​How to Tell if a Memory Foam Mattress is Going to Work For You

Posted by Pam Johnson - Head of Buying on 21st Nov 2022

​How to Tell if a Memory Foam Mattress is Going to Work For You

We all sleep a little differently. There are people who fall asleep as soon as their head hits the pillow, and there are those who toss and turn, worrying about something they said five years ago – before they can begin to think of sleep. 

Some of us could probably sleep through an alien invasion, while others wake up at the tiniest sound; and some of us like falling asleep in total darkness, or under a weighted blanket, or while listening to a podcast, or after a warm shower. We are all unique when it comes to our sleep – so shouldn’t our mattresses be, too?

Of course, with more than 7.9 billion people in the world (1), it’s not possible to specially tailor a mattress for every person. Not to mention, our sleep needs change over time – because bodies grow, lifestyles shift – and the things we find comforting now, we might not in a few years’ time

The innovative alternative to a unique mattress for every person is simple: a curated range of memory foam mattresses. Because memory foam moulds to each person’s body, these mattresses provide a kind of support that feels like it was made just for you.

Whether you have a memory foam mattress you love, or you’ve never tried memory foam before, we’ll take you through the basics: from what memory foam is, to where it came from, to how it feels to sleep on a memory foam mattress.

Shop Memory Foam Mattresses

Everything You Need to Know About a Memory Foam Mattress

Woman propped up on her front on a bed smiling with her head held in her hands.

Because the way we sleep is unique and forever changing, there’s a lot to love about a mattress that can mould to you and change with you. That’s what sets memory foam apart.

The technology behind memory foam is designed to respond to the unique shape of every person, in whatever sleep position they prefer. By moulding to a sleeper’s shape, memory foam provides support where it’s needed most.

The not-so-humble origins of memory foam

If memory foam sounds like a concept from outer space to you, well, in a way it is. Back in the 1960s, NASA scientists and engineers were looking to create a material that would absorb the G-force pressure that astronauts experienced during take-off and landing. This material was the first version of the memory foam we know and love today. (2)

Soon enough, the ‘slow spring back foam’ was developed further by TEMPUR, so that it could be shared more widely. Today, not only is it used in our pillows, mattresses, and mattress toppers – but you’ll also find it in shoes, cinema seats, and football helmets. (3)

Shop Memory Foam Mattresses

How a memory foam mattress works

TEMPUR’s Swedish founders brought memory foam to the public because they knew it was something special. Memory foam was made to support the human form in a way that no material ever had before. It changed what was possible in terms of comfort.

Memory foam intuitively responds to the heat and pressure produced by your body, and moulds to your shape. A memory foam mattress provides support where you need it and responds to your unique pressure points – cradling your body, rather than dipping, tilting, or bending under your weight.

How You Can Benefit from Memory Foam

Tempur Original Supreme Mattress

Tempur Original Supreme Mattress

Memory foam has earned its place beside open coil, pocket sprung, and latex mattresses as one of the most popular mattress materials today. And there’s a reason why it’s beloved by sleepers all around the world.

The people who love memory foam, swear by it. If you’ve never experienced sleeping on a memory foam mattress, sometimes one night is all it takes to become a convert. The benefits of memory foam are many. Take a look at our favourites below:

A double memory foam mattress (or larger) is great for sharing

If you’re sleeping next to someone, and one of you tends to move around a lot at night, a memory foam mattress can help to minimise partner disturbance. Because memory foam was designed to absorb G-Force pressure in space, its movement-absorbing properties are, well, out of this world. This makes a memory foam mattress an ideal choice for even the squirmiest bedfellows.

A memory foam mattress could help with back pain

If you’re waking up feeling achy and out of sorts multiple mornings every week – your mattress may be the problem. When was the last time you tried out a different kind of mattress? Many of us might stick to a particular mattress simply because it’s what we know. But that doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for us! Exploring other options can lead to happier nights, and a whole new lease on life.

A mattress that doesn’t provide the right support for your body type and sleep position can lead you to roll into the centre of the mattress, or fall into an uncomfortable sleeping position. It can also lead to serious aches in the morning, and a less restful and refreshing sleep. (4)

Your mattress should ideally support your spine and help to keep it in alignment. Memory foam mattresses are known for its pressure-relieving properties. The high-density foam cushions the spine and encourages even alignment – both of which can help to prevent back pain.

Every person’s ideal mattress is different. If you haven’t tried memory foam yet, it could be your perfect match. Fall in love with going to bed all over again – or, if you don’t, you can exchange it with our 40 night guarantee.

A rolled up single memory foam mattress is easy to move

If you’re looking for a spare mattress – perhaps for a child’s bedroom, or a guest room – a rolled up memory foam mattress is a great option. These mattresses are easy to carry – so you don’t have to worry too much about manoeuvring them over stairs and through doorways.

Plus, setting up a memory foam mattress in a guest bed is bound to impress. Your guests might just want to stay an extra night...Or two.

Shop Memory Foam Mattresses

Our Top Tips for Buying a New Memory Foam Mattress

Woman lying back on a bed with her eyes closed and smiling. She clasps a pen in one hand and a notepad rests on her chest.

Once you’ve decided you want a memory foam mattress, the next question is, which memory foam mattress do you get?Memory foam mattresses come in many shapes and forms – which makes finding the right one a bit of an art in itself. But have no fear – we’ve done the research, so you don’t have to. Here is our itemised list of memory foam mattress buying tips:

1.Research and reflect

If you’re jogging your memory for the last time you slept all the way through the night, this could be a sign you and your mattress are not in a good place.

According to our survey of 1000 people, 75 didn’t know what kind of mattress they’re currently sleeping on! (5) If you’re not happy with your current mattress, and you want a replacement, first thing’s first: know thine enemy. Take note of its filling, surface material, and firmness rating. Does it have multiple comfort layers? Is it hypoallergenic? If you know what you dislike – in terms of firmness, size, and style – you’ll know what to avoid.

Shopping for a new mattress is a chance to try something different. If you’ve been sleeping on the same kind of mattress for a long time, you might not know where to begin, with the huge variety on offer. In this situation, it can be helpful to have a sense of what other people are getting. Have a look at our bestselling mattresses for inspiration.

Think about the qualities in a mattress you can’t go without. Do you like an extra firm mattress? Do you need something on the larger side? Do you want a cradled feeling, or more springiness to your sleep surface? Once you know the answer to these questions, finding your perfect match is easy. Our memory foam mattresses come in the full range of firmness ratings, as well as all kinds of sizes, and varieties. Your perfect sleep awaits!

2. Set a reminder

Did you know your mattress needs to be replaced every 6-8 years? (6) Most mattresses will let you know their time is up, by dipping and sagging, putting you in uncomfortable sleep positions, and causing new aches and pains. But bacteria and other nasties can lurk deep within your mattress, too, without you knowing. Years can go by in the blink of an eye sometimes – so it’s worth keeping tabs on when you might need to replace your mattress. When you buy a new one – set a reminder a few years ahead, via email or in a digital calendar, so you know when it’s time to go mattress shopping again.

3. Talk about it

If you’re sharing a bed with someone, make sure they’re an equal part of the conversation when it comes to finding a new mattress. Although you might be worried the perfect mattress for you could look a little different from your partner’s first choice, the adaptability of a memory foam mattress makes it great for couples. Because the mattress moulds to each person’s unique body, it will provide each of you with the comfort and support you need.

If you’re buying a mattress that isn’t for you, but for your child’s room, include them in the mattress-hunting process. Take them along to one of our stores – where they can try out mattresses themselves – talk to them about how their bed makes them feel and ask them about their needs and what they find comfy. On the perfect mattress, your child can achieve their dreams. Literally.

4. Consider your budget

Memory foam mattresses come at a variety of price points, suitable for different budgets. Size, style, and surface material can all play a part in a mattress’s price. It’s worth considering how long you’ll have your memory foam mattress for when planning. If you’re buying a memory foam mattress for a child’s room, it may be worth buying a size up, so they can get more years of use out of it as they grow. Or, if you might move in the near future, a rolled-up memory foam mattress could be your best choice – as it will be easy to transport to your new home, to avoid having to buy a new mattress.

5. Visit the experts

Finding a new mattress can be daunting task. But you’re not alone! Our sleep pro experts are specially trained to help you with choosing a mattress that’s right for you, however far along you are in the process. Using the sleep pro – a mattress made with special BodiTrak technology – we can assess the position you sleep in, as well as your body’s pressure points. From there, our sleep pro experts can offer you advice on which mattress may provide the best support for you. Plus, it only takes five minutes, and you can try it in any of our stores.

Shop Memory Foam Mattresses

Exploring Your Options: From an iGel Advance Bed, to a Memory Foam Mattress Topper

iGel Advance 4400i bed set on glidesiGel Advance 4400i bed set on glides

Slipping into bed each night should feel nice. So nice that you can let out the worries and stresses of the day in one, long, satisfied sigh.

If getting into bed just isn’t quite hitting the spot, you might (understandably) be looking for a little bit of extra softness and support from your mattress.

There are a number of ways you can make your bed feel more comfortable – even without buying a new memory foam mattress. Some people prefer creating a blended kind of comfort by adding a memory foam mattress topper to their mattress. Alternatively, if you’re looking for something like memory foam, but with other added benefits – iGel Advance could be just the thing for you. If it’s that extra soft, cradled, and supported feeling you’re after – the range of options below will certainly satisfy in that department.

Why you might want to try a memory foam topper

Adding a mattress topper is great way to change the feeling of a mattress, without buying a whole new mattress. It can also create a hybrid effect – if your mattress is on the firmer side, a soft mattress topper can create a medium level of comfort.

If you know memory foam is for you, but you’re not ready to buy a new memory foam mattress, a memory foam mattress topper can be a tempting alternative. With all the qualities of memory foam, it might just be the thing you need to revive a mattress that just isn’t giving back anymore.

iGel Advance plush top mattresses

A number of the mattresses we have at Bensons for Beds already come with a comfort layer on top, so you won’t need a mattress topper to create that soft as a marshmallow feeling in bed.

If you prefer a slightly less cradled feeling, but with the same level of support as memory foam, a plush top iGel Advance mattress is just the thing.

iGel Advance is gel -infused memory foam, and features graphene technology, to move heat 7 times faster. Exclusive to Bensons, these mattresses help to regulate your temperature, keeping you at optimum temperature as you sleep.

Our iGel Advance plush top 2500i mattress is also moisture-wicking, which means any excess body moisture will be directed away from your body in the night – making for much fresher feeling nights.

See for yourself: Unparalleled comfort is just a click, or phone call, away

Whether you’re a recent convert, or a lifelong lover of memory foam, we can help you on your bed-buying journey. Ready to make a memory foam mattress yours? From hybrid, to hypoallergenic, you’re sure to find your perfect memory foam mattress in our wide range.

Maybe you’re ready to begin a bedroom makeover? We have a range of mattresses, beds, and bedroom accessories are waiting for you in store and online. Your brilliant new bedroom is closer than you think.

Have any questions, or need some assistance? Feel free to call us on 0808 144 6160, or use our Live Video Chat today.


  1. https://www.worldometers.info/world-population
  2. https://au.tempur.com/blog/tempur_nasa.html
  3. https://www.nasa.gov/offices/oct/40-years-of-nasa-spinoff/memory-foam
  4. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/best-mattress/best-mattress-for-back-pain
  5. https://www.bensonsforbeds.co.uk/sleep-hub/do-you-...
  6. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/mattress-information/when-should-you-replace-your-mattress
authors profile
Pam Johnson
Head of Buying
Pam has worked within Bensons for Beds for 16 years and has a great deal of experience in both developing and sourcing new product ranges. As Head of Buying specialising in mattresses, divans and headboards, Pam is dedicated to providing solutions that help customers to get a great night’s sleep.
Read more from Pam