A mattress is one of the most important pieces of furniture you’ll own, but the days of going to a physical store and testing one in person are quickly fading away. So how are you supposed to shop for the right mattress online to ensure you'll get your best sleep? If you’re already doing the majority of your shopping on Amazon, or are a Prime member, buying a mattress from the giant retailer is one of the easiest places to begin your search.
To further help you choose the best mattress to purchase, a team of Reviewed editors and writers have been testing mattresses for several years so that we can recommend the most comfortable for any kind of sleeper. Our current favorite is Nectar (available at Amazon) because it's the perfect combination of firm and plush at a reasonable price.
Nectar is the best mattress we’ve tested. It checks a lot of boxes for many shoppers with its excellent balance of firmness to plushness and its middle-tier price.
The first thing our tester noticed upon lugging the box up the two flights of stairs to her apartment was how light it felt compared to other boxed mattresses. At 65 pounds, it’s only a few pounds lighter than most, but that can make all the difference for moving and opening a memory foam mattress. Like most foam mattresses, it emits a weird “packaged” smell at first, despite the site claiming you shouldn’t notice any odors, but that dissipated after about 12 hours and was never an issue for our tester, her partner, or their cat.
The “wine glass” test, which evaluates motion transfer, proved to be one of our most important and insightful tests. When our tester’s partner thrashed around and kicked his legs on the bed, the wine glass hardly even wobbled, and never came close to tipping over, meaning you aren’t likely to get jostled awake if you share this bed with a restless sleeper, or feel bad about getting up to pee at 2 a.m., and then slinking back to bed. Additionally, though our tester tends to sleep hot, she had no issues with the Nectar mattress.
After sleeping on the mattress for 30 days, our tester didn’t want to give it up and took her time arranging to have it hauled away—and her partner, who formerly swore by the Purple mattress, admitted that this was the most comfortable mattress he’s slept on so far.
We think it’s worth investing as much as is feasible in your budget in your mattress—after all, you spend up to a third of your life on it. The Nectar offers top-notch support at a middle-of-the-road price but, based on our testing, it’s hard to beat the Leesa Hybrid, if you can afford to spend the cash.
The mattress’s top two layers are foam, which provide softness and give, and allow it to contour to the body. As a hybrid, the foam sits atop pocket springs, which are coils that are individually wrapped in quilted fabric, giving the bed a sturdy yet buoyant base. This provides adaptable support for all sleep positions, without leaving a stomach sleeper unsupported or a side sleeper’s shoulder or hip aching the next morning. The bed is a crowd-pleaser that’s amazing to sleep on in any position.
For consumers, the Leesa Hybrid’s construction and support aren’t visible. What our tester felt was the responsiveness of its inner workings when she plopped down on the mattress. On a superficial level, though, she noticed and appreciated the super-soft and aesthetically pleasing cover (a.k.a., its ticking). The cover doesn’t have a huge bearing on functionality, but the devil’s in the details, and that’s another place where the Leesa Hybrid Mattress shines.
The Leesa Hybrid mattress only had a couple of downsides. It retained heat in our lab testing, a consideration for people who sleep hot. That said, our tester considers herself a hot sleeper, yet she didn’t find herself switching sides of the bed in hopes of finding a cool spot (like flipping the pillow over to get the “cool” side).
In addition, the Leesa Hybrid had a noticeable odor when it was first opened that lasted several days. The mattress is CertiPUR-certified, so the smell, though annoying, isn’t caused by certain harmful flame retardants, and the bed meets indoor air-quality requirements for certain types of pollutants. In addition, moving the mattress once it’s expanded is a task due to its heftier-than-most, 115-pound weight.
The Tuft & Needle Original is a fantastic mattress for anyone looking for firmer support in a bed, at a great price. It is among the least expensive we’ve tested but it stands out as a favorite for its ability to provide comfort, without compromising on firmness or feeling too hard.
In both our lab-based and at-home tests, we found that the mattress mitigates movement well—even a tossing-and-turning partner didn’t rouse our tester. Tuft & Needle's excellent, prompt, friendly customer service is a perk as well.
The mattress is encased in a cheap-feeling cover that’s designed to be breathable. It bunches up a bit beneath tight-fitting sheets, but not distractingly so—and as it’s the best practice to use a mattress protector anyway, we don’t see this as a big concern.
At this intersection of price and quality, it’s hard to find a better pick.
We test mattresses the same way you might: We sleep on them for at least 30 nights to see how they hold up. Unlike you, though, we also subject them to a series of standardized tests in our state-of-the-art testing labs in Cambridge, Mass.
Between the at-home testing and the lab testing, we gather data related to the following attributes: comfort, motion transfer and bounciness, edge support, heat retention, support, memory, moving and unboxing, customer experience, and odor.
What You Should Know About Mattresses
Let’s face it: Mattresses are expensive. What’s more, most mattresses will last a decade—and you don’t want to be stuck sleeping on an uncomfortable bed for a decade. So where do you begin to find a mattress you’ll love for years to come?
Start by doing your research. Read expert and buyer reviews - and a lot of them. Given how much time you spend in bed, and the impact that quality sleep has on our waking hours, it’s critical that you choose what’s best for you. As comfort is subjective and personal, we recommend researching multiple products to get a holistic look at your options. And don’t forget to keep your own preferences in mind while browsing!
Then, ask yourself some common questions:
What level of firmness do you want? Mattresses range from extra firm, almost like sleeping on a carpeted floor, to soft and squishy, like a cloud. Finding the right firmness is essential to getting a good night’s rest.
What fabrication are you looking for? Mattresses available on Amazon range from memory foam, traditional coiled springs, hybrid mattresses (which combine foam and coils), to the unique polymer offered by Purple. When choosing a material, consider your support and body heat preferences while sleeping.
Do you want more edge support? You may want edge support if you’re an active sleeper or like to sit on the edge of the bed when you put on your shoes. If so, coil and some hybrid mattresses have an encasement around the bed to help provide support around the edges.
Does the mattress require a box spring or a foundation? Many newer mattresses work fine without a box spring as long as you have a platform bed or adequate slats to provide support. Always check the mattress specifications before it shows up at your door as most companies will sell a base to match their mattresses.
Does the mattress require special accessories? Some mattresses may not work well with standard sheets or bed frames. Carefully read the product specifications as well as buyer testimonials to see if your new mattress will cost you extra in accessories.
Do you have (or plan to get) an adjustable base? If you have or are hoping to get a motorized adjustable base, you’ll want to buy a mattress that is compatible with it. Some mattresses aren’t designed to fold up and using them with a motorized adjustable could damage the mattress and potentially break the base.
What You Can Expect Buying A Mattress on Amazon
Buying a mattress on Amazon is relatively simple, as each has its own product page that will give you all the information you need to make an informed purchase, including construction details, a price for each size, shipping options, and warranty information to help you make your decision.
Mattresses purchased from the original brand or authorized retailer will receive the full manufacturer’s warranty. The sleep trial policies vary, and some Amazon customers will be able to take advantage of the original brand’s sleep trial. Even if you don’t qualify, any mattress sold on Amazon has a standard 30-night sleep trial. Amazon Prime members may also be able to get quicker delivery times for their mattress at a lower price, too.
Other Mattresses On Amazon We Tested
The keyword for this mattress is firm. It has some give without losing all bounciness, but if you’re used to a soft, memory foam-type mattress, the Amerisleep may feel a little dense. Our tester tried the Amerisleep right after the super-squishy Allswell, and though she generally prefers firm mattresses, it took a few nights to get used to the Amerisleep’s comparable lack of give. In the beginning, there were nights our tester woke up with tension in her lower back, though this didn’t happen frequently enough for her to know whether this was due to the mattress itself or poor posture when hunched over her desk during the day.
But after this breaking-in (or getting-used-to) period, the mattress felt great. It has a sturdy core and a supple upper layer, so lying on it makes the sleeper feel cradled but not coddled. It retained heat, albeit a minimal amount, in our tester’s experience and in our lab testing. Even so, our tester found it comfortable, maybe thanks to the mattress’s BioPur foam topper, which has open cells that increase breathability, according to Amerisleep. Our tester thinks this feature likely made it feel comfortable, even when she snuggled up with blankets in a stuffy apartment.
Finally, there’s at least one thing that any prospective Amerisleep buyers think of as a positive: Because it’s so firm, it’s really easy to make the bed. Its sturdy edges make it so that bottom sheets snap easily over one side, then slide over to the other with very little tugging—something that isn’t quite as vital as sleeping on it every night, but an important consideration if you change your sheets often. Overall, it’s a great mattress, especially for those who sleep hot and favor firm beds.
Purple sets itself apart with its unique gel memory foam design unlike the more traditional memory foam, coil, or hybrid mattresses that pad the rest of the market. The gel material results in an undeniably comfortable surface that hugs the body without feeling like quicksand. It also absorbs movement extremely well, as evidenced by our tester’s wine-glass test: When her partner rolled and flopped around on his side of the bed, the filled wine glass balanced on her side hardly registered the motion.
The extreme squish and stretch of the top polymer layer makes it seem like the mattress wouldn’t offer much support, but it's quite the opposite. It cradles the body regardless of preferred sleep position. This was the first mattress our tester tested, and she’d been dealing with the quintessential "I'm not 25 anymore and work at a desk all day" lower back pain. It wasn't long after she started sleeping on the Purple that her pain diminished, and that's a big reason why she continued using a Purple mattress, buying herself one after the test period.
The Zinus Green Tea mattress, which we tested in the 12-inch thickness, is a soft mattress with minimal support but a super-affordable price. Zinus’ mattress foam, called BioFoam, is made with green tea extract, castor seed oil, and charcoal. Zinus says these natural components are used to prevent the typical chemical-y smelling scent of a mattress in a box, but when our tester unboxed it, it had the same pungent smell we’ve come to expect. (It dissipated in about 24 hours, though.)
When our tester laid down on the Zinus, the first thing she noticed could be a plus or a minus, depending on personal preferences: It’s extremely soft. The mattress is composed of different kinds of foam, so it molds to pressure and weight, creating what felt to our tester like a divot underneath the body. In some ways, this is good—it has a nesting effect, so it’s cozy—but she tends to sleep hot, and found that the Zinus retained body heat more than other mattresses she’s tested (namely, the Helix). It also made it difficult to get out of bed in the morning because her 130-pound body had sunk so deep into the mattress. Still, she slept pretty well each night, despite not loving soft mattresses and occasionally feeling more overnight heat than she preferred.
Bottom line: It’s not for everyone. But buyers seeking a short queen size that measures 70 inches long, versus the regular 80 (a few people are), who like soft mattresses (some people do), and who prefer to save money (many people do), the Zinus is a solid option.
Casper is perhaps the most ubiquitous mattress in a box, but for our tester, its beautiful aesthetic was overshadowed by how unsupportive she found it. The luxe design aims to target zones like the shoulders and hips, and the mattress is encased in a high-quality zippered cover that fits snug around the mattress. However, the mattress feels spongy and that lack of firmness (and therefore, increased resistance) makes it difficult to move around and get in and out of bed.
Our tester felt a lot of movement from her partner and pet moving around on the bed, which was confirmed by her wine-glass test. When she balanced a filled wine glass on one side and kicked around on the other, the wine glass nearly toppled over. Worse, the mattress's edges buckled beneath average weight and pressure. Is it a bad mattress? No. Are there better options for the price? Yes.
Layla sets itself apart from the other mattresses we tested with a couple unusual features. Namely, it has two sleep surfaces, depending which side of the mattress is facing up: One that's firm, while the other is soft. It's a cool concept for buyers who aren’t sure of their preferences, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired. First off, the soft side is so soft that our tester felt she sank in too far. And the 'firm' side really isn't all that firm, considering it's resting on a whole bunch of ultra-soft memory foam. It's more like this mattress has a soft side and a too-soft side. Aside from never quite getting used to how soft the soft side was, our tester didn't experience any ill effects to her sleep.
The memory foam on both sides is infused with copper, which claims to help keep you cooler and has antimicrobial properties. But our tester woke up dripping in sweat the first two nights, (though she noted she’d just had oral surgery, which could have influenced her reaction). After that, she seemed to settle into the mattress and didn't have any further issues with overheating, but she didn’t notice feeling cooler than usual, either.
The Reviewed staff is based in the heart of Cambridge, MA. Backed by our knowledgeable writers and rigorous test labs, we're working hard to make sure you can make the right decisions about what to buy.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.