Getting a good night of sleep is essential, and often a person’s quality of sleep is directly related to the condition of his mattress. As mattresses age, they tend to become uncomfortable. Ruts, dips, and body depressions begin to form; springs start to loosen, and before long our beds offer little support.
Fortunately, modern materials let us build better beds. New foams can take the place of springs, allowing a different sleeping experience and greatly extending the life of a bed. Memory foam , or visco-elastic polyurethane foam as it is also known, can be used to produce a long-lasting mattress that offers a host of advantages over traditional innerspring mattress designs.
A Look at the Memory Foam Mattress
High-density memory foam has a peculiar characteristic: it reacts to body heat and molds around the distinct contours of each human body. This allows a memory foam mattress to be made of a solid mass of foam. Although it may feel hard at first, it quickly softens and shapes to the body.
The advantage of memory foam is manifold. Since it perfectly mirrors a person’s body, it eliminates pressure points that can lead to bed sores, circulation loss, or discomfort. Additionally, a memory foam mattress provides comfort much longer than the average mattress, because memory foam returns to its natural shape when heat is removed from it. In fact, quality memory foam mattresses will last for decades.
An additional feature of the memory foam mattress is that it often has a reduced thickness. Since innerspring mattresses are inherently uncomfortable, they require padding to increase comfort. Some pillow top mattresses have eight or more inches of padding, which can lead to an exceptionally thick mattress. Memory foam mattresses require no additional padding, because they are comfortable all the way through.
How to Buy a Memory Foam Mattress
Memory foam mattresses were once prohibitively expensive, and although they are more affordable now, they are still more expensive than many mattress options.
They also vary in quality. Some memory foams are cheaper and have a reduced lifespan. The original Tempur-Pedic memory foam mattresses are top quality, although there are now other equivalent options on the market that are less expensive. Be sure to check several brands. As a general rule, denser memory foam will last the longest.
Memory foam is not without its drawbacks.
Some people complain about its smell. A new memory foam mattress tends to emit a chemical odor. However, after airing this becomes less of a problem. One more concern is that since polyurethane is combustible it requires fire proofing, and there is a chance that some fire retardants may lead to health problems.
All in all, memory foam has proven to be an exceptional mattress material. Few other mattresses can offer the same level of comfort, and even fewer can offer comfort that lasts for decades. No mattress hunt is complete without at least laying down on a memory foam mattress. The sensation of foam molding around your body is unlike any other!
Tempur-pedic is Memory Foam, but not all Memory Foam is Tempur-Pedic!
Tempur-pedic is a specific brand of memory foam mattress. (It’s the brand I use in my own home, by the way, and a brand of mattress that I highly recommend!) So if you own a Tempurpedic mattress, you own a memory foam mattress. But there are also lots of other brands of memory foam that don’t have the Tempur brand, or tie in with NASA.
Are they as good? It’s hard to say. I don’t have personal experience with the other brands.
Does anyone out there have a different brand memory foam mattress? If so, which brand are you using? Is it good? Tell us all about it in the comments, so that other people buying a mattress can know what’s good!