What is a memory foam mattress?

Memory foam mattresses are a popular choice due to the benefits they provide. Well recognised for providing remarkable support, comfort and pressure relief, memory foam mattresses soften and mould to the contours of the body.

What is memory foam and how does it work?

Memory foam is sometimes also referred to as viscoelastic polyurethane foam. It mainly consists of polyurethane with additional chemicals that enhance its viscosity and density.


The foam works to restore its original structure when it is deformed. Once pressure has been removed, memory foam returns to its natural state slowly. Over time, the foam will remember your body shape and mould to your sleeping position.

What are the benefits of a memory foam mattress?

Superior sleep experience

By moulding to the contours of your body, memory foam mattresses offer personalised and customised support. Your body heat softens the foam allowing it to support your body which is believed to promote superior sleep.

Pressure relief

Memory foam structure reacts to body temperature to mould around you as you sleep. Your body weight becomes evenly distributed which helps to relieve pressure points from heavier parts of your body.

Customised support

High-density foam provides good support, comfort and spinal alignment. By softening around the curves and natural lines of your body, memory foam remembers your sleeping position to give you optimised and customised support.

What is memory foam made of?


Traditional memory foam mattresses are made from polymer polyurethane which is combined with other chemicals for enhanced viscosity and density.

Due to its high-density levels, traditional memory foam mattresses tend to retain body heat.


Also made from viscoelastic foam, gel mattresses are infused with gel beads during the production process.

The gel foam allows the mattress to return to its original shape at a faster pace and regulate temperature, so you remain cool in summer and warm in winter.

Gel foam custom size mattress cross section with pillows image

Open cell

Open-cell memory mattresses use the same materials as traditional memory foam mattresses but follow a different internal structure.

Internal pockets are placed in open cell mattresses allowing increased ventilation and airflow which helps distribute heat.

How long do memory foam mattresses last?

The average mattress is expected to last anywhere from five to eight years. If your mattress is over eight years old, is affecting your quality of sleep, is permanently damaged or has stains, it could be a sign that your mattress is reaching the end of its lifespan.

Are memory foam mattresses hot?

Typically, memory foam mattresses do retain heat due to the internal structure of the mattress. However, the viscoelastic materials can’t be penetrated by dust mites and improve spinal alignment and pressure relief resulting in increased blood circulation.

If you are a warm sleeper who is sensitive to heat, a cool memory foam mattress could be a great option for you. ComfiCel Cool preserves less heat in the summer while remaining cosy throughout the winter.

How to clean your memory foam mattress

Memory foam mattresses tend to be more absorbent than traditional mattresses so it’s important to ensure you take care when cleaning them. Click here for tips on how to clean your memory foam mattress.

Are memory foam mattresses harmful?

Memory foam mattresses are not harmful and are proven to be safe. In recent years, the Office of Fair Trading has worked to identify memory foam mattress traders who make false claims and do not satisfy the requirements of the relevant safety legislation.

Memory foam mattress FAQs

Can you use an electric blanket on memory foam?

It is safe to use an electric blanket on a memory foam mattress. However, if you use a fitted electric blanket on top of the mattress, you may not receive the full benefit as the memory foam will not be able to shape to your body.

Can you flip a memory foam mattress?

You shouldn’t flip your memory foam mattress. This is because the memory foam is only present on the top side of the mattress.

But you can rotate your mattress 180 degrees every few months to ensure the mattress wears evenly.

Do memory foam mattresses soften over time?

Memory foam mattresses tend to soften in around one week and will be fully broken in anywhere from 30 to 90 days.

Do you put sheets on a memory foam mattress?

Yes, you should put natural fabric sheets on your memory foam mattress. Natural fabrics that are more breathable will help you manage the temperature keeping you cooler at night.

Is memory foam a smart material?

Memory foam is a recognised smart material. Shape memory alloys and shape memory polymers remember their original shape after being deformed.

Are memory foam mattresses recyclable?

Yes, memory foam mattresses are recyclable. You can take your mattress to a local recycling centre, arrange for a licensed collection company to collect it or contact the local council.

Find out more

For more information on memory foam mattresses and which is perfect for you, get in contact with us today.