people's choice

The Best Mattresses You Can Buy Online, According to Real Sleepers

A Tuft & Needle emerges. Photo: Nishant Chokski/Courtesy of the vendor

You might’ve noticed our really comprehensive report about the golden age of mattresses. You also might’ve been bummed to see that throughout all those words and tests, we just couldn’t come up with a winner. It was impossible to pick the best of the best; It’s just too subjective a choice, and there are far too many options for us to properly test and judge. So instead, we’ve tested a few mattresses ourselves and polled friends and friends of friends (people get really excited about their mattresses in Facebook comments), talking to the hyperenthusiastic sleepers who love the mattresses they bought online. Allow us — and them — to convince you of whose night sleep is best.


Allswell is a new bed-in-a-box company that launched in March. They invited me to test one out.

Allswell Luxe Classic, Firmer
$460 at Allswell Home

“Allswell offers two mattresses: the Softer One and the Firmer One. Earlier this week, I laid down on the Firmer One, which is made of coils and then topped with memory foam. What’s noteworthy is that it’s one of the only bed-in-a-box mattresses that uses coils, and I must say, I loved that about it. If memory foam is too mushy or hot (it always is for me), it’s these coils that add the much-needed firmness. It also comes with a built-in plush topper, a luxurious add-on that you won’t find on any other mattress that comes delivered to your daoor in a box, but is often on department-store mattresses. And that’s really where Allswell stands out. It just looks like a luxury mattress. That’s because of the plush topper, but also because it’s a significant 12 inches thick, whereas the average bed in a box lies at around 9 inches and just give off that starter first-home-mattress vibe. And just to be clear: This mattress is comfortable and supportive. A queen is only $585, which is a very good deal. [ed. note: Allswell has offered Strategist readers an exclusive discount of $125 off any Queen mattress]” — Lauren Schwartzberg, Strategist writer

$460 at Allswell Home
with code: NYMAG125

Casper Wave

Casper came out with a new mattress and invited me to test it out. Here’s what I thought:

Casper Wave Queen
$1,795 at Casper

“So the company that was supposed to create a single mattress that worked for everyone decided they could actually upgrade. Now there’s a second, supposedly even better mattress that still works for everyone. The Casper Wave is supposed to respond to your exact body geometry with “contouring zones” and “polymer support channels” that allow for the best possible spinal alignment while also relieving shoulder pressure. So I went to the Casper offices and laid on the mattress using the mattress testing guidelines I’d been recommended by sleep experts. The thing to know about this mattress is that it’s really bouncy. Surprisingly bouncy. Definitely bouncier than any other foam-based mattress I’ve ever been on. As for its firmness, it’s on the softer side of the mattress spectrum, but overall I did feel supported however I positioned myself. There was no sinking into it, which can be an issue with memory foam for some people (as well as the material’s general lack of bounciness.) I loved it while I was on my back. When I was on my side it felt like my whole body was being propped up, not even really sinking in at all. On my stomach, which is how I normally sleep, it felt like I was fully flat from had to toe, without any particular parts of my body sinking in more than others. My spine felt straight and comfortable and supported. The only downside is that it can get hot, but that’s how it goes with foam-based mattresses, so if you can handle the heat, I’d recommend this very bouncy mattress.” — Lauren Schwartzberg, Strategist writer

$1,795 at Casper
with code: Slumber10

Cocoon by Sealy

Cocoon by Sealy
$799 at Cocoon by Sealy

“I was searching for a new mattress on Google when found this. It looked cool so I figured what the hell, we’ll give it a try. I was specifically looking for something more memory foam-ish. I’ve had it for a few months now and I love it. It’s exactly what I wanted. I ordered the extra firm one and it is exactly what I was looking for. Nice and firm. I’ve had mattresses in the past with memory foam toppers and they’d be fine for a few months or some just a few weeks and then they’d sag. This is much firmer than anything I’ve ever found and much more comfortable. The setup was super simple and the videos were very informative. That’s always appreciated.” —Tony Buffkin, IT Manager


Queen Leesa Matttress
$835 at Leesa

“I decided to go with a Leesa because I’m mostly a side sleeper, so I knew a medium-firm foam mattress would work for me. I read that the memory-foam layer of the Casper mattress was on the top, so once you sunk into it, the mattress felt hard. Leesa’s design put the memory foam more in the middle. Even though a year isn’t a long time in the life of a mattress, it’s performed really well so far, and the fact that it’s not as tall or heavy as a spring mattress means it’s easier to make the bed.” — Alex O., web developer
[Ed. note: Leesa has offered Strategist readers an exclusive discount of $160 off a Leesa Mattress through 9/30.]

$835 at Leesa
with code: NYMAGLD160


Queen Aviya Mattress
$899 at Aviya

I never in my wildest dreams thought I would buy a mattress online, but my chiropractor said I needed a new one. I knew it had to be firm, but I was like, Ugh, I hate the mattress-shopping part. A friend of mine got one of these, and I was like, This is crazy, but she absolutely loved it, so I decided to try it. I’m a customer-service manager, and their customer service was incredible. Spot on. I had a hip issue, and this is the most comfortable bed — I don’t have the hip issue anymore. My dog also has a hip issue from getting hit by a car, and when he gets in this bed, he doesn’t move. We’re both finally sleeping!” Nancy Kynion, customer-service manager


Queen Saatva Luxury Firm
$1,099 at Saatva

I never found showrooms helpful, they’re either overly aggressive or uninterested, so I started searching the net. I settled on Saatva because I could return it within 120 days, I found their website very easy to navigate, and they had three choices: soft, medium, and firm. We got medium. One of the really cool things dealing with their company is that I got a call checking in to see if everything was okay, and if I was happy. I thought that was amazing. I also once had a question at about midnight, and I decided to call, and someone was there and very polite. It was great. Saatva actually doesn’t come in a box, which I was happy with because I can’t believe that a mattress out of a box is going to give me the support that I want. Two guys came to deliver it, and I haven’t slept better than I have in the past few months. I used to have back pain and my back feels better. It’s like a really good hotel bed.” — Moshe Drelich, Doctor.

Bear Mattress

Queen Bear Mattress
$790 at Bear Mattress

“I first bought a Leesa, but I wasn’t super satisfied, so I started looking at mattresses marketed for athletic people. I work out every day, cycle a lot, rock climb, yoga, acro-yoga, which is a mix between acrobatics and yoga. That’s how I found the Bear. I was a little hesitant because they were a newer company, like an underdog, but that’s kind of what drew me in. I like to be the first one to try out the next big thing. I tend to run warm, but this one keeps me cooler at night. It’s softer, but firm at the same time — the perfect level. It’s also really springy, which is hard to find in a foam mattress, where you usually just sink in. There’s no motion transfer, so when my husband gets up at the crack of dawn and I’m trying to sleep, he doesn’t wake me up. Part of the reason I wanted a new mattress in the first place is because I have a lot of lower back pain, and after the first week with Bear, my back pain diminished.” — Amanda Deisler, video producer

$790 at Bear Mattress
with code: ENDSUMMER


Queen Helix Mattress
$920 at Helix

“I wanted to buy a mattress online because I felt the prices were better, and with Helix, the ability to customize sold us. We took an online survey and customized each side of the mattress. My husband likes softer and I like firmer, so it’s like we each got our own custom mattress. We’ve also rolled around on each other’s side, and we can feel the difference. We sleep better, too.” — Elizabeth Hutchinson, teacher

$920 at Helix
with code: SCHOOL75


Queen GhostBed
$795 at Amazon

“I found out about GhostBed because it started popping up in my Facebook feed. I used to rotate around the house throughout the week: I would get sore sleeping in bed, so I would crash on the couch, or even the floor, just to try to get a different night sleep. I wanted to try something different, so I decided on memory foam, and the price was a huge factor. Tempur-Pedic was like five times the price, and I could also get free pillows with GhostBed. They had a better trial period than everyone else, too. We’ve had it for about a month and a half, and it’s fantastic. I haven’t slept this well in my adult life.” — John Smiley, hospital director


Queen Yogabed
$849 at Marpac

“We have a friend who had been talking about this wonderful mattress that she loved and that we had to try. My husband and I were over for dinner and it was awkward to lie in their bed, but we did. We looked at each other and knew immediately, this was the bed we needed. I don’t do yoga; it didn’t have to do with that. My husband is six-six and jumps out of airplanes for the military. All jumpers have problems with their backs, plus he’s so tall. I’m on my feet all day as a teacher. We went through four or five mattresses in nine years, and the problem is, he’s a stomach sleeper and I’m a back and side. He likes really firm and I like in between. Yogabed is amazing: firm for him, soft for me, and not a lot of motion, so I don’t feel him. The circulation is great, and I don’t wake up sweaty anymore. Everything they advertised fit our needs — down to the ability to unzip the cover, wash it, and put it back on, because I have allergies. We’ve had it about six months, and within two days, I was at work telling my husband that I’m dreaming about getting back in bed. Now, I’m the creepy person who says, ‘Y’all need to go try my bed.’” — Laurie Burk, schoolteacher


Queen Casper
$895 at Casper

“I chose Casper because my dad had one and I really liked his. I sleep on my side, and on most spring mattresses, if I’m on one side for a while, I start to get weird pain in my hips and lower back and have to switch sides. This happens over and over, so I generally don’t sleep well, and I wake up my girlfriend in the middle of the night from all my tossing and turning. This miraculously does not happen at all on the Casper. It also stays pretty cold, and I like sleeping at a cooler temperature. My dog, who’s a one-year-old Australian-shepherd mix, has a Casper dog bed, too — and he seems pretty into it.” — Maile Hamilton, catering sales associate

$895 at Casper
with code: SLUMBER10

Tuft & Needle

Queen Tuft & Needle
$595 at Amazon

“My parents bought me my Tuft & Needle as a present when I moved into my new apartment, and it’s incredibly comfortable. It’s made of memory foam, so it’s firm, but soft enough to support me. I tend to sleep in a bunch of different positions — mostly on my back and left side — and it can handle them all. Also, it’s extra low-maintenance. If you get something on it, it’s super easy to clean. It’s basically just been great all around.” — Zach Cohn, marketing assistant

Sleep Innovations

Full Sleep Innovations Mattress
$218 at Amazon

“I didn’t realize how expensive mattresses are, and when I moved to Belgium, I didn’t have $1,000-plus to spend on a mattress. I did my research and looked at the Caspers and Purples and whatnot, but I thought they were still too expensive and couldn’t be that much better than this one I found on Amazon, especially since 2,000 people think it’s amazing. It’s memory foam, but not too soft, and the 2,000 people were right. It’s so amazing. I love it.” — Dana Kuehr, senior marketing manager, Politico Europe.


Queen Purple
$999 at Purple

“The Purple is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I swear it saved my relationship. It feels like floating on a hybrid of clouds and balloons — kind of jiggly, like a moon bounce — but it’s also totally still. I decided to get a Purple over any of the other mattress start-ups because of their 100-day trial period, and also because of their huge emphasis on not being able to feel another person, or dog, in bed. I have two adopted dogs named Tina and Lou who both love to cuddle, and I’d feel them crawl into bed with me every night, and it would wake me up. With the Purple, it always feels like you’re in bed alone. I don’t feel my boyfriend moving around, and I wake up with the dogs in bed and don’t remember them getting in. Plus, my back doesn’t hurt when I wake up anymore. It’s the perfect combination of firm and soft; it doesn’t swallow you like a softer or squishier mattress; and it molds to your body. And it’s cooling! The takeaway is that I hate sleeping at hotels now.” — Danielle Sinay, writer and teacher

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best women’s jeans, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, ultra-flattering pants, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

Every editorial product is independently selected. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.

The Best Mattresses You Can Buy Online