Not all memory foams are alike, and there have been a lot of questions about whether or not a memory foam mattress or a memory foam pillow is really comfortable to sleep on. Basically, the comfort that they provide all depends on the quality of the foam and how the mattress or pillow is structured.
Here are the basic elements that determine the comfort level of a memory foam mattress or pillow.
Memory Foam Heat Release
A common complaint is that a memory foam mattress or pillow can be really hot to sleep on. The first memory foam mattresses and pillows were made of closed-cell polyurethane, which can be very hot because it doesn’t have the ability to breathe. More recent formulas, however, are designed to ventilate. More modern mattresses and pillows also have additional features like cool gel layers, mesh covers and airflow design to make them feel even cooler. These features double the rate at which heat is released.
Choose your memory foam mattresses and pillows based on the quality of the foam itself as well as the additional features that provide cooling comfort.
Memory Foam Density and Thickness
Another common complaint is that a memory foam mattress or pillow is difficult to sleep on. It has been reported that the foam makes one feel as though they are sinking into it. It’s not a very comfortable feeling for them, almost like being sucked down into quicksand. Others say that it is difficult to change positions in bed when sleeping on a memory foam mattress or pillow.
It is true that memory foam is designed to absorb pressure from the body’s weight rather than resist it. This will of course mean that the body sinks into it to some degree. A memory foam mattress or pillow should cradle the body, however, and not completely envelop it. Foam densities differ according to the way that it has been made. This means that there are softer and firmer varieties. Because your body is not the same as everyone else’s, not every mattress and pillow will give you the same level of comfort.
You need to select your memory foam mattress and pillows based on how they respond to your particular body type. People of average weight normally need a softer mattress top layer of about 7 or 8 centimetres. If they sleep on their backs or sides, however, a thinner comfort layer is better. Heavier people need a firmer and thicker top layer - about 10 centimetres. The support layer of a memory foam mattress needs to be thicker and firmer as well for a heavier person than for a lighter person. The same goes for a pillow.
The goal is to have the right amount of cradling effect from the memory foam to properly spread out weight and relieve pressure while providing support for the recessed areas of the body - a.k.a. your curves. But some heavier people, such as bodybuilders, have both more curves and heavier bodies. This means choosing a memory foam mattress and pillow that is thicker to fill in the gaps that your curves make while also providing firmer support for your weight. This is necessary to protect the spine from misalignment during sleep.
It is important to note here that memory foam is designed to cradle the body in such a way that your need to move around is decreased. We usually change positions during sleep because we need to relieve the pressure placed on whatever body part is at the bottom. With a proper memory foam mattress and pillow, pressure is decreased and so it the need to relieve it - by about 80%. So this is a good thing, unless you like moving around a lot in bed. Remember, however, that movement is also a sleep disruption which can leave you feel less rested when you get up. On that note, memory foam mattresses are also great at preventing disruptions in a partner’s sleep because they don’t bounce when one moves like traditional mattresses do.