What Is A Memory Foam Mattress?
If you have never had one before, you may have asked yourself the question: “What Is A Memory Foam Mattress?”
You may also have wondered what’s so special about it compared to a traditional inner spring mattress?
Perhaps these mattresses have come to you attention via a friend or someone else, or perhaps you’ve already started looking for a new mattress and noticed them, or perhaps you discovered them after seeing a Tempur-Pedic advert.
Memory foam mattresses promise great levels of comfort and support while resting on them, coming from their beginnings from specialist use in hospitals, care centers and for the needs of people with certain conditions that required them, to accessibility and affordability to anybody that wants one.
Let’s explore more about what it is and why you might want to make your new a mattress a memory foam one.
The Origin and Evolution of the Memory Foam Mattress
The material which would later become known as memory foam was first developed in the 1960s as part of a NASA project. Researchers were searching for ways to improve the safety of aircraft cushions, and the memory foam was born. The material was then used for more types of products, such as medical and sports equipment.
It was then released to the public in the 1980s, but the manufacturing process only became tenable later on, when the Tempur-Pedic Swedish Mattress was introduced in 1991 by Tempur-pedic International, often simply referred to as Tempur-pedic.
Its use was only limited to medical scenarios at first because they were too expensive, but the manufacturing process was refined to cut down the cost of production and made the mattresses more affordable.
In 2006, the first gel memory foam mattresses were introduced. These new mattresses marked a significant breakthrough in memory foam technology, as they reduced trapped body heat more effectively, which was one of the main irritations raised by memory foam mattress owners.
Special Concerns Regarding Memory Foam Mattresses
Despite the obvious superiority of memory foam mattresses, there are still issues that you need to be aware of.
Although the manufacturers of memory foam mattresses continue to develop new technologies to deal with these concerns, you will need to be diligent when you consider particular models of memory foam mattresses, and check whether the manufacturers have addressed these concerns.
The first issue which fortunately tends not to last too long is the smell of a fresh memory foam mattress. These mattresses arrive vacuum packed, and you will need to unpack your mattress and let it air out and expand for at least 12 hours before sleeping on it.
However, a smell tends to linger for anything from a few days to a few weeks, which some people may find irritating. For a few people, they may be sensitive enough to find the smell overbearing.
Some manufacturers use olfactory additives to help mask the smell of the memory foam for those who are especially sensitive, using additives like charcoal, green tea, or aloe vera. Or alternatively they are using those additives to market their mattress as having extra comfort or health benefits.
As such aloe vera mattress, green tea mattress, and charcoal mattress are each now a thing in the mattress market.
Another issue is that these mattresses can be somewhat warm to sleep on, as memory foam tends to lock in heat. The industry’s response to this is to develop airflow technology into their mattresses, and more recently, the introduction of memory foam combined with gel.
There’s also the issue of mattress “response time.” This is the amount of time memory foam takes to recover its shape when your body changes position while you sleep. A slow response time can make movement feel difficult.
Fortunately, if you stick within the recommended memory foam density range, you should not have much of an issue with many of today’s popular mattresses.
Maintenance Of A Memory Foam Mattress
Fortunately, and unlike spring mattresses, memory foam mattresses do not need to be turned over regularly to help maintain their shape and prolong their life. Just ensure that you are using a good memory foam mattress foundation that can adequately carry the weight of the mattress and body weight. However, one thing you may like to do to help maintain your mattress is to get a mattress protector for it.
This will help keep it clean, and is a great idea because accidents do happen, and you never know when one might happen. People sensitive to the smell of memory foam foam have also benefited from using a protector to help lock out the smell.
Benefits of Memory Foam Mattresses
There are two main benefits provided by memory foam mattresses which make them worth their price tag.
The first advantage is in the way that memory foam adjusts to conform to the shape of your body, providing gentle comfort and support for your body, instead of the push of spring mattresses that can aggravate pressure sensitive areas.
This is the main reason why memory foams became so popular for care purposes in the first place.
The other main advantage of memory foam is that the material is quite durable. While traditional spring mattresses can last for about five to ten years, memory foam mattresses can last for 20-25 years, and often come with a manufacturer’s warranty for that amount of time.
Evolution Of The Memory Foam Mattress
One of the most common limitations of memory foam lies in its inherent nature to absorb heat. As air does not flow very well through memory foam, but instead tends to get trapped inside, some people find sleeping on these mattresses uncomfortably warm, especially in the Summer season when the climate is naturally humid.
Although many memory foam mattresses are created with built-in airflow technology to help distribute and dissipate the heat, some manufacturers have taken things one step further combining gel with memory foam to create what is knows as a gel memory foam mattress.
The DreamFoam Bedding Ultimate Dreams 13″ Gel Memory Foam Mattress and the DynastyMattress New Cool Breeze 12-Inch GEL Memory Foam Mattress are two popular gel memory foam mattresses, both achieving high 4.5 out of 5 overall average customer ratings.
The Increasing Popularity of Memory Foam Mattresses
Since the memory foam mattress was introduced to the general public, it has become one of the most popular types of mattresses in the world. There are many memory foam mattress reviews online, not just for the premium brand mattresses, but also some of the newer manufacturer’s making more widely affordable mattresses.
There is a growing awareness of the support without pressure that memory foam provides in contrast to spring mattresses. This fantastic benefit coupled with the fact that memory foam mattresses can last more than double the life of a spring mattress, make them a fantastic investment for your health.
They are also an investment that will last a long time, and all for a price that considering these two factors, is very reasonable indeed. So the question is not “What Is A Memory Foam Mattress” but “Which one should I buy?”