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Best Memory Foam Mattresses: 2021 Buyer’s Guide

Lara Vargas

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Within the past two decades, memory foam mattresses have skyrocketed in popularity and now account for roughly 20% of beds sold. Memory foam’s quick rise in demand is due largely in part to the excellent pressure relief, body contouring, and deep compression support it offers. Memory foam mattresses also work well for the bed in a box industry because they can be easily rolled, compressed, and shipped straight to the customer’s door. Despite its many benefits, memory foam has some downsides, such as its ability to trap heat.

Luckily, companies have begun to innovate cooling foam to solve this problem, and new technologies appear every day to give customers the best night of sleep possible. In this article, we’ll share our top recommendations for foam mattresses in 2021, all the pros and cons of memory foam, and how other factors can affect the type of bed you purchase (such as budget, weight, health concerns, and more).

Best Memory Foam Mattress

MattressHighlightsPrice
BEST MEMORY FOAM MATTRESS OVERALLAmerisleep AS3
The AS3Amerisleep
Features pressure-relieving, plant-based memory foam and advanced zoned support to eliminate back pain.
$1049Buy Now
BEST SOFT MEMORY FOAM MATTRESSAmerisleep AS5
The AS5Amerisleep
Features contouring memory foam and responsive latex-like foam for cushion and lift.
$1539Buy Now
BEST COOLING MEMORY FOAM MATTRESS Zoma Sports Mattress Helps those with active lifestyles sleep better and recover quicker.
BEST BUDGET FOAM MATTRESS Vaya Mattress
Vaya Vaya
Affordable mattress option designed to suit all sleep styles.
Bear Mattress
BearBear Mattress
Contains graphite cooling gels to promote sound sleep and prevent hot nights.
Nest Bedding Signature Series Flippable
Nest BeddingSignature Series
Flippable
Dual-sided mattress has a medium and luxury-firm side for customizable comfort.
$1299Buy Now
Muse Mattress
MuseMuse Mattress
Diamond Breeze cover and gel-infused foam absorb and dissipate heat.

Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all mattress, and it’s important that you aren’t selecting a bed based on a list of attractive features that may or may not help you sleep better. Instead, consider your personal needs, and then pair those needs with the various qualities of a perfect mattress for you.

Best Memory Foam Mattress Overall: Amerisleep AS3

Amerisleep AS3 BEST MEMORY FOAM MATTRESS OVERALL
Amerisleep AS3

Breathable, responsive, and durable foams are responsible for this mattress’s medium feel, providing a perfect fit for most sleep styles.

Get 30% off your next Amerisleep mattress

With code AS30

Buy now
Best mattress features
  • A breathable comfort layer and airy cover help the mattress release heat instead of retaining it.
  • HIVE® technology offers targeted support to your head, shoulders, back, hips, and feet.
  • Bio-Pur® is produced from more than just petrochemicals, containing plant-based material.
Recommended for...
  • People who sleep on their side or back, or individuals who change position in their sleep.
  • Eco-friendly shoppers interested in a memory foam bed "greener" than average.
  • Sleepers looking for a mattress that provides great value at a mid-range price.

There’s nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night because your mattress is causing you to overheat. Luckily, Amerisleep has found a way to combat heat retention in a variety of ways. Their Bio-Pur® foam is more breathable than traditional memory foam and wicks away warm air. The HIVE® layer contains precision channels that create even more airways to let hot air out.

What really sets Amerisleep apart is the advanced tech they use in each mattress layer. The soft, breathable cover helps keep air moving throughout the bed. Their Bio-Pur® layer guarantees a cool and responsive sleep, and the HIVE® layer provides you with targeted pressure relief and guaranteed motion isolation. All of these layers rest on a well-constructed support foam called Bio-Core®.

Why is the Amerisleep AS3 our top-recommended mattress? If you’re looking for an affordable yet high-performance mattress that will give you a cool night’s sleep while also allowing for wonderful pressure relief, our editors think the Amerisleep AS3 could easily be the best mattress for you. What’s more, all of the Amerisleep mattresses are CertiPUR-US® certified.

Amerisleep’s 20-year warranty is prorated. In the first 10 years, Amerisleep will replace your mattress free of charge if there are any material or workmanship defects in the mattress. They offer the best warranty we’ve seen so far, covering indents ¾ inch deeper or more (most companies cover sags 1 inch or more). During the last 10 years of the warranty, Amerisleep will replace or repair your mattress, but you must pay a percentage of the cost (this percentage depends on how long you’ve had the mattress).

Amerisleep offers a 100-night trial period where you can sleep on their mattress to ensure it will suit your needs. If you decide you don’t like the mattress, you’re more than welcome to send the mattress back. Amerisleep doesn’t restock their mattresses; therefore, there isn’t a restocking fee. Instead, Amerisleep donates the used mattress to a charity near you.

Best Soft Memory Foam Mattress: Amerisleep AS5

Amerisleep AS5 BEST SOFT MATTRESS
Amerisleep AS5

Ultra-soft foams offer unbeatable cushion, while dynamic support technologies prevent sinkage and discomfort. Plus, this bed is super cool and responsive to movement.

Get 30% off your next Amerisleep mattress

With code AS30

Get discount
Best mattress features
  • Eco-friendly, CertiPUR-US® certified foams are safer than other foam alternatives.
  • Bouncy Active Flex gives the bed plenty of support.
  • Porous Bio-Pur® keeps you sleeping ultra cool.
Recommended for...
  • Side sleepers.
  • Heavy sleepers who like a soft mattress.
  • Sleepers wanting a luxurious sleeping experience.

The second Amerisleep mattress on our list, the AS5 is a touch softer than the AS3 and recommended for side and back sleepers who want a cloud-like mattress. And unlike other soft mattresses, our AS5 also works for sleepers over 250 pounds seeking softness.

Built with contouring foams and responsive support layers, the AS5 perfectly balances cushion and support so sleepers can feel like they’re cradled within their mattress but not “sinking in.” The resiliency of the AS5’s foam layers improves its durability and adaptability, so the AS5 can provide comfortable, healthy sleep for a long time to come. (Amerisleep also backs their bed with a 20-year warranty to prove its quality!)

Let’s talk about the construction of this bed, starting with the soft, breathable mattress cover.

The AS5’s soft-to-the-touch fabric cover is easy to remove for cleaning, and breathable enough to deter heat buildup. Directly below the cover is Bio-Pur®, an eco-friendly foam with an advanced open-cell structure to improve airflow. Not only airy and lightweight, but this comfort layer is also contouring and pain-relieving.

Directly below the cushioning top layer is a responsive transition layer of Active Flex, a latex-like foam designed to give the AS5 a bit of extra bounce. This is what makes Amerisleep’s soft bed suitable for sleepers of all body types.

Then, comes a layer with spinal support tech, HIVE®. The Affinity foam in this layer is also lightweight and bouncy, but unlike Active Flex, it contains cutouts throughout to supply targeted support to different parts of the body. The head, lumbar, and feet receive extra support for healthy alignment while the hips and shoulder get a little extra cushion for pressure relief.

The base of the AS5 is a sturdy core foam, Bio-Core®, designed to last through years of wear and tear.

You can test the AS5 with Amerisleep’s risk-free, 100-night sleep trial. If you decide it’s the best mattress for you, it’s backed by a 20-year warranty covering sags as small as .75 inches.

Best Cooling Memory Foam Mattress: Zoma Mattress

Zoma mattress BEST COOLING MEMORY FOAM MATTRESS
Zoma Mattress

Though designed for active, sporty people, anyone can achieve a better night of sleep when they lie down on a Zoma Mattress.

Get $150 off your next Zoma Mattress

With code WIN150

Buy now
Best mattress features
  • Gel-infused memory foam absorbs and evenly distributes heat, limiting build-up.
  • Buoyant Reactiv™ foam bounces back fast, so you never feel stuck in your mattress.
  • All three foam layers are certified safe by CertiPUR-US®
Recommended for...
  • Individuals of all activity levels looking to recover faster for improved daily performance.
  • Hot sleepers seeking a cool gel-infused memory foam mattress with a breathable cover.

Next on our list is the Zoma Mattress, a memory foam mattress for athletes. Zoma is designed to help athletes sleep deeper, recover faster, and perform better. Though it’s targeted to athletes, the Zoma can upgrade anybody’s sleep and help them feel more refreshed in the mornings.

The top layer is gel-infused memory foam with Triangulex™ technology. When you lay down on the Zoma, this layer molds to your body and offers instant comfort and pressure relief. The gel within the foam combats body heat and keeps you at a comfortable temperature while you sleep.

Triangulex™ technology offers dynamic back support to foster a healthy spine. Near your midsection, this foam feels firmer to offer extra lumbar support and prevent uncomfortable sinkage. Around your shoulder and hips, Triangulex™ contains triangle-shaped cutouts allowing for deeper compression under those major joints. This technology keeps your spine in line with the rest of your body and prevents back, neck, and hip pain.

The second layer of Zoma is Reactiv™, a latex-like poly-foam. Designed to be more responsive than memory foam, Reactiv™ gives this bed a bit of bounce and prevents you from ever feeling “stuck” in the mattress. Its responsiveness makes it easier to change sleeping positions or climb in and out of bed.

The third and final layer of Zoma is Support+, a durable poly-foam. Support+ reinforces the layers and sleeper above and prevents sagging throughout the mattress.

Zoma offers a 100-night sleep trial with each of their beds. Zoma will also replace your mattress if it develops a sag or indentation greater than ¾ inch.

Best Budget Foam Mattress: Vaya Mattress

Vaya Mattress BEST BUDGET FOAM MATTRESS
Vaya Mattress

Many foam mattresses have low-cost prices, but the Vaya Mattress is one of the better beds to balance affordability with a high-quality feel. It’s airy, supportive, pain-relieving, and durable.

Get $300 off your next Vaya Mattress

With code VAYA300

Buy now
Best mattress features
  • Plush, breathable cover prevents overheating and sleep disturbances.
  • Vaya Comfort Foam molds to the spine yet snaps back into shape quickly so you can move and switch positions easily.
  • Resilient poly-foam base withstands wear and tear, promoting mattress longevity.
Recommended for...
  • Bargain shoppers hunting for an excellent deal on a quality mattress and maximizing their dollars.
  • Couples searching for an inexpensive mattress to upgrade their bedroom with.

The Vaya Mattress, a budget-friendly bed designed to suit all sleep styles, is next on our list of mattresses to consider this year. Despite being a relatively new brand, the Vaya receives consistently good reviews, and they offer a 10-year warranty with their mattress so even if it does develop sags later on down the line, you’ll be backed by warranty coverage.

We like the Vaya because it contains contouring yet responsive foams so it feels comfortable for the majority of sleep styles. It’s not too firm like latex or super-cradling like memory foam. Instead, it balances the benefits of both materials to offer a unique sleep experience. Plus, the 3-inch thickness of the comfort layer is perfect for cushioning the shoulders and hips. Thicker comfort layers may cause uncomfortable sinkage, while thinner comfort layers could cause pressure buildup under those heavy joints.

The Vaya is medium in firmness and contains 2 layers: 3 inches of Vaya Comfort Foam and 9 inches of sturdy poly-foam to resist wear and tear. All in all, the bed stands 12 inches tall.

Vaya Sleep sells their mattress online-only and offer free shipping and a 100-night sleep trial with every purchase.

It’s uncommon to see such lengthy warranties with budget beds, but Vaya Sleep offers a full replacement 10-year warranty with every mattress. Their warranty even covers against sags as small as .75 inches thick, which is also relatively uncommon since most brands only cover sags an inch deep or thicker. With all of that, you can feel confident the Vaya Mattress is a good value.

Vaya offers a risk-free, 100-night sleep trial with every purchase. After you receive your Vaya, you have 100 nights to test it out and decide if it’s the sleep solution for you. If you give it a couple of months and decide it’s not for you, just give Vaya a call and issue you a full refund.

Bear Mattress

bear mattress BEAR MATTRESS
Bear Mattress

Designed for athletes, the original Bear Mattress has a medium feel that suits a wide range of sleepers.

Best mattress features
  • Bear produces all foams in accordance with health and environmental standards.
  • Graphite gels pull away heat, while the Celliant® cover turns heat into useable infrared energy.
  • Move across the mattress without your every motion bouncing over the surface.
Recommended for...
  • Side sleepers and back sleepers interested in a sturdy, pressure-relieving mattress.
  • Physically active people interested in the recovery benefits Celliant®offers.

This graphite gel-infused memory foam mattress has three distinct layers for increased durability and support. Bear made this mattress specifically for athletes or anyone with a fairly active lifestyle. The medium firmness level is an excellent choice for anyone who doesn’t want to sacrifice comfort for pressure relief.

A breathable Celliant® cover wraps around the three layers of foam. Celliant® is an FDA-determined textile which promotes a more restful sleep, improves performance, and keeps you nice and cool.

Thanks to its responsive transition foam layer and high-density support foam layer, motion transfer is practically non-existent.

This warranty covers any visible indentations deeper than 1 inch as long as the mattress was used with a compatible foundation. If the mattress shows any deformities within the first 10 years of ownership, Bear will cover the cost of repairs or replacements. The outer cover of the mattress is only covered under the warranty for the first year.

Bear asks that you try out the mattress for at least 30 nights before you initiate a return. If you find the mattress unsatisfactory after the 30 days (but before 100), Bear will arrange for someone to pick up the mattress and you will be refunded.

Nest Bedding Alexander Signature Series® Flippable

Nest Bedding Alexander Signature Series® Flippable NEST BEDDING ALEXANDER SIGNATURE SERIES® FLIPPABLE
Nest Bedding Alexander Signature Series® Flippable

Most memory foam mattresses have a set top and bottom, preventing you from flipping it. Nest Bedding’s flippable mattress is one of the few exceptions, with a different firmness on each side.

Best mattress features
  • Organic knit cotton cover keeps cool and feels soft.
  • CoolFlow™ foam creates a luxurious, temperature-neutral feel on either side.
  • Luxury firm supports back and stomach sleepers, while medium is excellent for side and combo sleepers.
Recommended for...
  • People who want a versatile mattress for a guest bedroom.
  • Sleepers unsure what their favorite position is and willing to experiment to find out.

Nest Bedding makes a variety of mattresses and other sleep accessories, but their Signature Series® flippable mattress is one of our favorites. One side of the mattress is medium, while the other is luxury firm. An organic cotton cover covers the surface of the mattress, and underneath that is two inches of gel memory foam, two inches of transitional foam, and seven inches of a luxury base foam.

We recommend the medium side for most sleepers since it has the right balance of give and support. If you prefer a firmer surface, you can try out the other side.

All of Nest Bedding’s foams are CertiPUR-US® certified and made in the USA.

Nest Bedding offers a lifetime warranty with their mattresses. This warranty protects against certain defects as long as you own the mattress. Sags greater than 1 inch are covered, as well as any manufacturing flaws in the zipper or cover. You must use the mattress on a compatible foundation (see their website for more details).

Your sleep trial begins when your mattress is delivered, and Nest Bedding asks that you try the bed for at least 30 nights before initiating any return, since this time period allows for you to adjust to the mattress. If after the 30 days you still aren’t satisfied, contact Nest about returns or exchanges.

Muse Mattress

Muse Mattress MUSE MATTRESS
Muse Mattress

This 12-inch mattress contains four foam layers encased in a removable phase-change fabric. Choose from three comfort options to suit your sleep position.

Best mattress features
  • A thick base foam and three comfort-focused foams promote a balance between support and comfort.
  • Phase-changing Diamond Breeze cover works with gel foam to create a cool surface.
  • Every returned mattress is donated to a local charity, ensuring no bed is wasted.
Recommended for...
  • Hot sleepers interested in a cooling mattress with a temperature-regulating cover.
  • Side, back, and stomach sleepers searching for a suitably soft or firm mattress.

The Muse Mattress uses unique cooling technologies to keep anyone who uses it completely temperature-neutral all night long. First, their Diamond Breeze cover is made using phase-changing material which absorbs the ambient temperature in the room instead of your body heat. Then, the first layer of gel memory foam dissipates any lingering heat and keeps it away from you.

The 8-inch base layer made of high-density foam aids in edge support, so you won’t feel like you’re sinking in or rolling off the mattress during the night. If you’re unsure which Muse Mattress firmness is right for you, they have a Sleep Quiz on their site that matches you with the ideal mattress— you can choose from a soft, medium, or firm mattress.

The Muse Mattress comes with a 10-year warranty, beginning at the original date of purchase. The warranty covers any manufacturing defects, as long as the owner takes care of the mattress using instructions on the care tag. The owner must also use the bed on a proper foundation. The Muse warranty covers sags greater than ¾ inch.

If you’re unsatisfied with your mattress anytime during the 120-night sleep trial, you can return it for a refund. Muse will arrange to have it picked up and will donate it to a local charity.

Types of Memory Foam to Consider

Memory foam is not the only foam in an “all-foam mattress.” Like we mentioned earlier, even the most basic all-foam mattress has a high-density foam in the base and then softer foam in the top. The top layer is sometimes made of memory foam, but other brands use latex foam, polyfoam, or gel-infused foam. They all feel a little different and serve different purposes to accommodate a wide variety of users.

Traditional Memory Foam (Viscoelastic Foam)

This is the type of foam most of us associate with mattress foam. Memory foam is a blend of polyurethane foam and additional chemicals that make it viscoelastic. Memory foam’s viscoelasticity gives it that structured and firm feel upon initial contact before you sink into the body of the mattress. Additionally, traditional memory foam mattresses will provide you with a more pronounced contour, as they are traditionally less responsive than other foams.

Polyurethane Foam

Polyurethane foam, also known as polyfoam, is often found in memory foam mattresses, but the two materials are not quite the same (although they are often conflated). Polyurethane foam is synthetic and often blended with other compounds. Polyurethane foam often leaves an off-gassing odor and is lower-quality than some viscoelastic memory foam— this is why many brands have begun to manufacture all of their foams using eco-friendly processes.

Gel Memory Foam

Gel-infused memory foam is one of the most popular types of memory foam you will find on the market. That’s because the gel infusion cools down the foam, hence helping the user avoid that all too familiar problem: sleeping hot. It also makes foam even more springy and conforming.

Gel foam was actually invented by Charles Yost, the same person that invented memory foam for NASA in the 1970s. Most brands use gel a couple of different ways in their foams.

Gel Beads

One of the most popular ways mattress brands use gel is via gel beads, which are usually made with ceramic and conduct heat away from the body. However, some companies prefer gel infusion since it disperses heat all throughout the mattress instead of in concentrated areas where the beads are.

Gel-Infused

Infusing foam with gel involves introducing the gel as a liquid at the beginning of the manufacturing process, which also causes it to disperse evenly across the foam. When someone sleeps on a gel-infused mattress, the gel absorbs their body heat, and it then redistributes it throughout the foam.

While gel foam mattresses do work to cool down the body at least temporarily, there are other factors to consider that will keep you cool for longer: open-cell foam, lighter-density foams, and even your bedding.

Further Considerations

Examining the pros and cons is a great first step in the research process, but there’s more to a mattress than meets the eye— some of the most important components of your mattress can’t be seen, but it helps to know how they all come together to make the bed comfortable (or not).

Memory Foam Density and ILD

Lower density foam is softer, more responsive, and more pliable. That’s why you’ll most likely find it in the top layers of a foam mattress. On the other hand, high-density foam is much harder and sturdier, so brands use it as the support core of a mattress. Firmer mattresses use fewer low-density foam layers than softer mattresses do. When you’re thinking about which mattress to buy, consider that firmer mattresses generally last longer because they are constructed with more high-density foam.

If you’re opting for a soft mattress, make sure there is a thick layer of high-density foam in the base or wrapped coils for stability. A thick or thin mattress doesn’t correlate with density— it’s all about the different layers and their composition. That said, if you are heavier or share your bed with a partner, you will want a thick mattress that’s also on the firmer side so it holds up to compression and wear over time.

A high-density foam mattress carries two important implications: if a mattress has a higher density it is more likely to have a longer lifespan, but it is also going to generally retain more heat. Therefore, these dense foam mattresses will likely result in a warmer night’s sleep. What is considered a reasonable middle ground between the longevity of the bed and its heat retention lies in medium-feel mattresses, made with a balanced combo of high and low-density foams.

Your body weight also has an effect on how dense you will like your mattress to feel. Heavier individuals who weigh over 250 pounds will probably like a firmer mattress and one that is at least 12 inches thick, as it will need to withstand more pressure over time. A lighter person, on the other hand, would probably prefer a softer mattress since they won’t sink in too much and will still need some support and cushioning to keep their posture neutral.

You can get really technical with foam density by looking at the ILD. The ILD, or Indentation Load Deflection number, measures how much weight a mattress can withstand before being indented 1 inch deep. A mattress with a high ILD is firmer, while one with a lower ILD is softer. A mattress rating with an ILD of 14, for example, is considered very plush, while one with an ILD of 40-44 is very firm.

Since most companies don’t widely advertise the mattress ILD on their website, you can look for an easier-to-read firmness scale, which goes from 1-10, one being very soft and 10 being very firm. Most mattress fall between 3-8 on this scale.

Number of Layers

Most foam mattresses have a relatively similar composition and structure. The base layer of most foam mattresses is a thick, high-density polyfoam, creating a solid foundation for the other layers.

The order, type, and number of foams layered atop the polyfoam base varies across brands, but the simplest foam mattress has just one thick polyfoam base layer and then a thinner, softer memory foam comfort layer. More luxurious memory foam mattresses have a transition layer to improve responsiveness and limit sinkage.

Layer Thickness

The thinner the mattress cover, the more breathable your mattress is likely to be. Now, many companies use cooling technologies in their cover fabrics to increase breathability or they use naturally breathable fabrics such as Tencel or bamboo.

The best memory foam mattresses generally have a minimum of four inches of comfort memory foams. Each layer of a mattress tends to have a specific thickness for a reason, and they all come together to create the desired comfort and support combination. If a mattress has less than four inches of comfort foam, it will typically feel firmer.

Most mattresses are between 10 and 14 inches thick— anything thinner than 10 inches won’t be supportive enough for most adults. All foam mattresses have a high-density foam base layer, but the thickness of that layer increases the firmer the mattress.

Responsiveness

Viscoelastic memory foam is easy to identify because of its unique composition and feel. It’s also easily compressed with the pressure and weight you apply to it. Viscoelastic means the foam takes on viscous and elastic characteristics when weight and/or heat is applied to it. In other words, the mattress responds to your body.

You can test the responsiveness of your mattress by pushing down on it and then releasing to see how quickly the foam adapts or springs back. While different foams vary in responsiveness, the innate viscoelastic qualities of a memory foam mattress mean that it will conform closely to the shape of whatever sits on top of it.

The conformability of memory foam is the very thing that allows for the contouring that provides firm and consistent support. However, if you are more accustomed to a bed with bounce, you may want to avoid memory foam mattresses. If you’re worried about sinking too far into your foam mattress, choose a medium-firm or firm foam bed, as these are made with thicker layers of high-density foam in the base.

Edge Support

You’ve probably heard about edge support. But what does it mean? Is it important for helping you get a good night’s sleep?

Some mattress companies make their beds firmer on the edge, this is called edge support. There are pros and cons to this, but generally companies are moving away from this practice.

While edge support makes it easier to sit on your bed, it also reduces the amount of sleeping surface you have. Surprisingly, sleeping on the edge of the bed is fairly common, so if the bed felt firmer there, that means you are no sleeping on what you paid for.

With the rise of bed-in-box technology, memory foam mattresses, edge support isn’t as common as it used to be.

So, when shopping for a new memory foam mattress, don’t be surprised when all the best options don’t utilize edge support. If you want a bed with edge support because you have a condition that restricts movement, such as arthritis, you might want to consider another mattress type like a hybrid.

Sleeping Position

Your sleeping position has a huge impact on your night’s rest. For example, a side sleeper will most likely feel uncomfortable on a firm mattress, but stomach sleepers prefer this type because it keeps their hips and back neutral and straight. Each sleeping style will feel comfortable on a slightly different mattress type and firmness.

Side Sleepers

Side sleepers are most comfortable on a medium-soft or medium mattress because these offer a nice balance of support and softness. Side sleepers won’t want a too-soft mattress as this will cause their hips to sink down, causing pain and exacerbating other existing medical issues such as bad posture or chronic pain.

Side sleeping is one of the healthiest sleeping positions for your posture, but if you sleep on your side with your arms under your pillow, you may run the risk of paresthesia, or “pins and needles.” To combat this, choose a medium-soft or medium mattress and a medium pillow that keeps your head from pressing down too heavily on your arms.

Back Sleepers

Back sleepers need a medium-firm or firm mattresses because they usually want to feel like they are on top of the mattress, not sinking down into it. Back sleepers are at less risk for back pain compared to other positions, but they are more likely to snore or develop sleep apnea. A medium-firm mattress and pillow should keep the head elevated enough to prevent the tongue from collapsing into the throat, which causes snoring.

Stomach Sleepers

We don’t recommend sleeping on the stomach because it puts the user at a higher risk of misaligning their spine, hips, pelvis, and back, causing pain and other health problems. However, if you’re in the habit of sleeping this way, choose a medium-firm or firm mattress.

Stomach sleepers may also be fairly uncomfortable on foam mattresses because they sink— if you want to sleep on foam and you like sleeping on your stomach, choose a foam mattress with a high-density foam base.

Warranties and Lifespan

A standard mattress warranty is 10 years long and it covers manufacturing defects or damage beyond normal use. Most warranties cover sagging or indentations up to a certain depth (an average of 1 inch). Some companies offer longer warranties, but they are usually prorated, meaning the customer pays a portion of the cost for repairs and replacements after the first ten years or so.

A good-quality foam mattress usually lasts 7-10 years, and so a warranty longer than that may not be completely necessary. However, you should invest in a mattress with a good warranty because it will give you some peace of mind and it tells you how long a company is willing to stand behind their product.

Lifetime warranties are becoming more popular, but they are not much better than a typical 10 or 20-year warranty since mattresses don’t last a full lifetime.

Other Mattress Types

If after reading the article above, you’ve decided maybe memory foam isn’t for you, don’t worry. There are other mattress technologies to consider, from latex to innerspring to a combination of materials.

Latex Mattresses

Latex is made from the sap of a rubber tree, and its environmentally-friendly manufacturing process makes it a great green mattress option. Latex isn’t heat-activated like foam, and therefore retains less heat. It’s also aerated, made with holes in the surface, to promote better airflow. Latex is soft like memory foam, but it is much bouncier and feels more firm than memory foam. If you’re looking for close-conforming material, memory foam might be a better option than latex. However, if you like the soft support of memory foam but need the bounce, latex is a good choice.

Latex is also extremely durable— latex mattresses can last up to 15 years, making them one of the longest-lasting mattress types.

Hybrid Mattresses

A hybrid mattress combines the benefits of innerspring and foam in a 50/50 combo— usually, the top layers are made using memory, latex, or polyfoam, and the bottom layer is always composed of innerspring coils. Newer hybrid models (made within the last 5-10 years) often use wrapped coils in the base for better motion isolation.

Using coils in the base increases the airflow and adds bounce— two things memory foam isn’t known for. Then, the top layers are made of foam for close-conforming, pain-relieving cushioning— things innerspring mattresses don’t typically offer. Hybrid mattresses can be more expensive than other types because they use a lot of materials. It depends on the brand and the construction, so look at these things carefully before you purchase one.

Innerspring Mattresses

Despite memory foam’s surge in popularity, innerspring beds still make up a large portion of mattress sales. You may know these mattresses as pocketed coil mattresses, innerspring mattresses, or simply as spring mattresses. These beds will provide the coolest sleep, but they also provide the least amount of conformity to your body and sometimes end up creating pressure points. Innersprings have a layer of foam or another soft material in the top layer, sometimes called the “pillow top.”

These mattresses also have the lowest customer ratings because they tend to sag quickly. Newer models have begun using wrapped coils, which make the bed quieter and boost the motion isolation abilities of the bed. Lots of innerspring beds have layers of high-density foam between the soft layers and the coils to act as a buffer against any potential sagging or indents. If you’d like a bed with good bounce, even support across the surface, and good airflow, an innerspring is probably a great choice for you.

FAQs

What is the best budget memory foam mattress?

A good budget mattress should be more than 10 inches thick to ensure the mattress will provide adequate support and pressure relief for many years. Thinner mattresses are less durable and wear out quicker. Budget price memory foam mattresses usually have a simple two-layer design, but the best budget mattresses provide the comfort of a higher-priced bed.

What is the best memory foam mattress for side sleepers?

Side sleepers usually prefer a memory foam mattress in the soft to medium range. The memory foam mattress must conform to the side sleeper’s shoulders and hips. If the mattress fails to closely contour to the body, pressure will build up and cause sore hips and stiff shoudlers.

What is the best memory foam mattress for back pain?

Recent research suggests the best mattress for back pain offers a medium-firm feel. However, a medium-firm mattress may not be suited for all sleeping styles. Back sleepers and stomach sleepers may sleep better on a medium-firm memory foam mattress, but side sleepers are often better off with a medium feel memory foam mattress.

What is the best memory foam mattress for back sleepers?

Back sleepers often enjoy a memory foam mattress with a medium-firm to firm feel. However, a medium memory foam mattress can be perfectly suitable for a back sleeper if it features targeted back support. Many mattress manufacturers use zoned technology to divide a middle area into different support areas, and one area is usually reserved for back support.

Do you need a box spring for a memory foam mattress?

No, a box spring is about the worst foundation for a memory foam mattress. The supportive coils inside a box spring are designed to line up with the coils of a traditional innerspring mattress, with gaps left between the box spring’s coils. This design does not promote a evenly supportive surface, and a memory foam mattress on top of a box spring tends to sag prematurely.

Instead, we recommend mattress foundations for memory foam mattresses with solid or slatted surfaces. Examples include platform beds and adjustable bases. If you choose a slatted foundation or platform bed, we suggest double-checking that the slats are no more than 3 inches apart. This ensures that as little as the mattress is unsupported as possible, minimizing the chances of sagging.

How much should I budget for a new foam mattress?

The cost of a memory foam mattress varies greatly because it depends on a wide variety of things: the quality of the foam, its density, whether or not it has any certifications, the length of the warranty, sleep trials, return policies, white glove delivery options, and even the brand name. The average queen-size memory foam mattress costs about $1,000, although some cheaper models cost as little as $300 and luxury models can be up to $3,000.

When you’re budgeting for a new mattress, keep in mind your top priorities. If you want your mattress to last a while, invest in one with higher-density foams and a good warranty (at least 10 years). If you have allergies or skin sensitivities, opt for foam mattresses with plenty of green certifications. If you aren’t worried about sleeping hot and you just need a soft place to sleep, don’t worry about spending extra on a mattress with gel or graphite-infused foams.

Is a foam mattress good for everyone?

We believe sleep is an individual experience, and as such, there is no “one-size-fits-all” mattress. Read mattress reviews written by customers to get an idea of how each mattress fits different preferences. Some websites let you filter reviews by concern, so you can read how someone with back pain enjoyed (or didn’t enjoy) their mattress.

Foam mattresses are popular because they can be shipped in a box directly to the customer’s door and they work well for most sleeping positions, those with back pain, and anyone seeking pain relief. They’re also relatively affordable. While memory foam beds now are made with various firmness options to accommodate most sleepers, you should try out as many types as you can (latex, innerspring, and hybrids) to find the one that best fits your needs and lifestyle.

What is a “sleep trial” and how does it work?

Lots of mattress companies have begun to offer sleep trials with the purchase of a mattress. This is especially common with foam bed-in-a-box mattresses, since they ship directly to the customer, foregoing the “try it out in a showroom” experience for a more personalized, in-home one.

Most sleep trials last around 90 nights, giving the customer plenty of time to adjust to their new bed. If a company doesn’t offer a sleep trial, they should offer some sort of customer satisfaction guarantee in its place. We suggest buying a mattress with a generous sleep trial and easy return policy, allowing the customer to get a refund for the bed within the sleep trial period.

Research Method

To write a quality and credible article, we considered over 20 leading mattress brands, read several dozen reviews and articles, and spent over 20 hours researching, writing, and editing.

Conclusion

Foam mattresses are rising in popularity thanks to their soft, conforming feel and their ability to relieve pressure for pain sufferers. Many brands sell foam mattresses at various price points, making them affordable for most, and they include sleep trials so you can get a good idea of how the bed will fit your lifestyle. If you’re still unsure which foam mattress to buy after reading our guide, don’t worry— choosing a bed is a big investment— one you shouldn’t take lightly.

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