Best Mattress for Athletes

If you’re an athlete or a fitness lover, you know that each day is a new challenge. But the nighttime presents challenges all its own that can make or break your performance. Athletes need more sleep than the rest of us (about 10 hours of sleep per night). The best mattress for athletes is one that ensures you receive a full recovery while you sleep.

After evaluating each mattress using 14 different factors to determine specifics, like the best mattress for back pain, we compiled this list of the top six picks to enhance sleep, performance, and recovery. Each mattress on our list comes with at least a 100-day sleep trial, so you can find the right mattress for your lifestyle with zero risk.

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Best Mattress for Athletes - Top Picks

Purple Hybrid - Best Mattress for Active Couples

Purple Hybrid Mattress

The Purple Hybrid is an excellent mattress for athletes thanks to its highly responsive support coils and unique comfort layer, called the Purple Grid®. This layer is unique to Purple mattresses. It’s a 2” open-chamber grid made of a contouring hyper-elastic polymer. This makes it highly breathable, supportive, and responsive to movement.

We recommend the Purple Hybrid to athletic couples because it’s the only mattress with “universal firmness.” This means it provides the same contouring support, spine alignment, and cool comfort to bodies of all sizes. If one sleeper is a 110 lb tennis player and their partner is a 250 lb boxer, both can enjoy the same level of restful sleep.

Purple also received high ratings in our tests for spine alignment. The elastic Purple Grid ensures that the light parts of the body sink into the mattress and the heavy parts get enough push-back to prevent the spine from bowing or arching. Proper spine alignment is key to joint and muscle recovery while sleeping.

PROS CONS
  • Universal firmness
  • Sleeps cool
  • Great Spine alignment
  • Heavy
  • Not customizable

Read our full Purple mattress review to learn more.

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Saatva - Best Mattress for Pain Relief

Saatva mattress near an ocean view

If there’s one thing you’ll hear over and over in this “best mattress for athletes” review, it’s spine alignment. That’s because the spine is the source of your ability to move and perform athletically.

The Saatva mattress was engineered for back health, and it’s the only mattress on this list that is recommended by The Congress of Chiropractic State Associations. This makes it one of the best mattresses for athletes who suffer from chronic back pain as well as pain in the joints, shoulders, and neck.

Saatva is composed of two innerspring layers and a customizable pillow top layer (you can choose your firmness level). This provides responsive support throughout the entire mattress and the form-fitting firmness or softness you need, making it one of the best innerspring mattresses.

Saatva’s Spinal Zone Technology features an extra layer of pre-compressed memory foam that’s supported by active wire technology. These features support the lumbar region and keep the hips in perfect alignment with the torso.

Because a Saatva is largely composed of coils, you can expect a cool night’s sleep. It also has reinforced edge support to guarantee the same level of spinal support right up to the borders of the mattress.

PROS CONS
  • Exceptional spinal support
  • Customize mattress firmness and height
  • Great edge support
  • Low motion isolation
  • Heavy

Read our full Saatva mattress review to learn more.

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Casper Wave Hybrid - Best Luxury Mattress for Athletes

Woman laying on a Casper Wave mattress

The Casper Wave Hybrid is a foam mattress on the luxury end of the spectrum. Its unique targeted support gel-pods make it the best mattress for athletes who are looking for a premium sleep experience and exceptional recovery.

Casper’s ergonomic system balances zoned support for the shoulders, hips, and legs and advanced support from a gel-pod layer that targets the body's pressure points. This produces the effect of effortless spine alignment in any sleep position. Because it’s accompanied with plush memory foam and gel, it’s super soft and comfortable.

Casper’s excellent ergonomic system earned the Wave mattress an endorsement from the American Chiropractic Association.

The Casper Wave Hybrid is 13” thick, which is thicker than other foam mattresses and is able to accommodate heavier sleepers (ideal for athletes). It’s made with premium materials that feel better and last longer. It also features perforated foam layers and cooling gel to reduce heat retention.

PROS CONS
  • Ultra-comfortable
  • Targeted support
  • Extra thick
  • Expensive
  • Poor edge support

Read our full Casper mattress review to learn more.

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Spartan by Brooklyn Bedding - Best Mattress for Active Recovery

Spartan mattress

All of the mattresses on this list are ideal for athletes, but the Spartan was designed specifically to help active people achieve better sleep.

This hybrid mattress is packed with athlete-specific benefits like cooling technology in its memory foam layers, and responsive coils.

The Spartan goes to work on your body while you sleep to maximize recovery. Its six layers of foam and pocketed coils each have a task to do to make sure you’re ready for another day of training.

You can expect excellent support for even the heaviest bodybuilders thanks to 13.5” of memory foam, hyper-elastic foam, high-density foam, and individually wrapped coils. And, it’s topped off with an elite performance cover which is designed to improve oxygenation and circulation.

The Spartan is one of the best mattress in a box brands, meaning it ships to your door compressed and boxed. This makes it easy for busy, active people to get the mattress into the house and set up in minutes. 

PROS CONS
  • Choose from 3 firmness options
  • Made for athletes
  • Expensive
  • Heavy

Read our full Brooklyn Bedding mattress review to learn more.

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Bear Hybrid - Best Cooling Mattress

Bear Hybrid mattress

The Bear Hybrid mattress is one of our favorite mattresses for athletes and hot sleepers. It sleeps exceptionally cool, and it has an industry-topping 20-year warranty.

Bear knows that athletes commonly sleep hot. All of the mattresses on this list have cooling capabilities, but Bear goes above and beyond to ensure that every layer contributes to its cooling sleep system. This includes 2 separate layers of cooling foam, a breathable pocketed coil layer, and a quilted cover that promotes airflow.

Additional benefits of this mattress include an optimal thickness of 14” for heavy sleepers and serious athletes. It also scores highly on edge support. The Bear Hybrid is a medium-firm mattress suited to any sleep position.

Related: Best Cooling Mattresses

PROS CONS
  • Far Infrared Rays tech recycles your energy
  • Choose from 3 firmness options
  • Made for athletes
  • Some motion transfer
  • Heavy

Read our full Bear mattress review to learn more.

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Layla - Most Versatile Mattress for Athletes

A couple sits on their Layla mattress

The Layla is a memory foam bed with a unique ability: it’s flippable. This might not seem very special, but Layla is one of the only flippable memory foam mattresses. What makes it even more special is that each side of the mattress has a different level of firmness.

So, if you need cloud-like, contouring support, you can sleep on the soft side (a firmness level of 4/10; great for side sleepers). But, if you suffer an injury or need a more responsive feel for better mobility, you can switch to the firmer mattress side (a 7/10 firmness level; ideal for back and stomach sleepers).

Layla is great for athletes because its foam layers are infused with copper. Copper is naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial, so your bed won't get dirty even if you sweat. In testing the foam proved to be more responsive and helped to keep testers from sinking in too much, providing optimal spinal support and responsiveness. Finally, the foam is designed to rapidly transfer heat away from the body to keep you cool at night.

One more outstanding feature of the Layla mattress is its warranty. Layla comes with a lifetime warranty. Most other mattresses on this list come with a standard 10-year warranty. Layla will replace or repair the mattress if any damage or sagging (more than 1”) occurs at any point in the life of the mattress.

The Layla mattress is a bit thinner than other mattresses on this list (just 10” thick), but the mattress also comes at less than half the price of many competitors, making this the best affordable mattress for athletes.

PROS CONS
  • Copper-infused Foam
  • Flippable, two firmness options in one
  • Great price
  • Some off-gassing odor
  • May be too thin for heavier sleepers

Read our full Layla mattress review to learn more.

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Compare the Best Mattresses for Athletes

Mattress Name Quick Overview Special Offer

Purple Hybrid

Purple logo

Material: Hybrid (hyper-elastic polymer and pocketed coils)

Firmness: 6.5/10

Customer Rating: 4.6/5

MA Score: 8.5/10

Delivery: Free shipping and in-home setup

Trial Period: 100-day

Warranty: 10-year limited warranty

Price: $$

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Saatva

Saatva logo

Material: Hybrid (foam and pocketed coils)

Firmness: Available in Plush; 3/10, Luxury Firm; 6.5/10, and Firm; 8/10

Customer Rating: 4.8/5

MA Score: 8.7/10

Delivery: Free shipping and in-home setup

Trial Period: 180-days

Warranty: 15-year limited warranty

Price: $$

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Casper Wave Hybrid

 Casper logo

Material: Memory foam and polyfoam

Firmness: 5/10

Customer Rating: 4.5/5

MA Score: 9.3/10

Delivery: Free shipping and in-home setup

Trial Period: 100-day

Warranty: 10-year limited warranty

Price: $$$

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Spartan by Brooklyn Bedding

Brooklyn Bedding logo

Material: Hybrid (foam and pocketed coils)

Firmness: Available in plush, medium, and firm

Customer Rating: 5/5

MA Score: 9.2/10

Delivery: Free shipping

Trial Period: 120-day

Warranty: 10-year limited warranty

Price: $$$

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Bear Hybrid

Bear logo

Material: Hybrid (foam and pocketed coils)

Firmness: 6/10

Customer Rating: 4.7/5

MA Score: 8.6/10

Delivery: Free shipping

Trial Period: 100-day

Warranty: 20-year limited warranty

Price: $$

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Layla

Layla logo

Material: Foam and copper-infused foam

Firmness: 4/10 and 7/10

Customer Rating: 4.5/5

MA Score: 8.8/10

Delivery: Free shipping to continental US

Trial Period: 120-day

Warranty: Lifetime limited warranty

Price: $

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MA Score: The Mattress Advisor Score is a weighted score that takes into account 14 different factors related to the mattress’ performance, function, convenience and the brand’s social responsibility.

Compare Features and Materials

Purple Hybrid Saatva
Inside layers of Purple Hybrid mattress  Inside layers of the Saatva mattress

What’s inside:

  • Premium StretchMax cover: Stretchy and cooling cover
  • The Purple Grid®: Hyper-elastic polymer open-chamber grid contours the body and maximizes airflow
  • Responsive support coils: For dynamic pressure relief

What’s inside:

  • Euro pillow top: Plush comfort
  • Memory foam Lumbar Zone: Cradles the hips for spine alignment
  • Dual-coil support system: Aids in pressure relief and provides base support

Scored best in:

  • Spine alignment
  • Cooling

Scored best in:

  • Spine alignment
  • Durability
Casper Wave Hybrid Spartan by Brooklyn Bedding
Inside layers of Casper Wave mattress Inside layers of the Spartan mattress

What’s inside:

  • Velvety soft top layer: Cloud-like memory foam comfort
  • Breathable foam layer: Perforated to increase airflow
  • Pressure-relieving foam layer: Contours to the body soothes pressure points
  • Gel-pod layer: Targets 27 key points of the body for spine alignment
  • Base coil system: Springs that help create a responsive base support and motion isolation

What’s inside:

  • Elite performance cover: Captures the body’s energy and uses it to improve blood flow and oxygenation
  • CopperFlex® foam layer: Antimicrobial pressure relief
  • Visco-elastic memory foam layer: Deep compression support and advanced cooling
  • Responsive support coils: Decreases motion transfer
  • High-density base foam: Reinforces support coils for added pressure relief

Scored best in:

  • Motion transfer
  • Spine alignment
  • Durability

Scored best in:

  • Spine alignment
  • Responsiveness
  • Cooling
Bear Hybrid Layla
Inside layers of Bear Hybrid mattress Inside layers of the Layla mattress

What’s inside:

  • Quilted cooling top: Absorbs body heat
  • Cooling gel foam: Cool, contouring support
  • Premium comfort foam: Pressure and tension relief
  • Transition foam: Increases responsiveness and airflow
  • Support coil layer: Deep compression support
  • High-density foam: Provides a solid base.

What’s inside:

  • Cooling Cover (both sides): Thermoregulated for cool comfort
  • Copper-gel memory foam (both sides): Antibacterial contouring support foam
  • Max airflow support foam (soft side only): Channeled for airflow and zoned for targeted pressure relief
  • Support core foam (shared by both sides): Firm base improves responsiveness

Scored best in:

  • Responsiveness
  • Cooling

Scored best in:

  • Edge support
  • Responsiveness
  • Pressure relief

What is a Mattress for Athletes?

A mattress for athletes is a mattress that accommodates the unique sleep needs of sportspeople. Some mattresses, like the Spartan and Bear Hybrid, are made with athletes in mind. Others simply provide the benefits that athletes need.

What are these benefits? To start, a mattress for athletes must offer the best in spine alignment and pressure relief. This will allow the body to relax and recover at night, and it will avoid aggravating pressure points that can inhibit performance.

A mattress for athletes should also sleep cool. Athletes tend to have higher body temperatures, making them more prone to night sweats and disturbed sleep. Cooling materials like perforated foam, gel foam, and breathable fabrics can help.

Many athletes (especially men) weigh more than average people. This can cause problems on a thin mattress or a mattress that supports a weight of 250 lbs or less per sleeper. Mattresses for athletes are typically thicker than 11” and have added layers to support larger frames.

Finally, a good mattress for athletes needs to be comfortable. It seems obvious, but quality sleep can make or break an athlete’s game. Even one night of poor rest can result in a drop in motor skills, reaction times, and focus.

Athletes need a bed that allows them to sleep uninterrupted for up to 10 hours, ensuring they get full cycles of NREM and REM sleep. The most comfortable mattresses are made with high-quality materials in their covers and comfort layers, such as cotton cushioning, memory foam, and gel foam.  

Shopping Considerations

Type of Mattress

Memory foam:

Memory foam mattresses deliver the body-cradling comfort and spine alignment that athletes need. And because there are no hard angles or springs, these mattresses are great for pressure relief.

But make sure to choose a mattress with high-quality foam and adequate support. A memory foam mattress that is too soft could sink in too much. This can cause the spine to misalign, especially for stomach sleepers and back sleepers. Memory foam can also sleep hot, so make sure your new mattress has temperature regulating features.

Innerspring:

Innerspring mattresses are a good option for athletes as long as they feature individually pocketed coils and not a layer of connected coils. Individually wrapped coils provide strong contour support and responsiveness. Innerspring mattresses are typically more durable and breathable than foam mattresses as well. But, coil mattresses may not be ideal for side sleepers, as they might not offer enough body contouring to achieve proper spine alignment.

Latex:

Latex mattresses are a popular alternative to traditional memory foam mattresses. Latex offers the same great contouring support of memory foam, plus it's cooler and much more responsive. But with an increase in responsiveness comes a slight decrease in pressure relief, and latex can be expensive. We recommend latex mattresses for stomach sleepers and back sleepers who love foam but want more mobility in bed.

Hybrid:

Hybrid mattresses represent the best of both worlds for athletes. Most hybrids are composed of an innerspring layer topped with foam layers. Some vary in composition though, such as the Purple Hybrid which combines a hyper-elastic layer with coils.

Hybrid mattresses are some of the best mattresses for athletes. They offer deep contouring support, they are extra thick, they promote airflow, and they’re very comfortable. Hybrid mattresses also have the advantage of offering excellent support and pressure relief for any sleeping position, as they balance soft comfort with responsive coils. 

Performance Factors

Set-up:

If you live an active lifestyle, setting up a new mattress can be a hassle. To make things easier, pick a mattress with white glove delivery and in-home setup included.

Bed-in-a-box mattresses are also easy to set up. Just unbox in your room, roll the mattress out, and wait a few hours for it to expand.

Pressure relief:

Athletes need optimal pressure relief not just from the tension that can build while sleeping, but also from the strain that results from an intense workout. Choose a mattress that’s thick enough for your weight and allows your body to be cradled comfortably. This is especially important for side sleepers and combination sleepers.

Spine alignment:

Possibly the most important mattress feature for athletes, spine alignment ensures your joints and muscles are in the optimal resting position. With the spine aligned, you are in the most efficient position for physical recovery. It also prevents neck, joint, and back pain from developing overnight.

Durability:

Athletes are bigger and heavier people. Plus, they spend more hours in bed than the average person. Therefore, they need a mattress made from high-quality materials that resist sagging, bowing, and deterioration. You can get a good idea of a mattress’s quality by checking its warranty.

Motion transfer:

Waking up throughout the night can be devastating to athletic performance. If you’re a light sleeper, you need to get a mattress with low motion transfer. Low motion transfer means that you won’t feel any disturbance on your side of the bed when your partner moves. Memory foam mattresses are the best at limiting motion transfer. But keep in mind, lower motion transfer comes with lower responsiveness.

Temperature regulation:

Sleeping cool has been shown to promote healthy sleep with fewer interruptions. This is critical for athletes, who often have elevated body temperatures. If you’re a hot sleeper, consider a breathable mattress like an innerspring mattress or a hybrid. If you prefer foam, go with latex or a memory foam mattress with cooling features.

Responsiveness:

Responsiveness, or bounce, refers to how quickly your mattress responds to your movements. Memory foam has lower responsiveness (when you get up, you can see your body’s impression linger in the foam). Innerspring mattresses are highly responsive. Responsive mattresses are good for combination sleepers as they promote mobility.

Athletes (especially heavier ones) need a degree of responsiveness to keep the spine aligned. Hybrid mattresses achieve a good balance between responsiveness and plush comfort because the contouring top layers are supported by responsive coils below.

Edge support:

If you are a side sleeper or stomach sleeper who likes to sleep on the edge of the mattress, you need to choose a mattress with edge support. If not, the supportive benefits of the mattress won’t extend to its borders, and you’ll be left hanging. Edge support is also needed for those who often sit on the edge of the bed.

Mattress Thickness:

Thicker mattresses offer more support for bigger and heavier people, like athletes. If you lie down on a mattress and your body “bumps” the dense support layer below the comfort layer, you need to go thicker. Otherwise, this will cause pressure points to be strained as you sleep.

Go for a mattress that’s thicker than 11” if you’re a heavier person. If you’re under 220 lbs, you should be fine with a standard mattress.

Special Features for Athletes:

Some mattresses have special features that can benefit athletes, such as cooling fibers, copper-infused foams and fabrics, advanced cooling technology, moisture-wicking covers, and more. You’ll find some of these features in the mattresses on this list, such as the Bear Hybrid, Spartan, and Layla.

Price

To perform at your best and recover when it counts, you need a high-quality mattress. This means you’ll need to spend a bit more money for better materials and a thicker build. Luckily, there are mattress types for athletes at various price points.

Expect to spend about $1000 minimum for a queen bed. To get a high-quality hybrid, you’ll likely spend over $1500. But when you consider what a good night’s sleep can do for your performance and overall well-being, the cost is worth it.

Shipping and Delivery

All of the best mattresses for athletes on this list include free shipping and returns, and many come with free in-home setup. It’s a good idea to look into the weight of the mattress to determine if you should request set-up as well.

FAQ About the Best Mattresses for Athletes

Q: What is the best mattress for back pain?

The best mattress for back pain is a mattress that promotes healthy spine alignment. If you experience pain in your lower back or joints, try a mattress with contouring support, like the Purple Hybrid or the Saatva.

Q: What is the best mattress to keep you cool?

Many mattress types promote airflow and regulate temperature. The best are innerspring mattresses and hybrid mattresses. This is because coil mattress layers are mostly empty. They allow air to pass through and don’t retain heat. The Bear Hybrid mattress combines multiple cooling layers for exceptional temperature regulation.

Summary of Our Top Picks for the Best Mattress for Athletes

About the Author Benjamin Gorman

Benjamin is a sleep health specialist. He contributes to numerous sleep and wellness publications to promote positive sleep habits as well as sustainable mattress manufacturing and disposal.