Memory foam has skyrocketed in popularity over the years, in large part because of the many benefits the material offers. A memory foam mattress can contour to your body for pressure relief, soothe your aches and pains, and help you get a better night of sleep. It’s easy to acquire one as well, as many can be shipped straight to your home.
In this guide, we’ll explain what memory foam is, cover its pros and cons, and discuss the types of memory foam. We’ll also touch on other mattress types you can find on the market. Then, we’ll teach you how to select a quality memory foam bed, such as our Zoma Mattress, and offer tips on how to care for your new memory foam mattress to ensure you get the longest possible use out of it.
What Is Memory Foam?
Memory foam is open-cell foam made from polyurethane foam with added compounds to improve viscosity and elasticity, hence its other name of “viscoelastic foam.”
Viscosity means the material responds when pressure is applied, while elasticity allows it to stretch and snap back to its original shape. So viscoelastic memory foam molds to your body when you lie down on it and apply pressure, but will return to its original shape when you get up and leave the bed.
Despite the name, a memory foam mattress typically only contains memory foam in its top layer(s). A bed made entirely with such responsive material would be impractical and unable to offer a sleeper the full support they need. The foams used in bases are more dense and stiff to provide the mattress’s support and structure.
A Brief History of Memory Foam
The beginning of memory foam dates back to more than 50 years ago. Aeronautical engineer Charles Yost invented it in the mid-60s for NASA.
First known as “temper foam” it was developed as shock-absorbent aircraft seat cushioning, especially useful in airplane crashes to protect pilots and passengers. As an added benefit, the foam made long trips more comfortable.
Memory foam wasn’t used in mattresses until the early 90s, and became even more popular with the bed-in-a-box revolution. With beds-in-a-box, getting your next mattress was as easy as ordering it online and having it arrive at your doorstep. The popularity of memory foam is still growing as more customers find the pressure-relieving cushioning to their liking.
Memory foam is used not just in mattresses but also in various medical cushions and seat pads, race cars, motorcycle seats, and flooring.
Benefits of a Memory Foam Mattress
Memory foam mattresses offer a variety of benefits that have contributed to their growing popularity. A memory foam mattress can promote better health by offering pain relief, back support, and allergy symptom relief.
Pain and Pressure Relief
The pain relief sleeping on layers of memory foam may be its best quality. The material adjusts to your shape, which keeps pressure from building up on your body.
This lack of pressure can be especially helpful if you experience chronic pain, as it not only prevents any further pain but can also soothe existing pressure points. Many reviews of memory foam mattresses mention how pain in the sleeper’s backs, hips and shoulders was lessened once they started using the bed.
Memory foam can also prevent future pain by providing your body with needed support, particularly your back. There are four curves to your spine, two inward and two outward, and a great bed will mold to and support all of them. Memory foam has the responsiveness required to meet all four curves, preventing back pain and muscle tension.
Lastly, memory foam evenly distributes your weight, while a bed with springs tends to increase pressure where your body makes contact with the mattress. Often, this in the shoulders, hips, and feet.
Memory foam mattresses can be a great choice for those with allergies and asthma. The density of a memory foam bed prevents allergens such as mold from building up in the mattress. And since a memory foam mattress typically doesn’t contain materials such as wool or cotton, it can be a good match for anyone with a fiber allergy.
Similarly, memory foam deters dust mites from burrowing into the mattress because of its dense structure. Dust mites feed on dead skin flakes and can live not only in mattresses but other pieces of furniture and home decor.
These microscopic pests can worsen allergy symptoms, and while you can reduce the number of dust mites in your home it is impossible to completely eliminate them, according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
While a mattress such as an innerspring can offer open spaces for the creatures to settle in and multiply, there’s very little such room in a memory foam mattress.
We advise a mite-proof mattress cover as an additional preventative measure if you have allergies. A mite-proof mattress cover or encasement is tightly woven to keep out dust mites and is easily washable, while an unprotected memory foam mattress is more difficult to clean.
A memory foam mattress prevents motion transfer, as the material absorbs and isolates motion. Similarly, while other kinds of mattresses might make a noise as you shift about, memory foam promotes a quiet night no matter how much you might toss and turn.
Sleep Like The Dead examined six different types of mattresses: memory foam, latex, innerspring, hybrid, air, and futon. It found that of these six types, the average memory foam mattress offered the best motion isolation.
So if you’re sharing a bed with someone, memory foam seems to be your best option to prevent sleep disturbances from a partner’s movement.
Drawbacks to a Memory Foam Mattress
There is no such thing as a perfect mattress. Like any other type of mattress, memory foam has its downsides. Many manufacturers seek to eliminate these drawbacks as much as is feasible, but it is still good to keep these issues in mind as you browse the mattress market.
The main problem with a memory foam mattress is the risk of sleeping hot. A memory foam layer naturally retains heat, and if the bed holds too much and becomes a heat trap, your sleep may be disturbed, keeping you from a full night of rest.
Many manufacturers are aware of this and address it with a number of added features to cool hot sleepers. Some brands infuse their beds with cooling gels or gel beads. Others use copper or graphite.
Athletes and others who are physically active may want to consider a memory foam mattress with cooling features, as research suggests the more muscle mass a person has, the more the body retains heat.
A frequent complaint from customers about a new memory foam bed is the smell when it’s first opened, a reaction known as “off-gassing.” Typically the smell dissipates quickly, within a few weeks at the most.
The smell is caused by VOCs, short for volatile organic compounds. These compounds and chemicals are unstable and break down at room temperature, releasing smells as they do so. VOCs are a part of the memory foam mattress manufacturing process and can also be found in furniture, cars, and other household items.
If VOCs are a concern for you, then we suggest looking for a mattress “low in VOCs” or “free of toxic VOCs.” Many plant-based memory foam mattresses are low in VOCs and are free of other chemicals such as formaldehyde. Look for a certification such as CertiPUR-US® to be sure the mattress is as chemical-free as it claims to be.
Be careful of any brand that advertises its mattresses as completely free of VOCs. Companies have gotten in trouble for making the unsupported claim of VOC-free mattresses.
A final complaint some sleepers have about memory foam mattresses is sometimes they feel “stuck” in the bed, as the memory foam doesn’t snap back to its shape quickly enough to allow for easy movement.
Response time is a term used to refer to how quickly the foam shifts back to its original shape or conforms to a sleeper’s movements. Lower quality foams can take up to a minute to fully respond to a sleeper, causing frustration. Some foams can fluctuate with temperature, softening up as the bed gets warmer, which can cause the sleeper to sink in deeper than wanted.
A firmer bed has a faster response time, as does a mattress with temperature-neutral foam. Look for a memory foam mattress described as responsive, and it’s a good idea to double-check this claim by skimming through customer reviews for any complaints.
Other Types of Foam
We’ve discussed the properties of traditional memory foam and its pros and cons. But there are variations of memory foam as well as other types of foam to consider when you’re shopping.
As we previously mentioned, memory foam has its roots in polyurethane foam, nicknamed poly-foam. But while memory foam is a kind of polyurethane foam, not all polyurethane foam is memory foam.
Traditional poly-foam is not as contouring and responsive than memory foam and is cheaper to make. Like memory foam, poly-foam can be high-density or low-density, depending on how it’s used in the mattress. Poly-foam is typically found beneath the top comfort layer of the mattress. It is often used in a memory foam mattress’s transition layer as the design is well-suited to provide pressure relief.
Many mattress brands also use poly-foam in the base layer to provide durable support for the layers above. There’s no need to use memory foam in the base layer of the mattress since the core of the bed doesn’t offer much contouring, so by using poly-foam rather than memory foam in the base, brands help you save money.
When searching for mattress toppers, you’ll commonly find these are made of poly-foam, and most edge support in mattresses is made with this material, as well. Poly-foam is used not just in mattresses but also in other types of cushioning, such as in sofas or car seats.
Gel Memory Foam
We’ve already mentioned the overheating problem of memory foam. Gel memory foam is one of the more popular ways to solve the problem, and it not only keeps the sleeper cool but can add some springiness so the bed snaps back to its original shape a little quicker.
There are two main ways to make gel memory foam mattresses, through either gel beads or gel infusions. Both methods move excess body heat away and redistribute it throughout the mattress. Some brands prefer infusing the gel as this method disperses the gel evenly throughout the foam, rather than only in concentrated areas as gel beads do.
Gel foam is not the only way to keep a bed cool, and sometimes a manufacturer supplements it with other cooling materials such as copper or graphite.
Plant-based memory foam aims to be a greener product than traditional memory foam. With plant-based memory foam, some of the petroleum products used in traditional foam’s manufacturing process is replaced with plant-based oils. Some petroleum-based foam is still present in the mattress’s construction, but the exact percentage differs by brand.
Plant-based foams also seek to reduce or eliminate the use of formaldehyde, phthalates, PBDEs, and CFCs, all potentially toxic chemicals that have been a cause for concern in traditional memory foam. Some types of plant-based foam naturally improve the mattress’s breathability, making for a cooler bed.
When looking at beds made with plant-based memory foam, keep an eye out for certifications such as CertiPUR-US® on the company’s website.
Lifespan of A Memory Foam Mattress
The durability of a memory foam mattress is one of its many benefits. The average memory foam mattress lasts about seven years, and with a quality mattress and some basic care, you may even be able to get 10 or more years out of your bed.
Caring For Your Mattress
A memory foam mattress doesn’t require a lot of invested care. Rotating it and vacuuming it every few months should be enough to keep it in good condition and extend its lifespan.
Many memory foam mattresses come with an included mattress cover to protect the mattress. This cover will need an occasional wash, and the manufacturer’s directions should tell you exactly how often to wash it.
If your mattress doesn’t come with an included cover, it may be a good idea to invest in one for easier cleaning. Otherwise, you’ll likely have to spot clean your mattress.
Similarly, we recommend a mattress protector (which is not the same thing as a mattress cover) to prevent damage from spills and dust mites. There’s a wide selection of waterproof and bed-bug-proof mattress protectors on the market.
Signs A Memory Foam Mattress Has Worn Out
So what are the signs your memory foam mattress has reached the end of its life and it’s time to shop for a new one? Well, there are a few clues you can keep an eye out for:
- The mattress is more than 10 years old. Many memory foam mattresses become ineffective after a decade as materials break down. Age isn’t a certain sign a mattress needs to be replaced, but it’s a good reason to take a close look at your mattress and see if it’s still giving you the support and comfort you need.
- You’re waking up tired or sore after a full night of sleep. A bad mattress can reduce your sleep quality and keep you from a truly restorative rest.
- You’re sinking too deeply into your bed when you lie down. This can mean the core is damaged and no longer offers effective back support.
- It’s developed lumps or the foam is sagging. A bed unable to keep its shape is a bed due for replacement.
- The bed has become too soft. Excessive softening happens as foam ages and wears out, and means the mattress can no longer provide needed support.
How Much Does a Good Memory Foam Mattress Cost?
With the wide range of prices attached to a memory foam mattress, you might be uncertain how much you should pay for a quality bed. Typically, the cost of a memory foam mattress is determined by the type of foam used, the density of each foam layer, and the mattress’s durability. Specialty foams such as gel memory foam tend to cost more than a bed made mostly with poly-foam.
You can find memory foam mattresses for $500 or less, but we advise caution if you’re looking for a bed to last you years and years. Inexpensive mattresses made with lower-density foams can provide a decent night of sleep, but you may have to shop for a replacement sooner than you would like to.
We advise keeping a budget between $1000 to $1500 for a queen-size mattress, although it is possible to find a good mattress for an affordable price under $1000. A side sleeper may have to budget for slightly more than a back or stomach sleeper, as the softer mattresses most suited for side sleeping typically require more material, which drives up costs.
Bed-in-a-Box: Buying Your Bed Online
You can find memory foam mattresses in stores, but many of them are sold online as bed-in-a-box mattresses, shipped to your door for easy convenience. This has its pros and cons.
Buying online has the advantage of better discounts, as online sellers don’t have to worry about the costs of renting a storefront and hiring the staff for it. It’s also simple to find reviews for an online mattress while you shop to see what other customers thought when they tried out the bed.
The drawback to buying a bed online is you can’t test it out in a showroom yourself. This is why it’s important to know the attached sleep trial policies, so you can exchange or return a bed if it’s not the right one for you.
You can minimize uncertainty by reading as much as you can about a mattress and doing your research. Double-check certifications and claims, and take a moment to skim customer reviews. The only way to truly tell if a mattress will work for you, though, is to give it a test during the risk-free trial period. These give you peace of mind knowing if the bed won’t work for you, you can return it for your money back.
Unboxing Your Memory Foam Mattress
Once you have your bed-in-a-box mattress, setup is fairly stress-free and universal, regardless of brand. You may see some slight variations in instructions, but the setup should be close to as follows:
- The first step is to take the box to your bedroom, the mattress still inside. It will be easiest to carry your mattress while it’s still packed up.
- The second step is to take your mattress out of the box. Keep the mattress inside of the plastic cover for now, and unroll it on the intended bed frame or surface. Make sure the edges of the mattress line up with the bed’s sides.
- The third step is to carefully use a cutting tool to remove the plastic mattress bag. Take off the plastic cover as the mattress begins to expand.
- Allow between 8 to 72 hours for your mattress to fully expand. If your mattress has not finished expanding after five to seven days, you likely have a defective bed and should call customer service to begin the return process. It’s very rare, but it does happen.
Memory Foam and Other Mattress Types
Memory foam mattresses have the highest customer satisfaction of all mattress types, with 80 percent happy with their bed, according to Sleep Like The Dead. However, we know a memory foam mattress isn’t for everyone. The best mattress for you may be made from a different type of material such as latex, innerspring, or a mix of materials.
Natural latex is made from the sap of a rubber tree. The process used to manufacture latex is done without cutting down the trees or creating pollutants, so a natural latex mattress is one of the more environmentally friendly mattresses on the market.
Latex is a bouncy material and keeps a sleeper more lifted and on top of the mattress than memory foam does. It’s a good choice if a sleeper wants a little more bounce to the bed than memory foam can provide, while still getting a bed with a feel similar to memory foam. However, this bounce also means latex doesn’t prevent motion transfer as well as a memory foam mattress can.
A natural latex mattress is more durable than the average memory foam mattress, lasting around 15 years. However, the structure of a latex bed can make for a firm mattress. Some sleepers are surprised by the firm feel of a latex bed, and a few brands address this with an optional pillow top.
Finally, latex mattresses are some of the more expensive beds on the market. Some sleepers see this as a fair investment for the many years they can expect out of the mattress. However, when buying a latex mattress we recommend one constructed with natural latex. Synthetic latex is not as durable as natural latex, nor is the process used to make it as eco-friendly.
Innerspring beds are familiar, inexpensive, and easily available in most mattress stores. But ease of attainment is not the same as ease of use, and innerspring mattresses can rate rather poorly when it comes to providing a good night’s sleep.
Innerspring mattresses are some of the worst beds when it comes to preventing motion transfer and contouring to a sleeper’s body. Innersprings with quilted pillow tops provide some additional comfort, but an innerspring may not be the best for a sleeper who moves about or who needs a bed that molds to the body for pressure relief.
Innerspring mattresses are also likely to sag as they age and the coils wear out, and you might need to shop for a new mattress sooner than you expect.
Spring mattresses can still be a good choice if a sleeper needs a bed to sleep cool, as the open spaces in the coil setup make for a more breathable mattress. A sleeper who wants a bed with some bounce or is shopping on a tight budget may also want to consider an innerspring bed.
A hybrid mattress aims to provide a sleeper with the best of foam and innerspring mattresses. To qualify as a hybrid mattress, the bed must have at least two inches of foam and an innerspring coil base.
The coil system functions as the mattress’s support core, replacing a memory foam mattress’s supportive foam layer. The coils generally add more breathability than a foam layer would and create a bed with more bounce. Many hybrids use wrapped coils to minimize the risk of motion transfer.
Hybrid mattresses are often some of the more expensive beds on the market, thanks to the mix of high-quality materials in them. These are great for sleepers who like the bounce of a spring mattress but still want the cushioning foam feel of a memory foam bed.
It’s important to note, hybrid mattresses do have a slightly shorter lifespan than memory foam mattresses, facing the potential problem of sagging as coils wear out.
More to Consider
There’s more to picking out a memory foam mattress than just being knowledgeable about memory foam. It’s good to know what your sleep style is and what firmness level pairs best with it. It also helps to know the details of the sleep trial, warranty, and return policy most mattresses come with.
Your preferred sleeping position is good to keep in mind as you shop because it will affect what mattress firmness is best for you. The right mattress will help keep your spine and hips aligned, but a side sleeper needs a soft mattress to accomplish this, while a back sleeper is better off with a firmer mattress.
Side sleeping is the most popular sleep position and comes with a few health benefits.
It’s the position most efficient at clearing out the brain’s waste proteins while you sleep, which may prevent the onset of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, according to a 2015 study. Sleeping on the right side also promotes a healthy heart by reducing pressure on it.
However, side sleepers need to watch out for the health of their spine. A side sleeper needs a mattress with just the right firmness, as a too-soft bed will let the spine sink out of alignment while a bed too firm will raise it out of alignment. Side sleepers should also look for a mattress to relieve pressure on their shoulders and hips, as these are the areas where the impact of body weight is felt.
Look at mattresses in the medium to soft range if you’re a side sleeper. Side sleepers may want to consider memory foam mattresses with comfort layers 3 inches or thicker. However, a thinner comfort layer can work if the mattress is designed to specifically relieve pressure on the hips and shoulders.
Back sleeping is the position naturally best for a healthy spine. When lying down on your back, your posture should be close to what it would be if you were standing straight.
Back sleeping may not be the position for you if you snore or have sleep apnea, as the soft tissue at the back of your throat can collapse and block your airway. Sleepers with acid reflux should also avoid sleeping on their back, as gravity will not work to keep the contents of the stomach in place. This can make it easier for stomach acid to flow up the esophagus and cause irritation and pain.
A medium-firm to firm mattress suits most back sleepers. When it comes to memory foam mattresses, a top layer 2 to 3-inches thick is enough as back sleepers generally need less pressure relief than side sleepers. The bed should be plush enough to mold to the four curves of your spine and firm enough to support you.
We do not recommend stomach sleeping and advise stomach sleepers to switch to a different sleep style. Stomach sleeping can misalign your spine and hips, causing you to wake up in pain. The position can also aggravate existing back pain.
If you choose to continue sleeping on your stomach, then consider a medium-firm to firm mattress. We also advise you choose a memory foam mattress with a sturdy support core and a comfort layer of memory foam no more than 1 to 2 inches thick. You may find a plusher bed uncomfortable and unable to give you the support needed to avoid sinking into the mattress.
There is no one firmness right for everyone, as it can depend not only on your preferences but also on your sleeping position and body weight. However, a quality mattress keeps your spine aligned and promotes body recovery, and the perfect firmness for you will work toward those goals.
You will often see a term such as “medium-firm” or a number on the firmness scale to describe a mattress’s firmness. The firmness scale runs from 1 to 10, with 1 as the softest and 10 as the most firm. Mattresses at either extreme are impractical, so most of the mattresses you’ll find on the market range between a 3 to an 8.
This scale can be subjective, though, and what one brand may consider a 4 another may classify as a 5. It’s a good idea to glance over customer reviews for mentions of firmness, to see if anyone received a firmer or softer bed than expected.
Your body type will influence what firmness option is right for you. Heavier sleepers who weigh 230 pounds or more should consider a firmer mattress, while lightweight sleepers under 130 should look at softer mattresses. The table below breaks down the firmness most suited to each weight range.
|Body Weight||Ideal Firmness|
|Less than 130 pounds||Medium-Soft to Soft|
|Between 130 and 230 pounds||Medium to Medium-Firm|
|More than 230 pounds||Medium-Firm to Firm|
Density is not the same as firmness, although they are often conflated with one another. To measure the density of foam, manufacturers weigh a cubic foot of foam (PCF, or pounds per cubic foot). The more it weighs, the denser the foam. We break down the different foam densities in the table below:
|Foam Density||Weight per Cubic Foot|
|Medium-density||4 to 5 pounds|
|High-density||6 pounds or more|
Low-density foam is often used in top comfort layers for its softness, while higher-density foams are typically used in a mattress’s base. However, this is not always the case— sometimes high-density foams are used in the comfort layers. That is why relying on the firmness scale is an easier method for determining the feel of the bed.
An Indentation Load Deflection (ILD) rating is the most technical and objective way to measure a mattress’s firmness. It is basically a measurement of how much force is needed to compress the bed by 25 percent of its original thickness, which tells us how the foam stands up to weight and pressure. The higher the ILD number, the firmer the mattress is.
Each foam layer has its own ILD rating. The top layer will have a lower ILD number than the support core beneath it. The ILD rating is often not openly advertised, and if you want to know a mattress’s ILD you’ll likely need to reach out to customer service.
As you’re looking at memory foam mattresses, it’s good to consider the thickness of each layer and the thickness of the bed as a whole. The thickness of each impacts the feel of the bed.
A quality memory foam mattress typically has about 4 inches of comfort foams, including both the top comfort layer and the transition layer beneath. Anything less than four inches of comfort foam will make the bed feel noticeably firmer.
Side sleepers generally need a plusher, thicker top layer for comfort. While back sleepers and stomach sleepers sleep fine on mattresses with a 2-inch comfort layer, a side sleeper may wish to consider an added inch or two.
You’ll find many beds on the market fall between 10 inches to 14 inches. Thicker and thinner mattresses are available, but most can sleep comfortably on beds within this range.
When it comes to mattress thickness, we advise against any beds thinner than 10 inches. Any mattress thinner than this is unlikely to give you the support you need for a good night’s sleep, and may not be durable enough to last as long as you would like it to. Overweight sleepers should consider beds 12 inches or thicker, to better take on their weight and withstand pressure.
Sleep Trials, Warranties, and Returns
It’s not just the physical mattress you’re buying when purchasing a memory foam bed, but also the attached sleep trial, warranty and return policy. All three of these are factored into the mattress’s price, so it’s good to know you’re getting your money’s worth.
A sleep trial is the period of time you have to test out a mattress and see if it’s the right one for you. If you’re unsatisfied with your mattress during the sleep trial, companies will let you return or exchange the bed for a more fitting one. This is standard practice for many online brands, and it’s sometimes offered with in-store mattresses as well.
Most sleep trials last between 90 to 120 days, although a few are as short as 60 days and some last for a full year. It takes the average sleeper about a month to fully adjust to a new mattress, so a good sleep trial should cover at least this much time.
Any memory foam mattress you’re considering should come with a warranty, as it’s a mark of the company’s faith in the product. A warranty guarantees the mattress will last you all the years it should, as long as you take reasonable care of it.
The industry standard for a mattress’s warranty is 10 years. Most foam mattresses need replacing after six to seven years, so a 10-year warranty is all the coverage many mattresses need. Some mattress brands offer prorated coverage after 10 years, which means you will pay a certain percentage of the replacement or repair costs after 10 years. A few mattresses offer lifetime warranties, but as typical wear and tear are not covered by warranties this is essentially a marketing tactic.
Defects commonly covered by a warranty include:
- Tears, cracks, or rips in the foam
- Sagging beyond a certain point, often 1 inch or more
- Ripped seams
- A broken zipper on the mattress cover
It’s a good idea to know the ins and outs of a company’s return policy before you buy a mattress, rather than wait until you want to return the bed. Key points you should review are how you initiate a return with the company, the period of time in which you can make a return, and how the mattress is shipped back.
We recommend buying a mattress with an easy at-home pickup return policy. Be sure to check if there’s a waiting period before you can process a return, as some mattress companies require you to try out the mattress for a set amount of days first.
If this is your first memory foam mattress, then you might want to take a moment to consider the base you’ll be placing it on. A memory foam mattress has specific support needs and must rest on a flat surface with uniform support and a solid structure. An insufficient foundation may cause your mattress to lose its shape too soon, and many memory foam mattress warranties are void if you do not keep the bed on a proper foundation.
You may have to purchase a new foundation along with your memory foam mattress. Many manufacturers recommend foundations that work well with their mattresses, and some even sell their own. The mattress and foundation may even come in a discounted bundle if you buy them together.
So what are the foundations you can find on the market for a memory foam mattress? Well, there’s adjustable bases, platform beds, and panel beds. And there’s box spring alternatives such as bunkie boards— inexpensive flat pieces of plywood or particleboard you place on top of a box spring or the rails of a bed.
A box spring, just to be clear, is not a suitable foundation for a memory foam bed. A box spring will cause the memory foam mattress to sag in the middle, and the wide space between its slats can cause the foam to sink below the slats. This leads to uneven weight distribution and the premature breakdown of materials.
We also advise against the use of steel grid platforms, which is similar to a platform bed but made of metal instead of wood. The platform’s grid design of wide-spaced rectangles is typically spaced too far apart for sufficient support, with only a few points of contact. This can lead to premature sagging.
Our editors strongly suggest a foundation with slats no more than 3 inches apart and at least half an inch thick. Ideally, the support structure should have some slats for ventilation, allowing excess heat to flow out the bottom of the mattress.
If all else fails, most floors work well as either a temporary or permanent foundation. As long as your floor is flat and even, it should do. The only drawback to the floor is it keeps air from circulating through the bottom of the mattress, which can cause heat to build up. Memory foam mattresses can range in price from a couple of hundred to a couple of thousand dollars. On average, though, you can find a high-quality mattress for around $1,500. You can typically find affordable beds when shopping with online mattress brands or on Amazon. If you choose to shop on Amazon, just be cautious of who you’re shopping with, as many unauthorized sellers are on Amazon. Many memory foam mattresses come with a 10-year warranty because they have an expected lifespan of around a decade. You’ll sometimes find memory foam mattress brands offering longer warranties, but a 10-year warranty is standard. There is no one thickness right for everyone, but when it comes to a memory foam mattress we recommend a bed between 10 to 14 inches. Any thinner and your mattress is likely to lack support and durability. And there's little benefit to any mattress that's thicker. You certainly can. The time it takes your memory foam mattress to expand may be delayed if you do so, but lying on the bed shouldn't prevent it from eventually reaching its full expansion. However, the mattress may not be as comfortable as it would be after it's finished expanding. Sagging is a risk all mattresses face as they age and materials break down, although a memory foam mattress is less likely to sag than an innerspring or hybrid mattress. However, a new memory foam mattress should not noticeably sag. If that is the case, you may have a defective mattress and should reach out to customer service. Sagging is also a potential consequence of not supporting your memory foam mattress on a proper foundation. The ideal foundation is a flat, even surface with a solid structure. Any spaces between slats should be three inches or less. Most likely no, as the typical memory foam mattress is one-sided due to its layered construction. There are some two-sided flippable memory foam mattresses on the market, but both sides often have different firmnesses.
Frequently Asked Questions
Memory foam mattresses can range in price from a couple of hundred to a couple of thousand dollars. On average, though, you can find a high-quality mattress for around $1,500.
You can typically find affordable beds when shopping with online mattress brands or on Amazon. If you choose to shop on Amazon, just be cautious of who you’re shopping with, as many unauthorized sellers are on Amazon.
Many memory foam mattresses come with a 10-year warranty because they have an expected lifespan of around a decade. You’ll sometimes find memory foam mattress brands offering longer warranties, but a 10-year warranty is standard.
There is no one thickness right for everyone, but when it comes to a memory foam mattress we recommend a bed between 10 to 14 inches. Any thinner and your mattress is likely to lack support and durability. And there's little benefit to any mattress that's thicker.
You certainly can. The time it takes your memory foam mattress to expand may be delayed if you do so, but lying on the bed shouldn't prevent it from eventually reaching its full expansion. However, the mattress may not be as comfortable as it would be after it's finished expanding.
Sagging is a risk all mattresses face as they age and materials break down, although a memory foam mattress is less likely to sag than an innerspring or hybrid mattress. However, a new memory foam mattress should not noticeably sag. If that is the case, you may have a defective mattress and should reach out to customer service.
Sagging is also a potential consequence of not supporting your memory foam mattress on a proper foundation. The ideal foundation is a flat, even surface with a solid structure. Any spaces between slats should be three inches or less.
Most likely no, as the typical memory foam mattress is one-sided due to its layered construction. There are some two-sided flippable memory foam mattresses on the market, but both sides often have different firmnesses.
Did We Help?
Our aim in writing this guide was to leave you with the information needed to find your perfect memory foam mattress. There are many different kinds of memory foam mattresses available at a variety of price points, so a little bit of hunting and careful double-checking of a brand’s claims should lead you to the bed that suits both your needs and your wallet.
Buying a new mattress is a big investment, and it’s best not to take it lightly.
It’s a good idea to skim through customer and mattress reviews before you commit to a mattress.
Feel free to leave us any comments or questions in the comment section below.
This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.