Choosing the best mattress is easy once you know what to look for, and that starts with support and comfort. A good mattress will relieve tension in pressure points around your shoulders, hips and neck, and help you sleep more deeply because you’re more comfortable.
In our expert guide, you’ll find our top mattress recommendations for all sleeping positions and budgets - and now that we're in May, with Memorial Day mattress sales on the horizon, you'll find some of the lowest prices of the year this month too.
Our reviewers test the latest memory foam, hybrid, innerspring, cooling and organic mattresses by sleeping on them for a minimum of three weeks. That's how long it can take for your body to adjust to a new mattress.
Our mattress testing process is editorially independent. We rigorously research and test the latest mattresses to provide accurate and unbiased recommendations in our guides and reviews. For each mattress we have a lead reviewer and a panel of testers. We sleep on each mattress for three weeks on average, testing all key factors including comfort, support and pressure relief, then score the mattress out of 5. Read our full methodology.
They also conduct a series of tests on all major performance criteria, such as firmness, pressure relief, motion isolation and edge support, and look at how effectively each mattress addresses the sleep issues it's designed to help with, such as overheating.
Mattresses are subjective - everyone's experience is different - so in addition, we invite a diverse panel of testers to rate each mattress, including people of different weights, hot sleepers, side sleepers, people with back pain, and more. We also conduct extensive research into each mattress and its manufacturer, and analyze thousands of customer reviews to bring you a well-rounded view of how a mattress feels and performs for different people. You'll find all our top picks for all budgets here in our best mattress guide 2022.
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 mattress is customizable, with three firmness options (soft, 'luxury firm' and firm) and two heights (11.5 or 14.5 inches) and it comes with free white glove delivery to the room of your choice.
The springs give the Saatva Classic a traditional mattress feel. We slept on the popular 11.5-inch luxury firm option for two weeks, and found it to be more buoyant than an all-foam mattress: you get a little bounce, as well as wonderfully soft cushioning from the pillow top. If you prefer to sleep on top of your mattress, rather than in it, you'll love it. (If you're looking for the full 'hug' of memory foam though, try the Nectar Memory Foam at number two instead.)
This mattress is well-suited to all sleeping positions, and makes a particularly great choice for anyone who needs good pressure relief: in our tests the Saatva Classic excelled in relieving tension around our reviewers' shoulders, hips and knees. It's also been awarded a Seal of Approval from the Congress of Chiropractic State Associations, making it a strong option for anyone with back pain.
The Saatva Classic isn’t cheap, 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 and delivers a stunning night’s sleep.
How it performed
When we reviewed the Saatva Classic, we loved the soft cushioning delivered by the premium, eco-friendly foams and plush Euro pillow top, and found the dual steel coil system provided exceptional support in the lower back area.
Temperature control was also excellent: we consistently slept cool, and would happily recommend it to hot sleepers. In addition, edge support was strong, making it easy to get in out of bed. In fact, one of our freelance writers has slept on a Saatva Classic for over a year (including while pregnant) and she can attest to the excellent edge support: she bounced and rocked a screaming newborn from the side of the bed and her mattress is still firm.
Overall, our lead reviewer and testing panel found the 11.5-inch luxury firm version to be very comfortable for light to average-weight bodies. Saatva recommends choosing the firm version if you weigh over 230lbs; and from our testing experience we feel that very light-weight side-sleepers would fare better with the soft version.
We couldn’t find much to fault the Saatva Classic during our review. We awarded it a score of 4.5 out of 5 stars, and only marked it down for the $99 fee that Saatva charges if you decide to return it during the 180-night trial period.
Read more: Saatva Classic mattress review
Saatva Classic mattress: Save up to $290 at Saatva
From $781 - Saatva is currently offering a 12% discount on everything on its site. That cuts the price of a queen size Saatva Classic from $1,695 to $1,492 - which is just $50 more than over Black Friday - while a twin starts from $781. It's a discount worth having, and makes this luxury mattress even better value.
The 12-inch Nectar Memory Foam is a medium-firm mattress that suits most people, offering the contouring coziness of memory foam without the deeper sink-in feel of softer foam models. It’s hard to beat for sheer value, though the Cocoon by Sealy Chill below is a close rival. The Nectar Mattress is made with three layers of foam, plus a heat-wicking quilted cover and non-slip lower cover.
We awarded it a review score of 4.5 out of 5, rating it for comfort, support and temperature control, plus its 365-night trial and Forever Warranty - two perks you don’t often see in this price range. We feel the Nectar Memory Foam is best–suited to back and side sleepers, as well as to couples looking for a supportive mattress that isolates motion well. So if you want a reliable bed-in-a-box that doesn’t overheat and is cheaper than many of its rivals, the Nectar is a great choice available in seven different sizes.
How it performed
We tested the Nectar Memory Foam mattress for over two months and found it surprisingly firm for an all-foam model, rating it a 6.5 out of 10 on the firmness scale. Our lead reviewer and testing panel praised the Nectar for delivering a fantastic balance of comfort and support, with good overall pressure relief in most sleeping positions.
It contours to your curves and cushions major pressure points such as the shoulders and hips, without making you feel as though you’re being sucked in. The exception to this is stomach sleeping - the front sleepers on our testing panel found their hips sinking in too much, which created an uncomfortable dip in the small of the back. If you’re a stomach sleeper, consider the Luxury Firm Saatva Classic above or The DreamCloud (number four).
The Nectar Memory Foam also did a good job of regulating temperature - we didn’t find it slept either warm or cool. We also felt the edge support was decent, so couples can safely spread out and use the entire sleep surface. While it isn’t anywhere near the build quality of the luxurious Saatva Classic, for the more affordable price (the Nectar costs $899 for a queen compared to $1,695 for the Saatva) the Nectar Mattress is a solid choice that should make most sleepers happy from the first night. You’ll have 365 nights to trial it, and it comes with a forever warranty.
Read more: Nectar mattress review
Nectar Memory Foam: $100 off + $499 of free gifts at Nectar
From $399 - Nectar permanently gives away up to $499-worth of free gifts with every Nectar Memory Foam mattress: two pillows, a sheet set and a mattress protector to keep your bed fresh. However, it's currently cutting $100 off all sizes too, dropping a twin to $399, and a queen from $899 to $799. That's extremely competitive for a mid-range mattress - plus it comes with a year-long trial and forever warranty.
The Cocoon by Sealy Chill Memory Foam is a medium-firm, 10-inch tall mattress that delivers cooling comfort all night for far less than other dedicated cooling mattresses. The star of the show is its stretch-knit cover, which is infused with phase change material to absorb and dissipate heat. During testing it remained cool to the touch, though the mattress was firmer than we expected. Still, we found it to be comfortable and supportive, and pressure relief was excellent.
We recommend this mattress for lighter and average weight sleepers, but feel it isn’t supportive enough for heavier bodies. We also marked it down for weaker edge support. But at this price – $799 for a queen-sized cooling mattress and you get up to $199 of free pillows and sheets – the Chill is a fantastic budget option that will prevent most hot sleepers from overheating. You have 100 nights to trial it, with free shipping and returns.
How it performed
We slept on a queen size Cocoon by Sealy Chill Memory Foam mattress, gathering test data across all key areas. Our lead reviewer and testing panel were impressed with the Chill’s superb pressure relief for lighter and average weight bodies. However, the heavier members of our panel didn’t feel properly supported. So for heavy people we recommend the Nolah Evolution 15 (number 8) instead.
The temperature-regulating cover is the highlight, and even the hot sleeper on our review panel didn’t wake up sweaty. However, while that’s impressive for a budget mattress, the Chill is still made of foam so it won’t sleep as cool as the Purple Plus hybrid at number 7. It's vastly cheaper though, at $799 for a queen compared to $1,899 for the Purple. If you like the sound of the Chill but need more cooling clout, consider upgrading to the Extra-Chill Foam cooling cover for $200 more.
The Cocoon Chill’s weak point is edge support, and during testing we found the Nectar Mattress (number 2) had marginally stronger edge support. Keep this in mind if you share your bed and want to feel supported up to the edges or need help getting in and out of bed. Otherwise, the Cocoon by Sealy Chill Memory Foam is an excellent choice of mattress for anyone who loves the feeling of foam but struggles with overheating.
Read more: Cocoon Chill Memory Foam mattress review
Cocoon by Sealy Chill: Save 35% + free pillows and sheets
From $499 - This is a regular deal from Cocoon by Sealy and it remains excellent value, saving you 35% on the Chill, plus you get $179-worth of free pillows and sheets. The cost of a queen size has dropped to $799 (was $1,239), making it cheaper than the Nectar Mattress above, with a total saving of $619 ($440 off the mattress and $179 of free gifts).
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. We also think this luxury hybrid is the best budget mattress for back pain: it isn't quite as plush as the premium Saatva Classic, or the Winkbed at number five, but it's a few hundred dollars cheaper and comes with $499 of free gifts (pillows, sheets and a mattress protector - the same as Nectar).
At 14 inches deep, this medium-firm mattress is one of the tallest in our guide, and it comes packed with five layers that offer firm, responsive support for your back as well as deep, soft cushioning all over your body.
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 huge 365-night trial and forever warranty. Shipping and returns are also free, which makes testing this mattress at home incredibly easy.
- Read more: DreamCloud mattress review
The DreamCloud: $200 off + $499 free gifts at DreamCloud
From $699 - DreamCloud has rolled its usual excellent deal over for another month: right now, there's $200 off the mattress and it comes with up to $499 worth of bedding added to your order. Its fantastic value for a luxury mattress, dropping the price of a queen down to $999.
The WinkBeds Original hybrid mattress is a favorite among luxury hotels and has a number of cutting-edge features designed to help you sleep comfortably. It’s held up as the best mattress for back pain because of its proprietary 3-step Back-Relief System designed to eliminate muscle tension and align your spine. A LumbaLayer is also on hand to deliver targeted support through the lumbar region of your body, and both of these features are present in all four firmness levels of The WinkBed: soft, luxury firm, firm, and plus (for people weighing 250lbs+).
If you are shopping for a mattress for back pain, ask your doctor or chiropractor which firmness they would recommend for your body, as too soft or too firm aren’t always the right choices. From the experts we have spoken to, if in doubt, go medium-firm (or luxury firm in the case of the WinkBed) as this suits most sleepers. You’ll have 120 nights to try The WinkBed for yourself, so if you don’t like the firmness you have picked, send it back for a different version.
There’s more on hand to ease your neck and back pain too, including multi-zone individually wrapped coils to provide targeted back support; firm in some areas, and gentler in others. The soft, luxury firm and firm mattresses each have a Euro-pillow top to better cushion your back, shoulders and hips during sleep, again boosting your back and neck comfort when you’re lying down.
Because sleeping hot can cause restlessness, which in turn can aggravate existing back pain, The WinkBed mattress is also designed with a triple layer heat dispersal material to help you sleep cooler. This starts with a Tencel cover that absorbs moisture, followed by a Euro-pillow top made with gel-infused foam that won’t cling on to heat. Those coils serve a double purpose here too by enabling air to flow freely through the mattress.
Restlessness is stamped out further by the brand’s SleepCalm motion isolation technology, so you and your partner shouldn’t disturb each other so much when changing positions in bed. And if you’re keen to have a mattress with good edge support, which in turn can help you get in and out of bed easier, then The WinkBed boasts an extraEdge support system. This also means you can spread out and use more of the mattress for sleeping.
The only criticisms of the WinkBeds Original is that not all side sleepers love it, with some complaining that it’s just too firm to be comfortable. If you sleep on your side and you have a lighter body weight, we’d recommend trying the soft version first as this has an extra plush Euro-pillow top to reduce pressure on your hips, knees and shoulders.
Read more: The WinkBed mattress - should you buy this top-rated hybrid?
The WinkBed mattress: from
$1,149 $849 at WinkBeds
Save $300 - The WinkBeds mattress sale is offering $300 off every size of The WinkBed, reducing the price of a queen size to $1,499 (was $1,799). That puts it in line with the luxury innerspring Saatva Classic, another good choice for back pain. You have 120 nights to trial The WinkBed, plus it has a lifetime warranty and free shipping.
While all the top picks in our best mattress guide are well-suited to side sleepers, only one has been specifically designed for people who prefer this sleeping position: the Helix Midnight. As we have a number of side sleepers on our mattress review team, we couldn't wait to test the Helix Midnight... and it didn't disappoint. This medium-firm hybrid is the brand’s most popular mattress, with five layers that are designed to support your body’s contours and cushion your shoulders and hips while you're sleeping on your side.
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. Our reviewers found sleeping on their backs and sides to be extremely comfortable - even cozy.
One area where the Helix Midnight particularly impressed us is its temperature control. We remained cool all night during the two-week testing process. It's also a quiet mattress - we didn't notice any creaking from the coils - and does a very good job of isolating motion, so it's a good choice for couples.
If you're a heavier sleeper though (weighing over 250lbs) we wouldn't recommend the Helix Midnight as you're likely to sink through the comfort layers into the firmer support layers, and may find it uncomfortable. Try the Helix Plus instead.
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.
Read more: Helix Midnight mattress review
Helix Midnight mattress: Save $150 + 2 free pillows
From $699 - There’s $150 off the Midnight mattress and you get two free pillows thrown in, but the price of the mattress has increased by $100 since last month, with a queen now reduced to $1,099. Even so, this is still a good price for a top-rated side sleeper mattress, and the free pillows increase your value for money further.
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. These features alone make it the best mattress for hot sleepers, though there’s much more to this memory foam bed to boost the quality and comfort of your sleep. It’s slightly taller than the Purple Original, at 11 inches vs 9.25 inches, and it’s made with the same Purple Grid Technology to deliver exceptional pressure relief.
When we tested the Purple Plus we were impressed with the cooling performance, especially as we have some very hot sleepers on the team. The mattress has been designed in such a way that it moves heat away from the body quickly, so it won’t build up and overheat you in the night. We also loved the Purple Plus for proper pressure relief.
To us, it felt soft under our head, neck, arms and legs, producing a comforting cradling effect, and it delivered a firmer feel under our lumbar spine. We also experienced zero pressure points when sleeping on it during testing. We wouldn’t call this zoned support, but the feel is different depending on where you’re sitting on the mattress.
Our team slept on it in a variety of positions, and all were comfy, especially side and back sleeping. We’d recommend the Purple Plus as a good mattress for combi sleepers too, as it’s quick to respond to movements. The motion isolation is also great, so couples shouldn’t disturb each other too much. The only let-down was edge support: it’s middling and there are stronger choices in this mattress guide if robust edge support is important to you. Look at the Saatva Classic above, for starters.
The Purple Plus comes with a 100-night risk-free trial, which is average among online mattress companies, and has a 10-year warranty. The Nectar and DreamCloud both outperform Purple in terms of trial period (they offer 365 nights) and warranty (they each offer lifetime warranties), but the Purple Plus is a rather unique mattress that somehow manages to serve up softness, firmness and cooling all at once.
Read more: Purple Plus mattress review
Purple Plus Mattress: Save 10% at Purple
From $1,079 - There's now $150 off the Purple Plus, which is $100 less than last month’s maximum $250 discount. This drops the price of a queen to $1,749 (last month it was $1,709). $40 isn’t a deal-breaker, but Purple changes its prices regularly so you could wait to see if it gets better. If you do want to buy now, this is a reasonable price for a high-end mattress packed with cooling tech.
The Nolah Evolution 15 mattress is available in three different firmness options: plush, luxury firm and firm. We tested the luxury firm. For heavy people and couples, look at the luxury firm (rated 6-7 out of 10 on the firmness scale) or the firm (rated 8 out of 10) if you enjoy a firmer sleeping surface that puts you on top of the mattress, as opposed to sinking into it.
This Nolah mattress has a maximum weight capacity of 700lbs total, or roughly 350lbs per sleeper. There are mattresses out there that can accommodate a higher weight, but few come in the range of firmness levels as the Nolah and fewer still can match it for cooling power too.
The Nolah Evolution 15 mattress has a user review rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars on the brand’s website, with customers praising it for comfort in a range of sleeping positions, including stomach and back sleeping. This five-layer hybrid is made from foam and springs, so you get the best of both worlds in terms of comfort and support.
Many of these layers, in addition to the cooling ArcticTex mattress cover, are geared towards keeping you cool. The HTC Cooling Quilted Euro Topper, for example, is made with 2” of heat-conductive foam, and this is bolstered by a 2” AirBreath Heat Escape Gusset to let excess heat flow out.
We talk about Nolah’s AirFoam technology in our best cooling mattress guide, and in the Evolution 15 the brand has added a 2” layer of AirFoamICE to draw away excess heat at a faster rate than its standard AirFoam. While that sounds impressive, during testing we found the Evolution 15 to be inconsistent at temperature regulation.
There’s plenty of support, with high-resilience foam adding spinal and lumbar support, and high-density foam making the mattress more responsive. Pressure relief and edge support is handled by HDMax Tri-Zone Support Coils and Nolah’s E.D.G.E rails, though we found the edge support to be lacking on the model we reviewed.
The best news is that Nolah Sleep runs regular mattress sales, so you can often save up to $700 on the retail price of the Evolution 15 - we have seen a queen size reduced to $1,599 and you get free gifts, which is superb for a mattress covered by a lifetime warranty.
- Read more: Nolah Evolution 15 mattress review
Nolah Evolution 15 mattress: from
$1,599 $999 at Nolah
Save up to $1,200 - There's a big discount on the Evolution 15 at Nolah Sleep right now, taking it down to Black Friday level prices with a queen costing $1,599 (was $2,299). The split Cal king is $1,200 off. Plus you’ll get two free luxury bed pillows worth up to $198 added to your order.
The Awara Natural Hybrid Mattress is well-priced compared to other organic mattresses and is a great way to dip your toes in the world of eco-friendly sleep. Yet despite the smaller price tag, the Awara has a definite luxury feel and look, with a durable build that we feel, from our extensive testing, should last for the long-term. Awara seems confident about this too as it offers a 365-night trial and a lifetime warranty with the Natural Hybrid, the same as what you’d get with the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress and the DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid further up this guide.
The Awara is one of the firmest options in our best mattress guide, but the addition of a 2-inch top layer of Dunlop latex foam quickly adapts to your body’s curves, giving you an instant hit of cradling support. We on a twin-size Awara Natural Hybrid Mattress for 30 days and rate it very highly.
We found that the Awara Natural Hybrid slept comfortably in all positions (stomach, back and side) and alleviated pressure points so we woke up feeling refreshed and well-rested each morning.
However, we would flag up that it might be too firm for lighter bodies, unless you really enjoy sleeping on a firm mattress. In that case, the Awara might just be your dream mattress. The other caveat is that the motion isolation isn’t good, so couples may find that they feel each other moving around in bed more. If motion isolation is important to your sleep peace, then look further up this list at The WinkBed or the DreamCloud.
While it’s not strictly a cooling model, the Awara Natural Hybrid is good at regulating temperature thanks to a range of natural and organic materials capable of boosting airflow and dissipating excess heat. These include naturally breathable organic cotton and New Zealand wool, so you should remain at a comfortable sleeping temperature on this, even in summer.
- Read more: Awara Natural Hybrid Mattress review
Awara Natural Hybrid: from
$1,398 $899 at Awara
Save up to $699 - The Awara is regularly on sale, and this month the maximum saving is up to $699, with a queen size cut to $1,199 (was $1,898). That saving is made up of $200 off the mattress and $499 of free bedding - last month it was $300 off plus $499 of free bedding, but overall this is a great value natural mattress compared to premium models.
The Siena is a budget bed-in-a-box made from memory foam, and it’s a new sister brand to Nectar Sleep, which sits near the top of our best mattress guide. The Siena aims to deliver better sleep comfort for a much smaller price and routinely reduces the cost a queen size to $499 (was $699).
There are five layers to the Siena, with the mattress rated as a 6.5 out of 10 on the firmness scale. There’s a soft-touch breathable cover to encourage better airflow, but early reviews suggest that the temperature regulation could be better, as could the edge support. We’ll be putting the Siena to the test soon and will report back on both of those features and more.
You’ll also find a layer of memory foam here and this contours to your body’s curves and aims to relieve pressure, while a two-inch layer of polyfoam adds to the overall supportive feel. Running horizontally across that layer are a series of ripples to boost breathability.
Toward the bottom sits a five-inch slab of foundation foam to ensure the mattress remains stable, with a shift-resistant base cover keeping it in place.
Like the Nectar, the Siena will be shipped for free and arrive at your door rolled-up in a conveniently sized box. It also comes with a 180-night trial and 10-year warranty. If you're looking for a good value boxed mattress to upgrade your guest room or so that you can try an all-foam bed without spending much, the Siena is worth considering.
- Read more: Siena Memory Foam Mattress - should you buy it?
Siena Mattress: save $200 at Siena Sleep
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.
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 featured mattress for at least three weeks - that's roughly the time it takes, on average, for your body to get used to a new mattress.
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 on our testing team, with lighter, average and heavier bodies.
Together, this enables 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.
Our testing team includes:
- 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 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 of problems or praise — then we explore these further during our testing process.
- Fact-checking every claim made by each 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?
The short answer is that there isn't a single best type of mattress. Why? Because everyone is different, so the right type for you depends on your body, your 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 you're sleeping on them.
That's good news for you: it means 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 (but not the best option if you prefer some bounce in your mattress - you'll want an innerspring or hybrid instead).
One key feature of memory foam is that you sink into it - that is what provides the above-average cushioning. As with any all-foam mattress, such dense material can feel warmer at night than other options. That said, the best memory foam mattresses now come packed with special cooling materials designed to regulate your temperature while you sleep.
If you seriously overheat at night, you may still prefer to avoid an all-foam mattress. But if you love the cushioning feel of memory foam, there are plenty of 'cooling' memory foam mattresses that are worth trying. These range in price from the budget-friendly Cocoon Chill Memory Foam mattress (from $499) to the ultra-premium Tempur-Breeze (starts at over $3,000).
Innerspring mattress 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 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 into them. 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. Innerspring mattresses also have more bounce than all-foam options, and can be cheaper.
Hybrids bring you the best of both worlds: you benefit from the tailored support of memory foam, gel or latex, while also getting the subtle bounce and increased airflow of springs. The coils in hybrid mattresses are usually smaller though, and you'll often (but not always) have a thinner memory 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 organic mattress guide for latex options.
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 do I know 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 do I know 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.
How long does it take to break in a new mattress?
This depends on the type of mattress, but it can take anywhere from 30 days to three months to get used to new levels of support and comfort. If you’re choosing a very different type of mattress to your old one, you will notice the difference for a while longer.
To help you break in your new mattress, give it the time it needs to decompress. This can take anywhere from a few hours to 72 hours, so be patient. Also, relax on different parts of your new mattress and keep sleeping on it to help it ‘bed in’ faster. Try to resist sleeping in another bed or on the sofa, as the faster you break in your new mattress the sooner you'll be sleeping better.
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 litte bounce, and it aced our tests, scoring particularly highly for pressure relief, temperature regulation and edge support. It's been approved by the American Chiropractic Association too, making it a good choice if you have back pain. It costs around $1,500 for a queen, but there's usually a $200 discount to be found.
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 $899 - and all sizes come with $399-worth of free sleep accessories added to your order.
When is the best time to buy a new mattress?
There are cheap mattress deals all year round - leading mattress maker Nectar, for example, has been running its biggest ever offer 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 and Cyber Monday mattress deals, and in February, during the Presidents Day mattress sales. 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 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 and Labor Day mattress sales: 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.
You can also read how to make your guest room feel like a hotel with simple tips.
Recent updates to our Best Mattress guide 2022
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.
Meet our mattress reviewers
Claire is a Sleep Editor at Future and writes about all things mattresses and sleep. Claire is passionate about how good quality sleep can boost our wellbeing and believes that a great mattress is a vital part of that. Claire tests a range of mattresses for Tom's Guide, and commissions our other mattress reviewers too.
Freelance writer and editor Alison is an expert mattress tester for Tom's Guide, and hails from Philadelphia, USA. Alison has reviewed a wide range of mattresses for us, putting the latest hybrid, memory foam and cooling mattresses from Casper, Nectar, Awara and other leading brands through their paces.
Jennifer is a freelance mattress tester for Tom's Guide and has reviewed a number of top-rated natural, memory foam and hybrid mattresses, including the Saatva Classic innerspring hybrid, the Helix Midnight Mattress, and the Purple Plus, all of which appear in this guide.