This article is part of our Best Product Reviews series, a collaboration with Consumer Reports. Select and Consumer Reports are editorially independent. If you purchase something through our links, we both earn a commission. Pricing and availability are accurate as of publish time. Learn more about Select and Consumer Reports.
We spend roughly one-third of our lives in bed—assuming, of course, that we’re getting a minimum of seven hours of sleep a night. So it’s important to find the best mattress for your sleep position and body type—one that offers good support while also providing the pressure relief that feels most comfortable to you.
Once you start shopping for a new bed, however, you’ll notice that every other mattress seems to tout that they’re the best mattress on the market, or that they’re the most comfortable. But "best" for others may not be the best for you; and "comfort" depends on a variety of factors and differs from individual to individual. And yet it’s easy to get bogged down in market-speak as you go about your search.
SEE ALL Consumer Reports product reviews
That’s where Consumer Reports’ testing and surveys can clear the way. We evaluate the three most common types: adjustable air, innerspring (including the foam-on-coil hybrid mattresses), and foam mattresses (including latex and memory foam). Whether they’re established brands (such as Beautyrest, Sleep Number, Tempur-Pedic) or popular online players (like Casper, Leesa, Tuft & Needle), we purchase each mattress at retail and put it through a series of rigorous lab tests.
How Consumer Reports Tests Mattresses
Support and firmness level are key measures of comfort—so we’ve devised a protocol to consistently evaluate both. With the help of human testers, we calculate precisely how much support each mattress provides to people of different sizes and different sleep positions. As for firmness, we use an objective industry test standard which entails applying a load of up to 1,000 newtons (4.4 newtons equal about a pound) to each mattress and measuring the surface displacement. We then plot the results on a scale of 1 to 10, so that we can accurately compare the firmness of one mattress with that of another.
Our stabilization test evaluates how easily sleepers can shift their weight without disturbing a partner—if you wake up easily when a partner rolls over, you should consider mattresses with Very Good to Excellent stabilization scores. We also test whether a mattress retains heat (hot sleepers should avoid those that do) and how well the mattress keeps its shape over time. For that last test, we pass a nearly 310-pound roller over each mattress 30,000 times to simulate the typical life span of eight to 10 years.
And while our scientific ratings should provide a good idea as to how happy you might be with a particular mattress, we also post ratings for comfort and satisfaction. These ratings are based on data from recent surveys on CR members’ experiences with almost 70,000 mattresses purchased within the past decade. We asked them to rate the comfort of their mattress, and used the data to generate ratings by brand and type of mattress (but not the actual model of the mattress). Owner satisfaction is based on a member’s overall judgment of such factors as firmness/softness, value, quality of sleep, and more.
Here, CR members can read on for ratings and reviews of 10 top-rated mattresses—from soft, to medium-firm, to firm, in a price range of $750 to $3,300. (Note that spending more won’t necessarily get you a better night’s sleep.)
To learn more about how to shop for a mattress, check out our mattress buying guide. CR members can also use our interactive Mattress Selector, where your responses to a few key questions will generate a selection of some of the best mattresses for your needs. For even more options, check out our comprehensive mattress ratings, where you can filter for price, firmness levels, and other features that are important to you.
Best Mattresses: Adjustable Air
You can inflate these mattresses to your desired firmness level using a remote control or smartphone app. If you’re sleeping with a partner, each of you can select a preferred firmness for your side of the bed.
CR’s take: The top-scoring mattress in the adjustable air category is the Sleep Number 360 p6 Smart bed. It earns a rating of Very Good for support for side and back sleepers of all sizes. It also receives a standout Excellent rating for both stabilization and durability. According to data from our survey, CR members who bought a Sleep Number mattress are pretty happy: The brand receives scores of Very Good for both comfort and owner satisfaction.
CR’s take: Unlike the other mattresses in this category, the Solaire mattress by Saatva is made with certified organic materials. It’s an all-around crowd pleaser, earning Very Good marks in just about every area—including nice support for all sleep positions and sizes, as well as above-average stabilization. Like the Sleep Number p6, it also earns an Excellent rating for durability. As a brand, Saatva receives Very Good ratings for both comfort and owner satisfaction when it comes to adjustable-air mattresses.
CR’s take: The Personal Comfort H10 Bed is a standout for back sleepers, earning an Excellent rating for all body sizes. It’s almost as good for side sleepers, earning a Very Good rating for all sizes. You’ll find Very Good stabilization with this mattress as well as Excellent durability. As with the two picks above, members are generally pleased with their Personal Comfort adjustable air beds. The brand receives a Very Good rating for comfort and a Good rating for owner satisfaction.
Best Mattresses: Innerspring
The most widely sold mattresses, these options are composed of steel coils topped with layers of cushioning—either made with fiber-filled padding or (in the case of so-called hybrid mattresses) foam. They’re typically a better choice than foam mattresses if you prefer a bit of bounce.
CR’s take: The Avocado Green performs superbly in our support tests—earning an Excellent rating for all sizes and sleep positions, except for petite side sleepers, for which it receives a Very Good. It’s made with recycled-steel pocketed coils, latex foam (instead of the usual synthetic), and a certified organic cotton cover. It receives only a middling score for stabilization, however, so if you don’t like much bounce or motion transfer, this mattress might not be the one for you. With a firmness score of 7 out of 10, it’s among the stiffer mattresses we’ve tested. Innerspring mattresses from Avocado receives a Very Good score for both owner satisfaction and predicted reliability.
CR’s take: For less than $800 you can own the second-best innerspring mattress in our ratings. In fact, the Denver Mattress Doctor’s Choice Plush is the least expensive option among top-scoring mattresses. It earns a Very Good support rating for side sleepers of all sizes and an Excellent rating for all back sleepers. It’s a relatively soft mattress, scoring a 3 on our firmness scale. As with the Avocado mattress, it receives only middling stabilization scores. In our member surveys, Denver Mattress innersprings receives middling ratings for comfort and owner satisfaction.
CR’s take: The Casper Hybrid mattress is a good choice for side sleepers; it earns an Excellent rating for all sizes of people who prefer that position. Large/tall back sleepers will fare pretty well, too. (The mattress earns only a middling score for petite- and average-sized back-sleeper support, though.) The Casper Hybrid does better than other innersprings in the stabilization department, earning a Very Good. As with the Denver Mattress, it scores a rather soft 3 out of 10 on our firmness scale. In our member surveys, Casper innersprings receive Very Good ratings for comfort and owner satisfaction.
CR’s take: The SleepFresh Hybrid should work well for all sleeper type and sizes, but it’s particularly a standout for back sleepers, for whom it earns an Excellent when it comes to support. This mattress is fairly soft, earning a 3 on our firmness scale; and like all except for the Casper Hybrid in this category, it’s only average in terms of stabilization. The Sleep Fresh Hybrid’s Overall Score ties with the Ethan Allen EA Signature Platinum Plush, which costs almost three times as much and is slightly firmer, earning a 5 on that scale. However, while both brands earn a Very Good rating for comfort, the SleepFresh receives only a middling score for owner satisfaction, according to our member surveys.
Best Mattresses: Foam
These mattresses consist entirely of foam layers, with many popular brands shipping them in a box directly to consumers. Latex foam mattresses have a somewhat springy feel to them; synthetic foam mattresses (memory foam in particular) tend to lack any resilience—you’ll feel as if you’re sleeping "in" the mattress as opposed to on top of it.
CR’s take: Petite and average back sleepers will appreciate that the Essentia Stratami earns an Excellent rating for support. Petite, average, and large/tall side sleepers—as well as large/tall back sleepers—will get nice support, too. Not surprising for an all-foam mattress, the latex Stratami has excellent stability. This mattress weighs a hefty 122 pounds and has no grips, so you’ll need someone to help you move it. Our member surveys suggest that people should expect to be pleased with the mattress—Essentia foam mattresses receives Excellent ratings for comfort and owner satisfaction. With a firmness level of 6, it’s medium to medium-firm in feel.
CR’s take: The Casper Original is a great option for back sleepers, earning Excellent support ratings for that position in every size. For side sleepers, this memory-foam mattress is still a solid choice, with ratings of Very Good for each size. In our stability test, it scores a rating of Very Good. The Casper is middle of the road for firmness, receiving a 5 out of 10 on our scale. Casper foam mattresses land a Very Good rating for both comfort and owner satisfaction in our member surveys.
CR’s take: Another back-sleeper-friendly mattress, the Sleep on Latex Pure Green Firm earns an Excellent rating for supporting petite, average, and large/tall people who sleep in that position. For petite, average, and large/tall side sleepers, the Pure Green Firm earns a Very Good rating. This mattress gets a 7 for firmness on our scale of 1 to 10, making it one of the firmer options in our ratings. It's made of two layers of GOLS-certified natural latex foam.
Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit organization that works side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world. CR does not endorse products or services, and does not accept advertising. Copyright © 2022, Consumer Reports, Inc.