Best Mattress Guides

Best Memory Foam Mattresses

A guide to finding the best memory foam mattress and understanding the benefits of sleeping on this popular material.

By Valerie Mellema

Memory foam has gained a ton of popularity as a mattress material in recent years, and with good reason. Memory foam provides sleepers with a close to the body contour, that gets better with every night you sleep on it.

As with all materials, memory foam varies from mattress to mattress. Some are extra-firm, some have cooling technology, and some are rather basic. This guide will help you decide if a memory foam mattress is right for you, and which mattress will suit your needs best.

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Best Memory Foam Mattresses


Editor's Pick

For a budget mattress, Nectar doesn’t disappoint. This gel memory foam mattress provides great pressure relief and motion isolation. You will sleep atop the Nectar, not sunken down, as can happen with memory foam beds.

4.7 / 5.0


Trial period




Nectar is a popular brand that provides excellent value for those who are looking for a memory foam mattress. The Nectar mattress features five layers of foam that provide sleepers with the utmost comfort, cooling, durability, and support. The gel memory foam is sure to keep all sleepers cool, but this mattress performs particularly well for side sleepers and back sleepers. It is a great mattress for kids, couples, seniors, and everyone in between. 

Read our full Nectar Mattress Review to learn more. 

Loom & Leaf

Best Luxury Memory Foam Mattress
The Loom & Leaf by Saatva focused squarely at dethroning Tempur-Pedic as the main name in memory foam mattresses. Of all of the direct-to-consumer mattresses we’ve tried, the Loom & Leaf feels the most like Tempur-Pedic and at a fraction of the price.
4.8 / 5.0


Trial period

120 nights


15 year limited warranty

The Loom & Leaf mattress represents an ambitious attempt to sell a premium mattress in a new-fangled and cheaper way. The memory foam unit loads up on the details then sheds the retail markup to make luxury affordable. Overall, the Loom & Leaf feels like a traditional memory foam mattress that lets you sink into the mattress without swallowing you and still cuddling the contours of your body so you’re not sore from pressure on hips and shoulders. The mattress won’t retain heat like older models of memory foam mattresses because there are gel layers and a convoluted layer that allows air to flow through and take away hot spots.

Read our full Loom & Leaf review to learn more. 

Idle Gel Foam

Best Gel Memory Foam Mattress

Idle offers a supportive, breathable memory foam mattress that includes a gel infusion to keep sleepers from becoming overheated.

4.8 / 5.0


Trial period

18 months



Defying stereotypes that memory foam mattresses sleep hot, the Idle Gel Foam mattress uses perforated, breathable foam and a gel infusion to help hot sleepers stay cool and comfortable. The bed also comes with excellent, consumer-focused policies. Idle offers longer-than-average sleep trial of 18 months and a Lifetime warranty that protects the original purchaser of the mattress for as long as they own the bed. Though the Idle Gel Foam mattress may not be soft enough for all side sleepers, it offers a healthy mixture of support and comfort for most other sleep styles.

Read our full Idle Sleep Memory Foam Mattress Review to learn more. 


Best Memory Foam Mattress for Back and Stomach Sleepers
The Leesa mattress adapts to all sleep positions and most body types. With its cooling foam and additional layers that both hug and support you, it's no wonder customers love sleeping on their Leesa.

Back and stomach sleepers need a high-density, supportive bed to keep larger parts of the body elevated and in proper alignment. Though the Leesa isn’t ideal for plus-size back and stomach sleepers, it’s good for lightweight and average-weight body types. Here at Mattress Nerd, we also love the Leesa’s aesthetically pleasing grey cover and low-profile 10″ height. The bed also comes with a 10-year warranty and 100-night trial to see if it works for you.

See our full Leesa Mattress Review to learn more.


Best Value

Copper-infused layers that keep hot sleepers cool and a dual-firmness option that satisfies multiple comfort preferences make the Layla mattress hard to beat.

4.7 / 5.0


Trial period

120 days


Lifetime Limited Warranty

Layla is a great memory foam mattress option for those who aren’t sure which firmness level they prefer because it is flippable. One side is soft and the other is firm, and sleepers can try out both to decide which is better for their lifestyle and preference. Layla also has copper-infused memory foam layers, which help keep hot sleepers cool through the night. Copper is also known for its pressure point and pain relief so you get a more restful sleep. We recommend the firm side for stomach and back sleepers, and the soft side for strict side sleepers. 

Read our full Layla Mattress Review to learn more. 

GhostBed Luxe

Best Cooling Mattress

Considered one of the best cooling memory foam mattresses on the market, the GhostBed Luxe is a great option for sleepers who love the feel of memory foam but tend to sleep hot.

4.7 / 5.0


Trial period

101 nights


25 year limited warranty

This seven-layer mattress is highly comfortable, supportive, and cooling. Infused with gel in every layer of memory foam and wrapped with a cooling cover, many consider the GhostBed Luxe to be one of the best cooling mattresses available online. Simultaneously, the GhostBed Luxe doesn’t disappoint when it comes to pressure relief and contour. It is a great mattress for side and back sleepers, specifically for lightweight sleepers. Heavier sleepers may not find this mattress supports them well enough. 

Read our in-depth Ghostbed Luxe mattress review.

Casper Original

Best Mattress in a Box

The Casper is the brand’s flagship model. Newly redesigned, it features Zoned Support that gives your back, hips, and shoulders the extra boost they need to keep the spine aligned.

4.8 / 5.0


Trial period

100 nights


10 year warranty

The original mattress from Casper has been rigorously tested and re-designed to create a cool memory foam mattress that works for all sleep positions- something that’s rare in any mattress! The all-foam, polyurethane layer provides the bounce of latex but the cradling of foam that reduces pressure. Casper’s top-notch transition layer earned it a perfect score in responsiveness, meaning it bounces back quickly, making it perfect for those who move a lot at night. We recommend the Casper to anyone looking for a catch-all mattress that’s sure to suit you.

Read our full Casper mattress review to learn more. 

Nolah Original 10"

Best Soft Mattress

Instead of your typical memory foam, the Nolah Signature is constructed with AirFoam, claiming “It’s Not Memory Foam; It’s Better!”

4.8 / 5.0


Trial period

120 nights


15-year limited warranty

The Nolah Original is a medium-firm, polyfoam mattress that features four layers of foam and an organic cover. The 2” top layer is made of Nolah’s cooling, extra-deep AirFoam, which creates motion isolation, and keeps sleepers cool. The Nolah Original is not memory foam and does not claim to be. In fact, the AirFoam is not made with any of the heat-trapping chemicals that traditional memory foam uses, so the tendency to overheat is not an issue. According to Nolah’s website, their AirFoam provides 4x more pressure relief than memory foam. See: Best Soft Mattresses

Read our full Nolah mattress review to learn more! 

Brooklyn Bowery

Best Budget Mattress

The Brooklyn Bowery is hard to beat with its quality construction and competitive price point. Made by Brooklyn Bedding, this memory foam mattress is great for spine alignment and motion isolation.

4.8 / 5.0


Trial period

120 nights


10 year warranty

Brooklyn Bedding mattresses are unique because they are manufactured in-house, driving prices down and quality up. The Brooklyn Bowery is the only purely memory foam mattress offered by Brooklyn Bedding. And guess what? They nailed it. This mattress is easy to move around on, keeps sleepers cool, and comes in a few firmness options. It does a little bit of everything and does it all at a budget-friendly price point.

See our full Brooklyn Bedding mattress reviews for more information. 

Tuft and Needle Mint

Best for Side Sleepers

While not actually considered “memory foam”, the Mint is an excellent all-foam mattress.  Made with their proprietary Adaptive Foam layers that protect the back and cradle the hips, the Mint is an appealing all-foam option. Not to mention, its layers are infused with heat-wicking graphite to maintain a cool sleeping surface.

4.9 / 5.0


Trial period

100 nights


10 year warranty

Tuft & Needle has been a popular foam mattress maker for some time now, and the addition of their latest mattress model, the Mint, is fantastic. The Mint mattress is constructed with patent-pending Adaptive Foam that contours with ease and are infused with heat-wicking graphite to keep hot sleepers cool. Great for spinal alignment, sleeping on the Mint protects your lower back from pain while cradling the hips and shoulders well. You can’t go wrong with the Mint mattress. See: Best Mattress for Side Sleepers

Read our full Tuft & Needle Mint review for more details. 

Who Should Buy a Memory Foam Mattress? 

  • People with pain concerns 
  • Sleepers with certain allergies 
  • People with fluctuating body temperature
  • Anyone who sleeps with a partner who moves around a lot 

Who May Not Love a Memory Foam Mattress? 

  • People who sleep very hot  
  • People who do not like to feel “in” a mattress 

Things to Consider When Buying a Memory Foam Mattresses

Like shopping for any product, it’s important to consider the trial period, return policy, and performance of the product. In addition to memory foam types and benefits, here are additional considerations to make when picking a new mattress.

Mattress Size

One of the most important things that you will have to consider is the size of the mattress. Whether you need or desire a twin, queen, or king, you will be able to find a mattress that suits your needs from the brands above. When determining which size mattress suits your preferences, consider the size of the room, who you sleep with, your body type, and if you are an active sleeper.

Sleeping Position 

As with any mattress materials, the way it responds to each person will depend on several factors; the sleeper’s body type, preferences, pain levels, and sleeping position. Many mattress manufacturers have worked with their memory foams to suit as wide a range of sleepers as possible, but each mattress is bounce to work a little better (or worse) for certain positions. These are the things you should look for when shopping for memory foam, based on how you sleep.

Back Sleepers: Typically, back sleepers fare well on memory foam. One thing to look out for is making sure the foam isn’t too soft. Many mattress companies are creating foam that will fill in the space at the lower back, keeping you very supported, but if a mattress does not have this close contouring, you may find your bottom half sinks a little more than you’d like. 

Stomach Sleepers: This position is all about the hips. You will be able to tell pretty quickly is a mattress will work out for you, based on how much and how quickly your hips start to sink. Pay close attention to how a brand talks about the pressure on the hips, and see if any reviews say the sleeper’s hips may sink. This is something you’ll want o to avoid because it will throw your spine out of alignment. 

Side Sleepers: Side sleepers have a lot more preference when it comes to memory foam. If you are someone who likes a close “hug” feeling, you can look for a more high-quality contour when shopping. You may want to steer clear of super high-density foam, as it may not provide you with pressure relief on the shoulders and cause some jamming. 

Combination Sleepers: The main concern for combo sleepers is the feeling of being “stuck in a memory foam mattress. You will want to pay close attention to how responsive a mattress says it is, and how it performs for your dominant sleeping position. If it talks a lot about a “sinking” feeling and being “in” the mattress, you may want to keep looking. 

Sleep Trial Period 

You should also consider if there is a trial period. Most brands offer a generous trial for customers to see whether they like the mattress or not. It takes an average of 30 days to break in a new mattress, so keep that in mind as you make your purchase (and during the first night of sleep).


When you buy a  memory foam mattress, especially from an online bed-in-a-box retailer, you will likely experience a smell when you first unbox your mattress. This is called off-gassing and is completely normal. The way memory foam, or polyurethane foam, is made, involves various chemicals, and after being rolled up and compressed in a box they tend to release some of that “chemical” smell. This is safe for consumers and should not alarm you too much. If the smell does not go away within a few days, you may want to contact the seller.


The beauty of memory foam is in addition to the many benefits they supply, they remain affordable. You can find a quality memory foam mattress that will last up to 10 years for well under $1,000. Of course, the mattress size, style, and other factors will affect the final price but still, you do not have to spend a fortune just to get a mattress that you like and that will allow you to sleep well at night.

What Are The Benefits of Memory Foam?

There are a number of substantial benefits that can be had from sleeping on a memory foam mattress. Here are a few of the most important for healthy sleep. 

Pressure Relief

Pressure point relief is one of the most substantial benefits of memory foam when it comes to pain relief. As a matter of fact, memory foam has long since been used in healthcare for this exact reason. For example, wheelchair seats made of memory foam were made to reduce the pressure put on the bum from long-term sitting. 

By reducing the pressure points put on joints, people will find that they are more comfortable when they are sleeping. This means that they will not toss and turn throughout the night and lower their chances of waking up with aches and pains.

Motion Isolation

Another benefit of memory foam is decreased motion transfer. If you or the person you share a bed with moves around a lot in their sleep, motion isolation becomes very important to prevent disrupting your sleeping partner.

Due to the nature of the material, there is minimal motion transferred from one side of the bed to another. This means that even if one person is moving around in the bed, the other person is less likely to feel any type of disturbance. Another factor to consider when sleeping with a partner is edge support. If you plan to use the whole surface of the bed, you may want to consider looking for a memory foam mattress with reinforced edges. 

Proper Spine Alignment

Perhaps one of the most slept on benefits of memory foam is its ability to evenly distribute body weight and support natural alignment. When we sleep, it’s very important to maintain a healthy posture (much like when we are awake and sitting at a desk). Memory foam hugs you in all the right places, cradling hips and shoulders to prevent stress on the joints, while simultaneously supporting the torso to keep the spine in proper alignment.

Contour & Responsiveness

Arguably the most desired trait in a memory foam mattress is its ability to contour and respond to any body type and sleeping position. The sheer nature of memory foam mattresses is to accommodate any person’s way of sleeping by adapting to different shapes and movements.

Compatible With Any Bed Frame

Memory foam mattresses tend to work well with just about any type of frame that you might want to use it on (a nice perk you may not appreciate until you don’t have the same flexibility). This includes platform bases, box springs, slatted foundations, and even adjustable beds. Since the foam is able to flex and adjust its shape, it turns out that it is actually a very good choice for those types of beds. If you have an adjustable bed or you might want to get one in a few years, this is another good reason to choose foam.

Easy to Maintain

Finally, memory foam also happens to be very easy to care for. In fact, most of the time, the only real maintenance that might need to be done is occasional vacuuming. With a foam mattress, you do not have to worry about things like flipping and rotating the mattress. You will not have to worry about suddenly having a sharp spring poking into your back either.

Types of Memory Foam 

In addition to knowing the benefits memory foam mattresses can offer, it is also important to make sure you have an understanding of the various types of memory foam mattresses out there. The most common and widely used is traditional, viscoelastic foam. All additional variations of memory foam have been developed to solve for a common issue found in traditional foam—it sleeps hot.

Traditional Memory Foam

Also known as viscoelastic memory foam, traditional memory foam mattresses are the most widely available. They are made of polyurethane-based foam known for its durability, support, and comfort. 

Gel Memory Foam

Gel memory foam is a relatively new development in the world of memory foam mattresses. It was created to solve a common issue found in traditional memory foam mattresses—trapping heat. In a gel-memory mattress, cooling gel is injected into the foam layers to prevent body heat from getting trapped. The feel and durability of gel-memory foam is comparable to traditional foam.

Open-Cell  Memory Foam

Open-cell memory foam refers to a type of foam whose cell walls have been broken down to increase airflow and reduce the amount of heat retention, keeping you cooler throughout the night. Open-cell foam is less dense than traditional, closed-cell foam, so keep that in mind when considering the durability of your memory foam mattress.

Copper-Infused Memory Foam

In conjunction with gel-memory foam and open-cell memory foam, the copper-infused foam was created to help keep foam mattresses cool. This type of foam is lined with thin copper lines embedded into the mattress. Copper is known for its cooling properties, as well as, increasing blood circulation and reducing stiffness. Copper-infused memory foam is typically used in mattresses designed for athletes and active adults.

Hybrid Foam Mattress

While hybrid mattresses are not strictly memory foam, many have memory foam comfort layers that are added onto an innerspring mattress for extra comfort and contouring. If you like the feel of memory foam, but need extra support, a hybrid foam mattress may be a good option for you. 

Memory Foam vs. Other Mattress Types 

If you are looking for a new mattress, the first question is often what type of mattress is best for you. There are four main types of mattresses; memory foam, latex, hybrids, and innerspring. Memory foam is one of the most popular, but is it the best option for you? Let’s decide! 

Memory Foam Hybrid  Latex Innerspring
Support / Base Layer High-Density Foam Coils Dunlop or Talalay Latex Coils
Comfort Layers  Memory Foam Foam, Cotton, Wool Latex, Wool Foam, Pillowtop, Cotton
Good For Couples?  Minimal motion transfer Usually good edge support Easy to move around on Lots of bounce
Cooling?  Can be warm Warm-cooling Very cool Breathable
Firmness Level Very soft to firm Very soft to very Firm Soft to firm Medium Firm to Very Firm
Price Range  $500-$2,500 $1,000-$2,000 $1,300-$3,000 $700-$1,000
Life Expectancy  8-10 Years 10 Years 20-25 Years 7-10 Years

Memory Foam Density & ILD

Foam Density 

Make sure to pay attention to the density of the foam. Density does not contribute so much to how the foam feels, as to how durable the foam mattress will be. Higher-density foams naturally tend to last longer. You will find that many top-brand foam mattresses, such as those from TEMPUR-Pedic, have 5 lb. or greater density foams. They are built to last. If you find options that have low density, they may not be worth your time or money.

It is also important to consider the mmHg, which is a measurement that determines how the foam mattress deals with pressure points. Ideally, you will be looking for mattresses that can claim they have a 32mmHg or lower, which is going to reduce pressure placed on your joints. Pressure relief prevents you from waking up with aches and pains.

Indentation Load-Deflection (ILD)

ILD determines how firm or soft the memory foam slab will be. If the ILD number is high, the foam will be harder, and if it is lower, the foam will be softer. Similarly to how we rate mattresses on a firmness scale or 1-10, ILD is typically listed as a number range. The number range that is used to describe ILD meant that it takes that number of pounds to indent the mattress to a certain percentage. Typically, 10-12 is a softer mattress and continues to increase in firmness all the way to 16-18, being very firm.

How Much Do Memory Foam Mattresses Cost? 

Memory foam mattresses range in price more than any other mattress. There are a few things that determine the price of memory foam; where it is made, special features, thickness, and density to name a few. The memory foam feel will be different depending on each factor as well. Typically, if a mattress is made in the USA, it will be a little more pricey than if it is manufactured overseas. If the layers of memory foam are thicker, they will be more expensive and but more comfortable. With memory foam, you will get what you pay for. A more expensive, thicker mattress with extra features will likely cause you to sleep better and last a lot longer, where a thin baseline model may not be as comfortable or last very long. 

How Long Will My Memory Foam Mattress Last? 

The main concern when it comes to memory foam mattress durability is the foam sagging, or not performing at its best depending on what it was built to do. In our list of best memory foam mattresses, most should last 6-8 years without any problems. When you are shopping for memory foam mattresses, it can seem like all foam is essentially the same; however, a thicker (oftentimes more expensive) foam mattress will likely last longer than a thinner, bargain counterpart. It is also important to read about the best types of bed frames and foundations for your memory foam mattress to ensure they are supported properly and able to withstand nightly use. 

Recap of the Top Rated Memory Foam Mattresses

Mattress Award 
Nectar Editor’s Pick
Loom & Leaf Best Luxury Memory Foam Mattress
Idle Gel Foam Best Gel Memory Foam Mattress
Leesa Best Memory Foam Mattress for Back and Stomach Sleepers
Layla Best Value Memory Foam Mattress
GhostBed Luxe Best Cooling Memory Foam Mattress
Casper Best Memory Foam Mattress in a Box
Nolah Original Best Soft Memory Foam Mattress
Brooklyn Bowery Best Budget Memory Foam Mattress
Tuft & Needle Mint Best Memory Foam For Side Sleepers

See All Foam Mattress Reviews


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