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1 October 2021

Best memory foam mattresses for 2021

We reveal our pick of the best – and worst – memory foam mattresses, helping you to wake up feeling refreshed for many years to come.
Ben Slater
Memory foam mattress

Do you like the idea of sinking into a memory foam mattress, but worry that it will restrict your movement or feel too warm to lie on? If so, you've come to the right place. 

We've rounded up the top five best memory foam mattresses, helping you to pick one that will help you get a great night's sleep with none of the compromises.

We've delved through the data from our independent and rigorous mattress lab tests to bring you our pick of the most recently tested mattresses containing memory foam. 

We've also highlighted an expensive Don't Buy mattress you should avoid if you're looking for a supportive mattress that will stand the test of time.

Time and time again, our results have conclusively proven that you don't need to spend a fortune to get a great mattress.  You may be surprised how little a good night's sleep can cost.

Top five memory foam mattresses

Only logged-in Which? members can view our recommendations in the table below. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access to our table and all of our online reviews.

  • 81%
    £978.00

    As far as we’re concerned, this pocket sprung and memory foam hybrid is the best mattress money can buy right now. It provides good support whatever position you sleep in; it’s excellent at preventing the transfer of movement from one side of the bed to the other; and you can sleep safe in the knowledge that it will stand the test of time without sagging, softening or becoming less supportive.

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  • 77%
    £179.00

    This simple memory foam mattress is affordable and a great Best Buy option if you usually sleep on your front or your back. It has a 7.5cm foam core and another 10cm layer of viscos foam on top. This top layer of memory foam will envelope your body, while this will help stop the transfer of movement across the bed (great news for your bed fellow) it does make it harder to turn over on.

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  • 76%
    £500.00

    This is a great Best Buy mattress, that's supportive no matter what your preferred sleeping position is. There's little deterioration over time as this is durable mattress, and it has an innovative feature where both sleeping partners can choose what side of the mattress you sleep on.

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  • 72%
    £444.00

    This memory foam mattress gives exceptional support if you tend to sleep on your back, although the support for side-sleepers is good, too. In addition to being very long-lasting, this mattress is also well-suited to light sleepers because it's really good at preventing movement from transferring from one side of the bed to the other. There are a couple of downsides, though.

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  • 71%
    £299.00

    This mattress combines a layer of 12.5 foam springs, covered with 4cm of memory foam that moulds to the contours of your body when you lie on it. It comes in two comfort grades either firmer or softer. This is a very good memory foam mattress, with good spinal support and it's durable.

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Table last checked: June 2021.

Not sure if memory foam mattress is right for you? Check out our guide to how to buy the best mattress to find out more about types before you buy.

Or, If you're looking for the best pocket sprung mattresses, latex mattress, or maybe just an ordinary foam one, take a look at our full list of mattress reviews to find the best option for you.

How to buy the best memory foam mattress

Memory foam mattresses, also known as memory mattresses, are topped with a layer of temperature-sensitive viscoelastic material (memory foam). 

Some people swear by memory foam mattresses, but they don't suit everyone. 

Memory foam mattresses are the second most popular type of mattress among Which? members. Nearly a quarter of the members we surveyed about their mattress had bought a memory foam one.

If you're tempted by one of these mattresses, you'll need to think about which type you want and how much you're willing to spend. Otherwise you might end up a dud that you'll wish you could forget.

Pros:

  • Memory foam mattresses are good at relieving pressure on painful joints.
  • Those who like memory foam seem to love it – as one owner told us: 'my memory foam mattress is the most comfortable mattress I’ve ever had.'

Cons: 

  • Usually pricier than sprung mattresses
  • Feel very different to lie on than regular sprung mattresses. This means memory foam mattresses aren’t for everyone.
  • Some of you have said that you find memory foam mattresses too hot.
  • Memory foam mattresses generally can't be turned over. But you can turn them around, and some mattresses have handles which make this easier to do.

If you want to buy one already, go straight to our memory foam mattress reviews or memory foam and springs mattress reviews.

Do memory foam mattresses mould to your body shape?

Memory foam mattresses mould to your body shape

Memory foam is affected by room temperature, so you might find the memory mattress cold and hard when you first go to bed. 

As it reacts to your body heat, it moulds to your shape - this can make it more difficult for you to move or get out of bed compared to other mattress types.

Memory foam also reduces air circulation around your body, which makes the memory foam mattress feel warmer. Many people find this helpful in winter but you may feel too hot in summer. 

If you usually use an electric blanket, it's important to note that many manufacturers say not to use one with memory foam, as it's a potential fire hazard. 

But as a memory foam mattress is warmer, you shouldn't miss it. If you do, go up a tog on your duvet or add an extra blanket.

What is a memory foam-only mattress?

memory foam-only mattress

Most memory foam mattresses are actually sprung mattresses with a layer of memory foam on top. 

Some, however, have extra layers of memory foam instead of springs. These are often described as pure memory foam, or memory foam-only, mattresses.

They tend to be pricier and softer, but not necessarily better - some pure memory foam mattresses impressed in our tests, while others were poor.

Can you buy a cheap Best Buy memory foam mattress?

Memory foam mattresses can cost more than £2,000, but our independent tests show that you don’t always get what you pay for. 

If you're set on memory foam but can't afford to spend thousands of pounds, we've found several cheaper options worth considering.

In fact, we've found two Best Buy memory foam mattresses and one costs less than £200 - this is fantastic value for money. 

Both of them made up from different layers of foam and memory foam - great if you want a slightly softer mattress.

Read our memory foam mattress reviews to find out the cheapest Best Buys. Or find a great mattress deal in our monthly round-up.

Should I buy a memory foam mattress topper?

If you're not quite sold on a memory foam mattress, but fancy getting a feel for the how the foam moulds to the shape of your body, you may want to consider buying a memory foam mattress topper.

It won't make your mattress any more supportive, but it may make it more comfortable. Four in five mattress topper owners told us that their topper had made their mattress more comfortable, when we surveyed more than 1,000 Which? members back in April 2017.

If you're thinking about buying a mattress topper, be sure to look at our list of the best mattress topper brands.

Memory foam mattress reviews

All our mattress reviews are based on extremely rigorous and independent testing, so you can rest assured that our results will help you find the very best mattress for you.

Whether you're big or small, and sleep on your back or your side, we test every mattress to see how well it will support your spine. 

If you sleep on your back, a great mattress will keep your spine in the same shape as when standing; if you sleep on your side, your mattress should keep your spine in a parallel position to the mattress. That's what we look for when we test body support.

To make sure the support doesn't deteriorate with time, we perform all the tests again once we have simulated eight to ten years of use in our durability tests.

It's not just about support and durability, though. We also measure how breathable a mattress is, how easy it is to turn over on, and how stable it is. 

So, whether you're a sweaty sleeper, or a light sleeper who's sick of being disturbed by their partner, we've tested something that will suit you.

Updated: June 2021