Top 6 Best Memory Foam Mattresses Of 2021
- Most Comfortable Mattress – Layla
- Best Memory Foam Hybrid – DreamCloud
- Best Value Memory Foam Mattress – Bear
- Best Gel Memory Foam Mattress – Nectar
- Best Firm Memory Foam Mattress – Loom & Leaf
- Best Responsive Design Mattress – Amerisleep
Best Memory Foam Mattress Reviews
Memory foam is a well-known mattress material for a reason; a large percentage of sleepers seem to either like memory foam or not mind the feel. We also know some huge memory foam bed fanatics out there who can’t get enough of the stuff. Whatever your position is on it, the beds on this list are what we consider top-of-the-line and incredibly great mattress choices for a wide range of sleepers.
For those of you asking, what does memory foam feel like? While some types feel dense and others are more light, all memory foam is typically slow to respond to pressure and conforms around your body, leaving you feeling nestled and cozy. You’ll also be happy to hear that most newer memory foam beds have some type of temperature regulating system in place to ensure it doesn’t retain body heat like older types of foam were known to do. In this guide, we’ll reveal our favorite choices for the best memory foam mattress and provide some context around what makes these beds so great.
Memory Foam Mattress Review Video
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Why These Beds Made Our List
First, it’s important to note that we run a mattress review YouTube channel and website, so as you can imagine we’ve tested pretty much all the best online beds out there. I bring this up so you don’t think we randomly put this list together based on specs (as a lot of other mattress sites do). We actually test these beds, which gives us a large depository of experiences and knowledge to draw from. In terms of criteria, we obviously only included beds that we deem as memory foam mattresses. We define this term as any bed that has a memory foam type feel. As such, you’ll see several different types of constructions on this list. For example, you’ll see hybrid mattresses than contain both coils and layers of memory foam and you’ll see all-foam beds that contain different kinds of foam, but they will all have a pressure relieving memory foam feel we think you’ll love.
Most Comfortable Mattress
Layla is a unique foam mattress in that it’s one of the few flippable beds on the market. It has a “Soft” side and “Firm” side, which is great for indecisive consumers who aren’t sure exactly what they want.
Regardless of the side you choose to sleep on, the Layla mattress has a light, airy memory foam feel. What we’re trying to say is that it’s incredibly comfortable. The girls in the office here like to say laying down on the Layla mattress is like receiving a cushiony, airy hug. In our opinion, the “Soft” side lands around a medium-soft on the firmness scale. As such, it’s a soft mattress that’s excellent for people that want pressure relief.
The Firm side, on the other hand, lands somewhere in-between a medium and medium-firm on the scale. Given it’s quite a bit firmer, we see this side being best for back and stomach sleepers who require a little extra support.
Why Layla was chosen – Layla ultimately takes the biscuit because of how versatile it is. It’s not only a pressure relieving mattress, but also a firmer one because it has the two sides. And we just think the type/feel of the memory foam Layla uses will be accepted as universally comfortable. Lastly, it’s worth noting that Layla is fairly aggressive when it comes to mattress coupon codes and deals, so chances are you won’t pay full retail.
Best Hybrid Memory Foam Mattress
The DreamCloud Premier mattress is a premium, hybrid bed that is comprised of several different layers. The bed uses an 8″ pocketed coil support system in addition to various layers of poly foam and memory foam.
In terms of firmness, we’d rate DreamCloud as a medium to medium-firm on the firmness scale. We think it’s a comfortable mattress for all sleeping positions, but not overly perfect for one position in particular.
Due to the coils, firmness and overall thickness of the bed, we also think DreamCloud is a great option for heavier folks (250+ lb). The bed provides more than enough support for these body types. In fact, DreamCloud even made our list for the Best Beds For Heavy People.
Lastly, let us just say that DreamCloud is actually fairly cost-effective considering all you get. You can typically purchase a queen size for around $1,200 (after discount). If you walked into your local mattress store asking for a similar mattress, the MSRP would likely be much higher.
Why we chose this bed – Instead of a sink-in type feel, the bed actually has more of a memory foam feel with a pillow topper touch (and some bounce). You sleep more on top of the bed rather than in it. Don’t get me wrong, the bed is still soft-to-the-touch and comfortable but the Euro-top and layer of memory foam don’t conform to your body all that much. Dillon on our team has been sleeping on a DreamCloud mattress for over a year now and absolutely loves it.
Best Value Memory Foam Mattress
Bear is an all-foam mattress in a box that totals 10″ thick and comes with both gel memory foam and a Celliant cover. That said, the real star of the show is the price tag, which is why we consider it one of the best mattresses for the money. Last we checked, Bear was selling the queen mattress for around $800 pre-discount, which is just amazing.
In terms of firmness, we rate Bear as a medium-firm mattress, or slightly softer—it’s actually really close to the firmness of Nectar. As such, we think all sleeping styles will be just fine on this bed. It does have the dense/viscous feel that’s typically associated with memory foam.
We should point out that the original Bear Mattress is best for petite people along with those with average body types. Given it’s a foam mattress that is only 10″ thick, heavier folks (250 lb+) would be better off with a bed that contains coils for added support—such as Bear Hybrid.
Why Bear was added – We chose Bear for our best memory foam beds list because we don’t think there are many beds that are a better value for your money. It’s a nice memory foam bed with a special Celliant-infused cover that you can’t find many other places.
Best Gel Memory Foam Mattress
The Nectar mattress is an 11″ thick gel memory foam mattress that contains three layers of memory foam. It has a transition layer of hi-core memory foam and then two layers of gel memory foam on top. Considering it contains multiple layers of the stuff, you’d probably think this bed has a fluffy, stereotypical memory foam feel. In actuality, though, it has a somewhat firm, dense gel memory foam feel.
At first, when you lay down on Nectar, it feels like a truly firm memory foam mattress, but after about 5-7 seconds, you slowly sink in and the top layers start to cradle your pressure points.
Overall, we’d rate the mattress around a medium to medium firm on the firmness scale. The gel memory foam actually provides a pretty good balance between support and pressure relief, all things considered. As such, we think the bed accommodates all types of sleepers. It doesn’t matter whether you spend the majority of the night on your side, back or stomach.
Like a few of the other beds on this list, Nectar also comes with a nice added benefit—it has a great value. And not only is it reasonably priced (queen mattress is under $1,000), but the company is almost always running a special where they toss in two free pillows when you purchase a mattress.
Why we chose Nectar – Do you wish you could buy a memory foam mattress from TempurPedic but the prices are a bit steep? We think Nectar Mattress provides a similar dense memory foam feel with a price tag that’s way more wallet-friendly. If you want a gel memory foam mattress, Nectar Mattress is one of the best mattresses.
Best Firm Memory Foam Mattress
There are two “Comfort Levels” with Loom & Leaf. The most popular is the Relaxed Firm, which is about a medium-firm, and is good for all sleeping positions. The Firm model is quite firm and is really only designed for back and/or stomach sleepers who typically gravitate toward firmer mattresses.
It also happens to be one of the thicker, heftier all-foam beds out there, which means it’s a viable option for certain larger individuals.
Perhaps the most unique thing about Loom & Leaf, though, is that in the center third of the bed, on top of the gel memory foam, there is a special strip for temperature regulation purposes. It won’t make you cold, but it does do a nice job of preventing you from heating up excessively. In fact, as a result of that gel strip, Loom & Leaf is one of our favorite cooling memory foam beds.
Why we picked Loom and Leaf – The short story on Loom & Leaf is that it’s an attainable luxury mattress that comes with multiple added benefits. It’s definitely not a bottom-dollar bed per se, but Saatva—the company behind Loom & Leaf—has taken a value approach. In other words, no, it’s not the cheapest bed you can get, but it’s one of the nicest you can get, and the MSRP isn’t crazy. It’s one of the best-rated firm mattresses online.
Best Responsive Memory Foam Bed
Interestingly, they offer five different beds that vary in firmness, thickness, and price, though all of them have gel infused memory foam (which they call “BioPure”). If you want a firm mattress, you will likely prefer AS1, whereas if you want a softer surface, AS5 is just that. If you want something in between, we recommend AS3, which is their most popular choice. All of them, we consider to be really comfortable.
It’s not just about the firmness levels, however. For a few of the beds they offer the all-foam and hybrid version, so you can choose which support system you prefer.
For the queen mattress, the discounted price is usually somewhere around $1K for AS3. That’s very reasonable and we think a pretty good value for the money. As for the king mattress, we usually see AS3 for about $1,200-$1,400.
Why Amerisleep was added – All in all, Amerisleep might not be offered at the same price point as Bear, Nectar, and others, but we do really like their mattresses. They have an interesting, comfortable feel that you won’t experience with many other memory foam beds. Rather than having a dense/slow-responding foam, Amerisleep offers beds that give you pressure relief without the “stuck” sensation.
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Gel Memory Foam vs Traditional Memory Foam
So what’s the difference between gel and non-gel memory foam? When you hear “memory foam,” what comes to mind is most likely traditional memory foam, which is a dense material that cradles your body when you settle in for the night or a nap. It’s a firm material, though it softens up over time or when heat is applied. That’s what creates that sink-in feeling and what makes the mattress sort of cocoon you in the heat that comes off your body.
Gel memory foam, on the other hand, is a newer technology that incorporates – you guessed it – gel into the memory foam. While the overall feel of the material still leans heavily toward the traditional memory foam feel, the gel helps to improve temperature regulation. Basically, that added gel helps to keep you comfortable.
Gel memory foam is a great option for those who love that traditional sink-in memory foam feel, but are not so crazy about getting trapped in their own heat. Like we talked about before, the incorporated gel helps to keep you temperature down, so if you’re a warmer sleeper, but you’re just aching for that good ‘ole foamy feel – a gel memory foam bed has got your name on it.
How Temperature Affects Memory Foam
Memory foam is very sensitive to temperature. The same bed can feel quite different depending on your surrounding environment. For brevity sake, the warmer the room, the more memory foam will sink in. Conversely, the colder the room, the firmer memory foam will feel.
We don’t want to get too far into the weeds but as temperatures rise, viscosity is reduced. For those of you who are new to the term viscosity, all it refers to is the degree of fluidity. Materials and objects with low viscosity behave more fluidly. Memory foam is engineered with visco-elastic polymers, which is why it’s so sensitive to changes in temperatures.
Now we know all this fancy scientific talk might be confusing but we simply wanted to bring it up to explain why some people might feel like their particular memory foam mattress is too pressure relieving or too firm. If you live in Arizona and never turn on your air conditioner, chances are your bed is going to feel a lot more cushioned than someone who lives in North Dakota and only uses a tiny space heater in their room.
Different Pricing Options
If you can only spend $499, you’re definitely looking at more of the quote unquote value memory foam mattresses. That’s okay though, cost-effective doesn’t always mean poor quality. Check out our list of the Best Beds Under $500 for a list of mattresses (including memory foam beds) that we think are a solid value. For a memory foam mattress queen size, we consider them reasonably-priced if they’re under $1 K.
Now if you have a cash reserve of $1K, your options open up quite a bit. As we mentioned above, $1K is sort of the sweet spot in the online mattress space. To tell you the truth, you’ll be inundated with options. The whole process of shopping for a mattress online might even become overwhelmingly with that kind of spending reserve. That’s where we come in. Again, we’ve already done all the hard work for you. Just sit back, relax and check out our list of the Best Mattresses Under $1,000. You’re sure to find a few memory foam options on that list to satisfy your bedding desires. Keep in mind, a lot of online mattress companies regularly offer deals and coupon codes so just because a mattress is listed at $850 doesn’t mean you can’t actually snag it for under $700.
What Is The Best Memory Foam Mattress For Side Sleepers?
The Amerisleep Mattress is offered in “Soft,” “Medium,” and “Firm,” with the additional option of an all-foam or hybrid construction. Accordingly, this makes it a suitable option for side sleepers of all sizes. Petite side sleepers can choose a softer profile to ensure they receive a proper amount of pressure relief, while side sleepers who weigh more than around 230 lbs can opt for the “Medium” option if they want a mattress with a bit more support.
Back And Stomach Sleepers
As one of the firmer memory foam mattresses we reviewed, the Loom & Leaf mattress is a great option for back sleepers. It is offered in a “Relaxed Firm” and “Firm,” and while their Relaxed Firm model is suitable for many sleeping positions, the Firm is a great option for back or stomach sleepers. Generally speaking, the firmer a mattress is, the more support it’s going to offer.
Is A Memory Foam Mattress Good For Back Pain?
High-quality memory foam contours around the body, relieves pressure, and thus, helps to ease back pain. Finding the right memory foam mattress for your sleep style is key. Some memory foam mattresses are softer and airier, while others have a very firm and dense profile. What will work best for relieving our back pain will depend on your sleep style and the quality of foam.
The Best Foam Mattresses
We should clarify this first and foremost since I don’t want any confusion. When we refer to foam mattresses, we’re talking about all-foam beds that only contain foams. We’re excluding spring and hybrid mattresses as well as completely unique beds such as the Purple mattress. From what we’ve seen, however, all-foam beds tend to be the most popular online because they’re (a) generally more approachable in terms of pricing and (b) much easier to pack and ship. That said, there are plenty of great online mattresses that don’t just use foam.
Some people are a bit off-put by the term latex since it sounds rubbery or artificial, but it’s actually quite the contrary. Latex foam has a number of positive elements and characteristics that people completely overlook. But before we discuss those, let’s walk through what latex foam is and its various forms. The material is made from the sap of a rubber tree primarily found in South America. It’s a biodegradable material—a lot of latex mattresses end up on our list of the best natural/organic beds. You will typically see either Talalay latex or Dunlop latex. Both are usually aerated (i.e. have holes) due to the manufacturing process.
Dunlop is usually denser and feels firmer than Talalay, which has been described as “pillowly”. In either case, you still get a number of benefits that are worth exploring. Latex tends to have better responsiveness than does memory foam. That means it returns to shape quickly and therefore makes switching positions relatively effortless. Additionally, they are airy and therefore breath more. Therefore if you’re concerned with temperature regulation, latex is definitely a viable option. In general also, you’ll find it to offer ample support and pressure relief. Just because you probably haven’t experienced many latex foam beds does not mean you should avoid them. In many cases, latex mattresses can be a wonderful, yet typically more expensive, option.
In an effort to differentiate their products, several mattress brands have started creating and marketing proprietary foams. Generally these are still polyurethane-based, but a ‘secrete sauce’ mixed in. Tuft and Needle, for example, has their T&N Adaptive Foam and Casper Mattress has a few in-house foams. Sometimes the brand holds the patents and other times the actual manufacturer just whips up something new for the brand. In either case, there’s no hard and fast rule for evaluating them. Usually the foams are altered to increase airflow and we’ve been pleased with them, but still, you can’t say all are good or bad—you just need to judge them on a one-by-one basis.
In general, the proprietary foams make for some of the most comfortable foam mattresses on the market. They just invest more in the foam and design of the mattress. Casper is a great example. It’s a super comfortable foam mattress that uses special materials you won’t see on many other beds.
Best Foundations, Box Springs & Frames For Memory Foam Beds
To be quite honest, most memory foam beds on the market will work with all sorts of foundations, box springs and bed frames. Chances are, your existing setup will probably work just fine. You won’t need to run out and purchase a new frame or foundation.
However, there are a few tips and tricks we can recommend to make sure your sleep surface remains viable. First, if you use a slat foundation, you’ll want to make sure the slats are no more than 8” apart. Too much space in between slats can lead to sagging and body impressions. Next, if you use a platform foundation, you’ll want to make sure the wood or metal surface is firm enough to maintain proper spinal alignment but also flexible enough to withstand a little movement as well. Really, the bottom line is that you’ll want to make sure your sleep surface is solid, stable and flat. Get rid of anything that is sagging or unsupportive.
If you do need a new foundation and you’re feeling a little frisky, you may want to look into adjustable bed frames. These types of sleep surfaces are neat because you actually change the shape or position of the frame with a touch of a button. For example, if you want to watch TV, you can just elevate the head of the bed so that you’re almost in a seated position. A lot of these adjustable bed frames also come with massage functions built-in.