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Foam mattresses

Best Foam Mattresses UK (2021)

Nicky

Last updated: 07.09.2021 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

    Eve Mattress

    Eve Original
    Price from £ 300 (429 )

    Eve Original

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

    This high-quality medium-firm mattress is suitable for most body types and sleeping positions. 

    All about the Eve Original

    The Eve Original is Eve Sleep's flagship mattress - and their best-selling product.

    This is a memory foam mattress made up of three layers of high-quality foam.

    Eve original mattress

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

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

    The mattress comes with a removable cover that can be machine-washed at 40°C.

    This is great news for people prone to allergies. 🤧

    The Eve Original comes with free delivery & returns, a 100-day risk-free trial period, and a 10-year guarantee.

    30% OFF EVE ORIGINAL

    Eve Original  
    Composition: Memory foam
    Firmness level: Medium-firm
    Height: 24 cm (9.4 inches)
    Trial period: 100 days
    Guarantee: 10 years
    What makes this mattress special? Proudly British & award-winning
    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.

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

    All about the Eve Premium

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

    Eve Premium

    This is a medium-firm mattress that has been designed to suit all body types.

    It's particularly well-suited to people in need of orthopaedic properties and couples.

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

    It's also removable and can be machine-washed at 40°. 🛀

    The Eve Premium comes with free delivery & returns, a risk-free trial period, and a 10-year guarantee.

    BUY EVE PREMIUM

    Eve Premium  
    Composition: Memory foam
    Firmness level: Medium-firm
    Height: 28 cm (11 inches)
    Trial period: 100 days
    Guarantee: 10 years
    What makes this mattress special? Woven with antibacterial silver threads
    Our favourite
    Nectar memory foam mattress

    Nectar
    Price from £ 341 (569 )

    Nectar

    The Nectar is a luxurious memory foam mattress suitable for most people and sleeping positions. ~ The trial period is unbeatable!

    This bestselling mattress comes with a revolutionary 365-day trial period and a lifetime warranty.

    All about the Nectar

    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. 📏

    This prevents a build-up of tension and allows for orthopaedic support.

    Nectar mattress
    The Nectar is a medium-firm mattress

    The Nectar mattress comes with a breathable cover that enhances airflow to allow for a cool and comfortable sleep. 💨

    Unfortunately, the cover is not 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". 

    40% OFF NECTAR + FREE PILLOW 

      Nectar mattress
    Composition: Memory foam
    Firmness level: Medium-firm
    Height: 25 cm (10 inches)
    Trial period: 365 days
    Guarantee: Lifetime warranty
    What makes this mattress special? Exceptional support & 365-day trial

    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. 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.

    3. 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.

    4. 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.

    Frequently asked questions

    • 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

    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

    Nectar Memory Foam Mattress
    Nectar memory foam mattress
    Nectar Price from £ 341 (£ 569 )

    Get 40% off your Nectar mattress, a luxurious memory foam mattress with a revolutionary 365-day trial period!

    Simba Hybrid
    Simba Hybrid Mattress
    Simba Price from £ 389 (£ 649 )

    Get 40% off the Simba Hybrid, a bestselling hybrid pocket sprung foam mattress.

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