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The best mattress in 2021: Nectar, Purple and more compared

best mattress 2021: Nectar
(Image credit: Nectar Sleep)

Finding the best mattress has never been easier. More mattresses than ever are now sold online: they boast the same premium quality as their in-store rivals - but many are cheaper, thanks to reduced overheads from being online.

We've spent hundreds of hours researching and reviewing the latest mattresses, sleeping on them ourselves as well as collating feedback from thousands of users, to help you find exactly the right mattress for your needs and budget. 

There's something here for everyone. Our top picks cover a range of different prices and materials, and every option in our best mattress guide comes with at least a 100-night risk-free trial period - so you can test it properly from the safety and comfort of your home. After all, a quick showroom test isn't enough to know whether a mattress is right: you need to sleep on it. If you don't completely love your new mattress, you'll be refunded, and it'll be donated to charity.

What is the best mattress?

We still think the Nectar Memory Foam is the best mattress you can buy overall. It’s exceptionally comfortable and supportive, and it’s also incredible value. Right now, there's a $400 discount - prices start from $499 - and you'll get $399-worth of free gifts added to your order too. That's outstanding. 

Alternatively, if you have a bigger budget, we recommend the Saatva Classic, a luxury innerspring hybrid mattress that comes in a choice of three comfort levels and starts from $799. 

Whatever your preferences, though, you'll find something here. Read on for the best mattresses you can buy - and you'll find the best cheap mattress deals for each below too.

The best mattress in 2021

Best mattress: Nectar Memory Foam

(Image credit: Nectar)

1. Nectar Memory Foam Mattress

The best mattress for most people - and it has $399 of free gifts

Firmness (1-10): 6.5 | Material: Memory foam | Height: 11 inches | Sizes: 6 (twin - Cal king) | Availability: Online, and in 1,500 retailers | Trial length: 365 days | Warranty: Lifetime | Best for: All sleepers | MSRP: $798 - $1,398

Outstanding value for money
Extremely comfortable
Very supportive
One-year trial period
Lack of bounce

The Nectar Memory Foam mattress is phenomenal value, delivering premium comfort and support for a lot less than its competitors. It’s a medium-firm mattress, with five layers of foam that contour to your body, relieving pressure beneath your shoulders, hips, and legs, and creating better spinal alignment for any body type. 

We tested the Nectar Memory Foam mattress for two months and loved it. We slept cool, even during the hot summer months. We also found edge support to be good, which made our mattress feel wider; and noticed very little motion transfer, making it an excellent choice for couples. 

However, where the Nectar Memory Foam mattress really stands out is value for money. It’s often generously discounted, making it considerably cheaper than rivals including Casper and Purple. Right now, there's up to a $400 discount on the mattress - and it comes with $399-worth of free sleep accessories too (luxury pillows, a mattress protector and sheets). That's incredible value. 

The Nectar Memory Foam mattress is a bed in a box, which means it’ll be delivered to your door in a conveniently sized box - or you can pay extra for white glove delivery and set-up in a room of your choice. It comes with an industry-leading 360-night trial, so you get a whole year to decide whether it’s right for you. And there’s a lifetime warranty, too. Throw in free shipping and free returns, and there isn’t another mattress that can beat Nectar on value. We think it’s easily the best mattress for most people.

Nectar mattress: Save $400 + get $399 of FREE gifts at Nectar
Nectar has continued its biggest-ever offer on the popular Memory Foam mattress into January. There's up to $400 off all sizes, and you'll get $399-worth of free accessories added to your mattress order - two premium pillows, a mattress protector and sheet set. That's incredible value.
View Deal

Best mattress: Saatva Classic Luxury Firm

(Image credit: Saatva)

2. Saatva Classic mattress

The best luxury mattress, with free white glove delivery

Firmness (1-10): 3 (soft), 5.5 (luxury firm) or 8 (firm) | Material: Hybrid - coils and foam | Height: 11.5 or 14.5 inches | Availability: Online | Trial length: 180 days | Best for: All sleepers | Warranty: 15-year limited | MSRP: $799 - $1,999

Free white glove delivery
No off-gassing
Better support for heavier people
More expensive than some

Luxury brand Saatva doesn't send its mattresses out in a box. Instead, you get free white glove delivery to the room of your choice, and Saatva will remove your old mattress too, if you like. 

The flagship Saatva Classic is a premium, hotel-quality mattress, and a fantastic choice for anyone with a higher budget. This high-end hybrid innerspring combines luxurious, eco-friendly foams with a super-durable dual steel coil support system. It also features spinal zone technology to reduce pressure in your lower back - the mattress has been awarded a Seal of Approval from the Congress of Chiropractic State Associations - and boasts an impressive average score of 4.9 out of 5 from over 17,000 user views (November 2020). 

We like that you can choose your firmness level: the Saatva Classic comes in soft, medium, and firm versions (Saatva calls them plush soft, luxury firm, and firm) and your choice of depth: 11.5 or 14.5 inches. We tested the 11.5-inch luxury firm option and found it to be exceptionally comfortable and supportive. It’s buoyant, with a gentle bounce, and provides fantastic support across the mattress all the way up to the edges.

The Saatva Classic is also very well priced, under-cutting its luxury mattress rivals by up to a few hundred dollars, and we love the convenience of the free white glove delivery, which leaves nothing for you to do but make the bed. For comfort, design and all-round great value, we think the luxury Saatva Classic is the best mattress for higher budgets.

Saatva Classic: save $200 when you spend $1,000 at Saatva
There's currently a huge $200 discount on the luxury Saatva Classic mattress when you spend $1,000 or more at Saatva. The deal applies to every size apart from the twin, which costs $799 - but if you bump your order up to $1,000 by adding luxury bedding or a base to your order, the discount will apply.View Deal

Best mattress: Allswell Hybrid Mattress

(Image credit: Allswell)

3. The Allswell Mattress

The best mattress for lower budgets

Firmness (1-10): 5 | Material: Hybrid - foam and coils | Height: 10 inches | Availability: Online | Trial length: 100 days | Warranty: 10 years | Best for: All sleeping positions, lower budgets | MSRP: $265 - $475

Outstanding value for money 
Great for kids' or guest rooms
Firmer than some people expected
No machine-washable cover

The Allswell is a hybrid bed-in-a-box mattress made from memory foam and coils. Backed by Walmart, it aims to deliver ‘luxury’ at a budget price - and while it doesn’t compare to mattresses that cost more, many reviewers say it does a good job for the money.

Inside, a generous layer of individually wrapped coils help reduce motion transfer, making it a good choice for couples. On top, cooling, breathable memory foam provides cushioning and extra support, while also preventing you from overheating. Allswell classifies the mattress as medium-firm.

Like the Nectar, The Allswell is a bed in a box. It'll be shipped for free and arrive at your door rolled-up in a conveniently sized box, ready to sleep on within 24-48 hours. It also comes with a 100-night trial and 10-year warranty. 

Bear in mind that some premium features have been sacrificed to achieve the budget price tag. It doesn't have a removable cover, for example. There also isn't a discount on this one in Allswell's holiday sale. Nevertheless, The Allswell mattress offers good value for money. If you're looking for a quality, budget option, it's one of the best mattresses you can buy. 

best mattress: Purple

(Image credit: Purple)

4. The Purple Mattress

The most innovative mattress in the US

Firmness (1-10): 6 | Material: Foam | Height: 9.25 inches | Availability: Online; also can be tested in store like Macy's | Trial length: 100 days | Warranty: 10 years | Best for: All sleepers | MSRP: $649 - $1,449

Super responsive
Excellent temperature regulation 
Ultra durable 
Cover not machine washable 

The Purple mattress offers a premium night’s sleep at a mid-range price. Made by one of the most innovative mattress brands in the US, it stands out thanks to its unique ‘Purple grid’ technology. This patented material is a dynamic, hyper-elastic gel-like foam that instantly adapts and flexes under your body to deliver tailored support right where you need it.

We gave the Purple mattress high marks across the board when we reviewed it. It was easy to order, and when it arrived it was fairly simple for two people to unpack and unroll, with no off gassing or plastic smell. It does feel different to other foam mattresses: the gel grid instantly responds to movement, cradling pressure points and aligning your spine, and springing back into place when you adjust your position. We felt like we were floating, cushioned by the soft, plush top, while also being supported by the surprisingly firm durable base layers.

The Purple mattress is a particularly good choice for couples - the grid does an excellent job of isolating movement, so you won’t be disturbed by tossing and turning. It’s also a great option for anyone who overheats at night. There are over 2,800 open air channels to allow cooling throughout the mattress, plus breathable foams and a soft flex cover help prevent heat from building up. Not everyone gets on with the Purple grid - some people report that the unique soft but supportive feel takes a while to get used to. We say it’s totally worth the wait.

Purple mattress: Free sheets with every mattress at Purple
Purple is giving away a free set of Purple sheets worth up to $119 with every mattress purchase. These luxury sheets are designed with cool, breathable stretch, and will cradle your hips and shoulders for total comfort - they'll help you get the most out of your mattress.View Deal

best mattress: Cocoon by Sealy Chill

(Image credit: Cocoon by Sealy)

5. Cocoon Chill mattress

A premium mattress that's exploding in popularity right now

Firmness (1-10): 6 | Material: Foam | Height: 10 inches | Availability: Online | Trial length: 100 days | Warranty: 10 years | Best for: All sleepers | MSRP: $730 - $1,310

Great temperature-regulation
Luxury contouring
Fully supportive
Some may find too soft

The Cocoon Chill is a premium memory foam mattress made by industry giant and household name Sealy. Designed to adapt to your body to provide tailored support all over, this medium-firm mattress has three different foam layers, including luxury memory foam for deep contouring, responsive comfort foam to reduce motion transfer and prevent you sinking into the mattress, and a durable support layer. 

But where the Cocoon Chill really stands out is its high-end stretch-knit cooling cover. It’s infused with phase-change material, which absorbs and dissipates heat from your body and helps you stay sweat free all night. It means this all-foam mattress is much cooler than lots of its rivals - as confirmed by many of the over 5,000 customers who have given it full five-star reviews on the Cocoon By Sealy website (it averages an excellent score of 4.7 out of 5 from over 7,000 user reviews). 

This mattress is extremely popular at the moment: it was the second most clicked-on mattress in our Black Friday mattress deals page (the Nectar Memory Foam was the most). Given that it comes with a 100-night risk-free trial and free shipping, we think it’s worth seeing what all the fuss is about. 

Cocoon Chill mattress: save 35% + get free pillows and a sheet set at Cocoon by Sealy
Sealy has continued its biggest-ever sale into January, but it ends soon. Not only is there a whopping 35% off the premium Cocoon Chill memory foam mattress, but you also get two free pillows and a sheet set worth up to $199 thrown in. Bargain.View Deal

best mattress: The Helix Midnight

(Image credit: Helix)

6. The Helix Midnight

Particularly good for side sleepers and comes with two free pillows

Firmness (1-10): 6 | Material: Hybrid - foam and coils | Height: 12 inches | Availability: Online | Trial length: 100 days | Warranty: 10 years | Best for: Side sleepers (for Midnight model) | MSRP: $600 - $1,249

Very good for couples
Great edge support
Sleeps cool
Some reviewers found it too firm

The Helix Midnight is the brand’s most popular mattress. Best-suited to side-sleepers and people who toss and turn at night (if you're a front or back sleeper, choose the Helix Dusk, which costs the same), the Helix Midnight is a medium-firm hybrid, with five layers that are designed to support your body’s contours and cushion your shoulders and hips. Soothing memory foam and dynamic polyfoam hug your body and relieve pressure, while hundreds of individual coils cradle your body, provide extra support, and limit motion transfer.

We particularly like Helix as a brand because aside from making brilliant mattresses, the company also has one of the best websites for buying a mattress online. If you’re doing this for the first time, you’ll find a handy sleep quiz on the site that will help you decide whether the Helix Midnight is the best mattress for your sleeping style and preferences, or whether you (and your partner) might be better suited to another model from Helix’s excellent range.

Helix Midnight Mattress: save up to $150 + 2 free pillows
You can get a $100 discount on the Midnight mattress and two free Dream pillows in the Helix sale - just add discount code NEWSLEEP100 at checkout. Or, if you spend over $1,250, use code: NEWSLEEP150 for a $150 discount and two free pillows.View Deal

best mattress: The DreamCloud

(Image credit: DreamCloud)

7. The DreamCloud mattress

A luxury hybrid alternative to the all-foam Nectar mattress

Firmness (1-10): 6.5 | Material: Hybrid - foam and coils | Height: 14 inches | Availability: Online | Trial length: 365 days | Warranty: Lifetime | Best for: All sleepers | MSRP: $799 - $1,299

Sleeps cool
Hotel-quality comfort
Responsive, innerspring feel
Some may find too tall

If you liked the sound of the Nectar mattress but don’t want an all-foam option, we highly recommend trying the DreamCloud. This popular, luxury hybrid mattress is sold at a lower-mid-range price: it isn't quite as plush as the premium Saatva Classic, but it's a few hundred dollars cheaper and comes with free pillows (plus free sheets and a mattress protector in the current sale too). 

At 14 inches, this medium-firm mattress is one of the tallest in our guide, and it comes packed with five generous layers that offer firm, responsive support as well as deep, soft cushioning. 

The core of the mattress consists of a layer of individually wrapped coils. These provide custom relief by adapting to your body shape, and give the DreamCloud a traditional innerspring mattress feel, with more bounce than you’ll get from an all-foam option. The springs also boost airflow, helping dissipate heat during the night. Above these sit a gel memory foam layer, which is designed to contour to your body, cradling your shoulders, hips and other pressure points. There’s also a cooling, quilted cashmere cover on top. 

Existing users love it: the DreamCloud averages a full five stars from almost 3,000 reviews on the DreamCloud website, and 4.2 out of 5 on independent review site TrustPilot, from a smaller pool of 800 users. The majority of reviewers comment on how comfortable the mattress is, how much better they sleep now, and how good the customer service is at DreamCloud. A few users say that edge support could be a little better for sitting on the side of the bed. 

Bear in mind that the DreamCloud is heavier than some other mattresses (a queen size weighs 85lbs compared to Nectar’s 74lbs, while a king size weighs 107lbs) so you’ll want two people to move it. Alternatively, in non-covid times you can pay an extra $149 for white glove delivery. We love that the DreamCloud comes with a whopping 365-night trial and forever warranty. Shipping and returns are also free, which makes testing this mattress at home incredibly easy. 

DreamCloud mattress: $200 off + $399 of free gifts
There's a generous $200 discount on the luxury hybrid mattress when you buy it directly from DreamCloud - plus you'll get $399-worth of free gifts thrown in (cooling pillows, a sheet set and a mattress protector to keep your mattress box-fresh for longer). With a year-long trial and forever warranty, it's great value.View Deal

Best mattress: Ghostbed Luxe

(Image credit: GhostBed)

8. GhostBed Luxe mattress

The best mattress for hot sleepers

Firmness (1-10): 5.5 | Material: Foam | Height: 13 inches | Availability: Online | Trial length: 101 days | Warranty: 25 years | Best for: Hot sleepers | MSRP: $1,395 - $3,300

Noticeably cool 
Contouring and responsive
Buoyant support and bounce
 Not the cheapest

The Ghostbed Luxe was designed with the primary goal of helping people stay cool throughout the night - and while every pick in our best mattress guide could be classified as a cooling mattress, we think the Ghostbed Luxe is the top choice for hot sleepers. This 13-inch deep luxury foam mattress comes packed with next-gen cooling tech. On top, a cool-to-touch quilted cover - made from fibre that boosts airflow, and soothing memory foam gel - neutralizes your body heat. Under this, a patent-pending layer of thermosensitive, phase-change material absorbs and dissipates heat throughout the night, preventing it from building up inside your mattress so you stay sweat-free. 

There are seven layers in total, including memory foam and a highly responsive foam that acts similarly to latex, contouring to your body to provide tailored support and pressure-relief, while pushing you back up to the surface of the mattress as though you’re floating. 

The GhostBed Luxe is a medium mattress. It’s well-suited to most sleepers - although if you’re a front sleeper who weighs over 230 pounds we recommend a firmer mattress, such as the Saatva Classic. It’s a good choice for couples, in particular, thanks to its low motion transference (so you won’t be disturbed by a restless partner) and good edge support, which means you can sleep right up to sides. However, it’s the Ghostbed Luxe’s first-class cooling properties that make it stand out. It’s also a lot more affordable than the other big contender in this category - the Tempur-Breeze, which starts from an eye-watering $3,500. If you overheat at night, we think the Ghostbed Luxe is the best mattress you can buy.

GhostBed Luxe: save 25% + 2 free pillows at Ghostbed
Ghostbed has cut a quarter off the price of its specialist, luxury cooling mattress in the company's current sale - and you'll get two free pillows worth $170 added to your order too. That means there are savings of up to $995 available on the biggest size. That's fantastic.View Deal

best mattress: Leesa Original Mattress

(Image credit: Leesa)

9. Leesa Original Mattress

The ethical choice - one mattress donated to charity for every 10 sold

Firmness (1-10): 6.5 | Material: Foam | Height: 10 inches | Availability: Online | Trial Length: 100 days | Warranty: 10-year limited | Best for: Back and side sleepers | MSRP: $699 - $1,199

Fits most body sizes and types
Good for relieving pressure
17,500+ 5-star customer reviews
38,000 mattresses donated to charity
Might be too firm for some

Leesa is a bed-in-a-box brand that - like the other mattresses here - boasts its share of positive reviews. The Leesa Original is the most budget-friendly mattress in the company’s range, with three layers of breathable, responsive foam, and a soft cover on top. 

It’s billed as medium-firm, and while a number of customers say they were surprised by how firm they found the Leesa Original, the majority of user reviews we’ve seen are overwhelmingly positive. The mattress has an impressive average score on the Leesa website of 4.5 out of 5, from over 20,000 customers; and 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon too. 

In addition, Leesa is another good ethical choice. Its mattresses use recycled and natural materials, and Leesa plants a tree for each mattress sold. The company also donates one mattress to charity for every 10 sold.

Leesa Original: save up to $200 at Leesa
Leesa's new year sale is live, and you can currently save $200 on the all-foam Leesa Original mattress. With the discount, a twin size currently costs just $599 (was $699), while a queen is down to $849 from $999. That's $50 cheaper than Leesa's holiday sale at the end of last year.View Deal

best mattress: Avocado Green Mattress

(Image credit: Avocado)

10. Avocado Green Mattress

The best mattress for those who want to go organic

Firmness (1-10): 5.5 | Material: Hybrid - natural latex and springs | Height: 11 inches, or 13 with pillow top | Availability: Online | Trial length: 365 days | Warranty: 25 years | Best for: Eco-conscious users | MSRP: $899 - $1,799

Made with non-toxic materials
Doesn't get too hot
Very durable
Some motion transfer

The Avocado Green mattress is the best organic mattress you can buy. Made from non-toxic, eco-friendly materials, this high-quality hybrid mattress offers a luxurious, gentle-but-firm sleeping environment, and has outstanding green credentials. 

Customers certainly love it. The Avocado Green mattress boasts an average score of 4.7 out of 5 from over 12,000 reviews on the Avocado website. Many people praise how comfortable it is - and some say their back pain has disappeared. There are two different versions to choose between: standard, which is 11 inches deep; or pillow top, which adds an extra two inches of luxury support. 

Both are made from premium, natural materials, including ethically sourced GOLS organic certified latex, wool, and cotton (GOLS is a global textile processing standard for organic fibers). There are also 1,414 pocketed coils to distribute your weight more evenly. And it’s incredibly resilient: this is one of the most durable mattresses you can buy. If you're looking for a comfortable, supportive, and sustainably produced mattress with no chemicals, you won't find better.

Avocado Green Mattress: Get 2 free pillows at Avocado
You can get two free pillows with every Avocado Green mattress - just add code 2FREEPILLOWS at checkout. Choose between the company's organic Green pillows (worth $89) or the premium, temperature-regulating Molded Latex pillows (worth $99). Note: you must have pillows in your cart for the code to work.View Deal

best mattress: Tuft & Needle

(Image credit: Tuft & Needle)

11. Tuft & Needle Original Mattress

A top budget mattress for couples with different sleeping styles

Firmness (1-10): 6 | Material: Foam | Height: 10 inches | Availability: Online and retail showrooms | Trial length: 100 days | Warranty: 10-year limited | Best for: All sleepers | MSRP: $350 - $750

Customers rave about the service
Good for overall pressure relief
Experienced company
Edge support isn't great

Tuft & Needle has been around since 2012, and in that time it's racked up more than 130,000 positive user reviews on Amazon, Google and Yelp. Many of these rave about the company's customer service, as well as how comfortable their mattresses are.

Tuft & Needle makes its mattresses with two layers of its proprietary foam: one layer being an adaptive cooling gel and the other a graphite foam that promises to keep you cool, wicking body heat away from you. 

The Tuft & Needle Original mattress mattress has a soft, plushy feel but it's also designed to provide good pressure relief if you switch from your back to your side to your stomach throughout the night. It's a good option for couples with different sleeping styles. 

Tuft & Needle Original Mattress: save $50 at T&N
T&N has cut $50 off the Original mattress. It's not the biggest discount ever - recently there was up to $100 off larger sizes - but given that this is already one of the best budget mattresses you can buy, an extra $50 off makes it even better value.View Deal

How to buy the best mattress: what to look for

Mattresses are subjective. How firm or soft you find a mattress depends on a wide range of factors, including your weight, height, body shape, sleeping style, and body temperature. That means that every mattress's comfort level is relative, so each person (and mattress company) may gauge a firmness level differently. What feels supportive and pressure-relieving to you may feel too firm to someone else, even if you're both side sleepers and about the same height and weight. 

Keep this in mind when noting our "firmness gauge", which ranges from 1 to 10, with 10 being the firmest. (Also, be aware that firmness ratings aren't regulated and can vary across brands.) The only way to know whether a mattress is right for you is to sleep on it - which is why all our selections here come with a risk-free trial. If you don't like one, you can send it back and try another. 

The best mattress materials

As you read about each mattress's materials, know that most bed-in-a-box varieties are memory-foam mattresses. Some variations are hybrid models, which may contain memory foam, innersprings or latex. Other (conventional) mattresses are made with innersprings or coils, while some mattresses are made with latex for someone who seeks a natural material option. Each material has its pros and cons. 

Memory foam is a good option for anyone who likes to feel 'hugged' by their mattress. It uses your body heat to mold to your shape, providing tailored support at pressure points and all-over cushioning. Traditionally it's not been the best choice for anyone who tends to overheat at night, but memory foam has come a long way in recent years, and the best memory foam mattresses tend to come packed with special cooling materials. 

Spring mattresses have more bounce than memory foam, and can be cheaper. Traditionally they were a good choice for anyone who sleeps hot, due to the increased airflow throughout the mattress, but advancements in materials across the board means that's not necessarily the case now.

Hybrids can bring you the best of both worlds: the tailored support of foam, with the subtle bounce and increased airflow of springs. The coils in hybrid are usually smaller, though, and you'll have less memory foam too. Meanwhile, latex is a super durable material and a good choice if you want your mattress to really last. 

However, really, these days, all the materials have improved so much that there's little to tell the difference between them in reality. Again, we advise making use of the trial periods to find the best mattress for your specific preferences. 

Mattress sizes

Most of the options listed in our best mattress guide are available in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king and California king sizes - some come in split options too, which enable you to choose a different firmness to your partner. 

Generally speaking, the bigger the mattress, the higher the price. Most of the twin mattresses are a few hundred dollars less and the king and California king mattresses average about $200 more than the queen size.  Hybrid mattresses and Luxe or Premier versions generally cost more than the basic/original mattress prices listed.

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