The Best Mattresses for Athletes

These mattresses can help you recover and reduce joint pain while you sleep

Woman tying her shoe on a bed

Whether you’re an athlete or just enjoy staying active, you can appreciate how important a good night’s sleep is to recovery. Tom Brady goes to bed at 9 p.m. every night and LeBron James and Steph Curry sleep 8-9 hours per night, in addition to daily naps.

Rest and rejuvenation are essential to staying healthy, energized and injury-free. And when you don’t get a good night’s sleep, you pay for it in more ways than one. But we’re guessing you already know that.

What you might not know is that your mattress can have a major impact on the quality of sleep you get and how you feel when you wake up. Sure, you pay close attention to your gym routine, what you eat, and how you stay hydrated, but you might be neglecting to treat your mattress as one of the most important performance tools in your toolbox.

Read on to learn more about what you should look for in a mattress to help with recovery and see some of our favorite mattresses for athletes and active people.

What should athletes look for in a mattress?

Closeup of weightlifter clapping hands before barbell workout at the gym

Athletes should look for similar things that anyone else should look for in a mattress: comfort and support. And these things can be different for different people. Just as you have your own individualized training routine, you’ll have your own personal preferences when it comes to selecting your mattress.

However, there are a few factors that can help you choose the best mattresses to aid in recovery and promote uninterrupted, quality sleep.

Cooling properties

You might have your own thoughts on what you set your thermostat to in the bedroom, but it has been scientifically proven that lower body temperature increases the likelihood of falling asleep and may even help promote deeper stages of sleep. So, what does this mean? It’s important to find a mattress that’s going to help keep you cool while you’re catching some Zs – whether it’s through materials used or mattress construction. In our top picks below, we’ve called out which ones do a good job in this arena.

Pressure relief

You’ll feel much more rested and much less achy when you wake up if you’re sleeping on a mattress that adequately supports your pressure points. An ideal mattress will evenly distribute your body weight so you’re not sinking in too deeply on heavier parts of your body, like your head, hips and shoulders. Pressure relief is something you’ll definitely want to pay attention to when it comes to recovering from injuries or alleviating back pain.

Motion isolation

Motion isolation simply means that you don’t feel movement from the other side of the bed. This one is especially important if you sleep with someone else, or if your pets tend to share your bed with you. In order to get your deepest, most rejuvenating sleep, it’s important that you’re not interrupted throughout the night. Some mattress materials, like foam bends and memory foam, are better at isolating motion than others.

Our favorite mattresses for athletes

Below we’ve highlighted five of our favorite mattresses for athletes and active people. If you want to read more about a particular mattress brand, we’ve got you covered in the next section.

You may notice there’s no #1 pick—and that’s because we know that everyone is different, has individual preferences, and is looking within different price brackets for the best mattress possible. So take a look at things like the materials, rating, reviews, and price to help you decide.

And remember – seeing (and feeling) is believing. That’s why we’ve only included mattresses that have a trial period of at least 100 nights. And free returns, since nobody has time for hassles.

Mattress Name Description Price* Mattress Review
Bear
  • Type: Memory foam with graphite gel
  • Firmness: Medium firm: 6/10
  • Trial Period: 100 days
  • Warranty: 10-year limited warranty
  • Summary: Known to help relieve pressure points and aid in muscle recovery
$850

8.6 / 10

Read Review
PerformaSleep
  • Type: Foam combo
  • Firmness: Medium firm: 6/10
  • Trial Period: 100 days
  • Warranty: 10-year limited warranty
  • Summary: Foam mattress ideal for athletes and active people
$875

8.6 / 10

Read Review
PangeaBed™
  • Type: Latex mattress with gel-infused memory foam
  • Firmness: Medium firm: 6/10
  • Trial Period: 100 days
  • Warranty: 10-year limited warranty
  • Summary: Durable latex mattress known to help relieve joint and back pain
$895

8.5 / 10

Read Review
Purple
  • Type: Hybrid: hyper-elastic polymer and foam
  • Firmness: Medium firm-firm: 6.5/10
  • Trial Period: 100 days
  • Warranty: 10-year limited warranty
  • Summary: Proven pressure relief for people with back pain; good for back and side sleepers
$999

8.4 / 10

Read Review
Amerisleep AS3
  • Type: Memory foam
  • Firmness: Medium: 6/10
  • Trial Period: 100 days
  • Warranty: 20-year limited warranty
  • Summary: Memory foam mattress with cooling technology (part of Amerisleep's Soft Collection)
$1399

8.4 / 10

Read Review

* Price for a queen size mattress.

 

Bear Mattress Logo - ColorA few words from us

  • Bear’s claim to fame is its clinically-proven Celliant™ muscle recovery technology, which helps convert radiant body heat into infrared energy that can be returned to the body.
  • If you like a memory foam feel but hate the way memory foam heats you up, you’ll notice that this graphic gel memory foam layer releases heat better than its traditional counterpart.
  • Because this is a medium-firm foam mattress, it’s going to perform well when it comes to motion isolation and pressure relief.
  • Athletes from around the world use the Bear mattress – you can check out what they have to say about it here.
  • Bonus: 1% of every Bear sale is donated to Good Sports Charity.
Bear mattress in a open, airy bedroom
Bear mattress

Word on the street

  • “I love it! The most significant impact for me has been less frequent waking up throughout the night.” – Elisabeth Akinwale, Crossfit athlete
  • “I used to wake up with neck or back pain, but now I rarely do, and if that is the case the pain goes away faster during the day. Very comfy matress. It allows my partner the freedom to move without waking me up. In addition it doesn’t heat up like other foam mattresses. Best sleep!” – Valerie C.
  • “I am a college student and an athlete so a good night’s sleep is absolutely necessary, therefore a supportive yet comfortable mattress is absolutely necessary. This was the first time that I have ever had to purchase my own mattress so I made sure to do my research! I was intrigued by the concept of the Celliant technology used in the Bear mattress, and after reading all the positive reviews online I decided to take the plunge! After owning/sleeping on this mattress for a little over four months, I have to say that I finally understand all the hype! Not only have I had nothing but positive experiences while using this mattress in terms of getting a good night’s sleep, my overall recovery time after intense workouts and practices have visibily reduced. I love this mattress, and have recommended it to teammates and loved ones alike!” Katelyn T.

Visit Bear


PerformaSleep logo

A few words from us

  • The CopperCool Technology infused into the top layer of the PerformaSleep mattress is designed to dissipate excess body heat and eliminate any moisture to help keep you cool and keep your mattress clean. (Copper has anti-microbial and anti-viral properties.) This layer also helps support your back and joints to aid in recovery.
  • The middle and bottom layers of the mattress provide responsiveness, so you don’t feel stuck in the mattress, and a solid foundation to prevent sagging.
  • The PerformaSleep mattress has been tested and approved by a number of elite athletes, including Lauren Fisher, professional CrossFit athlete.
PerformaSleep mattress
PerformaSleep mattress

Word on the street

  • “As an athlete, I know how important sleep is to my performance. Now that I have my PerformaSleep mattress, I sleep through the night without waking up, my joints and bones feel rejuvenated, and I wake up ready to tackle my workouts and competitions. I highly recommend this mattress if you live an active lifestyle.” – Lauren Fisher, CrossFit athlete
  • “I absolutely love my mattress, it has been a life saver in so many aspects in my life. I train hard daily in the am, spend 8hrs working then several hours at night coaching. Before getting this mattress I was always exhausted, never sleeping through the night and waking up with pain. I had recently herniated 3 discs in my neck and one in my back and before this mattress I was always waking up from the pain and not sleeping. Now, I sleep like a baby all through the night. I am rested and able to train hard in the am, work and coach even injured. All I can say is Thank you so much, PerformaSleep for giving me my life back! I would recommend this mattress to everyone!!” – Crystal
  • “I’m an athlete and have been my whole life. I’m also a firefighter. And for the longest i thought that i had acquired a bad back from the years of pounding in basketball and football and now weight lifting. Little did i know that it was mainly due to what i was sleeping on. Didn’t realize that not tossing and turning and waking up sore was normal. Not saying This mattress is for everyone, but being slightly more muscular and active than the average person, this mattress allowed me to sleep undisturbed and very comfortably. It’s soft but not to soft with that added firmness i haven’t seen in any other foam mattress. Perfect for physically active people.”- Dane

Visit PerformaSleep


PangeaBed mattress logo - color

A few words from us

  • PangeaBed is a unique copper infused, natural latex mattress that is durable and provides great health benefits, like promoting good circulation and alleviating joint pain. If you suffer from a bad back or injury, these features could be especially helpful.
  • PangeaBed is made with antibacterial, antimicrobial and hypoallergenic layers designed to help fight off germs and bacteria.
  • The open-cell structure of Talalay latex is said to be 4 times more breathable than polyurethane, memory foam or synthetic Dunlop process latex, helping to prevent body heat trapping while you sleep.
Man lifting weights on the PangeaBed mattress in his bedroom
PangeaBed mattress

Word on the street

  • “I have only had my Pangea mattress a few weeks. I suffer from back pain and bursitis in my hip. The pain was the worst when I got out of bed in the morning. I am now waking up without back and hip pain. I sink down in the mattress just the right amount whether sleeping on my back or side. This has mattress has been a great prescription for my pain I would also like to thank Martin for aiding in my purchase. Great service and great product! If you are suffering with aches and pains, I’d say give this mattress a try.” – James
  • “Right out of the box the first night I had the best night’s sleep I have had in a long time. The mattress was fairly firm yet contoured to the body making it comfortable. I am a side sleeper and with the copper infusion it helps with blood flow, no more tingling hands. Great mattress, great company, great customer service. Highly recommend this mattress and company.” – Ronald
  • “I purchased the Queen size Pangea mattress & I have to say that it is well built, great quality & materials. I had never had a mates before with copper & it does help to keep you cool at night if you are somebody who sweats. I experienced top notch customer service like no other!! Awesome, awesome service! I have no regrets!” – Steph

Visit Pangeabed


Purple logo

A few words from us

  • The Purple is a mattress with a big personality, but it does have a lot to boast about: it sleeps cool, is great for spinal alignment and does a good job with reducing any movement you’ll feel from other people (or animals).
  • Customers who own the Purple have claimed it’s helped them relieve back and neck pains.
  • The Purple is topped with a unique pressure-releasing material that was developed to deliver superior pressure relief, particularly on your hips, shoulders and back. Take a look at how Purple compares to other mattresses when it comes to pressure point support in this video.
Purple mattress in a bedroom
Purple mattress

Word on the street

  • “As a previous tempurpedic mattress owner, I can tell you that the Purple mattress is far superior. My husband and I cannot get over how comfortable and cool we are at night. There was zero adjustment time and the support is fantastic. I look forward to trying the Purple pillow next!” – Cynthia
  • “It’s the best mattress I’ve ever used. I thought it was pricey at first, but it is worth every coin and every dollar! I broke my back around 2 years ago and still have some pretty bad pain where I broke it, but Purple has actually decreased the pain which is amazing! My mother has the mattress and actually was the one who recommended it to me after I got out of the hospital.” – Rachel C.
  • “I’ll admit I was leery about buying a mattress off the internet, sight unseen, but I went for it anyway because of the 100 day return policy. Well, they are never getting it back. I know it sounds crazy but after the first night of my first uninterrupted sleep in I don’t know how long, I awoke with NO BACK PAIN! I was seriously going to make an appointment with a chiropractor, but that is no longer necessary. I also want to add that my wife’s arm has always been numb when she wakes up in the morning, but that is no longer an issue either. If you’re on the fence about getting this mattress, GO FOR IT! You won’t be disappointed!!!” – Dan

 Visit Purple


Amerisleep logo

AS3 Model

A few words from us

  • The AS3’s foam comfort layers create a soft but responsive feel that relieves pressure points and makes you feel like you’re floating.
  • All Amerisleep’s covers also contain Celliant, which is known to reduce pain, regulate body temperature, and promote healthy blood circulation.
  • There are actually 5 different mattress options offered by Amerisleep with varying levels of firmness that you can choose from. (The AS3 is the most popular model, hitting the sweet spot of not too firm and not too soft.)
Amerisleep AS3 mattress
Amerisleep AS3 mattress

Word on the street

  • “I’m usually a budget shopper but there are some things you can’t skimp on. I have had neck back and shoulder problems for years. I knew I needed a good mattress. I read so many reviews of this mattress/company and people saying they had less pain. I 100% agree! I feel so much better when I wake up. Makes getting out of bed harder for my husband he’s been sleeping longer!” —Marileezy
  • “Great mattress, I generally read tons of reviews before purchasing expensive furniture or anything else and this is by far the best purchase I’ve made. I’ve had it only for a few months but it’s fantastic. I have been sleeping through the whole night constantly.” – Calhix
  • “I had a Sealy mattress and it did not hold up well. I have been sleeping on the AS3 for a few months and it is the most comfortable mattress that I have ever slept on. I am about to have a hip replacement surgery and I need a good comfortable mattress and the AS3 is exactly what I need. No more back pain when I wake up. Now I look forward to a good nights sleep. I took a chance on this type of mattress and I am so glad that I chose the AS3. Buy it and find out for yourself, it’s worth it!” – Akbash

 Visit Amerisleep


Athletes: if you’re taking the time to invest in your wellbeing by leading active, healthy lifestyles, then make sure getting quality sleep on a great mattress is part of your routine.

Sleep has endless benefits when it comes to recovery and staying energized. Dr. David Geier, orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist, says, “While we’ve known for decades that sleep plays a key role in alertness, decision-making and reaction times, more light is being shed on its powerful influence over cardiovascular performance, endurance, and even injury prevention.”

Still have questions about finding the right mattress for your active lifestyle? Drop us a line in the comments below and we’ll get back to you after our nap, errr…we mean run.


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