Choosing the best mattress is no easy task. While there are a variety of mattress types out there, they might all not be the best for everyone. We know that mattress shopping can be an overwhelming experience, which is why we created the Ultimate Mattress Guide, and also why we wanted to take some time to talk about memory foam mattresses. A product originally designed by NASA for its astronauts, memory foam has been gaining popularity over the years as a comfortable alternative to the traditional spring mattress. Today, we will discuss various features of memory foam mattresses and what you should consider when shopping for one.
Those that love their memory foam mattress love them for their support and ability to alleviate pain around joints and pressure points. Throughout your body, you have what are called pressure points. These points are small areas of your body that are responsible for supporting large amounts of body weight. When you’re unable to relieve those pressure points and rest properly, you will likely feel aches and pains. Memory foam mattresses differ from spring mattresses because of their ability to mold to your body when you lie down. This allows for your spine to be fully supported, which helps reduce stress on your hips, neck, shoulders and other parts of your body. Keep in mind, there are varying levels of density when it comes to the firmness of a memory foam mattress. Low density refers to a softer and plusher material, whereas a higher density mattress will be more firm.
While many find memory foam mattresses comfortable, it’s important to note how the material reacts to temperature. Due to the fact that they are temperature-sensitive, it’s key to understand the best environment for them, as well as what to expect when you lie down. If stored at freezing temperatures, the memory foam material will become firm and stiff. It will only return to its plush state once it is in the presence of average temperatures. This can be in the form of your room or an increase in temperature from your body heat. Another thing to note, some users have had issues with their memory foam leaving them too hot at night, forcing them to seek out other alternatives to beat the heat.
In addition to the added support, memory foam mattresses are popular for a variety of reasons. They are hypoallergenic, meaning mites, allergens and other pests cannot live within the mattress, only on the surface. Due to the fact that they are able to retain the temperature and shape of what is on top of them, they’re able to absorb energy better than other mattresses. This is key if you are sharing a bed. If your partner is restless or gets up in the middle of the night, there is less of a chance that their movement will wake you up. In addition, memory foam mattresses do not need to be flipped, as opposed to their spring mattress counterparts that recommend being flipped every few months to a year.
There are three main types of foam when it comes to memory foam mattress - Viscoelastic (Traditional), Gel-infused and Plant-based (or Natural).
- Viscoelastic - This is the original foam mattress created by NASA and offers all of the benefits discussed above.
- Gel-infused - These mattresses are exactly what they sound like, a gel-infused memory foam mattress. There are claims that it helps dissipate heat better than the original, however, the gel is still known to retain a significant amount of body heat.
- Plant-based - These memory foam mattresses still have the same benefits as those discussed previously, but are gaining popularity as they are known to dissipate heat much more quickly and are also made with zero emissions and contain zero toxic VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds).
So, what if you’re interested in the benefits of a memory foam mattress, but don’t want to spring for an entirely new mattress? Or, what if you’re worried that you’ll sleep too hot? There are plenty of options out there. Memory foam toppers are a great addition to your current mattress if you’re looking for comfort, but don’t want to buy a new mattress. For those of you who are worried about sleeping too hot, but still want to enjoy the comfort of a memory foam mattress, there are even more alternatives, like creating a barrier between your body and the memory foam. Whether you create a barrier between the memory foam material or purchase temperature-regulating products like Chili sleep systems, you’re still able to benefit from memory foam without having to worry about getting hot at night. A Chili product could also be a good investment because not only are you able to control your sleep system from 55 - 115 degrees Fahrenheit, but the actual product can work as a barrier between the memory foam and your body, and prevent the memory foam from absorbing your body heat.
While there are a variety of factors to consider when choosing a memory foam mattress, it ultimately comes down to what you prefer and find the most comfortable. Our goal is to provide you with the best and most up-to-date information so that you can sleep well at night. For more information on sleep and mattress purchasing, visit our blog or at ChiliSleep.