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Memory foam mattresses have an illustrious history. NASA researchers working to design improved protective cushioning for passengers and pilots originally developed memory, or temper, foam in the 1970s.

Today, you’ll find this cushioning material in a range of products made for everyday use: pillows and mattresses, yes, but also shoes, sofas, and office chairs.

In mattresses, memory foam is designed to gently conform to your body to provide support and pressure relief. Memory foam mattresses aren’t for everyone, but many people love that soft support. Looking for your new bed? Our top picks can help you start your search.

We chose our nine best memory foam mattresses according to the following criteria:

  • Customer reviews. You probably want to know how your potential new mattress worked out for other customers. We carefully sorted through reviews to get a better idea of how these mattresses felt to the people who actually slept on them.
  • Company reputation and transparency. The mattresses on this list come from brands with good business practices. We also consider customer service reputations and transparency about mattress materials and construction before recommending mattresses.
  • Company policies. Online mattress shopping has one significant drawback: You can’t try out your new mattress until you bring it home. Most mattress manufacturers recognize the dilemma you’ll face if it doesn’t work out and offer a trial period so you have a chance to make up your mind.
  • Materials. We know comparing product descriptions can get a little confusing when you’re not sure how to tell different foams apart. To make your job easier, we’ve made sure the mattresses on our list really do contain memory foam.

Pricing guide

Our pricing reflects queen-size mattresses, as they’re the most popular size.

  • $ = under $1,000
  • $$ = $1,000–$1,400
  • $$$ = over $1,400

Best eco-friendly memory foam mattress

Saatva Loom & Leaf Mattress

  • Price: $$$
  • Materials: gel and traditional memory foam
  • Height: 12 inches

In addition to high density and contouring memory foam, this luxury mattress also features a unique layer of what the company calls spinal zone gel. The company says this gel works to promote cooler sleep while supporting better spinal alignment and lumbar support.

Overall, reviewers love the comfort and pressure relief of this mattress. Many people say they sleep more soundly and wake up without back pain. People also praise the mattress’s edge support (meaning it provides consistent support even on the perimeter of the mattress) and responsiveness (meaning it bounces back as you move around). Many reviewers confirm it does, indeed, sleep cool.

The Loom & Leaf mattress comes in two firmness options:

  • The company recommends the relaxed-firm mattress for couples with different preferences and anyone looking for a soft, supportive mattress.
  • The firm mattress offers more support to stomach sleepers, but it can also work for anyone who doesn’t want to feel as if they’re sinking into the bed. Several stomach and combination sleepers say the firmer option provides excellent, comfortable support for all sleeping positions.

Saatva emphasizes a commitment to sustainability with a foam manufacturing process that they say produces fewer greenhouse gases. The mattress also features a natural flame retardant, a cover made of organic cotton, and layers of foam made from renewable oils.

Buy the Saatva Loom & Leaf Mattress online.

Best rated memory foam mattress

Nectar Memory Foam Mattress

  • Price: $$
  • Materials: gel and traditional memory foam
  • Height: 12 inches

With an average of 4.8 out of 5 stars and more than 33,000 reviews, Nectar’s medium-firm memory foam mattress appears to have helped many customers sleep more comfortably.

The mattress is designed for breathability and pressure relief, with gel memory foam resting above a layer of adaptive memory foam to help you sleep cooler and not sink into the bed. Several reviewers say they do stay cool, but others say they still wake up hot.

Many reviewers mention some sort of pain relief — from hip and knee pain, to shoulder, neck, and back pain — after sleeping on the Nectar mattress. Side, back, and stomach sleepers praise the quality of their sleep, calling this a comfortable, supportive mattress that feels firm without being hard.

While some people also mention strong off-gassing that lingered for days, a few reviewers say they didn’t notice any smell at all. Off-gassing is common with memory foam mattresses.

Many customers praise Nectar’s customer service, but others mention mattress delivery delays and trouble getting in touch with representatives.

One notable benefit of a Nectar mattress is the length of the sleep trial: You have a full year to try out the mattress, and the lifetime warranty covers your purchase, well, for life.

Buy the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress online.

Best memory foam mattress for any sleeper

The GravityLux by WinkBeds

  • Price: $$$
  • Materials: gel-infused and air-pocketed memory foam
  • Height: 11 inches

The GravityLux mattress is made with several layers of the company’s memory foam. The foam was designed with small capsules of air that are meant to help the mattress promote better airflow, reduce motion transfer (meaning you won’t feel your partner moving around at night), and relieve more pressure than standard memory foam mattresses.

A layer of zoned memory foam provides targeted contouring and support to different areas of your body: firm support at your back and hips and softer cushioning at the shoulder and leg area. Three firmness options make it easy to choose the right comfort level for your sleep position and comfort needs.

Reviewers call this mattress soft, comfortable, and strong. People of different body types and varying sleeping positions say it provides great support, helps relieve lingering pain, and overall improves their sleep.

Many praise the lack of motion transfer and the fact that it stays cool. Reviewers also mention great customer service and an easy delivery process. Though WinkBeds designs their foam for durability, they offer a lifetime warranty, just in case.

Buy The GravityLux by WinkBeds online.

Best soft memory foam mattress

Puffy Mattress

  • Price: $$
  • Materials: gel and traditional memory foam
  • Height: 10 inches

Reviewers say the Puffy mattress feels cloud-like, perfectly squishy, and unbelievably comfortable.

This mattress contains three foam layers that work to support and cool while relieving pressure.

On top rests a layer of the company’s unique memory foam, designed to provide contouring pressure relief along with breathability. The middle foam layer helps prevent the mattress from contracting and expanding from temperature, which can sometimes change how a mattress feels. The foam at the base provides firm support while still adapting to your body.

Puffy describes this mattress as medium firm, despite its cushioning softness, and reviewers praise its “just right” feel. Although some reviewers say they found it too soft, others say they found it supportive and comfortable.

A few reviewers mention poor edge support, but overall, reviewers say this mattress helps relieve pain and improve sleep quality.

With a soft feel and emphasis on pressure relief, this mattress may work well for side sleepers. Still, it’s designed to support all sleeping positions, and reviews from stomach and back sleepers suggest sleepers of all styles really can get comfortable on the Puffy mattress.

Buy the Puffy Mattress online.

Best flippable memory foam mattress

Layla Memory Foam Mattress

  • Price: $$
  • Materials: copper-infused and traditional memory foam
  • Height: 10 inches

The Layla mattress works to help you sleep more comfortably in multiple ways.

The infusion of copper gel in the main memory foam layer helps pull body heat away so you sleep cooler.

According to the company, this copper also helps firm up the foam in response to the weight of your body, keeping the mattress supportive as it contours to your shape to relieve pressure. Layla also says that copper’s antimicrobial properties may also help your mattress stay fresher. While some research supports this, there’s not enough to say for sure that copper mattresses stay cleaner.

A transition layer of low density foam helps increase breathability and airflow, while the mattress cover is designed to stay cool to the touch. In general, people praise these cooling features — even reviewers from hot climates say they stayed cool through the night.

Reviewers call this mattress comfortable and supportive for side, back, or stomach sleeping. Many people say it eased back pain right away. A few go so far as to say they slept better on the Layla mattress than they had in years. A final key feature: It’s a flippable mattress with two firmness options.

Some reviewers mention the edge support isn’t great, and a few noticed some motion transfer when their partner changed position. Several people also noticed some lingering off-gassing that took a few weeks to completely go away.

Buy the Layla Memory Foam Mattress online.

Best memory foam mattress for back pain

Amerisleep AS2

  • Price: $$
  • Materials: plant-based open-cell memory foam
  • Height: 12 inches

This medium-firm mattress from Amerisleep is specially designed to help relieve pressure and pain, especially for back and stomach sleepers.

The company says its plant-based foam conforms to ease pressure but bounces back quickly so you can change positions without a struggle.

Several support zones are designed to cushion your body to align your spine, relieve pain, and provide support at key high pressure areas, like your head and neck, shoulders, hips and low back, legs, and feet.

This targeted support appears to work well for many reviewers, who say they sleep much better and wake up with less pain, especially back pain.

In general, reviewers recommend this mattress, saying it’s supportive and sturdy, but still soft. However, some reviewers note the edges are a little softer than they’d like.

While it may be a little firm for dedicated side sleeping, stomach and back sleepers seem to particularly enjoy its feel. People also love the low motion transfer, so this mattress may work well for couples. Several reviews say this mattress had no noticeable chemical smells after unboxing.

A few people mention how durable the mattress seems, but you don’t have to take their word for it: Amerisleep stands by their mattresses with a 20-year warranty.

Buy the Amerisleep AS2 online.

Best cooling memory foam mattress

The Muse Mattress

  • Price: $$
  • Materials: gel, open-cell, and traditional memory foam
  • Height: 12 inches

The high density foam used in The Muse Mattress doesn’t just offer cooling features, it also comes in three firmness options.

Side sleepers may feel most comfortable on the soft mattress, while strict back or stomach sleepers may prefer the firmer bed. According to the company, their medium mattress is the most popular option.

Each mattress contains four layers of supportive foam, though the specific makeup varies slightly based on mattress firmness. Not sure what firmness you need? You can exchange your mattress for a different firmness after 20 nights. Most people need a few weeks to adjust.

Beyond the breathable construction and gel-infused memory foam, The Muse Mattress also features a cover made from cooling fabric. Many satisfied reviewers praise this technology, saying the mattress feels cool to the touch and stays cool while sleeping.

People also say this mattress works well for pain relief and is the ideal blend of comfort and support. Several reviewers mention the great edge support, lack of motion transfer, and Muse’s good customer service. Another benefit? Most reviewers say they noticed no smell after unboxing the mattress.

Buy The Muse Mattress online.

Best affordable memory foam mattress

Lucid Comfort 10-Inch Medium Gel Memory Foam Mattress

  • Price: $
  • Materials: gel and ventilated memory foam
  • Height: 10 inches

This medium mattress offers the cooling support of gel-infused memory foam at a lower price. You’ll pay under $500 for any size mattress, even a California king.

Its two memory foam layers contour to your body to help relieve pressure and pain. Sure, it’s pretty basic, but it seems to do the trick.

Multiple reviewers say this mattress helped improve their back and joint pain right away, with back and stomach sleepers, in particular, appreciating the firm support. Some reviewers note they even thought it felt too firm at first, but they got used to it.

Lucid mattress also feature two types of cooling technology. Ventilated memory foam is used to promote airflow through the mattress to reduce heat pockets, and the top layer of the mattress contains cooling gel to help you maintain sleep temperature.

Several reviewers say they do sleep cooler and more comfortably on this breathable mattress. While a few reviewers mention some off-gassing after unboxing the mattress, others didn’t notice any smell at all.

Buy the Lucid Comfort 10-Inch Medium Gel Memory Foam Mattress online.

Now that you’ve narrowed down your potential mattress picks, how do you decide between them?

Considering these important elements can help you find the right mattress:

Memory foam type

Different types of memory foam perform different functions.

Traditional memory foam

Traditional memory foam contours to your body to support you and relieve pressure. Unfortunately, the viscoelastic chemicals that help keep you comfortable also tend to retain heat. Mattress manufacturers have attempted to resolve this issue by developing new types of foam that improve mattress breathability so you sleep cooler.

If you live in a cold climate or never overheat while sleeping, a standard memory foam mattress may work just fine.

Cooling memory foam

If you sleep hot, you might prefer a more breathable mattress. Open-cell memory foam, for example, contains small ventilation pockets to promote airflow and prevent body heat from staying trapped in the mattress. Gel memory foam mattresses contain infusions of cooling gel to help absorb heat.

Manufacturers might add other materials, including carbon and copper, to draw away body heat and moisture so you sleep more comfortably. Some brands combine several different features to create their foam. If you regularly wake up warm, choosing a mattress specially designed with cooling features could be the key to improved sleep.

Memory foam density and quality

Higher density memory foams tend to hold up longer over time, so they often feel more supportive for longer than less durable mattresses. High density foam generally reduces motion transfer better than low density foam, but it’s also responsible for that “stuck in the bed” feeling. Of course, if you wanted to feel deeply cushioned, this may not concern you at all.

Low density foam has more give to it, so you’ll probably find it easier to change sleeping positions. It also has more breathability. Open-cell foam, for example, tends to be less dense. Lower density memory foam mattresses also usually cost less than high density mattresses.

Stomach and back sleepers often feel more comfortable on high density mattresses. If you have more weight, you might find a high density mattress more supportive over time.

Not all brands come right out and say whether the mattress is high or low density. Clues like “buoyant,” “breathable,” “bounces back easily,” “deep contouring,” or “highly durable” can help you determine the density.

Sleeping position

Your regular sleeping position also plays a part in the type of mattress you need.

In general, side sleepers often sleep better on slightly softer mattresses that provide more pressure relief.

Back and stomach sleepers generally need firmer beds for ideal spinal alignment and support. These sleepers may prefer a more supportive hybrid mattress to one made of foam.

If you sleep on your side or change positions often, lower density mattresses may help provide softer support by contouring to your body without making you feel stuck.

Some brands specifically recommend a mattress for side, back, or stomach sleeping, and customer reviews can give even more insight.

Firmness

In general, medium-firm mattresses work well for many people. In fact, research from 2015 suggests medium-firm mattresses offer an ideal combination of comfort and proper spinal alignment.

Memory foam mattresses come in all levels of firmness. Trying out different mattresses in a local store can help you get a better idea of your preferred firmness. Just keep in mind that firmness can vary among brands.

Some manufacturers rate mattresses on a 10-point scale, with 10 being the firmest. Still, one person’s 6 may feel like a 4 to someone else. What matters most is finding a mattress you can sleep comfortably on — otherwise, you may not sleep well.

Company policies

An uncomfortable mattress you can’t return can feel like a huge waste of money, but it can have more serious repercussions, too. Instead of sleeping soundly, you might toss and turn through the night, reduce your sleep quality, or even develop aches and pains.

The lack of quality deep sleep can leave you groggy and cranky. It can even affect your immune health, putting you at greater risk of illness.

Always check the sleep trial before buying. Does the company offer enough time to really get a feel for your new mattress? Do they charge return shipping or a restocking or disposal fee?

Also double-check the warranty before adding a mattress to your cart. Some warranties require you to set up a mattress on a base or box spring, so plopping your mattress on the floor could void the warranty.

Memory foam mattresses typically work best for:

  • side sleepers and people who need pressure relief
  • people with chronic pain
  • couples who want good motion isolation

You may want to consider another type of mattress if you:

  • consistently have difficulty staying cool while sleeping
  • have high sensitivity to chemical smells
  • move around a lot in the night
  • have more weight

Memory foam mattresses have a few key benefits:

  • Foam is designed to contour to your body to help relieve pressure, so it may help reduce pain and improve sleep quality for some people.
  • Foam, particularly high density foam, can provide good support and spinal alignment. Without this essential alignment, you’ll probably start noticing some pain and stiffness.
  • Memory foam can reduce motion transfer between sleeping partners. If you sleep with a restless partner, child, or pet, you probably know just how important this quality is.
  • The density of the foam makes it harder for mold, dust mites, and other allergens to collect in the mattress.
  • Foam mattresses don’t have squeaky springs, so they may work well for people with roommates or children who wake easily.

Still, memory foam doesn’t always make a dream mattress. Keep these potential downsides in mind as you shop:

  • While some people love the contouring support foam provides, others feel as if they’re being sucked into quicksand.
  • Memory foam sometimes gets pretty warm.
  • New memory foam mattresses often have a strong chemical smell for the first few days. This smell occasionally triggers headaches or respiratory symptoms. Tip: If your mattress contains CertiPUR-US certified foam, you’ll know it was made without toxic chemicals.
  • Memory foam may not offer enough support to stomach sleepers or people with more weight.

Memory foam mattresses have a reputation for being less durable than hybrid or innerspring mattresses. They don’t have coils, so all of their support comes from foam layers that will eventually begin to break down under the nightly pressure of your body.

More expensive mattresses often have higher quality construction and materials, though price isn’t the only marker of durability.

Denser mattresses will also last longer, so keep in mind when considering breathable open-cell foam. Flippability can also increase mattress life span, as regular flipping gives your mattress a chance to recover from body impressions.

Memory foam mattresses tend to feel softer and more moldable than their hybrid or innerspring counterparts.

When you lie on a memory foam mattress, it’ll conform to your body. Some people describe this as feeling like they’re “sinking into” the mattress rather than lying on top of it.

Still, the type of memory foam you choose will make a big difference in how the mattress feels overall. High density foams will feel more supportive than low density foams. Gel foams and open-cell foams will generally feel cooler than traditional foams.

What is memory foam made of?

Memory foam is made of polyurethane and other chemical compounds derived from petroleum. This makes them not very sustainable or eco-friendly.

Some foams include a small amount of plant-based oils, like soy, instead of petroleum. However, most memory foam is largely petroleum-based.

Why do memory foam mattresses have a smell?

The smell that comes with a brand-new memory foam mattress is due to the chemicals used to make it. This is referred to as off-gassing, and it should fade within a few weeks. If you’re sensitive to smells, you may want to allow the mattress to air out before sleeping on it.

A 2019 study suggests that foam mattresses emit higher levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) while you sleep, likely due to increased heat on the mattress. VOCs can cause negative health effects, though more research is needed on VOCs from mattresses specifically.

Some mattresses are made with CertiPUR-US certified foam, which means they’re made without certain dangerous chemicals and have lower VOC emissions than mattresses made of noncertified foams.

Do memory foam mattresses sleep hot?

Memory foam mattresses do have a reputation for trapping body heat. However, some are made with different types of foam, like gel, copper-infused, and open-cell, which don’t sleep quite so hot.

Are memory foam mattresses better than hybrid or spring mattresses?

It depends. If motion isolation and pressure relief are your priorities, you might like a memory foam mattress. However, if you prefer springier support, you might want to opt for a hybrid or innerspring mattress instead.

Read more about the differences between memory foam and hybrid mattresses.

If you want to sink into a bed that gently hugs you back, a memory foam mattress may be right for you. A foam mattress may not last quite as long as a hybrid or innerspring mattress, but a good warranty can help you sleep soundly for years to come.


Crystal Raypole has previously worked as a writer and editor for GoodTherapy. Her fields of interest include Asian languages and literature, Japanese translation, cooking, natural sciences, sex positivity, and mental health. In particular, she’s committed to helping decrease stigma around mental health issues.