Orthopaedic Vs Memory Foam Mattress – Difference

Are you confused between choosing an orthopaedic and memory foam mattress? 

If yes, do not worry any further because here we are with a detailed explanation about the orthopaedic VS memory foam mattress. Here we will explain each type’s benefits and compare the mattress types based on certain attributes. In addition, we will also focus on the strength and weaknesses of each mattress type- memory foam mattress and orthopaedic mattress. 

1. What is an orthopaedic mattress? 

An orthopaedic mattress can be made from any material, even memory foam. But it is defined by its properties of alleviating back pain, supporting the spine structure, and reducing the pressure from the trigger points in your body. 

1.1 Benefits of orthopaedic mattress

  • Helps in alleviating bone-related pain and aches
  • Provides support to the spine’s structure 
  • Helps in maintaining the health of your back muscles
  • Removes soreness and stiffness for the muscles
  • Suitable for all ages of sleepers 

2. What is memory foam? 

Memory foam is a special type of PU foam that can change its surface structure based on the shape of the body part coming in contact with the top layer. Once the body part is removed, the material automatically comes back to its original position. 

2.1 Types of memory foam

There are three types of memory foam usually available in the market. They are: 

  1. Traditional memory foam is the normal type that is made from polyurethane material. 
  2. Gel-based memory foam is the one where micro cooling gel molecules are inserted in between the foam fibres. 
  3. Plant-based memory foams have substances derived from plants like neem extracts, aloe gel, and others. 

2.2 Benefits of memory foam mattress 

  • Can mould its shape according to your body part in contact with the surface 
  • Can control the temperature if the cooling gel technology is infused 
  • Provides a high level of comfort to the sleepers 
  • It is ideal for any sleepers, starting from back sleepers to side sleepers 
  • Provides the optimal pressure on the trigger points present at your back

3. Differences: Orthopaedic Vs Memory Foam Mattress

Attribute Memory foamOrthopaedic mattress
Comfort & supportComfort Support 
Temperature regulation YesNo 
Hypoallergenic NoYes 
Odour No No 
Bounce High Less
Durability LowHigh
  • Comfort & support: Memory foam provides the maximum comfort level, but it can’t support the mattress structure. On the other hand, orthopaedic mattresses are ideal for providing support to your backbone. 
  • Temperature regulation: Memory foam infused with gel technology can easily regulate the surface temperature and absorb your body heat, thereby allowing you to sleep comfortably. As for the orthopaedic mattress, high-density materials are mainly used, which restrict air circulation. 
  • Firmness: Orthopaedic mattresses are firmer as compared to memory foam mattresses. That’s why orthopaedic products can provide the maximum level of support to the bones and muscles and alleviate the pain. An orthopaedic mattress usually has a firmness ranging between 7 to 9, while for memory foam, the scale varies from 5 to 6. 
  • Hypoallergenic: Memory foam is not hypoallergenic. However, when we talk about the orthopaedic mattress, if the top layer is made from anti-microbial material like neem infused PU foam or aloe-infused latex, the mattress can be termed as hypoallergenic. 
  • Odour: Whether it’s an orthopaedic mattress or a memory foam mattress, you won’t get any odour coming out of it. But if any unpleasant smell is coming off, it means that mildew or moulds have started to grow in between the layers. 
  • Bounce: Orthopaedic mattresses are made from materials with lesser bounce. That’s why they are formed and provide solid support to the backbone. On the other hand, memory foam has a higher bounce factor so that you can cuddle on the bed with ease. 
  • Durability: In terms of durability, orthopaedic mattresses are more durable as compared to normal memory foam mattresses. That’s why they can last for a longer time, while a normal memory foam mattress can lose its property of moulding according to the sleeper’s body shape in few years.

4. Strength and weakness of orthopaedic mattress


  • Are available in different material options 
  • Helps in reducing the back pain
  • Provides optimal support to the backbone


  • It is not meant for cuddling with the bed 
  • Heavy-weight mattress
  • Costly mattress option

5. Strength and weakness of memory foam mattress


  • Has a higher level of bounce 
  • Provides comfort to the bones and muscles 
  • Allows you to sleep comfortably with no motion flow


  • Has a higher sagging rate as compared to other foam types 
  • It might take a longer time to return to the original shape 
  • It is not suitable for every sleeper

6. Which is better: an orthopaedic mattress or memory foam? 

For alleviating the back pain or the consequences of any orthopaedic issue in the backbone, the orthopaedic mattress is an ideal choice. However, if you want to sleep on a less firm and bouncier mattress, memory foam will be the best option. 

7. FAQ’s

  1. Are memory foam orthopaedic mattresses good?

    Yes, the memory foam orthopaedic mattresses are good for people suffering from spine problems, sore and stiff back muscles, and any other type of neurological pain. 

  2. Who should use an orthopaedic mattress?

    People suffering from either neurological or bone problems related to the spine and the hip girdle should sleep on an orthopaedic mattress. Also, if anyone is suffering from spondylosis, an orthopaedic mattress will be the best choice.

  3. Are orthopaedic mattresses firm?

    Yes, the orthopaedic mattresses are firm, which is why they can reduce back pain with ease.

  4. What is considered an orthopaedic mattress?

    An orthopaedic mattress must be able to support your body weight and maintain the spine’s shape. In addition, it should reduce the pain in your back and release tension from the trigger points. Also, the orthopaedic mattress must lessen the soreness from the muscles and stiffness from your bones.

  5. Are memory foam mattresses bad for your back?

    No, not at all! Memory foam mattresses are ideal for your back since it moulds themselves according to your body shape and provides maximum support to your spine’s curvature. That’s why it can easily lessen the pain, both in your backbone and the muscles.

  6. What causes a mattress to sink in the middle?

    Usually, a mattress sinks from the middle when the compression forces are more at the middle than the edges. That’s why it’s best to rotate the mattresses now and then.

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