Memory foam has some drawbacks
OverviewTempur-Pedic is perhaps the best-known manufacturer of memory foam mattress, but they're not the only one. Less expensive offerings from companies like Bergad, Leggett & Platt and MerchSource are often described by owners as being comparably comfortable. Memory foam mattresses offer excellent support, so people with joint pain might find them more comfortable. Memory foam mattresses are also less likely to harbor allergy-triggering dust mites and less likely to sag than innerspring mattresses. But they're not for everyone; some find them too firm, and memory foam tends to absorb body heat, making them cozy in the winter but too warm in summer. Plus new memory foam mattresses need a few days of airing, as they can give off odors when new. As with all mattresses, it's important to try out a memory foam mattress before you make the switch from another type.
Mattress buyer's guides tend to focus on innerspring mattresses, but many include information on memory foam as well, and a few focus entirely on this type of mattress. We found universally applicable advice on mattress shopping at ConsumerReports.org and Choice magazines along with more detailed information about memory foam mattresses at SleepLikeTheDead.com, WhatsTheBest-Mattress.com and MyFoamMattress.net.
Composition: Viscoelastic foam topping high-density polyurethane
Better support for some
Conforms to body shape
More durable than innerspring mattresses
Doesn't breathe, retains body heat
May be too firm for some
New mattresses release odor
May be uncomfortable for heavier people
Contributed by: Our Special Correspondent
City: San Francisco
Date: March 15, 2010