What is a memory foam mattress? It is a type of mattress that combines a layer of memory foam with spring or another type of support foam. The memory foam uses your body heat to mold to your body shape, providing personalized comfort and support. The mattress is known to bounce back to its original shape once the pressure is removed, and over time will remember the shape of your body, your sleeping patterns and more, giving it the name - 'memory foam.'
Memory foam mattresses are made from polyurethane. This type of foam is very feature rich, and hence it is now extensively used to make mattresses, pillows, cushions, helmets, and even mattress toppers. Memory foam mattresses have become the main choice among people due to the comfort it provides and also due to other health benefits it promises.
NASA first discovered memory foam in 1970 to counteract the extreme pressure astronauts faced while entering and exiting the Earth's atmosphere. It increased the pressure absorption in cushions for space rockets.
This temperature-sensitive memory foam was initially known as slow spring back foam. Some even called it temper foam. Foam mattress was formed by feeding gas into a polymer matrix. It had an open-cell solid structure that matched pressure against it, and then slowly retained its original shape. Memory foam was subsequently used in the medical field where the patient was supposed to lie motionless on their bed on a firm mattress for an unlimited period of time. Due to this static nature, patients had uneven pressure on body parts which caused gangrene or pressure sores. But with time, this issue decreased.
Initially these memory foam mattresses were highly expensive for widespread use, but later it became affordable for domestic uses including mattresses, pillows, shoes and blankets. It is also widely used in hospitals in the form of wheelchair seat cushions, hospital bed pillows and padding for people suffering long-term pain or postural problems.
Types of memory foams used in mattresses
There are mainly two types of memory foam mattresses, based on the look, feel, density, purpose, and method of manufacturing. The sleep-grade memory foam is solely used in pillows and mattresses. In short, all of the types are used in various ways and for varied items.
- Traditional Memory Foam
- Cool Gel Memory Foam
Traditional Memory Foam
The traditional memory foam is the most common and widely used memory foam mattress and was the first one to be invented. It is made up of the traditional petroleum-based polymer. It has a very soft texture and has more density than the other types. A traditional memory foam mattress is the best choice for those looking for a budget-friendly mattress. The high density of the mattress retains the heat that comes out from the body. It has a closely packed structure and hence is more sensitive to heat and pressure.
On the other hand, it is very soft and provides the needed comfort to your body. In addition, it helps in relieving joint pains and body aches. But, these foam mattresses are not the right choice for those staying in a very hot climate.
Cool Gel Memory Foam
Cool gel memory foam mattresses are traditional memory foam mattresses but with an additional layer of cooling gel. When compared to traditional foam mattresses, gel memory foam mattresses provide more ventilation and are very soft.
These mattresses and pillows also have spaces in between them—this aids in the easy breathability. Unlike the traditional foam mattress, the gel memory foam mattress tends to retain its shape more quickly without holding on to the body pressure for a longer duration. So, if you are particularly looking for both comfort and support, this is the best option for you.
Memory Foam as an Orthopedic Mattress
If you are suffering from orthopedic issues and are eager to buy a memory foam mattress, then you need to choose the one considering your body type. Choose the mattress that can help you ease the body pain. It has been seen that people tend to use foam mattresses with high density if they are facing orthopedic problems.
Orthopedic foam mattresses help you to get relieved from back pain, body aches and stiffness, especially in pressure points, such as the shoulders, neck, hips and other parts of the body. These mattresses use an innovative technology that helps them to conform to the shape of the body and resume back to its original shape after use.
This mattress is designed especially for those people who suffer from arthritis, backache and other related issues with muscles, bones, joints, etc. Usage of this mattress helps in reducing the pain and sleep better. This foam mattress does not trap heat inside, thus making your body feel cool and comfortable.
Advantages of Memory Foam Mattresses
Quality sleep is one of the many things that are essential for the wellness of your body. If you have lacked a good slumber all these days, well, it is time to change your mattress. A memory foam mattress can be the best choice for many reasons.
Here are the advantages of memory foam mattresses:
- Exceptional comfort
- Suits all sleeping positions
- Absorbs movement
- Less backache and neck pain
- Hypo- allergenic
- Advanced pressure relief
- Offers customized support
- Does not sag or sink
Being a highly resilient temperature-sensitive material that reacts to your body heat and weight, memory foam mattresses can easily mold to your body shape, offering you the comfort you deserve.
Suits all sleeping positions
The resilient nature of the mattress can offer comfort in all the sleeping positions. The material of the mattress adjusts and distributes body weight equally so that the sleep is not disturbed. As a result, you will feel the support equally all over the body, even if you are a stomach sleeper or back sleeper.
How will you feel getting disturbed while sleeping just because your partner just changed his/her position? The memory foam mattress is a boon to such people. They will not feel any movement even if their partner keeps changing his or her position while sleeping. The mattress absorbs the movement and minimizes the effect, thus preventing any disturbance.
Less backache and neck pain
The memory foam, also known as viscoelastic foam, promotes a neutral spinal alignment. It offers the comfort and support needed while sleeping, thus preventing pain or aches. Long-term use of this mattress can help you get rid of any chronic back pain or neck pain.
Are you prone to allergies? If so, you should consider buying a memory foam mattress. The material being polyurethane repels any mold or mildew and holds resistivity to any dust mites or pet dander.
Advanced pressure relief
We already know that a memory foam mattress disperses body weight across the sleep surface uniformly. The property of the mattress can help relieve painful pressure points from your knees, hips, back, and shoulders.
Offers customized support
Memory foam mattresses can offer customized support and better airflow as it takes the natural shape of your body as soon as you lie down on it.
Does not sag or sink
The present generation is very particular about their mattress and often low quality or unbranded mattresses with time have a tendency to sag or sink. The memory foam mattress offers an open-cell design that prevents the mattress from sagging or sinking.
To conclude, let us see how the memory foam mattress helps each kind of sleeper.
If you are a back sleeper, then the memory foam mattress conforms to your spine, offering excellent lumbar support.
If you are a side sleeper, then a memory foam mattress helps distribute your body weight away from the hips and shoulders. Also, it supports your waist and spine alignment.
And lastly, if you are a stomach sleeper, the memory foam mattress helps by providing the support to maintain the neutral spinal alignment and to reduce the pressure on your lower back. In addition, it will prevent any backache caused due to ailments or due to the use of a poor mattress.