Memory Foam Mattress – Benefits and Buying Mistakes to Avoid

Memory foam was made for NASA in 1966 with an aim to handle high gravitational force abuse, so that pilots and astronauts would stay comfortable on high speed aircraft and space vehicles. Primarily, it was made from polyurethane foam with extra chemicals to enhance foam viscosity and slow the rebound. With normal body temperature this foam softened and moulded to body shape very fast. It was also referred to as ‘Temper Foam’.

Earlier memory foam versions were adopted in the medical field for beds because of its warm and comfortable feel. Slowly, it started to be used in wheelchair cushions as well as in beds for patients who were bedridden. Science proved that memory foam prevented bed sores and even contact bruises because of its conforming properties. Heat retention was also advantageous for healing in several bedridden patients.

In early 1990, memory foam mattresses got launched for consumer use. People found this new technology appealing because of its contouring and pressure point relief properties. Due to increase in demand several other manufacturers developed their versions at cheaper cost.

To address heat retention complaints manufacturers introduced a third generation called ‘gel-infused memory foam’ in 2006. Other materials were also infused such as soy, aloe, and even charcoal to handle different issues like heat wicking, odour reduction, and other undesired reactions.

Brands have also found other ways to create excellent cooling memory foam mattresses, such as plant-based memory foam.

Memory foam differences

All memory foam types differ. Memory foam difference will be noticed in its IFD [indentation force deflection] and density. IFD means the force needed to make an inch of dent and density is equal to weight per pounds / cubic foot. To a point both measurements are correct.

The differences in density will impact the IFD measurement. IFD is used to measure the softness and firmness of memory foam. Memory foam average density measures between 1.5 lb./ft.ᵌ - 8 lb./ft.ᵌ Density is a good gauge that defines quality. Memory foam with 5 lb./ft.ᵌ is a good quality mattress.

High density mattresses have better compression and long lifespan. Therefore, check the ratings when you shop for a memory foam mattress.

Mattress construction

Different comfort layers are used in designing memory foam mattresses.

  1. Base layer with high density foam at the bottom for support purpose.
  2. Top layers will consist of different densities of memory foam, latex foams, hybrid memory foam, and many more.

Remember memory foam mattress term does not mean the whole mattress is designed from memory foam. The base needs to be strong, so as to offer body contouring effect. You can expect 2” to 4” of different density combinations of memory foam in many mattresses. Such blends customize the firm to soft feel of the mattress.

Top reasons to select memory foam mattresses

Many people are curious about the popularity of memory foam mattresses. Get to know its benefits and see if it is the right kind for you.

Body pain relief

The visco elastic foam has the ability to squash down, when curved parts of your body get pushed. It moulds beyond offering good support to the critical body points, when natural heat from your body gets transformed to the mattress. It is a two-way process including 3 main steps.

  1. Body sends heat
  2. Memory foam mattress absorbs it
  3. Responds by heating and cooling down

Ultimately, your body rests in a cosy setting offering exceptional support and comfort. Muscle tension and aches, while sleep gets relieved. Memory foam does not add upward pressure like spring or other materials. When you lie down, the material yields and cradles your shape.

People suffering from chronic joint pain conditions can find this material appealing. As extra pressure is not placed on sensitive areas, arthritis patients can experience good comfort. Alleviated pain is also connected with good sleep, which is another benefit.

Spine alignment

The memory foam mattress moulds and contours to body natural curves supporting joints and spine. Your weight gets spread evenly across the mattress surface. Mattress ensures correct spine position as lower gets good support and you enjoy rewarding healthy night rest.

On spring mattress weight gets focused on areas in contact with the mattress. So, your hips, heels, and shoulders suffer. For side and back sleepers, it means the lumbar area does not get sufficient support. Lower back issues and muscle tension occurs without crucial support. Even the upper body is placed at an unnatural position, especially neck and shoulders causing more pain and stiffness.

Motion transfer resistance

Motion and movement create plenty of waves in a regular innerspring mattress, which disrupts your partner's sleep. Light sleeping partner can find this issue frustrating. Memory foam material absorbs the motion instead of transferring it. It also does not create horrible noise, when posture is changed during sleep. Thus, memory foam is a great option for couples.

Suitable for all sleepers

It does not matter, if you adore sleeping on your side, stomach or back. Memory foam mattress is capable of accommodating every sleeping posture. Visco elastic material is designed to cradle and mould each body part uniformly. This allows the sleeper to settle in the most cosy position without struggling with pressure points. You can get a lot of firmness options, so as to suit your specific needs.

Memory foam curves the spine of back sleepers offering good lower back support allowing it to relax. Hips and shoulders of side sleepers get good support as the waist gets cradled to keep the spine aligned. Backs of stomach sleepers get support and so painful pressure on sensitive points gets averted.

People with breathing issues can buy a memory foam mattress with a memory foam pillow. It offers proper altitude to the neck and head, which is crucial while sleeping. Therefore it causes steady breathing while you sleep thus offering a lot of relief.


Dust mites cannot be avoided. Bedrooms in basically every home is a thriving place for dust mites. Basically, they are harmless but are the main culprit of causing indoor allergies.

Innerspring mattresses have millions of dust mites because the fibre padding is fluffy and there are large open spaces, which makes it simple for dust mites to collect, congregate and burrow inside the mattress.

Memory foam material is dense in structure, so dust mites get discouraged very effectively. They hardly have any space to thrive and live. Memory foam mattress, when blended with hypo-allergenic covers and regularly vacuuming mattress surface helps to control and alleviate dust mites in bedrooms.


Allergy sufferers find foam mattresses great because of their dense nature allergens like pet dander and mould gets constrained in working their way within the mattress.

Some memory foam mattresses are plant based, so low in offgassing, therefore good for people with sensitive noses.


Even if the mattress displays multiple positive attributes it is the durability aspect, which is the eventual priority, while deciding. Without any promise regarding the durability of the mattress, you will be turned off.

Memory foam mattresses are very sturdy and durable. Its average lifespan is of around seven years but premium quality foam can last for more than eight years. Besides its long lasting aspect, memory foam hardly sags when compared to innerspring.

Mistakes to avoid when you shop for memory foam mattress

Wrong assumptions - All are same

People not familiar with memory foam mattresses assume that all are even and offer the same comfort level. Unfortunately, retailers may falsely try to exaggerate memory foam mattress quality. In reality, there are three categories available.

Entry level

Mid-grade level

High quality level

Check the density aspect because a small memory foam layer will not last long.

Incorrect supposition - All are temperature sensitive

When you lie on a premium memory foam mattress, it contours your body giving proper support. In a stable position, your body’s ideal temperature is maintained, which ensures cool night sleep. Memory foam preparing formula is different from one manufacturer to another.

There are some mattress makers, who design low quality products to cut production cost. They take advantage of inexperienced shoppers. The best way to avoid being scammed is place an ice block for 15 minutes on the memory foam mattress and check if it is sensitive to temperature. If it is then the mattress will become hard and firm.

Ignore checking composition

Manufacturers differ, some of them use toxic foam that contains CFCs. PBDEs, formaldehyde, etc. They conceal this by putting false claims on the label. Usually, customers make the mistake of not checking mattress composition, so get deceived. Memory foam mattress needs to have a minimal guarantee of 5 years.

You avoid mattress trial at the showroom

Buying a mattress needs you to test it in the store before making a final decision. In case, you are planning to buy it from an online store then check its firmness grade and density. Visit the local store and test the mattress with the same firmness grade and density. You will easily find, if it is suitable or not.

Now, you are aware about the construction, benefits, and aspects to consider while investing in a memory foam mattress.

Krystal Morrison

I create this blog to share my daily tips about home improvement, children, pets, food, health, and ways to be frugal while maintaining a natural lifestyle. Interested to be a Guest Blogger on my website? Please email me at: [email protected]

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