The Memory Foam Mattress Guide

Memory foam mattresses are renowned for their ability to mould to your body, allowing you to sink into your mattress and drift off. However, even if you've narrowed down your mattress choice to this particular type of mattress, there may still be questions that need answers. Especially if you're looking for the best mattress for your specific needs.

This guide will fill you in on everything you need to know about memory foam and memory foam mattresses. Below, you'll find pros and cons and have all your urgent questions answered.

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What is a Memory Foam Mattress and How Does it Work?

Memory foam mattresses mould and contour your body. The multiple layers of foam react to your heat, allowing them to contort and provide personalised comfort. Once the foam has taken its shape it will support your body and pressure points, making it a superb material for pain prevention. When you remove yourself from the mattress, the material will return to its previous shape. Hence why it's called "memory" foam - it remembers its original position.

Memory foam saw its first debut when it was used to support astronauts during space travel. The material was engineered by NASA and insured astronauts were comfy and padded as they launched into the air. In more recent years, the same material has been introduced into consumer mattresses, enabling normal people to experience space‐age comfort in their very own homes.

What Are the Benefits of a Memory Foam Mattress?

  • Pressure Point Support: Memory foam mattresses contour your body and support your pressure points, this is ideal if you suffer from back pain.
  • Reduced Sleep Movement: As the material creates a comfortable pouch for your body, sleep movement is reduced. This is ideal if you or your partner stirs during sleep.
  • Improved Heat Retention: Memory foam absorbs and retains heat more efficiently than other mattresses, keeping you warm during colder months.
  • Hypoallergenic Properties: Often reacting to dust mites hidden in your mattress? With memory foam, you can sleep assured that your allergies will be kept at bay. 

What is the Best Memory Foam Mattress?

The best memory foam mattress completely depends on what your needs or preferences are. At Sleep and Snooze, there are a plethora of memory foam mattresses to choose from, all from reputable brands.

The Best Memory Foam Mattress for Budget

If budget is your main priority, we offer a range of affordable memory foam mattresses in our Rest for Less collection. This includes a range of comfort grades to match all preferences.

The Best Memory Foam Mattress for Back Pain

In general, if you suffer from a bad back, the best memory foam mattress for you is one with a firm comfort grade. Due to the firmer surface of the mattress this will help keep your spine keep its natural alignment. Sealy and Silentnight offer a premium selection of firm memory foam mattresses.

The Best Memory Foam Mattress for Keeping Cool

As mentioned, memory foam mattresses typically offer heat retention and can keep you warm overnight. However, if you're often prone to overheating at night it might be best to opt for a memory foam mattress with cooling properties. Hybrid memory foam mattresses which feature a cooling gel layer are best for this.

How Long Does a Memory Foam Mattresses Last?

Assuming you’re taking good care of your mattress, making sure it's clean and turned every so often, a memory foam mattress lifespan is approximately 8 years. Of course, this can vary depending on usage and other factors, but it gives you a general idea.

You can also prolong the life of your memory foam mattress with mattress toppers and protectors. Especially if you tend to drink liquids on your bed.

Related - 8 tips for expanding the lifespan of your mattress


How to Clean a Memory Foam Mattress

If you’re looking to prolong the life of your memory foam mattress for as long as possible, ensuring it stays clean is very important. This means you should avoid spillages at all costs, as the liquid can penetrate lower layers and cause deterioration. Using a mattress protector is a good place to start if you’re looking for some added protection.

Related - Mattress cleaning guide

Aside from general cleaning advice (wiping away stains, etc.), you should also look to turn the mattress every now and again. Generally, rotating your mattress every 3 months can make it last longer and help preserve its shape.

The base your memory foam mattress sits on is also important. Ideally, you should have a solid base for memory foam, but slats can work if the gaps are narrow (no more than 5cm). If they are too wide, the memory foam will droop between and damage the material.

How Often Should You Change a Memory Foam Mattress?

In general, you should change your memory foam mattress every 8 years. However, the exact time will depend on how well you maintain the mattress and how often you use it.

Do Memory Foam Mattresses Make You Hot?

Due to the structural build and makeup of a memory foam mattresses, air can become trapped increasing the temperature of the material. As the air can’t escape, some people complain about being too hot whilst using a memory foam mattress.

Memory foam mattress have come a long way and new, breathable material has been produced to prevent overheating. However, the risk is still there. If you’re looking to purchase a memory foam product but don’t want to experience excessive heat when sleeping, here are a few ways you can keep the bed cool.

  • Reduce Your Duvet Tog: If you find yourself heating up to unbearable temperatures during sleep, your duvet might be too efficient at trapping heat. If this is the case, lowing your tog rating can provide a cooling experience and aid your slumber.
  • Use a Cooling Mattress Topper: If you’re finding the mattress is just too hot, investing in a mattress topper with cooling properties could be a good move to make. It will prevent any heat from being stored in the mattress itself, enabling a comfortable sleep without the annoying sweats.
  • Switch Up Your Nightwear: If you’re suffering from overheating, reducing the amount of nightwear you wear can keep you cool and promote healthy sleep. Additionally, if you can’t force yourself to remove your precious pyjamas, opting for more breathable linen could be a good idea.

As well as the above, there are also memory foam mattresses which have cooling properties built in. However, these sometimes come with a higher price tag.

Do Memory Foam Mattresses Smell?

A common problem people often experience when they first open their new memory foam is the smell. When you unpackage a memory foam mattress, you’ll be welcomed by a smell similar to paint or a new car.

This process is known as off‐gassing. The odour you smell is released when you open the packaging but doesn’t last forever. It happens as a result of built‐up gas. The smell can be very unpleasant for some, so we recommend you air the mattress out for a day or two. Leave it next to an open window and in a few days the smell with disappear.

If you're struggling to come to a decision on your memory foam mattress, the team are always here to help out. Get in touch with us here.

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