What’s the Best Mattress for Back Sleepers?

Finding the best mattress for back sleepers can help you get in the habit of sleeping in a healthy position and improve your overall sleep quality. Sleeping on your back is a great way to prevent neck and back pain, reduce acid reflux, minimize wrinkles, and maintain proper spine alignment.

In this article, we will cover the best mattresses for back sleepers and outline key factors to take into consideration when investing in a new mattress.

Type Firmness Price Sleep Trial Warranty
Amerisleep AS2 Plant-based memory foam Medium $1399 100 nights 20 years
Zoma Mattress Memory foam Medium-Firm $850 100 nights 10 years
Vaya Mattress Vaya foam Medium $595 100 nights 10 years
Avocado Green Latex & Pocket coils Medium-Firm $1399 365 nights 25 years
Tuft & Needle Mint Gel-infused foam Medium-Firm $995 100 nights 10 years
Spindle Latex foam Soft/Medium/Firm $2499 365 nights 10 years
The Bear Memory foam Firm $800 100 nights 10 years
Love & Sleep Gel-infused foam  Medium  $699 100 nights Limited lifetime
Original Purple Gel-infused foam  Medium-Firm $1099 100 nights 10 years

The Amerisleep AS2 Mattress

best mattress for side sleepers

We love the Amerisleep AS2 model for back sleepers. Amerisleep offers five different mattress models: the AS5 and AS4 are part of their soft collection, the AS3 their true medium, and the AS1 and AS2 complete their firm collection. The AS2 is their medium-firm model. For those who want a firmer feel, the AS1 is your best bet while anybody looking for something softer can decide between the AS3, AS4, and AS5.

Amerisleep mattresses use innovative technology to offer support and comfort in each layer. Every Amerisleep mattress has a cover made from a soft, breathable fabric designed to keep air moving throughout the bed so you always sleep cool and comfortable. It is also completely washable to help preserve the life of the mattress.

Layers

The top layer of every Amerisleep mattress is made from their Bio-Pur®, a foam layer that is more breathable than traditional memory foam. This breathability also prevents heat build-up. This is one of the very few foam mattresses that can compete with innersprings when it comes to breathability.

Below the Bio-Pur®  is the Affinity layer with HIVE® technology. Harnessing Intelligent Ventilation and Energy, otherwise known as HIVE®, technology creates a targeted support system throughout the body. This technology provides the proper support to keep your spine aligned and prevent pressure points from forming. The AS1 model is the only model without the Affinity layer between the Bio-Pur® and Bio-Core® layers, making it the firmest option available.

Each Amerisleep base is made of Bio-Core®. Both the Bio-Core® and the Bio-Pur® layer are made with plant-based materials, making it long-lasting, supportive, and breathable.

The AS5 model Amerisleep offers sleepers with an extra layer of comfort between the BioPur and Affinity layer, the Active Flex layer. This layer is made of latex-like material when combined with the BioPur layer, make the sleeper feel as if they are laying on a cloud.

Off-gassing

It’s common for memory foam mattresses to emit an unpleasant odor when you first take them out of the box. Many find this smell dissipates over time. This scent is caused by the petroleum gas used to produce the mattresses. Amerisleep replaces some of that petroleum with plant-based castor oil, decreasing the chance of a pesky off-gassing odor.

Motion Isolation

By using highly responsive foam, Amerisleep’s AS2 mattress isolates motion very well. This is beneficial for those who are sharing their bed with a partner, as you won’t be disturbed by their tossing and turning or them getting in and out of bed.

Thickness

Amerisleep’s AS2 is 12 inches thick. A good rule of thumb when buying a memory foam mattress is to find one between 10 and 14 inches thick. 12 inches puts it right in the middle of the guideline, which is beneficial for a variety of reasons; it’s easier to get in and out of bed, easier to find sheets, and it can be combined with any traditional or adjustable bed frame.

Sleep Trial

Amerisleep offers a risk-free, 100-night sleep trial on all of their mattresses. This allows you to try their new mattress in the comfort of your own home. If you decide within the 100-night trial the mattress isn’t all you were hoping for, you can return or exchange it for a full refund and arrange to have your old mattress picked up and recycled. It’s important to note when switching to any new mattress, your body will undergo an adjustment period lasting up to 30 days.

Some companies will require you to keep the mattress through the duration of the adjustment period. Amerisleep allows you to return the mattress at any time within the sleep trial (but still recommends you to try it for at least 30 days).

Warranty Information

Amerisleep offers one of the longest warranties in the industry: 20 years. Within the first 10 years of your warranty, they will replace or repair a defective mattress with no additional costs to you. During the second 10 years, they will replace the mattress at 50% off the original price. A sagging mattress is the most common defect to trigger the warranty.

If you find your mattress has a visible sag greater than .75 inches, it meets the warranty guidelines and is eligible to be replaced. Sagging reduces the support of your mattress and is common to most mattresses after about 7-10 years of use. Amerisleep wants to eliminate the chance of you experiencing pressure points and being left with a sagging mattress by offering you a two-decade warranty.

It’s common for back sleepers to experience occasional lower back pain. If you find you’re waking up most mornings with aches and pains in your back, read our other guide to find the best mattress for lower back pain.

Zoma Mattress

The Zoma is a three-layered mattress made from memory foam. The layers within Zoma work to rejuvenate muscles and provide extra support for the back. This is what makes it a great option for back sleepers, especially if they also tend to have back pain and neck pain too.  

Layers

The cover of the Zoma mattress is made from a blend of 3 percent spandex and 97 percent polyester. It’s stretchy and breathable, which allows the mattress to perform the way it was designed.

The top layer of the Zoma mattress is a comfort layer with Triangulex™, a special technology split into three support zones. The top and bottom of this layer are made from hundreds of small triangular cutouts. This offers just enough cushioning and support to the lighter pressure points of the body, such as the head and the legs. The mid-section of the Triangulex™ layer is designed from continuous memory foam, which makes it denser and more supportive for the back. 

Under the top comfort layer sits Reactiv™. Made from denser poly-foam, this layer supports the pressure point zones from below. It’s more responsive to allow easier movement in your sleep. But it also absorbs a great deal of motion, ensuring that you or your partner don’t interrupt the other’s sleep while changing  positions. 

The last layer within this mattress is Support+. It’s by far the densest of the three and it acts as a base to support the structure of the mattress and the sleeper on top. The design of the Support+ layer also ensures the longevity of the mattress and improves its edge support.

Off-gassing

Seeing as the Zoma mattress is not made from traditional memory foam, off-gassing will not be an issue. The mattress might have a slight scent when it’s first unpacked, but that will dissipate within the first 24 to 48 hours.  

Motion Isolation

As shortly mentioned above, the Zoma mattress is great at motion isolation. The Triangulex™ layer transfers the movement down towards the mattress and the Reactiv™ layer absorbs it into itself. This makes the Zoma a great bed to share with a partner, even if one of you is a restless sleeper. Of course, it’s just as good for sleeping alone too.

Thickness

The Zoma Mattress stands at 11 inches tall. The size and the all-foam design make it suitable for just about any solid bed frame. Although it works with all adjustable and platform beds, Zoma Sleep also offers its own Zoma Foundation. Designed specifically for the Zoma mattress, it offers a platform made of sprung pinewood slats.  

Sleep Trial

The Zoma Mattress comes with a sleep trial period of 100 nights. This allows you to sleep on the mattress for up to 100 nights from the day of delivery. And if you decide the mattress does not meet your expectations, you can return it free of charge by contacting Zoma Sleep support. 

Warranty Information

Zoma Sleep offers a 10-year warranty, which is the industry standard. This covers all structural and manufacturing defects, as well as sagging deeper than 0.75 inches. The warranty does not cover any damage caused by unsuitable bed frames, such as box springs or slats that are wider than 3 inches apart. It also does not cover any damage caused by unsanitary conditions, such as staining, rips, spills and so on.  

Vaya Mattress

The Vaya is the most budget-friendly mattress in this buying guide. It only costs $595 for a queen size but it still comes with a standard warranty and sleep trial. It is manufactured in the USA and it holds proper Certi-PUR US certifications. The Vaya mattress is truly one of the best budget options available on the market today.

Layers

The Vaya mattress contains two layers and they’re both made from open-cell memory foam. The top layer is 4 inches thick and is designed to provide contouring and pressure relief. It’s responsive yet airy, which improves the mattress’s temperature control. This particular foam also conforms around the sleeper’s body to take off the pressure from the hips, the back, and the shoulders. 

The second layer within the Vaya mattress is an 8-inch thick base. It’s manufactured from high-density poly-foam and it’s designed to provide additional support to the thin comfort layer above as well as extend the longevity of the mattress. 

The cover of the Vaya mattress is a synthetic blend that’s naturally cooling. The fabric effectively wicks away moisture and allows better breathability to the mattress. It’s plush and soft to the touch, giving a lush finish to the structure of the mattress. 

Off-gassing

The Vaya mattress needs 24 hours to fully expand but you can already sleep on it after 12 hours. During this time some off-gassing might occur but definitely not as intense as that of a traditional memory foam bed. Once the open-cell memory foam fully expands and starts breathing all smells should dissipate.

Motion Isolation

The all-foam design of the Vaya mattress ensures good motion isolation. The foam naturally tends to absorb all movement into the mattress which then dissipates within. The downside of an all-foam mattress is that they tend to be less responsive than other types. But for back sleepers, this should not be an issue.

Thickness

A queen size Vaya mattress is 12 inches thick and it weighs 78 lbs. This is a relatively light mattress that’s suitable for platform bases, slatted frames, and adjustable bed bases. This mattress should not be placed straight on the floor. This can lead to moisture build-up, which then can lead to molding and bacteria.

Sleep Trial

Vaya Sleep conveniently offers 100 nights to try out their mattress. If you decide that you don’t like it, you can return it free of charge. For a mattress that is so cost-effective, this is a very good deal. As most other budget mattress companies tend to avoid offering such assurances. 

Warranty Information

When you’ll purchase your Vaya mattress you will get a 10-year warranty right away. It’ll start on the day of your purchase and cover you for certain manufacturing and structural defects.

The Avocado Mattress

avocado green mattress

Avocado mattresses are made with 100% natural ingredients, leaving a very low impact on the environment. They offer a medium-firm mattress as well, which is a typical choice for back sleepers as it provides the proper support for your spine. Avocado ranks their mattress as a 7 out of 10 on the firmness scale. If you’re looking for a softer feel, they also offer an optional pillow top layer.

Layers

All Avocado mattresses have a cover made from organic cotton tufted with natural wool; this makes the mattress feel very soft and plush against your body. The cover will gently contour to your body, providing the extra lumbar support back sleepers need.

The top layer of the Avocado mattress is 2 inches of perforated Dunlop latex. Latex is naturally cooling, as it allows air to flow through the bed. Unfortunately, latex does have other downfalls such as allergy risks.

The bottom layer of the Avocado mattresses is made from 8-inch tall Marshall coils. These individually wrapped, pocketed coils are designed with a 3-zoned support system, providing the sleeper with pressure relief while still maintaining a bounce. However, customer reviews have shown innerspring coil mattresses score lower on reducing back pain than memory foam mattresses. Before you buy, make sure a coil mattress is going to be your best choice, as it may not provide the comfort and support you’re looking for.

Off-gassing

Synthetic latex typically can produce some off-gassing; however, because Avocado mattresses are made of all-natural materials, it substantially eliminates the risk of any unpleasant smells coming from your bed.

Motion Isolation

Because the top layer of the mattress is made entirely of Dunlop latex and the core is made from innerspring coils, it will be bouncier than a typical memory foam mattress. But the coils in the Avocado mattress are wrapped to reduce motion transfer.

Thickness

The standard Avocado mattress is 12 inches thick, leaving it right in the middle of the 10-14 inch guideline. If you add the pillowtop, it will bump up the height another 2 inches.

Sleep Trial

Avocado offers a 1-year, risk-free sleep trial that lets you try your mattress in the comfort of your own home before committing to your new purchase. They make returning or exchanging your mattress easy; if you are unhappy with it, all you have to do is give them a call, and they will arrange to have your mattress picked up and donated with no charge to you. They recommend you give the mattress a fair chance and try it for 30-60 days.

Warranty Information

Starting from the date of purchase, your Avocado mattress is covered under a 25-year limited warranty. The warranty covers any defects in the material or workmanship of the mattress. If during the 25 year period your mattress becomes defected and meets Avocado’s warranty requirements, they will send you a replacement mattress. Eligible defects are fabric tearing and stitching unraveling, cracks or splits in the natural latex not caused by normal wear and tear, and any visible sag greater than 1 inch. To meet warranty requirements, your mattress must be kept on a supportive foundation that meets Avocado’s criteria.

Tuft & Needle Mint Mattress

tuft & needle mint

Tuft & Needle Mint is another all-foam mattress on our list. Made from three layers, it is rated as a medium-firm mattress. The T&N Adaptive® Foam that’s found within two of the layers provides the sleeper with sufficient support for the lower back. The gel-infused top layer takes the pressure away from the hips and the shoulders.

Layers

The cover of the Tuft & Needle Mint mattress is made from a plush and breathable fabric. It’s dark grey and very soft to the touch. Underneath the cover, we find the first open-cell T&N Adaptive® Foam layer that’s infused with graphite for extra breathability. It’s designed to draw away body heat as you sleep and slowly dissipate it within the mattress. 

The second layer of the mattress is infused with ceramic gel beads. When put under pressure, the beads stack up to provide extra cushioning to the pressure points of the body, which works especially well for lower back pain. The beads also provide a pleasant cooling effect that further helps with temperature control.

The final layer within the Tuft & Needle Mint mattress is T&N Adaptive® Foam. It is the thickest and the densest layer, that supports the structure of the mattress and extends its overall longevity. 

Off-gassing

T&N Adaptive® Foam is made from open-cell, graphite-infused memory foam. The manufacturing method is different from traditional memory foam, which means that the structure is, too. This allows the Tuft & Needle Mint mattress to have little-to-no off-gassing. Even when the mattress is unpacked, there is practically no scent whatsoever. 

Motion Isolation

Both T&N Adaptive® Foam and gel-infused poly-foam reduce motion transfer pretty well. The 4 inches of extra-firm foam around the bottom layer also helps with motion isolation as well as extra edge support. Overall, the Tuft & Needle Mint is a mattress that isolates motion very well.

Thickness

The Tuft & Needle Mint bed-in-a-box stands at 12 inches tall, a standard size for an all-foam bed. Its size and design make it suitable for most bed frames on the market, including slatted frames, platforms, and adjustable beds. 

Sleep Trial

Tuft & Needle offer a 100-night sleep trial to try out their bed. If you decide to send it back, they will pick it up free of charge and donate it to a charity. It’s important to note that Tuft & Needle allow only one mattress to be returned per household per year. So if you decide to swap your new mattress for another model within the first 100 nights, the 100-night sleep trial will no longer be valid.

Warranty Information

If you decide to keep the mattress after the sleep trial, Tuft & Needle will provide you with a 10-year warranty. This will cover any sag that’s greater than 0.75 inches deep and any manufacturing defects as long as the mattress is used properly.

Spindle Mattress

spindle mattress

The Spindle is a natural and organic all-latex mattress. It’s made out of three, interchangeable Dunlop latex foam layers for easy customization. Latex is known for its responsiveness and conforming properties, which makes it great for back sleepers and side sleepers. The Spindle can contour to the sleeper’s body while providing support and relief to the most important body parts—the lower back and the spine. 

Layers

The cover of the Spindle mattress is made from 100% organic and GOTS-certified cotton. It’s breathable and naturally cooling because it wicks away moisture and body heat away from the sleeper. The cotton is also filled with natural wool batting for added plushness and comfort. This pillowtop effect not only gives a cloud-like feel to the mattress but also acts as a natural fire retardant. 

Then come the three 3-inch thick Dunlop latex foam layers. These are also 100% natural and hold certifications such as GOLS, Oeko-Tex, and Rainforest Alliance. 

The layers are different firmness levels to allow the sleeper custom feel of the bed. Most commonly, this mattress is built by putting the medium firmness layers as top and middle, and the firm layer as the bottom. But if you prefer a firmer mattress, the middle and the bottom layers can be swapped in order to make the mattress feel a little harder.

Off-gassing

As latex is completely natural, it has zero smells and scents. This means the Spindle will have no off-gassing whatsoever. Latex is also naturally hypoallergenic and free of any chemicals and toxins. This is especially great for people with allergies and health conditions. 

Motion Isolation

Latex is more responsive compared to memory foam. Unfortunately, this also means that it transfers motion easier too, especially if you are or your partner is a restless sleeper. 

Thickness

The Spindle mattress is 10 inches thick. It may not be tall but it is heavy, weighing from 95 lbs for a twin size to 180 lbs for a king size. It’s important to note that there are also no handles on this mattress, which can make it difficult to move and assemble. Luckily, Spindle has a contract with another company that offers white glove delivery service. So if you’re worried about assembling your delivered mattress, you can ask Spindle to arrange the in-home mattress delivery and set up for an extra fee.

Sleep Trial

Spindle offers a sleep trial that’s 365 nights long. That’s a full year to try out their mattress and decide whether it’s the right fit for you or not. If you decide that you do not want to keep the mattress, they will pick it up free of charge and provide you with a full refund.

Warranty Information

The warranty that Spindle offers is 10 years long. That’s an industry standard, as few mattress companies offer warranties that are longer than that. However, Spindle also offers a program called 25 Year Comfort Life. It costs a little bit extra to enroll in, but it will grant you access to replacement parts for your mattress for a much lower price. 

The Bear Mattress

bear pro

The Original Bear is an all-foam mattress that also comes in a box. It is made of three layers and contains CertiPUR-US® certified foams and water-based bonding solutions. This mattress is the firmest option on our list. This is great for stomach sleepers and back sleepers that prefer a firmer sleeping surface but not so good for lightweight sleepers or people who sleep on their sides. 

Layers

The cover of the Bear mattress features Celliant® technology which makes it extra cooling and breathable. Celliant® uses mineral-infused fabric that absorbs body heat and turns it into infrared energy. This energy gets aimed back at your body and temporarily increases local blood flow. Increased blood flow cools your body and automatically provides you with the perfect temperature to sleep in. 

The first layer within the mattress is made from graphite-gel memory foam. It’s cooling and responsive, providing good pressure point relief and spinal alignment.

The second layer is made from responsive transition foam. This layer further supports the pressure points of the body and keeps your spine aligned at all times.

The last layer within the Bear mattress is made from high-density support foam. It does not only support the whole mattress but also increases the longevity and durability too. 

Off-gassing

Because the Bear is essentially a poly-foam mattress, there may be slight off-gassing when it’s first unpacked. This shouldn’t last long though, as the foam is infused with various elements that tend to remove traditional memory foam mattress smell. 

Motion Isolation

This mattress isolates motion well. The top comfort layer is bouncier than traditional memory foam but it still does not allow the motion to transfer very far. This makes the Bear a great mattress for couples or anyone else that will be sharing the bed.

Thickness

A queen size Bear mattress is 10 inches tall and weighs 70 lbs. It’s a relatively small and light mattress that’s suitable for most bed frames on the market. In fact, Bear also offer their own bed foundations, bed frames, and adjustable beds. So if you’re worried about how this type of mattress might fit on a random bed frame, you can always purchase one of theirs and be sure it will fit like a glove. 

Sleep Trial

Bear offers the usual 100-night sleep trial with a risk-free return guarantee. So in case you decide that this mattress is not the right fit, they’ll pick it up free of charge and return all your money back.

Warranty Information

The Bear mattress comes with a 10-year warranty. This covers sinkage greater than 1 inch and manufacturing defects. 

Love & Sleep Mattress

Love & Sleep is the most affordable mattress from the range that Nest Bedding offers. Priced at $699 for a queen size, Love & Sleep is one of the most cost-effective mattresses in our mattress review too. 

Made out of three layers, this all-foam mattress comes in two options of firmness— medium and firm. Each layer is infused with different elements to bring out the best of the mattress, and they’re all Greenguard Gold certified.

Layers

The Thermic Phase Change Cooling Cover is made from cotton and polyester blend. It’s infused with phase-change elements that help to regulate the temperature of the sleeper. It’s very soft to the touch but it also does tend to tear quite easily. 

The first layer found under the cover is made from a 3-inch thick EnergexTM Foam. It is infused with a variety of different minerals and materials to increase the responsiveness and breathability of the poly-foam. This Energex Cooling Comfort Layer conforms around the body of the sleeper and ensures the spine stays aligned in any sleep position. It also offers that gentle traditional memory foam cradling effect but without the feeling of being “stuck” in the mattress.

The second layer within the Love & Sleep mattress is the SmartFlow Air Flow Layer. It’s 1 inch thick and acts as a transition between the layer above and the layer below. The SmartFlow Air Flow Layer was designed to replace any adhesives required to hold the mattress together. Instead of having a simple layer of some sort of glue, the Love & Sleep mattress holds a breathable and cooling layer of foam. 

The third and final layer within this mattress is Edge Support Base Foam. This is a high-density poly-foam layer, that is designed to offer extra edge support. This feature is great if you are planning to share your bed with a partner, or if you move around a lot in your sleep.

Off-gassing

Because all foams used in this mattress are infused with different elements, the chance of off-gassing is very low. Just like the Tuft & Needle Mint mattress and Amerisleep AS2, the Love & Sleep mattress is very unlikely to have any smells even when it’s first unpacked.

Motion Isolation

Although the Love & Sleep mattress is more responsive and bouncy compared to traditional memory foam, it still absorbs all movement very well. The EnergexTM Foam takes in all of the motion and stops it from traveling through the mattress.

Thickness

This mattress is 10 inches tall and 70 pounds heavy in queen size. It’s a good-sized bed that is suitable for adjustable bed frames, slatted foundations, and platform beds. In fact, Nest Bedding offers five different bed frames themselves, ranging from fancy rustic dark wood platforms to very affordable simple metal bed frames.

Sleep Trial

Nest Bedding allows 100 nights to try out their mattress. There is also a 30-day break-in period, during which you cannot return the mattress. This is to allow their customers to get used to the new feel of the bed and give it a fair shot. And if after that you still don’t feel like Love & Sleep is well-suited for you, you can return it free of charge.

Warranty Information

Nest Bedding offers a lifetime limited warranty. This means that they guarantee to repair or replace the mattress during its calculated lifetime, as long as the damage was not caused by misuse or mishandling. 

The warranty covers sagging of 1 inch or deeper, any manufacturing faults, and all physical flaws to the construction and the zipper of the cover.

Original Purple Mattress

purple mattressThe Original Purple is one of the three mattresses that Purple offers. It is the first mattress they manufactured back in 2013 (although it was under a different name) and it’s also the most affordable option they have.

The Original Purple is made out of three layers and features the renowned Purple Grid™. This is a unique support system that is made from Hyper-Elastic Polymer™ which is a very stretchy yet relatively firm material. The Purple Grid™ is made out of hundreds of squares which makes it look like an actual grid. And it provides pressure point relief and spinal support in a very unique way.

The squares within Purple Grid™ are designed to collapse individually under pressure. This allows the rest of the mattress to keep its original shape and alleviate pressure points. Customers that have purchased this mattress explain that the experience of sleeping on the Purple Grid™ is unlike any other mattress. 

Layers

The SoftFlex cover of the Original Purple mattress is made from a wave knit fabric that’s very flexible and breathable. It’s designed to move together with the Purple Grid™ below it in order to maximize its effectiveness. The fabric itself is soft to the touch and breathable. This helps with better airflow through the mattress and overall temperature control. 

Under the cover, we find the Purple Grid™ described above. It’s 2 inches thick and its main job is to provide pressure point relief whilst allowing better air circulation through the mattress.

Then come two poly-foam layers in different densities. The top layer is a little softer to offer support to the Purple Grid™ above and comfort to the sleeper. And the bottom poly-foam layer is higher in density to provide stability and longevity to the mattress itself. 

Off-gassing

The Original Purple mattress does have a slight scent when it’s first unpacked, but it’s barely noticeable. What’s more, it completely dissipates within a few days.  

Motion Isolation

The Purple Grid™ is great at motion isolation. The localized collapse of the squares stops any motion transfer, allowing an uninterrupted sleep for your partner if you’ll be sharing your bed. 

Thickness

The Original Purple mattress is 9.5 inches tall and 110 lbs heavy in queen size. It’s a smaller mattress than most others on our list in terms of thickness, but heavier in terms of weight. However, it is still pretty versatile when it comes to the choice of bed frames. 

Sleep Trial

Purple offers a standard 100-night sleep trial with a 21-night break-in period. This is to encourage the customers to sleep on their new mattress for a full three weeks in order to give themselves enough time to adjust. If after 21 nights you decide the Original Purple mattress is not for you, you can return it free of charge.

Warranty Information

Same as most other mattress brands on our list, Purple also offers a standard 10-year warranty for their mattress. This warranty covers sagging of 1 inch or deeper as well as all manufacturing faults and flaws.

A Short Guide to Buying a Mattress

When looking for a new mattress, it’s important to take into consideration the materials used to make it, the firmness of the mattress, and the warranty and return policy. Everybody has unique needs when looking for a mattress, and there is no “one size fits all,” so be sure to do your research before you make your purchase.

Also, be sure you’re buying the best mattress for your sleep position. If you spend the majority of the time on your back, you’re a back sleeper, but if you start on your back and roll over to the side, you’re probably a side sleeper. If this sounds like you, be sure to check out our other guides to find the best mattress for side sleepers and other sleeping positions.

Materials

There are plenty of different materials used to make a mattress; however, the four main mattress types dominating the current market are innerspring, hybrid, latex, and memory foam.

Innerspring

Innersprings are the veterans of the mattress world. They’ve been around for many years and aren’t going anywhere any time soon. They’re known for being bouncy and because they’re made from coils, don’t come with any concern of sleeping hot. The only downside of an innerspring mattress is poor motion isolation, and many people complain of movement in the bed disrupting their sleep through the night.

There are four main types of innerspring coils:

The Bonnell coil is the original coil design from the 1800s. They’re cost-efficient to manufacture; however, they are not high-quality, and they tend to score the worst in motion transfer.

The Offset coil is very similar to the Bonnell coil, however, it has squared-off coil heads that resemble hourglasses.

The Continuous coil is another budget-friendly option. It’s made from a single wire twisted into a coil, making it very inexpensive to manufacture. Motion transfer is still a given with this type of coil.

The Marshall coils, otherwise known as pocketed coils, are the most adaptive when it comes to the innerspring design. Because these coils are pocketed and not connected, they are better when it comes to motion transfer and also provide great support throughout your body.

Hybrid

Hybrid mattresses combine innerspring technology with latex or memory foam. These two features together relieve pressure points and keep your spine aligned. A downside to hybrid mattresses is a good-quality mattress can be very expensive while offering a less competitive warranty than its all-foam counterparts. There are some cheaper options on the market. But they are made from poorer quality materials and in turn lack the necessary quality for a good night’s sleep.

Latex

Latex foam comes in three different types—natural, synthetic, and blended.

Natural latex mattresses are both environmentally friendly and very durable. Their cooling properties help you stay comfortable throughout the night while it’s natural bounce provides support in all the right places. The biggest downside to natural latex is it comes with a hefty price tag because the materials required to create natural latex are relatively difficult to acquire. However, if you’re able to make this investment, your natural latex mattress may last you a very long time.

Synthetic latex is made from Styrene Butadiene Rubber, otherwise known as SBR. It is more durable than natural latex, but not as eco-friendly or hypoallergenic. The plus side of synthetic latex is it comes at a much lower price than natural latex.

Blended latex is a mix of synthetic and natural and is by far the most popular type of latex used in mattresses. Combining the best of both of the previous kinds of latex results in a longer-lasting, more affordable mattress.

Each type of latex can be manufactured to any desired firmness. In fact, many latex mattresses offer either flippable firmness or dual firmness. Flippable firmness means each side of your mattress has a different firmness.

You can learn more about latex mattresses in our best latex mattress guide.

Memory Foam

There are three main types of memory foam: traditional memory foam, plant-based memory foam, and gel-infused memory foam.

Traditional memory foam, otherwise known as viscoelastic polyurethane foam, is soft and cushions to your body. It differs from standard polyurethane foam because it has viscoelastic properties, giving it the ability to contour to your body and relieve pressure points. Polyurethane foam, or poly-foam, does not contain viscoelastic properties. Though it may feel soft, it does not have the ability to contour to your body as true memory foam does.

Plant-based memory foam is an eco-friendly alternative to memory foam. In the process of making memory foam, polyurethane oil is used. In the process of making plant-based memory foam, a portion of petroleum is replaced with plant-based oil, making it healthier for you and reducing the chances of off-gassing. Gel-infused memory foam is made by infusing cooling gel properties into traditional memory foam. By adding gel, it reduces your chances of feeling hot while sleeping in this bed.

Understanding the Firmness

When it comes to firmness levels, there are three main choices—soft, medium, and firm. To help you distinguish the difference, we put them on a scale. If 1 is sleeping on a cloud, and 10 is sleeping on a solid rock, then the scale breaks down as follows:

  • Soft is 4 to 5
  • Medium is 5.5 to 6.5
  • Firm is 7.5 to 8.5

Any mattress softer than a 4 may lack support for your pressure points and your spine will lose its natural alignment. If the firmness of your mattress exceeds 8.5, you will probably experience uncomfortable pressure points and even tingling sensations in your limbs as you fall asleep.

When choosing your ideal firmness, it’s important to take into consideration your weight. Smaller people may find a soft mattress firmer because they don’t have the weight to compress the mattress while a heavier individual may find a firm mattress softer than anticipated. If you’re a heavier individual and looking for a firm mattress, the firmer the mattress, the better. You can also consult our guide on choosing the best mattress for heavy people.

Soft

For back sleepers, a soft mattress is the least advised option because it encourages your heavy mid-section to sink into the mattress. This can create a bend in your spine, leading to neck and back pain and heat build-up. The deeper you are in the mattress, the more the mattress covers your body and creates heat pockets.

Medium

We always say people who like to sleep soft should choose a medium mattress. A medium mattress provides enough support for your spine without the worry of heat build-up while feeling soft enough for you to be comfortable.

Medium-Firm or Firm

The most highly recommended for back sleepers, a firm or medium-firm mattress keeps your spine straight and has plenty of support and pressure relief. This firmness is great for individuals who are suffering from lower back pain.

Understanding Warranties and Return Policies

While many manufacturers have long warranties and lengthy sleep trials, it’s still important you read the fine print, specifically looking for information regarding break-in periods and removal costs. Some companies will require you to keep the mattress for a minimum of 30 days (through the duration of the break-in period). When it comes to returns, many companies will pick up and remove your mattress free of cost, but be sure there are not any additional removal costs you will have to cover.

When it comes to warranties, as many can imagine, it can be tricky to return a defective mattress. Be sure to read the details about what deems a mattress defective and be sure your warranty will cover common problems, such as sagging. Read the fine print and talk to customer service representatives so you know how to return your mattress.

Overview

We hope this guide has made your mattress hunt easier, but if you still haven’t found “the one” take the time to do the proper research and read through our other guides to find the best mattress for you. Everybody deserves a good night’s sleep, and it’s certainly not a purchase you want to rush.

This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.

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