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.
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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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.
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.
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.
While the Helix Midnight isn’t made entirely of memory foam, the layer of Memory Plus foam in the top of the mattress combines with the bed’s breathable coils to offer a supportive sleep experience with the comfortable, cradling feel of foam. The Midnight, which comes in at a 6 out of 10 on our firmness scale, is the best-selling bed in the Helix line. Sleepers who love the feel of foam but want extra edge support and breathability should appreciate the hybrid design of the Helix Midnight.
Read our full Helix Midnight Mattress Review to learn more.
Heavyweight sleepers are likely familiar with the struggle of finding a supportive, stable mattress that keeps their spine properly positioned. While the structure of memory foam sometimes lets down heavyweight sleepers looking for extra support, the WinkBeds Gravity Lux mattress is an all-foam pick that’s specifically designed for heavier bodies. The mattress uses Zoned Progression foam to help keep heavier parts of the body elevated and aligned on the mattress, while the bed’s Tencel cover and AirCell memory foam help keep hot sleepers cool.
Read our full WinkBeds Mattress Reviews page to learn more.
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.
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.
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.
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. At a regular price of $1,049 for a queen size, you get a lot of bang for your buck with the Layla. 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.
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.
Considered one of the best cooling memory foam mattresses on the market, the GhostBed is a great option for sleepers who love the feel of memory foam but tend to sleep hot.
20 year limited
The GhostBed is a great high-value option for hot sleepers who still love the balanced feel of an all-foam bed. Made with gel memory foam and aerated latex, the GhostBed anticipates and mitigates the classic “memory foam sleeps hot” complaint.
As a medium-firm mattress, the GhostBed earned a score of 6 out of 10 on our Mattress Nerd firmness scale, so it should keep most side and back sleepers satisfied. The supportive latex foam used in the GhostBed also gives it great edge support, which means sleepers can sit or lie on the perimeter of the mattress without experiencing any uncomfortable sensations of instability.
Read our in-depth Ghostbed Mattress Review.
If you sleep with a loving partner at night, you may know all too well the struggle of waking up due to a partner’s movements. But the Puffy is excellent at motion isolation, which makes it an ideal foam mattress for couples who tend to sleep light and wake up easily.
While it’s not best for heavyweight sleepers, (if you’re in that category, it’s generally best to look for an ultra-firm foam mattress or a hybrid mattress for coils) this mattress should keep couples happy while supporting side and back sleepers. The bed is also sold at a great price point for budget shoppers.
Read our full Puffy mattress review for more details.
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.
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.
Read our full Tuft & Needle Mint review for more details.
We get it, memory foam sounds amazing. It is out-of-this-world comfortable, it conforms exactly to your shape, it springs back to its original form within seconds, I mean, it was developed by NASA for goodness’ sake. While all of these things are true about memory foam, there are some other things you should know about it before making your big purchase.
In this guide we’ve compiled some quick hit considerations, as well as more comprehensive descriptions of everything that makes memory foam tick, in order to help inform your shopping process. If by the end you still want more information, check out our article on, “What is Memory Foam?“
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!
Hybrid mattresses are constructed with a support layer of innerspring coils and a layer of memory foam or latex on top. The combination can result in the hybrid having the durability and breathability of a spring mattress, as well as the cushioning of a foam mattress. Because their construction requires metal coils, however, hybrids tend to be more expensive than memory foam beds.
Related: Memory Foam vs. Hybrid
Similar to memory foam, Latex mattresses are built with a dense base at the bottom, and softer layers at the top. Because of its inherent bounciness, latex usually isn’t as pressure-relieving or conforming as memory foam, but it is more responsive. Some of what we consider the best Latex mattresses utilize only environmentally-friendly materials, like organic cotton, in their construction.
Related: Memory Foam vs. Latex
Innerspring mattresses tend to be the firmest of the four main types, a quality that some might find unappealing in a mattress. Firmness, however, usually works well for stomach sleepers and heavier-than-average people, as it provides better support for them. Innerspring mattresses are often good candidates for memory foam mattress toppers, as the combination can create a similar experience to a hybrid. Still, it’s safe to bet that memory foam will provide more of the spinal alignment necessary to combat back pain.
Related: Tips to Not Sleep Hot
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 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.
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.
Related: Best Mattresses for Couples
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.
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.
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.
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. Our article on how to clean your mattress has some useful tips and tricks on this topic.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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. Check out our best hybrid mattress reviews if you’re interested.
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.
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.
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 bound 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. Our list of the best mattresses for back sleepers may help you find something more specific.
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 to to avoid because it will throw your spine out of alignment. We recommend that you take a look at the best mattresses for stomach sleepers article before you make any quick decisions.
Side Sleepers: We have found that some of the best mattresses for side sleepers are made with memory foam. 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. WE have found that
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.
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). If you want to experience memory foam but don’t want to commit to a mattress trial period, you could always purchase a good memory foam pillow to see how it feels.
Related: What is a Sleep Trial?
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, just look at our best mattresses under $1,000 guide for proof.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
|Loom & Leaf||Best Luxury Memory Foam Mattress|
|Helix Midnight||Best Medium-Firm|
|WinkBeds Gravity Lux||Best Memory Foam for Heavyweight Sleepers|
|Casper||Best Memory Foam Mattress in a Box|
|Layla||Best Value Memory Foam Mattress|
|Leesa||Best Memory Foam Mattress for Back and Stomach Sleepers|
|GhostBed Original||Best Cooling Memory Foam Mattress|
|Puffy||Best Memory Foam Mattress for Couples|
|Tuft & Needle Mint||Best Memory Foam For Side Sleepers|
|Amerisleep||AS1||Foam||8.5||100 Nights||20 Years||$$||Check Price||AS1 Review|
|Amerisleep||AS2||Foam||7||100 Nights||20 Years||$$||Check Price||AS2 Review|
|Amerisleep||AS3||Foam||6.5||100 Nights||20 Years||$$||Check Price||AS3 Review|
|Amerisleep||AS4||Foam||6||100 Nights||20 Years||$$||Check Price||AS4 Review|
|Amerisleep||AS5||Foam||5.5||100 Nights||20 Years||$$||Check Price||AS5 Review|
|Bear||Original||Foam||6||100 Nights||20 Years||$$||Check Price||Bear Mattress Review|
|Bear||Pro||Foam||6||100 Nights||20 Years||$$||Check Price||Bear Pro Review|
|Casper||Original||Foam||5||100 Nights||10 Years||$$||Check Price||Casper Review|
|Casper||Element||Foam||7||100 Nights||10 Years||$||Check Price||Casper Element Review|
|Sealy||Cocoon Chill||Foam||5||100 Nights||10 Years||$$||Check Price||Cocoon Chill Review|
|Dreamfoam||Chill||Foam||Varies||120 Nights||10 Years||$||Check Price||Chill Review|
|Dreamfoam||Copper Dreams||Foam||Varies||120 Nights||10 Years||$||Check Price||Copper Dreams Review|
|Ghostbed||Original||Foam||6||101 Nights||20 Years||$$||Check Price||GhostBed Review|
|Ghostbed||Luxe||Foam||5||101 Nights||20 Years||$$||Check Price||GhostBed Luxe Review|
|Idle Sleep||Gel Foam||Foam||6.5||18 Months||Lifetime||$$$||Check Price||Idle Gel Foam Review|
|Keetsa||Cloud||Foam||6||90 Nights||12 Year||$$||Check Price||Full Review|
|Keetsa||Tea Leaf Supreme||Foam||5||90 Nights||12 Year||$$$||Check Price||Full Review|
|Layla||Memory Foam||Foam||4 / 6||120 Nights||Lifetime||$$||Check Price||Layla Review|
|Leesa||Original||Foam||5||100 Nights||10 Years||$$||Check Price||Leesa Review|
|Leesa||Studio||Foam||6.5||100 Nights||10 Years||$$||Check Price||Leesa Studio Review|
|Level Sleep||Level||Foam||5||365 Nights||Lifetime||$$$||Check Price||Level Sleep Review|
|Lull||Lull||Foam||6||100 Nights||10 Years||$||Check Price||Lull Review|
|Marpac||Yogabed||Foam||5||101 Nights||10 Years||$$||Check Price||Yogabed Review|
|Muse||The Muse||Foam||7||120 Nights||10 Years||$$||Check Price||Muse Review|
|Nectar||The Nectar||Foam||6||365 Nights||Lifetime||$$||Check Price||Nectar Review|
|Nectar||Lush||Foam||5.5||365 Nights||Lifetime||$$$||Check Price||Nectar Lush Review|
|Nest||Alexander||Foam||5 / 7||100 Nights||Lifetime||$$$||Check Price||Nest Alexander Review|
|Nest||Love & Sleep||Foam||5 / 7||100 Nights||Lifetime||$||Check Price||Love & Sleep Review|
|Nolah||Original||Foam||5||120 Nights||Lifetime||$$||Check Price||Nolah Review|
|Nolah||Signature||Foam||4 / 7||120 Nights||Lifetime||$$$||Check Price||Nolah Signature Review|
|Novaform||Multiple||Foam||Varies||30 Nights||10 Years||$$||Check Price||Novaform Review|
|Novosbed||The Novosbed||Foam||Varies||120 Nights||15 Years||$$||Check Price||Novosbed Review|
|Puffy||Puffy||Foam||5||101 Nights||Lifetime||$$||Check Price||Puffy Review|
|Puffy||Puffy Lux||Foam||6||101 Nights||Lifetime||$$$||Check Price||Puffy Lux Review|
|Puffy||Royal||Foam||5||101 Nights||Lifetime||$$$||Check Price||Puffy Royal Review|
|Saatva||Loom & Leaf||Foam||5 / 8||180 Nights||15 Years||$$$||Check Price||Loom & Leaf Review|
|Saatva||Soliare||Foam||Varies||180 Nights||15 Years||$$$$||Check Price||Solaire Review|
|Tempurpedic||Tempur-Contour Supreme||Foam||8||90 Days||10 Years||$$$$||Check Price||Full Review|
|Tempurpedic||TempurCloud||Foam||3||90 Nights||10 Years||$$$$||Check Price||Full Review|
|Tuft & Needle||Original||Foam||6||100 Nights||10 Years||$$||Check Price||T&N Review|
|Tuft & Needle||Mint||Foam||5||100 Nights||10 Years||$$||Check Price||T&N Mint Review|
|Tuft & Needle||Nod||Foam||5.5||100 Nights||10 Years||$||Check Price||T&N Nod Review|
|Wright||Wright||Foam||6||120 Nights||20 Years||$$$||Check Price||Wright Review|
|Zinus||Green Tea||Foam||6||100 Nights||10 Years||$||Check Price||Zinus Review|
|Zoma||Original||Foam||5.5||100 Nights||10 Years||$$||Check Price||Zoma Review|
Are memory foam or hybrid mattresses better? In this guide, we review both mattress types and explain the materials, how they feel, and the pros and cons of each.
Conflicted in your mattress search? Learn how latex and memory foam mattresses compare to each other, their benefits and differences, as well as which type is best for you.