Memory Foam Mattresses Benefits and Disadvantages


Foam: Benefits and drawbacks

Thinking about a foam bed mattress or similar product? Read what sleep experts say about this.

WebMD archives content after 24 months to make sure our readers can certainly discover the most timely content.

To obtain the most up to date information, please enter your subject of great interest into our search engine.

">From the WebMD Archives

Couple of things feel just like a great night’s sleep. That’s particularly true if sleep appears to flee you, night after night after night.

If you have learned about foam, you might question whether it could improve the caliber of yoursleep. Many people claim it is great. Other medication is less passionate.

What is foam? And just what are its benefits and drawbacks? Here’s information that will help you decide whether foam may be worth a go.

What’s Foam?

First developed in the mid-1960s for NASA plane seats, foam is made of an ingredient known as viscoelastic. It’s both highly energy absorbent and soft.

Foam molds towards the body as a result of pressure and heat, evenly disbursing bodyweight. After that it returns to the original shape when you take away the pressure.

Additionally to avoiding impact, these qualities make foam very comfortable. After its "virgin flight" for NASA, foam designed a foray into other applications. For instance, it had been utilized as cushioning in helmets and footwear. Medicine found a use for this in prosthetics and merchandise to avoid pressure ulcers for example seating pads for those seriously disabled.

Then, foam really required off. It is well-known because of its use within pillows, bed mattress pads, and mattresses, that can come in various densities and depths.

Do you know the Advantages of Foam?

Is the special qualities of foam increase your sleep? Sleep specialist D L. Arand, PhD, states that objective studies supporting the claimed advantages of foam — or even the results of any particular kind of sleeping surface — are missing.

This is correct for various reasons, she states. This kind of sleep study could be costly, if conducted individually. Or it’s "chased" with a shadow of bias, if based on industry.

Also, some sleep technology, for example foam, is comparatively new, therefore it has not been well studied. But possibly one of the most difficult hurdles to testing the health advantages of mattresses for example foam may be the subjective nature rest. It’s just hard to measure.

Sometimes the brain’s electrical activity, measured by having an electroencephalogram (EEG), along with other findings recorded throughout a sleep test don’t always complement perfectly having a person’s subjective experience, states Arand, who’s the clinical director from the Kettering Sleep Problems Center in Dayton, Ohio. "They may say, ‘I were built with a great night’s sleep,’ however the EEG parameters may not really indicate that."

Sleep isn’t just subjective, but preferences for sleep surfaces are individual, Arand states. "There’s a substantial amount of variability between individuals when it comes to which kind of surface — be it firm, hard, or soft — they like when they are sleeping," she states. "So far as we all know, there’s no rhyme or reason behind that."

A lot of Arand’s patients using foam have offered unrequested glowing reports such as these about foam: "I am sleeping great." "Best sleep I have ever endured." "I really like going to sleep during the night." Arand states these anecdotal responses might be one-sided. That is because she along with other staff don’t ask all of their patients regarding their sleep surfaces. "We might simply be hearing the good things," Arand states.

Kathy R. Gromer, MD, sleep specialist using the Minnesota Sleep Institute in Minneapolis, concurs that foam may improve sleep. "It may, whether it relieves painful pressure points," she states. But Gromer adds that foam does not do anything whatsoever for anti snoring or any other sleep-breathing disorders — and sleep problems would be the primary issue for most her patients.

"Whenever you lie around the foam, heat out of your body softens it in appropriate points," Arand states, "which means this helps you to support the body across the curves and natural lines from the body." Foam manufacturers claim this can help relieve discomfort and therefore promotes more restful sleep. And, though consumers frequently think that very firm mattresses would be best, more "giving" mattresses such as these can lead to better sleep in individuals with back discomfort, based on the National Sleep Foundation.

However, there aren’t scientific data to aid the hypothesis, Arand wonders whether foam sleep surfaces may be especially useful for seniors. On their behalf, minimizing extra movement could reduce the amount of occasions they awaken throughout the night. Being less conscious of a bed partner’s movements may be an additional benefit, she adds. "With no coiled springs, you are feeling your sleep partner’s movement less, and that can help, too."

Do you know the Disadvantages of Foam?

Gromer states that foam products may retain body heat, that could make sure they are less comfortable in the sunshine. However, Arand hasn’t heard this complaint from her patients. "Within our culture, running out of energy adjust their thermostats or blankets for that appropriate season," Arand states.

<a href='~id-256Memory Foam Mattresses Benefits and Disadvantages the foam, heat out” src=”” title=”Memory Foam Mattresses Benefits and Disadvantages the foam, heat out” />

When new, foam can establish a strange chemical smell — a phenomenon known as offgassing. To reduce this issue, the Sleep Products Safety Council, a sleep products trade group, recommends airing the bed mattress or pad not less than 24 hrs before putting sheets onto it. "Should you follow directions, the smell dissipates rapidly," Arand states, "But I have never heard about anybody getting reactions into it."

Are Foam Products Safe for Youthful Children?

"I’d highly recommend staying away from this and other alike very soft materials to be used in infants’ beds," Gromer states. "That is because soft bedding traps [co2] and increases the chance of cot death (SIDS) deaths."

NASA Scientific and Technical Information: "Forty-Year-Old Foam Springs Back With Newer Benefits."

D L. Arand, PhD, clinical director, Kettering Medical Sleep Problems Center, Dayton, Ohio research affiliate professor, Wright Condition College Boonshoft Med school.

Kathy R. Gromer, MD, sleep specialist, Minnesota Sleep Institute medical director, Respiratory system Care Program, Saint Paul Technical College.

National Sleep Foundation: "Purchasing the Right Bed mattress for you personally."

Sleep Products Safety Council: "Bed mattress Odors" and "Cot Death."

Today on WebMD

Fight Fatigue

12 explanations why you are tired — and the way to fight them.

Anti Snoring

Do you know myth from fact?


Exactly what do your dreams say in regards to you?

<a href='~id-256Memory Foam Mattresses Benefits and Disadvantages between individuals” src=”” title=”Memory Foam Mattresses Benefits and Disadvantages between individuals” />

Wake-Up Tips

11 ways to help make the morning simpler.

Suggested for you personally

Exactly What Do Your Dreams Say In Regards To You?

The Way Your Sleep Position Affects Your Wellbeing

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and Sleep Issues

The Reason Why You Need ZZZs

Foods Which Help or Harm Your Sleep

Still Awake? Get Personalized Guidelines to help you Sleep

Insomnia? Test Out Your Sleep Smarts

Sleep Issues: Your Essential Guide




The Pros and Cons of Memory Foam

  • Darren Crawford: Thanks for the video. Always wanted to know the pros and cons. Plus pretty funny.