Unlike a post-workout stretch, you can’t skip sleeping. Sleep is the crucial time our body has to heal itself, minus the interrupting demands of an active lifestyle. A supportive mattress is a key to our long-term physical well-being. A good night’s sleep refreshes the mind and body, but deep sleep (also known as REM sleep) is when our bodies most efficiently restore themselves. The same way we run to ice or menthol creams when our bodies take a beating at the gym, we also need to consider rest. For example, the spinal support or firmness of a bed could be the difference between a morning where you reach for an ibuprofen or hitting the ground running.

Whether you are taking hits or running sprints, you want a bed that will respond to your sleep with parallel healing. Fortunately, there are plenty of mattresses specializing in delivering joint, muscle and back pain relief (among other benefits for an active body). Understanding which mattress is best for you depends on if you sleep on your stomach, your back or move around in the night.

We have determined through expert testing which best mattress suits you according to your body’s aches and pains, sleeping patterns and type of active lifestyle. Maybe you won’t show up to the gym screaming about how amazing this or that bed is, but if you are someone who skips that stretch, icing or elevation, you may have a way to give your body the tender loving care it deserves. Here are some of the top picks for the best mattresses for athletes.

The products featured in this article have been independently reviewed by the team. When you buy something through the retail links on this page, we may earn commission at no cost to you, the reader.

Best Overall - Bear Hybrid

Best Hybrid Mattress for Recovery

Mattress Type: Hybrid (foam and coils)

Firmness: Medium-firm (6.3/10)

Sleep Trial: 120 nights

Warranty: Lifetime Limited Warranty

Mattress Advisor Score: 9/10

Available Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king

When we stress our bodies throughout the day, we need a bed that keeps us together at night. This Bear mattress scored a 9.5 out of 10 for spinal alignment, making it great for those looking to boost their athletic performance and extra support to encourage a healthy posture. The Bear Hybrid cover top is a handcrafted fabric woven with reactive, cooling minerals. This Bear Mattress is medium-firm and is accessible for most sleepers, however, side sleepers may prefer a softer mattress and one that excels more in pressure relief. The healing and supportive features are intricately fashioned into the Bear Hybrid mattress’ foundation and exterior, making it the best overall mattress for athletes seeking therapeutic sleep.

Best for Back Pain - Brooklyn Spartan

Mattress Type: Hybrid (foam and coils)

Firmness: Soft (4/10), medium (6/10), firm (8/10)

Sleep Trial: 100 Nights

Warranty: 10-year Warranty

Mattress Advisor Score: 8.9/10

Available Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king

Pain is one way our body begs us to pay attention to spots that need recovery, and restorative sleep is essential for healing an achy back. The Brooklyn Spartan scored a 9.5 out of 10 for spinal alignment—critical for athletes struggling with back pain. The hybrid mattress’s coil system maintains a neutral temperature without compromising comfort, making it ideal for warm sleepers. Whether you are a side, back or stomach sleeper, the mattress is available to order in three firmness options (soft, medium and firm). Designed with hyper-elastic foam layers, the Spartan responds to your body movement in real-time, delivering support and relief to your back wherever you end up on the bed.

Best Hybrid - Saatva Classic

Best Mattress for Back Pain

Mattress Type: Hybrid (foam and coils)

Firmness: Soft (3/10), luxury-firm (6/10), firm (8/10)

Sleep Trial: 180 nights

Warranty: 15-year Limited Warranty

Mattress Advisor Score: 9/10

Available Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king

After a hard day of training, a hot shower and a cool bed are essential. A mattress that provides a good night’s sleep without compromising support is a great tool in getting that needed joint and muscle recovery as our body rests in the night. The breathability provided by a coil-spring bed combined with the soft comfort of memory foam defines the hybrid Saatva Classic. The mattress scores a 9 out of 10 for cooling because of a dual-coil system and organic cotton that prompts airflow. High-density memory foam and a quilted pillow-top cover assure joint and lower back support while maintaining a cozy feel, resulting in a near-perfect score of 9 out of 10 in pressure relief and an impressive 10 out of 10 in spinal support. The Saatva’s hybrid design is not the only reason for its versatility; the mattress is also available in three firmness options for any and all sleeper types.

Best for Pressure Relief - WinkBed GravityLux

Mattress Type: Memory foam

Firmness: Soft (4/10), medium (5/10), firm (7/10)

Sleep Trial: 120 nights

Warranty: Lifetime Warranty

Mattress Advisor Score: 9.1/10

Available Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king

Whether on your side, back, or stomach, you want the right mattress that captures and supports you entirely. A mattress that can evenly disperse your body weight will help prevent existing aches and pains from getting worse as you sleep. The WinkBed GravityLux’s shock-absorbing memory foam design gave the mattress the near-perfect scores of a 9 out of 10 in pressure relief and a 9 out of 10 in motion isolation. The mattress’s pressure-relieving construction and multiple firmness options make it an accessible bed for all sleeper types, especially back sleepers. The bed has a 2-inch gel-infused top layer to promote airflow and breathability. Despite being a foam bed, tests have proven that the bed’s edges remained completely flat when sat upon. The outstanding edge support is helpful for side sleepers and those who want to stretch out. Overall, the bed will help capture your whole body without compromising firmness or leaving parts of you without cushioning support; providing deep relief after a hard day’s training.

Best Firm - DreamCloud

Best Overall Mattress

Mattress Type: Hybrid (foam and coils)

Firmness: Medium-firm (6.5/10)

Sleep Trial: 365 nights

Warranty: Lifetime Warranty

Mattress Advisor Score: 9.1/10

Available Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king

A sore or developing body needs restorative support for muscle recovery throughout the night. A mattress’s firmness supports healthy spinal alignment. The DreamCloud comes in a medium-firm firmness level, deemed the most accessible to all sleeper types. Scoring a 9.75 out of 10 in edge support and a 9 out of 10 in responsiveness, the DreamCloud is ideal even for side sleepers. The firmness level of the Dreamcloud is a result of research focusing on what level of mattress density delivers the best spinal alignment during sleep for the most sleeper types. That said, Dreamcloud unsurprisingly scored a 9 out of 10 in spinal alignment, making it a good mattress for someone suffering from back pain. Whether you need a firmer new mattress depends on where your injuries are that week, but Dreamcloud’s strategic firmness makes it a reliably supportive mattress, regardless of your condition.

Best Cooling - Helix Midnight Luxe

Mattress Type: Hybrid (foam and coils)

Firmness: Medium (5/10)

Sleep Trial: 100 nights

Warranty: 15-year Limited Warranty

Mattress Advisor Score: 8.7/10

Available Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king

Sweat is for training, not sleeping. Sleeping warm isn’t just uncomfortable, but it may also slow your metabolism. The Helix Midnight Luxe includes a top layer specifically designed to absorb your body heat and facilitate a cool body temperature throughout the night. The mattress scored a supreme 9.5 out of 10 in cooling, making it one of the coolest mattresses ever tested on Mattress Advisor. Testers reported that cooling features remained intact even months after unboxing the mattress. Additionally, the Helix Midnight Luxe scored a 9 out of 10 in spinal alignment and responsiveness, making it an ideal new mattress for people experiencing muscle, joint and back pain. The bed is great for side, back and combination sleepers, however, stomach sleepers may find the bed’s medium-firmness too soft.

Mattress Type: All-foam

Firmness: Medium (6.5/10)

Sleep Trial: 101 Nights

Warranty: 25-Year Limited Warranty

Mattress Advisor Score: Coming soon

Available Sizes: Twin XL, queen, king, California King, split king

Expert design, precision and high-quality materials distinguish a luxury mattress from the rest. Designed with only esteemed materials constructed to aid in better sleep while maximizing support and comfort. The mattress includes an eco-friendly recycled fiber cooling cover top layer and a 2-inch memory foam layer underneath. At the bed’s core are a bounce layer and 8-inch high-density foam that provide support and relief for your spine, while maintaining overall mattress durability. The mattress does not compromise an inch of quality in the construction and materials used to deliver a truly restorative sleep, earning the position as the most luxurious mattress for athletic performance.

Best for Side Sleepers - Nolah Signature

Mattress Type: All-foam

Firmness: Medium-soft (4.5/10)

Sleep Trial: 120 nights

Warranty: Lifetime Warranty

Mattress Advisor Score: 8.6/10

Available Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king

If you tend to stress out your shoulders and knees and sleep on your side, you do not want to expedite the pain on one side of your body by sleeping on an unsupportive mattress. Side sleeping on the wrong type of mattress can cause a feeling of imbalance the next day at the gym. Side sleeping-related soreness is because of the extended time weight is disproportionately applied to specific points of the body while resting. The Nolah Signature scored a 9.25 out of 10 in pressure relief and a 9.5 out of 10 in responsiveness, making the bed a solution for side sleepers who constantly wake up in pain. The medium-soft firmness is also specifically ideal for side sleepers, where you can get that cozy, soft feel while still being supported and not sinking too far into the mattress. The Nolah Signature is a soft yet supportive bed that consistently relieves pressure while adapting to your body’s profile.

How Mattress Advisor Found the Best Mattresses for Athletes

Mattress Advisor is an impartial sleep and mattress product tester. The company invests all its time investigating the quality of mattresses and referring to sleep specialists to help consumers draw the best conclusion for which bed is right for them.

The Mattress Advisor Testing Process

Mattress Advisor uses an extensive process when determining mattress quality. They come to conclusions through various tests focused on specific performance features of a bed. Once the mattress goes through all the considerations by their testers, their information is presented to the consumer to help them navigate the huge mattress market.

Key Performance Factors that the Sleep Lab Tests

Factors They Test

What It Means

Cooling

The mattress’s ability to deliver a cool sleep. If you frequently wake up sweaty, a mattress with good temperature regulation should be important in choosing which bed is right for you.

Motion Isolation

The mattress’s ability to prevent the transfer of motion throughout its core. An important consideration for combination sleepers and couples.

Pressure Relief

The mattress’s ability to disperse your body weight and help ease inflammation. An important consideration for people suffering from long-term pain.

Responsiveness

The mattress’s ability to contour to your body as it moves. Ensuring consistent comfort regardless of how you lay on the bed.

Edge Support

Determines how stable a bed’s sides are when sitting on or sleeping near them. Important for side sleepers and couples who need support across the entire bed.

Spine Alignment

The mattress’s ability to maintain a healthy alignment of the spine while sleeping. A crucial consideration for people suffering from back or joint pain.

Firmness

This is the determination of a bed’s firmness levels. Choosing mattress firmness should be judged by your sleeping habits and body type. For example, side-sleepers may need a softer firmness, while people with deep-seated back pain may want a harder firmness.

How to Pick The Best Mattress Type for Athletes

Spinal support, responsiveness and pressure relief are important factors for athletes to look at when picking the best mattress for them. You want a bed that aids in healthy muscle recovery and development of your body after training.

Innerspring

Innerspring mattresses are made with metal wire and spring systems that provide stable support for comfort layers used at the bed’s top. The design helps make a mattress more breathable. Innerspring mattresses are also commonly more firm than foam beds, this makes them pretty reliable in aiding good spine alignment.

Memory Foam

A memory foam mattress is typically very comfortable and more affordable. However, they are often softer than other mattress types, making them more ideal for side sleepers, yet maybe not as much for people with back problems who want a harder firmness in a bed.

Latex

Latex mattresses are on the more expensive side but tend to be more natural because of being plant-based. They also help to provide a cooler night’s sleep than many all-foam beds but still resemble the soft comfort of a memory foam mattress.

Hybrid

A hybrid mattress offers the coil foundation of innerspring beds and the coziness of all-latex or all-foam mattresses. Hybrids offer flexibility for a sleeper in terms of their needs, making them preferable for combination sleepers or someone who can not choose between an innerspring or foam-based bed.

Sleep Positions and Why They Matter

The type of bed you get will depend on your sleep patterns.

Side Sleepers

Side sleepers apply excess body weight to specific points on their body for long periods of time. This may cause soreness and inflammation if not supported by the right bed. Side sleepers want a softer mattress that cushions them but still aids the alignment of their spine.

Back Sleepers

People who sleep on their backs tend to prefer a harder bed. Firmer mattresses more efficiently uphold a healthy posture for your spine while you sleep by preventing sinkage and the uneven distribution of your body weight on the mattress.

Stomach Sleepers

Stomach sleepers tend to appreciate harder mattresses. Like back sleepers, your weight is more evenly distributed than side sleepers in your natural sleeping position, however, you can cause strains in your shoulders and neck due to the isolated pressure applied in the two areas over time.

Combination Sleepers

Combination sleepers appreciate a hybrid mattress’s versatility and the accessibility of medium-firm mattresses. You want to take into consideration all the sleeping position factors when you are a combination sleeper.

Other Considerations When Buying the Best Mattress for Athletes

A supportive mattress can be the key to our long-term physical health.

Mattress Firmness

Your sleeping patterns are what determine the right mattress firmness for you. A firm mattress can offer more support for your body’s posture than a softer bed you may disproportionately sink into. Your body grows and heals as you sleep, and the appropriate firmness will help make sure it does so correctly.

Best Mattress for Back and Muscle Pain

If you suffer from back and muscle pain you want a bed that holds your body together in its most healthy position. A bed’s spinal alignment score is an important factor to pay attention to if you are seeking this feature in a bed.

Pressure Relief

Pressure relief in a mattress helps protect you against aches and pains, or increased inflammation in pre-existing injuries. It specializes in supporting your body and head, evenly distributing your body’s weight as you sleep to reduce pressure overwhelming a single area.

Cooling

A warm sleep can slow your metabolism. Generating too much body heat while sleeping is also uncomfortable and may cause you to feel more groggy when you wake up. Finding a mattress specializing in cooling and temperature regulation at its core helps you get more restorative and quality sleep.

Frequently Asked Questions