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The Benefits of Memory Foam Mattresses

By Charles Hopkins Published 06/14/2007 | Health

Memory foam mattresses are possibly the most sensible investment you can make when it comes to buying a new mattress. They are used all over the world, not only for their comfort but also for the health benefits they provide. Their increase in popularity is due to the memory foam's ability to relieve pressure on painful joints and its remarkable heat sensitive capability to conform to the shape of the body. Memory foam mattresses are widely available in all different price ranges making it important for the average consumer to do some research before choosing the memory foam mattress right for them.

Memory foam, first known as "Visco-elastic" foam was originally developed by NASA as a material to cushion astronaut flight seats, to protect them from the powerful G-forces experienced at lift off. This new space age material soon found its way into hospitals across the country and eventually the world as pressure reducing mattresses designed to help fight pressure ulcers in patients confined to their beds for long periods of time.

Visco-elastic foam is a temperature sensitive form of polyurethane foam with special additives that create a self-adhesion property for a few seconds after being exposed to a heat source, such as a person's body. This means that at lower temperatures the foam is harder (more viscous), and at higher temperatures the foam gets softer and bouncier (more elastic). The beauty of memory foam is how it responds to the body's heat and molds to suit each individual's body shape providing extreme comfort and deep undisturbed sleep.

The elastic characteristics allow memory foam to resist change of shape (visco) and return to its original shape (elastic) after being forced to change after body temperature and pressure. This unique ability allows memory foam mattresses to perform at optimum levels for long periods of time.

Visco-elastic or memory foam is made to cradle the body and helps reduce those nasty pressure points, found in the hip and sacral areas, causing many to lose sleep by tossing and turning during the night. The foam's unique properties also reduce the transfer of motion allowing a person to move around on one side of the mattress without disturbing the person on the other side.

Memory foam was first used in the Tempur memory foam mattress, but today there are now wide ranges of quality memory foam mattress suppliers that provide superior quality at better prices than the original Tempur memory foam mattress. The Internet is a great place to find customer reviews and prices, allowing the customer to shop and compare before making a final decision. A quick review on the Internet shows the online price for a memory foam mattress ranging between 700 and 3,000.

It's hard to put a price tag on a good nights sleep but with the improvement in quality and reduction in pricing a good nights rest is much more affordable than it used to be thanks to the benefits of today's memory foam mattress