We are supported by readers purchasing through our links. This page may contain products from our partners. Learn more
Best

Best Mattress for Motion Isolation & Light Sleepers

Looking for a bed that limits motion transfer? Here’s our list of the top rated mattresses!

Last Updated: July 10, 2020

If you’re a particularly light sleeper or just someone that’s worried about motion isolation, the good news is that there are plenty of great beds to choose from. We’ve posted dozens of individual mattress reviews and sifted through each of them to putto discuss which are best for minimal partner disturbance.

HOW WE DECIDED

  • Mattresses Reviewed

    150+

  • Brands

    60+

  • Made the List

    5

  • Number of Contributors

    8

Finding A Mattress With Great Motion Isolation

Finding a mattress that’s effective at limiting motion transfer is critical for couples and light sleepers in particular. Once you fall asleep, the last thing you want is your partner waking you up every time they switch sleeping positions. Here’s our top rated list of mattresses that isolate motion extremely well.

Here at the Slumber Yard, we’ve reviewed dozens of mattress, including some that are great in terms of motion isolation and others that are just dreadful in that department. In creating this list, we went back through all of the beds that we’ve tested and hand-picked only those that are the best for light sleepers, couples, and folks seriously interested in finding a bed that limits motion transfer.

Before we dig into each bed, let’s cover a few common policies such as shipping, returns, etc.. Most online brands will offer completely free shipping and returns. And with that they will typically have some sort of risk-free trial period where you can sleep on their bed for a number of months to see if you love it. Usually, at any time during that trial period, you can get a 100% refund and the brand will even dispatch someone to your house to pickup the bed, free of charge.

As for warranties, you should expect a 10-year warranty with your new bed. We see beds with longer warranties, but around 10 years is the average.

AT A GLANCEPRICINGHEADLINE
Layla Memory Foam $160 Off + Gift Code: RIZSLUMBERLayla is a memory foam mattress that’s flippable and features a “Soft” and “Firm” side.
Brentwood Home Oceano Pillow Top 15% Off Code: SYBHOceano is one of the most popular pillow top mattresses online. It’s soft and fluffy, and yet is highly supportive thanks to the dual layers of coils.
Cocoon by Sealy Chill Memory Foam 35% Off Code: SY35Cocoon Chill is one of the best budget-tier cooling mattresses. It’s a firmer bed with a dense memory foam feel.
GhostBed Luxe Memory Foam 25% Off + Gift Discount In CartGhostBed Luxe is a premium memory foam mattress that incorporates special cooling materials.

Why Is Motion Isolation Important?

When we say motion transfer or motion isolation, we are referring to how well a bed deadens motion. For example, if you were to roll on a bed, how much will your motion affect points on the other side of the bed. Motion isolation is particularly important for couples. If you’re a light sleeper or sleep with someone that moves around a lot in their sleep, motion isolation is something that you should definitely investigate before you get a new bed. Let’s get into the list of beds now.

Layla is a younger mattress brand. However, they do back their mattress with a lifetime warranty and their bed is very affordable.

What truly makes this bed interesting, however, is that it’s flippable with a Soft and Firm side. If you want a medium-soft mattress, check out the Soft side. If you want a bed that’s somewhere between medium and medium-firm in terms of firmness, you can check out what they call the Firm side.

layla mattress review cover soft and firm side
The Layla mattress is flippable with a Soft side and a Firm side

The Soft side is best for side and combo sleepers, while the Firm side can accomodate all sleep styles. Layla has a memory foam feel, but it’s not overwhelming. We actually think the bed is extremely comfortable and accomodating.

Mint is Tuft & Needle’s second mattress. The flagship Tuft & Needle mattress was (and still is) incredibly popular, but it is slightly firmer than your average bed-in-a-box mattress. It is also only 10” thick, which alienated certain heavier individuals. T&N Mint adds an extra layer and an additional 2” of support.

tuft and needle mint mattress review side sleepers
The Tuft & Needle Mint mattress is ideal for side sleepers

It also happens to be quite soft (much softer than the original) and is therefore mostly ideal for side sleepers. And since it’s an all-foam bed with mostly softer poly foam, it does a pretty good job of limiting motion transfer.

The Oceano mattress is one of those beds that you lay on and say “OMG this is comfortable.” It’s possibly too comfortable. You could very easily sleep through your alarm clock on this bed.

In terms of construction, it actually uses coils, but they’re individually-wrapped—as opposed to typical interconnected innersprings—which allows the bed to isolate motion much better than you’d expect.

brentwood home oceano mattress review profile image
The Brentwood Oceano mattress is extremely comfortable

We usually say that all-foam beds are more ideal in terms of limiting motion transfer (and that is true on average), but the Oceano mattress is still quite good here. And for the record, a lot of these beds that use pocketed coils versus innersprings are really good at limiting motion transfer, as well. But getting back to the Oceano, it is on the softer end of the firmness spectrum, which makes it mostly ideal for side sleepers and combination sleepers. If you want a particularly firm bed, this isn’t the one for you. Overall, though, it’s a supremely comfortable bed at a fair price (even if that price isn’t exactly cheap).

Cocoon is a memory foam mattress from Sealy that’s not only offered in two firmness levels, but also two completely different models. In other words, they make a “Soft” and “Firm” model and also Cocoon Classic, their entry-level bed, and Cocoon Chill, their active-cooling mattress.

If you’re looking for an affordable memory foam bed, Cocoon Classic is certainly going to be one of your best options. While it doesn’t have coils, it does do a great job of isolating motion, which is great news for light sleepers.

cocoon mattress review bed in a box by sealy
Cocoon is a great choice for people on a budget that like memory foam

Keep in mind that there will be a slight different between the “Soft” and “Firm” models in terms of motion isolation. The “Soft” model is the best option for especially light sleepers because you get an extra transition layer of softer foam, which should help to absorb motion.

One thing that we really appreciate about Cocoon is that it’s backed by a gigantic mattress brand, that being Sealy. The beds themselves might be newer, but the brand is not, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

cocoon classic mattress review

If we had to rate Cocoon on a firmness scale, we’d put both models pretty close to a medium-firm, depending on your weight. The “Soft” model is obviously a little softer and the “Firm” model, a little firmer, but for the most part these are medium-firm memory foam beds.

GhostBed Luxe is touted as “The Coolest Bed in the World.” It probably isn’t, but it does sleep notably cool.

Nature’s Sleep, the company behind GhostBed, combines layers of various foams with a cooling fabric in the cover to make a cool-to-the-touch mattress. If you are indeed looking for a cool memory foam bed, GhostBed Luxe is one of the best options available today.

ghostbed luxe mattress review stomach sleepers
GhostBed Luxe is a great bed for stomach and back sleepers

We felt like GhostBed Luxe is a fairly differentiated mattress that not only does a pretty good job of deadening motion, but would serve as a nice solution for hot sleepers. Sure, there are plenty of other cooling mattresses out there, but most of them aren’t made entirely of foam nor do they have all of the cooling bells and whistles that GhostBed Luxe does.

Review team

  • dillon lopez slumber yard
    Dillon Lopez

    Combo Sleeper

  • reynoso
    Jack Reynoso

    Combo Sleeper

  • Tharon
    Tharon Green

    Stomach Sleeper

  • wesley-ott
    Wesley Ott

    Combo Sleeper

How About Edge Support?

Since we’re already discussing elements that are important to couples in particular, edge support is another factor that you should think about. Edge support refers to how well the bed keeps you on the bed. If you’re sharing a smaller bed (queen or full, usually) space will be tight and you’ll probably find yourself along the edges of the mattress sometimes. If a bed has poor edge support it will compress a lot along the perimeter, giving you a roll-off sensation, which can be uncomfortable and unnerving. Luckily, there are a lot of beds that are now designed to have less motion transfer and great edge support. Usually, this involves adding a perimeter edge of dense foam. Also, in general, foam beds tend to have worse edge support than their coil counterparts. That doesn’t always hold true, but for the most part, coil beds will be better here.

Material Preferences To Help A Restless Partner

When it comes to motion transfer specifically, all-foam beds are usually the king. Having said that, some hybrid mattresses with pocketed coils or micro-coils do a great job of limiting motion transfer, as well. That’s because the coils are individually-wrapped rather than being part of a larger innerspring system. Pocketed coils tend to do a much better job (than innersprings) of localizing pressure relief and support, while also isolating motion. Therefore, if you see that a bed has coils, don’t run for the hills. If it has pocketed coils, it will still likely be very good in terms of deadening motion.

Creating Minimal Partner Disturbance

Typically motion isolation is something you only worry about (or think of) if you sleep with a partner. Otherwise, why would you care if the bed allows motion transfer? You wouldn’t.

But what if the partners have a difference of opinion in terms of firmness and feel of the mattress? In this case, we would say there are two interesting fixes. First, you could get a bed like Nest Alexander Hybrid or the Helix mattress that allows you to split the bed down the center with one side being firmer and the other, softer. Alternatively, you could opt for the nuclear option and get a split king or split California king mattress. We’ve noticed that fewer and fewer brands are offering split options, but if you search around you can find a few.

FAQs

What is motion isolation?Motion isolation refers to how well, or not well, a bed deadens movement. For instance, if one partner was to move on the mattress, how much of that motion transfers to the other side of the bed.
What type of bed is best for minimal partner disturbance?In general, softer foam beds deaden movement the best. Having said that, a lot of the modern coil mattresses are really good at motion isolation as well.
Is edge support important?Edge support comes into play when you have two people on a smaller size mattress. If space is limited, you need a bed with strong edge support.
Do I need a soft or firm mattress?Usually the softer beds will absorb motion better, so all things being equal, if you’re worried about partner disturbance, a softer bed is better.