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When was the last time you woke up feeling refreshed and ready to face the day? If you’re tossing and turning at night or having a hard time staying asleep, there’s a good chance your mattress is to blame.

Like the other things you do for yourself, sleep is something you should invest in. But if you haven’t shopped for a bed for a while, things have sure changed. Whether you’re in the market for a foam mattress or a hybrid, choosing the best mattress among hundreds of advanced designs can be a nightmare. The good news is — it doesn’t have to be.

We’ve done the homework for you and put together this list of top-quality king size mattresses for under $1000. These models represent the best in online value. We’re sure one of them is going to rock your world.

Lull Premium 10-Inch Memory Foam Mattress

Best King Size Mattress Priced Under $1000

Highlights

  • Offers medium to firm therapeutic-quality support
  • Features premium viscoelastic gel memory foam
  • Textured, non-slip cover keep sheets in place
  • Contains only CertiPUR-US certified, US-made foam
  • Backed by a 10-year warranty and 100-night risk-free trial

Made entirely of premium latex-free foams, side sleeper and stomach sleepers alike will appreciate the Lull’s medium-firm feel. Support begins with a 7-inch high-density polyfoam support core. It’s a durable base that will remain sag-free for years to come. Unlike foam that collapses under a substantial body, Lull’s foam has no weight limit —sleep soundly whatever your size.

You’ll enjoy therapeutic-level support from a proprietary foam comfort layer that bridges the transition from the firm base to the soft top. The result is support that rivals coils while still offering most of the pressure relief you expect from a foam mattress. For your comfort, the viscoelastic memory foam top layer is infused with cooling gel.

The Lull off-gasses a little more than it’s competitors, but it’s made in the US from CertiPUR-US certified foam, and the cover is fiberglass-free. Backed by an industry-leading, a 100-day risk-free trial and free returns, who could ask for more? It’s possibly the best mattress for overall durability.

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Pros

  • Motion isolation is exceptional
  • Edge support is surprisingly firm for a foam mattress
  • Thick, high-density base foam makes it ultra-durable

Cons

  • No handles - it's heavy to rotate
  • Consumer reviews suggest it's firmer than advertised
  • Provides less pressure relief than a similar foam mattress might

Tuft & Needle Adaptive Memory Foam Mattress

Best Tuft & Needle King Mattress Under $1000

Highlights

  • Advanced adaptive foam is both soft and supportive
  • Graphite-infused gel memory foam sleeps cooler than a traditional foam mattress
  • Uses no chemical or fiberglass flame-retardants
  • Made with CertiPUR-US certified foam and skin-friendly Oeko-Tex certified fabric
  • Backed by a 10-year warranty and 100-night risk-free trial

Tuft & Needle’s done it again with another splendid foam mattress. Built on years of customer feedback, it’s universally comfortable for all sleep positions. How did Tuft & Needle accomplish that when so many other companies can’t? It centers on it’s patented Adaptive foam. Unlike standard memory foam, Adaptive foam is slightly more resilient. It helps a foam mattress sink less and retain a bounce that’s closer to latex while being latex-free. Gel memory and graphite-infused foam combine to keep warmth at bay — even it’s rare detractors say this is the coolest gel memory foam mattress on the market.

Like the Lull, it has a supportive foam base that accommodates up to a 1000lbs — it’s durability-tested for years of reliability. Unlike a lower quality foam mattress, there’s virtually no off-gassing. If you’re sensitive to chemical odors, this is the best memory foam mattress for avoiding discomfort. And if you’re susceptible to skin irritation, you’ll appreciate the Oeko-Tex certified fabric.

In addition to a 10-year warranty and risk-free sleep trial, the Adaptive foam mattress comes with two matching king size pillows made of the same advanced memory foam material. It’s more than your money’s worth and possibly the best mattress on our list for overall value.

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Pros

  • Good for all sleep positions
  • Breathable cover wicks moisture away from the skin
  • Comes with two matching pillows made of the same top-quality materials

Cons

  • Edge support is minimal
  • Offers less pressure relief than other similar beds
  • Pillows are not washable

Sealy Response Performance 14-Inch Plush Euro Pillow Top and Memory Foam Mattress

Best Luxury King Size Mattress Under $1000

Highlights

  • Offers Sealy’s exclusive Posturpedic zoned coil support system
  • Features a plush euro pillow top
  • Includes ventilated and gel memory foam
  • Foam is CertiPUR-US certified
  • Warrantied for ten years

Sealy has been making quality beds for more than a century, and it’s Response Performance euro pillow top foam mattress is no exception. Built on Sealy’s exclusive Posturpedic zoned coil support system, this hybrid foam mattress offers the targeted support of heavy-gauge coils where you need it most with the softness of a memory foam pillowtop. Pressure relief and motion isolation are excellent. A gel memory foam layer and moisture-resistant cover keep it cool.

This may not be the best mattress for heavy people — it has a limited 600 lb. weight capacity. Reviews say pushing the limit compromises its durability. And unlike similar hybrid mattresses, edge support is surprisingly lacking considering the coils extend to the perimeter of the mattress on all sides — it feels more like a foam mattress. And because the bed is so thick, it’s not compatible with adjustable bases.

Although the warranty is comparable to its competitors, Sealy doesn’t offer a free sleep trial. That’s disappointing, but for the price, it’s not surprising. Touches like side handles and a premium moisture-wicking cover make up for it. It’s a fine gel memory hybrid for an excellent price.

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Pros

  • Designed and built in the USA
  • Moisture-wicking knit cover keeps skin dry
  • Handles make moving the mattress a breeze

Cons

  • Limited edge support
  • No free trial period
  • Reviews suggest it isn't very durable

LUCID 12-Inch Latex Hybrid and Memory Foam Mattress

Best LUCID King Mattress Under $1000

Highlights

  • Foam over coil hybrid design is both supportive and pressure-relieving
  • Gel memory foam layer dissipates heat
  • Compatible with adjustable bases
  • Made in China of CertiPUR-US certified foam
  • Backed by a 10-year warranty and a 100-night risk-free trial

LUCID poured years of expertise into this advanced hybrid and memory foam mattress to give you the restful sleep you deserve. Six-inch steel coils provide medium-firm support for an aching back while layers of gel memory and latex foam combine for comfort with a familiar bounce. A transition layer helps ease the body into relaxing softness while support foam dissipates pressure from coils — you’ll never know they’re there. It’s the best mattress among hybrids for motion isolation.

If you’re worried about this much foam sleeping too hot, don’t. LUCID bills this mattress as temperature-neutral and best mattress reviews agree — the gel memory layer and coil bases help keep you fresh. Edge support, however, is weak for a hybrid. The coils don’t extend to the edge of the mattress. Instead, LUCID uses a thick layer of support foam that eliminates the heavy border some sleepers dislike. It’s a compromise.

For a hybrid foam mattress, it off-gasses more than expected initially, but chemical odors resolve quickly. It’s assembled China but made with CertiPUR-US certified foam under the watchful eye of LUCID’s quality control experts. You can rest easy and sleep well.

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Pros

  • Individually-wrapped coils and transitional foam layers isolate motion
  • Latex over memory foam design reduces sinking
  • Textured, non-slip top

Cons

  • Weak edge support
  • Significant amounts of off-gassing
  • Not suitable for latex-sensitive people

LUCID 14-Inch Plush Gel Memory and Charcoal-Infused Memory Foam Mattress

Best King Gel Memory Foam Mattress Under $1000

Highlights

  • All-foam construction for optimal pressure point relief
  • Features a breathable waterproof, hypoallergenic and bed bug resistant cover
  • Ventilated gel memory foam regulates temperature
  • Made with CertiPUR-US certified foam
  • Backed by a 10-year warranty and a 100-night risk-free trial

LUCID’s plush memory foam mattress is not only ideal for anyone with a latex allergy, but it also offers noteworthy relief for troublesome pressure points. What exactly is a pressure point? It’s an area of the body that’s especially sensitive to pressure — usually over a large joint like a hip or shoulder. When a foam mattress is too firm, the pressure of the materials can cause aches that keep you tossing and turning all night. The LUCID is a “wow’ for side sleepers and potentially the best mattress for relieving hip pain.

If you think a 14-inch foam mattress probably sleeps like a sauna, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. The LUCID combines both gel memory and ventilated foam for a cool, refreshing sleep. Plus a charcoal-infused comfort layer helps it resist odors and stay crisp. And even at 14 inches, it’s still compatible with adjustable bases.

In addition to a competitive warranty and a 100-night risk-free trial, LUCID is offering a rare perk with this model — a breathable waterproof cover that’s both hypoallergenic and resistant to bed bugs. If it gets soiled, just unzip it and toss it in the washing machine for clean, head to toe comfort.

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Pros

  • Affordable
  • Charcoal-infused for freshness
  • Ideal for side sleepers

Cons

  • Some customers say it isn't very supportive
  • Fiberglass in the cover
  • Not the best mattress for back pain

Sealy 11.5-Inch Plush Tight Top King Size Coil and Memory Foam Mattress

Best Sealy King Mattress Under $1000

Highlights

  • Zoned coil system is reinforced under the heaviest parts of the body
  • Tight euro top is soft but supportive
  • Contains only CertiPUR-US certified
  • Backed by a limited 10-year warranty
  • Designed and assembled in the US

This coil over foam mattress is another quality entry from Sealy. It features a zoned coil system that offers support where you need it most — under the heaviest parts of your body. Individually pocketed coils resist squeaking and move independently for superior motion isolation that’s almost as good as a memory foam mattress.

For pressure point relief, nothing beats the gentle softness of it’s plush pillowtop — it’s tight, so unlike other pillow tops, it doesn’t feel like it’s separate from the rest of the mattress. A layer of cooling gel memory foam regulates body temperature and contributes to the bed’s flexible support. Edge support is less than expected for a hybrid, but 11.5 inches; it was designed specifically for use with an adjustable base. Have a ball!

Sealy warranties this bed for ten years, but it doesn’t offer a free trial. Still, it has a worthy combination of features that are universally comfortable for side sleepers and stomach sleepers alike. We wouldn’t be afraid to take a chance.

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Pros

  • Includes cooling gel memory foam
  • Extra soft top layer relieves pressure
  • Individually-encased coils isolate motion

Cons

  • Limited edge support despite coils and foam reinforced sides
  • No free trial period
  • Customer reviews suggest durability is limited

Signature Sleep Flex 12-Inch Hybrid and Gel Memory Foam Mattress

Best Hybrid King Size Mattress Under $1000

Highlights

  • Foam over coil hybrid design is both supportive and pressure-relieving
  • Charcoal-infused gel memory foam fights temperature, moisture and odors
  • Channel-cut foam improves airflow
  • Made with CertiPUR-US certified foam
  • Comes with a 10-year limited warranty

Signature Sleep balances quality and price with this simple memory foam mattress that is sure to please. Built on a base of high-density foam for durability, the Flex combines gel memory and convoluted foam for temperature regulation and pressure relief. A layer of channel-cut foam helps it sleep like a refreshing September night. This could be the best mattress if you need an affordable all-foam bed that doesn’t overheat.

Motion isolation is capable — you can sleep in even if your partner gets up early. Edge support is average for a hybrid, but it’s firmer than on a memory foam mattress.

The Flex is a simple foam mattress made by a company with a reputation for quality products, but beware — while it’s covered for ten years, the warranty is pro-rated, and buyers are asked to contribute to the cost of shipping should they choose to return it. That would usually turn us off of an otherwise top mattress, but we understand that manufacturers need to balance features and price. The Flex runs 10% less than the other choices on our list, yet it still included premium features like gel memory and convoluted foam. It’s the best mattress for a small budget if you can live without the guarantee.

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Pros

  • Solid motion isolation
  • Convoluted foam layer helps reduce joint pain
  • Gel memory foam helps it cooler than a comparable foam mattress

Cons

  • No free sleep trial
  • Made in China
  • Warranty is pro-rated - buyer pays $75 return shipping

Elements Willow 12-inch Eurotop Latex Mattress

Best Modern King Size Mattress Under $1000

Highlights

  • Adjustable Talalay latex euro pillow top is available in soft medium and firm support levels
  • Durable support base
  • Uses only CertiPUR-US certified foam
  • Made in the USA
  • Warrantied for ten years

A latex bed isn’t for everyone, but it can be with the Willow adjustable foam mattress. What’s different about it? With other mattresses, you take a chance that the support level isn’t ideal — but Willow is crafted with a flexible euro pillow top. Interchangeable latex inserts let you adjust its comfort to soft, medium or firm — the choice is yours. Side sleepers will benefit from the soft top — stomach sleepers from the medium or firm.

Other features include CertiPUR-US certified foam and an Oeko-Tex certified skin-friendly hypoallergenic cover. This model doesn’t contain gel memory, but it does have a layer of high-density convoluted base foam that encourages the flow of air and alleviates joint pain.

The only drawback to the Willow is that if the euro topper you choose initially isn’t the best fit for you, it will cost you up to $200 to replace it. But that’s better than having no choice at all, and that makes the Willow a best mattress for those appreciate that flexibility.

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Pros

  • Oeko-Tex certified cover fabric is skin-friendly and hypoallergenic
  • Convoluted base foam improves air circulation
  • Alleviates pressure points that can cause tossing and turning

Cons

  • Adjustable toppers are costly to replace
  • Significant off-gassing
  • Off-limits for people allergic to latex

Voila Box 12-inch Luxury Hybrid Coil-Spring Latex Mattress

Best Plush King Mattress Under $1000

Highlights

  • Gel memory and latex foam over coil design
  • Compatible with adjustable bases
  • Triple-edge side wall support
  • Made with safe, CertiPUR-US certified foam
  • Backed by a 10-year warranty and a 100-night risk-free trial

This bed doesn’t look like much from the outside, but what’s inside will surprise you. It’s no ordinary hybrid and memory foam mattress. It beings with a base of 768 14-gauge coils that are flexible enough to make the bed fully compatible with adjustable bases. In fact, that’s just what Voila Box had in mind. Coils are individually encased for whisper-quiet performance and zoned support where you need it most.

It’s then topped with gel memory foam and a layer of latex for cool, responsive comfort. Mattress reviews agree that it’s closer to firm than medium-firm, so it relieves slightly less pressure than an all memory foam model. It’s not ideal for side sleepers, but stomach and back sleepers will rejoice.

Made of quality materials throughout, this humble-looking coil and foam mattress is a luxury powerhouse that promises years of comfort and durability. And to top it off, Voila Box donates one mattress to charity for every ten it sells. It’s further proof that good things do come in small packages. Prepare for your best sleep ever.

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Pros

  • Sleeps cooler than similar gel memory or hybrid mattresses
  • Memory foam over pocketed zoned coil system isolates motion
  • Removable, machine washable cover

Cons

  • No handles
  • Too firm for side sleepers
  • Less pressure point relief than similar models

Nod Hybrid Memory Foam Mattress by Tuft & Needle

Highlights

  • Adaptive and gel memory over innerspring design
  • Pocketed coils reduce motion transfer and squeaking
  • Ultra-soft and removable moisture-wicking cover
  • Made in the US with safe, CertiPUR-US certified foam
  • Covered by a 10-year warranty and a 100-night free trial

Why settle for a cheap foam mattress when you can have one with top features for the same price? If a luxury bed is on your mind, but so is your budget, the Nod coil and foam mattress is the best of both worlds. Only Tuft & Needle uses patented blended memory foam in its hybrid mattresses that acts as a transitional comfort layer between the firm support of its springs and its supple memory foam top. The medium-firm feel is ideal for back, side and stomach sleepers. Everyone will experience the unparalleled pressure point relief of a foam mattress without losing the classic bounce of innersprings.

The materials in this mattress are top-quality from edge to edge. Foams are both CeriPUR-US and GREENGUARD certified. Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified fabric guarantees the cover will be gentle on your skin.

Tuft & Needle backs the Nod with a hassle-free warranty, and to get you through the break-in period, they offer a 100-night risk-free trial. As a company, Tuft & Needle’s mission is to give everyone a great night’s sleep regardless of what they can afford. For hundreds less than the competition despite its high-end features, the Nod proves they take that seriously.

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Pros

  • Works with adjustable bed frames
  • Sleeps cool
  • GreenGuard and Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified

Cons

  • May not be ideal for side sleepers
  • Some say it's too expensive
  • Provides less pressure relief than similar mattresses

What to Consider Before Buying a King Mattress Online for around a $1000

It’s Where Comfort, Durability and Value Meet

In this price range, you’ll find mattresses made with higher quality materials plus luxury features lower-priced beds don’t have. Since mattresses are little more than the sum of their materials — quality matters. Beds made with lower density foams and low coil counts are comfortable at first, but they’re not made for the long haul. A thousand dollars is the sweet spot where comfort, durability and value meet.

You’ll Get More Mattress For Your Money

Industry insiders know a secret — a furniture store is no place to buy the best mattress. Markups can exceed 50% for the same models sold online for hundreds less — the only tangible differences are the cover fabrics and brand labels.

Purchasing a bed from a showroom has benefits. If it’s been a few years since you’ve shopped for a mattress, new materials and designs will surprise you — they’ve come a long way. Mattress reviews can give you an idea of what to expect from a bed, but comfort is a matter of preference, and what works for others may not be ideal for you.

If you’re considering a move from a traditional innerspring mattress to a hybrid or foam mattress, the feel can be remarkably different — so why take a chance by ordering online? Because with so many reputable companies offering generous trial periods and free returns, the process is essentially risk-free, and the savings can be staggering.

Enjoy More Room to Relax on a King Size

Getting comfortable on a queen size mattress is a struggle for some couples. There’ never enough space for knees and elbows, and that puts a serious damper on sleep. Experts claim that sleeping on your back is best for your health because it keeps your head, neck and spine anatomically aligned. But they also admit that comfort counts — the “freefall” position with arms and legs outstretched is a favorite because the body craves variety, even when it’s asleep.

And if you’re going to invest in a king mattress, why not make it more than something to sleep on. Whether you and your partner like to watch TV late at night or snuggle with the kids and the cat on a lazy weekend morning — a king bed can be a focal point for relaxation.

It’s Easier to Fit Through the Door

The average door in the US measures 80 inches tall — 4 inches more than the width of a king size mattress — but millions of spaces are less generous. Online memory foam and hybrid mattress are compressed and rolled for shipment, so whether your challenge is a narrow winding staircase or shorter than average door, they fit.

How to Get the Best Online King Mattress for $1000

Consider Features

King size mattresses in the lowest price range are nothing to write home about. But for a $1000, you can get premium materials and luxury features like:

  • Posh pillow tops
  • Cooling, gel-infused memory foam
  • Freshness enhancers like bamboo carbon and aloe vera
  • Deluxe covers and more

One mattress on our list comes with two complimentary king size pillows made of the same high-end materials. It’s a value-added perk.

Look at Warranties and Trial Periods

The best mattresses come with both warranties and trial periods. Warranties cover defects in craftsmanship that could compromise the comfort or durability of a bed. When the budget is tight, buying a lemon hurts, so a good warranty eases the financial sting.

Warranties don’t cover routine wear. Body impressions in a pillow top, for example, are to be expected over time — they’re not covered unless they’re extreme.

But what makes buying a mattress online such a value is free trial periods. Manufacturers recognize that buyers are taking a risk on a bed they haven’t tried, and they also know that know it takes up to a few months to get used to the feel of a new mattress. It just makes sense to give customers every opportunity to try their products risk-free.

In this price range, warranties are better because mattresses are expected to be more durable — don’t settle for less than ten years. And because they’re of higher quality, more makers are willing to offer trial periods and free returns because they’re confident you’ll be satisfied.

Scrutinize Safety Certifications

Even the best mattresses contain minute levels of petrochemicals. The risk to your health is negligible, but if you prefer to avoid having them in your home, choose a CertiPUR-US certified mattress.

CertiPUR-US certified mattresses are made with foam that has been independently tested and guaranteed to be:

  • Formaldehyde- and heavy metal-free

  • Low VOC — less than 0.5 parts per million

  • Free of hazardous chemical fire retardants

  • Made without ozone-depleting chemicals or phthalate plasticizers regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission

Other valuable certifications include Oeko-Tex Standard 100 and GREENGUARD. Like CertiPUR-US, the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification addresses potentially harmful substances in foam, but it also covers any fabric that touches the skin. GREENGUARD, a division of Underwriters Laboratories, evaluates chemical emissions that can affect indoor air quality.

For shoppers concerned about the use of fiberglass as a flame retardant in mattress covers — it’s fully encased and typically safe. Mattresses and pillows are required to be fire-resistant by law, so some manufacturers opt to use it instead of chemical flame retardants because it’s inexpensive and effective. But disappointingly, if a cover is damaged, fiberglass shards can escape. In this price range, most makers use safer alternatives, but if the mattress you want has fiberglass in it, a protective cover ensures it’s well contained.

How relevant are certifications when buying a mattress? The jury is out. The government does not regulate mattresses — only the materials that go in them to some extent. Certifications are voluntary, and the cost of the process dissuades some manufacturers that make equally safe products from participating. Still, they give consumers a higher level of confidence that they’re buying the safest possible bedding, so we think they’re worth it.

Consider Features

You can save big by buying a bed online, but what if you don’t like it? Boxing up a king size mattress to send it back to the manufacturer is no one’s idea of fun.

Vendors know returning a mattress is a hassle, so free returns are a top selling point. Not all companies are equally transparent about the return process, so you should never expect it’s free unless it’s clearly spelled out.

Some sellers still expect customers to arrange for shipping and share return freight charges. But in this price range, most companies will pick up a mattress for free and recycle it or donate to a local charity.

Make a Healthy Choice

Mattress foams are petrochemical-based. Once compressed and sealed, VOC odors are trapped, so when the mattress is unwrapped, the smell can be overwhelming. It’s called off-gassing, and while it’s unpleasant, it’s typically harmless.

People sensitive to chemicals have complained of temporary respiratory irritation, so unpacking the mattress in a well-ventilated area is recommended. Even the best foam mattresses can have chemical odors at first, but in this price range, they tend to dissipate in hours instead of days. For those sensitive individuals looking for a low-emission choice, every mattress on our list is CertiPUR-US certified.

Check Base Compatibility

Adjustable bases offer the ultimate in sleep comfort, but not all mattresses are compatible. Traditional innerspring beds were designed to lay flat on box springs — they’re too rigid to bend at extreme angles.

A memory foam mattress is ideal for adjustable bases because it’s supple. And the better hybrids found here use zoned coil systems that are flexible enough to be a good fit. Using a lesser a quality innerspring or foam over coil hybrid mattress on an adjustable base when it’s not recommended can void the warranty.

Choose the Right Level of Support for Your Sleep Posture

If you’ve ever tried to change your sleep posture, you know how hard it is. Your body wants to move at night, and when it does, it naturally seeks the most comfortable position.

Research shows that for most people, a medium-firm mattress is ideal, but while a bad back benefits from support on the firm side, a bed with a soft edge relieves pressure points better.

Among lesser mattresses, it’s tough to find a model that does more than one thing well. Some beds in the $1000 range are designed to be more comfortable for some sleep positions than others, while some have transitional comfort layers that bridge the gap between a firm base and soft top so you can enjoy both support and relief for aching joints. The choice is yours.

King Mattress Features

Dimensions

A king size mattress measures 76×80 inches — that’s the same length as a 60×80 queen bed, but it’s a generous 16 inches wider. It’s large, but for some couples — it’s a relationship saver. Having a little extra space insulates a warm sleeper from a partner who prefers it cool. Bedding is less likely to slip off the side of the bed because of its extensive surface area — so there’s no need to fight over the covers.

Cooling Technology

Memory foam was originally developed for astronauts living in extreme conditions, but here on Earth, the challenges are different. Memory foam sleeps hot — it’s the nature of the material. In fact, it needs the warmth of your body to soften and conform to your curves, but in the process, it retains heat. How can you dial that back without losing the softness and support you crave? Mattress makers now have it down pat.

There are several ways to keep a memory foam mattress cool. The most popular and least costly is to infuse it with gel beads that warm slowly, so less heat accumulates. Gel memory also sinks less than regular memory foam, so it breathes better.

Air circulation naturally keeps mattresses cooler, so the addition of convoluted memory foam with peaks and valleys gives air space to move. Because it’s doesn’t create an entirely solid surface, this type of foam feels softer and is somewhat less supportive. Pin-ventilated memory foam with small holes that breathe without sacrificing support may be the better option. Ventilated gel memory or a combination of gel memory and convoluted foam is ideal if you’re prone to overheating.

Phase-change materials (PCMs) are another solution for keeping cool. Gel memory was among the earliest PCMs, but new materials such as graphite-infused memory foam are showing even more promise.

Finally, there are hybrid mattresses with a latex or memory foam over coil design that naturally encourages air to flow through the lower half of the mattress. The best hybrids also incorporate gel memory or ventilated foam to maximize cooling power.

Pillow Tops

Pillow tops come in two popular styles — traditional and euro top. Traditional pillow tops look like a pad that’s stitched to the top of the mattress. A small gap shows around the perimeter where the pad and the rest of the mattress meet. Euro pillow tops have a seam, but they’re even with the sides of the beds. Both are equally comfortable, but sheets fit a little tighter over euro top for a smoother look.

Pillow tops once had a reputation for failing after a few months of use, but today’s versions are made with higher quality materials, including memory foam. They’re better at resisting body impressions and keep their original shape over time.

Edge Support

Support around the edge of a mattress is important. Why?

It improves proprioception — the sense of where your body is in space. Mattresses without edge support feel smooth from side to side, but with no perceptible border, it’s easier to fall out of bed.

Edge support also makes it easier to rise from a sitting position. If the side of the mattress sinks when you sit on it, it takes more physical strength to stand. Not everyone has that.

How reliable edge support is depends on how a mattress is made. The cheapest innerspring mattresses have metal bars around the rim that are uncomfortably stiff to sit on and will eventually sag. But a soft memory foam mattress with no metal reinforcement offers virtually no edge support — firmer versions fare better. A sturdy support surface like a platform bed won’t prevent memory foam from sinking, but it feels more secure.

A hybrid mattress may be the best option if you want the pressure relief of memory foam but need the edge support of coils. The best models have springs that extend to the very edge of the mattress. In some models, coils stop short, and high-density foam is used instead to stabilize the sides. It’s a little more comfortable, but support is weak.

Motion Transfer

When your body moves in bed, kinetic energy moves through the mattress, and it can keep your partner awake. It’s called motion transfer, and research shows it can disrupt even the soundest sleep.

The good news is today’s mattress are better than ever at controlling motion transfer, but which types do it best? Innerspring and hybrid mattresses are tops for edge support, but nothing isolates motion better than memory foam. Because it’s less resilient than other materials like coil or latex, it keeps motion confined.

Hybrids with individually pocketed coils control motion transfer better than models with a single continuous spring because separate coils limit how far kinetic energy can spread. If you want the firm support of coils but the superior motion isolation of memory foam, choose a hybrid with a thicker than average foam layers.

Allergen-resistance

Up to 50 million Americans have allergies, and among the most useful strategies for reducing symptoms is to reduce exposure to allergens in bed. Spending 8 hours in an environment without dust mites or substances that cause sneezing and wheezing helps control discomfort for the rest of the day.

The best mattresses for allergy sufferers are hypoallergenic and made of materials that are inhospitable to dust mites and bed bugs. Memory foam is a good choice as is latex as long as you don’t have a latex allergy. If you do, avoid all latex — both natural and synthetic versions can cause a reaction.

Mattress covers made with Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified fabric are skin-friendly and the least likely to be irritating. And breathable knit fabrics that don’t retain moisture are more resistant to mold and bacteria.

Foam Density

Density reflects how much air foam contains. Low-density foam is soft and less expensive because it requires less raw material to make. High-density foam costs more, but it’s firmer and more durable.

There are three types of foam used in mattresses — polyfoam, gel memory or standard memory foam and latex.

Polyfoam — the type of foam used to pad furniture — ranges in density from 1.5 to 2.5 pounds per cubic foot. Anything less than 1.8 lbs./ft³ is minimally supportive and makes poor mattress material.

Memory foam density ranges from 2.5 to 8 pounds per cubic foot. Foams with less than 3.5 lbs/ft³ of density are soft but less durable. Medium-density versions from 3.5 to 4 lbs./ft³ are soft yet supportive.

High-density memory foam over 5 lbs/ft³ is the firmest. It makes an ideal support base for an all-foam mattress, but it’s a little too firm for a top layer. Latex foams are roughly 5% denser at each level.

Density isn’t the sole determinant of mattress quality — if you prefer a soft bed, too much “better” high-density memory foam factor may make it too firm. Better foam mattresses combine different types of foams with various densities to make the most out of their different properties.

Support Level

No level of support is perfect for everyone, but there is one that’s right for you. When so many mattress reviews disagree about whether a matter is soft or firm, it’s tough to choose. The bottom line is — comfort is a matter of preference — but there are ways to determine how firm a mattress will likely be.

Support on an innerspring or hybrid mattress varies based on the coil density and how thick the springs are. Coils of a gauge 13 or lower are form — higher-gauge coils are more forgiving.

The firmness of a memory foam mattress is measured using the IDL, or Indentation Load Deflection Test. Manufacturers test a 50 square inch piece of foam by compressing the middle with a circular press. The results show how much pressure it takes to indent the 4-inch foam by 25%. The rating scale ranges from 14 — the softest — to an extra-firm 44. Medium mattresses average 30.

Because memory foam distributes body weight more evenly than coils, it can feel plush on top yet still be exceptionally supportive. A sleep trial is more telling than just pushing on a mattress to get a feel for its firmness.

If you’re switching from one mattress material to another, it’s essential to consider their general characteristics and choose the model closest to your preference. But don’t be fooled — it can take up to two months your body to adjust to a new mattress, so don’t give up too soon.

Durability

A durable mattress should remain comfortable and supportive for years. What determines durability? In a word, quality. Bells and whistles are no match for sound materials, and an lengthy warranty doesn’t guarantee longevity. Remember that warranties only cover defects in craftsmanship — not regular wear and tear.

In most cases, mattresses stop being comfortable long before they meet the criteria for replacement under warranty. Who can afford to wait that long? A good warranty is protection against a lemon, but only quality materials make a mattress durable.

Special Features

Among similar mattresses, special features can help define value. Here are a few worth looking for.

Removable Covers

Accidents happen, and when they do, a mattress with a removable, machine washable cover makes the cleaning process more manageable. Light spills aren’t necessarily tough to remove from a permanent cover, but dark spots deeper cleaning that could leave your bed wet for days.

You can add an additional protective cover to any mattress — most manufacturers recommend you do. But why spend extra if you don’t have to?

Handles

Flipping old-style innerspring mattresses prevented sagging — so handles were a given. That’s no longer the case with today’s mattresses. The majority of modern beds — even hybrid mattresses — are non-flip, but rotating them regularly reduces body impressions.

Some of the mattresses on our list are over a hundred pounds, and while they glide smoothly over most surfaces as they’re turned, models with built-in handles on the side are more back-friendly to rotate.

Freshness and Fabric Enhancers

Mattress makers are always looking for features that will differentiate their products from the competition. Freshness and fabric enhancers are among the most popular.

Memory foam mattresses are top sellers, but because they retain heat, body odors tend to cling. Several popular brands, including some on our list, infuse bamboo charcoal into their foam to fight odors. Does it work? Researchers haven’t invested much effort to find out, but carbon in the form of activated charcoal is a well-known odor absorbent, and reviews suggest it helps.

Popular fabric enhancers include aloe vera, green tea — two substances with skin-enhancing properties —and Celliant — a brand-name mineral-enhanced fabric that claims to reduce aches by improving the body’s oxygenation.

Memory Foam Mattress

Memory foam beds are fast dethroning coil mattresses as the country’s top seller. Why?

They’re comfortable and convenient to buy online. Compressed and shipped right to your door, gone are the days of losing a day’s work while you wait for a store to deliver. And shipping is typically free, so add-on charges for long-distance delivery are history.

Foam beds don’t require bulky box springs — any supportive surface will do. Lay them on the floor or purchase a platform bed that that’s both less expensive and more useful than a box spring. Pair a king size foam mattress with an 18-inch platform frame, and you’ve created as much storage space under the bed as you’d have in a walk-in closet.

Mattress reviews agree — any quality mattress can make a good sleep surface, but memory foam mattresses offer a wider range of support levels that accommodate most sleep positions.

Plus, you can choose from low-profile 8-inch high beds that fit in a trundle to ultra-supportive 14-inch styles. Regardless of height, they’re compatible with all bed frames, including adjustable bases.

As a material, memory foam has unique characteristics other mattresses don’t have. It’s responsive, conforming to your body’s curves and keeping your spine aligned. Unlike polyfoam, it retains its shape, and doesn’t indent easily.

If you sleep with a partner, nothing offers better motion isolation than memory foam. It’s also the most recommended material for easing aches and pains caused by the pressure of springs pushing against your body — especially for side sleepers.

The quality of a mattress always matters. Cheap versions made of all low-density foam won’t be supportive enough or hold up to regular use. Aim for a density of 3.5 to 4 pounds per cubic foot.

Because memory foam sleeps hot, it’s also essential to choose a bed with integrated cooling technology. The addition of gel not only makes memory foam cooler, but it also makes it more resilient for stomach sleepers. Of course, if you live in a cold climate, the warmth of memory foam is an advantage.

Coil/Innerspring Mattress

Innerspring mattresses are among the most widely available, but reviews consistently give them poor ratings for customer satisfaction. Why? Coil mattresses are comfortable for the first few years, but they quickly become less supportive as springs begin to sag. Depressions form where the body is the heaviest, and soon — they create painful pressure points. Pillow top coil beds fare somewhat better than coil-only styles, but models with lesser quality comfort layers can deteriorate within months.

Innerspring beds do have a few advantages. In warm climates, they retain less heat than memory foam mattresses because they allow air to circulate. And of all types of sleep surfaces, they’re the best mattress for edge support.

Motion isolation capabilities are a mixed bag depends on the coil gauge, density and style. Models with high coil counts are incredibly supportive, while those with individually pocketed coils that move independently can control motion almost as well as memory foam.

The research is clear that a memory foam mattress can be as supportive an innerspring or hybrid bed without the use of metal coils. Their initial softness belies their support at first, but because they distribute weight more evenly than coils, they keep the body ergonomically aligned.

Hybrid Mattress

A hybrid is a unique blend of an innerspring and foam mattress. If you like the traditional feel of coils but want the best in pressure relief and motion isolation, the best mattress may be a hybrid.

Hybrids aren’t quite as popular as memory foam mattresses because they still contain metal coils that weaken over the years. But the addition of foam makes them more comfortable long-term — especially for side sleepers with hip or shoulder pain. Coils that extend to the edge of the mattress also help improve edge support.

Unlike all-coil mattresses, most hybrid mattresses are compatible with adjustable bed bases. A few aren’t — especially the thickest versions — so see what the manufacturer recommends and check your warranty for details. You can read more about hybrid mattresses on our blog.

Latex Mattress

Latex is a premium material because it’s naturally soft, breathable and resilient. Just a few years ago, it was found only in beds costing thousands, but prices are coming down, and for $1000, anyone can enjoy the benefits of a latex mattress.

Like a memory foam mattress, a latex mattress is soft. It conforms to the body, but it doesn’t sink as much as conventional memory foam. Stomach sleepers find it’s easier to change positions.

Latex also has some bounce. If you like the softness of a memory foam mattress but miss a little bounce during romantic activities, latex is a good choice. And because it’s more resilient than memory foam, it makes the best mattress for above-average weight users.

A latex mattress does sleep warm but not as hot as a pure memory foam mattress. Because it’s not as soft, the body rides closer to the top instead of sinking, so air circulates better. Some of the best latex beds also incorporate cooling gel memory or graphite-infused memory foam.

There are three types of latex used in a foam mattress — natural, synthetic and blended. Natural latex comes in two varieties — Talalay and Dunlop. Talalay is the softest and ideal for pressure relief. Dunlop is sturdy and exceptionally durable. It makes the best mattress for heavyweight users.

Otherwise, expect similar performance from a natural, synthetic or blended latex foam mattress. For allergy sufferers, there is no so-called best latex — all forms can cause symptoms. The only safe choice is a latex-free foam mattress.

Adjustable Air Mattress

Air beds have grown in popularity because they offer customizable comfort. If your needs change, you can alter the support of the bed to match by adding or removing air from the interior baffles. King and queen versions can be adjusted independently. No memory foam mattress can do that.

Despite their following, air mattresses have drawbacks. They require electricity to operate, and the pump can be noisy. And like tires, they can leak. While better air beds won’t deflate in a power outage, lesser models do — in the $1000 range, the quality of air mattresses is disappointing. A hybrid, gel memory or regular memory foam mattress is a better choice.

Final Thoughts

Sleep experts agree that there’s no best mattress for everyone — comfort is a matter of preference. But whether you choose a humble foam mattress or an advanced latex hybrid — your bed should be a perfect fit for you. Good sleep is an investment, but you’re worth it. The best mattress makes the sweetest dreams.