After spending the majority of my adult life using a hand-me-down mattress leftover from the previous tenant in my twenties, I was finally forced, by a cross-country move, to upgrade my sleeping arrangements. As someone who suffers from both a substantial amount of impatience and a fair amount of decision paralysis, I immediately opted for one manufacturer’s one-size-fits-all bed-in-a-box option—back then, there weren’t many mattress-by-mail options to choose from anyway, and the seemingly more luxurious options at department stores and traditional mattress emporiums were most definitely out of my budget. That affordable mattress came straight to my studio apartment rolled and stuffed into a box almost as tall as me, where I unfurled it by myself with a little sweat but not too much effort and went on with my life.
In the past few years, however, I’ve recognized the importance of finding a mattress that actually fits my specific needs. That first mattress purchase served me well, but I probably dealt with a longstanding back pain issue for longer than I should’ve, something that I could have avoided had I mulled my options a bit more carefully. So being able to test several mattress styles over the past few years has really helped me identify which features in a mattress help me get a good night’s sleep—and hopefully help you, as well.
How I Tested
After about two months of testing out the Awara Premier Natural Hybrid Mattress (Queen size), I’ve settled into a few pros and cons about the mattress. Read on to learn more about my experience sleeping on the Awara Premier Natural Hybrid Mattress. I evaluated the mattress based on SELF’s testing criteria, as detailed in its mattress buying guide.
I travel pretty frequently between two regular places, so for several weeks, I had a chance to consistently sleep on three different mattresses. I’ve been sleeping pretty well on all of them, including the Awara, which is the softest out of the three (all are rated as medium firm hybrids, which means that they contain a layer of traditional spring coils underneath layers of foam, latex, or other materials).
As a side sleeper, I favor the soft support of the memory foam found in my Tempurpedic mattress, but the Awara Premier Natural Hybrid Mattress, which features individually wrapped coil springs topped with latex and a plush organic wool outer layer, is a nice, luxurious experience as well. It may be ideal for side sleepers, who require both support and cushioning to help avoid the dreaded dead arm or various aches and pains.
The plush topper is really key here; it’s an add-on option that will run you an extra $400, but I do recommend it or you can invest in a separate mattress topper if you sleep on your side, like me. I actually was surprised by the comfort of this mattress—even though it’s rated by many reviewers as medium firm, I found it pretty bouncy and at first was worried it would be too soft for me. It didn’t seem like it would hold its shape well; when I sit on the edge, for example, I almost slide off. But the bounce is great if you like a bed that’s easy to move on top. And I never had any hip or lower back pain during testing. I did experience some upper back pain, but that has happened intermittently with every single mattress I’ve ever slept on. If you often sleep in a scrunched-up side fetal position pressed over one arm, you might also experience this. However, it was only occasional and happened less consistently than other mattresses I’ve tried.
I mostly tested this mattress during a heat wave, so I may not have the most useful data for this section. I try to avoid using the AC during the night because I usually get too cold and distracted by the noise of my in-window unit (it’s chaotic, but there are many of us out there!). I also get cold really easily if I don’t have a cover and am always using a thick comforter, even in a heat wave. So I definitely sweat at night. Unlike a memory foam mattress, however, it doesn’t seem to make you run hot.