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Top Reasons to Stop Sleeping on Memory Foam Mattress

We’ve all seen the ads for memory foam, but do you know if it’s truly comfortable? The short answer is no. Its cushioning and foam aren’t designed for everyday use, especially for people with back pain or other orthopaedic issues. 

If you’ve been using it, or know someone who does, you’ll know what we’re talking about. It poses several health hazards that come with the chemicals used in making the ‘unique’ memory foam. If you have a kid or elderly person at home, the health complications for them may be severe.

Since it comes with a hefty price tag and an even bigger list of health issues, including respiratory, lumbar and musculoskeletal issues, it’s best to stay away from it. Still not convinced to leave your mattress behind? Walk with us and we’ll take you through the health risks you run if you continue using the memory foam mattress. 

What’s the Hype About Memory Foam?

Memory foam is a type of viscoelastic foam that was first developed by NASA in the 1960s as a material to cushion astronauts during space flight. It was later commercialized for use in mattresses, pillows, and other sleep products due to its unique properties and ability to provide pressure relief and support.

Memory foam is available in different densities, ranging from low-density (2-3 pounds per cubic foot) to high-density (5-6 pounds per cubic foot). The density of the foam affects its firmness and support, with higher-density foams being firmer and more supportive.

One of the key features of memory foam is heat sensitivity, meaning that it softens and conforms to your body shape as it warms up. Memory foam also has a slow response time, which means that it takes a few seconds to adjust to the body's shape and then returns to its original shape slowly. This slow response time can create a sensation of sinking or being cradled, which can help to promote relaxation and deeper sleep.

Another benefit of memory foam is its ability to absorb motion, which can be helpful for couples who share a bed. When one person moves or shifts during the night, the foam absorbs the motion and reduces the amount of disturbance felt by the other person.

That said, it comes with health risks that overtake any benefit it offers. Hence, it’s wise to compare both and make the right decision. 

5 Health Risks Posed by Memory Foam

For a mattress to remember your position, adapt to it and sink you deep, it needs to have unique materials and components in it. Oftentimes these materials tend to be toxic and life-threatening. What’s worse? These memory foams are being advertised as being suitable for the elderly and those with back issues, which is shocking because memory foam’s properties suggest quite the contrary. Take a look.

Emits toxic chemicals

Like many foam materials, memory foam can release a chemical odour when it is first unpackaged. When it comes to memory foam, off-gassing is a concern for some consumers due to the chemicals used in its production. Memory foam is made by adding various chemicals to a polyurethane foam base, including diisocyanates, which can be harmful if inhaled or ingested. In addition to diisocyanates, memory foam can also contain other chemicals such as formaldehyde, benzene, and toluene, which are known to be toxic.

During the manufacturing process, unreacted chemicals can be left behind in the foam. These residual chemicals can continue to react and break down over time, releasing VOCs (volatile organic compounds) into the air. In addition to the manufacturing process, the packaging and shipping of memory foam products can also contribute to off-gassing. Memory foam products are often compressed and vacuum-sealed for shipping, which can cause the foam to release trapped VOCs when it is unpacked.

Off-gassing from memory foam products can cause a variety of symptoms, including headaches, dizziness, and respiratory problems. While these symptoms are generally temporary and usually subside within a few days, some people may experience longer-lasting effects.

Causes Back Pain, Doesn’t Align with Posture

One of the primary issues with memory foam is that it tends to contour and conform to the shape of the body. While this can provide pressure relief and comfort for some users, it can also cause the body to sink too deeply into the mattress or pillow, which can lead to a loss of support. 

When the body is not properly supported, particularly around the hips and lower back, it can cause the spine to become misaligned. This misalignment can place additional stress on the muscles, ligaments, and nerves in the back, leading to pain and discomfort.

Memory foam products such as mattresses and pillows, that are too soft or too firm, can also contribute to back pain and discomfort, as they may not provide the necessary support to keep the spine properly aligned. Poor-quality memory foam products may also sag or develop indentations over time, which can exacerbate these issues.

Low Heat Regulation, Causing Sweats and Irritation at Night

Memory foam is also notorious for causing heat buildup and poor temperature regulation, leading to sweating and irritation at night. One of the primary reasons for memory foam causing poor heat regulation is its tendency to retain heat. The dense, viscoelastic structure of the foam can trap heat close to the body, which can lead to discomfort and sweating.

Memory foam is made from polyurethane foam and contains chemicals that can contribute to the heat retention issue. The foam is typically infused with petroleum-based chemicals, such as formaldehyde, benzene, and toluene, which are known to trap heat and cause respiratory issues. They are also often designed with limited ventilation. This means that hot air is trapped in the foam, leading to heat buildup and sweating.

Retains Body Heat Due to High Density

The primary reason why memory foam prevents air flow and raises body heat is its density. Memory foam is a high-density material that is designed to conform to the shape of the body. When pressure is applied to memory foam, the material compresses and conforms to the shape of the body, creating small pockets of air between the foam and the body.

These small pockets of air can become trapped, preventing airflow and causing heat to build up. As the body heats up during sleep, the heat is trapped in these pockets of air, causing the foam to become even warmer. This can lead to discomfort and sleep disruption, particularly for individuals who tend to sleep hot or who live in warmer climates.

But, if you prefer less dense memory foam products, you will have to compromise on spinal alignment and posture. 

Irregular Support to the Body, Resulting in Body Pain

Memory foam can create uneven pressure points that cause the spine to become misaligned, as it lacks the necessary firmness to support the body properly. This means that some parts of the body, such as the hips and shoulders, may sink too deeply into the foam, while other areas, such as the lower back, may not receive enough support. This can lead to poor spinal alignment, which can cause long-term pain and discomfort.

Discomfort and pain caused by irregular support can lead to poor sleep quality, which can contribute to a range of health issues, including mood disorders, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. 

Memory foam is also known for its softness, which can be appealing to some sleepers. However, this softness can also contribute to poor support. When the foam is too soft, it can compress too easily, leading to a lack of support and an increased risk of pain and injury.

It can compress over time, especially in areas where the body exerts more pressure, thereby leading to undue stress on certain areas, which when applied in the long run can lead to musculoskeletal issues.

Unsuitable for Many

Memory foam mattresses and pillows may not be the best choice for children as they can be too soft and lack proper support. Children's bones and muscles are still developing, and they need adequate support to maintain proper alignment and prevent any long-term harm. 

Elderly individuals may also find memory foam uncomfortable due to its conforming ability. Memory foam can make it difficult to move around and may lead to difficulties getting in and out of bed. Furthermore, memory foam may not provide enough support for those with mobility issues or joint pain, making it difficult to get comfortable.

Orthopaedic patients may need a more supportive and firmer mattress to help with their recovery. Memory foam can be too soft and not provide enough support, leading to poor posture, position and increased pain. 

How Can a HiGRID Mattress Improve Your Sleep 2x?

Would you care for a superior quality foam that offers plush comfort, adapts to your body and sleeping position, and also supports you firmly, in all pressure points? Introducing the resilience foam of the HiGRID mattress, which cradles and cares for your body, inducing deep, restful sleep, so you can dream peacefully, whilst reaping all health benefits during your shuteye. This type of foam remembers your body type but doesn’t sink to the ground, so you can get out, or turn with ease.

The mattress has stellar features put together after tons of sleep research, to offer ultimate comfort and support where you need it the most. With dedicated designs for each need (Orthopaedic needs, unparalleled comfort and the best of both), the mattress suits every body type, and sleeping position and ensures optimal posture and spinal alignment during sleep. 

To make sleep a blissful experience for you, the HiGRID mattress also offers the following:

  • 2500+ air channels that ensure 100% free airflow
  • Excellent airflow makes for heat and temperature regulation at all times
  • 2x comfort with smartGRID sleep technology
  • Japanese Patented SmartGRID technology helps to distribute pressure evenly, so you don’t feel undue pressure anywhere.

Make a smart decision today, for a healthier, more comfortable future. Choose good health, choose the UK's first and only HiGRID mattress. Purchase now to avail of never-before discounts, super fast delivery and a 200 nights trial. 

Dreamy sleep can’t wait. Order now.

Vasantha Priya

Vasantha Priya

Vasantha Priya is a freelance content writer by day and a poet by night. She specialises in research-backed, long-form content for B2B & B2C brands. Vasantha strikes a chord with readers and drives action by establishing trust, thought leadership and authenticity. Apart from writing, she’s an English tutor and OD consultant. She also has an undying love for chocolates and sunsets.

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