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What Is The Best Memory Foam Mattress?

This is perhaps the most hotly debated topics in the bedding industry. First along came Tempurpedic and life was easy. If you wanted memory foam you bought their mattress. But as other manufacturers found the ‘recipe’ we found ourselves in the eternal debate about which brand is the best.

The real answer is to forget brand and look at the actual construction materials and standards used.

Memory foam is graded. Once you understand these terms used you can then easily pick out a few brands that offer the grade you want and then can confidently price compare. You’ll save lots of time and money by understanding how memory foam mattresses are graded.

Weight – Density in pounds per square inch

One of the most crucial characteristic of a memory foam mattress is its density. Basically put, if more material is used the higher the density. Some manufacturers of cheap memory foam pump in lots of air during the manufacturing process. So, you end up with a mattress with a low density and which may not give you the support you need. Low density also leads to sagging, which is a big complaint from purchasers of memory foam mattresses. The optimal density, considered by most to be the most supportive and comfortable, is between 4 and 5 lb density. Make sure the mattress you end up buying is at least this.

Indentation Load Deflection – ILD

The ILD rating defines how hard or soft the mattress is. The 25% ILD rating is the number of pounds required to achieve a 25% compression of a 4" thick foam using a 50 square inch indentation. An Example of this is as follows: 20lb. ILD foam indicates that this material took 20 lbs. of pressure to indent this foam 25%. The higher the ILD, the firmer the mattress. Many memory foam mattresses are actually composites of a firm, high-density polyurethane foam that is then topped with a softer, less firm memory foam layer. This usually yields optimal comfort and support. But, too soft a layer or too deep a layer of soft foam can be detrimental.

The best memory foam mattresses utilize hard, high-density inner cores and softer, memory foam toppers.

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This is the ‘springiness’ property of the foam.  Usually, the higher the resilience, the better quality the foam. However, with viscoelastic memory foam, less resilience indicates a better force dampening.

This is because memory foam rather than ‘spring back’, conforms to the shape of the sleeper. Very high quality memory foam mattresses combine lower high resilient layer(s) with memory foam on the surface, so you get the pressure point reduction, while retaining the extra support below.


This indicates the extent to which foam can be stretched, measured in pounds per square inch, and how much elongation in terms of percent of stretch before rupture. 

While an important property of conventional mattresses, it bears little relevance to memory foam mattresses because they are not usually stretched, and will become compressed only when slept on.

When looking for the best memory foam mattress to buy consider the above properties and ask the retailer about each one. Once you have this information it’ll become a lot easier for you to determine which mattress is best for you.