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By John Broetje | Blog | Oct 17, 2014
Buying a new mattress is about as simple as choosing a new cellphone service provider. And if you’re interested specialty sleep products like memory foam, the learning curve gets even steeper. A memory foam mattress can dramatically improve sleep for some people – but it isn’t the best solution for everyone.
To help you discover if a memory foam mattress is a good solution for you, let’s have a closer look at memory foam and how it can lead to a better night’s sleep.
Developed in 1966 by NASA, memory foam was the first foam that retained the shape of the object applying pressure – its first name was “slow spring back foam.” It later gained the name “temper foam” because of its temperature sensitive qualities – a warm object can create more of an impression, creating a cocoon effect around the object applying pressure.
Memory foam was originally designed to improve pilot safety during a crash but the medical industry soon began to use it in mattress pads to help reduce bedsores in immobile patients. By the early 1980’s the foam was commercialized and began to appear in sports equipment.
In 1991, a Swedish foam manufacturer (which would later become Tempur-Pedic Worldwide) released their first mattress to the world. The mattress wasn’t an overnight sensation but in just over 20 years, the company has become the largest bedding manufacturer in the world.
Manufacturing memory foam wasn’t an easy task. Polyurethane foam (viscoelastic) is the starting point and depending on the chemicals added, anything from car parts to mattresses can be made. In the case of a mattress, gases are introduced to make the foam bubble, which creates a more open cell structure. By controlling the sizes of the bubbles, manufacturers can create mattresses with varying degrees of firmness.
Memory foam in mattresses has become popular because it’s so energy absorbent and responsive to heat. When you lie on it, the mattress conforms to your shape, equally distributing and supporting body weight. For people who suffer from chronic pain, it may be a godsend. It’s responsiveness to heat can make it feel warmer than other mattresses. What’s more, memory foam mattresses are famous for minimizing movement across the surface of the bed, which can make it especially appealing to couples.
Many people swear that their memory foam mattress is their best friend, doctor and physical therapist all rolled into one. The unique qualities of memory foam – temperature and weight sensitive – delivers extraordinary cradling comfort, relieving the body of stress and strain during sleep.
So, how do you know if it’s right for you? Memory foam may be right for you if:
But no mattress is perfect for every person and memory foam is no different. Take a sober second look if you:
Thankfully, we no longer need to make a wholesale choice for memory foam or not. Many manufacturers, now offer a variety of hybrid mattresses that include memory foam, inner spring and latex – as well as gel infused into the memory foam or latex – which allows consumers to customize their sleep experience.
With mattress manufacturers mixing up traditional recipes, it’s now possible to customize your sleeping experience, which can be good and frustrating at the same time. Comparison shopping is almost impossible because of the endless combinations now being created.
If you’re in the market for a new mattress, our best advice is to get yourself to a Mattress Depot USA store and start testing out mattresses for yourself. You’re the expert on what feels good to your body and that matters more than what’s in the mattress. Or you can start shopping and comparing memory foam mattresses on our website here.