Memory Foam: How is it Made and Used in Mattresses?

A memory foam mattress is considered one of the most comfortable types of mattresses that can embrace your body, distribute weight, and relieve pressure points. It is a popular choice for its ability to provide contouring comfort, great body support, and enhanced sleep quality.

While you may have already decided to buy a memory foam mattress for your home, do you know how the memory foam used in these mattresses is manufactured?

Once you know about the substance, you can compare different brands to know what kind of foam quality you are getting before making a purchase decision. So, let’s take a closer look at memory foam to find the best memory foam mattress that suits your sleeping needs.

How is the Memory Foam Used in Mattresses Made?

The manufacturing processes of memory foam or Viscoelastic foam have come a long way since its invention in 1970 and its emergence in the mattress form during the early 1990s. To combat the issues of body heat retention in traditional memory foam, manufacturers have come up with certain alterations in the basic formula of this substance.

Picture Courtesy: Wakefit


The traditional process involved blending polyurethane and additional chemicals. Polyurethane is a polymer which is produced as a by-product during the refining process of petroleum.

Today, the formulas used by different companies to manufacture memory foam are much advanced, and they vary. As a result, modern memory foam has different internal structures, and its quality depends on these factors.

Here is a brief overview of the basic steps involved in the modern production of memory foam commonly used in mattresses.

  1. Different substances such as polyols or alcohols derived from plant oils or petroleum-based products, isocyanates, and reacting agents are combined and mixed together.
  2. This mixture is then poured into a mould after whipping it into a froth. This results in an exothermic reaction that produces foam.
  3. This foamy mixture is now vacuum-sealed or made to react with blowing agents to produce the open-cell matrix. The density of the resulting substance is determined by the reaction between the amount of polymer mixture and that of the gas used.
  4. The large chunk of foam created by this process is then cooled before heating it again. This chunk is referred to as a “bun” which is then left to cure for 8 hours or even up to a few days.
  5. Once the foam is no longer reactive and has cured completely, the material is often washed to remove residues and dried thoroughly before inspecting its quality.
  6. After quality inspection, the memory foam bun is cut into pieces suitable for mattresses making them ready to be used for assembling into a finished bedding product.

Some manufacturers also use next-generation technology that incorporates cooling gel or cooling crystals at the top of the open cell matrix to allow air to pass through the material ensuring that body heat is not trapped in the mattress.

How to Choose the Best Memory Foam Mattress?


Since all memory foam aren’t created the same way, you may feel overwhelmed with the several choices available in the market when you go to buy memory foam mattress online or at a store. So, how do you know which one is the best memory foam mattress for your sleeping needs in terms of quality? Here are some quick tips.

  • Inquire about the composition of the memory foam used to get an idea about its quality.
  • Opt for a heavier mattress if you have a larger body size to get better support.
  • Invest in a memory foam mattress that incorporates cooling gel technology for superior temperature neutrality.
  • Check the density of the mattress – the denser the material, the better the resistance to dust mites and other microorganisms.
  • Prefer a mattress that can be used on both sides. This will give you the flexibility of using the other side during winters when the cooling effect isn’t needed for comfortable sleep.
  • If you have a sleeping partner, make sure to check if the mattress offers motion isolation.

If you are looking for a trusted memory foam mattress brand to invest in, you can give a try to the various mattress-selling websites. Most of them use the highest quality memory foam, thereby offering perfect body contouring and premium durability, including all the features necessary for a good, comfortable, and peaceful sleep.