The 10 Best Mattresses

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If you're not getting the right amount of restful sleep that you need to get up and go in the mornings, then it's probably time you shelled out some money on a new mattress. Our comprehensive selection includes traditional coil-spring models, as well as the more technologically advanced memory and gel foam options that are becoming increasingly popular. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best mattress on Amazon.

10. Casper Sleep Memory

9. Best Price Independent

8. Classic Brands Mercer Hybrid

7. Perfect Cloud Gel-Pro Elegance

6. Signature Sleep Bamboo

5. Zinus Memory Green Tea

4. Tuft & Needle Adaptive

3. Bear Perform

2. Olee Sleep Euro Box

1. Dreamfoam Bedding Ultimate Dreams

Feel Like Sleeping On A Cloud

Shape, design, and total number of coils also vary by the manufacturer.

Sleep is sometimes taken for granted, especially when a person gets used to a bed that doesn't offer optimal support for their body type or stress level. To get the most out of one's day, a person must be able to sleep soundly at night on a comfortable mattress that ensures a long, uninterrupted REM cycle.

A mattress is a large, rectangular pad designed to support the reclining body and is the major component to the setup of a bed. It is typically placed on top of a bed base or box spring, which acts as the bed's support or foundation, much like the underlying foundation for a house. The base is held in place by the bed's frame, which offers additional support when a mattress is installed. Bed bases are made from a series of heavy-duty metal springs, wood slats, or a combination of steel and wood.

Mattresses usually consist of a quilted or fastened case of heavy cloth made up of any combination of materials such as straw, cotton, or even foam rubber. Several mattress types are available, the most common being the innerspring and hybrid varieties. Innerspring mattresses leverage a support system consisting of different sets of steel coils. In fact, four different types of coils are available, including Bonnell, offset, continuous, and Marshall. Bonnell style is the most common for mid-priced mattresses and is characterized by knotted, round-top, hourglass-shaped coils. Offset coils are also hourglass-shaped, but with flattened tops and bottoms. These flat sections of wire are hinged together with helical wires designed to closely conform to a sleeper's body shape. Continuous coil mattresses are characterized by rows of coils forming a single piece of wire with a similar hinging effect to that of the offset style. Marshall (wrapped or encased) coils are thin-gauge, barrel-shaped, knotless coils that are individually encased within fabric pockets.

In some cases, manufacturers will pre-compress their coils in order to increase the degree of mattress firmness. The gauge (or diameter) of the coils often determines the level of support the mattress will provide. The lower the gauge number, the thicker the coils are. High-quality coils are around fourteen-gauge (1.63 millimeters in diameter) with a substantial amount of give when placed under pressure, as opposed to lower-gauge coils that are typically thicker, offering less give when under the same amount of pressure. Some steel coil systems are interconnected with wires, while other mattresses deliver individually-wrapped and pocketed coils.

The rule of thumb here is that the greater the number of coils an innerspring mattress has, the more points of support and contouring it offers the sleeper. Shape, design, and total number of coils also vary by the manufacturer. The innerspring is often covered with padding made from some type of foam or other fiber. A hybrid mattress simply combines the use of steel coils with other materials like polyurethane, memory, or even gel-filled foams. Mattresses can also be made entirely from foam materials, allowing them to be manufactured in different densities depending on a user's preference. Pillow top mattresses deliver an additional layer of upholstery that is sewn into the top of the mattress itself. Doing so makes it softer than other types of bedding. Some mattresses can also be filled with air or water chambers without any internal springs at all.

It's A Big Decision, So Pick Carefully

Consider a mattress as a long-term investment. While it will wear out eventually, you're going to have it for several years. Innerspring mattresses, for example, can last for up to ten years before needing replacement. For that reason, it's necessary to do your homework before you make a hasty decision.

Innerspring mattresses, for example, can last for up to ten years before needing replacement.

Firstly, the materials one chooses should be sturdy, comfortable, and offer the right amount of support. This can mean trying out a number of different mattress to select the type of support that makes you the most comfortable for an extended period of time, regardless of whether it's memory foam or thick coils. This doesn't mean simply going into a mattress store, sitting on a couple of floor models for a minute, and deciding right away. Take the S.L.E.E.P test when trying out different options.

What does this stand for? Select a mattress to try out. Lie down in a position that you would ordinarily choose in bed (stay on the mattress for about 15 minutes). Evaluate the level of comfort and support after several minutes. Educate yourself on its size, materials and weight. Partners (spouses) will need to test the bed as well. Following these guidelines will usually lead you in the right direction.

Secondly, consider both the size of the room and the mattress that will be the most comfortable. Queen size mattresses will provide ample room for a couple, but if you're worried about tossing and turning or prefer extra room, then a king-size mattress can be a wise investment as well. One must also keep themselves informed about the warranties available to get the most out of their purchase.

A Brief History Of The Mattress

The history of the mattress dates as far back as Neolithic times with the most primitive beds made from piles of leaves, grass, or straw. Animal skins were also used on top of these materials to offer additional protection from drafts, dirt, and pests.

By 1865, the first coil spring construction for bedding was patented, followed by the first innerspring mattress invented by German Heinrich Westphal in 1871.

By 3,400 BCE, the ancient Egyptians slept on palm fronds piled against a wall in their homes, while pharaohs are believed to have been the first to raise their rudimentary mattresses off the floor, placing them on wooden frames made from elaborate woods. The Romans took this idea a step further around 200 BCE by making mattresses from large bags of cloth filled with resilient materials that included straw, reeds, and wool, while the very wealthy stuffed their mattresses with feathers.

Fast forward to the middle of the eighteenth century and mattresses began to be stuffed with either cotton or wool. By 1865, the first coil spring construction for bedding was patented, followed by the first innerspring mattress invented by German Heinrich Westphal in 1871. In 1873, Sir James Paget presented one of the first water beds, previously designed by Neil Arnott, to St. Bartholomew's Hospital as a treatment and prevention measure for pressure ulcers (also known as bed sores).

By the 1930s, innerspring mattresses and artificial fillers become more common, leading to the introduction of the first futon by the 1940s. By the 1950s, the first rubber foam mattresses became available for purchase, followed by the first water beds in the 1960s. By the 1980s, the vinyl air mattress was introduced. Today, there is a virtually unlimited choice of mattress design to suit most any type of sleeper.

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Daniel Imperiale
Last updated on August 16, 2018 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel Imperiale holds a bachelor’s degree in writing, and proudly fled his graduate program in poetry to pursue a quiet life at a remote Alaskan fishery. After returning to the contiguous states, he took up a position as an editor and photographer of the prestigious geek culture magazine “Unwinnable” before turning his attention to the field of health and wellness. In recent years, he has worked extensively in film and music production, making him something of a know-it-all when it comes to camera equipment, musical instruments, recording devices, and other audio-visual hardware. Daniel’s recent obsessions include horology (making him a pro when it comes to all things timekeeping) and Uranium mining and enrichment (which hasn’t proven useful just yet).

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