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Stearns & Foster Estate mattress review

 Stearns & Foster Estate mattress in reviewer's bedroom.
Stearns & Foster Estate mattress in reviewer's bedroom.

Stearns & Foster Estate mattress: Two-minute review

The Stearns & Foster Estate mattress is a premium hybrid mattress made with coils and memory foam. There are a few customization options: soft or firm feels, and with or without a pillow-top. For this review, I spent just under a month sleeping on the firm mattress with a pillow-top, and ran a series of tests to assess performance and see how it compares to the rest of the best mattresses on the market.

This mattress has a fairly traditional, responsive feel. Ideally, I'd have chosen a 'medium' firmness, but that wasn't an option (it looks like it may once have been, as there are references to this in other customer reviews, so perhaps it will return). The firm version I tried lived up to that name, providing plenty of sturdy support from edge to edge. Although the pillow-top does add a little more cushioning, it's not as soft as I'd hoped it would be.

The coils, ventilated fabrics and moisture-wicking Tencel cover do a great job of preventing heat from building up, and I didn't have any issues with sleeping hot on this mattress. It also isolates movements pretty effectively, which is good news if you share a bed.

Despite performing well in all of my tests, I have one significant concern about the Stearns & Foster Estate mattress. While it looks and feels fitting of the premium price tag, I was surprised to find that over the course of my relatively short testing period, noticeable indentations had started to form where myself and my husband slept. (Note that I was going against manufacturer recommendations by placing this mattress on a box spring rather than a firm platform.) That raises questions about its long-term durability. Read on for more detail in my full Stearns & Foster Estate mattress review.

Stearns & Foster Estate review: Materials & design

  • 14.5" tall hybrid mattress with memory foam and springs

  • Quilted, stretch-knit cover with Tencel to keep you cool

  • Available in firm or soft, pillow-top or none (firm with pillow-top reviewed)

The Stearns & Foster Estate has a design that's not dissimilar from the best hybrid mattresses on the market. The layered mattress includes both memory foam and coils. The coils are encased in ventilated fabric to help prevent build up of heat from your body; the outer fabric of the mattress is ventilated as well. Memory foam on top of the coils provides extra comfort.

Diagram showing internal layers of Stearns & Foster Estate mattress
Diagram showing internal layers of Stearns & Foster Estate mattress

The stretch-knit mattress cover is made from Tencel fabric, which is sustainably sourced from wood pulp and designed to be cool to the touch and to wick away moisture. It's not removable (so you'll want to add a mattress protector) but there are handles to help with moving the mattress around.

There are a few different customization options. You can choose from soft or firm feels, and add a pillow-top to either. This is an extra layer of upholstery for a plusher feel, and takes the profile of the mattress from 14.5 inches to 15 inches tall. I tested the firm mattress with a pillow-top for this review.

Diagram showing layers inside the Stearns & Foster Estate mattress compared to the Lux Estate
Diagram showing layers inside the Stearns & Foster Estate mattress compared to the Lux Estate

Also in the Estate line is the Lux Estate. This looks similar, but comes with a more advanced cooling cover and adds a layer of Tempur-Pedic foam near the top. Tempur-Pedic is known for being one of the best memory foam mattress brands, and belongs to the same parent company as Stearns & Foster.

  • Design score: 4 out of 5

Stearns & Foster Estate mattress review: Price & value for money

The Stearns & Foster Estate mattress sits firmly in the premium price bracket. Here's a look at the MSRP for each of the different sizes:

  • Twin long: $2,299

  • Full: $2,349

  • Queen: $2,399

  • King: $2,999

  • Split king: $4,598

  • Cal king: $2,999

  • Split Cal king: $4,598

This is a market in which mattress sales happen year-round, but it looks like Stearns & Foster isn't particularly big on discounts. (At time of writing, you could get a $300 Visa gift card with your purchase, which is an unusual offer.)

Stearns & Foster is from the same parent company as Tempur-Pedic, widely considered to be one of the best luxury mattress brands around, as well as being one of the most expensive. Free white glove delivery is included, which is a nice perk, but the trial (90 nights) and warranty (10 years) aren't especially generous. And there's a higher-than-average fee for returns, too. While the design does feel premium, I am also slightly concerned about the long-term durability of this mattress.

In terms of value for money, there are brands that offer more for less – for example, the Saatva Classic (which you can read about in TechRadar's Saatva Classic mattress review) comes with a year's trial and forever warranty. A queen size is usually discounted to around $1,700 (so $700 less than the Estate).

  • Value for money score: 2.5 out of 5

Stearns & Foster Estate review: Comfort & support

  • Available in firm or soft, with or without pillow-top

  • I tested the firm with pillow-top, and rate it an 8/10 on firmness

  • You sleep on top rather than sinking in – pillow-top isn't very soft

The Stearns & Foster Estate mattress is available in two firmness profiles – soft or medium – and you can further adjust the feel by adding a pillow-top. For this review, I slept on the firm mattress with the pillow-top.

It's definitely a firm mattress – when I placed a 15lb weight in the middle, it sank in 2.25 inches. Stearns & Foster judges it to be around an eight out of 10 in terms of firmness, and I'd agree with that. For comparison, the firm without pilllow-top is marketed as an nine out of 10, while the soft is a three, and the soft with pillow-top a two. On our TechRadar scale that would be really incredibly soft, but firmness is subjective so it might not be quite that squishy in reality.

Stearns & Foster Estate mattress with kettlebell weight resting on it
Stearns & Foster Estate mattress with kettlebell weight resting on it

Back to my review model. The firm mattress really doesn't contour to the body very much at all – I felt like I was lying on the mattress, not in it. The pillow-top is described as an 'extra layer of upholstery for a more cushioned, plush feel', but it's quite minimal as pillow-tops go. If I pressed the surface with my hand, I could sense the softer top layer with firmer materials beneath, but that it wasn't really noticeable when lying down – it just felt like a firm mattress.

The sleep surface is pretty responsive. When you remove pressure, the mattress springs back immediately with no lag time returning to its shape. That means it's easy to change position on.

I'm primarily a side sleeper, but sometimes lie on my back to sleep or read in bed. I'm 5ft 4 and medium build. Generally, the best mattresses for side sleepers and people with lighter-weight bodies tend to be a bit softer, but I choose the firm mattress because I sometimes have back issues that I didn't want to aggravate with a too-soft mattress (that's what's recommended if you're looking for a mattress for back pain).

I generally found the mattress to be comfortable and supportive, though if I spent too long in one position I did feel some pressure start to build up in my shoulder or hip. I'd have preferred a medium sleep feel, but that wasn't an option at time of reviewing (there is a medium / medium with pillow-top option mentioned on the product information page, so perhaps it has been available in the past or will be again in the future).

Reviewer lying on the Stearns & Foster Estate mattress
Reviewer lying on the Stearns & Foster Estate mattress

My husband is not much bigger than I am, but primarily a stomach sleeper. He thought the mattress was just 'okay' as far as comfort is concerned.

It's hard to say who I'd recommend this specific mattress to (firm mattress with pillow-top). Generally front/back sleepers and larger bodies are best suited to firmer mattresses, while side sleepers and smaller bodies are best suited to softer mattresses. While neither my husband nor I are very large, he is primarily a stomach sleeper and I am primarily a side sleeper, but I thought the mattress was more comfortable than he did – which goes to show how subjective these kinds of things can be.

Stearns & Foster Estate mattress review: durability

Normally, TechRadar mattress reviews don't have a 'durability' section, for the simple reason that it's very difficult to tell how durable a mattress will be in the long term, based on a few weeks of use. However, I had a specific issue with the Stearns & Foster Estate that I wanted to discuss.

After just under four weeks of testing, I found that our bodies had started to form indentations in the mattress where my husband and I slept. It wasn't particularly uncomfortable to sleep in those 'trenches', but they were definitely noticeable.

Stearns & Foster Estate mattress in reviewer's bedroom
Stearns & Foster Estate mattress in reviewer's bedroom

It's important to note that the manufacturer recommends using a firm, uniform platform under this mattress, not a box spring. Since I don't own a platform, I tested it on a box spring, which may have contributed to the mattress dipping.

To see if this was a more widespread issue, I headed to the reviews section of the Stearns & Foster website. I found maybe eight other reviews specifically complaining of dips or indentations appearing quickly in the mattress surface, of a total of over 700 reviews (Jan 2024). The vast majority of reviews are very positive, though – overall the Estate has an average of 4.4 stars over 722 reviews.

Stearns & Foster Estate mattress review: performance

  • Very good temperature regulation

  • Excellent edge support

  • No issues with motion transfer

In this section of my Stearns & Foster Estate mattress review, I'll be addressing the other aspects that play into how well a mattress performs overall.

Temperature regulation

Temperature regulation is important because being too hot at night makes it difficult to sleep. Some mattresses trap body heat – this is especially an issue with memory foam mattresses. I found this mattress to be temperature neutral. While it didn't actively cool me, it didn't trap my body heat either.

Stearns & Foster Estate mattress, side view, showing vents
Stearns & Foster Estate mattress, side view, showing vents

Between the Tencel fabric cover, which wicks moisture, and ventilated coils, my body heat was dissipated as wIe slept. I do get hot flashes, but they pass quickly and I did not find that this mattress exacerbated the issue at all. I tested the mattress during Midwestern fall, with the indoor nighttime temperatures averaging in the mid-60s Fahrenheit.

  • Temperature regulation score: 4.5 out of 5

Motion isolation

Motion isolation is important for anyone who sleeps with a partner or even a pet. It's important because your sleep partner's movements can cause the mattress to reverberate, jostling you awake. I'm very sensitive to even the slightest movement, so although I did feel it a little when my partner moved, it was nothing excessive. A less sensitive person might not notice their partner's movements at all on this mattress. Indeed, my partner did not notice my movements.

Close up of cover on Stearns & Foster Estate mattress
Close up of cover on Stearns & Foster Estate mattress

I ran motion isolation tests with the 15-pound kettlebell weight and a rather top-heavy wine glass. First, I dropped the weight just four inches from the wine glass. It fell over immediately. Next, I dropped the weight ten inches from the glass. It fell over after a brief hesitation. Finally, I dropped the weight 25 inches from the glass. The glass barely jiggled and did not fall over.

This mattress would work for all but the lightest sleepers. And if you want to amp up the motion isolation further, there are two split options (Cal king and regular king).

  • Motion isolation score: 4 out of 5

Edge support

Edge support is important for anyone. You need a supportive edge so you can sleep close to the edge without feeling like you might fall out. This maximizes your sleep surface area. You also want a supportive edge so you can sit comfortably at the edge of the bed, whether you're getting in and out of bed or just sitting there.

I found that this mattress offers excellent edge support. I felt well-supported sleeping right up to the edge, and I frequently sat on the edge to organize my tech, put on hand lotion, take off my socks, etc.

Stearns & Foster Estate mattress with a kettlebell resting on the edge, showing minimal compression
Stearns & Foster Estate mattress with a kettlebell resting on the edge, showing minimal compression

To test edge support, I placed the same weight at the edge of the mattress. The weight sank 2.25 inches, the same as it did in the center of the mattress during my previous test. Not only is the mattress firm, but the edges are firm.

  • Edge support score: 5 out of 5

Stearns & Foster Estate mattress review: Specs

Should I buy the Stearns & Foster Estate mattress?

Buy it if...

✅ You have back issues: Between the coils and the memory foam, this mattress offers plenty of support. The sleep surface is nice and sturdy, from edge to edge. The firm feel is perhaps best for those with back pain, but the option to customize the feel to suit your needs is also helpful.

You prefer a traditional sleep feel: This is a mattress you sleep on top of rather than sinking too deeply into. It's responsive and easy to change position on, and there's none of the quicksand feel you can get with all-foam mattresses.

You sleep hot: Between the moisture-wicking Tencel cover and the springs encased in well-ventilated fabric, body heat is drawn away so it's not trapped under you. While I didn't find this mattress to be actively cooling, it didn't trap my body heat either.

Don't buy it if...

You want a mattress of medium firmness: At time of writing, you can only choose between firm or soft, and the optional pillow-top isn't as plush as I'd hoped, either. If you want a medium firmness, you'll need to upgrade to the Lux model or opt for something different altogether (our best hybrid mattress guide has plenty of recommendations).

You want the best value for money: This is a pricey mattress, and based on my experience with it, I'm not convinced it's fully worth the premium price tag, especially given my concerns about long-term durability.

How I tested the Stearns & Foster Estate mattress

I tested a king-sized Stearns & Foster Estate mattress by sleeping on it for four weeks. It was fall in the Midwest, with indoor overnight temperatures in the mid-sixties. I used 100 per cent cotton sheets and a very light quilt. Occasionally I added a blanket on top of the quilt if needed. I did not use any kind of mattress pad or cover, just a fitted sheet. My husband slept on the mattress with me, as well as our toy poodle.

I ran standardized tests with a 15lb kettlebell weight in order to objectively assess the softness, motion isolation, and edge support. Results, as described in detail above, were on par with my subjective experience.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed November 2023