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 Bear Mattress and Nectar 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 comfortable. Nectar, with its 3 layers of gel, core, and base memory foams does a great job at this!
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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.
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Bear mattress offers three amazing mattresses. Their original memory foam has won acclaim with athletes on a budget, the Bear Hybrid is great for those looking for a pressure-relieving higher end feel, and their Bear Pro is perfect for those looking for an ultra-cooling contouring feel. From Celliant® to copper cooling, these mattresses also are designed to be superior at cooling, alleviating muscle pain, and supporting the spine. Also, with their all-inclusive and low priced Bear Bundle, 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. Their 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. With a patented design that is supported by chiropractors, Level Sleep is worth consideration for back and side sleepers needing well-aligned support.
One of most popular mattress brands, both the Nectar and the Nectar Lush are all-foam mattresses that focus on universally comfortable firmness and support, with customers describing balanced comfort with relaxing back support and gentle pressure relief. Also, with value-add differentiators like a full year trial and a 'forever' warranty, thick and quality materials for the price, optional white glove delivery, a competitive pricepoint, and 'Buy Now, Pay Later' financing through Affirm, it's a real brand to consider for value-conscious shoppers. From the UK? See our review for the UK version.
Puffy is an online mattress brand that makes three mattresses: The Puffy Mattress, The Puffy Lux Mattress, and The Puffy Royal Mattress (Limited Time: Get $300 Off Mattresses). Each of these offer a high rated memory foam feel that are making a splash in the mattress in the box industry. With the recent addition of coil hybrid versions in their Lux and Royal, 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!
Brooklyn Bedding is a quality-focused mattress maker with multiple mattress types and firmness options. They make all of their mattresses end to end in their own factory, passing on more price value to customers. Also, read about their specialty brands: ultra-firm Plank Mattress, plus-size friendly Titan Mattress, customizable Rubix Mattress, latex Bloom Mattress, eco-friendly Ecosleep, and cooling Propel Sleep.
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.
Amerisleep offers a line of high-end memory foam and hybrid mattresses that offer the benefits of plant-based materials. Each mattress has a blend of bio-foams for comfort layers that are more eco-friendly than the traditional synthetic-based memory foam material. Amerisleep offers 5 different mattress firmness options in all-foam options, and 3 popular firmness varieties also in a pocketed coil hybrid build. Customers like their offerings and have good things to say about the quality versus better known name-brands.
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, their T&N Original Mattress. Since then, they've elaborated on their initial concept with two more innovative designs: The Mint and The Hybrid, which provide high quality, superbly pressure-relieving offerings. On top of that, the Mint Mattress was recently upgraded to include antimicrobial protection embedded in its cover layer. With their three mattresses and 100,000s of positive reviews, customers have spoken in approval of T&N.
Cocoon by Sealy is Sealy's answer to the disruptive mattress in a box brands that have been so popular over the past two years. They offer a cooling 'Chill' memory foam mattress and hybrid mattress. With massive brand awareness and competitive prices, Cocoon is an exciting entry into the mattress-in-a-box space. One that's sure to continue to innovate!
Loom and Leaf has a lot to offer -- standing at just about 12 inches thick, it has many layers of high-end foam that help alleviate pressure points but also properly cradle the spine. If you are frustrated by mattresses that don't properly support your back and spine, Loom and Leaf can definitely help. It has a medium firm option that is approved by chiropractors and other spine gurus. Also, its firmness and thick layers help with long term durability.
When it comes to price, value, and cooling medium-firm comfort, the Bear Mattress is the top rated all-foam mattress. Other top contenders are Level Sleep for its posture focused mattress, Nectar for its high value mattress, and Puffy for its soft-luxury contour.
On average, about 6 years. Most all-foam mattresses last between 5 and 7 years. Depending on the mattress quality and the firmness, mattresses can last longer or less long.
Mattresses that feature memory foam can provide additional pressure relief, which can help with back, shoulder, and hip pain. However, not all foams are high quality and some may off-gas toxins. Be sure to check certifications (such as CertiPUR-US and Greenguard GOLD) to make sure foams are quality.
Depending on personal preferences and firmness requirements, memory foam's contour can cause discomfort and feel less supportive than expected. Also, some lower quality memory foams have issues with off-gassing and odor.
Nectar offers the best overall customer satisfaction and value for the money. It comes with an affordable price point, 365 night home trial, and added perks buying direct. Other competitive brands include the Tuft & Needle and Bear mattresses.
Comfy and high quality memory foam mattresses range from 8 to 12 inches in height, with 10 - 12 inches being most common. Slimmer options may not offer enough support. Thicker options may offer additional pressure relief and contour.
The most important first step is to learn what customers say about top rated memory foam mattresses that fit your budget and sleeping style (such as side sleeping vs. back sleeping). This will guide you to a selection of options. Most customers like medium-firmness for back and side sleeping.
Memory foam mattresses range from less than $200 to more than $4500 for a queen. The highest rated options average around $1000 for a queen.