Best Memory Foam Mattress

Earlier we provided an entire write up about memory foam mattresses in our memory foam mattress buying guide.  The guide will give you move information about these special types of bed to help you decide if they are the right purchase for you and to see if they will fit into your budget.

Memory foam is by far the best mattress for back pain.  They help people that have issues with insomnia, firbromyalgia and sleep apnea.  There is no wonder you are looking to buy one of these soon.

The Best Memory Foam Mattress Brand

There are so many companies that have now moved into this industry that it is hard to tell who actually makes the best memory foam mattresses.  There is some research involved to find the best brands, but when it comes to the best mattress, it starts to become a matter of personal preference and needs.

The Best Memory Foam Mattresses for People with Back Pain

If you are suffering from upper or lower back pain, most memory foam beds should be able to help you alleviate some pain.  The best mattresses for back pain sufferers is usually higher density memory foam.  These beds are much heavier and have less immediate give than the more affordable mattresses.  They do a much better job at providing full support without allowing your body to shift into a poor position.

The Best Memory Foam Mattresses for Budget Shoppers

Some people will go straight to Costco or Sam’s Club to get a cheap memory foam mattress.  The deals are great, at first, but these mattresses are usually made of poor materials that break down quickly.  You should focus on getting a mattress that is made in America due to the higher manufacturing regulations and make sure you find a review site for the beds.

Memory Foam Toppers

A memory foam topper is a great idea for people interested in getting some of the benefits of a memory foam mattress without having to take on the high price tag of the bed.  These are only a fraction of the price and usually pretty easy to find.

Memory foam can get pretty expensive, so a lot of people opt for these mattress alternatives for that reason alone.  Others get them just because of their conveniences and other uses.

What is a Topper?

You might remember those “egg carton” tops that people used to, or still do, put on top of their mattress.  These egg crate toppers would make a stiff bed feel a little softer.  Rather than going out and buying a brand new, expensive mattress, you could spend a few bucks and throw one of these under your sheets to almost feel like you have a new bed.

Now, there are other options to the egg grate foam toppers.  The most common alternative to an egg crate topper would be memory foam.  Memory foam is a little more expensive, but provides more benefits and is more versatile.

The topper simply goes on top of the mattress then stays in place under your fitted sheets.

What is Memory Foam

This topic is covered at length in the memory foam buying guide.  Simply put, memory foam is a viscoelastic foam that responds both to your body heat and gravity, molding to your body when you sit or lay on it.  Memory foam has been known to help people who have bad backs, fibromyalgia, allergies to dust mites and insomnia.

Other Uses for a Memory Foam Topper


Say you don’t feel like sleeping on the ground or bringing a blow up mattress with you to camp.  You can roll up a memory foam topper, stuff it in a box and have a soft cushion to sleep on, while outdoors.  The material is dense enough to give you support.


You might not trust a hotel mattress.  I sure don’t.  Too many times I have been stuck with a stiff bed that left me hurting in the morning and not feeling rested enough.  You can stuff a topper in your suitcase and bring it along with you to throw on top of your hotel bed.

Memory Foam Mattress Buying Guide

Memory foam mattresses have been around for several decades now.  Early adopters spent thousands of dollars on Tempurpedic mattresses because of the many benefits that memory foam offers to you, but now there are plenty of Tempurpedic alternatives that are much more affordable and similar in quality.

These “new” mattresses are known to be some of the best mattresses for lower back pain that can give you a much more restful sleep.

About Memory Foam

Memory foam itself was created by NASA engineers.  They did not create the material with the idea of creating a mattress, but rather as a new seat cushion for planes. They invented this in the 1970′s to provide more comfort as well as safety in a crash landing.  The product then was known as “temper foam” and was not released to the public until 1980. - Top 10 NASA Inventions – Memory Foam

Memory Foam Benefits

Memory foam will have give and mold under pressure and heat, but only in localized areas.  This means that the mattress will soften under specific pressure points that your body has on the bed, relieving stress and therefore decreasing pains and discomforts while you are lying down.

Benefits that have been associated with sleeping on a memory foam mattress include:

  • Decreased back pain
  • Less sleep needed
  • More energy during the day
  • Awakening less in your sleep
  • Undisturbed sleep when sharing a bed


These mattresses are always graded with different “memory foam densities.”  Density is basically how much memory foam is condensed into each square inch of mattress.  Lower density memory foam mattresses will have a lot more give than higher density.  Too high of a density and the mattress will be stiff and uncomfortable.

Guidelines for choosing memory foam density:

  • 4lb and under – Too soft
  • 5.3lb – Good
  • 8lb. – Best
  • Over 9lb – Too stiff

Memory Foam vs. Coil Spring Mattresses

Coil mattresses are the oldest form of mattress currently sold in a mattress store.  These inner spring mattresses are built with metal coils throughout the middle of the mattress that give a springy feeling and allows some give while you lay on the mattress.  These beds are the cheapest available, but don’t provide the support or benefits of memory foam.  The only benefit of innerspring mattresses over memory foam would be the bounce, if that is what you like.

See our inner spring mattress buying guide.

Memory Foam vs. Latex Mattresses

Latex mattresses are a newer form of bedding that is gaining popularity quickly.  They provide a lot of the same benefits as memory foam (decreased back pain, better sleep, more daytime energy, etc.)  When shopping for a latex mattress, be wary about the smell.  They often have a chemical smell (it is latex!).  There are green latex mattresses made of eco friendly materials that don’t smell though, but these are more expensive.  Latex mattresses are also heavier than memory foam on most occasions.  They provide a “bouncier” feel, but not the bounce of a coil mattress.

See our Latex mattress buying guide.


If you are looking for a memory foam mattress, you should immediately check out testimonials on the companies’ websites that you visit.  You want to be sure that other people that were looking for a mattress with similar needs had their needs met.  You also want to check to make sure there are no problems with the mattresses that any particular company has to offer.  After you check out the website testimonials, head to the Better Business Bureau for more objective views.


Spring mattresses needed to have a box spring, or a foundation with them.  Most people are used to getting these with their mattresses, but they aren’t necessary for a memory foam mattress. There is nothing specific that you need for your mattress, so long as it can support the bed.  You can use an old box spring, platform bed, plywood or even just lay it on the floor.

Sleep Test Trial

You never really know how a bed will work out for you unless you really try it out.  Simply lying on a bed in a store like Sleepy’s is not going to be enough for you.  It takes more than a few minutes of sampling a mattress to know how you will sleep on it.  Actually, it will take you several nights.

Make sure that whatever company you go with, you are offered a sleep trial.  Also, make sure you give the sleep trial enough time to make sure that the mattress works for you.  Many people will take a week or two to adjust to a new mattress.  That means you shouldn’t give up after a few days of bad rest.  Give it the full trial and then judge it from there.

Best Mattresses for Lower Back Pain

Oftentimes, people will overlook their mattresses at being the culprit for their lower back pain.  Your bed is where you spend about a third of your life.  It only makes sense that if you have the wrong mattress, something will go wrong with your body during that exorbitant amount of time.

You can go to a back specialist or a chiropractor to treat back problems and maybe get to the cause of it, but a lot of the time you can just look at your mattress.  We have all seen the commercials for these beds that prevent and cure back pain, but are they the fix for you?

Is Your Bed Causing Back Pain?

Mattress-for-Lower-Back-PainIf you have an older coil (inner-spring) mattress, check it in the middle to see if it is dipping into itself.  This is an easy tell to see if your bed is the reason you are aching all day.  Your spine should be able to rest in a straight line while you are sleeping.  With a sagging mattress, your spine is bent in an unnatural position all night.  This ultimately leads to back pains and further problems into your life time.

If you don’t have a sagging mattress, feel how soft your bed is.  If it is “plush”, then you might have a problem with your bed having to much give.  This is another scenario where you will find yourself sleeping with your spine out of position all night long.

If neither of these are the case, you should probably speak to your doctor to find out if there is a deeper issue involved.

What is the Best Mattress for Low Back Pain

There is no single best mattress out there for your back pain.  There are a few options that you should consider, namely memory foam and latex mattresses.  Both of these beds have been shown to be a great benefit to people suffering from back pain, fibromyalgia and insomnia.

Both of these kinds of beds are great for people with back pain.  Figuring out which one you should get will be a matter of preference.

Memory Foam Mattresses

The technology for memory foam mattresses originated with a NASA test for new materials for astronauts in space.  The original plans for the material were scrapped, but they ended up creating a great new product, one that they didn’t know what to do with.

Tempurpedic was the first company to adopt the use of memory foam for consumer use.  They created a mattress out of if that was firm, yet had the ability to contour to the shape of a person’s body.  The technology to create these beds has changed over the year bringing higher quality mattresses for lower prices.

Check out our Memory Foam Mattress Buying Guide

Latex Mattresses

The use of latex in our bedding is a newer trend.  Using two different types of technology to set the molds, mattress manufacturers have been able to make affordable latex mattresses that customers love.

Latex mattresses have most of the same benefits as memory foam mattresses, plus they are usually lighter and have a bouncier feel to them.  Some people will prefer the extra lift while others will be more inclined to sleep on a memory foam bed.

Check out our Latex Foam Mattress Buying Guide

Which Should You Buy?

Both latex and memory foam mattresses can help you out with your back pains.  You should first consult your doctor to see if there are any serious problems with your back before making the change.

Choosing between memory foam and latex will be up to you and your preferences.  You can feel how both of them are in a showroom, and then we recommend you shop for a mattress online.  Look for a mattress with a 60-90 day sleep trial so that you can really test out the mattress and see if you like it and if it helps your lower back pain.  If you don’t like it, then you can return the mattress for a full refund with your sleeping trial.

Cheaper Tempurpedic Alternatives

One thing that I learned a long time ago, it is that you do not need to get a Tempurpedic mattress if you are looking for a good memory foam bed. Tempurpedic is a name brand and uses that name brand to charge a premium.

You can actually get a similar quality memory foam mattress for half the price if you go to the right places.  Most American made memory foam mattresses are comparable, and a fraction of the price.

Why is Tempurpedic more expensive?

Tempurpedic was the first company to come out with memory foam mattresses.  They took the technology that was developed by NASA and made a bed out of it.  At the time the mattresses originally came out, they were able to charge a lot of money as they were the only ones in the industry.

As time went on, competitors showed up.  Tempurpedic did have to drop prices a bit to compete, but they kept their prices up higher because they were the name brand.  It is like buying Nike shoes over another pair of more comfortable sneakers just because it has the “swoosh” on it.

What to look for in your Tempurpedic alternative

I feel that shopping for a mattress online is a great option.  This applies to buying a mattress online and buying one in a store.

If you buy a mattress online, make sure there is free shipping (both ways).  This way you can return the mattress without a major problem.  It can be expensive for a normal person without a frieght shipping account to ship a mattress anywhere.

Regardless of where you buy the mattress, you have to be sure you are getting at least a 30 day sleep trial.  You never know how well you will sleep on a bed from just laying on it in a store for a few minutes, or even for a week at your home.  It takes a couple weeks to adjust to a new mattress, even if its the best mattress ever.