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Foam Mattress Reviews

In the world of sleep, foam mattress reviews have been growing in popularity as people hunt for the perfect night’s rest. There are so many different types of mattresses on the market now, many of which are foam based, but shopping for a foam mattress can be a daunting task. Different types of foam, thickness, firmness, breathability, are just a few characteristics that may vary depending on what type of foam is used. In order to make an informed decision, you’ve got to get the lowdown on the basics of foam mattresses.

This guide outlines types of foam, their differences, and what types of sleepers each foam responds best to.

Best Foam Mattresses

Each foam has special characteristics that make it uniquely different from the other varieties. When reading foam mattress reviews, make sure you know your foam! Consider comfort, breathability, support, sleeping style, responsiveness, and body-contouring.

Sleepopolis recommends the following foam mattresses:

Best Soft Mattress
Layla
Layla
Layla

A flippable design makes the Layla mattress a truly customizable bedroom accessory. Get $110 off your purchase using code SLEEPOPOLIS.

Best for Side Sleepers
Nolah
Nolah
Nolah

A soft, supportive construction makes the Nolah mattress especially good for side sleepers. Enjoy $135 off your purchase now! 

Best Mattress for Back Pain
Casper
Casper
Casper

The memory foam, latex, and heavy-duty poly foam work together to offer sleepers a beautifully balanced feel! US customers can take $100 off your purchase with our exclusive discount by using the code SLEEPOPOLIS or clicking this link!

Best Cooling Mattress
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
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 Value Mattress
Brooklyn Bedding Bowery
Brooklyn Bedding Bowery
Brooklyn Bedding Bowery

A hybrid construction makes this a great mattress for side sleepers in need of bounce! Enjoy 20% off the Bowery with code SLEEPOPOLIS20.

All of these mattresses utilize different varieties of foam to give them a unique feel and respond to different types of sleepers.

Top 6 Foam Mattress

Best Soft Mattress

The soft side of the Layla is great for side sleepers

Layla

Love the feeling of sinking deeply into soft, contouring memory foam? Then you might love the Layla mattress. This flippable, all-foam mattress features two firmnesses in one: The firm side is around a 6.5 out of 10 on the firmness scale, which makes it a decent choice for combo sleepers. The soft side is (surprise!) even softer, and I think most people who are looking at memory foam mattresses will prefer this side.

For fans of soft mattresses, the soft side is where the Layla really shines. It’s thicker than the other side to allow plenty of room for you to sink into the memory foam. In true memory foam form, it offers plenty of contouring and pressure relief — so it could be perfect for side sleepers, who need this comfort around their shoulders and hips. Worried that sinking into the memory foam will make you sleep hot? Fear not. The mattress features a copper infusion to minimize trapped heat, so it actually sleeps fairly cool.

Want to learn more? Check out my full Layla mattress review.

Save $110 on your order!
Layla Mattress
Layla Mattress

A flippable design makes the Layla mattress a truly customizable bedroom accessory. Get $110 off your purchase using code SLEEPOPOLIS.

Best for Side Sleepers

Sinking deep into the Nolah

Nolah

In lieu of memory foam, the all-foam Nolah features a proprietary alternative dubbed AirFoam™. This material is distinct from memory foam in a couple ways: It’s open-celled, which makes it more breathable and less likely to trap heat. And it’s also thicker and slightly bouncier, so it allows for more mobility. Because it’s easy to move around on the mattress, the Nolah might appeal to combo sleepers — particularly those who spend a fair amount of time on their side. It’s also a great choice for stricter side sleepers. 

Why might the Nolah appeal to side sleepers? For starters, the AirFoam™ provides plenty of body contouring and pressure relief, especially in sensitive areas such as the shoulder. Additionally, the mattress is soft, which should allow you to sink into the foam for maximum comfort. At the same time, you’ll still enjoy good mobility and breathability, which means you’re less likely to sleep hot. 

Curious about the unique AirFoam™ in this mattress? Learn more in my full Nolah review.

Nolah Mattress
Nolah Mattress

A soft, supportive construction makes the Nolah mattress especially good for side sleepers. Enjoy $135 off your purchase now! 

Best Mattress for Back Pain

Back sleeping on the Casper mattress

Casper

The wrong mattress for your sleep needs can cause an achy back, but the Casper might help soothe one. It uses a Zoned Support structure designed to offer support or comfort where you need it most. To that end, the mattress is firmer at the hips — to support proper spinal alignment — and softer at the shoulders for more pressure relief. 

This structure is ideal for back sleepers and combo sleepers who spend the night moving between their backs and their sides. Combo sleepers will also appreciate the fact that it’s easy to move around on this mattress thanks to a layer of bouncy foam that’s similar in feel to latex. In fact, sleepers of all stripes might appreciate this layer, because it makes the Casper more breathable than many all-memory foam mattresses. The open-cell poly-foam helps promote airflow and defend against trapped heat.

Still not sure about this popular bed-in-a-box mattress? Read my comprehensive Casper review.

Save $100
Casper Mattress
Casper Mattress

The memory foam, latex, and heavy-duty poly foam work together to offer sleepers a beautifully balanced feel! US customers can use code SLEEPOPOLIS to save $100 on your purchase!

Best Cooling Mattress

Testing out the Bear mattress

Bear

When you hear the word “Bear,” you might picture a huge animal covered in warm fur. But in actuality, the Bear Mattress is one of the most cooling foam mattresses around. That’s thanks to several features, including a Celliant cover that’s thin and breathable and a graphite infusion that helps draw heat away from the body. Combined with the memory foam comfort layer and a relatively firm feel, this construction might be ideal for athletes, back sleepers, or combo sleepers who switch between their back and side. 

In fact, the Bear was built with athletes in mind — hence the Celliant cover. There’s some evidence that Celliant can help with athletic recovery, though it’s a good idea to do your own research on that point. Even if you’re more of a weekend warrior (or a bonafide couch potato), you might like the Bear if you’re in the market for an all-foam mattress that sleeps cool and has a firmer feel. That firmness should keep back sleepers’ spines aligned and prevent you from feeling stuck in the bed, while the memory foam offers pressure relief at the shoulders and hips if you spend a little time on your side. 

Have I piqued your interest? Then check out my detailed Bear mattress review.

Save 20%
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

Testing out the WinkBed MemoryLux

WinkBeds MemoryLux

Memory foam was first released by NASA in the 1970s, and it was only a matter of time before the material made its way into the mattress world — where it’s enjoyed massive popularity pretty much ever since. Classic memory foam has been featured in a few other beds on this list, but it really shines in the MemoryLux, which (in my opinion!) offers the truest memory foam feel. The five inches of memory foam on top of the mattress let you sink deeply into it, offer tons of great pressure relief, and overall just feel like a body-contouring hug. 

Because the MemoryLux is so giving, it’s likely to appeal to side sleepers, whose shoulders and hips will benefit from the mattress’s serious pressure relief. It could also be a good fit for combo sleepers who spend a lot of time on their side. If the thought of being enveloped by memory foam has you sweating, don’t worry. The MemoryLux has a few features to help you sleep comfortably, including a breathable Tencel cover and a gel infusion that helps prevent trapped heat. 

Want to learn more about this memory foam classic? Read my entire MemoryLux review.

Save $200!
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 Value Mattress

Front view of the Brooklyn Bowery

Brooklyn Bedding Bowery

If you’re looking for a durable foam bed that uses quality materials without breaking the bank, then check out the Brooklyn Bowery. The all-foam mattress combines high-density polyfoam with Energex Foam, a latex foam alternative that is soft, responds quickly to pressure, and sleeps cool. These materials are durable and should last for a long time. They also create a feel that’s well suited to combo sleepers. 

Why might the Bowery appeal to combo sleepers? It all comes down to the combination of mobility and pressure relief. The mattress lets you switch positions easily while still providing plenty of contouring comfort around sensitive areas such as the shoulders, hips, or lower back. Just note that strict stomach sleepers or combo sleepers who spend a lot of time on their stomach might find there’s not enough support at the hips. But otherwise, combo sleepers who want a foam bed with some bounce should feel right at home on this mattress.

Is the Brooklyn Bowery the foam mattress of your dreams? Read my full review to find out.

Take 20% off!
Brooklyn Bedding Bowery Mattress
Brooklyn Bedding Bowery Mattress
A hybrid construction makes this a great mattress for side sleepers in need of bounce! Enjoy 20% off the Bowery with code SLEEPOPOLIS20.

Types of Foam

Unlike traditional innerspring mattresses that use steel coils to relieve pressure points, foam mattresses rely on supportive layers of foam to adjust to your body. Many mattresses vary in the thickness or type of foam used, but the different layers are what makes each foam mattress so unique. It is very common for a good foam mattress to start with a base layer of support foam.

Support foam is a high density foundational layer. It is highly breathable which helps to limit the absorption of excess heat while still being firm enough to give the mattress its structure. Some support foams may be noted as convoluted foams. These special foams are machine pressed to give them their unique cone-like structure. This feature helps to prevent the mattress from sagging. It also provides deep compression support and promotes cooling and breathability throughout the mattress.

Above the foundational support foam layer, some mattresses will include a layer of transition foam. Transition foam provides additional support to the above layers and also helps to provide deep compression support. This is especially important for heavier sleepers. Transitional foam is usually a poly foam or sometimes a memory foam (see below for more info).

Latex foam is used for comfort, bounce and cooling. It is a more responsive foam in how quickly it is able to adjust to your changes in position and movements. This is in contrast to memory foam, which is usually slower to respond, but creates a more pronounced hug and contour. In your search through foam mattress reviews, you may also run across some aerated latex foams. These foams have all of the same properties of a traditional latex foam, while also adding extra breathability. In addition, some sleepers find the responsiveness of an aerated latex foam to be quicker than traditional latex.

Memory foam is sometimes used in place of or in conjunction with latex foam for hybrid mattresses. This foam provides body-contouring support that relives pressure points, while also providing deep compression support. There are many different types of memory foam. It’s important to note that all memory foams are not created equal, there is a wide spectrum of varying quality and performance. Some memory foams are nearly as responsive as latex, while more traditional memory foams may take several seconds to respond. The depth of the sinkage and hug also varies between memory foams.

All memory foams are polyurethane foams, but not all polyurethane foams are memory foam. A true memory foam is visco elastic, meaning it resists more when pressure is applied. This is why it creates a deeper hug and responds to changes more slow. Most support foams and some transitional foams are poly foams. Lastly, both memory and poly foams can contain gel, copper, or other infused materials to provide additional cooling or change the feel.

Custom and proprietary foams also exist to fill many of the gaps between latex, memory, and other poly foams. Avena is a custom foam designed to feel like latex, but with added durability. Energex is also a latex foam alternative, but provides better support.

Types of Mattress Covers

Lastly, the cover. While the cover may not seem like an important factor the distinction and difference can dramatically change the feel. There are two basic types of cover, thin covers and covers with padding. Thin covers create extra cooling and allow sleepers more direct contact with the foam layers. These are most common in memory foam mattresses.

Thin cover example (Leesa mattress)
Thin cover example (Leesa mattress)

Padded covers can take many forms, they can be as thin as just a 0.5″ of quilted material or as thick as a dense and plush pillow topper. Padded covers put more space between sleepers and foam layers below. They also create more immediate softness and pressure relief for sleepers that isn’t as impacted as much by the relative responsiveness and feel of the support foam layers below.

Very light sleepers (130 pounds or less) generally do better with a padded cover, unless they like to float more on top of the mattress with a firmer feel. Padded / quilted covers offer a more classic and traditional look and feel.

Padded / quilted cover example (Nest Bedding Alexander)
Padded / quilted cover example (Nest Bedding Alexander)
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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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