If you’re shopping for a new bed, learning about the best mattresses of 2018 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 beds for your money. If you’re feeling unsure about your next bed, don’t worry: The Sleep Junkie is here to help!
Our pick for best mattress of the year is the Amerisleep AS3. Here are just a few of the key highlights that influenced our decision. You’ll find a full evaluation of the AS3 and the year’s other standout mattresses in the next section.
First, an impressive 99% of Amerisleep customers rate the AS3 three or more stars. Customer satisfaction like that means they designed an exceptionally comfortable mattress.
They use a fabric called Celliant in their cover that the FDA determined promotes more restful sleep1 — so you can trust that you’ll sleep your best on an Amerisleep. They also created memory foam that is more breathable, so you stay cool and comfortable, and responsive, so you don’t feel stuck as you move throughout the night. Plus they have a transition layer that provides additional, targeted support for common pain points like the lower back (which 81% of consumers said was important to them).
Amerisleep stands behind up their amazing mattress with best-in-class customer support, too. That’s probably another reason they get such great reviews.
Amerisleep offers a 100-night, risk-free trial so you can test your new bed in your home for over three months to make sure you love it. Once the trial is over, they protect your purchase for a warranty that spans two full decades.
Oh, and did we mention that the AS3 was also the most affordable memory foam mattress on our list?
After pouring over the details for every mattress we looked at, there was only one clear winner: The AS3 by Amerisleep.
Complete Best Mattress Reviews of 2018
The most popular mattress 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 mattress reviews compared to 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, plus research data about what consumers say is most important to them in choosing a mattress, 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 2018 Compared
|The most comfortable & affordable mattress with the best reviews.|| 20 Years |
|Serta iComfort Savant III Plush||The best value from more-expensive traditional mattress brands||10 Years|
|Simmons Beautyrest Black Ice Phoebe 13″ Plush Mattress||You pay a hefty premium for extra cushion from a traditional brand||10 Years|
|BedInABox Tranquility Gel||A basic memory foam mattress delivered at a solid price.|| 20 Years|
|Sealy Optimum Inspiration Gold||A decent value from a top traditional mattress brand||10 Years|
1. Amerisleep AS3 – $1199
The Amerisleep AS3 is our pick for best bed of the year, both in the memory foam category and overall.
It’s the most comfortable mattress we found, thanks to the outstanding attention to detail, materials, and design Amerisleep brings to the table with over a decade of mattress-industry experience.
Starting with the cover, they use a material called Celliant that the FDA has determined promotes more restful sleep. That alone ensures you’ll sleep your best on an Amerisleep, since none of the other companies we looked at have materials certified by the FDA.
Inside the mattress, they use three revolutionary foams.
Their Bio-Pur memory foam has an “advanced open-cell structure” that allows it to be more breathable and responsive. That means it keeps you cool instead of trapping heat, and won’t make you feel “stuck” if you move around at night.
Their Affinity transition layer provides additional, targeted support for common problem areas like the shoulders and lower back. This foam layer contains precision-cut channels that allow it to give more cushion where you want it and more support where you need it. Plus the channels help provide additional airflow, keeping you even cooler.
Finally their Bio-Core base layer is supportive and made to last. It’s part of why Amerisleep can offer two full decades of warranty coverage with the most customer-friendly terms.
Amerisleep’s foams are revolutionary because of their performance alone. But they went one step further by using eco-friendly manufacturing processes. They partially replace petroleum with plant-based materials, which is better for the environment. They also make their foam using process called VPF, Variable Pressure Foaming, that produces virtually zero emissions.
Amerisleep also offers a risk-free, 100-night sleep trial on top of their two-decade warranty. That way you can try the mattress in your own home, on your own bed frame or base, for more than three months to make sure you absolutely love it. If you don’t, as long as you’ve given it a fair chance and tried it for at least 30 nights, they will recycle or donate your mattress, and give you a full refund.
But perhaps the best thing about Amerisleep is that they operate online instead of through traditional retail stores. They ship their mattresses directly to their customers, which lets them cut out the middleman and pass along the savings to you. That’s why, despite offering the most comfortable and advanced mattress available, it’s also the most affordable one on our list.
To summarize, Amerisleep uses the most advanced materials to make the most comfortable mattress at the best price. It’s no wonder that 99% of their customers rate them three or more stars! And that’s why we’ve picked the Amerisleep AS3 as our best of the year.
2. Serta iComfort Savant III – $1774
Serta iComfort recently updated its collection in late 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 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. Simmons Beautyrest Black Ice Phoebe 13″ Plush Mattress – $2,849
Simmons’ Beautyrest Black is a strong contender in the mattress industry. While some in the line are hybrid mattresses, this particular model is a memory foam mattress that will satisfy side sleepers.
This mattress uses four distinct layers for comfort, cooling, and support. With multiple technologies working together, you should have a soft, yet supportive night’s sleep.
One of the bigger complaints about this mattress is that it suffers from sleeping hot. Of the reviews we found, most, if not all, mentioned that this bed retains heat.
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. Sealy Optimum Inspiration Gold – $1999 (est)
The Optimum line is Sealy’s foray into memory foam, focusing on the gel-infused category and cooling technologies. They use gel infused foams in each layer, including the memory foams and poly foams whereas most brands just use a gel memory foam layer.
Like most of the other big-name brands, the Optimum line is light on specific details like foam density and ILD, but they do provide a breakdown of layer thicknesses. The Inspiration Gold line is in the mid-range of the collection, with five inches of gel memory foam for a plush feel.
Though few reviews are available online for this mattress, overall the Optimum collection rates about average with consumers. For conformity and motion isolation, they score very well. For support, comfort and odors/offgasssing, Optimum beds rate around average. However, an above average amount of people seem to experience sagging and impressions and despite cooling claims, Sleep Like The Dead says that over 11% report sleeping hot.
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 2018 Compare
|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 Audrina 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|
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 (10 full) and 90 day return period.
3. Serta iComfort Hybrid Applause II – $1074
The popular Serta iSeries collection underwent 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 Audrina Luxury Firm – $899
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. Pay close attention to the mattress sales that are upcoming as well to get the best deal.
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 perfect 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.
Of course, we recommend the Amerisleep AS3 as the best choice for most people. But if the medium-firm feel of the AS3 is not for you, you can also explore all five Amerisleep mattress options that range from firm to soft.
1 The FDA has determined that Celliant® products are medical devices as defined in section 201(h) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and are general wellness products. Celliant® is designated by the FDA to temporarily promote increased local blood flow at the site of application in healthy individuals. Hologenix, LLC, the maker of Celliant®, states that Celliant® safely converts body heat to infrared energy. This energy penetrates into the muscle and tissue to promote a temporary increase in local blood flow and helps increase comfort and promotes restful sleep.