Memory foam mattresses have a very different feel than other types of mattresses. The best memory foam mattresses are springy and sponge-like, creating a weightless feeling that many people describe as “sleeping on a cloud.” Typically, side and back sleepers most appreciate the contouring comfort and pressure relief offered by memory foam mattresses, but stomach sleepers can also enjoy memory foam at the right firmness level.
If you’re deciding whether a memory foam mattress is right for you, explore some of the top-rated options backed by expert testers at Mattress Advisor—plus read up on key factors to consider before choosing your new bed.
Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of memory foam mattresses and what each of these mattresses has to offer.
Memory foam mattresses offer a different type of support than other mattress materials. A key benefit is their high-level viscosity, meaning memory foam mattresses will hug and contour your body, particularly on your pressure points.
Here are some of the other benefits of choosing this type of mattress:
Memory foam’s hallmark trait is its ability to reduce pain by supporting all pressure points—particularly in your neck, shoulders, hips, back and legs—while you sleep.
“You can reduce pain and pressure by supporting parts of your body that protrude when you sleep, like shoulders, hips and knees,” says Dr. Rick Swartzburg, MD. “This will often result in a deeper level of relaxation and better sleep, thanks to less discomfort and tossing and turning.” This pressure relief is one of several reasons memory foam mattresses are considered the best for side sleepers, and beloved by so many other different types of sleepers.
Because memory foam naturally adjusts to your shape, no part of your body will feel unsupported. The viscosity creates the “quicksand quality” sleepers love so much, and helps straighten the spine and allow for better blood flow.
Memory foam doesn’t accumulate allergens or dust mites the way other materials do. This type of mattress is a great choice if you have sensitive skin or are trying to reduce irritants in your environment.
Another unique feature of memory foam is its ability to isolate motion. If you sit, step, or even jump in one area of the bed, very little movement will be felt across the mattress. If you sleep with a partner, you can say goodbye to middle-of-the-night bathroom trips waking either of you up.
Finally, memory foam mattresses are considered very durable and reasonably long-lasting with little or no maintenance. They don’t break down and often don’t need rotation or flipping—which means you can rest easy knowing your new mattress was a sound investment.
Although well loved, there are characteristics of memory foam that don’t make it the best fit for everyone. The sinking feeling of viscosity can be uncomfortable for some people, and traditional memory foam mattresses are known to sleep hotter than most.
Here’s what to know about memory foam before making your selection:
For hot sleepers, the dense memory foam material used to be a no-go. The good news? Today, many mattress companies have started to address this concern with technological advancements like the addition of cooling gel and aerated foam layers, which massively alleviates the warm temperature of memory foam. If you’re a hot sleeper, be sure to explore mattresses made with cooling gel or breathable materials that don’t trap heat before making your selection.
Some memory foam mattresses contain flame retardants that emit a fume known as “off-gassing.” These fumes can emit an unpleasant smell, and might irritate those with chemical sensitivities. A good alternative? Organic mattresses. Some even add a green tea extract to help with the smell.
Memory foam mattresses are typically priced lower than other types of mattresses such as innerspring, hybrid or latex. However, the cost of memory foam mattresses will vary based on the density of the material. Memory foam mattresses also tend to have a longer lifespan than most, so many shoppers feel like they’re a worthwhile investment.
Memory foam mattresses work for all body types and sleep positions, and are often dubbed “miracle workers” for back and joint pain. All of these featured mattresses have been extensively tested and reviewed and can be conveniently purchased online and shipped directly to you, often at a cheaper price than a brick-and-mortar store.
There’s no better feeling than crashing on a plush, fluffy hotel bed and gearing up for a relaxing night’s sleep. With the Loom & Leaf mattress, you can bring that hotel-style quality to your own bedroom, treating yourself to a luxurious experience night after night.
The Loom & Leaf ranks highest in this category for a number of reasons—first, for its comfort and support. The gel memory foam mattress is temperature regulating to keep you cool and comfortable, and is available in two firmness levels. The standard version lands in that sweet spot between not-too-hard and not-too-soft, but the brand also offers a firmer version for stomach sleepers or those who prefer a harder mattress. Topped with a quilted organic cotton cover, the Loom & Leaf provides a healthy night’s rest thanks to the antimicrobial treatment protecting the mattress’s first layer. All of its foam layers are CertiPUR-US® certified against chemicals and toxic substances, and they excel at keeping your spine in near-perfect alignment. Loom & Leaf’s high marks in durability ensure that this bed is built to last.
When it comes to customer service, Saatva does things a bit differently––and by differently, we mean first-class. Every purchase of this luxe bed comes with free white glove delivery, meaning your memory foam mattress will be hand-delivered and set up for you at no extra charge.
Memory foam may not be the go-to for most back pain sufferers, but popular bed-in-a-box mattress brand Casper proves to be one of the best choices for back pain relief on the market. It’s repeatedly won praise from the American Chiropractic Association, and the Casper Original in particular is a great option for those plagued by body aches.
The secret to Casper’s healing quality lies in its dense, memory foam layers—one of which features targeted support for optimal spine alignment. This support layer disperses weight evenly to create a smooth surface that is fit for all sleep positions. It provides more give under the shoulders and is firmer around the hips and lower back to prevent any sinkage that might cause your spine to fall out of alignment. Plus, Casper offers free shipping and free returns, a 100-night sleep trial, and a 10-year warranty.
Looking for more options? Check out the best mattresses for back pain, which include memory foam, hybrid, and innerspring models.
We awarded the Nectar mattress “best value” because of its fair price and consistent performance: Over 18,000 customers give the Nectar a near five-star review. This pressure-relieving memory foam mattress features four breathable foam layers and offers superb motion isolation. Though the Nectar hugs your body, it keeps you cool, supporting good sleep all night long. The mattress also comes with a cover that promotes air flow and repels dust mites, and it features an unprecedented one-year sleep trial and a warranty that lasts as long as you own the mattress.
The trick to managing joint pain is sleeping on a mattress that provides cushioning support on your pressure points, but not so much that your spine falls out of alignment while you sleep. This delicate balance is beautifully accomplished with the Puffy Lux memory foam mattress.
The Puffy Lux is made up of four foam layers that contour to your hips and shoulders, helping ease strain on high-pressure areas. The foam cradles your body to provide relief, and its effectiveness received high marks from the testers at Mattress Advisor. An additional firm core layer ensures your spine stays aligned, no matter what position you sleep in.
Puffy mattresses also come with a stain-resistant removable cover, a 101-night sleep trial, and a lifetime warranty. Plus, its bed donation program for children in need makes Puffy a company you can feel good about purchasing from.
The Layla is one of the most unique bed-in-a-box brands you’ll find online. Its memory foam mattress is dual-sided, so sleepers can choose between soft and firm by simply flipping the bed. Plus, the layers are infused with copper to absorb extra body heat. Why settle for either a firm mattress or a soft one when you can get both in the Layla!
After a long day at the gym, it’s important to allow your body to rest and recover––and what better way to restore sore muscles than on a mattress designed for active bodies. This Bear mattress promotes recovery with its FDA-approved Celliant® cover, which uses infrared technology to increase blood circulation, regulate body temperature, and soothe aching muscles. Underneath the mattress cover lies four high-density foam layers that keep your spine propped up in a natural position to help prevent back pain.
Bear’s open-cell foam design, coupled with an infusion of cooling graphite, ensures you stay sweat-free and comfortable while sleeping. All of these features are enhanced by the mattress’s impressive durability, signaling many restful nights ahead.
The Ghostbed Luxe mattress has a lot to brag about: It's a gel memory foam bed that uses innovative technology to provide cooling, support, and responsiveness. Designed with two stages of cooling to promote air flow and breathability, the Ghostbed Luxe will help you say goodbye to nightsweats. Two layers of gel memory foam help to cradle you in your sleep and relieve pressure while a bounce foam layer provides responsiveness and contouring: the best of both worlds!
The Ghostbed Luxe scored impressively high across the board, checking the box for almost anything you’d want out of a memory foam mattress. Its dense foam base layer gives the mattress that long-lasting feel and its gel foam layers keep you cool while giving you support and pressure relief.
Nolah stands out for side sleepers because of its signature memory foam, designed to cushion pressure points like the hips and shoulders. The mattress’s high-density foam base promotes durability, and the permeable top layer—dubbed “Airfoam™” by the brand—prevents overheating. The Nolah Original comes with a solid trial period and return policy, so you can test it out stress-free.
The Brooklyn Bowery is a top-rated, budget-friendly memory foam mattress. With a Queen costing less than $700, the brand delivers on both affordability and quality. The bed’s first layer is composed of latex and foam, giving the mattress bounce and pressure relief while also promoting airflow. Next comes a layer of comfort foam designed to provide comfort and support. The base foam layer gives the Brooklyn Bowery its durability and structural support.
Classified as medium on the firmness scale, this mattress offers the ideal sweet spot of comfortability: not too soft and not too firm. Supportive and tension-relieving, you can sleep soundly on the Brooklyn Bowery knowing you didn’t break the bank for this high-quality mattress.
To buy: Brooklyn Bowery, $699, brooklynbedding.com (Click to see exclusive offer)
The Tuft & Needle mattress is uniquely designed to marry the pressure relief and support of memory foam with the breathability and bounciness of latex. This genius combination of latex and memory foam, combined with the mattress’s medium-firmness, makes the Tuft & Needle a universally great bed for the average sleeper. The Tuft & Needle scored high for responsiveness, spinal alignment, and pressure relief, making this mattress ideal for relieving back and pressure point pain while also contouring to your body no matter where you land throughout the night.
The Tuft & Needle affordable price point seals the deal. It provides great quality at a great price, and it’s extremely durable, so the bed will last you for years to come.
To buy: Tuft & Needle, $595, tuftandneedle.com (Click to see exclusive offer)
Sheryl is a professional writer and researcher for Mattress Advisor with a long-time interest in sleep and how it affects health and weight. She writes on topics related to nutrition, diet and lifestyle, and of course good sleep.
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