Air Foam vs. Memory Foam Mattress

Air Foam vs. Memory Foam Mattress

Quick Overview

  • Feel: Memory foam provides a distinct cradling sensation. When you sink into it, it envelops your body. Air foam, on the other hand, might offer a slightly bouncier and more responsive feel.

  • Heat: Traditional memory foam can retain heat, making some people feel hot during the night. Air foam is typically designed to mitigate this issue and offer a cooler sleep.

  • Support: Both foams can offer good support, but their response to pressure can be different. While memory foam slowly adjusts to the contours of your body, air foam might adjusts more quickly.

Here's a detailed review of Air Foam vs. Memory Foam Mattresses to help you find the best one for your needs. We have listed down all the pros and cons to make the choice easier for you. 

Are Air Foam and Memory Foam the Same Things?

No, they are not the same. Air foam has air spaces while memory foam has a viscoelastic material in it. There are also many other differences in these materials that we will discuss here. 

What is Air Foam?

Air foam in mattresses refers to a type of foam that is designed to be more breathable and responsive than traditional memory foams. This foam often contains tiny air pockets or channels that allow for better airflow, helping to regulate temperature and prevent heat retention. As a result, mattresses with air foam aim to provide a cooler sleeping surface while still offering pressure relief and contouring support.

How Air Foam Mattresses Feel

  1. Soft & Cushiony: Just like sinking into a soft pillow or marshmallow.
  2. Responsive: Press your hand into it, and when you lift, it quickly goes back to its shape. So, you don't feel stuck.
  3. Cooler Sleep: The "air" in "Air Foam" means it has tiny air pockets (like little bubbles in our sponge cake). These pockets let the mattress breathe, so you feel cooler and comfy.

How They Work

  1. Memory but Faster: Traditional memory foam mattresses remember your shape for a while. Air Foam does this too but bounces back faster. So, when you move, the mattress adjusts quickly.
  2. Pressure Relief: Lying down? The Air Foam gives in at the heavy parts (like your shoulders or hips) but supports the lighter parts. It's like getting a gentle hug from the bed.
  3. Stay Cool: Remember the tiny air pockets? They ensure that the warmth from your body doesn't get trapped. So, no more sweaty nights!


  • You get to adjust the firmness of your mattress by adjusting the air pressure inside it.
  • Some of them also offer targeted support for different parts of your body.
  • Air foam mattresses are more resistant to overheating than memory foam mattresses.
  • They provide better motion isolation and more peaceful sleep because of that.
  • Some air foam mattresses are more durable than memory foam mattresses.

Unlike memory foam mattresses, air foam mattresses don't give you a "hugging" sensation or extra warmth that some people might find comforting. 

You Need an Air Mattress if You're Looking for:
  1. The best mattress for Parkinson's
  2. The best mattress for Heavy or Overweight Individuals 
  3. The best mattress for Hyperthyroidism 
  4. The best mattress for Spina Bifida
  5. The best mattress for Body Sores 
  6. The best mattress for Migraine
  7. The best mattress for Circulation.

What is Memory Foam?

Memory foam is recognized for its temperature sensitivity, contouring to an individual's body shape in response to body heat. The primary goal of a memory foam mattress is to offer unmatched pressure relief by evenly distributing body weight, resulting in fewer pressure points and a comfortable sleep.

How Memory Foam Mattresses Feel

  1. Deep Contouring: Imagine being gently cradled by a soft cloud that takes the shape of your body.
  2. Slow Response: Press your hand into it, and the foam will retain the impression for a few moments before slowly returning to its original form, offering a distinct sinking feeling.
  3. Warm Embrace: The dense structure of memory foam means it tends to retain more heat, giving a warm and cozy sleep environment.

How They Work

  1. Deep Memory: Unlike other materials, memory foam reacts to body heat, allowing it to mold precisely to your body contours. Once the pressure is removed, it takes its time to return to its original form.
  2. Pressure Point Elimination: When you lie down, the foam compresses more where your body is heaviest (like hips and shoulders) and less where it's lighter, ensuring even support across your body. This translates to less tossing and turning.
  3. Heat Retention: The very feature that allows memory foam to contour—its dense structure—can also cause it to retain heat. Some modern memory foam mattresses counteract this by infusing cooling gels or other technologies to enhance breathability.


  • They offer much better spinal alignment for the patients of scoliosis, kyphosis, disc slip, and other vertebral column issues. 
  • Some memory foam mattresses come with temperature-regulating materials to prevent overheating. 
  • Memory foam is one of the quietest materials to sleep on - you can enjoy undisturbed sleep. 
  • They give you a "hugging" sensation that can help you sleep better. 


Memory foam can give you a sinking feeling that might be unwelcome for obese individuals. It is also prone to overheating. 

You Need a Memory Foam Mattress if You're Looking for:

  1. The best mattress for Numb Arms
  2. The best mattress for Scoliosis
  3. The best mattress for Kyphosis
  4. The best mattress for Neuropathy
  5. The best mattress for COPD
  6. The best mattress for allergies.


  1. What's the main difference between air foam and memory foam mattresses?

Air foam is designed for breathability and quick response, while memory foam offers deep contouring and heat sensitivity.

  1. Do air foam mattresses let you sleep cooler than memory foam?

Typically, yes. Air foam contains tiny air pockets for better airflow, reducing heat retention.

  1. Which mattress type offers better pressure relief?

Both offer excellent pressure relief. However, memory foam is known for its deep contouring, while air foam is more responsive.

  1. Will I sink into a memory foam mattress?

Memory foam provides a distinctive sinking feeling due to its slow response time, giving the sensation of being cradled.

  1. How quickly does air foam bounce back compared to memory foam?

Air foam is more responsive and bounces back faster than traditional memory foam.

  1. Is memory foam more durable than air foam?

Both foams are durable, but longevity can vary based on the quality of the material and the specific mattress brand.

  1. Do memory foam mattresses always sleep hot?

While traditional memory foam can retain heat, many modern versions incorporate cooling technologies like gel infusions to mitigate this.

  1. Which is better for back pain: air foam or memory foam?

Both can be suitable for back pain. It often depends on personal preference and the specific design of the mattress.

  1. Are there eco-friendly versions of both mattress types?

 Yes, many brands offer eco-friendly, CertiPUR-US certified, or organic versions of both air foam and memory foam mattresses.

  1. Which mattress type is more expensive?

 Prices can vary widely based on brand, quality, and additional features. It's best to compare specific brands and models for an accurate price comparison.