After the celebrations, it’s time to start coming up with solid plans to make those great New Year resolutions happen during the upcoming months.
And for most folks, sleeping better, longer and more restfully will be at their top of their 2017’s to-do list.
Mattresses come in many sizes, shapes, styles and firmness levels. Consumers often feel overwhelmed when they see the sheer number of options available to them.
However, you will be surprised to know that very few of us are actually ready to invest the time and money in getting a high-quality, premium mattress.
It is not entirely our fault as the choices out here are so numerous to the extent that choosing a good mattress becomes such a frustrating and confusing activity.
But worry no more. If your situation fits the above description, then this guide is perfectly suited for you.
We will take you step-by-step through all you need to consider to land the best mattress that weaves perfectly into your budget and lifestyle.
Following is some information on the major types of mattresses available today, along with the benefits and drawbacks of each option.
Which is the Best Mattress of 2017?
If you look around, you will notice that new technology and better mattress designs come out every other year, if not more often. In fact, the last two decades have seen the greatest evolution of mattresses construction and design. Compared to say 20 or 30 years ago, most, if not all mattresses today are better, more durable and less expensive.
Memory foam, for instance, has been widely embraced by most mattresses manufacturers as the ideal element when it comes to crafting all-round specialty mattresses.
But even then, we can’t ignore the fact that box spring mattresses are still are popular as they were years ago. Which, of course, only adds to a mattresses shopper’s dilemma. And that’s exactly the reason you need such a guide.
For starters, let’s get something clear here – there is no such thing as the “perfect” mattress. There isn’t a single brand, mattress type or construction that can fit everyone’s bill. We’re all different in terms of what we look for in a potential mattress.
There are those who will put durability at the top of their lists. And at the same time, there are those who are more interested in comfort and don’t mind paying a couple thousand bucks for it (if not more). While for others, the mattress’ price level is their main consideration and then the rest can follow.
So, to cut across the entire spectrum of shoppers, we’ll be comparing and reviewing five main types of mattresses after a careful and unbiased analysis based on customer feedback and our own research of thousands of reviews.
At the same time, we will highlight the top brands from each category in a bid to give you a better picture of what to expect when you finally decide to take action and make the purchase.
A Short Summary of Our Findings
Well, it is no secret that the new specialty mattresses have been rated above the conventional innerspring beds for quite some time now. And this is mostly because of the durability, quality, convenience, comfort and price-point balance in some of these specialty mattresses.
Therefore, in the specialty bracket, memory foam carried the day as far as average user satisfaction goes. Which means that most probably you’re also going to prefer a memory foam mattress compared to other types and constructions.
For innerspring mattresses, a significant number of users expressed their concerns for their durability especially when used on a multi-user bed (i.e. couples). Usually, such mattresses are very comfortable and posh at first. But after two to three years, in comparison to foam mattresses, the scales tip, and innerspring ones deteriorate faster and break down more easily.
After innerspring, there was latex, inflatable types and, lastly, water beds seemed the least popular. As a matter of fact, it has become increasingly hard to get a water bed in the recent years as most companies have discontinued production.
At the end of the day, each mattress has it’s own pros and cons that make users gravitate or shy away from them. In the same vein, some brands will outperform others while others are generally rated poorly and are considered to be worse than what is considered average.
Either way, you may want a detailed description on the highs and lows of each type if you’re interested in choosing the perfectly-suited mattress for your 2016 slumber.
Before we begin, bear in mind that our ratings are purely unbiased and sourced from 3rd party websites and genuine customer reviews.
Memory Foam Mattresses
Memory foam mattresses remain the preferred choice of consumers in America, when rating mattresses on average user satisfaction. For this reason, individuals often turn to this type of mattress when they want to replace an existing one.
In fact, they are generally referred to as the ideal all-around mattress for any person, and this helps to explain why approximately 85 percent of individuals now sleep on this type of bed every night.
Consumers need to thank NASA for memory foam, as it was first created in the mid-1960s for airplane seats. Constructed using a substance known as viscoelastic, the foam is extremely soft and absorbs energy.
When a person lies on the bed, the foam molds to their body, responding to the heat and pressure being applied to it. As a result, body weight is evenly distributed.
What makes the mattress stand out is the foam returns to its original shape when the pressure is removed. In addition to mattresses, individuals find they can also purchase mattress pads and pillows using this material, and all come in different depths and densities.
Although researchers find it hard to study mattresses and their effects on sleep, as objective information may not correlate with the information that is provided using subjective study methods, users typically report they love their memory foam bed and supply anecdotal information as to why this is the case.
Some sleep experts, however, feel that memory foam can provide a more restful night: Kathy R. Gromer, a medical doctor and Minnesota Sleep Institute sleep specialist, believes that memory foam can help a person sleep better. It does so, according to Dr. Gromer, by relieving pressure points that may otherwise be painful.
One thing she does caution, however, is that the memory foam cannot help with sleep-breathing disorders, such as sleep apnea.
One thing individuals need to be aware of is the memory foam has a tendency to retain body heat. As a result, a person may find they are less comfortable when sleeping on this type of mattress when the temperatures begin to rise. Individuals may need to remove blankets from their bed or adjust the home thermostat to account for this.
Furthermore, some individuals dislike the offgassing that may be noticed with a new mattress of this type. This offgassing produces a chemical smell that is unpleasant.
The problem can easily be eliminated by allowing the mattress, pillow or pad to air for a few hours before putting a cover or sheet over it. This helps to remove the smell. For those who forget to take this step, there is no need for concern, as the smell doesn’t cause a reaction in those individuals using the bed.
Memory foam should not be used with young children. Because the memory foam is very soft, carbon monoxide could become trapped in the bedding. This leads to concern about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), a syndrome that results in the death of young infants.
One thing to consider when choosing this type of mattress is the construction. Some individuals wish to have a traditional foam or gel-infused mattress, yet others prefer one made using plant-based foam.
Budget does play a role in which brand is selected, yet manufacturers understand how popular this type of bed has become and now offer a wide range of products spanning a range of price points.
When two similar mattresses are found, it’s best to look at other factors, like customer service and reliability, when choosing. Don’t hesitate to go with a lesser known brand or a lower quality of mattress, if the bed will only be used occasionally or for a short period of time.
The top memory foam brands
Until recently, household names like Simmons Comforpedic and Tempur-Pedic were at the top of most recommendation lists and surely at the top of all sales lists for this category.
However, in the past few years things changed dramatically and several new high-quality mattresses have appeared on the market with very interesting prices. You might be familiar with brands like Casper and Bed-in-a-box which had a lot of marketing exposure. But there are better brands out there:
- The Amerisleep Revere Mattress: probably the best mattress maker around today, Amerisleep keeps delivering amazing mattresses, focusing on premium natural materials, reliability and customer service. We like their other mattresses too, but the Revere, priced at $1099, is a great favorite by the public.
- The Loom & Leaf Mattress: not only is it of premium quality (similar build quality to those in the Tempur’s Contour Series), but also it’s priced affordably at just $899 and boasts an excellent consumer satisfaction index.
- The Tuft & Needle 10-inch Mattress: a close third, this mattress has tons of great reviews from satisfied owners and boasts a quality level usually found in premium brands. At just $600, it’s a bargain.
- Sleep Innovations Shiloh 12-inch Mattress: at just about $450, this very popular mattress has been a favorite on several online retailers for the past 12 months. We like it as a good compromise between price and quality.
You can read our Best Memory Foam Mattress guide to learn more about these and other interesting mattresses.
For those of us on a lower budget, then the Perfect Cloud Atlas is perfectly designed with you in mind. With consistent positive reviews, reasonably good quality and at an attractive price point, it’s the ideal entry-level mattress in the memory foam world.
Sometimes, due to financial constraints or otherwise, we might not be willing to sacrifice hundreds of dollars on the altar of a quality mattress. Sometimes, it could be that you’re buying it only for something temporary like a hiking camp or a sleepover at a friend’s place.
Therefore, in such cases, it is not exactly financially wise to go for top-shelf brands when you’re only going to use the bed for a few days or weeks.
The IKEA memory foam mattress, for instance, has an average customer satisfaction of around 78% for occasional sleeper and only goes for less than $100. It seems to us like a decent bet to take if it’s not going to be your primary mattress.
Better yet, you can also pick the Ashley Mattresses, which are not only cheap but also reasonably good. Nothing fancy, don’t expect deluxe comfort levels, but you surely won’t get a backache for using it for a couple of days.
If you need something better, then the Simplicity line from Tempur is another worthy consideration. It might be as good as the top-shelf variants, but that is expected considering the lower price as well.
The innerspring mattress was first introduced in the 17th century and it hasn’t changed significantly since that time. When compared to mattresses made using modern technology, the traditional models of this type of bedding are definitely lagging in numerous ways.
As a result, many individuals give their old innerspring mattress, and the entire category, a lower rating or less favorable review than other mattress options.
In reality though, there are nowadays very good products manufactured by modern brands and taking advantage of newer technologies. You’ll see them in our top picks below.
Innerspring mattresses feature steel coils in different forms and shapes. Better quality mattresses of this type feature independently pocketed coils to allow the mattress to conform to the user’s body.
This helps to provide additional support, reduces the transfer of motion between bed users and improves the durability of the mattress. Over time, however, this type of mattress tends to sag or develop a deep body impression, one that is 1.5″ or more.
Furthermore, less expensive versions don’t offer the motion separation seen with higher priced models, they can be bouncy and they often make noise.
Another thing to consider when buying a mattress of this type is the coil count. Many individuals assume a higher coil count is automatically better, yet this is not the case.
There really isn’t a correlation between the number of coils in the mattress, overall user satisfaction and longevity of the mattress.
However, a person who weighs more may wish to go with a higher coil count, as the added coils will provide more support and mattress strength.
Consumers on a budget frequently choose an innerspring mattress, as they do offer great value and a traditional feel.
There are numerous brands and models to select from, and this type of mattress is easily available. There is a price point for every consumer also. When the mattress is new, it offers good comfort and support, and the purchaser selects the desired level of firmness.
One person can opt for a firm innerspring mattress, while another can choose a model that is very soft. Consumers are extremely familiar with this type of mattress, as they are found everywhere, and many find they prefer this bedding option for this reason alone.
One major benefit of choosing this type of mattress is the wide range of options available. A consumer can find different materials and upholstery, allowing them to select the one that best meets their needs. Choose from polyurethane foam, latex, fiber, memory foam and more. As a result, it is very easy for anyone to get a great night of sleep at a reasonable price.
There are some drawbacks seen with innerspring mattresses, however. Owners report lower levels of satisfaction with this type of mattress, and they aren’t extremely durable.
The innersprings don’t offer the pressure relief seen with many other types of mattresses, and those with allergies and other health issues may find they struggle with allergens and dust mites that collect in the bedding.
In addition, if motion disturbs a person when they are sleeping, the innerspring mattress may not be the best choice.
Thanks to the popularity of these mattresses, more companies are now opting to offer this bedding option. Some manufacturers have been around for a long time, such as Serta and Simmons, yet others are fairly new to the field.
These include Helix Sleep and Saatva, two companies that offer their products directly to the consumer. As a result, they are able to keep their prices down.
Add to this their lower overall production cost and manufacturing processes that reduce waste while saving energy, and consumers find they can get a great innerspring mattress for less than they imagined.
The best innerspring mattress brands
Popular brands in this category include Serta, Simmons, and Sealy, which have all been around for ages. All of which offer their products between $1500 and $3000.
In contrast, as described above for the memory foam category, you can now find great innerspring mattresses from smaller manufacturers such as Saatva and Helix Sleep, for a much lower price.
How do they do it? Mostly because they sell directly to the public, cutting out the middleman (the mattress store!) and transferring the saving straight to your pocket. Also, in most cases, because they developed innovative manufacturing processes which allow them to reduce waste, save energy and lower the overall production cost.
Here is what our research found out:
- The Saatva Mattress: this revolutionary mattress boasts a great reputation and the lowest return rate we have ever seen. At $899, way lower than comparable premium brands, this is the favorite choice of anybody who can afford this price level.
- The Helix Sleep Mattress: this newcomer will soon be at the center stage in the upcoming trade shows, as not only it is a great innerspring mattress, but for only $900 it includes a fully personalized customization to make it exactly how you like it. Tough to beat.
- The Sleep Master Ultima Comfort 13-inch: If you are used to the springs and don’t want to spend too much, this is a very good choice. In fact, this discount mattress has very strong reviews and can be bought for just around $330.
You should have a look at our Best Innerspring Mattress guide for more details about these mattresses.
When shopping for such mattresses, the only thing you need to know is that the quality of such beds is dependent on the materials used (toppers) and the coil types. So don’t be tempted to settle for a mattress simply based on the number of coils in it, as it can be very misleading. As sleeplikethedead.com reports (emphasis ours):
Coil count refers to the number of coils in the mattress. Most queen innerspring mattresses have a coil count of 450-900 with 725 being about average. Mattresses with a higher coil count are more expensive than mattresses with a lower count, all other things being equal.
Our research, however, shows little correlation between coil count and owner satisfaction or coil count and mattress longevity / durability overall. Nevertheless, heavier persons may want to consider buying a high-coil-count mattress as this may result in improved support and mattress strength.
Worst rated innerspring mattresses
Denver mattresses, despite being made in the US and not imported from Asian countries, has a reputation for consistent poor user reviews, especially their cheapest model. Other culprits include Englander and Restonic, both of which previous users found just ‘okay’ as it is the case with Stearns & Foster.
Finally, the black sheep in the bracket is Spring Air, which is considered the least durable and comfortable in its price group.
Natural Latex Mattresses
As with other mattress types, latex mattresses come in many different versions. Consumers select from synthetic models, natural types or a mattress that combines the two.
Individuals who find the molding feel of a memory foam mattress isn’t to their liking frequently opt for this alternative, as these mattresses also relieve pressure and are of high quality.
This type of foam tends to be more resilient than its memory foam counterparts and is extremely durable. Furthermore, the synthetic variants are hypoallergenic, and there is no concern of heat build up, a problem seen with memory foam mattresses.
A latex mattress can also be certified organic when it comes to its components, and many consumers find they prefer this.
Latex mattresses provide well-balanced support, and they hold up well over the years. They offer breathability along with the temperature control, and they offer a fast recovery and response time. For those who are concerned about durability, the latex mattress is a great choice.
The mattress does tend to have an odor when it is first used, and some individuals are allergic to natural latex. Those who fall into this category will need to consider other options, like synthetic rubber.
Consumers often cite a lack of availability and limited information when they explain why they opted for a different mattress type, but this appears to be changing.
More companies are now choosing to offer this bedding option. Maneuverability and weight are also concerns that have been expressed, and some dislike the spongy, foamy feel of the mattress. All need to be taken into consideration when a consumer is deciding if this mattress option is what they want and need.
Pay attention to the firmness of the mattress when buying. Many individuals complain of excessive firmness when they first use a latex mattress. Fortunately, once the mattress has been broken in, only 10 percent complain about the firmness level.
When shopping for a latex mattress, consumers need to pay attention to the amount of latex offered in the product. Certain manufacturers insert only a thin layer of synthetic latex into the mattress, yet label it as a latex option.
Consumers then find the mattress doesn’t offer the benefits they were expecting, and the drawbacks have been multiplied. Furthermore, this type of mattress isn’t necessarily hypoallergenic, as it contains materials other than latex.
The highest quality of latex mattress is one that contains both a latex core and latex comfort layers combined with premium materials, such as memory foam. A step below these mattresses are those latex ones which have a high-density polyurethane core. This core is surrounded by latex comfort layers, of which there are multiple.
The mattresses with more dense latex foam last longer, but they are heavier. Consumers find they can easily compare options by attempting to lift the mattress. The heavier the mattress, the more latex it contains.
Be sure to review the warranty that comes with the mattress and the return policy, as a latex mattress isn’t right for everyone. The warranty typically addresses such things as indentations over a period of time.
Carefully read to learn how much the consumer will be expected to pay in terms of replacement cost and if there are any costs associated with returning or exchanging the mattress.
Full replacement warranties cover a period from two years to ten years or more. Some companies now extend the replacement period to 20 years, and this may become more common as these mattresses increase in popularity. Individuals need to see when the pro-rated or limited warranty kicks in, as this is when costs will be incurred if the mattress is returned or exchanged.
The best-rated latex mattress brands
Going by the available reviews online, the best latex mattress brands by consensus are the Plushbeds and Ultimate Dreams. Both of this brands are available in both 100% natural latex (top-shelf) and synthetic (mid-range) variants.
However, if you’re on a shoestring budget, then the LUCID brand would come in handy especially if you don’t mind using synthetic latex.
The worst rated latex mattress brands
Again, Stearns & Fosters makes another appearance in the worst-rated category. This time around most customers cited poor durability and a prohibitive price tag in almost all their beds.
Sleep EZ was also not left out, especially their blended brand which received a notably less than average customer satisfaction score.
Airbeds and Permanent Inflatables
There are times when a person wants to adjust the firmness of their mattress, but are unable to do so because of the construction of the mattress they own.
This is never an issue when an air mattress is selected, as each person can choose their own level of support and firmness. The question would be how many marriages has this saved!
Air mattresses look very similar to their innerspring counterparts, and improvements have been made over the years to improve the comfort and usability levels.
Individuals should not confuse these mattresses, often referred to as dial beds, with those blow-up mattresses that are designed for camping or short term overnight guests, as they are completely different.
The most well known brand of air mattress would be the Sleep Number bed, although there are many other air beds to select from.
Individuals who make use of an air mattress, state it offers a high level of pain relief, of importance to many. In addition, air mattresses are known for lasting a long time, and many find this to be of great importance. For this reason, every individual needs to consider this option when the time comes to select their new bedding.
As mentioned, one major benefit of choosing an air mattress is couples can each adjust their side of the bed to their personal comfort level. This is great for those who differ greatly in terms of their body weight and comfort preference. Motion absorption is very good on these beds and the same is true of maneuverability.
Finding the right level of support can be an issue, however, and consumers need to understand there will be a learning curve when they first switch to this type of bed. One reason some individuals shy away from this type of mattress is the cost of ownership, especially over the long term.
There is always the possibility of the bed breaking down or malfunctioning, as it does have mechanical parts, and there is the risk of noise. Assembly is often required when this mattress is selected also.
One problem with these beds, as reported by some users, is a loss of air over time. This problem isn’t a significant one, but is something buyers need to be aware of.
In addition, the warranty on this type of bed tends to be less comprehensive and of shorter duration than those seen with other mattress types. Finally, lower end models are prone to having an uneven sleeping surface.
The majority of air mattresses contain regular foam. There are select premium models, however, which make use of memory foam, and consumers may wish to look into these models.
The support or base material for an air mattress is air chambers on most models and high-density regular foam in certain versions. As these mattresses all make use of a similar support system, other features must be considered when selecting a mattress of this type.
Consider a mattress that contains latex or memory foam, but expect to pay more for these options. Natural fibers are available for the mattress top, including silk, wool and cashmere, yet users pay a premium for these breathable materials. Stretch covers are preferred by many, as they breathe and won’t leave creases.
Pay attention to the method of inflation and the warranty when choosing as well.
The best-rated air bed mattresses brands
Although nowadays it’s hard to come across this kind of beds, there a few brands that have been consistently good over the years. This includes the likes of Personal Comfort, Innomax, and Comfortaire.
All of these go for between $1600 and $2200 in various online shops, with the Innomax Medallion 15-inch been the most expensive at $2150.
Personal Comfort, for example, is recommended by most spinal specialists for people suffering from lower back pain.
The worst rated air bed brands
Although there isn’t presently much competition in the air bed category, the Boyd brand has consistently been ‘lauded’ for being a low-quality brand by most customers who reviewed it.
Waterbeds and other Liquid Mattresses
If temperature control is of high priority in a mattress, consumers need to look to a waterbed. The bed contours to the body, yet is often inexpensive as compared to other options.
These beds do often last an extended period of time and they aren’t often prone to dust mites, of concern to those who suffer from allergies.
This type of bed was very popular a few decades ago, but lost favor over time. Thanks to advancements in the industry, however, people are asking for these mattresses once again.
New versions now offer options such as ticking on the mattress top and comfort layers, and the waterbed mattress often cannot be distinguished from an innerspring mattress.
Individuals can choose between hard-sided and soft-sided versions:
- Hard-sided version makes use of the traditional design and contains a water filled chamber, known as a bladder, that rests inside a wooden frame.
- Soft-sided models, in contrast, feature high density foam walls, and these walls hold the bladder in place so no wood frame is required.
The large majority of waterbeds feature an option to control the temperature of the bed. For many, this is the key reason why they choose this type of mattress.
The temperature is provided by an electric pad that is situated underneath the water bladder, and this pad is an essential feature of hard-sided water beds, as they lack adequate insulation between the user and the water.
Owners need to be aware the mattress can be punctured, thus those with animals or kids need to take care when using a waterbed. Thankfully, manufacturers have made strides in reducing the risk of a puncture, so this does not need to be a major concern.
The bed is very heavy, thanks to the weight of the water, and the mattress does require maintenance. When the time comes to set up and assemble the bed, time must be set aside, as the process isn’t easy. Furthermore, there is the possibility of noise and an odor when the bed is first used.
Water beds are constructed with water chambers, although some models do also contain regular foam. This provides the comfort for the user, while the water chambers offer the support and base for the bed. This is the only type of mattress to contain any water, unlike many other models which use a combination of materials.
Waterbeds do not have to be drained on a regular basis. In fact, the only time the water must be removed from the bed is when it is to be moved from one location to another. Algaecide is required once every six months to stop algae and bacteria from developing, and the water in the bed may need to be topped off once a year.
In the event a leak does develop, a patch kit is of great help and is fairly easy to use.
So if you’re a liquid enthusiast be ready to cough up to $2000 for the Innomax Luxury Support Cashmere Softside and $1000 for the American National Naples Softside.
Factors to consider when choosing such waterbeds include, the price, technology and design language (whether or not you like ripples or prefer a wave-free bed)
AWARDS: Our Best Beds and Mattresses for 2016
Now that you’re aware of some of the available types of mattresses in your nearest store, it’s time to reward some of the best beds this year has seen.
Our top choices depend on a variety of factors, mostly being customer satisfaction rate, price-to-quality balance, and past users feedback. The mattresses listed below have been proven to be well-above average, and so there is a high chance that you’re also going to be pleased by their functionality and quality. Note that we’ve excluded water and air mattresses since there are not that popular, and there it’s hard to find one model or brand that specifically stands out from the rest.
Here they are (prices are for Queen size as of today):
Best Memory Foam Mattress of 2016 – The Amerisleep Revere Mattress – $1099
Best Innerspring Mattress of 2016 – The Saatva Luxury Firm Mattress – $899
Best Natural Latex Mattress of 2016 – The Ultimate Dreams Eurotop Latex Mattress -$899
In as much as these mattresses have received raving reviews from their users, it is not necessarily guaranteed that you’re also going to like them automatically. But if you’re in the market for the best mattress and do not mind spending an extra dime, then the above models are your probably your best bet as far as customer satisfaction goes.
That said, remember that the suitability of a mattress is a very personal affair, and it circles around an array of factors including your lifestyle, age, health, and budget. However, whichever way you choose to look at it, we hope that this guide is comprehensive enough to help you make the right choice.
Look into all mattress types when the time comes to replace an existing bed. Each has its benefits and drawbacks, yet each individual has their own sleeping preferences.
For this reason, there is no one bed that is right for all, and it is best to try numerous sleeping surfaces before deciding on one. Although this isn’t always possible, as more manufacturers are now offering their products strictly online, these companies tend to offer a no hassle return policy.
If a bed of the type they are offering is desired, be sure to review this information to make sure there won’t be a hefty surcharge for the return or outrageous shipping fees that must be paid.
The right bed is out there and, with this information, finding it becomes a much easier task.