We know that there is not necessarily one “best” memory foam mattress, as there are a lot of great mattresses out there and certain ones that are best for certain types of people.
I suggest you use your body, as the tool to find the perfect one for you but us can use my research as a starting point to decide which memory foam mattress is best for you.
My Top 5 Reviewed Memory Foam Mattresses
I’ve reviewed a number of memory foam mattresses, with the four below ranking at the top for value, luxury, budget, and comfort.
Overall: Sealy Conform
Value: Sealy Essentials™ Collection
Ideal For Side Sleepers: Sealy Essentials Optimistic Memory foam
Best If You Want To Sleep Cool: Gratifying
Budget: Mill Creek or any import but they are not all created Equal.
These mattresses rank among my top in general, as well as in specific categories like the best for side sleeping.
Why These Five Memory Foam Mattresses?
These are just a few of my favorite across a few categories. If you’re looking at any memory foam option, you should look for a mattress that:
Must have good comfort/support for your physical shape and size
Does not make you sleep hotter (a risk especially for memory foam)
Must have minimal motion transfer (especially for couples)
Must have the right foam density for comfort, support and longevity
Finding the Right Density Level
You’ll come across density level a lot. It is very confusing for everyone, and there is so much more to it than just a black and white math problem, I’ll try to keep things as simple as possible, outlining general trends, but know exceptions will exist within certain brands and models. Typically, I have found (and studies show) that the higher the density, the following is true:
More expensive– More materials go into higher density foam, so almost always you can expect a positive connection of density level and price.
Last longer– Generally, the higher the density and the longer the mattress will last.
Less Motion Transfer– The higher the density of the foam, the less motion transfer you will feel. If you sleep with a partner, higher density foam is more desirable, so you don’t get disturbed if they happen to move around.
More Support / Pain Relief– More density means more support. Higher density foam does a better job of contouring to your body. If you have back pain, you will want a higher density foam mattress.
One of the most common criticisms I hear about memory foam mattresses (a complaint that I share personally as well) is that this type of mattress often sleeps hot. This means that the mattress absorbs and retains heat, making the sleeping surface hot, especially later on in the night after you’ve been sleeping for several hours.
What are the ways companies try to keep memory foam sleeping cool? Using plant-based foam has been shown to be very effective, and so has laminating a layer of gel onto the foam. Some companies use “gel-infused” memory foam, but in most cases that is more marketing rather than based in reality.
When it comes to gel, mattress companies really turn on the marketing. They will charge you thousands of dollars more for certain types of gels that aren’t actually more effective (though they do sound amazing). This is one of my primary complaints with Tempur-pedic and similar traditional brands, and why I recommend the Tempur-pedic Contour Rhapsody Luxe rather than one of their even more expensive models
Off-Gassing and Chemicals
Memory foam is made from petrochemicals. No mattress the brand, know that your memory foam mattress will possess chemicals (no matter how eco-friendly they claim to be).
New memory foam mattresses typically give off a chemical smell when they are unboxed. This is called “off-gassing.” It’s not a concern for the long-term, but the smell can potentially last as long as a week, depending on the mattress brand. With some mattresses, the smell is very faint and completely goes away within 24 hours.
Resiliency / Getting Stuck
Higher quality memory foam mattresses have a more resilient feel to them. Lots of people complain that they feel that they “get stuck” in memory foam and have a hard time moving around or getting out of bed.
Memory foam typically takes a while to react to movement. This isn’t optimal for some people’s preferences, and if this is a big concern for you, I would consider a latex mattress as an alternative. Latex has many similar properties to memory foam, but has more “spring” to it. A new popular construction is latex over memory foam, with a lot of the new startups trying to get the benefits of both materials in one mattress.
Getting the Best Value
Sometimes people feel that they can get a better deal online. Fact of the matter is that if you compare the specifications of the on-line with one in a retail store, Like Mattress Showcase.Bargains, we have lower prices. Why, you might ask, because they cover the expense of the shipping as well as returns (there returns are much higher because you can’t lay on them), last but not least, they have a huge advertising budget, way larger than any normal retailer and they want to make a profit.
Final note on getting a deal – higher quality mattresses will last much longer than lower quality ones. If you purchase a cheap low-quality mattress, you may save money in the short term, but you may find yourself shopping for a replacement sooner than you had hoped.
We hope we have been helpful, and at the end of the day each bed will feel different to each person. Whatever memory foam mattress brand you end up going with, make sure you consider the points outlined above and consider your own sleeping preferences in the process.