Choosing the best foam topper that can improve your mattress can be a very important decision. Most important of all is the selection of the type of topper for your needs which goes on top of your mattress to improve it. The process of selecting a topper is key to a great nights’ sleep. Selecting the correct one will benefit you in the long run.
Take into consideration all of your needs, all your partner’s needs and your budget. If you want a quality topper, you should be prepared to pay as much you can afford. But, it can be difficult to select the right type that works best for you. Memory foam is a common type of topper that is very popular right now. Most, though, are unaware of all the different types of memory foam or the advantages and disadvantages of sleeping on this type of foam. As you’ll be keeping your mattress for a long time, it’s important that you understand the various advantages and disadvantages.
Memory Foam Toppers
What is Memory Foam?
The term ‘Memory foam’ is a catch all phrase for a type of polymer that is ‘viscoelastic’ made from polyurethane. Varieties of foam differ depending on the formula used by each company and change the qualities of the foam to be more resilient or firmer. The distinct elastic properties is that quickly returns to its original shape after being depressed.
Memory foam has been around for 50 years and was originally invented by NASA and used for the comfort and safety of astronauts. It became popular when Tempurpedic released its memory foam mattress. It has certainly come a long way and can now be found in sofas, mattresses and car seats. Memory foam is quite durable and has a high enough density to provide good support. And it generally has a longer lifespan than most spring mattresses.
Different Types of Memory Foam
Memory foam comes in three main types: original memory foam, open cell foam and gel-infused foam. Each of these has its own advantages and disadvantages, so let’s take a quick look.
Original Memory Foam
The traditional type of memory foam provides a unique sleep experience because it molds to your body. However, one of the biggest complaints, is that it can retain body heat, making it uncomfortable to sleep in warmer conditions. Memory foam has therefore undergone series of modified versions primarily designed to resolve this issue.
Open Cell Memory Foam
Open cell memory foam is your basic memory foam with a different internal structure. Open cell memory foam allows for a better movement of air inside the mattress, allowing it to better transfer heat away from your body as you’re sleeping.
Gel-infused Memory Foam
‘Gel’ or ‘gel-infused’ memory foam, is memory foam that has an additional chemically cooling gel infused into it or has noticeable gel beads interspersed throughout. This attempts to regulate your temperature as you sleep by absorbing and gradually releasing heat.
Advantages of Memory Foam
One of the main features of memory foam is uses body heat and body pressure to form to conform to your exact shape. Body heat actually softens the memory foam, making it more viscous and surround the impression. When the impression is removed the foam is elastic and goes back to its original shape.
This conforming, warming quality makes a more for a comfortable sleep as memory foam conforms perfectly supporting the natural alignment of your body. Sleeping on memory foam supports the natural curve of your spine promoting proper lumbar support.
Pain Point Relief
Another positive benefit of memory foam is that it is also helpful in relieving the pain on pressure points, such a hips and shoulders. If you have arthritis or joint pain, then a memory foam topper might be just able to help. The memory foam with cushion and reduce the impact.
It is less likely that you will be able to feel your partner moving or be bothered by tossing and turning. Movement is absorbed, not transferred, as with traditional spring mattresses. This is especially helpful if you are a light sleeper and more easily awakened.
Disadvantages of Memory Foam
Its important to understand that even though gel-infused memory foam initially keeps you cool, it will still begin to warm up at some point. But, by initially keeping you cool, most would be able to adjust as they begin to cool down during sleep.
Adjustment to Different Positions
If you are someone who tosses and turns often in the night and shifts to different positions, memory foam may be a bit of an issue. The memory part takes a bit of time to adjust to, from one position to the next. The foam will surround you again, but not initially. Some memory foams are able to conform within a shorter amount of time, but there is a definite lack of springiness with memory foam.
Synthetic foam products often produce a chemical odour, caused by VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which are often found in manufactured products such as foam, plastic, or adhesives. While this can be irritating, it can be also quite debilitating to those with chemical sensitivities. The very distinctive chemical odour of memory foam can last for a few weeks until it becomes unnoticeable.
Cheaply manufactured foam products, including some memory foam, is an important point which should be recognized. Sleeping so close to poor quality memory foam that produces VOC’s might be harmful, especially to those with respiratory problems.
There are some benefits to memory foam. Comfort is superior to traditional spring mattresses and they tend to last longer as well.