Best Motion-Isolating Mattresses for Restless Partnered Sleepers

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Written by: Alex Savy
Read 23 minLast updated November 5, 2020

Tossing and turning all through the night?

We’ve all been there.

Sometimes it’s just temporary, but if restlessness decides to stick around, it can ruin your partner’s sleep too.

In this case, a good mattress can save both your sleep and your relationship. So, check out the list of 5 best mattresses for restless sleepers and our comprehensive buyer’s guide if you are ready to change sleep for yourself and your partner.

A Quick Preview

Nectar
Best Overall – Editor’s Pick

Nectar
Type: foam
Layers: 3 + quilted cover
Thickness: 11 inches
Sleep trial: 365 nights
Warranty: Forever WarrantyT
Check Current Price on Nectarsleep.com
Read more about this mattress
DreamCloud
Best for Balanced Support

DreamCloud
Type: hybrid
Layers: 4 + quilted cover
Thickness: 14 inches
Sleep trial: 365 days
Warranty: lifetime
Check Current Price on Dreamcloudsleep.com
Read more about this mattress
Botanical Bliss by Plushbeds
Best Latex Mattress

Botanical Bliss by Plushbeds
Type: latex
Layers: 4
Thickness: 9, 10, and 12 inches
Sleep trial: 100 nights
Warranty: 25 years
Check Current Price on Plushbeds.com
Read more about this mattress
Nolah
Best Value Pick

Nolah
Type: foam
Layers: 3
Thickness: 10 inches
Sleep trial: 120 nights
Warranty: 15 years
Check Current Price on Nolahmattress.com
Read more about this mattress
Awara
Best Organic Mattress

Awara
Type: hybrid
Layers: 3
Thickness: 13 inches
Sleep trial: 365 nights
Warranty: Forever Warranty
Check Current Price on Awarasleep.com
Read more about this mattress

Our List of the Best Mattresses for Restless Sleepers

Best Overall — Editor’s PickNectar

Nectar

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Highlights

  • medium feel to accommodate different types of sleepers;
  • gel-infused memory foam comfort layer for cooling motion isolation;
  • responsive transition layer to battle the quicksand sensation;
  • breathable Tencel cover for improved air circulation;
  • extended sleep trial, great for hesitant shoppers.

The first item on our list of the best mattresses for restless sleepers is the Nectar, a mattress that combines great motion isolation, comfort, and support. Using different density foams, the Nectar absorbs shock from motion but doesn’t make you feel trapped, achieving a balanced feel.

Best for Balanced Support — DreamCloud

DreamCloud

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Highlights

  • high-profile design, easy to get in and out of;
  • hybrid construction for a balanced feel;
  • pocketed coils for targeted support;
  • quilted cover for a more luxurious feel;
  • lifetime warranty.

What makes the DreamCloud one of the best mattresses for restless sleepers is its balanced feel. This model offers sturdy support and minimizes nighttime disturbances at the same time. This is achieved thanks to the combination of pocketed coils and thick foam comfort layers.

Best Latex Mattress for Restless Partnered Sleep — Botanical Bliss by Plushbeds

Botanical Bliss by Plushbeds

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Highlights

  • 2 firmness options to accommodate different sleepers;
  • organic latex construction, safe and antimicrobial;
  • natural wool layer for improved temperature regulation;
  • customizable firmness;
  • organic cotton cover for improved breathability.

Another cool mattress for restless partners I want to share with you is this latex model by Plushbeds. The Botanical Bliss is a great option for those who want a safe, natural mattress that would offer excellent motion isolation, neutral temperature, and pressure relief without the quicksand feeling.

Best Value Pick — Nolah

Nolah

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Highlights

  • breathable Tencel cover for a cooling effect;
  • medium firmness, meant to accommodate a wide variety of users;
  • high-resilience transition foam to combat the feeling of being stuck;
  • proprietary comfort layer for cooler sleep;
  • lifetime warranty for your peace of mind.

The Nolah deserves to be among the best mattresses for restless sleepers for a number of reasons, including the great value for money. While being very reasonably priced, this mattress offers great comfort levels, good motion isolation, and quality materials. Plus, it even uses its own proprietary foam for the comfort layer. It allows for pressure relief and motion absorption without sacrificing the comfortable sleeping temperature.

Best Organic Mattress for Restless Sleepers — Awara

Awara

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Check current price Read our detailed review Shop Now on Awarasleep.com

Highlights

  • natural latex and wool for comfort, organic and safe;
  • individually wrapped supportive coils for reduced motion transfer;
  • breathable construction for cool sleep;
  • reinforced handles for easier transportation;
  • one-year sleep trial for uncertain shoppers.

Another model that deserves to be called one of the best motion-isolating mattresses is this hybrid by Awara that uses only safe, organic materials. This model would work for a wide range of sleepers, including allergy-prone users or people with sensitive skin (thanks to the natural cotton cover).

What Causes Restless Sleep?

Surveys show that around 67% of people worldwide wake up at least once during the night.

Source: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/08/we-need-more-sleep

While this might be an occasional occurrence for some, other people deal with this issue regularly (and experience multiple awakenings). 

There are many potential reasons behind restless sleep. The most common ones include:

  • Uncomfortable mattress. It can be old and saggy, too soft, or too stiff. Whatever the case is, sleeping on a bad mattress makes it hard to find a comfortable position, which causes people to toss and turn, often all through the night.
  • Stress and anxiety. Our body’s response to stress is the release of cortisol hormone, which makes the brain more alert. When stress becomes regular in our lives or we start experiencing anxiety, the cortisol levels rise, affecting our sleep-wake cycles and interfering with our normal sleep schedule (1).  
  • Restless leg syndrome. This neurological disorder causes unpleasant sensations in one’s legs, like tingling or aching (2). In this state, a sleeper feels the urge to move their legs more frequently to find a better position and reduce those symptoms. Naturally, this can lead to disrupted and restless sleep.
  • Caffeine consumption. Caffeine is a stimulant that affects our brain and central nervous system. Often, frequent caffeine consumption (especially closer to your bed hours) is associated with sleep deprivation, reduced hours of sleep, increased arousals, disrupted sleep, and restlessness (3).
  • Unsuitable sleeping environment. You can keep tossing and turning simply because your bedroom is too hot or too cold (4). Another reason might be the nighttime distractions, such as outside noises or light.
  • Health issues and chronic pain. People suffering from chronic pain are more likely to experience longer sleep onset, frequent awakenings, lower sleep quality, and shorter total sleep time (5). Sleep apnea is another health condition that can cause abrupt awakenings and restlessness (6). 

Naturally, any of these issues could affect your partner too. While you toss and turn trying to get the precious hours of sleep, your partner is very likely to feel the movement on the other side of the bed. However, a suitable mattress can help you both deal with that problem.

What Is the Best Mattress Type for Restless Partnered Sleepers?

When searching for the best mattress for restless sleepers, you need to consider its construction and the materials. Some of them are ideal for motion isolation, others – not so much. Let’s take a look at the most common mattress types and see how they would work for someone sharing their bed with a restless partner:

  • Memory foam. This material responds well to pressure and body heat, which makes it mold to the sleeper’s curves. It also returns slowly to its original shape and has almost zero bounce to it. That’s what makes memory foam great for restless partnered sleepers. Remember those old commercials when people used to jump on the bed while a glass of red wine was sitting on the other side of the mattress? That’s pretty much how memory foam works.
  • Polyfoam. Polyurethane foam has a slightly faster response to applied pressure and more resilience to it. Still, this material effectively absorbs shock from motion and would be suitable for restless sleepers. Just keep in mind that polyfoam is more resilient than memory foam and would not hug your body as deeply.
  • Latex. Derived from the sap of rubber trees, Latex is quite springy and responds fast to pressure. This material can adapt to your body curves, but it won’t allow as much sinkage as foam would. However, despite being rather bouncy, latex isolates motion well. It might not absorb 100% of it, but your partner won’t be likely to wake up if you move on a latex mattress.
  • Hybrid. Hybrid mattresses use a combination of materials. For support, manufacturers usually give their preference to sturdy coils. For comfort layers, they use either foam or latex. Also, a combination of both can be found in some models. Plus, some hybrids use micro-coils for comfort. Whatever the case is, hybrids are generally bouncier than foam or latex mattresses. Now, most modern hybrids use pocketed coils, which reduce motion transfer. And if the comfort layers are thick enough, such a bed can be considered a good mattress for restless partners. However, don’t expect 100% motion isolation. Some transfer will still take place, but if the hybrid mattress has thick enough comfort layers, the disturbance on the other side of the bed will be minimal or hard to notice in most cases.
  • Innerspring. Let me warn you right away: innerspring mattresses aren’t that good for restless couples. Even if the coils are individually wrapped for pinpoint support, they will still allow for motion transfer. Of course, the levels will be lower in this case, when compared with offset or Bonnell coils, for example. But if you want to minimize the chances of waking your partner up in the middle of the night, you might want to steer away from spring mattresses (the same rule applies to airbeds, by the way).

Mattress Type

Source: https://www.tsishipping.com/blog/moving/7-common-mattress-types-and-how-move-them

How to Find the Best Mattress for Restless Partnered Sleepers: Buyer’s Guide

I know, shopping can be frustrating sometimes, especially when you don’t know how to narrow all the options down.

Here’s the deal: when looking for a good mattress for restless sleepers, there are certain factors that play primary roles. Once you consider all of them, it will be easier for you to make a final choice:

  • Type. As I’ve mentioned before, when looking for the best mattress for restless partners, it’s crucial to pay attention to the materials first. Foam and latex are favored for their cradling properties and great motion absorption. If you want sturdier support, check out hybrid mattresses that have thick comfort layers. Just keep in mind that hybrids don’t guarantee complete isolation of movements, so if your partner is extremely sensitive, it might be better to stick to foam or latex. 
  • Sleeping position. When shopping for a mattress, don’t think only about how not to disturb your partner. Both of you have to feel comfortable and supported when sleeping. That’s why you need to choose the firmness of the mattress according to your most common sleeping position. For instance, side sleepers require a generous amount of sinkage for their shoulders and hips, so they are recommended to choose softer mattresses. However, the bed shouldn’t be too soft, as it must provide enough support for the spine. Therefore, if you are a side sleeper, try to avoid extremely plushy beds that may sag too much under your weight. Back sleepers need a decent amount of cradling for the hips and buttocks. In this case, a medium mattress would work. And stomach sleepers require sturdy support all across the surface, which means they are advised to pick firm mattresses.
  • Weight. Aside from the way you sleep, you should also consider your weight. Petite users (below 130 pounds) don’t always sink deep enough through the comfort layers and can’t enjoy proper contouring. Therefore, such sleepers should pick softer mattresses. As for heavier folks, they require more support to maintain a healthy sleeping posture and a neutral spine. Therefore, larger individuals (over 230 pounds) are advised to pick firmer mattresses.
  • Customizable comfort. Another interesting factor you might want to consider is dual firmness. If you and your partner have different comfort preferences or, for instance, have a big weight difference, you can look at the mattress brands that offer customizable firmness on two sides of the bed. This way, both you and your significant other can enjoy the optimal support and increased comfort during sleep.
  • Sex. Here’s what you should know: good motion-isolating mattresses typically don’t have much of a bunce and can restrict movement, which might not work for all couples. If you and your partner prefer a bit more bounciness and response from the bed for sex, you may want to consider hybrids or at least latex mattresses (as foam tends to make users feel trapped in the mattress material). 
  • Size. Restless sleepers often require more space to shift and change positions during the night. Naturally, a bigger mattress would be ideal in this scenario. If you want to minimize the nighttime disturbances for your partner, consider investing in a larger King mattress. This way you will have more room to move around, and your partner would be far enough to ignore it. A Queen would also accommodate two people, even if one of them is a restless sleeper. However, a Queen bed won’t allow for as much legroom.
  • Temperature regulation. I bet that when your mattress makes you sleep hot, you become even more restless during the night, trying to make yourself feel more comfortable. Therefore, a temperature-neutral bed is always a good choice. Keep in mind that foam tends to run hot unless it’s infused with gel or has an open-cell construction. Latex is naturally cooling. As for hybrid mattresses, they allow for more breathability thanks to the coil core, but the main temperature properties will depend on the comfort layers.
  • Price. Now, this factor depends solely on you and how much you are willing to invest in your new bed. Keep in mind that high-density memory foam mattresses are more expensive than polyfoam models. Latex is also quite pricey due to its natural origin and durability. Hybrid mattresses vary from brand to brand, but the ones using quality materials would cost at least $1,000.
  • Warranty and trial. The rules are simple: the longer the sleep trial, the more time you will have to get used to your new bed and test how it works for you and your partner. Keep in mind that some brands have a mandatory break-in period, during which you cannot return the mattress, even if you feel like it’s not suited for you. This is done because mattress materials usually need time to adapt to your body curves. Rule number two: the longer the warranty period, the more confidence the manufacturer has in their product. However, you should always check the conditions and read the fine print to see what the warranty covers.

 

F.A.Q.

How do I stop motion transfer in bed?

You can try adding a motion-isolating topper, such as foam or latex. Changing a mattress is also a good idea, if your budget allows for it.

What is the best mattress for restless sleepers?

If you are a restless sleeper who shares their bed with a partner, a good motion-isolating mattress would be ideal. Consider foam and latex beds, or a hybrid with thick comfort layers. If you want a bed that would not restrict your movements too much, give your preference to latex. However, if you prefer foam, consider models that use both polyfoam and memory foam (as the former is more responsive and can help combat the quicksand feeling). 

What mattress type is the best for couples?

Memory foam shows the best results when it comes to motion isolation. However, if you want more responsiveness for sex, you can look at latex or hybrid mattresses.

How to sleep better with a restless partner?

The first thing you should do is try to understand the reason behind your partner’s restlessness. Encourage them to talk to their doctor to find out what prevents them from sleeping well. If their movements wake you up, consider investing in a good motion-isolating mattress. If your budget is a bit tight at the moment, you can try using a memory foam topper with your old mattress.

How do I stop fidgeting in bed?

There are many ways to calm down and reduce fidgeting in bed, including taking a warm shower before sleep, using mindfulness activities to relax (such as meditation or yoga), massaging your legs and feet gently before sleep, stretching, or taking melatonin supplements (don’t forget to consult your doctor first).

Conclusion

Restless sleepers are often not the only ones who don’t get enough sleep. Their partners get affected too. However, a new bed can make a difference.

When looking for the best motion-isolating mattress, remember to pay attention to the construction and materials. As you already know, not all beds work for restless couples. Also, consider your (and your partner’s) sleeping position to pick the most comfortable option. Don’t forget that most mattresses come with a sleep trial. So you can test a couple of options to find the best one.

And if you’re looking for a recommendation, I would suggest the Nectar. This mattress has everything you and your partner may need for comfortable sleep. It effectively absorbs motion, gently cradles the body curves, and offers good support for the spine. Plus, it’s quite affordable and won’t hurt your budget.

What do you think makes a great mattress for partnered sleep? And which model managed to catch your attention? Share your thoughts in the comments!

References

  1. Michael J. Breus Ph.D. (April 10, 2020). The Effects of Cortisol on Your Sleep. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sleep-newzzz/202004/the-effects-cortisol-your-sleep
  2. Valencia Higuera (July 15, 2019). What You Should Know About Difficulty Sleeping. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/sleeping-difficulty
  3. Ian Clark, Hans Peter Landolt (January 30, 2016).  Coffee, caffeine, and sleep: A systematic review of epidemiological studies and randomized controlled trials. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1087079216000150
  4. Sharon Liao (n.d.). Why Can’t I Stay Asleep? Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/surprising-sleep-wreckers
  5. Nicole K. Y. Tang (September 2008). Insomnia Co-Occurring with Chronic Pain: Clinical Features, Interaction, Assessments and Possible Interventions. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4589931/
  6. Mayo Clinic Staff (July 28, 2020). Sleep apnea. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sleep-apnea/symptoms-causes/syc-20377631

Our research

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Mattresses Considered

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Hours of Research

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Sleep Experts Consulted

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