Highest Quality Foam Beds You Can Buy

Memory Foam

Are you looking for a mattress that will properly accommodate your body, while also offering a soft and warm sensation all night long? If yes, the memory foam bed should be the first to consider! According to users everywhere, this material is one of the coziest you can try as it gives that nice sensation of hugging due to the fact that the material adapts to your shape.

I think you can also agree when I say that the memory foam is one of the most sought-after models. This popularity is due to the level of comfort this type of sleeping surface can offer. Even more, according to specialists, people who sleep on their side are the ones most likely to enjoy such a bed. Now, if we consider that over 70% of the world’s population is a side sleeper, you will understand why it is so well-received by people everywhere.

Knowing all these you might think that choosing a bed is just as simple as going online and clicking on the design, price you want or search for the brand. However, the process is not that simple- a sleeping surface is extremely important when it comes to both comfort and health. I also know how important a good night sleep is, which is why, I recommend patience when you’re choosing the mattress (even if you’re already set on taking a memory foam one).

First, you should know that the memory bed doesn’t have an innerspring type of support (because it isn’t necessary). The main core is designed of a low-to-medium density layer (about 2lb to 3lb) and this is the one that provides the user with back support. This is also the layer that keeps your spine in line and helps you relieve the pressure you accumulate during the day.

Second, the top layer is usually equipped with denser foam (up to 5lb+) and provides the user with comfort during sleep. Of course, if you’re looking for a less expensive model, the top layer will be equipped with lower density memory but this is not something I recommend. Anything that goes below 3lb in the upper layer will not offer comfort for very long. Also, lower density memory is more likely to accentuate that hugging sensation and transform it into a sinking sensation. Actually, this is one of the main complaints against memory foam beds.

Now, to choose the best memory foam mattress for your needs, you need a bit of information on the features that matter. But first, I believe it is important to understand how this type of sleeping surface works.

What is a Memory Foam Bed?

Girl Sleeping on Foam Bed

Specialists all over the world (physicians, physiotherapists, chiropractors, and so on) recommend the memory foam for its unique features. One of these features is elasticity, which is the foam’s ability of taking your body shape while you sit on the mattress. Once you get up, the foam (slowly) returns to its initial shape.

The elasticity phenomenon happens because the viscoelastic material (the scientific name of what we call memory foam) is sensitive to body temperature and pressure. This way, by adapting its contour to your curves, the memory also manages to balance your weight all over its surface and reduces the pressure points.

When you browse stores or specific sites, you’ll notice two types of product: regular memory foam and plant-based memory beds (also advertised as being 100% organic). This is mostly a marketing bit as no memory foam is 100% organic. Viscoelastic is a synthetic material designed from petroleum-based chemicals, which is why you’ll feel a pungent smell when you first unwrap a mattress of this type. However, the material is not harmful and it doesn’t have negative effects on your health (as some may claim).

Beds that are theoretically made of plant-based foam, only have about 20% organic content and the rest is viscoelastic. So it’s not worth it to pay a lot more for such a mattress.

You should know that the first impression is not important with a memory foam. The smell will dissipate and, the memory will seem a lot more firm at room temperature. If you’re new to this type of sleeping surface, you should give it a few days to get used to it as memory foam only shows its wonderful features when you’re lying on top of it.

Speaking of wonderful features, let’s take a look at the ones that matter the most.

#1: Pressure Relief

Foam Pressure Relief

If we could undress of our bones the way we undress of our day clothes in order to slip into our pajamas, sleeping would be extremely comfortable. After all, without bones, we would be able to sleep in any position we’d like and nothing would ever hurt. But, since this is not possible, we have to find a way to accommodate our skeleton to the sleeping surface.

Because the body is neatly wrapped around our skeleton, each sleeping position comes with its challenges. For instance, when you sleep on your side, the shoulders, the neck, and the spine sit in a weird position if not properly supported. The same goes when you sleep on your back (your butt goes further in the mattress, leaving portions of the spine unsupported). And you can only imagine the craziness when you’re sleeping on your belly.

Well, all these areas that remain unsupported show up because, between your mattress and your body appears what we call pressure points. With a traditional bed (innerspring structure), these pressure points are uncomfortable and create painful areas that in time only get worse. This happens because the springs inside aren’t designed to adapt to your body shape.

With a memory surface, the situation is completely different because your body will be lying on a thick surface that adapts to the shape on top due to sensitivity to pressure and temperature. But the adaptation process doesn’t happen suddenly – it’s more of a gradual movement that allows your weight to be equally distributed through the surface. This way, you won’t feel those pressure points anymore.

This means that, if you sleep on your side, the foam will sink more in the shoulder and hips area, keeping your spine well aligned and supported. So, you won’t feel that much of a pressure in your shoulders and hips, which leads to a better sleep, without pain or discomfort. The same goes for the other sleeping positions and, if you like more than one position, the foam will continue to take your body’s shape as you move.

The idea behind top memory foam bed is that they are amazing for people suffering from back pain, arthritis, and other painful similar conditions. Because the body weight is no longer focused in just one or two points when we sleep, the pressure will be relieved and you can enjoy an amazing time in bed.

#2: Temperature

Sleeping on Temperautre Bed

There is a lot of talk about temperature when it comes to memory foam, but first, let’s talk about how it influences the foam.

As I mentioned above, viscoelastic is sensitive to temperature. This means that the shape change will happen faster if the room temperature is high or if you warm up the mattress. This happens because the foam is a viscous material (hence the name), which when heated, they lose their viscosity and get more flexible or runny.

In translation, a memory foam bed will change its viscosity settings after a few hours of sleep, becoming more flexible and squishy. This is why it’s recommended to choose a high-density top layer – the more dense the foam, the less sinking sensation you’ll have when the bed gets hot.

Just as a side note, you should also know that increased humidity has the same effect on viscoelastic materials.

Now that you know the effect temperature has on your mattress, it’s time to learn that there is no ventilation system in the foam. Because of its density, the memory foam can’t breathe which leads to accumulation of heat during the night. This is what some people mean when they say that memory mattresses sleep hot – they accumulate heat and keep your body temperature above the regular setting. This may lead to discomfort, beating all the other good aspects of this type of bed.

To tackle this problem, producers introduced a different type of foam (called reticulated foam) that comes with an open-cell structure that allows the air to flow through the surface. This improves the dissipation of heat through the mattress, reducing the overall temperature.

However, regardless of the design and various cooling systems, a memory foam mattress’s performance will be highly influenced by the ambient temperature. So, you must know that the feel will change with the temperature outside (if you live in a climate with big temperature changes) and the one in the room. It’ll feel harder when it’s cold and it will take longer to soften up, but it will be more flexible and squishy during the hot summer months.

This aspect is important because many people tend to ignore it and then consider there is something wrong with the mattress. Even more, while the texture of the viscoelastic material is similar to the texture of the foam used in cushion padding, the performance and feel are completely different because of this temperature sensitivity characteristic.

My recommendation is to take the design you like for testing. Make sure you notice the change in texture and feel as the temperature increases and decreases to understand if this type of bed is a good fit for your needs.

#3: Spine Alignment

Spine Alignment on Memory

During sleep, the spine is released from the constant pressure it undergoes during the day. This pressure is exerted by the gravitational force and, while we don’t feel it anymore, the spine has to deal with a lot during our vertical existence. Because of this pressure, the spinal discs get closer together, shortening the spine and gathering a lot of pressure. So, if by the end of the day you feel like the whole world is resting on your shoulders, you would not be too wrong.

However, during the night, because we’re no longer standing, the spine has a chance to decompress. This means that the pressure is released and the discs can get to their real place on the spine. It’s even possible that you’ll wake up taller than the night before because of this process.

Still, in order to decompress the right way, the spine must be supported correctly. Otherwise, the decompression process won’t happen and you can wake up with back pain or muscle strain because the spine was misaligned. To avoid such problems, it’s enough to find a great mattress that will support your spine during sleep regardless of your sleeping position. And here is where the memory foam comes in!

Because of its viscous and elastic properties, a foam bed can mould according to your body shape. Even more, if you change your position during the night, the foam will change its shape accordingly. By doing so, the spine remains aligned and no pressure points appear between your body and the surface of the bed.

However, not all memory foams offer the same type of support. You must consider the density aspect before you decide on buying. According to specialists, the 5lb foam will support your spine better than 2lb foam. This happens because the foam is sensitive to both temperature and pressure. So, the longer your lie on your bed, the more flexible and squishy it will become. If the density is lower, it will turn soft, allowing your body to sink in deeper than a high-density mattress would. This may create irregularities in the position of your spine, leading to pain and other problems.

But density is not the only aspect you should follow when you make such a purchase. You must also consider other aspects such as the type of foam used to make the mattress (for heat concerns).

#4: Responsiveness

Responsive of the Foam

I know we’ve been talking about memory foam in general, but you should know there are several types of memory foam and these are mostly differentiated by responsiveness and cooling systems.

But first, let’s see what it means for a memory foam to be responsive. This has more to do with the elastic side of the material and it is the time it takes the foam to return to its initial shape. The more time it takes for the foam to bounce back, the less responsive the surface is.

Many people seem to believe that the response time is directly proportional to density, but this is not entirely true. While density is an important factor, the responsiveness of a memory foam surface is also dependent on the bounciness of the material – if the surface gets soft when heated, the response time will be bigger.

However, there is no right or wrong when it comes to this feature. All it matters is the type of surface you prefer. After all, all memory foam surfaces are responsive, but some take a bit longer to re-adjust once you’ve changed your position.

For instance, a regular memory foam will take between 45 to 60 seconds to respond, while a gel foam bed will only take about 35 to 45 seconds. Finally, some high-quality memory foam mattresses will take about 8 seconds to re-adjust, which makes them some of the best in the category.

So which one works best for you? That depends on how you like your bed, but it’s also connected with the feeling the surface offers. For instance, many people who bought a slow response reported feeling stuck in the bed until it got to change shape.

That’s why, if you’re new to this type, it is very important to test the surface first.

#5: Motion Transfer

No Motion Transfer

While it sounds awfully technical, if you are part of a couple, then you’ve probably experienced motion transfer more than you would’ve liked. The term is the very definition of what happens when one of the sleeping partners moves around in the bed and the energy they create, disturbs the other sleeping partner. (This can be easily avoided if you have a memory bed).

Put plainly, if your significant other tends to move a lot during sleep, you will definitely feel it. That if you sleep on a mattress that allows for the motion to be transferred to the entire surface. Movement during sleep is a normal occurrence, but on an innerspring, it’s like you would sleep on an air bed, on a furious sea. You feel every movement in waves and this may disturb your sleep, transforming a wonderful and intimate experience into an uncomfortable one.

If you’re wondering why a spring is not equipped to absorb the shocks started by your partner, you need to know a bit more about the inner structure of these surfaces. While an independent spring is great for absorbing the shock and keeping in place, the springs in a mattress are connected using a helical wire, which also transfers every type of motion from one spring to another, activating the entire surface of the mattress.

On the other hand, a surface that has no springs can still have motion transfer due to its natural buoyancy. This is valid for firm beds like the ones made of latex foam or gel foam, where the surface conducts the movement through the entire bed. While it’s not the same as with an innerspring, the movement is still felt.

And this leads us to the memory foam mattress or if that is too expensive a great option would be a foam topper. Well, due to its viscous properties, this type of surface has little to no motion transfer and allows both partners to move around as they like without disturbing the other. This happens because the energy is absorbed by the foam instead of being transferred and it is released at a later date, when the foam bounces back to its regular shape.

In time, you will also learn that motion transfer is also dependent on the type of density your foam has. Denser foam absorbs more energy, while the low-dense foam is a bit more flexible and buoyant. However, when you buy memory foam mattress you need to know that this will never have the same motion transfer as an innerspring bed.

#6: Lasting Durability

It’s important investment and you don’t want to have to buy a new one in a couple of years! That’s why, I recommend choosing the product you want wisely and with patience. After all, you don’t want to see your bed sagging after only a few years and a memory foam product that doesn’t resist to some wear and tear is not a product you can keep using once it starts to give in. Overall, this type of bed must keep its flexibility, responsiveness, and spine alignment properties for as long as possible.

Are memory foam mattresses good for you? There are several aspects to keep in mind when it comes to durability. For instance, the main element that matters when you consider the durability is density. According to specialists in the field, there are three levels of density:

  • Low-density: the foam density is 3 pounds or less and these are considered great guest mattresses as they don’t hold for too much wear and tear.
  • Medium: here the density is between 3 and 4 pounds. These offer a decent level of durability, and they’ll be with you for several years.
  • And high-density – 5 pounds and up to 5.3 pounds. This is the ideal spot for both durability and firmness (anything higher may be too firm) and these are the products that will keep their shape and features for years to come. However, these are also the most expensive so you need to consider your budget options as well.

Still, when we discuss durability, I think we should also include the warranty, customer service, and online reviews. After all, a mattress can be great, but if you don’t have a good warranty you may find the investment a bit too big.

Even more, the warranty shows the level of trust the producer puts in their product – there is a big difference between a 20-years warranty and one year warranty. You should also consider the coverage of said warranty as some producers tend to cover only certain elements and not the entire mattress.

Overall, a good bed should stick with you for about 10 to 15 years without losing its shape and the features that made you buy it in the first place.

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