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Visco Elastic Foam Mattress – Fancy Name, Great Sleep!

Updated on September 16, 2009

Have you heard about the visible elastic foam mattress? Maybe you've heard about it through it's more informal name, memory foam, memory foam mattress topper or even a memory foam mattress pad. Are all names for the same material which is technically referred to as fiscal elastic foam. Maybe you've seen TV commercials of someone jumping up and down on a mattress without spilling a glass of wine that is resting there. That's a fiscal elastic foam mattress. Maybe you've even been to the mall and push your hand into the squishy foam material that leaves your hand print for 30 to 60 seconds... again, that is the material used for making visco elastic foam mattresses.

If you're in the market for one of these visco elastic foam mattresses but you don't know much about them, this article is here to help you out. Take a look at a few of the common questions people ask and give you answers so you'll be comfortable with your research and decision of whether or not to invest in memory foam mattress.

Q & A on the Visco Elastic Foam Mattress

Q.: Is the visco elastic foam mattress something brand-new?
I guess the answer to that depends on what you consider “brand-new”. Visco elastic memory foam was developed by NASA in the 1970s, No, it's not really brand-new. However, when you consider the fact that the traditional coil spring mattress dates back to 1865... I would say it actually is fairly new on the mattress market.

Q.: What was the visco elastic foam mattress first used for after the space program?
In the 1980s hospitals began to use memory foam to relieve problems with pressure points and bedsores in bedridden patients. At that point however it was still cost prohibitive to bring it to the general public.

Q.: when was Memory foam introduced to the general public?
It wasn't until the 1990s that manufacturing was able to get to the point where they can make viscoelastic foam affordable enough to make sense to offer to the general public. Since that time however, it has become more and more popular and has really carved out a niche for itself in the mattress/betting industry.

flickr image by Porcelaingirl {feelslikeaceleb}
flickr image by Porcelaingirl {feelslikeaceleb}

Q.: Is this kind of material well-suited for people with back problems?
Absolutely. Typical mattresses often don't offer the right kind of support, especially for people with back problems. In fact, you'll often hear of back pain sufferers sleeping on the floor because it's the only place where they can find enough support. Obviously this isn't conducive to a good night sleep. The beauty of the visco elastic foam mattress is that it's firm enough to support this wind comfortably yet soft enough to allow a comfortable night's sleep.

Q.: Is there anything unusual about sleeping on a visco elastic foam mattress?
You might find that getting a great night sleep is unusual... other than that, about the only thing that some people find different is the heat retention. When people sleep directly on the foam they often feel like they are too warm. On the other hand, some people who have always felt cold when they're asleep in love this effect. If it's too hot for you though, the simple solution is to put a cotton sheet between yourself and the foam. This small adaptation is often enough to make the sleeping temperature comfortable for anyone.

Q.: Is a viscoelastic foam mattress expensive?
Again, as depends on the quality, density, and of course what “expensive” is to you. You can expect to spend at a minimum $450 for a twin mattress, $600 for a full, $800 for a queen and probably about $1200 for the California King size.

flickr by by JOE M500
flickr by by JOE M500

Q.: what exactly is Visco elastic foam?
Visco elastic foam has a gel like polyurethane material that can be made in various different densities. The different densities used to create a visco elastic foam mattress range from2.5 pounds per cubic foot up to 5 pounds or more per cubic foot. For example, the ultra-premium memory foam mattresses the density can get as high as 5.3 pounds per cubic foot.

Q.: is the denser foam more expensive?
Yes. It takes more material to create a denser foam, therefore it will cost you more money.

Q: What's the deal? What makes visco elastic foam so special?
One of the main properties of memory foam is its ability to soften with warmth and stiffen with coolness. This property is what contributes to how well your body receives support from this material. Larger, heavier, and warmer areas such as your hips and shoulders will warm up the foam, making it softer and allow it to give more. By doing this, your spine will remain better aligned.

Q.: Is there any way to spend less money?
Yes. A great option for people who don't want to spend that much money is to go with a memory foam mattress topper (if you're doing a search, you might also look for “memory foam mattress pad”). Basically what you get with these is the same exact material, just much less of it. For example, it may be only a few inches thick and you lay on top of your existing mattress. Oftentimes this is enough to give you the benefits of the viscoelastic foam mattress without incurring the full cost.

Hopefully this brief overview of the visco elastic foam mattress has helped you to get enough of an understanding of it that you can feel confident in your decision-making process. The bottom line is that many, many people have found this kind of sleeping surface to be an absolute Godsend. From people with back pain to people whose sleeping partner tossed and turned so much that they couldn't get any sleep, are now finding themselves sleeping soundly and waking rested. There is no compromise for a good nights sleep and with the visco elastic foam mattress, now you can have it too. Now all you need to do is go get yourself one.


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