What you should know about motion transfer in mattresses

mattress shopping motion transfer

When you’re sleeping, you don’t want to get woken up every time your partner rolls over — especially if you’re a light sleeper. If it’s a problem you’ve experienced in the past, a mattress’ motion separation capabilities may be something you consider the next time you shop for a mattress.

Mainstream mattress brands make all sorts of claims about the motion separation offered by their mattresses. Like many things, these claims don’t always live up to reality.

A certain amount of motion transfer is normal

You shouldn’t expect absolutely no motion transfer from your mattress. In order for the materials in your mattress — the innerspring, foams, cotton, and other upholstery materials — to do their job, they need to provide a combination of support and conformance. In order to provide the right combination of active support and conformance, your mattress needs to flex and adapt as you move throughout the night.

If motion transfer is a huge concern for you, certain types of mattresses may prevent it more than others. Denser foams, like a memory foam, may be able to absorb more motion than other types of mattresses.

In order to prevent too much motion transfer, make sure your mattress set has proper support. We always recommend pairing your mattress with a high-quality, supportive box spring. Make sure you’re utilizing a heavy-duty frame with a center support with a foot that touches the floor. Make sure that all of the frame’s feet are firmly on the floor.

Testing for motion transfer

Many mainstream brands claim that their encased coil innerspring system prevents motion transfer because the coils are not directly connected to each other. But we recently put that claim to the test in a series of head-to-head challenges for our highest-quality interlaced innerspring against the standard encased coil system used in the mainstream brands.

In the motion transfer test, we placed a full glass of wine on each bare innerspring unit and then dropped a 15-pound kettlebell from 2.5 feet. Both innerspring units prevented the motion from transferring, and the wine glass didn’t fall over.  

But no one sleeps on the bare innerspring, so we performed the test again with finished mattresses: our Orthopedic Ultra Plush and the Simmons Beautyrest PressureSmart Lux Plush. This time, the upholstery on each mattress carried the motion, and the wine glasses fell.

Many of the mainstream mattress brands try to claim that OMF can’t compete when it comes to motion separation. Our tests have shown that our innerspring performs nearly identically to the standard encased coil when it comes to motion transfer — all while providing superior support and excellent conformance.

Click here to watch us put these innerspring units to the test. 

Ready to start your mattress buying journey? Come to The Original Mattress Factory first. No one knows more than our team about what makes a great mattress great. Whether you buy from us or not, you’ll be better prepared to make a smart mattress buying decision. Find a store near you.