Memory foam has come a long way since its inception in the 1960s as a solution for NASA airplane seats. Highly energy absorbent and soft, memory foam are made from viscoelastic, which molds to your body’s heat and pressure. Since then, many manufacturers have used memory foam to create some of the most popular mattresses on the market today.
Memory foam mattresses, like all mattresses, may work for some people and not for others. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of memory foam mattresses is helpful in making a final purchasing decision.
Memory Foam Mattress Pros
- Reduces Pressure: One of the big reasons people like memory foam mattresses is that they form to your body when you’re sleeping. As a result, you may experience less pressure on sensitive areas of your body and get a better night’s rest. Memory foam mattresses, because they mold to your shape, can allow sleepers to choose to rest on the stomach, side or back.
- Supports Back and Spine: Memory foam mattresses are designed to custom support your body evenly, which may mean alleviating back pain. Your spine rests in a more neutral position, which may result in less pain and more comfort.
- Isolates Motion: If you’re sleeping with another person, movement can be an issue. Memory foam mattresses are designed to isolate movement so that it is not transferred to other areas of the bed. This can mean fewer disturbances in the night and better sleep.
- Discourages Allergens: For individuals with allergies, dust mites in mattresses and bedding is an ongoing battle. In general, memory foam mattresses are not as welcoming to dust mite invasion. If you combine memory foam with a hypoallergenic cover as well as regular cleaning, you may significantly reduce night-time allergy problems. Memory foam mattresses are also resistant to mold and pet dander, lowering allergens further.
- Welcomes Healthier Designs: Most memory foam mattresses are hypoallergenic. In addition, some use natural or plant-based materials, which result in less chemical off-gassing and exposure to potentially harmful elements.
- Fits Adjustable Beds: As memory foam has gained popularity, so have adjustable beds. The two work well together as the memory foam mattress easily adjusts to the adjustable bed’s different positions.
- Maintains Durability: On average, a memory foam mattress lasts around seven years. They are relatively easy to clean and less prone to sagging than traditional spring mattresses.
Memory Foam Mattress Cons
- Produces Odor: Some people will complain about an odor from new memory foam caused by off-gassing. This tends to be a more significant problem with memory foam that has a higher level of petroleum materials vs. plant-based materials.
- Can Be Expensive: Some memory foam mattresses are on the pricey side. As more online businesses provide shipping of mattresses, consumers may see prices come down.
- May Be Too Soft: For some people who prefer firm mattresses, a memory foam mattress may feel too soft. Some people complain about sinking into the bed or body impressions that remain more permanently in the mattress. As the mattress ages, it can be difficult to move around or get out of bed.
- Generates Heat: Some people who prefer to sleep cooler complain that memory foam mattresses result in too much heat. Breathable open-coil designs, as well as mattress pads that are cooler, can help with this issue.