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Most Comfortable Mattresses

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Written by

Austin Meadows

author

Anyone who has slept on a lumpy sofa bed or a sagging old mattress can tell you the same thing: comfort matters. Not only can a comfortable mattress provide a more restful night’s sleep, butalso relieve pressure points, align the spine, and help you wake up feeling refreshed rather than achy.

All sleepers can benefit from a mattress that is comfortable for them, but not everyone shares the same idea of what makes a mattress comfortable. Factors like body weight and favored sleep position play a role in what feels comfortable for each individual. Personal preference also comes into play.

Our team of sleep experts tested a wide swath of mattresses to come up with a list of the most comfortable beds. We looked at firmness, pressure relief, and temperature neutrality, among other criteria. While these beds might not be ideal for all individuals, we think that they will feel comfortable for the majority of sleepers.

The Most Comfortable Mattresses

Read on to find out our reasons for selecting each of these beds and whether they may be a good fit for your sleep position, body weight, or other sleep preferences. If you’d like to learn more about shopping for comfortable mattresses, scroll to the bottom for a comprehensive buyer’s guide. We cover which types of mattresses and firmness levels are typically considered more comfortable, and which mattresses are most comfortable for side, back, and stomach sleepers.

New year, new ratings, new sleep!

If you’re looking to start 2022 off with a bang, and better sleep is on your list of resolutions, you’ve come to the right spot. A new mattress is one of the most impactful elements in your sleep environment. Our product experts have reassessed our ratings and recommendations for the new year so that you’re seeing the freshest data available.

Product Details

Layla Hybrid

Best Overall

Layla Hybrid

Layla Hybrid
Price Range: $1,299 - $1,899
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Reversible: Medium Soft (4), Firm (7)
Trial length: 120 nights
Trial length: 120 nights
Warranty: 10 year, Limited
Warranty: 10 year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Sleepers of any size and sleeping position
  • People who tend to sleep hot
  • Couples
Highlights:
  • Flippable design offers versatility
  • Balance of pressure-relieving memory foam and supportive pocketed coils
  • Sleeps cool
Layla Hybrid

Get $210 off a Layla Hybrid Mattress + 2 free memory foam pillows with code: SLEEPFOUNDATION

The Layla Hybrid pairs Layla’s copper-infused memory foam and high-density polyfoam with a support core of pocketed coils. The mattress is flippable, with rather different firmness ratings on each side. The resulting combination excels at pressure relief and motion isolation, while also sleeping cool and staying appropriately supportive for a wide variety of sleepers.

What It’s Made of

One side of the mattress has a medium soft feel that rates at a 4 on the 10-point firmness scale, while the other side has a firm (7) feel to it. The medium soft side has a 2.5-inch comfort layer of copper-infused memory foam. The memory foam contours to the body to a moderate extent to provide strong pressure relief, while the copper infusion helps to combat heat retention.

The memory foam rests on a transition layer of 2 inches of zoned polyfoam that provides different degrees of support to different areas of the body. By contrast, the firm side has a thinner comfort layer of 1 inch of memory foam over 1.5 inches of the zoned polyfoam. The mattress is encased in a breathable cover made of polyester, viscose, and spandex with vinyl handles on the sides for easier flippability. The support core consists of a 6-inch layer of pocketed coils between the layers of foam.

How It Performed

The Layla Hybrid’s dual firmness construction captures the two ends of the preferred range of mattress firmnesses, making it a great option for nearly any kind of sleeper. The medium soft side is best suited to sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds, while the firm side is likely a better option for sleepers in any position who weigh more than 130 pounds.

The coil springs reinforce the edges rather well and contribute to a bouncy feel as you move around on top of the mattress. Although the bed uses memory foam in its comfort layers, air is able to flow through the coils, helping the mattress sleep cool. The coil core is supported by the layers of foam on the side that is currently not in use.

The Layla Hybrid comes with a 120-night sleep trial and is backed by a 10-year warranty.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought
“We considered the Layla Hybrid a standout memory foam hybrid because its coils created a very strong support system. The flippable design is a nice touch, too, since most people will be able to find a firmness level that feels comfortable.”

Nectar Mattress

Best Value

Nectar Mattress

Nectar Mattress
Price Range: $499 - $1,099
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 365 nights
Trial length: 365 nights
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • People who weigh up to 230 pounds
  • Side sleepers
  • Couples
Highlights:
  • Memory foam contours evenly to alleviate pressure
  • Great motion isolation and no noise
  • 365-night sleep trial and lifetime warranty
Nectar Mattress

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Sleepers who enjoy the close “hugging” sensation of memory foam should find the Nectar Mattress quite comfortable. Given the construction and performance of this mattress, its sticker price is also quite affordable.

What It’s Made of

Although this mattress is considered medium firm (6), the 3-inch memory foam comfort layer molds to the unique contours of your body for a cloud-like feel and even weight distribution. Additional polyfoam layers provide good overall support and prevent excessive sagging. The ideal weight range for the mattress is 130 to 230 pounds.

How It Performed

Memory foam mattresses have a reputation for sleeping hot. The Nectar Mattress offers above-average cooling because the comfort layer is composed of open-cell foam, which is less dense and more breathable than the foams used in many competing models. A Tencel lyocell cover derived from botanical materials also regulates the surface temperature well.

Another strength is motion isolation. Like most all-foam beds, the Nectar Mattress absorbs movement and prevents transfer from rippling across the surface – a major benefit to couples and co-sleepers. The mattress is also completely silent and won’t creak or squeak when you get out of bed.

Nectar also offers free ground delivery anywhere in the contiguous U.S. You’ll receive a sleep trial that allows you to test out the mattress for an entire year, along with a lifetime warranty should you decide to keep it.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought
“We all agreed the Nectar feels firmer and more supportive than a lot of the other memory foam mattresses we’ve tested in the lab. Some of us wanted closer contouring, but no one reported that uncomfortable sinking feeling you often get with these beds.”

Helix Midnight

Best for Side Sleepers

Helix Midnight

Helix Midnight
Price Range: $699 - $1,449
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Trial length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 10 Year, Limited
Warranty: 10 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Side sleepers of any weight group
  • Those who sleep hot on all-foam beds
  • Couples
Highlights:
  • Excellent pressure relief
  • Affordable, premium performance
  • Optional plush pillow-top add-on for a softer, more luxurious feel
Helix Midnight

Get $200 OFF + 2 FREE Dream Pillows when you spend $1,750 or more. Use Code: SLEEPFOUND200

The Midnight is a memory foam hybrid model from Helix sleep that offers a balance of conforming and support. It has a medium feel that appeals to side sleepers across all weight groups.

What It’s Made of

The Midnight is constructed with a layer of gel-infused memory foam that contours closely to the body in order to relieve pressure points. This is followed by a transitional layer of polyfoam that prevents the sleeper from sinking too far down into the bed. Beneath that is a substantial pocketed coil support core, providing significant support and allowing for airflow throughout the mattress. The support core also features a reinforced perimeter, which gives the bed strong edge support. The mattress is also available in a Luxe version that adds a plush pillowtop and another 2 inches to the overall height of the mattress.

How It Performed

The Midnight’s combination of pocketed coils and memory foam isolates motion well, sleeps cool, and comes at a below-average price point for a hybrid, making it an attractive option for hot sleepers, those who share a bed, and shoppers on a budget. It is an ideal fit for most sleepers up to 230 pounds. Side sleepers in particular may benefit from the pressure relief and support provided by the bed.

Helix ships free to all 50 U.S. states. Plus, they offer a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“The Midnight has a more balanced feel than a lot of other hybrids out there today. Plenty of support and stability, but the surface provides just the right amount of cushioning.”

WinkBeds GravityLux

Best Pressure Relief

WinkBeds GravityLux

WinkBeds GravityLux
Price Range: $1,199 - $1,999
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium Soft (4), Medium (5), Firm (7)
Trial length: 120 nights (30 night requirement)
Trial length: 120 nights (30 night requirement)
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • A wide range of sleeper types and weights
  • Hot sleepers who prefer an all-foam mattress
  • People who experience pressure points
Highlights:
  • Three firmness options to suit different preferences
  • Zoned construction balances pressure relief and support
  • Engineered to sleep cooler than most all-foam mattresses
WinkBeds GravityLux

Get $300 off all mattresses

The GravityLux Mattress from WinkBeds is an all-foam mattress that boasts luxury features that live up to its name. It’s available in three firmness levels (4, 5, 7) that are each designed with different sleeper types in mind.

What It’s Made of

Geared toward hot sleepers, this 11-inch mattress has a breathable Tencel cover that’s quilted with gel-infused foam. The cover is followed by a layer of proprietary AirCell memory foam, which is designed to contour closely without retaining heat. Beneath the AirCell is a zoned transitional layer with firmer support in the hips and lumbar areas. A high-density polyfoam support core provides a stable base for the mattress.

How It Performed

While exact specifications vary by model, all three have a zoned support system that relieves pressure build-up while evenly supporting your spine. The medium soft model has a plusher feel that is particularly well-suited to side sleepers and those who weigh less than 130 pounds. The medium and firm models are better suited to back and stomach sleepers, thanks to their responsive feel.

The GravityLux’s price-point is slightly above average for an all-foam mattress, though its high-quality materials and versatility will be worth it for many shoppers. WinkBeds backs the GravityLux with a 120-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty. Shipping is free to shoppers within the contiguous U.S.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“The GravityLux has a very dense feel. Even on the softest models, the memory foam contoured evenly to my body, but it never felt like I was going to sink into the bed.”

Bear Hybrid

Best Cooling

Bear Hybrid

Bear Hybrid
Price Range: $1,248 - $1,998
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 365 nights (30-night break-in period)
Trial length: 365 nights (30-night break-in period)
Warranty: Lifetime warranty
Warranty: Lifetime warranty
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • People who weigh up to 230 pounds
  • Those who tend to overheat in bed
  • Shoppers seeking a mattress with a lengthy trial/return period
Highlights:
  • Adaptive foam layers contour evenly without too much sink
  • Very good temperature control thanks to cooling cover and steady airflow through the coil system
  • 365-night sleep trial
Bear Hybrid

SleepFoundation readers receive 2 free pillows, a sheet set and a mattress protector (up to a $325 value) with a purchase of a mattress

While hybrids generally sleep cool compared to other mattress types, some models take temperature regulation a step further. The Bear Hybrid is a prime example. Featuring a cooling cover infused with innovative Celliant fabric and a coil system that generates strong air circulation, the Bear Hybrid should feel comfortable for most people – even those who sleep exceptionally hot.

What It’s Made of

The Bear Hybrid begins with a layer of adaptive polyfoam quilted into the top surface, followed by two additional foam layers. The mattress is medium firm (6), but these components make the surface feel plush when you get into bed and provide deep contouring as your body settles into the foam. The support core contains pocketed coils over a base layer of high-density polyfoam.

A cover woven with Celliant fibers encases the mattress. Celliant is a material engineered to convert your body heat into infrared energy, a process that can improve circulation and help your muscles recover during the night. The fabric is also designed to dissipate heat and maintain a cool temperature.

How It Performed

Temperature regulation was one of the Bear Hybrid’s biggest strengths during our tests, but we found the mattress also performs well in other areas. The coils create enough responsiveness to help sleepers move across the surface without sinking too much, and also protect the edges from excessive sinkage. At the same time, the thick foam layers allow the mattress to isolate motion relatively well – especially compared to other hybrids.

Based on our sleeper tests, we recommend the Bear Hybrid to side sleepers who weigh between 130 and 230 pounds, as well as back and stomach sleepers weighing less than 130 pounds. The balanced medium firm feel should ensure adequate support for these individuals without making the surface feel too stiff.

Bear offers free ground shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S. The Bear Hybrid is backed by a sleep trial that allows you to test the mattress for up to 365 nights, giving you plenty of time to decide whether it meets your needs. Those who choose to keep the mattress also receive a lifetime warranty.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought
“The Bear Hybrid sleeps cool even compared to other coil-based models. There’s also some nice surface-level responsiveness – plenty of cushioning without feeling like I’m sinking into the mattress.”

GhostBed Flex

Best for Back Pain

GhostBed Flex

GhostBed Flex
Price Range: $1,695 - $3,700
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 101 nights (30-night requirement)
Trial length: 101 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 25 Year, Limited
Warranty: 25 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King
Who it's best for:
  • Side and back sleepers
  • Those who tend to overheat during the night
  • People who like sleeping close to the edges of their mattress
Highlights:
  • Pillow-top cushioned with soft foam creates a luxuriously plush surface
  • Pocketed coils reinforced along the edges help reduce uncomfortable sinkage
  • Steady airflow and exceptional cooling
GhostBed Flex

30% off all mattresses + 2 free pillows ($190 value) & free Mulberry Silk Queen Blush Pillowcase ($109 value) on orders over $1,500

The most comfortable mattress for you will likely depend on several factors, including your body type. The GhostBed Flex is a medium firm (6) hybrid that is well-suited for larger sleepers.

What It’s Made of

The Flex begins with a pillow-top encased in proprietary Ghost Ice fabric that feels cool to the touch. Cooling fibers woven into the cover also help the mattress maintain a comfortable surface temperature. Two comfort layers of memory foam cushion and contour to the body, while a transitional layer of Ghost Bounce foam has a latex-like responsiveness to keep you on an even plane.

The support core contains strong pocketed coils measuring 8.5 inches tall. The coils are zoned to protect the perimeter and help you feel stable when you get on and off the mattress or sleep close to its edges. Steady airflow through the coil system also contributes to the excellent temperature regulation of this mattress. High-density base polyfoam completes the Flex’s seven-layer design.

How It Performed

Those who weigh more than 230 pounds typically need a supportive mattress with sturdy reinforcement to provide an even sleep surface and prevent their body from sinking excessively. These sleepers are good candidates for the Flex. The thick foam layers and robust coil system provide excellent support for sleepers in this weight category. A responsive feel makes the surface fairly easy to move across, while the zoned perimeter should sink very little – if at all – when you get in and out of bed.

The mattress is available in seven sizes, including a split king option if you and your partner use an adjustable bed base. Each order comes with two GhostPillows at no extra charge and ground delivery is free throughout the contiguous U.S. GhostBed backs the Flex with a 101-night sleep trial and a 25-year warranty.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“The Flex is a true medium firm that feels supportive in all the right places. There’s excellent stability close to the edges and barely any sink when I get on the mattress.”

DreamCloud Mattress

Best for Couples

DreamCloud Mattress

DreamCloud Mattress
Price Range: $1,198 - $1,798
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 365 nights (30-night requirement)
Trial length: 365 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: Lifetime, limited
Warranty: Lifetime, limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • Hot sleepers
  • Value seekers
  • Shoppers looking for a mattress with a long trial/return period
Highlights:
  • Luxury hybrid design at an affordable price
  • Above-average pressure relief and motion isolation for a hybrid
  • Cooling cashmere-blend cover helps the surface maintain a comfortable temperature
DreamCloud Mattress

SleepFoundation readers save $200 on a DreamCloud mattress + get $399 in free accessories

The DreamCloud Mattress is a hybrid with a medium firm (6) feel for people who prefer a balance of cushioning and support. Thanks to thick foam layers and a high overall profile, the mattress isolates motion for couples better than most competing hybrids, but a sturdy coil system also ensures decent edge support and ease of movement across the surface.

What It’s Made of

The DreamCloud begins with a quilted cover made from a soft, hand-tufted cashmere blend. A layer of adaptive polyfoam is sewn into the cover to create a plush feel when you get in and out of bed. The comfort layer is composed of memory foam infused with cooling gel, and this is followed by a transitional polyfoam layer to prevent you and your partner from sinking too deeply.

The support core consists of pocketed coils over a base layer of high-density foam. Each coil is encased in fabric and designed to move independently, so the mattress won’t feel as rigid or springy as a traditional innerspring. Overall, the mattress measures 14 inches thick.

How It Performed

The DreamCloud’s balanced design makes it an appealing option for side sleepers. Our sleep testers who primarily use this position and weigh between 130 and 230 pounds awarded the mattress its highest sleeper ratings. The memory foam contours evenly and absorbs a lot of movement, but most sleepers won’t sink excessively thanks to the coil system.

Temperature control is another major strength of the DreamCloud. The cashmere-blend cover is exceptionally breathable, while the coils generate steady airflow to keep the interior cool. The coils also make the mattress feel sturdy and stable along the perimeter, which can be beneficial for people who have a hard time getting in and out of bed.

The 365-night sleep trial that comes with each DreamCloud purchase is one of the longest in the online mattress industry. The sticker price is quite reasonable – especially compared to other hybrids – and shipping is free of charge throughout the contiguous U.S. Those who keep their mattress after the trial period ends also receive a lifetime warranty against structural defects.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“The DreamCloud is tricky to pin down. I noticed plenty of cushioning on the surface, but never sank too deeply or felt like I was going to roll off the mattress.”

Saatva Classic

Best Luxury

Saatva Classic

Saatva Classic
Price Range: $887 - $2,296
Mattress Type: Innerspring
Firmness: Soft (3), Medium Firm (6), Firm (8)
Trial length: 180 Nights ($99 Return Fee)
Trial length: 180 Nights ($99 Return Fee)
Warranty: 15 Year, Limited
Warranty: 15 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Split King, California King, Split California King
Who it's best for:
  • Those who enjoy mattresses with responsive surfaces
  • Hot sleepers
  • Shoppers who would rather not set up their new mattress on their own
Highlights:
  • Innovative coil-on-coil design provides excellent support and stability
  • Dual coil layers promote consistent airflow to keep the mattress cool
  • Multiple firmness and thickness options
Saatva Classic

Buy more, save more: up to $450 off

The Saatva Classic will be a comfortable option for anyone who prefers the responsive, springy feel of traditional innersprings but also wants some body-contouring from their sleep surface.

What It’s Made of

The mattress is features a Euro-top cushioned with polyfoam and memory foam, resulting in a plush feel as you slip into bed, while a transitional layer of pocketed minicoils and a support core of sturdy hourglass coils make the Classic feel exceptionally stable – especially along the edges.

How It Performed

You can choose between three firmness levels for your Classic: soft (3), medium firm (6), or firm (8). This range of options ensures most people can find a comfortable feel regardless of their body type or general preferences. Additionally, the mattress is available with a profile of 11.5 or 14.5 inches.

Temperature control is a strong point of the mattress. This can be attributed to steady airflow through both coil layers, as well as a breathable organic cotton cover. As a result, the Saatva Classic is a good fit for people who tend to sleep hot.

Saatva is one of the only online mattress brands in the country to offer free White Glove delivery for all customers. This service includes full assembly in a room of your choice and removal of your old mattress at no extra charge. You’ll also receive a 180-night sleep trial and 15-year warranty with your purchase.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought
“The Saatva Classic has that bounce you’d expect from an older innerspring, but the Euro-top keeps the surface nice and plush. This would be a good fit for people who need strong coil support but also enjoy some cushioning.”

Birch Mattress

Best for Back Sleepers

Birch Mattress

Birch Mattress
Price Range: $1,249 - $1,999
Mattress Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Trial length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 25 Year, Limited
Warranty: 25 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Who it's best for:
  • People who weigh up to 230 pounds
  • Hot sleepers
  • Eco-conscious shoppers
Highlights:
  • Organic, sustainable materials
  • Breathable ventilated latex and moisture-wicking wool enhance cooling
  • Stable, responsive support
Birch Mattress

SleepFoundation readers get $400 off a Birch Mattress.

If you find responsive beds comfortable, then we recommend the Birch Natural Mattress. The hybrid model features latex that gives the bed a bouncy feel. It also stays fairly cool, which should appeal to sleepers who are prone to overheating.

What It’s Made of

This bed is constructed with a top layer of natural and organic wool batting, followed by a layer of ventilated Talalay latex. Latex is a naturally springy material. It conforms to the body like memory foam, but does not cradle the body or sink too deeply. The mattress also contains a support core of pocketed coils reinforced with wool batting. The coils provide exceptional stability and plenty of reinforcement along the perimeter, so you shouldn’t sink too much when moving across the surface of getting in and out of bed.

How It Performed

Temperature control is a highlight of this mattress. The wool offers natural breathability and moisture-wicking properties, the ventilated latex circulates air near the surface, and the coils promote airflow throughout the interior to help the mattress maintain a comfortable core temperature. Due to its medium firm (6) feel, the mattress is best suited to people who weigh between 130 and 230 pounds. If you think this mattress might be too firm, Birch also offers a latex topper that creates a softer surface feel.

Birch provides free ground shipping to all 50 states, as well as a 100-night sleep trial. The mattress comes with a 25-year warranty that protects against deep body impressions and physical flaws in the bed’s assembly. For an added fee, you can also purchase accidental damage protection that covers other defects not included in the original warranty, such as stains.

Lab Notes – What Our Testers Thought

“This is a mattress that manages to feel both bouncy and plush. I’ve always enjoyed this balance that latex hybrids offer, but the Birch in particular is a standout.”

Why You Should Trust Us

Each member of our testing team brings years of expertise and experience with mattresses, pillows, and other sleep products. We’ve personally evaluated hundreds of mattress models using a tried-and-true methodology that looks at durability, pressure relief, temperature control, and other key performance areas. Our team includes people with varying body types, sleep positions, and firmness preferences to ensure our ratings and recommendations are helpful for all sleepers.

Mattress comfort is completely subjective, and a bed you find comfortable may not be suitable for someone else. The top picks above reflect the mattresses that earned favorable ratings from testers across different weight and sleep position groups. However, these selections are not set in stone. We’ll continue to revisit these mattresses and evaluate new models in order to keep this guide as relevant and up to date as possible.

Which Type of Mattress is the Most Comfortable?


Individual mattress models vary due to differences in their materials, quality, and construction. These differences can affect how comfortable a mattress feels. Certain types of mattresses tend to share some characteristics. There is still plenty of variation between individual models, but understanding these commonalities may make it easier to decide what type of mattress will feel most comfortable to you.

Hybrid

Definition: As the name suggests, hybrid mattresses combine construction features from two or more types of mattresses. Most often, this includes a memory foam or polyfoam comfort layer and a coil support core. However, there are also hybrid mattresses with latex, wool, and/or microcoil comfort layers paired with coil support cores.

Blend of Multiple Benefits. Hybrid mattresses usually have comfort layers that contour to the sleeper to provide pressure relief while isolating motion well. The coil support core usually gives the mattress bounce and edge support. Because hybrid models pair aspects of two or more types of mattresses, many people find they provide the benefits of each mattress type without the associated drawbacks, making them an exceptionally comfortable choice.

Innerspring

Definition: Innerspring models consist primarily of a coil support system. They may also have a comfort layer to provide some cushioning, but the comfort layer is usually not substantial.

Temperature Neutrality. People who tend to sleep hot may find innerspring models quite comfortable. Air circulation through the coil layer helps cool the sleep surface, and the thin comfort layers usually do not trap a significant amount of heat.

Latex

Definition: Latex models are traditionally constructed of multiple layers of latex foam. This material may be natural, synthetic, or a blend. Talalay latex is a springier, lighter material frequently used in mattress comfort layers, while Dunlop latex is a denser, more durable material that may be used in either the comfort or support layer.

Contouring Without Hug. While memory foam and polyfoam usually compress directly under the weight of the sleeper, latex spreads out the force across a wider surface area. This provides pressure relief without the hug of memory foam. Sleepers who prefer sleeping “on” a mattress to sleeping “in” a mattress may find latex models comfortable.

Airbed

Definition: Airbeds use a support system of air chambers. These chambers can be emptied or filled by using a remote, app, or manual pump depending on the mattress model. Many airbeds also have thin comfort layers, which may consist of memory foam, polyfoam, and/or latex.

Adjustability. The firmness of an airbed can be adjusted by emptying for filling the air chambers. This may be particularly comfortable for people whose firmness preferences tend to change. Additionally, some models allow each side of the mattress to be adjusted separately, which may make an airbed a comfortable option for couples with different firmness preferences.

Foam

Definition: Foam mattresses are usually constructed primarily of memory foam and/or polyfoam, though they may also contain wool, latex, and other materials. All-foam mattresses are usually constructed of multiple layers of foam to achieve the desired balance between contouring and support.

Close Conforming. Foam mattresses tend to shape closely to the sleeper’s body. This relieves pressure points while providing a hugging sensation that many sleepers find comfortable.

Which Mattress Firmness is the Most Comfortable?

As you shop for mattresses, you may notice that they are frequently assigned numerical firmness ratings. These ratings make it easier to see how firm a mattress is and how it compares to other models. In the standard 10-point firmness scale, 1 is the softest mattress possible, while 10 is the firmest.

Most sleepers favor a mattress between medium and firm, ranging from around 5 to 7. However, several factors beyond the numerical rating can contribute to the mattress’s feel.

One key factor is a sleeper’s weight. Sleepers who weigh under 130 pounds do not put as much force on a mattress, so they usually favor a softer model that allows them to sink in more. Individuals who weigh over 230 pounds put more force on a mattress, so they often require a firmer model to support them and prevent them from sinking in too deeply. Taking your body weight into account can help steer you towards the best mattress firmness for you.

The mattress type can also contribute to how firm it feels. Foam mattresses usually compress directly under a sleeper’s weight, which can make them feel softer than innerspring or latex models with a similar numerical rating.

A mattress that is too soft may allow a sleeper’s midsection to sink in too far, putting a strain on the spine. However, a mattress that is too firm could create pressure points and put the spine out of alignment, particularly for side sleepers.

While the ideal mattress firmness is subjective, understanding the factors at play can help you find your ideal firmness setting.

Making Your Sleep Environment More Comfortable

The right mattress is an important component of putting together a comfortable sleep environment, but it isn’t the only factor. Sleep accessories can help modify your sleep surface to promote a more comfortable night’s sleep. Pillows and mattress toppers may put the final touches on your sleep space.

Pillows

While your mattress supports your body, your pillow supports your head and neck. The wrong pillow can put your spine out of alignment and strain your neck, leading to back and neck pain.

As is the case with mattresses, pillow comfort is subjective. However, an individual’s preferred sleep position can influence how thick of a pillow will feel best to them. A pillow should lift your head enough to straighten your neck and promote proper alignment.

Side sleepers’ heads usually lift the farthest off their mattress due to the breadth of their shoulders, so they frequently favor pillows with a medium or a high loft to fill the gap between the mattress and their heads and necks. Back sleepers have less space to fill, so they often prefer medium loft pillows. Stomach sleepers often sleep without a pillow or with a low loft pillow since a pillow could force their heads backward.

Sleeping Position Pillow Loft Recommended
Back Medium
Side Medium or High
Stomach Low

Additional pillows may also make the sleep surface more comfortable. Some sleepers enjoy wedge pillows to prop up their legs or upper bodies. Knee pillows can help a side sleeper maintain proper spinal alignment while preventing the sleeper’s knees from rubbing together. Body pillows can allow the sleeper to prop up their body or separate their knees, providing flexible options for changing comfort preferences.

Mattress Toppers

If your mattress isn’t as comfortable as you’d like, a mattress topper may help adjust the feel to better meet your needs and preferences. A mattress topper is an extra layer that you place on top of your existing mattress. Toppers are generally less expensive than replacing a mattress, making them a popular option for sleepers who want to try out a different feel.

Mattress toppers are available in a wide array of materials, including memory foam, polyfoam, latex, down, and down alternative. For sleepers who have wondered if they might like the hug of memory foam or the responsiveness of latex, a mattress topper can offer an opportunity to try the material without committing to a full mattress.

Thinner mattress toppers usually add some cushioning to the sleep surface, while thicker toppers modify the surface more significantly. A thicker mattress topper may provide similar contouring and pressure relief to that of a mattress with the same material in its comfort layer.

While a mattress topper may make a sleep surface more comfortable, it does not offer the same advantages of a new mattress and cannot fix a mattress that isn’t in good condition. Mattress toppers can give cushioning, contouring, and pressure relief, but they generally don’t provide support. If your mattress is sagging or lacks support, a mattress topper probably won’t affect the comfort significantly.

What Mattress Features Are Important for Comfort?

When purchasing a mattress, several factors may affect how comfortable it feels to an individual. While some mattress companies may advertise that their mattresses are comfortable for everyone, comfort is highly subject. Focusing on the most important details may make it easier to determine whether a mattress will be comfortable for you.

  • Mattress Type: The type of mattress affects its feel, which may influence whether or not it is comfortable for an individual. Depending on the mattress’s materials, it may have bounce, contouring, edge support, motion isolation, temperature regulation, and other properties that could contribute to a comfortable night’s sleep. Understanding the effect of mattress materials can help you select the most comfortable mattress for you.
  • Contouring: Contouring refers to how a mattress adjusts to the sleeper’s body. A mattress that contours well may evenly distribute the weight of the sleeper’s body to reduce pressure points and associated aches and pains.
  • Quality Materials: Quality materials often lend to superior performance and longevity. Since mattresses with high-quality materials often hold up better and resist sagging, they may be able to provide a comfortable night’s sleep for years to come.
  • Firmness Level: Firmness influences how comfortable a mattress feels to an individual. When assessing a mattress’s firmness, sleepers must also take into account their weight and sleep position to find the right balance of contouring and support.
  • Pressure Relief: Pressure relief and contouring generally go hand in hand. A mattress that contours well frequently spreads out the weight of a person’s body, relieving pressure that may otherwise build around the hips and shoulders.
  • Responsiveness: Another important factor in the comfort of a mattress is the responsiveness, or ‘bounce’ of a mattress. Responsive mattress are usually less conforming and more bouncy. This has the benefit of making the mattress easier to move around on. Additionally, a responsive mattress tends to be better for having sex on. Generally, close-conforming materials like memory foam and polyfoam are less responsive, while latex, innerspring, and some hybrids are more responsive.
  • Temperature Control: One of the most uncomfortable things is waking up hot and sweaty in the middle of the night, which is why temperature control plays a big role in the comfort of a mattress. All-foam mattresses tend to trap a lot of body heat, making the bed sleep hot. Innersprings and hybrids with coil support cores allow for more airflow throughout the bed, making it sleep cooler. Latex is a more temperature neutral alternative to foam in the comfort layers.

Policies

  • What mattress is most comfortable for side sleepers?

    Generally speaking, side sleepers prefer softer mattresses compared to back or stomach sleepers. This is because the side position does not promote even alignment, so sleepers often need extra cushioning around the shoulders and hips in order to line up these areas with the spine. However, the ideal level of cushioning will depend on the sleeper’s weight.

    Side sleepers weighing less than 130 pounds tend to favor softer mattresses, those who weigh more than 230 pounds typically prefer firmer ones, and anyone in the 130-230 range will probably be content with a medium soft to medium firm mattress. The most popular types of mattresses among side sleepers are foam, latex, and foam hybrid models.

  • What mattress is most comfortable for sleepers with back pain?

    Mattress selection is important for sleepers with back pain – if they choose the wrong model, their discomfort may actually worsen, whereas the right mattress will alleviate aches and tension in order to promote more restful sleep. Side sleepers with back pain should opt for a mattress with foam or latex layers that cushion the shoulders and hips. This will help to improve alignment and take pressure off of the lower back.

    If you weigh less than 130 pounds and experience chronic back pain, then a soft to medium mattress will probably best suit your needs. Those who weigh 130-230 pounds may want to opt for a medium soft to medium firm mattress, depending on their sleep position – side sleepers generally prefer softer mattresses than back or stomach sleepers. Sleepers who weigh more than 230 pounds will likely receive the relief they need from a medium firm to firm mattress.

  • What mattress is most comfortable for stomach sleepers?

    Stomach sleeping is a tricky position because it often causes more aches and pains than side or back sleeping. This is because we tend to carry more weight in our torso and hips than other areas of the body, so sleeping face-down can cause us to sink deeply beneath the surface. Aches and pains in the neck, shoulders, lower back, and hips often follow. For this reason, stomach sleepers generally need a firm mattress with minimal padding and a strong support system. The specific firmness level will depend on your body weight.

  • What mattress is most comfortable for back sleepers?

    Back sleepers often prefer mattresses with balanced feels. Some conforming will alleviate pressure in sensitive areas, while a sturdy support core ensures minimal sinkage between the shoulders and hips. Back sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds may be satisfied with a mattress that falls between medium soft and medium, while those who weigh more should consider a medium firm to firm model instead.

Still have questions?

Our product experts have extensive experience testing just about every sleep product on the market. Send an email to [email protected] with your questions and we’ll help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

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About Our Editorial Team

author
Austin Meadows

Sleep Product Tester

Austin is a professional writer and researcher who has covered sleep science and sleep products for over a decade.

About Our Editorial Team

author
Austin Meadows

Sleep Product Tester

Austin is a professional writer and researcher who has covered sleep science and sleep products for over a decade.