Since its founding in 2015, Bear has been on a mission to help active folks get better rest. With a team of sponsored athletes, medical professionals, and fitness enthusiasts, the company has carved out a unique niche in the mattress industry by marketing its products as tools for post-workout recovery.
So, does the original Bear mattress achieve these lofty goals? To find out, I decided to hop in the Bear and test it out myself, assessing its construction and feel to see which sleepers it could work for.
Keep reading for my full Bear mattress review! Short on time? Hop on over to my review summary.
Is the Bear a Good Mattress for You?
The Bear is an all-foam mattress with a firm feel. This type of bed works better for certain sleepers than others, so take a look below to get an initial idea of who might like this mattress.
Who I recommend the Bear mattress for
- First and foremost, I’d recommend the Bear to back sleepers in need of a firm, supportive bed.
- I think it could also be a winner for folks who want a classic foam feel, but don’t want to sleep hot.
- Lastly, the bed is designed for athletic recovery, so it could be good for sleepers with active lifestyles.
Who I don’t recommend the Bear mattress for
- If you’re looking for a lot of bounce, you better keep looking, because the Bear isn’t very buoyant. The Bear Hybrid mattress might be a better fit if you’re looking for responsiveness.
- Side sleepers should avoid the Bear — unfortunately, it’s just a bit too firm for those who need pressure relief at the shoulders and hips. I’d recommend side sleepers check out our best mattresses for side sleepers roundup to find some other options.
- On the other hand, stomach sleepers will likely find the Bear too soft to support them. These sleepers should check out one of our best mattresses for stomach sleepers instead.
How Firm is the Bear Mattress?
Now that we’ve gone over the basics, let’s dive into this bed’s unique feel, starting with firmness.
As with any feel factor, firmness is subjective, and can change a lot depending on your body size, shape, and weight. That’s why I always incorporate a few different opinions into this section. In addition to my own personal thoughts on the Bear’s firmness, I’m also going to draw on the perspectives of my coworkers.
The score below is the average of all our different ratings!
We were pretty much in agreement about the firmness level of the Bear mattress, landing on an average rating of 7 out of 10 on the mattress firmness scale. When compared to the industry standard of 6.5 for medium firmness, it seems this bed is on the firmer side.
I personally gave the bed a 7 as I found its double poly foam construction produced a firm, supportive feel. Though you’re likely to sink into its top layer of memory foam, this sinkage is curbed by the taut poly foam transition layer. This means most folks are going to be positioned more “on top” of the structure than “in” it, which could work particularly well for combination sleepers or other folks looking for a firm mattress with a fairly responsive feel.
Bear Mattress Performance
Next up I want to go over a few performance factors, including support in different sleeping positions, pain relief, and performance for couples. Read on below to see how the Bear stacks up in these categories.
Testing the Bear Mattress in Different Sleeping Positions
Sleepers with different body types will need different amounts of support, so let’s go over how the Bear performs for different weight classes in different sleeping positions below.
Is the Bear a Good Mattress for Light Sleepers (Under 130 lbs)?
- Light Back Sleepers – These sleepers should like the Bear! It will offer them solid support throughout the night.
- Light Side Sleepers – These sleepers might find the Bear a little softer than other sleepers because they’ll rest on top of its soft top layers. So, light side sleepers will probably get the pressure relief they need from this bed.
- Light Stomach Sleepers – The Bear is too soft for these sleepers. It won’t keep their hips lifted up in line with their shoulders, which can lead to back pain.
Is the Bear a Good Mattress for Average Weight Sleepers (130 – 250 lbs)?
- Average Weight Back Sleepers – These folks should feel really comfortable on the Bear! Its top layer of memory foam will do an excellent job filling in the space at their lumbar regions, bringing support and pressure relief to their spines.
- Average Weight Side Sleepers – The firmness of the bed could cause some jamming at the hips and shoulders for these folks. Strict side sleepers will want to keep their eyes peeled for a more body-contouring bed. One of our best memory foam mattresses could be a better fit.
- Average Weight Stomach Sleepers – This bed is also too soft for average weight stomach sleepers. It will allow their hips to sink too far into the mattress, which can cause pain over time.
Is the Bear a Good Mattress for Heavy Sleepers (over 250 lbs)?
- Heavy Back Sleepers – The all-foam Bear might not be quite supportive for any heavier sleepers, who often do better on mattresses that include innerspring support (instead of poly foam support). I’d recommend these folks check out our best mattresses for heavy people instead.
- Heavy Side Sleepers – See above.
- Heavy Stomach Sleepers – See above.
Bear Mattress Pain Relief Performance
When I examine a bed’s pain relieving abilities, I’m concerned with how well it’s able to alleviate tension at sensitive spots like the shoulders, hips, and lower back. This is also known as pressure relief.
I like to use a pressure map to test this out. I lay it out, hop on top, and let the device do the rest! As I roll around, the gadget tracks the force my body exerts on the bed, creating a colored “map” of any pressure points that crop up. Areas of low pressure are indicated in blue to green, and areas of high pressure are marked in yellow to red.
Back Pain – Based on these pressure map results, the Bear looks like a great option for back sleepers who struggle with back pain! Its gel memory foam layer should do a great job alleviating tension at the lower back, while the firmer foams beneath should keep your spine in a healthy alignment.
Shoulder Pain – Based on these results I’d recommend sleepers with shoulder pain opt for a softer mattress. Especially on my side, I could feel some pressure build up around my shoulders.
Hip Pain – Similarly, sleepers with hip pain will probably feel too much pressure on the Bear to find relief. I’d recommend one of our best mattresses for hip pain instead.
Bear Mattress Performance for Couples
The best mattress for couples usually combines motion isolation, responsiveness, cooling features, and strong edge support. Read on below to learn what those terms mean, and to find out how the Bear delivers in those categories!
Motion transfer is the amount of movement detectable from one side of the bed to the other. This is especially important for couples because it indicates how disturbed you’re likely to feel if a partner tosses and turns at night.
To illustrate motion transfer, I dropped a 10 lb steel ball from heights of 4 inches, 8 inches and 12 inches and measured the disturbance it caused: the bigger the lines, the bigger the disturbance.
These are great motion transfer results! This means you shouldn’t be too bothered by your bedmate’s nighttime movements on the Bear. I credit this to the top layer of memory foam, which helps to dampen movement across the structure.
The best mattress for sex is usually responsive and easy to move around on. While the Bear isn’t bouncy, it is easy to change positions on. This means it should be great for sex.
Couples overheat more quickly than solo sleepers, so often prefer cooling mattresses. The Bear’s Celliant technology and gel infusions ensure it sleeps cool, especially for an all-foam bed. So, I’d recommend it to couples who sleep hot.
Edge support is a measure of how supported you’ll feel on the sides of your bed. Strong edges make a bed feel larger, which is great for couples. In my opinion, the Bear had average edge support. I didn’t feel like I was going to fall off the side of this bed, but I didn’t feel as supported on the sides as I did in the center.
What is the Bear Mattress Made Of?
The Bear is one of the best mattresses in a box and features a 10-inch profile made up of three layers of foam: one of memory foam and two of poly foam. This combination of materials is intended to create a structure that’s as pressure-relieving as it is supportive, and it’s capped off with a Celliant cover designed for optimized recovery.
Cover – As I mentioned above, the Bear’s mattress cover is built with Celliant, a material that some studies suggest could help with recovery while sleeping by promoting blood flow. Regardless of this purported benefit, the cover is soft to the touch and quite cooling.
Comfort Layer – Bear kicks things off with a 2-inch section of graphite gel-infused memory foam. This material has a slow response to pressure, allowing the sleeper to sink into the structure for some immediate pressure relief. This could be especially important for active folks who need to alleviate tension after a workout. The graphite infusion in this layer will also help mitigate memory foam’s tendency to trap body heat.
Transition Layer – Next up, you’ll find a layer made of responsive transition foam. This responsive foam has a firmer feel than the memory foam above it, and is meant to curb some sinkage and position the sleeper more “on top” of this bed than “in” it.
Support Layer – The bulk of the mattress is made up of this 6-inch section of high-density support foam. This sturdy material offers a ton of firm support.
Bear Mattress Unboxing and Off-Gassing
Like all bed-in-a-box mattresses, the Bear will have an off-gassing and decompression period after you unwrap it. I’d recommend giving this bed about 24 hours to fully decompress after you unbox it. A nice perk of this bed is that its CertiPUR-US® Certified foams don’t give off a strong chemical scent when off-gassing. So if you’re concerned about odor, the Bear could be a nice pick for you.
Well folks, we made it to the end! After going over the Bear’s construction, feel, and performance, it’s time to answer the question you came here asking: Is the Bear mattress right for you? That’s not for me to say (sorry!), but I can share some final thoughts to help you make the decision on your own.
My favorite things about the Bear mattress
I really appreciate the firm and responsive feel of the Bear mattress. Its combination of support and pressure relief makes it an awesome option for anyone struggling with back pain. I also really like the Bear’s Celliant cover! While I can’t say whether or not it really helps with muscle recovery, I do think it does a great job keeping this mattress cool.
My Bear mattress complaints
My one complaint about the original Bear mattress is that because it’s all foam, it’s not especially durable. But, most all-foam beds are less durable than innerspring and hybrid options, so I’m not surprised by that. I’ll also note that if you’re a strict side sleeper, you’ll most likely prefer a softer mattress.
How Much Does the Bear Mattress Cost?
The Bear is really affordable when compared to similar mattresses on the market and even made our list of best mattresses under $1000. Take a look at the chart below to find full pricing info, and be sure to check out our Bear mattress coupon page to save even more on your new mattress.
Prices listed are before offer or discount on each size.
|Twin||39” x 75” x 10”||$695|
|Twin XL||39” x 80” x 10”||$695|
|Full||54” x 75” x 10”||$895|
|Queen||60” x 80” x 10”||$995|
|King||76” x 80” x 10”||$1,095|
|California King||72” x 84” 10”||$1,095|
Bear Mattress Policies and FAQs
How does the Bear mattress ship?
The Bear ships for free and will arrive compressed in a box.
Does the Bear come with a mattress warranty?
Yes, this bed comes with a 10-year warranty.
Does the Bear mattress come with a trial period?
Yes, Bear offers a 100-night sleep trial with this bed.
Where are Bear mattresses made?
All Bear mattresses are made in the USA.
What is Celliant?
Celliant is a micro-sized particle made of things like silicon and aluminum oxide. It reflects infrared light in a way that can help improve circulation and regulate your body temperature. Learn more about it in our What is Celliant Fiber article.
Bear Mattress Vs
Alright, now that we’ve got our heads wrapped around the Bear mattress, let’s compare it to some of its biggest competition on the online mattress scene: the Casper and Purple beds.
Bear vs Casper
- Like the Bear, the Casper is an all-foam mattress, though it features four layers as opposed to the Bear’s three.
This gives the Casper more of a balanced, medium-firm feel, which could do wonders for combination sleepers.
The Casper features a special layer of zoned support, making it an even more tempting offering for combo sleepers who need to feel comfortable no matter the sleeping position they choose.
- Read my full Casper mattress review to learn more.
Bear vs Purple
- Though the Purple is also a popular bed-in-a-box mattress, it’s got a very different feel from the Bear, thanks to its hyper-elastic polymer Smart Comfort Grid.
This grid is composed of a bouncy and cooling material, so it could be great for hot sleepers.
In my opinion, this collapsible grid is also fantastic at alleviating tension, especially at the hips, shoulders, and lower back.
- Read my full Purple mattress review for more info about this bed.
Other Models from Bear
The Original Bear mattress isn’t just facing stiff competition from the outside world — it also has to square up against its mattress siblings, the Bear Hybrid and Bear Pro.
Bear Original vs Bear Hybrid
- Though both beds feature memory foam, the Hybrid gets a little extra oomph from its section of bouncy pocketed coils.
This makes for a medium-firm structure with plenty of lift, which could be great for those after a little extra mobility.
That being said, I was quite impressed with the Bear Hybrid’s capacity for pressure relief, so I would also recommend it to side sleepers.
- Get all the details at my full Bear Hybrid mattress review, or read my Bear vs Bear Hybrid mattress comparison to learn more about the differences between these two beds.
Bear Original vs Bear Pro
- The Bear Pro is a soft mattress that offers a lot of plush sinkage.
The Pro’s softer feel makes it a better fit for side sleepers.
Couples might also like the Bear Pro, which features good motion isolation and some nice cooling features.
- Learn more in my full Bear Pro mattress review.
Still not sure if the Bear is the bed for you? Take a look at our performance ratings below to decide.
The Bear Mattress is designed with recovery in mind and incorporates several features that may be especially appealing to athletes. The mattress uses graphite-infused memory foam for pressure relief and cooling. The Bear’s cover also features Celliant, a material some studies suggest could aid recovery by increasing blood flow.