What is Memory Foam Mattress – All Things You Should Know

Have you been wanting to replace your worn-out bed for a while? We’ve got you covered. Replacing your old mattress with a memory foam mattress is the easiest and fastest way to achieve that restful sleep full of wondrous dreams.

If you’re new to this cloud-like mattress, you might wonder, “is memory foam the best mattress?”. Cradling your body in every position and making sure that it is perfectly supported, the memory foam mattress is indeed your finest choice when it comes to the best sleeping experience.

Forget those days of latex and innerspring beds that suffocate your body. Once you put your body on a memory foam mattress, you’ll never want to wake up and leave your bed anymore.

If you’re ready to make a grand change in your sleep quality, read further on this comprehensive guide to know the springy, cozy memory foam mattress and how to curate the best one for your bed.

History of Memory Foam

Going back several decades ago, the moon landing wasn’t the only thing that NASA was responsible for. Not many know, but NASA indirectly revolutionized the place we sleep on. Used to go with the name of “slow spring back foam”, NASA commissioned researchers to create a foam to make their pilots sit better.

Returning to the present, what NASA used to cover their pilots’ seats is now used for everything from the mattress to the seats in the cinema. While innerspring and latex mattresses are still continuously used up today, people are slowly turning to the irreplaceable comfort that memory foam mattresses bring.

Suitable for all weights, sizes, and sleeping styles, history changed again with the existence of memory foam to improve our sleep quality.

What Do You Put Inside a Mattress

In every type of mattress, there are generally three distinctive layers, which are the support layer, comfort layer, and cover. These layers differ in the type and quality of each mattress, and thus in searching for the best memory foam mattress, you need to be familiar with these components.

Layers of a memory foam mattress by Zinus
Layers of a memory foam mattress by Zinus

Support Layer

Just as the name says, the support layer means to support your body throughout your sleep. The support layer is usually made of foam or spring, depending on the type of your mattress. It is also the one that defines how firm your mattress will be.

Made of metal coils to support your sleep, most of the support layers usually use springs in their support layer. In contrast, some mattresses opt to use foam instead of metal coils. The mattresses that use only foam won’t have the springy characteristic that metal coils mattress has.

Fortunately, due to the lack of metal coils, the all-foam support layer is easy to move and maneuver. It lacks the space where dust mites live as well, making it a great option for people who have allergies.

Comfort Layer

Making up several inches of your bed, a comfort layer comprises several inches of your mattress designed to give you the luxurious, cozy feeling of a good night’s sleep. The comfort layer is made of various materials and depths depending on the level of springiness or firmness the mattress aims for.

Memory foam is one of many kinds of comfort layers in store. Some other options include gel-infused foam, latex, cotton, wool, silk, or fibers. Is memory foam the best mattress? The answer depends on what you’re looking for in a mattress.

If you like a plush mattress with a soft, engulfing layer, there’s a big chance that memory foam mattresses will steal your heart.


Exactly what the name says, the cover is the material used to protect the mattress. Covers vary in material and finishes. However, the two main types that are often marketed are damask and knitted.

Made of woven material with great breathability, the damask is one of the most famous mattress covers out there. The finish is soft yet strong to protect it from aging and dirt.

In contrast, if you like a softer, more delicate option, you can opt for the knitted cover. Knitted cover is mostly used for memory foam mattresses and latex and provides excellent breathability.

Different Kinds of Memory Foam Mattress

Aside from various sizes and materials, memory foam mattress also comes in various kinds–and it’s more than just what meets the eyes!

Different kind of mattress is made with different technology and comprised of different chemical. Of course, a different kind also comes with its benefits.

What kind of memory foam is the best memory foam? Look further for the three main kinds of memory foam mattresses.

Traditional Memory Foam

A traditional memory foam mattress
A traditional memory foam mattress

Made of polyurethane, a petroleum derivative, traditional memory foam or viscoelastic foam started to get marketed in the early 1990s. Due to the material, traditional memory foam sometimes can give off a chemical smell that contributes to indoor air pollution and troubles those who are chemical-sensitive.

Another thing to note is that while traditional memory foams are relatively inexpensive, it is usually short-lived.

Gel-Infused Memory Foam

Gel infused memory foam mattress from Linespa
Gel infused memory foam mattress from Linespa

A breakthrough in the memory foam industry, the gel-infused memory foam is manufactured to radiate a cooling sensation while you’re asleep. Gone all the time of sleeping in heat and waking up in sweats, this mattress is designed to absorb and conduct health away from your body.

The cooling layer of gel-infused memory foam can be either infused or laminated on top of the mattress. Ranging from copper to gel to graphite, you don’t need to worry about overheating anymore.

Plant-Based Memory Foam

As the world continues to grow, many manufacturers try to keep their products as green as possible, one of which comes in the form of “green” memory foam.

Using natural ingredients such as soybean and corn oil in exchange for petroleum derivatives, plant-based memory foam also uses open-cell technology, making it airier and more breathable.

When you’re buying plant-based memory foam, make sure to buy the one certified with Certi-PUR. This certification is given to the mattress, which is free of CFC, formaldehyde, and other damaging material.

The Benefit of Sleeping on a Memory Foam Mattress

Here are some benefits you’ll get when you sleep on a comfy memory foam mattress.

Pain and Pressure Relief

Relief your back pain by using the right mattress
Relief your back pain by using the right mattress

Amongst the many benefits that memory foam mattress provides, pain and pressure relief are one of them. Specifically designed for shoulders, back, and hips, memory foam mattresses will remember your body shape and adapts to it throughout your sleep. 

Say goodbye to a cranky morning full of soreness and ache, with a memory foam mattress, and you’ll have the finest experience of being hugged the whole night.

Decrease Motion Transfer

If you’re sleeping with your partner or pet, there must be times when you’re disturbed by their movement. With a memory foam mattress, you’ll no longer need to worry about this disturbance. Providing a total motion transfer, tune out the rest of the world around you and dive into a deep sleep.

Help to Create a Healthy Spine

Unlike other mattresses, this type of mattress is designed to accommodate everyone’s sleeping style. Whether you’re sleeping on your back, side, or stomach, a memory foam mattress ensures that your shoulder and hip align with each other.

It offers a pain-free sleep that will leave you fresh and energetic in the morning.

Friendly for Allergies Sufferers

Aside from perfect comfort, the memory foam mattress is also suitable for allergy sufferers. The mattress has no crannies and nooks where dust mites can live and lay eggs. Thus, you won’t need to be extra careful when it comes to allergic reactions.

Easy to Care for

These mattresses don’t take much maintenance when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. Similar to other kinds of mattresses, make sure to change the sheet and clean the mattress once a week, especially if you live with a pet.

The accumulation of dirt, sweat, skin, hair and other dirt can decrease your sleep quality. If you have a mattress vacuum at home, you can use it to clean your memory foam mattress.

Durable for Long-Term Use

Mattress on top of a car (illustration)
Mattress on top of a car (illustration)

As this mattress is made of materials that can last for a long time, you won’t need to replace it for the next ten to fifteen years ahead. Additionally, some companies that sell memory foam mattresses even provide a warranty of up to twenty years for your purchase.

Use Memory Foam Mattress If You’re…

Just as mentioned above, a memory foam mattress is designed to fit everyone’s sleeping style. No matter what position you’re sleeping on, the mattress will perfectly support your body just the same.

Here are some features that you need to look out for when buying a memory foam mattress.

A Back Sleeper

Back sleepers benefit from a medium-firmness mattress the most. Since anything too plush will make you sink on the mattress and anything too firm will hurt your back, finding something in-between will be the best choice for a back sleeper.

A Side Sleeper

A side sleeper usually lies on their shoulder and hip, making it prone to soreness and ache the morning after. Therefore, it’s best to purchase one that is softer and plush to cushion these body parts.

Some people tend to be back sleepers because of they have back pain. You need to find a suitable mattress to help relieve your back pain.

A Stomach Sleeper

If you’re a stomach sleeper, you might not fancy the way memory foam mattresses engulf your body. To accommodate your needs, find a variation that is medium or high in firmness. Aside from supporting your body shape, you won’t wake up feeling a craned neck or sore shoulder.

What to Look for When Buying a Memory Foam Mattress

Here are some things to look for when you are on a hunt for a new memory foam mattress.


Firmness is arguably the most vital key when you’re deciding to buy a memory foam mattress. Different person has different firmness preference, not to mention their sleeping style, pressure points, and other factors just as important.

For example, people with a back-sleeping style need a medium-firmness mattress to support their back. Anything too soft or too firm will create a backache the morning after.

Additionally, the same thing also happens to stomach sleepers and side sleepers. Stomach sleepers need a firm mattress. Meanwhile, side sleepers require extra plushness to support their shoulder and hip.

In the end, the type of mattress you should buy is the one you like. No matter how firm or soft it is, you’ll need to try plenty of mattresses and decide that you favor best.

Foam Density

Coming in a low density, medium density, and high density, you can determine which one to buy according to your needs.

The rule of thumb is when you buy a memory foam mattress, a higher density means higher durability which can last you from ten to fifteen years of use. Usually, high-density memory foam has a density of 3 pounds per cubic, meanwhile, the premium ones are four to five pounds per cubic.

Layers of a memory foam mattress.
Layers of a memory foam mattress.

While a high-density mattress is perfect for long-term use, the medium-density one has the best motion isolation, making it perfect for couples and spouses. However, if you’re on a budget, you can pick a memory foam mattress that is low in density. 

The easiest to break in, you won’t need a long time until the memory foam mattress remembers your body shape and vice versa. While low-density foam might be cheaper than most, it is also the easiest one to break and tear down.

Mattress Size

Wondering which mattress size to buy? Surely, you wouldn’t want to end up sleeping cramped on an overly small bed. Although a memory foam mattress is a specially made mattress, it comes in various sizes just like the standard one.

If you live alone, it would be easier to pick a size. However, if you’re living with a spouse or a pet, you need to consider a bigger one to fit them in.

From a comfortable single bed to a lavish California King mattress, make sure to pick one that accommodates you best.


Just like everything else, buying a memory foam bed also requires clear budgeting. When you want to buy a mattress, think as if you’re investing in a luxury that lasts until the next decade. Thus, it’s always better to splurge on a little bit for a good night’s sleep.

Coming at various prices, the memory foam bed’s price depends on the size, thickness, firmness, and material. While some memory foam mattresses surely will drain your bank out, there are a lot of alternatives that offer high-quality mattresses at a reasonable price.

Ranging from a hundred to several thousands of dollars, not every expensive mattress will be better than the cheaper one and vice versa. The key is to try it by yourself and find the one you like the most.

Some Tips to Get the Best Memory Foam Mattress

We got you some tips on how you can get the best out of your memory foam mattress.

Pick the Hypoallergenic One

No matter how comfortable, how plush, or how firm your new memory foam mattress is, there’s nothing as disappointing as finding out that you’re allergic to it. While most memory foam mattresses are antimicrobial, some are better at handling dust mites and other allergy triggers.

One of the most effective memory foam mattresses to handle dust mites is gel-injected memory foam. If you’re purchasing on a tight budget, you can keep the sniffles at a minimum with a traditional memory foam mattress.

The only memory foam mattress that is fully resistant to allergy is latex memory foam. However, it is not advised for those who have a latex allergy.

To reduce the symptoms of allergy, make sure that your mattress is covered with a hypoallergenic mattress cover, along with the pillows and bolsters as well. 

Check on the Firmness Before Buying It

Just as mentioned above, your mattress’ density is crucial in determining your comfort in the long run. The first thing you need to do is to know your sleeping type. Once you know, you’ll cut a lot of time by filtering hundreds of mattress companies that offer their products to you.

Additionally, if you have specific needs such as material or size, you can consult with the seller as well. Don’t worry if you’re a little bit nagger than usual. You pay a lot for this mattress so make sure it accommodates your every need!

Choose a Great Foundation for the Bed

While picking the right memory foam mattress is essential; choosing the best foundation to put it on is just as vital. If you accidentally use the wrong foundation, there’s a chance that the manufacturer will void your mattress’s warranty.

Aside from increasing its aesthetic value, a bed foundation ensures that your mattress is protected from tearing and dirt. Nowadays, there are a lot of bed foundation options you can choose from; ranging from the modern metal frame to platform beds, you can also pick one that is adjustable to make it even more personalized.

Pick One that is Easy to Maintain

No matter how inexpensive it is, buying a memory foam mattress will still cost you a fortune. Therefore, it’s best to know how to treat it right–including cleaning it–to maintain its perfect condition for a long time. 

As a tip, while you’re shopping for a mattress, make sure to check the user reviews and product descriptions beforehand.

Additionally, every memory foam mattress comes with an instruction to keep your mattress clean from dirt, dust, spills, and sweat. If you no longer have the instruction in hand, you can always search on the internet based on your mattress type.

Famous Memory Foam Mattress Brands You Can Start From

Don’t know which brand to choose when buying a new memory foam mattress? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.


Casper memory foam mattress

Being one of the most popular memory foam mattress brands in-store, Casper incorporates memory foam, latex, and heavy-duty polyfoam to create a balanced sleep support everyone loves.

An important feature of Casper mattresses is its Zoned Support which provides different pressure relief for every part of the body. Separated into a softer part on the shoulder and a firmer one at the hips, you can experience gentle comfort and firm support at the same time.

All in all, Casper proves to guarantee balanced support for everyone–from sideways to combination sleepers.


Memory foam mattress from Layla

A perfect memory foam mattress for side sleepers, Layla comprises high-quality mattresses made to relieve pain and soreness on your shoulder and hip.

One special thing about the Layla mattress is that it’s flippable–with a firmer side on one side and a softer one on the other. Additionally, this flip feature makes it last longer because you can balance the usage between both sides.

To make it even better, the Layla mattress is infused with antimicrobial substance and self-cooling copper. This way, you won’t need to worry about sweating while you sleep or the germs that can trigger allergies.

Tuft & Needle

Tuft & Needle mattress collection

If you’re looking for a high-quality memory foam mattress with a good deal price, Tuft & Needle will be your next best choice. Priding on its minimalistic design–no-frills, no fancy foams, and no unreasonable price–Tuft & Needle aims to provide optimal support, cooling luxury, and pain and pressure relief for everyone.

The bottom line of Tuft & Needle mattress is its proprietary foam that is designed to adapt to your body shape. This way, you’ll feel balanced support without feeling like the mattress is overly soft.

With a price under $600 for a queen-size bed, Tuft & Needle is truly hard to beat when it comes to a high-quality budget mattress.


A great selection for side sleepers, the Nectar memory foam mattress, will pamper you with its body-sinking pressure relief mattress. Gaining more and more popularity since 2017, Nectar has also manufactured other sleeping properties such as pillows, adjustable bases, sheets, as well as a blanket.

Comprises a high-density polyfoam, gel-infused memory foam, and supported by a firm support layer, Nectar is a perfect balance of sinking delight and a firm pain-relieving mattress.

Additionally, if you’re sleeping with your pet or partner, you might want to consider purchasing Nectar due to its motion isolation. Say goodbye to the days of sleep disturbances!


Purple mattress

Perfect for those who are sensitive to pressure, Purple offers a contouring hyper-elastic polymer to ease your pain and soreness the morning after. Providing perfect breathability and airflow, the hyper-elastic polymer is what makes Purple different from other brands.

Suitable for side sleepers, sleeping on Purple memory foam mattresses will make you feel the utmost sinkage without feeling suffocated by the heat. 

Additionally, Purple also has a great bounce to keep you comfortable on the top of the mattress with a cooling sensation around you. This bouncy feature makes it perfect for moving and switching around, thus making it couple-friendly.

Loom & Leaf

Saatva Loom & Leaf mattress

Highlighted as the finest memory foam mattress for side sleepers, Loom & Leaf mattress lets you sink to the bed without feeling ache or soreness in your shoulder and hip.

Aligning your body to a perfectly straight line, the high-quality, dense memory foam mattress material decreases the pain and pressure that may build up while you sleep.

Comprises organic cotton, relaxing cooling gel, and thick layers of memory foam, the combination aims to create a gentle balance between pressure relief and comfort.

Finally, Loom & Leaf also offers exceptional motion isolation. The thick memory foam ensures that you won’t be disturbed by the movement of your partner or pet.


Ghostbed mattress

A complex combination of aerated latex, sturdy and firm high-density polyfoam, and cooling gel-infused memory foam, Ghostbed offers so much more than basic support and pressure relief to your body.

Speaking to its name, Ghostbed aims to deliver a “supernatural” comfort to its customers through layers of distinctive comfort. The dominant feature of Ghostbed is firmness and bounce, making it a great option for combo sleepers and couples. The bounce creates motion isolation that voids any disturbances during the night.

Ghostbed comes in three types that you can pick based on your needs: Ghostbed Luxe, Ghostbed Flex, and Ghostbed Matrix.

Ghostbed Luxe is a bed-in-a-box that provides a softer and lavish feel, along with a cooling sensation below the layers. On the other hand, Ghostbed Flex and Ghostbed Matrix are hybrid mattresses suitable for combo sleepers and provide a balanced bounce and pressure relief.

Brooklyn Bedding

Brooklyn Signature Hybrid mattress

Brooklyn Bedding is a great pick for couples who prefers to sleep sideways. Famous for its hybrid mattress and cooling touch, Brooklyn Bedding managed to find the balance for this unusual feat. The hybrid mattress is also responsible for creating a perfect environment of pressure-relieving and support.

Additionally, Brooklyn Bedding also supports the couple by installing strong edge support. This way, you can sleep far from each other without having to worry about the bed collapsing beside you. Brooklyn Bedding also has a fantastic motion transfer, ensuring that couples won’t wake each other’s up with movement during the night.

You can also check our recommendation for the best memory foam mattresses.

Things to Be Aware of When Using Memory Foam Mattress

While memory foam mattress is famous for the exceptional comfort and support that it gives, some people complain that their memory foam heats up at night, making them sweaty. It is because memory foam traps heat and your body heat has nowhere to escape.

However, this problem can be solved by choosing a memory foam mattress with great breathability or a cooling gel feature.

Is memory foam the best mattress? After examining all the benefits explained above, it’s fair to agree that memory foam mattress offers more advantages than other types of mattresses. 

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