I have slept on and reviewed over 20 memory foam mattresses at this point, from the top Tempur-pedic brands to the no-name bed-in-a-box startup. Certain brands and models offer different benefits for people with certain preferences,and I’ve highlighted some models below that are good fit for sleepers of all types.
I don’t think there is necessarily one “best” memory foam mattress, as there are a lot of great mattresses out there and certain ones that are best for certain types of people.
I suggest you use my experience as a starting point to decide which memory foam mattress is best for you.
I’ve reviewed a number of memory foam mattresses, with the four below ranking at the top for value, luxury, budget, and comfort.
Certainly these aren’t the only four quality memory foam mattresses on the market, these are just a few of my favorite across a few categories. If you’re looking at any memory foam option, you should look for a mattress that:
Amerisleep is one of the oldest online-only memory foam mattress brands, and the experience shows. Quite simply they make a mattress that I find to be the most comfortable, with a full line to accommodate sleepers with different preferences.
Amerisleep is my top pick because they don’t cut any corners – I believe they deliver one of the best mattresses available. They’re not the cheapest on the market, but they do offer great value (click here for $250 off any Amerisleep).
Amerisleep also offers models with cool features like foams that are better for cooling and mattresses with celliant for athletes. Learn more in my full Amerisleep review.
The Loom and Leaf is the most popular and best rated memory foam mattress because it has the specs of a high-end Tempur-pedic, but at a fraction of the price. You pay for the mattress quality, not the brand name. See why it is such a good value HERE.
The mattress has great specs, making it very comfortable and durable as well. It comes in two settings, though it runs slightly firmer than average in general at each firmness level.
It is flippable, offering two firmness options – though I found both to be quite soft (relatively). This makes the mattress very comfortable for side sleepers, and a great option for people that prefer a more lush/soft mattress (see how Layla compares HERE).
Layla also has infused copper, which helped the mattress sleep cool (infused copper is used in other types of products, but very few mattresses to date). Learn more in my full Layla mattress review.
What I like the most about Bear is I think it perhaps does the best job of any memory foam mattress with sleeping cool. This is because of the special celliant cover it uses and the fact that they use a graphite gel memory foam. The result is a mattress that has significantly higher airflow than other memory foam mattresses. You can see more proof of how cool the mattress sleeps and the science behind the foams HERE.
Zinus provides a good memory foam option that is comfortable, offers good support, and is relatively durable, for a very reasonable price (<$300 for a Queen).
Nectar is a very good value. Depending on the current deal running, you can get a Queen for less than $700. That is quite a deal given that the mattress itself is very solid.
If you are looking for a nice memory foam feel without breaking the bank, that’s really what Nectar delivers. They had delivery issues in the past (getting mattresses shipped out quickly), but that was mainly a result of their initial popularity since launching. I believe those issues are fixed now.
When reading memory foam mattress reviews, you’ll come across density level a lot. While it can be a bit confusing, I’ll try to keep things as simple as possible, outlining general trends, but know exceptions will exist within certain brands and models. Typically, I have found (and studies show) that the higher the density, the following is true:
Memory Foam and Sleeping Hot
One of the most common complaintsI hear about memory foam mattresses (a complaint that I share personally as well) is that this type of mattress often sleeps hot. This means that the mattress absorbs and retains heat, making the sleeping surface hot, especially later on in the night after you’ve been sleeping for several hours.
What are the ways companies try to keep memory foam sleeping cool? Using plant-based foam has been shown to be very effective, and so has laminating a layer of gel onto the foam. Some companies use “gel-infused” memory foam, but in most cases that is more marketing rather than based in reality.
When it comes to gel, mattress companies really turn on the marketing. They will charge you thousands of dollars more for certain types of gels that aren’t actually more effective (though they do sound amazing). This is one of my primary complaints with Tempur-pedic and similar traditional brands, and why I recommend the Tempur-pedic Contour Rhapsody Luxe rather than one of their even more expensive models
Memory foam is made from petrochemicals. No mattress the brand, know that your memory foam mattress will possess chemicals (no matter how eco-friendly they claim to be).
New memory foam mattresses typically give off a chemical smell when they are unboxed. This is called “off-gassing.” It’s not a concern for the long-term, but the smell can potentially last as long as a week, depending on the mattress brand. With some mattresses, the smell is very faint and completely goes away within 24 hours.
Higher quality memory foam mattresses have a more resilient feel to them. Lots of people complain that they feel that they “get stuck” in memory foam and have a hard time moving around or getting out of bed.
Memory foam typically takes a while to react to movement. This isn’t optimal for some people’s preferences, and if this is is a big concern for you, I would consider a latex mattress as an alternative. Latex has many similar properties to memory foam, but has more “spring” to it. A new popular construction is latex over memory foam, with a lot of the new startups (like Casper or Ghost Bed) trying to get the benefits of both materials in one mattress.
The best way to get a deal on a memory foam mattress is to order online. Since the mattress is all foam, it can be compressed and shipped from a factory to your door, cutting out the middle men and providing savings for the consumer.
If you are buying through a retail store, I suggest waiting for a sale. Labor Day and President’s Day are big days for mattress sales, where you will see up to 70% off some of the big name brands.
Final note on getting a deal – higher quality mattresses will last much longer than lower quality ones. If you purchase a cheap low-quality mattress, you may save money in the short term, but you may find yourself shopping for a replacement sooner than you had hoped.
Take a look at my recommendations, and understand the WHY behind the recommendation. Whatever memory foam mattress brand you end up going with, make sure you consider the points outlined above and consider your own sleeping preferences in the process.
This post was last updated on April 9th, 2018 at 12:41 pm
Joe is the editor of Mattress Clarity. When he isn't testing sleep products, he enjoys working out, reading, and playing classical piano.