Unless otherwise you are a mattress aficionado (which I am most sure most of us aren’t), you wouldn’t have heard of memory foam. Or how it is related to a mattress.
But given that you own a mattress and would be purchasing one sometime in the future, it is important you know about it. Because when a customer is armed with the right information, (s)he will get the best bargain.
Let me repeat that – the right information.
That is what we are here to provide. Everything you need to know about memory foam and its relation to mattresses.
What Is Memory Foam?
The basic question. And here’s the answer – memory foam is a polyurethane material that is sensitive to temperature and pressure. The material is popularly used in mattresses as it conforms to the shape of the individual’s body, offering adequate comfort and support.
In simple words, this is one material that listens to your body pressure and temperature and adjusts accordingly, so that you get optimum high-quality sleep.
Memory Foam – A Brief History
Memory foam was initially developed in the 1970s under a NASA contract to improve the safety of aircraft seat cushion systems. In the 1980s, NASA had released memory foam into the public domain, and it was in 1991 when the foam was beginning to get utilized commercially in the mattress industry. Though originally used in medical settings, its use soon became widespread in the 2000s. In 2011, with the introduction of gel memory foam, the popularity of memory foam mattresses soared.
The Pros And Cons
However good a material might be, it always has its share of pros and cons. Here, we take a look at the pros and cons of memory foam.
- It offers stress relief. In case you suffer from aches and pains, a memory foam mattress can be highly advantageous. It comes with pressure-relieving technology and reduces the build up of pressure on the body.
- Facilitates the proper alignment of the spine. Since it conforms to the contours of your body, your spine is more likely to stay properly aligned the entire night.
- Helps in temperature regulation. A memory foam mattress has the ability to keep you warm in a cold environment, and vice versa. The technology the foam comes with is such that it responds to your body temperature accordingly.
- Heat sensitivity. This was mentioned as an advantage in the previous section. But it can also prove to be a demerit. Since a memory foam mattress is sensitive to heat, it can also accumulate heat and make the sleeper uncomfortable. This can prove to be an annoying experience to the sleeper.
- Lack of proper support. Since a memory foam mattress conforms to the shape of your body, it may not provide the firmness a sleeper requires. If the sleeper prefers sleeping on a firm mattress, then a memory foam mattress may not do the job very well. However, this also depends on the quality of the memory foam mattress.
- The mattress might smell. This is because a typical memory foam mattress is treated with chemicals. Though the smell might air out in a few days, it can still disturb certain individuals.
The Top Memory Foam Mattress Types
Memory foam mattresses are indeed available in a few different types. These are standard, gel infused, and plant-based. Though the standard memory foam mattress is the most widely available type, one can get mattresses of the other types as well.
Standard (or traditional) memory foam mattress
This is the memory foam type whose material is manufactured using the petroleum-based polyurethane foam. The foam is designed such that it reacts and softens when exposed to heat – this allows it to adjust to the shape of the sleeper’s body.
Standard memory foam even has the property of evenly distributing body weight across the mattress surface. This helps alleviate pressure and paves the way for better sleep.
In terms of customer satisfaction and popularity, this category of memory foam mattresses beats the rest.
The benefits of this type of memory foam include pressure relief, customized contouring, and prevention of motion transfer. But it does have certain cons as well, which include:
- Retention of heat.
- The presence of petroleum-based chemicals, which can result in odor.
- Excessively wide range of products, which might complicate decision-making.
Though the recent improvements in technology have attempted to address some of the issues, these remain the top complaints received from standard memory foam mattress customers.
Gel infused memory foam mattress
A newer type of memory foam, this type of mattress is manufactured with the idea of offering a cool sleeping environment to the sleeper. The gel is simply added as beads or a liquid to a standard memory foam mattress. This mattress type is also believed to transfer heat away from the mattress surface.
The pros of this mattress type are same as that of the standard memory foam. One additional merit being its ability to make the mattress cool initially.
The cons, on the other hand, have also to do with the gel. It is believed that the gel, though initially offering cooling properties, might eventually take on the surrounding temperature and start retaining heat. The gel infused memory foam mattress is also petroleum-based. It hence contains chemicals that may not be completely safe in the long run. There also is limited data available with respect to the longevity of the mattress.
Plant-based memory foam mattress
Also known as green memory foam mattress, this mattress type, as the name suggests, is more environment-friendly. Though certain properties of the mattress might vary according to the manufacturer, plant-based memory foam mattresses are usually known for their zero emissions. The mattress replaces petroleum-based materials with plant-derived oils.
These mattresses don’t rely on the body heat to conform to body contours, and hence have a shorter response time. Additionally, the mattresses of this type have excellent breathability properties, given their widely open cell structure. It has been found that plant-based memory foam mattresses are generally 25% cooler than gel infused memory foam mattresses and dissipate heat 10 times faster than standard memory foam.
The pros of this mattress type are the same as that of standard and gel infused memory foam mattress. They offer pressure relief, conform to the body contours, prevent motion transfer, offer cooler sleep surface, and even have a much shorter response time.
The only con this mattress type has is the rarity of its local availability. Due to inadequate demand, it could be pretty hard to get one such mattress from your local stores.
The Top Memory Foam Mattresses In India
Most brands manufacture memory foam mattresses. But not all are popular or of considerable quality. Here we have a list of the top memory foam mattresses in India. This list has been procured after analyzing the individual brand sales and customer feedback, along with other purchase parameters.
|ComfyMat||Memory foam, HR foam, and Bonded foam||3rd generation NASA developed memory foam that offers exceptional comfort and support||4.5/5||Rs. 23,999|
|Wake-Fit||Memory foam, and High Density foam||Medium soft memory foam mattress that specializes in pain relief||5/5||Rs. 18,417|
|DreamZee||Memory foam||Contains 2-inch visco memory foam developed by NASA||4.5/5||Rs. 23,980|
Top Memory Foam Pillows
Memory foam pillows have been found to receive the highest ratings amongst other sleep products (memory foam mattresses included). Whether it is in terms of price or of customer satisfaction, memory foam pillows simply top the list.
Following is the list of the top memory foam pillows available online. The data has been collected from online ratings and customer feedback.
|Sleep Better||Gussetted – in order to maximize comfort for side sleepers (100% cotton)||4 inches||4/5 (From 4,038 customer reviews)||Rs. 4,634|
|InteVision||Wedge – especially for people with breathing problems, back or neck issues||12 inches||4/5 (From 3,074 customer reviews)||Rs. 7,672|
|Sleep Innovations||Contour – promotes proper spinal alignment||5 inches||4/5 (From 3,590 customer reviews)||Rs. 3,204|
Memory Foam Mattress Toppers
A memory foam topper is nothing but a block of memory foam, two to four inches in thickness, which is of the same size as your mattress and is placed above it.
The requirement of a memory foam topper has always been under question. But before we further delve into that matter, let’s first check of what thickness the topper you are going to buy must be.
If you are going for a:
2-inch memory foam topper
- It can offer average comfort, as it will only have a medium pressure-relieving effect on your body.
- It could be the least expensive option.
3-inch memory foam topper
- This is the most popular topper thickness amongst customers.
- Offers decent pressure relief to your back and joints.
- Atop a firm mattress, the topper offers exceptional comfort.
- Though may not be as comfortable as a brand new mattress, it does its job pretty fine.
4-inch memory foam topper
- This is the right mattress for anyone who weighs around 115 kilos or more.
- The topper offers additional support – and hence, it can be the ideal option for camping (if you would be sleeping on the ground).
If you have back pain, you must go for toppers with higher densities. The concerned salesperson at the showroom (or on the online portal) will be able to guide you better, depending on the brand and thickness you are going for.
Coming back to the question – do you really need a mattress topper? Is it any good?
Well, a mattress topper is good, but only if the mattress on which you would be putting it on top of is good. If your mattress is already old and sagging, a topper would be of no use. This is because a topper would sag too. A topper will conform the underlying foundation (in this case, the mattress), and if the foundation is not right, the topper will not serve its purpose.
Memory foam mattress toppers work best when:
- You already have a good mattress but it’s too firm. In this regard, you can add the topper for a softer feel.
- If you frequently have guests (especially youngsters) and need an extra bed to accommodate them, a topper does the job very well. If your guests are a little older (middle aged or older), then you probably can switch! You can take the topper for a few nights and let them revel in the comfort of your cozy bed!
- If you travel often, you can take the topper with you as you wouldn’t have to worry about the sleeping surface. Whatever the kind of mattress, your topper would offer you decent sleep for the night. You can catch some restful Zzzzzzzs even if you are required to sleep on the ground!
Following is a list of the top mattress toppers available online:
|Gel foam||2.5 inches||4/5 (From 1,176 customer reviews)||Rs. 15,795|
|Visco foam||3 inches||4.5/5 (From 800 customer reviews)||Rs. 9,474|
Given their pioneering technology, and the effective results they often provide, memory foam mattresses have set trends in the mattress industry. Check if this type of mattress suits you. And do let us know how this post has benefited you. You can leave a comment in the box below.