The Best Memory Foam Mattresses – 2019 Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Our Review Process

 

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Quick Summary

Memory foam, also known as viscoelastic polyfoam, is a material that softens when it comes into contact with body heat and then retains its original shape once it cools. Memory foam mattresses are typically constructed with at least one layer of memory foam in the comfort system; the support core is almost always made of high-density polyfoam.

Memory foam mattresses conform closer than other mattress types. This results in better spinal alignment and more pressure relief throughout the body. Memory foam also isolates motion transfer and produces little to no noise when bearing weight. These two qualities make memory foam beds suitable for couples, particularly if one or both of the sleepers awaken easily due to motion or noise.

Read on to review our choices for the top memory foam mattresses sold today. Each pick is based on verified customer and owner experiences, as well as intensive product analysis.

Best Memory Foam Mattresses

Editor’s Pick – Loom & Leaf

Best Value Memory Foam Mattress – Nectar

Best Luxury Memory Foam Mattress – Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Adapt

Best for Lightweight Sleepers – The Puffy Mattress

Best for Average Weight Sleepers – Bear Mattress

Best for Heavyweight Sleepers – Plank Mattress

How We Decided

 

147 mattresses considered –– 125 hours of research –– 15 mattress executives interviewed –– 3 sleep experts consulted

Memory Foam Mattress Reviews – Tuck's Top 6 Beds

Loom & Leaf – Editor's Choice

Highlights
  • Multiple firmness options (5.5, 8)
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • 15-year warranty
  • Excellent motion isolation and conforming
  • Free White Glove delivery

In terms of support and pressure-relief, The Loom & Leaf by Saatva is one of the best memory foam mattresses on the market. Fit for sleepers of different firmness preferences, the bed is available in two firmness options, Medium (5.5) and Firm (8).

The Loom & Leaf is constructed with both high-density gel memory foam and standard memory foam in the comfort layers, as well as a luxurious foam-quilted cover made of organic cotton. This two-layer comfort system provides close conforming for excellent spinal alignment and pain relief. Meanwhile, the high-density polyfoam base layer ensures an even, supportive sleep surface. This all comes together to provide that traditional memory foam “hug” feel.

As a Saatva brand, Loom and Leaf also offers free White Glove Delivery in the contiguous U.S. This includes in-home mattress assembly and old mattress removal.

Good for:

  • Those who like the close conforming of high-density memory foam
  • Side and back sleepers in all weight groups (light, average, heavy)
  • Back pain sufferers
  • Couples

Check Price | Read Our Full Loom & Leaf Mattress Review

Nectar – Best Value

Highlights
  • Medium Firm (6)
  • 365-night sleep trial
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Close conforming and good pressure relief
  • Good motion isolation

The Nectar Mattress is a high-quality, affordable foam mattress that offers close conforming and great pressure relief. This bed comes in Medium Firm, or 6 on the 1-10 firmness scale, which is one of the most popular firmness options among all sleepers.

The Nectar’s comfort system features two layers of gel memory foam and standard memory foam, providing close conforming with some extra cushioning. Additionally, the two-layer polyfoam support core helps maintain a flat surface for sleepers and has been shown to reduce aches and pains throughout their bodies. At such great value, the Nectar Mattress is almost unmatched in quality.

Nectar Sleep offers White Glove delivery and old mattress removal at an extra charge. Further, the company’s 365-night sleep trial is one of the longest in the business.

Good for:

  • People looking for a high-quality mattress at an affordable price
  • Those who prefer some extra cushioning
  • Back and stomach sleepers of all weight groups (light, average, heavy)
  • Back pain sufferers

Check Price | Read Our Full Nectar Mattress Review

Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Adapt – Best Luxury Memory Foam Mattress

Highlights
  • Multiple firmness options (3, 5, 7)
  • 90-night sleep trial
  • 10-year warranty
  • Exceptional durability
  • Good temperature neutrality

For years, Tempur-Pedic mattresses have exemplified luxury and exceptional quality. Among the brand’s current lineup, we’ve chosen the TEMPUR-Adapt as the ‘Best Luxury’ pick for memory foam mattresses sold today. The TEMPUR-Adapt is an 11″ bed available in multiple firmness settings and designs. One option is an all-foam bed with a memory foam comfort layer and a high-density foam support core; this model is available in ‘Soft’ (3), ‘Medium’ (5), and ‘Firm’ (7) settings. Additionally, the TEMPUR-Adapt is sold as a hybrid with foam-encased pocketed coils in the support core; this model is available with ‘Medium’ firmness only. This selection ensures most sleepers will find a mattress that aligns with their firmness and conforming preferences.

Temperature neutrality is another key strength. All TEMPUR-Adapt mattresses also feature a dual-layer SmartClimate cover, which allows the bed to sleep much cooler and more comfortably than many of its all-foam competitors. Like other Tempur-Pedic mattresses, the TEMPUR-Adapt also offers better-than-average durability; both the all-foam and hybrid designs have expected lifespans of at least seven years. Other benefits include great motion isolation and no noise when bearing weight.

Though the TEMPUR-Adapt is the least expensive of Tempur-Pedic’s current models, its price-point is still fairly high, making it a good pick for shoppers with bigger budgets. Tempur-Pedic offers free White Glove delivery – including in-home assembly and old mattress removal – to all customers in the contiguous U.S. Both the all-foam and hybrid TEMPUR-Adapt are backed by 90-night sleep trials and 10-year warranties.

Good for:

  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination)
  • Sleepers in all weight groups (light, average, heavy)
  • Back pain sufferers
  • Couples

Check Price | Read Our Full Tempur-Pedic Mattress Reviews

The Puffy Mattress – Best for Lightweight Sleepers

Puffy Mattress
Highlights
  • Medium feel (5 – 5.5)
  • Contouring foam for significant pressure point relief
  • Standout motion isolation
  • Lifetime replacement warranty

For sleepers under 130 pounds who want a memory foam mattress, the Puffy is our top pick. It boasts the deep contouring that memory foam is known for and provides a plush feel even for lightweight sleepers.

The comfort layer of the Puffy is 4” of gel-infused memory foam. It has a medium feel — 5 to 5.5 on the firmness scale — and is extremely responsive. The foam has considerable hug, so it feels as though you are sleeping “in” rather than “on” the mattress. For sleepers of a higher body weight, this might be too much sink, but for people under 130 pounds, it’s a perfect fit. The foam is plush enough to be inviting and supportive, but it won’t give way or bottom out.

The memory foam in the Puffy offers significant motion isolation that makes the mattress a solid choice for couples, and its gel-infused foam resists overheating so that you can stay cool and comfortable. Both the comfort layer and the 6” of polyfoam in the support core stay quiet to limit potential noise disruptions as well.

Shipping is free, and once the mattress arrives, the 101-night sleep trial begins, providing over three months to see how the mattress works for you night-in and night-out. A huge perk of the Puffy is the company’s lifetime warranty that is not prorated. If at any point the mattress is defective, the company will replace it at no charge. Puffy also has a philanthropic mission that donates mattresses to families in need.

Good for:

  • Value seekers
  • Anyone who enjoys sleeping “in” not “on” the bed
  • Sleepers under 150 pounds
  • Couples

Check Price | Read Our Full Puffy Mattress Review

Bear Mattress – Best for Average Weight Sleepers

Highlights
  • Medium Firm (6.5)
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • 10-year warranty
  • Close conforming and good motion isolation
  • Celliant cover promotes physical recovery

For people who are in the average weight group – 130 to 230 pounds – the Bear mattress offers exceptional conforming and pressure relief. With a consistent ‘Medium Fim’ (6.5) surface, the Bear will conform closely to average weight sleepers without sinking too deeply.

The mattress is made with memory foam and polyfoam comfort layers with a sturdy high-density foam base, making for a supportive bed that will provide excellent pressure relief. The bed’s cover is made from Celliant fabric, a material that absorbs body heat, converts it into infrared energy, and transmits it back into the sleeper’s skin without making the bed feel too warm. As a result, sleepers who use Celliant covers often report better circulation and faster physical recovery after strenuous workouts.

The Bear Mattress has a below-average price-point compared to other memory foam beds and will be delivered for free to all 50 states. The mattress is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.

Good for:

  • Athletes and physically active people seeking to optimize recovery
  • People with poor circulation
  • Those seeking a high-quality mattress that won’t break the bank
  • Average and heavyweight sleepers

Check Price | Read Our Full Bear Mattress Review

Plank Mattress – Best for Heavyweight Sleepers

Plank mattress
Highlights
  • Flippable firmness design (7 or 8.5)
  • Quilted cover with memory foam
  • Manufacturers have over 20 years of experience in the mattress industry
  • Optional cooling panel with phase-change material

Sleepers with a higher body weight are often cautioned against memory foam mattresses because they can sink too deeply into the mattress and in a way that can threaten spinal alignment. The Plank Mattress from Brooklyn Bedding is an exception to the rule as it provides plenty of firmness while still cushioning pressure points.

In fact, the firmness of the Plank is a two-sided affair. On one side, it has a Firm feel that is around a 7 on the 1-10 firmness scale. On the other side, it has an Extra Firm feel around an 8.5 to 9. Adjusting the feel of the mattress only requires turning the mattress over, and this gives heavyweight sleepers more liberty to find the right fit for them.

The construction of the mattress includes a quilted top on either side. On the firm side, there is 1.5” of quilted material that includes 1” of gel-infused memory foam. This ensures that even though this side is firm, it can provide padding where the body needs it most. Underneath this foam layer is 7” of high-density polyfoam that acts as the support core. On the other side of this polyfoam is 2” of TitanFlex foam, a gel-infused polyfoam that has moderate contouring and bounce. The quilted cover on the extra firm side is .75” thick and covers the TitanFlex layer.

The Plank tends to stay cool thanks to gel-infused foams, and for hot sleepers, there is an option to add a cooling panel made with a phase change material (PCM) that helps to further dissipate heat.

Brooklyn Bedding has over two decades in the mattress industry and offers free standard shipping, a 120-night sleep trial, and a 10-year warranty for the Plank mattress.

Good for:

  • Anyone looking for a firm mattress
  • Those who tend to sleep hot
  • Sleepers who want the option of varying their firmness setting

Check Price | Read Our Full Plank Mattress Review

Memory Foam Mattress Buyer's Guide

Initially developed by NASA researchers in the 1970s, memory foam is today one of the most popular comfort layer materials on the market. Memory foam is also commonly known as ‘viscoelastic polyurethane foam’ or ‘low-resilience polyurethane foam (LRPu)’. However, it’s important to note that not all memory foam mattresses are strictly polyurethane-based (see next section for more details). In addition to mattresses, memory foam is also commonly found in pillows and mattress toppers. 

Memory foam bridges the gap for mattress comfort layers. It combines the low cost and shape retention of traditional polyfoam with the superior support and body-contouring of a latex comfort layer. An important characteristic of memory foam is that it is viscoelastic, meaning that it changes shape when pressure is applied, and then returns to its original form once the pressure is released. Memory foam is also designed to respond to temperature. When you are lying on memory foam, your body heat will cause the foam to become softer, which allows the material to conform to your figure. After you get up, the memory foam will cool down and return to its original, firmer shape.  

Memory foam mattresses are ideal for certain types of sleepers. Side sleepers, for instance, benefit from an exceptionally soft comfort layer because it allows their hips and shoulders to sink into the mattress properly. Side sleeping on a mattress that is too firm can lead to aches and pains caused by spinal misalignment. Memory foam can also help sleepers with chronic back or shoulder pain. The material is designed to conform to your figure and alleviate pressure points, leading to a comfortable, relatively painless night’s sleep. Additionally, memory foam is engineered for low motion transfer — and may be ideal for light sleepers who easily awaken when their partner moves or shifts positions. For those requiring a firmer feel, hybrid memory foam mattresses are constructed with a memory foam comfort layer and an innerspring support core.  

Read on to learn more about memory foam. You can visit our 2018 mattress reviews and comparisons to learn about memory foam mattresses with the highest customer satisfaction rates, or scroll down to check out our detailed consumer guide.

Types of Memory Foam Mattresses

You’ll find several varieties of memory foam mattress available on the market. Some of the most popular models include:

  • Traditional (or viscoelastic) memory foam is the most widely available variety of the material. It is polyurethane-based, and categorized as a type of polyfoam.
  • Plant-based memory foam is manufactured using a combination of petrochemicals and botanical ingredients. Plant-based foam layers are designed in an open-cell configuration, making them more breathable and cooler for sleeping than standard memory foams.
  • Gel-infused memory foam is a relatively new material, and is not as widely available as other memory foam types. The addition of cooling gel helps reduce heat and keep you sleeping comfortably. The shape retention of gel-infused memory foam is comparable to traditional memory foam.
  • Copper-infused memory foam, another relatively new version of the material, features beads lined with thin copper wire placed throughout the foam. Like gel, the copper components will help you sleep cooler throughout the night. This material is also designed to help sleepers with joint pain and stiffness, since copper is known to aid with blood circulation.

The Feel of Memory Foam

The popularity of memory foam is largely due to its ‘customized’ feel. Let’s explore some key qualities of memory foam mattresses:

  • Conforming: Memory foam will conform closely to a sleeper’s body. This creates a contoured impression in the sleep surface that provides even body support and helps maintain spinal alignment. As a result, memory foam sleepers often experience high levels of pain and pressure relief.
  • Sinking: Memory foam tends to be softer than other mattress materials. This may be ideal for people who are average weight or lighter than average, but those who weigh more than 230 pounds may experience excessive sinking. This can undermine support and lead to added aches and pains.
  • Motion isolation: As memory foam conforms to a sleeper’s body, it absorbs motion transfer whenever he or she shifts positions in bed. This helps minimize disruptions in other areas of the mattress, and can be beneficial for couples who share a bed — particularly if they are restless sleepers.
  • No noise: Most memory foam mattresses are virtually silent when bearing weight.

Density and ILD

Two important considerations regarding memory foam mattresses are density and indentation load-deflection (ILD).

Density is measured in pounds per cubic foot, and is used to indicate how well the mattress will support your body weight. Most memory foam comfort layers range in density from 2.5 pounds per cubic foot to 8 pounds per cubic foot. A common industry benchmark for a high-quality memory foam mattress is a density of 4-5 pounds per cubic foot. Density is used to categorize memory foam into three grades: low, medium and high. The table below features a detailed breakdown of memory foam density.

Grade Density (pounds per cubic foot) Characteristics
Low 2.5 to 3.9 lbs/ft3 Retains original shape very quickly; offers good motion isolation and some contouring
Medium 4.0 to 5.9 lbs/ft3 Retains original shape somewhat slowly; offers very good motion isolation and good contouring
High 5.5 lbs/ft3 and higher Retains shape very slowly; offers excellent motion isolation and contouring

While density measures the supportiveness of memory foam, ILD is used to gauge the firmness of a mattress. ILD indicates how much pressure is required to make a four-inch indentation on the top surface of a mattress. The higher the ILD number, the firmer the mattress. Some mattresses carry an ILD range, rather than a single number, because the firmness may be influenced by other factors, such as room temperature. Most memory foam mattresses on the market have a comfort layer with an ILD number that falls between 8 and 20; as a general rule, look for memory foam mattresses with an ILD of at least 10. The table below explores ILD numbers in-depth. 

ILD Rating Category Characteristics
8-10 Extremely Soft Most sleepers experience significant sinking
11-15 Very Soft Most sleepers find this to be the ideal softness/firmness level for a memory foam mattress
16-21 Soft Minimal sinking, and less contouring than mattresses with lower ILD ratings

Memory foam is also available in a wide range of ILD ratings. Exceptionally soft memory foam will conform to your body more easily, but may also create a ‘sinking’ feeling that some sleepers find uncomfortable. On the other hand, ultra-firm memory foam provides a more stable sleep surface but is not as effective at alleviating pressure points.

Because the material is so soft, a ‘memory foam mattress’ is not entirely made of memory foam. Rather, the comfort layer (usually 25% to 40% of the mattress) is made of memory foam, while the larger support core is constructed from a sturdier material — usually high-density polyfoam — to prevent you from completely sinking into the mattress.

Other Important Considerations

In addition to the density, ILD number and mattress construction, there are several other factors to consider when shopping for the right memory foam mattress.

  • Cooling elements: Due to the contouring effects of memory foam, many people find that these mattresses sleep warm to the point of discomfort. Cooling components (like the gel and copper-infused foams mentioned above) are designed to reduce this effect — although the extent to which they reduce heat retention has been debated.
  • Comfort layer thickness: Memory foam mattresses will vary based on the thickness of the top memory foam layer. A thicker top layer may provide added support for certain sleepers, such as heavier people who feel they need extra cushioning and support.
  • Mattress cover: The top cover — located above the comfort layer — will also vary in its thickness, as well as the material used to make it. Covers that are thicker or constructed from less breathable materials may cause you to sleep hot, and also may affect the responsiveness of the memory layer.
  • Mattress composition: Many foams are made from flame retardants and other chemicals. While these materials are generally regarded as safe, they are not necessarily eco-friendly. Plant-based foams or foams certified by organizations like CertiPUR-US are considered somewhat better for the environment.

Pros and Cons of Memory Foam

  • The material conforms closely to align the sleeper’s spine and evenly distributes their weight
  • Memory foam sleepers report above-average pain and pressure relief
  • Foam isolates and absorbs motion transfer to help couples reduce nighttime disruptions
  • Memory foam mattresses produce little to no noise
  • The mattresses are usually compressed for shipping, allowing customers to order them online without a truck
  • Memory foam tends to retain a fair amount of body heat from sleepers, causing the mattress to sleep excessively warm for some
  • Some sleepers — particularly heavier individuals — report uncomfortable sinking and inadequate mattress support
  • Memory foam mattresses are not very bouncy, and some couples say they are not responsive enough for sex
  • Off-gassing potential is high for memory foam beds, and some mattresses emit odors for weeks after they are removed from their packaging.

Memory Foam Lifespan and Mattress Warranties

The lifespan of a memory foam mattress will depend largely on the foam’s density grade. Low-density memory foam will retain its shape quickly, but the material degrades at a faster rate and has the lowest amount of motion isolation. High-density memory foam, on the other hand, offers superior body-conforming and low motion transfer — although this material is slower to retain its shape after each sleep. Medium-density memory foam provides a compromise between low- and high-density foam in terms of cost, shape retention, motion isolation and other key factors.

Most memory foam mattresses are designed to last for at least five years of regular use. In order to maximize the lifespan of your memory foam mattress, you’ll need to look carefully at the material composition of the mattress — in particular, the ratio of memory foam to cheaper types of polyfoam in the comfort layer and the support core. Also take time to inspect other aspects of the mattress, such as the type of stitching found on the cover and seams.

Additionally, you should make sure your memory foam mattress comes with a robust warranty. Although the warranty length is key, you should also understand what the warranty covers. For example, the best memory foam mattress warranties should cover sagging, one of the most common issues associated with memory foam. The warranty should also discuss in clear terms how the manufacturer handles warranty claims, turnaround time, shipping costs and mattress replacement. For more information about warranties, please visit our guide to Understanding Mattress Warranties.

Average Lifespan of a Memory Foam Mattress

Cost of a Memory Foam Mattress

Memory foam mattresses will vary considerable when it comes to price point. Some models cost as little as $300 to $400, while high-end and luxury memory foam mattresses will cost upwards of $3,000. Foam density is one factor that affects price; low-density foam will be the cheapest, while high-density foam is usually the most expensive. Plant-based memory foam, as well as gel- and copper-infused foam, will typically cost more than standard viscoelastic memory foam mattresses.

According to our findings, the average Queen-size memory foam mattress costs $1,044.

Average Mattress Cost by Material Type (Queen Size)

Important Questions for Consumers

When purchasing a memory foam mattress online or in a store, make sure to inquire about the following characteristics.

  • What is the material composition of the foam?
  • How thick is the comfort layer?
  • What are the density and firmness (ILD rating) of the foam?
  • How long should I expect this mattress to perform before a replacement is needed?
  • Will this mattress provide adequate support and comfort, given my preferred sleep position?
  • For couples: will this mattress be comfortable for both of us?
  • Is the bed constructed from materials that will produce off-gassing smells?
  • Is there a trial period for testing out the mattress? If yes, then what is the return policy?
  • How long is the mattress covered under warranty, and what are the specific coverage terms?

Although memory foam is a very popular mattress choice, this material may not be the best option for you. Be sure to check out the following guides on Tuck.com:

Additional Tuck Resources