Memory Foam Mattresses & Bedding….Consumers use to just have a few choices when it came to buying a bed. They could go with a full, queen, or king. The only difference would be whether or not they got a firm mattress or a soft one.
Now though, things are a lot different. Not only do you have about a thousand different choices for mattresses when it comes to pillow top or firm, you also have the choice of buying a memory foam mattress.
Memory foam was first developed by NASA in the 1970’s, and became popular for beds in the 1990’s. First came the memory foam mattress toppers, and then later came the foam mattress. Since then, they have become the fastest growing mattress on the market. Each year another company comes out with yet another type of memory foam mattress or topper, and it has become increasingly difficult to know which one to choose.
Memory foam was first marketed to people that had trouble sleeping because of bed sores or other medical problems. As compared to other bedding materials made of latex, cotton, or wool, there is just nothing like memory foam in the way that it conforms to your body. It reduces the pressure points that naturally bother people when they sleep, but it is a soft material and isn’t necessarily very supportive.
Memory foam is very unique though as compared to other mattresses. The material conforms to your body rather than just sinking when you lay down on it. This is why medically it helps so much with the pressure points that may be bothering you such as your hips and shoulders.
Not only does it take your shape, but it doesn’t want to bounce back while you are sleeping, which is essentially putting pressure against your body while you sleep. The foam has holes in it that are called memory foam cells that compress fully and spread the air around to the adjoining cells.
This foam is very temperature sensitive which means that at lower temperatures it is harder, and when it is hotter it gets softer and bouncier. This is why you have a “melting” feeling when you lie down on it. It is accentuating the molding effect of the foam that customizes to your body.
Certain memory foam mattresses are more sensitive to temperature than others so when you are shopping for a mattress, you should find out at what temperature it gets firmer. This is especially important for people who need either softer or firmer mattresses because of their back.
Not all foams are created equal, and recently more mattresses and toppers have come out that are considerably less quality. These are usually products that are produced in Asia. As a general rule, you should avoid any products that are considerably less than what you see through the established brands such as Tempur-Pedic and Sleep Aid.
A memory foam mattress can cost up to $2,400 for a King Size, but a memory foam mattress topper should only cost about $150 to $300. Which ever one you choose should conform to your body properly, and make sleeping more enjoyable for you.
Choosing a Memory Foam Mattress Topper
If you are looking for memory foam, you may be wondering whether you need to buy the entire mattress or if you can just buy a topper. As the name implies, a memory foam topper is a layer of foam that you place on your existing mattress.
A full mattress is built with several layers of foam that are designed to work together whereas a topper is only about 1 to 5 inches thick. For many people the memory foam mattress topper works just as well as a mattress, and actually has more benefits than the full version.
First it is considerably less expensive considering the mattresses can cost up to $2,400 if you are buying a king size. The mattress topper only costs about $150 to $300 depending on the density and thickness. Second, the memory foam mattress pad can be replaced every few years and cost much less, so it won’t feel like you are taking out a second mortgage every time you are buying a bed.
One of the most important things about buying a memory foam mattress topper is that the foam is only as good as the foundation that it is resting on. That means that you have to have a good mattress underneath. If it doesn’t have any sags or soft spots then you should be fine in just covering it with the topper.
If however your mattress has seen better days, meaning it is sagging, or over 5 years old then you are better off either replacing it and getting a mattress topper, or buying a new memory foam mattress by itself. Let’s just say it is in good shape, and then comes the question as to which topper to get.
Memory foam bed toppers come in different thicknesses, ranging from at least 1 inch thick to 5 inches thick, with some even thicker than that. You should not consider one that is less than 2 inches thick because they simply don’t have the thickness to do what they are supposed to do.
They compress too easily, and you essentially feel like you are sleeping on the mattress, which defeats the purpose. Over 5 inches thick you run the risk of feeling like you are sinking into the topper, and it may be uncomfortable for some people. The only exception to this rule is if you buy a memory foam topper that has a very high density.
With a density above 6 pounds you will get more support, but it is very expensive which is probably what you are trying to avoid by buying the foam mattress topper as opposed to the entire mattress. It just makes more sense to go with a thicker layer of foam, preferably between 2 and 4 inches thick, and then choose a density between 3 and 5.5 pounds.
If you have a pillow top mattress then you are going to do better with a 2 inch memory foam bed topper because the added cushioning of the pillow top mattress with make the foam work better.
Whichever one you choose should be tried out thoroughly in the store you purchase it at. If you are buying online, you should make sure to check out any memory foam toppers you are considering by doing research on all of them, and reading any reviews that other consumers have left. You don’t want to waste your money on something that you won’t like.