How To Pick The Right Memory Foam Mattress ?
If you think memory foam sounds like the right choice for you, there's still a lot you should know when looking for the perfect memory foam mattress match. Here are some general pointers on what to look for in a memory foam mattress.
Memory foam is used in mattresses in several different ways. On the one hand, different memory foam mattresses have different structures designed to achieve specific qualities. However, most memory foam mattresses have a basic template, even if the unique components differ. The template contains three components:
1) Comfort Layer: This top portion of the mattress consists of one or more layers of foam that are typically designed to provide contour and cushioning, depending on how firm the mattress is. Many mattress designs use more breathable foam in this section to keep heat away from the sleeping surface.
2) Transition Layer: This part of the mattress consists of one or more foam layers that work between the comfort layer and the core. They tend to be slightly stiffer than comfort-level foam and generally help draw heat away from the comfort layer.
3) Core: This is the bottom of the mattress. It usually consists of a firmer foam, usually the largest layer by far. It provides stability and support to the mattress through other layers of foam. In some mattresses called hybrid mattresses, the core material is not foam, but the same core material as an innerspring mattress. This tends to provide extra support, bounce and ventilation.
Mattresses come in many different degrees of firmness. The firmness of a mattress is usually described on a scale between very soft and very firm, usually broken down numerically between 1 (very soft) and 10 (very firm). Some people like their mattresses firm, some like them soft, and some like them somewhere in between.
Most mattresses will be described in-store or online as landing somewhere on the soft-firm scale. However, if this information does not exist or is not detailed enough, you can look for the Indentation Load Deflection (ILD) rating. It's basically a measure of firmness: the higher the ILD rating, the firmer you can expect your mattress to be.
Based on how the ILD is scored, each layer of the mattress (comfort, transition, support, etc.) has its own ILD score, and then the mattress as a whole has an overall ILD score. On the ILD scale, mattresses with an overall ILD of 10 were very soft, while mattresses with an ILD of 50 were very firm. If you want something in the middle, judge by these criteria.
The density of memory foam is a measure of the actual amount of foam in each layer of a mattress. Memory foam comes in a variety of densities, measured in pounds per cubic foot (PCF). Generally speaking, the higher denser the foam, the longer it will retain its shape, elasticity and supportive structure. However, higher density foams also tend to sleep hotter.
When it comes to memory foam mattresses, thickness refers to the inches of the mattress measured from the side. This is not the same as density: for example, a 3-inch foam might have an ILD score of 10 or 50. Memory foam mattresses range in thickness from about 6 inches to about 14 inches. Generally, thicker mattresses are more supportive than thinner mattresses, and can also be softer, depending on the mattress.
In addition to the overall thickness of the mattress, the thickness of each individual layer should also be considered. Memory foam mattresses work best if there is at least four inches of comfort and transition foam combination between the sleeping surface and the mattress base. This helps ensure that you get the benefits of the support core without the mattress becoming uncomfortable.
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