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Viscoelastic polyurethane foam – better known as memory foam – was first developed by NASA engineers. Memory foam becomes softer and more adaptive when exposed to body heat, allowing it to mold around the unique contours of your body. As it cools, the foam returns to its original shape.

Today, memory foam is one of the most popular mattress materials. For each mattress below, we evaluated the qualities people love most about memory foam, such as even contouring and weight distribution, pressure relief along the spine, and superior motion isolation. Our testing team also singled out particular models based on their performance for certain types of people, such as side sleepers and those who run hot in bed.

Our Verdict – What’s the Best Memory Foam Mattress?
Since memory foam is known for hugging the body, we recommend buying a mattress with proper support to balance out the contouring. We found the Nectar Mattress offers the even contouring and pressure relief that foam is known for, but its firmer feel provides more support than many competing foam mattresses.

Best Memory Foam Mattress Video

Watch our video below to learn more about our lab’s top picks for memory foam mattress.

After checking out our list of picks, you can learn more about memory foam beds with our in-depth guide. We will cover who should buy a memory foam bed, what to look for in a memory foam bed, and other details you may want to know about this type of mattress. If you enjoy the feel of memory foam beds, we recommend checking out our list of the Best Memory Foam Pillows as well.

Product Details

Best Overall

Nectar Mattress

Brand Logo
Price Range: $399 – $1,138
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial Length: 365 nights
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King

Who it’s best for:

  • Side sleepers
  • Budget-conscious shoppers
  • Couples


  • All-foam construction balances contouring and support
  • Memory foam surface provides excellent motion isolation
  • 365-night sleep trial and lifetime warranty

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

25% off sitewide + $500 in free accessories included

Bottom Line

The Nectar is firmer than some other memory foam models we've tested. It has enough give to prevent soreness while staying firm enough to keep your body from sinking too much.

If you’re a fan of memory foam mattresses, you have plenty of options to choose from when shopping for a new bed. Based on our in-house testing, we found that the Nectar Mattress stands apart from the competition for its balance of support and contouring, quality construction, and approachable price-point.

How It Performed

According to our test team, one of the bed’s most noteworthy performance features was the excellent pressure relief. Side sleepers on our team found this mattress to be a good fit since the contouring surface provided ample cushioning for the shoulders and hips, where pressure typically builds up for side sleepers during the night. The foam surface also absorbed motion with great efficiency, making this bed a strong choice for sleep partners who don’t want to disrupt each other’s sleep with nighttime movement.

What It’s Made of

The 12-inch mattress begins with a memory foam comfort layer that contoured closely to the body during testing. With a medium firm (6) feel, the mattress is still firm enough to offer support if you don’t want to sink too deep. Beneath is a transitional layer of firmer polyfoam that further prevents excessive sinkage, followed by a support core of firm high-density polyfoam. The mattress is encased in a cover made from a polyester, nylon, and polyethylene blend.

Nectar offers a generous 365-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty with this mattress. The bed also comes with free shipping and returns throughout the contiguous U.S.

Read our Full Nectar Mattress Review to learn more

Best Value

Silk & Snow Mattress

Brand Logo
Price Range: $600 – $900
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium (5)
Trial Length: 100 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: 15 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Who it’s best for:

  • Hot sleepers
  • Side sleepers
  • Couples who value motion isolation


  • All-foam construction deeply contours to the body to relieve pressure
  • Gel infusions designed to regulate temperature
  • Dense polyfoam layers prevent excessive sinkage

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Silk & Snow mattresses

Bottom Line

The Silk & Snow Mattress is an all-foam model with cooling gel infusions in the comfort system meant to regulate temperature throughout the night. Hot sleepers on our team really enjoyed the mattress and gave it above-average marks in temperature neutrality.

All-foam mattresses have an adaptive feel that’s often great at relieving pressure, but they can also retain too much heat for some people. The Silk & Snow Mattress uses cooling infusions meant to absorb and dissipate excess body heat, earning it higher-than-average marks in our temperature neutrality tests.

How It Performed

The Silk & Snow falls at a 5 on our 10-point firmness scale. The medium feel and foam construction best suited side sleepers on our team, who noted that the foam layers helped reduce pressure buildup in the shoulders and hips. Back and stomach sleepers on our team who weigh under 130 pounds also enjoyed the mattress, but most sleepers who use these positions will likely find a firmer option more comfortable.

Although cooling was one of the mattress’ standout features, it also performed well in other key categories. We recommend the Silk & Snow for couples who value motion isolation. The mattress absorbed most movement transfer and all noise during our tests. You should notice little to no disturbances when your partner changes positions or gets up at night. The mattress also earned high marks in our pressure relief tests, so we recommend it if you experience pressure buildup in your joints.

What It’s Made of

Adaptive memory foam makes up the top layer of the mattress, offering great contouring for pressure points. This layer is also infused with cooling gel intended to regulate temperature on the surface. Next is a layer of dense polyfoam that ensures your weight is evenly distributed across the surface. The support core features high-density polyfoam that prevents you from sinking too deeply into the mattress and keeps your body on an even plane. A polyester and spandex cover encases the mattress.

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

Read our Full Silk & Snow Mattress Review to learn more

Most Comfortable

WinkBeds GravityLux

Brand Logo
Price Range: $1,199 – $1,999
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium Soft (4), Medium (5), Firm (7)
Trial Length: 120 nights (30 night requirement)
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Who it’s best for:

  • Couples or sleepers who are easily disturbed
  • People with back, hip, and/or shoulder pain
  • Hot sleepers


  • Foam comfort system provides exceptional pressure relief and motion isolation
  • Breathable Tencel cover and open-cell foam keeps the mattress cool
  • Choice of three firmness levels

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Get $300 off all mattresses

Bottom Line

The GravityLux has enough firmness options to give most sleepers something to love. The zoned support system keeps your back comfortably positioned, even with the softest model.

The GravityLux by WinkBeds is a memory foam mattress that comes in three firmness levels: medium soft (4), medium (5), and firm (8). Our testers found that the bed optimizes comfort for many different body types and sleep positions regardless of firmness level.

How It Performed

After performing numerous tests on the GravityLux, our testers gave it high marks in the pressure relief and motion isolation categories. This makes it great for people who experience back, shoulder, or hip pain, as well as couples and light sleepers. Since the bed is available in three different firmness options, we think sleepers of all weights and sleeping positions should be able to find a GravityLux model that works for them. While all-foam mattresses inevitably will sleep somewhat hot at night, the open-celled foam makes the GravityLux more temperature neutral than other memory foam beds we’ve tested.

What It’s Made of

The mattress has a Tencel cover, a eucalyptus-derived fabric known for its breathability and durability. The comfort system consists of polyfoam layers and a proprietary AirCell memory foam, which has an open-cell composition to prevent the foam from trapping excessive body heat throughout the night. Under this is a zoned transition layer. We found that the zoned design supports the midsection while conforming to the shoulder and hips. It all sits on top of a high-density polyfoam support core.

As a luxury option, the GravityLux comes at a slightly higher price-point than the average all-foam mattress, but it also stands out due to its quality construction and materials. WinkBeds offers a 120-night sleep trial, a lifetime warranty, and free shipping within the contiguous US.

Read our Full WinkBeds GravityLux Review to learn more

Best for Side Sleepers

Layla Mattress

Brand Logo
Price Range: $749 – $1,249
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium Soft (4), Firm (7)
Trial Length: 120 nights
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Who it’s best for:

  • People whose firmness needs change over time
  • Customers who prefer foam with cooling properties
  • Value-minded shoppers


  • Flippable design offers 2-in-1 firmness
  • Copper-infused foams conform closely and should stay cooler than conventional foam
  • 120-night sleep trial and lifetime warranty

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Get $160 off a Layla Memory Foam Mattress + 2 free memory foam pillows with code: SLEEPFOUNDATION

Bottom Line

The side sleepers on our team found a lot to like about the Layla Mattress. The bed was also easier to flip than other reversible models since it weighs slightly less than average.

The Layla Mattress has an innovative flippable design, quality construction, and competitive price-point compared to other foam beds we’ve tested. The two-sided construction offers a medium (4 out of 10) firmness on one side and a firm (7) feel on the other. We recommend the bed, especially the softer side, for people who need ample pressure relief for sensitive joints.

How It Performed

During our in-house testing, we found that the Layla’s two-sided design had something to offer sleepers of different body types and sleeping positions. The soft side appealed to testers who sleep on their side and some back sleepers who weigh less than 230 pounds. The firm side appealed most to back and stomach sleepers over 230 pounds. This mattress performed very well when tested for pressure relief, motion isolation, and durability, making it a good long-lasting option for couples and those with pain issues.

What It’s Made of

The Layla has a copper-infused memory foam comfort layer on each side. These layers conform closely to your body to relieve pressure — this is especially true of the softer side, which has a thicker memory foam layer than the firmer side. The softer surface also has an additional foam layer that we found enhances cushioning. Both sides share a support core of high-density polyfoam. The cover is composed of a polyester and viscose blend fabric infused with a cooling gel, and the copper infusion in the memory foam is designed to prevent excessive heat retention.

Layla guarantees their mattress with a 120-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty. The bed ships free to the contiguous U.S.

Read our Full Layla Mattress Review to learn more

Best for Couples

Nectar Premier Copper

Brand Logo
Price Range: $1,199 – $2,498
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium Firm (6)
Trial Length: 365 nights
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King

Who it’s best for:

  • Side sleepers
  • People who experience uncomfortable pressure buildup during sleep
  • Couples


  • Thick memory foam layer provides exceptional pressure relief
  • Mixed-foam design offers above-average motion isolation
  • 365-night sleep trial

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

25% off sitewide + $500 in free accessories included

Bottom Line

While most foam beds are known for their cushioned surfaces, the Nectar Premier Copper stands apart from the crowd with an exceptionally plush surface. We highly recommend this bed for pressure relief.

The Nectar Premier Copper is an all-foam bed with an exceptionally thick memory foam top layer. Compared to other foam beds we’ve tested in the lab, the well-cushioned surface excels at absorbing motion, which might appeal to couples trying to minimize sleep disruptions at night.

How It Performed

Our team performed several tests on the Nectar Premier Copper, and one of the biggest strengths by far was its pressure relief. The plush comfort layer cradled our testers’ bodies closely, so the surface reduced pressure buildup in heavier parts of the body. This was especially helpful for side sleepers on our team, who put a lot of pressure on their shoulders and hips during sleep. Back sleepers also found some benefit from the cushioning, though those who weigh above 230 pounds found the medium firm (6) feel a bit too soft to support the lumbar area properly.

The Nectar Premier Copper tends to retain heat, like most all-foam beds. That said, our temperature tests showed that it stays cooler than the average foam bed thanks to the phase change material and cooling gel infused into the comfort layer. The copper fibers are also intended to reduce heat retention on the surface.

What It’s Made of

The mattress has a polyester blend cover infused with copper fibers. The 4-inch comfort layer is composed of plush memory foam, which provides the deep-body hug for which memory foam is known. Below is a thinner layer of polyfoam with a firmer feel. We found the polyfoam prevents the body from sinking too deep into the support core, which is composed of high-density polyfoam. At 9 inches tall, we found this layer was thicker than support cores in other beds we’ve tested, making the bed firmer and more durable than competing foam beds.

Nectar offers a 365-night sleep trial for customers to try out the mattress at home, and a lifetime warranty for those who keep the bed. Shipping to addresses in the contiguous U.S. is free.

Read our Full Nectar Premier Copper Review to learn more
Bear Mattress

Best for Back Pain

Bear Original

Brand Logo
Price Range: $748 – $1,248
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Firm (7)
Trial Length: 120 nights (30-night break-in period)
Warranty: Lifetime warranty
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Who it’s best for:

  • Value seekers
  • Back sleepers
  • Sleepers with sharp pressure points


  • Graphite and gel-infused foams designed to keep you cool
  • All-foam design with a firm (7) feel provides light contouring
  • 120-night trial period and lifetime warranty

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

30% off sitewide + free accessories

Bottom Line

The Bear Original is a balanced mattress at an affordable price. The back sleepers on our testing team found the firm feel extremely supportive, while the foam layers evenly contoured to the body.

The Bear Original offers proprietary cooling technology and high-quality performance at an affordable price-point. We’ve tested many foam beds, and this model had a distinctly firm feel that is somewhat rare for an all-foam mattress. If you’re a back or stomach sleeper, or simply prefer a more supportive mattress, you may want to consider this pick.

How It Performed

We found the Bear’s firmer feel and foam design made it a strong choice for back-sleeping testers who weigh at least 130 pounds. Side sleepers over 230 pounds and stomach sleepers under 130 pounds also appreciated this combination.

Thanks to the thick memory foam comfort layer, this bed excelled in pressure relief. If you frequently experience pressure-induced pain in your joints, you’ll appreciate the close contouring. These foam layers were also excellent at isolating motion. When two testers shared the bed surface, they barely felt each other’s movements. This may appeal to co-sleepers who are frequently disturbed by a partner’s movement.

What It’s Made of

A breathable cover made from a Celliant and polyester blend encases the mattress. During testing, the top memory foam layer evenly contoured to our testers’ bodies to relieve pressure-prone areas. The graphite and gel infusions in this layer are meant to conduct heat away from the body and dissipate it to keep you cool. Underneath is a layer of responsive polyfoam that evenly distributed weight and kept the spine aligned during our tests. The support core features high-density polyfoam, providing stability and limiting excessive sinkage.

Bear ships free to the contiguous U.S. Mattress purchases come with a 120-night sleep trial where you can return the mattress after the 30-night break-in period. The company backs the mattress with a lifetime warranty, covering structural defects.

Read our Full Bear Original Review to learn more
A picture of the Leesa Original Mattress in Sleep Foundation's test lab.

Best Pressure Relief

Leesa Original

Brand Logo
Price Range: $849 – $1,599
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium (5)
Trial Length: 100 nights (30 night requirement)
Warranty: 10 Year, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Who it’s best for:

  • Side and back sleepers
  • Sleepers who frequently experience back pain
  • Couples who value motion isolation


  • Thick foam comfort system closely contours to the body to relieve pressure buildup
  • All-foam construction absorbs most motion transfer
  • 100-night sleep trial

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Up to $700 off mattresses + 2 free down alternative pillows ($120 value)

Bottom Line

The Leesa Original has a medium (5) feel and thick comfort layers that balance cushioning and support for sleepers with back pain. Our testing team found this combination best suited for side and back sleepers.

The Leesa Original has a medium (5) feel and a thick comfort system that may appeal to people prone to back pain. Our tests showed that the combination of adaptive and responsive foams evenly balanced pressure relief and support to help prevent aches and pains.

How It Performed

Our testers found the Leesa’s mid-range feel and all-foam construction made it an excellent choice for side sleepers who weigh up to 230 pounds. Back-sleeping testers who weigh under 130 pounds also found the mattress comfortable. Thanks to the thick memory foam comfort layer, the Leesa scored high marks in pressure relief. This layer has an adaptive feel that helped reduce pain in pressure-prone areas among our testers. The comfort layers also absorbed most motion transfer and noise, so couples and co-sleepers should notice very few sleep disturbances when their partner changes positions at night.

What It’s Made of

Underneath the soft and stretchy polyester-blend cover is a layer of responsive polyfoam that gently cradled the body when we laid on the mattress. Next is a layer of memory foam that closely contours to the body to alleviate pressure buildup in the joints. These layers helped evenly distribute weight across the mattress during our tests, promoting spinal alignment. The support core is composed of high-density polyfoam that provides enough pushback to support the midsection and limit sagging.

The Leesa Original comes at an affordable price, and the company ships free to customers in all 50 states. Purchases come with a 100-night sleep trial, where you can return the mattress after the 30-night break-in period. Leesa backs the mattress with a 10-year warranty.

Read our Full Leesa Original Review to learn more
Nolah Signature Mattress

Best for Spinal Alignment

Nolah Signature 12

Brand Logo
Price Range: $849 – $1,499
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium (5)
Trial Length: 120 nights (30-night requirement)
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King

Who it’s best for:

  • Side sleepers
  • Co-sleepers
  • People who feel pain or pressure points along the spine


  • Proprietary AirFoam intended to cushion the body without trapping heat
  • Foam layers provide very good motion isolation and pressure relief
  • Buyers can save money by opting out of the sleep trial

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

Get an additional $20 off the Nolah Signature Mattress for total savings of $320 with code: SF320

Bottom Line

The Signature 12 has a plush surface, but the secondary layers do a good job of keeping your body on an even plane. Compared to a traditional memory foam bed, sinkage and heat absorption were minimal.

The Nolah Signature 12 is slightly different from the other entries we included on this list. The mattress contains layers of adaptive polyfoam rather than traditional memory foam. This ensures comparable levels of pressure relief without the deep sinkage or excessive heat retention many people dislike about memory foam. Thanks to the polyfoam design, we recommend the Signature 12 for side sleepers and those who tend to sleep hot.

How It Performed

Since the Signature 12 has a medium (5) feel and thick comfort system, we found it best suited to side sleepers – particularly those who weigh up to 230 pounds. Back and stomach sleepers under 130 pounds may also feel adequately supported. The foam layers contoured closely enough to cradle the spine and alleviate pressure caused by uneven alignment. These layers also absorbed motion well to help reduce sleep disruptions for people who share their bed with a partner.

We noticed minimal heat buildup on the surface. The AirFoam’s open-cell design, coupled with a breathable cover, should make the Signature 12 a good option for people who typically sleep hot on traditional memory foam mattresses.

What It’s Made of

The Signature 12’s top layer consists of AirFoam, a proprietary open-cell material designed to contour evenly without trapping too much heat. A second comfort layer of high-resilience polyfoam cushioned the body and prevented our testers from sinking too deeply. This is followed by a denser AirFoam layer, which we found boosted support. The support core is composed of high-density polyfoam, and an organic cotton cover encases the entire mattress.

All customers in the contiguous U.S. qualify for free ground shipping with their Signature 12 order. Nolah offers a 120-night sleep trial, but you may opt out of the return period and save some money on your purchase. The mattress is also backed by a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty.

Read our Full Nolah Signature 12 Review to learn more
Loom & Leaf Mattress

Best Luxury

Loom & Leaf

Brand Logo
Price Range: $1,195 – $3,150
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium Firm (6), Firm (8)
Trial Length: 365 Nights ($99 Return Fee)
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King, Split California King

Who it’s best for:

  • People who experience painful pressure buildup
  • Sleepers who enjoy the deep body hug of foam beds
  • Couples


  • Available in two firmness options
  • Thick memory foam layer excels at pressure relief
  • Above-average support for an all-foam bed

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

15% OFF $1k+

Bottom Line

The Loom & Leaf feels very sturdy and durable, which is not always the case for an all-foam bed. The pressure relief was also exceptional.

The Loom & Leaf Mattress from Saatva is an all-foam bed with above-average support. With higher quality construction than many competing foam beds, the durability of this model justifies the higher price tag.

How It Performed

The multiple foam layers cradle the body and ease pressure off sensitive joints. Side sleepers tend to put pressure on their shoulders and hips, so people who sleep in this position may find this model appealing, especially the softer option. That said, the mattress is suitable for a wide range of body types and sleep positions. Stomach sleepers will likely find the firm option more comfortable, while back sleepers may choose either option, depending on their weight category. The foam surface absorbs almost all motion, making this an excellent choice for those who wish to avoid disruptions from a sleep partner’s movements at night.

What It’s Made of

The mattress is available in two firmness levels, medium firm (6) and firm (8). Both options begin with a breathable organic cotton cover quilted with foam, followed by a plush layer of gel-infused memory foam that conforms closely to your body. A lumbar pad is sandwiched between the memory foam and cover to enhance lower back support. Next is a layer of higher density memory foam, which balances contouring with support. Beneath is a polyfoam layer with a firmness that varies according to which firmness option you choose. The support core is composed of high-density polyfoam for stability.

Saatva offers free White Glove delivery to the contiguous U.S., which means the mattress will be delivered to and set up in the room of your choice free of charge. Customers receive a 365-night sleep trial as well as a lifetime warranty.

Read our Full Loom & Leaf Review to learn more
Puffy Mattress

Best for Combination Sleepers

Puffy Mattress

Brand Logo
Price Range: $649 – $1,398
Mattress Type: Foam
Firmness: Medium (5)
Trial Length: 101 Nights
Warranty: Lifetime, Limited
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King

Who it’s best for:

  • Those who value close-conforming pressure relief
  • Side sleepers up to 230 pounds and back sleepers weighing less than 130 pounds
  • People who sleep with a partner


  • Gel-infused memory foam offers deep-body hug
  • Medium (5) feel results in outstanding motion isolation
  • Conforming surface helps alleviate pressure points

Sleep Foundation Exclusive Offer!

$750 off mattresses and free luxury bundle ($600 worth of accessories – Puffy pillows, sheet set and protector) free with every mattress order – a total saving of $1,350.

Bottom Line

Few mattresses we’ve tested offer the same level of body-cradling as the Puffy. The memory foam responds slowly as you sink into the surface. Side sleepers and anyone else who benefits from a soft mattress should give this one a try.

While all memory foam beds are known for their contouring, the Puffy’s above-average plushness sets it apart from other foam mattresses on the market. If you’re a combination sleeper who switches between back and side sleeping, the Puffy is a worthwhile option that cradles the shoulders, hips, and spine.

How It Performed

Overall the mattress has a medium feel, rating 5 out of 10 on the firmness scale. This is softer than the average foam bed you’ll find, so it’s a good fit for people who need extra cushioning. The foam layers closely cradle your joints, which helps alleviate sore spots and promote spinal alignment for side sleepers who weigh up to 230 pounds and back sleepers under 130 pounds. The Puffy Mattress also has outstanding motion isolation, making it particularly suitable for people who are easily awoken by their partner’s movements.

What It’s Made of

The Puffy features an all-foam construction with a top layer of memory foam. This layer cradles your body closely and is infused with gel intended to reduce heat retention. A transitional layer of cooling polyfoam enhances the cushioning but also has a firmer feel for support. The base layer is composed of high-density polyfoam to stabilize the bed. The mattress is encased in a stain-resistant polyester cover, which is removable and machine washable.

Puffy gives customers 101 nights to try out the mattress, after which it’s backed by a lifetime warranty. Mattresses ship free to the contiguous U.S.

Read our Full Puffy Mattress Review to learn more

Why You Can Trust Us

The team of sleep product experts at Sleep Foundation has tested hundreds of mattresses over the years. Our testing team includes side, back, stomach, and combination sleepers with various body types. This range in our testing group helps us determine who will benefit the most from every mattress we review. Our sleep lab puts each memory foam model to the test to determine its performance in a number of categories.

How We Evaluated These Mattresses

Our team tests each mattress by lying on it, changing positions, and evaluating its support. We also use technology such as body mapping to measure pressure relief as well as thermal cameras that determine heat retention. All of these metrics are important to consider when shopping for a memory foam mattress.

Learn more about our product research methodology below:

  • Motion Isolation: Memory foam beds typically excel in motion isolation, which is the criteria we use to determine how much motion transfers across the surface when a sleeper moves. Anyone who co-sleeps with a person or pet may prefer strong motion isolation.
  • Temperature Control: In addition to performing temperature tests, we incorporate hands-on feedback from testers who run hot at night. We also evaluate cooling components in the bed’s design, such as phase change material and cooling gels.
  • Pressure Relief: We use pressure map testing and hands-on feedback from in-house testers to measure the amount of relief a mattress provides to areas of high pressure buildup. Mattresses that offer deep contouring typically perform well in this category.
  • Off-Gassing: It’s not uncommon for mattresses to emit a strong off-gassing odor after they’ve been taken out of their packaging. This smell can be unpleasant for sleepers but typically wears off within a few days.
  • Ease of Movement: This criteria evaluates how well a bed facilitates easy movement across the surface, based on responsiveness tests and body tests performed in-house. Foam beds tend to inhibit movement more than latex and innerspring models.
  • Edge Support: Our testers sit and lie on the bed’s perimeter to determine how much the edges sag under body weight. Beds with strong edge support will have minimal sag.
  • Sex: Although this criteria is subjective, beds with a bouncy or responsive feel are generally considered more conducive to sexual activity. Our testers measure both these qualities when evaluating a mattress.
  • Body Weight: Personal body weight and body type play a major role in mattress compatibility. For this reason, our testing team factors body weight into the evaluation process for each and every mattress.

Other Mattress Guides

If you’d like to refine your search for a bed beyond a memory foam mattress, take a look at our other recommendations broken down by mattress type.

Who Should Buy a Memory Foam Mattress?

You should buy a memory foam mattress if you have experienced pain (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.

Our testing shows that 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.

What to Look for in a Memory Foam Mattress

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, we’ve found that 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.

  • Price: There’s no avoiding the bottom line, and you’ll need to make sure that any mattress you’re seriously considering fits in your budget. Memory foam beds tend to cost from $800 up to $2,500, but we see frequent discounts available with promotions or coupons.
  • Sleeping Position: Your body’s support needs will vary based on your typical sleeping position. Our tests show that memory foam is a solid bet for side sleepers who have sharper pressure points. It can also work well for back and stomach sleepers if they have a lighter body weight or if the mattress is on the firmer side.
  • Contouring: Virtually all memory foam beds that we’ve tested have notable hug, but some models feature a softer foam with even more pronounced contouring. Consider how much you want to sleep “on” versus “in” the bed and then select a mattress that fits that preference.
  • Quality Materials: Excellent materials translate to more durability and top-flight performance. All foams will wear out over time, but low-end memory foam will start to sag more quickly, reducing its support and comfort.
  • Firmness Level: Every person has their own preferred mattress firmness, and it’s critical to look for a mattress that fits that preference. As a general principle, side sleepers and people with lower body weight lean toward softer mattresses.
  • Motion Isolation: You should expect good motion isolation with memory foam, but not all of these mattresses are created in this regard. If you’re extremely sensitive to sleep disruptions, look for a bed with more contour and greater motion isolation.

    Our testers often use beakers of blue liquid and move across a mattress to test for motion isolation.

  • Pressure Relief: Our tests show that pressure relief is often a standout feature of memory foam because it can give each part of the body the cushioning that it needs. If you have major pressure points, make sure to look for a memory foam bed with a thick enough comfort system to prevent bottoming out through the foam.

    We lie on mattresses and use pressure-mapping tools to measure pressure buildup on mattresses.

  • Ease of Movement / Sex: Memory foam has minimal bounce because of how slowly it retakes it shape. This can make it hard to move on the bed, including during sex. Some testers report feeling “stuck” in the mattress. If this is a concern for you, look for a memory foam mattress with more mild contouring.
  • Edge Support: We perform edge tests on all mattresses, and edges tend to be a trouble area for memory foam mattresses. The foam sinks more around the edge, which can be problematic for people who want to sleep or sit near the perimeter of the mattress.
  • Temperature Regulation: When it contours to the body, memory foam can cut off airflow throughout the mattress. The foam itself also retains heat, making it even softer and further restricting airflow. Some mattresses have features to try to decrease heat buildup, but hot sleepers should be aware that even newer memory foams with various infusions will still tend to sleep hotter than other mattress materials.
  • Noise: A loud mattress that squeaks when you move on it can be both annoying and disruptive. We’ve noticed that most all-foam mattresses are extremely quiet, making them a great choice for noise-sensitive people.

How Does it Feel to Sleep on a Memory Foam Mattress?

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:

    • Floating on Clouds: With a more plush, cushioning feel, our testers describe memory foam as what they envision it's like to sleep on a cloud.
    • A Big, Warm Hug: Memory foam conforms to the body, providing a hugging sensation that can be comfortable but can also cause heat retention.
    • Totally Unmoved: When our testers lie on memory foam mattresses, they’re almost completely unaffected by movement that happens on the other side of the bed.
    • Under No Pressure: Pressure relief from memory foam can reduce impact at parts of the body where you might be used to feeling pain or stress.
    • In One Place:With little bounce, you may feel more settled or even stuck in one place on a memory foam mattress.

What is Pressure Relief? – Video

Memory foam beds are great at relieving pressure from areas like your shoulders and hips. But what exactly is pressure relief? Watch the video below for an in-depth explanation from our Sleep Foundation Lab.

What are the Different Types of Memory Foam?

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

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.

Plant-Based Memory Foam

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

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, our testing shows that even these memory foams will heat up more than other mattress materials.

Copper-Infused Memory Foam

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.

Memory Foam vs. Hybrid

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 MattressesHybrids
Support CoreHigh-Density PolyfoamInnerspring Coils
Comfort SystemMemory foam, sometimes with other supplemental layers (polyfoam, latex)One or more layers of memory foam, polyfoam, latex, microcoils, wool, cotton, and/or polyester
Motion IsolationHighLow to High
BounceLowMedium to Hgih
Temperature RegulationLowMedium to High
Common FirmnessPlush to Medium-FirmMedium to Firm
Expected Durability6-8 years6-8 years
Price Range$800 – $2,500$1,400 – $2,500

How Much Does a Memory Foam Mattress Cost?

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:

  • Thickness of the memory foam layer: If there are more layers or thicker layers of memory foam, the mattress will likely have a higher price.

    Thickness of the foam layers plays a role in the overall mattress price.

  • Density of the memory foam: Mattresses that use high-density memory foams tend to be pricier, but they also normally last longer.
  • Where it’s made: Mattresses made in the USA tend to be more expensive than those made in China or other countries.
  • Extra features: Specialty design elements or materials can push up the price of a memory foam mattress. For example, textiles to fight heat buildup or the use of organic materials can add to the cost.

Even for higher-end models, there are often discounts or promotions that can give customers significant savings from the sticker price.

How Much Does a Mattress Cost? – Video

Check out our video below to find out how much a memory foam mattress costs compared to other mattress types.

Memory Foam Density and ILD

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 to 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.

Indentation Load-Deflection (ILD)

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,

  • 10 to 12 ILD: Soft
  • 12 to 14 ILD: Medium
  • 14 to 16 ILD: Medium-firm
  • 16 to 18 ILD: Firm

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.

How Long Will a Memory Foam Mattress Last?


Most memory foam mattresses last from 6 to 8 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 to 8 year average. Issues that can affect longevity include:

  • Quality of materials: Memory foam layers that are thicker, denser, and part of a mattress made with significant attention-to-detail are far more likely to hold up for the long haul.
  • Stress placed on the mattress: More stress is placed on a mattress by couples than an individual person, by people with a higher body weight, and by children (or pets) who jump on the bed.
  • Mattress maintenance: Failure to use the mattress as intended can make it susceptible to more rapid wear-and-tear. For example, an unsupportive frame may heighten the risk of premature damage to the mattress itself. Using a mattress pad or protector helps protect the mattress against spills that could damage the foam.

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.

Last Things to Consider With a Memory Foam Mattress

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.

Sleep Trial Period

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.

Adequate Bed Support

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.

Appropriate Bedding

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 the best pillow that works in conjunction with your mattress to promote spinal alignment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are memory foam mattresses good?

A memory foam mattress can be an excellent option for the right person. We’ve found that memory foam has a few qualities that set it apart from other popular mattresses. Two of the most notable differences are pressure relief and motion isolation. Memory foam conforms more closely to the body than innersprings and hybrids, and offers more pressure relief as a result. Innersprings and hybrids are generally bouncier.

Side sleepers in particular may benefit from choosing a memory foam mattress. The foam contours closely to your side body, helping to evenly disperse your weight. This hugging sensation can prevent pressure build-up where most people carry their weight beneath the hips and shoulders. Those with joint pain can often find relief from memory foam, as well.

Sleepers who toss and turn or those who share a bed may also appreciate a memory foam mattress. Some innerspring mattresses transfer movement from one side of the bed to the other. Memory foam mattresses absorb this motion instead, meaning you’re less likely to disturb your partner when shifting sleep positions. However, a memory foam mattress is not the best choice for all sleepers across the board. People who prioritize responsiveness and edge support may want to consider innerspring or hybrid mattress constructions.

What is the best memory foam mattress for side sleepers?

Memory foam mattresses are ideal for side sleepers, but the best model is one that fulfills your unique sleep needs. Our testing shows that side sleepers require excellent pressure relief to avoid pressure points, and memory foam contours against the body to cushion sensitive areas and support the waist.

All the same, there are other factors that side sleepers should consider before purchasing a new mattress. For example, side sleepers require balanced support to ensure proper spinal alignment. Your body type will help determine what firmness level you should choose, though memory foam can feel subjectively “soft” regardless of its overall firmness. Personal preferences, such as a tendency to sleep hot, should also guide your decision.

What is the best memory foam mattress for sleepers with back pain?

Memory foam may soothe your back pain with its pressure-relieving qualities, but only if your mattress offers enough support at the correct firmness level for your body type. Since all foam mattresses are not always as supportive as hybrid or innerspring models, you may want to choose one with support features like ergonomic zoning.

Standard memory foam mattresses can also offer enough support, but only if they are firm enough. While some people consider all memory foam mattresses to be soft, this is due to their pressure-relieving and contouring qualities rather than their overall firmness. A too-soft mattress prevents proper spinal alignment, while one that is too firm can compress joints and lead to tension despite offering pressure relief.

What is the best inexpensive memory foam mattress?

Since memory foam mattresses are among the least expensive options on the market, even inexpensive models can be excellent choices that fulfill your sleep needs. As always with mattresses, there is no single mattress that can be described as the “best”. Consider your body type, your usual sleep position, and your personal preferences to determine what is best for you.

Once you have decided on what you need from a mattress, you can narrow the field by reading independent reviews and discovering how different mattresses perform. It is also worth considering that you may be able to purchase a higher-priced memory foam mattress at a discount, either through online promotions or by waiting for a sale.

What are some of the issues with memory foam mattresses?

We sometimes find that memory foam conforms excessively with the body, which can lead to a feeling of sleeping “in” the bed rather than “on” the bed. Sleepers who weigh more than 230 pounds and anyone else who needs strong support to keep the spine aligned may also find memory foam beds too soft to maintain healthy sleep posture. The deep conforming can also make moving around the surface more difficult.

Another con of memory foam is heat retention. Since memory foam offers close contouring, we’ve found it can trap excessive heat on the surface of the mattress. This may be uncomfortable for hot sleepers. The dense composition of memory foam further enhances heat retention, though some manufacturers attempt to minimize this by infusing the foam with materials like copper and cooling gel.

All-foam mattresses with memory foam layers also tend to sink a lot when people sit on the edges when getting in and out of bed. This can also make the mattress feel less stable when they sleep close to the edges, and can make moving across the surface somewhat difficult.

Do memory foam mattresses sleep hot?

Memory foam mattresses do tend to sleep warmer than other mattress types. However, mattress manufacturers have sought to address this downside. Memory foam mattresses sleep warm for two reasons: airflow and heat retention.

All foam beds are solid and therefore have minimal airflow through the body of the mattress. Still, memory foam worsens this problem by contouring closely to the body and preventing surface airflow as well. Breathable covers do help, but only marginally. The easier issue to address is heat retention, which occurs when the bed absorbs your body heat and feels warmer as the night goes on. Gel and copper-infused memory foam may offer modest decreases in heat retention, while open-cell foam can sleep even cooler.

Still have questions?

Our product experts have extensive experience testing just about every sleep product on the market. Send an email to [email protected] or call us at (877) 672-8966 with your questions and we'll help you find exactly what you're looking for.

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