Best Mattresses 2020 – Our Favorite Picks
So you’re in the market for a new mattress but have no idea where to start. Trust me, I get it: The seemingly infinite number of options is nothing short of dizzying! Not only are there choices to be found at brick-and-mortar establishments, but there are hundreds more swirling in the world of digital bed-in-a-box startups. But what’s the best mattress for 2020?
I’ve been thinking long and hard about how I can best use my expertise to help you find the mattress of your dreams, and I think I’ve come up with a solution. Below, I’m presenting my top picks in a wide range of categories. Not only that, but I’m going to describe why I selected the mattresses that I did, because I believe knowing what criteria I use to make my choices will empower you with the knowledge you need to do even better research on your own!
Best Mattress Requirements and Scoring
Choosing the best mattress brands for 2020 wasn’t an easy task. There are hundreds of companies in the world, and I personally tested out and reviewed dozens of different models in my quest to answer the seemingly innocuous question: What is the best mattress?
And even though I’ve landed on what I think are some really fabulous picks, I want to acknowledge that this list is always evolving and that my opinions are likely to change as newer beds emerge on the market.
That being said, all mattresses included on this list had to meet the following criteria:
If you’re sleeping on a mattress you inherited from your Great Aunt Theresa or one that a former roommate left behind in your apartment, odds are you’ve surrendered yourself to the fact that it probably doesn’t satisfy your specific needs. But so what? It was free, right?
The area in which it probably lets you down the most is pressure relief, or its ability to soothe tension at problem areas such as the shoulders, hips, and lower back. Of all of the changes you’ll notice in a new bed purchase, the biggest is probably the difference that comes from going from your old mattress to one that provides ample comfort and relief. Hint: The latter is much, much better for you and your health.
You can find this pressure relief in a number of ways, but I’d say the easiest is to go with a mattress that features a durable base (of either pocketed coils or high-density poly foam) complimented by thick layers of contouring foam.
best mattresses 2020 for Back Pain
Do you ever wake up in the morning with a dull, throbbing pain in your lumbar region? Do you toss and turn in the night seeking out that magical position that might ease the discomfort along your spine? If so, you might just suffer from chronic back pain and could perhaps use a mattress upgrade to help with that back pain.
I should note that back pain can result from numerous lifestyle, genetic, and physical factors, so I like to think of changing your mattress as just one of several steps that could be taken to address the issue. If you’re suffering from back pain, it’s best to consult with a medical professional to develop a plan that’ll address the underlying causes and symptoms. Remember, nothing on this page should be taken as medical advice.
That being said, a general rule of thumb is that you’ll want a supportive bed (note that firmness does NOT always equal support) with a soothing foam top layer to fill in the space at your lumbar area. You’ll also want something that keeps your shoulders in a nice alignment with your hips and is, of course, comfortable.
As far as mattresses are concerned, there’s perhaps nothing more classic than an old-fashioned innerspring. These lively beds reigned supreme long before the advent of all-foam models, and though they’ve definitely waned in popularity over the years, there are still a number of solid designs out there in the world.
But what makes a great innerspring bed? In my opinion, a quality innerspring has to sleep cool and have excellent bounce as well as enough support to prevent you from ever feeling stuck in the structure.
While some sleepers have specific feels they want from their mattresses (e.g., luxurious foam or springy coils), an even larger majority of us prefer a combo platter of sorts when it comes to our beds. We like memory foam but don’t need five inches of the stuff to feel comfortable. We want sinkage, but not too much, and a dollop of contouring, but only if it’s counteracted by the bouncy support of pocketed coils.
If any of this sounds familiar, you might be in the market for a hybrid mattress. These beds ditch the “all-X” constructions of other models in favor of ones that combine materials for a sleeping experience that truly does it all.
Best Memory Foam
What would a mattresses on sale guide be without a section devoted to memory foam? Nearly every bed-in-a-box retailer uses the material in some fashion, either quilted into a cover or as the main comfort layer of one of its mattresses.
As a bed material, memory foam is best known for its deep contouring and sinkage. At their best, these properties can provide the sleeper with tremendous pressure relief and comfort. However, the foam can also overheat and produce too intense of a “hug” that’ll leave you feeling stuck in the mattress. The key, then, is balance and finding a bed that knows how to do memory foam right.
If memory foam’s not really your thing, perhaps you’ll be more in the market for a mattress built with latex. Unlike memory foam, this material is known for its bounce, cooling, and responsiveness, creating beds that are both comfortable and buoyant.
For my money, the best latex mattresses use the foam to endow the structure with lift and breathability, either as a fun accent between softer layers or as a main star in its own right. Another great benefit of latex is that it’s relatively easy to produce organically, which makes it a fantastic pick for environmentally conscious sleepers.
Whether their materials warrant the expense or not, the unfortunate truth is that most beds are really expensive. While you should always think of a mattress purchase as an investment in your overall well-being, this doesn’t mean you need to shell out thousands of dollars to secure a good night’s rest.
In fact, there are a lot of marvelous beds out there that aren’t just incredibly comfortable but also affordable enough to leave both you and your wallet grinning from ear to ear. Read on for some best-value mattress picks.
Best Mattresses for Couples
When thinking about what makes a bed great for couples, I consider a few different factors. Namely, I’m interested in figuring out how much of the surface area of the mattress you’ll be able to use and whether or not you’re going to be disturbed by your partner’s movements in the middle of the night.
That means I’m going to be drawn to beds that feature less motion transfer and quality edge support. I’ll also be on the lookout for mattresses that exhibit feels that cater to sleepers with different preferences, since even the most harmonious partners can snooze in distinct ways.
Best for Side Sleepers
When buying a new mattress, side sleepers want to be extra-careful about the kind of bed they buy. If it’s too firm, pressure points are likely to form at the shoulders and hips. If it’s too soft, the sinkage could throw the spine out of alignment.
Personally, I find the best mattress type for side sleepers is one that has gentle top layers for cushiony support as well as a solid base to keep these plush materials stabilized. The trick is to find a mattress that pushes back as much as you push in so you never feel totally engulfed by the structure.
Best Cooling Mattress
For some of you out there, comfort is going to be less about pressure relief and support and more about temperature regulation. If you’re a sleeper who runs hot, your main focus is likely going to be on figuring out how to sleep as cool as possible.
As you begin your search, stay on the lookout for beds with individually wrapped coils, as the spaces between the packets encourage airflow throughout the structure. Latex is also great for cooling, as the material is excellent at absorbing and dispersing heat. Memory foam is traditionally not the best at keeping things cool, but often, the material will be infused with gel to combat this attribute.
Best for Heavier Sleepers
When looking for a new bed, it can feel like there are a lot of complicating factors to consider: materials, design, and cost are just a few. While these are all important things to think about, one factor that should never make your mattress search more difficult is your weight. If you’re a heavier sleeper, this might seem easier said than done, but there are actually a lot of fantastic beds out there built for sleepers of all different sizes, weights, and body types. These mattresses take everything that works well in other models (satisfying pressure relief, great support, cozy materials) and amp them up for an even more optimal sleeping experience.
Best for Combo Sleepers
Having trouble deciding if you’re a stomach, back, or side sleeper? Do you tend to fall asleep in one position and wake up in a totally different one? Perhaps you’re what I like to refer to as a combo sleeper, or someone who dozes in multiple positions. What this means for your mattress search is that you’re basically going to be looking for a bed with an all-encompassing feel, preferably one that strikes a satisfying balance between all of its different materials. So if it’s a hybrid, for example, you’ll want to make sure that the pressure relief of the foam doesn’t cut into the support of the pocketed coils and vice versa.
Best Mattresses for Stomach Sleepers
If you’re a stomach sleeper, you’ll want to find a firm mattress that’ll position your shoulders and hips in an even line. Sound easy enough? Unfortunately, not always. A lot of beds that bill themselves as being firm sacrifice good support in the name of said firmness, resulting in mattresses that don’t do much of anything at all.
So the question remains: Are there beds out there that can keep a stomach sleeper’s body flat enough for healthy spinal alignment while also being comfortable? The answer is a resounding YES!
My selections for the best mattresses to buy in 2020 all had to be available in 2017 for at least six months prior to this review, with a slight edge given to those models on the market for a year or longer.
Why is this important? For one thing, the longer a company’s been in business, the more confidence I have in its ability to deliver on warranty promises, return policies, and product availability. Secondly, it tells me that people are responding to its goods, which means the materials are durable and the designs are well-executed. And finally, it suggests that the company is going to be around for the long haul, making it a solid investment.
In my opinion, the overall customer experience is just as important as an exceptional product. If a brand has an amazing bed but negligent customer service representatives or confusing policies, I can’t in good faith include it on this list.
So how do I ensure that a company has top-notch customer service? I’m constantly scouring the Web for third-party reviews, looking closely to see if users have been neglected or received lackluster service from a particular retailer. I also keep my eyes on social media for any brand red flags, which I then investigate on my own.
Additionally, I rely on all of you! If I notice that our great Sleepopolis readers are responding in a particularly good or bad way to a company, I’ll adjust my rankings accordingly, always giving precedence to brands that have a killer track record of positive customer service reviews.
As more and more bed-in-a-box companies surface in the digital ether, value has become an increasingly important factor for me to consider when selecting the best mattresses of any given year.
And when I refer to value, I’m not just talking about a low price point. A great value is achieved when the selling price is well below the average market cost for what you’d ordinarily need to pay for a mattress of that quality and performance. In this way, mattresses at all points on the pricing scale can be considered an exceptional value.
Last, but certainly not least, let’s talk about company integrity. While different folks will think about integrity in different ways, for me, it comes down to a few crucial questions:
- How does a company treat its customers, both those who are happy and those with complaints?
- How transparent is a brand about the kinds of materials it uses and from where it sources those materials?
- Has the company received any accolades voted on by users?
- What, if any, outreach did the company do in 2017? In 2018?
- What are some of the brand’s key values? How does it enact those values in its day-to-day operations?
It doesn’t take long to figure out the answers to these questions, and once I do, I use them to inform my rankings as much as comfort or price. In my experience, the best mattress brands are those that not only want to be the best but truly want to do right by the sleepers who rest on their beds night after night.
If you’re in search of the best mattress, there are a few other questions you may want answered as well.
How much should I spend on a mattress?
There’s no definitive answer here, so it’s important to take your own budget into account. Thankfully, there are great mattresses to be found at nearly every price point!
What is the best time to buy a mattress?
Many bedding brands launch huge sales around federal holidays, so keep an eye out for deals around President’s Day, Memorial Day, and even Labor Day!
How often should I replace my mattress?
In general, you should replace your mattress every 7-10 years. However, all this depends a great deal on how you use and treat your bed.
Are expensive mattresses better?
Not necessarily! It’s far more important to land on a mattress that’ll satisfy your unique sleep preferences and needs, so keep the focus on quality of design, trial periods, and warranties.
How do I choose a mattress?
First, identify your sleeping position (back, side, stomach). Then, think about things you’d like to change about your current situation (alleviate neck pain, cushion your shoulders). Finally, find a mattress that ticks all the boxes and satisfies your unique needs.