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Best Online Foam Mattress

By: Kelly Burgess on June 19, 2018

Foam mattress that can be bought online are a great value

As we discuss in greater depth in the introduction to this report, the internet has shaken up the world of mattress buying, and in a very good way. Right now there are a plethora of quality foam mattresses that you can have shipped right to your door -- and easily return if you decide it's not right for you. Most of these types of mattresses are made from various types of foam, usually proprietary blends that don't fall into either the memory foam or the latex foam categories.

Chief among these is the Casper (Est. $595 and up). It's the fourth-highest rated mattress (in the foam category; and two of the top three are latex, which we cover in more detail below) at Consumer Reports, earning a recommendation, a Best Buy designation and scores of Excellent for petite back sleepers; Very Good scores for support for all other types of sleepers, as well as for stabilization.

The Casper also does well in expert testing at Wirecutter. It's named the runner up there, with Kevin Purdy recommending for those who switch positions often, or for couples who include a back sleeper. Purdy describes the Casper as "medium firm," and notes that, "The newest version of the Casper mattress seems to improve this sink/support mix and feels better on all sides than previous versions."

Owners are also very pleased with the Casper, with most saying that it's the most comfortable mattress they've ever slept on. There are outliers, of course, although not nearly as many as we see with other types of mattresses, and Casper makes returning its mattress so easy that even those who didn't necessarily like the mattress say nice things about the company and the experience.

As for durability, that's hard to speak to. Casper has only been in business since 2014 and, complicating our attempts to gauge longevity, they have redesigned the Casper mattress several times. Still, in eight years of simulated use, Consumer Reports gives the Casper a score of Excellent, and Sleep Like the Dead awards the company a "B" rating for longevity/durability based upon similar mattress configurations. Casper has a no-fee, 100-day return policy, shipping is free, and the mattress is covered by a 10-year warranty.

It was a very close call in this category between the Casper and the Leesa (Est. $455 and up) mattress. Both are high-quality, good value mattresses that are very similar in concept -- 10-inch thick foam mattresses that you can order online, try at home and return if you're not satisfied. Their return policies are identical as well: 100-day, no-fee, full-money-back trial. If you order from Leesa, a courier will remove the bed from your home if you decide to return it. Be warned though, if you buy from Amazon you're subject to their 30-day return window and the mattress must be returned to Amazon. For those who like to try before they buy, Leesa mattresses are on display in some West Elm and Pottery Barn stores, and Lessa has showrooms in Virginia Beach and lower Manhattan.

The Leesa is the number one pick at Wirecutter, with Purdy saying it's, "Best for most side- and stomach-sleepers." He also gives it higher marks for not sleeping hot -- an issue with most foam mattresses of all types. Consumer Reports, on the other hand, gives lower comfort/support ratings for the Leesa than for the Casper, with scores of Very Good for petite and average side sleepers and petite back sleepers; Good for large/tall side sleepers and average back sleepers; but just Fair for large/tall back sleepers. The Leesa does get a Very Good for stabilization, however.

Owner satisfaction is also slightly lower for the Leesa than the Casper at Sleep Like the Dead, with 78 percent in 202 reviews -- although ratings for the Leesa are still above-average. Most say they absolutely love their new Leesa mattress and are thrilled with the value. Of course, there are others who complain that it's too soft or too hard. Again, the beauty of this new world of online mattress buying and returning is that you're not stuck forever with something that you simply are not comfortable on after using for a time. And while foam mattresses are extremely popular right now, they're certainly not for everyone. If you've purchased a foam mattress and are not happy, you may want to check out what we have to say about innerspring mattresses, memory foam mattresses and mattresses for back pain, all covered elsewhere in this report.

But back to foam and another worthy runner up in this category, the Tuft & Needle (Est. $325 and up). Again, this is a 10-inch foam mattress that can be ordered online, tested for 100-days, and then returned at no charge if it fails to satisfy. Tuft & Needle is the original online-only foam mattress retailer (since 2012), and the company has established an excellent reputation for customer service. Currently, The company has a handful of showrooms, with more on the way, plus a couple of additional locations where you can try the mattress.You can also purchase a Tuft & Needle mattress at Lowe's in the home décor section, but they do not have display models there to try.

Although Tuft & Needle is the top pick for back sleepers at Wirecutter, it may be too firm for other positions, with Purdy saying, "It's as firm as foam can get before it becomes uncomfortable." There are those who like that, but for others it might feel like sleeping on bricks. Consumer Reports names the Tuft & Needle mattress a Best Buy and it's Recommended there as well, with scores of Very Good for petite, average and large/tall back sleepers, as well as petite back sleepers; Good scores of average and large/tall back sleepers.

Tuft & Needle is also the mattress that Thorin Klosowski at Lifehacker chose after a review of online-only mattresses precisely because it was rated as firm -- and he found it comfortable to the point that he sort of forgot about it by the end of the trial period.

Ratings for foam mattresses at Sleep Like the Dead are all very close to each other, although Casper and Tuft & Needle have more feedback than their competitors, and in that metric Tuft & Needle is just behind Casper, with an overall customer satisfaction rating of 79 percent in 248 reviews. Tuft & Needle mattresses also have thousands of owner reviews, and well above average ratings. Most say it's an extremely comfortable mattress and even those who didn't like it and didn't keep it rave about the company's customer service. The biggest complaint we saw was that it was too firm for some -- sometimes to the point of causing joint pain -- but, again, that firmness is a plus if that's what you prefer.

Latex foam mattresses are growing in popularity

Latex mattresses tend to get better ratings overall than other types of foam mattresses. One reason is that latex mattresses can be made from all-natural materials, which is preferred by those who like the feel of foam, but are concerned about the chemicals that may be hiding in their memory foam. Experts also describe natural latex as more breathable than memory foam and, therefore, less likely to retain heat -- especially those mattresses that combine latex with top layers of breathable fabric. In addition, latex has a faster response time than memory foam, making it easier to move around on without imparting that sinking feeling that many feel with other types of foam mattresses.

In the latex mattress world there's a lot of consensus around our Best Reviewed choice, the Sleep On Latex Pure Green (Est. $595 and up ). These mattresses come in sizes from twin to California king, two thicknesses -- seven and nine inches -- and three firmness levels, soft, medium and firm. They are constructed in the USA of natural Dunlop latex, with an organic wool/cotton blend top layer.

Consumer Reports tests the firm, queen-sized, nine-inch Sleep On Latex Pure Green and makes it one of their top picks in the foam mattress category (however, that's comparing it to ALL foam mattresses, they do not separate them out by type). Still, the Pure Green, in addition to its Recommended nod, earns ratings of Excellent for support for petite, average and large/tall back sleepers; Very Good ratings for petite, average and large/tall side sleepers. It earns a Very Good for stabilization, which means it minimizes motion transfer. It also earns an Excellent for durability after eight years of simulated use.

At Sleep Like the Dead, Sleep On Latex mattresses get ratings that are close across the board with all comparable latex mattresses, however, as we noted, there are far fewer reviews for latex than other type of foam. Wirecutter has added the Pure Green mattress to its picks for their latest update, as an "Also Great" foam mattress, saying, "The latex Pure Green feels different from the other mattresses we recommend. It's springier, it provides more pressure-point relief, and it sleeps slightly cooler."

The most user reviews we found for the Pure Green mattresses were at the Sleep On Latex website. While they're not managed by a third-party review screener, negative reviews are allowed to stand so the feedback does seem legit. Since our last update Sleep On Latex is also now sold at Amazon, and the firm, queen-sized mattress there earns 4.3 stars in about 20 reviews. Other sizes and firmness levels earn similar ratings, but also with just a few dozen reviews. Most say it's very comfortable, doesn't give off an unpleasant smell like most foam mattresses (although some disagree, and say it has a strong, unpleasant odor), and they're pleased with the value. Pure Green mattresses are only available online, but shipping is free as are returns. The warranty is 10 years.

For a latex mattress that you might be able to try in person, we suggest looking to Ikea, specifically their four latex mattresses: the Ikea Matrand (Est. $300 and up), the Ikea Myrbacka (Est. $480 and up), the Ikea Morgongava (Est. $600 and up) and the Ikea Mausund (Est. $800 and up). The first three are also available to order online. The Matrand and Myrbacka are constructed of a synthetic latex layer over a polyurethane core; the Morgongava and Mausund are made of a combination of 85 percent natural and 15 percent synthetic natural latex. (And if this is all not confusing enough, both the Matrand and the Myrbacka come in memory foam as well.)

At Sleep Like the Dead, ratings for Ikea latex models are above average compared to all low-priced mattresses. However, with a starting price of $600 for a twin-sized Morgongava, we might argue that it does not belong in the low-priced category. Sleep Like the Dead does not review the Mausand, as it's a very recent introduction to their line. Not all Ikea mattresses come in all sizes. Ikea has a one-year, one-time exchange or money back guarantee. If you can return it to a store it's no charge, otherwise, there's a pickup fee.

Ikea mattresses tend to be thinner than other foam mattresses, the Matrand and Myrbacka are 7.1 and 9.5 inches thick, respectively. While the Morgongava and Mausand are both 7.8 inches. The main complaint we spotted about all three is that they simply feel too firm; some reviewers soften them up with a mattress topper, which we cover in their own report. They also may not be supportive enough for heavier people either, and durability on the first three gets only a "C" rating at Sleep Like the Dead.

At Consumer Reports the Matrand, Myrbacka and Morgongava fall in the middle of the pack in the foam mattress ratings; the Morgongava is the highest-rated Ikea mattress with an overall score of 70 (the top foam mattress scores an 81, the lowest score is 51), the Myrbacka earns a 68, and the Matrand a 63 -- not earning Recommended status, but not bottom-of-the-barrel ratings, either. And Ikea mattresses have been popular for years and definitely have their fans -- and most people can walk into a store and try them out. Our recommendation is to consider a Myrbacka or Matrand if you just want a cheap latex mattress, but step up to Sleep On Latex Pure Green if you're going to pay Morgongava-level prices.

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