What is memory foam?
Memory foam was developed under a NASA contract in the 1970s that set out to improve seat cushioning and crash protection for airline pilots and passengers. Back then it was called viscoelastic with characteristics of both highly energy absorbent and soft.
Memory foam molds to the body in response to heat and pressure, evenly distributing body weight. It then returns to its original shape once you remove the pressure.
In addition to protecting against impact, memory foam is very comfortable because it takes the natural contour of the body. After its first run for NASA, memory foam made a foray into other applications.
For example, it was used as cushioning in helmets and shoes. Medicine found a use for it in prosthetics and products to prevent pressure ulcers such as seating pads for people who are severely disabled.
Then, memory foam took off. It's now well known for its use in pillows, mattress pads, and mattresses, which come in different densities and depths.
What are the benefits of memory foam?
When you lie on the memory foam, the heat from your body softens it in appropriate points, which helps to support along the curves and natural lines of the body. Memory foam manufacturers claim this helps relieve pain and thereby promotes more restful sleep. And, though consumers often believe that very firm mattresses are best, more "giving" mattresses like these may lead to better sleep in people with back pain, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
Memory foam uses your natural heat and responds to pressure by adapting to the shape of your body. This is great for many different sleeping positions as it cradles the natural curves of your body and provides excellent pressure point relief. It properly aligns the neck, spine, and hips in the body while sleeping and offers pain relief for achy joints and conditions like arthritis with its pressure-relieving capabilities.
These orthopedic mattresses with body shape memory are especially good for people suffering from pain in the vertebra, joints, and lower back. For athletes, people leading an active lifestyle, or elders, they might prefer an ergonomic function mattress such as a memory foam mattress.
Reduce motion transfer
For elder people, minimizing extra movement could reduce the number of times they awaken during the night. Being less aware of a bed partner's movements might be an extra benefit for the elder group of consumers. Without the coiled springs, you feel your sleep partner's movement less.
Memory foam is long hailed as the bed for restless couples because the body forming properties limit its transfer of motion activity. Since memory foam cradles the person sleeping, it does not disturb the rest of the mattress when someone else is moving. This is perfect if you have a partner who is prone to tossing and turning or if one of you is simply just a light sleeper.
Memory foam mattresses have hypoallergenic properties. How long do memory foam mattresses last? On average, memory foam mattresses last up to 10 years, but it all depends on how you care for your mattress. Memory foam mattresses do not wear out quickly, however, remember that memory foam is compressed with the heat and pressure of your body. Most shops provide a five or eight years warranty, but we provide a 10 Years Warranty.
Memory foam mattresses are eco-friendly. Since this is a material of synthetic origin, it does not decompose over time and is a negative environment for the growth of bacteria.
Another amazing quality about memory foam mattresses is the materials they are made of. Most mattresses made of memory foam are hypoallergenic and germ resistant. The open cell structure makes them more breathable and protective against trapping moisture or attracting dust mites and other insects. This makes them a healthier alternative to other options.
Different types of memory foam mattresses
Since the introduction of memory foam into the mainstream market, there have been different advancements in memory foam mattresses. There are three main types of memory foam mattresses; traditional memory foam mattresses, plant-based memory foam mattresses, and gel-infused memory foam mattresses.
Traditional Memory Foam: They are form-fitting and petroleum-based, which some activists are not too happy about.
Plant-Based Memory Foam: Some memory foam mattresses are plant-based, made from coconut foam, soy, and other plant materials. They spring back quicker than traditional memory foam mattresses but have a cleaner footprint.
Gel Infused Memory Foam: Gel memory foam is a combination of traditional memory foam and gel, sometimes the gel is in a layer on the top of the mattress or combined throughout the entire mold. Gel memory foam is meant to be a cooler option over traditional memory foam mattresses.
What are the disadvantages of memory foam?
While memory foam is a great option for any mattress buyer there are a few cons when it comes to them.
Memory foams cost as little as 150 dollars up to thousands, but it is not recommended to buy the cheapest option as they can use foam with the addition of harmful substances as a filler. This will cause allergy and possibly the mattress will cease to maintain its shape soon. You are recommended to buy from a branded store.
Also since a good quality high-density memory foam is rather pricey, it is recommended to shop in the store with a trial period and long warranties. Usually, 100-120 days of sleep trial and 10-15 years of warranty is a match for a good quality mattress.
Hot in summer
Since memory foam uses the heat of your body to conform to its natural shape. This can cause you to overheat during summer nights. A lower-density mattress maintains less heat.
Due to some of the chemicals used in the manufacturing process, memory foam mattresses could have an initial odor coming with them. This is because the polyurethane core is nontoxic. The smell usually disappears after 2-3 weeks.
Not recommended for children and adolescents
For people in youth, they would need a firmer mattress that benefits their backbone and spine structuring and shaping process.
Now some of you might be wondering how to choose between the different weights of a memory foam mattress. Some of them are much lighter than others, does this make a difference in how you will sleep? Yes, it does.
For the majority of people, aim for a mattress with a density of around 3.5 to 4 lbs per cubic foot and 5 lbs if you are on the heavier side. Anything less than that and you’ll see your mattress begin to deteriorate faster than you may like.
The highest quality ones have a density of 6 lbs per cubic foot or more. It’s going to cost you quite some money, but you’ll sleep well. Anything higher than that, the benefits start to decrease.
If you are the larger size, you will perceive a mattress as softer than it is. This is because the softness of the mattress depends on how far you sink into it.
Heavier people will be creating a deeper cradle in the foam, spreading the weight. A firm upper layer of a mattress will be good for larger people because it will relieve the pressure points of their bodies.
In contrast, a person with a smaller body shape will be more inclined to use a softer mattress. They do not have as much need for weight distribution, and they will not be sinking far into the mattress. In case you’re a larger size, definitely get a mattress with a higher density.
If a heavier person gets a softer mattress with less density, the foams will deteriorate faster than they should.
How can I make my memory foam mattress better?
To make your memory foam mattress better, one simply has to keep a few tips in mind.
It is best to turn the mattress once every six months or, if possible, three months. This is necessary to avoid deformation.
The base under the mattress must be absolutely flat and sufficiently rigid. A “sagging” fiberboard bottom will not work and let the mattress deteriorate fast. It is also not recommended to use such a mattress on a box-spring bed.
With a memory foam mattress, it’s best to use a slatted or solid mattress foundation, or modern platform beds. We have covered the bed base choices for different mattress types in depth here for further reference.
Polyurethane materials cannot be cleaned at high temperatures, tumble dry or damp wash. Only dry cleaning without the use of cleaning chemicals.
It is not recommended to store the memory foam mattress in a cold room or on a balcony in winter. It may take quite a long time for it to restore its properties and shape.
Memory foam mattresses cannot be stored for a long time in a bent, folded position as this can lead to long-term deformation.
Buying a memory foam mattress might be a good decision.
It is equally important to conduct all your research before you go through with the expensive decision.
However, if you are easily awakened by temperature change or bothered by slight signs of smells, you might have issues with some memory foam mattresses, so think twice.
The additional comfort is indeed top-notch and the fact they usually last longer than traditional mattresses is another big bonus.
With these extra benefits, you may find the heat issues and off-gassing no longer a problem. It all comes down to choice and making sure you have the right information.
If still in doubts, write to us. We are always here to help.