Orthopedic Mattress vs. Memory Foam
Most foam mattresses provide an extra bit of comfort compared to a typical mattress for sale, but that doesn’t mean they’re one-size-fits-all. There are different types of mattress types and mattress brands available, making the process of choosing the perfect one feel overwhelming.
To help you find the one you need for consistently restful nights, we’ve broken down the differences between an orthopedic and a memory foam mattress, and why you should get one or the other!
Invented in the 1960s by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for astronauts, memory foam is highly viscous and elastic thanks to a material called viscoelastic polyurethane foam.
It can easily change its shape and produces a sinking feeling when you lie on it.
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Memory Foam Mattress
High-density memory foam can conform to your body’s unique shape based on heat and weight. The hips, shoulders, and neck, which typically bear the brunt of our weight when we sleep, may feel some comfort as a result of this.
However, memory foam does have heat retention properties, so sleeping on it could be uncomfortable, especially for stomach sleepers.
Another unique feature is its silence and stillness. This is great for co-sleepers who don’t want to wake each other up when they get out of bed. A noisy bed can cause squeaking, groaning, and other annoying sounds. That’s something you won’t have to worry about with memory foam.
Lastly, memory foam has a tendency to emit a chemical-like smell while off-gassing. The odor can disappear within 24 hours of unboxing, or it can linger for weeks. So, it’s best to avoid cheap mattresses with low-quality materials since they produce the worst off-gassing.
A budget mattress may seem tempting at first, but it could quickly prove to be a bad investment.
Orthopedic mattresses typically contain a variety of natural and synthetic high-density foam. They can be hybrid mattresses made up of materials like memory foam, reflex foam, and latex foam.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Orthopedic Mattresses
As opposed to memory foam, you’ll immediately notice that orthopedic mattresses are quite firm. It’s designed that way to keep your muscles at ease and your spine aligned, letting your body maintain a natural curvature when you sleep.
That makes this ideal for side sleepers and back sleepers. Unfortunately, orthopedic mattresses aren’t for everyone. In some cases, they may be too rigid and heavy.
Additionally, you should be extra careful when buying an orthopedic mattress. Since it’s not made of a specific material, some stores take advantage of this and label mattresses as orthopedic even though they’re actually just hybrid mattresses, innerspring mattresses, or a typical twin mattress. Even if that mattress is on sale, make sure you request a sleep trial first!
At the end of the day, the best mattress to get is the one that suits your needs the most. Of course, you also have to factor in the mattress cost and material. But once you determine what you need for a good night’s sleep, you’re already halfway finished with your mattress shopping.
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