Best memory foam mattress 2021: our top 7 mattresses for support

Find the best memory foam mattress to help remedy back pain and achy joints whilst keeping you cool in this expert guide

best memory foam mattress: emma mattress
(Image credit: Emma)

If you like to sleep on foam then you've come to the right place to find the best memory foam mattress. Even if you're unsure on whether or not a memory foam mattress is for you, we can help. 

The beauty of memory foam is that it will contour to your body, relieving you from an achy back or tired joints. They are not all designed for those with big budgets, either: there’s a huge variety to choose from – some come with open cell memory foam to keep you cool – to suit all pockets, all sleep positions and preferences. 

In this guide we've featured our top mattress picks which you can buy for 2021. We'll also help to decipher the individuality of the names behind each mattress – Emma, Simba and eve – on the market, which all (also) feature in our best mattress guide so you know you are on to a winner.

Best memory foam mattress UK 2021

Emma mattressReal Homes Rated Gold badge


(Image credit: emma)

This is our best memory foam mattress (it's also our top pick of THE best mattress)

Specifications
Size: Single–super-king
Depth: 25cm
Type: Comfort foam/memory foam
Comfort grade: Medium-firm
Reasons to buy
+Zoned support+Perfect temperature control+Medium firm for firmness+Good motion transfer
Reasons to avoid
-Too hard for some side sleepers

If you want to buy the best memory foam mattress on the market, then this Emma mattress is for you. The motion transfer on this mattress is brilliant, so good in fact you'll hardly know your fidgety partner is there.

Who will the Emma suit?
The Emma mattress is the best mattress for anyone who is a self-proclaimed memory foam mattress fan. In our opinion, it's the best pick for those who tend to move lots in their sleep.

What is the Emma like to sleep on?
There pretty much nothing we don’t like about this mattress. It’s easy to switch positions, and comfortable in whichever position you favour for that matter. We’d rate it towards the firmer end of medium, but it’s certainly not rock solid. The mattress is evenly supportive across the entire surface, so there’s plenty of room to spread out. 

Special features?
The breathable, removable top cover can be washed at 60 degrees, which is going to bust dirt better than the standard 40 degrees. Handles make it easier to manoeuvre.

Fillings?
Three layers of foam. The top layer is an elastic foam called Airgocell, which brings you pressure relief. The memory foam layer is next and, like all memory foam, keeps you comfortable in any position. The base is made from Cold Foam that supports the above layers, as well as you. 

What do you get for your money?
A 100-night sleep trial, no questions asked, 10-year warranty and free delivery, usually within one to three working days.

Real Homes rating 5 out of 5 stars

Nectar mattressReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Nectar)

Best memory foam mattress with the longest trial and guarantee

Specifications
Size: Single–super-king
Depth: 25cm
Type: Memory foam
Comfort grade: Medium-firm
Reasons to buy
+Medium firm for firmness+Good motion transfer+Good breathability+365 night trial+Forever guarantee
Reasons to avoid
-No handles-Too hard for some side sleepers

Securing our vote for the best memory foam mattress for bad backs, the Nectar mattress won't lose its firmness even after a whole year's use.

Who will the Nectar mattress suit?
The Nectar mattress will be loved by anyone looking for a completely risk-free experience and decent memory foam mattress at a fair price.

What's the Nectar Mattress like to sleep on?
Thanks to its memory foam filling, the Nectar Mattress will make your joints feel cushioned from night one. With regards to motion transfer, the Nectar is as good as any memory foam, and if sliding into your other half during the night is a massive bug-bear, this is the best find for you. On the firmness front, the Nectar is rated 5.5–7.5 on the website, which the company claims is 'just right'. It's also not too firm – nobody wants a mattress that is too firm, trust us.

Special features?
It has an Adaptive Cooling Cover designed to draw away heat from your body and circulate fresh air every time you move. Also, look out for special offers on the Nectar website, such as free pillows or £100 off – they seem to be pretty much ongoing.

Fillings?
There’s nothing especially unusual about the Nectar’s construction but, as mentioned, it is reassuringly heavy, which is always a sign of quality. It features a decent layer of proper memory foam which is nicely aerated, and then pressure relieving foam that deals with contouring to your curvy bits. Finally the seven-zone base foam provides more contoured support plus depth. 

What do you get for your money?
The Nectar comes with an unprecedented 365-night trial period. And, if that’s not enough for you, it also comes with a Forever Guarantee. 

Real Homes rating 5 out of 5 stars

Casper memory foam mattressReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Casper)

The best foam mattress with a medium - firm comfort

Specifications
Size: Single - super king
Depth: 24cm
Type: Comfort foam/memory foam
Firmness: Medium
Reasons to buy
+Cool, comfy foam+Good for all sleep positions+Good for motion transfer+Comes in a box
Reasons to avoid
-Usual chemical smell when you unpack it, but it will fade

This foam mattress scores big on comfort and coolness and is bound to be loved by ANY sleeper who suffers from joint pain.  

What is the Casper like to sleep on? 
It's softer than any other memory foam on the market, which makes it a good option for all sleepers who need some relief. During use, you'll notice that your hips and shoulders sink lower than the rest of your torso, to ensure an ergonomically aligned spine. There is little motion transfer. And best of all? The cooling layer! It's breathable, which again aids in that undisturbed sleep we previously discussed. The majorly of Amazon's reviewers thrilled with their purchase, revealing that they love how fresh and revived they wake up each morning. 

Are there any special features to consider?
Every mattress offers a top cover that can seamlessly zip on and off when you're looking to give your topper a deep clean. It can be machine washed at 40°C, which is useful if you've forgotten to put on a mattress protector.

What type of materials are used?
This model features a four-layer mattress that is tucked neatly away within a softcover. The top layer is an open-cell foam that provides immediate bounce and cooling properties. Next, there is a high-density memory foam layer that is there to support your pressure points. The Transition Layer deals with even weight distribution, and the final layer acts as a supportive base that helps keep everything stable. Together, all four layers are there to provide sleepers with their best night's sleep ever. 

Is there any shipping or warranty included?
You'll receive a 10-year limited warranty, free delivery, and returns, plus stellar customer service. 

Real Homes rating 5 out of 5 stars

eve The MattressReal Homes Rated Gold badge

Best memory layered foam mattress with cosiness and cushioning

Specifications
Size: Single to Euro king
Depth: 25cm
Type: Comfort foam / memory foam
Comfort grade: Soft
Reasons to buy
+Breathable foam +Good for neck and back pain +100-night trial 
Reasons to avoid
-Chemical odour

With lovely and thick memory foam, and moisture-wicking fabric, even the most restless of sleepers will enjoy a good nights sleep on this mattress.

Who will the eve mattress suit?
Aimed at the masses, this is a one-size-fits-all sleeping solution (though we found it most comfortable on our backs).

What is the eve mattress like to sleep on?
Once you have got your head around the bounce-less solidity of memory foam (which takes a couple of nights), the eve mattress will treat you to really decent, undisturbed sleep. Ranging on the firmer side of medium, maybe even forget the word medium completely, the eve is particularly popular with those who like to sleep on top of their mattress, rather than in it. Online reviews suggest you will have ‘the Best Sleep Ever’, and while we might not go quite that far, the Eve definitely out-performs some of the other bed-in-a-box memory foams we have tried. If you sleep on your back, this is the best memory foam mattress for you.

Special features?
The top cover, which zips off for washing, is made from moisture-wicking fabric for a cool night’s sleep. 

Fillings?
From the top; a 3.5cm thick open-cell hybrid foam offers maximum breathability, then there’s a 3cm layer of memory foam for contoured support, and a 17.5cm thick base layer, again foam, that’s sliced into zones to target key body areas. 

What do you get for your money?
A 10-year guarantee, free delivery and free, no-fuss returns after 100 days. 

Real Homes rating 5 out of 5 stars

Silentnight 3 Zone Memory Foam MattressReal Homes Rated Gold badge

Best memory foam mattress for those on a budget

Specifications
Size: Single to Super king
Depth: 18cm
Type: : Memory foam
Comfort grade: Medium
Reasons to buy
+Cheaper than chips +Light to transport+European (ie, Ikea sizes available)
Reasons to avoid
-Tad skinny-No handles

Delivered in a vacuum-packed roll, not in a box like the other top memory foam mattresses, the UK-made Silentnight mattress is a brilliant enter-level mattress which is still easy to transport.

Who will the Silentnight memory mattress suit?
Anyone seeking no-nonsense targeted support for decent spine alignment. 

What is the 3-Zone Memory like to sleep on? 
A dearth of readies doesn’t necessarily equal a poor night’s sleep. This budget option from Silentnight is award winning, namely a Best Buy from Which?. The consumer testing behemoths have decreed that you can expect a well-supported back, and minimal motion transfer (so no painful tweaks when your partner bounces into bed). In fact Which? says, for memory foam, it’s 'one of the best we’ve seen'. Over at Very.co.uk, customers seem similarly smitten, rating this mattress 4.5/5 on quality, value and comfort. Silentnight rates it medium for firmness but, reading many reviews, it appears to be on the softer side of medium in reality. The best memory foam mattress if you're on a budget, we think.

Special features?
The foam layers are treated with Purotex, which combines five natural bacterias known for their dust mite-busting powers. A soft-knit cover provides extra comfort. 

Fillings?
The top ‘comfort layer’ is memory foam, and the base layer is Silentnight’s proprietary Miratex foam core, which offers soft support for your shoulders, going firmer for hips and lower back. Just two layers is fairly pared-back compared to modern memory foams and there’s less focus on breathability and airflow so be a little wary if you tend to sleep hot.

What do you get for your money?
Free UK delivery, five-year guarantee and a 60-night comfort trial. It’s part of Silentnight’s Mattress Now range, which means it’s wrapped up small enough to pop in the boot of your car should you want to drive to an actual shop to buy one. 

Real Homes verdict 4.5 out of 5 stars

Tempur mattressReal Homes Rated Silver Badge

(Image credit: Tempur)

Best luxury memory foam mattress

Specifications
Size: Small single to Super king
Depth: 25cm
Type: : Memory foam
Comfort grade: Medium
Reasons to buy
+Offers 25cm of comfort +Medium firmness+Good motion transfer
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

If you've got the budget, this Tempur mattress is our runner-up. Since 1991 Tempur have been bringing memory foam into our homes and changing the way we sleep inevitably. It got high marks in our review and, no matter how you sleep, we're confident you'll enjoy it as much as we did.

Who will the Tempur mattress suit?
Side-sleepers with or without backache or muscle pain.

What is the Tempur mattress like to sleep on?
The Tempur didn’t feel like the other memory foam mattresses we’ve tested: the longer you lay prone, the deeper you sink, but subtly. The bonus of being a bit sinky is that the Tempur Sensation Elite scored really well on motion transfer. There just wasn’t any, end of story. Tempur grades this mattress medium for firmness, and that’s a fair assessment. Posture – which is all about body support – is where the Tempur comes into its own and why we have rated it the best for side-sleepers. During testing, we noticed that our shoulders and hips felt comfortably supported, contoured by the mattress, and we woke feeling fresh and ache-free. In our opinion, this is the best memory foam mattress for those who suffer with back pain.

Special features?
The material becomes softer and more malleable in warmer areas, essentially where it comes into contact with your body temperature, and remains firmer in cooler areas – hence the body hugging appeal. 

Fillings?
On top, there's 3cm of comfort material, below 4cm of support material, below that 4cm of dynamic support, and lastly 14cm of DuraBase technology. We don't know what that is but it sure works.

What do you get for your money?
A 100-night sleep trial, 10-year warranty, free delivery and free returns. You can also get up to two years’ interest free credit – you’re probably going to need it! 

Real Homes rating 4 out of 5 stars

Ikea morgedal mattress

(Image credit: Ikea)

7. Ikea Morgedal Mattress

Best Ikea foam mattress

Specifications
Size: Standard single–king and 140 x 200cm / 160 x 200cm
Depth: 18cm
Type: Foam
Comfort grade: Medium
Reasons to buy
+Cover can be taken off to clean+Relieves pressure on your shoulders and hips+Medium firmness+Has handles so you can easily move the mattress
Reasons to avoid
-No cool features, pretty basic

We couldn't not have an Ikea mattress in our foam mattress roundup, and we've opted for the Morgedal. 

Who will the IKEA MORGEDAL suit?
It'll suit anyone who suffers from aches and pains around the top of their body. It's also another good budget option worth considering. If you're looking for something easy and affordable then this is it.

What's the IKEA MORGEDAL like to sleep on?
Arriving rolled, this one can take up to a few days to fully inflate but as a whole it is super comfortable, with very limited motion transfer.

Special features?
There's nothing particularly special about it but the cover of the mattress can be taken off and washed in the washing machine.

Fillings?
Foam, foam and more foam.

What do you get for your money?
There's a 90-day trial period and it has a 25 year guarantee, which is always helpful.

How to buy the best memory foam mattress

When looking to buy a memory foam mattress, whether it's new to you or it's a replacement mattress, it's an investment you need to get right. Here are a couple of things to consider when looking through your best options:

Firmness
Memory foam mattresses are designed to mould to your body shape to give you incredible support. This makes them, in our hard won experience, brilliant for relieving back pain, joint aches and shoulder discomfort, especially if you sleep on your side. Because of this, all the memory foam mattresses we've tested and rated are of medium to soft. So, if you like a firm or hard mattress, these will take a little getting used to. But don't confuse 'medium to soft' with 'squishy' or 'non-supportive' – memory foam cups your body where it needs it. It's worth, too, investigating our pick of the best mattress for side sleepers to help you hone your choice – it includes hybrid mattresses, too, which will appeal to memory foam fans.

Sweaty sleeper?
The newest memory foam mattresses are much better than those first brought to the market 10 to 15 years ago, and are designed to be cooler to sleep on than older models. If you tend to get hot easily at night, consider a latex foam or one that features added ventilation to maximise air circulation and heat distribution. 

Or, if you've bought a memory foam mattress and are finding that you're overheating at night, and are beyond your free trial, no quibbles return period, take a look at our best cooling mattress pads to keep you cooler.

Which is the best memory foam mattress 2021?

Let's recap...if you want to buy the best mattress on the market right now (in our opinion), we can highly recommend you buy the Emma mattress. This is a medium–firm people pleaser which is complete with memory foam (the second of three incredible layers of foam) and zoned support to keep even the most fidgety of sleepers truly content. It's available in all sizes, from a single to a super-king, but as it sports great motion transfer and optimal temperature control, this is ideal for couples too. 

Got more budget? It's not the cheapest memory foam mattress, but if you suffer with a bad back, and even if you don't, the Tempur Sensation Elite 25 memory foam mattress will fit the bill nicely: it provides brilliant levels of support and relief for your pressure points, excellent alignment and it's second to none on motion transfer. 

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Jennifer Oksien
Jennifer Oksien

After returning to Future Publishing in February 2020, Jennifer has been working on our appliance and mattress content to showcase the best in class examples which are available to buy for your homes. When she is not scouring the web for deals or reviewing products for your pursuit, she can be found hanging out with our three guinea pigs in her Victorian terraced home which she has lovingly (patiently) been renovating with her husband over the past few years. Jennifer also likes tea and homemade cake, very much.

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