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 2016’s to-do list.
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.
Which is the Best Mattress of 2016?
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
You don’t have to scour the internet or ask around so much to know that memory foam beds rank the highest and are considered the ideal all-around mattress.
Statistically, today 85% of people today go to sleep on foam mattresses every night and hence more and more companies are churning newer designs every year, with small but steady improvements at every cycle.
But even with that being said, there are some brands that tower over the rest despite the steep competition. At the same time, others fall below the average consumer’s expectations, and we have no choice but also to list them here.
In terms of construction, foam mattresses are as diverse as the sleepers who retire on them every night. From plant-based foam to traditional foam and gel-infused types, there is no doubt that the manufacturing technology behind these bed types is growing as fast as our population.
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 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 second, 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 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.
Innerspring beds have been around since the 17th century and have over time evolved rather slowly in comparison to the 21-st century fast-paced technology. And this has only made less favorable to many users as far as reviews, ratings and feedback go.
Compared to specialty mattresses, innerspring beds are inferior in durability, motion transfer and are typically also plagued by limited support.
However, new players in the market are revolutionizing spring beds by improving what was otherwise a well-aged construction design and integrating modern mattress manufacturing principles at the same time.
The result is, of course, a premium product offered at a rather fair price.
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
For one reason or another, most people don’t fancy latex beds, and so there are not as massively produced as innerspring and foam beds.
But what most people don’t know is that 100% natural latex beds are some of the comfiest, deluxe and plush beds you will ever sleep on. However, natural latex is very pricey, and so such a bed might be out of the reach of many average consumers.
Synthetic latex, on the other hand, though cheaper and more available, leaves so much to be desired.
Speaking of synthetic latex beds, our research revealed that there average customer satisfaction level was fairly independent of the type of production method during manufacture.
Therefore, regardless of whether the mattress was made with Dunlop, Talalay or Continuous process, that won’t in any way affect its usability or comfort levels.
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
The best thing about an airbed is that you can adjust or tweak the pressure levels for either a softer or firmer support depending on your preferences.
However, have it the back of your mind that most air bed brands use their own unique set of air chamber design and material.
The toppers, bladder materials, and air pumps also differ a lot. Which, of course, means that the no two air beds from different manufacturers will feel exactly the same.
The same applies to the price groups, where you shouldn’t expect latex tops on a budget-priced air bed. The same way, quilted tops are rarely used in top-of-the-line beds.
Therefore, if you’re interested in buying an air bed mattresses, your main considerations should be durability (warranty length), nature of the mattress topper used, method of inflation and, of course, size.
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
Affordable, durable and hypoallergenic. Those are the words that can describe beds in this category. As the name suggests, a water bed is simply an enclosed bladder filled with a liquid (preferably water or gel) and has a matching comfy topper.
Water beds are hard to find nowadays, owing to their relatively high production costs in comparison to other types of mattresses.
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):
Memory Foam Bed Of 2016 – The Loom & Leaf Relaxed Firm Mattress – $899
Innerspring Bed Of 2016 – The Saatva Luxury Firm Mattress – $899
Natural Latex Bed 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 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.