What is Memory Foam?

Memory Foam Header

Memory foam, also known as temper foam, is used in many aspects of our daily lives. From chair cushions to hospital beds, memory foam appears to be extremely beneficial when it comes to comfort and support.

Information on the foam’s benefits runs rampant on the internet. What isn’t so readily available is the ingredient list. What is memory foam made of? And does it even matter?

We think it does. Our company dedicates itself to sourcing natural and sustainable materials that last.

NASA’s History with Memory Foam

The invention of memory foam came about in the 1960’s. NASA wanted to develop a better cushioning support in airplane seats. You can still read about the evolution of their initial invention on NASA’s website, but the article doesn’t touch too heavily on the ingredients of the foam or how it is made.

Instead, it highlights the foam’s introduction and various uses in mainstream culture. Seats, shoes, and mattresses make up a few of the products now engineered with this cushy padding.

Something interesting to consider: It does not appear that NASA ever used the foam in spaceships. A conveniently overlooked piece of information by companies advertising the foam in their mattresses.

So what is this stuff?

First, A Vocabulary Lesson

These are google’s definitions, so you know they’re accurate.

Polyurethane: a synthetic resin in which the polymer units are linked by urethane groups, used chiefly as constituents of paints, varnishes, adhesives, and foams.

Petrochemical: relating to or denoting substances obtained by the refining and processing of petroleum or natural gas.

Want to know more about the petrochemicals used in this process?

Head on over to Shell Global’s website! Yes, that is the same Shell that fills up your car’s gas tank…

Learn about Polyols!

The Breakdown

It’s hard to list the exact ingredients of memory foam because the recipe is a secret (think Colonel Sanders, only instead of 11 herbs and spices, its chemicals). The process starts with a large amount of polyurethane plastic, that gets mixed with blend of petrochemicals and fillers, like calcium carbonate, to give memory foam its signature viscoelastic properties. This mixture is then heated to allow the chemicals to react, and whipped to add the air to the mixture. The mixture is then put into a mold, or placed on a conveyor belt, and baked to solidify the block of foam. From there, it is treated with flame retardant chemicals, and then stored until it gets used in a mattress.

The Complaints

Here are a few things to be aware of when looking into a memory foam mattress:

  1. Off-Gassing – Because the foam is made from petrochemicals, it has an odor. This odor, or gas, becomes trapped in the bubbles of the foam during production. When weight is applied to the foam, this gas has a chance to escape. This unpleasant odor can be harmful, especially for people with sensitivities and/or allergies.
  2. Sleeping Hot – The comfort properties of this foam mean that you sink deep into it and become “trapped”. It’s a great feature to help avoid disturbing your partner, but it doesn’t allow for much air flow. As a result, you are likely to overheat.
  3. Breakdown – A memory foam mattress does not last very long. The foam begins to breakdown within the first year, and gradual deterioration continues until it eventually needs to be replaced, usually somewhere within the 5-8 year mark. That’s too soon, especially for such a hefty investment.

Why Don’t We Carry It?

We like to focus on sustainable, natural products. If you want a slab of plastic whipped up with some chemicals, you’re gonna have to go elsewhere. If you’re thinking memory foam, we strongly encourage you to check out memory foam alternatives like our Natural Latex Mattresses, made with Botanicore™ Latex, before making your final purchase decision.

Curious about Botanicore™?

Check out the history of our Latex Mattresses. This post covers why and how we produce our own Latex for our mattresses.

WHY WE MANUFACTURE OUR OWN LATEX

 

 

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We only sell two sided mattresses. Here's Why:

A 2-sided mattress you can flip and rotate is better for your body and your wallet! Flippable mattresses last up to 3 times as long as ‘can’t flip’ ones. It’s simply untrue that 2-sided mattresses are no longer being made. Here at Bedrooms & More Seattle, they’re all we sell — because it’s what is best for our customers and the environment.

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Night & Day K-Series/P-Series

Spices Bed Rails

Dual System Headboards • Works with both K-Series and P-Series Rails •
dual_diagram
K-Series P-Series
k-series-info p-series-info

New “Dual System Headboards”

We are in the process of changing many of our headboards to be both “K Series” and “P Series” capable. The headboards will have both sets of holes for using either way. The new headboards will be marked “Dual System Headboard” on the boxes. This process will take time for all sizes and finishes to be available and will be gradual, as the new versions come in and the old version get depleted. We are telling you now so that you can be aware of what the “Dual System Headboard” terminology means when you see it on the box or in our catalog. The list of headboards that will be switched to the new “Dual System” are listed below. Of course, you will need to order the correct rails and footboards depending on whether the customer wants “K” or “P” Series. The new “K Series” height allows for the use of the bigger bunk bed drawers and/or trundle and “K Series” footboards already have the privacy panel built in. We are also making the Folding Footboard Bench Footboard “Dual System”. If you need one of the new items to be “Dual System” (for “K Series”), you will need to specifically request it until all old versions are gone, to make sure you get the new version.

Spices Bed Rails & Accessories Compatibility

 K-Series RailsP-Series Rails
Dual-System Headboard Matching Accessories Matching Accessories
Blackpepper Bed Dual-Systemtick
  • K-Series Basic Footboard
  • Folding Footboard Bench
  • Cinnamon Drawers
  • Cinnamon Trundle Bed
tick
  • P-Series Basic Footboard
  • Footboard Panel
  • Folding Footboard Bench
  • Premium Collection Futon Drawers
Chameleon Bed Dual-System
Nutmeg Bed Dual-System
Rosemary Dual-System
Solstice Bed Dual-System
Tamarind Bed Dual-System
Folding Footboard Bench Dual-System Footboardtick
  • Cinnamon Drawers
  • Cinnamon Trundle Bed
tick
  • Premium Collection Futon Drawers
 
 K-Series RailsP-Series Rails
Other Spices Headboards Matching Accessories Matching Accessories
Basic Footboard (P-Series) To form a Basic Bedcross tick
  • Footboard Panel
  • Premium Collection Futon Drawers
Coriander Bedcross tick
  • P-Series Basic Footboard
  • Footboard Panel
  • Folding Footboard Bench
  • Premium Collection Futon Drawers
Saffron Bed
Thyme Bed
Laurel Bedcross tick
  • Premium Collection Futon Drawers
K-Series Basic Footboard To form a Basic Bedtick
  • Cinnamon Drawers
  • Cinnamon Trundle Bed
cross 
Jasmine Bedtick
  • K-Series Basic Footboard
  • Folding Footboard Bench
  • Cinnamon Drawers
  • Cinnamon Trundle Bed
cross 
Sandpiper Bed
Vanilla Bed
Ginger Captain’s Bedtick
  • Rolling Bucket Drawers
  • Captain’s Trundle Bed
cross 
Carmel BedcrossNote: Carmel Bed has its own matching rails.

  • Premium Collection Futon Drawers
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