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How Is Memory Foam Made?

Memory Foam Developed by NASA

The very first memory foam material was developed by NASA in the 1970s. Their intention was to try to improve seat cushioning and crash protection for airline pilots and passengers. Memory foam has widespread commercial applications, in addition to the popular mattresses and pillows you are familiar with today.

Anybody who has gone shopping for a bed, a new pillow, or even a new bicycle seat or mouse pad wrist rest in the last two decades will have encountered memory foam. This new material has been applied to a huge range of uses since its introduction to the US in 1991—from revolutionary medical uses to gimmicky new product designs. But what is it, who came up with it, and how does it work?

Though it is a relatively recent phenomenon in the US, memory foam has been around in various forms since the midpoint of the century—the first work on the polyurethane polymers that go into memory foam was actually begun in 1937 by Otto Bayer and his coworkers In 1965 the nursing staff at Lankenau Hospital tested “inert polyurethane porous foam” pads for use as bedding material, and found that they prevented “decubitus ulcers” (also known as pressure ulcers, sustained by patients who spend long amounts of time lying down), and found them to be hypoallergenic and resistant to bacteria (Kraus 1965). In the 1960s, NASA did work on materials that would serve as better cushions, and would also keep astronauts comfortable and protected from the extreme g-forces of lift off. It was then that memory foam as we know it came into being.

Memory Foam vs. Polyurethane Foam

Memory foam starts its life as polyurethane foam—a material first manufactured in the 1950s by adding water, halocarbons, or hydrocarbons to a polyurethane mix. Depending on the chemicals added and the way it is processed, polyurethane can form anything from car parts to spray liner, or in this case, one of the most comfortable sleeping surfaces the world has ever seen.

In the modern production of memory foam, a polyol is mixed with a diisocyanate and water. The foam rises like bread, with an open cell structure that helps give it its unique ability to spring back slowly from pressure. The introduction of gases into the initial solution creates a bubble matrix; vary the application of chemicals, and the size of the bubbles changes. A more open cell structure will have more give, and allow more airflow through the material.

Memory Foam Firmness

The firmness of memory foam is rated by the IFD (Indention Force Deflection), also known as ILD (Indentation Load Deflection) measuring the force in pounds required to make a 25% indentation in a 4 inch thick foam square. Also important in measuring the “softness” of a foam is the density. Foam densities range from 1-7 lbs, but a good-quality foam will usually be at least 4 and usually 5 lbs. A foam with a high density, but low ILD may still feel firm when compressed, especially in a lower room temperature. The density together with the IFD/ILD and the resilience will determine the softness, firmness, and life-span of the foam. Foam that is lower density will more readily conform to pressure, whereas higher density foam (usually 5-lb. or above) molds itself to contours when warmed by body heat.

Major production of memory foam did not begin until NASA released it into the public domain in the 1980s.Fagerdala World Foamstook up the challenge of producing this somewhat difficult product, and in 1991 produced the “Tempur-Pedic Swedish Mattress.” Today numerous companies around the world produce visco-elastic memory foam, which gives consumers increased variety and price range. Unfortunately, it also increases the risk of purchasing cheaply-made foams that may deteriorate over time. Not all memory foam is made equal, as many of the overseas manufacturers work at reducing the cost of memory foam by adding in other “filler” type ingredients that reduce the quality and potentially add toxicity to the formulation. The real problem with overseas foam is the lack of quality standards that have been created in the United States.

The Polysleep Mattress

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Antimicrobial foam

Using antimicrobial foam, you’ll sleep sound knowing your mattress is working around-the-clock to protect you from bacteria and dust.

Offers unparalleled support

The Polysleep mattress features a built-in foam support frame. This gives true support around the edge of your mattress, and we’re the only company in the world that offers it!

Relieves pressure while you sleep

Our unique mixture of hybrid foam uses open cell technology. This provides support where you need it, while simultaneously reducing pressure points.

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Testing a mattress in-store for 10 minutes simply doesn’t work. You need at least 6 weeks to truly adjust, which is why we offer a 100 night trial.

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A Closer Look

  1. Go to Soft Liquid Repellent Cover
  2. Go to Breathable Top Layer
  3. Go to Proprietary Support Frame
  4. Go to Comfortable Transitional Layer
  5. Go to Supportive Foam Base
  6. Go to The Ultimate Polysleep Mattress
  • Soft Liquid Repellent Cover

Our proprietary, built-in support frame offers incredible support.

It keeps your mattress from flattening when you sit on the edge and reinforces the structure.

Products Specs

Measurements & dimensions

39” x 75” 10” – 41 lbs

39” x 80” 10” – 43.2 lbs

54” x 75” 10” – 54 lbs

60” x 80” 10” – 62 lbs

76” x 80” 10” – 80 lbs

72” x 84” 10” – 82.2 lbs

Materials

The Polysleep Mattress is made of 4 layers of foam, and measures 10" high.
Cover -41% Polyviscose, 58% Polyester, 1% Spandex – Liquid Repellent – Soft & Premium quality mesh
First Layer -Polysleep Ventilated Antimicrobial Viscoelastic Hybrid Foam – Density of 3.0lb / ft3 (Certified ISO 20743)
Second Layer -Transition Polyurethane Foam – Density of 1.8lb / ft3
Third Layer -Supportive Polyurethane Foam – Density of 1.8lb / ft3
Contour Layer -Proprietary Polyurethane Foam Support Frame – Density of 2.0lb / ft3

All our foams are latex free.

Certifications

Our foams are certified by theCertiPUR-US®program, meaning they are made without ozone depleting chemicals and regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commision Low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) emission for indoor air quality (less than 0.5 parts per million).

Country of origin

OurPolysleep mattressesare handcrafted in Montreal. Our suppliers have been carefully chosen for their knowledge and expertise, but also for their commitment to sustainable development. Even our boxes are made in Canada from recycled materials! In addition, no mattresses are destroyed, they benefit people in need or are fully recycled in the event of a return.

Warranty

In order to offer you peace of mind, we include a 10-year limited warranty on the Polysleep Mattress. Read more

Shipping info

Box dimensions -18" X 18" X 41"
Box weight -42 lbs up to 83 lbs
Our Mattresses are shipped via UPS Standard in the USA and Canada directly from our warehouse to your door. By doing this we cut out 3rd party distribution methods, lowering our carbon footprint.

Whenever the option is available, we try to use more ecological ways to deliver your products, such as bike courrier or electric vehicles.

Shipping costs

We offer free shipping and free returns* in Canada. For the Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Nunavut, please note that there will be an added charge for shipping.

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A mattress that has it all

Every Polysleep mattress has quality features that are designed to provide a better sleep, while being affordable for everyone.

Did you know that the weight of a mattress can double in just a few years due to the build up of germs, sweat and dead skin cells?

That’s why we use our exclusive ISO 20743:2013 antimicrobial foam. It reduces the growth of bacteria that forms over time in your mattress.

You’ll benefit from a healthier sleeping surface and you extend the life of your mattress.

We’ve developed an industry-unique, foam support frame that wraps the perimeter of your mattress. No one else offers this incredibly important feature.

Why does it matter?

When you sit on the edge, it doesn’t flatten out. When you sleep, it provides better support = better rest = better day ahead.

Our liquid repellent cover is incredibly soft and machine washable, making it easy to remove and refresh!

Spill a morning coffee?

No worries – we’ve got you covered, literally.

Not only is a great rest important, but so is a healthy one!

Suffer from allergies?

Our Antimicrobial foam keeps dust and bacteria away, resulting in a healthier sleep.

How We’re Improving Sleep

Our mattress offers complete support from head to toe, wake up refreshed and energized!

Integrated Support Frame

Equal support for both the edges and centre of the mattress.

Premium Hybrid Foam

Our viscoelastic foam quickly recovers its shape, no more sinking!

Zero Motion Transfer

You’ll never experience the side effects of someone tossing and turning.

Ventilated Top Layer

The top layer is ventilated for better air circulation, allowing your body to breathe!

Reviews

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What type of support foundation do you recommend for my Polysleep Mattress?

The more support you have under your mattress the better. We suggest you pair your Polysleep Mattress with our Ultimate Foundation

The slatted wood support in our Ultimate Foundation allows for maximum airflow, keeping you cooler and improving your sleep. That being said, all Polysleep Mattresses are designed to work with standard support frames.

Our customers say it’s like sleeping on Cloud9!

The Polysleep Mattress was designed to be the best of both worlds, offering incredible support and comfort that doesn’t break the bank.

After we’ve delivered your new Polysleep Mattress directly to your door, it’s pretty easy! Follow these 3 simple steps:

1 – Unbox your mattress (The cardboard box is 100% recyclable).

2 – Unroll your mattress and remove the shrink-wrap with the handy Poly-cutter (supplied in the box)

3 – Sit back and watch it magically expand, voilà!

4 (OPTIONAL!) – Make an art piece with your Polysleep Mattress box, and send us a photo!

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The Polysleep mattress

Owning a good mattress is essential to fully recharge your batteries. That’s why thePolysleep mattresswas designed to offer you better nights! With our foam mattress, you’ll wake up refreshed and relaxed every morning! Even more, you won’t have to go to the store, since we sell our mattresses online; once you submit your order, you’ll receive your mattress in a box, rolled (hurray for foam!) and this, no matter where you live in Canada! And for an even more convincing sleep experience, kill two birds with one stone by also purchasing aPolysleep pillow!

Available for all bed sizes—Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King and Californian King—everyone can enjoy our mattresses! And when you buy aPolysleep mattress, you buy:

  • Revolutionary viscoelastic hybrid foam;
  • Antimicrobial material;
  • Many foam layers for optimal comfort;
  • At a fair and reasonable price.

Visco-whatchamacallit?

The viscoelastic hybrid foam that makes our foam mattress offers many advantages. First, it moulds itself to the shape of your body and identifies pressure points; then, the temperature and firmness of these exact spots are lowered in a few seconds. Its top layer promotes optimal air circulation to keep you dry and cool all night. Waking up sweaty in the middle of the night is a thing of the past with our foam mattress!

Keep microbes far from you!

In addition to keeping you cool, the top layer is antimicrobial, and bacteria will not multiply on your mattress! What better than staying healthy to enjoy even more restful sleep?

Foam, and even more foam!

But just the right amount, no more, no less! The different foam layers of our mattress each have their unique function and aren’t there just to look good! So, in all of our mattresses, you’ll find a base layer that reinforces the mattress and acts as a boxspring; a transition layer that provides support and helps to offer you restful nights; the famous top layer of ventilated viscoelastic hybrid foam that keeps you cool and dry, and moulds itself to your body; and lastly, an extra-firm frame that prevents the edges of the mattress from flattening out.

The cover is also made from a liquid-repellent material, very practical to prevent water or other liquids—like your morning coffee—from penetrating the mattress; it’ll give you time to get a towel to clean it up!

Our Polysleep mattresses in a box have proven themselves, and you’ll enjoy a trial period of 100 nights. If you’re not completely satisfied, you’ll only have to return it to us, and we’ll refund you. Don’t wait anymore and buy yourPolysleep mattressonline today!

Memory Foam: Pros and Cons

Considering a memory foam mattress or similar product? Read what sleep experts say about it.

Few things feel as good as a good night’s sleep. That’s especially true if sleep seems to escape you, night after night after night.

If you’ve heard about memory foam, you may wonder if it could improve the quality ofyoursleep. Some people swear by it. Others are less enthusiastic.

What exactly is memory foam? And what are its pros and cons? Here’s information to help you decide whether memory foam is worth a try.

What Is Memory Foam?

First designed in the mid-1960s for NASA airplane seats, memory foam is made from a substance called viscoelastic. It is both highly energy absorbent and soft.

Memory foam molds to the body in response to heat and pressure, evenly distributing body weight. It then returns to its original shape once you remove the pressure.

In addition to protecting against impact, these properties make memory foam very comfortable. After its "virgin flight" for NASA, memory foam made a foray into other applications. For example, it was used as cushioning in helmets and shoes. Medicine found a use for it in prosthetics and products to prevent pressure ulcers such as seating pads for people who are severely disabled.

Then, memory foam really took off. It’s now well known for its use in pillows, mattress pads, and mattresses, which come in different densities and depths.

What Are the Benefits of Memory Foam?

Could the special properties of memory foam enhance your sleep? Sleep specialist Donna L. Arand, PhD, says that objective studies supporting the claimed benefits of memory foam — or the effects of any particular type of sleeping surface — are lacking.

This is true for a variety of reasons, she says. This type of sleep study can be expensive, if conducted independently. Or it is "chased" by a shadow of bias, if supported by industry.

Also, some sleep technology, such as memory foam, is relatively new, so it hasn’t been well studied. But perhaps one of the more difficult stumbling blocks to testing the health benefits of mattresses such as memory foam is the subjective nature of sleep. It is simply difficult to measure.

Continued

Sometimes the brain’s electrical activity, measured with an electroencephalogram (EEG), and other findings recorded during a sleep test don’t always match up perfectly with a person’s subjective experience, says Arand, who is the clinical director of the Kettering Sleep Disorders Center in Dayton, Ohio. "They might say, ‘I had a great night’s sleep,’ but the EEG parameters might not really indicate that."

Sleep is not only subjective, but preferences for sleep surfaces are individual, Arand says. "There’s quite a bit of variability between individuals in terms of what type of surface — whether it’s firm, hard, or soft — they prefer when they’re sleeping," she says. "As far as we know, there is no rhyme or reason for that."

Many of Arand’s patients who use memory foam have offered unsolicited glowing reports like these about memory foam: "I’m sleeping great." "Best sleep I’ve ever had." "I love going to bed at night." Arand says these anecdotal responses may be one-sided. That’s because she and other staff don’t ask all their patients about their sleep surfaces. "We may only be hearing the good stuff," Arand says.

Kathy R. Gromer, MD, sleep specialist with the Minnesota Sleep Institute in Minneapolis, agrees that memory foam may improve sleep. "It can, if it relieves painful pressure points," she says. But Gromer adds that memory foam doesn’t do anything for sleep apnea or other sleep-breathing disorders — and sleep disorders are the primary complaint of most her patients.

"When you lie on the memory foam, the heat from your body softens it in appropriate points," Arand says, "so this helps to support your body along the curves and natural lines of the body." Memory foam manufacturers claim this helps relieve pain and thereby promotes more restful sleep. And, though consumers often believe that very firm mattresses are best, more "giving" mattresses like these may lead to better sleep in people with back pain, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

Although there aren’t scientific data to support the hypothesis, Arand wonders whether memory foam sleep surfaces might be especially helpful for older people. For them, minimizing extra movement could reduce the number of times they awaken during the night. Being less aware of a bed partner’s movements might be an extra benefit, she adds. "Without the coiled springs, you feel your sleep partner’s movement less, and that might help, too."

Continued

What Are the Disadvantages of Memory Foam?

Gromer says that memory foam products may retain body heat, which could make them less comfortable in warm weather. However, Arand has not heard this complaint from her patients. "In our culture, most people can adjust their thermostats or blankets for the appropriate season," Arand says.

When new, memory foam can produce an odd chemical smell — a phenomenon called offgassing. To minimize this problem, the Sleep Products Safety Council, a sleep products trade group, recommends airing out the mattress or pad for at least 24 hours before putting sheets on it. "If you follow directions, the smell dissipates quickly," Arand says, "But I’ve never heard of anyone having reactions to it."

Are Memory Foam Products Safe for Young Children?

"I would strongly recommend avoiding this and similar very soft materials for use in infants’ beds," Gromer says. "That’s because soft bedding traps [carbon dioxide] and increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) deaths."

Sources

NASA Scientific and Technical Information: "Forty-Year-Old Foam Springs Back With Newer Benefits."

Donna L. Arand, PhD, clinical director, Kettering Medical Sleep Disorders Center, Dayton, Ohio; research associate professor, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine.

Kathy R. Gromer, MD, sleep specialist, Minnesota Sleep Institute; medical director, Respiratory Care Program, Saint Paul Technical College.

National Sleep Foundation: "Buying the Right Mattress for You."

Sleep Products Safety Council: "Mattress Odors" and "Sudden Infant Death Syndrome."

How Is Memory Foam Made?

Memory Foam Developed by NASA

The very first memory foam material was developed by NASA in the 1970s. Their intention was to try to improve seat cushioning and crash protection for airline pilots and passengers. Memory foam has widespread commercial applications, in addition to the popular mattresses and pillows you are familiar with today.

Anybody who has gone shopping for a bed, a new pillow, or even a new bicycle seat or mouse pad wrist rest in the last two decades will have encountered memory foam. This new material has been applied to a huge range of uses since its introduction to the US in 1991—from revolutionary medical uses to gimmicky new product designs. But what is it, who came up with it, and how does it work?

Though it is a relatively recent phenomenon in the US, memory foam has been around in various forms since the midpoint of the century—the first work on the polyurethane polymers that go into memory foam was actually begun in 1937 by Otto Bayer and his coworkers In 1965 the nursing staff at Lankenau Hospital tested “inert polyurethane porous foam” pads for use as bedding material, and found that they prevented “decubitus ulcers” (also known as pressure ulcers, sustained by patients who spend long amounts of time lying down), and found them to be hypoallergenic and resistant to bacteria (Kraus 1965). In the 1960s, NASA did work on materials that would serve as better cushions, and would also keep astronauts comfortable and protected from the extreme g-forces of lift off. It was then that memory foam as we know it came into being.

Memory Foam vs. Polyurethane Foam

Memory foam starts its life as polyurethane foam—a material first manufactured in the 1950s by adding water, halocarbons, or hydrocarbons to a polyurethane mix. Depending on the chemicals added and the way it is processed, polyurethane can form anything from car parts to spray liner, or in this case, one of the most comfortable sleeping surfaces the world has ever seen.

In the modern production of memory foam, a polyol is mixed with a diisocyanate and water. The foam rises like bread, with an open cell structure that helps give it its unique ability to spring back slowly from pressure. The introduction of gases into the initial solution creates a bubble matrix; vary the application of chemicals, and the size of the bubbles changes. A more open cell structure will have more give, and allow more airflow through the material.

Memory Foam Firmness

The firmness of memory foam is rated by the IFD (Indention Force Deflection), also known as ILD (Indentation Load Deflection) measuring the force in pounds required to make a 25% indentation in a 4 inch thick foam square. Also important in measuring the “softness” of a foam is the density. Foam densities range from 1-7 lbs, but a good-quality foam will usually be at least 4 and usually 5 lbs. A foam with a high density, but low ILD may still feel firm when compressed, especially in a lower room temperature. The density together with the IFD/ILD and the resilience will determine the softness, firmness, and life-span of the foam. Foam that is lower density will more readily conform to pressure, whereas higher density foam (usually 5-lb. or above) molds itself to contours when warmed by body heat.

Major production of memory foam did not begin until NASA released it into the public domain in the 1980s.Fagerdala World Foamstook up the challenge of producing this somewhat difficult product, and in 1991 produced the “Tempur-Pedic Swedish Mattress.” Today numerous companies around the world produce visco-elastic memory foam, which gives consumers increased variety and price range. Unfortunately, it also increases the risk of purchasing cheaply-made foams that may deteriorate over time. Not all memory foam is made equal, as many of the overseas manufacturers work at reducing the cost of memory foam by adding in other “filler” type ingredients that reduce the quality and potentially add toxicity to the formulation. The real problem with overseas foam is the lack of quality standards that have been created in the United States.

How Mattresses Are Made

This content was created by the National Sleep Foundation

Mattress construction from the inside-out

If reading about mattress construction sounds like a real, ahem, snooze, know this: The way a mattress is made determines how it feels. And how a mattress feels may be the difference between a fitful night and peaceful slumber!

The Big Picture

Two basic types of mattress make up the vast majority of the market: They’re called innerspring and memory foam. Made of steel coils, innerspring is, by far, the most common type. Memory foam, on the other hand, is made from polyurethane or latex foam, and is very dense foam. Memory foam is usually more expensive than innerspring.

Inside an Innerspring Mattress

Coils determine how much support (suspension versus springiness) the mattress will give. Manufacturers may use different types of coil shapes and structures, as well as different amounts of spacing and patterns to affect comfort. The next layer, top padding, isusually made from polyurethane foam. The outer layer (or ticking) is the material bound to the top padding with stitching. The way that ticking and top padding are attached influences the mattress’s overall feel. Large, wide patterns will create a cushioned feel, which smaller patterns feel tighter and firmer. Generally, the more coils an innerspring mattress contains, the more comfortable it’s bound to be—but if the number of coils is over 390, then you’re not likely to notice the difference, so don’t bother paying extra.

Inside a Memory Foam Mattress

Especially attractive to people with chronic pain conditions, memory foam mattresses consist of, essentially, very dense foam. When you lie on a foam mattress, your body heat softens the material, allowing it to “mold” to your body. One big advantage: In bigger beds, a memory foam mattress won’t shift as much as an innerspring when one partner turns or moves. So if you’re often disturbed by your partner’s tossing and turning in the middle of the night, it might be time to invest in a memory foam mattress. But one con: Because these mattresses mold to your body, they can absorb a lot of heat and make you feel hotter while you sleep. Some people also complain that they have a chemical smell.

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