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Memory Foam Density

Updated on January 14, 2012

Measure Memory Foam Density Yourself

Memory foam beds are really catching on these days and memory foam itself (also called visco elastic foam) is found in almost every department store in a variety of products. From a high end visco elastic foam mattress to memory foam toppers, slippers, shoe inserts and even dog beds. These days there are many manufacturers and distributors of these foam products. But not all memory foam is the same. If you purchase a Tempur Pedic foam mattress you can be assured of a high quality product. But what about the competition, can you get quality foam from these less expensive sources?

Visco elastic foam quality is dependent on many factors such as: proprietary formulas and processes, manufacturing experience, foam density,firmness,thickness and various other measures of quality. In fact,in most cases the consumer is at the mercy of a salesman pitch. However, it is possible for the consumer to confirm what many believe to be the most important property of memory foam - the density. High density values are unique to this type of foam. Did you know that you can confirm this density value yourself with two simple tools common to households - a tape measure and a bathroom scale. I measured the density of my memory foam and to my surprise found out I was cheated.

The instructions that follow apply to those memory foam toppers and mattresses whose layers are not glued together. A Tempur Pedic mattress will have their layers glued together. If you purchase a Tempur Pedic foam mattress you do not need to confirm the density, you can be assured it is a high quality mattress. But, if you are a bargain hunter like me or buy your memory foam from a wholesaler you most certainly will want to confirm the density.

I built my memory foam bed myself, mattress and platform frame. The first visco elastic foam layer I purchased was queen size with a thickness of 3 inches and was supposed to have a density of 5 pounds per cubic feet (5 PCF). The dimensions of this layer was 60 inches wide, 80 inches long and 3 inches thick.

Steps To Measure Memory Foam Density

First determine the cubic feet by multiplying the 3 measurements.

60 X 80 X 3 = 14,400 cubic inches

Now to convert to cubic feet divide by 1,728 (because 1 cubic foot = 12 inches X 12 inches X 12 inches = 1,728 cubic inches)

14,400 / 1,728 = 8.33 cubic feet.

Now just weigh the foam layer. First weigh yourself and write it down. Then, while holding the foam layer weigh yourself with the foam. Now just subtract to find the weight of your foam. In my case the weight results were,

My weight = 165 pounds

Weight while holding the foam layer = 198 pounds

198 - 165 = 33 pounds, weight of foam

Now to get the density of the foam just divide the weight of the foam by its cubic feet,

33 pounds/8.33 cubic feet = 3.96 PCF.

Looks like I got ripped off. It was supposed to be a 5 PCF foam layer. I immediately contacted the supplier and informed them of my results. They promptly apologized and agreed to replace it and pay all shipping costs. The replacement did confirm at 5 PCF. So beware and confirm the density of your memory foam.


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