When evaluating which memory foam mattress is the highest-quality bed for your budget, it’s best to understand the density of the mattress. Memory foam mattresses are constructed using three or more layers of foam. In most cases, each comfort layer uses a different density of foam.
What’s the Difference Between Low, Medium, and High-Density Foams?
Density is the weight of memory foam per cubic foot. High-density foams weigh more than low-density foams.
Low-density foams are considered to be three pounds per cubic foot or less. Medium-density foams are four to five pounds per cubic foot. High-density memory foams are six pounds per cubic foot or more.
You can always check the weight of the product if it’s unclear what the density of the foam is when shopping online or in-store.
In addition to a difference in weight, high-density foams have a stronger open-celled structure, making it more stable and more likely to stand up to the test of time. Typically, the foundation of your mattress is the highest density of all the layers. By positioning a more durable layer on the bottom, the bed feels strong and supportive.
Density and Heat Retention
If you are prone to sleeping hot, a higher-density foam top layer will be best. Because it creates a firmer, more robust surface, you’ll sleep on top of the mattress allowing more air to circulate around you.
If the top layer is composed of low-density foam, your body sinks further into the bed. That sinking feeling most people dread, also causes your body heat to build up around you.
For those that are temperature sensitive, look for a bed with a high-density, gel memory foam top layer. Unlike traditional foam, a gel-infused mattress, like the Muse mattress, sleeps cooler because it helps to regulate your body temperature throughout the night.
Density and Pain Relief
Sleeping on the wrong mattress can cause pain from pressure points. Pressure points occur when the foam is too firm or too soft for your body type and sleep position. You can eliminate this from happening by selecting the mattress firmness level that is best for you.
Soft, medium and firm mattresses are created by layering different density foams and foams with different indentation load deflection (ILD) values. A mattress layer with an ILD of 10 would be incredibly soft, while an ILD of 50 or more would be very firm.
Side sleepers need a soft mattress to prevent their hips and arms from sinking too far into the bed. This position can cause pain and numbness if you’re sleeping on the wrong mattress.
Because sleeping on your back is the healthiest way to sleep, this position has the most flexibility in choosing a mattress. However, a medium mattress is a safe choice because it’s not too soft, nor too firm and keeps your spine aligned and evenly supported. If an online mattress company only offers one size, you can assume that it has a medium feel.
When sleeping on your stomach, your body weight is forced downward into the mattress. Therefore, stomach sleepers need a firm mattress to keep their body elevated and to eliminate pressure on the hip area.
If you flip from your side to your back to your stomach throughout the night, you are a multi-position sleeper. A medium mattress is best for sleepers who change positions because it’s firm enough to eliminate an unnatural curve in your back when you’re on your stomach or back. It also has give when you’re sleeping on your side for the mattress to conform to the shape of your body.
After you buy a new mattress, there is typically a two-week adjustment period needed for your body to conform to the bed. Because memory foam generally has a firmer feel than a pillow top or spring mattress, it can be hard to get used to if you’re transitioning from a pillow top or spring mattress. The adjustment period may be longer in this case.
To ensure that you’re making the right choice when making this big buying decision, choose a bed with a sleep trial. Sleep trials are generally 80 to 120 nights and will allow you to try out your new mattress before committing to it.
In most cases, if you’re not happy with the feel or the construction of the mattress, you can return it for free as long as you’re within the trial period.
Density and Cost
Shopping for a memory foam bed online or in a store can be a daunting task. Before beginning your journey to finding the best mattress for you, first, you need to determine your budget.
If you are shopping for a queen size mattress that’s under $500, chances are the bed will be constructed from low-density memory foam. On the other hand, if you have a budget between $500 and $1,000, you can find a quality mattress that uses medium density memory foam or high-density memory foam.
Budget is always a concern but remember that investing in your sleep is one of the best decisions you can make. If you have a mattress-related question, ask the experts at Muse Sleep.