Never underestimate the power of a good night's sleep, especially if you're an athlete.
REM sleep in particular provides your muscles with a chance to recover and gives your brain the ability to consolidate memories that are linked to motor skills. Your coordination and muscle memory are enhanced after a solid eight hours of zzz's. And because of that, your mattress could be the make-or-break factor in your daily workouts.
If anyone understands just how important a mattress is for athletes, it's Scott Paladini, the young entrepreneur behind Bear Mattresses (starting at $490; bearmattress.com). His mission was simple: Invent a high-quality, all-foam bed that made sleeping optimal for athletes, while ensuring the product could be compressed and easily shipped. Three years, 809 5-star ratings and handful of professional sports star endorsements later, it's safe to say that Paladini accomplished his goal.
But what makes Bear so beloved? It's thanks to its design, which boils down to simple science.
Each mattress is fitted with fibers of Celliant, a material that's used in sporting apparel and medical products. A 2012 study showed that these fibers helped reduced pain for those suffering from chronic foot pain. The thought is that the material stimulates cell performance and regeneration to help injuries heal quicker.
Bear also says that Celliant fibers help promote circulation and increase oxygen levels in the body. This then allows for faster muscle recovery. Therefore, sleeping on bedding with these fibers is an easy and comfortable way to recuperate from an intense workout.
In addition, the mattresses include response foam, which aids spinal alignment and pressure point relief. That sounds like a dream come true for anyone after an intense workout.
Bear isn't just for hardcore gym rats, though. It's for anyone who wants an optimal night's rest. Celliant fibers have been shown to help people fall asleep 15 minutes faster on average. Bear's line of products, including mattresses, pillows (starting at $95; bearmattress.com) and a protection sheet (starting at $75; bearmattress.com) work well for those looking for supportive bedding to sleep better, for longer.
While the innovative product has a number of wellness benefits, there is one glaring downside. Possibly the biggest issue for some is that this is an online-only concept, and buying a mattress via the Web can be a hard notion to get behind. This is especially true if you're the kind of person who likes to use the trusty bounce test before jumping into bed with it (literally).
Bear has a quick remedy for this problem: a 100-day trial that will allow you to test the mattress in your home. A full refund is issued if it isn't the perfect fit. And even if it is, you can rest easy knowing Bear has a 10-year warranty.
With queen-size mattresses costing around $850, it is by no means the cheapest option out there. But when you consider that people spend about a third of their life sleeping, the price tag seems worth it.
Note: The prices above reflect the listed retailer's price on the date this article was published.