Best mattress 2019: sleep easy with these great options

Best mattresses
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Finding the best mattress for you will mean you’re no longer waking up tired and grumpy after a bad night’s sleep.

According to the Sleep Council, sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress can rob you of up to an hour’s sleep per night. This adds up to a full night’s sleep over the course of a week and it’s recommended that you should consider changing your bed every seven years. 

While traditional pocket sprung mattresses are still incredibly popular, the last few years has seen a surge in online, bed-in-a-box mattresses. These vacuum-packed mattresses are normally made from foam or latex, or a hybrid of the two, and can be easily delivered to your door. 

How to choose the best mattress for you

We aren’t going to attempt to fool you by saying that comfort is universal. It’s not. While you’d traditionally walk into a furniture store and go and lay down on a few pocket sprung mattresses until you find one you like.

With mattresses purchased online, that’s not quite so easy, but the good news is that most online retailers realise this and offer a 100 day trial period and free returns should the mattress not be quite right for you. It’s worth checking the smallprint though as you can get stung with a hefty, non-refundable delivery bill though. 

So what should you be looking for? 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. 

This will come down to personal preference to a point, but a firm mattress is better suited to people who sleep on their front and back. Those who tend to sleep on their side a lot with benefit from a softer mattress as this will mould to your body’s natural curve. 

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

What’s the best brand of mattress for back pain?

No one manufacturer is better than the other when it comes to finding the best mattress for back pain. It’s a very personal thing, with a mattress that suits one person with back pain not elevating the issue for another. A good rule of thumb is that a firm mattress is more suited to a heavier person, while softer mattresses tend to be favored by lighter people.

Mattress materials

As we’ve touched on, pocket sprung mattresses have been joined by foam and latex (and a combination of the two) in recent years. 

When you lie down on memory foam mattress, you’ll find that 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 on the other hand have more rigid qualities opposed to memory foam, which is good for people who need more back support. You can also 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.

How much should you pay for a good mattress?

Mattresses vary widely in price depending on the company and the materials used to build the mattress. Our advice is to always put quality above price. Don’t get us wrong, there are some perfectly acceptable low-priced mattresses available, but when it comes to your bed, spend as much as you can afford.

We put a wide variety of mattress to the test, sleeping on each for at least a week, before returning to see how easy it was to send a mattress back. Here’s our pick of the best mattress you can buy online…

Best overall

Purple mattress

(Image credit: Purple)

Purple

Thanks to a unique honeycomb design it delivers pressure relief

SPECIFICATIONS

Sizes: Twin to Cal King | Filling: Hyper-elastic polymer | Comfort: High | Trial period: 100 days | Full refund: Yes | Weight in box: 115Ibs

Reasons to Buy
Supportive
Good for all sleep types
No adjustment period from old mattress
Reasons to Avoid
Heavy and hard to move around
Unique feel not for everyone

The Purple mattress sports a hyper-elastic polymer mattress top and this is what separates Purple from all other mattresses we’ve tested. This delivers a really unique feel, with honeycombed design of the polymer material not only hugging our tester’s body when they laid down, but offering a great level of support and pressure relief.  

It might feel a little odd at first, but we soon felt the benefits after a great night’s sleep on the Purple mattress thanks to the way it provided variable pressure and support. It was certainly a unique feeling, but in the end, we slept great and felt rested in the morning.

Best value mattress

GhostBed

(Image credit: GhostBed)

GhostBed

Hybrid mattress that’s made up of both latex foam and memory foam

SPECIFICATIONS

Sizes: Twin to Split King | Filling: Memory foam and latex | Comfort: High | Trial period: 101 days | Full refund: Yes | Weight in box: 89Ibs

Reasons to Buy
20-year warranty
Best of both latex and memory foam worlds
Inexpensive
Reasons to Avoid
Firm
Can give you a sore back

The GhostBed mattress is a hybrid mattress that’s 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 characteristics of memory foam begin to take effect. The longer you lie on the mattress, the softer and more contouring it becomes.

Though the GhostBed mattress delivered decent support, we found that after the first night of sleep there was some lower back stiffness. This got better though after a couple of nights and something we experienced with numerous other mattresses on test. 

Overall, we were left impressed with the mattress during our sleep tests, making the GhostBed a great buy if you’re looking to spend under $1,000. 

Best memory foam mattress

A side shot of a bed with a Casper mattress on it.

(Image credit: Casper)

The Casper

Cool and comfy

SPECIFICATIONS

Sizes: Twin to Cal King | Filling: Memory foam | Comfort: Medium/high | Trial period: 100 days | Full refund: Yes | Weight in box: 82.7Ibs

Reasons to Buy
Cooling design
Good edge support
Reasons to Avoid
Hassle to return

The Aurora from Brooklyn Bedding is designed to keep you cool while you sleep, with the mattress infused with the company’s TitanCool. This is a patented phase change molecule that maintains body temperature at an ideal 88 degrees. 

It certainly does the trick, but comfort hasn’t been sacrificed either. The Aurora also uses what Brooklyn Bedding terms as TitanFlex foam that provides a good level of pressure relief, which is also supported by pocketed coils. There are three levels of firmness available depending on your sleep needs. 

While it offers a long 120-day trial period, Brooklyn Bedding tried harder than other mattress companies to get us to keep the mattress. The fact that we had to make arrangements with a donation center and had to take the mattress there ourselves was more of a hassle than we anticipated, but that also may be due to our location

Best for side sleepers

Leesa mattress

(Image credit: Leesa)

Leesa

For dominant side sleepers, the Leesa is definitely worth a try

SPECIFICATIONS

Sizes: Twin to Cal King | Filling: Memory foam and foam | Comfort: Medium | Trial period: 100 days | Full refund: Yes | Weight in box: 76Ibs

Reasons to Buy
Soft and comfortable
Great for side sleepers
Reasons to Avoid
Sits low on platform
Can’t be used with a box spring

This foam mattress is composed of Avena foam, memory foam and base foam, making the Leesa one of the softer-feeling mattresses we tested. 

After we unboxed the mattress, a plastic smell lingered for far longer than the 12 to 24 hours we experienced with most of the other mattresses on test. Even after a week the plastic smell was still noticeable, though not as prominent. 

Like many of the mattresses we tested, we did experience some lower-back pain the first couple nights as we adjusted to it, while it’s noticeably 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, the Leesa is definitely worth a try.

Best sprung mattress

Saatav mattress

(Image credit: Saatav)

Saatva Luxury Firm Mattress

Expensive, but one of the most comfortable on test

SPECIFICATIONS

Sizes: Twin to Cal King | Filling: Pocket springs with pillow top | Comfort: High | Trial period: 120 days | Full refund: No ($100 delivery un-refundable) | Weight in box: 110Ibs

Reasons to Buy
Soft and comfortable
Plenty of support
Reasons to Avoid
Expensive compared to rivals
Doesn’t come rolled up in a box

The Saatva mattress was one of the most comfortable mattresses we slept on during testing. It’s also one of the most expensive I reviewed, but we feel it is worth the extra cost.

The mattress is delivered to your home, but it doesn’t come rolled up in a box. Instead, it comes fully expanded and simply wrapped in plastic. There’s also the non-refundable $100 fee for delivery and setup, so if you decide to return the mattress within the trial period, you can get refunded except for that fee.

During tests, we enjoyed several nights of great sleep on the Saatva Luxury Firm Mattress. Lay on you back and the mattress will sink around your upper shoulders and backside, while the soft cushioned pillow top will gently press up against your lower back. It’s comfortable and feels plush. The mattress was extremely cushioned and supportive, especially for a back and stomach sleepers. We reckon most people would really enjoy a great night’s sleep on this mattress. 

Most customizable mattress

Helix mattress

(Image credit: Helix)

Helix

Tailor your mattress to suit you

SPECIFICATIONS

Sizes: Twin to Cal King | Filling: Memory foam and pocket springs | Comfort: Medium | Trial period: 100 days | Full refund: Yes | Weight in box: 89.5Ibs

Reasons to Buy
Tailor mattress to your needs
Customize each side
Reasons to Avoid
Firmer than anticipated
Bit too much sink

Before you purchase your Helix mattress, the Helix website prompts you to take a short quiz. There are a handful of questions to determine how you sleep and the type of mattress you prefer to sleep on. In total, there are six variants of the Helix mattress. This offer different levels of firmness and suit either side or back and stomach sleepers. 

To add an extra layer of choice, each mattress can be purchased in either standard or Luxe versions, with the Luxe mattresses benefitting from zoned lumbar support, premium quilted pillow top and an ultra-cool cover included. 

After you complete the survey the company builds your mattress to your specifications. What’s really cool is you can have it customized to fit two different people’s sleep profiles - one side of the bed can be tailored for one person and the other side for someone else. 

This was the firmest feeling mattress we tried in our comparison. The top layer feels cushioned like typical memory foam, but the rest of the layers must have been quite firm. Keep in mind as well that this sort of customization does come at a cost. 

Best cooling mattress

Brooklyn mattress

(Image credit: Brooklyn)

Brooklyn Bedding Aurora

Cooling relief while you sleep

SPECIFICATIONS

Sizes: Twin to Cal King | Filling: Memory foam, hyper-elastic foam and pocket springs | Comfort: Medium | Trial period: 120 days | Full refund: Yes | Weight in box: 98.8Ibs

Reasons to Buy
Cooling design
Good edge support
Reasons to Avoid
Hassle to return

The Aurora from Brooklyn Bedding is designed to keep you cool while you sleep, with the mattress infused with the company’s TitanCool. This is a patented phase change molecule that maintains body temperature at an ideal 88 degrees. 

It certainly does the trick, but comfort hasn’t been sacrificed either. The Aurora also uses what Brooklyn Bedding terms as TitanFlex foam that provides a good level of pressure relief, which is also supported by pocketed coils. There are three levels of firmness available depending on your sleep needs. 

While it offers a long 120-day trial period, Brooklyn Bedding tried harder than other mattress companies to get us to keep the mattress. The fact that we had to make arrangements with a donation center and had to take the mattress there ourselves was more of a hassle than we anticipated, but that also may be due to our location.

ProductPriceOverall RatingPriceComfortDelivery & ReturnsTwinTwin XLFullQueenKingCalifornia KingComfort ScoreLingering Smell DaysTrial Period (days)Full RefundHeight (inches)Weight in Box (pounds)
Purple MattressView Deal4.5/56.8109.7N/A$699$899$999$1,299$1,299A+31009.5115
GhostBed MattressView Deal4.5/58.39.49.8$495$650$725$795$975$995A-0.51011189
Saatva Luxury Firm MattressView Deal4.5/56.79.49.6$649$699$899$999$1,399$1,399A0120-14.5110
Leesa MattressView Deal4.5/57.68.89.7$525$625$790$940$1,070$1,070A-14100876
Brooklyn Bedding MattressView Deal4/58.88.19.8$425$475$625$750$900$900B+11201098.8
Nest Bedding Love & Sleep MattressView Deal4/59.77.59.7$399$429$549$599$749$749B0.51001070
Purple 2View Deal4/52.58.89.7N/A$1,299N/A$1,599$1,899$1,899A-310011122
Amerisleep Liberty MattressView Deal3.5/546.99.8$1,099$1,149$1,249$1,399$1,699$1,699B-0.51001290.2
Tuft & Needle MattressView Deal3.5/51059.7$325$375$475$575$700$700C-71001072
Helix MattressView Deal3/575.69.7$600$700$850$995$1,245$1,245C0.510010.489.5
Casper MattressView Deal3/57.559.7$550$600$800$950$1,150$1,150C-7100882.7