What Is A Menory Foam Mattress Made Of?
While it might seem like an easy question, it can be kind of confusing as to what a memory foam mattress is made of.
In fact, a memory foam mattress is made of layers of foam, and only the top layers are memory foam.
So typically, in a 10 inch memory foam mattress, there would be 6 - 7" or so of core foam topped by 3 - 4" of memory foam
The core foam is the support part of the mattress, and typically this is made of polyurethane foam. The density of this foam can range from 1.6 lb to higher quality foams of 2.2 lb density and up. The higher the density the longer the core foam should last and remain supportive. This is one of the areas where a lot of companies will go with less expensive foam in order to keep the cost down, and it can really make a big difference over time -- the lower density core foams just don't perform and last over time like the more expensive, higher density foams. So make sure you check on the core foam density on the memory foam mattress you are considering.
The top layers are where you will find the memory foam, and typically this layer is 2 - 4" thick. The thicker, the softer the feel.
The sweet spot for memory foams, I believe, is a 4 lb density. This will give you both a nice soft feel along with good cushion. The more expensive, latest generation memory foams offer much better air flow, which can help to make the bed much cooler to sleep on compared to those using less expensive, standard memory foams. And this latest generation memory foam also seems to have less initial odor. So it is worth paying a bit more for a memory foam mattress using these latest generation memory foams.
A lot of memory foam mattresses now use gel memory foams, or gel foams, which are memory foams that incorporate some gel liquid or gel beads. I'm not a big fan since pure memory foams have a softer, more comfortable feel (the gel makes the foam feel stiffer), and the latest generation memory foams offer the same sort of benefits (sleeping cooler, etc) that gel foams claim.
I hope that this has helped you to understand what a memory foam mattress is made of, and if you want to know more about what to look for when buying a memory foam mattress see our Guide to Buying A Memory Foam Mattress