When the time comes for a new mattress and you decide to go with memory foam, it’s not as simple as going to the store and just ordering one. Well, at least it shouldn’t be. Beyond simply lying on one to test out its comfort, there is a lot more that goes into choosing a mattress. Not all memory foam mattresses are the same, and not all of them are created equal. Yes, they all conform to your body, and they all help to eliminate pressure points, but it’s important to know what types there are and how they differ when you are picking out your new mattress.
The Difference Between Memory Foam and Traditional Foam
Memory foam was developed for NASA back in the 1960s, so it has only existed for 50 years or so, and it has only become a consumer product in the past 25 years. It does have a very distinct difference from “normal” foam. Mainly that difference is obvious when pressure is applied to them. Regular foam just pressed down when someone lies on it. With memory foam, the air that is pushed away when you lie down gets spread to other foam cells. This allows for more firmness in the cells that aren’t pressed on as hard, and provide support and comfort to the entire body. So, if you are shopping for a mattress, and you see one that is foam, do not be fooled. Foam is not the same as memory foam.
Memory Foam Types
Not only is there a difference between memory foam and regular foam, but there are different types of memory foam as well. You can choose from a gel-infused foam, or a foam made of natural materials if you’d like. Which one you choose will depend on your personal preference. You can test different varieties out for comfort. You may also want to go with a natural product if you are concerned about the environment and the effect that chemicals can have on your health.
Reaction to Temperature
Memory foam is known for being sensitive to heat. The thing is, that some memory foams are more sensitive than others. When the temperature gets too hot, memory foam can get a little too elastic, which will make you sink more into the mattress. It can give off a feeling that you are melting into the mattress, and being surrounded by the form that has contoured around your body can only make it feel warmer.
To fight this, manufacturers have developed various ways for memory foam to better deal with temperature. Some foams have cell structures that allow for more airflow, which in turn keeps the foam cooler. Another solution was to manufacture some memory foam mattresses with actual cooling components that will better ventilate your
body and allow you to sleep better. The fact is that some memory foam mattresses will be hotter at night than others. Make sure to ask the salesperson or customer service about this issue. If you live in a hot climate, you definitely do not want to buy a mattress that’s going to keep you ever warmer through the night.
Believe it or not, but how you like to sleep may be a factor in what memory foam mattress you prefer. If you sleep on your side, then you probably want a mattress that is thicker. Memory foam mattresses can vary in thickness, but side sleepers should go with one that is anywhere from 8 to 14 inches. Sleeping on your side is better for your back, but it can concentrate the pressure on a smaller area. Having the extra depth will give more cushioning to the parts of your body that come into contact with the mattress. These can be body parts that are especially vulnerable to pressure and pain, such as your knees, shoulders, and hips. You definitely want them to be properly supported, or you may not get a good sleep. In fact, you may even suffer from aches and pains because of it.
There are very few things that can disrupt sleep more than a runny nose, wheezy breathing, or difficulty breathing altogether. That’s why you definitely do not want your mattress to be the cause of any of these things. One of the best things about memory foam mattresses is that they are anti-bacterial. However, some mattresses have extra allergen-fighting properties that may be more suitable for you if you have allergies or respiratory issues.
Even though memory foam is known for providing unparalleled support, you can still choose how soft you want it to be. Generally, they come in one of three densities. If you are looking for a mattress that is a little firmer and will probably be more durable, then the highest density is best for you. Mid-level density mattresses are the best at preventing motion transfer and would be perfect for couples. The lowest density mattresses are the softest.
As you can see, not all memory foam mattresses are exactly alike. There can be differences in how each is made and how each performs, so it’s important that you take all of these factors into consideration to get the best mattress and the best sleep possible for you.