3 Different Types of Foam in Mattresses
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but foam mattresses have gotten HUGE lately, especially with the influx of startup online mattress companies. They all offer variations of foam, some with proprietary technology, but do you know the difference? What makes latex foam different from traditional memory foam or anything else, and how does that affect how a person sleeps? Let’s go over a few types of foam .
Traditional memory foam, like the kind popularized in the late 90’s/early 2000’s, is made from polyurethane (a synthetic resin) mixed in with special chemicals to help make it more elastic and dense. This ‘viscoelastic foam’ was actually first developed by NASA to help with space missions before they found it suitable for consumer products. It molds to your body, and was known to sleep hot, although newer technology incorporates a more ‘open cell’ structure to dissipate body heat.
Made naturally from rubber tree sap, latex has caught on in recent years and is featured in the mattresses of many of the previously mentioned online companies. Some even attain organic certification, leading it to be marketed as an ‘eco-friendly’ option in this space. It doesn’t mold or reduce motion transfer as well as the former, but it has been known to be more durable. Be careful though, as some cheaper mattresses can be made with synthetic latex, which doesn’t offer all the benefits of natural latex.
More recently, there’s been a rise is gel-infused foam technology, which brings together the sought after characteristics of modern memory foam, and the cooling properties of gel. Think of gel used in sports equipment or shoe insoles, and that’s the type of feel that gel infused foam aims to brings to your entire body. Gel also adds more support than natural latex foam, and is more durable than memory foam alone, making it a great all around option.
These three types of foam are some of the most common found in foam mattresses today. Some companies can feature all three across different products or may even incorporate all three in a single mattress to create a unique feel. Some may have proprietary foam that is essentially their own variation of those above. If you’ve tried them out, let us know what you prefer.