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Best Memory Foam Mattress

First developed by NASA in the 1970s for use on spacecraft, memory foam is now one of the most popular mattress materials around. And for good reason! It’s plush, gentle, pressure-relieving, and super cozy, working to alleviate tension across the body and keep the sleeper cradled in a cushiony embrace.

These days, the material’s incorporated into a ton of different mattresses, but which one’s right for you? Stick around for my round-up of the best memory foam mattresses of 2020 to find out!

Keep reading below for a full breakdown of my favorite memory foam beds. At the end, I’ll also go into the material’s biggest draws (and drawbacks) and provide you with some helpful information for finding the kind of memory foam mattress that’s going to be perfect for your specific sleep needs!

Best Cooling Memory Foam Mattress
Layla
Layla
Layla

A flippable design makes the Layla mattress a truly customizable bedroom accessory. Get $160 off your purchase using code SLEEPOPOLIS.

Best Memory Foam Mattress for Back Sleepers
Bear
Bear
Bear

The cover of the Bear mattress uses celliant, which some studies suggest may help those with active lifestyles recover faster! Enjoy 20% off your order with the code SLEEPOPOLIS!

Best Memory Foam Mattress for Back Pain
Amerisleep
Amerisleep
Amerisleep

With a true medium firm feel, the AS3 is ideal for combo sleepers. Use code SLEEPOPOLIS to save $250 with our exclusive discount!

Best Cheap Memory Foam Mattress
Nectar
Nectar
Nectar

Sleepers will sink deep into the Nectar mattress for some soothing pressure relief, something that side sleepers will particularly appreciate! Use this link to check the current discount offer!

Best Memory Foam Mattress for Side Sleepers
WinkBeds MemoryLux
WinkBeds MemoryLux
WinkBeds MemoryLux

The WinkBeds MemoryLux has thick layers of memory foam to provide great pressure relief and the classic contouring feel of sinking into bed. Enjoy $200 off your order with the code SLEEPOPOLIS200!

Best Memory Foam Mattress for Couples
Loom & Leaf
Loom & Leaf
Loom & Leaf

Enjoy the cozy comfort of this ultra-plush mattress, and save $100 off purchase of $500+ with the Sleepopolis discount!

Best Firm Memory Foam Mattress
Novosbed
Novosbed
Novosbed

The Novosbed Mattress offers a classic memory foam feel, but also features three different firmness levels for sleepers still experimenting with their support needs! Click the link to check current pricing.

Methodology

Before I dive into my selections, I just want to acknowledge that all of these picks are based on my personal preference. Everybody and every body is different, so I suggest using these as a starting off point for your own search!

I will say that I endeavored to only include options that feature high-quality memory foam, which, in my opinion, is dense, thick, and usually modified with either a cooling infusion or open-cell structure. These modifications are important because they help to mitigate the overheating tendencies of traditional memory foam, which can cause some sleepers discomfort in the night.

But enough chat! Let’s get on with the picks.

The Mattresses

Best Cooling Memory Foam Mattress

Layla mattress with the soft side up

Layla

Memory foam is perhaps best known for its body-contouring capabilities, which allow sleepers to sink into the material for pressure relief at the shoulders and hips. While this deep sinkage can do wonders for aches and pains, it can also pose a pesky problem — overheating. But not all memory foam mattresses sleep hot! In fact, some, like the all-foam Layla mattress, sleep unbelievably cool. 

Layla manages to beat the heat by infusing its memory foam with copper, a material that works to actively dissipate body heat throughout the structure. Another neat feature of this mattress is that’s flippable with both a Firm and Soft side. Personally, I like the Firm side for back sleepers and the Soft side for side sleepers, but I suggest trying out both to see which one works best for you. No matter which side you choose, you’ll enjoy plenty of cushiony (and cool!) copper-infused memory foam. 

Read more about the Layla at my full Layla mattress review!

Save $160 on your order!
Layla Mattress
Layla Mattress
Layla Mattress

A flippable design makes the Layla mattress a truly customizable bedroom accessory. Get $160 off your purchase using code SLEEPOPOLIS.

Best Memory Foam Mattress for Back Sleepers

The Bear Mattress

Bear

If you’re a back sleeper looking to snag a memory foam mattress that’ll alleviate tension at your lumbar region, I highly recommend checking out the Bear mattress. Unlike other memory foam models you’ll see on the market, this bed is actually quite supportive, working to align the spine all the way from the shoulders to the hips. 

Bear pulls this off by bolstering its gentle memory foam top layer with firmer sections of high-density poly foam, striking a satisfying balance between pressure relief and support. I should also mention that the memory foam is infused with graphite for extra cooling and that the whole structure is wrapped in a Celliant cover, which some studies suggest could help with athletic recovery. All in all, a fantastic pick for those looking to soothe aches and pains in the night. 

For more, take a peek at my full Bear mattress review. The brand also sells the Bear Pro (a softer alternative to the Original Bear) and the Bear Hybrid (a bouncy, supportive hybrid mattress). 

Save 20%
Bear Mattress
Bear Mattress
Bear Mattress

The cover of the Bear mattress uses celliant, which some studies suggest may help those with active lifestyles recover faster! Enjoy 20% off your order with the code SLEEPOPOLIS!

Best Memory Foam Mattress for Back Pain

Amerisleep AS3 mattress

Amerisleep

Back pain sufferers looking to enjoy the contouring benefits of memory foam could find a lot to love in the Amerisleep line of mattresses. The brand boasts five different models, which range from the ultra-firm AS1 to the luxuriously soft AS5. Though these beds differ in terms of pressure relief and support, they all feature gentle top layers of memory foam. 

While you can of course choose the firmness that’s right for you, I’d suggest back pain sufferers consider either the AS2 or AS3 models. Both have a pleasant, medium firm feel that works to lift the hips in line with the shoulders. After all, the most crucial factor for combatting back pain is neutral spine alignment, which both of these mattresses achieve with ease. It’s also worth noting that the memory foam used across the line features an open-cell design to encourage breathability and cooling. 

To learn more about the Amerisleep line, check out my Amerisleep Comparison.

Save $250
Amerisleep AS3 Mattress
Amerisleep AS3 Mattress
Amerisleep AS3 Mattress

With a true medium firm feel, the AS3 is ideal for combo sleepers. Use code SLEEPOPOLIS to save $250 with our exclusive discount!

Best Cheap Memory Foam Mattress

The Nectar Mattress

Nectar

Though memory foam can be slightly expensive, budget-conscious shoppers will be pleased to know that not every memory foam mattress has to break the bank. The Nectar, for example, is an excellent value option that epitomizes the best aspects of the material without costing a fortune. 

Here, you’ll find a whopping 5” of memory foam up top, which sets an irresistibly soft tone for the structure. Most sleepers will sink deeply into these memory foam comfort layers, experiencing plenty of pressure relief at the shoulders and hips. Therefore, I normally recommend the Nectar for strict side sleepers or those in need of cushiony support at sensitive spots along the body. But overall, if you’re looking for a great deal on a classic memory foam feel, you can’t beat the Nectar mattress.

Get all the details at my full Nectar mattress review!

Click for Current Offer
Nectar Mattress
Nectar Mattress
Nectar Mattress

Sleepers will sink deep into the Nectar mattress for some soothing pressure relief, something that side sleepers will particularly appreciate! Use this link to check the current discount offer!

Best Memory Foam Mattress for Side Sleepers

The WinkBed MemoryLux mattress in the Sleepopolis bedroom

WinkBeds MemoryLux

If you’re a side sleeper in need of pressure relief at the shoulders and hips, you may want to consider the WinkBed MemoryLux mattress. This luxurious bed is built with thick top layers of memory foam, which provide ample space for deep body-contouring and sinkage. 

Though this much memory foam would normally result in a major overheating problem, WinkBeds has managed to mitigate the worst of these effects by infusing its memory foam with gel. The bed is also wrapped in a cover of Tencel, an eco-friendly material that’s exceedingly breathable. All in all, a fantastic pick for folks looking to take advantage of the pressure-relieving capabilities of this classic mattress material.

For more, hop on over to my full WinkBed MemoryLux review. You can also check out my reviews for the Original WinkBed and WinkBed Plus mattresses.

Save $200!
WinkBeds MemoryLux Mattress
WinkBeds MemoryLux Mattress
WinkBeds MemoryLux Mattress

The WinkBeds MemoryLux has thick layers of memory foam to provide great pressure relief and the classic contouring feel of sinking into bed. Enjoy $200 off your order with the code SLEEPOPOLIS200!

Best Memory Foam Mattress for Couples

The Loom & Leaf in the Sleepopolis bedroom

Loom & Leaf

When compared to other popular mattress materials, memory foam is remarkably good at absorbing and isolating motion. This is a great quality for all sleepers, but especially those who doze with a restless partner. And for couples looking to take full advantage of this absorbent trait, I’d recommend checking out the Loom & Leaf mattress. 

I think couples will like this bed for a few reasons. Number one, the construction kicks off with two thick layers of memory foam, which actively work to dampen movement across the structure. Number two, the top section of memory foam is infused with gel, which helps to dissipate body heat. And number three, the Loom & Leaf is fairly firm, which means there’s consistent support from the center all the way to the sides of the mattress. Long story short, this bed’s got everything you and your partner need for a night of sweet, sweet dreams. 

For more on this bed, visit my full Loom & Leaf mattress review.

Save $100
Loom & Leaf Mattress
Loom & Leaf Mattress
Loom & Leaf Mattress

Enjoy the cozy comfort of this ultra-plush mattress, and save $100 off purchase of $500+ with the Sleepopolis discount!

Best Firm Memory Foam Mattress

Novosbed Mattress

Novosbed

If you like the idea of memory foam, but need something a little firmer, you may want to check out the Novosbed mattress. This bad boy comes in three different firmnesses: Soft (recommended for side sleepers), Medium (for combo sleepers), and Firm (recommended for back and stomach sleepers). 

Though all three levels feature memory foam comfort and transition layers, the actual amount decreases as you move from the Soft Novosbed to the Firm Novosbed. So, by the time you get to the firmest iteration, you’ll land on a bed that offers enough give to cushion the shoulders and hips without too much sinkage. This vibe could work for a lot of sleepers, but perhaps most for those who like a gentle touch without the “stuck-in-the-bed” feeling that sometimes befalls other memory foam mattresses.

Learn more about the Novosbed by reading my full Novosbed mattress review.

Novosbed Mattress
Novosbed Mattress
Novosbed Mattress

The Novosbed Mattress offers a classic memory foam feel, but also features three different firmness levels for sleepers still experimenting with their support needs! Click the link to check current pricing.

Memory Foam Characteristics

Now that we’ve gone over all my favorite memory foam mattresses on the market, let’s take a second to recap the material’s most striking characteristics.

SO_ReviewsGraphics_MemoryFoam_Contouring

As you likely gathered from my descriptions above, body-contouring is a big selling point of the material. But what does this term actually mean? For me, it describes the sensation I experience as memory foam molds and conforms to the unique curves of my body. That contouring feel is not only comfortable, but also helps to alleviate tension at sensitive spots such as the shoulders, hips, and lower back.

SO_ReviewsGraphics_MemoryFoam_Sinkage

Another hallmark characteristic of memory foam is its deep sinkage, which allows sleepers to feel as though they’re being enveloped in a cushiony embrace. While sinkage amounts vary from bed to bed, a true memory foam mattress will typically feature its fare share of the stuff.

Though some may say this results in a “stuck-in-the-bed” feel that makes it difficult to move around, others will find the sinkage helps to soothe achy joint pain.

SO_ReviewsGraphics_MemoryFoam_Adaptability

And finally, memory foam is a highly adaptable material, often described as viscoelastic. Viscoelastic foams have a very unique and recognizable feel — the more pressure that’s applied to the foam, the deeper compression and hug you feel. This type of compression doesn’t happen in an instant, but over the course of several seconds (the duration depends on the specific foam). In this time, the mattress will respond to the weight of your body and adjust density accordingly.

FAQ

Q: What is memory foam used for? A: This cushiony material is used predominantly in mattresses, but can also be spotted in pillows, seat cushions, blankets, and even shoe insoles!

Memory Foam Complaints

But of course, no material is without its drawbacks, so let’s go ahead and explore a few of memory foam’s most notable pitfalls.

SO_ReviewsGraphics_MemoryFoam_Overheating

As we discussed, memory foam has a bit of a reputation for overheating at night, mostly because the material’s so dense that it has a tendency to trap any and all body heat. This can be highly uncomfortable for some sleepers, particularly those who already run hot.

Thankfully, many brands nowadays mitigate this annoying attribute by either infusing their memory foam layers with a cooling agent (usually gel, sometimes copper or graphite) or employing an open-cell design (which will go over a little bit later).

SO_ReviewsGraphics_MemoryFoam_SlowResponse

Though memory foam’s slow response to pressure can be a big plus for some sleepers, it can be a real drag for others, especially those who like to move around and change positions in the night. Any material that has a slow response to pressure is going to produce a quasi-stuck feeling, which limits a sleeper’s overall mobility.

You can avoid this problem by snagging a memory foam mattress that also utilizes latex, a much bouncier material known for lifting sleepers up and out of bed.

FAQ

Q: Are memory foam mattresses good for you? A: Memory foam mattresses can be great products for those in search of gentle pressure relief. However, they may not be the best fit for those who like to change positions in the night or prefer a firmer feel.

What Makes the Best Memory Foam?

Density

The density of a foam is a measure of its weight. Essentially, it’s how much actual foam material is built into the layer. It’s important to remember that foam thickness is not an indication of density. A 3-inch layer of memory foam can range widely in density.

As a general rule, the higher the density of a foam, the greater lifespan that foam is likely to have. However, the higher the density of a foam, the warmer it’s generally going to sleep. The sweet spot for memory foam density is in the 3.0-5.0 PCF (pounds per cubic foot) range, in my opinion. This provides enough longevity and durability without being so dense that you create serious heat-retention issues.

Thickness

The thickness of a memory foam layer (or any foam layer, for that matter) will play an important role in a bed’s overall comfort level.

Memory foam works best when there is at least 4 inches of comfort memory foams. Bear in mind that this can be split into multiple layers. Varying densities and firmnesses are often layered together to create the right comfort and support dynamic.

SO_GeneralMattressGraphics_Memory-Foam-copy

Having at least four inches ensures a smooth transitional support. Having a comfort layer that is less than four inches can increase the likelihood of encountering a “support wall” type of feel that’ll minimize the beneficial effects of memory foam, especially if combined with a poly foam, latex, or other non-memory foam.

Different Types of Memory Foam

Pros and cons aside, let’s wrap up this guide by briefly touching on the most popular types of memory foam. While this isn’t an exhaustive list of all the memory foam variations available online, it does highlight the ones you’re most likely to run into.

Traditional Memory Foam

When people think of “memory foam,” this is usually what they envision. A classic or more traditional type of memory foam is usually going to be less responsive (taking several seconds to adapt to your changes in movement), thereby offering a deeper and more pronounced hug and contour. This type is also notably denser than either of the other options listed in this section and is the main culprit for the “overheating” rep memory foam often gets.

Infused Memory Foam

Infused memory foams take the pressure-relieving goodness of traditional memory foam and amp it up with a little added cooling. Gel-infused is the most popular variant of this type, though more and more brands are experimenting with different elements, such as graphite and copper.

Typically, infused memory foam is going to be slightly less dense than traditional memory foam as the infusions work to open up the tight structure of the material.

Open-Cell Memory Foam

Open-cell memory foam has a similar feel to traditional memory foam, but has been manufactured with tiny air pockets for added breathability. This results in a material that has a faster response time and overall better air circulation, which helps with temperature regulation throughout the night.

Though not as popular as either of the aforementioned memory foams, open-cell designs are seen in a number of mattresses on the market.

FAQ

Q: How long does a memory foam mattress last? A: This question really comes down to the density of the material. Low-density memory foams will typically only last between 5-6 years, while high-density memory foams can last upwards of 10 years.

Conclusion

Well folks, that about does it for this guide! Hopefully you found the memory foam mattress of your dreams, but if you didn’t, feel free to shoot me a message on Facebook or Twitter and I’ll help you find the bed that’s going to be 100% right for you.

For more videos like this, make sure to check out (and subscribe to!) our YouTube channel, where we post all our latest content.

FAQs

Is a memory foam mattress good?

Memory foam mattresses can be great for those in need of pressure relief! The material is well known for its body-contouring hug, which allows sleepers to sink deeply into the bed for relief at the shoulders and hips.

Do you need a boxspring with a memory foam mattress?

Totally up to you! You don’t need a box spring for any of the mattresses mentioned in this video, but if you prefer the feel of a box spring to that of a traditional bed frame, feel free to go with it.

Can you flip a memory foam mattress?

It depends on the bed. Some memory foam mattresses (like the Layla mentioned here) are flippable, so will work regardless of how you orient them. Others, however, aren’t designed to be flipped at all as they only feature memory foam on one side of the bed.

Is a memory foam mattress good for back pain?

It really depends on how you sleep! Though most memory foam mattresses will probably be too soft for strict back sleepers, side sleepers with aches and pains in the lower back may find that a memory foam mattress is able to alleviate tension along the spine.

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Logan Block
Logan is the content director of Sleepopolis, which means he not only reviews new mattresses every week, but also curates all the comparisons, best of pages, and video guides on the site. He takes a straightforward, honest approach to his reviews and endeavors to give viewers an objective look at each new product he tries out. Logan has perfected his method by personally testing over 200 different mattresses, so he’s not only able to discern the overall vibe of a specific bed, but to contextualize its feel within the bed-in-a-box market as a whole. When he’s not hopping on a new bed or working with our editorial team to whip up an engaging sleep education guide, you can find him reading books on world history, walking his dog Pepper, or searching for the best cheeseburger in New York City.
Logan Block

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