As we round the corner to 2014, see which memory foam mattresses were rated best by owners in 2013.
Browsing reviews of memory foam mattresses can be a helpful and important part of choosing a new bed, as they afford shoppers insight into pros and cons of products based on the real experience of other people. Because mattress manufacturers change products and technologies often, it can be helpful to stay current on owner opinions when looking to buy a new bed. That mattress from 2009 may have entirely different specifications from today’s model by the same name, and may yield entirely different owner satisfaction ratings in reviews as a result. In this article, we will take a look back at the top-rated brands of memory foam mattresses for 2013 to see how this year’s crop compares.
Top 5 Best Rated Memory Foam Mattresses of 2013
The top-rated memory foam mattresses of 2013 include names well-known in the marketplace as well as those who are emerging with more innovative concepts. While many people shop using brand names and price as a reference, factors that actually appear to influence reviews the most include owners’ value perceptions, initial comfort, and durability. Most of the top-rated brands also feature medium-density memory foam, as well as trial periods of at least 90 days. One of the more interesting trends is that memory foam brands sold online earned higher owner ratings than those traditionally sold in stores and showrooms.
Here are the brands of memory foam mattresses with the best overall ratings. The comparison chart offers an overview of review information, pricing, and specifications for quick comparisons, then we go into more detail and compare the top companies (as well as those who didn’t make the cut). Review data comes from retailer websites, third-party review sites like SleepLikeTheDead.com, and consumer review websites. Specification data comes from retailers and/or third party sites and pricing is listed at manufacturer’s retail list before any promotions or discounts, valid as of December 2013.
Overage Owner Satisfaction
Amerisleep, an online brand and retailer of plant-based memory foam, has an overall customer satisfaction ranking of 92%, the highest of all brands we compared. They were also on the low end for the big three issues, receiving very few complaints of heat, odor, or sagging. Amerisleep memory foam mattresses are composed of plant-based memory foam ranging in density from 4.5 lbs to 5.3 lbs., with support cores of 2.0 lb density. Queen prices vary from $849 – $1899 (excluding sales) and include a 90 night trial and a 20 year warranty, with 10 years full coverage on sagging over 0.75 inches.
Ranked second with 86% owner satisfaction is BedInABox another online retailer. Though they had low complaints of heat issues, they had a slightly higher complaint rate of durability issues and a high rate of odor complaints (though odor usually disperses within 1-3 weeks). They offer a line of 3 lb. memory foam mattresses in traditional and gel, with 2.4 lb density support cores. Prices in queen size vary from $699 up to $2099 for a dual queen including a combination of memory foam and gel, and includes a 120 night trial and 20 year warranty with 10 years full coverage on sagging over 1.25 inches.
These mattresses are sold primarily on Amazon and ranked third, with an 85% customer satisfaction rating. Dreamfoam beds use 3lb. to 5 lb. density memory foam, but only 1.5 lb density cores (a change made in the past year, so any effects on durability will be seen in upcoming reviews). Current reviews place this brand high on the higher end for odor, but low to average on heat and durability issues. The mattresses include a 10 to 20 year limited warranty (impression depth unspecified) and the return policy depends on the end retailer.
4) Sealy Optimum
The Optimum line from Sealy uses an estimated 4 lb. weight memory foam in gel and traditional formulations, and estimated 1.5 lb cores. Sealy sells through traditional retailers and dealers. Reviews have an average satisfaction rating of 82%, tied with Simmons. Though this line is fairly new, it has low complaints of durability issues, but moderate complaints of heat and odor. Queen models vary in price from $1300-$3900, and include a 120 night trial and 25 year warranty with 15 years of full coverage on impressions over 0.75 inches.
5) Simmons Comforpedic
The Comforpedic line by Simmons features beds with memory foam density between 2.5 lbs. and 5.5 lbs and core densities around 1.2 lbs. This brand is sold through department stores and mattress retailers. Complaints are on the upper end of the average range for heat and durability issues, but still fairly low for odor. Prices range from $900 to $5000 dollars depending on retailer, and they include a 25 year warranty with 10-15 years of full coverage on impressions over 1.5 inches.
Who Didn’t Make the Cut & Why
There are some fairly glaring omissions from this year’s list of top memory foam mattress retailers, which may surprise some readers. Two of the most recognizable brands in the industry, Tempurpedic and Serta iComfort, have average reviews this year around 80%. These numbers are on par with memory foam averages, but have gone down a little bit since last year. This could be due to material changes in product line-ups (Tempurpedic), or due to the collection of more review samples (iComfort). Also below the cut-off were sleep Sleep Innovations/Novaform which came in around 80% and Ikea which was below 80%.
Comparing Memory Foam Mattresses
When comparing memory foam mattresses, there are several things to check into including specifications of all mattress layers (what the materials are made of, density, and thickness), firmness, cover materials, and fire protection method as well as retailer policies like returns and warranties. While several are dependent on personal taste, density and warranties are two of the most important things to understand when comparing beds.
Density is perhaps one of the most important aspects of memory foam mattresses, as it impacts comfort as well as durability and other aspects. It is the measure of how much one cubic foot of material weighs, which changes based on the polymer to air ratio. Low-density memory foam is under 3.5 lbs, medium density is 3.5 to 5.0 lbs, and high density is over 5.0 lbs.
Lower density foams typically have less odor and are less likely to retain heat. They are are also easier to move on due to the lower viscosity, but are less supportive and more prone to compression. High density memory foams are typically most resistant to impressions and offer the most viscous contouring, however these foams are more likely to have stronger odors and retain heat, and can be harder to move on. Medium density foams strike a balance in between the pros and cons of the spectrum.
Of the top rated memory foam mattresses this year, most use medium density foams. Amerisleep, Sealy, Dreamfoam and Simmons use foams between 4 and 5 lbs in most models. BedInABox uses only 3 lb foam, which falls in the low range, and Dreamfoam and Simmons also use low-density foam in some models. Simmons and Amerisleep each have one or more options with high density foam over 5.0 lbs as well.
The density of the mattress core, or bottom layer, is important as well. This layer sits beneath the actual memory foam and is responsible for providing support. For this type of foam, 1.0-1.5 lb is considered low density, 1.6-2.4 lb is considered high density, and 2.5 lbs and higher is considered high resiliency. Low-density cores may cause the mattress to sag prematurely and may not provide sufficient support especially for people over 200 pounds. The two top-rated brands are using HD cores, in the 2.0-2.4 lb range. The other three brands are using lower density cores between 1.2-1.5 lbs, with Simmons being lowest (and also having the highest rate of durability complaints).
Warranties and in-home trials should be carefully examined when shopping for a new mattress. Memory foam mattresses typically have better guarantees than average spring beds, but details can be important. You want to check on both the trial period and the warranty terms.
In home trials, or return periods, allow you to test the bed in your home to ensure it will be comfortable for sleeping. This is important because a showroom test is not enough for most people to determine comfort. It can also take your body a few weeks to adjust to a new bed, especially if this is your first foam mattress. Most higher-quality brands will offer at least 30-90 days, and most in our comparison offer at least 90 days. You want to see if there are any restocking fees and how return shipping is handled is required. Always double check if you are buying from a retailer since policies can vary.
Warranties on memory foam mattresses primarily cover impressions and sagging, and decent brands typically offer at least 10 years of full coverage (with a portion pro-rated). Because sagging over 1.0” can lead to increased back pain and decreased comfort, the warranty will ideally kick in before this point. Of these brands, Amerisleep and Sealy both cover impressions over 0.75” with Amerisleep offering 10 years full coverage and Sealy 15 years. BedInABox covers impressions over 1.0” for 5 years, and impressions over 1.25” after the first 5 years. Simmons covers impressions over 1.5” with 10-15 years of full coverage, and Dreamfoam has up to 10 years of full coverage but does not specify depth.
Why are memory foam mattress reviews important?
Anytime you make a big purchase, it is smart to comparison shop and see what others have to say. Reviews of memory foam mattresses can tell you if there are any durability issues with the product, if it sleeps hot or off-gasses, and if there are potential problems with service. Owners also often share if a bed is firmer or softer than expected, and if it helps with particular concerns you might also have like back pain relief, for example.
Memory foam mattresses have the highest overall customer satisfaction as a whole, pleasing around 80% owners compared a 62% satisfaction ranking for coil mattresses. So, the good news is that with this type of bed you have a 4 in 5 chance of choosing a mattress you’ll be happy with. But, within the category brands do vary significantly even year to year as we’ve explained above. And, brand name and price may not be reliable measures of potential satisfaction as some of the most well known brands perform no better than average. Maximize your chances of choosing a good bed by researching a variety of products, scrutinizing the details, and comparing reviews of memory foam mattresses and brands.