Best Online Mattresses of 2018

Jonathan Knoder ·
Assistant Managing Editor
Updated
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I brought test mattresses in and out of my apartment for months and even slept on a couple in our office overnight to determine the best overall mattress. In my opinion, that title goes to Purple. I felt great after every night of sleep on the Purple mattress. I recently tested the Purple 2 from the company's new line, and I would still choose the original Purple. It costs $600 less than the Purple 2, and I found it more comfortable. Purple feels completely different from any other mattress I have ever experienced, but I didn’t have any back or joint pain and woke up every morning feeling rested.   

Best Overall
Purple
The Purple mattress provided the most restful night’s sleep I experienced in my testing. I fell asleep quickly and woke up feeling pain-free. The mattress was fully supportive and made for a great night’s rest. I also recommend this as the best mattress for stomach sleepers.
View on Purple
Best Value
GhostBed
This mattress is $600 less than the most expensive mattress. It feels firm initially, but breaks in minutes after you lie on it. It has the feel of a latex mattress and memory foam – giving a good balance between both worlds.
View on GhostBed
Best for Side Sleepers
Leesa
The Leesa mattress provides comfort and relieves pressure points with its 2 inches of Avena foam. This mattress keeps you cool during the night and supports you throughout the night, and it’s epically good for side sleepers.
View on Leesa
Product
Price
Overall Rating
Price
Comfort
Delivery & Returns
Twin
Twin XL
Full
Queen
King
California King
Comfort Score
Lingering Smell Days
Trial Period (days)
Full Refund
Height (inches)
Weight in Box (pounds)
Check Price
9.4 6.8 10 9.7
N/A
$699
$899
$999
$1,299
$1,299
A+
3
100
9.5
115
Check Price
9.2 8.3 9.4 9.8
$495
$650
$725
$795
$975
$995
A-
0.5
101
11
89
Check Price
8.8 6.7 9.4 9.6
$649
$699
$899
$999
$1,399
$1,399
A
0
120
-
14.5
110
Check Price
8.6 7.6 8.8 9.7
$525
$625
$790
$940
$1,070
$1,070
A-
14
100
8
76
Check Price
8.4 8.8 8.1 9.8
$425
$475
$625
$750
$900
$900
B+
1
120
10
98.8
Check Price
8.2 9.7 7.5 9.7
$399
$429
$549
$599
$749
$749
B
0.5
100
10
70
Check Price
7.6 2.5 8.8 9.7
N/A
$1,299
N/A
$1,599
$1,899
$1,899
A-
3
100
11
122
Check Price
6.6 4 6.9 9.8
$1,099
$1,149
$1,249
$1,399
$1,699
$1,699
B-
0.5
100
12
90.2
Check Price
6.5 10 5 9.7
$325
$375
$475
$575
$700
$700
C-
7
100
10
72
Check Price
6.3 7 5.6 9.7
$600
$700
$850
$995
$1,245
$1,245
C
0.5
100
10.4
89.5
Check Price
6 7.5 5 9.7
$550
$600
$800
$950
$1,150
$1,150
C-
7
100
8
82.7
Best Overall
I brought the Purple mattress into my apartment for a week. I recommend unboxing the mattress on the platform where you sleep. Unboxing it in our office and then transferring the floppy, 115-pound mattress to my apartment was not easy to say the least.
Underneath the mattress cover is the hyper-elastic polymer mattress top. This is what separates Purple from all other mattresses. The feel of the mattress is unique. The honeycombed design of the polymer material hugged my body when I lay down, but it also pressed up against my back to support me. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it until I woke up and felt the benefits of a great night sleep with total back, shoulder and hip support. I usually fall asleep on my stomach, making me prone to lower back pain. I could feel the mattress sinking in on my heavy pressure points, but rising up and pushing against the arches to provide variable pressure and support. It was a unique feeling, but in the end, I slept great and felt rested in the morning. This was among the very few mattresses that didn’t cause me any back or joint pain whatsoever.
Pros
  • Supportive
  • Good for all sleep types
  • No adjustment period from old mattress
Cons
  • Heavy and hard to move around
  • Feels unique – might not be comfortable to all
  • Plastic smell that lasts roughly two days
$999.00Purple
Read the full review
Best Value
The GhostBed mattress has a unique feel and design. It is a hybrid mattress made up of both latex foam and memory foam. The latex foam initially gives it a firmer feeling, but as you rest on the mattress for a minute or two, the memory foam characteristics begin to take effect. The longer you lie on the mattress, the softer and more contouring it becomes.
I brought the Ghostbed to my apartment for a week. The bed is comfortable and provides decent support. After the first night of sleep, I woke up with some lower back stiffness, but that was typical of most first nights on a new mattress. The mattress provides good edge support as well. When you lie on the edges, the bed doesn’t feel like it’s going to collapse or roll you off. Same goes for sitting on the edge of the bed. Instead of sinking in, it felt like it was easy to get from a sitting to standing position. Overall, I was impressed with the mattress during my sleep. If you’re looking for a good mattress without spending $1,000 or more, consider Ghostbed.
Pros
  • 20-year warranty
  • Best of both latex and memory foam worlds
  • Inexpensive
Cons
  • Firmer than anticipated
  • Back was sore after first night of sleeping
  • Box didn’t have handles, making it difficult to move
GhostBed
Read the full review
Best for Side Sleepers
I brought the Leesa mattress to my apartment for a week. This online foam mattress is composed of Avena foam, memory foam and base foam. It is one of the softer-feeling mattresses I experienced and good for side sleep support.
After we unboxed the mattress, a plastic smell lingered for far longer than 12 to 24 hours. Most mattresses had the same smell, but it dissipated after a day. After a week, the plastic smell was still present. It wasn’t prominent, but it is something to be aware of. The look of the mattress alone is great. The mattress cover is a light grey with four white stripes across the foot of the mattress. It is simple but clean and looks great uncovered by sheets. People don’t generally buy a mattress for its looks, but the great look of the mattress shouldn’t be ignored. Like many of the mattresses, I did experience some lower-back pain the first couple nights I slept on the mattress as my body adjusted to it. It is softer than my current mattress and softer than some of the other medium-firm mattresses we tested. That being said, it is still supportive while it contours to the body. For dominant side sleepers, I recommend contacting Leesa for a trial.
Pros
  • Soft and comfortable
  • Great for side sleepers
  • Looks great without sheets
Cons
  • Not tall
  • Sits low on platform
  • Can’t be used with a box spring
  • Plastic smell lasts a long time
Leesa
Read the full review

Why Trust Us?

The sleep testing for this project alone took several months to complete. Taking a mattress from the office to my apartment – up two flights of stairs – and then back to the office when my research was complete was not a simple task, not to mention how all of my neighbors must think I’m crazy at this point. There was a lot of time, physical effort and actual back pain – as well as great nights and bad nights of sleep that I put myself through – to make sure that you have the information you need to navigate the confusing seas of online mattress shopping.

We aren’t going to attempt to fool you by saying that comfort is universal. It’s not. What I find comfortable is different from what you might find comfortable, but there is plenty of knowledge to be gained from my experiences and we hope it’s helpful to guide you through your mattress shopping.

We ordered every mattress into our testing facility. We documented how long it took for each one to arrive and took notes during the unboxing process. After the mattresses were unboxed, we conducted a handful of different sink tests to measure support and comfort. We did these tests with two people: myself, 5 feet 9 inches tall and 160 pounds, and my co-worker, who is 6 feet 3 inches tall and 300 pounds. This gave us a good indicator how beds would react to different body types. Finally, I slept on all the mattresses. 

How We Tested

I took most mattresses to my apartment to sleep on for a week. There were a few exceptions – two of the mattresses I had to sleep on in our testing lab due to scheduling and timing issues, but I did sleep on every mattress and recorded my experience on every one.

Finally, we returned the mattresses and documented the return policy. We made sure that when a company says the returns are hassle-free and you get all of your money back – that they mean it. Keep in mind that our office is in Utah. Mattress return procedures can vary based on your location, but it gives you a good idea on what to expect if you don’t end up liking a mattress and want to return it. 



 

What Kind of Sleeper Are You?

Do you tend to sleep on your side, stomach or back? Do you share a bed with your partner? These factors should influence the type of mattress you buy. Side sleepers put most of their weight on specific pressure points – hips, knees and shoulders. Side sleepers generally benefit from the pressure relief properties of memory foam mattresses and medium to medium-soft mattresses.

Back sleepers need a supportive mattress that is comfortable. Back sleepers can benefit from a variety of mattresses including foam, latex and spring mattresses.

Stomach sleepers desperately need supportive mattresses. They generally suffer from lower back problems because the back is concave. Breathing problems can also occur from all of their weight being on their chest during sleep. Firmer and more supportive mattresses are often the best solution for stomach sleepers.

If you sleep with another person in bed, you’ll want something with minimum motion transfer. Spring mattresses are awful for motion transfer. Memory foam mattresses are great at limiting motion so one restless partner doesn’t keep the other awake at night.

Materials

Memory Foam
When you lie down on memory foam, it hugs your body; when you move, it goes back to its original shape. The contouring provides pressure point relief, such as your hips or shoulders, which is valuable for side sleepers.

Latex Foam
Latex mattresses have more rigid qualities opposed to memory foam, which is good for people who need more back support. You can get organic latex foam that isn’t made from any unnatural processes. This is good for people who prioritize being environmentally conscious, as well as people looking for a hypoallergenic mattress.

Spring Mattresses
More-traditional spring and pillow-top mattresses tend to not last as long. The springs or coils within the mattress eventually wear out, and the mattress will begin to sink and ultimately lose support. That said, spring mattresses are usually easy to find and relatively inexpensive (in most cases). Plus, there are varying levels of firmness to choose from to find one that’s comfortable for you.

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