SHOPPING FOR THE best mattress online is a waking nightmare, and picking the wrong one can literally cause bad dreams or kill your back. It doesn’t help that the online market is flooded with options or that there are more dedicated mattress review sites than stars in the sky. It’s a mess.
WIRED is not a dedicated sleep site, but we did fill a room with 25 of the top mattress-in-a-box models and spent several days unboxing, examining, reclining, and even jumping on each of them last year. Since then we’ve tested about a dozen more. Below are my favorite (and least favorite) mattresses right now. All of the prices shown are for queen-size models.
Updated November 2021: We’ve added the Awara, Keetsa, Avocado Green, and MyGreenMattress for kids, and upgraded the Casper to runner-up.
Special offer for Gear readers: Get a 1-year subscription to WIRED for $5 ($25 off). This includes unlimited access to WIRED.com and our print magazine (if you’d like). Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day.
Hybrid vs. All-Foam Mattresses
Choose Your Destiny
In my testing and use so far, I’ve preferred hybrid mattresses. I believe they offer a better night’s sleep in most circumstances and the best balance between the benefits of innerspring and foam mattresses, but you’ll have to decide what’s best for you. There are fantastic mattresses of both types.
Hybrid Coil + Foam Mattresses: These use a combination of individually wrapped springs and several layers of memory foam. Hybrids seem to offer a good range of firmness options and better support, so you don’t get that sinking feeling. They’re also better at dispersing heat, so you’re less likely to overheat at night. The wrapped coils dramatically reduce motion transfer from an old-school box spring mattress and give better edge support.
Memory Foam Mattresses: These are only made from layers of foam, usually in a variety of densities and consistencies. They tend to offer better body contouring but can feel too sink-y or unsupportive if they aren’t designed well.
Innerspring Mattresses: These are the more-rigid mattresses you grew up sleeping on. They don’t come in a box and they typically are made up of metal wiring and springs, covered in various kinds of cushioning and padding