The best mattress for you is one that delivers the support and comfort you need, at the right price. Mattress shopping online is easier than ever too, with many manufacturers side-stepping the cost of actual stores to bring you the same high quality beds at cheaper prices. So how do you choose the best one for you? That’s where our expert mattress guide comes in.
We’ve been researching and testing mattresses for years so we know what separates the best from the rest. Our expert reviewers have extensive testing experience and look at all aspects of each mattress’ construction, materials, comfort and support. In addition, we have a wider testing panel made up of a large group of different sleepers - this helps us create a fair review of how each mattress feels for different bodies and sleep positions.
We personally research and test the latest mattresses to provide unbiased recommendations in this guide. We rate each mattress out of 10 and use the review data to inform rankings. Read our mattress methodology for more.
To help us do this, we’ve devised a series of mattress tests to evaluate performance across all key areas: pressure relief, support, comfort, temperature regulation, edge support, motion isolation and build quality. These tests are carried out on every mattress we review so that we can gather data on different bed types (memory foam, hybrid, organic, innerspring and cooling). We then use that research to inform our list of this year’s best mattresses.
So while you might not see as many mattresses in our guide compared to others online, it’s because we want to focus on only the very best models in terms of performance and value. We therefore feel confident in recommending each of the mattresses featured below, and would encourage you to read through each one to determine the right fit for you. Some are better for back pain relief, for example, while others are softer and more cushioned for side sleepers.
Let’s now take a look at our top-rated picks of 2022’s best mattresses and how they can help you sleep better. To save you money, you’ll also see today’s cheapest mattress deals next to each of our top picks.
The best mattress in 2022 - as rated by experts
The flagship Saatva Classic is an upper-mid-range, hotel-quality mattress from luxury online brand Saatva, and it's hands-down the best mattress we’ve tested so far. This superb hybrid innerspring is customizable, with three firmness options and two heights to choose between, and it comes with free white glove delivery to the room of your choice.
We reviewed the most-popular 11.5-inch luxury firm option and found it to be outrageously comfortable to sleep on. It’s a great choice for anyone who prefers a more traditional feel - you lie on top of it, rather than sinking into it, and it has a little more bounce than an all-foam mattress.
It's also a particularly good option for anyone who needs advanced pressure relief. In our tests, the soft, eco-friendly foams excelled in relieving tension around our reviewers' shoulders, hips and knees. We found the dual steel coil system provided exceptional support in the lower back area, too - the mattress has a Seal of Approval from the Congress of Chiropractic State Associations, so it’s worth considering if you suffer from back pain. In addition, we consistently slept cool, and would happily recommend the Saatva Classic to most hot sleepers.
If you're looking for the full 'hug' of memory foam, this isn’t the right mattress for you - try the Nectar Memory Foam at number two instead. The Saatva Classic isn’t cheap, either. But it is great value for a premium mattress, undercutting luxury hybrid rivals like the Helix Midnight Luxe by up to a few hundred dollars. If you can justify the price, this high-end hybrid innerspring is a sound investment that will help deliver a stunning night’s sleep. That's why it took home the Tom's Guide mattress Award (opens in new tab) for our Best Mattress of 2022.
What we discovered during testing:
‘A plush pillow top provides full-body cushioning, while a double layer of coils delivers sturdy lumbar support plus a little bounce. We loved sleeping on the Saatva Classic, and it's endorsed by chiropractors as a great mattress for back pain relief too.’
- Read more: Saatva Classic mattress review
Saatva Classic mattress: save up to $225 at Saatva (opens in new tab)
From $912 - For July, Saatva is offering up to $225 off its best-selling mattress, the Classic. It costs $1,570 for a queen size, which is higher than last month when we secured an exclusive $350 discount, reducing a queen to $1,420. Even so, the Classic is still well-priced for a handmade innerspring mattress designed to recreate the feel of a luxury hotel bed. It now comes with a lifetime warranty.
The popular Nectar Memory Foam Mattress is an all-foam, medium-firm mattress that’s tough to beat when it comes to sheer value for money. At the lower-end of the mid-range market, this bed-in-a-box mattress is extremely competitively priced at $799-$899 for a queen size. That’s over $400 cheaper than Casper and Purple’s entry-level mattresses, and it also comes with up to $499-worth of free bedding. Only the Cocoon By Sealy Chill mattress, below, comes close for pure value.
So what’s it like to sleep on? We awarded the flagship Nectar mattress a review score of 4.5 out of 5, rating it highly for comfort, support and temperature control. It has the modern feel of memory foam: you slowly sink into it while you sleep, and the mattress contours to your body, providing tailored pressure relief around your shoulders, hips and back, while helping align your spine. If you like the ‘hug’ of memory foam, you’ll love this mattress.
Like all good-quality foam mattresses, the Nectar is very good at isolating motion - our reviewers weren’t disturbed by their partners climbing in or out of bed. However, foam can be warmer than other mattress materials, so although our reviewers didn't overheat at night, we'd recommend that very hot sleepers choose a hybrid mattress instead, such as the Saatva above - or a dedicated cooling mattress, such as the Cocoon Chill below.
Still, for most people it's a great choice. If you’re looking for a comfortable and supportive mattress and want the most bang for your buck, the Nectar is easily the best mattress around. And the year-long trial and free returns make it easy to try for yourself.
What we discovered during testing:
'For comfort, quality and sheer value for money, we think the Nectar Memory Foam is the best mattress you can buy. Ours was exceptionally comfortable to sleep on - and supportive too. It also kept us sleeping cool during a hot summer.'
- Read more: Nectar mattress review
Nectar Memory Foam mattress: $100 off + $499 of free gifts at Nectar (opens in new tab)
From $399 - This is Nectar's best-ever offer and with it you'll save $100 on the Nectar Memory Foam and you'll get up to $499 of free bedding (pillows, sheets and a mattress protector). That drops the price of a queen size to $799, making it very competitive for a 4.5-star mid-range mattress that comes with a year's trial and forever warranty. Take a look at our Nectar promo codes (opens in new tab) for other great offers.
The Cocoon by Sealy Chill Memory Foam is a 10-inch tall, medium-firm mattress that punches well above its weight on the cooling front. This all-foam option is the closest rival to the Nectar mattress above: the Nectar is two inches taller and comes with a free mattress protector; but the Chill is packed with better cooling tech, making it a stronger option for hot sleepers.
The star of the show is the stretch-knit cover infused with phase change material. This temperature-regulating fabric is usually found on more expensive mattresses, and our reviewers found it did a brilliant job of absorbing and dissipating heat. It's one of the most consistently cool mattresses we've slept on and even the hot sleeper on our review panel didn’t wake up feeling sweaty.
We also rated the Cocoon Chill particularly highly for pressure relief and spinal support during our three-week testing period. We found it to be best-suited to people of average and lighter weights, though - the heavier members of our panel didn’t feel properly supported, so if you weigh more than 230lb we’d recommend the Nolah Evolution 15 at number 8 instead.
The Cocoon Chill is still an all-foam mattress, so if you’re a very hot sleeper, consider the next model up instead: the Cocoon Chill Hybrid, which starts from $740 (opens in new tab), or the premium Purple Plus at number 7. Otherwise, the Cocoon by Sealy Chill Memory Foam is an excellent choice for hot sleepers who love the feeling of foam, and the $199-worth of free pillows and sheets sweeten the deal.
What we discovered during testing:
‘The Cocoon Chill is a brilliant budget cooling mattress. During testing we found it comfortable and supportive, with effective temperature-regulation features for a lower price compared to premium rivals.'
- Read more: Cocoon Chill Memory Foam mattress review
Cocoon by Sealy Chill: save 35% + free pillows and sheets (opens in new tab)
From $499 - This is a regular deal from Cocoon by Sealy and it makes the brand's cooling memory foam mattress exceptionally good value. You'll save 35% on the Chill itself, plus you'll take home $179-worth of free cooling pillows and sheets to overhaul your sleep space. This month the price of a queen size remains at $799 (was $1,239), making it equal to the Nectar Mattress above. If you sleep hot and have a small budget, this is the best mattress for you.
If you liked the sound of the Saatva Classic at number one but can't justify $1,000+ for a mattress, we highly recommend the DreamCloud. This luxury hybrid has a similar, classic mattress feel, with a responsive bounce and conforming support. And while it isn’t quite as plush as the Saatva, it's a few hundred dollars cheaper and comes with $499 of free bedding.
We found that it delivers firm, responsive support for your spine, as well as deep, soft cushioning all over your body. In our review, we rated the mattress particularly highly for its excellent support for back and stomach sleepers. It’s a great choice for anyone with back pain, and for anyone who overheats too - our hot-sleeping reviewers maintained a comfortable temperature throughout the night.
Bear in mind that it's a little heavier than the average mattress, so you'll want two people to move it. But if you're looking for luxury for less, and you like a little bounce, the DreamCloud is one of the best mattresses around.
What we discovered during testing:
‘The DreamCloud helps alleviate back and hip pain, and does a superb job of temperature regulation. We experienced good motion isolation on it too and would recommend it to couples and restless sleepers who share a bed.’
- Read more: DreamCloud mattress review
The DreamCloud: $200 off + $599 free gifts at DreamCloud (opens in new tab)
From $699 - DreamCloud has been running this offer for a couple of months now and its the best we've seen from the sleep specialist. With it you'll save up to $200 off the DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid and you'll get up to $599 worth of bedding added to your order - that's $100 more than last month. Its excellent value for a luxury mattress, dropping the price of a queen down to $999.
The WinkBeds Original mattress is a favorite among luxury hotels, and has a number of cutting-edge features designed to help you sleep comfortably. We’ve just reviewed the luxury firm model and, after sleeping on it for over three weeks, we now recommend this hybrid mattress as the best option for anyone with back, hip or shoulder pain. We score the mattress a 4.5 out of 5 stars, and believe it's a very close rival to the Saatva Classic innerspring hybrid.
In our tests we found that the WinkBed provided excellent spinal alignment and first-class pressure relief, with a moderate level of contouring and plenty of cushioning. In fact, the Winkbed Original performed well across the board, scoring highly for temperature regulation, edge support and motion isolation. Conveniently, this mattress comes in four different firmness options, including a plus model for heavier bodies, making it easier to find a version that better suits your sleep.
When compared to rivals such as the DreamCloud and the Saatva, the WinkBed falls in the middle of the two, price-wise: it costs $1,499 for a queen size compared to $999 for a queen DreamCloud and $1,570 for a queen Saatva Classic when not on sale. The only downsides to The WinkBed is the $49 fee to exchange for a different firmness, and the slight off-gassing smell upon unboxing. However these are small niggles compared to the premium build quality and soothing support on offer here.
What we discovered during testing:
'Our reviewers highly recommend the WinkBed for those who want a step up from the typical foam bed-in-box mattress, and for anyone looking for enhanced back support during sleep.'
- Read more: WinkBed mattress review
The WinkBed mattress: save $300 at WinkBeds (opens in new tab)
From $849 - Like the Cocoon by Sealy Chill, this is an evergreen saving from WinkBeds yet crucially the actual baseline price of the mattress remains the same - no price hikes here. With $300 off, a queen size is reduced to $1,499 (was $1,799). That puts it in line with the Saatva Classic, another great choice for back pain. You have 120 nights to trial The WinkBed, plus comes with a lifetime warranty.
The Helix Midnight is a competitively priced hybrid mattress that delivers the comfort and support of a more expensive model. While all the top picks in our best mattress guide are well-suited to side sleepers, only this one has been specifically designed for side sleeping - and we awarded it full marks for this: our reviewers found both side and back sleeping to be extremely comfortable.
Soothing memory foam and dynamic polyfoam hug your body and relieve pressure, while hundreds of individual coils cradle your body, providing extra support, and limiting motion transfer.
The silent coils also boost airflow through the mattress, keeping our hot sleeper cool throughout the night. And because the coils make no noise, and there's very little motion transfer, it's a good choice for anyone with a restless partner too. If you're a front sleeper, though, you’ll need slightly different support, so consider the Helix Dusk (opens in new tab); and if you’re heavier than average try the Helix Plus (opens in new tab) instead.
What we discovered during testing:
‘The Helix Midnight delivers all the comfort and support of more expensive hybrids, but at a more reasonable price. It's the best choice for side sleepers as it provides pressure relief and cushioning along the hips, shoulders and knees.’
- Read more: Helix Midnight mattress review
Helix Midnight mattress: Save $150 + 2 free pillows (opens in new tab)
From $699 - There’s up to $150 off the Midnight mattress this month and you get two free pillows too. We've seen this mattress $50 cheaper in the past - a queen dropped to $999 last year, whereas now it's $1,049 - but that was before inflation hit. Still, it's a good price for a top-rated side sleeper mattress that we rate highly after extensive testing.
The relatively new Purple Plus mattress is a luxe upgrade on the Purple Original, with two extra inches of foam, better airflow and enhanced cooling power. Based on the superb performance of its cooling features alone, we think it’s one of the best mattresses in the US for hot sleepers. But these premium features come at a cost, making the Purple Plus hard to recommend over the brilliant budget Cocoon Chill mattress for all but the hottest of sleepers.
Still, if you have a higher budget, the Purple Plus is outstanding. One of our reviewers hailed it as the most cooling mattress they’ve ever slept on, and we also found pressure relief to be exceptional. The mattress felt soft under our shoulders, hips and knees, with firmer support in the lower back area. Edge support could be better at this price, but overall this is an excellent mattress that should suit most people.
What we discovered during testing:
'The Purple Plus is an excellent mattress for those who need zoned support (it feels soft and bouncy in certain areas yet firmer under the back). We slept cool on the Purple Plus and weren't disturbed by our partner's in-bed movements thanks to good motion isolation.'
- Read more: Purple Plus mattress review
Purple Plus Mattress: save $100 at Purple (opens in new tab)
From $1,119 - Purple has introduced a new offer, saving you $100 on the Purple Plus in every size, plus you get $100 worth of 'instant gifts' with your Purple Plus. What that means is a $100 discount on select items. This isn't a great deal compared to the recent $250 discount, but Purple changes its offers regularly so we expect it to improve. If you do want to buy now, this is still a decent price for a high-end mattress packed with cooling tech.
Editor’s note: Close rival Avocado recently released the Eco Organic mattress - a new budget organic mattress that undercuts the Awara by $100. We’re reviewing it soon, but specs-wise it’s very similar to the Awara and worth considering (opens in new tab) if you’re on a budget.
The Awara Natural Hybrid mattress is a great option for eco-conscious people who want to make a more sustainable choice, without paying the premium price usually associated with organic mattresses. At just over $1,000 for a queen size it still isn’t cheap, but it costs a good $500 less than the flagship mattress from rival brand Avocado.
Despite the smaller price tag, the Awara has a definite luxury feel and look. Made from natural latex, organic wool and cotton, the two biggest advantages to choosing it over others in our list is that the latex is very good at regulating temperature, and it’s more durable than memory foam or springs, so it should last longer, too.
The Awara is one of the firmest options in our best mattress guide, making it a good option for heavier bodies. Our average-weight reviewers slept comfortably in all positions, too, and woke up feeling refreshed and well-rested each morning. Motion isolation wasn’t great though, so if you have a particularly restless partner, this mattress may not be right.
What we discovered during testing:
'Whether you sleep on your side, back or stomach – or a combination of styles – the Awara Natural Luxury Hybrid adapts to the contours of your body, providing excellent pressure relief and spinal alignment.'
- Read more: Awara Natural Hybrid Mattress review
Awara Natural Hybrid: from
$1,398 $799 at Awara (opens in new tab)
Save up to $799 - The Awara mattress is regularly on sale, and this month the maximum saving is up to $799, with a queen size reduced to $1,099 (was $1,898). That saving is made up of $300 off the mattress and $499 of free bedding, which saves you an extra $100 compared to last month. It's great value for a natural mattress.
The Siena is a budget bed-in-a-box from Sienna Sleep, a new, lower-price sister brand to Nectar Sleep and DreamCloud - and a new entry into our best mattress guide in response to the cost of living crisis. It aims to deliver better sleep comfort for a lower price, and with a queen under $500, it’s one of the cheapest in our best mattress guide. (The very cheapest is the Zinus Green Tea at number 10).
We’ll be putting the Siena to the test soon and will report back on its performance, but our early assessments are positive. This 10-inch deep mattress has five layers, including contouring memory foam and supportive polyfoam. There’s also a soft-touch breathable cover to encourage better airflow, although some user reviews suggest that temperature regulation could be better - so it’s probably not the best option for hot sleepers.
Still, the mattress averages 4.5 out of 5 from over 200 user reviews on the Sienna site, and given its materials, price, positive initial reviews and the heritage of its sister brands, it gets an early vote from our experts as a budget pick worth considering. This is the mattress we’d trial at home (you get 180 nights risk free) if we had a budget of $500 or less.
- Read more: Siena Memory Foam Mattress - should you buy it?
Siena Mattress: from
$499 $299 at Siena Sleep (opens in new tab)
Save $200 - There's $200 off every size Siena Mattress, with a queen size reduced to just $499 - that's very competitive even for the budget market, and means you can upgrade your guest bed for much less. You'll have 180 nights to trial the Siena at home, and it comes with a 10-year warranty.
The Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam mattress is a solid option for anyone on a tight budget or looking to furnish a guest room. This all-foam mattress doesn't have the advanced materials or luxury comfort of the premiuim and mid-range models in our best mattress guide, but it is an Amazon best seller, with an average score of 4.4/5 from over 128,000 user reviews (May 2022), and we found it to perform well for the price when we tested it.
We slept on 10-inch version of the Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam mattress for three months. Our reviewers thought it was comfortable and supportive, with good edge support and minimal motion transfer, so you won’t be disturbed by a restless partner. (In case you’re wondering, no, it didn’t smell of tea…)
We do have a few questions about long-term durability. It’s not the best choice if you overheat at night, either - some of our reviewers became uncomfortably warm. But overall, it's a decent budget mattress. The thinner six and eight-inch versions would make good options for children's rooms, too.
What we discovered during testing:
'The Zinus is a great option for tight budgets, and for people looking to try memory foam for the first time. It delivers support and comfort at a price that other brands just can't beat right now.'
- Read more: Zinus Green Tea Mattress review
Linenspa is a respected brand in the sleep world, and this cheap mattress is one of the highest-rated on Amazon, with an impressive average score of 4.5 out of 5 stars from over 125,000 user reviews and counting. We haven’t reviewed it yet so we can’t vouch for performance, but given its wild popularity on Amazon it’s worth flagging as a cheaper budget alternative to the Zinus above.
It’s medium-firm, with a thin 1.5-inch layer of memory foam and innersprings. Don’t expect the level of contouring you’d get from the mid-range and premium options in our best mattress guide, and you’ll probably have to replace this mattress a few years sooner than you would the Sienna or Nectar.
But the majority of user reviews report that it’s comfortable (some say better than expected), and as a hybrid it’s likely better suited to hot sleepers than the all-foam budget Zinus above. Just make sure you choose the 10-inch version or higher for adults; the 6 and 8-inch versions are better suited to kids.
How we test mattresses
The Tom’s Guide mattress review process is editorially independent and not influenced by any third parties. Our expert mattress testers sleep on each mattress for at least three weeks - that's roughly how long it takes for your body to get used to a new mattress - and spend hours scientifically testing the performance of each product.
Mattress firmness is subjective, so each lead reviewer also forms a trusted and experienced testing panel made up of people with different sleep needs and body types. We have side sleepers, back sleepers and stomach sleepers, with lighter, average and heavier bodies, who rate each mattress using a specific set of performance criteria.
Together, these processes enable us to produce accurate, well-balanced and data-backed mattress reviews, to help you easily decide whether the mattress you’re interested in really is the best choice for you.
- Expert reviewers with substantial hands-on experience of testing a wide range of mattresses.
- A diverse panel of mattress testers, with different body types, heights and sleep-position preferences.
Our testing process includes:
- Testing each mattress across all key data points, including support, comfort, pressure relief, motion isolation and temperature regulation, rating each mattress out of 10.
- Analyzing user reviews to get an understanding of what real customers think of each mattress too. We do this to see if there are any recurring themes, whether positive or negative — then we explore these further during our testing process.
- Fact-checking every claim made by a mattress brand.
How to choose the best mattress
The only way to truly know whether a mattress is right for you is to sleep on it. That's why all the options in our best mattress guide come with a long risk-free trial - if you don't like one, you can send it back and try another. However, there are some key things to know that will help you choose the right mattress.
Here, we'll answer some common questions people ask when buying a new mattress, and explain some key considerations to make. We'll also share our pro tips and tricks for choosing the best mattress for your budget, and recap the best-rated mattresses at the moment.
Which is the best type of mattress?
There isn't a single best type of mattress. Why? Because everyone is different, so the right type for you depends on your body, health and your sleep style. Secondly, it's because the differences between each type of mattress are increasingly negligible. Materials have advanced so much over the last five years alone that it can be difficult to notice any perceptible difference when sleeping on them.
That's good news for you is that you should be able to pick any of the options in our best mattress guide and be extremely happy with your choice - regardless of whether it's made from copper-infused memory foam, coils, cooling latex, or a cutting edge combination of all-natural materials.
However, it can be helpful to know what each mattress type is before you make your final choice. With that in mind, here we walk you though the main options, highlighting the key differences between each...
Memory foam mattresses
Memory foam is a great option for anyone who likes to feel 'hugged' by their mattress. This material contours to your body, providing better pressure relief than spring-based options, and is excellent at absorbing motion. That last benefit alone makes it a top choice for anyone who shares a bed with a restless partner.
As with any all-foam mattress, such dense material can feel warmer at night than other options. That said, the best memory foam mattresses (opens in new tab) now come packed with special cooling materials designed to regulate your temperature while you sleep.
If you overheat at night, you may prefer to avoid an all-foam mattress. But if you love the cushioning feel of memory foam, there are plenty of 'cooling' foam mattresses. These range in price from the budget-friendly Cocoon Chill Memory Foam mattress (from $499) to the Tempur-Breeze (from $3,000). You can learn more about all-foam beds in our feature answering what is a memory foam mattress.
As we explain in our feature on what is an innerspring mattress, these beds use a coil-based support system to provide comfort and structure. The quantity, height and design of the coils vary, and while traditionally innerspring mattresses were made with interconnected coils, the term is increasingly used to describe pocket spring mattresses.
These feature individually wrapped coils that sit inside their own fabric pocket and can move independently - providing better pressure relief, greater comfort and more effective motion isolation. Generally speaking, the more pocket springs in a mattress the better the support. You can also use one of the best mattress toppers (opens in new tab) to instantly add an extra layer of support and comfort.
One key difference between innerspring mattresses and all-foam options is that they're buoyant: you sleep on top of them, rather than sinking in. That's good news for hot sleepers, as it means your body heat is less likely to be trapped by the mattress, plus the springs allow more air to circulate than dense foam.
What is a hybrid mattress is a question we get asked a lot, and the simple answer is that they are a more advanced type of mattress that gives you the tailored support of memory foam, gel or latex, plus the bounce and increased airflow of springs. The coils in hybrid mattresses are usually smaller, and you'll often have a thinner foam layer.
Many of the best mattresses are hybrid models. They're a flexible option that make a good compromise for couples with different sleep preferences, and they're also a good choice for hot sleepers who love the cushioned feel of foam.
Latex mattresses use a durable latex foam made from natural materials, rather than synthetic materials (which memory foam mattresses are made from). If you're looking for an organic mattress, latex is the best mattress material for you.
It isn't as dense as memory foam, which makes latex mattresses less prone to overheating. Latex also provides good contouring and bounce. On top of that, the durability makes latex a fantastic investment if you want your mattress to really last, but it doesn't come cheap. Read our best organic mattress guide for latex options, and learn more about this specific type of mattress in our feature answering what is an organic mattress.
Mattress buying advice
How long does a mattress last?
On average, a good mattress should last seven to eight years, but this depends on various factors including what type of mattress you own, what it’s made of, how often it’s used, and how many of you sleep on it. (We explain more in our feature answering how long does a mattress last?).
So a guest room mattress used only occasionally may last a little longer than the general guidelines, while the main mattress on your bed - unless it’s a good quality mattress - will wear out in less than seven years.
The manufacturer’s warranty is a good indication of how long the mattress should last, but you will need to care for it properly too. Cleaning your mattress regularly will help it last longer - see our guide on how to clean a mattress.
How to choose the right mattress size
One golden rule for choosing the right size of mattress is to make sure it's 10cm longer than the tallest person sleeping on it. Width-wise, if you're sharing a bed, you and your partner should be able to put your hands under your head without your elbows touching.
If you sleep alone, you'll have the right size mattress if you can put your hands under your head without touching the edges. So measure that distance and as long as you choose a mattress wider than that, you're good.
Most options listed in our best mattress guide are available in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king and Cal king sizes. Some come in split options too, which enable you to choose a different mattress firmness to your partner. You can also find mattresses with a different level of firmness on each side.
How to choose the right mattress firmness
Medium firm is the most popular mattress choice - that's why most flagship mattresses fall within a range of 5-7 on the firmness scale (10 is the firmest).
However, mattresses are subjective. Firmness and comfort depend on a wide range of factors including your weight, height, sleeping style and whether you experience any pain, such as in your back or hips. So one person's experience of a mattress is likely to be different to that of another person.
That's why we use a range of different people to test our mattresses - and it's also why we look through thousands of user reviews. Keep this in mind when noting our 'firmness gauge', which ranges from 1 to 10, as you may find a mattress to be slightly softer or firmer than we found it.
Nevertheless, there is some broad advice for deciding which level of mattress firmness you might be best-suited to...
1. Consider your sleeping position
Back sleepers often benefit from a medium-firm mattress. This provides neutral spine alignment while supporting the hips and shoulders. If a mattress is too soft, back sleepers may find their spine forming an uncomfortable 'U' shape, creating strain. Too firm and the natural 'S' curve of your spine won't be supported.
Side sleepers need good pressure relief on their shoulders, knees and hips. A medium to medium-soft mattress is usually a good choice. If it's too soft, the spine won't align properly with the shoulders and hips. Memory foam is often the best mattress choice for side sleepers due to its above-average contouring. For more advice, read our guide to the best mattress for side sleepers.
Front sleepers fare better with a firmer mattress. This lifts the hips up so that they're in alignment with the spine, and prevents the spine from forming a 'U' shape. If it's too firm it'll be uncomfortable - particularly for women - and won't allow the spine to curve naturally. Too soft and it can feel almost suffocating. Innerspring and hybrid mattresses can be a better choice than foam for front sleepers.
Combination sleepers should choose according to their dominant sleep position (the position you normally fall asleep in). If you don't have one, a medium firm mattress will dish out the best support and comfort across most positions.
2. Consider your body weight
Sleepers weighing 130lbs and below don't sink as far into a mattress and are often well-suited to softer options: between 2 and 4 on the firmness scale. However, a medium-firm mattress would also be a good choice.
Sleepers weighing 130-230lbs are often better-suited to medium and medium-firm mattresses, between 5-7 on the firmness scale.
Sleepers who weigh 230lbs or more can be well-suited to firmer mattresses, between an 8-10 rating, which prevent them sinking through the comfort layers.
What is the best mattress in 2022?
We think the luxury innerspring Saatva Classic offers the best balance between performance and price. It has a classic mattress feel, with a little bounce, and it aced our tests, scoring highly for pressure relief, temperature regulation and edge support. It's been approved by the American Chiropractic Association too, making it a great choice for back pain. It costs around $1,500 for a queen size, but there's usually a $200 discount (opens in new tab).
Alternatively, if you have a lower budget or prefer the 'hug' of memory foam, the Nectar Memory Foam is a top choice - we think it's the best-value mattress you can buy. It’s comfortable and supportive, and extremely competitively priced. A twin starts at $499, while a queen size costs $799 - and you'll get up to $499-worth of free bedding (opens in new tab) added to your order.
When is the best time to buy a new mattress?
There are mattress sales all year round - leading mattress maker Nectar, for example, has been running its biggest ever offer (opens in new tab) for over a year now. However, certain months to tend to have bigger discounts than others.
The lowest prices of the year appear in November in the form of Black Friday mattress deals (opens in new tab) and Cyber Monday mattress deals (opens in new tab), and in February, during the Presidents Day mattress sales (opens in new tab). The latter is when people slowly start spending again following the January lull, and retailers look to stoke interest with strong offers and prices that are often as low as Black Friday.
The Memorial Day mattress sales (opens in new tab) are another key time to buy a new mattress, as retailers look to make way for newer models launching over the summer by discounting older stock. For the sheer volume and variety of discounted mattresses, it's as good as Black Friday - but we've noticed prices don't always dip quite as low. You might see the same discount advertised - $200 off, say - but the price may have gone up, so while the mattress is cheaper than its previous full price, you'd have saved more if you bought it in the November or February.
The same can be said of the July 4th mattress sales (opens in new tab) and Labor Day mattress sales (opens in new tab): discounts typically match those offered during other major holidays, but many of the prices aren't quite the lowest. They're generally still good deals though, and worth grabbing if you need a new mattress.
Here's when you shouldn't buy a new mattress if you can help it: over the summer. This is the most expensive time of the year, with prices generally at their maximum. You might see similar discounts advertised, once again, but prices can be as much as $200 more than at other times of the year.
What is the most comfortable mattress for the money?
This depends on what type of mattress you enjoy sleeping on, as firmness and comfort are very subjective. For side sleepers, we think the most comfortable mattress for the money is the Helix Midnight. It relieves pressure all along your shoulders, hips and knees, and it's reasonably priced at $1,099 for a queen size - plus you get two free pillows.
For back sleepers, you can't beat the DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid because it's super-comfortable and it doesn't charge the earth. A queen size costs $999 but you also get up to $599 of free bedding to boost your value for money.
Overall, the most comfortable mattress is the Saatva Classic. Yes it's more money than the others at $1,770 for a queen (prices fluctuate on this one), but it comes in three different firmness levels and two heights to offer you the comfort, support and mattress depth you need for a great night's sleep.
Recent updates to our Best Mattress guide 2022
12 July - We checked all offers so that you have access to the best prices for each of our ranked mattresses. We also added testing notes to each mattress so you can read our overall impressions before heading into the full review.
10 June - We finished our official review of the WinkBed mattress and added our testing data and notes to the guide, explaining why our experts feel this is the best mattress for back pain. The WinkBed sits at no 5, with the other rankings unchanged.
12 May - We published our official DreamCloud mattress review and added our testing data and notes to this guide. After sleeping on the mattress for over three weeks, we recommend it as the best alternative luxury hybrid to the Saatva Classic.
13 April - After evaluating all testing data and key factors, we moved the Saatva Classic to the No 1 spot as we feel its the best mattress for support, comfort and exceptional build quality for the reasonable price compared to rival luxury models.
13 March - We added the Awara Natural Hybrid Mattress. After a thorough testing process by Alison Barretta, we felt the Awara was a worthy addition to our mattress buying guide for people who want a well-made and durable organic mattress.
21 Feb - Updated the deals section for each mattress to reflect the latest offers; checked all mattresses to ensure information is accurate.
25 Jan - Expanded the expert buying advice at the bottom of our guide to answer more of your mattress questions; updated the latest mattress offers.