How do you choose between all of the different types of memory foam out there? How do you know which kind of mattress would be best for your needs?
We’ve taken a look at some of the most popular memory foam beds on the market and broken down what sets each one apart.
The best memory foam mattresses in 2021
1. Nectar- Best Overall
Nectar Memory foam mattress has become a behemoth in the memory foam world – and for a good reason. Not only do they produce top-quality materials, but their level of comfort is unmatched. They’ve created their specific type of memory foam to deliver the best possible product every time.
The Nectar bed comes with two layers: one that’s four inches thick made up of dense support foam, and another six inches thick made up of pressure-relieving conforming foam. Customers love this mattress because it provides them with both comfort and edge support.
Most people find this ideal combination for side sleepers, who need relief on their pressure points without sinking into something too soft or bouncy.
- Very supportive, great for side sleepers
- Outperforms most other options on the market
- Lasts a long time
- CertiPUR-US certified
- US-based customer service
- More expensive than other options on this list
- Takes a while to expand and get to a full size
- The smell can be overwhelming
2. Emma Original Memory Foam Mattress- Best Mattress with Cooling Gel
This mattress comes with several layers of foam, but the main selling point (and the unique part) is the cooling gel layer. This bed also has two firmness options: one for the stomach and one for back sleepers.
We recommend starting with the softest option for everyone and then adjusting to a firmer level if needed. The Emma Original mattress aims to give you a more contouring feel than most memory foam mattresses on this list.
It’s also CertiPUR-US certified and has been approved by GreenGuard Gold standards – giving it an all-around green thumbs up!
- Soft and supportive, just like Nectar
- Two firmness options depending on preference
- The cooling gel layer makes it great for hot sleepers
- CertiPUR-US certified and has GreenGuard Gold certification
- Very expensive, especially considering that there are two options. There’s also no memory foam pillow option like with other brands on this list.
3. Eve Mattress- Best Memory Foam Mattress
This mattress is affordable, making it an excellent choice for those who want quality on a budget. This bed comes with four layers of foam, which all work together to provide you with the best level of comfort.
Eve has also covered this bed in several CertiPUR-US certifications, meaning that they’ve met specific standards for safety and environmental impact. The mattress cover is made out of Tencel; Tencel provides good airflow while still resisting dust mites and other allergens.
- Very affordable memory foam option
- Breathable material keeps sleepers cool
- Three firmness options depending on preference
- Environmentally friendly
- Comes with a 20-year warranty
- Takes three days to fully expand, so not ideal for those who want instant mattress gratification.
- Not suitable for people over 6 feet tall due to the shorter bed size.
4. Silentnight 3 Zone Touch Foam Mattress- Best Budget/Affordable Memory Foam Mattress
This mattress is an excellent option for those who don’t want to break the bank. It comes with only two layers, but both of them are thick and soft enough to keep your spine in alignment while you sleep.
The Silentnight has been CertiPUR-US certified, meaning that it’s been tested for safety and environmental impact. This bed also comes with a 10-year warranty, making it a more affordable option than other memory foam mattresses on this list
- Only two layers, keeping costs low
- Soft and comfortable material keeps sleepers from sleeping hot
- Comes with a 10-year warranty
- CertiPUR-US certified
- Does not come in different firmness options like other brands on this list
- Only comes in full and twin sizes
5. Dormeo Memory Plus Visco Elastic Mattress- Best Memory Foam Mattress for Backs
This mattress is similar to the Nectar in that it comes with four layers of foam. However, its Comfort+ layer distinguishes this bed from others on this list. The Comfort+ works to contour your body’s shape without using memory foam (which can be too hot).
Dormeo also pays attention to ensuring you sleep at the right temperature; their different versions come with cooling gel or Tencel fabric, which work together to regulate heat during the night.
This bed is also one of the most eco-friendly on this list – it’s made out of 95% pure materials and CertiPUR-US certified, meaning that it contains no harmful chemicals.
- The first layer is a cooling gel memory foam, which makes it an excellent option for those who tend to sleep hot
- Different color options available for an extra fee
- Comes in other firmness options depending on preference
- 95% pure materials and CertiPUR-US certified means that this bed contains no harmful chemicals or materials
- Not as good of padding as other memory foam mattresses on our list due to fewer layers of foam. However, this mattress does not come with the same price tag as others on this list either.
What to Look For in a Memory Foam Mattress
If you’re looking for a new mattress, it’s essential to know what to look out for. Memory foam mattresses are standard these days, but not all of them are of the same quality.
Here is some information on how to tell if a good memory foam mattress is worth purchasing:
The cover plays a vital role in ensuring that sleepers stay cool at night. Most memory foam beds come with a Tencel or similar fabric as their covers – this regulates heat and manages airflow incredibly well.
Some brands will further enhance the airflow of their bed by making sure that there are no seams on the sides or bottom of their mattresses; instead, they’ll have two pieces of fabric connected down the middle so that they always move up and down separately.
Memory foam mattress production is pretty standard across brands; however, it’s essential to look at the various layers present in your prospective bed. A mattress should never be less than four inches – you want enough material between you and the ground that sleepers won’t feel the frame of their beds or how much their partners roll around throughout the night.
You’ll also want to consider a two-chamber design with different layers of memory foam on each side – this allows for a consistent sleeping surface no matter how a sleeper lies down.
As with any product, price is one of the most significant indicators of what type of quality a person will receive from their purchase. Memory foam mattresses can vary in price from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars.
In general, the more you spend on a memory foam mattress, the better quality you’ll get. The materials used will be higher-quality and thicker, making them softer and more supportive for your back.
What is Memory Foam?
Memory foam mattresses are bedding made entirely out of memory foam – this type of material was first available to consumers around thirty years ago. It’s a common saying that life imitates art – well, whoever created memory foam must have been watching their fair share of television because they came up with it after seeing astronauts sleep in space!
- Memory foam is intended to mimic weightlessness; instead of pressing down on an astronaut when they’re sleeping, the foam simply adjusts around them.
- Memory foam is a high-density form of polyurethane, meaning that it’s made out of urethane and other chemicals.
- It starts as a liquid, at which point any given chemical will be added as requested by the buyer.
- This type of mattress must then be allowed to sit for 24 hours so that all ingredients can properly mix together to form a solid memory foam – this is how its texture gets its signature feel.
- When you lie down on a memory foam bed, your weight pushes the strong bonds present in the polyurethane closer together; this causes air pockets to heat up and create an uneven surface. For this reason, many people complain about feeling uncomfortably hot when they sleep on memory foam.
The Benefits of Memory Foam
There are many benefits to sleeping on a memory foam mattress – however, there is also some debate as to how beneficial it is compared to other types of mattresses. Some people even claim that memory foam is bad for your health and could potentially cause serious damage over time. Here’s what we know:
1. Relieves Pressure Points
Memory foam beds help relieve pressure points in the body by molding around them and causing less strain throughout the night; this reduces back pain, muscle tension, and general discomfort when you wake up.
It can be especially helpful when someone has an injury or severe medical condition such as arthritis – this type of mattress relieves stress on their joints by evenly distributing weight.
Memory foam is very durable – it doesn’t wear down quickly, nor does it have any problems with sagging. If you consistently sleep on the same area of your bed, that part won’t become damaged or weaker than the rest over time; instead, you’ll continue to enjoy an even surface across your entire mattress.
It can also be used as a form of seating without causing too much damage – many pieces of furniture are now being made with memory foam so that they retain their firmness while still being comfortable for sitting.
3. Conforms to You
A great benefit of sleeping on memory foam is that it easily conforms to the shape of your body; this allows for proper blood circulation and airflow through the night. Regular mattresses will cause you to sink through to the mattress below, which hinders movement and puts pressure on sensitive areas such as your hips and shoulders.
Memory foam is resistant enough that it won’t break down for years – even if you replace your mattress after a decade or so, there’s no chance it’ll develop lumps as other products might.
Memory foam tends to be more expensive than regular bedding because it’s considered a luxury product; this means that many companies may not attempt to make it cruelty-free, because people are simply paying for the brand name compared to cheaper alternatives where animal testing doesn’t take place.
Unfortunately, memory foam is also made with chemicals including polyurethane; these chemicals may be unsafe for the environment and could potentially pose a risk to human health.
5. Helps You Sleep Better
Some people claim that memory foam makes them drowsy as they sleep, as well as less active throughout the day as a result. Memory foam works by slowing down your body’s signals; this causes you to feel more relaxed and sleepy than usual because it takes longer for you to realize you’re tired.
It doesn’t necessarily help keep your mind active during slumber – in fact, some people find that their thoughts slow down too much when they sleep on this type of mattress! If you have trouble sleeping or simply want a product that will let you nap whenever the opportunity presents itself, then memory foam might not be the best choice for you.
What are the Different Types of Memory Foam?
There are the following main types of memory foam:
This type of foam is made from organic plant oil extracts including coconut, soybean, and lavender – these natural ingredients are less likely to cause health problems over time compared to chemicals used in other types of mattresses. They don’t emit any toxic fumes either, which can make it easier for you to breathe at night.
If you’re concerned about smelling bad or having a negative reaction to the chemicals present in memory foam, then this may be the best fit for your home because there are no harsh additives that could potentially harm people with allergies or respiratory conditions.
On the other hand, synthetic memory foam is often composed primarily of polyurethane; this is a petroleum-based chemical that carries several side effects such as carcinogenic fumes, allergies, and environmental damage.
Some memory foam may also use other chemicals, such as PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) and TDCPP (tetrachloroethylene). These substances can be harmful to the environment and produce toxic fumes when burned – they’re often found in the flame retardants of clothing and furniture.
Unlike plant-based memory foam, synthetic options don’t emit any odor or change color over time which could indicate that it’s deteriorating into something potentially dangerous for your home. Whether you choose natural or synthetic materials, research before making a purchase to ensure that you opt for a safe mattress that won’t harm you or your family.
3. Traditional Memory Foam
Traditional memory foam is created from a process of mixing polyurethane with other chemicals, as opposed to pressing the material into sheets. The mixture is poured into a mold and heated at high temperatures; this allows manufacturers to produce large quantities of the substance in short time frames.
Traditional foams are commonly found in furniture instead of beds because they tend to be denser than their counterparts, which makes them easier to ship long distances. These mattresses don’t last as long as other types because they start deteriorating quickly – within just 2-3 years, you may find that your bed begins developing lumps or sinks whenever you lie down on it.
4. Gel-Infused Memory Foam
Gel memory foam uses a process called gel-infusion to give it a softer, more comfortable feel. It’s made from traditional polyurethane and has added chemicals such as silica (a substance that keeps the foam cool) and graphite (to prevent sticking together).
Some collections may include other ingredients like green tea extract – these chemical compounds serve as artificial fragrances that help mask any potentially harmful odors associated with memory foam.
5. Copper-Infused Memory Foam
This type of mattress uses traditional memory foam that’s infused with copper particles; this provides a few health benefits such as more comfortable sleeping and pressure relief from back pain.
Since it doesn’t use any chemicals, you won’t have to worry about breathing in harmful fumes or having a negative reaction to the material – on top of that, it can provide better support than some other types due to its strength and stability.
How Does Memory Foam Work?
The primary function of all memory foams is to mimic the feeling of your body sinking into your mattress (this is how they create “comfort”). The chemical mixture used varies by manufacturer; some varieties are activated by heat while others respond directly to pressure instead.
No matter which option you choose, both will help you get a better night’s sleep by contouring to your body’s shape. If you’ve ever fallen asleep on the soft couch after watching late-night television, then you may have experienced memory foam in some capacity already – it provides that familiar “sinking” sensation whenever you lie down on it.
Memory Foam vs. Hybrid Mattresses
In the past, “hybrid” memory foam mattresses used a combination of traditional and gel-infused materials to get a similar feel. However, many brands have moved away from this exclusive design process due to increased production costs – it’s potentially more profitable to use one type of chemical that responds to heat or pressure instead.
Some companies have returned to using hybrids again due to increased interest in these products – they’re very comfortable and can provide several health benefits, but may not be ideal for every sleeper.
For instance, people with sensitivities may find that certain chemicals trigger an allergic reaction when combined with their body chemistry; other distractions include unwanted noise (from the mattress pressing together), temperature changes throughout the night, or even water damage.
How Much Does a Memory Foam Mattress Cost?
The prices for memory foam mattresses vary based on the size of your bedding and the number of materials used to make it. Compared to other types, these beds tend to be more expensive due to their comfort-focused design – but some brands are able to offer lower rates by selling them online instead of through physical retail locations.
On average, expect to spend around £400-500 for a queen-sized mattress. If you’re looking for just the foundation (not including any boxspring or bedframe), then you should be able to find it for about £100 less than what you would spend on an entire set.
Does Memory Foam Smell?
Many people worry that memory foam will emit harmful odors whenever they take it out of the package. Fortunately, these mattresses are considered hypoallergenic – in other words, they’re less likely to cause allergies than alternatives like latex foam or spring coils.
The primary cause for concern when it comes to memory foam isn’t how it smells, but what chemicals might be inside of it; certain manufacturers use harmful toxins that can trigger an allergic reaction when combined with your body’s natural oils and sweat.
How Long Does It Take for Memory Foam To Expand?
Due to its chemical composition, memory foam will take longer to expand than traditional varieties (such as polyurethane). Once you remove it from its packaging, expect that process to take about 12-24 hours before it reaches full size.
If you don’t like waiting that long, then consider putting it into your bedroom overnight to activate the chemical mixture; once you take it out of the box and remove the plastic wrapping, put on a fitted sheet to get it ready for sleep.
Is Memory Foam Good For Your Back?
Memory foam mattresses are known for relieving pain in certain areas of your body (including your spine), which is why they’re often used by people who suffer from chronic back issues.
The pressure-relieving component allows each person to sink into the mattress slightly while sleeping on their side or stomach – this ensures that enough space will be created between your hips and shoulders for proper spinal alignment.
If you experience lower back discomfort after switching to memory foam, try rotating or flipping your mattress for a more even distribution along the length of your spine.
Memory Foam Density and ILD
Memory foam is available in several different types, each of which has its own firmness (or “density”) level based on the amount of ILD (Indentation Load Deflection) it offers; this number describes how much pressure can be applied to a solid surface without causing any permanent deformation.
For instance, 10-15 ILD would indicate that applying 5 PSI (pounds per square inch) would create an imprint measuring about half an inch deep. Different brands will use their own custom numbers – typically falling between 1 and 50 for mattresses – so keep an eye out for general descriptions when you’re comparing items online.
Is Memory Foam Cooling?
One problem with memory foam is that it doesn’t always breathe well, which means it could leave you feeling hot during sleep.
Some models are better at regulating temperature than others, but all memory foam is considered to be thicker and heavier than alternatives like spring coils or latex – this doesn’t mean that they’re not comfortable, but it can make them hotter when combined with certain bedding materials (such as sheets made from cotton).
How Long Will a Memory Foam Mattress Last?
Memory foam is known for its durability, which means it should last around 10+ years with regular use.
If you’re worried that your mattress will lose firmness or support over time, then consider buying a model that offers multiple layers of different types – this allows you to replace certain parts as needed (such as the comfort layer), instead of needing to buy an entirely new product once one part stops working properly.
Last Things to Consider With a Memory Foam Mattress
- Off-Gassing: Many memory foam mattresses are filled with chemicals that can produce a foul odor when they’re taken out of the packaging. It’s usually impossible to avoid this entirely, but you can minimize it by leaving your mattress in the open air for up to 48 hours before putting on fitted sheets or bedding.
- Cold Mattress: Memory foam is always at least somewhat cold during sleep – even though most brands use convoluted designs to prevent direct contact between your body and the material, there’s still an unavoidable temperature difference between spring coils and polyurethane. If you’d rather not deal with these issues, then consider choosing alternative materials like latex or spring coils instead.
- Sleep Trial Period: Many mattress retailers will offer a 30-day trial period for memory foam mattresses, sometimes with deductions based on the amount of time you’ve slept on it. Make sure to check if there are any stipulations regarding this before you buy!
- Adequate Bed Support: A memory foam mattress will become your new sleeping surface, which means that you should have adequate support beneath it. This could be a platform bed frame with center support legs (to avoid sagging in the center), or simply a strongbox spring and metal frame instead.
- Appropriate Bedding: Memory foam mattresses tend to be thicker and heavier than alternative options, which can make them uncomfortable if paired with certain bedding materials (such as low-thread count cotton). Make sure that your sheets fit the mattress before putting it on – otherwise you could see bunching or other issues during use.
What are other types of mattresses?
In addition to memory foam, there are a number of other types of mattress material that you might want to look into. These include:
- Foam Mattresses: An all-foam mattress that doesn’t use springs or inner coils, instead of relying on the same general shape as a bed wedge
- Latex Mattresses: Made from latex rubber in an open-cell foam design, these items provide support while also being breathable and comfortable
- Innerspring Mattresses: This term refers to any product built from small metal coils – they’re often used in conjunction with polyester padding materials to add support
- Hybrid Mattresses: A combination of the above materials that provide more support than traditional foam but are also more comfortable than spring coil products
- Waterbeds: These items use a water reservoir to fill up the product evenly, instead of relying on padding materials
- Pocket sprung mattresses: A more traditional design, this type uses small pocket springs that are pocketed together to provide support and durability
What does Hypoallergenic mean?
The term “hypoallergenic” refers to any material that reduces the likelihood of an allergic reaction. It can be applied to just about any kind of material, including latex, memory foam, wool or cotton – but it doesn’t guarantee that you won’t have issues with skin irritation or other reactions after sleeping on it
What options come in multiple firmness levels?
Memory mattress usually features at least two different firmness levels (one soft and one hard) while others offer 3-4 different options (soft mattress, medium-firm mattress, and firm mattress) so you can adjust how much sinkage you get while sleeping.
This is an important feature if you’re sharing your bed with another person, who might prefer to sleep in a different firmness level than you do.
What are some of the issues with memory foam mattresses?
There are a number of issues that people tend to encounter with memory foam mattresses, which include the following:
- Heat Retention: Memory foam is sensitive to temperature changes and can trap body heat if it’s too warm in your bedroom. Higher-quality items often use convoluted designs or ventilation holes to reduce this effect.
- Sleeplessness: Some users report experiencing insomnia more frequently on memory foam than they do on other mattress types. This mostly occurs during the break-in period but might continue even after that time has passed.
- Foam Odor: Because most memory foams rely on chemical substances for their support and cushioning, there’s a distinct odor when you first unbox them – at least until they’re “aired out” for a period of time
- Pressure Points: Memory foam can also trap pressure points that might cause discomfort and overall body aches after getting into bed. This is more common with cheaper items or those that use lower-quality substances to reduce their cost.
- Storage Issues: Most memory foam products (particularly mattresses) are bulky and heavy, which means they’re difficult to transport and maneuver when having to move homes, etc. They often need additional support on the corners as well as around the edges – both of which can make them frustrating or unsafe to handle alone.
Note: There’s also such a thing as “memory foam latex,” which combines traditional latex with viscoelastic technology in order to create something softer than pure latex yet more supportive than memory foam.
What is the best way to keep a memory foam mattress clean?
Memory foam mattresses can be difficult to clean and maintain, which is why it’s important that you look for one that features a removable cover on its surface. This makes it easier to spot-treat any stains or remove dirt before it gets ground into the sleeping area over time – and ultimately cuts down on how often you need to replace your protectant cover.
There are also specialty products such as spray cleaners and mattress pads designed to fit around such items without causing damage.
What does “weight distribution” mean?
Weight distribution refers to how evenly pressure points across your body will be supported – after all, if only certain areas of your body receive support while others don’t, it can cause discomfort and even sleep apnea.
This becomes important if you’re larger than an average person or suffer from a medical condition that requires additional cushioning to keep you comfortable during the night.
What are some common materials used in mattress padding?
Some of the more common padding materials that are used include polyester fibers, cotton, wool, memory foam, and latex. While each one has its own benefits over another, it’s important to look for items made with hypoallergenic components so you won’t have any issues with allergies or other reactions after getting into bed.
How do I clean my memory foam?
Memory foam can be difficult to clean due to how much thicker it is than traditional mattress padding. This is why it’s important to look for items that are machine washable so you don’t need to worry about dry-cleaning them – which can be expensive and difficult.
- Wash your protective cover by itself inside a washing machine set to cold water and use the gentle cycle.
- Consider spot cleaning your memory foam with a specialized cleaner or using oxy clean. You can also get into contact with the mattress manufacturer for more specific instructions.
Do memory foam mattresses sleep hot?
Memory foam mattresses are known for retaining heat, which can cause discomfort during the night. Some users also describe experiencing “sleep hot” effects that make it difficult to stay asleep throughout the night.
What is a mattress protector?
A mattress protector is an item designed to cover your memory foam pad or mattress entirely – instead of having it touch your sheets directly.
This provides added protection against spills and dirt while still allowing you to enjoy all of its benefits without needing to wash it so often.
How do I clean white memory foam?
While memory foam itself isn’t very likely to stain under normal circumstances, there’s always a chance that it might be exposed to liquids after being covered by bedding, etc.
It’s best to spot treat any stains you can see to prevent dirt from getting deep inside the mattress, and consider using a specialized cleaner to remove bigger trouble spots.
How do I clean off white mildew?
If your memory foam hasn’t been exposed to water but has developed mold or mildew, it’s likely due to excessive dampness in the air. Make sure that all windows are open during humid weather so that no moisture can build up on the surface of your item.
You should also ventilate the room as much as possible by opening doors and running fans/air conditioners during warm months to prevent this buildup in the future.
Memory foam mattress today is made to be supportive and soft at the same time, but this also makes it more likely to retain heat.
Some users have described a “sleep hot” effect that can make it difficult to sleep through the night, so it’s important to look for models with materials designed to keep you cool while you rest.
You should also inspect your mattress frequently for stains or other issues so they don’t go deep into the padding – and consider using a specialized cleaner in addition to regular spot-treating if necessary.