The “bed in a box” movement isn’t anything new nowadays. All pretty much offer the same typical shopping premises/benefits – a trial period with a huge return window, easy online purchasing and of course, a vacuum sealed mattress delivered to your doorstep in a cardboard box. Typically the mattresses you’re going to get in a box are going to be primarily constructed out of gel/latex, and foam, which allows them to be compressed down into that box. There are a TON of options nowadays and besides the way they market, it’s easy to dismiss them all as the same (they aren’t). Sleep is for everyone, but those with active lifestyles tend to take recovery a little more seriously. There are only a handful of brands that market specifically towards those people, one being Bear Mattress.
So, what exactly would make an active person’s mattress different than a normal persons? The difference mainly comes from the types of foam or gel used and how many layers make up the construction. The standard Bear Mattress comes with 5 total including the cover:
- Breathable Celliant Cover – Celliant itself is a trademarked fabric that has been used before in active wear and bedding, but never before in an actual mattress. Clinically proven to help regulate body temperature and also recycles the body’s natural energy back into IR light, increasing blood flow and tissue oxygenation. This is really what makes the Bear Mattress special compared all others. More on how it works here.
- Cooling Graphite-Gel Memory Foam – This is going to be first of the comfort layers and the one that most directly impacts heat dispersion and feel.
- Response Comfort Foam – This layer has to do with the responsiveness of the bed and also heat dispersion. Basically this and the transitional foam make it so that you don’t get completely sucked into bed.
- Transitional Performance Foam – Another response layer that should help in providing optimal spinal alignment, basically not letting you sink too far into the mattress.
- High Density Support Foam – The base of the mattress that keeps all the other foams in check.
Some brands argue more isn’t typically better, but they couldn’t hurt either (except maybe by jacking up the price). There are no specifics on how thick each layer is, but the total dimensions including thickness are 60″x80″x10″ 70lbs for a queen sized mattress; thickness of all the sizes remains at 10″. All of the foams used are CertiPUR-US® certified, are sourced and made in the USA.
Not that it matters all that much since mostly everyone is going to be using a sheet over their bed, but the design of the mattress is nice. The Celliant cover has a funky looking geometrical design that I like, which is also removeable for cleaning purposes. Also, despite what the FAQ on Bear Mattress’ site says, there will be a smell after unpacking your bed; which took about 2 weeks to fully go away. I haven’t found a bed that didn’t have some kind of smell after popping it open, so don’t freak out and just keep a window open to expedite the processs.
All the layers in the world wound’t mean squat if you couldn’t sleep on the bed. I feel like a broken record saying this, but chances are you’re going to feel like the bed is too firm if you’re coming from a 10 year old spring mattress. Give it some time, let your body get accustomed to the feel of a foam mattress. The 100-day trial is there for a reason, it might take a little bit for you to really get comfortable on the bed, but you will.
Coming from the PerformaSleep, my body was able to adjust immediately to the Bear Mattress, which to me is a very good thing, since like most people, I like to sleep. As I mentioned before, most people aren’t going to adjust so quickly, so give it some time. I can’t really say whether or not I’m benefiting from the Celliant cover, just like the copper infused one of the Performa, but sleep has primarily been good overall without much waking up in the middle of the night. More sleep equals better recovery, which you will definitely notice the benefits from. I do have to say, during my time sleeping on the Bear, I have felt less drowsy after I wake up.
I had actually heard from one of my friends that got a Bear Mattress long before I did that the feel was pretty firm. On the website it says “not too firm, not too soft”, which is what I feel like something that pretty much all manufacturers would say since it’s fairly assuring or safe to say so. Based off of my personal experiences with all the mattresses I’ve used (T&N/Mint, Casper, Purple, Performa, Zinus), the Bear Mattress surprisingly felt like one of the softer ones, very similar in feel to the Casper. The initial feel when getting on to the mattress is plush, the max you’ll sink in is about 2″ at your heaviest pressure points, which personally I liked. Edge support feels once again, similar to the Casper, which isn’t amazing if you like to sleep on the very corners of the bed. The reactive-ness (push-back) of the mattress isn’t quite as quick as some of the firmer ones, but that’s to be expected; it’s still much better than older or cheaper memory foam options (Zinus). If you were worried about the Bear being too stiff, I wouldn’t, it’s one of the better blends of plush and response.
Motion transfer isn’t one of those things that I have to worry about since it’s just me sleeping on the bed, but it’s not bad. My test was putting a can on one side of the bed and pressing down on the other. If I pressed enough times the can would fall, but I think it’s more due to the cover stretching versus the bed shaking.
One thing I feel could be better is the breath-ablity, there were definitely some nights where I woke up from being too hot. There is a little bit of heat retention, so what I’ll do if I wake up is just roll to another side of the bed and knock out again; granted this is only going to work if you’re a single sleeper like myself. I wouldn’t say it’s the worst I’ve used, better than Casper but not up to par with either the Performa or Purple. On the flip-side, sleeping on colder nights is pretty comfortable.
Currently, the Bear Mattress in a queen size sells for $840, but there is a $50 coupon and free shipping (CA has a $10.50 new mattress tax); you’re looking at about $800 shipped to your door. I’d liken the experience of sleeping on the Bear Mattress to the Casper, for about $200 less and with better breath-ability. I just wasn’t a huge fan of the Purple mattress before they offered different models so I can’t comment on performance, but they do still cost quite a bit more than the Bear. Personally, the PerformaSleep is still my pick, but if you wanted a slightly softer bed, the Bear Mattress would be the way to go.
I don’t get how the name has to do with anything (hibernate like a bear?), but the Bear Mattress is one of the better beds I’ve tried. It packs some cool tech, whether you want to believe it works or not is debatable, but the sleep you’ll get on it will be excellent. Best of all, it’s one of the less expensive beds you can get your paws on.
- More plush than most bed-in-a-box mattresses.
- Similar to the widely acclaimed Casper, at a much lower price tag.
- Nice materials
- Can sleep a little hot.
- Edge support isn’t the greatest.
- Smell can last a couple weeks after unpacking.
- I don’t understand the name.
- Celliant technology is…interesting.
Just FYI…we are masters crossfitters and went from sleep number to this bear mattress. I was waking up with hip and shoulder pain on the sleep number. Every aspect of your review is spot on. Give it some days for the body to adjust. Took about 2 weeks for me. Sleep is better. Wake up less crickety crackety. Have more energy in the morning, Sleep longer. Do wake up hot on some nights. Looking at some cooling options but overall absolutely worth it. Great review.