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.
Memory foam is a leading material used by many bed-in-a-box mattress companies. Also known as visco foam, viscoelastic foam or tempur foam, memory foam was invented by NASA nearly 50 years ago for cushioned seats and crash protection. It’s come a long way since then and has been 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. Read on for our pick of the best memory foam mattresses at all budgets. You'll find today's best cheap mattress deals for each below, too.
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, followed by gel memory foam that’s designed to help you stay cool - and it worked for us, even during the hot summer months. This layer is followed by hi-core memory foam for support, and two additional layers that make it feel oh so comfortable. We rated it highly for 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 27,000 user reviews (Feb 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 other bed-in-a-box mattress companies offer. Its forever warranty is a solid selling point as well. If you’re an average sleeper of average weight and are looking for a good memory foam mattress that’s not too firm, too soft, or too expensive, Nectar is a terrific option.
- Read more: Nectar mattress review
Nectar mattress: Save $400 + get $399 of FREE gifts | Nectar
Nectar's still running a huge $400 discount on the best-selling Nectar Memory Foam mattress in its current sale. You'll also get two free premium pillows, a mattress protector and sheet added to your order, worth $399. Deal ends: soon
Saatva mattresses are quality options with a luxury feel. They're high-end options, so they cost more than many of the other best memory foam mattresses in our guide - but because Saatva is an online-only brand, it's prices are actually extremely competitive. In fact, Saatva claims the Loom & Leaf is up to 70 per cent cheaper than other premium mattresses.
We like to say that Saatva is a great option for anyone who enjoys that ‘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. It isn't a bed in a box, so it won’t have that off-gassing smell, and you can take a nap on it as soon as it’s set up.
The Saatva Loom & Leaf comes in a choice of two comfort levels. The flagship “relaxed firm” option is optimal for back, side or stomach sleepers; and there's a “firm” option as well. Many user reviews 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”. Those on Amazon who gave it lower stars were often contacted by Saatva to find a better option they would be happy with. 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 for less, we think the Loom & Leaf is one of the best memory foam mattresses you can buy. Plus, Saatva has a great reputation, its products are sourced and made in the US, and you get free white glove delivery as standard - the company will set up your mattress and take away the old one without charge.
Not only does Zinus win for being the best cheap memory foam mattress we researched, but it’s also the top-rated memory foam mattress on Amazon, with an average score of 4.5 out of 5 from over 90,000 user reviews (Feb 2021). Zinus uses green tea-infused memory foam and purified charcoal particles to neutralize odors. We like that not only is it a great price, but all mattress sizes above a twin can support people up to 500 pounds.
The Zinus Pressure Relief Green Tea memory foam mattress is available in different thicknesses: 6, 8, 10 and 12 inches. The 10-inch version seems to be the highest-rated and contains memory foam, and airflow-enhancing comfort foam, followed by a high-density base support foam layer.
This mattress is ideal for side sleepers and users report that it provides good pressure relief. Many say they found the Zinus memory foam mattress very comfortable and that they slept great on it. And of course, they loved the price. Of the complaints we saw from users, some said that their mattress caved in over time, some felt that it sleeps hot, and others reported a strong odor that remained longer than expected. That said, with 72 per cent of users on Amazon awarding the mattress a full five stars - plus the 100-night trial, and very low cost - there’s no reason not to give this memory foam mattress 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 you're looking for the best cooling memory foam mattress money can buy, the Tempur-Breeze is worth considering. Made by established brand Tempur-Pedic, which has been in the business for nearly 30 years, 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 700-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.
You’re paying more for the high-quality foam with those cooling properties - the queen size is over $3,000 (happily it does 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 one of the highest rated mattresses on Amazon, with over 10,000 user reviews and a superb average score of 4.5 out of 5 stars (Feb 2021). It's topped with a temperature-regulating, moisture-controlling Tencel blend fabric cover that helps 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.
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, if you're looking for one of the best memory foam mattresses and you're on a tight budget, this extremely popular gel option from Lucid is worth considering.