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Mattress Talk: Memory Foam Mattresses


Hand hovers over hand print left on memory foam mattress

In your quest for the right new mattress for you, no doubt you’ve encountered memory foam. Memory foam mattresses offer a different experience from their traditional innerspring counterparts, as well as hybrid mattresses that utilize both memory foam and innersprings to offer the best of both technologies. Here, we’ll talk about what memory foam can (and can’t) do for you.

What is memory foam, anyway?

At its simplest, memory foam is a modern technology that uses polyurethane to create a more cushioned experience. Originally used by NASA to improve crew comfort and crash protection, memory foam is used today in all sorts of products. The same feature that made the material so useful to NASA is what makes it a great mattress choice – energy absorption.

Is a memory foam mattress right for you?

Like any technology, memory foam has its pros and cons. Whether it’s the right material for you depends on what you need from your mattress. Let’s take a look at some qualities of memory foam and help you choose the best memory foam mattress for you.

Motion isolation

As stated above, energy absorption is what makes memory foam special. In practical terms this means that movement or impact on one area of the mattress isn’t experienced on the rest of the mattress. To put it another way, the mattress doesn’t shake or bounce when someone lies down, gets up or turns over. If you’re a light sleeper who awakens at your partner’s every movement, memory foam could be the answer.


Another key feature of memory foam is its reaction to body heat. When you lie down on a memory foam mattress, your own body heat causes it to soften and mold around pressure points. This is a great feature to have if you’re a side sleeper, as the material alleviates pressure on your shoulders and hips. 

Heat absorption

A side effect of the prior feature is memory foam’s tendency to absorb body heat. This is fine if you prefer a warmer sleep experience, but can quickly turn into a drawback if you like to stay cool. Besides absorbing heat, the conformity of the foam results in less of your body exposed to air, which translates to less cooling. However, many technologies exist to address this issue, so don’t rule out memory foam due to heat absorption alone. 


As a rule, memory foam mattresses last as long as any other mattress. However, keep in mind that moisture can accelerate deterioration. We recommend a waterproof mattress protector to help preserve your investment. Many memory foam mattresses already include one!


A commonly-cited con related to memory foam is the initial release of gasses after purchase. Depending on the specific materials used in the product, you might notice a “chemical” smell, anywhere from two or three days to a few weeks. However, some manufacturers use plant-based oils and other technologies to reduce or even eliminate this issue. 

How much does a memory foam mattress cost?

You can expect to pay more for a memory foam mattress than an innerspring-only variety, though this is a general rule. Like anything else, you’ll pay more for advanced technology and premium materials, but you can easily find a memory foam mattress that fits your budget. Here is a list of queen size memory foam mattresses at various price points to help you determine what’s right for you:

  • The Simmons Beautyrest Bennington Medium Firm Foam Mattress is an innerspring-free mattress with high density foam at its core and gradually softer foam layers for a medium firm experience. 
  • The Nectar Classic Memory Foam Mattress is another budget friendly option with multiple layers of foam at different densities for medium firm support. In addition, it includes a cooling quilted mattress cover to counteract heat absorption.
  • The Sealy Malden Medium Mattress is a hybrid option, combining an innerspring core with memory foam layers for a medium firm experience. It also includes a moisture wicking cover to protect the foam while keeping you cool.
  • The Serta iComfort Foam Cf1000 Medium Mattress is a medium firm option that includes carbon fiber technology for extra cooling. Combined with other memory and gel foam layers, it hugs your body while also providing a cooler sleep experience.
  • The Tempur-Pedic Tempur-ProAdapt Soft Mattress uses layers of different Tempur foams and cooling technologies to provide ultimate comfort on the softer side. With its superior motion cancellation and advanced mattress cover design, you’ll experience the ultimate in plush comfort while simultaneously staying cool.

Get better support with memory foam and City Mattress

As you’ve already learned, memory foam mattresses vary a great deal in specific materials and technologies. With so many options available, choosing the right one can feel a bit complicated. At City Mattress, this is what we do – trust us to help you discover the best memory foam mattress for you.