There are quite a few opinions out there on what makes a bed good or bad, but knowing how to find and sift through mattress reviews can be a helpful skill to have on your next search.
In one of our previous guides comparing the best memory foam beds, we factored consumer reviews into our decision fairly heavily, highlighting the largely positive ratings of mattresses like the Amerisleep Liberty Bed for standing out amongst the crowded competition. In other guides, we’ve also emphasized the value of large reviews samples in learning more about a mattress before buying.
Not every review is as useful or as unbiased as the next though, and you’re more likely to find helpful information in certain places. Read on for insider tips and hints to help you research your next bed and shop smart.
Why Are Mattress Reviews Important?
First things first: why bother with reading reviews? Research takes valuable time after all, and one person’s idea of comfort or value might not match yours.
Well, the primary reason that other people’s experiences are helpful is that they can show shoppers trends or potential warning signs before plunking down hard-earned cash. If you simply take a retailer’s word, it’s easy to gloss over things like quality, how issues are handled and other factors that play heavily into satisfaction.
Products that have a good sample of ratings on the other hand will likely reveal problems with durability, with stores or warranties, or with expectations — if there are any. For example, you can learn whether or not people seeking a firm mattress find a particular model to be comfortable, how people compare a bed with other brands out there, and much more.
Since a bed is something most people buy with the intention of getting several years of sleep, knowing what you’re getting into is wise. You’ll be using this item for about one-third of each day, and relying on it it for getting great sleep. Mattresses are also a significant expense for most people, being one of the pricier household items.
In a field with a lot of less-than-honest advertising and a good deal of marketplace manipulation, reviews remain a very useful tool for cutting through fluff and claims and uncovering real insight.
Where You’ll Find the Best Mattress Reviews
Here are the most popular places you’ll find reviews and consumers’ experiences with beds.
Retail Websites ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Probably the most common source of reviews are the websites of the brands and retailers that sell them. The majority of people will leave reviews with the place they purchased first. A lot of shoppers are concerned about bias when checking brands’ websites, but some do use things like third party verification (more on that later) to improve trust. For brands that sell direct like Serta, Tempurpedic or Amerisleep, you’ll find a good amount of ratings on their respective sites. Other companies like Mattress Firm and Macy’s can also have a pretty good amount of opinions for beds that have been around awhile.
Third-Party Review Websites ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Plenty of shoppers prefer to leave their reviews on unaffiliated websites to give more honest opinions. Some brands will even encourage this too, in order to boost transparency and reach more people. A few of the well-known, legitimate ones popular for mattresses include Viewpoints and Reseller Ratings.
Better Business Bureau ⭐⭐
This long-standing site is well known, and it used to be a go to for determining the legitimacy of a business. These days, however, they are better known for accepting payments to keep ratings positive. Regardless, you can still see if a company has an inordinate amount of complaints and whether or not they address issues that do arise.
Social Media ⭐⭐⭐
Most brands and stores have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social sites where customers can ask questions and leave reviews. Check and see what people are saying in comments, search the brand’s tag, and see how they interact with customers’ questions (and complaints, when they pop up).
Bed Review Websites ⭐⭐⭐
Recently, there has been a big rise in websites writing about reviews of different mattress brands, typically offering glowing write-ups for one or two, or directing visitors to Amazon links or elsewhere. Most of these websites write for the purpose of driving affiliate traffic (i.e., they get paid when visitors click links to the brands being promoted or when they buy). There’s definitely nothing inherently wrong this and many are indeed unbiased and fair sources of information that’s otherwise hard to find, but it’s important to keep in mind as you compare what different reviewers say.
Different Review Sources Compared
How to Use Bed Reviews and Ratings While Shopping
So, now that you’ve found a lot of mattress reviews, what to do with them? A lot of products will have hundreds of reviews — way too many to read individually. Here are a few things to look for to help streamline the process.
1. What’s the average rating? The first thing to check is what the average of all ratings is. Usually, a website will state this by the review section, or you might need to hover over the “stars” for an exact number. Most often, it will be out of 5. Primarily, this can tell you how a bed performs in general compared to peers.
- For reference, a rating of 4.0 out of 5 stars would be about average for memory foam, while 3.2 would be about average for innersprings.
- Note! If a mattress scores significantly below average, be sure to dig deeper as there may be red flags.
2. What percent say they would recommend the bed? The next metric to look for is the proportion of reviewers who say that they would recommend a bed to a friend. Usually, this will be provided in summary around the top of the review section. Usually, people that are at least moderately satisfied will say they recommend an item, while people who are significantly underwhelmed or feel a purchase was a poor value may not.
- For reference, at least 80% of reviewers should be recommending a memory foam bed, or 65% for an innerspring bed to be considered in the average range.
- If people seem more dissatisfied than average, it’s a good idea to check the lower-rated comments to see why. Is it a comfort issue, service issue, or a durability problem?
3. Is there a summary of pros and cons available? Review systems can vary quite a bit from store to store, with some being more user friendly than others. Some like the ones you’ll see on websites like Amazon, Tempurpedic or Amerisleep give shoppers a quick look at things that pop up often as both pros and cons in owner ratings, which can be a very helpful way to get a quick idea of trends in opinions.
- Do people tend to find the firmness as stated? Is comfort or support a frequently mentioned plus? Do more than a few people report the same issue?
4. Are there sorting options? When you’re ready to start reading, see if the website has options for you to sort the comments. This can help you find the most relevant ones.
- Sort by newest to oldest, as retailers regularly update and refresh models.
- Sorting by most helpful can show you the comments other people found best or most helpful.
5. Can you search for specific terms? Another way to make mattress reviews most relevant to your specific needs is to search them for things of concern to you.
- For example, you can search on the webpage (control + f keys in most browsers) for things like “back” or “pain” or “heat” or other priorities you have for your next bed. This will help you find targeted information and more quickly read through them.
As you check out different models and brands, make notes on what stands out to both on the positive and potential negative side. Keeping track of your impression and having side-by-side notes to check can make it easier to narrow down your selections, and save you time from going back and forth.
Current Ratings for Top Mattress Brands
Here is a sample of how mattress reviews stack up for a few popular brands and their most popular beds. For each model, we have included basic details on what’s inside, the price, warranty information, as well as a summary of rating data. Think of this as a scorecard of sorts, ready to help you get started shopping or to compare on your own.
All beds are listed alphabetically, with information accurate as of May 2016.
|The Bed||Details||Pricing||Avg Rating & Recommends||Review Notes||Sources|
|Amerisleep Liberty Bed||Med-Plush Memory Foam|
3” plant-based 4.0lb MF, bio foam core
20 years/100 days
|$1,199||4.6 / 5|
|Comfort, reduced pain, and not hot mentioned, but some would prefer softer||Amerisleep.com|
|Sealy Optimum Elite Courage Plush||Plush Memory Foam|
5” gel ?lb MF, foam core
|$1,949||4.5 / 5|
|Comfort mentioned, some would prefer softer||MattressFirm.com|
|Sealy Posturepedic Plus 14” Pillowtop||Plush Innerspring|
6” poly foams, 825 pocket coils
|$1000/est||4.4 / 5|
|Comfort mentioned often, some describe as too firm||MattressFirm.com|
|Serta iComfort Prodigy III||Plush Memory Foam|
3” gel ?lb MF, 2” MF, foam core
10 years/120 days
|$2,074||None yet (2016 update)|
2014 model average 4.0 / 5, 76%
|Previous model: Comfort and less pain, but about 25% mention durability issues||Serta.com|
|Serta Perfect Sleeper Reedsworth Pillow Top Elite||Medium Innerspring|
?” gel MF + foam layers, 886 pocket coils
10 years/60 days
|$1,074||4.0 / 5|
|Comfort and value mentioned often, about 20% mention indentations||Serta.com|
|Simmons Beautyrest Hybrid Black Luxury Firm||Firm Innerspring|
?” MF layers, 850 pocket coils
|$2,749||4.1 / 5|
|Support, comfort mentioned, some say sleeps warm, about ¼ mention durability issues||MattressFirm.com|
|Tempurpedic Cloud Supreme||Med-Soft Memory Foam|
3” ?lb MF, foam core
10 years/90 days
|$2,499||4.1 / 5|
|Comfort, support, durability mentioned, some report too firm or impressions||Tempurpedic.com|
As you can see, the most common place you’ll find reviews are on retailer websites. However, models that have been around for awhile or brands like Amerisleep that focus on online sales will tend to have a broader base of opinions accessible to shoppers.
The mattresses above all rate above average in their categories, but there are some notable differences. One of the things that seems it influence people most negatively is when a bed develops impressions or if there is an issue returning it. This makes sense, as people are most likely to make the effort to share their experiences when either very happy or disappointed with a purchase.
The brands that did tend to have more 1, 2 or 3 star ratings often had higher than average reports of sagging, pain, or feeling that a bed was not as described or presented in a showroom. For example, in the Serta Perfect Sleeper and Simmons Beautyrest models above, a lot of people found the beds initially comfortable and left 4-5 stars, but then a significant amount of reviewers would post comments one to two years after buying describing durability issues, reducing the rating and recommendation rate relative to other options.
Mattress Brand Current Ratings
This is just a small sample of what’s out there, but we hope this demonstration and the above tips help make the process a bit more understandable and easy to navigate!