Finding the best mattress out there has become very different from how it used to be. If you told someone 10 years ago that you were going to buy a mattress without lying on it in a store first, they probably would have thought you were crazy to spend big bucks on a product like that without first "testing it out."
Now, shopping online for a mattress that you'll spend approximately one-third of your life on without trying it out first is becoming the norm for mattress shopping. Nearly half of the mattresses purchased in 2018 — 45% — were bought online, according to stats from the International Sleep Products Association. And that percentage is likely to grow, with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic closing a lot of brick-and-mortar retail outlets and requiring us to spend more time at home.
But even before stay-at-home orders, this new way of buying the best mattress was fueled by the booming bed-in-a-box industry. Also contributing to the growth in shopping for mattresses without ever leaving the house are our increasing comfort with online shopping and the understanding that spending a few minutes lying on a mattress in a store doesn't help you gauge how comfortable it'll be for you over time.
Mattress retailers understand that you need at least a month to determine if a given mattress is the best one for you, and most online mattress companies offer at least 100-night trials — sometimes longer — and some offer free shipping and returns, so it's relatively easy to try a different mattress if the first model isn't cut out for the job.
Here's a look at the best mattresses out there and what companies should be at the top of your shopping list. For more information on the companies who hope to sell you a new mattress, check out our comparison of online mattress companies.
What is the best mattress?
Even if you think you know what you want in a mattress, the buying process can be daunting. Some experts estimate there are at least 175 bed-in-a-box companies in business now, according to CNBC. That's why we sorted through the data and reviews to come up with the 10 best mattresses you can buy right now.
Based on online reviews and research, the top choice for a mattress comes from Casper. It's one of the most trusted brands when it comes to selling people a mattress-in-a-box, and it has a reputation for mattresses that sleep cool and offer low motion transfer.
But you've got other options as well — Allswell's Hybrid Mattress is a good choice if you want to save money, while the Saatva Classic Luxury Firm is the way to go if you're not sold on the idea of a mattress in a box.
Purple Mattress continues to be at the top of most shopping lists for the best mattress, and it's easy to understand why given the company's reputation for overall comfort. (Interested in a deeper dive on Purple? We can answer your frequently asked questions about Purple and the mattresses it offers.)
There are plenty of other possibilities, whether you're looking for customizable mattresses, like the ones Helix sells, or mattresses made from organic materials as featured at Avocado. Let's dive into our list of the top 10 mattress options.
The best mattresses you can buy right now
1. Casper Original Mattress
The best mattress overall that you can buy right now
Price (queen size): $995 | Firmness (1-10): 6 | Availability: Online, though Casper retail outlets are starting to appear | Trial length: 100 days | Best sleeping positions: Side and back sleepers | Material: Foam | Warranty: 10-year limited
Think of a "mattress-in-a-box" company, and Casper is the brand that comes to mind for most consumers. That's for good reason — Casper has put quite a bit of money into marketing. But the company backs up the hype with stellar products.
The Casper Original mattress is made with four layers of memory foam. It offers zoned support under your hips and shoulders to alleviate pressure. Although Casper performs well and is comfortable for all sleepers, it's thought to be best for side sleepers and customers of a normal weight. It's good for people who like to sink into a bed and have that feel of it "hugging your body," says Tuck.com. It has a zip-off cover so you can easily wash that protector, without needing to buy a mattress pad.
2. Allswell Hybrid Mattress
The best mattress for lower budgets
Price (queen size): $375 | Firmness (1-10): 5 | Availability: Online | Trial length: 100 days | Best sleeping positions: Any | Material: Hybrid | Warranty: 10-year limited
A direct-to-consumer mattress backed by Walmart, Allswell offers a hybrid mattress with memory foam and coils that some reviewers say delivers luxury at a modest price. Allswell's hybrid mattress has individually wrapped coils so there's limited motion transfer and special CoolFlow breathable foam that's supposed to keep you cool while you sleep.
The next level up, the Allswell Luxe Hybrid ($645), has more memory foam and a plusher cover. Although the product descriptions say both options offer great support around the perimeter, not all reviewers found that to be true for them in either the Hybrid or the Luxe.
3. Saatva Classic Luxury Firm
The best luxury mattress - and it doesn't come in a box
Price (queen size): $1,099 | Firmness (1-10): 5/6 for luxury firm option | Availability: Online | Trial length: 120 days | Best sleeping positions: Any, couples | Material: Hybrid, mostly inner-coil mattress | Warranty: 15-year limited
If you aren't keen on having your new mattress come in a box, the traditional setup of Saatva, a direct-to-consumer mattress company, might be the option you're looking for. Saatva mattresses are made with innerspring coils that are individually wrapped, designed to reduce motion transfer. That means if you and your partner come in to bed or wake up at separate times, or he/she rolls around more than you during sleep, you shouldn't feel them move as much.
Most of the materials Saatva uses, such as organic cotton, are eco-friendly. The mattress comes with a pillow-top layer, which is bolstered by memory foam and a dual-coil system. Since it doesn't come in a box, you won't have that "off-gassing" issue you tend to get with a newer memory foam mattress. Customers also appreciate that Saatva staffers deliver it and set it up, even hauling away your old mattress for free.
4. The Purple Mattress
This popular mattress gives across-the-board comfort
Price (queen size): $1,099 | Firmness (1-10): 6 | Availability: Online; also can be tested in store like Macy's | Trial length: 100 days | Best sleeping positions: All sleepers | Material: Foam | Warranty: 10 years
The Purple Mattress was founded in 2015 with a Kickstarter campaign begun by engineering brothers Tony and Terry Pearce, who have over 30 years of working on cushioning technology for consumers — from wheelchair technology to knee braces and footwear. They invented Hyper-Elastic Polymer foam, which could be molded to a shape under pressure, and redistribute pressure to other areas — a desirable effect in mattresses. This one-of-a-kind foam was the basis for the Purple Grid layer for their mattresses, that somehow works for relieving pressure and providing comfort.
Purple's foam is designed to help with spinal alignment and flexes under pressure while promoting airflow, allowing you to sleep cool. The top layer has 2 inches of hyper-elastic polymer material in its Purple Grid, followed by 3.5 inches of polyurethane foam, and the base layer has 4 inches of polyurethane foam. Purple recommends ditching your box spring and using the mattress on their Purple Platform Base or a supportive bed frame.
Still not sure if the Purple Mattress is right for you? We've got more in-depth answers to all your Purple Mattress questions.
5. The Helix Midnight
Customize your mattress choice
Price (queen size): $895 | Firmness (1-10): 6 | Availability: Online | Trial length: 100 days | Best sleeping positions: Side sleeper (for Midnight model) | Material: Hybrid | Warranty: 10 years
Helix is known for its variety of mattresses that address specific consumer needs, and its website makes it easy for you to find the model you want based on a quiz of how you sleep and the level of firmness you desire. Helix can even recommend a model that suits yours and your partner's needs.
The Midnight is Helix's most popular model; it's recommended for side sleepers or those who toss and turn all night. Helix makes the Midnight mattress with a breathable UltraCool top layer, a specialty memory "plus" foam to relieve pressure, then a polyfoam layer, followed by coils for minimizing motion transfer, and a base with memory foam. With all of those layers you think you'd wake up sweating, but Helix has been recognized for having the top choice for hot sleepers on a list of recommended side-sleeper mattresses on Sleepopolis.com.
6. Avocado Green Mattress
A natural mattress for those who want to go organic
Price (queen sized): $1,399 | Firmness (1-10): 5-6 | Availability: Online | Trial length: 365 days | Best sleeping positions: Back and stomach sleepers | Material: Wool, latex, organic cotton, innerspring support coils | Warranty: 25-year warranty
Just as you'll pay more for organic fruit and vegetables, you'll have to shell out more if you want to sleep on a nontoxic, eco-friendly, high-quality mattress like Avocado Green. The company's organic mattresses are made with Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) Dunlop latex and Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) New Zealand wool, organic cotton and over 1,400 steel coils. Consumers concerned about sleeping on synthetic materials and the off-gassing that's synonymous with most bed-in-a-box brands will like that this brand is free of flame retardants and chemical adhesives, along with polyurethane and memory foams.
The standard Avocado Green mattress is said to have a "gentle feel" and a balanced level of firmness. If you prefer a pillow top, you can choose that plush "European-style" pillow top for an extra $400. Avocado even has a vegan mattress option that's made without wool. Avocado uses materials that are sustainable and largely biodegradable, and it donates 1% of sales to 1% For The Planet to address environmental issues.
7. Leesa Original Mattress
The mattress that relieves pressure
Price (queen size): $949 | Firmness (1-10): 6-7 | Availability: Online | Trial Length: 100 days | Best sleeping positions: Back and side sleepers | Material: Foam | Warranty: 10-year limited
Leesa is another "original" bed-in-a-box company that can boast its share of positive reviews. This mattress's foam is supposed to fill in the gaps around your body when you lie down. Reviewers on NYMag.com say the pressure and comfort for those who prefer firmer mattresses was good, while others said the mattress felt "soft and plush."
The mattress is made up of three layers of foam, starting with the company's proprietary LSA 200 Breathable foam-layer topper, followed by a pressure-relieving middle layer and high-density foam layer for support. Customers like that Leesa's mattress is designed and manufactured in the U.S. Some customers who gave Leesa low reviews said the mattress was too firm for them, and the off-gassing smell seemed to linger for weeks. The company donates one mattress to charity for every 10 sold and plants a tree for each mattress sold.
8. Layla Memory Foam Mattress
Easy to choose between soft and firm
Price (queen size): $899 | Firmness (1-10): 5.5 (soft), 7.5 (firm) | Availability: Online | Trial Length: 120 days | Best sleeping positions: Soft for side sleepers & back sleepers, Firm for stomach sleepers | Material: Copper-infused memory foam | Warranty: Lifetime
Layla sets itself apart from other bed-in-a-box mattresses with the Copper Gel particles that are infused into the memory foam, and that its mattress features a soft side or a firm side. This flippable mattress was named "best memory foam mattress for side sleepers" in a Sleepopolis review.
The Cooper Gel in the memory foam activates to provide support at deep compression areas while also providing an overall "plush" feel. A Thermagel cover will help you sleep cool, but it's activated only if it senses heat or moisture.
9. Nectar Memory Foam Mattress
Popular option for hot sleepers
Price (queen size): $699 | Firmness (1-10): 6.5 | Availability: Online | Trial length: 365 days | Best sleeping positions: Side sleepers | Material: Memory foam | Warranty: Lifetime
The Nectar mattress is another solid middle-of-the-road choice and is well-regarded for its value. Nectar Sleep is newer to the mattress-in-a-box world, and this mattress comes with a one-year trial period, along with free shipping and returns, so commitment-phobics should rest easy if they buy this and aren't happy with the product. Nectar also offers a "forever" warranty, which means they stand behind their product's construction and materials.
This medium-firm mattress is designed to relieve pressure points, and evenly distribute your weight with its three layers memory foam, including gel memory foam, breathable base layers and a bottom mattress cover to help it stay put on your frame. The quilted Tencel cover provides breathability and should help you stay cool so you don't wake up in a pool of perspiration in the middle-of-the night.
10. Tuft & Needle Original Mattress
Good for couples with different sleeping styles
Price (queen sizes): $595 | Firmness (1-10): 6 | Availability: Online and retail showrooms | Trial length: 100 days | Best sleeping positions: Any | Material: Foam | Warranty: 10-year limited
Tuft & Needle has been around since 2012, and its T&N Original mattress has more than 130,000 reviews on Amazon, Google and Yelp. Many of the positive reviews rave about the company's customer service. Tuft & Needle makes its mattresses with two layers of its proprietary foam, one layer being an adaptive cooling gel and the other a graphite foam that promises to keep you cool, wicking body heat away from you. This mattress has a soft, plushy feel but it's also supposed to provide pressure relief if you switch from your back to your side to your stomach. It's a good option for couples with different sleeping styles.
What to look for when shopping for the best mattress
Any mattress's comfort level is relative, and each consumer (and mattress company) may gauge a firmness level differently. What feels supportive and pressure-relieving to me may feel too firm to you, even if we're both side sleepers and about the same height and weight. Keep that in mind when noting our "firmness gauge" from 1 to 10, with 10 being the firmest. (Be aware that firmness ratings aren't regulated and can vary across brands.)
As you read about each mattress's materials, know that most bed-in-a-box varieties are memory-foam mattresses. Some variations are hybrid models, which may contain memory foam, innersprings or latex. Other (conventional) mattresses are made with innersprings or coils, while some mattresses are made with latex for someone who seeks a natural material option. Each material has its pros and cons.
We list the price for queen-size basic mattresses, but the options listed here are also available in twin, twin XL, Full, king and California king. Generally speaking, the bigger the mattress, the higher the price. Most of the twin mattresses are a few hundred dollars less and the king and California king mattresses average about $200 more than the queen size. Some brands, like Purple, also offer split king sizes. Hybrid mattresses and Luxe or Premier versions cost more than the basic/original mattress prices listed.