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Published Feb. 3, 2022

Investing in a high-quality mattress is essential to ensure a good night’s sleep. Memory foam mattresses are becoming increasingly popular because they can be rolled up and shipped, making them easier to buy online than traditional mattresses. They also have a host of benefits when it comes to comfort and sleep quality. They’re designed to adjust to the contours of your body and help keep your spine aligned while you sleep, making them an excellent choice for those who have back problems. Shopping for a memory foam mattress online, however, can be overwhelming.  

We’ll break down what to look for when shopping for the best memory foam mattress for your sleep preferences and discuss the key considerations to keep in mind as you shop. Keep reading for tips on choosing the best option, and explore our curated picks for the best memory foam mattresses on the market.

How We Selected These Products

Methodology

While it’s easy to assume that all memory foam mattresses offer similar performance, a number of factors affect their functionality. Several years of experience covering home goods and furniture as well as extensive product research went into choosing our final curated selection. We reviewed over 30 mattresses and weighed a number of practical considerations before making our recommendations.

Firmness: We included soft, medium, and firm options for shoppers to choose from based on their sleep preferences. 

Thickness: While mattresses come in standard sizes in terms of their surface dimensions, they can vary widely in thickness. We opted to feature only mattresses that were at least 10 inches thick, since those provide the highest level of comfort. 

Size: For ease of comparison, this guide features only queen-size mattresses, though each recommended model also comes in additional sizes. 

Trial Period: Buying a mattress online without trying it out first can feel risky, but today many manufacturers provide trial periods that allow buyers to ensure the mattress is a perfect fit. While we didn’t make it a requirement, we gave preference to mattresses that came with trial periods of at least 100 nights. 

The Best Memory Foam Mattresses: Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall: TUFT & NEEDLE Original Queen Mattress

Best Overall

The Tuft & Needle Original Queen Mattress features adaptive foam that provides support while ensuring optimal comfort. Tuft & Needle

Why It Made The Cut: This medium-firm mattress is made with carefully engineered adaptive foam, includes cooling gel for temperature regulation, and comes with a 100-night trial period. 

Specs:

  • Height: 10 inches
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Available Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king

Pros:

  • Includes cooling gel
  • Constructed with adaptive, high-density foam
  • Includes 100-night sleep trial
  • Certified by CertiPUR-US

Cons:

  • May initially have a chemical smell 
  • Takes up to 72 hours to expand

When memory foam mattresses were initially developed, some users reported feeling “stuck” when they tried to move around on them. Modern options, like this mattress from Tuft & Needle, are engineered with adaptive, high-density foam, which provides plenty of support without feeling oppressive. 

According to Tuft & Needle, the medium-firm level of support offered by this mattress is suitable for all sleep positions, but generally speaking, medium-firm mattresses are best for back sleepers. As an added benefit, the foam material is infused with graphite and gel beads, which improve temperature regulation, making this a great option for sleepers who run hot. 

One downside is that — like most foam mattresses — this one needs time to expand once it’s unboxed. The manufacturer estimates that the mattress will be fully expanded after 72 hours. The 100-night sleep trial gives buyers the opportunity to extensively test the mattress before committing to the purchase. 

Best Value: LUCID 10-Inch Memory Foam Mattress

Best Value

This LUCID memory foam mattress comes in plush, medium, or firm and includes cooling gel and bamboo charcoal. LUCID

Why It Made The Cut: This affordable pick from LUCID allows shoppers to choose the firmness that’s right for them and has additional features to improve temperature regulation and prevent odor buildup. 

Specs:

  • Height: 10 inches
  • Firmness: Plush, medium, or firm
  • Available Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king

Pros:

  • Affordable price
  • Infused with cooling gel
  • Certified by CertiPUR-US
  • Available in plush, medium, and firm

Cons:

  • May initially have a chemical smell 

Not all memory foam mattresses offer variety in terms of their level of firmness, but this pick from LUCID lets shoppers choose between firm, medium, and plush, depending on their sleep position and preferences. 

The firm version features a 2.5-inch top layer that is ventilated to provide a cooling effect, and all layers are infused with cooling gel to regulate body temperature. The base is made up of 6.5 inches of supportive foam that has been infused with bamboo charcoal, which prevents odor buildup and provides a fresh feel. A layer of transitional foam connects the two primary layers. The materials used have been certified by CertiPUR-US, ensuring harmful chemicals weren’t used in the manufacturing process.

Best for Back Sleepers: Tempur-Pedic Adapt Memory Foam Mattress

Best for Back Sleepers

The Tempur-Pedic Adapt Memory Foam Mattress is designed to perfectly conform to your body for optimal comfort. Tempur-Pedic

Why It Made The Cut: A cooling cover and motion-cancellation technology put this model from Tempur-Pedic above the many other options for medium-firm memory foam mattresses for back sleepers. 

Specs:

  • Height: 11 inches
  • Firmness: Medium
  • Available Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, split California king

Pros:

  • Features proprietary motion-cancellation technology
  • Includes cooling cover
  • Integrated pressure relief

Cons:

  • No trial period

Sleep experts generally recommend medium-firm mattresses for back sleepers, and this model from Tempur-Pedic offers firm support combined with a comfort layer that feels soft and plush. 

The brand incorporates modern technology into its mattresses, using proprietary motion-cancellation technology as well as adaptable foam that expertly relieves pressure. In fact, Tempur-Pedic’s memory foam technology was originally developed by NASA to absorb g-forces. It adapts to each user’s size and weight to create the most comfortable sleeping experience night after night. The mattress includes a cooling cover that helps with temperature regulation. With an 11-inch thickness, it’s thicker than most other popular memory foam mattresses on the market. 

Best for Stomach Sleepers: Classic Brands Memory Foam Mattress

Best for Stomach Sleepers

The Classic Brands Memory Foam Mattress provides support for stomach sleepers while remaining plush and comfortable. Classic Brands

Why It Made The Cut: With a 14-inch thickness, cooling technology, and a combination of plush comfort and firm support, this mattress from Classic Brands is a perfect fit for stomach sleepers.

Specs:

  • Height: 14 inches
  • Firmness: Medium
  • Available Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king

Pros:

  • Certified by CertiPUR-US
  • Made with ultra-dense memory foam
  • Infused with cooling gel
  • Comes with free pillows

Cons:

  • No trial period

It’s generally understood that stomach sleepers benefit from a firm mattress that prevents strain to the lower back. While the Classic Brands Memory Foam Mattress technically has a medium firmness, it’s still considered a top pick because it uses high-density foam that’s formulated to provide plenty of support and relieve pressure points. The plush top layer means that users also experience a sensation of soft comfort. It’s designed to conform to your body and prevent motion transfer for a more restful night’s sleep. 

The memory foam features a gel infusion that’s particularly helpful for circulating air in dense foam. Since it’s certified by CertiPUR-US, buyers can rest assured that nontoxic materials were used in the manufacturing process. As an extra perk, each mattress comes with either one or two memory foam pillows, depending on the mattress size. 

Best for Side Sleepers: Nectar Gel Memory Foam Mattress

Best for Side Sleepers

Nectar’s memory foam mattress features five different layers of foam that work together to provide plush support for side sleepers. Nectar

Why It Made The Cut: Nectar’s mattresses come with a 365-night trial period, allowing buyers to try the mattress for an entire year to ensure it’s perfect for them. 

Specs:

  • Height: 12 inches
  • Firmness: Medium
  • Available Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king

Pros:

  • 356-night trial period
  • Cooling cover wicks moisture
  • High-density base layer provides support

Cons:

  • Takes up to 24 hours to expand

Side sleepers put a lot of weight on their hips and shoulders as they sleep, meaning they require high levels of comfort from a mattress. It’s difficult to find the perfect balance between supportive and comfy, but the Nectar mattress gets the job done. It uses five layers of material to achieve its cloudlike effect. The quilted cooling cover wicks moisture and prevents overheating, the comfort layer includes 3 inches of gel memory foam, the support layer is made up of 2 inches of adaptive foam, the base layer includes 7 inches of dense foam, and the shift-resistant cover ensures the mattress stays in place. 

Best of all, Nectar provides users with a 365-night trial period, which is much longer than the standard trials offered by most competing brands. 

Things to Consider When Choosing a Memory Foam Mattress

Buying a mattress is an individual choice, and there’s no one product that will be a perfect match for everyone. Consider the following factors before making your purchase.

Sleep Position

Your sleep position is one of the key considerations when shopping for a mattress. 

  • Side sleepers require support for their hips and shoulders, so they need a mattress that supports those areas without causing undue pressure. 
  • Back sleepers need spine support and cushioning for the pressure points in the lower back, hips, and shoulders. Because of this, medium-firm mattresses tend to deliver the best results. 
  • Stomach sleepers require a mattress that’s both firm and dense to support their chests, knees, and hips while preventing them from sinking in and straining their backs. 

Desired Features

Memory foam mattresses all share a basic makeup, but many come with desirable additional features. 

  • Motion isolation: All memory foam mattresses reduce motion transfer, but some are specifically crafted to isolate motion if one partner tosses and turns or gets out of bed throughout the night. 
  • Temperature regulation: One of the downsides of traditional memory foam mattresses is that they tend to trap heat, making them less than ideal for those who run hot at night. Many modern options, however, feature technical innovations that make the material more breathable and allow air to circulate. 
  • Contouring: One of the most desirable features of memory foam mattresses is their ability to conform to your body to create a sense of coziness that simultaneously provides support. Some users, however, may prefer an option with lighter contouring to facilitate ease of movement.  

FAQs

Q: Do memory foam mattresses contain toxic chemicals?

While memory foam mattresses were once made with potentially harmful chemicals like methylbenzene, formaldehyde, and toluene diisocyanate (TDI), the vast majority of products on the market today are engineered to be completely safe to use. 

Q: How long does it take for a memory foam mattress to expand?

Since memory foam mattresses are typically rolled up for compact shipping, they need time to expand once they’re unpackaged. Expect your new mattress to be fully expanded within a couple of days.

Q: Do all mattresses need a box spring?

Mattresses were once much thinner and needed a box spring to provide adequate support. Most modern mattresses, however, are designed to be used alone and don’t require a box spring.

Q: How often should you replace a mattress?

Generally speaking, a high-quality mattress should last for at least 6 to 8 years. In practice, however, there’s no need to replace a mattress that continues to be comfortable and supportive. 

Final Thoughts

Our recommendations cover a variety of types and styles of memory foam mattress to best suit your needs. The TUFT & NEEDLE Original Queen Mattress is our top pick because of its versatile firmness, exemplary comfort, and generous trial period. Our recommended choice for those on a budget is the LUCID 10-Inch Memory Foam Mattress, which offers excellent quality at an affordable price.

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