Bear Original mattress review in brief
- All-foam mattress at a mid-range price
- Comfortable and supportive for back, stomach, and side sleepers
- Not ideal for those who sleep hot
No matter if you're a back, stomach, or side sleeper, the Bear Original all-memory foam mattress will be supportive of your hips and lower back, while providing a soft touch of contouring around your limbs. Rated a 7 out of 10 on the firmness scale, this mattress is not plush by any means but best described as medium-firm.
Best for: firmer support, people with restless partners
Type: mattress in a box
Firmness: medium-firm (7/10)
Materials: gel memory foam, high-density support foam, memory foam
Depth: 10 inches
Weight: 50-90 lb
Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, Cal king, Split King
When it comes to edge support and motion isolation, it's up there with the very best mattresses around. It's unlikely you'll feel your partner moving at night. Unfortunately, it doesn't do the best job on temperature regulation. Sure, it's made with a few materials meant to pull body heat away, but even our tester, who doesn't usually get hot while she sleeps, found it to be a little too warm at night (temperature regulation can be an issue with all-foam beds, and something we focus on when considering the best memory foam mattresses).
For our Bear Original mattress review, our lead tester slept on a queen size for two weeks, as well as enlisting the help of a team of others, with different body types and sleep preferences, to get a rounded view of how this model performs in practice. We also ran tests to objectively assess motion transfer, pressure relief, and edge support. Additionally, we were able to compare and contrast the Original to the rest of the Bear range on a visit to this brand's showroom. Read on for the full low-down on the Bear Original mattress.
Bear Original mattress review: Price and deals
- The brand's most affordable mattress
- Regular sales knock 30% or more off, and bundle in free bedding
- Queen usually around $699
The Bear Original mattress is a mid-range foam mattress, The queen size of the Bear Original mattress has an MSRP of $998 but with 30% off (a common discount) it's more like $699. Take note that the King and Cal King sizes are priced the same. It sits in a similar price bracket to the Nectar Memory Foam and the Helix Midnight mattress, both of which feature in our best affordable mattress guide, alongside the Bear Original.
Here's the official pricing, and how much you can expect to actually pay:
- Twin size: MSRP $748 (usually on sale for $524)
- Twin XL: MSRP $811 (on sale for $568)
- Full size: MSRP $873 (on sale for $568)
- Queen size: MSRP $998 (on sale for $699)
- King size: MSRP $1248 (on sale for $874)
- Cal King size: MSRP $1248 (on sale for $874)
- Split King size: MSRP $1622 (on sale for $1,136)
You'll also regularly get a free sleep accessories bundle – in the case of the current sale, that includes two Cloud pillows, one sheet set, and a Terry mattress protector.
The regular deal knocks 30% off, but we do sometimes see bigger discounts (of 35% off) around major sales events. Good times to shop include the Memorial Day mattress sales, Presidents' Day mattress sales, and especially the Black Friday mattress sales. To stay updated with sales relating to the Bear Original (among many others), keep an eye out on the Tom's Guide mattress sale guide.
See the Bear Original mattress at Bear
The Bear Original is only available through the Bear website. Exchange or return the mattress within 120 nights for free, as long as you try the mattress for at least 30 nights. The lifetime limited warranty covers an indentation over 1.5 inches that must be visible to the naked eye and is not associated with an unsupportive foundation.
Bear Original mattress review: Design
The Bear Original all-memory foam mattress has four layers, starting with a breathable quilt cover made with Celliant fabric, a type of textile that converts body heat into infrared energy. It is supposed to provide benefits like an average of 2.6% improved sleep efficiency and 18.3 more minutes of sleep per night. Bear also claims it can provide an average of 8.4% tissue oxygenation, which is supposed to give you more energy throughout your day.
The second layer is a cooling gel memory foam meant to provide spinal alignment and draw body heat away. That's followed by a Bear Dynamic Foam layer for balanced support and better pressure relief. A high-density support foam layer makes up the durable base.
To explore more memory foam mattresses, take a look at the best memory foam mattress guide.
Bear Original mattress review: Comfort & support
- A medium-firm mattress with a 7 out of 10 rating
- Supportive memory foam that keeps spine aligned
- Contouring foam provides some softness
The Bear Original is marketed as a medium-firm mattress, at a seven out of 10 on the firmness scale. Upon first lying on this bed, we thought it was quite soft, but when we took the time to really consider the mattress' firmness, we found we agreed with Bear's own score. When placing a 15lb weight in the middle of the mattress, it sunk about 2.1 inches, which also puts this mattress in the medium-firm bracket.
The mattress contours around the sleeper's limbs slightly, but you won't find yourself sinking too far into this mattress. During our review period, we found the memory foam pushed against the heaviest parts of our lead tester's 170lb body, to provide the ultimate support.
It took our main reviewer about four days to adjust to the firmness level of this mattress, and sometimes it felt too firm when trying to fall asleep on our back or stomach. We often fell asleep on our side and woke up on our back or stomach in the morning. However, overall we found this mattress was incredibly supportive of the hips and our lower back, and we never felt our hips were dropping too low.
Bear Original mattress review: Performance
- Very sturdy edge support
- Impressive motion isolation
- Doesn't offer a lot of breathability
We tested a queen size Bear Original mattress for two weeks, making sure to focus on the firmness, motion isolation, edge support, and temperature regulation. Set up and other important factors like the durability of the materials were also considered.
The overall construction appears to be good and with a lifetime warranty, we're hopeful that the materials will hold up over time. That said, this is a mid-range mattress and it's likely that the memory foam will soften over 10 years, though to what extent would be determined by many factors.
Score: 4.5 out of 5
The Bear Original queen mattress weighs 70lb and was delivered by FedEx, vacuum-packed, rolled and boxed. Shipping is free and takes 2-7 business days (at time of writing). The reviewer moved the box from the porch to the bedroom without any difficulty or assistance. There's currently no option to upgrade to a delivery option that includes setup or placing in a room of choice, which is worth factoring in if you have any mobility issues, for example. There's also no option to have your old mattress removed, which is a service some more premium bed companies offer.
After easily removing it from the box and the plastic, we placed it on a platform bed frame, though Bear explains an adjustable flex bed and the Bear Foundation will also do. A traditional coil box spring is not recommended.
Though it can take 24-48 hours to fully inflate, the mattress appeared to reach its full height after an hour, and we slept on the Bear Original mattress the same night we opened it.
The Bear Original is made with CertiPUR-US Certified Foams and is GREENGUARD Gold Certified by UL for low emissions. Best of all? It did not emit any kind of off-gassing smell during the unboxing, decompression, or review process.
Use the arrow icons to scroll through our reviewer's setup process
Score: 4.5 out of 5
Our reviewer does not have a partner and thus couldn't test the mattress' motion isolation capabilities but based on solo sleeping experiences, hypothesized that it would be excellent – and she wasn't wrong.
To objectively test the mattress' motion isolation, we placed an empty wine glass at the center of the mattress and dropped a 15lb weight 4, 10, and 25 inches away to mimic the motion of a partner moving on the bed. The wine glass didn't budge when we dropped the weight 25 inches away. However, it shook only once and very slightly when the weight was dropped 4 and 10 inches away. That's a very strong result.
During our visit to the Bear showroom, our Sleep Editor also lay on the Bear Original and enlisted the help of another journalist to get a real-world idea of how it might react when another person changed position on the bed, or got in and out. We both agreed that the Original did a great job with motion isolation – we only slightly felt the other's movements. The Bear Original would be a great choice for co-sleepers.
Score: 3.5 out of 5
The mattress' Celliant quilt cover and cooling gel memory foam are supposed to improve airflow and remove unwanted body heat, but it didn't do as well as we would have hoped.
We tested this mattress with a light comforter and microfiber sheets during Texas' fall season when some days were in the low 80s and some nights the temperature dropped below 40 degrees. On warmer days, we were hot sleeping on this mattress. Alternatively, on cold days, this was a very cozy mattress temperature-wise. This leads us to say that the Bear Original may not offer the breathability desired by hot sleepers (especially those in hot climates).
Bear admits that the Bear Original Hybrid offers more breathability than the all-foam option we reviewed. For more options, check out our guide to the best cooling mattresses – a good alternative might be the Cocoon by Sealy Chill.
Score: 5 out of 5
Edge support shouldn't be overlooked when buying a mattress as it increases the sleep surface, lets you sleep near the edge without falling off, and helps you to get out of bed. When sitting on the edge of the Bear Original, we felt completely supported and able to get in and out with ease. We didn't notice any inclination in the mattress to sag or give way to our weight when sleeping near the edge.
To further test this, we placed a 15-lb. dumbbell on the edge, and watched it sink about 1.5 inches. The edge support of the Bear Original was more impressive than others we have tested like the Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam mattress.
Score: 4 out of 5
The mattress looks and feels about the same as it did when we first began testing it. There is nothing to suggest that the mattress' materials will break down quickly, though we imagine that overtime, it will soften a bit. It's hard to say how the mattress will fair within 10 years, but the craftsmanship appears to be good and even if it does soften, the Bear Original would likely not break down to more than a 5 on the firmness scale, which means it would still be quite comfortable and supportive.
Bear Original mattress: customer reviews
The Bear Original mattress has a 4.5 out of five-star rating on the Bear website. Side, back, and stomach sleepers agree that the Bear Original is very supportive and met their comfort needs. Many enjoyed the mattress' contouring features and firm, but slightly bouncy, feel.
Most customers who gave it a one-, two-, or three-star review said that the mattress was too firm. There were a few outliers who said it was too soft, however, in our experience this is a firm mattress and likely those buyers need something that's an 8 or above on the firmness scale.
The second complaint from customers was that the mattress was too hot. It would be nice to know if these reviewers had the all-memory foam or the hybrid mattress, but alas, the 10,029 reviews were not separated by type.
Should you buy the Bear Original mattress?
A medium-firm mattress with contouring properties is what you can expect from the Bear Original mattress. The temperature regulation isn't the best, but the mattress excels in everything from motion isolation to edge support and pressure relief.
It's a good choice for partners with different sleep styles and those who don't want to be awoken in the middle of the night. Plus, the GREENGUARD Gold and CertiPUR-US certifications add to the overall value of the mattress. We expect the Bear Original to remain on sale for a while, but even if it doesn't, we feel as if the regular price accurately reflects the materials, construction, and features.
Keep in mind, the Bear Original is a better fit for those who like a firm mattress. If you're looking for something soft or plush, this is not the mattress for you. Instead, consider the Amerisleep AS3 Memory Foam or the Allswell mattress as they're a 5-6 on the firmness scale. The Allswell will likely do better with temperature regulation since it's a hybrid mattress, but if an all-foam mattress is what you want, the Tuft & Needle's temperature regulation is a step above the Bear Original.