Memory Foam Mattress Problems and Solutionsby | Last Updated
Memory foam mattresses have been the most popular option on the market for the last decade. We love them for their ability to adapt to our body and relieve pressure in our pressure points, offering total relaxation.
However, along with numerous advantages, memory foam also comes with a handful of issues. And surprisingly, many users aren’t even aware of them, which may cast a shadow on their overall sleeping experience.
So, I’ve come up with a list of five most common memory foam mattress problems and solutions to each of them. Check them out right below so that you’ll be prepared!
Problem 1: Hot Sleeping
Poor thermoregulation is probably the most common of all memory foam mattress problems. Usually, you will experience hot sleeping in the following scenarios:
- Closed-cell memory foam. This type of memory foam is denser and more viscous than open-cell foams, which is why it’s typically used for base and support layers of the mattress. However, low-cost beds may also use it as a comfort layer. Closed-cell foam, as the name implies, has solid membranes, so the cells may trap some amount of your body heat but aren’t able to release it into the air, thereby causing you to overheat.
- Soft mattress. When you sleep on a soft mattress, you typically sink deeper into the layers. Thus, the area of contact between your body and the mattress increases and the foam cells retain more of your heat.
- Old mattress. As the mattress ages, upper comfort layers tend to lose their resiliency and become softer, so you will sink deeper into them. The result is the same as I mentioned above.
Depending on the situation, you can use the following recommendations:
- Opt for open-cell or gel-infused foams. Open-cell structure means that all of the foam cells are interconnected. This allows the foam to trap less heat and dissipate it more efficiently.
- Choose a firmer mattress. A medium or medium-firm mattress can be a good pick. These beds can still offer you decent contouring, but they won’t make you drown too deep and will keep you cooler.
- Add a mattress topper. If your mattress has worn out but you aren’t ready to replace it yet, you can invest in a firmer mattress topper to add some uniformity to your bed and alleviate hot sleeping.
“Breathable bed sheets made of cotton or bamboo can create a cooling layer between you and the mattress and help you solve the issue with hot sleeping at least partially.”
Problem 2: Odors
We all know that ‘fresh-from-the-factory’ smell that fills the bedroom after a new mattress is installed.
Sometimes it gets really unbearable.
But is there a memory foam mattress that doesn’t smell at all?
Well, not really.
Memory foam is a product of the chemical reaction which involves mixing different chemicals. Some of these chemicals have a sharp initial odor that doesn’t go away after the reaction occurs and transfers to the final product.
The intensity of the foam odor will depend on a lot of factors, and even when buying from the well-known brands, you aren’t immune to getting a smelly mattress.
If the mattress odor isn’t that significant, simple airing out may help. Create air circulation inside your bedroom and leave the mattress without any sheets on it for a couple of hours.
With a pronounced odor, you may want to repeat this procedure for several days. Or, invest in a mattress encasement that can lock the odor inside.
“Some mattress brands infuse the foam with different scents to mask the initial odor, so if you don’t mind a subtle green tea aroma instead of the chemical foam smell, you can give them a try.”
Problem 3: Incomplete Inflation
Now, imagine yourself in the following situation:
You’ve ordered a cute and compact mattress in a box and installed it in your bedroom. After a couple of hours, you come into your room ready to sleep on a plush cloud and find out that your bed is as flat as a pancake.
Well, this is not a very common memory foam mattress problem, as the quality of foams has increased significantly within the past decade. However, incomplete inflation may still happen in the following situations:
- Cold weather. Yes, if you’ve purchased your mattress in the colder seasons and your apartment isn’t well-heated, it can inflate slower because memory foam is sensitive to temperatures.
- Cheap mattress. Low-cost beds may use low-quality foam which is less resilient and won’t expand properly.
- Big mattress. A King-sized mattress sometimes might collapse under its own weight and fail to inflate to its full height.
As with odors, you may just add some air to help the mattress expand. Here’s how to do it:
- Create a direct airflow to your mattress with a fan or air conditioner. Or, simply open all your bedroom windows if the weather permits.
- Use heat. Warm air can accelerate expansion. Just don’t place the heater close to the mattress, or you may damage it. Instead, try using the combo of the heater and the fan.
- Apply pressure. Press the mattress with your hands or walk on it. This may seem counterintuitive, but it may work with a mattress made of polyfoam. Due to its higher rebound, it will respond to pressure and attempt to bounce back to its original shape.
Problem 4: Mold and Mildew
When it comes to memory foam mattresses, mold is a pretty common complaint.
And it’s directly connected with hot sleeping I’ve mentioned earlier.
See, when you sleep hot, your body naturally tries to cool down by sweating. Some amount of sweat can penetrate the mattress layers and make them damp.
And what’s more thriving for different fungi than a damp and warm (from your body heat) environment?
Also, memory foam isn’t waterproof, so an accidental spill will go right into the deep layers of your mattress and in a couple of years, you might be living on a mold colony.
The best you can do to prevent mold development is to invest in a waterproof mattress protector and use it since day one. I highly recommend going for an encasement type, as it can protect your mattress on all sides, which is especially important if you live in a humid climate.
Problem 5: Premature Sagging
An average lifespan of a memory foam mattress varies between 7 and 10 years. However, cheaper foam beds can completely wear out a couple of years earlier. Obviously, a worn-out mattress won’t be able to support your spine properly, which can result in various aches and pains and a decreased quality of sleep.
Here’s what you can do to slow down the wear of your mattress:
- Rotate it. Some mattress brands encourage you to rotate their mattress every six months to ensure even use of the mattress surface.
- Use a supportive bed base. A proper bed foundation can cope with dynamic loads and enhance the supportive properties of your mattress.
- Add a mattress topper. If your mattress is already saggy, an additional layer of cushioning might alleviate this issue and mask the uneven spots.
Note that cheap mattresses are less immune to premature sagging. So, maybe it’s worth spending a bit more money just to be sure that your mattress will serve you for years.
Have you experienced any of these issues with your memory foam mattress? How did you cope with them? Feel free to share your story below!