Buying a Memory Foam Mattress
When it comes to buying a new mattress, there is lots of choice available including more traditional spring based mattresses, the newer memory foam mattress, latex mattresses, gel mattresses and even water beds! Most people prefer to choose between either a spring mattress or memory foam mattress.
Memory foam mattresses are a relatively new bed technology. You wouldn’t think it but if you sleep on a memory foam mattress you’ve something in common with an astronaut! Visco-elastic memory foam to give it it’s technical name was originally developed by NASA to cushion and deflect the effects of gravity on astronauts. Fast forward to the nineties, and the supportive properties of memory foam was applied to mattresses.
Memory foam is unique in that it molds to the shape of your body in response to heat and pressure, evenly distributing body weight. It then returns to its original shape once you remove the pressure – that is, you get up!
So what are the benefits of memory foam and why may you choose it for your mattress?
Memory foam relieves pressure points
When you lie in the same position for a long time, the pressure of gravity acts against the resistance of your mattress and can cause damage to your soft tissues in the form of aches and pains. Memory foam was originally used in medical applications to relieve this pain.
When you lie on memory foam, the heat from your body softens it in appropriate places that helps to support your body along the curves and natural lines of the body. This can help relieve pain and promotes more restful sleep.
Memory foam mattresses offer good back support
A memory foam mattress supports each part of the body evenly and individually by spreading your weight across the bed’s surface. The mattress contours to your body’s curves, supporting the lower back and allowing your spine to stay in a neutral position.
Other types of mattress tend to concentrate your weight on the areas that contact the mattress, including your shoulders, hips and heels. For people who sleep on their back or side, this can mean their lumbar area is not adequately supported, and so lower back pain and muscle tension can result.
Memory foam allows you to sleep in different positions
Because a memory foam mattress is designed to mold and cradle every part of your body evenly, it doesn’t matter whether you sleep on your back, stomach or side, as memory foam can accommodate any position.
For people who sleep on their back, a memory foam mattress curves to your spine, providing good lumbar support which allows your back to relax.
If you are someone who sleeps on their side, memory foam accommodates your hips and shoulders while still supporting your waist to keep your spine even.
And if you are a person who sleeps on your stomach, a memory foam mattress helps keep your back in shape and prevent painful pressure points.
Memory foam reduces movement
If you share your bed with someone who tosses and turns or moves frequently in their sleep, you’ll know that body motion can make a lot of waves on a traditional mattress. This often means disturbed sleep for couples, when one partner moves around in their sleep, especially if one of you is a light sleeper. A memory foam mattress absorbs that motion and isolates it rather than transferring it. When one of you gets out of bed or rolls over in their sleep, the other doesn’t get bounced around or jolted out of sleep.
Memory foam mattresses are hypo-allergenic
Memory foam mattresses are particularly good if you suffer from allergies. The materials used in memory foam mattresses are mostly hypo-allergenic and their dense nature helps to repel dust mites and limits allergens like mould and pet hair working their way into the mattress.
Memory foam mattresses are durable and easy to care for
A typical memory foam mattress is pretty durable and has a good lifespan of between seven and nine years depending on the type and quality of the mattress itself. As well as lasting longer, memory foam is considerably less likely to sag over time when compared to traditional spring-based mattresses.
These types of mattresses are also easy to care for. Typically a memory foam mattress should be rotated a couple of times per year and also benefit from the occasional vacuuming.
Choosing the right memory foam mattress
If the benefits that we’ve mentioned so far appeal to you and you’re interested in a memory foam mattress, what’s the right type for you?
Well, there are three main things to look at when choosing a memory foam mattress or bed. These are the density of the mattress, the type of memory foam used in the mattress and the kind of sleeper that you are.
Which density is right for your body type?
When it comes to the density of a memory foam mattress, a denser memory foam weighs more, and tends to provide increased durability and improved pressure relief. However, a higher density can also mean a higher temperature sensitivity, which you may need to consider if you sleep hot. A lower density means a lower temperature but also tends to be less durable and provides inferior pressure relief.
Which type of memory foam to choose?
There are also different types of memory foam that you may want to consider as they offer additional benefits. A standard memory foam mattress provides the typical temperature sensitive material that slowly contours and slowly recovers. A Gel memory foam mattress is usually less temperature sensitive, and includes beads or mixtures of gel which feel cooler when you lie on them. Some memory foam mattresses use plant-based foams to replace a portion of the petro-products with plant ingredients, which are considered a greener alternative. These are generally temperature neutral and have a quicker recovery.
What kind of sleeper are you?
Finally, you should bear in mind what kind of sleeper you are when choosing a memory foam mattress as your sleeping position and body size are important considerations.
If you sleep on your back or are a small-framed person, a thinner layer of memory foam is likely to feel fine. However, if you sleep on your side or have a larger frame, you’ll probably benefit from a thicker layer of memory foam.
Our top picks for memory foam mattresses
We are happy to help you to choose the right memory foam mattress or bed for you. You can try out different densities in our Hoddesdon showroom and we can take you through all the benefits.
To get you started, here are three brands that represent our top picks of the memory foam mattresses:
Breasley manufacture the Uno range of mattresses which includes a number of options for you.
Health Care Mattresses
Health Care Memory Mattresses conform to your body shape hence reducing any pressure points which in turn helps ensure a better night’s sleep. Incorporating memory foam for instant pressure relief and enhanced visual performance.
YOU Perfect Mattresses
YOU offer a wide range of mattresses numbered from one to ten depending on your requirements. For a top memory foam pick, we recommend the YOU Perfect Collection No.10 mattress, which provides a generous top layer of premium latex with a unique natural elasticity and ‘bounce’ and pressure relieving Viscoool, which helps keep you cooler for longer for more restful sleep.
- S B