September 2013

Foam mattress construction Top 5 Tips

Foam mattresses have become increasingly popular. With the likes of Tempur, Eve, Casper and Simba to name a few. Many of which can come rolled in boxes as the foam can be compressed far more than a traditional pocket sprung mattress. However, there are some considerations when looking at a memory foam mattress that you need to be aware of. This article will help you avoid costly mistakes before making your mattress purchase.

Some people absolutely swear by memory foam mattresses. They offer an unusual slow sink before holding you in a certain position. Great for people who sleep like a log and don’t need to move about too much in bed. They also retain heat meaning they keep you far warmer at night which is great if you’re a really cold sleeper. They can also be rolled and delivered in a box making the delivery process more convenient for some. There is a darker side to foam mattresses though and a number of drawbacks that most retailers won’t alert you to. This article will help you see whether or not you can put up with the sacrifices you will make by choosing a memory foam mattress.

Mattress shopping in White top
Do you really know what to expect from a memory foam mattress?

1. A no-turn mattress is not a benefit.

It’s a requirement of the Memory foam construction method for all memory foam beds such as Eve, Casper and Simba to be one-sided. Meaning you can’t turn them and you only get one side’s worth of wear during the lifespan of the mattress.  The Memory foam, softer material, sits on top of Reflex foam, firm supportive material, and this makes the mattress one-sided. To turn it would damage the mattress. Don’t be duped into thinking this saves you time.  If you’re going to opt for a one-sided mattress make sure you use a topper to help extend the lifespan and even out wear.

2. Memory foam and other foams will all compress at some point as they ‘bed in’.

It is not always a bad thing providing it is minimal and consistent. The cheaper the material the quicker and more prominent the compression. Minimal compression is known as bedding in. A compression that is over the accepted 2cm amount is known as dipping where the bed has failed you.  You should always be looking at 5cm plus for your Memory foam layer so that the compression is minimal. The thinner the layer the more prominent the compression, so a 2cm Memory foam layer that compresses by 2cm will fail to have any purpose! This is coupled with the issue that you can’t turn memory foam mattresses so this compression rate becomes really important. If you have a 2-sided mattress then you have 2 sides to even this wear out on. You can turn and rotate the bed reducing natural settlement and compression. There’s thousands of complaints on the web and many in our Ask a Question section about memory foam and boxed foam mattresses sagging within the first year.

Did you know Memory foam will make you sweat more during the night as they retain heat?
Did you know Memory foam will make you sweat more during the night as they retain heat?
Did you also know that memory foam mattress are one-sided. Reducing the lifespan of your mattress?
Did you also know that memory foam mattress are one-sided. Reducing the lifespan of your mattress?

3. There’s a huge branding exercise around the material your bed is covered in

From infrared to anti-dust mite which has little impact on your sleep, the money they cost is best spent elsewhere. A removable fire retardant polyester cover is fine for a Memory foam or Latex mattress since it will be covered by your fitted sheets. You can always take this off and wash it as part of your maintenance routine. You are better off spending your money on a decent set of cotton fitted sheets and duvet covers instead where you will feel the benefit.

4. All foam mattresses retain heat making them the warmest option

Many people don’t realise that memory foam and other foams all rely on two things to mould to your body. Pressure and heat. They actively retain heat to keep the foam soft so it can envelop you. If you’re already a warm sleeper this can result in your bedroom turning into an inferno during the summer months. It also means that you’re likely to sweat far more in memory foam or rolled boxed mattress than a Natural Fibre alternative. Sweat and bodily fluids will degrade the foam over time meaning once again you have a reduced lifespan on your new mattress.

5.  A Solid Core Latex Mattress is the King of Latex mattresses and can be turned and rotated.

If you like the feeling of memory foam but are put off by excess heat, the issue around one-sided models and the shorter lifespan then Latex maybe for you. This Natural Plant-Based Rubber is far more breathable and is two-sided. Meaning you can get years more wear out of your mattress. This is why they command a higher price but are ultimately much more durable. Make sure you ask if your Latex mattress is solid core, most are not.  If not you’re just buying another one-sided mattress.


Buying a new mattress is not a decision you should take lightly. With most of the memory foam models such as Eve, Casper and Tempur starting at around £700 upwards of £3000 you need to make sure you know exactly what you’re getting. If you’re a warmer sleeper you may want to consider a Natural Fibre alternative as a better long term sleep solution.

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