Think of bed and the first idea that crosses your mind is something soft, plush and gentle that embraces you with unconditional care and comfort. Something on which you can throw your weight around…one that hugs you without retaliating. And to name this perfect idea, the first word that comes to mind is Memory Foam Mattresses…the ultimate and most tried and tested choice for comfort. But how long do memory foam mattresses last and is it worth investing in this piece of comfort? Read on as we bring you a reality check on the durability and longevity of this popular variety of mattress.
What is a Memory Foam Mattress?
Memory foam mattresses are made of a substance called viscoelastic. This substance adds density to your foam mattress. Memory foam is soft and made of heat resistant material- polyurethane which again adds to its density. Because of its composition, it can regain or come back to its original shape after pressure has been removed from it.
Why are Memory Foam Mattresses so popular?
Memory Foam mattresses occupy the first choice in the mattress industry. This popularity is largely driven by the various features that such mattresses display. Some of the popular features are:
- Known for body-hugging and contouring, thereby increasing comfort
- Reduces pressure points and stabilizes blood circulation
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Offers good support with reasonable firmness
- Like our memory cells that recollect; memory foam mattresses regain shape quickly
- Distributes weight evenly to support the neck, head, shoulders, hips, waist, knees and legs
- It is temperature sensitive, therefore softness varies with temperature.
What factors to consider when buying a Memory Foam Mattress?
Going by the popularity charts, memory foam is undoubtedly the choice of the masses, but when going to buy your piece, do not be guided by the masses, know your stuff thoroughly.
Here we present to you the 5 most important factors to consider when picking a memory foam bedding piece.
Memory Foam Types: Memory foam means a polyurethane foam with visco-elastic features to enhance its density. Going further deep-memory foam can be either traditional memory foam, open-cell memory foam with tiny air pockets or gel memory foam where tiny beads of gel are infused into the foam to enhance its cooling capabilities.
Density: Density refers to the weight of the mattress in pounds. Low-density memory foam mattresses are lightweight, cheaper and do not trap heat easily. But they do not offer good support and are likely to sink quickly. On the other hand, high-density foam mattresses are heavy but they offer good support and last longer.
Firmness: Memory foam mattresses respond to firmness concerning temperature. In cool temperatures, they are more firm, while in warmer temperatures they tend to be softer.
Sleep position and body type: Of course this is an important factor that every buyer should consider and evaluate. Buy a memory foam mattress with the correct thickness in correlation to your body type-i.e whether you are a heavy sleeper, average or light sleeper. Also consider your sleeping position-back, stomach or side sleeping.
Ancillary factors: While you focus on the composition and use, do not forget to read the fine print that talks about warranty period, trial period, its customer support services, the brand reputation and of course ultimately the price that suits your pocket.
What is the lifespan of a Memory Foam Mattress?
A good memory foam mattress usually lasts for about 8-10 years with an average lifespan of over 10 years. This means that when you invest in a piece of memory foam bedding, it is an investment for almost a decade, therefore choose your piece wisely as it can affect your sleep for years.
Two factors that affect the durability of a memory foam mattress directly are-density and quality of the support base of the mattress.
Usually, a high-density foam mattress lasts longer as compared to a low density one. Studies show that a low-density foam mattress lasts only for 4-5 years, whereas a medium to high-density memory foam mattress can last up to 8-10 years with regular care and maintenance. However, this does not mean that higher density mattresses are the best, because high-density mattresses may not suit all types of sleepers owing to its increased viscosity. An ideal range medium density of 4.5-5.3lb suits most sleepers offering good support, firmness and comfort.
Talking of support base, it is a firm foam layer that lies beneath the upper memory foam padding. This layer provides firmness to the mattress and supports our body weight. The quality of this support foam directly affects the lifespan and durability of the mattress. Low-quality support base under 2.0lb degrades the quality of the memory foam mattress making it more vulnerable to breaking down and untimely sagging. High-quality support base with core density over 2.0lb are ideal in enhancing the quality and longevity of the memory foam mattresses.
How to care for your Memory Foam Mattress to Increase its Lifespan?
Like all pieces of furniture and appliances in your house, mattresses too need due care and maintenance. Regular care and upkeep of a memory foam mattress can increase its lifespan and make it lasts longer than its expected age. Here are some dos and don’ts that will guide you in your routine mattress clean up and help to increase its longevity so that you can make the most of your investment.
- First and foremost, use a good bed base. A bed base with wide gaps gives more room for the foam mattress to sink, causing untimely damage and thereby reducing its age.
- Keep your memory foam mattress away from heat sources like electric blankets, hot bottles etc. Memory foam is a heat-responsive material and close contact with such heat emitters can cause damage and affect its performance.
- Use a good mattress protector to protect your mattress from all sudden spills and unwanted stains. Enjoying your coffee in bed could be a good idea but not when it leaves your mattress damp and wet. Similarly, if you share your mattress with kids always use a protector to avoid smelly pee stains that can ruin the mattress.
- Pets can be part of the family but not as bedmates. Try to keep them away from your mattress or else vacuum your mattress regularly to get rid of all hairs, dead cells and fleas left behind by them in every warm cuddle that they give you. Regular cleaning with a vacuum cleaner leaves the mattress fresh and free of debris.
- Remember to rotate your mattress every 3 weeks from head to toe. This will ensure even use of all edges and corners, thus preventing irregular sagging or deep compression.
- In case you spill something smelly like pickle juice or spiced oil from your dinner curry, sprinkle some baking soda on the stained part. Baking soda will work its magic in 20-30 minutes and later you can vacuum the affected area to turn it as good as new.
- Every morning allow your mattress to breathe, this means do not be in a hurry to make your bed. Allow any leftover moisture from the night to evaporate before you make the bed. Good air circulation of the foam layers adds more years to the age of the mattress.
The Final Word
Being better than its counterparts, the memory foam mattress is the first choice of buyers the world around. True to its reputation a memory foam mattress performs exceptionally well in terms of durability and longevity. Choosing the right density mattress can enhance your sleep experience and also the value of your bedding by serving you beyond its average lifespan of 8-10 years. However, it needs its due share of care and regular maintenance which is worth all the comfort that it renders by hugging you every night as you slip into slumberland.
Image Credit: Amerisleep