It’s a question every memory foam retailer has heard, time and again. For different customers, the answer could vary significantly so it’s always important to have a thorough understanding of memory foam and how it will benefit your individual situation.
Some customers will look for extraordinary value in a memory foam mattress; others high quality craftsmanship; still more will insist on both. A growing number of customers will also be looking at the “green factor” – or how environmentally friendly the manufacturer’s product is in relation to others.
In the years since memory foam burst onto the market – a byproduct of NASA-inspired technology – it has undergone an affirming transformation that has diminished a few initial kinks and mastered the production process. As the market has grown, prices have fallen to very affordable levels over the past few years with the addition of a number of strong competitors.
A particular few innovators have even perfected vegetable or soy-based memory foam mattresses that are as good, or better, than their polyurethane-based counterparts. This is particularly appealing to a large – and ever growing – cross-section of consumers who are committed to buying eco-friendly products or who may benefit from the anti-bacterial, anti-microbial characteristics of green memory foam.
Aside from those important factors, there are several key qualities that should always be considered seriously when purchasing a new mattress. Here are a few of the most important things to know if you’re looking for the best memory foam mattress:
- Higher density memory foam is a sign of better quality. Memory foam with a density of less than three pounds should not be considered due to the likelihood of “bottoming out.” Conversely, memory foam with a density higher than five pounds will be too firm for most people’s comfort. So, the ideal memory foam density is generally considered to be between three and five pounds.
- The ILD rating of a mattress will tell how hard or soft the memory foam is by measuring how many pounds of pressure are required to compress the mattress four inches. A higher ILD rating indicates a mattress that is going to be more firm. For this reason, the best mattresses will employ a combination of at least two layers of varying density memory to provide the optimal combination of comfort and support.
- There really is no perfect level of thickness in a memory foam mattress. Ultimately, this is a very subjective characteristic that depends heavily on individual uses and preferences including sleep positioning and activity levels.
- American made products will always be a mark of quality when it comes to memory foam mattresses. Beware products made in foreign countries – especially China – where lax production standards open the door to low quality merchandise that could contain harmful substances.
- A final consideration is warranty and in-home trial. A quality memory foam mattress should be supported by the manufacturer with a lengthy warranty of at least 10 years and up to 20 years. Most reputable retailers will also offer an in-home trial period to ensure the customer gets the perfect mattress for their particular sleep needs.