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 Natalie Yerger

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.

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Best Mattresses for Athletes

Bear: Best Mattress for Active Recovery

The Original Bear Mattress

Best Mattress for Active Recovery

The Bear is an all-foam mattress with pressure-relieving memory foam in the top layer and a Celliant cover that converts body heat into infrared energy for faster recovery.

Score
4.8 / 5.0
Firmness

7

Trial period

100 nights

Warranty

10 year warranty

The Bear mattress’ standout feature is its cover, which features Celliant fabric. This material absorbs body heat at night and transmits it back into the skin to improve blood flow, promote faster recovery and improve body temperature regulation. It has memory foam and polyfoam comfort layers and a firm feel, meaning that it will conform somewhat around the body but does not offer the traditional sinking sand sensation of memory foam.

These qualities make the bed ideal for athletes who enjoy a firm mattress and want the recovery benefits of Celliant. It also isolates motion very well, so it could be a nice choice for athletic couples. As a bonus, the Bear is a high-value pick relative to other memory foam beds. A Queen-size costs just $840.

See our full Bear Mattress review to learn more.

Brooklyn Bedding Spartan: Best Mattress for Couples

Spartan by Brooklyn Bedding

Best Mattress for Couples

The Spartan combines pressure relief, cooling and motion isolation for active couples, and it’s available in three firmness settings.

Score
4.8 / 5.0
Firmness

Dual-Sided: Plush and Firm

Trial period

120 nights

Warranty

10 year warranty

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

Zoma Mattress

Best Mattress for Zoned Support

The Zoma mattress is an all-foam mattress with a zoned support layer that offers distinct comfort and support for different areas of the body; you’ll feel contour and lift where you need them most.

Score
4.8 / 5.0
Firmness

5.5

Trial period

100 nights

Warranty

10 years

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

Helix Midnight Luxe

Best Customizable Mattress

The Helix Mattress is technically a line of mattresses by Helix Sleep that includes six beds with similar constructions. Each is designed to fit certain body types and sleeping positions.

Score
4.8 / 5.0
Firmness

Available at three firmness options: soft, medium and firm

Trial period

100 nights

Warranty

15-year warranty

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.

Bear Hybrid: Best Mattress for Back Support and Sex

Bear Hybrid

Best Mattress for Back Support and Sex

The Bear Hybrid is a medium-firm hybrid mattress that offers a soft initial feel from its pillow-top cover yet has excellent mobility, responsiveness and support.

Score
4.7 / 5.0
Firmness

6

Trial period

100 nights

Warranty

10 year limited warranty

If you want a bed that offers mobility and responsiveness for sex while still getting the pressure relief and support you need to fall asleep at the end of the night, the Bear Hybrid is a great option. It’s composed of four foam layers and a pocketed coil support core, and its firmness level is suitable for most average-weight sleepers in any sleeping position.

The soft foam comfort layer allows you to sink in, and the denser transitional layer and pocketed coil support core provide nice support to help you avoid ever feeling “stuck” in the mattress. You should find it easy to change positions on this mattress (a plus for combination sleepers), but once you settle into one, the memory foam will cradle pressure points for pain relief, and the coils will provide ample support along the entire spine. Like several other mattresses on this list, it also has a Celliant fabric cover that converts heat into infrared energy for faster physical recovery. 

See our full Bear Hybrid Mattress review to learn more.

WinkBed: Best Bed in a Box

WinkBed

Best Bed in a Box

The WinkBed is a hybrid that combines supportive coils with a soft pillow top in a high-quality design that ships conveniently as a bed in a box.

Score
4.7 / 5.0
Firmness

Available in plush, medium and firm

Trial period

120 nights

Warranty

Limited lifetime warranty

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 WinkBed 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

Eight Sleep Pod Pro

Best Cooling Mattress for Hot Sleepers

The Pod Pro goes above and beyond to keep athletes cool with a water-based cooling system and other features designed for the tech-savvy.

Score
4.8 / 5.0
Firmness

Available in firm and medium-firm options

Trial period

100 nights

Warranty

10 year limited warranty (foam only)

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

Saatva Classic

Best Mattress for Back Sleepers

The Saatva Classic is a luxury innerspring mattress that’s available in three firmness settings and has a high-value price point.

Score
4.7 / 5.0
Firmness

6.5

Trial period

180 nights

Warranty

15 year

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.

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 (superlative)  Firmness
Bear Best for Active Recovery 7/10
Brooklyn Bedding Spartan Best for Couples Varies
Zoma Best for Zoned Support 5.5/10
Helix Best Customizable Bed Varies
Bear Hybrid Best for Back Support and Sex 6/10
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

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