Each year, Consumer Reports releases their updated mattress buying guide with new information on the year’s most popular mattresses. The annual guide provides consumers with a plethora of data on a variety of top-selling brands with some pointers on how to best shop for a mattress.
Consumer Reports has long been known as a great resource for product information and has been in publication since 1936. They provide detailed, research-based reports on nearly anything you can buy and also some shopping and cleaning tips.
Here we’ll go over some of the mattress brands Consumer Reports has been talking reviewing and provide some pointers for getting the best bed for your money.
Consumer Reports®’ Best Mattress by Type 2015
There are various different reports in the magazines for mattresses best suited for certain types of people or situations. They have reports on topics like the best mattresses for couples, or for various sleeping styles. In our review, we are going to sort out the best in general for each different mattress type.
Getting a new mattress is likely to improve your sleep, no matter which one you settle on. Most people sleep on old mattresses, so any improvement is good. However, if you want to make sure the comfort and experience lasts, you should do some research and find a quality mattress to suit your specific needs
Spring mattresses are the most ubiquitous type of bed, both in the home and in stores. These are the most commonly sold mattresses and are comprised of various spring arrangements covered in foam and enclosed in fabric ticking. These mattresses perform best on a box spring and are often found in sets with a foundation included.
Receiving the lowest customer satisfaction rates of any mattress type, innerspring mattresses tend to receive the highest complaints of sagging, especially in the very low coil counts or in models with low density foam tops.. Motion transfer can also be an issue for couples, but independent coil systems can reduce this. However, spring beds also tend to be less expensive than many other types, especially for entry level models. If you are buying a mattress that won’t be used frequently, or if money is an issue, innersprings are a good choice.
Best Innerspring Mattress Brands
Sealy, Ikea, Simmons, Serta, Ashley, Shifman, Saatva, Duxiana, Charles P. Rogers, and Stearns & Foster are all popular innerspring brands. The Powercore Estate 5000 and the Sealy Posturepedic Hybrid Trust tied for highest Consumer Reports rating this year at 71 points.
The Beautyrest Recharge Hybrid Jeffrey’s Bay is close behind with a rating of 70 points. Charles P. Rogers St. Regis Pillowtop and the Stearns & Foster Estate Scarborough Luxury Firm were at the bottom of the highest rated spring mattresses.
Memory Foam Mattresses
Based on NASA-inspired technology aiming to reduce pressure points, memory foam mattresses provide consistent support and pain relief. These mattresses receive some of the highest customer satisfaction rates of any mattress type. Memory foam mattresses do not always require a separate foundation and are typically comprised of two or more layers of both memory foam and regular foam. There are three basic types of memory foam, traditional (or petroleum-based), plant-based and gel memory foams.
Memory foam mattresses have much better motion isolation than innerspring mattresses, though some do tend to sleep hotter. Materials in some memory foam mattresses may produce odors or offgas. Denser traditional memory foams tend to receive the highest complaints for these issues, though denser foams can be more durable. Plant-based memory foams tend to rate better in regards to both temperature and odors. Gel can also be added to traditional memory foam mattresses with the intent of keeping temperatures down, although effects appear to be negligible in most brands and there are questions about potential long-term performance.
Best Memory Foam Brands
Serta iComfort Savant Everfeel ($1,575, Queen) received a Consumer Report rating of 67, the highest of all the memory foam mattresses. Tuft & Needle 10” ($600, Queen) received a 64 from Consumer Reports. Another great memory foam mattress is the Amerisleep Revere ($1,499, Queen), which is made from plant-based foam.
Latex has been around for some time, but just recently it has taken off as a popular material for mattresses alongside higher demand for greener products. These mattresses can be made from either synthetic lab-created latex or natural latex from rubber trees. Some natural latex can be certified organic through the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) as well. These mattresses can be paired with other foams, or be made of all latex. Some lines may also pair latex with organic fire barriers and fabrics for shoppers seeking to avoid unnecessary chemicals and VOCs.
Latex and memory foam hybrid mattresses are often included in the same category, though it’s important to distinguish between the two when shopping. Mattresses made entirely of latex tend to earn better reviews and have longer lifespans (among the longest of all mattress types). Synthetic latex, blended latex and latex/foam hybrids are generally cheaper, but lack the “green” benefits, are more prone to early wear, and may prove less satisfactory overall. .
Though harder to find in stores than memory foam and spring beds, latex mattresses are widely available online. If you want an all-natural latex mattress, pay close attention to what the mattress is made from and verify all certifications claimed.
Best Latex Mattress Brands
The Casper 10” ($850, Queen) and Spring Air Back Supporter Natalie ($1,200, Queen) both received 64s from Consumer Reports. The Ikea Morgongava was given a score of 63. Each of these is a polyurethane and latex hybrid, and not a true all-latex mattress however. (To compare reviews of all-latex beds, check out our review here, which highlights 100% organic latex mattress from Astrabeds (queens from $1,799) and Sleep EZ’s dunlop beds (queens from $1,195) as good potential values.)
Summary of Findings: Consumer Reports™ vs Best Mattress Brand Recommendations
|Mattress Type||Consumer Reports Recommendations||Best Mattress Brands' Recommendations|
|Innerspring||Charles P. Rogers / Sealy Posturepedic||Duxiana 818|
|Memory Foam||Serta iComfort Savant Everfeel||Amerisleep Revere Bed|
|Latex (or foam/latex hybrid)||The Casper 10” / Spring Air Back Supporter Natalie||Astrabeds Sonoma Bed|
Getting the Best Mattress
With so many options and varieties to choose from, finding the best mattress can be difficult. There are a few things you can do to help improve your chances. Here are some suggestions Consumer Reports mentions along with some tips from us.
Consumer Reports® Buying Tips
- Look for awhile before you commit.
- Get to know your preferences for type, firmness and composition.
- Be aware of return policies and warranties.
- Wait for sales, which are quite frequent.
- Have backup options.
- Read the fine print.
Consumer Reports is a widely respected magazine, with good reason. They have many good many suggestions to help find a good mattress. There are a few things we’d like to add they may have overlooked.
Shopping online is getting to be a better option every day. More and more companies are shutting the doors to their retail stores or focusing their efforts online. There are some advantages for both consumers and retailers to this change.
Costs are reduced for retailers because they don’t have to have so many locations receiving, storing and distributing merchandise. All that reduced involvement and overhead can be passed on to the customer. Online retailers state prices up front, and thus don’t have salespeople who can manipulate prices to create a bigger commission, which increases prices.
With no salespeople, customers can take their time in a no-pressure environment, like their living room. Salespeople thrive on creating high-pressure environments creating a sense of urgency in the potential buyer. The best decisions are made with a cool and collected mind.
When you buy online, you typically get a decent amount of time to try your mattress. Five to fifteen minutes on a mattress in a showroom is not enough to get to know it. It is normal to see a 30-90 day sleep trial with online retailers.
In the end, you don’t know where a good deal will pop up, but you have to look to find them. The most important thing is to look at a lot of mattresses. The more you see, the more likely it is you will run across the right one for you.
Disclaimer: Consumer Reports is a trademark of the Consumers Union of United States, Inc. and is neither affiliated in any way with nor endorsing any content on Best Mattress Brand.