Best Memory Foam Mattresses of 2021

By Alesandra Woolley

Dec 1st, 2021

Memory foam mattresses are known for support, pressure relief and body-hugging comfort, but which one will help you get your best night’s sleep? We’ve tested some of the best memory foam mattresses on the market and selected our top 10 list—best for side sleepers, hot sleepers, heavy people, and more.

Find out how the contenders for best memory foam mattress performed in our 14-point testing process, compare their pros and cons, and get one step closer to enjoying your best rest every night.


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Top 10 Memory Foam Mattresses

  • Best Memory Foam Mattress for Hot Sleepers – GhostBed Luxe
  • Best Memory Foam Mattress for Back Sleepers – Helix Midnight
  • Best Organic Memory Foam Mattress – Loom & Leaf
  • Best Memory Foam Mattress for Heavy People – Casper
  • Best Memory Foam Mattress for Softness – Puffy Lux Hybrid
  • Best Memory Foam Mattress for Lower Back Pain – Dreamfoam Chill
  • Best Lifetime Warranty Memory Foam Mattress – Nectar
  • Best Memory Foam Mattress for Couples – Cocoon Chill
  • Best Memory Foam Mattress for Stomach Sleepers – Layla
  • Best Memory Foam Mattress for Combination Sleepers – Tuft & Needle Mint

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GhostBed Luxe Mattress

ghostbed luxe e1589554142546
GhostBed Luxe

Best Memory Foam Mattress for Hot Sleepers

Best for:

  • Couples or people who sleep with their pets
  • Sleepers with back or joint pain, especially side sleepers
  • Anyone who wants the contouring of memory foam but doesn’t want to sink in
CUSTOMER RATING

4.7

/

5

MA SCORE

9

/

10

FIRMNESS

Medium: 5.5/10

TRIAL PERIOD

101 days

Best Memory Foam Mattress for Hot Sleepers

GhostBed combines four foam layers with three cooling layers to ensure you don’t overheat at night. The cover is made from cool-to-the-touch fabric, while the foam layers are optimized for airflow to make sure that body heat doesn’t build up around you.

See: Best Mattresses for Hot Sleepers

Pros

This mattress scored incredibly well for spine alignment and (9.25/10) and pressure relief (8.5/10), making it a strong candidate for the sleeper with back pain, the side sleeper, and the back sleeper.

Cons

This mattress is just OK at edge support (7.8/10), which means you may not love it if you sleep on the edge or you need support when putting your shoes on in the morning. Also, stomach sleepers might find this product to be too soft for their needs.

See our full GhostBed Luxe mattress review.

Helix Midnight

helix midnight lifestyle
Helix Midnight

Best Memory Foam Mattress for Back Sleepers

Best for:

  • People who sleep hot
  • Couples
  • Those with back pain
CUSTOMER RATING

4.5

/

5

MA SCORE

8.9

/

10

FIRMNESS

Medium-firm: 6/10

TRIAL PERIOD

100 days

Best Memory Foam Mattress for Back Sleepers

Stomach sleepers and back sleepers will treasure the medium firmness of the Helix Midnight, while they will also appreciate the pressure relief that comes from the foam construction of this product.

Pros

The Helix Midnight is built to relieve pressure at the pain points, and its medium firmness provides a balanced feel around the hips and shoulders. For those who suffer from back pain or sleep on their sides, the upper foam layers will cradle the body and fill in the lower back.

Cons

There’s so much to love about this mattress, but it doesn’t rank the highest in social impact (5 out of 10), and if you are on a super tight budget, you may want to find your sleep future with another product.

See our full Helix Midnight mattress review.


Loom & Leaf Mattress

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Loom & Leaf

Best Organic Memory Foam Mattress

Best for:

  • Those who need various firmness options
  • People who want a mattress comparable to Tempur-pedic
  • Eco-conscious shoppers
CUSTOMER RATING

4.8

/

5

MA SCORE

8.2

/

10

FIRMNESS

Relaxed firm: 6/10; Firm: 8/10

TRIAL PERIOD

180 days

Best Organic Memory Foam Mattress

Each of the foam comfort layers used in the construction of the Loom & Leaf mattress are CertiPUR-US® certified, and the cover around the bed is made with quilted organic cotton. The Loom & Leaf mattresses also use natural thistle as a flame retardant.

Related: Best Natural Organic Mattresses

Pros

Loom & Leaf mattress will not disappoint with its cooling spinal gel and eco-friendly premium foam that keeps you cool and comfortable all night. And the Loom & Leaf comes with free white glove delivery and mattress removal, so you don’t have to lift a finger when it comes to setup.

Cons

If you sleep near the edge of the bed or you need support while putting on your shoes in the morning, you may want to look elsewhere. We particularly like the WinkBeds Luxury Firm for edge support.

See our full Loom & Leaf mattress review.

Casper Mattress

casper original hero
Casper

Best Memory Foam Mattress for Heavy People

Best for:

  • Plus-sized sleepers
  • People with back pain
  • Those who need good edge support
CUSTOMER RATING

4.5

/

5

MA SCORE

9.1

/

10

FIRMNESS

Medium-firm: 6/10

TRIAL PERIOD

100 days

Best Memory Foam Mattress for Heavy People

Casper has four unique layers that work together to support body parts that require different levels of pressure relief and support. Because of this targeted support structure, it’s a great mattress for heavy people who often need additional pressure point relief while sleeping.

Pros

The higher density foam prevents the mattress from sagging prematurely, allowing you to keep the mattress for longer. Also sleepers of all positions will find something to love with this mattress.

Cons

While the Casper is designed to sleep cool, it still faces challenges as a memory foam mattress. Therefore, we gave it a 7 out of 10 for cooling. Also, the 100-night sleep trial is easily beaten by its competitors.

See our full Casper mattress review.

Puffy Lux Hybrid

puffy lux e1585244915632
Puffy Lux Hybrid

Best Memory Foam Mattress for Softness

Best for:

  • People who prefer soft memory foam layers
  • Side, back and combination sleep positions
  • People who need pressure relief
CUSTOMER RATING

5

/

5

MA SCORE

8.3

/

10

FIRMNESS

Medium-Firm - 6/10

TRIAL PERIOD

101 nights

Best Soft Memory Foam Mattress

If you read Puffy Lux Hybrid reviews, you’ll probably notice the word “soft” showing up a lot. It’s not a coincidence. This hybrid model features multiple memory foam layers while also providing enough support and pressure relief to accommodate the back and stomach sleep positions.

Pros

With three memory foam layers topping a Contour-Adapt Coil Base, this mattress offers a balance of softness and support. The Lux Hybrid also uses memory foam that promotes cooling and breathability. A lifetime warranty, 101-night sleep trial, and free shipping and returns provide a solid foundation for customer satisfaction.

Cons

Side sleepers and combination sleepers might not find the pressure relief they need to get their most comfortable night’s sleep. The lack of white-glove delivery service means you’re responsible for disposing of your old mattress and setting up your new one. The price of the Puffy Lux Hybrid could be a turn-off for budget shoppers.

See our full Puffy Lux Hybrid mattress review.


Dreamfoam Chill Mattress

testing lifestyle 2 1 1
Dreamfoam Chill Memory Foam

Best Memory Foam Mattress for Lower Back Pain

Best for:

  • People with back pain
  • Side Sleepers
  • Couples
CUSTOMER RATING

4.7

/

5

MA SCORE

8.5

/

10

FIRMNESS

Medium-Soft to Firm

TRIAL PERIOD

120 days

Best Memory Foam Mattress for Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain can make it difficult to sleep, especially if your mattress doesn’t support you in the proper ways. The Dreamfoam Chill scored very highly (9.5/10) on our spinal alignment test, meaning when you sleep on it your spine will rest in its natural curve, resulting in less strain and less pain. 

Pros

In addition to great spinal alignment, the Dreamfoam Chill can make sleeping with a partner a much more comfortable experience. Because of its high score in motion isolation (8.5/10) you’re less likely to be disturbed by your partner’s movements, no matter how much they toss and turn. Plus, the Dreamfoam’s pressure relieving abilities should reduce aches in your shoulders and hips.

Cons

Despite its name, the Dreamfoam chill doesn’t perform all that well for hot sleepers. The dense layers of foam trap heat rather than allowing it to flow out of the mattress. Also, if you like to switch sleeping positions throughout the night, you may find that these same layers of foam make it a bit difficult to move around.

See our full Dreamfoam Chill mattress review.

Nectar Mattress

nectar original lifestyle updated
Nectar

Best for Lifetime Warranty

Best for:

  • People who like maximum warranties
  • Budget shoppers
  • Couples
CUSTOMER RATING

4.8

/

5

MA SCORE

8.7

/

10

FIRMNESS

Medium-firm: 5.5-6/10

TRIAL PERIOD

365 days

Best Lifetime Warranty Memory Foam Mattress

The main thing that sets the Nectar mattress apart from most competitors is its Forever Warranty, which lasts as long as you own the mattress. Not only does Nectar stand behind its mattresses, users stand behind the company with a 97% customer satisfaction rating.

Related: Best Cheap Mattresses for Your Budget

Pros

Nectar’s gel memory foam surface provides solid pressure relief and responsiveness. It also does a good job of limiting motion transfer, which is great for the sleeper who shares the bed with a partner, pets, or kids. Nectar’s proprietary cover is specifically designed to promote additional airflow and, as a bonus, it also keeps out dust mites.

Cons

The Nectar’s testing score in spine alignment (7.5/10) makes it less than ideal for sleepers with back pain, shoulder pain, or hip pain. People who sleep hot should also take note of its 7.75/10 score in cooling, which keeps Nectar out of the top ranks of cooling mattresses.

See our full Nectar mattress review.

Cocoon Chill

cocoon hero
Cocoon

Best Memory Foam Mattress for Couples

Best for:

  • Couples who like memory foam
  • Restless sleepers
  • People who like responsiveness
CUSTOMER RATING

4.7

/

5

MA SCORE

8.7

/

10

FIRMNESS

Medium-firm: 6/10

TRIAL PERIOD

100 days

Best Memory Foam Mattress for Couples

The definition of “chill” that best fits this mattress might not be the one about temperature but the one that means peaceful or tranquil. Its outstanding motion transfer qualities make it a particularly good choice for anyone who shares a bed with a partner, or has kids or pets who occasionally hop in on chilly nights.

Pros

The Chill mattress received a nearly perfect score on motion transfer (9/10) in our testing, which means that couples are less likely to be disturbed by their partner’s movements during the night. An identical 9/10 score for responsiveness is good news for restless sleepers and combination sleepers.

Related: Best Mattresses for Couples

Cons

Despite the briskness implied by the name, the Cocoon Chill scores 7.5/10 for cooling—not low, but not exactly knocking it out of the park. Because it’s a memory foam mattress, a mild chemical smell after unboxing will take a few days or so to fade away.

See our full Cocoon Chill mattress review.

Layla Mattress

Layla room 1
Layla

Best Memory Foam Mattress for Stomach Sleepers

Best for:

  • Indecisive people who are unsure of their firmness level preferences
  • People with arthritis
  • Those who need a mattress with pressure relief
CUSTOMER RATING

4.5

/

5

MA SCORE

8.8

/

10

FIRMNESS

Soft side: 4-5/10; Firm side: 7/10

TRIAL PERIOD

120 days

Best Memory Foam Mattress for Stomach Sleepers

If you’re a stomach sleeper, you may find more comfort on the firm side—this will help reduce stress on the spine and lower back. If you think you may like a firm mattress, but don’t want to go too firm, a flippable mattress like the Layla that offers multiple options is a great choice.

Pros

Layla’s copper properties are also great for pressure and pain relief—making your sleeping hours even more restful and restorative. We also love that Layla offers a lifetime warranty for as long as you own the mattress.

Cons

This mattress only received a 7.5 out of 10 for its cooling capabilities. If you have a tendency to sleep super hot, the Layla mattress may not be the best choice. You might want to turn to an innerspring mattress instead, or perhaps the Cocoon Chill.

See our full Layla mattress review.


Tuft & Needle Mint Mattress

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Tuft & Needle Mint

Best Memory Foam Mattress for Combination Sleepers

Best for:

  • People who sleep hot
  • Couples
  • People with back pain
CUSTOMER RATING

4.6

/

5

MA SCORE

9

/

10

FIRMNESS

Medium: 5/10

TRIAL PERIOD

100 days

Best Memory Foam Mattress for Combination Sleepers

The Tuft & Needle Mint ranked well in our testing for responsiveness, making it an excellent choice for the sleeper who tosses and turns at night, someone who chooses multiple sleeping positions throughout their sleep.

Related: Best Mattresses for Combination Sleepers

Pros

We absolutely love the Tuft & Needle Mint for spine alignment. In fact, it got a near-perfect score of 9.5 out of 10 in our rigorous testing. It also did well in setup, warranty, and return policy, making it a good option for seniors.

Cons

While the Tuft & Needle Mint has a lot to offer, it could do better with motion transfer, something couples and sleepers with kids and pets may want to pay attention to. We gave this product a 8.1 out of 10 in motion transfer in our testing.

See our full Tuft & Needle Mint mattress review.


Beginner’s Guide to Memory Foam Mattresses

Quick Links

First things first: What is memory foam? It dates back to the 1960s when NASA scientists developed a shock-absorbing material for aircraft cushions to alleviate the intense pressure of high-speed acceleration and deceleration. The name “memory foam” refers to the properties that help the material contour to the outlines of your body and gradually revert to its original shape.

Memory foam has been used in mattresses since the 1990s. While traditional innerspring mattresses remain the most popular type, memory foam mattresses (and hybrid designs that mix memory foam layers with innerspring and latex layers) have their own devoted fans.

What Is Memory Foam Made of?

Like the early days of NASA, the most commonly used material in today’s memory foam mattresses is polyurethane. On the other hand, some brands have developed mattresses with organic memory foam made from plant-based materials such as soy. In addition to being eco-friendly, they usually offer a bouncier feel than chemical foam.

What Does It Feel Like?

Memory foam mattresses are known for creating the sensation of softly sinking into the bed, and early models had a reputation for being too soft. Today’s advanced memory foam is able to spring back to its original shape more quickly, allowing you to easily move around and get comfortable in any position. Open-cell construction and cooling materials have helped address another early complaint, that memory foam has a tendency to trap body heat and “sleep hot.”

Pros and Cons of Memory Foam

Pros

  • The soft, contouring material is much more comfortable than a firm, stiff surface.
  • Memory foam does an excellent job at evenly distributing your body weight on the surface to provide pressure relief and keep your spine in a neutral, healthy alignment.
  • You avoid the squeaky noise of innerspring beds.
  • Generally, memory foam mattresses are priced lower than innersprings, hybrids, and latex mattresses.
  • Because memory foam reduces motion transfer, you won’t feel your partner’s movements from the other side of the bed as much as you would with other materials.

Cons

  • Although advanced technology works to make memory foam more breathable, its material is naturally more heat-trapping, and you may sleep hot. Advanced models infused with gel or copper, or a hybrid bed that combines memory foam with innerspring coils for better airflow will be more ideal for hot sleepers.
  • Many people prefer the way memory foam hugs the body, but some may find the softness and sinking in unpleasant.
  • The lifespan of a memory foam mattress is typically shorter than innerspring and hybrid mattresses, especially if it’s designed with low-density foam.
  • You’ll notice a slightly unpleasant odor when you open a memory foam mattress (known as “off-gassing”). With proper airing, it typically goes away within a few hours.
  • Stomach sleepers and back sleepers, who need extra support to maintain proper alignment, may find that memory foam doesn’t offer adequate support. The same could apply to heavier people.

What Does ILD Mean?

ILD stands for Indentation Load-Deflection, an advanced method of measuring the firmness of a memory foam mattress. Most memory foam mattresses score between 8 and 20 for ILD, with 8 being the softest and 20 the firmest. A score in the 11-15 range is generally seen as the sweet spot for most sleepers—below a 10 and you’ll sink into the foam, but above 15 the mattress won’t have enough contouring effect to feel comfortable.

Memory Foam vs Spring, Latex and Hybrid

Wondering how memory foam beds stack up against other options? We’ve compared memory foam to innerspring, latex, and hybrid mattresses in seven key categories. In the chart below, we note which type we consider the best for each category (TIE means they’re roughly equal).

Memory Foam vs Spring Memory Foam vs Latex Memory Foam vs Hybrid
Cost Memory Foam Memory Foam Memory Foam
Body contouring Memory Foam Memory Foam Tie
Support Spring Tie Hybrid
Spine Alignment Memory Foam Memory Foam Memory Foam
Pressure Relief Memory Foam Memory Foam Memory Foam
Coolness Spring Latex Hybrid
Motion Transfer Memory Foam Memory Foam Memory Foam

This comparison is a general overview of how these types of mattresses usually differ. Keep in mind that different brands and models may focus on enhancing specific factors. For example, latex mattresses that use wool insulation might not perform as well for cooling, and hybrid mattresses that use memory foam instead of latex foam could provide better motion isolation.

How to Choose the Right Memory Foam Mattress

When you’re shopping for a memory foam mattress, keep four things in mind: material, density (or firmness), cooling, and thickness. Here’s how each one factors into making the best decision on which mattress to buy.

1. Material

The type of foam used in the mattress can affect everything from feel to temperature to smell.

  • Traditional (or viscoelastic): Made from viscoelastic polyurethane foam (also known as polyfoam), this is the most commonly used material.
  • Plant-based: Some memory foam is made from plants like coconut and soy. These beds are more breathable and bouncy and lack the “new mattress smell” associated with chemical foam.
  • Gel-infused: Some manufacturers add gel to memory foam to enhance temperature regulation and keep you cool. This material is great for hot sleepers.
  • Copper-infused: Some manufacturers infuse memory foam with copper to promote coolness. Copper is also believed to help relieve joint pain.

2. Density (Firmness)

The density of foam in your mattress determines how well it will support you and how quickly it can revert to its original shape.

Densities for Memory Foam
Low-Density Under 3.0 lbs. per foot
Medium-Density 3.0 – 4.5 lbs. per foot
High-Density 4.5 – 5.3 lbs. per foot

A high-quality memory foam mattress typically ranges in density between 4 to 6 pounds per cubic foot.

Lower-density foams will quickly return to their original shape, but they won’t offer the same quality pressure relief and contouring that high-density foams do. High-density foams give great contouring comfort, but since they don’t respond to your movements as quickly, you may feel that “sinking” or trapped feeling.

3. Coolness

Memory foam’s original design is infamous for trapping heat, but newer models with temperature-regulating materials and open-cell structure are more suited for better airflow.

If you’re a hot sleeper but you want the contouring comfort of memory foam, look for models that are infused with gel or copper as these materials are known to help enhance cooling properties.

4. Thickness

Most memory foam mattresses range from a thickness (or height) of 6 to 14 inches, though there are models that extend past each end of this range.

Those on the smaller end of this range may be too thin to offer support and comfort for your body weight overnight for long periods of time. Those on the higher end of this range will be more expensive since they use more material, and you may need to invest in special deep-pocketed sheets to fully encase your mattress.


Other Shopping Considerations

Durability and Lifespan

Most mattresses last 7-10 years. Memory foam mattresses in particular can last anywhere between 5-15 years.

Low-density foam beds tend to last 5-7 years, even with proper care. High-density foam beds typically last up to 10-15 years. To extend the life of your memory foam mattress, keep up with proper care by flipping your mattress (if it is a flippable model) or rotating your mattress (if you cannot flip your bed). Use accessories like mattress protectors, toppers, and pads for a longer lifespan as well.

Memory Foam Mattress Toppers

Memory foam mattresses provide pressure relief, motion isolation, and that comfortable feeling of your mattress hugging you. But if you find that a new mattress is not in your budget, opt for a memory foam topper. Mattress toppers offer a resemblance of the pressure relieving and comforting benefits of a memory foam mattress at a fraction of the cost.

Of course, to get the most out of memory foam, having it constructed into a multi-layer mattress offers the best results.

Related: Best Memory Foam Mattress Toppers

Compatible Mattress Foundations

Memory foam mattresses work well with nearly any bed frame or foundation. Traditional box springs work the best on innerspring mattresses, but they are compatible with memory foam beds.

Slatted foundations work well because they allow for airflow beneath the bed, but make sure the slats are not too far apart. Platform foundations should be firm enough to provide proper alignment.

Cost and Your Budget

A good quality mattress can cost anywhere from $500-$1,500. There are budget options that are cheaper, and luxury mattresses that are far more expensive. Memory foam mattresses are priced according to the quality and density of the foams. The higher the density, the higher the cost.

Generally, a mattress that costs as little as a few hundred dollars will not be durable or supportive for the long-term.

Trial Period and Warranty

When shopping for a memory foam mattress, be sure the company offers a generous sleep trial, so you have a chance to test out the mattress. Bed-in–a-box mattress brands often offer trial periods that are usually at least 90 days, and some companies even offer a full year-long trial period with a full refund in their return policy should you decide it’s not right for you.

Most mattress brands offer a range of 10-year warranties to a 15-year warranties that cover any manufacturing issues. If a mattress company doesn’t offer a warranty, or offers a very short one, take caution knowing there may be a reason.

A Closer Look at Our Selection Process

In choosing our best memory foam mattresses, we emphasize three testing categories that are especially important for this type of bed: spine alignment, pressure relief, and motion transfer. Here’s a look at how our picks performed in the Mattress Advisor Sleep Lab:

AVERAGE SCORE (OUT OF 10) FOR SPINE ALIGNMENT, PRESSURE RELIEF, AND MOTION TRANSFER
GhostBed Luxe 8.6
Helix Midnight 8.7
Loom & Leaf 7
Casper 8.7
Puffy Lux Hybrid 7.3
Dreamfoam Chill 8.9
Nectar 8.2
Cocoon Chill 8.8
Layla 8.5
Tuft & Needle Mint 8.5

Note: The testing categories we focus on in this chart don’t reflect overall performance. In the key category of spine alignment, for example, the Loom & Leaf scores a 9/10 and the Puffy Lux Hybrid scores an 8/10. Depending on your needs and preferences, you might put more (or less) value on particular qualities.

FAQs

Q.

What is the best thickness for a memory foam mattress?

A.

The average thickness for a memory foam mattress ranges between 6-12″. Memory foam mattresses tend to be thinner than other types of mattresses, but they still offer great support and long-lasting durability.

Q.

Does a memory foam mattress offer edge support?

A.

Yes, but not as much as an innerspring or hybrid mattress may have.

Q.

Can you put a mattress pad on a memory foam mattress?

A.

Sure! But you probably won’t need to. Memory foam mattresses are known for their outstanding comfort, so you likely won’t need additional support.

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