History of Memory Foam Mattresses

memory foam mattress contoured to hand shapeHave you ever wondered how memory foam mattresses were invented? Who would have the brains to create a material that could mold to your body shape and yet retain its shape once the weight is released? Well, that was the question that got me pondering this afternoon. After doing a little research, I found out that it was NASA. Of course! Only NASA would have the budget to hire such capable and brilliant scientists to develop the best material.

Originally, the material developed was called Temper Foam and was used in the seats of the space shuttle. After vigorous testing, it was discovered that Temper Foam had the ability to protect the shuttle’s pilots during a crash or violent vibrations. Temper Foam is basically created by pumping gas into polymer which resulted in millions of solid cells that could move together as one thus acting as liquid. These individual cells could move around when compressed thus giving it the fantastic capabilities of molding to different shapes and sizes, evenly distributing body weight.

Due to its flexible nature, it is not surprising that the material is eventually worked into mattresses thus giving birth to the memory foam mattresses we use nowadays. This memory foam mattress is the best in its category. It’s not only mattresses that use this material. Tempur Foam can now be found in pillows, shoes, furniture and even vehicles.

One of the downsides of a memory foam mattress is that the material reacts to heat and would go soft when there is body heat. It would also harden a little when it is cold. It is therefore not advisable to jump into bed on a cold winter’s night as what would greet you is certainly not something which is warm, soft and cushy. Be prepared for a mattress which is softer in the summer and harder in the winter.

The great part about it is that you can sleep soundly if you have a sleeping partner who moves often throughout the night. This is because the individual solid cells which are the building blocks of the memory foam moves independently of other cells. One side of the bed can thus stay still whilst the other vibrates. Say goodbye to waking up multiple times a night due to tossing and turning!

That said, engineers have found many ways to tweak the material to better suit the item that is being created. For example, where consumers complained that they felt warm using the mattress, a layer of airflow layers were added along with other material to promote ventilation. Some mattress companies have even improved on the Temper Foam material and increased the speed at which the mattress would return to its original shape after the user has removed his body weight from it.

When used in hospitals, an additional layer of antibacterial material is weaved into the top parts of the mattress making it safer for patients to use. This material is also designed to wick away sweat from the body thus reducing bed sores which is often a problem with bedridden patients or those with limited ability to move their bodies physically.