Your Toolkit for a Good Night's Sleep - Consumer Reports

Your Toolkit for a Good Night's Sleep

Illustration of a woman stretching on a bed.
Photo-Illustration: Consumer Reports
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While smart sleep habits­­­—like taking time to unwind each night—are crucial, optimizing your space can also help set you up for quality slumber. For many, this means a cool, dark, and quiet bedroom.

It’s also key to remember that pillows and mattresses don’t last forever, says sleep expert Rachel Salas, MD, a professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. (Ditch pillows that no longer support your head and neck, learn when to replace a mattress, and see our mattress and pillow ratings and buying guide.)

If your bedtime setup could use an upgrade, here are seven of CR’s highly rated sleep products and several other interesting items to check out.

Mattress
Avocado Green Mattress Pillowtop
Avocado Green Mattress Pillowtop

    Avocado Green Mattress Pillowtop

    A mattress that’s uncomfortable or sagging from age may leave you struggling to sleep through the night or waking up stiff and sore. Mattress shoppers take note: This brand gets high scores for comfort.

    Pillow
    Coop Home Goods Premium Adjustable Loft
    Coop Home Goods Premium Adjustable...

      Coop Home Goods Premium Adjustable...

      While what’s comfiest in a pillow may be a matter of personal preference, it’s generally best to pick one with solid support that holds up over time. This one outranks the other 17 in our tests.

      Sheets
      L.L. Bean Pima Cotton Percale (280TC)
      L.L. Bean Pima Cotton Percale (280TC)

        L.L. Bean Pima Cotton Percale (280TC)

        Almost half the sheets in CR’s tests shrink so much over time that they no longer fit. And who wants to wake up with a bottom sheet that’s all askew? After a year of washing, these still fit a 14-inch mattress.

        Air Purifier
        Blueair Blue Pure 211+
        Blueair Blue Pure 211+

          Blueair Blue Pure 211+

          Allergens such as pet dander can cause stuffiness, interfering with sleep. An air purifier can remove many allergens from the air, helping you breathe easier. This is the only CR-tested air purifier that earns a CR Best Buy designation.

          Weighted Blanket
          Harkla Weighted Blanket
          Harkla Weighted Blanket

            Harkla Weighted Blanket

            Sleeping under a weighted blanket may help ease anxiety and insomnia in some cases. Interested? Look for one that’s 10 percent of your body weight. This blanket and its cover are both machine-washable.

            Cooling Pad
            Chili Ooler
            Chili Ooler

              Chili Ooler

              A cooling pad that sits under a fitted sheet may help keep hot sleepers more comfortable on steamy nights. Some can also add heat if the need to warm up arises. Our top-rated cooling pad does both.

              Programmable Thermostat
              Honeywell Home Vision Pro 8000 WiFi TH8321WF
              Honeywell Home Vision Pro 8000...

                Honeywell Home Vision Pro 8000...

                These let you optimize the temperature of your bedroom for sleep. (Rachel Salas, MD, advises 65° F to 69° F.) Some can be challenging to set, but this model is easy to operate and has a clear display.
                 

                More Snooze-Friendly Stuff

                Blackout Curtains
                The persistent glow of street lights can make it hard to fall asleep at night. In the morning, bright rays of sunshine can make it tough to stay asleep. Blackout curtains are lined to keep out all kinds of light that may otherwise seep through and around regular window coverings. And if you share your bedroom with someone who keeps different hours, an eye mask may prevent light from the hallway, bathroom, or reading lamp from waking you.

                Shop blackout curtains: AmazonOverstockTarget, and Wayfair

                White-Noise Machine
                House or street sounds getting in the way of your rest? One of these small devices may be a welcome addition to your bedtime arsenal—although evidence of their efficacy as a sleep aid is mixed. You can also check out white-noise apps or try tuning in to radio static instead.

                Shop white-noise machines: AmazonBed Bath & BeyondBest Buy, and Walmart

                Aromatherapy
                If a relaxing, electronics-free bedtime routine doesn’t help you unwind enough at night, try inhaling the scent of lavender—via an essential-oil diffuser or a pillow that contains sachets of the flower. This can ease insomnia, according to a 2021 research review.
                 

                Editor’s Note: This article also appeared in the February 2022 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

                 

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