Mattress Buying Guide
Memory Foam Mattresses
Traditional spring mattresses are manufactured with foam, springs and padding. Over time these mattresses will begin to show their age because of the wear and tear of regular use. When depressions form in these traditional spring mattresses, the sagging and dips can be very uncomfortable to sleep on. You may find yourself trying to position yourself around the dents and valleys. This is definitely not comfortable nor does it aid you in your search for a good night's sleep. Bad springs, cheap foam or both of these can be the cause of these uncomfortable depressions. The denser and heavier the foam, the more it will hold up over time. You will want to make sure the padding in your next mattress is at least a 2.5 pound foam or heavier. Pillow-top mattresses frequently dip where your body rests. The foam, polyester, or cotton used when making the mattress pillow tops will compress over time. This is also true of the foam used in the construction of futons. You will notice depressions formed from the weight of your body over time. Most of these mattresses feel great at the start of their life when you first purchase them, but this comfort will not last. This is due to the density of the materials used. The denser the material the longer it will last, but you must also consider the comfort the mattress materials will provide you. Like all mattresses, a memory foam mattress is great for some, but can be uncomfortable for others. It depends on your personal preference.
Memory Foam Mattresses are very different from other mattresses. These mattresses mold into your body shape to provide comfort using Visco-Elastic Foam. It's an open-celled, body-heat and body-weight sensitive material originally designed to relieve the pressure of G-forces experienced by astronauts in flight. Its visco-elastic properties allow it to automatically sense your weight and temperature and respond by molding to your body's exact shape and position.
Memory foam was developed in 1966 by NASA researchers and was released to the public domain in the early 1980s. The manufacturing process was difficult and expensive so it was not widely used. Memory foam was initially most commonly used in medical settings for cushions, pillows and mattresses. Since the manufacturing process has become less expensive, more mattresses have found their way into market.
Memory foam is polyurethane with added chemicals to increase its density and viscosity. It is sometimes referred to as low-resilience polyurethane foam. Memory foam softens as it reacts to body heat, allowing it to mold to the body's shape. The mattress will return to its original shape slowly. Because of its ability to mold to the body, the memory foam mattress lacks pressure points and helps alleviate back and neck pain for many users. Another advantage over traditional mattresses is that memory foam mattresses are anti-microbial and resist dust mites.
Don't make the mistake many do and get a memory mattress confused with a latex mattress. Click on the link to learn the difference.