That mattress you are sleeping in can determine whether you are going to wake up smiling at each other or feeling grumpy. A whole day’s worth of life is affected and that is because you spend more than 30% of your life sleeping!
Foam mattress is the favorite of most couples these days due to the wide variety available. If that is your choice, let us then, help you figure out the best choice you can make to improve your bed experience tonight.
Different Types of Foam Mattress
Let us briefly talk about types of foam mattress to help you understand what they are. The basic materials of foam mattress are classified into three types: latex, viscoelastic (memory), and polyurethane. Actually, viscoelastic or memory foam is made of polyurethane that has been mixed with chemicals. The purpose of the chemicals is to create that soft, hugging texture to your body.
When latex is mentioned here, we’re referring to natural latex that is made of rubber that is tapped from trees. Natural latex is made of plant-based materials that, as you can guess, typically believed to be much safer to the environment. The rubber is produced through either Dunlop or Talalay process, each having its own pros and cons.
Polyurethane is a very cheap material and is petroleum-based. Yes, it’s similar to the materials that your car runs on and you wonder how it’s used for sleeping. The chemical structure of polyurethane has been made safe to be put in room’s temperature and slept on. Most of the time anyway. Due to its cheap production cost, it’s famous for budget users.
Memory foam is polyurethane plus various other chemical ingredients infused in it. The end product is a remarkable mattress that sinks in and contours to the sleeper’s shape. The structure of this particular foam is very dense, often prevents air to circulate and ends up traps a lot of heat.
Finally, there are hybrid mattresses that mix both natural and synthetic latex. Other hybrids are constructed of multiple layers of different mattresses. The upper layer is latex, followed by memory foam and other materials under it.
What Couples Need to Consider
There are several aspects of sleeping on a foam mattress,together with your partner,that you need to consider. It can differ from one couple to another depending if any of you has a special need when you sleep.
· Motion Isolation
Are you a light sleeper? Light sleepers range from those that are sensitive to chatting noises to the ones that wake up even at the slightest movement on the bed. If this is you, you need a bed that does a great job is silencing those movements.
Memory foam mattresses do the best job in keeping your movements quiet. Because of the chemicals injected, it bounces less but absorbs that kinetic energy and sinks in. If your partner tends to toss and turn, this bed will also prevent you from being woken up throughout the night together.
Dunlop-processed latex mattresses have better motion isolation properties compared to Talalay-processed latex. However, it’s still no better compared to a hybrid or synthetic mattresses.
· Summer Heat
Do you hate sleep hot? Summer is the worst season for those that just can’t stand the heat, the sweat – you’d rather move over to the floor at this rate. If you or your partner hates this, check out the best choice.
Avoid traditional memory foam mattresses. These mattresses, as explained before, is very dense and traps air really well. It’s often the cause of many people to sleep hot. The newer model of foam mattresses is often marketed to no more trap heat because gels are infused in it to allow air to flow. If you still want it, get a gel-memory foam mattress.
Latex mattresses are the best choices for you. The structure of a latex is more spacious, allowing air to flow in and out and keep your sleep cool. Even if you’re the type that sleeps like a stone in one position, you won’t feel as much heat as memory foam. Instead, it’ll only reach a comfortable warm level.
Both natural and hybrid mattresses produce odors on initial unboxing. The differences only lie in the kind of smell you can stand better and whether you have allergic reactions towards them. Natural latex emits rubber smells that can stay for a day up to a couple of weeks. It can be uncomfortable to sleep on at first, but it’ll eventually leave.
Memory foam is produced through a process that makes use of a lot of dangerous chemicals. These substances react at different temperature because of the VOCs. Pay attention: although VOC is the evaporation of carbonic materials that exists in all living things, it’s dangerous. According to an article from NCBI, assessed levels of VOCs in Japan show an increase in carcinogenic effect in linear with VOCs levels.
Allergic reactions towards latex are pretty rare, as revealed by a separate study featured in NCBI, about 4.3% of the general population. Even so, it’s important that you watch out for it and make sure that you don’t kill yourself while sleeping on something you’re allergic with. There are more common adverse reactions towards the chemicals from memory foam, especially the ones with gel infused in it.
· Spinal Support
In general, most experts and marketers like to suggest memory foam for the best support to prevent a backache. Yet, this notion has to be considered carefully as it’s not always the truth.
Memory foam sinks in. That means your body parts from the chest below will be lowered. Depending on the softness, the softer it is, the deeper you’ll go. It’ll impose pressure and strain on your neck if your pillow is not adjusted accordingly. You need a low pillow that will keep your spinal alignment straight from your upper back across the neck. The story might be different if you are not a pillow user.
For the lower back part, however, memory foam seems to have a better property in creating the curve it needs. Again, this will depend on you, as an individual. Those who have excessive fat on their stomach, however, will actually put pressure on their back. Side sleepers should also avoid memory foam as it creates an unnatural curve to the body.
Additionally, side sleepers will experience more numbness or rubber hand when they wake up. It might even keep you awake as you have to toss and switch sides consciously when the memory foam traps you like that.
Latex and hybrid mattresses have more bounciness to them. Latex can be soft, but it doesn’t let the body to sink it too much. Again, depending on your preferences, or rather, your comfort zone, latex can be made into various firmness from very hard to soft. If you’re having a weight problem, instead of getting the softest mattress, try to opt for a firmer one.
Latex mattress ranks the top in terms of durability. This is a fact, so don’t let any manufacturers or marketers try to lie to you about this. Natural latex lasts the longest because the purity of rubber in it doesn’t wane even after decades of use. With proper maintenance, you do not have to worry about it for a long time. This holds true with LatexBear mattresses.
Memory foam ranks the second with 7-10 years of age. What you need to remember is that chemicals can change after a long time of usage. Once your mattress has outlived its ‘expiry date’, change it to a new one before you’re inhaling too many dangerous substances. The same can be said for hybrid or synthetic foam mattress. But synthetic ones have an even shorter lifespan of 5 years.
Price is undoubtedly another factor that can overthrow our whole decision on a product. Nevertheless, it’s something that has caused many took the wrong decision. If you’re interested to see the price range of these products, we’d say that it depends on the purity as well as the brand of the mattress.
Generally, all-natural latex mattress stays at the first place under the list if we arrange it from the most to the least expensive. It’s due to the natural material that has to be harvested from each tree, turned into liquid and processed through either Talalay or Dunlop process. Dunlop is the more widely used and expensive choice in manufacturing latex mattresses.
Memory foam is the second most expensive due to the complicated process of mixing various chemicals to form the mattress. Then, it’s hybrid mattress, which usually uses polyurethane, the cheapest material for mattresses.
Fun Fact: Dunlop and Talalay
Dunlop is the older way of processing Latex mattresses and is more expensive compared to Talalay. But if you want to know if there’s a significant difference between the two, actually no. None is worth mentioning, but in case you’re wondering, we’ll delve a little bit further.
The common notion likes to say that Dunlop is firmer than Talalay. Well, that might be the case a couple of decades ago when Talalay method was just invented. Nowadays, you can barely differentiate if a latex mattress is made through Dunlop or Talalay. Both can produce a latex mattress of any firmness with the right pressuring.
However, if you are seeking for a latex mattress that is really pure and (as free as possible) from any additional substances, Dunlop is the one. Only Dunlop latex can pass GOLS Standard for latex. Talalay requires the latex to combine with glue to form the foam, although it has low VOC (volatile organic compound).