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. It 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.
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.
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 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.
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.