If you’re shopping for a new bed, learning about the best mattresses of 2016 is a good way to make sure you choose a good one. It’s also helpful to know which ones don’t fare so well in order to avoid the duds.
New mattress models come out every year from a growing number of retailers and manufacturers. For those who are not familiar with the terminology, materials and sales tactics, we’re often told that buying a mattress can be very confusing. There are many different beds out there and it can be difficult to cut through the marketing and identify the best mattress for your money. If you’re feeling unsure about your next bed, don’t worry: The Sleep Junkie is here to help!
The most popular types currently are innerspring and memory foam mattresses. These are the two types you’ll see most often in the market, whether you shop in stores or online. Memory foam tends to receive higher ratings in customer reviews than their spring-filled counterparts, though innersprings are more commonly available. In terms of pricing, the two categories a fairly similar, making it a matter of personal preference above all.
In this review we’ve taken much of the work out of the process for you. Using data from consumer reviews and independent reviewers we examine five of the best rated memory foam mattresses and the top five innerspring beds of the year and ranked them accordingly.
Best Memory Foam Mattresses of 2016 Compared
|Mattress||Memory Foam||Support Layers||Warranty / Returns|
|Amerisleep Revere Bed||3” plant-based MF, 4.0 lb, 10 ILD||9” foam, 1.5 lb, 35 ILD||20 Years|
|Serta iComfort Savant III Plush||1" poly foam, ? lb|
2” gel MF, ? lb
2” traditional MF, ? lb
|8” foam, ? lb||10 Years|
|Tempurpedic Cloud Supreme Breeze||2” traditional MF, ? lb.|
2” traditional MF, ? lb
|7” foam, ? lb||10 Years|
|BedInABox Tranquility Gel||3” gel MF, 3.0 lb, 10 ILD||8” foam, 2.4 lb, 32 ILD||20 Years|
|Simmons Beautyrest Recharge Restored Comfort||1” traditional MF, ? lb|
1.5” gel MF, ? lb
1.5” traditional MF, ? lb
|2” gel layer, ? lb|
7” foam, ? lb
Note: “?” indicates data is unavailable, “apx” indicates an approximation.
1. Amerisleep Revere Bed – $1299
The eco-friendly Revere Bed from Amerisleep consistently receives high marks from consumers. At 4.7 stars out of five from over 420 verified reviewers on their website, the Revere tops our charts. It is one of the most popular beds offered by the plant-based memory foam company.
All of the beds from Amerisleep are made from plant-based foams and come with a unique cover. It is made from Celliant-infused materials, which offers a few health benefits. Celliant has been clinically proven to improve circulation by converting body heat into infrared light, which the body then absorbs.
This study provides objective evidence to support what many of us have observed or heard from people that have worn products enhanced with Celliant. It shows a significant increase in blood flow in the skin when study subjects wore the garments,” says Dr. Lawrence A. Lavery, DPM, MPH, an Associate Professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Rehabilitation at Loyola University Medical Center and Hines Veterans Administration Hospital in Chicago.
Reviewers mention pain relief, support and durability. The Revere uses a medium density memory foam and receives fewer complaints about heat retention than other mid-priced beds in this category. Plant-based mattresses in general also tend to receive fewer complaints of odors and offgassing.
The brand has almost ten years of experience to draw on, and Amerisleep mattresses seem to last a long time through regular use, and have lower than average mentions of durability concerns. Guarantees include a 100 night return period and 20 year warranty with 10 year full replacement.
2. Serta iComfort Savant III – $1774
Serta iComfort recently updated its collection for 2016, and the formerly popular Savant model received an update to its third generation. It comes in both plush and firm, and though current reviews are limited, based on past performance, this model will likely be a standout in this line amongst the more affordable options.
The brand discloses information on layers and thicknesses, but does not provide details on ILD or densities. It is estimated in some places that the gel layers are 4 lb. Both firmness levels have poly foam, traditional memory foam, and gel foams.
Overall the Serta brand comes in average to slightly above average, with lower complaints of heat and odor than brands like Tempurpedic but higher reports of impressions and durability concerns. The iComfort Savant does come with a 10 year full replacement warranty and 120 day trial period.
3. Tempurpedic Cloud Supreme Breeze – $3499
The Tempurpedic Cloud Supreme Breeze is closer to the luxury end of the pricing spectrum. It receives decent reviews on their website at 4.5 stars from over 80 consumers. The Cloud Supreme is touted as having both a softer feel and cooler feel than previous Tempurpedic models, making it more universally comfortable than some of their other options.
Both medium and high density foams are used in this model, although specifics are not disclosed. The core density is not disclosed from the manufacturer, but are estimated at 1.5-1.8 lbs. The Cloud Supreme receives fewer heat retention and durability complaints than other Tempurpedic beds.
One of the biggest complaints people have about Tempurpedic beds is their price. Tempurpedic has to spend a lot of money to maintain their status as a household name. Those costs are necessarily passed on to consumers.
Some owners also complain of odors at an average to above-average rate, and some mention feeling “stuck” due to the slow-response nature of the high density, temperature sensitive foam. Tempurpedic backs their beds with a 90 night trial, and 10 year full replacement warranty.
4. BedInABox Tranquility Gel – $1299
Another mid-range model, the BedInABox Tranquility Gel earns 4.8 of 5 stars from over 20 reviews, and also comes in above average in other online sources. This model appears to be one of the more popular ones in the line.
The brand uses a lower density memory foam than many others in its price range at only 3.0 lbs, though it does have a high resilience core. Comfort and decent durability are also typically mentioned in reviews.
The Tranquility Gel receives above average heat retention and odor complaints, however. While BedInABox offers a long trial period, customers who do want to return reported disliking BedInABox’s policy requiring them to keep the product for 60 days prior to returning.
5. Simmons Beautyrest Recharge Memory Foam Plus Restored Comfort – $1450 (est)
Simmons rolled out their newest collection, Memory Foam Plus, in 2015 to replace the Comforpedic line. Although this line has less available reviews compared to other top brands, it appears to be keeping up.
Like some of the other big names, Simmons doesn’t provide extensive details when it comes to density or ILD but does disclose the basics and thickness of each layer. The Restored Comfort model includes both traditional and gel foam layers. Comfort general rates well, though the brand does have an average durability, and this collection is pretty new.
A 10 year full replacement warranty backs the bed, though it looks like the specific return policy as well as the price you pay will depend on the retailer you shop at.
Best Innerspring Mattresses of 2016 Compared
|Mattress||Comfort Layers||Support System||Warranty / Returns|
|Sealy Posturepedic Hybrid Cobalt Firm||1” gel MF, ? lb|
2” foam, ? lb
.5" gel MF lumbar
|875 wrapped coils, 14 gauge titanium alloy||10 Years|
|Lifekind The Traditional||?" organic cotton||? bonnell coils||20 Years|
|Serta iSeries Vantage Firm||1”-1.5” foam, ? lb|
?“ gel MF, ? lb
?“ foam, ? lb
|1008 wrapped coils (coil-in-coil), 15-16 gauge||10 Years|
|Simmons Beautyrest Recharge 11.5 Luxury Firm||1/2“ gel foam, ? lb|
1/2“ foam, ? lb
2“ foam, ? lb
|800 pocketed coils, 13 gauge titanium alloy||20 Years|
|Stearns and Foster Lux Estate Luxury Firm||2" foam, ? lb|
2" gel MF, ? lb
2" poly foam, ? lb
|1302 encased coils, 14.87 gauge steel||10 Years|
Note: “?” indicates data is unavailable, “apx” indicates an approximation.
1. Sealy Posturepedic Hybrid Cobalt Firm – $1174
Sealy’s Hybrid line receives really good ratings compared to other spring mattresses and the entry level Cobalt model does well with 4.5 stars on average. The Cobalt is on the lower end of the price scale for their Hybrid group (this is based on U.S. Mattress, though other retailers use different names and pricing).
With 875 wrapped titanium coils and foam comfort layers, this series has good comfort and support. The Sealy Hybrid line is about average on motion isolation, heat retention and odors. Durability may be an issue according to some reviews.
Sealy Posturepedic does not reveal their foam densities and the confusing naming system makes it difficult to compare to others and even between stores however. This collection comes with 10 year full replacement warranties, though return policies will vary by seller.
2. Lifekind The Traditional – $3795
Lifekind is one of the few options for organic beds, and they are an established online seller. Their innerspring options contain materials like organic wool and latex, and the line tends to get good reviews. The Traditional model doesn’t have extensive reviews online, but the ones that are available rate it well above average.
This bed comes in medium and medium firm, with an organic cotton cover and comfort layer. The support base is composed of bonnell coils, which can be fairly good for durability, but may lack in motion isolation.
While Lifekind tends to be pretty open about their materials, specifics on coil count and coil information aren’t posted online. The cotton batting can be prone to compression and wear, but the Traditional is two-sided, so it can be flipped. This brand offers a 20 year warranty (1o full) and 90 day return period.
3. Serta iComfort Hybrid Applause II – $1074
The popular Serta iSeries collection undergoes a name change for 2016, now becoming the iComfort Hybrid collection. Formerly, the Applause model was lauded for good reviews and comfort in past years, and this is being replaced by the Applause II, which comes in both firm and plush. Both models will likely rate well with consumers, though the newness of the collection could bring some surprises.
This Applause II model is one of Serta’s low-to-mid range priced beds. It includes two inches of regular foam and 1/2-inch of gel memory foam in the comfort layers, supported by 952 dual pocket coils (coils placed inside of each other). Serta doesn’t disclose foam density, but theirs tends to be of decent quality and mid-range density levels based on estimates.
The Serta iComfort line generally performs well on motion isolation and durability, as do most of their models due to containing independent coils. The price of the Applause is higher than some lesser known options of similar quality, however, but they do offer a 10 year warranty and 120 day trial period.
4. Simmons Beautyrest Recharge 11.5” Luxury Firm – $750+
The Beautyrest Recharge Luxury Firm by Simmons does well on the ratings from retailer sites, with around 4 to 4.5 stars. You may find it listed under different names depending on the retailer. It is priced at the lower end of the Recharge line, with prices typically below $1000.
With 800 individually wrapped titanium coils, the Recharge Luxury Firm has an above average coil count for its price range. Gel and traditional foams are used in comfort layers, but Simmons does not disclose their foam densities. Layers can vary slightly between retailers as well, so it’s important to look at the specifications when comparing.
The Recharge line performs better than average in motion isolation, comfort and support. Heat retention complaints are also relatively low.Longevity and durability can be problem with the Recharge line and Simmons products in general, however. Premature sagging is reported from customers fairly often.
Customers also report having trouble with warranties and returns, too. Consumers have lodged several complaints with the Better Business Bureau concerning problems with warranties and returns. It may be wise to choose a retailer with a good return policy when shopping. Also, be aware that discrepancies in naming can make comparison shopping tricky.
5. Stearns and Foster Lux Estate Luxury Firm – $1950+
Stearns and Foster is generally marketed as a high-end line compared to sister brand Sealy, but reviews can be subpar compared to cheaper cousins. The models that do tend to perform average or better are those with latex layers however, as in the Lux Estate line. The Luxury Firm is a mid to high range option in this group with a small amount of good reviews.
This model is made with gel foam, latex and various polyurethane layers. It also has a silk and wool blend fiber batting. It is not specified what percent of the latex is natural. The support system uses pocket coils, with an above average count.
Like most other brands, this bed comes with a 10 year full replacement warranty, with the retune policy depending on seller. Since Stearns and Foster allows dealers to rename the beds, comparison shopping can be difficult and prices may vary considerably by store.
Top Ten Worst Mattress Types
Independent review sites such as Sleep Like The Dead and a few others accumulate data from consumers. There is a lot of information out there on our sleep preferences, and what people tend to find good and bad in beds from reviews.
While we are all a bit different and comfort is subjective, there are some places we seem to agree. When you’re looking for the right mattress, these are the factors that research and statistics suggest you might want to avoid.
1. Super Cheap Beds
While this may seem obvious, it needs to be stated. You may think you’re getting a steal on a very cheap bed at a discount retailer or during a big sale, but the retailer may have the last laugh.
Mattresses that go for $450-$550 or less for a queen tend to receive the lowest customer ratings overall. You may want to look in the average to mid-price range ($800-$1500 or so usually nets beds in the average to great satisfaction range).
Reviews of these beds can be deceiving. Customers may give the mattress a glowing review after only a few days or weeks of using it. Cheap beds overwhelmingly have problems with longevity and durability, however. While initially comfort can be just fine, cheaper materials break down quicker, and will need to be replaced considerably sooner. Research has also found that cheaper beds are linked with more back pain.
Try to see what customers say about early sagging or impressions and consider the length of time they have been using it. A reviewer who has used a bed for several months will have a better idea of the quality.
2. Promotional Mattresses
Promotional mattresses are often advertised as “doorbusters” or with other marketing terms used to get customers interested. As with all very cheap options, the quality is often not what customers are looking for, even if the price may be a steal. You may find these beds have little to no warranty or return policies as well, so if you’re shopping during as sale, be sure to do your research.
That’s not to say there is no use for these types of beds, as they can be great for guest bedrooms or temporary situations. Make sure you know the limitations of the bed you’re buying, though. If you need a bed to last a long time with regular use, you may need to spend a bit more.
3. Motion Transferring Innersprings
If you’ve ever tried to sleep on a bed with poor motion isolation while your partner or pet tosses and turns, you understand the problem of motion transfer. Innerspring mattresses that don’t have individually-pocketed coils usually have the most issues with this.
If you are a light sleeper, a bed that transfers motion too much can be a nightmare. Memory foam and latex beds are rated as the best for motion isolation, with pocket coils and hybrid spring beds also performing reasonably well.
4. Hot Memory Foam
Around 9% of memory foam owners say they sleep hot. Manufacturers have tried to combat this in several ways. Gel was introduced in order to make memory foam feel cooler. It often does make the foam more cool to the touch, but roughly the same amount of gel memory foam owners report problems with heat retention, likely because the gel eventually acclimates to the sleeper’s body temperature.
Plant-based memory foam has a more open foam structure which allows for more breathability, as described in a study by Cargill. Air moves through the foam more freely so you sleep cooler than traditional options, which can trap heat.
“Overall, memory foam beds have a fairly high rate of heat complaints compared to springs and other non-foam mattress types, but significant differences are present across different brands and types of memory foam. For traditional temperature-sensitive memory foam, complaint rates tend to be around 8-12%, with higher density beds sleeping hotter.
Gel infused memory foam feels cooler initially, and these mattresses tend to have heat complaint rates of about 6-8% (with models that have gel close to surface feeling coolest). Plant-based memory foam can sleep up to 25% cooler than other types according to some studies, and plant based mattresses have lower heat complaint rates from 2-6%. As a whole, memory foam mattresses have an owner satisfaction rating of about 81%.”–from SleepJunkie.com.
5. Thin Mattress
The thinner the mattress, the lower the comfort ratings, typically. A bed has to have some substance to it in order to provide both support and cushion for your body. Heavier people and side sleepers need a bit more padding, too. Laying on your side causes you to sink in more, as does being heavier, which means thicker comfort layers are typically needed to avoid pressure points.
People between 250-300 pounds shouldn’t buy a mattress that is thinner than 10 inches, according to research by Sleep Like The Dead. People over 300 pounds may find that their ideal mattress in terms of comfort is closer to 14 inches thick.
6. Low Density Foams
Mattresses with lower density foams tend to receive lower satisfaction rates over time. Support foam layers and regular poly foam should generally be over 1.5 lbs to be considered decent quality. Memory foams should be more dense than their poly foam counterparts. Look for memory foam layers that are over 3.5 pounds
Lower density foams are typically found in cheaper mattresses, however sometimes even very expensive brands still use materials that may be considered poor quality. Low density foams are less dense, essentially because there is less material and more air in them. As a result, they are more likely to develop impressions quickly, and they also provide less support and cushioning. Try to find medium to high density foams if you are looking for bed to last a long while.
7. Brands with No Return/Exchange Policy
A great return policy doesn’t necessarily mean the mattress is going to be a great match, but it is a good sign of quality and the retailer’s confidence. Knowing you can easily exchange or return a product gives you some peace of mind. You don’t want to be stuck with something you can’t use, after all.
The showroom experience can be misleading, too, which is what makes return policies important. A study showed that people are essentially left to chance when selecting a bed in a showroom. Make sure you have some time to sleep on the mattress in the comfort of your own home to see if it is a good fit. You should have at least 30 days in your return policy no matter where you purchase it.
8. Brands with Little or No Warranty
Just as a good return policy is indicative of a decent product, so it goes with warranties. A company should have no problem standing behind a quality product. A middle-range mattress should have a full-coverage warranty of around ten years against defects and deep impressions.
You have no idea if your new bed will last 10 years when you purchase it. But, a warranty will ensure that you are protected in case it doesn’t. If a brand offers less than 10 years full coverage or no warranty, it may be indication of the quality and longevity you can expect.
9. Overpriced Beds
It’s the oldest trick in the retailer’s book. Take the price of a product and inflate it, then offer enticing discounts. One of the most common complaints from consumers is related to overpaying. Price is intimately related to product satisfaction. A mattress can be perfect, but if you pay too much for it, it make make those dreams a little less sweet. Misleading discounts can also be used to pressure you into a sale before you’ve had time to shop sufficiently.
Be wary of companies using mediocre materials, but spending millions on advertising. These costs have to be passed on to customers. You can find quality mattresses from places that spend much less on advertising and more on their materials. As always, do some research on what’s inside and make sure it measures up to the price compared to other options.
10. Overly Firm or Soft Mattresses
The showroom is an awful place to pick a mattress for a couple reasons – one, it’s often uncomfortable to lay on beds in a store; two, selection is fairly limited; and three, you don’t know how long the beds of have been in use and how “broken in” they are.
People often report receiving beds that are firmer or softer than the one they tried at the store, a common source of complaints in reviews. Make sure you have time to try the actual model at home to ensure it is the proper firmness. Many companies have lengthy return policies for just this reason.
Get to know your preferences if you are uncertain. Try mattresses of varying firmnesses and see what you like. Medium-firm tends to be the most popular and will suit most people well. However, descriptions of firmness are subjective – one person or one brand’s medium could be another’s soft or firm. If you can find ratings that describe IFD/ILD, that is a more objective way to gauge and compare firmness (lower ILDs are soft, higher are firmer).
Separating the Worst from the Best Mattresses
Take your time and find the best mattress for you and your needs. In the end, the “best” or “worst” mattress is entirely decided by the individual. You’re more likely to end up satisfied if you get to know your preferences and thoroughly compare what is available.
Ask the questions you need to in order to feel good about your purchase. Find out what it is made from and compare it to similar brands and beds. A good mattress should last you a decade or more, so do a little research — it’s worth your time.
If you feel pressured by a salesperson, walk away. There will still be mattresses for sale if you decide to return. You can avoid high-pressure sales situations by shopping online as well. At the very least, take a look at what online stores have to offer. Online mattress retailers typically have a wider selection, less overhead and longer return policies, and may be a better resource for specialty beds like memory foam and latex than local showrooms.