Most everyone today has heard of Tempur-Pedic® products, the makers of the Tempur-Pedic® memory foam bed. Tempur-Pedic® was the first to apply memory foam technology to a broad consumer market, and they remain the most entrenched brand in the business. As a resource for our customers, we wanted to provide some basic information about memory foam, to help you understand what makes other brands different.
Tempur-Pedic® is one of the most recognizable brands that produce memory foam mattresses. They were the first name in the consumer market memory foam, and it’s only in the last few years that other brands, began competing with Tempur-Pedic® and their hold on the high-end foam market. There are other challenges too, popping up in the big club stores and mega-retailers. These manufacturers are trying to bring memory foam into a new market, at a very low price point. Often these companies sell an extremely low-quality memory foam, one that has almost none of the beneficial characteristics of authentic memory foam.
Most of these companies, whether they admit it or not, are aiming directly at National Bed’s market. This is good for consumers because it encourages innovation, the result is that companies often design features that specifically address shortfalls of the past memory foam products. Luckily for the customer, some of the repeated complaints about Viscoelastic foam products have been addressed by other companies.
One of the most important characteristics of memory foam is its sensitivity to temperature. This characteristic is one of the things that makes memory foam do its job so well, but it can also be problematic. This is how the temperature sensitivity comes into play; when you lay down on a memory foam surface, certain parts of your body will press more heavily into the mattress. For example, if you’re a side sleeper, your shoulder and hip will be bearing much of your weight. The added pressure of these contact points also transfers more heat, causing the foam under your shoulder to soften, right where you need it. This temperature sensitivity is one of the things that makes memory foam such a great sleep surface, but some foam formulas are overly sensitive to temperature.
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If the foam is too temperature sensitive, its overall feel and firmness can be affected by the ambient temperatures in the home. Customers reported that in the wintertime, some brands can become firm. Also, because the edges of the mattress are more exposed to air, they cool off more quickly than the center of the bed. The result is a bed that is softer in the middle than on the sides. This made some users feel as if their mattress was sagging in the center, long before the foam would ever actually compress and break down. All memory foam will be affected by ambient temperatures, to some degree, but some companies today have made an effort to address this issue, fine-tuning their formulas in an effort to create a more consistent foam.