When it comes to shopping for superior sleep products, we all eventually arrive at one big-ticket item: a mattress.

And no wonder: After a grueling gym session, what you crash on can be the difference between recovering stronger and waking up feeling trashed. So why, then, does mattress shopping suck so much? You spend a day flopping down on samples in a store, pretending to sleep under industrial fluorescents (and a sales guy's overeager gaze), then being guilted into buying a mattress you're not even sure is right for you.

Helix, the first online purveyor of customized mattresses, is trying to change that. By giving consumers more information about sleep, then combining each person's preferences with some considerable advances in sleep tech, Helix is banking it can help people sleep deeper, cooler, and more comfortably. No pushy sales guy required.

Here's an inside look at its process.