The development of memory foam by NASA launched a spur of innovation for the mattress industry, and for good reason. Memory foam is flexible for supporting the curves of different body types, provide a comfortably firm and steady sleeping surface, and is unique in feel.
Memory foam was first developed by NASA as an insulation from the massive heat from their rocket ships and as an extremely durable cushion for their astronauts during lift off. From there, mattress companies adopted this new material technology to create comfortable mattresses and improve the quality of sleep over the world.
In this buyers guide, we review the good, the bad, the considerations, and our recommendations for memory foam mattress.
Table of Contents
Is Memory Foam Mattress Material Right For You?
Memory foam mattresses may be a popular choice, but does it mean it’s the right mattress for you?
Memory foam is not right for you if:
- You wake up from heat and sweat at night
- You sleep on your stomach
Memory foam is right for you if:
- You are suffering from back pain
- You love sleeping on your back
- You love sleeping on your side
- You are a bit heavier
Reviews of the Best Memory Foam Mattress – Top Picks
Leesa Mattress – Our RecommendationSaleLeesa Mattress, Queen, 10inch Cooling Avena and Contouring Memory Foam Mattress, Supportive Multi-Layer Design, 100 Night Trial and 10 Year Warranty
- LUXURY: Expertly crafted to create a luxury feel and look that appeals to every body
- COOLING COMFORT: Three layers of high quality foam deliver cooling bounce, contouring pressure relief and core support for amazing sleep, night after night.
- MADE IN USA: #1 rated Direct-to-Consumer mattress in America's leading consumer rating publication. Products proudly made in USA
- GUARANTEED: Because we know it takes more than one night to fall in love, you have 100 nights with Leesa to decide, or return it for a full refund.
- GIVING BACK: We give one mattress to homeless shelters for every ten we sell
Casper Mattress – Top RatedSaleCasper Sleep Mattress – Supportive, Breathable and Unique Memory Foam – Scientifically Engineered for your Best Sleep - 10 Year Warranty - 100 Day Free Return - Bed in a Box - King
- 100 Night Risk Free Trial - Rest easy knowing that if for any reason you are unsatisfied with your purchase, your mattress can be returned, free of charge, within 100 days of shipment receipt through Amazon
- Cool by Design - Open-cell top layer uses convection and conduction to move heat away from your body while memory foam layer leverages airflow to extract heat, leaving you cool and comfortable
- Pressure Relief - High-density memory foam supports pressure points, leaving you well rested without the aches and pains
- 10 Year Warranty- Base layer strengthens top layers and adds long-lasting durability and comes with Casper's 10 year mattress warranty
- NOTE: Please allow up to 72 hours for mattress to fully expand and for any potential odors to dissipate
Eight Smart Mattress – Best QualitySaleEight Smart Mattress, 10" Reactive Foam with Sleep Tracking and Temperature Control, Queen
- The Eight Smart Mattress offers dynamic support and contouring comfort, plus one layer of technology designed to help you sleep better.
- Data & Trends - See your nightly data and discover weekly and monthly trends to improve your sleep
- Bed Warming - Warm the bed to the perfect temperature, and set each side of the bed independently.
- Home Integrations - Create a smart bedroom with automated triggers by connecting Eight to other smart products.
- Smart Alarm - Wake up feeling refreshed, during your lightest sleep stage, when you're naturally most awake.
DynastyMattress AtlantisBreeze Mattress – Best ValueDynastyMattress NEW! Queen 15.5-Inch Grand AtlantisBreeze Memory Foam Mattress-Queen Size
- The Grand Atlantis-Breeze is One of the Top GEL Mattress Online! Made with Highest Quality 7.5" GEL with Memory Foam and durable 6-layers construction!
- 1.5" HD 5lb Cool Extra Comfort GEL Quilted Euro Top to provide a plush sleep surface, luxurious white cover with brown suede, fire barrier, zipper cover!
- With 2" HD 4lb Cool Comfort GEL and 2" HD 3lb Memory and 2" HD 3lb Memory Foam. Sleep Cool Technology Memory Foam!
- With 2" State-of-the-art Cool-Airflow and 6" Super-Base Foam Support!
- Compare to Tempur-Pedic the GrandBed! CertiPUR-US certified! Comfort Rating: Medium-Firm
Brentwood Home Cypress Mattress – Best Gel Memory FoamBrentwood Home Cypress Mattress, Bamboo Derived Rayon Cover, Gel Memory Foam, Made in USA, 13-Inch, King
- 3.5-inches of gel memory foam conforms to your body for greater pressure relief and proper spinal alignment. Reduces tossing and turning, eliminates motion transfer, and provides a great night's sleep.
- Removable zipper cover lined with natural New Zealand Wool wicks moisture, regulates temperature, and is designed to prevent odor.
- Made with CertiPUR-US foams free of flame retardants, heavy metals, formaldehyde, and phthalates. No toxic flame retardants used in this mattress.
- Medium feel, great for side, back, and stomach sleepers or partners with different preferences. King Size 76" x 80" x 13".Made in USA. 25 Year Limited Warranty. Mattress comes compressed and rolled in a box for easy shipping and setup.
- 6.5-inch therapeutic support base
Zinus Green Tea Mattress – Best AffordableSaleZinus Memory Foam 12 Inch Green Tea Mattress, Queen
- NOTE: Please allow up to 72 hours for the mattress to fully expand and for any potential odor to dissipate
- Conforming Green Tea Memory Foam comfort and pressure relieving support for a better night's sleep. 3 inches Memory Foam, 2 inches Comfort Foam, 3.5 inches Airflow High-density Foam, 3.5 inches Airflow High-density Base Support Foam
- Foam is CertiPUR - US Certified for durability, performance, and content
- A safe and trustworthy anti-oxidant, Zinus infuses its memory foam products with natural green tea extract to maintain product freshness
- Smartly Shipped - Our patented technology allows our mattresses to be efficiently compressed, rolled and shipped in a box conveniently to your door
Serta Perfect Sleeper 500 Mattress – Best Soft/PlushSaleSerta Perfect Sleeper Plush 500 Memory Foam Mattress, Queen
- Designed to help solve 5 common sleep problems: tossing and turning, back support and alignment, balanced sleep temperature, partner movement, sagging
- Comfort or Feel: Plush
- Cool Action Gel Memory Foam
- Memory Foam Mattress: Comfort Last Foam Core
- Queen Size Measures 80 inches x 60 inches x 10 inches; Requires one Queen foundation or platform bed for complete set
Ultimate Dreams Aria Mattress – Best Medium-FirmSaleUltimate Dreams Aria Queen Size Gel Memory Foam Mattress
- 12" thick mattress with a medium firm comfort level that provides excellent pressure relief and support
- Molds to the shape of your body for proper spinal alignment
- Gel technology sleeps 33% cooler
- Please allow up to 24 hours for mattress to expand and potential odor to dissipate
- 10 Year Warranty, Proudly Made in the USA
Sapira Mattress – Best FirmSaleSapira Mattress, Queen
- Leesa Sleep's luxury pocket spring and performance foam hybrid mattress
- Engineered in the USA with high-performance foams and advanced pocket-spring coil technology
- Incredible edge-to-edge support via 1,000+ individually-wrapped pocket spring coils
- Avena and memory foam top layers for cooling, pressure relief and body contouring (The Leesa Universal Adaptive Feel)
- 100 night risk-free trial, free returns within 100 days of receipt of shipment. Only on products sold by Amazon
Lull Mattress – Best for CouplesLull Queen Mattress, 3 Layers of Premium Memory Foam Provide Comfort and Therapeutic Support, 100 Night Trial and 10-Year Warranty
- Three-layer advanced sleep technology provides the perfect combination of comfort and support.
- Premium gel infused memory foam keeps you cool and improves pressure relief.
- 100-night trial and free returns within 100 days of receipt of shipment. Only on product sold by Amazon.
- 4.9 out of 5 Google Trusted rating.
- 10-year Warranty.
What Makes The Highest Quality Memory Foam?
There are 4 factors that can be important when it comes to a high quality memory foam mattress. However, having a higher number in any of these categories doesn’t necessarily means a higher quality mattress.
Density and PCF
The density of a mattress can be compared to the quality of the foam used within a mattress. Density represented as PCF (pound per cubic foot) can show the compactness of the materials used.
- Low – 3.5 or less
- Medium – 3.5 to 5.0 (Ideal range!)
- High – 5.0 and up
A memory foam mattress that has a higher PCF means less air and more memory foam. Denser memory foam mattresses can mean more durability and longer lifespan. This doesn’t mean a higher PCF is better.
Ideally we want a mattress that can retain its shape as long as possible. However, wear and tear will happen and a mattress will need to be replaced regardless of its PCF. A mattress with high PCF can make for an uncomfortable mattress to rest on.
Firmness and ILD
Firmness can be measured with ILD, or impression load deflection. This number can tell consumers where the mattress lies on the softness and firmness scale. ILD may also be known as IFD, or impression force deflection. ILD and IFD are interchangeable.
- Soft – 19 to 21
- Medium soft – 22 to 24
- Medium firm – 26 to 31 (Ideal range!)
- Firm – 34 to 36
ILD is measured by compressing a cube of mattress with heavy metal disks that calculate the weight or pressure required to flatten a mattress to a particular percentage or inches in thickness. The standard industry practice to calculate ILD is with a 12 cubic inch block of mattress.
A higher ILD may not mean a higher material quality mattress. However, it is important to decide on a mattress with the right firmness for comfortable nights of sleep.
Thickness of Mattress
Thickness can be another important factor when it comes to deciding the best mattress for you. It is recommended to have a minimum of 4 inches in thickness for sleep. The most common thickness with mattresses is 10 inches.
One consideration to take into account is the overall height of your bed, including your bedframe. The average person requires a bed height of 25 inches for getting on and off the bed comfortably.
Having a longer manufacturer warranty can be useful to protect you from a defective mattresses. However, longer warranties may not equate to a higher quality mattress. Mattress generally wear out between 6 to 8 years, with noticeable sagging that can lead to uncomfortable sleeping positions.
Warranties on mattresses can be up to 25 years. The average range for warranty is between 5 to 20 years.
What’s So Popular About Memory Foam Mattresses?
Aside from flying people into space, what’s so special about memory foam and memory foam mattresses?
Memory Foam Can Adjust Well to the Curves of Your Body
Memory foam mattresses have been growing in popularity over time. More consumers are searching and choosing memory foam as their beds for good reasons. One of the great things about this type of mattress is its natural tendency to contour to the curves of your body.
This type of mattress can be an excellent choice for those who may need a firm surface but without the uncomfortable pressure exerted on different parts of your body. The responsive nature of memory foam means it can return to its shape fast.
Soft Cushion while Remaining Firm and Supportive
Memory foam can provide a soft cushion while maintaining its firmness and supportive nature. For physical ailments such as arthritis or back pain, memory foam can provide a full body cushion contact support while remaining firm to maintain a straight spine.
Whether you sleep on your back or your side or a combination of the two, memory foam mattresses will provide you the flexibility and supportive comfort you need to rest well for the next few years.
Enjoying memory foams? You might be interested in pillows made from memory foam. Great for side sleepers!
Silent and Absorbs Motion Without Transfer
Unlike innerspring mattresses, memory foam mattresses are quiet and does not transfer motion. Getting up at night time to use the restroom will be a lot easier without disturbing your sleeping partner.
The Great Things About Memory Foam Mattresses
- It can adjust to the curves of your body very well
- Soft while remaining firmness and supportive
- Silent and does not transfer motion to sleeping partner – Great for sex!
Some Problems Memory Foam Mattresses Have
Although memory foams have a lot of use cases, there are some problems that come with mattresses made with or purely of memory foam.
Off-gassing for Weeks
One of the most common complaints by owners is the chemical-like odors when they first sleep on their mattresses. Your new mattress will need time to get rid of its smell, a process known as off-gassing.
The new factory smell goes away over time. It can be a strong and bothersome for those sensitive to smell. Fresh bed sheets can help alleviate the smell and make it easier for sleep. You should know when shopping for a mattress that all memory foam mattresses will need time to air out.
Heat Trap Mean Nightly Sweats
Another common complaint for memory foam mattresses is how well they tend to trap heat. Although this is only the case for some people, owners who tend to avoid using air condition or fans can have a higher room temperature. If your bedroom lacks ventilation and air circulation, memory foam mattresses can get hot at night.
Waking up due to nighttime sweating and heat can be remedied with a gel memory foam, either infused with gel or with gel beads. This type of memory foam mattress can help provide a cooler surface and retain heat slower. It may not completely solve the memory foam heat retention issue, but it can make going to sleep much easier.
Relatively Shorter Lifespan Compared to Other Mattresses
Memory foam mattresses tend to have a shorter lifespan when compared to other types of mattresses. This is due to the nature of the foam material polyurethane. Polyurethane does an excellent job absorbing motion and providing a comfortable cushion and support for sleep, especially those with back pain. However, they age quicker and become less responsive over time. This means body impressions can form and not go away. Foam tends to get noticeably flat in the center (known as sagging) over time. For more information on other types of mattresses and their lifespan, click here.
The Common Problems With Memory Foam Mattresses
- Initial odor after unpackaging that can last for 2 to 4 weeks
- Tends to trap heat and can cause interrupted sleep with night time sweating
- Shorter lifespan relative to other types of mattresses
Our Final Thoughts
Memory foam mattresses are an excellent material choice for a mattress. Their responsive and flexible nature to conform to the shape of our bodies create a supportive surface and comfortable sleep. There are many respectable brand name memory foam mattresses on the market. In this guide, we reviewed and recommended the top 10 memory foam mattresses. We also looked at the great things about memory foam mattresses and the drawbacks to help you make better informed, purchase decision.