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Ultimate Memory Foam Mattress Guides
In the 1980s Tempur-Pedic introduced a consumer version of Visco Elastic Foam or Memory Foam which had been tested in Swedish hospitals prior to its release in Sweden, Europe and North America. The foam was a new technique from an innovative process resulting from NASA commissioning an engineering firm to develop products to reduce injury and impact during space travel.
The foam was an open cell process that used polyurethane and other agents to create a high energy absorbing material which had immediate applications in the medical industry. The ability to provide comfort without pressure point contact made the material a good fit for medical cushions, seating for wheelchairs and other disability cushioning.
Tempur-Pedic also developed a line of bedding mattresses using the Visco Elastic or Memory Foam along with layers of latex foam and other supporting materials to allow for airflow. The advent of the Tempurpedic style memory foam mattress was a departure from the traditional innerspring or coil mattresses.
NASA inducted the TempurPedic mattress systeminto the space technology Hall of Fame in 1998. It was cited as transferring space technology into a consumer product capable of improving the quality of life.
The Power of Sleep
According the American Psychological Association, surveys conducted by the NSF (1999-2004) reported 40 million Americans suffer from over 70 different sleep disorders. It further indicated that 60 percent of adults report having sleep problems a few nights a week or more.
The National Commission for Sleep Disorders has reported the high cost of lack of sleep. The direct cost of insufficient sleep was estimated to be over $15 billion with an estimated $50 to $100 billion in indirect and related costs when the cost of individual accidents associated with sleep disorders and sleep deprivation are considered including litigation, destruction of property, hospitalization, and death.
Finding the right bed for you should include time to lie on the bed in the position you sleep in. If you sleep with a partner you should check the bed together. Since the average person tosses and turns more than 40 times in an average night, there should be adequate room on the mattress. Memory foam, visco elastic and tempur-pedic mattresses come in a wide range of sizes including twin, full, double, queen and king.
Since the Tempurpedic style mattress had no springs or coils, it allowed sleep and bed rest with no pressure point complications. This made this mattress an excellent fit for nursing homes, hospitals and hospices where patients could incur bed sores from the pressure point contact of springs and coils. Bed sores are a serious consideration as they can lead to infections and in some cases the complications will lead to serious injury or death.
Memory foam mattresses are designed to conform to the contours of the body. This makes them a great option for people suffering from pain or discomfort. The mattress starts as a firmer surface but as body temperature and body weight affect the memory foam the surface softens and the contours smooth out, so movement during sleep is an easy process. People with back aches, circulatory or restless leg syndrome who need support without the pain of springs and coils are excellent candidates for improved sleeping with a Visco Elastic or Memory Foam mattress.
Visco elastic has other medical benefits including use in helmets, power chairs and in auto safety cushioning. The memory foam absorbs the impact of crashes and is able to use the construction of the foam as high energy absorption which allows the impact to dissipate as it hits the memory foam.
Sleep disorders including insomnia are often related to the age and comfort of the mattress.
Memory Foam Construction
The average memory foam mattress can be 10-12 inches in height, but some of that height can be in the form of latex foam layers, support, quilting and other materials. The optimum benefit in memory foam is considered to be a height of 4-5 inches.
The density of the memory foam or Visco Elastic foam ranges from 2 pounds to 8 pounds but the optimum levels are considered to be the mid-range of 4-6 pounds. A 3-3.5 pound density memory foam mattress will not provide the same level of luxury and comfort as 5 pounds of density.
The latex layer is generally constructed from one of two processing techniques, the Dunlop or the Talalay Methods. In the Talalay method the air is vacuumed out to create an open air cell design similar to Visco elastic. The Dunlop method is more organic with a firmer bottom side of the mattress as the particles settle in the bottom. The latex layer can add support to the mattress in combination with the memory foam top layer.
Memory foam toppers or memory foam mattress toppers can add comfort and the benefits of the visco elastic or tempurpedic design on a traditional innerspring mattress.
Memory foam quality is often measured by the ability to leave an indentation to 25% of the size of a 4 inch sample. The indentation depth can vary with design configurations and layering. It is not always available for comparison, so density is often a better measurement.
The importance of sleep pervades every aspect of our lives and health. The selection of a mattress may well be one of the most important purchases we make in our daily health.
The memory foam, Tempur-Pedic and Visco Elastic foam mattresses come in a wide range of product styles, designs and configurations in a range of bed sizes. The cool memory foam mattress or topper will be firmer, as your body heat and weight soften the mattress it will become more pliable, conforming to the contour of your sleeping pattern and holding the shape as you move in the night.
The Better Sleep council recommends that you spend time testing the bed, researching the selection you have made and compare the selection to other options before making your selection. Given the amount of time you will spend on the mattress during its expected 5-20 year product lifespan it is an important decision.
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Benefits of Memory Foam Mattress Technology
Health and Sleep Benefits of Memory Foam
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Differences Between Regular Foam and Memory Foam
Compare Visco Elastic Beds to Waterbeds
Mattress Layers - Examination of Select Foam Mattresses
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Green Mattress & Eco Friendly Information
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What is a Mattress Overlay?
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Dust Mites and Mattresses
Dunlop Latex Process
Mattress Recycling Tips
Talalay and Dunlop Mattress Comparison
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American Psychological Association (APA) online @ http://www.apa.org/topics/whysleep.html
National Commission for Sleep Disorders online @ http://www.stanford.edu/~dement/overview-ncsdr.html
Better Sleep Council online @ http://www.bettersleep.org/