Best Affordable Luxury
- 3 different options so you can find just the right firmness
- Free White-Glove delivery
- 180-night trial and 15-year warranty
Mattress Nerd consulted Dr. Alaina Rajagopal to ensure that this article met our editorial standards
Finding the best mattress can be an overwhelming process. Shoppers often find themselves in analysis paralysis due to the sheer number of mattress brands, styles, and price points available. Not to mention, the advent of the Internet has further broadened the selection for shoppers who don’t want to pursue the traditional route of testing beds at a brick-and-mortar mattress store.
To help quell the overwhelm, we’re sharing the 10 top-rated mattresses for 2021. If you didn’t know already, answering the question, “What is the best mattress you can buy?”, depends on your sleeping position, age, comfort preferences, and unique needs. With this in mind, we’ve included details about who each of these top mattresses suits best.
Below our top 10 mattresses, you’ll find a guide where we cover everything you need to know about picking a mattress, as well as everything you need to know about how we select our favorites. We break down commonly overlooked considerations, sleeping styles, how to choose a mattress if you have a partner, sleep hot, or have arthritis, mattress sizes and materials, and more. Use this section as a guide to determine which of our top 10 mattresses of 2021 is best for you.
So, what’s the best mattress of 2021? We tested and compared countless options, so read on to learn about our favorites!
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Plush, luxury firm, and firm available
High quality and custom firmness options
Who is it Best For? The Saatva is often referred to as the best “affordable luxury” option on the market. The Saatva classic mattress comes in three firmness levels, giving customers an extra level of customizability. You really can not go wrong with this mattress, it is the perfect mix of support and comfort, no matter what your sleeping position is.
Reason to Buy: Saatva brings some great optionality to find the right fit. It’s a very high-quality mattress and that appeals to those that like a luxury look and feel. Couple that with a generous trial and warranty, and it’s a “no-lose” option. The Saatva Mattress includes a luxury pillow-top, perimeter edge support, individually wrapped coils, and spinal zone technology. Saatva is often referred to as an “affordable luxury” brand, and we couldn’t agree more.
Read our full Saatva Mattress Review for more details.
Luxury zoned support made for side sleepers
Who is it Best For? This really is the perfect mattress for side sleepers. It has the ideal balance of support and give for the hips and shoulders to keep those sensitive areas cradled. The Helix Midnight Luxe will also keep even the hottest sleepers cool at night since it has a coil base to allow airflow throughout the night.
Reason to Buy: Side sleepers often have a difficult time finding the perfect mattress that gives them the pressure relief and comfort they need, paired with the hugging feeling so many sleepers love. The Helix Midnight Luxe is good for almost all sleeping types, depending on the body type and preferences of the sleeper. The mattress is medium-firm, pressure-relieving, and keeps the sleeper’s body temperature regulated. If it sounds like it does it all, it really does!
Read our full Helix Midnight Mattress Review for more info.
A great mattress for pain relief and all-around comfort
Who is it Best For? The DreamCloud Premier really shines for back and side sleepers who are light to average weight. It is great for people who sleep hot at night, and those who are looking for a bed that will suit them and their partner.
Reason to Buy: If you’re interested in a luxury mattress but don’t have the budget for their traditionally sky-high prices, look into the DreamCloud. This bed has a cushy feel, but the foam and coil combination provides support for all sleeper types. It comes with white glove delivery and all the bells and whistles of a luxury purchase without the luxury price tag.
Read our full DreamCloud Review for more details.
Two firmness options in one mattress
Who is it Best For? While Layla is a two-sided mattress, if you are shopping for a mattress with back pain concerns we using the firm side. The foams used in this mattress work to reduce inflammation and cool the body, making it ideal for recovery during sleep. Of course, if back pain is not a concern, and you are looking for a quality, soft mattress, you will be very happy with Layla.
Reason to Buy: Most sleepers know if they are looking for a softer or firmer mattress when they start their shopping process, but some don’t. The Layla mattress is not only an excellent option for those not exactly sure what they are looking for, and those who want a firm mattress or a soft one. The dual-sided nature of the mattress is just an added bonus, it does not sacrifice the integrity of either side and makes an excellent sleeping surface for a wide range of people. If you are buying this bed for back pain, we recommend using the firm side, as it will keep your spine aligned better.
Read our full Layla Mattress review for more info.
Best Bed-in-a-box on a budget
Who is it Best for? Value is something we are all concerned with when making a big purchase like a mattress. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, we suggest the Nectar. If you love the “hugging” feeling of memory foam, and are a back or side sleeper, you will likely love this mattress. The only people we think may not love it are stomach sleepers and heavier individuals.
Reason to Buy: The Nectar mattress packages high-quality foam materials at a much lower price point relative to the competition. If you’re looking for an affordable memory foam bed that’s built with quality materials, you can end your search here. Plus, your satisfaction is all but guaranteed as the company says that less than 3 percent of its customers return the mattress. They also offer a lengthy sleep trial: it’s 365 nights long, and they have a forever warranty.
Read our full Nectar Mattress Review to learn more.
Great for most everyone! Excellent all-around mattress.
Who is it Best For? The Leesa original mattress is a medium-firm, foam mattress. It is great for couples with different concerns, people who just want a comfortable mattress, and side and back sleepers specifically.
Reason to Buy: While the word “average” is used a lot when talking about the Leesa, there is not average about the mattress. The mattress was created to appeal to the widest variety and range of sleepers as possible. So, it is perfect for average weight, people who do not sleep very hot or very cold, people who do not like a very firm or very soft mattress. It comes in at the perfect “medium” in a lot of categories.
Read our full Leesa mattress review to learn more.
Affordable mattress made for all sleepers
Who is it Best For? The zoned support in this mattress makes it great for anyone needing targeted pressure relief. The zones take the spotlight in this mattress, acting differently for various body parts, such as the hips, shoulders, and back, to accommodate their unique firmness and contouring needs.
Reason to Buy: The Casper is a solid memory foam mattress with a broad appeal because it accommodates a wide range of sleep positions, sleeper sizes, and aches and pains. The polyurethane foam used in its construction provides pressure relief while maintaining a soft, bouncy feel. You can’t go wrong trying this one out with the 100-night free trial Casper offers.
Read our full Casper Mattress Review for more info.
“An upgrade to the wildly popular original, but still with a gentle price point.”
Who is it Best For?: The Brooklyn Bedding Signature is a hybrid mattress featuring a memory foam and pocketed coil construction. Being on the firmer side, this mattress has an excellent bounce and responsiveness, making it a good choice for combination sleepers
Reason to Buy: The Brooklyn Bedding Signature comes with a 10-year warranty, and a 120-night trial to make sure the mattress is right for you.
Read our full Brooklyn Bedding Mattress Reviews to learn more.
Four firmness options
Who is it Best For? The WinkBed is a hybrid mattress that comes shipped as a bed in a box, specifically designed for the ability to keep sleepers cool at night. It’s also great for plus-size sleepers who need a lot of support and comfort, as the bed stands at a hefty 13.5″ tall and includes two sets of coils as well as several memory foam layers.
Reason to Buy: We love the WinkBed because it was specifically designed to work with larger bodies, keeping the hips and shoulders supported on top of the bed for maximum spinal alignment. The bed also uses good-for-you materials and works to promote environmental sustainability in its manufacturing process (think less water usage and recycled steel coils).
Read our full WinkBed Mattress Reviews page for more details
All-natural mattress perfect for side sleepers
Who is it Best For? The Saatva Latex Hybrid is a hybrid mattress made with latex foam and innerspring coils. If you’re someone who tends to sleep hot, then the Saatva Latex Hybrid could be a great choice for you. Latex foam is excellent at dissipating body heat, allowing for a cooler sleeping experience compared to traditional memory foam. This mattress is on the firmer side, so if you’re a back or stomach sleeper, then the Saatva Latex Hybrid does a great job at supporting your hips and spine.
Reason to Buy: The Saatva Latex Hybrid comes with a 15-year warranty, and a 180-night trial to make sure the mattress is right for you. Some say their customer support is reason enough to buy the mattress, but the comfort and organic materials are the icing on the cake. This mattress is also built to last, using high-quality materials paired with latex foam which inherently tends to be more durable.
Read our full Saatva Mattress Comparisons Guide to learn more.
Affordable, all natural hybrid
Who is it Best For? If you’re looking for the perfect balance of supportive and comfortable, with the added bonus of an organic sleep surface, look no further than the Birch. This mattress is great for all types of sleepers, and has a surface that is really easy to move around on, which is great for couples and combination sleepers.
Reason to Buy: Perfect for the eco-conscious consumer, and even those who just want a great mattress, the Birch is great for most sleepers. If you are under 250 pounds, you can pretty much sleep on this bed in any position and be comfortable. If you are over 250 and a stomach sleeper, you may experience some sinking.
Read our full Birch mattress review to learn more.
One of the most well-rounded mattresses
Who is it Best For? The Puffy Mattress was constructed to accommodate as many different sleepers as possible. It comes pretty close to being a good option for most sleepers, but if you are a heavier sleeper (over 230 lbs.) this mattress may not support you enough. It is a great option for couples since it excels in isolating motion. It also has also been infused with cooling gel, so it sleeps pretty cool for a memory foam mattress.
Reason to Buy: If you’re looking to spend $1,000 or less on a memory foam mattress and like the feeling of sleeping “in” a bed more than “on” it, you’ll want to check the Puffy out. While it doesn’t have the overwhelming, prototypical memory foam feel because of the blend in the layers of foams used in its construction, you’ll like the Puffy Original if you don’t want to feel swallowed by the mattress’ top layers. You can unzip the cover for easy cleaning, and the entire mattress is eco-friendly. It also comes with a 101-night risk-free sleep trial so, truly, there’s no harm in testing it out. It also comes with a lifetime warranty.
Read our full Puffy Mattress Review to learn more.
Although we provided an explanation for why each mattress made our list, we thought it might be helpful if you had a more detailed breakdown of the most important criteria that we consider when reviewing a new product. Unlike some factors, like firmness and materials, the ones listed below should be interpreted objectively. If a mattress excels in pressure relief and responsiveness, for example, it is unequivocally a good thing, which is why we always start here in our evaluations.
We measure a bed’s pressure relieving ability by placing a pressure-mapping topper across the surface and rolling into different positions while lying on it. What this technology determines is how successfully a mattress supports sensitive areas like the shoulders, hips, and lower back. If we see mostly blues and greens on the pressure map, the mattress is a winner, whereas reds indicate a lack of support that can result in soreness.
Edge support measure the sturdiness of a mattress’ perimeter. This factor is important because the sturdier the edges, the less likely they are to collapse under your weight if you roll too far over. For a deeper explanation, check out our article on what edge support in a mattress means.
A mattress that is highly responsive rolls with the changes, so to speak. It allows you to move around with ease and settle into new positions comfortably and quickly. Not only is this important for sleepers who like to toss and turn throughout the night, it’s also important for sex. Innerspring and hybrid mattresses tend to exhibit the highest responsiveness scores, but foam materials have also come a long way in solving for slow responsiveness.
If you share your bed with anyone, be it always or on occasion, this is a very important quality. Basically, motion isolation measures a bed’s ability to keep movement from transferring from one side of the bed to another. Ever get woken up by the slightest movement of your partner or pet? Poor motion isolation in your mattress might be to blame.
Many people don’t know this, but some mattresses actually sleep cooler than others, so your thermostat might not be the issue if you often overheat in your sleep. All-foam beds, for example, tend to trap heat in their thick layers, making your sleep experience warmer overall. Innerspring mattresses, on the other hand, have higher breathability, and thus are usually better at dissipating heat. That said, we have found plenty of foam beds that keep exceptionally cool and plenty of innersprings that do not, it really comes down to quality of materials and construction.
Speaking of quality of materials and construction, that is largely what we look at when we look at value. It doesn’t necessarily indicate that a bed is budget-friendly, but rather that the quality of the product makes it worth the price. If it’s foam, are any of the layers infused with gel beads, copper, or other materials that promote better cooling? If it’s latex, is it made with natural latex and organic cotton, which are environmentally-friendly? If it’s hybrid or innerspring, are the coils individually wrapped, resulting in higher durability? These are just a few of the questions we ask ourselves when determining the value of a mattress.
Last we look at the company itself. If a brand offers a generous trial period, free removal of your old mattress, free shipping & returns, and a long lasting warranty, then they’re off to a great start. But there are other factors that tip us off to a company’s integrity. Some contribute to charitable programs, wherein mattresses are given to shelters and other organizations in need. Many will see that any mattress returned by a customer is donated rather than thrown out or resold at a discount. We love to see a company that cares about everyone, not just their customers.
Much like a great pair of jeans, a flattering haircut, or a delicious meal, the best mattress is a relatively subjective choice that’s highly dependent on the individual. Whether you’re noticing aches and pains, sleep more comfortably on hotel beds, or have the cash to invest in a better night’s sleep, it’s important to have some knowledge under your belt prior to hitting mattress stores or ordering an online mattress. As you’ll learn, some of the factors discussed above may be more important to you than others, depending on your circumstances.
We encourage all mattress shoppers to brush up on mattress materials as well as how your sleeping position and other personalized factors should impact the type of mattress you’re looking for. Also, when shopping for a new mattress, be sure to look for mattress reviews of the exact mattress model you planning on purchasing.
And if you’re still not entirely sure that you want to invest in a new mattress, but still find your sleeping situation to be less than ideal, take a look at our article on how to fix mattress sagging.
Understanding the components in each mattress type along with their pros and cons is essential. What’s the best mattress material and type? The answer will depend on the feel you enjoy, your sleeping style, and your subjective preferences. Here’s a little more information about mattress types and materials to help you narrow down your selection.
When manufacturers reference latex, they’re talking about mattresses that incorporate or exclusively use latex foam, which is derived from the sap of rubber trees. There are two types, natural and synthetic, and two main methods for producing it, Dunlop and Talalay. Latex has a cooling effect, is naturally inhospitable to dust mites, mildew, and mold can be incredibly comfortable and is extremely durable. Keep in mind that some latex mattresses can give off a distinct aroma, though it will wear off within the first few days of ownership. Also, latex made with natural materials is environmentally friendly.
Read our full guide on the best latex mattresses
Related: Latex vs. Memory Foam
Hybrid mattress constructions have become increasingly popular for their ability to leverage the best characteristics of several materials in one product. The idea is to get you all of the pros with none of the cons, and another advantage of hybrids is that there are endless combinations of materials and constructions to choose from. For example, a hybrid bed might include a pillow top, a memory foam layer, individually wrapped coils, a support layer of coils, and a memory foam base layer. A “true hybrid” will combine coils and memory or latex foam, giving you the best in durability, bounce, and cooling without sacrificing on comfort or contour.
Read our full guide on the best hybrid mattresses
This mattress material is known for how it contours closely to the body to provide pain and pressure point relief. Some of our top picks are all memory foam or hybrid mattresses that have memory foam in them. The biggest downside of this material is that it tends to sleep hot. Advanced constructions have helped partially solve this problem through open cell construction and proprietary gel foams, but, generally, memory foam mattresses still don’t sleep as cool as other types.
Read our full guide on the best memory foam mattresses
Related: Memory Foam vs. Hybrid
Perhaps the most traditional bed of all, innerspring mattresses have coils throughout the center and foam layers on the top and bottom. If squeaky, uncomfortable mattresses come to mind when you hear the word “innerspring,” you’ll be surprised to discover that new materials have been incorporated into these beds to make them cool, durable, and pleasant.
Read our full guide on the best innerspring mattresses
Waterbeds use water to give the mattress structure and provide pressure relief, and they distribute sleepers’ body weights surprisingly evenly. However, they’re much less durable than other options, need to be refilled with water, and many sleepers don’t like their feel.
Whether you’ve gone camping, slept over at a friend’s, or gone without furniture for a couple of weeks after moving into a new home, it’s likely that you’ve slept on an airbed. These are excellent options for trips or for hosting last-minute guests when you don’t have a spare bedroom, but they’re certainly not ideal for long-term use.
In addition to memory foam and latex foam, manufacturers have begun to develop proprietary foams. For example, Purple developed Hyper-Elastic Polymer, and Leesa developed Avena. The varying manufacturing processes these foams go through production improvements in airflow, durability, and bounce. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s description if the mattress you’re considering incorporates an alternative foam material.
Here is a brief explanation of sleeping positions and how to best support them, along with specific mattress buying guides for each one.
Because side sleepers put increased pressure on their hips and shoulders, the best mattress for them is often on the softer side. Memory foam can do a great job of providing relief for these sensitive areas, while still supporting them enough to keep their spine in proper alignment.
Related: Best Mattress for Side Sleepers
The right blend of support and comfort is key for back sleepers, and we find that hybrid mattresses accomplish this quite well. The innerspring layer provides structure and the foam acts as the comfort layer which provides cushioning. A good alternative is an innerspring mattress with a memory foam mattress topper.
Related: Best Mattress for Back Sleepers
If you’re a stomach sleeper, we recommend you start your search with firm mattresses and go from there. You see, when you sleep on your stomach you’ll naturally put excess pressure on your lower back, so it’s important for your mattress to prop your hips and pelvis up so that it does not sink in too far; a firm mattress is likely to accomplish this better than a soft mattress will.
Related: Best Mattress for Stomach Sleepers
Combo sleepers have a lot of good mattress options, as many of them spend some time in all three of the dominant positions. One thing you’ll want to look out for is a high responsiveness score. Since you’ll be shifting positions frequently you want a mattress that can quickly adapt to your movements.
While there’s no official standard scale that mattress manufacturers must abide by, we use a scale of 1-10 to communicate mattress firmness, with 1 being the softest and 10 being the firmest. Determining the number or at least a range of firmnesses you enjoy is important so that you can communicate that to a mattress salesperson or keep it in mind when shopping online. Depending on your size, you may need to go heavier or lighter in your firmness selection to get the soft or firm feel you’re after. The chart below should help you get a better sense of what tends to be the right firmness for your body type.
|Lightweight Sleepers||Soft to Medium Soft (1-4.9)|
|Average Weight Sleepers||Medium to Medium Firm (5-6.9)|
|Heavyweight Sleepers||Firm to Very Firm (7-10)|
Keep in mind, it isn’t an exact science. Many factors contribute to whether or not a particular firmness will be right for you. We recommend you take a look at our mattress firmness guide for a more comprehensive breakdown.
Whether you’ve moved to a location with a warmer climate, gained weight, or are going through menopause, there are a variety of reasons you may want to purchase a new mattress with the goal of achieving a cooler sleeping experience. Mattress manufacturers are paying more attention to cooling features than ever before.
Different materials sleep considerably cooler than others. It’s well-known that traditional memory foam sleeps warmer than hybrids, which use a combination of materials that distribute heat and encourage airflow. However, foam products have seen improvements with regard to heat distribution in the last decade, thanks to the invention of gel layers. If the temperature is a key factor in your mattress decision, look for hybrid, gel, open-cell phase change material, something aerated, or other specific properties and materials that have been proven to help the mattress sleep cool.
Back pain, whether the secondary result of an underlying condition or a result of lifestyle choices, can critically affect your well-being. Many sleepers experience pain that radiates from the lower back area, and both a bed’s firmness and support will play into its ability to alleviate these issues. An adequate level of support should result in proper spinal alignment or, in other words, a straight spine. Softness or comfort, on the other hand, is subjective. You can achieve an aligned spine on a mattress that feels firm just as well as you can on a mattress that feels excessively plushy.
If one partner is a light sleeper or one is a restless sleeper, the motion transfer characteristics of the mattress should be a consideration. As a general rule of thumb, the more coils and springs a mattress has, the more you’ll feel your partner moving throughout the night.
Another consideration is firmness. If you and your partner prefer drastically different firmness levels, look for split firmness mattresses if you can’t compromise on a firmness level, like a medium soft or firm setting. You’ll also want to consider weight and size, especially in cases where you and your partner vary dramatically in these areas, as what feels firm to a petite individual may feel uncomfortably soft to a heavyweight person.
An adjustable mattress does just what the name indicates, allowing you to prop either your head or feet up for comfort or therapeutic benefits. Want to watch TV in bed? Comfortably enjoy a meal? You can do it with an adjustable mattress. Consider an adjustable model if you have conditions like snoring, sleep apnea, or heartburn, as elevating the head can alleviate these issues. Adjustable beds are also nice for those who want more control and less restriction over the comfort of the mattress or are attracted to the special amenities that many come with, like massages, Bluetooth, and USB ports.
There are also flippable beds that offer a different firmness level depending on which side you have facing up. Always make sure to check the company’s website before flipping your mattress, however. Not every bed can or should be flipped.
Some brands create mattresses with the active individual in mind by incorporating materials and features that boost recovery, improve performance, and enhance REM sleep. For example, celliant could help turn the body’s energy into infrared light for deeper rest, and it’s been used in several mattress models to date.
If you or your partner suffer from arthritis, choosing the right mattress will be especially crucial, as you’ll feel improper spinal alignment, joint pain, and back issues much more than the average individual. The mattress you select should conform to the curves of your body in a natural manner, alleviate your most bothersome or noticeable pains, and not aggravate your condition.
Virtually anything that can cause the muscles along your airway to contract may lead to snoring, so it’s nothing to be ashamed about. In itself, it isn’t a sleep issue, but snoring can indicate sleep apnea. A mattress won’t solve this issue, but if you’re planning to make a life change to treat your snoring, such as becoming a side sleeper, you’ll want to find a mattress that caters to that style.
It really depends on your circumstances. The first thing you should do is give yourself a budget so that you know exactly what you’re comfortable spending before you begin shopping. If you’re willing to spend more than $1,000 than you shouldn’t have a problem finding a really good mattress. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t find one for under $1,000! Take a look at our best mattresses under $1,000 guide for some of our favorites.
For more information, take a look at our mattress prices guide.
Many brands run sales all year round—you can find them on our constantly updating mattress sales page. However, companies have been known to run particularly generous Presidents’ Day mattress sales, Fourth of July mattress sales, Labor Day mattress sales, and, of course, Black Friday mattress sales.
If you’re still not sure whether you should buy a mattress online or in a store, then you may simply be weary of the bed-in-a-box shopping process. That is completely understandable; after all, how are you supposed to know what you’ll like if you can’t try it out? Well, most online retailers provide generous mattress trials that allow you to spend months with a mattress before making a final decision. This is a much informative and sanitary than the brick-and-mortar testing method of rolling around on a bed for several seconds while possibly dishonest mattress salespeople make it difficult to concentrate.
Off-gassing refers to the breaking down of organic compounds that occurs when your mattress is unboxed. The process can result in a noticeable odor, but the scent will usually dissipate within several hours.
Related: Is Mattress Off-Gassing Dangerous?
That depends of the size, materials, and construction of the mattress. We have put together a convenient mattress weight guide that can provide more information.
A quick glance at all of this information should show you that there’s no such thing as the “best mattress” that will make every single sleeper happy. Rather, there are a lot of good mattresses that, depending on the mattress shopper, will be the perfect fit based on their sleeping position, budget, medical conditions, size and weight, material preferences, preferred mattress brand, and more.
This guide should serve as a launching pad to get you started in your mattress search. Hopefully, it’s helped you narrow down your selection to a handful of brands, so research more if you have to use our reviews and comparisons, and then make your choice to get a good night’s sleep.
Keep in mind that most of these mattress companies have generous sleep trial and return policies, so you’ve got nothing to lose. If you don’t like it, simply ship it back and try another option.
Type of Sleeper
|Best Crib Mattresses||Best Mattress For Plus-Size Sleepers||Best Memory Foam Mattress||Best Luxury Mattresses
Dr. Alaina Rajagopal is part of our panel of medical expert contributors on the subject of sleep health. They provide important perspectives on the topics we discuss to help make our content as accurate and dependable as possible. They do not personally endorse any products, nor are they associated with any brands featured in our review content.