If you’re searching for a new mattress, no doubt you’ve come across the term “memory foam” mattress. Heck, you’re probably wondering what memory foam even is. Perhaps you’ve slept on a memory foam mattress before without even realising what it was! The world of mattresses is indeed big, and there are countless types of mattresses out there from spring to hybrid, latex and memory foam – which is arguably one of the most popular types of mattress materials.

Fun fact: memory foam was first designed in the 1960s to use in NASA spaceship seats and seatbelts, featuring excellent shock-absorbing and pressure-relieving features. Memory foam has also long been used in helmets, shoes, prosthetics and wheelchair seat padding. However, in the 199’s the first memory foam mattress was born and since then this type of mattress has catapulted into the market, most notable in mattress-in-a-box brands.

OK history aside, why are memory foam mattresses so popular? If it’s good enough for NASA spaceships, surely it’s good enough for your sleep? Yes and no. At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preferences and needs. That’s why we’ve put together this guide so you can determine if a memory foam mattress is right for you, as well as the best memory foam mattress brands in the Aussie market. 

Memory Foam Material 

Let’s start with the basics. The main component of memory foam is a polymer called polyurethane. OK yeah, but what is that? Basically, it’s a common and versatile plastic substance that can be used to produce a wide range of materials and products like mattresses and couches, but also insulation, paints, primers, spray foam, and even car parts… we weren’t lying when we said it’s versatile!

Memory foam is a “viscoelastic” polyurethane foam, or low-resistance polyurethane foam (LRPu). It is created by adding different compounds and additives to polyurethane, which can be changed depending on the type of foam being created. Sounds complex and science-y, but essentially these chemicals affect the two crucial qualities of memory foam: viscosity and elasticity.

In terms of memory foam mattresses then, surely each one is the same then, right? Well, no. Different brands have different ways they add chemicals to the foam and processes to create the foam. This results in very varying looking, feeling and durability of memory foam mattresses. 

Why Does Memory Foam Make a Good Mattress? 

Memory foam mattresses are designed to slowly mould to the human body in response to pressure (i.e. weight). They are also designed to then be resilient and return to their original shape once body weight and pressure are removed. Memory foam works differently depending on the pressure you apply. If you apply pressure quickly, the foam will change shape more slowly. When memory foam is used as a mattress material, this quality helps the mattress cradle the body evenly and contours to the body, which is what makes it so comfortable and excellent for pressure relief. 

Different Types of Memory Foam Mattresses

Memory foam mattresses can be split into three types: traditional, open-cell and gel. However, many modern memory foam mattresses actually incorporate all three of these categories. Let’s dive a little deeper into each. 

Traditional

Traditional memory foam mattresses were the first memory foam mattress to hit the market. Traditional memory foam is engineered to mould to your body as we mentioned above. However, one issue with traditional memory foam is that it has a tendency to retain heat, which isn’t good news for people who already sleep hot. That’s why open-cell and gel memory foam mattresses were created, to combat this problem. 

Open-Cell

Open-cell memory foam is made of the same materials as traditional memory foam, but with a different internal structure. Open-cell memory foam mattresses have internal pockets (or, “open cells”) that allow for ventilation and airflow throughout the mattress, which helps spread heat evenly. This creates a great cooling effect which most sleepers need to get a good night’s sleep. 

Gel

The third most common type of memory foam mattress is gel memory foam. This is when gels are added to the mattress by pumping gel-based microbeads into the foam. These microbeads create pockets similar to that in open-cell mattresses. Instead of simply letting air through the mattress, these gels actively absorb and release heat from your body.

Memory Foam Mattress Construction

Comfort Layer: The top section of a memory foam mattress is the comfort layer and it’s made of one or more foam layers designed to provide contouring and cushioning, depending on the level of firmness of the mattress. 

Transition Layer: This section is the middle layer and is made of one or more foam layers designed to work between the comfort layers and the bottom core layer. This section is slightly firmer than the foam in the comfort levels, and often helps wick heat away from the comfort layer.

Core: Despite the name, the core is the base section of the mattress. It is made from much firmer foam and is the largest layer. It provides stability and support to the mattress through the other foam layers. 

Memory Foam Mattress Pros and Cons

Pros 

  • Provides pressure relief by contouring to the body and using body heat and pressure to conform to your individual shape. 
  • Reduces pain and discomfort by distributing weight and taking stress off common pressure points.
  • Promotes spinal alignment and provides lumbar support by responding to the natural curve of the body.
  • Hypoallergenic – thanks to its dense structure, memory foam mattresses are less likely to attract and accumulate dust mites, mould and other common irritants.  
  • Reduces motion transfer which is ideal for couples 
  • Quiet – memory foam mattresses are known for being quiet, which is not only ideal for sex but also if you don’t want the typical squeak and groan that comes with leaving bed. 

Cons 

  • Heat retention – although modern memory foam mattresses are designed to not retain as much heat, the way memory foam mattresses are designed means they inherently get warmer than other types of mattresses. 
  • Price Point can be costly, especially if you buy a high-quality memory foam mattress 
  • A stuck feeling – some people suggest they feel stuck in memory foam mattresses or “sucked in”, making it hard to move during the night.
  • Firmness is an issue for some people who prefer a softer mattress as memory foam is quite firm. However, many modern memory foam mattresses come with the ability to adjust firmness based on your individual needs. 

The 5 Best Memory Foam Mattresses in Australia 

Phew, that was a lot of info to get through. So, now we know all about memory foam mattresses, which is the best memory foam mattress in Australia? Here’s our top 5 picks. 

  1. Ecosa – Best Overall Memory Foam Mattress (Queen: $1,099)

Ecosa is one of the most well-known and popular Australian mattress in a box products. It comes in a range of extra sizes, so you can really tailor it to your body size. It also has a customisation feature which allows you to tailor the firmness level to suit your body and needs. It’s excellent value for money and overall a highly well-regarded and generally loved mattress-in-a-box bed. 

The standard Ecosa mattress comes with a medium pressure option, which is how all Ecosa mattresses are shipped. It’s easier to get a firmer mattress by swapping the layers or flipping the mattress. The layers include a G-7 Gel Memory Foam on top, the ECO-Tex Memory Foam in the middle, and then the Ergonomic Support Foam on the bottom. The medium-firm option comes with the ECO-Tex Memory Foam on top, then the G-7 Gel Memory Foam, and the Ergonomic Support Foam. The firm pressure option comes with a configuration of the Ergonomic Support Foam on top, followed by the G-7 Gel Memory Foam, and then the ECO-Tex Memory Foam. 

The customisation feature makes the Ecosa mattress work for most sleepers, but typically back and side sleepers will enjoy it the most as the foam supports the natural curve of the body, with a comfort layer offering cushioning for pressure points. Many customers suggest they wake up with less back pain and neck stiffness.

Firmness:  If you choose the firmest settings, it might as well be one of the firmest mattresses on the market, making it perfect for people who prefer a hard mattress. 

Pressure: Many people suggest the Ecosa mattress greatly helps relieve back pain, which is likely due to its specifications and how well it cradles the spine for all body shapes and types.

Temperature: One of the great benefits of the Ecosa mattress is its ability to facilitate cooling. With the open cell and gel memory foam surface layers, this mattress will sleep cool for nearly everyone – so hot sleepers and neutral sleepers alike will love it. 


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  1. Emma – Best Memory Foam Mattress For Side Sleepers (Queen: $1,099)

The Emma Original mattress is one of Australia’s most popular foam mattresses in a box. It offers excellent value for money and is a great all-rounder mattress that will suit most people thanks to its medium firmness and comfort-enhancing features. This is what makes it a truly good option for side-sleepers as well.

The Emma Original mattress offers 7 zones of support, making it noticeably softer around the hips and shoulders. This makes it an excellent option for side sleepers. Meanwhile, it offers a firmness around the spine to ensure property alignment and support for back and stomach sleepers. Despite being a foam mattress, the Emma Original can be described as feeling more soft and responsive rather than rigid. It’s a very well-balanced mattress. 

Firmness: We’d rate the Emma Original at a 6.5/10 on the firmness scale. It’s certainly softer than a traditional memory foam mattress, but if you’re used to spring/hybrid mattresses, you’ll certainly notice the increased firmness of this mattress. 

Pressure Relief: The innovative foam layers of the Emma Original offer pressure-relief in all the important areas. The top layer gently hugs the protruding parts of your body, while the second, more resilient layer helps with proper weight distribution and support. 

Temperature: With cool, breathable, and moisture-wicking covers and foams the Emma Original certainly keeps you from sweating up a storm during the night.

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  1. New Koala – Most Popular Memory Foam Mattress (Queen $1,050)

The Koala mattress is one of the most popular mattress in a box products in Australia. In fact, they were one of the first companies to revolutionize the direct-to-consumer mattress in a box space in the country. It recently brought out its New Koala range to compete with similar players like Ecosa and Sleeping Duck, now offering a customisable mattress to suit your individual needs.

As the name suggests, the New Koala Mattress is an upgrade to the highly popular original Koala mattress which came out in 2015. It is one of Australia’s most popular foam mattresses in a box that’s eco-friendly and non-toxic. Similar to Ecosa and Sleeping Duck, a great feature of the New Koala is the ability to change the firmness pressure to suit your individual needs. The New Koala mattress is the basic model in Koala’s new mattress range, which also includes the Calm As mattress and the Soul Mate mattress. 

Overall, the New Koala mattress feels quite dense, no matter which version you choose. The medium-firm mattress is comfortable and evenly absorbs body weight. It has the distinct spongy feel that all foam mattresses have, but it’s still quite reactive to body movements. It’s suited to sleepers of all styles, but particularly font, back and combination sleepers.

The New Koala also has a firmer support base right beneath the hips that prevents your body from sinking into the mattress, which helps in maintaining a healthy sleeping posture. Meanwhile, made with Tencel Lyocell fibre, the New Koala has a 7cm comfort layer that absorbs and releases moisture. Koala is also known for its Zero Disturbance promise, meaning if you’re sleeping with a partner, there should be minimal to zero disturbance.

Firmness: The New Koala mattress comes shipped as a medium-firm mattress, but you have the ability to customise it to suit your needs.

Pressure: The New Koala’s comfort layer acts as a comfy pad for your hips and shoulders and prevents pressure points and morning pain.

Temperature: The comfort layer of the New Koala is made with COOLMAX®️ fibre and features permanent moisture wicking tech. Engineered to enhance the fabric’s drying rate, this 7cm comfort layer and 1cm quilted cover helps you feel cool and dry.

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  1. Eva – Best Budget Memory Foam Mattress (Queen $900)

The Eva mattress has been on the Aussie market for several years, but has recently taken off as one of the most popular online mattresses in Australia. This hybrid mattress is an excellent all-rounder for all sleeping types and is also excellent value for money. It brings the best of both worlds with latex, memory foam and pocket springs, providing support, keeping you cool and minimising sleep disturbance.

The Eva mattress has quickly made a name for itself as one of the best-valued mattresses in Australia. With a combined cooling memory foam and pocket spring system, the Eva mattress provides an optimal night’s rest for sleepers of all kinds, including front, back, side and combo. Being a hybrid, it suits the needs of all types of sleepers, and has earned itself a great name in the mattress in a box industry. 

In 2020, Eva made some small changes to the design of its mattress. It removed the top layer of micro springs, which softened the mattress slightly. As a result, the Eva mattress has a medium-firm feel. Despite its bouncy latex layer and the reactive pocket springs, the Eva Mattress sits on the firmer side with its memory foam top layer and high-density support foam in the middle. 

Firmness: The high density foam layer of the Eva mattress gives the Eva the bulk of its firmness. It serves as a base for the other two layers. 

Pressure: The five-zone pocket springs help distribute a sleeper’s weight throughout the mattress, helping relieve pressure during the night, while also providing dynamic support to each section of the body, with variable firmness at the head, shoulders, back, hips and legs/feet.

Temperature: On the very top of the mattress is a gel-infused memory foam layer, which provides both pressure relief and helps keep you cool throughout the night. It does this by contouring to your body, keeping your hips, spine and joints aligned while the millions of gel beads absorb your body heat and disperse it throughout (and eventually out of) the mattress.

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  1. Ergoflex 5G  – Best Luxury Memory Foam Mattress (Queen $1,529)

Ergoflex is a UK-founded company that came to the Australian market in 2010. Their main goal was to build a high-quality mattress, but at a much cheaper price point than luxury mattress brands (like Tempur). Overall, they’ve done a great job at offering a high-quality memory foam mattress in a box product at a very reasonable price point.

While Ergoflex might not be the most well-known or popular mattress-in-a-box product, it certainly should be. It’s one of the highest-quality memory foam mattresses on the market, and arguably the most comfortable. A typical memory foam mattress is designed to adapt to your unique body comforts, offering a well-supported spine and better posture. Not many memory foam mattresses truly offer all these features – except the Ergoflex 5G that is made from high-density foam. Similar products in the market typically use memory foam blends, which are low-density. Not to mention the memory foam layer on the Ergoflex 5G is 9cm thick, which is almost twice as thick as many competitors. 

Firmness: The Ergoflex 5G mattress is medium-firm (although slightly on the firmer side). However, as you lay on the mattress, you’ll begin to feel yourself sink into the mattress – but not uncomfortably so. It’s more like the feeling of the mattress hugging you.  

Pressure relief: The mattress offers exceptional levels of pressure relief and support, which most sleepers would appreciate. It’s especially rated for its ability to reduce pain. Plenty of customer reviews describe sleeping on the mattress as “sleeping on a cloud”.

Temperature: The Ergoflex 5G has a specially engineered Cool-Sleep airflow layer at its core. This helps maintain a comfortable sleeping temperature by preventing warmth from building up within the mattress.


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