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What Is Viscoelasticity?

14-10-2011

You have probably heard of the revolutionary mattress material called memory foam, it has changed the mattress industry forever, providing the most comfortable and supportive night’s sleep ever, but you might not have heard the term viscoelasticity before.

Viscoelasticity describes a material that is both viscous and elastic when undergoing deformation. Memory foam mattresses are viscoelastic, it is this property, amongst others, that sets it apart from all the other lesser mattress materials.

When you get into bed, the mattress undergoes deformation. Your body weight causes the mattress to deform from its original shape. It is how the mattress reacts to this that is critical to how comfortable and supportive it is. Most mattresses, like spring mattresses, are only elastic. No matter how fast or slow you put weight on the mattress, the spring will compresses the same amount.

Memory foam is both viscous and elastic under pressure, meaning that it reacts both like a spring and like a thick liquid (e.g. molasses). Thus, depending on how you put your weight on the bed, it reacts differently. It means that the bed will shape itself around your body, mirroring itself to your body shape and thus ensuring no uncomfortable pressure points occur. It means when you move, the bed will reshape itself to your new body position.

Viscoelasticity equals comfort and support.


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