The 14 Best (and Worst) Mattresses You Can Buy Online

HUNTING FOR THE best mattress online is a waking nightmare, and picking the wrong one can literally cause bad dreams or kill your back. It doesn’t help that the online market is flooded with options or that there are more dedicated mattress review sites than stars in the sky. It’s a mess. WIRED is not a dedicated sleep site, but a few years ago, we did fill a room with 25 of the top mattress-in-a-box models and spent several days examining, reclining, and even jumping on each of them. Since then we’ve tested dozens more. Below are our favorite (and least favorite) mattresses right now. All of the prices shown are for queen-size models.

Be sure to check out our other sleep guides, including Best Organic Mattresses, Best Sleep Gadgets, Best Sound Machines, and our roundup of Gifts for People Who Like to Sleep.

Updated November 2022: We’ve added the Winkbed, added more long-term testing thoughts on the Helix Sleep, and mentioned the Molecule Hybrid.

Special offer for Gear readers: Get a 1-year subscription to WIRED for $5 ($25 off). This includes unlimited access to and our print magazine (if you’d like). Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day.

Julian Chokkattu, Matt Jancer, Louryn Strampe, and Scott Gilbertson contributed to this guide.

  • tuft and needle mint mattressPHOTOGRAPH: TUFT AND NEEDLEHybrid vs. All-Foam MattressesChoose Your DestinyIn my testing and use so far, I’ve preferred hybrid mattresses. I believe they offer a better night’s sleep in most circumstances and the best balance between the benefits of innerspring and foam mattresses, but you’ll have to decide what’s best for you. There are fantastic mattresses of both types.Hybrid Coil + Foam Mattresses: These use a combination of individually wrapped springs and several layers of memory foam. Hybrids tend to offer a good range of firmness options and better support, so you don’t get that sinking feeling. They’re also better at dispersing heat, so you’re less likely to overheat at night. The wrapped coils dramatically reduce motion transfer from an old-school box spring mattress and give better edge support.Memory Foam Mattresses: These are only made from layers of foam, usually in a variety of densities and consistencies. They tend to offer better body contouring but can feel too sink-y or unsupportive if they aren’t designed well.Innerspring Mattresses: These are the more-rigid mattresses you grew up sleeping on. They don’t come in a box and they typically are made up of metal wiring and springs, covered in various kinds of cushioning and padding.
  • Helix Midnight mattressPHOTOGRAPH: HELIX SLEEPBest OverallHelix Sleep Midnight Luxe Hybrid Mattress (14-Inch)I have tried out a lot of mattresses in the past few years, but only one put me to sleep just lying on it. Helix’s Midnight Luxe has a plush cushion top and a medium-firm feel that’s relaxing whether you’re a side, back, or stomach sleeper. (I’m most definitely a stomach sleeper.) The lights were on, and our testing room was loud, but I dozed off anyway.Helix mattresses are hybrids and have a base of individually wrapped springs that are firmer in areas that need more support to prevent back pain, like your lower spine. On top is a stratum of cooling gel foam and denser foams. It’s cozy, and Helix has a variety of other mattresses that cater to different sleeping positions and firmness preferences. It’s pretty impressive. The only downside is that the price is as “Luxe” as its comfort.Note: Avoid pairing the Midnight Luxe Hybrid with a box spring and use a solid base or slats instead (it could void your warranty). A WIRED colleague noticed severe sloping on it after a year. Thankfully, after viewing photos of the slope, Helix Sleep agreed to replace it (they didn’t know she works for WIRED). $2,099 AT HELIX SLEEP
  • Leesa mattressPHOTOGRAPH: LEESARunner-UpLeesa Hybrid Mattress (11-Inch)This is a true runner-up in comfort to my top pick. It’s one of the best mattresses on the market, hands down. I love the silky diamond-textured cover of Leesa’s luxe Hybrid Mattress almost as much as its soft-yet-firm, pressure-relieving feel. It didn’t whoosh me away to dreamland like the Helix Midnight Luxe, but it was a mattress I kept coming back to during testing—sometimes for comparison and a few times because it felt so cool and cozy.Like a lot of our top picks, this is a hybrid mattress. It has a layer of individually wrapped springs sandwiched between five layers of foam in various densities, including a 1.5-inch top layer of airy, cooling Avena foam. The layers blend together well, gently hugging my body while offering proper support. $1,139 AT AMAZON$1,699 AT TARGET$1,699 AT LEESAFEATURED VIDEOSleep Expert Answers Questions From Twitter
  • Avocado Green Mattress on bed framePHOTOGRAPH: MELISSA KRUSED/AVOCADO MATTRESSBest Organic Mattress (Sustainable)Avocado Green Organic Hybrid MattressThe Avocado Green hybrid mattress is the only mattress WIRED reviewer Scott Gilbertson and his wife agree on. She likes a soft mattress, and he prefers a firm one. This model somehow manages to be both without being too much of either. Despite more than a year of sleeping on it, there’s zero sagging or any other issues. If you prefer a soft feel, there’s a pillow-top option.The Avocado’s best trick is that it’s incredibly comfortable and environmentally friendly. It’s 11 inches thick and is constructed in California from organic latex, organic wool, and organic cotton. It contains no polyurethane, fire retardants, memory foam, or chemical adhesives, according to the company. It offers a one-year trial, a 25-year warranty, and free shipping. Like other mattress-in-a-box options, the Avocado arrives compressed. Better yet, the company is also a certified B Corporation that’s purchasing enough offsets to be able to say it operates as a carbon-negative business. Read our Best Organic Mattresses guide for more sustainable options.★ Another Good Organic Mattress: The Awara Hybrid Mattress ($1,099) is also made from organic latex, organic wool, and individually-wrapped springs. WIRED reviewer Louryn Strampe found it springy and comfortable, especially for a single sleeper, though it doesn’t have quite as much support. It’s a floppier mattress, but all four sides have two reinforced handles for easier maneuvering (something other beds we’ve tested often fail to include).$1,999 AT AVOCADO MATTRESS
  • mattress from AllswellPHOTOGRAPH: ALLSWELLThe Cheapest OK MattressAllswell Hybrid Mattress (10-Inch)The Allswell shocked me. It feels more expensive than it is. Unlike many similarly priced ultra-cheap mattresses by companies like Amazon Basics and Zinus, the Allswell is a hybrid mattress (made by Walmart) with a full bed of individually wrapped springs inside it to prevent motion transfer, topped with a layer of gel-infused memory foam that keeps you cool and contours to your body. It has a medium-firm, supportive feel and is rimmed with tubing like a traditional mattress, giving it better edge support than many foam models. If your budget is tight, it’s a good option, and it works great as a mattress for a guest room.★ Upgrade pick: The Allswell Luxe Mattress ($699) is similar but comfier, with three added layers of foam and a plusher top cover. If you plan to sleep on this mattress daily, I recommend the Luxe or Supreme (which you can read more about below).$349 AT WALMART$449 AT ALLSWELL
  • mattressPHOTOGRAPH: ALLSWELLBest for $1,000 or LessAllswell Supreme Hybrid Mattress (14-Inch)Out of a bundle of new mattresses my wife and I have slept on in the past couple of years, this is the one that stuck around. Like the standard Allswell, the Supreme is a hybrid mattress and, as you may gather from its name, it’s the best the company has to offer. I find it about as luxe and comfy as many $2,000 mattresses. At its core is a bed of individually wrapped coils, topped with a base layer of firmer foam, a layer of copper- and graphite-infused gel foam to dissipate heat, and a plush top layer. If you’re pregnant or have a pregnant partner, I can say that this is the only mattress my wife wanted to sleep on during her third trimester because of its softness and support in side-sleeping positions. (We had five to choose from at the time.)You’ll notice it looks a tad cheaper than some super-expensive mattresses and doesn’t have the best edge support. You can also feel the coils if you run your hands along the sides, which is totally fine since we sleep on the top, but not something you typically notice on a high-end mattress.$779 AT WALMART$999 AT ALLSWELL
  • Brooklyn Bedding mattressPHOTOGRAPH: BROOKLYN BEDDINGBest Firm MattressBrooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid Mattress (12-Inch)I’ve slept on the Brooklyn Signature “Firm” hybrid mattress for a couple of years. My partner and I bought it after doing our own research on firm mattresses, and it hasn’t let us down. I’d go for a medium if I were ordering again because they definitely do run firm, but it has been a delightful bed that’s experienced no sagging even after three-plus years. Those who require a firm mattress due to certain kinds of back pain may like it. It’s a hybrid design with a combination of cooling gel foam (with a titanium coating), high-density foams, and individually wrapped coils.If you’re someone who thinks firm mattresses are never firm enough, Brooklyn Bedding’s two-sided mattress, called the Plank ($932), lives up to its name. It’s the firmest surface I’ve laid on since my last camping trip.$899 AT AMAZON (MEDIUM)$899 AT WALMART (MEDIUM)$1,332 AT BROOKLYN BEDDING (MEDIUM)
  • Layla mattressPHOTOGRAPH: LAYLAIf You Want Both Soft and FirmLayla Two-Sided Foam Mattress (10-Inch)One of the trickiest parts of ordering a bed online is knowing what’s going to feel best. Will you sleep better with a softer or firmer mattress? Layla is a fun all-foam mattress because it gives you that choice right off the bat. Like that famous Batman villain, it’s split right down the middle. The dark side is medium-firm, and the light side is medium-soft. Try them both and pick your favorite. For me, the soft side didn’t have enough support for my habitual stomach sleeping, but the firm side was quite comfy.Since it’s completely foam, the Layla doesn’t have good edge support, and the overall comfort doesn’t match a lot of the hybrid mattresses (with springs) on this list, but it does have some amenities, like a cooling layer of foam infused with gel (copper-based). It’s also made in the US if that makes a difference. I had no trouble sleeping many nights on the Layla, and that’s more than I can say about a lot of mattresses. Layla also sells a hybrid version ($1,699) of its twin-firmness mattress. This model is likely better all-around, but we have not tested it.$949 AT AMAZON$1,099 AT LAYLA
  • Tuft and Needle mattressPHOTOGRAPH: TUFT AND NEEDLEGood for Pressure ReliefTuft & Needle Mint Mattress (12-Inch)The Mint Mattress was strange to lie on at first. The top three inches of “Adaptive” foam is incredibly soft, so I sank in more than on many medium-firm foam mattresses. Somehow it still felt supportive, pressure-relieving, and—just as important—cool. For a mattress you lie in more than on, it was also remarkably easy to escape from.As on the standard Tuft & Needle Mattress, the top layer of foam is infused with “heat-wicking graphite” and naturally springs back into shape, but the real star may be the layer of green ceramic gel foam that provides support and disperses heat. The closest mattress to this one was the Purple mattress, which has a silicone-like top layer that feels like a super-soft waffle (in a pleasant way).$1,595 AT TUFT & NEEDLE$1,195 AT NORDSTROM
  • Tulo mattressPHOTOGRAPH: TULOAn Affordable All-Foam MattressMattress Firm Tulo Medium Mattress (10-Inch)If you tend to like an extra soft or firm mattress, dislike innerspring or hybrid mattresses, and are on a budget, I recommend checking out the Tulo Comfort Series. Its queen-size is about half the price of many all-foam competitors—like Casper and Leesa—and it comes in soft, medium, or firm. Tulo brags that its top layer of ventilated memory foam is “integrated with titanium particles” so you don’t wake up in a sweat. It stayed relatively cool during my time lying on it, and its four layers of foam had a denser, more integrated feel than some budget brands; you can sink right into the layers of many cheap foam mattresses—but not this one.$380 AT AMAZON$900 AT MATTRESS FIRM
  • Casper Original Hybrid Mattress on bed framePHOTOGRAPH: CASPERIf You Don’t Know What to GetCasper Hybrid Mattress (12-Inch)Casper is the company that made all these bed-in-a-box mattresses popular, and its experience shows. Its hybrid mattress is as close to a “default” as beds come these days, and for more than a year, it became the mattress I always wanted to switch back to between testing other models. Sleeping on it felt like a palette cleanser—how a bed should feel. Its firmness level is a good balance between soft and supportive, and the springs make it fairly breathable and give it just enough bounce. The Casper Hybrid is a safe, moderately-priced choice for the comfort it offers and should satisfy a fair number of stomach, side, and back sleepers. The mattress has been slightly altered since I last slept on it, but reviews indicate it offers a similar feel. $1,445 AT AMAZON$1,445 AT TARGET$1,445 AT CASPER
  • The WinkBed mattressPHOTOGRAPH: WINKBEDSGreat for Stomach and Back SleepersWinkBeds The WinkBedThe WinkBed is akin to the Casper above—if you’re not sure what to get, there’s a good chance this mattress will satisfy. WIRED reviews editor Julian Chokkattu has been sleeping on it for more than six months and he’s quite happy. His favorite perk? The edge support is fantastic so his partner never wakes when he slips into bed late at night. The plush pillow top adds a luxe hotel-like feel to a relatively firm bed too. (He tried the Luxury Firm, but there are three other choices.) However, he is a stomach and back sleeper; his partner, who is often a side sleeper, found it a little too firm. The WinkBed is a US-made hybrid mattress with an ecofriendly Tencel cover that wicks moisture and has individually wrapped coils for excellent support. The company says it works well with most bed frames (as long as there’s a rigid center support). There’s a 120-night trial and a full-replacement lifetime warranty.$1,499 AT WINKBEDS
  • Nectar mattressPHOTOGRAPH: NECTARGood for Side SleepersNectar Sleep Nectar Mattress (11-Inch)Remember the first time you pushed your hand into memory foam and watched it make an indent, then slowly recover? The Nectar Mattress feels like you’re sleeping on classic, conforming memory foam. I’m a hardened stomach sleeper, but this mattress had a magic hug that made me believe I might actually be able to sleep on my side if I owned it. It conforms to your body, but you don’t really sink in much. It’s composed of four layers of dense, high-quality foams; the top two are gel-infused for cooling. Like many foam mattresses, the edges could use more support, but overall it’s well built. Nectar is so confident in the quality of its mattress that it offers a “Forever Warranty”.$799 AT AMAZON$799 AT NECTAR SLEEP
  • My Green Mattress on bed framePHOTOGRAPH: MY GREEN MATTRESSA Great Organic Kids MattressMy Green Mattress Kiwi Children’s (Twin)We love the Avocado Green mattress, but it’s not cheap. When buying for his kids, WIRED senior reviewer Scott Gilbertson went with the more affordable Kiwi Mattress, by My Green Mattress. The Kiwi is also a hybrid mattress with pocketed springs and certified organic cotton, wool, and latex. One interesting twist that makes the Kiwi appealing for kids is the two-sided option. It costs a little more upfront but being able to flip it extends its life, which is handy if your kids see a bed as a trampoline in disguise. The Kiwi is definitely a firmer mattress, but Gilbertson finds it comfortable, and his children all say it’s the most comfortable mattress they’ve slept on. My Green Mattress offers a 20-year warranty and a 120-night trial. $749 AT MY GREEN MATTRESS
  • Eight Sleep Pod ProPHOTOGRAPH: EIGHT SLEEPBest for Temperature Control and Sleep TrackingEight Sleep Pod 3 CoverMy partner and I reviewed Eight Sleep’s Pod mattress and cooling cover. It’s a mattress with a cover you zip on that can heat or cool the bed’s surface so it stays at the exact temperature you and your partner like throughout the night. The mattress is all foam and not at all impressive for its $3,000-plus asking price, but if you’re willing to pay a premium to track your sleep or keep your bed at precisely the right temperature each night, the Pod 3 Cover might be a good addition to whatever other mattress you buy.The Pro Cover regulates its temperature with a backpack-sized water cooling/heating device that sits next to your bed. It has a fancy hose that connects to a paperboard-thin layer of plastic with a checkerboard pattern of tubes in it. It circulates warm or cold water through the bed. Depending on how hot or cool you want the mattress, it needs a refill of distilled water (and two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide) every few weeks to every few months.The cover also has a strip of sensors near your chest that records all the sleep stats you could imagine, including your heart rate, breathing rate, and a variety of other data you may or may not fully understand since they aren’t explained in the greatest of depth. For example, I found it hard to know what actions to take when it warned me my heart-rate variability dropped below normal, but I did appreciate the data nonetheless and learned a lot about how often I toss and turn each night (too often). All the bed controls and sleep stats are accessible in the Eight Sleep app.You will want to have a couple of sheets between you and the cover. Its sensor strip seems durable but feels a bit like paper when you press your hand on it, and you may be able to feel the ventilation holes under the cover’s top layer at times. They aren’t uncomfortable—just different.$2,045 AT EIGHT SLEEP (POD 3 COVER)
  • Dreamcloud mattressPHOTOGRAPH: DREAMCLOUD SLEEPHonorary MentionsMore Mattresses!There are a few mattresses we tested that don’t stand out as much but are worth mentioning, in case you’re thinking about them.Keetsa All-Foam Tea Leaf Supreme for $1,590: WIRED reviewer Matt Jancer tested the Keetsa for several months. He’s a side sleeper, and though he was never blown away by the mattress’s comfort, he slept fine from start to finish. He didn’t think he would since the mattress is on the soft side. It has three layers of foam and a thin top layer that’s made from recycled materials.The Purple Mattress for $1,299: I had many good nights of sleep on the Purple—and I love the airy, Jell-O-ey, cool feel of the square grid that Purple uses for softness and support (it’s like lying on a bunch of waffles made of soft, stretchy silicone)—but it just isn’t quite as comfortable as hybrid (coil-and-foam) mattresses. There is a hybrid Purple, but it’s pricey. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but just know that Purple mattresses are also kind of heavy.Casper Standard Foam Mattress for $1,295: The original Casper mattress popularized the idea of a bed in a box years ago, and it’s still a comfortable all-foam choice at a good price. But the hybrid version with coils is better.Molecule Hybrid Mattress for $1,899: WIRED reviewer Medea Giordano likes this comfy mattress and has had no problems sleeping on it for months. However, while edge support is fine on three sides, it’s nearly “non-existent” at the bottom of the bed. She nearly fell off while putting on her shoes. You can also feel the coils at the edges of the mattress, though this isn’t a huge issue because it’s undetectable when actually sleeping. Leesa Original Mattress for $1,099: The standard Leesa is a lot like the Casper, but it feels a dash comfier.DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid Mattress for $899: This is another luxury mattress with a thick pillow top that’s very comfortable like the Helix Midnight Luxe and Allswell Supreme.
  • memory foam mattressPHOTOGRAPH: AMAZONMattresses to AvoidBad BedsThere are some budget models you should avoid. Many of these beds are extremely affordable, and if you aren’t picky, they may feel fine. Just don’t say we didn’t warn you.
    • The $314 Amazon Basics mattress and $299 Zinus mattress are made of cheap foam that isn’t dense enough, causing too much sinkage in the versions I tested. (I had to return a Zinus of my own for this reason.) 
    • The $310 Linenspa mattress is certainly affordable, but it has an innerspring with coils that are not individually wrapped, so you will feel movement from your partner. It also felt uncomfortable, with an uneven, mushy feel to it. Our test mattress didn’t fully inflate near the edges, so they drooped. Some Amazon buyers have complained about drooping as well.
    • The Parachute Eco Comfort Mattress ($1,919) just doesn’t live up to its extravagant price. The model I tested didn’t have enough proper padding above its coils. I don’t recommend it.
    • We cannot recommend the Birch Natural Mattress Birch ($1,449) anymore. After less than three years of sleeping on it, its quality is diminishing and the mattress is starting to feel quite “lumpy,” according to WIRED reviewer Louryn Strampe. 
  • Overhead view of an open book on a messy bed.PHOTOGRAPH: FLASHPOP/GETTY IMAGESAbout These MattressesWhat to Expect When You Unbox ThemNearly Every mattress price we’ve featured is for the queen size, but they all come in alternate sizes. They’re also all delivered in a box, vacuum-sealed, and rolled up. Some are pretty heavy, so be sure to invite some help over on the day of the delivery.After you unroll bed-in-a-box mattresses and cut the vacuum bag open, they’ll immediately begin to inflate, so unbox them on your bed frame or near it. They’re usually ready to go in a few hours, but most manufacturers recommend you give the mattress two days to fully inflate. The room may also smell a bit gassy at first, so crack a window; the smell tends to dissipate within a day.Most of these mattresses have at least a 100-night testing period and a 10-year warranty. All of them are CertiPUR-US certified, which means they’re made without a variety of harmful chemicals. A few have more robust organic and sustainability certifications. We’ve marked them as such. Mattresses go on sale very often. If you see one at full price, there’s a strong chance you can save hundreds of dollars by waiting for the next big sale event (every few months).

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button