The best memory foam mattresses in 2019: sleep soundly with body-moulding support

Sink into the best memory foam mattress for an amazing night's sleep

best memory foam mattress

Memory foam mattresses are popular for a reason. They contour to your body, providing consistent, cushioned support, and tend to have a longer lifespan than pocket sprung mattresses. But choosing the best memory foam mattress can be complicated: there's a plethora of products with anthropomorphic names – Simba, Sid, Eve, Emma – on the market, and it can be tough to know which is right for you.

In this guide, we’ll walk through the best memory foam mattresses you can buy right now. We’ll also explain what memory foam actually is, and share some pro tips on what to look for when it comes to buying the best mattress for you.     

So what is memory foam and why should we consider replacing our traditional spring mattress with this new pretender?  Firstly, it’s actually been around for almost 30 years. In 1991, mattress company Tempur started using the pressure-absorbing material – which had previously been employed by NASA to cushion astronaut’s seats – to produce comfortable and supportive mattresses. 

The material uses your body heat to soften and mould to your shape. The latest memory foam mattresses feature multiple layers to help support specific areas, making them good buys for people with back and joint pain. Memory foam’s natural heat-retaining properties can mean it’s not the best choice for those who tend to overheat at night, but options like the Simba Hybrid (number 7 in this list) and Sid memory foam mattress (number 9) build moisture-absorbing charcoal or graphite into comfort layers to help wick-away night-time sweat to avoid overheating. 

Side and back sleepers, meanwhile, will get on well with a medium to soft memory foam mattress – such as the Tempur Cloud Luxe 30, at number 6; whereas if you're heavier or have a particular injury,  then a firm mattress may provide more comfort and support.  

Bear in mind that many of the new bed-in-a-box breed of memory foam mattresses are sold online only, so you can’t pre-test them. However, many offer a 100-day trial (and in one case, a full year) to ensure you’ve got ‘the one’ – which is a far better test than a few embarrassing moments lying prone on a showroom model. Here, we’ve rounded up the best memory foam mattresses for comfort – whether you’re looking for a double, single, king or more, you’ll find the right one for you here. 

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1. Emma Original Memory Foam mattress

The best memory foam mattress for most sleepers

Specifications
Best for: Most sleepers
Sizes: 8, single to super king
Depth: 25cm
Turn: No
Filling: Three layers of foam
Comfort: Medium to medium-firm
Trial period: 100 nights
Guarantee: 10 years
RRP: Single £479, Double: £699, King: £749
Reasons to buy
+ No unpleasant odour + Suits all sleep positions + Great price with 0% finance options 
Reasons to avoid
-Heavy side sleepers might find it too firm 

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 was a Which? 2018 Best Buy and performed admirably in their tough tests. Online customer reviews back up their findings too, with a sturdy four stars overall at Amazon. So 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 a material that traditionally retains heat to stay cool. This was definitely true for our testers, but if you’re a particularly sweaty sleeper, memory foam might not be the best choice anyway. 

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 particularly 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. Price-wise, it's usually at the higher end of the mid-range memory foam mattress bracket – but Amazon has slashed almost 30 per cent off, making the Emma Original an absolute bargain at the moment. 

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2. The Casper

Soothe aching joints with this brilliant medium-firm memory foam mattress

Specifications
Best for: Most sleepers
Sizes: 8, single to super king
Depth: 24cm
Turn: No
Filling: 4 layers of memory foam
Comfort: medium-firm
Trial period: 100 nights
Guarantee: 10 years
RRP: Single £375; Double £575; King £650
Reasons to buy
+ Wicks away night-time moisture + Zoned support + Carry handles 
Reasons to avoid
- A touch thinner than some 

Our runner-up best memory foam mattress is the exceptionally popular  Casper. Whether you struggle to get comfortable at night due to aching joints or simply because you're a light sleeper, this award-winning medium-firm memory foam mattress could be just what you need to sleep soundly. As with all boxed mattresses, it's simple to get upstairs, unpack and unroll, and takes just a few hours to fill out to its full depth. We did have to open a window to dissipate a slight chemical smell that’s often part-and-parcel of memory foam mattresses, but it soon wore off and was unnoticeable a few hours later. 

Importantly for sleepers subject to overheating at night, the Casper is made with an open-cell comfort layer, which keeps this mattress breathable. That means you stay cool throughout the night, helping you to sleep more comfortably – something borne out in the scores of Amazon reviews online. Usually preferring a firmer mattress, one of our testers was concerned that it would be too marshmallow-like, but woke up in the morning professing to have had one of the best night’s sleep in recent memory, with no sign of previously aching knees. The Casper is normally a little cheaper than the Emma above. Either way, it's a brilliant investment for anyone looking for a better night's sleep. 

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3. Tempur CoolTouch Sensation Elite

A luxury memory foam mattress experience for cool, undisturbed nights

Specifications
Best for: luxury memory foam
Sizes: 10, single to super king
Depth: 25cm
Turn: No
Filling: Three memory foam layers
Comfort: Soft
Trial period: 100 nights
Guarantee: 10 years
RRP: Single £1,749; Double £2,399; King £2,799
Reasons to buy
+ Gently enveloping comfort+ Luxury feel  + Almost total lack of motion transfer 
Reasons to avoid
- Price makes it a considered buy 

Since it brought memory foam to our bedrooms back in 1991, Tempur has launched a number of luxury mattresses. Like all of them, the CoolTouch Sensation Elite is a considered buy, costing a great deal more than most of its bed-in-a-box rivals. Is it worth the extra expense? Well, a staggering 4.8-star review average at Dreams would suggest it is, and we were certainly wowed by its luxurious feel, super soft exterior and quality finish. 

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 above. However, it’s the almost complete lack of motion transfer and gently enveloping, yet supportive structure that 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. 

We found its gently cushioning base and soft top layer, which stays cool and wicks away moisture, meant it feels more like a spring mattress, making it a good choice if you prefer something more traditional. If you can justify the spend, the CoolTouch Sensation Elite is an outstanding memory foam mattress.

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4. Eve Original Memory Foam mattress

This memory foam mattress is just the ticket for an undisturbed night’s sleep

Specifications
Best for: restless sleepers
Sizes: 9, single to emperor
Depth: 25cm
Turn: No
Filling: memory foam
Comfort: medium to medium-firm
Trial period: 100 nights
Guarantee: 10 years
RRP: Single £349; Double £599; King £699
Reasons to buy
+ Moisture-wicking and breathable + Zoned support areas + Good for neck and back pain 
Reasons to avoid
- Best avoided by heavy side sleepers 

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.

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5. Ikea Morgedal memory foam mattress

A great value and surprisingly comfortable memory foam mattress from the Swedish superstore

Specifications
Best for: budget buy
Sizes: 5, UK single to UK super king
Depth: 18cm
Turn: No
Filling: 1 layer of memory foam
Comfort: firm
Trial period: 90 days
Guarantee: 25 years
RRP: Single £125; Double £165; £195 King
Reasons to buy
+Great value +25-year guarantee 
Reasons to avoid
-Not good for side sleepers  -A little bit whiffy to start 

Delivered in an easy-to-transport roll with Velcro carry handles rather than a box, the Ikea Morgedal memory foam mattress is the cheapest we tried. And if we're honest, we didn’t quite know what to expect. Ikea recommends three days for it to fill out to its 18cm depth, but we didn’t want to wait that long and felt it was OK to try after just 24 hours. It is thin compared to other mattresses (the average is around 25cm) but despite this it was actually one of the firmest mattresses we tried, which may be due to its no-nonsense, one solid layer construction. 

This meant, as online reviews suggest, it's the least comfortable of all those we tried for side sleepers, but was absolutely fine for back sleepers who prefer a firmer mattress. The Morgedal did give off a slight chemical smell for the first day or two, but this dissipated after a while. Because of its price, it’s a good choice for those experimenting with memory foam for the first time, or looking for a guest room mattress. It was also one of the few memory foam mattresses we tested that can actually be tried in-store, but Ikea still offers a 90-day return period in case you’re not happy. 

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6. Tempur Cloud Luxe 30 Memory Foam Mattress

Another luxury soft mattress from the innovator of memory foam

Specifications
Best for: softness
Sizes: 7, single to super king
Depth: 30cm
Turn: No
Filling: layers of memory foam
Comfort: soft
Trial period: 100 nights
Guarantee: 10 years
RRP: Single £2,149; Double £3,099; King £3,449
Reasons to buy
+Luxury feel +Suits most sleepers +Easy-to-remove machine-washable cover 
Reasons to avoid
-Luxury price tag 

Whether you’ve had a memory foam mattress before or not, if you’re looking for the ultimate in comfort, then you can’t go wrong with a Tempur mattress (see also the CoolTouch Sensation Elite, at number 3). The Tempur Cloud Luxe 30 is one of its softest mattresses here, with a generous 30cm depth, super-soft filling and 7cm layer of Tempur-specific soft material to really add a sense of luxury to this mattress.

While it's ideal for most types of sleeper, if you’re a heavy front sleeper or prefer a firmer top, then it might feel a touch on the soft side. As you’d expect from an investment of this kind, you'll get long-lasting support from this mattress, and it'll retain its shape with no need to flip and turn. It also has an easy-to-remove cover that’s machine-washable at 60˚C, so you can give it a good, deep clean. 

As with all memory foam mattresses at this end of the market, it’s pricey, but user reviews at John Lewis show that most buyers agree it's worth it. There's a 100-day trial (with a minimum time of 60 days to ensure you’re fully acclimatised to the mattress), so if you’ve struggled to find a mattress to suit you in the past, the Tempur CoolTouch Sensation Elite is worth trying.  

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7. Simba Hybrid Mattress

A versatile hybrid mattress for all types kind of sleeper

Specifications
Best for: keeping cool
Sizes: 12, small single to emperor
Depth: 25cm
Turn: No
Filling: memory foam and pocket springs
Comfort: medium to medium soft
Trial period: 100 nights
Guarantee: 10 years
RRP: Single £449; Double £649; King £749
Reasons to buy
+Great for restless sleepers +Effective lower back support+Very little motion transfer  
Reasons to avoid
-On the soft side 

If you’re not fully convinced that a memory foam mattress is right for you, then consider a hybrid mattress like the Simba Hybrid – currently at number one spot in our best mattress guide. Beneath a hypoallergenic outer cover, a Simbatex synthetic latex layer features activated charcoal extracts designed to keep you cool. 

The real point of difference for this mattress compared to other bed-in-box offerings, though, is the layer of 2,500 pocket springs that acts much more like a traditional bed, cradling the body and helping to reduce motion transfer. Beneath that, there’s a thick layer of responsive memory foam that moulds to your body shape to give plenty of support. 

It’s a Which? Best Buy and an amazing 86% of reviews on Amazon are five star. We agree that it’s an excellent, all-round mattress, particularly for those who are prone to overheating at night or are restless sleepers. It'll ensure that you – and your partner – get a good night’s kip. 

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8. Sid memory foam mattress

Dedicated followers of fashion will love the chic denim and black removable covers

Specifications
Best for: side and front sleepers
Sizes: 4, single to super king
Depth: 30cm
Turn: no
Filling: 4 layers of foam and memory foam
Comfort: medium to medium-soft
Trial period: 120 nights
Guarantee: lifetime
RRP: Single £795; Double £995; King £1,195
Reasons to buy
+ Stylish outer + Extra-thick top comfort layer + Good temperature regulation 
Reasons to avoid
- Pretty pricy 

A fairly new entry to the bed-in-a-box market charts, the stand-out feature of the Sid memory foam mattress – aside from an add campaign that’s all rock-star chic – is that the jeans-inspired denim or black outer cover is specifically designed to be shown off, not covered up. That’s all very well if you’ve got a New York-style loft apartment where you can show it off in style, but perhaps not perfect for a semi in Nuneaton. Anyway, we digress. The changeable covers aren’t the only story for this memory foam mattress.

Four layers – one of which features Graphyx, a proprietary technology harnessing the properties of graphite to cool and ventilate – combine to create a comfortable, sweat-free night. It’s fairly heavy, but easy to get into place and has a cutter to help remove the plastic without nicking the fabric. While the deep, luxurious topper-style first layer softly envelops you, the firmer memory foam base layers below ensure it doesn’t stifle. It was still firm enough for our back sleeper, while our side sleeper felt it was one of the most comfortable they tried. That, coupled with the sweat-free sleep experience, and the fact the comfort layer cover can be machine washed, makes the Sid memory foam mattress a top choice despite the price. 

9. Nectar memory foam mattress

A great trial period and forever guarantee make this one of the best-value memory foam mattresses out there

Specifications
Best for: back sleepers
Sizes: 4, single to king
Depth: 28cm (11 inches)
Turn: No
Filling: Four memory foam layers
Comfort: Medium-firm to firm
Trial period: 365 days
Guarantee: Lifetime
RRP: Single £499; Double £699; King £799
Reasons to buy
+ Great support for back sleepers + Free memory foam pillows + Cooling top cover 
Reasons to avoid
- Slight chemical odour 

One complaint often levelled against memory foam mattresses is that if you’re already a warm sleeper then the material’s natural heat-retaining properties can result in sweaty nights. Not so with the Nectar, 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 can confirm, although it did dissipate fairly quickly. Another common Amazon gripe is that sometime the mattresses didn't expand properly, but ours was fine. The Nectar was on offer when we tested, with a sweet £100 off and two free memory foam pillows thrown in, which gave as much support to tired heads and necks as the mattress did for aching joints. With this deal in place, the Nectar is an absolutely fantastic-value memory foam mattress.

Silentnight 3 Zone Memory Foam

10. Silentnight 3 Zone Memory Foam

A competitively priced entry-level mattress that’s light and portable

Specifications
Best for: a lightweight choice
Sizes: 7, single to super king
Depth: 18cm
Turn: No
Filling: memory foam
Comfort: medium to medium-soft
Trial period: 100 nights
Guarantee: 10 years
RRP: Single £169; Double £199; King £249
Reasons to buy
+ Allergy UK-approved + Three-zone support + Light to transport 
Reasons to avoid
- Cover difficult to remove 

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, but not 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. 

Need a recap? Here are all of our best memory foam mattresses in one place, so you can compare their prices in one go...