Something that I have noticed lately is the number of different products that are starting to use (and highlight the fact that they use) memory foam. Now, I know memory foam has been around for quite a long time now, it was developed for the space program back in the 1960s, I believe, but an astounding number of different types of products are now adding a little bit of memory foam in strategic spots to increase the comfort for the user.
The most obvious place where we are seeing memory foam used is in the bedroom on mattresses and mattress toppers. Our comfort when we lay ourselves down to sleep each night is paramount and a good quality mattress will be sold or passed over based on the level of comfort it can provide. The nature of memory foam allows the mattress to mold itself into the shape of the person lying on it creating a much greater sensation of being cradled with equal pressure being applied on all parts of the body.
That’s the reason why memory foam has become popular. But the question remains, exactly what is memory foam?
Memory foam is polyurethane that has had chemicals added to it to change its viscosity and density. It may also be seen to be called low-resilience polyurethane foam. It was first created in 1966 by NASA as part of the space program and was designed as a way of making aircraft seats safer and more comfortable to sit in. As you can imagine, when a vehicle is travelling as fast as rockets the pressure on the pilot will be enormous as they are pushed into the seat. A material with the properties of memory foam that can mold itself to the shape of the back to provide support across the entire back is essential.
The example that I gave up the top was the mattress or the mattress topper and they are both fairly obvious ways that memory foam can be used in a beneficial way. We have seen a lot of new products that have changed the shape of the bedding industry.
But memory foam is showing up in a few other places that I wasn’t expecting. When you think about it, though, its use makes a lot of sense.
The first came when I was looking for comfortable slippers that will not only provide my feet with warmth but would also feel comfortable. Some of the better quality slippers are being advertised as using memory foam to help support your feet and provide them with extra comfort. It sounds as though it could be comfortable.
The next instance came in the cycling industry. Sitting on a narrow saddle and pedalling away can be very uncomfortable on your backside. For starters, it’s a fairly delicate part of the body and also, there is a lot of movement going on down there when you really want to get the bike travelling at speed.
Saddle makers are obviously looking for every advantage when they are trying to come up with a comfortable saddle and it appears that one of the ways to make the saddle a little more comfortable is to use memory foam. In this case I can imagine that a saddle that has molded itself to your butt shape might start off feeling great but it could also make it difficult to move around the saddle which is something that many riders like to do depending on whether they are travelling uphill or downhill.
I have also seen that memory foam is also being used in rehabilitation of injuries. It can be used to provide a lining for splints so they don’t irritate the skin or rub and become painful. The heat of the body would help the foam mold itself to the shape of the hand or arm and would also flatten it against the skin to provide a comfortable barrier.
Just because I have developed a bit of an interest in the stuff and, well, because I’m a bit of a nerd, I think I’m going to spend a little time checking out some of the other uses that have been found for memory foam.