Buddy knowledge on Memory Foam
Also known as the happy middle ground between polyfoam and latex, memory foam is treated with additional chemicals for an exceptionally soft and malleable surface. Sleepers who use memory foam report a conforming fit and targeted pressure relief reminiscent of natural latex. Memory foam is widely used for mattress toppers and pillows, as well.
This is because it is designed to conform around your figure for a customized fit. It is designed to respond to temperature, allowing the material to “melt” to your body, creating a specific impression to help with spinal alignment and relieve pressure points. And if you choose to get up or reposition, the mattress will cool and become firmer as the memory foam retains its original shape. Mattresses known as memory foam hybrids are designed with both an innerspring and memory foam layers measuring at least two inches in height. Hybrid options are suitable for sleepers who enjoy memory foam’s conforming qualities but also prefer to sleep on an innerspring.
Many varieties of memory foam are available on the market. They consist of open cell types that are designed for breathability and quick shape retention; and there are also closed cell, which is firmer and less breathable. Memory foam may be marketed as ‘100% organic’ or ‘natural’ by some manufacturers and retailers but be sure to check the label carefully just to be sure.
Like polyfoam, memory foam is categorized into three grades. The table below features a detailed breakdown of these three categories.
This range is from 2.5 to 3.9 lbs/ft3 and promotes good motion isolation, some contouring and retains original shape rather quickly. Lasts decently long and is usually more affordable than the other densities.
This ranges from 4.0 to 5.4 lbs/ft3 having better motion isolation, adequate contouring and retains original shape rather slowly. Meets you in the middle with price, benefits, and lifespan.
From 5.5 lbs/ft3 and higher, these densities feature excellent motion isolation, contouring and is also able to retain shapes very slowly. Great benefits but will also cost you for obtaining them.
Indentation Load Deflection (ILD)
This is how memory foam and other materials in mattresses are measured in terms of softness/hardness. An ILD of 13 to 15 is considered optimal for the average sleeper but beware of anything lower than because they could be too soft and prone to sinking for most people, particularly heavy-set individuals. Likewise, any memory foam mattress with an ILD of more than 20 will probably be too firm.
Reviews for memory foam mattresses are somewhat mixed. Although most users rate memory foam higher than polyfoam in terms of comfort and overall support, the material still carries a few drawbacks.
Like polyfoam, memory foam can produce high levels of off-gassing. This quality is common to all three memory foam grades, although the most persistent off-gassing smells have been reported in high-density memory foam.
The sinking to contour is great until it does not bounce back. Many long term users have noticed that there are sags present in certain places over time, which is very much due to the sleeping position. Regardless of density, most memory foam mattresses have a lifespan of six to eight years; the lower the memory foam’s density, the shorter the lifespan. Premature sinking is less common in mattresses that contain thin layers of memory foam.
Since it is based on your body’s heat keeping the foam compressed, it keeps that heat in to contour better, which keeps the sleep rather warm. Most associated with medium to high densities, all levels are thick enough to trap your body heat while you sleep. Though you can combat this problem with a gel.
Memory foam is one of the best products on the market today, so it makes sense why prices are higher for them as opposed to other materials. A standard memory foam model will cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, although most buyers pay less than $1,500 for a new mattress. Memory foam hybrids tend to be a bit costlier; you should expect to pay at least $2,000, although luxury brand models may cost more than twice that much.
Is this right for me?
If you are considering a memory foam mattress, here are a few questions to ask.
What is the density?
- The density of a memory foam mattress will affect contouring, motion isolation, heat retention, shape recovery, off-gassing levels, and price. First, determine which density most closely aligns with your needs and preferences, and then you can decide which brands and models will work best. Also, keep in mind that memory foam mattresses with low density will have a shorter lifespan than high-density mattresses.
What is the ILD?
- Although an ILD of 13 to 15 is considered optimal, every sleeper has different preferences when it comes to softness and firmness.
How thick are the memory foam layers?
- Mattresses with thin memory foam layers are more resilient and less prone to sagging, while thick layers are associated with poor shape recovery and a short lifespan.