Foam mattresses have become vividly popular within the last decade. This specialty sleep category finally gets the respect it has always deserved in the industry. Literally, there are thousands of different grades and types of foam, so quality, comfort, and support can range across the board.
Foam is a man made product that is derived from combinations of chemicals, air, and water. It begins in liquid form, then coagulates to a solid, then is cut to the desired shape. Its genetic make-up will determine how each foam component will feel and hold up over time. Foam comes in many different forms and is used for a wide variety of uses. Mattresses are one small facet of the foam industry. The most typical forms of foam we witness in our industry are convoluted foam, block foams, and chip foams. One form is really not better than another; it really depends on the foams ILD and Density.
Technically speaking, ILD, stands for indentation load deflection, which basically gives you the comfort factor of the foam…is it on the softer side or firmer side. The other characteristic that is key to knowing foam is its density. Density and durability go hand in hand. Basically, the higher density the foam is, the longer the foam will keep its shape. Since these numbers may be impossible to find out, a good judge of foam is the harder it is for you to squeeze the foam and compress it, the better the grade of foam it is. Generally, a 2.0 lb density foam will have a nice shelf life.
Visco-elasic foams, or memory foams, are extremely molding for your body. This is the foam that you can see adjusting to your every move. Once your body is comfortable, you will find that your body doesn’t move. These foams are known to be temperature sensitive which is great for promoting good circulation. (When the visco-elastic foam is colder, it doesn’t respond as quick if is warm. When a warm body is placed on it, it warms and finds its comfort place.) Visco-elastic foams are very supportive and can reduce pressure depending on the weight of the foam. Memory foams do not have a density number, they do have a descriptive weight. The higher the number, the more responsive it is to your body. A 3 pound visco may also be more firm than a 5 pound visco. One thing you need to be careful of here is consistency. It is good to lie down on each mattress to se if you like the way it responds to your body.
Latex, is really not a foam product, it is a rubber product. It is made from the sap of a rubber tree and is all natural. This product is another product that is extremely contouring for your body and last an incredibly long time. Foamers have invented man-made foams that can duplicate the feel and durability of latex. Densities of foam have to be in the high ranges to qualify for this famed position (generally 4.0 density and higher.)
You may be surprised when you try out foam mattresses and futons…they are more comfortable and more durable than you might think.
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