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Springs aren’t doing it for you anymore. The noise. The weird lumps. The inconsistent support and the sagging.

Memory foam to the rescue. It got its start with NASA and quickly spread to other applications. It’s an alternative to old style springs, and although it’s gotten a reputation for being hot quicksand, new memory foam technology has brought these mattresses a long way from their original models.

We’ve put together a list of our top five memory foam mattresses. Plus, we’ve answered a few questions you may have about how to choose the right one. Let’s take a look.

How To Choose A Memory Foam Mattress

Choosing the right memory foam mattress isn’t complicated, but there are a few things to consider before you take the plunge.

What’s So Great About Memory Foam?

Conventional mattresses had one design. A layer of inner springs provided all the support, and a bit of material on top helped reduce the amount of pain you felt with all those springs sticking into your back.

The springs were interlocked, so if one person was heavier than the other, the entire mattress sagged underneath. The coils had very little contouring, so your body conformed to the shape of the mattress instead of the other way around. It wasn’t a comfortable situation.

Innerspring mattresses had to step up because when memory foam hit the market, there was a better sleep solution.

Memory foam works by contouring and supporting the body, so everything falls into a more natural position. The top layer of memory foam mattresses gives way underneath the broadest points of your body. Your shoulders, a common pressure point, can sink further into the bed than your waist. The foam fills in around gap areas like your waist, so your spine stays straight even when you’re on your side.

Underneath, dense support layers prevent the body from sinking in too far while giving the mattress structural integrity. When your body reaches the support layer, it receives pushback preventing any sag.

The support layer gives the mattress edge support as well. Traditional foam layers had little edge support, making it impossible to sit on the edge of the bed without sliding off. Now, dense support layers help resist that compression, so you can sleep or sit at the edge more easily.

Memory foam helps relieve pressure points because the foam is more adaptable to your body. If you experience back or shoulder pain, memory foam can alleviate that pressure by helping the spine decompress and removing pressure point triggers.

Is Memory Foam Hot?

Honestly, it used to be. Early memory foam had no air pockets like innerspring mattresses did, so heat got trapped in the foam core and slowly built up through the night. Add to that the traditional memory foam “hug,” in which the foam enveloped you and you slept in rather than on your bed, and heat had a better chance to radiate all around you.

Modern innovations have made memory foam a lot more comfortable temperature-wise. Foams are open cell, so air moves through, and many have added materials such as gel or phase change technology materials. These pull heat away from the body and diffuse it throughout the mattress so that it never has time to build up. The mattress can return to ambient room temperature more quickly.

Even with temperature regulation, you should be aware that the mattress is only as cool as the room where it’s located. If your room is too warm, the mattress will be that temperature. It doesn’t have outside cooling methods, so passive cooling is only as good as ambient room temperature.

Is Memory Foam Safe?

Some have worried about the materials used to make memory foam mattresses. Many memory foam mattresses are part of bed-in-a-box style mattresses, and some consumers have experienced a lot of off-gassing and odor from their new memory foam.

Many memory foam manufacturers have taken steps to reduce odor and off-gassing by using natural materials and receiving certifications from prominent organizations such as Certi-Pur US. If you’re worried about the health consequences of the materials in your memory foam mattress, looking for the Certi-Pur label may help solve that problem.

You could also look for companies that use natural foams and latex materials to create their mattresses.

Are There Any Downsides To Memory Foam?

The most important thing to watch for with memory foam is sagging. If your memory foam stops bouncing back after a few months or years of use, something isn’t right. Many memory foam manufacturers offer a warranty to cover this possibility. You should look for a warranty that covers at least ten years to cover the average life of the mattress.

The other downside is the support when you’re heavier than average. Some companies don’t take this into consideration when creating their mattresses. If you’re significantly heavier than the average person, your weight may not be fully supported with the memory foam layers. You’ll lose the contouring benefits, and the mattress may feel more firm in some cases, and in others may collapse altogether.

You should also be sure to fully support your memory foam mattress so that it doesn’t sag unnecessarily. You don’t have to use a box spring, but the bed should have slats with no more than an inch or two in the gap, a solid platform, or even the floor. Otherwise, the foam degrades with the extreme pressure and begins to sag.

The List

And now for the good stuff: our favorite memory foam mattresses.

Puffy – Our Top Pick

Puffy is a new company producing high-quality memory foam mattresses designed to keep you cool and reduce pressure. It has two models, the original and the Luxe. We prefer the Luxe for the extra temperature regulation.

The Luxe uses three distinct layers for contouring and support. The first layer is a cooling, gel infused foam that works by conduction and convection to draw heat away from your body. It gets eight times more airflow than other online foam mattresses. Heat doesn’t stay wrapped up close to your skin, and the surface returns to the ambient temperature of the room quickly.

The next layer is a plush foam that fully conforms to your body and rebounds quickly as you move around. The response time is high, so you never feel like you’re trapped in the foam, and you don’t get any weird depressions in your common sleeping positions.

The bottom layer is a seven-inch dense support layer. It’s strong and durable. It offers four times the support of other ordinary online foam mattresses, so the bed has structural integrity and keeps your back aligned and your spine decompressed. The cover materials are zip and wash, so you never have to worry about trying to spot clean.

It’s in the medium firm range, about a five and a half to seven on a ten point firmness scale. Medium firm mattresses are suitable for combination support. If you sleep in multiple positions or if you have a partner that sleeps in a different position than you do, you should still find the support and comfort optimum.

Puffy gives you 101 nights to sleep on your new mattress before deciding if it’s the right one for you. It’s essential that you give your bed at least 30 nights before you choose. You need time for your body to adjust and for old pain to fade. The mattress also requires a small period to break in to give you maximum support and contouring.

You’ve got a lifetime warranty to protect against unnatural sagging. Make sure your mattress is fully supported so that you don’t accidentally void the warranty.

Puffy comes to your house compressed in a box. You don’t need to wait on a delivery time. When you’re ready, unpack the box and gently tear the plastic away from the mattress to allow it to inflate. It should be ready in a few hours.

You don’t have the option of white glove delivery, so make sure that someone can help you set things up if you can’t move the mattress yourself.

Nectar – RunnerUp (And Best Budget Option)

Nectar’s simple mattress is a fully supportive, gel infused memory foam mattress with a generous warranty and a budget price.

Nectar uses several layers of foam. The first two contouring layers are gel infused to rapidly move heat away from your body and prevent it from storing up in the mattress core. One is quilted to give you more comfort and provide air circulation through a higher loft.

The next layer is adaptive foam. It’s responsive and provides good rebound time. As you move throughout the night, the foam rapidly adjusts to each position, providing proper contouring and never feeling like dead foam.

The dense support layer is breathable and provides structural integrity to the mattress. It helps reinforce contouring by giving you a firm foundation so that your body doesn’t sag. This keeps your spine aligned and in the proper position.

The cover materials are a fabric called Tencel. It wicks heat and moisture away from the body better than regular cotton. It works well with the gel infused layers and open cell foams.

Nectar has a 365-night sleep trial, so you should have plenty of time to decide if it’s the right one for you. Just make sure to initiate a return before the trial period is up if you decide it isn’t going to work out and Nectar will pick it up.

There’s also a lifetime warranty. During the first ten years, the company will replace the mattress if it starts to show signs of abnormal wear and tear. After the first ten years, the company will decide if it’s better to repair the mattress or replace it.

Nectar arrives compressed in a box, so you don’t have to wait for delivery. Just unpack the box and tear the plastic away from the mattress to allow it to inflate. It should be ready in a few hours.

Honorable Mention

We do have a few recommendations based on specific criteria. If you fit one of these situations, you may find one of these mattresses is a better choice.

Zenhaven – Best Organic Option

If you’re worried about toxins and off-gassing, the Zenhaven is an excellent choice. It uses all natural Talalay latex foam for the layers and is certified organic by CertiPur US.

The cover materials are organic cotton and wool. They’re soft and help wick heat away from the body. The first layer is a zoned comfort layer that allows the broader part of the body to sink into the foam while layers underneath your waist and legs are more firm for support.

The support layer is durable five pound Talalay latex. Talalay uses no synthetic foams or petroleum-based materials for healthier sleep and to reduce the chance of unnatural sagging.

It’s dual sided. One side with the top zoned support system is about a four and a half on the ten point firmness scale. The other side is a firmer layer that’s about a seven and a half on the ten point scale.

If you’re a side sleeper, you may find the softer side cushions your broader points better. If you sleep on your back or stomach, or if you’re a combination sleeper, you might prefer the firmer side.

Zenhaven’s foam can’t be compressed without damaging the foam, so Zenhaven offers complementary white glove delivery. A delivery person will arrive at a specified time to help you set up your mattress and remove the old one. Everything is taken care of to make the transition smooth.

You have 120 nights to sleep on the mattress before deciding if it’s the right one for you. Allow at least 30 days for your body to get used to the bed and for it to break in a little for full support.

You’re also covered by a 20-year warranty against abnormal wear and tear. During the first two years, the company will replace your mattress for free. After two years, the company will repair and recover your bed for a transportation fee ($99 each way).

Ghostbed – Best For Heavy People

Ghostbed isn’t specifically made for heavy people, but it is rated for up to 750 pounds of combined weight. When a mattress can’t support extra weight, the contouring layers lose their usefulness, and you don’t get relief on your pressure points, and the bed may feel too firm. Ghostbed’s weight limit gives you more room to enjoy the benefits of the mattress.

There are two models, the original and the Luxe. The original uses three layers of foams for contouring and support. The first layer is a zoned support layer that uses open cell materials for better air flow. It’s more supportive underneath your curves and allows broader areas to sink further.

The gel-infused foam helps wick heat away from your body so that the mattress can return to the ambient temperature of the room more quickly. It’s highly reactive to the body and bounces back well. High-density foam is underneath. It gives the mattress structural support so that your spine stays aligned and your back decompresses.

The Luxe uses even more gel layers with a quilted layer on top. It’s a little softer than the original but uses two different layers of cooling technology to keep the mattress at ambient room temperature. One is a phase change material that actively disperses heat away from your body.

Ghostbed allows you to try the mattress for 101 nights, so you have plenty of time to decide if the mattress is the right one for you. If it isn’t, just initiate a return, and Ghostbed will pick the mattress up.

You’re covered by a 20-year warranty. If there’s any abnormal wear and tear, and your mattress is adequately supported, they’ll replace the bed.

Ghostbed doesn’t offer white glove delivery so make sure that someone can help you set things up if you aren’t able to yourself. The box arrives at your front door without scheduling a delivery time. Unpack the box and gently tear the plastic away from the mattress to inflate it. It should be ready in a few hours.

Eight – Best High Tech

If you’re upgrading your mattress, chances are you’re improving your entire health. Eight’s innovative mattresses give you the power of tech right in your bedroom. Eight’s tech records vital pieces of your health and transmits to an app on your smartphone.

We love the Jupiter model. Jupiter uses several layers of adaptive foams starting with a two-inch reactive foam layer. It reacts like latex, so it rebounds quickly and supports you regardless of what position you move to.

The next layer is contouring memory foam that supports your hips and shoulders while filling in around the waist and lower back. The third layer helps to minimize motion transfer, so you don’t feel the movements of your partner as much. The bottom layer is a dense support foam that provides structural integrity to the mattress and helps with edge support.

Proprietary sensors are embedded into the mattress and take vital pieces of information. It reads your bio signals to help you figure out how to get the most out of your sleep. It tracks over 15 different health factors including REM and deep sleep, heart rate, and respiratory rate.

The company gives you 100 nights to try the mattress out to decide if it’s right. If it isn’t, you can return it before the trial period is up. The company will retrieve the mattress and issue a refund.

You’re covered by a ten-year warranty for the mattress provided you adequately support it. They’ll replace any defective mattresses that show wear outside regular use.

Eight arrives compressed in a box, so you just unpack and tear the plastic away. It should be ready in a few hours.

Final Thoughts

Memory foam has the potential to transform your sleep. It’s contouring, and supporting properties can help relieve pain and provide decompression. It should align your spine and prevent you from feeling the movements of your partner if you have one. Older memory foam may have been hot, but with new temperature regulating materials, you should have a very comfortable night sleep.

Tim

Remember how your parents told you that you were going to sleep your life away? Well that would be perfectly fine with Tim. He's been in search of the most comfortable nights sleep for years and shares his findings with any willing ear.

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