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How to Choose a Foam Mattress and Join the Sleep Revolution

By Callie Paige

Sid Memory Foam Mattress Layers

A mattress is for life not just for Christmas.

Well, maybe not for life, but a quality mattress should last you at least 15 years (and we give you a lifetime guarantee!).

So, if you’re thinking about buying a mattress, choosing the right one shouldn’t be a decision you make hastily.

We think memory foam is the way to go. That's why we’ve put together this guide on how to choose a foam mattress, so you have all the information you need to choose your next bed mate.

What Is Memory Foam?

We’ve all heard about it, but what actually is memory foam?

Memory foam is a dense, durable foam which softens in contact with body heat, allowing it to mould to your body. The elasticity lets the foam return to its original shape when you get up and the bubbles in its structure create air flow. Because of the high density, memory foam provides great support and pressure relief throughout the night (or day).

It was originally created by NASA in the 1970s to improve their pilot’s comfort in the event of an accident. So, if it’s good enough for NASA, it’s good enough for us. We’ve even made some improvements since then.

What are the different types of memory foam?

There’s more to memory foam than meets the eye.

Here’s a simple lowdown on the different types of foam out there and their benefits.

Traditional Memory Foam

Traditional memory foam is an early formulation of the stuff, and although it moulds comfortably to your body, it does have some issues. The main problem with this type of foam is that things can get a bit too toasty as it retains body heat. Thus, other types of memory foam were developed to resolve this dilemma.

Open Cell Memory Foam

Open cell foam has a different structure to traditional foam. It allows for air to travel more freely inside the mattress, resulting in a cooler night’s sleep. Another benefit of this type of foam is that it springs back quicker, avoiding that dreaded sinking feeling.

Gel-Filled Memory Foam

Gel memory foam has been filled with gel microbeads with heat absorbing properties. Some types of gel foam can actually regulate body temperature by absorbing and releasing heat. The microbeads can also add to the mattress’ density. However, gel foam isn’t as effective at reducing heat than newer types of foam.

Latex Foam

Don’t make the mistake of confusing latex foam for memory foam. Despite being durable, latex foam mattresses are outperformed by memory foam in all comfort tests!

Man with guitar lying next to Sid bed

Why Memory Foam?

When replacing your mattress, it’s important to consider the pros and cons before making a final decision.

Memory foam has more benefits than you can shake a stick at, here are just a few of them:

Perfect Spine Alignment

How often do you wake up with a sore and aching back?

A memory foam mattress could solve your problem.

The memory foam technology which uses your own body heat and weight to form an impression makes for a blissful sleep as your mattress is individually tailored to your shape. Sleeping on a natural curve is great for your spine and provides excellent support for your back. It’s also softer on pressure points whatever your go-to sleeping position.

The foam also makes a great alternative to pocket spring mattresses which can become uncomfortable over time. No one wants a sharp spring poking into their back when they’re trying to doze off.

Movement Minimizing

Another benefit to memory foam is you won’t be able to feel your partner’s nightly ritual of turning the bed upside down as they try and get to sleep. The density of memory foam absorbs movement, meaning your partner’s tossing and turning will feel as gentle as rolling waves. (Unfortunately, it can’t do anything about the snoring).

Hypoallergenic Properties

Put the tissues and antihistamines away. The high density of memory foam makes it harder for dust mites or mould to creep in. Good news for allergy sufferers who understand the pain of trying to sleep during a flare up.

Man laying on Sid mattress with guitar

The Drawbacks of Memory Foam and How to Overcome Them

Like most things, and people, memory foam isn’t perfect. However, there are ways to overcome most issues.

Getting Hot and Sweaty

As we said earlier, memory foam gets a bad rep for being too hot due to its heat retaining qualities. The good news is, memory foam has come a long way since its original creation and modern foams make use of open-cell technology to get around this issue.

At Sleep With Sid, we have taken this even further by incorporating Graphyx into our luxury mattress designThe featherlight Graphene in Graphyx is super-conductive and will whisk heat away from the body all night long. We’ve added a 3.5cm thick layer of Graphyx just beneath the comfort layer to draw heat down into the lower layers of support foam, all designed to keep air circulating.

Choosing the Right Density for You

How firm do you like it?

Indentation load deflection or ILD tells you how firm the memory foam is. The higher the ILD rating, the firmer it will be. If, for some strange reason you aren’t already intimately familiar with the ILD rating, a 12 is pretty soft while 50 is very firm. You might want to consider your body type when picking the density of the foam, as heavier people may need more support.

We think the most comfortable mattresses have a soft top layer with higher density foams lower down to provide support. That’s why we’ve developed six layers of comfort to create a hybrid mattress with the perfect blend of support and comfort.

Dense = Heavy

As you now know, memory foam mattresses are pretty dense which is where they get their supportive qualities from. As to be expected, this does make them a tad heavy.

To get around this, mattress companies came up with a bed in a boxHere, the mattress is compressed, and vacuum packed in a box a fraction of its original size so you don’t have to lug a king sized mattress up the stairs. Once delivered, simply let the mattress sit and expand to its full size and you can hop right in.

What About a Mattress Topper?

A common question people often ask when looking for a new mattress is whether they need a mattress topper.

The short answer: Only if your mattress isn’t up to scratch.

If your current mattress is uncomfortable, for example if you feel like you’re sinking too far into the bed, a denser foam topper would help. Or if your bed is too firm, a topper can add softness. However, if you find a mattress perfectly suited to your body and sleeping style in the first place, there’s no need for any additions.

Man Sleeping On Sid Memory Foam Mattress

Consider Where the Mattress was Made

The quality of your foam mattress can really depend on where it’s made. This is because quality controls and standards vary in different parts of the world.

Some of the places you can rely on to adhere to strict quality controls are:

  • UK
  • Europe
  • US

Sid mattresses are all designed and made in the UK in its own factory by skilled craftspeople, so you know everything that goes into them are top quality.

Try Before You Buy

One of the easiest ways to find out if a mattress is right for you is to try it out for yourself. This will give you the best idea of its quality and whether it’s right for your sleeping style. If you’re investing in a luxury mattress, you want to be sure.

A mattress company confident enough to offer a decent sleep trial is likely to be a good choice. Most companies worth their salt offer a 100 day trial. We can trump that with 120 nights of pure, unadulterated slumber. In the unlikely event you don’t absolutely love it at the end of the trial, we’ll give you your money back.

Check Out the Reviews

Word of mouth is often the best test of a good product. Have a look at mattress reviews on different websites to find out what other people think. Products that have already been tried and tested by customers will give you a better picture of which type of mattress to go for.

A Final Word

To sum up, if you’re looking for a good mattress, memory foam is currently the best choice on the market. Choose a foam mattress with an intelligent mix of layers and densities for maximum comfort and an innovative cooling layer like Graphyx for a great night sleep.

Convinced? Check out the Sid mattressa hybrid foam mattress that looks as good as it feels.