Best mattress US 2020: Your guide to the perfect mattress | T3

Best mattress US 2020: Your guide to the perfect mattress

Our tried-and-tested ranking of the best mattresses in the world, including the top memory foam, pocket sprung and hybrid options

If you're looking for the best mattress around, we're here to help. We've tested out all the leading offerings from the top mattress brands – including old favorites as well as trendy newcomers – to bring you this definitive ranking of the best mattress 2020.

Best mattress 2020: quick links

Because we know that mattress preferences can be a very personal thing, we've covered a wide selection of options here, including memory foam mattresses, pocket-sprung options and hybrids (which combine layers of springs and memory foam). Essentially, there's something for every sleeping style and every budget.   

Investing in the best mattress you can afford can be a complete game-changer when it comes to transforming your sleeping habits. If you're struggling to drop off or get comfortable, your mattress should be the first thing you look to change. 

Just because you can't head to the shops to test out potential upgrades at the moment doesn't mean a new mattress is off the cards. The vast majority of mattress retailers are still trading as usual, with minimal delays to delivery and no-contact delivery. And if your new purchase doesn't suit you, most of these brands offer generous trial periods (up to a full year!) so you'll be able to return with no issues. 

Read on for our best mattress US 2020 ranking. As well as a summary of our own experience and other people's reviews, we've included information on things like the firmness, guarantee and trial period, so you can easily compare your options. Our dedicated tool also pulls in the best prices around (plenty of brands offer regular sales and discounts, so if you're smart you can snap up a proper bargain). 

The best mattresses you can buy in 2020

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1. Nectar Memory Foam mattress

The best mattress in the US right now

Specifications
Sizes: Twin - Cal king
Depth: 25cm
Filling: Foam/memory foam
Firmness: Medium/firm (6.5)
Trial: 365 nights
Warranty: Forever
RRP: Twin $898; Full $1,098; Queen $1,198; King $1,398; Cal king $1,398
Reasons to buy
+365 day trial period+'Forever' warranty+Super supportive
Reasons to avoid
-Too firm for some-Questionable cooling tech

A whopping 365-night trial and lifetime warranty differentiates the Nectar memory foam mattress from the numerous other bed-in-a-box brands. Its pricing and sizing are broadly in line with its major competitors CHECK, but Nectar gives you an entire year to decide whether it’s right for you – that's impressive. The company is also climate neutral: all emissions are offset by various global schemes, including an Amazon forest protection program.

Delivery works like a dream. Amazingly, even the enormous Nectar Cal King model comes packaged in a very manageable box, and it’s light enough for one person to wrestle into position. Admittedly, it might smell a bit at first – many of these memory foam mattresses do – but it soon settles down.

Comfortable from the minute it comes out of its minimal packaging, the Nectar mattress offers a medium-to-firm support level that suits any type of bed and all kinds of sleepers. There's a bit of give in the top layer, which neatly moulds around the body, while a complicated supporting base layer adds the required firmness for a peaceful sleep. We're not sure how well the adaptive cooling cover top layer works (it's supposed to draw heat away from the body) but we can say the matching pillows – which use similar memory foam tech – are totally dreamy.

Nectar is a great mattress, and extremely comfortable at that, while the 365-day money-back trial proves just how confident this company is that it’s created one of the best mattresses you can buy. Most mattress-in-a-box brands offer only a mere 100 nights. We recommend buying straight from Nectar, which promises 'the best available price' at all times.

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best mattress: Casper Original

(Image credit: Casper)
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best mattress: Casper Original

(Image credit: Casper)
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best mattress: Casper Original

(Image credit: Casper)

2. Casper Original

The best mattress for zoned support

Specifications
Sizes: Twin - Cal King
Depth: 11"
Filling: 'Airscape' foam; memory foam (hybrid option available)
Firmness: 7 (medium-firm)
Trial: 100 nights
Warranty: 10 year limited warranty
RRP: Twin $595; Full $995; Queen $1,095; King $1,295; Cal king $1,295
Reasons to buy
+Extra support around hips and spine+Bouncier 'Airscape' foam top layer+Great for back sleepers

The Casper Original is Casper's first mattress, which stormed the bed-in-a-box market when it launched back in 2014. It stands out from other options in our best mattress list in two main ways. Firstly, it boasts a zoned support system: this mattress has a band of extra firmness across its centre, while the head and foot are slightly softer. The idea is that the sleeper has some extra support on the hips and spine, and pressure relief around the shoulders (especially useful if you're lying on your side). For this reason, we think the Casper original is one of the best mattresses around for back sleepers.

The second is Casper's proprietary 'Airscape' top layer, which is bouncier and more responsive than your average memory foam, dodging that 'sinking' feeling of thicker memory foams and making it easier to move around on. It's also perforated to encourage airflow and prevent overheating. And if you prefer even more bounce, this mattress is available as a hybrid, with an extra spring layer. A nice touch is that the mattress cover is made from recycled bottles.

Like many of the options in our best mattress ranking, there are often Casper deals that take the RRP down. To see how it compares to our number #1 mattress, check out our Casper vs Nectar mattress faceoff.

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best mattress: Saatva Classic mattress

(Image credit: Saatva)
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best mattress: Saatva Classic mattress

(Image credit: Saatva)

3. Saatva Classic mattress

The best innerspring mattress

Specifications
Sizes: Twin - Cal King
Depth: 11.5" / 14.5"
Filling: Pillow top, springs
Firmness: 3 / 5-7 / 8
Trial: 180 nights
Warranty: 15 years
RRP: For 11.5": Twin $799; Full $1,299; Queen $1,399; King $1,799; Cal king $1,799
Reasons to buy
+Pick your firmness and depth+Extra support around Lumbar+Eco-friendly, sustainable credentials
Reasons to avoid
-Some motion transfer

If you're looking for a sprung option, the best mattress is the Saatva Classic. This mattress is built with two layers of springs, made from recycled steel: smaller, individually wrapped coils to contour to the body, on a base of durable steel springs to provide a strong and stable base. There are some more design features that take the sleep experience up a notch; the plush organic cotton pillow top keeps things cosy, strong perimeter edge support ensures you don't roll off, and there's an extra zone of memory foam across the centre to provide extra support to your lower back.

Innerspring mattresses are good for those who sleep hot, as springs don't trap heat in the same way that memory foam often can. They also provide a bouncier, more responsive sleep surface that's easy to move about on. On the down side, you may experience more motion transfer as a result (although the smaller top layer of springs is designed to fight against this). Saatva also lets you pick your depth and firmness depending on your personal preference, which is a nice touch. Keep an eye out for a Saatva mattress deal or discount code to save on your purchase. 

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best mattress: Zoma Hybrid mattress

(Image credit: Zoma)
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best mattress: Zoma Hybrid mattress

(Image credit: Zoma)

4. Zoma Hybrid mattress

Best mattress for athletes

Specifications
Sizes: Queen - Split King
Depth: 12"
Filling: Memory foam, coils
Firmness: Medium
Trial: 100 nights
Warranty: 10 years
RRP: Twin $849; Full $1,049; Queen $1,149; King $1,249; Cal king $1,249
Reasons to buy
+Three-zone support+Breathable and cooling+Environmentally friendly foam
Reasons to avoid
-Cover is a little thin

If you have a very active or physically demanding lifestyle, the best mattress for you is the Zoma hybrid. Specifically designed for athletes, this mattress includes targeted support thanks to the 'Triangulex' gel memory foam, which has three different zones for pressure relief where you need it. There's also a responsive 'Rectiv' top layer that contours to your body without restricting movement or giving that 'sinking in' feeling, a sturdy base with edge support, and a layer of springs for added bounce (this model is also available as foam-only). 

There are also a number of features to combat overheating: the gel memory foam contains cooling channels and is designed to be much more breathable than traditional foams, and the stretchy cover is ventilated (although we did find it felt a little thin). Head to our Zoma Hybrid mattress review for the full low-down on what we thought – but in essence we were extremely impressed with this mattress. We found it extremely comfortable and supportive, with our testers sleeping more soundly than usual and noting a significant decrease in their usual daily aches and pains after switching over.

Best mattress: Avocado Green

(Image credit: Avocado Green)

5. Avocado Green mattress

The best eco-friendly, natural mattress

Specifications
Sizes: Twin - Cal King
Depth: 11"
Filling: Organic certified latex, wool and coils
Firmness: Firmer (7-8)
Trial: 1 year
Warranty: 25 years
RRP: Twin $899; Full $1,199; Queen $1,399; King $1,799; Cal king $1,799
Reasons to buy
+All certified organic and natural materials+Especially good for side and stomach sleepers+Optional pillow top+Generous guarantee and trial period
Reasons to avoid
-Might be too firm for some

The most eco-conscious option around is the Avocado Green mattress. This brand boasts a plethora of green, natural credentials – for starters, all materials are certified organic, and every mattress is GREENGUARD Gold Certified for low emissions. Rather than using common toxic chemical fire retardants, Avocado green meets federal safety standards by using 100% GOTS organic certified wool, with no chemical treatments at all, sourced from the brand's own Himalayan herding collective, no less (alternatively, there's a PETA-approved wool-free vegan version). The company is also carbon negative, which means it offsets more carbon than it generates.

So all that is excellent, but what about how comfy it is? Construction-wise, the mattress contains a latex comfort layer on top of a layer of 1,414 tempered steel coils and another latex layer, with a reinforced steel perimeter for edge support. Like many of the best mattresses, there's zoned support, with the coils arranged into five areas to add extra firmness around key regions such as the neck and spine. This mattress is on the firmer end of the scale – although you can customize it by adding an optional pillow-top, or plush or firm mattress topper made from organic latex. Note, you will probably have to pay a little more to go green – by RRP this mattress is a the higher end of the market.

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best mattress: DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid mattress

(Image credit: DreamCloud)
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best mattress: DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid mattress

(Image credit: DreamCloud)

6. DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid mattress

A luxuriously thick hybrid mattress

Specifications
Sizes: Twin - Cal King
Depth: 14"
Filling: Foam, coils
Firmness: Medium-firm (6.5)
Trial: 365 nights
Warranty: Forever
RRP: Twin $799; Full $999; Queen $1,099; King $1,299; Cal king $1,299
Reasons to buy
+Designed to adapt to support your body +Forever warranty and 365-night trial+Luxuriously thick
Reasons to avoid
-Slight motion transfer-Some complaints around customer service

The DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid mattress includes five layers, carefully engineered to offer the perfect night's sleep. At the top is a 'Tight Top' quilted foam and cashmere cover, followed by a layers of gel memory foam and a layer of support foam. Next come the springs – which are designed to provide edge-to-edge support, and to enable air to flow through the mattress and keep the sleeper cool – and finally a foam base. DreamCloud says its springs are more flexible than regular springs, and they work with the memory foam layers to contour to your body and provide support where you need it and pressure relief where you need it. Unlike many mattresses on this list, the DreamCloud mattress is not actively 'zoned' – it's classed as medium-firm, ranking 6.5 on the firmness scale all over – but this responsive design means it should happily adapt to the sleeper's body. 

The extras for this mattress are truly impressive. You get a Forever Warranty (the only one in our list) and 365-night trial, which matches the best in the market. Reviews online are extremely positive, and those that aren't focus on issues with delivery and customer service, rather than problems with the mattress itself. 

This mattress has a luxury look and is deeper than many others (at 14"), but the price, even at RRP, is very reasonable. As ever, we'd recommend browsing the best cheap DeamCloud deals and discount codes before you buy, to ensure you don't miss any offers.

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best mattress: Tuft & Needle Original

(Image credit: Tuft & Needle)
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best mattress: Tuft & Needle Original

(Image credit: Tuft & Needle)
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best mattress: Tuft & Needle Original

(Image credit: Tuft & Needle)

7. Tuft & Needle Original

The best budget mattress

Specifications
Sizes: Twin - Cal King
Depth: 10"
Filling: Foam
Firmness: Medium-firm
Trial: 100 nights
Warranty: 10 years
RRP: Twin $350; Full $495; Queen $595; King $750; Cal king $750
Reasons to buy
+Great value+Does what it says on the tin
Reasons to avoid
-No bells and whistles-Not great for heavier people

For those on a tighter budget, the Tuft & Needle Original is the best mattress for you, offering a great sleep experience at a great-value price point. The design is simple but effective: two layers of open cell foam, with added graphite and cooling gel to keep wick away heat and moisture. T&N rates it as medium-firm, and says it aims to balance pressure relief and support, whatever position you like to sleep in. Customers note that it responds instantly to the body, absorbs motion well and, unlike memory foam, bounces back immediately into shape when you move.

At this price point, there are few bells and whistles than others on this list, and there are a few places where it doesn't perform as well as pricier options (it can trap some heat, and the edge support might weaken over time, for instance). However, it's still very well reviewed and it matches the industry standard in terms of warranty and trial period. Essentially, if you're looking for a good, basic mattress to suit a wide range of preferences and sleeping styles, this is probably it. The only people we wouldn't necessarily recommend it for is customers that weigh over 250lbs, who might need something more supportive. 

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Best Mattress: The Allswell

(Image credit: Allswell)
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Best Mattress: The Allswell

(Image credit: Allswell)
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Best Mattress: The Allswell

(Image credit: Allswell)

8. The Allswell

The cheapest mattress

Specifications
Sizes: Twin - Cal King
Depth: 10"
Filling: Coils, memory foam
Firmness: Medium-firm (4.5-6.5)
Trial: 100 nights
Warranty: 10 years
RRP: Twin $265; Full $345; Queen $375; King $465; Cal king $465
Reasons to buy
+Very, very cheap+Luxurious feel+Good trial period and warranty

Looking for the cheapest mattress around? It might just be the Allswell; even the California King size one is under $500. It's not rubbish either – the reviews are extremely positive, with customers calling out how luxurious it feels. This mattress is a hybrid, with a layer of individually wrapped coils topped with a layer of charcoal and copper-infused memory foam and a quilted top cover. There's edge support of two sides, which'll stop you rolling off the edge (but won't help if you want to sit at the head or foot of the bed). Firmness-wise, you're looking at somewhere right in the middle of the scale. There's also 100-night trial, which matches the industry standard, and a 10-year limited warranty.

Which is the best type of mattress?

There are a few different mattress types on the market right now. As you start your hunt for the best mattress, there are certain terms you're going to come across a lot – the difference isn't complex, but it's helpful to understand what each term means before you get shopping. The three main mattress types you're going to come across are memory foam, pocket sprung or hybrid. 

Memory foam
This type of mattress has exploded in popularity over recent years. Memory foam is a responsive material that reacts to your temperature and weight to mould gently around your body as you lie on it. Memory foam mattresses offer great support and comfort, and are perhaps the most popular mattress type right now, with most of the big brands offering their own takes on this material. 

One potential down-side is that memory foam traps body heat in a way you don't get so much with springs. So in the winter you'll have a lovely cosy bed, but in the summer you might find yourself getting a little warmer than usual – which can be an issue if you sleep hot. Many brands have introduced cooling top layers to counteract this. You can read more in our memory foam mattress buying guide.

Pocket sprung
Pocket sprung is a more traditional mattress type. These mattresses include thousands of small springs inside their own fabric pockets. Although they will adapt to your body shape, they're not as supportive as memory foam, and may provide less movement isolation (problematic if you've got a restless bedmate). They offer a bouncier surface to sleep on – you won't sink into a pocket sprung mattress the same way as you would a memory foam one.

Hybrid
The term 'hybrid' technically could refer to any mattress that's made up of different materials, but it typically means a mattress that combines layers of pocket springs and memory foam. This makeup offers more bounce than memory foam-only mattresses, but with the added support and comfort of a memory foam upper.

There are a few more terms you might come across in your search. These mattress types are a little rarer, but still worth knowing about.

  • Latex: A breathable, springy material that's exceptionally durable and resilient. Can be expensive. 
  • Continuous and coil: Made from a single looped wire, or from single springs fixed with one wire. These are cheaper and less likely to give a good night’s sleep.
  • Bed in a box: This refers to a delivery method, in which mattresses are compressed, rolled or folded into a box for easy home delivery. They're usually foam, or a memory foam and spring combination. 

One more bit of advice before you start shopping: don't put too much emphasis on mattress type. Personal factors like your height, weight, body shape, sleeping style and temperature are far more likely to affect how comfortable you find a specific mattress. All our picks recommended in our best mattress guide above have been designed to deliver outstanding support and comfort for the majority of people – regardless of their material. 

How to choose the best mattress for you

Before buying a mattress, make sure it’s the right size. Your mattress – like your bed – should be 10cm longer than the tallest person sleeping in it. It should also be wide enough for you and a partner to put your hands under your head without your elbows touching (or without touching the edge of the mattress if you’re not sharing). 

Next, do the hand test: lying down on your back, push your hand under the small of your back. If you can’t, the mattress is too soft; if the gap is very large, it’s too hard. And if you have a partner, make sure they try it, too: what feels fine on your own may be like a bouncy castle with someone else on board. 

Lastly, also check whether a mattress needs turning. Many don't these days, but if you’re considering one that does, make sure it has handles.

What is the best mattress?

The Emma Original is the best mattress right now. It's outrageously comfortable, extremely supportive and it’s highly durable too – so it’ll last. Plus, it's cheaper than many of its competitors, making the mattress exceptionally good value for money.

We also really like the excellent Eve Premium Hybrid. Second in our list, this mattress is exceptionally supportive and comfortable. In fact, the only real down-side is that it's more expensive than the Emma – if you spot a deal, we'd definitely recommend you get on it! 

However, the right mattress for you will depend on your personal preferences and budget. Our widget below will pull in the best prices on each of our best mattress picks.