Yes, You Can Buy the Best Memory Foam Mattresses Online—Here’s Where to Shop
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Published May 11, 2022 8:00 PM
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Reading up on Domino’s shopping guides is like having your own personal product concierge. We do the tedious part—deep-dive research, hands-on testing, and tapping experts for advice—so all you have to do is hit “add to cart.” That’s why we call them Simply the Best.
Memory foam mattress lovers often cite the same reasons for their adoration—superior pressure-point relief, especially around the shoulders, and a comforting embrace that feels like a warm hug, molding to every square inch of one’s body. But it’s not the only reason you should consider making the switch to foam. For one, if you’re a light sleeper (as in, anything and everything can jostle you awake, like a partner or pet moving in the middle of the night), memory foam ranks supreme for isolating motion transfer. The best memory foam mattresses might just be the missing piece to that extra-plush, extra-cozy bedroom look you’re coveting. All of our favorites, below, are thick and lofty, so when paired with deep-pocket sheets and feather-soft pillows, you’ll be looking forward to diving into five-star-hotel–worthy decadence every night (and you may not have to spend a fortune to get it).
- Best overall: Nectar Memory Foam Bed
- Best value: Mainstays Memory Foam Mattress
- Best splurge: Saatva Loom & Leaf Mattress
- Best cooling: Shinola x Serta 313 Mattress
- Best soft: Keetsa Tea Leaf Supreme
- Best support: GhostBed Venus Williams Legend
Best Overall: Nectar Memory Foam Bed
Trial period: 365 nights | Firmness: Medium-soft | Great for: Back and side sleepers
What we like:
- Try it out risk-free for 1 year
- Free shipping and returns
- Soft but supportive high-core memory foam
Why we chose it: The sweet spot for comfort, this mattress is offered at a more-than-reasonable price and backed by a lifetime warranty, making it hard to beat as our No. 1.
Sink into 12 inches of plush yet equally supportive foam with Nectar’s original offering, which has earned a reputation for its not-too-firm, not-too-soft gel layers that are highly adaptive and responsive throughout the night, contouring to your every movement. This mattress first caught our eye for its incredible value (both a 365-night trail period and lifetime warranty—what more could you ask for?) and has been a favorite ever since; you can find it as a twin mattress winner, too. We love its Tencel, poly-blend quilted top layer, which can help wick away moisture. Thanks to its breathable base layer, it’s good at keeping things a little cooler than the market’s typical memory foam option.
Best Value: Mainstays Memory Foam Mattress
Trial period: 90 nights | Firmness: Medium | Great for: Back, stomach, and side sleepers
What we like:
- Multiple height offerings
- Good edge support
- Can’t remove the cover to wash
Why we chose it: Quality memory foam that’s less than $300 for a queen (aka a steal).
If simplicity is more your speed, Walmart’s mattress brand, Mainstays, offers a no-frills memory foam that still contours to your body shape. It’s just one slab of foam, but that doesn’t make it any less supportive, especially if you go with the tallest option (12 inches) as opposed to the other three profiles (6-, 8-, and 10 inches). However, deal seekers: There are a few caveats to consider before going the most affordable route. Since it is all foam, for instance, you’re likely to experience a bit of off-gassing (aka the smell of new foam), and a few other reviews have pointed out that because it ships rolled up in a box, it could struggle to swell up to its full, intended size. But for a price like this, the slight risk may be well worth the reward.
Best Splurge: Saatva Loom & Leaf Mattress
Trial period: 365 nights | Firmness: Medium to firm | Great for: Back and stomach sleepers
What we like:
- High-quality, high-density foam
- Delivery, setup, and removal (if needed) included
- Helpful customer-service reps
- A queen is upwards of $2,000
Why we chose it: This is not a mattress-in-box; it’s ultra-premium foam.
Domino is a big fan of Saatva—and Loom & Leaf, the brand’s luxurious memory foam options, are no exception. Its standard size is a 12-inch profile with layers upon layers of different foam, and when it comes to comfort, you can choose between relaxed firm and firm. A cushioned, quilted top made from organic cotton (points for natural materials) gives way to a spinal cooling gel layer, followed by Centipur-U.S.-certified gel memory foam and a 5-pound, 2.5-inch-thick, high-density foam core, supported by a transitional base, which impacts how firm your mattress is. But the best part is its Saatva signature: a promise to do good by the planet with foam made from renewable oils that produce less greenhouse gas emissions during the manufacturing process.
Best Cooling: Shinola x Serta 313 Mattress
Trial period: 120 nights | Firmness: Medium-soft | Great for: Back and stomach sleepers
What we like:
- Double layer of gel-infused foam
- Lightning bolt stitching (a signature of Shinola)
- Ships in ultra-compact packaging
- A shorter, 10-inch height
Why we chose it: A designer collaboration that makes memory foam not only feel cool but look cool.
As you likely already know, memory foam mattresses aren’t known for being cooling, and hot sleepers may even steer away from this particular material. But companies have made great strides to increase the breathability of foam over the years, either with perforated layers to promote airflow or by using cool-to-the-touch gel-infused foams. This mattress offers both, all wrapped up in a cooling cover. The collaboration between Serta, a mattress maker since 1931, and Shinola, an American lifestyle brand based in Detroit, have checked all the boxes on an (actually) supercool mattress in look and feel.
Best Soft: Keetsa Tea Leaf Supreme
Trial period: 90 nights | Firmness: Medium-soft | Great for: Side sleepers
What we like:
- Plush padded top layer
- 12-year warranty
- Great for athletes and couples with different sleeping preferences
- Shorter sleep trial for the price
Why we chose it: A linen-encased, luxury-level softness.
Sure, the best memory foam mattresses offer a cradle-like sensation, but most are a medium- to firm feel. This option from Keetsa, however, ups the plush factor while still offering your body the support it needs to keep that spine in line. The softness starts at the cover—a linen-blend fabric that’s Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified. A recycled fiberfill padding sits atop the dual-layered patented BioFoam—the company claims this replaces 12 percent of petroleum oil (which polyurethane foams are derived from!) with castor bean oil.
Best Support: GhostBed Venus Williams Legend
Trial period: 101 nights | Firmness: Medium-firm | Great for: Side and back sleepers
What we like:
- 8 inches of high-density foam
- Made in the U.S.
- 25 percent of the mattress cover is made from recycled water bottles
- Niche support
Why we chose it: Living an active lifestyle? Rejuvenate while you slumber.
If your day’s training is contingent on eight-plus hours of restful sleep, whether you’re prepping for a marathon or playing in the U.S. Open, your muscles and joints will thank you for catching z’s on this Venus Williams–approved mattress. The tennis star partnered with GhostBed to create a mineral-infused material that does more than react to your body’s temperature; it activates an infrared response that penetrates sore muscles, improves blow flood, and promotes good circulation to break down lactic acid, not unlike heat therapy on sore muscles. But what we’re really blown away by is the 25-year warranty—one of the longest on our list (second only to lifetime support).
We Also Like
Recommended by Domino’s deputy commerce editor, Samantha Weiss-Hills, the IKEA Matrand is great for medium-firm preferences and comes complete with a 10-year warranty, so there’s less risk going with this brand. If you need a memory foam mattress that will work with an adjustable bed frame, the Brentwood Home Cypress All-Foam Mattress is a standout option, stacked with a charcoal-infused layer for cooler sleeping and a 13-inch height that will offer support when sitting up in bed reading or keep you extra-comfortable if you need to stay raised while snoring.
How We Chose These Products
Let’s face it: The world of bedding is super-saturated and overwhelming—but sometimes you need a new mattress (or pillows or sheets). At Domino, we strive to prioritize bedding brands that balance style, high-quality manufacturing, and eco-conscious attributes. Our editors and writers conduct hands-on testing when possible, and we tap industry experts for their input, dig into brand stats, and conduct independent research. The thing is: There’s really no shortcut to finding your ideal mattress—you just have to try them (and that’s why we call out sleep trials!).
Our Shopping Checklist
Memory foam made its debut with NASA as a seat cushion material, points out Sleep Foundation’s product expert Keith Cushner, but has gained popularity in recent years as a mattress. Originally made of just polyurethane foam, it was tweaked with a few additives in order to increase its elasticity, though doing so at first raised a few concerns over health and safety. But don’t fret! Today those once dangerous compounds have been pretty much banned from the manufacturing process, Cushner points out.
Still, there are a few lingering ingredients you may want to be aware of, such as toluene, which can be toxic when inhaled in large quantities, and methylene dianiline, a reactant used when making foam but considered carcinogenic by the EU, the Sleep Foundation notes. “Low-quality memory foam mattresses offered at prices that seem too good to be true are more likely to contain higher levels of harmful chemicals, so it’s important to research mattress quality before purchasing,“ adds Cushner. That’s why we dug into quality manufacturing standards, prioritizing foams blended with organic, plant-derived materials and renewable oils.
But even if you do choose a more natural option, you’re still likely to experience some off-gassing—the smell of VOCs, similar to stepping into a brand-new car—when you first set your mattress up. If all of this is a bit discouraging, you can always look into latex, derived from the sap of a rubber tree, with a similar responsive, contouring feel to memory foam.
Feel and Support
“Memory foam’s popularity can be credited to its ability to relieve spinal pressure, motion isolation, and weight distribution,” offers Cushner, who adds this is the type of mattress that’s great for side sleepers, particularly those who like to feel as if they’re sleeping “in” their mattress as opposed to on top of it. That’s because memory foam contours around a person’s body in response to pressure and heat—and by morning when you wake up and roll out of bed, it cools and bounces back to its original shape. While memory foam mattresses tend to skew on the softer side as opposed to firm, it’s not always the favored choice of hot sleepers (unless infused with a cooling gel layer or innovative perforations in its material), because the material isn’t breathable, retaining more heat than most other mattress types, explains Cushner.
Thickness and Height
Another defining feature of a memory foam mattress is its overall height. The standard mattress can be anywhere from 10 to 12 inches tall, but the memory foam mattresses on our list (with one exception) are all 12 inches or taller. This greater loft is also another indication of great support; anything thinner and you might sag into your platform bed frame or box spring.
Trials and Warranties
We spend close to a third of our lives sleeping, so making sure you have the right foundation is important—that’s why quality brands offer solid trial periods, risk-free. Most offer more than 30 nights, and honestly average 100 nights risk-free, with a few companies providing an even longer timeline, such as Saatva and Nectar’s one-year run. So take advantage of these opportunities to the fullest because, even if you do decide it isn’t right, a good chunk of these same companies will either repurpose, recycle, or donate the mattress in the end.
Once you do make your choice, your mattress has a life span of about a decade, depending on how you sleep, who sleeps on the mattress, and the kind of frame you have. If anything should go awry, you’ll want a warranty that will support your investment (mattresses do not come cheap), and being backed by a 10-year warranty is a good benchmark to refer to during your search. And many of the best foam mattresses surpass that—GhostBed’s Venus Williams collaboration offers a whopping 25 years, whereas Saatva offers 12, and Nectar a forever lifetime guarantee.
Q: Do memory foam mattresses sleep hot?
Unfortunately, most memory foam mattresses do sleep hot. “Memory foam can cut off airflow throughout the mattress, meaning the mattress retains heat,” explains Cushner. “So hot sleepers should be aware that a memory foam mattress will retain more heat than other types of mattresses.”
Q: Is a memory foam mattress one giant piece of foam?
Typically, no, while not all memory foam mattresses offer the same construction, they do offer a general sandwich of layers. According to the Sleep Foundation, there’s likely to be a comforting top layer, which will offer either a firm or soft cushioning; a transition layer, which exists between the top and core layer to offer some form of relief such as airflow; and the bottom core, which is where the bulk of the support exists in lieu of inner springs.
Q: I’ve heard memory foam mattresses can be a pain to maintain. Is this true?
Not necessarily, but memory foam and water are not best friends—so if you have a pet or child prone to accidents, moisture can damage the integrity of the material; you also want to skip cleaning sprays. And if you happen to live in an extremely humid part of the country, say Florida, it also may not perform up to snuff. Aside from that, cleanup and maintenance are as simple as vacuuming up dust and keeping a disinfecting spray on hand.
The Last Word
For a squishy yet supportive bed, you need the best memory foam mattress—this NASA-first innovation has gained tremendous headway in the market since its debut and is only continuing to improve in quality and sustainability.