Bear Mattress Review: Can a Chronic Insomniac Get a Good Night’s Sleep?
Our writer slept on the company's Star Hybrid for over eight months to bring you this detailed Bear Mattress review.
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Courtesy Allison Robicelli
For the majority of my life, I’ve suffered from insomnia and have tried just about every sleep product imaginable in the pursuit of a good night’s sleep. I’ve tried melatonin gummies and prescription sleeping pills, white noise machines and eye masks, guided meditation podcasts and weighted blankets. But through it all, I never considered that my mattress could be to blame.
After all, a mattress is a pricey purchase. I had assumed when I spent a hefty amount of money on a pillow-top inner coil model from a well-known mattress chain I’d be getting the best night’s rest possible.
“Mattresses may affect insomnia and the ability to fall asleep,” says Christine Stevens, a sleep expert and coach based out of Washington D.C. “Mattresses that are old, rutted or stiff to the user are uncomfortable. And if you don’t find your bed comfortable, your body will want to fight going there. On the other hand, if you make your bed a sanctuary that you look forward to going to and your body finds comfortable, you’ll relax and be more inclined to fall asleep.”
Ten years ago I never would have considered that the best mattresses could be mail ordered. But today, many bed-in-a-box mattresses are far better than anything in a department store or mattress showroom. And because many ship directly from their manufacturers, oftentimes this is the best way to find affordable mattresses, too. It was tough to decide which one to try out.
Fortunately, I was given the opportunity to try a Bear Mattress and I jumped at the chance. I’ve spent the last eight months sleeping on the company’s Star Hybrid model to write this real-world-tested Bear Mattress review. Read on to see if I finally got some well-needed shut-eye.
What is Bear Mattress?
Courtesy Allison Robicelli
Bear Mattress is a bed-in-a-box brand that offers four different premium mattress models: the Elite Hybrid, the Star Hybrid, the Pro Hybrid and the Bear Original. The brand also offers a Bear Cub mattress for kids, a 5-inch high trundle bed mattress and the 8-inch thick Bear Trek for RVs and campers. Bear’s premium mattresses are available in seven sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King and Split King. These mattresses are also eco-friendly and non-toxic. Every Bear product is both Greenguard Gold and CertiPUR-US certified.
The 10-inch thick Bear Original Mattress is the most affordable of the lot. This firm mattress features three types of foam: High-Density Support foam for the base, a central layer of Bear Dynamic foam to provide balanced support and pressure relief and Cooling Gel Memory Foam on top that draws away excess body heat while keeping the body properly aligned. The Original Bear Mattress is wrapped with a soft, breathable Tencel cover that provides extra cooling.
Bear Elite Hybrid
On the other end of the price spectrum is the Bear Elite Hybrid, a luxury mattress available in soft, medium or firm options. Like the Bear Original, this 14-inch thick mattress features High-Density Support and Bear Dynamic foams. Sandwiched between them are individually-encased coils. There are high-gauged coils in the center for additional lumbar support and reinforced coils around the edge for extra durability. Another layer of anti-microbial copper-infused memory foam sits on top to further reduce overheating, as well as a soft, hand-quilted cushion cover made of heat-wicking fabrics.
Bear Pro & Star Hybrid
Between the wallet-friendly Bear Original and the pricey Bear Elite Hybrid are two excellent mattresses: the three-layer Pro Hybrid and the five-layer Star Hybrid, the latter being the focus of this Bear Mattress review.
A good mattress with high-quality materials is an investment. Even though Bear’s mattresses are reasonably priced compared to the rest of the mattress market, the company offers financing options through a partnership with Affirm. This lets you spread the cost of your mattress over three, six, 12, 18, 24 or 36 months. Bear Mattress also offers a 120-night sleep trial. If you’re unhappy, the company will arrange a return with a full refund.
In addition to mattresses, Bear offers a selection of different bed frames and a wide range of accessories like pillows, mattress protectors, sheets and weighted blankets. All Bear Mattresses ship free directly from the company’s headquarters in Arizona and usually ship out within three-10 business days.
WE TRIED IT
Bear Mattress is a bed-in-a-box brand that offers four different premium mattresses for the best night’s sleep of your life.
Bear Star Hybrid Mattress features
Courtesy Allison Robicelli
Five elements make the Bear Star Hybrid mattress something special. Like all Bear Mattress models, it begins with a base of high-density support foam, which provides support and durability. Next is a layer of individually encased coils that run edge-to-edge, which react to and support the body’s unique pressure points. A layer of responsive comfort foam cradles the body, making this mattress ideal for all sleeping positions and providing additional airflow.
The final mattress layer features serene gel foam, which keeps things cool and exceptionally comfortable. Finally, it’s topped with a hand-quilted cover with HydroCool technology and Celliant fiber, so this Bear Mattress model is always cool to the touch.
How we tested it
My Bear Mattress review begins with shipping. The Bear Mattress arrives in a box, and boy what a box it is. Unsurprisingly, the box is quite heavy. Plan to have a friend, family member or neighbor help you with it—especially if you’re taking it up or downstairs. Removing it from the box, however, is not very difficult at all. It slides out in a well-wrapped roll and easily moves onto the bed frame.
Once on the frame, I used scissors to cut open the plastic wrapping, unfurled the mattress and left it alone for a few hours to relax into shape. Though Bear Mattress says this can take up to 48 hours, I could sleep on my mattress that evening without issues. I also noticed no “off” smell from my new mattress. However, I left my window open while it was settling into its new home, just in case.
As far as firmness goes, the Bear Star Hybrid is the Goldilocks of mattresses—not too firm, not too soft. It was pretty easy to get comfortable almost immediately and didn’t require a breaking-in process at all. The edge of this mattress is much softer than the edges of any traditional innerspring mattress I’ve owned. This took some getting used to whenever I’d sit on the side of my bed to get ready in the morning. However, as someone who frequently finds herself sleeping at the edge of the mattress thanks to a cat who (rightfully) assumes the bed belongs to him, I find the lack of an extra-firm edge far more comfortable than the hard edge of my old innerspring mattress.
My first night of sleep on the Bear Mattress was a glorious one, and over seven months later, I am still singing its praises in this Bear Mattress review. Of all the sleep issues I have, none of them are attributable to this mattress. It’s highly reactive to my body no matter what convoluted position I lie in. I’m a side sleeper, but I lie on my back to meditate, which is beyond easy to do in this bed. Every inch of my body feels so well supported while lying on the Star Hybrid that I pretty much never struggle to get comfortable.
As if being an insomniac wasn’t difficult enough, I’m also a hot sleeper and much of my frequent tossing and turning is due to overheating under the sheets. When paired with cooling sheets, the Bear Star Hybrid Mattress makes temperature regulation a total non-issue. Even while working on my Bear Mattress review in the middle of the summer, I never once woke up in the middle of the night because I felt too hot.
- 120-night sleep trial
- Lifetime warranty
- Made of eco-friendly materials
- Certified non-toxic
- Free shipping and returns
- Made in America
- Available in seven sizes
- Offers discounts for military, first responders, nurses, medical professionals and teachers
- Offers in-home set up and mattress removal via third-party
- Financing available
Courtesy Allison Robicelli
How long will a Bear Mattress last?
According to the Bear Mattress website, the average mattress lasts between seven-10 years, but numerous factors affect a mattress’ lifespan, like the kind of base it sits on, the weight of the people sleeping on top and how often it’s cleaned. Using a mattress protector will help its longevity. Bear Mattress also offers a limited lifetime warranty.
What other reviewers had to say
“We love it.” writes Bear customer Julia B. in a five-star review. “At first we were scared it was too soft—it gave in a lot when we sat on it and then laying down, it had such a soft quality to it. But somehow it’s perfectly firm. I’ve had back pain for two years that has finally gone away. My husband and I don’t roll into each other at all. We don’t even feel when the other gets in or out of the bed. We’ve recommended it to our friends and family.”
Highly-satisfied customer Joseph M. calls the Bear mattress “the very best,” writing “My wife and I emphatically agree that this is by far the best mattress we have ever had. We are polar opposites in weight, and in the past, all mattresses sag in the middle due to my heavier weight. Turning in bed was difficult and annoying to her as I disturbed her with every little movement. Since we purchased the Bear all those issues have gone. There’s no sagging, and we both get a fantastic night’s sleep. Even our dog Tallulah loves to sleep there. Thank you, Bear Hybrid.”
“We’ve been sleeping on our new Bear Hybrid California king for about six weeks and really love it,” raves Cheryl G. “After 15 years of sleeping on a traditional spring queen, this mattress is fantastic. There is virtually no motion when one of us rolls over or gets up at night, which means much better, uninterrupted sleep. And it’s comfortable. Firm and very supportive, with just enough give to be cozy. The frame and platform were super easy to assemble, and the mattress expanded to full size shortly after we unboxed it. I’m so glad we went with the hybrid. The quality beats the price.”
Though I couldn’t be happier after completing my Bear mattress review, there are many other outstanding mattresses on the market worthy of your consideration. Here are some mattresses we’ve previously tested and reviewed so you can comparison shop yourself:
- Saatva Mattress Review – soft plushness in a strong, supportive mattress
- Dreamcloud Mattress Review – comfortable cooling technology for hot sleepers
- Avocado Green Mattress Review – handcrafted with 100%-certified organic materials
- Zinus Mattress Review – affordable option designed with supportive memory foam
- Sealy Posturepedic Review – an innerspring mattress ideal for side sleepers
- Nectar Mattress Review – a deep, memory foam mattress that marries comfort and support
- Helix Midnight Mattress Review – a luxe mattress with zoned lumbar support
While I haven’t slept on every mattress out there, I’m confident that the Bear Star Hybrid Mattress is the best one I’ve ever slept on. If you struggle to get comfortable while sleeping or have a tendency to overheat while in bed, you’ll be thrilled with the rest and relaxation Bear Mattress provides.
Where to buy the Bear Mattress
WE TRIED IT
Bear Mattress offers certified non-toxic sleep products from mattresses to bed bases and accessories.
About the expert
- Christine Stevens: Named as one of the top sleep consultants in the United States by Tuck Sleep, Christine Stevens is a sought-after sleep expert for numerous online and print media. She maintains features on Good Morning Washington as well as Forbes, The Washington Post, Vox.com and Ozy.com.