Definition of Visco-Elastic Foam

Meaning of the Term as it Pertains to Mattresses

What is Visco-elastic Foam?

Visco-elastic foam is polyurethane-based foam, which has tiny pockets of air that slowly react to weight and heat. Also referred to as memory foam, visco-elastic foam slowly compresses and conforms to the shape of the body resting on it and forms back into its original shape when weight is removed. A revolutionary material in the mattress industry, visco-elastic foam provides custom, responsive support to the body. It allows the spine to rest in its natural shape and relieves pressure points by evenly distributing body weight. Visco-elastic memory foam can be adjusted to any density and comfort level manufacturers desire.

In addition to being an ideal material for comfort and support, visco-elastic memory foam is hypoallergenic. Microorganisms that commonly proliferate in traditional box-spring mattresses cannot use visco-elastic foam as a viable habitat. Mites, mildew, and mold cannot dwell below the surface of the mattress and cannot breed enough to reach levels that would be problematic for individuals with allergies.

NASA originally developed visco-elastic foam as seat cushioning that could remain supportive at high G-forces. After being released to the public in the 1980s, visco-elastic foam became a popular bedding material for the mattress industry. Since then, mattress manufacturers have continued to improve the foam to provide a better night's sleep. Introductions like cooling gel infusion, which whisks away body heat, make the mattress material even more luxurious.