Best mattress for your body and budget: Five things to consider

Want the best mattress? Find the best memory foam mattress, best hybrid mattress, or the best mattress for back pain. If you're buying a mattress, this is for you!

Best mattress for your body and budget: Five things to consider
Here are some things to consider if you want the best mattress.
Here are some things to consider if you want the best mattress. (Ty Carlson via Unsplash/)

One of the best ways to ensure your good health and your good spirits is to show up for each day well-rested. While we can’t always control the stress in our daily lives, we can control the quality and comfort of our beds by taking time to select the best mattress for our bodies. The best mattress will provide you with optimal support and comfort. Whether you prefer a firmer supported bed, or a plush, soft mattress, there are many options to choose from in many price ranges.

With developments in new technology and materials along with research into sleep science, we have more options than ever before. Traditional coil innerspring construction mattresses have evolved, and modern mattresses offer advanced foam materials that can literally shape around our bodies. With cooling gels, foam, plush pillow tops, and breathable materials we can stay cool, relaxed, and comfortable all through the night. Today you are no longer stuck shopping in stores with pushy salespeople. The best mattresses can all show up at your doorstep, just take some time to educate yourself on your options.

Things to consider when shopping for the best mattress

The mattress marketplace is chock full of options. It can feel overwhelming as there are hundreds of models and manufacturers. There are traditional materials, new materials, and variations in price from reasonable to splurge-worthy. When you are trying to decide on the best mattress, you need to consider what type of comfort and support you want. While you should ideally try out the mattress in person many online purchases come with free trials and easy returns. Finally, you should understand the construction and materials used. You want your mattress to be durable and retain its shape for many years.

Innerspring vs. memory foam

Traditional style mattresses are composed of what is called innerspring construction which is steel coils arranged in various configurations. While some manufacturers advertise that the more coils the better the support, and therefore the better the quality, it’s important to consider the gauge of metal used in these springs. Thinner gauge metal may not be as durable as those that use a thicker gauge. Shape and construction vary and include different types of coil springs, some mattresses offer a Bonnell style coil (hourglass type), continuous wire coil, or individually pocketed springs. Coil construction is responsible for the bouncy quality of a mattress. There are highly rated mattresses with all of these coil styles.

The top of the innerspring construction mattresses can include special layers of cushioning, such as a pillow top layer or infused gel. Shifting positions tends to be easy with innerspring mattresses due to the bouncy quality. Foam layers and plush pillow tops that are added to the top of the mattress help suppress some of the bounce by absorbing some of the vibrations.

Best innerspring mattress: Beautyrest 13.5″ Dual Cool Technology Pillowtop Mattress

Thick innerspring construction with plush euro top.
Thick innerspring construction with plush euro top. (Amazon/)

This innerspring 800 series mattress offers pocketed coil technology, advertised by the manufacturer as the world’s premier support system which allows for conforming support and motion separation. Coil gauge is 15.5 and the mattress includes 1″ Energy Foam which creates a supportive foundation below the mattress coils. The mattress does not have to be flipped or rotated. The top of the mattress includes DualCool technology that contains real woven silver to create an anti-microbial environment.

Memory foam mattress pros and cons

Many mattresses today are completely constructed out of foam. The memory foam mattress was invented in the 1960s, designed to soften when you lie on it and mold to your body. Once you get up, it springs back to its original shape. The best mattresses utilize foam to offer excellent pressure relief for areas in the body that may hold tension. This malleable material offers excellent conforming to the body and good motion isolation which is convenient for couples. The cost of these mattresses varies from budget to high end. Some negative attributes associated with some foam construction mattresses include an initial “off-gas” chemical smell that will dissipate after a few days of being set up, lack of bounce, and they can make you feel warm when sleeping as foam can trap body heat.

Though many manufacturers use polyurethane to create their foam layers, some might use latex as well. Some mattresses include both (so be wary if you have sensitivities). Specific foams offer cooling, support, and pressure relief. Additional variability includes high-density polyfoam, high resiliency polyfoam, open-cell memory foam, gel memory foam, and varieties of latex foam. With the ability to comfort around your body it’s important to note that it may require some effort to change position on the mattress.

Best memory foam mattress: Tuft & Needle Mint Mattress

The right amount of support and you won't get too hot at night.
The right amount of support and you won't get too hot at night. (Amazon/)

This all-foam mattress offers multiple layers of foam to provide a strong base, ceramic gel beads for support without sinking and pressure relief, and a cooling gel inside the mattress. The base of the mattress uses an extra-firm foam, and there is also extra support around the edges of the top of the mattress to provide longevity and an even level of support. The top layer of the mattress uses T&N Adaptive foam which contours to your shape and releases tension in your body. The mattress is wrapped in a breathable cover to help cool the body. In addition, the mattress is Greenguard Gold and Certi PUR certified, which means that they are checked by a third party to ensure that the materials selected are free of harmful chemicals. There’s no doubt this is best memory foam mattress on the market.

A hybrid mattress combines both coils and foam

Hybrid mattresses include both traditional (metal innerspring coil) construction and modern materials like foams and gels. These are a great option for customers that want the “best of both” styles of mattress, or someone that doesn’t want to fully commit to either style. A hybrid mattress has the sturdy support of the innerspring coil, better edge support, and durability along with the signature bounce. However, being hybrids they also incorporate the many benefits of new mattress technology. Modern foam mattresses offer superior comfort with the ability to conform to your body and relieve pressure in joints and muscles. Adding layers of foam or gel on top of the traditional base, give support and flexibility.

One of the complaints associated with foam style mattresses is that it can be difficult getting in and out of bed. Sometimes the softness (lack of bounce) and molding quality can make the edge of the bed seemingly collapse when you sit on it, and the molding quality requires a degree of effort to lift yourself out from it. By adding the innerspring coil—you inherently add back some edge support and that bounce that makes sitting on bed and getting out of bed easier.

Best hybrid mattress: Casper Original Hybrid Mattress

The resilient bounce of springs are added to the multilayer foam mattress for targeted support and proper spinal alignment.
The resilient bounce of springs are added to the multilayer foam mattress for targeted support and proper spinal alignment. (Amazon/)

This hybrid mattress uses Zone SupportTM to target areas on the mattress that will allow for optimal spinal alignment. Breathable foam helps to circulate air, to reduce the heat and circulate air to help you not get too hot at night. Innerspring coils add lift, bounce, and border support to the base of the mattress.

Is pain relief a major consideration for you?

When we consider that the best mattress is going to be comfortable, we also need to consider if the mattress provides some degree of pain relief as well, providing supportive care throughout the night’s sleep. The best mattresses will ensure that we wake without any additional aches and pains and that helps us truly feel rested. While comfort level and pain relief are inherently subjective, there are mattresses that consider pain relief in their design.

The best mattress for back pain relief will consider a combination of flexibility and durability. The mattress will conform to your body and provide full-body relief, and it will be supportive enough to not sink or sag. Coolness is another important factor to consider for pain relief, cooling fabrics, gels, and breathable fabrics will allow for an ideal sleeping temperature, help prevent inflammation, and allow for airflow. Ergonomic design considerations include construction that helps to align the spine, softer support under the shoulders, and firmer support around the hips and low back. Gel pads can be used within the mattress to help allow for back support. Innovations in technology and materials allow for beds to be designed to assist us with pain relief.

Best mattress for back pain relief: Casper Sleep Wave Foam Mattress

Here's a premium, medium-firm, and ergonomic designed model.
Here's a premium, medium-firm, and ergonomic designed model. (Amazon/)

This all-foam mattress uses premium materials and is ergonomically designed to help relieve and release pain in the body while you sleep. This mattress includes Zone SupportTM Max which uses softer foam around the shoulder and healthy spinal alignment. Cooling technology and breathable foam is used to reduce and eliminate the retention of heat within the foam mattress. Supportive gel pads are placed along the middle of the mattress to provide additional support for the spine.

How long do you want your mattress to last?

All you need is one night’s sleep in a friend’s basement on their ancient, sagging, broken mattress to understand the importance of durability in your mattress. Even the best mattresses eventually will break down and fail, and the more durable the materials and construction of your mattress the longer lifespan of comfortable nights you will enjoy. Better quality spring construction will provide years of solid but flexible support. Foam should be able to withstand years of molding and conforming to the body, yet adaptable enough to return to its original shape after the sleeper leaves the mattress.

Variables that will affect durability include the amount of wear and tear put on the mattress. A rarely used mattress in a seasonal beach house will last longer than a child’s mattress that is repeatedly jumped on and roughly cared for. Laboratories test this durability with simulations of normal use and offer an idea of how well mattresses will hold up in time. The longer a mattress is able to retain its original shape, height, firmness, and side/back support the more durable the mattress is said to be. A high rating of durability would be a mattress that could withstand normal wear of 8 years or more.

Best mattress for durability: Nod Hybrid by Tuft & Needle

Offers structure and adaptability.
Offers structure and adaptability. (Amazon/)

This 10-inch mattress offers a hybrid construction, with layers of adaptive foam, slow recovery foam, and a layer of pocket coils with a foam base. The mattress is topped with a stay-cool material to prevent warmth that is associated with some foam mattresses. The hybrid style allows for the bounce and structure of a traditional mattress with the muscle relaxing comfort of a modern foam mattress.

Best mattress brands to know

Casper

Casper Sleep became a publicly-traded company in 2020, after being launched in 2014 by Phillip Krim and partners. The company began as an online mattress company that later opened brick and mortar stores in 2019. Casper has become known for its bold, funny marketing campaigns and their comfortable foam construction based mattresses which are shipped shrink wrapped in small boxes. They also sell bed frames, sheets, pillows, and sleep accessories.

Tuft & Needle

Tuft and Needle is a new mattress company, started in 2012 by software engineers JT Marino and Daehee Park. The pair were looking to change the way mattresses are purchased, by promoting a customer-centric, online-only company (they felt traditional mattress companies were manipulative and unpleasant). Their goal was to craft a shopping experience that was honest, and was based on feedback from customers all at fair prices. The company grew, and with that success was recently purchased by the industry leader Serta Simmons Bedding in 2018.

Beautyrest

Beautyrest is an American company (parent company Serta Simmons) that has been around since the 1870s. All products are assembled in manufacturing plants across North America. In 1925 Beautyrest helped pioneer the mass-produced mattress market, offering the brand new technology of Pocketed Coil. This new technology offered individual support along with motion separation. In 1958, Simmons was the first manufacturer to offer Queen and King sized mattress sizes. Today, Beautyrest still offers the highest quality innerspring style mattresses but also combines their mattresses with emerging technology and materials.

Best budget mattress: What you get for under $300

With so many brands, styles, and materials to choose from, there are options for mattresses under the $300 range. Typically you can find deals on foam mattresses and prices get lower as the mattress size and thickness get smaller. We found a well-reviewed mattress option from the Zinus company which is sold directly through Amazon. The Zinus Memory Green Mattress is available in full size, 12″ thick for under $300. This mattress offers 3 layers of foam to conform to the body, allow for airflow, and finally to provide base support. The mattress is compressed and shipped in a small box and will expand within 72 hours of opening the package.

A final word on buying a mattress

Buying a mattress doesn’t have to involve hours of in-person shopping and haggling with salespeople. Hundreds of styles are available online, and arrive at your doorstep without hassle. Understanding the types of materials and construction - as well as the feel of the mattress you want will help you decide which brand and model to select. What you can expect is new materials and cutting edge designs that all put your comfort first. A long-lasting mattress will provide support, will be durable, and can help with the reduction of body pain. Find the best mattress for you; serenity and restful nights are forecasted ahead.