Is it just me or is sleep becoming more of a luxury than a necessity for us adults? When you start working or start a family, six to seven hours of sleep is already precious. If sleep tends to escape you, you might want to check out your mattress. The quality and density of foam might be affecting your sleep, aside from other factors.
Your sleeping patterns affect your health. It could also work the other way around with health affecting your sleeping patterns. Either way, you can consider your mattress as a health investment.
Choosing the right mattress is dependent on your needs. Some mattresses are ideal for different positions of sleeping, backaches, spinal conditions, etc. When looking for your perfect mattress, consider the comfort level, the supportive factor, and its durability. All of these are slightly dependent on the density of the cushion.
What Density Of Foam Should You Look For?
What You Need To Know About The Density Of Foam
Foam density refers to the measurement of mass per volume. That means if the density of the foam is 5 pounds per cubic foot, every cubic foot of foam weighs 5 pounds. It affects the comfort level, support, and durability of the mattress, making it an important factor to consider. In other words, foam density affects foam performance.
Denser foams require more material to make. The more material there is in the mattress, the greater the support. Simply put, the higher the density (for latex, memory and overall foams), the greater the support. Mattresses can be high, medium or low-density foam.
Firmness And Support
Even if a mattress is of high density, it can still be made soft. Low-density foams can also be made firm. Therefore, foam firmness is not dependent on foam density.
Firmness refers to the surface feel of the mattress. On the other hand, support is the foam’s ability to push back on the weight, so it doesn’t sink you in. Both of these qualities affect foam comfort.
How To Choose The Right Density Of Memory Foam Mattress
Memory foam is made of viscoelastic polyurethane, which allows the foam to mold to your body. It responds to heat and pressure, evenly distributing the body weight. When you remove the stimulus (the heat and pressure), the foam slowly returns to its original shape.
People who suffer from backaches and other body aches should ideally use memory foam mattresses. This is because it allows your weight to be evenly distributed. There is less pressure on pressure points; thus, reducing any pain. However, many have reported that the memory foam mattresses are hot to sleep in because it retains the heat that it responds to. Some of the mattresses also give off a strong unpleasant odor.
Not all memory foams are the same. It may be known for their molding abilities, but their density plays an important role.
A low-density mattress is anything that is 3 pounds and under. Because it uses fewer materials, a low-density level is cheapest among the density levels. It provides instant softness beneath you and quickly follows the shape.
Medium-density foam is around 4 pounds to 5 pounds. The medium density doesn’t give the instant softness, but it also doesn’t give the same initial “stiffness” as the high density. This level of density is popular because it fits most budgets.
Anything about 6 pounds is a high-density foam, so expect to pay a high price. High- density foams are ideal for orthopedic cases like spine injuries and backaches. As you first lie on the mattress, it might seem stiff. But after a while, they will begin to shape to your body. It provides the best support, reducing any pain and pressure points in your body.
If you’re on the heavier side, you might not be comfortable. High-density foams are the most expensive of the density levels. It’s also the most durable.
A latex foam mattress uses either natural or synthetic rubber. The natural latex is made from processed sap from a rubber tree. On the other hand, is synthetic latex mattresses which are made of manmade materials. Synthetic latex foam is more common than all natural latex foam. It’s also much cheaper in price.
A latex mattress allows a natural curving like a memory foam. But to its advantage, latex foam doesn’t give that “sinking” and “bottoming out” effect like the memory foam does. It can push back; thus, giving more support. It maintains a constant support and firmness and doesn’t react to heat.
The firmness and softness of a mattress are measured by “Impression Load Deflection.” It measures the amount of pressure to compress the mattress by pressing a 12-inch round disk against a 4-inch foam until it is one inch from the mattress surface. The weight or pressure is the ILD. To know more about impression load deflection, read here.
Generally speaking, one type of foam is not greater than the other. It’s a matter of your comfort and preferences. A good mattress allows you to sleep soundly, reduce pressure points, and allow you to wake up with no body aches. It needs to support your body in a neutral position, where the spine has a nice natural curvature, and the buttocks, shoulders, and head are in proper alignment.
Choosing the right density of a foam is a matter of personal choice. What’s comfortable for you is what’s important, considering of course, that you are properly supported. The best way to know is to try it out yourself. See if you can sleep soundly, without getting any unnecessary discomforts or aches.
For serious back, neck or shoulder aches, you may need to consult your doctor for recommendations.