The Best Mattresses for Athletes

Our top picks for mattresses that air in recovery, reduce joint pain, and keep your spine in alignment.

By Alesandra Woolley

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?

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.

The Best 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.


Spartan by Brooklyn Bedding

Spartan

Editor's Pick
  • Made with Nanobionic® technology that converts heat to energy while you sleep.
  • Superior pressure-point relief to keep joints from aching.
  • Exceptional score for spine alignment (9.5/10) meaning the Spartan won’t aggravate issues of low-back pain.
Customer Rating
5 / 5
MA Score
9.2 / 10
Firmness

Available in plush, medium, and firm

Trial Period

120 days

Why we love it

The Spartan mattress by Brooklyn Bedding is a luxury hybrid mattress specifically designed for athletes and active adults. It’s FDA approved Nanobionic® technology even converts body heat into energy while you sleep. The result? Great sleep and quick recovery.

Made with Brooklyn Bedding’s patent-pending Energex™ foam, the Spartan provides premium pressure-relief which keep stress off joints. The inner layers of the Spartan mattress are also infused with TItanCool™, a material designed by Brooklyn Bedding to draw excess heat away from the body,

The Spartan is available at three firmness levels to provide a personalized level of comfort and support. Brooklyn Bedding recommends choosing soft if you are a side sleeper who likes being “hugged” by your mattress, medium if you change positions often, and firm if you are a stomach or back sleeper who doesn’t like to sink deeply into your mattress.

Bear Hybrid

  • Made with Celliant™ technology, known for its aid in muscle recovery, is clinically proven to convert body heat into infrared energy that can be absorbed back into the body.
  • Great for cooling.
Customer Rating
4.7 / 5
MA Score
8.6 / 10
Firmness

Medium-firm: 6/10

Trial Period

100 days

Why we love it

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 in the form of increased levels of oxygen in tissue cells.

In addition to its recovery properties, the Bear Hybrid combines the contouring comfort of memory foam with the support of pocket coils which allows Bear to mitigate pressure put on joints and prevent the development of pain points.

With top scores in cooling and responsive, athletes can sleep comfy and refreshed all night long on this mattress.

Bear

  • Exceptional cooling properties, Celliant™ technology, and cooling gel-infused, graphite memory foam.
Customer Rating
4.7 / 5
MA Score
8.6 / 10
Firmness

Medium firm: 6/10

Trial Period

100 days

Why we love it

The original Bear mattress is a great option for athletes or people with active lifestyles because of its pressure relieving properties, cooling properties, and muscle recovery technology. But really, anyone can benefit from these features.

If you like a memory foam feel but hate the way memory foam heats you up, you’ll notice that the graphite gel memory foam used in the core of the Bear mattress 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.

Purple

  • Unique Smart Comfort Grid™ technology made of Hyper-Elastic Polymer that was designed to cradle joints like no other material.
  • Exceptional score for spine alignment (9.5/10).
Customer Rating
4.6 / 5
MA Score
8.4 / 10
Firmness

Medium firm-firm: 6.5/10

Trial Period

100 days

Why we love it

Made with a proprietary, purple material called hyper-elastic polymer that’s been tested and used by medical professionals for years, the Purple mattress has a big personality and for good reason—it sleeps cool, comfortable and supportive.

Complete with its Smart Grid Technology™ that was crafted to deliver “push back” to support its sleeper, the Purple mattress is great for spinal alignment pressure-point relief. In fact, many customers who own the Purple have claimed it’s helped them relieve back and neck pains.


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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