First of all let me give you a bit of background to our situation at the time. We had only been a couple for four months when we got married, and we had moved into a rented flat / cottage that was unfurnished. Both of us had debts and money was tight, so initially we had to settle for a lot of substandard, secondhand items of furniture, and this included our mattress. Once we were married my Stepfather gave us a Â£500 wedding present, and after four months of suffering sleepless nights tossing and turning on a hard, lumpy, sprung mattress, we decided a comfortable mattress had to be the best thing we could invest some of the money in.
I began to search eBay for a sensibly priced mattress made from memory foam as I knew Tempura would probably be very expensive, especially by the time we added on the shipping costs to Guernsey. Luckily I found a King Size memory foam mattress that would fit our bed for about Â£250. If I remember correctly even with the freight costs it only cost us about Â£300 altogether, and so was a bargain buy that we never regretted.
From the moment our memory foam mattress arrived we couldn't consider sleeping on anything else. The way it moulded to our shape made for a perfect night's sleep and I for one found it hard to drag myself out of bed every morning following its arrival. A memory foam mattress seems to naturally hold warmth, so there was little danger of feeling the cold in the night. Most aches and pains both my Husband and I had been experiencing on our old mattress (now consigned to the bonfire), instantly vanished, and going to bed became an absolute pleasure, (not to mention other nocturnal activities!).
At first glance I have to confess that the memory foam mattress did just look like a large piece of yellow sponge, but the texture was different, and this was obvious once you used your hand to force a hand print into the surface, (and then watched as this took several seconds to vanish once the pressure was released). Our mattress came with a removable zip off cover in a pleasant cream colour, so we could wash the cover when required before zipping it back on to our mattress.
What we also quickly discovered was that unlike most mattresses a memory foam mattress supports all the contours of the body lying on it. A normal mattress doesn't do this, leaving unsupported areas that end up strained and aching. Memory foam follows your contours virtually as closely as a water bed would, so leaving you fully supported down to every last inch of your body.
About 18 months ago we bought a very nice leather bed that came with a sprung mattress of a very good make. We took our memory foam mattress off our bed in order to use the new mattress, and surprise surprise, even after persevering for a week we found the sprung mattress so uncomfortable that we took it off the bed and put our memory foam one back on. We gave the sprung mattress to my Sister as her mattress was on its last legs.
A year and a half later my Sister has just replaced the mattress we gave her with a memory foam one of her own, and apparently she now struggles to get out of bed because she is too comfortable to want to. I might add my Sister had a stroke when she was aged 27, and suffers from many unusual aches and pains in her limbs. These pains have affected her sleep for many years as she is now 45, yet since investing her Christmas money in a memory foam mattress she is sleeping better than she has in all of those years.
Guess what, she sent the apparently good make of sprung mattress we had given her to the local dump!
A Bit of History on Memory Foam.
So why is memory foam so successful and so comfortable to sleep on? Well this is something I intend to cover here.
Memory foam was developed under a contract by NASA's Ames Research Centre to improve the safety of aircraft cushions. The goal was to create a material that would relieve astronauts of the pressure generated by the g-forces they experienced during lift-off. Their challenge was to develop a material that would provide support, cushioning,
prevent the creation of pressure points.
The scientists were successful in creating the first ever visco-elastic polyurethane foam. It had properties that would reduce the effects of g-forces by moulding to the shape of the astronaut's body and act as a full-body shock absorber. This unique new foam returned to its original shape once the pressure was removed.
The new substance was sensitive to temperature and pressure relieving. The foam softened as it absorbed body heat, distributed weight evenly and quickly adapted to any movements of the body
When NASA eventally released memory foam to the public domain in the early 1980s, Fagerdala World Foams was one of very few companies willing to work with the foam, as the manufacturing process remained difficult and unreliable. Their 1991 product, the "Tempur-Pedic Swedish Mattress" eventually led to the mattress and cushion company, Tempur World.
Memory foam has an open cell structure that reacts to body heat and weight by 'moulding' to your body, helping relieve pressure points, preventing pressure sores, etc. Most memory foam has the same basic chemical composition, however the density and layer thickness of the foam means different mattresses feel very different. A high density mattress will mean it returns to position more slowly and will be firmer; a lower density will feel more like a normal foam mattress.
One of the best priced and reliable sources of memory foam mattresses I have heard of is a company called Select Foam, and if you take a look at their website I am sure you will agree they have a lot to offer if you decide to buy a memory foam mattress for youselves.
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