Who’d Think a Mattress Called ‘The Brick’ Could Relieve Back and Hip Pain?
- Sleep Improvement: 19/20
- Value: 18/20
- Materials: 17/20
- Firmness: 18/20
- Shipping & Returns: 20/20
Growing up, I’d watch my mom and aunt hobble around the house at the end of the day, their feet, hips and lower backs aching from waitressing. Despite being a relative sloth at a desk job, I knew my time was coming, no matter how frequently I tried to wear shoes with arch support and maintain (somewhat) decent posture. Sure enough, I’ve become a bedtime hobbler, who climbs into bed only to spend most of the night tossing and turning. I kept turning to more pillowy mattresses and toppers, hoping I’d sink into them for better joint alignment and a comfier sleep. It kind of worked. So, when I heard about Allswell’s new mattress—the brand’s firmest yet, which they cheekily named The Brick—I did a 180 and decided to try the exact opposite of what I’d been doing. And wow, I am so glad I did.
How Firm Is The Brick?
Truth be told, The Brick isn’t nearly as firm as Lucid’s Firm-Feel Memory Foam mattress, which was so stiff I’d wake up in the middle of the night with an aching hip if I slept on my side at all. Allswell itself is pretty honest that despite its name, The Brick isn’t rock solid; customers rated it a 5.5 to 7.5 on its 10-point firmness scale, putting it about a point higher than its other models. I’d have to agree—you sink into it a bit, but not so much that you feel like the mattress is swallowing you whole. Or worry that in six months, the memory foam will have molded to your body, resulting in a lumpy mess.
How Much Do You Notice Your Partner’s Tossing and Turning?
There are four main components to The Brick. Under its firm top layer, there’s one inch of copper gel-infused memory foam, designed to transfer heat, so you don’t wake up sweaty. Under that is two inches of high-density foam for support, and just under that is a set of individually wrapped coils, giving the mattress its springiness. But the coils’ best feature, hands down, is that they minimize motion transfer, so if your partner gets up in the middle of the night, there isn’t a ripple that jolts you awake.
Those coils also provide solid edge support, so if you sit on the corner of your bed to put on your shoes every day, you’re less likely to deal with a soft, squished edge a year from now.
How Could a Firm Mattress Relieve Back Pain?
Allswell’s “firm-ish” mattress may be the secret to better sleep. While doctors used to recommend very firm mattresses in the past, a 268-person survey found that people with lower back pain had the poorest sleep on very hard beds, according to Harvard Health Publishing. Similarly, soft mattresses can cause you to “sink in so deeply that your joints twist and become painful during the night,” the authors write. That medium-firm to firm level can be just right for providing support without being stiff; perhaps a better name for The Brick would be The Goldilocks.
The Bottom Line
At $645 for a queen-sized mattress, The Brick is a much more affordable option than many similar mattresses in a box, which can cost up to $1,700. One month in, I wake up each morning ache-free, ready to roll out of bed. Only time will tell how the mattress fares two, three or five years from now, though it does come with a 10-year warranty.
Allswell also offers a 100-night trial, in case The Brick is a little too firm (or, dare I say, not firm enough) for your tastes. As for me, it’s just right.
The PureWow100 is a scale our editors use to vet new products and services, so you know what's worth the spend—and what's total hype. Learn more about our process here.