Are Memory Foam Mattresses Good for Your Back?

Memory foam has a number of characteristics which make it ideal for those experiencing back pain. Two of these characteristics would seem to be at odds with each other, but the unique nature of memory foam is that these properties are all present in the material. So are memory foam mattresses good for your back? Definitely! Here are reasons why:

Firmness: Good quality memory foam has a dense structure which is able to match high amounts of pressure put on it. Firmness in mattresses is measured as Indentation Force Deflection (IFD). This is the amount of force needed to create a 1 inch indentation into a 50 square inch area of the material. It is measured in pounds per cubic foot (lb/ft3). The IFD rating depends not only on the mattress’s firmness, but also on the materials and mode of manufacture.

Contouring: Memory foam is made up of “cells” which have an open ended structure. When a warm body lies on it, the material molds around the body allowing the weight of the item to be evenly distributed along the material. This eliminates the problem of having pressure points on the body: specific areas where the body weight rests on the mattress, in the case of spring coil and other mattress designs.

Foam Response Time: This is the amount of time it takes the mattress to return to its original shape after applied pressure is removed from it. The ability to return quickly to a consistent original shape is a benefit to back pain sufferers

Are Memory Foam Mattresses Good for Your Back in All Cases?

Generally speaking, yes! Whether the back problem is the result of an ailing organ or tissue, memory foam’s ability to distribute weight means that undue pressure will not be felt at the problem areas. In the case of spinal problems, memory foam offers an added advantage in that it allows one to lie horizontally in a comfortable position with the spine straight without the curvature that can result from sleeping on a firm mattress where the body must conform to the shape of the mattress rather than the other way round (the mattress conforming to the shape of the body)….as memory foam does.