Top 10 Mattresses for Athletes – Wake Up Refreshed Every Morning!

Last updated: Mar 11, 2020
32 Models Considered
51 Hours of Research
8 Experts Interviewed
115 Reviews Analyzed

Every athlete knows that getting a good night’s sleep every single night is a key component of recovering between workouts. Not every bed is up to the task of keeping your body cool and comfortable so that you can sleep well and wake up feeling refreshed. But thankfully, there are a number of mattresses for athletes that are designed to cushion your joints, neck, and back while keeping you cool throughout the night so you can always get the rest you need.

To help you find the best mattress for athletes, we considered several features of these mattresses. Most importantly, we looked at how the mattress is designed and whether that is optimal for recovery. Specifically, we looked for padding where it’s needed around the spine, neck, and joints and for heat dissipating materials that prevent you from overheating during the night. Of course, we also considered all the standard, yet important mattress features – style of construction, available sizes, firmness, and thickness.

Top 10 Mattresses for Athletes Review 2020

We spent tens of hours researching mattresses that athletes already prefer and others that look promising, poring over customer reviews and technical specifications. The result is our list of the 10 best mattresses for athletic recovery, highlighted in the table below. Continue reading for detailed reviews of each mattress, including pros and cons. Our buying guide covers everything athletes need to know when choosing a mattress to help them recover.

Editor's Choice

Designed specifically for athletes, this mattress applies the Far Infrared Rays technology that improves recovery, and is available in three firmness levels, making it suitable for everyone

Read Our Review
Best Support Mattress for Athletes

A mattress crafted from proprietary foam layers, this bed performs well in terms of support and spinal alignment and is supportive enough even for heavy athletes

Read Our Review
Best Two-sided Mattress for Athletes

This mattress features the two-sided construction to customize firmness and copper-gel memory foam for cooling

Read Our Review
Best Temperature Regulating Mattress

A ‘smart’ mattress that monitors you sleep, controls the temperature, and features the integrated temperature ramping alarm

Read Our Review
Best Mattress for the Money

A medium-firm foam mattress that includes an aerated latex foam layer for cooling and bounce

Read Our Review
Best Hybrid Mattress for Athletes

A hybrid mattress that comes in three firmness levels and includes TitanFlex and EnergyFlex proprietary foam layers

Read Our Review
Best Mattress for Heavy Athletes

A luxury thick two-sided mattress constructed of four layers of foam and an organic cotton cover

Read Our Review
Best Eco-friendly Mattress for Athletes

An eco-friendly foam mattress with excellent cooling properties and a firmness just right for most back sleepers

Read Our Review

A medium-firm memory foam mattress ideal for most sleepers that contours your body and cools you at night

Read Our Review
Budget Pick

A inexpensive foam mattress that is also available in three firmness levels and provides excellent support

Read Our Review


Brooklyn Bedding SpartanEditor's Choice

  • Mattress type: hybrid
  • Materials: swirl visco-elastic memory foam, CopperFlex foam, TitanFlex foam, individually encased coils, high-density base foam
  • Mattress feel: medium, firm, soft
  • Height: 13.5 in
  • Available sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King
  • Trial: 120 nights
  • Warranty: 10 years

More features: Far Infrared Rays technology; TitalCool water-based surface infusion

This unique hybrid mattress from Brooklyn Bedding was designed for athletes from the ground up. What sets this mattress apart the most is the inclusion of Far Infrared Rays technology, which absorbs heat from your body and redirects it as tiny, undetectable waves of electricity back to your body. While it’s hard to find science to support the validity of this technology for recovery, it’s undoubtedly a neat idea and athletes report back that they feel more energetic after using clothes and other apparel with this technology.

Regardless, the hybrid construction of the bed has plenty to offer for recovery. The visco-lastic memory foam is one of the better rebounding foam materials we’ve seen on the market and offers superior edge support compared to most standard memory foam materials. Keep in mind that motion isolation can be something of an issue if you sleep with a partner, though. The CopperFlex and TitanFlex foam layers are equally elastic and provide excellent support that adapts to your body without allowing you to sink deeply like memory foam does.

The mattress is constructed with almost 1,200 individually encased spring coils, which eliminates the pressure points that are commonly associated with innerspring mattresses. Plus, Brooklyn Bedding adds a final layer of support foam, essentially providing a built-in foundation for the innerspring layer to further increase the durability and comfort of the bed.

Better yet, Brooklyn Bedding allows you to decide what level of firmness is right for you. The bed is available in three different firmness levels, and comes with a 120-night sleep trial so you can easily swap out firmness beds if the bed is close but not quite perfect.

Of course, this premium, highly customized construction doesn’t come cheap. This mattress is one of the more expensive options on the market for athletes in need of recovery. However, Brooklyn Bedding conducts all of its manufacturing in the US, so you can feel good about supporting the US industry.

  • Made in the USA
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • Available in three firmness levels
  • Unique Far Infrared Rays technology improves recovery
  • Highly elastic, supportive foam blends
  • On the pricey side


Molecule 2 MattressBest Support Mattress for Athletes

  • Mattress type: foam
  • Materials: Molecularflo open-cell foam, 5-zone dynamic response layer, Contourflo support foam
  • Mattress feel: medium
  • Height: 12.25 in
  • Available sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King
  • Trial: 100 nights
  • Warranty: lifetime limited

More features: Air-Engineered comfort and advanced temperature regulation; made in the USA

This well-designed mattress from Molecule was crafted from proprietary foam layers, drawing on lessons from what has worked well in other high-end mattresses for athletes. To fully understand what this mattress offers, it’s important to recognize the unique design of Molecule’s Molecularflo open-cell foam and 5-zone dynamic response layer.

The Molecularflo open-cell foam is a completely new type of memory foam developed by Molecule for this bed. Compared to regular memory foam, it boasts seven times more air flow by volume – and continues to allow air to flow even when you’re compressing it by laying in the bed. That makes a world of difference when you’re sleeping, since the heat from your body can easily escape rather than build up around you.

The three-inch Recoveryflo 5-zone dynamic response layer is also incredible in its own right. The first zone, around the head of the mattress, features hexagons of varying density to support your head and keep your neck in line with the rest of your body. Three variable zones in the middle of the bed provide firmer support to hold the weight of your body, while offering enough give to allow your spine to remain in alignment. The final zone, for your legs and feet, is similar to the head zone to keep them in line with your spine.

Even the support foam in this bed was re-engineered. Molecule’s Countourflo foam offers better airflow than traditional high-density support foam, and having seven inches of it is plenty for even heavyset athletes.

All this innovation makes the Molecule mattress one of the more expensive options for athletes, but the company recognizes that and offers a 100-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty to provide peace of mind. Plus, the mattress uses an eco-friendly manufacturing process that is better for your health and the environment.

  • Innovative foam layers designed for athletes and support
  • 5-zone dynamic response layer is perfect for spinal alignment
  • Supportive enough for heavy athletes
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Eco-friendly manufacturing
  • Very expensive


Layla Sleep Copper Infused Memory Foam MattressBest Two-sided Mattress for Athletes

  • Mattress type: foam
  • Materials: thermo-gel infused cover; copper-gel infused memory foam; convoluted foam; support foam
  • Mattress feel: firm/medium plush
  • Height: 10 in
  • Available sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King
  • Trial: 120 nights
  • Warranty: lifetime

More features: flippable mattress with two firmness options

The Layla Sleep mattress is popular among athletes and non-athletes alike thanks to its highly comfortable construction and impressive cooling properties. The mattress uses a two-part comfort layer. The upper layer is made from copper-gel infused memory foam, which acts much like regular memory foam but offers highly superior cooling properties and heat dissipation away from your body. Beneath that, you’ll find a convoluted layer of foam, which is cut into a wavy pattern to distribute weight across the entire bed. That virtually eliminates pressure points, which makes this mattress perfect for sore muscles and side sleepers who have developed aches on other beds.

The Layla Sleep mattress also has another trick up its sleeve to keep you cool. It comes with a ThermoGel-infused cover, which actively dissipates heat and wicks moisture away from your body to cool your skin in the same way as performance clothing.

Another unique feature to the Layla Sleep mattress is that it can be flipped over to change the firmness level. The side with the convoluted foam layer is intended to be medium-plush, while if you flip to the other side there is a thinner layer of copper-gel infused memory foam sitting directly over the high-density support foam. That side of the mattress is significantly more firm, which is ideal for stomach sleepers and some back sleepers.

Despite this two-sided construction, the mattress is still only 10 inches. While that would generally be fine, since there is a bit less support foam in that thickness it may be less than ideal for heavyset sleepers – especially if you plan to use the firm side of the bed.

The mattress comes with a 120-night sleep trial and Layla Sleep provides a lifetime warranty – one of only three mattresses in our roundup to include such a guarantee.

  • Copper-gel infused memory foam for cooling
  • ThermoGel-infused cover
  • Two-sided construction to customize firmness
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Somewhat thin considering two-sided construction


The Pod by Eight SleepBest Temperature Regulating Mattress

  • Mattress type: foam
  • Materials: Active Grid, high-density foams
  • Mattress feel: medium
  • Height: 11 in
  • Available sizes: Full, Queen, King, Cal King
  • Trial: 100 nights
  • Warranty: 10 years (mattress), 2 years (technology)

More features: Active Grid Technology; advanced sleep tracking; dual-zone temperature control; comes with the Hub; iOS/Android app

The Pod from Eight Sleep is far more than a mattress – it’s a full-blown laboratory to optimize your sleep. The mattress is equipped with full temperature controls so that you can set the temperature of your bed anywhere from 55 to 115 degrees F. Plus, the temperature can be set on either side of the bed, so you and your partner can sleep at different temperatures. Even more impressive, The Pod can use the temperature regulation as an alarm – the temperature will slowly cool down ahead of your intended wake up time so that your body automatically wakes up slowly and without the sound of an alarm.

The bed is also equipped with everything you need for fully integrated sleep tracking, including advanced analytics to help you determine what works best to give you uninterrupted sleep. Unfortunately, Eight Sleep charges a $5/month membership fee to get access to sleep tracking features – on top of the cost of the bed, which already costs more than $2,000 for a queen-sized mattress. All these features and temperature regulation is controlled by a smartphone app, available for iOS and Android.

It’s worth noting that while the mattress itself comes with a 10-year warranty, all of the technology around it – including the temperature regulation and sleep tracking features – are only covered for two years. The Pod hasn’t been around long enough for users to know how the tech holds up over years of use, but it is somewhat scary to think that this high-tech bed could become just an expensive regular mattress if something breaks after only two years.

In terms of support, The Pod is designed to be right in the middle of the firmness scale.

  • Precisely control temperature on each side of bed
  • Integrated sleep tracking and biometrics
  • Integrated temperature ramping alarm
  • Controlled by iOS/Android app
  • Extremely expensive
  • Technology features only covered by two-year warranty
  • No information on long-term durability

  • Mattress type: foam
  • Materials: aerated latex foam, gel memory foam, high-density base foam
  • Mattress feel: medium-firm
  • Height: 11 in
  • Available sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King
  • Trial: 101 nights
  • Warranty: 20 years

More features: cover made of stretchy and durable blend of viscose and polyester; made in the USA

The GhostBed mattress is one of the best-rated mattresses on the market right now, with more than 10,000 glowing user reviews and growing. The trick to this mattress is ultimately simplicity and durability, enabled by a top layer of aerated latex foam. The latex foam provides more bounce and a longer lifetime than memory foam materials, and lacks the sinking feeling that memory foam has since you won’t sink into the bed. That said, it’s also not rock hard – GhostBed rates this bed as medium-firm, indicating that it’s good for most back sleepers and many stomach sleepers.

The aerated latex foam is also highly cooling since it combines the properties of latex, which is one of the best materials for sleeping cool, with channels for air circulation. Better yet, a layer of gel-infused memory foam below the latex foam allows the entire surface of the bed to compress and conform to your body, while adding to the heat dissipation effect. Overall, the combination of these two layers is why so many users – athletes included – are eager to stand behind the GhostBed mattress.

Keep in mind that this mattress, while it’s not a memory foam surface, does take some getting used to if you’re transitioning away from a traditional innerspring mattress. Most of the users who found the bed to be uncomfortable didn’t like the feeling of the foam, but were expecting the GhostBed to feel more like a hybrid mattress since it isn’t memory foam on top. The bed also requires a break-in period of about one to two months before it feels comfortable for many people.

GhostBed offers a 20-year warranty and the vast majority of users have no complaints about indentations after several years of use. However, beware that the 20-year warranty can be somewhat misleading – you are responsible for paying a proportion of the bed’s replacement cost depending on how long you have owned it. Still, many people are happy with the price point of the GhostBed compared to its competitors.

  • Aerated latex foam layer provides cooling and bounce
  • Underlying memory foam layer enables compression and conforming
  • Excellent value for the money
  • Made in the USA
  • 20-year warranty is somewhat misleading
  • Requires a break-in period to feel comfortable for most people


Brooklyn Bedding Signature 11-Inch Hybrid MattressBest Hybrid Mattress for Athletes

  • Mattress type: hybrid
  • Materials: TitanFlex foam, Energex high-density foam, individually encased coils, base support foam
  • Mattress feel: firm, medium, plush
  • Height: 11 in
  • Available sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King
  • Trial: 120 nights
  • Warranty: 10 years

More features: quilted top layer; made in the USA

This hybrid mattress from Brooklyn Bedding is a favorite among athletes for its blend of performance and price. The mattress shares a lot in common with its more expensive cousin, the Spartan mattress, but the main difference is that it lacks the Far Infrared Rays technology. For athletes who swear by this technology, that’s a big loss, but the majority of athletes won’t mind paying less for losing out on this material since its physiological benefits are as yet unproven.

What remains the same are the two layers of TitanFlex and EnergyFlex foam, which are highly elastic styles of memory foam developed by Brooklyn Bedding for proprietary use. Users found that these foam materials are very comfortable and cushion your body without giving you the sensation of sinking into the bed. Plus, they do a good enough job of circulating air and dissipating heat that even warm sleepers felt comfortable throughout the night in this bed.

The innerspring layer of this bed is constructed from more than 1,000 individually wrapped coils, although it’s worth noting these are of a slightly different style than for the Spartan bed. These coils dramatically increase the bed’s supportiveness compared to high-density foam, but they do also noticeably increase motion transfer across the bed.

Just as for the Spartan bed, Brooklyn Bedding offers this mattress in firm, medium, or plush firmness levels so you can perfectly dial in your comfort. The company offers a 120-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty, so you can feel comfortable trying out the bed and confident in its durability. The workmanship is rarely an issue with this bed, in large part because it’s manufactured in the USA in Brooklyn Bedding’s custom manufacturing plant.

  • TitanFlex and EnergyFlex proprietary foam layers
  • Excellent cooling properties
  • More than 1,000 individually wrapped spring coils
  • Surprisingly inexpensive compared to competitors
  • Multiple firmness levels available
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • Made in the USA
  • No Far Infrared Rays technology as in Spartan mattress


Alexander Signature Series MattressBest Mattress for Heavy Athletes

  • Mattress type: foam
  • Materials: plush quilting foam, gel memory foam, transitional foam, firm base foam
  • Mattress feel: medium / luxury firm
  • Height: 14 in
  • Available sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King
  • Trial: 100 nights
  • Warranty: lifetime

More features: flippable mattress with two firmness options; organic cotton cover

This thick two-sided mattress from Nest Bedding is a luxury throne for sleeping athletes. The bed is 14 inches thick, making it one of the tallest mattresses on the market today. Keep in mind that since it’s fully foam, that thickness also translates to heavy weight – you’ll need a partner to help you carry this mattress into your bedroom.

Most of the mattress’s construction is around the medium-firm side. There, you’ll find a plush quilting foam, which is designed to be extremely soft and is pockmarked with air channels to improve ventilation. The real support starts below that with a two-inch layer of gel-infused memory foam, which is also low-density and designed to allow you to sink through relatively easily. The mattress then has a layer of transitional foam, which is dense enough to stop lightweight sleepers as well as provides slightly more bounce and support than the memory foam. Finally, there is a seven-inch thick layer of high-density support foam.

Unfortunately, Nest Bedding didn’t put nearly as much thought and construction quality into the firm side of the mattress. On that side, there is just a 1.5-inch layer of plush quilting foam on top of the high-density support foam layer. You could easily recreate the feeling of firm support that this combination provides with support foam alone covered by a thick mattress topper – which would be far less expensive than the Nest Bedding mattress.

One thing that’s worth noting for this mattress is that it comes with an organic cotton cover. The mattress is also made in the USA, so socially conscious athletes looking for a mattress can rest easy on this bed.

Another advantage to the mattress is that it comes with a lifetime warranty and a 100-night sleep trial, with free shipping on any returns at the end of the trial period.

  • Excellent transitional foam construction on medium-firm side
  • Air channels in quilted foam to improve circulation
  • Made in the USA
  • Comes with organic cotton cover
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Tall and heavy
  • Firm side could be recreated much more cheaply


Athlete's Choice Gold MattressBest Eco-friendly Mattress for Athletes

  • Mattress type: foam
  • Materials: copper-infused memory foam; gel-infused high-density foam; Upcycled Rebound Core Support System; high-density base foam
  • Mattress feel: medium
  • Height: 12 in
  • Available sizes: Twin XL, Full, Queen, King
  • Trial: 4 months (full refund), 1 year (partial refund)
  • Warranty: 10-year limited

More features: cooling ICE Yarns; phase change materials; BeFit Technology

This eco-friendly mattress from Athlete’s Choice was designed with athletes in mind, and it shows in the construction materials used.

The outside of the mattress is wrapped in ICE yarns, which are designed to facilitate moisture wicking and airflow to feel cool to the touch. Users felt that the ICE yarns made it easier to fall asleep right after lying down in the mattress, especially during warm summer nights.

The mattress uses two layers of memory foam above the high-density support foam. The first is infused with copper, which is not only highly effective at dissipating heat away from your body but also has some conductive properties that can aid in muscle recovery. The second layer is a standard gel-infused memory foam, which adds to the comfort of the bed while maintaining a similar degree of cooling.

The two foam layers are moderately firm and do an excellent job of distributing your weight across the bed. The firmness level is loved by back sleepers who used the mattress, although it may not be extremely plush or firm enough to suit many side or stomach sleepers.

One of the nice things about the Athlete’s Choice mattress is that it features one of the longest trial periods of any mattress we reviewed. You can use the mattress for up to four months and receive a full refund if you don’t love it, or try it for up to a full year if you’re still not sure and receive a partial refund. Plus, it comes with a 10-year limited warranty.

Environmentally conscious athletes will also appreciate that the high-density support foam in this bed is upcycled from used materials. That dramatically reduces the strain on the planet and on your wallet.

  • Excellent cooling from copper- and gel-infused foams
  • Cool to touch ICE yarn cover
  • Sleep trial up to one year
  • Upcycled high-density support foam
  • Too firm for most side sleepers, too plush for most stomach sleepers
  • Competitors at similar prices offer more features

  • Mattress type: foam
  • Materials: gel-infused viscoelastic memory foam, memory foam, high-density base foam
  • Mattress feel: medium firm
  • Height: 10 in
  • Available sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King
  • Trial: 100 nights
  • Warranty: 10 years

More features: open-cell foam structure for improved airflow

The Lull mattress is a great choice for athletes because it combines therapeutic support and cooling throughout the night. The three-layer foam mattress is constructed of two layers of memory foam, the upper of which is infused with gel to increase the heat dissipating properties of the mattress. The lower memory foam layer has an open-cell foam structure, which improves airflow so that the heat transferred through the upper layer can be whisked away.

This foam is also viscoelastic, giving it slightly more firmness and support than typical memory foam. That makes this bed suitable for a wider range of sleepers, since stomach sleepers can somewhat float on top of the bed while side sleepers can take advantage of the conforming nature of the foam. It’s worth noting, though, that many users comment that the mattress is quite firm compared to other medium-firm beds. The seven inches of high-density base foam make this bed suitable for heavyset athletes as well.

The biggest drawback to this bed is that considering the relatively high price, it doesn’t have much to offer in the way of athlete-specific features. Users find that while the cooling is effective, the mattress isn’t cool to touch. In addition, the two layers of memory foam aren’t necessarily the most effective at distributing your body weight across the mattress compared to beds with convoluted foam or other transitional foam layers.

Users noted that Lull offers extremely good customer support with their mattress and fully honors the 100-day sleep trial – the company will pick up the mattress from your home within 90 days for free. If you do stick with the mattress, you can look forward to excellent durability and a 10-year warranty.

  • Cooling gel-infused foam and open-cell construction
  • Excellent customer support
  • Suitable for heavy athletes
  • More firm than standard memory foam
  • Too firm for many side and back sleepers
  • Expensive without many athlete-specific features


Tulo MattressBudget Pick

  • Mattress type: foam
  • Materials: cooling memory foam, high resiliency firm foam, high-density polyurethane foam
  • Mattress feel: medium, firm, soft
  • Height: 10 in
  • Available sizes: Twin XL, Full, Queen, King
  • Trial: 120 nights
  • Warranty: 10 years

More features: polyester and Tencel blended cover

This inexpensive foam mattress from Tulo isn’t designed specifically for athletes, but it’s a great choice for athletes on a tight budget. To start, the mattress is available in soft, medium, and firm versions so you can easily customize the support level and get a mattress that’s comfortable for you.

Cooling on this mattress is not as effective as on the more expensive competitors, but athletes found that it was good enough for all but the warmest summer nights. Most of the cooling is provided by an open-cell foam layer that facilitates airflow, but since this is under a layer of memory foam it has limited ability to actually carry heat away from your body. The memory foam is described as cooling by Tulo, but it is not gel-infused and users note that it can feel as if heat is stuck next to your body while sleeping.

That said, users appreciated the soft to the touch knitted cover, which is made from a blend of polyester and Tencel fabrics. They also liked the support provided by the memory foam layer, which goes a long way towards maintaining spinal alignment and alleviating sore joints. Considering that this is what most athletes need out of a good mattress, the Tulo bed is an excellent budget option for athletic recovery.

Users appreciated the support that Tulo provided for its customers and noted that the company honors its 120-night sleep trial. While long-term users didn’t note any problems with indentations forming on the mattress, it provides some peace of mind to know that Tulo offers a 10-year warranty on the bed.

  • Inexpensive
  • Soft knitted cover
  • Excellent support for spine and joints
  • Available in three firmness levels
  • Good customer support
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • Not very effective at cooling
  • Memory foam not gel-infused

Buying Guide

Choosing the right mattress for athletic recovery can be hard, even after you’ve studied the differences between our 10 favorite models on the market today. There are a ton of mattress options on the market today and all of them claim to be beneficial for your sleep quality and your body’s health. But when it comes to performance, it’s extremely important to get a mattress that allows you to sleep and recover as well as you possibly can. In our buying guide, we’ll take a look at what makes a mattress ideal for athletic recovery and highlight some of the important features you need to know about when choosing a new mattress.

What makes a mattress good for athletes?

Top 10 Mattresses for Athletes – Wake Up Refreshed Every Morning!While having a comfortable mattress is important for nearly everyone, it’s especially critical for athletes. Athletes do the bulk of their recovering at night while they are sleeping. Waking up or rolling around in the middle of the night or even sleeping slightly hot can impede that recovery and contribute to building fatigue over a week’s worth of hard workouts.

The most important thing that makes a mattress good for athletes is conformity to your joints and spine. Depending on your sport, you can slowly develop back pain or joint pain that can be made far worse by sleeping in a bed that doesn’t cushion the affected areas of your body. So, it’s extremely important to get a bed that helps your spine align in a natural, comfortable position, and that distributes your weight so that there is no pressure building up on your joints. This conformity can be achieved through a combination of mattress firmness, materials, and the structure of supporting layers.

Ventilation and cooling also play a major role in whether a mattress is good for athletic recovery. Sleeping hot in the night can stress your body out, even if it’s not hot enough to wake you up and completely ruin your sleep. The added stress of heat can prevent your muscles from recovering adequately, which in turn results in reduced performance the following day. Furthermore, heat at night can make you sweat unnecessarily, which leaves you slightly dehydrated and takes away water that your muscles need for recovery.

In addition, there are a number of small considerations that mattress designers need to consider when making a mattress suitable for athletes. For example, many athletes are heavier than non-athletes of the same size since muscle weighs more than fat. Your mattress needs to account for this by providing enough support for a heavier body and by distributing weight to reduce pressure points.

If you sleep with a partner, they may not be as tired from a load of workouts as you are and may go to sleep later than you. In that case, having a mattress that adequately isolates motion so that you’re never accidentally woken up by your partner can go a long way towards allowing you to get consistently good sleep.

Features to consider while choosing a mattress for athletes

Now that you know when makes a mattress good for athletes, let’s look at some of the specific features that you should consider when choosing a new mattress.

Mattress type and layering

The type of mattress you get – foam, innerspring, or a hybrid of the two – will have the largest effect on how that mattress performs in terms of comfort and cooling. The majority of mattresses for athletic recovery are constructed primarily from foam because foam contours to your body in a way that most innerspring mattresses cannot. This means that foam mattresses are much better at actively working to distribute your weight, cushion your joints, and align your back and neck.

Hybrid mattresses like the two beds from Brooklyn Bedding are an interesting and surprisingly effective choice for athletes because they combine the weight distributing properties of an innerspring mattress with the cushioning of foam. The advantage to these mattresses is that you have the ability to choose whether you prefer a soft, medium-firm, or firm support based on your sleeping style.

Whenever considering a mattress, it’s also important to think about the layers that go into it. Most mattresses include three or more layers of foam. The top layers are the layers that most determine firmness, cushioning, and air flow. Some foam mattresses like the beds from Tulo and Molecule have intermediary foam layers that provide a transition between conforming top layers and a base layer of high-density foam, which can be ideal for heavyset athletes who sink easily into the mattress.

Materials used

Top 10 Mattresses for Athletes – Wake Up Refreshed Every Morning!The materials used in a mattress are also important to think about. There are many different types of foam, all with different properties. The most common of these that you’ll find, particularly on mattresses designed for athletes, is memory foam. This foam compresses after you lie in the bed, allowing you to sink into the bed to a degree but leaving foam cushioning around the hollow spots in your neck and spine. After you get out of the bed, memory foam automatically rebounds to its original shape.

The downside to memory foam is that it isn’t very good at transferring heat away from your body, which can cause you to overheat in the night. That’s why mattresses like those from Lull, Athlete’s Choice, and GhostBed incorporate gel-infused memory foam rather than just standard memory foam. Gel-infused foam has better heat dissipation properties, so heat doesn’t build up around your body and stay there. Copper-infused foam, which is used in the Athlete’s Choice mattress, is even better at dissipating heat.

Other mattresses improve cooling by incorporating foam layers that are specifically designed to improve airflow through the bed beneath you. For example, the aerated latex foam used in the GhostBed mattress and the Molecularflo open-cell foam used in the Molecule mattress allow air to circulate through the bed, effectively carrying heat away from your body during the night.

Mattress firmness

Firmness is one of the most difficult things to decide on when choosing a mattress, but it’s also one of the most important factors in any mattress choice. The problem with firmness is that firmness ratings are highly subjective – existing users may think a mattress is firm, but you may find that it’s actually too soft for your liking or vice versa.

The best way to decide if a mattress’s firmness is right for you is to try it out, which is why so many mattress manufacturers offer a sleep trial period after purchasing a new bed.

Your weight and sleeping position

Top 10 Mattresses for Athletes – Wake Up Refreshed Every Morning!Weight and sleeping position contribute a lot to determining what mattress firmness level is right for you.

Side sleepers typically prefer softer, more plush mattresses like the “soft” hybrid mattresses from Brooklyn Bedding. That’s because side sleepers have less body area in contact with the mattress, so there’s more potential for pressure points to build up with a firmer mattress. Stomach sleepers tend to prefer a firmer mattress because the extra firmness prevents them from sinking too much into the bed and helps to keep their spine in alignment. Back sleepers report liking medium-firm beds, but may opt for either plush or firm beds depending on personal preference.

Your weight can also play a role in modifying what firmness level is right for your body and feels most comfortable. Lighter sleepers tend to need a softer mattress, while heavier sleepers tend to need a firmer mattress to support their weight.

Motion isolation and edge support

If you sleep with a partner, having a mattress that won’t transfer vibrations across the entire bed is extremely important to avoiding waking up from a disturbance in the middle of the night. This is another reason that many athletes prefer foam beds – foam is extremely good at isolating motion so that you’ll never be able to feel your partner rolling around or getting in or out of bed. Hybrid beds like those from Brooklyn Bedding may not isolate motion quite as well, but since they use foam comfort layers, motion isolation is not a major problem.

Lack of edge support is one of the major downsides to foam mattresses, although some mattresses like the one from Eight Sleep solve this by using specialized materials in the comfort layer. Without edge support, it can feel like the bed is collapsing underneath you when you get to the edge of the mattress. However, this isn’t a major problem if you have a large enough mattress for you and your partner.

Mattress height and sizes available

The height of your mattress isn’t typically a major consideration, although it can be important if you have an especially thin mattress. The problem with thin mattresses is that there is typically little comfort layer between your body and the relatively firm and uncomfortable support foam or springs underneath. However, light sleepers may not have a problem with thinner mattresses since they won’t sink into the bed as much.

All of the mattresses that we reviewed are between 10 and 14 inches, which is roughly standard for modern mattresses.

Most mattresses are available in a variety of standard sizes from twin to king or California king. Thanks to that, there’s not a huge need to worry about available sizes when considering which mattress is best for you. However, it’s always a good idea to check the available sizes before getting too attached to a particular mattress, especially if you have size constraints based on having a partner or the size of your bedroom.


Mattress certifications indicate that your bed was made without specific chemicals that are known to be toxic. While no one wants toxins in their bed, that’s especially important for athletes who need to be at their best. Most of the mattresses that we reviewed have the Certi-Pur US certification, which certifies that the mattress is free of nasty materials like heavy metals and formaldehyde.

Trial period

Top 10 Mattresses for Athletes – Wake Up Refreshed Every Morning!It can be extremely hard to tell whether a mattress is right for you without trying to actually sleep on it for a few weeks or longer. That’s why the vast majority of mattresses we reviewed come with sleep trials of at least 100 nights, and up to a year (for a partial refund) for the Athlete’s Choice mattress.

Durability and warranty

A new mattress is a major investment so you want to be confident that it will last for years of sleep. Memory foam mattresses typically last for seven to 10 years before forming indentations as long as you are good about rotating the mattress every few months. Keep in mind that gel infusions diminish the lifespan of the mattress somewhat – these mattresses may form indentations within five years. You can generally extend the life of your mattress by putting a box spring or another foundation underneath it.

Most of the mattresses we reviewed come with 10-year warranties, although two – the Layla and Nest Bedding mattresses – come with lifetime warranties. Keep in mind that these warranties are limited and may not protect against indentations over time.


Mattresses for athletes who demand performance aren’t cheap – expect to pay between $750 and $1,600 for a high-quality mattress. Options like the Eight Sleep bed, which come with integrated sleep tracking technology, cost upwards of $2,000. Budget mattresses like the one from Tulo start at around $600 for a queen-sized bed.

Care and maintenance tips

The single most important thing you can do to take care of your mattress is to rotate it every few months. This will ensure that you are evening out where you are sleeping on it, which in turn helps prevent indentations from forming.

It’s also a good idea to put a box spring or another firm foundation underneath your bed. This support can help the foam from sagging, which prevents damage to the bed over time.

In addition, keep in mind that you may want to put a mattress protector over your bed as soon as you get it. These covers are machine washable, which is not true of every integrated mattress cover.


Foam mattresses will eventually form indentations, but this takes many years if the mattress is treated properly. You can prevent your mattress from sagging by rotating it every few months and by placing a box spring or another foundation underneath the bed. If possible, try to vary where on the bed you are sleeping from night to night to avoid wearing out the same patch of foam.

Mattresses that are made with gel-infused or copper-infused foam like those from Layla Sleep, Brooklyn Bedding, Lull, Athlete’s Choice, and Ghostbed are designed to keep you cool throughout the night. Additional cooling materials, like the ThermoGel-infused cover on the Layla Sleep bed, can help prevent overheating during the night as well.

If you are a heavier athlete, you’ll need a mattress that can support your weight. In this case, a firmer mattress will provide more support and prevent you from sinking down onto the high-density support layers of the mattress. In addition, you may want to consider a thick mattress like the Nest Bedding mattress since these typically have thicker comfort layers to help support your weight.

Our Verdict

Our three overall favorite mattresses for athletic recovery are the Brooklyn Bedding Spartan, the Molecule 2 mattress, and the Layla mattress. All three of these mattresses come with sleep trials of at least 100 days, and the Molecule and Layla mattresses stand out for having lifetime warranties.

The Layla mattress offers an excellent combination of support and cooling thanks to its copper- and gel-infused memory foam layers and convoluted foam layer that helps distribute your weight across the entire bed. Plus, the bed comes with a ThermoGel-infused cover that very effectively cools your body down.

The Molecule 2 mattress is designed from the ground up with entirely new foam materials that are ideal for supporting athletes’ sore muscles and providing a good night’s sleep. The five-zone dynamic response layer is particularly impressive since it provides extra support where you need it to keep your body in perfect alignment.

We feel that the Brooklyn Bedding Spartan is the overall best mattress for athletes on the market today thanks to its hybrid design and the inclusion of Far Infrared Rays technology that helps with muscle recovery. The proprietary foams that Brooklyn Bedding created are cooling and comfortable, and the more than 1,200 individually pocketed springs provide exceptional support in three different firmness levels.

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