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Visco/Memory Foam Mattresses

VISCO/MEMORY FOAM MATTRESSES

Nancy K.

Last updated: 30.07.2020 6.5 Min.

We love Visco mattresses. These are often also simply referred to as memory foam mattresses.

What we love most about Visco mattresses is that they offer a superb sleeping environment and that they are suitable for all body types and sleeping positions. They're even great for couples!

These qualities make the Visco mattresses incredibly versatile.

Memory foam has a unique texture that makes this type of mattress particularly comfortable and pleasant to lie on.

Emma Original Visco Mattress
  • Overview
  • What is Visco/memory foam?
  • Advantages and disadvantages of the Visco mattress
  • Things to consider when purchasing a Visco mattress
  • Alternatives

Advantages

  • Warmer sleeping climate
  • Adapts to all body types
  • Provides good support,

Disadvantages

  • More expensive
  • Responds to temperature and can feel too firm if it's cold or too soft if it's hot

Our top recommendations

  • Emma
    Original
    Emma Price from 224 £ (299 £)
    A great medium-firm mattress that's universally suitable for all people and sleeping positions.
    Price from 224 £ (299 £)
    GET 25% OFF Emma Original Review
Emma Original Mattress

EMMA ORIGINAL

EMMA ORIGINAL

A great medium-firm mattress that's universally suitable for all people and sleeping positions.

The Emma Original is a bestseller in the UK. 

All about the EMMA ORIGINAL

Emma Original

The Emma Original is a best-selling mattress. It embodies the one-for-all principle and is suitable for most types of people, sleeping positions, and sleeping preferences. 

It is a high-quality mattress made of three different types of foam. 

The Emma is also a great mattress for side sleepers.

Shipping is free of charge, and customers can benefit from a 100-day risk-free trial period.

Emma Original side handles

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What is Visco/memory foam?

Visco mattresses - or memory foam mattresses - consist of PUR foam. This is a foam made of polyurethane. Its special feature is the “memory effect” - this means that an imprint left by part of the body, such as your hand (for demonstration purposes), will remain visible for a few seconds.

This memory effect means that a Visco mattress has a very high point elasticity and adapts well to the body. It is often recommended to people with orthopaedic problems.

Visco mattresses usually consist of an upper layer of Visco foam and a bottom layer of cold foam. Many mattresses that the Sleep Hero team has tested also have two or three different layers underneath the Visco foam layer.

what is a visco mattress
Viscose foam layer in the IKEA Myrbacka mattress

Advantages and disadvantages of the Visco mattress

Like any mattress, the Visco or memory foam mattress has a number of advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages

  • Great adaptability: The Visco mattress is especially suitable for people with back problems. It adapts to the contours of the body, which reduces pressure points.
  • High level of comfort: A good Visco mattress is widely perceived as very comfortable due to the "snug" feeling it gives you when lying down. Relaxing on a Visco mattress after a long workday is enormously restorative.
  • Warmer sleeping climate: If you often feel cold at night (despite a warm winter blanket), then a Visco mattress is perfect for you. This is because the memory foam stores heat, giving you a warmer sleeping climate overall.
  • Good for calmer sleepers: The Visco mattress adapts to the body; you literally sink into it. Calmer sleepers often find great support and benefit from the cocooning effect of memory foam mattresses.
  • Well-suited for couples: The Visco mattress has very low motion transfer. This promotes undisturbed sleep, even if you share the Visco mattress with a restless partner.

Disadvantages

  • Not cheap: A Visco mattress is not the cheapest. If you're purely considering a mattress according to price, then the common spring mattress is the best bet. But the fact that you're browsing Sleep Hero means that your sleep means something more to you - and that's a good thing!
  • Warmer sleeping climate: This can be an advantage and a disadvantage. Indeed, many will enjoy the warmer sleeping climate. But people who sweat a lot may want to consider a more breathable spring mattress.
  • Temperature-sensitive: The Visco mattress is temperature-sensitive. This means that it hardens when it is cold and becomes softer when it is warm. In our experience, this doesn't necessarily create any problems in terms of sleeping comfort.
  • Stressful for restless sleepers: The Visco mattress offers sleepers the memory effect - you'll sink into the mattress and the imprint of your body will remain visible even when moving. This is ideal for calm sleepers. But this is not ideal for restless sleepers. If you tend to toss and turn at night, then a cold foam mattress will be more suitable.
  • Possible odour: Visco mattresses may emit a chemical odour when they are brand new. This will dissipate after a few days of airing.

Things to consider when purchasing a Visco mattress

There are numerous factors to consider when purchasing a Visco or memory foam mattress.

1. High density

The most important quality feature of a Visco mattress is its high density. Density is measured in units indicating how heavy a cubic metre of PUR foam is. In other words: how much polyurethane foam was used for one cubic metre. The rule of thumb is that the higher the density, the higher the quality of the Visco mattress.

  • Over 60 m3/kg: Top quality and very long life (up to 10 years)
  • 50-60 m3/kg: Very good quality and long life (8-10 years)
  • 40-50 m3/kg: Good quality and durability (6-8 years)
  • 30-40 m3/kg: Maximum average quality and lifetime (3-6 years)
  • Less than 30 m3/kg: Inferior quality, very short life (max. 3 years)

2. What other materials are used?

Visco mattresses often consist of several layers. The upper layer is usually a Visco layer. The lower layers, on the other hand, are often cold foam layers. These give the Visco mattress stability but also support the memory layer in its functions. The weight per unit volume is also important for the remaining foams. The higher the density, the higher the quality.

3. Elasticity

The elasticity of a mattress refers to how quickly a mattress will be able to resume its original shape. The higher the elasticity, the greater the mattress's ability to bounce back. This gives an indication as to whether body imprints develop and whether a memory foam mattress is suitable for heavier-weight people.

Alternatives

Mattress Foam Types

Innerspring mattress

If you are looking for a firmer model with more stability and elasticity, you should choose an innerspring mattress. In addition to the usual layers of foam, this mattress has springs in its core, which can carry loads individually. This means that innerspring mattresses adapt to the body in a point-elastic manner. The gaps between the springs provide natural ventilation channels and so keep the mattress well ventilated.

Make sure that the innerspring mattress is of high quality. Inferior spring mattresses wear out quickly and allow for dents to form. This so-called hammock effect can create and worsen back pain. High-quality innerspring mattress models are pocket spring mattresses or barrel pocket spring mattresses.

Cold foam mattress

Cold foam mattresses have similar properties to Visco mattresses. They also have high adaptability and are therefore used for orthopaedic purposes. Special comfort zones are regularly designated in order to improve ergonomic properties. These are also better-suited for restless sleepers.

Latex mattress

Latex mattresses also have a high point elasticity and offer very high comfort. Latex mattresses made of high-quality natural latex have very good ventilation. The sleeping climate on a latex mattress is cooler than on a Visco mattress.

The feeling of lying down on a latex mattress is also slightly different. It feels rather springy. As a restless sleeper, you should have no problems on a latex mattress.

Curious? Find your perfect mattress. Click here for our mattress reviews.

Nancy K.

Yoga-loving nature fan (when the sun shines) with a knack for all things health & wellness. Strangely obsessed with tacos. 

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