What is Motion Transfer and how Does it Affect Sleep?

Last updated on January 23rd, 2024 at 04:14 pm

London’s leading sleep coach and Panda sleep expert panel member, Max Kirsten, shares his insights on motion transfer and what to look for in a mattress to get the best night’s sleep.

Do you frequently find yourself pulled out of deep, delicious sleep to find your partner taking another trip to the toilet? You are not alone. Many sleepers experience what is known as ‘motion transfer’ due to their partner’s movements, which can sometimes be a sign you need a new mattress. Though before we get to solutions, let’s take a deeper dive into this bedtime issue that over time can seriously impact your sleep.

Expert insights: Sleep coach Max Kirsten on what is motion transfer

Movement from another area of your mattress to the spot you are kipping on is known in sleep talk as ‘motion transfer’. If you share a bed with a partner, this can ‘become a real problem’, says Max, who’s on a mission to help his clients get a good night’s sleep. Especially if your partner constantly changes sleep positions or gets in and out of bed. Sudden movements from your other half to your pet can cause you to wake up, making it notoriously hard to drift back off to sleep. Motion transfer can ‘measurably disturb deep sleepers and fully wake light sleepers,’ explains Max. This can often be because a mattress lacks what is known as ‘motion isolation’, which can reduce or even eliminate these disturbances.

How does motion transfer affect the quality of sleep?

When it comes to sleep, we are very different. How much motion control one sleeper can snooze through is ‘very subjective’ explains Max. If you are sharing a bed with someone on a different sleep schedule or are frequently tossing and turning, bedtime can feel a lot bumpier. Certain sleep conditions can increase the impact of motion transfer. One of these is restless leg syndrome, a mild to severe medical condition that can cause spontaneous movements throughout the night. The type of mattress you are sleeping on can also play a big role in how motion transfer affects sleep.

If your mattress lacks the ability to absorb movement it can severely affect its support, performance, and comfort. So what is best to look for in a mattress to ensure you undisturbed nights of the highest quality, restorative sleep?

What to look for in a mattress to reduce motion transfer?

You may not be able to stop your partner from wiggling or controlling their bladder, though the good news is the right mattress can help. A mattress offering advanced motion isolation, proper spinal support, and breathability is key. This is why a hybrid mattress is considered the ‘holy grail of modern bed sharing’ Max explains. Panda’s Hybrid Bamboo Mattress Pro offers a unique blend of breathable BioCell™ Foam, supportive OrthoAlign Foam™, and seven zones of premium pocket springs to isolate movement and maximise comfort for each of your pressure points. ‘Finding a mattress that provides structural integrity without compromising on comfort is key to ensure deep, restful sleep and spinal support’, says Matt Cunningham, mobility coach.

The Hybrid offers a unique solution to motion transfer, combining everything you need for a good night’s sleep in one mattress. ‘The blended hybrid mattress process dramatically increases the chances of achieving a regular consistent nights sleep’ explains Max and enjoy a ‘deeper sleep cycle quality next to your partner”  Without having to resort to separate rooms a hybrid mattress can help you get better ‘sleep quality, depth, and duration’ without being so affected by your partner’s movements.

Motion Transfer- The Magic solution

If motion transfer is getting in the way of you and a great night’s sleep, it’s time to upgrade your mattress. While it’s a big decision, finding the perfect mattress will be one of the best bedtime commitments you make. With advanced motion isolation, unparalleled comfort and orthopaedic grade support a hybrid mattress is most likely to tick both of your boxes!

The magic solution to years of happy sleep is waiting.


What are some common causes of motion transfer in a mattress?

Last updated on January 23rd, 2024 at 04:14 pm

Several factors can contribute to motion transfer, including the type of mattress, the quality of materials, and the level of support and cushioning. Innerspring mattresses, for example, tend to have higher motion transfer than memory foam or latex mattresses.

How can I reduce motion transfer in my mattress?

Last updated on January 23rd, 2024 at 04:14 pm

Consider investing in a mattress designed to isolate motion to reduce motion transfer. Hybrid bamboo mattresses perform well in this regard. Additionally, using a mattress topper, choosing a thicker mattress, or placing the mattress on a sturdy foundation can help minimize motion transfer.

Are there specific mattress types or technologies that excel at reducing motion transfer?

Last updated on January 23rd, 2024 at 04:14 pm

Yes, memory foam mattresses are known for absorbing and isolating motion effectively. Hybrid mattresses, which combine memory foam with innerspring coils, can also provide good motion isolation.

Can motion transfer be a significant issue for couples sharing a bed?

Last updated on January 23rd, 2024 at 04:14 pm

Yes, motion transfer can be a significant concern for couples. If one partner moves frequently at night, it can disturb the other’s sleep. Choosing a mattress with excellent motion isolation can help both partners sleep more soundly.

Are there any other factors to consider besides the mattress type?

Last updated on January 23rd, 2024 at 04:14 pm

Factors like mattress thickness, the quality of materials, and the firmness level can also influence motion transfer. A thicker mattress with high-quality foam layers and a medium to firm feel often performs well in reducing motion transfer.

Are there any accessories or bedding items that can help further reduce motion transfer?

Last updated on January 23rd, 2024 at 04:14 pm

You can use accessories like motion-isolating bed bases or foundations to complement your mattress. Additionally, a mattress protector or topper can provide an extra cushioning layer and help absorb motion.

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