When it’s time for a new mattress, it can be a bit overwhelming looking at all the available models. Of course, it can also be fun going to a nearby mattress store with your special someone to have an afternoon of fifteen-minute napping bursts.
To help you narrow down the list of mattress types and models, we’ve pulled together a bit of information on memory foam mattresses and the steps you need to take to find the right mattress. We’ll also review the Spa Sensations Memory Foam Mattress, which comes in a variety of sizes and thicknesses.
What is Memory Foam?
Memory foam is mostly made of polyurethane and other chemicals that increase its viscosity and density. Because of this, memory foam is also referred to as viscoelastic polyurethane foam or low-resilience polyurethane foam.
The foam bubbles are open, which creates a matrix of “tunnels” throughout the foam, allowing air to flow freely. Higher-density memory foam softens in response to body heat, which is what allows it to mold to a warm body in just a few minutes.
As the foam ages, it loses its ability to spring back as quickly, which is an easy way to identify the relative age of memory foam mattresses.
The History and Development of Memory Foam
Memory foam was first developed in 1966 as part of a contract by NASA’s Ames Research Center to improve the safety of aircraft cushions. Ames scientists Charles A. Yost and Chiharu Kubokawa of the Stencel Aero Engineering Corporation played a big part in this project, contributing significantly to it with their endeavors. The temperature-sensitive foam was initially referred to “slow spring back foam,” though Yost called it “temper foam.”
Memory foam is created by feeding gas into a polymer matrix. The foam is an open cell solid structure that equals pressure against it, then slowly springs back to its original form when that pressure is removed. Memory foam from this initial project was commercialized by Yost, in conjunction with NASA, for medical equipment like X-ray pads, as well as in sports equipment like football helmet liners. Later, after the companies were sold, the range of products that used memory foam expanded. Memory foam was released by NASA to the public domain in the early 1980s. Fagerdala World Foams was one of the early adopters, being one of only a few companies willing to work with memory foam since the process was difficult and reliable.
Memory foam was used in medical settings often, especially in cases when patients were required to lie immobile in bed on a firm mattress for longer than anyone should lie still. The pressure on body parts from being bedridden can cause gangrene and bed sores. Memory foam mattresses were introduced into patient care to help reduce the issues brought on by bedridden situations. Many have claimed that memory foam mattresses also help reduce pain for those suffering from fibromyalgia. Memory foam was initially very expensive to use commonly, but as technology advanced, it has become less expensive to make. As it became more affordable, it has been employed in more common uses like mattresses, pillows, blankets, and shoes, all of which were made available to the public.
For medical uses, memory foam can often be found in wheelchair seat cushions, hospital bed pillows, and padding for long-term pain patients or those with postural problems. This may include items such as cervical pillows for neck pain relief. Memory foam also retains heat, so it is can sometimes be used to help relieve pain for some who find relief in heat applied to painful joints or other body parts. Of course, heat-retention in memory foam is a disadvantage for some, especially to people who often sleep in hot places. Because of this, many companies combine memory foam with other substances to reduce the material’s heat-retention properties.
Finally, in 2006, a third generation of memory foam was introduced. Gel visco, or gel memory foam, is the third generation of memory foam, and it consists of gel particles fused with the memory foam. The gel helps the memory foam to release some of the body heat, which also enables it to spring back faster and feel cooler and softer. More technological advances have occurred since then, including gel “beads” capable of phase-change for perfecting the heat-retention issue.
How to Choose the Right Mattress
Before you put out hundreds of dollars or more for a new mattress, you want to make sure you take some steps to make sure you’re splurging on the right purchase.
We’ve compiled some detailed steps and tips for finding the right mattress for your home.
1. Do Your Research
You need to know what types of mattresses are available. You can easily do this kind of research online by looking at home goods and mattress store websites.
As you research, you’ll want to:
- Check out prices for mattresses and determine what is reasonable for your budget
- Know which companies offer certain features such as adjustable firmness levels, temperature controls, et cetera. You’ll need to decide how high-tech you want to go.
- Talk to your doctors and physical therapists if you have any special health considerations. Listen to their suggestions on what kind(s) of mattresses would be good to consider. Ask for specific brand or model suggestions.
2. Determine Firmness Levels
Next, you’ll need to understand the level of firmness you need in a mattress. This can be a bit difficult to determine without testing out a mattress in person, but there are some things you can consider from the specs and general information available on mattresses.
- If you have back problems, you should look for mattresses that are medium-firm to firm. These will best support your spine and lower back, which can help reduce back pain.
- Pillowtop mattresses are good options for those who lean more towards the heavier side of the scale. Other types of mattresses may be less comfortable, as the springs may be suppressed by any extra weight, meaning that the springs aren’t doing their full jobs. Pillowtop mattresses don’t generally have this issue.
- Spring count does not actually affect how comfortable a mattress is, so don’t base decisions on this feature.
3. Know What Size Bed You Need
If you already have a frame you’re planning to use, you probably already know which size you’re looking for.
For those who aren’t so sure what size bed is most suitable, you can measure the space in the bedroom where you plan to put the bed and determine which bed size to go with. You can find bed size charts online to determine which size you should get for your space.
Whatever size bed you’d like to purchase, be sure that the mattress and box spring (if necessary) will fit through your doors.
4. Find Your Store
Even if you know you’re going to purchase your mattress from an online retailer, it’s important to find a physical store where you can test out mattresses in person.
When you go into a mattress store, you are encouraged to ask questions to learn more about brands, models, and types of mattresses. The more you can ask the experts, the easier you’ll be able to find the perfect mattress for your needs.
5. Test Out the Mattresses at the Store
After you’ve asked your questions and narrowed down your model options, you should take a few steps to test out the mattresses you’d like to consider.
- Lay on each mattress you’re interested in for about two to three minutes, and up to 15 minutes. Floor models are put out for this very reason, so don’t feel bashful about doing so. Mattresses are large purchases that affect your wallet and your health.
- Ignore sales tactics to up the value of a particular mattress. Words like “ultra plush,” “extra firm,” and “super soft,” are just inconsistent phrases that hope to reel you in for the sale. These terms aren’t regulated, so they don’t ultimately mean anything.
- Try various kinds of mattresses, unless you know for sure that you’re getting a memory foam mattress or pillowtop mattress.
6. Ask About Comfort Guarantees and Sleep Trials
Nearly every mattress has some kind of sleep trial that allows you to test the mattress out at home for a certain period of time. During that time, you can return the mattress for a full refund, no questions asked, as long as the mattress hasn’t been damaged.
7. Learn About Shipping Costs
Even if you purchase the mattress in a store, there may be some shipping or delivery charges, so be sure to confirm these prices before purchasing a mattress.
8. Use that Sleep Trial
Now that you’ve decided on the mattress, you can purchase the mattress and have it brought or shipped to your home.
Once the mattress arrives, install it into your bedframe and start sleeping on it. Use the trial period to verify if really is the mattress for you.
Our Review: The Spa Sensations Memory Foam Mattress
- 8" thick memory foam mattress
- responds to the heat and pressure of your body; Creates a customized sleep surface
- High-density foam base layer adds support
- Queen: 60'' x 80''
- Memory foam mattress is tightly packed and vacuum sealed, please allow several hours to return to original shape. There may be a faint odor from being sealed, this is normal and will disappear in a few hours when exposed to air.
We found the Spa Sensations Memory Foam Mattress on a number of retailer sites. We looked through the many praises and complaints, the data, the specifications, and the features of the mattress in various sizes to complete our review.
General Overview of the Spa Sensations Memory Foam Mattress
The Spa Sensations Memory Foam mattress comes in a variety of thicknesses, as well as all standard mattress sizes from twin to California King. The Spa Sensations Memory Foam Mattress has two layers below the memory foam that give support for a good night’s sleep.
The 8-inch mattress uses a blend of natural seed oils and green tea to help stave off odors and bacteria, and to provide a cleaner experience for the sleeper. Other sizes may use different blends for the same purposes. The Spa Sensations Memory Foam Mattress responds to your body heat, and the pressure of your weight to adjust and provide comfort and stability while you sleep.
These complaints aren’t all across the board, but there were hundreds of reviews with similar statements at WalMart.com, Amazon, and other similar sites.
Where to Buy the Spa Sensations Memory Foam Mattress
You can purchase a Spa Sensations Memory Foam mattress at a number of standard retailers and online retailers, including:
- Kitchen Institute
If you choose to purchase online, be sure to check the thickness number you’re ordering to verify you’re getting the right one.
Price Range for the Spa Sensations Memory Foam Mattress
The price range varies widely on the Spa Sensations Memory Foam mattress, primarily based on size, thickness, and specific retailer.
From the smaller, thinnest mattress to the most expensive and thickest mattress, we saw a wide range of prices. Those prices ranged between $ for a 5-inch twin mattress and $$$ for a hybrid memory foam and spring 14-inch Spa Sensations mattress.
Our Verdict: The Spa Sensations Memory Foam Mattress is a Decent Option
Based on the various reviews, the Spa Sensations Memory Foam Mattress is a decent mattress that should meet the needs of most folks. The fact that it’s hypoallergenic and uses natural oils and green tea extract to fight odors and bacteria make this a great option for a mattress.
However, we can only rate the Spa Sensations Memory Foam Mattress a 3.7 out of 5 stars because of the numerous complaints about the smell and the lack of full expansion to the size mattress ordered. Had there been fewer complaints on these issues, this mattress would have received a much higher rating.