Consumer Reports 2016 Mattress Reviews: Compare Memory Foam and Innerspring Beds

Consumer Reports Best Mattress Reviews of 2015

Consumer Reports mattress reviews are known for being a great place to find a lot of information when you are shopping for a new bed. The consumer advocate magazine recently published their 2016 mattress report, and we have some of their findings here.

Each year Consumer Reports evaluates a number of brand names on support, durability and a number of other factors to help customers weed out the good beds from the bad. In our guide, we’ll walk you through their best innerspring and memory foam  picks for the year and offer some of what we’ve learned.

Our Top Picks of 2016

These are the picks we feel are the best mattresses of 2016. They may have been overlooked by Consumer Reports, but Smart Sleep Reviews feels these beds are a significant value and must be mentioned. We picked the memory foam and spring mattress we felt is the best value based on specs, customer reviews and independent reviews. Here they are:

Brand/ModelTypePriceSpecsReviews (source)
Amerisleep Revere BedMemory foam$1,299Med-firm
3” 4.5lb MF
9” 2.0lb foam base
4.7 / 5
(Amerisleep)
Beautyrest Recharge Hybrid Tracy FirmInnerspring$1,800Firm1” gel memory foam
2” gel memory foam
.5” poly foam
1000 Pocket coils
5 / 5 (USMattress)

The Revere Bed from Amerisleep, like all of their beds, is made from a newer type of memory foam that is derived from soybean oil. This eco-friendly, plant-based foam uses a construction that creates more open cells, which improves air flow through the mattress and helps to keep temperatures neutral. It is the company’s highest rated mattress, receiving an average of 4.7 stars from over 400 customer reviews.

Another unique thing about Amerisleep mattresses is that they are covered with a material made from Celliant-infused fibers. Celliant is a thermoreactive material that converts body heat into healing infrared light, a proven vasodilator. This promotes circulation, increases tissue oxygen levels and enhances cell vitality.

Simmons Beautyrest Recharge Hybrid Tracy Firm is an innerspring bed that receives solid reviews from customers. It has gel memory foam and poly foam in the comfort layer and is rated as firm.

WIth 1,000 high-carbon steel coils of gauge 13, this mattress provides good support and durability. The individually-wrapped springs ensure motion is isolated so one partner doesn’t disturb the other much when moving. In the upper price range, this mattress is a good choice for those who prefer innerspring mattresses.

Consumer Reports 2016 Mattress Ratings

The Consumer Reports 2016 mattress guide has some newer brands mixed with some of the old stalwarts. These are the beds the magazine has rated the highest with their rating system. The higher the number, the better the bed rates. What’s interesting is those in the mid-range for price seemed to rate best for the most part. That is pretty good news for the budget-conscious shopper.

If you’re curious as to how one rates a bed, Consumer Reports shows us how they test mattresses in a short video. You can see they put beds to the test. A heavy roller goes over the bed 30,000 times, various spinal alignment tests are performed and many other exhaustive measures are taken to see how the brands measure up. Here are the winners from the limited number Consumer Reports tested.

Best Spring Mattresses of 2016

Innerspring mattresses have long been the most commonly purchased type of bed, if for no other reason than they are the most widely available. Consumer Reports looked at twenty different beds from brands like Ashley, Shifman, Sealy, Serta, Saatva, Casper, Original Mattress Factory and many more.

After subjecting them to rigorous testing, here is what they came up with. These are the top ten spring according to the Consumer Reports mattress reviews.

Consumer Report’s Best Innerspring Mattresses of 2016

Here are the top ten innerspring beds according to Consumer Reports mattress reviews, followed by their firmness rating and price:

  • Charles P. Rogers Powercore Estate 5000 – Medium, $1,500.
  • Sealy Posturepedic Hybrid Trust – Soft, $1,250.
  • Beautyrest Recharge Hybrid Jeffery’s Bay – Medium, $1,800
  • Charles P Rogers St. Regis Pillowtop – Medium, $1,100
  • Stearns & Foster Estate Scarborough Luxury Firm – Soft, $1,575
  • Duxiana Dux 515 – Soft, $7,595
  • The Original Mattress Factory Orthopedic Luxury Firm – Soft, $540
  • Duxiana Dux 101 – Soft, $4,800
  • Serta iSeries Vantage – Soft, $1,075
  • Stearns & Foster Estate Walnut Grove Luxury Firm – Soft, $1,575

Best Memory Foam Mattresses of 2016

For this category, Consumer Reports actually tested 16 different models of memory foam, latex and foam beds from some of the best mattress brands. Some of the names include Serta, Spring Air, Ikea, Novaform, Sealy, Tempurpedic and more.

Here are the top ten foam and memory foam beds according to the Consumer Reports mattress reviews.

Consumer Report’s Best Memory Foam Mattresses of 2016

Here are the top ten foam and memory foam beds according to Consumer Reports mattress reviews, followed by their firmness rating and price:

  • Serta iComfort Savant Everfeel – Soft, $1,575
  • Spring Air Back Supporter Natalie – Medium, $1,200
  • Ikea Morgongava – Medium, $1,000
  • Comforpedic iQ180 – Soft, $2,750
  • Sleep Innovations 12″ Gel Swirl – Medium, $470
  • Novaform Altabella – Medium, $1,300
  • Ikea Myrbacka – Medium, $550
  • Serta iComfort Sleep System Genius – Medium, $1,375
  • Serta iComfort Directions Acumen – Soft, $2,220

Consumer Reports Mattress Review

It is interesting to see Consumer Reports rate some innerspring beds higher than their highest memory foam mattresses. Most customer reviews and independent reviewers find that memory foam rates much higher than spring beds. Bed review site, SleepLiketheDead.com, shows memory foam in general rates almost twenty percentage points higher than innersprings.

The difference in ratings may be attributed to Consumer Reports more quantitative approach than most review sites, which tend to use actual customer testimonials. Which is better? The “numbers” approach may seem like the best route because it appears the more objective, but the qualitative estimations of actual users should not be discounted.

Comfort is largely subjective. Consumer Reports doesn’t rate comfort, exactly. They use technology to map pressure points, measure support and test for firmness and basically use the data collected to create a numerical value for comfort. Another potential reason for the difference in reviews is that the mechanical tests were designed with springs in mind, and may not translate the same way to foam beds.

When customers rate a product for comfort, they are qualitatively analyzing it and coming up with a value related to a feeling they have. While this may appear less scientific, it can reveal things about the products other tests may miss. When looking for something as subjective as comfort, it isn’t a bad idea to consider qualitative assessments.

Don’t just buy the most popular mattress, do some research and find out which bed is right for you. There are plenty of good beds on the market. If you check Consumer Reports’ mattress ratings and other review sites regularly, you’ll have no trouble finding one.

Shop Smart: Compare the 10 Best and 10 Worst Mattresses of 2016

Shop Smart: Compare the 10 Best and 10 Worst Mattresses of 2015

Are you trying to find the best mattresses of 2016 and some information on how to avoid some of the worst beds? This guide is for you. We’ve sorted through a lot of reviews and information to bring you the top rated mattresses, so you don’t have to.

Shopping for a new mattress should be an exciting time. A new bed usually means better sleep,and we all love our sleep. Don’t let your excitement lead you to a bad or hasty decision, though. Beds are considered larger purchases for most households and they last awhile. You don’t want to be stuck with a lemon.

What is the Best Rated Mattress?

This question is the inspiration for our making this review. In the next sections we have highlighted the top 10 mattresses of 2016. We list the five best memory foam mattresses followed by the five best innerspring mattresses.

If you are on the fence between innersprings and memory foam, you should know memory foam tends to get better customer approval ratings than spring beds overall, according to review sites like SleepLikeTheDead.com. Customer satisfaction rates for coil beds average about 63% and memory foam averages about 81%. Since memory foam beds are now comparable in price to coil beds, you may want to give one a try.

Best Memory Foam Mattresses

Bed / BrandDetailsWarranty / ReturnsPrice (queen)
Amerisleep Revere BedFirm
12” profile
3” 4.0 lb memory foam
9” 1.5 lb foam base
20 years
100 days
$1,499
iComfort Aura EFX Cushion Firm setFirm
9" profile
.75” foam
2" 4.0 lb gel memory foam
6" foam base
10 years
120 days
$1,275
LUCID 12 Inch Gel Memory Foam MattressMed-firm
12” profile
2” 4.0 lb gel memory foam
2” 3.0 lb memory foam
8” loam base
25 years
30 days
$510
Sleep Innovations 12″ Inch ShilohSoft to Firm
12” profile
2.5” memory foam
9.5” foam
20 years
30 days
$390
Tempurpedic Cloud Supreme BreezeMed-soft
11” profile
2” 4.1 lb memory foam
2” 5.3 lb memory foam
7” foam
10 years
90 days
$3,199

1. Amerisleep Revere Bed

Amerisleep mattresses are all made from plant-based memory foam. This sustainable foam is derived from soybean oil and omits far fewer VOCs than synthetic foams. The Revere is the company’s most popular and highly-rated bed averaging 4.7 stars from over 400 verified reviews.

The Revere, like all of the Amerisleep line, is covered in a Celliant-infused fabric that converts body heat into therapeutic infrared light. It has been clinically proven to improve circulation and increase blood oxygenation. Your heat activates it all night to provide health benefits.

2. iComfort Aura EFX Cushion Firm

The EFX line is named after the EverFeel foam technology it contains, which Serta claims conforms to the body well without needing time or temperature to adapt. It receives 4.3 stars from customers on Sleepy’s.com.

The profile is only 9.5 inches, so heavier people or side sleepers may need to find a thicker model. Gel memory foam and foam make up the comfort layers and the base is 6 inches. Customer reviews indicate the mattress they received being less firm than anticipated.

3. Tempurpedic Cloud Supreme Breeze

The Cloud Supreme Breeze is in the middle of Tempurpedic’s line up as far as price is concerned. It is priced in the luxury range in relation to the rest of the market, however. This bed receives 4.5 of 5 stars from over 80 customer reviews on Tempurpedic’s website.

It has 4.1 lb and 5.3 lb density memory foam for the comfort layers, which is good. The density of the base foam layer isn’t specified.  The Supreme Breeze receives about 35% fewer complaints about heat than other Tempurpedic mattresses according to SleepLikeTheDead.com.

The main complaint many people have about Tempurpedic mattresses is the price. When a customer feels they paid too much for an item, they want it to stand up to strict standards of quality and not everyone feels like this brand is great value.

4. LUCID 12 Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress

The Lucid 12” Gel is the one of the most affordable memory foam bed in our review today. It is medium firm and has eight inches of high density foam for the base layer. On top of that is two inches of 4 lb memory foam and on that layer is two inches of 3 lb gel memory foam.

This Lucid bed provides great support and comfort. The problems with beds that are inexpensive is they tend to have problems with durability and don’t last long with regular use. Cheaper mattresses are better for infrequent or light use.

5. Sleep Innovations 12 Inch Shiloh

The 12” Shiloh  from Sleep Innovations mattress is the most inexpensive in our review. It receives 4.3 stars from over 3,000 customers on Amazon. It is a medium firm bed with 2.5 inches of memory foam on top of a 9.5-inch foam base.

Again, while cheaper mattresses may perform well, they probably won’t for very long with regular use. Price and durability are often correlates with mattresses.

Best Innerspring Mattresses

Bed / BrandDetailsWarranty / ReturnsPrice
Sealy Posturepedic Market Street Cushion Firm Euro Pillowtop Queen Set14.75” profile
Firm
3” polyester
.5” gel memory foam
825 pocket coils 13.75 gauge
10 years
120 days
$997 (set)
Denver Mattress Doctor’s Choice Euro Top1.5” 1.8 lb foam
1” soy foam,
4” 1.8 lb foam
750 pocket coils
15 years
365 days
$549
Serta iSeries Vantage Firm1”-1.5” foam
?“ gel memory foam
?“ foam
1008 pocket coils 15-16 gauge
10 Years
120 Days
$1,074
Simmons Beautyrest Recharge 11.5 Luxury FirmFirm
11.5” profile
1/2“ gel foam
1/2“ foam
2“ foam
800 pocket coils
13 gauge
20 years
Depends on retailer
$850 (approximately)
Stearns & Foster Signature Cape May Luxury Plush14” profile
Plush
?” gel foam
? pocket coils
? gauge
10 years
Depends on retailer
$1,175

1. Simmons Beautyrest Recharge 11.5 Luxury Firm

The Beautyrest Recharge is one of the most popular models from Simmons. It has a 11.5-inch profile and rates around 4.5 stars from customers, depending on the site. This bed is at the upper-end of the entry level price range at $850.

Featuring 800 pocketed titanium coils, the Recharge has more than others in the price range. Some customers still report a lack of support, however. It does receive good motion isolation reviews and doesn’t have problems with heat retention.

2. Serta iSeries Vantage Firm

This Serta bed receives an average of 4.6 stars from over 90 reviews on SamsClub.com. It is a newer version of the Serta iSeries Applause and is a little over $1,000 for a queen. The mattress has 1008 pocketed coils of 15-16 gauge, which provide adequate support. The iSeries line can be soft to firm.

The comfort layers are made from memory foam of unknown densities. Serta isn’t very forthcoming with information regarding the contents of their beds. The foams they use seem to be of decent quality in relation to the price.

3. Sealy Posturepedic Market Street Cushion Firm Euro Pillowtop Queen Set

On Macys.com, the Sealy Posturepedic Market Street Cushion Firm Euro Pillowtop averages a 4.3 out of 5 stars. At 14.75 inches tall, this mattress is the biggest in our review. The coil count isn’t disclosed, but the springs are individually wrapped.

Motion transfer is not a problem for this spring mattress. However, some customers do say the mattress isn’t as firm as they expected.

4. Stearns & Foster Signature Cape May Luxury Plush

The Cape May Luxury Plush from Stearns & Foster has 13.5-inch profile. It has a no-flip design and has a firmness level of plush. The coils are pocketed and the mattress does well with motion isolation.

The comfort layer is made from gel foam, helping to reduce heat retention. The pillow top provides adequate comfort, but the mattress may have problems with premature sagging and durability for the price.

5. Denver Mattress Doctor’s Choice Euro Top

This bed is in the middle price range for Denver Mattress. On their website it has a 4.6 average from over 140 reviews. It is the least expensive innerspring in our review. Spring mattresses in general tend to have problems with early sagging, especially inexpensive ones. The Doctor’s Choice Euro Top receive complaints related to longevity.

This bed does provide good value for the money, however. If you need a mattress for a guest room or somewhere else it will not be used frequently.

Best and Worst Mattresses by Type

Owner satisfaction percentages from study by SleepLikeTheDead.com with a sample size over 15,000. 

Worst Mattresses or Beds to Avoid

There are more good beds out there than bad, but if you end up on a poor mattress it can feel like the end of the world. Here are some things to try to avoid when you are bed shopping:

Thin mattresses. These are often too thin to provide adequate support for heavy people or side sleepers. Look for at least 10 inches in a mattress, thicker if you or are your partner are side sleepers or over 250 pounds..

Heat retention issues. Some mattresses sleep hot. Check reviews and ask questions to make sure you can keep yourself cool at night.

Low-density memory foams. Typically the higher the density foam used, the longer it will last. Most people prefer foams in the medium density range (3.5 to 5.0 lbs), as they tend feel supportive and comfortable and not overly cumbersome. Try to find out the densities of the foams used in your bed.

Motion transfer issues. Motion isolation can be a problem for couples. Memory foam beds tend to rate significantly better than innersprings in this category, though individually pocketed coil systems aren’t bad.

Bad warranty or return policy. A good bed should be backed by good policies. A warranty should be at least 7 years and you should have a trial period of at least 30 days.

The best and worst mattresses on the market are being purchased every day. If you play your cards right and use your head, you’ll end be one of the people buying a good one.

Remember, some of the highest rated beds aren’t super expensive, or from the biggest brands. Shop around, don’t be afraid to look online, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Being thorough when researching and checking reviews are two of your most effective tools when it comes to finding the best mattress.

Getting Ready to Buy a Bed? Learn How to Choose a Mattress

How to choose a mattress

If you are about to buy a bed, you should take a few moments and learn how to choose a mattress that is best for you. After all, you may be spending a lot of time on your new bed and there are many to choose from.

Savvy shoppers want to have all the information before making a decision. This handy how-to should help fill in the gaps of your mattress knowledge.

How to Choose a Mattress for Your Needs

It can be easy to be overwhelmed by all the options when buying a bed. Learning how to pick the right mattress will make your decision much easier. Here are a list of questions to consider when shopping for a new bed.

What will the mattress be used for?

The bed’s purpose is the first thing you should consider when starting your hunt. Beds that will be used infrequently or by a reasonably light person don’t have to be as durable as those that will be used more frequently or by heavier people.

If your bed won’t be heavily used, you may be able to get away with a cheaper, less durable mattress. However, if a person over 200 lbs will be using the bed regularly, you will probably need a more durable bed. Higher quality materials may cost a bit more, but not much if you shop well. Remember, you may save money by buying a mattress that will last longer instead of having to buy a new mattress sooner. 

What type of mattress is best for you?

Best and Worst Mattresses by Type

Data from independent reviewer SleepLikeTheDead.com.

As you can see, latex and memory foam mattresses have better owner satisfaction rates than innerspring beds. Spring beds tend to have more problems with durability and longevity. Latex and memory foam bed owners report more pain relief. They may be slightly harder to find than innerspring beds, but with internet access it should be no problem.

Let’s take a closer look at these different mattress types.

Memory Foam This material developed by NASA in 1966 has come a long way. Originally designed to cushion astronauts during flights, these foams have found their calling in mattresses. Memory foam used in mattresses comes in three varieties, traditional, gel and plant-based.

  • Traditional memory foam is derived from synthetic, petroleum-based oils and tends to have problems with heat retention and odors.
  • Gel memory foam is essentially just like traditional foam with the addition of gel either mixed throughout the foam material, or with gel layers in the upper comfort layers of the mattress. These gels have been implemented to keep the mattress feeling cooler, but have had limited success.
  • Plant-based memory foam is made from oils derived from soy and castor beans. They naturally have an open-cell structure which allows for better breathability. Better airflow throughout the foam helps keep temperatures cool. Plant-based foams also have fewer complaints of odors and offgassing, as they are made from natural, not synthetic materials.

Latex – This material can also be made from either natural or petroleum-based components. Natural latex is made from the sap of the Hevea brasiliensis, or rubber tree, and can be sustainably and organically produced. Latex made this way rates better in owner satisfaction. Be careful, not all latex beds labeled “natural” are derived from 100% natural sources. There are few regulations regarding a natural label and many companies take advantage of this by mixing petroleum-based latex and natural latex together and keeping the natural label. If you are looking for organic latex, check for organic certifications.

Innerspring – Spring beds are the most commonly available on the market currently. Most people are familiar with the way these are constructed. Innerspring beds have one or more metal spring frames covered in softer materials. There are three different types of coil systems found in spring beds.

  • Pocket coil systems have each spring encased in a fabric pocket. These systems are the most highly rated for owner satisfaction and pressure relief. The individually-wrapped coils help to dampen the motion from a sleeping partner.
  • Continuous coil systems are made by weaving one continuous wire into many interconnected coils. These beds are durable and responsive, but have motion transfer problems. Continuous coil systems tend to be less expensive than their pocketed systems.
  • Bonnell coil systems have many individual hour-glass shaped coils. There are many different coil counts and gauges available. Lower gauge coils are more more firm than higher ones. Bonnell coil systems are much less expensive than the other options.

How much can you spend?

This is an important determination. Everyone has a different financial situation. Consider what the bed will be used for and your own personal budget. There is no reason to go over budget when buying a bed. Figure your upper limit early on and don’t go over budget or use credit without a good reason.

Take a look at our recent budget shopping guide for ways to save money on your search: Affordable Mattress Hunt: Finding the Best Bed for the Money.

Did you do your research?

If you’ve made it here, you have likely been looking for information on how to choose a mattress. The internet is filled with mattress reviews and many retail sites allow customers to reviews their beds. Check customer reviews to see if they are verified through a third party. Retailers have been known to tamper with reviews for their own benefit. As you do your research, take your time and keep track of the information you find. There is bound to be a lot.

What firmness is best?

Choosing the right firmness can be the difference between great rest and no rest. Your sleeping position is a big factor when figuring how to choose a mattress.  

  • Side sleepers put more weight on a smaller area, which can lead to pressure points.  They need a bed with enough give to allow their hips and shoulders to sink in for proper spinal alignment, but with adequate support. Side sleepers should look for a more plush mattress.
  • Stomach sleepers or front sleepers do well with a medium firmness. An overly firm sleep surface will put too much pressure on the hips and knees. An overly soft mattress will allow the sleeper to sink into a poor spinal alignment and make breathing difficult by creating an unnatural neck/head alignment.
  • Back sleepers prefer medium to firm beds. Pressure is more evenly distributed for back sleepers. They don’t need the mattress to allow some parts of the body to sink in order to support others.
  • Combination sleepers, or someone who sleeps in a variety of positions, find medium firm is good choice. This is a good middle ground for all sleep styles, not to firm and not too soft. 

If you sleep with a partner with a different sleeping style, try to make an intelligent compromise. Some mattresses can be customized on each side. Try a medium-firm if you are having trouble making a decision. Most people are happy with that level of firmness. A study demonstrated a mattress of medium firmness improves back pain, too. 

What is in the bed?

People are more aware than ever of the chemicals present in our daily environments. We spend one-third of our lives on mattresses, so knowing what is in them is important. In order to comply to with fire safety standards manufacturers may add chemicals or components to their beds. No one wants a toxic mattress, so make sure you find out what is in your bed. If a retailer isn’t forthcoming with the information, think twice.

Can you try the mattress in your home?

While it may have sounded like a silly concept a few decades ago, more and more mattress companies are offering extended in-home trial periods for their beds. You should get at least 30 days to try the bed without risk. You can’t tell if a bed is right for you until you sleep on it. A recent study actually demonstrates this.

Are you shopping online?

With in-home sleep trials and cost-effective shipping techniques, buying a bed online is a great option that is available nearly everywhere the internet is. You can actually shop for a new bed from your old bed and you don’t have the pressure of a salesperson. You can always call the company if you do have questions, but if you’re feeling pressured, take some time to think about it.

The Right Time to Buy a Bed

Are you having more trouble sleeping or waking up with pains? A poor mattress may very well be the culprit. Check your bed for sagging or indentations on the areas you sleep. If sagging is significant, it is likely causing you pain.

Mattress sagging of half an inch or more can cause pain. Bigger indentations correlate with more pain, typically. If your bed isn’t too bad you may be able to get by with a mattress topper for some time and not have to buy a bed. 

If it is time to consider buying a bed, make careful considerations about what you want and what you can spend. It is a great time buy a bed because there are so many options and retailers are competing for your business.