Inspired by NASA technology, memory foam is known for how well it responds to weight. It is unique in that weight is dispersed and the foam molds itself to the sleeper without resistance or pressure. This allows it to support the lower back and all areas of the body and relieve pressure points.
THE GOOD: Memory foam absorbs movement so even if you have a partner that tosses and turns all night, it won’t affect your side of the bed. The individual body contouring of memory foam will reduce pressure throughout the body no matter what sleep position you prefer or move to during the night. While memory foam is known for the soft feel provided, there are different levels of density available to help you find the desired firmness and support levels. This type of material is one of the best-rated mattresses, and is becoming popular online and in retail stores.
THE BAD: The foam used in most memory foam mattresses is heat activated, which can cause an uncomfortable feeling of overheating for sensitive sleepers. Since memory foam contours so well to a sleeper’s body and has a slow recovery time, it can provide a bit of difficulty for older or heavier sleepers to physically get out of bed in the morning. Also, since the foam is created from chemicals an unpleasant odor has been observed by some.
It is important to note that not all memory foam mattresses are the same; manufacturers have been working to address the heat issue and even the chemical issue in order to provide a more comfortable mattress. For example, Amerisleep’s plant-based memory foam mattresses cut harmful VOCs out and utilize plant-derived oils and extracts in manufacturing. They also have a faster recovery time and plant-based memory foam has been shown to be as much as 10 times more breathable than traditional foam and 25% cooler than gel foams.