Compare the current top-rated memory foam mattresses and get tips for picking the right bed.
Over a year ago, we conducted an in-depth analysis of several memory foam brands to uncover which beds earned the best reviews from consumers. Since that time, many brands have revamped collections and rolled out new lines, so we thought we’d revisit this popular topic for 2016.
Keep reading to see which mattresses currently outperform the competition in owner satisfaction, why they are leading the way, and how to compare beds to find your perfect match.
The Top Rated Mattress of 2016:
Amerisleep Revere Bed
Our favorite bed for 2016 isn’t from a big name in mattresses, but rather a growing online brand. Amerisleep’s Revere Bed is beloved by customers receiving a 4.7 out of 5 from hundreds of verified reviewers. Coming in at the top of the mattresses we looked at in the medium to high-end ranges, the Amerisleep Revere Bed reviews outperform the competition selling their bed at more than twice the Revere’s price point.
The Rest of 2016’s Best-Rated Memory Foam Mattresses
Previously, we compared brands as a whole to see who had the best overall ratings for their lines. This time around, we looked at individual mattress models for a more specific comparison of the best-rated memory foam mattresses.
This year’s group of top-rated mattresses includes both smaller, niche brands and big name brands. Overall, brand name or prestige did not appear to be a major predictor of satisfaction – we found major, well-known brands that perform average or worse, and lesser-known brands that offered good values.
The factors that appeared to most influence people’s reviews include initial comfort, service experience, how the mattress met expectations, and perceptions of value. Other factors like durability, heat and odor played significant roles as well.
We looked at about 20 different brands including the big names, medium companies, up and coming brands, online sellers, and discount options to find the four memory foam mattresses most-loved by consumers, highlighted below.
Reviews were drawn from retailer and brand websites, third-party review websites like Reseller Ratings, consumer review sites like Sleep Like The Dead and Consumer Reports, and other sources like blogs and forums. Specification data and pricing was current as of article publication date.
|Mattress||Amerisleep Revere Bed||Sealy Optimum Elation Gold||Serta iComfort Prodigy||Tempurpedic TEMPUR-Cloud Luxe|
|Average Owner Satisfaction||94%||76%||74%||81%|
|Foam Density||3” 4.5 lb MF|
9” 2.0 lb Base
|2" ? lb gel MF |
4" ? lb gel MF
7" ? lb base
|2.5" 4.0 lb gel MF |
2" 4.0 lb MF
6" ? lb base
|2” 4.1 lb MF|
3” 7.0 lb MF
8” ? lb Base
|Warranty||20 years (10)||10 years (10)||10 years (10)||10 years (10)|
|Trial Period||90 days||Depends on retailer||120 days||90 days|
Here’s a more detailed description of each bed. They are listed in order of lowest price to highest (not necessarily ranked).
$1299 – Amerisleep Revere Bed Mattress
The Amerisleep Revere mattress has a three-inch layer of 4.5 lb, medium density memory foam. The core is high-density 2.0 lb foam, and both types a plant-based “bio” foams. This mattress is in the medium-firm range according to descriptions and reviews. The cover is made from a Celliant-infused fabric, which has been clinically proven to reduce pain and increase circulation.
Overall, this mattress rates well with a 4.7 out of 5 star average on the Amerisleep website’s verified reviews. Popular points of praise in reviews include support, comfort, durability and value.
Reports of both heat and odor issues are below average for this category and among the lowest of the mattresses we reviewed here. There are also very few reports of sagging or durability issues, and lifespan is expected to be average to above average. The brand has been around for about 10 years, which is long enough to determine any potential quality trends or issues.
Warranty coverage extends for 20 years, with 10 years of full-replacement coverage. Amerisleep offers a 100-day return policy for their mattresses.
$2,074 – Serta iComfort Prodigy III
The third-generation of the iComfort Prodigy by Serta has 3″ of gel memory foam, 2″ of traditional memory foam along with 1″ of regular foam for the comfort layers. Serta doesn’t specify their densities, but it’s estimated to be around 4 lbs. The core is six inches and the mattress rates a medium in firmness.
The Serta iComfort line has a 74% owner satisfaction rate according to SleepLikeTheDead.com. Customers rate the line well for motion isolation, edge support and conformability.
About one in four iComfort customers report a loss of support and significant body impressions forming within only a few years. However, they recently updated their entire iComfort collection, so things could change for better (or worse) with the new models. Serta doesn’t provide extensive details on the layers of their beds or the densities of the foams they contain. This can make it harder for customers to make an informed decision.
The warranty is 10 years non-prorated and the return policy is 120 days, but the mattress must be kept for 30 days.
$2,900 – Sealy Optimum Elation Gold
The Sealy Optimum Elation Gold has a two-inch layer of OptiCool gel memory foam below the quilt layer. Four more inches of gel visco foam are below that with it all resting on a seven-inch gel foam core. This bed is available in the medium to firm range.
The Optimum line has an average of 74% owner satisfaction rate according to independent review organization SleepLikeTheDead, which is low compared to other brands in this category. It has good conforming potential and motion isolation.
The entire Optimum line has had some issues with heat retention. Gel is in the foam to help keep the feel cool, but many owners still complain of the beds sleeping hot. Other things like foam type and density as well as cover fabrics can influence breathability, however Sealy doesn’t provide extensive information on the specifics of their Optimum beds. This line also has issues with durability with premature sagging and support loss within a few years of purchase.
Warranty coverage extends for 10 years and the entire period is non-prorated.
$3699 – Tempur-pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Luxe Mattress
The Tempur-Cloud Luxe bed from Tempurpedic includes two layers of visco foam. Though the brand does not disclose density information, it is estimated that the bed includes two-inches of 4.1 lb, medium density memory foam and three-inches of 7.0 lb, high-density memory foam. The core foam density is also undisclosed, with estimates ranging from 1.5 to 2.0 lbs.
Overall, this mattress rates well with 4.7 out of 5 star averages on the Tempurpedic website reviews, which is good for the higher price range. Areas most commonly praised by reviews include comfort, support and durability. One key point though, is that this mattress was recently updated and redesigned, meaning older reviews may not necessarily be representative for this new model.
Reports of heat and odor complaints are right about average compared to other brands, though for other Tempurpedic models complaints can be higher. Issues with durability or sagging are lower than average, and this bed is expected to have slightly longer than average lifespan.
Warranty coverage extends for 10 years, with all 10 years being full-replacement coverage. Tempurpedic beds come with a 90-day return policy.
Compared to our previous survey, the only repeat appearances were Amerisleep, who’s reviews remained fairly consistent. New entrants included Tempurpedic, Sealy Optimum and Serta iComfort, who’ve all made changes in their lines and policies recently, making improvements over previous higher and mid-range brands that stood out last year.
Who Didn’t Make the Cut & Why
Some of the lower quality beds were omitted, because they do not rate very well with customers, with satisfaction rates in the sixtieth percentile. While slightly better compared to traditional spring mattresses, this is below average for memory foam in general. Potential things that appear to be lowering owner satisfaction include durability, lack of transparency, and value perception of buyers.
In general, other reasons some brands and beds didn’t make the cut included a lack of available review data online, questionable review sources, very limited sales data, and other issues preventing accurate analysis and comparison.
How to Compare Memory Foam Mattresses
We’ve done a few guides to memory foam mattress shopping previously, but if you’re just diving in or want a quick refresher, here are the most important details to keep in mind when shopping and comparing different brands. These are the factors that will help you compare beds to each other to determine value and identify which is best for your needs.
Polyurethane foams are classified by their density, which is a measure comprised of weight divided by volume. It is usually expressed as pounds per cubic foot. For example, a 4 lbs/ft density means that a piece of foam measuring 12” x 12” 12” weighs four pounds.
With memory foam, densities can be sorted into three groups. All receive similar overall owner satisfaction scores, but there are a few important differences that can help you decided which is ideal for your needs.
|Characteristic||Low Density||Med Density||High Density|
|Range||under 3.5 lbs||3.5 lb to 5.0 lb||over 5.0 lb|
|Durability||Least durable||Good Durability||Most Durable|
|Odor||Less likely||Moderate||Most likely|
|Sleeping Hot||Less likely||Moderate||Most likely|
|Easy of Moving||Easy for most||Easy for most||Possibly difficult|
Regular polyurethane foam (used in core/support layers in padding layers in some mattresses) has different classifications. Higher density is generally considered better, as the core will be more resistant to impressions and softening over time. Most mattresses use High Density foam in the cores, ranging between 1.5 lb to 2.5 lb. Most beds on the market vary between 1.4 and 1.8 lb for poly foam.Low density foams are the least expensive and are less likely to have strong off-gassing odors or trap heat, however they also provide less pressure relief, support and longevity. High density foams excel at pressure relief, contouring and durability, but are more likely to have strong odors and trap heat, and the viscous feel of the foam can be difficult for some people to move on.
High density memory foam often has potential for both strong positives and strong negatives. Low density memory foam, by contrast, often performs evenly without strong positives or strong negatives. And medium density often performs in between.
Some cheaper mattresses may use “regular” poly foams under 1.4 lb which is seen as non-durable for long term use and may lack support for most adults. High Resilience foams have densities over 2.5 lb and are the most durable, but not commonly used in mattresses due to higher costs (be aware that some manufacturers may mislabel their HD foams as HR). They can also be more odorous, and contribute to heat retention.
Type of Memory Foam
There are about three different “types” of memory foam that you will see promoted across different brands.
Traditional memory foam is the regular, temperature-sensitive material that molds to sleepers’ shapes via their body heat. This type provides good contouring and pressure relief in medium and high densities, but not everyone likes the slow recovery rate of the foam as it can make changing positions and moving on the bed difficult. Sleeping hot is also more common with this type, particularly in higher densities.
Gel memory foam is becoming very common recently, involving gel particles or liquid gel mixed into the foam with the idea of a cooler sensation. The idea is that the room-temperature gel will absorb body heat (similar to ice-packs). There is not a ton of scientific proof for the claims of gel foam mattresses (many of them use little gel or put it beneath other materials as well). Consumer Reports has said in their mattress tests that they find little difference in breathability between gel and non-gel beds. Sleep Like The Dead says there is a small difference (2%), but primarily only for beds with 2”+ of gel foam at the surface of the bed.
Plant-based memory foams use botanical ingredients to replace a portion of petro products, and are used by a small handful of brands. These types of foams have slightly different properties, primarily stemming from their temperature-neutral nature. Plant-based foams use pressure to contour rather than heat, and the material feels consistent in a normal room temperature. It also recovers shape very quickly. One manufacturer, Cargill, conducted a laboratory study demonstrating plant-based foams to sleep cooler than gel foams.
When shopping for a foam mattress, pay careful attention to how the bed is layered. Memory foam should ideally be in the uppermost layers (as opposed to poly foam or fiber batting) to provide good pressure relief. The retailer should be able to provide information on each layer and their respective densities so you can accurately judge comfort and compare value.
The thickness of comfort layers is important as well. Petite people and back/stomach sleepers may feel comfortable with 2”-3” of memory foam (too much can feel overwhelming), while larger individuals and side sleepers may need 3”-6” of memory foam to adequately cushion pressure points.
The thickness of the core layer is more related to support and durability. A mattress should have at least a 6” core. Larger individuals and side sleepers may want something more in the 8” to 9” range.
Cover materials are also important since they can affect how the mattress contours and how breathable the bed is. Stretchy fabrics are better than rigid ones since they will allow the mattress to fully contour to you. Breathable fabrics like cotton, wool and rayon are also ideal since they will allow air to flow in and out.
Guarantees can tell you a little bit about how the manufacturer perceives their product. Mattresses with little or no warranty are probably not intended by the manufacturer for everyday or long-term use (better for temporary situations). But, long warranties don’t mean a bed is meant to last forever either.
Average and higher-end brands usually have about 10 years of full replacement coverage, and some may have additional years of pro-rated coverage as well. The different periods will differentiated in the warranty policy, usually as “full coverage” or “full replacement” terms (the period during which the manufacturer will replace or repair a defective bed at their cost), and “pro-rated” terms (the period during which the manufacturer will contribute a portion of the repair/replacement costs with the owner paying the rest).
Since impressions are what is most likely to go wrong with a mattress, the depth of coverage is important to check for. The warranty should state how deep impressions must be for the bed to be considered defective and eligible for warranty. Higher-end beds will typically cover sagging of about 0.75” deep, while others may only cover impressions over 1” or 1.5”.
The ability to return a bed can also be valuable. Even the top-rated mattress might not be ideal for everyone, which is why most retailers will allow customers to return or exchange within a certain time frame.
The average for memory foam beds is around 90 days. It may take up to a few weeks to fully adjust to a new bed, so having at least 30 days can be helpful. Check to see the store’s return policy and any restrictions or fees before buying.
The other helpful tool you can use to compare options are memory foam mattress reviews. For most brands and beds, you can find reviews online to see what other owners have to say. Retailer and brand websites are the most likely sources, though third party websites (like Reseller Ratings and Viewpoints) and blogs or forums are also sources. You could start by searching for reviews in general, or search the mattress make and model plus reviews (such as “tempurpedic cloud reviews”) to see more in-depth information about a particular bed.
The first thing to keep in mind about reviews is the source. Brands that use third-party verified reviewer/verified buyer systems typically provide a better source than brands that use cherry-picked “testimonial” type reviews. For third party websites and blogs, consider their reputation and policies. According to a recent study out of Harvard Business School, up to 20% of Yelp reviews can be fake. Two companies that provide third-party, verified reviews are Reseller Ratings and Power Reviews.
When reading reviews, see what people say about expectations versus reality, durability, value, and other factors important to you. Individual comfort can vary quite a bit though — one person’s soft can be another’s firm — so it’s better to look at trends than one-off comments. For example, do a lot of people say the bed is firmer than expected, or do a large number report a particular issue? Not every bed will please every buyer, but comparing complaints to averages can help give you perspective.
Overall, what we learned searching for the best-rated memory foam mattresses is that medium density foams seem to be most appealing to majority of shoppers, and that getting a good value is also important for satisfaction.
Most of the top-rated memory foam beds were sold online only as well, meaning that dreaded trip to the mattress store may not be so essential after all. More important? Doing your research into the brand, being honest with your partner about what you want in a bed, checking reviews, and comparing around to ensure the price is fair.
If you have an additional questions about comparing beds or finding the best-rated memory foam mattress, leave us a comment.