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We consulted with a physical therapist on the best mattress to match your unique sleeping position and style. Here’s what we learned.

It’s not easy to name the best mattresses because there are so many variables at play. To help narrow down the options, we spoke with physical therapist Gregory Minnis, DPT, about the features that may cater to each sleeping position and pain point.

“The best mattress is, quite simply, the one you sleep best on,” he says. “Everyone has their own personal preference, and it’s important to find the mattress that allows you to sleep comfortably and not be in pain.”

After talking with Minnis, we looked high and low at mattresses in a range of categories. These are our top suggestions for all types of sleepers.

We consulted Minnis, a 15-year veteran in the field of physical therapy, to help us identify some of the most important mattress considerations, such as the right firmness for each sleeping position and paint pain point.

Then, we looked for mattresses to meet a variety of needs in each of these categories.

All the mattresses on our list meet federal safety standards and pass our team’s vetting process. We prioritized those made with materials that are certified safe and sustainable.

We considered reviews from real customers to get a better idea of how these mattresses perform night after night. We also checked for realistic trial periods and reasonable warranties.

PriceMaterialFirmnessHeight (in inches)
Saatva Classic Mattress$1,999hybrid• plush soft
• luxury firm
• firm
11.5 or 14.5
Plank Firm Mattress by Brooklyn Bedding$1,532foamextra firm11.75
Nectar Premier Mattress$999foammedium firm13
The DreamCloud Hybrid$1,332hybridmedium firm12 or 13
Casper Wave Hybrid Mattress$3,095hybridmedium firm13
Helix Midnight Luxe$2,373hybridmedium firm13.5
PlushBeds Luxury Bliss$2,999hybrid• medium
• medium firm
Purple Mattress$1,399foammedium firm9.25

A mattress is a big purchase, so it’s important to consider a few factors before buying.

Specifics about mattress type and features, your preferred sleeping position, and a company’s trial period and warranty can all help you narrow down your options.

Mattress type and materials

Mattresses are generally categorized as innerspring, hybrid, or foam.

True innerspring mattresses were popular years ago. But today’s versions usually fall into the hybrid category, meaning they’re a mix of innerspring coils and top comfort layers. Foam mattresses can include both memory and latex foams for support and comfort.

The materials in a mattress are also an important consideration. For example, if you have a latex allergy, you’ll want to steer clear of any mattresses made with latex foam.

If you tend to sleep warm, materials designed to regulate your body temperature, such as cooling gel infusions and open-cell foam, are good choices.

Organic materials can be another selling point. But if organic materials are important to you, it’s always a good idea to look for mattresses that are made with certified ingredients.

Certifications like CertiPUR-US and Greenguard are signs that a mattress is made without harsh chemicals and meets strict standards for emissions.

Dominant sleeping position

Whether you’re a back sleeper, a side sleeper, a stomach sleeper, or some combination of the three, your sleeping position plays a role in choosing the right mattress. Without the right level of support, you’re setting yourself up for poor sleep and pain.

Back sleepers tend to need a firmer surface to provide proper spinal alignment.

People who sleep on their sides will benefit from a mattress that offers pressure point relief. This means a cushioning surface that will cradle your body.

If you tend to sleep on your stomach, be aware that it can be hard on your spine and may lead to back and neck issues. Look for a mattress that offers firm support to keep you aligned throughout the night.

People who move from one position to another throughout the night are known as combination sleepers. In most cases, a medium-firm mattress will offer the right amount of comfort and support for this active style of sleeping. A mattress that responds well to movement, such as a latex or hybrid model, is a good choice.


Mattress firmness is a common descriptor you’ll notice when shopping for a mattress. It’s a reference to how the mattress feels when you’re lying on it.

Firmness is usually rated on a scale of 1–10. Medium-firm mattresses — rated 5–7 — are the most popular. This range offers a nice balance of support and comfort.

Still, comfort is subjective, and what’s firm to you might be too soft to someone else. Plus, there’s no universal firmness scale, and mattress brands use their own definitions for firmness. That means there’s quite a bit of variation from one brand to the next.

Trial period and warranty

Shopping online for a mattress can be convenient, but a mattress is often a big investment. What happens if a mattress just doesn’t work out?

In that case, you’ll want a generous trial period and return policy. You should consider both of these before making a purchase.

Most reputable mattress companies offer trial periods ranging from a couple of months to well over a year. This is so you can really test out a mattress for the long term. It can take time for your body to adjust to a new sleep surface.

Most return policies require buyers to give a new mattress at least 30 days before moving forward with a return or exchange.

Look carefully at return policies. Will you be responsible for shipping or restocking fees? Do you need to make arrangements for the return yourself?

Before buying a mattress, be clear on what goes into the return if you aren’t happy with your purchase.

Most mattresses come with some kind of warranty, but it may not cover everything. Check the fine print in case there’s an issue down the road.

Physical therapist Gregory Minnis recommends that people who sleep on their back or stomach opt for a spring or hybrid mattress that’s firm or extra firm.

Those who sleep on their side would most likely benefit from a foam mattress that provides more cushioning for the pressure points in the hips and shoulders.

Combination sleepers should err on the side of stability and alignment rather than cushioning, so a hybrid model is most likely best.

A mattress will usually last about 8 years. However, depending on the type, it may last for a longer or shorter amount of time. Physical therapist Gregory Minnis says spring mattresses with more complex components tend to wear out more quickly, while high density foams or latex can last longer.

You’ll know it’s time to replace your mattress when it’s showing signs of wear and tear, when it no longer feels comfortable, or when you’re regularly waking up with aches and pains.

“If you don’t notice any sagging or deformation of mattress, then you probably don’t need to replace it,” says Minnis.

Mattress prices vary based on the style, materials, and size. You should be able to find a decent queen-size mattress for $800–$1,200.

However, there are good budget picks that cost less than this, especially if you’re opting for a mattress-in-a-box. You can also find luxury mattresses with extra bells and whistles.

There’s no one best type of mattress that works for everyone. If you’re not sure what you might like best, here are a few tips:

  • Choose a memory foam mattress if you like to feel like your bed is cradling you or if motion isolation is important. For side sleepers, some cushioning is ideal to relieve pressure at hips and shoulders.
  • Choose a latex mattress if you like the softness of memory foam but want a little more bounce.
  • Choose an innerspring or hybrid mattress if you need additional support (most important for stomach sleepers).

Shopping for the best mattress often means doing a lot of homework.

Spend some time thinking about the needs your mattress has to meet. That may mean all organic materials, a highly responsive surface, motion isolation, a certain price point, or other considerations.

Once you’re clear on your preferences and deal breakers, you can start narrowing your search to the mattresses that satisfy your needs.

Keep in mind that the best test of a mattress is sleeping on it for at least a few weeks. Look for a company that offers a generous sleep trial and reasonable return and exchange policies.