What every best Mattresses has:
- Adequate spinal support.
- Motion isolation.
- Freedom of movement.
Sleep Like the Dead rates mattress brands based largely on its compilation of more than 27,000 owner reviews. Most of these reviews are drawn from hundreds of online message boards and forums. Other sources include evaluations on retailers' websites and product-review sites, as well as personal interviews. Editors compare customer ratings for each brand on criteria such as comfort, affordability and durability. The site also offers useful information on how to shop for a mattress.
Consumer Reports tests several dozen mattresses, including innerspring, memory-foam, foam, latex, hybrid and adjustable air models. The methodology is thorough, as testers measure how well each mattress supports the spine for back sleepers and side sleepers, and how much vibration is transmitted across the mattress when the sleeper changes position. Durability is also considered, and the site analyzes the accuracy of manufacturer claims of firmness.
Testers at Wirecutter spent many hours researching and testing foam mattresses, ultimately narrowing it down to five top picks. This report includes just online-only, foam mattresses, but since that has become such a popular category, it was very helpful in comparing those brands.
Retailer US-Mattress.com is a top source for finding user reviews of traditional mattresses from large manufacturers like Sealy, Simmons, Serta, Tempur-Pedic and more. While it can be difficult to ascertain if the mattress on this website is the same mattress on the manufacturer's website, clues to how each line performs in real-world use are possible to tease out.
As with US-Mattress.com, Macy's is a popular destination for user reviews of traditional mattresses. It's actually somewhat easier here to determine specific mattresses, although Macy's carries few mattresses overall than US-Mattress.com. However, on the plus side, most of Macy's mattresses found online can be tested out in their stores, and most communities have a Macy's store within driving distance -- for now, anyway.
Amazon is a great resource to find reviews of very affordable mattress brands, particularly memory foam. Amazon also carries a few of the newer, online-only mattresses, such as those from Casper and Leesa -- direct from Amazon without the price markups seen by third-party sellers for some other mattresses. Some of these mattresses get hundreds or even thousands of reviews, and there are several highly-rated models that most mattress shoppers would not otherwise realize were available.
Investigating the new world of online-only mattress sales, Rob Lieber orders mattresses from five of the most popular internet mattress makers -- and then returns them. He has no comments on comfort, he merely wants to see if ordering and returning a mattress is as easy as these companies claim it is. For the most part, the answer is yes; and this article gives some good insight into the customer service claims of the top internet-only mattress sellers.
As an adjunct to his mattress recommendations, Kevin Purdy offers this fascinating and thorough look into both the traditional -- and highly lucrative -- mattress market, and how it's changing. While this article might be a "must-read" for anyone who is serious about getting the biggest bang for their buck, the most valuable lesson might be this one: "no one mattress is perfect for everybody."
The Mattress Underground is an online informational source and forum for deconstructing mattress companies' (often misleading) claims, as well as discussions by mattress buyers. While it can be hard to slog through all of the different forums, they can also be very helpful in getting answers to specific questions about mattresses that other sites don't address. For example, this is the only site we found that discusses latex mattress companies that allow you to custom build a mattress and how that works out -- or not.
After reviewing the offerings from several online-only mattress companies, Thorin Klosowski ultimately settles on Tuft & Needle because he prefers a firm mattress. However, he notes that he can sleep pretty much on anything, making him a good candidate for buying a mattress sight-unseen. Ultimately, he's happy with his selection and with the ease of the process.