Summary: This unbiased, in-depth review features the best memory foam mattresses our team of Sleeping Ninjas could find throughout the land. Our ninjas were both perplexed and amazed by this foreign material, enjoying both battling with each other and sleeping on these mattresses. Disclosure: Sleeping Ninjas has an affiliate relationship with some companies where we get a small percentage of sales if you click over from our site.
You spend a third of your life in bed, which is why the best mattress is important.
With over 600 mattress companies marketing their products in the US alone, finding the best mattress requires research.
What are the benefits of memory foam? And what are our picks for best memory foam mattress?
The Best Memory Foam Mattresses
Before we jump, here’s a quick rundown of our top seven picks for the best memory foam mattress:
- Nectar Mattress
- Casper Mattress
- Layla Mattress
- Alexander Signature Nest Bedding Mattress
- eLuxury Gel Foam Mattress
- Bear mattress
- DreamFoam Arctic Dreams Mattress
Scroll down for the complete review.
Memory Foam Mattresses Rank #1 in Customer Satisfaction
This may make innerspring mattresses seem like the best choice. However, customer satisfaction reports prove otherwise. Only 63% of all innerspring mattresses report satisfaction with their purchase. Memory foam mattress owners, however, have an 81% satisfaction rate In fact, memory foam has the highest satisfaction ratings of all mattresses. Why? Let us take a look…
What is a Memory Foam Mattress?
Memory foam comes from a blend of polyurethane (poly) and chemicals. NASA developed it in 1966 for astronauts and aircrafts. Because memory foam absorbs shock, it was ideal for intense impacts. However, other potential applications were soon discovered.
By 1980, memory foam had found its way to the public. Both the medical and sports world found memory foam useful. Helmets, for example, lined with memory foam help prevent concussions. It was not until the 1990s, however, that memory foam was introduced to the world of bedding. It has been growing in popularity ever since.
What to Look for in the Best Memory Foam Mattress
To determine the best memory foam mattresses, there are several features to consider. Knowing what to look for in a memory foam mattress is important.
Below are the features we take into account in evaluating the best memory foam mattresses.
Density refers to the amount of foam in each layer. Most reputable manufacturers will list this feature. Density is measured in pounds per cubic foot (PCF). A PCF of 3.5 or less is considered to be low. Medium densities are those between 3.5 and 5.0. (For most consumers, medium densities are considered comfortable.) Anything over 5.0 are high-density models.
A higher density means your mattress will last longer. However, it will also cost more and be hotter. (It is important to note that a thicker foam layer does not mean the density is higher. Thickness and density are very different features.)
The quality of the mattress affects its durability. Durability affects its lifespan. While every mattress will vary due to material and usage. However, memory foam mattresses should last at least seven to ten years. As with most things, the higher quality of a mattress, the longer it can be expected to last.
Firmness is often related to the weight of the mattress. Therefore, heavier mattresses are typically firmer than lighter ones. The mattress market measures firmness through an indentation load deflection scale. On the ILD scale, mattresses with higher numbers are firmer. Firmer mattresses are considered to be more supportive.
Material & Manufacturing Certifications
You may see the phrase “CertiPUR-US certified” when looking at mattresses. This means that the mattresses have met certain environmental and testing standards. The Consumer Product Safety Commission institutes these regulations.
A CertiPUR mattress is made without ozone depleters, PBDEs, or TDCPP/TCEP flame-retardants. Mercury, leads or heavy metals are not present as well. Chemicals, like formaldehyde and phthalates, are not used either. They also offer low volatile organic compound (LOC) emissions. This helps protect indoor air quality and have fewer odors. You may see “OEKO-TEX certified” too. This is an independent testing and certification standard. It is a recognized worldwide standard.
The thickness of the memory foam is different from the density. Thickness affects the quality of your sleep. Most sleep experts recommend you have at least four inches of memory foam. Some companies choose to split this into multiple layers. This allows them to overlay specific features. Therefore, they can create their own blend of comfort and support.
Warranties can range from five to twenty years. A lifetime warranty, while rare, is a great find. Typically, higher quality mattresses will come with longer warranties. However, this is not always true.
Five Types of Memory Foam Mattresses
Memory foam actually refers to a type of foam. As stated above, memory foam is made of a poly and chemical blend. This gives the foam visco-elastic properties.
Companies typically come up with their own blend of materials. This is how they create their brand’s foam. These unique blends determine how a mattress meets the key factors above. This also determines what type of foam category a mattress belongs.
1) Traditional Memory Foam
Traditional memory foam mattresses are the simplest versions. Traditional models provide sleepers with the deepest contour of all the memory foam mattresses. It also comes with the longest response period. At 4.0 to 7.0 PCF, traditional memory foam can have relatively high-density ratings.
These mattresses are great for people who sleep on their sides. They are designed to help with circulation and joint stress. However, with their high density, they are also typically the hottest mattresses to sleep on.
2) Open Cell Memory Foam
A traditional memory foam mattress is considered “closed cell”. This is what makes the mattress denser, but also slower to respond. To combat this, manufacturers created an open cell memory foam material. During production, small air pockets are injected into the memory foam blend.
These mattresses are similar to traditional when it comes to contour capabilities. However, the tiny air pockets give the mattress a slightly faster response time. It also helps air to circulate through the mattress better. This makes an open cell model cooler than a traditional memory foam mattress.
3) Gel Memory Foam
Gel was incorporated into the production of memory foam in order to combat heat retention issues. This has made it one of the most popular types of memory foam mattresses today.
Gel can be incorporated into a memory foam mattress in two ways. Manufacturers can infuse a gel liquid into their memory foam material while blending them. They may also incorporate gel as tiny beads throughout the memory foam materials. Gel helps to disperse heat, instead of retaining it.
A good gel memory foam mattress will be cooler than a high-quality traditional model. If cooling is a factor in your decision, experts recommend you choose a model with a gel layer. These are often cooler than those with gel beads. They also recommend you do not buy a gel memory foam mattress with a density of 3.0 PCF or below.
4) Eco Foam
Eco foam refers to natural memory foam mattresses. These types of mattresses are popular with people who seek out “green” options. These mattresses typically plant-based.
The production process is more environmentally friendly too. Eco foam is also better at heat distribution. They offer great motion isolation as well as joint support.
Some companies produce hybrid mattresses. A hybrid mattress can be a combination of various types of mattresses. An innerspring base topped with a memory foam pad is a hybrid mattress. The intent is to circumvent overheating.
Highest Praises: Support & Motion Isolation
Memory foam mattresses are best known for their unique feel. Memory foam has the ability to mold to your body. Every time you lay on it, the foam molds around your shape. This provides you with custom support for your body every time you use it.
Not only does it perfectly match your shape, but also it bounces back once you get up. This gives you a clean slate every time you use it. Whether you sleep in one spot or move around – that area will mold around you.
In addition to the custom support, memory foam isolations motion. What does this mean to you? Motion from one side of the mattress does not transfer to the other. If your partner tosses and turns, your sleep will go undisturbed.
Biggest Concerns: Response & Heat Retention
The word “response” is used when referring to the time it takes a mattress to recover from compression. Response is largely an issue of personal preference. While memory foam does bounce back, it can take a few seconds to do so. Not everyone has an issue with this, but some noted it as a drawback.
Certain types of memory foam mattresses retain heat. This turns the material around your body into a hotspot. More advanced types of memory foam reduce this heat. Gel memory foam mattresses often provide the coolest option. However, latex and coil-based mattresses will be cooler still.
The Best Memory Foam Mattress By Category
By now, you should have a better understanding of memory foam mattresses. From their features to the types available, every brand offers something unique.
Below, we lay out the seven best memory foam mattresses.
Nectar Mattress: Best Overall Value
The Nectar mattress is a gel model. It incorporates three different gel layers to increase breathability. The Tencel cooling cover works to prevent bedbugs and circulate air. It also helps to draw away heat and disperse it. Beneath this, a quilted gel cooling memory foam layer contours to your body. This layer continues to increase air circulation for a cooling effect.
Under this is Nectar’s Lush Foam layer. A premium, medical-grade gel foam, Lush Foam provides further heat distribution. It also recovers quickly. Two more layers support the gel memory foam stack.
An adaptive hi core memory foam layer and a breathable base layer reinforce contouring and breathability. The Nectar memory foam mattress is a medium-firm on the ILD scale at 5.5 to 7.5.
- Nectar’s three gel memory foam layers work to wick away heat for a cooler sleep.
- Most people find a firmness of 5.5 to 7.5 to be ideal.
- Nectar’s memory foam mattress comes with a 365-day money back guarantee trial period.
- It is backed by a lifetime warranty.
- At a great, budget-friendly price, Nectar still feels like a higher-end mattress.
- Nectar mattresses are CertiPUR-US and OEKO-TEX certified.
- Nectar only comes with one ILD scale. For those who need a softer or firmer mattress, there are no other options.
- Shipping has been known to take longer than expected due to high customer demand.
Sleeping Ninjas Special Offer: Click here to get a $125 extra discount and two free pillows on your Nectar purchase.
See our in-depth Nectar Mattress review.
Casper: Best Memory Foam Mattress for All Sleepers
Casper uses open cell foam technology in their mattress construction. While the top 1.5-inch open cell memory foam layer seems thin, it works with the Casper design. Beneath this is a high-density memory foam layer that bounces back quickly.
Zoned Support, the trademarked third layer, is where Casper really stands out. This blended layer offers firmer support in the center of the bed. This helps provide ideal support where your hips and heaviest weight lay. Beneath your shoulders and knees, however, is a softer foam. This provides pressure relief where it is needed.
Together, the Zoned Support layer works to keep your spine in a naturally aligned state. Beneath the Zoned Support is a five-inch support foam layer. Overall, Casper mattresses are considered to be ILD 6 rated.
Casper is one of our top picks for the best memory foam mattress.
- For people who change position at night, Casper’s quick response and Zoned Support are ideal.
- Couples also enjoy the Casper as it offers variations to accommodate both sleepers within one mattress.
- Casper is designed and manufactured in the USA.
- Casper mattresses are CertiPUR-US certified.
- Casper comes with just a ten-year warranty.
- The trial period is only 100-nights, with no return incentives once this passes.
- Depending on your height, weight, and sleeping tendencies – you may not enjoy this. For example, if you are short and sleep lower on the bed, the Zoned Support may not align as it should.
Layla: Best Memory Foam Mattress for Pressure Relief
Layla is one of the best brands that offer a flippable mattress design. It has a three inch, soft 3.5 PCF density copper-infused memory foam on one side to provide a deep contour. A thin, transitional convoluted poly foam layer follows this. This works to increase some airflow between layers.
The primary support layer is a thick high-density, 2 PCF poly foam. The final layer provides pressure relief support. It is a thinner, one-inch layer of the same copper-infused memory foam used previously. Because it is thinner, it provides a firmer sleep (ILD 7).
Because of the dual memory foam layers, this mattress can be flipped. This gives sleepers the choice between a soft, but heavy contour, or a firm, pressure relief. Why copper infused memory foam? Copper is a superconductor. By incorporating it into the memory foam, it helps to rapidly wick away heat.
- The double-sided nature of the Layla caters to sleepers of all preferences.
- The Layla is budget-friendly.
- It is backed by a lifetime guarantee and 120-night trial period.
- Layla mattresses are made in the USA.
- Layla mattresses are CertiPUR-US certified.
- While this mattress is flippable, the layers only come in one range. There are no other options available to select from.
Nest Bedding Mattress: Best Memory Foam Mattress for Firm Sleepers
Nest Bedding offers several mattresses. Their Alexander Signature series, however, is built with budget and quality in mind. It provides a great balance between luxury, high-quality support at affordable prices.
The first 2.5-inch layer is made of a gel memory foam (4 PCF). This is followed by three inches of transitional layers. These two layers are made of visco memory foam and SmartFlow foam. All of this sits atop a six-inch base support foam layer.
The Alexander Signature Nest Bedding mattress comes in either medium or luxury firm. This allows those who prefer a firm mattress, like back or stomach sleepers, to be comfortable. Side sleepers will likely prefer the medium firmness version.
- Nest Bedding produces two models: medium (ILD 4.5 to 5) and luxury firm (ILD 1.5 to 2).
- Nest Bedding mattresses are manufactured in the USA.
- Many customers have found Nest Bedding customer service to be highly responsive and wonderful.
- Nest Bedding offers a 100-night money-back trial period. However, their Lifetime Comfort Guarantee backs this. If you decide you want a different mattress after that trial, Nest Bedding understands. They will accept the return and offer you half price on a different option.
- Nest Bedding offers a lifetime warranty for all of their mattresses.
- Nest Bedding mattresses are CertiPUR-US certified.
- These are slightly more expensive than other models on this list.
eLuxury: Best Memory Foam Mattress for Back Pain Reduction
The eLuxury ten-inch mattress is another gel-based memory foam model. The top three-inch layer has a density of 3PCF. It utilizes open cell memory foam blended with millions of tiny gel beads. This sits atop a seven inch, 1.8 PCF base foam layer.
Many spinal experts note the importance of neutral spine alignment. This high density offers firm support to help relieve pressure on joints and maintain alignment. Because of the high density, those with back pains will be a fan.
- The company takes pride in its charity efforts. One out of every forty-five mattress sales to charity.
- The cover is easy to remove and put back on. It is also machine washable!
- The company offers the standard 120-night money-back trial period.
- The eLuxury mattress is made in the USA.
- Mattresses from eLuxury only come with a 10-year warranty.
- This mattress is not as budget friendly as some of the others.
- There are no options for firmness. This is the only version available.
Bear Mattress: Best for Active Lifestyles
Bear markets their memory foam mattress towards people with active lifestyles. However, anyone who enjoys a medium firmness will appreciate a Bear mattress. The medium firmness means this mattress has moderate contouring and pressure relief. This is important for athletes who may play high-impact sports.
The top layer is a 1.5-inch, 4 PCF dense graphite, and gel memory foam blend. Graphite, a natural conductor, helps to pull heat away from the source and distribute it. Beneath this sits two 1-inch, 3 PCF dense layers of Bear’s response foam. The 6.5-inch base layer is made of 1.8 PCF poly foam. All of this is contained in Bear’s breathable Celliant cover to further reduce hotspots.
Bear is one of our top picks for the best memory foam mattress.
- Bear is proud to help communities all over the country. Through donations in every state, they have helped over four million kids.
- Bear manufactures their mattresses in the USA.
- The medium firmness is ideal for athletes of all shapes and sizes.
- Bear claims their Celliant cover helps improve tissue oxygen levels, which helps with recovery.
- Bear mattresses are CertiPUR-US certified.
- Bear backs their mattresses with a 10-year warranty.
- With longer trial periods elsewhere, Bear only offers a 100-night money-back guarantee.
- The graphite-gel memory foam layer is not as quick to respond as some others on this list.
DreamFoam Mattress: Best Budget-Friendly Option
DreamFoam mattresses are among the most affordable on this list. In fact, all versions of the Arctic Dreams series are under $500. How is this possible? DreamFoam is owned by the brand Brooklyn Bedding.
Unlike other companies, Brooklyn Bedding owns their own production factory. This allows them to produce high-quality bedding, without having to pay a middleman. The top layer is made of a 2- to 3-inch Energex gel memory foam. This sits atop a convoluted poly foam base layer that strives to help increase airflow.
- DreamFoam offers the standard 120-night trial period.
- Designed and made in the USA, DreamFoam transfers their cost savings to their customers.
- DreamFoam offers their Arctic Dream series in several thicknesses and firmness levels.
- DreamFoam mattresses are CertiPUR –US and OEKO-TEX certified.
- The DreamFoam comes with a 10-year warranty.
- Some users have observed that DreamFoam Arctic Dream mattresses are hotter than others are.
The Best Memory Foam Mattress for You
Ultimately, your satisfaction is based on personal preference. What one may consider being the best memory foam mattress, may not work for you.
If you have issues with night sweats or live in a warm climate, memory foam may not be ideal. Even a gel model will be warmer than other types of mattresses.
However, if you suffer from back pain, sleep on your side or back, or are heavier, memory foam is recommended. With money-back trial periods and varying warranties, you have everything to gain.