There is lot of hype around the health benefits offered by memory foam and a lot of people wonder; are memory foam mattresses any good?
Although, like any other product of 21st century, the information available in public sphere about memory foam contains both the myth and facts about memory foam.
In this article, we will try to present a true picture by separating the truth from lies spread by marketing departments of memory form mattress makers over the past decades.
Memory foam was developed by NASA in 1970s as a cushioning material for reducing the impact of pressure felt by astronauts during the blast off phase of a space shuttle.
As such, in addition to mattresses and pillows memory foam is used across several industries for manufacturing cushioning items such as helmets, seating pads etc.
Are Memory Foam Mattresses Any Good?
Memory foam mattresses as the name suggests, use memory foam as the primary material and have several features not found in other types of mattresses.
Memory foam mattresses are made up of viscoelastic and temperature sensitive polyurethane and as such can adjust to the contours of human body, are known for distributing pressure evenly across a subject and can rise or fall depending on the surrounding temperature and in case of a lying human on the body temperature.
These features and properties make these ideal for people suffering from arthritis, fibromyalgia, back pain, low back pain and other joint disorders.
As such, memory foam mattress is among the top products recommended by orthopaedics across the world and the term memory foam mattress has almost become synonymous with orthopaedic mattress.
Spring mattresses tend to distribute pressure across the contact points and as such can result in the body pressure being unevenly distributed. This results in more pressure across hips, shoulders, back and other parts which are in direct contact with the mattress.
Another often overlooked fact is the nature of spring mattresses as even after 1 year of use up to 15-20% of springs may stop working thus making some parts of the mattress quite rigid and harmful for sleeping.
Memory foam mattresses on the other hand don’t have any metallic parts and are in most cases made up of 100% foam. Even the people not suffering from any back, spinal, joint or orthopaedic ailment report sleeping better after switching to memory foam.
In addition to these features, there are also several cons and disadvantages associated with memory foam mattresses which may not make this a suitable choice for everyone.
Here are some of the major disadvantages associated with memory foam mattresses:
4 Disadvantages of Memory Foam Mattresses:
Due to the dense foam material involved, memory foam mattresses are heavier as compared to other types of mattresses. This may make moving your bed across the room a difficult task.
Although, it’s perfectly possible to find a memory foam mattress for a price less than a spring or latex mattress, memory foam mattresses especially those of higher quality remain expensive and may not suit everyone’s budget.
For high quality memory foam mattresses, the price can be in thousands of dollars and this makes them out of reach for most buyers.
Memory foam absorbs and retains body heat in addition to the heat from the surrounding environment. This poses a problem for people living in warm and hot countries as these mattresses may not be a good choice in high temperature countries.
Most often this leads to sweaty nights and is the main cause of hot sleep experienced by many users. Hot temperatures of foam can also lead you to sweat throughout the night and this often leads to restlessness during sleep.
Memory foam mattresses are made up of several chemicals some of which have their own distinct and sharp smells.
Many users complain of the strange odours emanating from their memory foam mattresses and this may turn away people with allergies related to chemical odours.
Like any other mattress, memory foam mattresses have their own distinct and unique advantages and disadvantages and may or may not be suitable for everyone.
Choice of the mattress also depends on the climate and surroundings as memory foam mattresses often don’t work in hot climates due to their temperature sensitive and heat absorbing nature.
So, are memory foam mattresses any good? After all is said and done, memory foam mattresses are considered to be among one of the best types of mattresses ever used by humans and carry more pros than cons.
In orthopaedic cases, often using a memory foam mattress is the only choice for a patient suffering from back pain, arthritis or joint pain etc.