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We Put the Saatva Classic Mattress (and Our Marriage) to the Test for 30 Nights

 We Put the Saatva Classic Mattress (and Our Marriage) to the Test for 30 Nights


a couple sitting in front of a mattress, the man doing a thumbs-down and frowning, the woman doing a thumbs-up and smiling a couple sitting in front of a mattress, the man doing a thumbs-down and frowning, the woman doing a thumbs-up and smiling

We tested Saatva Classic’s luxury firm model for 30 nights.

Aly Lopez/CNET

My husband Dillon and I are CNET’s sleep experts. We’ve been testing and reviewing all things mattress- and sleep-related for years. Though we have all this experience, I frequently joke about the ironic fact that we still struggle to get quality rest. My sleeping positions and preferences are much different than Dillon’s, which is the sort of issue many partners face. To name a few of these differences: Dillon is a night owl, and I’m an early bird. He prefers a quiet room, while I sleep better with a noise machine. I enjoy cuddling with our pets on the bed and he doesn’t. I like to sleep in the pitch black, and Dillon wouldn’t even notice if a construction-grade work light illuminated the entire bedroom all night. Fortunately, after much trial and error and trying various sleep products, Dillon and I have found solutions for most of these differences. 

The most significant difference for which we haven’t yet discovered a solution is our sleeping positions. As a side sleeper, Dillon likes soft mattresses that offer plenty of pressure relief for his shoulders and hips. Usually falling asleep on my stomach, I prefer a firmer mattress that keeps my spine in neutral alignment. It’s been a challenge to find a bed we both find comfortable and accommodating — thus began our hunt for the perfect mattress. In our 30-Night Mattress Testing Series, Dillon and I will test a different mattress each month and document the entire process until we find one that works for both of us. 

Before starting this series, we’d been sleeping on Brentwood Home’s Latex Hybrid, which is considered a medium on the firmness scale and has a traditional innerspring feel. We tracked our sleep on Brentwood Home to compare the data with the first mattress in our testing series: Saatva Classic’s luxury firm model. 

Watch us test the Saatva Classic mattress for 30 nights.

Initial thoughts on the Saatva Classic

Once we got the Saatva Classic situated in our bedroom, we began testing it right away. We took into consideration various factors like feel, firmness and temperature, then formed our initial thoughts on the edge support and motion isolation. Off the bat, we agreed that it looked like a high-end, luxurious bed that could be found in a nice five-star hotel. We loved the design and could tell that the materials were high-quality. 

We (along with our dog, Charlie) began testing the Saatva Classic right away.

Dillon Lopez/CNET

Firmness

We took turns laying on it, rolling around and testing out the various sleeping positions. It didn’t take long for Dillon to come to the conclusion that while it was an extremely nice bed, it would be too firm for him to sleep on his side. I had the opposite reaction — I enjoyed how firm and supportive it felt while lying on my stomach and back (and even my side). It provided ample support for keeping my spine neutrally aligned.

Feel

We immediately appreciated the responsiveness of the bed. Unlike the sinking-in feeling associated with memory foam, the Saatva Classic is extremely responsive and bounces back quickly, which we both prefer. We also both enjoyed its plush pillow top feel.

Temperature

We agreed that the cover was not cool to the touch but seemed temperature-neutral. As a hot sleeper, I felt this might pose an issue for me, but Dillon wasn’t too concerned about it.

Edge support is an extremely important factor for Aly, and this bed passed with flying colors.

Dillon Lopez/CNET

Edge support

Solid edge support is crucial for both of us, but more so for me. Thanks to the cuddles from Dillon and our pets — namely our cat, Jess — I tend to get pushed to the outside edge of the bed and find myself hanging on for dear life. When she’s not sprawling out between us, Jess often lays on my head and takes over the pillow. I usually end up lying below her on the edge of the mattress with no pillow at all, which is another story entirely (and a common point of cat-ention, if you will, in our house). Right away, we could tell that edge support was phenomenal. Even lying right on the edge, the mattress wasn’t sagging, and I didn’t feel like I would fall off.

Dillon was impressed by the Saatva Classic’s motion isolation abilities.

Aly Lopez/CNET

Motion isolation

With one person lying still on the bed and the other moving around, we tested its motion-isolating abilities. We also tested it by placing a glass of water on the bed and bouncing and rolling around. Dillon felt the mattress had pretty decent motion isolation. I found it so-so and thought it might not work well for me in that regard — not just because Jess constantly jumps on and off the bed, but because Dillon and I frequently go to bed and wake up at different times. As a night owl, he tends to go to bed later, and I usually wake up earlier. Having a mattress that absorbs motion and won’t jostle the other person awake would be helpful since we often get in and out of bed at different times.

Design and construction

As I mentioned, we were immediately impressed by the look and quality of the materials used in the Saatva Classic’s construction. The model we had was 11.5 inches tall, which is pretty standard, and Saatva also offers a thicker 14.5-inch version. 

I liked how soft and luscious the cover felt. It’s made with naturally hypoallergenic organic cotton and is treated with Saatva’s Guardin botanical antimicrobial treatment that is intended to inhibit bacteria growth and mold. We prefer our mattresses to be hypoallergenic since we sleep with our pets (and their fur and dander), so that’s a great feature. 

I could tell that it would keep my spine in neutral alignment, partially due to the Lumbar Zone Active Spinal Wire in the middle of the mattress. Just below that is the layer of Lumbar Zone Pocketed Coils made with recycled steel, firmer in the center third of the bed where most of our body weight was. The base is a coil unit made of tempered steel. That said, the mattress was heavy but lighter than I expected, considering it’s such a durable hybrid bed. 

Brand standards

Dillon and I have always admired Saatva as a brand. Its policies are fantastic: 365-night trial period, lifetime warranty, free shipping, delivery and setup, and even complimentary removal of your old mattress. Its beds are handcrafted to order in the US using high-quality and sustainably sourced materials. What’s not to like about that? 

Our dog approves of the Saatva Classic and Saatva’s commitment to sustainability. 

Aly Lopez/CNET

Our sleep quality goals

To be specific, our sleep goals include getting at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night (8 plus for me is preferred) and spending less time awake. We both tend to wake up frequently throughout the night, sometimes for a couple of hours. Often, one of us will move to the couch in the middle of the night for a change of scenery when we are uncomfortable and can’t go back to sleep. 

Of course, other factors may influence our sleep quality — pets, diet, exercise, room temperature, stress, etc. We have worked hard to pinpoint and mitigate these other factors over the years and feel like we have a decent handle on them. We now seek a mattress we both find so comfortable that neither of us wants to get up and leave it.

Testing, testing…

It didn’t take long for Dillon to confirm what we thought once we started sleeping on it: the bed was much too firm for his liking. The first few nights, he woke up with a sore back and neck. Since the bed we slept on prior to this was a medium on the firmness scale and Saatva Classic’s luxury firm is more of a medium-firm to firm, it would take some time for him (and myself) to adjust. 

The luxury firm model of the Saatva Classic is great for back and stomach sleepers (which Dillon is not). 

Aly Lopez/CNET

Right off the bat, I really enjoyed this mattress and was sleeping better than I had been on the Brentwood Hybrid. The edge support kept me from feeling like I was going to fly off whenever I’d get pushed to the edge. I didn’t wake up feeling sore like Dillon was, even when I would lay on my side. 

Dillon was impressed by its ability to isolate motion, whereas I thought it did a fine job. As a very light sleeper, I’m more sensitive to motion transfer than Dillon is — particularly so because our cat tends to jump on and off the bed (and me) constantly throughout the night — an issue that no amount of motion isolation can solve. I also woke up quite often when Dillon moved around or switched positions throughout the night. 

A few nights, I’d find myself overheating and whipping the covers off in sweaty panic. We keep the temperature in our bedroom cool and sleep with a light comforter, so I do think this was happening in part because of the mattress. Dillon wasn’t getting quite as hot as I was, but he also mentioned that he would like a bed with more cooling technology. 

A little over halfway through the trial, something interesting happened. One day, I pinched a nerve in my shoulder, which is what led me to the realization that I spend more time sleeping on my side than I had initially thought. For about a week, I would constantly wake up in pain and find myself lying on my side. Because the bed’s firm profile doesn’t offer much pressure relief, it was intensifying the pain from my pinched nerve. After this, I began paying closer attention to my sleeping habits and found that I spend way more time sleeping on my side than I ever thought. 

The mattress feels firm to me, especially while sleeping on my side.

Aly Lopez/CNET

In my testing notes, I wrote: I usually sleep on my stomach… but recently, I’ve been waking up in pain on my side in the middle of the night. Maybe I actually do need a softer mattress?!

For the most part, until I hurt my shoulder, I was thoroughly enjoying my experience of sleeping on the Saatva Classic. Dillon was not having quite the same experience — at the end of the 30 nights, he was still waking up sore, forced to switch to sleeping on his back because being on his side was too firm, and his arm would fall asleep. 

Ranking our personal preferences

At CNET, our sleep experts rank and score mattresses objectively using a standardized rating system. However, as two bad sleeper sleep experts and for the purpose of this series, Dillon and I created a custom subjective ranking system to score the main qualities and features we seek personally in a mattress. More weight was given to firmness and feel (up to 20 points each), while the remaining factors were each out of 10 points, for a total possible score of 100. We ranked these factors on a preferential level, meaning what we liked or didn’t like personally — all of our scoring is subjective. The scale looked like this:

We created a subjective point system to give the mattress an overall rating at the end of the trial.

Cole Kan/CNET

Feel and firmness (the most important features of this trial for us)

On a scale of 1 to 20:

  • 1 = Absolutely abhor this particular feature of the bed
  • 10 = Not my favorite, but I can make it work
  • 20 = It’s perfect, and I could not imagine my life now without this feature of the bed

Motion isolation, edge support, temperature, construction, brand standards and sleep quality

On a scale of 1 to 10:

  • 1 = Absolutely abhor this particular feature of the bed
  • 5 = Not my favorite, but I can make it work
  • 10 = It’s perfect, and I could not imagine my life now without this feature of the bed

Scoring the Saatva Classic

After completing the 30-night trial, we ranked each factor preferentially and offered a brief explanation for the score given. Here are the results:

Dillon’s scoring breakdown

  • Feel: 12/20

    The Saatva Classic feels like a classic firm hybrid bed, which I don’t mind. It’s pretty accommodating. I don’t sink into it at all like memory foam, which I like about it, but I would prefer a softer neutral foam feel with more pressure relief.

  • Firmness: 5/20

     The bed was way too firm for me as a side sleeper. A lot of times, I would wake up feeling sore with my arm asleep. I just need something a little softer. The plush soft model of the Saatva Classic would probably be perfect for me.

  • Motion isolation: 7/10

    I never really noticed Aly moving around on the bed (and she moves around a lot), so I was pretty happy with the motion isolation. I think the only time I felt her move was when she’d get out of bed completely in the middle of the night.

  • Edge support: 7/10

    Edge support is important to me, and it felt sturdy, but I slept against the wall so it was harder to tell for me personally. For the next bed, I will not be sleeping against a wall (thankfully), so it will be a better test.

  • Temperature: 5/10

    Cooling technology is important to me. I would like a bed that has a cool-to-the-touch feel, which this definitely does not have. It felt more temperature-neutral.

  • Design/construction: 8/10

    Saatva got it right with the construction. The materials are super high-quality. This bed feels very durable and luxurious.

  • Sleep quality: 3/10

    I slept so poorly that I considered taking sleep supplements before bed for the first time in my life.

  • Brand standards (policies, sustainability): 8/10

    Saatva has great policies, such as the 365-night trial and lifetime warranty. Sustainability is important to me, and they have a lot of green initiatives. I really like them as a brand and always have.

Dillon’s overall score: 56/100 = 5.6/10

“My score is actually higher than I thought it would be. There are definitely features I really like about this bed, but overall, it’s just not a great fit for me.” – Dillon

Dillon felt the mattress was a little too firm for side sleeping.

Aly Lopez/CNET

Aly’s scoring breakdown

  • Feel: 16/20

    I prefer the traditional innerspring feel that the Saatva Classic has. I like that I can easily switch positions without feeling “stuck” because I tend to move around a lot throughout the night.

  • Firmness: 14/20

    This mattress felt firm to me, which is what I thought I wanted. It is definitely what I preferred at the beginning of the trial until I pulled my shoulder/back and was having trouble sleeping on my side. It made me realize that it actually does feel too firm for me and I think I would like something a little bit softer with more pressure relief.

  • Motion isolation: 5/10

    I thought the motion isolation was fine. I could feel it when Dillon or the pets moved around or got in and out of the bed, but it wasn’t overly jarring or disruptive, especially considering how much we move around.

  • Edge support: 9/10

    Edge support is very important to me because I tend to sleep very close to the edge of the bed. I never felt like I was falling off or like the edge was drooping. Super impressive edge support.

  • Temperature: 3/10

    I sleep very hot throughout the night and the cotton cover on this mattress made the bed feel pretty warm to me. I would frequently have to take the covers off to cool down. Would like to have a bed with more cooling technology.

  • Design/construction: 8/10

    The materials feel very high-quality and luxurious. I like that the beds are GREENGUARD® Gold certified and made with eco-friendly materials like recycled steel coils, organic cotton, CertiPUR-US®* certified memory foams, etc. I like the durable hybrid construction of the Saatva Classic (vs all-foam).

  • Sleep quality: 7/10

    I slept better on the Saatva Classic than I did on our previous mattress, the Brentwood Home Latex Hybrid. While I didn’t hit my sleep average goal of 8 hours per night, it was still higher than my average sleep on Brentwood.

  • Brand standards (policies, sustainability): 8/10

    I appreciate Saatva’s policies, like the one-year trial period and lifetime warranty, free in-home delivery and setup. I don’t particularly like moving mattresses, so having an in-home setup is a feature I would probably look for when purchasing a mattress. I also appreciate that the mattresses are manufactured in the US and that Saatva has many green initiatives, such as planting trees, using solar panels, etc.

Aly’s overall score: 70/100 = 7/10

In hindsight, I think my score should be a little higher. My main qualms were temperature and motion isolation, which are two very tricky issues for a mattress to solve.

As a back sleeper, our dog Charlie ranked the Saatva Classic an astounding 10/10.

Dillon Lopez/CNET

How we tracked our sleep

At the beginning of the trial, we were tracking our sleep data using the TEMPUR-Ergo® ProSmart® Base, which has a built-in AI sleep tracker. After a few hiccups (such as the base disconnecting or accidentally tracking our dog’s sleep), we decided to switch trackers about halfway through the trial. I began using my Apple Watch, and Dillon used his Whoop band, which seemed to provide more accurate biometrics.

Our trackers provided data for amounts of deep sleep, REM sleep, core/light sleep and awake time.

Dillon Lopez/CNET

Our sleep data results

Let’s dive into the numbers. As you can see in the graph below, Dillon and I were all over the place. My nightly sleep ranged from a low of 4 hours to a high of 10 hours (which is exceptionally high for me), while Dillon’s ranged from 3 to just over 9 hours. As I mentioned, we missed a few nights of tracking due to the bedframe tracker disconnecting or my Apple Watch deciding not to track my sleep for reasons unknown.

Saatva Classic: 30-Night Sleep Trial (Nightly Hours)

Our nightly sleep numbers varied quite a bit throughout the trial, ranging from lows of 3-4 hours to highs of 9-10 hours.

Aly Lopez/CNET

The nights when we got little sleep — 3, 4 or 5 hours — usually went like this: I would fall asleep first while lying on my stomach. An hour or two later, Dillon would gently crawl into bed as slowly and quietly as possible to prevent me from waking up. But what would I do? Wake up. No matter how silently he moved through the room, I’d always wake up due to the motion transfer of his movements on the mattress.

We’d then adjust to lying on our sides, and Dillon would (try to) spoon me while I would (inadvertently) spoon our cat. Not long after this, I’d either become overheated, pushing everyone away in exasperation and yanking all the covers off, or Dillon’s arm would fall painfully asleep, and he’d be forced to lie on his back instead. Next stop: Snoreville. Unfortunately, snoring is more likely to occur when sleeping on your back, which is what would happen. I’d lie awake, trying to get comfortable on my stomach again, while Jess would bounce around and make herself comfortable on my head. Eventually, she’d take over my entire pillow, and at that point, I’d have no choice but to wake Dillon up and ask him to please roll onto his side again — I felt terrible doing this because I knew it was uncomfortable for him — or I’d give up, jump ship and move to the couch in the wee hours of the morning. I’d usually wake Dillon up while trying to sneak out of the bed too. 

The nights we got great sleep — 8, 9 and even 10 hours (for me) — had a common denominator: I took a sleep supplement before bed. Usually, I’d take a melatonin gummy, lay down on my stomach and pass out within a few minutes, feeling cozy, comfortable and supported on the Saatva Classic. The melatonin helped keep me from waking up, completely unaware of the world around me, and allowed us both to stay asleep throughout the night. 

As I mentioned, our sleep numbers aren’t solely based on our experience with the mattress. We recognize that there are many other factors in play when it comes to sleep quality, such as our diet, exercise, bedroom environment, stress levels and so on. But with a mattress that one partner finds uncomfortable, the issues can become exacerbated and affect both people — such as Dillon having to lie on his back because there’s not enough pressure relief for his side, causing him to snore, or me getting too hot and sweaty on a bed with no cooling technology and ripping the covers off. 

Saatva Classic: 30-Night Sleep Trial (Sleep Averages)

Aly slept longer than Dillon on average. Dillon was awake more but spent more time in deep sleep than Aly. 

Aly Lopez/CNET

Throughout the 30 nights, on average:

  • I slept about 7 hours and 15 minutes per night.
  • Dillon slept around 6 hours and 40 minutes per night. 
  • I spent 40 minutes awake each night.
  • Dillon spent about 1 hour awake each night.

Interestingly, we averaged almost the same exact amount of REM sleep each night, which was 1 hour and 40 minutes. I spent an hour longer in core/light sleep (4 hours and 42 minutes) than Dillon (3 hours and 40 minutes). Dillon spent a little more time in deep sleep (an average of 1 hour and 20 minutes) than I did (about one hour). 

The results were about as we expected when comparing our sleep on the Brentwood Home Latex Hybrid: I slept over an hour longer on average on the Saatva Classic, while Dillon averaged over an hour less sleep per night on it. The Brentwood Home mattress was a medium on the firmness scale, so it’s softer than Saatva Classic’s luxury firm model. As a side sleeper, this bed may have been a better fit for Dillon. The latex foam in Brentwood Home has a wavy, contouring shape that reduces pressure points for your shoulder and hips. Usually falling asleep on my stomach, the Saatva Classic was a better fit for me as its firmer profile and construction provide enhanced support, helping to keep my spine in a healthy, neutral alignment.

Saatva Classic vs. Brentwood Home (Average Sleep Hours)

Aly slept better on the Saatva Classic compared to Brentwood Home, while Dillon had the opposite experience.

Aly Lopez/CNET

Final thoughts on the Saatva Classic

In continuing our search for the perfect mattress, there are three areas of improvement we’d ultimately like to see: more sleep (closer to 8 hours of sleep per night for Dillon and at least 8.5 for me), more consistent sleep and less time spent awake throughout the night.  

After trying this bed for 30 nights, we both feel that the Saatva Classic is a super high-quality and luxurious mattress, but it’s simply not the right bed for us. It’s durable and supportive, and with three firmness options to choose from, this bed can accommodate most sleeper types.

Saatva Classic’s firmness options

After our trial, we realized that Saatva’s website says that the luxury firm model of the Saatva Class is ideal for couples who can’t agree on a firmness profile. The irony! Let’s break that down:

  • If you and your sleep partner are primarily side sleepers and prefer a softer mattress, we recommend checking out the plush soft version of the Saatva Classic, which we rank around a medium or 5 out of 10.
  • If both of you sleep predominately on your back and stomach (and especially if you are heavier) and prefer a firm bed, we recommend checking out Saatva Classic’s firm model. We rank this a true firm or around a 9 out of 10 on the firmness scale.
  • If you’re both combination sleepers or have different sleeping positions (like Dillon and me), then, in theory, the luxury firm model would be the right choice; however, in our subjective experience, it was still slightly too firm. Saatva ranks the luxury firm between 5 and 7 on the firmness scale. Dillon and I agreed that it feels firmer than that, perhaps around a 7 to 8. Again, if you and your partner are heavier individuals with varying sleep positions, then this will likely feel a little softer to you and could be a great option. You could also consider the Saatva HD, which is designed specifically for bigger bodies.

The Saatva Classic is extremely responsive and feels incredibly luxurious.

Aly Lopez/CNET

Our key takeaways

A learned takeaway from this experience is that I spend more time sleeping on my side than I previously realized. This is a key factor in deciding the right mattress for us and will hopefully make it easier to find one that accommodates us both. Going into the trial, Dillon knew he’d prefer a soft mattress, which was confirmed.

Though it wasn’t a perfect match for us, we still highly recommend this particular model to back and stomach sleepers who prefer a durable, firm and responsive mattress. A queen-size Saatva Classic is priced at $2,095, but Saatva frequently runs deals bringing down a few hundred dollars. We think that’s a great value for how high-end and luxurious it is. 

How many beds will it take until we find the perfect one? Stay tuned for the next mattress of our 30-Night Mattress Testing Series: the Avocado Luxury Organic.



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