When your mattress isn’t quite the firmness you want, visco memory foam mattress pads may be your solution rather than buying a new mattress. You can get firmer or softer foam to create the support your back needs. Any size bed can be topped with a visco memory foam mattress pad too.
Visco memory foam mattress pads are a popular way to bring more comfort to a mattress that is too firm for your comfort. They are made from a special type of foam developed by NASA to line astronauts’ couches and protect them from the punishing pressures of extra G-forces.
Visco-elastic (or simply visco) foam is a polyurethane foam that has been thickened with various chemicals. It is stiffer and more resistant to pressure than latex foam at normal temperatures. What’s special about visco foam is that, under the heat of a body, it softens and conforms itself to the body’s shape. Visco memory foam tends to retain the impression of whatever has pressed upon it for several minutes before returning to its original shape.
The density of visco memory foam determines how long it takes to conform to a shape. High-density visco memory foam takes longer, while low-density visco memory foam takes less time and feels softer. The firmness of memory foam is measured by its Indentation Force Deflection (IFD), which is the force in pounds required to make a 1 inch indentation in the foam with an 8-inch diameter steel disk. IFD ratings for memory foam mattresses typically range between 12 and 16 pounds.
If you have chronic lower back pain, consider high-density visco memory foam mattress pads to provide the firmer support you need along with relief from pressure points. If you just want a softer mattress, then lower-density visco memory foam mattress pads are the smart choice to top your mattress.
Visco memory foam mattress pads come in various thicknesses. Most people find the one-inch thickness is too thin; shoulders and hips tend to “bottom out” against the mattress beneath. But one-inch visco memory foam mattress pads can be ideal for people who want firm support. Many people find three-inch visco memory foam mattress pads ideal.
Prices of visco memory foam mattress pads range from $70 to nearly a thousand dollars. The most expensive visco memory foam mattress pads are sold by Tempur-Pedic International, Inc., which launched the visco memory foam bedding category in 1992. Using different formulations of visco memory foam, dozens of domestic and foreign competitors have sprung up. Competition among these second-tier players has helped drive prices down.
Is there a “best” visco memory foam mattress pad? Consumer reviews of multiple visco memory foam mattress pads are scarce because the pads cannot be tried in stores, and they can be so expensive that people are unlikely to buy one very often. But Consumer Reports magazine gave five visco memory foam mattress pads to a panel of consumer judges to test for a week apiece. The winner, surprisingly, was the $70 Spa Sensations Memory Foam Mattress Topper from WalMart. The $890 Tempur-Pedic was judged too firm and slow to conform to the body; “like sinking into quicksand”, as one panelist put it.
Visco memory foam mattress pads won’t make a tired old mattress new, but they can add a new level of comfort to a relatively new mattress.