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With so many options on the market today, it can be hard to find a mattress that meets your needs—and those of your partner's, if you don't sleep alone.
"Lots of mattresses claim high-quality materials and design, and they might spend a lot on marketing, but is it the right mattress for you?" asks Christopher Regan, who oversees CR’s mattress tests. "Our tests help separate the stellar mattresses from those that might lack support."
In our support tests for back sleepers, we use human subjects of small and large stature. Test technicians graph 36 points along the spine using displacement sensors to measure the physical distance between the back and the mattress to analyze whether a mattress maintains the natural curve of the spine.
For the side-sleeping score, we observe several points along each subject’s spine and measure how much they diverge from a straight line. For a test model to score well, the points must remain fairly parallel to the surface of the mattress.
We average the results of the small and large test subjects to produce a score for average-sized sleepers. A mattress that has great back support for a petite back sleeper may not work for a back sleeper who's substantially larger.
If you're familiar with our ratings, you'll find two new scores included in our most recent update—for comfort and owner satisfaction. They're based on data from a survey of CR members’ experiences with more than 74,000 mattresses. We asked members to rate the comfort of their mattress, and used the data to generate ratings by brand and type of mattress. Owner satisfaction is based on a member’s overall judgment of such factors as firmness/softness, value, quality of sleep, and more.
The innerspring, foam, and adjustable air mattresses below that passed our tests with flying colors are from brands, including Avocado, Casper, Essentia, Sleep on Latex, and Sleep Number. For a wider range of more than 170 mattresses we've tested and more than 40 brands at a range of price points from $260 to $4,950, check out our mattress ratings.