At Reviewed, we love to look at the hard numbers when testing products. The best mattresses in a box are no exception. With the help of our scientists in our Cambridge, Massachusetts, lab, we take a deep dive on the most popular mattresses by assessing heat retention, motion transfer and even memory, among other things. Then, as the sleep writer, I bring the top contenders back to my apartment for a month of, well, sleeping.
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If you couldn’t tell, we’re a bit nerdy. We keep crunching numbers even after the mattresses leave my homes and the lab. While we have our favorite picks, we recently dug into what our readers like to add to their carts.
We figured we can’t be the only ones who are curious about what’s popular with folks looking to upgrade their mattress. These are the mattress brands our readers have been scooping up in the last few months.
1. The Tuft & Needle Original mattress
It’s no surprise that our best overall mattress is a top pick among readers, too. The Tuft & Needle Original has a firm surface with just enough give to cradle you as you doze off. I liked sleeping on it because it was great for stomach and side sleeping. Surprisingly, it also served me well for back sleeping—a position I never gravitate toward.
It's made of two layers of foam: a soft upper layer that’s infused with cooling gel and a thicker base that gives the mattress some structure. Though it’s made of foam, it doesn’t have a lot of memory—in fact, the bed’s designed to not have that sink-in sensation. Sleeping on it feels as though you're floating above the mattress, rather than being sucked into a cloying cavern. That said, it’s quite firm—an attribute stomach sleepers will love. But if you tend to prefer softer mattresses, keep reading for a better fit.
Other bonuses: Working with customer service reps online is a breeze, and the Tuft & Needle Original is one of the most affordable mattresses we’ve tested. The twin size rings up at less than $700, and a queen has a retail price of $895—and that’s not including the frequent 10% to 15% discounts.
2. The Nectar mattress
Another one of our favorites, the Nectar mattress is stellar for what you pay. The sleep surface is soft and forgiving, making it great for side sleepers who may find that the Tuft & Needle Original irritates pressure points at their shoulders and hips. Stomach sleepers, however, should take note: When I dozed in this position, it left my spine sore come morning.
In our lab test for heat retention, the Nectar mattress also ran cooler than most others we’ve warmed for hours under a heated blanket or infrared lamp—especially when compared to other all-foam mattresses. If you tend to feel overcooked while sleeping, this one is worth a serious look.
Though Nectar claims the mattress has five layers, it’s really only three—the other two components are a quilted fabric cover and base. The uppermost layer is memory foam, which provides that perfectly cuddled sensation. But its memory doesn't have the quicksand effect the material's infamous for.
When it comes to your wallet, the Nectar mattress rivals the Tuft & Needle Original. While a queen’s retail price is just shy of $1,300, the brand has a more-or-less evergreen discount that knocks it down to $900.
3. The Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Cloud mattress
Tempur-Pedic is one of those iconic brands that almost everyone knows. You’ve probably seen its mattresses in commercials where someone bounces on one side of the bed as a wine glass barely teeters on the other.
The Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Cloud has a firm sensation overall, but still more give than the Tuft & Needle Original. If you’re on the hunt for that classic memory foam mattress feel, look no further. The Tempur-Cloud is tough to beat in that regard.
It took a few minutes for this mattress to adjust to my body weight, but it always lent a just-right sink-in sensation once it did. Plus it didn't have the quicksand feeling you sometimes get when lying on this material.
The Tempur-Cloud is an all-foam bed that relies on three layers to provide support and cushion. I found it far too soft for stomach sleeping, as it left my lower spine unsupported. But like the Nectar, it was great for sleeping on my side. As with most foam mattresses, this one tends to run warmer. If you’re a hot sleeper, there are probably better options out there.
The bottom line: While the Tempur-Cloud isn’t our favorite mattress of all time, it will provide great sleep for a good chunk of folks out there.
4. The Awara mattress
The first morning after I slept on the Awara, I noticed how cool it was—and no, not in terms of how it looks, but rather how it feels. It’s a hybrid mattress and it sleeps like one, in that you’re not that likely to overheat at night. In my experience, the bed kept temperatures comfortable no matter how many hours I stayed in one place.
The mattress is made with a 4-inch layer of latex that’s nestled above a “premium support core” made of pocketed coils—or individually wrapped springs. That’s all beneath a wool cover. Its cooling abilities likely come from the construction and fabric, which allow for ample airflow and give heat the chance to diffuse throughout the night.
The brand claims its beds are eco-friendly and organic, a potential boon for discerning consumers. Experts cite latex as a more sustainable material because it can be sourced from rubber trees. Plus, it doesn’t require as much processing as foams, which are often derived from fossil fuels. That said, it’s hard to dig into Awara’s practices beyond a surface level, and it holds just one environmental material certification from the Rainforest Alliance.
Awara consistently runs discounts, but it’s not as wallet-friendly as a few of its competitors we’ve included in this list. Every size—other than a twin—rings up at more than $1,000.
5. The Saatva Classic mattress
Though I have yet to sleep on the Saatva Classic, a former Reviewed editor wrote about it and loved it. We tested “luxury firm” model, though the company has multiple firmness levels. Not only was the mattress downright pleasant to sleep on, the delivery was a breeze. Just keep in mind that at 14.5 inches tall, it’s on the bulky side, meaning you’ll need deep pocket sheets.
It’s one of two hybrid mattresses on this list. Like the Awara, it uses springs and foam to give a super comfy sleep surface that has support and cushion. The mattress also has a layer of foam for better back support—a design touch that we’re skeptical about, but could intrigue those who are prone to chronic pain.
We also found that it’s not the best at absorbing movement, so it’s probably better suited for folks without a restless partner or those who live alone without a fidgety pet who joins them night after night.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
This article originally appeared on Reviewed: Looking for a new bed? Check out 5 popular mattresses our readers love