Best memory foam mattress UK 2022: custom support for sublime sleep

Find the best memory foam mattresses that mould to your body shape for better sleep every night

best memory foam mattress: Emma Original mattress in a bedroom
(Image credit: Emma)

The best memory foam mattress could be exactly what you need if you're not getting the quality sleep you need every night. Old-fashioned pocket spring mattresses have a tendency to be consistently firm, which can keep you awake by putting pressure on particular parts of your body. However, memory foam mattresses contour to your body shape, which means you get support where you need it most, sleep more soundly and wake up feeling properly refreshed.

The memory foam mattress market is highly competitive and very crowded, and if you go in blind you can easily make a bad buying decision. That's where we come in. We have years of experience with memory foam mattress brands and know which ones are worthy of your attention. Here's where we bring you a curated selection of the best memory foam mattresses you can buy today, at price points for all budgets.

Memory foam can take a bit of getting used to if you've always slept on spring mattresses, so if you need to know the differences between them, see our memory foam vs spring mattress (opens in new tab) explainer. Some people get on with it and love the memory foam sensation of being cradled to sleep, while others find it more like lying in quicksand; fortunately most manufacturers offer a free home trial so you can get a feel for whether memory foam is right for you.

The sleep surface of a memory foam mattress can feel different from brand to brand, and it also has a tendency to trap heat. Many brands have introduced clever technology to reduce this side effect, but if you have a tendency to sleep hot, it's likely memory foam may not be right for you; in which case see our general best mattress (opens in new tab) guide, which features sprung and hybrid mattresses as well as memory foam, so you can compare and contrast.

One more thing to know: you should never pay full price for your memory foam mattress. As we mentioned, it's a competitive market, and virtually every brand has regular offers and discounts across its entire range. Our live prices below will automatically tell you about the lowest prices on our favourite options, but to see what all the main brands are doing price-wise, see our best cheap mattress deals and sales (opens in new tab) before you order.

Best memory foam mattress UK to buy now

Close up of the Emma Original Memory Foam mattressT3 Best Buy badge

(Image credit: Emma)
The best memory foam mattress overall

Specifications

Sizes: 8, Single to Super King
Depth: 25cm
Turn: No
Comfort: Medium to Medium-firm
Trial period: 100 nights
Guarantee: 10 years

Reasons to buy

+
 No unpleasant odour 
+
 Suits all sleep positions 
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Very competitively priced

Reasons to avoid

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Traps heat a little

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, we've found that Emma's mattresses do trap heat a little, so if you sleep hot you might be better going for our #2 pick, the Nectar. 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 Original mattress review (opens in new tab) for more details, and see how it compares to our #2 pick in our Emma vs Nectar mattress (opens in new tab) showdown. 

At RRP, it's very competitively priced, but we'd recommend also casting an eye over our Emma discount codes and deals (opens in new tab) page before buying.

Nectar Memory Foam Mattress on a wooden floor with a yellow wall behindT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Nectar)
The best firmer memory foam mattress

Specifications

Sizes: 4, single to king
Depth: 28cm (11 inches)
Turn: No
Comfort: Medium-firm to firm
Trial period: 365 days
Guarantee: Lifetime

Reasons to buy

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Great support for back sleepers
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Cooling top cover
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Full year's trial

Reasons to avoid

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Slight chemical odour 

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 our tester 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 (opens in new tab) for more info, or see how it compares to our #3 pick in our Nectar vs Casper (opens in new tab) comparison article. And check for any Nectar discount codes (opens in new tab) before buying, of course.

Eve Lighter memory foam Mattress on a low bed in a bedroomT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Eve)
Best budget memory foam mattress

Specifications

Sizes: UK Single, Double, King, Super King
Depth: 20cm
Comfort: Medium-firm
Trial: 100 nights
Guarantee: 10 years

Reasons to buy

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Very comfortable
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Low motion transfer
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Good for restless sleepers
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Effective temperature regulation

Reasons to avoid

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Lacks edge support

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 (opens in new tab).

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 (opens in new tab) page for the best current prices.

Bedroom with Silentnight Studio Original mattress on the bedT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Silentnight)
A innovative foam mattress with a bit of bounce

Specifications

Sizes: single, double, king
Depth: 26cm
Comfort: medium
Trial: 60 nights
Guarantee: 5 years

Reasons to buy

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Bouncy Geltex layer
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Excellent pressure relief
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Cooling qualities

Reasons to avoid

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Shorter trial and guarantee periods
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Not ideal for heavier people

If you prefer your memory foam with a bit of bounce, try the Silentnight Studio Original. This mattress includes a 3cm layer of exclusive 'Geltex' technology, which, as well as adding buoyancy, helps prevent overheating. There's also 4cm of premium memory foam, a core of dense Studio Flex foam for stability, and it all comes wrapped in a removable and washable soft cover made from an anti-allergenic Purotex fabric, approved by Allergy UK. In our Silentnight Studio Original mattress review (opens in new tab), we found it felt more buoyant than other foam mattresses we'd tested, yet still incredibly effective at  pressure on the joints. We'd say it offers a medium level of firmness (perhaps a 6 out of 10).

While this mattress comfortably holds it own against the cool new(er) brands in the memory foam mattress world – as it should, given it's a similar price – where it doesn't compete so well when it comes to extras. You've got a shorter trial period to make sure you get on with this mattress, and the guarantee is half that of the industry standard too. 

Close up of Tempur memory foam mattressT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Future)
The best ultra-premium memory foam mattress

Specifications

Best for: Softness
Sizes: Small Single, Single, Single Long, Double, King Size, King Size Wide, Super King
Depth: 21-30cm
Turn: No
Filling: Layers of memory foam
Comfort: Soft
Trial period: 100 nights
Guarantee: 10 years

Reasons to buy

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Luxurious feel
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Wide range of sizes and depths 
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No motion transfer

Reasons to avoid

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Expensive
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'Sinking' feeling isn't for everyone

Tempur is a well known name in the memory foam mattress arena, and its mattresses tend to illicit something of a Marmite response. When you lie on a Tempur mattress, it'll immediately start to mould to your body shape, giving a strong 'enveloping' feeling with next to no motion transfer and absolutely zero bounce. You might find this soothes your restlessness and lulls you into a dreamy, uninterrupted slumber that lasts all night. Or you might absolutely hate it.

We tested out the Tempur Original, and although the sensation wasn't to our reviewer's taste, we were still impressed with 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. 

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 might be an investment you won’t regret. Head to our Tempur mattress review for more on what we thought of it.

Close up of Eve Original Memory Foam mattressT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Eve)

6. Eve Original Memory Foam mattress

A cleverly layered memory foam mattress that will stop you tossing and turning

Specifications

Sizes: 9, Single to Emperor
Depth: 25cm
Comfort: Medium to medium-firm
Trial period: 100 nights
Guarantee: 10 years

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.

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.

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.

Ruth is currently on secondment as Sleep Editor for Tom's Guide and TechRadar. The role is an extension of her work on T3, where she ran the site's Wellness channel, which includes sleep, relaxation, yoga and general wellbeing. She was also Outdoors editor, reviewing and writing about everything from camping gear and hiking boots to mountain bikes, drones and paddle boards. She has tested more mattresses than her small flat can handle, and has had to implement a one-in-one-out pillow policy, for fear of getting smothered in the night.


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