Memory foam, or visco-elastic foam, is a special type of foam that responds to the body's temperature and then perfectly conforms to the body's shape.
Fro more information, download our Complete Memory Foam Guide -- A Free e-Book
As the memory foam gently conforms to the body it redistributes the body's weight. More of the body is in contact with the sleep surface: The more square inches of contact, the less overall pressure per square inch. This conformability of the memory foam allows every square inch of the body to be supported and thereby significantly reduces skin pressure by as much as 50%. This improves the circulation, reduces pressure points as well as spinal pressure.
Developed by NASA
Memory foam, technically visco elastic foam, was originally developed by NASA for use by astronauts.
The idea was to create a foam that would sense the body temperature and weight of the astronaut and then gently conform to the shape of the body, providing the perfect amount of support over an extended period of time . . . and particularly during periods of increased G-forces, such as lift off and re-entry.
It was such a great success that hospitals began ordering memory foam mattresses for bedridden patients and burn victims. The NASA developed memory foam gave relief to patients with special needs.
Tempur-Pedic ® made memory foam a household word
It didn't take long for someone to realize how attractive these memory foam mattresses would be to home users. A Swedish bedding company quickly turned concept into reality by marketing the first generation of memory foam mattresses to general consumers: Swedish memory foam by Tempur-Pedic. For more information about Tempur Pedic ®. please see What is Tempur Pedic?
The Tempur Pedic mattress was a good mattress. It is a little too firm in my opinion, but still a quality item. And it carries a price tag to match. A better buy is the higher quality but lower priced new generation of memory foam mattresses available through us here at Absolute Comfort on Sale. Click here to view a list of each Memory Foam Mattress we offer
Important Facts about Memory Foam
There are several important considerations when shopping for a memory foam product. Two of the main factors are the thickness and density. Memory foam comes in densities ranging from 2lbs to 5lbs. The memory foam slabs that a memory foam mattress is made from or memory foam toppers are composed of come in various thicknesses ranging from 1 inch to about 5 inches.
Importance of Height in Selecting a Memory Foam Topper
We have found that for memory foam to be effective 2 inches of the memory foam is enough. You will be able to experience the full memory foam experience if you purchase a topper of 2 inch memory foam (see our Aerus 2 inch Memory Foam Mattress Pad) or if you purchase a memory foam mattress with a 2 inch memory foam slab on top and other types of firm support foam beneath. We offer many toppers of various thicknesses ranging from the basic 2 inches to 3 inches, 4 inches and even 5 inches. It is our experience after many years of selling memory foam to customers around the world that 2 inches is all you really need but a 3 inch topper may be better for a heavier person. The higher profile toppers with 4 and 5 inches of memory foam may be a bit too high for most people. With a topper this high a person will feel they are sinking in quite deep. So our recommendation for the ideal memory foam topper height is either 2 inch or 3 inch. Please see our full line of Memory Foam Mattress Toppers.
We have a very large selection of memory foam mattresses to choose from. Please see our full line of Memory Foam Mattresses. A memory foam mattress has between 1 inch and 4 inches of memory foam on top in combination with various types of support foam underneath. In some cases we will combine a 3 inches of 4lb memory foam with 2 inches of 3lb memory foam and then a 6 inch support foam or we may combine several inches of memory foam on top with a latex foam support core. Each combination creates a different overall effect. When you read more closely the descriptions of each mattress you will be able to determine which mattress will best suit you. No mattress is ever solid memory foam through and through. It would be much too soft and would not give the support you require. Usually the highest amount of memory foam you will find in a NASA memory foam mattress is about 4 inches.
Memory foam is not appropriate for those who weigh over 250 lbs (read more). Those who weigh over 250 lbs put a lot of wear and tear on the memory foam and after some time it will not fully respond as it should. Each level of weight has its own requirements. We have engineered a special Domestic Latex foam mattress for those who weigh between 250 and 300 lbs called Comfort Max 300 Mattress. We have also designed another mattress for those who weigh over 300 lbs called the Comfort Max 400 Mattress.
The Importance of Density in Selecting a Memory Foam Topper
Density is another important factor to consider when selecting a memory foam product. What does the term "density" mean in the world of memory foam? The density of a piece of memory foam is how much one cubic foot of the foam would weigh. That is to say, if you took a cube of the foam measuring one foot on all 6 sides it would weigh 5lbs if the density is 5lb and it would weight 4lbs if its density is 4lbs. You may be wondering why this is important.
The density of the NASA memory foam determines how soft or firm the foam is as well as the recovery response time of the foam. The general rule is the higher the density rating of the foam the firmer the foam will feel. If you are a larger person or like the feel of a firmer bed you should look for a product with a density of 5 pounds but if you enjoy a softer feel you should look for something in a 3 or 4 pound density. The slight oddity in this logic is that the 4lb foam is softer than the 3lb foam. So 5lb and 3lb memory foam are firmer and 4lb memory foam is softer. Why this slight oddity? It is because with NASA memory foam we also have to take into account the recovery time. Memory foam with a higher density has a slower recovery time and memory foam with a lower density has a faster recovery or response time.
In order to arrive at a simple qualitative indicator, Indentation Force Deflection was coined as the technical ‘softness’ or ‘hardness’ of a given piece of foam, specifically the pounds of force required to indent a 4-inch-thick sample of foam 25% of its thickness. Practically speaking, this would be the most accurate number to look at for gauging firmness; yet many sellers do not provide this information to consumers. At Absolute Comfort on Sale, we are beginning to list this information on IFD’s for our foam products as it becomes available.
Constructed bedding complicates the rating systems because a given bed or piece of furniture may be composed of several different foams encased in a specific stretch-tight cover. The combination of foams with different IFD’s, quilting products and stretch-tight fabric covers will give an adjusted or effective IFD for the finished product, but such measurements are not always practical because each single product style would require its own specialized measurement.
Importance of Recovery Time of the Foam when
Selecting a Memory Foam Topper
Memory foam with a high density such as 5lb memory foam will take longer to recover as you move from one position to another. What this means in practice is that as you move out of a position the foam will hold the impression or "memory" of your old position as you move into the next position. You may slightly feel you are being sucked back into your old position and have to work a bit to get out of it. Memory foam with a 5lb density is the most expensive but for this reason it may not be the most desirable. Please see our Sensus 3 inch 5lb Memory Foam Mattress Pad.
Memory foam with 3lb and 4lb density has faster recovery response time and so as you move from position to position the foam moves with you. You feel as if you are floating on a cloud. Of these two densities the 3lb is slightly firmer because the recovery time is so fast that it makes the foam feel firmer. The 4lb memory foam is slightly softer.
Our research has proven that a density of 4 lbs is best for most people. It has the perfect combination of luxurious comfort and support. The 4 pound density also has a recovery time that makes sleeping on memory foam an interactive experience. Please see our Aerus 3 inch 4lb Memory Foam Mattress Pad.
What about Inexpensive Memory Foam?
What about the very inexpensive Memory Foam coming out of China? How does
this compare with the various types of memory foam we offer? Basically
the answer is simple: this cheap type of foam offered in most department
stores is giving memory foam a bad name. The reason is that this foam is
only about 2lb density which means that it has very few genuine memory
foam qualities. The recovery time is so slow that the foam does not actually
conform to the body's shape. The true NASA memory foam experience comes
from 3lb, 4lb and 5lb density memory foam. In this case the foam conforms
to the body's shape by delicately sensing the body's temperature and then
cradling the person in comfort and support. The true memory foam experience
is a very luxurious experience. We offer luxurious high quality 3lb, 4lb
and 5lb memory foam at very affordable prices!