Because I sell memory foam mattresses, I keep my eyes open for what consumers have to say about them on the internet. One complaint I’ve seen is that it’s difficult to roll over in a memory foam bed. But then other people say that they have no problems with rolling over.
The people who have this complaint go on to say that their memory foam mattress is like sleeping in a sand pit. The foam is so slow to recover and it won’t support them as they roll. And then again other people say their foam bed is fine. There seems to be a contradiction of opinions about the recovery rate of memory foam. Some people say it’s good and some people say it’s too slow.
So what’s the deal? Can we chalk it up to a difference in personal comfort? Perhaps. Personal comfort has a big roll in how people choose their mattresses, and that’s as it should be because the whole point is for each person to be comfortable. But I think there is something more to the contradiction in opinions.
A Chinese parable describes 9 blind men around an elephant, each holding a different part, and they are trying to tell each other what an elephant IS, based on what they feel. One man describes the trunk of an elephant, another the tail, etc. None of them can agree because they all think an elephant is whatever part they happen to be holding.
Well this is the way it is with memory foam mattresses. The foam industry is a big elephant. Foam comes from all different parts of the world. Each foam maker has their own formula. The foam formulas change over time and each batch of foam is a little different from any other. Kind of like cooking.
So while it is all memory foam, the foam from each manufacturer has subtle differences in firmness, recovery rate, sensitivity to temperature, durability, or breathability.
Some of the differences are good because we don’t all want the same type of bed. For example, some people like softer beds and other people like firm beds. But sometimes it seems the manufacturer just has it wrong. No one wants a mattress that is so soft it’s not supportive. And no one wants to feel like they are sleeping in a pit because the recovery rate of the foam is too slow.
Slow recovery rate can be a pitfall for consumers not accustomed to memory foam beds. If the first bed they try has a recovery rate that’s too slow, then they may say that all memory foam beds are like that, when in fact they are not. There are many memory foam beds with quick recovery rates, almost as fast as latex. These mattresses are very comfortable and allow you to feel supported as you roll over.