Memory Foam Mattress Guide

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Memory foam mattresses have become more and more popular in recent years, with a number of big name brands producing their own lines of mattresses made from memory foam as well as natural latex foam.

The variation between brands and models can be huge.

A mattress shopper must balance the value of a number of factors, and so may wish to consult a memory foam buying guide to evaluate all the facts that help them to decide on the best mattress buy for any particular budget.

What Is Memory Foam?

NASA developed memory foam for use in relieving pressure on astronauts bodies during space flight.

While the viscoelastic material used in those days provided support and comfort under extreme G-force, it is not the same substance used in the mattresses of today.

foam mattress bed

Foam mattress bed with Visco elastic memory foam.

Some mattress manufacturers and retailers make that claim through misunderstanding or to generate a degree of hype to help in sales.

The Myth Of Space Technology

Memory foam mattresses are a great value, but they are not space technology.

Even though the material has been in existence for over 40 years, consumer products made from memory foam like cushions, pillows, pads and mattress toppers have not until recently attained any great popularity in the market.

While memory foams evident benefits would seem likely to make it a hot seller in any market, the manufacturing process was up until now quite expensive.

The foams primary use was not in homes but in hospitals helping severely ill and injured patients avoid bed sores and other complications.

The processes used to make the foam has benefited from recent breakthroughs in technology, resulting in a rise in the number of memory foam products available and an upswing in their popularity over traditional mattresses with coiled springs.

How Memory Foam Gets Its Memory

Memory mattresses made of visco-elastic foam contain billions of tiny bubbles called cells. The foam reacts to body temperature by becoming softer, allowing the body parts pressed against it to sag slightly, so removing pressure points.

The base material is a synthetic polyurethane foam that when treated with certain chemicals becomes a nontoxic visco-elastic foam.

A variety of grades of memory foam are sold, the grade assigned being based on several factors. Each must be considered individually.

1. Indentation Load Deflection

A memory foam mattress in a store is has a tag on which its Indentation Load Deflection, commonly abbreviated as its ILD, is prominently featured.

The ILD provides a good indication of the mattresss quality and specifically its firmness. The numbers are a measure of the hardness of the polyurethane material itself.

Labels in stores usually do not have just one number that designates the foams firmness. Often a range will be stated instead. 13 pounds to 15 pounds, for instance, indicates a reasonably firm mattress.

ILD measurements can vary slightly due to environmental factors like humidity.

This means that a single number measured in a lab would be likely to be an inaccurate expression of the firmness the mattress furnished in a home environment.

For more details, check out our ILD rating guide to memory foam mattresses.

2. Weight

Chemical treatments give the visco-elastic foam its ability to compress and recover. The more extensive the treatments during manufacture, the more elastic the foam will become and the higher its density will become.

3. Resilience

The foams resilience is a good measure of the durability of the mattress. A higher degree of resilience means the mattress will have more spring, making it more durable during repeated compressions and recoveries.

Conversely, a lower resilience means less force to resist the weight of the body, so that the sleeper will have a sensation of sinking into the mattress.

Comparisons of memory foam mattresses will reveal that many use different materials in top and bottom layers so as to furnish both firm support and reduction of pressure points.

Disadvantages Of Memory Foam Mattresses

This type of mattress has something of a reputation for problems, but the most common ones are easily avoided by care during the original purchase.

There are a number of different issues that consumers often complain of, and most of them have some validity.

Almost all, though, can be ameliorated by a degree of care and a modicrum of comparison shopping.

Buildup Of Heat

Some users find that their mattresses feel uncomfortably warm during the night, warm enough to disturb their sleep. Some formulations of visco- This problem is not unique to any particular brand. It occurs with many models of a mattress.

Many designers deal with heat by employing a coolmax fabric to help regulate heat gain from the temperature of the bodies of the sleepers.

This fabric allows air to circulate as well as providing a high degree of heat regulation. This results in a mattress better able to deal with the moisture and heat of a sleepers body so that users stay comfortable all night long.

Smell

It is quite common for memory foam mattresses to have a discernible odor when first purchased. The smell normally dissipates after a few days or at most a few weeks.

If it presents a considerable inconvenience, housekeepers can try thoroughly airing the room and washing the sheets at intervals of a few days until the scent does fade.

Some users allow new memory foam mattresses to air in a spare room for a week or so before beginning to use them.

Price

Mattresses made of memory foam are among the most costly available. Some high-end mattresses have price tags in four figures, but less expensive units may also provide good value. S

Some reviews of memory foam mattresses list many models and brands that have been recommended by ordinary consumers, mattresses that are priced not in the thousands but only in the hundreds of dollars.

Those with a limited budget may find that the time spent in comparison shopping will pay off in savings on a memory foam mattress.

There are myriad affordable alternatives to high-end memory foam mattresses.

Other Considerations

memory foamMattress shoppers should consider a number of factors in evaluating a product to make sure the product suits its intended use.

A good mattress is one of the largest investment most people make in their homes. Given the hours we spend in bed each day, that mattress we spend them on is a very important purchase. Several features should be considered.

Mattress Size

Fitting the mattress to an existing bed frame is a no-brainer, but even if the bed must be purchased too, size still plays a part.

Mattresses in smaller sizes are less expensive and may fit into smaller budgets than queens and kings. They may also fit better into a small bedroom.

Conversely a larger bedroom needs a larger bed for balance. In any event, the mattress should fit the occupants without any parts hanging off.

Bed Base

Memory foam mattresses do not need any special sort of bed frame. Anything that provides a stable foundation is quite suitable. Mattresses of this type do not require any additional suspension or support from the base.

One caveat: if the frame to be used has wooden slats, they should be placed no more than two inches apart.

Memory foam mattresses are quite usable with the sort of modern adjustable bed that permits sleepers to raise their heads, knees or feet as desired.

The flexible comfort of an adjustable bed combines with the support of a memory mattress to provide a sleeping environment that can be a real joy.

Depth And Density

The physical measurement of a memory foam mattress thickness has a certain importance, but the depth of the foam itself is more important than the depth of the entire mattress.

The layer of memory foam is the portion of the mattress that provides the comfort and the relief from pressure, and its thickness should be noted.

Don’t Be Fooled With False Promises

Vendors touting cheap memory foam mattresses often stress that the mattress is as thick as Sealy or Tempur-Pedic products, but the thickness of the foam is likely to be markedly less and its quality will be much lower.

The mattress density usually refers only to the upper layer of the visco-elastic memory foam. This layer is of paramount importance because it provides the benefit of relief from pressure.

It is also the one component of the mattress that presents the most cost to the manufacturer. Other layers made from other materials have less effect on the quality and the cost of the mattress.

Top Layer

The density rating also refers to the top layer, specifically to the actual amount of polyurethane in the foam as opposed to the amount of air.

The higher the foam’s density, the heavier the mattress will be. The air cavities in each cell of the foam are smaller, making a foam of higher density more resistant to breaking down and better able to cushion the contours of the sleeper’s body.

High-Density Models

High-density models of memory foam mattress feel superior to inexpensive mattresses with thinner layers of lower quality foam.

Foam density may not be directly proportional to mattress firmness, though. Some of the leading companies in the field can adjust the firmness to desirable levels without regard to the foam density.

This can be a problem with cheaper mattresses, since treatments intended to firm up the mattress often causes the foam cells to break down more easily and more quickly, which means these mattresses sag more quickly than quality models.

Which Memory Foam Mattress Is Best?

Comparing memory foam mattresses can be hard to do, simply because of the plethora of manufacturers producing them today.

Each produces a whole range of models with a wide choice of features to make them more or less suitable to the shopper’s needs. Choosing the right memory foam mattress for any particular circumstances means considering the funds available and the user’s preferences.

Ratings and reviews can furnish a number of suggestions of mattresses worthy of a customers consideration. Valuable advice may also be found in forums.

Points To Consider

A shopper who already knows how firm the mattress should be can concentrate on price and value for money, the last including the units ILD, its density and the warranty with which it comes.

Suggestions will be diverse and varied, but each should be considered and its viewpoint and supporting evidence evaluated before the customer makes a final selection.

The Bottom Line

An objective consideration of the evidence available makes it difficult to argue that memory foam is not the best material for mattresses currently available.

Their chiropedic ability to eliminate pressure points and gently support the natural shape of the body gives them a unique selling advantage. No other mattress can equal their functionality or their aesthetic quality.

Many manufacturers produce a wide selection of memory foam mattresses. Local retailers may well have a few units on sale, but the best way to shop for selection and price is to search online.

Memory foam mattresses for adults or children can be found in many sizes and grades on the Internet. The benefits of memory foam bedding are even available to pets in today’s marketplace.

The Tempur-Pedic Brand

This is one of the most famous brands, often advertised on television, that makes a memory foam mattress, which happens to be the current fad in bedding.

Tempur-Pedic sells more than just mattresses. They also produce cushions, pillows, and other items used for comfort. The biggest benefits of memory foam are proven in the form of the Tempurpedic mattress.

Tempurpedic Mattress – How It Helps Your Body

This kind of mattress is able to conform to the contours and shapes of the human body. Therefore, the spine becomes in better alignment, the body is better given better support, and all pressure points are relieved during sleep.

tempurpedic

Most people often wake up in the morning complaining about stiffness and aches. The TempurPedic mattress targets these problems and hopes to bring them to an end.

The Best Foam Mattress Manufacturer?

Tempur-Pedic International is a Swedish company that not only makes memory foam mattresses to sell but also are one of the most famous and reputable.

They are well known for making the first memory foam mattresses for everyday consumers and also continue to improve on the technology for their product range.

Better Support

A Temper Pedic mattress improves comfort and support.

It is perfect for those who get warm during the night. There are waffle layers in between layers of elastic memory foam to help create a flow of air that keeps a temperature that is comfortable during sleep.

Frame Considerations

It is important to be aware of the bed’s foundation prior to purchasing a Tempurpedic mattress. A platform that is flat and made of wood is perfect to support this kind of mattress.

A normal box spring probably will not be hard enough. Always check with the retailer prior to buying one. They can supply better information.

Factors In the Success Of A Tempurpedic Mattress

The density of memory foam ranges from 2 1/2 pounds to almost six pounds. The Tempurpedic memory foam in mattresses is almost 5 1/2 pounds which equate to a foot of Tempur material in every direction weighing 5.34 pounds.

High-Density Foam

In general, mattresses crafted from foam of a high density are better quality products and will perform the best over a lifetime. A foam of high density includes a longer memory and more body.

High-density foam like that of Tempur-Pedic has billions of tiny open cells that are tightly compressed together.

Air Flow

When laying on a Tempur-Pedic mattress, air flows at a slow rate between the bubbles which gives it time to cradle the natural contour of an individual’s body.

No two silhouettes are the same. This foam will distribute weight evenly and relieve pressure for those with large and tall frames or small and short frames alike.

Cushioning And Support

Tempur foam is high density and has a greater body so it gives added cushioning and great support.

It conforms specifically to the body and slowly returns to its original shape when a person moves, just like the hand print that is seen on television returns after a few seconds.

Longer Memory

All high-density foams have long memory. It is believed that longer recovery from a flattened state adds support to a visco memory mattress.

The high-density foam in a Tempurpedic softens at a slower rate in response to heat from the body to make it feel gentle as well.

Although this mattress seems too good to be true, no one can sink right through a high density foam mattress or bottom out.

The cell structure in Tempurpedic foam mattresses are extremely dense and support a body.

Higher Cost Due To Resin

High-density foam like that in Tempur-Pedic systems is a bit more costly to produce because of more resin, instead of air, goes into the production.

This is one of the reasons that a Tempurpedic mattress has a high price tag.

Tempur-Pedic has an unusual mattress recipe, but in the last few years, other U.S. and U.K. manufacturers have uncovered decent memory foam products. This allows for a larger selection of products on the market.

Being able to change the firmness of a mattress improves comfort and support. The density and firmness of the foam holds the body up.

More Considerations

Increased support comes from the foams response to heat. The visco elastic foam softens at the temperature of the body and has more contact which improves weight distribution over a larger area.

A memory foam topper with high density is firmer since it is crafted from better resin. However, at times there may be a topper that is firm with low density.

Visco foam with high density like that in Tempurpedic beds have better performance as long as the firmness responds to body temperature and adjusts to improve the distribution of weight and relieves pressure.

Waterbed mattresses

Waterbed mattresses were not developed recently. In actual fact, they have been there for quite a long period of time. The reason for their popularity is the fact that they offer an exceptionally lovely sleeping experience. They were developed as far back as 200 years ago.

A man called Neil Arnott who was a Scottish doctor is the one who developed them in order to assist patients that were developing bedsores.

He simply took a rubber tube and then filled it with water. He only obtained a patent for his design in the year 1883.

During that time, there was another physician who had attempted to develop a waterbed which ended up not being a success. The waterbed mattresses which we are familiar with nowadays were actually developed by a student in the 1960’s.

Soft Or Hard Sided Waterbed Mattresses

waterbed mattress cross sectionGenerally, you can choose between a hard sided and a soft mattress. The soft type is full of water but still maintains secure sides. In other words, there is no need to restrict it by placing it in a box. All that you are required to do is to place it on a platform deck which is almost similar to a conventional bed frame.

Inside the mattress you will find a secure foam frame. This basically contains the water. What this means is that it is not necessary to enclose the platform using wooden sides.

If you are interested in buying a waterbed, but you do not fancy a big frame that ordinarily comes with older types, this will be the best choice for you.

As for the hard sided types, they come with platforms with wooded sides which basically secure the waterbed mattresses.

It should be borne in mind that the frames are a little bit bigger when compared to conventional bed frames.

As a result they might be a bit of a problem for individuals who do not have a lot of space. This type has its advantages.

There are types which have fascinating storage drawers as well as headboards too.

Alternative Kinds Of Waterbed Mattresses

Apart from the common distinctions between the hard types and the soft types, one should also note the distinction in the water chamber. This is what is called the free flow mattress. If you look at the traditional waterbeds or ones that are cheaper, you will find that they only contain a single chamber where water is stored.

Models like that have the disadvantage of causing waves because they are disturbed easily. Once the waves start, it usually takes a long period for those waves and ripples to settle.

Fortunately, modern designers realized this major flaw and designed a model which is sturdier so that people do not have to worry about waves and ripples.

In order to come up with a design that was more stable, they incorporated things such as fiber batting as well as other types of water chambers.

You can even get waterbed mattresses which have intertwined air chambers. Others come with water chambers known as waveless. However, they do not come cheap.

Waterbed Mattresses –  The Perfect Choice

If you are interested in buying waterbed mattresses it is important for you to opt for the type that caters specifically for your individual needs.

For instance, ensure that you know the exact size of the room where you intend to place the bed. You must also make it a point that you do your research first with regards to the various types of waterbed mattresses.

That way you will be in a better position to make the right choice.