When you think of the best memory foam mattress you probably think of a ’90s infomercial with someone jumping up and down on one side of the bed while their partner and a full glass of wine sit undisturbed on the other. Memory foam took the mattress game by storm three decades ago, and while that quicksand-like squishiness might feel a bit dated in the era of online mattresses-in-a-box, the truth is that memory foam never really left us at all. These mattresses just evolved—and they got a lot better.
The problem with the early generations of traditional memory foam mattresses, with their vague promise of space-ready technology (for some reason, the ads always mentioned NASA), was that they were filled with a lot of soft and totally unsupportive cushion. Your first night of sleep may be excellent: The top layer of the mattress cradles you in gooey comfort. But when you wake up, the impression of your sleeping body remains. After a couple of months, that impression starts to become a permanent trench. It’s a recipe for back pain and bad spinal alignment. Before long, early memory foam converts may start longing for their old innerspring mattresses.
It took a while, but the memory foam beds of 2022 are far superior, offering you that oh-so-subtle sink and pressure relief which makes them so lovely to sleep on, without any of the longevity or support issues that plagued their predecessors. Memory foam has gotten so good, in fact, that it’s being advanced in smaller doses in “hybrid”. It helps make sure these mattress both have superlative motion isolation—so that your partner won’t be bothered by the way you fight the bear in your sleep—and comfort, without sacrificing support.
Over the past few years, our reviewers have tried over 30 different mattresses from the internet, almost all of which included at least a layer or two of memory foam. Our overall favorites tend to employ the hybrid construction, which means they have an innerspring base and a super soft memory foam top. Chances are, if you think you’re interested in a soft memory foam bed, this supportive medium-to-firm support combination is actually what you’ll prefer beyond a 100-night trial period, especially in the sub-$500 price range.
If you’re set on an all-foam mattress, keep in mind that the amount of sinkage (and also perceived support) you experience on a mattress has a lot to do with how much you weigh and what your sleep style is—side sleeper , stomach sleeper, or back sleeper. The medium-soft ones that make up the majority of these foamy styles are probably best for someone who falls under 230 lbs. and doesn’t need too much additional support, side sleepers who prefer more pressure relief, or people who want more cushion, period.
But the best foam mattresses have adapted, too, to suit everyone on the firmness and support spectrum. They’re relatively thick and usually constructed from a few different layers of foam, and should be dense enough that you don’t find yourself making contact with your bed frame. Our top picks for the best memory foam mattresses, rest assured, will never bottom out.
The All-Around Best Memory Foam Mattress: The Leesa Original
The Leesa Original mattress stands head and shoulders above a crowded field of memory foam options from startup mattress brands. Like a lot of its most notable competitors, the Leesa is made with more than just one layer of foam. The bottom support layer is relatively thick and dense, which makes sure that even after years of use, the mattress won’t bottom out when you lay down. (No one likes their butt hitting their box spring.) The middle recovery layer is the most memory-foamy, and that’s the one that you’ll actually kind of sink into. The top comfort layer is the thinnest, created with more breathable soft foam to make sure you sleep cool. The result is a contouring mattress that’ll gently comfort your sleeping body without making you feel like you’ve fallen into quicksand. It’s a medium-firm mattress, which means it’s a pretty good mattress for anybody regardless of sleeping position, but might be best for people that need ample support for side and back sleeping.
The Best Hybrid Memory Foam Mattress: The Helix Midnight Luxe
If you’ve come to this piece thinking You need a memory foam mattress, but aren’t actually sure, chances are, you might be happier with a hybrid mattress. Hybrid mattresses combine the soft comfy sink of memory foam with the extra support that more traditional innersprings offer. The top-performing mattress in our ongoing testing and reviewing has been Helix’s Midnight Luxe mattress. Every single one of our testers over the past several years has enjoyed laying down on the mattress, largely thanks to its super plush pillow top. You sink in a little bit, but it feels a little more cloud-like than conventional memory foam. Below the sink are several more supportive layers, including a high-density layer of gel memory foam and a lower layer of innersprings. It’s about twice the price of the Leesa Original, but if you’re looking for the best possible sleep experience you can get, this is probably it.
The Best Soft-to-Medium Memory Foam Mattress: The Casper Original
Just as Tempur-Pedic started the conforming, cushioning mattress revolution, so too did Casper start the bed-in-a-box revolution. The Original is a mattress that has undergone some changes since its first iteration at the company’s launch, and with the Casper Element seemingly discontinued, it’s the cheapest mattress the brand now sells. The Original is your quintessentially cloud-like foam bed, but offers three cushy layers of support: The bottom base layer forms a dense solid base, the medium layer offers zoned support for your pressure points, while the uppermost foam layer adds a soft, perforated cushion. Those perforations provide you with a good amount of breathability and airflow, so this foam mattress doesn’t cause overheating like other less breathable foam mattresses and spring mattresses. It’s designed to be soft and bouncy but without too much sinkage. We’d recommend dialing it up to a Hybrid Original (with coil springs in the mix), though, if you want more support.
The Best Affordable Memory Foam Mattress: Tuft & Needle Original
We’ve recommended Tuft & Needle’s Original mattress since we started testing mattresses in earnest years ago. Like the Casper Element, it features a double-layered construction that ensures your body stays supported as you sleep. This one adds in open-cell cooling technology, though, so hot sleepers don’t sweat through the mattress protector on humid summer nights. The Original also does a good job of accommodating motion transfer—your movement isn’t going to wake your sleeping partner.