Every year around this time, we get inquiries from parents and grandparents looking for memory foam toppers for students going off to college in the fall, usually for the first time. (Funny how it is rarely the student we hear from, but we do know who is usually paying the bills, don’t we?) Sometimes the colleges even recommend bring a memory foam topper to school when the student arrives. Despite what the colleges may recommend, we do not recommend this. Here’s why…
Occasionally, we talk to people who are looking for a memory foam topper to “fix” their old, worn-out mattress. Unfortunately, a memory foam topper isn’t a magic wand that can fix a mattress that is past its useful life. A mattress that is worn-out and has dips, sags, or lumps should be replaced. So what is a memory foam topper for then?
I hear from a lot of people who are concerned about odor and memory foam. Some have even shared stories about memory foam odor that was so foul and strong that it made them sick. Not surprisingly, the memory foam mattresses with the horrific odor usually come from China. As you may know just from the news stories about problems with children’s toys, China simply does not have the quality control that we have in the United States, Canada, or Europe. Our advice to memory foam purchasers, no matter where they buy, is to stay away from any memory foam product made in China.
On occasion, someone asks us why we do not sell a 4″ memory foam topper and just offer 3″ and 2″ versions of our Healthy Foundations Memory Foam Topper. I had a question like this recently.
What we have found over the years, is that if someone thinks they need a 4 inch memory foam topper, they likely need a new mattress. A topper is meant to make a mattress that is too firm more comfortable, softer, reduce pressure points, etc. It is not meant to “fix” a mattress that is past its useful life or turn a standard mattress into a memory foam mattress. For most people who have a mattress that is too firm, our 2″ topper works well. The 3″ topper is for those who want a very plush feel. If you are looking to put our memory foam topper over an existing memory foam mattress, we suggest the 2″ topper.
IFD (Indentation Force Deflection), also known as ILD, is the measure of the firmness of a foam. It is used in everything from memory foam to car seats. IFD/ILD measure the deflection of a foam under a load. The specific IFD test gives the foam a numeric IFD value. The higher the number, the firmer the foam. This means, for example, that memory foam will have a much lower number than a base foam for a mattress and a car seat will have a higher number than mattress base foam.
Some “old wives’ tales” never seem to go away. Let’s get rid of some of them… You do not catch a cold from being cold. Colds are caused by viruses. If you cross your eyes or make a weird face, it is not going to stick that way. Most importantly (for our purposes at least), not all memory foam “sleeps hot.” So where did this pervasive rumor come from? Let’s explore that a bit.
We often hear questions about memory foam and odor. Do memory foam mattresses have an odor? Yes, unfortunately, some do. This is especially true of the cheap memory foam mattresses, especially those from China. I have heard from some people who bought memory foam mattresses with odor so horrific that it actually made them sick. So how do you find a memory foam mattress that does not have an odor? How do you separate the stink bombs from the odor-free memory foam mattresses?
Most people looking for a memory foam mattress want to learn about density and what that means. Quite simply, density is how much one cubic foot (length x width x height) of foam weighs. So does that mean that all memory foam with the same density is exactly the same? If only it could be that easy. Unfortunately, it’s not.
Whether memory foam “sleeps hot” or not is a concern for many people. Memory foam has a reputation for sleeping hot, especially because the leading brand, Tempur-Pedic, is known for this. Since sleeping hot is something that is undesirable, some memory foam manufacturers have worked to eliminate this drawback.
More often than I would like, I hear from sad people with some other brand of memory foam mattress who look underneath their mattress and discovered that it is covered in mold! This is an unfortunate event that can be prevented. Memory foam mattresses need air to circulate so that they can breath. If memory foam is not allowed to breath properly, mold can be the unfortunate result.