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Best memory foam mattress in the UK: soft, medium firm, and extra firm mattresses reviewed

Super-supportive memory foam mattress tried and tested 

By
18 May 2021
I

f you’re reading this article, you’re probably aware of the benefits of a memory foam mattress.

The gulf in sensitivity between foam and springs is comparable to that between the human nervous system and a doughnut.

Memory foam material is made up of millions of cells, all of which respond to the user’s bodyweight. This is what allows good foam mattresses to give you that floating feeling: they mould around your mass, rather than hoisting it like a spring does.

A pocket sprung mattress has only as many points of responsivity as it has springs – usually somewhere in the hundreds or low thousands. With millions of contacts, memory foam supports the body more precisely, enabling accurate pressure relief and healthy spinal alignment during sleep.

Choosing between a foam mattress and a sprung one is a fairly black-and-white question of taste – but choosing between different foam mattresses can be trickier.

To find the right foam mattress for you, we need to look beyond things like branding and aesthetics, to fundamental details like firmness, airflow through the mattress, and the design innovations that set each mattress apart from the crowd.

These are the points we’ve focused on in this roundup of the best foam mattresses you can buy.

The Best Foam Mattresses:

Best foam mattress for: high level of firm support

Firm and sturdy yet soft and luxe, the Emma mattress is just what the chiropractor ordered: a giant memory foam pillow for us stressed out folk to unwind on.

It's pressure-relieving multi layered visco-elastic memory foam will see them go bye bye in days. The best thing? The entire mattress adjusts to your body as you move, without a delayed re-plumping of the memory foam.

Whilst soft to the touch, the mattress also offers a unique firmness that provides added support. To make it as easily transportable as possible, the mattress has been rolled into one giant circular slab.

Tip: before you unpack it, make sure your bed frame has been prepped. Once in position, slice down the packaging with the provided cutters and slowly unravel until the mattress rolls out on to its new home.

The reward? Supportive, fabulous comfort eight hours every night. It comes with a 100-night trial, during which you can choose to return it for a full refund.

Best foam mattress for: a slightly firmer feel + side stitched edges

Since its launch about five years back, Casper has become one of the world’s best-known mattress brands. It deserves its renown.

Slightly firmer than the Leesa, the classic Casper mattress is a great option for those who like a foam mattress that gives a tangible sense of support.

The magic is in the mattress’ four foam layers: a breathable layer on top, a thick layer of memory foam, a transition layer that helps make the mattress comfy to move around on, and a support layer on the bottom. These combine as a fabulous formula for comfortable rest.

The edges have also been stitched to help prevent sagging—an important design feature particularly if there's two of you in the bed.

We found this mattress particularly comfy when sleeping on our sides. It has just the right amount of give to keep your arms and legs comfy no matter how they are positioned.

Best foam mattress for: a combination of firm support and sublime comfort

The ‘premium’ label inevitably puts a lot of pressure on a product to perform exceptionally well. That pressure is all the greater in this case, considering the fact Eve’s Original Mattress is excellent in its own right.

That said, as soon as we lay down on Eve’s Premium Mattress, we knew we were on to a good thing. It is a sublimely comfortable mattress, offering a cushioned feel at first touch, giving way to an effortless comfort through the night.

In terms of firmness, this mattress occupies similar territory to the Casper – moderate-to-high.

If you’re looking for a relatively firm foam mattress and are willing to pay a slight premium, this would be our recommendation.

Best foam mattress for: a plush surface/back sleepers

This highly supportive mattress from British brand Nectar has one of the comfiest surfaces to lie on we’ve encountered: a cover so lush, we fell asleep on it face-down, before we’d even managed to put a sheet over it. Such are the occupational hazards of a mattress reviewer.

Not only is the cover of the Nectar mattress comfy; it’s also cooling, when it needs to be. The fabric used is a temperature-sensitive polymer, which provides a cooling effect that increases in-step with the temperature.

We found the Nectar especially comfortable when sleeping on our backs.

Best foam mattress for: superb value-for-money

Here’s some good advice for anyone comparing the merits of memory foam mattresses: check the manufacturer’s product specifications to find out the depth of its memory foam layer. To ensure a comfy feel for all body types, you’ll generally need at least 4-5cm of memory foam.

Despite coming in at around half the price of many of the other options we’ve tested, this Coolmax mattress has one of thickest memory foam layers of all: 7cm. This would make it an ideal choice for those who enjoy the sensation of sinking deep into their mattress.

As its name would suggest, another string to this mattress’ bow is temperature regulation. The quilted fabric cover provides a cooling effect when the body gets hot, which helps keep the mattress comfortable year-round.

Best foam mattress for: mid-to-high-firmness

The Dormeo Octasmart Deluxe is an excellent all-rounder, with a high level of comfort, mid-to-high-firmness, and convenient, vacuum-packed delivery.

Interestingly, this mattress has foam springs called Octasprings – Dormeo’s patented invention – underneath its memory foam layer. These deliver the excellent airflow and bounce of metal springs, allied to the gentler action of foam.

This combination gives the Octasmart Deluxe an important point of difference with the other mattresses we’ve tested. If you prize the bounce of a sprung mattresses but prefer the softer support of foam, this could be the one for you.

There’s no doubt this mattress is at the costlier end of the market, but it does come with a memory foam pillow bundled in.

Best foam mattress for: bargain-priced comfort

At just under £100, Wayfair Sleep’s Memory Foam Mattress is sure to help the budget-conscious sleep easy.

This is a memory foam mattress at the firmer and more supportive end of the spectrum, providing ample support for people of all shapes and sizes. It goes beyond the basics, with a lovely satiny cover that offers a different feel to any of the other mattresses we’ve tested.

If you want the benefit of body-contouring memory foam without breaking the bank, this mattress would be a fine choice.

Best foam mattress for: 0-5 year olds

At one point in time, you’d have been lucky to spend your babyhood sleeping in a cot full of loose straw.

We’re pleased to report that many of today’s infants are better accommodated – especially those fortunate enough to sleep on one of these lovely bamboo-fabric-covered mattresses from Panda.

While we don't employ any baby reviewers we did manage to persuade a reasonably small adult to test this mattress for us. They found it to be soft, squishy and luxuriously comfortable.

Lots of the Kids Bamboo Cot Mattress’ features are fine-tuned with babies in mind, as you’d hope. The bamboo material in the cover is naturally antibacterial, and there’s a waterproof layer to keep the foam inside the mattress clean. Plus, the hexagonal-stitched pattern on the removable cover gives a bit of grip, which will help keep little ones from moving about too much.

This product is designed for ages 0-5.

Best foam mattress for: pest resistance and hygiene

The Laytech Plus provides a good level of comfort, at a fraction of the cost.

Tested on a natural side-sleeper, it's suitable for sleeping all manner of ways, front, back and side. It has quite a lot of give – about 4cm – which will suit those who like to feel well-supported.

One of this mattress’ selling points is the fact it incorporates a 2cm layer of latex – a material known to guard against bacteria, fungi, and in other use cases, the conception of human life. On a serious note, latex truly is a provenly hygienic choice of mattress material.

Don’t be alarmed if this mattress has a strong scent when you first get it out of its packaging. This is called off-gasing and it's a common characteristic of latex mattresses, in most cases the smell will wear off to such an extent that it becomes unnoticeable within a few days.

Verdict

The Emma Original foam mattress provides a deeply satisfying sleep and is our favourite foam mattress on the market. Not only does it offer more support than most of its counterparts, but it still affords that gentle squish that helps stabilise movement and nestle your sore spots.