One of the biggest debates that exist in the mattress industry is what is better Spring or Memory Foam? Well you must have a clear understanding of each and realize how each effects a person’s sleep and everyone is different. So to be clear there is not a one size fits all when it comes to a mattress, every person has their own sleep pattern and sleeping style.
More people than ever before are considering memory foam mattresses when they start out looking for a new mattress. But, since this type of mattress is considerably different from the “normal” innerspring bed, it’s not uncommon for people have questions about the different styles and technology.
Should You Choose a Memory Foam Mattress?
Buying a mattress is a pretty personal thing. We all have a different idea of what feels comfortable and what feels too firm or soft, which can further be influenced by everything from weight to age to medical conditions to sleep patterns and positions.
Not all mattresses are created equally, there are different brands, formulas and constructions that play a role in the wide variety of different mattresses. Another factor will be the quality of the ingredients that are used to manufacture the mattress.
First let’s identify the pros and cons of memory foam mattresses based on owner reviews, and the most important things to know when buying one.
Pros of Memory Foam Mattresses
There is definitely a growing popularity and an abundance of positive owner reviews of memory foam, that is a sure sign of consumer satisfaction on this category. The most significant advantages focus on comfort and durability.
- Relief of Pressure Points
One of the key things that distinguishes memory foam from other materials like regular poly foam, springs and fiber filling is how it responds to pressure. Memory foam was designed specifically for the purpose of absorbing pressure, which it accomplishes by conforming to the shape of the person and distributing weight across its surface.
Instead of actively resisting your body weight memory foam accommodates curves, creating a sensation often described as weightless, or cloudlike, or like floating.
- Back and Joint Support
As the body weight is evenly disbursed across the surface of a memory foam mattress, it also works to support your body’s natural alignment, again this is a result of the memory foam conforming to the body. Other types of mattresses concentrate weight on the heaviest areas of the body, which can result in distorting the position of your hips, legs or shoulders relative to your spine this can cause an aligned sleep.
The support foam layer that sits below the memory foam also plays a role in support, high density foam will prevent you from sinking too far down.
- Limits The Transfer of Motion
Memory foam has the ability to isolate motion and can be a significant benefit for people who sleep with a partner or with a pet. On other types of mattresses, a person rolling over or getting out of bed on one side can disturb the other sleeper as springs bounce or water shifts, basically feeling the weight transfer. Since the material absorbs pressure and does not conduct motion this results in a stable motionless sleep.
- Long lasting Material
Mattresses prove to be one of the larger purchases for the average household, costing several hundred or even several thousands of dollars. So with that kind of investment a consumer wants to get their money’s worth, and wants their investment to last.
Another point is that several higher-quality memory foam brands offer strong warranties, around 10 years of full-replacement coverage. Some will even cover impressions as shallow as 0.75”, while most innerspring brands will cover sagging deeper than 1.5”.
- Price and Brand Selection Make a Difference
Innerspring beds remain the most widely available mattress type, but among the specialty mattresses, memory foam is the most accessible. Most mattress showrooms will carry at least a brand or two of memory foam and many more can be found online. Memory foam is very affordably priced in today’s retail market, it is comparable to an innerspring mattress price too.
Cons of Memory Foam Mattresses
The minority of memory foam owners who dislike their mattresses usually mention issues related to heat, odor, or durability.
- They Can Sleep Hot
Heat is probably the most prominently mentioned con of foam mattresses. Depending on the brand and type of memory foam, usually about 5% to 15% of the consumers mention feeling like the sleep hotter on memory foam compared to conventional mattresses. With cooling technology this complaint about heat has decreased,
Sleeping hot can be uncomfortable, as cool temperatures are associated with a better healthier sleep. The following are the characteristics that make it more likely to produce heat. Foams that will trap heat include high-density foams, closed-cell foams, and non-breathable mattress covers.
Cool gel memory foam is usually the type of memory foam that will reduce heat and will give you a cooler, comfortable, healthier sleep.
- Some May Have a Smell To It
Odor is a shorter-term drawback that can be associated with any new mattress using polyurethane foams or adhesives. Strong chemical odors are described by about 10% to 15% of memory foam mattress owners, usually dissipating in a few days to a couple of weeks.
Some people with strong sensitivities to odor complain of headaches or other issues. Other buyers are concerned about avoiding volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can be released in the air by certain foams and adhesives. The EPA says finished poly foams are safe, and no studies have linked memory foam with long-term health issues.
Looking for foams made with a proportion of natural ingredients, water-based adhesives, and low/no-VOC fire barriers can help minimize potential odor.
- Lower Quality Foams Will Not Last
While memory foam as a category has above average lifespans, lower-quality, low-density foams can have fairly short life spans. Typically, but not always, these types of beds tend to be cheaper and have shorter warranties. When comparing mattresses, this makes the density information important.
In Summary, A Memory Foam Mattress Is Best For:
- People experiencing joint or back pain
- People who toss and turn or experience aching pressure points
- People bothered by movement or noise
- People who experience discomfort with spring mattresses, are concerned about latex allergies, or who prefer low maintenance beds
- People looking to get a long-lasting mattress for their money
Picking the Right Memory Foam Mattress
The first concept to be aware of is density. Basically, it’s a measure of how much a cube of material weighs.
- Denser memory foams weigh more, and higher density is associated with greater durability and pressure relief, but also higher temperature sensitivity and more possible odor.
- Contrarily, low density foams are less likely to smell, sleep hot or feel restrictive, but have less durability and have less effective pressure relief.
- Generally, low density is considered under 3.5 lbs, high density over 5.0 lbs and everything in between is medium density.
Also important is memory foam type. Regular memory foam is the traditional, temperature sensitive material that slowly contours and slowly recovers. Gel memory foam is often slightly less temperature sensitive, and includes beads or mixtures of gel said to feel cooler. Plant-based foams replace a portion of petro products with plant ingredients, and generally are temperature neutral with quicker recovery, more eco-friendly.
Your sleeping position and body size are important when picking out the right bed. If you sleep on your back or are a small-framed person, a thinner layer of memory foam (2”-4”) is likely to feel fine. If you sleep on your side or have a larger frame, you’ll want a thicker layer of memory foam (3”-6”) for adequate cushioning.
As a consumer be very thorough in your research, and choose the mattress that will best fit your body and sleep patterns and techniques.
Some helpful tips to consider when making a mattress purchase:
Buying a mattress is one of the most important purchases that you can make for your home. You will more than likely spend more time on your mattress than any other piece of furniture that is in your home. With that being said, consider a few steps to make sure that you buy the best mattress for your lifestyle because a good mattress contributes to a healthy life.
Try to do as much research as possible, knowledge is power, before making a mattress purchase:
- Visit mattress websites to see what’s offered.If you haven’t purchased a mattress in a while, it is good to educate yourself on the different types of mattresses that are available these days. It’s always good to see what options are available before going to a store.
- Check prices online to see what you feel is reasonable based on what is being offered and determine what your budget may be.
- Mattress brands are often coming out with new styles of mattresses including ones that offer different firmness levels and temperatures. Decide how high-tech you want your mattress to be, as some of these may only be available at specialty stores or online.
- Look up what special features may be offered by each mattress brand including a trial period or money-back guarantee. Compare the pros and cons of the benefits for each brand. If desired, you can print this information to bring to the store with you, just be certain that you are comparing apples to apples.
- Decide on a level of firmness.This is difficult to determine without first testing the mattresses, you really would prefer to lay on the mattress in the same position that you sleep in. Although, a few physical factors can help direct your decision.
- If you have back problems, consider a medium-firm to firm mattress choice. These are best for supporting your lower back and reducing back pain.
- Pillow-top mattresses are best for people who aren’t too light, as they won’t have enough weight to suppress the top and the springs to a point that it makes a difference in comfort. Larger people typically find pillow-top mattresses more comfortable for this reason. It is very important to understand the contents in the pillow-top.
- Do not make such an emphasis on the spring count which is supposed to equate to the quality of the mattress. Not True, studies have shown that the number of springs doesn’t actually affect how comfortable the mattress is rather it will help contribute to the support.
- Measure the space you plan to put the bed.Nothing is worse than finding and purchasing your perfect mattress, just to realize you can’t fit it. Make sure to double check your dimensions in your bedroom, and then decide on the mattress size to fit.
- Twin mattresses are the smallest size, and measure on average 39” x 75”.
- The next largest size after a twin mattress is a full or double mattress, which measures at 54” x 75”.
- The queen sized mattress is the most commonly purchased by couples for its size and relative price. It measures at 60” x 80”.
- King size bed is the largest standard sized mattress available. It is 76” x 80”.
- Some mattress brands and stores offer an extra large bed called the California king, which measures at 72” x 84”
- Be sure the mattress size you intend to purchase not only fits inside your bedroom, but also fits through all doors used to enter the bedroom.
Find a store(s) to shop at. Try to create a top 3 Typically, specialty mattress stores will have more informed salespeople and information on mattresses than a generic furniture store. Be sure that where you choose to buy has a good reputation and helpful employees.
- Test out mattresses.In order for you to know how well you like a mattress, you must test it out in the store. Search around looking for mattresses that meet your criteria, and then lay on each to see how you like them, always remember to lay on the mattress as you sleep (Do you sleep on your back? Do you sleep on your back?).
- Lay on each mattress for at least 2-3 minutes, and up to 15. The floor models are out specifically for this reason, so don’t be hesitant to lay in the store for a bit.
- Ignore descriptors on tags such as “ultra plush,” “super soft,” or “extra firm.” These aren’t regulated terms and are used freely within each mattress brand without consistency between them. Instead, just lay on the mattress to get a feel for how soft or firm it is. Understand what you like and look for that specific feel.
- Try a firm, a plush-top, and a pillow-top mattress to get a feel for which type suits you the best. Compare these types all within the same mattress brand to get the most accurate idea of which you like best, you want to try to get an accurate consistent gauge.
- Ask to see a sample cutaway of the mattress (cut out, bun, etc…) if it’s available, so you can see the contents inside the particular mattress and see exactly what is in the mattress that you might be sleeping on
- Ask about a comfort guarantee.A comfort guarantee varies between brands, but is a certain period of time after you’ve purchased your mattress in which you can return or exchange it for free. This is not a mandatory feature but can help with the selection process.
- Always do this before you purchase and verify at purchase to make sure you are getting the correct information.
- Find out when the comfort guarantee expires, this may vary slightly depending on which brand.
- Ask if you must pay for shipping to/from your home if the mattress doesn’t work out for you. This way you won’t be surprised by extra costs later. Understand the program completely before purchasing, some comfort guarantees are difficult to execute.
- Take it for a trial run.Many mattress brands and stores allow you to test the mattress in your home for up to thirty days or 120 days. If you can, take this opportunity to verify that this mattress meets your sleep needs. Just make sure you meet all the qualifications when returning the mattress.
- Check the warranty.Make sure that the mattress you are purchasing offers a minimum 10 year, non-prorated warranty. Understand exactly what is covered and what is excluded when making a warranty claim, also ask about the process in making the warranty claim, how long?
- Purchase the necessary mattress add-ons.Although buying just a mattress is all that seems necessary, you must also purchase a minimum of a foundation to support it as well.
- Always buy a new box spring with your new mattress, as old box springs wear out over time and lose the desired support and firmness.
- Purchase a waterproof mattress protector to cover your new mattress. This not only makes cleanup easier should something spill on it, but will keep the warranty intact. Many warranties void out if the mattress is stained or spilled on.
- Negotiate the price.Everything is Negotiable. The prices of mattresses can often be lowered with a little bartering done with a sales associate or store manager. Use the numbers you found online earlier to determine if you are getting a good deal.
- Include the cost of old mattress pick-up and the delivery and setup of the new mattress in the total cost.
- Ask for freebies; many stores will throw in free services if they are simply asked
- Make sure the mattress is comfortable in the store before purchasing. Feel free to lay on it if the display allows.
- Do not allow the sales persons' pitch to alter your choice. You have already done some research and know the feel that you need to have a comfortable sleep, and the salesperson will most likely not be familiar with any brands or models outside their own store and inventory.
Mattress Empire & More is now open for business! We are excited to bring the community great quality mattresses at an affordable price! We want to deliver the best purchasing experience to all of our customers, come and see all the savings store wide.
Mattress Empire & More is excited to announce that their retail location at 11703 Spring Cypress Rd. Ste. B Tomball, TX 77375 will be open for business very soon!