Following up to our article about the new Tempur-Pedic Simplicity mattress line, we have described the truth about memory foam density so consumers will be informed and make smart shopping purchases.
If you’ve tried shopping for a new memory foam mattress, you’ve probably been battered to death about how density is the only way to measure the quality of a mattress. There’s some truth to the statement, but maybe not in the way that you think. We did some digging to find the truth.
Density: Facts and Fiction
Density is purely a measure of weight (pounds per cubic foot). It is not a measure of quality, per se. Many densities of memory foam are available usually ranging from 3lb to 7lb. The ideal density and industry standard for a memory foam mattress is between 4lb to 5.3lb. Occasionally, you’ll find a retailer touting a higher density memory foam as being higher quality. This is misleading.
The difference between lower density foam and higher density foam is the memory characteristics. Lower densities will have less of a “memory” feel to the foam when compared to higher density foam. Typically, denser foams greater than 5.3lb will cause the user to feel more “stuck” in the mattress when compared to mattress that uses foam between 4lb and 5.3lb. Mattresses using densities less than 4lb will not have the benefit of the memory characteristics so unique to memory foam.
Despite making multiple statements about how the ideal memory foam density should remain between 4lb and 5lb, Tempur-Pedic has surprised the industry by back tracking on that statement with their new Simplicity mattress line. More details about why, based on research about customer perception, the Simplicity line will fail can be found in our article, Why the Tempur-Pedic Simplicity Mattress will Fail.
With that said, you will find evidence of retails trending downward from high densities (7lb) toward the ideal range mentioned earlier. There reasons for this are justified and illustrated in our article, Memory foam mattresses trending toward lower density foam.