Memory foam mattresses are made of multiple foam layers, like a cake; each layer a different foam material designed for various support and cooling functions. 

For some, the phrase “memory foam” can evoke feelings of a soft, cozy mattress that hugs your body. Memory foam mattresses are designed to help relieve pressure and pain by using body heat to mold the mattress to your body’s shape. Pain and discomfort can lead to sleep disruption, which can exacerbate pain and negatively affect your physical and mental health. The right memory foam mattress can support your body to help relieve pain and encourage more restorative sleep. 

In this review, our Handbook Team recommends memory foam mattresses that may help relieve pressure and pain. However, always consult your health care provider if you’re purchasing a new mattress to help address specific medical conditions. 

Shopping for mattresses is personal—what feels best for our testers may not be best for you. We encourage you to use a mattress’s full trial period before committing to it—most brands offer a trial period of 100 or more nights.

“Although it can take some time to fully adjust to your new mattress, if you notice you’re still waking up with increased pain in the body and are tossing and turning throughout the night, those are some red flags that a new memory foam mattress may not be supportive enough,” says Jimmy Pajuheshfar, a doctor of physical therapy and clinical director at FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers.

Whether you’re looking for a memory foam mattress to try something new, replace your old mattress, or help relieve pain during the night, each mattress is unique—from the foam quality to the firmness and construction. That’s why we researched and evaluated more than 100 mattresses to help you find the best memory foam mattresses available today.

Best memory foam mattress overall

We chose the Saatva Loom & Leaf mattress as the best memory foam mattress due to its high-quality, cushioning foam, which we found offers excellent pressure relief for all sleeping positions. We also love Saatva’s white glove delivery service. The company delivers your new mattress to your bedroom and removes your old mattress for free.

1
Best memory foam mattress overall
9.8 Exceptional
Cushioning foam is excellent for back and side sleepers.
Free mattress setup and removal.
One-year trial period
9.8 Exceptional

HelpGuide Handbook for memory foam mattresses

Here are the five most important things to know about memory foam mattresses: 

Memory Foam Mattresses
We chose the Saatva Loom & Leaf as the best overall memory foam mattress.  We chose the Saatva Loom & Leaf as the best overall memory foam mattress. 
The best memory foam mattress for back pain should be medium-firm (firmness level: 6.5/10) because it supports your spine’s natural alignment.   The best memory foam mattress for back pain should be medium-firm (firmness level: 6.5/10) because it supports your spine’s natural alignment.  
Mattresses made of foam use your body heat to mold the mattress to your body shape to help relieve pressure and pain. Mattresses made of foam use your body heat to mold the mattress to your body shape to help relieve pressure and pain.
Foam mattresses are less expensive than hybrid mattresses made with foam and innerspring coils.  Foam mattresses are less expensive than hybrid mattresses made with foam and innerspring coils. 
The top brands offer at least a 100-night trial period.  The top brands offer at least a 100-night trial period. 

Our pick of the best memory foam mattresses

Our testing experience

Our Mattress Testing Process
Purchase mattress as mystery shoppers. Purchase mattress as mystery shoppers.
Set up mattress in testing lab. Set up mattress in testing lab.
Lie on mattress and rank firmness. Lie on mattress and rank firmness.
Lie on back, side, and stomach to find the best sleeping position. Lie on back, side, and stomach to find the best sleeping position.
Place 10-pound ball in mattress center and measure sinkage. Place 10-pound ball in mattress center and measure sinkage.
Find biggest pressure points using pressure map reading. Find biggest pressure points using pressure map reading.
Evaluate cooling capabilities by recording temperature differences. Evaluate cooling capabilities by recording temperature differences.
Drop 10-pound ball onto mattress to measure bounce score. Drop 10-pound ball onto mattress to measure bounce score.
Test motion isolation. Test motion isolation.
Test edge support. Test edge support.
Calculate composite “sex” and “family” scores. Calculate composite “sex” and “family” scores.

The Handbook Team hand-tests every mattress we review. We evaluate brands and models by recording our findings on a 42-question standardized testing form to identify standout features and services, document issues with each product, and describe our personal experience lying on each mattress. For example, we record: 

  • Firmness score and whether the mattress is best for back, side, or stomach sleepers.
  • Starting temperature of the mattress and how much it heats up after two testers lie on the mattress for five minutes.
  • How many times a 10-pound ball bounces on the mattress after dropping from a height of two feet in order to arrive at a mattress bounce score.

We paid close attention to specific considerations that sleepers of all ages seek, as identified by respondents in our survey of 600 mattress owners. This included price, features, and the set-up process. We also interviewed real people to better understand the motivations behind shopping for a new mattress as well as the benefits of purchasing one.

According to our survey

According to our survey, about 80 percent of all respondents said their new mattress helps them sleep better, and 65 percent reported improved mental health.

As our testers evaluated each brand and its features, we considered why many people choose a new mattress in the first place. Of our respondents, 42 percent decided to purchase a new mattress for “improved comfort and support for better sleep,” while only seven percent did so for “pain relief and targeted support.” The most common pain respondents wanted relieved was lower back pain

Despite only 42 percent of respondents prioritizing comfort and support for better sleep when shopping for a new mattress, 68 percent reported they sleep longer on their new mattress and 49 percent and 45 percent, respectively, said their stress and anxiety had improved after switching to their new mattress. Almost all mattress owners we surveyed (95 percent) were at least somewhat satisfied with their new mattress. We consulted sleep experts, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and pain specialists to understand what mattresses offer that make an overwhelmingly positive impact.

In order to focus on the mattresses themselves, we structured our test designs to objectively rank each one based on a range of criteria. For example, we tested things like bounce, edge support (the sturdiness of your mattress edge), and cooling capabilities the same way on each mattress and compared the results. That way we can accurately compare each mattress’ score in an unbiased way while also sharing our subjective point of view as mattress testers and experts.

Lastly, we compared warranty lengths, trial periods, and white glove delivery (in-home delivery and setup) options. While most brands offer warranties, not all are comprehensive. And many brands on the market don’t have free white glove delivery. This could be a deal-breaker if you’re nervous to invest in a new mattress because you’re worried the bed won’t get set up properly or offer what you need.

From our tester

“During our research, we realized that the brand’s firmness scale and perceived firmness aren’t always the same. We decided to report how firm we thought the mattress felt so that you can gain a different perspective, but more importantly, feel confident about what you’re purchasing.”

A note on our testing

We acknowledge that every body is different, and what feels comfortable to one person may not feel comfortable to another. Throughout our reviews, we refer to weight categories as light (below 130 pounds), average (130 to 250 pounds), and heavy (above 250 pounds) to distinguish between body weights.

Typically, lighter-weight sleepers perceive mattresses to feel firmer than they are, and higher-weight sleepers perceive mattresses to feel softer than they are. Keep in mind that most mattresses are designed for the average-weight person.

Compare the best memory foam mattresses in 2024

Price $1,595—$3,040 $699—$1,798 $839–$2,178 $786–$1,690 $936.30–$1,748.80
Firmness 6-7/10 or 8/10 6.5/10 6.5/10 8/10 6/10
Material Memory foam Memory foam Memory foam Memory foam Hybrid (innerspring and memory foam)
Warranty Lifetime Lifetime Lifetime Lifetime 10 years
Trial period 365 nights 365 nights 365 nights 120 nights 100 nights
Best for Back and side sleepers Side sleepers All sleepers Stomach sleepers Back and side sleepers

The best memory foam mattresses reviews

Best memory foam mattress overall: Saatva Loom & Leaf 

Best memory foam mattress overall
Saatva Loom & Leaf

The Saatva Loom & Leaf is our top memory foam mattress because of its excellent pressure relief, multiple cooling gel layers, and free delivery and removal services. If you’re looking for a true plush memory foam feel, the Loom & Leaf may be for you.

The thick top layers are designed to take pressure off your shoulders and back while also absorbing your partner’s movement. Fortunately, most memory foam mattresses have better motion isolation than innerspring or hybrid mattresses (meaning you won’t feel your bed partner’s every move).

Saatva’s free white glove delivery service also sets the Loom & Leaf mattress apart from a lot of other brands. Of the brands the Handbook Team tested, Saatva is one of the only companies to provide free delivery straight to your bedroom—and they’ll take away your old mattress, too.

Tip

Select “free mattress removal” during checkout to include mattress removal with your Saatva white glove delivery service.

Key product features

  • Rating: 9.8/10.
  • Material: Memory foam.
  • Cost: $1,595–$3,040
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime.
  • Trial period: 365 nights.
  • Shipping: Free shipping.
  • Firmness: 6-7/10 or 8/10.
  • Height: 12 inches.
  • Sizes available: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, split king, California king, split California king.

Pros and cons of the Saatva Loom & Leaf

Pros Free white glove delivery and mattress removal. One-year trial period. Limited lifetime warranty. Two firmness level options. Cons Higher price range (starts at $1,500+). May trap body heat. Not recommended for stomach sleepers.
Our top pick

Our final verdict on the Saatva Loom & Leaf

Our testers were impressed with how supportive the Loom & Leaf was. The medium-firm mattress supported their spine’s natural alignment even when switching sleep positions. Testers noticed great pressure relief on their shoulders and hips when lying on their side, and they felt very little mattress sinkage around the hips when lying on their stomachs. We wouldn’t recommend this mattress for higher-weight (more than 250 pounds) stomach sleepers because the foam may sink too much and allow the spine to curve unnaturally, but it may work for stomach sleepers at a lower (less than 130 pounds) or average (130–250 pounds) weight.

From our tester

“The Loom & Leaf is excellent to help relieve shoulder pain. I noticed the mattress conformed to my shoulder and had great pressure relief while I lay on my side.”

We also like that you’re not limited to one “best” sleeping position with the Saatva Loom & Leaf, especially since many people change positions during the night. The top two foam layers under the mattress cover are designed to help your body slightly sink in, while the deeper, more supportive high-density foam is constructed so you don’t sink too deeply into the mattress.

The Loom & Leaf mattress is compatible with the Saatva adjustable bed frame, which is our team’s top pick in adjustable beds.

To learn more about this brand’s mattresses, read our Saatva mattress review.

Most affordable memory foam mattress: Nectar Original Foam

Most affordable memory foam mattress
 Nectar Original Foam

The Nectar Original is an all-memory foam mattress with a top layer of gel memory foam that lightly hugs your body. Because this mattress is delivered to your door compressed, rolled, and sealed in a box, the price is lower than mattresses that are delivered ready to sleep on, such as the Saatva Loom & Leaf.

The Nectar Original has the lowest starting price here, a 365-night trial period, and free delivery—making it our top choice if you’re watching your budget. We found the material sinks deeper than other mattresses our team tested, but some sleepers may like its more cradled feel.

Key product features

  • Rating: 9.0/10.
  • Material: Memory foam.
  • Cost: $699–$1,798
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime.
  • Trial period: 365 nights.
  • Shipping: Free shipping.
  • Firmness: 6.5/10.
  • Height: 12 inches.
  • Sizes available: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, split king.

Pros and cons of the Nectar Original Foam

Pros Lower prices for memory foam. One-year trial period. Free delivery. Good support for side sleepers. Cons Contains fiberglass. May sag over time. Not recommended for stomach sleepers.

Our final verdict on the Nectar Original Foam

Our testers reported that the Nectar Original Foam mattress had more sinkage and less support than other memory foam mattresses. Despite our testers giving the Nectar Original Foam a low score for support, they still found that their hips and shoulders were supported comfortably when lying on their sides.

From our tester

“When lying on my side, my spine feels neutral, and the mattress supports my torso well. I don’t feel crunched to one side when lying on my side.”

Testers said they felt more “in” than “on” the mattress. This slight sinkage may be the right support for some side sleepers but uncomfortable for others. Someone who is a higher weight or has broader shoulders may feel too much pressure in the shoulder area when sleeping on their side and may do better with a mattress that has more sinkage.

A 10-pound dumbbell on the Nectar Memory Foam mattress.
The original Nectar Memory Foam mattress relieved pressure well, allowing pressure points to sink into the mattress. You can see this demonstrated using the 10-pound dumbbell above. Although it had some reinforcement at my midsection during side sleeping, we preferred the Premier Hybrid’s supportive coils.

We don’t recommend this mattress for stomach sleepers. When one of our testers lay on their stomach, the mattress sank too much, so that their hips were out of alignment with their spine. One tester said they felt slightly suffocated by the mattress while lying on their stomach.

This soft, cushioning mattress may not be right for stomach sleepers or higher-weight sleepers, but it’s still one of our top picks if you’re looking for a more affordable mattress with a deeper hug. The Nectar Original Foam can help relieve pressure on the shoulders and hips for light- or average-weight sleepers—especially if side sleeping is your go-to position.

Some Nectar models contain a harmful substance, fiberglass, that can irritate and harm your upper respiratory tract. Sleepers aren’t exposed to fiberglass unless the mattress is torn or ruptured, but this is something to be aware of while shopping.

Learn more in our Nectar mattress review.

Best cooling and gel memory foam mattress: DreamCloud Original Foam

Best cooling and gel memory foam mattress
DreamCloud Original Foam

If you’re a sleeper who runs hot, consider the DreamCloud Original Foam mattress. The mattress is thoughtfully designed for coolness and breathability, starting with its cashmere-blend mattress cover. While you might associate cashmere with heavier winter wear, it is actually a lightweight, breathable fabric that doesn’t retain moisture. The mattress cover combined with top layers of gel memory foam Memory foam that contains small gel pods designed to draw heat away from the body. is designed to help keep the mattress cool.

Key product features

  • Rating: 9.2/10.
  • Material: Memory foam.
  • Cost: $839–$2,178
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime.
  • Trial period: 365 nights.
  • Shipping: Free shipping.
  • Firmness: 6.5/10
  • Height: 12 inches.
  • Sizes available: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, split king.

Pros and cons of the DreamCloud Original Foam

Pros Has multiple gel memory foam layers for cooling. One-year trial period. Free delivery. Supports multiple sleeping positions. Cons Lacks bounce to assist mobility or sex. White glove delivery costs extra ($199).

Our final verdict on the DreamCloud Original Foam

There are limitations to testing cooling technology, but DreamCloud’s cooling performance stood out compared to other mattresses. Our testers found that the mattress remained cool even with multiple people occupying the bed. Out of all the mattresses tested, our thermal gun recorded the lowest temperature change after two testers laid on this mattress. Before our testers laid down, the bed registered a reading of 67.5 degrees.

 Image of a Dreamcloud foam bed through the view of a thermal gun showing a temperature of 67.5 degrees Fahrenheit
The initial temperature reading of the mattress before testers laid down.
The temperature of the mattress after testers laid on it for five minutes. Note the outline of the testers’ body heat.

After two testers laid on the mattress for five minutes, the thermal gun registered a temperature of 73.4 degrees, which is an increase of 5.9 degrees. An increase of five degrees or fewer after five minutes is considered “excellent” cooling, while five to 10 degrees is considered “good.”

On top of the DreamCloud Original Foam’s cooling technology, we think this mattress is also a win for sleepers who switch positions throughout the night. Our testers noticed it was easy to change positions without feeling stuck, and the mattress gently cradled and supported them in each position—even when lying on their stomach.

We also recommend the DreamCloud Original Foam if you sleep with a partner. In addition to its cooling qualities, we think this mattress is excellent for motion isolation. Our testers measured motion isolation by conducting multiple motion tests that mimicked movements, like getting in and out of bed or adjusting positions during the night. Our tester hardly felt their tester partner on the other side of the mattress.

From our tester

“Their movement on the other side of the mattress was so faint—with my eyes closed I could barely detect it.”

Remember, a plushy foam mattress that’s great at absorbing movement usually doesn’t have much bounce, which may be more challenging for sex. The DreamCloud Original Foam had zero rhythmic bounce, according to our testers. If this is a deal-breaker, check out the Bear Original below for a firmer, bouncier mattress option.

Tip

Choosing the right bed sheets is a big factor for staying cool at night. We recommend bed sheets made of natural, breathable materials like bamboo, cotton, or linen to pair with your DreamCloud mattress.

To learn more, read our DreamCloud mattress review.

Best firm memory foam mattress: Bear Original

Best firm memory foam mattress
Bear Original

Firmness is probably not the first thing you associate with memory foam, but a firm memory foam mattress is a great option for stomach sleepers. The Bear Original mattress offers you the best of both worlds—a cradled memory foam feeling coupled with the extra support of a firm mattress.

Key product features

  • Rating: 9.4/10
  • Material: Memory foam.
  • Cost: $786–$1,690
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime.
  • Trial period: 120 nights.
  • Shipping: Free shipping.
  • Firmness: 8/10.
  • Height: 10 inches.
  • Sizes available: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, split king.

Pros and cons of the Bear Original

Pros Excellent for stomach sleepers. Great for higher-weight sleepers who want a memory foam mattress. 120-night trial period. Limited lifetime warranty. Cons May be too firm for side and back sleepers. White glove delivery costs extra ($175).

Our final verdict on the Bear Original

We recommend the Bear Original for stomach sleepers who want an all-foam mattress. Our testers had nothing but good things to report in this position. Their bodies were cushioned and cradled by the three dense foam layers without their hips sinking into the mattress. We also recommend the Bear Original as a mattress for kids, as its firmness allows for growth.

From our tester

“The Bear Original is a good choice for stomach sleepers who love foam mattresses. It’s also more responsive than other memory foam mattresses, which is helpful for switching positions or getting out of bed. ”

However, we don’t recommend this firm mattress for lighter-to-average-weight sleepers who prefer sleeping on their side or back. When lying on their back, one tester had neutral spine but felt a small gap between their lower back and the mattress. They predicted their spine would sag into the mattress over time, which would cause discomfort and pain. A mattress should meet your lower back and reinforce it—not the other way around.

Dumbbell placed on the Bear Original mattress
Our testers tested the firmness of the Bear mattress by using a 10-pound dumbbell.

Since the Bear Original is such a firm mattress, we think higher-weight sleepers will get better contouring support than they would on softer memory foam mattresses. The denser foam allows the body to sink into the mattress with reinforced support.

Best hybrid memory foam mattress: Helix Midnight

Best hybrid memory foam mattress
Helix Midnight

The Helix Midnight is our favorite hybrid A type of mattress made with foam layers and spring layers. mattress because it perfectly blends the perks of memory foam and innerspring mattresses. We found that this medium-firm mattress is supportive, has excellent pressure relief for side and back sleepers, and may offer great motion isolation if you sleep with a partner or pet.

Key product features

  • Rating: 9.2/10.
  • Material: Memory foam and innerspring.
  • Cost: $936.30–$1,748.80
  • Warranty: 10 years.
  • Trial period: 100 nights.
  • Shipping: Free shipping.
  • Firmness: 6/10.
  • Height: 11.5 inches.
  • Sizes available: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, RV king.

Pros and cons of the Helix Midnight

Pros Great support for side and back sleepers. Good motion isolation. Has bounce to assist mobility or sex. Cons Shorter trial period (100 days). Not recommended for stomach sleepers. No white glove delivery options.

Our final verdict on the Helix Midnight

Pressure relief is the first thing that comes to mind with the Helix Midnight. Testers experienced pressure relief in both their shoulders and lower back while support came from the innerspring coils. This combination of pressure relief and support is ideal for back and side sleepers, and the responsive, slightly bouncier material makes it easier to switch between positions.

From our tester

“I think back sleepers will love the support and comfort of this mattress. The memory foam cushions the lower back, while the innerspring coils keep the spine aligned.”

Another perk of hybrid mattresses: They naturally run cooler than all-foam mattresses. Air flows between the innerspring coils, making the mattress more breathable and less likely to trap heat than memory foam mattresses.

The Helix Midnight has two foam layers before reaching the innerspring coils. The soft top foam layer may be a little too plush for stomach sleepers—testers felt their hips sinking into the mattress when lying on their stomachs.

Additionally, the Helix Midnight is also the Handbook Team’s top pick in our best mattress review.

Frequently asked questions

A memory foam mattress is made of layers of memory foam. Memory foam is known for its softness, providing pressure relief, absorbing movement, and hugging your body. Many modern memory foam mattresses have different firmness levels and cooling features. There are also “hybrid” memory foam mattresses, meaning the mattress consists of memory foam and innersprings.

How long a memory foam mattress lasts depends on the foam quality. Memory foam mattresses with high-density foam last about eight to 10 years, while low-density foam breaks down quicker and may last three to five years.

We recommend a memory foam mattress for lighter-to-average-weight back and side sleepers. Memory foam mattresses can help relieve pain and pressure points The parts of a sleeper’s body that have the hardest contact with the bed surface, such as the shoulder, hips, ribcage, and tailbone. by supporting and contouring your body. We don’t recommend memory foam mattresses for stomach sleepers or sleepers who run hot. Memory foam mattresses don’t have as much airflow as hybrid or innerspring mattresses, which makes them more likely to trap heat. If you live with chronic pain or mobility issues, consult your doctor on choosing the right mattress. The best mattress is different for everyone, so we always encourage readers to use a mattress’s trial period to test it out. All our best memory foam mattress picks have at least a 100-night trial period (over three months).

We can’t recommend a specific mattress as good for your health, but a memory foam mattress may help relieve pressure and pain. If you have chronic pain, an injury, or mobility issues, speak with your doctor before purchasing a mattress. Note that the foam material may irritate people with asthma or allergies.

No, memory foam mattresses don’t require a box spring. Your mattress type doesn’t determine if you need a box spring; it depends on your bed frame. Most modern bedframes don’t require a box spring. If your bedframe does require a box spring, it can add more height and an additional supportive surface for the mattress.

For general upkeep, vacuum the top of your memory foam mattress once a month. Try spot-treating stains before they dry with a damp cloth, but using too much water may damage the foam mattress. Always check your manufacturer’s guide for specific cleaning instructions.

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