analyze every facet of the mattress, including how it performs for people with different body types and preferred sleep positions. Because sleepers over 230 pounds exert more pressure on mattresses, our team incorporates sleepers in this weight range as well.
Over time, foam breaks down and coils lose their ability to spring back to their original shape. Both of these issues can result in sagging. Most mattresses will sag eventually, but the quality of construction and materials can accelerate or delay the occurrence.
There are two primary components to a mattress: the comfort system and the support core. Ultimately, every layer of the mattress affects its propensity to sag. The comfort system is more prone to localized body indentations, whereas the support core can cause broader structural problems.
Support Core: The support core is usually made of sturdy materials such as steel springs or high-density polyfoam, which are designed to withstand repeated use before they start breaking down.
Mattresses with low coil counts or low-quality steel are quicker to lose their elasticity, and they generally sag sooner than higher-quality builds. A hybrid mattress made with low-quality coils may only last 5 to 6 years, whereas a better-quality base may lengthen the expected lifespan up to 8 or 10 years.
Likewise, low-density polyfoam with thinner cell walls and more air pockets is more susceptible to sagging. Lower quality all-foam models can break down as soon as 2 or 3 years after purchasing, whereas better models may last up to 7 or 8 years.
Comfort System: The comfort system tends to include softer materials such as memory foam, which can break down sooner and develop permanent indentations. Additionally, mattresses with thicker comfort sections may be more vulnerable to forming body impressions. To a certain extent, this wear and tear is considered a normal part of mattress use. Sometimes, manufacturers add firmer transitional layers to reinforce the softer layers on top.
Most manufacturers don’t cover sagging and body indentations under warranty unless they reach a certain level, such as 1-inch indentations that are visible even when no pressure is applied. If your mattress has body impressions that are not covered by the warranty and you find they affect the mattress’ ability to provide pressure relief, you may be able to compensate by using a mattress topper.
Although the warranty length and terms do not always correspond to the quality of the mattress, these can be a good indication of how long the manufacturer expects the bed to last. Warranties that cover body impressions of at least 1 inch — as opposed to impressions of 1.5 or 2 inches — indicate that the construction will likely prevent premature sagging.
Similarly, longer warranties of 15 or 20 years imply that the mattress may last longer before needing to be replaced. These models are often more expensive up-front, but the price may be worthwhile if it saves you the cost of buying another new mattress within that time frame.
There are several indications that hint at when a mattress may start sagging, such as the price, the type of materials, and the firmness level. When purchasing a mattress, you should also consider factors that influence the overall comfort, such as temperature regulation and motion isolation, as well as whether the mattress design is appropriate for your body type and sleeping position.
Mattress shopping can be overwhelming, as every manufacturer has its own terms to describe proprietary materials. Understanding how the different mattress components contribute to its overall feel and performance can help you narrow down your choices and find a bed suitable for your needs.
Mattress price is an easy way to weed out low-quality mattresses. While prices can vary according to brand, special features, or organic certifications, a cheap mattress will generally sag sooner. These beds may be suitable for guest rooms, but they likely aren’t designed to withstand regular use.
Proper spinal support is important no matter what sleeping position you prefer. However, a sagging mattress may be most uncomfortable for stomach sleepers if it allows the midsection to sink in too much. Back sleepers also require a reliable surface to support the lumbar spine.
Mattresses built with natural materials such as latex and wool tend to outlast other materials. When assessing the quality of your mattress, note the coil count, the coil gauge or thickness, the foam density, and any vulnerable points that may be more susceptible to premature sagging, such as convoluted polyfoam. Look for manufacturers that are transparent with their specs.
The right firmness level for you depends on your body weight and primary sleep position. Broadly speaking, firmer mattresses tend to be more resistant to body impressions, although there are many exceptions as this also depends on the materials used. Stomach sleepers and individuals who weigh more than 230 pounds may find that a firm (7) or extra firm (9) mattress offers longer-lasting support.
Pressure relief is a key factor for all sleepers, especially for side sleepers and those who weigh under 130 pounds. These sleepers can experience pressure points where the hips and shoulders make contact with the mattress, so they benefit from having cushioning materials in the comfort system. High-density memory foam, natural Talalay latex, and wool are examples of pressure-relieving materials with a long-expected lifespan.
For people who sleep with a partner, it’s important to find a mattress that doesn’t transfer motion across the bed. All-foam models and hybrids with individually wrapped coils tend to perform well at motion isolation.
Temperature neutrality is especially relevant to hot sleepers and those who live in warm climates. Mattress manufacturers use many techniques to fight against heat retention. For example, mattresses can include moisture-wicking covers, and foams may be perforated or infused with gel beads designed to draw heat away from the bed’s surface. Innerspring cores also perform well at temperature neutrality, as their construction allows air to flow freely through the coils.
Whereas hybrid and innerspring models usually feature a reinforced perimeter, foam and latex models may compress significantly when weight is placed on the edges of the bed. Weak edge support can significantly limit the usable surface area, so it’s an important consideration for people who like to sit on the edges, partners who share a smaller bed, or those who have trouble getting in and out of bed. Foam mattresses may break down sooner, so if you value edge support, consider a bed with a firmer, thinner comfort system.
Contouring refers to a material’s ability to mold itself to the sleeper. Mattresses that contour more closely tend to provide better pressure relief, but they may be more apt to develop body impressions over time. Ideally, the comfort system should provide a certain level of contouring, while the transition layers and support core help bolster spinal support and enhance durability.
Mattresses are classified into different types according to the primary materials used in their construction. While every model is unique, the mattress type plays a significant role in its performance and durability. Latex and hybrid mattresses often outperform foam and innerspring models when it comes to durability.
The primary mattress types include hybrid, innerspring, foam, latex, and airbed. Mattress type is mainly determined by the materials used in the support core. While a mattress type can describe general characteristics, there can also be variations from model to model depending on the design and the quality of the materials.
Hybrid mattresses combine a substantial comfort system with an innerspring core, which is typically made with pocketed coils to reduce noise and motion transfer. The comfort layers may incorporate polyfoam, memory foam, latex, wool, cotton batting, microcoils, or other pressure-relieving materials.
Hybrid mattresses offer better pressure relief than classic innerspring models, and they also tend to boast sturdy edge support and strong breathability due to the coil layer. This makes them ideal for hot sleepers and those who enjoy using the full surface of the bed.
When looking for a hybrid mattress that won’t sag, aim for a minimum of 1,000 coils in a queen size and dedicated reinforcement around the perimeter. In the comfort system, high-density foams or natural materials like wool or latex are usually the most durable.
Sleepers who favor bounce, edge support, and airflow may be interested in an innerspring model. This mattress type is made almost exclusively of tempered steel coils, with little to no comfort system. These features make innerspring mattresses suitable for stomach sleepers but less suitable for side and back sleepers.
The durability of an innerspring mattress can vary greatly depending on the type, the gauge, and the total number of coils. Thicker-gauge coils and designs such as offset coils can withstand more pressure without losing their resilience. By contrast, older designs such as Bonnell coils may start sinking sooner.
It’s good practice to ensure your mattress has an appropriate coil count for the type of coils used, though several other factors influence a mattress’ performance. Similarly, coils may have different functions depending on their gauge and placement in the mattress. Many manufacturers use thicker low-gauge coils to strengthen the edges and thinner high-gauge coils for the hips and shoulders.
Foam mattresses contain polyfoam, memory foam, latex, or textiles in the comfort system and sit above a polyfoam support core. Ideally, the support core uses durable high-density polyfoam with a density of at least 1.8 pounds per cubic foot (PCF).
Couples often prefer foam mattresses because the lack of springs allow less motion to transfer to the other side of the bed when one person moves. Models with memory foam in the comfort layers also offer unparalleled pressure relief for side sleepers and individuals under 130 pounds. Sleepers over 230 pounds, however, may find that foam mattresses lack sufficient support.
In addition to the foam density and quality of the materials used, the thickness of the comfort system can also affect a mattress’ lifespan. Thicker comfort systems are more likely to develop body impressions, especially if they are made with low-quality materials.
Natural latex is made from sap found in rubber trees, which is whipped into a froth and baked using either the Dunlop or the Talalay process. Dunlop latex tends to be denser on one side, whereas Talalay is more buoyant and uniform. Latex can also be made synthetically using petrochemicals.
Natural latex is considered one of the most durable mattress materials, making it highly resistant to sagging. It can be used in the comfort or support layers, and it is often aerated with pincore holes to improve breathability. Mattresses made with certified organic latex may be appealing to sustainably minded shoppers.
Airbeds use air chambers as the support core, which can often be inflated or deflated by the user until they reach the desired firmness level. Provided there are no leaks in the air chambers, this system should be protective against sagging as more air can always be added to increase the firmness setting.
Sleepers who want adjustable firmness levels or couples with differing comfort preferences may be interested in an airbed, as each side of the bed generally includes its own customizable air chambers. Airbeds may have additional layers of polyfoam, memory foam, or other materials to supplement the air chambers as well.
By adopting a few proactive habits, you can help keep your mattress in tip-top shape for a longer period of time and delay when you need to invest in a new one.
Use a Mattress Protector and Clean Regularly
A mattress protector is a thin, waterproof membrane designed to protect your mattress against spills and stains. Not only does this help prevent accidental damage to your mattress, it can also prevent you from inadvertently voiding your mattress warranty, as most manufacturers won’t cover mattresses with visible stains.
Rotate Your Mattress
Most mattresses sold today aren’t designed to be flipped. However, you can delay the onset of permanent body impressions by rotating the mattress head-to-foot every 3 to 6 months.
Use Proper Support Under The Mattress
A proper foundation is essential for keeping your mattress supported and preventing pressure points from improper spinal alignment. Consult the manufacturer’s website or the warranty terms to find out what type of base is recommended for your model. Generally, a solid or a slatted foundation will offer sufficient support. You may need to ensure the slats are close enough together to prevent sagging. A full mattress or larger may require additional support in the center of the bed.
Gel mattresses aim to offer a cooler sleep experience, which can raise the price-point compared to regular foam mattresses. Gel foam is a good option for sleepers who like the pressure-relieving, motion-isolating feel of memory foam or polyfoam but don’t like sleeping hot.
Because gel must be added to either memory foam or polyfoam, gel mattresses may not be attractive to shoppers who prefer natural materials or those who are sensitive to off-gassing smells.
As gel foam is meant to be used in the comfort layers, gel mattresses can come in either hybrid or all-foam models. All-foam models have a high-density polyfoam support base, whereas hybrid mattresses have an innerspring base that is often made with pocketed coils. More rarely, shoppers might see airbed models with gel foam comfort layers over an inflatable air chamber.
The average price of a gel mattress runs from about $800 to $2,000, though there are plenty of models that fall outside of this range. Foam mattresses are among the cheapest options, while hybrids may be more expensive. Although gel foam is more expensive than regular memory foam or polyfoam, gel mattresses usually cost less than natural latex mattresses.
Pricing can change depending on the brand, the design of the mattress, the quality of the materials, and the shipping and return policies. If you want the feel of gel foam but not the investment in a new mattress, a gel foam mattress topper may also be an option.
On average, buyers can expect a foam or hybrid mattress to last 6 to 8 years if properly cared for.
With all mattresses, the comfort system generally starts to break down before the support core. As a comfort layer, gel foam is not the most durable material, especially in its plusher iterations. However, regularly rotating the mattress from head to foot can delay the onset of permanent body indentations. Using a mattress protector can also help extend the lifespan by shielding the material against accidents.
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At Sleep Foundation, we personally test every product featured in our reviews and guides. This hands-on approach allows us to provide accurate, data-driven recommendations for mattresses, pillows, sheets, and other sleep essentials.
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