Mattress shopping can be exciting if you have the right attitude about it. You’re about to invest in a product that can have a significant positive impact on your life, in a very positive way, if you take your time and shop wisely. However, it can also lead to a huge negative impact when you fail to do your research and discover what will and won’t work to meet your personal needs. When you take the time to do your homework, the better chance you’ll find the right product for your lifestyle and sleep habits. You’ll definitely experience no lack of options when you choose to shop online.
See related article: Memory Foam Mattress Buying Guide
Best Memory Foam Mattresses
Buyers have a variety of motivating factors that can lead them to one product over another. Next, we’re going to walk you through a few products we would recommend you check out depending on what you’re looking for.
After spending countless hours of research and reviewing dozens of mattresses available online, here are our top picks for the best memory foam mattress in today’s online marketplace.
1. Nectar Mattress
Warranty: Forever Warranty
Trial: 365 days
- Tencel Fiber Cover
- Gel Quilting Foam
- Gel Memory Foam
- Adaptive Hi-Core Foam
- Breathing Base Layer
This is a rare mattress that offers all of the benefits of memory foam with few of the drawbacks. That’s what makes it easily our top choice amongst memory foam mattresses. The Nectar Mattress offers a high degree of support while still incorporating the use of contouring memory foam. We recommend it for sleepers that carry extra weight or for anyone who has a sleep partner. You’ll get the support you need without ever experiencing that awkward sinking feeling. To be perfectly honest, there’s not that much to say about the Nectar because it’s simply an excellent sleep solution that you need to sleep on to believe.
- Excellent motion transfer capability
- Superior sleep trial and warranty
- High degree of bounce for a memory foam product
- Good edge support
- Good price
- Some complaints of sleeping hot
- Some complaints of the product being too firm
2. Leesa Mattress
Warranty: 10 years
Trial: 100 days
- LSA200™ Foam
- Memory Foam
- Core Support Foam
Leesa hit a home run with their LSA200 Foam. It’s a very detailed process to really nail the latex/memory foam combo. When it’s done right, it makes for a spectacular sleep surface. That’s what this improved Lessa mattress delivers. One sleep on this mattress and you’ll never want to go back. The foam also breathes effectively, so hot sleepers can still keep things cool at night. The new and improved Leesa mattress could be just what you’ve been looking for if you like a plush sleep surface, don’t carry much weight, suffer from pressure points, have a sleep partner, and sleep hot. Leesa really went out of their way to make dramatic improvements to their sleep technology with this mattress and it’s impossible to lay on this thing without being impressed.
- Breathes well
- Excellent contour
- Great reduction in pressure points for side sleepers
- Does well in reducing motion transfer
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Low offgassing
- Good option for those who don’t carry much weight
- Supports cool sleep while offering memory foam feel
- Good durability for a mattress under $1,000
3. Novosbed Mattress
Warranty: 15 years
Trial: 120 days
- Ultra-dense airflow and comfort layers (3.7 to 5 pound density depending on model)
- Premium support layer
We all want to get the most for our money, and the Novosbed is an excellent memory foam option that allows you to achieve just that. This product offers exceptional support and is designed to best cater to the comfort level expectations of the majority of shoppers. While not considered a luxury brand and avoiding extra frills that raise prices, you still get everything you desire in a memory foam bed for a much lower price than several other manufacturers. The quality you enjoy is built to last as the various layers feature the necessary densities to provide consumers with the expectation of durability at a moderate price tag.
- There was no smell
- Sleeps cool
- Cover can be washed
- Comfort can be adjusted
- Edge support was lacking
4. Bear Mattress
Warranty: 10 year limited
Trial: 100 nights
- 1 inch Cool Graphite-Gel Memory Foam with 4 pound density
- 1.5 inches Quick Response Foam Layer One with 3 pound density
- 1 inch Quick Response Foam Layer Two with 3 pound density
- 6.5 inch Foam Base with 1.8 pound density
If you live an active lifestyle, the buildup of lactic acid can lead to aches and pains in your muscles that can really slow you down. Bear mattress utilizes active Celliant minerals found in the cover, aiding in both increased oxygen and greater airflow for a cooler, more healing sleep for the body. These minerals, infused into the cover of the Bear mattress, are initially ground into fine particles that are 100 times smaller than a human hair. Millions of these particles are extruded and combined to create a resin. The Celliant resin helps increase oxygen levels in your tissues, and this can help athletes sleep comfortably as well as offer valuable benefits for those who suffer with:
- High blood sugar
- Muscle Tears
- Congestive heart failure
- Little To No off gassing
- Celliant Cover A Step Above
- Quality Materials For The Price
- Edge Support Is Lacking But Common In Foam Mattresses
5. Casper Original Mattress
Warranty: 10 year limited
Trial: 100 nights
- Polyester/Spandex Cover
- Open Cell Comfort Foam
- Memory Foam
- Transition Foam
- Durable Support Foam
If you’re a combination sleeper who doesn’t have a favorite sleep position, you’ll really enjoy how Casper’s comfort layers work together to help you move around and find that perfect spot. This mattress’ combination of support and pressure relief along with a medium firmness level can accommodate almost any sleep preference. This makes the mattress a great option for anyone with sleep partners. We also highly recommend Casper for anyone who struggles with hot sleeping. This is a premium memory foam mattress available at a very reasonable price. You truly can’t go wrong with Casper, whether you’re seeking an incredible mattress or a friendly ghost.
- Good for hot sleeping
- Surprisingly easy to move considering the memory foam
- Good motion isolation
- Good value
- Some complaints of inadequate support for heavier people
- Not the right mattress if you like the bounce of innersprings
- No natural components
6. TEMPUR-Pedic Cloud Prima Mattress
Warranty: 10 year limited
Trial: 90 nights
- Tempur-ES Material Comfort Layer
- Tempur-Material Support Layer
- Base Layer with 5.3 pound density
If you value the importance of making a sizable investment in your mattress product and are interested in taking advantage of a luxury memory foam product which can offer you all the benefits memory foam has to offer, I encourage you to check out the TEMPUR-Pedic Cloud Prima mattress. The cost is high, but it should prove to provide you with a high degree of comfort and support that will stand the test of time. As one of the most recognizable brands on the market, TEMPUR-Pedic has taken to the online market with this option, saving a little overhead while still offering the same great luxury quality you’ve come to expect from them. We’re sure you won’t regret your decision to spend a little more for a much improved night’s rest.
- Great for people who sleep in all three sleeping positions
- Great for people who carry a lot of weight
- Excellent motion isolation
7. Alexander Signature Select Mattress
Warranty: 20 year limited
Trial: 100 days
- 2” soft quilted foam
- 4” gel foam memory foam
- 1” Visco foam
- 2” Smartflow foam
- 4” edge support base foam
If you have a very specific firmness level to meet your unique comfort needs, you’ll appreciate that Alexander Signature Select allows you to pick from a variety of firmness options. It also provides an affordable alternative to more expensive name brand memory foam beds. It also features five layers of foam with different purposes, from supporting the framework to supporting your position to contouring to your personal frame as you sleep to retain alignment. This is quite a bit more than many mattresses offer. These include:
- Cover is very soft to the touch
- No off gassing
- Multiple comfort and support layers
- Various firmness options
- Heavy and difficult to move
8. Brentwood Bamboo Gel 13-Inch Mattress
Warranty: 25 years
Trial: 120 night
- 3 ½ inches Gel memory Foam with 3 pound density
- 2 inche Airluxe Ventilated Layer
- 7 ½ inches Therapeutic Foam
Would you be surprised if I told you there’s a quality product on the market that can be acquired for even less than the Ultimate Dreams gel memory foam mattress by Dreamfoam Bedding? This product includes cooling technology, so it can be a great option if you tend to sleep hot or suffer from night sweats due to medication and health risks. The gel beads found in the very first layer absorb your body heat, and they work with the Airluxe ventilated layer to keep the bed at room temperature for as long as possible, so you have a restful sleep and wake up refreshed.
- Highly affordable
- Helps you sleep cool
- Density of the memory foam layer only three pcf, so this could indicate you may not be able to expect high durability.
- Lacks edge support
Why Get A Memory Foam Mattress?
Now that you’ve gotten a chance to explore all of our favourite memory foam mattresses at The Sleep Judge, let’s explore what makes this style of mattress so unique and appealing.
Memory Foam Feel
Many people are initially attracted to memory foam because of its unique feel. Unlike many other mattress materials that quickly bounce back when pressure is released, memory foam can take several seconds to return to its original composure. This is because, when it undergoes deformation, it exhibits both viscous and elastic properties.
In other words, when pressure and body heat are applied to these products, you begin to sink in deeper. The material is able to form perfectly to your body, made to contour to your specific shape while supporting the proper pressure points and most important areas of your body while you sleep to keep you aligned, and this can offer numerous benefits to those suffering from aches and pains as it’s able to reduce pressure on joints and maintain proper spinal alignment with your hips and neck.
A Little History on Memory Foam
Memory foam was not initially intended for use in mattresses. What many don’t realize is that the original intention was to improve seat cushioning and crash protection for airline pilots and passengers. NASA introduced the material in an effort to reduce shock in the event of a crash and improve overall safety for pilots and passengers alike.
It didn’t take long for consumers to notice the level of comfort memory foam had to offer in many aspects. Manufacturers recognized the growing demand and opportunity for consumer sales, and they quickly responded with memory foam mattresses that could offer consumers that “sinking in” feeling – without feeling like you’re going to ‘drown’ and have difficulty getting up – that gives unique benefits you may decide you want to take advantage of.
Let’s look a little deeper into this material to see if its properties will work for you. We’ll also examine some of the types of products you have to choose from as well as take a look at some personal favorites and how they may or may not work for you.
Why You Never Have an All Memory Foam Mattress
Memory foam offers unique properties in the comfort layer of a mattress but shouldn’t be the only material used if you want proper support. This comfort layer is located at the top of the mattress and offers sleepers the level of comfort they need with the initial give and contouring properties we’ve mentioned. However, your best bet is to find a product that offers various layers featuring different materials that can create a space with additional benefits aside from those offered by memory foam. These support layers could be other types of poly foam or coils, latex, or other options available that are more inclined to keep the mattress sturdy and long lasting.
Furthermore, memory foam by itself wouldn’t be able to provide the right level of support (keeping your spine inline) and is more geared toward the provision of pressure relief.
Memory Foam Cooling and Response
While the sinking property of memory foam is an attractive quality for many consumers, there are others that are considered drawbacks and could have a significantly negative impact on the quality of your sleep. For starters, since you do tend to sink into memory foam, it can sometimes be difficult to move around if you don’t opt for the proper distribution of foam types, choosing a mattress with a denser foam to help support and avoid too much sinking. This can make life more difficult for those who have mobility problems.
Furthermore, traditional memory foam is known to sleep hot, retaining the body heat you release during the night and causing you to sweat or overheat. This is counterproductive since, in order to achieve the more restorative stages of sleep, your body needs to achieve a slightly lower body temperature and avoid moisture gathering.
The good news is that there have been a number of innovations intended to address these issues. As we discussed above, the addition of other mattress layers can help add the bounce you need to move around with ease and enough support to assure you reach proper alignment without ‘bottoming out’ and sinking too deeply.
Furthermore, heat transfer technology and porous airflow options have made leaps and bounds in improving the heat retention issues in memory foam, and there are hundreds of products out there that have taken measures to address the fact that traditional memory foam tends to sleep hot. This includes everything from copper to gel infusion to help cool and redistribute heat rather than gather it for a sleep space that works against restfulness.
As you shop, you’re likely to come across gel infused memory foam products. The gel acts to absorb heat and therefore keep the mattress cooler as you sleep. It’s important to distinguish gel-infused products versus gel beads as you seek out the coolest memory foam mattress. This is because gel beads have a limited capacity in the amount of heat they’re capable of absorbing, as opposed to a gel infused mattress with greater capabilities for heat distribution and release. Therefore, when they reach that limit, the bed will begin to warm up and could potentially reach a point of great discomfort, depending on how hot you sleep. Therefore, if you tend to sleep hot, you’re a better option would typically be a gel-infused product.
Memory Foam Firmness and Indentation Load Deflections
No matter what mattress material you’re considering, firmness is a factor that’s important to get just right. Everyone has their own preferences, and many mattress companies you’ll come across will allow you to select the firmness level for yourself. Therefore, it’s well worth it to understand what firmness level you’re looking for in the best memory foam mattresses. While only you know what you like, a general guideline for those who are unsure is as follows, based on your preferred sleep position:
You may be interested in: Indentation Load Deflection: Your Guide to Getting Firmness Right
Stomach sleeper faces the unique issue of difficulty breathing since your face is often pressed into the mattress. Therefore, it’s essential that you have enough support to avoid reduced ability to receive the air you need. You’ll want to opt for a firm mattress so your face doesn’t sink into the surface.
The biggest obstacle faced by side sleepers is maintaining proper alignment to the neck, hips, and spine since your body is most contoured on its side. In order to procure enough support to keep you from sinking in too deeply while offering enough cushion and contour to align and relieve pressure points, a medium firmness (between a 5.5 and 6.5 on a scale of 1 to 10) is typically best for side sleepers.
Because you need back support and the alignment provided in a similar fashion to side sleepers, though perhaps not quite as contoured, if you are a back sleeper, you should also consider a medium-to-firm mattress. However, if you have chronic back pain, opt for medium firmness to avoid unnecessary aches and pains upon awakening.
Some people don’t have a preferred sleeping position, which may make it seem difficult to determine the best firmness level to meet your needs, but there’s another way you can determine the right feel for you when you consider your body mass index or BMI. It’s easy to calculate using online tools and this information can help you find a more ideal product than when you consider sleeping position alone because mass can affect the pressure points on your body and how a mattress could react to your particular build.
How Do You Determine Firmness When Shopping Online?
Most companies will offer you the ability to choose between plush, medium and firm mattresses. Others will even have you fill out a questionnaire designed to allow the company to calculate just the right firmness for you, based on responses to queries about sleep style, position, heat level, and underlying health conditions. However, there are grey areas that are easier to pinpoint when you have a scale to refer to. There is such a scale, and it’s called indentation load deflection.
To test for this scale, a foam sample of material measuring 15 inches x 15 inches x 4 inches is used. A 50 square inch circular indenter is used to compress the material a total of 25 percent of its thickness, or 1 inch deep. You can see a clarifying ILD video here to get a better idea of how the test functions. It clearly shows the process as well as the computerized measurements that result which allow for precise results you can count on to express just how firm a mattress is.
If you come across ILDs as you examine our recommended memory foam mattresses, we want you to understand what these numbers mean. If you prefer the softest memory foam mattress, an ILD of 25 or less would offer what you’re looking for, with a plush, pillowed feeling that allows you to sink deeper into the mattress. If you prefer something in the mid-range, be on the lookout for an overall ILD of around 25-31, giving you a combination of sinking and firmer support to keep you from going too deep. Firm products are those more than 31 and signify that you’ll do more floating on the mattress than sinking.
While analyzing ILDs, it’s important to keep in mind that the ILD of the combined unit is different than what you’ll find at the various mattress layers. In the comfort layer, it’s common to find lower ILDs while they tend to increase as you make your way to the support layer. It’s important to ensure you know what the combined ILD is in order to determine how you can expect to experience the product as a whole.
You may be interested: A List of Online Mattress Manufacturers and Top Mattress Manufacturers
What Makes a Quality Memory Foam Mattress?
In order to ensure you can enjoy the longest possible lifespan in your new mattress, be prepared to make a reasonable investment. You get what you pay for. When you only have a few hundred dollars to spend, you can expect to experience much lower durability. If you don’t have the money yet, it can prove well worth it to wait a little longer until you can save up some more money. However, if you need something new now for a temporary solution, there are some pointers to help you find the materials that will work best for your needs.
Durability and quality go hand in hand, and the key term to look for in this department is density. While many confuse it with a representation of firmness, density actually helps you determine the durability you can expect out of your memory foam mattress. Each layer will feature its own density, and it’s important to understand that the comfort layers will experience the most wear and tear. Therefore, you want to ensure the levels in this area, in particular, are high.
Before we go over the numbers to help you know what to look for, it’s worth mentioning that the density of memory foam is different than with other materials. For instance, a polyfoam density of more than 1.8 pounds per cubic foot would be considered highly durable. However, in memory foam, the magic number is four to five pcf. Ideally, you want to be financially prepared to purchase a product that falls within these parameters.
Better Durability Than Most Polyfoams
Memory foam products are generally known to last much longer than polyfoams in the comfort layers as this is where most of the compression takes place. However, you do get what you pay for, and, for a typically higher price, there are other materials that can last longer than memory foam including:
- Natural fibers
- High-quality innerspring
Thickness and Compression Modulus
In memory foam, in particular, consumers are often particularly interested in the unique feel it’s so famous for. However, the experience will vary depending on the thickness of the memory foam layer. This has an impact on how you’ll experience the product. However, if the layer is too thin, you might not be satisfied with the lessened effect memory foam is known for. We don’t recommend anything less than 2 inches if you’re particularly interested in the memory foam experience.
You also need to consider how much you can expect to sink into a product. The deeper you sink into the mattress, the firmer it becomes due to the increase in compression. This is known as the material’s compression modulus, and different foams increase in firmness due to this factor at different rates.
You may want to read: Normal Mattress on a Sofa Bed?
Types of Memory Foam
There are three primary types of memory foam, and they each have unique properties that can help guide you to the one that will be best suited for your needs. Let’s take a look at each of these types along with a few properties of each.
Traditional Memory Foam
- Designed for cradling support to enhance circulation and decrease stress on your joints
- Is known to sleep very hot
Open Cell Memory Foam
- Has a quicker response, so you can avoid that “sinking in” feeling often associated with traditional memory foam. Better able than traditional memory foam at dispersing heat.
- Able to respond to your body temperature to keep it properly regulated for restful sleep.
Gel Memory Foam
- Helps in the reduction of pressure points
- Better at dispersing heat than traditional memory
Is a Memory Foam Mattress the Right Choice for You?
The decision to purchase a memory foam mattress is one that will affect you for many years to come. No mattress is one-size-fits-all, and memory foam just isn’t right for certain people. There are a couple of situations in which it may be in your best interest to seek other options.
You Tend to Sleep Hot
If sleeping hot is a significant issue for you, memory foam may not be the best option. While there are solutions available such as gel beads and infusions, foams that are open-celled can typically help keep the sleeper cooler during the night. Therefore, if you tend to sleep very hot and this is a serious issue for you, memory foam may not be the best choice.
You Have Limited Mobility
The primarily evident feature of memory foam is that it allows the sleeper to sink into the mattress more and more as their body heats it. This allows your body to achieve superior contour to help promote proper spinal alignment. However, if you are severely limited in your mobility, this could pose issues when you try to move around or get in and out of the bed. I would suggest, in this situation, that you seek a product with an innerspring unit.
You Sleep On Your Stomach
If you sleep on your stomach, you may find the visco elastic properties of memory foam to interfere with your preferred sleeping position. As you sleep, your body will sink deeper into the product, and this can become a hindrance in breathing if your face has contact with the mattress.
Who is an Ideal Candidate for Memory Foam?
Just as there are some who may not be compatible with memory foam, there are others who can prove to be excellent candidates for this popular foam mattress type. If you suffer from aches and pains upon waking, for example, you may find that you can appreciate the superior level of pressure point reduction and relief you can achieve on this material. It can also prove to be a comfortable product for those who sleep on their sides or backs, aiding in keeping the spine in alignment for better overall health.
There’s clearly no shortage of quality products on the market, and these are just a few of your options you have for memory foam mattresses. I’ve had the chance to try out a number of memory foam mattresses, and, if you can afford it, a product like the Tempurpedic Cloud Prima will provide a feeling of luxury and would be at the top of the list of dreamy sleep environments. This product carries with it the expectation of excellent durability, and the quality of the materials found within deliver the support you need to sleep your best.
However, not all of us have $2,500 available to spend on a mattress, so there’s a good chance you’re like me and have to settle with comparable products that still have a lot to offer without the high price tag. I personally enjoyed the Ultimate Dreams gel memory foam mattress very much, and I found this to be a very reasonably-priced product for the comfort you’ll enjoy. I found the firmness level to be great for my needs (I like my mattresses medium to plush), and the combination of the soft cover and memory foam beneath makes it feel like you’re floating on a cloud.
I have also had the chance to try out Bear mattress, and I found it to be effective at reducing aches and pains after a day at the gym, which then leads to better rest and more energy throughout the day. If you work out or are otherwise physically active, or if you are prone to morning soreness or weakness, this is a product I think you should take a look at.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is memory foam a good mattress?
Many people are drawn to memory foam because of its unique, comforting feel. People love how the mattress materials quickly bounce back when pressure is released. The mattress can form perfectly to your body, and will contour to your specific shape in order to support the important pressure points of your body while you sleep to keep you aligned. This can offer numerous benefits to those suffering from aches and pains. It can help reduce pressure on joints and maintain proper spinal alignment with your hips and neck. The major complaint about memory foam mattresses is that they sleep hot. As your body sinks into the foam you are surrounded by your body heat causing a hot night’s sleep. However, there are many new technologies in memory foam to specifically combat this problem. You will find many layers of foam that include cooling gell layers to help create ventilation and airflow.
How long does memory foam mattress last?
Memory foam mattresses are extremely durable mattresses because body oils and dirt do not build up on a foam mattress as quickly as they do in other mattress types. This means they do not attract dust mites so they break down at a much slower rate.. A high-quality memory foam bed will last around 8 to 10 years. However, you still need to do your part to maintain your purchase. Use a mattress protector that covers your mattress like a fitted sheet as it will shield the mattress against accidental spills and bacteria. Whereas a mattress encasement provides even more protection both for you and your mattress by zippering the cover so that the entire mattress is enclosed. You will also want to rotate your mattress every six months. If you see sag or aren’t getting the comfort you expect use your judgment and rotate it when you feel it necessary. Also be sure to use a good quality bed frame. A bed frame is the foundation for your mattress so if the foundation is flawed and the base sags, so in turn will your mattress.
Is memory foam mattress better than spring mattress?
Memory foam mattresses are better than spring mattresses for a variety of reasons. Spring mattresses are relatively cheaper than memory foam beds but they do not typically last as long. Memory foam mattresses are more durable than spring mattresses because body oils and dirt do not build up on a foam mattress as quickly as they do in a spring mattress. This means they do not attract dust mites so they break down at a much slower rate.. A high-quality memory foam bed will last around 8 to 10 years. Meanwhile, coils within a spring mattress tend to break quickly, causing them to stick up through the comfort layer, or the springs can sink causing indents to form. Spring mattresses usually last only around 5 years. Memory foam will support the curves of the body without adding pressure while keeping the body weight distributed evenly. This is important to maintain proper spinal alignment. Spring mattresses do not offer the type of support that results in the same spinal benefits. Memory foam is a better choice if you sleep with a partner as the density of memory foam helps absorb movement, resulting in very little motion transfer. If you find you prefer the feel and bounce of a spring mattress over a memory foam, you should consider getting a hybrid mattress that combines the benefits of both.
What are the disadvantages of memory foam mattresses?
Memory foam is a type of polyurethane foam that was first created by NASA in the 1960’s but it became popular for mattresses because of its ability to mold and conform to the body. While memory foam has pressure-relieving qualities making for a comfortable night sleep there are downsides that should be considered when shopping for a mattress. For one there are health risks associated with carcinogens off-gassing from some memory foams. Many contain the carcinogen benzene and naphthalene which is a moth repellent, is often used in the manufacturing process of memory foam. If you smell a strong, chemical odor as you sleep on memory foam, you’re inhaling toxic volatile organic compounds (VOC’s). The smell will dissipate over time, but the science is still out on long term issues from VOC’s. Memory foam is actually known for causing people to sleep hot because the foam traps your body heat and you sink into the foam surrounding yourself with your own heat. Don’t despair though as there are various cooling layer options to offset this downside of memory foam. Be sure to rotate and flip your mattress regularly to combat dips and sags and always use a mattress cover or encasement.