Best Mattress Guides

Best Mattress for Athletes

The top-rated mattresses for athletes, and everything you need to know to choose the right one for your lifestyle.

By Rachael Harris

If you’re an athlete, you know that sleep can greatly impact performance. Whether you want to run faster, jump higher, lift heavier or have faster reaction times, a mattress that’s comfortable, supportive and alleviates aches and pains is one of the linchpins of achieving healthy sleep each night.

Professional athletes and recreational exercisers should look for a mattress that feels good for their body type and sleeping position while catering to their unique needs. Keep reading for our curated list of the top-rated beds for athletes. We also share important considerations for selecting a mattress for an athlete, such as mattress type and muscle recovery.

Disclosure: By clicking on the product links in this article, Mattress Nerd may receive a commission fee at no cost to you, the reader. Read full disclosure statement.

Best Mattresses for Athletes

Bear: Best Mattress for Active Recovery

Best Mattress for Active Recovery

Bear Mattress

Designed for people with active lifestyles, the Original Bear mattress is Bear’s flagship model. It features foams that work well for sleepers of all positions and sizes. The bed's standout cover includes Celliant, which converts body heat into infrared energy to promote muscle recovery.

Nerd Score 4.6/5
Read Full Review

Material

Foam

Trial Period

100 nights

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Firmness

Medium-firm: 7/10

Warranty

10-year limited warranty

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.7/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best Mattress for Active Recovery

Bear Mattress

Designed for people with active lifestyles, the Original Bear mattress is Bear’s flagship model. It features foams that work well for sleepers of all positions and sizes. The bed's standout cover includes Celliant, which converts body heat into infrared energy to promote muscle recovery.

Nerd Score 4.6/5
Read Full Review

Material

Foam

Warranty

10-year limited warranty

Firmness

Medium-firm: 7/10

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Trial Period

100 nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.7/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best Mattress for Active Recovery

Bear Mattress

Designed for people with active lifestyles, the Original Bear mattress is Bear’s flagship model. It features foams that work well for sleepers of all positions and sizes. The bed's standout cover includes Celliant, which converts body heat into infrared energy to promote muscle recovery.

Nerd Score 4.6/5
Read Full Review

Material

Foam

Firmness

Medium-firm: 7/10

Trial Period

100 nights

Warranty

10-year limited warranty

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.7/5
Watch Our Video Review

The Bear mattress’ standout feature is its cover, which features Celliant fibers. This recovery technology absorbs body heat, transforms it into infrared light, and redirects that light back into your muscles. This reaction is meant to improve circulation, which can encourage faster muscle recovery. It’s also made with pressure-relieving memory foam and a supportive foam base layer. This combination gives the mattress a good balance of body contouring and spinal support.

All of these qualities make the bed ideal for athletes who want the recovery benefits of improved circulation, temperature regulation, and whole body contouring.

See our full Bear Mattress Review to learn more.

Brooklyn Bedding Spartan: Best Mattress for Couples

Best Mattress for Couples

Brooklyn Bedding Spartan Hybrid Mattress

It comes in three firmness levels, which is great because it allows the mattress to cater to athletes of all sizes (think tall basketball players versus petite cross-country runners).

Nerd Score 4.4/5
Read Full Review

Material

Hybrid

Trial Period

120 nights

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Warranty

10-year warranty

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.8/5
Best Mattress for Couples

Brooklyn Bedding Spartan Hybrid Mattress

It comes in three firmness levels, which is great because it allows the mattress to cater to athletes of all sizes (think tall basketball players versus petite cross-country runners).

Nerd Score 4.4/5
Read Full Review

Material

Hybrid

Warranty

10-year warranty

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Trial Period

120 nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.8/5
Best Mattress for Couples

Brooklyn Bedding Spartan Hybrid Mattress

It comes in three firmness levels, which is great because it allows the mattress to cater to athletes of all sizes (think tall basketball players versus petite cross-country runners).

Nerd Score 4.4/5
Read Full Review

Material

Hybrid

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Trial Period

120 nights

Warranty

10-year warranty

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.8/5

Regardless of their lifestyle, couples typically require a mattress that checks a specific set of boxes in order to sleep well together: motion isolation, edge support, and cooling. Active couples may need even more cooling and recovery-promoting features in order to achieve a good night’s sleep on the same mattress.

The Spartan offers all of these in a luxury hybrid design. The pocketed coils offer cooling and edge support, while a deep comfort system provides better-than-average motion isolation compared to most hybrids. Additionally, the Spartan has a performance fabric cover made with Nanobionic R-3, which promotes recovery. The cover is also infused with a phase-change material, which aids the coil core in promoting temperature regulation.

See our full Brooklyn Bedding Spartan Mattress review to learn more.

Zoma: Best Mattress for Zoned Support

Best Mattress for Zoned Support

Zoma Mattress

The Zoma mattress is designed for athletes and people on the move. Though we’re not convinced it’ll sleep as cool as some may desire—it’s made of memory foam, after all—it’s a good fit for most side and back sleepers. It’ll likely be too soft to keep the hips elevated for stomach sleepers, but it offers a mixture of softness and support that’s great for other sleep types.

Nerd Score 4.2/5
Read Full Review

Material

Foam

Trial Period

100 nights

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Firmness

Soft: 5.5/10

Warranty

10-year warranty

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Average Customer Rating
4.7/5
Best Mattress for Zoned Support

Zoma Mattress

The Zoma mattress is designed for athletes and people on the move. Though we’re not convinced it’ll sleep as cool as some may desire—it’s made of memory foam, after all—it’s a good fit for most side and back sleepers. It’ll likely be too soft to keep the hips elevated for stomach sleepers, but it offers a mixture of softness and support that’s great for other sleep types.

Nerd Score 4.2/5
Read Full Review

Material

Foam

Warranty

10-year warranty

Firmness

Soft: 5.5/10

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Trial Period

100 nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Average Customer Rating
4.7/5
Best Mattress for Zoned Support

Zoma Mattress

The Zoma mattress is designed for athletes and people on the move. Though we’re not convinced it’ll sleep as cool as some may desire—it’s made of memory foam, after all—it’s a good fit for most side and back sleepers. It’ll likely be too soft to keep the hips elevated for stomach sleepers, but it offers a mixture of softness and support that’s great for other sleep types.

Nerd Score 4.2/5
Read Full Review

Material

Foam

Firmness

Soft: 5.5/10

Trial Period

100 nights

Warranty

10-year warranty

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Average Customer Rating
4.7/5

The Zoma is designed for people with an active lifestyle. It has a true memory foam feel and a medium-firm setting that works for most lightweight and average-weight sleepers in any sleep position. It also offers decent edge support and relatively low motion transfer, making it a good choice for active couples.

The bed’s standout feature is the top layer of Triangulex zoned memory foam. The layer contains hundreds of triangular segments in an egg-crate design that enhances airflow and offers softness around the head, neck, and legs while remaining firmer around the torso and shoulders. This zoned foam layer will naturally facilitate faster recovery from soreness by encouraging healthy spinal alignment, and therefore deeper sleep, throughout the night.

See our full Zoma Mattress review to learn more.

Helix: Best Customizable Bed

Best Customizable Bed

Helix Midnight Luxe Mattress

We rank the Helix Midnight Luxe among our best mattresses for side sleepers. Zoned support provides the hips, shoulders and neck with just the right amount of cushion to keep the spine aligned and ensure you wake up pain-free. Plus, it's 2 inches thicker than the standard Midnight.

Nerd Score 4.8/5
Read Full Review

Material

Hybrid

Trial Period

100 nights

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Firmness

Medium-firm: 6/10

Warranty

15-year warranty

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.7/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best Customizable Bed

Helix Midnight Luxe Mattress

We rank the Helix Midnight Luxe among our best mattresses for side sleepers. Zoned support provides the hips, shoulders and neck with just the right amount of cushion to keep the spine aligned and ensure you wake up pain-free. Plus, it's 2 inches thicker than the standard Midnight.

Nerd Score 4.8/5
Read Full Review

Material

Hybrid

Warranty

15-year warranty

Firmness

Medium-firm: 6/10

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Trial Period

100 nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.7/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best Customizable Bed

Helix Midnight Luxe Mattress

We rank the Helix Midnight Luxe among our best mattresses for side sleepers. Zoned support provides the hips, shoulders and neck with just the right amount of cushion to keep the spine aligned and ensure you wake up pain-free. Plus, it's 2 inches thicker than the standard Midnight.

Nerd Score 4.8/5
Read Full Review

Material

Hybrid

Firmness

Medium-firm: 6/10

Trial Period

100 nights

Warranty

15-year warranty

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.7/5
Watch Our Video Review

Finding a mattress that offers the trifecta of healthy spinal alignment, pressure relief and comfort is important for anyone, but it’s especially crucial for professional athletes and regular exercisers whose lifestyle is dependent upon great sleep. Helix’s standard line of mattresses includes six hybrids that vary in firmness and materials to suit different needs.

The company offers an online sleep quiz to help you determine which model is best for you, and it includes questions about your weight, sleeping position of choice, and personal preferences. All six beds have strong airflow through the coil layers, so they’ll sleep cool, which is a plus for active individuals. They’re also high-value when compared to other hybrids: every size costs less than $1,400 before discounts are applied.

See our full Helix Mattress review to learn more.

Saatva HD: Best Mattress for Back Support and Sex

Best Mattress for Plus-Size Athletes

Saatva HD Mattress

The Saatva HD ranks as a top mattress for heavyweight individuals over 230 lbs. The durable materials and construction provide comfort and support by keeping sleepers lifted and cushioned. The medium-firm feel works best for back and side sleeping.

Nerd Score 4.5/5
Read Full Review

Material

Hybrid

Trial Period

180 nights

Shipping Method

Free white glove delivery

Firmness

Medium-firm: 7/10

Warranty

20-year warranty

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.9/5
Best Mattress for Plus-Size Athletes

Saatva HD Mattress

The Saatva HD ranks as a top mattress for heavyweight individuals over 230 lbs. The durable materials and construction provide comfort and support by keeping sleepers lifted and cushioned. The medium-firm feel works best for back and side sleeping.

Nerd Score 4.5/5
Read Full Review

Material

Hybrid

Warranty

20-year warranty

Firmness

Medium-firm: 7/10

Shipping Method

Free white glove delivery

Trial Period

180 nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.9/5
Best Mattress for Plus-Size Athletes

Saatva HD Mattress

The Saatva HD ranks as a top mattress for heavyweight individuals over 230 lbs. The durable materials and construction provide comfort and support by keeping sleepers lifted and cushioned. The medium-firm feel works best for back and side sleeping.

Nerd Score 4.5/5
Read Full Review

Material

Hybrid

Firmness

Medium-firm: 7/10

Trial Period

180 nights

Warranty

20-year warranty

Shipping Method

Free white glove delivery

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.9/5

As an athlete, you likely know all about putting on muscle, and you’re probably aware that muscle weighs quite a lot. It’s important that you have a mattress that supports you well, especially if you’re heavier than the average person. The Saatva HD has exceptional durability and edge support—perfect for larger athletes and bodybuilders. 

The highly durable coil base and layer of supportive talalay latex combine to create a firmness of 7 out of 10, which is exactly the right firmness for larger individuals. The Saatva HD also sleeps very cool, so no need to worry about overheating as you sleep.

See our full Saatva HD Mattress review to learn more.

WinkBed: Best Bed in a Box

Best Bed in a Box

WinkBed Mattress

The WinkBed is available in four different firmness options. We particularly love it for hot sleepers because of its great temperature regulation, and it’s great for combination sleepers because of its responsiveness.

Nerd Score 4.5/5
Read Full Review

Material

Hybrid

Trial Period

120 nights

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Hot Sleepers
If you often overheat while you sleep, this mattress should help you stay cool.
Back Pain
This bed is perfect for anyone suffering from back pain.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Stomach Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight stomach sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.6/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best Bed in a Box

WinkBed Mattress

The WinkBed is available in four different firmness options. We particularly love it for hot sleepers because of its great temperature regulation, and it’s great for combination sleepers because of its responsiveness.

Nerd Score 4.5/5
Read Full Review

Material

Hybrid

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Trial Period

120 nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Hot Sleepers
If you often overheat while you sleep, this mattress should help you stay cool.
Back Pain
This bed is perfect for anyone suffering from back pain.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Stomach Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight stomach sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.6/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best Bed in a Box

WinkBed Mattress

The WinkBed is available in four different firmness options. We particularly love it for hot sleepers because of its great temperature regulation, and it’s great for combination sleepers because of its responsiveness.

Nerd Score 4.5/5
Read Full Review

Material

Hybrid

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Trial Period

120 nights

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Hot Sleepers
If you often overheat while you sleep, this mattress should help you stay cool.
Back Pain
This bed is perfect for anyone suffering from back pain.
Back Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight back sleepers.
Stomach Sleeping
Ideal for lightweight and average weight stomach sleepers.

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.6/5
Watch Our Video Review

A bed in a box is a relatively new concept that means your mattress is rolled and compressed for shipping. If you’re hoping to save yourself the trouble of visiting a physical mattress store and enjoy the perks of a sleep trial period, bed-in-a-box mattresses are good options.

The WinkBeds mattress has a Tencel cover that’s highly breathable and should aid in temperature control for athletes. It also features a euro-pillow top that feels plush to the touch yet maintains a supportive feel. The WinkBed also features a coil-on-coil design that includes a transition layer of flexible, zoned microcoils to promote spinal alignment and a pocketed coil support layer to prevent sagging while enhancing breathability and bounce. Best of all, it comes in four firmness options, making it suitable for a wide range of sleepers.

See our full WinkBeds Mattress review to learn more.

Eight Sleep Pod Pro: Best Cooling Mattress for Hot Sleepers

Best Cooling Mattress for Hot Sleepers

Eight Sleep Pod Pro Mattress

The Eight Sleep’s Pod Pro smart mattress includes a water-based cooling system, robust smartphone app and biometricdata collection (think heart-rate monitoring and sleep tracking), making it one of the most technologically advanced beds we’ve seen.

Nerd Score 4.8/5
Read Full Review

Material

Foam

Trial Period

100 nights

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Firmness

Medium-firm: 7/10

Warranty

10-year warranty for foam + 2-year for tech

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.5/5
Best Cooling Mattress for Hot Sleepers

Eight Sleep Pod Pro Mattress

The Eight Sleep’s Pod Pro smart mattress includes a water-based cooling system, robust smartphone app and biometricdata collection (think heart-rate monitoring and sleep tracking), making it one of the most technologically advanced beds we’ve seen.

Nerd Score 4.8/5
Read Full Review

Material

Foam

Warranty

10-year warranty for foam + 2-year for tech

Firmness

Medium-firm: 7/10

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Trial Period

100 nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.5/5
Best Cooling Mattress for Hot Sleepers

Eight Sleep Pod Pro Mattress

The Eight Sleep’s Pod Pro smart mattress includes a water-based cooling system, robust smartphone app and biometricdata collection (think heart-rate monitoring and sleep tracking), making it one of the most technologically advanced beds we’ve seen.

Nerd Score 4.8/5
Read Full Review

Material

Foam

Firmness

Medium-firm: 7/10

Trial Period

100 nights

Warranty

10-year warranty for foam + 2-year for tech

Shipping Method

Free shipping

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.5/5

The Eight Sleep Pod Pro is one of the “smartest” mattresses on the market today. Not only does it integrate with other smart home products and track your sleep on your smartphone, but it actively heats and cools based on your preferences. An upgraded version of the original Sleep Pod, the Pro includes ambient sensors for humidity and temperature, added health metrics like respiratory rate and the option to set your alarm as a subtle vibration in the bed.

While not the most affordable option in this list (a Queen-size costs roughly $3,100), the Pro is an excellent choice for athletes who also happen to be techies and want to integrate sleep tech into their routine. Its unique cooling and heating features are also appealing for exercisers who sleep exceptionally hot or cold. If it’s out of your price range, however, you can find more options on our best cooling mattresses page.

See our full Eight Sleep Pod Pro Mattress review to learn more.

Saatva Classic: Best Mattress for Back Sleepers

Best Mattress for Back Sleepers

Saatva Mattress

The Saatva Classic is an innerspring mattress delivered to your home by delivery professionals. It's made with luxury materials like organic cotton, a plush pillow top, and durable coils. Choose from Plush Soft, Luxury Firm, and Firm options.

Nerd Score 4.3/5
Read Full Review

Material

Hybrid

Trial Period

180 nights

Shipping Method

Free white glove delivery

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Warranty

15-year warranty

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.9/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best Mattress for Back Sleepers

Saatva Mattress

The Saatva Classic is an innerspring mattress delivered to your home by delivery professionals. It's made with luxury materials like organic cotton, a plush pillow top, and durable coils. Choose from Plush Soft, Luxury Firm, and Firm options.

Nerd Score 4.3/5
Read Full Review

Material

Hybrid

Warranty

15-year warranty

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Shipping Method

Free white glove delivery

Trial Period

180 nights

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.9/5
Watch Our Video Review
Best Mattress for Back Sleepers

Saatva Mattress

The Saatva Classic is an innerspring mattress delivered to your home by delivery professionals. It's made with luxury materials like organic cotton, a plush pillow top, and durable coils. Choose from Plush Soft, Luxury Firm, and Firm options.

Nerd Score 4.3/5
Read Full Review

Material

Hybrid

Firmness

Multiple firmness options

Trial Period

180 nights

Warranty

15-year warranty

Shipping Method

Free white glove delivery

Price Range

$$$$$

We recommend this mattress for the following sleeper types:

Financing Options

Financing options are available for this mattress.

Average Customer Rating
4.9/5
Watch Our Video Review

While innerspring mattresses usually excel in responsiveness and breathability, most also lack enough foam to provide generous comfort or pressure relief. The Saatva is an exception, with a coil-on-coil construction and thick comfort layers that support the sleeper’s body while providing a gentle cradle.

Its coil layer allows it to sleep cool for most, and it’s available in three firmness settings that should suit most athletes regardless of their weight or sleeping position. That being said, the Saatva Classic really shines for back sleepers. The memory foam comfort layer offers contouring and pressure relief, while the two layers of coils support the spine in its natural s-curve.

See our full Saatva Classic Mattress review to learn more. Not interested in the Saatva Classic? Check out our best mattresses for back sleepers for more options.

What Mattress Firmness is Best for Athletes?

Even for the average person, firmness is one of the most important factors to keep in mind when browsing for the right mattress. Firmness refers to how hard or soft a mattress feels, so it’s a subjective measure because how a bed feels to you will depend on your body weight, sleeping position and preferences. To simplify firmness and feel, most mattress companies designate a word, like “soft” or “medium-firm,” to each mattress model in their lineup. In our reviews, we rate them on a 1–10 scale (1 being very soft, 10 being very firm).

The most popular firmness levels are 4–7, but there are sleepers, including athletes, whose preferences may fall outside of that range. Petite side sleepers, for example, may feel best on a very plush mattress that allows their lightweight bodies to sink in. Plus-size back sleepers, on the other hand, usually feel best on a very firm, supportive bed that offers an even sleeping surface to keep the hips and shoulders elevated.

With that said, the “best” firmness level for any athlete will depend entirely upon their preferences, sleeping position and body weight, just like any other sleeper. As a rule of thumb, firmer mattresses are typically recommended for back and stomach sleepers, and softer mattresses are typically recommended for side sleepers. Before making a decision, we recommended learning more about firmness in our mattress firmness guide.

What Type of Mattress is Best for Athletes?

The five most popular types of mattresses sold today include innerspring, hybrid, all-foam, latex and airbed. Each offers unique pros and cons for athletes, so it’s important to understand them before making a decision. Here’s an overview of each type.

Innerspring

Innerspring beds are considered the most traditional mattress type, pairing a thin layer of foam with a steel coil, or innerspring, support system. Generally speaking, they have moderate price points, are available in many firmness options and stay cool. However, minimal comfort layers prevent them from offering the cushioning that most athletes want. They also tend to have high motion transfer rates, which can be an issue for couples. Head over to our best innerspring mattresses for more info.

Hybrid

Hybrid mattresses have thicker foam comfort layers and a pocketed coil support core. They offer some of the benefits of innerspring mattresses, such as durability, breathability and support, with the comfort and conforming of all-foam beds. As long as the right firmness level and feel is chosen, there aren’t any noteworthy drawbacks of this style for athletes. While they tend to be the most expensive mattress type, budget-friendly hybrid mattresses are available.

All-Foam

Memory foam mattresses and mixed foam mattresses combine layers of foam in varying densities. They tend to have lower-than-average price points. Memory foam beds, in particular, offer close conforming to help alleviate pain and pressure throughout the body. Foam beds also have above-average motion isolation, making them a good choice for athletic couples. If pressure relief is important to you, a foam mattress could be a good option, but keep in mind that they tend to sag quicker and will likely retain more heat than a hybrid or innerspring bed.

Related: Best Memory Foam Mattresses

Latex

Latex mattresses come in all-foam and hybrid designs. Most have at least one layer of latex in the comfort portion of the bed, and some have support cores that are made entirely of latex. These mattresses conform closely like memory foam but offer more bounce and sleep cooler. However, they can be expensive. Take a look at our best latex mattress roundup for some of our favorite options.

Airbed

Airbeds offer adjustable firmness for athletes who want to customize the feel of their mattress as needed. These are the most expensive mattresses on the market, but most offer close conforming, isolate motion well and sleep cool. On the downside, airbeds can be prone to mechanical breakdown, may sleep hot if they have thicker comfort layers and may produce noise from the air pumps. You can find more on this subject in our best air mattresses roundup

Muscle Recovery and Sleep

The relationship between sleep and muscle recovery is widely known, but it can be helpful to understand the science of sleep to understand how it impacts your body over time. Sleep occurs in two stages: REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and non-REM sleep.

REM sleep provides energy to the brain that supports it during waking hours. Non-REM sleep, or deep sleep, allows the brain to rest with very little activity, meaning that blood supply shifts to the muscles instead. During non-REM sleep, growth hormone is also secreted, which stimulates tissue growth and muscle repair.

Getting 7–9 hours of quality sleep each night is crucial, especially for athletes, but making sure you’re spending adequate time in the non-REM phase of sleep can make the difference between sleeping eight hours and feeling “groggy” and sleeping eight hours and feeling truly rejuvenated.

Recap of the Top-Rated Mattresses for Athletes

Mattress Model Award Firmness
Bear Best for Active Recovery 7/10
Brooklyn Bedding Spartan Best for Couples Varies
Zoma Best for Zoned Support 5.5/10
Helix Midnight Luxe Best Customizable Bed Varies
Saatva HD Best for Plus-Size Sleepers 7/10
WinkBed Best Bed in a Box Varies
Eight Sleep Pod Pro Best Cooling Mattress for Hot Sleepers 7/10
Saatva Classic Best for Back Sleepers Varies