Memory Foam Mattress Reviews -- Guide To Using Reviews When Buying A Memory Foam Mattress.
Regardless of the price or features, they all tend to get 4 to 4 1/2 star overall rating.
And this really got me, because I know from going to the big furniture shows and seeing all kinds of different memory foam mattresses, and sampling many more over the years that I've been sent to consider for our site, that there is a huge variation in the quality and feel of different memory foam mattresses.
I knew that ours was head and shoulders above all these others and comparable to the leading brand, but from the ratings alone a memory foam mattress 1/4 the price of ours seemed just as good.
So how to make sense of this? And what can I tell you to help you in sorting through these reviews to pick the right memory foam mattress for you?
Not All Memory Foam Mattresses Created Equal Despite All Getting High Reviews
Well, first, the high overall reviews do conform to my experience when testing memory foam mattresses. I did a test with 6 different memory foam mattresses with over 300 people to try to crowd source which mattress to carry on our site, and even the worst rated of these memory foam mattresses got much higher overall ratings than that innerspring mattresses generally get.
So the worst memory foam mattress still gets high ratings. Why? Because memory foam, even inexpensive, low density memory foam, has a wonderful conforming feel that reduces pressure points that people really like.
But that doesn't mean all memory foam mattresses are created equal. Higher density memory foam performs better in my experience -- both for initial feel, and certainly for keeping its feel over time and longevity.
And in our test, the best rated memory foam mattress did get 20% higher overall ratings.
But I understand that the visceral difference based solely on the ratings numbers, 4 star vs 4 1/2, alone just doesn't carry that much weight or justify spending a lot more on one mattress over another.
But inside the reviews themselves, there is a lot of information which goes to the quality and feel of a particular mattress that really can have a lot of importance when people are weighing one mattress option vs another.
For example, some of the more expensive, new generation memory foams have much better air flow often due to their open cell structure. Which means they sleep cooler, which is a big deal, and also in my experience have a much reduced initial odor (the bane of many a less expensive memory foam)
The Hidden Power Of Reviews -- Not For Overall Ratings, But As A Database To Help Understand The Pros And Cons Of A Memory Foam Mattress
And this is where reviews come it.
If you accept that they all generally have high ratings so they aren't helpful in comparing in that regard, you can look instead at the reviews as databases to then see how they perform for these crucial characteristics.
How many people are complaining of the memory foam mattress sleeping hot? Of having an initial odor?
And if the mattress has been out in the marketplace awhile, try to find reviews of folks who have slept on the mattress for a year or more to see if they were having any durability problems. This is a key for the cheap memory foam mattresses that may have a good initial feel, but can have durability issues (form compressed areas) or just lose their comfort fairly quickly (it does turn out that, like everything else, you do get what you pay for in memory foam mattresses, and I've seen these sort of issues crop up in comments for the cheap memory foam mattress out there using low density memory and core foams)
And perhaps most importantly, after reading through a handful of reviews for each mattress, does that particular mattress seem to offer the kind of feel (firmer or softer) that you are looking for.
My experience was that if people would take the time to read over 10+ of our customers' reviews, they would get a pretty good minds' eye if our mattress' feel was in the ballpark of what they were looking for.
And strangely, this might be a more accurate insight than if you just spent a few minutes on a mattress in a store since it reflected real people's experience sleeping on the mattress for a fair period of time in their own homes.
So this is the real value I find in whatever memory foam mattress reviews you decide to look at -- they hopefully will give you a good feel based on fairly objective information found in the reviews if a mattress sleeps hot, has a bad initial odor, has a firm or softer feel, etc.
A Word Of Caution On "Objective" Memory Foam Mattress Reviews -- Beware
One other caution I have about reviews you find online is the so called "objective" reviews put up by supposedly impartial mattress review sites.
First, even if a particular review is all above board and well intentioned and researched, it still is just one persons' opinion. And I've found that comfort is such a subjective thing that one person's take on a mattress may not at all reflect what you would experience sleeping on the same mattress.
In addition, most of these "objective" reviews aren't based on these folks sleeping on the mattress for extended periods of time as real customers posting reviews. I know our customers didn't post reviews till they had slept on our mattress for a few months at a minimum, and I don't think these individuals with review sites spend that sort of time on each mattress they review.
Finally, these review sites make their money, for the most part, by having an affiliate relationship with the mattresses they post reviews about. That is, they become partners of a sort in that they get a payout on each mattress ordered through the links they post to buy these mattresses.
Can they really be objective with money on the line like this? I think once you know this, it is hard to not treat the reviews with some healthy skepticism.
That is one reason I haven't endorsed any particular mattress on this site or have any affiliate type of relationships.
My objective is instead to really arm you with the information and processes that will help you buy the best memory foam mattress for you.
I hope that you've found this guide to using memory foam mattress reviews helpful, and if you want to find our more tips making sure you don't get taken when buying a memory foam mattress, check out our guide with tips on getting the very best memory foam mattresses for you.