Bear is a bed in a box company with a focus on those with an active lifestyle. Sleep is arguably the most important aspect of recovery from physical activity and I’m interested to see how the Bear aids in that process.
Can the Bear’s 3 layer design, advanced cover, and graphite-gel infused memory foam meet those performance expectations? Sleepopolis put them to the test in this week’s mattress review!
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The Bear mattress consists of four foam layers increasing in firmness as you move down through the mattress. They designed this mattress using some unique materials with the aim of enhancing the recovery process by improving blood flow and keeping the sleeper from overheating.
Cover – The cover is very soft and thin to help with breathability. The thing that sets the Bear mattress cover apart is that it is made with a material called Celliant which can also be found in some sporting equipment and apparel. Bear used Celliant – a material supposed to aid in recovery by turning body heat into infrared light which in turn would improve blood flow for increased oxygen circulation and temperature regulation. I don’t know the science Celliant myself, so I suggest investigating it on your own if that is a big factor in your decision with this mattress.
Top Layer – The top layer is 1.5” of a graphite infused memory foam with a density of 4 lbs. It does a good job of relieving pressure and The graphite infusion is great at temperature regulation and keeping the sleeper from overheating. It also performs well at a wide range of temperatures, meaning it responds to pressure pretty uniformly across a wide range of temperatures.
Middle Layers -The middle of the mattress is made of two response layers. Both of these layers are made of 1” of Bear’s proprietary response foam with a 3 lb desity and give some bounce to the mattress as well as ensuring the sleeper won’t feel stuck in the mattress. These layers respond quickly to pressure and act as a transition from the soft memory foam top layer to the base.
Base – The base layer is 6.5” of poly foam with a 1.8 lb density. It’s very firm to support the comfort layers above and lend some durability to the mattress. A base layer like this is pretty common among foam mattresses.
People can experience the firmness of a mattress differently due to differences in size and weight distribution. In order to give a wider range of opinions on the Firmness of the Bear mattress, I brought in three more testers. This way you will get a better sense of the firmness range you can expect and not just have to take my word for it.
In the case of the Bear mattress the testers mostly found it to be in the medium firmness range, hedging toward the firm side.
The initial feeling of the mattress is the gel memory foam, so at first you get a bit of softness. However, once the memory foam contours to your body and you push through a bit, you being to feel the springiness of the response layers beneath.
The response foam layers provide some bounce to the mattress and begin the transition into the firmer part of the mattress. These layers definitely have some bounce to them when moving around on the mattress.
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One of the most important aspects of a mattress is its ability to relieve pressure. Pressure points can form while lying on a mattress causing pain and discomfort for the sleeper. To give you a visual representation of where someone may feel pressure points while lying on a Bear mattress, I placed a pressure map on top of the mattress and found the following results while positioned on my back, side and stomach. On the image below pressure is represented from blue (low pressure) to red (high pressure).
When I was lying on my back, with my weight evenly distributed, you can see that there really weren’t any areas of high pressure that formed on the Bear mattress. The gel memory foam did a good job of filling the space in beneath my lower back, which is very important for back sleepers. When I started to move around and change positions the response foam provided some bounce to the mattress and helped ensure I didn’t get the “stuck” feeling.
Side sleepers often have issues with pressure points arising in their shoulders and hips due to increased weight concentration. We can see above that when rolling onto my side there is some increased pressure, which is to be expected, but nothing into the red range.
Once on my stomach, we again see very low pressure. Stomach sleepers tend to like a firm mattress because their hips will sag in if the layers are too soft. The image shows no increase pressure in the hips here and and when lying on the mattress I felt that my back was in a good position.
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If you are sharing the mattress with a partner, you will want to know what it will feel like when the other person gets into and out of bed or tosses and turns during the night. This next test is helpful in showing the intensity of motion that is detectable from one side of the mattress to the other.
For this test I dropped a 10 lb steel ball from heights of 4 inches, 8 inches, and 12 inches and measured the disturbance on the other side of the mattress. This should be pretty intuitive: the bigger the lines, the bigger the disturbance.
As you can see there is a pretty small disturbance from the 4 inch drop. The memory foam top layer does a good job of isolating motion transfer and movement similar in size to the drop from this height won’t affect the other sleeper much on the Bear.
The 8 and 12 inch drops do cause a bit more motion to be felt on the other side of the mattress. Once through the memory foam the response foam will cause more motion to be transferred meaning a higher disturbance to the other sleeper.
Based on personal preference, some people my prefer to sink into or sit on top of their mattress. To test the sinkage of the bear mattress I use four balls of varying sizes and densities (a 6 lb medicine ball, an 8 lb medicine ball, a 10 lb steel ball, and a 50 lb medicine ball) and place them on the mattress to measure how much they compress the surface.
These different sizes, weights, and densities help to imitate different body parts or different sized people to show how far into a mattress you may sink.
- 6 lb medicine ball: 1 inch of sinkage.
- 8 lb medicine ball: about 1.5 inches of sinkage.
- 10 lb steel ball: about 2 inches of sinkage.
- 50 pound medicine ball: 4 inches of sinkage.
If you’re going to share a mattress and need to use the entire surface then edge support is something you are going to want to take a look at. Foam mattresses sometimes struggle to live up to the edge support of traditional innerspring mattresses, so I wanted to have a look at how I would feel near the side of the mattress.
Lying nearing the edge of the mattress I felt even support from the center to the side. I was also confident I wouldn’t roll out of bed when changing positions near the side of the bed. I also felt support when hanging off the bed a little bit and didn’t see much compression in this position.
This position is to simulate maybe getting ready in the morning or getting into bed at night and with all of my weight concentrated on the side of the mattress there is some compression, which is pretty common among foam mattresses. Overall I would say the Bear mattress has pretty good edge support.
- Sleep Trial – Bear offers a 100 night risk-free trial period for the mattress.
- Warranty – There is a 10 year warranty for the Bear mattress.
- Shipping – At this time Bear can only ship to the USA, Canada and Puerto Rico. Shipping is free to the continental USA with charges being applied to shipments to Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
- Giving – 1% of every sale is donated to Good Sports Charity which provides children in need with equipment, apparel and footwear to participate in sports and physical activity.
Size and Pricing Information
Below are the standard prices for Bear mattress but they do run discounts from time to time. By using the code SLEEPOPOLIS at purchase you can save $60 on any Bear mattress. See all available discounts on the Bear Mattress coupon page.
|Twin||39” x 75” x 10”||50 lbs||$500|
|Twin XL||39” x 80” x 10”||50 lbs||$650|
|Full||54” x 75” x 10”||60 lbs||$750|
|Queen||60” x 80” x 10”||70 lbs||$850|
|King||76” x 80” x 10”||90 lbs||$950|
|California King||72” x 84” 10”||90 lbs||$950|
After taking a look at the Bear mattress I think it would be a good fit if:
- You are looking for a memory foam feel and don’t want to get stuck – The response foam below the memory foam does a good job of allowing you to move around and change positions without sacrificing the feel of the gel memory foam top layer.
- You are worried about overheating – The mattress design combining the graphite gel infused memory foam with the Celliant cover should do a good job of regulating body temperature.
- Lead an active lifestyle – Some studies have shown the recovery benefits of Celliant, the material that the cover is made out of. Bear is one of very few mattresses incorporating this technology currently.