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Memory Foam May Hamper Intimacy

Couple lying down on their mattress

A memory foam mattress may make memorable encounters between the sheets a bit less likely.

For most people, enthusiasm and the pleasure of the moment can override the limitations of a less-than-ideal bed. But for people who like to tune in to every element of the experience and create an optimal environment for intimacy, memory foam is not an ideal choice. There are two main reasons.

Memory foam mattresses respond to weight and heat. When one person is on their back with the weight of their partner bearing down, that extra pressure tilts the pelvis downward. The memory foam does its automatic chemical response, creating an extra “divot” of space beneath their bodies. This position can hyper-extend the lower spine and strain the lower back. A “trench” created by memory foam can always be corrected with pillows, but that scramble for comfort can be an unwelcome interruption.

Memory foam is also known for slow recovery time–the length of time it takes for the surface to resume its original shape when a person or couple moves into a new position. In a sense, recovery time is a measure of how responsive a mattress is. Memory foam often takes longer than 10 seconds to adapt fully. Within the mattress industry, it is sometimes referred to as “slow-recovery foam.”

Because memory foam reacts to weight and movement in its own slow time, and that interval never varies, it can interfere with the natural rhythms most couples enjoy. For some people, it may feel as though memory foam is working against them, rather than supporting and embracing them.

Latex, on the other hand, has the natural springiness of rubber, so it conforms and changes instantly in response to changes in weight and movement. For many couples, a natural latex mattress offers the perfect synchronicity of support and responsiveness.

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