A visco memory foam mattress gets its name from the visco-elastic material developed for NASA in the early 1970s, in conjunction with the space program.
The astronauts in the space program were facing incredible g-forces at takeoff and reentry, and the materials that were available at that time weren't sufficient to cushion their bodies.
Of course, they weren't looking for a memory foam mattress; they needed seating that was more like a big, overstuffed recliner.
Visco memory foam was developed from foam that had some unique characteristics, such as open-celled and able to return to their original shape and resiliency after being compressed.
You may have seen the commercial with the 30-ton steam roller smashing a mattress flat and how it slowly returns to its exact original shape.
Because these billions of cells are open, air can slowly escape from them and pass into other cells that are adjacent.
As you lie on a visco memory foam mattress, it "melts away" from you until your body is completely and evenly supported over its entire surface.
That's what has been termed by some as feeling like you're floating in space. (Even though I love my mattress, I've never felt like that was a good explanation of how it feels.)
A visco memory foam mattress is temperature-sensitive, so it reacts to your body temperature by softening where your body is in contact with the mattress. If you have an injury with a fever, the mattress is softer under that place on your body.
In the beginning developments of this material, it was too expensive to be used for residential consumer mattresses and pillows.
Over time, the manufacturing costs have been whittled to a point that a good memory foam mattress is as reasonably priced as a good innerspring mattress and there is no comparison in the comfort of the two.
Memory foam is now being combined with other materials to meet the needs of the vast multitude of consumers who are looking for:
A better night's sleep,
Relief from back, neck or leg pain
Relief from a partner's restless movement
A compromise to a softer feel for one person while maintaining the support the other person is used to from a firm mattress
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If you're interested in comparing mattresses, pillows, toppers or adjustable memory foam mattresses, you'll find the information helpful in your decision-making process.