During the late 1960s, NASA chemists developed memory foam to create a material that relieved the immense pressure that astronauts felt during rocket launches. The intent of the memory foam was to provide both support and a cushion against violent exertion. Eventually, NASA sold the memory foam technology to a Swedish company that introduced memory foam mattresses to the public in 1991. A year later, memory foam mattresses were launched in England and the United States. Since 1992, memory foam mattresses have increased in popularity due to the way the mattresses conform to varied body shapes and how soft the mattresses feel on the body.
Consumers can buy memory foam mattresses direct from manufacturers or through large bedding shop retailers. They can also find excellent deals online, especially at the leading auction website, eBay. Consumers should learn about the benefits of memory foam mattresses, the factors involved in the buying decision, and a few pointers on how to purchase a memory foam mattress that matches their buying criteria, including trying out a memory foam mattress for a few nights before making a purchasing decision.
Memory Foam Mattress Benefits
Memory foam outperforms other mattress materials, such as latex, cotton, and wool mattresses, in terms of conforming to body proportions and reducing pressure points. Nonetheless, memory foam is not constructed to support the body, and thus, the best memory foam mattresses combine memory foam with other materials to maximise the two primary benefits of using memory foam.
Standard mattress foam compresses, but then it immediately springs back to form its original shape. Memory foam cells, which are the foam’s individual cells that contain holes, compress fully to spread air pressure through the holes into adjacent cells. This spreads the air pressure uniformly throughout the cells that absorb the body's weight. The spreading of air pressure and the subsequent decrease in the pressure felt by the body, accounts for the way memory foam reduces body pressure points. No other bedding material has the capability to conform to myriad body shapes and depressurize body weight.
Memory foam is firmer at lower temperatures and it is softer, and hence, more body-conforming at higher temperatures. The temperature-sensitive benefit of memory foam accounts for the melting feeling users feel when lying down on a memory foam mattress at room temperature. The capability of memory foam to become more elastic at room temperature increases the body conforming nature of this type of bedding. Some types of memory foam are more elastic than other types of memory foam, meaning consumers should inquire about the temperature-sensitive nature of any type of foam mattress.
What to Look for in a Memory Foam Mattress
Since not all memory foam mattresses are created equal, consumers have to consider a number of factors before they make a purchasing decision. Consumers must consider the height, density, and size of memory foam mattresses. While they do not need a doctorate in engineering, consumers should learn about ILD, which describes the firmness of the memory foam used to make a mattress. Finally, consumers must decide whether to buy a mattress entirely constructed with memory foam or simply buy a memory foam topper that is placed on top of a bed.
Memory foam height is often referred to as memory foam depth and it represents the most influential factor for determining the level of body support. Consumers should consider memory foam depth of at least 7.6 cm to provide the amount of support required to support most bodies. Some body types may only require 5 cm of memory foam support, but 7.6 cm is almost universally recommended to provide enough support and memory foam to conform to the body. On the other hand, memory foam height that is greater than 10 cm can present a sinking feels that causes memory foam to lose its effectiveness in relieving pressure points.
Memory foam density refers to how the foam feels to the body. Higher density foams provide firmer sleeping surfaces and lower density foams provide softer sleeping surfaces. Manufacturers typically differentiate memory foam densities in 1 lb increments between 3 and 5 lbs. Many users believe the medium density, 4 lb memory foam mattress provides the perfect balance between firmness and softness. The level of firmness that consumers choose depends upon how their bodies adapt to varied sleeping surfaces. Some people prefer a stiffer feel, while other people enjoy sinking into their beds. Remember that many healthcare professionals recommend firmer sleeping surfaces to ensure proper sleeping posture.
Buying a memory foam mattress may seem like working on an intricate science project. There is some technical jargon that can lose consumers during the buying process. The only technical figure that warrants consideration is ILD, or indentation load deflection. In laymen’s terms, ILD is a number that represents the combination of memory foam density and material firmness. ILD is measured by the pressure needed to achieve the 25 per cent compression of a 10 cm-thick memory foam mattress. Memory foam mattresses that have lower ILD ratings do a better job of easing body pressure points. Some manufacturers have constructed multi-layered memory foam mattresses that utilise the benefits of a firm base layer, with the benefits provided by a softer top layer.
As with any type of mattress, size plays a large role in determining which type of mattress to purchase. Consumers should not skimp on money and downsize their mattresses in relation to the size of their beds. Mattresses must be as large as possible to provide supreme comfort. A good night’s sleep affects mood and physical well-being. Since there is not any difference in the size range between memory foam and all other types of mattresses, it is recommended that consumers buy memory foam mattresses that correspond to the size of their beds.
Many consumers have found out that by simply adding a memory foam topper pad to their current mattresses, they receive the same benefits of sleeping on a material that provides both support and conforms to body shape. A 5 cm memory foam topper pad may be all the thickness consumers need to reap memory foam benefits. The depth of a memory foam pad depends upon the comfort and support levels of the mattress on which the topper pad lies. For instance, less supportive and comfortable mattresses may require consumers to purchase 7.6 cm topper pads. Topper pad density also fluctuates, depending on the construction of the mattress.
Memory Foam Mattress Buying Advice
Consumers may hear some memory foam mattress buying pointers that are simply untrue. For example, some countries have garnered reputations for allowing the production of memory foam mattresses that contain more toxins than are allowed by other governments. There has not been a scientific test that proves this claim. However, consumers should keep the following tips in mind for buying memory foam mattresses, regardless of the mattress’ country of origin.
Read the Warranty
Memory foam mattresses can be a substantial investment, which makes the length and coverage of a warranty an important buying factor. Understand what the manufacturer requires in terms of shipping, packaging, and proof of purchase. While a lifetime warranty appears to be the best policy, consumers should only consider lifetime warranties from manufacturers that have established success in producing high-quality memory foam mattresses.
Most memory foam manufacturers tout tests they perform in their laboratories. Make sure any memory foam mattress test claims involve a large sample size and that the test results have been verified by independent scientists. In-house tests have less credibility than tests performed by third-party scientific research teams.
Ask for a Test Period
Automobile centres allow consumers to test drive new or pre-owned cars. This same principle should apply to test driving memory foam mattresses, with the difference being consumers need to test drive memory foam mattresses at home. Ask the manufacturer to allow a short period to try out the mattress. Testing out any type of mattress requires the manufacturer to cover the mattress in plastic to ensure sanitary conditions upon the mattress’ return. The plastic may adversely affect comfort levels during testing. Nonetheless, testing a memory foam mattress is an essential part of the buying process. When buying online, consumers should only consider sellers that have at least 30-day return policies. This provides enough time to test a memory foam mattress.
Compare online memory foam mattress prices with the prices offered by brick and mortar distributors. Savvy consumers may find memory foam mattresses online that sell for less than half of what they pay buying from a direct-to-consumer manufacturer. eBay offers the best online venue for finding memory foam mattress deals. Just remember to shop from sellers that allow enough time to try out a mattress.
Buying a Memory Foam Mattress on eBay
eBay brings memory foam mattress sellers from around the world into one convenient marketplace. Buyers type a few keywords into eBay’s search engine, and then navigate through the search result pages until they find a seller who meets their buying needs. Buyers should type keywords that specify the type of memory foam mattress. Typing keywords such as "king size memory foam mattress" or "high density memory foam mattresses" reduce the number of search results and shorten the time it takes to buy a memory foam mattress. Once you find a seller, navigate to the seller’s product page to review accepted payment methods, delivery terms, and mattress return guidelines.
Consider only buying from eBay’s Top-Rated Sellers. These sellers have established reputations for selling high-quality products and offering generous return policies. eBay also posts customer feedback of seller product pages. Look for sellers who have garnered at least one year’s worth of positive reviews and have received positive feedback for selling beds, mattresses, and blankets. Once you build a business relationship with an eBay seller, ask the seller if you can buy future products directly from the seller’s eBay store.
Advancements in sleep research have led to convincing evidence that proves the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. However, there is not any conclusive research that proves which type of bedding provides the type of comfort and support that leads to sound sleep. A material used to protect astronauts against the intense pressure experienced during launches made its way to mattresses. Consumers can now buy mattresses that contain the same comfort and support that helped astronauts survive violent movements during lift off. Memory foam possesses many traits that make the material an ideal mattress. The question is which type of memory foam mattress provides the most support and comfort.
There is no doubt that memory foam possess the science to alleviate body pressure points. However, memory foam mattress some in different densities, depths, and sizes. Consumers must consider these three factors, as well as decide whether to buy a mattress that is constructed solely with memory foam or buy a memory foam topper that lies on an existing mattress. Price should never factor into a memory foam buying decision. Above all, consumers should ask a memory foam mattress distributor for a few days to test the mattress. The online equivalent is buying from a seller who has at least a 30-day return window.