The best mattress for 2018

We started by tracking down the most promising contenders — 65 popular mattresses from the 29 best-known online brands. Why did we look online and not in-store? Put simply, the value is greater. Prices, purchasing, and shipping are straightforward and simple. Customer service also tends to be more convenient and responsive, with handy channels like web chat.

Besides the simplicity of having your bed delivered right to your door, online brands offer generous trial and return policies. This allows you to test out a bed the only way you really can: by sleeping on it night after night. The trial period is a better good-sleep-guarantee than briefly lying down on a mattress in-store. All-foam, multi-layer construction

According to our mattress gurus, there are two key components to a comfortable night’s sleep.

First: Your bed should be memory foam. “Memory foam has advantages,” Nick Robinson of Sleep Like the Dead told us. “Above average comfort. Conforms to body. Absorbs motion so it’s couple-friendly.” When surveyed, owners of memory foam beds rank their satisfaction higher than owners of any other bed type. We made this our first criteria.

As for softness, we narrowed in on medium-firm beds. Hear us out: Mattress feel is definitely personal, but we learned that most people actually have a pretty similar comfort window. The ticket is medium-firm support. JB Duke Hotel manager Gregg Hilker describes it as “the most neutral — not too hard, not too soft, but [with] a high-quality feel to it.”

Medium-firm is also key for durability, longevity, and a cooler night’s sleep (the less you sink into the mattress, the less your body heat forms a cocoon). Need proof? A 2007 sleep study had participants swap out their existing mattress for a generic medium-firm version, and all experienced better sleep and significant pain relief. Tester-approved for full-body comfort

After a week of practice naps — “no, really, we’re working” — we can tell you that all of these mattresses live up to their hype. Each one was truly comfortable and yawn-inducing: beds we’d be excited to climb into every night. In the end, our top picks were the models that were consistently pegged as testers’ favorites, garner excellent longevity ratings from Consumer Reports, and boast high-caliber construction that aligns with their asking price.

The Loom & Leaf also has the sturdiest edges of all the mattresses we tested: zero sag, even when putting your full body weight on the very edge. This tautness means that you can move around on the bed with greater ease and get out without disturbing a sleeping partner. It also means that if you like to curl up near the edge, you won’t be in danger of sliding off. “White-glove” delivery

Most testers agreed that Loom & Leaf is in the upper echelon of comfort and support. And if you’re going for a full-scale luxury experience, get this: The company even offers “white-glove” delivery. Movers will bring your new mattress right into your bedroom and take the old one out for free. Our other top picks leave the heavy lifting up to you. Points to consider Pricier than competitors

Loom & Leaf was the uncontested favorite among our team, but that luxury comes at a price. Most of Loom & Leaf’s beds run at least $100 more than their closest competitors. Before making the leap, make sure you take a good look at our other top picks; the GhostBed offers similar support for $300 less. When you are ready to buy, rest easy knowing that every Loom & Leaf bed comes with a 120-day trial period — and a full refund if you’re not satisfied.

Not sure where you lie on the squishiness scale? Novosbed solves this with its Comfort+ package — a layer of either firming or softening foam that can be zipped right into your mattress’ housing. If you’re having trouble sleeping at any point during the 120-day Novosbed trial, the company will send you a Comfort+ layer free of charge. Our other top picks do offer generous return policies if you’re unsatisfied, but we appreciate that Novosbed has a way to tweak the experience without the hassle of buying a whole new mattress. Points to consider Too squishy for some

If you don’t like the feeling of being cradled by your mattress, then Novosbed isn’t the choice for you. While many testers loved its cozy, sinking-yet-supported feel, others weren’t as thrilled. Some even described the initial settling process as being “enveloped in quicksand” or “sucked into another dimension.” Those who prefer to lie on top of their mattress rather than in it will prefer GhostBed — the firmest of our top picks — or Loom & Leaf, whose pillow-top strikes a very happy medium between springy and squishy. Unsupportive edges

GhostBed outperformed our other top picks in Consumer Reports’ durability testing, earning an “excellent” rating, while Loom & Leaf and Novosbed both took home “very good.” The test pummels mattresses with weights to simulate eight years of sleep, ensuring that your big investment will hold up over time. We were impressed that GhostBed — our most affordable mattress — is also likely to be the most long-lasting. Points to consider Too firm for some

GhostBed fell near the “firmest” end on our squish-scale. It has a bit less yield than either the Loom & Leaf (with its forgiving pillow-top) or the Novosbed (with its sinkable top layer). Our testers still approved of it pretty unanimously, maintaining that GhostBed’s firmness lent extra support and stability. Still, if you prefer a more deluxe feel, you may be better off with one of our other top picks. No-frills design

As the most affordable mattress on our list, GhostBed lacks some of the luxury features that we loved from our other top picks. For instance, while GhostBed offers comparable support to the Loom & Leaf, it’s missing the plush pillow-top that gave Loom & Leaf its upscale, hotel feel. Hot sleepers will miss Novosbed’s layer of perforated foam, which allows for better airflow and dissipates heat throughout the night. In short: GhostBed is reliably comfortable and well worth its price tag. Just don’t expect anything fancy.