Memory foam was developed over 50 years ago using a specialised process and blend of polyurethane. With its desirable slow response and contour, it has become popular in the likes of sofa cushions, car seats, and of course, mattresses. However, this 20th century revolution of memory foam brought many challenges, such as heat retention, lack of support, and high cost for quality.
Over recent years, however, there has been increasing development on the construction process in an effort to bring to market higher quality products with lower prices and better support. Also, gel infused foam and open cell technology are now must-have features for those worried about heat retention.
Most foam, including memory foam, is a synthetic blend of polyurethane, which is a polymer generally derived in part from petrolium. These synthetic compounds may not be the best for your health and over recent years, there has been increased scrutiny put on foam that off-gass toxins. There are a few independent organisations that certify low emission foam, such as the CertiPUR standard. If you are sensitive to chemicals, make sure to check the certifications before buying!
The best foam mattresses aren't purely one type of 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. The most comfortable foam mattresses are medium to medium firm so they don't swallow you, but provide a gentle contour to keep you comfortable. Nectar, with its multiple layers of open cell, high density cooling foam, and zoned base foams, does a great job at this!
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Traditional memory foam tends to trap heat, but there have been some manufacturing techniques that help alleviate this, like gel infusion and open cell technology.
Choosing a memory foam mattress can be a difficult decision and sometimes the feel of the mattress doesn't agree with your body. Make sure to select a mattress with a generous trial and return policy.
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Nectar offers one of the best values for mattresses available in the UK. Their mattresses focus on a universally comfortable medium-firmness and designs that offer 100% carbon neutrality, certified by ClimatePartner. With 5 mattresses offering both all-foam and pocket-spring technology, they offer benefits like added cooling with open-cell technology and spine-cradling zoned support. With a generous 365 day home trial, forever warranty, and low entry price, this brand is a must to consider.
Emma is a popular British mattress in a box company. They offer 3 different mattresses: the Emma Original Mattress, Emma Hybrid Mattress, and Emma Premium Mattress. Their mattresses are made with quality foam (and pocket springs in the Premium and Hybrid mattresses). With high marks from many happy customers, these mattresses are ideal for those looking for well-balanced comfort.
Tempur® mattresses became famous with the memory foam mattress revolution that they helped create. Over the years, their mattresses have grown to include pocket spring varieties along with their slow response foam options. They remain popular with customers and receive mostly good customer sentiment despite their higher prices, but there are recent reports of degrading support in some cases.
Silentnight is one of Britain's most popular budget mattress brands. It has 'Superbrand' status as a nationally recognised name. In terms of mattresses, they focus on pocket sprung and all-foam mattress varieties in a selection of firmnesses, and offer eco-friendly options too. Their most popular mattresses are often slimmer pocket sprung choices, with their newest Just Sleep brand delivering high-value to customers within 48 hours.
Dormeo is a popular mattress brand in the UK and Europe with over 50 mattress models to choose from. They revolutionised the industry with their creation of the Octaspring® all-foam coil, which provides targeted support while ensuring essential cooling and pressure relief. Since then, they have added pocket sprung, traditional all-foam, and latex mattress varieties too. Customers generally like their mattresses, but there have been some complaints about durability. See our US site for North American shoppers.
Founded in 1858 by a family of wool merchants, Relyon manufactures both luxury and budget mattresses that are sold online and across retailers in the UK and Europe. Relyon creates pocket sprung and all foam mattresses that feature both synthetic and natural fillings such as wool, silk, and cashmere. In some cases, customers have positive feedback when it comes to initial comfort, but there were some who also brought up durability concerns.
John Lewis & Partners is a high end department store chain that is based in the UK. In terms of mattresses, they sell mostly high priced and high end name-brands, but also have some budget-friendly options available. Many of the mattresses sold have concerns about durability and value for the money. Read on to learn more about their full offering and which mattresses may work for you.
Dreams is one of the largest mattress retailers in the UK. They have over 200 stores and offer mattresses from both UK name-brands and global mattress makers. When it comes to customer experiences, they get good ratings for their selection, but there are some complaints about quality and durability of some mattresses. Read on to learn more about their selection.
Dunelm is a British home furnishings retailer that has 150+ stores in the UK. When it comes to mattresses, they sell both budget friendly mattresses from brands like Silentnight and higher end mattresses from brands like Sleepeezee. Their mattresses and customer service get good scores from customers overall, but there were some concerns about value and durability.
Mattressman is an English mattress retailer that sells name-brand and budget mattresses online and in-store. They are known for their deep discounts and sales. Most customers have good things to say, but there are some negative reviews around initial comfort, customer service and delivery reported in some cases. Read on to learn about their full offering.