High-Density Foam Mattress: What is it and why is it beneficial?

High Density Foam Mattress are some of the most popular mattresses out there. Mattress density is an important factor to consider when selecting a mattress. Density dictates a foam’s quality, comfort, and longevity. That’s why the higher the foam density, the better the quality.

One would be forgiven, however, for thinking that density equates to a mattresses’ firmness or feel. The truth is density is a different measurement from firmness. Density, in short, is the weight of the mattress per cubic foot, while firmness is measured by indentation load deflection (IDL), something we will touch on later in this article.

If you don’t really know what density has to do with mattresses or it’s importance. Worry not, you are not alone, most people don’t know either and that’s why we aim to explain what a high-density foam mattress is and its benefits in this article.

  What is a high-density foam mattress?

To answer what a high-density foam mattress is, we must first understand what density is. Density is mass per volume. It’s calculated by dividing mass and volume. In simple, density is the amount of weight contained per cubic foot of an object. 

The more weight contained per cubic foot, the higher the density. This makes higher density foams more compact, increasing their quality and durability tremendously.

 How is foam density measured?

Density is usually measured in pounds per cubic foot (lbs/ft3) or (PCF). One cubic foot is measured by multiplying a foot of Length*Height*Width (12 inches by 12 inches by 12 inches). 

 Difference between density and firmness:

Most people tend to think that the higher the density, the firmer a mattress is. But that’s not entirely true. Firmness which relates to how a mattress feels is measured by Indentation Load deflection (ILD) or Indentation Force Deflection (IFD). 

The higher the ILD, the firmer a mattress will feel. Usually, anything less than 19 ILD is considered plush while anything around 50ILD is considered firm. 

Indentation Load Deflection is directly proportional to thickness, the thicker the foam is, the higher the ILD. Thus thickness determines the firmness of a mattress. Whereas density is just a measurement of the weight per cubic foot of the mattress. 

Knowing the density of a mattress matter a lot. The higher the density, the more durable and supportive a mattress will be.


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 Foam density measurements:

Both flexible and viscoelastic polyurethane foams are categorized into three density levels. That is low, medium, and high. To understand the different densities of the mattresses we have to look at a comparison chart:


Low Density

Medium Density

High Density

Memory Foam








Generally, a heavier foam will have a higher density. For example, a 100-pound foam measuring 25lb/ft3 will have a density of 4lbs. While a 50-pound foam measuring 25lb/ft3 will have a density of 2lbs.

 How to tell whether you need a high foam density mattress or not?



Now that you know what a density foam mattress is, let’s look at some aspects of a High Density Mattress. These aspects will help you decide whether this is the right foam density for you or not.

 1- Durability:


Higher-density foams last longer than their counterparts because of their compact nature. Buying a mattress is a considerable investment. You want to buy something that lasts. Now that we have determined that density is directly associated with the quality and longevity of a foam mattress. The higher the density, the more durable the mattress will be.

The additional material contained per cubic foot of a dense foam mattress slows down its wear and tear. This makes high-density foams more durable than lower density foams.

 2- Motion isolation:


The higher the density of a foam mattress, the stronger the motion isolation. 

Foam mattress rate highly when it comes to motion isolation. Their ability to contour to our bodies creates a cradling effect that absorbs other movements. 

People who tend to toss and turn a lot in bed benefit greatly from a higher density foam. Many people who share a bed with a partner who moves a lot reported great motion isolation after using a high-density foam mattress. 

 3- Support:



High density-foams are almost always used as cores of foam mattresses. This is because they offer superior support than their counterparts.

The higher the density of a mattress the more support you get. This, however, is controlled by the weight of the person lying on the mattress.

Heavier people will benefit most from a high-density foam mattress than lighter people. 

 4- Pain pressure relief:


Higher-density foams are especially good for pain and pressure relief. If you suffer back pains, then investing in a denser foam mattress could save you sleepless nights.

Since they are more compact than lower density foams, they don’t sink in too much, allowing proper alignment of head, shoulders, and hips for better spine health.

Higher-density foams are especially good for back and stomach sleepers. The fact that they don’t sag quickly means, they offer great back and neck support.

5 -Conforming:


The denser the foam structure, the better the contouring. However, body types also dictate the type of foam density. 

Higher densities are great for heavier bodies of at least 230lbs or more. While medium density is recommended for people who weigh 130-230lbs. When heavier people sleep on lower density foams, they experience a lot of sinking that causes misalignment and discomfort while sleeping.

Lighter people, who weigh less than 130lbs find higher density foams uncomfortable. This is because they don’t get proper contouring and the mattress feels too firm for them. In such instances, low to medium density foams are recommended.


 6- Temperature Neutrality:



Foam mattresses are known to sleep hot. This gets worse as the density increases. Higher-density foams have less air space. This restricts airflow and aids the mattress in trapping heat. Causing this type of foam to sleep hotter than other lighter foams.

 7 – Off-gassing:



Foam mattresses are notorious for off-gassing. Off-gassing is a reaction caused by the breaking down of Volatile Organic compounds (VOC’s). 

In the mattress world, the denser the foam the more off-gassing is experienced. 

In such situations, the only solution is to air the mattress and patiently wait it out. A denser foam mattress will take longer to lose the odor. If you are affected by strong chemical odors, you might want to go with a lighter density foam.

 8- Prices:



As mentioned before, higher density foams offer more quality and are more durable. As such, they tend to be costlier than other foam densities.

Average coast of high-density foam ranges from $1000-$1400, while other densities range from $500-$950. 

 9 – Movement:



A high-density foam tends to be the heaviest type of foam. This means it’s not easily movable. As such, you should consider for which purpose you are purchasing a higher density mattress. 

Pros of High-Density Foams

Cons of High-Density Foams

High-density foam mattresses simply mean higher quality foam. They are long-lasting and provide great support, especially for back and neck pains.

Now that you know what foam density means, you are in a better position to pick the best foam density for your bed. However, please note that most foam mattresses include different foam density layers to enhance comfort and support.

High-density foams are mostly used as a core layer. But in some instances, especially for mattresses built for support needs, they can be used as a comfort layer. This is especially great for stomach, back sleepers, and heavy people.

Enjoy mattress durability, enhanced support, and better motion isolation when you use a high-density mattress.

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