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Ask any athlete, and they will tell you the importance of sleep for recovery and fitness.
But given all the physical ‘labour’ they require, getting a good night’s sleep, especially without the right mattress underneath, can be a herculean task. That’s why we are here today reviewing the 5 best mattresses for athletes. We have also curated a detailed FAQ section to help you further.
The Nectar hybrid mattress combines memory foam layers and individually wrapped springs to create the perfect balance between comfort and support. It has a moisture-absorbing cover with air circulation properties that make for a cooler sleeping environment. Moreover, the dynamic foam support layer adds sufficient bounce and helps regulate body temperature, making you feel comfortable after a long day of training. Below this is the spring layer that adds comfort, in tandem with pressure-relieving foam and 7-zone support base at the bottom.
The weight of the mattress may not make it suitable for people looking for a lightweight unit, especially for transportation.
Suitable for all types of sleepers, the Nectar hybrid mattress can help you sleep cool while relieving pressure and adding comfort with no motion transfer. And the brand backs this unit with a 365-night trial and lifelong warranty.
With an eco-friendly construction, this hybrid bamboo mattress aims to solve multiple common issues faced by athletes, like aches and pains and odour formation. It features 6 layers for optimal airflow and orthopaedic support that ensure proper spinal alignment, no matter your sleeping position. And its multi-zone spring base adds more support for muscle repair while facilitating motion isolation. This mattress can also help you sleep cooler, and its anti-slip base keeps it from moving around on the bed.
The 100-night trial may not be adequate to test the mattress, as it generally requires about 120 nights to get used to the feel of a new one.
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly, medium-firm mattress that can aid a quality night’s sleep with its support and comfort, then you may consider this option. It also comes with a motion control feature in the form of 1,500 premium pocket springs to ensure undisturbed sleep.
Featuring 5 layers made from a combination of memory foam and individually wrapped springs, the DreamClould luxury hybrid mattress can help provide support, comfort, and temperature regulation. At the top is a quilted layer that renders both softness and breathability while the supporting memory foam contours your sore pressure points. There’s another layer of support foam that keeps the mattress cradled around all body types, and the spring base adds significant edge support with motion isolation.
Being a ‘luxury’ hybrid mattress, it’s one of the most expensive options on our list today, and it may not be suitable for all budgets.
The DreamCloud luxury mattress is a soft mattress that can help an athlete get a restful night’s sleep by maintaining close contact with the body to relieve aches and pains. Further, you can try it for a full year to see if it suits your sleeping requirements.
With 5 layers of specially designed body foam and CarbonFlex springs, the Emma premium mattress facilitates targeted pressure relief, which can be a good advantage for professional athletes. At the top is a moisture-wicking removal cover, which also helps the mattress maintain the right temperature for sleeping. And below this are the brand’s Halo foam and point elastic Airgocell technology, both of which can relieve pressure and keep your spine aligned. Besides, they may aid the cover in temperature regulation and minimise motion transfer. Lastly, the spring base offers 5-zone customised support for your upper and lower body.
The height of the mattress may make it difficult to get in and out of bed, especially if you suffer from body pains.
This hybrid mattress from Emma can be the solution if you want to experience the benefits of spring without its rigidness. The foam layers serve multiple purposes like pressure relief and temperature regulation, while the motion isolation gives you undisturbed sleep.
Unlike most other hybrid mattresses that have only one layer of spring, the Simba hybrid pro mattress sports two layers of the brand’s Aero Coil springs (2,500 on each layer). The brand claims that this design can provide complete body support with increased airflow and no motion transfer. And while the top layer feels soft, the firmness from the second layer onward makes it a medium-firm unit. As for the foam, the open-cell memory foam layer is infused with graphite to draw away heat from the body. It’s covered in a layer of British wool for temperature regulation, making the mattress suitable for both hot and cold nights.
The ‘softness’ of the first spring layer may be too firm for some sleepers, making the surface lack proper responsiveness.
With a unique design, the Simba hybrid mattress aims to fulfil different purposes like full body support and temperature regulation to cater to a diverse customer base. Besides, it can keep you cool on warm nights and warm on cool nights for a good night’s sleep.
Mattresses are typically categorised on the basis of their materials or the construction type. And here are the most common types of mattresses available out there for athletes:
Memory foam mattresses are perhaps the most popular type of foam mattresses, whether for athletes or otherwise. The material is a version of polyurethane foam (which is what makes them different from traditional memory foam mattresses), but it has several advantages.
For one, mattresses made of memory foam can precisely contour the body of the sleeper, no matter their body type or sleeping position, for optimal comfort.
However, side sleepers and people with joint or muscle pains can benefit from the contouring the most, as the mattress will ‘cradle’ the sensitive areas. So, if you experience body pains after training or playing, a memory foam mattress can provide you with some much-needed relief for a comfortable slumber.
Secondly, the material can bounce back once the weight from the surface is removed, so it’s likely to sag less, even with regular use. Besides, memory foam is naturally resistant to dust mites and other allergens, making it worth considering for people with allergies.
That said, the inherent density of the material can trap body heat, raising the overall temperature of the mattress. But with advancements in technology, mattress brands have been able to ‘equip’ foam mattresses with cooling properties, like perforations and graphite particles, to counter this problem.
It won’t be wrong for us to say that hybrid mattresses were designed to overcome the problem of traditional spring mattresses, which tend to wear out faster. This is primarily because the springs lose their agility with use, eventually getting compressed to the point of no return.
However, the support provided by the coils, especially by means of even weight distribution, remained desirable. Moreover, the placement of the coils can facilitate better airflow for better temperature regulation.
And thus came the era of hybrid mattresses, which helped sleepers reap the benefit of the coils without the downsides.
This mattress type is typically made from innerspring coils and foam to offer sleepers the best of both worlds. That is to say, a hybrid mattress can strike the perfect balance between softness and firmness, as well as regulate temperature to help you sleep cooler.
But we should also tell you that these mattresses are often very heavy and expensive.
Latex mattresses come in two varieties- natural and synthetic.
For the unversed, latex is a type of rubber (harvested from rubber trees, of course) that’s used for manufacturing different things, including mattresses. It’s similar to memory foam in many ways, but the biggest advantage of the material is that it is a natural heat deterrent and offers more bounce.
Further, latex mattresses can help alleviate aches and pains in all types of sleepers, and they have a longer lifespan. You may consider one if you prefer natural materials, but most importantly, if budget isn’t a constraint for you.
The good news is that you will also find synthetic latex mattresses that replicate the feel of natural latex mattresses but at a lower price. Besides, some latex mattresses are made from a blend of natural and synthetic latex.
Waterbeds are just what they sound like- beds or mattresses filled with water. They feature an outer covering of sorts comprising different chambers that need to be filled with water according to the level of support and comfort you require. In that sense, they can provide highly customised support and are often used by professional athletes for faster muscle recovery.
Additionally, some waterbeds come with thermostats that allow users to regulate the surface temperature. But these mattresses are not for everyone, as they provide a quite different experience than sleeping on usual mattresses.
Air mattresses can be a better alternative to waterbeds in the sense that they almost always have a layer of plush form for comfort. These come with air pumps, and you can, again, customise the mattress (via the amount of air). Besides, these mattresses are pretty lightweight (portable) and can make for a comfortable sleeping surface even if you don’t have a bedframe.
As an athlete, it’s only natural that you’d want a mattress that can provide the best support for your tired muscles and aches. At the same time, it should be comfortable enough to help you get quality sleep, which is crucial for recovery.
As such, there are a few factors (aside from the material) that should be considered to make the right choice in this regard. And here are few of them:
Although the firmness level is largely subjective, many athletes prefer a medium to medium-firm mattress. This quality of a mattress can help them find the perfect balance between support and comfort, keeping their spine properly aligned to reduce back pain.
Likewise, a medium or medium-firm mattress can be a good solution for reducing joint pain and relieving pressure points, as well as handling injury management. While a soft mattress may make them sink too much and lack support to the joints, a firm mattress may be too hard, aggravating pain and discomfort.
However, other aspects like the body weight of the sleeper(s) and dominant sleeping position will also determine the right firmness level for you. So, we’d suggest getting a mattress with a trial policy to see if it’s the right fit for your needs.
Given the intensive physical exertion that a professional athlete generally experiences daily, it’s not usual for athletes to find it difficult to stay cool while sleeping. That’s why many of them opt for mattresses that facilitate proper air circulation and, consequently, better temperature regulation.
For instance, you can go for a foam mattress infused with graphite or Aerocoil springs. Alternatively, some mattress designs use a perforated top layer to help with cooling.
Some mattresses are specifically made for muscle recovery purposes- they leverage your body’s energy to focus on recovering muscles. In fact, some brands use copper-infused fibres that can improve blood circulation in muscles and reduce muscle tension.
Excessive sweat or perspiration is one of the leading causes of skin issues like infections in athletes, so we’d suggest going for a mattress with a cover that can absorb and release moisture. This reduces the chances of bacterial or fungal infestations that can cause the above-mentioned.
In addition, some fabrics or materials are infused with antimicrobial properties, which is a bonus. These also make the overall maintenance process of the mattress easier, as you usually don’t have to work hard to remove germs and bacteria.
Medical-grade foam (or orthopaedic foam) is a type of memory foam that’s specially designed for pressure relief and support purposes.
Mattresses made from this type of foam generally feature interrelated grooves and channels that add extra support to your joints, spine, shoulders, knees and other areas of discomfort. Additionally, they can provide comfort from bed sores, joint pains, pressure ulcers, and similar conditions.
Hence, many athletes are medically advised to use medical-grade foam mattresses, especially when recovering from injuries. But they can be used by anyone looking for that extra support.
The firmness of a mattresses is determined by different factors, like:
While a firmer mattress typically contributes to a ‘hard’ or stiff sleeping surface, a softer mattress makes it easier to sink into it. And since different people have different preferences when it comes to the firmness of a mattress, a firmness scale is brought into use to help people make the right purchase decision.
This scale ranges from 1 to 10, with 1 being the softest and 10 being the firmest. In most cases, the ideal range is somewhere between 3 and 8, with 5 to 7 being more popular among athletes looking for that ‘medium-firm’ feel.
If you’re looking for a mattress that specifically caters to your dominant sleeping position, then here are few tips that can help:
Since side sleepers require more support near their head, shoulders and hips along with proper spinal alignment, a medium firm memory foam mattress may be the right choice for them. This way, the mattress will contour to them better.
Stomach sleepers require more support to their stomach and hips so that they don’t sink too much into the mattress. As such, they can go for a hybrid mattress scoring higher on the firmness level.
Back sleepers will need proper spine alignment and support to prevent their bodies from sinking into the mattress. In this regard, a medium firm mattress with memory foam or latex that facilitates proper bounce can be the perfect choice for them.
Since combination sleepers ‘use’ a combination of the different sleeping positions mentioned above, they should go for a mattress that best suits their dominant sleeping position.
Different mattresses offer different experiences, so the time required for your body to get adjusted to them typically varies. However, it’s believed that a minimum of 120 nights is a good time to let the body get accustomed to a new mattress.
With that, it’s a wrap for today!
But before we leave you to make the decision, here are the top choices from the above list. The Nectar hybrid mattress can offer adequate support and comfort as well as make the sleeping surface cooler. But if you’re looking for an eco-friendly option with the same properties, the Panda London hybrid bamboo mattress may be worth checking out.