Best Mattresses without Memory Foam

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Written by: Alex Savy
Read 24 minLast updated February 22, 2021

Memory foam mattresses can seem heavenly comfortable, but not to everyone.

So, if you are looking for an alternative, I’ve got good news.

I have selected 5 of the best mattresses without memory foam, each of which has something to surprise you with. So, let’s see what they all have to offer and also learn how to pick what works for you.

A Quick Preview

Botanical Bliss by Plushbeds
Best Overall – Editor’s Pick

Botanical Bliss by Plushbeds
Type: latex
Layers: 3 + organic wool
Firmness: Medium, Firm
Warranty: 25 years
Sleep trial: 100 nights
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Idle Latex Hybrid
Best for Hesitant Shoppers

Idle Latex Hybrid
Type: hybrid
Layers:4
Firmness: Medium, Luxury Firm, Dual Firmness
Warranty: lifetime
Sleep trial: 18 months
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Birch Natural Mattress
Best for Increased Durability

Birch Natural Mattress
Type: hybrid
Layers: 5
Firmness: Medium
Warranty: 25 years
Sleep trial: 100 nights
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Latex for Less
Best Value Mattress without Memory Foam

Latex for Less
Type: latex
Layers: 2 (+ wool fire barrier on each side)
Firmness: Medium and Firm (flippable)
Warranty: 20 years
Sleep trial: 120 nights
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Eco Terra
Best Non-Memory Foam Mattress for Side Sleepers
Eco Terra
Type: hybrid
Layers: 2 + organic wool layer
Firmness: Medium, Medium-Firm
Warranty: 15 years
Sleep trial: 90 nights
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Our Reviews of the Best Mattresses without Memory Foam

Best Overall – Editor’s PickBotanical Bliss by Plushbeds

Botanical Bliss by Plushbeds

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Highlights

  • all-latex construction, safe and natural;
  • 3 thickness levels to satisfy more users;
  • 2 firmness options, would work for a wide range of sleepers;
  • adjustable firmness for your comfort guarantee;
  • naturally temperature-neutral, would work for hot sleepers.

There’s a lot to choose from among the best mattresses without memory foam, but I think the Botanical Bliss deserves special attention. This all-latex mattress combines everything you might require for comfortable, safe sleep. The mattress delivers bouncy support and prevents the feeling of being stuck (which memory foam is famous for). At the same time, the Botanical Bliss does not sacrifice pressure relief. The mattress effectively molds to the body curves, delivering pinpoint support and tension alleviation.

Another cool thing about this model is the comfort variety it offers. There are two firmness levels available, so each user will be likely to find a suitable option. Additionally, you can pick among 3 thickness variations based on your preferences. And it gets even better: if your new Botanical Bliss does not feel 100% comfortable, you can remove the cover and swap the layers to achieve a slightly different feel. And don’t worry: even if that doesn’t work (which I highly doubt, to tell the truth), you can return the mattress for a full refund within the first 100 nights. Seems like Plushbeds made sure no shopper would feel disappointed after the purchase.

Best for Hesitant Shoppers — Idle Latex Hybrid

Idle Latex Hybrid

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Highlights

  • extended sleep trial and warranty to offer 100% user satisfaction;
  • two firmness options to accommodate more sleeper types;
  • dual firmness (on two sides) for flippable comfort;
  • individually wrapped coils for reliable targeted support;
  • sturdy edges to provide more sleeping space.

The next contestant for the right to be called the best mattress without memory foam is this hybrid by Idle Sleep. Combining the best of two worlds (wrapped coils and latex), this mattress offers reliable performance and high comfort layers. However, the coolest part is the sleep trial. You get 18 months to test your new mattress, which is something no other company can offer. It’s a perfect option for hesitant shoppers who aren’t sure what mattress they need. Additionally, you get lifetime protection under the warranty coverage. This means the mattress uses top-quality components and will likely serve you for a very long time.

Another factor that makes the Idle Hybrid stand out from the crowd is the firmness variety it offers. You can choose between Medium and Luxury Firm comfort levels, or get a flippable Idle with Medium on one side and Firm on the other side. The dual firmness is another cool solution for uncertain shoppers. You can test both sides and see which one works for you the best (or change them according to your current favorite sleeping position).

Best for Increased DurabilityBirch Natural Mattress

Birch Natural Mattress

 

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Highlights

  • 100% natural and organic, one of the best eco-friendly options on the market;
  • sturdy coil support system for reliability in use;
  • natural latex layer for excellent pressure relief;
  • natural Birch wool for added comfort;
  • handmade and built to last.

Handmade in the US, the Birch is a non-memory foam mattress that can boast of exceptional quality and reliability. Built with care in every little detail (even the stitches), this hybrid mattress promises impressive durability. The company uses special wool construction (Orthocortex and Paracortex) that makes the wool fibers springy and resilient. This means the top layers of the mattress are designed to retain their shape longer and prevent sagging (which is a notoriously big weakness of memory foam). Additionally, the mattress is backed up by a 25-year warranty for your peace of mind. 

Now, the Birch also uses a thick layer of natural latex for extra pressure relief. Latex is an exceptionally durable, sturdy material, so you don’t have to worry about premature sagging. Underneath, you will find a system of support coils (individually wrapped). They are reinforced around the perimeter, which makes the mattress edges quite sturdy (and offers more sleeping space). And since the coils are pocketed, they will deliver targeted support while minimizing motion transfer.

Best Value Mattress without Memory Foam — Latex for Less

Latex for Less

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Highlights:

  • 2-in-1 design, offers two firmness levels in one model;
  • 2 thickness options to satisfy a wider variety of users;
  • 100% natural and safe;
  • mold and dust mite resistant, will create a clean sleeping environment;
  • handcrafted to achieve top-notch build quality.

Another non-memory foam mattress I want to share with you is this model by Latex for Less. And the company really does live up to its name. The mattress is quite reasonably priced (for a latex mattress) but delivers an impressive value for the money. I mean the high-quality (and safe) components, smart construction, and flippable design that combines two firmness levels in one model. And if that wasn’t enough, here’s the kicker: these mattresses are handmade. This means your Latex for Less mattress is going to offer impressive build quality and durability.

What you might also appreciate about this mattress are the comfort options. You can choose a 9-inch model with a flippable design (medium on one side and firm on the other one). Or, if you know exactly what you are looking for, you can get a 7-inch mattress that has a firmer, more resilient feel. Both models use an organic cotton cover for increased breathability.

Best Non-Memory Foam Mattress for Side Sleepers — Eco Terra

Eco Terra

 

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Highlights

  • natural Talalay latex for gentle pressure relief;
  • heat-treated support coils for reliable performance and durability;
  • uses breathable and moisture-wicking materials (such as cotton and wool) to maintain a temperature-neutral sleeping environment;
  • two firmness options, would work for a wide range of sleepers;
  • fabric-encased coils for minimal motion transfer.

While many non-memory foam mattresses use resilient, sturdy materials such as latex, it can be hard to find a suitable option for side sleepers among them. That’s when the Eco Terra comes to the rescue. This latex hybrid has extra-thick comfort layers and uses airy Talalay latex. Such construction results in superb pressure relief, even for side sleepers. The thick comfort layers of this mattress will mold to the curves of one’s body and gently hug the protruding parts. At the same time, the coil core will deliver targeted support and aid neutral spinal alignment when lying on one side.

Now, as there are 2 firmness options available, the Eco Terra would work for a wide variety of sleepers. The Medium model would be suitable for average sleepers (or even lightweight users if you plan to sleep on your back). And the Medium-Firm option should be perfect for heavier side sleepers (folks over 230 pounds). And good news for all users: the Eco Terra sleeps cool even when cradling your body and giving it a gentle hug (unlike most memory foam mattresses).

Non-Memory Foam Mattress Types and Their Peculiarities

If you want to avoid memory foam mattresses, you have a few other options.

Let’s take a look at them to see which one would be able to make a perfect bed for you:

  • Latex. Now, when it comes to latex mattresses, they can easily win almost any user over with their safe and natural components. I mean, even though there are many good memory foam mattresses without fiberglass, some sleepers are still concerned about what goes into that foam during manufacturing (1). With latex, you never have to wonder. Latex mattresses are safe and free from any potentially harmful chemicals. Additionally, latex is naturally temperature-neutral and doesn’t trap body heat. Such mattresses can offer bouncy support and resilient pressure relief (2). Latex can mold to your body curves (just like memory foam) but it will not make you feel stuck. Plus, latex mattresses are extremely durable. On the downside, they are typically quite pricey. Moreover, latex cannot offer quite the same conforming as memory foam does.
  • Hybrid. Many hybrid mattresses combine coils with memory foam comfort layers, but you can find plenty of latex + coils options. Such mattresses offer bouncy support, have strong edges, and typically can easily accommodate heavier sleepers. Latex hybrids can transfer motion but they usually have strong edges and offer more space for partnered sleep.
  • Innerspring. Spring beds are among the cheapest ones on the market, which makes them ideal for shoppers on a budget. Such mattresses deliver bouncy, uniform support all across the surface. At the same time, they don’t usually offer any substantial pressure relief and would work better for strict back or stomach sleepers.

Non-Memory Foam Mattress Types and Their Peculiarities

Source: https://casper.com/blog/ca/en/types-of-mattresses/

A quick note: while an airbed can also be considered a non-foam mattress, I would not recommend this type for daily use (unless you buy a medical-grade alternate-pressure air mattress). Airbeds can’t really deliver the needed balanced combination of support, pressure relief, and proper weight distribution. Therefore, sleeping on an air mattress for a long time might feel quite uncomfortable (especially for your back).

Also Read: Best Memory Foam Mattresses Without Fiberglass

Choosing a Mattress without Memory Foam: Firmness Levels and What They Would Mean for You

Finding a comfortable mattress might seem like an easy task given the variety of options we have these days.

Here’s the deal though:

Comfort is relative.  

And the way your mattress feels (in terms of comfort) would be determined mostly by your body type and favorite sleeping position. Naturally, you will need to pick a proper firmness level according to those factors. So, let me explain it in more detail:

  • Back sleepers. When lying on your back, your mattress has to offer a moderate amount of sinkage for the hips and buttocks while supporting the natural curve of the back (3). Therefore, average back sleepers are usually advised to choose the medium or the medium-firm comfort level. Petite individuals (less than 130 pounds) need something softer so that their body weight would be enough to compress the comfort layer (for the hips to sink). That’s why lightweight back sleepers are recommended to pick the medium firmness. As for heavier users (over 230 pounds), they require sturdier support when lying on their back and should choose medium-firm or firm mattresses.
  • Side sleepers. These guys can develop painful pressure points when lying on one side, so they need softer support and gentle cradling for their protruding body parts. Average side sleepers are recommended to choose soft-to-medium mattresses (an overly soft model would probably not keep the spine properly aligned). Petite sleepers might feel the most comfortable using a soft or even an extra-soft mattress, depending on their weight. And larger side sleepers should pick medium or medium-firm models for optimal support and a decent amount of cradling.
  • Stomach sleepers. When lying on your stomach, no sinkage is needed as it will only lead to spinal misalignment. Therefore, stomach sleepers require sturdy, reliable support all across the mattress surface. That’s why average individuals should choose firm, lightweight – medium or medium-firm, and heavy – extra-firm mattresses when sleeping on the stomach.

Other Factors to Keep in Mind when Shopping for a Non-Foam Mattress

A good mattress goes beyond its comfort level and construction. You also need to pay attention to other factors that may determine how successful (or disappointing) your purchase is going to be. So, here are the main ones you might want to consider:

  • Proper support. When it comes to healthy sleep, spinal alignment is crucial (4). To keep your back healthy, you need a mattress that would provide a balanced combination of firmness and pressure relief suited for your sleeping style and body type (which we have discussed above).
  • Coil gauge. If you are considering a hybrid mattress, check the coil gauge. It signifies the thickness of the coils and typically ranges from 12 to 18 (with 12 being the thickest). Thicker coils are more reliable and durable. Plus, they can support heavier weights more effectively.
  • Coil count. Basically, it is the number of coils used in a mattress. Now, it does not necessarily affect durability or comfort levels (meaning the coil gauge is much more important). On average, most mattresses use around 800-1,000 coils for a Queen, which is enough to provide substantial support and reliable performance.
  • Latex ILD. Being among the most durable mattresses, latex models vary depending on the firmness of the material measured in ILD (Indentation Load Deflection). Now, the softest rating is 12, which would make you sink almost all the way through the latex layer. Anything rated 39 and higher is considered the firmest latex option. 
  • Latex density. Just like memory foam, latex comes in different density variations measured in PCF (pounds per cubic foot). Anything less than 4.3 PCF is considered low-density. If you are looking for a medium density range, check out models rated from 4.3 to 5.3 PCF. And the high-density latex is rated 5.3 PCF and up. Naturally, denser latex is more durable.
  • Durability. You already know that latex and thicker coils have a longer lifespan, but you might also check the reviews to be on the safe side. Look out for any complaints concerning premature sagging, loose stitching, or early signs of wear and tear. 
  • Edge support. Good edge support is crucial for someone who requires extra sleeping space or users who rely on the mattress edges to get up. Generally, if we look at the non-foam mattresses, hybrid and innerspring models offer better edge support than latex beds.
  • Warranty and sleep trial. Always check what the warranty covers to make sure your purchase will be protected. Keep in mind that warranties don’t usually cover normal wear or physical damage (which some companies fail to share) (5). As for the sleep trial, most companies offer 100 nights with a mandatory 30-day break-in period. If you feel like 100 days won’t be enough for you to make up your mind, there are a few companies that offer a full-year trial (or even 18 months like the Idle we’ve talked about today).

F.A.Q.

Is memory foam bad for you?

Not necessarily, but many users are concerned with the memory foam off-gassing and some of the chemicals this material contains (the chemicals that give the foam its visco-elastic properties).

Who would benefit from a non-memory foam mattress?

Users who are sensitive to odors, eco-conscious shoppers, and sleepers who don’t like being “enveloped” by their mattress would benefit from sleeping on a mattress without memory foam.

Are pocket-spring mattresses better than memory foam?

Pocket-spring mattresses are better for those sleepers who require bouncier support, less of a hug, and a more breathable sleeping environment.

What is better, latex or memory foam?

It depends on what you are looking for in a mattress. For example, both latex and memory foam are good for pressure relief, but latex isn’t quite as conforming. At the same time, latex is safer and cooler. It’s also much more durable than memory foam.

How long do non-memory foam mattresses last?

Hybrid mattresses can last for up to 10 years on average, while latex models’ typical lifespan can reach 20-25 years.

Conclusion

Some people believe that the variety of non-memory foam mattresses is rather underwhelming. Well, now you know for sure that it’s not true. There are plenty of options to choose from, all you have to do is pick the suitable firmness level. Also, don’t forget to check what materials the mattress uses (and such details as coil gauge and latex density). And to be on the safe side, don’t neglect reading other people’s reviews to discover any potential issues.

Still don’t know what to choose?

Then allow me to share a recommendation. When I was testing mattresses for this review, the Botanical Bliss by Plushbeds was the one that almost left me speechless. This mattress is quality-made and 100% safe (which is quite impressive given its reasonable pricing). Moreover, there is a comfort option for any sleeper. And even if you make a mistake and order an unsuitable firmness level, you can always unzip the cover and swap the layers to achieve that perfect feel.

How awesome is that? Now, what made you search for a mattress without memory foam? Do you want a different feel or worry about safety? And which item on this list managed to catch your attention? Let us know in the comments!

References:

  1. Dennis Thompson (July 10, 2019). Is Your Mattress Releasing Toxins While You Sleep? Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/news/20190710/is-your-mattress-releasing-toxins-while-you-sleep 
  2. Fan-Zhe Low, Matthew Chin-Heng Chua, Pan-Yin Lim, and Chen-Hua Yeow (October 21, 2016). Effects of Mattress Material on Body Pressure Profiles in Different Sleeping Postures. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5310954/ 
  3. URMC Health Encyclopedia (n.d.). Good Sleeping Posture Helps Your Back. Retrieved from https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=4460 
  4. Ashely Marcin (August 25, 2020). The Best Sleeping Positions for Lower Back Pain, Alignment Tips, and More. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-sleep/best-sleeping-position-for-lower-back-pain 
  5. WHICH Consumer Rights (n.d.). When can I use a manufacturer’s warranty or guarantee? Retrieved from https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/when-can-i-use-a-manufacturers-warranty-or-guarantee

Our research

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Mattresses Considered

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Hours of Research

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