Memory foam sleeping pads were developed by NASA in 1970s as part of program tasked with making aircraft cushions safe. It was not until in 1990s when they hit consumer market. Memory foams provide greater comfort than regular mattresses. This has made them more popular. Other than the manufacturing material, memory foams often have green tea, activated charcoal and aloe vera and other additives incorporated in them to provide aromatherapy and mitigate odors.
Traditional memory foam
It is the initial type that gained widespread use in 1990s. They are almost entirely made from petrochemicals with additional chemicals that increase density and viscosity. Traditional memory foams provide more comfort and are far softer than a spring mattresses. They are designed to reduce stress on joints while sleeping, reduce stress and promote blood circulation. Another advantage it has over the spring mattress it that the material used has anti-bacterial properties. This helps keep allergy causing mites and other bugs at bay.
Air cool memory foam
Some models of memory foam sleeping pads have the ability to produce heat by reacting on your body temperature. The material then softens in the process. You end up feeling like you are sleeping on the air. With this type of memory foam, you are guaranteed cooler nights without even requiring additional heating devices.
Gel memory foam
They are the latest type of memory foams in the market. The materials used to make this type of memory foams are viscous synthetic chemicals resembling gel. Like the typical memory foam, it serves to minimize rolling movements when people are sleeping together. To prevent allergies, the gel is often incorporated with anti-microbial substance. What makes this type of memory foams stand out is the fact that the gel used to manufacture them is same to that used in sports shoes and equipment thus ensuring maximum support. It is highly recommended for people who get severe aches from bad sleeping posture. Gel memory foams also have high durability compared to traditional foams. This means better warranty from manufacturers. One flaw with gel memory foams is that they are quite firm than traditional foams as a result of support offered by the gel foam.
Plant-based memory foams
These memory foams are made by following a manufacturing process that ensures limited VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) which pose a health hazard. Plant ingredients therefore replace petrochemicals. Some manufacturers use adhesives and foam ingredients with very little or no VOCs. The odor of the foam may be very different from what most people are used to. Plant-based memory foams are often temperature neutral.
Factors to consider while selecting a memory foam sleeping pad
Type of pad: Consider buying one of the listed types of memory foams. Buy a pad whose features you consider to be impressive.
Intended use: You can’t buy winter camping memory foam install it in the bedroom. Buy a pad tat suits your needs.
The density: The denser the pad, the more comfortable the sleep. A dense pad also has high insulation properties
Length and width: Typical memory foam has length of 72 inches and width of 20 inches but you can pick one that suits your height and size.
Weight: It depends with the purpose of the pad. Pick light memory foam if you intend to move with it often in such activities as camping. If it is to remain permanent in your bedroom then it is advisable to buy a slightly heavier pad.
Why use memory foams sleeping pads?
- They are versatile, with appropriate pads for car camping, winter camping, backpacking e.t.c
- Memory pads are compact and comfortable to sleep on.
- Te insulation is excellent
- They do not catch fire easily due to incorporated fire retardants hence safe to use.
- Memory foams are god for children and people with diseased bones.
- Some of the memory foams are very lightweight compared to spring mattresses of the same.
Setbacks of memory foams
Most of petrochemicals used to make memory foams also produce VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) which are emitted from the foams at room temperature. They have been found to have cause respiratory irritation.
Acquiring memory foam is expensive compared to spring mattress.
The fire retardants cause health problems in users.
Due to their foamy nature, small children or unconscious adults can suffocate on the pad as they find it hard to turn over.