Shopping for a new bed can be exciting but also downright annoying. You will agree with me when I say, we all want only the highest quality products for our money.
If you have narrowed your choice of mattress type and material to memory foam, rest assured that most people prefer it over any other.
In this roundup and buying guide, we have tested and selected nine best rated memory foam mattresses for 2017. We evaluated all products based on material quality, comfort, support, cooling and company reputation. We also didn’t include any option that scored below 8.0 (out of 10). So, whichever you pick from our list, you can rest assured that your sleep will improve and that it will serve you well for many years.
If you are looking for even more options, we have a new and updated list of best mattress brands for 2017. But if your mind is set on this fantastic type, read on, and I’m sure you will find one that suits your sleep preference.
|Loom & Leaf||Premium High Density and Cooling Foam||$$$$||9.7/10|
|Nectar||Gel and high quality foams||$$$||9.5/10|
|Amerisleep||Advanced High Quality Foams||$$$$||9.4/10|
|Layla||Cooper Infused Memory Foam||$$$||9.3/10|
|The Novosbed||Traditional foam||$$$||9.2/10|
|Bear||Gel and high quality foams||$$$||9/10|
|Dreamfoam||Gel Memory Foam||$$||8.7/10|
|Tuft & Needle||Traditional adaptive foam||$$||8.5/10|
|Brentwood Home Cypress||Gel Memory Foam||$$||8.6/10|
Why Memory Foam?
A Brief History
Memory Foam is polyurethane combined with other chemicals. Those additional chemicals add to the viscosity and density of the end product. You may see it referred to in some cases as viscoelastic polyurethane foam. The origins of this material can be traced back to 1966 when NASA developed it.
The original intention was for this material to be used for aircraft cushions, but it was quickly discovered that it had potential far beyond that application. It was released to the public domain in the 1980s, and it has gradually gained in popularity since that time. It has been used in medical applications for some time and has more recently – thanks to reductions in cost – become a material that is used in a range of home products like mattresses.
Read more about how memory foam works here.
A Unique Memory Foam Feel
This amazing material has a unique and very recognizable feel. It hugs and contours to your body as you compress it, providing exceptional pressure relief and support.
The material will gradually shape to match the outline of your body, meaning the mattress is essentially customized for your needs each time you lay down. When you get up, the material will regain its original shape quite quickly, readying itself for the next use.
The other feature which can be advantageous in the mattress application is the motion isolation that it offers. Motion isolation means there is a very little transfer of energy from one side of the mattress to the other. If your partner is tossing and turning in the night, for instance, you are unlikely to feel much of anything as you sleep. This is not a feature that can be claimed by a traditional spring mattress, and it is a big part of its popularity.
Viscoelastic properties are what makes it unique, and it’s worth noting that poly foam without viscoelastic properties is not a memory foam.
A Note on Cooling and Response
The main problem people complain about is slow responsiveness and heat retention.
Response means how quickly a material recovers when compressed. Memory Foam has a very slow recovery rate and takes a few seconds to return to original shape. This also means the material will contour to your body better. But, the slower response is also something many people find as negative, so it’s down to personal preference.
Heat retention is a problem that earlier versions of foam struggled with. The material hugs your body, creating hotspots, and it can quickly become a nightmare, especially in summer days. Advanced gel covers and open cell structure fixed the heat issue to a degree but don’t expect foam to sleep as cool as coil or latex.
Is This the Right Material and Type of Mattress for You?
- You Sleep Too Hot – A significant issue with this material is that it sleeps hot, even with cooling gel. If you tend to sweat or you are in a warm climate, you might want to consider other options.
- You are a Stomach Sleeper – If you prefer to sleep on your belly, your torso will create pressure points, and your overall sleep experience will suffer. You will need a firmer surface for this position, so you do not sink too deep.
- You are suffering from back pain – For anyone suffering from back ache, you will need a material that conforms to your body and provides pressure relief. Memory-foam is perfect for this, and it’s the most recommended for back pain.
- You love sleeping on your side or back – Contouring and hug are especially important for side sleepers as firm materials that do not conform tend to create pressure points on your shoulder and hip joints.
- You are a bit heavier – Foam is perfect if you are a heavier person because you will need that extra pressure point support and contouring.
Still not sure? Here is our complete guide “How to Choose a Mattress in 5 Easy Steps“.
What Makes the Highest Quality Memory Foam?
During your research you will encounter products priced at $200 and those at $2000, so obviously there is a difference. Let’s take a look at the most important factors that determine if the quality of this amazing material.
The density represents how much foam is built in each layer. Thicker does not equal better density too. Higher density will give you longer lifespan for your new bed. It also means that it will be much hotter to sleep on. You will most likely encounter the term PCF (pounds per cubic foot) and here are the three common levels of density:
- Low – 3.5 PCF or below
- Medium – 3.5-5.0 (Golden range to look for)
- High – 5.0 or above
What do those numbers mean? They refer to the actual weight of the product, with a heavier weight representing a denser material. The weights are measured per cubic foot, so a mattress with a rating of four pounds indicates that one cubic foot of the material used would weight four pounds. As you would expect, heavier products are going to be more expensive than lighter options, but it also means that they offer better support and are more durable.
The thickness of the layers is an important factor when determining sleep quality. It has much to do with the manufacturer and a mattress in general. It’s recommended that there is at least 4”, but it can be split into two comfort layers.
The firmness is highly correlated to the weight that has been used. Heavier mattresses are going to be firmer and more supportive, while lighter versions will be softer. Of course, there will be some variation in firmness from model to model even when comparing weights, so check on the stated firmness of any mattress before making a purchase. To measure firmness specifically, a scale known as ILD (indentation load deflection) can be used. On this scale, a higher number like 12 or 13, is going to be firmer than an 8 or 9.
We use a scale of 1-10 (ten being the most firm) so with the products we recommend you will also have firmness recommendation along with it. So no complicated calculations needed.
Lifespan & Durability
The lifespan that you should expect is going to have a lot to do with the quality of the product you purchase. Naturally, spending more money on a high-end mattress is going to return you a better product, which can be expected to hold up for a longer period. In general terms, you should expect to get somewhere in the range of seven to ten years of quality performance from a memory foam bed.
As was the case with lifespan, better products will give you a longer warranty. Some of the high-end options on the market will offer you 20 years of coverage, while less-expensive models only come with 5 years. Usually, the quality of a mattress will be directly related to the warranty which is offered, but it’s not always the case.
Off-Gassing and Chemicals
Off gassing is one of the leading complaints. A new one is going to need to get rid of its chemical smell at first, which is a process known as off gassing. This usually only lasts for a short period, but it can put some people off when they are just getting started on their new mattress. If you do decide to buy one, it is important to understand that off gassing is likely to be part of the process.
Good for Romance?
You may be concerned about more than just sleeping when it comes to a new bed. If you are planning a romantic evening, the difficulty of moving around on this type of mattress is often noted as a negative, while the quiet nature of memory foam can be positive in some circumstances. Want more? Check our favorite couple’s beds and see the individual reviews.
Types of Memory Foam
As mentioned previously, there are many polyurethane foams around, but not all of them are “memory.” Over the years, companies have experimented with this material and came up with some variations with a different hug, contour, cooling, sinkage levels and durability. While there are many others, here are the three most common types you will see on the market.
This is the most common and the least responsive derivation of memory foam. It’s that traditional hug and contour feel we all know and many of us love. Typical density for this type is 4.0 – 6.0 PCF. Here are some of the highlights:
- Designed to enhance circulation and relieve stress on your joints
- Good for side sleepers
- Sleeps very hot
To battle heat retention, manufacturers came up with a solution in terms of open-cell foam. While it still provides similar and familiar feel, small air pockets provide a much cooler sleeping experience and better response time.
- Better cooling
- Still provides similar feel as the traditional type
- Faster response
This is the most popular variation you will see even on mid-grade mattresses these days. This gel is usually infused during the manufacturing process and evenly spread across the entire surface, or it can be incorporated as tiny beads or liquid.
Gel solved the biggest memory foam issue, heat retention by evenly dispensing the heat instead of creating hot pockets. Don’t get fooled by low ticket products advertising gel foam mattresses as these just won’t do the trick. If you pick a quality product though, you can expect a much cooler experience than on a traditional one. Here are a few tips to pick a good product.
- Go with liquid gel if you can because it provides better cooling compared to beads
- Don’t go with a density lower than PCF 3.0. It’s an indication of the lower quality product.
- Opt for thinner, more breathable covers
Plant Based or Eco Foam
Plant based or natural memory foam mattresses became some of the most popular on the market. The reason is a more environmentally friendly process and replacement of petroleum based substances with bamboo, tea, soy or Aloe Vera. These materials are much better at heat distribution and provide much needed joint pain relief and better motion isolation.
- No odors and off-gassing
- Natural materials
- Good for allergies
- Better heat distribution and motion isolation
- More expensive than traditional models
Memory Foam Mattress Reviews – Best By Type
Loom & Leaf (Best Overall)
- Natural materials
- Quilted Cover
- Moderate hug and contour
- High Density
- Multiple firmness levels
- Premium look and feel
- Made in the USA
OVERALL RATING: 9.7 out of 10
Loom & Leaf offers luxury and high-quality memory foam bedding system comparable to Tempur-Pedic products at just a fraction of their price. It’s made by Saatva Company, one of the first companies that started selling quality beds online.
It comes with a 4-layer construction:
- 2” of conforming gel foam infused via a “gel-swirl” technique. The gel helps to evenly spread heat and provide a nice, cool sleeping experience. The density of this layer is 4 PCF.
- 5” of 5.0 PCF memory foam provide exceptional contouring and support
- 2” transitional layer for extra comfort
- 5” support base provides a strong foundation for this fantastic mattress
Loom & Leaf mattresses come in two firmness levels so you can pick the one you feel is for you:
- Medium (5-6 out of 10)
- Firm (8-9 out of 10)
Overall, L&L is one of the best products we’ve encountered during our research and earns the title of the top rated memory foam based mattress.
Nectar (Runner Up)
- Amazing Value
- Great Cooling
- Good for Side Sleeping
- 365 Day Trial
- Lifetime Warranty
OVERALL RATING: 9.5 out of 10
Nectar is a fantastic new bed that offers impressive performance at a reasonable price too. It is constructed with pressure relief in mind, and you will notice a feeling of sinking which is a huge plus for side sleepers. The cover is very soft to touch, made of Tencel-Cotton with 1-inch of gel foam quilted into it. The combination of gel and tencel do a good job at temperature regulation.
On a firmness scale, I would rate it around 6.5 (medium-firm) which should be good for most people. Like with most foam products you will notice very little motion transfer (the amount of energy transferred when you toss around in bed). Edge support is also outstanding compared to other products in this category in this price range.
Nectar offers a lifetime warranty and 365 nights trial period which is something that most other manufacturers can’t provide. It’s just another testimony to the overall quality of this product. Highly recommended.
- Five Models to Choose from
- Multiple firmness levels
- Open cell technology
- Lots of hug and contour
- High density
- Made in the USA
OVERALL RATING: 9.4 out of 10
Amerisleep offers five different products. Constructed with high-quality advanced custom foams and manufactured in the USA, you have an option to choose a perfect bed based on your sleeping position or preferences.
- Revere – Most popular option. Medium firmness and good for all sleeper types
- Liberty – Softer feel with a great hug and moderate sinkage. Good for side sleepers
- Colonial – Flagship model. Built using the most advanced foams.
- Independence – 14” thick and the plushest option. Fast response time and very little sinkage
- Americana – Great for stomach sleepers. The firmest option
Conclusion: Amerisleep line is not the cheapest on the market, but it’s still one of the best value products you can find. They have the most options and firmness levels, so it’s just a matter of finding the right one that fits your preference.
Layla (Advanced Cooling)
- ThermoGEL technology
- Copper Infused Foam
- Sleeps Cool
- No smell of offgassing
- Two Firmness Levels (One for each side)
- Made in the USA
OVERALL RATING: 9.3 out of 10
Layla is one of the rare companies that listens to their consumers and constructs their products according to their needs. Layla is a comfortable, healthy and cool mattress with good airflow. A unique copper infused foam technology helps reduce joint inflammation and can ease pain and stiffness caused by arthritis. It also helps with better blood circulation as copper has anti-inflammatory properties.
Layla offers incredible cooling properties due to, again, copper since it provides great thermal conductivity.
It comes with a firm and soft side, and you can flip the mattress and enjoy a completely new feel. I don’t see a huge benefit here, but it’s great if you are uncertain which you might prefer. For me, the firm side is much more comfortable.
Conclusion: This is an amazing value considering advanced materials and technology used. If you tend to sleep hot or you have rheumatoid arthritis, this is the perfect mattress for you.
The Novosbed (Traditional Foam Feel)
- Multiple Firmness Levels
- 11” Thick with Great Support
- Nice Traditional Feel
- Good pressure relief
- Manufactured in the USA and Canada
OVERALL RATING: 9.2 out of 10
If you are not familiar with the Novosbed, I don’t blame you. This is a hidden gem in this industry and highly overlooked. Novosbed offers fantastic support with lots of hug and sinkage. A true memory foam feel many of us love. It comes in three different firmness options:
- Soft – 3-4 out of 10
- Medium – 5-6 out of 10
- Firm – 7-8 out of 10
I prefer the medium one, but if you are a bit heavier or sleeping on your stomach, you should consider the firm option. I wouldn’t advise the plush one unless you are a very light back sleeper.
Overall, if you want a mattress that’s comparable with Tempur-Pedic Cloud line (which is over 2.5 times more expensive) you are getting an amazing value for your money here. If you love the pronounced hug feel you will love the Novosbed.
Bear Mattress (Ideal for Active People)
- Graphite Gel Technology
- 10” Thick with good support
- Medium Firm
- Fantastic cooling and bounce
- Manufactured in the USA
OVERALL RATING: 9.0 out of 10
The Bear mattress is pretty new on the market with fantastic reviews so far. It’s a bed designed for active people and athletes who want to perform at the highest level and get the most from their eight hours of sleep.
It comes with three layers:
- 1” Graphite Gel for additional cooling
- 5” of high response foam for extra comfort
- 5” of high-density layer that makes the foundation
The cover uses Celliant technology which circulates the energy released from the sleeper’s body during sleep and feeds it back for faster muscle growth and restoration.
Conclusion: If you want a medium firm all memory foam mattress, specifically designed for athletes, constructed using the highest quality materials at a fraction of a store price, this is the product of choice for you.
Budget Friendly Options
Dreamfoam Ultimate Dreams Supreme (Best Budget Option)
- Impressive value
- 12” Thickness
- True Medium Feel
- Manufactured in the USA
OVERALL RATING: 8.7 out of 10
Dreamfoam is a sister brand for famous Brooklyn bedding that offers budget friendly mattresses with different types and materials. For this category, we picked the 12” Gel Ultimate Dreams Supreme. This particular model has three layers:
- 5” of cooling gel designed to pull the heat away from the sleeper (4.0 PCF)
- 5” of foam designed to provide maximum comfort and relief. (4.0 PCF)
- 8” of foundation foam that gives it structure and deep compression support.
Don’t get discouraged by lower price tag here. It’s one of the higher quality products we tested, even if you compare it to more expensive ones.
Overall, if you are on a budget and looking for a good mattress that will serve you for years to come and if you love that true medium feel with lots of hug this is an ideal choice for you.
Brentwood Home Cypress 13” Bamboo Gel (Great for Heavy Sleepers)
- Traditional feel and sinkage
- 13” thick
- Good Cooling and Hug
- Good for Heavy Sleepers
- Medium-Firm Feel
- Made in the USA
OVERALL RATING: 8.6 out of 10
At first, I was a bit discouraged by the price, but I soon realized that this is, in fact, a quality product with a budget friendly price tag. It’s made from gel memory foam, wool and ventilated support foam with bamboo infused cover making it one of the most natural and safest mattresses on the market.
As far as firmness, it sits around 5-6 on a scale of 1-10, so that makes it medium-firm.
Overall, Brentwood Home 13” Gel is a fantastic blend of natural and safe materials with traditional memory foam hug and advanced cooling features. Not much you can add here.
Lucid 14 Inch Plush
- Bamboo Charcoal Infused Foam
- 14” thick
- Ultra Plush Feel
- CertiPUR-US certified
OVERALL RATING: 7.7 out of 10
If you like to go in a natural direction with as many of your purchases as possible, the LUCID mattress option is one to keep in mind. Again here, we see a model that can be had in the full-range of mattress sizes. There is a one-inch bamboo charcoal layer on the top of the product, and the overall mattress is 14-inches thick. Impressively, this mattress comes with a 25-year warranty.
Past buyers of this mattress have been highly impressed with its performance. One of the common positives associated with this mattress is the lack of odor that comes along with most products. This can likely be attributed to the natural design of the product, and it is something to keep in mind if you would like to avoid the off gassing process. If there is a complaint to be found, it is the fact that this mattress has proven to be too firm for some buyers. This is a point of personal preference, so be sure you like a firm mattress if you go in this direction.
Tuft & Needle
- Good budget option
- 10” thick
- Medium Feel
- Made in the USA
OVERALL RATING: 8.5 out of 10
Tuft & Needle present another all-around mattress with this offering that comes in a total of six sizes. One of the things that stand out about this option is the 100-night trial that comes with the mattress. That means you can try out the product for three months without being committed to the purchase.
This bed has earned some of the best reviews. Among the many compliments paid to this product include the ease of setup, the price, the support that it provides, and more.
Based on the overall impressions, Tuft & Needle is a good budget option for people who want a medium firm feel, and it’s ideal for side sleepers due to more sinkage and hug.
Memory Foam vs. Other Materials and Types
Coil (innerspring or coil-on-coil) provide more airflow and cooling than almost any other type. Nowadays, many products include a layer of memory foam on top for extra comfort. The combination of two results in improved lifespan, cooling and you still get that familiar foam feel. One such example is luxury mattress from Saatva, a sister company of our Editor’s choice here, Loom & Leaf.
Read More: Our review of the top rated innerspring beds
Latex is considered as the creme de la creme of materials, and in most cases, the price of latex beds is higher. It’s not heat activated and provides a much cooler sleep experience even compared to gel foam. It has faster response and better bounce, but it has a completely different feel. You won’t get that much hug and contouring with this material. An example would be Zenhaven mattress.
More reading: The 5 Best Latex Beds You Can Buy in 2017
These days many manufacturers realized that combining materials and different types negates all negative sides and you end up with a much better product overall. Typical hybrids are coil or latex with foam. An example would be the Purple bed. Another fantastic example is Leesa mattress which combines latex based foam on top with memory foam below it.
Mattress vs. Toppers
To save money, you can opt to purchase a topper rather than an entire mattress. However, mattress toppers are rarely as effective as desired, especially when they are placed on an aging mattress. If the underlying mattress is starting to sag or otherwise fail, it is unlikely that the topper is going to do anything to improve performance. Most likely, you are going to want to opt for a mattress rather than a topper when a good night’s sleep is your top priority.
As you can plainly see, there are plenty of high-quality memory foam mattress brands on the market today. If you would like to purchase one for your own home, the beds listed above are a great place to start your search. In fact, there is a good chance that you will find a winner from that list without having to go any further.
We hope you now have all the information you need to make an informed purchase. Thank you for taking the time to review our buying guide, and we wish you the best of luck with your selection. Here’s to a great night’s sleep!
Author: Mark Reddick
When I’m not learning about sleep, you can find me watching “the big game” with my friends. I absolutely love sports and have grown to follow the rest aspect in athletes. Modern technology allows us to track athletes sleep and rest, which in turn helps predict their performance.
I hope that everyone that finds our site takes a new approach to sleep. The world needs to stop thinking about it as something “we just do”, but rather something that allows us “to do everyday.”
Cheers to having the best sleep of your life!