Memory foam, also called visco elastic foam, has been around since the mid-70s and made a big splash in the mattress industry over the past couple decades. In recent years, memory foam mattresses have become ubiquitous with the online mattress movement with brands like Casper and Tempur-Pedic making big impacts in the industry.
But what is memory foam exactly? It is a blend of polyurethane foam, which is a synthetic polymer, that is slow response and soft to the touch. There are a variety of foam manufacturers around the United States and abroad that supply mattress makers. Some mattress companies also create their own special blend of foam for their specific feel. For example, Tempur-Pedic has its own proprietary blend called Tempur® foam.
Over the years, memory foam and other polyurethane foams have become increasingly cheap to make. This has led to the advent of cheaply made mattresses, by brands large and small that have caused toxicity concerns. However, there are a few independent organizations that certify low emission foam, such as the CertiPUR-US standard. If you are sensitive to chemicals, make sure to check the certifications!
The best memory foam mattresses aren't purely memory foam. Their top layer is generally soft to the touch, but their middle and bottom layers are higher density and firmer to provide better support than memory foam alone. The most comfortable foam mattresses are medium to medium firm so they don't swallow you, but provide a gentle contouring to keep you confortable. Puffy, Nolah and Nectar do a great job at this!
Memory foam tends to sleep hot both because of the materials used and because it hugs more surface area of your body, which is why it is so important to find a mattress that sleeps cool. Bear mattress has a Celliant® cover that diffuses heat into infrared light. Its design ensures that you'll stay cool through the night!
Choosing a memory foam can be tough, which is why we've made sure our top picks have generous return policies on the off-chance that you don't like what you pick.
Slumber Search is supported by readers. Some links on Slumber Search are referral links. If you use one of these and buy something, Slumber Search may make a small amount of money. More info.
Bear mattress offers two amazing mattresses. Although its memory foam version has won awards among athletes, their Hybrid has won acclaim from everyone (read more Bear Hybrid reviews). Some of their differentiators include a Celliant® cover that is an FDA approved medical device, diffusing heat and facilitating deeper sleep while helping with pain and muscle recovery. These mattresses also are designed to be superior at supporting the spine and alleviating aches & pains. With these factors and their all-inclusive and low priced Bear Bundle that includes pillows and mattress protector, folks love these beds.
Suffer from tossing and turning? It could be because your current mattress doesn't support and align the spine properly. That's where Level's TriSupport™ technology can help. Level's technology is a marvel in zoned support with a high-end all-foam design made in the USA. While the shoulders and hips are relieved of pressure, the middle spine is supported properly. Ideal for back and side sleepers, the Level Sleep mattress is perfect for those that suffer from back discomfort and need long-lasting support. With a patented design and supported by chiropractors, it has been clinically shown to reduce morning stiffness.
Don't know which brand really makes quality? Well look no further! Brooklyn Bedding is a trend-setter with multiple mattress types with multiple firmness options. They make all of their mattresses end to end in their own factory. This means much more comfort for a lower cost to you. Can't find the right match? Also, read about their specialty brands: cooling Freya Mattress, ultra-firm Plank Mattress, plus-size friendly Titan Mattress, customizable Rubix Mattress, and ergonomic Zoned Mattress.
Nectar is one of the most popular mattress brands. They have great differentiators - their memory foam mattress is a perfectly cozy medium-firm (both supportive and pressure-relieving), which most customers find desirable versus others. Also, they offer a full year trial and a 'forever' warranty, which is really generous compared to other brands. With CertiPUR-US foams, optional white glove delivery, a competitive pricepoint, and 'Buy Now, Pay Later' financing through Affirm, this is definitely a brand to consider. Live in the UK? See our review for the UK version too.
Puffy is an online mattress brand that makes two mattresses: The Puffy Mattress and The Puffy Lux Mattress (Limited Time: Get $300 Off Mattresses). Both are high rated memory foam mattresses that are making a splash in the mattress in the box industry. Most folks find these mattresses softer than other all-foam mattresses in a box, which is great for those with a lighter body type. With an aim at providing a higher end all-foam mattress for less than in-store, Puffy is a brand to consider and ships worldwide!
Layla got its start in 2015 as the mattress in the box trying to fight homelessness with every mattress purchased. Since then, they have focused themselves primarily on making one better mattress, crafting an infused-copper memory foam mattress for everyone. With materials that are cooler and more customizable, there is definitely something to this mattress. If you are interested in a slightly soft all-foam mattress, this is mattress is worth a look.
Nest Bedding is a popular online and brick-and-mortar mattress retailer. They sell a variety of different mattresses, including a high-end hybrid mattress, organic and natural latex and latex hybrid mattresses, and two all-foam mattresses. Nest Bedding has a tradition of innovating based on customer feedback and customers describe Nest Bedding as providing excellent customer service. With pricepoints that are competitive against name-brands, their's a lot to love about this brand.
Leesa is a popular foam mattress company that makes its flagship Leesa mattress with three layers of foam -- one layer of LSA200™ cool foam, a memory foam layer, and a last support core layer. Their mattress is well loved by many customers and they have a positive company mission, donating 1 out of 10 mattresses to non-profits who help the disadvantaged. As one of the first brands riding on the mattress-in-a-box wave, Leesa has made a big name with thousands of happy customers. Live in the UK? See our review for the UK version too.
If you have allergies or are concerned by harmful chemicals, Plushbeds has you covered! They are GreenGuard certified, which means that their mattresses don't have harmful compounds or allergens, which is great for those with chemical sensitivities. They have a wide array of offerings including latex, memory foam, and coil mattresses. With deep sales throughout the year, you may even be able to snag one of these mattresses at a discount.
Tuft and Needle made a big splash in the mattress industry when it offered one of the lowest cost all-foam mattresses in a box directly to customers. As one of the earliest players in the mattress-in-a-box space, they've elaborated on their initial concept with the innovative Mint Mattress that provides a higher quality, universally comfortable all-foam design. With 100,000s of positive reviews, customers have spoken in approval of T&N.