The 11 Best Mattresses for Athletes

woman sitting on a bed-carousel


By clicking on the product links in this article, we may receive a commission fee at no cost to you, the reader. Sponsorships and affiliate commissions help support our research so we can help you find the best products. Read full affiliate disclosure here.

In 2021, some of the world’s most talented athletes famously got the short end of the stick when it came to their Tokyo Olympic Village beds: Polyethylene mattresses propped up by cardboard. Contrary to the peculiar standard in Tokyo, though, we think serious athletes deserve to snooze on podium-worthy sleeping pads––ones deemed by pros to be the best mattresses for athletes.

Fortunately, the ACTIVE Reviews Team was able to consult the expert judging panel at Mattress Advisor and dig into which mattresses would be best for active people. We especially took into consideration factors that most affect those looking for a good night’s sleep, like cooling, firmness, a solid support system, and pressure point relief. So whether you're a marathon runner who needs to recharge or a golfer who needs shut eye for Zen-like focus on the putting green, these 12 mattresses will help you get the quality sleep needed to perform at your peak.

 

Here's OUR FAVORITE luxury mattress. 

promo

The Helix Midnight Luxe takes top prize as our recommended cooling mattress for athletes. A common problem with mattresses is that body heat can get trapped in the top layer and surround you in sweat. This hybrid's breathable cooling cover maximizes airflow while a gel-infused memory foam layer also absorbs heat. By moving body heat away from you while you sleep, you're less likely to have annoying night sweats and stay at an optimal sleeping temperature. Even cooler (literally), the Helix Midnight Luxe contains a layer of pocket-wrapped coils, supporting your body with the cushion of a foam mattress while maintaining the breathability of a spring mattress.

BUY: Helix Midnight Luxe, Queen, $1,749

Best Mattresses for Athletes - Our Top Picks 

Best Mattress for Pressure Relief - Nectar

Nectar

Check Price

High-level athleticism can often lead to overuse injuries, but if you’re competitive, you’ll want to get back in action fast. While you can use proactive tools to alleviate pain, we also suggest a great passive resource for recovery: sleeping on a pressure relieving mattress like the Nectar. This all-foam mattress works with any sleep position, keeping the lower back supported and cushioning sensitive pressure points and joints. These layers also help keep the mattress responsive and stifle any motion if you’re sleeping next to your partner.

  • Mattress Type: Memory foam
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 8.7/10
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Coverage: 365-night sleep trial; lifetime warranty

BUY: Nectar

Best Cooling Mattress - Bear Hybrid

Bear Hybrid

Check Price

Bear is another brand that expressly caters to athletes. We especially love the Bear Hybrid for especially hot sleepers. A cooling gel layer and quilted cover wick heat from your body, helping you cool down after a day of high-intensity interval training or other heart-pumping cardio activities. Its responsive foam and coils are also made to be extra-permeable, letting body heat flow away from you. These materials make a winning team for providing extra responsiveness and lumbar support. The Bear Hybrid does such a great job of keeping the spine in alignment that it earned a 9.5 out of 10 during Mattress Advisor testing.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 9.0/10
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Coverage: 100-night sleep trial; 20-year warranty

BUY: Bear Hybrid

Best Hybrid Mattress for Athletes - DreamCloud

DreamCloud Original

Check Price

If you’re an active person who has trouble staying still even at night, you should definitely look at a hybrid mattress like the DreamCloud, which boasts superior give-and-take. With DreamCloud’s highly rated edge support, every square inch of mattress provides solid responsiveness as well, making it a great pick for couples. In addition to its durability and supportiveness, DreamCloud is also perfect for athletes who need to cool down as they doze off thanks to heat-absorbing and redirecting layers.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 9.1/10
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Coverage: 365-night sleep trial; lifetime warranty

BUY: DreamCloud

Best Luxury Mattress - Helix Midnight Luxe

Helix Midnight Luxe

Check Price

Our pick in the past for best overall cooling mattress, treat yourself to collapsing into the Helix Midnight Luxe after a hot summer race. The multiple layers of Midnight Luxe, including foam and a breathable cooling cover, ensure body heat isn’t imprisoned in the mattress but rather dispersed away. And as a luxury hybrid mattress the Midnight Luxe has the best of two popular mattress types: pocket-wrapped coil layers for the bounce and breathability of a spring mattress, and the irresistibly spongy comfort of memory foam.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 8.9/10
  • Firmness: Medium
  • Coverage: 100-night sleep trial; 15-year limited warranty

BUY: Helix Midnight Luxe

Best Mattress for Stomach Sleepers - Nolah Evolution

Nolah Evolution

Check Price

For stomach sleepers, it’s important that your mattress keeps your lower back lifted. If it’s too soft, your spine sinks down and causes you back pain (on top of already feeling sore from your lift or long run). Athletes who like to lie belly down will love the firmness and lumbar support features afforded by the Nolah Evolution mattress.The Nolah Evolution boasts a fantastic combination of durability and supportiveness. Sore athletes will enjoy its targeted back support and responsive pressure relief. Plus, sweaty athletes can benefit from the cooling qualities of the breathable cover, heat-dissipating Euro topper, and graphite-infused AirFoamICE™.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Mattress Advisor Score: N/A
  • Firmness: Available in plus, luxury firm, and firm
  • Coverage: 120-night sleep trial; lifetime warranty

BUY: Nolah Evolution

Best Mattress for Back Sleepers - DreamCloud Hybrid

DreamCloud Hybrid

Check Price

The DreamCould Hybrid is a great hybrid mattress for back sleepers and larger athletes, with pressure-relieving gel memory foam and a breathable cashmere top. Like other hybrids, the DreamCloud Hybrid delivers the best of both innerspring mattresses and memory foam pads: a contouring, breathable top layer and supportive innerspring system with pocketed coils for maximum airflow. The thick comfort layer provides a top-tier touch-feel and pressure relief. Back sleepers will especially appreciate DreamCloud’s individually wrapped coils for incredible support, easing your aches and soreness while you get your race-ready seven to eight hours of sleep.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 9.0/10
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Coverage: 365-night sleep trial; lifetime warranty

BUY: DreamCloud Hybrid

Best Memory Foam Mattress for Athletes - Layla Memory Foam

Layla Memory Foam

Check Price

We love the Layla memory foam mattress for athletes because it defies the stereotype that memory foam mattresses can’t sleep as cool as other types. This Layla mattress features copper memory foam, which sleeps cooler than conventional memory foams. The copper particles are conductive, pulling heat away from your body as you sleep. Athletes will also appreciate the variable support for deep compression areas. Plus, copper is naturally antimicrobial, helping you sleep cleaner, too.

  • Mattress Type: Memory foam
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 8.8/10
  • Firmness: Flipable! One side is soft, while the other is firm
  • Coverage: Money-back guarantee within 120 nights of purchase; Lifetime warranty

BUY: Layla Memory Foam Mattress

Best Mattress for Back Pain - Titan Plus

Titan Plus

Check Price

If you want peak athletic performance, you need a good night’s sleep. So for athletes pushing through the pain, the Titan Plus is your best training partner. This luxury mattress provides substantial support thanks to its two layers of high-quality foam paired with heavy duty, premium coils. The Titan Plus also offers extra durability for the entire life of the mattress, so your bed won’t lose the structure or support over time. Larger athletes will also love the Titan Plus since the mattress supports above-average body masses compared to the competition.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 9.2/10
  • Firmness: Firm
  • Coverage: 120-night risk free trial; 10-year warranty

BUY: Titan Plus

Best Mattress for Couples - Brooklyn Aurora

Brooklyn Aurora

Check Price

Active couples need the right mattress to suit the way both parties sleep, which is why we love the Brooklyn Aurora for co-sleepers. That means even if you can’t agree on a pace preference during your couples run, the Brooklyn Aurora will mesh with both you and your partner’s sleeping position preferences at night. Its foam layers stay responsive to you and your partner’s every move while keeping your lower backs properly supported. The combination of innerspring coils add support, and unless you’re running a fever, you won’t need to worry about body temperature regulation: Aurora is made of gel beads that liquefy when they reach a high enough temperature, making your mattress surface cool to the touch. The Aurora also keeps motion transfer to a minimum, a prerequisite perk for light sleepers with partners prone to tossing and turning.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 8.9/10
  • Firmness: Available in soft, medium and firm
  • Coverage: 120-night sleep trial; 10-year warranty

BUY: Brooklyn Aurora

Best Mattress for Combination Sleepers - Bear Original

Bear Original

Check Price

Finding a mattress that suits your sleep style is ideal, but what if you tend to switch your sleeping position up in the middle of the night? For combination sleepers, we love the Bear Original. The mattress uses a responsive foam comfort layer that will cushion and support you when you switch to different positions.

Your light-sleeper partner will also thank you, since Mattress Advisor testers give Bear high marks for motion isolation. Finally, on par with its other athlete-oriented mattresses, Bear Original keeps you cool and airy thanks to an open-cell foam and cooling cover. Bear also has a cool sub-$1,000 price that’s hard to beat.

  • Mattress Type: Memory foam
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 8.6/10
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Coverage: 100-night sleep trial; 10-year warranty

BUY: Bear Original

Best Mattress for Side Sleepers - Brooklyn Spartan

Brooklyn Spartan

Check Price

A side sleepers dream, the Brooklyn Spartan packs in features especially geared towards athletes, helping it earn some of the highest marks in Mattress Advisor’s testing in areas most pertinent to active lifestyles. Athletes require extra lumbar support, cooling, and responsiveness from their mattress to properly recover as they rest. This hybrid is the best type of mattress to collapse into after a Spartan trail run—or any other athletic activity that leaves you tense, winded, or achy. The Spartan mattress uses proprietary tech to convert heat to energy while you sleep for speedier muscle recovery. This cools you off and helped the Spartan achieve a 9 out 10 in this test category. You also get near-perfect spinal alignment to ease the lower back pain that can often accompany heavy activity.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 9.2/10
  • Firmness: Available in soft, medium and firm
  • Coverage: 120-night sleep trial; 10-year warranty

BUY: Brooklyn Spartan

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

Factors We Considered When Choosing the Best Mattress for Athletes

Mattress Type

A sagging mattress that hampers your sleep can seriously hinder your training since your body is missing out on crucial recovery time during REM and deep sleep. But before you hastily decide on a good mattress to replace your current one, you’ll want to be sure it suits your active lifestyle. When selecting the mattresses most fit for fitness buffs, we gave a few factors more weight than others. For starters, we sought mattresses that are cooling enough for an active lifestyle. For that reason, our roundup weighs a little more heavily toward breathable hybrid mattresses, rather than dense memory foam models. However, plenty of memory foam beds still manage to be cooling. And fortunately, even a mattress slightly stifled by heat can be mitigated by a set of plush cooling sheets.

Mattress Firmness

The next factor we weighed heavily in looking at mattresses to achieve healthy sleep for athletes was firmness. If you’re more active than the average person, you’ll likely need a firmer mattress—one that’s firm enough to relieve pressure points and maintain proper posture or spinal alignment. And posture, as any floor barre enthusiast will tell you, is equally as important when you’re lying on the floor (or in your bed) as it is when you're sitting or standing. For that reason our mattress recommendations run on the firmer side. The exact firmness you require will be contingent, however, on your body type.

Body Type

Athletes run the gamut when it comes to body types, and the best mattress for a lean, mean endurance athlete might not suit a more muscular bodybuilder. For example, a larger person could find deep sleep difficult if they’re too deeply sunk into their memory foam mattress and should opt for a hybrid model with supportive innersprings. However, if the foam is firmer and thicker, all-foam can still work out just fine. If in doubt as to whether you should go hybrid or memory foam, consider your preferred sleep style.

Sleeping Style

Your sleep style needs to be aligned with your mattress, and fortunately, most are fairly flexible. Still, some lend themselves better than others to certain sleep styles, and we called out a few in particular. But in general, side sleepers can get needed pressure relief from memory foam, and stomach and back sleepers drift off best on a firmer hybrid mattress.

Performance

Sleep plays a crucial role in your ability to exert. That means getting better sleep can directly correlate with achieving more in your athletic performance. In fact, choosing the right mattress could be as important as choosing the right training equipment for your home gym. The best part? All you need to do is swipe your credit card to get the benefits of a new, high-quality mattress, which will be dropped off at your doorstep or apartment stoop. Some of our favorite mattresses for athletes, like the Saatva Classic, even include white glove delivery and assembly.

READ THIS NEXT: 10 Quick Ways to Improve Your Sleep Hygiene

Best Mattresses for Athletes FAQs


Are memory foam mattresses good for athletes?

Memory foam mattresses offer pressure relief, helping alleviate aches and pains. This can be a good option for athletes experiencing soreness from training. However, it’s important to find a mattress with the right balance of support and comfort. Athletes need to make sure their bed has enough firmness and structure to support their musculature and maintain spinal alignment.

Are firm mattresses better for recovery?

A firm or medium-firm mattress is best for athletes. These mattresses help sleepers maintain neutral spine alignment. Some softer mattresses may also suffice, depending on the structure they offer. It’s important to find a balance between support and comfort.

 

Discuss This Article