What is the best bed in 2020?
September 16, 2020 4:16 PM   Subscribe

I'm moving to my own little place and I have a rare opportunity to start 100% fresh with bedroom furniture and bedding. I want to get a really, really good bed that will help winter be as enjoyable as possible. And I need it to all be delivered to me. Do you have a bed situation that you LOVE? Will you describe it, and would you recommend one company over another?

I really just want the cutest, most feminine and softest situation possible, and I am somewhat daunted by all the mattress startup options I hear about on podcasts and by the adorable yet overpriced frames I see on places like Anthropologie dot com. But if you have strong feelings about any of that, I want to know! Casper? Purple? The other ones??

My budget is decently generous (within reason!), and this is an area where I want to splash out and get the best stuff that's available.
posted by witchen to Home & Garden (30 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
I went to a local mattress store, rolled around on something like twenty different mattresses including all the newfangled Purple, Casper etc. Nothing was quite as comfortable as the coil mattress I wound up with (a Beautyrest Platinum, as it happens.) I have a Serta in another room that is also like sleeping on a cloud.

I applaud you in your attention to the matter -- it's a huge quality of life issue. (I had an excellent mattress before, but it was worn out, and this new one has eliminated all kinds of body pain.) But it's super, super personal. (AND, I don't know if you had a chance to read the New Yorker expose on the Youtube/blog startup mattress review industry, but that sh*t is CRAAAAYYY and unbelievably corrupt.)

So ignore all of that stuff, and get your body over to a mattress store and try them all out... hopefully they're not all closed for covid.

Good luck and enjoy your awesome bed!

ETA: a thing I learned at the mattress store is that the mattress brands have different models they ship for different stores, so what my local mattress store calls a Beautyrest Platinum Blahblahblah may NOT be called that at your store. They do this, I assume, to make it impossible to price-compare between chains. It sucks and is one more reason you just have to check them out in person. And don't be afraid to bargain!! The guy told me "his" price, I told him my price, he "made a call to check with his boss", and my price was the price.
posted by fingersandtoes at 4:26 PM on September 16, 2020 [3 favorites]

We reset bed situations with a recent move too and after a fair amount of research went Leesa Hybrid and this Article upholstered frame.

I will say that I miss a taller, cushier headboard, which I DIYed on my old queen frame with upholstery foam, microfiber, a panel of OSB, and a bunch of carriage bolts. It looks good IMO and is super comfortable.
posted by supercres at 4:29 PM on September 16, 2020

(fwiw we did the Leesa because we were happy with our previous foam-only Leesa and liked the idea of firmer deep support and better edge resiliency. I bought that Leesa because I was duped by the Sleepopolis mess. This time I only read Wirecutter which shooouuuld be less biased?)
posted by supercres at 4:32 PM on September 16, 2020

I love my tuft and needle mattress and have for the past four years! I’m also a big fan of jersey sheets.
posted by firei at 4:33 PM on September 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

I knew someone who had a straw bed and thought it was the most comfortable bed ever. Here's a straw bed review.
posted by aniola at 4:34 PM on September 16, 2020

I love my inexpensive Zinus "green tea" (?tea?) mattress (3yo now). I also love their bed frame. Maybe I'm just cheap, but they're both better than other expensive things I'd had before.
posted by aramaic at 4:42 PM on September 16, 2020 [2 favorites]

ooooh honey, let me introduce you to the world of DIY mattresses. After dithering for years, me and my stimulus check stumbled upon the DIY mattress forums at Reddit and I put together the most amazing mattress, the equivalent of a much more expensive store-bought one. In fact, you can even research mattress cross-sections to more-or-less duplicate them. It's like ordering from the a la carte menu.

I knew I didn't want memory foam and did want inner springs and yes! you can order pocketed-coils and they come compressed and wrapped in a thousand layers of plastic. Then you top with a layer or two of latex (or foam), zip it all together into a mattress cover and presto, new mattress. If you want soft, get the soft talalay latex (19 ILD) for the top layer. I ordered components from two different sites to get the best deal and both were very helpful with questions.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:49 PM on September 16, 2020 [17 favorites]

I encourage you to consider the various activities you will do in bed besides sleep - sexy time, reading in bed, watching TV - and make sure you have not only a comfortable mattress but a frame that will stand up to anything it needs to.
posted by brookeb at 5:01 PM on September 16, 2020 [4 favorites]

If you live in a cold climate and are prone to feeling cold, a heated mattress pad is absolutely amazing.
posted by abeja bicicleta at 5:24 PM on September 16, 2020 [6 favorites]

I will second tuft and needle. I don't know what the price point is now, but when I got it they were one of the newcomers in the then smallish startup delivery mattress industry and their price reflected it. It's on the firmer side of memory foam mattresses but not the firmest I've ever slept on, which is perfect for me. YMMV.
posted by sillysally at 5:29 PM on September 16, 2020

We were having fits deciding, and ended up with a Sleep Number bed, so we can tune softness or firmness whenever. Paired with a 3 inch cooling memory foam topper and a heated mattress pad, it's very luxurious.

I will add that the most luxurious bed I've ever slept in had a really fluffy down feather bed on a firm traditional inner spring mattress with super high thread count Egyptian cotton sheets. I remember waking up more refreshed than ever, thinking, I bet this is how princesses wake up. Our hostess was a professional home decorator in a very fancy spot outside of the Napa Valley, and I have no idea what kind of up keep that might require.
posted by advicepig at 5:58 PM on September 16, 2020 [2 favorites]

I have tried tempurpedic (2 different kinds), Casper, a pretty soft Purple one. My favorite is my new bed, Intellibed. Apparently it's made for people who are bedridden. It's pricey. Also I have back pain. But it's great!
posted by bookworm4125 at 6:04 PM on September 16, 2020

My mattress is from a local outfit (European Sleep Works), so probably not relavent to you, but it has a top layer of thick wool, a layer of latex foam and finally a bunch of individually wrapped coil springs. The firmness and other parameters can be fine-tuned as to the stiffness of the springs and the density of foam (it’s perforated with holes of varying size). Other shops have similar products though. Lots of customization is possible with these beds and often they can be adjusted after the fact by, say, swapping out the spring system.

If you are a side sleeper, IMO, you really need a spring system like this because it has accommodate your contours. Do not confuse support with “firmness!” A bed can offer a lot of support without being “firm.”

Box springs are a scam with modern mattresses. Do not pay for one! You need something to support the mattress, but slats or platform beds are just fine.

For my guest room, I got a Sleep Number bed, which is a fancy adjustable air mattress. It’s actually quite comfortable and has adjustable firmness on both sides. It’s convenient since it breaks down easily for moving. But I found out after buying it that they advertise heavily on the worst kinds of radio shows, so I kinda want wish I didn’t buy it, but it is pretty nice mattress.

Finally, think about the size you want. I regret getting a queen size bed because it takes up too much of the room and a full size bed is plenty big for one person or two people who like each other. YMMV, of course, but it’s worth thinking seriously about how much room you want left over after the bed.
posted by sjswitzer at 6:04 PM on September 16, 2020 [2 favorites]

I think a really big component is figuring out if you like memory foam mattresses or not. Some people love them, I find them very uncomfortable and need a spring mattress. (My current setup is a spring mattress that I put a thin latex topper on top of when I needed a little more softness. I still have the basic support of a spring mattress, and latex is springy too, unlike memory foam.)
posted by needs more cowbell at 6:24 PM on September 16, 2020 [2 favorites]

Oh, to agree with a comment above, you can also get a down topper pretty affordably to get the Heavenly Bed experience. I like to use it in the colder seasons and take it off in the warm ones. The only problem is storing a large duffel somewhere when you’re not using it. It can be quite luxurious if you’re into that sort of thing.
posted by sjswitzer at 6:26 PM on September 16, 2020

My ex kept us with different foam mattresses (and a memory foam topper) but I hated them all because I'd sink in and the pressure seemed to build on my lower back. Getting a cheap coil mattress was one of the saving graces of moving into my own small apartment.
posted by bonobothegreat at 7:01 PM on September 16, 2020 [2 favorites]

Ikea latex mattress. It's fantastic. So comfortable, wears well.
posted by shadygrove at 7:09 PM on September 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

I bought a new mattress a year or two ago. Did a ton of research and ended up really focusing on natural/organic mattresses and durability (my previous fancy pillow-top from a mattress store only lasted 3-4 years before it was worn enough to be uncomfortable, but not enough to be covered under warranty). I narrowed down to latex.

I've heard good things about Ikea latex mattresses, but I ended up deciding between PlushBeds Organic Latex Mattress and Saatva Zenhaven. I got the later (I think it was cheaper during a sale) and haven't regretted it. It was a little on the firm side at first, but since about a month in the comfort is unchanged. I like that it has wool for fire-retardant properties instead of chemicals, doesn't creak like spring mattresses, and doesn't get hot like foam mattresses.

As for the rest of the bed -- I can second the heated mattress pad. Got one for the first time this past winter and it is beyond luxurious.

I have a silk-filled comforter inside a duvet cover. I bought Frette sheet sets when they were on clearance, at which price they were still a bit bananas, but they have already lasted three time longer than any set I've previously had. I didn't research sheets though; had happened to sleep on some of their sheets and was won over.

For a frame, keep in mind height. My wood bed frame + support + mattress is a bit tall for me.
posted by miscbuff at 8:36 PM on September 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

I got the standard Leesa mattress ~6 years ago specifically because I like the feel of a foam mattress and a softer than average texture. I continue to sleep very comfortably on it as has my 3 SOs during that time period (one of whom stated that foam mattresses usually hurt her back).

Bed - I can tell you that the really cheap all metal ones are really noisy if you move around or engage in ... activities. I now have a basic wooden slats one and it's fine. It's not pretty but whatever.

Bedding - I really like my goose down pillows for day to day use and the stiffer memory foam ones for if I have a cold and need to elevate. I use nice percale or linen sheets, both of which are a splurge but are definitely a luxury.
posted by Candleman at 8:37 PM on September 16, 2020

My friends RAVE about their Helix Midnight.

I've never had a bad sleep on an Ikea mattress, but I think they need to be tested in person. My current mattress is a closeout from Brooklyn Bedding, which I bought for under $200. It was great for the first few years, but it's sagged with age and is no longer really firm enough for my stomach sleeping preferences.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 11:43 PM on September 16, 2020

My last mattress was an ikea latex, and it was just too stiff. I needed a foam mattress topper to make it at all comfy, and it started to have a divot in the spot I usually lie really soon. Now I have a casper and looooooove it. I generally hate mattresses with springs, because I am a small but curvy person. There is more of me around the hips than there is at the waist, so if a mattress doesn't push down further where I am heavier, and spring up where I'm lighter, I'll never be able to sleep with a straight spine, and I'll end up with bruises on the hips. If you're shaped like this too, the casper might be a good choice. Mine hasn't started sagging at all either; it's been over a year, and I read in bed so I spend a lot of time there.

Aside from that, omg a silk filled duvet is amazing, and I have also replaced my topsheet with a light, fuzzy microfiber blanket, which means that my bed feels warm as soon as I get into it, no more waiting 15 minutes with cold feet as the sheets warm up. Highly reccomended!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:35 AM on September 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

Seconding assessing how you use your bed. I like my bedside table, but tend to pile up too many books, glass of wine, water bottle, clock, phone and charger, tissues, stuff and it's a bit small. Get some coasters. Bedside table should have a drawer or cupboard in case you have toys to store. Good lamps, maybe a bluetooth speaker or a clock radio with an audio jack. The Article bed linked by supercres looks great for reading in bed. I'd put a pretty and washable throw over the headboard. I got a thick down comforter because Maine winter is fierce, now I need to adapt my favorite quilt as a duvet cover.

You sound like you want a fantastic nest. You can get saris on ebay or probably amazon and elsewhere, mount curtain rods or dowels, and drape the ceiling or around the bed. I'd probably add tiny fairy lights and have the switch nearby. Pinterest is a great place for ideas.

You need someplace near the bed to hang or throw a soft comfy robe.
posted by theora55 at 5:40 AM on September 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

Seconding "lie down on different mattresses and try them out if you can." We are all going to recommend things to you, but "the best mattress for you" is a seriously personal matter - I got a bunch of recommendations too when I was mattress-shopping several years ago, but ultimately the best thing for me was something no one suggested (a plain slab of high-density memory foam). I lay down on it and knew instantly that "yes this will work best".

Also, a warning that if you tend to be sensitive to temperature when you sleep, a duvet may not be the best idea; I had to give mine up because my body temperature tends to fluctuate a lot at night (hiiiiiiiiii menopause) and having a duvet didn't allow for enough of the fine-tuning of warmth I would need (I was too hot with the duvet on, but throwing the duvet off left me too cold). So my bed has a layered approach instead (sheets + blanket + bedspread +throw = four options for things to remove or apply to adjust for perfect temperature).

As for everything else - yeah, go totally nuts with the bedding and decor. Have fun with cute throw pillows too (although it does help to have a place to put them when you want to sleep). This can be a fun ongoing project - if you see a cute pillow sham or a cute piece of fabric that can be made into one, hey, new pillow for your bed! Or collect a bunch of throw blankets that take turns on your bed. If you're crafty, you can dress up plain pillowcases by sewing lace or ribbon or what have you on the edges, or even embroider on them.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:06 AM on September 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

For the bedframe: I moved recently, and in research for that, I found that Zinus consistently appears to be the brand at the sweet spot of price and quality for bedframes ordered online. I bought this one and I'm super happy with it so far.
posted by mosst at 7:28 AM on September 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

As far as bedding goes: I have this down comforter and this linen duvet cover, both from the Company Store, and I LOVE them. The comforter is super cozy, and the linen cover gives it that sort of intentionally rumpled Instagram-y aesthetic. I know some people despise duvet covers, but my washing machine is too small/the wrong type to wash the entire comforter, and I'd rather wrangle a duvet cover on and off occasionally than go to a laundromat.
posted by catoclock at 8:18 AM on September 17, 2020

Third, fourth, and fifthing that you really need to get to a mattress store and spend real quality time lying on beds. Mattresses are soooo personal that I can tell you that I absolutely love my Purple hybrid mattress but there are a lot of people that hate them. This will be true of most any reviews you read. What worked for me was to go into the showroom, try out a bunch of different beds, and then spend at least 20 minutes lying on my top choices. It was surprising to me that some of the ones I thought were great after just a few minutes ended up being painful after 15, and vice versa. I also walked in thinking I was a firm bed person and you know what - I'm not.

I also went for a midrange adjustable base and am wondering how I lived without it for so long.
posted by Preserver at 11:44 AM on September 17, 2020

We must have tried 20 different mattresses at the furniture superstore we went to before settling on a Tempur Cloud. Probably 5 out of 7 nights a week, one of us comments on how this is still the best mattress we've ever slept on. We got a Sealy brand adjustable base for it. It was half the price of the Tempur Pedic, and the mattress doesn't know the difference, so save some money there.
posted by BlueBear at 11:56 AM on September 17, 2020

I've been happy with my McRoskey mattress set (made in San Francisco). They are expensive, but there are a range of options that include exotic natural stuffings (horsehair, alpaca). They focus on sustainable, recyclable materials.
posted by JDC8 at 12:22 PM on September 17, 2020

We have a Serta icomfort mattress that is wonderful. I have a super comfy down comforter from Pacific Coast Bedding. Sadly it goes on the guest bed now because it doesn't fit ours.
posted by Nolechick11 at 7:37 PM on September 17, 2020

i just got a beautyrest black and i love it. nthing the folks telling you to go try mattresses at the store.

I love love love having 3 euro sized (~18"x18 square) pillows in addition to my sleeping pillow that i can use as a headboard almost if i am sitting up in my bed.

I also am just using a metal adjustable frame and wedging the bed longways across a pretty narrow bedroom , and my bed is stacked on double bed risers so that i can put double layer of rolling storage beens underneath.

I taped together some shoeboxes from uline to make a little bedside pocket/perfectly sized hidden bedside table between the radiator and the wall next to the bed.
posted by wowenthusiast at 8:22 AM on September 18, 2020

« Older Copywriting/Editing Jobs   |   Series like 87th Precinct possibly at the length... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.