Curious about who has the best mattresses this year and which brands are duds? See which models have the best mattress reviews in 2016 in our updated guide, and learn what to avoid.
Every year brings new beds, technologies and trends claiming to be the best. Though it can be a lot to keep up with if you haven’t bought a mattress in a while, consumer mattress reviews remain one helpful gauge of potential satisfaction and a useful tool for comparing different beds. First-hand knowledge on a product from someone who’s used it day after day is indispensable.
What Mattress is Most Popular?
The two most popular mattress types in 2016 remain innersprings and memory foam.
- Memory foam mattresses still hold the crown in overall owner ratings, with around 80% of owners satisfied. The best mattresses overall in terms of reviews tend to come from this category.
- Innerspring beds receive only 63% average satisfaction ratings, however, and not many seem rate much better than average. Even some of the best brands on the market top out around 70% satisfaction.
- Innerspring mattresses prove the most popular in terms of sales, accounting for the majority of beds bought. But, specialty types are stronger than ever, and their market share is rapidly increasing.
So does that mean any memory foam bed will give great sleep? Not so quick! Within each category, significant differences exist between brands, so type alone is no guarantee of performance.The good news is a handful of brands stand out in comfort and value, consistently topping ratings and providing a helpful starting point for shoppers researching new beds.
Based on owner reviews, consumer review publications and online review websites, we curated five of the best-rated memory foam mattresses and five top innerspring mattresses available this year and ranked them accordingly. Read on to compare specifications along with detailed notes on each bed.
Best-Rated Memory Foam Mattresses of 2016
|Mattress||Memory Foam||Support Layers||Price / Queen Mattress||Warranty / Returns||Rating (out of 5)|
|3” plant-based MF, 4.0 lb, 10 ILD||9” foam, 1.5 lb, 35 ILD||$1299||20 Years|
|Tempurpedic Cloud Supreme Breeze||2” MF, 4.1 lb|
|7” foam, ? lb||$3199||10 Years|
|BedInABox Serenity Gel||3” gel MF, 3.0 lb, 10 ILD||8” foam, 2.4 lb, 32 ILD||$1900||20 Years|
|Sealy Optimum Elation Gold||2” gel MF|
4” gel MF
|7” gel foam||$2350||10 Years|
Depends on retailer
|Serta iComfort Reinvention||2” graphene MF, 4.0 lb|
2” gel MF, 4.0 lb
1” gel foam
6” foam base
Note: “?” means data was unavailable, “apx” means pricing is variable and approximate.
The Amerisleep Revere Bed has the best mattress reviews on the brand’s website earning 4.7 out 5 stars from over 500 reviews from verified customers, and rating high on third party review sites as well. It is one of the more popular plant-based memory foam models from Amerisleep, in the mid-range of its collection.
Why Amerisleep stands above the rest
Amerisleep mattresses use a more eco-friendly plant-based memory foam that is derived from soybean oils. The foam is formed using and environmentally-friendly Variable Pressure Foaming (VPF) process that emits no contaminants and results in a foam that will emit fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Reviewers tend to have little to no issue with heat, significantly less than average for this category and even compared to spring beds.
All Amerisleep beds come with Celliant-infused covers. Celliant is a thermoreactive material that has been clinically proven to increase blood flow by converting body heat into infrared light. Reviews tend to mention comfort and pain relief, as well as good support and good durability. The company has been around for awhile, so their materials are time-tested.
In summary, compared to other mid-priced beds, the Revere uses higher density memory foam than average, and also receives fewer than average complaints on odor and heat. Durability does not appear to be an issue, and the majority of people find the beds as described and that comfort meets or exceeds expectations.
2. Tempurpedic Cloud Supreme Breeze (4.5 Stars)
The Tempurpedic Cloud Supreme Breeze is in the middle range of the brand’s lineup, but on the luxury end of the mattress spectrum in terms of price. The Cloud Supreme Breeze receives good reviews on the brand’s website with 4.5 out of 5 stars from over 80 reviewers. Key differentiating factors include a softer feel and cooler materials than other Tempur mattresses.
The Cloud Supreme uses both medium and high density memory foams. Core foam densities are not specified by the manufacturer but are estimated between 1.5-1.8 lb. This model has fewer complaints of heat compared to other Tempur beds (average compared to other lines). It rates pretty well in regards to durability, even for heavier people, and Tempurpedic has a good overall reputation.
Price is one of the biggest issues customers have with Tempurpedic beds, as they tend to be significantly more expensive than similar models from other brands. Odor can also be an issue, with higher than average complaints. The higher density memory foam can create a “stuck in a hole” feeling for some people as well, since the foam gets softer next to body heat and remains firmer where it’s cooler.
3. BedInABox Serenity Gel (4.2 Stars)
Also in the mid-to-upper-range category, the BedInABox Serenity Gel earns good reviews, with an average of 4.2 stars out of 5 from over 20 reviews. This model has two inches of CoolRest fabric for a cover to distinguish it from the brand’s other models (the core and memory foam layers remain similar for most models).
The Serenity Gel uses a lower density memory foam than many others in the price category, but does feature a high-resilience core which is above average. The mattress has average heat complaints despite the cooling gels, though durability does not appear to be a significant issue.
A significant number of people report substantial odor and offgassing with this mattress, much higher than average especially for lower-density foams. Customers who end up unhappy with their beds seem to dislike the retailer’s policy requiring them to keep the mattress at least 60 days prior to returning.
4. Sealy Optimum Elation Gold (3.8 Stars)
The Sealy Optimum Elation Gold has a 13-inch profile and rates 3.8 out of 5 in owner satisfaction according to SleepLikeTheDead.com. It is considered the top of the Optimum line and has a medium firmness.
Just like the other models in the Optimum line, the Elation Gold is made with two inches of gel memory foam just below the quilt layer. The Elation Gold is the only model in the line with four inches of OptiSense gel foam to add extra support. The materials used by this brand are estimated to be in the medium density range.
Gel foam was introduced to the Optimum line with the intent of keeping the mattress feeling cooler, but one in ten Optimum mattress owners still complains of heat retention, which is average, despite the premium price point. Initial odors and offgassing are also reported by about 10-15% of people, which is slightly above average.
5. Serta iComfort Directions Reinvention (3.7 Stars)
The Serta iComfort Reinvention is rated 3.7 out of 5 in owner satisfaction according to SleepLikeTheDead.com. This is the top of Serta’s Directions line and is rated as firm. Instead of gel, Serta has mixed graphene into the comfort foam layers to help it keep cool. There isn’t much actual data to show if the graphene foam has improved heat retention issues, as it’s a newer entrant.
The safety of graphene may be questionable, also. There have been some indications of hazardous effects associated with the handling of graphene. There isn’t much data on this material because it hasn’t been produced or studied long. It may be several years before it’s suitability and performance in bedding is determined, but in the meantime the Serta line does have good overall mattress reviews.
This mattress receives lower than average mattress reviews on odors and off gassing though, and slightly lower than average complaints of sleeping hot.
But what places this bed last on the list is that Serta mattresses have some issues with durability and longevity. About one quarter of owners report a loss of support or the development of impressions in the first three years of ownership, which is fairly high compared to the other top brands.
Compare Best-Rated Innerspring Mattresses of 2016
|Mattress||Comfort Layers||Support System||Price / Queen Set||Warranty / Returns|
|Serta iComfort Hybrid Applause II Firm||1” foam, ? lb|
0.5“ gel MF, ? lb
|952 wrapped coils (coil-in-coil), 15-16 gauge||$1299||10 Years|
|Sealy Posturepedic Hybrid Trust Cushion Firm||1” gel MF, ? lb|
2” foam, ? lb
|825 wrapped coils, 14 gauge titanium alloy||$1299 (apx)||10 Years|
|Beautyrest Black Edenton Luxury Firm||?” foam, ? lb|
?” gel MF, ? lb
?” foam, ? lb
|850/704 wrapped coils, 13.5 17 gauge alternating||$3500 (apx)||10 Years|
|Simmons Beautyrest Recharge 11.5" Luxury Firm||1/2“ gel foam, ? lb|
1/2“ foam, ? lb
2“ foam, ? lb
|800 pocketed coils, 13 gauge titanium alloy||$899 (apx)||20 Years|
|Denver Mattress Doctor’s Choice Euro Top||1.5” foam, 1.8 lb|
1” soy foam, ? lb
4” foam, 1.8 lb
|750 foam encased coils, 14.5 gauge steel||$649||15 Years|
Note: “?” means data was unavailable, “apx” means pricing is variable and approximate.
1. Serta iComfort Hybrid Applause II (4 to 4.5 Stars)
The Serta iComfort Hybrid Applause II replaces the previously well-rated Serta iSeries Applause (2014) and Vantage (2015) models. The Applause II comes in both Firm and Plush. With the previous models, both firmnesses do well in reviews and consumer mattress review websites, averaging 4 to 4.5 stars, and the older model was well-received by Consumer Reports.
The Applause II is a mid-level offering for the brand, but the entry-level model in the Hybrid series. Similar to it’s predecessors, it has a wrapped coil-in-coil innerspring system, but using 952 coils now versus the former 1008 coils. It’s toppedwith a thin layer of gel memory foam and regular foam. Serta is not entirely transparent about densities and details of their foams, but estimations are of decent quality. Upfront retailers make comparison shopping easier and customers appreciate honesty.
The Serta’s new Hybrid line appears to perform better than average on motion isolation and slightly better on durability. The Applause II performs pretty averagely on heat and odor, seeming to offer a decent option with fewer pitfalls than many other spring lines but pricing can seem inflated to some reviewers. The return/trial period is also longer than average.
2. Sealy Posturepedic Hybrid Trust Cushion Firm (4.2 Stars)
The Hybrid Trust Cushion Firm by Sealy Posturepedic tends to earn ratings better than other models in the collection online (in the 4.5 star range), despite being on the lower end of the price for the Hybrid group. It is called the Trust at most retailers, could be sold under different names as well.
The Hybrid series features good support with 825 wrapped titanium coils, paired with a thin layer of memory foam and regular foams. Sealy is not entirely transparent about densities, with little information on the memory foam or regular foam layers.
The Sealy Hybrid line does appear to perform better than average on motion isolation and comfort. Pain relief, heat and odor complaints hover in the average range, however durability claims may be a little higher than average with impressions being an issue for some reviewers.
3. Beautyrest Black Edenton Luxury Firm (4.6 Stars)
From Simmons, the Beautyrest Black Edenton Luxury Firm gets pretty decent mattress reviews from customers, for an innerspring. On Macy’s, it earns an average of 4.6 stars from 20 reviewers, and similar models at other retailers also seem to do well. This is a higher-end mattress, costing about $3,500 in queen size. It may be found under different names at other retailers, which can be confusing for shoppers.
The firm line has fewer reports of sagging than its pillowtop and plush counterparts. As mentioned before, Simmons mattresses have had questionable durability in the past, but their Black line performs a bit better than others.
Odors are more of an issue with this line than others from Simmons, however, likely due to thicker layers of foam and possibly higher densities. Price is an issue with this and other beds from Simmons’s Black collection. While they do earn earn higher than average reviews, pricing can be more than double average mattress costs for similar overall satisfaction and durability levels.
4. Simmons Beautyrest Recharge 11.5” Luxury Firm (4 to 4.5 Stars)
The Beautyrest Recharge Luxury Firm mattress also earns good ratings on retailer websites. It goes by different names depending on the store, but tends to average around 4 to 4.5 stars. This model falls in the entry level range of the Recharge collection, usually priced under $1000.
The Recharge Classic series features 800 wrapped titanium coils, which is above average for the price category, though some customers report a lack of support. The mattress is paired with gel and regular foams, but the densities are unspecified by Simmons. The Recharge line offers better than average motion isolation, support, comfort, generally proves quiet and doesn’t have high complaints of heat retention.
Durability can be an issue with the Recharge Classic and Simmons mattresses in general, though. Customers report premature sagging quite frequently along with difficulty with returns or warranties. Simmons does have a number of Better Business Bureau complaints regarding returns and warranties.
5. Denver Mattress Doctor’s Choice Euro Top (4.6 Stars)
The Doctor’s Choice Euro Top model is a mid-range offering by Denver Mattress Company. It is fairly popular on the company’s website, receiving above-average ratings compared to spring beds in general with 4.6 out of 5 stars from over 130 reviews. Outside reviews aren’t very easy to find however.
The Doctor’s Choice line features better than average coil counts for this price range, along with encased coils that better limit motion transfer. However, customers who have had their beds longer than six months did report some sagging, and durability issues seem to occur at higher rates than average.
Foams used in the mattress are of decent density compared to other brands, and the company is much more transparent about bed contents than many innerspring retailers. Initial comfort is well-rated, though long-term durability could be an issue especially for heavier individuals, as indicated in the mattress reviews. This type of mattress provides a good value for short-term or guest use, but may lack longevity for regular use or for heavier sleepers.
Ten Worst-Rated Mattress Types to Avoid
Looking over the worst-rated mattress models and brands on Sleep Like The Dead’s website and other consumer mattress review websites, we also noticed a few trends. Without naming names, the following traits are most commonly linked with dissatisfied customers and lower overall satisfaction. Watch out for these trends in order to separate the best mattresses from the inferior ones.
1. Promotional Mattresses
Promotional mattresses are those sold for a limited time only, often as doorbuster deals during major holiday sales. Their primary place is to catch eyes during sales. Since the models tend to be limited to a specific store and time, it can be difficult to research reviews or accurately compare them to other offers. These mattresses are typically priced very cheaply, but have significantly lower quality than average and may also have limited or no warranties.
2. Very Cheap Beds
With the exception of temporary use/guest mattresses and children’s beds, very cheap mattresses (under $500 or so for a queen) generally tend to have worse overall ratings compared to mid-priced beds (in the $800-$2000 range). It is important to carefully weigh quality, reviews, and expected lifespan against the price.
Cheaper mattresses can provide good comfort initially, but where satisfaction tends to suffer is in the longer term, as the lower-quality materials tend to break down faster and lose comfort sooner. These types of beds also tend to have less warranty coverage, meaning they will likely need to be replaced sooner.
3. Too-Thin Mattresses
Thinner mattresses tend to have lower comfort ratings in most lines, especially among side sleepers and larger individuals. This is because the comfort layers in the bed need to be able to adequately cushion the sleeper against the coils or support foam to prevent pressure points.
People over 250 lbs prefer beds of at least 10”, while those over 300 pounds tend to prefer mattresses at least 14” thick. If you are side sleeper, your ideal mattress will likely have at least 3” of cushioning material.
4. Hot or Constrictive Memory Foam
Memory foam can vary considerably by density and formula. Though as a whole memory foam mattresses tend to earn the highest ratings, the people that dislike their beds tend to either have an issue with the heat or difficulty moving on the mattress.
Both issues are most closely linked with beds that use thick layers of high density (over 5 lb) memory foam and foams that are highly temperature sensitive.
Overall, memory foam beds have a fairly high rate of heat complaints compared to springs and other non-foam mattress types, but significant differences are present across different brands and types of memory foam. For traditional temperature-sensitive memory foam, complaint rates tend to be around 8-12%, with higher density beds sleeping hotter.
Gel infused memory foam feels cooler initially, and these mattresses tend to have heat complaint rates of about 6-8% (with models that have gel close to surface feeling coolest). Plant-based memory foam can sleep up to 25% cooler than other types according to some studies, and plant based mattresses have lower heat complaint rates from 2-6%. As a whole, memory foam mattresses have an owner satisfaction rating of about 81%.”
5. Mattresses with Low-Density Foam
Low density foams, whether regular polyurethane or memory foam, tend to be associated with lower satisfaction over time when it comes to pain relief and durability. For memory foams, low density would be considered under 3.5 lbs. For poly foams, low density is under 1.4 lbs.
Because low density foams have a “less dense” structure, they are more prone to compression and provide a less buoyant feel than higher densities. However, these foams are typically cheaper so can be budget-friendly for infrequently used or temporary mattresses (beds you expect to use less than 3-5 years). Heavier people should consider a foam that is more dense, as it will likely wear less under their weight.
6. Innerspring Beds with Poor Motion Isolation
In innerspring mattresses, one issue that can receive considerable complaints is a lack of motion isolation. This is an issue for couples particularly, as one person’s movements can disturb the other’s sleep.
Mattress types most associated with poor motion isolation are those with bonnell and continuous coils. Pocketed coils and beds with memory foam or latex layers tend to have fewer issues with motion disturbances.
7. Beds with Little or No Warranty
The other complaint seen often in the worst-rated mattresses is related to warranty issues. It is hard to judge how a bed will perform over time even if you are diligent in your research, which is where the warranty comes in. A mattress typically is only useful for a fraction of it’s warranty length, as the table indicates.
|Warranty Length||Average Useful Lifespan|
|5 years||4.8 years|
|10 years||7.1 years|
|20 years||8.2 years|
Data from SleepLikeTheDead.com.
For a mid-range and higher bed, a good mattress should have at least 10 years of full coverage during which the retailer will repair or replace defective beds at their expense. Many will also have extended pro-rated periods during which a portion of costs are covered.
The important thing to look for in a warranty is how deep sagging must be before the warranty kicks in – sagging over 1” can dramatically affect comfort and support. Sagging not covered by warranties is a frequent complaint in many of the worst-rated beds.
8. Too Soft or Firm for Your Needs
Mattress shopping is confusing for many, many people. It can be difficult to know which type of bed to choose or to decode different manufacturers’ terminology. Many mattress complaints stem from beds feeling either too firm or too soft. It’s also important to note that most beds with foams will soften slightly over time, so showroom models may not always feel like the bed you receive.
There is no 100% accurate formula, but generally back sleepers should opt for medium-firm to medium beds, side sleepers medium to plush, and stomach sleepers medium-firm to firm. Side and stomach sleepers put pressure on the bed in different areas than back sleepers. Softer mattresses allow them to sink into the bed for better spine alignment.
Sleep studies find that people with back pain generally feel best on medium to medium firm beds. Since manufacturer descriptions of firmness may be arbitrary, it can be helpful to look for IFD/ILD ratings or read mattress reviews to see if there are any trends in comments regarding firmness. These measurements are meticulous and accurate and refer to the amount of weight needed to compress the foam a certain distance.
9. Overpriced Mattresses
Another complaint often seen in reviews stems from owners feeling they overpaid for their mattress. Even when they find the bed comfortable, this can be enough to affect satisfaction and ratings.
Several mattress brands price beds high, but use only average materials. Retailers can also use sales tactics to exaggerate prices, such as making comparisons difficult or using high-pressure tactics.
The best way to avoid buyer’s remorse is to carefully compare beds and read reviews. Be sure to get information on all layers and be leery when retailers and manufacturers won’t tell you what is in the mattress they are selling – chances are it’s because the bed is not competitively priced compared to peers. Make sure you stay within your budget constraints, also.
10. Beds with No Return/Exchange Policy
A lack of a return or exchange policy can dramatically affect your satisfaction if the mattress you buy is not quite right. Many dissatisfied reviewers complain about being stuck with a bed they don’t like or having to pay high charges for returns.
Especially when buying online, make sure you can return or at least exchange the bed if you don’t like it with reasonable fees. It can take a few weeks to get used to a bed, so you should have at least 30 days to make up your mind. Some retailers will require you to try the bed for a certain number of days prior to returning, so be mindful.
Ultimately, taking the time to research a little and compare different beds makes it easier to find the best mattress for your situation and avoid surprises. Armed with basics and with a little work, you’ll be sure to come away with sweet dreams rather than a nightmare when you buy your next bed.
Always ask about what the mattress is made of, see how prices compare to similar offers, and don’t forget to check in to retailer policies. Looking online for reviews can also help provide with more information on factors such as comfort, durability, and performance that can be difficult to judge as well. You can do your research without leaving the house.
Don’t get pressured into making a purchase. If a salesperson won’t let up, walk away and come back after doing some careful consideration. Some retailers thrive on customers they can push into a hasty decision. By shopping online you can avoid this for the most part.
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