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Shopping Memory Foam Mattresses: Is Gel Foam Really Any Better?

If you’ve sat in front of a television for at least an hour at any time during the past 15 years, chances are you’ve seen a commercial advertising memory foam mattresses. Since it’s pretty much impossible to argue that this material doesn’t have a completely unique feel (as compared to any other bed type on the market), it’s not surprising that the memory foam craze eventually swept the entire nation. What’s less clear, nonetheless, is where did memory foam first originate and how has it evolved in recent years?

To help clear the air, we’ve put together the following cliffs notes version of everything you need to know about memory foam:

Who Invented Memory Foam and Why?

Almost as much as Coca-Cola itself, Americans have always been fascinated with space exploration. Accordingly, any time NASA invents something, consumer product companies can’t wait to get their hands on it and start adapting it for the general public. That’s exactly what happened when NASA engineers first invented memory foam in the 1970s out of an effort to improve seat cushions and crash helmets for pilots.

What is Memory Foam Made of?

Memory foam mattresses are made from a material known as visco-elastic foam, which softens as it warms, making it ideal for conforming to your body as you sleep. Traditional memory foam, however, is not with controversy. In recent years, health conscious consumers have become more skeptical of many memory foam products as a result of their petro-chemical origins.

In fact, traditional memory foams have been discovered to contain up to 61 different chemicals, including 18 chemicals considered unsafe by multiple government agencies. For this reason, it’s particularly important to look for the CertiPUR-US seal on any memory foam mattress product before buying it. CertiPUR-US is the leading national certification body for ensuring that no potentially harmful chemicals are making it into the mattress that’s going to breathe the same bedroom air every night as you do.

Memory Foam Mattresses & Temperature Regulation

As mentioned above, the visco-elastic foam is particularly responsive to changes in temperature. If you’ve ever slept on the same memory foam mattress across both winter and summer seasons, then you undoubtedly noticed it seemed quite a bit firmer in the winter than it did during the summer.

In addition to feeling softer overall in the summer, many memory foam mattress owners complain about visco-elastic material sleeping hot and causing them to sweat. Out of response to this often-cited problem, manufacturers have since created a newer generation of memory foam known as gel foam. Gel memory foam is different from traditional memory foam in that small beads of cooling gel are mixed into the liquid foam material prior to vulcanization. Gel memory foams made with open cell technology go even one step further to help add even more breathability to a mattress.

Not only does Sherwood Bedding’s line of EvoSleep® memory foam mattresses utilize more breathable open-cell gel memory foams in all of our beds, but all the foams used in every Sherwood Bedding product are also CertiPUR-US certified. Furthermore, EvoSleep® natural memory foam mattresses use exclusively soy-based memory foam from soybeans originating in Iowa. This goes above and beyond standard CertiPUR-US standards. It delivers a grade of memory foam that poses even less risk to both you and the planet.

If you’re considering a quality memory foam mattress and you haven’t yet taken a closer look at EvoSleep®, we think you’ll be glad you did. Visit a retailer in your area and see for yourself why so many people have already made the switch to Sherwood Bedding products.

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