When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Products or services may be offered by an affiliated entity. Learn more.

Jackson Lindeke
By Jackson Lindeke
Why Trust Sleep Foundation

When it comes to deep contouring for spinal support, few materials can match up with viscoelastic foam, more widely known as memory foam. Originally engineered by NASA, it’s now found in a variety of products, most notably in mattresses.

While luxury brands like Tempur-Pedic helped kick off the popularity of memory foam mattresses, you don’t have to shell out a small fortune to get the benefits of this pressure-relieving material. Quality memory foam mattresses are available at accessible prices, but it’s important to shop wisely to make sure that you really get your money’s worth.

We’ve selected the five best cheap memory foam mattresses for people who are shopping on a budget. Though these models aren’t laden with souped-up features, they are dependable and allow sleepers to take advantage of the comfort and support of memory foam. Beyond our top picks, we review the benefits of memory foam mattresses, how to choose one, and key buying logistics, including how to find the best deal on a new bed.

If you’re interested in learning more about other mattress options and seeing the best picks of the year, have a look at our guide to the best mattress of 2024.

The Best Mattress Deals of the Week

In-Depth Reviews

“The Nectar delivers everything we love about memory foam mattresses without the steep price-tag. A true medium firm feel ensures above-average support, the foam layers absorb motion exceptionally well, cooling components help offset uncomfortable heat retention, and you can test out the mattress for an entire year before committing to it.” – Danny Noyed, Senior Product Editor

  • Pros

    1. Exceptional contouring from memory foam

    2. Cooling cover and gel-infused comfort layer aim to combat heat retention

    3. One-year sleep trial and lifetime warranty

  • Cons

    1. High potential for strong initial off-gassing

    2. Limited support for stomach sleepers over 230 pounds

Mattress Type

Foam

Firmness Options

Medium Firm (6)

Price Range

$359 – $1,098

Trial Period

365 nights

Customer Reviews

Andrea O.

5/5

“I have a history of waking throughout the night with low back pain, hip pain and/or arm numbness. This is not happening on the Nectar. At first laying on it, it feels like it will be too firm, but it softens where you need it and maintains great support.”

Cameron T.

5/5

“Was skeptical at first, but after 5 nights my body adjusted and I haven’t slept this good in years. Don’t wake up to the wife getting up in the middle of the night and we both sleep sound into a deep REM sleep and feel rejuvenated.”

Daniel W.

4/5

“This mattress is fantastic. My wife and I chose it so we would not bother the other person when we move in our sleep. In that regard, it’s great! However, it gets very hot throughout the night.”

The Nectar is one of our top choices for finding a top-notch value on an online mattress. Featuring multiple layers of memory foam with a combined height of five inches, the Nectar delivers serious pressure relief at a competitive price.

Two foam layers form the Nectar’s comfort system. The top layer is 2 inches inches and includes gel-infused foam to combat heat buildup in the part of the mattress closest to the body. Next is a 3-inch transitonal layer of polyfoam that prevents you from sinking too deeply into the mattress.

The total of five inches of foam gives this mattress ample ability to cushion even the sharpest pressure points. As a result, it encourages a healthy spinal alignment, and at the same time, cuts down on motion transfer from a bed partner tossing and turning. A high-density polyfoam support core stops the mattress from sinking or sagging too deeply.

With a Medium Firm (6) feel, the Nectar has wide appeal for sleepers in different positions. In particular, it works well for all side sleepers and for back and stomach sleepers who weigh under 230 pounds.

On top of the solid price and performance, Nectar sweetens the pot with free shipping, an industry-leading 365-night sleep trial, and a lifetime warranty that has you covered for as long as you own the mattress.

“With the Leesa Original, balance is a defining quality. The mixed-foam comfort system is both adaptive and responsive, so you’ll feel a slight bounce when you get into bed and gentle cradling as your body settles, but the dense base provides great overall stability.” – Jackson Lindeke, Executive Director

  • Pros

    1. Adaptive all-foam design cushions the body and reduces pressure along the spine

    2. Top layer is aerated to help the surface stay cool

    3. Excellent motion isolation and no noise

  • Cons

    1. Strong off-gassing after the mattress is unboxed

    2. Back and stomach sleepers over 230 pounds may sink excessively

Mattress Type

Foam

Firmness Options

Medium (5)

Price Range

$849 – $1,599

Trial Period

100 nights (30 night requirement)

Customer Reviews

Rad123

5/5

“It has so much helped with my pain management … the contouring of the bed to my body helped ease my pain… it’s 3 years since we bought it and it’s one of the best gifts my husband gave me.”

Katherine

3/5

“The chemical smell hasn’t faded much and it’s been over 30 days. I bought it for my 2 year old’s first big bed and wish I had chosen another mattress to be honest.”

Pttergal

4/5

“Love this mattress. Very comfortable and sleepable. The only fault I have is that I can’t really sit on the edge as it is soft and does not support me sitting on the edge to put on my shoes.”

Although comfort is a subjective quality, some memory foam mattresses can accommodate a wider range of sleepers than others. The Leesa Original’s adaptive all-foam design finds a nice balance between close body contouring and sturdy support. Our hands-on tests show the medium (5) feel makes this mattress best suited to people who weigh up to 230 pounds regardless of their primary sleep position, though the highest ratings came from side sleepers in this weight range.

The topmost layer consists of open-cell polyfoam, a material engineered to hug the body without trapping too much heat. The memory foam transitional layer adds extra cushioning while pushing back against your weight and keeping your body on an even plane. High-density base foam makes up the support core, and a breathable knit cover styled in Leesa’s signature stripe pattern encases the mattress.

Motion isolation proved to be one of the Original’s key strengths during our hands-on tests. All three foam layers collectively absorb movement and prevent motion from transferring across the surface. This allows you and your partner to remain sleeping soundly when the other person changes positions or gets up during the night. The open-cell foams also resist heat buildup well, so the Original won’t feel as warm as many competing all-foam models.

In addition to its reasonable price-point, the Original qualifies for free ground shipping to all 50 states and each customer receives two complimentary Leesa pillows with their order. Your purchase comes with a 100-night sleep trial. Those who return their Original during this time frame receive a full refund, but the mattress is backed by a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty if you decide to keep it.

“The no-frills, dual-layer Layla Essential provides medium firm support for sleepers who want light contouring without a deep hug. Our tests show the balance of cushioning and pushback is ideal for side sleepers prone to pressure buildup in their shoulders and hips.” – Logan Foley, Editorial Director

  • Pros

    1. Memory foam comfort layer contours closely for excellent pressure relief

    2. All-foam design absorbs motion and noise

    3. Available at a reasonable price-point

  • Cons

    1. Off-gassing odor may be harsh for the first 48 hours

    2. Back and stomach sleepers over 230 pounds may not receive adequate support

Mattress Type

Foam

Firmness Options

Medium Firm (6)

Price Range

$449 – $699

Trial Period

120 nights

Customer Reviews

Kassy

4/5

“We put these in my sons room in his two twin beds and they’re perfect for the space! He sleeps comfortably and I also find them super comfy as well!”

Anthony L.

5/5

“Good medium feel — not too firm, not too soft. Sleep great every night.”

Edward

5/5

“I’m impressed. This mattress is the best thing I’ve ever slept on, just so good. Great feel, not too memory foamy/muddy and I have no issue with heating up in bed like I used to.”

The Layla Essential Mattress offers close contouring to relieve pressure buildup while a medium firm (6) feel helps maintain even support. This balanced design is comfortable for a wide range of sleepers and helps reduce aches and pains in the morning.

The mattress has a two-layer design, with 2 inches of open-cell memory foam on top and 7 inches of high-density polyfoam as the base. The profile is thinner than many other mattresses we’ve tested, but the memory foam does a nice job of adapting to your body to alleviate painful pressure points. Meanwhile, the polyfoam prevents your midsection from sinking too deeply into the mattress. The cover is made from polyester with 2% Lycra for a slightly stretchy quality.

The Layla Essential earned the highest marks from testers who sleep on their side or back and who weigh roughly between 130 and 230 pounds. The memory foam helped ease pressure off their shoulders, hips, and spine, while the medium firm feel kept their bodies on a nice even plane. Stomach sleepers under 130 pounds also found the mattress very comfortable. If you weigh over 230 pounds, you’ll sink deeper into the mattress and may not receive sufficient support.

Like many other foam mattresses, the Layla earned stellar ratings in our motion isolation tests. Couples looking for a more even surface and better edge support for sex will appreciate this model, since the medium firm feel results in fairly stable edges compared to other foam models we’ve tested.

Layla ships free to customers living in the contiguous U.S. Mattress purchases come with 120-night sleep trials to test the mattress. If you decide to keep the Layla Mattress, it is backed by a 10-year warranty against structural defects.

“The flippable Helix Kids is designed to support your child between ages 3 and 12. The firmer side promotes proper growth and development in their younger years, while the softer surface provides more cushioning to help them sleep comfortably as they get older.” – Jeremy Klein, Senior Product Testing Manager

  • Pros

    1. Flippable design with each surface geared toward kids in different age groups

    2. Both sides encased in a water-repellent cover

    3. Shared coil system has reinforced edges to prevent sinkage

  • Cons

    1. Not suitable past the age of 12

    2. Heavy design requires at least two people to flip

Mattress Type

Hybrid

Firmness Options

Medium Soft (4), Medium Firm (6)

Price Range

$599 – $799

Trial Period

100 nights (30-night requirement)

Customer Reviews

Kaitlin A.

5/5

“Very comfortable! Love the fact that I can flip the mattress when my daughter gets older. I’ve slept in this bed myself and found it very comfortable.”

Boris P.

4/5

“Wonderful mattress! It is nice and supportive and comfortable. I only wish that it had been aired out a bit before arriving due to the new smell.”

Daniel W.

4/5

“The bed is nice, but it seems like my daughter is still adjusting to how firm it is. She is three but we already flipped it over to the 8 to 12 side to see if she sleeps better with a bit more cushion.”

Many mattresses are suitable for children to use, but the Helix Kids is one of the only models on the market with a design that targets specific age groups. A flippable hybrid, the Kids features a distinct firmness level on each side. The medium firm (6) surface provides great overall support to aid the proper development of children between the ages of 3 and 7, while the medium soft (4) side cushions the body to alleviate pressure in growing kids between the ages of 8 and 12.

The firm side features a dense polyfoam comfort layer that conforms to the body without sinking too much. The opposite surface is constructed with gel-infused memory foam that adapts more closely without trapping too much heat. A shared support core of individually pocketed coils is found between the foam layers. These coils are reinforced along the perimeter to prevent excessive sinkage when your child sleeps close to the edges of the mattress. The coils also promote airflow to help the mattress stay cool.

As an added precaution, each side also contains a fire barrier. The cover is treated with a non-toxic water-repellent solution, so the mattress won’t be damaged if the child wets the bed. An antimicrobial shield applied to the cover is intended to combat odor and keep the mattress smelling fresh.

Twin and full sizes are available, so the Kids is compatible with bunk beds. In addition to a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty that covers structural defects as long as your child needs to use the mattress, you can also opt for accidental damage coverage. Shipping is free for orders to all 50 states, and each purchase is backed by a 100-night sleep trial.

“The Emma Original toes that line between deep cushioning and sturdy support, resulting in a true medium feel. Side sleepers on our team who weigh up to 230 pounds were thoroughly impressed with this mattress, as were those who normally sleep hot on foam surfaces.” – Lauren Fountain, Senior Product Editor

  • Pros

    1. Plush, adaptive foam layers contour closely to alleviate pain and pressure points

    2. Excellent motion isolation and no noise

    3. Each order is backed by a year-long sleep trial

  • Cons

    1. Lacking in support for back and stomach sleepers over 230 pounds

    2. Strong off-gassing smells after unboxing

Mattress Type

Foam

Firmness Options

Medium (5)

Price Range

$599 – $1,349

Trial Period

365 nights

Customer Reviews

Nicole

4/5

“If you’re within the range of 130-160 lbs and a side sleeper, this is tooooo firm. It’s very good for back sleeper.”

Natalie B.

3/5

“Super delivery service, immediately slept well and no pressure points. But now after 1.5 years, I realize that the mattress is too soft and my almost daily back pain comes from the mattress.”

Meg

5/5

“The mattress is perfect. Not too soft and not too firm. It’s just right. I don’t wake up with hip, shoulder, and lower back pain anymore. It does run a little warm but percale sheets and a cotton blanket help wonders with that.”

Memory foam mattresses are popular with sleepers who have sharp pressure points because of their close, even contouring. The Emma Original Mattress’ balanced, medium (5) feel and adaptive all-foam design ensures plenty of padding for these sleepers without too much sink.

The Emma Original’s topmost layer is composed of memory foam for a plush surface feel when you get into bed. The three underlying polyfoam layers are progressively denser, which helps maintain an even surface as your body settles into the mattress. At 12 inches thick, the mattress is considered a high-profile model. A breathable polyester-blend cover encases all of the foam layers. You can remove and machine wash the cover to keep your sleep surface clean and hygienic.

In addition to side sleepers, our tests show the Emma Original provides adequate support for back and stomach sleepers up to 230 pounds. The mattress also performed well for motion isolation — an important factor for couples. Our testers noticed little to no motion transfer when lying side by side on the mattress, and this is due to the memory foam’s slow response to movement. We recommend the mattress to anyone who loses sleep over their partner’s position changes during the night.

In addition to its affordable pricing, the Emma Original qualifies for free ground shipping throughout the contiguous U.S. California residents also receive free haulaway of their old mattress upon request. Emma’s generous sleep trial allows you to test the mattress for up to 365 nights. Should you decide to keep it, you’ll also receive a 10-year warranty against structural defects.

“Silk & Snow’s flagship Original Mattress features an adaptive memory foam surface and supportive base layers. There’s some noticeable contouring as your body settles into the mattress, but deep sinkage shouldn’t be an issue if you weigh 230 pounds or less.” – Jackson Lindeke, Executive Director

  • Pros

    1. Mixed-foam design closely contours to the body without sinking too deeply

    2. Silver infusion in cover meant to regulate temperature

    3. Memory foam top layer absorbs most movement and noise

  • Cons

    1. Potentially too soft for back and stomach sleepers over 230 pounds

    2. Foam layers emit harsh initial off-gassing odor

Mattress Type

Foam

Firmness Options

Medium (5)

Price Range

$600 – $900

Trial Period

100 nights (30-night requirement)

Customer Reviews

Maureen S.

3/5

“This bed was amazing for the first month or so because it was nice and firm, then started slightly sagging. I rotate it monthly, but there are indentations where I sleep.”

Roger

5/5

“I have been sleeping on the mattress for 8 months. The mattress still remains oddly firm and yet soft at the same time. I sleep through the night and even find myself sleeping in on the weekend now and then.”

Laurie M.

4/5

“At first it was hard to get used to but now I love it. I don’t feel my partner get out of bed which is a plus.”

The Silk & Snow Mattress’ mixed-foam design balances cushioning and support, creating a surface many of our testers found comfortable. We recommend this pick to anyone with sharp pressure points who need significant contouring without sinking too deeply.

A layer of gel-infused memory foam begins the comfort system. This layer adapts to the body to relieve pressure points, while the gel infusion is meant to combat heat retention. Underneath is a polyfoam transitional layer that ensures your weight is evenly distributed across the mattress surface. High-density polyfoam makes up the support core, offering pushback to the midsection and shoulders to prevent uncomfortable sagging. A stretchy, breathable cover made from a polyester and spandex blend encases the mattress. This cover is infused with silver fibers engineered to keep the surface cool.

The Silk & Snow falls at a 5 on our 10-point firmness scale, earning high marks from our team’s side sleepers. Those who frequently use this position benefit from a plusher surface that can relieve pressure in sore shoulders and hips. Our back and stomach sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds found it comfortable as well, but most other sleepers who use these positions will find they sink too deeply.

We highly recommend the mattress to couples thanks to its high rating in our motion isolation tests. Our testers found little to no motion transfer or noise when moving across the mattress. The mattress also retains less heat than other foam models we’ve tested. This is likely thanks to the breathable cover and cooling technology.

Silk & Snow ships free to customers living in the contiguous U.S. and provincial Canada. It also offers a 100-night sleep trial, during which you can test the mattress and return it for a full refund after a 30-night break-in period. The Silk & Snow Mattress is backed by a 15-year warranty.

“The Dreamfoam Essential is available in five firmness and profile combos, making it one of the most versatile memory foam mattresses we’ve tested — as well as one of the most affordable. A wide range of sizes serves RV owners, couples with adjustable beds, and homeowners seeking a mattress for their guest room.” – Brad Nehring, Senior Product Manager

  • Pros

    1. Five thickness options, each with a different firmness level

    2. All-foam design reduces pressure relief

    3. Memory foam prevents excessive motion transfer

  • Cons

    1. Strong off-gassing smells after mattress is unboxed

    2. No exchanges available during the trial period

Mattress Type

Foam

Firmness Options

Medium Soft (4), Medium (5), Medium Firm (6), Firm (7), Firm (8)

Price Range

$206 – $862

Trial Period

120 nights (30-night requirement)

Customer Reviews

James S.

4/5

“Mattress delivered promptly. Unwrapped easily. Seems a little firmer than expected. Nice nonetheless.”

Robert S.

2/5

“Too firm for my wife. We’re going to have to buy a memory foam topper to be able to comfortably use it.”

Angie S.

5/5

“I love my new bed! It’s light to move around (when changing the sheets or making the bed), it’s comfortable (i added a foam topper) with my fussy back, and it’s just the right amount of firm.”

The Dreamfoam Essential is an all-foam bed that comes in an impressive array of profiles, firmness levels, and sizes. Memory foam on the surface helps ease painful pressure buildup in your spine and lumbar region, while denser foam underneath generates firmer support. This is an ideal choice for fans of foam beds who need a balance of cushioning and support to alleviate back pain.

You can purchase the Essential in five thickness options — 6, 8, 10, 12, or 14 inches. The thicker beds are softer and the thinner beds are firmer, with firmness levels rating medium soft (4), medium (5), medium firm (6), firm (7), and firm (8). All models begin with a comfort layer composed of memory foam, which contours closely to your body — with thicker memory foam layers in the higher profile models.

The 12- and 14-inch models feature a transitional polyfoam layer that deepens contouring but has a denser composition than memory foam to prevent you from sinking too deep. This is followed by a thick high-density polyfoam base. The thinner three models lack a transitional layer and are composed simply of memory foam and a high-density foam base.

Given the range of firmness options, many testers on our team found a model that suited them. Side sleepers up to 230 pounds and back sleepers under 130 pounds gravitated toward the thicker, softer models, since these sleep positions benefit from cushioning for the shoulders, hips, and spine. Sleepers above these weight ranges sank more deeply into the bed and reported insufficient support. Stomach sleepers under 130 pounds gave higher ratings to the 6- and 8-inch models, since this sleep position fares better on firmer, flatter surfaces.

The 12- and 14-inch models offered excellent motion isolation and pressure relief during performance tests, thanks to the deep compression of the memory foam surface. If you’re more concerned about edge support, the thinner models performed well in this area.

In addition to standard sizes, the Dreamfoam is available in non-conventional sizes such as short full, short queen, Olympic queen, short king, and a wide range of RV sizes. Dreamfoam offers 120 nights to try out the mattress in the comfort of your home. If you decide to keep the bed, you’ll receive a 10-year warranty. Shipping is free to residents in the contiguous U.S.

“Siena gives you more bang for your buck than most mattress brands with memory foam models. You get a three-layer design with an adaptive surface and strong support layers, as well as a breathable cover to offset heat retention.” – Danny Noyed, Senior Product Editor

  • Pros

    1. Medium firm all-foam design adapts to the body without too much sink

    2. Foam layers absorb movement to ensure excellent motion isolation

    3. Affordable pricing and a six-month trial for all orders

  • Cons

    1. Too soft and adaptive for people who prefer mellow contouring

    2. Edges may sink excessively when bearing weight

Mattress Type

Foam

Firmness Options

Medium Firm (6)

Price Range

$199 – $499

Trial Period

180 Nights

Customer Reviews

Alexander J.

3/5

“The mattress is pretty good for its price. I typically do not like all foam mattresses for the fact that you really sink into them, so I only bought it because of the low price and i like to think for what I paid it was worth it.”

Tim W.

5/5

“I got this for my guest bedroom so my sister had a nice bed when she visited. I liked it so much I switched my memory foam mattress for this one after she left.”

Justine S.

5/5

“I got a twin for my 3 year old and he sleeps great on this mattress. The price, shipping and set up were all a great experience, thanks for making this easy!”

Thanks to its all-foam construction, the Siena Memory Foam Mattress excelled during our motion isolation tests. This means you and your partner should be able to sleep soundly when the other person changes positions in bed or gets up during the night.

The mattress is constructed with three foam layers designed to feel progressively denser and more supportive as your body sinks into the surface. A top memory foam layer contours closely, the transitional polyfoam adds extra cushioning while keeping your body on an even plane, and the high-density foam base stabilizes the entire mattress. The result is a medium firm (6) feel with even conforming and minimal sinkage.

During our tests, the Siena was a hit across different sleeper types. The mattress earned particularly favorable reviews from side sleepers weighing 130 to 230 pounds, and back and stomach sleepers weighing less than 130 pounds, but most testers received a comfortable balance of cushioning and support.

In addition to its affordable pricing, the Siena Memory Foam Mattress ships free of charge to customers in the contiguous U.S. Each order comes with a generous 180-night sleep trial, giving you plenty of time to sleep on the mattress and decide whether it’s right for you. Those who keep their Siena also receive a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty that covers structural and material defects.

“A lot of memory foam mattresses we’ve tested struggle with temperature control, but the Cocoon Chill’s cooling phase change cover makes a world of difference. You can enjoy the contouring and cradling of adaptive foam without the bothersome heat buildup.” – Logan Foley, Editorial Director

  • Pros

    1. Phase change material regulates temperature and prevents heat buildup

    2. Memory foam contours evenly to reduce pressure throughout the body

    3. Excellent motion isolation and no noise

  • Cons

    1. Harsh off-gassing smells at first

    2. Perimeter may sink when you lie close to the edge

Mattress Type

Foam

Firmness Options

Medium Firm (6)

Price Range

$619 – $1,389

Trial Period

100 Nights (30-Night Requirement)

Customer Reviews

Red

5/5

“Very comfortable sleeping mattress. Wake up with no aches and pains, and well rested.”

“Good Sleep”

4/5

“I actually like the mattress as a 170-lb, 5’7″ side sleeper. Just waiting for the smell to dissipate.”

Leah

3/5

“I’ve had this bed for a little over a month and my back is back to its old achy self. My partner has been complaining recently too. It’s a bit too soft for the support we need.”

Memory foam mattresses have a tendency to sleep hot, but the Cocoon Chill lives up to its name thanks to phase change material (PCM) infused into the cover. PCM draws heat away from your body and releases it to ensure the surface stays cool regardless of how warm you feel or the ambient temperature.

The Cocoon Chill has a medium firm (6) feel, making it ideal for sleepers who weigh 130 to 230 pounds. Side sleepers receive ample cushioning, which can improve their spinal alignment and alleviate pressure in the shoulders, hips, and other sensitive areas. Back and stomach sleepers in this weight range should also be able to rest comfortably without sinking too much. Like other memory foam mattresses, the Chill excels at motion isolation and does not produce any noise. This means you can sleep soundly without disturbances whenever your partner changes positions or gets in and out of bed.

The mattress has a price-point that’s in line with the average memory foam model and ground shipping is free for all orders in the contiguous U.S. Your purchase will include a sleep trial that allows you to test out the mattress for up to 100 nights.

Dive Deeper – In-Depth Mattress Guides

Still not sure if you’ve found the right mattress for your needs? We’ve tested tons of mattresses at different price points to help you land on one that you’ll love.

How to Choose a Cheap Memory Foam Mattress

To get the best value on a low-cost memory foam mattress, you need to know what to look for and what to ignore. Keeping your focus sharp will help avoid winding up with a poorly built mattress that causes your sleep to suffer.

What to Look for in a Mattress

It’s not uncommon to come across some bold — and even confusing or misleading — marketing hype in the mattress industry. Unfortunately, for some customers, this can draw their attention away from the most important factors to consider.

To keep this from happening to you, when researching different mattresses, consider which of the following key issues are most critical for you and how the options you’re researching stack up in those areas.

  • Price: If you’re looking for a cheap mattress, obviously price is an essential consideration. You can rule out the high-end, luxury mattresses and focus on those with a more accessible price. It also helps to be on the lookout for promotions and discounts.
  • Quality Materials: As you might expect, some budget mattresses cut corners when it comes to the quality of their components. Look for beds with a solid design, well-built components, and a track record of success as this will bode well for the bed’s durability and performance.
  • Firmness Level: Firmness is fundamental to mattress comfort and satisfaction, so you want to pick a bed with the right feel. On the 1-10 firmness scale, with 10 being the firmest, most people prefer a mattress between Medium Soft (4) and Firm (7). Stomach and back sleepers normally do best with firmer options than side sleepers.
  • Pressure Relief: The ability to cushion the body’s sharpest pressure points is a standout feature of most foams and especially memory foam. However, you want to make sure the comfort system, including the memory foam component, is thick and robust enough to accommodate your body.
  • Edge Support: If you often find yourself sitting or sleeping near the edge of the bed, then solid edge support is important. Unfortunately, because of the way foam compresses, memory foam beds can be weak in this area. A dense support core or transition foam layer can help improve edge support.
  • Contouring: Contouring refers to the way a mattress can adjust to the body with a hug-like feel. Some sleepers like deep contouring, especially if they have major pressure points, while others prefer more limited hug. As a general rule, memory foam has well above-average contouring.
  • Temperature Regulation: Sleeping hot can be a real issue for some people, and the problem can be pronounced on memory foam. This can happen because of how the foam fits tightly to the body, gets softer as it warms up, and is limited in ventilation. While this material typically sleeps warm, features like open-cell or gel-infused memory foams may modestly reduce heat retention.
  • Ease of Movement: If you can’t move on a bed, it may feel like lying on quicksand, which can be especially troublesome for combination sleepers and people with an active sex life. The best way to maintain ease of movement is to have bounce and more moderate hug, which is why some memory foam beds are not strong performers in this category.
  • Motion Isolation: When one person stirs in bed, it can be disruptive to their bed partner and may jar them awake. Motion isolation can help prevent this by decreasing how much movement is felt across the mattress. This is a strength of most memory foam beds, which makes them popular with many couples.

Types of Memory Foam

A number of formulations of memory foam are used in mattresses. While there isn’t a standardized nomenclature, there are some terms that can be useful to know.

Traditional memory foam refers to the classic form of this material that is usually quite soft with deep contouring, top-notch motion isolation, little-to-no bounce, and considerable heat retention.

Updates to the traditional memory foam can take different forms. Open-cell foam creates more room for air to pass through the foam itself and may slightly cut down on heat buildup. Infused foams have other materials mixed into the foam. The most common are gel-infused foams, but there are also copper-infused and graphite-infused materials. The primary purpose of these infusions is to decrease heat retention.

Specialty foams are what some manufacturers have formulated in order to make small modifications of the foam’s feel. This is typically done to try to adjust its level of responsiveness or firmness.

High-density memory foam usually has a density rating of 3.5 pounds per cubic foot (PCF) or higher. This means that the foam is heavier and normally holds up better over years of nightly use.

Benefits of a Memory Foam Mattress

Memory foam has won over a huge number of sleepers thanks to its unique feel and multiple advantages.

  • Deep Pressure Relief: For the body’s heavier areas and problem areas for pain, memory foam offers welcome relief. Its ability to compress in proportion to the weight applied to it allows the material to smoothly cushion the body in key areas.
  • Standout Motion Isolation: If your bed partner is constantly moving around, memory foam can keep bothersome ripple effects from their movement from reaching your side of the mattress.
  • Spinal Support: Keeping the spine aligned is crucial to preventing all types of back pain. With its tailored cradling of the body, memory foam works to keep the whole body in a healthy posture.
  • Silent Performance: With memory foam, you get a virtually noise-free mattress; you don’t have to worry about squeaking or other noise that can disrupt your sleep.
  • Solid Durability: Though it won’t last forever, quality memory foam should retain its structural integrity for 6-8 years or longer.

What Can Affect the Price of Memory Foam Beds?

There’s not one foolproof formula for how a mattress is priced; nevertheless, some factors are ordinarily involved in the final price of a memory foam mattress.

  • The total amount of memory foam. More memory foam thickness generally equates to a higher cost.
  • The density of the memory foam. It costs more to produce high-density foam, so it tends to raise the price.
  • Overall mattress height. Because a taller mattress involves more and/or thicker layers and a greater amount of total material, it can translate to a more expensive bed.
  • Quality of construction. Mattresses with a thoughtful design and high-end components usually cost more than those that cut corners in their construction.
  • Cooling components. The inclusion of cooling features, such as special cover materials, gel-infused foam, or copper-infused foam, may elevate the price.
  • Extra features. If a mattress has special features, such as a reversible firmness design or a proprietary material, expect those features to increase the cost of the mattress.
  • Where the mattress is manufactured. Beds made in the United States usually carry a higher price tag than those made in other countries. Mattresses made in China are frequently the least expensive.

Shipping Rates, Returns, and Warranties

As you get ready to buy a memory foam mattress online, it’s helpful to know what to expect when it comes to a number of practical issues such as shipping, returns, and warranties.

Shipping

For most memory foam mattresses bought online, shipping is fast and free. Boxed memory foam mattresses are compressed in plastic packaging and sent to your doorstep in a manageably sized “mattress in a box” that typically arrives within 7-10 days.

Once the mattress arrives, all you have to do to set it up is take the box to your bedroom and remove the packaging. Because of the package’s weight, it’s recommended that two people do this together, especially for a queen size mattress and larger.

The exact shipping terms can depend on the mattress and where it is purchased. If you buy from a third-party retailer like Amazon or Walmart, the cost and timeline of delivery may be different than if a mattress is bought directly from the manufacturer.

Returns

When you buy a mattress straight from the manufacturer, you are almost always offered a sleep trial. During this trial, which is usually 100 nights or longer, you can use the mattress in your own bedroom, and if you aren’t satisfied with it, you can ask for a return and a full refund. To carry out a return, most companies will either pick up the bed from your home or help find a local organization to pick it up. In some cases, you are required to keep the mattress for a few weeks as a “break-in period” before asking for a refund.

If buying from a retailer like Amazon, returns will be subject to the retailer’s policies, and any returns will need to be coordinated with them instead of the manufacturer. In general, retailers offer shorter sleep trials than manufacturers.

Warranties

Whether you buy directly from a mattress company or through a third-party, your mattress should come with a warranty that is extended by the manufacturer.

While a warranty can offer a helpful remedy if your mattress is a “lemon,” it’s important to know that there are limits to what’s covered. A mattress warranty virtually never covers normal wear-and-tear such as minor sagging. In addition, it won’t cover accidental damage from spills or pet accidents.

To determine the quality of coverage provided by the warranty, look at the fine print for three things:

  • The Length of the Warranty: Also known as the warranty “term,” this states how long you are covered.
  • Whether It is Non-Prorated or Prorated: With a non-prorated warranty, the remedy for a defective mattress stays the same over the full term. With a prorated warranty, you have to pay a percentage of repair or replacement costs that increases as you’ve owned the mattress for longer.
  • Who Pays Shipping Costs: If the customer is responsible for transportation costs, going through with a warranty claim can carry considerable expense.

The ideal warranty is at least 10 years long, non-prorated, and stipulates that the manufacturer covers all shipping fees.

Additional Mattress Costs

Setting up your bedroom can involve different types of costs, so choosing an affordable mattress isn’t the only issue that will affect your bottom line. As you map out your budget, consider these potential additional costs:

  • Bed Frames and Foundations: A good frame supports both your body and the mattress, and a weak frame may cause your mattress to wear down faster. Many warranties even require that the mattress be placed on a certain type of frame. If you need to upgrade, a new frame or foundation can cost from around $50 up to hundreds of dollars.
  • Bedding: If you are switching to a new mattress size or just want fresh sheets, pillows, or blankets, build the cost of new bedding into your planning. The price range on all of these products varies substantially depending on their materials and quality.
  • Mattress Removal: If you’re replacing an old mattress, you’ll need to find a way to remove it from your home. Some organizations will pick it up at no charge or for a small fee. Other services charge $50 or considerably more, depending on your location, to pick up an old bed.
  • Expert Assembly: A memory foam mattress doesn’t usually require expert assembly, but if you buy a complex type of frame, you may need to pay for someone to set it up. Depending on the time it takes, this may cost $100 or more.

Get the Best Deal on a Mattress

No matter where you shop or what mattress you’re planning to buy, it’s natural to want to get the best deal. Knowing about the different ways to save can play a big part in getting the lowest price on a new mattress.

Mattress Sales

There are prime times for mattress sales that normally occur each year around certain major holidays. If you’re in no rush to buy a new mattress, waiting until one of these sales rolls around can mean scoring a better deal.

In-Store Sales

  • Black Friday: The Friday after Thanksgiving is a massive shopping day for virtually all products, including mattresses and bedding. Almost all mattress chains, furniture stores, and department stores will offer steep discounts and special deals for Black Friday.
  • Other Holidays: Memorial Day, Labor Day, and other big holidays frequently involve sales events, although they may not be as significant as those on Black Friday.

Online Sales

  • Cyber Monday: The sibling of Black Friday, the Monday after Thanksgiving has become a huge day for promotions for online shopping. Deals are offered directly from manufacturers and on third-party retail sites like Amazon.
  • Prime Day: This sales event for Amazon Prime members spans two days and is held every year in July. Major discounts, including many short-term “lightning deals” are offered on all types of products, and mattresses are no exception.
  • Holiday Sales: Around most major holidays, you can find promotions being offered by online mattress companies. In most cases, the discounts will be available throughout a holiday weekend and will involve a price cut and/or free extras like sheets or pillows.

Not all brands or models will have the same sales, so it can be useful to do a little advanced research starting about a week before any big holiday or sale event.

Coupons, Discounts, and Other Ways to Save

If you’re shopping in-between major holidays or sale days, there are still a number of ways to save.

  • Coupon Codes: A coupon code is entered during the online checkout process, and at that point, a discount is applied before entering payment information. The coupon code could involve a price break, freebies, and/or free shipping. Coupon codes can be found directly from manufacturers and on third-party review sites.
  • Online-Only Promotions: These promos are most often issued by companies that have both physical stores and an online presence, but the deal is not available in the physical stores.
  • Referrals: Being referred to a mattress site can translate to a lower price. The referral may come from a third-party review site or partner of the mattress maker. Referral bonuses can also sometimes come from a friend who has had a good experience with a specific mattress and gets a referral code to give to others.
  • Bundles: Bundles provide a discount on a pack of products. In most cases, this means getting a reduced price if you buy a mattress plus a frame and/or bedding. If you need multiple items, a bundle can be a great deal.
  • Negotiate the Price: Being a skilled negotiator can pay off when mattress shopping, especially in-store where markups are higher and sales people expect you to negotiate. There is less bargaining online, but you can always ask via phone or live chat if there are extra discounts or promotions available.
  • Store Closing Sales: When a store is going out of business, they’ll often clear out their inventory at cut-rate prices. Look for ads on local radio or in the newspaper with details about special store-closing sales.

Still have questions?

Our product experts have extensive experience testing just about every sleep product on the market.

Send an email to [email protected] with your questions and we’ll help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

Learn more about our Editorial Team

Trouble sleeping?

Answer these 5 easy questions to discover your perfect mattress

Trouble sleeping?

Answer these 5 easy questions to discover your perfect mattress

What position do you sleep in?

Side icon

Side

Side icon
Back icon

Back

Back icon
Stomach icon

Stomach

Stomach icon

Do you experience any pain while sleeping?

Back and/or side pain icon

Back and/or side pain

Back and/or side pain icon
Neck and/or shoulder pain icon

Neck and/or shoulder pain

Neck and/or shoulder pain icon
Little to no pain icon

Little to no pain

Little to no pain icon

Do you have any material preferences?

Innerspring icon

Innerspring

Innerspring icon
Foam icon

Foam

Foam icon
No preference/ Other icon

No preference/ Other

Do you sleep hot?

Yes icon

Yes

Yes icon
No icon

No

No icon

Do you sleep with a partner?

Yes icon

Yes

Yes icon
No icon

No

No icon

Back