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THE GOOD. Limited heat retention and off gassing • adequate motion isolation • some bounce • silent • often affordably priced • conforming ability and support fair or better • strong return policies.
THE BAD. Firmness options limited • too firm for some, especially lighter people • edge support no better than fair • below-average thickness • availability limited usually to online.
THE MATTRESSES. A foam mattress by our definition consists of at least 79 percent regular foam.
Foam Mattress Ratings – Overall As A Group
What Is (And Is Not) a Foam Mattress
Prices and Value
Durability / Longevity
Off Gassing Odor
Foam Mattress Brand Ratings
The ratings below show how foam mattresses compare against the average mattress based on consumer experiences.
|Owner satisfaction||b||Foam mattresses overall have 79% owner satisfaction. More.|
|Affordable||B||They are often priced $300-$1400 with the average queen costing about $900. More.|
|Durability / longevity||C+||Lifespan is estimated to be at least average (6-years). More.|
|Support||B||Mainly due to foam mattresses often having an above-average firmness level, support tends to be adequate for the clear majority of owners.|
|Reduced (back) pain||C+||Pain relief – including relief of back pain – is reported by 12% of owners (1 in 8). About 6% (1 in 17), however, complain that their foam mattress causes pain, often due to excessive firmness. (See mattresses and pain relief for general analysis.)|
|Minimizes pressure points||B||Foam mattresses tend to moderately mold and contour to a person's body resulting in generally even distribution of weight. Minimal pressure points are often the result.|
|Easy to move on||B-||Foam mattresses do not conform to a degree that makes moving on the bed and changing positions difficult.|
|Easy to get on and off||C-||On average, the mattresses are about 10 inches thick – thinner than the average mattress (11 inches). This can make getting on and off the bed somewhat difficult for taller people. A high-profile foundation can help.|
|Motion isolation||B||Foam mattresses perform adequately for most people in regard to absorbing movement made by one person so as to minimize disturbance to another person. More.|
|Edge support||D+||Support near the edges of the bed may be inadequate for sleeping or sitting, especially for larger people. More.|
|No sleeping hot||B-||Significant and bothersome heat retention is reported by about 6% of owners (1 in 17). More.|
|No initial off gassing odor||B||This problem can vary somewhat by brand and individual mattress, but on average no more than 8% of owners (1 in 12) report a significant, enduring initial off gassing odor. More.|
|Good for sex||B-||Foam mattresses often have some bounce. (See mattresses and sex for general analysis).|
|Avg-sized person friendly||B+||For people who weigh 130-230 pounds, back sleepers have the highest satisfaction. About 10% of side sleepers – especially those with a body mass index under 21 or distinctively broad shoulders and / or hips – report excessive firmness.|
|Heavy person friendly||b-||While support tends to be adequate, the mattresses may lack top layer thickness to provide ideal comfort for people over 230 pounds, especially side sleepers. Also, "bottoming out" is possible especially when sitting due to their below-average thickness.|
|Light person friendly||c||About 25% of people under 130 pounds – especially side sleepers with a body mass index under 21– report excessive firmness and or back pain. People of this size seem unable to exert the pressure needed for the mattress to comfortably conform to their bodies.|
|No noise||a||Foam mattresses are silent under all conditions.|
|No topper needed||C||About 8% of owners (1 in 12) on average need to add a topper to the mattress to improve comfort.|
|Short break in period||C||Break-in tends to be longest for people under 150 pounds. Most owners report the mattress breaking in within two weeks.|
|Easy to maintain||B-||Nearly all foam mattresses are no-flip. Head-to-foot rotation one to three times yearly may help to maintain comfort and support.|
|Easy to handle, lift, move||B-||Weight for a queen foam mattress often ranges 68 to 110 pounds with the average queen weighing about 83 pounds. More.|
A foam mattress consists mostly or entirely of regular foam. Specifically, by our definition, a foam mattress consists of at least 79% regular foam. In other words, a mattress is usually not considered a foam mattress if more than 21% of it consists of another material(s) besides regular foam.
Also, a foam mattress – in addition to using regular foam for support – often (but not always) uses regular foam for its top comfort layer as opposed to another material such as memory foam or latex.
Foam mattresses overall have 79% owner satisfaction. The various models / brands rate mostly similar.
Learn how owner satisfaction is determined.
The average price for a foam mattress is about $900 for a queen. This is about 40% less than the price of the average mattress.
The below-average price for a foam mattress combined with above-average owner satisfaction results in a strong owner opinion of value.
Foam mattresses overall likely have about average durability / longevity.
* partial estimate.
Off gassing refers mainly to an odor that a mattress may release when it is new due to its composition and packaging. Foam mattresses tend to off gas less often and less strongly than the average mattress.
About 6% of foam mattress owners report sleeping hot – a lower-than-average rate. An additional 15% report significant warmth but not to a bothersome degree most of the time.
A mattress with effective motion isolation absorbs movement and does not transfer it across the bed to disturb another person. Foam mattresses perform significantly better than the average mattress on this issue.
Support near the edges of a foam mattress may be inadequate for sleeping / sitting, especially for larger people.
The average queen-sized foam mattress weighs about 83 pounds – about 15 pounds lighter than the average mattress. Handles or grips are not often present to help with lifting / moving / maneuvering the mattress.
Almost all foam mattresses are about 10-inches thick – approximately an inch thinner than the average mattress.
The table below includes many popular foam mattresses arranged alphabetically. The mattresses (and many more) can be compared in more detail at the mattress comparison.
|Brooklyn Bedding||Casper||Helix*||Leesa||Purple||Tuft & Needle|
|Owner Satisfaction (sample size)|
|82% (67)||80% (268)||81% (92)||78% (149)||79% (94)||79% (219)|
|4" foam||1.5" foam
1.5" memory foam
2.5" pocketed microcoils
2" memory foam
|2" polymer||3" foam|
|polyurethane foam (2.0 lb/ft density)||polyurethane foam (1.9 lb/ft density)||polyurethane foam (1.8 lb/ft density)||polyurethane foam (1.8 lb/ft density)||polyurethane foam (1.9 lb/ft density)||polyurethane foam (1.8 lb/ft density)|
|medium, med-firm and firm (5.5 to 8.5 on 1-10 scale)||medium to medium-firm (6 on 1-10 scale)||customizable; medium-soft to medium-firm (3.5 to 7.5 on 1-10 scale)||medium-firm (6.5 on 1-10 scale)||medium-firm (6.5 on 1-10 scale)||medium-firm (7 on 1-10 scale)|
|10 years non prorated||10 years non prorated||10 years non-prorated||10 year non-prorated||10 years non prorated||10 year non-prorated|
|120 day, must keep 30, no fee||100 day; no fee||100 day; no fee||100 day; no fee||100 day; no fee||100 day; no fee|
|In Business Since|
|SLTD Company Rating**|
|brooklyn bedding .com||casper.com and West Elm stores||helixsleep.com||leesa.com||onpurple.com||tuftandneedle.com|
|Brooklyn Bedding||Casper||Helix||Leesa||Purple||Tuft & Needle|
* Helix does not exactly fit our definition of a foam mattress as it consists of 75% regular foam, not 79%+. But we include Helix because it nevertheless fits more closely in this mattress category than it does in any other.
** SLTD Company Rating is Sleep Like The Dead's letter grade for a mattress company. It is based on warranty coverage, customer service, return policy, access to customer reviews, integrity of customer reviews, time in business, marketing accuracy, specifications disclosure, and Better Business Bureau ratings.
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