Choosing the right mattress for yourself can be tricky. Choosing the right mattress for you and a partner can be downright difficult. There are a whole host of factors and preferences to consider when mattress shopping.
Balancing both of your needs and finding a mattress that suits both of you is a daunting task. And don’t forget, you’ll also want a mattress that’s big enough, suitable for sex, and quiet enough that you won’t wake your partner up every time you get up early. Feeling overwhelmed? Relax. We’re here to walk you through it.
In this guide, we’ll help you understand the factors a couple should consider in a mattresses, the different types of mattresses best suited for couples, and give you our specific mattress recommendations in each category.
Choosing the ideal mattress for couples
Maybe you like to cuddle up with your sleeping partner. Maybe you like your space at night. Or maybe you want the option to do both. Whatever the case, your mattress size will matter. Mattresses are available in several standard sizes, ranging from twin to California king. If two adults are sharing a bed, we recommend using at least a queen size mattress. This size offers enough sleeping space for two, but doesn’t leave extra room for potential visitors (think kids or pets) or to spread out. A king mattress, by contrast, provides two adults with the same sleeping space as two individual twin mattresses. When considering which size would work best for your situation, also keep your room space in mind. A king bed works best in an area that’s at least 10’x12’, for example. For more detailed information on mattress sizes, check out our Mattress Size Guide.
|Twin||38” x 75”|
|Twin XL||38” x 80”|
|Full/Double||53” x 75”|
|Queen*||60” x 80”|
|King*||76” x 80”|
|California king*||72” x 84”|
* Recommended for couples
Motion isolation refers to how well a mattress isolates, or absorbs, motion – and how well it keeps that motion from reaching your partner. If a mattress has good motion isolation, you are less likely to disturb your partner when you change positions or get out of bed in the middle of the night. On the other hand, if the mattress has poor motion isolation and allows for a lot of movement transfer, those shifts will be felt by the person on the other side of the bed. If either or both of you often move frequently during the night or tend to be light sleepers, motion isolation should be a primary consideration.
Firmness refers to how a mattress feels when you lie down on it. Mattress firmness is usually rated on a scale from 1 (being the least firm) to 10 (being the most firm). A firm mattress will provide resistance and not offer much give when depressed. A softer (less firm) mattress will allow for more “give” and sinkage. There is no right or wrong amount of firmness – it is all a matter of personal preference. The amount of firmness that feels the most comfortable usually depends on a person’s height, weight, and typical sleeping position. That can make things complicated when you’re trying to accommodate two different people. It’s important to try a mattress for several nights in order to know what it actually feels like and what your preferences actually are. If you and your partner end up having very different ideas of what’s comfortable, there are mattresses that offer dual comfort zones with different firmness levels on either side of the same bed.
Support is what keeps your body in alignment while you lie in the bed, controlling how far different parts of your body sink down on a mattress. Support is affected by every part of a mattress, though the lower layers play a more central role in maintaining your spines natural curvature and alignment. Without the proper support, you’ll likely experience uncomfortable sleep and wake up with aches and pains, especially in your back. With two people sleeping on a mattress, more and consistent support is necessary in order to withstand greater amounts of compression.
Similar to firmness, the feel of a mattress is a matter of preference. It refers specifically to properties such as conforming and contouring. Some sleepers prefer a mattress that closely conforms or hugs your body, while this feeling can be quite unsettling to others. Some prefer a much firmer surface that allows for easier movement. Your best bet is to try out various mattress types with your partner to get an idea of what you both find to be the most comfortable.
More than just sleep happens on a mattress. When you’re sleeping with a romantic partner, you’ll want make sure your mattress is suitable for and conducive to sex. This is primarily a function of responsiveness and movement. A mattress that is responsive and reacts quickly to movement tends to be bouncier and therefore better for sex. A mattress that slowly conforms or adjusts to pressure will make movement slower and more difficult. Also consider these mattress features that play a role in sex:
- Noise: Squeaks and creaks can be distracting and unwelcome during sex.
- Durability: Regular sexual activity will likely shorten the lifespan of a mattress, so it’s important to consider durability and quality of materials.
- Cushioning: You’ll want a mattress that is thick enough to support various movements while remaining comfortable.
- Edge support: Edge support refers to the reinforcement around the perimeter of the bed. A mattress will good edge support will maintain a consistent surface across the entire mattress, meaning the whole bed will be suitable for sex.
A lot of body heat happens when two people are sharing a bed. What happens to that heat has a lot to do with the mattress you’re using. A mattress’ material and construction will affect how it retains and redistributes heat. Some beds allow for ventilation and airflow, allowing heat to escape from the mattress. Others tend to trap heat, which can lead to an uncomfortable and restless sleep.
In general, innerspring mattresses sleep the coolest. These mattresses use a coil support system that allows for the most ventilation. By contrast, memory foam mattresses are known to trap heat and tend to sleep warm.
Best mattress types for couples
Each of the factors discussed above varies by mattress type. Let’s now take a look at the different types of mattresses available and how they stack up for couples.
Memory foam responds to heat and pressure, conforming and molding to a sleeper’s body. This provides “customized” support and pressure relief. A memory foam mattress uses a high-density polyfoam to create its support core, which is topped with a memory foam layer that typically makes up 25-40 percent of the mattress.
Average Price: A memory foam mattress will cost between $150-$4,000. The price will vary based on the type, amount, and density of the foam used in the mattress.
Good for Couples:
- Memory foam is more durable than innerspring mattresses.
- Memory foam offers superior motion isolation, so you won’t be bothered by your partner’s midnight movements.
- Foam mattresses are very quiet.
- Dual firmness options are more common in foam beds.
Bad for Couples:
- Memory foam is popular because its conforms to your body. This same property means it offers little bounce back, making movement during sex more difficult.
- Memory foam tends to trap and retain heat, which could make for an uncomfortable sleep.
- There is typically no reinforced edge support in a memory foam mattress.
Innerspring mattresses are the most commonly sold mattress. They feature a support core comprised of steel coils or springs. These coils range in thickness and therefore are available in a variety of firmness settings. The coils are usually cushioned and encased in fabric, then topped with a comfort layer. This layer is less than two inches thick and can be made from a variety of materials, including foam or latex.
Average Price: An innerspring mattress will likely be your most affordable option, with beds starting as low as $100. The average price for a queen is between $800-$1,200.
Good for Couples:
- It’s easy to choose your firmness preference.
- The construction of the support core allows for air flow and ventilation and therefore a cooler night’s sleep.
- Innerspring mattresses typically offer the best available edge support.
Bad for Couples:
- Innerspring mattresses tend to sag over time as the coils wear down. This can especially be a problem under the weight of two sleepers.
- The coil construction results in poor movement isolation. This means you’re more likely to notice your partner’s movements throughout the night.
- Innerspring mattresses can oftentimes be noisy as a result of their steel coil systems.
- Dual firmness options are typically not available.
A hybrid mattress uses the same coil construction as an innerspring mattress in its support core, but is topped with foam comfort layers that are thicker than 2 inches. It’s the thickness of these comfort layers that differentiate it from a typical innerspring mattress. Hybrids are made to combine the conforming comfort of foam with the traditional feel of an innerspring bed.
Average Price: Hybrids range from $600-$4,000. The price will depend on the type and thickness of the coils in the support system as well as the thickness of and materials used in the comfort layer.
Good for Couples:
- The transition and/or comfort layers don’t usually prevent hybrid mattresses from retaining their bouncy feel, making them quite suitable for sex.
- The additional foam layers provide pressure point relief, but don’t trap heat like a mattress that is primarily made of foam.
- You get better motion isolation with a hybrid, so your partner’s movements won’t be as noticeable.
- It’s possible to find dual firmness options.
Bad for Couples:
- Because it uses a coil support system, you will still experience sagging with a hybrid mattress.
- Hybrids are typically one of the more expensive mattress choices.
Latex mattresses are typically made of 100 percent latex, using multiple layers of latex in varying degrees of density and softness. Latex foam is derived from the sap of rubber trees and produced in one of two ways. The more traditional Dunlop process results in a more thick and dense foam. The newer Talalay process produces a latex that is softer with more bounce.
Average Price: Prices for a queen latex mattress will range from $850-$2,400, depending on the amount and type of latex used in the bed.
Good for Couples:
- Latex mattresses provide excellent motion isolation, keeping your partner’s movements of their side of the bed.
- Latex is generally very quiet.
- A latex mattress is responsive and has a bounciness that’s suitable for sex.
- Dual firmness options are available from select manufacturers.
Bad for Couples
- Generally, a latex mattress doesn’t offer reinforced edge support.
- Latex mattresses are prone to retaining heat and sleeping warm.
- Latex is typically a more expensive option.
Our top choices for couples
Memory Foam: Leesa
Queen Price: $940
The Leesa is a mixed foam mattress with a three-layer construction. The support core is a 6-inch layer of 1.8 PCF (pounds per cubic foot) polyfoam. That is topped with 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of latex-like Avena® foam. The cover is a polyester blend.
The Leesa is a solid choice for couples who want the conforming pressure relief of memory foam but still need a response, bouncy mattress that’s suitable for sex. The Leesa’s unique Avena® foam layer allows for this responsive feel and helps the mattress sleep cooler than most memory foam beds.
Leesa offers free shipping and a long trial period, so you can make sure the mattress is right for both of you.
Check out our complete review of the Leesa here.
Queen Price: $999
The Saatva is a unique innerspring mattress. The support core is made up of tall, hourglass-shaped, steel coils that sit atop a layer of high-density polyfoam. This foam also wraps around the coils, functioning as added edge support. Next is an additional layer of individually wrapped coils, followed by a comfort layer of polyfoam and memory foam. The cover is woven organic cotton.
The Saatva’s unique coil-on-coil construction makes it very responsive and gives it good bounce. It is available in multiple height and customizable firmness options, giving couples plenty of opportunity to find the right fit. The Saatva has proven to be more durable than comparable mattresses and a long trial period (120 nights) gives you time to fully test out the mattress.
Saatva recently started offering free white glove delivery and mattress removal to sweeten the deal.
Check out our full review of the Saatva here.
Queen Price: $995
The Helix is a customizable hybrid mattress. Using an online sleep survey, Helix helps customers identify their ideal mattress build, with a wide array of options available.
Based on individual preferences, the Helix is constructed of individually pocketed coils, high grade polyfoam in varying densities, and Helix’s proprietary foam. Customizers can choose firmness levels, degrees of support, and cooling preferences. Of special interest to couples – it is possible to create a blended mattress, which creates a combination or compromise of two sleep surveys. Or for an additional $195, you can create dual comfort zones and individually personalize each side of the mattress in two different ways.
Helix provides free shipping and a sleep trial of 100 nights.
Queen Price: $1899
We love the Zenhaven for couples because its dual-sided, flippable construction offers two different firmness levels in one mattress. This all-Talalay latex mattress is constructed in four layers: 1.5 inches of a gentle-firm latex, two district 3-inch layers of layers, and 1.5 inches of plush latex. Depending on how you situate the mattress, these layers function to provide different levels of support and firmness. The cover is made of organic cotton.
The Zenhaven sleeps cool and its latex layers offer enough bounciness for sex, while still providing support and pressure relief. The latex is also quiet, durable and eco-friendly – a great choice for the environmentally conscious couple.
The Zenhaven is manufactured by Saatva, which now offers free white glove delivery and mattress removal. The sleep trial is 120 nights.
Check out our full review of the Zenhaven here.