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You know sleep is important. At least, you know by now that not sleeping sucks. Recent research is unequivocal: you need sleep for a healthy body and sharp mind. More specifically, sleep is essential for helping muscles rest, recover, and rebuild after exercise. And for a lot of people, getting the best sleep of your life will also require one of the best mattresses designed with athletes in mind.
Fortunately for sore athletes, weekend warriors, and gym rats, there are plenty of new mattresses to choose from.
You probably haven’t noticed unless you’ve been mattress shopping recently, but the mattress industry is quietly undergoing a revolution. The old paradigm—going down to a dedicated mattress store, usually in a sketchy part of town, to “test” insanely expensive bedding—has slowly eroded over the last 10 years. In its place, start-up mattress businesses have flipped the model. There’s no need for middlemen. Nowadays, you can get advanced foams, smaller springs, and other comfort-creating details direct from manufacturers, often with generous tryout periods. As a result, you can now choose from a wide variety of super-luxurious mattresses without having to pay crazy prices.
Also, almost all the new models can be shipped right to your door—most of them tightly vacuum-sealed into a box about the size of a punching bag (called “bed-in-a-box”). Companies even offer money-back guarantees, in case you don’t fall in love with the mattress after a real-life trial run.
Now, the only challenge is to sift through all the best mattresses available. I tossed and turned and tried out some of the latest offerings, from comfy bargains to plush behemoths that can rival the old stalwarts in price.