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What is a memory foam mattress?

By Callie Paige

Memory foam is now almost a staple of mattress purchases, with the majority of sleep brands - and many other associated retailers such as IKEA offering memory foam mattresses.

However, with the surge in popularity of memory foam at its peak, many people still ask the question - what is memory foam? Put (relatively) simply, memory foam is a high-density foam, that when heat and pressure are applied, responds by moulding around the shape i.e. your body!

Originally, memory foam was designed for something vastly different than its current application. In the mid-1960’s, memory foam was first designed for NASA, to help improve the safety of aircraft cushions. With the extreme forces involved in protecting the body at high speed, it’s no wonder a cushioning system as effective as memory foam was the result!

Are memory foam mattresses better than sprung mattresses?

Previously, sprung mattresses were the standard, however with the development of memory foam - and perhaps more importantly, the education of its advantages, the tide began to change.

To fully demonstrate the difference between sprung and memory foam mattresses, ‘Essentia’ carried out some research into pressure points when lying on both types of mattress - with ‘red’ on the images below showing where the most pressure was being applied.

Initially, this shows how different parts of the body exert more pressure than others, particularly around the lower back and shoulders. These areas will push a sprung mattress down, resulting in uneven support across your entire body.

Memory foam in comparison, distributes your body weight evenly as a result of the density of the foam supporting you, rather than individual springs. This reduces the amount of pressure applied on the mattress, and in turn, increases the support given to your body.

Features of a memory foam mattress

Aside from the weight distribution benefits outlined above, there are multiple benefits of memory foam mattresses:

Reduced motion transfer

For those who are regularly disturbed by partners tossing & turning during the night, memory foam is the answer. Memory foam’s pressure absorbing nature reduces the chances of movement during the night, as a result of the foam moulding around your body. In fact, SID reduces motion transfer during the night by up to 85%!

Temperature control

This is strictly not a feature on all memory foam mattresses - only the more advanced mattress manufacturers integrate cooling technology. This cooling technology is referred to as open-cell foam, which improved the airflow from the traditionally restricted airflow in dense foam. The need to cool the temperature of the mattress is a result of the heat absorbed by the foam itself, which is one of the reasons the foam can mould to the shape of your body.

Take the composition of SID for example. In addition to the components that create comfort and support, integrated into the composition is:

  • A layer of pioneering Graphyx puts to work the science of graphene. Superconductive means super-cooling for a superior sleep sensation, which is combined with an incredible open cell foam that cools and ventilates from top to toe. Plus, our unique Graphyx foam, which has all the benefits of memory foam without any of the drawbacks, adapts to every curve and contour of your body, no matter your sleep position. Pressure is relieved, heat is reduced, peace is restored.

  • A luxurious quilted top layer offers up the ultimate in soft-feel comfort for weary bodies. Even better, this cushioning sleep surface can be easily removed with the premium quality zipper. A simple machine wash means your Sid mattress can be refreshed and rejuvenated time and time again.

  • A 20cm base layer of Reevo foam, which delivers enormous space for airflow. Precision-cut dual airflow channels keep fresh air circulating. Zoned support gives you precision support, right where you need. And all at a density designed to take the bumps (and grinds) for the next 15 years - guaranteed.


Memory foam’s dense nature results in very little space for dust mites and allergens to collect in pockets or gaps within the mattress. Coil mattresses were a perfect home for allergy-inducing mites & dirt, however when choosing a memory foam mattress - the outer foam is so dense that it’s incredibly difficult for these to penetrate the surface.



Memory foam mattresses last a significant amount of time longer than coil mattresses as a result of the advanced materials involved in manufacture. Usually a coil mattress will start to noticeably sag after two years - and that’s being generous. This means you’ll find it hard to secure a guarantee longer than 5 years. Memory foam in comparison, depending on the density of the foam, will last upwards of 10 years. Again, Sid leads much of the competition by offering a 15 year guarantee.

There you have it! Now you have the knowledge to answer the question ‘what is a memory foam mattress’. The benefits are significant, and the boundaries are consistently being pushed by innovative designers. Take a look at what makes Sid so unique, and how its unique composition results in a superior nights sleep.