Whether you’re buying your first mattress or you’re replacing one you’ve had for years, the world of mattress buying is probably, well, overwhelming to say the least. The proliferation of direct-to-consumer brands delivering “beds in a box” has made the landscape of mattress retail almost unrecognizable compared to just a few years ago. Now you don’t have to go to a mattress store—you can just get a brand-new mattress delivered straight to your door, no middleman necessary. This means finding the best mattress has become both much easier and much harder.

The market is truly saturated with quality mattresses, all of which boast increasingly advanced features. Gone are the days when lying on a mattress for a few minutes in a store is all that’s needed to make your decision; instead, you now have to consider things like off-gassing, coil construction, and foam infusions. It takes a huge amount of time to sift through all the options, so we’ve tried to make the task easier by researching and sleeping on over a dozen mattresses. While we haven’t been able to test every mattress out there to find the best, we did find a number of stand-out options, no matter what you’re looking for.

What to Consider Before Buying a Mattress

A mattress is a huge investment, personally and financially. It’s the thing that’ll make or break the quality of your sleep, and you’ll probably spend more time on your mattress than you do on anything else in your home. Researching the options beforehand is vital, and knowing what you need and want is better than going into the process without a clue. Here’s what to consider when buying a mattress:

Type of Mattress

Innerspring: The most common type of mattress, an innerspring mattress offers great support and will last a long time. Today’s innerspring mattresses typically have much better motion isolation and body contouring abilities.

Foam: Growing in popularity, foam mattresses offer ultra cushioning and great motion isolation. Foam, however, does absorb heat, so it might not be the best option for hot sleepers, unless it’s a gel-infused foam.

Hybrid: For those who want the best of both worlds, a hybrid might be your choice. Made of foam and coils, hybrid mattresses offer great support, a cooler sleep, and excellent motion isolation.

Organic: If eco-friendly materials are important to you, a number of organic mattresses have sprung up recently. These mattresses typically do not use foam, but instead use latex, a similar but much more sustainable material.

Level of Firmness

While general knowledge says that back and stomach sleepers should go for something firmer and side sleepers should choose something softer, it’s really up to personal preference. For example, someone with back pain might love the cushioning a soft foam mattress provides, while another person might prefer the support of an innerspring. The most common firmness level of modern mattresses is medium-firm, which offers a good deal of support without feeling like a rock.

Where to Buy a Mattress

This used to be a non-issue—you’d simply head to a nearby mattress store. While feeling a mattress in person has obvious benefits, buying online has its own pros, too. Not only do you get a long trial period (typically around 100 days), but you’ll also likely pay less and have access to the brand’s customer service. Some online-only retailers do have showrooms, especially if you live near New York City.

How Much to Spend on a Mattress

Like any major investment, mattresses do not come cheap. While you can find mattresses under $500, these options are typically lower in quality than the more expensive options and won’t last as long. A good mattress costs around $1,000, and that price will increase depending on materials used and where you buy it.


If you’re buying a foam mattress, make sure you’re choosing one that’s made of CertiPUR-US certified foam. This certification means the foam is made without ozone depleters, flame retardants, heavy metals like mercury and lead, formaldehyde, and phthalates, and has low VOC emissions for indoor air quality.

If you’re buying organic, look for GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certification and OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certification. GOTS certification means that every stage of the supply chain, from harvesting to manufacturing to packaging, is done ethically and sustainably. OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certification means that the textiles contain no harmful dyes or substances.

Another certification you might see is GREENGUARD Gold, which means the mattress has low chemical emissions and is acceptable for use in environments such as schools and health-care facilities.

What We Look For in a Mattress

We tested a wide range of mattresses for our best list, judging them on the following criteria:

  • Feel: Is the mattress firm, soft, or somewhere in between? Does it have extra cushioning? Is it comfortable no matter our sleep position?
  • Support: Do we wake up feeling sore? Does the mattress feel comfortable throughout the night?
  • Safety: Does the mattress have certifications, particularly CertiPUR-US certified foam?

Best Overall Mattress: Helix Midnight LUXE

Helix Midnight Luxe Mattress Review (Updated 2021) - Personally Tested

Midnight LUXE Mattress


Helix, as a brand, wins our Best Overall category because they not only sell quality mattresses but also have 14 options to choose from. You start by taking the Sleep Quiz to find your match—there are 7 standard options (2 each for soft, medium, and firm feels), plus another option for plus-size folks; 6 LUXE options (2 each for soft, medium, and firm feels); and one organic option, the Birch mattress.

We tested the Midnight LUXE mattress, Helix’s most popular option. It has a medium feel, is made with side sleepers in mind, and features zoned lumbar support for better body contouring. It’s a hybrid mattress, with a combination of memory foam, gel foam, and wrapped coils for ultra comfort and support, and has a quilted pillow top so you feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud.

Our tester, A T Real Estate & Finance Editor Madeline Bilis, describes herself as both a hot sleeper and a side sleeper. Her most recent mattress was a 2015-era hand-me-down from a friend, and she says the Midnight LUXE is a major upgrade. Some of the adjectives she says describe her new mattress: supportive, squishy, comfortable, and cozy. “I feel like a queen sleeping on a queen. It’s softer and squishier for sure, which means I don’t need a topper. And it provides so much more support than my old mattress.”


  • 4 foam layers + 1,000 wrapped coils + quilted pillow top + Tencel cover
  • 8-inch zoned lumbar support coils
  • Medium feel
  • 14-inch height
  • CertiPUR-US certified and OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified
  • Delivered in a box with free U.S. shipping; in-home delivery and mattress removal available
  • Made in the USA
  • 100-night trial period
  • 15-year limited warranty

Who It’s Good For: Those who want to customize their mattress; those who sleep hot; side sleepers; those who want a hybrid construction.

Good to Know: Militaryfirst respondersteachers, and students are all eligible for a 15 percent discount. Helix also has a showroom in New York City where you can schedule an appointment to feel the mattresses before you buy. Helix also has a referral program: If someone buys a mattress through your recommendation, they’ll get $125 off their purchase and you’ll get a $50 Amazon gift card.

Best Budget-Friendly Mattress: Allswell Supreme

Product Image: The Supreme MattressProduct Image: The Supreme MattressProduct Image: The Supreme Mattress

The Best Mattresses
The Best Mattresses
Product Image: The Supreme MattressProduct Image: The Supreme Mattress
The Supreme Mattress


Allswell is our favorite budget-friendly mattress brand, with their original mattress costing just $375 for a Queen. They have two upgraded versions as well: the Luxe and the Supreme, with the Supreme costing $985 for a Queen. All three are hybrid mattresses, and all three feature cooling materials like copper and graphite.

We tested the Supreme, which stands out from its predecessors thanks to its luxe, 14-inch height, plush Euro top, extra temperature-regulating foam layer, and reinforced edge support. It’s incredibly comfortable and supportive, and suitable for all sleepers thanks to the combination of the coils and Euro top.

I’m a side sleeper who also sleeps hot, and my former all-foam mattress, while comfortable, definitely made me overheated. The Supreme has made a noticeable difference in keeping me cool, and I have been seriously impressed with how much more comfortable it is than all-foam mattresses.

*Honorable Mention*: If you prefer all foam, Tuft & Needle’s Original mattress ($595), is your best bet for a quality, budget-friendly mattress.


  • 2 foam layers + individually wrapped coils + Euro top + quilted cover
  • Cooling graphite and copper gel-infused memory foam
  • Medium-firm feel
  • 14-inch height
  • CertiPUR-US certified
  • Delivered in a box with free shipping; white glove service and mattress removal available
  • 100-night trial period
  • 10-year limited warranty

Who It’s Good For: Those who want to stay under $1,000; those who want a hybrid construction; those who sleep hot.

Good to Know: Allswell is owned by Walmart, and you can shop the Original and the Luxe on Walmart’s site.

Best Foam Mattress: Puffy Lux

Memory Foam
Puffy Lux Mattress


Memory foam sounds good in theory, but there are definitely pitfalls associated with the material, including overheating, lack of support, and sagging over time. Puffy avoids all that, and we were very impressed with their offerings, all of which have a lifetime warranty: the Puffy OriginalPuffy Lux, and Puffy Royal.

Specifically, we tested the Puffy Lux, the brand’s mid-range option. Like the other two models, the Lux is suitable for all sleeping positions and has a temperature-regulating foam layer. Unlike the Original, however, the Lux has a high-density comfort foam layer for extra support and enhanced spinal alignment.

Our tester, AT Social Media Editor Rachel Otero, is a side and back sleeper who starts the night cold and ends up hot. She describes the Puffy Lux as supportive and comfortable, and says she feels like she sinks into it.

“My old mattress was a box mattress I bought pretty cheaply when I moved to New York 2.5 years ago. Over time, a dent formed in the middle that I would ‘roll’ into,” says Rachel, who developed back pain that has since been alleviated by her new mattress. “The Puffy Lux is such an upgrade. It’s more firm and gives me much better support.”


  • 4 foam layers + stain-resistant cover
  • Has a layer of body adapting foam for enhanced support and better contouring
  • Medium feel
  • 12-inch height
  • CertiPUR-US certified with OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified cover
  • Delivered in a box with free shipping
  • Made in the USA
  • 101-night trial period
  • Lifetime warranty

Who It’s Good For: Those who love the feel of foam but want more support; those who want to make a lifetime investment.

Good to Know: Puffy has a referral program: Tell a friend about Puffy, and they’ll get $350 off their mattress plus a free pillow, while you get $250 in store credit.

Best Innerspring Mattress: The Saatva Classic

View from the side of a Saatva mattress.
The Classic Mattress


Innerspring mattresses might be the old-school style, but that doesn’t mean they’re worse than foam or hybrid models. In fact, innerspring mattresses have tons of benefits, including better support and durability. If you’re looking for a traditional innerspring, we recommend the Saatva Classic, which is customizable, supportive, and relatively affordable.

Although it does contain some foam, we hesitate to call it a true hybrid, as there’s only one foam layer compared to two coil layers. The bottom layer is made up of tempered steel coils that provide a strong, long-lasting foundation; the top layer is made up of individually wrapped coils that minimize motion transfer and contour to your body. The other great thing about Saatva’s Classic mattress is that it’s customizable, with three firmness levels and two height options.

Our tester, AT Managing Editor Terri Pous, describes herself as a stomach sleeper with insomnia. Her previous mattress was an 11-year-old innerspring model, and Terri’s first impression of the Saatva was that it wasn’t all that different from her older model, except firmer. After some time, she noticed major improvements.

“Not only have I been falling asleep more quickly and sleeping better throughout the night, but I usually have bad lower back pain from sleeping, and it’s gone away since I’ve been using this mattress!” All in all, Terri has grown to really love her Saatva: “My first impression was wrong—it is definitely better than my old mattress. It’s honestly a perfect combination of soft and firm, as promised.”

*Honorable Mention*: Parachute’s Mattress ($1,899), a foam-free option that combines pocketed steel coils and wool for a luxurious feel. Read our review.


  • 2 coil layers + 1 foam layer + Euro pillow top + organic cotton cover
  • Steel coil support base is topped with another layer of 884 individually wrapped coils
  • 3 firmness levels (we tested medium-firm)
  • 2 height options (we tested 11.5-inch)
  • CertiPUR-US certified; Chiropractic Seal of Approval
  • Does not come in a box; free white glove delivery & mattress removal
  • Made in the USA
  • 120-night trial period
  • 15-year warranty

Who It’s Good For: Those who want the support and longevity of an innerspring mattress; those with back pain; those who want customization options.

Good to Know: There is a showroom in New York City if you want to feel the mattress first.

Best Hybrid Mattress: Leesa HybridLeesa Hybrid Mattress

Leesa Hybrid Mattress


Foam mattresses used to be all the rage, but now hybrids are getting all the attention. For good reason, too: Hybrids are considered the “Goldilocks” of mattresses, offering the best of both foam and innerspring models. We tested several hybrid models, but ultimately Leesa came out on top.

The Leesa Hybrid is the brand’s mid-range option, in between the all-foam Original and advanced hybrid Legend. The Hybrid has a reactive pocket spring base that provides both support and minimized heat retention, and high-density perimeter coils for advanced edge support. The Legend has a targeted relief layer for hip and shoulder support, but the Hybrid is a standout option if joint pain isn’t an issue.

Our tester, AT Lifestyle Director Taryn Williford, is a hot side sleeper who tends to toss and turn, and actually had Leesa’s Original mattress before switching to the Hybrid. The Hybrid is “softer and bouncier than a typical all-foam mattress,” she says. Plus, “it sleeps much cooler than the foam mattress I had before. I’m used to waking up sweaty, but that hasn’t happened once with the Hybrid mattress.”

Taryn adds that the Hybrid is a good option for anyone replacing their old-school spring mattress: “If you like a spring mattress, but want the affordability and convenience of a bed-in-a-box, this hybrid model really is the best of both worlds.”


  • 4 foam layers + 1,000 pocket springs + quilted cover
  • Has a hole-punched foam layer for better airflow
  • Medium-firm feel
  • 11-inch height
  • CertiPUR-US certified
  • Delivered in a box with free shipping; white glove service and mattress removal available
  • Made in the USA
  • 100-night trial period
  • 10-year warranty

Who It’s Good For: Those who want to buy from a socially-conscious brand; those who want a hybrid construction.

Good to Know: Leesa is socially conscious: They’re a Certified B corporation and donate one mattress for every 10 sold. You can also test and buy Leesa mattresses in West Elm stores.

Best Mattress for Hot Sleepers: Bear Pro

a bedroom with a bed and a chair in a room
Bear Pro Mattress


It might seem counterintuitive to name an all-foam mattress as the best for hot sleepers, but nothing about the Bear Pro is traditional. First of all, it’s actually made with athletes in mind, thanks to the Celliant cover. Celliant is an infrared textile and FDA-determined medical device that is thought to regulate body temperature, expedite recovery, and even improve athletic performance.

The mattress also has both copper-infused and gel memory foam, both of which contribute to a cooler feel and less heat retention. Bear sells two other mattresses as well, both of which sleep cool and are suitable for dealing with back pain: the original Bear Mattress and the Bear Hybrid (which is GREENGUARD Gold certified).


  • 4 foam layers + Celliant cover
  • Has a layer of copper-infused foam plus a layer of cooling gel memory foam
  • Medium-firm feel
  • 12-inch height
  • CertiPUR-US certified
  • Delivered in a box with free shipping
  • 100-night trial period
  • 10-year warranty

Who It’s Good For: Those who sleep hot; athletes; those with back pain.

Good to Know: There’s a 25 percent discount for military and first responders.

Best Mattress for Side Sleepers: Nectar Mattress

K1LTD50 Resident Home Nectar Queen Mattress Queen - Bedzzz Express
Memory Foam Mattress


Choosing a “best” mattress for side sleepers is difficult, as so much depends on personal preference—and really, any mattress that isn’t firm as a rock is suitable for side sleepers. But we managed to narrow down our choice to the Nectar mattress, which checks all the boxes for side sleepers: a supportive medium-firm feel, quilted memory foam top for extra cushioning, and a super long 365-night trial period.

Hot sleepers will appreciate the layer of gel foam and Tencel cover, both of which help regulate body temperature to keep you cool all night. And you can’t beat that forever warranty, which ensures you’ll have your mattress for many, many years. Nectar also sells an upgraded model of their original mattress called the Nectar Lush, which has even greater support and more advanced cooling capabilities.


  • 3 foam layers + bottom cover + quilted memory foam top + Tencel cover
  • Has a cooling gel memory foam layer
  • Medium-firm feel
  • 11-inch height
  • CertiPUR-US certified
  • Delivered in a box with free shipping; white glove service available
  • 365-night trial period
  • Forever warranty

Who It’s Good For: Those who sleep on their side; those who sleep hot; those who want a worry-free investment.

Good to Know: Nectar has a pretty amazing referral program: If your friend buys a Nectar mattress, they’ll get a free sheet set, mattress protector, and two pillows, plus you’ll both get three months of premium Hulu!

Best Mattress for Back Pain: Purple Hybrid Premier

Purple Hybrid Mattress Review 2021 | Sleep Foundation
Hybrid Premier Mattress


If you’ve tried memory foam, innersprings, and everything in between and still haven’t found relief for your back or joint pain, it might be time to give Purple a chance. The brand’s founders have been in the business of pressure relief cushioning for 30 years—in fact, their inventions have been used for everything from wheelchair cushions to shoe insoles (yup, they’re behind Dr. Scholl’s).

They started working on their mattress in 2013, and created the Purple brand in 2016. Purple now has three mattresses: the original Purple mattressthe Purple Hybrid, and the newer Purple Hybrid Premier. All three feature the Purple Grid, which is what sets out Purple from its competitors—it’s made of a flexible, adaptable material that instantly conforms to your body and provides no pressure support. It offers a unique weightless feel that’ll definitely take some getting used to but is extremely beneficial for those dealing with pain.


  • 1 foam layer + support coils + Purple Grid + StretchMax cover
  • Purple Grid made of flexible gel material for support; comes in 3- or 4-inch heights
  • Medium-firm feel
  • 12- or 13-inch height depending on Purple Grid height
  • CertiPUR-US certified
  • Delivered in a box with free shipping; white glove delivery and mattress removal available
  • Made in the USA
  • 100-night trial period
  • 10-year limited warranty

Who It’s Best For: Those who haven’t had luck with traditional mattresses; those with back pain; those who sleep hot; those who toss and turn.

Good to Know: Militaryfirst responders, and students get a 10 percent discount.

Best Organic Mattress: Avocado Green

Eco Wood Non-Toxic Natural Bed Frame | Avocado Green Mattress
Green Mattress


Describing a mattress as “organic” can mean a few different things, from the materials it’s made with to the sustainability of its supply chain to the ethics of its brand. Avocado encompasses all, and they not only use eco-friendly, safe, and sustainably sourced materials but also offer free carbon neutral shipping and donate a portion of profits to nonprofits.

Instead of foam, the Avocado mattress is made with GOLS organic certified latex, with a layer of pocketed coils and another layer of organic wool. Latex is more cooling and more durable than foam, and wool is naturally temperature regulating, anti-microbial, and dust mite-resistant—both materials are ideal for mattresses even if you’re not too concerned with buying organic. The 365-night trial period, broad range of certifications, level of transparency, and overall high quality of the mattress makes the Avocado a standout option for any sleeper.

Our tester, AT Projects Editor Megan Baker, is a hot sleeper who changes positions throughout the night and has issues with insomnia. The Avocado “feels more supportive than what I had before,” she says, describing her new mattress as firm, supportive, comfortable, and cozy, especially compared to her old foam mattress that had started sagging.

“I’ve ordered a bed-in-a-box before, and I remember it having an off-gassing smell after I took it out of the package,” she says. “This one had no smell and was immediately ready to lie on. It feels sturdy and substantial, and I like that there’s a topper option. I normally like firm beds but really like the topper on this. It feels cushiony but still supportive.”


  • 2 organic latex layers + 1,414 pocketed support coils + 1 organic wool layer + organic cotton cover + optional Euro pillow top
  • Coils are arranged in 5 ergonomic zones
  • Medium-firm feel
  • 11-inch height
  • GREENGUARD Gold certified; Formaldehyde Free certified; GOTS Organic certified; MADE SAFE certified non-toxic; GOLS organic certified latex
  • Delivered in a box with free shipping; in-home delivery available
  • Made in the USA
  • 365-night trial period
  • 25-year limited warranty

Who It’s Best For: Those who want a foam-free mattress; those who want something organic; those who sleep on their stomach or back.

Good to Know: Avocado is a pending Certified B Corporation. They also sell a Vegan mattress that replaces the wool with organic cotton.

Best Mattress on Amazon: Zinus Green Tea Mattress

Zinus Green Tea Mattress


If budget and convenience are the most important factors in your mattress search, then Amazon is a treasure trove—but which one to choose? We recommend the Zinus Green Tea mattress, an ultra popular option that right now costs under $400 and has over 21,000 5-star reviews. It’s a straightforward mattress that comes in four thickness levels (6, 8, 10, and 12 inches) and doesn’t come with any bells and whistles—although the foam is infused with green tea extract and purified charcoal to help control odors.

Zinus sells several other mattress models as well, all of which are available on Amazon. If you sleep hot, you might want the Gel-Infused Green Tea model, which costs a bit more but has better cooling properties. There’s also the Cloud Memory Foam mattress that’s ultra comfortable and a newer Gel-Infused Hybrid option.

This is the mattress I used before Allswell, and I still think it’s a great mattress for the price. I never woke up with aches or pains, and after using it for about two years, I didn’t notice a change in quality. My only complaint is that it definitely absorbs heat, and I would often wake up sweaty and overheated. For the price and convenience, though, it’s an almost-too-good-to-be-true find.


  • 2-4 foam layers depending on thickness + knit cover
  • Foam infused with green tea extract and purified charcoal to eliminate odors
  • Medium-firm feel
  • 4 thickness levels (we tested 10-inch option)
  • Certi-PUR US certified
  • Delivered in a box with free shipping
  • Made in China
  • 100-night trial period
  • 10-year warranty

Who It’s Good For: Those on a budget; those who sleep cold; those who want something for the short-term.

Good to Know: You can also buy Zinus mattresses at Home Depot.