We spend more than 100 days in bed per year — and that's just sleeping. Factor in Netflix binging, reading, and R-rated stuff, and, well, it's a miracle we all make it to work five days a week. It's actually become kind of cool to spend beaucoup hours in bed — there's upon upon about it. So maybe it shouldn't come as a surprise that, in a recent poll, 56% of you say you'd splurge on the right bedding. But with zillions of options for mattresses, sheets, and pillows out there, how do you choose? You call up the GolfHr Institute, that's how.
Here, you'll find GHI- and editor-approved mattresses, sheets, comforters, and pillows — plus all the info you need to take good care of them. Simply scroll down to build your perfect bed, from frame to throw pillow, or hop around via the Table of Contents at the top of this page if you're looking for something specific.
But before we get to shopping, Krista Suh, actress, activist, and author of , would like to have a quick word with you.
You Deserve A Better Bed
I am a type of person, especially when it comes to beds. Are beds for sleeping? Sure, but you can do so much more in bed.
My typical day starts in bed. I’ll meditate, journal, send emails, and work on my books and scripts all from bed. I occasionally get out of my bed HQ to brush my teeth or work out, but if I ever need a refuge or to brainstorm a solution, it’s back to bed I go. Food is best eaten in bed, and I’m not talking about a darling breakfast tray of pancakes. I’m talking Korean BBQ short ribs and noodles and kimchi and spicy tofu soups.
Because of my preoccupation with being in bed all day long, I need to be in love with my setup. Just like some people stay in bad relationships too long, I used to put up with bad sheets far longer than I should have.
But one day, I realized that I woke up in itchy-sheet-hell every morning and tried to succumb to fitful sleep every night. And this went on every single day. And those "every single days" made up my life.
So, I found sheets that have a smooth sateen finish and stay magically cool in summer and warm in winter. When I slide under the covers every night I heave a happy sigh, and when I wake up in the morning I’m delighted to be caressed by good fabric. I call this exercise the Midas Touch: Turn your life into gold by making every sensation pleasurable, starting with your bed.
Step 1 The Bed Frame
The right frame can add storage, extra outlets, and even a dose of personal style. These picks will set the groundwork for your best night’s sleep.
Pick Your Bed Frame
• Folds open in 30 seconds
• No tools required
• No headboard or box-spring required
• Assemble in five minutes
• Supports up to 900 pounds
• No box-spring required
• Built-in USB charger
• Adjustable headboard to fit mattress height
• Two storage drawers
• Four extra-deep drawers under bed
• Built-in button-tufted upholstered frame
• Assembly options offered for an added cost
• Reposition the head and foot to any angle
• Zero gravity option aligns your body
3 Science-Backed Reasons to Invest in a Better Bed
Here’s how perfecting your sleep environment —and getting at least seven hours per night — will pay off:
- Fewer Colds and Infections- Snooze more hours per night and you’re less likely to get sick, per multiple research studies.
- A Higher Metabolism- Short-changing your body on sleep will slow your calorie burn, a major setback if you’re trying to lose weight.
- Improved Concentration- Sleep deprivation means your neurons have to work overtime, making it more difficult to make decisions.
Step 2 The Mattress
Your mattress is the heart of your bed. The key to a cloud-like base: shopping these picks (and more of our online favorites) that aren't too soft or too hard, but juuust right.
ADJUSTABLE: Sleep Number 360 Smart Bed
$999 and up,
You may have smart lightbulbs or speakers, but what you really need is a smart mattress. This GolfHr Seal holder senses your movement, then automatically adjusts the support and firmness so it's most comfortable for you. (And if you share your bed with a partner, it's dual-sided. Yay! But you're on your own with the snoring.)
$350 and up,
You know Casper as the trendy mattress that comes in a box. The GolfHr Institute says testers loved that the mattress's four foam layers that offer the perfect mix of comfort and support. If you're on a budget, the (three layers) is less expensive. The (five layers) is for the all-in bedroom renovator.
Many of the mattresses you can buy online, Casper included, are foam-only to allow for easier shipping. If you prefer innersprings for extra firmness, you want a Saatva. Buy from the website, and a delivery team will deliver it right to your bed frame within 12 days, for most customers. Sleep on it for 120 days, and if you're not satisfied you can return it for a $99 return pickup fee.
$600 and up,
Think of Helix as a DNA test for your bed. Take a personalized sleep survey that asks about your sleeping preferences, and the company builds a custom mattress to match. They can even personalize each side so your stomach-sleeping husband can sleep in peace, even if you're a side-snoozer.
$390 and up,
Tulo offers three cooling foam mattress options: soft, medium, and firm. Not sure which you'll like best? You can try them out at any before buying online. Once you've decided, the company will come set it up for you and haul your old mattress away.
BUDGET BUY: Zinus Memory Foam 12-Inch Mattress
Yes, most mattresses don't come cheap. But if you're feeling the sticker shock, more than stand behind this $279 Amazon best-seller. One even called it the "Oprah of beds."
Do You Need a Mattress Topper?
Lexie Sachs, senior textile analyst at the GolfHr Institute, shares three reasons to buy:
Step 3 The Sheets
BUDGET BUY: Mellanni
"You get what you pay for" does not apply here. For $25, you'll get a flat sheet, a fitted sheet, and two pillowcases — all of which the brand claims are hypoallergenic, resistant to dust mites, and sooo silky smooth. If you need more convincing, our Trends & Reviews editor has tried out virtually every trendy sheet set on the market and Mellanni's set is the one that earned a permanent spot on her bed.
$230 and up,
After being sold out for weeks, Brooklinen has announced that its crazy popular Linen Core Sheets are back in stock — and there are nine new colors. FYI: The last time Brooklinen restocked these super-soft Belgian flax sheets, there was a 5,000 person waitlist, so we expect these to go fast, too. They also have a limited edition collection of lightweight now, so all your bedding can match.
PIMA COTTON: Wamsutta Pimacott
PSA: Sometimes sheets labeled as premium cotton like "Egyptian" or "pima" are not actually made with these fibers! To make sure you're getting the real deal, stick with this GolfHr Institute-recommended pick. It uses DNA-tested cotton to make sure you’re not getting duped.
LIGHT AND AIRY: Casper
$75 and up,
Casper isn't just a mattress-in-a-box company. It's newly released bedding line offers , , and you guessed it: . The line offers three options: weightless cotton, airy linen, and our editor's pick: cool Supima. The breathable percale weave is made so it gets ever softer every time you wash.
EXTRA-CRISP: Parachute Home
$109 and up,
If you like your sheets to feel crisp (as opposed to smoother sateen), stick with this top-pick from the GolfHr Institute. It stood out for being pill-resistant and didn't noticeably shrink even after our textile pros put it through five back-to-back cycles. For those of you on the anti-flat sheet side of the debate, you can purchase this set without one and save some cash.
Step 4 The Comforter
Think of your comforter as a slice of cheese. The individually-wrapped single will get the job done, but your heart always wants the fancy mozzarella. These comforters (and more) are your mozzarella.
EDITOR'S PICK: Buffy
Our Trends & Reviews editor loves this comforter so much she had to let the world know. It keeps her equally happy on frigid New York snow days as it has during 90+ degree heatwaves. The filling of every comforter is made from 50 recycled bottles, and most importantly: It feels exactly like how she imagines it'd feel to sleep on a cloud. Even better, the 30-day trial period means you can send the comforter back for a full refund if it's not the perfect fit.
ALLERGY-FRIENDLY: AllerEase Hot Water Washable Comforter
Traditional down is more of an allergy-trigger than a bedding wonder for some. If you sneezed just reading that, try . It’s hypoallergenic, and the tightly-woven fabric prevents allergens from collecting in the comforter. To top it off, it can be washed in hot water so it's game-over for killing germs and bacteria.
CLUMP-FREE DOWN: L.L. Bean Baffle-Box Stitch Down Comforter
L.L. Bean understands that having the down clump up at the bottom doesn't exactly make for the most luxurious experience. So they created a baffle-box design that keeps all the filling in place, that way the whole comforter feels like a cloud — not just one corner.
DOWN ALTERNATIVE: Linenspa All-Season White Down Alternative Quilted Comforter
This is the most popular comforter on Amazon. It's racked up nearly with buyers singing its praises. The super-super soft microfiber can stand alone or stuffed inside a duvet. Either way, it's wrinkle resistant and so fluffy!
Step 5 The Pillows
You're nearing the end of your journey toward your ultimate bed — pillow time. We've slept on memory foam, down, and more to bring you the ultimate finds. Once you're done shop even more GolfHr Institute's picks here.
SIDE AND BACK SLEEPERS: Sleep Number PlushComfort Ultimate
It's hard to find a pillow that's just the right mix of firm and soft, but this pillow comes with three removable inserts so you can fill it to your liking. Sleep Number says one to two inserts are good for stomach sleepers, but back and side sleepers might need to add a third.
STOMACH SLEEPERS: Layla Pillow
If you catch your ZZZs facing down, Sachs recommends Layla's offering. She even uses it in her own home thanks to its perfect size and support.
MACHINE WASHABLE: Coop Home Goods Memory Foam Pillow
This pillow has enough people recommending it on Amazon to fill a small town — around 15,000 to be exact. Because you can add and remove foam to your liking, you're basically getting a custom pillow that works for every type of sleeper. Plus, it comes with a five-year guarantee that it won't go flat — even when you machine wash it.
CUSTOMIZED: Boll & Branch
Choose your density, fill, and size, and Boll & Branch offers your perfect pillow. The brand recommends that back and stomach sleepers choose a soft pillow and side sleepers choose medium-firm. The down alternative so closely mirrors real down that we couldn’t tell the two apart when they were placed next to each other.
BACK PAIN? Your pillow may help solve that.
“The key is neck and spine alignment,” explains Sachs. So when you lay down your head shouldn’t tilt in any direction. Side sleepers need a thick, firm pillow, stomach sleepers a thin, soft one and back sleepers somewhere in between.
Sharing a bed with someone is a privilege, but it’s not without its challenges — especially when you’re married to that someone, and you’ve vowed to share that bed with them for decades. My wife and I have been married for over 10 years, and we still have bed-related arguments. Here's where we've landed ... so far:
BED SIZE: How big is too big?
He says: We sprung for a king a few years ago, and I have to admit, my wife was right. It’s totally clutch, especially with two kids fighting for snuggle space.
She says: Spoiler alert: I’m always right!
THROW PILLOWS: How many is too many?
He says: My wife adorned our bed with about 50 throw pillows, but what are they even for? At worst they’re weapons for our kids’ perpetual pillow fights.
She says: Sleep specialists recommend creating a soothing ambiance. Your bedroom is a zen-like oasis and everyone knows that means MORE PILLOWS.
BEDDING: How seasonal is too seasonal?
He says: I didn’t even know what a duvet was before I met my wife and now I’ve slept with at least half-dozen different ones because apparently, she needs a duvet for every season.
She says: First of all, they’re called linens, and I’m no meteorologist but I’m pretty sure temperatures vary. You can’t use your winter duvet in the summer!