How dense should a memory foam mattress ideally be?

Density foam mattress

Memory foam density, high-density memory foam, low-density memory foam – these are terms you are likely to come across when you purchase a memory foam mattress. But what do these terms actually mean? What is the density of a memory foam mattress? What does density affect? Does higher density necessarily mean more firmness or more comfort? Does density affect the contouring properties of a memory foam mattress? These are questions worth seeking answers to when thinking of investing in a good memory foam mattress. 

The density of memory foam means the amount of foam material used per unit volume. The density of a memory foam mattress affects a lot of factors. Let us look at these. 

What does foam density affect?

The density of a memory foam mattress determines the following things:


Compared to a foam mattress that has a lower concentration of foam, a higher density foam tends to last longer. This is simply because a foam that is of lower density gives in to wear and tear really quick. A higher density memory foam, on the contrary, lasts more than 10 years. This however also depends on your usage and care.

One of the ways to ensure your high-density foam lasts longer than usual is to invest in a mattress protector. This will shield your mattress from regular spills and stains. Try purchasing a waterproof one since it ensures no liquid seeps into the mattress causing it to sag over time. 

  • The quality of your sleep 

A high-density memory foam, or mattresses that have greater foam per unit area, will make sure you do not wake up with backaches and/or pain in the neck, hips, or shoulders. This memory foam mattress will be superior compared to a low density one in its ability to conform to the body shape of the sleeper. The mattress will prevent the creation of pressure points in the sleeper’s joints, thus helping him or her sleep comfortably and without interruptions through the night. 

  • Response time 

When you press your hand into a memory foam mattress and then quickly lift, the time taken by the mattress to regain its original shape is known as response time. But how does the response time of a mattress affect a sleeper? The faster a mattress responds, the easier it is for the sleeper to move or get out of bed. Slow response time may also lead the sleeper to feel like their body is stuck which might in turn cause claustrophobia. 

A high-density foam usually has slow response time, while the opposite is true for low-density foams

If you are now confused because though low-density foam offers fast response time, its contouring ability is far inferior compared to higher density ones, then allow us to let you in one a secret: When it comes to purchasing foam, it’s always best to strike a middle ground. Yes, you guessed it right! Go for a foam that offers a medium firmness.

  • Temperature control 

A memory foam mattress’ ability to contour a sleeper’s body has earned it a lot of popularity among customers. Greater the density, the better is the mattress’ ability to adapt. However, this also reduces the mattress’ response time, which can cause the sleeper to sleep hot and uncomfortable. Therefore, when buying a memory foam mattress that is slightly higher density, make sure the brand has adopted a cooling technology into its design. It should either be a gel memory foam or a memory foam with an open-cell structure that absorbs body heat and circulates it so that the sleeper’s sleep isn’t interrupted. 

  • Price 

 Since a higher density memory foam mattress has more foam in it, it is obvious that it will be slightly costlier compared to lower density memory foam. What needs to be considered is whether it is worth the cost. Considering that a higher density memory foam offers greater contouring ability, it is better to go for this. However, make sure the brand has a cooling technology in place if you don’t want to sleep hot and uncomfortable. 

What other questions do you have about memory foam mattresses? Let us know, and our experts will get back to you.