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Memory Foam Overlay Density and Thickness Guide

Density is one of the most important things to consider when purchasing memory foam. In many ways, density is what makes memory foam unique. NASA memory foam mattresses are complete systems, and so the buying tips on this page apply more to our discount memory foam overlays than memory foam mattresses.

Density
The density of the visco elastic foam is usually talked about in terms of pounds per cubic foot, or more often, simply pounds. "Visco Elastic" is the technical term for "Memory Foam".  As a general rule, denser visco elastic foam is always better. Memory foam mattress overlays made with high density foams...

  • Mold better to the body...
  • Have a slower rebound (a longer "memory")
  • Are more durable...
  • Are more responsive to body temperature...
  • Provide more support...

How Do You Sleep?
If you tend to sleep mostly on your back or side, almost any memory foam mattress topper will work for you. Because the 3" memory foam overlays do such a good job of conforming to your body, A1 recommends that "stomach sleepers" purchase a 2 in. memory foam overlay rather than a 3 in. If you are a very active sleeper, you should also consider a thinner memory foam overlay. 

What do we sleep on? 
Most of us here at A1 sleep on our 5lb overlay or our 12" mattress.  If you sleep hot we recommend our HRC systems.

Two Important Rules...

  • You should not consider any foam with less than 3 pounds density. It just doesn't provide the proper support.
     
  • Higher Density foams can be warmer to sleep on because they hold more heat as they are denser and do not allow you body heat to escape. If you choose a high density foam, be sure to upgrade with the HRC memory foam ventilation system in order to keep cool at night if you are a warm sleeper. 

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