So at this point, what home goods are truly overlooked? Chances are you haven’t thought positively, if at all, about your curtains in a while.
Related Article Module: The 4 best blackout curtains in 2021
Window treatments aren’t the first home product I want to shop for (even the term “window treatments” inspires little in the way of excitement) but like a beautiful area rug, they make a huge difference for how your space looks and feels. It’s too bad that current options fall into two buckets: ready-made curtains and shades that are a struggle to install and never seem to fit correctly, and made-to-measure ones that cost thousands of dollars.
Mesken is one of the first home startups we’re seeing to address this long-ignored problem. It’s founded by Alper Bahadir, a former McKinsey consultant who was born in Turkey and wanted to strengthen his connection to Home-with-a-capital-H and your relationship with your own home.
At Mesken, you can shop custom curtains and shades at prices 50% to 70% less than traditional brands and have them delivered in seven to 10 days. While the company is based in New York City, its manufacturers are located in Istanbul, Turkey and have generations of experience crafting high-quality home textiles.
Selling exclusively online helps keeps the prices of a traditionally expensive product low. “There are certain industries where we’ve been conditioned to think you can access quality only if you pay a very high price because everything else around that product or experience is already very expensive,” Bahadir says. “The wedding and home industries are probably the two worst offenders. When you’ve already spent a fortune buying or remodeling a home, another $20,000 for drapes starts to look normal. I think this has led the industry to be complacent and opportunist. Why bother innovating to make things more affordable if you don’t have to?”
The innovation at Mesken is this: curtains start at just $105, with the most expensive options, made from linen, starting at $225. Shades start at $75, with the most expensive options starting at $115. You can customize nearly every aspect of these window treatments on Mesken’s well-designed site.
How the customization and ordering process works for curtains
You can choose from a variety of solid or sheer fabrics, including 100% linen, linen blends, viscose blend, lightweight, and thick weave options. Each fabric is available in numerous colors. Some, like the textured, medium-weight Bowery (from $90) are available in more than 30 colors while others have fewer color options. If you want to see and feel the fabrics first, you can order up to five swatches for free.
Then, choose your hanging style: ring top, rod pocket, grommet, or pleated. The grommet and pleated styles have an additional cost per panel.
Enter your curtain measurements, or use the site’s helpful measurement guide. If you’ve never ordered your own curtains before or just want to double-check your own measurements, we recommend using the guide.
Finally, add optional privacy or blackout liners, and adjust the number of panels if necessary.
Here’s how the customization and ordering process works for shades
Mesken offers roller, blackout, solar, and zebra shades in a small selection of colors. Likewise, you can order free fabric swatches.
You’re in control of the hanging position, casing, and cord type, and the site will guide you with tips and measurement guides throughout the whole customization process.
In 10 business days or less, your custom curtains or shades will arrive at your door with the necessary hardware and instructions to install them. They’re designed for easy installation, and since they’re perfectly cut to your window, you’ll never be stuck with curtains that are just an inch too short, long, or wide.
As a singular concept, finding the right curtains for your home and not overpaying for them seems manageable, but when stacked on top of every other home improvement and decorating task, it’s an aspirational feat for an aspirational product.
Mesken goes beyond the aspirational, to the realistic, accessible, and shopper-friendly.
When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
Brooklinen’s linen bed sheets are made out of high-quality Belgian and French flax fibers.
The sheets are available in 11 different colors and patterns – six of which are limited edition.
They’re really breathable and perfect for anyone who sleeps hot.
Table of Contents: Masthead StickyLinen Sheets (Full) (small)
According to the Sleep Foundation, about 85% of people said that having comfortable sheets and bedding are important in getting a good night’s sleep. Additionally, nearly 70% pointed out that bedroom temperature is also important – something many of us find a little difficult to manage in the summer when our bedrooms are scorching hot.
Related Article Module: The 5 best bed sheets we tested in 2021
That being established, the sheets that keep you all warm and snuggly during the winter months probably aren’t going to do you any favors during a heatwave. If you want to get a good night’s sleep in the summer without blasting the AC, consider investing in a set of Brooklinen Linen Sheets.
In case you’re in the dark about one of our favorite bedding brands, here’s the backstory. The company launched in 2014 after a successful Kickstarter, and offers high-quality, beautiful sheets at reasonable prices, including ones made from soft cashmere and linen.
One of the first things you’ll notice when you receive a set of sheets from Brooklinen is the really nice packaging. Each set comes neatly folded in a fabric bag, which is a nice touch and a convenient way to store the sheets, but there’s even more attention to detail with the sheets themselves.
For instance, each fitted sheet has labels identifying the “short” and “long” side, so it’s super easy to make your bed correctly every time. Each duvet cover also includes interior corner ties to keep your comforter from sliding around, and big, sturdy closure buttons that won’t fall off in the wash. It’s those little things that make me a repeat customer.
As far as the material, I instantly fell in love with it. They aren’t soft and silky like Brooklinen’s other sheets but have a bit more texture to them. To me, there is something incredibly luxurious yet earthy about the feel of the sheets.
My husband didn’t feel the same way. “These feel like sandpaper,” he said to me when he got into bed. However, the tune of the hot-blooded man I married changed by morning. “Actually, these are pretty awesome,” he backtracked. Not only did he get used to the sensation on his skin, but the breathable, looser weave fabric also made it possible for him – and I – to get through the night without sweating.
One thing to point out is that if you love the smooth look of bed sheets, linen is not for you. There’s no way to keep these babies from looking anything less than slept in. Linen wrinkles – it’s just a fact. You can have them dry cleaned, steamed, pressed with an iron, and it still won’t matter. But to me, that adds to their unique characteristics.
The sheets are 100% linen, made out of Belgian and French flax, and constructed in Portugal. They are OEKO-TEX certified chemical-free so they won’t irritate the skin. Each set has also been individually pre-washed and garment-dyed.
The sheets are available in eight different solid colors and three patterns. While the offerings aren’t extensive, each shade is gorgeous and there’s a good chance you’ll find one that you like.
If you have a Twin bed, sorry, you’re out of luck. Brooklinen’s linen sheet sets are only available in four sizes – Full, Queen, King, and California King.
Brooklinen suggests machine-washing them in cold water with a natural detergent and tumble drying them on low.
Even though the sheets are pre-washed, I’d still suggest you run them through the wash before sleeping on them the first time. I washed my sheets prior to placing them on my bed, but I opted to throw the duvet cover on straight away and it shed a bunch of fibers. The first few times that I laundered my set, I noticed quite an abundance of lint in my dryer filter too.
That said, I haven’t noticed any color bleeding in the wash, or fading in general.
Brooklinen offers a great lifetime warranty on all of its sheets. If you experience any pilling, ripping, or fraying, Brooklinen will repair it – no questions asked. If a repair isn’t possible, it’ll go the extra mile and replace it free of charge.
The company also offers a 365-day trial, giving you the opportunity to try the sheets out before fully committing. If you hate them, just send them back.
The only con about these sheets is that the price may be a bit prohibitive – even more so when compared to Brooklinen’s other sheets.
But you can look at these as an investment, which I do. You can use them year-round, but chances are you’ll reserve them just for the summer months, so they’ll end up lasting years.
The bottom line
Do yourself a favor this summer and invest in your sleep.
These sheets will look gorgeously rumpled on your bed, feel amazing against your skin, and keep you cool all night long. It managed to win over my husband in just one night, but with a great free trial, there’s not much to lose either.
Painting the walls of your home sounds like an easy enough task.
However, after you’ve sifted through hundreds of paint chips that all look the same or paced the aisles of the hardware store attempting to decode the purpose of each type of paint, you’ll know that the actual process before your paintbrush even touches the wall is surprisingly and unnecessarily difficult.
Even seasoned interior designers aren’t spared from this frustration, but Nicole Gibbons, an interior designer whose work and expertise have been featured on HGTV, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and TLC, is the first to actually do something about it.
Gibbons is the founder of Clare, a direct-to-consumer paint company that’s simplifying the paint-buying process for homeowners and making it easier for them to appreciate how color transforms their space.
“As the place that you come home to each and every day, your space can truly enhance your well-being and provide comfort when needed most,” she tells Insider Reviews. “And if it doesn’t provide that sanctuary, it’s easy to not love where you live. Color can be transformative – not only to your space, but to your mood, and paint is the easiest and least expensive way to make a truly meaningful change.”
About Clare Paint
Clare puts you on the path to making that meaningful change without wanting to tear your hair out in the process.
Instead of stressing over how much paint to buy or how the final color turned out to be three shades darker than the swatch, you can pick and order your paint online, get all the necessary supplies ordered to your door, and give your room the color upgrade it needs in no time.
The grass will always seem greener (or do I mean more Money Moves, Two Scoops, or Avocado Toast?) on the other side when you have to choose from thousands of colors, which is why Clare only offers a curated collection of 56 paint colors for walls and trim, and only one ceiling paint color and one primer.
The water-based formulas have minimal odor and are GREENGUARD Gold-certified, which means “a product has met some of the world’s most rigorous and comprehensive standards for low emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into indoor air.”
It’s paint you’ll feel safe using, and it’s also durable enough to resist dirt, grime, and mildew.
To help you pick a color, Clare offers Clare Color Genius, a short quiz that asks about your current space and lighting situation, the type of vibe you want, and your decor style, then gives you three options you might like.
Once you know what colors you want, hop over to the Paint Calculator, which tells you how many gallons of paint, primer, and ceiling paint you’ll need for your space.
Pricing and samples
Clare sells its wall and trim paint for $59 a gallon, and its primer and ceiling paint for $42 a gallon, but you don’t have to commit right away. Its 8″x 8″ paint swatches are peel-and-stick, making it easy to instantly sample your top choices for just $2.
Aside from the actual paint, Clare sells the necessary supplies, including roller frames, painter’s tape, and paint trays. The 5-Piece Paint Kit gets you a 2″ Paint Brush, 9″ Roller Frame, 9″ Roller Cover, 9″ Metal Tray, and a 9″ Tray Liner for only $28. This section turns Clare into a one-stop-shop for all your painting needs.
The bottom line
If you want to paint your home, you have many brands and color options to choose from – too many. Clare’s unique approach restores focus, control, transparency, and accessibility to the process so you’re not overwhelmed by what should be a simple and enjoyable home improvement project.
Regardless of how much you love summer, no one wants to be stuck in extreme hot and humid conditions. With heat waves starting to hit, it’s best to stay prepared with ways to stay cool – especially when the power shuts off at home or during long commutes.
We asked Insider Reviews reporters and editors for various ways that they keep cool during unbearable heat. From everyday cooling appliances to heat-resistant clothing, these options are the ultimate lifesavers to have this summer. So as the heat rolls on, try these products that can help you stay cool and have a less sweaty summer.
When most mattress companies say their products are “cooling,” they mean that they don’t trap heat. This mattress pad by Eight Sleep actually cools your bed down — as low as 55 degrees — using an undetectable grid of water. I convinced our sleep reporter James Brains to let me be the long-term tester for this after he tested and recommended it in our guide to the best cooling mattress toppers, and wow, I don’t know how I ever survived the summers without it. Being able to chill my bed before I get in it (or while I shamelessly work from it during the day) has been a game changer. I fall asleep faster and wake up feeling cool and refreshed. It’s pricey, but the cover has made this the first summer I haven’t struggled with heat-induced insomnia. If you’re in the same boat, it may very well be worth the cost. — Lauren Savoie, senior editor
I talk too much about ice ever since I tested 16 trays for our guide to the best ice cube trays, but during the heatwave, my new favorite topic is super relevant. I’m using our pick for the best large cubes, the Samuelworld Jumbo Cubes Tray, almost every day to chill my drinks. Large cubes melt slower than small ones, so I’ll plop the cubes in fresh coffee that I’ve chilled to room temperature; my coffee stays cold and strong longer. The tray only holds six cubes, and at this point, I refill it almost every night. Even through this usage, the silicone has stayed firm and doesn’t have a freezer smell. — Lily Alig, junior reporter
I purchased this quilt a few weeks ago during Parachute’s Memorial Day sale, and it’s a much lighter and more breathable top layer than a traditional comforter. If you sleep hot, it might be right up your alley. I also suggest looking into linen sheet sets. — Ellen Hoffman, editor-in-chief service journalism
I also bought this during Parachute’s sale and it has been a lifesaver compared to my usual all-season comforter during these hot and humid months. As someone who sleeps hot, I’ve found it to be just the right weight and nice and breathable. — Hannah Freedman, associate travel editor
I love my Parachute linen quilt so much that I refuse to share it with my husband and we had to get a second duvet for him. — Lauren Savoie, senior editor
LP1419IVSM Dual Inverter Smart Wi-Fi Portable Air Conditioner (button)
We recently moved into an older home with no central air, so air conditioners were at the top of our list of things to buy for the summer. Insider Reviews reporter James Brains has tested countless portable ACs and window units over the last couple of years, so the first place I looked for recommendations was our buying guides.
We bought a bunch of LG window units, in varying sizes to accommodate bigger and smaller rooms, and they do a fantastic job of cooling down the whole place. I love that I can control them with a remote too! It sounds lazy, but it’s actually really convenient when I’m on work calls and can’t get up to change the settings. — Ellen Hoffman, editor-in-chief service journalism
I have an LG portable AC because traditional window ACs do not fit in all my windows, and it works like a charm. — Malarie Gokey, deputy editor
I’ve tested dozens of air conditioners, and the LG dual inverter ACs are what I use when I’m not testing new air conditioners. They’re energy efficient, and they do a great job without getting too loud. Also, I’m finding in the humid Michigan summers, simply using the dehumidifying function is sometimes enough to make my home comfortable. — James Brains, reporter
Now that my husband and I both work from home, our heating and cooling bills have gone through the roof. We recently purchased this fan (which is our best overall pick in our guide to the best fans) in an effort to cut back on using the ACs on milder days. I’m obsessed with this thing — it’s small, but powerful, and runs quietly so that I can use it with no issue during Zoom meetings. — Lauren Savoie, senior editor
The Vornado works better than any fan I have ever used. I remember wondering why anyone would choose to spend so much on a fan when you can get cheap ones for $20, but the Vornado really cools rooms much more effectively and keeps the air moving. — Malarie Gokey, deputy editor
Our pets struggle with the heat just as much as we do — and often more. They are wearing fur coats, after all. A few years back when I lived in a stuffy Brooklyn apartment that was difficult to cool in the summer, I bought the Green Pet Shop Cooling Pad for my frequently panting dog. It works by absorbing your pet’s body heat with a pressure-activated gel. Right out of the box, I pressed my hand into the mat and instantly felt a cooling sensation. My dog practically lived on it during the hottest summer days. Put it in your dog’s favorite spot on the floor, in their crate, or outdoors in a shaded spot. — Lisa Sabatini, editor, pets and parenting
There’s nothing I love more on a hot day than wearing this glossy, slippery, and ultra-cool robe. Our pick for the best silk robe, it’s not only beautifully made, featuring original and hand-painted artwork, but it also feels amazing. It’s a long robe (the brand also sells short versions) with side slits and the sleeves are short and wide, letting the breeze pass through. It’s perfect for lounging inside with your AC or fan on blast. — Connie Chen, senior reporter
I have tested dozens of mattresses, and the Purple Hybrid Premier Mattress did the best at dissipating heat. That’s why it’s the best mattress for hot sleepers in our mattress guide. I use an infrared laser thermometer to measure the surface temperature of the mattress. And, the Purple built up the least amount of heat and was one of the quickest to release the heat in my tests. The biggest negative is the $2,400 price tag, but when you consider you’ll spend a third of your life for the next 10+ years on it, the price seems much more reasonable. — James Brains, reporter
When I was a kid and we didn’t have air conditioning, my mom used to dip a washcloth in water and freeze it. Draping the frozen washcloth over my head would cool me down just enough to get to sleep in the heat. This weighted eye mask works similarly — you just pop it in the freezer for a few hours before bed and then drape it over your eyes to block light and cool you down. I like that this one has a Velcro strap so you can just lay it over your face instead of having to wear it like a traditional eye mask. — Lauren Savoie, senior editor
I love wearing these gender-inclusive boxer briefs to sleep on hot summer nights. I also wear them under dresses and skirts to prevent friction and irritation from sweat. They’re soft, breathable, and made from 95% OEKO-TEX certified cotton and 5% spandex. The 9-inch inseam is the perfect length in a world filled with short shorts. TomboyX is also featured on our guide to the best gender-inclusive clothing and a full review. — Malarie Gokey, deputy editor
I’ve always been a bit wary of apparel with so-called cooling technology but there’s been some genuine innovation with cooling fabrics over the last several years — and one of the best brands to do it is Arctic Cool. Whether I’m working out in one of its crew neck tees, or casually wearing this polo, I’m able to legitimately feel cooler on warm days. The Vortex Vent Cooling Polo features moisture-wicking technology, a unique ventilation system that helps the shirt avoid feeling stuffy, and even has UPF protection. It’s a summer staple in my wardrobe. — Rick Stella, fitness, health & outdoors editor
I originally started using this during the winter since it’s one of my top picks for the best humidifiers. However, one of the reasons it’s so great is because of how multi-functional it is. Not only is it also an air purifier, but in the summer I’ve switched over to using its fan function and it’s worked wonders for cooling off my bedroom at night. It even has a specific “Night Mode” that ensures it’s super quiet. — Hannah Freedman, associate travel editor
Proper hydration is one of the most vital components to keeping cool, especially while running or hiking where it’s important to have H20 at the ready whenever you need it. And therein lies the beauty of this hydration pack from CamelBak. It’s lightweight and subtle enough to not bog me down while I run or bike, and can even hold a few extras (snacks, keys, my phone, etc.) while I’m on trail. Its included water reservoir holds 50 ounces of water which typically manages to last me a few hours of use in particularly hot weather. The HydroBak is also featured in our guide to the best hydration packs. — Rick Stella, fitness, health & outdoors editor
I recently tested 18 mattress toppers, and the Bear Pro Topper offered the best balance of comfort, affordability, and cooling. That’s why I made it our top pick in our cooling mattress topper guide. It features a cover made of Celliant, a material I’ve found helps with staying cool. In addition to offering excellent support and pressure relief, it’s made in the US of copper-infused memory foam that is CertiPUR-US certified, which means harmful chemicals aren’t used in its construction. Plus, you can try it for 100 nights risk-free. — James Brains, reporter
A heavy-duty water bottle for keeping your beverages ice cold
Heavy-duty water bottles from Hydro Flask and Yeti are lifesavers at the beach on really hot days. I load mine with ice and they stay super cold all day long. — Ellen Hoffman, editor-in-chief service journalism
Another Celliant product I use to keep me cool is this sheet set from Sleepletics. As with the Bear Pro Topper, the Celliant material does an outstanding job of heat dissipation so I can stay cool through the night and avoid tossing and turning. It also has a comfy, soft feel that pairs well with whatever weighted blanket I might be testing at the moment. — James Brains, reporter
A friend of mine recently brought this shady tent with her when we went to the beach and I was so impressed I immediately bought one for myself. It folds down so it’s easy to fit in a backpack or beach bag, takes seconds to set up simply by spreading out the corners and filling them with sand, and provides plenty of shade for a group of four. It’s also water resistant and offers UV protection. It made our beach day so much more enjoyable and relaxing. — Hannah Freedman, associate travel editor
There are a couple of reasons why a shelf divider is an absolute must-have for every closet. First and foremost, it’s way less expensive than a closet renovation or hiring a professional organizer. It also takes up less space than bins or boxes, while still keeping everything visible and within reach. Plus, a divider can be easily installed and removed.
Most people have limited closet space and shelf dividers indisputably help you make the most of every precious inch. There are lots of options out there, but we focused on the most important categories to consider; your shelving style (wooden or wire), the divider size (especially height and depth), the design or style (solid or open), and the cost.
Pros: Easy to install, simple design, affordable, taller than most dividers
Cons: Not compatible with wire shelving
These durable and minimalist metal dividers are the way to go if you’re trying to create a better storage solution in your closet. With a sturdy, sleek and unobtrusive design, they are simply the best option for most people.
Each divider clips easily onto wooden shelves up to 7/8 inches thick with no tools required. Once in place, the Lynk tall shelf divider stays put. A stabilizing crossbar on the bottom of the divider helps hold it securely on the shelf, ready to keep anything from pants, sweaters, and accessories in place. They’re also strong enough to handle leaning items like bags, thanks to the grips which attach them to the shelf.
They are taller than most dividers, which means you can fold higher stacks and save even more space. You might want to measure your closet height to ensure they’ll fit, but the average closet should be able to accommodate them. At 8.4 inches deep, they’ll fit on both deep and narrow shelves.
This product is particularly great because it’s easy to install on thicker shelves, durable, and slides into place easily. There’s also a handy extra with this divider, a space-saving valet hook that you can use to hang items like bags, belts, or a robe in front of your shelves.
Although some users mention that it’s not quite as sturdy as they would have hoped, the Container Store Clear Shelf Divider is still a great bet and is an upscale, aesthetically pleasing choice that’s perfect for interior design buffs or anyone looking to upgrade the look of their closet.
Pros: Great value, simple design, easy installation, multipurpose, comes in many finishes
Cons: Not as tall or deep as other dividers
The cheapest, most popular shelf divider is the mDesign Metal Wire Closet Shelf Divider. Promising an easy, tool-free installation, polished, rust-resistant steel finish, and a stable, sleek design, this is the perfect choice for a rental or dorm closet. With eight per set, you’ll have extras to keep as replacements or to set up in multiple closets.
At just over 9 inches tall, it’s pretty decent for maximizing vertical space, but it does measure a bit short in depth at only 8 inches. You need to stretch it a bit to attach it to a standard 1-inch thick shelf, but the wide stabilizer on the bottom will keep the divider securely in place.
The clean, metal design, available in five different finishes, matches perfectly with any décor, which is helpful if you’re thinking about using this divider in a pantry, linen, or bathroom closet.
The company also suggests flipping the divider upside down and hanging it under the shelf, which gives you seven bars of hanging storage for things like scarves, belts, or bags.
Durable, affordable, and specially designed to clip on to wire shelving closet systems, their plastic coated steel design won’t rust or get dingy over time. With a substantial 12-inch x 12-inch frame, consider these as a practical solution for a rental property, where most closets have wire shelving. The dividers are super quick to install and no tools are required.
One criticism, however, is that the open sides don’t keep certain items securely inside.
The best cloth closet shelf divider
If you’re looking for the full divide of a solid material but don’t want to splurge on acrylic, try the Lynk Vela Shelf Divider.
Pros: Visually appealing for those who want a solid divider, items won’t snag or get scratched by the cloth material
Cons: Material may scuff or tear over time
There are lots of reasons why people like the Lynk Vela Shelf Divider. The simple, durable fabric is available in two colors: platinum and bronze. The soft material also means that there’s no risk of snagging your clothes on a metal design.
Not only do these look nice, but they also are also tall at 13 inches, and are easy to install by sliding onto standard size wooden shelves. You’re getting a great deal, too, as the price is fairly low.
This solid style of shelf divider is recommended because it creates a visual definition of your space and keeps everything neat.
Cloth dividers also work particularly well in linen closets, where they can keep folded towels, blankets, and other linens neatly organized.
Buying a new mattress is an expensive undertaking. If your mattress is less supportive than it once was or you inherited a bed that isn’t right for your sleeping style, a topper can improve your comfort until you are ready to replace your mattress. They’re also a great option for college dorm rooms or other situations where you might not have a say in the comfort of your sleep surface. Though most toppers are designed to make your bed softer, we found some models can potentially add firmness.
These thin slabs of padding can also help with body temperature regulation. And, when you go camping, a topper affords you extra padding between your sleeping bag and the hard ground.
I have four years of experience testing sleep products professionally. In addition to honing my subjective assessments, I’ve developed several objective tests to evaluate which toppers are best for specific needs. You can find details about how I test mattress toppers in our methodology section.
Here are the best mattress toppers you can buy in 2021
The Parachute Down Mattress Pad was one of the best in every category we tested, including heat dissipation, motion isolation, comfort and support, and fit.
Pros: Excellent heat dissipation, comfortable and supportive, made in the US, attaches to your mattress like a fitted sheet, machine washable, best motion isolation
Cons: Warranty void if tag removed
The Parachute Down Mattress Pad did well in every category we tested. The only category it was just “good” in was the surface temperature immediately after getting up. Yet, two minutes after getting up, it registered cooler temps than before I laid down. It was one of only two toppers to dissipate heat this well.
Parachute recommends washing your Down Mattress Pad before you sleep on it. Fortunately, it’s machine washable, and the cleaning process was effortless. Once it’s ready, the topper goes on your mattress like a fitted sheet and has deep pockets to fit mattresses up to 18 inches thick. I liked that it stayed in place well and didn’t shift after sleeping on it for several nights.
The topper is made in the US of European white down and features a sateen cotton shell. The down of the topper kept me cool while offering plush comfort. I fell asleep quickly each night and woke up feeling refreshed in the morning. I preferred to sleep on my side while testing the Parachute topper, but it wasn’t overly soft so I felt good on my back and side as well.
The Parachute Down Mattress Pad is also a smart choice for couples with its impressive motion isolation. In fact, it did the best at dampening motion transfer in our tests.
The biggest negative has to do with the warranty. The tag on the pad states that the warranty is void if removed.
Pros: Excellent cooling properties, great motion isolation, made of CertiPUR-US certified foam, stays in place, easy to set up
Cons: May be too soft for some sleeping styles and body types, plush design hinders movement
The first thing you notice when you lie down on the Lucid Bamboo Charcoal Memory Foam Mattress Topper is how much you sink in. The topper comes in two-, three-, and four-inch thicknesses. I tested the three-inch-thick model, which was a little too soft for me, and I like soft. Unless you require the softest of the soft, I’d recommend trying the two-inch style instead to ensure you are keeping your spine properly aligned.
Despite the overbearing plushness, which made sleeping on my stomach uncomfortable, I woke up feeling refreshed after each night I slept on the Lucid Bamboo Charcoal topper.
The topper is nothing more than a slab of CertiPUR-US certified, bamboo charcoal-infused memory foam. There are several holes to help with heat dissipation, which apparently works since the Lucid topper never got very hot in my tests. When I got up from it, the heat dissipated quickly.
The thick foam also helped with motion transfer, causing this model to register one of the lowest scores on the vibration meter I use for this test. Despite not attaching to the bed, it stayed in place as I slept on it.
There weren’t any instructions for setup, and I was confused by the low-grade fabric covering that came on the topper. (I assumed it was for shipping purposes and tossed it.) The topper had a strong initial odor and was compressed, but it expanded and was odor-free by bedtime.
The best cooling mattress topper
The Bear Pro Mattress Topper is your best bet if you’re looking for a plush topper that will offer you support; pressure relief; and a cool, comfortable night’s sleep.
Pros: Excellent cooling, plush comfort, good pressure relief, made in the US of CertiPUR-US certified copper-infused foam, great motion isolation, stays in place, 100-night trial period
Cons: Had a strong initial odor that took several days to dissipate, doesn’t attach to the mattress
The Bear Pro Mattress Topper was both the best cooling and best memory foam topper we tested. It’s made in the US of CertiPUR-US certified copper-infused memory foam. I found it provided a plush feel that will appeal to all sleeping styles thanks to its ideal balance of support and pressure relief. I experienced comfy, restful sleep each night I tested it.
The Bear Pro was one of the best at cooling in our tests. In fact, it was one of two toppers to register a lower final temperature reading than the initial reading before I laid down on it. I was surprised by this, so I reran the test and verified my findings. This topper dissipates heat well. It accomplishes this with a copper and Celliant construction, which Bear claims helps with heat regulation. We weren’t able to find any scientific studies to back this up, but based on our experience, it seems to be working.
The Bear Pro was also one of the best at motion isolation. Despite not attaching to the mattress, the topper stayed in place just fine.
The biggest negative with the Bear Pro Mattress Topper was the strong “new bed smell” that lasted for several days. Other than that, setup took less than five minutes, and the topper expanded to full size by bedtime.
Pros: Made of supportive and pressure-relieving memory foam, good heat dissipation, removable and machine-washable cover, 10-year warranty, easy to set up
Cons: No trial period, shifted significantly in the night, hard to put the cover back on after washing it
While testing the Tempur-Pedic Topper Supreme Mattress Topper, I was getting back into running and weightlifting after an injury sidelined me. I suffer from chronic lower back pain that’s aggravated by both these activities. I went to bed with my body exhausted and awoke feeling refreshed and ready to run and lift again, and I think the Tempur-Topper Supreme had a lot to do with the fast recovery.
I’ve long appreciated the supportive feel of Tempur-Pedic’s proprietary memory foam, which slowly adjusts to the contours of your body and keeps your spine aligned no matter what position you’re sleeping in.
The pad features a cover made mostly of polyester that zips off so you can throw it in the washing machine. Removing the cover and washing it was easy, but putting it back on was a different story. It took me about 10 minutes to slide the cover on the floppy pad. I recommend just putting a mattress protector over it (and your mattress) to save the hassle.
Setting up the Tempur-Topper Supreme was intuitive, and there was minimal initial odor, which completely dissipated by bedtime. The topper also did a good job of staying cool, and when I got up from it, the heat dissipated quickly.
There are a few negatives with this model, though. First, you can’t return the topper once you receive it. Fortunately, there is an impressive 10-year warranty so if there are manufacturing defects, you can get a replacement.
Another negative is the pad shifted by several inches over the course of the night as I slept on it, and there are no straps to keep it in place. Lastly, the motion isolation was just average.
Pros: Made in the US with organic materials and natural latex, comfortable and supportive, great motion isolation, one-year risk-free trial period, 10-year warranty
Cons: Sleeps hot, shifts a bit, expensive
I’m a big fan of natural latex as a sustainable, responsive material to sleep on. The soft rubber-like foam offers cushioning around the hips and shoulders while supporting your lower back and neck. You don’t sink in like with memory foam; instead, there’s more bounce.
When it comes to support and pressure relief, the Avocado Organic Latex was one of the most comfortable toppers I slept on. Whether I was on my stomach, side, or back, I felt great, and I woke up feeling refreshed in the morning. I tested the plush topper, which was slightly softer than average, but it’s also available in firm.
Unfortunately, it slept quite hot. It did an okay job of dissipating the heat once I got up, but when I was on the topper, it reached surface temperatures over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Another negative is it doesn’t attach to the mattress, which might have prevented it from shifting at night.
On the plus side, the motion-dampening properties were great. I was able to set up the topper in under five minutes. While there was an initial odor, by bedtime, it dissipated.
The best firm mattress topper
The Airweave Mattress Topper is ideal for back and stomach sleepers who are looking to add firm support to their mattress.
Pros: Firm support that may appeal to back and stomach sleepers, completely washable, 100-night risk-free trial period, easy setup, good bounce and easy to move around on
Cons: Poor heat dissipation, poor motion isolation, shifts on the mattress, not recommended for side sleepers
For the most part, mattress toppers are designed to help give a softer feel to a mattress that is maybe too firm for your sleeping style. The Airweave Mattress Topper, on the other hand, does the opposite.
It’s made of firm, interwoven strands of polyethylene that the brand claims allow for better airflow and heat dissipation (though in my tests, the topper was among the hottest and didn’t dissipate the heat well once I got up).
I primarily sleep on my side, but the Airweave topper felt a little too firm for me to sleep in that position. Instead, I gravitated to my stomach and back, and the supportive feel left my body pain-free in the morning.
The Airweave Mattress Topper came tri-folded in a large, 62-inch by 30-inch by 9-inch box and was easy to set up. It didn’t have an initial odor, and I liked how easy the topper was to clean. It’s the only model I tested that is completely washable. The polyester/cotton blend cover is machine washable, and you can wash the core with mild soap and cool water.
The topper doesn’t attach to your mattress, which might have been helpful since it shifted as I slept on it. Another negative was the poor motion isolation. It was the worst at dampening motion transfer. But the Airweave topper has a lot of bounce, which makes it easy to move around and could help facilitate intimate activities.
What else tested
We tested 18 mattress toppers for this guide. These are the ones that missed the cut.
What else we recommend and why:
$150 and under
Allswell 4-Inch Memory Foam: This CertiPUR-US certified copper gel-infused memory foam topper was in the middle of the pack in every test, which makes it a solid product, but nothing sets it apart. It was easy to install, affordable, and stayed in place on the bed. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a warranty.
SensorPedic Bamboo Charcoal Infused Memory Foam:If our budget pick isn’t available, we strongly recommend picking this topper up, especially if you suffer from back pain. When I started testing, my back pain was flaring up, but after two nights on this, I was feeling great. It didn’t make our guide because it wasn’t particularly good at cooling, and there’s no trial period.
Helix Ultra-Cool Pad: If you’re looking for just a subtle addition of plushness to your mattress, this is a good option. The pad is only about an inch thick and goes on your mattress like a fitted sheet. (It’s also machine washable.) Yet it didn’t do as good of a job cooling as its name would suggest, and it didn’t add much support or pressure relief compared to just sleeping on the mattress alone.
Nest Bedding Cooling: This topper didn’t live up to its name as it held onto heat once I got up from it and also had poor motion isolation. However, it was comfortable to sleep on, is made in the US with CertiPUR-US certified foam, and didn’t move on the bed. It’s on the softer side, so it may be a good option for side sleepers who prefer a more pillow top feel.
Slumber Cloud Core: This pad did at least okay in every test we put it through. It goes on your mattress like a fitted sheet, which kept it in place, and it’s easy to clean. It was also comfortable and supportive. The Core mattress pad also offered impressive motion isolation. The biggest negative is the relatively short 180-day warranty. Also, it was just in the middle of the pack at cooling and heat dissipation.
Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Adapt + Cooling: Though this model shares the same product page as our best topper for back pain, it didn’t perform as well in our tests. It was also inferior at cooling despite its name and $80 more than the other Tempur-Pedic topper. However, it was comfortable to sleep on, has a removable, machine-washable cover, and is backed by a 10-year warranty.
Saatva Graphite: We almost included this topper in our guide, but it just wasn’t the best in any of our categories. Its average firmness was comfortable and supportive to sleep on no matter what position I was in. It did a good job of dissipating heat and features straps to secure it to your bed. However, it still shifted and the topper has poor motion isolation.
Birch by Helix Plush Organic: The Birch topper is similar to our best overall pick. Both are handmade in the US using organic latex, cotton, and wool with all sorts of eco-friendly certifications. However, though the Birch was comfortable, I enjoyed the Avocado more. If the Avocado isn’t available, this is a worthy substitute.
Eight Sleep Pod Pro Cover with PerfectFit: The cool thing about the Eight Sleep topper is it makes your bed as hot or as cold as you want. It pumps water between 55 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit through the topper to keep you cool or warm you up. The app (available for iOS and Android) tracks your sleep, and you can adjust the temp to help you stay asleep through the night and wake up in the morning. However, it took an hour to set up, has poor motion isolation, and wasn’t as pressure-relieving as I would have liked.
What we don’t recommend and why:
Lucid Gel Memory Foam: Similar to the topper above, the Lucid Gel Memory Foam Topper is way too soft. But, since it’s made of memory foam, you sink in, which makes it hard to change positions in the night or get up in the morning. Go with our budget pick instead.
PlushBeds Natural Wool: The PlushBeds topper was the only model we tested that had wool fill. It’s handmade in the US and is chemical-free. However, it smelled awful and the odor didn’t go away. It also trapped heat and was way too soft for comfort.
I personally tested all of the mattress toppers in this guide. In addition to sleeping on them, there are several objective tests I put each one through. The most important factors to consider when picking a topper are comfort, bed fit, and heat dissipation. I used the same Queen size mattress with each topper for consistency.
Here are the main attributes we looked for and how we tested them:
Setup: I timed how long it took me to unbox each mattress topper and if there were any unusual or unintuitive steps. Aside from the Sleep Number and Eight Sleep toppers, each model took less than five minutes to set up. I noted if the topper came vacuum-sealed, if it had an initial odor, and if any smell dissipated by bedtime.
Fit: Once fully expanded, I measured each topper to see if it covered an 80-inch-by-60-inch Queen mattress. After sleeping on the topper, I noted whether it stayed in place or shifted and if a fitted sheet with 13-inch-deep pockets was able to cover the topper and our 10-inch-thick test mattress. The fitted sheet stayed on through the night with all models we tested.
Heat dissipation: I used an infrared thermometer to measure the surface temperature of the part of the bed where my torso would be before laying on it for at least an hour, right after getting up, and two minutes after getting up. I compared the temperatures to determine which models were best at heat dissipation. I performed these tests several times until I felt confident in the measurements.
Support: This is a subjective test based on my four years of testing sleep products. Each morning, I would record any soreness I felt, how comfortable the topper felt the previous night, and I’d look at my sleep stats collected using the Garmin Forerunner 945 Smart Watch. I’d also note which positions I felt most comfortable in.
Motion isolation: I placed my phone with the Vibration Meter app open on the bed approximately 12 inches from the right side. Next, I lifted a 15-pound bowling ball above my head and dropped it onto the topper so that it landed approximately 12 inches from the left side of the bed (and 36 inches from the phone). I performed this test five times and kept the median score.
Trial and warranty: It’s important that you be able to return a topper if it’s not right for your body type and sleeping style. I looked at the return policy/trial period for each topper and looked for any loopholes, like shipping costs. The median trial period for the models we tested was 30 nights, and I docked points if a topper didn’t have a trial period. Also, since you want your topper to last, we looked at the warranties. The median warranty length is three years.
What we’re testing next
We’re always testing new mattress toppers and retesting our top picks to determine the best models. Here’s what we’re looking forward to testing for potential inclusion in this guide:
Wavy: I’ve had this memory foam topper for about a month and am waiting for it to be available to the public before testing. Wavy still hasn’t announced a release date, but once it’s available, I’ll put it through its paces and let you know what I think.
There are several reasons why you might want a mattress topper. Many people like to have one around to use as a pad under their sleeping bag when camping, or in a pinch, it can serve as a guest bed.
The most common reason people turn to mattress toppers is to make their otherwise uncomfortable mattress more comfortable. “Let’s say you bought a mattress a couple of years ago, and you’re not quite satisfied with it, but you want to extend the life a little bit,” said Rebecca Robbins, PhD, associate scientist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School. Maybe you got a second-hand mattress that doesn’t match your sleep style. “Then, that’s a perfect situation to consider a mattress topper,” she said.
“A mattress topper customizes the foundation and the mattress to your personal preference because we’re all different,” added Robbins. “We all vary in our preference for firm versus plush. Some people really want something that’s just super cozy. They want to sink in, whereas others actually prefer a firmer mattress.”
Randall Laurich, DC, a chiropractor in South Florida, agrees. “I always like to say that everyone’s different, and everyone responds differently to certain things,” said Laurich. “I would say the main benefits are if the mattress is too firm, a mattress topper would actually make it softer and more contouring to the spine. And then, in turn, the benefits become less stress on the spine.”
However, Laurich said to consider that some mattress toppers can be too soft and unsupportive. “I have had patients that have attempted to use mattress toppers and have actually had some negative side effects from it,” said Laurich. “Not having enough firmness can sometimes cause the spine to reduce its curvature. So, it won’t contour to the spine because it is so soft. A softer, thicker topper can sometimes have adverse effects, while a smaller, thinner topper could have more positive benefits overall.”
Should you buy a new mattress or a mattress topper?
A mattress topper can provide all of the benefits listed above, but if your mattress is starting to exhibit sagging and providing less support, it might be time for a new one. First, check your mattress’s warranty. Most warranties cover your bed for at least 10 years, and some last for a lifetime. If your mattress is still covered under warranty, you may be able to get a replacement or repair for free or for a nominal fee.
If your mattress has reached the end of its life and you can’t afford to replace it yet, a mattress topper is a good stopgap that can help you squeeze an extra year or two out of your mattress while you scrape together the funds for a replacement.
Sometimes, our bodies or sleeping styles change, and this can cause our mattress to become less comfortable. This isn’t covered by warranty, and you probably don’t want to throw out a perfectly good mattress that still has plenty of years left in it. This is where a topper can help.
Lastly, mattress toppers can help couples with different sleep preferences. “If you want to sleep together though, you might put a topper under the fitted sheet on one side of the bed for somebody who prefers a plusher experience,” Robbins said.
If you go this route, a Twin XL is your best bet. It’s the same length as King and Queen size mattresses and half the width of a King.
How do you clean a mattress topper?
This will vary depending on the mattress topper. For the most accurate directions, consult the topper’s user manual or tags or the manufacturer’s website. Most mattress toppers are not machine washable. For instance, you should avoid getting latex and memory foam wet since they’re hard to dry. In most cases, you will want to spot clean any messes with a mild detergent and a damp towel. Then, allow it to dry completely before covering or sleeping on it.
Whether you have a mattress topper or not, we strongly recommend using a mattress protector on your bed. The best ones are waterproof and machine-washable and cost as little as $20. Check out our guide to the best mattress protectors for more info.
Which mattress topper is right for your sleeping style?
There are three main sleeping styles: back, stomach, and side. Laurich recommends starting your mattress topper search with a firmness that is best for your style. “A stomach sleeper should have something a little less firm,” said Laurich. “Because when you’re lying on your stomach and have a bit of a belly or abdominal dissension or anything like that, it’s uncomfortable to be on something that’s extremely firm. If you are a back sleeper, it’s better for you to have something firmer that contours better to your spine.”
“If you’re a side sleeper, it’s better for you to have a softer mattress topper,” added Laurich. “But side sleepers get different issues or ailments. For instance, you can get hip issues from being on one side for so long. You can get other issues from positioning your shoulders in different ways. So, it’s really tough to say exactly what the best mattress topper would be based on sleeping style, but these generalizations serve as a good starting point.”
If you’re unsure about your comfort preferences, we strongly recommend choosing a mattress topper that comes with a long trial period so you can return it if it’s not right for you.
It combines innerspring and memory foam to provide a ton of support while containing motion transfer.
You can take 20% off any size of theLeesa Hybrid with our exclusive code “INSIDER”.
Hybrid Mattress (Queen) (small)Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky
By some estimates, there are currently more than a hundred brands that deliver compressed memory foam beds to your door. These “bed-in-a-box” companies are taking on traditional high-pressure mattress showrooms with low-stakes e-commerce, lengthy risk-free trials, and easy delivery and returns.
One of the biggest names in the industry is Leesa. We’ve tested almost all of its mattresses (which you can read about here) as well as many of its bedding accessories, and have always had positive experiences with them. One of my favorite Leesa mattresses is the Hybrid.
The Leesa Hybrid mattress arrived in a box, which is a beast so I encourage you to tip your delivery person generously. The King-sized mattress I tested weighs 142 pounds, so you may want to have a couple of friends help you with. My wife and I were able to carry it up a winding staircase to our second-floor bedroom, but it took at least a few breaks and several curse words.
Since the mattress is heavy, don’t plan on moving it after it’s been opened. In other words, open it where you plan on keeping it. With this in mind, I opened the box alongside my foundation.
I like to try to do as much of an assembly/installation as I can on my own so I can give a full report on what needs to be done. I unboxed the mattress, put it on the foundation, and removed the plastic without help but I don’t recommend anyone do this on their own if they can help it because the mattress is large and heavy. The unboxing and positioning of the mattress took me about 15 minutes.
I was surprised by how odor-free the mattress was right out of the packaging. Since I was in the process of renovating my home when the mattress arrived, it sat in the box for over a month. Longer storage times usually worsen the memory foam odors, commonly called “off-gassing.” You should allow the mattress to air out for a couple of hours or even days before sleeping on it.
The Leesa Hybrid Mattress features individually wrapped coils and layers of foam. The 11-inch-thick Leesa Hybrid has five layers: the cooling foam top layer, contouring memory foam, and a 6″ pocket coil system sandwiched between two layers of core support foam.
The feature that stood out to me most was the pocket spring coil system. You can feel the springs along the sides of the Leesa Hybrid mattress. Why does this matter? When you have springs that go right up to the edge, you can count on excellent edge support, which allows you to make the most of the entire area of your bed without feeling like you’re going to fall off. And, in my experience, the Leesa Hybrid did provide superior edge support.
Since I could feel the coils, I thought I might as well count them. There were 46 along the width and 50 along the length for an estimated grand total of 2,300. All factors being the same, the more coils there are, the more support and durability you can expect. The better innerspring mattresses have 600 to 1,000 coils.
The individually wrapped coils also kept motion transfer to a minimum and offered firm support. I’m a light sleeper, however, if my wife had to get up early or our four-year-old jumped into bed with us, I would rarely wake up. To put the motion transfer to the test, I dropped a 20-pound weight from 3 feet above the bed approximately 12 inches away from a can of sparkling water. I did this several times, and the can didn’t move at all.
Before the Leesa Hybrid, I slept on a medium-firm mattress that would be about a 7 on the firmness scale and was just a little too firm for my tastes. The Leesa Hybrid is closer to a 6.5, which provided the balance of comfort and support that I need as a side sleeper, as well as someone who moonlights as a roller derby player, cyclist, and runner. Often after roller derby bouts, I can’t sleep because of the pain but I have not had any trouble falling asleep on the Leesa Hybrid. My wife has had a similar experience. It’s this soothing comfort that led us to name this mattress “the best for back pain” in our guide. Of course, if you do suffer from back pain, I highly recommend you have someone else set up this hefty mattress for you.
I didn’t find that the Leesa Hybrid trapped heat, a common problem for memory foam. I’m a hot sleeper, and we were using the mattress during the height of summer heat. Regardless, I did not experience night sweats, which are an occasional problem for me.
Cons to consider
The Leesa Hybrid is outstanding and finding flaws was difficult.
Though I think it is worth it, the Leesa Hybrid mattress is more expensive than the vast majority of online mattresses. However, it is a hybrid bed, which tends to be more expensive than ones with just innerspring or foam. When you consider that the mattress can last you for more than a decade, the expense is reasonable, but it’s still an expensive investment.
Another concern is how incredibly heavy and unwieldy the mattress is. Fortunately, we just bought our first home, and hopefully (knock on wood) won’t have to move any time soon. But, if you are someone who moves frequently, you may want to enlist the help of professionals when it comes time to move this massive mattress.
Trial period and warranty
Leesa offers a 100-night risk-free trial period and they suggest that buyers try their mattress for at least 30 nights. If you aren’t satisfied, they will coordinate the pick-up of the mattress or foundation. You don’t have to worry about attempting the impossible task of fitting everything back into the box. There is no fee for returns unless you’re in Alaska or Hawaii, in which case it will cost $100.
There is also a 10-year mattress warranty. The warranty is limited to physical flaws in the cover or mattress craftsmanship and mattress deterioration that results in an indentation of more than an inch. The warranty covers the full replacement of the mattress, but the buyer has to pay for shipping.
Leesa offers a “white glove” delivery service in select locations. For an extra $100, a two-person team will deliver your mattress and foundation, unbox it, set it up, and remove the packaging. And, for $50 more, they will remove your old mattress and box spring, which is helpful since most municipalities charge extra for disposing of mattresses. I chose not to go with the white glove service because I wanted to get the full buying experience.
Alternatives to consider
There is no one-size-fits-all mattress. Depending on your sleep style and preferences, you may want a firmer, softer, or adjustable mattress. We’ve outlined mattress picks for every type of sleeper in our guide to the best mattresses.
The bottom line
Thanks to my job, I have the opportunity to test more than a dozen different bed-in-a-box mattresses but for more than a year, I chose the Leesa Hybrid as my main bed.
The edge support is outstanding. There is very little motion transfer if my wife decides to get up early, which isn’t really much of an issue because she rarely wants to leave the comforts of the bed before me. I haven’t had any trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, and it’s by far, one of the most comfortable bed-in-a-box I’ve tested.
Futons were made for small living spaces and are perfect for putting up overnight guests. The trick with picking out a futon is finding one that works as well as a couch as it does a bed. That’s especially the case when you’re trying to find a futon online, without testing it out first.
Despite their reputation as starter furniture, you can find some quality futons without spending more than you would on a couch. When picking a futon, think about how it will be used. Different futons are better suited for different tasks.
Sitting: If the futon will primarily be used as a couch and only occasionally as a guest bed, look for a model that has legs, armrests, and a backrest that’s part of the frame for the most comfort. Also look for one with fewer ridges, which sometimes offer more support in the bed position but can be uncomfortable as a seat.
Sleeping: Some futons take up a lot of floor space when they’re unfolded. If you plan to regularly use the futon as a bed, you’ll need to have clear space around it. You don’t want to put it in a spot where you constantly have to move other furniture to unfold it. You’ll also want to look for a thick and comfortable mattress, along with a supportive frame.
Mixture: If the futon will be used for both sitting and sleeping equally, look for one that’s easy to convert from couch to bed and back again. Loveseat-style futons, which feature leg extensions that fold into the frame, tend to provide the most versatility considering how little floor space they take up, according to Futonland.
We’ve spent a dozen hours reading professional reviews, and below are our picks for futons in the under-$500 range.
This model uses an eight-inch thick innerspring mattress that offers plenty of support for sleeping. It’s a full-size mattress, which your overnight guests will appreciate. The couch is 80 inches long. As such, it may be better suited to an apartment than a dorm.
The wood frame includes armrests and good back support, making the Excelsior excellent for sitting, too. Several mattress colors are available to match the look of your apartment or dorm room. There are a few different wood stains available for each frame as well.
You can expect to spend some time on assembly with this futon, but for a futon with this kind of build quality, the extra effort is well worth it.
The best small futon
If you need a small futon for a dorm room that’s also stylish, the Kodiak Futon Lounger is a great pick.
Pros: Numerous color choices, should fit in many dorm rooms, can be set up as a lounger in addition to a bed or couch
Cons: Not much back or neck support as a couch, sleeper mattress is only 32 inches wide, thinner than some futon mattresses
If you want a splash of style in your dorm room or small apartment, the Kodiak Futon Lounger is the perfect answer.
This futon works better as a small sofa than as a bed because when the mattress folds out, it only measures 32 inches in width and 79 inches in length. If you mostly need it for seating, or your guests are comfortable with the limited amount of sleeping space, it’s a great pick.
The back cushions remain in place when you turn this futon into a bed, while the sides fold down, so you could choose to leave one side upright to create a lounger.
The mattress is almost six inches thick, so you may not want to sleep on it night after night. You also might want to place the futon against a wall for support when using it as a couch, as the back cushions don’t provide significant support.
The futon is small, too, measuring only 66 inches in width, so it’ll fit well in most dorm rooms. It’s not really made for more than two people to use at once, which makes it less than ideal for dorm life.
The best Japanese futon
Fuli’s futons come in sizes from twin to king and roll up to fit in your closet.
Pros: Affordable, storable
Cons: Not a ton of support, not a couch
Despite its association with a slatted, fold-out sofa stateside, a futon, which is a Japanese word, is by definition a quilted mattress that rolls out on the floor and is used as a bed. Japanese futons are portable, storable, and often much more practical than their American counterparts, especially in smaller spaces.
The Fuli Shiki futon is a three-layer piece made of 100% cotton fabric and 100% polyester stuffing. The queen size weighs only 10 pounds and can fold to 27 by 37 by 3.5 inches, which means it should fit in most closets and beneath most beds and couches.
It’s a pretty simple, quilted pad, which you’ll either put directly on the floor or atop a tatami mat. We recommend the tatami mat, both to add a little support and to keep your futon clean.
Keep in mind, though, that this is not a US-style futon and doesn’t double as a couch. It does not have foam, it does not have coils, and it will not offer significant support. It will, however, save you space and put up a friend or two in a pinch.
How to choose a futon
Once you’ve figured out how you plan to use the futon, you can home in on the specific features you want. Do you want to deal with a frame? Do you want a sofa? The options are endless, but here a few key considerations to keep in mind when shopping.
Bifold mattress: Most futon mattresses are bifold cushions, meaning they fold once when used in the couch setup. However, a few cushions are trifold, which can be a little trickier to set up and use.
Easy to clean: Pick a futon mattress that has an easy-to-clean surface material. Using a removable futon cover is a good solution because it’s easy to throw in a washing machine.
Frame construction: For a futon that’s easier to move around, it’s helpful if the frame can be taken apart for transport and reassembled later. This can be especially handy if you’re moving a lot.
Frame materials: Futons are available with wood or metal frames. Overstock says metal frames offer more durability than wood frames and are typically less expensive, making them perfect for dorm rooms. Wood futons often fit better into the décor of a room and can be more comfortable. If you do spring for wood, you may want to spend more than $500; the cheap particle board that’s often used doesn’t hold up well over time.
Innerspring coils: For the most comfortable sleep, a futon mattress with innerspring coils inside — similar to a traditional bed mattress — is the right choice. Some futon mattresses are filled with foam or cotton batting, which isn’t as supportive.
Size: You can buy futons in a variety of mattress sizes, based on your sleeping needs. Futon Life offers a great list of futon mattress measurements to help you decide what works best for you.
Weight: If you want to move the futon and mattress regularly from room to room, you don’t want a heavy frame. Innerspring coil mattresses are heavier than their foam counterparts.
What else we considered
Room Essentials Futon Sofa: While this futon sofa looks like it could tie any room together, it just doesn’t seem to be built well enough for our recommendation. It’s made with inexpensive wood and assembled rather simply. It also may not be as sturdy as some futon mattresses since it lacks springs.
If you do go for this option, just make sure you assemble it well and tighten the fittings regularly. The particle-board frame will otherwise be prone to giving way. We recommend this if it’s something you’re planning on tossing in a year or two, but you can find better, especially if you’re willing to shop for used furniture.
Many of us are guilty of buying the cheapest hangers we come across and hanging our expensive clothing with them. However, poor-quality hangers can cause serious damage to your favorite clothes, including tears, snags, and stretching that may require you to replace pieces entirely.
We tested eight models and put them through multiple fit, hanging, and durability tests to determine our top picks. After an extensive testing period, we selected five products that are high quality and durable and can hold multiple types of clothing, from heavy, bulky items to silky, lightweight pieces. You can learn more about our testing process here.
Pros: Affordable, thin to maximize storage space, have a bar that can hold scarves and belts
Cons: Velvet may attract lint and dust over time
Velvet hangers were highly recommended by our three experts, especially for hanging delicate clothing, due to their ability to keep clothing in shape and prevent slipping. Like other velvet options, the ORG Slimline Velvet Suit Hangers protect your clothing from damage and keep items from slipping into the depths of your closet. However, what differentiates these hangers is that they are very thin, allowing you to fit more clothing in your closet.
Throughout testing, the hangers performed well, with no clothing falling or slipping. They’re our top choice for those looking to hang a wide variety of clothing in small or large closets.
Although the slim hangers were able to hold up heavy sweaters and blazers, we don’t recommend using them with heavy outerwear, as they may snap under too much weight. (In general, experts recommend storing these items folded in a dresser.)
They can also hold scarves and belts that can be difficult to store neatly in drawers.
The best budget hangers
At around 60 cents each, the Ikea Bumerang hangers are the perfect combination of high quality and low price.
Pros: Affordable, can hold heavy clothing, made of sustainable wood
Cons: Doesn’t hold up shirts and sweaters with wider necklines well, takes up more closet space
The Bumerang wooden hangers from Ikea are highly recommended by several members of the Reviews team, as well as Awoke Vintage owner Liz Power, who called them a “great, affordable wood option.”
They’re constructed with solid wood and coated with a protective lacquer that prevents them from splintering and damaging your clothing. They also feature small indents that helped hold lightweight clothing in place during our hanging tests.
While they performed well overall, the hangers did struggle to hold up a cardigan with a wide neckline, which kept slipping off. However, it was able to hold up a heavy blazer just fine, making it a solid option for hanging heavy-weight clothing.
Due to their wood construction, the hangers are a bit thicker than standard velvet and plastic options and take up more closet space. However, if you have a larger closet or are looking to hang just a few pieces of heavier clothing, these can handle the job. They also make great coat hangers.
Pros: Non-slip, efficient open-end design, can be used to hang various bottoms and accessories
Cons: Only available in a three-pack, can become expensive if you need a large quantity, hook does not swivel
If you want to hang pants, it’s best to do so with dedicated pants or skirt hangers, which are designed to hold more weight on the trouser bar. The Chrome Metal Pant Hangers were created with efficiency in mind, from their open-end design to the non-slip coating found on each bar that kept bottoms firmly in place during testing.
“Putting pants on/off this type hanger is a breeze,” said Kienzle, who recommends them over those with clips, which often leave behind imprints. Compared to the Zober High-Grade Wooden Pants Hangers with Metal Clips that we tested, The Container Store products left all bottoms I hung with no damage or indentations. They’re also very thin, making it easy to fit many in your closet.
Pros: Ribbed bar, can handle heavier clothing, available in four finishes
Cons: Doesn’t have small notches to hold up thin straps, may not be the best option for holding up lightweight items
The Container Store’s Grey Wooden Shirt Hangers are another strong, heavy-duty contender that can handle a variety of clothing weights. They have a ribbed bar that helps hold up pants and skirts.
The hangers performed well at hanging most items, including a heavy cardigan and a cashmere sweater, but couldn’t keep a strappy slip dress in place (which fell every day throughout testing). They lack small indentations or hooks that would help them hold up clothing with thin straps.
Overall their durable wood construction makes them a great option for holding up heavy, more formal clothing or coats and are also a good option if you’re looking for wooden suit hangers.
Pros: Fit well in smaller closets, great price, available in multiple colors
Cons: No swivel hooks, no hooks or strap notches
Upon receiving the Tubular Hangers, I was immediately surprised at their thickness, which is custom designed by The Container Store to hold heavy-weight clothing.
Throughout testing, they performed well at holding up jeans, blazers, and sweaters but struggled to hold more lightweight clothing, which constantly slipped off. The hangers don’t have small hooks or indentations that can help hold these items in place.
We recommend using them with heavier items such as blazers, sweaters, cardigans, most pants, and even lighter coats and avoiding hanging lightweight clothing with thin straps with them.
What else we tested
What else we recommend and why
HuaQi Clothing Hangers: This stackable option performed extremely well with the five pieces of bulky, heavy clothing I hung on it. However, the design is a bit cumbersome, with some of the hooks falling off of the main hanging mechanism while I was putting the unit together. When clothing was on the hooks this did not happen. They held up well during testing, making them a great option for those with small closets.
What we don’t recommend and why
Zober High-Grade Wooden Pants Hangers with Metal Clips: These hangers performed well at holding up various bottoms such as skirts, silky pants, and jeans. Unfortunately, they left clear indents on most of the bottoms. Over time I could see them doing serious damage to clothing left hanging for long periods of time.
Billkaq Magic Pants Hangers: Although this product performed well during testing, it had a frustrating assembly and instructions that featured unclear, dark images. There are other space-saving hangers that are less of a hassle.
Our testing methodology
We put all eight products through the same four tests:
Closet fit: We hung each product in a closet and noted if any fit awkwardly or were cramped.
Hanging: We used each product to hang five different types of clothing, all made of different materials, including a heavy cardigan or blazer, a silky dress or shirt, a skirt, a turtleneck sweater, and a pair of heavy jeans or pants. When testing products for holding up pants, we hung five different types of bottoms on each, including a pair of jeans, a pair of trousers, a skirt, and a pair of silky pants. After a week we checked the clothing for any imprints or damage.
Everyday use: We shuffled through the hangers every day to make sure they were securely holding up clothing and noted if any items fell off.
Durability: At the end of the testing period, we checked each product for signs of wear and tear from regular use.
Salt Attachable Hangers: These plastic hangers can be attached to each other for increased closet storage and have notches to hold up clothing with thin straps, which our current plastic pick does not have.
What type of hanger should I buy?
You’ll want to choose hangers based on your closet size and the weight of the clothing you’re looking to hang. Plastic and velvet options are versatile and work best in smaller closets, as they don’t take up much room. If you do have room, wooden models are a great option that can hold up heavy items such as blazers and coats. All our experts strongly recommend avoiding wire hangers that are commonly acquired at the dry cleaners.
“Using wire hangers is a big no-no, but a lot of people still have them in their closet. It’s easy to get into that habit because they are cheap and often come straight from the dry cleaner and are convenient to hold onto,” said stylist Shea Daspin, who dislikes them because they are not able to hold much weight and can sometimes cause damage to clothing. The Clutter Whisperer founder Cynthia Kienzle echoes this and recommends returning wire hangers to the dry cleaners instead of using them in your closet.
That said, you may want multiple types of hangers in your closet to accommodate your needs. Based on our experts’ advice, we created a chart to make it easier to properly hang clothing in your closet.
Should you hang this item?
Type of hanger to use
Satin or silk blouses or dresses
Heavy knit sweaters
Blazers or cardigans
If tight on space, no
Plastic or wood
Wood pants hanger
Velvet pants hanger
What’s the best way to hang lightweight, silky clothing?
Keeping lightweight clothing in place can be a challenge, especially when using hangers that don’t have the small notches that help keep thin straps and silky clothing in place.
Another option are these Garment Grips from The Container Store that can be used with plastic, wood, and metal and come in shades that will match most hanger colors.
What are some mistakes to avoid when hanging clothing? Which types of clothing should never be hung?
Kienzle emphasized picking one or two types of hangers and sticking with them throughout your closet to cover your hanging needs. She finds that the average closet is filled with too many options, leading to a mismatched mess of hangers.
Kienzle also recommends organizing your closet by clothing type and keeping enough space to flip through and clearly keep track of your clothing. Many of us keep our closets so stuffed that we no longer know what items are actually in them. If you have a smaller closet, you’ll want to make efficient choices about which types of clothing you hang. You should avoid hanging items that are heavy, like jeans, or those that will stretch out and lose shape over time, like sweaters. According to Daspin, you should also avoid hanging cashmere, heavy sweaters, or heavy vintage items.
Daspin said you can extend the life of your clothing by hanging items properly. “A lot of people also make the mistake of hanging clothing by entering a shirt through the neck hole and stretching it out in the process. It’s always best to go up through the bottom to avoid stretching,” said Daspin.
Lastly, you’ll want to make sure that you take the time to preserve your clothing through buttoning and zipping up sweaters and pants. “Something we are all guilty of is not doing the buttons up on items — natural fibers like linen, cotton, and silk fare best when they are stored with all buttons done up. This is so they don’t lose shape, especially around the collar area,” said Power.