Memory foam, also called viscoelastic polyurethane foam, is a type of polyurethane foam that adjusts to your weight and form. It conforms to your body, maintaining a “memory” of your shape. Response time refers to how long it takes for the foam to regain its form when you remove your weight. Slower response times in memory foam can cause a “sinking in” sensation, as well as an increased chance of sleeping overheated.
Keep in mind that your mattress is unlikely to be fully made of memory foam. Memory foam is more costly to manufacture. As a result, it works best at the top of the mattress, where it can relieve pressure and promote comfort. A mattress’s foundation layer will always be a thicker foam. Polyurethane foam or innerspring coils, can be used as the basis.
What is it composed of, exactly? This is dependent on the mattress you choose. These sleep surfaces are usually made of viscoelastic polyurethane foam. This is a thick, viscous, and extremely cushioned kind.
Plant-based foams, generated from components such as soybeans, are used in the new models of mattresses. They’re usually just as comfy, plus they have a few extra benefits, including enhanced breathability and contouring. Plant-based memory foam is both hypoallergenic and environmentally friendly.
Memory Foam Varieties
It’s time to delve a little further now that you know why so many individuals think memory foam mattresses are preferable. On the market, you’ll discover three main varieties. Each one’s specifics are shown below.
Memory Foam in the Classic Style
NASA created traditional memory foam in the 1970s, which is constructed of viscoelastic polyurethane foam. Polyform is a traditional, temperature-sensitive material that molds to the contour of your body using heat. Traditional memory foam is noted for its ability to curve and relieve pressure. It’s most useful when the density is between medium and high.
The term “viscoelasticity” refers to materials that act like fluids yet are technically solids. This characteristic is caused by long, flexible fiber-like particles. Du their shape, these particles can temporarily join to form a solid surface. In other instances, they are very adaptable and may glide along with one another, showing fluid-like properties.
Viscoelastic polyurethane foam, on the other hand, is a synthetic foam with both fluid and solid qualities. When objects or people press on the surface, the foam conforms. It recovers to its natural shape relatively slowly when the pressure or weight has been removed. Memory foam has earned the moniker “slow recovery foam” due to its sluggish recovery.
This sort of foam is also known for its capacity to absorb shocks and decrease vibrations. This provides motion isolation, ensuring that you are not disturbed by your partner’s movements during the night
However, there are certain disadvantages to consider. As traditional memory foam traps heat more effectively, some individuals find it uncomfortably hot to sleep on. It also recovers its shape more slowly, making it harder to change positions in the midst of the night.
Gel Memory Foam
The gel memory foam mattress was introduced in 2011 with the goal of retaining less body heat. A layer of gel was utilized in the first gel memory foam mattresses to distribute body heat. A top gel layer is used in more sophisticated memory foam designs. This is a layer of memory foam underneath other upholstery or padding or a layer of gel incorporated with the memory foam.
Consider gel foam if you’re worried about sleeping too hot on a regular model. To provide a colder impression, gel particles or liquid gel are put into the foam. The gel absorbs body heat and makes you feel more comfortable because it stays at room temperature.
Plant-Based Memory Foam
Botanical components like soybeans and castor oil are used in plant-based foams. Both classic and gel models use these oils to replace a portion of petroleum. For many customers, this alleviates any worries they may have regarding the material’s safety. The mattress will be devoid of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) due to the less harmful production technique.
But it isn’t the only advantage. Because they are lighter than standard memory foams, plant-based choices are temperature neutral. They become more breathable as a result of this. Plant-based kinds rely more on pressure to adapt to your body’s shape than they do on body heat. As a result, you’re more likely to sleep cooler and more comfortably.
The Advantages of a Memory Foam Mattress
Due to the general sleep-promoting advantages that memory foam mattresses provide, they have grown increasingly popular in recent years. However, memory foam continues to be a source of worry. Let’s discuss the material’s advantages and disadvantages.
Pressure Points are Relieved
Long periods of time spent in the same position can be exhausting. Gravity’s downward pull and upward resistance might have an influence on your circulation. Conforming to your shape implies relieving strain on your body to reduce discomfort.
Maintains the Alignment of your Back and Spine
These beds do not droop like spring models. Instead, they equally distribute your weight around the bed, allowing it to conform to your body’s natural contours. This keeps your back and spine in a neutral posture as you sleep, preventing them from contorting and causing discomfort.
If you have allergies, memory foam can be the best option for you. Dust mites, which are the major cause of indoor allergies, are reduced by the materials and density. Mold and pet dander are two common allergies that can be helped by the same density.
Pros of a Memory Foam Mattress
Memory foam has a number of sleep-enhancing properties, including:
It may be used in any sleeping posture: It can cradle and support any area of your body as you sleep since it’s moldable. Whether you sleep on your back, side, stomach, or a combination of the three, this is true.
Isolation from movement: Motion transmission is reduced in beds constructed of this particular material, making them ideal for couples. You are less likely to detect your partner’s movement if they change positions or get out of bed. Some memory foam mattresses even come with extra edge support. That isn’t true of a spring mattress.
It works well with adjustable beds: Over the last several years, some of the greatest adjustable beds have become increasingly popular. One of their most compatible companions is memory foam mattresses. This is due to the adjustable base’s capacity to bend without affecting durability. Whether you sleep flat or at an angle, you’ll be well supported.
It’s simple to maintain: There’s no need to rotate a memory foam mattress because it’s not prone to sagging or indentations.
It’ll last longer: A foam-based type can survive longer than an innerspring model since it absorbs less mold, dust mites, and other dirt. Foam mattresses of good quality can last for ten years or more.
It provides excellent pain relief: Memory foam reduces strain and stress in your joints and spine, which can help to ease and prevent chronic pain.
Cons of a Memory Foam Mattress
Retention of heat: As memory foam retains body heat, you may find yourself waking up uncomfortably hot. This is particularly common among hot sleepers. Plant-based foams and cooling technologies are used by mattress manufacturers to avoid this.
Off-gassing: A number of chemicals are required to manufacture memory foam. As a result, when you initially unpack certain memory foam mattresses, they have a chemical odor. Off-gassing is the term for this. Most high-quality mattresses will not or just mildly off-gas, but the odor should fade within a few hours. If the chemical odor persists, it’s a good indication that the bed is manufactured with low-quality foams.
A Buying Guide for The Best Memory Foam Mattress of 2022
The Puffy mattress offers a lot of benefits. This mattress offers innovative DeepSleep technology across four individual layers thanks to its proprietary multi-layer construction. On top of a Firm Core Support base layer, there’s an award-winning Cooling Cloud top layer, a Plush Dual Cloud layer for warmth and comfort, and a ClimateComfort layer for temperature regulation.
The breathable upper layer embraces the body softly, keeping it aligned while also keeping it cool. Pressure points are very well-supported, and there’s enough of alleviation for all sleeping positions, but notably for side sleepers. The Plush Dual Cloud layer, which is deeper in the mattress, also aids in spine alignment for a more balanced sleep and total relaxation. Meanwhile, the ClimateComfort layer regulates your body temperature regardless of the season.
The Puffy mattress arrives in a package at your doorstep. A 101-night sleep trial is also available, as well as a lifetime warranty. The Puffy mattress is a wonderful choice if you want extra degrees of comfort without sacrificing stability. This ‘huggy’ mattress is heavy on cradling, giving the sleeper the feeling of being carried – perfect if you’re prone to stress-related sleeplessness or wake up with aching pressure points regularly during the night.
Nectar Sleep manufactures a mattress-in-a-box that is both comfy and affordable. This medium-firm (6.5) all-foam mattress starts with a soft, quilted cover that’s meant to keep you cool – three inches of memory foam, then a layer of support foam, a solid foundation layer, and a no-slip bottom cover.
The Nectar Memory Foam mattress also has strong edge support, which makes the mattress feel bigger, and very minimal motion transfer, making it a fantastic choice for couples, especially those with a restless partner.
The Saatva Loom & Leaf mattress is a high-end, hotel-quality mattress from Saatva, a luxury internet retailer. The Saatva Loom & Leaf is an excellent choice for anyone who prefers a more “traditional” mattress. The quilted organic cotton cover of the Loom & Leaf mattress is followed by a layer of cooling gel, premium memory foam, and various layers of foams for support and luxurious comfort. It’s available in two firmness levels: a relaxed firm choice that’s best for back, side, or stomach sleepers, and a firm option for those who want to feel like they’re floating on top of the mattress rather than sinking into it.
The Leesa Original memory foam mattress is 10 inches tall and uses a combination of quality foams to keep you cool as you sleep. It features a twill cover and a cooling top layer. Leesa rates the Leesa Original a 5-7 on the firmness scale, which is a real medium-firm feel. It is the most comfortable for stomach sleepers, but because it has a contouring effect, it is also a suitable mattress for side sleepers.
The mattress’s cover is soft and breathable, and it reduces motion transmission. Overall, the Leesa Original is a wonderful pick for your sleep if you’re a stomach or combo sleeper searching for a trustworthy and comfortable memory foam mattress from a top sleep brand that comes with a 100-night at-home trial and free shipping and returns.
The Tuft & Needle Original is a good option if you’re searching for a low-cost memory foam mattress. This no-frills bed-in-a-box is made to accommodate most sleeping positions, including stomach, back, and side sleeping.
The Original memory foam mattress from Tuft & Needle is made with heat-wicking graphite-infused foam and cooling gel. There’s a good balance of pushback and contouring (it hugs the body gently) here, so you’ll feel cozy while also having an easier time changing positions and getting in and out of bed.
The Last Words
The majority of sleepers will benefit from memory foam mattresses since they provide excellent pressure relief and body contouring. As a result, they’re perfect for side sleepers and combo sleepers, as well as anyone with painful joints.
Memory foam mattresses are also excellent at motion isolation, making them a fantastic alternative for couples who have distinct nighttime habits because the memory foam will absorb any motion from your partner’s in-bed motions.
However, not everyone is a fan of memory foam mattresses. If you don’t like being cradled by your mattress, a memory foam bed may not be for you, unless it’s a hybrid (made with foam and coils).