Best floor mattress – February 2021 Update
We’ll cover a lot of ground about choosing the best floor mattress in this guide (pun-intended), but let us be very specific from the get-go.
The first thing we’ll do is present the results based on research gathered from 4 separate sources and look at our recommendations rated in 8 quality categories.
5 picks among 44 we looked at
On our side, getting to the ratings involved some serious elbow grease – from consulting our panel of sleep and material experts (it’s how we made the 44 picks for further analysis) to processing the data using our proprietary rating system.
On your side, it’s all boils down to a single number – the total rating. Long story short – what you’ll see is envisioned to replace hours or days of research and eliminate any subjectivity in the process. So, let us get right to it.
Best floor mattress – Top 5
Top-rated floor mattress overall
Milliard Tri Fold
The user satisfaction stats of this Milliard are not something you commonly see.
You can trust us on that, we’ve been analyzing and testing mattresses for over a decade now and the better part of our team has been a of of industry for much longer than that.
So, we know the ins and outs and we still find the stats impressive – the satisfaction of floor-sleepers with this mattress has never dropped below 93 %.
To put it in perspective
This is equivalent of 93 out of 100 owners either rating it as a 5 or 4-star product. Some of our data sources have rating system not presented with stars, that’s why we’re saying “equivalent.”
Thickness & comfort
It’s just as thick and comfortable as some classic foam mattresses but specifically designed for sleeping on the floor (non-slip bottom and soft jacquard top).
What you typically see in floor-dedicated mats and pads is 3-4 inch of foam – this Milliard boasts 3.5 inches of high-density in the support layer alone.
That paints a pretty clear picture of what’s better about it.
You can see all the ratings below.
- Comfort vs. support 92%
- Materials 95%
- Durability & longevity 93%
- Craftmanship 94%
- Resitance to floor dust, odors & moisture 93%
- Floor grip 96%
- Owner satisfaction 94%
- Value for $ 93%
Runner-up – Best Price
This is not your classic floor mattress, yet, with all things considered, it keeps finding its way to the very top because of the ratio between value, “floor-ability” (a word we made up just for the purposes of this guide) and price.
With all other things equal, size vs. size, it’s even more budget-friendly than floor-dedicated mats (including the ones that made it to our Top 5).
We tweaked our ratings to include this type of mattress for two reasons:
- The feedback we got from our readers – it seems that many people make the mistake of over-estimating how prepared they are for sleeping on the floor
- A common long-term issue with floor pads and thinner mattresses is maintenance. As time goes by, the classic models tend to hold on to smells and dust. In the long run, it’s a common reason for spending more.
Enter active charcoal
The first question that likely pops to mind is what makes this mattress different (better suited for floor use) compared to other classics.
The answer lies is that this one is infused with active charcoal to minimize odor, moisture and dust-retention and keep the mattress “fresh”. The company calls the technology ActiveFRESH.
On top of that, if chemicals are a concern, it’s CertiPUR certified, which means that it adheres to strict safety standards of manufacturing and traces of chemicals.
On their own, the factors we described above are not a big deal because it’s not the only mattress to boast them, which brings us back to the price.
It’s what sets it apart – you don’t commonly see a combination of features we mentioned in its price range.
- Comfort vs. support 94%
- Materials 95%
- Durability & longevity 92%
- Craftmanship 93%
- Resitance to floor dust, odors & moisture 94%
- Floor grip 88%
- Owner satisfaction 91%
- Value for $ 93%
This is one of the most popular mattresses among people who want to place their mattress directly on the floor but are not into sacrificing comfort along the way.
The main upside of getting a mattress like this one is that, should you decide to use it with a platform of any kind, take a break from floor-sleep or give it up all-together, you won’t need an additional investment. It comes in 6 sizes and 4 thickness options (6, 8, 10 or 12-inch).
The popularity is an objective category, since it has over 5,000 experienced shared (just on Amazon) with many of the owners talking about comfortably using it for floor sleeping.
EMOOR floor sleeping mat
From the get-go, we were somewhat surprised with the lack of top-tier products of this type available online.
We had the growing popularity of Japanese mats in mind and expected at least a dozen of similar products battling it out for the top spots.
Instead, when all said and done, the competition came down to the Emoor and only one runner-up.
We gave the Emoor an edge for two reasons: the versatility of sizes and colors available and the fact that it’s actually made in Japan.
- Comfort vs. support 88%
- Materials 95%
- Durability & longevity 92%
- Craftmanship 95%
- Resitance to floor dust, odors & moisture 91%
- Floor grip 90%
- Owner satisfaction 89%
- Value for $ 90%
Putting together a lookalike or feel-alike and naming it “traditional” is one thing, but a floor mat actually crafted and made in Japan is a whole different story.
Obviously, that alone doesn’t a product is worth your buck, the rest of story about it’s quality can be boiled down to how well-liked it is by owners and the user satisfaction with the Emoor paints a similar picture.
In terms of design, this Zinus is similar to the Milliard. Both are tri-folds and made of safety and durability-certified premium foam.
But there are significant difference, from the thickness (6 inches of the Milliard vs. 4 of the Zinus), through the fact that Zinus only comes in one size (Twin) to the price (Zinus costs less).
That’s reflected in the ratings – it’s the top-rated floor mattress in the “value for $” category. It might not be as comfortable as the thicker models and it only comes in Twin size, but for occassional use and guests, it’s a viable budget-friendly option.
- Comfort vs. support 90%
- Materials 95%
- Durability & longevity 90%
- Craftmanship 92%
- Resitance to floor dust, odors & moisture 92%
- Floor grip 91%
- Owner satisfaction 83%
- Value for $ 96%
Who will choose it?
With all that in mind, the choice between the two is clear – this Zinus might be your choice if you want to save, you’re no stranger to sleeping on the floor & your body is already used to a thinner mattress.
In other scenarios, like a transition to floor sleeping or welcoming guests, you might find it too thin.
SleepReady floor sleeping mat
by Better Habitat
The SleepReady floor mat is in a category of its own and the comparison of floor mattresses don’t really apply.
It’s our top pick among all-foam floor sleeping mats for outdoor use.
The foam is 2.75 inches thick and the design is focused on balancing comfort, portability, ease of use and weight capacity. It’s a fine balance to aim and what we’ve seen with most similar products is significantly higher number of foam breakage.
This type of structural issues can form indentations with prolonged use and, ultimately, render the mattress useless.
That especially goes for sleepers on the heavier side and most floor mats of this type don’t even list the recommended weight capacity. For the Better Habitat mat, the capacity is listed as “up to 230 lbs.”
Finally, Better Habitat stands behind their floor mat with a 12-month warranty on all manufacturing defects.
Reference info – history, trivia & more tips on choosing the best floor mattress for your needs
In the rest of this guide, we’ll go over some reference information – history, some interesting trivia and specific tips on choosing right (if none of the products we listed above catch your eye).
History of the floor mattress
Digging into the history presents a bit of a challenge, primarily because of the very definition.
Where does one start?
Should we go all the way back to the Paleolithic times or start with the first instances in history where a mattresses we know it today was described.
Instead of dwelling between the two, let’s the both.
First floor sleeping mats go back 25 centuries
It goes without saying that these were primitive and can be only described as “mats” in a historic context.
The first is instances we found of people covering the cave floor go back Paleolithic times. These coverings were made using tree bark to craft a more comfortable sleep surface.
Granted, it wasn’t hard to put together a surface that would be more comfortable than a rock. To be precise, the coverings we’re talking about here were not even weaved – there were just a pile of bark in cave corners that are predecessors used to rest after long days of mastodon hunting.
First records of weaving
It wasn’t long after that people started weaving plants. This made life easier in many ways, but we’d say that the 3 most heavily impacted of Paleolithic life were clothes, gathering and sleep.
Clothes and gathering are pretty self-explanatory – the Neanderthal started crafting rugs for clothing and baskets for gathering.
In terms of sleep, this meant weaving plants into mats. On the timeline of human history, the Paleolithic times qualify as pre-history – so, long story short, a sleeping floor mat goes way back.
To be precise, the first description that would fit that awful floor mat as we know it today goes 6,000 years back to ancient Mesopotamia.
If you say “floor mat” without context today, you’d have to explain yourself further – are we talking about mats for cleaning footwear?
In this context, that would be a ,”no.”
Since the floor was still just dirt, the mats we’re talking about here refer to sleeping pads.
No significant change for 15,000 years
In the time range between 6,000 BC and 9,000 AC, these mats and pads have not evolved significantly.
The 9000 AC mark is a milestone because that’s when the nobility of Japan introduced what we today know as Tatami – a sitting and sleeping pad wall when using rice and rush straw.
Based on historic data, these were aristocrat-only for about eight centuries. One has to skip forward to the 17th century to see these mats were widely available to a “commoner.”
Thrum as a material for floor sleeping pads
Fast-forward about 1000 years and we see historic data a new material for floor mats known as “thrum.” It was made from the discarded parts used in fine clothes-weaving and straw base.
The discarded fiber was not only a smart use for the leftovers but, because it wasn’t so fine, it sturdier and more durable.
These fibers were interwoven into a strong base to craft a mat (rug) that retains shape well (because of the sturdy base) and yet has a soft finish of thrum. It became widely popular in England.
Buying a floor model mattress
The products we recommended above have a wide appeal, meaning that whatever your body type is, one of the mattresses is likely to be a good fit for you.
With that said, if none of these catches your eye, let’s take the time here to go over some paramount factors of choosing well.
A lot of misleading information out there
While researching all aspects of choosing a good floor mattress, we’ve seen a lot of shallow information. We’ve seen articles talking about floor sleep as “getting back to our roots,” with little regard for the fact that our bodies evolved and adjusted to modern mattresses.
If you make a leap of faith based on information like this, you might end up giving up the “project” of transitioning to floor sleep altogether.
Instead, the choice should be made with due diligence and factor in the specifics of your body type and how experienced (or not) you are.
To make it all clear and precise, we’ll go over some questions that you need to ask yourself before buying.
After each question, we’ll mention a specific product that could be our recommendation in the different scenarios.
Have you ever slept on the floor before?
Most people simply skip this step which is, if you ask us, a huge mistake. For a newbie, the transition should involve a mid-step, like a floor sleeping pad.
If you’ve never slept on the floor, you don’t just dive in and opt for a thin pad. It takes a while for your body to adjust and for you to find the sweet spots and positions, especially if you have back problems.
This is one of the reasons that we included mattress models that are, strictly speaking, neither here nor there.
What we mean by this?
When we say “neither here nor there,” we’re referring to the type that’s not floor-dedicated.
In this class, our top pick is the overall runner-up. It’s a mattress that can be used on the floor, raised platforms or classic beds.
To sum it up, if you’re just making the transition or you want to be as comfortable as possible, we’d go with the second product in the list – the Best Price.
We did mention it being budget friendly as one of its main upsides but, just so that we’re clear, this is the actual name of the product and not our commentary.
Comfort-wise, the thinnest version is on-par with the top-rated Milliard foldable floor mattress and performs just as well in most aspects and even better in others.
One caveat would be that it’s not portable, since it’s primarily intended for home use.
How often do you plan to use it?
Another important question to ask yourself is the intended use.
Are you getting a floor mattress for guests / occasional use or daily use?
This is also where portability/storage comes into play.
Scenario one: You’re looking for it to be your main bed and have no plans to store it away on daily basis.
For long-term use, our recommendation model would (again) be the second one on the list.
Scenario two: For guests and occasional use
The choice in this scenario is pretty clear since the Milliard roll up floor mattress is the product that ticks all the boxes.
It’s portable, relatively cheap, comes in three sizes (Twin, Full & Queen). The cover is soft, retains shape & resistant to mold.
Scenario three: floor sleeping mat for outdoor use
For outdoor use, our recommendation is the SleepReady mat/pad by Better Habitat.
Side note: we already mentioned that we excluded inflatables from this guide on purpose, since we already have an existing guide in that arena (both classic and self inflatable).
If an air mattress is an option for you, you can see our picks by following one of the three links below.
Do you have back problems?
Another question that we rarely see addressed and research papers and articles.
Making general statements about a floor sleeping mat or pad being good or bad for people with back problems is misleading at best and downright wrong at worst.
That’s why we had to dig deeper and look into available large-scale studies on the topic. Some of our findings were surprising.
If you talk to people about back pain, the conversation is likely to touch on the matter of sleeping on a hard surface.
The evidence for this are mostly anectodal
If the pain is acute, you probably want to stay away from thin pads and mats. In most cases, the pain comes from nerve pressure. If this is the case, you won’t be doing your back and favors by sleeping on surfaces that don’t allow your shoulders and hips to sink in enough so that your spine is aligned.
There’s no widely accepted consensus among professionals when it comes to chronic back pain and the firmness of your mattress. Most of the data we found in our research suggests that a mattress of medium firmness offers more relief in the long run.
To quote a study we found to be most specific (published in the Lancet magazine, 2003 issue, PMID: 14630439):
“A mattress of medium firmness improves pain and disability among patients with chronic non-specific low-back pain”
What it means applied to foam models
Our top 2 picks qualify as “medium” firmness. There are models of similar foam density and structure, but it’s the thickness that makes a difference here.
Anything under 6 inches cannot be taken at face value because the floor surface underneath becomes a significant factor.
Summary and updates
To keep the ratings relevant, we do your best to stick to bimonthly or quarterly updates. Those include both new data and new arrivals to the market.
You can always use the comment section below for any questions, either about specific products or general. We aim to respond to all correspondence within 24 hours.
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The Sleep Studies review team