- How Sleep Works
- Sleep Disorders
- Sleep Resources
- Sleep Health
- Sleep Medicine
When selecting a mattress, couples have several considerations to take into account. Arguably the most important concern is mutual comfort; those who cannot agree on one firmness setting may feel most comfortable on a mattress with dual firmness (or different firmness ratings on each side of the bed). Many couples also awaken easily due to noise or movement. In these cases, a mattress that isolates motion well and produces little to no noise will likely be the best option. Additionally, most couples agree that responsive mattresses tend to be the best for sex.
Couples today have a wide range of mattresses to choose from, including models of varying composition, thickness, and durability. For many, testing out the mattress is an important step before committing to one model. For this reason, sleep trials can be highly useful. Most mattress brands offer sleep trials that span at least 90 nights or longer, and many offer full refunds to those who return their mattress within the trial period.
Read on to learn more about mattress options for couples, as well as our choices for the best mattresses for couples that are currently available for sale. Our picks are based on verified customer and owner experiences, as well as intensive product research and analysis.
Best Mattresses for Couples
Editor’s Pick – Helix
Best Value Mattress – Layla Mattress
Best Memory Foam Mattress – Loom & Leaf
Best Hybrid Mattress – Avocado Green
Best Innerspring Mattress – The WinkBed
Best Latex Mattress – Zenhaven
The Helix is ideal for couples with differing firmness preferences, as well as those who have never determined which firmness is best for them. The mattress is fully customizable; customers essentially choose their mattress based on answers to an online questionnaire, which inquires about weight, sleep position, and other key factors. Helix will recommend a mattress firmness based on the results.
The Helix is a hybrid constructed with polyfoam and memory foam comfort layers of varying densities (depending on the desired firmness). Currently, six standard hybrid models with different densities are available. Helix also offers two flippable mattresses with different firmness settings on each side, as well as a hybrid with four foam layers designed for heavier individuals. Certain models can be customized for dual-firmness, as well, allowing both individuals to optimize the firmness on their side of the bed.
Another key strength of the Helix is motion isolation; the surface absorbs a significant amount of transfer whenever someone gets into or out of bed or shifts positions. The mattress is virtually silent, as well. Both of these factors make the Helix a good choice for couples who awaken easily due to noise or movement.
The Helix has a below-average price-point and customers, and the mattress ships for free to customers in all 50 states.
A flippable mattress can be a sound investment for couples with firmness preferences that shift from time to time. The Layla Mattress is a memory foam model that features one side that is ‘Medium Soft’ (4 on the 1-10 firmness scale) and another side that is ‘Firm’ (7). Adjusting the firmness requires a quick flip of the mattress – and since the Layla is fairly lightweight, this should be fairly easy to do for most adults.
Both sides of the mattress are constructed with copper-infused memory foam comfort layers. This material conforms closely to the sleeper’s body, aligning the spine and minimizing pressure points, and the copper element can improve blood circulation. The softer side also has a convoluted polyfoam layer for extra cushioning, while the shared high-density polyfoam support core keeps the sleep surface flat and even.
The Layla Mattress also isolates motion to a noticeable extent and makes no noise when bearing weight. The firmer side is responsive enough for sex, as well.
The Layla Mattress is priced well below the average memory foam model, making it a top-value pick for couples. The bed is also backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a nonprorated lifetime warranty, both of which are longer than average.
The Loom & Leaf by Saatva is a memory foam mattress that is available in two firmness options, ‘Medium’ (5.5) and ‘Firm’ (8). Gel memory foam and standard memory foam comfort layers offer very close conforming in both settings, and pain and pressure relief is above-average. The mattress also sleeps fairly cool, due in part to its organic cotton cover, which can be beneficial for couples who typically sleep hot.
A common complaint among memory foam mattress owners is that their bed is not responsive enough for sex. As a result, they often experience excessive sinking that has been likened to ‘fighting with the mattress.’ The Loom & Leaf is more responsive than most – especially in the ‘Firm’ setting – and is bouncy enough for sex. The mattress is also highly supportive than other foam models thanks to its dual-layer polyfoam support core. Other highlights of the Loom & Leaf include great motion isolation and virtually no noise when the mattress is bearing weight.
Because it is manufactured by Saatva, the Loom & Leaf qualifies for free White Glove delivery anywhere in the contiguous U.S. This service includes in-home mattress assembly and old mattress removal; most competing brands will charge customers an additional fee of at least $100 for White Glove delivery. The Loom & Leaf is also backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a 15-year warranty.
Hybrids are known for their above-average support. The Avocado Green outpaces many competitors with its pocketed coil support core, which is constructed with higher-gauge (thinner) coils around the perimeter and a mix of higher- and lower-gauge coils throughout the center. This zoned configuration helps reinforce the mattress and provide extra support to areas of the body where sleepers carry the most weight. Multiple firmness choices also give couples more options for finding the right mattress feel.
The Avocado Green is a good option for eco-friendly couples. The features include aerated Dunlop latex and organic wool comfort layers, an organic cotton cover, and an additional latex layer resting above the coils. These components also allow the bed to sleep fairly cool – and because latex is so durable, the Avocado Green has a lengthy lifespan compared to other hybrids. The bed isolates more motion and produces less noise than other hybrids, as well.
Avocado ships this mattress to customers in all 50 states at no extra charge, and White Glove delivery is available for an additional fee. The Avocado Green comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a longer-than-average 20-year warranty.
Common complaints about innerspring mattresses include below-average conforming, minimal pressure relief and motion isolation, and short lifespans. The WinkBed is a notable exception to all of these variables. Its thick comfort system of polyfoam, gel memory foam, and pocketed minicoils offer close conforming, while an additional compressed-cotton ‘lumbar pad’ eases discomfort for those with lower back and/or hip pain. These layers also help the mattress withstand early deterioration, giving it better durability than the average innerspring, and isolate motion transfer to a noticeable extent.
The WinkBed is available in four firmness settings. These include three standard options: ‘Medium Soft’ (4.5), ‘Medium Firm’ (6.5), and ‘Firm’ (7.5). Additionally, The WinkBed Plus is a ‘Medium Firm’ option that substitutes latex for the memory foam and minicoil layers; this model is specifically designed for heavier individuals. Good air circulation throughout the support core allows the bed to sleep cool, and the mattress also produces less noise than most other innersprings.
The WinkBed’s price-point is much lower than that of the average hybrid. Customers anywhere in the U.S. qualify for free shipping, and the mattress is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty.
Like the Layla listed above, the Zenhaven by Saatva is a flippable mattress. One side is ‘Medium Soft’ (4) and the other is ‘Firm’ (7), making it a good option for couples whose firmness preferences vary night to night.
The Zenhaven is also eco-friendly. Both comfort layers and the shared support core are made from natural Talalay latex, a pliable, body-conforming material that aligns the sleeper’s spine and alleviates pressure points throughout the body. The cover is made of organic cotton, another green material that helps the mattress sleep exceptionally cool.
The Zenhaven offers above-average motion isolation and produces no noise, both of which can cut down on nighttime sleep disruptions for couples. The mattress also has a long lifespan due to its latex components. Its 10″ profile makes it easy for most people to get in and out of bed, as well.
As a Saatva brand mattress (like the Loom & Leaf), the Zenhaven qualifies for free White Glove delivery anywhere in the contiguous U.S. The bed is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty.
If you share your bed with someone, then there are many factors to consider when shopping for a new mattress — and striking a balance between mattress preferences and couples’ needs can be quite tricky. Will the mattress provide adequate firmness and support for both sleepers? Does it cut down on noise and minimize motion transfer? Is the mattress responsive enough for sex? Will it sleep hot?
This page will explore these and other considerations, and also compare different mattress types in terms of their suitability for couples.
Important factors for couples to consider in a mattress include the following.
Motion Transfer and Isolation: When you shift sleep positions or get out of/into bed, your body creates motion that may disrupt your sleep partner. This can be a major disadvantage to sleeping with someone.
Some mattresses — including most memory foam and latex models — are engineered to absorb and isolate that motion to specific areas of the mattress. Other mattress types, such as innersprings, do little (if anything) to minimize motion transfer. Thicker mattresses tend to absorb and isolate motion more effectively than thinner ones. We recommend models that are at least 11 to 12 inches thick.
It’s important to note the inverse relationship between motion isolation and responsiveness, which is used to evaluate mattresses for sex. Mattresses that offer good motion isolation tend to be less responsive, and thus not as good for sex, whereas those with poor motion isolation are often highly responsive.
Noise: Noise control is linked to motion transfer and isolation, since mattresses that offer one typically offer the other as well. Mattresses made of foam or latex are often virtually silent when bearing weight. This can cut down on nighttime disruptions, and also ensure discreet sex. Innersprings and hybrids tend to be noisier, largely due to their metal springs, while airbeds may produce loud noises due to air pumps and other electrical components.
Mattress Firmness: Firmness refers to how soft or firm the mattress feels beneath different sleepers. Most manufacturers rate firmness on a 1 to 10 scale, with 1 being the least firm and 10 being the firmest, but the vast majority of mattresses sold today fall between a 3 (Soft) and an 8 (Firm).
Firmness preferences sharply vary from sleeper to sleeper, and often depend on factors like height, body weight and sleep position. Someone who weighs 250 pounds and sleeps on their side, for instance, will usually feel most comfortable on a mattress rated 6 (Medium Firm) to 8 (Firm); anything with a lower firmness rating may lead to uncomfortable sinking. On the other hand, someone who weighs 100 pounds and sleeps on their back may need a less-firm mattress in order to sink into the sleep surface and alleviate pressure points.
Some couples compromise in terms of mattress firmness. However, if you and your sleep partner have significantly different firmness preferences, then a ‘split’ or ‘dual-firmness’ mattress might be the best option. These models — typically Queen and King sizes — feature different firmness ratings on either side to accommodate couples with different needs. Dual-firmness mattresses are widely available among today’s mattress manufacturers, but some brands do not offer this option.
It’s also important to note that many airbeds sold today offer adjustable firmness settings, including dual-firmness settings for couples.
Feel: Related to firmness, feel refers to mattress properties like conforming and contouring. Some people prefer mattresses that conform closely to align the spine and alleviate pressure, while others prefer firmer surfaces that do not conform very much. When browsing for mattress models, be sure to discuss firmness and feel preferences with your sleep partner.
Sex: If you sleep with a romantic partner, then sex is a major mattress consideration. Sex is linked to responsiveness. Mattresses that respond quickly to sleeper’s bodies tend to be bouncier and better for sex. Those with slow responsiveness are less bouncy, and they may create an uncomfortable sinking sensation; some couples liken this to ‘fighting the mattress.’
In addition to responsiveness, other mattress factors can be used to assess if it’s good for sex. These include:
Support: When discussing mattresses, ‘support’ refers to the bed’s ability to maintain a flat, even surface; this helps sleepers align their spine and alleviate pressure, regardless of their position. Both a lack of firmness and excessive firmness can negatively affect the supportive properties of a mattress. Unsupportive mattresses often sag in places, and this can exacerbate pain and pressure in the neck, shoulders, back and hips.
When more than one person uses a mattress, this creates greater amounts of compression, and more support is required. For this reason, Queen-, King-, or California King-size mattresses are usually the best option; smaller sizes may not offer enough support for both people.
Sleeping Hot: All mattresses absorb body heat from sleepers. Some retain minimal body heat and tend to sleep cool. Others can be body heat traps that sleep uncomfortably warm or hot. Sleeping hot can lead to restless sleep and feelings of tiredness the next day.
Generally speaking, innersprings sleep the coolest while memory foam and memory foam hybrid mattresses sleep the warmest. Latex and airbeds may also sleep hot, but these mattresses tend to receive fewer complaints.
In addition to mattress type, there are other factors that impact how hot a mattress sleeps. These include mattress firmness, comfort layer materials, and sleeper body type.
Weight Limit: Most mattresses sold today come with a ‘weight limit’, typically 600 pounds or more for a Queen- or King-size model. Exceeding the weight limit can cause damage to the mattress, and may reduce its overall lifespan. Weight limits often vary by brand, model, and size, so mattress shoppers should inquire about this when comparing different options.
The table below compares different couple-related criteria associated with the five most commonly sold mattress types: innerspring, foam, latex, hybrid, and airbed.
|Mattress Type||Innerspring||Memory Foam||Latex||Hybrid||Airbed|
|Comfort Layer||At least 1 layer of foam||At least 1 layer of polyfoam or memory foam||At least 1 layer of latex
May have memory foam or polyfoam layers
|At least two inches of memory foam and/or latex
May have polyfoam and/or microcoil layers
|Some models have one to two polyfoam or memory foam layers|
|Support Core||Steel coils
Base polyfoam layer
|High-density polyfoam||May be latex or high-density polyfoam||Pocketed Coils
Base polyfoam layer
|Individual, adjustable air chambers|
|Average Thickness||9″ to 15″||7″ to 14″||7″ to 13″||10″ to 16″||8″ to 15″|
|Average Firmness||Medium Firm to Firm||Medium Soft to Medium Firm||Medium Soft to Medium Firm||Medium to Medium Firm||Varies
Most airbeds have adjustable firmness
|Motion Isolation||Poor to Fair||Very Good to Excellent||Very Good to Excellent||Good to Very Good||Fair to Good|
|Noise||Poor to Fair||Very Good to Excellent||Very Good to Excellent||Fair to Good||Poor to Fair|
|Dual Firmness Options||Not usually available||Somewhat common||Available from select manufacturers||Somewhat common||Adjustable firmness for most models|
|Responsiveness/Good for Sex||Very Good||Poor to Fair||Fair to Good||Very Good||Fair to Good|
|Ease of Movement||Very Good||Poor||Fair to Good||Fair||Good to Very Good|
|Discreet Sex||Poor to Fair||Very Good to Excellent||Very Good||Fair||Poor to Fair|
|Cushioning During Sex||Good to Very Good||Good||Fair to Good||Good to Very Good||Fair|
|Average Lifespan||5 to 6 years||6 to 7 years||8 years or longer||6 to 7 years||8 years or longer if properly maintained|
|Edge Support||Very Good||Poor||Poor to Fair||Good to Very Good||Fair to Good|
|Heat Retention/Sleeping Hot||Good to Very Good||Poor to Fair||Fair to Good||Fair to Good||Fair to Good|
|Average Price Point||$800 to $1,100||$1,000 to $1,500||$1,500 to $2,000||$1,500 to $2,000||$2,000 to $2,400|
A large number of mattress manufacturers offer sleep trials, which allow purchasers to test out their mattress for a set length of time, typically 90 to 120 consecutive nights. If the customer is not satisfied with their mattress before the sleep trial ends, then the company will normally issue a full or partial product refund; they may also arrange for the mattress to be shipped or picked up.
Sleep trials can be a great way to ensure a mattress will satisfy the needs of you and your sleep partner without committing to a full purchase. In some cases, purchasers must test out the mattress for a certain length of time (30 nights in most cases) before they will be eligible for a refund.
The mattress warranty is another important factor for couples, specifically sagging defects. Sagging occurs over time, and excessive sagging can undermine how comfortable and supportive the mattress feels. Most mattress warranties specify a ‘sagging depth’ that qualifies as a mattress defect, rather than just standard wear and tear. In most cases, sagging depth will range from 1″ to 1 1/2″; according to mattress owners, these depths are most closely associated with increased pain and pressure. Some warranties will cover sagging that measures as little as 1/2″, while — in some rare cases — the warranty may not cover sagging at all.
Assuming the warranty covers sagging depth, you should also ask about owner costs related to repairing or replacing the mattress. These costs vary from brand to brand. Some manufacturers will cover shipping and handling fees, but most require owners to pay these. Additionally, some manufacturers impose additional charges for repairs and/or replacements.
Another consideration is nonprorated coverage, which refers to warranties that agree to repair or replace defective mattresses at no cost to the owner except for shipping and handling costs. Some mattresses are completely nonprorated. Others are divided into nonprorated and prorated coverage periods. During prorated coverage, the owner pays a certain percentage of the original product price; this percentage increases for each year they own the mattress. If you have owned your mattress for more than 10 years and the prorated coverage period has begun, expect to pay anywhere from 50% to 95% of the original price-point. Some warranties are primarily prorated, with only two to three years of nonprorated coverage.
You and your sleep partner should research all of the criteria mentioned above when shopping for a new mattress in order to find a model that suits both of your needs and preferences. To recap, here is a mattress-buying checklist for couples:
For more information on different mattress types, please visit the links found at the top of the data table in the previous section.