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When you think of improving your athletic performance, you probably think of eating better, hitting the gym more often, drinking less alcohol and staying focused on your goals. You might even think about getting better clothing, or a pair of running shoes that can shave minutes off of your 15k. Your brain probably doesn’t automatically go to a better mattress — but maybe it should.
For many professional athletes, sleep is a massive part of the recovery routine. And just because you aren’t a professional doesn’t mean you can’t glean some tips from them to improve your daily workouts. A better mattress can be a great way to improve your sleep, and a handful of companies make mattresses squarely aimed at athletes.
If you’re an athlete looking for better sleep, this is a great place to start.
The Bear Mattress (from $700) rose to fame far before the popular Hulu TV show of the same name. It was the first brand to market a mattress specifically to athletes and their requirements for a restful night’s sleep.
The mattress is made up of four layers: a breathable top cover made from Celliant®, a cooling gel-based memory foam, a responsive transition foam for pressure relief and a bottom layer of high-density support foam that provides durability and support.
The brand offers a 120-night trial period, free shipping and returns as well as a lifetime warranty.
Like the Bear Mattress, the PerformaSleep Mattress (from $695) is comprised of four components. The first is a Tencel-based cover that wicks away moisture while remaining soft. The second is the CopperCool Gel 2 layer, which is said to speed up recovery and help regulate body temperature. The middle layer is comprised of two inches of Enersorb foam, which allows the mattress to conform to your body without succumbing to the quicksand feeling that plagues other memory foam mattresses. Lastly, the PerformaSleep features a 7” high-density base foam that provides plenty of support.
The PerformaSleep Mattress is made in the USA, offers a 100-night trial and even ships with two PerformaSleep memory foam pillows with a queen size or larger.
Though not specifically marketed to athletes, Airweave (from $3,350) was the official mattress provider for the athletes at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The brand takes an entirely different approach to its mattresses than the mass of memory foam options on the market. Instead of foam or springs, Airweave uses a vast network of interwoven plastic filaments. The filaments look almost like bundled and tangled fishing line, which tracks given that the Japanese brand traces its roots to producing fishing line.
The result of what on the surface looks like a tangled mess is a firm mattress that breathes incredibly well. That’s because there is nowhere for the air to be trapped like there is in closed-cell foam mattresses. The Airweave is pricey, but it offers better support and far better breathability than many of the other options available.
Other Options to Consider
Beyond just mattresses marketed for athletes, there are some really great options to consider – like the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress, or the Saatva Classic. Or if you sleep hot, it’s worth looking at a cooling mattress like the Eight Sleep Pod 3.
And, once you’ve leveled up your sleep game, check out these five other products to help bump up your athletic performance:
- Whoop, the fitness tracker that measures strain, recovery, and sleep $30/mo
- Maurten Gel 100, a natural hydrogel for before, during and/or after activity $43
- Norda 001, a trail running shoe made with Bio-Dyneema® $220
- Kyoku Breakfast Shakes, made from the highest-quality, plant-based ingredients $59+
- Skratch Labs Sport Hydration Mix, to replace electrolytes and provide energy $22