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You’ve seen the stats or know them intuitively: You spend close to a third of your time alive in bed. And the quality of your mattress directly affects your sleep. How well you rest plays an important role in your mental and physical health, says the National Institute of Health; conversely, sleep deficiency can increase the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes, not to mention how well you feel and function throughout the day.
You need a comfortable, supportive mattress that helps you fall asleep easily and aids your body and brain as it recovers and recharges throughout the night. Finding the perfect model for you has in some ways become easier, thanks to the huge number of brands that sell online.
Check out the quick reviews below of our top five mattresses, or scroll deeper for more helpful buying info and full reviews of those models plus other great options.
How to Buy a Mattress Online
For this review, we tested mattresses you can primarily buy online—though some options from companies like Tempur-Pedic are available in stores at mattress retailers. Many of the direct-to consumer brands (Casper, Tuft and Needle, Bedgear, Avocado, Bloom, and Purple in this review) are best known for their memory-foam mattresses, which often get delivered to your door compressed in a box about the size of a dishwasher. That makes them incredibly easy to order, have shipped, and even carry up stairs and around tight corners into the bedroom.
Even brands that sell through stores offer online ordering and often use freight services to deliver their products. These are typically higher-priced mattresses and some of the brands, like Tempur-Pedic and Saatva, will carry away your old mattress (free or for a charge). When comparing mattress prices, definitely check to see if there’s a delivery or disposal fee.
Many brands can have mattresses at your door in a few days or less. Some like Saatva and Avocado manufacture your mattress only after you order it; delivery of those can take two to three weeks. That’s something to consider if you need your new bed in a hurry. Also, during the COVID-19 pandemic, most brands have offered hands-off delivery, so you can receive your new mattress without any personal contact.
Types of Mattresses
You have basically three choices when it comes to your next mattress: foam, innerspring, or a hybrid.
Foam: Usually made with multiple layers of forgiving foam, these mattresses promise high-levels of even support. They may feel harder than other types, and the dense foam can limit air circulation, making them feel hotter. Many of the latest options, however, incorporate tech to aid cooling.
Innerspring: This classic style uses metal springs to support your weight. The metal coils typically are wrapped with some foam and often a softer cushioning on top. These mattresses can feel very plush, and offer good air movement so they don’t retain heat like some foam mattresses. But they can feel bouncy and may not distribute pressure as well as foam.
Hybrid: Just like it sounds, these models, which are gaining some popularity, combine springs with a larger slab of foam on top, offering the support of a foam, with the cushioning and cooling of a traditional spring mattress.
No matter which type you go with, you’ll likely be able to choose your firmness level. Which is right for you will depend on personal preference and how you sleep. Most experts we spoke with agree that side and back sleepers should go with a firmer mattress. Stomach sleepers (the few of you out there) are usually better with a softer option.
How We Tested
We began by consulting mattress experts to identify the best options available right now. We considered the technology, current trends, consumer reviews, and our past experience testing similar mattresses. We looked closely at how easy it is to order from each brand, the delivery process (and times), as well as their return policy and warranty. Then we tested ten of the top options, sleeping on them from 60 to 90 days (one that arrived late had a shorter test period). We evaluated the condition in which they arrived, set up, whether there were any smells, and whether there was a break-in period. We scored them on their construction, support, comfort, and value. We’re confident one of the mattresses here will meet your needs.
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With incredible cooling tech and support, the latest Tempur-Pedic feels almost icy to the touch, purportedly 8 degrees cooler than the brand’s other foam options. The ventilated foam feels firm at first but compresses to provide support that lends you the sensation of weightlessness—not surprising, given that the Tempur material was first developed by the anti-gravity geniuses at NASA. The LuxeBreeze impressed with its incredible support and high-quality construction. Tempur-Pedic also makes it exceptionally easy to order, and the delivery service was excellent. You pay a premium for this, but the gains are real. Our tester reported falling asleep faster and having more restful slumbers throughout the test.
—BEST FOR ACTIVE PEOPLE—
This unique hybrid design allows you to customize the level of firmness you want; selecting softer or firmer coils, which sit into the frame of the mattress. Layers of techy foam rest on top, boosting comfort and aiding air movement and moisture management. That makes it great for athletes, bedmates who desire different firmness levels, or anyone who wants a supportive, cool sleep. The M3 takes more effort to assemble (it comes in four boxes) and, like the Tempur-Pedic, is on the firmer side. Though its quality, high level of support, and overall value received top marks from our testers; one of them even called it the best mattress he’s ever slept on. “There’s very little sinking in, but just enough so it’s not like sleeping on carpeted concrete,” said another tester. “You wake up, and your neck isn’t stiff.”
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Bloom is the newer mattress line from Brooklyn Bedding. The Essential hybrid has a foundation of coils, layers of foam cushioning on top, including an upper slab of latex rubber that adds some buoyancy and breathes better than standard foam. Unlike a lot of hybrid mattresses, this one comes in a smallish box, making it relatively easy to bring into your room. Plus, the handles on the side make it easy to move and rotate. It’s also a decent value compared to similar hybrid options, especially if you consider the quality materials used. A three-inch Talaley latex layer adds buoyancy, and the organic wool top provides a plush, but still breathable, surface. For the price, it’s a great option for those looking for a balance of luxury-level support and softness made from natural materials.
Casper Wave Hybrid
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One of several new models from Casper, this hybrid features multiple layers of the company’s new foam tech, called Airscape. The brand says it’s cooler and allows better airflow, though we didn’t perceive a huge cooling effect here. This one also features Casper’s new Zoned Support system. The design increases support in areas you need it most (under the shoulders and hips, for example) and relaxes it in others. It boosts that support with gel pods in key areas. Our test editor said she felt real benefits. “It is definitely noticeable. The zone at the head of the mattress is firmer, while the middle zone compresses further to cradle your midsection while aiding in spinal alignment.” Compared to Casper’s standard foam mattress, the Wave Hybrid offers a little more support—ideal for people who need extra relief or who are very active and want a mattress to aid in muscle recovery. It’s firm yet supportive and delivers a good night’s sleep right away with little break-in period.
Casper Wave Hybrid Snow
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If you’re a hot sleeper, consider Casper’s new Snow technology. We tested it out in the Wave Hybrid model, with the same Zone Support and similar AirScape features as the previous mattresses, but add HeatDelete Bands and a QuickCool Cover, which claim to deliver a 24 percent cooler-to-the-touch feeling and 6-degree cooler sleep compared to the standard Wave Hybrid by pulling heat away from the body. While we weren’t directly able to compare these numbers, the Snow tech certainly kept our tester cool. The mattress also provided exceptional support in all sleeping positions that we’d expect from a Casper mattress. “Whether I’m on my side or back, I feel like I get good support in each position,” said our tester. “I have no noticeable pressure points.” Though it may come at a bit of a premium price, you can feel better knowing that Casper offers a 100-night trial with free returns.
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This is an impressive mattress that looks great and has a ton of environmentally friendly features, making it a great choice for anyone who wants a more sustainable option. It’s tufted with buttons on all the sides with a nice dark green trim. The mattress is made from latex, wool, and cotton (all certified organic) in combination with pocketed support coils. No polyester, polyurethane foams, or fire retardants here. The pillow top is made from organic latex. While you can also get a vegan version of the mattress without the wool, the wool helps make the mattress naturally fire-resistant, regulate temperature, wick moisture, and prevent dust mites. It definitely is on the firm side—something to consider for petite side sleepers like our tester or anyone who wants a squishy marshmallow feel. But you can add a two-inch foam pillow top, which makes it feel more plush and luxurious. While Avocado doesn’t include any specific cooling tech, the wool fibers do allow decent air movement, and the mattress doesn’t feel as hot as some traditional memory-foam options.
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A true hybrid with coils, the Classic actually has six parts: an organic cotton Euro pillow top with antimicrobial fabric treatment, a memory foam layer to reduce stress on your lower back, coils beneath the pillow top to promote airflow, a wire Lumbar Zone for more back support, another layer of steel coils to prevent sagging over time and promote air breathability, and a foam edge support system to keep the edges from drooping. That quality allows Saatva to offer one of the longer warrantees of any mattress here, 15 years. The pillow top gives a plush feel, but the coils and memory foam prevent you from sinking too far. Even the mid-level Luxury Firm model we tested offers lots of support. Our tester reported a reduction in back and neck pain after just a few nights of sleep. “You hop on and think you’re going to sink in farther than you do,” she said. It’s soft at first, but that’s where it ends. It seems to almost adjust to your weight and stay just firm enough.”
—BEST MEMORY FOAM—
Tuft and Needle Mint
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Another excellent value, the Mint is the latest model from popular online brand Tuft & Needle. Upgraded materials make this one softer than the original, yet it still retains a firmer, supportive feel (if you want something even softer, check out the brand’s Hybrid model). This mattress looks and feels like a luxury product. The outer fabric is very soft and durable, and the soft cushioning of the memory foam doesn’t feel as spongey as some cheaper mattresses. The Mint has gel pads and graphite fibers to help regulate temperature. Like the Casper, it does a fair job of this, but not to the level as more expensive models. Still, the plush feel, high-quality construction, and ease of ordering make this a great value.
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One of the more interesting mattresses we tested, the Purple uses a polymer grid under your body that’s both soft and supportive. That makes this the softest feeling mattress of the bunch. For sleepers who like a firm mattress, however, it may be too soft. Yet there’s still plenty of support. And the grid leaves plenty of room for air to move, making this one feel cooler than some memory-foam options. “There’s a definite softness to the grid, which you feel when you press down or first lie down to sleep,” said our tester. “But it doesn’t sleep super soft; I felt like my body was supported head to toe.” The mattress also impressed with its high-quality construction. It’s heavy and thick, with sturdy seams. Overall, it’s a great option for anyone who wants a softer-feeling foam mattress.
Pure Green Natural Latex Mattress
The Pure Green is constructed with a firmer base of organic latex foam, as well as a comfort layer of latex foam that’s topped with organic wool batting and wrapped in a cotton exterior. The combination of latex and wool should help with breathability and fire-resistance, though we noticed the wool did retain some heat. According to our tester, this mattress took a few days to become firmer and supportive. And it was a bit cumbersome when setting up due to a lack of handles, while the soft, heavy foam made it difficult to pull on fitted sheets. However, the medium-firm model was squishy enough to prevent pain in pressure points like the hips, making it a good option for those who want an organic mattress that contours to their body.
Allswell Luxe Hybrid
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The Allswell offers some of the most affordable hybrid mattresses, especially when compared to most bed-in-a-box brands. The Luxe Hybrid comes in well under $1,000, with some sizes even sub-$500. Thanks to its balanced construction with coils, high-density foam, and memory-foam layers, we found it to be not too soft or too firm but just right. Our tester said it was more supportive than an old pillow-top mattress that had sunken in over time, while still soft and plush enough to minimize motion transfer. She said that as a stomach sleeper, “The Allswell helped me feel like I was sleeping with my back more in line, straight and supported.” However, the “cooling SwiftFoam” cover may not be quite enough for those who run hot at night.
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You may know that you’re supposed to rotate your mattress regularly to prevent sagging over time, but you can also completely flip your mattress if you get this Layla. Available in both memory foam and hybrid constructions, the Layla has a soft and a firm side for you to choose between. We tested the Hybrid version with six inches of coils in the center: the firm side has 2.5 inches of more supportive foam, while the softer side has 4.5 inches of memory foam for a more plush feel. The whole mattress is encased in a soft, breathable fabric cover with a zipper and handles to make it easier to flip. Our test editor commented on how impressed he was with both sides of the mattress and how it was able to accommodate the needs of him and his wife as well as their guests. “We’ve tried other mattresses but keep going back to this really thick and heavy futon mattress that I’ve had for 20-plus years. It’s stuffed with wool and exceptionally firm,” he said. “So we started with the firm side, expecting to the disappointed. But we found that we sank just a tiny bit into the top layer and it firmed up to be really supportive. We dreaded flipping to the soft side, though, because of other mattresses we’ve tried and gotten rid of, but the soft side proved to be a winner. We sink just a little farther, but it’s still exceptionally comfortable no matter in what position we sleep.”
—GREAT MOTION CANCELLATION—
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Tempur-Pedic offers yet another luxurious sleeping experience with the popular (and appropriately named) LuxeAdapt mattress. Though it comes in firm and soft options, we think the soft version offers maximum pressure relief with unrivaled motion cancellation. According to our tester, a dog was able to jump on without disturbing the whole bed, and the supportive foam relieves pressure after a long day. Compared to the LuxeBreeze model, this mattress was cool to the touch but not necessarily cooling. We also appreciate that it comes with a zip-off cover to protect and extend its life. We tested this mattress with Tempur-Pedic’s Ergo Smart Power Base and found that the sleep-tracking capabilities combined with the comfort of this mattress can make an excellent option for athletes or others looking to solve their sleep issues.
Nectar Premier Copper
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Nectar’s Premier Copper mattress is built with a sturdy nine-inch foam base, upon which sit several more inches of pressure-relieving gel memory foam. The quilted cover made with copper fibers is cool to the touch, which our tester confirmed kept their temperature down during the night. Despite being a memory-foam model, this Nectar is relatively firm with excellent edge support, whether you’re sleeping near the edge of the mattress or sitting on the end of the bed. In addition to the cooling cover, the firmness of this mattress will also help prevent the heat that can typically build up when you sink into memory foam, making it a good option for athletes or hot sleepers who want the comfort of gel memory foam without the added warmth.
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