All About Memory Foam Mattresses

Memory foam with letters spelling out 'memory foam'

When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, the right mattress can make all the difference. One type of mattress that has gained significant popularity in recent years is the memory foam mattress. Known for its exceptional comfort and unique properties, memory foam mattresses have become a preferred choice for many sleepers. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of memory foam mattresses, exploring what they are, how they work, their benefits, and some factors to consider when shopping for one.

Last Updated: September 19, 2023

What is Memory Foam?

Memory foam, also known as viscoelastic foam, is a high-density polyurethane foam that was initially developed by NASA in the 1960s for airplane seats. It is designed to conform to the shape of an object under pressure and return to its original shape when the pressure is released. This unique property makes it an ideal material for mattresses, as it can provide personalized support and comfort for sleepers.

For information on the difference between memory foam, hybrid, and innerspring mattresses read this – Innerspring vs. Memory Foam vs. Hybrid

An image displaying all the layers within a Luxe Breeze Firm Mattress along with the benefits of each material
Here’s an example of how a memory foam mattress is constructed by Tempur-Pedic®

How Memory Foam Mattresses Work

Memory foam mattresses are constructed using several layers of foam, with the top layer being the memory foam itself. The memory foam layer is where the magic happens. When you lie down on a memory foam mattress, the foam responds to your body heat and weight. It gradually softens and molds to the contours of your body, creating a customized and cradling sleeping surface. This conforming action helps relieve pressure points, reduce pain, and promote a more restful sleep.

A woman lays on her side on top of a memry foam mattress with a cutaway to show the interior materials
The interior of a memory foam mattress is just foam, no springs here!

Benefits of Memory Foam Mattresses

  1. Pressure Relief: Memory foam mattresses excel at distributing your body weight evenly, which can significantly reduce pressure on areas like your shoulders, hips, and lower back. This feature is especially beneficial for people with chronic pain conditions or those who frequently change positions during the night.
  2. Motion Isolation: Memory foam absorbs and minimizes motion transfer, so you won’t be disturbed by your partner’s movements. This makes it an excellent choice for couples or people who share a bed.
  3. Durability: High-quality memory foam mattresses are known for their longevity. They can last for many years without sagging or losing their shape, making them a cost-effective investment in your sleep quality.
  4. Allergen Resistance: Memory foam mattresses are naturally resistant to common allergens like dust mites, making them a good option for allergy sufferers.
  5. Temperature Regulation: Some memory foam mattresses are designed with cooling technologies to prevent heat buildup, ensuring a comfortable sleeping temperature.
  6. Versatility: Memory foam mattresses are available in various thicknesses and firmness levels, catering to a wide range of sleep preferences.
Young woman enjoying restful sleep in a comfortable bed
A young woman gets her best sleep by sleeping on a memory foam mattress.

Considerations When Choosing a Memory Foam Mattress

  1. Density: Memory foam mattresses come in different densities (measured in pounds per cubic foot), ranging from low-density (3-4 lbs/ft³) to high-density (5-7 lbs/ft³). Higher-density foams tend to be more durable and offer better support but can also be firmer.
  2. Firmness: Memory foam mattresses vary in firmness levels, from soft to firm. The ideal firmness level depends on your personal preferences and any specific sleep needs you may have, such as back pain or joint issues.
  3. Thickness: The thickness of the memory foam layer in the mattress can affect its comfort and support. Thicker memory foam layers often provide more contouring and pressure relief.
  4. Cooling Technology: If you tend to sleep hot, look for memory foam mattresses with cooling features like gel-infused foam or open-cell foam to regulate temperature.
  5. Budget: Memory foam mattresses are available at various price points. While a higher price often correlates with better quality, there are budget-friendly options that offer good value for money.

Kevin Aldred, Mattress Expert
Kevin Aldred

Of all the innovations in mattress technology, one stands alone as the most significant. Memory Foam has increased the comfort and longevity of sleep surfaces in a manner that may never again be achieved. 

— Kevin Aldred, Mattress Expert at Gardner White


Memory foam mattresses have revolutionized the way we sleep by offering exceptional comfort and support. Their ability to conform to your body shape, relieve pressure points, and minimize motion transfer makes them an excellent choice for a restful night’s sleep. When shopping for a memory foam mattress, consider factors such as density, firmness, thickness, cooling technology, and your budget to find the perfect mattress that suits your needs and preferences. With the right memory foam mattress, you can wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day.

Click here to be taken to our mattress quiz which can help you find the right mattress for you!

Need Additional Assistance?

You can contact one of Gardner White’s experts at (248) 481-2208, chat with one online, or visit one of our local Michigan stores.

Dave has been in the furniture industry in one capacity or another for the last decade. When not writing about furniture he enjoys cooking for his family, guitar playing, oil painting, the Detroit Tigers, and the comedic antics of English Bulldogs.