Getting hold of the best memory foam mattress is an exercise not just in quality of the mattress, but your own personal preference as well. It’s fairly subjective, and at the same time quite objective. This memory foam mattress buying guide will take you through the salient points to look for in your memory foam mattress, and see what really makes memory foam a very special material for your mattress. Let’s get rolling with the best recommendations for memory foam mattresses.
5 Best Memory Foam Mattresses
Loom & Leaf by Saatva is marketed as a luxury mattress in all aspects, except the price. To show just how much they are devoted to this belief, Saatva does not ship this mattress in a box. Instead, this one arrives with the joys of white glove delivery, where they place the full mattress into the room of your choice, and remove the older mattress as well.
Staying up with the idea of luxury, the mattress covering is foam quilted, made from organic cotton, and great to touch. This is followed by a comfort layer of gel-swirl memory foam, 5lb premium memory foam layer, a 2-inch transition layer, and finally, a high-density polyfoam base to keep everything stable and in order. Being 12-inch tall, it offers plenty of space for the layers to be added and adequately managed. It even manages to have decent edge support, a quality rare for even the best foam mattress.
Loom & Leaf make clever use of their gel memory foam layer and mattress covering to create a very impressive support system, thus becoming incredibly useful for those suffering from backaches or shoulder pain. The mattress is available in two firmness options, medium and firm. In both cases, it sticks to its primary job of being a supportive, pressure-relieving memory foam mattress.
For its eco-credentials, the mattress cover is made from organic cotton, eco-friendly foam, flame retardant thistle, and antimicrobial treatment.
Warranty: 15 Years
Trial: 120 nights
- White glove delivery
- Excellent motion isolation
- Minimal off-gassing problems
- Eco-friendly materials used for construction
- Limited Options – Only available in firm and medium firm
- Many consumers say that the “firm” option is too firm
- Sleep hot problems persist
- Insufficient edge support
Nectar shows its confidence in its mattress by offering a 180-day trial period, and a “forever” warranty, both of them placed squarely as the longest in the industry. Apart from its great value offerings, the mattress also does an excellent job at providing support to the sleeper, and handling the sleep-hot problem that plagues memory foam mattresses.
The mattress is covered in Tencel fabric to cover sleep-hot problems. This fabric quickly wicks away any moisture, thus keeping the sleeper cool. Following this are layers of quilted gel memory foam, gel memory foam, adaptive high core memory foam as a transition layer, and finally, a breathing base layer. With such attention gone to solve the problem, Nectar does an admirable job in staying temperature neutral. The mattress can be placed on any bed type and includes small bumps at the underside to prevent it from sliding off the frame.
Most memory foam mattress reviews, professionals as well as customers, see the Nectar Mattress as an excellent choice. Adding to its good qualities, the mattress offers excellent motion isolation. Available in a firmness level of 6, the mattress sits in the sweet spot of general preferences and offers a bit for different sleeping styles and preferences.
While not exactly the cheapest, this cool gel memory foam mattress still offers great value thanks to its trial and warranty. It’s also an excellent choice for couples with different preferences.
Warranty: Forever (as long as you own the mattress)
Trial: 180 days
- Excellent motion isolation
- Great value
- Temperature neutral
- Limited options, given there is only one firmness level available
- There is some off-gassing
Amerisleep AS3 adds to its charm by being very environmentally friendly. This mattress replaces the bulk of memory foam with Amerisleep’s proprietary Bio-Pur foam, and the support foam layer with Bio-Core foam. Both of these foams are partially derived from plants, making the mattress (and foams) more environmentally friendly than conventional petroleum-derived foams.
The 12-inch mattress includes 7-inches of Bio-Core layer, followed by 2-inches of affinity transition layer, and topped by 3-inches of Bio-Pur foam layer. Top of the mattress is wrapped in a high-performance Celliant fabric. It is claimed that this fabric helps you sleep faster, and have a more relaxed sleep. While we remain skeptical of Celliant’s claims on healing and sleeping, we recommend you do your own research and reach your own conclusion on this topic.
Amerisleep AS3 is available in medium firmness, and is useful for most sleep positions, including the combo sleeper. Open-cell structure of the Bio-Pur foam makes it more “breathable” enabling it to wick away heat more efficiently, and staying temperature neutral.
As a plant based memory foam mattress, Amerisleep AS3 has carved a way that takes memory foam through greener territories. Given the current and rising popularity of memory foam, plant-based replacements are indeed welcome.
Warranty: 20 years
Trial: 100 nights
- Environmentally-friendly foam
- Excellent motion isolation
- Useful for most sleep positions
- Low bounce
- Poor edge support
Tempur-Pedic is the pioneer of memory foam mattresses, and has been a leader of this industry. The Tempur-Cloud series includes five different models with various price tags, and slight differences in specifications. Similarly, the series goes all the way from extra plush to extra perform, offering a wide range of options.
The mattresses benefit from Tempur’s close-confirming memory foam, which brings about excellent support and pressure relief. Its cover helps cooling, as do other layers with increased breathability. Layers with Tempur-Adapt technology draw away heat from the body to keep the mattress temperature neutral, while Tempur-Climate channels the excess heat out of the mattress.
The mattress series comes with a 10-year warranty. You can generally expect Tempur-Pedic products to last long, so there’s a good chance that warranty will prove itself worth its word. Cost is, of course, always a consideration with Tempur’s products, but if you can afford to fork out the money, it can be a fairly safe bet.
Warranty: 10 years
Trial: 90 days (varies by sales outlet)
- Several available options
- Excellent motion isolation
- Temperature neutral
- Expensive with questionable value for money
- Off-gassing and smell problems persist
- Questionable longevity, and for that price, you want a mattress that lasts
Layla packs two mattresses in one. This is a flippable mattress where one side is a firm at 7, and the other is a medium-soft at 4. You can choose what works best for you, making this an ideal solution for most sleep positions.
Layla’s cover is infused in thermogel, which works with the copper-infused memory foam layer to whisk away heat and keep the mattress temperature neutral. The mattress has four layers, starting with a 3-inch copper infused memory foam, 2-inch convoluted support foam, 4.5-inch base support foam, and finally, a 1-inch layer of copper-infused memory foam. As you can guess, the dual memory foam layers are what makes this mattress flippable, and usable on both sides.
The mattress is shipped in a box, so allow it some time to air and expand to its full size. If you’re new to memory foam mattresses or bought a new one after a long time on your trusty old mattress, remember your body will take some time to adjust to a new mattress.
Trial: 120 days
- Flippable, allowing you more options in firmness
- Does a fair job at staying temperature neutral
- Excellent motion isolation
- There’s a good chance of off-gassing
- Poor edge support
Your Guide To Choosing The Best Memory Foam Mattress
Memory foam is a relatively new entry into the world of mattresses, and has since been making huge strides. Memory foam usually involves viscoelastic polyurethane foam, which was originally developed by NASA in the ‘60s for use in spacecraft/aircraft cushions. Soon enough, greater roles were visible for memory foam, and it was made publically available in the 1980s.
The earliest commercial mattresses arrived in the 1990s, and the sector has been on the up and up since then. With commercialization and mattress use, memory foam mattresses brands brought in several changes to the technology, customizing it for their use and that of their customers.
While conforming to heat and pressure still is the USP of memory foam, there are several more properties and types of foam to consider. Let’s see what makes your memory foam mattress work, and understand what you should be looking for when purchasing the best memory foam mattress.
Memory Foam Types
As we said, viscoelastic polyurethane foam is the basic memory foam. Of course, there have been additions and changes to this basic construction, where mattress brands bring changes. In the same vein, a knowledge of these is useful for knowing what to expect from your mattress, and having a reference for memory foam mattress comparison when you decide to purchase a mattress.
In the mattresses we listed above, you may have noticed that a fair bit of attention was devoted to the cooling solutions the mattresses employed. Cooling down a tempurpedic mattress can be a challenge, and one of the reasons why several companies have tried to find their own solutions to the problem. Generally speaking, memory foam does not dissipate heat, so as you sleep and the foam cradles your body, you might start feeling hot and sweaty due to your body heat.
Many (not all) memory foam types take special care to deal with dissipating heat so you can sleep comfortably. A prerequisite of course is that the usual “feel” of the memory foam is not compromised. What makes memory foam special is the support and pressure relief that memory foam provides, its ability to gracefully confirm to body shape and pressure is visible and loved in the best foam mattress.
Gel Memory Foam
During manufacture of memory foam, gel is added either as beads, or even a layer of liquid. The idea is that the gel acts as a thermal conductor and transmits the heat away, keeping the mattress temperature neutral, and the sleeper free from sweating. It is one of the most popular solutions, and you will see several mattresses with gel memory foam.
However, not every cool gel memory foam mattress is created equal. Generally, it works best if the gel layer is placed close to the sleeper. In case your mattress has another layer on top of the gel layer, you should be skeptical of its cooling ability.
Copper Memory Foam
Copper-infused memory foam is more a subset of gel memory foam. In this particular case, copper is added along with gel beads with the aim to increase thermal conductivity of the gel. Tiny copper wires run through the foam and arguably help cool the mattress. Another claim is that copper helps stimulate blood circulation, so sleepers with joint pain and stiffness will find it more helpful.
A good mattress certainly can be beneficial for joint pain, and indeed memory foam has displayed its usefulness in the area. However, copper as an external stimulator for blood flow has mostly been proven to be false, and you may safely ignore any snake oil salesman offering memory foam mattresses brands that make such a pitch.
Plant Based or Eco Foam
Plant-based, eco-foam, or natural memory foam has been steadily gaining ground. Unlike conventional foam that is produced using petroleum, natural memory foam is produced using plant-based materials like bamboo, tea, soy or Aloe Vera. The process, and the foam so created is more environmentally friendly, and as such is more preferred by several customers.
Eco foam also has the advantage of being much better at heat dissipation than conventional memory foam, and contributes immensely to the mattress going temperature neutral. Plant-based foams generally respond to pressure rather than temperature, and are very well suited for mattresses. The foam is more expensive to produce, and are often used along with conventional memory foam.
Conventional Memory Foam
Conventional or traditional memory foam is the most common derivation of viscoelastic polyurethane foam. It is the primary force behind the contouring, support ,and body-hugging qualities of memory foam that we have come to love. At medium to high density, this foam provides excellent contouring and pressure relief. It is however plagued by sleep hot problems and needs a fair amount of effort put in before it becomes free of that problem.
Open Cell Memory Foam
A variation on the conventional memory foam, the open cell memory foam retains the same feel of the memory foam, but with improved ability to handle heat. This foam has tiny air pockets that are conducive to continued air flow, thus reducing the heat retention problems of memory foam. As an added advantage, this type of foam has a faster response than conventional memory foam.
Memory Foam Characteristics
Now that we know the various types, let’s take a look at the characteristics and properties that together build the best memory foam mattress there is.
Density defines the weight, and in a way, the quality of foam used. Memory foam’s density is measured in PCF, or pounds per cubic foot. Higher the density, more is the firmness and support. While high density is considered the best quality, it isn’t necessarily what makes the best mattress. Memory foam is generally divided into three density levels:
- High Density (5.0 PCF and above): Mattresses on this level have higher level of firmness and can be more durable. Similarly, they are also more expensive since more material is used by volume. The higher density also reduces air circulation, and the mattress is more likely to sleep hot, although it provides the best performance in motion isolation.
- Medium Density (3.5 to 5 PCF): The medium density range often presents the best mix of material density and air circulation. This density is commonly used in several mattresses.
- Low Density (Less than 3.5PCF): By virtue of using low density foam, this mattress is lighter, uses less material, and can be fairly inexpensive. Of course, this also reduces support and pressure relief offered by the foam, as well as the durability of the mattress.
Mattress Firmness And ILD Ratings
Closely related to density, ILD rating of a mattress tells you how firm it is. This feature can be quite influential, and often shows up in memory foam mattress reviews, especially those by the average consumer. Since many buyers don’t pay enough attention to ILD range, they are very dependent on marketing claims of soft/firm mattress. Since a generic soft or firm description of a mattress is rarely true, knowing the ILD Range and what suits you best should be helpful for a customer in choosing the best memory foam mattress.
Heavier mattresses are firmer and offer more support, though the ILD score is a better indicator on what to expect. Higher the ILD rating, firmer the mattress. In case of memory foam mattresses, ILD range also represents sinkage in the mattress when you lie down. Lower range (8-10) is extremely soft, while the high range (16-21) offers minimal sinking.
Memory foam is generally a soft material that allows for sinking. That is why mattresses aren’t generally made entirely of memory foam. Generally speaking, your memory foam mattress will have memory foam only in the comfort layer which usually is anywhere between 25-40% of the mattress. Other types of foams may also be used for layers, though the core support will usually come from high-density polyfoam. This layer’s job is to prevent you from sinking completely into the mattress!
Miscellaneous Considerations For Buying Memory Foam
Motion Isolation or Motion Transfer represents how well the mattress handles, or isolates movement on its surface. If your partner moves a lot in their sleep, a higher motion transfer might carry the disturbance to you and spoil your sleep.
Thankfully, memory foam mattresses generally have good motion isolation. Yours and your partner’s movements will remain well-isolated, so you can sleep comfortably without disrupting each other’s sleep. A higher motion isolation is to be prized especially by those who share the bed with restless sleepers.
A mattress is a fair investment, so it makes perfect sense to hope that your mattress lasts a long time. Since memory foam mattresses have no mechanical or moving parts, they can last for a fairly long time. You can expect a good quality memory foam mattress to last about 7-10 years of regular use. Density of the memory foam can be a good indicator of expected durability, with higher density lasting longer. Of course, also look at the warranty options offered, and what they actually cover.
Bounce And Memory Foam
It should come as no surprise that memory foam offers very little to no bounce at all. If you expect bounce like an innerspring mattress, memory foam will disappoint. However, hybrid mattress options for memory foam mattresses can add some bounce, as can some foams. Many people find the low bounce of memory foam as a downer on their romantic endeavors on bed. Sinkage can reduce ease of movement, and together with lack of bounce, they can take away some fun from sex. Of course, this is more about individual preference and tastes, so it may not be much of a problem for you.
Off-gassing and chemical smell is perhaps one of the most annoying problems associated with even the best memory foam mattress. This is simply a by-product of the manufacturing process. As the mattress decompresses, it will generally release an unpleasant chemical smell that is defined as off-gassing. While this happens for a short duration of time, and is completed within a few weeks, it is annoying and one of the most pervasive complaints with memory foam mattresses. Several companies try to limit the off-gassing smell from their mattresses, though with limited success. Eco-foam or plant-derived memory foam has the advantage of having zero to negligible off-gassing.
Body Sleep Position Suitability Of Memory Foam Mattress
Your sleep position and body type can, and do affect the choice of the best memory foam mattress for you. Since memory foam has proven especially useful in pressure reduction, some specific conditions like arthritic hips pain should also influence your choice of memory foam mattresses. Side sleepers, and especially stomach sleepers have very specific requirements from their mattress, and as such possibility of a suitable mattress should be considered.
Pricing And Memory Foam Mattresses
Memory foam mattresses can be fairly expensive. The average cost of a good memory foam mattress easily runs above a grand. Buying a king size memory foam mattress can be a sizeable strain on your finances. On an average, even a queen size memory foam mattress can cost as much as $1000. Of course, there are other options to consider, and your cost may well be in line with a twin bed mattress.
Thankfully, there are several memory foam mattresses brands with budget models that can very well suit your needs. While many of these budget memory foam mattresses may not be as feature-rich as the expensive options, they do offer value for money and the benefits of memory foam. You can safely consider one of the best cheap memory foam mattress brands and save yourself a chunk of money.
5 Best Cheap Memory Foam Mattress (Under $300)
This mattress is great for dipping your toe into the world of memory foam mattresses. At just 5-inches of height, it manages to include just 1-inch of memory foam layer. Now that’s probably not enough memory foam, but it still provides remarkable pressure relief. Sleeping hot won’t necessarily be a major problem with this mattress, though the memory foam layer is gel, so you can expect this mattress to be temperature neutral.
- Very affordable
- Low thickness can be an advantage
- Temperature neutral
- Limited benefits of memory foam due to very thin layer
Available in several options and at great prices, this mattress certainly does justice to its name. The Best Price mattress is built with several layers of foam, making it more comfortable and relaxing for the sleeper. It has a 2-inch memory foam layer, followed by 2-inches of super-soft foam, and finally, 4-inches of support foam. While the layers vary with your choice of mattress thickness, the general idea remains widely the same.
- Several available options and features
- Great for pressure relief
- Flimsy fiberglass coating makes this a troublesome mattress
- Sleep hot problems
This mattress has 2.5-inches of gel-infused memory foam sitting on a 7.5-inch layer of support foam. It’s a relatively simple construction that allows memory foam its space to work its magic with pressure relief and support. Apart from gel-infused layer, the mattress claims to have excellent ventilation in its foam to keep it temperature neutral.
- Excellent price point
- Impressive range of options
- Very slow to decompress
Amongst the highest rated and bestselling mattresses on Amazon, the Zinus memory foam mattress has attracted quite some attention. Apart from regular construction, the mattress is infused with green tea extract to hide its chemical smell, and to keep bacteria and mold away.
It is relatively quick to decompress and claims to be ready within just 72 hours.
The 12-inch variant has 3-inches of memory foam, followed by 2-inches comfort foam, 3.5 inches Airflow high-density foam, and finally another 3.5-inches of Airflow high-density base support foam.
- Excellent price point and affordability
- Variety of available options
- Green tea treatment is only moderately effective – off-gassing remains a problem
This impressive mattress is currently the leader of mattress sales and reviews at Amazon. With excellent ratings and reviews, the Modway Aveline is an impressive budget option that you should consider. It is one of the few well-priced memory foam mattresses brands, and manages to pack in several features. Its gel-infused memory foam top layer is open cell and ventilated to keep the mattress temperature neutral, while the support layers add to the pressure relief offered by memory foam. Most customers find this mattress satisfactory, and seems to have enough positive reviews to take on any other for the title of being the best memory foam mattress.
- Several features and options on offer
- Temperature neutral
- Slight off-gassing problems
Signing Off — What’s The Best Memory Foam Mattress
As you have seen with our memory foam mattress comparison and a deeper look with memory foam mattress reviews, there are several points to consider. Although one thing that makes itself clear is that the best memory foam mattress is a personalized choice, rather than an objective brand or product. While some bestsellers and well-known brands will rarely disappoint, you can as easily look for the memory foam mattress of your choice in lower priced ranges. There’s plenty to choose from, so feel free to use this memory foam mattress buying guide to pick a memory foam mattress that is an excellent fit to your requirements.