• Tuft & Needle Original

  • Leesa Hybrid

  • How We Tested

  • What You Should Know About Mattresses

  • Other Mattresses On Amazon We Tested

  • More Articles You Might Enjoy

The best mattress in a box
Credit: Tuft & Needle

Tuft & Needle's Original Mattress offers a lot of bang for your buck.

Best Overall
Tuft & Needle Original

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 our favorite for its ability to provide comfort, without compromising on firmness or feeling too hard. Our tester adored the Tuft & Needle Original mattress. She’s slept on a lot of mattresses, but this was one of only two that she felt deeply sad to see toted away after their month-long sleep tests (the other, unsurprisingly, is our Upgrade Pick, the Leesa Hybrid, below).

At first, she was dubious about how firm the Tuft & Needle Original felt. But within a few minutes of lying down, she found that the mattress softens and adjusts enough to adapt to the pressure of her body weight. She felt it had just enough give to cushion pressure points, particularly when lying on her side. Stomach and back sleepers, who are generally more prone to spinal woes than side sleepers, will likely find the mattress allows them to sleep in their preferred position without noticing any soreness or strain because of how supportive it is. Our tester loves sleeping on her stomach, but she’s all too familiar with the lower back strain that sometimes comes with it. It was never an issue in her time with the Tuft & Needle Original. The mattress’s firmness also makes its edges more supportive than many foam mattresses we tested.

However, the Tuft & Needle Original has a few downsides. For one, the mattress retained some heat in lab testing, though it was far from the worst culprit in this regard, and heat retention tends to be an issue with foam mattresses in general. Perhaps more telling, our tester didn’t think it felt too warm, but she tested it in the dead of winter (in her heated apartment). Also, if you’re looking for the hugging and sink-in sensation of memory foam, it isn’t the mattress for you—indeed, some sleepers may find the Tuft & Needle too firm. But experts suggest people are better off erring on the side of mattresses that are too firm—as it’s easy to throw on a topper or something to provide a bit of cushion—rather than too soft, which is harder to remedy. At the end of the day (and, of course, overnight), we still think this is an incredible bed.

Pros

  • Affordable

  • Comfortable

  • Supportive

Cons

  • May be too firm for some

  • Some heat retention

Leesa Hybrid
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

We think everyone will love the Leesa Hybrid, and that it's worth every penny.

Best Upgrade
Leesa Hybrid

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. 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.

Pros

  • Comfortable for all sleep positions

  • Balances firm and soft

  • Luxury feel

Cons

  • Pricey

  • Strong initial odor

  • Heavy

Related content

How We Tested

The best mattress in a box
Credit: Reviewed / Jessica Teich

Our senior scientists tests mattresses for a range of criteria—from heat retention to edge support—at our labs in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The Testers

Several Reviewed writers and editors developed and contributed to this comprehensive list of mattresses, including sleep writer Lindsey Vickers, lifestyle writer Sara Hendricks and former Reviewed editors Jessica Teich and Samantha Gordon.

The Tests

The best mattress in a box
Credit: Reviewed / Jessica Teich

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 determine comfort and support, and ultimately getting a good night’s rest.

  • What fabrication are you looking for? Mattresses available on Amazon range from those with layers of 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

Amerisleep AS3

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.

Pros

  • Sturdy core with a soft upper layer

  • Firm and supportive

  • Doesn’t sag

Cons

  • May be too firm for some sleepers

  • Slight heat retention

Nectar

Nectar was previously our top pick, but after testing according to our updated rubric and scoring, it slipped a bit in our rankings and we no longer recommend it as the best mattress for most people. The main reason: its surface is ultra-soft, which led our tester to feel as though it wasn’t sufficiently supportive.

The Nectar Mattress went through two new rounds of testing. Our first tester, who relied almost exclusively on anecdotal experience, found it balanced firmness and softness, but our most recent results found it was just too squishy to suit the widest number of sleepers. The mattress was never uncomfortable for our new tester, but it wasn’t the most supportive, either. She couldn’t lie or sit on the bed in her waking hours without frequently shifting positions, and her lower back felt a little strain whenever she tried to sleep on her stomach during the month she had it in her home. She found its uber-plush, compressive surface felt better when she slept on her side, as it allowed her shoulder and hip to sink in without any uncomfortable pressure points. The marshmallow-like texture also means that it’s harder to roll around on the mattress without feeling mired—as most people aren’t stationary all night, this could prove disruptive to their sleep.

In lab testing, it was great at dissipating heat, though it felt warm to our tester a handful of the nights she slept on it (in wintertime in her heated bedroom). The Nectar Mattress also lacks edge support. Though it’s got better structure than some all-foam mattresses, it still tends to cave under pressure. This makes it less than ideal for folks who sleep near the edge of the bed, especially if they thrash around, as we think it could cause them to roll off (or wake with a start if they feel like they might) in the middle of the night.

If you’re a side sleeper who likes softer mattresses, this could be the bed for you. But seeing as experts recommend erring on the side of firmer mattresses, we think there are some better options out there.

Pros

  • Affordable

  • Stays cool

Cons

  • May be too soft

  • Felt warm at times

  • Limited edge support

Purple

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 make 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.

Pros

  • Incredibly comfortable

  • Low waste packaging

  • Split king size available

Cons

  • May not provide enough support for some

Zinus

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.

Pros

  • Affordable

  • Short queen size available

  • Odor dissipates quickly after opening

Cons

  • Lacks support

  • Difficult to get up from

Casper

Though the brand is beloved, the Casper Original mattress absolutely tanked in our testing. Obviously many shoppers deem it a fine mattress, but our new tester—who has slept on more beds in one year than most people will own in their lifetime—found its hyper-squishy with a surface that just caved beneath her. It also seemed to lack any sense of structural integrity, especially around the edges. When she rolled over to the edge in testing, she teetered—the foam just seemed to totally collapse beneath her.

While sleeping on it, it just didn’t feel as supportive or substantial as other mattresses our tester has tried, especially standouts like the Tuft & Needle Original and Leesa Hybrid. And when she got rid of the Casper to move onto the next mattress for testing, she realized she hadn’t slept well for the entirety of the month she had it. It wasn’t overtly uncomfortable—but she’s a self-proclaimed “good sleeper” so it takes a lot for something to throw her off at night. Yet another bad omen for poor Casper.

One last complaint: While the off-gassing odor is usually a short-term problem with boxed mattresses, the Casper made it a longer short-term problem than any other mattress we’ve tried. It stank for about two months after being opened, making it the winner of the “stinkiest for longest” award by a long stretch.

Our tester wanted to like Casper, but she couldn’t really pinpoint a single part of her experience with the mattress that was good. Others, including Reviewed’s editor in chief, love Casper (though he owns an older version). It just wasn’t the right fit for our tester who, at the end of testing, was grateful to see it go.

Pros

  • Soft

Cons

  • Uncomfortable

  • Long off-gassing period

  • Felt warm at times

Layla

Layla sets itself apart from the other mattresses we tested with a couple of unusual features. Namely, it has two sleep surfaces, depending on 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.

Pros

  • Two firmness options

  • Copper infused

Cons

  • May be too hot for some sleepers

  • Too soft, even on the "firm" side

Meet the tester

Reviewed Staff

Reviewed Staff

Contributors, Writers, Editors

@revieweddotcom

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.

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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.

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