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1. Firmness: We lay on each mattress and use our experience from testing over 100 different beds to determine firmness. Compared to other mattresses, we analyze how soft or hard a bed feels. It’s important to wait until the mattress is fully expanded after opening to get the real firmness perspective.
2. Feel: This is where we get handsy with the beds. We touch and feel the mattresses and watch what the material does. Is it light and bouncy like latex foam, or slow and dense like memory foam?
3. Durability: We don’t lay on the mattress every day for years, so it’s hard to tell exactly how long each bed will last. However, we are able to hypothesize a bed’s firmness by looking at its construction. Beds with steel coils are typically more durable and stronger than all-foam mattresses.
4. Best body type: We use construction and feel to determine how accommodating a bed will be for a heavy individual. Hybrid mattresses with steel coils are typically more supportive and longer-lasting; a plus for heavier individuals looking for a quality bed.
5. Best sleeping position: We get real physical and flip around the mattresses, testing each sleeping position: side, back, stomach and combination.
6. Motion isolation: With one or preferably two people on the mattress, we jump and bounce around to see how much movement can be detected throughout the bed. We also use the method where you place a cup of water at the edge of the bed, and bounce around to see how much it moves.
7. Edge support: We analyze a mattresses’ materials and physically lay on each edge of the mattress to get a feel for how well it’ll keep us feeling sturdy.
8. Temperature: We use hot sleepers to test and determine how cool a bed sleeps. We also take a look at its materials and construction — did a brand add anything to make it sleep more cool?
9. Smell: Yup, once a bed is removed from its packaging it omits a new car-like smell. We use our trusty snouts to test this characteristic.
Read more on how we test mattresses.