The memory foam mattress is a type of mattress made of polyurethane. Besides polyurethane, it is also made of other types of chemicals. The chemicals that are added to the mattress foam give it the ability to increase its density. The mattress made of memory foam is also called viscoelastic polyurethane foam. The mattress was developed to meet the demand of mattress buyers.
The history of the memory foam mattress can be traced back to the Ames Research Center of NASA. NASA’s Ames Research Center funded a project to develop a mattress foam that could help relieve astronauts’ back pain caused by G-forces in the 1970s. NASA believed that the foam material should be used to adapt to the shape of the body. Although making a mold for the body could help solve the problem, the person would eventually move out of position. As a result, false pressure points would form on the body. Later, the research team at NASA’s Ames Research Center found a way to make a foam that could adapt to the body shape. It is a viscoelastic foam that can distribute the weight of the body evenly over the foam surface.
The discovery prompted Fagerdala World Foams of Sweden to experiment with it and sell it to consumers. In 1991, the Swedish-based company Tempur Pedic sold the research foam for mattresses to people in Sweden. Tempur Pedic then sold the memory mattress foam to people in the United States and Canada. The Tempur Pedic mattress became very popular. Tempur Pedic’s success had led manufacturers to develop their own versions of mattresses made of shape memory foam and sell them to local consumers.
The shape memory foam used is synthetic polyurethane foam. Mattress manufacturers add several types of chemicals to change the density of the foam. After the chemical is added, the foam will have a higher density. The manufacturer will also add a viscoelastic foam material. The viscoelastic foam material is non-toxic. The foam weight is determined by the amount of chemicals used in the foam manufacturing process. Most mattresses made of memory foam have a weight of 4 – 5 pounds. Lighter memory foam mattresses weigh between 2 – 3 pounds.
The quality of the mattress foam is measured by various factors such as ILD rain, elasticity, etc. Indentation Load Defelection (ILD) is a rating used to measure the hardness of the material. Mattresses with a higher ILD value are firmer. Mattresses with a low ILD rating are able to reduce pressure points. Nevertheless, mattresses that are too soft are not good for the body. The degree of elasticity is used to determine how much rebound of a steel bonded to the mattress occurs.
A high degree of elasticity indicates that the mattress made of memory foam is very durable. Expensive memory foam mattresses are made from a combination of the memory foam and a lower highly elastic layer. The lower highly elastic layer and the memory foam are able to reduce the pressure point and provide additional support to the lower part of the body.
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