This was a somewhat difficult page for me to put together for a couple of reasons.
The first is that everyone is different. For instance, take two people who are the same height, weigh the same and suffer the same aches and pains first thing in the morning. One might like a medium-density memory foam mattress, and the other might like a higher density.
The second reason is that the technology available on the market these days can also complicate matters. When memory foam first came to the market it was unusual to find various densities that offered additional features such as temperature control or ease of movement.
So far I’ve probably confused you even further, but below you will find some straight-to-the-point information regarding low, medium, and high-density memory mattresses that will hopefully give you an idea of where to start.
First I should explain what density actually means.
Basically, it’s very easy. If you have a memory foam mattress with a density of 5lbs per cubic foot, the foam will weigh 5lbs (per cubic foot of course).
You should also know that most memory foam mattresses have several layers so they can benefit from the different density characteristics explained below. For instance, what you often see is a mattress with a low-density top layer and a thick high density bottom layer.
Low Density – 3lbs and under
Pretty much all memory foam mattresses on the market today react to the temperature of your body. As the foam warms up it becomes softer and molds to your natural contours. For that reason, some brands do take time to adjust simply because the cushioning beneath you doesn’t “spring” into action the minute you lie down.
With a low-density memory mattress (3lbs and under), you instantly get a softer feel beneath you. So if you’re someone who prefers a nice soft bed, or you can’t get over that initial feeling of stiffness memory foam is synonymous with, a low density might just do the trick.
Of course, you have to take into account that manufacturers don’t need to use as much in the way of materials which is why a memory foam mattress of 3lb density or less tends to be easier on the wallet so bear this in mind if you’re on a budget.
These will normally be in the 4 – 5lb region and are probably the more popular bracket because they have a good mix of a firm to soft ratio. Think Goldilocks and the Three Bears and you start to get the idea.
This level of density is also popular because the price range will suit most budgets, but when you first lie on a foam mattress like this you won’t get the same “stiffness” you can experience with the high-density bracket.
However, if you happen to be someone who doesn’t need any medical attention for joint or muscle pain, can’t really decide which is the right memory foam mattress for you or you just want something that’s not too firm but not too soft, this type will probably suit what you need.
I have to say though (if your budget allows you), that you may also want to go for a low-density top layer with a high-density bottom layer. This will still give you the softness you like plus you won’t sink in too deep.
Now we really get into the specialist area. If you come across a memory foam mattress that has a density of 6lbs or more, expect to pay top dollar. In fact, this level of density can cost thousands of dollars.
Orthopedic mattresses will never have less than 6lbs density, so if you suffer from a medical condition that can cause nasty aches and pains, this bracket of foam mattresses is definitely worth considering. When you first lie on a mattress like this you will feel a certain amount of stiffness, but generally, they do warm up quicker which means they will shape your body. This is because they’re designed to give the ultimate support across many of the pressure points over your body.
Of course, durability goes without saying and if you’re prepared to spend the money you can expect a memory foam mattress at this level to last for many years to come.
As I said at the beginning of this page, choosing the right density of memory foam mattresses does come down to personal choice a lot of the time. However, I hope the information above has at least given you some idea of what to expect.