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How to Find the Just Right Memory Foam Mattress

How to Find the Just Right Memory Foam Mattress-image

How to Find the Just Right Memory Foam Mattress

When it comes to buying a mattress, any smart shopper knows that they’ll likely be confronted by salesmen and saleswomen who will push unaware consumers toward buying the mattress that will net them the highest commission. It’s their job to do so and anyone who works does what they have to in order to make a profit and pay the bills. But does that mean they don’t often have your best interest at heart and more than forty percent of mattress buyers experience remorse afterwards. Don’t be one of them.

Guide to Buying the Right Memory Foam Mattress

The simple fact is that if you are a consumer and want the best memory foam mattress for yourself then you need to conduct your own research. While it is encouraged that you gather your own facts, we have taken the most important bits of information and put them together in this article so that you can choose the best memory foam mattress that fits your needs. Note that this outline is designed to give you a leg up on researching but you should take the time to do your own in-depth fact searching.

Memory Foam Types

To begin with, you need to understand the different types of memory foam that can be used to make your ideal mattress. After all, you’re the one who has to sleep with the choice you make. They all have minor differences in benefits and features, so pay close attention:

  • Traditional Memory Foam: This type of memory foam is the original, developed by the big-shots at NASA. It provides an ample amount of comfort and support. In the interest of full disclosure, however, it is created from a petroleum base and as such concerns over the release of VOCs have been brought up by consumer interest organizations while other mattress owners have complained about the heat.  Look for Eco-friendly memory foam – this uses less chemicals and reduces the amount of VOC’s, gases and toxins.
  • Gel Memory Foam: This type of memory foam is relatively new, made by injecting traditional memory foam with gel or applying a gel layer.  The pitch is that it reduces the amount of heat trapped within the mattress. This claim made by the manufacturers has been called into question by advertising boards and consumer publications, and a few have been rebuked for it.  Think of Dr Scholl’s gel insoles, are they designed to keep your feet cool?
  • Plant-Based Memory Foam: An alternative type of memory foam, it replaces the petroleum base with plant oil and extracts. More than a few studies have proven that this form of memory foam is quite breathable and keeps cool. It appeals to manufacturers who seek to avoid the risk of toxic VOCs and mattress owners note that the plant-based foam has a heightened response time that mitigates the feeling of being ‘stuck in a hole’ that occasionally arises.  There are minimal regulations on the amount of plant oil required to be called “organic” or “natural”.  Some companies add a small amount and call it natural – make sure you ask what percentage of the memory foam is soy based and ask to see the literature on it.

Density Differences

The density of the memory foam is measured by weight per cubic foot and the best brands usually range from 3lbs to 5.3lbs. Anything that weighs less than this range is a low quality, not fit for long-term use, while anything that weighs more is usually too hard and unyielding to be used in thick layers of comfort.

It is important to note that the comfort level, durability, and longevity of the memory foam mattresses are heavily reliant on just how dense it is. Some key facts to remember are:

  • Density is not the sole indicator of the level of firmness, but what affects the sensation of ‘buoyancy’ and how quickly and well the material bounces back over time.
  • Extremely high density foams create a sensation of being ‘stuck’ in bed, which is rather unpleasant.  If you toss and turn a lot, how will it feel if you have a hole where you just rolled out of?
  • Extremely low density foams tend to break down quickly, becoming throwaways that lose the ‘memory’ qualities that you bought them for in the first place.  Make sure the memory foam is no less than 3lb.  Anything below that, just throw your money away.
  • The base layer of the mattress will always be a density level different than that of the higher levels.  Most base layers are what’s called PU foam (polyurethane foam) – this is regular foam and acts as a good support layer.  Many companies will add a unique name to it for marketing purposes (we do too) – Support Foam, Flex Foam, Insta Gel Foam, etc.  All of these are basically regular foam.

Temperature Sensitivity

While a number of memory foams are neutral when it comes to temperature, the more sensitive foams have a unique reaction whether the room is too hot or too cold. In the cold the mattress becomes hard and firm, except where body warmth seeps down from the sleeper and makes it conform around you. Non-sensitive ones are more reliant on pressure and weight to conform and contour, so just keep in mind:

  • Temperature-Sensitive Foams: React to the environment temperature and sleeper’s body heat.
  • Temperature-Neutral Foams: Unaffected by the environment temperature and sleeper’s body heat.

Choosing Firmness

Deciding on just how firm you want a mattress is a universally hard choice to make. While studies have shown that the majority enjoy their mattress with a medium-level of firmness, only the individual can judge whether or not it meets their preferences. With that said, keep these tips in mind:

  • Take into consideration the level of firmness of your current mattress. Did you sleep well on it? Was it too soft? Was it too hard? Use it as a reference to decide on the next.
  • Keep in mind how much weight the mattress will support and the position that it will be slept upon. Sleepers with smaller or lighter builds, and sleep prone, tend to prefer firmer mattresses. Sleepers with bigger or healthy builds, and sleep on either side, tend to prefer softer, plusher beds.
  • When deciding on a memory foam mattress, pick one that has its company backing it with a sleep trial. Both a warranty and an in-home trial are essential when purchasing any type of mattress, and it can take up to six weeks to adjust to the composition of a new mattress.

Mattress Depth

How deep a mattress is, the thickness of the memory foam, plays a small, yet important role in just how comfortable it feels. This doesn’t stop at just the overall thickness of the mattress, but each and every one of the memory foam layers. Examining them all will help when it comes to selecting the memory foam mattress that’s just right for you.

  • An average memory foam mattress has anywhere from two to six inches of memory foam resting over an inner support layer.
  • Sleepers with larger builds will require deeper layers, as it will allow enough room for the materials to contour and hug their curves and pressure points.
  • If the memory foam mattress is intended to be used with an adjustable bed, it is recommended that it not be one thicker than twelve-inches in order to conform to the contours without suffering from unpleasant compression.  The ideal mattress height for an adjustable bed is 10 inches.  Most mattresses over 12″ will not articulate as well.
  • Number of layers in a mattress – less is more. Mattresses that use many layers of thin foams and add up to the total height of mattress do this in order to save money. For example, 1″ memory foam on top of 2″ gel foam on top of 2″ of convoluted foam on top of 4″ of regular foam on top of 1″ of base foam = 10″. This costs less to produce than 3″ of memory foam on 7″ of support foam. Thicker layers of good quality foam cost more to make and will have less returns in the long run. Mattresses with many layers can have a higher return rate due to the shifting of the materials. Less is better.

Best Support for Memory Foam Mattress

With memory foam mattresses you can utilize almost any base, provided it’s not broken or old. You can use a box spring for support since the surface is solid. See below:

  • Solid, wooden foundations are fine for support.
  • Platform metal frames are great for support as well and are much more economical compared to box springs.
  • You may not require a foundation if the platform bed’s slats are spaced close together and can support the weight of the mattress and sleepers.  Many new platform beds are coming out with lower head boards and foot boards and are designed so you don’t need to use a box-spring (I saw a many inexpensive metal platform beds on Wayfair.com).  Make sure there are no less than 10 slats if you buy.
  • Adjustable bases work very well in conjunction with memory foam mattresses, creating an optimized sleeping platform for the owner.  These are no longer for the over 60 crowd – they have a hefty price tag, but you will never want to leave your bedroom after you try one.
  • Keep in mind certain warranties issued by certain brands require a specific foundation manufactured by them. Be sure to check before purchase.  There are many reputable brands that do not require that you purchase their box-spring, the brands that do will tell you the warranty on the mattress is void – then don’t buy it.

Final Tips

Nearly a third of your life will be spent sleeping, so you’ll want to choose the most comfortable yet supportive mattress available. Be sure to do your own research to expand your options. Never again be tricked by silver-tongued high-commissioned salespeople and get what you need to have a great night sleep.  Learn more about the Live and Sleep Memory Foam Mattress today.

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This website is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. Live & Sleep is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content of this website. Always consult your own GP if you’re in any way concerned about your health.



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