Memory Foam – History, Hows and Hazards

We spend one-third of our lives sleeping so it makes sense that we are always on the lookout for products that will promote a better sleeping experience especially where the bed itself is concerned. Fortunately, scientists at the NASA Ames Research Center and the engineers at Stencel Aero Engineering Corporation came up with the memory foam in 1966, which they first called as temper foam although its technical name is visco-elastic polyurethane foam. (Same foam, different names, so to speak) After two decades, the idea behind the visco elastic foam passed into public domain and, hence, opened up a world of opportunity for various applications. Initially, it was rough going for the few manufacturers who took advantage of the potentials of the memory foam since the technology was still very difficult to master. Nowadays, however, there are numerous manufacturers offering various foam products ranging from small travel pillows to full-sized visco elastic foam mattresses for home and hospital use. And with more manufacturers came more competition and, hence, lower prices for similar qualities.

So, how does the visco elastic foam work in the real world away from its space origins? Basically, it is just an insulating material like all other polyurethane foams that preceded it. The main difference is that the visco elastic or memory foam mattress realigns itself so as to mold into the body contours of the individual sitting or lying on its surface. This is made possible either through heat (high-density foam) or pressure (low-density foam), either of which provide tui zipper for excellent support to the legs, spine, hips, neck and head especially along the pressure points. Technically speaking, the memory foam consists of dense and spherical foam shapes that are temperature sensitive.

The benefits of the visco elastic foam mattress on its ability to provide adequate support to the pressure points of the body. As such, the stresses on the skeletal and muscular systems are significantly lessened, which leads to many health benefits. To name a few, you will enjoy better sleep since your body follows its natural contours, you will wake up with lesser back and neck pains, and your spine will be protected from unnatural curvatures. Basically, even just the fact that you can sleep better with the memory foam is sufficient reason to purchase one if only because better sleep means lesser stress and healthier body.

And speaking of purchasing the visco elastic foam mattress, there are a few things to be considered. You have to determine if you can stand the chemical odor often present in new memory foam mattresses and pillows. For individuals with respiratory sensitivity, it might be a good idea to try out smaller version of the memory foam like pillows before buying into the full-sized versions. For another thing, you have to determine who will use said memory foam product. If it is a baby, forget about buying it as it is not suitable for babies to sleep on. So, now that you know all about the memory foam from its original out-of-this-world application to its present down-to-earth uses, you can make better decisions about it. Hopefully, it will be in favor of purchasing the foam product for the sake of a good night’s sleep as well as good health.


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