The bed-in-a-box memory foam mattress industry has taken the world of mattresses by storm. Initially dominated by Tempur and their costly options, dozens of new companies have sprung up offering memory foam mattresses that are considerably more affordable.

Apart from the comfort that memory foam offers, the big selling point of these mattresses has been the long trial periods that companies offer. You can’t really judge a mattress until you have slept in it for a while, so lying on it in a showroom floor does not reflect how comfy it will be. One hundred days or longer trials allow you to get a proper idea of how comfy a mattress is.

This has led to a vast number of choices which can make the decision difficult, many of the companies have very similar pricing and the marketing terms used to describe the mattresses make each company sound like they are doing something extra special.

Looking at some of the biggest names in the UK lets see how they are stack up against each other.

My overall personal recommendation

I have personally used and reviewed three popular options, RemFit, Simba and Nectar. Both Simba and Nectar are amazing, I find Nectar fractionally firmer, and neither has caused me too many issues with overheating, both are great to sleep in. They also both work well for me and my partner. I am 6’1 and 13 stone while she is 5’6 and 10 stone, so a reasonable weight difference between each side of the bed.

Due to the lower current pricing, 365-day trial and lifetime warranty, I think Nectar is currently the best option on the market. However, all the following options are a reasonably safe bet, and the 100-day trial means you don’t have to worry too much about picking the wrong one.

Simba

Probably the most popular brand on the market, this is technically a hybrid mattress as it uses a 20mm layer of conical spring, enclosed in a 100% polyester pocket. The spring layer is so thin I am not sure how much difference it makes, but it is very comfortable, and I have had friends buy this from my recommendation, all of them love it.

This mattress is universally well reviewed but for the sake of comparison, I always have a glance over trustpilot.com. Simba currently has 8,850 with a total score of 9.4.

This has five-layers including:

  • Breathable sleep surface
  • Cooling comfort layer
  • Supportive pocket springs
  • Responsive memory foam
  • Zoned base

Emma

Priced slightly less than Simba at £699 for a King, Emma mattresses are another popular option. At the time of writing this has a code taking down the King price to £517.26.

This is a standard memory foam mattress, this only has four layers compared to Simba, probably due to the lack of coils. As with all options they have a fancy terminology specific to their mattress.

The four layers consist of:

  • Climate-regulating and Elastic top cover & Breathable air comfort cover
  • Breathable point-elastic Airgocell-foam
  • Pressure relieving Visco-Elastic memory foam
  • Supportive HRX material

They have a lot of reviews on Trustpilot currently sitting at 4,293, but the overall rating is lower than others at 8.2. The vast majority of people love the mattress, but there have been some concerns over customer service, and a few people stating dipping in the mattress.  

The trial is 100 nights, and the guarantee is 10 years.

Casper

Casper has two options, the original and a new affordable choice. The original one is the option closest to the other mattresses on this list, and it currently costs £700. It is a four layer mattress and they use surprisingly basic terminology to describe each layer:

  • Open-cell foam (ca 4 cm)
  • Memory foam (ca 4 cm)
  • Transition foam (approx. 4 cm)
  • Foundation foam (approx. 12 cm)

The top open-cell foam layer is slightly springy which allows you to change position seamlessly. It is also very breathable meaning the air can circulate around you and prevent overheating. The memory foam layer underneath adapts to your body shape and relieves pressure points such as shoulders and hips. The foundation foam layer is very dense and provides a high level of support that complements the other layers. And the transition foam, ensures a frictionless transition between the cuddly memory foam and the firm, lowest layer.

In comparison, the Essential Mattress costs just £450 and only has two layers with:

  • Open-cell top foam (6 cm)
  • Foundation foam (12 cm)

They don’t have as many reviews on Trustpilot, but this could be that they don’t pester customers for reviews. They currently sit at 211 with a score of 7.7, looking over the first few pages of reviews the vast majority of negative reviews appear to be delivery or order related rather than a problem with the mattress itself.

The trial is 100 nights, and the guarantee is 10 years.

Leesa

Leesa is another company that has expanded its range to include two mattresses. They now have the normal Leesa, and a premium pocket sprung option.

The Leesa Mattress King size is £750, so about the same as Simba. They only use three layers on this, but they don’t include the cover layer, so basically the same as the other options. This includes:

  • 5cm Cooling Avena Foam
  • 5cm Pressure Relieving Memory Foam
  • 15cm Dense Core Support

The new Sapira mattress will set you back £1250 for a King, so well out of the range of normal bed in the box style options. With it having 15cm of pocket springs and weighing 46kg this will almost certainly be delivered the old-fashioned way with a 2 man van. This uses both memory foam and full-sized pocket springs, but unlike many other pocket spring mattresses, there is still a 100 day trial period.

They are well reviewed on TrustPilot with a score of 8.8 from 1,232 reviews.

The trial is 100 nights, and the guarantee is 10 years.