What Exactly is a Memory Foam Mattress Pad?

Memory Foam Mattress Pad History
Visco-elastic foam, more commonly known as memory foam is a revolutionary space age material that was originally developed for NASA. Today, this amazing material is used in a wide variety of products. Millions of people have switched from an ordinary spring mattress to a memory foam mattress. And, many are choosing a memory foam mattress pad over regular mattress pads because of their comfort.

In the early 1970′s, NASA contracted a Swedish company to develop a substance that would protect astronauts from the enormous “G” forces their bodies endured during take off and re-entry of the spacecraft. Researchers believed that the best way to reduce or eliminate those forces was with a foam that would mold itself to the shape of the astronauts body. What they developed was visco-elastic, a brand new type of polyurethane foam.

Not only did this new foam conform to fit the shape of the astronauts body perfectly, it would revert back to its original shape when the weight was lifted off of the foam. It also allowed the weight and pressure of the astronauts body to be distributed evenly across the surface of the foam. As the astronaut moved, the foam would quickly adapt to the new position of the body.

Flexibility & Usage
A memory foam mattress pad can be used with any mattress. In fact, it’s a simple, affordable way to make an ordinary mattress extraordinary. You can find one that will fit any size bed from a single all the way up to a king. Adding a pad to your mattress is a much cheaper option than replacing that old uncomfortable mattress. The foam pad simply fits on top of your existing mattress adding the benefits of visco-elastic foam.

These mattress pads offer a variety of benefits. The foam features a cell structure that reacts to the weight of the body instantly molding itself to surround you in comfort. At room temperature, the foam will conform to the shape of your body within just minutes. It helps to relieve the pressure points such as the hips and shoulders thus reducing or eliminating the pain and aches that can result from an ordinary mattress.

Solution for Back Pain
It is estimated that around 65 million people in the United States alone suffer from back pain. Memory foam is the ideal solution and can literally be an alternative to surgery in some cases. The foam will cradle your body and provide all the support your spine needs. It’s also a great choice for anyone that suffers from arthritis or fibromyalgia. Around 80% of the consumers suffering from these illnesses reported high levels of relief.

A Mattress Pad that Will Cater to Your Personal Preferences

While almost all brands have the same basic chemical makeup, the layer thickness and cell density can vary greatly. For example, you can find a 4 inch memory foam mattress pad, while others may only have one or two inches of foam. Some memory foam mattress toppers may feature open cells while others have cells that are almost closed. These differences mean that one memory foam mattress pad can feel very different than another.

The thickness of the pad is a personal preference. But, keep in mind the thicker the foam the more comfortable the mattress pad will be. Cell density is also an important factor when choosing a mattress pad. A high density pad will provide better compression after years of use than a low density pad. Foam with a low cell density will wear out much quicker than one with high density cell structure.

Disadvantages of Memory Foam and How to Eliminate Them
While a foam mattress pad offers a lot of great advantages, there are also some disadvantages. The main one is the result of the foam being sensitive to temperatures. Because memory foam absorbs heat, some people find it too hot to be comfortable. Another common problem is that the pad is firmer in cooler temperatures than in higher temperatures. But, these problems can usually be easily solved.

The problem of heat retention doesn’t lie in the memory foam, it lies in the cell structure. A tight cell structure prevents airflow resulting in a build up of heat. Memory foam with a open cell structure allows air to flow through the foam and greatly reduces or eliminates heat retention. And, while the mattress pad may be firmer in cool temperatures, it only takes a few minutes for the foam to absorb the heat from your body and mold itself to fit your shape.

The disadvantages of memory foam mattress pads are very minor and can be eliminated by choosing the right pad. However, there is one disadvantage that may prove to be a problem. Once you get used to the unbelievable comfort that a foam pad provides you will find it difficult to sleep on a ordinary bed. Many consumers have reported that when traveling they can no longer get a good nights sleep on an innerspring mattress.

Which Brand to Get
With so many different brands of mattress pads it can be hard to choose the best one. Tempur-Pedic is one of the most popular, well known brands of memory foam products. The Swedish company was the pioneer in the memory foam market in the early 1990′s. Tempur-Pedic mattress pads are high quality and free from toxic chemicals. They offer a variety of sizes and thicknesses that can be used with a foam mattress or a traditional mattress.

Serta is another well known name in the bedding industry. Their 4 inch memory foam mattress pad is one of their most popular products. The 4 inch foam is free from toxins and the bad smells that result from formaldehyde and other chemicals. The mattress pad stays securely in place eliminating the need to get up in the middle of the night to reposition the pad. But, the main reason for the pads popularity is its luxurious comfort.

Should You Buy?
If you are considering purchasing a mattress pad the main thing to keep in mind is that not all memory foam is created equal. Cheap mattress pads are often made with low quality materials and will become flat rather quickly. They may not provide enough support for your body and may even contain toxic chemicals. While it’s fine to look for a bargain, don’t let a cheap price rob you of the superior comfort that a high quality memory foam mattress pad can provide.