What is Motion Isolation and Motion Transfer?

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Many people share a bed. Whether it’s with a partner, child, or furry friend, sleeping with someone else can be very comforting.

But sharing a mattress isn’t best for everyone – especially if it’s a mattress with poor motion isolation. Here’s why motion isolation is important and how to pick the right mattress for your sleeping situation. 

What Does Motion Isolation Mean?

Motion isolation measures how well a mattress contains a sleeper’s movement to their immediate area. In other words, if someone else changes position on the bed, how much of that movement do you notice? 

A mattress with poor motion isolation is less of a concern when sleeping alone. But, it may negatively impact the quality and quantity of your sleep when sharing a bed. People naturally move around in their sleep. So, you might frequently wake up when sleeping with others and experience disrupted sleep patterns. 

You may also hear motion isolation referred to as “motion transfer.” It’s another way to say the amount of motion transferred through the mattress. 

Benefits of a Mattress with Good Motion Isolation

Strong motion isolation may allow you to sleep undisturbed when sharing a bed. The person may get in and out of bed without waking you up. A mattress with good motion isolation may not prevent all movement senses, but it might make enough impact for a better night’s rest. 

The benefits of a mattress with good motion isolation depend on the type of sleeper.

  • Light sleepers. The slightest sound, light, or movement can easily awaken a light sleeper. Having a low-motion transfer mattress may eliminate some of the disturbances.
  • Co-sleepers with different sleep schedules. A good motion isolation mattress minimizes sleep disturbance when you and your partner sleep and wake at other times
  • Sleepers with insomnia. Living with insomnia and other sleep disorders need an optimal sleep environment for better sleep. A mattress that minimizes disruption is ideal. 
  • Active sleepers. Some are more active than others while sleeping. The mattress can help reduce disruption to the other person when they move. 

What Types of Mattresses are Best for Motion Isolation?

A mattress’ design and material affect its motion isolation capability. So, the best mattresses may encase coils individually or use memory foam. Both reduce motion transfer in the bed. 

If buying a new mattress isn’t in your budget, you may also find a mattress topper can help promote motion isolation. These typically cost less than a new mattress while offering some motion isolation. A good rule of thumb is to look for materials that naturally absorb movements, like latex or memory foam

Amerisleep AS3

The mattress promotes better circulation, breathability, and support. It’s the company’s best-selling mattress because it adapts to most body types and sleep styles. 

You’ll notice first how cooling and responsive the foam memory foam mattress feels. It’s supportive and therapeutic for a comforting sleep surface. It also uses reinforced perimeter coils to help offer support and motion isolation. 

The DreamCloud Premier Hybrid Mattress

According to the DreamCloud website, 80 percent of reviewers give The DreamCloud Premier Hybrid Mattress five stars. Its plush cashmere blend top feels lovely on the skin over the supportive memory foam mattress. It also comes with a lifetime warranty.

The mattress offers stay-put technology, ensuring you won’t wake up when your partner moves in the night. Also, its six layers of coils and foams make this an excellent choice for an ideal motion-isolating mattress.

Helix Midnight

The Helix Midnight mattress is suitable for side and back sleepers and couples. It’s a hybrid bed with medium firmness but still supportive and comfortable. If you’re a hot sleeper, you can add a cooling cover to the order. 

The combination of foam and coils helps enhance its motion isolation. It’s great for couples with different comfort preferences since it offers a 100-night sleep trial. You can take a couples sleep quiz for customizable mattress options if you need something else. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What does motion transfer mean?

Motion transfer is the amount of movement shared from one part of a mattress to another. High-motion transfer means you’ll feel your loved one or pet move when sharing a bed. 

How do you stop motion transfer?

Sleeping on a memory foam or hybrid mattress is a great way to stop motion transfer. You may also use a mattress topper with a low-motion transfer. When all else fails, try replacing your bed frame since they often wear with time and may cause high motion transfer no matter the mattress. 


Sleeping with a loved one or a pet is a beautiful thing. But, sharing a bed with high motion transfer can disrupt the quality of your sleep. Consider a new mattress or mattress topper if another’s movements keep you up at night. Selecting a memory foam or hybrid mattress with good motion isolation can help ensure you remain undisturbed while blissfully sleeping with others. 

Source List

Roslim R, et al. (2017). Novel natural rubber latex memory foam. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Roslim-Ramli/publication/332874306_Novel_natural_rubber_latex_memory_foam/links/5da6769192851caa1ba629b4/Novel-natural-rubber-latex-memory-foam.pdfn/