Information About Polyurethane/Polyfoam

Polyurethane (also called polyfoam or just poly) is the most common type of foam you will see in mattress and in its medium or higher grades can be successfully used as a support layer. Unlike its memory foam cousin, it is made to compress under pressure rather than soften or (melt) under pressure and heat. This gives it a higher resilience and progressive resistance than memory foam and it can hold up the heavier parts of the body much more effectively. This is the reason it can be used as a support layer while memory foam can not. It comes in 3 basic grades and the lower grades have less resilience and less progressive resistance than the higher grades. All its grades can be made in softer or firmer ILD's although the middle HD grade tends to be more commonly available in firmer ILD's. Softness or firmness is not in any way an indicator of its quality and the best indicator of quality and durability in polyfoam is density or weight per cubic foot (in both polyfoam and memory foam). In this article we will deal mainly with polyurethane used as a support core of a mattress however I would also encourage you to read about its use in the comfort layers section as polyfoam in general used in comfort layers is the source of many of the biggest issues in mattress manufacturing and the body impressions and material breakdown that are so common today.

The differences between regular, HD, and HR polyfoam:

Unless you specifically know the quality of polyfoam in a mattress core, it is usually wise to assume that it is HD and it should be priced accordingly. In a lower cost "throwaway" or lower budget mattress, or in a slightly higher priced mattress with high-quality materials above it in the comfort layers, HD polyfoam used as a support layer may be part of a good value mattress. Higher densities of HD polyfoam or HR polyfoam can be a good, slightly less expensive alternative to latex in a core layer for those who are on a more restricted budget and are looking for a good quality foam mattress core.

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