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Foam Mattresses

FOAM MATTRESSES

Nicky P.

Last updated: 26.02.2021 10 Min.

There are dozens of different foam mattresses available.

Most common mattress types consist of one type of foam or another, including cold foam, comfort foam, and memory foam.

Foam mattresses generally provide a soft and pleasant feeling when lying down.

But are all foam mattresses good?

Are some better than others?

And how do you take care of your foam mattress?

We answer all of these questions and more in our guide on the best foam mattresses in the UK below.

Foam Mattresses
  • Overview
  • Different foam mattresses
  • Is a foam mattress right for you?
  • Key criteria
  • What is off-gassing?
  • Cutting a foam mattress
  • Cleaning
  • Disposal
  • Sizes
  • Conclusion

​​Advantages

  • Generally light-weight and easy to care for
  • Soft and comfortable
  • Suitable for a wide range of people, different body types, and all sleeping positions
  • Hygienic
  • High rebound force quickly returns the mattress to its original shape
  • Noiseless
  • Comparatively cheap, depending on the foam used

Disadvantages

  • Less suitable for heavier-weight or restless sleepers
  • Off-gassing is common

Bestseller
Emma Original Mattress

EMMA ORIGINAL
Price from £ 278 (429 )

EMMA ORIGINAL

The Emma Original is an award-winning mattress that's universally suitable for all types of people and sleeping positions.

This bestselling mattress by the award-winning Emma brand offers 3 layers of premium foam and soft comfort, with sufficient support and stability.

All about the EMMA ORIGINAL

Emma Original

The Emma Original is a best-selling memory foam mattress.

It has been designed to be suitable for most people, sleeping positions, and sleeping preferences.

Made up of 3 different types of foam, it offers soft-to-medium support that's particularly suitable for side sleepers.

The Emma Original is delivered free of charge and comes with a risk-free 200-nigh trial period. 

Emma Original side handles

35% OFF EMMA ORIGINAL

Eve Mattress

EVE ORIGINAL
Price from £ 429

EVE ORIGINAL

The Eve Original is the original best-selling memory foam mattress by Eve Sleep.

This high-quality medium-firm mattress by Eve Sleep is suitable for most body types and sleeping position. 

All about the EVE ORIGINAL

Eve Original

The Eve Original mattress consists of three different high-quality foam layers and a machine-washable cover.

The mattress has a high level of elasticity and provides great support, promoting optimal spinal alignment and reducing pressure points. 

It is a medium-firm mattress that has been specifically designed to suit most body profiles and sleeping positions.

The Eve Original comes with free delivery & returns and a risk-free trial period.

Eve Original Mattress

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Eve Premium Mattress

EVE PREMIUM
Price from £ 948

EVE PREMIUM

The Eve Premium is a four-layered luxury memory foam mattress that offers superior comfort.

Made up of 4 different layers of high-quality foam, this luxury mattress guarantees comfort and support for the best night's sleep.

All about the EVE PREMIUM

Eve Premium

The Eve Premium is a high-quality mattress featuring four layers of premium foam for optimal comfort and support.

I​​​​t's suitable for all body types and best recommended for those requiring a medium-firm sleeping surface.

The high quality of the Eve Premium mattress cover is also worth mentioning.

It has been woven with silver threads that allow it to be naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial.

The Eve Premium comes with free delivery & returns and a risk-free trial period.

Eve Premium Mattress

BUY EVE PREMIUM

Our favourite
Nectar memory foam mattress

NECTAR
Price from £ 469

NECTAR

The Nectar Mattress is a luxurious memory foam mattress that comes with 2 free pillows and a 365-day trial period.

This luxurious memory foam mattress is suitable for most people and sleeping positions and comes with a revolutionary 365-day trial period.

All about the NECTAR

Nectar memory foam mattress

The Nectar memory foam mattress features 3 layers of high-quality foam for optimal spinal alignment, pressure relief, and comfort.

It has 7 contour zones to enhance its ergonomic design and keep your body in a healthy sleeping position.

The Nectar mattress also has a removable, breathable cover to provide for a cool & comfortable sleep.

It comes with free delivery & returns, a revolutionary 365-day trial period, and a 'forever warranty'.

Nectar memory foam mattress

 

BUY NECTAR MATTRESS 

What are foam mattresses?

There is a wide variety of foam mattresses available.

Foam mattresses are produced in a special manufacturing process.

The base material, polyurethane, is foamed and cured at high temperatures.

This results in an open, breathable structure that offers good ventilation and regulates moisture effectively.

In addition, the air pockets within the foam create a soft and comfortable material to lie on.

Foam mattresses have a high resilience.

This means that they quickly return to their original shape and are thus well suited for restless sleepers.

As a foam mattress has no metallic components, you are guaranteed a quiet, noiseless sleep.

Different types of foam mattresses

Not all foam mattresses are equal, though, and you'll find different types of foam with different properties.

While technically a material like latex foam can also be considered a foam mattress, its properties are quite different from most other foam mattresses.

The most common types of foam mattresses available are:

Polyether foam

This is a foam mattress with closed cells.

Polyether foam mattresses are among the cheapest mattresses on the market.

They don't provide much comfort or stability and are unlikely to last a long time.

We wouldn't recommend purchasing a polyether foam mattress.

Polyurethane foam

Polyurethane foam is commonly also referred to as comfort foam.

This is an open-cell, high resilient foam that's of greater density and much firmer than polyether.

The high resilience also means that it quickly returns to its initial shape.

But, it is still a very cheap foam and we wouldn't recommend investing in a pure polyurethane foam mattress.

Many IKEA mattresses are made of polyurethane foam.

Visco or memory foam

Visco foam - also commonly called memory foam - is the type of foam used for high-quality mattresses.

It is much more comfortable than other foams and offers excellent body support and pressure relief.

But, it also retains much more heat and thus results in a warmer sleeping climate.

It's also more cumbersome to move on and not recommended for very restless sleepers.

All of the foam mattresses we've recommend are predominantly memory foam mattresses.

memory foam mattress with hand imprint

visco foam

Is a foam mattress right for you?

Most foam mattresses have numerous advantages.

For one, they all generally have very low motion transfer.

Motion transfer refers to how movement is carried through the mattress.

The lower the motion transfer, the less movement is carried through the mattress and the less likely you are to be disturbed by your partner tossing and turning at night.

This makes foam mattresses great for couples.

Foam mattresses also tend to be lighter and are easier to move and transport than other mattresses.

They also tend to be more affordable.

That said, they don't offer as much support as other mattress materials, and are often not suitable for heavier-weight people.

In general, foam mattresses are recommended for:

  • Lighter- and average-weight people
  • People who prefer warmer sleeping climates
  • Couples
  • People prone to allergies
  • Guest bedrooms

Criteria to consider when purchasing a foam mattress

Since foam mattresses differ so much and there are both very poor quality and very high-quality foam mattresses available, it's important to make sure that you choose the right mattress.

In order to ensure you're getting a high-quality foam mattress, pay attention to the following key criteria:

1. High density

Density is a good indicator of quality.

The higher the density of the foam, the higher the quality of the mattress - and the longer its 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

We'd suggest choosing a density of at least 40 kg/m³.

2. OEKO-Tex certifications

Poor quality foams are likely to contain toxins and other harmful chemicals.

Always look for foams that are OEKO-Tex certified.

OEKO-Tex Standard 100 is one of the best-known labels used for an independent system of testing and certification of textile products.

Foams that are OEKO-Tex Standard 100 certified are guaranteed to be free from toxins and other harmful chemicals.

3. Height of the mattress

The height of the mattress is also an indicator of quality, especially when considering the core of the mattress.

Choose a mattress with a core that's at least 15 cm thick.

4. Removable covers are better

We'd also suggest choosing a mattress that has a removable cover that's machine-washable up to 60°C.

While this isn't an absolute necessity, it does make caring for the mattress easier.

It's also better for people who are prone to allergies.

Bonus?

Look for a cover that features side handles. This will make moving the mattress easier.

5. The right degree of firmness

There is no one right degree of firmness.

But it is necessary to choose a mattress with the right degree of firmness for you.

As a general rule of thumb, consider your body weight, firmness preferences, and favourite sleeping position.

Our guide on degrees of firmness will also help you.

Emma Original firmness

Eve Original Firmness

What is off-gassing?

Foam mattresses often release an initial chemical smell when you first unpack them.

This is termed off-gassing.

Off-gassing is completely normal and it's a side effect of the production process.

The gasses are 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.

Cutting a foam mattress

You may want to cut a foam mattress to size or use the foam from an old mattress for something else.

Foam mattresses can be cut relatively easily but since the material tears quickly, using a sharp knife is essential.

You can also use an electric knife but stay away from a hot wire as the heat releases toxic gases in the foam.

Foam is also highly flammable.

Steps to cut a foam mattress:

  • Step 1: Outline the area you want to cut with a waterproof pen.
  • Step 2: Use the sharpest knife possible.
  • Step 3: Cut the foam from the centre outward, but only cut halfway through the mattress.
  • Step 4: Turn the mattress over and repeat from step 2.

Cleaning a foam mattress

Most foam mattresses have a mattress cover that can be machine washed.

When buying a mattress, you should make sure that it has a removable cover that can be washed up to 60°C.

But a foam mattress itself is also easy to clean.

Cleaning smaller foam mattresses

You can place small mattresses for children in a washing machine as they are usually very thin.

We recommend you place the mattress in a duvet cover and use a gentle wash cycle.

Wash at 30°C to 40°C with a little bit of laundry detergent.

After washing, air-dry the mattress horizontally on a clothes horse.

Don’t hang up the mattress.

Cleaning larger foam mattresses

Larger foam mattresses can be cleaned in a bathtub.

Use warm water and make sure to cover the mattress completely.

Stains can be spot treated with gall soap, but you can also add some normal laundry detergent.

Rub lightly.

Drain the water and wring the mattress out.

Add clean water and repeat the cycle until the water runs clear.

Dry the mattress as described above.

READ DETAILED CLEANING INSTRUCTIONS

How to dispose of an old foam mattress

You can dispose of a foam mattress with bulky waste or take it to a recycling centre.

Donating it to people in need is another great option.

Of course, you can also make something else out of an old mattress, provided the foam is in good condition.

Some mattress manufacturers will offer to remove your old foam mattress free of charge when they deliver your new one.

Occasionally, they will even offer you a discount when replacing an old foam mattress with a new one.

DIFFERENT WAYS TO DISPOSE OF AN OLD MATTRESS

Choosing the right foam mattress size

Like most mattresses, foam mattresses are available in all of the most common mattress sizes.

In the UK, the standard mattress sizes are:

If you have a conventional bed, finding the right size mattress is not a problem.

But foam mattresses have another advantage: As they do not contain springs, custom sizes can be produced quite easily.

Simply order your custom size or shape from your specialist dealer or manufacturer.

Mattress Sizes

Conclusion

If you're in the market for a new mattress, then it's very likely that you'll end up choosing a foam mattress.

These are the most common types of mattresses available.

But, there are many inferior products on the market.

Make sure that you invest in a high-quality foam mattress that will last you a long time.

We'd always advise choosing a memory foam mattress of a high density.

Additional information

  • What's the difference between foam mattresses and memory foam mattresses?

    The term 'foam mattresses' is an umbrella category. There are many different types of foam mattresses available.

    Of these, some can be of very low quality and we'd advise against choosing these.

    Memory foam mattresses are very high-quality foam mattresses

    They adapt well to your body and are very supportive. Memory foam is also great for people struggling with back and neck pain.

    They do tend to retain more heat, though, making them less suitable for heavy sweaters. It's also more difficult to move on a memory foam mattress, making them less suitable for very restless sleepers. 

  • What are the different types of foam mattresses?

    There are many different types of foam available.

    The most common foam mattresses are made of:

    • Polyether foam
    • High resilience polyurethane foam
    • Memory or viscoelastic foam 

     

Nicky P.

My mum calls me "bear" because I like to sleep so much. I never knew that, one day, that would be a very useful skill. Can you tell that I've found my calling? 

Try these

We can highly recommend these best-selling mattresses.

Emma Original
Emma Original Emma Original Mattress
Emma Price from £ 278 (£ 429 )

Get 35% off the Emma Original, an award-winning soft & comfortable mattress that's suitable for all.

Nectar Free Gifts
Nectar With 5 Free Gifts Nectar essential bundle
Nectar Price from £ 469 (£ 724 )

Save up to £385 when you purchase the Nectar With 5 Free Gifts combo, which includes the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress, two pillows, a mattress protector, luxury duvet, and a full bedding set (fitted sheet, duvet cover, 2x pillow cases).

Current mattress discounts:
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