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One of the best mattresses of 2016.

Best Mattresses of 2016

Take your pick of adjustable air, innerspring and memory foam mattresses

Our readers have told us that buying a new mattress can be a headache because they're difficult to compare from store to store and model names change frequently. To help, Consumer Reports tweaked its tests and mattress ratings this year making it easier to tell how firm a mattress really is on a scale of 1 to 10 and how much support it provides to people who sleep on their backs or their sides. In fact, now you can match your sleeping style and your stature to your mattress by scanning the six columns in our ratings that call out the best mattresses for petite, average, and large/tall side sleepers and petite, average, and large/tall back sleepers. Here are two top picks from each of the three types of mattresses we test.

Adjustable Air Beds
Sleep Number i8 bed

Sleep Number i8 bed

At $3,000, this Sleep Number bed is especially pricey, but there’s a lot to like if you sleep primarily on your back. As with other memory-foam, adjustable-air beds from Sleep Number, you and your partner can adjust the firmness of independent halves of the bed to your preference. In addition to its superb back support, the mattress was impressive at keeping the spine horizontal for side sleepers. The mattress measures 12 inches high, so you’ll get by without deep-pocket fitted sheets.

    Sleep Number c2 bed

    Sleep Number c2 bed

    You don’t have to pay thousands for an adjustable-air mattress to get impressive side support and even better back support. The pricier Sleep Number i8 bed edged this one out in overall performance, but you’ll pay $2,200 less without a noticeable difference in support. Trying the bed out before buying will tell you if this mattress’s thinner top foam layer is less comfortable. The mattress measures just 8 inches high, so you’ll get by without deep-pocket fitted sheets.

      Innerspring Mattresses
      Charles P. Rogers Powercore Estate 5000

      Charles P. Rogers Powercore Estate...

      Back sleepers have a lot to like about this $1,500 innerspring from Charles P. Rogers, but you might be less satisfied when you roll over. With a latex-foam topping, the mattress was among the best at supporting the curve of the spine and very good at keeping side sleepers' spines horizontal. The mattress came out fine after eight years of simulated use, and it was top-notch at muting vibrations, meaning little bouncing from across the bed. It measures 14 inches high, so you'll probably need deep-pocket fitted sheets.

        Sealy Posturepedic Hybrid Trust Cushion

        Sealy Posturepedic Hybrid Trust...

        Mattresses can cost much more than this Sealy innerspring mattress, $1,275, but this one was very good overall however mixed its performance in our support tests. It's a good bet for a petite person who sleeps on her side but not so great for a large/tal sleeper who prefers sleeping on his back. And the mattress is much softer than claimed. On the plus side, it came out great after eight years of simulated use and was fine at muting vibrations, meaning little bouncing from across the bed. It was also fairly breathable. The Sealy is 12 inches high, so you shouldn't need deep-pocket fitted sheets.

          Memory Foam Mattresses
          Casper The Casper

          Casper The Casper

          From a relatively new brand, Casper has a winner in this memory- and latex-foam mattress, which scored impressively across the board. Few mattresses in our ratings score equally well for both back and side support, and at $850, Casper has achieved it without a thousand-dollar price. It showed only minor changes after eight years of simulated use and transmitted little vibration from one side of the bed to the other, so changing positions is fairly easy. Another plus: Since the mattress measures only 10 inches high, you won't need deep-pocket fitted sheets.

            Novaform Serafina Pearl Gel (Costco)

            Novaform Serafina Pearl Gel (Costco)

            This Novaform memory-foam mattress from Costco is infused with gel beads and was impressive both at supporting the spinal curve while you're on your back and supporting you while you're lying on your side. It also came out great after eight years of simulated use. The mattress comes folded in a box, but there's free pickup and return for an unspecified period if you’re not satisfied. Getting it back into the box is not required. Our tested model measures a bit more than 14 inches high, so you might get by without deep-pocket fitted sheets.

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              Mary H.J. Farrell

              Knowing that I wanted to be a journalist from a young age, I decided to spiff up my byline by adding the middle initials "H.J." A veteran of online and print journalism, I've worked at People, MSNBC, Ladies’ Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, and an online Consumer Reports wannabe. But the real thing is so much better. Follow me on Twitter.