Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages
guides
products
Filter by Categories
Baby Sleep Products
Bedding
Bedding FAQs
Circadian
Circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders
Diagnosis
Drug Therapies
Dyssomnias
España
How Sleep Works
Hypersomnias
Insomnias
Mattress 101
Mattress Accessories
Mattress Brands
Mattress Comparisons
Mattress FAQs
Mattresses
Non-Drug Therapies
Parasomnias
Pet Sleep Resources
Popular
Safety and Sleep
Safety and Sleep Products
Sales and Coupons
Sleep Disorders
Sleep Environment
Sleep Health
Sleep Medicine
Sleep Preparation
Sleep Products
Sleep Resources
Sleep-related breathing disorders
Sleep-related movement disorders
Uncategorized
This research is supported by you, our readers, through our independently chosen links, which earn us a commission. Learn More.

Best Mattresses for Athletes – 2019 Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Our Research

147
Mattresses Considered
140
Hours of Research
3
Mattress Executives Interviewed
12
Sleep Experts Consulted

Quick Overview

Athletic performance and physical recovery are both directly linked to sleep quality. Well-rested athletes are faster, more reflexive, and able to perform for longer durations than those who don’t get enough sleep. And at the end of the day, a comfortable, supportive sleep surface can alleviate aches and pains, promote good blood flow, and cool the body to a reasonable temperature. For these reasons, an athlete’s mattress choice is very important.

Best Mattresses for Athletes

Some mattresses are better equipped to accommodate athletic individuals than others. These beds cushion sensitive areas – such as the neck, shoulders, lower back, and hips – and align the head, spine and pelvis. This helps reduce pressure points all over the body. Temperature neutrality is another important factor; beds that sleep excessively hot can have a negative effect on physical recovery. And because many athletes have larger-than-average bodies, a mattress that offers support to taller and/or heavier sleepers is usually the best option.

This guide will discuss these and other important criteria for selecting an athlete’s mattress. Below you will find our choices for the best mattresses for athletes sold today. Our picks are based on verified customer and owner experiences, as well as intensive product research and analysis.

Our Top 6 Picks

Best Mattresses for Athletes – Reviewed

Editor's Pick – Bear Mattress

Editor's Pick – Bear Mattress

Highlights

  • Medium Firm (6.5)
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • 10-year warranty
  • Close conforming and good motion isolation
  • Celliant cover promotes physical recovery
arrow
Get 20% off a Bear mattress. Use this code at checkout: TUCK20
Get Discount

Editor’s Pick Overview

The Bear Mattress is our Editor’s Pick largely due to its cover, which is made of Celliant fabric. This material is engineered to absorb body heat, convert it into infrared energy, and transmit the energy back into the sleeper’s skin.

This process benefits sleepers in many ways, such as improved blood circulation, targeted pain and pressure relief, and a speedier physical recovery. Celliant also provides good temperature neutrality; as a result, the Bear Mattress sleeps cooler than most competing all-foam beds.

The Bear Mattress has comfort layers made of memory foam and polyfoam that conform closely to the sleeper’s body. This helps align the spine and prevent more pressure points from developing.

The bed also includes a high-density polyfoam support core, which helps maintain an even surface for sleeping. Other benefits of the Bear Mattress include good motion isolation and no noise – both of which may be beneficial for couples who awaken easily during the night.

The Bear is a high-value mattress, as well, with a price-point that is significantly lower than the cost of the average memory foam bed. The mattress qualifies for free delivery in the lower 48 states, and comes with a hassle-free 100-night sleep trial.

Good for:
  • Side and back sleepers
  • Athletes in the average and heavy weight groups
  • Back and hip pain sufferers
  • Those with poor circulation

Best Value – Layla

Best Value – Layla

Highlights

  • Flippable with dual firmness (4, 7)
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Great motion isolation
  • Close conforming and pressure relief
arrow
Get $110 off a Layla Mattress. Click the link below.
Get Discount

Best Value Overview

Many athletes prefer to have firmness options rather than sleep on a bed with the same firmness setting night after night. The Layla is a good pick for these individuals.

It offers a flippable design with one side that is ‘Medium Soft’ (4 on the 1-10 firmness scale) and another that is ‘Firm’ (7). Changing the firmness is as easy as flipping the mattress over – and the Layla is lightweight even by memory foam mattress standards and will cause minimal strain to rotate.

The Layla Mattress is also suitable for athletic recovery because both memory foam comfort layers are infused with copper, which accelerates blood flow and improves circulation in sleepers. The copper also cools down the foam to give the mattress great temperature neutrality.

The ‘Medium Soft’ side has an additional layer of convoluted polyfoam for added cushioning and pressure relief, while the shared polyfoam support core reinforces the even sleep surface.

Layla Sleep offers free shipping to customers anywhere in the contiguous U.S. The Layla Mattress is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty, both of which are longer than average.

Good for:
  • Side and back sleepers
  • Athletes in all weight groups (light, average, heavy)
  • Those with shifting firmness preferences
  • Sleepers with poor circulation

Best Luxury – Avocado Green

Best Luxury – Avocado Green

Highlights

  • Multiple firmness options (5.5, 6.5)
  • 365-night sleep trial
  • 20-year warranty
  • Good conforming and motion isolation
  • Exceptional temperature neutrality
arrow
Get $150 off an Avocado Green Mattress. Use this code at checkout: TUCKAVO
Get Discount

Best Luxury Overview

The Avocado Green is latex hybrid crafted from materials that are both high-quality and eco-friendly. These include comfort layers of breathable, moisture-wicking New Zealand wool and aerated Dunlop latex. These materials help keep the bed cool and comfortable for most sleepers, including athletes fresh from intense workouts.

The mattress also has a sturdy pocketed coil support core that reinforces the entire bed and helps minimize sagging and indentations from developing in the sleep surface. These imperfections can cause the surface to become uneven, and often lead to added aches and pains for physically active people.

The Avocado Green is available in two firmness settings, ‘Medium’ (5.5) and ‘Medium Firm’ (6.5). This range is best suited for sleepers who weigh at least 130 pounds, as this weight group often finds that softer beds sag excessively.

The thick latex layer also absorbs and minimizes a fair amount of motion transfer, and the coils do not produce much noise. Both of these attributes can benefit couples who awaken easily during the night.

Avocado offers free standard shipping to all 50 states, as well as White Glove delivery – which includes in-home assembly – for an extra charge. The mattress is backed by a 365-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty.

Good for:
  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination)
  • Sleepers in the average and heavy weight groups
  • Those who tend to sleep hot or sweat in their sleep
  • Eco-friendly shoppers

Best for Lightweight Sleepers – Casper Wave

Best for Lightweight Sleepers – Casper Wave

Highlights

  • 'Medium Soft' (4.5)
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • 10-year warranty
  • Thick, pressure-relieving comfort layers
  • High-profile support
arrow
Get $150 off a Casper Wave Mattress. Use this code at checkout: TUCK
Get Discount

Best for Lightweight Sleepers Overview

Most people in the light weight group (less than 130 pounds) prefer softer mattresses that provide deep conforming and improve spinal alignment. The Casper Wave is optimal for athletes in this group because it is considered ‘Medium Soft’ (4.5) and constructed with thick comfort layers of polyfoam, memory foam, and blended latex.

These materials hug the body closely without sagging excessively to alleviate aches and pains in the sleeper’s most sensitive areas. The Wave also has a high-density foam base that reinforces the bed to prevent sagging and sinkage along the surface.

Its 11 1/2? profile is also ideal for taller people, who often struggle getting in and out of bed, as well as those who prefer thicker-than-average beds. Additionally, the Casper Wave isolates motion transfer very well and is virtually silent when bearing weight. These two factors can be beneficial to couples who experience sleep disruptions due to movement or noise.

The Casper Wave has an above-average price-point, but the mattress qualifies for free White Glove delivery anywhere in the contiguous U.S. This service includes in-home assembly and old mattress removal upon request. The Wave is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.

Good for:
  • Side and back sleepers
  • Sleepers in the light and average weight groups
  • Couples
  • Those who prefer thicker-than-average beds

Best for Average Weight Sleepers – Saatva

Best for Average Weight Sleepers – Saatva

Highlights

  • Multiple firmness options (4, 6, 7.5)
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • 15-year warranty
  • Strong, durable support
  • Good conforming and pressure relief
arrow
Get $75 off a Saatva Mattress. Click the link below.
Get Discount

Best for Average Weight Sleepers Overview

A common complaint about innerspring mattresses is below-average pain and pressure relief. Most models are made with thin polyfoam comfort layers that provide minimal conforming and do not improve spinal alignment to a noticeable extent. The Saatva is a notable exception. Using innovative coil-on-coil construction and thick comfort layers, the mattress offers exceptional comfort and pain relief for athletes.

The mattress is made with memory foam, polyfoam, and pocketed coil comfort layers that provide targeted support to the sleeper’s body, which can help cut down on aches and pains. The bed also has a support core with steel-tempered bonnell coils, which offer robust reinforcement to the entire bed.

Good air circulation through the coil layers also allows the Saatva to sleep cool for most. The mattress is available in three firmness settings – ‘Medium Soft’ (4), ‘Medium Firm’ (6), and ‘Firm’ (7.5) – as well as 11 1/2″ and 14 1/2″ profiles. This range should accommodate most sleepers regardless of their weight or preferred position.

Saatva provides free White Glove delivery to all customers in the contiguous U.S. The mattress is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a 15-year warranty, both of which are longer than average.

Good for:
  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination)
  • Sleepers in the average and heavy weight groups
  • Back pain sufferers
  • Those who prefer beds with thicker-than-average profiles

Best for Heavyweight Sleepers – Bear Hybrid

Best for Heavyweight Sleepers – Bear Hybrid

Highlights

  • Medium Firm (6)
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • 20-year warranty
  • Sleeps exceptionally cool
  • Thick, pressure-relieving comfort layers
arrow
Get 20% off a Bear Hybrid Mattress. Use this code at checkout: TUCK20
Get Discount

Best for Heavyweight Sleepers Overview

Like our Editor’s Pick, the Bear Mattress, the Bear Hybrid is constructed with a Celliant fabric cover that aids circulation, provides pain relief, regulates body temperature, and hastens physical recovery for athletes.

As is the case with many hybrids, the Bear Hybrid also sleeps quite cool – but Bear’s model is available at a much lower price-point than the average hybrid, making it a high-value pick as well.

The mattress features polyfoam and memory foam comfort layers that provide close conforming and improve spinal alignment. And because the comfort layers are 5? thick, the Bear Hybrid isolates motion transfer better and sleeps quieter than the average hybrid.

The pocketed coil layer ensures good airflow, which helps with temperature neutrality, and also reinforces the edges to prevent sinkage around the perimeter of the bed.

Bear will ship this hybrid anywhere in the contiguous U.S. free-of-charge. The mattress is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty.

Good for:
  • Side and back sleepers
  • Athletes in the average and heavy weight groups
  • Sleepers with poor circulation
  • Those who tend to sleep hot

Buying Guide – How to Shop for an Athlete-Friendly Mattress

Numerous studies have established a direct link between healthy sleep habits and strong athletic performance. Well-rested athletes are faster, stronger, more accurate, and quicker to react than those who do not receive enough sleep. Additionally, proper sleep can supplement exercise routines, allowing athletes to build muscle, strength, and endurance more effectively. Those who don’t enough sleep often pay the price physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Choosing the right mattress can greatly impact an athlete’s sleep habits and routines. However, it’s important to understand the key differences between mattress types — such as innerspring, foam, latex, and hybrid models — in terms of support, comfort, firmness, and other important sleep factors. This page will look at the most important sleep considerations for athletes of all ages, as well as some mattress comparing and buying tips.

Why is Sleep so Important for Athletes?

We all require a good night’s sleep in order to wake up feeling refreshed and function the following day. However, athletes face unique considerations when it comes to sleep. Poor or inadequate sleep can lead to problems like slow reaction times, lengthier recovery times and diminished motor skills — all of which impact athletic performance.

Sleep deprivation and sleep debt are two important factors. Sleep deprivation is a condition characterized by lack of sleep that may be chronic or acute in nature. Sleep debt refers to incremental loss of sleep that accumulates over the course of a week or longer.

Let’s say an athletic person receives seven hours of sleep each night from Monday to Friday, rather than the recommended eight hours of nightly sleep. By Saturday, that person’s ‘sleep debt’ will reach five hours — and they will most likely feel the effects, which may include slower reaction times, lack of focus, and delayed physical recovery from athletic activities.

Sleep deprivation also impacts body chemistry. When we sleep, our bodies regulate production of the stress hormone known as cortisol. Lack of sleep can cause cortisol levels to rise. This hinders the body’s ability to produce glycogen and carbohydrates, which provide energy boosts during high-endurance activities (such as athletic events). As sleep debt accumulates and cortisol levels increase, our bodies become less and less equipped to perform. Many athletes rely on supplements to replenish their glycogen and carbohydrate levels, and these supplements may carry negative side effects.

Generally speaking, athletes require more sleep than non-athlete adults, particularly before and after major athletic events. The average man or woman requires seven to nine hours of sleep per night in order to properly function the next day.

However, adult athletes should get roughly 10 hours of sleep whenever they are training or competing on a regular basis. This helps ensure strong athletic performance, as well as a speedy physical recovery. Likewise, adolescent athletes are urged to get at least nine hours of sleep per night during their active seasons.

In addition to more overall sleep, athletes require steady sleep schedules that consist of both light and deep sleep. Light sleep, known as non-rapid-eye-movement (nREM) sleep, is associated with cell division and regeneration, which is crucial for muscle recovery. Cortisol regulation takes place primarily during REM sleep. Additionally, athletes may experience longer REM latency — the time from falling asleep until REM sleep begins — than non-athletes, and not getting enough REM sleep can negatively affect athletic performance and reaction time.

The following studies highlight the importance of sufficient sleep for athletes in different sports and activities.

  • 2014 study found that adolescent athletes who received less than eight hours of sleep per night were 1.7 times more likely to get injured during an event or competition than those who received eight or more hours of sleep per night.
  • 2013 study found that ‘strike-zone judgment’ in baseball players was worse in September than in April of that year, due to the long-term effects of sleep loss and fatigue across a single season.
  • Another 2013 study noted that baseball players with unhealthy sleep habits and routines were less than 40% likely to still be playing three seasons later; in contrast, those who received sufficient sleep were 72% likely to still be playing.
  • As part of a 2007 study, a group of swimmers received 10 hours of sleep over a period of six to seven weeks. Most participants reported faster swim times, higher stroke rates, and quicker reaction times.
  • In a 2010 study, a group of football players who increased their daily sleep times over a period of seven to eight weeks noted faster times in 20- and 40-yard sprints, as well as mood improvements.
  • 2011 survey of basketball players found that increasing sleep times by two hours per day resulted in faster sprint times and better shooting accuracy for both free throws and three-point shots.
  • 2009 study asked female tennis players to get at least 10 hours of sleep over a period of five to six weeks. Participants recorded sprint time improvements, as well as an increase in serving accuracy of nearly 24%.

Next, let’s look at important performance factors that athletes should consider when shopping for a new mattress.

Mattress Considerations for Athletes

When browsing and comparing different mattress brands and models, here are a few factors to keep in mind.

Firmness

Firmness is directly tied to the topmost layers of a mattress, which are collectively known as the comfort layer or comfort system. Firmness is often measured on a numerical scale, with 1 being the least firm and 10 being the firmest; most mattresses sold today rate between a 3 (Soft) and an 8 (Firm).

Firmness preferences vary strongly from person to person, and often come down to two individual factors: bodyweight and sleep position. People with below-average weights (130 pounds or less) tend to feel most comfortable on mattresses that rate between a 3 and a 5 (Medium). If the mattress is firmer, then lightweight sleepers may weigh enough to sink deeply and experience close conforming.

Heavier sleepers (more than 230 pounds), on the other hand, typically prefer mattresses that rate between a 6 (Medium Firm) and an 8. If the mattress is less firm, then heavyweight sleepers may sink too deeply and experience discomfort and/or added pressure.

In terms of sleep position, those who sleep on their back utilize a position that naturally aligns the spine. As a result, they may feel comfortable on different firmness levels, often depending on their bodyweight. Side-sleepers do not utilize a position that aligns the spine, and often require a mattress that conforms to their body and targets pressure buildup.

Stomach-sleepers face a similar issue regarding spinal misalignment, but they usually prefer firmer mattresses. If the mattress is too soft, then stomach-sleepers may sink too deeply, requiring them to turn their heads; this can cause pressure buildup, especially in the neck and shoulders.

Conforming

Some mattresses are designed to conform closely to sleeper’s bodies, forming a deep, contoured impression that helps align the spine and target pressure points along the shoulders, neck, back, and hips. Other mattresses do not conform as closely, and may not alleviate as much pressure. On the other hand, mattresses that sink too deeply can cause sleepers to feel more pressure in these sensitive areas.

Support

Support in a mattress is regulated in the support core, or the layer(s) located below the comfort system. The support core is intended to withstand the sleeper’s weight by pushing back, creating a level surface that keeps the spine straight. Mattresses that do not offer inadequate support will eventually sag, which makes the surface uneven. This can cause pain and pressure along the body over time. Side- and stomach-sleepers in particular require mattresses that offer sufficient support.

Temperature Neutrality

A significant number of adults naturally sleep hot or warm. Some mattresses amplify this feeling by absorbing high levels of body heat, which causes the bed to feel uncomfortably hot or warm. These increases in temperature can negatively impact sleep and leave individuals feeling tired and unfocused. Other mattresses retain less body heat and sleep fairly cool by comparison. These models are usually the best bet for naturally hot sleepers. Likewise, those who naturally sleep cold should seek out mattresses that will keep them sufficiently warm throughout the night.

Other Factors

In addition to the factors listed above, here are a few more considerations for athletes to make when comparing different mattress types, brands, and models:

  • Motion Isolation: Some mattresses are engineered to absorb motion when someone gets up or shifts positions and isolate it to certain parts of the mattress. This is particularly beneficial for couples who share a bed. Other mattresses offer minimal motion isolation, and motion can be felt across the mattress surface. This can lead to sleep disruption, especially for sleepers that awaken easily.
  • Noise: Mattresses with solid comfort layers and support cores typically produce little to noise when bearing weight, and this can cut down on sleep disruptions. By comparison, mattresses with metal components may squeak or rustle when compressed.
  • Cover Fabric: The mattress cover can play a crucial role in sleep quality for athletes. Some mattress covers are made with Celliant, a fabric also used in athletic attire that absorbs energy from the sleeper’s body and infuses it back into the body using infrared light. This process improves circulation, speeds up muscle recovery, and regulates body temperature — all benefits for athletes. Other covers are made from phase-changing material (PCM), which retains body heat until the sleeper reaches a certain temperature and then maintains that temperature for the rest of the night. This can be highly beneficial for athletes that sleep hot.
  • Size: Although standard mattress sizes are typically long and wide enough to accommodate most sleepers, some athletes — such as those who are particularly tall and/or large — may prefer to sleep on longer, wider King and California King sizes.
  • Cost: Most mattresses represent a significant financial investment, but some are significantly more expensive than others.

Mattress Types: Pros and Cons for Athletes

Now let’s go over five of the most popular mattress types sold today, including pros and cons for athlete sleepers associated with each type.

Memory Foam

Memory foam, or viscoelastic polyfoam, is a polyurethane-based foam. When memory foam comes into contact with body temperatures, it sinks and conforms closely to the sleeper’s body. When cool, the foam retains its original, flattened surface. Memory foam mattresses typically have lower price-points.

  • Comfort Layer: A memory foam mattress features at least one layer of memory foam in the comfort system. One or more layers of standard polyfoam may also be added for extra stability.
  • Support Core: The majority of memory foam mattresses sold today are made with high-density polyfoam support cores. HD polyfoam is strong enough to withstand a sleeper’s weight and maintain an even surface; memory foam is not as supportive, and most sleepers would sink too deeply on a mattress made entirely of memory foam.

Pros for Athletes

  • Memory foam conforms very closely to help keep the spine straight and alleviate pain and pressure in the neck, shoulders, lower back, and hips.
  • Memory foam mattresses are available in a wide range of firmness ratings to accommodate sleepers with different weights and position preferences.
  • Memory foam mattresses offer above-average motion isolation, and produce little to no noise when bearing weight.

Cons for Athletes

  • Memory foam tends to sag with age, and this may affect its supportive properties.
  • Memory foam retains high levels of body heat, and may not be suitable for athletes who sleep hot or warm.

Innerspring

Innerspring mattresses are the most widely sold mattresses today, accounting for roughly two-thirds of industry sales. These mattresses get their name from the steel coils that make up their support core; the coils are evenly spaced in order to properly distribute weight, and often reinforced with high-density polyfoam layers. Generally speaking, innersprings have medium to low price-points.

  • Comfort Layer: In most innersprings, the comfort system primarily consists of polyfoam layers. Thin layers of memory foam and/or latex may also be used, but these components are more commonly found in hybrids (see below).
  • Support Core: Four types of steel coils are used in innersprings. These coils differ in terms of gauge, or thickness, as well as shape and price-point. The table below includes a complete breakdown of the four main coil types. Please note that gauge measurements follow a reverse order; low-gauge coils are the thickest, while high-gauge coils are the thinnest.
Coil Type Shape Average Gauge Average Price
Bonnell Hourglass with rounded ends 12 to 18 Low
Offset Hourglass with straightened ends 12 to 15 Medium
Continuous Wire Straight line 15 to 18 Low
Pocketed Spiral encased in fabric 17 to 18 High

Pros for Athletes

  • Innerspring mattresses are available in a wide range of firmness options.
  • Innerspring mattresses retain minimal body heat and tend to sleep cooler than other mattress types. This is due largely due to the open support core structure, which provides better air circulation.

Cons for Athletes

  • An innerspring’s supportive qualities depend largely on the coil type, but innersprings tend to sag significantly and lose their supportive qualities relatively quickly.
  • Most innerspring mattresses conform very little due to the lack of contouring materials (such as memory foam and/or latex) in the comfort layer.
  • Innerspring mattresses can be somewhat loud due to squeaking coils and other internal components, and these mattresses do not usually isolate motion to a significant extent.

Latex

Latex is a substance extracted from rubber trees that is processed into a foam-like material. All-latex mattresses are highly durable and have above-average lifespans; as a result, the price-points for these mattresses are typically high. Mattresses made with latex and foam components are more susceptible to sagging and deterioration, and the price-points tend to be lower.

  • Comfort Layer: The comfort system of a latex bed primarily consists of latex layers. Memory foam or polyfoam layers may also be used, as well, but some models are all-latex.
  • Support Core: Some latex mattresses have support cores that are also made entirely of latex, while others feature support layers constructed from high-density polyfoam.

Pros for Athletes

  • Like memory foam mattresses, latex mattresses conform closely to sleeper’s bodies and target pressure points in sensitive areas.
  • Latex mattresses are available in different firmness settings, and may be considered suitable for any sleeper weight or sleep position.
  • Latex mattresses are fairly quiet, and they provide better-than-average motion isolation.

Cons for Athletes

  • Latex mattresses with foam components tend to absorb high levels of body heat, and may not be suitable for athletes who sleep hot or warm. All-latex mattresses tend to sleep much cooler by comparison.
  • Mattresses made with latex and foam offer average to below-average support, and sagging in the support core is often reported. All-latex mattresses tend to perform for longer, and are not as susceptible to sagging.

Hybrid

By definition, a hybrid mattress features at least two inches of memory foam and/or latex in the comfort layer and a pocketed coil support core. Some mattresses sold as hybrids do not meet this criteria, and should not be considered true hybrids. Most hybrid mattresses have above-average price-points.

  • Comfort Layer: In addition to memory foam and/or latex components, the comfort system of a hybrid mattress may also contain layers of polyfoam and/or steel minicoils.
  • Support Core: As the table above shows, pocketed coils are covered in fabric casings and tend to be high-gauge, or thin, compared to other coil types. Many hybrids feature additional layers of high-density polyfoam in the support core.

Pros for Athletes

  • Hybrids conform somewhat closely due to their memory foam and latex layers, and typically provide better pressure relief than traditional innersprings.
  • Hybrids are available in a wide range of firmness settings.
  • Hybrids typically offer good motion isolation.

Cons for Athletes

  • Hybrid mattresses — particularly those with thicker memory foam layers — absorb more body heat and tend to sleep hot compared to innersprings with polyfoam comfort layers.
  • Hybrids with higher firmness ratings tend to offer adequate support, but those with lower firmness ratings are more susceptible to sagging.
  • Hybrids tend to be quieter than innersprings, but some creaking and squeaking is to be expected.

Airbed

An airbed offers adjustable firmness and support settings thanks to customizable air chambers that can be toggled remotely or manually, depending on the design. Airbeds are generally the most expensive mattresses on the market.

  • Comfort Layer: Most airbeds feature thin comfort layers made of polyfoam and/or memory foam, although some high-end models also feature latex layers.
  • Support Core: The support core of an airbed features at least two individual air chambers, and some have as many as six. Newer models allow owners to adjust firmness settings using app technology. Most designs feature electrical outlets for the customizable controls.

Pros for Athletes

  • Due to their adjustable controls, airbeds are suitable for most sleepers regardless of their firmness preferences.
  • Most airbeds conform closely and offer a contoured fit that helps align the spine and alleviate pressure points.
  • Most airbeds — especially those with more than two air chambers — absorb and isolate motion to a significant extent.

Cons for Athletes

  • Although their controls are customizable, many factors can affect the settings of an airbed, including room temperature, barometric pressure, and sleeper weight.
  • Temperature neutrality is a common issue for airbed owners: models with thicker comfort layers tend to sleep hot, whereas those with thinner comfort layers may sleep excessively cold.
  • Airbeds often produce a fair amount of noise due to squeaking sounds on the sleep surface, as well as running air pumps.

As you can see, a wide range of factors impact how a mattress feels to different athletes. For more information about this topic, please visit our Sleep and Athletes page, as well as our Mattress Buying Guide.

A