How Mattress Foam is Made?

How Mattress Foam is Made?

Comfort is essential in our lives. Whenever the hustle and bustle of the day ceases, we seek comfort in those soft sofas, mattresses, car seats and chairs where we sink into for relaxation, easing those aches and pains.

Most of these products are made from memory foam- a marshmallow, yet firm-like material which is used in many mattresses such as most ‘bed in the box’ mattresses.

Memory Foam – The Main Components

Not every brand will have the same chemical formula to make memory foam, it may differ slightly.

However, memory foam is manufactured through a chemically synthesised reaction, constituting of primarily three components:

  1. Polyurethane 
  2. Isocyanate 
  3. Agents, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFC), or a safer option – water.

Memory foam has many other by-products. If a company or brand states that their mattresses are ‘green’, this means they don’t have some additional toxic by-products that may be toxic or unhealthy for the user and should have a green certificate to prove so.

Some examples of these toxic compounds may include:

  • Methylbenzene
  • Acetone
  • Formaldehyde, 
  • Dimethyl formamide 
  • Methylene chloride. 
  • Methyl chloroform
  • Methylene diphenyl diisocyanate 
  • Toluene

A catalyst and additive (a substance added to the mattress to preserve it, such as formaldehyde which was mentioned above as a by-product) are usually added.

Flame retardant can also be added as the polyurethane in the memory foam is flammable. This may be an additive which is fire-resistant, incorporated into the foam or you can get a flame-resistant fabric that sits on top of the mattress.

The step-by-step process of memory foam manufacture

  1. Two main chemicals are mixed – polyurethane and isocyanate) 
  2. Mixing blades in a machine whip these components to make a foam mixture. This mixing mechanism allows the liquid to aerate – the incorporation of air in liquid- to create foam.  
  3. Reacting agents are added, this can be a gas, water, or chlorofluorocarbon (which is toxic)
  4. This foam is now poured into a mould, dried, and cooled down. 
  5. Lastly, foam is inspected using a special equipment to ensure its safe and meet standards
  6. Memory foam cut into pieces and ready for use.

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