Most Frequently Asked Questions On Memory Foam:
The density of a memory foam doesn't tell you that much about a particular memory foam. All it can tell you for sure is the weight of a cube of that foam that is one foot in each dimension. So a 4 lb memory foam is one in which a one foot cube of this foam will weigh 4 lbs, a 5 lb memory foam's cube weighs 5 lbs, etc.
But a memory foam's density doesn't tell you how the foam actually feels in terms of softness/firmness, how warm it sleeps (related to how open the memory foam's cells are), the conforming feel and quality of that foam, etc.
These comfort qualities of a memory foam can vary tremendously based on that memory foam's recipe, so that one 4 lb memory foam has a very different feel and comfort than another.
That is why reading reviews is something I recommend, and while I know you need to be somewhat skeptical of reviews since they can be faked, they do give you a way to see how a particular memory foam products works for folks actually using it in their own homes.
In my experience testing memory foam mattresses, the quality of the memory foam did make a huge difference in how it rated and the latest generation memory foam we tested got much higher marks for comfort and sleep quality (including almost no issues with sleeping hot due to the much more open cell structure of this memory foam).
So in my experience, not all memory foams are created equal, and to arm yourself with information when buying memory foam I've created an in-depth Memory Foam Buyer's Guide so you can make sure to get the best possible memory foam mattress or topper pad for you.
A typical memory foam mattress is made of layers of different foams -- the simplest has a 5" - 6" "core" of more traditional foam (standard polyurethane) that is the firm, supportive portion of the mattress (uses this instead of innersprings) with a layer of memory foam (2" - 4" or so usually) on top of this to provide a soft, conforming feel to the mattress.
But the quality of these materials and sizes of these layers can vary tremendously, and you do pay more for a memory foam mattress that uses denser foams in it (which will last longer and typically be more comfortable, but since they use more material in them cost a fair amount more).
Most memory foam mattresses tend to go with a less expensive core foam since people don't really think about this or feel it much at first, but since this is the support layer of the mattress having a higher density core foam can make a big difference in the overall comfort and feel of the mattress and also its longevity. I recommend going with at least a 1.8 lb density core foam, and in the memory foam mattresses I've carried I've had 2.3 lb core foam at least.
Memory foam is a bit denser and again density costs more, so some memory foam mattresses go with 2 lb or 3 lb memory foam to keep costs down. And again these can feel ok at first, but don't last over time or provide the kind of sustained comfort of 4 lb or 5 lb memory foam. So look for these sort of denser memory foam layers when you are shopping for your memory foam mattress.
Gel foams are hyped as the latest, greatest thing in sleep technology. But they are not pure gel -- they are in fact memory foams with some gel beads or gel liquid in them.
And this gel makes the memory foam feel stiffer -- and to me, is a lot less comfortable than pure memory foam.
So why do people think gel foam is superior to pure memory foam? It is because gel foam is said to sleep cooler than memory foam.
And while sleeping hot on memory foam was something I heard about when I started over 20 years ago, I barely ever got a complaint over the last few years since we used a latest generation memory foam that had a much more open cell structure than standard memory foams.
This latest generation memory foam is more expensive than standard memory foams, but gives the best of both worlds in that it has the comfort of pure memory foam and doesn't sleep hot since the open cell structure provides much better airflow than standard memory foams (the manufacturer says 95% better airflow)
So I never used gel foams in our products since this latest generation memory foam had much better comfort and feel than gel foams, or customer ratings and reviews were really high (with 96% of reviewers saying they would recommend our mattress to a friend), and I had almost no complaints that the memory foam slept hot (literally, I could count them on one hand each year).
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