ArticlesThe Most Common Types of Foam Mattresses

The Most Common Types of Foam Mattresses

Getting a good night’s sleep is critical for good health and the right foam mattress can help you get the right amount of sleep to give you that well-rested, fresh feeling every morning when you start your day. But, knowing what the right foam mattress is can be complex, especially if you don’t know that there are several types of foam mattresses on the market, all purporting to be the best. As such, it’s important to compare foam mattresses as part of your pre-purchase research.

Polyurethane Foam

Polyurethane foam, also known as poly foam or just poly, is the most common type of foam used for mattresses and even if you don’t realize it, you’ve probably slept on a polyurethane foam mattress before. Many hotels use this type of foam because it’s generally budget-friendly but it can also deliver an excellent night’s sleep as long as it’s firm. 

The main problem with polyurethane foam mattresses is that they break down fairly quickly and can leave a depression where a sleeper lies over time. When this happens, you’re no longer getting the type of support you need from a foam mattress. They are a great choice for young children who will outgrow their mattress before it breaks down. In this case, price trumps quality because your child will get what they need from the mattress when it’s new and still supportive.

Memory Foam

While similar in composition to polyurethane foam, memory foam is specially made to increase both the density and viscosity of the foam. This means that not only does it break down more slowly than poly, but it also retains its shape for longer. The “memory” part of the foam means that it conforms to your body as you lay on it and then returns to its natural shape when your weight is removed. It is designed to minimize pressure points by providing every part of your body with the exact support it needs.

There are also mattress types within the memory foam category, including traditional memory foam, open cell memory foam, and gel memory foam. These days, most mattresses are either the open cell or gell type of memory foam because these designs allow air to circulate through the mattress, making them cooler than the traditional type. Sleepers who tend to get hot when they are sleeping should stay away from the traditional foam mattress and choose an open cell or gel foam mattress instead.

Reflex Foam

Reflex foam is very similar to polyurethane foam in that it is made from the same materials, but reflex foam is much denser than poly foam. As such, it provides superior support for people who suffer from back pain. It’s also more budget-friendly than some of the other foam options, which means it can provide similar benefits to high-end mattresses at a lower price point. Unlike memory foam, a reflex foam mattress won’t envelop your body when you lay down. It will mostly retain its shape, but will be more cushiony than a traditional box spring mattress. 

Due to its density, reflex foam will keep its shape and firmness for much longer than a poly mattress. For this reason, it’s the preferred budget-friendly option for people who need a firm mattress and want the cushioned feel of foam. This type of foam mattress is a good choice for people who are overweight because it will support a higher weight for a longer time.

Latex Rubber Foam

Sleepers who want a good night’s sleep but don’t want to sacrifice the environment to get it will appreciate a latex rubber foam mattress. This is because it is made from a tree sap that is turned into rubber and heated to create an evenly-firm mattress. Along with their eco-friendly materials, latex rubber foam mattresses are also firm and durable, so they’ll provide the proper amount of support your body needs and will do it for a reasonable length of time.

Latex is also antimicrobial, so if you suffer from allergies, this natural product will keep you from suffering when you sleep. It’s also a good choice for either hot or cold sleepers since the foam layers are made with holes that allow air to circulate through the mattress. It retains your body heat if you’re a cold sleeper, but cools you down if you sleep hot.

Convoluted Foam

Also known as “egg-crate” foam, convoluted foam is a popular material for mattress toppers, but it can also make up the entirety of a mattress as well. The peaks and valleys on the surface of the mattress help support a sleeper’s body and provide stellar spinal alignment because of even weight distribution across the peaks. These mattresses are usually thin, but they retain their shape and are fairly budget-friendly.


As you can see, there are plenty of foam mattress options available, each of which has its own benefits and disadvantages. Be sure to research the foam types and compare them closely to get the one that will provide you with the most restful slumber possible.

Heather Jones
Heather Jones
Hello! I'm Heather Jones, a dedicated writer and expert in the fields of DIY projects, home improvement, and emergency preparedness. With over 15 years of hands-on experience, I'm committed to sharing practical tips and tricks to help you make the most out of your home and life.

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