Did you know memory foam was a product of NASA? It was thanks to NASA’s Ames Research Center, which developed the same foam we know today under a contract in a bid to improve the safety of airport cushions.
It has been around since 1966. The medical industry also found it useful, aside from the airlines. It wasn’t until the early 1980s, though, before NASA released it to the public domain.
Since then, we’ve been enjoying its benefits in the form of cushions and mattresses. Not all people have memory foam, though.
Everyone must have a memory foam cushion. Why do we say that? Read on to find out how it can change your lives for the better.
Why Do You Need a Memory Foam Cushion
Memory foam is a polyurethane material. It’s called “memory” because it “remembers” the shape of the object pressed on it.
You might know it better as the foam that keeps an imprint of your hand when you press on it.
Memory foam has various uses. You can use it for seat cushions, back cushions, mattresses, and other types of cushions. It’s even used in some industries as an insulator because of its properties.
As you know, though, memory foams are pretty expensive. What do you even need a foam that makes imprints for?
How will you justify the price? See below the reasons why you should get memory foam cushions.
1. Provides Good Support
Memory foam conforms to the exact shape of whatever body part it’s in contact with.
Do you know why this happens? Because it reacts to your body heat.
Because of this, it can provide great support to the body. It allows the body to keep its natural alignment. This helps prevent pain and compression.
Each part of our body needs different kinds of support. Memory foam provides custom support. This also provides an even weight distribution, reducing the strain on some parts.
Some parts might sink deeper, and other parts might not sink too much. This way, the memory foam cradles each part and doesn’t put pressure on any of them.
Whether you’re using a memory foam chair cushion, back cushion, or even a mattress, you’ll be sure you’ll get the support your body needs in whatever position.
2. Reduces Compression
Using firm cushions or none at all can have a downside. It puts pressure on our body parts, causing us pain. The compression can put pressure on our bones and restrict blood flow in some body parts.
Those who sit on a hard surface for long periods can relate. Their tissues and muscles in the pelvis, legs, and back don’t get as much oxygen because of the compression.
Side sleepers on a firm mattress also have the same issue. Because it doesn’t contour, it puts pressure on the shoulders and pelvis. It also doesn’t support the natural spine alignment.
Having a memory foam seat or back cushions can remove this issue. It conforms to the body curves so there won’t be any pressure points or compression. Still, it has enough support to keep everything aligned.
3. Keeps the Spine Aligned
When we sit on a chair without proper back support, we tend to slouch the longer we sit on it. This makes our spine misaligned. On top of that, it causes muscle tension and fatigue, which then leads to back pain.
Having some sort of cushion allows us to rest our back. They can ease discomfort and even correct our posture.
The best kind of support, however, is memory foam. Its ability to contour to our back’s natural curves provides better support than other types.
This is also why it’s a great choice of material for toppers and mattresses. A firm mattress will wreck the natural alignment of our spine because it’s not conforming. A mattress that’s too soft, however, will make the body sink too much.
You can also get this benefit on a memory foam seat cushion. It takes away the load on the tailbone and reduces the strain on the back.
4. Has Natural Hypoallergenic Properties
Memory foam is hypoallergenic by nature. It’s not a good breeding place for dust mites, unlike other types of foam. A typical used mattress, for example, houses up to 10 million dust mites.
Dust mites – or more specifically, their droppings — are what cause nighttime allergies for most people. If you’ve been sneezing, itching, and such at night or upon waking up, you’ve got dust mite problems.
Mattresses aren’t the only things that can have dust mites. Any type of cushion in your house can be a breeding ground.
Memory foam is devoid of this problem. Because of its density and the fibers in the foam, it inhibits the growth and breeding of dust mites.
Furthermore, it doesn’t release micro-fluff into the air. Cushions made with wool, cotton, or feather are the biggest culprits of this. They release such substances into the air that can make their way into your lungs.
5. Resists Motion Transfer
Did you know that motion transfer isn’t a thing with memory foam? It’s not like other foams, wherein a movement from one side would ripple through the other side. This is why in normal mattresses, you would feel your partner’s every twist and every turn.
Memory foam isn’t like that. When another person sits on it, you won’t feel a thing on your side. You can put a glass of water on one side and move about on the other side.
The tiny cells in memory foam absorb the movement. So, motion can’t travel farther than a couple of inches.
This is why memory foam can be a real relationship saver for people who move too much while asleep.
6. Easy to Maintain
Memory foam is quite easy to maintain. It’s one of the most low-maintenance types of cushion or mattress out there.
Some memory foam mattresses, for instance, don’t need turning over. You’ll still have to rotate them from head to toe, though.
While the structure of memory foam gives it some waterproofing properties, it’s still best not to get it wet. Yes, don’t try to do a motion transfer experiment with a glass of water, either.
Fluids might make it break down sooner. On the bright side, that also means you don’t have to wash it.
Keep it away from heat, too. It reacts to your body heat to conform to your body. Letting other heat sources near it, like hot water bottles and heated blankets, will shorten its lifespan.
As you can see, these are only the usual considerations you have to take with any other cushion or mattress. It doesn’t take much to keep it in tip-top shape until it lives out its lifespan.
7. Lasts for a Long Time
Memory foam can last 8 to 10 years, and some can even last up to 25 years.
Each company uses different technologies that dictate the durability of their product. As a rule of thumb, look for the denser variants. These tend to last way longer.
Note that the heavier the weight it handles, the sooner it will deteriorate. The quality of what you buy is a huge factor, but the user’s weight has a big effect, too. Invest in a cushion with higher density for users who carry more weight.
Although memory foam lasts a long time, it still doesn’t last forever. Watch out for signs of deterioration, such as sagging and lumps. If it has areas with compressions that aren’t springing back, it’s past its lifespan.
When these things happen, it’s better to buy a new memory foam cushion ASAP. By this time, it won’t be able to give you proper support.
8. Retains Its Look for Longer
Aesthetics may not be a deciding factor when you’re buying a cushion. Still, it’s a plus point when you’re shopping for cushions.
Its durability has another minor benefit: it lasts longer while retaining its look.
Memory foam springs back after using it. It doesn’t develop lumps or such that can make it look awful. Its dense material prevents it from going flat right away, as well.
Types of Memory Foam
As we said earlier, memory foam has been around for five decades now. You’d expect the first one to be far from perfect. Still, traditional memory foam was a great product through and through.
During the five-decade period, though, further research and development made memory foam better and better, so now we have three generations of it.
All of which can give you the benefits we outlined above. Some have more benefits than the other, though. Let’s look at the improvements each generation brought below.
Open Cell Memory Foam
Open-cell memory foam is the second generation of memory foams. It aims to provide a better alternative to traditional memory foams, which trap body heat.
The longer you stay in contact with memory foam, the more body heat it traps. In time, it becomes uncomfortable, especially in hot places.
The reason why it becomes hot is its dense structure. To provide enough support, it has to be so dense that it cuts off airflow in-between the cells.
Another reason is that it’s conforming. It has to react to your body heat to be able to conform to its curves.
When your body parts become surrounded by memory foam, it also restricts air-to-skin contact. This further exacerbates the issue.
This is why companies began using open cell structure to increase breathability. It has billions of tiny cells that allow air movement around them. The cells contain the air, and when compressed, release the air to the surrounding cells.
Memory foam has closed cells, so when you put pressure on it, it squeezes the trapped air. This can be why it can break down earlier than open-cell memory foams. The cells can pop, leading to indents and permanent body impressions on the cushion.
At the same time, it retains the temperature sensitivity that makes memory foam permeable. It still has body-conforming qualities that make memory foam unique.
Gel-Infused Memory Foam
Gel infusion is a third-generation technology developed by Peterson Chemical Technology. It addresses the same issue as the above: the body heat trap that is memory foam. On top of that, it has some added benefits, too.
The idea is to infuse gel particles, which have the properties of both solid and liquid, into viscoelastic. In theory, its properties would allow it to draw heat away from the body. It would also give a softer feel and enable a quicker recovery.
This type of memory foam has beads containing the gel. When it changes from solid to a liquid state, it can have a cooling effect. Changing physical states can change their heating absorption properties, which can alleviate some of the issues of traditional memory foam.
Furthermore, the process of gel infusion opens up the cells. This allows for better breathability so the air can move around the body.
Not only that, but gel-infused memory foam also springs back faster. This makes it easier to move about the foam and removes the stuck feeling.
It’s less resistant to body heat, which can be a good thing if you don’t like the sinking feeling. This also allows for better support for proper spine alignment. This is important when using back cushions and mattresses.
Companies have different gel infusion methods, though. Some use beads, as we’ve described above, while others add liquid gel to the foam while it’s still not set. Some companies might also add gel to the top portion only.
Choose a Memory Foam Cushion Now
Everybody needs memory foam cushion in their lives. For some, however, it’s a big investment as it usually demands a higher price.
For us, though, it’s a worthwhile investment as you can use it for years to come. The comfort and support it will bring you are luxuries you won’t find elsewhere.
Check out our wide range of memory foam products now. For any questions, feel free to contact us.