We gave the Purple Mattress a second-look that was more lab-test-heavy to bring it up to speed. Up next in our testing: Lucid.
When you think about mattress materials, the first thing that comes to mind may be “memory foam.” Everyone seems to remember those cheesy mattress commercials where someone jumps on one side of a bed and a wine glass balanced on the other hardly teeters just feet away. Memory foam's ubiquity means it's often used as a catchall term for a variety of foam mattresses—which range from latex to, well, foam without memory. We test all types of mattresses in a box here at Reviewed and, sure enough, many of those are solid foam and/or contain memory foam. Given that foams lend a different sleep sensation than traditional innerspring or hybrid mattresses, we included all of the foam mattresses we've tested in this roundup.
If you're searching for the classic enveloping memory-foam feeling, the Nectar Mattress(available at Nectar) is our top pick. If you prefer a floating-but-lightly-cushioned foam sensation, the Tuft & Needle Original (available at Tuft & Needle) is a better pick.
These are the best foam and memory foam mattresses we tested ranked, in order:
Tuft & Needle Original
Cocoon Chill by Sealy
Zinus Green Tea Mattress
Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.
Nectar was previously our top pick across all types of mattresses, but after retesting it according to our updated rubric and scoring, it slipped a bit in our overall rankings. Nonetheless, it remains high on our list, and is our top-performing memory foam mattress.
When our recent tester tried the Nectar Mattress, it was immediately apparent to her that it was made of memory foam: The surface is ultra-soft with that sink-in sensation. For side sleepers looking for a cushy surface that eliminates strain or pain on the shoulder or hip, it could be the perfect choice. Indeed, our tester found the Nectar's uber-plush, compressive surface felt better when she slept on her side, as it allowed her shoulder and hip to sink in without any bothersome pressure points.
Still, she noted it may be too soft for some sleepers (which is how—spoiler alert—it lost our overall top spot to the Tuft & Needle Original in our tests). While the Nectar Mattress was never uncomfortable for our tester, she didn't find it the most supportive. She couldn’t lie or sit on the bed while awake without frequently shifting positions, and her lower back felt a little strain whenever she tried to sleep on her stomach. The marshmallow-like texture also means that it’s a bit harder to roll around on the mattress without feeling mired—as most people aren’t stationary all night, this could disrupt sleep. (But that's part of what you sign up for when you buy memory foam.)
In lab testing, the Nectar Mattress was great at dissipating heat, though it felt warm to our tester a couple of the nights she slept on it. The Nectar Mattress also lacks edge support. Though it’s got better structure than some other options on this list, it tends to cave under pressure. This makes it less than ideal for folks who sleep near the edge of the bed, especially if they thrash around, as we think it could cause them to roll off—or wake with a start if they feel like they might—in the middle of the night.
Nectar has one of the most generous trial periods of all mattresses: a full 365 days. However, it bears noting that Nectar's customer service record is not spotless. The company has hundreds of complaints with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)—more than 1,000 from the past year alone, and another 1,600 from the previous three years. Many recent complaints describe problems with delivery and shipping, and highlight issues contacting customer service. In response to our email inquiry, a Nectar representative attributed shipping delays to COVID. (We will monitor the BBB site for signs of improvement and update this review accordingly.)
Mattress materials: Three layers of foam: From the top, a one-inch “fast-recovery” gel memory foam, then a three-inch memory foam layer with “medical-grade” cooling, and beneath, a high-density base foam layer for support.
Delivery and packaging: Front-door drop-off, two to three days after placing an order. A queen-size mattress arrives in a box measuring 44 inches by 16 inches by 16 inches and weighing about 65 pounds.
Trial period: 365 nights.
Return protocol: Nectar helps you coordinate donation or local disposal.
Though the Tuft & Needle Original isn't made of memory foam—it contains two types of foam that were specially designed by the company—it is our favorite of all the foam mattresses we've tested. If you're looking for the sink-in sensation memory foam provides, the Tuft & Needle Original isn't for you. But if you're here because you like the dense-but-buoyant feel of foam beds, we don't think you can go wrong with this one. (After all, it was the one foam mattress out of the dozen beds tested at home that our tester was sad to see toted away.)
The lack of memory foam in the Tuft & Needle Original is an intentional choice, a rep told us. The company wanted to design a sleep surface that lent the sensation of floating on the mattress. At first, our tester thought it felt a bit too firm, but night after night, within a few minutes of lying down, the mattress softened and adjusted to her body weight, providing cushioned support no matter what position she slept in. It has the right amount of give to cushion pressure points, even while side sleeping, and she relished the sensation that, indeed, she would liken to floating. Stomach and back sleepers, who have a greater propensity for spinal alignment woes than side sleepers, should also find the mattress allows them to sleep without noticing any strain or soreness because of how supportive it is.
The mattress’s firmness has another upshot: The edges don't collapse under weight like those of many other foam mattresses we’ve tested. They still compressed under pressure when our tester sat right on the corner and edge, but while lying down and scooched over to the mattress’s perimeter, or wriggling around a bit, she didn’t feel as though a tumble was imminent.
After our first round of testing in 2018, the Tuft & Needle Original was dubbed our “Best Value” pick because it carries an unbeatable price. It's still true: Even at discounted rates, most other mattresses we’ve tested won't ring up for less than the Tuft & Needle Original at its full retail price. T&N has sales, too, and while not as substantive as those of other brands, you can still get a mattress at a 10% or 15% discount, which you’ll find out about if you sign up for the brand's marketing emails.
The Tuft & Needle Original isn’t without a couple of downsides. In lab testing, the mattress retained some heat, a common issue with all-foam mattresses, though it was far from the worst performer in this regard. Perhaps more telling, our tester didn’t find it warm when she tested it in the dead of winter in her uncontrollably heated apartment.
Some sleepers may find the Tuft & Needle Original's non-memory surface too firm. But experts say people are better off erring on the firmer side as it’s easy to add a mattress topper or something to provide a bit of cushion—rather than a mattress that’s too soft, which is far harder (if not impossible) to remedy.
At the end of the day (and, of course, overnight), we think that Tuft & Needle Original is an incredible foam bed. It balances supportiveness with just enough surface give to work well for all sleep positions—at a price that works well for most budgets.
Mattress materials: Two layers of foam: on top, a soft layer infused with cooling gel and graphite, and beneath, a thicker layer for support.
Delivery and packaging: Front-door drop-off. A queen-size arrives in a box measuring 44 inches by 16 inches by 16 inches and weighing about 72 pounds.
Trial period: 100 nights.
Return protocol: Tuft & Needle coordinates pickup with a local charity or nonprofit, free of charge.
I’m Lindsey Vickers, the sleep writer here at Reviewed. I’m the lead mattress tester, but not the only one. Health and fitness editor Sara Hendricks conducts at-home sleep testing and former editors Jessica Teich and Samantha Gordon also contributed to this guide.
Though we’ve covered different subjects, we have one thing in common: We all have an extra-special place in our hearts for naps, sleeping in on weekends, and all things sleep-related. When I joined Reviewed in 2020 our mattress testing started to evolve to keep up with changing attitudes towards and consumer preferences in mattresses. The growth makes it possible for us to provide you with all the information you need to pick the mattress that’s right for your life and sleep style.
We test mattresses the same way you might: We sleep on them for at least 30 nights to see how they hold up. Unlike you, though, we also subject mattresses to a series of standardized tests into our state-of-the-art labs in Cambridge, Mass. Between the at-home testing and the lab results, we gather data related the following attributes:
Comfort: Perhaps the most important part of a mattress is the comfort it provides. Of course, comfort is extremely subjective. Instead of assessing how just one tester felt on the bed in their preferred sleep position, testers considered how supported their body felt throughout the night, and in different sleep positions. They were mindful of their own sleep habits, even considering whether or not they found themselves rolling around at night to find a cooler spot on the bed and if it heated up.
Motion transfer and bounciness: We asked our testers to have another person (or sometimes a pet) join them on the mattress to see how noticeable the movement caused by a bedmate might be. For most of the mattresses, we double-checked our assessment of the mattress’s motion transfer by placing a water-filled wine glass or a Newton’s cradle (that famous desk toy with the ball bearings suspended on strings) on one side of the bed, and asking our testers to move around a bit on the opposite side. If the water spilled or the balls clacked together, we concluded the mattress would not be a good pick for a light sleeper.
In some cases, we gauged a mattress’s bounciness by jumping up and down on it like small children with energy to burn. In the lab, we drop a bowling ball onto the center of the mattress from about waist height and observes its rebound, noting how much air, if any, it gets.
Edge support: Testers assessed the support provided by the edge of the bed by observing whether the mattress edges sloped or sagged beneath their weight while lying down or sitting along the bed’s perimeter. Too-little support can be the difference between staying aloft or falling off the bed if you like to sleep near the edge, or make it difficult to put on your shoes or do other tasks while sitting on the bed's periphery.
In the lab, we do another bowling ball test specific to the edges and corners of the mattress. If the bowling ball stays in place and doesn’t roll away, or rolls off very slowly, we conclude there’s adequate edge support.
Heat retention: One of the hot-button issues in mattresses is heat retention, which is of particular concern with all-foam mattresses as the material doesn’t always “breathe.” If a mattress cannot vent or disperse your body heat quickly enough, you might be in for a warmer sleeping experience than you’d bargained for. While this could be ideal for those who sleep cold, people who sleep warm may find their sleep disrupted.
In earlier testing we used a heated blanket to assess heat retention and graphed the mattress’s temperature over time with four sensors. Now we use an infrared light bulb and two sensors, one directly beneath the light and another on an unheated part of the bed. We leave the heat lamp set at just under 100 degrees for several hours, and take the temperature in short intervals. After turning it off, we leave the sensors running. After a couple hours, we look at the data to see how long it takes for the sensor directly exposed to heat to fall back to the same temperature as the other sensor. This tells us how much time it takes the mattress to dissipate heat from the light.
Support: While you know your body’s needs best, we can give you a rough idea of the amount of support a mattress provides from testing it in someone’s home and in the lab, respectively. For at-home testing, our testers lie on their back, side, and stomach on the mattress and note whether there are gaps between their lower back and the top of the mattress, or between their body and the bed elsewhere. If gaps are present, it's unlikely that the mattress will be able to provide you with adequate support.
We use lab tests to confirm results from home testing for support. In our lab, we place a weighted barbell atop the mattress and observing how much the mattress fills in the gap between the two weights. The barbell mimics the pressure points of a side sleeper’s shoulder and hip. If the foam dramatically contours around the weight plates' points of contact, we know the mattress responds to pressure points in a localized way. If the foam or surface doesn’t indent much beneath the weight plates, we conclude the surface may not provide adequate pressure relief for comfortable side sleeping.
Memory: Some people want the enveloping memory foam experience of a mattress that conforms to the contours of their body. Typically, memory foam retains the imprint of a person’s body for a longer period of time than an old-school coil-construction mattress.
Moving and unboxing: Mattresses in a box are a beast to unpack and to move once they’re open to their full size. We asked testers to describe how difficult it was to remove each mattress from its packaging, as well as how feasible they thought it would be for someone to move that mattress by themselves once fully expanded.
Odor: Foam mattresses aren’t known for smelling like daisies, especially after they first arrive. The packaging and manufacturing processes cause chemicals to become trapped within the mattress; these smelly chemicals are released into the air once the plastic around the mattress is cut open. Testers noted the smell of the mattress when they first opened it, and again 24 hours later (the minimum time it’s recommended you let a mattress off-gas before sleeping on it).
Customer experience: We also evaluate the experience of receiving the mattresses. What was the delivery process like? How easy is it to unbox and unfurl the mattress? How long are the trial periods and the warranties? How seamless is the return process? When our testers chatted with customer service reps to inquire about technical specs or returns, they noted things including how knowledgeable and helpful the reps were to the ease of getting things squared away.
What You Should Know About Buying Foam Mattresses
Let’s face it: Mattresses are among the more expensive home items you’ll buy. Everyone needs a bed, so you don’t have many options other than to suck it up and fork over the cash. Fortunately, a mattress can last you a decade—as long as you find one you really love to sleep on. Buying a mattress online is convenient but also challenging because you can’t touch or feel the thing before it’s at your doorstep. So where do you even begin?
First: You need to do your research. Seeing as you’re already here, you’re off to a great start! But also read expert and buyer reviews—and a lot of them. Given how much time you spend in bed and the impact that quality sleep has on our waking hours, it’s critical you weigh your options carefully. A bad night's sleep can be a literal pain in the neck or back that impacts your mood, memory, and productivity the next day (or even for months on end!). As comfort is subjective and personal, we suggest researching multiple products so you get a holistic look at your options. It’s important to keep your own preferences and set-up in mind: For instance, the tester who tried Saatva didn't like the comparatively tall 14.5-inch height of the otherwise comfortable mattress, but maybe that's exactly what you’re looking for to fit your ultra-low bed frame.
One of the best parts of the online mattress industry is that virtually all bed-in-a-box companies offer a trial period so that you can literally sleep on it. That said, it's important to take each company’s return policy into account. Some make it super-easy by retrieving the mattress free of cost, but others require you to coordinate the return, donation, or disposal of the mattress in order to receive a full refund. If you’re already wavering on whether a mattress is the right fit for you, this alone might be a deal-breaker.
Types of Foam
There are a handful of foams to understand. For example, if you’re environmentally conscious, latex may appeal to you, as it can be sourced directly from rubber trees. But it can feel firmer and more spongy than memory foam, which has that familiar sink-in sensation. Here's what you need to know:
Foam that’s made without memory can still offer some of that cushy sensation, but generally without the hugging you feeling. Foams without memory can be cooler because you’re not engulfed in the material each time you lie down. Tuft & Needle is one example of a company that opts for this type of foam. One of the main ingredients in all foams (including memory foam) is polyols, which are compounds generally derived from petroleum. That said, these mattresses may not be the best for consumers who are acutely environmentally conscientious.
Memory foam provides that classic hugging and sink-right-in sensations—as well as the potential quicksand feeling. Some companies, like Tempur-Pedic, tout that their material's pressure relieving properties make for a stellar sleep experience, but we think it depends more on your personal preferences. Back sleepers, for example, don’t always need memory foam for pressure points, whereas side sleepers are more likely to benefit from it. Though this material contours well to your body, it may feel too enveloping to some people. Its main characteristic can also contribute to its propensity for heat retention because of the large surface area your body is in contact with after you sink in. Memory foam gets its memory from a chemical compound called methylenediphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), which contributes to making it pricier, too.
Latex is also a type of foam. Latex is used by a couple of prominent companies that make environmental claims, namely Avocado and Awara (though we have yet to test their non-hybrid mattresses). These companies rely on naturally sourced latex, which they claim is better for the environment. The two main types of latex available are Talalay and Dunlop. Talalay is usually softer than Dunlop. But Dunlop takes less energy to make, as there are fewer steps in the production process.
Foam cell structure isn’t something you can see as a consumer. It just refers to the final form that the bubbles created in the foam during manufacturing take. However, it can dramatically change your experience when it comes to temperature. There are two types of foam cell structure: open and closed. Closed cell foams retain the bubbles in separated chambers, and as a result, have less space for air flow. Open cell foams, in contrast, look more like webbing as most of the bubbles pop, leaving behind an interconnected network, making it easier for air to move throughout the mattress, which can help dissipate heat. All latex foams fall into the open cell structure, which may be why companies claim they’re less prone to retaining heat. Cell structure is rather technical, and alone it won’t make or break a mattress. We’ve tested mattresses that use open cell foam and still feel warmer—though it’s worth being mindful of if you’re particularly concerned about heat retention overnight.
Questions to Ask Before Buying a Foam Mattress
Can you try the mattress in a store before you buy? Most mattresses in a box come from online-only retailers. A few brands have more options for you to check out their beds. Casper, for example, has a handful of brick-and-mortar stores where you can feel its mattresses in person. Other companies partner with specific retailers. Take Leesa, which teamed up with West Elm and Pottery Barn, so you can buy the mattress straight from these vendors and visit some of their physical locations to test it out.
What level of firmness do you want? Mattress sensations range from extra firm, almost like sleeping on a carpeted floor (or a slab of rock, depending on your preferences), to soft and squishy, like a cloud, to the oft dreaded soft-at-first but also-kinda-firm quicksand. Finding the right firmness for you is essential to getting a good night’s rest. Many of the foam mattresses we’ve tested (and even a handful of the hybrids) are softer than your traditional innerspring would be. If you’re not sure what you want, stopping by a mattress showroom to get a sense of your preferences before buying online might help. Sleep position may also be a good place to start. If you tend to prefer back or stomach sleeping, you’ll want a firmer mattress. Side sleepers, in contrast, will benefit from a softer one that cushions the potential pressure points at their hips and shoulders.
Is foam the right fit for you? Seeing as you’re here, you may have already settled on foam. But the material has a couple somewhat universal drawbacks, like heat retention. If you tend to run hot at night, or you live in an area with warmer months and no AC, it may not be your best bet. It also tends to have less inherent structure and support compared to hybrids (which combine foam and coils). Hybrids are one solid alternative for folks who feel hot-blooded at night, as the air flow through the springs allows for greater heat dissipation and will, likely, leave you feeling less stifled. There are other options off the beaten path, such as the Purple Mattress, which has a unique polymer. Each type has benefits and drawbacks.
Do you want more edge support? If you’re an active sleeper, or your bed is home to a party of more than one or two, sufficient edge support can help prevent you, a partner, the kids, and even pets from rolling overboard, foam mattresses may not be your best choice. Innerspring and some hybrid mattresses have an encasement around the bed's periphery to provide support around the edges, whereas foam is, well, just foam.
Does the mattress require a box spring or a foundation? For the most part, foam mattresses should not be used with a box spring (a fabric-covered wood frame that contains springs to increase bed buoyancy and boost up the mattress for additional height). So if that’s your current setup, and you’re looking to switch to an all-foam bed, there may be additional costs for a foundation, slats, platform, or frame involved. Specifications and set up requirements differ from brand to brand, and some foam mattresses are compatible with box springs. Just be sure to check the requirements before the mattress shows up at your door, especially as using the wrong type of base—or even slats that are too far apart, for that matter—can void your warranty. If you do need a new support system, many companies carry options that work with their mattresses.
Does the mattress require special accessories? Some mattresses are extra thick, and as such may not work well with standard sheets or bed frames. This is more of an issue with hybrids, which tend to be taller than the slimmer-profile of many solid foam options, but better safe than sorry. Too thick of a mattress may mean you have to replace your favorite sheets with a deep-pocket set or, if your bed frame isn't compatible, new furniture, which can get expensive.
Do you have (or plan to get) an adjustable base? If you have or are hoping to get a motorized adjustable base, you’ll want to buy a mattress that is compatible. Some mattresses aren’t designed to fold up and using them with a motorized adjustable could not only damage the mattress, but also void your warranty, and potentially break the base.
Other Foam and Memory Foam Mattresses We Tested
Purple is one sleep company that everyone seems to know about thanks to its pervasive advertising, and actual purple-colored products. Our tester wanted to rag on the Purple Mattress for no good reason—she was biased against it before it even showed up. But by the end of her 30-day sleep test, she was sad to see the mattress go. And even more irritated to admit her initial bias was wrong: It’s a good mattress.
The company generates a lot of hubbub about the “signature polymer grid,” which it claims remains cool and cushions pressure points without compromising on support. Our tester was skeptical of the coolness claims—lots of mattress companies make these statements, but few come through in actual testing. (After all, it's difficult to stay in one spot, radiating body heat for hours on end, and keep cool.) Nonetheless, the Purple mattress proved us wrong. Our tester never woke up feeling stifled, and no matter how much infrared we blasted at the Purple Mattress during lab tests, it didn’t heat up. It took the mattress three hours of heating to reach its highest temperature—and it was still lower than the off-peak temperatures of other mattresses we’ve tested. In other words: You’ll have a hard time getting the Purple Mattress to suck in body heat and hold onto it. It’s just not in the mattress’s nature.
Aside from sleeping cool, the Purple Mattress was surprisingly supportive and works well for a variety of sleep positions. Because of the mattress’s squishy polymer, our tester was worried about how it would fare for stomach and side sleeping. It was for naught: The bed was great for both. In the month she had it, she regularly fell asleep prone, but was also able to doze off on her side. Despite the mattress’s buoyant surface, its edge support didn’t hold up in our testing. The edges, collapsing beneath our tester when she sat on them. And when we lightly dropped a bowling ball on the bed’s periphery it didn’t just collapse—the ball almost immediately bounced off.
Our tester isn't the lone Reviewed staffer who loves Purple. Kyle Hamilton, a test technician who works in the Cambridge, Massachusetts, lab, loves his new Purple Mattress. Another recent employee swore by Purple for hip pain, too.
Kyle, however, noted one downside that our tester was also keenly aware of: The mattress is incredibly difficult to move. Our tester has put more than 10 mattresses into giant plastic bags, and moved them in and out of her bedroom solo. Moving the Purple Mattress alone was out of the question. It was simply too floppy and jiggly to go through her door upright when she first received it, so she and the mover hefted it into the room in taco form. If you’re in a permanent location, or settled within at least the same city, this is a non-issue. But if you move frequently, well, know that this mattress is impossible to move for one, and can still trigger a back ache for two—something our lab tech personally attested to about his experience moving the bed with his wife.
Overall, the cons are minimal and the upshots are tremendous. Our tester didn’t buy into the marketing hype, but after sleeping on it she can confirm it is all that—you just have to be willing to pay Purple’s premium price.
Mattress materials: Three layers: On top is a two-inch "hyper-elastic polymer" in a grid design that feels most similar to silicone. The polymer sits atop two layers of polyurethane foam that provide support and a stable base.
Delivery and packaging: Front-door drop-off. The queen arrives in a 60-inch long, 16-inch diameter plastic tube with fabric handles and weighs about 110 pounds.
Trial period: 100 nights
Return protocol: The company requires a minimum three-week trial of the mattress. If you still don’t jive with it, contact customer service via phone to begin the return process.
The Chill Mattress—a boxed mattress offering from Cocoon by Sealy, an offshoot of the well-known mattress brand—has a medium-firm feel with a tiny bit of bounce. It’s made with three layers of foam and a cotton cover that the company claims has cooling properties.
Our tester—who favors sleeping on her back or side—found that the foam’s top layer conformed to her body, while the firmer layer below came through for support. They worked together to prevent potentially uncomfortable pressure in areas like the hips or shoulders. Because there’s some sinking into the foam, the mattress holds onto a bit of body heat, but the cooling top layer seems to offset it enough that you won’t have intense night sweats. Lab tests show it retained minimal, but not zero, heat—but our tester, who tends to sleep hot, said the mattress felt cozy, not cloying and thought it wasn't a deal-breaker.
Though the mattress was comfortable and supportive for the most part, it wasn't quite as supportive for side sleeping, leaving our tester with some discomfort in her lower back on occasion. During testing, she also woke up on her stomach a few times and found it comfortable, so this mattress is probably a fine option for stomach sleepers, too.
Overall, the Chill Mattress from Cocoon by Sealy may be a great choice for someone who wants a medium-firm mattress with some cooling properties at a reasonable price. People who prefer a very soft or very firm mattress may be disappointed, as might devoted back and stomach sleepers.
Mattress materials: Foam mattress with three layers of foam —“support layer,” “comfort foam,” and memory foam—and cooling cloth cover.
Delivery and packaging: Front-door drop-off, arrives in a cardboard box that weighs about 75 pounds.
Trial period: 100 nights.
Return protocol: Contact Cocoon by Sealy and the company will arrange for the mattress to be picked up and donated to a local agency—no need to box the bed or even break a sweat.
The Puffy Lux is a great mattress, but it isn’t for everyone. For better and worse, its most notable attribute is its softness. Our tester, who is a hybrid side and stomach sleeper, enjoyed sleeping on it each night.
The mattress’s surface is responsive and has a nice amount of immediate give—it doesn’t take time to gradually contour to your form like some foams, which also means you dodge the quicksand effect. The mattress perfectly cradled our tester without making her feel as though she was sinking in too deeply. And its texture was great for almost any sleep position.
The Puffy Lux's cushy surface, however, is a double-edged sword. Though our tester loved it, others may find it too soft. Folks who have larger frames—especially those who prefer catching zzz’s lying flat on their back or face up, both positions that require more back support—may find the mattress isn’t firm enough to maintain spinal alignment, which could lead to back strain.
The mattress is made with Puffy’s “Cooling Cloud” foam material, which is a bit of a misnomer, as the company says it’s designed to keep your temperature neutral, not actually “cool” you. On the upside, our tester felt the “temperature neutral” claim held in her experience sleeping on the bed. At a minimum, the mattress never retained heat in our tester’s time with the mattress or in lab results.
The Puffy Lux is made with four layers of foam, and is still lightweight enough that our tester had no difficulty maneuvering the unfurled queen size bed through her apartment alone, making it a great option for anyone who relocates frequently.
Mattress materials: Four layers of foam—two layers of Puffy’s Cloud foam atop a piece of “climate-comfort” foam, which all sits on a supportive (also foam) base layer.
Delivery and packaging: Front-door drop-off. The Puffy comes in a box that measures 44 inches by 16 inches by 16 inches, and weighs 59 pounds.
Trial period: 101 nights
Return protocol: Mattresses must be purchased directly from Puffy, not a third party retailer, to be eligible for returns. To make a return, just email Puffy and they’ll take it from there—pick-up and all.
The first thing we noticed about the PlushBeds EcoBliss is that it’s heavy—about 129 pounds—which is surprising for an all-foam bed; even one that includes some latex (again, latex is a type of foam, but it doesn't generally have memory, like the Nectar Mattress) which likely contributes to its weight some. The box was also stapled shut, making it difficult, and even potentially a bit dangerous, to open.
On the plus side, however, the mattress didn’t require any time to expand, nor did it release any noxious off-gassing scents (a perk that mattress companies that use latex often tout).
The EcoBliss’ layers of latex and foam help it live up to its claim of medium firmness. You don’t sink into it as much as some other foam mattresses, nor do you get the springy rebound that often accompanies mattresses with coils. Our tester found it ideal for sleeping on her back and side, because the material created a cozy supportive cocooning sensation. The foam also retained some heat, but not too much.
Our testing revealed this mattress lacks edge support. The corners and edges of the mattress sink downward under weight and pressure far more than other mattresses we’ve tried. Our tester never took a tumble, but found that it was difficult to prop herself up if she wanted to read in bed because the top edge would sag dramatically as she leaned against her pillows on the wall.
Our other tester noticed this, too, when she went into the office and sat down along the foot of the bed to write an email—the mattress was so forgiving that she felt her tailbone hit the bed frame when she plunked down. It didn’t hurt, but it was funny.
The mattress holds three certifications for organic materials and components, as well as a Greenguard certification that demonstrates it won't take a significant toll on indoor air quality.
Mattress materials: Latex, foam, and cotton
Delivery and packaging: Front-door dropoff, arrives in box that weighs 129 pounds.
Trial period: 100 nights
Return protocol: You must sleep on the mattress for 30 days. If you decide you want to return it after that, box up the mattress (along with any bonus items you received with it, which must be unopened) and PlushBeds will arrange for a curbside mattress pickup.
The Tempur-Cloud is a fine mattress. It wasn't the best mattress or the worst mattress. It was just fine.
The Tempur-Cloud follows Tempur-Pedic’s legacy of all-foam mattresses. The top layer has minimal immediate give—unlike plushy foams—instead slowly molding to our tester’s body. This makes it comfortable, but also prevents the quicksand effect that plagues some memory foam mattresses.
Our tester didn’t have many complaints, but she also didn’t have anything to rave about, either. On the plus side, the Tempur-Cloud had little noticeable odor after opening and didn’t require an air-out period like most other mattresses we've tested. It was also relatively easy to move, weighing just 60 pounds and coming in a canvas bag that was well-designed with lugging in mind.
As for sleeping, the Tempur-Cloud is a mixed bag. When our tester laid on her side, she found the firm surface did not irritate common pressure points (on the hips and shoulders). Yet when she slept on her stomach, she found the Tempur-Cloud to be uncomfortable, causing strain on her lower back.
One of the biggest downsides in our tester’s experience was temperature. Tempur-Pedic claims the Tempur-Cloud is covered in a fabric that provides airflow and breathability, but our tester found that it felt as though the mattress sucked in body heat and held onto it. She tested it in the middle of summer and was not a happy camper. Lab results showed it retained a noticeable amount of heat.
Our hot take? Hot sleepers steer clear.
Mattress materials: Foam, foam, and more foam. The Tempur-Cloud is composed of a base layer of foam to provide support, topped with two layers of “tempur” material, which is a unique foam designed and made by Tempur-Pedic.
Delivery and packaging: Front door drop-off one to two weeks after you place an order. The mattress arrives in a cylindrical canvas bag with fabric handles measuring 43 inches long by 15 inches in diameter. It weighs about 60 pounds.
Trial period: 90 nights.
Return protocol: Tempur-Pedic will coordinate mattress removal and give you a refund.
Though the brand is beloved, the Casper Original mattress performed terribly in our testing. Many shoppers deem it a fine mattress, but our tester—who has slept on more beds in one year than most people will own in their lifetime—found it’s hyper-squishy with a surface that just collapsed beneath her.
It also seemed to lack any sort of structural integrity, especially around the edges. When she rolled over to the periphery in testing, she teetered—the foam just seemed to entirely give way beneath her. It wasn't as supportive or substantial as other mattresses, especially standouts like the Tuft & Needle Original. And when she got rid of the Casper Original to move onto the next mattress for testing, she realized she hadn’t slept well for the entirety of the month she had it. It wasn’t overtly uncomfortable—but she’s a self-proclaimed “good sleeper” so it takes a lot for something to throw her off. Yet somehow this mattress did just that. It left a lot to be desired in terms of her rest—a bad omen for the poor Casper Original.
One last complaint: While off-gassing odor is a short-term problem with most boxed mattresses, the Casper Original had a noticeable odor for about two months after it was opened, making it the clear winner of the “stinkiest for longest” award.
Our tester wanted to like Casper Original, but she couldn’t really pinpoint a single part of her experience with the mattress that was worth complimenting. Others, including Reviewed’s editor in chief, love Casper (though he owns an older version). It just wasn’t the right fit for our tester who, at the end of her month sleeping on it, was grateful to see it go.
Mattress materials: A 10-inch thick mattress with four layers of foam: a breathable open-cell foam on top, followed by a layer of high-density foam, then a layer of "zoned transition foam" (meant to support different areas of the body appropriately), and a durable support foam on the bottom.
Delivery: Front-door drop-off. The queen-sized Casper box measures 42 inches by 17 inches by 17 inches and weighs about 90 pounds.
Trial period: 100 nights.
Return protocol: Casper arranges a pickup through a local charity or recycling partner and refunds you in full for any associated costs.
The Zinus Green Tea Mattress—which comes in four thicknesses, 6-inches, 8-inches, 10-inches and 12-inches (we tested the 12-inch version)—is a soft mattress that has minimal support, but a super-affordable price. It is also well-loved, with nearly 40,000 reviews and an overall 4.2-star rating on Amazon.
Zinus’ mattress foam, called BioFoam, is made with green tea extract, castor seed oil, and charcoal. Zinus says these natural components are used to prevent the typical chemical-y smelling scent of a mattress in a box, but when our tester unboxed it, it had the same pungent smell we’ve come to expect. (Though it dissipated within about a day.)
When our tester laid down on the Zinus, the first thing she noticed was its extreme softness, which could be a plus or minus depending on your personal preferences. The mattress is composed of different types of foam, so it molds to pressure and weight, creating what felt like a divot underneath our tester’s body. In some ways, this is good—it has a nesting effect, so it’s cozy—but our tester tends to sleep hot, and found that the Zinus retained body heat more so than others.
It also made it difficult to get out of bed in the morning because her 130-pound body had sunk so deep into the mattress. She slept pretty well each night, despite not loving soft mattresses and occasionally feeling warmer overnight than she preferred.
And the Zinus has its fans (apart from all those Amazon shoppers), one of whom is another Reviewed staff member: Anna Lane, our parenting editor. She loves Zinus mattresses so much that she has one in every bedroom of her house. “I initially bought one for my son because I found that it was the most reasonably priced, not-super-toxic mattress,” she says. “I didn’t have high hopes for comfort because of the price point, but once we tried it out, both my husband and I agreed that it was super-comfortable. Then we bought two more: one for us and one for our daughter.”
Bottom line: It’s not for everyone. But buyers seeking a short queen size that measures 70 inches long, versus the regular 80 (a few people are), who like soft mattresses (some people do), and who prefer to save money (many people do), the Zinus is a solid option.
Mattress materials: Foam: Three inches of memory foam, two inches of “comfort” foam, seven inches of “high-density base support” foam.
Delivery and packaging: Front-door drop-off. The 12-inch thick queen size arrives in a rectangular cardboard box. It weighs about 60 pounds.
Trial period: 100 nights.
Return protocol: Zinus instructs purchasers to contact customer service for instructions on returning decompressed (i.e., open) mattresses. These may prove a hassle to return if purchased anywhere other than Zinus’s site, if Amazon reviewers’ experiences are accurate.
Layla has a couple unusual features. Most notably, it has two sleep surfaces, depending which side of the mattress you have facing up: One is firm, while the other’s soft (you can differentiate them based on the color). It's a cool concept for buyers who aren’t as sure of their preferences, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired.
First off, the soft side is so soft that our tester felt she sank in too far. And the 'firm' side really isn't all that firm, probably because it's resting atop a whole bunch of ultra-soft memory foam. It's more like this mattress has a soft side and an ultra-soft side. Despite the too-soft soft side, our tester didn’t experience any ill effects on her sleep.
The memory foam on both sides is infused with copper, which the company claims keeps you cooler and has antimicrobial properties. But our tester woke up dripping in sweat the first two nights, (though she’d just had oral surgery, which may have contributed). After that, she seemed to settle in and didn't have any further issues with overheating, but she didn’t notice feeling cooler than usual, either.
Mattress materials: Four layers: A three-inch, copper-infused memory foam (soft side topper), two-inch “support foam with air flow”, 4.5-inch base support foam, and one-inch copper-infused memory foam (firm side topper).
Delivery and packaging: Front-door drop-off. The queen-size Layla box is 45 inches by 19 inches by 19 inches and weighs about 80 pounds.
Trial period: 120 nights.
Return protocol: Layla offers a few different options, including coordinating pickup by a local charity, and will give you a full refund.
Lindsey writes about sleep, lifestyle, and more for Reviewed. In her waking hours, she likes to spend time outside, read, cook, and bake. She holds a master’s in journalism from Boston University and bachelors' degrees in English Literature and Anthropology from the University of Utah.
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