Memory foam is one of the few inventions of the past decade or so that has spread like wildfire. From the moment it was released to the public it was an instant success. Memory foam was immediately used as a replacement for traditional foam in almost every possible instance.

While there are many weird and wonderful places you’ll find memory foam, there has been no industry that has seen a change as dramatic as the mattress industry.

Today you’ve actively got to search to find a mattress that doesn’t at least have a layer of memory foam inside it. The unique, supportive, and comfortable qualities it provides were almost custom made for ensuring a great night’s sleep.

But what is memory foam? Why is it so good? And what should you be looking out for?

Today we are going to answer those questions (and more), and provide you with the top 7 best memory foam mattresses on the market in 2023.

Let’s get started.

The Science Behind A Memory Foam Mattress

Memory foam is quite literally a space age material. It was invented by NASA to increase the safety of airline cushions back in the 60’s. However, there was an instantly recognized utility for the material in the day to day lives of the public.

As you may or may not know, memory foam is a material that essentially contours to the shape of whatever is resting on it. Once pressure is removed, the memory foam will spring back to its original shape with no evidence of previous pressure being applied. This spring back action is what gave memory foam its original name of “slow spring back foam”.

In most applications, memory foam can take quite some time to actually contour to pressure (and return back to its original form). However, when heat is applied the process speeds up considerably.

You don’t need much heat to get this process going, which is why it’s the perfect material for mattresses (the amount of heat produced by the human body is more than enough).

However, while the comfort and support that is provided by having a material that contours to the shape of your body are great for mattresses – the heat retaining capabilities of the material are not so good.

Memory foam is an exceptional insulator, it absorbs, traps, and then radiates heat more than any other material commonly used in mattress production. If you live in the arctic circle this is a great thing, but for the rest of us – it’s not so good.

The first versions of memory foam mattresses got very hot throughout the night, and as a result, it initially received mixed reviews. However, things have come a long way since the first version of memory foam. The overheating problem has largely been solved by the latest generations of the material.

Free Delivery on Memory Foam Mattresses

What To Look For When Buying A Memory Foam Mattress

Memory foam is generally available in three different varieties. You’ll find a whole bunch of marketing buzzwords when shopping around, but they are all variations of the three types we’re about to discuss below.

Traditional Memory Foam – If you’re looking at a product and it doesn’t brag about the two points we’re going to mention in a minute, then it’s probably made from traditional memory foam. This is the closest kind of memory foam to the original product that was made in the 1960’s.

Materials technology and manufacturing processes have both improved since then, and these days traditional memory foam is a vast improvement on the original. It’s much quicker to contour to your body’s shape, and it’s much better at staying cool throughout the night.

However, just because it’s better doesn’t mean it’s good. And traditional memory foam can often still get a little too hot during the night for some peoples tastes.

Open Cell Memory Foam – Open cell memory foam has an almost endless supply of marketing buzzwords attached to it. If you see any product talking about how its memory foam allows for improved airflow – then this is what they are talking about.

Traditional memory foam is made up of countless little pockets (or cells) that are filled with air. We won’t go into the boring technical details, but it’s a crucial part of how the material manages to possess the properties it does.

Throughout the night your body applies heat to the mattress, this, in turn, warms the air inside the cells up. With the heat trapped in the air in the cells it has nowhere to go, as such it radiates heat throughout the mattress during the night.

Open cell memory foam solves this problem by making the cells slightly open at one side. This allows the air inside the cells to flow outside the mattress, which greatly reduces the amount of heat it stores.

Gel Memory Foam – Gel memory foam is the latest development in the world of memory foam technology. You’ll find many different kinds of gel memory foam mattress (again with many different marketing buzzwords), but they all pretty much do the same thing.

When the memory foam is made a gel is included in the mix (sometimes it’s added as a separate layer). The gel works like a “passageway” for heat to follow which distributes it evenly throughout the mattress. This makes it feel cooler for longer as the entire mattress reaches a fairly even temperature (instead of having hotspots where your body is).

Gel memory foam works to an extent, it’s far better than traditional memory foam – but it’s not as good at heat dissipation as an open cell design. The best memory foam mattresses use a hybrid gel infused open cell design, giving you the coolest night’s sleep possible.

Other considerations – The kind of memory foam you have in your mattress is the most important factor (by a long way). But there are other considerations that should be taken into account:

Thickness – A good rule of thumb is the thicker the memory foam, the more comfortable it will be. Aim for a memory foam layer that is at least one inch thick at a minimum.

Odour – All memory foam mattresses can emit an odor that is less than pleasant when they are brand new. This dissipates over time naturally, but look for plant-based memory foam if you have super sensitive nostrils.

The Best 7 Memory Foam Mattresses

Zinus Memory Foam 12 Inch Buy It

Zinus Memory Foam 12 Inch

If you’re a little worried about the potential odor issues associated with new memory foam mattresses this is a product you should consider. It uses materials like green tea, charcoal, and natural plant oil to limit the use of chemicals (and make it less smelly).

It’s an ultra plush memory foam mattress that has a decent 2-inch thick layer of traditional memory foam hidden underneath a 1-inch layer of Viscolatex. This Viscolatex layer greatly reduces the amount of heat that is transferred into the memory foam (as you’re not directly in contact with it) and ensures a reasonably cool night’s sleep.

Pros And Cons

  • Pro – 2 Inch thick layer
  • Pro – Natural materials
  • Pro – Low odor
  • Pro – Viscolatex top layer
  • Con – Uses traditional memory foam

LinenSpa 8″ Memory Foam and Innerspring Hybrid Mattress Buy It

LinenSpa 8

This is one of the cheapest memory foam mattresses on this list. It’s also one of the only ones to combine the material with a spring based bottom section. Despite being reasonably cheap, LinenSpa hasn’t skimped out on the thickness of the memory foam. We’re very impressed that they are able to provide a 1.5-inch thick layer for under $100.

However, you do get what you pay for with memory foam, and unfortunately, this product uses traditional foam that’s closed cell and contains no cooling gel. But, if you’re not a particularly hot sleeper (and you’re on a budget), this is a great inexpensive option.

Pros And Cons

  • Pro – Very affordable
  • Pro – 1.5-inch thick layer
  • Pro – Respectable brand
  • Con – Traditional memory foam
  • Con – Not suitable for hot sleepers

Signature Sleep 12 Inch Memory Foam Mattress Buy It

Signature Sleep 12 Inch Memory Foam Mattress

This product from signature sleep is one of our all-time favorites. It’s one of the most luxurious mattresses on this list with its impressive 3.5-inch thick layer of memory foam. You’ll sink into this product and feel like you’re floating on a cloud (despite it being a firm foam).

It’s also a product that’s made from materials that are low in VOCs (the things that make memory foam smell). This again makes it a great option for those concerned about that initial odorous period. It’s not a cheap mattress, but it’s not exactly expensive either, and it’s more than worthy of your consideration.

Pros And Cons

  • Pro – Thick 3.5 inch layer of foam
  • Pro – Respectable brand
  • Pro – Low in VOCs
  • Pro – Reasonably priced
  • Con – Traditional memory foam

Classic Brands Cool Gel Ultimate Gel Memory Foam 14-Inch Buy It

Classic Brands Cool Gel Ultimate Gel Memory Foam 14-Inch

This is one of the most expensive products on this list, but it’s also one of the best. This product has two top layers of memory foam that combined are 4 inches thick. The 2-inch thick top layer is a highly advanced hybrid memory foam that uses cooling gel and an open cell design. The second layer is also 2 inches thick and uses traditional memory foam to provide additional cost-effective comfort in a less heat sensitive area.

This advanced design provides one of the coolest, most comfortable, and most luxurious night’s sleep money can buy. It’s a premium product with a premium price tag, but considering how long (and how often) you use a mattress – it’s more than worth the investment in our opinion.

Pros And Cons

  • Pro – 4 Inch thick memory foam
  • Pro – Cooling gel open cell memory foam
  • Pro – Long warranty
  • Pro – Comes with 2 pillows
  • Pro – Great brand
  • Con – Could be a little cheaper

LUCID 10 Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress Buy It

LUCID 10 Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress

This 10-inch thick mattress from Lucid is in our opinion one of the best “middle ground” mattresses on this list. It’s reasonably priced and has a generous layer of 2.5-inch thick memory foam. Like the Classic Brands product above it utilizes an advanced combination of cooling gel and an open cell design to provide supreme comfort alongside exceptional cooling capabilities.

There’s not a lot we would change about this mattress considering the price. The 10-inch thickness provides a luxurious feel and the medium firm nature of the foam will be enjoyable for the vast majority of people.

Pros And Cons

  • Pro – Reasonably luxurious feel
  • Pro – Very good value
  • Pro – 2.5-inch memory foam layer
  • Pro – Gel infused open cell memory foam
  • Con – None, to be honest.

Olee Sleep 10 Inch Gel Infused Layer Top Memory Foam Mattress Buy It

This product from Olee sleep gets an honorable mention, but to be honest we see no reason why you would choose it over the Lucid above. It’s very slightly cheaper, but that’s about all it’s got going for it.

The 1-inch thick layer of memory foam is just about what we would consider the minimum limit, (not great compared to the 2.5 inches in the Lucid). It is made from another advanced cooling gel open cell hybrid memory foam (which is of exceptional quality) and will remove heat efficiently.

Pros And Cons

  • Pro – Cooling gel open cell memory foam
  • Pro – Reasonably priced
  • Pro – Respected brand
  • Con – 1-inch foam isn’t very thick
  • Con – The Lucid above is better

Zinus Sleep Master Ultima Comfort Memory Foam 12 Inch Mattress Buy It

The final product on this list is the second entry from Zinus. This is an excellent memory foam mattress that has a very luxurious 3-inch thick layer on top. It’s made from their biofoam natural technology which again reduces the amount of odorous gases that are given off when the product is still new.

It’s a luxurious mattress coming in at over 12 inches thick and has a lovely quilted cover that adds a little bit of softness to the comfort. The only issue here again is that it’s made from traditional memory foam (and it doesn’t have a Viscolatex layer like the fist Zinus product on this list).

So if you’re a hot sleeper or live in a warm climate – it may not be the product for you.

Pros And Cons

  • Pro – Thick 3 inch memory foam layer
  • Pro – 12 inches thick in total
  • Pro – Luxurious feel
  • Pro – Respected brand
  • Pro – Low odor natural materials
  • Con – Traditional memory foam


So there you have it, all you ever wanted to know about memory foam mattresses. We hope you feel like you know a little bit more about this space-age wonder material than you did earlier.

We’d like to finish this article by pointing out that all 7 of the mattresses above are great options. They were not listed in any particular order and are all more than worthy of your consideration. We highly recommend each and every one of them.

Sweet dreams!

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