Best Mattresses to Buy Online 2021 – Foam, Hybrid, Innerspring


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Whether you’re shopping for your first mattress, replacing one you’ve had for years, or generally looking to improve your sleep and invest in your long-term health, mattress shopping can be complicated. Compared to how it was just a few years ago, mattress retail today is almost unrecognizable, thanks to direct-to-consumer brands. But the proliferation of “beds in a box” has happened for good reason: Nowadays, we can order high-quality mattresses online, even finance them, and get them in just a couple of days. All in all, finding the best mattress has become both much easier and much harder — which, if you’re reading this, you probably already know. But that’s why we’re here.

The market is saturated with high-quality mattresses, so we’re keeping our eyes peeled for more advanced or unique features, like vegan materials or the implementation of technology. That said, it still takes a huge amount of time to sift through all the options, so we’ve attempted to make this the final stop in your search. We’ve researched and slept on nearly 30 mattresses, and while we haven’t been able to test every mattress known to man, we’re confident we’ve found the most stand-out options.

What to Consider Before Buying a Mattress

A mattress is a huge investment, personally and financially. It’s the thing that’ll make or break the quality of your sleep, and you’ll probably spend more time on your mattress than you do on anything else in your home. Researching the options beforehand is vital, and knowing what you need and want is better than going into the process without a clue. Here’s what to consider when buying a mattress:

Innerspring: The most common type of mattress, an innerspring mattress offers great support and will last a long time. Today’s innerspring mattresses typically have much better motion isolation and body-contouring abilities. 

Foam: Growing in popularity, foam mattresses offer ultra cushioning and great motion isolation, which is great for co-sleepers, side sleepers, and those who toss and turn. Foam, however, does absorb heat, so it might not be the best option for hot sleepers, unless it’s a gel-infused foam.

Hybrid: For those who want the best of both worlds, a hybrid might be your choice. Made of foam and coils, hybrid mattresses offer great support, a cooler sleep, and excellent motion isolation.

Organic: If eco-friendly materials are important to you, a number of organic mattresses have sprung up recently. These mattresses typically do not use foam, but instead use latex, a similar but much more sustainable material.

Vegan: Entirely wool-free, these mattresses replace animal byproducts with cotton, hemp, and even tree-sap (latex). Additionally, plant-based mattresses and their materials are not tested on animals and are cruelty-free. Natural latex is effectively resistant to mold, mildew, bacteria, and fire. 

Take stock of your general positioning when you sleep. Do you fall asleep on your side and wake up on your stomach? Do you fall asleep on your back and wake up in generally the same position? Where you wake up is a great indicator of the true kind of sleeper you are. 

General knowledge suggests that back and stomach sleepers should go for something firmer and side sleepers should choose something softer. But like most generalities, this may still not be the case for you.  If you don’t find that you fit a specific sleeping position pattern, consider any pain you experience during or right after you wake up. For example, someone with back pain might love the give a soft foam mattress provides, while another person with back pain might prefer the support of an innerspring. The most common firmness level of modern mattresses is medium-firm, which offers a good deal of support without feeling like a rock and is a great option if you’re part of a couple or often sleep with someone else opposite your pattern. If you’ve weighed the options and are still stuck, opt for a hybrid mattress — possibly even one that offers you an option between two sides with different measures of firmness.

While feeling a mattress in person has obvious benefits, buying online has its own pros, too. Not only do you get a long trial period (typically around 100 days), but many premium options offer lower prices and access to the brands’ customer service. Some online-only retailers even have showrooms, especially if you live near New York City.

How Much to Spend on a Mattress

Like any major investment, mattresses do not come cheap. While you can find mattresses under $500, these options are typically lower in quality than the more expensive options and won’t last as long. A good mattress costs around $1,000, and that price will increase depending on materials used and where you buy it. If you’re working with a tight budget, you can still get a solid mattress, as long as you’re okay with the likelihood you’ll need to replace it sooner rather than later. Keep an eye out for mattress deals around major holidays, including Presidents Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day.

If you’re buying a foam mattress, make sure you’re choosing one that’s made of CertiPUR-US certified foam. This certification means the foam is made without ozone depleters, flame retardants, heavy metals like mercury and lead, formaldehyde, and phthalates, and has low VOC emissions for indoor air quality.

If you’re buying organic, look for GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certification and OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certification. GOTS certification means that every stage of the supply chain, from harvesting to manufacturing to packaging, is done ethically and sustainably. OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certification means that the textiles contain no harmful dyes or substances.

Another certification you might see is GREENGUARD Gold, which means the mattress has low chemical emissions and is acceptable for use in environments such as schools and health-care facilities.

What We Look For in a Mattress

We tested a wide range of mattresses for our best list, judging them on the following criteria:

Helix, as a brand, wins our Best Overall category because they not only sell quality mattresses but also have 14 options to choose from. You start by taking the Sleep Quiz to find your match — there are seven standard options (two each for soft, medium, and firm feels), plus another option for plus-size folks; six LUXE options (two each for soft, medium, and firm feels); and one organic option, the Birch mattress.

We tested the Midnight LUXE mattress, Helix’s most popular option. It has a medium feel, is made with side sleepers in mind, and features zoned lumbar support for better body contouring. It’s a hybrid mattress, with a combination of memory foam, gel foam, and wrapped coils for ultra comfort and support, and has a quilted pillow top so you feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud.

Our tester, AT real estate and finance editor Madeline, describes herself as both a hot sleeper and a side sleeper. Her most recent mattress was a 2015-era hand-me-down from a friend, and she says the Midnight LUXE is a major upgrade. Some of the adjectives she says describe her new mattress: supportive, squishy, comfortable, and cozy. “I feel like a queen sleeping on a queen. It’s softer and squishier for sure, which means I don’t need a topper. And it provides so much more support than my old mattress.”

Who It’s Best For: Those who sleep hot; side sleepers; those who want a hybrid construction; those who prefer long trial periods.

Good to Know: Military, first responders, teachers, and students are all eligible for a 15 percent discount. Helix has a showroom in New York City where you can schedule an appointment to feel the mattresses before you buy. Helix also has a referral program: If someone buys a mattress through your recommendation, they’ll get $125 off their purchase, and you’ll get a $50 Amazon gift card.

Our favorite budget-friendly mattress brand is home furnishings label Zinus. Sold on Amazon, the brand’s mattress options range from $130 to $600 and include all three of the most popular types: memory foam, innerspring, and hybrid. Some are constructed using cooling materials like copper or infused with activated charcoal and green tea.

We tested the Green Tea mattress, a bed-in-a-box model costing less than $300. It stands tall at 12 inches once unfurled and self-inflated and is made with three layers of foam — 7 inches of dense, supportive foam topped with 2 inches of soft, airflow-enhancing foam and 3 inches of body-contouring memory foam. Its poly-jacquard cover is soft to the touch, and the memory foam inside is infused with moisture-absorbing ActivCharcoal and refreshing green tea. 

Commerce editor Amy tested this mattress and calls it “incredibly comfortable,” comparing it to one of the biggest name brands but “for 1/10 of the price.” In fact, she goes on to say that a friend who owned a mattress from the big brand “ordered this one after napping on mine.” Having slept on an older-model innerspring mattress, Amy says the Zinus Green Tea “made such a difference in my sleep” and, since it’s so low in price, she recommends buying it now and “get ready to sleep so much better.”  

Who It’s Best For: Those who want to pay less than $500; those who want soft, body-contouring construction; those who want the convenience of a bed-in-a-box.

Good to Know: It is an Amazon best-seller, has a 4.5-star rating, and over 100,000 positive reviews. It’s not recommended to unzip the poly-jacquard cover, as it is what encases the mattress’s layers.

Memory foam is still one of the most popular mattress types, but they are also often associated with overheating, lack of support, and sagging over time. Cocoon by Sealy works to avoid all of that, developing a proprietary “Phase Change Material” that absorbs and dissipates heat, and its own “Perfect Fit” memory foam, which is designed to be fully supportive without feeling too firm.

AT office and studio manager Greg tried the brand’s Chill Memory Foam Mattress and “immediately started sleeping better after it arrived.” As a multi-position sleeper, Greg calls this mattress soft, cozy, supportive, welcoming, and comfortable. He’s “never woken up sore” nor can he “sing the praises of this bed enough.” Cocoon by Sealy was willing to work with Greg’s schedule to facilitate seamless shipping and delivery and he noted that “unpacking was easy.”

Honorable Mention: Puffy Lux mattress is great for those who change positions through the night. Our tester, VP of brand innovation and strategy Lauren, calls its support for tossers and turners “fantastic.”

Who It’s Best For: Those who love the feel of foam but want more support and cooling; back and side sleepers.

Good to Know: Greg also suggests Sealy sheets for further effective cooling. Right now, the Chill Memory Foam Mattress is 35 percent off, bringing it from $769 to $499, and includes pillows and sheets with purchase.

Innerspring mattresses might be an old-school style, but when constructed with modern materials, they can provide excellent support and durability. If you’re looking for an innerspring-supported mattress, we recommend Floyd’s singular mattress offering: The Floyd Mattress.

Although it is topped with memory foam, we hesitate to call this mattress a true hybrid. Its 1,000 pocketed coils, while lightly layered with copper and graphite-infused breathable foam, offer a level of support that steals the show. Designed to provide zoned support, these coils reduce sinking over time while the open-cell foam layers dissipate heat and offer subtle body contouring. 

AT news and culture director Tara describes the ideal mattress as one you don’t necessarily feel when you’re on it. “You should just be comfortable and supported,” Tara advises. “Not noticing that you’re sinking into it,” that any springs are poking you, your back is sore in the middle of the night, or you’ve woken up “in a full sweat because it’s trapping your body heat.” Essentially, you don’t want to be conscious of the inner workings or surface of your mattress. “With the Floyd mattress,” Tara says, “I felt none of that.”

Good to Know: If ordered with The Floyd Bed frame, the mattress and frame will be delivered at the same time by a scheduled delivery partner, so delivery (and optional old mattress removal) is on your schedule.

It wasn’t long ago that foam mattresses, especially when accompanied with the ease of bed-in-a-box delivery, were all the rage. Now, hybrids are getting all the attention, and for good reason. Hybrids are considered the “Goldilocks” of mattresses, offering the best of both foam and innerspring models. After testing multiple hybrid models, Molecule’s came out on top.

The Molecule Hybrid includes five layers, each offering its own specific benefits to the mattress’s overall effectiveness. Thoughtfully crafted with equal emphasis on coils and memory foam — softness and support — every inner layer of the Molecule Hybrid is of proprietary material or design. Its redesigned memory foam layers keep you cool instead of heating you up, and its 6-inch coil support prevents even the edges of the mattress from sinking. 

Our tester, home assistant editor Savannah, transitioned from a mattress that was so uncomfortable, she had to put two mattress toppers on it. With the Molecule Hybrid, she doesn’t “need a mattress topper at all…sometimes, I don’t even need a pillow!” Since the mattress itself is so tall, she also forgoes a box spring. Savannah even likes the material it’s covered in, so the slip of a fitted sheet is no issue. “I’d give this mattress a 9/10,” she says, “docking one point because I’ve been late to work a few times because I couldn’t get out of bed.”

Honorable Mention: The Layla Hybrid Mattress proved to be effectively cooling during testing, has both firm and soft sides, and foam layers that quiet any noisy springs due to movement.

Who It’s Best For: Those who want a tall mattress; those who want neither a soft nor firm feel; co-sleepers.

Good to Know: If you’re located in California, Molecule offers old mattress removal free of charge.

If you run hot when you sleep, there’s likely nothing you won’t try to stay cool overnight. Since brands that create hybrid mattresses often pay closer attention to the details involved in each layer, they are often the most cooling options. But Casper’s Nova Hybrid model has the option of adding additional proprietary cooling Snow Technology on top of the other layer-specific applications of cooling technology. Hot sleepers, rejoice. 

Five layers of coil support and foam give the Casper Nova Hybrid its lift, support, comfort, and airflow. Each layer is zoned to offer support, softness, or aeration where it’s needed most, so nothing is superfluous. Each layer decreases in density as it’s layered, offering you the support of its coils with the cooling of specially designed foam. With the planet in mind, this Casper mattress’ cover is infused with phase-change cooling material and crafted from up to 70 recycled bottles. 

Commerce writer Sarah is a self-proclaimed side sleeper and a cooling mattress skeptic who “feared that the cooling claims wouldn’t live up to the hype.” But after just a week of sleep on the Casper Nova Hybrid Snow, she “knew this was the real deal, as I remained comfortably wrapped up in my comforter each night and awoke each day without a hair out of place (a rarity, as the nape of my neck is consistently drenched after a good night’s sleep).” Casper’s reputation of comfort and motion isolation precedes itself, but its claims of superior cooling with Snow Technology proved to be truly impressive.

Who It’s Best For: Back and side sleepers; those who run hot while they sleep; those who want the support and longevity of innerspring mattresses, those who want the cushion of memory foam.

Good to Know: Casper Labs conducts Rest Index Testing, which ensures that the coolness, comfort, and support you feel straight away continues throughout a night of sleep.

If you’ve tried memory foam, innersprings, and everything in between and still haven’t found something that works for you and your partner, it might be time to give Real Bed a chance. To be awarded the best mattress for co-sleepers, our winner has to suit the widest possible range of sleepers, have solid motion isolation, and have temperature regulation. For these reasons and more, the Real Bed is our top choice of mattresses catering to multiple sleepers. 

This mattress has eight hard-working layers of coils, natural latex, wool, and organic cotton that in conjunction offer the best support, especially for back and stomach sleepers. Leaning medium-firm in feel, Real Bed won’t cause you to sink down with your partner or roll toward the center in the middle of the night. Its layer of coils is surrounded by foam on both sides, giving Real Bed little bounce.

Our tester, associate branded content editor Nic, said this feature in particular is beneficial for sleeping couples since “one person tossing/turning at night won’t wake up the other.” A fan of firm mattresses, he could have even gone firmer than Real Bed, but found it “pleasant to sleep on” and “very comfortable in all sleeping positions.” Nic couldn’t say whether or not he felt particularly hot or cool throughout the night, which, according to Floyd Mattress reviewer Tara, is a sign of great temperature regulation. 

Who It’s Best For: Those who sleep with someone else; those with back pain; stomach sleepers; those who sleep hot; those who toss and turn.

Good to Know: It’s made of all-natural materials like pure wool, organic cotton, and natural latex foam.

Side sleepers tend to need a specific type of support, one that keeps the waist, limbs, and head lifted while offering some give for the hips and shoulders. In order to achieve this, every layer of a mattress needs to be considered, and zone-specific support within each is particularly helpful. The Allswell Supreme contains a deep layer of foam just over the coils that is designed for pressure relief, so it’s overall flexibility is perfectly suited for multi-position and side sleepers. 

A former Best Budget-Friendly winner, the Allswell Supreme has proven to be worth even more than it saves in your bank account. Side sleepers require a specific level of plushness and support, and while Allswell has plenty of options, the Supreme stands out from its predecessors, thanks to a multitude of features. The Supereme’s plush Euro top, extra temperature-regulating foam layer, and reinforced edge support makes it a side sleeper’s dream. The foam layers are fortified for a sort of buildable soft-support on top of a layer of coils, making it suitable for all kinds of sleepers as well.

“I’ve never had a mattress that was as plush, thick and comfortable as this one,” says AT associate producer Peggy, who was used to a firmer feel before switching to the Supreme. As a side and back sleeper, Peggy found she was able to sleep in all positions comfortably on her new mattress. While possibly too soft for stomach sleepers, she says, it works for anyone who prefers a warm feel at night. The Supreme rises high at 14 inches, which “gives off the illusion that it’s larger than it really is,” adding to the overall coziness of the mattress. “I would recommend this mattress to everyone!” Peggy says.

Who It’s Best For: Back and side sleepers; those who want a tall mattress; those who want a more affordable option in the league of premium direct-to-consumer brand mattresses.

Good to Know: Allswell offers an original model as well as a basic version, each of which has some of the hybrid support features in the Supreme and even more competitive prices.

To win the title of Best Mattress for Stomach Sleepers, the mattress has got to be firm enough to keep the back aligned, yet still be soft to the touch so it feels like a cloud. A mattress that reduces muscle activity, which tends to be higher while sleeping on memory foam mattresses, is ideal for back and stomach sleepers. Our winner: the New Airweave Mattress, which stands just under 8 inches tall. Airweave’s proprietary material, which makes up the bulk of this mattress, is a loosely interwoven hard fiber that allows you to move easily, enjoy more comfortable weight distribution, and stay cool with increased airflow. It’s a 100 percent washable mattress, but the Airweave technology that supports it also repels bed bugs, mites, and mold. 

AT director of ad operations Valerie calls this mattress “very firm” and “unlike any mattress I have slept on before.” The New Airweave Mattress’s inside material proved to be just as its unique construction suggests: cooling, aligning, and “comfortable for back and stomach sleepers,” Valerie confirms. And although it’s “less comfortable for side sleeping, I have never woken up sore,” which could be thanks to the support it provides the spine in all positions. “I would recommend this mattress for fans of firm mattresses,” she says.

Who It’s Best For: Those who want a foam- and coil-free mattress; stomach and back sleepers; those who want a low-profile mattress.

Good to Know: Sleep offers valuable time for realignment, which is why Airweave mattresses and toppers are widely used among elite athletes to help them perform at their best.

To us, describing a mattress as “organic” should encompass all the materials it’s made of, supply chain sustainability, and brand ethics. Avocado fits the description, as they not only use eco-friendly, safe, and sustainably sourced materials but also offer free carbon neutral shipping and donate a portion of profits to nonprofits.

Instead of foam, the Avocado mattress is made with GOLS organic certified latex, with a layer of pocketed coils and another of organic wool. Latex is more cooling and durable than foam while wool is naturally temperature regulating, anti-microbial, and dust mite resistant. Both materials are ideal for mattresses, even if you’re not in the market specifically for an organic model. 

Our tester, assistant shopping editor Britt, is a hot sleeper who changes positions throughout the night. To Britt, the Avocado “is the BEST mattress I’ve ever slept on in my own home,” a happy medium between soft and brick wall-level firmness. “On my old mattress,” she says, “I would toss and turn throughout the night to get comfortable, but I haven’t done that at all with the Avocado Green mattress. I opted for the cozy pillow top, and it adjusts to my body no matter if I’m sleeping on my stomach or splayed across it as I’m scrolling through my phone.” What’s more, Britt continually wakes up feeling refreshed and “ready to take on the day,” thanks to the Avocado’s superior temperature regulation.

Who It’s Best For: Those who want a foam-free mattress; those who want something organic; those who sleep on their stomach or back.

Good to Know: Avocado became a Certified B Corporation in 2020. They also sell a Vegan mattress that replaces the wool with organic cotton.

Vegan mattresses don’t use any materials sourced from animals, nor are any of the materials involved animal tested. This one by Plush Beds eliminates the use of toxic chemicals and fiberglass and only includes 100 percent natural, organic materials. Whether or not you yourself are vegan, vegan mattresses are absolutely worth considering and may even become the norm in the future as natural latex wears extremely well over time.

The Natural Bliss 100 percent natural latex mattress includes a patented Eco Fire Barrier and an organic core layer that provides spinal alignment and responsive support. Available in medium and medium-firm feels as well as three different heights, there’s a toxin-free mattress that will work for you within the range. 

Our tester, Kitchn assistant food editor Nicole, was amazed to know this mattress was made with natural materials. “I had never felt anything quite like this mattress before,” she says. “It is incredibly soft [to the touch] but supportive and firm and very well constructed.” Nicole says there’s very little sinking, which is unexpected for such a comfortable mattress. “You can’t feel [it] dipping when someone moves or gets in and out of bed on the other side,” she recalls of its motion isolation. “Keeping this mattress forever!!!”

Who It’s Best For: The socially and environmentally conscious; those who prefer a medium to medium-firm feel; co-sleepers.

Good to Know: Prefer very firm or soft? You can call the service line at 888-246-2599 to customize the firmness of your Natural Bliss mattress.

When deciding on the best mattress for back pain, a few factors have to be considered. Where is the back pain located? What type of sleeper are you? What mattress are you sleeping on currently? Unexpected back pain upon waking is almost always due to not having the support needed to keep your spine and joints aligned throughout the night. The usual fix for this is to go firmer, but we went a step further to find the most cloud-like mattress that also suits those who experience back pain.

The Saatva Classic is our winner because its dual coil hybrid construction relies heavily on the support of two layers of innersprings, but the addition of a Euro pillow top allows it to cradle you while relieving pressure points and keeping your spine aligned. Designed to fit a wide range of sleep motion, the Saatva Classic is deceptively firm — it feels luxuriously soft but won’t sink throughout the night or over time. It’s also available in two heights, 11.5 inches or 14.5 inches, which both perform the same.

Commerce director Mark tested the Saatva Classic after sleeping on the same trustworthy mattress for 10 years. As someone who experiences back pain, he thought he’d already found the right mattress for him, but ended up “pleasantly surprised by the Saatva Classic Mattress.” He notes that the luxury firm model “is not quite as firm as my previous mattress…but it definitely provides plenty of support for my back when I’m sleeping and I have yet to wake up achy or sore.” While the top layer is firm, it’s also plush, cushy, and breathable — in fact, Mark says, it’s “kept me comfortable throughout the brutally hot summer months, whether I’m sleeping on my side, back, or stomach.” Mark adds that this mattress definitely feels like a major upgrade from his former favorite for back pain.

Honorable Mention: Beautyrest Black is a great option for lovers of medium-firm mattresses, and its construction offers long-term back support by not sinking in the middle over time.

Who It’s Best For: Back and stomach sleepers; those with back pain; those who want a firm mattress with a plush surface; those who sleep hot.

A few mattresses have popped up recently that have customization capabilities powered by technology. Paired with apps and the ability to track and measure your sleep patterns, they take the guesswork out of finding the perfect mattress for your sleep. Our winner, The Pod Pro, does it all.

This mattress is app controlled and comes with a power modem that provides custom and automated heating up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit and cooling down to 55 degrees. It can track the time you’ve slept as well as recognize your deep sleep and REM cycles. It even has HRV monitoring, so you can get custom health reports on your respiration and heart rate throughout the night. The Pod Pro also has a built-in alarm that, rather than using sound, gently vibrates to wake you up. On top of its unique tech capabilities, this mattress has five layers of support and comfort. 

Lifestyle editor Ella began testing The Pod Pro with some skepticism wondering, “Is this robot going to become sentient and take over my room and my home while I am sleeping?” But after using it for a while, she called it “truly the mattress of the future.” Ella is able to learn more about how she sleeps, from how many times she tosses and turns to her REM cycle.

“It comes in two parts,” she says of its assembly. “A foam mattress that unfurls the way many foam mattresses do and a high-tech topper you zip onto it.” Noticeably firmer compared to other foam mattresses, The Pod Pro offers “solid support but has enough give for even a hardcore side-sleeper like me.” When it comes to the mattress’s unique alarm system, Ella says “the shaking was definitely something I had to get used to, but it’s the most effective alarm clock I’ve ever used.” This is an excellent mattress if you’re interested in “biohacking your sleep or are super interested in metrics and optimizing your life,” Ella says. “This is basically the Peloton of mattresses.” 

Who It’s Best For: Co-sleepers; those interested in resetting or learning more about their sleep patterns; those who sleep hot; those who sleep cold; those who prefer smart home devices.

Good to Know: There is also a Pod Pro mattress cover for those who love their mattress or have different support needs but still want to “biohack” their sleep.