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Best Motion-Isolating Mattresses for Restless Partnered Sleepers

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Written by: Alex Savy
Read 22 minLast updated on May 6, 2021

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

Loom & Leaf by Saatva
Best Overall - Editor’s Choice

Loom & Leaf by Saatva
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Winkbed
Best for All Sleeping Styles

Winkbed
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GhostBed Flex
Best for Sweat-Free Nights

GhostBed Flex
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Nolah
Best Value Pick

Nolah
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Nectar
Best for Hesitant Shoppers

Nectar
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Our List of the Best Mattresses for Restless Sleepers

Best Overall - Editor’s Choice — Loom & Leaf by Saatva

Loom & Leaf by Saatva

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Highlights

  • gel-infused comfort foam to provide a cooling effect without sacrificing the generous hug;
  • quality high-density transition and support foam for proper weight distribution and reliable performance;
  • three firmness options to give users more choice in terms of comfort.

The first model among the best mattresses for restless sleepers I would like to share with you is the Loom and Leaf mattress by Saatva. There's a lot to love about this model, but my favorite characteristic is the Spinal Zone gel layer. Not only does it provide additional support for the spine but also has a cooling effect. Combined with a multi-layer foam construction, it makes the Loom and Leaf one of the comfiest mattresses on the market. Chances are, you will sleep so soundly that you won’t even move that much during the night, allowing your partner to sleep peacefully as well.

Best for All Sleeping Styles — Winkbed

Winkbed-P1077807

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Highlights

  • sturdy edges for extra space for you and your partner;
  • individually wrapped coils to decrease potential nighttime disturbances;
  • four firmness options to accommodate all types of sleepers.

You might think: what is a coil hybrid doing among the best mattresses for restless sleepers? Here’s the thing, though: while coils can deliver bouncy support, the Winkbed uses individually wrapped coils that do not transfer motion that much. Add a thick pillow-top, and you and your partner should remain undisturbed during the night (even my wife, who is a light sleeper, agrees). And the best thing is, this model would work for an impressive variety of sleepers. It offers 4 comfort options to suit any sleeping style.

Winkbeds-P1077851
Winkbeds-P1077848

Best for Sweat-Free Nights — GhostBed Flex

GhostBed Flex

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Highlights

  • quilted cover to aid motion absorption;
  • cooling fiber layer and gel-infused memory foam to create a temperature-neutral sleeping environment;
  • Ghost Bounce layer to balance the generous hug of the comfort layers and prevent the feeling of being stuck.

If you want zero motion transfer but don’t wish to sleep on heat-trapping memory foam, consider the GhostBed Flex. What makes it one of the best mattresses for restless sleepers is its ability to offer both cooling and effective, motion-neutralizing conforming. The GhostBed combines cradling memory foam with cooling components and breathable support coils to make sure that you and your partner can enjoy both cool and undisturbed sleep.

Best Value Pick — Nolah

nolah mattress

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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.

nolah mattress cover
nolah mattress construction

Best for Hesitant ShoppersNectar

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.

Another item I could not omit adding to this list of the best mattresses for restless sleepers is the Nectar. It can be a perfect solution for those users who aren't sure what they want exactly. Why? Because the Nectar comes with an extra-long sleep trial that none of the competitors on this list can boast of (the longest one is the 180-night trial the Loom & Leaf offers). Just imagine, you will have 365 days to test your new Nectar! That’s how the company wants to ensure every shopper’s satisfaction.

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.
  • Edge support. If you are a restless sleeper, your partner might require extra legroom and enough space between you two to avoid being disturbed during the night. That’s when sturdy mattress edges may come in handy. Sturdy edges can maintain proper support even if you lie close to one, giving you and your significant other more sleeping space. If that’s what you need, check out hybrid mattresses. In most cases, they have reinforced edges (unlike foam or latex).

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 are looking for suggestions, I would love to recommend the Loom & Leaf foam mattress by Saatva. This model uses top-notch foam that lives up to expectations. It is cradling and does an excellent job of absorbing shock from movement. Additionally, the Loom & Leaf is very well-made and feels robust, which means this investment of yours will be a long-lasting one for sure.

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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