The Best Mattresses You Can Buy Now

Whether you’re buying your first mattress or you’re replacing one you’ve had for years, the world of mattress buying is probably, well, overwhelming to say the least. The proliferation of direct-to-consumer brands delivering “beds in a box” has made the landscape of mattress retail almost unrecognizable compared to just a few years ago. Now you don’t have to go to a mattress store—you can just get a brand-new mattress delivered straight to your door, no middleman necessary. This means finding the best mattress has become both much easier and much harder.

The market is truly saturated with quality mattresses, all of which boast increasingly advanced features. Gone are the days when lying on a mattress for a few minutes in a store is all that’s needed to make your decision; instead, you now have to consider things like off-gassing, coil construction, and foam infusions. It takes a huge amount of time to sift through all the options, so we’ve tried to make the task easier by researching and sleeping on over a dozen mattresses. While we haven’t been able to test every mattress out there to find the best, we did find a number of stand-out options, no matter what you’re looking for.

A mattress is a huge investment, personally and financially. It’s the thing that’ll make or break the quality of your sleep, and you’ll probably spend more time on your mattress than you do on anything else in your home. Researching the options beforehand is vital, and knowing what you need and want is better than going into the process without a clue. Here’s what to consider when buying a mattress:

What to Consider Before Buying a Mattress

Type of Mattress

Innerspring: The most common type of mattress, an innerspring mattress offers great support and will last a long time. Today’s innerspring mattresses typically have much better motion isolation and body contouring abilities.

Foam: Growing in popularity, foam mattresses offer ultra cushioning and great motion isolation. Foam, however, does absorb heat, so it might not be the best option for hot sleepers, unless it’s a gel-infused foam.

Hybrid: For those who want the best of both worlds, a hybrid might be your choice. Made of foam and coils, hybrid mattresses offer great support, a cooler sleep, and excellent motion isolation.

Organic: If eco-friendly materials are important to you, a number of organic mattresses have sprung up recently. These mattresses typically do not use foam, but instead use latex, a similar but much more sustainable material.

Level of Firmness

While general knowledge says that back and stomach sleepers should go for something firmer and side sleepers should choose something softer, it’s really up to personal preference. For example, someone with back pain might love the cushioning a soft foam mattress provides, while another person might prefer the support of an innerspring. The most common firmness level of modern mattresses is medium-firm, which offers a good deal of support without feeling like a rock.

Where to Buy a Mattress

This used to be a non-issue—you’d simply head to a nearby mattress store. While feeling a mattress in person has obvious benefits, buying online has its own pros, too. Not only do you get a long trial period (typically around 100 days), but you’ll also likely pay less and have access to the brand’s customer service. Some online-only retailers do have showrooms, especially if you live near New York City.

How Much to Spend on a Mattress

Like any major investment, mattresses do not come cheap. While you can find mattresses under $500, these options are typically lower in quality than the more expensive options and won’t last as long. A good mattress costs around $1,000, and that price will increase depending on materials used and where you buy it.

If you’re buying a foam mattress, make sure you’re choosing one that’s made of CertiPUR-US certified foam. This certification means the foam is made without ozone depleters, flame retardants, heavy metals like mercury and lead, formaldehyde, and phthalates, and has low VOC emissions for indoor air quality.

If you’re buying organic, look for GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certification and OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certification. GOTS certification means that every stage of the supply chain, from harvesting to manufacturing to packaging, is done ethically and sustainably. OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certification means that the textiles contain no harmful dyes or substances.

Another certification you might see is GREENGUARD Gold, which means the mattress has low chemical emissions and is acceptable for use in environments such as schools and health-care facilities.


What We Look For in a Mattress

We tested a wide range of mattresses for our best list, judging them on the following criteria:

  • Feel: Is the mattress firm, soft, or somewhere in between? Does it have extra cushioning? Is it comfortable no matter our sleep position?

  • Support: Do we wake up feeling sore? Does the mattress feel comfortable throughout the night?

  • Safety: Does the mattress have certifications, particularly CertiPUR-US certified foam?

Midnight LUXE Mattress

(usually $1799) $1599

Best Overall Mattress: Helix Midnight LUXE

Helix, as a brand, wins our Best Overall category because they not only sell quality mattresses but also have 14 options to choose from. You start by taking the Sleep Quiz to find your match—there are 7 standard options (2 each for soft, medium, and firm feels), plus another option for plus-size folks; 6 LUXE options (2 each for soft, medium, and firm feels); and one organic option, the Birch mattress.

We tested the Midnight LUXE mattress, Helix’s most popular option. It has a medium feel, is made with side sleepers in mind, and features zoned lumbar support for better body contouring. It’s a hybrid mattress, with a combination of memory foam, gel foam, and wrapped coils for ultra comfort and support, and has a quilted pillow top so you feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud.

Our tester, A T Real Estate & Finance Editor Madeline Bilis, describes herself as both a hot sleeper and a side sleeper. Her most recent mattress was a 2015-era hand-me-down from a friend, and she says the Midnight LUXE is a major upgrade. Some of the adjectives she says describe her new mattress: supportive, squishy, comfortable, and cozy. “I feel like a queen sleeping on a queen. It’s softer and squishier for sure, which means I don’t need a topper. And it provides so much more support than my old mattress.”


• 4 foam layers + 1,000 wrapped coils + quilted pillow top + Tencel cover

• 8-inch zoned lumbar support coils

• Medium feel

• 14-inch height

• CertiPUR-US certified and OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified

• Delivered in a box with free U.S. shipping; in-home delivery and mattress removal available

• Made in the USA

• 100-night trial period

• 15-year limited warranty

Who It’s Good For: Those who want to customize their mattress; those who sleep hot; side sleepers; those who want a hybrid construction.

Good to Know: Military, first responders, teachers, and students are all eligible for a 15 percent discount. Helix also has a showroom in New York City where you can schedule an appointment to feel the mattresses before you buy. Helix also has a referral program: If someone buys a mattress through your recommendation, they’ll get $125 off their purchase and you’ll get a $50 Amazon gift card.


© Helix Sleep. All Rights Reserved 2020

© Helix Sleep. All Rights Reserved 2020