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What is a Memory Foam Mattress?

A memory foam mattress combines a layer of memory foam with springs or support foam. Memory foam uses your body heat to soften and mould to your shape. This provides remarkable support and comfort. Once pressure is removed, memory foam will bounce back very slowly and over time will remember your body shape and optimal sleeping position, hence the name 'memory'.

Memory foam, also known as visco-elastic foam, was first designed by NASA in the mid-1960s. Made from polyurethane, memory foam was developed to counteract the extreme pressure astronauts faced when exiting and entering the Earth's atmosphere. The potential to use memory foam in other products was soon discovered, and is now used in mattresses, pillows and mattress toppers.

Hand hovering over memory foam that has temporarily moulded to its shape
A memory foam mattress contours to your body to offer high levels of support and comfort

Memory foam mattresses are a popular choice for our customers due to the benefits they provide. Read on to find out how a memory foam mattress can help you get a comfortable night's sleep.

Benefits of a memory foam mattress

  • Optimal support and comfort
    Memory foam contours to the shape of your body for optimal spinal alignment and targeted support.
  • Pressure-point relief
    A memory foam mattress will evenly distribute your body weight to reduce pressure on the heaviest parts of your body. This will relieve aches and pains and promote healthier blood circulation throughout the night.
  • Reduces transfer of movement
    Memory foam contours to your body, creating a personal sleep zone. This helps to prevent you from feeling your partner tossing and turning - so a memory foam mattress is a good option if you are often woken up by this during the night.
  • Dust mite resistant
    A memory foam mattress features a visco-elastic structure that can't be penetrated by dust mites. This can dramatically reduce allergic symptoms and provides a cleaner, healthier night's sleep.
  • Suitable for all sleeping positions
    Sleeping in certain positions can often be the cause of back pain. However, a memory foam mattress is capable of adapting to any sleeping position.
    • Back sleepers
      Memory foam conforms to your spine to offer excellent lumbar support.
    • Side sleepers
      Memory foam distributes body weight away from your hips and shoulders while supporting your waist to keep your spine in healthy alignment.
    • Front sleepers
      Memory foam helps support the natural curve in your back to reduce pressure on your lower back.

    Are you looking for more advice on the optimal sleeping position with a bad back? Take a look at our page, sleep tips for a bad back.

Want to know more about the benefits of memory foam? Watch this video from Sealy for more information:

Does a memory foam mattress get warm?

When memory foam mattresses were first invented, the technology to regulate temperature wasn't available. This meant that memory foam mattresses trapped a lot of heat during the night.

Over the years, these mattresses have advanced in terms of how much heat they give off. Most memory foam mattresses now feature technology that helps control temperature throughout the night.

However, factors such as room temperature, duvet thickness, age and medication can also affect how hot you feel in bed. It is helpful to take these factors into account before deciding if a memory foam mattress is right for you.

The Sealy Posturepedic Pearl Memory Mattress features temperature-regulating technology
The Sealy Posturepedic Pearl Memory Mattress is a memory foam mattress that offers excellent temperature regulation

Does a memory foam mattress smell?

At Mattress Online, we place high importance on ensuring all of our mattresses are safe. This is why we ensure our memory foam mattresses have been treated with a fire retardant and are certified as 'low hazard' when it comes to the BS7177: 2008 standard for domestic use.

Applying this fire retardant means that your memory foam mattress may have a slight smell when first delivered, particularly for vacuum-packed mattresses. To reduce any smell, leave your mattress to air in a well-ventilated room and open your windows for 24-48 hours.

How long does a memory foam mattress last?

The lifespan of a memory foam mattress can vary depending on the quality of memory foam used and how well you look after your mattress. When it comes to support and durability, a memory foam mattress can outlast the seven year lifespan suggested by The Sleep Council.

However, we recommend renewing your memory foam mattress every seven years for hygiene reasons. Whilst dust mites cannot penetrate the structure of a memory foam mattress, over a seven year period, they will build up on the surface of your mattress. Renewing your mattress every seven years will keep your sleeping environment clean, fresh and hygienic.

To help prolong the life of your mattress and to help keep dust mites at bay, we recommend using a mattress protector. For more information on how to keep your mattress in great condition for longer, take a look at our advice page: how can I clean my mattress?

The Sleep Council's Seven Year Hitch campaign advises that you should change your mattress every seven years
The Sleep Council recommend changing your mattress every seven years for a clean and healthy night's sleep

How much does a memory foam mattress cost?

Memory foam mattresses are usually slightly higher in price than other types of mattress due to the technology used in the production process. However, this doesn't mean a memory foam mattress is out of your budget. In recent years, the cost of these mattresses has fallen, and they are now a much more affordable option.

We have memory foam mattresses to suit all budgets! Our double memory foam mattresses start from just £154.95 - why not take a look at a few?

Memory foam mattresses: best sellers

Not sure which memory foam mattress to choose? Read on to discover our five best-selling memory foam mattresses, all available for Free Next Day Delivery!

The Silentnight Essentials Memory Mirapocket 1000 Mattress is a great value memory foam mattress
1. Silentnight Essentials Memory Mirapocket 1000 Mattress

  • Mattress type: 1000 pocket springs and memory foam
  • Firmness: firm
  • From only £224.95

The Viscoflex Memory Mattress offers memory foam comfort at a great price
2. Viscoflex Memory Mattress

  • Mattress type: memory foam and standard sprung
  • Firmness: medium
  • From only £114.95

The Memory Zone Pocket 2000 Mattress is one of our most popular memory foam mattresses
3. Memory Zone Pocket 2000 Mattress

  • Mattress type: memory foam and 2000 pocket springs
  • Firmness: medium
  • From only £269.95

Sleepeezee Memory Comfort 1000 Pocket Pillow Top Mattress offers luxury memory foam comfort and support
4. Sleepeezee Memory Comfort 1000 Pocket Pillow Top Mattress

  • Mattress type: memory foam and 1000 pocket springs
  • Firmness: medium to firm
  • From only £289.95

The Romantica Bamboo Memory Mattress is a softer-feel memory foam mattress for gentle support
5. Romantica Bamboo Memory Mattress

  • Mattress type: memory foam, bamboo and standard sprung
  • Firmness: soft to medium
  • From only £134.95

The ability to offer tailored comfort and pressure relief is the reason memory foam mattresses remain so popular. Need more advice on memory foam mattresses? Feel free to give us a call! We are happy to offer support and advice to help find the perfect memory foam mattress for you.

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