The best memory foam mattresses contour to your shape, providing more consistent support across the whole of your body than pocket sprung mattresses, which tend to put pressure on particular areas. There's evidence that they last longer than sprung mattresses too. But all memory foam mattresses are not created equal, and with so many different brands and models on the market, how do you choose the right one for you?
In this article, we've done the work so you don't have to. Read on and you'll find a carefully curated selection of the best memory foam mattresses available today, in a range of styles and to suit every budget. If you're not 100% sure you want memory foam, our general best mattress guide will walk you through all our top options, and our memory foam vs spring mattress explainer can help shed some light on the differences between the two.
There’s not much we didn’t rate about this UK-made memory foam mattress in a box, and it seems we’re not alone. The Emma Original has multiple accolades to its name. But what exactly, makes the Emma Original our pick for the best memory foam mattress you can buy? Firstly, its extremely comfortable. Underneath the cover (which is soft, breathable and – big plus point – washable at 60˚C) is a three-layer foam construction. It includes an Airgocell foam layer, which Emma’s maker claims helps to make the mattress stay cool. (In reality, it does trap heat a little, which is an issue with memory foams in general.) Below this sits a 25mm memory foam layer, which distributes weight evenly, providing pressure relief for joints, while the foam base provides support for troublesome areas such as shoulders and the lower back. It’s a combination that we found most satisfying when testing, and one that provided a great night’s kip for both a restless side sleeper and an ‘out-like-a-light’ back snoozer. Head to our Emma mattress review for more details, and see how it compares to our #2 pick in our Emma vs Nectar mattress showdown.
At RRP it's very competitively priced, but we'd recommend also casting an eye over our Emma discount codes and deals page before buying.
One problem with memory foam is that if you’re already a warm sleeper, the material’s heat-retaining properties can result in sweaty nights. Not so with the Nectar Memory Foam mattress, which boasts a soft quilted cooling cover that adapts to your body heat, helping keep those with a tendency to overheat cool all night. Three layers of memory foam below the outer cover err on the firmer side of medium, making this mattress a good option for front and back sleepers, but probably not best for heavy side sleepers, or those who prefer a soft, enveloping bed.
Which? rated it a Best Buy, and declared that it gave great, all-round support, although some Amazon reviews mention a lingering chemical smell – which we also experienced, although it did dissipate fairly quickly. Another common Amazon gripe is that sometimes the mattresses doesn't expand properly, but ours was fine. Overall, this is a fantastic-value memory foam mattress. Head to our Nectar mattress review for more info, or see how it compares to our #3 pick in our Nectar vs Casper comparison article. And check for any Nectar discount codes before buying, of course.
If you're on a tighter budget, the mattress we'd recommend is the Eve Lighter. This clever mattress is a stripped down version of the Eve Original (lower down this list), but still provides an impressive level of comfort and support, as you'll discover in our full Eve Lighter mattress review. At the top is a 3cm layer of proprietary ‘Evecomfort’ foam – which the company claims is more 30 times more breathable than memory foam – and beneath that lies a 16cm core layer of high-density base foam. There's also a soft-touch cover that can be removed and washed at 40C. This is marketed as being Medium-firm, and it gives a slight 'cradling' feeling without feeling like you're sinking in too far (we'd say it's a good choice for restless sleepers). We were also impressed by the temperature regulation tech. In fact, the only down side is that it's a little lacking in edge support. Head to our Eve discount codes and deals page for the best current prices.
If you’re looking for the ultimate in comfort, Tempur is always a strong choice. Since it brought memory foam to our bedrooms back in 1991, Tempur has launched a number of luxury mattresses, and we were wowed by the Original's luxurious feel, super soft exterior and quality finish. This high-end, luxury mattress is available in three depths: the 21cm Supreme, the 25cm Elite and the 30cm Luxe. In terms of firmness, it's on the softer side of medium, which means its best suited to those who like to sleep on their side. When you lie on it the foam adapts almost instantly to your position, keeping motion transfer to a minimum, so it's a great choice for restless sleepers too. This is a mattress you sink into, which takes some getting used to and won't be to everyone's taste.
All of Tempur's mattresses cost a fair amount more than most rivals, and the Original is no exception. Is it worth the extra expense? Well, that depends on your sleep style and needs. If you’re a standard sleeper with no significant muscle pain or spinal issues, then you might be better served choosing a cheaper model like the Emma or Casper. However, the almost complete lack of motion transfer and gently enveloping yet supportive structure means that if you suffer from back and shoulder pain, or you’re a particularly restless sleeper, this luxury memory foam mattress will be an investment you won’t regret. If you can justify the spend, the Tempur Original is an outstanding memory foam mattress. Head to our Tempur mattress review for more on what we thought of it.
Struggle to find a comfortable position on your existing mattress? Then you may find that the Eve Original memory foam mattress provides just the right level of comfort to allow you to settle into a position that’s right for you. It's made up of several layers, with the top one being a moisture-wicking material that will keep you cool – great for those who regularly overheat. Below that is a layer of pressure-absorbing memory foam, and under that a base layer that features seven ribbed support zones for specific trouble areas such as shoulders, lower spine and hips.
It’s another Which? Best Buy, and many buyers have been impressed with how it helped their back and neck pain, with restless sleepers reporting they slept through rather than tossing and turning all night. We definitely experienced a reduction in morning aches and pains, and although the top layer initially felt softer than our usual mattress, it was still pretty supportive. And actually, after a few nights we felt the dense base layer meant it erred on the firmer side. You've got 100 nights to test it out for yourself, in any case – the company will collect it for free if you don’t like it.
If you want something firmer, you may prefer the Nectar (head to our Eve vs Nectar mattress article to see how the two compare). Alternatively, see how it fares against our #1 pick in our Eve vs Emma memory foam mattress comparison.
Although the bed-in-a-box is a wonderful invention, getting rid of the cardboard afterwards can be an issue. So we were happy to see that this UK-made mattress was delivered in a vacuum-packed roll, rather than in a box. Dragging the Silentnight 3 Zone Memory Foam up the stairs, it felt the lightest of the mattresses we tried, so if you don’t want to be heavy lifting when changing sheets, this makes for a good choice.
The top cover is washable, but as it’s zipped only partially, it’s a little awkward to slip off and on again. At 18cm it’s also not as deep as many of the more expensive models we tried. But it’s a Which? Best Buy – and reviews on Amazon are mostly positive, although some buyers feel durability is an issue, claiming it sagged in the middle after less than a year.
The Silentnight 3 Zone Memory Foam is made up of just a single layer of foam, so it didn’t feel quite as robust at the sides as some of the others to us. At first it felt quite soft with lots of give. But while the three-zoned support does provide a sleep experience that’s softer in the shoulder area, it’s definitely firmer for hips and lower back, helping keep the spine aligned. It’s also treated to reduce moisture and dust-mite allergens to create a drier, fresher and all-round healthier mattress. If you're on a lower budget, this memory foam mattress is a decent buy.
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What is a memory foam mattress?
Memory foam might sound new, but it’s actually been around for almost 30 years. This pressure-absorbing material was originally used by NASA to cushion astronauts' seats. Then in 1991, mattress company Tempur started using it to create a new kind of support for sleepers. That's because memory foam harnesses the heat of your own body to soften and mould to your shape.
While the first mattresses of this type were basically just a block of foam, we've moved on a long way since then. The best memory foam mattresses today are constructed of multiple layers to help support specific areas of the body, making them an excellent choice for sufferers of back and joint pain. Still confused? Head to our memory foam vs spring mattress breakdown.
Memory foam has also given rise to a generation of 'bed-in-a-box' mattresses. Because memory foam compresses down easily, a memory foam mattress can be reduced in size and sent in the mail, either in a box or a plastic bag. When opened at the other end, they naturally return to full size, although this process may take up to 48 hours to complete. These mattresses are usually sold online only, so you can’t pre-test them. However, most companies offer lengthy trials, usually around 100 days, and allow you to return them if you're not satisfied.
With that in mind, we’ve rounded up the best memory foam mattresses for comfort, support and a great night's sleep. Whether you’re looking for a double, single, king or more, read on to discover the right one for you.