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5 Best Memory Foam Mattresses [Reviews 2020] - LA Weekly

Getting a good night’s sleep is as important as the food in your stomach. Both are equally necessary for human beings, one needs the energy to go on – to survive!

But, if you’re spending restless nights, unable to get adequate sleep due to an aching back or neck, it’s very likely you’re using the wrong kind of sleeping mattress. Maybe it’s time you chose a good memory foam mattress for your bed!

Best Foam Mattress (2020)

1. Layla® Sleep Memory Foam Mattress: Editor’s Pick

2. Puffy Mattress: Best Value

3. Plush Beds Memory Foam Mattress: Best Cooling

4. Idle Sleep Natural Dunlop Latex Hybrid Mattress: Best Dual-Sided

5. Bear Pro Mattress: Best for Side Sleepers

Choosing the Right Brand of Memory Foam Mattress

Apart from the above considerations, there are several other considerations to remember before you buy your next mattress.

They are:

  • Durability: Take a look at the guarantees. The brands will always boast how durable their mattresses are. Make a mental comparison among the products you find that is best suited for you and those you’d share your bed with.
  • Sex (not gender) & Noise: Yes, sex. If you’re going to share your bed with your spouse, it’s best to test it out by bouncing around on it a bit. Mattresses made from more responsive foam varieties bounce well – obviously making them suitable for good sex! Also, find out if it makes too much noise. Some mattresses have layers of different kinds of materials. Accordingly, while some make noise, others don’t. Mattresses that make less noise are not only better and less distracting during sex, but they also don’t deprive the spouse of a good night’s sleep every time the other tosses and turns. No, memory foam does nothing for people with sleep apnea!
  • Place of Manufacturing & Standardized Testing Certifications (CertiPUR-US): An American non-for-profit program, CertiPUR-US makes sure that the foams they test do not contain harmful metals, chemicals, ozone depleters, or any other dangerous gas emissions (remember off-gassing?). If any mattress brand uses such certified foams, they would gladly advertise it. Therefore, be on the lookout for this certification. Its counterpart in Europe is Eco-label. Generally, those manufactured in the US, Canada, and Europe are more reliable than those made in China. While the latter may be cheaper, those from the former countries will give you better-quality products, devoid of harmful chemicals, low-grade ingredients, and cheap filters, with proper certifications.
  • Warranty Details: Check the warranty details carefully. Find out what you need to do if your mattress does not last as long as advertised and what kind of damages are covered under the warranty. Also, find out about the packing, handling, and shipping charges and responsibilities.
  • Online Reviews (the genuine ones, of course): Pore over as many reviews as you can about the different brands of mattresses online. Read them carefully to make sure they are genuine remarks and not ones promoted by the brand.
  • Sleep Trial Period & Returns: Most reputable brands offer at least a month for the sleep trial. If you don’t like it, return it, but make sure you are returning it in the condition the company expects it to be returned in. For example, no stains, no tearing, other physical damages, etc. Ask about the return policy in detail. If you receive the mattress in a damaged condition for your sleep trial, don’t use it. Return it immediately with images of the damage.
  • Brand Reputation: Find out how long the manufacturer has been in the business. A warranty will hold good only if the brand has a long-standing reputation in the market.
  • Shipping & Delivery: The best brands offer free shipping and return pick-up. Some good ones may send it for a little extra. Less reputable brands would ask you to pick it up yourself as they wouldn’t be able to replace a mattress delivered in a damaged condition by the shipping company.
  • Shop Online & Look for Coupons/Negotiations: While it is best to shop online to get the best deals, some online websites also offer good discount coupons. Use them either online or at offline stores to get high-quality products at a slightly cheaper rate. In case, you don’t find any coupons and are forced to buy at offline stores, do multiple rounds of stores and negotiate well (be a bit aggressive; say that some other store is offering you a better price for the same product).

Knowing fully well how difficult selecting the right mattress is, we’ve created this list of Top 5 Memory Foam Mattresses for you.

Best Memory Foam Mattresses:

1. Layla® Sleep Memory Foam Mattress: Editor’s Pick

One of the best all-American mattress brands, Layla® Sleep, has a whole range of memory foam and hybrid mattresses in store for people who are looking for high-quality, durable, and affordable mattresses.

Its mattresses are not only flippable, but also made from the best quality copper and gel-infused memory foams. A unique aspect of these mattresses is that each mattress comes with two different firmness levels to best suit your needs – no matter how you sleep.

A well-reviewed and well-liked mattress brand, Layla® Sleep has made sure you don’t experience any off-gassing or other health issues while using these mattresses. Instead, the brand has taken particular care to offer optimal comfort and sturdy support, so that you can wake up fresh and rejuvenated each morning.

The brand offers one of the best sleep trials and return policies in the market. Available in all the usual sizes, The Layla® Memory Foam Mattress offers adequate cooling and support for the contours of your body, while offering a tender touch for an amazingly comfortable sleep.

Sleeper Compatibility:

All types, but possibly the best in the market for side sleepers.

Sizes:

  • Twin – 38″ X 75″ X 12″
  • Twin XL – 38″ X 80″ X 12″
  • Full – 54″ X 75″ X 12″
  • Queen – 60″ X 80″ X 12″
  • King – 76″ X 80″ X 12″
  • California King – 74″ X 84″ X 12″

Manufacturing Location:

Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Type of Foam:

Two layers of copper and gel-infused foam layers (3″ & 1″) just below the covers, coupled with a Surface Modification Technology-driven airflow support foam layer (2″) provide ample cooling for the sleeper. Its support core foam layer (4″) sits right in the middle, while two layers of thermo-gel cooling covers – one soft side (4 out of 10) and another firm side (7) – cover the entire mattress. You can flip it on whichever side you want depending on the level of firmness that is comfortable for you.

Cooling Mechanism & Pressure Relief:

The copper and gel layers, along with the airflow layers, provide adequate cooling during sleep. In addition, the covers also provide adequate temperature regulation. All the layers promote optimal joint support, pressure relief from muscles, and quick responsiveness to allow easy and free movement over the surface. The reason why Layla® uses copper gels is that it reacts to pressure (due to body weight) with a firm response to offer a soft and cradling effect. In addition to this, it also provides ample support and pressure relief around compression areas.

Off-Gassing:

None

Surface/Frame Usability:

Suitable for all kinds of surfaces.

Protection Against Stains & Water Spills:

No such guarantee, but the cover generally seems to protect the mattress from liquids and stains, and is itself washable.

Shipping:

Free Shipping; ships out in 2 – 3 business days, except Alaska, Hawaii, and Canada; takes around 1 – 4 days more to be delivered.

Online/Offline:

Online and Layla Sleep® authorized stores.

Sleep Trial:

120 nights

Return & Refund Policy:

100% money-back if returned within the sleep trial period.

Warranty:

Lifetime

Check out the Layla Mattress here.

#2. Puffy Lux Mattress: Best Value

One of the best-reviewed and well-liked all-American memory foam mattress brands is The Puffy. The Puffy is known for its excellent cooling mechanism (even without the gels), effective support, pressure relief, and comfortable sleep. Its sleep trial and warranty periods are among the best in the market.

The brand sells three types of memory mattresses: The Puffy Mattress (3 layers), The Puffy Lux Mattress (4 layers), and The Puffy Royal Mattress (5 layers with cooling gel beads) – each with a different set of features.

While each type of mattress is fantastic, we chose the Puffy Mattress, as it is the most versatile, most popular, and fairly priced of the lot (keeping the advantages in perspective). Its Cooling Gel Cloud Layer is quite effective in keeping you cool all through the night.

Sleeper Compatibility:

All types – mainly Back and Side-Sleepers.

Sizes:

  • Twin – 39″ x 75″ x 12″
  • Twin XL – 39″ x 80″ x 12″
  • Full – 54″ x 75″ x 12″
  • Queen – 60″ x 80″ x 12″
  • King – 76″ x 80″ x 12″
  • California King – 72″ x 84″ x 12″

Manufacturing Location:

All parts of The Puffy Mattress are made in the USA.

Type of Material:

4-layer, 12″ proprietary cooling hybrid foam and trademarked climate-control open-celled memory materials, along with high-density transition layer; Firmness: (5 – 7) Medium-Plush Comfort

Cooling Mechanism & Pressure Relief:

It keeps the body cool and well supported throughout the night with the help of its 3-layer cooling and pressure relief mechanism.

  • Top Layer – Cooling Cloud (contains Temperature Regulation Mechanism)
  • Second Layer – Climate Comfort™ (Contains Climate-Adaptive Materials to keep you warm during winter months and cool in summer)
  • Bottom Layer – Firm Core Support (for spinal support and to keep the mattress in place)

Off-Gassing:

None; Lab-Tested

Surface/Frame Usability:

Works on all kinds of platforms/frames/surfaces – flat, curved, hard, soft, and even spring surfaces.

Protection Against Stains & Water Spills:

Stains can easily be washed away with soap water and water does not percolate into the material, thanks to its Zip-N-Wash cover that is both water- and stain-repellent. Its covers are Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 Certified.

Shipping:

Free FedEx Shipping; ships in 1 – 3 business days.

Online/Offline:

Online

Sleep Trial:

101 nights; full refund if not satisfied (minimum of 30 days).

Return & Refund Policy:

If you aren’t satisfied even after 30 days of use, you can either keep using it until a day before the Sleep Trial ends or return it for a full refund. But you must use it for at least 30 days before returning it for a full refund.

This offer is valid only on the brand’s mattresses, and the product must be returned in the same condition as it was delivered.

If you got the mattress delivered to Alaska, Hawaii, or Canada, you won’t receive a refund on the shipping charges of the original delivery.

Warranty:

Lifetime Warranty

Certification & Accolades:

  • Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 Certified covers
  • Winner of Best Mattress 2020

Check out the Puffy Lux Mattress here.

#3. Plush Beds Memory Foam Mattress

Plush Beds offers different varieties of mattresses, including latex and memory foam. As far as memory foam mattresses, the brand provides three different qualities of memory foam, each with varying features, thickness, material, etc.

The three different types of memory foam mattresses sold by Plush Beds are:

  • 12″ Cool Bliss® Luxury Memory Foam Mattress (6-layered with Gel Memory Foam)
  • 9″ Ocean Mist Gel Memory Foam Mattress (4-layered Gel-Infused Memory Foam)
  • 12″ Posture Plush Cushion-Firm Memory Foam Mattress (6-layered, Open-Celled, Medium-Firm)

All of Plush Beds mattresses are lab tested to make sure they don’t emit foul or harmful gases even when you unbox it. While each one of these mattresses has a ton of benefits, the best and the most versatile of the three is the 12″ Cool Bliss® Luxury Memory Foam Mattress (6-layered with Gel Memory Foam).

However, it is also a tad bit costlier than the other two variants that are way cheaper than any memory foam mattress on the market. The Cool Bliss is still competitively priced, even while offering an abundance of amazing features and benefits.

Sleeper Compatibility:

All types of sleepers.

Sizes:

  • Twin – 38″ X 75″ X 12″
  • Twin XL – 38″ X 80″ X 12″
  • Full – 54″ X 75″ X 12″
  • Queen – 60″ X 80″ X 12″
  • King – 76″ X 80″ X 12″
  • California King – 74″ X 84″ X 12″
  • Split King – 38″ X 80″ X 12″ (X2)

Manufacturing Location:

Los Angeles, California, USA

Type of Material:

6-layered (cover plus 5 layers) with Gel Memory Foam:

  • Cooling Cover (4-way stretch, removable cover that keeps you cool and dry all night long)
  • 3″ Cool Bliss ® Gel (Patented) Memory Foam
  • 2″ Natural Latex
  • 2″ Air Flow Layer
  • 5″ Supportive Core
  • Foundation – Orthopedic foundation made from chemical-free spruce wood or brand’s premium adjustable foundations

Firmness: 6.5 – 7 Medium-Plush

Cooling Mechanism & Pressure Relief:

Patented gel technology, advanced cooling materials, and textured airflow layers quickly dissipate body heat, making these mattresses highly breathable and offering comfort and pressure relief. Its natural latex layer makes the mattress highly responsive and quickly and easily molds its shape according to the sleeper. It also ensures no allergens can thrive in the mattress. This multiple-layered mattress with varying density and ILD, along with its 5-inch supportive core, promotes joint support and prevents sagging. The best part is its built-in option for orthopedic and adjustable foundations.

Off-Gassing:

None; Lab-Tested

Surface/Frame Usability:

Both flat, orthopedic foundations, and adjustable (curved and elevated) foundations (which are also available with the mattresses. You do not need to worry about what kind of bed frame you have.

Protection Against Stains & Water Spills:

The covers are stain-free, can be washed as many times as needed, and repel water.

Shipping:

Free UPS Shipping.

Online/Offline:

Online

Sleep Trial:

100 Nights

Return & Refund Policy:

100% Satisfaction Guaranteed, or Free (Pick-up) Returns & Full Refund

Warranty:

25-Year

Certifications:

  • GREENGUARD Certification
  • GREENGUARD Gold Certification
  • CertiPur-US Certification
  • Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Certification
  • UL 2818 – 2013 Gold Standard for Chemical Emissions for Building Materials, Finishes and Furnishings
  • UL 2818 – 2013 Standard for Chemical Emissions for Building Materials, Finishes and Furnishings

Check out the Plush Beds Mattresses here.

#4. Idle Sleep Natural Dunlop Latex Hybrid Mattress

Idle’s proprietary “Buoyancy Foam” technology offers 400% more support than a regular memory foam mattress without any of the off-gassing or foul chemical smell. In fact, its mattresses are all CertiPur-US-Certified. As for their latex mattresses, they are made from natural GOLS-Certified latex that has its own cooling effect and pressure relief.

One of the best hybrid mattresses in the market, Idle offers the comfort of 1,000 smart support coils instead of the typical 300 springs. On top of that, this brand’s mattresses are all two-sided. So, you can always flip it to curb sagging and make it last longer. No matter the size, each mattress is available in 3 firmness options – luxury firm (9 – 9.5), medium (6 – 7), and medium on one side, luxury firm on the other.

The brand also offers one of the best sleep trials on the market. Besides, its warranty, as well as shipping and return policies, are also one of the finest in the industry.

Other fantastic qualities about Idle are their free gifts and easy add-on options, like white-glove delivery, pillows, and adjustable base, sheets, mattress protectors.

Idle has three varieties of mattresses for sale. They are:

  • 14″ Idle Hybrid (CertiPur-US Certification)
  • 14″ Idle Dunlop Latex Hybrid (Natural GOLS Certified Latex)
  • 14″ Idle Talalay Latex Hybrid (Natural GOLS Certified Latex)

While all of the above are great for all types of sleepers, we have, as usual, chosen the most versatile, popular, and healthy option for this review – 14″ Idle Dunlop Latex Hybrid. Talalay latex may not be the best option for everyone, as it may be a little too bouncy for comfort.

Sleeper Compatibility:

All types of sleepers.

Sizes:

  • Twin – 38″ X 75″ X 12″
  • Twin XL – 38″ X 80″ X 12″
  • Full – 54″ X 75″ X 12″
  • Queen – 60″ X 80″ X 12″
  • King – 76″ X 80″ X 12″
  • California King – 74″ X 84″ X 12″
  • Split King – 38″ X 80″ X 12″ (X2)

Manufacturing Location:

USA

Type of Material:

Hybrid (open-celled, natural latex, foam combined with other materials, like wool, cotton, and other natural materials, coupled with pressure coils – not springs).

Cooling Mechanism & Pressure Relief:

IDLE’s proprietary “Cooling Buoyancy Foam” does not contain viscoelastic chemicals. It stays cooler than most other memory foams and provides better pressure relief, naturally. Its latex variants are even better as they’re covered in organically sourced cotton covers, and the natural latex provides open-cell breathability and is naturally hypoallergenic and antimicrobial.

Off-Gassing:

No; Lab-Tested

Surface/Frame Usability:

Both flat and adjustable surfaces/platforms.

Protection Against Stains & Water Spills:

The cover does not seem to protect against spillage and wetting.

Shipping:

Free & Fast UPS Shipping

Online/Offline:

Online

Sleep Trial:

18 months or 540+ nights (minimum of 30 days)

Return & Refund Policy:

Free Returns (i.e. free pick-up) in the US and full refund if not satisfied, even after the sleep trial period.

Warranty:

Lifetime warranty; Warranty Without End™ also covers wear from use and body impressions.

Certifications:

  • CertiPur-US Certification
  • Natural GOLS Certified Latex

Check out the IDLE Mattress here.

#5. Bear Pro Mattress

One of the best memory foam mattresses is Bear Mattress’ newest addition – BearPro. It is a 4-layered mattress that has a slightly softer feel than the two other variants by the same brand – the Bear Hybrid and Bear (regular) Mattresses. While the former has 5 layers of different hybrid materials including serene foam and encased coils, and is quite bouncy, the latter utilizes graphite-infused memory foam and has 3 layers.

Bear Pro, with its excellent, multiple cooling and pressure relief technologies, is a great option for athletes. It is quite affordable and easy to maintain. Apart from the 4 layers, its patented Celliant® Cover has an amazing cooling effect and is great for muscle recovery and inflammation, as well as back pain relief.

Apart from the usual benefits of gel-infused and open-cell memory foams that BearPro provides, its copper-infused foam layer offers cooler and cleaner sleep. While, as a thermal conductor, copper draws excessive body heat away from the sleeper, it also acts as a natural antimicrobial agent, preventing molds and other unwanted microbes from thriving in the mattress.

Sleeper Compatibility:

All types of sleepers, but best for tech-savvy and fitness-conscious athletes, who require additional pressure relief from their mattress.

Sizes:

  • Twin – 38″ X 75″ X 12″
  • Twin XL – 38″ X 80″ X 12″
  • Full – 54″ X 75″ X 12″
  • Queen – 60″ X 80″ X 12″
  • King – 76″ X 80″ X 12″
  • California King – 74″ X 84″ X 12″

Manufacturing Location:

USA

Type of Foam:

Different variants of foam make up the different layers of these mattresses below the Celliant® Cover. They are:

  • Layer 1: Copper-Infused Foam (Cooling, anti-allergen, and pressure relief)
  • Layer 2: Gel-Infused Memory Foam (cooling and pressure relief)
  • Layer 3: Responsive Transition Foam (pressure relief and even weight distribution)
  • Layer 4: High-Density Support Foam (ensures durability)

Firmness: Medium (5.9 / 10)

Cooling Mechanism & Pressure Relief:

The copper and gel-infused foam layers contribute the most towards cooling and pressure relief to the sleeper. Apart from these, the patented Celliant cover adds to both these aspects and provides a quick response to movement over its surface. Apart from these, the Responsive Transition layer also allows for easy movement (responsiveness) and pressure relief from the joints and back muscles (all muscles that are in contact with the surface of bed).

Off-Gassing:

No; lab-tested

Surface/Frame Usability:

All types of surfaces – flat platform bed, foundation & frame, and adjustable base.

Protection Against Stains & Water Spills:

These mattresses don’t seem to have any such specific protection, but the cover does seem to protect the mattress from spillage and stains and is itself removable and washable.

Shipping:

Free & Fast FedEx Shipping; takes 2–4 business days to ship out; takes 2–7 more business days to be delivered.

Online/Offline:

Online

Sleep Trial:

100 nights

Return & Refund Policy:

Free pick-up and full refund (excluding discounts), if returned within 100 nights of sleep trial. No refunds will be entertained after this period. Exchanges are also entertained but within the same period.

Warranty:

10-year

Certifications:

CertiPUR-US

Check out the Bear Pro Mattress here.

Buying Guide: What to Look for in a Memory Foam Mattress?

Choosing the right kind of memory foam mattress for your family members can be a taxing job, as different people have different needs and sleeping postures. Here’s a brief guide on the different aspects of memory foams you must understand and consider while selecting your next mattress.

Crucial Aspects of Memory Foams & Choice of Mattress

  • Type of Foam: The type of foam you should choose ultimately depends on your personal situation. Choose as per your weather, health issues (including allergies), comfort, and liking. Also, keep your budget in mind. If you’re going for a budget mattress, you may have to make some compromises, like off-gassing, overheating, etc.
  • Thickness of Foam Layers: Generally, thicker materials are costlier, but it’s not the thickness that matters alone. Thickness, along with the number of layers, material-type, foam-type, foam density, and its firmness, work in tandem to create the best mattresses. Mattress thickness varies from 6 inches up to 14 inches, or even thicker. Conventional foam mattresses comprise 3 layers of varying thickness.
    • The top layer, which is normally around 1 to 4 inches thick, generally consists of hybrid or innovative materials that keep you cool and offer soft comfort.
    • The middle layer, which is also around 1 to 4 inches thick, comprises a support layer of varying thickness and densities. While the thicker and less dense ones are firmer, the thinner and denser ones are softer.
    • Lastly, the foam base (i.e. if all the three layers are made from foam-based materials) should be the thickest (around 6 to 8 inches thick). This layer is generally composed of very high-density foams, keeping the mattress firmly placed on the bed frame as well as the sleeper’s frame well-supported. It also ensures you do not experience the “sinking feeling” that’s typical of most memory foams.
  • Foam Density (pounds per cubic foot): Described as the weight of the foam per cubic foot, density determines the softness (or hardness) of the mattress as well as how well it holds up. The higher the foam density, the higher the overall weight of the mattress will be. In addition, you will benefit from better and longer mattress durability and strength. While the density is entirely a matter of personal choice, you must understand that lower density foam offers cooler and more responsive comfort than higher-density ones. However, it may not always be able to offer adequate support to your back and neck, and may give you the “sinking feeling”. People with musculoskeletal issues should consider hard to medium-density foam mattresses to provide firm back and neck support. That’s why most people go for the medium-density ones (4 – 5lbs/cubic ft), instead of the softer (3lbs and below) or the harder (6lbs and above) ones.
  • Sleeping Position Compatibility: If you prefer sleeping on your side, you would need softer upper layers and firmer lower layers to keep your spine aligned, while in the case of people who sleep on their back, a more high-density, the firmer foam mattress is required to do the same job. However, stomach sleepers may find any typical foam mattress inconvenient. In this case, a hybrid type may be more suitable, especially one that has medium-density upper layers. This is so that the stomach is not compressed due to the firm foam layer, while also not allowing the body to sink into the soft foam, causing the spine to bend downwards.
  • Firmness: The indentation load deflection (ILD) or indentation force reflection (IDF) of a mattress is the weight needed to compress the sleep surface by four inches (or by 25% in case of IDF) and ranges between 6 and 40. The higher the ILD, the firmer the mattress will be. Memory foam mattresses commonly found in the market have an ILD rate of around 10 to 21, as this is the most sought-after variant. Many brands make memory foam mattresses of multiple layers, with each layer having a different ILD. The role ILD plays in a foam mattress is quite similar to that of its density and thickness. This, however, does not necessarily mean that any high density and high thickness foam mattress will be higher on the firmness quotient as well. The firmness level is also a personal choice. Side-sleepers prefer less-firm mattresses than stomach-sleepers, and stomach-sleepers require softer ones than back-sleepers. Once again, individuals with lower body weight (130lbs and below) prefer softer mattresses, while heavier individuals (over 230 pounds) need firmer ones to prevent excessive sinking into the bed. Besides, being affordable, this is another reason why most customers go for medium-ILD mattresses.
  • Responsiveness & Viscosity (Pressure Relief): A mattress that easily bends to contour your body when you lie down, allows for even distribution of weight and aligns the spine properly – even when you turn to your side. The chemicals present in viscoelastic foams make the foam soft when a warm body comes in contact with it, and the reverse effect occurs when that contact is lost. How quickly the foam responds to heat and returns to its original form when contact is lost defines the quality of the foam. Traditional foam mattresses that react easily to heat take a while to return to their original shape, even when the body has rolled over to another side, leaving a depression in the area where the person was laying down. This dent can cause the body to roll back (remember the “sinking feeling”?) to the previous area (which would by now be warm to the touch) and make for disturbed sleep. Gel-based and plant-based foams, on the other hand, have a cooling mechanism, allowing the foam to return more quickly to its original shape and offering more comfortable slumber.
  • Heat Retention & Motion Isolation: As discussed earlier, traditional foam mattresses retain body heat, leading to overheating of the sleeper’s body and causing disruptions in sleep. Such mattresses also have slow responsiveness to movement, leading to that “sinking feeling”. Newer, more advanced varieties of memory foam, like plant-based and gel-infused ones, have overcome these issues, offering a cooler, more comfortable sleep.
  • Odor/Off-Gassing: This is an issue with most traditional, open-celled, and gel-infused foam beds, as the chemicals (specifically the synthetic resin polyurethane) used in these mattresses emit a foul chemical smell when unpacked. Although this dissipates within a few hours, it can still be unpleasant to most people. If you’re extra sensitive to such odors, perhaps it’s best to choose plant-based foam mattresses. Be aware, however, these don’t come cheap and are hard to find.
  • Covers & Cooling Layers: Covers of different sizes, shapes, and quality are available on the market. When you buy your next memory foam mattress, make sure the fabric used is of a good-quality – one that does not tear easily, is easily stretchable and is soft and breathable. Cotton or rayon are two examples of this type of fabric. Moreover, the covers should not be too thick. An inch-thick is good enough. Anything thicker than that can counter the effects of a good memory foam mattress. Bamboo-based covers are more breathable and keep you cool longer. They are also naturally dust and mildew-resistant. Also, it’s important to make sure you buy a mattress with several layers. Like we mentioned earlier, mattresses with 2 – 3 layers offer better support, comfort, and do not make you hot throughout the night.

For those who don’t know what memory foam is and what it can do, the next two sections are for you.

What is Memory Foam? Why Do You NEED IT?

The Origin: Memory foam, also known as viscoelastic foam, is a type of foam that was originally developed by NASA to ensure the safety and comfort of its astronauts during launch.

Later, in the early 1980s, it was released into the public domain and hit the mattress industry in a big way when a Swedish company, Fagerdala World Foams, created the first commercial memory foam mattress, the “Tempur-Pedic” in 1991. Nowadays, quite a few brands use it in making pillows, mattresses, seat cushions, and even the insides of shoes!

The Material: Memory foam, made primarily of a polymer material known as polyurethane, contains cells (or bubbles), allowing for more airflow within the foam matrix. This kind of foam is also known as “viscoelastic” polyurethane foam or low-resilience polyurethane foam (LRPu), as it contains certain other chemicals that enhance the foam’s viscosity and density.

“Visco” (in the word viscoelastic) is short for viscous, meaning a material of sticky and thick consistency, somewhere between solid and liquid – a word that has its origin in the Latin word viscum, meaning “birdlime”. The term “elastic” is used to suggest that this material resumes its original shape and size once the heat and pressure are removed.

The term viscoelastic has been given to this kind of material because it reacts to the body heat and softens when comes in contact with warm bodies. It molds according to the shape, weight, and heat of the body. When the contact is lost, the foam returns to its original shape and size. The latter reaction is retained for several years until the foam loses its elasticity and that’s when you know your memory foam mattress is worn out. The higher the density of the memory foam, the softer and more elastic the material is when it makes contact with a warm body.

Uses and Issues: Such (memory foam) materials work marvelously at relieving pressure, owing this to their close conforming properties. It contours the shape and size of the sleeper’s curves, offering that bear-hug like comfort and feel.

Most commonly used in car seats, sofas, and bed mattresses these days, this kind of foam is also quite durable, especially when the foam density is high. Besides, it provides good back and neck support as well as comfortable pressure relief. Mattresses made with high-density memory foam last longer too.

The main drawback, however, to this seemingly comfortable variety of foam is that it tends to retain the body heat within itself, causing the person laying on it to feel more hot than usual. However, this issue has been overcome through experimentation and the creation of more advanced varieties of memory foam.

To understand the difference between the original (or traditional) memory foam and its newer cousins, you must know the types of memory foam currently available on the market.

Types of Memory Foam

  1. Traditional Memory Foam: The traditional foam material is a high-density polyurethane foam with a closed-cell design that offers ample cradling support to boost blood circulation and decrease musculoskeletal stress. In its basic form, it doesn’t contain any cooling layers or gels. Owing to this design, it absorbs and retains body heat, causing discomfort to most people, especially for those who live in warm climate countries.
  2. Open Cell Memory Foam: This is the first innovative memory foam that has attempted to counter the overheating issue. It has lower material density and open cell structure, allowing air to flow more freely through it, and provides the option of adding cooling layers or gels to the material. This structure also provides a quicker response to body movement, preventing the “sinking feeling” often observed in traditional memory foam mattresses.
  3. Gel-Infused Memory Foam: This is one of the best creations in the memory foam industry. The open cells of the foam are filled with gels or gel microbeads that transport the body heat away from the sleeper. These gels also act as density enhancers for the mattresses, providing additional support to the back, hip, shoulders, and spine. Besides, it’s a more responsive type of foam that makes rolling over and getting up easier, i.e. it prevents the typical “sinking feeling” *! However, gel-infused mattresses may not last as long as expected unless a sufficient amount of gel is pumped into the foam cells. This also means that mattresses made with this kind of foam will cost you a bit more than other foam mattresses. Some memory foam mattress makers also use conductors like copper or graphite.
  4. Plant-Based Memory Foam: This is a more expensive and less available variant that is not only eco-friendly but also much better for human health. It remains cool throughout the night, unlike even gel-infused ones that may get warm during the night, and also gives off no chemical fumes (practically zero toxic VOCs). It has all the benefits of good posture support, pressure and pain relief, and quick response to body movement during sleep, and is naturally anti-hypoallergenic.

[* Providing additional layers of responsive foam, a layer of coils beneath temper foam, or latex has been found to make the foam more responsive to body movement.]

Benefits of Sleeping on a Memory Foam Mattress

Viscoelastic (foam) materials help contour the curves of the sleeper, effectively cradling the body and taking the strain off sore joints. Owing to its soft cushioning feel, it adds comfort while sleeping. While some brands offer an egg crate-like outer design to allow better airflow, others add additional cooling layers or materials (like gel, copper, graphite, other natural materials, etc.) to provide the necessary cooling mechanism.

Some of the basic advantages are:

  • Support for Joints, Extremities, and Spine

The higher the density of the foam, the firmer its feel when used in a mattress. Firmer mattresses offer proper musculoskeletal support for sleepers. While viscoelastic materials are known to be of a softer variety, it is best as transitional material. Adding layers of other firmer materials in the lower levels can complement the memory foam, giving the mattress a firm, yet soft cradle-like overall structure. Some memory foam mattresses come infused with copper or gel microbeads. This, too, provides adequate support to the sleeper’s body, while keeping it cool.

  • Relief from Musculoskeletal Pain

Layers of memory foam of varying densities offer a soft, cushiony feel while relieving pain and pressure on the spinal cord and other joints and muscles. This ensures even weight distribution and proper spinal alignment when laying down.

  • Comfort & Pressure Relief

Memory foams offer a close-contouring, cradle-like effect to the body, allowing the hips and shoulders to sink into the soft foam when a person lies down, especially sideways. The thicker the foam, the higher its potential for relieving pressure. Depending on the sleeping posture, one must choose the appropriate firmness of the foam. Very high firmness can reverse the beneficial effects of foam, putting excessive pressure on the joints and extremities. For people experiencing excessive pressure build-up, memory foam layers of 1 to 4 inches thick are best.

  • Dust Mites & Allergens Mitigator:
    Unlike cotton or other natural bedding materials, memory foams are made from chemicals. Thus, they are not ideal for microbial organisms, such as mold and dust mites, to thrive. Besides, the dense structure of the material also prevents their pores from settling in the matrix. Most high-quality plant-based memory foams do not give off a bad chemical odor, as they contain low volatile organic compounds (VOCs are organic chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at room temperature).
  • Low-Maintenance:All you need to do is the occasional vacuuming. That’s all the upkeep needed for memory foam mattresses.

Memory foam, however, also has a few follies. For instance, some may feel stuck or unable to roll over easily. This is usually the case with mattresses made entirely of traditional foam. Another issue with traditional foam is the issue of overheating. Both these issues have been overcome in the latest models of mattresses that use hybrid memory materials, additional cooling layers of varying densities, open-cell structure, and cooling agents. These advanced technology-driven memory foam mattresses prevent overheating and offer a quick response to movement.

This is why most mattresses sold these days are not all-memory-foam beds. While the top 1 – 3 layers are made using visco-materials (either quilted into the cover or layered beneath it), thicker layers are built in to create the base with a high-density polyfoam material. This provides the much-needed spinal support, coupled with cooling agents infused into the materials. Sometimes, memory materials are used in combination with other, firmer base materials, like springs, metal coils, high-density polyfoam, latex, a wooden platform, and other hard mattress materials that compose hybrid mattresses.

Another issue with most regular memory foams is the initial off-gassing, which has been overcome with advanced technologies and lab testing. Owing to the mixture of foam-making chemicals used, an unpleasant chemical odor is sometimes emitted during the unboxing of some low-quality mattresses. Generally, this smell disappears within a matter of a few hours to a maximum of a couple of days.

Memory Foam Mattresses: Choose Wisely, Sleep Well!

Picking the right mattress for you and your loved ones can be difficult, as each person has an individual way of sleeping. Some sleep on their back, some on their stomach, while the rest on their sides. Each person encounters different kinds of posture-related sleeping issues. This problem becomes even more difficult to crack when you share your bed with someone.

No matter how much you may love your partner, when it comes to a good night’s sleep, everything else is far less important. So, try to determine what’s best for you and your partner before you choose your next mattress.

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