The best memory foam mattresses provide excellent pressure relief, and a sensation of being “cradled” when you sink into the mattress. They also tend to be more durable than the spring mattresses many of us grew up sleeping on, making them very good value for money - which is why you'll find a lot of memory foam options in our best mattress guide. In this article, we'll help you choose the best memory foam mattress for your budget.
The good news is that it's a great time to buy a new mattress. All the leading brands have launched their Memorial Day mattress sales and are now running some of the best discounts of the year - you'll find today's best cheap mattress deals for each of our picks below.
Memory foam is a leading material used by many bed-in-a-box mattress companies. It was invented by NASA nearly 50 years ago for cushioned seats and crash protection, and has come a long way since. Today it's used in a number of consumer products, particularly bedding.
Although each company that uses memory foam has its own proprietary blend, memory foam mattresses tend to share some common pros and cons. Traditionally, one common complaint with memory foam is that can trap heat, which is why the best memory foam mattress makers have invested heavily in developing advanced cooling techniques, as you’ll see in this guide.
Whether you're looking to buy a traditional mattress, or you'd prefer a mattress in a box that you can test from the comfort of your home, we've got you covered. Here's our pick of the best memory foam mattresses at all budgets.
The best memory foam mattress in 2021
Nectar takes the top position in our best memory foam mattress guide because it’s comfortable, supportive, and incredible value - significantly undercutting other mid-range rivals like Casper and Purple on price. We tested the medium firm Nectar Memory Foam mattress for two months and loved it.
This all-foam mattress has a soft, quilted cover that’s designed to help you stay cool - and it worked for us, even during the hot summer months. There's then three inches of memory foam, followed by a layer of support foam, a sturdy base layer and a no-slip lower cover. We rated it highly for comfort and pressure relief, as do the majority of user reviews on the Nectar website - the mattresses averages an impressive score of 4.8 out of 5 from over 32,000 user reviews (May 2021).
We also noticed good edge support - so the mattress feels wider - and very little motion transfer, which makes the Nectar Memory Foam mattress a good choice for couples, and anyone with a restless partner in particular. Some couples have complained that it doesn’t have a lot of bounce though, so if you’re looking for that feature for sex - or just in general - you might want to try a different option.
We love that Nectar gives you one year to try out this mattress. That’s nearly three times the length offered by other bed-in-a-box mattress companies. Its forever warranty is a solid bonus as well. Plus, it's nearly always sold with $399-worth of free accessories - if you're looking for sheer value for money, we think the Nectar is the best memory foam mattress you can buy.
- Read more: Nectar mattress review
Nectar mattress: Save $400 + get $399 of FREE gifts at Nectar
Nectar's running a huge $400 discount on the best-selling Nectar Memory Foam mattress in its Memorial Day mattress sale. You'll also get two free premium pillows, a mattress protector and sheet added to your order, worth $399. That's incredible value.
The Satvaa Loom & Leaf is a premium, hotel-quality mattress from luxury online brand Saatav. The only reason it isn't at number one in our best memory foam mattress guide is its price: $1,799 for a queen makes it one of the more expensive option on this page. Nevertheless, the Saatva Loom & Leaf is very competitively priced, undercutting many of its luxury rivals by a few hundred dollars, and you get free white glove delivery as standard too.
The Saatva Loom & Leaf is a great option for anyone who enjoys a ‘traditional’ mattress feel. The Loom & Leaf mattress has a quilted organic cotton covering, then a layer of cooling gel, followed by premium memory foam, and then multiple layers of foams for support and luxury comfort. We love that it comes in two different firmness options: the relaxed firm option is optimal for back, side or stomach sleepers; and there's a firm option for anyone who prefers to feel as though they're floating on top of the mattress rather than sinking into it.
Many users comment that the Loom & Leaf “feels luxurious” and offers great support, and we saw lots of glowing comments about Saatva’s customer service, with one customer saying it's among “the best in the industry”. Of the few complaints we saw, some users found that the Loom & Leaf took longer to “break in” than other memory foam mattresses. If you're looking for a premium mattress that won't break the bank, we think the Loom & Leaf is one of the best memory foam mattresses you can buy.
We'll make this clear: the Zinus Green Tea is not the best memory foam mattress you can buy. It's a budget mattress, with none of the advanced features or premium materials found in the other options in our guide. However, if your budget is limited, then this extraordinarily popular Amazon best-seller is worth a look.
The standout feature of this all-foam mattress is that it uses green tea-infused memory foam and purified charcoal particles to neutralize odors (no, it doesn't smell of tea). It comes in four different thickness options, ranging from 6 to 12 inches - the price increases with depth - and can be used with any type of bed base.
We tested the 10-inch version - which starts from $217 - for three months and found it to be comfortable and supportive, with good edge support and minimal motion transfer, so you won’t be disturbed by a restless partner. However, it’s not the best choice if you overheat at night - a few of our reviewers became uncomfortably warm. We also have some questions about its long-term durability and wouldn't expect this mattress to last as long as the others on this list.
Where the Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam mattress really stands out, of course, is its price. You can buy a king size mattress for under $300 - and that's good going. It's attracted an impressive collection of positive user reviews on Amazon, too - over 100,000 (May 2021), with an average score of 4.4 out of 5. If you need a new mattress and are working to a tight budget, the Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam mattress is worth a try.
- Read more: Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam mattress review
All the mattresses in this guide have cooling properties, but if you're a hot sleeper and want the best cooling memory foam mattress money can buy, the Tempur-Breeze is worth considering. Made by household brand Tempur-Pedic, the Tempur-Breeze is designed to feel cool when you lie down, while you sleep and when you wake up. And that isn't easy - our bodies change temperature throughout the night, after all.
To do this, Tempur has developed a wide range of innovative cooling technology. The mattress comes in two versions: there's a '3 degrees cooler' ProBreeze model; or a more expensive '8 degrees cooler' LuxeBreeze model. Both have a choice of soft or firm. Whichever you choose, there's a SmartClimate cover on top that’s designed to feel instantly cool (and features a zip-off outer cover, so you can wash it). Next, a layer of Tempur's phase change material absorbs heat and promotes air flow, followed by a layer of memory foam that cycles heat out of the mattress, and a breathable, pressure-relieving base.
Of the 900-plus user reviews on the Tempur-Pedic website, the majority are overwhelmingly positive, giving the mattress an average score of 4.6 out of 5. Besides praising the Tempur-Breeze's cooling properties, some users comment that it's good on motion transfer too, with limited disturbance from partners. Bear in mind that some found it took several weeks to break in though.
High-quality foam with advanced cooling properties doesn't come cheap - the queen size is over $3,000 (although it does at least come with free white-glove delivery). But there's a 90-night trial, and you can also test out the mattress in person at a store near you.
The Helix Midnight is an excellent choice for anyone who sleeps predominantly on their side. This medium firmness mattress isn't only made of foam - underneath two layers of the company's 'memory plus' foam and 'Helix dynamic foam', there's also a layer of hundreds of individual coils. What the Helix Midnight offers, then, is the best of both worlds: the luxurious cushioning and deep pressure-relief of foam; and the cradling support of springs.
One area in which we were particularly impressed when we tested the Helix Midnight is temperature control. The breathable cover and increased airflow through the coils kept us at a cool, comfortable temperature throughout the night - not bad given that one of our reviewers is known for overheating at night. It's also an excellent choice for couples, with very little motion transfer and a touch more bounce that you'd get from a pure memory foam mattress.
If you're a stomach sleeper or weigh over 300 pounds though, the Midnight may feel too soft - try the Helix Twilight instead, with its no-sink-or-give top layer, or the Helix Dawn, which comes with extra support for back and stomach sleepers. (Alternatively, take the handy Helix sleep quiz to find the exactly the right mattress.)
Overall, we found the Helix Midnight to be a competitively priced hybrid mattress that delivers the comfort and support of a more expensive model. If you're a side sleeper, or tend to sleep hot, you should get on well with it.
- Save up to $150 on the Midnight + get two free pillows at Helix
- Read more: Helix Midnight mattress review
The luxury Saatva Classic mattress is another one in our best memory foam mattress guide that isn't made from just memory foam - it's a hybrid, combining a memory foam comfort layer with a responsive, dual steel coil support system. It's the cheaper sibling to the Saatva Loom and Leaf mattress at number two in this list, and an excellent choice for anyone who prefers a slightly bouncier mattress than you can get from pure memory foam. It's also a better choice for anyone who prefers to sleep on top of the mattress rather than sink into it.
This highly rated hybrid memory foam mattress doesn’t arrive in a box, so you won’t have to worry about waiting for it to extend to its full size, or deal with off-gassing odors. On top, there's a luxuriously soft Euro pillow top, wrapped in an organic cotton cover. Next, a layer of individually wrapped coils minimize motion transfer, while contouring to your body’s pressure points; and the foundation features steel coils that prevent sagging over time. Coils are also great for helping with air flow, so if you tend to overheat at night, the Saatva Classic is worth considering.
The Congress of Chiropractic State Associations has awarded Saatva its seal of approval, and many users have commented that the Saatva Classic has helped their back and joint pain. The mattress boasts an impressive average score of 4.9 out of 5, from around 17,000 user views (Feb 2021) on independent sites including Google Reviews, Consumer Affairs, Reseller Ratings and TrustPilot.
With so many memory foam mattress options available, why should you consider a version made with gel? Well, memory foam gel mattresses are designed to help you sleep cooler. The gel also helps you sink in a bit deeper than traditional memory foam.
The 10-inch Lucid gel memory foam mattress is well rated on Amazon, with over 23,000 user reviews and a good average score of 4.5 out of 5 stars (May 2021). It's topped with a temperature-regulating, moisture-controlling Tencel blend fabric cover that's designed to help you sleep cool. Beneath that is a layer of cooling gel memory foam, followed by bamboo charcoal memory foam and a layer of support foam. Not everyone agrees that it sleeps cool though, so if you overheat at night it may not be the best option.
The 10-inch Lucid gel memory foam mattress comes in a wide range of different comfort options: firm, medium firm, medium plush and plush. (There's also a short Queen version that fits in tight spaces). The plush version may be better for side sleepers, while the firmer version is recommended for anyone with back pain. However this mattress isn’t ideal for weights above 500 pounds.
Overall, we think this popular gel option from Lucid is another contender for the title of best memory foam mattress for tight budgets. Like the Zinus option above it's a budget pick, so don't expect it to last forever, but if you're looking for a cheap and cheerful mattress that will provide adequate support for people of an average weight, the Lucid gel memory foam mattress has a lot going for it.