What is Memory Foam?

Memory foam has become the favorite mattress of choice for a large share of consumers. It has a number of advantages over standard coil mattresses. These include greater comfort, more durability and effectiveness for coping with a number of painful medical conditions during sleep. For more on this particular topic, see our article on Memory Foam Mattress Benefits.

Origin of Memory Foam

Development of memory foam began in the mid 1960s at NASA. There was a perceived need to produce superior seat cushions and crash helmets, which could better absorb potential impacts and allow pilots to better cope with high G forces of their missions. The base material is polyurethane. To this, gas is infused producing a foam which has a structure allowing it to have good firmness and yet to submit to pressure by conforming to the shape of the object applying the pressure. In particular, memory foam responds to warm bodies by suitably changing its shape as noted. The material -upon the removal of the object of pressure- will return to its original shape.

Over time, a number of different types of memory foam have been developed. Succeeding generations of the product have -in particular- seen enhancements to improve one of the drawbacks of memory foam: its heat retention. The material is composed of “cells” which are densely packed. This diminishes ventilation, resulting in the absorption of the heat of the body heat of the user which is then not dissipated through ventilation. Newer types of the product have improved aeration, but the latest generations of memory foam are infused with substances, particularly types of gel, which add a cooling effect by reducing heat absorption. Gel infusion also results in a mattress that returns to its original shape more quickly.

What is Memory Foam Price Compared to Alternatives?

Memory foam mattresses are more expensive than standard foam or spring coil mattresses. This is due to the cost of manufacture, particularly of higher end forms of the product which come with high durability, cooling properties, good firmness and superior comfort. In many cases, a mattress may not be composed of memory foam throughout, but may have a layer of the material, combined with other layers of a different type. We have reviews and more specific information on the products on offer from the leading manufacturers. It is worth the time to research the particular brand you are interested in, given that your purchase should be expected to last up to a decade and to provide you with the significant benefits expected from this type of mattress.