I Still Hate Memory Foam

Some years ago, I blogged about my much loathed memory foam mattress. It was a while ago and the  post was a one off, a rant more than anything else, prompted by my hatred of my mattress.

Since then, that blog has morphed into this (more interesting, I hope!) lifestyle blog, but I was amazed and encouraged to find that the post received more comments than almost anything else I've ever written. I clearly wasn't alone. 
So I'm reblogging it here - and giving you an update. The original post went like this.

I Hate My Memory Foam Mattress.

A few weeks ago, we finally bit the bullet and got rid of our much-too-old mattress. replacing it with a brand new 'memory foam' mattress - hyped to the eyeballs, NASA technology and all that.

If you google memory foam in an effort to research your purchase beforehand, you will find lots of positive comments, most of them put there by the manufacturers. In the interests of fairness, I have to report that my husband loves it. He lies very still and he has arthritis. He thinks it is wonderful. I, on the other hand, toss and turn. And I cannot tell you how much I hate, loathe and detest it. It's like sleeping on warm quicksand. It sucks. Literally. It sucks you in. It moulds itself to your body, right enough, but when you move, or try to turn over, difficult on this awful stuff, you find residual lumps and bumps in your new position. It is incredibly hot. And it stinks. In fact this disgusting smell was seemingly why it wasn't used on the space shuttle for which it was originally intended. They tell me the stench fades with time but two weeks on and it's still there. Fly tipping is beginning to seem like an attractive option, but hey, the ghastly thing cost a lot of money. This wasn't a cheap option.

If you are considering one of these, try properly before you buy, and I don't mean a three minute test in the shop. You have been warned.

Cue forward some years and - predictably - we no longer have a memory foam mattress. We replaced it with a lovely, deep, sprung mattress that both of us can sleep on or in my case, with chronic insomnia, try to sleep on. But not before I had practically been crippled by the mattress from hell, waking up every morning with painful limbs, too hot, too uncomfortable and too miserable to do much more than complain bitterly. 

For a while, I even took myself off to the spare room to sleep. The only good thing was that the smell dissipated. (Yay!) Everything else about it remained hateful although my husband still loved it, still remembers it with affection. Within a couple of years, its memory had started to go as well, so it had a definite ditch in the middle.

In the intervening years, I gather they have made improvements, all to address the faults that I kept being told didn't exist or were in my imagination: the heat, the fact that you're actually meant to move about in bed, not stay rigidly in one position, however well supported; the way in which about half the population will find them supremely uncomfortable.

When we were buying the new mattress, we passed a couple debating over memory foam.
'I hate it. It'll cripple me,' said the husband.
'I'm sure you'll get used to it,' said his wife, cheerfully.
I caught his eye over the mattress and shook my head. 'Oh, no, you won't!' I whispered

Later next week, and in much the same vein - my search for the perfect pillow! Watch this space. 


BeckyO said…
So what kind of mattress did you buy that both of you loved? You just described my life. I hate the thing.
It was a while ago so had to go and look. It's a Sealy Posturepedic Diamond Latex, King Size, and it was on special offer because it had a very tiny bit of damage at one edge so we got a good reduction. It's wonderful - very comfortable, just firm enough to be supportive, and suits us both, although my husband still hankers after his beloved memory foam!
Anonymous said…
Memory foam is AWFUL. I bought one mostly because of all the positive comments online.. I returned it within the first week. I now tell everyone I know to avoid them.
MantaWave said…
I googled "memory foam sucks" and found your post. :) It almost brought a tear to my eye because you mirror my sentiments exactly. It totally baffles me how millions (billions?) of people can sleep on what is essentially a bed of plastic. The heat from my spine is reflected and amplified back into my body 15 minutes after lying down, and the rest of the night is usually hit-or-miss sleep at best. It's physics (?) : plastic is an insulator. "Cool gel" is, well, a lie. Perhaps the biggest marketing scam of the century. Ok! Good to Vent! (definitely pun!) Off to shop for a breathable, old-fashioned
David said…
Your post described our issue perfectly: I'm the mover, my wife lies still. We're planning to buy a new mattress now and I was saying "okay, I'll take a look at the memory foam ones", but then I found your post which expressed my feelings exactly!
Not sure what we'll get but not memory foam, that's for sure
Teresa said…
We have bought 2 memory foam in the last 6 months. Don't know what we're gonna do now with both of them, can't stand either one. Everything you said about them are true. Back problems started about a month after we bought them. Then leg pain,now shoulder pain. Got to get away from them. Thank you for a place to warn people
I wrote this article so many years ago, and it's still getting comments from people who have realised how much memory foam adversely affects them! We now have a different mattress and I certainly sleep much better - and don't have the same aches and pains.
Anonymous said…
Thank you for writing this. We HATE our memory foam mattress. It’s so hot, you melt into it after a while. I cannot wait to replace it! Sadly, we keep putting buying a new one off. I wonder how bad these things are environmentally as well. Fingers crossed that this is the year we finally ditch this wretched mattress!!!
Unknown said…
I have been trying to replace my 20 year old mattress for about a month now. The old mattress is actually in good shape, but I just felt like I needed a new one, you know a treat. I normally don't use a pillow, but I started using one because I feel so off balanced on this thing. My head sinks below the rest of my body. My hands are numb in the morning and as soon as I open my eyes I think of the mattress I'm laying on because something is off or pinched or hot or something. I hate this thing and regret making such a huge investment in this piece of junk. Like the rest of you I don't know who these peple are who love these things. What a hyped up con job!