Visco Elastic Memory Foam Mattress Buying Guide

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  Memory Foam Mattress

In recent years, visco elastic-style memory foam has become one of the most popular mattress types on the market. Since the arrival on the scene of the popular brand Tempurpedic, many manufacturers have begun offering visco style elastic memory foam beds. These mattresses range greatly in price, which varies based on factors that include the density of the foam, the thickness of the foam, and the construction of the mattress.

Memory Foam Mattress Basics

Visco style elastic memory foam is a specially designed type of foam that can be compacted to a fraction of its size and will return to its original shape when released. This makes it easy to transport. It also makes it a good choice for a supportive mattress material that conforms to the shape of your body by responding to pressure and body heat and then bounces back into place. This allows the mattress to offer consistent comfort and support, and it also eases pain caused by pressure points. The ability of a memory foam mattress to offer good support and return to its original shape every time is in large part determined by the density of the foam. Higher density foam will offer the best support.

Memory Foam Density

The density of a memory foam mattress is measured in pounds for cubic foot. Foam density commonly ranges from 1 to 5 pounds per cubic foot, while some may be even higher. The closer your mattress choice is to the 5 pound or higher mark, the longer you can expect the mattress to retain its shape and continue to be supportive. A density of 5.3 lbs/ft3 is commonly considered a high quality density for memory foam and is used by the top manufacturers. The majority of mattresses fall in the 3-4.5 lbs/ft3 range.

Memory Foam Thickness

The thickness of the memory foam mattress also has an impact on the comfort, durability, and quality of the mattress. Memory foam mattresses are measured in inches and usually range from 5 up to 12 inches in depth or more. In most cases, these mattresses are not made completely of memory foam but have a memory foam layer on the top, which is placed on top of another layer, usually of lower quality supportive foam that forms the core of the mattress. There are mattresses that are made entirely of memory foam, but they are unusual and normally of a lower thickness. When it comes to choosing a memory foam mattress, both the overall thickness of the mattress and the thickness of the memory foam layer are important considerations. Most memory foam layers range from 2 to 6 inches in depth, with other types of foam making up the rest of the mattress.

Visco Elastic Memory Foam Mattress Comfort

Comfort is the most important thing when it comes to purchasing a mattress, and there are a few things to consider in order to find the mattress that is right for you. Many people already find memory foam mattresses to be more comfortable than traditional innerspring mattresses, but even among memory foam mattresses, the comfort level varies.

Firmness of the Mattress

All mattresses are given a firmness rating by the manufacturer that can assist you in choosing the right mattress for your needs. Mattresses are usually rated as soft, medium-firm, or firm, although there may be ratings in between. You will also see firmness measured in a number known as indentation force reflection, or IFD. This number ranges from 8 to 16, with most memory foam mattresses falling between 12 and 16. Higher numbers mean a firmer mattress. Personal opinion is a large part of choosing your firmness level, but the position in which you most often sleep can help you choose the right firmness as well.

Sleep Position

Mattress Firmness Level

Back sleeper

Medium to firm (12 to 16 IFD)

Side sleeper

Soft to medium (8 to 12 IFD)

Stomach sleeper

Soft to medium (8 to 12 IFD)

Multiple positions or shared bed with different sleepers

Medium (10 to 14 IFD)

You may also have special considerations such as back problems or other sleep issues to consider when purchasing. While it's best to test out the mattress before buying, most people won't get a good feel for comfort from lying on it for a few minutes; it may take a month or more to be certain of the comfort. For this reason, many mattress manufacturers offer a comfort guarantee that allows return of the mattress if the comfort level is not right.

Mattress Support

The softness or firmness of the mattress is one of the main measures of supportiveness, as is the density of the memory foam. The construction of the mattress and the various levels of foam that are in use can also impact the supportiveness. Most mattresses use a core that is made of a different type of foam, harder and thus more supportive. This keeps the mattress solid and provides support for your weight while sleeping. Some mattresses may feature many layers of different foams to create a sleeping surface that is both soft and supportive - it is important to note that a soft memory foam mattress should not lack support. Look for a good, thick core and several layers of comfort foam on top of it for the best support at any softness.

Sleep Temperature

One of the common problems with visco style elastic memory foam is that it creates a hot sleep surface, meaning you may feel hotter than normal at night. Many manufacturers have addressed this problem by improving the composition of the foam for better breathability. Some are also injected with gel beads to create a gel memory foam mattress, which help to absorb heat and keep the mattress from feeling too hot. How warm you like to be at night is one of the important considerations when selecting a memory foam mattress.

Buying a Memory Foam Mattress

Once you have determined that a memory foam mattress is the right choice for you, there are a lot of different brands and price ranges to choose from. Memory foam mattresses are available to fit nearly any budget, but it is important to remember that lower priced memory foam is likely to be of a lower density and will not be as durable as higher density foam. This makes a higher density foam a better investment for the long term. When considering a mattress, take into consideration a few main factors about the manufacturer.

  • The mattress should offer a warranty of a minimum of 5 years, although lifetime is not uncommon in higher end mattresses.
  • Look for a comfort guarantee or other return policy that allows returns if you are not satisfied.
  • Look for a company with a strong reputation for quality.
  • Make sure the mattress complies with fire safety and other standards for safety.

Memory foam mattresses are usually sold in one piece and are commonly used on a platform bed without need for a box spring; however, if you plan to use a traditional bed frame, you will need to purchase a mattress set that includes a box spring.

Buying an Elastic Memory Foam Mattress On eBay

Because it can be compacted so easily, memory foam can be shipped with relative ease compared to traditional mattresses. This makes it one of the easiest to purchase online. eBay sellers offer a wide variety of types of memory foam mattresses in various price ranges. You will find mattresses in the home and garden category under furniture. There, you can narrow by the type of mattress you are seeking and by the price range. Before you buy, be sure to ask any questions of the seller regarding the construction, density, and firmness of the mattress. This will help to ensure you are pleased with your purchase. Buying a mattress on eBay also means you will enjoy eBay Buyer Protection.


Memory foam mattresses are among the most popular on the market today, but they can range greatly in price, quality, and comfort level. Memory foam mattress comfort and quality is measured by the foam density, the thickness of the foam, and the construction of the mattress. Not all mattresses are constructed solely of memory foam - many have a core of a different type of foam for extra support.

Find the right memory foam mattress for you by choosing your firmness level, the thickness you would prefer, and choosing the right density foam as well.

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