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Bear Original Mattress Review: Affordable, Memory Foam Mattress With a Unique Cover

Our sleep expert weighs in on the popular flagship mattress from Bear. Here's everything you need to know about this memory foam bed with a one-of-a-kind cover.

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McKenzie Dillon Writer
McKenzie, a Certified Sleep Science Coach and proclaimed mattress expert, has been writing sleep content in the wellness space for over four years. After earning her certification from the Spencer Institute and dedicating hundreds of hours to sleep research, she has extensive knowledge on the topic and how to improve your quality of rest. Having more experience with lying on mattresses than most, McKenzie has reviewed over 150 beds and a variety of different sleep products including pillows, mattress toppers and sheets. McKenzie has also been a guest on multiple radio shows including WGN Chicago as a sleep expert and contributed sleep advice to over 50 different websites.
Expertise Certified Sleep Science Coach, Certified Stress Management Coach, Bachelor of English.
McKenzie Dillon
8 min read
Frontal view of Bear Original Mattress
7.5

Bear Original

Score Breakdown

Performance 8.3Support 6Return Policy 6Pressure Relief 6Features 9
Read more on How we test mattresses
$998 at Bear Mattress

Like

  • Comes with a special Celliant-infused cover
  • Comfortable for most sleeping positions
  • Ideal for people under 230 pounds
  • Great value for the features it offers
  • More responsive than traditional memory foam beds

Don't like

  • It's made from foam so it's not ideal for people over 230 pounds
  • Might be a little too firm for petite side sleepers who want a plush mattress

Product details

  • Type Memory foam mattress
  • Firmness 6 or medium to medium-firm
  • Trial 120 nights
  • Warranty Lifetime warranty
  • Price $

Bear may seem like your typical online mattress brand, but its mattresses are anything but ordinary. The company makes sleep products designed to aid the body's natural recovery process and maximize sleep quality. They do this through the special Celliant-infused cover. 

Celliant is a proprietary textile consisting of 13 thermoreactive minerals woven into fibers that absorb your body heat, turn it into infrared energy and transmit it back to your body. This is supposed to assist in the body's restoration and muscle recovery processes and leave you waking up feeling refreshed and energized.

That's one reason the Bear Original mattress stands out from the hundreds of other foam beds. It's also an incredibly affordable mattress for what it offers. In this Bear Original mattress review, I discuss the bed's features, which I tested firsthand, including firmness, edge support and motion isolation, and I explain why the mattress probably would or wouldn't work for you. 

Bear Mattress sitting on a bed frame in a well lit room.

A look at the flagship bed from Bear Mattress

My Slumber Yard

First impressions

There is no way for me to measure whether or how well the Celliant cover boosts my daily performance. It's also hard to pinpoint whether or not restful sleep on this mattress can be traced directly back to the Celliant, but it is a great concept. You also seemingly aren't charged more for having this feature in the mattress, so it certainly doesn't do any harm. (My old boss, who was a gym junkie, also used to sleep on this mattress, and he swore by it.)

Even though the Bear Original is a memory foam mattress, it doesn't give me the same feel as a mattress from Nectar or Amerisleep, two other popular foam mattress brands. It has the same molding, hugging characteristics, but it's quicker to bounce back to normal once you switch positions. This helps prevent your feeling like you have to pull yourself out of the foam layers to change sides -- something for you, combination sleepers. 

Video: Bear Original Mattress Review

Watch our CNET Video Producer, Owen Poole, review the Bear Original mattress. 

Bear Original mattress firmness and feel

What does the Bear mattress feel like?

As cozy and cuddly as a real bear looks to snuggle into, the Bear Original mattress is the real comfort winner -- and it won't try to eat you. As I mentioned above, it doesn't feel like a run-of-the-mill memory foam mattress. It feels almost like it's combined with neutral foam to even out the syrupy feeling that can sometimes accompany memory foam. 

So, it bounces back to its normal position more quickly, allowing you to switch positions easily. The responsiveness is not overwhelming; it's a pleasant feeling that might even appeal to people turned off by classic memory foam. 

How firm is the Bear mattress?

The Bear Original mattress leans slightly more to the firm side of the spectrum, but it's pretty moderate; I'd call it between a medium and a medium-firm, around a 6 out of 10 on the firmness scale. It offers excellent spinal and back support when I lie on my stomach or back, and prevents my lower back from sagging into the top layers. It also gently hugs my hips and shoulders when I'm on my side. However, this may not be the best bed if you spend the entirety of your night on your side because it doesn't have as much give as you might need under your hips and shoulders, especially for people who weigh under 150 pounds. Our list of the best mattresses for side sleepers has more options.

Bear Original mattress construction

The Bear Original bed is a standard 10 inches tall and contains three foam layers.

1. The first layer is a thick layer of firm, dense foam that acts as the bed's supportive base. It's not meant to be comfy but to keep you from sagging into the bed.

2. The second layer is transition foam to add comfort and keep you from feeling the firm bottom layer. It also helps neutralize the memory foam in the top layer. 

3. Third is the graphite-gel memory foam, which provides the majority of the bed's comfort. It's infused with graphite to help absorb your body heat and promote a more comfortable sleeping space. 

Last but not least comes the Celliant-infused cover. You can't physically see the Celliant on the mattress, but the cover has a cool hexagonal textured pattern across the top, giving it a distinctive look. 

Rear view of the Bear Original Mattress
CNET Sleep

Bear Original mattress performance

Motion isolation

Nobody likes a shaky, loud mattress that jolts and wiggles whenever your partner gets out of bed. Luckily, that's not something you have to worry about with the Bear Original mattress. I was impressed with its motion-isolating capabilities. Memory foam is top-notch for absorbing movement, and there are no springs or latex foam layers to add bounce to this one. 

Edge support

The Bear Original mattress gets an average rating for edge support. There is some give when lying or sitting on the edge, but that's to be expected when dealing with an all-foam mattress. Unless you're over 230 pounds, you should feel amply supported. 

Temperature

Bear says on its site that the graphite gel in the top layer of memory foam helps provide cooling relief, but I found that's not necessarily the case. It doesn't "sleep cold," and I didn't get a cooling sensation when lying on the bed. That said, I think it helps prevent the bed from overheating like traditional memory foam beds can. Long story short, I'd say it sleeps temperature-neutral

Who is the Bear mattress best for?

The Bear Original mattress isn't going to be an ideal fit for everyone, and our purchase decision should partly depend on your primary sleeping position and your body type. 

Sleeping position

Do you usually spend most of the night on your stomach, back, side or a combination of the three? I think the Original Bear mattress is going to be great for back, stomach and combination sleepers. 

Diagram of a person sleeping on their stomach, pointing out the need for support for the neck, shoulder and hips.

Firmer mattresses are better for stomach and back sleepers as they ensure that the spine stays naturally aligned during the night. 

Zooey Liao/CNET

Most average-weight side sleepers should like this bed unless you want more plushness. However, if you're under 150 pounds, the firmness profile might be too supportive and firm to accommodate you on your side. Instead, take a look at our recommendations for the best soft mattress

Body type

In the long run, beds made from just foam are better for people under 230 pounds because they offer the right amount of support and durability. However, if you're over 230 pounds and willing to spend $500-plus on a mattress, I would recommend the Bear Hybrid mattress or one of the beds on our list of best mattresses for heavy people. The Bear Hybrid offers a Celliant cover and a comfortable neutral feel, but with the added benefit of more supportive steel coils. 

How much does the Bear Original mattress cost?

Size Measurements Price

Twin

38x75 inches

$551

Twin XL

38x80 inches

$595

Full

54x74 inches

$638

Queen

60x80 inches

$699

King

76x80 inches

$913

Cal king

72x84 inches

$913

I saved one of the best parts for last -- the price of the Bear Original was surprising because I expected the Celliant-infused cover to mean it would be significantly more expensive. A queen-size Bear Original bed retails for $995, and you can get it even cheaper when the brand runs a promo. Cyber Monday is an excellent opportunity to buy Bear Original at a lower price as Bear and many other mattress brands are running significant discounts

Shipping, trial and warranty 

No online bed is complete without a warranty policy, a risk-free trial and shipping to your door. Bear's company policies are typical for the online mattress industry. Here's what you can expect.

  • Free shipping and returns
  • A 120-night trial 
  • Lifetime warranty

Your new bed will be delivered to you in a box (hence the term bed-in-a-box), and you will experience an unpleasant smell when you take it out. It's similar to the chemical-like odor of the inside of a new car, but it should completely fade after a few days. The only way to avoid this smell is to go with a certified natural and organic mattress

Who will and won't like the Bear mattress?

Bear isn't a brand you hear of often, compared with big names like Casper and Purple, but it's one you should know if you're looking for a quality, affordable memory foam mattress. It has an accommodating firmness level suitable for a wide range of sleeping positions, a comfortable-feeling memory/neutral foam blend and a Celliant-infused cover as the cherry on top. Not to mention, it's priced similarly to mattresses that omit this technology.

You might like this mattress if:

  • You're an athlete or work out often (Celliant is supposed to aid in the muscle recovery process)
  • You weigh under 230 pounds
  • You like the hugging, contouring feel of memory foam
  • You aren't looking for the cheapest bed, but a good value

You might not like this mattress if:

  • You want to spend under $500
  • You're a strict side sleeper who wants a softer mattress
  • You weigh over 230 pounds

Other mattresses from Bear

Bear Pro: The Bear Pro mattress is an all-foam mattress with copper-infused polyfoam and gel memory foam layers. It has Bear's signature Celliant cover that regulates your body temperature and helps boost the body's natural recovery process after physical activity. It's between medium and medium firm on the scale, making this mattress a good choice for side and back sleepers. 

Bear Hybrid: This hybrid mattress from Bear has the luxury feel you expect from nice hotels. The Bear Hybrid has a fluffy pillow top for comfort and supportive pocketed coils that support any type of sleeper. And don't forget that Celliant cover that all Bear mattresses have. This is the kind of mattress that anyone will like.

How does the Bear bed compare to other mattresses?

Casper versus Bear mattress: The Bear original and Casper mattresses are popular all-foam mattresses. They both have memory foam and fall in the same firmness range. However, a few key differences will help you decide between the two. Bear has more of a classic memory foam feel without the sensation of getting sucked into the bed. At the same time, the Casper mattress has a foam feel. Both mattresses have something that makes them stand out -- Bear had the Celliant cover, and Casper has zoned support. 

Nectar versus Bear mattress: If you're in the market for an all-foam mattress, the Nectar and Bear beds are probably at the top of your list. While they have similarities, there are differences in firmness and pricing. The Bear Original mattress is slightly softer than the Nectar Mattress. It's also generally more affordable than Nectar. 

Bear mattress FAQs

Is a Bear mattress worth it?

Yes. Mattresses from Bear are some of the only ones I've seen with a special Celliant-infused mattress cover to help promote better sleep and a more restorative feel after you wake up. That said, Bear mattresses are some of the most affordable compared to other big-name bed-in-a-box brands, so you don't have to pay extra for this technology. 

Is Bear Mattress good for back pain?

The Bear Hybrid mattress is going to be better for back pain than the standard Bear Original because it comes with a system of supportive innersprings. They provide better back support than all-foam mattresses, not to mention are more durable and long-lasting. 

Is Bear Mattress made in the US?

Yes, Bear manufactures their mattresses in the United States using premium materials. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.