The Best Mattress For Couples: What You Need To Know

Written by
Purple Staff
Last Updated
January 30, 2023
min read

In the US over 61 million people are married, while more than 17 million unmarried people cohabit with a partner. Choosing the right mattress to share with a partner is important for high-quality sleep. Finding a mattress that fits both sleeping preferences, and needs can be a challenge.

In this post, we walk you through what you need to know when it comes to looking for the best mattress for couples.

What Couples Need To Know Before Buying A New Mattress

Before you set out to buy a new mattress, consider the following factors first:

Your Sleep Preferences

The three most common types of sleepers are back sleepers, side sleepers, and stomach sleepers. Knowing your preferred sleeping position is important because this will help you identify your ideal mattress firmness level.

Studies have found that back sleepers may find that a firm to medium-firm mattress is comfortable, as these have been found to help with back pain. Side sleepers, on the other hand, may prefer a medium-firm to the soft mattress that they can "sink" in more to cradle pressure points like their hips, shoulders, and lower back. Stomach sleepers might want a mattress that offers firm support and keeps their shoulders and hips level. 

The Size Of Your Bedroom

The size of your bedroom dictates how big your bed can be. Ideally, you'll want to keep your bedroom-to-bed ratio at around 3:1.

The minimum room size for a queen-size bed (the most popular bed for couples) is at least 10 x 10 feet. For king-size beds, the minimum room size is 12 x 12 feet.

Bedroom size aside, you also have to think about what kind of furniture you'll be decorating your bedroom with and how much walking space you'll need. The style and material of your bed frame are important too as headboards, footboards, and pull-out drawers naturally take up more floor space.

Your Ideal Room Temperature

Look for a mattress that boasts sleeping cool. Also, make an effort to ensure your room is at the ideal sleeping temperature. You may find yourself tossing and turning if your mattress and room are not an ideal sleeping temperature.

Not sure what temperature? Read our guide on ideal sleeping temperature.

What You Can Look For In A Mattress For Couples

Mattresses come in different materials, sizes, and firmness settings. Learn the difference between each type of mattress so you can easily narrow down your options.


The most popular mattress materials are:

  • Foam: This is the most popular and affordable mattress material. There are many different kinds of foam, from inexpensive polyurethane foam to memory foam, a kind of poly-foam that responds to pressure. These mattresses tend to be on the soft to medium-firm side.
  • Innerspring: These mattresses are equipped with steel or pocketed coils that provide sleepers with adequate support and better air circulation than most foam mattresses.
  • Hybrid: These mattresses contain both foam and coils, marrying the bounciness of innerspring mattresses with the comfort of poly- or memory foam mattresses.
  • Latex: Made with vulcanized liquid latex, this type of mattress provides sleepers with ample support while contouring to the shape of the sleeper. Latex is durable and made from natural materials, but tends to be more expensive than other mattress materials.
  • Pillowtop: This is a type of mattress with an additional comfort layer on top. Some pillowtop mattresses come with a gel-infused comfort layer designed to keep you cool throughout the night.
  • Airbed: While most people think of camping and sleepovers when they see an air mattress, the adjustability of airbeds can help sleepers find their preferred firmness level.
  • Waterbed: With incredible pressure relief, adjustable heating systems, and hypoallergenic materials, it's easy to see why waterbeds were huge in the 80s. Today they've fallen out of favor due to the availability of more low-maintenance and risk-free alternatives.

Mattress Size

For couples, size is one of the biggest considerations when buying a mattress. While mattress sizes range from twin (38" x 75") to Alaskan king (108" x 108"), you'll want to get a full-size bed or bigger if you want to be comfortable. 

Not sure what mattress size is best for you? Check out our mattress size guide.

Motion Transfer

Motion transfer refers to the amount of movement that is felt from one part of a mattress to another. Mattresses with high motion transfer can make it difficult for light sleepers to get a comfortable night's sleep, as they'll be able to feel all of their partner's movements from their side of the bed.

Light sleepers and couples with different sleeping schedules can benefit from a bed with the low-motion transfer. The less motion transfer there is, the lower your chances of disturbing your slumbering partner.


Whether or not a mattress can provide you with adequate support depends on several factors, including the mattress' material, firmness level, and edges.

Reinforced edges can make you feel more secure in bed, especially if you or your partner move around a lot in your sleep. A mattress with ample edge support will keep you from rolling over the edge (or feeling like you're about to). Solid edges also let you sit on the edge of the bed to get prepped for the day.

Firmness Level

Typically, mattress firmness levels are divided into three categories: soft or plush, medium, and firm. Most manufacturers, however, rate their mattresses on a 10-point scale from extra soft to extra firm.

There is no one-size-fits-all firmness level as the right firmness for you will depend on your and your partner's preferred sleeping positions, body types, and preference for support.

Back sleepers and stomach sleepers ought to see if firmer mattresses are more supportive of their positions. Side sleepers might feel more comfortable in softer mattresses, as these may provide a more cushioned feel for their joints.

Not sure what mattress firmness to buy? Read our mattress firmness guide.

6 Best Mattress Types For Couples

different types of mattresses

Here’s our guide to the six best mattress types for couples. While different mattress brands may make these types with different construction, materials, and other special features, these mattress types will have some common properties across the board. The type of mattress that’s best for you will depend on your personal preferences, so read on and see which features appeal the most to you.

GelFlex Grid Technology

Definition: GelFlex Grid mattresses are made from hyper-elastic polymer. Because of its flexible, responsive materials, it provides a firm but well-cushioned surface for sleeping.

Key features: Temperature control and flexibility

Some co-sleepers may have trouble finding a mattress that addresses both of their sleeping needs, as they can be very different. But regardless of your or your partner’s sleeping style and body type, a GelFlex Grid mattress may be flexible enough to accommodate your differing sleeping positions.

All-Foam Mattress

Definition: All-foam mattresses consist of top comfort layers made from a mix of different foam types, and a base foam layer. These top layers are usually made of gel memory foam or polyfoam, a.k.a. polyurethane foam. The base layer of this mattress type is typically made of firm polyfoam.

Key features: A sinking, cushioned feel

The memory foam top layers of this mattress type may give a “hugging sensation” as its material contours around the body. This added cushioning can help you enjoy a restful, comfortable night of sleep.

Innerspring Mattress

types of innerspring mattresses

Definition: Innerspring mattresses consist of a support base with thin comfort layers of foam on top. The base can be made using open steel coils or pocketed coils individually wrapped in fabric. Open coil innerspring mattresses have great airflow, while pocketed coil mattresses are more durable and distribute weight more evenly.

Key features: Affordability and edge support

Innerspring mattresses are widely available, fairly affordable, and come in a variety of firmness options. Co-sleepers who are considering getting an innerspring mattress may consider getting one with a reinforced base. This feature can help prevent the mattress material from sagging over time, as well as provide support so sleepers don’t fall off the edge of the bed.

Hybrid Mattress

hybrid mattress

Definition: Hybrid mattresses are multi-layer mattresses with layers of foam placed on top of a supportive base of innerspring coils. The top layer is typically made of memory foam or latex foam.

Key features: Pressure relief and temperature regulation

Hybrid mattresses are a solid option for co-sleepers, as they combine the breathability of an innerspring mattress with the comfort layers of a foam mattress. Responsive and supportive, this mattress type could provide a cozy surface for a cozy night’s sleep.

Latex Mattress

latex mattress

Definition: Latex mattresses are made with soft latex comfort layers on top of a firm latex base. The latex used for this mattress type can be natural, synthetic, or blended. Latex mattresses are highly contouring and durable, but they also have an open-cell structure that keeps them cooler and airier than other mattress types.

Key features: Highly breathable and hardy

Eco-conscious couples looking for an environment-friendly mattress should consider natural latex mattresses, which are long-lasting without using synthetic materials. They’re also a solid option for hot sleepers looking for a cooling mattress, as latex mattresses have great breathability.

Airbed Mattress

air mattress

Definition: Airbeds are made with comfort layers on the outside and inflatable internal rubber chambers on the inside. Air is then added or removed as needed to adjust the firmness of the airbed.

Key features: Customizable firmness levels

This mattress type’s built-in air pump is typically adjusted through a remote control or by pairing it with a mobile device app. If you’re thinking of getting an airbed but have differing sleeping preferences from your partner, look for one that allows you to adjust individual sides of air levels in the mattress.

Still not sure what mattress to buy? See our best mattress guide.

Best Mattresses For Couples

No two couples are the same – some have different sleep habits, some are on the heavier side, and others are more "active" in bed. Consider the following mattresses depending on your different needs.

Best Mattress For Couples With Different Sleeping Habits

Split king mattresses are designed as twin XL mattresses connected by an elastic attachment or metal bar. When paired with an adjustable bed frame, this type of bed can be a great option for couples of different sleeper types. Essentially, each person gets a separate bed they can customize in terms of material, firmness, and supportiveness, while still being able to sleep next to their significant other.

For couples who aren't too keen on getting a split mattress, a queen or king-size hybrid mattress could be another feasible alternative. 

Best Mattress For Heavy Couples

Heavy sleepers – particularly those over the 230 to 250 lbs weight limit of standard mattresses – may sleep easier on a firmer mattress that can support their body weight. Good mattress features to look out for include good airflow and resistance to premature sagging.

Plus-size couples could see if firm hybrid and traditional innerspring mattresses provide enough support and comfort for sound sleeping. Such mattresses ought to be made of durable, breathable materials. Hybrid mattresses have support coils for added resistance.

Best Mattress For Different Weight Couples

In the bed, some different weight couples may struggle with motion transfer and unevenness due to sagging on one side. Hybrid mattresses have added support, resulting in a mattress that can often feel more comfortable to a variety of sleeper types.

Best Mattress For Active Couples

A good mattress ought to help you sleep more soundly, but it can also provide a comfortable surface for maintaining a healthy sex life. If you’re looking for a durable mattress for sex, prioritize features like firmness, stability, ease of movement, and air circulation.

Best Mattress For Couples Who Toss And Turn

If you and/or your partner shift a lot in your sleep, you may prefer mattresses that reduce motion transfer, and beds that don't make a lot of noise from movement. When shopping for a mattress pay attention to the product description for “motion isolation” or similar verbiage. 

Best Mattress Topper For Couples

A mattress topper is an additional layer that can change the feel of your mattress. At the same time, mattress toppers come in a wide range of materials and firmness options so you can further customize your sleeping experience. Mattress toppers can help an uncomfortable mattress feel better, although they do not help with mattresses that are sagging and in poor condition. 

Mattress Buying Tips For Different Couple Types

It’s challenging enough to choose a mattress that’s right for you, let alone right for two people! To help you narrow down which mattress to buy, take these considerations and couple of types in mind.

Couple type

Mattress considerations

Couples with different sleeping styles or preferred firmnesses

While there’s no such thing as a “universally comfy mattress”, hybrid mattresses can accommodate a wide range of different firmness preferences.

Couples with a snoring problem (one or both co-sleepers)

Get a mattress compatible with an adjustable base, so you can elevate your head, which can improve breathing during sleep and alleviate snoring.

Older couples

As you get older, your body becomes more prone to joint pain and diseases like osteoarthritis. Look for a mattress that cushions high-tension points and offers excellent pressure relief.

Couples with body pain

A hybrid mattress, GelFlex mattress, or memory foam mattress may provide a good balance of support and pressure relief.

Plus-size couples (one or both co-sleepers)

Edge support, durability, and more resistant core construction will prevent you from sinking too deeply in your sleep.

Couples who are active in the bedroom

Look for a cooling mattress to keep body heat from being trapped, so you won’t get too sweaty. Reinforced edges and a more bouncy surface are also highly recommended.

Couples on a budget

Innerspring mattresses or “mattress-in-a-box” models are typically affordable. Look for risk-free sleep trials so you can find out for yourself how well your budget buy performs.

Hot sleeper couples (one or both co-sleepers)

Look for a mattress type that promotes airflow and is made with cooling materials, such as a hybrid mattress with gel-infused memory foam.


Tips For Testing And Shopping For A Purple Mattress As A Couple

Buying a mattress is an investment in your and your partner’s sleep quality. Consult this handy checklist while testing Purple mattresses to help you choose the right one.

  • Take notes on all the Purple mattresses you tried: It’s easy to forget mattress features and differences, especially if you’re testing several models. Keep a small notepad while testing mattresses and note each model’s pros and cons, price, and other key features.
  • Test a Purple mattress by lying on it in your preferred sleeping position for 5 to 10 minutes: This will give you some time to see if the mattress alleviates pressure, traps heat, or feels uncomfortable. Ideally, both you and your partner can lie down on it so you can also check the mattress’ motion transfer and edge support. 
  • Don’t feel pressured to buy right away: Resist the pressure to buy the first mattress you test or simply buy one because you’re intimidated by the prospect of trying more mattresses. Try more than one mattress and see if each one ticks your boxes for firmness, type, price, and materials.
  • Consider your budget: Set an ideal price range to keep you financially on track while mattress shopping.
  • Tell Purple’s sleep specialists what your sleeping needs are: Purple has recommended models for different sleep concerns and positions. Ask one of Purple’s specialists to point you to the Purple mattresses that best address these for you and your co-sleeper.
  • Keep your room’s dimensions in mind: While a king or queen-size Purple bed can be luxurious for co-sleeping, make sure your chosen Purple mattress’ size will comfortably fit your master bedroom. There ought to still be enough space around your bed to move with ease.

FAQs On Mattresses For Couples

What type of mattress is best for couples?

The best type of mattress for couples is one that matches the couple's specific needs. Hybrid mattresses in queen or king size are a practical, versatile choice that different sleeper types may find sufficiently cozy.

What size mattress should couples buy?

Couples should buy queen or king-size mattresses if they find them suitable for their needs. Full-size mattresses can technically accommodate two sleepers, but they’re not always comfortable for couples.