Do Foam Mattresses Provide Protection Against Pressure Sores?

Pressure sores, also known as pressure ulcers and bedsores, are a common concern for individuals who spend extended periods of time lying in bed. These sores develop due to prolonged pressure on certain areas of the body, leading to reduced blood flow, skin sheering and tissue damage. They commonly affect areas where bones are close to the skin, such as the hips, heels and elbows, yet they can develop anywhere on the body. 

There are several ways you can reduce the risk of pressure sores developing, such as regularly moving and changing your position. There are also some specially designed products you can use to help keep your skin healthy. One solution that you may be considering is using a foam mattress. Purchasing a new mattress or a mattress overlay can be a great way to protect yourself from pressure injuries, however, foam mattresses might not be the best option. 

Below we have delved into the question of whether foam mattresses truly provide effective protection against pressure sores. Our experts have explored some of the reasons why foam mattresses aren’t necessarily the best solution on the market for pressure sores. 

The Truth About Foam Mattresses

Over the years, foam mattresses have gained popularity and it’s a common misconception that they can prevent pressure injuries. Although foam mattresses can help to distribute body weight more evenly, they don’t actually provide the protection required to keep you safe. Pressure can still build up at contact points and sheering can occur when you move during the night. Unfortunately, this can result in grade 2, 3 and sometimes grade 4 pressure injuries. 

Foam mattresses, including memory foam mattresses, are designed to redistribute pressure for a more comfortable night’s sleep and they can help to alleviate pressure on vulnerable areas. However, they don’t eliminate pressure entirely and pressure sores can still develop, especially when you spend long periods lying in the same position. Some foam mattresses won’t provide sufficient support either, leading to increased pressure in certain areas and a higher risk of developing pressure injuries.

One common drawback of foam mattresses is their ability to retain heat too. The dense nature of foam can reduce airflow, leading to a higher body temperature and perspiration. This can increase the risk of friction and skin breakdown. Not to mention, it can also prevent pressure injuries from healing and the risk of infection is much higher. Foam mattresses might not effectively minimise shear forces either, which occur when the skin moves in one direction and the underlying tissue moves in another. Shear forces can contribute significantly to the development of injuries, particularly in individuals with limited mobility.

It’s worth noting that some foam mattresses like memory foam mattresses are historically made with potentially harmful chemicals too. Inhaling these chemicals for several hours a day can be dangerous and have severe side effects. You are often advised to let foam mattresses breathe and expand for a couple of days after you take them out of their packaging. However, the chemical-like smell can linger and cause skin irritation or breathing problems over time. 

Getting Protection Against Pressure Sores 

Instead of purchasing a new foam mattress to help protect your skin from pressure injuries, it’s much more beneficial to order a specially designed mattress overlay. The Treat-Eezi pressure relieving mattress overlay can be used on top of any standard mattress as well as foam-based seats or recliner chairs, and it provides 24-hour protection. 

The unique quadruple layer of polyester fibres in the Treat-Eezi products is designed to conform to the natural body contours and gently move with the user. This pressure relieving mattress overlay provides the same benefits associated with foam mattresses, as well as several more. It’s an NHS clinically approved product and one of the easiest to use and most cost-effective ways to protect individuals who are susceptible to pressure sores. 

By putting the Treat-Eezi mattress overlay on top of your current mattress, you can create an almost zero chafing area and friction will be diminished. You will be able to have a comfortable night’s sleep and trust that not only is your skin being protected but any existing pressure injuries will have the best possible chance to breathe and heal. With impressive air permeability, you will be kept cool during the night too. 

Order a Pressure Relieving Mattress Overlay

While there is no denying that some foam mattresses are comfortable, they aren’t necessarily the best option available if you’re at a high risk of developing pressure sores. It’s often more beneficial to invest in a specially designed product, like the Treat-Eezi mattress overlay, that can provide you with sufficient protection against pressure injuries. 

Should you have any questions about the Treat-Eezi products we supply at Dan Medica South, be sure to explore our website. Here you can find all of the clinical data you need as well as reviews from previous customers. Our team is always on hand to help too and we will gladly provide you with any additional information you may require about how our products can help to protect your skin in ways that foam mattresses can’t. 

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