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Mattress Reviews - Best Mattress Brands

How Mattress Reviews Can Help you Choose the Best Mattress

If you are buying a mattress and you want to find the best one, you can ask friends, visit mattress stores, or read ads. Choosing a quality mattress is not guaranteed to be easy. In fact, mattress shopping can be stressful because it’s such an important investment. You’re trying to find the right mattress for you, one that will give you restful sleep.

Today, most shoppers now look at mattress reviews online. Gaining insight from other mattress customers can be very beneficial — as long as you’re reading the right kind of reviews.

11 Things to Look for in When Reading Mattress Reviews

  1. Overall Rating
  2. Material Type
  3. Construction
  4. Sleeping Positions (Side, Back, or Stomach Sleeper)
  5. Firmness Level
  6. Support
  7. Health Issues
  8. Breathability and Coolness
  9. Country of Origin
  10. Return Policy and Warranty
  11. Customer Service

Back in the day, a handful of companies produced most mattress brands. Each brand had several collections, and each collection had many models. To find out more about a mattress, you had to go to a store which had that brand, walk down rows of mattresses, then push on them with your hand and lie down on them. After hours of driving from store to store, you’d get so tired that you could fall asleep on the next one you tested, no matter how uncomfortable it might feel.

Between 2012 and 2014, online mattress companies emerged, dedicated to making mattress shopping easier. This new business model was simple: Sell a single mattress model online and ship it directly to the customer. This helped lower the price by taking out the middleman, and customers enjoyed the simpler buying process.

However, with the explosion of global e-commerce, it wasn’t long before shopping for a mattress once again became confusing. Today, there are many new online mattress companies selling a variety of models directly to consumers, as well as through online retailers like Amazon and Wayfair. With so many options available, choosing the right mattress can be a difficult decision.

Reading mattress reviews, complete with ratings, is a great way to narrow your search for a quality mattress. Many of us read reviews online before purchasing anything, even if we end up buying it in a physical store.

Mattress Brands Who Think They Compete with the Purple® Mattress

Nothing beats a Purple® Mattress, but that doesn’t stop some companies from trying. Shoppers can quickly see how the competition falls short by reading mattress reviews.

11 Things to Look for When Reading Mattress Reviews

It’s very helpful to learn about the experiences of other mattress shoppers and bedding experts. However, keep in mind that not all online reviews are created equal. Many reviews are missing important details which prevent you from getting the big picture. People post wrong and misleading information all the time, sometimes intentionally. To make the best decision when shopping for a mattress, you need to know what to look for in a review.

1. Overall Rating

An online review of a mattress generally has a rating, usually 1-to-5 stars. A collection of reviews for a mattress will show an average rating, such as 4.4 stars out of 5. On the surface, it may seem that the best mattress is the one with the highest average rating. But there is a catch – how many reviews are there?

The sample size — the total number of reviews — affects the precision of the rating. The smaller the sample, the greater the difference one rating makes. For instance, if a 5-star mattress has only ten reviews, that really doesn’t tell you much. You’ll have a much better idea of mattress quality if it has several hundred reviews or more. Similar to a political poll, there is a smaller margin of error when you have a large sample of data.

2. Material Type

Look for reviews that discuss the mattress material — including the cover. What do the reviewers say about the quality of the materials? Do you want organic materials, or are synthetics acceptable? Find out if the mattress uses fragrances or fire-resistant chemicals. These questions make more of a difference to some shoppers, less for some others.

Cover Materials

There is a wide range of materials used in mattress covers, from cotton and polyester to extreme luxury fabrics with silk, cashmere — even horsehair. Bamboo fiber has rapidly grown in popularity in recent years. Performance fabrics may contain fibers such as Tencel for moisture control and spandex for stretchiness. Some covers are infused with phase-change materials for temperature control. The cover fabric is usually woven or knit — knits are more conforming, such as the Premium StretchMax Cover on the Purple® Mattress.

As you research the mattress cover, look for reviews that cover these topics:

  • Is the cover removable and easy to clean?
  • Do customers complain about itching or scratchiness?
  • Is the cover attractive? Classy? Plain?
  • Does the cover conform to the mattress as it should?
  • What dyes are used in the material?

Mattress Materials

The materials of a mattress are what define mattress types — first by the support cores, then by the comfort sections.
The comfort section of a mattress is what is above the support core. You’ll find that most customers reviews are often focused on the top of the mattress, which is usually a foam layer. The top layer is commonly called the comfort layer. The second layer is referred to as the conforming, response, or transition layer. The most common foams are memory foam, latex, and polyurethane. For example, the second layer of The Purple® Mattress is a soft polyurethane foam called “Plush Comfort Foam.”

Innovation contributes new materials to the mattress market. Waterbeds were introduced in 1971 and adjustable air beds blew up the mattress scene in 1985. Since 1991, memory foam has helped provide additional pressure relief to the sleeping masses. In 2012, Tuft & Needle introduced a new pressure-relieving foam for mattresses. This has now led to latex-like foam and memory foam replacements.

Then, in 2015, Purple introduced a new kind of mattress made with a hyper-elastic polymer. This scientific polymer is formed into The Purple Grid™ — a grid of square cells open at the top and bottom.

Materials and Customer Issues

Most of the issues that customers have with mattress materials are smells, allergies, and durability.
Memory foam is notorious for gaseous emissions (off-gassing) with a disagreeable smell. This is caused by chemicals used to make the foam. Newer foams are not as bad as the older ones, but some customers still complain about the smell.

Some people are allergic to natural latex (the liquid from the rubber tree). Even when made into latex foam, some of the allergens still remain. However, in making natural Talalay latex, these are rinsed out. Chemicals used in making the foam or treating materials (including dyes) cause some allergies. Wool in the cover causes allergic reactions in some people.

Here are some questions to ask when reading reviews:

  • Do customers have a problem with odors, such as from outgassing?
  • Does the foam mattress perform as advertised?
  • How well does the foam last?
  • Do any of the materials trigger allergies?
  • Does one sleeper feel another sleeper’s movements? The question is especially important with springs other than pocket coils. Some, like continuous coils, transfer a lot of motion.

Keep in mind, foam breaks down over time, especially memory foam. When it does, the foam loses support and may begin to disintegrate. Since Purple’s hyper-elastic polymer is not foam, it does not have the odor of memory foam. It does not trigger allergies, and it is many times more durable than foam.

3. Construction

Mattress construction refers to the way the mattress is put together. This includes the mattress materials, and how they are used in various layers. Other aspects of mattress construction include zoning, coil density, tufting, and ventilation.
Another popular issue related to mattress construction is mattress thickness. The most common mattress depth is now about 10 inches. For short sleepers, this may be a little high. However, low profile foundations are now available as alternatives to the standard foundation box spring.

Zoning

Many mattress manufacturers have at least one model which uses zoning. Zoning divides the mattress into two or more segments, each with different properties to provide targeted support for better spinal alignment. These zones differ in height or firmness. The most common number of zones is three, but some mattresses have five or more.

Firmness is usually determined by the type of materials, adding kerfs or perforations, creating pressure in multiple air chambers, as well as the coil stiffness or density. Greater firmness in the middle zone helps support the heaviest section of the body. This zone is more critical for heavier people since they need more support overall. In most cases, a different height is used in the zone that supports the lumbar. This is typically accomplished by adding thicker foam or a lumbar pad.
When reading mattress reviews, keep an eye out for comments about the mattress’s zones to see if they are designed effectively.

Coil Density

You can’t always judge coil density by the number of coils. Having more coils does not always indicate a firmer mattress, but it could mean smoother support. The overall firmness of an innerspring or pocket coil array is a combined function of the metal used in the coils, the gauge of the wire, the number of turns in the coils, how many coils, and how tightly the coils are placed.

If a review names a coil count, it is important to know the size of the mattress. The same coil density will have more coils in a king size mattress than in a queen mattress. If a king and queen mattress have the exact same coil count, it means there is a higher density in queen than in the king. Look for comments that describe how the coils feel, but be sure to compare several reviews, since comfort is so subjective.

Tufting

Some mattresses are tufted. This is more common with high-end innerspring mattresses with many comfort layers. Tufting keeps the layers aligned and attached properly. A few all-foam mattresses are also tufted to avoid using adhesives. When reading reviews, look for any mention of issues with tufting, such as possible discomfort with the knots or buttons.

Ventilation

Many mattresses use ventilation as a means of cooling the mattress and keeping it fresh. Ventilation methods include perforations, cut or molded channels, and convoluted foam. Ventilation can have a detrimental effect on the performance of foam. The Purple® Mattress does not use perforations or cuts in the foam, relying instead on The Purple Grid™ for ventilation. As you read mattress reviews, look for durability issues related to ventilation.

4. Sleeping Positions (Side, Back, or Stomach Sleeper)

What are the favorite sleeping positions for you and your sleeping partner? Do you sleep on your stomach, on your back, or on your side? Do you change positions throughout the night? These are important questions to answer since many mattresses perform better for one sleeping position than for others.

Side sleepers need a softer top layer to let the shoulder sink into the conforming support underneath. This relieves pressure on the shoulder and helps keep the spine straight. Back sleepers usually benefit from firmer mattresses than those preferred by side sleepers, but they do need support for the lumbar. Look for reviews that discuss your favorite sleeping position. How does the reviewer evaluate the mattress for your sleeping position?

5. Firmness Level

The overall firmness level of a mattress is a top concern for most customers. However, each firmness level has multiple variations of the feel based on the combination of materials in the mattress layers. Mattress manufacturers have engineered their products to meet different needs. Two different models with the same overall firmness rating (such as 6.5 on a 10-point scale) can feel quite differently.

If the top layer is memory foam, the density of the foam has a dual effect. Denser memory foam is firmer at first but becomes softer when it warms up. This is how it provides pressure relief. By contrast, the response of the Purple® Hybrid Premier with the hyper-elastic polymer cushioning varies by how thick it is. Combined with other factors, this affects the user’s perception of firmness.

The second layer of a mattress is usually firmer than the top layer. The degree of difference in firmness between the two materials (as well as other differences) determines the overall feel. The thickness (or height) of the layers is also a determinant of overall firmness. This includes the relative thickness of the layers. Reversing the relative thickness of the top two layers will affect the feeling of firmness.

What suits you may depend on what you are used to, as well as your body type and physical condition. Heavy people need a firmer mattress for adequate support, while light-weight sleepers need beds typically enjoy beds that are softer. When reading mattress reviews, look for what the reviewer says about the firmness of the mattress, and whether it’s too firm, just right, or too soft. Also, look for statements and clues about the reviewer’s weight, sleeping condition, and physical condition.

6. Support

When discussing mattress support, common comparisons primarily focus on innerspring beds, foam mattresses, air beds, and waterbeds. Sometimes, these mattresses are made with feathers, fiber batting, and coir.
Four basic types of innersprings are Bonnell coils, offset coils, continuous coils, and pocket coils. The most common support foam is polyurethane, followed by latex. The Purple® Mattress has a polyurethane support core. Very few mattresses have memory foam support cores.

Hybrids

If a mattress is a blend of two types, it is called a hybrid mattress. Most commonly, this is several comfort layers with an innerspring support core. For instance, the Purple® Hybrid Premier is a hybrid mattress with pocket coils — Responsive Support Coils — in the support core. Adjustable air beds and soft-side waterbeds with multiple comfort layers can also legitimately be called hybrids.

Another type of hybrid uses both latex and memory foam in almost equal amounts. These memory foam/latex hybrids include the Fibro-Pedic (which has the memory foam on top) and the original Casper Mattress (which had the latex on top). When reading reviews, keep an eye out for complaints about lack of support or if the mattress loses support over time.

7. Health Issues

Mattress health issues.

When mattress shopping, it’s important to consider your physical condition and any other health concerns. Common issues include arthritis, fibromyalgia, sleep apnea, fractures & sprains, allergies, spinal disorders, gastric reflux, asthma, and cardio-pulmonary disease. A mattress with evenly distributed support goes a long way toward easing many ailments. Allergy sufferers should make an effort to avoid allergens. Be sure to search for reviews that mention your health issues and see what the majority of reviewers have to say.

Memory foam was developed to provide pressure relief, and it has performed fairly well, for the most part. However, most new memory foam has initial outgassing with disagreeable odors. When the smell becomes unnoticeable, it just means the emissions are lower, but they still continue. This means that users with allergies, asthma, and emphysema may still have problems.
The solutions are to use cleaner memory foam or a different material altogether. Purple uses the latter route. Its conformity layer is not even foam, but the Purple® Grid™ made of their hyper-elastic polymer material. Instead of compressing foam, cells in the grid yield in proportion to the weight placed on them. The foam second layer in The Purple® Mattress is not memory foam, but soft high-density polyurethane. ThePurple® Hybrid Premier does not have any foam layers, as such. They do have two insulator sheets — one on the top and one on the bottom of the pocket coils.

Sleepers suffering from neck and back pain need special consideration. Pain is one of the most consistent sleep robbers — it prevents you from easily falling asleep, only to wake you up in the middle of the night with daggers of sharp pain. All the tossing and turning you do to get comfortable means you’re not getting the deep sleep you need and deserve.

So, how do you choose the best mattress for back pain so you can get a good night’s sleep? Choose a mattress that’s supportive, while being soft enough for your pressure points. Look for mattress reviews that mention back pain. Does the mattress relieve pain for most users? If so, the mattress is probably worth trying.

8. Breathability and Coolness

Breathability and coolness are related, since airflow is the most effective method of keeping a mattress cool. Hot sleepers need more vigorous cooling than most other sleepers.

Breathability starts with the cover, including the side panels. The knit or weave must let enough air flow through. Some covers actually have vents to increase the airflow. The breathability of the cover can be affected by a mattress protector. If a protector is used, it should also be breathable.

Air must be able to get through the internal components. Many memory foam mattresses depend on open-cell foam for cooling, but experiments have shown that the airflow — called air filtration — is many times less than with ventilated foam. This is where Purple has an advantage with its the Purple Grid™.

Other means of cooling a mattress include infusing memory foam or latex with various heat absorbing and conductive materials. Gel-infused memory foam has become rather commonplace, but several experts question its long-term effectiveness. Foam may also be infused with graphite fibers or phase-change materials. Some fabrics and foams are copper-infused, not only for cooling but for the antimicrobial properties, as well.

9. Country of Origin

The country of origin can be an important factor when choosing a mattress, so keep this in mind when reading reviews. The issue of the country of origin is more than who gets the manufacturing jobs. The primary concern for many products, including mattresses, is quality. Products made in Western Europe, Japan, or North America have a better track record, on average, than products made in China.

Many of the cheaper mattresses on the U.S. market come from China. Unfortunately, many companies selling China-made mattresses are not open about it. Very few will actually admit the country of origin in their advertising and online descriptions if their products are made in China. Sometimes, you have to dig deep into online reviews to find this information. On the other hand, a manufacturer will proudly say so if the mattress is made in America (like the Purple® Mattress), Germany, Italy, Sweden, or Canada.

In the case of country of origin, this is reflected in reviews and ratings. A reviewer may spill the beans and say, “This is made in China.” More telling are the ratings. The overall ratings are generally lower for mattresses made in China.

10. Return Policy and Warranty

When reading reviews of a mattress, pay attention to what reviewers say about the warranty, the sleep trial, and the return policy. An old saying is, “The Devil is in the details.” What do reviewers say about the warranty terms? What is the minimum amount of sagging to be eligible for a warranty claim? What reasons are acceptable for a return during the sleep trial? Don’t forget about the costs most mattress companies make you pay to return a mattress. This is when it pays to read reviews of all ratings, from 5-star to 1-star. It’s important to fully understand the terms of a warranty and sleep trial before making a mattress purchase.

11. Customer Service

As you read online mattress reviews, you’ll see many comments about the company’s customer service. Pay attention to these reviews! Quality customer service is important for both pre-purchase and post-purchase interactions with a company. Yelp is a good source for reviews about a company’s customer service (these will be of retailer locations), as most comments are about customer service, whether in sales or follow-up after placing an order.

How to Review a Mattress

Sometimes when you make a purchase, the manufacturer or the retailer encourages you to review the product and your overall experience. Or, you may simply be impressed enough by the mattress — either positively or negatively — that you wish to share your experience. If you plan to write your own mattress review, here are some pointers for writing an informative review that will help others.

First, consider where will you publish the review of your new mattress. You can put it on the company’s website, or the retailer’s. Other possible places for your review might be Google, Yelp, GoodBed, Tuck, ViewPoints, or Consumer Reports.

When you write a review, remember to name the specific model. If you came across a review that just said it was a Tempur-Pedic mattress, how would you know which model is being reviewed? Also, be sure to mention how long you have had the mattress. If you haven’t had it for very long, the review is mostly a first impression. If you have had your mattress a year or more, readers will get a lived-in view of it.

Focus on your main concern, the reason for the review. Tell how it feels. Be a Goldilocks. Is it too soft, too firm, or just right? Does it relieve back pain or make it worse? Is it too hot? It helps readers to describe your body type and any health issues that affect your sleep.

If you have a problem with the mattress, be specific so a reader knows what you’re talking about. Do the same with compliments. If the sales experience was great, it’s helpful to say so. Make the review sound like you are telling a friend about the mattress.

Don’t forget to rate the mattress. Most sites use a 5-point scale. They usually have a place to check your rating. Some sites, such as GoodBed and Amazon, ask you to rate the mattress on certain criteria, such as support, keeping cool, durability, and smell.

Which Reviews Can I Trust?

With so many reviews posted online, which ones can you trust? That’s a great question! There are some marketing firms out there who try to tip the scales in their favor. Some companies have employees and friends write favorable reviews to give a new product an early boost. This is one reason why it’s better to have hundreds of reviews (such as on Amazon) rather than a small handful. Consider the following when deciding which reviews to trust.

Of course, you want to find the best mattress reviews. There are many types of mattress reviews online, varying in viewpoint, expertise, candor, lack of bias, and reliability. The three main types of mattress reviews you’ll see are reviews on company websites, independent review websites, and product reviews on retailer sites.

Reviews on Company Sites

Most mattress manufacturers will post reviews by customers on their websites. These differ in reliability. Some companies may filter reviews to increase their ratings, scattering a few token unfavorable reviews as a show of impartiality. Others post reviews collected by a third party. And some companies, such as Purple, even identify reviews from verified customers, which tend to be more reliable. In general, it’s best to look for reviews by verified customers and those collected by a third party.

Independent Review Sites

There are many trustworthy independent review websites, such as Sleepopolis, Sleep Sherpa, Tuck, GoodBed, Sleep Like the Dead, and Consumer Reports. Sleepopolis and Sleep Sherpa actually test and examine mattresses they review. Mattress owners can post reviews of their mattresses on GoodBed and Tuck. GoodBed now also publishes its own written and video reviews of newer mattresses, including The Purple® Mattress and the Purple® Hybrid Premier Mattress. Sleep Like the Dead gathers and analyzes remarks and reviews by mattress owners and publishes their results. Most independent review sites post mattress comparisons.
Many review sites, such as Sleepopolis and Sleep Sherpa, have affiliate relationships with several mattress manufacturers. A mattress is sent to them to test and review, then they get a small commission for each one sold through a link on their site.
The most trusted review site is Consumer Reports. They do not take any payments from manufacturers. Their staff tests the products they review. They also post reviews by customers.

To find the best reviews on independent websites, look for reviews that actually test and evaluate the mattresses. Seek out reviews with honest opinions, and be a little wary of review sites that earn affiliate commissions.

Reviews on Retailer Sites

Many online retailers publish customer reviews. By far, the most reliable are those on Amazon, which marks reviews by Amazon customers as “verified customer reviews.” These reviews are far more trustworthy than unverified reviews. Look for products that have a large number of reviews, which indicates that many customers bought the mattress and it gives the average rating a smaller margin of error.

What to Look for in Mattress Reviews

Mattress reviews can help us in deciding which of the mattress we can afford will also give us a good night’s sleep. Reading different kinds of reviews gives us a well-rounded perspective of the models we are considering. We like to read favorable reviews; they make us feel good. But be sure to read the unfavorable reviews, too. There may be some issues you are concerned about, so look for reviews that mention your concerns, such as allergies, support, health conditions, etc.

Reviews by persons and groups who tested and dissected the mattress give us a fairly objective account. Customer reviews reveal the experiences of users with various needs and preferences. Sometimes, quality control can be an issue, so look for reviews from actual buyers who purchased their mattress from a store. Sometimes, professional reviewers are sent the company’s best sample and they may not experience some of the important issues.

Read the reviews and look for the factors which matter the most to you. Your best bet is to seek out a popular mattress with a high number of reviews from verified buyers. Carefully consider your choice. After all, you don’t want to lose any sleep over your final decision.

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