Memory Foam Struggle...Help please!

Hi. I have read a lot through this website and am very impressed with the quick responses and detailed information in here.
I have pretty bad neck and lower back issues and have at least found that the firm memory foam mattresses seem to help me the most. We have read about Phoenix’s pounds for density and were its made as well as certipur and so on. The problem we are having is that we have a much smaller budget then we would like. Would have bought one days ago were it not for the very tight budget. As to that I was hoping that someone (hopefully phoenix) would look at the links below and give me a general response about them. Some I am leery of because they have no reviews but have great stats otherwise. Some we just can’t tell apart or get clear info on; like who makes it and so on.

So here they are…

Again, I know that these are probably the lowest prices possible, but I did look for the best possible in that range…again totally broke. I know no one can really tell me GO GET THIS ONE… but something to help know that we have as much information as possible would be great. My levels have gotten so high I’m about ready to to shred my current p.o.s. mattress.

Thank you much!


Hi MrsPeterson0303,

They are Chinese foams (with the possible exception of memory foam solutions) and none of them that I can see are CertiPur certified (and that or at the very minimum known good quality North American manufactured foam would be one of my criteria) and they also don’t list the density of their base layers. You can see a little more about why CertiPur or reputable certifications (unlike PurGreen) can be important in post #12 here.

All of these are involved in what I call a “race to the bottom” where they find the cheapest offshore (or worse) sources that they can and will often either mislabel them or will use foams that have fillers to create the density that they list (see here) which means that they will not only be less durable based on the real polymer density of the foam … but the filler can reduce durability as well. In other words they are often a “false” density and not what is called the polymer density or in many cases they are not the density that they claim in the first place.

Good memory foams with good base layers don’t come at these prices.

I also compared their shipping weights to what they should weigh if the density of their foams was accurately described and they were all under weight (either that or they were using very low density/quality base layers). The first one didn’t list a shipping weight but I did the calculation with the memory foam toppers that they sell which do list the shipping weight (which came out underweight). In some cases some online merchants will even calculate their density per 2 cubic pounds instead of per cubic pound.

In any case … these are not the types of merchants that I would seriously consider unless you are looking for a “throwaway” mattress where “the deal” or the price you pay is more important than the long term suitability of a mattress, it’s safety, or its durability.

I also don’t know anything (or at least little because in some cases I’ve connected a few dots about some of them) about the merchants or their “real world” experience, reputation, or storefront and who I buy from is just as important to me as what I buy.

I would be very skeptical of all of the choices you mentioned and would call them “buyer beware”.

If I was looking for a low budget mattress in these price ranges I would consider using a layer of higher quality polyfoam with a good cover from a local foam shop (or even some mattress manufacturers) instead of memory foam.

Or an inexpensive futon (you can see a few sources here)…


I appreciate you taking the time to look and letting me know those don’t have any real indication of the last few things I was trying to verify. Unfortunately, with the spine problems I have a futon or cover just aren’t good enough…hence you see my struggle. My current mattress has hit it’s limit and is collapsing in the center ( I am also a stomach sleeper most of the night) and is literally torturing me. I am having a problem finding something verifiable and at a minimum 4lbs density made in north america that is 450 or below. Would you say a 3lb density would be alright in an 8" mattress that was only about $200-$300 and only expected to be your bed for a couple years max while saving for a serious one?

Hi MrsPeterson0303,

There are as many variations of futons as there are mattresses and they include innersprings, foam, and many other materials (besides just the more typical cotton batting that most people connect with a futon). I would seriously consider them in your circumstances and since they are often firmer … in the right construction they can make a good choice … especially for people with spine problems or stomach sleepers (both of which need good support).

Of course your body type along with any other sleeping positions will also make a big difference in what would work best for you. You would also have the option of buying a futon and then adding an inexpensive topper if it needed a little more comfort/pressure relief.

As I mentioned … a single layer of foam in the right quality and firmness level may also make a good choice.

If you are a stomach sleeper with spine issues …, I would be very cautious about buying a memory foam mattress that you hadn’t tested in person because getting the layering right for your own specific need and preferences can be very tricky.

Quite frankly … my approach would be to follow the steps in post #1 here and to see what may be available locally. There may well be some good options within your budget. If you let me know your city or zip I’d be happy to let you know about any local options or possibilities I’m aware of.

That would depend on your body type, on the layering of the mattress, and on how suitable the mattress was for your needs and preferences. It could be unsuitable for you from day 1 and get progressively worse as the materials softened further (in which case any price you pay would be wasted money) or it could last you 2 years … depending on whether it provided the pressure relief and support/alignment you needed and on how much “room” there was for further softening before you lose the comfort and especially the support you need. If it is “on the edge” of providing good support when you buy it … it may “go over the edge” within a few weeks or months (and bear in mind that foam softening is not covered by a warranty).

If you do decide to buy online and take on the extra risk (especially in your circumstances) … I would make sure I made a purchase from a manufacturer or merchant that had the skills, knowledge, experience, and credibility to help you make the most suitable choice and not just sell you any mattress they can.

If you are committed to a memory foam mattress (or gel memory foam) … you may want to talk with Dreamfoam about their 10" gel memory foam mattress (which is just above your budget but not much). They are a member of this site and like all the members here I think very highly of them and would recommend them over any of the options you are looking at although the quality and value of a mattress doesn’t guarantee that the mattress may meet your specific needs and preferences. They may also be able to give you some idea of other mattresses available locally that may be similar that you could test.


Hey Mrs Peterson (and Phoenix),

What about this from Foam Factory?

You choose 3, 4, or 5 LB, 3" or 4". And they are certipur US certified.

I would personally choose the 5 LB density, because it’s the only way to get the really high quality base foam (see link)

Otherwise you’re stuck with base foam of only 1.8 LB density.

What do you think Phoenix?


Hi howardsbabygirl,

I am not a fan of Foam by Mail (or any of their many other websites).

You can see the reasons why in post #2 here and post #2 here along with some of my thoughts about dealing with them for any purchase where getting what you order is important.

Their history shows they are unreliable and not transparent about what they are selling. At best they are a roll of the dice.


Thank you so much for taking the time to go back over my messages again. And the effort of looking up a mattress (or mattress example) for me. I have started over and completely taken out the things you said to avoid if at all possible. It has come down to two options.

The 8" Here which I have not been able to test as no store has the 8" on dispay though I did try the 7"

And here the 10" Which I was able to test as well. The 7’ and 10" both felt very firm though the 10" of course had a bit more to “sink” into. I use “sink” as the most mild term because it truly was a firm 10".

I am stuck on which one to get, mostly with the concern of how different would the 8" feel from the other two sizes of the same bed I have been able to lay on. Would you say the 8" (accounting of course for the different thicknesses of memory and base foams) be any less firm and supporting then the 10"?

Thank you so much for your time and efforts. This help is very much appreciated.


Hi MrsPeterson0303,

OK … these choices look much better.

Easy Rest is a manufacturer that I think well of and meets all my criteria for a memory foam mattress. They use CertiPur certified foams and are good quality (and they were helpful and open when I talked with them on the phone).

The choice between them would depend on which one was more suitable for your body type and sleeping positions.

The 7" Easy Rest Chiro-Pedic uses lower quality memory foam and the layer is also thinner so you would be feeling more of the firmness of the support layer when you tested this rather than the “firmness” of the memory foam. Depending on the firmness of the support layer … this mattress may be more suitable for lighter people or back and stomach sleepers. It may not have enough memory foam for some side sleepers (although this would depend on the firmness of the polyfoam layers below it.

The 8" mattress has 3" of memory foam and the 10" model has 4" of memory foam and a thicker base layer. Both of these use higher quality materials than the Chiro-Pedic. When you are testing a memory foam mattress … especially with higher density memory foam … it may initially feel firmer than lower density memory foam because it can take longer to soften so it us usually a good idea to spend more time on the mattress to give the foam a chance to soften with temperature. It can also feel firmer when you move because you are moving into firmer foam that responds and softens more slowly than fast response foams.

Which one I would choose would depend on your body type and weight and your sleeping positions. Heavier body types and side sleeping need thicker comfort layers than lighter body types and “flatter” sleeping positions (like back and especially stomach sleeping). 5 lb memory foam will also be more durable than 4 lb memory foam and this can also be more important for heavier weights.