Last Updated: May 29, 2018.
NASA made memory foam for good reason. They absorb and relieve pressure extremely well, they provide a comfortable and steady surface, and are firm and supportive for our bodies.
Memory foam has a unique feel unlike other materials that mattresses are made from. They might make take off and space travel comfortable, but how comfortable can they be for you?
In this buyers guide, we review the good, the bad, the considerations, and our recommendations for memory foam mattress.
Reviews of the Best Memory Foam Mattress – Top Picks
The Leesa mattress is known for its elegant gray with three white stripes, and three layer comfort. In these three layers, the mattress provides cooling bounce, contouring pressure relief, and deep compression core support. This makes the Leesa versatile for many types of sleepers, including for heavy individuals, side sleepers, or to be used for sex.
The top layer is a 2-inch perforated Avena foam that helps keep the sleeping surface cool by absorbing heat build up underneath its sleeper. The perforated layer provide airways for heat to flow, allowing the mattress to breathe and cool off.
The middle layer is a 2-inch memory foam for body contouring and pressure relief, allow your body to sink comfortably into the mattress and provide full-contact support across the body.
The final layer is a 6-inch support foam for providing deep compression support and strength for the mattress, absorbing and distributing weight evenly across the mattress.
These layers are wrapped in the signature three-stripe gray cover, made with a polyester blend that provides a cozy and soft feel. The cover is slightly thick, but does breathe well and allow the mattress airflow to get rid of heat.
Overall, the Leesa Mattress is one of our best recommend mattresses on the market. It’s patented Avena layer cools sleep, with a memory foam layer and support foam base to provide contouring comfort and relieving pressure across the entire body. The Leesa is also made in the USA, and is shipped directly from its manufacturing plant to reduce costs and pass on savings to its buyers. You also get a lengthy 100-night trial to test run the mattress, and can return for a full refund if it doesn’t meet your expectations. The Leesa Mattress company also donates 1 out of every 10 mattress they sell to homeless shelters.
On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the firmest, the Leesa falls in a 6.5 to 7.
The Turf & Needle Mattress is arguably the most popular and best rated memory foam mattress. Its tried and tested T&N Adaptive Foam provide a cooler and more supportive sleeping surface compared to the typical memory foam material. Made in the USA and rated the best mattress by ConsumerReports.com, the Turf & Needle is a well-rounded choice for a sleep mattress if you simply cannot decide what to try.
There are two layers that make the mattress:
The top layer (1) is 3 inches of high-density T&N Adaptive Foam, a proprietary layer only to Turf & Needle that offer pressure relief and support for your body. The layer is designed to capture the best of memory foam pressure relief and contouring support, and latex buoyant bounce for easy maneuverability. This layer is an infusion of cooling gel and graphite to help you sleep cooler. Graphite is often used in electronics as thermal paste to help transfer heat away from hardware parts.
The base layer (2) is 7 inches of of support layer to give the mattress its shape and maintain your spine and neck alignment. It is also highly dense pure memory foam layer.
Overall, the Turf & Needle mattress is one of the most adored mattresses on the market. Over the years, the mattress has evolved purely from customer feedback to become an excellent fit for most sleepers of any size, weight, or sleeping position. The mattress also comes with a 100-night sleep trial for you to enjoy.
On a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is the most firm, the Turf & Needle is a 6.5 to 7.
The Casper Mattress is one of the most reknown firm memory foam mattress on the market, with a scientifically engineered mattress tested many times to find the most pressure relieving and supportive mattress.
What makes the Casper special is its high-density memory foam that is designed different across the mattress. Called the “Zone Support”, the four layers of foam provide alignment and comfort while relieving pressure on key parts of your body.
In the image about, we find that our head and upper shoulder receives more cushion while the central upper and mid section of our body receives more support for proper alignment.
The first layer (1) is a 1-inch latex-like foam which acts as a comfort layer to provide some immediate bounce. It provides some responsiveness so that the mattress does not form impressions that can make tossing and turning at night uncomfortable. This proprietary foam also has cooling properties to absorb heat and ensure a cooler sleeping surface.
The second layer (2) is a 1-inch memory foam for contouring to your body impression. It absorbs pressure and provide a feeling of pressure relief to the top layers of the mattress.
The third layer (3) is a 2-inch poly foam that provides Zone Support. Not seen in the image above, there are two types of poly foam, with a much firmer one in the center extending full width of the mattress and a software variation on the ends. The hips is where most of our body weight and center of gravity lie. With a firmer center support, the Casper better supports your body and provide pressure relief.
The final layer (4) is a high-density, heavy-duty poly foam, which provide deep compression support and gives the mattress its shape.
Overall, the Casper Mattress is an amazing choice for pressure relief with its open cell foam structures and Zone Support design. We end up with a mattress that ensures its sleeper doesn’t get too hot at night with heat getting trapped, as well as a mattress that uniquely supports where the body weight is concentrated.
The mattress comes with a 10-year warranty and 100 night sleep trial. The firmness on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is firmest, lies around a 7 to 7.5.
The Eight Smart Jupiter+ Mattress is a 10-inch memory foam mattress made with 4 layers comfort, support, and durability. Combined with the Eight Smart Tracker, we have is the latest in smart home and bed products. The app also helps make identifying sleep insights and understanding your sleep patterns much better.
The top layer (1) is made with 2 inches of Reactive foam. This patented memory foam design provides a much quicker responsiveness than regular memory foam, allowing you to move around easier on the surface.
The second layer (2) is 2 inches of contouring memory foam, for providing furhter pressure relief and allowing the body to be supported by the conforming layer.
The third layer (3) is a 2-inch support transition poly foam that provides support to the above two layers as well as deep compression support for heavier sleepers.
The final base layer (4) is 4 inches of high density support foam to give the mattress its shape and support the upper layers. This layer also provide deep compression support so sleepers can sink comfortably into their mattress.
Overall, the Eight Smart Jupiter+ is new on the market, with a mattress that bounces like latex and provide support for your body. The Mattress by itself is a decent choice, with a good price range for its available sizes. However, the Eight Smart Mattress is meant to be combined with its tracker to provide valuable sleep data and improve your sleep with features such as providing warmth, smart alarms, and integration with other smart home products.
The firmness is on a higher end, with a 8 to 8.5 out of 10, where 10 is the firmest. With the Eight Smart Tracker, the feel is closer to 7.5 to 8 in firmness out of 10.
The Zinus Green Tea Mattress is one of the most affordable and cheap memory foam mattress available. Its use of natural green tea extract, castor natural seed oil, and ActivCharcoal puts this mattress far beyond the competing mattresses in its price class.
Let’s review the 12-inch model. It compromises of several layers.
The top layer (1) is a 3 inches of memory foam infused with all the properties mentioned earlier. This layer gives your body the contouring support to alleviate any pain or pressure against the body.
The second layer (2) is 2 inches of patented comfort poly foam, with a unique blend that provide transition and support to the upper layer. It helps absorb more body weight and distribute it across the mattress.
The third (3) and final layer (4) are very similar, with a perforated design to allow air to flow underneath the mattress for a cooler sleep. These two high-density support layers are 3.5 inches in thickness each, and gives the mattress its shape and support.
Overall, the Zinus Green Tea is one of the most affordable quality mattress you can come across. The infusion of green tea extract, castor natural seed oil, and ActivCharcoal into its memory foam provide pressure relief with reducing in bacteria and odor, while wicking away moisture for cooler and fresher sleep.
The Zinus comes with different sizes and thickness to choose. It only has a 30-day trial period, much shorter than the usual 100-night trial periods most mattresses offer. It also has a 10 year warranty on the mattress for any defects that might come about.
On a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is the firmest, the Zinus Green Tea Mattress falls around a 6 to 6.5.
Our top recommended cooling mattress is the Nectar. Before we go onto the specifics, we want to quickly note that most mattress brands offer 100 days of risk-free trial. Nectar, on the other hand, offers a trial period of 365 days. This is more than 3 times longer which is pretty much all the time in the world for you to really get used to your bed. If you find that you don’t like it, you can reach out to them and they will refund all your money and collect the mattress for you.
Their mattress is also priced lower than most quality mattress. At the time of this writing, it is at $670 for a queen size because of the New Year Sale promo they are running ($125 off). You can pick it up by clicking our affiliate link here and entering the code SHOP125 when checking out.
Now, for the actual mechanics of the cooling features of the Nectar Sleep Mattress, it comes with a whopping four foam-based layers:
The top layer (1) is a 1-inch gel memory foam that is quilted into the Tencel cover. Tencel, also known as lyocell, is an eco-friendly fabric made from the wood cellulose of eucalyptus trees. If you are environmentally conscious, you can rest assure that those same eucalyptus trees are grown on farms, without pesticides or chemical processing.
The second layer (2) is also gel memory foam that is 3 inches thick. The next layer gel memory foam gives us a slow responsiveness without the deep sinking of plushier mattresses. Along with the Tencel, the sleeping surface is comfortable and does its job at regulating body temperature.
The third layer (3) is also a gel memory foam, used to help better distribute your body weight throughout the mattress. This layer serves a similar purpose as the top 1 inch layer by absorbing and dissipating heat, while providing another cushion support layer to prevent sinking.
The fourth layer (4) is an “adaptive” hi-core foam that is 1.5 inches thick. You can really feel the denseness of this memory foam and it sort of provides a flooring cushion before the base layer to help reduce more pressure on your body and give a slightly firmer sleeping surface.
The final layer (5) is 5.5 inches thick made of breathable polyfoam base layer for deep compression support. This layer gives the mattress its foundation and helps the bed maintain its shape.
Overall, the mattress is one of our top choice as a mattress for all sorts of reasons. You have a full year’s time to return the mattress if you aren’t happy with it, the Tencel cover and gel memory foam upper layers help absorb/wick away heat so you get a moderately comfortable body temperature when sleeping on top, and a warranty that is forever. If you find lingering impressions that are 1.5 inches or deeper, NECTAR guarantees a replacement for your mattress.
The firmness of the mattress is a 6.5 out of 10 for us, which is a comfortable medium firm feel for most people.
The Brentwood Home Cypress Mattress is an 11 or 13-inch mattress with a distinguishing removable New Zealand wool zipper cover. The mattress is great at relieving pressure with a special blend of memory foam, and can help with relieving discomfort you might have on your shoulders and hips. This mattress is also one of the best cooling gel memory foams on the market.
There are three layers to the Brentwood Home Cypress.
The top layer (1) is 3.5 inches of gel memory foam. The memory foam is infused with gel beads to diffuse heat to maintain a cooler sleeping surface. This thick layer of memory foam also provide pressure relief and comfort by contouring to the curves of your body.
The second layer (3) is known as the ventilation support foam. It acts as a middle ground for air to flow in and out of the mattress when you move around, helping with dissipating heat and cooling the mattress. As a transitional layer, it provides cushion from the bottom base layer. This layer is 2 inches in thickness.
The final base layer (3) is 7.5 inches of high density foam. It gives the mattress its shape and stability by absorbing your body weight.
Overall, the Brentwood Home Cypress has proven itself to be a great choice for a cooling mattress. It does an excellent job absorbing and dispersing heat to ensure its sleeper doesn’t get too hot at night while providing.
It does only come with a 30-day return policy, which is definitely shorter than most mattress brands. We found the New Zealand wool and memory foams to make for an excellent choice for a bed. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the firmest, the Brentwood Home Cypress Mattress falls around a 6.5 to 7.
The Lull Mattress is a popular mattress known to be fitting for most sleepers. The mattress is known for its thick base foundation that gives the mattress a much better deep compression support, making it suitable for even the heavier sleepers. It’s top layer is a gel-infused memory foam that helps reduce heat build up and provide pressure relief.
There are three layers to the Lull mattress:
The top layer (1) is 1.5 inches of gel memory foam. This layer provides both cooling and comfort, helping with absorbing pressure and provide relief to pressure points.
The second layer (2) is 1.5 inches of poly foam. It acts as a transitional layer and is thin enough to prevent too much sinking, if that is something you have struggled with in the past. It does a great job at distributing weight across the mattress.
The final foundational layer (3) is a whopping 7 inches of high density support foam, giving the mattress a strong and stable foundation for great support.
Overall, the Lull Mattress provides a nice balance between memory foam and a supportive sleeping surface. Its thin upper layers and thick base layer is different from most memory foams, helping with retaining its shape.
On a firmness scale from 1 to 10, the Lull Mattress lies around a 6 to 6.5 out of 10, where 10 is the most firm. The mattress also comes with a 100-night trial to give you some time to try it out or return if you are not satisfied.
Who Is This Buyer Guide For?
Memory foam mattresses may have risen in popular with more and more searches each passing year. There are, however, a few drawbacks that might make memory foam not suitable for particular sleepers. This material type can also alleviate and reduce a lot of other sleep problems. So, how can we best guess whether memory foam is right for you in particular?
There are several different categories of sleepers that memory foam can benefit. If you more often than not sleep on your back or side, memory foam can be great because it can provide a firm sleep surface to maintain your spinal alignment and alleviate the pressures on your arm, shoulder, and hips. Sleepers struggling with shoulder, hip, or back pain can also get some relief as memory foam is an excellent mattress material for reducing and redistributing the weight we put on different parts of our body. Memory foam tends to absorb pressure extremely well, with minimal buoyancy and slow responsiveness. If you are a heavy sleeper, the same applies for pressure relief and spinal alignment as you get deep compression support to prevent too uncomfortable sinking that can cause awkward sleep positions and make getting out of bed difficult.
We can never say for certain a particular mattress is right for someone. However, memory foam is growing in popularity for good reason, and they can make for a great bed to sleep in for nearly any body.
What’s So Great About Memory Foam?
To name a few:
- It adjust to the curves of your body and reduce pressure, making it great for minimizing physical pain
- Soft while remaining firmness and supportive, making it great for back and side sleepers
- Silent and does not transfer motion to sleeping partner, making it great for sex and sleep!
Memory foam is well known for its pressure relieving properties. Unlike innerspring and latex, memory foam has next to no bounce and an extremely slow responsiveness (returning back to a flat position).
This makes it an amazing choice to take away pressure points for those who sleep on their sides and seem to feel pain on their shoulders and hips. It also makes a great choice for those who have back pain and need to reduce as much weight placed on the back as possible. Let’s dive a bit further into what makes memory foam suitable for sleep.
RELATED: What Is Memory Foam?
It contours to the curves of your body for full-contact support
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.
It feels soft when you hop on it, but is firm and supportive for a good night’s rest
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!
If you are heavy, the last thing we want is to sink into our mattress uncomfortably, causing awkward body positions that can only cause aches and pain the next morning. Memory foam made from high density material can help provide deep compression support so you can maintain a level of confidence that you can sleep without curving your back and body.
The material absorbs motion without transfer and is silent
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.
Can be infused with other materials and properties
Memory foam also comes in a wide variety of engineering and mixture. Quite often, mattresses can be infused with particulars to improve the quality of the sleeping surface.
Gel, for example, infused into memory foam can help counterbalance the heat that tends to be trapped during sleep. This means cooler sleep during the night.
Green tea extract and charcoal can also help your mattress control odor and stay fresh.
If you’re still with us, and you think memory foam might be right for you, the next section we will go through our top picks of the best memory foam mattresses on the market.
What Makes A Great 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.
Why You Might Not Want Memory Foam As Your Mattress
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.
RELATED: How To Get Rid Of Memory Foam Smell
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 by infusing gel into the memory foam. 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.
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.