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Memory Foam FAQ

Q. What Is Memory Foam?
Memory foam is a polyurethane based foam with open cells, meaning that air can pass into and out of tiny holes in the material. It is valued for its unique pressure reducing properties, and is currently used in countless applications, from memory foam overlays to car seats.

Q. Where did memory foam come from?
Before the development of memory foam overlays and mattresses, memory foam was the brainchild of the space program. Memory foam was originally developed as a material for the astronaut's flight chairs, in order to protect them from the powerful G-forces experienced at lift off. It was never actually used though, and entered the consumer market in the early 80's. Click here for more on the space connection...

Q. What can memory foam do for my health?
Memory foam is one of the most healthy sleep surfaces ever created, mainly because offoam bed support it's incredible ability to reduce pressure points. A high quality memory foam mattress overlay has the ability to improve one's quality of sleep, alleviate back pain, improve circulation and may even help with some types of sleeping disorders like sleep apnea. Click to learn more about the effects of memory foam  on general health and sleep apnea specifically...

Q. Is there a perfect density for memory foam?
There is no single perfect density for memory foam products. As a general rule, higher density foams are usually better, but there are many variables to consider. For example, with a memory foam mattress overlay, proper density will be determined partially by the thickness of the overlay. With a two inch overlay, for example, a density of five pounds works best, but with a three inch overlay, a lower density would probably be preferable. Check out the Density/Thickness Checklist to see what best suits your needs.

Q. Is there an ideal thickness for a memory foam mattress overlay?
There is no one ideal thickness for a memory foam mattress overlay. Actually, proper thickness will depend on many different factors including sleep positioning, activity level during sleep, mattress condition and firmness preferences. Click here to check out our Density/Thickness Checklist.

Q. Doesn't memory foam fall apart quickly?
Like many of the misconceptions surrounding memory foam, this one stems from early problems with the formula, which have since been perfected. Memory foam used to be notorious for flaking apart and collapsing after only a short period of time. In fact, when NASA first developed memory foam in the 1970's, the lack of durability was one of the reasons why it was initially rejected for the space program.

Much has changed since the 70's, (think platform shoes), and memory foam is no exception. Today's high-end memory foam mattress overlays, for example, routinely last ten years with consistent daily use.

Q. Isn't memory foam hot to sleep on?
This is partially true... Some memory foam can be warm to sleep on, and that was a big complaint about memory foam for a number of years. Things changed with Sleep Aid's breakthrough HRC system. Sleep Aid was the first to figure out how to add air channels to a memory foam overlay without compromising support. the result is plenty of ventilation and the proper balance of compression and support.  By it's nature, memory foam holds a lot of heat, but that's an essential characteristic of memory foam. In fact, it wouldn't work nearly as well if it didn't dissipate heat so slowly.

Q. What is ILD?
ILD or Indent Load Deflection, is a measurement of how "springy" a given sample of foam is. Some companies use this measurement as a way of confusing customers by saying that their memory foam has a higher ILD than their competitors.

The problem with this, is that ILD is a useless measurement when applied to memory foam. Memory foam, by definition, is supposed to conform to the body, so "springyness" is really beside the point. In fact, you can have two types of memory foam with identical density, and quality and performance, but vastly different ILD ratings. In the foam industry, ILD is used to measure conventional foam, but not visco-elastic or "memory foam". If a salesman tries to sell you on a "high ILD memory foam" don't let him get away with it. He's trying to confuse you. Density is a much more useful and relevant measurement, so stick with that.

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