HOW WE DECIDED
|Medically Reviewed by Dr. Gregory Minnis, DPT|
|Dr. Gregory Minnis is a physical therapist with an interest in orthopedic manual therapy. He graduated from the University of St. Augustine in Florida with a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. His work experience includes orthopedic physical therapy, sports medicine, neurological rehab, advanced assessment and treatment of running injuries, and advanced treatment of the pelvic complex, spine, and extremities. He loves spending time outdoors biking, skiing, and surfing.|
The Top Mattress Picks For Athletes
If you exercise a lot, you 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.
A restful night’s sleep can improve your split-second decision-making process by 4-5%. It can also make workouts more efficient and improve your attention span. With that in mind, below are the top mattresses for athletes and runners.
Editor’s Choice For Best Bed For Athletes –Bear Hybrid
Best Mattress For Athletes Who Sleep Hot –Purple Hybrid
Best Mattress For Heavy Athletes –WinkBeds Classic
Best New Athlete Mattress –Brooklyn Bedding Spartan
Chiropractor Endorsed Sports Mattress –Casper Wave Hybrid
Best Memory Foam Mattress For Athletes –Amerisleep AS3
Best Beds For Athletes or Runners Overview
What’s nice is that 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, since there are certain materials and designs that athletes (everyone, really) may 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.
There are many factors to consider when shopping for a new mattress. Keep reading to learn more about each bed.
Our reviews tend to be pretty detailed. If you’re in a rush, you can use the links below to jump to the exact section you want.
Jump-To Links For This Best List
Best Mattress For Athletes Video Review
Watch the video below to help you sift through the marketing noise to find a mattress that will support your preferences, whether you’re a casual or top-level athlete.
Top Mattresses For Athletes
|AT A GLANCE||PRICING||HEADLINE|
|Pillow Top Value Pick!||20% Off + Gift Code: SY20||Bear Hybrid is a pillow top mattress with a fluffy feel and pocketed coils for support. It’s backed by a 20-year warranty.|
|Unique||Free Gifts w/ Mattress Purchase||Purple Hybrid is a coil mattress that features a proprietary comfort layer called Hyper-Elastic Polymer. It’s a unique mattress thats comfortable and great for hot sleepers.|
|Pillow Top Popular Pick!||$300 Off Code: SLEEP300||WinkBed is a thick, durable hybrid mattress that includes a comfortable euro pillow top. In our opinion, it’s one of the best mattresses you can purchase online.|
|Soft Foam||20% Off Code: SLUMBERYARD20||Spartan is an upgraded hybrid mattress made for athletes and those with an active lifestyle.|
|Soft Foam||$200 Off Code: SLUMBERYARD||Casper Wave is a luxury mattress featuring an upgraded “Zoned Support Max” system and “Airscape” foam.|
|Memory Foam||30% Off Code: SY30||AS3 is the company’s most popular mattress. It’s not too soft or firm and features Amerisleep’s BioPure memory foam that’s responsive and breathable.|
Bear Hybrid: Pick From The Editor
Bear Hybrid is the best mattress that Bear makes, in our opinion. It offers a great balance between pressure relief and support. It’s softer, but is still a durable, well-made mattress. It’s ideal for back, stomach, side, and combination sleepers.
However, the one thing that makes Bear stand out, as it relates to athletes, is its Celliant cover, which is on both the Bear Mattress and Bear Hybrid. Celliant has been determined by the FDA to meet the criteria of being a medical device. According to Hologenix, the maker of Celliant, it can promote increased blood flow and recovery, improve energy levels, and help with getting more restful sleep.
We don’t have any scientific evidence to substantiate or disprove the claims related to health benefits, but we do happen to truly like Bear Hybrid and Bear Mattress. Jeff slept on a Bear mattress for over two years, so he’s very familiar with the bed and brand. Personally, he also swears by the Celliant cover.
Why The Bear Hybrid Mattress Made The List
The bottom line is that the Bear Hybrid is an incredibly nice mattress that won’t break the bank. It’s a great mattress for athletes and runners because, not only will it support all of the sleep styles, but it promotes blood flow and restores energy. We also think it offers a great value!
Purple Hybrid: Best For Athletes Who Sleep Hot
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 love the material because it’s responsive, durable, and very comfortable, but also allows for great pressure relief and airflow.
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 the Purple Hybrid models, as they use coils for a support system rather than poly foam.
Why We Chose The Purple Hybrid Mattress
If you’re looking for the best mattress for athletes and runners, this is a great option. Not only does the Hyper-Elastic Polymer technology sleep comfortably, especially for athletes who need pressure relief, but they also shouldn’t warm up during the night if they’re an athlete who tends to sleep hot. The Purple Hybrid is also just a great looking mattress for the money.
WinkBed: Best For Heavy Athletes
We would be 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 for extra heavy people. These are quality beds, made in America – and they look like they should cost more than they do.
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. WinkBed might not be the cheapest brand out there, but they sure make nice mattresses.
Why We Chose The Winkbed Mattress For Athletes
What’s not to love? We truly think that this is a great mattress for athletes and runners for a few reasons. For one, it offers a ton of support thanks to its back-to-back coil design. Secondly, it suits all sleeper positions because it’s available in three different firmness levels. And finally, it’s a luxurious mattress that suits any body type, whether you’re a more petite jockey or a heavy football lineman.
Spartan: Best For Newcomer Athlete Mattress
The Spartan mattress is incredibly comfortable—one of the best mattresses for athletes and runners—and is the type of bed that you want to get lost in. It feels like you’re laying on a fluffy, supportive cloud.
The Spartan also features a cover that has Far Infrared Rays (FIR) technology, which like Celliant is designed to help with recovery and restful sleep. You can read more about FIR on BrooklynBedding.com. What’s more? It won’t break the bank. Affordability for the win!
As for the construction of the rest of the bed, it starts with 8″ pocketed coils—a king size bed has over 1,000 coils in total. This translates into a bed that’s not lacking in the support or bounce department. It also has a small amount of memory foam and two layers of proprietary foams called TitanFlex and CopperFlex, which are designed to (among other things) offer great pressure relief.
If we had to give it the edge for one type of sleeper, we’d say it’s perhaps best for side sleepers, though, we think back and stomach sleepers will find the bed enjoyable as well. Overall, it’s just comfortable and supportive with the FIR cover as an added bonus.
Why We Chose The Spartan Mattress
In one word, technology. This mattress is great for athletes and runners because its cover is specially designed for recovery and restful sleep. Not that restful sleep isn’t something we all need, but athletes and runners especially need their sleep to help rebuild muscle tissue and repair the body after a workout. It has great support, yet also bounces due to its flexible and patented foams. We think this bed will provide a great night’s sleep!
Casper Wave: Chiropractor Endorsed
If you’re looking for a bed that can accommodate different weights and sleeping positions, look at the Casper Wave Hybrid. The mattress is made with a combination of pocketed coils, memory foam, latex foam and perforated polyfoam.
What makes Casper mattresses interesting is that it uses a Zoned Support Framework to provide more support under your midsection, where you carry the majority of your weight. On the top and bottom third, the bed offers more pressure relief. The whole goal here is to ensure your spine stays in proper alignment throughout the night.
The Wave is a thick, hybrid bed that will be comfortable for people who sleep on their side, back, stomach, or a combination of the three throughout the night – and would be one of the best mattresses for athletes and runners. If you want a comfortable mattress from a big name brand, Casper Wave is hard to beat.
Why We Recommend Casper Wave For Athletes
All in all, we’ve been pleasantly surprised by Casper Wave, and we get a lot of confidence out of the fact that the American Chiropractic Association has endorsed the bed. So far, we haven’t seen any other bed that has the same seal of approval. We’ve seen others that get kudos from individual chiropractors, but nothing that’s backed by such a large industry group.
Amerisleep: Best Memory Foam Mattress
Amerisleep has a range of different mattresses to choose from from AS1 to AS5. The softer the bed’s profile is, the more expensive it is. We love the AS3 model because it’s affordable and ideal for athletes who are looking for pressure relief, but also a bit of support.
AS3 was rated a medium on our scale, and is the most popular option among back and stomach sleepers. Though, if you’re a side sleeper, you’ll probably want to opt for something a bit more plush. We’re fans of the Celliant cover on Amerisleep’s mattresses
We think it has a traditional memory foam feel, as it’s viscous and slow to respond to pressure. So if you’re a fan of memory foam, you’ll probably find Amerisleep to be considerably comfortable. You also might be a fan of this bed if you’re an athlete who likes to lay in bed for a few moments after a workout, because the cover is machine washable.
Not only is it washable, but the cover is also infused with Celliant, a performance-boosting fabric meant to help athletes with the recovery process after a workout and improve sleep quality.
Why We Picked Amerisleep For Athletes
Like Bear, this mattress comes with a Celliant-infused cover to help promote recovery while you sleep, which comes in handy after a strenuous workout that day. It’s also available in different firmness options, so any sleeper position can find an option that suits them most. Additionally, the cover is machine washable if you tend to get sweaty during the night, or if you forget to shower one day after a workout.
What Makes These The Best Beds For Athletes?
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 In A New Bed?
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.
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.
Overview of Shipping, Returns, etc.
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/DHL 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.
Breathable Mattress Materials For Athletes & Hot Sleepers
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.
Coils And Spring Mattresses
Try coils, gel memory foam, latex, and or phase-change materials. Coils/spring mattresses tend to last longer than their all-foam counterparts. 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
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
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.
Ideal Firmness Levels For Different Sleeper Types
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, you need a more firm mattress to keep proper spinal alignment. You should discuss this all with a medical professional, as they can best assess your posture and make recommendations in terms of firmness levels. 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.
If you’re a stomach sleeper, again, you’ll need a more firm mattress to keep your spine aligned.
Should Athletes Buy A Mattress Online Or In-Store?
The answer to this boils down to preference. For some athletes, having the chance to touch and physically lie down on the beds you’re looking at is important. You also have more of a negotiating power when you’re in store, and can save some money if you’re a good haggler. The down side, though, is that you have to deal with salespeople, which can be tricky, and often with transportation costs, and not all stores accept returns. You also may not receive the generous return or warranty policies offered by most online brands.
When you buy a mattress online, no, you can’t feel the bed first, but many brands try to make up for that by offering lengthy trial and warranty periods – sometimes up to a year! You also get the perk of free delivery, and some high-end brands will even offer free white glove delivery. It’s also a great method for athletes, who often have busy training schedules, because, with a click of the mouse, you’re pretty much done.
Best Mattress For Athletes And Runners Price Comparison
|Mattress||Twin||Twin XL||Full||Queen||King/Cal King|
Best Mattress For Athletes And Runners Overview
|Mattress||Best Of Title||Firmness Level|
|Bear Hybrid||Editor’s Choice||Medium|
|Purple Hybrid||Athletes Who Sleep Hot||Medium-Firm|
|WinkBed||Best For Heavy Athletes||Medium-Soft, Medium, Medium-Firm|
|Spartan||Newcomer Athlete Mattress||Medium-Soft, Medium, Medium-Firm|
|Casper Wave||Chiropractor Endorsed||Medium|
You can at mattress stores, however, with online beds there’s no need to try before you buy since they usually offer completely free shipping and returns.
You should be looking for the GREENGUARD Gold or CertiPUR-US certifications. There are others that you might be interested in such as GOTS, GOLS, and STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX.
We made sure to pick at least one bed on this list that’s fantastic for hot sleepers. Usually, you will want a bed that’s either (1) active cooling, (2) firm, or (3) has a gel-like material in the top layers.
For athletes, restful sleep is hyper-critical, so we’d suggest that you don’t “cheap out.” Get the mattress you want and just consider it an investment. For a queen size, we expect that you’ll pay between $1,000 and $2,500.