Memory foam, hybrid, and cooling options

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Apasionado por el Marketing Digital

21 de abril de 2021

Upgrading to a king-size mattress can be a good move for a number of reasons. Maybe you sleep with a partner and need some extra space, or maybe you just want more room to sprawl out at night. (No shame in being a bed hog.) You might even, due to necessity or preference, work from bed. If so, a king-size mattress can provide more real estate for your home office setup. 

Assembling the “ideal” work-from-home configuration during the COVID-19 pandemic continues to drive plenty of consumer trends. People are investing in at-home standing desks, ergonomic office chairs, and even permanent home improvements to make working remotely more comfortable — especially since many people won’t be returning to the office full-time. Perhaps you’ve realized, however, that working from bed can be great, whether you’re sliding under the covers for part of the workday or for the whole nine-to-five. That’s where a bigger mattress can come in handy. 

Is it OK to work from bed?

If you’re asking yourself whether you should be working from bed, the answer is unsatisfying: It depends. In fact, the question isn’t a good one to begin with.

Working from bed isn’t really a matter of “good” versus “bad,” or “lazy” versus “productive.” Instead, it’s often a matter of accessibility. As several writers noted at the outset of the pandemic, plenty of people with disabilities or chronic illnesses worked from bed before the pandemic out of necessity — and often without much accommodation from employers. One piece from Heathline cited a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which states that “disabled people are almost twice as likely to be self-employed than non-disabled people” — in part, presumably, because full-time employers are unwilling to make accommodations for working from home.

Or were unwilling. When more people started to work from home during the pandemic, many employers made adjustments to help their full-time employees work remotely while sheltering in place. With that transition came plenty of debate about the “best” work from home setup or the “best” way to be productive remotely — debate that often ignored the people who have been making do and advocating for themselves in an inequitable work culture for years.

So ignore the people who say working from bed is “lazy.” If you and your doctor decide that it’s the best option for you, know that there are plenty of ways you can improve and optimize the experience.

How do I work from bed?

If you determine that bed is the place you’ll work best, you’ll ideally want to prioritize two things: Keeping yourself comfortable and making sure your spine is supported. (If working from bed is not a necessity, the best way to support your spine is to sit in an ergonomic chair.)

To support the spine, Dr. Pietro Luca Ratti, a neurologist and sleep expert at the Australian sleep website WhatASleep, recommends sitting up as straight as you can in bed. “Sit up so it’s like you’re sitting in a chair, with your legs pointed straight,” he told Mashable via email. 

Dr. Ratti also noted that working from bed can blur the lines between “work” and “play” — that is, spending work time, leisure time, and sleep time in the same location can limit your ability to do all three. 

To combat this, you may want to consider slightly different setups for different activities. Perhaps you use a back rest pillow during the workday, but remove it when it’s time for bed. An adjustable bed may work well here. (Several of our mattress picks below offer bundling options.) Or maybe you create boundaries between work and leisure by simply changing your outfit between activities. With a king-size bed, you could even designate “work” and a “not work” halves of your mattress. The point is: Get creative! Live your life! Your bed is a very personal place, and it’s also a real investment, so use it however it serves you best.

Dr. Brad Weiss, a chiropractor at Performance Health Center in Natick, MA, “recommends against” working from bed if you can avoid it. However, for people who are working from their laptops in bed, he recommends avoiding positions that put the neck into flexion (i.e. lowering the chin down to the chest). To the same end, he recommends placing pillows underneath the legs, so that the laptop is closer to eye height.

“An alternative is the McKenzie Prone Extension posture, which involves lying on your stomach, and then propping up your body — either with pillows or your elbows,” he told Mashable in an email. (Note: I used this posture for several months while recovering from an injury and found it quite comfortable.)

If you don’t have to work using a laptop, the Cleveland Clinic recommends working “on your back and with a tablet.” Might be hard if you’re typing frequently, but something to consider nonetheless.

As for the type of mattress you should use for working from bed? You’ll likely want to prioritize support and avoid sinkage, so a supportive, fairly firm mattress is a good bet. A lot of memory foam mattresses fit that bill, but we’ve included other types below as well.

I just want a king-size mattress to sleep on.

That is totally fine. Regardless of what else you’ll be doing in bed, you should make sure that your mattress is a good fit for your sleep style and preferences. 

First, consider your most frequent sleeping position. Side sleepers, for instance, may want to prioritize pressure relief. They’ll want to make sure their spine is aligned while they’re sleeping, so a memory foam mattress might be best. Stomach sleepers may want to prioritize support and an “above the bed” feel, so a firmer mattress — maybe even an innerspring mattress — may work best for them. And back sleepers will likely want a mattress that’s both supportive and slightly plush. 

Of course, everyone sleeps differently, so your needs and preferences might be slightly or wildly different than conventional wisdom. The best approach? Decide what, in an ideal world, you’d change about your current mattress, then search for the mattress that best fits that vision.

Another factor to consider: whether you tend to sleep hot or cold. If you tend to sleep hot, you may want to seek a mattress with features like cooling gel. Also, the conventional wisdom is that innerspring mattresses sleep cooler than memory foam, though every sleeper’s mileage varies.

What’s the difference between a king mattress and a California king mattress?

The most important difference between a king mattress and a California king mattress is that about the latter, but not the former. They’re also slightly different sizes. A king-size mattress is 76 inches wide and 80 inches long, while a California king mattress is 72 inches wide and 84 inches long. (The California king is the longest mattress available — even a twin XL bed is only 80 inches long.) A California king may be appropriate for people who are quite tall and want to stretch out, or for people whose bedrooms are longer than they are wide. 

We’ve selected regular king-size mattresses for this piece, but we’ve noted which are available in a California king size as well.

How much bigger is a king mattress than a queen or a full mattress?

A king-sized mattress is definitely an investment, so you’ll want to make sure the amount of space you gain is worth the price. For reference, a queen mattress is 60 inches wide and 80 inches long — 16 inches less wide than a king-size mattress. A full mattress is 53 inches wide and 75 inches long — 23 inches less wide and five inches shorter than a king mattress. 

If you have a full mattress and find its length to be the main issue (i.e. it’s too short), a queen-sized mattress could work for you. However, if you want significantly more width, a king mattress may be the best option for you.

Here are our picks for the best king-size mattresses.

100-day trial period and free returns • Affordable compared to similar options • Comfortable layers of memory foam

If you want something pillowy, it’s not the best choice

The original Tuft & Needle mattress is a simple, high-quality option that will give you plenty of bang for your buck.

Tuft & Needle Original Mattress

If you want firm yet balanced comfort, Tuft & Needle is a solid — and relatively affordable — option for a king-size upgrade.

  • Type:
    Memory foam
  • Composition:
    Two layers of foam, plus graphite and cooling gel
  • California king available?:
    Yes
  • Height:
    10 inches

Tuft & Needle is an affordable power player in the online mattress space, and its king-size mattress is a solid choice for most people. (The general consensus among reviewers is that it’s firm, but not too firm.) It ships free, expands quickly once opened, and comes with a 100-night trial, so you can send it back — also for free — if it’s not to your liking. It also goes on sale fairly frequently, so you might be able to snag one for a lower price. 

Affordable • Should be comfortable for most sleepers • Layer of cooling gel foam

May not be the longest-lasting pick • Has an odor when first opened

A fancy mattress this is not, but it is a solid budget pick for people seeking a memory foam mattress.

Zinus 12-Inch Gel-Infused Green Tea Cooling Mattress

If you have a smaller budget, do not fear: This Zinus king mattress ships fast and delivers on comfort.

  • Type:
    Memory foam
  • Composition:
    Base foam, “comfort” foam, cooling gel foam
  • California king available?:
    No
  • Height:
    12 inches

“You get what you pay for” does apply to mattresses, for the most part, and a bigger investment will likely get you a mattress that will last longer. However, if you’re looking for a budget pick — as “budget” as a king mattress can be, anyway — this medium-firm mattress should do nicely. It’s composed of memory foam with an additional layer of foam infused with cooling gel, which is designed to help you sleep cooler. (To maximize these effects, we recommend not using a mattress protector.) One thing to note: A few reviewers say the mattress had a noticeable smell out of the box, but that it dissipated with time. 

Super firm • Frequently on sale • 120-night trial period • Flippable

Not for people who aren’t serious about a firm mattress • A little pricey compared to other options

This dual-sided (!) option is great for sleepers seeking a truly firm mattress.

Plank by Brooklyn Bedding King Mattress

This ultra-firm king mattress is ideal for stomach and back sleepers.

  • Type:
    Memory foam
  • Composition:
    Quilted top/bottom layers, base foam, “comfort” foam
  • California king available?:
    Yes, plus split California king
  • Height:
    11.75 inches
The Plank mattress bills itself as the firmest mattress around — and while we don’t love to deal in superlatives, there’s plenty of evidence online to suggest that this mattress is, at the very least, extremely firm. (One tester at Mattress Clarity said it’s probably the firmest mattress he’s ever tested.) It’s also flippable, with different levels of firmness on each side. Opt for a 0.75-inch quilted top layer (extra firm) or a 1.5-inch quilted top layer plus a two-inch “comfort layer” (more of an average firm). If you sleep hot, you can add a cooling panel for an extra $150. 

Flippable • Can accommodate a variety of sleep positions • Comes with free pillows when it’s on sale

Pricey • Not super firm or super soft • If you don’t like to flip… don’t get this

If your sleep position tends to fluctuate or you can’t decide between a memory foam or spring mattress, consider this hybrid from Layla.

Layla Hybrid Mattress

If you want to splurge on a fancy hybrid king mattress, this one from Layla is a good pick.

  • Type:
    Hybrid
  • Composition:
    (From soft side to firm side) Copper-gel memory foam, support foam, pocketed coils, support foam, memory foam
  • California king available?:
    Yes
  • Height:
    13 inches

If you’re not sure whether you want a memory foam or spring mattress, a hybrid might be a good bet. Layla’s hybrid mattress has a lot going for it: It’s flippable (there’s a softer, “more plush” side and a firmer side), it gets solid airflow, it ships free, and it comes with a 120-night trial and a 10-year warranty. Things to note: It’s not super firm or super soft (so people who prefer extremes probably won’t like it) and it’s pricier than other options on this list. You may not end up paying full price, though: It was $200 off at the time of writing, and Layla was throwing in two free pillows to boot.

Organic materials, if that matters to you • No smell out of the box, according to reviewers • Vegan option

Pricier than other options

The Avocado Green Mattress, while fairly pricey, is likely a good investment for those seeking an organic mattress.

Avocado Green Mattress

The Avocado Green mattress is a great pick for buyers with concerns about materials and sourcing. There’s even a vegan version.

  • Type:
    Innerspring
  • Composition:
    Organic latex, pocketed coils, wool
  • California king available?:
    Yes
  • Height:
    11 inches (standard) or 13 inches (with pillow top)
If you want an “organic” mattress, or have concerns when it comes to materials, sourcing, and sustainability, the Avocado Green mattress is probably a good pick for you. This hybrid, firm-ish mattress is made of organic materials, which are certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). (GOTS has a reputation for being pretty stringent.) Its layers are also needle-tufted instead of glued, which means it doesn’t contain adhesives. (It also should, theoretically, make the mattress last longer.) If you prefer a vegan product, you can also get an Avocado mattress made using organic cotton in place of wool. It also comes with a 365-night trial period (!) and a 25-year limited warranty. You can add a pillow top for $300.

Tons of custom options • Available with an adjustable base • Plenty of add-ons

Adjustable base is pretty pricey

Those seeking a fancier innerspring mattress will find plenty to like about Saatva’s Classic option.

Saatva Classic Mattress

This Saatva king mattress comes with plenty of customization options, from an adjustable base to pillow and mattress pad add-ons.

  • Type:
    Innerspring
  • Composition:
    Cotton outer cover (GOTS-certified), foam, steel coils, thistle pulp flame retardant barrier
  • California king available?:
    Yes, plus split California king
  • Height:
    11.5 inches
The Saatva Classic king-size innerspring mattress comes with enough options that you can pretty much make it any mattress you want. Perhaps most notably, you can add an adjustable base when you buy the mattress, which is very convenient for people seeking to sit up in bed for work. (Fair warning: It’s nearly $2,500 extra.) The mattress itself comes in a split king version, unlike other options on this list, and you can choose from “plush soft,” “luxury firm,” and “firm” versions. You’ll get free delivery, a 180-night trial, and a 15-year warranty with your purchase. You can also add sheets, pillows, or a mattress pad, but they’re all fairly pricey. It might be better to get those elsewhere.

Easy setup • Prime members get free shipping • Expands quickly • 10-year warranty

Some reviewers say it doesn’t quite reach projected height • No testing period

This king mattress is hard to beat in terms of convenience, and it has a reputation for support and comfort.

Sleep Innovations Hudson Hybrid Mattress

This isn’t the fanciest mattress out there, but it is a well-reviewed mid-range option — and Prime members will get free delivery.

  • Type:
    Memory foam
  • Composition:
    Wrapped coils, memory foam, quilted cover
  • California king available?:
    Yes
  • Height:
    10 inches or 12 inches (price is for 12-inch version)

There are actually quite a few serviceable king mattresses on Amazon, including the Zinus option mentioned above. This Sleep Innovations mattress is a good bet if you want a hybrid mattress but would prefer to spend a little less. The consensus among reviewers: It’s supportive, feels pleasantly medium-firm, and is easy to set up out of the box. Also, its “airflow foam” is designed to cool down hot sleepers, though mileage with this feature seems to vary.

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