Shopping for a new mattress can bring the pressure. It's a big purchase and having the right mattress is key to getting a good night's sleep, which is essential to our health and wellbeing. But it doesn't have to be stressful. There are more options than ever for buying mattresses in 2021, and those options are convenient. Mattress shopping can happen entirely online now -- no trip to the store and no awkwardly testing a mattress hundreds of others have laid on. Even better, nearly every mattress brand offers at-home sleep trials and easy returns.
That said, it's always better towith your preferred mattress firmness on your first try. With the right mattress, you'll notice an improvement in your comfort level and the quality of your sleep -- something you won't experience with the wrong one.
No matter which kind of mattress you prefer, whether you need pressure relief, a firmer or softer mattress, an adjustable mattress or you're simply looking for more comfort, you're sure to find what you need on this list. I've scoured mattress brand reviews and tested top brands to help guide you to your selection. Here are the 10 best mattresses you can buy online right now.
Best mattresses of 2021 compared
|Mattress||Buying info||Mattress type||Price (queen)||Sleep trial period||Warranty|
|Layla Hybrid||See at Layla||Hybrid||$1,499||120 nights||10-year limited|
|Casper Original||See at Casper||Foam||$931||100 nights||10-year limited|
|Saatva Classic||See at Saatva||Hybrid||$1,595||180 nights||15-year limited|
|Avocado Green||See at Avocado||Hybrid||$1,599||365 nights||25-year limited|
|Amerisleep AS2||See at Amerisleep||Hybrid||$1,499||100 nights||20-year prorated|
|Leesa Legend||See at Leesa||Hybrid||$2,049||100 nights||10-year limited|
|Helix Midnight Luxe||See at Helix||Hybrid||$1,749||100 nights||15-year limited|
|Helix Plus||See at Helix||Hybrid||$1,499||100 nights||15-year limited|
|Ghostbed Flex Hybrid||See at Ghostbed||Hybrid||$1,491||101 nights||25-year limited|
|Purple Hybrid Premier 4||See at Purple||Hybrid||$3,099||100 nights||10-year limited|
||See at Puffy||Hybrid||$1,499||101 nights||Lifetime|
|Allswell||See at Allswell||Hybrid||$375||100 nights||10-year limited|
Pricing is shown below for a queen mattress, but I list the full range of available sizes and prices within each entry. I update this list periodically.
Mattresses require an adjustment period to get used to, and that's true of the Layla Hybrid, too, but as soon as I plopped down on this mattress, I knew it was going to be my favorite. It's made of a layered combination of gel memory foam, airflow support foam and individually wrapped pocketed coils that provide plenty of firmness level support while also allowing enough give to make the mattress feel plush and comfortable right away.
The middle layer is made from copper-infused foam, which is great for a hot sleeper because it is designed to pull heat away from your body so you stay cool while you sleep, and the technology worked impressively well. I stayed cool throughout the night, even in the middle of summer in a house without central AC. The copper is also antimicrobial, so it helps prevent a buildup of bacteria that can cause breakdown and odors over time. I haven't had the mattress long enough to speak to that, but the thought of sleeping on a cleaner mattress, especially since the goal is to keep them for a decade or so, adds another layer of appeal.
The Layla Hybrid had the least motion transfer out of any other on the list, so I didn't wake up at all when my boyfriend tossed and turned -- this hybrid mattress motion isolation feature is a huge comfort level perk to someone who's been seriously considering getting a sleep divorce. The Layla is also the only mattress on this list that you can flip. And not only can you flip this foam bed mattress, one side is soft and one is firm, so you can customize your hybrid mattress sleeping experience based on how your body feels at any given time.
The Layla Hybrid comes in twin to California king sizes and prices range from $1,099 to $1,699.
If you're looking for a quality foam mattress, the Casper Original is a popular, well-received mattress that I am a big fan of. While I'm more of a soft mattress kind of gal, firmer mattresses like the Casper mattress are designed to align your spine and offer pressure relief in all of the right places so you can have a pain-free night and a stiffness-free morning. And this Casper mattress did just that.
When I first got into bed, I didn't have that "ahhh" moment that comes from a plush, softer mattress, but as I settled in, the mattress started to slowly form to my body. The longer I lay there, the more comfortable I felt. When I woke up in the morning, I didn't have any throbbing neck or back pain, something that I have been struggling with since my last spring mattress started caving in. I attribute that to the Zoned Support technology of the Casper.
The mattress is separated into three zones that are designed to provide the ideal spinal alignment. The foam near the shoulders and upper body is softer to give you relief in those areas, while the firmer foam under the hips, waist and lower back keeps your spine properly aligned. Because of this zoned system, you may have to experiment to find the right sleeping position on the mattress, but once you do, you'll likely notice a reduction in pain over time. And as an added bonus, the mattress cover is made from recycled bottles -- 57 of them, to be exact -- so you can help save your back and the planet at the same time. Read more in our full Casper Original mattress review.
The Casper Original comes in twin to California king, and prices range from $595 to $1,295.
The Saatva Classic is everything a firm mattress lover could want: The hybrid mattress is thick and supportive and provides just the right amount of contouring. While it doesn't have that cloud-like feeling of traditional pillow-top mattresses, it has enough give to alleviate pressure on your hips and shoulders, but not so much that your spine gets thrown out of alignment.
The first few nights with this Saatva mattress, I actually thought it was too firm for me -- as a true hybrid, it's a little firmer than memory foam-only models -- but as my body got used to it, I started to sleep soundly through the night and wake up without pain (or an arm that had fallen asleep during the night).
As for construction, the Saatva Classic mattress combines two layers of coils, one innerspring layer and one pocketed coil layer, with memory foam and a pillow top. It's one of the only mattresses I've tested with this kind of construction, and a primary reason why this bed is so supportive.
The mattress also has special lumbar technology and additional support in the center of the mattress, specifically designed to keep your spine aligned while also allowing your shoulders and hips to sink in just a little bit. It almost felt like there was a slight elevation in the center of the mattress that filled in the curves of my body.
There are three firmness levels -- plush soft, luxury firm and firm. Luxury firm and firm both lean towards the firm side of the spectrum, with firm being a 9-10 on the firmness scale (10 being the firmest). There are also two different mattress heights -- 11.5 inches and 14.5 inches. I went with a 14.5-inch plush soft, and while it was the perfect firmness level for me, I wish I had gone with the shorter Saatva mattress. Just a heads up if you do go for the 14.5-inch model: You'll need sheets specifically designed for thicker mattresses or they'll pop off in the corners. Check out our full Saatva mattress review or the best firm mattresses to see more options.
The Saatva Classic comes in sizes twin XL to split California king and prices range from $887 to $2,174.
Many mattresses are sprayed with chemicals and flame retardants and made from potentially toxic foams that have been linked to some health problems. Because of this, the Environmental Working Group recommends choosing a mattress that's made from at least 95% cotton, wool or natural latex. And that's where the Avocado Green mattress comes in.
The brand's original mattress, which is the one I tested, is made from a combination of all three materials -- or you can go for the vegan mattress, which is the same sans wool. Neither version contains any polyester, polyurethane foam or fire retardants. But while that's all great, ultimately it has to be comfortable or it won't do you much good in the long run. The good news is it is.
When I first lay down on the mattress, it felt a little too firm for my personal taste, but as soon as I settled in, it started to form to my body, hugging me in all the right places. I felt comfortable sleeping on my back and on my side and the bed adjusted quickly as I transitioned from each sleep position, unlike other memory foam mattress styles that can lag when you move. Mine came with the optional (and $300 to $600 extra depending on the size) permanently affixed pillow top, so I can't judge the mattress without it, but I think it definitely adds a comfort layer of plushness that's worth the additional cost. Check out our list of the best organic mattresses to see more options.
The Avocado Green comes in sizes twin to California king and prices range from $1,099 to $2,099, without the added pillow top. If you want the pillow top attached, prices go up to $1,499 to $2,799.
The AS2 Hybrid mattress was designed with back pain relief in mind. It's constructed of a proprietary memory foam called Bio-Pur that contours to your body, alleviating pressure points in your back, hips and shoulders. The Bio-Pur foam is also more responsive than traditional memory foam, so when you change positions, it bounces back more quickly, ensuring you never feel "stuck."
This improved response time was one of my favorite things about the Amerisleep AS2. Even when I changed positions throughout the night, the mattress adjusted quickly, cradling my body and giving it the weightless feel that really takes the edge of the day off. The medium-firm feel also properly supported my spine without any of the sinking or sagging that can come with softer memory foam. After an initial adjustment period of a couple weeks, I slept -- and woke up -- pain-free and feeling refreshed and rested, rather than tight and sore.
The Bio-Pur foam is also more airy and breathable than traditional foam, so I stayed comfortably cool all night, even when I was cuddled up under a heavy down comforter. Read more in our full Amerisleep mattress review or check out our list of the best mattresses for back pain to see more options.
The AS2 Hybrid comes in sizes twin to split king, and prices usually range from $1,014 to $2,098.
The Leesa Legend was designed with all types of sleepers in mind, but while it was comfortable no matter what my sleeping position, I thought it really shone when I was sleeping on my back. Throughout the night, I frequently shift from sleeping on my side to sleeping on my back. Typically, I start as a back sleeper; once I'm only-partly-conscious, about-to-fall-asleep, I switch to my side. But with the Leesa Legend, I actually settled in on my back and stayed there most of the night.
The Leesa Legend is made from two layers of springs and two layers of memory foam topped with a wool-and-100%-cotton cover that provides an additional comfort layer. This Leesa mattress immediately felt soft and inviting (with just the right amount of bounce) and had the best body contouring when I was lying on my back. It also had edge-to-edge support that was comparable to the Nectar Lush with minimal motion transfer.
And like the Casper, the mattress cover is made partly from recycled water bottles, so you can feel good about the planet while you sleep. Check out our list of the best mattresses for back pain to see more options.
The Leesa Legend comes in sizes twin XL to California king, and prices range from $1,799 to $2,599.
If you've ever gone mattress shopping with a significant other, you already know how big a disaster that can be. Unless you opt for a customizable Sleep Number luxury mattress, which has a hefty price tag and average reviews, you're pretty much forced to find a mattress that will make you both happy -- a task that isn't always easy, especially if your tastes and sleeping styles fall on different ends of the spectrum. I've been down this road before and I wish that I had found the Helix Midnight Luxe sooner.
There were things my boyfriend and I liked about all of the mattresses, but after settling into the Helix Midnight Luxe for the first night, we both looked at each other and simultaneously said, "Oh, this is nice." The mattress is made from a combination of high-density memory foam, gel visco and support pocketed coils wrapped up in a breathable, quilted pillow-top cover. Out of all the mattresses, the Helix Midnight Luxe had the most lumbar support, which really provided some relief for my boyfriend's chronic lower-back pain.
Although this particular mattress is marketed toward the side sleeper, it's beyond comfortable when you're on your back or stomach, too. There's hardly any motion transfer and this Helix mattress falls directly in the middle of the mattress firmness scale -- Helix rates it a 4-7 out of 10 -- so it really is designed to please almost everybody, or at least serve as a really great compromise if you can't agree on firmness level. Read more in our full Helix mattress reviews.
The Helix Midnight Luxe comes in sizes twin to California king, and prices range from $999 to $2,149.
The Helix Plus mattress, which is marketed toward people who wear plus-size clothing or anyone who's "big and tall," is designed to offer extra support for those with a higher body mass index. It's 13 inches tall and has an extra comfort layer of high-density foam that helps provide adequate support and comfort all in one. But while I've named this Helix mattress the best mattress for plus-size sleepers for the purposes of this roundup, it's actually a great mattress for everyone, no matter your size or sleeping style.
This mattress was one of the few on the list that I felt like I sank into in all the right ways. The mattress was supportive, while also providing the right amount of "give" to relieve pressure where I needed it the most. It was comfortable in any position and adequately absorbed movement, even when my sleeping partner was tossing and turning. One night while sleeping on this mattress, my boyfriend actually got up twice to go to the bathroom and I didn't feel him get up or get back into bed -- something I can't say for many other mattresses I've tried.
The only knock I would give is that it's a medium to firm mattress feel -- Helix rates it a 7-8 out of 10 on the firmness level scale -- and I wish it were a little bit more plush. That being said, this mattress was designed to support more weight, so the extra firmness makes sense. Also, mattresses tend to break in and soften over time, so I imagine the mattress firmness would be perfect for me after several months. Check out our list of the best mattresses for heavy sleepers to see more options.
The Helix Plus comes in mattress size options for twin to California king, and prices range from $749 to $1,849.
GhostBed's major claim to fame is its cooling technology, and it really did deliver. I tested this mattress company's hybrid mattress in the middle of July with temperatures in the high 80s F to low 90s. While I could definitely tell we were in the middle of a heat wave -- I mean, the mattress isn't magic -- I felt surprisingly cool considering how warm and sticky the room started to get as soon as the sun came through the windows.
The bed itself was comfortable, too. While it didn't feel as lush and inviting as some of the others on this list, the GhostBed was second most bouncy (right behind the Purple mattress), so it didn't have that slow sinking memory foam feel that's typical of these types of mattresses. If you're someone who isn't totally sure about memory foam and likes a traditional spring mattress, this is a good middle ground.
The GhostBed Flex Hybrid comes in sizes twin to split king, and prices range from $1,187 to $2,590.
I want to start by saying that I'm not a stomach sleeper, but the Purple Hybrid Premier 4 (almost) made me want to become one. When I was lying on my stomach, the Purple Grid, which is a hyper-elastic polymer grid formation that's meant to absorb and relieve pressure and takes the place of memory foam, magically gave way to all my lady lumps and bumps like it was designed just for me. I know that sounds dramatic, but the ability of the Purple mattress to perfectly form around my body was really impressive. It was equally comfortable when sleeping on my back. In fact it was so comfortable that, when I was lying on my back, I was able to snooze sans pillow and still feel like my spine was perfectly aligned. Coming from someone who typically needs two pillows to hold up her oversize head and wakes up with serious neck pain because of it, this was another impressive feature.
The Purple also had the most bounce out of all of the mattresses. Pure memory foam tends to feel a little stiff to me, no matter how plush the mattress claims to be, but the grid bends and moves in ways that make the mattress feel bouncy and plush, while also still providing ample support for your back and spine.
The Purple mattress grid did take a little while to get used to. For the first several nights, I could feel gridlines whenever I shifted or moved. I wouldn't call it an uncomfortable feeling, but it was definitely different. This mattress is also really heavy. Not like normal king-size mattress heavy, but more like "what the heck do they make this thing out of?" heavy. My intention was to open the mattress in the guest room downstairs to give it time to expand and then bring it up to my bedroom to test it and take pictures. But even after enlisting the help of two stronger-than-me volunteers, we gave up on moving the Purple mattress and I relocated to the guest room for testing. I assume you're not planning to lug your mattress around too often, but it's worth noting just in case. Read more in our full Purple Hybrid mattress review.
The Purple Hybrid Premier 4 comes in sizes twin XL to split king, and prices range from $2,299 to $4,598.
The Puffy Lux mattress is the brand's best-selling bed, and I can understand why. If you love a soft, plush feel (maybe you're a side sleeper or maybe you weigh under 145 pounds) Puffy Lux delivers. Side sleepers need something that cradles and contours around your hips and shoulders, and the Puffy Lux has a perfectly plush firmness level around medium to medium-soft, or a 3 to 4 on the firmness scale.
Opposed to their Original Puffy mattress, the Puffy Lux has a noticeable memory foam feel that slowly nestles around your body and gently pulls you into the comfort layers. However, it's more of an airy memory foam feel than the dense memory foam feel that you get from beds such as the TempurPedic or Nectar mattress. I think this makes it a little easier for combination sleepers who favor their side to switch positions on.
The Puffy Lux mattress is a solid 12 inches thick, and is made with a pocketed coil bottom layer. This means it's supportive enough for all body types including people who weigh over the 230 pound range. Another plus about its construction is its removable and machine-washable mattress cover. A lot of beds don't even come with removable covers, so I love that I can zip this one off and throw it in the washing machine if there's a spill or accident in bed.
Prices start at $899 for a twin and go up to $1,449 for a Cal king.
Allswell is a mattress brought to you by Walmart, which defies the rule of the mattress industry by selling a hybrid mattress for a seriously low cost. Hybrid mattresses have pocketed coils in them to make them more long-lasting, durable and supportive, which usually comes with a cost. Allswell, on the other hand, is cheaper than most foam beds, and it fits the bill for price-conscious shoppers who want a simple foam bed at a low cost.
Allswell has a standard three layer construction with comfort layers that provide a neutral and balanced soft foam feel. It's not syrupy or slow-responding to pressure like memory foam is, nor is it as springy and bouncy as latex foam. It's more of a standard classic foam, like the stuff inside a comfy couch. It also has an accommodating firmness level around a 6 out of 10.
I think it's going to be most ideal for people who want a middle-of-the-road firmness level. It suits most sleeping positions because it has ample pressure relief to contour around the curves of your body, but it's also supportive to keep your spine in neutral alignment. The only type of people I wouldn't recommend it to are strict side sleepers who want a soft mattress, especially those under 145 pounds. Read more in our full Allswell mattress review.
Prices for Allswell start at $265 for a twin and go up to $465 for a California King.
How I tested
I tested each mattress for a week, making sure to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. For half the week, I slept on the mattress with my boyfriend and whichever one (or several) of our five pets wanted to join us. During these nights, I was able to test the motion transfer and whether or not the mattresses could appease different tastes -- I like a really soft mattress and he prefers something firmer with a little more back support. For the remaining half of the week, I kicked everyone out to the guest room so I could focus on the feel of the mattress without any outside sleep disturbances.
In addition to sleeping on the mattresses during the night, I also spent some time lying on them reading or working on my laptop. (I know, I know I shouldn't be, but I wanted to give each mattress as much time as possible.) Once I felt like I had enough information to give an accurate assessment, I moved on to the next mattress.
I set up each new mattress on the same platform bed frame and used the same pillow and the same sheets, which I washed between each mattress. We all know there's nothing better than getting into bed with freshly washed sheets, so I wanted to make sure that every mattress had that same initial advantage. The only exception to testing location was the Purple mattress, which I left in the guest room because it was too heavy to move upstairs, as I mentioned above.
What's the best mattress to buy?
While the best mattress for you will depend on your height, weight and comfort needs, I can say that the Layla Hybrid is the best mattress for most people. It's supportive for most body types, it has very little motion transfer and the hybrid mattress has several features that help keep you cool while you sleep.
Foam vs. hybrid mattress
The mattresses on the list above fall into two categories: hybrid and all foam. Both types have their own benefits.
Foam mattresses are made entirely of layers of foam, including memory foam mattress options, latex foam or gel foam. Typically each foam layer is a different density, with high-density foam on the bottom for support and a top layer of softer foam for comfort.
Hybrid mattresses use both foam and metal coils to provide support. They are closer in design to the innerspring mattress most of us grew up sleeping on, but with added foam for comfort and additional support.
What mattress types are most comfortable?
Comfort is really a subjective thing. What feels like a dream to you may not be the most comfortable mattress for someone else, but there are some general guidelines you can follow when trying to narrow it down. Memory foam conforms to your body and keeps your spine and neck aligned. A memory foam mattress is a great option if you have back pain or like to feel like you're "sinking" into your mattress. Memory foam tends to trap heat though, so it's not always the best for hot sleepers.
Traditional spring mattresses don't alleviate pressure as well as memory foam mattresses, but they're supportive and breathable. Spring mattresses also tend to be more budget-friendly, so they're great for hot sleepers that are looking to save some cash.
Hybrid mattresses combine the best of both worlds -- memory foam and springs. The foam provides pressure relief and a contouring effect, while the springs add some extra bounce and increase air flow. The springs in hybrid mattresses are usually smaller than the springs in the traditional spring mattresses, so they don't transfer as much motion. Hybrid mattresses are a great option for any type of sleeper.
How do you try before you buy?
All of the brands on this list allow you to try these mattresses out risk-free. In order to do this, you'll need to purchase the mattress first. Once it's delivered, you have a trial period to test it out in, which is typically 100 days. If at any point during that time you're unhappy with your mattress, you can contact the company to return it.
The company will then arrange for someone to come pick up the mattress, either to be donated or disposed of. Once the company confirms the pickup has happened, you'll get your refund.
Many companies will encourage you to try out your mattress for at least three to four weeks before you try to return it, as your body can take time to adjust to a new bed. But if you really don't want to wait, you don't have to.
What kind of warranty do you get?
Warranties vary from company to company, but most are 10 years or longer, similar to what you'd get buying a mattress at a brick-and-mortar. These warranties cover any manufacturing defects, not normal wear and tear. All foam mattresses need a supportive foundation to put them on, and if you don't use a proper foundation and the mattress ends up damaged, the warranty won't cover it.
What are the best mattresses for side sleepers?
The best mattresses for side sleepers are those that fall on the middle of the firmness scale -- medium-soft to medium. You need a mattress that has enough give to alleviate pressure on your shoulders and hips, but not so much that you sink into it. It's important to keep your spine aligned when you're sleeping on your side, since that's what ensures that you'll sleep comfortably and wake up pain-free.
What are the best mattresses for back pain?
There's no one-size-fits-all answer, but the best mattresses for back pain generally include memory foam and have some additional features, like added lumbar support. According to some studies, a medium-firm mattress is best for alleviating chronic lower back pain in most people. If you're waking up in pain, it's likely because your mattress is too soft.
How do I clean my mattress?
Even with sheets protecting your mattress, it can still get stained and accumulate dust, dirt, hair and other, well, stuff. But cleaning something so big and heavy can be a hassle.
In CNET's mattress cleaning guide, we've outlined all the ways you can refresh your mattress, eliminate stains and even give it a deep clean.
How often should you replace your mattress?
Most mattresses are designed to last several years, but there are a few telltale signs that let you know it's time to replace yours. If your mattress is sagging or making it hard for you to get a good night's sleep, then it's probably time to start shopping.
How often you need to replace your mattress depends largely on what materials it's made of -- innersprings are going to last longer than an all-foam mattress. This guide on when to replace your mattress explains everything you need to know.
How do I dispose of my old mattress?
If you buy a mattress from a furniture or mattress store, typically they'll haul away your old mattress when they deliver the new one. But when you buy a mattress online, the new one shows up and the old one is... still there. You're on the hook for getting rid of it. Luckily, you have a few easy options.
Here's all the ways to get rid of a mattress, including recycling and donation.
More mattress and sleep advice
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.