June 22, 2017
There’s a lot that is said about Memory Foam mattresses. A lot of it is exaggerated, and you wonder if maybe there are as many flaws with them as the benefits that are advertised with gusto.
There’s several criteria memory foam mattresses are touted to perform excellently in. But how do these mattresses really perform, divorced from all the brouhaha? That’s what we set out to find. We asked for reviews on some fora and compiled a list of observations. Then, for the final verdict, we bought ourselves a few mattresses (thank god for money back guarantees!). Here is our verdict on some of the most brandished features of memory foam mattresses.
The claim: They say Memory Foam mattresses are pretty fluffy and comfortable. The claim makes you wonder why the mattress doesn’t cup you entirely. If a mattress is fluffy, it usually means its surface is pretty loose. And that should not just give you a lot of bodyache but also not be comfortable to sleep in beyond the first two nights.
The truth: The memory foam mattresses were soft and welcoming, no doubt. But they weren’t as fluffy as the pictures and sales pitches advertised them to be. Usually, that is a bad thing. You don’t want to be lied to in the media campaigns advertising a product. For once, however, we were glad the product didn’t match the label. Every memory foam mattress we bought was comfortable but had a proper amount of tautness as well.
Note: Fluffiness is not something one should aim for. A nice fluffy feel to your bed is generally welcomed, but you can always enhance or reduce fluffiness by adding more pillows or putting a bedsheet made of a soft fabric. Fluffiness is often assumed to mean cosiness, but there are other ways to add to that as well, such as heavy blankets, an ornate mosquito net hanging over you and others.
A good mattress is supposed to last you at least 15 years. Memory foam hasn’t been around in the market as long as traditional spring mattresses. So we decided to cut our expectations in terms of time but make them stricter in terms of performance. So here’s our evaluation.
The claim: Memory Foam mattresses are advertised to last for anywhere between 20 to 25 years, though some mattresses with more advanced and complicated design peg the life to 15 years. There’s really no harm to keeping a mattress longer than its advertised life. The only thing to make sure is that the mattress doesn’t dent too terribly so your posture is correct. One also needs to watch out for mold and bugs, like any other mattress.
The truth: Since we didn’t find many mattress owners who had used their memory foams for over 15 years, we couldn’t really ascertain how durable these mattresses are. There are online reviews extolling how great they have lasted people, but we decided not to trust them. That said, none of the users we contacted have complained about excessive denting, smells, rots or bug infestations in their mattresses. They all have used their mattresses for 5-10 years. So even as there is no concrete way to find out, this claim appears to be accurate.
The claim: Advertisement pitches centre on how amazing memory foam mattresses are for backaches and keeping people’s’ backs in order. The claim centres on the dent the mattress produces and how it doesn’t go away immediately. It is said that the mattress by virtue of being slow in recovering its straight shape gives you a better hug. They even say it is recommended by doctors for certain back problems.
The truth: Memory Foam mattresses do provide superior back support. My back was more comfortable in the night i spent on a memory foam mattress than i usually am on my bed. The mattress provided a comfortable hug when i lay down on it. I didn’t feel a lot of delay in the hug modifying as i shifted positions, but i guess that could be because it isn’t really as slow-mo as they show in ads. As for medical benefits like helping in backaches and whatever, a professional doctor should be able to advise you better. There are other mattresses doctors recommend as well, depending upon the patient’s need. These include air mattresses and water mattresses. Picking one up from the store because you read about it on the internet, without first checking with your doctor is not a great idea.
The claim: This is something specific to memory foam mattresses with cooling gels present in the fabric. It is said that memory foam mattresses cool quicker and better than most average mattresses due to these gel pockets. They are reported to be scientifically engineered to absorb heat from the surface of the mattress and disperse them around quicker so every time you switch positions even on a hot day, your mattress will be cozy and welcoming, and not hot from the last time your body was on that area. It sounds a lot like hokum, but it was interesting when we tried to see for ourselves.
The truth: To be fair, I never really had a problem with the bed retaining my body warmth. I live in a place where it’s usually pretty cold. A proper summer day when I actually am hot enough to sweat is rare. I used the mattress a few days and tried to keep a track of how it differed in temperature when i shifted positions. I have to say, I never realised how much it mattered. We have thermostats to make temperatures more to our liking, of course. But the gels were doing the job for me in my mattress. It does feel nice to flop your hand around the mattress at night and be greeted with that soft cold feeling.
The claim: Memory foam mattresses are touted to be the pinnacle of comfort. I mean sure, every mattress has to say that to sell. After all, why should someone pick one product when they’re not confident they have the most value for their money? But the repetition of phrases like “comfort like never before” kind of gets redundant and you are forced to be suspicious about their claims.
The truth: They definitely are the most comfortable mattresses around. Individually, some of their models do not stand up to the stars of other mattress types. That is understandable. But the mammoths of memory foam outdo most other mattress types, or at least the many models we have seen. Comfort is something we can comfortably say is a strong suit in Memory Foam mattresses.
There were a lot of mattresses we considered in our evaluation. Want to know which ones you should buy? We did a separate post on the very best memory foam mattresses, covering several crucial aspects of mattresses one should look for. Go through it as well, and you’ll be the expert on memory foam mattresses in your circle for sure. We also have sections on latex mattresses which are pretty close to memory foams (except for the whole memory part of course). Want us to cover some topic we haven’t yet? Write to us.