The World of Memory Foam

Memory foam mattresses are a game changer for anyone who has struggled through sleepless nights on lumpy, springy, uncomfortable mattresses. Memory foam mattresses cradle the body and have quickly become synonymous with comfort and support. 

These elite mattresses are revolutionizing the way that we sleep. The body contouring features of memory foam mattresses allow them to adjust to each sleeper individually night after night. 

Developed in 1966 by NASA to improve the cushioning comfort and stability in space shuttle seats for pilots, memory foam has continued to innovate over the years and we are now seeing it be incorporated into everyday products. Since its inception in the 60s, memory foam has found its way into items such as mattresses, pillows, and even sports equipment. In this article, we will explore the different types of memory foam mattresses on the market as well as provide an overview of what memory foam is and the technology used in creating memory foam.

Memory Foam Technology

When shopping for a new mattress, you may find yourself asking, how do memory foam mattresses work? What is it exactly that sets them apart from other types of mattresses on the market? 

Memory foam is otherwise referred to as viscoelastic foam or low-resilience polyurethane foam. In memory foam, the cells (sometimes referred to as ‘bubbles’) are open which allows air movement. 

Since memory foam is a type of polyurethane foam, it reacts to both heat and pressure, which is what allows it to conform to fit the contours of the person sleeping on it. Memory foam is known as viscoelastic foam due to its viscoelastic properties. Simply put, this means that memory foam mattresses have both elastic and modeling abilities, giving them the unique capability to change shape and then return back to their original form. These characteristics are what allow memory foam mattresses to adjust to every individual who sleeps on them and then return back to their original shape. 

One of the defining features of memory foam is its ability to distribute weight evenly, which helps alleviate pressure throughout key areas of the body. The high-density nature of memory foam makes these mattresses particularly suitable for people with joint or back issues. 

Memory foam mattresses are also very helpful for ensuring proper spinal alignment. The motion isolation properties of memory foam mattresses make them ideal for couples, individuals who sleep with pets, or anyone who tends to toss and turn on other types of mattresses. 

Types of Memory Foam Mattresses

Traditional Memory Foam Mattresses

The traditional memory foam mattress is among one of the most common types of memory foam mattresses purchased today. 

These mattresses have developed a reputation for their comfort and support by contouring and supporting the body throughout the night. While there are many positive features that make traditional memory foam mattresses so well-loved, one notable element of these high-density mattresses is their tendency to retain heat. 

Knowing that this could be a potential downside, some manufacturers offer cooling covers or fabrics that are more breathable to help manage the heat retention of the mattress. Despite the allure of newer iterations and inventions within the memory foam mattress industry, the traditional memory foam mattress remains as a classic, go-to option for sleepers everywhere. 

Gel Infused Memory Foam Mattresses

For those who are in the market for a memory foam mattress, but have concerns about the heat retention aspects of a traditional memory foam mattress, a gel-infused memory foam mattress is a great option. 

These mattresses infuse either gel beads or liquid gel foam into the memory foam layer while the memory foam is still in its liquid stage. The cooling technology used in these mattresses helps to improve their temperature regulation, which gives you a cooler sleep. The infusion of the gel also allows the mattress to retain its original shape more easily than a traditional memory foam mattress, giving you the contouring benefits with less of a feeling of sinking into the mattress. 

Gel-infused memory foam mattresses are a great option as they offer sleepers improved breathability and cooling properties, while still maintaining their comfort and support benefits. 

Plant-Based Memory Foam Mattresses

Plant-based memory foam mattresses are manufactured with renewable plant-based materials such as soy, coconut, bamboo, and more. 

These materials are used in place of the traditional petroleum-based ingredients that are found in other types of memory foam mattresses. These eco-friendly mattresses are known for their enhanced breathability and reduced off-gassing compared to other mattresses. 

Plant-based memory foam mattresses typically use a portion of plant-based materials in combination with standard petroleum-based materials. This combination of renewable and non-renewable materials allows for improved sustainability of the mattress while still maintaining the breathability, comfort level, and softness that is expected of a memory foam mattress. This means that plant-based memory foam mattresses are not made from 100% plant-based materials. 

An important element of this type of mattress to consider is that it does require more cleaning and maintenance than a traditional memory foam mattress would due to the open-cell nature of the materials used. 

Copper Infused Memory Foam Mattresses

Copper-infused memory foam mattresses have copper particles embedded in the foam during the manufacturing process. 

The copper infusion gives the mattress antimicrobial properties and superior heat dissipation. The copper-infused memory foam mattress is another great mattress option if you are looking to avoid the heat retention of a traditional memory foam mattress. This type of mattress fights odors, bacteria, and viruses and is a great option for individuals with allergies or sensitive skin.

Comparison of the Different Types of Memory Foam Mattresses

When choosing which type of memory foam mattress is right for you, there are a number of factors to consider. 

These factors include but are not limited to

  • Cost
  • Comfort
  • Support
  • Temperature regulation
  • Durability

While traditional memory foam mattresses may be a more popular option, gel-infused or copper-infused memory foam mattress options offer improved breathability and antimicrobial properties. 

Plant-based memory foam mattress options support eco-friendliness and are more environmentally sustainable. The price range will vary based on the type of memory foam mattress you are interested in. You can generally expect to spend anywhere from $1,000 – $5,000 on your mattresses depending on the type, size, and quality of the mattress that you choose. 

When looking into memory foam, it is also important to consider the differences between these mattresses and other mattress types on the market. For example, the contouring effects of memory foam do decrease movement which can be a drawback to individuals who like to change their sleeping positions throughout the night. 

Putting it to Rest

Memory foam mattresses are a great option for anyone who struggles to get a good night’s sleep on other types of mattresses. Investing in a high-quality memory foam mattress is a long-term investment not just for your sleep, but for your overall health and well-being. 

A good night’s sleep is necessary for focus, alertness,and mood stabilization, along with many other health benefits. By understanding the different types of memory foam mattresses available on the market and the unique features and benefits of each, you can make an informed decision on which type of memory foam mattress suits your needs and preferences. 

Whether you prefer the classic comfort of traditional memory foam, the advanced cooling and antimicrobial properties of gel-infused or copper-infused, or the eco-friendliness of plant-based options, there is a memory foam mattress to suit everyone. 

Published by HOLR Magazine.

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