Even for couples who are as compatible as it gets, identifying the best mattress can prove challenging.
Sleep is a very individual thing, and everything from weight to age to sleep position or health can influence mattress comfort. According to National Sleep Foundation polls, 93% of people rate mattress comfort as a critical factor for good sleep – and quality rest is important for lifelong health, mood, memory, concentration, weight and much more.
Often, one person attempts to compromise which can mean poor sleep (and some building resentment), which is no good. Recent studies have even shown bad sleep quality can become a source of relationship problems, so finding a comfortable mattress truly is important for couples.
But don’t start stressing just yet – if you and your partner struggle with mattress compatibility, there are quite a few solutions for couples with divergent preferences that don’t involve sleeping apart or settling.
Finding the Best Mattress Options for Couples
If you and your partner are at odds in the bedroom, the first step is to identify the root of the conflict, then seek solutions designed for your situation.
Problem #1: Mattress Firmness
One of the most common complaints among couples shopping for a mattress is that one person prefers firm and the other plush. This is especially common for couples with significantly different weights or different preferred sleep positions.
One solution for traditional mattresses is to buy the firmer option and a mattress topper for the softie’s side. However, this can be cumbersome.
Perhaps the best mattress option for couples with differing firmnesses are beds that allow each side to be customized. A few ideas include:
- Customizable Latex Beds: A few natural latex brands allow you to select specific firmness levels on either half of queen and king beds. One of the brands that topped our look at latex mattresses was Astrabeds. Their customizable organic beds start at $1799 in queen or $2099 in king.
- Dual Water Beds: Mattresses with water chambers are another potential solution. Each partner can use different types of water bladders (more fiber feels firmer). But, some models have bars in the middle which can affect cuddling, waterbeds aren’t practical for everyone, and of the styles can be loud at night. Boyd and US Watermattress are two well-established brands in this sector. Expect to spend at least $800 on a queen-size dual softside waterbed, or at least $1000 for kings.
- Two Same-Height Mattresses: The other option would be to buy two mattress halves of similar height and place them side-by-side. This is easiest with king-size frames, as each half is a twin XL bed (38”x80”). If one of you likes memory foam and the other springs, for example, this could be a good solution.
Problem #2: Health Issues
There are several health conditions that can make sleeping flat uncomfortable, including acid reflux/GERD, back or joint pain, sleep apnea, edema and more. If health issues affect only one partner or if you both have different concerns, it can make sleeping in the same bed challenging.
One option would be to use wedge pillows that can prop one person’s upper body or legs up with causing much discomfort to the other. These pillows are typically $40 to $150, and can be good for temporary or occasional use.
The better option for long-term use are adjustable bases. These allow you to adjust the head and foot of the bed using electric motors for quick and convenient position changes. Most brands have split king or queen options, that allow each person to customize their side of the bed for their specific needs, while still sleeping side-by-side.
With adjustable bases, you typically but the mattress separate. For split models, you could also choose two different styles or firmnesses of similar heights.
Some of the more highly-rated adjustable beds around include:
- Serta Motion Perfect II – Higher-end adjustable base with massage and other features. $1700 in queen, $3200 in split king (occasional sales during holidays).
- Amerisleep Adjustable Bed – Higher-end adjustable base with massage, snore function, app controls and other functions. $1900 in queen, $3600 in split king (frequent sales online throughout the year).
- Leggett & Platt Prodigy – Higher-end adjustable base with massage, snore stopper, alarm and more. Around $2000 in queen, $3800 in split king (varies by retailer).
Problem #3: Temperature Conflicts
Sleeping too hot or too cold on a mattress is another point of contention for some couples. It’s not uncommon to have one partner who’s always cold while the other naturally runs hot.
For many people, this will happen regardless of mattress type though breathable fabrics and foams can help minimize heat retention. Natural fibers like cotton and wool, performance fabrics like Outlast, and open-cell or plant-based foams can be helpful to look for when trying to find the best mattress.
Other ways to overcome mismatched temperature include keeping the room cool and just using separate comforter weights (lighter blankets for the warm one, thicker for the cold one) or using something like the Chilipad that lets each person adjust their space warmer or cooler.
Problem #4: Too Much Bounce
Motion is the other area of dispute for many couples. Whether you have different schedules or one of you is a light sleeper, a bouncy bed can get annoying quick.
Innerspring mattresses are known to be the most prone to motion transfer. But, types with independent pocket coils and thicker layers of foam are typically better at controlling bounce. All foam latex or memory foam mattresses have the least motion transfer, as the foam absorbs rather than disperses movement.
Buying The Best Mattress For Couples: Your Gameplan
Getting the best mattress is easiest when you plan ahead and communicate with each other. Talk to each other about what you want in a bed, shop together, and look for solution that will allow both of you to sleep comfortably.
- Talk about your preferences. Like most things in relationships, communication is key when it comes to getting the best mattress. Discuss what you want in your next bed, what you like/dislike about your current bed, types of mattresses you want to try or research, etc. This helps you get an idea of where you two are similar and where you are mismatched in terms of comfort preferences.
- Think about size. For many couples, the more space they have, the more comfortable they will be at night. King size beds give each person the maximum amount of space (38 inches per half). Queen beds give each person 30 inches, less than a twin size. Cal king gives you 36 inches, but Most sleep experts recommend opting for largest mattress that fits comfortably in your bedroom and budget.
- Start shopping. Based on what you learned while discussing preferences, start looking around at the options that would meet your needs. Don’t commit to anything right away – spend time going to different shops. Keep in mind that many specialty mattresses may only be available online, especially if you aren’t near a major metro area. Make notes on what you like and don’t while shopping.
- Pick your favorites. Once you’ve done some browsing, start narrowing down your options. Were there any that didn’t work for both of you? Any pros or cons that really stand out? Compare prices and look for reviews online to further narrow down your search.
- Buy the best. Once it’s time to buy your favorite mattress, make sure you can return it just in case it doesn’t end up working out. Don’t forget to add any important accessories (such as comforters or cooling pads) that will help complete the best setup for the two of you.
Finding the best mattress options for couples isn’t too much different than shopping for one person, it really just requires being open about what you both like, taking time to research, and perhaps looking outside the box to find a solution that works.
Have any other questions on mattress shopping for couples, or any other tips to share? Leave a comment below!