Memory foam material was originally developed in a contract for NASA in a bid to improve cushioning and crash protection in seats – and the project saw so much success that it is now used in a whole host of everyday products designed to keep us comfortable.
The most famous memory foam product of all time is the memory foam mattress. Many manufacturers of these mattresses are so confident in their products that they promise once you start sleeping on a memory foam mattress, you will never go back to a spring alternative. And the general public seems to agree, as sales of memory foam mattresses have been climbing steadily for over a decade.
1. Memory Foam Provides Pain-Relieving Comfort
Memory foam mattresses were originally marketed towards an older audience, thanks to their ability to provide such high-level comfort that they can even help prevent chronic pain flare-ups during sleep. It did not take long for manufacturers to realize that everyone can benefit from the pain-relieving benefits of memory foam, whether old or young, no matter what their state of health.
All of us experience the occasional aches and pains, whether it is tired muscles after a workout, a bad back from heavy lifting, or neck pain from working at a computer. No matter what your problem, sleep is your time to rest and recuperate – and a good night’s sleep on a memory foam mattress can encourage these issues to resolve themselves faster.
Memory foam helps to displace pressure from different areas on your body, which can, in turn, reduce points of pain. It works cleverly to do this– it can detect areas of pain, which tend to be warmer than the rest of the body, and shapes to the body in order to add or reduce pressure on that area.
2. Memory Foam Moulds To Your Body
The problem with lying on a standard spring mattress is that it does very little to acknowledge your body. Perhaps your heavier areas might sink into the mattress slightly, but this is more of a response to your weight and does not factor in the shape of your body. You will not get the support that you need from a spring mattress, as there may be parts of your body that will not even come into proper contact with the mattress (e.g. when you are lying on your back, your lower back will not receive support from the mattress, as your buttocks will press in further than the rest of your body).
Memory foam mattresses, on the other hand, mould to your body in response to the heat you produce. The foam gives way when you press, or lie, on it, and returns to its original shape when you relieve the force or get up. As your body temperature heats up, memory foam mattresses sink and mould to your body’s contours.
The foam sinks more deeply in areas that press down further, like your hips and your shoulders, which means that your whole body is evenly supported while you sleep. When you change positions, sit up or rollover, the memory foam will immediately change, sinking, rising and moulding once more, to reflect your new sleeping position.
3. Memory Foam Is Allergy-Friendly
If you have allergies, you may experience night-time flare-ups as a result of your exposure to dust mites. These tiny creatures live in your mattress and pillow and can cause itching, sneezing, stuffiness, and coughing. Spring mattresses are popular homes for dust mites, as they create an environment where these creatures can accumulate over time.
Memory foam mattresses, on the other hand, do not contain coils or springs, so it is a lot more difficult for dust mites to thrive. Most are made from something called polyurethane foam, which is designed from thousands of little fibres that prevent dust mites from even entering the mattress in the first place. As a result, you will be much less affected by night-time allergies when sleeping on a memory foam mattress.
There are also memory foam mattress options that are one step even better: hypoallergenic mattresses. If a mattress is hypoallergenic, you will know from reading the product listing – it is a good selling point for a brand, after all. This essentially means that the mattress in question is made from materials that prevent the build-up of allergy-causing microorganisms, which includes bacteria and fungus as well as dust mites. Some memory foam mattresses also come with protective toppers that are specifically designed to be allergy-friendly.
4. Memory Foam Isolates Motion
If you share a bed with a partner and you are a light sleeper, it is most likely that one of your biggest annoyances is being woken up every time your partner gets up in the middle of the night. Non-memory foam mattresses do not tend to have the best motion isolation, which means that when one person gets up, rolls over, or sits on one side of the bed, it will send tremors over to the other side of the bed. The “shudder sensation” that is produced from movement is irritating and entirely unnecessary.
Memory foam mattresses provide a perfect example of how it is possible to move about in bed without shaking your sleeping partner. The deep, multiple layers of memory foam help to cushion movement, and as memory foam mattresses contain no springs, there is no possibility of a domino effect of one vibrating spring causing the rest of the springs to vibrate, shaking the whole bed. If you share a bed with a partner who tosses and turns, you will be able to sleep with no disturbances with a memory foam mattress.
5. Memory Foam Offers Edge Support
Have you ever sat down on the edge of your mattress and had to steady yourself to prevent the mattress from tipping you right off? Memory foam mattresses have built-in side support systems that prevent this from happening. If you are a fan of sleeping close to the edge of your bed, a memory foam mattress will allow you to easily do this without feeling as if you may roll-off.
It is common for memory mattresses to feature a layer of high-density foam that runs all around the outside of the mattress. The foam is durable and built to last, and, unlike border rods (which are often used with non-memory foam mattresses), it will not bend or collapse over time. Good edge support will not affect the mattresses ability to cradle your body, either, as the high-density foam is only present at the very outside edge of the mattress.
6. Memory Foam Mattresses Can Be More Convenient To Purchase
One of the interesting things about memory foam mattresses is that you can purchase them online as a “bed in a box” type mattress. Memory foam can be compressed and rolled up, and many manufacturers will do just that to enable their mattresses to be conveniently delivered to their customers all over their sales region.
Receiving a bed in a box order has benefits for the customer as well as the manufacturer. When you receive a rolled-up memory foam mattress in a box, you will be able to carry it much more easily to your bedroom, without encountering any issues with stairs and doorframes that seem too small to fit your mattress through.
Another bonus of ordering a compressed memory foam mattress online is that you will not have to handle the delivery. But even if you did, for some reason, have to transport your boxed mattress from one place to another, it would be far easier to manage than if you had a full-sized spring or hybrid mattress to deal with. With a bit of careful planning, you could even fit your mattress into the back of your car.
7. Memory Foam Offers Variation
The great thing about the memory foam design is that it is completely versatile. Most memory foam mattresses are made up of three core layers: the top comfort layer, the middle transition layer, and the bottom support layer. As you could probably guess, the top comfort layer is the softest layer of the three, while the middle layer is a little firmer, and the support base is the firmest of them all.
The level of firmness a memory foam mattress provides depends on how thick each of its layers is. For example, a memory foam mattress with a thicker comfort layer would provide more space for a sleeper to sink into before hitting the firmer middle transition layer. In this way, memory foam mattresses can be designed with a soft, medium and firm firmness.
Most people prefer to sleep on a medium-firm mattress, but it is very useful to have the variation available to you. For example, if you were a lighter sleeper who slept on their front, you may not feel you are supported enough by a medium-firm mattress, and you may be better off with a softer mattress. On the other hand, if you were a heavier sleeper who slept on your back or side, you might find that a medium-firm mattress does not provide a thick enough comfort layer for you – which would mean you would sink right through to the middle transition layer, which could affect the quality of your sleep.
8. Memory Foam Is Durable
Memory foam is a very durable type of material that is designed to last for years on end at a maintained level of quality. Of course, all mattresses have a lifespan, but when you invest in one of the best memory foam mattresses in Canada, you can guarantee you will experience a high degree of comfort for years down the line.
The majority of memory foam mattresses are designed to last for eight to ten years, but some manufacturers offer warranties for up to 15 years. Ultimately, the durability of any memory foam mattress depends on the density of the foam, your body weight and sleeping habits, and the type of memory foam used in the design.
When compared to other mattresses, memory foam mattresses come up tops. Innerspring mattresses offer less durability and may cause sagging and depression, as well as those annoying hard knobbles on places you have repeatedly slept on. Memory foam mattresses will not cause these issues – though when it is time to replace your mattress, you may notice that there is a permanent compress in the area you usually lie on.
9. Memory Foam Is Environmentally Friendly
When it is time to say goodbye to your old memory foam mattress, the good news is that you can easily recycle it rather than sending it to the skip.
Memory foam is a type of plastic, and though it is not as easy as some plastics to recycle, it is still possible. And as the demand for memory foam mattresses continues to grow, so does the need to recycle them – which is encouraging some recyclers to get creative with how to give the memory foam material a second life. Most often, memory foam mattresses will be recycled into other products that contain foam, in a process called down-cycling.
Not all recycling centres take in memory foam items, so make sure you do your research that finds a place that does. In comparison, spring mattresses are almost impossible to recycle as a whole, as they contain a variety of components like metal springs and fabric exteriors that will need to be separated and sorted. With that said, if you can find a recycler that will do that for you, you can still recycle your spring mattress. It just may not be as easy as recycling one that is made out of memory foam.