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What are the Pros and Cons of a Memory Foam Mattress?


Hand hovers over hand impression left in a memory foam mattress

When you begin to shop for a new mattress, you will quickly see there are many options to choose from. Beyond just the size and budget you are planning on, you need to choose the actual material the mattress is made from. One of the most popular options is memory foam. Before you say “Okay!” and run off to buy one for yourself, you should know that a new memory foam mattress is not for everyone. Being a savvy shopper means doing a bit of research ahead of time into the memory foam mattress pros and cons. We've covered how to choose the best memory foam mattress, but want to delve more into pros and cons.

Benefits of a Memory Foam Mattress

Pressure and Pain Relief

If you push your hand down into memory foam, the shape of your hand will stay for a few moments. This is because memory foam adapts to your specific body shape while you sleep. Many people consider one of the best benefits of a memory foam mattress to be the pressure-relief it provides, particularly your shoulders and hips. Rather than lying on top of firm innersprings, your memory foam mattress will move with you and contour to your body. This means less pressure points.

Spinal Alignment

Another one of the great benefits of a memory foam mattress is that it provides superior support where you need it the most-your spine. Because it adapts to your sleeping position, it will keep your spine and neck properly aligned. Sleeping on a mattress that doesn’t keep your spinal alignment intact is what leads to neck, back, and hip pain.

Low Motion Transfer

Does your child crawl into bed with you? Does your partner wake up for work before you do? This probably keeps you from getting the sleep you need. A memory foam mattress contours to only the body weight being put on it, meaning there is little to no motion transfer. Finally, you can stay asleep longer and sleep deeper.

Drawbacks of Memory Foam

They Tend to be Warm

One of the only complaints about memory foam mattresses is that they tend to sleep warmer than other types of mattresses. Many memory foam mattresses trap heat between the layers of foam, so your body heat has nowhere to escape while you’re sleeping. It’s worth noting though that because this complaint was fairly common in the past, top memory foam mattress manufacturers have been developing technology to fight against it. For example, Tempur-Pedic doesn’t make just one mattress but actually an entire collection designed specifically to combat this problem! The Tempur-Pedic Luxe Breeze Firm mattress keeps you up to eight degrees cooler throughout the night with a firm comfort. There are Medium and Soft comfort options as well.

You May Not Find it to be Comfortable

Comfort is a personal preference! You may not enjoy the feeling of “sink down” into the mattress and that’s perfectly fine. Just because some other people like it doesn’t mean you have to. If you are someone who rolls around often in the night and likes to try out different positions, this may feel odd. The memory foam will take some time to adjust from one position to the next. It will cradle your body again, but not right away. We also discuss pillow top mattresses and where they may be a better fit for you.

You spend a third of your life in bed, so finding the right new mattress is key to getting the sleep your body needs. Some have said that the one third you spend on your mattress affects the other two thirds, and they’re right! The right mattress for you is a very personal choice. The mattress your mom likes may make you feel too hot at night. Your best friend may have tried a mattress she found far too firm, but you think it feels just right. The best way to really know for sure is to come into your nearest City Mattress and lie down on these mattresses for yourself!

It’s worth noting that whether you buy your mattress online based on reviews and past experiences or go into a store and let a Sleep Expert help you find one, you can take advantage of our 90 Night Comfort Guarantee if you change your mind after a month or two. That’s okay- really! Even if you’ve had a similar mattress in the past, the brand is a well-known one, and you thought it felt good in the showroom- you simply won’t know for sure until you sleep on it yourself. We want you to love your mattress and sleep well for years to come. If your first choice wasn’t the right one, we’ll work with you to find a better option.