Overview

When thinking about mattresses, the first thing that comes to mind is sleep. Finding a good mattress is a key step in getting consistent sleep, which is important for health, alertness, and overall well-being.

But mattresses aren’t used for sleep only. The bedroom is the most common place for sex, and some mattresses are much better at facilitating sexual activity than others. Many shoppers want to make sure that the mattress they select won’t interfere with an active sex life.

In this guide, we’ll discuss how different mattress designs and compositions can affect how well they facilitate sex. We’ll also review other factors to consider when buying a mattress and will provide recommendations for the best types and models of mattresses for sex. You can read through the guide or can click here to jump straight to our recommendations.

Considerations for Sex

There are numerous elements of the design of a mattress that can affect its suitability for sex. As a general rule, mattresses that permit ease of movement are far better for sexual activity than those that inhibit movement. In the section below, we’ll describe the important elements to consider and will explain which may be the most important for you as a mattress shopper.

Firmness / Responsiveness

When we discuss the firmness of a mattress, in large part we are describing how responsive that surface is to our weight and pressure. The more firm the mattress, generally the less responsive it is. For example, a very firm mattress will barely budge when we sit or lie on it. A very plush mattress will easily sink when pressure is applied.

When it comes to sexual activity, neither extremely plush nor extremely firm mattresses are ideal. A very plush mattress is prone to inhibiting motion because of the tendency to sink into the mattress, which can make some people feel “stuck” in the mattress. A very firm mattress without any give, on the other hand, is likely to be uncomfortable and uninviting for sustained sexual activity.

As a result, the best mattresses for sex are usually medium to medium-firm mattresses that fall between a 5-7 on the typical firmness scale. These can provide sufficient comfort and support without preventing movement on the mattress.

Resilience / Bounce

Another important element to consider is the resilience of the sleeping surface. Resilience refers to how quickly the mattress regains its original shape after pressure is removed. A mattress with a high level of resilience will rapidly retake its form, and this can make the mattress feel bouncy or springy.

If a mattress does not have resiliency, it is common for people to complain of sinking into the mattress or feeling stuck in the mattress. This requires additional energy in order to move as it feels like you have to fight the bed just to change positions. This can be extremely disruptive and a major nuisance for sexual activity in which quick movements and changes of position are common.

On the other hand, resilient or bouncy mattresses are often considered to be the most well-suited for sex. The return of energy from the mattress springing back to its original form creates an ease of movement on the surface of the mattress. The resilience helps to prevent any feeling of sinking too deeply into the mattress and as a result, can effectively facilitate motion and sex.

Edge Support

Some mattresses are constructed with materials that are weaker around the edges of the bed. Mattresses with weak edge support can be detrimental for sex because of the inconsistency in their level of support. This can both disrupt movement on the mattress and can be a barrier to some sexual positions.

Durability

When compared with sleeping, sex puts considerably more strain and pressure on a mattress. A mattress made with low-quality materials or that isn’t designed to handle this increased strain may start sagging or showing other signs of wear and tear. A good mattress for sex should be constructed with excellent materials such as high-density foams or well-reinforced innerspring coils.

Quiet

Sexual activity often requires discretion, which can be compromised if a mattress is extremely noisy. As with durability, mattresses that are built with higher-quality materials are less likely to have issues with excess noise during sex.

Other Buying Considerations

  • Mattress size: most mattresses are available in numerous different sizes, but as a mattress shopper, you should not overlook the importance of choosing the right size for you. Mattresses with more surface area are typically better for sex.
  • Comfort for sleeping: choosing a mattress that’s optimal for sex may be a priority, but it’s also important to make sure that the mattress is comfortable for sleeping. Comfort preferences are very subjective, yet most people find that a medium-firm mattress is the best combination of support and comfort. You can read more about finding the right comfort level for you in our Mattress Firmness Guide.
  • High-quality materials: nothing determines the performance of a mattress more than the quality of the actual components that are used to make it. You’ll come across a lot of fancy marketing terms for different features, but sometimes this is just window dressing to cover over a mattress built with shoddy internal parts. When looking at the materials, here are some questions to think through:
    • Does the company provide detailed specifications? For example, do they list the actual thickness of each layer of the mattress? If it’s a foam layer, do they publicly share the density and/or ILD of the foam? If it’s an innerspring layer, do they tell you about the type of innerspring construction? The more vague the details, the more skeptical you should be that perhaps the company cut corners in choosing their materials.
      Is there a weak spot? Some mattresses may use great materials in the comfort layer but use a low-quality foam for support. Remember that one weak layer can dramatically reduce the overall performance of the mattress.
    • How thick is the comfort layer? An extremely thin comfort layer may degrade the feel and performance of a mattress and may limit its long-term durability as more pressure will be put on the supporting layers. This is especially true for very sexually-active customers who are likely to put more strain on the comfort layer. In general, look for a comfort layer that is at least 2” thick, and if you are a heavier sleeper or someone with major pressure points, you likely want an even thicker comfort layer or a combination of several comfort layers.
  • Price and value: you can find mattresses for bargain basement prices and for thousands and thousands of dollars. The cost of a mattress is often not reflective of its overall quality. That’s why we suggest inspecting the design of the mattress and doing your best to comparison shop. For more about getting the best deal, you can review our Guide to Mattress Sales and Discounts.
  • Free shipping: it’s important to consider the total cost of buying a mattress and not just the price of the mattress itself. Most online mattress companies offer free shipping. If you’re enticed by a mattress that has a shipping charge, just make sure to factor that into your total assessment of the value of the mattress.
  • Free and no-hassle returns: many people get concerned about buying a mattress online because they don’t have an opportunity to scope the mattress out in a store. Thankfully, most direct-to-consumer mattress companies offer an extended sleep trial that allows you to try the mattress out in your own home for several months. If you realize during the sleep trial that the mattress isn’t right for you, you can return it at no charge and with no hassle from the company. We suggest choosing a mattress that has this type of sleep trial and return policy to help protect your investment in case you find that the mattress just isn’t the right fit.
  • Solid verified reviews: as we’ve stated, there’s a lot of marketing that takes place in the mattress industry, and one of the best ways to cut through the noise is to only rely on trusted reviews. We’ve tried to do a lot of this legwork for you, and you can read more about any specific mattress in our brand reviews.

Types of Mattresses

You can read a lot more detail about the different types of mattress options that are on the market in our Buyer’s Guide, but we’ll provide a quick refresher here. You can classify almost all mattresses into the following categories:

  • Foam: these mattresses are built with several layers of foam, and the exact foam composition and specifications can vary. One of the most common types of foam mattress construction involves a base of support foam with one or more comfort layers on top. The comfort layers are most often composed of memory foam or another type of foam with a similar feel. Specifically, this type of comfort layer responds to the amount of pressure applied in each specific place, which helps to provide appropriate support to each part of the body.
  • Innerspring: these mattresses use coils inside the mattress to provide spring and support. This is the most traditional type of mattress, and the innerspring coils often have a slightly softer top layer, such as a pillowtop, that can provide some additional plushness or comfort. There are numerous types of innerspring construction that can affect the support and performance of an innerspring mattress.
  • Hybrid: Hybrid mattresses include elements of memory foam, innerspring coils, and/or latex. A common type of hybrid has a layer of memory foam on top of a base of innerspring coils. Another type involves a mixture of layers with support foam, latex, and memory foam. The benefits and downsides of a hybrid mattress depend in large part on the layering and materials involved in the construction of the mattress.
  • Latex: these mattresses are made from either natural or synthetic rubber. Latex tends to be a heavier and more expensive material, so it is not uncommon to see all-latex mattresses sell for thousands of dollars. Latex offers a high level of responsiveness, but it also tends to be bouncier and more resilient than many foams on the market.

General Tips & Recommendations

Before we provide our suggestions for the top specific mattress brands and models for sex, we want to offer some general recommendations. Even if you don’t opt for one of our top choices, you can put this guidance to use in making sure that you buy a mattress that will keep your sex life hot.

  • Lean toward latex mattresses. The hallmark of latex is its resiliency, and this is why latex is often described as bouncy. At the same time, latex is also responsive enough to avoid feeling uncomfortable or too firm. Latex typically has sufficient edge support and is quieter than most innerspring mattresses. The combination of all these benefits and the ability of latex mattresses to strike the balance between support and resilience all contributes to why these mattresses have a longstanding reputation as the optimal choice for sex.
  • Innerspring and coil-based hybrid mattresses are also worthy of consideration. Many innerspring mattresses have excellent resiliency and provide strong edge support. However, there is a huge range of quality in innerspring mattresses, so it is important to look carefully at the construction and at verified reviews. A low-quality innerspring mattress is likely to suffer from durability, noise, and other support issues, especially over the long-term.
  • Be wary of memory foam. The most pronounced feature of memory foam is its responsiveness. This means that the foam compresses as pressure or weight is applied. However, memory foam has a much lower resilience than latex, which causes it to more slowly return to its original size. Many people find that this causes them to feel stuck in the mattress, slowing or interrupting movement. Though there are variations of memory foam that are designed to have more resilience, we suggest purchasing these with caution if you truly want the best mattress for sex.

Top Choices

All-Latex

The best all-latex mattress for sex is the Sleep On Latex Pure Green Mattress.

  • Why? The Pure Green Mattress is built with high-quality latex that gets excellent reviews for its performance. Its resiliency and bounce across the mattress provides an optimal type of surface for sex.
  • Why not? The company doesn’t provide quite as much detail about the mattress specifications as we would prefer, which makes it more difficult to evaluate its components for long-term durability.
  • Bottom Line: Even without knowing every detail of the build of this mattress, we can safely say that it includes a considerable amount of high-performance latex at a price that is a fraction of what these types of mattresses are often sold for. It is a top choice for customers who prioritize having a great mattress for sex.

Sleep on Latex 2

Innerspring

The Saatva mattress is our choice for the best innerspring mattress for sex.

  • Why? The Saatva is built with excellent components, including multi-layered coils that provide a solid level of firmness, support, and bounciness that are great for sex. The company also has a reputation for a high-level of customer service.
  • Why not? There is a charge for shipping that is not refundable if you decide to return the mattress.
  • The Bottom Line: with such a wide variation in quality for innerspring mattresses, we find the Saatva to be a reliable choice. While you can find innerspring mattresses out there for a much lower cost, they simply won’t deliver the kind of performance offered by the Saatva.

Saatva 3

Hybrid

Our top pick for the best hybrid mattress for sex is the Sapira.

  • Why? The Sapira has high-density foam in its comfort layer and has a support core made up of innerspring coils with foam support on both the top and the bottom. These should provide a durable and sufficiently bouncy surface for sex. In addition, the Sapira is made by Leesa, which has been well-regarded for its customer support.
  • Why not? The price tag on the Sapira mattress is higher than for many other mattress options, and the mattress has not been on the market long enough to definitively evaluate its performance and durability.
  • Bottom line: Though ideally we would like to see a lower price and longer track record, the Sapira’s strong innerspring support core with high-density foam comfort layer should make for an excellent mattress for sex.

Sapira 1

Foam

The Tuft and Needle mattress is our choice for the best foam mattress for sex.

  • Why? While all-foam mattresses aren’t the best overall for facilitating sexual activity, the Tuft and Needle is firmer and more resilient than many other memory foam models. In addition, this mattress has been on the market for over 5 years, and the company has developed a reputation as a quality brand with excellent customer service.
  • Why not? Even though it is more resilient than many memory foams, it is still likely to be inferior for sex compared to most latex or innerspring mattresses. In addition, the foam density of the Tuft and Needle leaves a bit to be desired, which may pose durability issues.
  • The Bottom Line: Though this isn’t a perfect mattress for sex, at its price point, it represents an excellent value and is a reasonable choice for anyone looking for a quality mattress that won’t bust their budget.

TuftNeedle Up close

Foam – Latex Hybrid

Our top choice for the best latex hybrid for sex is the GhostBed.

  • Why? This mattress features high-density foams in all three layers. It offers a combination of memory foam and latex, and the topmost layer is latex, which improves overall resiliency. The mattress is produced by Nature’s Sleep, a company that has an extended history in the mattress industry.
  • Why not? The latex layer is only 1.5” thick and is supported by less resilient foams, which may not offer quite as much bounce as all-latex models. In addition, while Nature’s Sleep has been selling mattress for over 15 years, the GhostBed has only been on the market since 2015, so we have less information about its long-term durability.
  • The Bottom Line: For the price, the GhostBed uses a combination of quality materials arranged in a way that creates a mattress that for most customers is good for sex and is comfortable for sleeping.

ghostbed3

Additional Resources