Memory foam is a kind of polyurethane foam. Because of its special chemistry, it is filled with traits that other foams do not possess. One of the properties of memory foam remains to be its slow recovery from compression when it is in it viscous, or firm, state.
The invention of memory foam happened in 1970 by NASA while it was trying to come up with a material that could cushion the astronauts when taking off due to the high G level.
Memory foam got common in 90’s and for a good reason. Unlike a spring mattress, memory foam has been designed to keep your body cradled while sleeping. It helps in increasing blood circulation and reducing the amount of stress on various joints across the body while one naps. Another benefit of Memory Foam is that it is anti-microbial. This reduces the number of dust mites and other bugs that can make allergies flare-up. In fact, it makes for a much healthier sleeping environment all round.
What is Memory Foam and Why is It Called So?
The basic kind is made out of a polymer known as polyurethane. This is a material that is commonly found in most sofas, mattresses, car seats and spray foam. Memory foam is a very durable type of material if it has a high enough density and is also known for providing good support and excellent pressure relief. These kinds of beds usually have a longer lifespan than spring mattresses.
When is memory foam viscous? That is another way in which memory foam is unique in the foam world. Memory foam is temperature sensitive, and so actually becomes firmer at colder temps and softer at warmer/more humid environments.
Each memory foam has its own range of temperatures that it turns from elastic (softer, and feels more like regular foam), to more viscous (harder - and if you put in freezer, can get brick hard). And this can be important for sleep comfort, since some memory foams get firmer below 70 degrees, and on these memory foams turning over can be difficult since you form a soft, cocoon around you and the surrounding foam can be firm and hard to turn into.
When memory foam gets firmer, it will take longer for it to come back to its original shape. So if you press your hand in to it when it is cold, the impression will stay for a few seconds before the foam comes back to its original state.
So the foam has a memory - it keeps the hand shape for a bit, and so is said to have a memory of your hand’s impression.That is why this particular type of foam became known as memory foam. In the trade, it is more accurately known as visco-elastic foam because of its viscous and elastic natures at different temps.
A term that is not commonly used in everyday conversation is ‘visco elastic’. Visco elastic foam is another way of saying memory foam. The method of manufacturing visco elastic foam varies depending on the formula used by the company. These different formulas change the qualities of the foam. For instance, some types of visco elastic foam might be more resilient to changes in the shape of a body that is lying on them. It might take longer to mold to the exact shape of the person. Visco foam is very solid and dense. This means that most substances cannot pass through the surface. However, the foam also displays elastic properties. It is able to recover its shape over a certain period of time. It will soften when you lie on it, but will return to its original shape when you get up.
Memory foam is being used in multiple applications ranging from interior products to seatings, shoes, floors, gadgets, beds, and more.
Memory foam has certainly come a long way since it was first invented. Visco elastic memory foam is often combined with materials that regulate the temperature of the human body. The consolidation of these materials usually results in a cool and supportive place to sleep. It is typically a dense, yet comfortable feeling for a sleeper. Usually, it is a good idea to check out the density of the foam mattress that you are considering. If it is below a certain density level, it may not be a good quality and might not perform as well or last long enough.
Memory foam is also showing up in bag straps, for added shoulder and back comfort, and in cases for cell phones and other products to provide additional protection
Applications of Memory foam
The cushy material was originally designed to add comfort and support by molding to the body’s shape. And, sure, it feels great in mattresses and pillows, but memory foam has found a home way beyond our bedding these days.
In Wardrobe: Trust us or not, you might find the foam in your shoes and apparels. Some shoe companies like Skechers and Nike are adding memory foam to their insoles for pressure relief. This padding is also the closest you can get to a custom-fit bra without the scary expensive price tag.
On floors: More foot pampering: Memory foam has been popping up in plush bath mats over the last few years, and if you haven’t upgraded yet, you might want to consider.
In gadgets: Memory foam is cropping up in tech accessories like electronics cases and headphones. Memory foam is also showing up in bag straps, for added shoulder and back comfort, and in cases for cell phones and other products to provide additional protection.
New stuffing for cushions and pillows: Cushions tend to become saggy over time and need re-stuffing. Memory foam is often used to stuff your cushions with new padding. For this get the existing filling from cushions removed and insert a piece of memory foam mattress in each cushion. Fluffy and firmer cushions are ready to enhance the beauty of your sofas and chairs and to provide you supreme support.
You can do the same with your pillows to make them softer and fluffier. A pillow stuffed with memory foam mattress will provide additional support to your head and neck contributing to a tranquil night’ sleep.
Upgrade your old sofa: One may bring new life to old saggy sofas by filling it up with memory foam. If you are not comfortable doing it yourself, hire a professional service to get this job done.
A great feature of memory foam is that it’s also helpful in terms of relieving the pain on pressure spots. If you have arthritis, or joint pain, then these beds might be able to help. It cushions you, and will reduce any impact you might otherwise encounter.
As memory foam and the idea behind is getting in-rage, many of the innerspring mattress’ and other companies are trying include memory foam into their products. This is the best indication that the demand for the product is here to stay and is driving competition. It is expected that memory foam will eventually rule the industry as more and more consumers look for both value and an environmentally responsible product.