Best Memory Foam Mattress
In this roundup and buying guide, we have selected nine best-rated memory foam mattresses for 2020. We evaluated all products based on material quality, comfort, support, and cooling. Reading these reviews will hopefully help you get your shopping trip started and give you an idea of what you’re looking for.
Who Should Buy a Memory Foam Mattress?
You should buy a memory foam mattress if you have experienced pain (either from sleeping or otherwise) , want to feel like you’re sleeping “in” rather than “on” the mattress , and/or value motion isolation to limit nighttime disruptions.
Side sleepers, who have high-impact areas at the hips and shoulders, frequently have great results with memory foam mattresses. Back and stomach sleepers, especially those under 230 pounds, appreciate these beds as well.
Memory foam is not the best fit for people who sleep hot. It may be a poor match for people who need to move easily on top of the mattress (including for sexual activity).
What to Look For in a Memory Foam Mattress
To find the best memory foam mattress, it helps to know the key things to look for so that you can keep your eye on the ball. In general, memory foam provides above-average pressure relief and motion isolation but can sleep hot and permit too much sink for some people. Manufacturers often add components to try to address the downsides, but the actual effects of those design changes are mixed.
As you review specific models, consider the following factors and how important they are for your personal decision-making
- Price: There’s no avoiding the bottom line, and you’ll need to make sure that any mattress you’re seriously considering fits in your budget. Memory foam beds tend to cost from $800 up to $2,500, but discounts may be available with promotions or coupons.
- Sleeping Position: Your body’s support needs will vary based on your typical sleeping position. Memory foam is a solid bet for side sleepers who have sharper pressure points. It can also work well for back and stomach sleepers if they have a lighter body weight or if the mattress is on the firmer side.
- Contouring: Virtually all memory foam will have notable hug, but some models feature a softer foam with even more pronounced contouring. Consider how much you want to sleep “on” versus “in” the bed and then select a mattress that fits that preference.
- Quality Materials: Excellent materials translate to more durability and top-flight performance. All foams will wear out over time, but low-end memory foam will start to sag more quickly, reducing its support and comfort.
- Firmness Level: Every person has their own preferred mattress firmness, and it’s critical to look for a mattress that fits that preference. As a general principle, side sleepers and people with lower body weight lean toward softer mattresses.
- Motion Isolation: You should expect good motion isolation with memory foam, but not all of these mattresses are created in this regard. If you’re extremely sensitive to sleep disruptions, look for a bed with more contour and greater motion isolation.
- Pressure Relief: Pressure relief is a standout feature of memory foam because it can give each part of the body the cushioning that it needs. If you have major pressure points, make sure to look for a memory foam bed with a thick enough comfort system to prevent bottoming out through the foam.
- Ease of Movement / Sex: Memory foam has minimal bounce because of how slowly it retakes it shape. This can make it hard to move on the bed, including during sex, and can cause some people to feel stuck in the mattress. If this is a concern for you, look for a memory foam mattress with more mild contouring.
- Edge Support: With its characteristics of compression and lack of bounce, edges tend to be a trouble area for memory foam mattresses. The foam sinks more around the edge, which can be problematic for people who want to sleep or sit near the perimeter of the mattress.
- Temperature Regulation: When it contours to the body, memory foam can cut off airflow throughout the mattress. Further, the foam itself retains heat, making it even softer and further restricting airflow. Some mattresses have features to try to decrease heat buildup, but hot sleepers should be aware that even newer memory foams with various infusions will still tend to sleep hotter than other mattress materials.
- Noise: A loud mattress that squeaks when you move on it can be both annoying and disruptive. All-foam mattresses are extremely quiet, making them a great choice for noise-sensitive people.
How Does it Feel to Sleep on a Memory Foam Mattress?
If you’ve never tried out a memory foam mattress, it’s natural to wonder what it feels like. While words can’t explain it perfectly, this section gives you an idea:
- Floating on Clouds: With a more plush, cushioning feel, customers often describe memory foam as what they envision it’s like to “sleep on a cloud.”
- A Big, Warm Hug: Memory foam conforms to the body, providing a hugging sensation that can be comfortable but can also cause heat retention.
- Totally Unmoved: When you’re on these mattresses, you’ll be almost completely unaffected by movement that happens on the other side of the bed.
- Under No Pressure: Pressure relief from memory foam can reduce impact at parts of the body where you might be used to feeling pain or stress.
- In One Place: With little bounce, you may feel more settled or even stuck in one place on a memory foam mattress.
What are the Different Types of Memory Foam?
All forms of memory foam have shared characteristics, but not all memory foams are the same. The feel, durability, and performance can be different depending on the composition and type of the foam as well as its quality.
Traditional Memory Foam
Traditional memory foam offers the most classic performance of this material. It has deep contouring and motion isolation along with notable heat retention and minimal bounce.
Both its benefits and drawbacks are easily detected, and as a consequence, this type of memory foam is controversial. Some people love its cloud-like hug while others complain about feeling stuck in the foam or overheating on it during the night.
With newer memory foams on the market, traditional memory foam’s use has declined slightly, but it can still often be found in the comfort system of all-foam and hybrid beds.
Plant-Based Memory Foam
The manufacturing process for memory foam involves a handful of chemicals, some of which are derived from petroleum. In a plant-based memory foam, sometimes called a “bio” foam, a certain percentage of those petrochemicals are replaced with products that come from plant matter, such as soybean oils.
Plant-based memory foam is appealing for eco-conscious customers, but it is important to note that the plant oils replace some but not all of the petrochemicals.
Because the rest of the manufacturing process is similar, the performance of plant-based memory foam is similar to other types. It may come with a slightly higher price tag than petroleum-based memory foam.
Gel-Infused Memory Foam
Gel-infused memory foam intersperses a gel material into the foam itself. The gel can be added in a swirl pattern or can be enclosed in small beads that are distributed through the foam.
The goal of infusing gel into memory foam is to try to reduce heat retention. The gels often have properties that are designed to absorb heat from the foam, keeping heat from building up near the sleeping surface and around your body.
Gel-infused foams are common and, depending on the gel used, may provide a modest decrease in heat retention. That said, even these memory foams will heat up more than other mattress materials.
Copper-Infused Memory Foam
In this type of memory foam, copper-filled beads are intermixed with the foam. These beads are intended to draw heat away from the surface of the mattress. Copper has antibacterial properties, which may help prevent odors and the deterioration of the mattress.
Many products that include copper are marketed as having health-promoting effects on circulation or muscle recovery. To date, there’s limited evidence that copper gel in a mattress has any direct positive or negative effects on individual health.
How Much Does a Memory Foam Mattress Cost?
The typical price range for memory foam mattresses goes from $800 to $2,500, but there are options with price tags above and below that range. A number of factors can influence the cost of these beds:
- Thickness of the memory foam layer: If there are more layers or thicker layers of memory foam, the mattress will likely have a higher price.
- Density of the memory foam: Mattresses that use high-density memory foams tend to be pricier, but they also normally last longer.
- Where it’s made: Mattresses made in the USA tend to be more expensive than those made in China or other countries.
- Extra features: Specialty design elements or materials can push up the price of a memory foam mattress. For example, textiles to fight heat buildup or the use of organic materials can add to the cost.
How Long Will a Memory Foam Mattress Last?
Most memory foam mattresses last from six to eight years before having issues with sagging or diminished performance. This lifespan is longer than most innersprings and airbeds, similar to hybrids, and shorter than all-latex beds.
Some memory foam mattresses may last for more or less than the 6-8 year average. Issues that can affect longevity include:
- Quality of materials: Memory foam layers that are thicker, denser, and part of a mattress made with significant attention-to-detail are far more likely to hold up for the long haul.
- Stress placed on the mattress: More stress is placed on a mattress by couples than an individual person, by people with a higher body weight, and by children (or pets) who jump on the bed.
- Mattress maintenance: Failure to use the mattress as intended can make it susceptible to more rapid wear-and-tear. For example, an unsupportive frame may heighten the risk of premature damage to the mattress itself. Using a mattress pad or protector helps protect the mattress against spills that could damage the foam.
Higher-end foams tend to cost more, but that investment often pays off over time. Opting for better materials and then taking care of the mattress can contribute directly to a longer useful life for your bed.
Last Things to Consider With a Memory Foam Mattress
Now that you’ve got a strong base of information about memory foam mattresses, there are only a few other issues to cover to round out your knowledge.
When a foam mattress is made, certain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are created, and those become sealed in when the mattress is compressed and prepared for shipping. As a result, when it is first installed, the mattress can “off-gas” those VOCs. There is no health risk from this, but it can cause an unpleasant odor. This smell is temporary and should fade within a few hours to a few days, especially if your bedroom is well-ventilated. This issue doesn’t affect overall satisfaction for the majority of customers, but if you’re extremely sensitive to smells or VOCs, a foam mattress may not be the best option for you.
Sleep Trial Period
A sleep trial is a way of describing the return window for a mattress, and it lets you test out the bed in your own home to make sure that it is the right fit for you. Because you can’t feel them out before buying them, most online mattresses come with a risk-free trial of 100 nights or more, and we advise buying a product that comes with this type of return policy.
Adequate Bed Support
Your mattress is just one part of your bed; another part is your bed frame. Make sure that the frame you use is in accordance with the mattress warranty. This enhances performance and keeps your warranty valid. If you don’t already have a quality frame, include the cost of a new one in your budget.