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The Best Memory Foam Mattresses According to Sleep Experts

Memory foam mattresses are popular for a reason—they’re comfortable, versatile and reasonably priced. But which bed is right for you?
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It’s no secret that memory foam mattresses are among the most popular bed types available, especially in the world of online mattresses. But not all memory foam mattresses are created equally: They come in a range of materials, leverage different cooling technologies and some even have specialized features like lumbar support. With so many options available, how do you decide which is the best memory foam mattress for you? Our expert reviewers have broken down some of our favorites based on performance factors most important to different sleep needs, like sleep position, temperature and budget. Plus, we’ll cover a comprehensive guide to navigating the mattress buying process—from how to choose the best mattress to shipping, delivery and more.

The Best Memory Foam Mattresses

Best Overall: Nectar Mattress

Nectar mattress
  • Mattress type: Foam
  • Firmness: Medium-firm

Who it's best for:

  • Side sleepers
  • Budget-conscious shoppers
  • Couples

Highlights:

  • All-foam construction balances contouring and support
  • Memory foam surface provides excellent motion isolation
  • Includes 365-night sleep trial and lifetime warranty

While finding a balance between price and function can be a challenge, Nectar offers a quality memory foam mattress at an affordable price, earning the number one spot on this list. The Nectar mattress offers a medium-firm feel to help sleepers avoid sinking too deep and putting their spine out of alignment. Our testers especially like the Nectar for its ability to deliver pressure relief thanks to its cushioning for the shoulders and hips, where pressure typically builds up for side sleepers. They noted that the Nectar actually molds to the body in most positions, which can help reduce aches and pains in the morning.

Two other factors our testers noted: Motion isolation and cooling. Motion isolation determines how well a mattress isolates movement on one side of the bed from the other. If you do not want to interrupt your partner’s sleep at night, the Nectar’s foam surface is ready to absorb your movement. Meanwhile, though memory foam mattresses tend to sleep hot, the gel memory foam the Nectar is constructed from did a fairly good job of keeping our hot sleeping testers cool.

The Nectar comes with a 365-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty. The mattress brand also offers free shipping and returns throughout the U.S.

Nectar Mattress ($899 for a Queen, nectarsleep.com)

Best Memory Foam Mattress for Side Sleepers: Saatva Classic

Saatva classic mattress
  • Mattress type: Foam
  • Firmness: Medium-firm

Who it's best for:

  • Side sleepers
  • Couples
  • Back and combination sleepers

Highlights:

  • All-foam construction balances contouring and ease of movement
  • Memory foam surface distributes body heat for all-night comfortability
  • Keeps spine aligned and relieves pressure during sleep

Side sleeping has a slew of benefits, but it can get uncomfortable quickly if you’re not sleeping on the right mattress. Spinal alignment, or the ability of a mattress to keep your spine in proper position while you sleep, is a critical performance factor for side sleepers.

Thanks to its medium-firm support and lumbar-targeting design, the Saatva Classic kept testers from sinking too deep into the mattress. The Saatva suits side sleepers, as well as back and combination sleepers and people with back pain, due to its ability to relieve pressure. Body contouring memory foam combines with natural latex to offer additional lower back support. The gel-infused memory foam contours to your body to dissipate pressure and the lumbar support may even improve circulation.

Other benefits include minimal motion transfer, so co-sleepers can move around without waking each other up, and cooling properties. Our hot sleeper testers appreciated that the Saatva Classic is made with naturally breathable and hypoallergenic organic cotton for a cooler sleep, even on memory foam.

The Saatva comes with a 180-night sleep trial and a 12-year warranty. The company offers free shipping and returns throughout the U.S.

Saatva Classic Mattress ($1,695 for a Queen, saatva.com)

Best Gel Memory Foam: Layla

Layla memory foam mattress
  • Mattress type: Foam
  • Firmness: Medium-soft and medium-firm

Who it's best for:

  • Back sleepers
  • Couples
  • Hot sleepers
  • Side sleepers 
  • Stomach sleepers

Highlights:

  • Gel memory foam offers a soft and plush surface
  • Construction balances contouring and ease of movement
  • Motion transfer control ensures couples don’t disturb each other’s sleep

If you are looking for the best gel memory foam mattress for a variety of positions, the Layla mattress is a crowd-pleaser.

First, a temperature-regulating material in the cover keeps the body temperature warm or cool. Next, a support layer of polyfoam adds responsiveness, breathability and bounce, while the support core base foam provides stability and durability. Finally, a second, thinner layer of copper-gel memory foam provides extra responsiveness, so combination sleepers won’t feel stuck in the mattress as they switch positions.

The Layla can give reliable pressure relief to those who sleep on their side, back, stomach and other combinations. Because of this versatility, it’s also a strong fit for couples trying to accommodate different sleep styles with one bed. Our testers ranked the Layla as having strong motion isolation as well, so couples can get a good night’s sleep without disturbing one another.

The Layla comes with a 120-day trial so that you can test the mattress for four full months. The company also offers a lifetime warranty and free shipping and returns throughout the U.S.

Layla Mattress ($1,099 for a Queen, laylasleep.com)

Best Firm Memory Foam Mattress: Puffy

Puffy mattress
  • Mattress type: Foam
  • Firmness: Medium

Who it's best for:

  • Side sleepers up to 230 pounds
  • Back sleepers
  • Hot sleepers
  • Couples

Highlights:

  • Designed to offer a balance of comfort and support
  • Provides firmness for back sleepers of many sizes
  • Offers extra pressure relief for an easier sleeping experience

If firmness is a top priority in your next bed, we recommend the Puffy mattress. It features memory foam over a layer of base foam, so you experience both firm support and a cradling effect. The base layer is made of high-density polyfoam to make the mattress more durable. This design also allows the mattress to be adaptive to movement as you shift positions throughout the night. The firmness of the Puffy makes it a strong choice for those who sleep in a variety of positions, but we think side sleepers and combination sleepers will especially enjoy this bed.

Since the mattress easily conforms to the curves of the body, it may help relieve pain in the back, shoulders and hips, notorious hot spots for side sleepers. This mattress can also isolate motion and makes no noise, which should come in handy for couples who don’t wish to disturb each other’s sleep.

The Puffy comes with a 101-day trial and a lifetime warranty. Puffy offers free shipping and returns throughout the U.S.

Puffy Original Mattress ($1,799 for a Queen, puffy.com)

Best Affordable Memory Foam Mattress: Dreamfoam Chill

Dreamfoam chill mattress
  • Mattress type: Foam
  • Firmness: Multiple firmness options (medium-soft to firm)

Who it's best for:

  • Side sleepers
  • Stomach sleepers
  • Back sleepers

Highlights:

  • Comes in different thicknesses for varied levels of firmness
  • Available at a more affordable price without sacrificing quality
  • Open cell foam keeps heat from being trapped in the mattress

Finding a memory foam mattress that’s easy on your wallet without sacrificing quality can be a challenge, but the Dreamfoam Chill makes that possible. This mattress offers a strong memory foam option at a more affordable price compared to competitors. Plus, sleepers can choose the Dreamfoam Chill in five model sizes from six to 14 inches, ranging from medium-soft to firm, to suit different sleep positions. We recommend the 10-inch option for a softer level that is better suited for stomach and back sleepers, while the 12 and 14-inch mattresses can help side sleepers relieve pressure.

Let’s get to that name: With the open cell technology, the Chill promotes airflow and breathability, regulating the bed’s temperature. The Chill also includes an eco-friendly finish that keeps the mattress safe from staining.

So what are the drawbacks of this budget option compared to other more high-end mattresses on this list? Well, for starters, we found the 6-inch and 8-inch versions really don’t feel thick enough to provide adequate support or relieve pressure. In our sleep lab, larger-sized testers (above 230 pounds) didn’t feel as comfortable or supported as they did on other pricier memory foam options.

The Chill is available at $419 for a queen, making it a fraction of the price of other memory foam mattresses on our list.The Dreamfoam Chill comes with a 120-day trial as well as a 10-year warranty. The mattress also comes with free shipping and returns throughout the U.S.

Dreamfoam Chill Mattress ($524 for a Queen, dreamfoambedding.com)

Best Luxury Foam Mattress: Saatva Loom & Leaf

Saatva loom & leaf
  • Mattress type: Foam
  • Firmness: Relaxed-firm and firm

Who it's best for:

  • Back sleepers (firm)
  • Stomach sleepers (firm)
  • Couples (relaxed-firm)

Highlights:

  • Relieves pressure in the body through thick memory foam
  • Provides a deep hugging comfort for sleepers
  • Available in two firmness options

If you want your very own bedroom to have the feel of sleeping at a five-star hotel, the Saatva Loom & Leaf can make your dreams a reality. The construction of the Loom & Leaf not only gives it the look of the mattresses you see at luxury hotels, but the function, as well. The Loom & Leaf starts with a breathable organic cotton cover quilted with foam and a plush layer of gel-infused memory foam. A lumbar pad between the cover and memory foam layer provides back support, while additional layers of high-density memory foam serve as a support core. The top gel foam layer also helps manage temperature.

Saatva offers the Loom & Leaf in two models: relaxed-firm and firm. Our testers report that the relaxed-firm model is suitable for all sleeping positions, while the firm model is better suited for back and stomach sleepers who need more support. By contouring to the natural curves of your spine, the Loom & Leaf promotes healthy alignment so you won’t wake achy and sore. If you have a spouse with a different sleeping style and comfort preference, our testers felt that the relaxed-firm model could be a fitting compromise.

The Loom & Leaf comes with a 120-day trial so that you can test the mattress for six months, as well as a 15-year warranty. Saatva offers free shipping and returns throughout the U.S.

Loom & Leaf Mattress ($2,099 for a Queen, saatva.com)

What is Memory Foam?

Memory foam is a polyurethane material that is designed to contour to the shape of the user’s body. It temporarily holds or “remembers,” the shape of the body through a combination of viscosity,and elasticity.

Before becoming popular as a mattress and sofa material, memory foam was first used by NASA in 1966 to make space travel safer. The viscoelastic foam was used in seat belts and harnesses to help astronauts better tolerate the turbulence that resulted from traveling at high speeds.

Eventually, Tempur-Pedic became the first company to use memory foam for mattresses in 1992. Since then, memory foam has skyrocketed to popularity because of its comfort and contouring properties, which offer a very different sleep experience when compared to innerspring beds.

What Are the Different Types of Memory Foam?

Memory foam comes in different forms with varied feels, purposes and degrees of softness. Some people prefer a softer foam in their mattress, while others can handle a firmer option. The best memory foam mattress for your needs may also depend on your body weight and natural sleep position. The developments in memory foam design have led to three distinct categories.

Standard memory foam

The traditional memory foam, also known as standard memory foam, molds to the contours of the sleeper’s body, giving a hugging sensation. This traditional memory foam option can evenly disperse bodyweight while relieving pressure points. While standard memory foam is known for retaining body heat, many mattress companies have taken the steps to resolve the temperature issue with cooling technology.

Open cell memory foam

Sleepers looking for a mattress that helps them avoid overheating will prefer those with open cell memory foam. This material features pockets that allow for airflow and ventilation. As a result, the mattress combats heat retention to maintain cooler temperatures.

Gel memory foam

Gel memory foam also has built-in cooling properties. In this design, gel microbeads are infused directly into the memory foam, which opens space for air circulation. There are two types of gel that can help achieve cooler bed temperatures: Heat absorbing gel creates a cool surface to avoid overheating, while dual phase-changing material releases and absorbs heat to keep the body’s temperature constant.

What Are the Benefits of Memory Foam?

Memory foam mattresses have gained attention for tackling a variety of issues that can get in the way of a good night’s sleep. We’ve included a list of the benefits of sleeping on one of these mattresses.

Pressure point relief

Foam technology can offer pressure point relief by contouring to curves and taking pressure off of the shoulders, hips and other sensitive points. In addition to having an easier time falling asleep, you’ll wake up feeling better rested.

Back support and spinal alignment

The contouring effects of memory foam can help the spine stay in a natural position, similar to your posture while standing. Proper spinal alignment comes from a balance between softness and firmness which keeps the spine in good health.

Motion isolation and motion transfer

If you are worried about waking up your partner as you toss and turn, a memory foam mattress with strong motion isolation can ease your concerns. By absorbing pressure and movement, both of you can avoid disturbing each other’s sleep.

Suited to adjustable beds

Memory foam mattresses can fit on just about any surface without compressing the bed. This allows the mattress to work on an adjustable bed, which comes in handy for those who need to switch up their sleeping positions.

Durability

High density foam doesn’t just keep your spine healthy—it also makes the bed more durable. With the ability to reform to its original shape when not in use, a dense memory foam mattress has a longer lifespan and avoids sagging.

What Are the Cons of Memory Foam?

To get the most from your memory foam mattress, you’ll need to know what to avoid. Here is a list of cons that you may run into with these mattresses.

Heat

If you want to avoid hot nights in the summer, memory foam can pose a challenge due to its heat retention. However, adjusting the air conditioner or thermostat in your home can help balance out the temperature. Some memory foam mattresses have also been updated with cooling gel technology to keep sleepers cool and dry.

Odor

Among customer complaints about memory foam mattresses, some point out that the material can smell when first unboxed. This new-mattress smell, referred to as “off-gassing,” is easily resolved by airing it out in a well-ventilated room.

Weight

Often, memory foam beds are designed with average weight sleepers in mind. Both lightweight (under 130 pound) and heavyweight sleepers (more than 230 pounds) should be mindful that their bodies may be supported differently than the bed is designed for. As a result, they may need to compensate with a softer or firmer model than expected.

What Sleep Types is Memory Foam Good For?

By contouring and supporting the body, memory foam mattresses can create the right sleep conditions for a variety of sleepers.

Side sleepers

Memory foam delivers support to the hips and shoulders, which reduces pressure in these parts. This makes it easier for individuals to sleep on their sides on this mattress.

Back sleepers

Some memory foam beds target the back with lumbar support, making it easy to relieve pressure off the user’s back. As a result, memory foam is a reliable option for back sleepers.

Stomach sleepers

The support of the right memory foam mattress can help sleepers keep their lower backs from slipping out of alignment. Users can then sleep on their stomachs without causing discomfort.

Combination sleepers

Some people sleep in more than one position during the night; if you’ve ever gone to sleep on your back and woken up curled on your side, you might be a combination sleeper. For combination sleepers, it's important that they not have to fight with a sinking mattress to change position. Memory foam can make combination sleepers feel stuck, so they’ll want to seek a bed with strong responsiveness.

Couples

Sharing a mattress with a partner can be difficult, because you’ll need to agree on mattress firmness and bed type and you may have different sleep positions. One way to improve co-sleeping is to choose a memory foam mattress with strong motion isolation, so one sleeper’s movement doesn’t interrupt the other’s sleep.

What Types of Sleepers is Memory Foam Bad for?

The comforting properties of memory foam allow these beds to fit a range of sleeping positions. However, there are still conditions that can keep certain people from experiencing the benefits of this mattress type.

Hot sleepers

Memory foam’s natural heat retention can be a problem for those who sleep warm. We recommend that hot sleepers seek out models that feature the cooling technology or turn to other mattress types with better air circulation, like innerspring beds.

What Else to Know About Shopping for Memory Foam Mattresses

When buying a new mattress most shoppers put comfort at the top of their list of must-haves. We have a few more considerations that can help you narrow down your search for the best memory foam mattress.

Price

Mattress shopping on a budget can be challenging. Beds range in price based on size, materials and extra features. You can save money on mattresses by considering the special discounts and coupons that different brands may offer, especially around holiday sales. We also recommend comparing brands with similar models to get the most out of your purchase.

Allergies

One factor that is often overlooked is the potential for irritants. Beds are known for collecting dust mites, mildew, mold, pet dander and other common sources of allergies. You should check the materials used to construct your mattress to make sure they are non-allergenic. Memory foam beds with organic certifications can show that they were made with a cleaner process.

Longevity

The denser the mattress, the longer its lifespan. However, you can better protect your investment with a strong warranty. Many companies offer manufacturer warranties of a few years and a few on our list even offer lifetime warranties.

Manufacturing quality

Some shoppers may prefer mattresses made of natural or organic material instead of synthetic alternatives. Certain materials may fit your mattress budget better than others and organic wool, latex, pocket coils and cotton are often found in more expensive models.

Sleep trials

Most bed-in-a-box mattress brands offer sleep trial periods ranging from 30 days to a year, giving shoppers time to put their bed to the test. With most new mattresses, it can take time to break in the bed or for a user to adjust from their usual sleep surface. We recommend considering brands that will handle the return shipping charges if you decide to send the mattress back.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do the best memory foam mattresses cost?

Memory foam mattresses can range in cost from $420 to $3,500. This may depend on the size of your desired mattress, as well as extra features like cooling panels and pillow tops. If you are prioritizing your budget when looking for a mattress, we recommend comparing the features of competitors so that you can get a cheaper mattress without sacrificing quality.

When is the best time of the year to get a mattress?

Consider when popular brands are offering big sale days, usually around Labor Day, Memorial Day and Black Friday, to get the best bang for your buck. Discounts and promo codes are typically available throughout the year, though some brands offer them more often than others.

What is the best mattress firmness?

When it comes to our list, the Puffy and Saatva’s Loom & Leaf are the firmest mattresses, both reaching eight of 10 on the firmness spectrum. This ensures that sleepers can avoid sinking too deep in their mattresses while still enjoying a soft foam surface.

Prices are accurate and items in stock at time of publishing.