Cold Foam Mattresses

Best Cold Foam Mattresses UK (2024)

Last updated: 31.10.2023 Reading time: 8 Min.

Cold foam is enormously popular and you'll find at least one layer of it in most mattresses.

Cold foam mattresses are manufactured by foaming polyurethane (cold foam) with a small amount of heat. As the foam cools to room temperature, it becomes solid.

Mattresses made of cold foam are characterised by their durability, flexibility, and high point elasticity.

They are suitable for many different types of sleepers.

But should you choose a cold foam mattress? Or a mattress with at least one layer of cold foam?

We'll guide you through everything you need to know in this article on the best cold foam mattresses available in the UK.

Cold Foam Mattresses

Our top cold foam mattress recommendations


Emma Original Plus

The Emma Original is an award-winning memory foam mattress.
  • Memory foam & HRX cold foam
  • 25 cm (9.8 inches)
  • Medium-firm 

Tell me more about the Emma Original

The Emma Original is a best-selling memory foam mattress and one of the UK's number-one mattresses. 

It is made up of three different layers of foam, including pressure-relieving memory foam.

Memory foam offers great orthopaedic support, making it a good choice for people prone to back pain.

The Emma Original has a medium-firm feel, ideal for back sleepers. 

Conveniently, the mattress comes with a removable mattress cover that can be machine-washed at up to 60℃.

Reasons to buy

200-night trial period 

10-year guarantee

Machine-washable cover

Reasons to avoid

Too warm for some sleepers

Best Trial Period

Nectar Memory Foam Mattress

The Nectar is a luxurious memory foam mattress suitable for most people and sleeping positions.
  • Memory foam & cold foam 
  • 25 cm (10 inches)
  • 365-day trial period
  • Made in the UK

Tell me more about the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress

The Nectar memory foam mattress is one of our favourite mattresses.

It features 3 layers of high-quality, high-density memory foam for optimal spinal alignment, pressure relief, and comfort.

The base layer also has 7 contour zones to enhance its ergonomic design and keep your body in a healthy sleeping position. 

The Nectar mattress features a breathable, cooling cover, but it isn't machine-washable.

We'd suggest using a mattress protector to safeguard your mattress against stains, spills, and bacteria.

The Nectar mattress comes with free delivery & returns, a revolutionary 365-day trial period, and a "forever warranty". 

Reasons to buy

Lifetime warranty

Exceptional comfort for average-weight & lighter sleepers

Free 3-day shipping 

Reasons to avoid

The cover is not washable 

May be too warm for hot sleepers 

Bruno Mattress

The Bruno mattress combines micro pocket springs with high-quality cold foam for supportive sleep.
  • Cold foam with micro pocket springs
  • 24 cm (9.2 inches)
  • Medium-firm

Tell me more about the Bruno mattress

The Bruno mattress is a one-of-a-kind mattress made in Germany but available online in the UK. 

It features a softer and firmer layer of cold foam and a layer of up to 1,750 micro pocket springs.

This combination allows for excellent pressure relief, body adaptability, stability, and support.

The high-density foams also make the mattress very durable. 

The Bruno mattress comes with a removable polyester-cotton blend cover that's machine-washable at 60℃

Conveniently, the mattress comes with a risk-free 30-day trial period and free returns.

Reasons to buy

10-year guarantee

30-night trial period 

Machine-washable cover 

Reasons to avoid

Delivery can take up to 6 weeks 

Only available in European sizes 

Composition of cold foam mattresses

There are many different types of cold foam mattresses available.

Some are made entirely of cold foam and do not include any other foam layers.

Others, in contrast, have one or two additional foam layers. Often, you'll find cold foam mattresses that have memory foam, latex foam, or gel foam layers.

You'll also find some models that offer two different degrees of firmness depending on which side of the mattress you choose.

These types of mattresses use different foam layers for the top and bottom sides.

The mattress can then be turned to the side that provides the ideal firmness for your needs.

Cold foam mattresses with contour zones

Some cold foam mattresses have been divided into comfort or contour zones.

Zones help stabilise the body and relieve pressure on the spine.

The individual zones correlate to the different pressure points of the human body.

The position you sleep in will affect the specifics but, in general, you would need to sink into the mattress a little deeper at some points and a little less at others in order to keep your spine optimally aligned at all times.

Zones will usually fall into the pelvic, shoulder, lumbar, head, and foot zones.

Most zoned mattresses are divided into 3, 5, 7, or 9 comfort zones.

It will always be an odd number - this is due to the mirror image structure of the mattress.

The middle area is always for the pelvis, then it expands outwards into the lumbar zone, shoulder zone, and, finally, the head and foot zone.

The mirror image ensures that no matter which way you lie on the mattress, you will always be using it correctly and your body will be optimally supported.

Is a cold foam mattress the right mattress for you?

In principle, cold foam mattresses are relatively universal mattresses.

They are suitable for a wide range of people, regardless of body size and preferred sleeping position.

They are also available in various degrees of firmness so you can choose one that's most suitable for you.

As long as you pay attention to the quality of the cold foam, then investing in a cold foam mattress is generally a good choice.

People with back pain often tend to choose cold foam mattresses due to the commonly integrated comfort zones. We'd also recommend memory foam mattresses as they adapt to the contours of the body so well.

Cold foam mattresses are also great for couples. The foam cushions movements quite well, which keeps the mattress still - this ensures that you won't be disturbed by your partner's movements.

Note, though, that cold foam isn't particularly elastic and doesn't have the same high rebound as spring mattresses do. If that's important to you, you'd be well off choosing a spring or latex mattress instead.

Criteria to consider when purchasing a cold foam mattress

Not all cold foam mattresses are created equal and there definitely are some sub-standard models on the market.

In order to ensure that the cold foam mattress you're purchasing is of the highest quality possible, pay attention to the following key criteria.

1. High density

The most important feature of quality on a cold foam mattress is a high density.

This indicates how much polyurethane has been foamed to make one cubic metre of cold foam.

The rule of thumb is that the higher the density, the higher the quality of the cold foam mattress.

Higher densities also result in higher durability, meaning that your mattress will have a longer lifespan.

You can use the below table as a guideline:

Density in kg/m³ Expected lifespan
Up to 25 Up to 2 years
30 Up to 3 years
35 5 - 6 years
40 6 - 8 years
50 - 60 10 years and more

2. Trial periods and delivery conditions

To keep the purchase of a mattress as uncomplicated and risk-free as possible, make sure that the manufacturer offers the following:

  • Free delivery
  • Risk-free trial period
  • Free returns

Trial periods usually last 30 to 100 days, though there are some manufacturers, like Emma, Nectar, and DreamCloud, that offer longer trial periods.

This gives you the time to ensure that the mattress you've purchased really is right for you.

After all, it takes the body a few weeks to get used to a new mattress, so you have to give it enough time.

If, after the trial period, you are not completely satisfied with the mattress, it can simply be returned - free of charge - for a full refund.

3. Mattress rebound rates

The mattress rebound indicates how quickly the mattress can return to its original shape after being subjected to stress or compressed.

The higher the rebound rate, the more quickly the mattress returns to its original shape.

This also indicates whether dents can occur and if the mattress is suitable for heavier-weight people or restless sleepers.

Always make sure that you're comfortable moving around on your mattress and that it gives you adequate support and stability.

Choosing the right cold foam mattress size

Choosing the right mattress size is important.

This depends largely on how much space you have at home, how big your bed frame is, and whether or not you share your bed with a partner.

Cold foam mattresses are available in every possible size, though custom sizes will only be available from select manufacturers.

The standard UK sizes include:

The 90 x 190 cm mattress is the most popular single-size mattress, though you can choose a wider mattress if you have the space available.

Couples should not choose a mattress smaller than 135 x 190 cm. Larger sizes are better to ensure that each person has enough space.

Our mattress size guide can help you choose the right size for you.

UK Mattress Sizes

Choosing the right slatted frame for your cold foam mattress

To maximise the features of your cold foam mattress, it makes sense to invest in the right slatted frame.

Pay attention to zoning

In order to support the division of comfort zones in a cold foam mattress, you should choose a slatted frame that has the same divisions.

For example, if you've purchased a 7-zone cold foam mattress, we would advise also investing in a 7-zone slatted frame.

This will allow your pelvis and shoulders to sink in more deeply, stabilising the rest of your body.

Height-adjustable slatted frames

Cold foam mattresses are very adaptable, so we'd recommend choosing a height-adjustable slatted frame.

Adjustable head and foot sections not only increase flexibility and comfort but can also improve blood circulation and make breathing easier, particularly for elderly people.

Of course, you can also use a rigid slatted frame.

Small slat distance

Ensure that the slats aren't too far apart.

A maximum distance of 5 cm between slats is optimal.

What is off-gassing?

If you've recently purchased a cold foam mattress, then you're likely to have experienced off-gassing.

This is an initial chemical smell that you may experience when you first unpack your cold foam mattress.

There is no need to worry, though. Off-gassing is completely normal and it's a side effect of the production process.

The gasses are also completely harmless and non-toxic.

The smell can be a little uncomfortable, though, so we'd always advise unpacking your new mattress in a well-ventilated room and letting it breathe until the smell has disappeared.

Alternatives to cold foam mattresses

Layers of cold foam are common in many mattresses but you may feel that a pure cold foam mattress isn't right for you.

Try one of these alternatives instead.

Memory foam mattresses

Memory foam mattresses have similar properties to cold foam mattresses.

They are best characterised by their memory imprint.

When pressure is applied, the foam becomes softer and allows the body to form an imprint. This ensures that the foam adapts perfectly to the contours of the body, allowing for maximum comfort.

Due to its extremely high adaptability and pressure relief properties, memory foam is often used for orthopaedic purposes.

The biggest difference between cold foam mattresses and memory foam mattresses is in the feeling of lying down.

Memory foam is much more adaptable and really nestles up to the body.

This does make moving around on the mattress a little more cumbersome, making memory foam mattresses less suitable for very restless sleepers.

memory foam mattress

Innerspring mattresses

If you are looking for a firmer model that offers more stability and elasticity, then you should consider innerspring mattresses.

The core of a spring mattress is made of coils or springs, which can carry individual loads.

This means it adapts well to the body and is very point-elastic.

The gaps between the springs also provide for natural ventilation channels, enhancing the breathability of the mattress. This provides for a cooler sleeping climate.

If you choose a spring mattress, make sure you look for quality.

Inferior spring mattresses wear out quickly and form dents, resulting in the so-called hammock effect. This can create and worsen back pain.

High-quality innerspring mattress models are pocket spring mattresses and barrel pocket spring mattresses.

Also consider hybrid mattresses, which combine springs with high-quality foam.

spring mattress

Latex mattresses

Latex mattresses have a high point elasticity, are very comfortable, and have good ventilation.

They are more suitable for people who prefer a cooler sleeping climate and restless sleepers.

Natural latex mattresses are also great for people who value organic and environmentally-friendly products.

But, latex mattresses are quite heavy, need to be cleaned regularly, and they can also be quite a bit more expensive.

latex foam mattress

Gel foam mattresses

Gel foam mattresses also have high point elasticity, are very comfortable, and have very good ventilation.

They provide a very cuddly feel and are particularly suited to restless sleepers.

Gel foam is most commonly found as an upper comfort layer in a combination foam mattress, used together with more adaptable and/or stable and firmer base foams.

gel foam


While some mattresses are made purely of cold foam, it is most commonly combined with other materials.

Cold foam offers firmness and stability. It is also often zoned, enabling it to help keep your spine in an optimal alignment and thereby reducing pressure and relieving back pain.

Cold foam is often used as the base foam in mattresses to provide overall stability and support.

If you struggle with back pain, then choosing a zoned cold foam mattress is a good choice.



Editor & Certified Sleep Therapist

Nicky is an experienced writer and editor with numerous qualifications. As a certified sleep coach, her interests lie in understanding how sleep problems arise from hormonal and environmental issues, particularly as part of stress and anxiety management.

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