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Polyurethane Foam vs. Visco Elastic Foam

Polyurethane Foam

Polyurethane foam is a blanket term that includes any foam that is synthesized using polyol and diisocyanate. These include but are not limited to: memory foam, high resilience foam, and high density foam. Since polyurethane foam can contain additives, a manufacturer that comes up with a new formula can name the new foam whatever they like.

Many memory foam mattresses are a combination of polyurethane foams, layered from dense on the bottom to less dense on the surface layers.

Polyurethane is a synthetic blend of organic compounds and has a tendency to off-gas. If you are susceptible to lung issues, please do additional research on the quality of foams before purchasing.

Pros: Many different types of foams exist under the polyurethane umbrella -- some are excellent for bedding and offer different firmness varieties!

Cons: Off-gassing and durability problems with lower quality foams.

Visco Elastic Foam

Visco elastic foam is another term for memory foam. It is a blend of polyurethane foam that was developed for airplane cushions by a NASA contract in the 1970s.

The difference between visco elastic foam and other types of polyurethane foam is its slow response and low resistance. Its soft surface allows for contouring and its slow response lowers bounce.

Visco elastic foam, like all polyurethane foam, is made from a blend of substances and has a tendency to off-gas. Those with lung sensitivities should do additional research about the quality of foam to ensure that it won't aggravate them.

Pros: Contouring comfort, competitive pricepoints, and widespread options.

Cons: Sagging and off-gassing problems with lower quality foams.

Learn More About Polyurethane Foam

Learn More About Visco Elastic Foam

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Material Scores

Overall Score:
Polyurethane Foam: 9.4/10
Visco Elastic Foam: 9.3/10

Comfort:
Polyurethane Foam: 9.4/10
Visco Elastic Foam: 9.4/10

Softness:
Polyurethane Foam: 9.5/10
Visco Elastic Foam: 9.5/10

Cooling:
Polyurethane Foam: 8/10
Visco Elastic Foam: 8/10

Hypoallergenic:
Polyurethane Foam: 8.1/10
Visco Elastic Foam: 8.1/10

No Odor:
Polyurethane Foam: 8.4/10
Visco Elastic Foam: 8.4/10

General Support:
Polyurethane Foam: 9.5/10
Visco Elastic Foam: 8.7/10

Eco-Conscious:
Polyurethane Foam: 8.5/10
Visco Elastic Foam: 8.5/10

Price Value:
Polyurethane Foam: 9.5/10
Visco Elastic Foam: 9.4/10