UPDATE 2/16/22 8:25 pm Eastern Time - I think I've pretty much answered every question. If I somehow missed your question please chat, DM, or email here https://naplab.com/contact/ I'm always happy to help answer any questions and provide personalized recommendations at any point during the year. Thanks for a great AMA Reddit!

Hi Reddit!

My name is Derek! I have been testing mattresses since 2014 and over the last 6 years I've tested 187 mattresses from virtually every major brand and every major material type (memory foam, latex, coil, hybrid, etc.)

I am the Founder & original owner of Sleepopolis.com, where I operated it from 2014 to 2017.

In the summer of 2021 I launched a new platform to test mattresses at NapLab.com. At NapLab I developed a battery of tests to more objectively test mattresses. We use a thermal camera for cooling tests, an accelerometer for motion transfer, video / photo analysis to take precise measurements for sinkage, compression, and response, in addition to other data-driven tests.

Our aim is to create the most objective data-driven reviews possible so our readers can make the most informed decision about the mattress that's best for them.

In addition to mattresses, I've tested hundreds of pillows, sheets, foundations, bedding, sleep tech, sleep accessories, and other sleep related products.

Happy to answer questions about anything!

Proof - https://i.imgur.com/5Ma4Vvy.jpg (took these photos on Friday intending to do the AMA then, but it ended up being too late in the day to start)

UPDATE 7:00 pm Eastern Time - Thank you so much for all of the great questions. I'm calling it a day, but please feel free to continue asking questions. I'll answer as many as I can late tonight and into tomorrow. Please feel free to email me directly here https://naplab.com/contact/ or DM works too. Happy sleeping :)

UPDATE 12:45 am Eastern Time - I've been answering questions for the last 90 minutes or so and I'll be going for another 15 minutes. I'll be back tomorrow morning for any other questions that come in.

UPDATE 2/15/22 11:09 am Eastern Time - I'm back online for day 2 of questions. Fire away!

UPDATE 2/15/22 6:57 PM Eastern Time - Looks like things are winding down here. I am heading out for the evening, but I'll continue to pop back in and answer any questions tomorrow. Or feel free to DM / chat me. Thanks again for all of the great questions!

Comments: 680 • Responses: 98  • Date: 

GladTaBeHere232 karma

What mattress do you sleep on every night?

derek-naplab334 karma

Loom & Leaf Luxury Firm

It's a memory foam mattress with a euro-style quilted cover. Similar to Tempurpedic in some respects, the euro-style cover being the biggest difference maker.

That's been my daily driver mattress since 2017. Thus far, there has not been any significant permanent indention in the foams or other notable wear / tear.

Here's our review in case you're interested - https://naplab.com/mattress-reviews/loom-leaf-review/

tormunds_beard165 karma

I love that you have sex scores.

derek-naplab260 karma


I mean...how could you review a mattress without discussing sex? It's nearly as critical as the sleep performance, in my view.

399oly202 karma

Imagine trying to explain to the IRS that hiring call girls is a legitimate business expense

derek-naplab96 karma

Lol...I'm dead

AmonDhan35 karma

Unfortunately, the sex score section has no pictures or videos

derek-naplab102 karma

Sorry to disappoint. Wife refused to model.

Maybe I should get a crash test dummy.

vengefultacos177 karma

Wouldn't that be a smash test dummy?

derek-naplab29 karma

lmao...perfect. Now I really do need to get one.

CptnCumQuats47 karma

How much did loom & leaf pay you to say that?

Because…. Your review talks about the 5 pound per square foot memory foam, but says nothing about the 2 inch gel infused foam and nothing about the density of the support poly foam (likely because it will be 1.8 PCF, like every other bed in the box, AKA minimum level of quality for a massive price tag).

Literally the most important part of the review; the quality of the materials made in the mattress; is left out. Shows you sold out. I challenge you to respond otherwise.

derek-naplab8 karma

Loom & Leaf did not pay me to say anything. That's the mattress I sleep on. We use referral links for L&L, just like every other mattress we review.

L&L doesn't ship compressed.

PCF is important, but also something that most readers don't really care about. As a result, I've just sort of stopped talking about it. PCF isn't the only measure of whether or not a foam is quality.

Also, quite frankly, it's hard to get PCF for every mattress. Many brands just won't reveal that, which probably means it's 1.5-1.8. But in any case, that's why I do it the way we do it.

There's no nefarious plot here.

WhipTheLlama131 karma

When I was shopping for a mattress last year I ran across lots of review web sites and Youtube channels, including Sleepopolis. I came to the conclusion that most of these reviews are either paid for by the manufacturer or they are required to give a good review if they want to keep getting free samples to test.

How honest is the mattress review industry? Are there any negative consequences if you say that a particular mattress is bad?

derek-naplab226 karma

You are correct.

Some mattress brands own review websites or they have a direct investment into a review site.

Mattress review websites generally aren't required to give a good review, but heavily influenced to do so. If you see certain suspect mattresses routinely at the top of various "best of" lists you can almost guarantee those mattress brands are simply paying the most money per sale.

The mattress review industry by and large is dishonest.

There are absolutely consequences if you you call out a particular mattress as bad or even just that don't like it as much as others.

Mattress brands stop working with you, remove you from their partner programs, reduce your commission, threaten legal action, sue you, they will negative SEO your website (which causes rankings to decline), they will send dislike bots to your YouTube videos (which isn't a big deal now that dislikes are turned off), and launch a myriad of other cyber attacks.

All of the above have happened to me over the years.

ChickenPotDie70 karma

What mattresses do you think have the best quality for under $800?

derek-naplab140 karma

I am going to guess you are interested in Queen size for $800.

Within the last several years the cost of foam (as well as many other materials) has gradually and notably increased. As a result, while it was easier to find a quality Queen size mattress for under $800 4-5 years ago, that's not really the case in many.

In general, I would say most quality mattresses start around $1,000 now.

Even so, there are still a few notable brands I've tested that are making a fantastic mattress for around $800.

The 2 most notable are:

1) Zoma - their memory foam mattress is $799 for a Queen size. Zoma is a newer brand, but it's the sister-company of Amerisleep, who have been in business 2010. They are lesser known due to relatively smaller marketing budgets, but their mattress material and build quality is fantastic. Full review here - https://naplab.com/mattress-reviews/zoma-mattress-review/

2) Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid - it's a little over at $843 currently, but worth the mention if you can stretch the budget a bit. A hybrid for this price is pretty crazy. Brooklyn Bedding is often able to beat many others on price because they actually own the factory. It's a huge facility near where I live, I was able to visit it in 2015. When you own the factory you can keep prices lower, which means a better mattress for less money for you. Full review - https://naplab.com/mattress-reviews/brooklyn-bedding-signature-hybrid-review/

DrKhaylomsky57 karma

What's the most expensive mattress that's worth its pricetag?

derek-naplab88 karma

Great question!

I would go with the Purple Hybrid Premier 4. It's $3,499, which is a good bit more than what I'd call the typical Queen size price ($1,000 to $2,000). Even so, it uses 4" of Purple hyper elastic polymer grid system. Which is a material that I've not seen really anywhere else (excluding Intellibed, but that's even more expensive).

The polymer responds instantly, has great bounce, great cooling, and fantastic pressure relief. Just a high performance mattress with specialized material. Full review here - https://naplab.com/mattress-reviews/purple-hybrid-premier-4-review/

The only other mattresses of note that are worth their super expensive price tag would be natural latex, organic, and other natural mattresses. Those materials are simply more expensive, so the mattress is more expensive. If having a 100% natural / organic bed is important be ready to spend more like $2.5-4K.

driverofracecars48 karma

What do you do with all the mattresses after you're done with them?

derek-naplab154 karma

Almost all are donated to a local charity that works directly foster kids and families.

Edit - fixing typo

corsicanguppy11 karma



derek-naplab9 karma

lol, families, yes.

They don't work with famines. (that I know of)

benrow7735 karma

I'm a side sleeper (who wishes I could be a back sleeper) and I desperately need to replace my current mattress. What do you recommend for heavier folks (~350) who want a firm but not stiff mattress?

derek-naplab27 karma

Winkbed Plus would be my current #1 pick (full review - https://naplab.com/mattress-reviews/winkbed-plus-review/

Though Saatva HD, Helix Plus, and Titan are not far behind (you can find those reviews here - https://naplab.com/mattress-reviews/)

All 4 of these are specifically designed for sleepers over 300 pounds. So they have the support you need, without just being needlessly firm / stiff.

benrow7711 karma

Was just about to pull the trigger on the Helix Plus, but glad I waited. Thanks for the input!

derek-naplab8 karma

My pleasure!

e_t_27 karma

When is it time to get a new mattress?

derek-naplab69 karma

As soon as you're no longer sleeping well on your current mattress. Also, if you notice permanent deep indentations (anything over 1.5" and I'm concerned, over 2" and it's definitely time) in the sleeping surface of the mattress (especially foam mattresses). Usually these look compressions in the spot where you mostly sleep.

Most mattresses last 8-12 years. Even so, if you're not sleeping well then it might be time to consider upgrading.

Good sleep is just too important for your overall health.

c0loredaardvark26 karma

What are some of your insights into the mattress industry as a whole? Has innovation stopped? If not, what are some of your favorite recent innovations in the sleep space?

derek-naplab68 karma

Thoughts on the mattress industry as a whole...that's a big question, I could probably write an entire book on the subject. But here's a few quick thoughts.

1) The industry is quite a bit smaller than many would imagine. Large factories make multiple mattresses for multiple brands. Also, everyone knows everyone.

2) There are numerous players that are incredibly aggressive in how they market, how they communicate, and how they litigate.

Thoughts on Innovation

I don't think innovation has stopped, if anything it's sped up in recent years. In 2014 we started to see a wave of new direct-2-consumer mattress brands launching online. By 2017 something like 200 new mattress brands had launched from 2014 to 2017.

Many of those weren't doing anything special or unique, but some were really pushing mattress design and materials forward.

Favorite Recent Innovations

1) New advanced memory and poly foam formulations has been among the most interesting innovations. Earlier memory foams were more heat reactive, absorbed more heat, were slow to respond (so you would feel stuck), had zero bounce (dead feel, bad for sex), and would dramatically indent over time. New foam formulations have solved almost all of these issues, giving you the memory foam hug and contour that sleepers love, without the negatives (or at least most of them).

In addition, many poly foams have been developed to mimic the feel and attributes of latex. As a result, you can get the same type of high bounce, fast response, great cooling of latex, but for far less money.

2) When the bedinabox style brands started launching in 2014 it was all about a 10" foam mattress. Today, you still see plenty of that, but there are many more hybrid designs...that is designs that use foam + pocketed coils. And it makes sense. Hybrid designs deliver a best of both worlds. Great hug, contour, and pressure relief from foam. With great cooling, bounce, response, and edge support that coils provide. So it's been really interesting to watch almost every major D2C brand launch one or more hybrids.

3) Purple's hyper elastic polymer has been among the most impactful innovations. Granted, it was only impactful for Purple, since they have exclusive access to the material. Even so, it's worth mentioning. Purple exploded onto the scene in 2016 with a crowdfunding campaign and now has a market cap of $432M.

cranbeery24 karma

Objectivity is cool and all, but isn't a mattress' quality for an individual a subjective/individual thing? How do you account for that? Do different people sleep on the mattresses, too?

derek-naplab60 karma

There is definitely a certain degree of individual experience variation of each mattress.

However, in my experience over the years listening to my readers and testing a huge variety of mattresses, the variation in experiences comes down to the same few factors.

Namely...body weight and sleeping position

Your body weight and sleeping position can change how a mattress feels in terms of firmness, how supportive it is, and how significant cooling, response, sinkage, and contour can change.

Those 2 factors are at the forefront of our more subjective analysis of each mattress. So while objective data is the core of what we build our reviews around, each major test includes more subjective commentary where I explain how different body weights and sleeping positions could experience the mattress.

Does that make sense?

cerevant11 karma

I would argue mattress comfort is subjective, but mattress quality is objective.

Looking over the reviews, they do try to provide some guidance based on body size & sleep style. While this isn’t a substitute for laying down in the bed itself, a lot of these are mail order, so this provides more info than you can usually get.

derek-naplab13 karma

There is a definite degree of comfort subjectivity.

In my view, the way the mattress reacts to your body is a large part of how it feels / how comfortable it is. So factors like sinkage, bounce, contour, hug, cooling, response, edge support, and others that we can measure objectively can help our readers understand better how it would subjectively feel for them.

At least, that is our aim with our current approach.

Hope that makes sense!

ididntseeitcoming5 karma

Had to look up your review of the mattress my wife and I own.

Purple 3 Premier. You rated it exactly how I feel about it. But Comfort is so subjective. I love the bed, I fall asleep and wake up in the same position. No pain whatsoever. She hates it. She’s sore and tired all the time.

We bought it about 15 months ago and she wants to get rid of it… breaks my heart and wallet. Cool website and I like your review format.

derek-naplab17 karma

That's good to hear! I'm glad my assessment mirrored your experience.

Unfortunate that it's not working for your wife. Perhaps you could sell it, buy yourself a Twin XL version of the Purple 3 Premier, and then find a Twin XL that's better for your wife?

If you'd like any help finding a mattress for your partner feel free to comment or DM. I do customized recommendations for my readers all the time. I just need a few pieces of information (weight, sleeping position, firmness, budget, etc.)

Pinkeyefarts4 karma

Also a mattress can be comfortable, yet bad for you

derek-naplab6 karma

Maybe...though the number of people that applies to is pretty slim, in my view.

If the mattress is comfortable, in general, it means it's alleviating pressure points well and keeping your spine in alignment. If it's not doing those things you'll experience an increase in pressure during the night and wake up with weight due to the lack of spinal alignment.

What type of mattresses were you thinking would be comfortable, but also bad for you?

OhshiNoshiJoshi22 karma

What's the best mattress to have sex on this valentines day and why?

derek-naplab69 karma

As of right now, Winkbed is my #1 pick for the best mattress for sex.


1) High bounce - more bounce is almost always better when it comes to sex. Winkbed uses a substantial coils to deliver good bounce. It's not the absolute highest bounce we've tested to date, but it's high enough that when #2 and #3 are factored in it works well together.

2) Excellent Edge support - better edge support increases the "sex'able surface area" of the mattress, but most importantly allows the edges to be directly used for different sex positions (google "edge of mattress sex positions" if you need ideas). Winkbed uses an impressive design for how they reinforce the edges. Based on all of our tests to date, Winkbed has the best performing edge support of anything we've tested.

3) Comfort - Winkbed has several inches of high performance foam and a euro-style cover on top. It feels great to lie on, sleeps / lies cool, and relieves pressure.

Winkbed does everything I'm looking for at the very highest levels when it comes to sex.

You can see our full review here for more - https://naplab.com/mattress-reviews/winkbed-review/

Oxynewbdone47 karma

This guy fucks!

derek-naplab80 karma

I just keep texting my wife that I have "an important project for work" that I need her help with.

xoldier6 karma

As I was reading the comment, I was so sure that the next comment would be exactly what you said lmao

derek-naplab17 karma

Modern problems require modern solutions, lol

jonnyringo60220 karma

I really wish I saw this post before I bought my mattress last week. What are your thoughts on Tuft and Needle, compared to similar styles of mattresses and overall?

derek-naplab18 karma

In general, I like Tuft & Needle. They make good mattresses that are on par with a number of other bedinabox style mattresses.

They aren't my absolute favorite, but still a solid mattress brand by any definition.

Are you happy so far with the TN? How's your trial going?

jonnyringo60212 karma

So far so good. A week into the 100 day trial, so no real complaints yet. It was tough trying to find genuine reviews and comparisons online, so thanks for doing this.

derek-naplab18 karma

My pleasure. I'm hoping to test all of T&N's new lineup very soon.

If you end up returning and need help finding something different feel free to DM me or better yet just shoot me an email here - https://naplab.com/contact/

FatBonesDupree20 karma

Have you ever tested novaform matresses from costco?

derek-naplab64 karma

Not tested Novaform.

Though looking at the materials, I expect it's pretty good. Like everything at Costco, it might not be the absolute best, but it's more than good enough for the needs of most people.

I'll see if I can get one of those for testing soon.

financiallyanal14 karma

Mattress shopping is a hassle. While some outlets like your site, sleep like the dead, and CR offer data and reviews, how do you suggest someone approach this if they want a modestly low hassle option without a huge cost or risk? Is the biggest challenge in selection, where you come in, or is there maybe a retailer you just “trust” to do all the work too?

I’m an avid Costco shopper because they have such thorough product selection standards. I prefer the ease, and I know they’re not trying to make every last $ of profit. It’s a rare retailer.

derek-naplab23 karma

Even under the best of circumstances mattress shopping is a bit of a hassle.

Costco is always a great pick, because you know whatever it is they sell it's going to be a good to very good version of whatever it is.

I'd avoid most other mattress retailers though. They don't carry every type of mattress brand, so they typically have an incentive to recommend X, Y, and Z only.

SLTD and CR are both solid, and of course I think what we're doing on NapLab is great as well. Reviews can be helpful, I would just suggest being really careful about what platforms you trust. There is unfortunately many review sites that should not be trusted.

Lastly, your welcome to email me directly any time with questions. Happy to take your preferences / requirements and help you find a mattress that's personalized to your needs. You can email me here - https://naplab.com/contact/

financiallyanal7 karma

You are too nice - thank you. If I do reach out, am I able to pay you for your time/effort, or do the retailers help you? I really don't mind the former (in effect, hiring you as a "consultant") if that's an option.

derek-naplab21 karma

No need to pay.

I earn a commission when someone buys using our links. We work with basically every mattress brand that will have us, so I can recommend whatever is the best regardless of the brand.

You can read our full disclosures, how we make money, and the companies that have sent us free products here - https://naplab.com/about/

1mamapajama14 karma

Is a Tempurpedic worth the hefty pricetag?

derek-naplab36 karma

For most sleepers, I don't think so.

Don't get me wrong. Tempurpedic makes an amazing mattress, they use excellent materials, and they are well built. I have a Tempurpedic Cloud Breeze in a guest room.

Even so...there are many other brands that do the same for significantly less money. Most sleepers can get a mattress that performs at a similar level to Tempurpedic, while saving hundreds or thousands of dollars over the cost of a Tempurpedic.

HugeWeeniePerlini5 karma

How do I know when to replace my Tempurpedic mattress? I’ve had it for ~15 years now, and it’s still super comfortable..

derek-naplab13 karma

If it's still comfortable and you're not waking up in pain or dealing with other sleep related health problems then there is no reason to get a new mattress.

As long as that remains the case then you could continue to use it.

I would just make a point to assess those characteristics once a year or so. If you start to experience a decline in performance or worsening sleep then you'll know it's time.

1mamapajama2 karma


derek-naplab3 karma

You're welcome! Thanks for the question.

technicolored_dreams13 karma

For two people who both weigh about 165lbs and are side sleepers, what type of mattress would you recommend?

Second (more important) question: if you were going to build an epic mattress castle (like a pillow fort but way more awesome), how many mattresses would you use, and do you think you could make it structurally sound enough to add a second floor?

derek-naplab19 karma

At 165 pounds and side sleepers you have lots of options. You are right in the sweet spot that most mattress brands design around. You could go either all foam or a hybrid if you had a strong preference. If you don't have a strong preference, I'd suggest hybrid. Hybrids have better cooling, better for sex, better response, better bounce, and better edge support than most all foam mattresses.

Something in the 5-6 firmness range is generally right (where 10 is the most firm).

Based on these assumptions and your weight / sleeping position I'd suggest you take a look at:

Amerisleep AS3 Hybrid - more hug and contour due to more traditional memory foam feel on top

Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid - incredible value, best option if you want to spend the least amount of money

Ghostbed Flex - good overall pick, just checks most of my boxes

Helix Midnight - excellent value

Layla Hybrid - fantastic pressure relief, similar to AS3 Hybrid

Leesa Legend - good balanced pick

Nest Bedding Sparrow - one of the best plush euro-style pillow toppers I've tested

Purple Hybrid Premier 3 - arguably the best cooling any of these hybrids here

These are among the best hybrids we've tested that meet your requirements. The brief description can help guide to a shorter list and you can find our full reviews for all of these here - https://naplab.com/mattress-reviews/

And now...onto the real question. How would I build an epic mattress castle.

Currently, I have around 50 Queen-sized mattresses in a 3 car garage. So building an actual castle out of the mattresses is something we've put some thought in, lol.

To make it structurally sound we'd really need to get all of the most firm and supportive mattresses. A second floor is possible, but only if those support mattress were super firm (if they are going to be just a single mattress wall support).

All that said, probably some type of mattress pyramid is the best way to go. If I laid out the base grid in a 4x4 Queen mattresses and started stacking from there I think we could get some real height!

If / when we build our mattress castle I'll be sure to post it on reddit.

technicolored_dreams6 karma

I can't wait to see The Great Pyramid of Mattress!

derek-naplab11 karma

Me and my right hand man are talking about the plans right now! lol

C4Dave12 karma

I don't see air mattresses mentioned in your intro. What are your thoughts on these?

derek-naplab17 karma

I've tested several over the years and they tend to fall into 2 categories.

1) Cheap Air Mattresses - these are the things you keep in the closet for guests or emergencies. They are 100% air usually in 1 giant tube. While they are fine for a night or two, they are not the type of mattress you'd want to sleep on long term. A 100% air mattress just cannot perform to nearly the level of memory foam, poly foam, pocketed foam, latex, or hybrids.

2) Adaptive Mattress With Air Controls - some mattress brands utilize air pockets to increase / decrease firmness and support. These types of mattresses utilize air, but they are built from other coil and foam materials. These mattresses can definitely be strong performers, but not because of the adaptive air. It's merely because of their broader design and materials.

Top_Average_Guy12 karma

what about pillows? how important are they and what materials are best in pillows?

derek-naplab24 karma

A good pillow is just as important as good mattress. As a bad pillow could make a great mattress sleep terrible.

In my view, high performance foams are best for pillows. Memory foam, poly foam, and latex foam.

You'll generally see 2 major foam pillow types...solid core and loose material. Solid core is just what it sounds like. It's a big block of foam. These types of pillows are generally best for back sleepers, but they can also work for some side sleepers.

Loose material is a more traditional design. You'll see shredded foam, poly fiber fill material, noodled foam, and other cut techniques to get the foam to be a fluffier more traditional shape. These types of pillows are great if you want something more traditional or you need a more precise pillow height. Most high end pillows within this category have a zipper so that you can remove excess materials. This allows you to get the pillow the perfect height for your body and sleeping position.

FACE_Ghost12 karma

How much effort goes into testing a mattress; 187 seems like a very small number over the course of 6 years?

derek-naplab26 karma

Our approach has definitely evolved over the years.

In my earlier years I would personally sleep on each mattress for at least 1 week. After which, I would compile my analysis of the sleeping experience, cooling, support, comfort, pros, cons, etc. However, this approach was almost entirely subjective in how I rated and analyzed each mattress.

More recently, I've switched to a more objective testing methodology. I have a battery of 9 different tests I developed to create objective data for each mattress. It usually takes a couple of hours to gather the data and several more hours to analyze and create the visual assets we need.

Testing the mattresses is relatively quick, but creating the full-formed review, comparisons, best of lists, and videos is where most of the hours go.

pathons9 karma

Around 7 years ago my spouse and I were on a tight budget and found a local mom and pop shop that sold us a great mattress for around $600. The correct firmness, single pocketed coils, foam edge that we have loved. I expect that it will need replacing in the next couple years but can't find the brand online and we no longer live in the same area.

How should I go looking for this same or a similar mattress? Am I just doomed to be sad that I couldn't afford buying 6 of this mattress back in 2015?

derek-naplab9 karma

You're not doomed. I can definitely help you find something similar.

What is the firmness?

What type of cover does it have...ie, is it super thin? pillow top? euro-style pillow top?

I already have a couple good options in mind, with the rest of this info I can zero in on the best options for you.

pathons8 karma

I think its a Euro style pillow top. Not the firmest bed ever but more firm then most, definitely firm side of medium?

derek-naplab10 karma

Perfect. Thanks for that.

I'd suggest you consider the Winkbed Luxury Firm - https://naplab.com/mattress-reviews/winkbed-review/

It uses pocketed coils with a euro-style pillow topper. Has incredible edge support. And it's a little north of a medium.

It's $1,500, so not the miracle $600 mattress. Even so, it's relatively inexpensive, especially when you consider the performance level and material quality.

pathons6 karma

I'd expect with what I've heard on costs these days the magic mattress may be around that costs these days. Thanks will check it out!

derek-naplab3 karma

You're very welcome!

MrHoopersDead8 karma

In the 80's and early '90's, waterbeds were all the rage. What happened to them? Is there any company who still makes waterbeds?

derek-naplab10 karma

There are still a few floating around, but to a large degree they have all gone out of business.

I don't know of any major brand still selling.

Piklikl8 karma

What are your thoughts on alternatives to beds?

Sleep is so important, but when a decent bed setup easily costs over $1k, collectively we are pricing a lot of people out of good sleep.

derek-naplab16 karma

Unfortunately, there just aren't many great alternatives.

If you can handle the super firm feel of a Japanese style futon on the floor, that's one good option. Many Japanese sleep on futon style mattresses directly on the floor. The benefits of back sleeping on a firm sleeping surface are well documented.

To save money, you don't have to sleep on a bed foundation / frame / box spring. Most mattresses can simply be placed directly on the floor. That could save several hundred dollars on the cost of a total setup.

unsupported8 karma

If you stacked a bunch of mattresses and then placed a pea under them, would you be able to sleep?

derek-naplab16 karma

As long as I could avoid the ceiling fan.

SwedishMoose8 karma

If I want to buy a twin/full mattress for a friend for under $350, is there one out there you'd recommend? His mattress is in awful condition and I want to help him in some way but I'm afraid there wouldn't be a good one out there for that price.

derek-naplab19 karma

If you could stretch to $450 then you could get the Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid. An incredible value for the money. Brooklyn Bedding owns their own factories, so they are able to get the prices really low. Full review here - https://naplab.com/mattress-reviews/brooklyn-bedding-signature-hybrid-review/

If you definitely need to keep it under $350 then go with the 10" Brooklyn Bedding Chill - https://brooklynbedding.com/products/brooklyn-chill?variant=34840543395885 - it's $280 for Twin.

AnnaF7218 karma

Would you recommend a Sleep Number bed?

derek-naplab23 karma

Sleep Number makes good mattresses, but in general, I'm not a huge fan.

You just pay so much money for the ability to dynamically change the firmness. For the vast majority of sleepers, you'll find your ideal firmness and then never change it again.

Figuring out your ideal firmness and then merely purchasing a mattress that has the right firmness is a far more economical approach, in my view.

If you and your partner have different firmness needs a Split King is the way to go. A Split King is just 2 Twin XL mattresses side by side. They could even be from different brands.

broccolee7 karma

Hastens bed from Sweden?

derek-naplab13 karma

Never had a chance to test them, but I have laid on them on a few times.

No doubt, they are comfortable mattresses, but the price is just silly.

In my view, their whole concept is to just use needlessly expensive materials and building methods so they can somehow justify their prices. Suffice to say, I don't think they are worth anywhere close to the cost.

Oxynewbdone7 karma

6'2 225 lbs man side sleeper. 130 lb 5'6 woman ss King 2.5k budget

What an I looking at?

derek-naplab5 karma

Just a few questions question...what is your firmness preference? and what is hers?

Do you have any strong preferences when it comes to materials / design? IE...like / hate memory foam? Coils?

AnnoyinglyRight6 karma

I was considering the nectar because it seemed like a good value.. Can you validate that?

derek-naplab13 karma

Nectar is definitely a strong value mattress. I'm not blown away with the performance of their base line Nectar mattress, but for the price, it's hard to complain too much.

Full Nectar review here - https://naplab.com/mattress-reviews/nectar-mattress-review/

That said, I really like their Nectar Premier and Nectar Premier Copper mattresses far more than the base Nectar. The Premier and Premier Copper both performed notably better than the original Nectar. They are a little more expensive, but in my view, it's worth the price increase for the performance gains you get (faster response, a better quality memory foam, better edge support, better sex performance).

tjtoste6 karma

What are your thoughts on Tuft and Needle? I have the original and mint version and it's by far the best mattress I've slept on. I would be interested to see if there's a better mattress out there.

derek-naplab4 karma

In general, I like Tuft & Needle. They make good mattress and their line is wide enough to fit the needs of most sleepers. They aren't my absolute favorite, but still a solid mattress brand by any definition.

I haven't personally tested the Mint yet, so I cannot say for sure how it compares to others. But based on the T&N mattresses I have tested and looking at their materials and mattress design, there are for sure others that are similar and some that are better (depending on your needs, preferences, and budget).

Since you really like the Mint it might be worth looking at the Ghostbed Luxe, Leesa (original), Amerisleep AS3, Layla (memory foam), Nectar Premier / Premier Copper, BedinaBox Tranquillium, and Zoma (memory foam). All of the above have a similar design.

I've got tests and reviews for all of them here - https://naplab.com/mattress-reviews/

Side note...I've actually got a giveaway going on right now for the Bedinabox Tranquillium mattress. Check that out if you're interested at all - https://naplab.com/giveaways/bedinabox-mattress-giveaway/

GreenArkleseizure6 karma

This might be a bit too specialized, but any recommendations for customs shapes? I'm thinking about boats and RVs where the beds often don't have standard dimensions. The most common approach is to buy some kind of single piece foam mattress and cut it to down to shape.

derek-naplab11 karma

Brooklyn Bedding has the biggest range of custom shapes and sizes that I've seen. And they make great mattresses, so you're not sacrificing performance to get the size you need.

Take a look at our review of their Signature Hybrid here - https://naplab.com/mattress-reviews/brooklyn-bedding-signature-hybrid-review/

It's offered in quite a few sizes. If you need something even more custom, look at their 100% foam mattresses, which are offered in even more sizes.

lead_injection6 karma

Why in some cities are there mattress stores on nearly every street corner? Are people buying that many mattresses? Money laundering?

derek-naplab3 karma

I've been asking myself that question for years.

The only thig I can come up with is that the margins are just so absurdly huge that a single city can support numerous mattress retail stores. A high-end memory foam mattress you purchase at any major retailer might cost $5,000, but only have $500 in actual materials in it. Foam is expensive, but not used car expensive. So that's a very healthy margin.

happycatz3755 karma

What are your thoughts on Avocado mattresses?

D_4195 karma

For what it's worth, we got a king size avocado green. It dissipates heat well and has been very comfortable for us. I think the top fabric is wool and it somehow always feels cool to the touch as if it's wicking heat away from your hand when you touch it. I tend to sleep on my side and have noticed that my hips don't sink in too much which keeps my spine in more of a straight line. Would recommend.

derek-naplab3 karma

Thanks for sharing your experience! Sounds like a great bed.

derek-naplab4 karma

I haven't tested yet, but I'm hoping to soon. I've got one shipping to us soon.

In looking at their materials, they do so pretty solid. I'm excited to test and expecting a good performance.


What are your thoughts on cheaper mattresses with foam toppers? I did that when an expensive mattress wasn't an option, but temperature regulation seems like a problem. Also, I assume that the duvet and covers play a part in that. Your views would be interesting and thanks for the AMA.

derek-naplab5 karma

As a short term solution, foam toppers are excellent. They are a great way to add a little more / less firmness or improve cooling performance.

As a long term solution, I'm not a huge fan. In my view, toppers are kind of a Band-Aid solution. Yes, they can help in some situations, but they aren't miracle workers. You are almost always better off with a mattress that more accurately meets your needs without any extra layers on top.

As far as cooling go...you're right, duvet and covers play a big part. As does the mattress protector, mattress pad, sheets, pillows, types of clothes if you sleep in (if any), environmental factors, your body, your partner's body, pets, and more.

If you're finding that you are sleeping hot consider every layer between you and the mattress.

In fact, you might try just sleeping directly on the mattress for 1 night just to see how hot it sleeps. This will let you know if it's the mattress or a combination of factors (usually it's the combination).

Accomplished-Art-1945 karma

How do I become a mattress tester? Are you happy with your choice of career?

derek-naplab3 karma

Hah...good question. Honestly, I don't know how I would get into it if I wasn't already doing it. It's a pretty niche field.

I love what I do. While testing mattresses is a big part of it, I spend far more time working on reviews, comparisons, videos, running the website, answering questions, engaging with my followers on social, etc.

I also get to work with my family and friends, which is super cool. Working for myself and from home is also a big win for the introverts out there.

Footbrake_Breaker5 karma

Is there a mattress that you were about to throw out on first lay down?

derek-naplab20 karma

Lol, no nothing quite that extreme that comes to mind. If I purchase a mattress or a brand sends us a free sample we always put it through our tests, even if we hate it.

I cannot even remember the brand...but it was a Japanese brand that was trying to bring their mattress to the US. Japanese mattresses are known to be extremely firm, and this one was easily the most firm mattress I have ever tested.

It was made from a sort of spider web of hard interlocking plastic-type material. It was basically like sleeping on a concrete floor. I think I only managed to sleep on it one night, as I woke up the next morning after barely sleeping with my back in shambles.

Footbrake_Breaker4 karma

That's kind of cool technology.

derek-naplab14 karma

Yeah, it was interesting. Prior to testing I was excited about it.

It made the mattress incredibly lightweight and it was super cool (because it was basically 99% air).

If they could have gotten the comfort layer to a more reasonable level / firmness it could have really gone somewhere here in the US.

gravitationalarray5 karma

What are your thoughts on Ikea mattresses? I miss the flippable ones they used to carry.

derek-naplab6 karma

That ones I've tested to date I thought were okay, but nothing I'd recommend for most sleepers.

In my view, thinner mattresses just don't have the performance attributes that you see from more thick mattresses. Generally, 10" is the threshold I look for for good thickness.

Most of IKEA's mattresses just aren't as thin, and the performance, support, and comfort suffer as a result.

jellyguapo5 karma

250 lb stomach sleeper in search of the right mattress, any help?

derek-naplab4 karma

Do you have a budget you'd like to stay under?

keyboardaddict4 karma

What are your thoughts on the mattresses which are sent by post/in a box that don’t seem to have box springs? They’re very light but do they provide adequate support for normal lifetime - ie 8-10 years? (Preference: firm/side sleeper)

derek-naplab4 karma

Most of the mattresses I've tested are those types of mattresses, that is to say, those that come compressed in a box.

That said, I've tested plenty of others that ship uncompressed the more typical way. The performance difference between the two types of mattresses is indescribable.

There are no detriments to mattresses shipped in a box vs. those shipped uncompressed.

cornflower05304 karma

Hi Derek! What made you get into the mattress testing industry? Just how many trials and errors did it take to find the mattress you’re currently sleeping on?

derek-naplab17 karma

It just sort of happened.

In the summer of 2014 my wife and I married and we needed a new mattress (we were sleeping on my old full size mattress for 3 months into our marriage).

So we started looking around. Went to Mattress Firm and were about ready to pull the trigger on a $5K Tempurpedic when we learned about Tuft & Needle's $600 foam mattress. So we ordered one.

I ended up returning it, as T&N's early version was incredibly firm. After that, we tried the Casper mattress, which was better and we could actually sleep on it comfortably.

I ended up creating a website over a weekend where I reviewed Tuft & Needle and Casper, and also did a big comparison of the two mattresses. That comparison in particular really struck a cord and was helpful, so the website started blowing up.

Mattress companies kept reaching out asking if I would test their mattress and I kept saying yes. 6 months into launching the first version of my mattress testing site it had replaced my full time job's income so I decided to make the leap and see if I could keep it going. That was February 2015 and I've never looked back.

Loom & Leaf's Luxury Firm (which is the mattress I sleep on for personal use) was part of the mattresses I tested. It came out in the middle of 2015. It was maybe the 15th'ish mattress I had tested. Right away, I knew I liked it a lot...it just has fantastic pressure relief, good contour, and it's the perfect firmness.

So there wasn't much trial and error. Every time I'd test a new mattress I'd ask myself it was better than the Loom & Leaf (at least for my wife and I) and we just never found anything that we personally liked better.

noizangel7 karma

If you ever need employees, I am a champion sleeper and love a nice mattress and blanket! 😂

derek-naplab6 karma

I'll keep you in mind :P

kaytbug864 karma

Which mattress would you recommend for someone of higher weight, 300lb+? It’s difficult to find anything that doesn’t indent after a couple of years, even with routine rotations and flipping.

derek-naplab7 karma

Winkbed Plus would be my current #1 pick (full review - https://naplab.com/mattress-reviews/winkbed-plus-review/\_

Though Saatva HD, Helix Plus, and Titan are not far behind (you can find those reviews here - https://naplab.com/mattress-reviews/)

All 4 of these are specifically designed for sleepers over 300 pounds. So they have the support you need, without just being needlessly firm / stiff.

fatlenny14 karma

I have frequent night sweats and am sick of waking up soaking wet. Do you know of any mattresses that are breathable and cool?

derek-naplab7 karma

Mattress cooling is a big topic, one I could do a whole AMA about.

Suffice to say, there are many mattresses that sleep cool. But cool is relative.

What are you currently sleeping on (coils? memory foam? latex? other foam? hybrid?)

That will determine the direction you should look.

In general, mattress cooling looks like this...from coolest to warmest

Coils / pocketed springs, hybrids without memory foam, hybrids with memory foam, latex, poly foam, modern memory foam, traditional memory foam

If you're not sure what you're sleeping on or you just want some good cooling options take a look at the Winkbed, Saatva, and Purple Hybrid. Those 3 in particular did extremely well with respect to cooling in our tests.

See those full reviews here - https://naplab.com/mattress-reviews/

lytener3 karma

Will you review pillows at some point?

derek-naplab3 karma

100% yes

I just want to be able to fully dedicate my time and attention to them so we can make our pillow reviews as detailed and helpful as our mattress reviews. As a result, it probably won't be until late this year or next year.

MyTMorty3 karma

I work in hotels, and Serta is the brand I often see. So two quick questions: 1. What hotel mattresses are your favorite? 2. I just bought a small Serta foam folding toddler couch/bed combo for my 1-year-old. Thoughts on that mattress? (It's not her bed, just something fun for her room.)

derek-naplab4 karma

  1. I don't have a great sense on the major brands / models for hotels. I have heard and read that Serta is one of the most significant players. In general, high end hybrid mattresses tend to be what most hotels go with. They have a certain universal appeal to have, are great for sex, sleep cooler, and have great edge support. Serta's higher end hybrids are fantastic, so that would be as good a pick as any for a hotel.
  2. Kids mattress needs are relatively simple compared to adults. Most kids just need something that's slightly firmer. A 1 year old especially needs a firmer feel. I'm not familiar with the exact mattress, but looking at the product page it looks like it should be perfectly find. As your kid gets a little bit older it's probably not something they should sleep on through the night, but fine for naps and play.

mitchmoomoo3 karma

What’s with like 20 grand mattresses?! I don’t get what they even pretend to do?

derek-naplab14 karma

I think they are just targeted to rich people with more money than sense.

They use needlessly expensive materials to try and justify the cost. Or they are handmade, or both.

None of those factors necessarily improve the performance of the mattress. Just more rich people bragging rights, imo.

saymynamereddit3 karma

What about Pillows? How much does that factor into a good night sleep? Are there some rules of thumb to look for?

derek-naplab2 karma

A good pillow is just as important as good mattress. As a bad pillow could make a great mattress sleep terrible.

In my view, high performance foams are best for pillows. Memory foam, poly foam, and latex foam.

You'll generally see 2 major foam pillow types...solid core and loose material. Solid core is just what it sounds like. It's a big block of foam. These types of pillows are generally best for back sleepers, but they can also work for some side sleepers.

Loose material is a more traditional design. You'll see shredded foam, poly fiber fill material, noodled foam, and other cut techniques to get the foam to be a fluffier more traditional shape. These types of pillows are great if you want something more traditional or you need a more precise pillow height. Most high end pillows within this category have a zipper so that you can remove excess materials. This allows you to get the pillow the perfect height for your body and sleeping position.

saymynamereddit2 karma

Awesome! Thanks for the knowledge. Any pillow fav's you would recommend?

derek-naplab4 karma

Nest Bedding Easy Breather is one of my all time favorites.

It's adjustable and the fill is high quality, so it's a good fit for most people.

Mission_Struggle44953 karma

Is temperpedic or purple really all it's cracked up to be?

derek-naplab3 karma

For most sleepers, I don't think so.

Don't get me wrong. Tempurpedic makes an amazing mattress, they use excellent materials, and they are well built. I have a Tempurpedic Cloud Breeze in a guest room.

Even so...there are many other brands that do the same for significantly less money. Most sleepers can get a mattress that performs at a similar level to Tempurpedic, while saving hundreds or thousands of dollars over the cost of a Tempurpedic.

Ember3573 karma

I have always dreamed of a latex foam mattress, I am ready to upgrade and would love a recommendation. I am wanting a soft top ( like a marshmallow.) I am a back and side sleeper and have an adjustable twin XL frame. Suggestions? also 200 ish lbs.

derek-naplab5 karma

Are you looking for 100% latex (IE, latex comfort and support layers)? Or just latex top layers for comfort?

Natural latex? Or synthetic latex / latex-like poly foams?

Ember3573 karma

I sleep on a natural latex pillow and prefer the feel to memory foam or poly foams. I don't know how Synthetic latex compares. I am torn between a hybrid with coils and latex top or a full latex. The bed I crushed on while selling mattresses back in the 90 was latex exclusively.

derek-naplab4 karma


Take a look at the Nest Bedding Finch. Full review here - https://naplab.com/mattress-reviews/nest-bedding-finch-review/

It's 100% natural latex with a plush quilted cover on top. It's not cheap, but far from just how crazy expensive 100% natural latex can get.

It sounds like it could be a good fit for your needs.

jane_redfire3 karma

What type of sleeper are you? Side, belly or back? I am a side and belly sleeper, although I fall asleep on my back 😅

derek-naplab5 karma

I mostly sleep on my stomach, a bit on my side sometimes.

allthingsparrot3 karma

What are your favorite sheets for summer?

derek-naplab7 karma

Sheex and Bedgear

Both are performance polyester, sort of like Nike Dri-fit.

Amazing smooth, soft, and above all else cool...coolest sheets I've tested to date. Also, they look so crisp on the mattress because they pull taut.

rottenweiler3 karma

So do you work for The Stunned Ox mattress company with Li’l Abner?

derek-naplab3 karma

Lol, I had never seen that comic until now. Funny stuff.

aJasaka3 karma

I own a box spring bed that came with a foam topper. The topper doesn't have any way to keep in place on the mattress though. I love how the topper adds to the already very nice sleeping experience of the mattress but it constantly slides around on top (without aids about 10-30 cm in any direction per night). I have tried a rubber net and stick-on velcro but both didn't help too much (now it only moves 5-10 cm). Is there a better way of fixing the position of the topper without breaking the mattress?

derek-naplab3 karma

I am afraid not.

That's the biggest annoyance with just about every topper.

Maybe some type of semi-elastic band that wraps all the way around?

TheMilkMan43 karma

Do you eat spaghetti with a plate or a bowl?

derek-naplab3 karma

Bowl for spaghetti and angel hair

Larger form pastas on the plate

wohaat3 karma

Have you ever done a review of IKEAs mattresses? I’d be curious how they stack up against the ‘step-up’ options, especially for students or people right out of school trying to make a choice they’re gonna have to live with for a while.

derek-naplab3 karma

I have tested some of IKEAs mattresses. Though at this point my tests are pretty old, so I need to get some new IKEAs soon.

That ones I've tested to date I thought were okay, but nothing I'd recommend for most sleepers.

In my view, thinner mattresses just don't have the performance attributes that you see from more thick mattresses. Generally, 10" is the threshold I look for for good thickness.

Most of IKEA's mattresses just aren't as thin, and the performance, support, and comfort suffer as a result.

If you're out of school, but still on a tighter budget I would suggest checking out Brooklyn Bedding. They are among the best value mattresses on the market. And they have 6 major models, so there's plenty of step up based on your budget.

Here's the review I did on the BB Signature Hybrid - https://naplab.com/mattress-reviews/brooklyn-bedding-signature-hybrid-review/

tomwhoiscontrary3 karma

Have you had a chance to try any British mattresses? Vispring, Hypnos, maybe even John Ryan? I'd be fascinated to know how American mattresses compare to British ones.

Ditto for any country, really. It seems there aren't many international mattress brands, which is a bit odd in this day and age.

derek-naplab4 karma

Eve is the only British mattress that comes to mind that I've tested. I've not tested the ones you mentioned here.

At least with respect to Eve, the material and build quality was substantially similar to mattresses here in the US.

Years ago I tested a Japanese brand that was coming to the US. They had a super firm mattress that was great for the Japanese market, but just didn't work here in the US.

But you're right, there just don't seem to be that many major international mattress brands.

C4bl3Fl4m33 karma

I swear I'm not trying to be prurient, but what do you do to test the bed to get the "sex" rating? You can be as frank or vague as makes you comfortable.

derek-naplab5 karma

Our sex score is a simple equation where we look at 5 different factors. Each factor is given a different weight based on how important we think that factor is for most people.

Sex Score Equation = (Bounce * 0.6) + (Edge Support * 0.2) + (Noise * 0.1) + (Pressure Relief* 0.05) + (Cooling * 0.05)

mbezzo2 karma

Thoughts on Rest (restperformance.com) mattresses? Can’t seem to find ACTUAL reviews on em…

derek-naplab3 karma

I'm not familiar with them. Looking at their product page, they do look really interesting. I'd love to get one to test at some point.

But yikes...those are high prices. Hard to imagine they are worth the cost.

umlcat2 karma

Do you tested with pets ( Cats, Dogs, Bears ) ?

derek-naplab4 karma

I have a 30 pound Poodle that was around for a large chunk of our tests. Though she sleeps up by the headboard in the middle, so not really in the way of my wife or I.

No bears.

PeachPreserves662 karma

Thanks so much for this AMA. It is very timely for me, as I am at the end of my time with a 20 year old Select Comfort (yes, before they renamed themselves Sleep Number). Before that, a waterbed - yikes! I like the idea of a hybrid that doesn’t sleep hot and is on the medium side of firmness. I have some back and hip issues as well (maybe from all those years using a waterbed LOL). It looks like one of the Purple mattresses would suit me just fine, but holy price tag!

I’m probably too late to get a reply, but I’ll give it a shot anyway. What about foundations for a hybrid mattress? Would it be better to get a box spring foundation? Or is a platform sufficient? Does one over the other affect the comfort and/or longevity of the mattress? What about an adjustable base?

derek-naplab4 karma

A platform is not only sufficient, but better than a box spring. Box spring at this point is antiquated technology and really only necessary for very specific mattresses.

Platform beds offer the best support. Second to that would be solid all wood and/or steel and/or composite foundations, anything with strong rigidity.

A poor foundation, whether it's a platform, boxspring, or other type of foundation will lead to poor mattress support. Which in turn leads to worse sleeping performance for you and a shorter life for the mattress itself. So it's really important to get an excellent foundation.

Adjustable bases are generally similar in performance to platform beds, since most of the mattress surface is supported by the base.

cheesefondue2 karma

187 mattresses in 6 years works out to about 1 mattress every 11 days. Do you typically test a mattress multiple times before officially making your assessment?

derek-naplab3 karma

Generally, no. We'll run it through our standard testing process and then move on to writing the analysis, review, video, etc.

Sometimes we do go back to make updates or double check a test result. But those cases are fairly uncommon. We do our best to capture all data we'll accurately the first time we test.

Winchesters-20222 karma

My message was flagged as supposedly didn’t ask a question when I was attempting to explain the issue. Ok I’m a nutshell spent a fortune on mattresses pillows. Right now on the leesa great mattress but extremely hot and doesn’t cool down for a very long time. I’m asking if you can recommend those that cool and pillows that will stand up to the test. Let me rephrase as I’m getting annoyed and will give up. Can you recommend a cooling mattress and pillows that don’t lose their shape or be too hard?

derek-naplab3 karma

If you're finding the Leesa to be hot I would suggest you make the shift to either a hybrid or coil.

The 3 best cooling mattresses I've tested are:

Winkbeds - https://naplab.com/mattress-reviews/brooklyn-bedding-signature-hybrid-review/

Saatva Classic - https://naplab.com/mattress-reviews/saatva-mattress-review/

Purple Hybrid - https://naplab.com/mattress-reviews/purple-hybrid-mattress-review/

Any of those 3 should be an improvement.

For pillows, I'm a big fan of the Nest Bedding Easy Breather. It's adjustable, so you can get the exact height you need. Also, it's got plenty of softness, while still being supportive.

livvivid1 karma

any thoughts on Coco-Mat brand?

derek-naplab2 karma

Not one I've tested.

Looking at their materials and build on their website, they look to be super nice. However, I don't see a price anywhere. That worries me.

I would guess they are the type of mattress that uses unnecessarily expensive materials to build the mattress so they can somehow justify an astronomical price. If that's the case, probably not worth the cost.