A healthy person shifts position 40 to 60 times per night. If that person happens to be sleeping beside you, those shifts could be disruptive.
That’s why Consumer Reports tests stabilization for all of the mattresses it rates. With innerspring mattresses, this test—essentially a gauge of bounciness—is a good indicator of whether your movements will disturb your partner or vice versa. And with foam mattresses, which aren’t generally bouncy but can be difficult to roll around on, our stabilization tests determine how easy it is to change position.
And, of course, a mattress works for a couple only when it offers support for both partners. In our labs we test and rate how well each mattress maintains support for sleepers of different statures and sleeping styles.
We use test subjects that represent the lower and upper 5 percent of the population by size. Our petite subjects are about 5 feet tall and 110 pounds; our large subjects are about 6 feet, 3 inches tall and 220 pounds or so. We measure support while the representative subjects are on their side and on their back. (We average the two sets of scores to get results for a midsized person.)
For side sleepers, we look to see how well a mattress can keep the alignment of the spine straight, and parallel to the floor. For back sleepers, we measure how well a mattress maintains the natural curvature of the spine in a prone position. All of this data informs our extensive ratings, available to Consumer Reports members.
You’ll find two new scores in our mattress ratings—for comfort and owner satisfaction—that are based on data from our recent surveys on 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.
“When shopping for a mattress with your partner, make sure you try out the bed while lying on it together,” says Chris Regan, the project leader for CR’s mattress testing. Move around and shift positions. Take turns so that one person can feel the effect of the other person’s shifts. You want to determine whether movements are transmitted across the mattress to the point where they’d bother you (as captured in our stabilization rating).
CR members can read on for ratings and reviews of eight mattresses in three categories whose attributes make them particularly good for couples. All rate high in our tests for support and stabilization.
Best Innerspring Mattresses for Couples
These traditional mattresses use steel coils for support. They are the most widely sold type and tend to be more expensive than foam mattresses.
Best Foam Mattresses for Couples
Foam mattresses can include various spongy materials—such as latex, memory foam, and proprietary materials like Purple’s silicon grid—that soften when you lie on them and soon mold to your body.
See our full mattress ratings for a variety of choices.
An Adjustable Air Mattress for Couples
Foam an innerspring not your thing? You could opt for an adjustable air mattress that has inflatable pockets within the structure that can slightly change the bed's firmness.
Best Adjustable Air Mattress for Couples
Foam and innerspring not your thing? Try an adjustable air bed that allows you to change the mattress’s firmness with the click of a button.
Tips for Buying a Mattress
Tossing and turning all night? Maybe it’s time for a new mattress. On the “Consumer 101” TV show, CR expert Chris Regan shares tips on what to look for when mattress shopping.
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