Everybody knows that getting good-quality sleep night after night is crucial to living a happy and healthy life. When it comes to athletes, however, sleep is even more important; as research has proven quality of sleep can have a significant impact on an athletes performance. Getting deep, reparative sleep is the best way to help your body recover quickly and healthily from the day prior.
For athletes, finding a mattress that’ll promote deep, undisturbed sleep, is critical for helping their body ready itself for the next day of activites. In this guide, we’ll be discussing the key things athletes should look for when buying a bed, as well as our Editors’ recommended best mattress for athletes.
Research and Resources
In making this article, we:
- Researched different mattress technologies designed to help athletes recover quicker and perform better.
- Compared over a dozen brands looking specifically for beds integrating these technologies and designed to help athletes get more restorative rest.
- Spent 16 hours writing and revising the article to deliver the most relevant information for athletes looking to up their game by improving their sleep.
What’s the Best Mattress for Athletes?
|Brand||Mattress||Price||Sleep Trial|| Warranty
|Amerisleep AS3||$1199||100 Nights|| 20 Years
|Spartan||$1199||120 Nights|| 10 Years
|Bear||$1390||100 Nights|| 10 Years
|PerformaSleep||$875||100 Nights|| 10 Years
|The Pod||$2135||100 Nights|| 10 Years
|Wave||$2395||100 Nights|| 10 Years
Our recommended mattress for athletes is Amerisleep’s AS3 mattress. Amerisleep is an online mattress company that designs and sells five memory foam mattresses. Each of their beds range in firmness and are recommended for specific sleep styles.
The AS3 is Amerisleep’s medium mattress that’s compatible with side, back, and combination sleepers. Because it’s medium firmness, it’s probably too soft to properly support most stomach sleepers.
Amerisleep uses plant-based memory foam and state-of-the-art mattress technologies to help you recover faster and sleep sounder. Their beds promote healthy sleep styles and nurture your spine’s natural alignment, too.
Let’s break down the layers of this mattress.
The cover of every Amerisleep mattress integrates Celliant® fabric. Celliant® has been FDA-determined to promote better, more sound sleep. It does this by recycling the body heat you naturally emit while you sleep into infrared energy. Your body then absorbs infrared energy, which increases local blood flow, circulation, and contributes to temperature regulation.
The first layer of the AS3 is 3 inches of Amerisleep’s Bio-Pur® foam, a plant-based memory foam. Bio-Pur® is five times more breathable than traditional memory foam, so it helps push warm air out of the mattress and keep your temperature cool. When you lay on this bed, the Bio-Pur® will contour to your curves and alleviate tension in your pressure points and joints. This is especially important for athletes who need to feel their best every day.
Below the Bio-Pur® is a layer of HIVE® technology. As far as we know, Amerisleep’s HIVE® technology is the only zoned support system that is clinically proven to reduce pressure points up to 49%. HIVE® is designed to cushion your shoulders and hips, and offer extra support to your feet, torso, and neck— this is critical to fostering your spine’s natural curvature and promoting healthy sleep positions.
The base layer of the AS3 is their high-density Bio-Core® foam; this improves the bed’s longevity and gives the mattress shape and support.
Amerisleep sells their mattresses primarily online, with only a few showrooms across the United States, so they offer a 100-night sleep trial with each of their beds. We are also fans of this brand because they offer a lengthy 20-year warranty with their beds, too.
Amerisleep AS3 Mattress Highlights
- Adapts to most body types in most sleep positions, making it compatible with the majority of sleepers
- HIVE® technology promotes healthy sleep styles and alleviates pains
- Plant-based memory foam makes their bed a great option for eco-friendly shoppers
2. Spartan by Brooklyn Bedding
Brooklyn Bedding is one of the largest mattress manufacturers in the US. They make a variety of different mattresses, but one, in particular, is designed specifically for athletes: the Spartan. Brooklyn Bedding even advertises this bed as delivering “extreme recovery for the extreme athlete in all of us.”
The Spartan is a hybrid bed and combines poly-foam, memory foam, and an innerspring coil system. Below, we’ll touch on what makes the Spartan great for athletes.
Brooklyn Bedding sews Far Infrared Ray technology directly into the cover of their Spartan bed. When you sleep, this technology recycles your body heat into energy waves. Your body can then absorb these energy waves that aid in muscle recovery and eliminating pain.
The first layer of their beds is Copper-infused poly-foam, referred to as CopperFlex™. They design this layer to be more responsive than memory foam, so it should prevent you from sinking in the bed. The Copper in this layer is absorbed by your body to eliminate aches, pains, and stiff joints. Copper also works to keep your bed cool and germ-free at night.
Below the layer of Copper-infused foam lies two layers of foam in place to work as a transition between the softer CopperFlex™ foam above and this bed’s pocketed coil layer below. The top layer of foam is poly-foam while the layer below is gel-infused memory foam. Including memory foam this far deep into the bed allows for deep compression and pressure relief.
Though the third layer of foam is gel-infused, this gel won’t do much to eliminate heat that far away from your body. Brooklyn Bedding does infuse their TitanCool™ technology in between these layers, though, which is designed to keep your body at an ideal 88 degrees while you sleep. Overall, these layers contribute to the overall quality of the bed, giving it more durability and preventing premature sagging.
Below the layers of foam lies an 8-inch pocketed coil system, made of 1,189 individually pocketed coils. Because these coils are pocketed and move independently of each other, they should isolate motion quite well, calling for undisturbed sleep— even if you share the bed with a restless sleeper.
Last but not least, Brooklyn Bedding includes a 1-inch layer of high-density poly-foam as the base layer of their mattress. This layer is in place to offer reinforced support to the coils and foam layers above, improving the Spartan’s durability and, hopefully, prolonging its lifespan.
If you buy a Spartan, it comes with a 10-year warranty and 120-night sleep trial.
Spartan Mattress Highlights
- Enhanced temperature regulation for hot sleepers
- Isolates motion well for couples and those who share the bed with a restless sleeper
- Compatible with side and back sleepers
- Can provide relief for sleepers with joint and back pain
3. Bear Hybrid Mattress
Bear sells two different mattresses, their memory foam flagship model and their newest hybrid model. Their hybrid bed is advertised as a “Luxury Hybrid Designed for Athletes,” meant to ease pain and help you wake up refreshed every day.
When you buy a Bear bed, it comes with free shipping, a 100-night sleep trial, and a 20-year warranty. Plus, they use “green” materials in their beds, making them ideal to consumers looking to buy an eco-friendly mattress.
Below, we’ll break down the layers of this mattress and explain how it’s designed to foster better sleep for athletes:
The cover of the Bear is Celliant® fabric, which recycles your body heat to infrared energy to keep your temperature cool while you sleep. Quilted in this cover is gel-infused, plush poly-foam, giving the cover of this bed a luxurious feel. The gel in the foam works in conjunction with the Celliant® to keep you cool and prevent you from waking up uncomfortably warm.
The top layer of this bed is Bear’s original Premium Comfort Foam, a poly-foam designed to have the same effects of memory foam. When you lay on this bed, this layer should mold and cradle your body, cushioning pressure points and relieving pain.
Next, is the pocketed coil system of this bed. The pocketed coils give the bed a bouncier feel and help suspend the sleeper on the surface of the mattress. As we mentioned with the Spartan, the pocketed coils of this layer will prevent motion from transferring through the bed— contributing to undisturbed sleep.
The last layer of the Bear Hybrid is a thin layer of high-density poly-foam in place to give the bed reinforced structural and edge support.
Bear Mattress Highlights
- Great for eco-friendly shoppers
- Compatible with side and back sleepers
- Bouncy responsiveness for sleepers who want a bouncier bed
PerformaSleep is a relatively new brand to the mattress industry, having only launched in 2015. PerformaSleep designs mattresses specifically for athletes to help them get the most reparative sleep so they can achieve peak performance during their waking hours. In fact, their main focus isn’t so much on “sleep” as it is “recovering.”
PerformaSleep sells their mattresses on their website only, but they offer a 100-night risk-free sleep trial with each of their beds to test it out and decide if it really does bring you better sleep. It’s relatively easy to shop with this brand because they only make and sell one mattress, making your choice simple. Their bed is designed for universal comfort, so it should offer proper support for all body types and sleep styles. Reviews of the mattress describe their bed as feeling medium to medium-firm, which is comfortable for most sleepers.
Overall, their mattress stands at 11 inches tall and contains three layers designed to enhance your sleep. Let’s break down it’s construction.
The cover of the mattress is woven with TENCEL™, a breathable, moisture-wicking fabric that helps keep your temperature regulated.
The first layer of the bed is PerformaSleep’s CopperCool™ foam, a memory foam infused with copper. Copper brings a number of sleep-promoting benefits to the table— it’s temperature regulating, supportive, and naturally antimicrobial. Copper is highly conductive, so it pulls heat away from you while you sleep. Plus, it helps you sleep germ-free.
When you lay on this layer, the memory foam molds to your body and creates a cradling feeling. Because copper is supportive, it helps keep you suspended in the memory foam and prevents against the quicksand feeling some memory foam mattresses cause. Memory foam is important for pressure point relief and pain prevention, which is necessary for athletes’ recovery.
The second layer of the PerformaSleep is their Enersorb™ foam, a poly-foam that’s been fashioned to feel like latex. This layer feels responsive and bouncy, so it keeps you lifted in the mattress and provides a more “on the bed” feel. The last layer of the mattress is a supportive core foam that reinforces the layers and sleeper above.
A Queen PerformaSleep costs $875, making it one of our more budget-friendly recommendations, too!
PerformaSleep Mattress Highlights
- Puts an emphasis on recovery to help you improve their night’s sleep
- Compatible with side and back sleepers
5. Eight Sleep
If you’re interested in a more high-tech sleep experience, Eight Sleep is right up your alley, as their tagline is “The Only High-Tech Bed for Better Sleep.” Eight Sleep’s Pod bed was developed with the help of researchers from Stanford, Yale, UPenn, Harvard, and Mount Sinai, with their main focus on the science of getting better sleep.
The Pod tracks your sleep every night and gives you a report in the morning showing you your movement while you slept, how much REM sleep you got, and how much time you spent in other sleep cycles— this helps you understand the quality of sleep you’re already getting and pinpoints areas for improvement. But that’s not the only cool feature of the Pod.
One of the most innovative features of the Pod is it’s temperature control. With your Eight Sleep smartphone app, you can adjust the temperature of each side of the bed, so you can fall asleep more easily and sleep soundly at your most comfortable temperature. It’ll even adjust the temperature of the mattress based on your quality of sleep, helping you get undisturbed sleep. Then, when it’s time to wake up, the Pod will adjust the temperature of the mattress to gradually wake you up without the use of an alarm clock. You can even connect your Pod mattress to any of your smart home devices, such as the Amazon Echo, Google Home, or Philips Hue to adjust your bed with even more convenience.
Though the Pod has some innovative features to enhance your sleep, they still put a large focus on building a comfortable mattress. Let’s talk about the construction of this bed.
For starters, your mattress comes with a literal pod that’s connected to your bed by a power hose, this is called the Hub. The Hub is what powers the technology of the Pod, so they go hand in hand. The mattress itself has a cotton and polyester cover, an Active Grid, and four layers of foam.
The Pod’s Active Grid is what controls the temperature of the bed and tracks the quality of your sleep, so it’s largely a functional feature and not so much added for comfort. They do mention on their website that the Active Grid is designed to relieve pressure points, too, though.
The first layer of the Pod is 2 inches of cushioning poly-foam to offer a bit of comfort. The layer below is 2 inches of memory foam. Memory foam molds to your body’s curves and relieves tension and pains. Next, is a 2-inch layer of transition poly-foam that acts as a plush barrier between the memory foam layer and the core of the bed. The base of the mattress is 4 inches of supportive poly-foam.
Overall, the Pod has a medium firmness and is rated a 5 or 6 out of 10 on the firmness scale, so it should be comfortable for the majority of sleepers. You can only buy their innovative bed online, but when you do it comes with a 100-night risk-free sleep trial. Pod offers a 10-year warranty on their mattress, but it’s important to note that their warranty covers the Hub and the technology of the mattress for only 2 years.
Eight Sleep Mattress Highlights
- Comes with a state-of-the-art sleep tracking technology to monitor how well you sleep
- Compatible with side, back, and stomach sleepers
- Allows you to set each side of the mattress to a certain temperature, putting an end to too hot or too cold nights
6. Casper Wave
Most everybody is familiar with the Casper brand, as they’ve been one of the most popular bed-in-a-box brands since they launched in 2014. Their newest mattress, the Wave, is their most advanced mattress when it comes to zoned support. In fact, their Wave model is endorsed by the American Chiropractic Association™, so it should most definitely promote healthy spinal alignment and contribute to better, more restful sleep.
The Wave is sold as an all-foam bed with five layers of foam, or as a hybrid featuring four layers of memory foam and a pocketed coil system. Both of the Wave models are designed to offer you the same benefits, and the only significant difference is the feel of each bed; the all-foam model is more cradling while the hybrid model has a bouncier responsiveness. Deciding between the two models comes down to personal preference, but if you’re unsure, we recommend sticking with their original all-foam model.
Let’s talk about the key features in both of these beds that help athletes get better sleep.
The first layer of each of these beds is a 1-inch layer of comfort poly-foam, and it’s sole purpose is to offer a bit of cushion when you lay on the bed. Next, is a 1.5 inch layer of responsive, breathable latex foam, this layer will contour to you but will hold you more on top of the mattress than allowing you to sink in.
Below is a layer of memory foam, which offers deep compression and pressure relief for your pressure points and joints. This design helps you receive the pain relieving benefits of memory foam without necessarily having to have a sinking “memory foam feel” from your bed.
The fourth layer of each of these beds is Casper’s targeted support layer. Casper strategically infuses supportive gel pods throughout this layer to create a dynamic support system and align your body at 27 key points. This technology encourages healthy sleep styles and nurtures your spine’s natural curvature.
Both Casper Wave models contain the four key layers we described above, but the base of these beds differ. In the all-foam model, the last layer of the mattress is a dense layer of foam to give the bed shape and extend it’s lifespan. The Wave Hybrid has a pocketed coil system as it’s base, which reinforces the beds targeted support system above.
Regardless of which Casper Wave you choose, it comes with a 100-night sleep trial and 10-year warranty.
Casper Wave Mattress Highlights
- Endorsed by American Chiropractic Association™ as a solution for back pain
- Compatible with side and back sleepers
- Great for sleepers interested in a luxurious mattress
What Should Athletes Look for in a Mattress?
When it comes time to replace your mattress, there are four major things you should consider during your search for a new bed: your sleep style, your body type, chronic aches and pains, and lastly, your personal preference for firmness. On top of these basics, athletes need to think about much more before purchasing their best bed.
- Temperature Regulation & Sleep-Promoting Technologies: It’s almost impossible to get a good night’s sleep if you’re consistently waking up hot. Cooling & temperature regulating technologies help combat heat and contribute to uninterrupted sleep.
- Zoned Support & Pressure Relief: The top layers of the mattress should conform to your body to relieve pressure points and tension, while still maintaining healthy spinal alignment. Athletes should look for additional lumbar support from their bed, too, as it prevents your torso from sinking too far into the mattress.
- High-Quality Materials: With any investment, it’s important you’re spending your money wisely. Buying a bed with high-quality materials may be more costly now, but it protects you later on down the line from having to replace a saggy mattress.
As always, we recommend taking note of the sleep trial and warranty before purchasing a bed. Sleep trials conveniently allow you the chance to try your new mattress in your home commitment-free; this gives you a more genuine experience of the bed’s comfort to decide if it’s the best fit for you.
Furthermore, warranties are in place to protect your investment for years to come. Be sure the bed you’re buying comes with at least a 10-year warranty; the average lifespan of a mattress is around 7-10 years, so a 10-year warranty will have you covered for as long as the bed is expected to last. Before buying, read the warranty guidelines and have an understanding of what’s covered and what you’d be responsible for in the event of a warranty claim.
1. Temperature Regulation & Sleep-Promoting Technologies
The time you spend asleep is the time your body has to recover both mentally and physically from the day’s events. Athletes require certain amounts of both light and deep sleep, as each stage of sleep is responsible for a specific facet of healing. For example, light sleep is associated with cell division and regeneration, which directly links to speedy muscle recovery. Getting 8-9 hours of sleep after a workout can also help build your muscles, too. During deep sleep, on the other hand, hormones are secreted to help keep your body processes in sync.
To get restorative rest, it’s imperative you spend an adequate amount of time asleep to go through each stage of sleep at least five times— this is where sleep-promoting technologies come into play. Technologies that keep you cool, and create a peaceful sleeping environment, are beneficial in helping you stay asleep.
Motion isolation, for example, helps prevent movement from transferring throughout the mattress; so if you move around, or share the bed with a restless sleeper, you shouldn’t be disturbed by the bed shifting with the tossing and turning.
There are a wide variety of cooling technologies used in mattresses today to prevent you from overheating while you sleep; these include gel-infused foams, Celliant® fabric, and Copper. Let’s take a closer look at those materials below:
- Gel-Infused Foams: Cooling gel and gel beads draw heat away from your body and out of the mattress, keeping your temperature neutral. Unfortunately, cheaper gel foams can absorb the heat from your body and take on the temperature of the rest of the bed, doing almost the opposite of what it’s designed to do, so be wary before choosing gel-infused foams.
- Celliant® Fabric: Celliant® fabric has been FDA-determined to promote more restful sleep than other alternative textiles. Celliant® contains 13 thermoreactive minerals; these recycle the body heat you naturally emit while you sleep into infrared light. Infrared light is reabsorbed by the body and penetrates muscle tissue, which increases local blood flow. Increased local blood flow should keep your temperature regulated and prevent you from waking up hot.
- Copper: Copper is a highly conductive material, which acts as a magnet for heat. Copper absorbs and dissipates body heat in the mattress to keep the bed feeling cool. Copper also reduces inflammation and eases sore joints— especially important for athletes. Plus, Copper is naturally antimicrobial and antibacterial, so you can sleep soundly knowing your bed is germ-free.
Lastly, technologies that ease aches and pains can contribute to undisturbed sleep. Far Infrared Rays technology, or FIR, is thought to be one of the most effective technologies for pain relief. Whether it’s minor joint pain, stiffness, or chronic back pain, FIR can reduce, or even eliminate, recurring aches. It does this by penetrating deep in the skin and increasing oxygen flow & circulation throughout your whole body.
2. Zoned Support & Pressure Relief
Finding a mattress that will provide healthy support for your muscles to rest and recover is critical to athletes. Many mattresses today include a layer that has been specifically designed to offer targeted pressure relief and nurture a healthy spine. That said, there are plenty of beds that lack in this support layer, too. When doing research, look for information regarding how the mattress is tailored to maintain your spine’s natural curvature and ease pressure and tension.
To properly support your body, a mattress should be firmer around your neck, torso, and feet, and softer in areas like your hips and shoulders; this fosters your body’s natural alignment and diminishes aches and pains. Athletes should also look for a mattress with extra support in the middle of the mattress, too, because it prevents your torso from sinking in the bed.
3. Quality of Materials
A new mattress is an investment in better sleep— so when it comes time to drop a couple of hundred, or thousand, dollars on a bed, you want to make sure it’ll last. Buying a well-made bed with high-quality materials is a sure way to know you’re getting the best mattress for the money.
Most mattress brands will offer transparent information about how their beds are made and the materials inside of them. If you’re struggling to find that information, ask. If a retailer shies away from disclosing this pertinent information, it’s a reliable sign you should shop with a different brand.
Mattresses are made from a wide range of materials, when looking at foam beds, check the density of the top layer; when assessing latex, look at how it’s made and if it’s 100% natural, or a synthetic blend; for innerspring beds, look at what the steels coils are made from, are they steel or a cheap metal? Don’t forget to consider the cover of the mattress as well and the fabrics in the cover, as they can play a big role in the overall comfort of the bed.
Other Things to Consider
Though it’s important for athletes to look for bed with zoned support, quality materials, and temperature regulating technologies, it’s also crucial to take different mattress types and your sleep style into account before choosing your next bed.
Different Types of Mattresses
Before you can narrow down your search for your best bed, it’s important to have an understanding of different mattress types and what they bring to the table.
Memory foam is one of the most popular mattress types, especially amongst bed in a box brands. If you suffer from chronic pains, memory foam is for you. Memory foam is regarded as the best material for pain relief because of it’s ability to contour to your body and relieve pressure. These beds feel more cradling and cushioning and help alleviate stress on your spine. Plus, memory foam beds are great at isolating motion. If you share the bed with a restless sleeper, it can be the solution to undisturbed sleep.
Another popular mattress type, latex, offers a variety of sleep-promoting benefits. Latex is a more breathable foam, so it helps prevent heat from being trapped in the mattress. Unlike memory foam that’s more cradling, latex is more bouncy and responsive. Though it cushions you and feels comfortable, it doesn’t allow you to sink in the mattress as much and instead holds you more on top of the bed. All-natural latex is hypoallergenic and free from chemicals, so it’s great for children and eco-friendly shoppers, too.
Innerspring mattresses are becoming less and less popular as time goes on, but they’re still a comfortable solution for better sleep. Innersprings are bouncy and offer a more “on top of the bed” feel. While innersprings can’t cushion your body like memory foam or latex, they’re very responsive and can promote a healthy spine by keeping you lifted on the mattress.
Hybrid beds combine a pocketed coil system with foam layers. Some hybrids feature memory foam, others have latex, and a few use both latex and memory foam to create the most comfortable sleep surface. Because hybrids combine a variety of high-quality materails, they’re often the most expensive kind of mattresses sold.
Your sleep style is the most important factor in determining how firm your next mattress should be. Before deciding on your next bed, take a step back and think about how you tend to sleep. If you’re a back sleeper, you’re best suited for a firmer mattress because they keep you lifted and promote your spine’s neutral alignment.
Side sleepers, on the other hand, are best suited for medium to medium-soft mattresses because they’re supportive enough to foster a healthy spine, but soft enough to cushion the shoulders and hips. A common issue side sleepers experience is pressure points in the shoulders and hips, which are largely a result of sleeping on a mattress that is too firm. Medium and medium-soft mattresses allow your hips and shoulders to compress more, alleviating pressure.
Stomach sleeping is considered to be the unhealthiest sleep position. If you prefer to sleep on your stomach, we hate to be the bearers of bad news, but it can result in back pains later on down the line. If possible, we recommend switching to side or back sleeping to get the healthiest sleep. If you do sleep on your stomach, you need a very firm mattress to do so. When you sleep on your stomach, your center of gravity shifts to your midsection. If your bed does not have the proper lumbar support or is not firm enough, this can cause your torso to sink in the mattress, overextending your spine. To prevent putting added stress on your spine, switch up how you sleep.
Did You Find Your Next Bed?
All of these mattresses are great options for athletes. Before you decide on one, do further research to look for the model most compatible with your sleep needs. Don’t forget to take advantage of sleep trials. Fortunately, sleep trials give you the chance to try your new bed in the comfort of your home, risk-free— helping you choose the best mattress for you.