Viscoelastic is one of the best-regarded materials in the world of rest products. And not in vain does he take this credit.

But, do you really know what memory foam is? Can you recognize its different qualities? What advantages and disadvantages does it have? In this article we explain everything you need to know about this material and what you should take into account when choosing your memory foam mattress.

What is memory foam?

Viscoelastic is a synthetic material made up of a polyurethane foam that simultaneously has viscous properties and elastic properties that give it special characteristics. On the one hand, it has the ability to evenly distribute weight and pressure on its surface, absorbing shock.

On the other hand, it is thermo-adaptable, that is, it modifies its elasticity on contact with body heat, which is why it is capable of adapting perfectly. But, losing that contact, it cools down and quickly returns to its original shape.

Best mattresses visco mano_okIt began to be used in the mattress industry for home use in the 1990s, but was invented by NASA in the 1960s. It was developed to cushion the impact and minimize the pressure on astronauts’ bodies during takeoff and landing. spaceship landing. And its use was then extended to the health field, to favor the rest of physically disabled or bedridden people.

Today it is one of the most valued materials in the rest industry, both by manufacturers seeking to create quality mattresses and by users who want a pleasant feeling of welcome as well as greater adaptation to the body.

Types and qualities of viscoelastic

After many years on the market, viscoelastic has been evolving, giving rise to both different manufacturing processes and the incorporation of new materials. Currently, you can find different types of viscoelastic:

Viscoelastic foam or open pore. This process works with an open mold into which the ingredients are poured and a chemical component is added that acts as an activating agent, which makes the mixture multiply its size. The result is an open-pore viscoelastic that favors the circulation of air through its interior, making it cooler, but it has less adaptive capacity.

Viscoelastic closed poer. In this case, a closed mold is used in which the mixture is injected. Thus, a visco with smaller pores is obtained and, therefore, denser, so that it offers optimal adaptability but generates more heat.

Vegetable viscoelastic. It is usually called like that to the one in which components such as soy or aloe vera are added. According to the manufacturers, the advantages of this type of visco is that the addition of these materials improves aspects such as the accumulation of moisture or odours, among others. However, keep in mind that the content of these materials in the mixture is usually not more than 10%, so it is not really a plant material as such. Within this type we find viscographen.

Viscographen. It is a type of visco in which graphene is introduced in the manufacture. Graphene improves thermal conductivity, which reduces heat accumulation and is also antibacterial and prevents static electricity.

Viscogel. In this material viscoelastic is combined with cold gel. This polymer is injected into the visco to reduce the sensation of heat and, at the same time, allows moisture to be evacuated better.

Advantages and disadvantages of memory foam

Like all materials, memory foam has its pros and cons. Its advantages:

Reduces the transmission of movements. So it is ideal for both double beds and for people who sleep alone, but move a lot during the night, since they will not wake up due to the change in position.

It has a great ability to adapt to the shape of the body. So that it allows a correct alignment of the back and reduces the pressure points produced by the hips and shoulders, regardless of the position that each one has when sleeping. Thanks to this, it helps the muscles relax, reducing tension and promoting proper blood circulation.

On the other hand, when it comes to disadvantages:

It can give a certain sensation of heat. Especially, if it is viscoelastic of higher density. However, manufacturers usually take this into account and combine it with other materials such as hydrogel, to maintain the surface, or with a core of pocket springs, which favors the ventilation of the mattress, as well as giving it special treatments in its manufacture such as open pore viscoelastic.

It is an expensive material. It is true that viscoelastic is not a cheap material, especially if you are looking for quality. What usually raises the price is the amount of viscoelastic that it has (how many layers and how thick) and the density of the material. However, there are mattresses with this material that are quite affordable, although you have to bear in mind that to benefit from the advantages of viscoelastic, the layer cannot be less than 3 cm, with less than that, it is as if it did not have viscoelastic .

6 tips to buy the best viscoelastic mattress

When choosing a viscoelastic mattress, it is necessary to take into account these aspects:


The density of memory foam is measured in Kg/m³, a value that depends on the materials used and the proportion between polymers and air.

It is a feature that is directly linked to the quality and durability of the material. The higher the density, the more enhanced its properties and the greater durability it will have. It is classified into three grades: low (up to 50 kg/m³), medium (50-65 kg/m³) and high (65-115 kg/m3).

Grosor of the viscoelastic cover

One of the questions that usually arise is how many centimeters of memory foam should a good mattress have? The answer depends on your needs.

The thicker the layer, the more the memory effect is noticeable, but also more heat builds up and can increase the feeling of entrapment.

The latter is important if you move around a lot when sleeping, because it can make it difficult for you to turn if the layer is very thick (more than 5-6 cm).

On the other hand, there is a minimum and it is 3 cm. With less than that, the memory effect is lost. Many manufacturers indicate that their mattress is viscoelastic, but really, if you pay attention to its layer structure, the thickness of this material is less. So, even if a mattress includes visco, it does not mean that its benefits can really be enjoyed if the layer is very thin.

But you shouldn’t go overboard either: the ideal is that the layer of memory foam does not exceed 5 cm thick, unless you are looking for a very soft mattress and you are not one to move when sleeping, in which case, you could choose a mattress with a layer of memory foam. Visco up to 7 or 8 cm.


There are no completely viscoelastic mattresses, because it is a very soft material and we would sink too much into it. For this reason, it is always about mixed mattresses, which combine memory foam with a core of another material.

The main nuclei with which viscoelastic is combined are:

  • Pocket springs. They are ideal for people who are hot when sleeping or live in hot climates and have excellent bed independence.
  • Foam. They are cheaper mattresses, because the foam makes manufacturing cheaper, but they perspire less and their independence from beds is usually not as good.
  • Latex. Highly flexible, they are very adaptable mattresses. It provides long durability and, in addition, it is hypoallergenic. However, they are not very breathable mattresses and their price is usually high.

The core will also determine what types of foundations the mattress is compatible with.

For example, if it is a pocket spring, I do not recommend using it on a slatted bed base because it could reduce its useful life.


Given the thermo-adaptable capacity of viscoelastic, it is possible to notice a certain sensation of heat when sleeping. For this reason, there are mattresses with thermoregulatory gel particles to help dissipate it.

It will also be cooler if the core is made of pocket springs rather than foam or latex. And the covers can help if they are made of breathable fabrics or include mesh fabric covers on the sides or bottom that favor ventilation inside the mattress.

What bed bases is it compatible with?

Memory foam is a very versatile material, but depending on the core materials it will be compatible with a different type of base:

If it has a core of springs or pocket springs, it can be used on a solid base such as upholstered bases, sofas or a tatami. However, I do not recommend slatted bed bases because the mattress could deform prematurely.

If it has a foam core, it can be used on all types of bases, but the most recommended are those that favor the ventilation of the mattress, such as those with slats. It can also be used with articulated bases, but it will depend on the density of the foam, since if it is not soft, it will not be able to bend correctly.

If it has a latex core, the same thing happens with foam ones. They are suitable for all types of bases, but it is better to avoid placing them on solid bases such as tatami or upholstered bases, because they block even more air circulation inside the mattress, something essential to take care of this material. On the other hand, given their great flexibility, these are completely suitable for articulated beds.


Given the characteristics of memory foam, it is a very durable material and can be kept in good condition for up to 15 years.

However, the general recommendation, whatever the material of the mattress, is to replace it after a maximum of 10 years of use. Although it may seem fine, the original firmness is reduced and hygiene conditions are affected, so it is not advisable to continue using it.


Viscoelastic stands out for its adaptive capacity that provides great comfort to rest equipment. In addition, it is a highly durable material. To ensure that you are making a good choice, you must verify that it has a density of at least 50 kg/m3 and that the thickness of the layer is adequate for your weight.

And if you feel hot in bed, also keep in mind that it has some treatment or added material that helps refresh the surface or improves air circulation in the mattress.