Buying a memory foam mattress can entail quite the research project these days, with several different types and scores of retailers all claiming to help you sleep better. Knowing what to look for and more importantly, how different brands stack up proves important in getting not only the best value, but also better rest. Not many people have loads of extra time to dedicate to product research, so we aimed to make the task a little easier by assessing top memory foam retailers in terms features and performance.
About Our Comparison
We looked at 8 popular retailers from two primary dimensions to provide a complete picture. First, we compared the features of their products like density, return policy, and price. Then, we looked at data from SleepLikeTheDead.com, who compares surveys and experiences from thousands of actual owners on mattress performance. For the performance indicators, the rating scale ranged from A-F, where: A=Excellent, B=Good/Above Average, C=Fair/Average, D=Poor/Below Average, and F=Extremely Below Average. Specifications and pricing information was drawn from retailer websites, and review data comes from SLTD as well as reviews on retailer and third party websites.
Comparison of Mattress Features
|Brand||Density||Memory Foam Origin||Return Policy||Warranty||Price|
|Amazon||2.5 - 5.3lb+||Imported||None||5-20 years||$260 - $1100|
|Amerisleep||4.5 - 5.3+||USA||90 Days||20 Years||$699 - $1899|
|Costco||3.0 - 5.0lb||Imported||90 Days+||20 Years||$399-$1300|
|Overstock||2.5 - 3.0lb||USA / Imported||None||5-10 Years||$360 - $500|
|Sealy||3.0 - 4lb||USA||Depends on Retailer||25 Years||$1000 - $2700|
|Serta||3.0 - 4lb||USA||Depends on Retailer||25 Years||$1200 - $4000|
|Tempurpedic||2.5 - 5.3lb+||USA||90||25 Years||$1100 - 7500|
|Walmart||2 - 3lb||USA / Imported||90+||5-10 Years||$270 - $600|
- Memory foam density between 4.0 and 5.3 lbs is considered optimal for most sleepers.Lower densities will wear quickly and provide ineffective support, while densities over 6lbs can make a bed too firm or viscous.
- Return policies for these mattresses should allow at least 30 days, as it takes about that long for sleepers to adjust to the new material.
- Warranties should be no less than 20 years for quality beds.
- USA-made foam is subject to stricter environmental, labor, and chemical standards than imported materials which may contain banned chemicals and unethical manufacturing practices.
- Health score was based on the beds’ chemical profiles, including foam composition, cover composition, and types of fire barriers. Higher scores feature more natural products and no toxic chemicals.
Comparison of Mattress Reviews
|Memory Foam Mattress||Owner Satisfaction||Heat||Odor||Motion Isolation||Pressure Relief||Good For Sex||Easy To Move On||Life Span|
|Amazon (Sleep Innovations, Dreamfoam)||B-||C||D||A||B||C||C||C-|
|Costco (Novaform, Sleep Science)||B-||C||D||A||B-||C||C||C|
|Overstock (Bodipedic, Comfort Dream)||B-||C||C||B||B||C||C||C-|
|Walmart (Spa Sensations)||B-||C||D||B||B||C||C||D|
- Consumer satisfaction is measure of overall happiness with product.
- Heat refers to the mattress’s ability to dissipate body heat during the night.
- Odor refers to initial off-gassing and new mattress smells.
- Motion isolation is the bed’s ability to limit movement from one side to the other. Every bed we compared fared well here.
- Pressure relief refers to how well the material prevents pressure on areas like hips and shoulders.
- Easy to move on means how easy it is to get in and out of the bed or change position. This also impacts other bedroom activities, as material that is difficult to move on can require a lot of extra effort.
- Life span looks at how long the mattress owner feels the bed will last before needing replacement, based on wear.
Here are the detailed results from our comparisons. Brands are listed in alphabetical order.
1) Amazon Review
Amazon is a popular online mega-retailer known for its selection and prices. They offer numerous brands through their marketplace sellers, though the website themselves focuses on Sleep Innovations and SilverRest. These two models feature densities between 2.5 and 5.3 lbs. On the up side, the retailer offers low-cost options and ships fairly quickly. However, these beds have received complaints on most performance indicators including heat retention, odor, life span, and ease of movement. They do not have a return period, and the warranty range from a measly 5 years to a better 20.
2) Amerisleep Review
Amerisleep offers USA-made, plant-based memory foam mattresses. They take an eco-friendly approach with products free of VOC’s, non-toxic fire barriers, and bamboo covers. The online brand has been in business since 2007, and though they are not sold in showrooms, the beds receive very high marks with owners in terms of sleeping cool, being odor free, meeting durability expectations, and being comfortable to move on. The brand offers one of the most affordable higher-density lines, with 90 day trials and 20 year warranties.
3) Costco Review
Costco is a big-box discount retailer, and they offer discount memory foam primarily from Sleep Science/Ara and Novaform. Costco does offer industry standard return policies and warranties, but requires a membership to purchase. Their beds range from 3.0 to 5.0lb density, but are imported and have undesirable health scores, and overall poor ratings for heat retention, odor, and ease of movement.
4) Overstock Review
Overstock is an online-only discount retailer, which features foam beds from Bodi-Pedic and Comfort Dreams. Their beds are priced in the low range and average satisfaction is fairly good, with average-range heat and odor ratings. But, they are imported, don’t offer a trial period, and warranties range from 0-10 years which is low for these types of beds. The density of the mattresses is only 2.5-4.0 lbs, and they have below average marks for ease of movement.
5) Sealy Review
Sealy is a brand better known for their innerspring mattresses, though in recent years they have expanded into this new category. The Sealy Optimum collection features 3.0-4.0 lb densities, are made in the USA, and sold through dealers. The beds offer a good warranty at 25 years and decent overall satisfaction, though trials depend on the dealer. The health score and odor rank below average with little focus on natural products, while heat, ease of movement and lifespan rank in the average range.
6) Serta Review
Serta is another traditional innerspring retailer now focusing on popular mattress type. The brand’s lead product is Serta iComfort, a gel infused memory foam. The beds have above average satisfaction, a good warranty, and are made in the USA. Like Sealy, they have average to below-average rankings on odor, heat and movement. Despite iComfort’s claims of sleeping cooler, consumers don’t seem to note a large difference in reduced heat with these beds, or a marked comfort difference with gel.
7) Tempurpedic Review
Tempurpedic is one of the best known memory foam retailers. As a brand they enjoy above average consumer satisfaction and strong longevity. Their beds feature densities between 2.5-5.3 lbs, 90 night trials, and 25 year warranties. Though they are one of the most expensive brands, consumer ratings on heat retention and ease of movement are only average, with odor being below average due to the chemical composition.
8) Walmart Review
Another big-box retailer, Wal-Mart’s offerings include discount foam Spa Sensations and Aerus. Wal-mart is known for low prices and good return policies, benefits which extend to their beds. However, most of the models are imported, feature low 2-3lb densities, and offer short warranties. The cheap composition of the matierals makes chemical heavy products that score poorly on health, odor, heat and movement. Overall, these beds received the lowest marks in the group.
Getting the Best Mattress
Ultimately the brands ranked in this order, from highest to lowest: Amerisleep, Tempurpedic, Sealy and Serta, Overstock, Costco, Amazon, and Walmart. Factors that appeared to be closely linked to overall satisfaction include durability, odor, heat retention, ease of movement and perceived value. It is also interesting to note that the top brands all feature US-made products.
So, what does all of this mean? Well, buying a mattress from a big-box discounter appears to yield less than satisfactory results. Common pricey showroom brands like Sealy, Serta, and Tempurpedic also experienced less than glowing reports however, while mid-priced Amerisleep ranked highest, so price is not necessarily an indicator of comfort.
In our comparison, it appears that Amerisleep.com offers the greatest potential for satisfaction (especially in heat, odor, and health) due to their proprietary plant-based material, reasonable prices, and good guarantees. While some may balk at buying online, verified reviews, fair return policies, greater information, and reduced sales pressure all seem to make for a more pleasant shopping experience (check out our article about buying a mattress online). Ultimately we hope you find this comparison helpful in assessing mattress brands and learning what to look for to get the best bed.