Memory foam was first used by NASA. Memory foam mattresses contain several layers of thick foam to conform to and hold your body while you sleep. These layers of foam vary in density and firmness to adapt to your sleep position and body shape.
All types of sleepers can benefit from sleeping on a memory foam mattress. Noteworthy benefits of memory foam beds include low motion transfer, pressure point relief, improved spinal alignment, and joint support.
The versatility of memory foam mattresses allows them to work for a variety of sleep positions, including combination sleepers.
In this article, we’ll examine the best memory foam mattresses that are available in 2021. We’ll take an in-depth look at these products to help you determine which can best meet your needs and fit your shopping budget.
We’ll also explain the different types of memory foam mattresses and give you some other mattress types to choose from.
How We Chose the Best Memory Foam Mattresses
- Materials: Every one of these mattresses has some form of conforming memory foam, with every brand putting a twist on the classic formula.
- Cooling Features: Because traditional memory foam has a reputation for absorbing body heat faster than the foam releases it, any mattress we considered had to answer the question “How does a sleeper stay cool at night?”
- Customer Reviews: We looked at what people had to say about the mattress, noting praises, concerns, and complaints to ensure we’re not just relying on our own judgment.
- Company Reputation, Transparency, and Policies: Every mattress on our list is from a well-established brand that’s been in the business for at least a few years.
- Value: One of memory foam mattresses big selling points is how affordable a bed can be. While some of our choices are better budget options than others, we looked at the mattress and asked ourselves if the brand was asking a fair price for what the mattress offered.
The Amerisleep AS3 memory foam mattress features an innovative mattress cover with a breathable weave and three layers of foam to cushion your body, as well as release built-up tension. The AS3 tops our list for its versatility, suiting most sleeping styles.
How It Feels
The AS3 may possess the closest that a mattress can come to a near-universally comfortable surface. This ideal is impossible to realize due to every sleeper having different needs and preferences. However, judging from the more than 6600 reviews the AS3 has and its close to 5-star rating, Amerisleep has done an excellent job on delivering better sleep to its customers.
The words that come up most often in reviews for the AS3 include “good support,” “comfortable,” “soft feel,” and “durable.” Thousands of reviews have highlighted these qualities in the AS3, and that’s more of a testament to its enjoyable feel than anything else we could say about it.
The top comfort layer of this mattress is 3 inches thick and made up of Bio-Pur® foam, allowing for a body-hugging feeling. The use of this advanced open-cell foam in the Amerisleep AS3 increases airflow to improve breathability and decrease your chances of overheating at night. Plus, while most variations on the standard memory foam recipe are wholly synthetic, Amerisleep’s production process replaces key ingredients with plant oils for a more eco-friendly bed.
The middle layer of your mattress contains 2 inches of Affinity foam that allows for some bounce and prevents you from sinking into the mattress too far. Cut into the top of the Affinity foam are numerous hexagonal cutouts, all of which are arranged to form five distinct support zones. Known as HIVE® technology, these cutouts increase flexibility for pressure relief in the shoulders and hips, while the head, back, and feet areas are focused on support.
The supportive base layer of your Amerisleep AS3 memory foam mattress contains 7 inches of firm foam. This firmer layer is designed to help your mattress hold its original shape and prevent premature sagging.
What surrounds this foam layers is the carefully engineered cover fabric of Refresh. This fabric is more than just soft and breathable, as Refresh has added minerals that take absorbed heat and rework it into infrared energy. Once the infrared energy is released, it can penetrate the sleeper’s body and improve local bloodflow for better recovery.
The Vaya Mattress comes with two different layers of supportive foam with an open-cell design to improve breathability and alleviate night sweats. This mattress is known for promoting a neutral spine alignment, which can decrease back pain regardless of your sleep position.
How It Feels
While its minimal design provides plenty of support, what many sleepers first notice as they stretch out on the surface of the Vaya Mattress is how soft it feels. The Vaya Mattress feels quite plush as it conforms to the body in any position, relieving tension that can build up into aches and pains.
Your Vaya Mattress includes a 3-inch-thick plush comfort memory foam layer that hugs your natural curves and joints. Below that is a 9-inch-thick supportive foam base that supports your bed and increases its durability.
This mattress also has a mattress cover that keeps you cool while also protecting the exterior of your bed. Those who sleep on the Vaya Mattress report a buoyant feeling with good pressure point relief for sore or inflamed joints.
The Zoma Mattress is one of the best cooling memory foam mattresses on the market. Though originally designed to help athletes recover faster with features that promoted deeper, longer rest, the Zoma Mattress is a bed that almost anyone can sleep on and benefit from using.
It’s highly affordable, too, with most sizes costing under $1000, keeping it within the budget of many hot sleepers. The Zoma Mattress comes with free shipping, a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
How It Feels
The Zoma Mattress has a medium feel with a touch of softness that gently hugs the body, filling in any gaps between the body and bed surface for full support. The gel infusions speed up heat dispersion, helping it move away faster and
The surface of the Zoma Mattress also contains triangular cutouts in the head and foot of the mattress. These cutouts create a “softer” feel as the mattress is quicker to hug the body in these areas, easing more tension for better relaxation.
The Zoma Mattress has a 2-inch comfort layer with zoned support and lower-density memory foam. The zoned support provides a softer support area for your shoulders and legs, paired with a firm support area for your stomach.
This gives sleepers less conforming and contouring while they sleep. However, the presence of open-cell foam aids in improving airflow and breathability.
Below is a 2-inch middle layer of firm foam. This thicker, denser layer of foam promotes a neutral spine alignment and preserves mattress durability for at least a decade.
The bottom or base support layer of the Zoma Mattress is 7-inches thick. The density of this bottom layer helps to sturdy your bed and allows for noise-free movement. This ensures you aren’t woken up when your partner exits the bed or moves in their sleep.
Nolah offers two memory foam mattresses, their original model and the upgraded Signature 12. The Nolah Signature 12 is a soft mattress that hugs the body, with technological foams and materials that work together to create durable comfort and responsive support.
The Nolah Signature 12 has a 120-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty. Shoppers can remove the sleep trial at checkout for an additional discount, excellent for anyone who’s certain it’s a mattress they’ll enjoy.
How It Feels
The Nolah Signature 12 is rated a medium-soft, perfect for side sleepers who want to sink into the mattress or people looking for a mattress for shoulder pain. The features of the Nolah Signature 12 also maintain a cool-to-the-touch feel throughout the night, ensuring sleepers won’t wake up in a sweat during the middle of the night.
The surface of the Nolah Signature 12 is organic cotton fabric, woven for a soft, airy feel. Cotton moves heat and moisture away from sleepers, lowering the chances of sleep disruptions.
The mattress’s comfort layer is 2.5 inches of Nolah’s exclusive AirFoam™
Second is a layer of high-resilience foam, 1.5 inches thick. The responsive bounce of this layer keeps sleepers comfortably on top of the mattress, eliminating the uncomfortable sinkage that can cause discomfort on lower-quality soft mattresses.
The next layer is an inch of AirFoam™ engineered for a firmer feel than the top foam layer. This layer deepens the bed’s overall pressure relief to create a weightless, “floating on a cloud” feel.
The core foam is reinforced, dense foam that bolsters the contouring feel of the above layers. The base foam is also highly breathable for an overall cooling design.
The base fabric is sturdy, made to withstand extended use, with a non-skid weave that keeps the mattress from sliding out of place on a bed base.
The most popular mattress on the GhostBed website is the GhostBed Luxe, a mattress aptly named for its luxurious cooling features and mildly soft surface. It’s excellent for side sleepers seeking to upgrade their comfort and hot sleepers who want a top-of-the-line mattress.
The GhostBed Luxe ships free and comes with a 101-night sleep trial and a 25-year warranty.
How It Feels
The GhostBed Luxe is officially rated a medium-plush, so sleepers can expect to sink into the surface more than they would on a more traditional medium mattress. For many side sleepers, this is the key to increased comfort, as the touch of pleasant sinkage makes it feel like the mattress is hugging their curves.
The Ghostbed Luxe has a 2-inch-thick top comfort layer with a cooling gel built-in. The mattress not only contours to the shape of your body, but it also eliminates the chance of night sweats or overheating. This makes the Ghostbed Luxe great for those who live in warmer climates or experience sweltering summers.
There are 2 inches of transition foam in the middle that provide further support with a touch of responsiveness to prevent you from getting trapped in the thick foam layers.
A 7.5-inch base made up of high-density polyfoam stabilizes your bed. The polyester-viscose cover that comes with the bed further aids in cooling and promoting a breathable sleep environment.
Back sleepers need a touch more firmness in their mattresses for a restful nights’ sleep, and the gently firm surface of the original Puffy mattress can be just what they seek. The multiple cooling foams also create a sleeping surface that sidesteps overheating, limiting the chances of sleep disruptions.
The Puffy mattress comes with free shipping, a 101-night sleep trial, and a lifetime warranty.
How It Feels
The classic Puffy mattress has a medium-firm rating, giving its surface a slight resistance as sleepers stretch out. This can be quite comfortable for back sleepers, who typically enjoy a surface that’s responsive but with minimal sinkage to prevent misalignment. However, some sleepers may find it too firm for their tastes.
The original Puffy mattress features a stain-resistant mattress protector that can be easily cleaned and machine washed. Beneath that are six layers of supportive memory foam. A 1.5-inch cooling gel is built into the mattress to prevent night sweats and decrease your chances of overheating at night.
The dual cloud foam that is used in the manufacturing of this mattress enhances the feeling of contouring support you receive and allows for pressure point relief. The 7-inch middle or transition layer of the Puffy Lux mattress is made of polyfoam and promotes motion isolation.
A 2-inch base layer keeps your bed cool and further promotes airflow to improve the breathability of the memory foam mattress.
The Layla memory foam mattress has a copper-infused comfort layer that allows for superior cooling and improved breathability. Because the mattress is reversible, you get two different contouring levels and support options with each side. On the whole, both sides are designed to give pressure relief and support the spine.
How It Feels
The original Layla Mattress has a two-in-one feel with a soft and firm side. Sleepers can sink deep into the softer side for a more conforming, “hug-like” feel, while the firm side has a less yielding surface for those who like to feel more supported. Both sides rely on cooling materials that ensure the Layla mattress keeps heat moving away from the sleeper’s body.
There are four layers of support with this bed, two support layers and two comfort layers. How these layers function and feel depends on which side of the mattress is facing up. When the medium-soft side is up, you’ll be in direct contact with the cooling gel and top comfort layer. This gives sleepers a cradling sensation.
The 2 inches of polyfoam in the middle gives you zoned support. This transition layer is solely underneath the soft side’s comfort layer, placed to promote spine alignment and bodily recovery.
Four inches of polyurethane foam at the base keep your bed level and help sturdy it. When the firm side of the mattress is facing up, you’ll experience decreased body holding and contouring because this reversed comfort layer is only 1-inch thick.
Surrounding the Layla original mattress is a removable cover fabric, with a black-and-white design that makes it easier to differentiate between the soft and firm sides.
While Saatva is well-known for their spring mattresses, their Loom & Leaf memory foam mattress has also received shoppers’ acclaim. The conforming foams and reinforced back support ensure sleepers will wake up refreshed after a night’s rest.
The Saatva Loom & Leaf comes with a lengthy 180-night sleep trial and a 15-year warranty.
How It Feels
The Loom & Leaf has two potential firmness options that will affect how it feels, with Saatva offering a firm or relaxed firm model. The relaxed firm option can suit more sleeping styles and positions, falling into to the medium to medium-firm range.
However, the firm choice is excellent for stomach sleepers who want to minimize the chances of misalignment.
The surface is organic cotton, with Lumbar Zone® quilting that features plush foam sandwiching a nontoxic thistle flame barrier. Aside from cotton’s natural heat and moisture-wicking capabilities, the fabric is also treated with Guardin™, a botanical compound that creates antimicrobial protection for a fresher mattress.
Next is a proprietary spinal cooling gel layer, placed to keep the spine in a healthy alignment by enhancing overall back support. This support can also improve circulation throughout the body.
The comfort layer is 2 inches of gel memory foam with perforations in the foam for an extra boost of breathability, followed by 2.5 inches of body-hugging high-density memory foam for a supportive cushion, deepening its pressure-relieving feel.
The 2-inch transition foam is placed to ensure a smoother structure instead of placing the comfort layer atop the denser foam layer. Which firmness model is chosen will determine the exact makeup of this transition layer.
The base layer is 5.5 inches thick, engineered to support the top layers and the sleeper’s neutral spine alignment. The durable structure ensures a stable sleep surface for many years.
CertiPUR-US®, a third-party organization, has examined the Loom & Leaf’s foam layers and certified them as free of potentially harmful materials and with minimal off-gassing.
The Plushbeds Cool Bliss mattress features five layers of supportive foam with no off-gassing upon unboxing, pairing gel memory foam with underlying latex foam. This product is known for its superior cooling ability and enhanced moisture-wicking slipcover.
How It Feels
Those who sleep on the PlushBeds Cool Bliss mattress report feeling like they are sleeping on a cloud. This makes the bed perfect for those who have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep all night long. The gel memory foam feels gently conforming and cool, while the latex foam adds extra buoyancy for quicker adaptability.
The top 3-inch comfort layer of the mattress contains Cool Bliss gel memory foam that is free of harsh chemicals and toxins. PlushBeds notes that the foam disperses heat better than many other similar foams.
A 2-inch middle transition layer made up of natural latex conforms to your body and prevents those with sensitive skin from experiencing irritation or rash. The third contouring layer is a 2-inch Air Flow layer that allows for optimal breathability and improved temperature regulation for a cool night’s sleep.
A 5-inch dense polyurethane foam base prevents sagging, aids in durability, and keeps the bed sturdy. The foam base also evenly takes on body weight to promote a healthy spine alignment.
Surrounding the mattress is a GOTS-certified organic cotton cover fabric. Underneath it is PlushBeds’ Eco Fire Barrier, made with natural plant fibers for fiberglass-free flame protection.
Types of Memory Foam Mattresses
When selecting a memory foam mattress, you’ll have a few different types to choose from. Traditional memory foam mattresses have their benefits and drawbacks. Copper-infused and Gel-infused memory foam mattresses offer a better cooling ability, as do plan-based memory foam mattresses.
Traditional memory foam mattresses provide sleepers with body conforming and contouring that results in a hugging sensation. The dense layers of foam that these mattresses feature are good for motion isolation and pressure point relief, especially for lightweight sleepers.
Copper-infused memory foam mattresses have copper beads spread throughout the mattress to improve temperature regulation and prevent night sweats. These beads are also good at odor control and warding off bacteria, which improves the mattress’s durability.
You get the same feel sleeping on a copper-infused mattress that you would a traditional memory foam mattress. However, copper-infused beds may cost more.
A gel-infused memory foam mattress has gel built into the foam layers via a swirling pattern or gel-filled beads. The addition of gel reduces heat retention and can minimize overheating at night.
However, there is no guarantee that buying any special memory foam mattress will completely offset the bed’s tendency to run hot. Similar to copper-infused memory foam mattresses, gel memory foam beds have the same feel as traditional memory foam beds.
Investing in a plant-based memory foam mattress is the best option for environmentally conscious shoppers. These beds contain natural Bio foam to naturally increase the cooling ability and breathability of your mattress.
Still, even plant-based memory foam beds contain some artificial and synthetic materials. These beds offer the same feel and support as a traditional memory foam mattress, just at a higher cost. However, they have been shown to be superior at keeping you cool and temperature regulation.
Potential Drawbacks of Memory Foam Mattresses
There are three potential drawbacks to be aware of when considering purchasing a memory foam mattress. The first drawback is overheating, which can be addressed and lessened by investing in a plant-based bed or mattress with a built-in cooling gel.
Another potential drawback with some memory foam beds is the off-gassing of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) when the bed is first set up. The VOCs that are given off by your bed initially should subside in a day or two. Over time, exposure to these chemicals causes headaches, nausea, and organ damage.
A common concern when purchasing a memory foam mattress is the amount of bed sinkage that can occur. Heavier sleepers over 230-lbs and those with mobility issues may end up feeling trapped when sleeping on a memory foam bed. These sleepers should invest in a firm memory foam bed or consider buying a different type of mattress.
You cannot pair a memory foam mattress with just any bed frame. Some bed frames, specifically metal ones, can cause damage to a memory foam mattress. Memory foam mattresses pair well with adjustable bases or wooden bed frames.
Other Mattress Types to Consider
Innerspring mattresses are common and widely available at mattress retailers across the country. Many shoppers already have one or more innerspring beds in their homes. An innerspring mattress uses a steel coil support base with a thin 1-inch comfort layer. Benefits of innerspring beds include:
- Edge Support
While an innerspring bed is cheap in comparison to a memory foam bed, it doesn’t offer nearly the amount of support or any body contouring. You can choose to add a memory foam topper to your existing mattress to see if you’d be comfortable sleeping on a memory foam bed.
Latex mattresses are comparable to memory foam mattresses in their motion isolation benefits. Where they differ is the degree of body-holding support that they offer. A latex mattress features a 2-to-3-inch-thick foam comfort layer that is firmer than a memory foam bed.
Latex’s natural cooling ability means the bed sleeps cools and isn’t prone to overheating. There is no sinking into a latex bed because it has a responsive structure. Sleepers report feeling either bouncy or springy support when sleeping on this bed. The feel of the bed depends on the type of latex used in it. Benefits of a latex bed include:
Hybrid beds combine some of the best elements of innerspring and memory foam mattresses. To be classified as a hybrid, a mattress must contain a pocket coil support base and a comfort layer that is at least 2-inches thick. The comfort layer may contain either latex or polyurethane memory foam.
Those seeking a moderate amount of body contouring will be comfortable sleeping on a hybrid mattress. Potential drawbacks of a hybrid mattress include its higher cost and poor motion isolation. Benefits of hybrid mattresses include:
- Edge support
- Responsive design
Adding a Memory Foam Mattress Topper to Your Bed
Another option if you’re not quite sure about whether a memory foam mattress is for you is to add a memory foam mattress topper to your new mattress. Memory foam mattress toppers can improve the feel, comfort, and softness of your bed.
If you’re looking to add some level of joint support or press point relief to your mattress, a mattress topper can help. While it won’t give you the same results and feel of a memory foam mattress, it is a good place to start.
Those with overheating concerns can purchase a memory foam mattress topper with gel in it. Memory foam mattress toppers cost between $200 and $350. Keep in mind that mattress toppers are different from mattress protectors. You’ll want to invest in a mattress protector to prevent stains and maintain durability.
Memory foam mattresses contain several layers of memory foam with different densities and thicknesses. A memory foam bed conforms to the shape of your body to provide pressure relief and motion isolation.
When choosing a memory foam mattress, you’ll have many different options. Traditional memory foam mattresses are popular but prone to overheating. Copper-infused, gel-infused, and plant-based memory foam mattresses provide good temperature regulation and sleep cooler.
Most retailers ship and deliver mattresses right to your door with no fee. While memory foam mattresses can work for various sleepers, they aren’t necessarily for everyone. Other mattresses you may want to consider are innerspring mattresses, latex mattresses, and hybrid mattresses.
You can also opt to test out the benefits of a memory foam bed by purchasing a memory foam mattress topper.
Frequently Asked Questions
Memory foam beds cost, on average, between $800 and $2,500. How much your memory foam mattresses will cost depends on the mattress materials, thickness, foam density, and the number of layers.
High-density foams are more expensive than low-density foams. However, they are more durable.
Most memory foam mattresses last for about 6 to 8 years. Some mattresses that contain more high-quality materials can last for several decades or a lifetime warranty. Consult your mattress warranty to see how long your memory foam mattress should last.
Following proper maintenance instructions and sticking to weight limits are both keys to getting the most out of your mattress.
The best memory foam mattress for side sleepers is a mattress that provides adequate support to the hips, neck, shoulders, and spine. Which mattress is best for each side sleeper depends upon their body weight and personal preferences.
Petite or lightweight side sleepers are best supported on a softer memory foam mattress. Heavier sleepers over 230 pounds need a firmer memory foam mattress or may need to consider other mattress options.
Memory foam mattresses do retain body heat and are known to sleep hot. You can reduce your risk of overheating when sleeping on a memory foam mattress by choosing a mattress with open-cell memory foam.
It also helps to choose a breathable fabric for your bedding. This includes your sheets, pillows, and pillowcases. Other solutions include memory foam mattresses with cooling gel, copper-infused beads, or plant-based foam.
Memory foam mattresses can provide pain relief and alleviate back pain for some sleepers. If you’re looking for a memory foam mattress to help with your back pain, you need to consider your body size and sleep position. Most back pain sufferers can find relief by sleeping on a medium-firm mattress.