Noticeable motion transfer
Potential durability concerns
What is the Bear Hybrid mattress?
Bear creates mattresses targeted at athletes. It sells several models, including the Bear Hybrid mattress—it's the most popular bed, and happens to be the model we tested. The company makes a unique claim about its mattresses: They aid in physical recovery.
The company's "sleep recovery technology" is primarily based on the mattress' cover, which is made with a hand-quilted "Celliant" fiber. It incorporates "thermo-reactive" minerals with polyester. The company claims many customers who try Celliant technology experience increased comfort. The cover "harnesses your body's natural energy to promote recovery and overall well-being," namely by converting your body heat into infrared light, which is then reflected into your tissues and muscles. (Nope, we're not exactly sure how it works, either.)
A "cooling" foam is under that, followed by comfort foam that's supposed to adapt to different bodies. There's also a transition foam layer over the coils for pressure relief, and a high-density support foam at the base of the mattress. The layers of foam rest atop a coil base, that includes thicker gauge coils around the edges to provide additional support.
Bear advertises that it has an athletic trainer and a sports and rehab chiropractor on staff as experts. It claims that its mattresses are designed to help everyone from professional athletes to teenagers “wake up each morning feeling their best, ready to perform.”
The mattresses, which aren't available through third-party sellers, are Greenguard Gold-certified, meaning that they emit low levels of pollutants.
How did we test the Bear Hybrid mattress?
Like all mattresses tested at Reviewed, the Bear Hybrid got both the home and lab treatment. In our Cambridge, Massachusetts, lab we ran a number of tests, including one to assess the mattress’ motion transfer by measuring how much energy was detected by a device on one side of the mattress when a 150-pound punching bag was dropped onto the other side. This test is designed to mimic real-life situations, like sharing a mattress with a partner who kicks and turns.
We also measured edge support by seeing how far we could roll the punching bag off the mattress before it fell. This may be of particular interest to you if you rest on the side of your mattress to put on shoes.
Still, you can’t really evaluate a mattress unless you sleep on it. Former editor Sara Hendricks did just that, unboxing the Bear and using it for one month.
What’s it like to unbox the Bear Hybrid mattress?
While unboxing any mattress isn't the easiest of tasks, some brands make it more convenient than others. For instance, the Serta Perfect Sleeper arrives with a box cutter so you don't have to hunt one down.
As its name might suggest, the queen-size Bear was on the heavier side, weighing in at 110 pounds. Unboxing the mattress was tough for our tester, but she was ultimately able to get it on her bed without help.
It isn’t a huge surprise that a hybrid mattress filled with coils would be heavier than an all-foam one. One of our favorite hybrids, the Awara, was also difficult to move, whereas the lighter, all-foam Lull was easier.
What we like about the Bear Hybrid mattress
It's comfortable, sturdy, and sleeps cool
As a side sleeper, our tester found the mattress very comfortable and easy to sleep on. She liked that the support that she attributed to the springs, which she thought made it feel more solid than some of the all-foam mattresses she previously tested.
She also added that she felt like it didn’t retain much heat, which she liked because she often sleeps hot. Her experience held up in our lab testing, where we use heated packs to measure temperature changes. The Bear diffused heat faster than the average.
It has a soft top layer
The mattress’ plush top layer made it feel “luxurious,” according to Hendricks. She felt like she wouldn’t need to add a mattress topper or pad to feel comfortable.
“It's bouncy with a firm inner core and had a plush cover that I was excited to sink into every night,” she said. “I couldn't really tell if it was actually helping my muscles recover as the brand claims, but it made me feel like I was recovering more.”
What we don’t like about the Bear Hybrid mattress
It doesn't totally isolate motion
Hendricks reported feeling some motion transfer while sleeping on the mattress. “Not a ton, but more than I expected given its feel,” she said.
The lab tests support this, as more motion transfer was detected for the Bear than the majority of mattresses we've tested. Of course, if you don't share a bed with a partner or pet, this may not be a major concern for you.
The base fabric might not be super durable
When we test mattresses at Reviewed, we keep them for a while at our lab. Mattresses are rotated on and off a bed frame and stored between tests and photo shoots. They're also transported between the homes of testers and the lab. In other words, they're handled more than they would be in a normal home.
With that said, we discovered a rip on the underside of the Bear mattress after it had been in our lab for about six months. This doesn’t normally happen with the mattresses we test, so it suggests the Bear’s base fabric might be less durable than average.
What is Bear’s return policy?
You can return or exchange a Bear mattress within 365 days of delivery, although you must use the mattress for at least 30 days before the return can be initiated. In order to get a refund, you need to have the mattress removed by an “authorized party of Bear Mattress LLC.”
One particularly important caveat to note: If you exchange the mattress, the second mattress will not be eligible for a return, as the brand limits them to one per household.
Bear mattresses come with a lifetime warranty that covers indentations greater than 1.5 inches as well as as well as manufacturer flaws that cause the mattress’ internal components to rip or degrade. Bear might ask what sort of foundation the mattress is on and require proof that it’s well-supported to initiate warrant claims. The company’s website says any hard, flat surface, including the floor, should support the mattress but they recommend against traditional box springs because they don’t provide even support for foam-based mattresses.
Normal wear including “tears, stains, soiling, burns, and discoloration that occur over time” are not covered, meaning you could end up needing a new mattress after all. We recommend purchasing a mattress protector to prevent stains.
What are other customers saying about Bear?
The mattress has four-and-a-half stars and nearly 3,000 reviews on the company’s website. Reviewers say it's comfortable, cool, and improves body aches and athletic recovery.
"My wife’s hips no longer hurt, and we wake up refreshed instead of sore," one customer wrote.
Many satisfied customers are side sleepers like our tester, but there are also stomach and back sleepers who love the Bear Hybrid.
"As a plus-sized person who sleeps on her stomach, I feel the Bear Hybrid supports my body," one reviewer said. "I also appreciate that it feels like the mattress is high quality."
Another chimed in: "I’m a side sleeper while my partner is mainly a back sleeper. We are both well-rested, no pains like when we woke before."
Is the Bear Hybrid mattress worth it?
Hendricks called the Bear Hybrid an “awesome (if expensive) mattress,” adding that it felt more like a traditional mattress, rather than one that came in a box. She compared it to another of our top hybrid picks, the Awara.
When looking at queen models, the full-priced Bear is slightly cheaper than the Awara. Of course, this could change depending on what sort of sale each company is offering. At the time of publishing, the Awara was indeed on sale for a lower price than the Bear.
The bottom line: If you like the feel of a traditional mattress and can snag the Bear for a lower cost than the Awara, it could be worth a shot.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
Meet the tester
Sara Tabin is a sleep writer at Reviewed.
Checking our work.
Our team is here for one purpose: to help you buy the best stuff and love what you own. Our writers, editors, and lab technicians obsess over the products we cover to make sure you're confident and satisfied. Have a different opinion about something we recommend? Email us and we'll compare notes.Shoot us an email