Egg Crate vs. Memory Foam

Browse By

Last Updated on

Is your mattress not giving you all of the support and comfort that you need for a great night’s sleep?

If so, don’t rush right out and buy a new mattress. If your mattress isn’t very old, you probably don’t need a new one. Instead, you can save a lot of money by simply buying a new mattress topper. The problem is deciding whether to get a traditional egg crate mattress topper or one made from memory foam.

Today we are going to discuss the two types of mattress toppers and see what both have to offer.

Memory Foam

Memory foam is a blend of polyurethane (a polymer made as a byproduct of petroleum refining) and additional chemicals that give the memory foam its low-resilience. It was originally developed by NASA in the 1970s for airplane cushioning and has since become one of the widest materials used in mattresses and pillows.

In plain English, what makes memory foam is its ability to contour to pressure and return to its original shape slowly after pressure is released. This process allows for it to react to pressure differently across its surface and provide a contoured, but aligned feeling for sleepers.

Memory Foam Features

It is durable and comfortable, and it conforms to your body. Not only is it extremely comfortable, it offers total support, and when you sleep on it, your spine stays in alignment. Features of memory foam mattress toppers include:

  • Motion Transfer – Memory foam helps to reduce the noise and movement that happens when someone moves around in bed. You won’t be disturbed if your partner gets up or tosses and turns at night.  This is great for people that sleep on their side.
  • Comfort  Because memory foam contours to your body, a mattress topper made of this material is going to increase your comfort level. Your body will be better supported, and you will feel more comfortable and relax, helping you to sleep better.
  • Firmness  Memory foam comes in many different densities. No matter how firm you need your mattress to be, you can be sure that there is a memory foam topper that will suit your needs perfectly.
  • Durability  Most memory foam mattress toppers come with great warranties. This is because it is a quality material that is made to last. You can expect to get many years out of a memory foam mattress topper.

Memory Foam Pros and Cons

Just because memory foam is pretty great, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have any negative qualities. For the most part, it is an excellent material that is perfect for bedding products. Here are the pros and cons to consider about memory foam mattress toppers.

Memory Foam Mattress Topper Pros

  • Price – While memory foam is expensive, a new mattress topper is a lot less expensive than an entire new mattress. You will get the support and comfort you need, at a price you can afford.
  • Less Pain  If you suffer from back pain, one of these mattress toppers may be just the thing you need. It will help to keep your head and neck aligned with your spine, and relieve back pain.

Memory Foam Mattress Topper Cons

  • Odor  When you first take your memory foam mattress topper out of the packaging, it is likely to have a strong chemical odor. It will take a few days for this odor to completely go away.

Memory Foam Pads Essentials

Memory foam pads are made of open cells, billions of balloons with holes in them. When you sit on it, air moves from one cell to another and the topper contours your body in a unique fashion, relieving pressure points and supporting your weight.

With regular foam pads, which are made of closed cells, the air in the compressed cells pushes back against you causing pressure points which constricts circulation at the area of contact. The result is discomfort and even pain over time. When you lie on a visco memory topper there is no air left in the cells to push back and cause discomfort. The air is spread to adjoining cells and the foam simply 'melts' under you to provide balanced support and comfort.

Egg Crate Foam

Egg crate foam can be any type of foam where one side has an 'egg crate' shape. The purpose of this kind of foam is two-fold. It tends to be more responsive and distributes weight better than a thick layer of foam, and also it has cooling advantages because of the air flow that it provides.

Egg crate foam can be either memory foam or reflex foam, which are both blends of polyurethane foams and could be prone to off-gassing and odor.

The egg crate foam is generally found in the top comfort layers of the mattress, though they could be used in the base layer as well.

Egg Crate Foam Features

This kind of mattress topper can be made from a variety of types of foam. Some are even made from memory foam, so you get the best of both worlds while sleeping. The price of these toppers can vary, depending on the type of foam used. Features include:

  • Lightweight – You can’t take your mattress on vacation with you, but you can take your egg crate mattress topper. They are lightweight and portable. You can roll them up and take them just about anywhere. They are ideal for camping.
  • Heat  You are going to be able to stay nice and cool at night when you use an egg crate mattress topper. The bumps allow for better air flow, so your body temperature will stay regulated and you will have a comfortable sleep.
  • Comfort  You can make your mattress a lot more comfortable when you use an egg crate topper. If you get one that is made out of memory foam, you will have even more comfort, and your body will be better supported.
  • Price – You can get a decent egg crate mattress topper for less than $100, which is a lot better than spending a thousand or more on a new mattress. Expect to pay a little more if you choose a topper made from memory foam.

Egg Crate Foam Pros and Cons

Now it is time to take a look at the not so great things about egg crate mattress toppers. While they are an inexpensive and comfortable alternative to a new mattress, they are not always everything that they are cracked up to be. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.

Egg Crate Foam Mattress Topper Pros

  • Value – You can get a lot of use out of an egg crate mattress topper. Not only will you use it at home, you will take it with you to motels, on camping trips, etc. It is also less expensive than a memory foam mattress topper.
  • Better Sleep Because your body will have more support, and the bumps provide better air flow, you will find yourself sleeping a lot better at night.

Egg Crate Foam Pads Essentials

  • Egg crate foam toppers are made of closed or open cell foam (depending on the manufacturer) built into an 'egg carton' like shape, with bumps and dips evenly distributed across the surface (the back of the pad is completely flat, so this a non-flip topper).
  • High quality egg-crate pads contain only medical-grade, medium-density urethane foam, which has an open cell structure and doesn't contain plastics.
  • This type of mattress foam pad is mainly used in hospitals and rehab clinics, since they are considered perfect for patients who have suffered from spinal surgery.
  • The bumps and dips offer breathability, shock resistance, good support and reduction of pressure points, bed sores and heating during sleep.
  • An egg crate topper can be placed on top of any kind of mattress: regular foam, latex, feather or down, inner spring, water or air, except a memory foam mattress.

Final Thoughts

If you want to be more comfortable at night and sleep better, but you aren’t ready to invest in a new mattress, a mattress topper is an excellent option. Whether you choose a memory foam topper, or an egg crate mattress topper, you are going to be happy. You can even combine the two and get the best of both worlds: an egg crate mattress topper made from memory foam.

6 Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which Side Goes Up On An Egg Crate Mattress?

Place the egg crate pad on top of the mattress with the bumps facing toward the ceiling.

2. What Is The Purpose Of An Egg Crate Mattress?

Egg crate foam toppers are meant to give you a breathable surface while sleeping. Its ideal for burn patients or for bedridden patients to avoid bed sores. The egg crate design just leaves more room for air circulation.

3. Which Way Up Do You Put A Memory Foam Mattress?

As a general rule of thumb, memory foam mattresses are single sided – this means they can't be flipped because the comfort filling is on the top of the mattress and not the bottom. However, we do recommend you rotate your mattress every few months to prolong the lifespan of the mattress.

4. Do You Put Memory Foam Under Mattress Pad?

The short answer is, you can just toss some sheets on the memory foam topper the way it is with the zippered cover. Then again, many people who buy a memory foam topper use a quilted mattress pad they already have and put that on top of the topper. The mattress pad may make it feel firmer.

5. Are Egg Crate Mattress Pads Washable?

Based on the size of the egg crate, its thickness and the durability of the material, you may be able to wash it in your washing machine. With a standard machine, however, you run the risk of the foam tearing due to the agitation. Set the washing machine to the gentlest cycle and use a small amount of mild detergent.

6. What Does Convoluted Foam Mean?

The term convoluted describes foam with a ridged design that has peaks and valleys. Often called egg crate foam, convoluted foam is lighter than a solid piece of foam and allows for added airflow. Foam mattress toppers often use convoluted foam designs for added support.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *