The Definitive Ranking of the Best Mattresses to Have Sex On

Sarah Maxwell/Thrillist

Sex is fun, but before you tee off consider the turf. Some sleep surfaces -- like some lovers -- are naturally better than others. Here they are, ranked by how much to how little they’ll interfere with your good times rolling. Though add five points to any entry if the sex was with your celebrity crush.

15. Ye olde mattress: Goose down, hay, or wool -- I don’t know that I’ve ever had sex on any of these, because I wasn’t sexually active or alive prior to the Industrial Revolution. The internet tells me that “it’s quite easy” to make one of these: you stuff a bunch of horse feed such as hay between two blankets, sew them together, and thusly ignore the sneezing, coughing, scratching misery that is now your life. How about a roll in the hay? No thanks, Shakespeare.

14. Beanbag: I tried a beanbag once: these porous and absorbent lumps of what look like giant testicles are great if you’ve resigned yourself to dating hippies or skaters. The last time I had sex on a beanbag chair it was the first Obama administration and I was too immature to know better. 

13. Hammock: This boneless bed contraption is perfect for a cute couples selfie to be posted on the Insta, but it’s horrible for sharing hot and kinky sexual encounters, unless you’re using this like a sex swing and the other person is standing on the ground. Sex is about fun, not fashion, amirite?

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12. Air Mattress: If you have a kink for rubbing your body all over a giant balloon, this is the bed for you. It’s guaranteed to make friction-fart noises, it might pop, and your date will wonder why you have one in the middle of your floor. The last time I attempted this, it deflated every fifteen minutes, but desperate times call for desperate mattresses. Anyway, have fun hooking up on New Year’s without waking everyone else in the room.  

11. Waterbed: Possibly the third least attractive sloshing sound you can hear during romantic interludes, the waterbed’s unstable, unsexy surface will leave you with back pain in the morning. Doctors and nurses and people with chronic pain agree that this bed is horrific for regular sideways activities, as it offers no consistent support for your muscles and bones. Hey kids, I know that the ’90s aesthetic is hot right now, but much like that era, this bed is overrated.

10. Your old bedroom mattress at home for the holidays: I appreciate Ma and Pa offering to put me up, but this abode is not ideal. Pluses: cheaper than a hotel and the only pee stains on the mattress are probably my own. Minuses: staying at your parents’ house is like staying at a free two-star hotel: there’s no privacy, and if you happen to find a pair of old undies or socks beneath your bed it’s not much of a surprise. At least your siblings respect locked doors these days?

9. The floor: I call this one ol’ faithful. There are limitless varieties to what kind of floor on which you may fornicate. Tile? Wood? Carpet? Shag? The floor will be there for you, so be there for it; employ your housekeeping skills to keep it relatively clean. Regardless, if you fall out of the hammock, if your air mattress deflates, or if the waterbed bursts, find solace in the fact that gravity is consistent. The floor will always be beneath your bodies, whether or not you’re seeing stars during sex.

8. Wooden futon: Been there, broken a couple. If you have a sense of humor and don’t mind putting your pelvis through some busted wooden slats, you might not mind the wooden futon. But be warned: go hard, and they break. Anything can be romantic, but I’m not typically into fixing furniture with my dates. Save that assemblage for the committed relationship.

7. Pool table: Eh, the surface is a bit firmer than I’d like, but the height is perfect for a variety of standing and lying positions, and these tend to be much sturdier than other kinds of table you could be rocking. You might get rug rash, and user is advised to avoid making jokes about balls and holes, but overall, a solid experience.  

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6. Sleeping bag: I support the eco-sexual way of life: find intimacy in the universe, reconnect with the earth, try to wipe the dirt out of every crevice later. Everything’s a trade-off, but the view of the night sky above you is worth the hassle. If you’re going to do this, stay in your tent or lay down a wiiiiide blanket perimeter underneath in order to avoid sticks, twigs, and soil getting mixed into your business.

5. Backseat: Protips: don’t be taller than 5’8”. Don’t own a hybrid. Do lock your doors. And do turn off the door handle lights so that you don’t find yourselves suddenly illuminated for the outside world if someone pulls on the door. Automobiles, AKA mobile mini-beds, are a quickie’s best friend, but if you are aiming for multiple orgasms, stationary beds will always beat this option. Still, this is the perfect “When the mood strikes” option.

4. All-memory foam mattress: If we are talking preference, here’s my favorite: no squeaking sound, and it’s a soft surface. But memory foam might be a little too cushy for marathon humpers: one man described sex on this surface to be difficult, like “running on sand.” But if you’re into the challenge, you should be just fine. Just like my favorite lovers, this mattress offers a tender, loving foundation. And just like my favorite condoms, memory foam mattresses are made of polyurethane! However, this type of mattress can trap body heat and make all of your horizontal encounters even steamier, so perhaps pick this if you live in a cooler climate region or have a good A/C unit.

3. Coil/Spring mattress: This is another trusty stand-by. Some of us equate the sounds of a squeaking mattress to the feelings of primal pleasure, and while this type of mattress is hardly the most comfortable, it will rarely do you wrong. Sure, a wayward coil could break through the fabric and stab you or your partner while in the throes of passion, but one might consider that a rite of passage… and a sign you go hard enough in the paint to be worth drafting.

2. Adjustable: If you’re someone who likes to do everything in your bed, this might be worth the investment. Do you like to read sitting up? Have sex on an incline? Eat burritos in the sheets? Find yourself retiring to Florida? This slow-moving, adjustable sex furniture can alter shape in the time it takes to grab the condoms, and if you have mobility issues or recently suffered an untimely coil spring wound, you’ll enjoy being able to sit up or roll over more easily.

1. Hybrid: You have my attention. As an adult, you can still enjoy the closest thing to a bounce house! And IMO, the firmer (the mattress), the better! I recognize that thrusting and grinding is a lot of work, and if you’d like to work smarter and not, um, harder, get a hybrid mattress: the bounce-back means you aren’t losing so much of your momentum because a soft squishy bed is absorbing your movements. Tonight we’re all winners here.