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Cold Foam Mattresses

COLD FOAM MATTRESSES

Nancy K.

Last updated: 30.07.2020 12 Min.

Cold foam mattresses are one of the most popular types of mattresses.

They 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.

We share everything you need to know about cold foam mattresses below.

Cold Foam Mattresses
  • Overview
  • Composition
  • Advantages and disadvantages of cold foam mattresses
  • Is a cold foam mattress suitable for you?
  • Buying a cold foam mattress in the right size
  • Details to pay attention to when purchasing a cold foam mattress
  • The right slatted frame for a cold foam mattress
  • Alternatives to cold foam mattresses

Advantages

  • For people of all ages
  • All body types and sleeping positions
  • Restless sleepers
  • People who often feel cold at night
  • People with back pain
  • Allergy sufferers
  • Well suited for heavier-weight people
  • Light-weight mattress (easy transport)
  • Many different models available
  • Comfort zones support the spinal column
  • For adjustable and rigid slatted frames

Disadvantages

  • People who sweat a lot at night or like to sleep a little cooler
  • Not a natural material
  • Initial chemical odour
  • Degree of firmness not always uniform

Our top recommendations

  • Emma
    Original
    Emma Price from 224 £ (299 £)
    A great medium-firm mattress that's universally suitable for all people and sleeping positions.
    Price from 224 £ (299 £)
    GET 25% OFF Emma Original Review
Emma Original Mattress

EMMA ORIGINAL

EMMA ORIGINAL

A great medium-firm mattress that's universally suitable for all people and sleeping positions.

The Emma Original is a bestseller in the UK. 

All about the EMMA ORIGINAL

Emma Original

The Emma Original is a best-selling mattress. It embodies the one-for-all principle and is suitable for most types of people, sleeping positions, and sleeping preferences. 

It is a high-quality mattress made of three different types of foam. 

The Emma is also a great mattress for side sleepers.

Shipping is free of charge, and customers can benefit from a 100-day risk-free trial period.

Emma Original side handles

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Composition

There are many different models of cold foam mattresses. We have been able to test several of these.

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Some mattresses are completely made of cold foam and do not include any other foam layers. Other mattress models, however, have one or two additional foam layers. Often, these will be integrated Visco or latex foam layers, or even gel foam layers.

There are even some models that offer two different degrees of firmness depending on which side of the mattress you choose. These are particularly interesting. 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.

7-zone cold foam mattress

A 7-zone cold foam mattress is a mattress that has been divided into comfort or contour zones. These 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, it is better to sink a little deeper in some places and a little less in other places in order to achieve an ergonomically correct lying position, keeping the spine straight at all times. There are usually pelvic, shoulder, lumbar, head, and foot zones.

Most zoned mattresses are divided into 5, 7 or 9 comfort zones. Either way, 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 the lumbar zone, then the shoulder zone, and, finally, the head/foot zones. This mirror image ensures that no matter which way you lie on the mattress, you will always be using it correctly.

LEARN MORE ABOUT ORTHOPAEDIC MATTRESSES

Advantages and disadvantages of cold foam mattresses

Like any mattress available, cold foam mattresses have both advantages and disadvantages. The biggest advantage, though, is the high degree of adaptability. Cold foam mattresses have a high point elasticity and are often recommended to help prevent back pain.

In contrast to a Visco foam mattress, turning on a cold foam mattress does not take a lot of effort, making it suitable for restless sleepers. Motion transfer is also minimal and your partner's movements are well absorbed.

Advantages

  • Very good adaptability (ideal for back problems): Anyone who has ever slept on a cold foam mattress will know that it adapts well to the body. A good cold foam mattress allows a bit more sinkage at the body's centre of gravity and stabilises the other body regions. Many modern cold foam mattresses have integrated comfort zones. These help to keep the spine aligned and protect the back.
  • Longevity: A high-quality cold foam mattress is durable, which makes it an excellent investment. Depending on its volume weight, a good cold foam mattress should retain its elastic shape for 6 - 8 years. Due to its highly elastic nature, sagging should not occur.
  • Easy movement during sleep: The cold foam mattress is a good choice for restless sleepers. Turning at night is possible with little effort due to the high restoring force of the material.
  • Well-suited for couples: The cold foam mattress is completely noiseless and has very little motion transfer. This promotes undisturbed sleep, even if two people share the mattress.
  • Safe for allergy sufferers: Allergy sufferers usually have no problems with a cold foam mattress as mites cannot survive in them.
  • Good value for money: There are many different types of cold foam mattresses available. You can definitely find high quality and inexpensive models.

Disadvantages

  • Initial chemical smell: Our readers often tell us about the initial chemical smell of cold foam mattresses. But there is no need to worry. This is common with a brand new cold foam mattress. Gas bubbles are formed in the mattress during production and these burst when the mattress is first unpacked. But rest assured: the smell is harmless and it disappears quite quickly. We would advise that you simply keep the mattress in a well-ventilated room until the smell has dissipated.
  • Warmer sleeping climate: The sleeping climate of a cold foam mattress is generally a little warmer. This isn’t a problem for most people. But we would suggest that people who sweat heavily choose a more breathable spring mattress instead.
  • You need a good slatted frame: We highly recommend a good slatted frame as a stabilising base. This should match the comfort zoning of the mattress. You can use adjustable or rigid slatted frames for cold foam mattresses.
  • There are bad eggs: Of course, there are bad cold foam mattresses, the ones that wear out quickly and are not durable at all. We would recommend that you always pay attention to quality. A good indicator of quality is the volume weight indicator, which suggests the durability of the mattress. This should never be below 40 kg/m³.

Is a cold foam mattress suitable for you?

In principle, cold foam mattresses are relatively universal mattresses. They are suitable for those who sleep on their back, side, or stomach. Cold foam mattresses are available in different degrees of firmness, meaning they can be ideal for light-, medium- or heavy-weight people. The latter should choose a higher degree of firmness.

The cold foam mattress is considered the standard model. If you pay attention to high quality, you can hardly go wrong here. People with back pain often tend to choose cold foam mattresses due to the commonly integrated comfort zones. However, we would also recommend considering Visco mattresses, as they adapt to the respective body contours even better.

A cold foam mattress is good for couples. Cold foam mattresses cushion movements well, which keeps the mattress still. Not only does this help when turning into a different sleeping position at night, but also ensures that you do not feel your partner's movements.

It should be noted, however, that mattresses made of cold foam are not particularly elastic overall and do not have the same high rebound as spring mattresses do. If this important to you, it would be better to choose a spring or latex mattress.

Buying a cold foam mattress in the right size

Choosing the right mattress size is important. It all depends on how much space you have at home, how big your bed is, and whether you sleep alone or with a partner.

You can buy a cold foam mattress in every possible size. Custom sizes are a little more complicated, though, and not all mattress sizes are available from every manufacturer.

Standard sizes include:

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

Popular single sizes include 90 x 190 cm and 90 x 200 cm. You can choose a space-saving version or, if you have more room, you can choose a wider mattress.

WHICH MATTRESS SIZE IS THE RIGHT ONE?

Details to pay attention to when purchasing a cold foam mattress

There are numerous factors you should pay attention to when considering the purchase of a cold foam mattress.

1. High density

The most important feature of quality in a cold foam mattress is a high density. This unit of measurement indicates how heavy a cubic metre of cold foam is. In other words, how much polyurethane has been foamed to make one cubic metre.

The rule of thumb is this: the higher the density, the higher the quality of the cold foam mattress. A good cold foam mattress should last at least 6 years, but we do not recommend using a mattress for longer than 8 or even 10 years.
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 period and free delivery

To keep the purchase of a mattress as uncomplicated and risk-free as possible, you should make sure that the mattress is delivered to your home free of charge and that you receive a risk-free trial period to test the mattress.

Trial periods usually last 30 to 100 days, giving you the time to ensure that you did not purchase an unsuitable mattress. If, after the trial period, you are not completely satisfied with the mattress, it can simply be returned. Bear in mind, though, that it often takes a few weeks to get used to a new mattress.

Return shipment or collection should be free of charge too, and you should be refunded in full. This is always the case with leading mattress manufacturers, such as Emma.

3. Mattress compression rebound

The higher the compression rebound rate, the greater the mattress’s ability to return to its original shape after being subjected to stress. These rates also give an indication of whether dents can occur and whether the cold foam mattress is suitable for heavier-weight people.

Sinkage
We always measure the depths to which our test sleepers sink into the mattresses.

The right slatted frame for a cold foam mattress

It's generally a good idea to purchase a slatted frame that matches your mattress.

Pay attention to zoning

In order to support the divisions of the comfort zones in a cold foam mattress, you should choose a slatted frame that has the same divisions. For a 7-zone cold foam mattress, for example, we would advise you use a 7-zone slatted frame. A 7-zone slatted frame allows the pelvic area and shoulders to sink in a little deeper, which stabilises the rest of the body.

Height-adjustable

We recommend a height-adjustable slatted frame as a cold foam mattress is very adaptable. It nestles up against the slatted frame and is thus perfectly suited for a height-adjustable slatted frame. Adjustable head and foot sections offer not only increased flexibility and comfort but can also improve blood circulation and make breathing easier for elderly people.

That said, a cold foam mattress is not only suitable for adjustable slatted frames. It can, of course, also be used on a rigid slatted frame.

Small slat distance

Stiftung Warentest recommends a maximum distance of 5 cm between slats. This way, a high-quality, zoned mattress works at its best.

Alternatives to cold foam mattresses

If you feel that a cold foam mattress isn't ideal for you, then consider one of these alternatives:

Memory foam mattress (Visco mattress)

Visco mattresses have similar properties to cold foam mattresses. They are characterised by their memory imprint. When pressure is applied, the foam becomes softer and allows the body to form an imprint. Due to its extremely high adaptability and pressure relief, Visco foam is used for orthopaedic purposes.

The biggest difference between cold foam mattresses and Visco mattresses is in the feeling of lying down. Visco foam is a bit more adaptable. It nestles up to the body and thus provides a unique lying sensation. However, turning during sleep takes more effort than on a cold foam mattress. The Visco foam mattress is, therefore, less suitable for very restless sleepers.

Innerspring mattress

If you are looking for a firmer model with more stability and elasticity, you should choose an innerspring mattress. In addition to the usual layers of foam, this mattress has springs in its core, which can carry loads individually. This means that innerspring mattresses adapt to the body in a point-elastic manner. The gaps between the springs provide natural ventilation channels and so keep the mattress well ventilated.

Make sure that the innerspring mattress is of high quality. Inferior spring mattresses wear out quickly and allow for dents to form. This so-called hammock effect can create and worsen back pain. High-quality innerspring mattress models are pocket spring mattresses or barrel pocket spring mattresses.

Latex mattress

Latex mattresses have a high point elasticity and offer high comfort. Latex mattresses also have good ventilation. The sleeping climate on a latex mattress is a little cooler than on a cold foam mattress. However, a latex mattress is somewhat more difficult to take care of as it has to be cleaned regularly and is much heavier.

The feeling of lying on a latex mattress is also slightly different. It feels rather springy. As a restless sleeper, you should have no problem with a latex mattress.

Mattress Foam Types

Nancy K.

Yoga-loving nature fan (when the sun shines) with a knack for all things health & wellness. Strangely obsessed with tacos. 

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