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Why I Hate Memory Foam

Okay, this is no secret: I don’t like memory foam.

If I liked it – or even just tolerated it – I could easily offer it here at Santa Cruz Natural Mattress. Every grade of memory foam is available from my suppliers. I could craft a version of my basic mattress with a memory foam topper in it. In fact, not only could I offer it, but because memory foam is cheaper than natural latex I could sell that model for less.

But, no, I’m just not fond of memory foam. So I won’t sell it.

Now I know that not everyone feels this way about memory foam. Indeed, one of my brothers AND my favorite uncle both own memory foam mattresses, and they swear by them. I get that! Everyone is different, tastes vary, and at the end of the day the right mattress for you is the one you are most comfortable on. For some people, that means memory foam.

But let me explain why I dislike it. There are a couple of reasons.

First, I just can’t sleep on it. It’s too hot, for one thing. Even on cool nights. Plus it retained moisture, adding yet more discomfort. Friends I visited put me on a leading memory foam brand for a week; it gave me the worst backache of my life. As my body heat warmed up the foam, I sank in and then found my spine way out of alignment. Rolling over was a chore, and once I did, then I was laying across the depressions created by my previous position. So then it took awhile for the foam to return to level while adjusting / compressing to my new position. The moment I rolled over again, the process repeated.

That was awful, but no less awful is this: memory foam is made out of oil. Black gold. Texas Tea. PETROCHEMICALS. A new chunk of memory foam almost always has unpleasant odors, and even after those vanish it’s still out-gassing … well, God knows what! Nothing I want to breathe, that’s for sure.

Now add to all this the fact that memory foam has a rather limited life expectancy. It works when your body heat warms up the individual cells, opening microscopic holes that allow air to escape. That’s what causes the body-shaped compression. But after a few years of this, those holes just tend not to re-close. Meaning permanent dips can start to appear. Check around on the internet, and you’ll find some folks complaining about how their $5,000 memory foam mattress started failing after 6 or 8 years. Those failures could be due to other elements of the mattress, of course – most natural fibers will permanently compress after a few years – but ruts in memory foam are a common complaint.

By and large, these are not problems with natural latex. Latex sleeps cool. It provides superb resilient support just where you need it, and cushy softness where you want it. It doesn’t out-gas any petrochemical fumes. And it lasts and lasts (our warranty is 10 years, after all … with no pro-rating. If it fails, we give a full refund).

Still not sure? Still impressed by the zillions of advertising dollars you’ve seen about memory foam and NASA and Scandinavian scientists and how every company now offers it? Well, remember: if it’s right for you, then it’s the right thing to buy. But do yourself a favor, and come visit Santa Cruz Natural Mattress. It’ll only take a few minutes to experience the difference that botanical – natural – latex delivers.

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