Are Memory Foam Mattresses Good? 4 Benefits to Consider

December 21, 2021 | Casper Editorial Team

If you’ve ever had a tossing-and-turning, just-can’t-find-that-sweet-spot sleepless kind of night, you probably know that not all mattresses are created equal. These days, there are essentially two main types of mattresses to choose from: traditional spring mattresses and memory foam mattresses.

But, are memory foam mattresses good alternatives? The short answer is: they’re just as good (if not better!) than spring mattresses thanks to their support and comfort, hypoallergenic qualities, movement- and noise-resistant materials, and ease of purchase. 

Made with proper support for ultimate comfort, Casper has a memory foam mattress that will carry you into dreamland.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the pros and cons of memory foam in detail. By the end, you might very well be tempted to make the switch from an innerspring mattress to a memory foam mattress.

Memory Foam: What is it and Why It’s Good to Sleep On

With a memory foam mattress, you literally bring all of the bells and whistles of space-age technology into your bedroom. Memory foam was created in the 1960s for seats within NASA aircrafts. After soaring into space, memory foam was also used in sports helmets, the soles of shoes, and hospital beds.1  So, how does memory foam work?

Using a temper foam that was first called “slow spring back foam,” memory foam does just what its name implies: it absorbs pressure applied to it and very slowly returns to its original shape once the pressure is removed. This means memory foam is viscoelastic, offering two distinct qualities: 

  • Slow response (viscous) 
  • Low resistance and high flexibility (elastic)2 

Thanks to these qualities, memory foam is a material technology that provides comfort as well as therapeutic benefits. It’s no surprise, then, that the next big memory foam application was the object that humans spend nearly a third of their day using: the home mattress.

The Pros and Cons of Memory Foam Mattresses

Before you can decide whether you should make the switch, it’s helpful to understand the benefits of sleeping on a memory foam mattress (as well as any potential downsides).  

Let’s explore the pros and cons below. 

Pros

There are 4 key benefits of a memory foam mattress: 

1. Support and Comfort

A defining characteristic of memory foam is the way that it contours to your body. As you lay down on the mattress, you can feel your body sink slightly into the surface. If you get up suddenly, you will find an imprint (a physical memory) of the shape of your body on the foam. 

But, if you stay on the mattress for some time (say, for example, an entire night), the mattress hugs your body. 

This kind of contouring results in: 

  • Relief from pressure points
  • Better back support

If you’ve ever slept on an extremely firm mattress or surface, you probably know what it feels like to have your full body weight on pressure points as you sleep. These areas of high impact, such as your knees, hips, and shoulders, can feel sore in the morning after you put pressure on them over the course of the night. Memory foam offers relief for these pressure points by distributing body weight more evenly instead of creating resistance. 

For similar reasons, memory foam mattresses can be very beneficial for sleepers who struggle with back pain and/or who need that little extra back support. Because memory foam contours around the natural shape of your body, it allows for proper spinal alignment, all while providing adequate support. 

In fact, some of Casper’s memory foam mattresses are particularly well suited for both support and comfort:  

  • Casper Nova® Hybrid Mattress – With 7 ergonomic zones designed to help keep your spine aligned, as well as a plush top layer, you don’t have to sacrifice support for comfort with the Casper Nova Hybrid Mattress. 
  • Casper Wave™ Hybrid Mattress – With continuous ergonomic support, gel pods, and cooling gel, optimal alignment, and proper circulation are possible with the Casper Wave Hybrid Mattress. As our most supportive mattress, this is a must-have for those with severe back pain. 

2. Hypoallergenic

Traditional spring mattresses have large areas of open space within them where dust mites and mold can collect. This can lead to serious trouble for people with allergies and asthma. 

When comparing memory foam vs spring, memory foam mattresses are much more dense. They’re typically considered hypoallergenic in that they’re resistant to these common bedroom allergens.

3. Low Motion Transfer and Noise 

If you regularly sleep with a partner, you know that a good mattress doesn’t disturb your sleep when your partner inevitably moves, rolls over, or gets up during the night. The largest culprits of disturbed partner sleep are motion transfer and noise, both of which are very much diminished in memory foam mattresses.

You might remember the popular memory foam commercials on TV in the 1990s when the technology was relatively new. To demonstrate memory foam’s low transference of motion, an actor would place a full glass of red wine on one side of the bed. Their partner would then walk around on the other side of the bed, eventually jumping up and down but never knocking over the glass of wine. 

Much like this commercial advertised, memory foam—because of its viscoelastic qualities—provides a sleep surface that’s not affected by your partner’s nocturnal movements. 

Even if motion isn’t transferred, however, sleeping with a partner on a noisy mattress will still result in disturbed sleep. Unlike traditional spring mattresses that can squeak and creak with movement due to its springs and coils, memory foam’s foam interior is incredibly quiet. 

In the end, the advantages of memory foam mattresses for partnered sleep are quite clear: the very nature of memory foam lends itself to a peaceful and quiet slumber, even for partners of restless sleepers.

At Casper, all of our mattresses offer the joys of an uneventful night’s sleep. 

  • Casper Element® Mattress – The most affordable Capser mattress, the Casper Element Mattress gives you all of the benefits of memory foam at our coziest price.
  • Casper Original Mattress™ – The best memory foam mattress is our Casper Original Mattress. This best seller provides all of the benefits of memory foam in addition to added support, cooling, and comfort features. 

4. Ease of Purchase

Finally, one of the major benefits of memory foam mattresses is their convenience. Memory foam enables the mattress to be rolled and shipped to the consumer, allowing them to shop for mattresses online. Gone are the days where it was necessary to go to a big-box store or warehouse to shop through a field of mattresses. 

Now, you can shop online for trusted mattress brands like Casper and get products delivered right to your door. 

Cons

Although there are major benefits to memory foam, there are some disadvantages to this type of mattress. 

1. Heat retention

Wondering are memory foam mattresses hot? One of the main complaints of memory foam mattress owners is that these mattresses can run hot. Because of the density of the foam, air circulation and heat distribution can be difficult, making a hot sleeper especially uncomfortable. 

Luckily, additions to memory foam as well as new technologies have made them cooler and more breathable than ever before. Open-cell, copper, and gel foam materials all help to improve airflow and keep sleepers cool. 

At Casper, our memory foam mattresses sleep cooler than a traditional memory foam mattress. We add AirScape® to most of our mattresses: a layer or layers of perforated foam to help keep you cool at night. Those that don’t have AirScape® have Snow Technology™, which is a combination of our most advanced cooling features to help prevent overheating for 12+ hours.

2. Off-gassing 

Memory foam mattresses, especially the ones that are packed airtight and shipped to consumers, are notorious for off-gassing: releasing a chemical smell that can permeate your living space. Unfortunately, this is simply a reality of brand new products. But alone, it does not indicate the presence of high levels of dangerous chemicals.

Once you receive a Casper mattress, placing it in a well-ventilated room will help the natural smell to dissipate quickly (typically in a matter of hours). Rest assured that the manufacturing process at Casper is designed around using the fewest chemicals possible. All Casper foams are CertiPUR® certified, ensuring they’re made without harmful chemicals, like formaldehyde or lead, and have low compound emissions. 

Casper Mattresses: The Future of Memory Foam

You don’t need to lose sleep tossing and turning on your old spring mattress and wondering if a switch to memory foam is right for you. At Casper, we offer a wide variety of comfy, supportive, and cooling memory foam options so that you can find the best mattress that brings you an excellent night’s sleep at a competitive price. 

Side, stomach, back, and combination sleepers can all find a mattress that supports their sleeping position. From a memory foam mattress to a hybrid mattress, we have a mattress type for your unique needs.

And it doesn’t end there! Casper also has bed frames, bedding, and accessories, and even dog beds to ensure that you (and your furry friends) are getting the best sleep possible. To make the switch to a memory foam mattress type and more restful nights, choose Casper. 

Sources: 

  1. Science and Technical Information Program, NASA. Forty-Year-Old Foam Springs Back With New Benefits Consumer/Home/Recreation. https://web.archive.org/web/20090320071931/http://www.sti.nasa.gov/tto/Spinoff2005/ch_6.html
  2. Slumber Search. Memory Foam vs. Visco Elastic Foam. https://www.slumbersearch.com/memory-foam-vs-visco-elastic-foam-comparison
  3. Healthline. Memory Foam vs. Spring Mattresses. How to Choose. https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-sleep/memory-foam-vs-spring
  4. Sleep Foundation. Best Memory Foam Mattress. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/best-mattress/best-memory-foam-mattress
  5. Sleep Foundation. What is Memory Foam? https://www.sleepfoundation.org/mattress-information/what-is-memory-foam