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The Best Mattresses For Athletes For Better Sleep & Faster Recovery


Josey Murray

November 1, 2022

mbg Contributing Writer

By Josey Murray

mbg Contributing Writer

Josey Murray is a freelance writer focused on inclusive wellness, joyful movement, mental health, and the like.

Image by mbg creative

November 1, 2022

Our editors have independently chosen the products listed on this page. If you purchase something mentioned in this article, we may earn a small commission.

No matter your level of athleticism, one thing that unites us all is the need for recovery–and when you’re pushing your body to its limit during the day, quality sleep becomes even more critical at night. The right bedroom setup can make or break the way your body and your mind recover, along with the level you’re able to perform at the next day. The best mattresses for athletes provide supported, restful sleep, so you can wake up ready to tackle your next workout.

“For any athlete, rest and recovery are extremely important features of high performance, and getting a good quality sleep is vital for that to happen,” confirms Kirstie Griffiths, D.C., chiropractor and yoga teacher. Research backs this up too, showing that sleep is one of the most important recovery tools for athletes1, both physically and mentally2. That’s why it’s critical for every kind of athlete to have a mattress that fits their needs and creates a restful recovery environment.

Below, find our picks for the best mattresses for athletes.

How we picked:


We spoke with experts to determine which materials are best for athletes, and prioritized those in our selection process.

Expert advice

We leaned heavily on expert input throughout our analysis of each mattress.


It’s always helpful to gain a larger perspective about each product. That’s why we took a close look at the customer reviews to determine our picks.

Since everyone’s budget is different, we found high quality mattresses at a variety of price points.

How to choose

Ultimately, it comes down to what will give you the most comfort and support through the night. Consider these factors as you select the best mattress for you.

Firmness: Griffiths says that even though most people think a plush or soft mattress will be the most comfortable, it’s a misconception. “Most people tend to have less pain waking up in the morning when they select a medium to firm mattress,” she explains.

Pressure relief: Even weight distribution is especially important for athletes, as it prevents you from waking up in the middle of the night with a sore hip or shoulder (which will definitely get in the way of your game).

Cooling: If you tend to sleep hot, something temperature-regulating could make or break your body’s recovery. “Being able to sleep in cooler temperatures improves quality of sleep and aids in recovery,” confirms Gabrielle Lesnett, running coach and physical therapist, adding that some toppers and mattress models even feature built-in fans.

Lifestyle needs: Finding a mattress that suits your lifestyle is crucial. For example, if you sleep with a partner, Griffiths recommends a king mattress. “Most people when sharing a bed will face away from their partners if they are in close proximity which means you always end up sleeping on the same side of your body and this can lead to back pain and shoulder issues,” she says. Choosing something with a bit more space will be extremely helpful.

What mattress firmness and thickness is best for athletes?

Both Lesnett and Griffiths agree that a medium-firm mattress tends to be the best choice. “Typically, a mattress with medium to high firmness is preferred to support your body and prevent the body from sinking into the mattress into an asymmetrical position,” Lesnett adds.

Our picks of the best mattress for athletes of 2022:

Best for teenagers: Bear Hybrid

Bear Hybrid

VIEW ON Bear | From $909


CoolingGreat edge supportPressure-relieving


Some find it too soft

Materials: CertiPUR-US Certified copper-infused memory foam

Sizes Available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Split King, California King

Warranty: Lifetime

Trial: 120 nights

Griffiths prefers a hybrid mattress, because it integrates foam with pocketed-coils, creating a balanced and structured support that anyone will benefit from, but is particularly great for teenage athletes, who need additional support as they grow. It’s also one of the less expensive models, so you won’t have to spend an arm and a leg to prioritize your child’s health.

This hybrid is made with copper-infused memory foam, which gives a cooling effect, and individually-encased coils from edge-to-edge, so you have more room to sprawl out without sacrificing support. It’s a medium-firm mattress that’s on the thicker side at 13-inches, yet design still offers great motion transfer control–which is beneficial if you’re sleeping with a partner that tends to move around a lot.

The materials are GREENGUARD Gold-certified for low emissions, the foams are CertiPUR-US Certified, and all mattresses are made in the United States. The mattress will ship within two to seven days, arriving compressed and rolled in a box. Keep in mind that you may need an extra set of hands to help with setup.

What customers say:

This mattress has more than 3,000 reviews yet still retains a 4.4-star rating overall. What’s more, it’s athlete-approved. One writes, “I’m an athlete, so sleep recovery is mission critical. I did a month of research before buying my mattress on various mattresses and all high end brands tailored to athletes. I ended up choosing a Bear Hybrid because they state it’s the best choice for somebody who has multiple sleeping positions. I was using a 15-year-old mattress and didn’t really realize how much it was affecting my recovery… Now I do. It’s noticeable & my sleep metric data (Oura ring) shows it.”

Best for weightlifters: Helix Midnight

Helix Midnight

VIEW ON Helix | From $700


Pressure-relievingCoolingMultiple firmness options


Unclear materials

Materials: Coils, Memory foam, Helix dynamic foam

Sizes Available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Warranty: 10-year

Trial: 100 nights

This hybrid model combines foam with up to 950 individually-wrapped, 8-inch coils for a comfy-yet-supported feel. Side sleepers specifically will benefit from the way this mattress contours to your body, thanks to the ergonomic support and cushioning of its middle foam layer. And per our expert’s recommendation, it’s medium-firm with pressure-point relief that makes it ideal for athletes and weightlifters. Sleep hot? There’s also an option to add a cooling cover for an additional $149.

Weightlifters who are looking for a bit more targeted lumbar support and back pressure relief might want to try the brand’s Luxe model, which has two additional layers and a quilted pillow top for additional comfort.

Shipped via Fed Ex, it comes compressed in a box. Once dropped at your doorstep, it should be a fairly easy set up.

What customers say:

Another well-reviewed pick with more than 5,00 ratings, this mattress earns shout outs from shoppers with back pain. A reviewer writes, “I am an athletic person and have done it all, PT, yoga, core workouts, etc. Within 2 to 3 days of sleeping on this mattress, the pain is gone. Literally gone.”

Best for spinal alignment: Birch Luxe

Birch Luxe

VIEW ON Birch | From $1,500


Organic, sustainably sourced materialsCoolingGreat for side & stomach sleepers


Only one firmness option

Materials: Organic cashmere, Organic wool, Organic cotton, Natural latex

Sizes Available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Warranty: 25-year

Trial: 100 nights

This eco-friendly hybrid mattress is made with organic, sustainably-sourced materials, and has multiple certifications, including: GREENGUARD gold certified, GOTS Certified Organic and fair-trade certified factory. With targeted lumbar support to keep your body in alignment, and layered latex for adequate pressure relief, this is a great pick for any athlete. It’s particularly supportive for stomach sleepers, thanks to the overall firmer feel, and side sleepers will love the way it cradles their hips and shoulders.

If you’re suffering from an injury (or you tend to overdo it in your workouts), this is one of our favorite mattresses for back pain, too. The organic materials also create a naturally cool sleep environment. It will be shipped in a box (compressed and rolled up), and you shouldn’t experience any off-gassing smells.

What an expert says:

Sleep doctor Meredith Brokerick, M.D., sleeps on this mattress, and praises its high-quality materials as a crucial factor when it comes to selecting a mattress.

Best infrared: Brooklyn Bedding Spartan

Brooklyn Bedding Spartan

VIEW ON Brooklyn Bedding | From $880


Far infrared technologyCoolingPressure-relieving


Some find it too soft

Materials: CertiPUR-US certified foam

Sizes Available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split California King

Warranty: 10-year

Trial: 120 nights

Another model created specifically with recovery in mind, this mattress has far infrared ray technology woven into its cover, which helps turn your body heat into energy to promote blood flow and muscle recovery. The 8-inch base is made with more than 1,000 coils, providing pressure-relieving support for your joints. Add the gel-infused memory foam layer and you’ll get added body temperature regulation to keep you cool all night.

Although it arrives compressed in a box, you’ll want to give this mattress some time to fully expand. Once it does, you’ll be able to sleep on it right away with minimal off-gassing smells. While some reviewers find this mattress to be too soft overall, there are three firmness options to choose from: soft, medium, and firm. If you end up not liking yours, you have 120 nights to return it.

What customers say:

This bed has an overall rating of 4.7 out of five stars from plenty of reviewers who mention relief from back and shoulder pain. A shopper raves, “Within the first 3 nights, I no longer had achy back & shoulder pain upon awakening. Don’t get me wrong–I am an athlete and still have “soreness”–but it is related directly to my training and NOT my recovery!”

Best cooling: Nectar Premier Copper Mattress

Nectar Premier Copper Mattress

VIEW ON Nectar | From $1,200


CoolingGreat for back, stomach, and side sleepers


Not the best edge support

Materials: Vegetable-based polyurethane, CertiPUR-US certified foam

Sizes Available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Split King, California King

Warranty: Lifetime

Trial: 365 nights

We’ve featured this bed in our picks for the best mattresses for pressure points, and while it uses synthetic materials, the design is a solid option for athletes who prefer the feel of memory foam–especially if you tend to sleep hot.

The dual-action cooling cover uses heat-conductive copper fibers to keep you cool throughout the night, while the gel-infused memory foam reacts to your body to aid with body temperature regulation. When paired with memory foam–which adapts to your body to relieve pressure points and encourage spinal alignment–the combo becomes the ultimate pick for athletes that want to experience less aches, pains, and stiffness at night.

Similar to other options, the mattress ships compressed and rolled in a box. However, it’s on the heavier side, and the brand recommends giving the mattress at least 24 hours to expand before putting it to use.

What customers say:

This mattress exceeds most expectations with a rating just below a perfect 5-stars. According to one shopper, “This mattress is the perfect blend of soft comfort and firm support. I fall asleep so fast now. As an athlete rest and recovery is essential to my lifestyle and this mattress is a true oasis. Thank you nectar for this treasure.”

Best for muscle recovery: GhostBed Venus Williams Legend Hybrid

GhostBed Venus Williams Legend Hybrid

VIEW ON GhostBed | From $1,496


Far infrared technologyDesigned by a professional athleteMade with 25% recycled water bottles


Memory foam

Materials: CertiPUR-US certified mineral-infused foam

Sizes Available: Twin XL, Queen, King, Split King, California King

Warranty: 25-year

Trial: 101 nights

If you want the best mattress for athletes, why not go directly to the source? Co-designed by Venus Williams, this mattress uses a proprietary blend of far infrared minerals, which reacts to your natural body heat and reflects it back to you as far infrared light (which research has shown to be impactful for fitness recovery). These infrared waves increase circulation and blood flow, targeting sore muscles and tissues for a better recovery.

While memory foam is not a sustainable choice, the mattress has a cooling cover made from 25% recycled water bottles, which is a decent nod at sustainability. Plus, if you do decide to return your mattress, it will be donated or recycled. Bonus: It can be slept on as soon as it arrives and is unpacked from the box.

What customers say:

While this mattress only has 58 reviews so far, 97% of those people would recommend it to a friend–and it has 4.8 out of five stars overall. A reviewer says, “The best sleep ever. I’m amazed with how comfortable it is and how I feel when I wake up every day. I cannot stop raving about the quality we are getting with this bed.” Others mention the infrared technology, saying they believe it has been helpful in their recovery process.

Best for pressure relief: Haven LUX Pillowtop Hybrid

Haven LUX Pillowtop Hybrid

VIEW ON Haven | From $780


Natural latexChiropractor-approved


On the firmer sideHeavy

Materials: Natural latex, Coils, Foam

Sizes Available: Twin, Twin XL, Double/Full, Queen, King, Split King, California King

Warranty: 10-year

Trial: 100 nights

Griffiths herself sleeps on this plant-based, hybrid mattress, and she gives it extra points for sustainability and high quality materials. The advanced pressure relief option is great for athletes, as it adds extra plushness for the shoulders and hips, while still supporting your neck, head, and lower body.

With a 100% bamboo top cover, cool gel foam, natural latex, natural copper, and open cell foams, this bed was built to keep you cool. It’s also certified by the Canadian Chiropractic Association for promoting proper spinal alignment, providing pressure relief, and offering a high level support. Plus, this company emphasizes social responsibility, and donates one mattress for every 10 purchased. Shipping on your rolled-and-compressed mattress is free.

What customers say:

This mattress has more than 700 5-star ratings. People rave about the way it’s relieved their aches and pains, with one person even writing, “I was thinking my morning aches, pains and stiffness were just something that came with getting older but after a few nights on our new Haven mattress I was waking up without the stiff aching shoulders and hips. An amazing improvement–I love it! Thank you!”

Best adjustable: ReST 5-Zone Smart Bed

ReST 5-Zone Smart Bed

VIEW ON ReST | From $4,474


Pressure relief and contouringBuilt-in sensors to collect sleep dataOver 60,000 firmness combinations


Not sustainable

Materials: Premium memory foam

Sizes Available: Twin XL, Queen, Queen Split Top, Split King, Easter King, Eastern King Split Top, California King, Split California King, California King Split Top

Warranty: 10-year

Trial: 90 nights

One of the best smart beds on the market, the ReST Bed is a standout in smart bed technology. The perfect pick for athletes who want to supercharge their sleep experience, it’s beloved by triathlon champions, Ironman champions, and professional athletes alike, who all speak openly about their love for this mattress.

While it’s not a sustainable choice (not many smart beds are), the smart features ensure a curated sleep experience, with a sensor that reads your body’s pressure points, and silently adjusts to relieve them. The bed tracks and houses your sleep data in its corresponding app–which you can use to control the firmness, too, if you prefer a manual adjustment.

There’s also an option to memory-lock your preferences for side or back sleeping, so the bed will adjust settings as you move positions throughout the night. This level of customization is key for athletes.

This mattress comes with free in-home delivery, so the brand will send a two-man team to deliver and install your bed into the room of your choice, at no additional cost to you. You can also have them remove your current mattress, for a one-time fee of $149.

What customers say:

The bed has a 4.8 rating overall with a ton of rave reviews about its comfort and the difference the smart features make in their sleep routine. A shopper writes, “This is truly an amazing mattress. It automatically adjusts to your body’s pressure points while you sleep. There are several preset positions, but my personal favorite is the zero gravity. Customer service is excellent, too.”


What type of mattress is best for athletes?

Unfortunately, as Lesnet states, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all mattress. To find the best one for you, take the above factors into consideration, along with your desired level of firmness and your typical sleep position.

What is the healthiest type of mattress?

Griffiths says the healthiest type of mattress is one that supports your body, but also the health of the planet–and we agree.

What is the best sleeping position for athletes?

“The best sleeping position is the one you find most comfortable, because it means you have a higher chance of getting a deep sleep and that is the phase of sleep where restorative processes and healing takes place,” Griffiths confirms.

Other considerations for sleep.

Again, sleep is critical for athletic recovery and performance. While the right mattress will make a huge difference, there are a lot of other factors to consider as well. To set yourself up for your most restorative sleep yet, our experts recommend taking the below into account.

A good pillow:A good pillow is just as important as a good mattress,” Griffiths stresses. She recommends a latex pillow, because it better retains its shape, meaning the joints in your neck are less likely to get compressed.

Rotating your mattress: “I would recommend rotating your mattress every 4 to 6 months, and getting a new mattress at least every 10 years,” says Lesnett. “You spend (hopefully) a third of your day in bed, so it is worth the investment!” Pro tip: A flippable mattress has an even longer lifespan.

Sleep hygiene: Both recommend a consistent bedtime and less screen time before bed, as well as other tools like “black out curtains, ear plugs, a health tracking device, such as an Oura ring, which can give a very detailed analysis on sleep quality and recovery,” suggests Griffiths.

For more tips about capitalizing on your new mattress and achieving your best performance-enhancing sleep, try these sleep products or sleep supplements.

The takeaway.

Athletes need quality sleep to perform at their best–and finding the right mattress is a crucial step in your muscle recovery routine. While you’re considering your physical well-being and athletic performace, you might want to think about investing in a massage gun or compression boots, or carve out some time in your day for our favorite recovery-boosting practices.

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