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What is a Reflex Foam Mattress?

A reflex foam mattress is a mattress made of polyurethane foam, manufactured and branded 'Reflex' by British Vita. This is a high-density responsive foam that provides support and firmness. Reflex foam is made up of tiny holes that slightly adapt to your body shape, but bounce back against you at the same time. Often found in orthopaedic mattresses, reflex foam can offer a firmer feel and provide good spinal alignment.

Reflex foam is very flexible and regains its original shape very quickly, hence the name 'reflex'. This type of foam is very versatile and can take various formations within a mattress.

A reflex foam mattress showing the response against a hand when pressure is applied
Reflex foam mattresses spring back to their original shape quickly to offer great support

Reflex foam mattresses: the benefits

A reflex foam mattress:

  • Is naturally hypoallergenic
  • Is relatively cheap in price
  • Is durable
  • Enhances firmness and minimises settlement
  • Offers healthy weight distribution
  • Promotes excellent spinal alignment

Where is reflex foam found in a mattress?

Mattresses can feature reflex foam in five ways:

  1. As a full block of reflex foam only
  2. As a support layer on top of springs
  3. As a base layer in springless mattresses
  4. Within foam encapsulation
  5. As a pillow top layer

Reflex foam only mattresses

Mattresses made up of just reflex foam offer a firm sleep surface and, due to low production costs, are usually cheaper in price. They are ideal if you don't like sprung mattresses or the warmth that can be associated with some memory foam mattresses. The Breasley Uno Supreme Extra Firm Mattress, for example, is only made of reflex foam.

Support layer on top of springs

In some mattresses, reflex foam sits on top of pocket springs or open coil springs to add extra support to the mattress. This layer of reflex foam brings firmness to the mattress and supports correct spinal alignment.

Base layer in springless mattresses

Reflex foam is often used as the base layer within springless mattresses. A layer of reflex foam provides an extra level of firmness for a mattress that memory foam alone doesn't offer. This layer of reflex foam largely contributes to the firmness rating of a mattress while other layers offer enhanced comfort and luxury.

Foam encapsulation

Foam encapsulation is where a row of springs is taken out of the mattress and replaced with a supportive foam such as reflex. Not only does this help prevent the feeling of roll-off, but it also maximises your sleep space and provides edge-to-edge comfort. If you want to know more about foam encapsulation, head over to our page, what is a foam encapsulated mattress?

Pillow top layers

Pillow top layers provide an extra layer of comfort, which is why it is important that they keep their shape. Reflex foam can be used in pillow top layers to offer greater durability and a good level of firmness, so you can enjoy extra support for longer.

Is a reflex foam mattress right for me?

Reflex foam mattresses are suitable for a wide range of people. Whether you suffer from allergies, or you need a little extra support for your back, read on to find out how reflex foam could benefit you.

  • Allergy or asthma sufferers
    Reflex foam is made from polyurethane, which is resistant to dust mites.
  • Those who suffer from back or neck pains
    Reflex foam evenly spreads body weight and can help reduce pressure points.
  • People with a larger build
    Because reflex foam has a high density, it can offer a better level of support to those of a heavier weight.
  • Those who require orthopaedic support
    Due to its firmness, reflex foam is used in orthopaedic mattresses to promote healthy spinal alignment.
  • Children who sleep on a bunk bed
    Bunk beds come with mattress height restrictions. Reflex foam removes the need for springs and can offer greater support within the safety guidelines of a bunk bed mattress.

Is reflex foam just another word for memory foam?

Due to its increase in popularity, memory foam is the most recognised foam on the market. However, some retailers try to sell reflex foam as just a different type of memory foam.

In fact, memory foam and reflex foam differs in the way they are manufactured, and as a result, each offers a very different feel. In this next section, we will look at the key differences between reflex foam and memory foam.

Reflex foam and memory foam: what is the difference?

Reflex foam is made up of tiny bubbles which squash sideways when pressure is applied. This causes reflex foam to part fit your body whilst trying to regain its original shape. Memory foam consists of small holes that allow air to seep. This process allows memory foam to mould to your body's contours and offer a more cushioned feel.

Here is a summary of how reflex foam and memory foam differ:

Reflex foam mattresses Memory foam mattresses
Made up of tiny bubbles Made up of small holes
Offers a firm sleep surface Softer (a more sumptuous feel)
Great for back support Can offer a warmer, more cosy feel
Usually cheaper Adjusts to body temperature, moulds to your contours

If you want to know more about memory foam mattresses, check out our page, what is a memory foam mattress?

Reflex foam mattress or a memory foam mattress: which should I choose?

Reflex foam and memory foam offer different benefits. This can make it difficult to choose between the two. However, there is no need to worry! We have a range of mattresses here at Mattress Online that combine reflex and memory foam to offer the best of both worlds. If you're still not sure what's right for you, feel free to get in touch, and we'll happily offer advice and guidance on the best mattress for you.

Does reflex foam smell?

Reflex foam itself doesn't have a particularly strong smell. However, to ensure the mattresses ticks all the boxes when it comes to safety, the foam is treated with a fire retardant.

Because mattresses are often vacuum-sealed, the smell of this retardant is effectively trapped within the packaging which means a slight smell may be noticeable when first removed from the packaging. Leaving the mattress to air in a room with plenty of ventilation for 24 to 48 hours will help remove any smell.

How long do reflex foam mattresses last?

Reflex foam mattresses are durable and resilient. However, after many years of use, reflex foam may lose some of its strength to push back against your body. This means your reflex foam mattress may not offer the comfort and support you require. Like with all mattresses, we recommend that you change your reflex foam mattress every seven years.

Reflex foam mattresses: best sellers

We have lots of mattresses that feature reflex foam to choose from. Here are four of our most popular reflex foam mattresses:

The Silentnight Memory 3 Zone Mattress is a soft to medium feel mattress with reflex foam and memory foam
1. Silentnight Memory 3 Zone Mattress

  • Mattress type: reflex foam and memory foam
  • Firmness: medium to firm
  • From only £169.95

The Bodyshape Classic Memory Foam Mattress features both reflex foam and memory foam
2. Bodyshape Classic Memory Foam Mattress

  • Mattress type: reflex foam and memory foam
  • Firmness: medium
  • From only £149.95

The Luna Memory 2500 Pocket Mattress features a perfect combination of Luna Pocket springs, memory foam and reflex foam
3. Luna Memory 2500 Pocket Mattress

  • Mattress type: pocket springs, reflex foam and memory foam
  • Firmness: medium to firm
  • From only £299.95

The Studio by Silentnight Firmer Mattress features reflex foam in a firmer feel
4. Studio by Silentnight Firmer Mattress

  • Mattress type: reflex foam, Geltex and memory foam
  • Firmness: firm
  • From only £399.00

Reflex foam is the unsung hero within many mattresses. A reflex foam mattress offers support and firmness, allowing other fillings, such as memory foam, to take centre stage. Whether the mattress is solely made of reflex foam, or uses reflex foam as a support layer, reflex foam mattresses are sure to offer excellent back support, helping you to wake up free of any aches and pains.

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