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Cold foam mattresses

COLD FOAM MATTRESSES

Nicky P.

Last updated: 11.05.2021 11 Min.

Cold foam is enormously popular and you'll find at least one layer of it in most mattresses.

Cold foam mattresses are manufactured by foaming polyurethane (cold foam) with a small amount of heat. As the foam cools to room temperature, it becomes solid.

Mattresses made of cold foam are characterised by their durability, flexibility, and high point elasticity.

They are suitable for many different types of sleepers.

But should you choose a cold foam mattress? Or a mattress with at least one layer of cold foam?

We'll guide you through everything you need to know in this article on the best cold foam mattresses available in the UK.

Cold Foam Mattresses
  • Overview
  • Composition
  • Suitability
  • Key criteria
  • Sizes
  • Slatted frames
  • Off-gassing
  • Alternatives
  • Conclusion

Advantages

  • Adapts very well to the contours of the body
  • Suitable for people of all ages
  • Good for all body types and sleeping positions
  • Particularly well suited to restless sleepers
  • Warmer sleeping climate, making it great for people who often feel cold at night
  • Usually includes comfort zones
  • Good for people who suffer from back pain
  • Well suited for heavier-weight people
  • Often a light-weight mattress, making transport easy
  • Good for couples - completely noiseless and very little motion transfer
  • Safe for allergy sufferers - dust mites can't live comfortably in cold foam mattresses
  • Fits on to both adjustable and rigid slatted frames
  • Very durable and likely to last a long time
  • Good value for money

Disadvantages

  • Off-gassing is very common
  • Warmer sleeping climate doesn't make it suitable for people who sweat heavily at night or prefer a cooler sleeping climate
  • Not a natural material if organic and natural is important to you
  • Degree of firmness isn't always uniform
  • There are a few bad cold foam mattresses available - always consider the density of the foam to indicate the quality & never go below 40 kg/m³.

Our top recommendations

Bestseller
Emma Original Mattress

Emma Original
Price from £ 269 (449 )

Emma Original

The Emma Original is an award-winning mattress that's universally suitable for all types of people and sleeping positions.

This bestselling mattress by the award-winning Emma brand offers 3 layers of premium foam and soft comfort, with sufficient support and stability.

All about the Emma Original

Emma Original

The Emma Original is a best-selling memory foam mattress.

It has been designed to be suitable for most people, sleeping positions, and sleeping preferences.

Made up of 3 different types of foam, it offers soft-to-medium support that's particularly suitable for side sleepers.

The Emma Original is delivered free of charge and comes with a risk-free 200-nigh trial period. 

Emma Original side handles

40% OFF EMMA ORIGINAL

Eve Mattress

Eve Original
Price from £ 429

Eve Original

The Eve Original is the original best-selling memory foam mattress by Eve Sleep.

This high-quality medium-firm mattress by Eve Sleep is suitable for most body types and sleeping position. 

All about the Eve Original

Eve Original

The Eve Original mattress consists of three different high-quality foam layers and a machine-washable cover.

The mattress has a high level of elasticity and provides great support, promoting optimal spinal alignment and reducing pressure points. 

It is a medium-firm mattress that has been specifically designed to suit most body profiles and sleeping positions.

The Eve Original comes with free delivery & returns and a risk-free trial period.

Eve Original Mattress

20% OFF £500 WITH 'MAY20'

Our favourite
Nectar memory foam mattress

Nectar
Price from £ 344 (469 )

Nectar

The Nectar Mattress is a luxurious memory foam mattress that comes with 2 free pillows and a 365-day trial period.

This luxurious memory foam mattress is suitable for most people and sleeping positions and comes with a revolutionary 365-day trial period.

All about the Nectar

Nectar memory foam mattress

The Nectar memory foam mattress features 3 layers of high-quality foam for optimal spinal alignment, pressure relief, and comfort.

It has 7 contour zones to enhance its ergonomic design and keep your body in a healthy sleeping position.

The Nectar mattress also has a removable, breathable cover to provide for a cool & comfortable sleep.

It comes with free delivery & returns, a revolutionary 365-day trial period, and a 'forever warranty'.

Nectar memory foam mattress

 

£125 OFF NECTAR MATTRESS 

Composition of cold foam mattresses

There are many different types of cold foam mattresses available.

Some are made entirely of cold foam and do not include any other foam layers.

Others, in contrast, have one or two additional foam layers. Often, you'll find cold foam mattresses that have memory foam, latex foam, or gel foam layers.

You'll also find some models that offer two different degrees of firmness depending on which side of the mattress you choose.

These types of mattresses use different foam layers for the top and bottom sides.

The mattress can then be turned to the side that provides the ideal firmness for your needs.

Cold foam mattresses with contour zones

Some cold foam mattresses have been divided into comfort or contour zones.

Zones help stabilise the body and relieve pressure on the spine.

The individual zones correlate to the different pressure points of the human body.

The position you sleep in will affect the specifics but, in general, you would need to sink into the mattress a little deeper at some points and a little less at others in order to keep your spine optimally aligned at all times.

Zones will usually fall into the pelvic, shoulder, lumbar, head, and foot zones.

Most zoned mattresses are divided into 3, 5, 7, or 9 comfort zones.

It will always be an odd number - this is due to the mirror image structure of the mattress.

The middle area is always for the pelvis, then it expands outwards into the lumbar zone, shoulder zone, and, finally, the head and foot zone.

The mirror image ensures that no matter which way you lie on the mattress, you will always be using it correctly and your body will be optimally supported.

Is a cold foam mattress the right mattress for you?

In principle, cold foam mattresses are relatively universal mattresses.

They are suitable for a wide range of people, regardless of body size and preferred sleeping position.

They are also available in various degrees of firmness so you can choose one that's most suitable for you.

As long as you pay attention to the quality of the cold foam, then investing in a cold foam mattress is generally a good choice.

People with back pain often tend to choose cold foam mattresses due to the commonly integrated comfort zones. We'd also recommend memory foam mattresses as they adapt to the contours of the body so well.

Cold foam mattresses are also great for couples. The foam cushions movements quite well, which keeps the mattress still - this ensures that you won't be disturbed by your partner's movements.

Note, though, that cold foam isn't particularly elastic and doesn't have the same high rebound as spring mattresses do. If that's important to you, you'd be well off choosing a spring or latex mattress instead.

Criteria to consider when purchasing a cold foam mattress

Not all cold foam mattresses are created equal and there definitely are some sub-standard models on the market.

In order to ensure that the cold foam mattress you're purchasing is of the highest quality possible, pay attention to the following key criteria.

1. High density

The most important feature of quality on a cold foam mattress is a high density.

This indicates how much polyurethane has been foamed to make one cubic metre of cold foam.

The rule of thumb is that the higher the density, the higher the quality of the cold foam mattress.

Higher densities also result in higher durability, meaning that your mattress will have a longer lifespan.

You can use the below table as a guideline:

Density in kg/m³ Expected lifespan
Up to 25 Up to 2 years
30 Up to 3 years
35 5 - 6 years
40 6 - 8 years
50 - 60 10 years and more

2. Trial periods and delivery conditions

To keep the purchase of a mattress as uncomplicated and risk-free as possible, make sure that the manufacturer offers the following:

  • Free delivery
  • Risk-free trial period
  • Free returns

Trial periods usually last 30 to 100 days, though there are some manufacturers, like Emma, Nectar, and DreamCloud, that offer longer trial periods.

This gives you the time to ensure that the mattress you've purchased really is right for you.

After all, it takes the body a few weeks to get used to a new mattress, so you have to give it enough time.

If, after the trial period, you are not completely satisfied with the mattress, it can simply be returned - free of charge - for a full refund.

3. Mattress rebound rates

The mattress rebound indicates how quickly the mattress can return to its original shape after being subjected to stress or compressed.

The higher the rebound rate, the more quickly the mattress returns to its original shape.

This also indicates whether dents can occur and if the mattress is suitable for heavier-weight people or restless sleepers.

Always make sure that you're comfortable moving around on your mattress and that it gives you adequate support and stability.

Emma Original Sinkage

Knees sinking in to the Emma Original

Choosing the right cold foam mattress size

Choosing the right mattress size is important.

This depends largely on how much space you have at home, how big your bed frame is, and whether or not you share your bed with a partner.

Cold foam mattresses are available in every possible size, though custom sizes will only be available from select manufacturers.

The standard UK sizes include:

The 90 x 190 cm mattress is the most popular single-size mattress, though you can choose a wider mattress if you have the space available.

Couples should not choose a mattress smaller than 135 x 190 cm. Larger sizes are better to ensure that each person has enough space.

WHICH MATTRESS SIZE IS THE RIGHT ONE?

UK Mattress Sizes

Choosing the right slatted frame for your cold foam mattress

To maximise the features of your cold foam mattress, it makes sense to invest in the right slatted frame.

Pay attention to zoning

In order to support the division of comfort zones in a cold foam mattress, you should choose a slatted frame that has the same divisions.

For example, if you've purchased a 7-zone cold foam mattress, we would advise also investing in a 7-zone slatted frame.

This will allow your pelvis and shoulders to sink in more deeply, stabilising the rest of your body.

Height-adjustable slatted frames

Cold foam mattresses are very adaptable, so we'd recommend choosing a height-adjustable slatted frame.

Adjustable head and foot sections not only increase flexibility and comfort but can also improve blood circulation and make breathing easier, particularly for elderly people.

Of course, you can also use a rigid slatted frame.

Small slat distance

Ensure that the slats aren't too far apart.

A maximum distance of 5 cm between slats is optimal.

READ OUR ARTICLE ON BEST BED FRAMES

What is off-gassing?

If you've recently purchased a cold foam mattress, then you're likely to have experienced off-gassing.

This is an initial chemical smell that you may experience when you first unpack your cold foam mattress.

There is no need to worry, though. Off-gassing is completely normal and it's a side effect of the production process.

The gasses are also completely harmless and non-toxic.

The smell can be a little uncomfortable, though, so we'd always advise unpacking your new mattress in a well-ventilated room and letting it breathe until the smell has disappeared.

Alternatives to cold foam mattresses

Layers of cold foam are common in many mattresses but you may feel that a pure cold foam mattress isn't right for you.

Try one of these alternatives instead.

Memory foam mattresses

Memory foam mattresses have similar properties to cold foam mattresses.

They are best characterised by their memory imprint.

When pressure is applied, the foam becomes softer and allows the body to form an imprint. This ensures that the foam adapts perfectly to the contours of the body, allowing for maximum comfort.

Due to its extremely high adaptability and pressure relief properties, memory foam is often used for orthopaedic purposes.

The biggest difference between cold foam mattresses and memory foam mattresses is in the feeling of lying down.

Memory foam is much more adaptable and really nestles up to the body.

This does make moving around on the mattress a little more cumbersome, making memory foam mattresses less suitable for very restless sleepers.

memory foam imprint

Memory foam hand imprint

Innerspring mattresses

If you are looking for a firmer model that offers more stability and elasticity, then you should consider innerspring mattresses.

The core of a spring mattress is made of coils or springs, which can carry individual loads.

This means it adapts well to the body and is very point-elastic.

The gaps between the springs also provide for natural ventilation channels, enhancing the breathability of the mattress. This provides for a cooler sleeping climate.

If you choose a spring mattress, make sure you look for quality.

Inferior spring mattresses wear out quickly and form dents, resulting in the so-called hammock effect. This can create and worsen back pain.

High-quality innerspring mattress models are pocket spring mattresses and barrel pocket spring mattresses.

Also consider hybrid mattresses, which combine springs with high-quality foam.

Pocket springs

Pocket springs in foam

Latex mattresses

Latex mattresses have a high point elasticity, are very comfortable, and have good ventilation.

They are more suitable for people who prefer a cooler sleeping climate and restless sleepers.

Natural latex mattresses are also great for people who value organic and environmentally-friendly products.

But, latex mattresses are quite heavy, need to be cleaned regularly, and they can also be quite a bit more expensive.

latex foam layer

latex foam

Gel foam mattresses

Gel foam mattresses also have high point elasticity, are very comfortable, and have very good ventilation.

They provide a very cuddly feel and are particularly suited to restless sleepers.

Gel foam is most commonly found as an upper comfort layer in a combination foam mattress, used together with more adaptable and/or stable and firmer base foams.

Gel foam

gel foam mattress topper

Conclusion

While some mattresses are made purely of cold foam, it is most commonly combined with other materials.

Cold foam offers firmness and stability. It is also often zoned, enabling it to help keep your spine in an optimal alignment and thereby reducing pressure and relieving back pain.

Cold foam is often used as the base foam in mattresses to provide overall stability and support.

If you struggle with back pain, then choosing a zoned cold foam mattress is a good choice.

Nicky P.

My mum calls me "bear" because I like to sleep so much. I never knew that, one day, that would be a very useful skill. Can you tell that I've found my calling? 

Try these

We can highly recommend these best-selling mattresses.

Emma Original
Emma Original Emma Original Mattress
Emma Price from £ 269 (£ 449 )

Get 40% off the Emma Original, an award-winning soft & comfortable mattress that's suitable for all.

Simba Hybrid
Simba Hybrid Simba Hybrid Mattress
Simba Price from £ 456 (£ 609 )

Get 25% off the Simba Hybrid mattress, a high-quality pocket sprung memory foam mattress with Simbatex synthetic latex layer.

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