One of the big selling points of Tempurpedic mattresses is that they're dust mite and allergen resistant. But are Tempur the only memory foam bed maker to make such claims? And more importantly, are these claims true? Are there any other health claims manufacturers make?
According to the University of Chicago Asthma Center, "Dust mites are very tiny creatures (microscopic, or just barely visible) that live in the dust in people's homes. They are present both in visible dust (under the bed or behind the couch, for example) and in soft places like pillows, mattresses, blankets, and stuffed animals".
Most problems with dust mites and mattresses are directly related to the skin we slough off our bodies which is a natural process and no bed, innerspring or otherwise, can prevent. This is the starting point in understanding the connection between dust mites, Tempurpedic mattresses and other visco memory mattresses.
What most people don't know is that dust-mites also feed on organic fibres like cotton which is why a mattress made of wool, for example, would provide a secondary source of food for dustmites.
According to a study published in European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology in June 2002, the risk of finding dust mites is four times higher in foam mattresses compared to spring mattresses and eight times higher for the foam mattresses without cover.
While this study does not specifically include Tempur memory foam mattresses, it helps us investigate the "dust-mite free" claim.
A Tempurpedic foam bed is made of open-cell viscoelastic foam. The open cells pass air to adjoining cells when you lie down on the mattress and slowly take in air when you stand up. All visco elastic memory foam mattresses, in fact, are made of open cells.
Unfortunately, this open-cell structure is prone to taking in large numbers of dust mites. Conventional foam beds made of closed-cells also allow dust mites in, just not as many as memory mattresses do.
The only way to prevent allergy-provoking dust mites in your mattress is to use dust-mite resistant encasings and covers but even they aren't 100% effective. This is why "dust-mite free" claims are a fallacy. No memory foam mattress is free of mites. It is true, however, that its extremely dense structure makes it more difficult for dust mites to nest and feed.
Foam, however, be it the visco elastic kind or not, be it from Tempurpedic or not, does not promote dust mite growth because, unlike natural fibres, is not a food source in itself. This is what mite-resistant means.
Tempur memory foam beds don't stop mites feeding on your dead skin cells, it just means that they are not a feeding source in themselves. They are, therefore, indeed made of a naturally resistant material to dust mites but so are all foam beds, even latex beds.
The Tempur-Pedic website makes the following statement:
Tempurpedic beds are naturally treated to be resistant to mites and other household allergens. Our products are also CFC (chlorofluorocarbon) and formaldehyde free
While a Tempur-Pedic bed is indeed allergy and dust-mite resistant, the fact is that any foam mattress is also dust-mite and allergy-resistant. Again, this does not mean they are mite-free or that they stop these bugs from feeding on dead skin cells.
For many people the idea of dead mites inside their Tempurpedic Swedish foam bed is repulsive. Many companies, including Tempurpedic, have come up with bed covers that minimize these contaminants from being able to penetrate into the mattress. However, these have been shown to be questionably effective.
Bottom line, dust mite free claims for a Tempurpedic bed or any other visco memory foam bed, for that matter, has good marketing value but not much else in relation to other foam beds.
Before deciding on this type of pillow, know that there is only one proven benefit of memory foam. Whether it's enough to ensure a comfortable sleep, only you can tell.
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A Critical Eye On The Latest Mattress Technologies
The most commonly reported problem consumers have with memory foam pillows is that they sleep hotter when compared to conventional sleeping surfaces.
But sleeping conditions are influenced by environment temperature, the material's heat sensitivity and your own body heat.
Which to choose from a 4lb memory mattress pads 4.5lb visco elastic toppers comparison? Higher density alone does not make a quality sleeping surface. The formula behind the best sleeping surface uses best quality, high-density foam that responds to body temperature.
What is the secret behind Tempurpedic mattress technology and why is it in the top 5 most popular brands alongside the likes of Sensus, Isotonic, Bergad and Sealy? The answer is that it uses good quality, high density, heat responsive foam.
What affects the expected lifetime of a visco foam matress and does a Tempur-Pedic mattress last longer? The answer is years and years as long as it's made of better quality, higher-density foam.