Types of Memory Foam

Memory foam is designed with either an open cell or closed cell molecular structure. Open cell memory foam returns to it’s previous shape quickly, and allows for more airflow through the material. Think of open cell memory foam as having tiny air balloons in its structure. Even with pressure applied to the foam, air is able to flow through the memory foam mattress. This keeps the mattress cool, fresh, and dry.
Closed memory foam does not allow for adequate air flow, which will lead to a warm sleeping surface and it can be found in very inexpensive alternatives. The memory foam is unable to “breathe,” which traps moisture & body heat. All reputable memory foam mattress manufacturers use open cell design.

Traditional memory foam and its original formula was made popular by Tempur-Pedic and most mattresses nowadays are made from this foam but use different densities. The benefits are common among all types of memory foams but major differences are in heat absorption and response time, where traditional foam will retain more heat (though it might not be noticeable) and will have longer response time, so called “quicksand effect” especially with softer, lower density foams.

Gel memory foams are becoming more popular because they advertise the improvement on traditional memory foam drawbacks – heat retention and response time. Gel foam manufacturers claim that their foams are much cooler, but they don’t say by how much and this may not be even noticeable by an end-user. Gel foams are made by infusing gel molecules or by adding gel beets to memory foam giving the foam more resistance so you don’t sink in it too much and allowing gel particles to absorb excessive heat.

Other new types of memory foam, or next generation foams use similar approach as gel foams where they mix traditional foam with other chemical elements to improve response time, lower heat retention and provide a certain marketing advantage (natural ingredients). We have seen some soy, tea extract, based foams. Some newer types of memory foam duplicate the construction of latex foam and contain deep holes throughout the entire layer to provide softer feel and also to help improve ventilation.

Visit our Memory Foam Section for more information about memory foam.