April 24, 2017

Consumer Reports 2015 Memory Foam Mattress Rankings: Best and Worst Brands

Consumer Reports 2015 Memory Foam Mattress Rankings: Best and Worst Brands

Unbiased product reviews can be very valuable when it comes to making major buying decisions, and Consumer Reports is one of the most respected names in product ratings. Each year, the organization collects and tests mattresses from popular brands, offering readers an inside look at quality, durability and value.

In this report, we’ll be looking specifically at Consumer Reports 2015 memory foam mattress rankings, and seeing how they compare to other review sources. We’ll also highlight Consumer Reports’ mattress shopping tips, and add in a few memory foam-specific tips designed to help you get the right bed for your budget and needs.

Memory Foam Mattress Guide’s Top Picks

Two of the most striking observations from the 2015 Consumer Reports mattress tests are that price tells you potentially very little about comfort and durability, and that consumer reviews can also vary quite a bit from the objective rankings.

Some of the most expensive and well-known brands performed underwhelmingly, while several lesser known and affordable beds did surprisingly well. However, Consumer Reports only tests a very small portion of beds on the market, leaving hundreds of models and brands out of the mix.

Based on our own research and comparisons of dozens of brands, here are the lines that earn the best mattress reviews and represent the best overall values in terms of quality of materials, return policies, and potential for long-term satisfaction.

MFMG’s Best Buys for Memory Foam Mattresses

MattressQueen PriceSpecsReviews
Amerisleep Revere Bed$1499Med-firm
3” 4.0 lb MF
9” foam core
4.7 / 5
(400+ reviews, Amerisleep)
BedInABox Silk Elegance Gel Mattress$1449Med-firm
3” 3.0 lb Gel MF
8” foam core
4.8 / 5
(51 reviews, BedInABox)
Lane Contura III Mattress$382Firm
2” 3 lb MF
10” synthetic latex core
4.6 / 5
(450+ reviews, Walmart)

The mid-range Revere Bed from Amerisleep earns a top spot in our rankings, with overwhelmingly positive consumer reviews. The Revere features medium density memory foam, with a unique plant-based formula that offers environmental benefits. Covers contain a fiber called Celliant, that absorbs body heat and transforms into a beneficial infrared waves using patented mineral fibers. Amerisleep is also an established online retailer, with strong warranty and return policies.

Also in the middle price range, the Silk Elegance mattress from Bed In A Box does well in online reviews. Bed In A Box features a signature style pairing lower density gel memory foam with high-density poly foam cores, and tends to do well on durability. The Silk model features natural silk fibers in the cover that support moisture balance and breathability. Bed In A Box is an established retailer, and they too offer good return and warranty policies.

Among the budget memory foam mattress lines, the Contura III by Lane (sold on Walmart’s website) offers one of the better quality profiles in the under $500 range. This mattress uses low-density memory foam like most cheaper models, but rather than using a poly foam core, it uses a synthetic latex core, which may offer a durability and support advantage. It earns above average reviews, and has a relatively good warranty and return policy.

See How Our Picks Compared to Consumer Reports 2015 Memory Foam Mattress Ratings

The 2015 Consumer Reports mattress buying guide includes both established brands and newer companies for both innerspring and foam beds. In this article, we are looking exclusively at the foam mattress brands.

More specialty mattresses are included this year than in previous years, which mirrors retail trends showing rapid growth for memory foam and latex as more people seek alternatives to spring beds. They also looked at more online retailers, a rapidly growing sector especially for younger shoppers.

The Consumer Reports guide groups all foam mattresses together (latex, memory foam, and poly foam). Overall, they suggest this category’s advantages are contouring and motion isolation, but the some people may find odor and heat to be disadvantages.

This year, they tested 16 foam mattresses from a variety of brands and price ranges. Among the beds they tested, ratings varied significantly and showed a few surprises, with some popular brands failing to live up to their premium prices. Full results are available only to paying subscribers, but press releases and news articles have offered some insight to the highest and lowest rated beds from the 2015 tests, compares below.

Best-Rated Memory Foam Mattresses: CR’s Top 5

In the table below, we’ve listed the five foam beds that earned the top ratings from the group Consumer Reports tested in 2015. These beds are sorted from highest to lowest rating, and we’ve also included third-party consumer review sources when available, for comparison.

MattressQueen PriceSpecsCR RatingReviews
Serta iComfort Savant Everfeel$1,574Soft
2” 3lb MF
2” foam
1.5” 4lb gel MF
6” foam core
674.1 / 5
Spring Air Back Supporter Natalie$1,099Medium
2.25” foam
⅜” gel MF
1” gel latex
7” foam core
643.7 / 5
Tuft & Needle The T&N Mattress$600Medium
3” 2.8lb foam
7” 1.8lb foam core
644.8 / 5
Casper The Casper Mattress$850Medium
1.5” dunlop latex
1.5” 4lb MF
6.5” foam core
644.6 / 5
Ikea Morgongava$999Medium
7.8” 85% natural latex blend
Wool padding
Cotton cover

Among the top scorers, the ratings actually came in fairly close to one another, ranging from 67 to 64 points on a 100 point scale (top spring mattresses often rate fairly similarly). All of the top contenders are in the low to middle price range.

The best-rated memory foam bed was the Serta iComfort Savant Everfeel. This model earns good reviews compared to other iComfort beds, and in general, Serta tends to earn average to above average ratings on consumer review websites. The Savant uses both low density and medium density memory foam layers which performed well in tests, but it’s price point of $1575 is significantly higher than the others in the top five.

Three mattresses tied at scores of 64. The Spring Air Natalie and the Casper 10 mattresses both contain layers of medium density memory foam and latex atop foam cores. Although the Natalie is more expensive, the Caspar shows significantly higher owner reviews on their website versus the Natalie’s on Costco.com. The Tuft and Needle bed, a top competitor to Caspar, also rated the same and is the cheapest at $600, but this mattress is made only with poly foam layers (it contains no memory foam or latex). Both Caspar and Tuft and Needle are fairly new to the market however, so long-term owner information is limited.

Rounding out the top five with a score of 63, the IKEA Morgongava mattress is actually an all-latex foam bed, priced moderately at just under $1000. There are very minimal third party IKEA mattress reviews available, but this bed does seem to earn comparatively good comments in the IKEA lineup, and it does offer a fairly green buy with 85% natural materials.

Worst-Rated Memory Foam Mattresses: CR’s Bottom 5

The following table lists the five foam beds that earned the lowest ratings from the group Consumer Reports tested in 2015. These beds are sorted from highest to lowest rating, and we’ve also included third-party consumer review sources when available, for comparison.

MattressQueen PriceSpecsCR RatingReviews
Spa Sensations 10” SPA-1000Q$315Medium
2.5” 3lb MF
2” foam
5.5” foam core
574.6 / 5
Ikea Matrand$399Medium
Rayon padding
2” 3.1 lb memory foam
5.1” 1.7 lb core foam
Sealy Posturepedic Optimum Inspiration$1,774Soft
2” 4lb gel MF
3” 4lb gel MF
7” gel foam core
522.3 / 5
Ara 13” 100% Visco Memory Foam$1,099Soft
6-⅝” 5lb MF
6” foam core
484.2 / 5
Tempurpedic Cloud Supreme$2,499Soft
1.2” 4.1lb MF
1.6” 5.3lb MF
8” foam core
324.0 / 5

The lowest ranking beds from the 2015 Consumer Reports mattress tests included both cheap and expensive beds.

Two inexpensive models rated at 57, the Spa Sensations 10″ and IKEA Matrand sell for under $400 and use low density memory foam. Although these mattresses didn’t fair as well as others in the tests, consumer reviews do praise their good value — so while the lower-quality materials may affect long-term durability and satisfaction, these beds could still be decent for short term or guest use.

The Ara, a mid-range Costco model, scored significantly lower the another Costco contender in the same range. Surprisingly, the Ara uses a thick layer of high-density memory foam and has good reviews, but the model did not stand up to it’s peers in the CR tests.

The two bigger surprises of the 2015 tests were the less-than-stellar performances from two luxury lines, Sealy Optimum and Tempurpedic.

Sealy’s Inspiration mattress got a score of 52, and reviews on third party websites also highlight below-average performance on durability and support. This mattress uses several inches of medium density memory foam, and is priced in the luxury range.

The Tempurpedic Cloud Supreme mattress earned the lowest score of every foam mattress tested, at only 32, despite its high price. This line uses a softer memory foam than others in the Tempur range, estimated to be in the medium density range. While the Cloud Supreme didn’t stand up in CR tests, it does earn slightly above average consumer reviews on the brand’s website and elsewhere.

Price Breakdown of Consumer Reports Worst Rated mattresses

The above chart shows that the majority of worst mattresses rated by Consumer Reports were over $1,000 dollars. This just reinforces how the price of a mattress doesn’t determine its quality.

Other mattresses tested but not mentioned in the tables above all scored in the middle, between 58 and 63 points. These include the Comforpedic iQ180, Sleep Innovations 12″ Gel, Novaform Altabella, Ikea Myrbacka, Night Therapy 14″ Deluxe Grand, iComfort Genius, and the iComfort Directions Acumen.

How Consumer Reports Rates Mattresses and Why it Matters

Mattresses are perhaps one of the most personal items a person buys, making rating them quite subjective. We all have unique ideas of comfort, based on personal preference, weight, sleep position, health and much more. There is no singular definition of comfort, and the vast variety of mattress types and brands available are testament to this diversity.

Since there is no way to define comfort, Consumer Reports mattress testing process looks at the objective things that can be measured, like durability and firmness. Here’s an overview of the information they collect and compare:

  • A roller test shows how well a mattress holds up to repeated compression. A mattress that breaks down quickly will lose support and it’s ability to cushion against pressure points, and of course, poor durability means worse overall value since the bed will need to be replaced sooner.
  • A group of machines measures the curve of testers’ backs both standing and lying down, to determine how well a mattress supports back and side sleepers. Support is the critical function of any mattress. Ideally, a bed should support natural alignment in your main sleep position.
  • Pressure maps gauge potential pressure points. Pressure points can lead to numbness and pain, which can mean more tossing and turning during the night and less comfortable sleep. Heavier areas like hips and shoulders and bonier areas like ankles/heels and elbows are most prone to pressure points.
  • A standardized indentation test measures actual firmness versus manufacturer stated firmness. A company that is inconsistent with their claims can make it difficult to identify the best fit, particularly for online shoppers.
  • A bounce test determines how much motion transfer a mattress yields. High motion transfer can mean disturbed sleep, especially for couples.

So, estimated durability, support, pressure, firmness and bounciness are the primary factors that Consumer Reports’ mattress ratings are based on. This data provides a basic and consistent way to compare different types of beds, but keep in mind it still can’t control for comfort and personal preference. When it comes to memory foam in particular, some sources also suggest that these tests may not be very accurate, since they were all designed for spring mattresses — another thing to consider as you compare.

Your own sleep preferences, sleep habits, weight and body shape will all still play a significant role in what you find comfortable — just because a mattress rates well doesn’t mean you’ll get great sleep on it, and vice versa. The key takeaways, however, can be quality compared to peers, and potential ability to provide good support.

Consumer Reports’ Mattress Shopping Tips: How to Get The Best Deal

Consumer Reports offers several tips for navigating the complicated mattress market based on their research. Their latest version includes the following suggestions:

  • Compare different mattress types, including memory foam, innersprings, and adjustable inflatable beds.
  • Avoid common myths. Thick foam layers, more coils, and lumbar layers are typically used to increase mattress prices and upsell consumers, but testing shows that these extras don’t always make a mattress better.
  • Gel infused-foam didn’t make foam mattresses feel cooler, especially when the gel layers were buried under other foams and materials.
  • Know that comparison shopping claims can be erroneous. Retailers can have a hard time determining comparable beds, especially for brands that don’t published detailed specification information.
  • Test a mattress before buying if possible, and don’t let sales people make you feel pressured for taking your time. But, Consumer Reports 2015 guide also finds that several online retailers are doing well in reviews, and that buying from established ones is typically low-risk thanks to fair return policies. And, buying online also means less sales pressure and more competitive pricing.
  • Check return and warranty policies before buying. Return information should include the time frame you have to return and what fees will be associated with returning the bed in case you need to do so. Warranties should explain full coverage versus prorated periods and exactly what is covered.
  • Many retailers will negotiate on price, and many can honor sale prices any time of the year so it doesn’t hurt to ask.
  • If your current foundation is the right kind for your new bed and in good shape, then you don’t need to spend extra on the matching one if you don’t want to (but make sure it’s not required in the warranty policy).

If you’re ready to start shopping for a mattress, we also recommend having a look at our previous guides on choosing the best mattress firmness and our detailed memory foam buying guide to learn more about comparing quality and features. Reviews, guides and sources like Consumer Reports mattress ratings can be a big help, as the more you know about memory foam and the options out there, the better equipped you are to make a smart choice.

Share: What do you think of Consumer Reports 2015 Mattress Ratings — are they accurate, or how do they compare with your shopping experiences?

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