As a matter of fact, the foam was originally used for making a material of aircraft seats for NASA in the 1970s, and then it was brought to the US in 1990s and became the popular material used in making mattresses. Foam is widely used in mattresses because it is very excellent at deep compression support, pressure relief and contour.
To let you know more about memory foam, this review will focus on this material, and different memory foam types, and also the best memory foam mattress currently available in the market. You can learn about other mattress at here.
Memory Foam Feel
These memory foam mattresses are constructed from the combination of memory foam layers and poly foam layers, memory foam to the top, and thick poly foam layers to acts a solid foundation. Also, the different memory foams used for the top provides differences in contour, hug and softness, but all have viscoelasticity in the common.
The viscoelasticity foam has very unique feel – it is pronounced and easy to recognize. The more pressure places on the foam, the more compression you feel. However, it doesn’t take an instant responsiveness.
In addition, the viscoelastic properties can provide an amazing pressure relief and support. When you lie on the foam, it lets you sunk into the foam and slowly contour to your body shape.
Lastly, there are differences between memory foam and poly foam. All memory foam is poly foam but not all poly foam is memory foam. It means poly foam that doesn’t contain viscoelastic properties is not a memory foam.
Memory Foam: Cooling & Response
We will focus on two terms: heat retention and responsiveness
Responsiveness – this mentions about how quickly the memory foam can change and adapt to any movements. For some, this feature is considered as an importance when choosing a mattress. They would like the quick responsiveness. With memory foam contained viscoelasticity properties, it takes several seconds to return back the normal shape.
Cooling or heat retention: most memory foam show higher tendency to absorb and retain heat than coils, latex, and hybrid mattress. To solve this problem, manufacturers use different advanced technologies to add coolness for the mattresses including gel-infused foam, open-cell designs, cooling pads, aeration holes and breathable covers. However, many of them are just all the hype, they aren’t indeed good as they claim.
What Makes the Best Memory Foam?
Along with heat retention, resonsiveness and contour, there are many things to make a best memory foam? Let’s dive deeper into memory foam!
Density is a measure of foam weight, and it is measured in pounds per cubic foot (PCF). Mostly, traditional memory foam mattresses comes with very high density, they range from 4.0 – 7.0 PCF. In addition, its thickness isn’t an idication of its density. Density is just associated with these things:
- The higher density of foam is, the more durable the foam can be
- The higher density of foam is, the more ability to absorb and retent heat
- The higher density the foam has, the less motion transfer the foam provide
- The higher density the foam has, the deeper compression and more hug and contour it provides
Thickness of foam layers also matters when making mattress’s construction. To get the great benefits of memory foam, the ideal thickness of foam shouldn’t come over 4 inches. Too thick foam can build up the heat retention.
There are many types of foam available, they can be a gel-infused foam, plant-based foam, open-cell design, aerated holes, and cooling pads. Each type has its unique features. If you are on the way to look for memory foam feel, but need more responsiveness. The more open cell memory foam would provide better response.
Types of Memory Foam
When mentioning about memory foam mattresses, people tend to think of a single memory foam as the material. Actually, it is just about the foam that contains viscoelastic properties, meaning it includes polyurethane that has viscoelastic properties.
As above explanations, we have plenty of types of memory foam. In addition, the different formulations leads to the changes in the way of foam response, hug, contour and relieve pressure.
Traditional Memory Foam
Most traditional memory foams have high density, normally, the density ranges from 4.0 – 7.0 PCF. Because of this high density, traditional memory foam is possible to be more durable with time. In addition, the hug feel and compression is more pronounced as well. The drawback is it provides higher heat retention.
Open Cell Memory Foam
Basically, open cell memory foam provides the same feels as traditional memory foam, but what makes them different is during manufacturing process, air pockets are created in the foam. That’s why it is called open cell memory foam.
If the traditional memory foam is denser due to closed-cell, resulting in better at absorbing heat, the design of open cell memory foam can help air flow better. As a result, it provides more cooling feel. Along with this, Open cell memory foam is able to have a quicker response.
Gel Memory Foam
This type is designed to add the coolness for the foam, and minimize the heat retention – the common issue of memory foam. Also, the gel is added into the material in many ways. One of the first method is using tiny beads to evenly disperse into the foam during fabrication. The act of dispersing the gel is done at early stage of manufacturing process in order to help gel cohesively spread through the foam. Other methods can be using gel liquid state and gel pads affixed to the top of memory foam.
When gel is concluded in the memory foam, it provides more cooling feel. However, there is no guarantee of all mattresses that claims having gel is really cool. Still, many brands places an emphasis on “gel-infused foam” as their marketing hype, they aren’t actually cool as they claim.
In addition, here are additional information you may need to consider when being on the way for cooling memory foam mattresses:
- Gel types – Liquid gel can penetrate the entire foam better than gel swirl and gel beads. In addition, solid gel pads are able to provide more cooling feel than others
- Cover – Covers of mattresses can comes in many types. The thickness of the cover is relatable to the heat retention as well. Normally, the thin types are capable of providing more breathability. In addition, the properties contained in fabric matters as well. The fabric is more breathable when contained rayon properties.
- The density – the higher density is, the more durable the foam is, and also the more heat is absorbed. To balance these, the density should come around 3.0 PCF.
Best Memory Foam Mattresses are Highly Recommended
Though there still exists a strong bias against memory foam, memory foam mattresses are liked by many consumers. That’s because they can provide great performances in deep compression, hug, pressure relief and contour. The following list is the collection of best memory foam mattresses currently available in the market.
|Balanced feel do to quilted cover, uses natural materials, moderate hug / contour, high densities, available in medium and firm||$1099|
|Modern feel (more responsive due to open-cell foam), lots of hug / contour, high densities, available in multiple firmnesses||$999-$1,899|
|Balanced feel due to to thick quilted cover, moderate hug / contour, high density foams, available in soft, medium, and firm||$1,099|
|Traditional feel, slow response, lots of hug / contour, high densities, available in soft, medium, and firm||$999|
|Traditional feel, slow response, lots of hug / contour, available in soft, medium feel, ultra budget-friendly||$549|
|Traditional feel, slow response, lots of hug / contour, available in multiple firmnesses, very expensive, but high quality||$3599|
Memory Foam vs Other Foams
Latex Mattresses – when taking latex mattresses as a comparison to memory foam mattresses, they also have similarities. Both of them can provide good softness and deep compression, but latex is better at providing bounce and quicker responsiveness. In addition, latex also offer better cooling feel than memory foam.
Hybrid Mattress – these types of mattresses are constructed from the combination of foam and coil layers. The outstanding feature of this type is ability to provide better breathability than memory foam mattresses. If you are interested in this type, the model named Nest Bedding Alexander Hybrid is highly recommended.
Coil Mattresses – with this type, many coil mattresses are designed with foam layer on the top, which is similar to hybrid mattresses. Also, these mattresses are very good at controlling the heat retention issue. The coils help the mattress get more air. One of the best of coil mattresses is Saatva mattress.
Custom Foam – this type is designed with polyurethane foam as a base. Two several outstanding models from this type are Avena mattress and Leesa mattress.
Advanced Memory Foam – the foams used for making mattresses are normally manufactured by using advanced technologies, aiming to offer more breathability and cooling feel for sleepers. The models from the Amerisleep brand are worth your consideration.
If you want to choose a best memory foam mattress, understanding about memory foam types and things are related to this material becomes necessary. After being armed with more information about memory foam mattresses, you have your own great comparisons.