What Is Viscoelastic Foam? Viscoelastic Vs Memory Foam [Which is Better?]

Memory foam and viscoelastic products may look the same, but how they are used in several products matters. We had discussed in one of our articles that memory foam was originally manufactured by NASA in the 70s.

They used this material in making airplane cushioning. Viscoelastic is again another term used for memory foam. It was also developed by NASA. However, we shall see how they differ from each other.

Do not be confused between these materials as both almost have the same features and benefits. With minimal differences, these are difficult to differentiate. We have well-researched content to help you understand both the materials in detail.

What Is Viscoelastic Foam?

Viscoelastic is also a term used for memory foam. The only difference is it is made of adding several other substances along with polyurethane foam.

Thus, you can say the products made from viscoelastic foam contain a blend of several substances. One of the reasons why people don’t prefer products made from these is due to their low resistance and slow response.

Top Features of Viscoelastic Foam

1. Doesn’t sink easily

One of the best features of viscoelastic foam is that its low resilience helps the foam to sink and rise slowly with some pressure. Thus, these are more often used in bedding.

2. Fantastic to the body

Pressure relief may differ as per the body. For instance, spinal alignment and pressure on viscoelastic foam should be such that it helps you get relief from the back pain. With viscoelastic foam products, you don’t have to think too deeply on the pressure points.

3. Lacks bounce

Compared to other mattresses, viscoelastic foam isolate motion in a better manner. Thus, this feature makes it more usable in the manufacturing of couples’ mattresses. Their unique stuffing makes it fantastic for the body.

4. Hypoallergenic

One of the key features of viscoelastic foam products is that these make it impossible for dust, mites, and allergens to settle on them.

In worse scenarios, these substances settle on the surface that you can easily wipe off. Thus, the products made from viscoelastic foam are skin-friendly.

5. Resistant to heat

Due to its density, its capability to hold the heat is intense than other types of foams. This can be an advantage or disadvantage as the products from viscoelastic foam are excellent for winters and worse in summers.

The material is used by most manufacturing companies to manufacture pillows and mattresses.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Using Viscoelastic Products

Pros of Viscoelastic

1. Contouring comfort

One of the advantages of using viscoelastic mattresses, toppers, pillows, and similar products is its soft surface to allow contouring. Thus, comfort is something the user can enjoy.

2. Affordability

Viscoelastic products are highly competitive and thus, the rates are affordable. If you compare their products with other types of material, you would find them pretty economical.

3. Variety

Last but not least is the variety of products available in viscoelastic. We bet you would be spoiled for a choice in terms of options to choose from, especially in mattresses and pillows.

Cons of Viscoelastic

1. Sagging of material

You need to be prepared for the material to cause sagging with use. Viscoelastic products are known to sag with time and usage.

2. Off-gassing issues

People suffering from lung sensitivity need to be sure of buying viscoelastic products as the material is prone to off-gas. It is better to avoid using these products or the issue will only aggravate.

3. Inadequate quality

Lastly, the quality is something you need to compromise. Except for a few known brands, not many manufacturers offer you good quality viscoelastic mattresses, pillows, toppers, etc.,

Memory Foam in Comparison to Viscoelastic

Memory foam products were invented in the later stages to promote sleep and blood circulation. Once again, these are also used in mattresses, toppers, bedding craze, hybrid mattresses, etc.,

Due to several advantages attached to using memory foam, their products have gained a huge response in the last few years. Once again, these are mainly made of polyurethane with few added chemicals.

Manufacturing companies have strongly taken the feedback in the past and worked on improvising these mattresses. As a result, the latest memory foam mattresses and pillows do not cause issues like overheating, durability, and comfort.

Types of memory foam products:

There are three types of memory foam mattresses:

  • Gel-based
  • Plant-based
  • Traditional foam

When you choose a memory foam product, the three main factors that you need to check are Heat, Durability, and Warranty. Choose a brand that offers you a warranty if the durability is short.

Some more reasons why memory foam products enjoy great demand compared to Viscoelastic:

  • They protect you from tossing and turning or changing sleeping positions. This is quite an amazing fact as poor sleep or changing positions can lead to other health issues.
  • Another reason why these enjoy great demand is that they can evenly distribute the body weight. For instance, memory foam mattresses allow pressure on painful areas and reduce pain.
  • Mattresses and pillows made from memory foam helps in speedy recovery. These are also allergen-resistant and do not allow dust mites to settle.

Viscoelastic Vs Memory Foam

Foams can be of various types: memory foam, latex foams, and polyurethane. Memory foam is a type of polyurethane that is resistant to hear and possesses lower resistance. These are generally used on the surface layers of mattresses.

Polyurethane is available in different forms. These are used in the upper, middle, and base layers of memory foam mattresses.

Most viscoelastic mattresses are made of elastic foam which is also known as memory foam. Thus, you can say that they both sound alike. The only major difference is the layers in which these are used in pillows, mattresses, toppers, etc.,

Why is Memory foam better in comparison with Viscoelastic?

Memory foam is known for its dense layers. If you have to compare with polyurethane foam, memory foam has more resilience. To add more, these are perfect for those looking for warm and cozy mattresses in chilly winters.

Memory foam mattresses sink and get softer with body heat. Thus, as the body sinks into the foam, you feel warm. It is one of these reasons why most people shift to memory foam.

Viscoelastic foams are not preferred much ever since memory foam became more prominent. It could be because viscoelastic are man-made material and they are highly prone to off-gassing as we discussed.

On the other side, the latest memory foam products, especially mattresses and pillows prevent off-gassing.  

Final Words:

You can visit your nearest store and seek samples of foam mattresses. Personal experience will help you to feel every mattress before you make the final choice.

Not just mattresses, the store must also let you understand the various ways these foams are used in bedding materials. Foam is a critical material for the healthcare industry as well in the manufacturing of neck pillows, orthopedic beds, etc.,

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