A good night’s sleep requires comfort, but sometimes even the comfiest spring coils and pillow-top surfaces can leave you tossing and turning. That’s why Americans spend a combined total of more than $5 billion per year on memory foam mattresses.
And that figure doesn’t reflect a passing trend. In fact, analysts believe memory foam sales will soar to a whopping $8 billion annually by 2023.
But what makes these popular mattresses so special? Could sleeping on one really improve your sleep? Find answers to these common questions in our info-packed list of perks below. We’ve compiled seven impressive benefits associated with memory foam mattresses so you can decide whether to bid farewell to creaky springs and polyester filling.
1. Dust Mite Discouragement
Dust mites are microscopic bugs that feast on your skin. Regular mattresses provide a perfect hiding spot for dust mites, even if you clean your bedding regularly. A typical mattress contains anywhere from 100,000 to 10 million dust mites – and that doesn’t include the ones lurking in your pillows.
Nearly 20 million Americans are allergic to these crawling critters. Allergy symptoms generally occur when they leave their feces in your bedding. Here are some symptoms of a dust mite allergy:
• Runny nose
• Watery eyes
In severe cases, you may also experience breathing difficulties and chest pain.
You can develop a dust mite allergy at any time in life, even if you have previously been unaffected by dust mite exposure. An allergist or primary care doctor can run tests if you suspect dust mites are triggering symptoms.
If you have a dust mite allergy or simply want to avoid sleeping on a mattress filled with skin-eating bugs, consider a memory foam mattress. Traditional mattresses have plenty of open space where bugs can hide. Memory foam is packed tightly, so it’s harder for dust mites to congregate in the material.
2. Hypoallergenic Materials
Dust mites aren’t the only symptom-inducing allergens that hide in mattresses. A polyester-filled spring-coil mattress may also contain pet dander, mold spores and cockroach feces. As with dust mites, these allergens can cause wheezing, coughing and watery eyes.
Sometimes people are allergic to the mattress materials themselves rather than the particles that find a home within them. Fiber, wool and feathers are common allergens found in bedding. These materials can cause hives or leave you with an itchy rash that makes it difficult to sleep peacefully.
That’s why allergy sufferers often invest in memory foam mattresses. Many are made from hypoallergenic materials. When you go mattress shopping, check the materials and specifications for each mattress. Manufacturers often mention when a mattress contains hypoallergenic materials because they know it’s an important feature.
If you are sensitive to harsh chemicals, look for a memory foam mattress with a low VOC number. A low VOC means you won’t experience much off-gassing, the headache-inducing chemical odor that comes from some mattresses.
3. Minimized Movement
Let’s be honest: It’s frustrating when your partner, kids or pets roll around your bed. It’s difficult to sleep through the night when you feel every movement, and you may end up unintentionally squished by a loved one or crammed against the wall.
That’s why people who don’t sleep alone often benefit from memory foam mattresses. They’re firm and supportive and contour to your body without sinking or sagging. This helps you sleep where you want to sleep rather than where your partner’s nighttime movements send you.
You can also place heavy pillows, thick blankets and large stuffed animals on a memory foam mattress without dealing with droop or sag.
4. Pressure Point Comfort
Do you ever wake up with aching joints after what you thought would be a restful night’s sleep? Blame your mattress.
Traditional mattresses don’t conform to your shape. Instead, you’re forced to conform to its design.
You need a full night of sleep, but laying in one position for 8 hours wreaks havoc on your soft muscle tissue. It’s partly because gravity affects circulation, so blood isn’t flowing easily through your body which can result in pain or discomfort in your pressure points.
Memory foam alleviates this issue by gently cushioning your joints with flexible material. It doesn’t push against your body the way coils and springs do, nor does it force you to conform to a specific shape.
5. Spine Support
A misaligned spine results in numerous symptoms ranging from mild discomfort to permanent nerve damage. Sometimes symptoms extend beyond the spine, leaving you with tingling fingers, burning feet or sore hips. Spine misalignment can make it difficult for you to work, exercise or enjoy recreational activities.
Unfortunately, many mattresses fail to address the spinal system correctly. They droop and sag, which causes inadequate spinal support. This can hurt your lower back, neck and shoulders.
A memory foam mattress distributes your body weight evenly. The material supports your body’s curves, so you can sleep in a natural position that promotes spine health. It also makes it easy for you to sleep comfortably through the night instead of waking up in pain every few hours.
6. Comfort in Every Position
Some mattresses are geared toward side, back or stomach sleepers. These mattresses make sense for people who always sleep the same way, but what if you like to switch positions?
Memory foam cradles your body in any position, whether you sprawl across the bed or curl up on your side. It effectively supports your back, neck, shoulders and legs as you nap or relax.
7. Low Maintenance
Mattress maintenance can be a hassle if you’ve got an electric bed or a spring-filled mattress. You have to flip it regularly, vacuum at least once a season and watch out for cords and wires.
Memory foam mattresses require very little maintenance. You still have to clean them as needed, but there’s no flipping required. Memory foam mattresses fit easily on most bed frames, and they’re not too heavy or bulky to move during a room rearrangement. You can even use memory foam on adjustable beds without damaging the mattress during positional changes.
Memory foam is resilient yet comfortable. If you buy a memory foam mattress, you can expect to get at least 7 to 10 years of quality sleep. The exact time frame depends on the brand and model that you choose. Many manufacturers provide estimates on how long you can expect to keep your mattress before it’s time for a replacement.
Bedtime should be restful, not stressful or uncomfortable. If you’re struggling to sleep comfortably through the night, consider buying a memory foam mattress. They’re available for every budget, whether you need a basic mattress for your toddler or a gel-infused model for your bedroom. Tackle allergy symptoms, joint pain and spinal issues with a quality memory foam mattress made from hypoallergenic materials.