Best Memory Foam Mattress Reviews
First created in the 1970s, memory foam is a remarkable material. It was originally invented by NASA researchers who needed a material with specialized performance that could be used as padding for astronauts on shuttle missions. Now, this material has wide commercial applications including in mattresses, pillows, mattress toppers, and more.
The defining characteristic of memory foam, also known as viscoelastic foam, is its responsiveness. Its shape compresses to fit the person who is on it, hugging the body according to how weight is applied to the foam. In mattresses, this has allowed memory foam to gain tremendous popularity for its comfort and its ability to properly cushion the body’s main pressure points.
As memory foam has become more and more popular as a mattress material, the number of options on the market using memory foam has exploded. For many shoppers, this can make the process of choosing a mattress intimidating or overwhelming.
In this guide, we make the process simple. We’ve gone through the reviews and mattress specifications to identify the top five memory foam mattresses available today. We’ll introduce those mattresses and discuss why they made our list. In the second part of the guide, we’ll go into detail about the different types of memory foam, the components of a memory foam mattress, and other useful information that can empower you to find the best mattress for your bedroom.
What Are the Best Memory Foam Mattresses?
Memory foam has become such a common material in mattresses that there are a head-spinning number of options that you can find either in-store or online. While the popularity of this material is well-deserved, not all memory foam mattresses are worth your hard-earned dollars.
To help guide you to a great choice, we’ve selected our top 5 best memory foam mattresses. A quick introduction to these mattresses -- listed in no particular order -- is in the table below.
We figure that you may be the type of shopper who wants to have a lot more detail before making a decision, especially for a significant purchase like a mattress. Below you can read more about the construction and benefits of our top picks.
Why we like it:
- Excellent contouring and support for spinal alignment
- Minimal heat retention
- Affordable price point
- 365-night sleep trial and lifetime warranty
Though it is among the lowest-priced mattresses on our list, the Nectar delivers a fantastic sleeping experience that provides the kind of conforming and comfort that sleepers have come to expect from memory foam.
This Medium Firm mattress (a 6 on the typical firmness scale) has four foam layers. The top layer is 1 inch of memory foam that is quilted into the cover. The second layer is 3 inches of high-density, gel-infused memory foam. The third layer is a transition foam with a thickness of 1.75 inches, and the bottom is 5.25 inches of support polyfoam.
The two memory foam layers that make up the comfort system allow the mattress to contour to the body and keep the spine and neck in alignment. At the same time, the use of gel-infused foam and a breathable cover made with Tencel fabric decrease heat retention and reduce the risk of sleeping hot.
Two other factors make the Nectar mattress especially appealing: its price tag and its sleep trial. This mattress can be purchased for $799 for a Queen, which is significantly less than other top memory foam mattresses. In addition, it comes with a 365-night sleep trial that gives you a full year to test out the mattress and determine if it is the right fit for you. With these extra benefits that differentiate it from many other memory foam options, the Nectar stands out as one of the top 5 best memory foam mattresses.
Loom & Leaf
Why we like it:
- 4.5” of combined memory foam delivers excellent hug and pressure relief
- High-density foams offer long-term durability
- Choice of two firmness options
- Various features promote ventilation and fight heat buildup
- Eco-friendly foams
The Loom & Leaf mattress, manufactured by the reputable Saatva brand, deploys two separate layers of high-density memory foam to offer high-end performance and long-term durability.
The Loom & Leaf mattress is offered in two models -- Relaxed Firm (5.5 on the firmness scale) and Firm (8). Both models have the same interior design and construction. The top layer is 2.5 inches of zoned, gel-infused memory foam with a density of 4 pounds per cubic foot (PCF). The zoned design gives extra padding to heavier parts of the body.
Beneath this top layer is another 2 inches of memory foam that has a density of 5 PCF. Combined, these 4.5 inches of memory foam provide superb contouring to give each part of the body the amount of cushioning that it needs, allowing your spine to stay aligned through the night. A 2-inch polyfoam transition layer and 5.5-inch support core of high-density polyfoam make up the bottom two layers of the mattress.
Even with its thick memory foam comfort system, the Loom & Leaf is resistant to overheating. The top foam layer is both gel-infused and convoluted, meaning that it has passageways for air to move through. A breathable organic cotton cover adds an extra cooling element to the mattress.
The use of high-density foams help make the Loom & Leaf durable over the long-haul, and these layers also make this bed more effective for sleepers over 230 pounds. The eco-friendly foams, made with a higher percentage of renewable plant oils than most memory foams, are effective at motion isolation as well, which is a huge plus for people who share a mattress.
The Saatva company offers free installation and haul-away of an old mattress and has a widely-recognized reputation for excellent customer service. Your purchase is protected by a 100-night sleep trial, although there is a $99 return shipping charge if you decide not to keep the bed.
Although its price tag of $1,499 is not the lowest of all memory foam beds, the Loom & Leaf is still a serious value given the quality of the company and the mattress materials.
Why we like it:
- Flippable design features two firmness options in one
- Unique features from copper-infused memory foam
- Budget-friendly price point
- Lifetime warranty
Layla offers a flippable memory foam mattress that includes two firmness options in one. This dual-sided design provides two distinct sleeping experiences, making this a great option for those torn between a soft and firm memory foam mattress.
One side is rated as Medium (4-5 on the firmness scale) while the other side is Firm (7-8). The Medium side features a comfort layer consisting of a 3-inch layer of copper-infused memory foam and a 2-inch transition layer of convoluted polyfoam. The Firm side has a comfort layer of 1 inch of copper-infused memory foam that sits directly on top of the support core of 4.5 inches of high-density polyfoam. The total height of the Layla is 10 inches, and the cover is a polyester blend infused with ThermoGel cooling fabric.
On either side of the mattress, the Layla provides conforming from the memory foam, although the amount of hug and sink will be more pronounced on the Medium side. Regardless of your firmness preference, the comfort system on each side can relieve pressure and support a healthy spinal position. The copper infusion works to resist heat buildup, fight the growth of bacteria, and may enhance bodily recovery.
The Layla mattress comes with a 120-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty that protects against any defects in materials or manufacturing. Combined with an affordable price point of $999, the Layla’s innovative design makes it a top pick among memory foam mattresses.
Why we like it:
- Cutting-edge Celliant cover promotes muscle recovery
- Pressure relief from memory foam comfort layer
- Graphite-gel infusion in the foam fights off excess heat
The Bear Mattress is an all-foam bed that wins over customers with its innovative cover and conforming memory foam comfort layer.
The main way that the Bear Mattress separates itself from other options on the market is its Celliant cover. Celliant is a specialty textile that converts heat from the body into infrared energy. This energy promotes muscle and tissue recovery, making the Bear Mattress especially apt for athletes and people who suffer from frequent aches and pains.
The inner construction of the Bear Mattress involves three layers. The top layer is memory foam that is infused with a graphite gel. This foam conforms to the body and achieves notable pressure point relief. The graphite gel, along with the Celliant fabric in the cover, helps to make sure that you don’t sleep hot even as the mattress hugs the body. The memory foam effectively isolates motion and decreases noise, making the Bear Mattress a good fit for couples.
Beneath the memory foam layer is a polyfoam transition layer that has slightly less contouring and more bounce than the memory foam. The bottom layer is a thick base of high-density support polyfoam. All together, these layers create a 10-inch tall mattress with a Medium Firm feel that is around a 6.5 on the typical firmness scale.
Despite its impressive slate of features, the Bear Mattress is available for only $840, making it a compelling value for a quality memory foam bed. The mattress comes with a 100-night sleep trial, allowing for returns after a 30-night break-in period.
Why we like it:
- High-end memory foam provides excellent conforming
- Motion isolation and minimal noise makes it great for couples
- Long-standing brand in the mattress industry
The TEMPUR-Adapt is an all-foam mattress with that classic memory foam feel that customers have come to know from Tempur-Pedic. Tried-and true, this bed provides a quintessential memory foam sleeping experience.
Tempur-Pedic does not disclose the density or thickness of their foam layers. The company does state that the Adapt mattress features two distinct memory foam layers. One is TEMPUR-ES, known for significant softness, and the other is the traditional TEMPUR memory foam. A polyfoam support core serves as the base for these two memory foam layers.
As a result of its extra soft memory foam top layer, the TEMPUR-Adapt mattress features extremely high levels of conforming, giving sleepers the feeling that they are being wrapped up in a hug. This provides excellent pressure relief and cushioning to support the spine. In addition, it achieves the classic memory foam features of top-notch motion isolation and virtually no noise, both of which are strong selling points for couples.
At $2,199, the TEMPUR-Adapt isn't made for people on a tight budget. But for people who want to buy from one of the most well-established names in the mattress industry and a company that helped pioneer the use of memory foam in beds, the TEMPUR-Adapt is a top pick.
Memory Foam Mattress Buying Guide
While you can choose a great memory foam bed by selecting one of our top picks, we know that many of our readers want to know the details about memory foam and make an informed choice about whether it’s the right material for their bed. In the following sections, we’ll go in-depth about memory foam mattresses, describing their components, benefits, downsides, and how they compare to other mattress types.
What is Memory Foam?
Memory foam is the name given to a specific material called viscoelastic foam. First produced by NASA, the material was invented to provide proportional cushioning for astronauts in high-stress environments.
Two key features are common to viscoelastic foam. The first is that it is highly responsive, which means that it compresses more in places where more weight is applied. When the weight is removed, it slowly retakes its original shape, giving the sense that it “remembers” the impression left by the body.
A second feature is that the mattress becomes softer when it gets warmer. This means that when foam takes on heat from the body, it can conform even more, offering even deeper hug.
Not all viscoelastic foam is exactly like the foam that was originally developed for NASA. Over time, memory foam formulations have been tweaked to fit specific consumer applications and needs, including in mattresses.
What Are the Types of Memory Foam?
New modifications and innovations have come to the production of memory foam, and you may find a reference to some of these distinct types of memory foam as you shop for a new mattress. These are the most common names for these subtypes of memory foam and what they mean:
- Traditional memory foam has the fewest differences from the type that has been on the market for decades. It has lots of conforming and motion isolation.
- Open-cell memory foam follows the same basic idea as traditional memory foam but with a more airy structure to permit greater ventilation.
- Plant-based memory foam replaces some of the petrochemicals used in making traditional memory foam with plant-based oils. In terms of performance, the plant-based foams are quite similar to traditional and open-cell memory foams.
- Gel-infused memory foam infuses a gel material into the foam to reduce heat retention. The gel may be swirled throughout the foam or may be placed inside beads that are interspersed in the foam. The gel may use heat-resistant materials like graphite in its composition.
- Copper-infused memory foam places small amounts of copper material into beads that are spread throughout the foam. Copper can help decrease heat retention and may have positive effects on the body as well.
What is Memory Foam Density and ILD?
Another way that memory foam is described is based on its density and its ILD.
Density is a straightforward measurement of how much a cubic foot of the foam weighs in pounds. The denser the foam, the heavier it is. Higher density tends to equate to a more robust and durable foam. In the comfort system, we usually look for a memory foam to have a density of 3.5 PCF or higher.
Keep in mind, though, that different types of foam will naturally have different density. For example, polyfoam can be durable with a lower PCF than memory foam. As a result, most support cores are made with polyfoam with a density around 1.8 PCF. This is considered high-density for this type of foam, but for memory foam it would be low-density.
Indentation load deflection (ILD) is a measurement of the amount of pressure required to create a specific depth of indentation in a mattress. The higher the ILD, the firmer the mattress.
While ILD can give a rough idea of the firmness of a mattress, remember that it is affected by how thick the memory foam is and the temperature of the foam. For most memory foams, an ILD of 10-12 is soft, 13-15 is medium, and 16 or higher is firm. Keep in mind that the ILD is for one layer, but the feel of the mattress as a whole is determined by the way that the various layers work in conjunction with one another.
What Are the Components of a Memory Foam Mattress?
Most memory foam mattresses are not made entirely of this material. Instead, the memory foam forms one important component of the mattress as a whole. Overall, these mattresses are made up of several parts.
The comfort system is the component that most directly influences your perception of the comfort and support provided by the mattress. The comfort system can be just one layer or may be composed of multiple layers that work in concert.
In a memory foam mattress, memory foam is a principal material in the comfort system. This allows the mattress to take advantage of the responsiveness, pressure relief, and motion isolation of memory foam.
Not all memory foam mattresses will have a transition layer; however, many include it to add a degree of bounce to the bed. A transition layer, usually made with polyfoam, can, as the name implies, help smooth out the difference in feel between the softer comfort system and sturdier support core.
The support core is the base of the mattress. It normally constitutes around half to two-thirds of the mattress and creates a level of stability and sturdiness for the whole bed. In almost all memory foam mattresses, the support core is made with a high-density polyfoam. This polyfoam has very little contouring, so it provides a backstop against too much sinking of the layers above it.
The cover goes around the exterior of the mattress. Most mattresses have a uniform cover, but some have a different material on the top than on the sides or bottom. Many covers are selected for being breathable materials including cotton, wool, rayon, and certain types of polyester.
What Does it Feel Like to Sleep on a Memory Foam Mattress?
Memory foam mattresses are popular because their superior contour ability makes the mattress feel customized to the sleeper’s body.
Memory foam reacts to the pressure and heat of your body, so regardless of your sleeping position or body weight, it can cushion the body in proportion with how your weight is distributed on the sleeping surface. This helps to keep your spine aligned by offering more support to pressure points and heavier areas of the body.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Memory Foam Mattresses?
Memory foam mattresses come with pros and cons, and knowing these can help you determine whether a memory foam mattress is a good fit for you.
Excellent contour ability
Memory foam beds are the best mattresses at providing deep contouring. They are highly responsive and conform to the body, providing a feeling of hug that feels customized to you.
Comfortable, supportive sleeping surface
Memory foam mattresses provide excellent pressure point relief. They react according to the pressure exerted on them, allowing them to evenly distribute your weight and keep your spine aligned and supported while asleep.
Superior motion isolation
For couples and people who are easily disturbed when sleeping, memory foam offers excellent motion isolation. Virtually no movement on another part of the mattress is transferred to other parts of the bed.
Memory foam beds are virtually noiseless and won’t have the squeaks associated with traditional innerspring mattresses.
How Much Does a Memory Foam Mattress Cost?
The price of a memory foam mattress can vary significantly, but the average for a quality Queen-size memory foam mattress is between $800 and $1,200. The total price for any specific mattress will depend on the size, foam thickness, foam quality, special features, and the composition of other mattress layers.
How Long Does a Memory Foam Mattress Last?
On average, a quality memory foam mattress should last 6-8 years.
Factors that impact the bed’s durability include the types of foam used, the density of the foam, and the thickness of each layer. Higher-density foams have a longer lifespan, especially if they are in thicker layers.
Almost every memory foam mattress will come with a warranty that lasts for 10 years or more. The warranty generally will not cover minor indentations or wear-and-tear, but if the memory foam or another material is defective, there should be a remedy under the warranty.
What Type of Sleeper is Best Suited to a Memory Foam Mattress?
Certain types of sleepers find that memory find is more likely to be a fit for their needs:
- Lightweight sleepers (under 130 pounds) can benefit from the contouring abilities of a memory foam mattress and usually don’t have issues with feeling stuck in the mattress.
- Side sleepers, who have major pressure points at the hips and shoulders, tend to appreciate the responsiveness of memory foam and the way it can promote spinal alignment.
- Stomach and back sleepers can take advantage of the conforming of memory foam but usually, need a firmer comfort feel (7 or higher on the typical firmness scale).
- Couples tend to love the motion isolation and quiet performance from memory foam. This becomes even more helpful if one or more people are prone to be easily woken up during the night.
Some sleepers generally don’t find memory foam mattresses to be the best option for their needs.
- Hot sleepers frequently struggle with the way that memory foam can retain heat and reduce airflow around the body, although this problem is less pronounced with some newer types of memory foam.
- Heavier sleepers (over 230 pounds) can find memory foam to permit too much sink, but if a firmer, denser foam is used in the comfort system, these sleepers may be happy with the support offered by memory foam.
How Does Memory Foam Compare to Other Mattress Types?
To understand whether a memory foam bed is going to be the best for you, it may be helpful to think about how they compare to other types of mattresses.
Memory Foam vs. Latex
Both memory foam and latex are conforming materials that can properly cushion the body’s pressure points, although memory foam tends to have more contour. One of the biggest differences has to do with resilience. Memory foam slowly regains its original form while latex rapidly springs back. This makes latex feel bouncier and makes it less likely to feel like you are sinking into the bed. Because of the nature of the material, memory foam has a greater tendency to retain heat and to inhibit motion (including sex) on top of the mattress. Latex is typically heavier, more expensive, and transfers more motion than memory foam.
Memory Foam vs. Innerspring
Innerspring mattresses are made with a support core of metal coils and are the most traditional style of mattress. Memory foam mattresses tend to get higher customer satisfaction ratings than innersprings. For many consumers, this is because memory foam is considerably better at contouring to the body and relieving pressure points. Innerspring mattresses have more bounce and fewer issues with sleeping hot or with off-gassing, but they do transfer more motion. Innerspring mattresses are usually less expensive, but many have weaker materials that are likely to be less durable than a well-made, high-density memory foam mattress.
Memory Foam vs. Hybrid
Like an innerspring mattress, a hybrid has a support core that is made up of metal coils, but a hybrid has a thicker comfort system above those coils. In some cases, the comfort layer in a hybrid is in fact made with memory foam. The performance of a hybrid is more variable than that of a memory foam mattress precisely because there is more diversity in their design and construction. In general, though, a hybrid will offer more bounce and often more edge support than an all-foam mattress with memory foam. Depending on the thickness of the comfort layer, a memory foam mattress may offer a greater level of contouring and motion isolation.
Memory Foam Mattress FAQ Checklist
The following checklist of questions may be helpful to you as you shop for a memory foam mattress:
- How thick is the comfort system?
- What types of foams are used in the mattress?
- What is the firmness level of the mattress? Is the ILD listed?
- Are there any design features to help reduce heat retention?
- Will the amount of contouring and the firmness feel work for my body type and sleeping position?
- Is motion isolation an important feature for my situation?
- What is the lifespan of the mattress? Is the foam density listed?
- Is there a trial period and what is the return policy?
- How long is the warranty and what is covered?
- Does the brand have a good reputation for customer service?