Memoryfoam is without a doubt the most popular sleeping surface today. We’ve all seen the adverts. Memory foams soften at body temperature, say manufacturers, and cradle your body in order to relieve pressure and ensure deep, restful sleep. But is this really true for all foams or just for Tempurpedic?
The Most Common Viscofoam Myth
Most people believe that all visco foams are heat-sensitive and soften at body temperature. This half-true statement is used in various reports to make unfounded claims about the quality of some mattresses and toppers.
NOTE: There are some retailers and manufacturers selling memory foam mattresses in the US and it’s always great to see that some offer clear product details on their websites (density, firmness, temperature-sensitivity, etc). And if you have to contact them directly for more information, make sure to ask for as many details as you can before making a purchase. The replies you receive from them are a good way to measure how knowledgeable they are about the memory foam mattress types they carry and how much you can rely on their recommendations.
Generally speaking, all visco elastic foams respond to temperature. They are viscous (harder) at lower temperatures and softer (elastic) at higher temperatures. But the temperature ranges these memory foams react to may not be anywhere near to what your body can generate.
Basically, you have two types of viscofoam: viscoelastic memory foam that reacts to temperatures much higher or much lower than your body can produce and viscoelastic memory foam that is, indeed, responsive to body heat
In other words, if a memory foam doesn’t respond to body temperature, the manufacturer might as well drop the ‘heat-sensitivity’ claim. No heat-sensitivity means no value for customers.
However, both foam types have the ability to contour to your body’s unique shape, thanks to their open-cell structure. The temperature-sensitive type has the added ability to soften at body temperature. It can follow your body contour more precisely as a result.
This increased precision results in more body contact with the foam which in turn means the memory mattress distributes your body weight much better, a direct factor in reducing pressure points and adjusting mattress support to your unique body weight and shape.
Not only this, but heat-responsive visco memory foam also feels more gentle and gives a pretty unique, soft and luscious feeling.
Memory foams which are sensitive to body heat are somewhat more costly than those that aren’t, unfortunately, because of the more sophisticated components that go in its making.
It’s my personal opinion, based on the research I’ve done, that less than half of all memoryfoams on the market today are sensitive to body temperature (as opposed to being sensitive to room temperature or other ranges).
Tempurpedic Foam Vs Other Foams
Like it or not, Tempur-Pedic is the standard every other manufacturer compares their product to. Tempurpedic mattresses use one of the most expensive visco foams on the market and many retailers and customers feel that it’s one of the few that really fits the best memory foam description. However, the last few years have produced some worthy competitors.