a Memory Foam Mattress
Dr. Rick Swartzburg, D.C.
It was after six years of recommending various mattresses to my patients and listening to their feedback that I realized that my wife and I were in need of a better mattress ourselves. I had read about memory foam material and was already recommending it to my patients, but as I soon found out, there is no substitute for first-hand experience.
Before I talk about my experience, let me give a quick overview of what a memory foam mattress is. Memory foam is a pressure sensitive or temperature sensitive polyurethane foam that has the ability to compress, but then slowly come back to its original shape. Therefore memory foam does not place nearly the same resistance on the joints as spring, air, and other materials that bounce back more rapidly.
My wife and I had a brief encounter with a memory foam mattress in a store when we both took turns lying on it for about a minute each. Even so, we were still not adequately prepared for what it felt like when we finally ordered one for our bedroom. We had it installed during a busy afternoon, so all we could do was build up our anticipation for that evening when we knew we could finally get a restful sleep. By the evening time our sore bodies were ready for a blissful night's sleep. It was a cold night, so we both climbed into bed and were a little surprised by the overly solid firmness and slightly cold bed underneath us. Just as we both looked at each other and were about to become worried, we could both feel the bed warming up underneath us and our bodies start to slowly sink deeper into the foam, turning our looks of apprehension into blissful smiles.
After three years of sleeping on this mattress I can tell you a few more things about memory foam. First, I have to mention that the mattress we initially bought is a 5lb. density. 5lb. memory foam is more temperature sensitive, heavier, usually stiffer and bounces back more slowly (see right side below for an actual example of 5lb. memory foam). 4lb. memory foam will therefore be less temperature sensitive and less dense, more soft, less expensive, but also a little less supportive. There is a bed now that combines the two, so that the top layer is a 4lb. density and the next two inches are a 5lb. density. This will give you that immediate soothing sensation, but still be a little firmer underneath. This bed is named the Tri-Pedic and it is the bed that we have now chosen to sleep on. While our bed has never felt any warmer than other beds that we have had in the past, we do have a removable, washable terry cloth type of covering that allows you to feel the memory foam more directly, but still allow the bed to ventilate well enough. As an additional benefit, memory foam doesn't bounce, so it is also easier to roll over without waking your spouse.
The bottom line is that we sleep better now than ever, and I recommend the mattress for all types of sleepers. The only problem that I will mention is that once you are spoiled by one, you won't be looking forward to sleeping on the average mattress that you will find in a hotel on your next vacation.
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For more memory foam mattress info you can go to www.memoryfoammattress.org
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