Sleep is probably the most essential thing in an athlete’s life, but probably the easiest to overlook. We spend all this money trying to get the best shoes, wraps, belts, supplements, but no attention to what we spend half of our lives doing. I get it, it’s a lot easier to drop $100 bucks on a pair of shoes at a time than to drop $1000 on a new mattress. I’m the number one offender here.
Before I looked into getting a new mattress, I was sleeping on the same mattress I got right before college, which was a loooooooong time ago. It was at about the 10 year mark and that mattress was ready to go. Luckily, this too was at about the time where the boxed mattress boom hit! Go online, buy a mattress, have it shipped rolled up and vacuum sealed in a box, load it up, pop it open and watch it “inflate” right before your very eyes. BOOM – you have a bed. Never before had it been so easy to get a new bed. Not only was it easy, it was also relatively cheap compared to going to a store since you cut out the middle men. Setting up the mattress is the easy part, picking the mattress, not so much. When I say it was a mattress “boom”, I really mean it. Online retailers were popping up left and right, this was about 2 years ago and it’s since grown. Luckily, everyone has awesome return policies that were actually fairly socially responsible (donation), so it’s also easy enough to try them out.
The first mattress I tried out was one from Tuft & Needle and it was like sleeping on a slab of stone compared to my worn down spring mattress. Since then, they’ve gone through a few revisions, so they could be better now (we’ll see?). Next was Casper (which is still arguably the most popular mattress out there), it was much softer than the T&N but the edges were almost too soft and it was much more expensive for not being that much better. I figured if I was going to pay the price of a Casper, I might as well get the best technology, which at the time and based off their amazing marketing, belonged to Purple. Unlike the latex or foam offerings out there, Purple used an elastic polymer comfort layer which was a hybrid of soft and firm. The tech seemed great, but mainly marketing sold me. I’m not gonna lie, the sleep initially was good too, so I ended up keeping that one.
Well, it was good, until it wasn’t…
Eventually the Purple’s mix of firm/soft became hard to sleep on. When I got the Purple, I was a little bit heavier, not much, but enough to make a difference when I slept. Over the course of a couple of years, I ended up shedding a good 15lbs. The problem about the polymer elastic “comfort” layer of the Purple is that it never really feels like you’re sleeping in the bed, just on it, because it’s constantly pushing you away. This can become uncomfortable, especially if you’re lighter. I was waking up in the middle of the night, more than a few times, pretty much every night. Like most people, I can’t afford to lose sleep – it was time for a new bed.
Like I said, a bunch of new brands popped up over the course of the past couple of years, but one stuck out to me because of who it was marketed towards. PerformaSleep never actually said they’re a bed for “Crossfitters”, but it was easy to figure that out by just who was sleeping on their beds. They weren’t the only “fitness mattress” but they were the only one with elite CrossFit athletes sleeping on their beds. If it’s good enough for the fittest man on Earth, it’s got to be good enough for me, right? Right! To sweeten the deal, PerformaSleep had a deal for $125 off, making it a fair amount less than any other big name box mattress. If anything, I could at least do a review for it…
I know it doesn’t really matter all that much, but the PerformaSleep mattress is probably the best looking bare mattress that I’ve come across. It’s got a striking two tone design that basically just distinguishes the comfort layers from the support layer. The white top piece is a bit softer and more pliable while the charcoal grey bottom piece is a little more stiff, just like the comfort and support layers would be. Even though you’re going to be putting a sheet over the mattress (you could use it bare if you wanted), I think this “small” detail goes a ways to show the quality of the mattress, since most other mattresses offer just a one piece cover.
For those of you new to the foam mattress game, the construction is basically broken down into a few layers. Some beds have a couple layers, others have a few more, but more doesn’t necessarily mean better; the PerformaSleep mattress has two main layers, but are broken down into three:
- The first layer is 2″ of their CopperCool Enersorb foam – This layer of foam is infused with Copper, which has been used throughout history as healing agent. Whether you do or you don’t want to believe that is up to you, but it is essential to living. Not only that, but it’s also naturally anti-microbial, so unlike most beds, the PerformaSleep shouldn’t start getting as nasty overtime. I wouldn’t omit taking a shower before you sleep though. Copper is also cooling and works with the gel in the first layer to dissipate heat, keeping you nice and cool when you sleep.
- Layer two is another 2″ of Enersorb foam and completes the top comfort layer of the mattress. Unlike old memory foam mattresses, you won’t get stuck in bed or feel like you’re laying in quicksand. The Enersorb foam is responsive and bounces back pretty quickly, which is perfect for those night time partner WOD’s. Basically, these two layers in one are where there magic really happens.
- The bulk of the bed is made up of 7″ of PerformaBase support foam which is basically the foundation of the mattress, making the total height of the bed 11″. You don’t have to use the PerformaSleep with a box spring, but you do want some kind of sturdy platform for it. The ENTIRE mattress is made in the USA, including the cover and the foam is CertiPUR-US certified.
First thing’s first, it’s probably safe to say that for most people looking to replace their beds, you’ll be coming from a typical spring mattress. If that’s you, I’m going to tell you that foam mattresses feel completely different than sleeping on what you have been the past 10 years. They don’t have the same kind of bounciness or “push-back” like spring mattresses do and more closely resemble sleeping on a big, firm pillow. You also won’t sink into the bed like you would your old, saggy mattress. There is some getting used to and you might lose some sleep for the first few days or so while your body adjusts; it’s normal to feel like they’re too firm initially. Think about it like when you go on vacation and can’t fall asleep on the hotel bed.
One thing that drove me crazy about the Purple mattress is that it never felt cozy or inviting – like a bed should. The way that it cradles you but pushes you away is comfortable but odd; forget sleeping on your side because it’ll push you to your front or back. The comfort layer on the PerformaSleep actually feels similar to the polymer elastic layer on the Purple, just more cozy. There’s definitely less push-back than on the Purple, but the PerformaSleep still remains responsive so you don’t get stuck. To describe the feeling, think of it like this: the Purple just holds you while the PerformaSleep hugs you. It definitely feels more plush than the T&N and even more so than the Casper, but doesn’t suck you in quite as much because of that responsive Enersorb foam. If you like sitting at the edge of your bed, you’ll be pleased to know that the edges of the PerformaSleep doesn’t smush down like the Casper or Purple do.
What the Purple does excellent is that it breathes insanely well, almost to the point where you would want it to retain a little heat for those winters. While the PerformaSleep doesn’t sleep as cool as the Purple does, I don’t mind because I get cold easily; it still breathes really well and feels just right to me. It’s right around the same as the T&N but with that mattress you’re sleeping more on the bed than in the bed. Casper is probably the hottest sleeping mattress of all that I’ve tried, but still isn’t too bad.
After the “break-in” is when the real sleep begins. Since I was already accustomed to foam mattresses, I was knocking out instantly when I hit the bed and falling into some seriously deep sleep. Just before I decided to take the plunge and purchase the PerformaSleep mattress, I had just gotten back from my Thailand/Bali trip and was having a lot of issues sleeping that extended past jet lag. I was pretty much waking up every hour and feeling like a zombie the next day, but the first night on the PerformaSleep, I didn’t wake up a single time and woke up feeling refreshed, something I haven’t felt in a LONG time.
To be completely honest, I can’t say if the copper is actually helping me recover or not. I still wake up sore from workouts, but that’s to be expected. I wouldn’t think getting a new mattress as the magic recovery pill, just like I wouldn’t think getting a new pair of shoes would help me clean 400lbs. Getting better and longer sleep however, should give my body the time it needs to do what it can before the next hard workout. From a performance aspect, that’s invaluable. Plus, I just really like to sleep.
Like I said, getting a full nights sleep is not only invaluable for an elite athlete, but for us average athletes as well. I would argue that it’s probably more important since our bodies aren’t quite as well conditioned. You spend half of your life sleeping, so it would make sense to splurge a few more dollars for a nice mattress. The normal selling price of a queen sized PerformaSleep mattress is $875 in which you can also get 0% financing on approved credit. It’s not the cheapest mattress you can find out there but it’s also not the most expensive and falls in line with the majority of boxed beds. If anything, the mattress has a 100 night trial period, you just have to stick it out for at least 30 days so your body can adjust. If for some reason you don’t like it, you can arrange a return and they’ll schedule a charity to come and pick it up for donation so that at least someone in need will end up with a nice mattress. You don’t need to keep the box or anything either.
There are TON’s of boxed beds out there and going through the specs of them all will probably leave you feeling like you just did “Murph”. I’m not saying any of the other mattresses I went over are bad and that you couldn’t sleep well on any of them; quite the contrary, I actually got pretty good sleep on all of them. Everyone’s sleeping preferences will be different, but personally, I firmly believe I got the best nights rest on the PerformaSleep mattress than three other top picks out there. It has the best blend of comfort, responsiveness and breath-ability compared to the other’s tested.
- Best blend of comfort, support and breath-ability.
- Really nice materials.
- 0% interest financing with no extra charges or inability to use coupons. (*cough*Leesa*cough*)
- Might still be firm for some people.
- A little bit on the heavy side at 88lbs. (The Purple is a massive 150lbs.)
- First few weeks of sleep might be rough.
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