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Visco Elastic Memory Foam Mattress

Updated on August 16, 2011

What is a Visco Elastic Foam Mattress?

Firstly it is commonly known as a memory foam mattress. Secondly it is a mattress that has inherent properties that allows the mattress to react to your body heat and weight by conforming to your shape thereby minimizing pressure points and ensuring proper body alignment. The level of comfort that a visco-elastic mattress provides will reduce tossing and turning during sleep.

The very first memory foam mattresses that were sold were very expensive and not as successful as those on the market today. These mattresses proved to be too brittle and started collapsing after a relatively short period of use. A Swedish company however made further adjustments to the components used in the mattresses and eventually perfected the recipe to what we know today.

Soon as the demand for these mattresses grew other mattress companies started producing memory foam mattresses and the increase in supply reduced the price to a more affordable level. Although the chemicals used to produce memory foam are a closely guarded secret and each mattress manufacturer's recipe varies slightly, all the good quality memory foam mattresses provide the consumer with amazing sleep experiences.

Today's memory foam mattresses are sold to hospitals who recognize the benefit that a visco-elastic mattress holds for bedridden patients. These mattresses offer the back support that patients require and reduce the incidences of bedsores due their resilience and reduction of pressure on joints.

Who Can Benefit From a Visco Elastic Foam Mattress?

Irrespective of what your sleeping style is, whether you are a side-, stomach- or back-sleeper your sleeping habit will exert pressure on various parts of your body. A visco-elastic mattress will counteract this pressure by compressing in the area where pressure is exerted and softening in these areas in reaction to the natural heat of your body.

On a regular innerspring mattress the springs support your body wherever there is contact with the mattress but cannot reach the hollows in the knees, back and neck, leaving them unsupported. A visco-elastic foam mattress however reacts differently. The natural heat of our bodies warms the mattress wherever it makes contact - typically the head, shoulders, hips and feet. This causes the memory foam to soften in these areas allowing the body to sink slightly so that the entire body is then supported by the mattress. A visco-elastic mattress will conform to the shape of your body while you are sleeping and then gradually return to its original shape when it cools down.

Another advantage of a visco-elastic mattress is that they do not attract dust mites. As these are one of the most common allergens this is an added bonus for hay fever and asthma sufferers. There are some memory foam mattresses that are made with a removable washable cover. This has the obvious advantage of being able to keep your mattress clean and fresh for a much longer period. As a visco-elastic foam mattress changes chemically and not mechanically it has a much longer lifespan than its mechanical counterparts.

What Quality Visco Elastic Foam Mattress Should You Buy?

As with most products on the market, memory foam mattresses are not all created equal and as a result there is a huge price and quality variance between a top of the range visco-elastic foam mattress and a cheaper imitation.

The best advice is to buy the most expensive mattress that your budget will allow. Cheap versions of a visco-elastic mattress may prove to be more expensive in the long run due to its inferior durability and generally these will carry a much shorter period warranty.

If you find that you have a very limited budget it may be a good idea to purchase a better quality visco-elastic foam mattress topper than a cheap mattress.

Mattress Buying Tips


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    • Bucks here profile image

      Bucks here 8 years ago from South Africa

      Hi again

      The mattress is a just over a year old. I paid £400 for it. Looks like my spare room is now getting this mattress, although it is nice when sleeping one person on the mattress.

    • Laura du Toit profile image

      Laura du Toit 8 years ago from South Africa

      Hi Bucks here

      I'm sorry to hear that you are disappointed with your mattress. Just bear in mind that not all memory foam mattresses are created equal and an inferior quality mattress irrespective of the type of mattress does tend to sag in the middle. A good quality memory foam mattress should not form hollows as the foam only softens from body heat therefore should be firm where neither of the bodies touch the mattress. You also do not mention how old the mattress is - as anything in life there comes a time when a mattress needs to be replaced.

      I hope that I have managed to answer your comment to your satisfaction.

    • Bucks here profile image

      Bucks here 8 years ago from South Africa

      Hi there

      I have one of these mattresses, and find that they get uncomfortable due to the fact that when two people lie on it next to each other, which is normal, a hollow forms to accommodate both bodies and you cant sleep at an angle the whole night. I eventually put a thick cardboard between the mattress and base to lift the centre of the mattress to prevent this hollow taking place.

      Rather sleep on a firm mattress and you will have a far better sleep, without affecting your partner.

    • Laura du Toit profile image

      Laura du Toit 8 years ago from South Africa

      That is exactly what it does, hence the name.

      Thanks for the support!

    • profile image

      LEWJ 8 years ago

      Interesting hub; reminds me of a chemical term I read about years ago called "plastic memory". It's the tendency of certain plastics to resume their original form when heated.