Visco elastic foam mattresses and toppers aren’t right for everyone. Some people find there is too much heat retention in their visco foam mattress. There are various solutions for that problem, but be aware it’s a potential problem. Another problem for some people is the impressions or dents visco foam mattresses are known for. The mattress quality can effect that, as well as your weight.
Visco Foam — Is It Right for You? The technology that makes visco elastic foam so unique and popular may be the very thing that makes visco foam not your best choice in mattresses. As a smart buyer, make sure to research and understand the limitations of visco elastic foam before investing in a mattress or mattress topper.
How Visco Foam Works:
Originally developed for NASA, visco elastic foam is made of resin and air that is formed into billions of tightly packed, open cells. When you lie down on the foam, it contours to your body shape as the cells fully compress. Visco elastic foam provides consistent support to your body. Since the foam responds to your weight and body heat, pressure points created by the parts of your body that rest most heavily on the mattress are alleviated. Visco foam also aligns the vertebrae in your spine, eliminating back pain and other potentially serious problems.
Despite the fact that visco foam beds are very popular, the two greatest complaints among consumers is the fact that the beds get very hot when used and that they develop impressions too quickly.
The Most Common Complaints:
- Temperature Sensitivity:
Heat sensitivity, one of the greatest benefits of memory foam, is also the source of greatest complaint of consumers. While all memory foam traps heat, the high density of visco foam adds even greater temperature sensitivity. Heat-responsive visco foam results in excellent body contouring and even weight distribution. However, more body contact means that more of your skin touches the mattress instead of being exposed to air where the heat can evaporate.
While heat sensitivity is what makes visco elastic foam mattresses work so well, excessive sensitivity to temperature in some brands is due to the formula used to manufacture the foam. To help avoid heat build up, some manufacturers have modified their formulas to decrease the temperature sensitivity without sacrificing the ability to contour to the body’s shape. Plus, some foam mattresses have ventilation systems that allow the air to circulate through the surface. Another solution is to use a wool mattress pad on top of the visco foam mattress.
- Impressions :
The second largest complaint about visco beds is that they tend to form impressions or dips on the bed’s surface. While it is true that over years of use, all visco foam mattresses will sag in the center of the bed, research shows that higher density visco will retain its shape longer for two reasons:
- There are more cells
- The cells are smaller
The larger cells found in lower density visco foam will collapse more quickly and there are fewer intact cells underneath to continue offering support. Impressions or sagging for visco bed toppers can be reduced by ensuring that you are using a good resilient foundation to take the pressure off the visco foam.
Body weight can also affect how quickly a memory foam mattress will sag. Foam mattresses are manufactured to support the weight of an average person and the additional weight created by a larger person puts greater pressure on the foam. Even high-density visco foam will wear down more quickly when used by a larger person weighing more than 250 or 300 pounds.
Before investing in a visco elastic foam mattress or topper, consider these limitations carefully. If you’re a hot sleeper, either find a brand that has adequately addressed the heat problems or avoid this technology all together. If a saggy bed is not attractive to you, this technology may not meet your requirements.