There is a wide range of mattresses on offer in 2019, all jostling to be the best by offering the latest in mattress technology. While it’s great to have so many options, it can make finding the right mattress for you a challenge.

To make matters more complicated, sleepers have to take their own needs into account. That includes your sleeping position, body weight, and sleep temperature, among other things.

In this guide, we take a look at what you need to think about when you buy a mattress. We’ll also give you our top picks for the best mattresses of 2019.

Our Top Picks

The Best Mattresses of 2019

Best Overall: Nectar
Nectar

An excellent solution for a wide range of sleepers.

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Why We Picked It

The Nectar mattress is a 4-layer, 11-inch memory foam bed. The quilted gel memory foam top layer provides comfort, with the deeper memory foam layers providing strong support. The mattress is of medium firmness.

The materials used in the Nectar are impressive at this price point, and you aren’t likely to find similar materials available at a cheaper price.

We picked the Nectar for its combination of quality and cost. The many, deep layers of memory foam ensure a comfortable night’s sleep with excellent pressure point relief, meaning you’ll wake up ache free. The Nectar offers unparalleled quality no matter how you sleep. What truly makes the Nectar shine is its “Forever” warranty. There aren’t many brands that offer a similar level of coverage. Nectar also offers free delivery within the contiguous US.

Keep in Mind

The Nectar does lack some of the hug factor usually associated with memory foam mattresses, but it’s hard to hold that against it when it’s such a complete package.

In a Nutshell

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Extraordinary value for money
  • “Forever” warranty
Best Innerspring: Saatva
Saatva

Luxury construction, great value, and a range of firmness options. FLT readers get $75 off.

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Why We Picked It

The Saatva mattress is an innerspring, coil-on-coil mattress available in 11.5-inch or 14.5-inch thicknesses. It features a Euro pillow top layer on top of two coil layers. The first is a wrapped coil layer to promote airflow and provide motion isolation, supported by the base coil layer.

There are three firmness options available for the Saatva: soft, medium, and firm.

We chose the Saatva as the top innerspring mattress for its luxury construction and value, along with its range of firmness options. The two layers of coils offer excellent support, finished with a pillow top for maximum comfort.

The Saatva comes with a 120-night trial, free white glove delivery, and a 15-year warranty.

Keep in Mind

Innersprings may have a shorter lifespan than other types of mattresses, though the additional airflow and excellent support makes up for it. Innersprings may also produce more noise if you’re a mobile sleeper.

In a Nutshell

  • Excellent edge support thanks to dual edge support system
  • Coil-on-coil structure provides strong support
  • Range of firmness options
Best Memory Foam: Loom and Leaf
Loom and Leaf

Support in all the right places, plus FLT readers get a $75 discount.

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Why We Picked It

The Loom and Leaf mattress is a 12-inch memory foam mattress. Its top layer is made of organic cotton, with a cooling gel “Spinal Zone” layer underneath. Beneath these are multiple layers of memory foam support.

The Loom and Leaf comes with free white glove delivery and old mattress removal, along with a 120-night trial period.

We picked the Loom and Leaf for its incredibly supportive construction. The multiple memory foam layers add up to excellent support that also allows the right amount of sinkage, while the cooling layer helps with temperature control.

Keep in Mind

Like many memory foam mattresses, the Loom and Leaf is a little lacking in edge support, but this doesn’t compromise the overall quality of the mattress.

In a Nutshell

  • Multiple layers of memory foam for excellent comfort rating
  • Cooling gel for temperature control
  • Multiple firmness options
Best Hybrid: Brooklyn Bedding Aurora
Brooklyn Bedding Aurora

A range of firmness options and extensive support.

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Why We Picked It

The Brooklyn Bedding Aurora is a hybrid 13 ½-inch mattress. Its top layers are a luxury weave featuring TitanCoolTM benefits and a phase changing CopperFlexTM layer that helps keep sleepers cool. The copper infusion also has antibacterial properties. Beneath these are two layers of memory foam on a base layer of 1,189 individually wrapped coils.

The Aurora is an excellent hybrid, but the firmness options help to cement its place as a top pick. Sleepers with any sleep habits can benefit from its extensive support and can choose from Auroras with a variety of firmness options.

Keep in Mind

Hybrid mattresses can be on the heavy side thanks to their innersprings, but this isn’t unique to the Aurora.

In a Nutshell

  • Soft, medium, and firm options available
  • Individually encased coils create natural zones of support
  • 10-year warranty
Best Latex: Zenhaven
Zenhaven

5-zone and flippable design helps you find your best side. FLT get a $75 discount.

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Why We Picked It

The Zenhaven is a 10-inch, 100% Talalay latex mattress, topped with a layer of organic wool. Beneath the wool topper is the latex top layer featuring Zenhaven’s proprietary “5-zone” design. This sits on a base of dense, 100% latex.

We chose Zenhaven as the best latex mattress because it combines a robust design and quality materials with an excellent sleep experience.

The Talalay construction combined with the 5-zone design provides excellent motion isolation and a supportive sleep surface that provides extra firmness under the heavier parts of the body.

The most impressive feature of the Zenhaven is its double-sided nature, with different firmness levels on each side. If the mattress is too soft, you can simply flip it over and enjoy a firmer sleeping experience.

Being 100% natural latex, the Zenhaven is hardy and durable, resistant to damage, stains, mold, and allergens.

Keep in Mind

Like many latex mattresses, the Zenhaven lacks edge support, which can lead to some sinkage beyond the main sleeping area. This won’t be a problem for most sleepers, and the strong support of the primary sleeping area more than makes up for it.

In a Nutshell

  • Reversible design offers two firmness options
  • 5-zone design provides excellent support
  • Free white glove delivery with old mattress removal

How We Chose

To choose our top mattress picks, we look at the key categories that help us put together an overall rating for the mattress. Here’s a quick look at the categories we use—you can find out more about our process here:

  • Material Quality
  • Durability
  • Conforming
  • Edge Support
  • Temperature Neutrality
  • Off-gassing
  • Motion Isolation

What Mattress Types Are Available?

Most people are familiar with the traditional innerspring mattress, but there are a wide variety of types available. Here are the most common mattress types:

Innerspring

Innerspring mattresses are the most familiar mattress experience. These beds are made up of dozens of individual springs, which can be part of a single structure or individually wrapped. Innerspring mattresses can take on a wide variety of properties depending on how the springs (also called coils) are constructed and distributed. Innersprings typically have a top layer that provides extra cushioning and might contain anything from cotton to wool to foam.

Innersprings are popular for their relatively inexpensive construction (and purchase) cost. Springs also create a reactive environment for sleeping, as they “push” against the sleeping body to create zones of support where the body places the most pressure on the mattress.

Memory Foam

Memory foam came from space! Or close enough. Memory foam was invented by NASA for use in spacecraft. There’s a lot of science involved in memory foam mattresses, but it’s enough to know that they’re made from a complex mix of chemicals that together create the foam.

Memory foam makes for a sleeping surface with a high degree of conforming. Memory foam deforms when heated, so on top of the basic elasticity of the mattress, it also hugs to your body’s shape.

A memory foam mattress is great for anyone looking for an extra level of comfort from their mattress, particularly in the form of a “hug.”

Hybrid 

As the name suggests, hybrid mattresses combine elements of multiple mattress types. This usually means combining elements of memory foam or latex with innerspring support systems. That has the advantage of offering the robust support and bounce of an innerspring but the greater comfort of a memory foam or latex mattress.

Hybrid mattresses are available in a wide range of firmness options, so they’re popular with sleepers looking for options. They’re also good for sleepers who want to upgrade their comfort without sacrificing the support of an innerspring.

Latex

Latex mattresses are made from natural latex—sourced from rubber tree sap—or synthetic latex. Like memory foam mattresses, a latex layer is a single unit (though some mattresses may use multiple layers). Latex is whipped into a foam, injected into a mold, and then baked to set its structure. These mattresses conform well to the body, but not as deeply as memory foam, and they’re durable.

Latex mattresses are fantastic for people who suffer from allergies due to their hypoallergenic nature. They’re also great for light sleepers, as latex mattresses are nearly silent.

How to Choose the Best Mattress

Choosing the best mattress can take some time—and some trial and error. Each person has different needs. Let’s take a look at some points to consider.

Mattress Feel

We can describe the feel of a mattress in a few key ways, each with a slightly different meaning:

  • Firmness – Mattress firmness is typically rated on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the softest and 10 being the firmest. Most sleepers will prefer something in the medium to medium-firm range, while mattresses at the extremes suit sleepers with more specific needs. To choose your mattress firmness, you should take into account your bodyweight and also the firmness of your current mattress, if you know it. That will give you a reference point for whether you want to go firmer or softer.
  • Support – The support level of a mattress is important for protecting your body as you sleep. Support is distinct from firmness. While firmness describes the overall resistance of the mattress surface, support describes the way it distributes pressure and aligns the spine to reduce physical stresses, particularly on the joints or spine.
  • Pressure Point Relief – The way you sleep determines your pressure points. Think of it as an inverted bed of nails (though arguably more comfortable): when sleeping on a soft surface, your body weight concentrates through certain areas, increasing their local pressure. The top, comfort layer relieves the strain on pressure points by creating a soft buffer zone between the firmness of the mattress and your body.

Sleep Position

There are three primary sleep positions, each having a different impact on the body and the way we interact with a mattress when we sleep. Here are the three primary sleep positions and how they can affect your mattress choice:

Back

Back sleepers tend to distribute their weight evenly across their bodies, which can help prevent stress on the joints. They may need extra support from their mattress in the lumbar and hip areas. A mattress that conforms well can help to support the lumbar area. Back sleepers typically want to focus on support more than comfort, so they’ll look at the deeper layers of the mattress.

Stomach

Stomach sleepers sleep face down. Like back sleepers, they distribute their weight across their body surface. This can put stress on the organs and ribs in particular, as our fronts aren’t as robust as our backs. Soft sleeping surfaces can cause stomach sleepers to extend the spine in uncomfortable ways. Stomach sleepers typically prefer a firmer sleeping surface, as their own bodies provides the softness.

Side

Side sleepers sleep facing to the left or right and typically have a favorite side. This is the most common sleep position, and one of the healthiest. It keeps the spine at a neutral level of curvature. Side sleepers do need to watch out for the pressure points along the hips or shoulders, however, so they may want a thicker comfort layer to distribute the pressure.

Body Weight

No mattress is tailored for all sleepers. One of the key variables they can’t account for is body weight. Sleepers at different weight ranges often have different needs from their mattress.

For instance, lighter sleepers may opt for a softer mattress. This allows them to achieve the same level of “sink” as a heavier sleeper. Otherwise, they may find themselves lying on top of the mattress as though it was a hard surface. They can also be more sensitive to pressure points, as they have less protective padding between their bones and the mattress.

Heavier sleepers may choose a firmer mattress for the opposite reason. Softer mattresses can sink too much and fail to support a heavier sleeper. Larger sleepers may also need more support in the joints.

Larger sleepers may also have greater need for a mattress that distributes weight evenly, as they have a wider sleeping profile.

Sleep Temperature

Many people find they have a distinct sleeping temperature, whether hot or cold. Most people maintain a constant core temperature when they sleep, but the act of maintaining that temperature can cause fluctuations in our outer or “shell” temperatures. This shell temperature has more influence on the way we feel than core temperature.

Broadly speaking, heavier individuals also tend to sleep hotter, as their bodies are better at retaining heat.

When choosing a mattress, your sleep temperature is one of the most important things to think about. This is particularly true for sleepers who sleep hot, as it’s typically harder to cool off in bed than to warm up.

Some materials, like memory foam, sleep hotter than others, and some mattresses incorporate specific technology to help regulate body temperature as you sleep. If you sleep hot, a mattress that wicks heat away from the body can make a dramatic difference to your sleep quality.

Related Resources

While you’re here, take a look at some of our other in-depth guides for sleepers:

Daniel James