Mattress comparison and opinions

Best type of foam mattress, Comparison Guide, 2022

Types of foam mattresses

 Foam is a very broad topic. The type of foam impacts the performance of the mattress, so let’s look at the different types and what they bring to a mattress. 


This is a plastic polymer that was first chemically engineered in 1937 by Dr. Otto Bayer. It predates the completely viscoelastic memory foam invention by almost 30 years, but polyurethane itself is perhaps the main ingredient in the latter generations of memory foam. Polyurethane is comprised of groups of urethane. It is made by combining diisocyanates and polyols. A gaseous carbon dioxide is used as the blowing agent in polyurethane and the blowing agent is just the substance that is used to develop the cell structure of the foam. In closed-cell polyurethane foam, certain gases are trapped in the bubble-like cells which increases the rigidity of the mattress and will reduce the breathability of the mattress. The open and closed-cell structure of polyurethane has an important impact on its properties. A mattress that uses the simple PU with additives is the Simba Hybrid mattress. The composition of polyurethane mattresses usually means that it doesn’t offer sufficient support, especially in the softer variations of polyurethane which would be using an  open-cell structure. 

Simba Hybrid

The verdict

The Simba Hybrid is a well-acclaimed mattress that lives up to the hype in most regards. It's Simbatex graphite-infused, open-cell  foam layer makes the breathability and thermal regulation  of the mattress exceptional, so you wouldn't have to worry about the sleepless nights due to heat build-up and sweat discomfort. In addition it really delivers with edge-support due to its edge lift technology which gives the entire mattress a sturdiness. Though you should beware of the sagging that seems to occur in this mattress after a while and consider other options if you are heavy stomache-sleeper, there is a lot that the mattress impresses with. 

Our grading of the Simba Hybrid

Simba mattresses reviewed
Simba Hybrid

You want to buy one of Simba’s Hybrid range mattresses whilst on a budget. Cheaper than the Simba Hybrid pro and Hybrid Luxe.

4 / 5
star star star star Types of foam mattresses


Memory foam

This is basically just viscoelastic polyurethane foam. The manufacturing process for memory foam is similar to that of polyurethane because it is just an evolutionary step up in that process. A key difference is that in the production of memory foam, other chemicals are mixed in with the polyurethane which affects the density and adaptability of the mattress and brings about its trademark qualities.  Memory foam has a long and rich history with its invention coming in 1966 because of the work of Charles Yost and its usage initially being for the seating of astronauts in spacecrafts. Due to its viscoelasticity memory foam excels at absorbing pressure and providing comfort. The slow conforming behavior of memory foam comes down to four effects which is the network effect, the pneumatic effect, the adhesive effect and the relaxation effect. These work in tandem, so that the mattress doesn’t abruptly spring back without shaping, but rather fits around your body, molding itself according to the pressure. A great ambassador for memory foam is the Emma original mattress. It has layers that compliment the qualities of the memory foam and could improve your sleep. 

The verdict

The Emma original mattress is one of the best mattresses  out there based on sales-figures despite only being around since 2015. There are numerous aspects to the Emma original which makes it incredibly popular. The breathability of the Airgocell layer provies an effective cooling mechanism and prevents you from being disturbed by night-time sweating. The memory foam in the Emma original is extremely adaptable and ensures that the mattress moulds to the shape of your body, so your comfort is virtually optimised. Though the Emma original may not be the best mattress  in terms of edge-support it seems to deliver in most other areas, bringing you comfort, coolness and solid support which is mainly attributable to the underlying base. This product review shows that  there is the chance that it is the  best mattress for you

Emma Original Mattress

Emma Original Mattress: Pros and Cons

We appreciate

  • You want a mattress that will promote a healthy posture and give particular pressure relief to your back
  • You are one of the special  stomach sleepers since  stomach sleepers require a high level of responsiveness to let their midriff fall into the mattress enough for comfort
  • You want a mattress cover that can easily be washed
  • You are one part of a sleeping couple and don’t want to be disturbed by any movement on the other side of the mattress, so you can have a peaceful sleep
  • You want a mattress that closely conforms to the shape of your body and contours around you which is possible due to the memory foam layer
  • You are seeking a mattress to stay with you for a long while, with a very long life-span that can match that of the bed frame and will be around longer than your old mattress.

We regret

  • You are looking for a mattress with sturdy edge support that will be supportive from one side of a mattress, all the way to the other. For that we recommend the Dreamcloud Luxury Hybrid mattress. 
  • You need a mattress that has almost optimal heat transferring qualities that retains virtually no heat, so you can sleep totally cool. For that we recommend the Simba Hybrid mattress which uses graphite infused foam to combat heat and keep you cool whilst sleeping.

Our grading of the Emma Original Mattress

Emma Original reviewed Emma Original Mattress

Emma Original Mattress: The classic Mattress, a bestseller throughout Europe

4.5 / 5
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Types of foam mattressesHalf star image
Emma Original Mattress peeled back showing layers

Gel foam

Just as memory foam is a modification of polyurethane, gel foam is a modification of memory foam. The upgrade comes in how it deals with heat. Memory foam tends to have an issue with heat retention which comes with warm temperatures being attributable to the contouring qualities of the mattresses. However gel foam excels at cooling because of a gel bead technology that allows heat to be absorbed and energy to be transferred, so sleep isn’t disturbed by an irritating level of warmth. This is also crucial because sleep is only achieved when our body drops down to a certain temperature and gel foam ensures that happens. To learn more about gel foam technology  check out the link. If you were interested in the qualities that memory foam brings, with the pressure-relief, cushioning and softness, but were concerned with its heat retention problems, then gel foam poses as a potential answer. Of course, though, since it is a specially structured technology, the costs of gel foam mattresses are higher than memory foam which plays a part when you consider what mattress to go for. 

Types of foam mattresses

Convoluted foam

The manufacturing process for convoluted foam is the same for polyfoam because of the polyurethane production. However, after the chemical reaction has occurred, at the point where the mixture has been whipped up and it is hot and in a liquid form, it is poured into a patterned matrix of egg-crate-shaped molds as opposed to a flat one used for traditional memory foams. This results in the mattress foam coming out with this shape. Though the mound-like protrusions with the inverse dips do offer pressure relief, the foam tends to not be firm enough to be used as a single structure for a mattress. That is why many manufacturers opt to use convoluted foam as a  comfort layer instead with a supportive structure beneath it which complements its responsive qualities. The composition of the foam gives it an edge over mattresses with a flat surface in terms of airflow. 

Simba Hybrid

Simba Hybrid: Pros and Cons

We appreciate

    You are a light to average weighted stomach sleeper 

  • You are a sleeping couple who are  sensitive to motion elsewhere on a mattress.
  • You sweat quite a lot when you sleep and need a cover to remove moisture as well as keeping you cool
  • You need assistance with spinal alignment and can’t afford any back problems created during your sleep. 

We regret

  • You have a sleeping partner and will need and don’t want the disturbance of motion from another side of the mattress. For that we recommend the ‘Emma original’ memory foam mattress. This Emma mattress isolates ripples of motion very well.
  • You are a heavy sleeper or weigh above the average. For that we recommend the ‘Dreamcloud Luxury Hybrid

Evlon foam

 This is a very heavy foam due to its density. This puts it at the firmer end of the scale for its firmness. Its density sits at 2.2lbs per cubic foot. As for its firmness, it will tend to have an IFD of about 41-47. To put that in comprehensible terms the IFD of a car seat is usually about 40-50 and a mattress that has an IFD of over 16 is considered to have a high level of firmness. The IFD is an important measurement in the foam mattress department as it helps you see if a mattress is too soft or too hard for you. To learn more about what IFD is and how it is used to measure the firmness of a mattress, check out the link. Evlon foam is found a lot in high-quality sofas which gives them a sturdiness to withstand constant movement or multiple seated persons. A prominent quality of Evlon foam is that it has very quick responsiveness. Therefore it will bounce back from its deformation with a rapid springiness instead of having a slow conforming melting-like transition like the memory foam. As a result, Evlon foam will not provide the pressure relief and high level of comfort that traditional and enhanced memory foam mattresses will have. If you are looking for a mattress with softness and viscoelastic qualities, then Evlon likely isn’t for you. Yet, its density and firmness give it a durability that results in it typically having a reasonably long lifespan. Though it does not perform well for comfort, it does for support. 

Types of foam mattresses

Reflex foam

This is a variation of polyurethane foam, with a high density. Yet its firmness is about medium, so they offer a balance of support and pressure alleviation. Instead of being constructed with holes like traditional second-generation memory foam, they are produced with bubbles. These bubbles are filled with air and when they are subjected to pressure, the air does not leave them, but is displaced within the bubble, which allows compression to occur. When the pressure is stopped, the air within the bubble reverts back from its displaced position and brings the mattress it is used in back to its neutral shape. Reflex foam is often used in orthopaedic mattresses which offer back pain relief. The reason for this is because the air-filled bubbles allow for specific compression and conformity for areas of the body where pressure is greater than other parts and this significantly alleviates discomfort experienced in the back and keeps the spine neutrally aligned. For those who need spinal support and back pain relief, Reflex is likely the very solution. The Simba Hybrid is an excellent example of a mattress that uses reflex foam.

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