Visco Elastic Foam Mattresses – Everything You Need to Know

Visco Elastic Mattress

We all love a good night’s sleep, don’t we? But, have you ever thought about the mattress you’re sleeping on? Visco elastic mattresses, also known as memory foam mattresses, have gained popularity in recent years, and for good reason. Read on as we dive deep into the world of visco elastic mattresses, exploring their benefits, drawbacks, and everything in between.

What is Visco Elastic Foam?

History of Visco Elastic Foam

Visco elastic foam, better known as memory foam, was initially developed by NASA in the 1960s to improve seat cushioning and crash protection for astronauts. In the early 1990s, the technology made its way into the mattress industry, and it has been a game-changer ever since.

How Visco Elastic Foam Works

Visco elastic foam is a type of polyurethane foam that reacts to heat and pressure. When you lie down on a visco elastic mattress, your body heat and weight cause the foam to conform to your shape, providing a customised sleeping surface. As you move or change positions, the foam adapts, ensuring consistent support and pressure relief.

Beducation® - Polyurethane Foam, Memory Foam, And Latex Foam

Benefits of Visco Elastic Mattresses

Pressure Relief

One of the standout features of visco elastic mattresses is their ability to provide pressure relief. The foam distributes your weight evenly across the mattress, reducing pressure points and allowing your muscles to relax fully.

Motion Isolation

Tossing and turning during the night can be disruptive, especially if you share your bed with a partner. Visco elastic mattresses excel at motion isolation, meaning that when one person moves, the other person is less likely to feel it.

Customised Support

Visco elastic mattresses conform to your body shape, providing tailored support for your spine, neck, and joints. This personalised comfort can help reduce pain and discomfort, leading to a more restful sleep.

Durability

Visco elastic mattresses are known for their durability, often lasting longer than traditional innerspring mattresses. With proper care, a high-quality memory foam mattress can last up to 10 years or more.

Drawbacks of Visco Elastic Mattresses

Heat Retention

Memory foam is known for retaining heat, which can be uncomfortable for hot sleepers. Fortunately, newer memory foam technologies, such as gel-infused and open-cell memory foam, address this issue by improving airflow and temperature regulation.

Off-Gassing

New visco elastic mattresses can release an unpleasant chemical smell, known as off-gassing. This odour usually dissipates within a few days to a couple of weeks. To minimise off-gassing, let your new mattress air out in a well-ventilated room before using it.

Initial Firmness

Visco elastic mattresses can feel quite firm when you first lie down, but they soften as they react to your body heat. It can take some time to get used to this sensation, but most people find it comfortable after a short adjustment period.

Types of Visco Elastic Mattresses

Traditional Memory Foam

Traditional memory foam is the original visco elastic foam. It’s known for its excellent pressure relief and body-contouring properties. However, it tends to retain heat and can have a stronger off-gassing smell.

Gel-Infused Memory Foam

To address heat retention issues, manufacturers introduced gel-infused memory foam. Tiny gel particles are incorporated into the foam, helping to dissipate heat and keep you cool during the night.

Open-Cell Memory Foam

Open-cell memory foam features a more porous structure, which allows for better airflow and temperature regulation compared to traditional memory foam. It also tends to have a faster response time, meaning it adjusts more quickly to your movements.

Selecting the Right Visco Elastic Mattress

Density

Memory foam density refers to its weight per cubic foot. A higher density foam offers better support, durability, and motion isolation, but it may also retain more heat. Low-density foams are more breathable and responsive, but may not provide the same level of support or durability.

ILD Rating

The ILD (Indentation Load Deflection) rating measures the firmness of a memory foam mattress. A higher ILD rating indicates a firmer mattress, while a lower rating suggests a softer surface. Choose an ILD rating that suits your comfort preferences and sleep position.

Thickness

The thickness of a memory foam mattress can range from 6 inches to 14 inches or more. Thicker mattresses generally provide better support and durability but can be more expensive. Consider your budget and personal preferences when selecting the thickness of your visco elastic mattress.

How to Care for Your Visco Elastic Mattress

Cleaning Tips

To keep your mattress fresh, use a mattress protector and wash it regularly. Spot clean your visco elastic mattress with a mild detergent and water, being careful not to saturate the foam. Allow it to air dry completely before putting on bedding.

Rotating Your Mattress

Rotate your mattress 180 degrees every three to six months to ensure even wear and prolong its lifespan.

Alternatives to Visco Elastic Mattresses

If visco elastic mattresses aren’t your cup of tea, there are other options available, such as innerspring, latex, and hybrid mattresses. Each type has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, so do your research to find the best fit for your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can I use a memory foam mattress with an adjustable bed base?

A. Yes, most visco elastic mattresses are compatible with adjustable bed bases, providing flexibility and customised comfort.

Q. How long does it take for a new memory foam mattress to expand?

A. A new memory foam mattress can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to fully expand. It’s best to give your new mattress at least 24 hours to expand before sleeping on it.

Q. Do memory foam mattresses require a box spring?**

A. No, memory foam mattresses don’t require a box spring. They can be placed on a solid, flat surface or a slatted bed frame, as long as the slats are close together to provide proper support.

Q. Are visco elastic mattresses good for people with allergies?

A. Yes, visco elastic mattresses are hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites, making them a great choice for people with allergies.

Q. How often should I replace my memory foam mattress?

A. The lifespan of a memory foam mattress depends on its quality, usage, and care. A high-quality visco elastic mattress can last up to 10 years or more with proper care. However, it’s a good idea to evaluate your mattress every 7–8 years to ensure it’s still providing adequate support and comfort.

In Summary

Visco elastic mattresses offer numerous benefits, including pressure relief, motion isolation, and customised support. While there are some drawbacks, such as heat retention and off-gassing, modern memory foam technologies have significantly reduced these issues. With a variety of types, densities, and thicknesses to choose from, there’s a visco elastic mattress out there to suit everyone’s preferences.