We’ve rated each mattress we reviewed in all the most important categories. That information can be found in each review, but to help you make an informed choice we’ve also brought it all together in a handy comparison chart.
#1 Sleep Innovations SureTemp
As our #1 choice, there was some clear love from customers for this mattress. Incredibly comfortable and backed by a 20-year warranty. The current price point on Amazon made these mattresses an offer we couldn’t refuse.
|Thickness||Amazon Page||Our Review|
|Sleep Innovations 8-inch thick mattress||Click Here||Review|
|Sleep Innovations 10-inch thick mattress||Click Here||Review|
|Sleep Innovations 12-inch thick mattress||Click Here||Review|
#2 LUCID by LinenSpa
A lot of customers love LUCID’s firm comfort, solid construction, and unbeatable price point. We ranked this choice #2 as we thought Sleep Innovations beat it slightly in the comfort category. Dollar for dollar it was a close matchup. Another nice plus is that LinenSpa stands behind this product with an unmatched 25-year warranty.
|Thickness||Amazon Page||Our Review|
|LUCID 8 inch thick mattress||Click Here||Review|
|LUCID 10 inch thick mattress||Click Here||Review|
|LUCID 12 inch thick mattress||Click Here||Review|
#3 Serta Gel Memory Foam
Customers love this mattress, but for the price, you’d be better off going with one of the choices above. This mattress is comfortable, has a solid construction, but again – the price tag is a bit higher than we cared for.
|Thickness||Amazon Page||Our Review|
|Serta Gel 10 inch thick Mattress||Click Here||Review|
|Serta Gel 12 inch thick mattress||Click Here||Review|
Why Buy Memory Foam?
The key to a good night’s sleep is a quality mattress. It provides support and cushioning, giving you a comfortable surface that’s soft and yielding but at the same time holds your body in the optimum position to prevent aches and pains. Over the centuries many materials have been used for mattresses, from simple sacks stuffed with straw to expensive horsehair or even feathers. For a long time, the market has been dominated by spring mattresses, which are effective and are available at a wide range of price points. Memory foam is a more modern innovation and has many advantages, but until recently it’s also been extremely expensive. Now prices are falling, making it a realistic alternative for most people. How do these mattresses stack up against their traditional rivals?
An innerspring mattress, as the name suggests, uses metal springs to provide support. There are various ways of assembling these; some mattresses use a large number of individual springs fastened together with wire, while others use a single continuous length of wire to form all the springs. Either way, the result is essentially a lightweight cage. The degree of yield in the core can be adjusted by using different thicknesses of wire for the springs. To make it more comfortable sheets of padding are fitted to the top and bottom, and a fabric cover surrounds the whole structure.
Memory foam mattresses are simpler. They’re made of two layers of foam, with an upper layer of visco-elastic foam – which conforms to the shape of your body – over a firmer base. The level of support can be adjusted by changing the thickness and density of the layers. Again padding and a cover are added to complete the mattress.
When you first lie on them it can be hard to tell the difference between spring and memory foam mattresses; if they’re good quality both will have about the same degree of resistance and yield, and you’ll feel your body sink into the surface just enough to be comfortable. Long term use will start to show some differences though.
The springs in a traditional mattress don’t just compress to shape themselves to your body; they push back against your weight. That can become uncomfortable, and it’s especially bad if you have any muscular or skeletal issues. The force of the springs can make the condition worse and cause pain. It can also cause pressure points, interfering with blood circulation. The result is that you’ll toss and turn in a constant search for a comfortable posture, rather than getting an uninterrupted night’s sleep.
A memory foam mattress works differently. Because the upper layer molds itself to the shape of your body in response to heat and pressure there isn’t any resistance, so you settle into a natural sleeping position and benefit from good sleep.
There are two potential comfort issues with older memory spring mattresses. Because the upper layer shapes itself to you if you do move the effect can be a depression in the mattress. Manufacturers have dealt with this by developing new rapid response foams that spring back into shape very quickly when the pressure is removed. Early memory foam mattresses also gained a reputation for being very warm to sleep on, which was occasionally a problem in hot weather. Again this has been dealt with; newer ones have micro-perforations to allow airflow, or include heat-dissipating gels in the foam mixture.
Steel wire is a very tough material, so innerspring mattresses should in theory be extremely durable, but in fact, they do have weaknesses. The springs can sag over time, losing their springiness and staying permanently in a compressed position. Usually, some sagging is noticeable after as little as one year. A more common problem is to wear. The ends of the springs gradually wear through the padding, reducing the comfort of the mattress. In very old mattresses the springs can often be felt through the cover. Given enough time they will wear through that as well, creating a snag hazard from the exposed wire. The mattress is usually thrown away before this point though, as it becomes almost impossible to sleep on. The typical life of a spring mattress is anywhere from five to ten years.
Memory foam mattresses are much more durable and long-lasting. Some types of foam may shrink slightly as they get older, but with modern materials the effect is tiny. Foam mattresses should be properly aired twice a year, but if this is done they last extremely well. Most memory foam mattresses come with a 20-year warranty and they may be used for even longer than this.
Traditionally spring mattresses have been cheaper than other types. It’s a well-developed technology and these mattresses are made in huge numbers, allowing economies of scale to take effect. The raw materials are also extremely cheap.
Until recently memory foam mattresses cost several times as much as a spring one, but as production volumes increase and new foams are developed the price has been steadily falling. You can now get one for about the same price as a good spring model. That doesn’t mean they’re equally economical though. Remember that a spring mattress will need to replace two to four times as often as a foam one. In the long term memory foam is a much cheaper option.
A good innerspring mattress can work well, but when you compare the different types in detail it becomes clear that memory foam beats it in every department. With greater comfort, longer life, and better value for money, foam is simply the best choice. Even if it costs a little more upfront it will save you money within a few years, as well as giving you a better night’s sleep.