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Memory Foam and Latex Mattresses

In recent years, a number of new mattress technologies have come onto the market. Two of the most popular types are memory foam mattresses and latex foam mattresses. Both memory foam mattresses and latex foam mattresses seek to solve a problem that most people are familiar with, the tossing and turning that most of us experience in bed.

Most of this tossing and turning is caused by a process referred to as pressure point arousal. When we lie in bed at night, our body always rests more heavily on certain areas called pressure points. A side sleeper has pressure points located at the hip and shoulder, for example. The purpose of both memory foam and latex mattresses are to reduce these pressure points, by distributing pressure over a wide surface area.

Memory foam has the additional benefit of conforming very closely to the body, and actually "filling gaps" between the body and the mattress surface. Memory foam accomplishes this in part through the way it reacts to pressure. Metal springs and most types of foam will react to pressure by exerting equal, opposing force. Memory foam, because of its slow rebound time and open-cell structure, does not return pressure in this manner. The result is that less force is built up at pressure points, and a more consistent level of support is provided along the entire length of the body.

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