Did you know a mattress will lose its effectiveness after around 10 years? Of course this depends on how well you treat it. A load of bouncing kids is certainly going to cut down its life span. When it comes time to upgrade or renew your mattress you might ask yourself if memory foam is a good choice. But what is is this mysterious new material? And how can it benefit you?
The secret to memory foam
Memory foam was developed by NASA in 1966 to make space shuttles more comfortable. As with many military inventions it has now reached the mainstream and is proving popular in regular households. The secret to the technology is in how it responds to heat. Memory foam particles absorb the heat from your body and soften or shift to suit your needs. As they cool down they revert back to their original state which means you have personalised, body-reactive comfort night after night.
Like sleeping on a cloud
One of the big calling cards of modern memory foam is that it eliminates pressure points. Standard mattresses and pillows work to hold up your body weight and create unwanted pressure on the heavier parts of your body, like hips and shoulders. Memory foam is designed to absorb pressure which means it will squish more in the places you need and create an even weight distribution. People often refer to this as a weightless feeling, or like sleeping on a cloud. The denser the memory foam you choose the greater this effect will be.
Remember those infomercials with the red wine glass on the edge of a mattress? No matter how hard you jumped the wine wouldn’t budge. Those ads were showing yet another benefit to memory foam - motion control. If you sleep with your partner or a pet and feel the bed shift everytime they do then this is something to consider. Also perfect for light sleepers that wake themselves up with their own tossing and turning.
It gives parents some much-needed rest
Cheryl Fingleson is a sleep technique professional, also known as The Sleep Coach. She recommends memory foam options for sleep-deprived parents who need a bed that can match both their sleep needs at once.
"My job is helping parents help their babies and toddlers get a good night's sleep. But once everyone's sleeping through the night, the grown ups often forget about their sleep needs.
I always tell parents to look at their own night-time arrangements: are you comfortable, is your bedroom too hot or cold and what about the mattress? One of the main complaints I hear from my couples is they have different needs because of their different sizes and sleep positions. Having a memory foam mattress or pillow is a great compromise. Everyone's happy and, finally, everyone gets a good night's sleep!"
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The dense structure of memory foam prevents buildup of common allergens such as dust, mould and pet fluff. If cared for properly your memory foam mattress or pillow will stay hypoallergenic for the whole of its 5-10 year lifespan. There’s no need to give up your current mattress if you’re looking for hypoallergenic solutions on a budget. An affordable memory-foam mattress topper will have the same benefits without being a full replacement.
Relief from headaches, neck and back pain
An out of whack spine is a major trigger for each of these issues. If you have poor spinal alignment for an extended period of time, such as your 8-hour slumber, it can leave you with pain and discomfort throughout the day. Now multiply this by the number of sleeps you expect to have on your current mattress. If an unsupportive mattress is causing your body pain the only option is to invest in a better one. Memory foam adjusts to your body and provides personalised support so that you can relax into a deep, rejuvenating sleep.
On average we spend up to 3,000 hours a year asleep. It’s no wonder our sleeping habits have major impacts on our health. If any of these benefits are what you’ve been needing then memory foam is the right choice. But there’s plenty more mattress types to make sure every single one of those 3,000 hours satisfying.