As a reader-supported website, we're able to keep it free. Buying something through a link on this page might earn us commissions. Thanks for that.
Resting well is equally as important as performing exercises and training for a sport as an athlete.
After a taxing workout session, the muscle fibres in the body need to recover and repair before it can train again. The body performs all the necessary repairs during sleep after all, making a proper night’s sleep critical to an athlete’s performance.
And that’s where a good mattress can help you out. As an athlete, the last thing you may want at the end of your day is to lie on a stiff, uncomfortable mattress. In fact, a poor mattress not only disrupts your sleep, but can also prevent your body from recovering well.
So, to help you choose the right mattress, we’ve come up with a list of mattress recommendations. Read on to find out all about these mattresses and what to look for when purchasing one!
Designed with pressure relief in mind, the Emma Zero Gravity is a mattress that aims to provide relaxing comfort for your shoulders, hips and spine with its multi-zone pocket spring system. The mattress manufacturer has made use of several technologies, like the AirGrid technology, to provide an undisturbed and weightless sleep experience. And its hybrid construction makes it a pain-relieving, breathable and supportive option that conforms well to an athlete’s body shape.
The Emma Zero Gravity mattress is in the premium price range, which can be a bit too steep for some.
The Emma Zero Gravity is a medium-firm mattress that provides a comfortable and pain-relieving sleep experience for athletes who train vigorously. Its five comfort layers, double-edge support and AirGrid technology can keep you comfortable throughout the night.
The medium-firm Origin Hybrid Mattress is made up of six layers to provide a supportive and relaxing sleep experience. This lightweight, easy-to-move mattress features a pocket spring layer that is consistently supportive and responsive, which athletes may prefer. And its construction makes your shoulders and spine remain aligned during sleep, making your nights comfortable and restful.
The Origin Hybrid Mattress does not come with a machine-washable cover, which can make maintaining it somewhat difficult.
The Origin Hybrid mattress is a comfortable and responsive product that features a responsive pocket spring layer. It has a slightly plushy feel to it as well, bringing a balance between support and comfort that can be desirable for athletes.
This foamy and springy mattress from Koala is the flagship model in the new mattress range by the manufacturer. The Soul Mate features five-zoned adaptive foam spring layers with an option for customising its firmness level by adding another comfort layer on top of the existing ones. You can choose between two slightly different levels of medium-firmness, which can be useful for those with varying firmness preferences.
The Koala Soul Mate is quite expensive for the features it offers, which can deter some from purchasing it.
The Koala Soul Mate emphasises comfort above all else, with features like the five-zoned adaptive foam and charcoal-infused transition layer for a better sleep experience. It comes with all the features that are standard in its price range, with a layer of customisation added on top.
The triple-layered Emma Comfort Mattress is an OEKO-Tex certified product that focuses heavily on pressure relief while providing ample comfort in the process. It is a medium-firm mattress that can relieve back and shoulder pain well with the Airgocell foam layer. Featuring design elements that keep it breathable and supportive, the mattress can provide a balanced sleep experience for athletes. This mattress is made using high-quality materials, making it quite durable as well.
The Emma Comfort can feel a little lacking with its edge support, which may make it sag near the edges in the long run.
Offering a balanced sleep experience, the Emma Comfort Mattress is an option for athletes to consider. Its layers feature different technologies that keep it cool, adaptive and supportive while being durable to boot.
The Dusk And Dawn Signature mattress is a product geared towards comfort, allowing you to choose between three comfort levels. With Graph-Tek memory foam, the mattress offers a breathable, allergen-free, comfortable and supportive sleep experience. At 38 cm thick, the medium-firm Dusk And Dawn mattress is one of the thickest mattresses on this list. It features ISO Coil 5-Zone pocket spring system that can remain supportive enough for all sleeping positions, making it suitable for athletes.
It may take some time for the body to adjust to the Dusk and Dawn Signature mattress.
The Dusk And Dawn mattress is a comfortable option for athletes to consider. Its high edge support, cooling and durability make it a premium hybrid mattress that may serve you for a while.
For athletes, mattresses ought to be able to support their sleep as much as possible and allow them to replenish their strength. The mattress of choice for an athlete will be able to provide ample comfort while supporting the sore parts of their body.
A common misconception may have you believe that a softer mattress offers the most comfort, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, using softer beds can leave you sore when you wake up in the morning due to the relatively lower responsiveness.
Modern mattress makers understand this, which is why a high-quality pressure-relieving mattress is recommended for athletes. All-foam mattresses, in particular, are generally considered good for athletes because of memory foam.
Several mattress types are capable of achieving this, providing athletes with the best possible comfort throughout the night. This can muddy the waters a little when it comes to choosing a good mattress for you.
Here are a few factors you should watch out for when scouring the market for a mattress.
A good mattress for athletes is a pressure-relieving one, and there are plenty of options capable of providing you with just that.
There are no less than five types to choose from, and each type has its own specialities and drawbacks. While there may be a few differences, like the build quality and size, there are a few defining features that separate them from the others.
Let’s look at each of the five mattress types to see which one can fit you the best!
There was a time when innerspring mattresses were the pinnacle of the bedding industry, offering layers of comfort to the user. Its construction was fairly unique for the time, as it used polyurethane foam comfort layers set atop several lines of springs.
These springs compress at the same time to spread the user’s weight across its surface and provide them with support. While they are fairly supportive and comfortable when new, they are far from a future-proof solution. Issues like reduced response and spring damage become increasingly prevalent as they age, making them something of a relic of the past. As they near the end of their life cycle, the springs could become creaky enough to disrupt sleep entirely.
Innerspring mattresses paved the way for the future of mattress design. Other mattress types, like the hybrid mattress, make significant improvements to the innerspring design, making them quite comfortable and pressure-relieving in the process.
Memory foam is a highly desirable material for athletes, particularly due to its ability to compress uniquely to each user’s body shape. It has taken over the place once occupied by innerspring mattresses as the pinnacle of the mattress industry, and for several good reasons.
The dynamically adjusting foam is generally quite plush and can conform under pressure easily. Additionally, it is close-conforming, offering a pressure-relieving feel for your body that feels more like a cradle.
While early versions of memory foam mattresses were not very breathable, modern mattresses infuse their foams with cooling technology to work around the problem. Gel infusion is one of the most common ways mattress manufacturers achieve this.
Memory foam mattresses are often high quality and last for a long time, which makes it a better option than innerspring mattresses.
Airbeds are mattresses that use motorised air chambers as their support core, making them inflatable pressure-relieving mattresses. They offer a certain degree of comfort customisation that is scarcely seen in other mattresses by virtue of being inflatable.
A typical air bed comes with a layer of foam for comfort that sits atop the support core. This foam layer can be made from materials such as memory foam, polyfoam or latex, depending on the model.
The highly customisable comfort of these beds can make them quite suitable for athletes who prefer a certain type of feel for their beds.
Latex mattresses are firmer beds with an all-natural make. Derived from the sap of rubber trees, latex offers a breathable and supportive feel while being highly durable.
The interesting thing about latex mattresses is that latex is highly durable as a material, which lends the bed a longer lifespan. Even after a few years of use, latex will lose very little responsiveness and resist sagging and indentations well. It can also contour to your body, albeit not to the extent of memory foam.
Latex mattresses are naturally hypoallergenic, meaning that they resist allergens that aggravate any allergies. For athletes who suffer from seasonal allergies, this aspect of latex may be favourable.
So, if you prefer a firmer bed that can conform to your body well, a latex mattress may be worth considering.
Hybrid mattresses combine the positives of innerspring and foam mattresses into one cohesive package. Offering the comfort and contouring of memory foam and the support of innerspring mattresses, hybrid mattresses aim to provide the best of both worlds.
The spring layer used in hybrid mattresses is fundamentally different from innerspring mattresses in that they use pocketed coils for higher support. They move individually, providing a greater response to the pressure applied to them.
And as for the comfort layer, hybrid mattresses don’t limit themselves to a single comfort layer. Some models feature multiple comfort layers to provide you with a pressure-relieving and comfortable sleep experience.
As a result, hybrid mattresses offer a balanced sleep experience, taking the best of two other mattress types and eliminating their weaknesses.
A mattress should be able to conform to the user’s body, which is a desirable quality for athletes in particular. As such, the pressure-relieving qualities of a mattress should be one of the first things you look for when purchasing one.
Proper pressure relief can be the difference between a restful night’s sleep and one that barely supports it. A mattress that sinks too much can be quite uncomfortable for you, which can increase pressure on areas like the spine and shoulders.
On the flip side, a mattress that doesn’t sink enough can also cause trouble with sleeping. The human body needs some cushioning to be comfortable, after all.
A good mattress should be able to ward off body heat and remain breathable throughout the night to prevent the user from waking up. This is doubly as important for athletes, who need a night of uninterrupted sleep to recover from their daily training. Waking up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat is the last thing any athlete wants.
Hybrid and latex mattresses offer the best breathability, with foam mattresses being slightly less effective at it. If you want maximum breathability, some mattress models come with built-in fans that blow cool air into the bed. Of course, this is an expensive option, but it is a perfectly viable solution to the breathability issue.
Mattress density is quite important when discussing the support and durability of a bed. The gist of it is simple: a denser mattress will be more durable, feel heavier and conform less than one that is not as dense.
On the flip side, low-density mattresses are less durable and offer less support in exchange for being more affordable. They are also more breathable, break in quickly and can regulate temperature more effectively.
Of course, neither end of the scale is preferable, particularly for an athlete. Choosing a mattress with medium or medium-high density is the way to go if you’re looking for the best sleep possible.
Mattress thickness depends largely on body type, sleeping position and personal preferences, which can make choosing the right one somewhat difficult.
You can choose from three main types of mattress thicknesses: low-profile, medium-profile and high-profile. These thicknesses, or profiles, work in tandem with other factors that make a mattress good, as discussed earlier.
Low-profile mattresses are no thicker than 25 cm and contain base layers that conform around the shoulders and hips. They are also somewhat firmer and lack cushioning layers at the top, which makes them more suited for lightweight people.
The intermediate thickness level, medium-profile, are mattresses that range between 25 and 30 cm, offering a balance between support and comfort. They have the padding layers that low-profile mattresses don’t, but not enough to make someone sink in completely. Movement in a medium-profile mattress is also fairly straightforward.
And lastly, high-profile mattresses are beds that are thicker than 30 cm, providing the maximum level of comfort possible. They have even more padding than the previous two profiles, and they offer better edge support as well. For athletes with higher body weight, these mattresses can provide you comfort while being fairly supportive.
Mattress firmness is one of the most important factors in determining how plush or firm a mattress is. Like mattress thickness, the ideal firmness level will vary from one person to the next due to its highly subjective nature.
Typically, the firmness of a mattress is measured on a scale of one to ten, with one denoting the softest and ten being the firmest. For athletes, the ideal mattress firmness can range from 5 to 8, depending on personal preferences, body composition, and sleeping position.
This range encompasses the medium and medium-firm levels, which are the most preferred firmness levels in the mattress industry. They conform to your body adequately while providing adequate support and pressure relief.
For better spinal alignment and low pressure on your sensitive joints, you may prefer a medium-soft or soft mattress. The firmness rating range of such mattresses lies between 3 and 5.
There is no shortage of options on the market when it comes to picking a good mattress for athletes. While many of these make for a decent pick, only a few can provide athletes with the comfort and support they need from their beds.
Based on our experience with the mattresses, the product that dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s is the Emma Zero Gravity. Its use of elements like the AirGrid technology makes it a pain-relieving and supportive mattress with a weightless sleep experience.
That said, the Emma Zero Gravity did not emerge to be our number one pick without some stiff competition. Options like the Origin Hybrid and Koala Soul Mate mattresses can suit your preferences as well.
So, at the end of the day, your personal preferences will determine which mattress is the best for you.