If your current bed is creaky rather than cozy, or stiff instead of snuggly, might we suggest swapping in a comfy new memory foam mattress? Known and loved for their pressure-relieving, contouring materials, memory foam mattresses are often a great option for people who wake up feeling achy or sore—or anyone who wants their bed to feel like a warm hug, really.
What are the benefits of sleeping on a memory foam mattress?
Memory foam mattresses tend to be softer and less bouncy than hybrid mattresses or traditional innerspring mattresses, and they’re often described as having a squishy or sinking feel after you lie down on one. That’s a result of its materials, Glenn Russo, MD, a spine specialist with the Hartford HealthCare Connecticut Orthopaedic Institute, tells SELF. The thick layers of foam respond to body heat and pressure by getting softer, so when you lie down on one you’ll feel the bed conforming to your shape. That contouring effect can distribute your bodyweight more evenly on the bed and possibly help prevent the development of pressure points and back pain, Dr. Russo explains. It can also help limit motion transfer, which comes in handy if you share your bed with a restless partner (or if you’re the tosser and turner, for that matter).
Who should try a memory foam mattress?
Because they adapt to the body’s shape and weight, memory foam mattresses may be especially appealing to side sleepers, Kavita Trivedi, DO, a spine rehab expert at UT Southwestern’s O’Donnell Brain Institute in Dallas, tells SELF. Sleeping in this position places additional weight on your shoulders, hips, and knees, and a mattress with a little more give usually does a better job at preventing that pressure from building and getting uncomfortable or even painful, Naimish Baxi, MD, a physiatrist at Hospital for Special Surgery in Paramus, New Jersey, previously told SELF. For some side-sleeping people, a memory foam mattress has just the right amount of sinkage to provide them with the pressure relief they need.
That said, others may find that sinking feeling unpleasant: Memory foam can make it hard to roll from side to side and it might not provide the level of support that some people need for their preferred sleep position, Kirkham Wood, MD, a board-certified spine surgeon and professor of orthopaedic surgery at Stanford Medicine in California, tells SELF. Experts typically recommend that back sleepers and stomach sleepers lie on a firmer, more responsive mattress than most foam beds tend to be. There are definitely memory foam mattresses that lean closer to firm than soft or medium-firm, but they generally aren’t as supportive as hybrid or spring mattresses (you want to feel like you’re sleeping on—not in—the mattress). Latex mattresses are another great choice if you want something more supportive.
One more thing to bear in mind: Dr. Russo says that memory foam mattresses can trap heat, which can lead to a sweaty wake-up call. If you’re a hot sleeper who’s curious about memory foam beds all the same, look for newer models that contain gel-infused foam and copper layers, as these are often included to help keep you cool throughout the night.
The best memory foam mattresses
If you think a memory foam bed might be a good fit for you and your sleep style, it’s relatively easy to give one a try: In addition to convenient bed-in-a-box-style deliveries, many mattress brands offer generous sleep trial periods, during which time you can test out your new mattress and return it for free if it doesn’t meet your needs. Below we’ve highlighted some of the best memory foam mattresses available right now, including popular and SELF Certified mattress models from top-rated retailers like Nectar, Bear Mattress, Leesa, and Casper.
You may also like
21 Songs That Will Help You Unwind and Feel Ready for Bed
9 Best Hoka Shoes for Walking in Comfort and Style: Clifton 8, Bondi 8, Arahi 6
How to Calm Your Nerves When You’re Freaking Out, According to Experts
How to Explain Your Migraines to Family Members Who Don’t Exactly Get It
14 Wellness Products to Add to Your Cart This Month, According to SELF Editors