A comfortable night’s sleep is truly priceless, as your entire day is affected by how well rested you are. While standard mattresses are effective at providing good support for proper rest, many consumers are opting for memory foam mattresses to increase overall comfort.
Memory foam is extremely popular in mattresses today, it is a thick, ultra-supportive material that conforms to different body types during rest and regains its shape after you rise. It cradles the body in every position, allowing for soft comfort on the hips, shoulders, and back, which greatly reduces pressure points and promotes healthy, uninterrupted rest.
What Is a Memory Foam Mattress?
Memory foam (also known as Visco Elastic) was first created in the 1970s by NASA. However, it wasn’t until the 1990s that memory foam mattresses began to grow in popularity.
Memory foam mattresses were a polar opposite to the springy bounce of a classic innerspring. They responds to body heat by softening and matching the shape of your body, allowing superb orthopaedic support and incredible comfort.
This article will aim to explain the benefits of memory foam, the different types of memory foam, as well as highlight the best memory foam mattresses on the market and who they are best for.
The most common sizes or names are In the UK are referred to as different names like Double Sized, Single, King Size and Super King. Aside from the various mattress sizes, the most common feature you’ll see advertised when buying memory foam mattresses are their thickness. Each can range anything between 8 inches all the way up to 16 inches thick, and sometimes possibly more.
Thickness is an important factor for some people for multiple reasons, for example, depending on your type of bed, you may want something relatively thin and flexible (for an adjustable bed perhaps), or something tall and thick (to raise the height of a low bed).
Generally the thicker ones are more expensive as they offer more than the conventional 3 layers. For example there may be an extra ventilation layer, or an extra comfort layer. There are generally 3 platforms which make up the design. Each one is generally different in thickness and serves its own purpose.
One thing to note though is that just because its thicker overall doesn’t always mean its better quality. Be sure to check the thickness of each layer, and to check what combination, materials and foam type have been included in its design.
2. Different types of memory foam mattress
The three types of foams used are traditional (viscoelastic), gel and plant-based memory foam. They each are different as a result of the materials used in their construction. Let’s take a look at the three types and see how they compare.
#1. Foam Type: Viscoelastic
Since 1992, the visco elastic memory foam mattress has probably become the most established and the most popular. You may see this type referred to as Standard, Traditional Polyurethane, or Petroleum Based. As the name suggests this type uses petroleum-based polyurethane foam and was invented by NASA, and was originally commercially released for bedding purposes.
Sometimes you may see the Traditional also referred to as Tempur-Pedic but it’s important to remember that this is a brand, not the technology.
#2. Foam Type: Gel-Infused
The gel memory foam mattress is the latest addition of the three types. Essentially this is the traditional viscoelastic foam version but infused with millions of gel beads. The idea behind this technology is the gel will not trap heat like its predecessor; trapped heat can lead to poor response times when someone moves around and can also increase the body temperature.
#3. Foam Type: Plant-based / Natural
Also known as an eco or natural memory foam mattress, this is quickly becoming one of the most popular and best rated mattress choices amongst consumers. The plant-based solution replaces a portion of the gel or petroleum-based substances for plant extract as its filling. Such extracts could be soya, aloe vera, tea or bamboo; each manufacturer may use different plants but will generally make it clear in their specifications what they are using.
3. Density / Firmness Level
When we say molding, we mean how the mattress firmness reacts to weight and pressure, adjusting to the contours of the body, thus producing an even, comfy, firm or soft platform.
The lower density type means you will experience a deeper, more plush and cozy sinking sensation; whereas the increased density type means that although the sinking sensation will still occur to an extent, it will feel more firm and padded. One isn’t better than the other, its down to personal preference.
You will commonly see density measured in pounds (lbs). A foam density of 2 – 5lbs is most common, and anything over 5lbs is considered high quality. Just remember that a lower density figure means soft and plush. A higher density figure means it will be firm and supportive, which is usually considered the best mattress for back pain.
How to Choose a Memory Foam Mattress
If you’re considering purchasing a memory foam mattress, there are a variety of factors to consider that include size, density, and memory foam type. Here are simple tips to assist you in buying your new memory foam mattress.
1. What is you bed frame size
Although memory foam mattresses are considered specialty mattresses, they actually come in all standard sizes, which allows for easy pairing with your current bed frame. Whether you’ve got a space-saving single bed or a luxurious California King, you’re sure to find the perfect sized mattress to suit your needs.
Memory foam mattresses can also be paired with adjustable pivot foundations that adjust the mattress to your specific comfort needs, allowing for an amazing night’s rest.
2. How to choose type of foam mattress
While a common belief is that memory foam is one type of foam, there are actually multiple types of memory foam to choose from: Viscoelastic (Traditional foam), Gel-Infused and Plant-based / Natural foam.
Traditional foam supports the body by creating a soft cradle, which also minimizes pressure points and helps to increase circulation.
Gel memory foam is a great option for individuals who suffer from chronic pain, sore muscles, and overall body stress. The cool-air technology filters out heat as the body warms up throughout the night, allowing you to stay comfortable as you sleep.
Plant-based / Natural foam is a great option for individuals who have sensitive skin and allergies.
3. How to choose the right mattress topper
While memory foam mattresses provide an amazing level of comfort when used alone, a topper adds extra cushioning that truly gives the “sleeping on a cloud” sensation.
For additional firmness, latex mattress toppers are an ideal option. While you still get to experience the maximum comfort of your memory foam mattress, latex toppers are available in soft, medium or extra firm, allowing for additional balance and support.
4. How to choose thickness of memory foam mattress
Memory foam thickness options range from as thin as 6 inches to 14 inches thick. In general, thicker mattresses are softer than super-thin mattresses, however, choosing a thinner style won’t take away the natural comfort of a memory foam mattress. The base foam is the main support structure, and each level after that adds extra softness. It’s also important to keep in mind that adding a topper will help increase the overall thickness of your mattress.
5. What’s the difference in memory foam density
Memory foam mattresses offer high-density, medium-density, and low-density options. High- density foam is considered the most durable, while medium-density allows for optimal motion isolation, making it a great option for those who sleep two in a bed.
When comparing density levels, a good rule of thumb to go by is the weight. For example, medium-density foam is typically 4 to 5 pounds per cubic foot, while high-density foam can weigh as much as 10 pounds per cubic foot.
6. Do you need a hypoallergenic mattress
If you suffer from allergies, it’s always a good idea to pair your memory foam mattress with a hypoallergenic mattress topper and use hypoallergenic pillowcases and bedding to ensure comfort and reduced symptoms.
This also is a reason to consider an eco-friendly mattress. If you’re looking to find one, make sure to do your research. And not all companies who claim to have an eco-friendly mattress actually do.
7. What is body weight
How much you weigh is an important factor in choosing a mattress. We have already discussed that an 8 inch memory foam mattress or less isn’t really adequate for the average body. Similarly on the opposite end, the more you weigh, the thicker you’ll want the mattress to be.
10 inches is adequate for most people up to 250lbs, but if you tend to be a bit on the heavier side or want the extra thickness then you may prefer a 12 inch. And if you are particularly large and heavy, a 14 inch would be better. However, do also consider that the thicker the mattress is, the higher it’ll be to climb into bed.
So let’s now answer the question, “What is the difference between an 8 inch, 10 inch, 12 inch, or 14 inch memory foam mattress?”
8. What is your sleep position
Believe it or not, there are actually memory foam mattresses that are considered better for side sleepers than others. This has to do with the way the foam conforms to the body and the overall thickness of the material. Any mattress with a thickness between 8 and 14 inches is believed to be ideal for side sleepers, as the support foam is thicker, which allows for optimal cushioning of the pressure points of the knees, hips and shoulders when lying on your side.
To increase the comfort of your side-sleeping even more, consider purchasing a full-length memory foam body pillow.
Best Memory Foam Mattress Recommended
Choosing the best memory foam mattress can be difficult to say the least. There are hundreds of brands and many different types to confuse you all the more. Also, since the price of one can vary from a small amount to large, it’s important you make the right choice when investing your hard earned cash.
Here is a list of the top 10 foam memory mattresses that I have selected from thousands of products available on the market, you can have a look and choose a suitable mattress for yourself.
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Best Memory Foam Mattress Reviews 2018
This revolutionary collection of memory foam mattresses respond to your unique movements for outstanding comfort, support and pressure relief. Memory foam adapts to your unique shape and movements for a truly tailor-made sleep experience. Choose from luxurious range of memory foam mattresses from leading brands such as Silentnight, Sleepeezee, Sealy, Sarees, and Relyon with Free Delivery and up to 70% off.
#1. Silentnight 3 zone memory foam mattress reviews
The 3 Zone mattress contains a comfort layer of body moulding memory foam. The 3 Zone mattress provides support for your entire body, with soft support for your shoulders and medium support for your hips and lower back, providing a healthier sleep. The Miratex® foam core means you’ll be supported to the very edge of the mattress, meaning more sleep space for you. The mattress comes with a luxurious soft knit cover for added comfort. This mattress is suitable for divan bases or bedsteads and what’s more, you can sleep soundly safe in the knowledge that your mattress is guaranteed for 5 years. more info
#2. Sarees Cool Blue 1000 Pocket Memory Mattress reviews
This is a very comfortable mattress, but not hard or soft. And with the cool blue you don’t over heat in bed. A good quality soft mattress at a very reasonable price.
No really – just the initial fabric smell on opening – which someone else has already mentioned. But I just aired it for 24 hours and it was fine. more info
#3. Silentnight 7 zone memory foam mattress review
The Silentnight 7 Zone Memory Foam Mattress is easily one of the best mattresses on a budget. It appears as one of the best memory foam mattresses for its quality comfort and great price tag. And if you are sick and tired of waking up with back ache then order a Silentnight 7 zone memory foam mattress today. more info
#4. Relyon Memory Excellence Mattress Reivews
The Relyon Memory Excellence Mattress is constructed with supportive orthopaedic foam and a luxurious layer of memory foam. The Memory Excellence uses a base layer of 150mm Superflex Foam for long lasting body support and a top layer of 50mm pressure relieving Memory Foam, which conforms to body contours perfectly and responds to your body temperature.
In addition, the mattress comes with a zippable Coolmax cover, helping you to stay cool and fresh during the night, whilst keeping the sheets and bedding healthy and dry. The mattress cover is easy to remove for cleaning. more info
#5. Sleepeezee Memory Comfort 1000 Pocket Mattress Reivew
Relax and enjoy the wonderful combination of 1000 individually pocketed springs with a sumptuous double layer of memory foam comfort – the Sleepeezee Memory Comfort 1000 Pocket offers the best of both worlds! more info
In summary, there are three things to keep in mind when choosing a new memory foam mattress.
- The memory foam mattress is suitable for most people, and is very suitable for sleeping on one side;
- If you are sensitive and allergic skin type should choose plant-based / natural foam type – eco-friendly mattress;
- You should know the weight of your body and choose a mattress with a density appropriate to that weight.
There is no such thing as the worst or best memory foam mattress. It all depends on personal preference, requirements and budget. However, considering that a good mattress can easily last over 10 years, plus factoring the original cost involved, it’s wise to make the right choice from the outset.
Read more: Best Memory Foam Mattresses Recommended