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How to Buy Shopping Guide: Memory foam toppers, pillows, mattresses

Updated on September 28, 2010

Who Makes Visco Memory Foam?

Most people are familiar with visco memory foam from commercials on TV and through seeing merchandise in stores. If you are interested in how visco elastic memory foam may relieve muscle tension and help you sleep more rested then I have assembled some additional information for you.

Manufacturers of the same foam that exists in your car seats and couch also make visco memory foam for consumer products. The difference is in the chemical composition of the foam itself. To develop memory foam, the manufacturer mixes all the ingredients like a recipe and different types of foam have different recipes. Therefore, the quality of memory foam may differ between manufacturer. Also, any amount of odor in the memory foam dissipates over time when it is aired out. Memory foam is not toxic and any odor will not harm you. Smells may just be unpleasant and will fade.

What are the benefits of visco memory foam?

Memory foam is soft enough to alleviate pressure from the parts of your body that absorb most of the weight when you lay down. Because memory foam naturally contours to your body it will provide some support in areas of your back that do not usually get the support from the mattress. If you have back problems and can not get comfortable on your hard mattress, a 1.5” thick memory foam topper may be the right way to add comfort without buying a new mattress.

What does it mean to be ‘3 lb memory foam”?

If you see a weight such as “3 pound” or “2.5 pound” memory foam, it does not relate to the weight of the topper itself. It is a scientific calculation of the density of the foam. The amount of memory foam per cubic foot determine how dense it is. Because there are other factors that determine the feel of memory foam, the ‘pound’ factor is not always the best indicator of quality. Typical memory foam in the market is 2.5” or higher. 1 pound foam is inexpensive and will not be as soft.

The most common bedding products are memory foam pillows and the memory foam mattress pad.

Memory foam pillows are made in several designs. Some designs are the contour memory foam pillow sold at most department stores and made famous by Tempur-pedic. Other designs are traditional bed pillow designs in memory foam for those do not desire the added neck support of the contour pillow. You do not have to spend the $99+ for the big name brand, you can get a great quality memory foam contour pillow at a department store for $19-30.

Memory foam toppers (memory foam mattress pads) are made in different thicknesses. You can purchase a 1” thick for a cheap dorm bed or for someone who does not weigh very much like a child. Adults will prefer 1.5” thick or higher for added comfort. A memory foam topper that is 1.5” thick will be enough support for most small and medium sized adults. A 2” topper would be better for a heavy-set individual. Memory foam toppers can be any thickness but the highest you will normally find at a retailer is 3"-5”. For those individuals who desire the ‘sinking’ feeling from a memory foam topper, the thicker toppers would fit the bill.

What do I do if I get hot at night sleeping on memory foam?

Some people avoid memory foam because it tends to gather heat. Solutions do exist for this. Many retailers now sell mattress covers that come with the better products in the department that have temperature-regulating fabric which will keep you cool while you sleep. Please check out the link above for an example. You can identify these products because they will reference something about ‘cool’ in the product. Adding a regular mattress pad over the foam and under you sheet will add some space for heat to escape while you sleep.

How Long Will Memory Foam Last?

Memory foam pads and pillows can last years. Look for the warranty on products. Some products can be warranted for 10 years, and some for a lifetime. I have noticed that after a few years the memory foam may become a bit softer.

Why is my memory foam topper softer or harder than when I first bought it?

Due to the temperature-responsive properties of the foam, it will become harder or softer depending on the room temperature. When it is colder in the room the foam will become a bit softer. When you take a topper out of a box make sure you wait a few hours before laying on it. The foam needs time to adjust to the environment and will decompress and expand if it arrives compressed into a box.

Memory Foam Mattresses

Manufacturers who make memory foam also manufacturer memory foam mattresses. These mattresses consist of several different layers of foam. Some of the foam is memory foam near the top for softness. The other layers on the inside are designed for support and different patterns in the layers of foam in the mattress provide support in the areas you need it the most.

How are Latex Toppers different?

Latex is another type of material that is used in mattress toppers. Latex mattress toppers are not the same as memory foam, but they do provide more support and don’t give you the ‘sinking’ feeling. When in the stores or shopping online for memory foam bedding, you may find products in latex as well. Latex is also used in combination with memory foam in some products. Latex is a natural material made from a rubber tree. The most familiar item of latex you may know is your grandmother’s latex bed pillow. It is the same material.


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      8 years ago

      Memory foam toppers allow proper sleep with your body in perfect position, your muscles to relax during the night and that way your body gets rest.


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