Better ZZZ’s & Memory Foam

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Can a mattress truly deliver a better night’s sleep?

Buying a new mattress is about as simple as choosing a new cellphone service provider. And if you’re interested specialty sleep products like memory foam, the learning curve gets even steeper. A memory foam mattress can dramatically improve sleep for some people – but it isn’t the best solution for everyone.

To help you discover if a memory foam mattress is a good solution for you, let’s have a closer look at the history of memory foam and how putting it a mattress can lead to a better night’s sleep.

Understanding memory foam

nasa inspired sleepDeveloped in 1966 by NASA, memory foam was the first foam that retained the shape of the object applying pressure – its first name was “slow spring back foam.” It later gained the name “temper foam” because of its temperature sensitive qualities – a warm object can create more of an impression, creating a cocoon effect around the object applying pressure.

Memory foam was originally designed to improve pilot safety during a crash but the medical industry soon began to use it in mattress pads to help reduce bedsores in immobile patients. By the early 1980’s the foam was commercialized and began to appear in sports equipment.

In 1991, a Swedish foam manufacturer (which would later become Tempur-Pedic Worldwide) released their first mattress to the world. The mattress wasn’t an overnight sensation but in just over 20 years, the company has become the largest bedding manufacturer in the world.

Memory foam in a mattress

Manufacturing memory foam wasn’t an easy task. Polyurethane foam (viscoelastic) is the starting point and depending on the chemicals added, anything from car parts to mattresses can be made. In the case of a mattress, gases are introduced to make the foam bubble, which creates a more open cell structure. By controlling the sizes of the bubbles, manufacturers can create mattresses with varying degrees of firmness.

Memory foam in mattresses has become popular because it’s so energy absorbent and responsive to heat. When you lie on it, the mattress conforms to your shape, equally distributing and supporting body weight. For people who suffer from chronic pain, it may be a godsend. It’s responsiveness to heat can make it feel warmer than other mattresses. What’s more, memory foam mattresses are famous for minimizing movement across the surface of the bed, which can make it especially appealing to couples.

Is a memory foam mattress right for you?

Many people swear that their memory foam mattress is their best friend, doctor and physical therapist all rolled into one. The unique qualities of memory foam – temperature and weight sensitive – delivers extraordinary cradling comfort, relieving the body of stress and strain during sleep.

happy sleep

So, how do you know if it’s right for you? Memory foam may be right for you if:

  • You suffer from chronic pain that’s relieved with heat.
  • You struggle to find a comfortable sleeping position regularly
  • You’re wakened by your partner’s rolling over during the night
  • You fight to stay warm at night are wakened because of cold

But no mattress is perfect for every person and memory foam is no different. Take a sober second look if you:

  • Sleep warm in your current mattress
  • Prefer a buoyant sleep surface rather than one that cocoons – a latex mattress, for example
  • Have tried memory foam in other products and dislike the feel of its conformability

Can I get a combo?

Thankfully, we no longer need to make a wholesale choice for memory foam or not. Many manufacturers, including Restonic, now offer a variety of hybrid mattresses that include memory foam, inner spring and latex – as well as gel infused into the memory foam or latex – which allows consumers to customize their sleep experience.

With mattress manufacturers mixing up traditional recipes, it’s now possible to customize your sleeping experience, which can be good and frustrating at the same time. Comparison shopping is almost impossible because of the endless combinations now being created. If you’re in the market for a new mattress, our best advice is to get yourself to a retail store and start testing mattresses for yourself. You’re the expert on what feels good to your body and that matters more than what’s in the mattress.

If you’re ready for a new mattress, we’d love to help you find the right one for you. Visit our Find a Retailer page and we’ll locate a store close by where you can lie on our mattresses and talk to a trained sales professional.

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This blog does not provide medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on Restonic.com. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.


Julia Rosien

As the Brand Director for Restonic, I’m delighted to welcome you to our online world of supporting dreams, one mattress at a time. When I’m not chatting about all things sleep, I serve on various boards of directors, including the Better Sleep Council of the United States and am the past president and chair for Withit.org, a non-profit women's leadership organization.

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