Mattresses, Mattresses Everywhere: Memory Foam

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A good mattress lasts 9 to 10 years, but according to the National Sleep Foundation, you should consider replacing yours every 5 to 7 years if you don’t sleep well. When it’s time to change your mattress, it’s important to keep in mind the many different mattress options there are. In our previous article we discussed the pros and cons of an innerspring mattress and today we’re going to detail memory foam mattresses.

Memory Foam Mattresses

First designed in the mid-1960s for NASA airplane seats, memory foam is made from a substance called viscoelastic. It is both highly energy absorbent and soft and molds to the body, evenly distributing body weight and returns to its original shape once pressure is removed.

If you prefer an extra-firm base for your mattress, memory foam has very little spring and provides support to your head, shoulders, hips, knees and feet while keeping your spine in proper alignment. Resting in a comfortable position all night helps promote a good night’s sleep and ensures that you wake up feeling rested without aches and pain.

Pros

  • Polyurethane foam found in memory foam mattresses is naturally resistant to allergies and dust mites.
  • Memory foam mattresses do not have to be flipped. They do not contain the innersprings that end up sagging after many years of use.
  • Mattress does not creak and whine every time you or your partner adjusts positions throughout the night.

Cons

  • The main complaint is the mattress has a tendency to retain heat. This results in the bed getting hot, especially in warmer weather. However over the years, manufacturers have taken steps to produce foam that is much cooler to sleep on with an open cell structure and channels that allow air to circulate more freely.
  • A number of people found their memory foam mattress to be more firm than expected upon first use, thought he foam softened and became more comfortable as it absorbed body heat.
  • When new, memory foam can produce an odd chemical smell. To minimize this problem, it is recommended to air out the mattress for at least 24 hours before putting sheets on.

It’s important to keep all of this information in mind when picking out a new mattress. Having the right mattress is important not just for maintaining a good night’s rest, but for your overall health as well.

Mattresses, Mattresses Everywhere: Innerspring

When we go to bed each night, it’s easy to overlook the engineering that goes into our mattresses.  You may not even know what your mattress is made of, and take for granted the finely-crafted support system that provides such rest and rejuvenation.

Understanding what types of mattresses are available at Houston mattress stores will help simplify the buying process when it’s time to replace your old mattress.  Today, we begin a series on mattress types, and the benefits of each.

Innerspring Mattresses

Innerspring is one of the most common mattress types.  An innerspring mattress uses a series of steel coils in order to support your body weight as you rest.  These coils are surrounded by padding & upholstery.

Sounds simple, right?  Still, innerspring mattresses are versatile, and each is carefully crafted to achieve a desired effect.  Manufacturers offer a variety of spring systems, including different shapes and designs of coils, as well as variations in coil placement, coil frequency, and the gauge (or density) of each spring in the system.  Around this support system, padding components may vary as well.  Most include an assortment of foams and fibers, but some may even contain layers of smaller springs designed for optimal comfort.

Generally speaking, the lower the gauge of your springs, and the greater the number of springs in your mattress, the more support your mattress will provide.  Spring gauges typically range from 12 to 18.

Innerspring mattresses have that familiar, bouncy feeling.

Innerspring mattresses have that familiar, bouncy feeling.

Who should consider an innerspring mattress?

Innerspring mattresses offer the bouncy feel many of us will remember from jumping on our parents’ beds as children (and subsequently being yelled at about ruining the springs).  With the variety of options available, the level of springiness is ultimately at the buyer’s discretion.

The spring system in these mattresses is designed to allow distribution of your body weight regardless of how you are positioned.  For this reason, innerspring mattresses may be an ideal choice for those who tend to sleep on their sides or stomachs.

With “pocketed” or padded coils available in many innerspring systems, these mattresses are also a great option for those whose sleeping partner tends to toss and turn throughout the night.  A pocketed innerspring system will absorb the shock of their motion, and lessen the impact felt on your side of the bed.

Finally, innerspring mattresses tend to allow better air flow and trap less of your body heat than memory foam or latex mattresses.  If you tend to overheat at night, an innerspring mattress is probably the best option for you.

Those with allergies should consider an anti-allergenic mattress cover if purchasing an innerspring mattress.  In many cases, a foam or latex mattress may be a better option for someone with allergies, as they are naturally more resistant to mold, dust mites and other allergens.

When it’s time to buy a mattress, it’s important to remember you’ll likely be spending more time on it than any other piece of furniture in your home, night after night, for the better part of a decade. Understanding more about mattress types will help you choose the one that’s right for you.