How can you know that you've purchased the best memory foam mattress or topper that will give you a great night's sleep? There are wide variations in the quality of memory foam, so how do you choose the best one for you?
The good news is that there are specific questions you can ask the retailers so you know what type of memory foam you're buying.
We'll provide you with information that will help you know if the answers the retailer gives are what you want to hear!
When memory foam became popular in the 1990s, mattress manufacturers began jumping onto the bandwagon and producing this type of mattress in order to expand their market. There are many reputable memory foam manufacturers, but there are also those who will cut corners to make a quick buck by using fillers like sand instead of quality fillers and materials.
Believe it or not, there are manufacturers who will use lower density memory foam to create a mattress that may look great at a glance, but won't hold up over time or provide the support you're looking for in a mattress.
What is memory foam? Essentially, it is a product produced from polyurethane and a mix of other chemicals and ingredients such as petroleum. The end result is what is called visco-elastic, or memory foam. Unfortunately, the actual specific ingredients used to make memory foam are trade secrets and not released to the general public.
A good rule of thumb for most everything in life is, if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is! This is true for memory foam mattresses as well.
It costs the manufacturer a bit more to invest in the equipment for pouring memory foam and the process takes a bit more time than manufacturing a traditional mattress, so it makes sense that these types of mattresses will cost a bit more.
Pay attention to prices - that alone will tell you a lot.
Memory foam mattresses are created from layers. The density and thickness of those layers make a big difference for support and comfort.
The most supportive memory foam mattress is a combination of the right foam density and the right thickness. Density is actually the weight of the foam or pounds per cubic foot of foam. The lower the density, the less supported you'll feel. The higher density foams, like 5 pounds and up, will feel firmer and possibly even stiff to some.
Customers seem to like the 4-pound density foam because it provides support and responds quickly when readjusting positions during the night. This density also provides a good amount of motion isolation so that you and your spouse won't feel each other's movements through the night, which means a better night of sleep for both of you.
The thickness of a foam mattress can be as low as 2-inches, but can be up to 12-inches thick. Somewhere in the middle is most likely the sweet spot, but reading customer reviews of different products will help you make a good decision.
There's no doubt that many people have found relief from pain sleeping on these mattresses, but unless you purchase an all natural memory foam, there are potential hazards to your health from the ingredients used to make the mattress.
The polyurethane and other mix of chemicals used to make the mattress can potentially cause cancer. Fire retardant chemicals are extremely dangerous to your health as well and most memory foam mattresses are sprayed with them. Breathing in these chemicals consistently over time could cause serious health issues down the road.
More immediate health concerns can include asthma-like symptoms or an asthma attack, skin rashes or irritations, severe headaches, and nausea, to name a few. See our Memory Foam Mattress Concerns for more information.
The best memory foam mattress produced with natural ingredients is from a company called Essentia. They make their mattresses from natural sap gathered directly from rubber trees. What is added to the sap?
Plant extracts, essential oils derived from organic sources, and pure water are added to the mix to create a mattress that acts like memory foam but doesn't smell like it. It's like sleeping on memory foam, but without the potentially harmful side effects.
Natural latex foam mattresses are another fantastic alternative to memory foam. Natural latex is produced from rubber tree sap that has been processed. Is it comfortable? Yes and the natural options are just as healthy as natural memory foam. But, customers seem to like the support of memory foam better than latex.
What should you expect to pay for a quality memory foam mattress? The natural memory foam mattresses prices start around $1,400 and go up to just over $4,000. Traditionally produced memory foam mattresses range from $899 for a twin size to as much as $7,200 for a California King size mattress.
The best memory foam mattress is one that provides the support and comfort you want, the price range you need, and the right mix of ingredients to ensure you're sleeping on and in the healthiest environment possible.
An educated consumer has the tools he or she needs to make the best decisions despite what salespeople say! Take these tips with you so you're prepared no matter what comes your way.
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