Updated: Mar 27, 2019
What is Memory Foam Exactly?
Visco-elastic foam (better know as memory foam) was originally developed for NASA in the 60s. The idea was to assist with cushioning and to “off load” the powerful effects of gravity that was experienced by astronauts during take off and re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere.
(More about fighting the effects of gravity later ... )
After much trial and error, some foam science geeks were able to create an affordable product for medical applications to offer comfort and relief in hospital critical care settings and wheelchair cushions.
The MOST important benefit of visco elastic foam to patients confined to one position for
long periods of time with gravity pulling down is that they are not met with the opposite properties of “pushing up”.
The "pushing up" is what traditional bedding does, including regular foam materials.
This pushing back action can cause discomfort, pins and needles and pressure sores.
Memory Foam does NOT push back but collapses to your weight creating a floating on air sensation.
Memory Foam enters the Bedrooms of North America
Naturally the next step was to have memory foam available for general public use. Before long the foam was sold to a mattress company in the 90s who had the brilliant idea that the product would be a home run "in the bedroom".
If Memory foam could remove the "pushing up" pressure of traditional bedding in a hospital setting to relieve discomfort and pressure points for patients... why not for the average Jane trying experience the benefits of a restful (not tossing and turning) sleep.
Memory Foam enters the Pillow Industry
Memory foam’s greatest claim to fame is removing this upward pressure and giving a sensation of sleeping on a cloud. The foam gives way to the natural form and curves of the sleeper’s head and neck and creates a floating like experience with cradling support. Adding a specialize contour shape such as the enVy® Pillow to the amazing properties of memory foam takes support to the next level allowing the weight distribution to be gently convinced to follow the correct natural curve of your head and C spine (neck).
The pressure point relief and neck and head support found in memory foam pillows not only relieves existing pain by placing you in a correct neutral alignment, but also helps prevent unnecessary pain that can be caused by “sleep accidents.” This is what we call the unwanted sleeping positions we subconsciously get into when we torque our neck and spines. Additionally because our pillow is not “pushing back” we don’t change positions (commonly known as tossing and turning) unnecessarily. This in turn leads to a more restful night’s sleep.
The equation is simple… Less pain = Better Sleep
Not Pushing Back... Perfect for the Anti-Wrinkle Industry
(*This is the part about the effects of Gravity)
Fighting against the forces of gravity is not just for astronauts. We, here on earth, are constantly battling the enemy we call "Aging". And having our 8-10 pound head pushing against our pillows every night is pressing sleep wrinkles into our once youthful faces. These vertical lines become permanent over time (usually in our 40s and 50s).
*This is the infamous selfies of our faces on a transparent pillow... selling our souls to demonstrate the effects of our 8-10 pound heads smushing our faces into our pillows at night!
The enVy Pillow's unique shape was engineered to subtly position the sleeper away from the pillow to minimize the "face-to-pillow" contact that leads to this premature aging. It was a natural decision to chose a high quality memory foam material for our pillow to further guarantee minimal pressure on our delicate faces and jaws. With our patented design, memory foam structure and smooth custom fitted pillow cases (Bamboo or SILK) we knew we had a anti-wrinkle power pillow!
Other reasons we chose Memory foam?....
Why Your Pillow May Just be a Bag of Critters and Poop
When comparing molded visco elastic foam to the fluffy down pillows or fibre filled pillows often used, there is a huge benefit in our battle against the invisible demon known as 'dust mites' and therefore allergic reactions. We know that dust mites are everywhere and in every bedroom and a constant annoyance. The spaces between the synthetic or genuine feathers or fibre is a nice little cozy home for the dust mites to hang out and do their “business”. They are (or rather their poop is) the leading cause of indoor allergies. If you wake up congested this is a tell tale sign that you have been exposed to their nastiness. It is a fact that the average pillow actually gains 1/3 of its weight in mites and their poop over 2 years of use. That's right... if your pillow is gaining weight it is not middle age spread.
The dense nature of a memory foam pillow discourages dust mites very effectively as there is no spaces for them to burrow and thrive. This also makes it naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to mold.
Memory Foam Safety Facts.. We did the research
Memory foam produced before the 1980s and 1990s sometimes contained harsh chemicals like formaldehyde, chlorofluorocarbons, PBDEs and other volatile organic compounds (chemicals that break down overtime and outgas into the air).
THE GOOD NEWS: Since that time North American and European brands have phased most of the worst offenders like CFCs, formaldehyde and carcinogenic PBDEs out of their production processes due to public concern, environmental restrictions, and government regulations.
It is always smart to research the safely specs of any memory foam product you are purchasing. We did a lot of research when we developed the enVy pillow and chose a Canadian made high quality memory foam that is hypo allergenic and meets all healthy requirements. Many products, some imported, are highly toxic and may contain unwanted substances like melamine, leads and a long list of other "nasties". A wise consumer has to seek out quality products from quality suppliers. Many people get worried about VOCs or “off gassing”. Again, it is the low quality, inexpensive memory foams that do this.
For the purest, highest quality foams look for the following claims;
The fact we have created a pillow that is as much in the chiropractic and sleep wellness arena as it is in the Aesthetic arena is the icing on our pillow!
Sleep well... pain free and wrinkle free.