How to Reduce Motion Transfer in Bed? – The Bedding Planet

How to Reduce Motion Transfer in Bed?

Motion transfer refers to movement from one side of your mattress, having a resultant effect on the other. It is a common problem for people who share beds and can be quite annoying.

So annoying that many people wonder; how do I reduce motion transfer in my bed? Futons and innerspring mattresses are notorious for motion transfer. If you have one on your bed, it is time to get a new one. You can also opt for split mattresses with your bed frame. You can get identical mattresses and use a fitting mattress cover to maintain the look of a single bed.

Read on to learn more about why motion transfer happens and how to get rid of it for good.

Why do Bed Motion Transfer Happen?

It is natural to rotate during sleep. Your body is making sure that you are not exerting all your weight on one part of the body. However, your natural reflexes can be an unwelcome distraction to your sleeping partner, especially if they are light sleepers.

Your mattress is not the only factor leading to motion transfer. Your bed itself can be a contributor as well as having a loose bed frame. Over time, the fastening becomes loose, causing the bed to move each time you turn during sleep. It is a problem that affects wooden bed frames as they incorporate nuts and bolts on each of the four sides.

Make it a habit to check their tightness at least every three to four months. Box springs also contribute to this problem. The coils within their structure transmit the vibrations throughout the whole frame, making it uncomfortable for all that sleep on them. If you cannot get a new bedframe, add a solid base on top of your box spring to minimize the effects.

The body requires rest to function optimally, and any disturbance to this period can have detrimental effects. Sleep experts identify that motion transfer is the leading cause of poor quality sleep. Therefore, you must focus your efforts on mitigating motion transfer as best as you can.

How to Reduce Motion Transfer in Bed

There are two ways to combat the problem of motion transfer, really three ways, but one of these ways are not an option for most people.

  1. Get a Motion Transfer Reduction Mattress
  2. Work on improving your sleep
  3. Sleep in separate beds.

1. What Type of Mattress is Best For Reducing Motion Transfer?

Mattresses can play a huge role in reducing the effects of motion transfer. The degree by which they reduce motion transfer will vary, depending on their design and composition. Here are some of the mattress types that sleep experts recommend for motion isolation.

Memory Foam

Memory foam ranks best when it comes to motion reduction. The reason for this is because they adjust according to your shape and give you that sinking feeling.

As you lay on the mattress, the cocoon that it forms helps reduce your movements, allowing for better quality sleep. However, memory foam does have some drawbacks, such as the pricing can be prohibitive, with some brands going for as high as $2000.

These mattresses are also not great at dissipating heat, which may become uncomfortable.

Hybrid mattresses

Hybrid mattresses are also a great choice if you are looking to reduce motion transfer. They feature a combination of different materials to achieve the desired degree of firmness and reduce motion transfer.

The most common type is the one that features a foam and coil combination. The foam helps reduce the effect of the coils making it ideal for motion isolation.

Look for a hybrid mattress that has memory foam as the topping layer. It is cheaper than memory foam but still offers the same effect.

Latex Mattresses

If memory foam or hybrid mattresses do not do it for you, latex is your next best option. These types of mattresses have the same effect as memory foam but have a much better rating when it comes to heat transfer.

The latex can either be natural or synthetic, the type will determine how much you pay for the mattress.

Air Mattresses

These types of mattresses consist of small pockets of air within the mattress structure. The air can be adjusted to offer varying degrees of firmness to the mattress.

You have two options to choose from namely single chamber and dual chamber. For the best motion transfer reduction, opt for dual-chamber air mattresses. You and your partner can set each of your sleeping surfaces to your preferences.

Inner coil mattresses

Inner coil mattresses come in different variations. Unlike the traditional models where you get one coil spring system all through, you now have a pocketed coil version.

Each coil is encased in its capsule, meaning there is no transfer of motion for one coil to another. Pocketed coil mattresses are more affordable than any of the above options, and feature highly in many homes.

Other Factors to Consider When Shopping For a Motion Transfer Reduction Mattress


Motion transfer is a result of either you or your partner’s sleeping habits. Restlessness during sleep can also be caused by other factors. Therefore, when buying a mattress that will reduce motion transfer, also consider the following:

The firmness of the mattress. You and your partner have different tastes. A dual-chamber air mattress will accommodate both your preferences.

Temperature control. Memory foam is poor at heat distribution. Look for a mattress type that offers great heat transfer.

Allergens. Some of the materials that make up mattresses can cause allergies for example latex. If this is the case consider other mattress types.

2. Work on Improving Your Sleep

The more restful sleep you can achieve the less you will toss and turn at night. Learning to reduce stress near sleep time and to enter a state of deep sleep will drastically reduce your nocturnal movements.

This is a large topic which we will look deeper into in another article.

3. Sleep in Separate Beds

Obviously, this is a solution to motion transfer. When you sleep alone in your bed there is no one else who can make movements that disturb your sleep.

With that said, research has shown that sleeping together with a loved one drastically increases our well being. So, even though this can be a short term solution, investing in the two previous steps is much better long term.


You can never fully get rid of bed motion transfer. However, you can reduce it to its bare minimum. With the above recommendations, you can now enjoy better quality sleep.

Niklas Lampi

My name is Niklas and I'm the author and content operator at The Bedding Planet. I've always had a big interest in bedding and more specifically sleep. If I find something that makes me sleep better, whether that's a lifestyle change or a better bedding environment, I'm ready to share it with the world!

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