Visco foam mattresses and beds like Tempurpedic and others have become incredibly popular over the last few years. So why aren't there any reliable tests to back up performance and durability claims from manufacturers? The answer lies with the foam itself.
Visco elastic foam is made up of billions of tiny open cells tightly packed together. When you lie down on the mattress or bed, these cells fully compress, spreading the air to adjoining cells and making the visco foam mould to your exact body shape. When you move, it simply takes up air again.
But viscoelastic foam has another, more unique feature that makes it feel different to any other sleeping surface - temperature responsiveness. As soon as you lie down on a good visco memory mattress, it starts reacting to your body temperature. It melts underneath you and becomes a temporary extension of your body, distributing your weight and relieving pressure.
Visco memory foam is as difficult to test as it is unique. There are many factors that can influence its performance over time (heat responsiveness, firmness, recovery rate, density, resin quality, etc).
When you add into the mix the variables that can occur in a person's life -- Did they eat too much? Drink too little? Was their partner restless? Do they have a sleep disorder? Did they exercise too strenuously? Were intimate with their partner last night? Is it too hot or too cool in the room? Did they have a fever? etc. -- it is almost impossible to design a study that would give truthful, accurate and productive answers.
Unfortunately, reliable testing can only be done on memory foam durability and not comfort which is why most visco foam mattresses have warranties against manufacturer defects and not loss of comfort. Take what this consumer report on mattresses from a few years back says:
Because comfort is a personal preference, Consumer Reports is unable to recommend a specific brand or model over another.
What testing (especially in the medical field) has shown is that good quality visco memory foam, the heat responsive type, provides the most complete support and the fewest pressure points of any type of mattress, be it foam or not, be it Tempurpedic or cheaper clones.
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A Critical Eye On The Latest Mattress Technologies
What affects the expected lifetime of a memory mattress topper and does a Tempurpedic mattress topper last longer? The answer is years and years as long as it's made of better quality, higher-density foam.
Many manufacturers claim viscoelastic foam was first used by the NASA Space Program to boost sales for their memory bedding.
NASA never did use that basic material in the 1960s. NASA bedding or space bedding technology simply does not exist as such.
The truth is the Swedish Tempur-Pedic company did eventually come up with a reliable formula now used in their best-selling memory foam bedding.
While Tempur-Pedic Swedish mattresses are commonly known as Swedish mattreses, not all such products made in Sweden are made of slow rise foam.
How can you check if your purchase as good as original Tempur beds? You can try the wine glass test, the egg test, or the fridge test on your visco elastic foam bed.