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Best Mattresses without Memory Foam

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Written by: Alex Savy
Read 26 minLast updated on November 16, 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 7 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

Zenhaven Latex Mattress by Saatva
Best Overall - Editor’s Choice

Zenhaven Latex Mattress by Saatva
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EcoCloud Hybrid by WinkBeds
Runner Up

EcoCloud Hybrid by WinkBeds
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Latex Hybrid by Nest Bedding
Third Best Choice

Latex Hybrid by Nest Bedding
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All-Latex Mattress by Nest Bedding
Best for Couples

All-Latex Mattress by Nest Bedding
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GhostBed Natural Mattress
Best for Chronic Hot Sleepers

GhostBed Natural Mattress
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Eco Terra
Best for Side Sleepers

Eco Terra
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Botanical Bliss by Plushbeds
Best for Sleepers with Back Pain

Botanical Bliss by Plushbeds
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Our Reviews of the Best Mattresses without Memory Foam

Best Overall - Editor’s Choice — Zenhaven Latex Mattress by Saatva

Zenhaven Latex Mattress by Saatva

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Highlights

  • 100% natural construction, safe even for sensitive users;
  • extended in-home sleep trial for your peace of mind;
  • flippable design to offer more comfort options.

When looking for the best mattress without memory foam, you should definitely consider this model by Saatva. The Zenhaven mattress has everything you might need to feel perfectly comfortable and safe, as it uses natural latex that is conforming and supportive at the same time. However, the manufacturer takes one extra step and uses a zoned comfort system, which is something none of the competitors on this list can boast of. The comfort latex conforms differently to different body parts and offers enhanced support for the lumbar section of the spine. As a result, the Zenhaven can guarantee optimal weight distribution and fast tension release.

Another cool thing about this mattress is its flippable design. The Zenhaven combines Luxury Plush and Gentle Firm comfort options. This means you get two firmness levels in one bed and can experiment to find the one that would work for you perfectly (or switch between them according to your needs).

Runner Up — EcoCloud Hybrid by WinkBeds

Ecoсloud by Winkbeds

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Highlights

  • zoned support system to aid proper alignment during sleep;
  • thick latex comfort layer for unparalleled pressure alleviation;
  • breathable cotton cover for enhanced cooling.

Another excellent non-memory foam option is this model by Winkbeds. This hybrid mattress uses conforming latex that will adjust to your body, redistribute the pressure, and thus, relieve the pain. Additionally, there’s a special zoned support core. It responds to applied pressure differently and can offer optimal support levels for each part of your body. As a result, it aids proper alignment and again, pain alleviation. I could really feel this effect when sleeping on the EcoCloud after straining my back during a not-so-successful yoga practice. I started feeling better after only a few nights.

You might also be happy to know that the EcoCloud comes with a lifetime warranty. That’s not very common on the mattress market (only the Nest Bedding on this list can compete with that). Therefore, the EcoCloud offers impressive customer protection. Chances are, this purchase will be a long-lasting, worthwhile investment.

Third Best Choice — Latex Hybrid by Nest Bedding

Latex Hybrid by Nest Bedding

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Highlights

  • three firmness options to accommodate a variety of sleepers;
  • lifetime warranty for unparalleled customer protection;
  • individually wrapped coils for targeted support.

Another model that deserves its rightful place among the best mattresses without memory foam is the latex hybrid by Nest Bedding. It can easily win almost any user over with its smart construction and reliable build. This model is handmade from scratch, which means every little detail is taken care of. That’s probably why the Nest Bedding is backed by a lifetime warranty. The company is sure of their product’s quality, which means you don’t have to worry about this investment.

Another aspect I want to mention is the comfort variations. The Nest Bedding hybrid comes in Plush, Medium, and Firm options. There’s a suitable firmness for virtually any sleeper and all sleep positions. It’s worth saying that not so many hybrids on the market can offer such a variety (for example, the Eco Terra comes in 2 comfort options only).

Best for Couples — All-Latex Mattress by Nest Bedding 

All-Latex Mattress by Nest Bedding

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Highlights:

  • two comfort options to satisfy more users;
  • zippered cover for easy cleaning and comfort adjustments;
  • organic latex, safe even for sensitive sleepers.

Want a good non-memory foam mattress but don’t want a bouncy hybrid? Then you can try this all-latex model by Nest Bedding. Being among the best mattresses without memory foam, it absorbs shock from motion rather well even though it does not contain any of that visco-elastic material. As a result, the Nest Bedding latex mattress would be suited for undisturbed partnered sleep.

At the same time, latex is rather resilient. That’s why this mattress will make you feel like sleeping on top of it, not enveloped by the layers (like it often happens with memory foam). However, because latex is very adaptive, you will still enjoy proper weight distribution and tension relief. Who says you have to drown in your mattress to feel comfortable, right?

Best for Chronic Hot Sleepers — GhostBed Natural Mattress

GhostBed Natural Mattress

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Highlights

  • combines breathable coils, neutral latex, and thermoregulating wool to guarantee cooler sleep;
  • extra-sturdy edges to offer more sleeping space;
  • medium feel to offer universal comfort to a wide range of sleepers.

Another model I had to share with you is the Natural Mattress by GhostBed. This is one of the best mattresses without memory foam ideal for those who hate sleeping hot. The GhostBed uses a combination of coils (which allows for proper airflow) and latex (which isn’t likely to trap heat). But the secret weapon here is the layer of natural wool. Wool is a wonderful thermoregulating material. It can keep you cool during hot summer nights and warm in winter. To prove that, I decided to test this GhostBed mattress during a heatwave and without my handy bedroom fan. Luckily enough, I did not overheat during the night.

I also appreciate the sturdy edge support this mattress offers. As a side sleeper, sometimes I lie close to the edge with my hand hanging over it. Many mattresses make me feel like I’m about to roll off in this position. But with the GhostBed, I didn’t have such an issue.

Best 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).

Best for Sleepers with Back Pain — Botanical 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. But the best part is, the Botanical Bliss can efficiently deal with bad backs in just a few nights. This is a conforming mattress that delivers unparalleled pressure alleviation. At the same time, it does not envelop the body that much. Therefore, the Plushbeds mattress does not restrict movement. This aspect is crucial for sleepers with bad backs, and pain often makes it harder to move in bed.

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.

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

Do All Non-Memory Foam Mattresses Sleep Cool?

Not necessarily. Soft latex models may feel a bit warmer than necessary. The thing is, latex is a conforming material. The softer it is, the larger the contact area will be between the body and the mattress’s surface. Plus, softer latex allows for more sinkage.

Now, even though latex does not usually retain heat, the combination of a deeper hug and a larger contact area can make the sleeper feel warmer than they might have expected.

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).
  • Motion isolation. Since most foam-free mattresses have a more resilient feel, some of them can allow for motion transfer. And this could be an issue for couples, especially if one of them is a light sleeper. In this scenario, users might want to choose independent coils over regular ones. As for latex, it might allow for some motion transfer if it’s denser and firmer. So, if their sleeping style allows for it, couples can try getting a softer latex mattress to minimize motion transfer.

How Much Do Mattresses Without Memory Foam Cost?

Price can be a real deal-breaker for many shoppers. That’s why planning one’s budget beforehand can help shoppers avoid disappointment (or improvised overspending) in the future.

Now, non-memory foam mattresses vary in terms of price. Innerspring models tend to be the most affordable, while hybrids and latex mattresses belong to a more expensive category. 

However, the final price of each model will depend on many aspects. They may include unique design features (zoned support or, let’s say, a lumbar layer), brand reputation, warranty coverage, safety certifications, etc.

To help shoppers get at least a general idea of what to expect from the modern mattress market, here are the average prices of non-memory foam models (Queen size):

  • Innerspring - $500-$1,200;
  • Hybrid - $1,000-$2,000;
  • Latex - $1,100-$2,500.

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 non-memory foam mattress that managed to impress me the most. The Zenhaven by Saatva is an all-latex mattress that feels incredibly comfortable. It conforms closely to the body and delivers targeted support, which made me feel like a feather during sleep. Plus, it’s 100% safe and can boast of exceptional quality. But the best part is, the Zenhaven is flippable. This means shoppers have more chances to find a comfort setting that would suit their specific needs.

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

27

Mattresses Considered

112

Hours of Research

2

Sleep Experts Consulted

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