In recent times, polyurethane foam mattresses have become very common. As a result, there is a higher demand for this type of mattress because it is affordable. When you go shopping for a mattress, one of the options offered to you will be a foam mattress, which comes in many varieties. Foam mattresses are made with polyurethane foam and are usually cheap compared to other types of mattresses like Coir, HR, Spring.
This type of mattress does not come with any springs or bars like the traditional mattresses that we have grown used to overtime. So what are these special PU foam mattresses?
What is a PU Foam Mattress?
Polyurethane foam is a cellular material with a high percentage of air that is used in a variety of applications, including mattress manufacturing.
PU foam is one of the most cost-effective, widely available, and softest mattress materials available. And just because PU foam is a cheap material doesn’t mean your mattress will be as well.
However, the cost is determined by the product’s quality, density, production, and thickness.
PU foam may be used as a layer in various combinations in high-end mattresses, ultra-luxury mattresses, and even orthopedic mattresses. PU foam helps to provide a cooler, more comfortable sleeping environment.
Characteristics of PU foam
The ability of the foam to elastically rebound from an applied force is known as resilience. The bounce height of a calibrated steel ball dropped at a certain height is used to determine this. This checks the buoyancy of the mattress.
2. Tensile Strength
This test is done to measure the strength of the foam.
The amount of force required to break a specimen with a particular cross-sectional area is known as tensile strength. A “dog-bone” or dumbbell-shaped profile is die-cut into the specimen. Clamping the specimen at both ends and pulling it at a constant rate until it breaks is how the test is done.
The bulk density of polyurethane foam is measured rather than the exact polymer density. The density of a foam indirectly reflects its cost and load-bearing capacity. Edge casing, core support, and support layers can all benefit from high-density rigid foam.
To improve the sleeping experience, comfort, and temperature, high-density, softer foam can be employed in the comfort layer or quilting.
4. Compression Set
This is the thickness loss caused by compressing foam under specific conditions. A specimen is compressed between two plates during the test. Depending on the test method, the degree of compression can be 50 percent, 75 percent, or 90 percent. Before the final measurement, the foam is squeezed for a particular number of hours.
5. Load-carrying capability
The load-bearing capacity of a foam refers to how much compressive force it can withstand. This determines the firmness or stiffness of the polyurethane foam.
What are the Advantages of PU Foam?
When it comes to choosing between a foam mattress and a spring mattress, they each have their own advantages that make them unique in their own way.
But generally, foam mattresses are preferred today because they are more affordable, faster to set up than traditional ones, easier to move around since they’re lightweight, and can be suited for any type of sleeping position.
The following are the advantages of a PU foam mattress:
1. Regulated Mattress Temperature
PU foam can help with temperature regulation with the right density and cell size.
PU foam is normally soft because it is foam first, but its density varies. Larger pores are also available in high-density PU foam, which may provide a harder feel, and smaller pores are also available.
When it stays hotter in general, you can count on PU foam to keep you warm while you sleep, and its higher density contributes to this. Despite its small cell size, PU foam is less effective at air control and retains moisture and body heat. So, depending on its density and production, PU foam is only effective for temperature regulation and insulation.
2. Mattress is Inexpensive
There is good-quality sleep-grade PU foam out there, but depending on the density and general construction, it can be a little pricey. The price of your PU foam mattress or layers is determined by the manufacturer, thickness, density, and general quality of the mattress. PU foam is a cost-effective material, and PU foam as a mattress layer is no exception.
It’s simple to make, but the density variation could raise the cost component. The majority of manufacturers employ low-quality, basic PU foam, giving it a negative reputation. Yet quality and pricing are also subjective.
3. Resistant to Wear and Tear
Because of its abrasion resistance, PU foam is an ideal sandwich layer between different foam layers, allowing the mattress to function at its best for a long time. PU foam works as an abrasion-resistant layer between the innerspring and other foam layers in ultra-luxury or hospitality mattresses, and it also aids in heat regulation.
Furthermore, a thick layer of PU foam on top of an innerspring system serves to strengthen the durability of the innerspring coils and the layer above, which works in the same way. Luxury mattresses’ edge protection casings are also made of hard PU foam, which makes them more durable, robust, and attractive.
4. Soft and Comfortable
PU foam is great for relieving pressure on your body’s various regions and joints, as well as helping with minor pain treatment. Although chronic pain requires a firmer mattress or foam layers, foam materials such as PU foam are acceptable for comfort and pain reduction. As a result, you can sleep on either side and enjoy a cooler, pain-free night’s sleep.
PU foam and memory foam mattresses are ideal for quilt and comfort layers in orthopedic and high-end mattresses. PU foam can be adjusted for different functions and levels of softness in your mattress, depending on density variation.
The nature of these mattresses is soft. It makes a fantastic comfort layer in most mattresses because of its softness. Soft PU foam is used for comfort, while firmer PU foam is used for edge protection or as support layers in mattresses. In some mattresses, a rigid or harder PU foam layer is preferable for the support layer.
5. Lightweight and Easy to install
The softness, temperature regulation, and other properties of PU foam as material support the quality of sleep in mattresses. PU foam is a lightweight material that is simple to set up in your home. The same attribute contributes to PU foam’s popularity as a softening component in hybrid mattresses.
PU foam is lightweight despite its higher density because it has bigger holes that minimize weight and provide for a more breathable sleeping environment. Because of its fragility, PU foam is both advantageous and disadvantageous because of its lightweight.
Disadvantages of PU foam mattresses
Because of body heat retention and overall uneven plushness, a PU foam mattress would be uncomfortable.
The following are the disadvantages of PU foam mattresses:
1. PU Foam Doesn’t Provide Enough Support
PU foam does not provide the same level of comfort or body-hugging as memory foam. PU foam isn’t ideal for support as a part of your mattress as a single layer.
The majority of PU foam on the market is designed to provide a more comfortable experience than support. Despite having a high density, a mattress made entirely of PU foam would not provide support.
Yes, it can be used in the core layer of some mattresses, but it has to be very high-density to be useful for support and requires special manufacture. Because of its softer nature, PU foam is not suited for body support; instead, high-density memory foam or latex foam are preferable options.
If you have body aches, backaches, or other problems, you’ll need more support than comfort.
2. Traps Sweat and Odour
The manufacturing process, which seeks to make PU foam denser or hypoallergenic but achieves the opposite, could be the main cause of odors and off-gassing.
PU foam is one of the most basic foam materials on the market, and its high price is due in part to some producers’ poor quality or low-density alternatives. PU foam, regardless of density, is a bad choice for a clean sleeping environment since it has poor ventilation and larger pores, resulting in an excessive smell.
It collects sweat and body fluids and can serve as a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, requiring frequent vacuuming or expensive upkeep and treatment. Additionally, allergens, dust, and other particles are trapped in PU foam, which contributes to its off-gassing.
3. Can cause Back Pain
If you don’t find the right firmness level for you, a PU foam mattress can cause back pain. The best firm mattress for your sleeping posture aligns your spine while easing pressure points.
Sleeping in various positions would also be inconsistent with how PU foam provides comfort, and each time would be a unique experience. Your bodyweight would be more likely to change, and you’d be more likely to toss and turn.
Because of the material qualities of the foam, PU foam mattresses can be uncomfortable and cause back pain. Despite its soft nature, it can improve comfort in a variety of layouts and mattress types.
4. Allergies and Sanitization
PU foam does not allow for easy air ventilation. Hazardous materials can enter the mattress and settle in the PU foam layer exposed on top. As a result, you could have a coating of dust that permeates through the layer or entire mattress to the layers beneath or settles on the bed frame.
Allergens, dust, and other contaminants can attract pests, which attack the foam, posing further health dangers. Cleaning and sanitizing the mattress is difficult due to these things accumulating and making the mattress difficult to clean and maintain. Due to the larger pore size, PU foam accumulates harmful environmental factors such as dust, pollen, and other elements that can easily become stuck.
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5. Can be high maintenance
PU foam absorbs body impressions quickly, so sitting on one side will leave a semi-permanent impression (depending on density and quality). You’d have to use the opposite side to give the impression of time to recover.
PU foam is usually medium-soft and provides a relaxing sleeping experience, but it requires a great deal of attention. As previously stated, PU foam is prone to wear and tear over time. It may need to be vacuumed, ventilated, and exposed to the sun on a regular basis. These variables, however, are dependent on the material quality, and low-quality PU foam has all of these problems and more.
High-quality PU foam would be less prone to wear and tear and more abrasion-resistant, but it would still require a lot of upkeep. The mattress would need to be cleaned, vacuumed, and even wiped from time to time.
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When you invest in a quality mattress, it can help you sleep better and improve your overall health. Pu foam mattresses are very popular. Many people have purchased them, and most of us know somebody who has a PU foam mattress. If you are looking for an affordable and high-quality mattress option, then a PU foam mattress may be the perfect fit for you.