A Mattress Foam Density Guide

The term density is certainly familiar to you; you might probably have heard about it. Density is defined as the relative mass of an object that occupies a specific volume. That is no different from what a mattress foam density means; it refers to the mass of mattress foam in a unit cubic foot. Foam density is a significant factor you need to consider whenever you intend to buy a mattress. Different people will prefer varying densities of mattresses depending on factors such as their sleeping positions. In this article, we present a mattress foam density guide that will assist you in making a more precise decision while acquiring a mattress.

Types of Mattress Foams

There are different types of foams based on various aspects. Starting from the production processes, to the material used to augment the foam, there is a variety to select. However, the most significant classification basis of mattress foams is the density. Different densities define different types of foams and here are the classifications.

High-density foam mattresses

These are the most massive and dense types of mattresses as they contain the most foam material per unit cubic foot. They usually contain 5 lbs. of foam in one cubic foot or more, which is mostly enhanced with latex to increase firmness. Due to boosted firmness, they usually offer maximum support to the sleeper making them feel like they are lifted. This quality makes these mattresses ideal for people who might be experiencing pains in their backs and necks. Since the manufacturing process involves combining them with latex for enhancements, that leaves tiny openings in their structure; thus they allow minimal air circulation. They hence usually confine substantial amounts of heat; therefore they are not suitable for hot sleepers. They do not form very deep contours when slept making them ideal for couples and those sleepers who toss a lot in their sleep.

Benefits of High-Density Foam Mattresses

  • They last longer compared to lower density mattresses, i.e., for a period of up to ten years
  • They offer maximum support to sleepers relieving them of their back and neck pains
  • Suitable for sleepers who fancy sleeping hot as they trap considerable amounts of heat

Detriments of High-Density Foam Mattresses

  • They tend to produce intense odor due to poor air circulation and more foam material
  • They are relatively more expensive as compared to lower density mattresses

Medium-Density Foam Mattresses

These kinds of mattresses contain an average level of foam. They contain 3 lbs. of foam or more, but less than 5 lbs. per unit cubic foot. Mattresses of medium density foam provide modest support to sleepers; hence they are suitable for sleepers with minor pains in their backs and necks. They have better pressure relief points than the higher density foam thus ideal for side sleepers as well. In their structure, there are greater openings compared to high-density mattresses, hence more improved air circulation. They, therefore, trap moderate heat which is the best for moderate temperature sleepers. They are suitable for sleepers with average body weight as well as couples who toss around and change sleeping positions regularly at night since they deform modestly.

Benefits of Medium-Density Foam Mattresses

  • They are suitable for sleepers who find comfort in sleeping on a mattress with moderate temperature
  • They are affordable due to their relatively low price as compared to high-density mattresses
  • They offer great support to sleepers as they do not warp greatly as compared to low-density mattresses

Detriments of Medium-Density Foam Mattresses

  • They might not provide adequate support as compared to high-density mattresses, therefore, may not be the perfect solution for back pain
  • Unlike the low-density foam mattresses that allow a higher flow of air, mattresses made of medium-density foam may tend to contain odor therefore inappropriate for people with allergic conditions

Low-Density Foam Mattresses

These are mattresses with the lowest mass of foam per cubic foot, i.e., below 3 lbs. in a unit cubic foot of a mattress. It means that they are light in weight and warp considerably when you sleep on them. They have large openings; therefore air flow is efficient, hence dissipating a considerable amount of heat. They are therefore suitable for cold and lightweight sleepers.

Benefits of Low-Density Foam Mattresses

  • Since they allow a significant amount of airflow, they do not emit much odor
  • They allow movement with ease for those who change positions while asleep
  • They are affordable due to their low prices
  • They help control the temperatures from those who get hot at night

Detriments of Low-Density Foam Mattresses

  • They are less durable only lasting for less than five years
  • They do not provide support hence inappropriate for sleepers with back pain

Choosing the Best Mattress Foam Density

mattress density guide

If you are considering purchasing a new mattress, you should consider several factors. Your preferences should determine whether a firm mattress would fit you or not. Now that you have gained information on various characteristics of different foam densities, you can easily make the right choice. Therefore, here is a highlight of the factors to consider while selecting the best density for your mattress.

  1. Provision of support

You should weigh your requirements for support in sleep, which is determined by your body health conditions. If you experience pains in the back or the neck, you should opt for a relatively high-density foam mattress. They provide enough support hence help in relieving the pain.

  1. Durability

When you buy a mattress, you will need it to last for an extended period; you do not want to invest in short-lived items. Higher density mattresses are not liable to easily breaking off, and so they are durable.

  1. Temperature response

You also need to identify the kind of a sleeper you are; whether you are a cold or hot sleeper. Since different mattresses respond differently to temperature, you should hence select the one that suits you.

  1. Off-gassing

Off-Gassing is a condition where a mattress releases an odor that may be unpleasant to the sleepers. If you are allergic to mattress odors, then you should consider lower density foam mattresses.

  1. Affordability

The ultimate determinant of the kind of a mattress you go for is its price. The mattress you buy should fit within your budget irrespective of the foam density. Low-density foam mattresses are highly affordable, unlike high-density mattresses due to their low prices.


In a nutshell, density is the determinant of the primary characteristics of a mattress that you should consider before purchasing one. It determines the price, durability, odor emission, level of support, and temperature sensitivity. Some people would confuse density with mattress thickness; you should note that a thick mattress does not signify that it is denser than a less thick mattress. A thicker mattress could be low in density while a less thick one might be denser.

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