Memory foam mattresses and pillows — hype or fact?

There's much hype about memory foam (generic term visco elastic foam) in that it is often oversold as the magic wand of sleep. This is only true if you get the right density to softness and ongoing support, and that is the key to good sleep around the clock. Align the spine during the night.


Don't buy too-heavy memory foam

The problem with a lot of memory foam mattresses and pillows is that the foam is simply too heavy, too pliable, and you keep sinking and eventually lose support where it counts, ie for pillows uneven neck and head support, and mattresses uneven support due to heavy load areas such as buttocks and shoulders continuing to sink.


So, how do you know what density is right for you?

If you keep sinking, it's not right. If it is grossly heavy, forget it. If it takes more than five seconds for your finger pressure marks to come out, then it won't be right for you. Remember, you need support as well!


Get the right density and it will be perfect for you

Just like latex, memory foam is the cream of mattresses in that it spreads the pressure, diffuses, and cradles the body evenly. Aligning the spine, and encouraging the natural curvature of the spine during sleep is the key.


Don't pay too much for your memory foam mattress!

"The more you pay, the more you get". Not so with memory foam. Some companies have got in on the act in recent times and taken advantage of the public's hunger for a good night's sleep and made fortunes by charging over the odds. You don't need to spend a lot. Just look around for memory foam options in mattresses and pillows, and you will be pleasantly surprised.


What about inner spring or basic foam mattresses?

An inner spring mattress will bottom out in no time. Create a hollow under the body's pressure points. Inner spring mattresses are really something from the past. Memory foam and latex mattresses have passed them by, but once again it is important to be selective about memory foam and latex. Don't pay too much!


Should I turn my memory foam or latex mattress?

Of course, every few months. Like everything that is used a lot, there will be some breakdown in the cellular structure of memory foam or latex, but the better the quality of the memory foam and latex, the longer it will hold its support where it counts. But do turn it over, and do turn it around. That way you will get untold years of comfort and support.


Do I air my memory foam or latex mattress?

Even though both contain anti-bacterial properties to repel dust mites etc, it is always wise to air the mattress on a warm and driy day with some direct sunlight, but not too much. Humid environments are not terribly good (they encourage allergens no matter what material the product is made from), so pick a day that is low humidity.


What are the health benefits of a good memory foam or latex mattress?

Many. A good memory foam or latex mattress will align the spine which ensures a more restful sleep. And by encouraging better posture through the night it will also be helpful in promoting clearer breathing in that the windpipe is better aligned with the spine and this means a greater volume of air entering your lungs. So this should help minimise light snoring which is usually a symptom of either obesity (a contracted windpipe restricting air flow), or poor posture through the night.


Align the back, in comfort

Sleep deprivation through poor posture is also an issue with poorly conceived mattresses, because your body is sub consciously fighting the mattress seeking greater comfort. Memory foam and latex both have wonderful pressure-dispersing properties, and they tend to nullify pressure to buttocks and shoulders.


Published by: Therapeutic Pillow