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Learn about Memory Foam Mattress

Memory Foam Mattress

When it comes to mattresses, resilient memory foam has taken the world by storm since its introduction in the early 90s. These mattresses, made of the familiar and versatile polymer polyurethane, are specifically viscoelastic and slowly mold to the body due to pressure and heat. This low-resistance foam ranges in form depending on what compounds and additives are in the polyurethane. These chemicals change the viscosity and elasticity of the memory foam. In this instance, "viscosity" is how long the foam takes to change its shape under pressure, and "elasticity" is its ability to stretch while still returning to its original condition.

A standard foam mattress will have three layers of foam, each serving a different purpose.

When exploring which memory foam mattress is appropriate for you, it pays to know a little more about the foam that goes into the mattress layers. Of the beds on the market, there are three primary memory foam types:

Beyond what foams makeup, foam mattresses have a few other features to consider:

With the knowledge of the various foam mattress types and other features to look for, the final step is to find a mattress with a Certipur-US certification. With this seal of approval, you ensure that your foam lacks select chemicals found to be harmful to both the foam mattress and your health.

While, in recent years, there has been a push to develop more eco-friendly memory foam, the majority of mattresses today are polyurethane. The process of creating these mattresses is energy heavy, producing a decent carbon footprint. In addition, the recycling process of these mattresses is still imperfect, with numerous foam mattresses still finding their way to the landfill. Suppose you're still looking to purchase a memory foam mattress. In that case, a higher quality mattress is likely more sustainable than a lower quality alternative. The reasoning for this is because lower-quality memory foam mattresses often include additives that will degrade the material, shortening the lifespan. These products can potentially cause skin irritation in addition to the standard off-gassing. Off-gassing is common in all memory foam mattresses, releasing VOCs and odors typically gone within 24 hours. These can last longer with cheaper foam mattresses, which have extended off-gassing periods. If you want to ensure your memory foam mattress is safe, look for a Certipur-US certification, which denotes that a foam mattress is free of harmful chemicals.

Memory foam was initially designed in the 1960s for NASA as spaceship seats and seatbelts.