Roughly 68 percent of Americans struggle with sleep each night— and the problem may be the wrong type of mattress. Mattresses have a bigger impact than we might think. Too often potential buyers choose a mattress based on price rather than their body weight and sleep position. While memory foam mattresses are popular, most are available in different firmness options to suit most sleepers.
Memory foam’s popularity stems from its pressure-relieving properties— those who sleep on it get more restful sleep and are more likely to wake with less aches and pains. In this article, we share our favorite memory foam mattress options and include a comprehensive guide on choosing the best memory foam mattress.
Best Memory Foam Mattresses
|Name||Highlights||Price for a queen|
|Amerisleep AS3||Advanced technology and eco-friendly comfort and support||$1199|
|Zoma||A zoned support top layer with gel-infused memory foam||$750|
|Vaya||A two-layer, bouncy mattress at an affordable price.||$595|
|Bear Pro||Copper-infused foam and gel memory foam pulls heat away and may improve blood circulation.||$1090|
|Nolah Original 10||Responsive memory foam provides extra cushioning in the shoulders and hips.||$1019|
The Amerisleep AS3 mattress is 12 inches tall and contains 3 inches of Bio-Pur®, 2 inches of Affinity with HIVE® technology, and 7 inches of Bio-Core®. The cover incorporates a soft, breathable cover designed to keep air flowing throughout the mattress. This gives the bed an airy feeling that allows you to sleep cool and comfortable.
Bio-Pur® is a plant-based memory foam that’s more breathable and more responsive than traditional memory foam. Bio-Pur® conforms to the body’s natural curves to relieve pressure points, particularly in the shoulders and hips.
The Affinity layer contains HIVE® technology, a 5-zone support system where hundreds of hexagonal-shaped segments form softer support under the shoulders and hips and firmer support for the head, back, and legs. HIVE® technology provides even pressure relief throughout the body.
Bio-Core® is the firm, supportive base foam layer of the AS3. Bio-Core® evenly distributes weight on the sleep surface without the risk of sagging.
The Amerisleep AS3 mattress has a medium feel, perfect for side and combination sleepers. The foam layers provide comfort and support to the body without making sleepers feel “stuck.” Amerisleep includes a 100-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty with the purchase of the AS3 mattress.
The warranty covers sagging greater than 0.75 inches. During the first 10 years, Amerisleep will repair or replace the mattress free of charge to the customer. During the last 10 years, Amerisleep will replace the mattress at a 50% discount.
Amerisleep AS3 Highlights
- Comfortable for most sleeping positions and body types
- Features plant-based memory foam for less heat retention and better responsiveness
- Contains a zoned support layer to facilitate healthy posture and alleviate aches and pains
The Zoma mattress is 11 inches tall and contains 2 inches of Triangulex™, 2 inches of Reactiv™, and 7 inches of Support+. The breathable, polyester knit blend cover allows for better airflow and wicks away moisture.
Triangulex™ is a 3-zone support layer topped with cooling gel to absorb and disperse body heat. Triangulex™ contains hundreds of triangular-shaped segments to form 3 zones— firmer support cradles the shoulders, back, and hips, with a softer feel under the head and legs.
Reactiv™ is a foam transitional layer with a latex-like feel— this cool, responsive foam conforms to the body and keeps it resting on top of the bed without risk of sinking too deeply. Reactiv® makes it easier to switch sleep positions and encourages spinal alignment.
Support+ reinforces the top comfort layers of the Zoma mattress and ensures the mattress lasts. Support+ also provides motion isolation so sleepers won’t have to worry about waking from their partner’s movements.
The medium feel of the Zoma mattress makes it great for side and back sleepers. It relieves pressure points in the shoulders and hips while cradling the lower back. Built for athletes and those with an active lifestyle, the Zoma mattress provides optimal cooling through breathable foams and cooling gel, which could also improve muscle recovery by reducing inflammation from a workout or injury.
The Zoma mattress comes with a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty. The warranty covers sagging greater than 0.75 inches and any manufacturing defects which could damage the mattress. Zoma will choose to repair or replace the mattress free of charge in light of a valid claim, but the warranty only applies to the original purchaser.
- Features gel-infused memory foam to combat night sweats
- Built for medium firmness and comfortable for back and side sleepers
- Offers enhanced back support through Triangulex™ technology
The Vaya mattress is 12 inches thick and contains 3 inches of comfort foam and 9 inches of base foam. The mattress cover made from a blend of rayon, spandex, and polyester provides a soft, plush sleep surface, and includes a silica fiber fire sock.
The open-cell design of the Vaya comfort foam creates a conforming surface, so sleepers won’t feel trapped inside the bed. The Vaya comfort foam forms around the body to relieve pressure points, particularly in the shoulders and hips.
The Vaya base foam acts as stable support to encourage pain-relief from pressure points. The base foam also evenly supports the body without risk of sagging.
The hypoallergenic materials of the Vaya mattress are CertiPUR-US® certified. The medium feel of the surface makes it a good choice for most sleepers with its responsive, supportive surface.
Vaya includes a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty with each mattress purchase. The warranty covers sagging greater than 0.75 inches and Vaya will replace or repair the mattress free of charge during the warranty period.
- Hypoallergenic and CertiPUR-US® certified
- Contouring but bouncy so you’ll never feel “stuck” in the mattress
- Built to accommodate side, back, and stomach sleepers alike
4. Bear Pro
The Bear Pro mattress is 12 inches tall and contains 1 inch of copper-infused foam, 1.5 inches of gel memory foam, 2.5 inches of transition foam, and 7 inches of high-density foam. The FDA-determined Celliant® cover contains thermoreactive yarn to transform heat into infrared energy to help with muscle recovery by improving local blood flow.
Copper-infused foam pulls heat away from the body and may improve muscle recovery and boost blood circulation. The foam also forms around the body to relieve pressure points.
Gel memory foam absorbs and disperses body heat for even temperature regulation and conforms to the body to relieve pressure points for better sleep.
The transitional foam provides balanced support and prevents the body from sinking too deeply.
High-density foam makes the bed more durable and reduces the risk of sleepers bottoming out.
The medium-firm feel of the Bear Pro mattress is a great choice for most sleepers— it reduces pressure on the back, shoulders, and hips. The Bear Pro keeps the body cool with copper and gel foams.
Bear includes a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty with any mattress purchase. The warranty covers any manufacturing defects or flaws and sagging greater than 1 inch. Bear will repair or replace the mattress for free, but customers will need to cover the shipping and handling costs.
Bear Pro Highlights
- Contains an FDA-determined Celliant® cover to promote more restful sleep
- Features both copper and gel-infused memory foam for superior temperature control
- Medium-firm feel makes it an excellent option for sleepers with back pain
5. Nolah Original 10
The Nolah Original 10 mattress is 10 inches thick and contains 2 inches of AirFoam™, 1 inch of responsive foam, and 7 inches of high-density foam. The mattress cover is made of natural viscose material for a soft and breathable surface with moisture-wicking properties.
Proprietary AirFoam™ is a responsive, breathable foam that contours to the body to relieve pressure points. AirFoam™ is a foam injected with large amounts of air to form more air pockets for better air circulation inside the mattress.
A responsive foam acts as the transitional layer. This special foam is stronger and more durable than latex, providing sleepers with a responsive bounce to make movement easier and prevent sleepers from feeling trapped.
The high-density base foam reinforces the support and contouring of the top layers by evenly distributing weight on top of the surface. This durable base ensures the mattress lasts for years.
The Nolah Original 10 mattress is specifically built for side sleepers who need optimal pressure relief in the shoulders and hips— AirFoam™ is scientifically proven to provide 4 times less peak pressure in those areas.
The Nolah Original 10 mattress comes with a 120-night sleep trial and a 15-year warranty. The warranty covers sagging greater than 1 inch. During the warranty, Nolah will replace or repair the mattress at a prorated charge, plus customers will need to cover shipping and handling fees.
Nolah Original 10 Highlights
- Features proprietary AirFoam™ for pressure relief without the risk of heat retention
- Contains a responsive transition layer to give the bed some bounce
- Built to comfortably accommodate side sleepers
What is Memory Foam?
In the 90s, memory foam first appeared as a comfort layer inside mattresses. Now memory foam is more popular than ever; it’s not only found in mattresses but in pillows, medical equipment, car seats, and mattress toppers. When a combination of weight and heat is applied to memory foam, it softens and conforms to the body to relieve pressure points. Once weight is removed, memory foam returns to its original shape and firmness.
Typically, most memory foam mattresses contain layers of foam— a comfort layer of memory foam, a transitional layer of poly-foam (polyurethane foam), and a support layer of high-density foam.
Pros and Cons of Memory Foam
Memory foam may not be the ideal mattress choice for everyone— some may not enjoy the hug-like sensation it provides, and instead prefer a mattress with more bounce, like an innerspring, hybrid, or latex mattress.
- Relieves pressure points
- Motion isolation
- Little to no noise potential
- Heat retention
- Off-gassing odor
- Can create a “stuck” feeling
ILD Rating and Foam Density
A couple of ways to find a high-quality memory foam mattress is by taking a look at a foam’s ILD rating and the foam density.
ILD, or Indentation Load Deflection, is a measurement of how firm foam is. This is done by determining how much pressure it takes to make a 4-inch indentation on the bed’s surface— the higher the number, the firmer the surface. Most comfort memory foam layers have an ILD rating between 8 and 20. For the best support, look for a comfort layer with a 10 or higher.
Foam density is measured in pounds per cubic foot (PCF) and determines how well the mattress supports body weight. Density is divided into three categories— low, medium, and high. Higher density foams have a slower recovery rate, while lower density foams recover faster. Most beds contain a mix of both low and high density foams.
Low-density foams measure between 2.5 PCF and 3.9 PCF. These types of foams recover the quickest, and are softer but less durable than other foam densities.
Medium-density foams measure between 4.0 PCF and 5.9 PCF. They offer equal amounts of response and conformability to the sleeper.
High-density foams measure 5.5 PCF or higher. They conform closer to the body and are the most supportive. They also recover the slowest.
Other Mattress Types
If a memory foam mattress isn’t for you, other mattress types are available including, innersprings, latex, and hybrids. Each mattress type provides potential buyers with their own unique feel.
Innerspring mattresses are more commonly known in households across the country. An innerspring mattress has a bouncy surface with good edge support, preventing sleepers from rolling off the bed. Innersprings also offer better cooling through the open structure of the coiled base layer.
However, because innerspring mattresses have a thin comfort layer (usually in the form of a pillow top), they have less pressure point relief. Innersprings also have more noise potential and motion transfer than other mattress types.
There are two main forms of latex foam— synthetic and natural. Synthetic latex is created through a chemical process, while natural latex is made from rubber tree sap. Dunlop latex is 100% natural, and has a dense, more durable feel. Talalay latex contains added polyurethane fillers for its signature soft feel.
Latex relieves pressure points like memory foam, but is cooler and more responsive. An all-natural latex mattress can also be pricier than other mattress types, but it typically lasts longer as well, making it worth the investment for some.
A hybrid mattress combines the best of both memory foam and innersprings into the perfect mattress. While hybrids offer the benefits of both mattress types, they also come with the drawbacks of both, including noise potential, less pressure relief from steel coils, and a risk of the memory foam overheating.
Because of the amount of materials they contain, hybrid mattresses are some of the most expensive mattress types on the market. They’re also heavy and can be difficult to move.
What to Look for in the Best Memory Foam Mattress
To find the best memory foam mattress, know the difference between memory foam types and determine firmness level and price, and take into account your body weight and preferred sleep position before you shop. Also, read over available sleep trials, return policies, and warranties before committing to a purchase.
Types of Memory Foam
For hot sleepers or those who live in warmer climates, you may want a pressure-relieving memory foam bed, but worry about overheating at night. To reduce this risk, choose a memory foam mattress with some form of cooling feature, like plant-based foam or gel memory foam.
Partially replacing petroleum with plant oils during the manufacturing process produces a breathable, eco-friendly memory foam that’s more responsive. Sleepers receive better air circulation and won’t feel stuck inside the mattress.
Cooling gel absorbs and disperses body heat for even temperature regulation. To create gel memory foam, memory foam is either swirled with gel or incorporated with gel beads.
Copper and Graphite Infusions
Copper is a natural heat conductor— when it’s infused into memory foam, it pulls heat away from the body and may even improve blood circulation. Graphite is normally used to cool down high-powered machines like PCs. When infused with memory foam, the graphite draws body heat away while the memory foam relieves pressure points.
Mattresses are available in different firmness levels— the best firmness depends on your body weight and preferred sleep position. Body weight has a big impact on the firmness level— depending on how much you weigh, you’ll need a mattress to adequately support you while relieving pressure points. Body weight is broken up into three groups: light, average, and plus-size.
Light sleepers weigh less than 130 pounds. A softer surface enables body-contouring to relieve pressure points.
Average sleepers weigh between 130 to 230 pounds. A medium firmness is the best choice for an even balance of comfort and support.
Plus-size sleepers weigh more than 230 pounds. They need a firm surface for both comfort and support without the risk of sagging.
Your preferred sleep position may determine the firmness level you need for the right balance of comfort and support. Each sleep position needs some form of body-contouring, not just to relieve pressure points, but to fill in the gap between the body and the surface.
Side sleeping is one of the healthiest sleep positions. Side sleepers enjoy the benefits of easier breathing, reduced acid reflux, and less pressure on their vital organs. For more support, side sleepers can place a pillow between their knees to prevent the spine from misaligning.
Side sleepers need a soft to medium mattress to provide extra cushioning under the shoulders and hips, and to fill in the large gaps between the body and the sleep surface.
Read More: Best Mattress for Side Sleepers
Back sleeping naturally aligns the spine because of the back’s direct contact with the sleep surface. Back sleepers face a higher risk of developing sleep apnea— gravity causes the tongue to fall back, obstructing airways, or the collapse of soft tissue at the back of the throat. To lessen pressure on the lower back, back sleepers can place a pillow under their knees.
Back sleepers need a medium to firm sleep surface to relieve pressure points in the shoulders and hips and provide enhanced support to the lower back.
Stomach sleeping is the most unhealthy sleep position because of the amount of pressure it places on the spine. Stomach sleepers face a greater risk of neck strain (caused by twisting and holding the head to the side for long periods of time to breathe) and back pain (caused by gravity pulling weight in the midsection down, forcing the spine’s natural curve to straighten). Placing a thin pillow under the hips reduces pressure in the lower back.
Stomach sleepers need a medium-firm to firm mattress to keep the body resting on top and prevent deep sinkage which could misalign the spine.
Combination sleepers toss and turn, switching between 2 to 3 sleep positions each night. Combination sleepers can enjoy the benefits of each sleep position, like easier breathing and natural spinal alignment, but they also get the drawbacks, including neck strain and risk of sleep apnea development. A medium to medium-firm mattress is the best choice for combination sleepers because it maintains spinal alignment and offers a balance of comfort and support for each sleep position.
Mattress price varies depending on a bed’s materials and size. Most memory foam beds range between $500 to over $2000 for a queen size— the average price is $950. Try to avoid buying a memory foam mattress less than $300. The low cost may seem like a more affordable price, but it may be a sign of a poorly-made mattress.
A great way to tell the quality of a mattress without cutting it open is looking at the seams— if the thread looks fragile or as if it’s going to break, don’t buy that mattress. Cheap beds lead to material breakdown within 1 to 2 years of use.
Adding sleep accessories like mattress protectors and mattress toppers may extend the life a bed and provide additional comfort to the sleep surface.
Mattress protectors, while not required, are always highly recommended. Mattress protectors shield the bed from spills and stains, and may even help extend the bed’s lifespan. Easy to remove and clean, a mattress protector costs less to replace than a new bed— most mattress warranties become void if the mattress is stained or damaged by liquid.
Mattress toppers alter the feel of the sleep surface, adding softness to a firm bed or giving more support to a soft mattress. Plus, your bed receives less wear and tear since the mattress topper is in direct contact with your body. Keep in mind that a mattress topper is not a solution to a sagging mattress. If your bed starts to sag, it’s time to invest in a new one.
Sleep Trials, Return Policies, and Warranties
Sleep trials, return policies, and warranties reassure the customer of a quality purchase. These perks allow customers to try out a new mattress at home with convenient ways to return or exchange the bed.
Sleep trials enable customers to try out a new mattress within the comfort of their own home. These trial periods usually last between 90 to 120 nights. If, during this time, the customer doesn’t like the mattress, most companies will arrange to pick up and donate the mattress before issuing a full refund.
If a sleep trial isn’t included, a return policy is an okay substitute. Return policies lasts about 30 days— roughly the same amount of time it takes for most people to adjust to a new sleep surface. Should the customer not be satisfied with the mattress, they can return it for a full refund as long as they’re within the 30 days.
A warranty covers manufacturing defects and flaws which could damage the mattress, and sagging greater than 1 inch (measurement depends on the brand). The mattress warranty only applies to the original purchaser and can’t be transferred to anyone else.
In-Store vs. Online
More mattress companies are offering their products online rather than through retail stores. These bed-in-a-box mattress brands provide the benefit of offering higher-quality mattresses at lower prices because they sell directly to the customer without having to pay for commissions and or retail rental space. Bed-in-a-box mattresses are compressed, rolled up, and shipped to your door inside a box.
Read More: Best Online Mattresses
What is the best memory foam mattress to buy?
A memory foam mattress is the best mattress to buy on the market today. Memory foam contours to the body to relieve pressure points and may result in waking with less aches and pains. However, there is no one “best” memory foam mattress because everybody has different sleep needs— what works for one person may not work for the next.
To find the most comfortable mattress for your particular needs, consider your sleep style, any recurring aches and pains you wake up with, body type, and your mattress budget.
How do I choose a memory foam mattress?
Choose a memory foam mattress based on your preferred sleep position and body weight for better sleep. For example, a plus-size side sleeper would do best on a medium-firm mattress, because the bed would relieve pressure points in the shoulders and hips without risk of sagging; and a more petite sleeper would likely prefer a softer mattress because they bring less weight to the bed and cannot comfortably sink into a firmer mattress.
Just as sleepers with different body types have different mattress preferences, sleepers with varying sleep positions have different mattress preferences, too. Stomach sleepers are most comfortable on firm beds, side sleepers are best-suited for medium mattresses, and back sleepers can get away with sleeping on soft or firm mattresses— as long as the bed maintains healthy spinal alignment.
Which type of foam mattress is the best?
There are different types of foam beds, memory foam mattresses contain at least one layer of memory foam while “all-foam” mattresses usually feature modified forms of poly-foam and no memory foam. We suggest choosing a memory foam mattress over an all-foam bed because they’re more pressure-relieving and sleep-promoting.
The Amerisleep AS3 is the best memory foam mattress. The medium feel is perfect for most sleeper types with breathable, responsive foam conforming to the body, relieving pressure points and keeping the body supported on the surface.
How long does a memory foam mattress last?
On average, a high-quality memory foam mattress should last you a decade. Plus, memory foam mattress warranties usually span at least 10 years, so your mattress will be covered by warranty for as long as it’s expected lifespan.
Are memory foam mattresses good for back pain?
Yes— most of the best mattresses for back pain are memory foam. Memory foam is ideal for pain relief because it conforms to your body to ease pressure. Choosing a memory foam mattress with a firmer surface keeps the body resting on top of the bed, relieves pressure points, and provides enhanced support to the lower back.
Do memory foam mattresses sag?
Like all mattress types, memory foam mattresses can and do sag over time. These mattresses have a typical lifespan of 10 years, so you should get plenty of years out of your mattress before it begins to show signs of sagging or visible indentations.
We should note, though, that most mattress warranties cover sagging. Read the fine print of the warranty agreement to understand what type of sagging is covered and what items you’d be responsible for in the event of a warranty claim.
Is memory foam toxic?
While memory foam isn’t toxic, cheaper memory foam mattress models are more likely to give off stronger off-gassing odor, causing nasal congestion and headaches.
Can you flip a memory foam mattress?
Most memory foam mattresses are not built to be flipped or rotated. Some memory foam mattresses are designed to be flipped, offering two different firmness options. If your mattress isn’t clearly marked as “flippable” or “dual-sided,” we recommend against sleeping on its flipped side.
Do you need a box spring with a memory foam mattress?
No; in fact, box springs are not recommended with memory foam mattresses because they can damage the foam, and using a box spring with a memory foam mattress can very well void your warranty. Instead, memory foam mattresses are best suited on more modern mattress foundations that have either a solid, flat bottom or a slatted bottom with slats no more than 3 inches apart. Some slatted foundations have slats with large gaps, we recommend pairing a bunkie board with these bed frames.
If you have a box spring and don’t want to buy a new foundation, you can instead purchase ¾” moisture-resistant ply-wood to place over the box spring’s surface, creating a solid, flat area for your mattress to rest.
We hope our article helps you find the best mattress. With so many quality options out there, it can seem overwhelming— as long as you do your research, have a set budget, and choose a mattress based on body weight and sleep position, you’ll be able to find the best memory foam mattress.
This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.