Understanding Memory Foam Mattresses

Memory foam mattresses may or may not be a good fit for you and your sleep needs.  Let’s take a look at memory foam and what it can and cannot do for you.

Memory foam was developed in 1966 by NASA.  It was called “slow spring back foam” at first because it was the first foam that retained the shape of the object that had applied the pressure to it.  It later became known as ‘temper foam” because of its temperature sensitive qualities — a warm object can create more of an impression and create a cocoon effect around the object.  Memory foam was first used to improve pilot safety in event of a crash but the medical industry soon started using it in mattress pads to help with bed sores in immobile patients.  By the end of the 1980’s the foam was starting to appear in many products including sports equipment.  In 1991, a Swedish foam manufacturer started to use it in their mattresses.  This Swedish foam manufacturer later became known as Tempur-Pedic.  These new mattresses were not well received at first but in just over 20 years, the company has become one of the largest bedding manufacturers in the world.

Making memory foam is a complex procedure.  It all starts with polyurethane foam (viscoelastic) and depending on the chemicals added, can be used for anything from car parts to mattresses.  Gases are added to the procedure to make a mattress.  The gases make the foam bubble which creates a more open cell structure.  By controlling the sizes of the bubbles, manufacturers can create mattresses with varying degrees of firmness.

Memory foam has become popular in mattresses because it is energy absorbent and very responsive to heat.  The mattresses conform to your shape and support your body weight.  For people who have chronic pain, memory foam mattresses can be very beneficial.  It’s responsiveness to heat can make it feel warmer than a traditional innerspring mattress.  Memory foam mattresses also have little to no motion transfer which is especially nice for couples.

Many people feel that the temperature and weight sensitivities of memory foam mattresses  deliver extraordinary comfort and relieve the body of stress and strain during sleep.  Memory foam may be a good choice for your new mattress if:

  • You suffer from chronic pain that feels better with heat
  • You struggle to find a comfortable sleep position on a regular basis
  • Your partner disturbs your sleep by moving
  • You can’t sleep because you are cold

Memory foam may not be a good choice for you if:

  • You sleep warm
  • Prefer a buoyant sleep surface rather than one that cocoons
  • Have disliked memory foam in other products you have used

You might want to consider a hybrid mattress which is a combination of traditional innerspring and memory foam.  Most of the memory foams used are gel infused which allows you to customize your sleep experience.

The Serta iComfort Memory Foam and hybrid mattresses have a 180 day sleep trial.  If you purchase one of the qualifying sleep trial mattresses and decided you made the wrong selection, you can reselect within 180 days.

The Tempur-pedic Memory Foam mattresses have a 90 days sleep trial subject to Tempur-pedic’s sleep trial policy.


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