GQ Sleep Awards 2024: Best New Sleep Tech, Bedding, and Beds


With everyone from boomers to Zoomers hand-wringing about premature aging lately, the quest for better sleep (and more of it) has intensified, too. We’ve fixated on sleep syncing to get our circadian rhythms in check, and even tried taping our mouths shut, hostage-style, to ward off sleep apnea and foul morning breath. But there are so many methods of optimizing your REM cycles that the only way to separate the helpful from the hype is to survey all the new products promising to upgrade the sleep and bedding arena.

For our second annual GQ Sleep Awards, we did just that. Of course, we started at the, um, bottom: digging into all sorts of newfangled mattresses, from modular Japanese beds to futuristic gridded gel numbers. But we also zoomed out to test the landscape of bedding and tech that rounds out your sleep environment, both tried-and-true classics (an old-school woolen blanket, but better) and high-tech gear (a smart ring to rule them all).

We also fell in love with sleep furniture for your highly trafficked guest room, along with a new class of nighttime grooming essentials—some that are beloved by celebs and others that have graced the faces of our GQ editors.

Without further ado, take a peek at all the sleep aids we swaddled ourselves in, lounged on, drooled into, and REM’d under during the last year. And prepare for the best night’s sleep of your life.


The GQ Sleep Awards Table of Contents


The Best Mattresses

The Best Hybrid Mattress: Helix Midnight Elite Mattress

For the past several years running, Helix’s Midnight Elite has been the one bed that the various fussy sleepers on our staff could actually agree on, sandwiching a cushy pillowy layer on top of tiers of memory foam and a springy base to create a medium-firm, all-around crowd-pleaser. Helix’s new follow-up, the “Elite” version of the very same mattress, maintains everything we loved about the original, then adds an inch more pillow-top, heat-managing fabric, and more contouring for your aching back—all in a regal velvety brown color. The steep 16 inches of depth might feel a little princess and the pea, but we bet you’ll sleep waaaay better than she did.

The Best Cooling Mattress: Leesa SapiraChill Hybrid Mattress

Leesa

Sapira Chill Hybrid Mattress

Cooling mattresses, as a genre, feel like a scam. With all the bedding in the equation, it’s hard to tell what’s actually regulating your body heat. But with a billowy quilted top and copper-infused foam for heat transfer, Leesa claims its new Sapira Chill mattress can cool things down to a breezy 88 degrees. Our hot-sleeping tester says he’s never overheated on it, and that the combo of wrapped springs and foamy layers feels “immediately comfortable.” Shout out in particular to the spine-friendly support layers that prevent any feelings of quicksand sinkage, despite that fluffy top.

The Best Soft Bed: WinkBeds The Softer WinkBed

If your ideal mattress sits somewhere between a cartoon cloud and a pickup-truck-sized wad of cotton candy, then WinkBed’s softest mattress will be your fluffy slice of heaven. “Marshmallow effect” was one phrase our sleep testers used to describe this extra-soft mattress. It stacks a pillow top, gel-infused foam, and zoned springs in a way that’ll make you feel like the Downy Bear—but with just enough support to actually keep you from disappearing into a cave of your own comforter.

The Best Firm Mattress: Airweave Mattress (Advanced)

If you’re looking for a firm mattress that’s just this side of sleeping on the floor, let the Japanese help. Specifically, Airweave, founded by an engineer in the early 2000s to make mattresses for customers who want a zero-give surface—but don’t want their bones clanking around. Each bed relies on a proprietary textile dubbed Airfiber (made from repurposed Japanese fishing line!) for its taut support. The most ingenious element of the brand’s advanced model is its modular design, which allows you to rearrange and deconstruct the mattress layers to find exactly the right mix of stiffness with support.

The Best Gel Mattress: Purple RejuvenatePlus Mattress

Purple has been making futuristic, genre-defying beds since it Kickstarted itself into existence in 2015. While other bed-in-a-box brands were peddling the traditional foam-and-springs formula, Purple was topping its mattresses with slabs of waffle-style gel to boost breathability. Those first wave of Purple mattresses were polarizing in the GQ Recommends HQ, but the brand’s latest model has fine-tuned the equation. A soft pillowtop over layers of gridded gel and springs delivers what one tester called an “engineered experience” that stands apart as surprisingly supportive despite the squishy top layer.

The Best Sheets

The Best Linen Sheets: The Citizenry Stonewashed Linen Sheets

The Citizenry’s linen sheets are like your favorite pair of worn-in jeans: soft, comfortable, a little weathered. A stonewash treatment ensures that a fresh set has been beaten into cozy submission before you’ve unboxed it—and the sheets will break in even more with every successive watch, as good linen will do. They’re just the right weight to remain useful from the sweatiest months of the year into space heater season. If you already thought getting out of bed was hard enough, these linen sheets are about to make your mornings both more difficult, and a lot more luxe.

The Best Percale Sheets: Coyuchi Percale Sheets

The best percale sheets—crisp, creamy, warm enough and breathable enough for year-round use—are the meat and potatoes of any linen closet. Coyuchi’s 300 Thread Count Organic Percale Sheet set, then, would be the filet mignon and au gratin of the category. In our testing, the California company’s sustainably-sourced cotton sheets stay on our bed season after season, only getting softer and nicer with every wash. Just be quick if you see a color you like—Coyuchi delivers new hues seasonally, and they fly off the shelves fast.

The Best Sateen Sheets: Riley Sateen Sheets

GQ’s been in the fashion business for 67 years now, so we’ve seen plenty of items get hot and stay hot. Rarely, though, do we see it with bed linens. Scoring a set of Riley sateen sheets in a limited edition color or print (especially the pinstripes) is like getting Taylor tickets or Jordan 3 reissues in the SNKRS app—we want to say we’re fine without, but really, we’re just jealous. Particularly because we’ve tested Riley’s sateen sets enough to know that they’re more than an interior design coup. Woven in Portugal from long-staple combed cotton, they get softer the more you wash them. Meanwhile, little details—like the baratta stitch on the flat sheet and envelope closures on the pillowcases—only reinforce that Riley’s turning your bed into a fashion flex.

The Best Flannel Sheets: Target Flannel Sheets

“Quality flannel for just $35” is a chyron-worthy headline in itself, but when it comes to Target’s incredibly accessible, ultra-soft patterned sets, it’s hardly even news. At less than a quarter of the cost of its peers, this flannel set gets you chill-blocking coziness in a raft of patterns made from OEKO-TEX-certified cotton that more than holds its own against heirloom-quality rivals. You’ll hardly find a better reason to stay in bed the whole morning or to slap that snooze button one more time. It’s not seasonal affective disorder, man, it’s the damn sheets.

The Best Cooling Sheets: Sijo CrispCool Sheets

Sijo’s entire schtick is breathable bedding, and its CrispCool sheets are just another entry in its sheeting line that we’ve come to know and love for their truly capable temp-regulating qualities. Count on the GOTS-certified cotton to help your body exhale even in the depths of summer, and all those plant-dye colors to make your room feel a little earthier.

The Best Sleepwear

The Best Buttoned-Up Pajama Set: Sid Mashburn Pajama Set

When are PJs more than just PJs? When they come cosigned by Sid Mashburn, the veteran Atlanta-based haberdasher who makes his jammies out of the same 2-ply Italian cotton as his de-fussed button-ups. Throw ‘em under a decadent silk robe to grab the morning paper, or swap the pants for real-deal trousers—the top’s trio of ample pockets and beefy, gently-rounded collar will look at home peeking out beneath a double-breasted jacket.

The Best Laid-Back Pajama Set: Fear of God Cotton-Jersey Pyjama Set

Fear of God

Cotton-Jersey Pyjama T-Shirt

Fear of God

Cotton-Jersey Pyjama Trousers

In 2024, Fear of God majordomo Jerry Lorenzo is ready to get in bed with you. The same rigor and precision that defines his suiting elevates his cloud-soft cotton-jersey PJs to the realm of grail-level daywear. The pants are relaxed and puddle elegantly at the ankles, the mockneck tee is coolly slouchy, and the whole kit feels so ’90s LAX that you could get away with wearing it for your next (non-business) flight.

The Best Plush Pajama Set: Druthers Kimono Robe Set

PJs you can wear outside the home are great, of course, but sometimes you just need to swaddle yourself in as much terrycloth as possible the second you exit the shower. Thankfully, the skivvies experts at Druthers also hawk a superlative set crafted in Portugal from plush, heavyweight organic cotton. The handsome kimono-inspired collar and cinch detailing at the waist—to say nothing of the roomy matching shorts—promise to imbue your before- and after-hours routines with a welcome splash of onsen-like serenity.

The Best Slippers: Sabah Shearling Baba Slippers and Subu Tweed Sandal Slippers

The upstart footwear maestros at Sabah have always made house shoes of the highest order, but even by their standards, the Cortina is a doozy. If the luscious periwinkle suede doesn’t sell you immediately, the ultra-cozy shearling lining will. Should the price make you sweat, Subu’s cushy, pillow-like riff is your easy alternative. The tweedy uppers might conjure images of Chanel’s iconic suits, but the Japanese brand slathers its textiles in water-repellent Teflon so you don’t have to baby them. If you want your coffee-run fits to stand out from the Birkenstock Boston-clad crowd, you’re set.

The Best Robes: Derek Rose Kelburn Bathrobe and Baina Sulis Bathrobe

On the days you can’t quite be bothered to get dressed, the right robe will go a long way in making your lazy-Sunday garb feel a little more…tied together. Derek Rose‘s cozy flannel version—equipped with a regal shawl collar and swanky contrast piping—is nice enough to welcome company in (so long as you’re not commando). Just looking for a robe with the same swaddling powers as your bath towels? Baina’s wavy terry cloth version is ready-made for an après-surf bonfire sesh—or a night of Netflix-surfing on the couch.

The Best Boxer Shorts: CDLP Boxer Shorts

Less than a decade into its run, Stockholm-based CDLP has convinced thousands of menswear fans to ixnay the 12-packs of all-black boxer briefs in favor of upgraded undies worth every cent. The brand’s airy poplin boxer shorts are crafted from lyocell, a wonky-sounding silk alternative that feels just as luxe as the real deal, but breathes a lot easier. Come for the reinforced non-chafing seams, stay for the fluttery, relaxed shape (and surprisingly crucial ass paneling).

The Best Sleep Mask: Saatva Silk Sleep Mask

If even the slightest glimmer of light prevents you from being able to drift off, Saatva’s silky sleep mask will set you up on a date with the Sandman. It’s co-signed by our wellness columnist Joe Holder, who says its comforting weight has helped him pass out in all kinds of unfamiliar places while on the road. The mask’s luxe silk construction even reduces friction on your face to keep your skin as smooth as the fabric.

The Best Bedding

The Best Down Comforter: Brooklinen Down Comforter

The hardest thing to parse out with down bedding is just how lofty it’ll be in person. (Sometimes those feathers aren’t as concentrated as you need them to be.) Brooklinen helps you game that out with a spectrum of weight options, depending on whether you need a hot-weather topper or one you can count on year-round. All are treated with an antimicrobial finish to keep your sniffles at bay, and baffle-boxed so that down stays where it belongs.

The Best Down-Alternative Comforter: Nest Bedding Wool Comforter

If you’re feeling anxious about goose-plucked bedding, there are a handful of brands making woolier versions with the same lightweight feel. Nest Bedding’s take is our current favorite. Wildly, it’s a machine-washable wool comforter, wrapped in a breathable organic cotton cover, that’s extra warm for fighting off bedroom chills.

The Best Throw Blanket: Schoolhouse x Pendleton Wool Blanket

Pendleton’s wool blankets are already family heirlooms in the making, but when they linked up with the twee pattern-lovers over at Schoolhouse, the vibe meter hit redline. The exclusive plaid colorway works as well in a burly mountain bro’s cabin as it does tossed over a downtown apartment’s sofa. Foot of the bed, on the arm rest of a chair, or wrapped around you (and a frieeeend), this is a blanket that will make itself at home—and make your home cooler at the same time.

The Best Weighted Blanket: Baloo Weighted Blanket

Too often, weighted blankets feel downright oppressive instead of soothing. Baloo’s elegant, streamlined design, with a lightweight cotton shell harboring pockets of glass microbeads that gently pin you down like pie weights, only brings serenity. We also really appreciate that Baloo’s quilted blankets resemble a high-end quilt rather than a plushy Snuggie. We like our weighted blankets, but that doesn’t mean we want them to look like weighted blankets.

The Best Quilt: Dusen Dusen Check Bedding Set

Dusen Dusen’s designs are easy to clock thanks to the brand’s love of eye-popping colors and patterns, but it’s also the source for those subdued checkered quilts you’re seeing all over your Instagram grid, too. They’re not like your grandma’s heritage quilts or the wild patchwork designs you’d see in a museum, but instead have a refreshing air of restraint. They look like a modernist cloud, and feel just as light and gauzy in your hand.

The Best Pillows

The Best Pillow for Combination Sleepers: Amerisleep Dual Comfort Pillow

You’ve heard about flipping the pillow over to the cool side, but what about flipping it over to the firm side? That’s the concept behind Amerisleep’s double-sided pillow, which lets picky sleepers choose their own loft. One side’s a little cushier and softer for sleeping on your stomach, while the opposite end rises an extra inch (to six total) for back sleepers who want the bonus angling and support. Both ends are extra breathable thanks to a perforated outer layer that helps diffuse your body heat, so you stay as cool as, well, the other side of the pillow.

The Best Adjustable Pillow: Purple DreamLayer Pillow

Purple’s well known for making gridded gel seats designed to cushion your ass—and now they’re bringing that comfort to your face. Unlike traditional pillows, the DreamLayer functions a lot more like a mattress. It includes a big hunk of airy foam, plus supplemental “booster” layers for the broad-shouldered, all wrapped up in a gridded shell and a stretchy cover. Our tester loved the way the DreamLayer Pillow distributed pressure on his head and how luxe it feels to snooze on.

The Best Down Pillow: The Company Store Down Pillow

The Company Store is an if-you-know brand—everything we’ve tested from the brand so far has bowled us over, and its affordable price points mean you can score primo toppers and comforters for far less than usual. One of the brand’s specialties is first-rate down bedding, and its double-stitched, hypoallergenic pillows are puffed up with fistfuls of the stuff. The “firm” has just enough fill to form a neat pyramid to help open the airways of side-sleepers, while the “extra firm” is the gold standard for a back sleeper who prefers his pillows double-stuffed.

The Best Down-Alternative Pillow: Sferra Arcadia Pillow

Sferra has set the bar for hotel-quality linens for decades, supplying the bedding for five-star chains like Rosewood Hotels and ritzy hotspots like the Carlyle in New York City. It may surprise you that along with its $600 goose-feather-stuffed pillows, the brand sells affordable down-alternative versions for budget-minded normies. Our tester told us that this humble Arcadia pillow rivaled its Sferra’s luxe options for sheer fluffiness and heft, making it a VIP penthouse suite experience for a single-queen price.

The Best Travel Pillow: Exped Mega Pillow

When the jet lag hits on the road, you need a giant inflatable pillow you can summon whenever your sleepy head needs to literally nod off. Clocking in at 20 by 12 inches and ensconced in a velvety layer of microfiber (to sop up your drool), it’ll nest into the window seat’s wallspace perfectly—or give you just enough room to roll over if you managed to score a row to yourself.

The Best Bed Frames

The Best Platform Bed: Sapling Studio Platform Bed

These days, buying a bed frame feels like a toss-up between a done-to-death midcentury style and that Other Minimal Platform everyone on Instagram owns. For a slightly less “everywhere” option, one GQ editor found her answer on Etsy, where a woodworker in Denver, Colorado sells these Scandi-inspired platforms to order. Each slat slides into the support beams below like puzzle pieces. The result is a pristinely clean, squeak-free throne for your bed—with plenty of room for precious storage below.

The Best Bed with Built-in Storage: Sundays Cloud Bed

Puffy beds with stubby legs are the new bedroom trend, and the clairvoyant forecasters over at Sundays make one of the most thoughtful iterations on the market. This one takes care of your bedroom’s small square footage problem with a hydraulic lifting mechanism that conceals a secret cavern underneath for you to sunset your sweaters until next winter. Plus, as its name implies, the bed’s sturdy pine skeleton comes with lots of plushy cushion on those bones.

The Best Sleeper Sofas

The Best Sleeper Sofa: West Elm Shelter Queen Sofa

West Elm’s elegant Shelter Queen sleeper sofa is just what your sleazy college futon dreamt of growing up to be. Not only does its wide 80-inch seating area give you and your guests room to sprawl out during daytime hours, but it’s also surrounded on all sides by fluffy cushions. Rather than offering your visitors a saggy inflatable mattress the next time they’re in town, you can upgrade their guest room experience by unfolding the layered gel and memory foam bed concealed in the couch’s bottom half.

The Best Customizable Sleeper Sofa: Sixpenny Neva Sleeper Sectional Sofa

Sixpenny

Neva Sleeper Sectional Sofa

For that clandestine Airbnb you’ve been running out of your apartment or the lavish guest room you’ve been decorating with abandon, there’s no greater luxury than options. And this (admittedly pricey) made-to-order sleeper sofa has lots of them: Tack on an ottoman for good measure, do it up in airy linen or faux fur, then consider filling the innards with some lush down fill. The only detail you can’t change is one you won’t need to: the premium quilted foam mattress inside that will earn rave reviews from your next wave of couch-surfers.

The Best Sleep Tech

The Best Sleep Tracker: Oura Heritage Ring

The Oura Ring (now in its third generation) gets a lot of love for being the rare fitness tracker that’s as stylish as it is smart. But the juiced-up piece of jewelry’s most underrated benefit, in our opinion, is its sleep tracking. Unlike watch-style wearables, you’ll quickly forget the Oura Ring is even there. As you catch your Z’s, it uses multiple sensors, including a blood oxygen sensor, to break down your sleep quality—e.g., time spent in REM sleep, total sleep time, breathing disturbances—and then syncs with an accompanying phone app to deliver useful advice. The hardest part might just be heeding it and putting your phone down before midnight.

Editor’s note: Oura’s experiencing extended delays in processing and shipping due to overwhelming demand, so your order may take longer to ship out than usual.

The Best White Noise Machine: Snooz Sound Machine

White noise machines are the answer to thin drywall, the thump of bass coming from upstairs, or the blare of traffic outside. But unlike the ‘80s-era machines you see in therapists’ offices that play a loop track of whirring noise, Snooz utilizes a real fan to drown out certain frequencies, which makes it easier to drift off when that cicada super brood sounds like a thrash metal group.

The Best Humidifier: Carepod One Humidifier

The fix for that dingy humidifier which worked last winter but is now hopelessly mucked up with mildew? A stainless steel, filterless Carepod, which was fittingly designed by a Korean dentist for easier cleaning and sanitizing. Our tester came away charmed by how long it mists through the night: eight hours on a full tank, even when cranked up to its highest setting, and with enough range to dew-ify a 500-square-foot room. Plus, the rice cooker styling is immaculate if you’d prefer something a little less boxy to clear your sinuses.

The Best Air Purifier: Coway Airmega 100

The brains behind Coway’s boxy, HEPA filter-equipped air purifier dared to ask the question, “What about a not-ugly air purifier?” The 150 is one of the brand’s entry-level models and also one of its sleekest, looking more like a Dieter Rams speaker than a trap for dust. And pollen. And smoke from cooking, that dry shampoo you just shook up, or the essential oils from your diffuser. Point being, the Airmega 100 is on the case so you can breathe easier.

The Best Bedside Lamp: Loftie Lamp

We all know the healthiest way to wake up isn’t immediately grabbing a jangling phone and getting sucked into a morass of Slack notifications and dopamine-blasting Instagram stories. A genuine alarm clock is the easy solution, and Loftie’s version won both a 2023 GQ Sleep Award last year and currently reigns as our favorite alarm clock. Now comes the Loftie Lamp, and we might be even more impressed. It’s a sunrise alarm clock—you know, the kind that mimic a sunrise as you wake up—that’s been built into a remarkably stylish, modern nightstand light. Yes, it’s true, you need your phone to set up the lamp, including linking it to your home’s WiFi. But after that, you’ve got everything you need to rise and shine gracefully without immediately touching your phone.

The Best Alarm Clock: Hatch Restore 2

Rather than the rage-inducing chimes you’ve programmed on your phone, the Hatch Restore 2 alarm clock handles things differently. It’s a multi-tasker that wakes you up gradually with gradients of light designed to mimic the sun, plus lulls you to sleep with a suite of soothing sounds. The GQ Home Award-winner wears other hats, too: It can act as a night light when you’re fumbling for the bathroom and play you white noise to drown out your log-sawing bedmate.

The Best Night-Time Skincare

The Best Night Mask: 111Skin Retinol Patches

When celebs want to look snatched to the high heavens before walking the red carpet, they turn to plastic surgeon Yannis Alexandrides’ brand 111Skin. Alexandrides bakes proprietary medical technology into all his skincare products, like his suite of luxe face masks that are beloved by makeup artists and groomers alike. These patches for the under-eyes and the persistent furrow lines between your brows aren’t for sleeping in—but 15 minutes with these on before bed can tighten your skin thanks to the occlusive seal they form, which ferries retinol deep into your pores. Consider them the precursor to the most effective beauty sleep of your life.

The Best Retinol Serum: Allies of Skin Advanced Lifting Serum

Allies of Skin

Multi Peptides and GF Advanced Lifting Serum

Collagen is the hot topic in skincare lately. It’s the source of youthful skin, but your body makes less as you age, and it can’t be absorbed through your pores, no matter how pricey the product. Luckily, science showed up with peptides, a.k.a. the amino acids that form the building blocks of collagen. Our favorite new peptide-infused serum has a long-ass name and an equally long list of benefits. By spurring collagen production, you’ll notice fine lines getting filled in, less sun damage, and more supple skin. And for one little $200 bottle, we’d certainly hope so.

The Best Eye Cream: Current State Firming Eye Cream

Current State

Peptide + Caffeine Firming Eye Cream

Like we just explained, peptides are the lil’ skincare superstars that help turn back the clock. Why not unleash them on the skin under your eyes, prone as it can be to getting thin, baggy, and discolored? A gentle swipe of Current State Firming Eye Cream delivers a peptide-packed hit for stimulating collagen production. And then, come morning, use it again so the caffeine can tighten up your under-eyes and send you out the door looking so fresh, no one will guess you pulled an all-nighter with your Hinge date on a Tuesday.

The Best Night Cream: Doctor Rogers Night Repair Treatment

While your subconscious is feeding you sweet dreams, your body’s doing some critical maintenance. Doctor Rogers Night Repair Treatment boosts that downtime restoration by stocking your skin with a duo of key ingredients: glycolic acid for sloughing away dead skin cells plus bakuchiol, a naturally-derived alternative to retinol that gently combats fine lines. Slather some on your mug and maybe you’ll even wake up to a prettier you.


CONTRIBUTORS:

Tyler Chin, Avidan Grossman, Lori Keong, Timothy Beck Werth

EDITOR:

Lori Keong



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