From Memory Foam Topper to Mattress


I have been sleeping on a 3" memory foam topper on an old mattress for a while and I find it extremely comfortable. It is not TOO firm. I have been looking into buying a queen memory foam mattress but have been overwhelmed. I see many great mattresses on Amazon such as the ones made by DreamFoam but I can’t seem to bring myself to purchase a mattress without trying it out in person.

Any suggestions for memory foam mattresses which I can try in person? Would like the mattress to be under $1000 if possible.


Hi ewlang,

I would start with the tutorial post here which has the basic information, steps, and guidelines that can help you make the best choices … and know how to avoid the worst ones.

I would keep in mind that every layer of a mattress (or mattress/topper combination) can affect every other layer so your mattress with a 3" memory foam topper may not feel the same as another mattress with a 3" layer of a different type or density of memory foam on top or where the layers underneath it are different from your mattress.

The tutorial post also has a link to a list of some of the better online memory foam mattress retailers and manufacturers I’m aware of and many of these use widely available memory foam mattresses as a reference point for firmness/softness (often Tempurpedic) so you can test a local mattress to get a better sense of what they feel like.

If you let me know your city or zip code I’d be happy to let you know of any of the better options or possibilities I’m aware of that are close to you.


Thank you Phoenix! My zip code is 08080 by the way. One quick thing thing before I check out the tutorial post - I really liked the Serta iSeries at my local mattress store…any alternatives you would suggest because I know you said never to buy a big name brand.

Hi ewlang,

Some of the better options and possibilities I’m aware of in the Philadelphia region are listed in post #4 here.

There are generally too many variables in mattress design and the types of components and foams inside it to be able to objectively match one mattress to another based on specs unless a mattress has exactly the same design and components (which is very unlikely) so it’s not really possible to “match” one mattress to another except with your own personal side by side testing or unless an online manufacturer or retailer is very familiar with the mattress you are considering and has the knowledge and experience to make a direct comparison of one of their mattresses to the mattress you are considering based on their own and their customers’ experience (you can read more about “matching” one mattress to another in post #9 here).

With local testing it’s generally more effective to match each mattress against a common set of criteria rather than using a particular mattress as your “target” (see post #46 here). With an online purchase your more detailed conversations with a retailer or manufacturer or their direct comparisons with some of the major brand mattresses are the most effective way to decide which mattress is the best “match” for you. I don’t know of any online manufacturer that compares their mattresses to any of the iSeries although some of them may be familiar enough with some of the iComfort mattresses that they may be able to make some comparisons with their mattresses.