Exclusive: the story behind the new Venus Williams and GhostBed mattress

The Venus Williams Legend hybrid mattress
(Image credit: GhostBed)

Champion tennis player Venus Williams is launching a new mattress collection with American sleep specialists GhostBed this week. Called the Venus Williams Legend, the mattress will be available in memory foam and hybrid options and priced from around $2,000 (exact pricing TBC). We've tested out another of this brand's beds – read more in our GhostBed Luxe mattress review – and are excited to see how this one stacks up.

Venus, of course, needs little introduction. As one of the greatest tennis players of all time, she has continuously pushed the boundaries of athleticism and astounding physical power. As Venus told GhostBed, 'Practice is a given, but the real power is in my recovery. That’s why sleep is so important to me.'


Type: memory foam, hybrid
Key feature: The Venus Layer
Price: from around $2,000
Available from: GhostBed US

As one of the best mattress brands in America, GhostBed is expertly placed to work with the tennis ace on the new range, especially considering Founder and CEO Marc Werner’s own background and interest in sports. 

The Venus Williams Legend mattress is one of the mattress in a box brand's most advanced offerings yet, boasting an innovative feature called the Venus Layer to take your physical recovery during sleep to a new level.

In this exclusive Tom’s Guide interview, we chat to Marc Werner to learn how the collaboration with Venus came about, and what we can expect from the Venus Williams Legend mattress collection when it hits the virtual shelves in a few days' time… 

How did the GhostBed and Venus Williams mattress collaboration arise?

“It all happened fast after our initial conversation. Venus lives near our corporate headquarters in Plantation, Florida, and we got to talking a while back. We connected on a personal level about the importance of sleep and family, and it just clicked from day one. 

“It made sense to blend our mattress and bedding expertise at GhostBed with her athletic and design experience. Our first product, the Venus Williams Legend, is a really luxurious mattress that combines our usual focus on cooling and comfort with some really fantastic new technology.” 

Venus Williams and GhostBed Founder and CEO Marc Werner

Marc Werner and Venus Williams photographed at the press conference for the Venus Williams Legend mattress (Image credit: GhostBed)

What can you tell us about the Venus Williams Legend mattress?

“Each mattress has the Venus Layer, but we’ve also stayed true to what GhostBed is known for—comfort, cooling and quality. We find the best materials to use, and we know that every detail counts. 

“Sustainability is also important to both myself and Venus, so we created a really fantastic cover that’s not only cool-to-the-touch, but it’s made with 25% recycled water bottles. 

The Venus Layer is our blend of natural minerals infused into our gel memory foam. The minerals interact with your body heat to create ‘far infrared light’

- Marc Werner, GhostBed

“The hybrid option has both of these layers as well, but we’ve added in individually-wrapped springs for a more responsive feel. A lot of people love this hybrid feel, or maybe they’re just used to sleeping on an innerspring mattress, so we wanted to make sure there were options.

“Our direct-to-consumer collection is set to launch with these two mattresses in late December 2021, with four additional retail models available in January 2022. Pricing for the mattresses will start around $2,000 with a special launch promo.”

The Venus Layer sounds intriguing. What is it?

“The Venus Layer is our blend of natural minerals infused into our gel memory foam. The minerals interact with your body heat—you generate 98.6 degrees of heat naturally—to create what’s called ‘far infrared light.’ 

"If you’re familiar with saunas or far infrared lights or even heat therapy, which has been used for hundreds of years in the medical field, it’s very similar to that. 

“As you lay on the mattress, the minerals help to activate your oxygen flow and circulation in your body. It can help wounds heal quicker, or if you’re tired from working out or just going about your day, it helps restore your cellular structure quicker. 

Venus was so excited to see the final product and couldn’t stop talking about how soft and comfortable it was!”

- Marc Werner, GhostBed

“We’re the first to actually infuse minerals into our foam—you may have seen pajamas and other far infrared products. By infusing the technology into the foam, we were able to keep it evenly distributed, so you get the health benefits from head to toe as you’re sleeping.

“It’s like when you see professional athletes using oxygen masks to help them recover quickly and get back on the field. This is the same concept. Over time, you’ll start to notice the benefits. Everything is better when you’ve got that blood flowing properly, from your recovery to your productivity and energy levels the next day.

“I started playing around with the far infrared idea years ago, trying to figure out how I could incorporate it into a mattress. So when Venus and I met, and I understood what she wanted to create, that reignited the idea in me.”

The Venus Williams Legend hybrid mattress

(Image credit: GhostBed)

How involved was Venus in the design process?

“Not many people know this, but Venus has a background in design. She studied fashion design at The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and has her own fashion line [EleVen by Venus Williams] as well as an interior design company, V Starr. 

“So she’s very passionate about that, and it really shows. She’s been involved in every decision, from sketching out her creative thoughts to selecting the fabrics and materials. It’s been a great working relationship and makes for a really unique line of products.”

What does Venus think of the new mattresses?

“Venus was so excited to see the final product and couldn’t stop talking about how soft and comfortable it was! And that’s so important to her, with how much she values quality sleep. 

“As an elite athlete, you don’t have time to be tossing and turning each night—you need to wake up refreshed and ready to go. As we release additional mattresses and products, we’re excited to hear the feedback from her family, friends and fans.”

What research have you done into sleep and recovery?

“I used to be an athlete too—not a professional, of course, but I did pretty much everything from football to running and was a scratch golfer. So Venus and I really connected on that, because we both know the importance of great sleep and recovery. It makes all the difference in how you perform and play the next day.

“But it’s not just for athletes. Everyone can benefit from better sleep. Maybe you’re a mom chasing your kids all day, or you’re working in an office and need to be mentally sharp. It all comes back to the quality of sleep you get.”

The Venus Williams Legend mattress is available to buy direct from GhostBed as of Thursday 23 December. 

Claire Davies
Senior Sleep Editor, Certified Sleep Science Coach

Claire Davies is Tom's Guide's mattress expert and main sleep product tester with over 15 years' product review experience, and she is responsible for all mattress and sleep coverage on the site. A qualified journalist, Sleep Editor and Certified Sleep Science Coach, Claire writes about all things related to sleep, from mattress reviews to the latest sleep techniques and research. Claire has interviewed a wealth of experts, from mattress designers and innovators to neuroscientists and doctors of sleep medicine. Before taking on the role of Sleep Editor, Claire worked as Health & Wellness Editor at Top Ten Reviews, and before that was a Senior Content Editor at T3. Claire is super-passionate about how consistent, good quality sleep can boost our physical and mental wellbeing, and would love to hear from PRs and brands regarding sleep products, services and research that can help our readers sleep better than ever.