Asked by: Margrit Haberthaler
home and garden home appliances

Is polyurethane foam the same as memory foam?

Last Updated: 28th January, 2020

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Both have polyurethane in them though. The main difference between polyurethane foam and memory foam is that memory foam contains additional chemicals which increase its density and viscosity. PU foam is a lot more 'bouncy' or springy than memory foam. Polyurethane foam is made entirely synthetically.

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Considering this, is all memory foam polyurethane?

Memory foam consists mainly of polyurethane as well as additional chemicals increasing its viscosity and density. It is often referred to as "viscoelastic" polyurethane foam, or low-resilience polyurethane foam (LRPu).

Likewise, which is better foam or memory foam mattress? Memory foam mattresses outperform latex mattresses in all tests which measure comfort, like proper blood circulation. A memory foam mattress offers your body the best sleep surface on the market, with better blood circulation and contouring support being big pluses. BUT, most memory foam is made using harsh chemicals.

Considering this, are polyurethane foam mattresses safe?

Most of the cheaper memory mattresses come from polyurethane foam. This substance is not safe for use in the U.S. since 2004 due to health concerns. Even the more expensive brands contain some of the most toxic substances.

Which type of foam mattress is best?

As with polyurethane foam, memory foam is commonly made with fire retardant chemicals. We strongly believe that latex foam is, by far, the best type of foam to use in mattresses. Latex foam offers several significant advantages over Polyurethane foam and Memory foam.

Related Question Answers

Tangela Rino

Professional

What chemicals are used to make polyurethane foam?

The most widely used isocyanates employed in polyurethane production are toluene diisocyanate (TDI) and polymeric isocyanate (PMDI). TDI is produced by chemically adding nitrogen groups on toluene, reacting these with hydrogen to produce a diamine, and separating the undesired isomers.

Cecilia Abdulbasiroff

Professional

Why are memory foam mattresses bad?

Memory foam, if too soft, can cause the sleeper to lose healthy spinal alignment by sinking into the mattress too deep. Memory foam adjusts to the temperature of its environment. If the room is too cold, the memory foam will harden and lose its softness and response mechanism.

Marillac Sheldon

Professional

Can memory foam cause back pain?

Can a Memory Foam Mattress Cause Back Pain? Some sleepers can still experience back pain with a memory foam mattress if their body contours to the mattress in a manner where the spine is not properly aligned. In many cases, though, a memory foam mattress may be recommended for back pain.

Djeneba Grosskinsky

Explainer

What chemicals are in memory foam?

Some memory foam mattresses contain toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, benzene, and naphthalene. Memory foam may contain isocyanates, which, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, can cause irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and skin.

Aintzira Jaeniche

Explainer

Is polyurethane memory foam toxic?

The place where you spend one-third of your life is chock-full of synthetic materials, some potentially toxic. Since the mid- to late '60s, most mattresses have been made of polyurethane foam, a petroleum-based material that emits volatile organic compounds that can cause respiratory problems and skin irritation.

Annetta Launet

Explainer

Is memory foam off gassing harmful?

Is off-gassing from memory foam toxic or dangerous? The short answer is no. While the odor from mattress off-gassing is unpleasant,for most people it's not harmful. CertiPUR-US® independently tests and verifies which foams are made without harmful VOCs, phthalates, CFCs, heavy metals, formaldehyde and PBDEs.

Jeronimo Varley

Pundit

What is polyurethane foam used for?

Polyurethane foam is widely used in high resiliency flexible foam seating, rigid foam insulation panels, microcellular foam seals and gaskets, durable elastomeric wheels and tires, automotive suspension bushings, electrical potting compounds, seals, gaskets, carpet underlay, and hard plastic parts (such as for

Hikaru Fifeick

Pundit

Are foam mattresses healthy?

Although concerns about household chemicals and toxic ingredients are valid, when it comes to today's mattresses, they are largely unsubstantiated. There is no research available that says memory foam is unsafe, and authorities like the EPA and ACC concur that finished polyurethane foam is non-toxic.

Dimo Heras

Pundit

Why is polyurethane foam bad?

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), exposure to some of the main ingredients of polyurethane foam – isocyanates – can cause a range of negative health effects, including asthma, lung damage and respiratory problems and damage and skin and eye irritation.

Valquiria Aldred

Pundit

Is polyurethane a carcinogen?

Isocyanates are the raw materials that make up all polyurethane products. Isocyanates include compounds classified as potential human carcinogens and known to cause cancer in animals.

Yesmina Apodaca

Pundit

Is polyurethane toxic to humans?

Polyurethane, a petrochemical resin that contains isocyanates, is a known respiratory toxin. Uncured polyurethane can cause breathing problems such as asthma. Children and people with respiratory diseases are especially sensitive to the toxic chemicals in polyurethane.

Amayra Capatina

Teacher

What is the healthiest mattress?

Organic Cotton or Wool is the most common form of batting you'll find while shopping for a natural or healthy mattress. These fibers soften the surface. Because natural latex is firm and rubbery, topping the mattress is necessary to improve its comfort.

Zoheir Veronese

Teacher

Does polyurethane foam off gas?

Polyurethane foam mattresses are kind of a mixture of polyurethane foam and memory foam, so obviously they are going to off-gas in most cases. When you lay on these mattresses, you're going to breathe in the compounds that are being emitted from the polyurethane, but they aren't going to hurt you.

Hongliang Ringk

Teacher

How toxic are mattresses?

Chemical Off-Gassing
Flame retardants, formaldehyde, and benzene have been found in some mattresses and can be linked to health issues such as cancer, infertility, and developmental brain disorders. If your mattress is off-gassing harmful chemicals, you're breathing in those toxins for hours every night.

Bharat Wiesehofer

Teacher

Is the smell from memory foam toxic?

The short answer is no. While the odor from mattress off-gassing is unpleasant,for most people it's not harmful. Also, despite the fact that some of the chemicals that cause mattress off-gassing odors are classified as carcinogens or potential carcinogens, no studies have shown memory foam is toxic or causes cancer.

Velizar Hillbrand

Reviewer

Can you be allergic to polyurethane foam?

Isocyanates can cause “sensitization,” which means that some people may become allergic to isocyanates and could experience allergic reactions including: itching and watery eyes, skin rashes, asthma, and other breathing difficulties. Symptoms may also be delayed up to several hours after exposure.

Aristarco Jehring

Reviewer

Do you have to wait to sleep on a memory foam mattress?

It is recommended to wait 24-48 hours before sleeping on a new, memory foam mattress. It is up to the consumer whether to wait or not. Defects will not be as obvious before the expansion process has been completed, but expansion should not slow down because you slept on your new memory foam mattress.

Rosemberg Pugh

Reviewer

What mattresses do hotels use?

The most common types of mattresses are:
  • Innerspring mattress.
  • Memory foam mattress.
  • Hybrid mattress.
  • Latex mattress.
  • DoubleTree by Hilton.
  • Fairmont Hotels and Resorts.
  • Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.
  • Hilton Hotels & Resorts.

Beatriz Gioia

Reviewer

What thickness memory foam mattress is best?

The optimum choice for the thickness of the memory foam layer ranges from 4 to 5 inches thick with a density of at least 5 pounds per cubic foot. The denser and thicker the mattress, the higher the price goes.