best mattress for athletes

Best Mattress For Athletes & Runners

A list of the top rated beds for athletes, runners, or anyone with an active lifestyle.

We all need more sleep, but if you’re an active person, sleep is even more important. This list is a compilation of what we think are the top-rated beds to help you get the best eight hours of sleep you’ve ever had.
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Great AirflowFree Gift

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Purple offers multiple models and all do a great job allowing for plenty of airflow. Bottom line is that you won’t heat up on a Purple Mattress.
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Affordable Luxury$200 Off

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American-made mattress that’s thick, durable, and crazy comfortable.
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Very affordable bed that’s offered in three different firmness levels.
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Memory Foam$100 Off

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If you like memory foam, Novosbed is a great option. Comes in different firmness levels and has a machine washable cover.


  • Mattresses Considered100+

    Mattresses Considered

  • Brands 40+


  • Made the List 5

    the List

  • Number of Contributors 12

    Number of Contributors

Best Mattress For Athletes & Runners: Overview

If you exercise a lot, you no doubt understand the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. It’s critical in terms of aiding in recovery, cognitive function, and efficiency, among other things. For example, a restful night’s sleep can improve your split-second decision-making process by 4-5%. It can make workouts more efficient and improve your attention span. It can improve your immune system. Obviously, the list goes on and on from there—sleep is outrageously important, especially for athletes.

And there are quite a few bed companies that are starting to market themselves to athletes and people that live an active lifestyle. But what’s important when it comes to a bed for an athlete specifically? And do athletes really need anything different than the average person? The answer is—as you probably expected—yes and no. Yes, in the sense that there are certain materials and designs that athletes (everyone, really) may actually benefit from. No, in the sense that the single most important thing is that you get a good night’s sleep and wake feeling rested, stress-free, and without additional pain brought on by your mattress.

As mentioned in the video, there are a lot of factors to keep in mind when shopping for a new mattress. Keep reading to learn more about each bed.

Overview of Shipping, Returns, etc.

Before we talk specifically about one brand or the other, let’s cover a few policy items that you’ll see apply to most of the beds on this list. First, all of the brands on this list offer free shipping for their mattress. The bed will either ship via FedEx/UPS or be delivered by a local delivery firm, which is what we call White Glove Delivery.

In the case that the bed is compressed in a box, you should take it out and unroll it and if it’s an all-foam bed, allow about 24-72 hours for it to fully expand and take shape. If the bed is shipped with White Glove Delivery, the delivery men will set it up for you and it should be good to go from the outset. They will typically even remove your old bed for free.

From this point on, most brands will give you 100 nights (if not more) to test their bed. This allows you to see if it’s the mattress for you. If you like it and want to keep it, great, do that. If you want to return it, most will offer completely free returns where you get 100% of your money back (as long as you’re within the test period). And if you do keep the bed, you will see a warranty of at least 10 years. So that’s just a quick overview. If you read our full reviews of each bed we will point out all of the specifications of the mattress.

Purple Mattress (all models)


  • Anyone that sleeps especially hot at night and needs great airflow
  • All shapes and sizes of people (Purple has four different models)
  • People that are open to a completely new, unique concept for a mattress
  • Athletes that need a good level of pressure relief, but still want ample support


  • Those who want a typical mattress feel (Purple is different)
  • Folks on a super tight budget (these are not budget mattresses)
  • Anyone that’s going to be moving frequently (Purple mattresses are heavy and do not have handles)

Purple makes some of the best mattresses that money can buy, if you’re open to a completely new concept. While Purple beds use some familiar materials such as poly foam and coils, their distinguishing characteristic is the company’s proprietary Hyper-Elastic Polymer, which forms the top layer on their mattresses. It’s not for everyone, but we happen to love the material. It’s responsive, durable, and very comfortable, but also allows for great pressure relief and airflow.

A closer look at Purple’s Hyper-Elastic Polymer

As such, regardless of whether you choose the Original Purple, Purple.2, Purple.3, or Purple.4 you will not heat up at night. Since Hyper-Elastic Polymer doesn’t have much surface area, it lets in large amounts of air so you don’t heat up, but you also don’t feel cold. You can read our Purple Mattress Comparison post to learn more about the differences between the beds, but in general, if you’re heavier (250 lb or more) you should look only at Purple 2, 3, and 4, as they use coils for a support system rather than poly foam.



  • Anyone that wants a luxury bed at an affordable price point
  • Heavy individuals that require a thick, durable, supportive mattress
  • Those who want your choice of different firmness levels
  • Individuals that want a mattress that was handmade in the USA
  • If you want a bed that belongs in the Ritz-Carlton


  • Anyone that’s looking for an ultra-budget mattress
  • People that will be moving frequently (these beds are heavy and somewhat difficult to move)
  • People that want a memory foam bed (Wink feels like an innerspring bed with a soft, neutral-foam topper)

We would be genuinely surprised if you didn’t like WinkBed. Not only does it look great, but it’s very comfortable and comes in three different firmness levels. They even have a Plus version that’s for extra heavy people. These are quality beds, made in America, that look like they should cost way more than they do.

winkbed mattress review stomach and back sleepers
Four options to choose from with WinkBed

WinkBed is a 15″ thick mattress with two layers of coils (pocketed coils and micro-coils) and a plant-based tencel fiber cover. It honestly looks a cut above most online mattresses and is one of the most durable mattresses you can buy online, alongside perhaps Saatva and Big Fig. All things considered, it really is hard to do any better than WinkBed—this is one of the best mattresses for the money.



  • Anyone on a strict budget, but still wants a comfortable mattress
  • People that want a choice between three different firmness levels
  • Individuals that do not like an overwhelming memory foam feel (Tulo has more of a neutral, medium-firm foam feel)
  • College students or young professionals that are looking for a new mattress


  • Anyone that wants a coil mattress
  • Those who prefer a typical memory foam feeling
  • People looking for a luxury mattress

For the price, Tulo is hard to beat. This is one of the most affordable beds online. And considering the fact that it’s comfortable, well-made, and comes in three different firmness levels, there are going to be a lot of people that go with this bed.

tulo mattress review stomach sleeper
The Tulo mattress comes in three different firmness options

We see it as a great solution for guest rooms, Airbnb, college students, and young professionals. It’s probably not the bed that you’ll keep all your life, but if you’re looking for value, look no further.



  • People that want a memory foam bed
  • Folks looking for a mattress with a washable cover
  • Those who want a choice between different firmness levels


  • Anyone that hates memory foam
  • College students on a shoe-string budget
  • People that want a bed that actively cools you down

Novosbed is one of the best memory foam mattresses out there. Obviously, if you don’t like memory foam, you will not like this bed. But if you’re open to a dense memory foam feel, Novosbed might be for you.

novosbed mattress review side sleepers
Comfortable, but deep memory foam feel

It does come in different firmness levels and in the event that you don’t like the bed, you can have the company (for free) ship you a Comfort+ Kit to make it either firmer or softer (and make it feel less like memory foam). We do see this as a durable mattress that’s very comfortable.

Review Team

Jeff Rizzo

Jeff Rizzo

Combo Sleeper


Matt Ross

Back Sleeper


Kaite Johnston

Combo Sleeper

Dillon Payne

Dillon Payne

Combo Sleeper

How We Compiled This Best Mattress List

We here at the Slumber Yard are constantly testing and thinking about mattresses. And we happen to all be pretty darn fit—we have runners, weightlifters, and athletes on our team. Many of us workout on a daily basis. We also consulted with a professional athlete, Amobi Okugo who plays in the MLS, and a chiropractor, Dr. Ranvir Sahota of Synapse Chiropractic. As such, we feel that we have a really good handle on what you should consider when looking for a bed. Of course, we are not doctors or chiropractors, so you should consult your physician before making any changes to your mattress. Having said that, we work extremely hard on all of our content and try to form a fair, unbiased, well-thought-out opinion of each bed and we do think this post (and all of our others) will be helpful for you. If you still need more details, however, make sure to check out all of our mattress reviews. We have spent many, many hours testing, researching, and working with various mattresses, so we do have a good idea of what to expect and recommend.

What’s Important for Athletes and Runners When Looking for a New Bed?

As previously mentioned, the biggest factor is that you get great sleep. You don’t need a fancy bed to do that, but in some cases those fancy beds might help. On top of that, it’s important that you find the right mattress for you because selecting the wrong mattress could cause lower back pain, restless sleep, etc.. It’s not as simple as just getting a bed at Walmart and hoping it will work. You should actually think critically about how you sleep and your body type before you buy a new mattress.

With that out of the way, here are a few generals that hold true for a lot of athletes. You probably sleep hotter at night. You might twitch or move a lot in your sleep. If you’re a professional athlete, you probably allow your body to wake you up in the morning, rather than relying on alarm clocks. And then the most obvious point of all, sleep is hyper-critical for you (probably more so than the average Joe). Purple actually has an infographic that talks specifically about the importance of sleep for athletes. It’s pretty interesting and is probably worth perusing.

If You Sleep Hot at Night…

The first thing you should do is avoid proper memory foam like the plague. It heats up at night and so will you. Your best bet is to check out our Best Beds for Hot Sleepers list. Beyond that, you should be looking for coils, gel memory foam, latex, and or phase-change materials.

Coils/spring mattresses tend to last longer than their all-foam counter parts. Plus, they allow for a lot more airflow than foams generally do. If you’re heavier, as well, coils will provide better support, which is something you should seriously consider. For example, if you’re an NFL linebacker (that would be awesome), you probably shouldn’t get a 10” thick all-foam bed. You’ll break that thing down in a hurry. Instead, an innerspring or pocketed coil mattress is much more advisable.

Gel memory foam is essentially gel-infused memory foam, which helps to cool the mattress down. You may also see graphite-infused or copper-infused memory foam. They all do a pretty darn good job of cooling down the bed.

Natural latex foam is literally made from the sap of a rubber tree and is great in terms of cooling, responsiveness (i.e. no stuck feeling), and pressure relief. If you haven’t tried an entirely latex foam bed before, you should consider testing one in person. They are so responsive and bouncy that you’d expect the bed to have coils. Latex beds are durable, can be all-natural, and tend to outlast poly foam based mattresses, which can soften quite a bit over time.

As for phase-change materials, you’ll see them typically woven into the covers of a mattress. I won’t bore you with the specifics and science behind phase-change materials, but I will tell you that they typically feel cool to the touch and are great at cooling you down. For example, on the Brooklyn Bedding Aurora mattress, it’s so cool that it’s almost chilly. And the Cocoon Chill by Sealy is so cool that it almost feels wet.

Letting Your Body Wake You Up

This really comes down to you loving the mattress. It should be supremely comfortable to you, but perhaps not right away. All of these beds will soften over time, so the bed that you test on day one will not be the same bed that you sleep on a year out. Just know that you want a comfy bed, but you might want to go a hair firmer than you prefer to account for it softening over time.

You should know what type of sleeper you are, as well. For example, if you’re a strict side sleeper, you probably do want a bed that’s a little on the softer side to allow for more pressure relief. If you’re a back sleeper or stomach sleeper, you need a firmer mattress to keep proper spinal alignment. You should discuss this all with your physician or chiropractor, as they can best asses your posture and make recommendations in terms of firmness levels. I only mention it because it’s vitally important in the mattress selection process. You don’t want too firm of a mattress if you’re exclusively sleeping on your side, as you’ll wake up with nagging shoulder pain.

Mattress Certifications

Given that you’re concerned with your well-being and physical fitness, you should make absolutely certain that your mattress has a few certifications. You may even look into a natural / organic mattress if you’re really concerned with chemicals, fire retardants, etc..

In regards to memory foam mattresses, you should be looking for the GreenGaurd GOLD or CertiPUR-US certifications. Those ensure that the bed has little off-gassing, which is where the bed smells a little plastic-like from the manufacturing process. All of these beds will have a “new” smell, but it shouldn’t be nauseating.

SEE ALSO: Today’s Top Mattress Deals & Coupons

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