Memory foam, first developed by NASA and technically known as viscoelastic foam, has become one of the most popular components in mattresses. For many people, memory foam is synonymous with comfort.
This material has earned a loyal following because of its unique characteristics; it compresses in proportion to the weight applied to it and then slowly retakes its full size. As a result, it hugs the body with tailored cushioning, contributing to significant pressure relief.
Thanks to its contouring, memory foam excels at motion isolation and doesn’t make any noise, reducing the chances that you’ll be woken up by a partner getting in and out of bed. Nonetheless, memory foam mattresses aren’t for everyone, as they have potential downsides as well.
Utilizing in-house testing and customer experience data, we’ve made a list of the best memory foam mattresses of 2020. Additionally, we’ve written an in-depth buyers guide to help you figure out a memory foam mattress is right for you
Choose memory foam if:
Skip memory foam if:
More and more mattresses have come on the market using memory foam layers, which has left many shoppers unsure of what distinguishes the best from the rest. We’ve simplified the process and identified the top memory foam mattresses.
Nightly recovery comes more easily on the Amerisleep AS3 thanks to its thick memory foam comfort layer and its cover with a Celliant textile that harnesses the power of infrared energy.
Utilizing multiple layers of memory foam, the Nectar punches well above its price tag with notable pressure relief and a comfort feel with wide appeal.
The Layla mattress is distinguished by its reversible firmness design — letting customers choose between Medium Soft and Firm — with copper-infused memory foam on both sides.
The Loom & Leaf doesn’t cut corners, using high-density memory foam and an organic cotton cover while offering customers free white-glove delivery.
Novosbed, a Canada-based company, has won over customers in the U.S. and its northern neighbor with a quality memory foam mattress available in three firmness levels.
The luxury Pro-Adapt mattress offers top-of-the-line contouring and shows why Tempur-Pedic has been a leading brand for decades.
Having helped kickstart the online mattress boom, the original Casper still brings the goods, delivering a fantastic performance at a competitive price point.
Amerisleep has built a product line of memory foam mattresses that stand out in large part thanks to their thoughtful construction and specialty cover. The AS3 is one of their most popular models and can provide excellent sleep to most sleepers.
The cover of the AS3 is one of its defining features. It is made with a specialty textile called Celliant. This material reflects heat from the body and converts it into infrared energy. Research studies have indicated that these infrared rays may help the body recuperate overnight. As a result, the Celliant cover may contribute to sleeping cooler and recovering more completely.
For the interior construction, the AS3 is made with three layers. The topmost of these is three inches of memory foam, creating a contouring sleeping surface with above-average motion isolation. The second layer is two inches of transition polyfoam using SMT technology for zoned support. The third layer is seven inches of sturdy, high-density polyfoam.
Side sleepers usually appreciate the Medium feel of the AS3 as do many back and stomach sleepers who weigh under 130 pounds. All sleepers get 100 nights to try out the mattress with the option to return it, and over the long haul, the AS3 is covered by a 20-year warranty.
If you want a mattress that offers the benefits of memory foam but are limited by a tighter budget, the Nectar is worth a long look. This mattress features multiple memory foam sections to promote spinal alignment and overall comfort.
The Nectar has a smooth and breathable Tencel cover, and quilted into that cover is one inch of gel-infused memory foam. The second layer is three inches of memory foam that contours to the body but is a bit more firm than traditional memory foam. The third layer is another inch of gel-infused memory foam. As a combined comfort system, these layers cultivate significant motion isolation and spinal support but maintain their structural integrity instead of bottoming out or sinking excessively.
The Nectar has a Medium Firm feel that works for a broad range of people including most side sleepers, especially those over 130 pounds, as well as stomach and back sleepers who weigh less than 230 pounds.
The Nectar’s price point is lower than most memory foam beds; nevertheless, each mattress comes with a 365-night sleep trial that far outlasts those offered by most other companies. This provides an abundance of time to test it out in the comfort of your own home. Nectar also offers a lifetime warranty that covers problems that could arise with defects in materials or craftsmanship.
The Layla’s innovative flippable design, quality construction and competitive price point distinguishes it as one of the best memory foam mattresses. The Layla is two-sided, with a medium (5 out of 10) firmness on one side and a firm (7) feel on the other.
The Layla has two copper-infused memory foam comfort layers on each side. These layers conform closely to the body to relieve pressure — this is especially true of the soft side. The copper infusion is designed to prevent the foam from trapping as much body heat, making the mattress sleep cooler. In between these layers is a support core of high-density polyfoam.
The Layla’s two-sided design gives more versatility among sleepers of different body types and sleeping positions. We recommend the soft side for side sleepers and some back sleepers who weigh less than 200 pounds. The firm side will likely suit back and stomach sleepers over 200 pounds. This mattress performed very well when tested for pressure relief, motion isolation, and durability, making it a good long-lasting option for those with pain issues and couples.
The Layla’s price point is on the low side of average for an all-foam mattress. Layla guarantees their mattress with a 120 night sleep trial and a 10 year warranty — and ships free to the contiguous US.
The Loom & Leaf is the memory foam mattress offered by the well-regarded Saatva company. With high-density memory foam in its comfort system and two firmness options to choose from, the Loom & Leaf is a leading choice for people who want to experience the key features of this material.
Part of the appeal of the Loom & Leaf is its quality materials. The cover is made with breathable and plush organic cotton. Quilted into this cover is a little over half-an-inch of polyfoam.
Underneath the cover are two layers of gel-infused memory foam that achieve a total combined thickness of three inches. The density of those layers is five and four pounds per cubic foot (PCF). Combined with the quilted cover, these layers provide the conforming needed to proportionately cushion each part of the body.
A two-inch layer of transition polyfoam helps hold the line against any excess sink, and a six-inch foam support core rounds out the mattress construction. As a whole, these materials promote excellent motion isolation in addition to contouring.
Customers can choose between a Medium and a Firm option, with the Firm being an especially good fit for stomach and back sleepers and people over 230 pounds.
The Loom & Leaf is delivered with free white-glove service, ensuring a stress-free installation and removal of an old mattress. There’s a 120-night sleep trial with each mattress, but $99 is deducted from any refund to cover the cost of pickup and return shipping. Long-term protection against defects comes from a 15-year warranty.
Novosbed first made its name in Canada but now has production facilities in both the U.S. and its northern neighbor. In each of the firmness choices, the Novosbed comes with a reliable comfort system powered by pressure-relieving memory foam.
The Novosbed is offered in three levels of firmness: Soft, Medium, and Firm. Having this selection lets sleepers in any position and weight find a model that can meet the needs of their body.
The design of the Novosbed is straightforward. The cover is made with a Tencel material that helps wick moisture for comfort cooling. The comfort system has a layer of memory foam and a layer of transition polyfoam. This comfort system effectively isolates motion while offering above-average contouring. A thicker, high-density polyfoam acts as the Novosbed support core.
Novosbed provides free shipping as a bed-in-a-box to the contiguous U.S. and most of Canada, a welcome perk for Canadian customers. The mattress comes with a 120-night sleep trial with unique terms. After 30 nights, you can request a free comfort adjustment if the bed doesn’t feel quite right. After 60 nights, if you find the Novosbed isn’t right for you, you can return it for a full refund. The mattress is backed by a 15-year warranty from Novosbed.
Puffy describes the experience of their flagship mattress as sleeping on a cloud, a state of comfort and support driven by a memory foam layer in the comfort system.
That memory foam layer is two-inches thick and made with the company’s gel-infused CloudComfort foam. Customers report above-average pressure relief to assist with healthy spinal alignment, and people highlight its notable motion isolation that limits nighttime disruptions from a partner’s tossing and turning.
A second foam layer, two-inches thick and made with polyfoam, has less conforming, which keeps sleepers from sinking too far into the Puffy. A six-inch, high-density polyfoam support core creates a stable, noise-free base for the rest of the bed.
A Medium firmness feel makes the Puffy a good fit for sleepers in any position who weigh under 130 pounds. It’s a good match for side sleepers between 130 and 230 pounds because it’s plush comfort level and degree of contouring can soften impact at the hips and shoulders.
Puffy’s sleep trial lets customers try out the mattress for 101 nights with the option to return it for a complete refund. For the long-term, Puffy offers a customer-friendly warranty: it is a lifetime warranty that provides for full replacement of the mattress at no cost if a defect arises in materials or craftsmanship.
One of the most established names in the mattress industry is Tempur-Pedic. The company can boast of its leading role in turning memory foam into a material for use in mattresses after it had first been developed by NASA. For customers who want a luxury memory foam mattress, the ProAdapt certainly fits the bill.
There are three models of the ProAdapt: Soft, Medium, and Firm. All of these models use TEMPUR memory foam, but different foam formulations and layers are employed in each to create a distinct firmness feel. The Firm version is preferred by stomach and back sleepers. Side sleepers and people under 130 pounds tend to prefer the Soft or Medium models.
One of the major benefits of TEMPUR foam is how effectively it contours to the body. This allows it to cradle pressure points to keep the spine well-positioned. It also isolates motion, making disruptions from movement a thing of the past.
The ProAdapt comes with free installation and removal of your existing mattress. Once it is set up in your bedroom, you have 90 nights to see how well it works for you. While you can make a return during this 90-night window, a return shipping fee of $175 is deducted from refunds. The mattress comes with a 10-year warranty covering abnormal defects in materials and manufacturing.
Casper helped prove to the world that customers were looking to the internet for a better way to buy a mattress. The original Casper mattress that powered this revolution still offers customers an excellent all-foam mattress at a competitive price.
The top layer of the Casper is 1.5 inches of an open-cell polyfoam, and the second layer is 1.5 inches of memory foam with a density of 4 PCF. By combining memory foam with a specialty polyfoam in the comfort system, Casper built a mattress with more responsiveness than many other memory foam offerings. While it’s easier to move on top of the Casper, the mattress retains its ability to relieve pressure and prevent excess motion transfer.
The third layer of the Casper is 1.5 inches of a transition polyfoam with a density of 3.5 PCF. The foam is zoned so that it holds up better underneath the body’s weightier areas. The final layer, the support core, is 7.5 inches of high-density polyfoam that serves as a noise-reducing, stable base.
The Casper has a Medium feel that typically works best for back and stomach sleepers under 130 pounds as well as side sleepers under 230 pounds.
Casper’s sleep trial lets you test the mattress for 100 nights with simple, hassle-free returns. A 10-year limited warranty provides coverage in case of a defect in materials or craftsmanship.
You should buy a memory foam mattress if you have experienced pain (either from sleeping or otherwise) , want to feel like you’re sleeping “in” rather than “on” the mattress , and/or value motion isolation to limit nighttime disruptions.
Side sleepers, who have high-impact areas at the hips and shoulders, frequently have great results with memory foam mattresses. Back and stomach sleepers, especially those under 230 pounds, appreciate these beds as well.
Memory foam is not the best fit for people who sleep hot. It may be a poor match for people who need to move easily on top of the mattress (including for sexual activity).
To find the best memory foam mattress, it helps to know the key things to look for so that you can keep your eye on the ball. In general, memory foam provides above-average pressure relief and motion isolation but can sleep hot and permit too much sink for some people. Manufacturers often add components to try to address the downsides, but the actual effects of those design changes are mixed.
As you review specific models, consider the following factors and how important they are for your personal decision-making
If you’ve never tried out a memory foam mattress, it’s natural to wonder what it feels like. While words can’t explain it perfectly, this section gives you an idea:
All forms of memory foam have shared characteristics, but not all memory foams are the same. The feel, durability, and performance can be different depending on the composition and type of the foam as well as its quality.
Traditional memory foam offers the most classic performance of this material. It has deep contouring and motion isolation along with notable heat retention and minimal bounce.
Both its benefits and drawbacks are easily detected, and as a consequence, this type of memory foam is controversial. Some people love its cloud-like hug while others complain about feeling stuck in the foam or overheating on it during the night.
With newer memory foams on the market, traditional memory foam’s use has declined slightly, but it can still often be found in the comfort system of all-foam and hybrid beds.
The manufacturing process for memory foam involves a handful of chemicals, some of which are derived from petroleum. In a plant-based memory foam, sometimes called a “bio” foam, a certain percentage of those petrochemicals are replaced with products that come from plant matter, such as soybean oils.
Plant-based memory foam is appealing for eco-conscious customers, but it is important to note that the plant oils replace some but not all of the petrochemicals.
Because the rest of the manufacturing process is similar, the performance of plant-based memory foam is similar to other types. It may come with a slightly higher price tag than petroleum-based memory foam.
Gel-infused memory foam intersperses a gel material into the foam itself. The gel can be added in a swirl pattern or can be enclosed in small beads that are distributed through the foam.
The goal of infusing gel into memory foam is to try to reduce heat retention. The gels often have properties that are designed to absorb heat from the foam, keeping heat from building up near the sleeping surface and around your body.
Gel-infused foams are common and, depending on the gel used, may provide a modest decrease in heat retention. That said, even these memory foams will heat up more than other mattress materials.
In this type of memory foam, copper-filled beads are intermixed with the foam. These beads are intended to draw heat away from the surface of the mattress. Copper has antibacterial properties, which may help prevent odors and the deterioration of the mattress.
Many products that include copper are marketed as having health-promoting effects on circulation or muscle recovery. To date, there’s limited evidence that copper gel in a mattress has any direct positive or negative effects on individual health.
A great deal of mattress shoppers find themselves deciding between a memory foam or hybrid mattress. Hybrids are built with a coil-based support core and various layers, including sometimes memory foam, layered above the coils.
The following table compares memory foam and hybrid mattresses. As you review it, keep in mind that the performance of hybrids has a wider range because of the multitude of ways that their comfort system can be built.
|Memory Foam Mattresses||Hybrids|
|Support Core||High-Density Polyfoam||Innerspring Coils|
|Comfort System||Memory foam, sometimes with other supplemental layers (polyfoam, latex)||One or more layers of memory foam, polyfoam, latex, micro-coils, wool, cotton, and/or polyester|
|Motion Isolation||High||Low to High|
|Bounce||Low||Medium to Hgih|
|Temperature Regulation||Low||Medium to High|
|Common Firmness||Plush to Medium-Firm||Medium to Firm|
|Expected Durability||6-8 years||6-8 years|
|Price Range||$800 – $2,500||$1,400 – $2,500|
The typical price range for memory foam mattresses goes from $800 to $2,500, but there are options with price tags above and below that range. A number of factors can influence the cost of these beds:
Even for higher-end models, there are often discounts or promotions that can give customers significant savings from the sticker price.
Many mattress manufacturers list the specifications of the foam employed in their mattress. Two of the most helpful specifications are density and indentation load-deflection (ILD).
Density is measured in pounds per cubic foot (PCF), which is calculated by weighing a 1 foot by 1 foot by 1 foot cube of the foam. For memory foam used in a mattress comfort layer, 3.5 PCF is about average. Higher density memory foam is usually 4-5 PCF.
The density of the foam can affect the feel, but not all high-density foams are firm. Instead, the biggest impact of density is on longevity of the mattress. Higher density usually correlates with a longer lifespan. Additionally, high-density foam generally recovers its shape slower, giving it that slow-responding feel traditionally associated with memory foam.
ILD provides an indication of how easy it is to compress the foam. It is measured with a special device that applies force to the foam until it reaches a certain level of indentation. The higher the ILD, the firmer the foam will feel. For a broad sense of what ILD numbers mean,
You can look at listed foam ILD to get a sense of how a mattress may feel, but keep in mind that a mattress is made with multiple layers, each of which plays a part in the overall feel and performance. In addition, not all companies calculate ILD in the exact same way, so ILD alone is not always a reliable way to assess mattress firmness.
Most memory foam mattresses last from six to eight years before having issues with sagging or diminished performance. This lifespan is longer than most innersprings and airbeds, similar to hybrids, and shorter than all-latex beds.
Some memory foam mattresses may last for more or less than the 6-8 year average. Issues that can affect longevity include:
Higher-end foams tend to cost more, but that investment often pays off over time. Opting for better materials and then taking care of the mattress can contribute directly to a longer useful life for your bed.
Now that you’ve got a strong base of information about memory foam mattresses, there are only a few other issues to cover to round out your knowledge.
When a foam mattress is made, certain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are created, and those become sealed in when the mattress is compressed and prepared for shipping. As a result, when it is first installed, the mattress can “off-gas” those VOCs. There is no health risk from this, but it can cause an unpleasant odor. This smell is temporary and should fade within a few hours to a few days, especially if your bedroom is well-ventilated. This issue doesn’t affect overall satisfaction for the majority of customers, but if you’re extremely sensitive to smells or VOCs, a foam mattress may not be the best option for you.
A sleep trial is a way of describing the return window for a mattress, and it lets you test out the bed in your own home to make sure that it is the right fit for you. Because you can’t feel them out before buying them, most online mattresses come with a risk-free trial of 100 nights or more, and we advise buying a product that comes with this type of return policy.
Your mattress is just one part of your bed; another part is your bed frame. Make sure that the frame you use is in accordance with the mattress warranty. This enhances performance and keeps your warranty valid. If you don’t already have a quality frame, include the cost of a new one in your budget.
Bedding is another aspect of setting up your bed that is worthy of your consideration. For example, breathable sheets or a lighter comforter may be helpful if you buy a memory foam mattress and are concerned about sleeping hot. You also want a quality pillow that works in conjunction with your mattress to promote spinal alignment.
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