Best Mattress 2021 Overview
You can’t expect everyone, with our varying sizes and sleeping preferences, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all mattress. And with so many to choose from, purchasing a new bed can be a bit overwhelming. As such, we sought out our top favorite choices for the best mattresses of 2021, each addressing a specific sleep type and need: sleeping positions, health concerns, comfort levels and more.
To skip around this review, you can use the links below:
In short, there’s a mattress out there with your name on it — you just need to do a little research to find the best mattress for you. Below is what we are covering in this review, and you can use the jump-to links to start at any specific section of this best mattress guide:
10 Top Rated Mattresses 2021
- Best Hybrid Mattress – Brooklyn Bedding Signature
- Best Mattress For Back Pain – WinkBeds Classic
- Best Memory Foam Mattress Of 2021 – Nectar Mattress
- Top Rated Firm Bed – Saatva Classic
- Highest Rated Soft Mattress – Layla Hybrid
- Best Budget Bed – Tuft And Needle
- Best Cooling Mattress Of 2021 – Purple Mattress
- Best Pillow Top Mattress – Bear Hybrid
- Best Natural Mattress Of 2021 – Avocado Green Mattress
- Top Rated Custom Bed – Helix Sleep
Brooklyn Bedding Signature – Best Hybrid Mattress
The Brooklyn Signature mattress is one of our favorite hybrid beds here for several reasons, but let’s break down the construction first. It stands at about 10” thick and has pocket coils for support. It also has various proprietary foams to promote comfort.
The bed comes in three firmness options (Soft, Medium and Firm), making it a good option for all sleeping positions, including side sleepers. The Brooklyn Signature is one of the best affordable mattresses and our pick for the best hybrid mattress of 2021.
Why Brooklyn Signature is great — Why do we think it’s the best mattress? It is a tremendous value. Sure, it’s a really nice mattress, but the #1 reason to get Brooklyn Signature is the combination of price and quality. The bed has a lot to offer and yet the price is lower than most of the beds on this list.
WinkBeds Classic – Best Mattress For Back Pain
WinkBed is a hotel luxury mattress with a heavy-duty construction. It measures 15” thick and has two layers of coils, not to mention a fluffy/airy pillow-top. It’s even available in four models: Softer, Luxury Firm, Firmer and WinkBed Plus.
The “Softer” model is designed for those that want a lot of pressure relief, namely side sleepers and individuals with neck or shoulder pain, upper back pain, etc. The “Luxury Firm” option is the most popular given that it can work for all sleeping styles. The “Firmer” model is just for back and stomach sleepers and we think they will indeed love this mattress.
WinkBed Plus is an extra-reinforced version of WinkBed with even more durable coils. This is made specifically for heavy people and is one of our favorite beds for those weighing over 250 lbs. It is also our pick for best mattress for back pain in 2021.
Why we love WinkBed — You will be hard-pressed to find many things that you don’t love with WinkBed, and we consider it to be the best mattress for back pain because of its extra supportive, yet pressure relieving feel. Yes, the price tag is more expensive than the average online mattress, but WinkBed is certainly not your average online mattress.
Nectar – Best Memory Foam Mattress of 2021
Nectar is a popular memory foam mattress in the online mattress industry. It’s about 11” thick, has a thick poly foam layer for support, and memory foam for comfort with a gel-infused cover. This gives Nectar has a viscous, traditional dense foam feel.
It’s firmer to start but softens as you lay down on it. We rate it at around a 6/10 or between a “medium” and “medium-firm.” As such, we think it’s about the right firmness level for all sleeping positions, so long as you like the dense foam and want a slightly firmer feel. Nectar is truly the best memory foam mattress we have reviewed this year.
Why you’ll like the Nectar Mattress — The biggest reason to get Nectar is that you want an affordable memory foam mattress. It doesn’t come with all of the features of more expensive beds, but it’s not supposed to. Nectar is designed to be a good value for those that want a comfortable mattress.
Saatva Classic – Best Firm Bed
Saatva just has a luxurious aesthetic and is a really supportive, comfortable mattress. It’s great for those that want a mattress that feels familiar, but has several modern advantages. It is truly the best firm mattress Slumber Yard has tested in 2021.
Saatva has two layers of coils and a fluffy Euro top cover. It even comes in three comfort profiles: Plush Soft, Luxury Firm and Firm. The “Luxury Firm” is the most popular model, and it’s about a 7/10 on our firmness scale, which is a “medium-firm.”
Why we think Saatva is the best mattress — This is the internet’s favorite innerspring mattress. It’s the closest thing to a traditional mattress that you can find online, but it still has many of the advantages of these mail-order mattresses (even though Saatva does not ship in a box). The first of which is free shipping and a 180-night trial period.
Layla Hybrid – Best Soft Mattress
Unlike other beds on the market, Layla Mattress is meant to be flipped, offering two mattress firmness levels in one bed. Along with that and its superior, soft memory foam feel, we had to give it a spot on our best mattress list (among other reasons).
The “soft” side is really soft, plush even. We rate it at around a 2-3/10 on our firmness scale, which translates into a “medium-soft.” It’s just about as soft as the Casper Nova Hybrid. The “firm” side is only a little firmer at about a 5/10, or a “medium.”
As a result, the Layla Hybrid is one of our favorite soft mattresses for side sleepers. It offers a great deal of compression and pressure relief. That said, you don’t feel unsupported because of the pocketed coils that are in the middle of the mattress.
What’s so special about Layla Hybrid — As much as we like the original Layla mattress, the Layla Hybrid is our favorite. It has a soft memory foam feel and coils for support, in addition to being double-sided (i.e. two different firmness options on one mattress). It’s our experts’ pick for best soft mattress of 2021.
Tuft & Needle – Best Budget Bed
The Tuft & Needle Original is highly affordable (around $600 for the queen) and is nearly universally accepted as comfortable. It has a soft foam feel and is around a “medium” on our scale. It’s really the best bed for a guest room, teens, kids, college students and those on a strict budget.
Why We Are Big Fans of Tuft & Needle — When the online mattress craze kicked off, Tuft & Needle was one of the original best mattress brands. They were selling a simple yet comfortable mattress at really affordable prices. They still do that today, but they now make more than just one mattress.
Purple Mattress – Best Cooling Mattress of 2021
If you’re looking for a traditional/familiar mattress, you might want to look elsewhere because Purple is totally unique (in a good way) and definitely not your average mattress. But what makes Purple so “unique?” It all has to do with Hyper-Elastic Polymer, a gel-like material that’s the main comfort layer on all of their beds.
If you can envision a 6’ x 7’ Dr. Scholl’s insole, that’s essentially what Hyper-Elastic Polymer is. It’s not something you’d immediately think would work on a mattress, but we’re huge fans for a few reasons.
Purple makes a number of different mattresses. The most popular is Purple Original, though our favorite is Purple Hybrid Premier, which costs a pretty penny, that’s for sure. All of the beds come with free returns. Purple is easily the best cooling bed of 2021.
Why You Might Love Purple — First off, it’s comfortable for all sleeper and body types as they offer several different models to choose from. Secondly, it’s responsive so you never really get a “stuck” feeling in the mattress—you can free rotate positions at night. Thirdly, it’s fantastic for hot sleepers. It helps to circulate airflow and does not seem to retain heat.
Bear Hybrid – Best Pillow Top Mattress
Bear Hybrid offers a great bang for your buck. It has a durable hybrid construction and accommodating firmness level, we rated it around a true “medium” or 5/10 on our firmness scale. As such, it should work for stomach, back, and side sleepers equally. If you want a firm or soft mattress, obviously, it’s not the right choice, but it tends to be a good option for those that rotate sleeping styles at night.
One interesting element about Bear Hybrid is that it features an upgraded cover that’s made with Celliant, which is a textile that’s approved by the FDA as a “general wellness device.” Celliant is supposed to, among other things, help with circulation and restful sleep. Does it work? A few of our team members swear by it, but we don’t have any hard evidence.
Why Bear Hybrid Is So Comfy — The easiest way to describe Bear Hybrid is a pillow top innerspring mattress. It has 8” coils for support and a fluffy pillow top for comfort. It has more of a traditional feel, but is highly comfortable.
Avocado Green Mattress – Best Natural Mattress of 2021
The design of Avocado is fairly straightforward, but it’s to the point. It has recycled steel pocketed coils for support, coupled with organic Dunlop latex foam in the comfort layer. That’s pretty much it, though the cover is made with wool and organic cotton for an extra eco-friendly sleeping experience.
By default, Avocado measures about 11” thick, but you can pay a little more for an optional pillow top, making it 13” thick. The 11” model is truly firm, whereas the 13” model is a medium-firm. All in all, however, it’s a comfortable mattress that’s durable, resilient, and responsive. It is everything you need in a mattress, making it this year’s best natural and organic bed.
Why Avocado Is A Great Mattress — No doubt about it, Avocado is the most popular natural and organic mattress. It’s an incredibly nice mattress that’s supportive, responsive and able to handle a variety of sleeping positions and body types. We also love its natural hypoallergenic and antimicrobial properties for folks who suffer with allergies.
Helix Sleep – Top Rated Custom Bed
What’s interesting about Helix is that, while they offer about 10 different beds, they make the shopping experience easy and stress-free by offering a sleep quiz. It takes a few minutes to complete but at the end of it they make a personalized recommendation to you. They basically take all of the guesswork out of it.
But it’s not just that they make finding a mattress easy, they also make darn good beds. All of them are hybrid mattresses with a mix of various foams. They even make a bed that’s specifically designed for heavy individuals—and that is Helix Plus. There’s no way around this bed being the highest rated custom bed of 2021.
Why We Really Like Helix Sleep — They don’t just offer one mattress, they have an entire suite that ranges in feel, firmness, and price. They offer a number of soft beds and firm beds, as well as those in between.
Price Table For Top Mattresses
|Mattress||Twin||Twin XL||Full||Queen||King/Cal King|
|Brooklyn Bedding Signature||$599||$699||$849||$999||$1,249|
|Tuft & Needle||$350||$395||$495||$595||$750|
|Avocado Green Mattress||$899||$999||$1,199||$1,399||$1,799|
Why Trust Us
Get the kind of sleep you’ve only dreamed of with some help from our team of mattress experts. We personally test more than 150 of the best sleep solutions from over 60 leading brands on site, so you can be sure you’re getting unbiased reviews, fair comparisons and personalized recommendations.
Common Mattress Materials
Now that you’ve had plenty of time to see our top picks for the best mattress, we thought it might be helpful to do a section on the different types of mattresses and consumer preferences. Here’s a quick list of what we’ll be covering:
- Hybrid and innerspring
- Memory foam
- Classic/neutral foam
- New concepts
Hybrid and Innerspring Mattresses
All innerspring mattresses (or coil/spring mattresses) are hybrid mattresses, but not all hybrid mattresses are innerspring mattresses. The minute difference is that hybrid mattresses are just beds that combine two dissimilar materials such as coils and foam or foam and Hyper-Elastic Polymer, just to use two examples. An innerspring mattress is just a bed with coils for support.
You can learn more by visiting our Best Hybrid & Innerspring Mattress guide.
Memory Foam Mattresses
The most popular type of mattress is the memory foam mattress. This is the case for several reasons, not least of which is that these beds tend to be affordable to produce and can be built in darn near every configuration.
Typically, memory foam has a sink-in feeling that’s viscous. It can be dense, soft, and in between. It tends to offer pressure relief, but be somewhat supportive as well.
There is also gel memory foam, which is pitched as the “cooler sleeping” alternative. In most cases, gel memory foam does in fact sleep cooler, but it’s not going to take a warm-sleeping bed and turn it cold.
You can learn more about memory foam in our Best Memory Foam Mattress buying guide.
Classic/Neutral Foam Mattresses
We described these as “classic” or “neutral” foam mattresses. However, they are technically polyurethane foam mattresses.
Poly foam beds tend to be highly affordable and have a soft-to-the-touch feel — just like a standard piece of foam. They’re simple, but most people find them comfortable.
A great example of a poly foam mattress is Tuft & Needle, which has two layers of the foam. However, most beds will use some poly foam in their construction. It’s just that the budget-tier beds tend to use more of it, including in the comfort layers.
Many people aren’t aware of latex mattresses, but they’re some of our favorites. There are numerous upsides to a latex mattress, including the fact that they often contain natural and organic materials. Latex foam itself is actually more commonly referred to as a “latex rubber pad” because it’s made from the sap of a rubber tree.
Latex foam is responsive and breathable, almost like a sponge. It sounds odd, but somehow it makes for a comfortable mattress. If you don’t like the “sink-in” feeling from memory foam and would instead prefer a bouncy/springy feeling, you will almost certainly like latex foam.
There’s more to learn about latex mattresses and you can get that information in our Best Latex Mattress article.
A pillow-top mattress is just one that has an extra comfort layer on top. You can find pillow-top mattresses that have a support core made of foam, such as Loom & Leaf, and those with coils, such as Helix Luxe. They tend to be more luxurious and carry a premium price tag.
Most people think that all pillow-top mattresses are soft, however, that’s not always true. You can find them in just about every firmness configuration. You can learn more about these beds in our Best Pillow-Top Mattress guide.
With the emergence of online mattress brands we are starting to see some new clever design concepts, ranging from proprietary foams to gel materials that involve no foam whatsoever.
The most famous new concept mattress is the Purple mattress. This bed has a gel material — Hyper-Elastic Polymer — as its primary comfort layer. It’s essentially a big Dr. Scholl’s insole that’s the width and length of a mattress. You will see this on the Original Purple and Purple Hybrid mattress, and a similar material on Intellibed.
Another new concept is the “zoned support” construction, which was made famous by Casper Wave. All of Casper’s premium beds include a zoned support design, which basically provides additional support for the core of your body and additional pressure relief for your shoulders.
One other thing that you’ll see are perforated foams. Casper calls this “Airscape,” but every brand has their individual name for the technology. The idea here is that the pinholes help to pull through more air to keep you cooler at night.
A type of bed that fell out of style for many years was the two sided flippable mattress. The idea is simple, but they tend to make really nice beds. Basically, you have two mattresses in one because the top and bottom are both usable. Some beds will have two of the same firmness levels, such as Idle Sleep, and others will have two different firmness levels on the same bed, such as Layla.
There are three core sleeping positions: side, stomach and back. We’ve found that about 60-70% of people are primary side sleepers. Back and stomach sleepers are both around 15-20% of the population.
If you rotate frequently between multiple sleeping positions you are what we call a “combination” or “combo” sleeper. According to our research nearly 90% of people report sleeping in multiple positions during the night.
The most common sleeping position is the side. This means that there’s a great deal of variation and there is no single best type of mattress, brand, or firmness level. However, side sleepers tend to prefer beds with a little extra pressure relief.
That doesn’t necessarily mean you need a soft mattress, but most people do tend to gravitate toward beds that are below about a 7 on the firmness scale (softer than a “medium-firm”). What most side sleepers are looking for is that they don’t have extra pressure points under their shoulders and hips.
You can learn more about the topic in our full guide to the Best Mattress For Side Sleepers.
The second-most popular sleeping position is on the stomach, though most chiropractors would tell you it’s the worst position for spinal alignment. Even so, many people love sleeping on their stomach. Luckily, the advice is pretty simple when it comes to stomach sleepers: get a firm mattress. How firm is up to you.
There’s a lot more to learn in our full guide to the Best Mattress For Stomach Sleepers.
A minority of sleepers tend to favor their back during the night. According to our research, it’s less than 20% of people — in some cases as low as 12%. Regardless, advice for back sleepers is similar to that for stomach sleepers: choose a firmer mattress. Everyone is different and prefers a different style of bed and specific firmness level, but firm mattresses appeal to most back and stomach sleepers.
As you might expect we also have a full guide to the Best Mattress For Back Sleepers.
As we mentioned above, nearly 90% of people are combo sleepers, which means they rotate positions during their sleep. For the most part, combo sleepers prefer beds that fall between a “medium-soft” and “medium-firm.” If you’re more of a side sleeper, perhaps a softer bed makes more sense. Similarly, if you tend to sleep more on your stomach, maybe the firmer beds appeal to you.
There’s a lot more to be learned by reading our full guide to the Best Mattress for Combination Sleepers.
People And Body Types
Beyond sleeping position, we also recognize that certain individuals are shopping for a mattress based on body type, age, and relationship status.
Best Mattresses for Heavy People
For instance, one of the most common questions we field is with regard to the best mattress for heavy people and advice surrounding overall support of the mattress. The short answer is that large and overweight people should be choosing extra-supportive beds, most of which have coils. There are even certain beds that are specifically made for people that weigh above 300 lbs.
Best Mattresses for Kids
We also get questions about mattresses for kids. Our full guide goes into great detail on what’s important for your children, but most of the time it comes down to finding an accommodating, affordable mattress that has the necessary certifications such as CertiPUR-US.
Best Mattresses for Teenagers
In regards to mattresses for teens and even those for college students, we provide similar advice, though we focus a little more on the support of the mattress. With most kids, the support isn’t an issue because they weigh so little. When you start talking about college students and teenagers, weight comes into play a little more. Price is still important, but we need to pay attention also to sleeping position, material preferences and support type.
Best Mattresses for Seniors
With regard to finding a mattress for seniors, it’s difficult to offer specific advice because health conditions often drive much of the selection process. All we can say is that support is important, but you also need to balance it with cushioning. Also, the setup and delivery process is another consideration, especially if the senior needs assistance with setting up the new mattress. This is why we tend to favor beds with white glove delivery for older folks.
Best Mattresses for Couples
When it comes to finding a mattress for couples, we have to temper expectations a little. Finding the right bed for one person is tough, but two different people is a real challenge. Oftentimes, the best mattress for couples is one that appeals to the more sensitive sleeper. In other words, if one person has back pain and the other is perfectly healthy, it makes more sense to choose a mattress to help with the back pain. You can also purchase a mattress with a hybrid construction and medium firmness level to accommodate all sleeper positions and body types, or a split king bed so you can each choose what firmness level you want.
Best Mattress 2021 Pricing
Almost everyone is concerned about the price of a new mattress, especially if you’re trying to track down the top 10 mattresses of 2021. Fortunately, with how competitive the mattress landscape is, prices have remained relatively flat over the past few years. If you want a cheap or budget mattress, they are not in short supply, particularly online. If you want a mattress on Amazon, or even a mattress from Walmart, the list continues to grow. The best thing that ever happened to consumers with regard to mattresses was the bed-in-a-box revolution.
The most popular price point we’ve found is the under-$1,000 price point. This encompasses that lion’s share of bed-in-a-box mattresses and even some in-store models. You would be surprised at what you can get for just $1K. Some of our favorite hybrid mattresses sell for under $1K.
If you want a luxury mattress, however, you’re probably looking for at the unde- $2,000 price range — or even more if you’re particularly comfortable financially. Either way, the beds selling for $1,500+ are superb in many cases. For instance, the Avocado mattress is an organic mattress with more health certifications than you can count. Also, TempurPedic starts at around the $2,000 price point. Even WinkBed, one of our favorite hotel mattresses, sells for around this price point.
Top Rated Mattresses 2021 Overview
|Mattress||Best Of Title||Firmness Level|
|Brooklyn Bedding Signature||Best Hybrid Mattress||Multiple options|
|WinkBeds Classic||Best Mattress for Back Pain||Multiple options|
|Nectar Mattress||Best Memory Foam Mattress of 2021||Medium to Medium-Firm|
|Saatva Classic||Best Firm Bed||Multiple options|
|Layla Hybrid||Best Soft Mattress||Medium-Soft on one side and Medium on the other|
|Tuft & Needle||Best Budget Bed||Medium|
|Purple Mattress||Best Cooling Mattress of 2021||Medium|
|Bear Hybrid||Best Pillow-Top Mattress||Medium|
|Avocado Green Mattress||Best Natural Mattress of 2021||Medium-Firm to Firm|
|Helix Sleep||Best Custom Bed||Multiple options|
That depends on the sleeper. Some people will prefer a traditional innerspring feel, while others will want something new and innovative like Purple. It just depends on your personal preferences and body type.
Most online brands will offer you free shipping, a risk-free trial period, free returns, and a 10-year warranty.
This depends on the size of mattress you want. The most popular is the queen mattress and its average price is around $1,200.
They certainly can be. In fact, most of the mattresses you see in a store can also be found as a bed-in-a-box mattress. At this point, there’s very little difference between a legacy in-store mattress and an online mail-order mattress.
Most mattresses have a warranty that lasts for 10 years, if not longer.
This depends on the health issue. However, there may be a mattress better suited for your needs. Speak to your doctor and read our section on health conditions above to find the best mattress for you.
Never buy a mattress that doesn’t have a reasonable return policy. That way, if you try the bed out and decide it’s not the right one for you, you’re not stuck with it.