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Mattress Ratings > Memory Foam Bed Reviews
Based on 6,913 Actual Owner Experiences
THE GOOD: Memory foam mattresses overall rate as well as, if not better than, other mattress types in owner satisfaction. Motion isolation and pressure-point relief are above average. Cheaper, off-brand memory foam mattresses usually rate at least as well as pricier, brand-name options.
THE BAD: The main owner complaint is initial off gassing odor. Other significant complaints are heat retention, excessive firmness, firmness unpredictability, "squishy" feel in high temperature, poor longevity, unsuitability for romance, and lack of edge support.
High-density models are often somewhat difficult to move on and get up off, especially for heavier people.
Several memory foam beds are available only or mostly online, making the selection process somewhat more difficult.
Memory Foam Mattress Ratings: As a Group
Brand Ratings and Comparison
What Is Memory Foam?
Memory Foam Density
Memory Foam vs Other Mattress Types
Lifespan / Durability
Off Gassing Odor
Sleeping Hot / Heat Retention
Reasons For Price Differences
Suitability for Sex
Mold / Mildew Development
Electric Blanket / Pad Use
Mattress Protector Use
Memory Foam Mattresses vs Memory Foam Toppers
Memory Foam Vs Latex
Buying Online: What You Should Know
Proper Memory Foam Bed Foundation & Frame
Our ratings and research findings are based on over 6,900 memory foam bed consumer reviews / experiences that were gathered using an unbiased, accurate methodology.
The ratings below show how the mattresses as a group are evaluated by consumers. For ratings and information on specific brands, see the section following this one.
|Owner satisfaction||b||Memory foam mattresses as a group have 81% owner satisfaction ( ). The various memory foam mattress brands and models tend to rate fairly similar to one another. (See brand comparison below.)|
|Longevity / durability||b-||Longevity can differ by brand, but memory foam mattresses have on average about a 7-year lifespan. (See lifespan analysis.)|
|Price / affordable||C+||Prices vary greatly – $200 to $7500 for a queen – for several reasons. Paying more does not necessarily result in higher owner satisfaction as satisfaction tends to be similar across the price range.|
|Reduced pain / pressure points||b||Memory foam molds and contours at least somewhat to a person's body and, as a result, often provides good support and pain / pressure-point relief. Back, hip and shoulder pain are often helped especially. About 10% of owners, however, complain that their bed causes pain, often due to excessive firmness. (See mattresses and pain relief for general analysis.)|
|Firmness variety||c+||The mattresses tend to be medium to firm, but soft varieties are available. 12% of owners report excessive firmness.|
|Firmness predictability||d+||At least 12% of memory foam bed owners say the bed they received has significantly different firmness than the one they tried in a showroom. Learn more.|
|Dual firmness||D||Mattresses with dual firmness are couple friendly in that they can have different firmness for each side of the bed. With few exceptions, such as the Tempur-Pedic Choice (memory foam / air hybrid) and the Bed In A Box Natural Silk Elegance Comfort Adjust, memory foam mattresses do not provide this feature.|
|Motion isolation||a||The mattresses tend to isolate movement allowing a person to move on and get up off the bed without causing much disturbance to their partner.|
|No initial odor / off gassing||d||About 15% of owners report significant off gassing odor, especially owners of higher-density models. Analysis: memory foam off gassing.|
|No sleeping hot||c-||Higher-density foam often means more heat issues. See memory foam & heat retention.|
|Easy to move on / get up off||c||Memory foam, especially higher-density foam, tends to resist a person's movement at least somewhat due to its conforming properties. Getting up off the bed and changing positions may require extra effort. The physically weak, such as elderly, sick or disabled people, may want to avoid higher-density foam.|
|Edge support||C||Some brands provide support to keep a person from rolling off the bed when close to the edge, while others do not.|
|Good for sex||c-||Opinions vary but a majority of consumers report that their bed is acceptable for love. See sex and mattresses comparison.|
|Heavy person friendly||b+||Given the weight sensitivity of memory foam, large people (200 lbs+) tend to benefit the most from the foam's contouring properties. However, a mattress that is less than 9" thick may not provide adequate cushion for large people.|
|Light person friendly||c||Given the weight sensitivity of memory foam, small people (110 lbs or less) tend to benefit the least from the contouring properties of the foam, especially if the mattress is firm.|
|No noise||a||Memory foam mattresses are silent unlike most other mattress types. Learn more.|
|No rotating / flipping||b||Nearly all models are "no-flip" (but some owners flip anyway to combat sagging / softening). Rotating the mattress occasionally (turning it from head to foot) may help longevity, comfort and support.|
|Lightweight||c||Thicker, higher-density memory foam beds weigh more than thinner, lower-density ones.|
|Warranties||b||Warranty lengths can vary significantly; more expensive models tend to have longer warranties. Get the details.|
|Return policies||c||Most retailers allow 30-90 days for a return / exchange. Several will give money back, but fees may apply. (See returning a mattress: what you should know.)|
|Availability||b+||Memory foam mattresses are common both in showrooms and online. Several popular brands, however, are available mostly or only online. Learn more.|
The table below includes many popular memory foam beds arranged alphabetically. Select a mattress (where available) for a full ratings report based on consumer experiences.
Noteworthy brands / retailers not appearing below include Christeli, FoamOrder.com, FoamSource.com, MyLuxuryMattress.com, Restava.com, SleepWarehouse.com.
|Memory Foam Thick-
||Distinctive Advantage or Trait||SLTD Com- pany Rating
|Sold in Stores and or Online
||Retailer||Return Policy Length/Fees
|BED IN A BOX||86%
|3||9-14"||3", 6"||med to soft||zero BBB complaints||A||2004||mostly online||Bed in a Box||120 max, 60 min / no||20 yrs|
|4 & 4.5||6-14"||2-6"||med to firm||New England only||C-||1991||stores, online||Bob's Furniture||30 max, 0 min / NA||5-20 yrs|
|2.5, 3, 4||8-15"||2-6"||med/soft to firm||made on day of order||NA||1958||online||ebed.com||121 max, 91 min / yes||20 yrs+|
|2.5, 3, 4||8-14"||2.5-6"||med to firm||model variety||C+||1978||online||Overstock
|no returns||5 yrs|
|4 & 5||10"||4"||mostly firm||strong return policy||A||1994||online||Healthy
|365 max, 0 min / yes||10 yrs|
|1.4 - 3.1||4-7"||2-2.5"||med-firm to firm||available in Ikea stores||B-||1943||stores, online||Ikea||90 max exchange/no||20 yrs+|
|3*||10", 12"||2.5", 4"||med-
|plant oil for 12% petrol.||B||2005||online, stores||Keetsa||90 max, 30 min / yes||12 yrs|
|3.7-5.2||10", 11"||3-5"||med-soft to firm||based in Canada||A-||2004||online||Novosbed||120 max, 60 min / no||25 yrs|
|4*||9-13"||3-7"||soft to firm||TempurPedic competitor||C+||1906||stores, online||some retailers||varies||10 yrs|
|3, 4, 5||8.5-
|soft to firm||TempurPedic competitor||C||1933||stores, online||many retailers||120 max, 30 min / varies||25 yrs|
|SIGNATURE SLEEP||75% (1392)||$120-
|2, 4||6-12"||1.5-4"||med-firm||ultra-low price||B-||1987||online||Amazon, Walmart||30-90 max, 0 min / yes||1 yr|
|2.5 - 5.5||9.5-13"||4-5"||soft to med||TempurPedic competitor||C||1870||stores, online||several retailers||varies||25 yrs|
|2 & 3||8-10.5"||2.5-3.5"||med to firm||new model||C||1870||stores, online||several retailers||varies||10 yrs|
|SLEEP INNOVATIONS||80% (2321)||$240-
|2.5 - 3.5||8-14"||2-3"||med to firm||good war- ranty for $||B-||1996||mostly online||Amazon, Costco||0-30 max, 0 min / varies||5-20 yrs|
|3, 5, 7||8-14.5"||3-6.6"||med to firm||at Costco.com||A-||1993||mostly online||Costco
|90+ max, 0 min / no||20 yrs|
|5+||8-11"||2-4"||soft to firm||heat, offgas often low||NA||2001||mostly online||Tempflow||120 max, 21 min / yes||30+ yrs|
|3-7*||8-15"||3-7.2"||soft to firm||widely available||B+||1992||stores, online||many retailers||varies||10 yrs|
|ULTIMATE DREAMS GEL||83%
|4 & 5||13"||5"||mostly soft||above avg cust. service||B||1992||online||Amazon||30 max, 0 min / yes||20 yrs|
|3||6-14"||1-3.5"||mostly firm||popular & low priced||B-||1987||mostly online||several||varies||5-15 yrs|
Memory foam is constructed from polyurethane with additional chemicals that increase its density. In technical terms, it is often referred to as visco-elastic polyurethane foam. The foam is made up of millions of spherical shaped, open cells. What makes memory foam unique is its temperature and weight sensitivity. Learn more.
Memory foam is available in different densities. Foam density often determines many mattress characteristics. See memory foam density: higher vs lower for a complete analysis and comparison based on actual consumer experiences.
Innerspring beds are the main competitor to memory foam beds. Among 87 consumers included in our research who have owned both types and stated their preference, memory foam is often preferred. As the chart below shows, 46% of these consumers prefer memory foam, 31% prefer innerspring, and 23% have no preference.
See the mattress comparisons for more on how memory foam compares to innerspring beds as well as the other mattress types.
The lifespan of memory foam mattresses usually ranges from 4 to 12 years with regular use, with about a 7-year useful life on average.
Memory foam mattress lifespan is not clearly correlated with price. In other words, paying more does not ensure a significantly longer lifespan. Tempur-Pedic, however, has historically been an exception to this as its beds have had 20% or better longevity than its less expensive competition.
The chart below shows how memory foam compares to other mattress types in regard to longevity / lifespan.
The loss of a flat, supportive and level sleep surface due to mattress sagging, mattress compression/compaction and or the development of body impressions is a top complaint from mattress owners overall, including memory foam mattress owners.
Memory foam gets its name from its ability to "remember" its original form and slowly return to it after being compressed. As the foam ages and wears, it will lose at least some of this resiliency or "memory." This can result in sagging, compression and body impression development which can undermine support and comfort, say owners.
Owner experience data shows, however, that memory foam mattresses overall have fewer sagging/compression/impression complaints than most other mattress types, especially innerspring mattresses. In fact, memory foam beds as a group are at least 30% less likely to sag/compress/impress than innerspring beds.
* estimated to be at least 1.5" depth
Owner experience data shows that memory foam mattresses may become softer as they age and wear. Excessive softening can cause both a lack of support and comfort. By contrast, most other mattresses types, namely innerspring mattresses, tend to become compacted and firmer as they age and wear, especially those with a thick comfort layer.
Entry-level (low-priced) memory foam mattresses tend to have a 5- or 10-year warranty; mid-priced mattresses often have a 10- or 20-year warranty; and luxury-level (high-priced) mattresses often have a 10-25-year warranty.
For the 5- and 10-year warranties, the entire period is often non-prorated, while the 20- or 25-year warranties often have only the first 10-15 years non-prorated. Non-prorated means there is no cost to the consumer to repair or replace a defective mattress, not including transportation costs.
|Warranty Length||Non-Prorated Period|
|Low priced ($200-$700)||usually 5-10 years||5-10 years|
|Mid priced ($700-$2500)||10-20 years||usually 10 years|
|High Priced ($2500+)||10-25 years||usually 10-15 years|
Owner experience data shows that with regular, everyday use, mattresses do not tend to last the length of their warranties. See mattress warranties: what you should know for complete analysis.
"Sagging depth" is an important term which refers to how much (in inches) a mattress must compress / sag before warranty coverage begins; the smaller the number, the better the coverage. Most memory foam beds have similar sagging coverage. In addition, sagging coverage for memory foam beds is often better than the sagging coverage for innerspring beds.
Taking all warranty aspects into consideration – length, prorated period, sagging depth threshold, exclusions – memory foam mattresses overall as a group have above-average warranties.
Prices for memory foam mattresses can range from $200 to $7500 (queen). Below are main reasons why memory foam mattresses can vary widely in price.
– Overall Mattress Thickness: On average, high-priced memory foam mattresses are at least 75% thicker than low-priced ones. (Thicker mattresses are often for people who prefer a tall mattress profile or for people of above-average weight; a mattress that is too thin for a person's weight may bottom out and be excessively firm.)
– Memory Foam Layer Thickness: Memory foam beds are not made entirely of memory foam. They consist of 20-50% memory foam; this memory foam lays over a base layer of regular foam. High-priced memory foam beds tend to have at least two times more memory foam than low-priced ones. More memory foam tends to provide somewhat increased comfort, contouring support and, perhaps, mattress longevity.
– Base Layer Thickness: The base layer of a memory foam bed consists of relatively inexpensive foam and often makes up 50-80% of overall mattress thickness. The base layer of low-priced memory foam beds tends to make up a greater portion of overall mattress thickness compared to high-priced memory foam beds.
– Memory Foam Density: High-priced memory foam beds tend to use memory foam that is 50-100% higher in density than what low-priced beds use. Higher-density foam tends to have better longevity than lower-density foam and provides better contouring support which can help to relieve pain, including back pain.
|Overall Mattress Thickness||Memory Foam Layer Thickness||Base Layer Thickness||Memory Foam Density|
|High Priced ($2500+)||12-16"||4-7"||6-8"||4.0-8.0 lbs/ft|
The above table shows what tends to be true; a particular mattress model may go against these findings somewhat.
– Other Factors: In addition to the above reasons, other factors affecting price include:
Memory foam mattresses (or any mattress that contains a significant amount of memory foam) tend to off gas more often and more strongly than other mattress types. Off gassing (or out gassing) refers to a chemical-like odor or gas that a mattress may give off when it is new due to its chemical composition and packaging.
About 15% of memory foam mattress owners report significant off gassing. And about 1-2% of owners return their mattress due to off gassing odor concerns.
Off Gassing Odor Reported by Memory Foam Mattress Owners
Length of Off Gassing Period Reported by Memory Foam Mattress Owners
Off gassing is usually just an annoying odor to those who notice it.
Some mattress owners, however, report feeling ill from it. Reports of headaches, nausea, eye and throat irritation, sweating, sleeplessness and asthma resulting from off gassing occur in about 1.5% of owner experiences. The illness diminishes when the off gassing diminishes or when the person avoids being in the same room with the mattress during the off gassing period.
People sometimes deal with off gassing odor by putting the bed in a well-ventilated room, spare room, covered patio or garage until the odor has mostly diminished.
In regard to off gassing being a long-term health threat, such as a cancer risk, there is currently no credible study or evidence showing this to be the case.
Many consumers believe that American-made memory foam off gasses less (and is therefore safer / healthier) than imported foam, namely foam from China. Our research based on actual consumer experiences shows the opposite: Domestically made memory foam has significantly more off gassing reports than foreign-made foam.
The fact that domestically made memory foam has more off gassing reports than foreign-made foam may be explained by foam density. Higher density foam usually off gasses more than less dense foam. And higher density foam tends to be produced domestically, while less dense foam is often foreign made.
About 10% of memory foam bed owners say that their bed retains heat and, as a result, sleeps hot. This problem can result in sweating, restlessness and inadequate sleep quality. An additional 14% of owners report that their mattress sleeps warm, but usually not to an uncomfortable extent. Put differently, most memory foam bed owners experience no heat-related problems.
It is increasingly common for memory foam mattresses to have at least one layer of gel memory foam – foam that is infused with millions of tiny gel beads. This material is touted to sleep cool longer than regular memory foam, and based on our collected consumer experience data it does reduce sleeping hot complaints by about one-third. Some consumers, however, report no meaningful heat relief from gel foam.
The amount of gel foam in a mattress also seems to be a factor. Beds with two inches or more of gel foam, especially at the top of the mattress, tend to sleep cool longer than those beds with less than two inches.
Density can and often does differ by memory foam bed brand or model. Beds with higher density foam tend to have at least twice the number of sleeping hot complaints than beds with less-dense foam.
High foam density seems to restrict air circulation which can result in the mattress acting as a heat trap. Also, higher density foam is often more sensitive to temperature and weight than is lower density foam. This can mean that a person can sink somewhat into higher density foam instead of staying on the surface where there is more air circulation.
Memory foam mattresses overall have more unpredictability in their firmness than do other mattress types. This means that each individual mattress may have its own firmness and "personality" to some degree.
As a result, at least 12% of memory foam bed owners say that the bed they received has significantly different firmness than the one they tried in a showroom. Or owners who buy more than one memory foam bed of the same model and specifications may report that each bed has a unique firmness and feel to some degree.
Owner experience data suggests that lower priced memory foam mattresses tend to be somewhat more likely to have firmness unpredictability than those that are higher priced.
Opinions vary, but a majority of memory foam mattress owners say that their bed is at least acceptable for romance. On this issue, comfort is the reported top advantage of memory foam mattresses, while a lack of bounce is the main disadvantage. Learn more: sex and mattresses comparison.
Mold and mildew development on memory foam mattresses is an issue that receives significant publicity. Our collected owner experience data shows, however, that no more than .3% of memory foam mattress owners report a mold / mildew problem.
It should be noted that mold / mildew does not always make its presence easily known. Consequently, a considerable number of owners may unknowingly have a mattress with mold / mildew.
Mold / mildew development is more likely to occur in high humidity climates. Owner experience data suggests that development often takes place underneath the mattress especially if a foundation is used that provides limited ventilation, such as a platform. A slat foundation, by contrast, allows more airflow which perhaps reduces potential for development. In addition, a waterproof mattress protector is effective at keeping the mattress dry and mold / mildew free.
Using an electric blanket or electric mattress pad with a memory foam bed can reduce the bed's comfort and pain-relief potential. Due to the temperature sensitivity of memory foam, having a heat source on the bed other than your body can undermine the foam's ability to react to your body and conform to its shape.
If an electric blanket or heating pad are used, then heating should be limited to when you first get into bed. And the setting should be on low or medium heat, not high.
There are some claims that the heat produced by electric blankets and electric pads can damage memory foam. We have found no owner experience data to confirm this.
A mattress protector can protect a memory foam mattress against dust mites, bacteria, sweat, urine and fluids. Using a protector can be wise because the dirtying or soiling of a mattress will often void its warranty.
According to owner experience data, the use of a protector, however, can reduce the contouring and molding properties of memory foam by at least 25%. In other words, a protector will likely limit the comfort and pain-relief potential of memory foam.
A memory foam topper can provide many benefits of a memory foam mattress – often for significantly less money. A topper instead of a mattress may be appropriate under the following conditions.
Memory foam and latex have important similarities and differences. See memory foam vs latex mattresses for a detailed comparison based on actual consumer experiences.
Many memory foam mattresses are sold online, and, indeed, some popular memory foam mattresses are available only or mostly online. Learn about the pros and cons of buying a mattress online based on actual consumer experiences.
Owner experience data suggests that the use of a proper foundation and frame can make a significant difference in both the comfort and lifespan of memory foam mattresses. In addition, you should be aware of the foundation and frame requirements of the specific memory foam mattress you purchase because an improper foundation and or frame can void the mattress warranty.
Foundation: Most memory foam mattresses, including Tempur-Pedic, are designed to work on a firm, solid-surface, non-spring foundation with no irregularities. Owner experience data suggests that a box spring (coiled springs contained in a box-like frame) may not properly support the mattress and thus undermine the contouring and molding ability of memory foam. A medium-density fiberboard (MDF) foundation, platform bed, or slat foundation is often preferable.
Frame: A proper bed frame should provide sturdy support for both the mattress and foundation. It should have a center support and six or more legs.
Our ratings are based on 6,900+ memory foam mattress bed consumer experiences that were gathered from a combination of online message boards, retailer websites and product review websites. Learn more about our research methodology.
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