What is Memory Foam?

What is Memory Foam? 9 Advantages & Disadvantages

Last updated on May 11th, 2023 at 05:33 am

If you have been thinking of replacing your current mattress with a better option, you can give memory foam a try. One of the most popular options in the market at present, memory foam pillows, mattresses, and some of the best bean bag chairs mold to the shape of your head and body, thereby ensuring an even distribution of pressure. As a result, it provides the right support to your body, ensuring a good night’s sleep.

But what exactly is memory foam, and how does it work? In this article, we have discussed all you need to know about this material and its types, advantages, and disadvantages. Take a look!

What Is Memory Foam?

Let’s start with the main question – what is memory foam? Well, it is a type of polyurethane foam created by adding different compounds or chemicals to polyurethane to improve its viscosity and elasticity. This “viscoelastic” property is what makes this material so unique.

First developed for use by NASA in the 1960s, this material is now highly popular in the mattress industry due to its high level of comfort. Mattresses made of memory foam are designed to respond to pressure and therefore mold perfectly with the contours of your body. However, the mattress slowly returns to its original shape once the pressure is removed. 

Different Types Of Memory Foam Used In Pillows And Mattresses

Depending on the types of compounds used in making the product, memory foam can be of several types. The three main types of memory foam found in the market include the following:

  • Traditional memory foam: This is the original type of memory foam that molds according to your body shape to relieve pressure from the joints. However, its main disadvantage is that it tends to retain heat, which may lead to some discomfort.
  • Open-cell memory foam: This type of memory foam is similar to the traditional type, except for the fact that it’s constructed in a way that enables the heat to disperse easily. Mattresses made of this material are more breathable, enabling you to sleep more comfortably.
  • Gel-based memory foam: This type of memory foam includes a gel-infused top layer that absorbs your body heat and keeps you cool while you sleep. These offer a perfect combination of comfort and support to the user.

Why Is Memory Foam So Popular?

Memory foam offers several benefits, which make it the preferred choice of millions across the globe. Here are a few advantages you can enjoy by shifting to a memory foam mattress:

  • Helps in pressure relief: As the material is designed to mold to your body contours, it helps relieve pressure on certain areas of your body, like the neck and shoulders. 
  • Is hypoallergenic: The dense structure of the material helps avoid the accumulation of allergens like mold or dust mites that cause irritations in some individuals.
  • Provides good support: Memory foam mattresses and pillows have a firm structure, which provides adequate support to the back and spine. This ensures restful sleep.
  • Highly durable: The high density of memory foam mattresses makes them more durable. These are sure to retain their shape and last longer than most other types of mattresses.
  • Reduces motion transfer: Motion isolation is another advantage of memory foam. You are unlikely to be disturbed even if your partner has a habit of tossing or turning continuously during the night.

Are There Any Disadvantages Of Memory Foam?

As with all products, memory foam also comes with a few disadvantages. Some of them are mentioned below:

  • Retains heat: As mentioned earlier, some types of memory foam can trap heat, making you feel uncomfortably warm while you sleep. However, opting for ones designed with cooling technologies can be a possible solution.
  • Isn’t waterproof: Memory foam isn’t waterproof and can be susceptible to damage caused by spilling any type of liquid.
  • Off-Gassing: Memory foam mattresses tend to have a distinctive smell caused by the chemicals used in their production. This is known as off-gassing and may last for a few days after unboxing.
  • Expensive: Memory foam mattresses are slightly costlier when compared to other similarly sized mattresses.

Summing Up

Memory foam pillows and mattresses are in high demand due to their exceptional support and comfort. If you have been thinking of purchasing one, we hope this article has helped you understand what memory foam is and its pros and cons.

Sarah Williams