Choosing a memory foam mattress

Yawn. The mundane things in life are top of my agenda today. We’re looking for a new mattress and considering how much time is spent asleep in bed it’s criminal not to buy the best you can afford.

From research it appears that memory foam mattresses are the best to go for. I would certainly hope a new mattress would help my sore back! Tempura mattresses have been recommended to us but they’re hard to buy in Cork. Casey’s Furniture have them but they’ve always been over priced in their city center location. Another brand I have come across is Visco and it appears to do the same job. According to one salesperson they’re firmer than Tempura mattresses but I need to ring around a few more places before we make up our minds.

If you have one of these mattresses I’d love to hear about how comfortable they are. Try searching for any information on either brand and you’ll only find are online-stores trying to flog you one!

This page is better than most however. Here’s what they say about Visco-elastic mattress, which I presume applies to Tempura too.

  • Body heat reacts with the foam to soften it.
  • The mattress then moulds and re-moulds to your body’s contours.
  • Provides excellent support and enables natural movement during sleep.
  • Helps to maintain correct posture and align spine horizontally when lying on your side.
  • Hypo-allergenic with anti-microbial properties.

Off to town shortly and out with the credit card..

January 3rd 2007 – we went into town this afternoon and tried a few places before buying a bed in Swan Beds. It’s a memory foam mattress. A bit pricey but less than Casey’s were looking for. Hopefully it’ll be delivered next Wednesday!

71 thoughts on “Choosing a memory foam mattress

  1. After the first night sleeping on a memory foam mattress I felt unwell (sore throat, fussy thinking and general feeling physically low). Slept for another 4/5 nights and symptoms continued. Began sleeping on normal mattress and felt fine thereafter.

    The memory foam is a chemical combination and some are treated for microbes. These mattresses ‘off gas’ for possible a few years and whether someone responds negatively immediately or not, the chemicals have to go somewhere! The second point is you are likely to feel much hotter while sleeping and this could be hard work in the summer time.

    I would not recommend sleeping on a metal sprung bed either because the metal springs create and emit a measurable magnetic pulse. I think the best bet is a futon or mattress made of a natural substance. I would also not sleep on a mattress with an electric blanket still plugged in the socket.

  2. Hi, I was in the ER last week with a burning rash on scalp, face and chest and now I have numbness and tightness on face. MRI ruled out anything bad. I recently bought a temper pedic mattress and pillow. Has anyone had similar experiences?

  3. I bought a sealy platinum pedic mattress recently and it is so uncomfortable awful…does it improve or should i get memory topper (ikea) for it.Thanks

  4. Whilst a memory foam mattress isn’t for everyone, they can certainly provide benefits to the most of us. However i would suggest doing carefull research first as they are certainly not suitable for everyone, particulary those with breathing difficulties.

  5. firstly my main concern is health, i read an article which concerned me. It stated that these type of bed are emitting 90 different type of chemicals which could prove harmful to your health. I would like to know more about this, whatever about comfort your health and wellbeing is so important.

    1. Ciara – I’m sure they do emit chemicals, all substances do whether they’re natural or synthetic. I doubt the chemicals given off by these foam mattresses are any worse than other substances found in the home.

      Oh, I’ve never slept as well as I have since buying this mattress. I can definitely recommend a memory foam mattress.

  6. Hi Can anyone help or advise me please. I want to purchase a king size mattress for my bed and I am not sure which one. Having read some of the reviews about memory foam I do not think I would want one of those. However I would be interested in a good quality, 1000 sprung (i think)
    Can anyone advise me please, I would be very grateful for your advice also can I buy online or does it really need to be in a store??

  7. To anyone out there considering the purchase of a memory foam product, be that a mattress, mattress topper or just a pillow – do not be put off by the negative comments that you will read here or on any number of forums. Yes some people find them uncomfortable and some people develop allergic reactions to memory foam, but I must point out that the percentage of people who are not happy with memory foam products is infinitesimal when compared to the number of happy memory foam users. To ensure that you minimize the possibility of an adverse reaction to memory foam do plenty of research. Do not buy memory foam products manufactured in the far east as manufacturing standards and quality control seldom measure up to European or US standards. Also whilst on this topic – the fact that a product carries a label stating “Made in USA” or “Made in UK” does not necessarily mean that all the components of the product were manufactured in these places. Products can be assembled in the UK from components made anywhere in the world and qualify to carry a “Made in UK” tag. So once again I say research & more research. Get assurances from your suppliers that all component parts of the product you are considering purchasing are produced in the UK, USA or wherever.
    Hope this helps

    1. Having just read this entire page — I’m wondering where your percentages are coming from? Your infinitesimal percentage does not seem to be validated by this….. Seems to me to be something like 20-30% have problems from one thing or another — Reaction to “foam” in the form of rashes, breathing difficulties in reaction to ‘off-gassing’ and others that just fail to get comfort from the particularities of the foam itself.

      Personally, having just recieved this suppposedly high-quality memory foam mattress a few weeks ago — I’ve had my first migraine, days when my asthma had me gasping until 11 am, and nothing but severe body ache upon waking from another fitfull night of waking up every hour. I came here to look to see if others have had similar reactions and find myself convinced that “it’s not just me” — because, unfortunately, my partner loves it… sadly, I don’t think we can keep it.

      Here’s to all of you that find them a comfort – but – Buyer Beware! They are not for everyone

      1. @ Robert
        What you have to bear in mind when perusing posts such as the above is that most people who are happy with a product don’t feel the need to comment. Basically, it is similar to reading a newspaper – how often do you read anything “nice”? “Nice” does not attract readers but nasty does.
        I am sorry to hear that you are having problems with your new mattress. Unfortunately there is no such thing as a product that fits the bill for everyone. Just checkout product reviews for almost any product on Amazon, you will find that the vast majority of purchasers love the product & give a 5* rating but there will always be someone that hates the product – obviously there will also be cases where the opposite is true, ie. a few people will love the product whilst the majority hate it.
        Whether you are a memory foam lover or a memory foam hater, there is no getting away from the fact that memory foam is fast becoming the “people’s choice” in bedding materials – it is growing in popularity all the time.

  8. @Robert – Thanks for your detailed post. While we may be in the minority (as Ian notes) that doesn’t change the fact that memory foam may be harmful to “some” people. I appreciated your post because I too have been suffering from migraines and unusual body aches following sleep. I don’t expect to wake up feeling worse. I don’t know how one can test for this, but it does seem that a good number of us are questioning the health aspects of memory foam. For myself, I am going to change to a King Koil or some other non-memory foam mattress in very near future. If I remember, I’ll post then – especially if the ailments disappear!

    Question – does anyone know about drawbacks to “gel” mattresses. This is the newest mattress construct, which actually looks like squares of silicone gel that leave an air pocket. The sales people say it “breathes” much better than memory foam and is a lot cooler. Part of problem with any foam mattress is lack of air within the mattress. The memory foam acts as a barrier – hence it is warmer than a regular, springs or coil mattress.

  9. king koil comfort line bed — crap !! its non-memory foam but the top 50mm
    contains foam cushioning !!
    stay away frm this bed !! its like sleeping on hot stones after 2 or3 hours

  10. I have a tempur matress. I have been experiencing shortness of breath and a blocked nose. I am senstive to gloss paint and latex and get exactly the same reaction to them. I changed my matress last night and i am alot better. I rang tempur head office and they sasi they had never had someone call with an allergic reaction before, When i asked for a list of ingredient in the tempur matress they said they couldnt send that out due to copywrite.

  11. Thank you for this thread, I feel like we are not alone or crazy ones because we think that our 2.5 y.o. daughter had an asthma attack couple days due to our new tempurpedic. She sleeps half o the night in our bed. It started with night coughs that were getting worse. She is still on medications and we got very scared. I hope noone goes through this. Consider blaming your mattress if you start having this kind of symptoms before they get worse. The manufactures must put a warning sign for people who are sensitive to chemical odor, this can be a major hazard for some people, especially young children. I hope we can arrange some investigation and do something about this. I am sure many people do let tempur know about this problem, and i am surprised they are ignoring it, especially when it can be so dangerous for a child. Where is this world going… all about money…

  12. I’ve been having some breathing issues since my wife got a memory foam pillow a few months ago, just some coughing and shortness of breath. She got a mattress toper on the weekend and I’ve been wheezing ever since. Yesterday I was diagnosed with mild asthma, which I have never had.

    I really think the memory foam is the problem!

    I’m going to try the spare room for a few nights and see if it helps.
    I will post again in a few days either way.

    I understand the posts that say “be reasonable”, “only a tiny percentage of people don’t like them”.
    But this is a DISGRACE!
    I asked specifically about this when I bought it and no-one even mentioned the possibility of it. I’ve been online now and there are loads of sites that complain about the things. People should be warned when they buy them that this is possible!!!

  13. Just got a memory foam mattress delivered last week and let it air out as suggested. It stunk up my entire apartment with the smell. I have asthma and allergies. Slept on it Sunday night, and was losing my voice at work the next day. Had mucus running down the back of my throat. Slept on it Monday night, and woke up Tuesday with swollen eyelids and watery, crusty eyes. Had trouble breathing both nights and had 2 asthma attacks. Had to take my rescue inhaler 3 times a day on both days. Finally realized that the only thing I had changed in my home was the mattress itself, and that it must be the problem. Slept on my couch after that, and felt normal again in the morning. I am returning the memory foam 12″ visco mattress for a traditional innerspring mattress. People with asthma and allergies, chemical sensitivities, or those concerned with their health, should not take their chances with this toxic waste dump of a bed. I can’t believe they are allowed to sell this to people.

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