5 Key Tips For Buying Foam Mattresses

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The material used in foam mattresses was actually developed for NASA and its pilots and passengers. Its primary purpose was to increase their chances of surviving a harsh impact.

Over time, its use was transferred to consumer mattresses and pillows. As these products have risen in popularity, a lot of people now look to purchase them. Here’s a simple guide to help you make your next foam mattress purchase.


Flickr, Jim Forest

Do Your Research

The first tip we have to offer you is to do your research before going to the store. Before anything else, you should familiarize yourself with your sleep nuances.

For instance, know your sleeping position. Do you sleep on your side, on your back, or on your belly? Knowing this is important to determine which type of foam mattress you will eventually purchase.

You should also know how much you toss and turn as you sleep. You should also look at how much your partner does it if you sleep with one. Foam mattresses may be able to reduce the occurrence of this happening.

Also look at the age of your mattress. Experts recommend replacing mattresses every seven or eight years. If your mattress is relatively younger, you may want to hold off first. This increases your chances of getting the best bang for your buck in the future.

Meanwhile, if your mattress is significantly older, try to find a replacement soon. This will lessen the negative effects your old mattress is having on you.

It also important to take note of the size of your bed frame. You wouldn't want to go to all that trouble only to realize it's not a fit. The height of the bed frame should also be considered because some foam mattresses are thick. This may add unnecessary height to your bed and make it dangerous to sleep on.

You should also read up on the different types of foam material available in these mattresses. Here is a list of common foam materials used in mattresses these days:

Traditional Memory Foam

One of the first foam materials used for consumer mattresses. It was introduced back in the 1990s and was designed to cradle the sleeper’s body. It supposedly also helps enhance circulation and decrease stress on the muscle and joints. However, this foam material has been known to absorb heat.

Open Cell Memory Foam

This has a quicker response time compared to traditional foam materials. This means that there’s less of a “sinking in” feeling when you first lie down. This material is also better at heat dispersion, meaning that it helps you stay cool. It also regulates body temperature as you sleep throughout the night.

Gel Memory Foam

This is the newest among the bunch. It massively helps in the reduction of pressure points across the body. It is possibly the best at dispersing heat among the three choices.

Different foam types also have different densities to them. Each of them has their own advantages over the others. These are the benefits of the different foam material densities:

High density

This type of foam material lasts the longest when used in a mattress. Because they are thicker, this makes them more resistant to damage as well as to allergens.

Medium density

This is perfect for couples because of the optimal motion isolation that it provides. If you remain unsure about which density to get, this is probably the safest option available. If you’re buying in bulk, for instance, for your family, this is also your best bet.

Low density

This type is easy to break in. This means that you’ll feel more comfortable sleeping on it earlier compared to other densities. However, this type of mattress may not last that long compared to the thicker ones.

Pexels, bruce mars

Try Looking Online

Before going to the mattress store, you could also look at online catalogs. This significantly reduces the amount of time you spend having to search for potential purchases in-store. All you have to do is list down the name of the item and/or its identification number.

The staff at the store will then handle the rest for you. Another thing: do not be afraid to talk to the staff at mattress stores. They’re more than happy to help, and that’s what they’re there to do.

Try to look for sales and special discounts on the Internet if you can as well. There are cases where some products are on sale online, but not in physical stores. A lot of mattress stores offer these as they try to make way for newer products.

Many manufacturers also offer reduced prices so you buy from them and not their competition. However, you should still make sure that you have buyer’s protection with these potential purchases.

Try Before You Buy

Once you reach the store and pick out some potential purchases, take them for a spin. Lie down on those mattresses for a good amount of time. Preferably, you should lie down on each for a minimum of 15 minutes. Try it out for longer if you can; there’s no need to feel self-conscious.

Here are a few things you should look for whilst lying down on a foam mattress:

1. Heat dispersion

Any good foam mattress should keep you cool as you lie down on it. Foam is not the best for hot sleepers, but good mattresses must have some heat dispersion.

2. Equally distributes weight
and pressure points

You must feel that your weight is equally distributed across the mattress. The same goes for your body's pressure points (back, neck, shoulders, hips, etc.). By doing so, a foam mattress helps reduce joint pain and muscle tension in the body.

3. Helps relieve body pain

If you experience medical conditions such as fibromyalgia or arthritis, then think about getting a foam mattress.

If your potential choice ticks these boxes, then you're on your way to a good purchase.

Read the Fine Print

Make sure to check the fine print on the mattress that you’re going to purchase. This includes the warranty, money back guarantees, and buyer’s protection, among other things. As much as possible, look for a foam mattress that allows you to try it out before buying it. Since mattresses are such a large investment, you should get the chance to try it first.

Look for a mattress with a reasonably long warranty, especially if you’re buying from a sale. In some cases, stores offer items with defects at a lower price with less warranty too. If the defect doesn’t bother you that much, by all means, go for it.

You may also choose to buy the mattress if the problem could be easily fixed. Like, how a little bit of discoloration can be covered up by some mattress covers.

Get Some Add-Ons

Before you leave the store, look at some add-ons that could improve your overall sleeping experience. For instance, try out a mattress topper, which would add some softness to your foam mattress. This would supposedly give you the feeling of “sleeping on a cloud” according to some people.

Also consider mattress covers and bed sheets, especially those that are hypoallergenic. Pillows and a blanket are a good purchase too if you have the budget.

We hope these tips will help you the next time you are looking for a foam mattress. Simply follow them and you’re guaranteed to get a good deal on your purchase.

     Bibo Chen     

Bibo Chen is an entrepreneur by profession and writer by heart.

He is the co-founder of LatexBear, a company specializing mattresses and raw materials, aiming to provide people with safe and environmentally-friendly bedding solutions.

He manages blogs focusing on sleep-related tips, ideas, and advice.