Everyone knows that good health and good mood depend on a comfortable and comfortable sleeping place. Such qualities are given to him by the mattress. Sleeping on an uneven and sinking mattress will not only prevent a person from sleeping, but also cause painful sensations. In order to prevent this from happening, it is necessary to choose a reliable high-quality option at an affordable price. These requirements are met by a polyurethane foam mattress.
What is polyurethane foam in a mattress?
Polyurethane foam mattresses are a good substitute for mattresses with an orthopedic effect, especially since their price is lower, and the quality is no worse.
Polyurethane foam, which is the basis of mattresses, is nothing more than foam rubber, only with improved properties. The name Porolon was given to the material thanks to a Scandinavian company that was called just that. To date, only the name remains from the quality and properties of that material. Thanks to modern technologies, foam rubber has received not only a new name, but also acquired a lot of new and useful qualities that made it possible to use it in the production of mattresses.
All manufacturers that produce polyurethane foam, as a rule, produce it using one technology corresponding to a certain scheme. To begin with, two substances are mixed in certain proportions, to which water is added. In the process of a chemical reaction, carbon dioxide is released, due to which the foaming of substances and the formation of a porous structure in the future occurs. During the reaction, which lasts no more than 20 minutes, catalysts and stabilizers are added. Then the mass is poured into a special mold and remains for two days for final polymerization.
Thanks to the technology of mixing in certain proportions of substances, polyurethane foam, containing 90% air in its composition, acquires basic characteristics such as elasticity, heat resistance, density and hardness.
In addition to the listed indicators, the quality of mattresses is also affected by the multilayer or solidity of this material. The basis of good mattresses is a monolithic block of polyurethane foam, having a thickness of 16 cm. In cheaper models, a multilayer block of glued polyurethane foam layers is used. A 15 cm thick mattress will consist of five layers of three centimeters. Products based on glued blocks are much cheaper.
The health benefits and harms of the filler
It is no secret that chemicals are used for the production of polyurethane foam; this fact causes a lot of controversy about its negative effects on the body. There is confirmed evidence that the elements that make up polyurethane foam are hydrocarbons obtained from oil, and when burned openly, these substances are released into the air in high concentrations. But it is not yet known whether the components cause such great harm under normal conditions.
There is an opinion that when the mattress, which contains this polymer, is heated to body temperature, a specific smell appears, caused by the release of harmful components that make up the polyurethane foam. Therefore, the opinion arose that the use of this material as a filler for a mattress is unsafe. But in fairness, it should be noted that the toxicity of this filler occurs only if the production technology is not followed.
Therefore, you should not save on your own health and buy a mattress from little-known manufacturers. Large firms monitor the quality of their products.
It is believed that the polymer is completely reacted, that is, the technology was followed from and to, is inert, which means it is safe and suitable for use as a filler. A subtle odor and residual vapors disappear after a maximum of two weeks and further use of the mattress does not pose a threat to health.
In addition to chemical properties, according to some experts, polyurethane foam is accused of being too soft. They argue that mattresses, which are based on polyurethane foam, cannot ensure the correct position of the spine, since it strongly flexes, and with it the spinal column also flexes. Over time, this bending can lead to curvature of the spine and many other problems. For children under two years old, the use of polyurethane foam as a filler is extremely undesirable, for such babies there are fillers.
But modern technologies used in the production of polyurethane foam make it possible to produce this material with improved properties. A good quality filler has a higher than average stiffness, and the cost of a polyurethane foam mattress is much higher than that of a product with a spring block. Today it is impossible to say unequivocally that PPU is harmful to human health, but there is also no certainty that it is absolutely safe. Therefore, each person must decide for himself whether to buy a mattress containing polyurethane foam or refuse to purchase.
Advantages and disadvantages
PU foam, which is the basis for the mattress, gives this product many properties. Among them there are both positive qualities and some disadvantages.
Of the advantages of this material, elasticity and elasticity should be noted. Thanks to these qualities, good support for the musculoskeletal system is created.
The reasonable price of PPU is a significant advantage. Especially when you have to choose between models with a similar cost. A bonell innerspring mattress costs about the same as a polyurethane foam mattress, but the benefits of a polyurethane foam product are much greater. The bonell dependent spring block is not able to provide proper support for the spine, especially since this species lacks orthopedic properties. And in mattresses with modern polyurethane foam, they are pronounced. Moreover, the non-deformable polyurethane foam mattress is recommended for use by people with various disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
The positive quality of this mattress is its viscosity.
Thanks to her, the PU foam is able to withstand significant pressure. Therefore, people with a large weight can safely sleep on such mattresses - there will be no dents or creases on it. Viscosity is precisely the property due to which the joint rest of couples with different weights will not be overshadowed. The pressure exerted on the surface by a heavier partner does not affect the lighter partner, there is no hammock effect. In addition, due to its viscosity, the PU foam mattress does not squeeze for a long time.
Polyurethane foam is a polymer with a cellular structure and therefore it is able to pass air well. Air permeability endows products with polyurethane foam with excellent hygienic properties. And, of course, an important advantage of a polyurethane foam mattress is its good transportability. Such mattresses are rolled up for convenience, because they are not afraid of deformation and twisting.
Numerous advantages do not negate some of the disadvantages inherent in polyurethane foam mattresses. An advantage such as price can turn into a significant disadvantage. This happens if the desire to reduce the cost of the product reaches the limit. In very cheap models, the quality suffers noticeably and the service life is significantly reduced. In the best case, such a mattress will last 3-4 years.
The porosity of PU foam promotes the absorption of odors, liquids and vapors, and cleaning such products at home is impossible. The polyurethane foam mattress lends itself only to specialized processing. Some inconvenience is caused by the smell coming from the new mattress, but it disappears after a few days.
Which is better: holofiber, latex or polyurethane foam?
Polyurethane foam, latex and holofiber are often used in the manufacture of mattresses. In order to compare them, it is necessary to analyze the properties of materials:
- Latex is a natural material obtained by processing a rubber tree, and polyurethane foam and holofiber are of artificial origin. Latex has an antibacterial effect, has a porous structure, a pronounced orthopedic effect, is breathable and easy to clean. The only drawback is the high price.
- PU foam has similar characteristics to latex, but is more affordable. In addition, this material has a shorter lifespan compared to latex, as well as a lower load capacity.
- Holofiber is a synthetic material and most often consists of polyester, polyamide, polyacrylonitrile and some other fibers. This bulky material has a lower cost compared to polyurethane foam and even more so with latex. The volume of the holofiber after a very short period of time decreases very much, in six months it can lose more than 2 cm in height. And yet, this material is often used in the production of mattresses, the reason is simple - its cost, and the cheaper the filler, the greater the profit of manufacturers. Holofiber can be used in mattresses, but only as an additional layer, not a base.
Polyurethane foam and latex are more suitable as a base for mattresses, and holofiber as an additional layer.
There are different types of polyurethane foam mattresses. These include highly elastic models with memory effect, viscoelastic, standard, soft, super soft, models with increased rigidity.
Most often, manufacturers are not limited to production with one polyurethane foam, since the height of the product is only 15 cm, and therefore various fillers are additionally put into mattresses. These include coconut coir, felt, jacquard fabric. Such combined models not only become taller and denser, but also acquire additional properties that improve the quality of products.
Coconut coir gives the product rigidity, increases the service life and has an antibacterial effect. The polyurethane foam mattress with this extra layer is suitable for children. The jacquard fabric is used for covers. To give orthopedic properties to mattresses, manufacturers make the surface of polyurethane foam embossed.
In addition to the degrees of firmness, polyurethane foam mattresses are classified by size. There are single-bed options, one-and-a-half, double and non-standard. As a rule, manufacturers try to produce sizes adapted to the dimensions of modern furniture.
Single mattresses include sizes: 80x190 cm, 80x200 cm, 90x190 cm, 90x200 cm and a slightly shortened version adapted to a certain type of bed 80x180 cm. One and a half-bed models include the sizes: 140x200 cm, 120x200 cm.These sizes are most in demand, especially the size 140x200 cm, as it is suitable not only for one and a half beds, but also for double beds. After all, the width of 140 cm is very common in beds designed for two people.
Double mattresses include products with dimensions of 160x200 cm, 180x200 cm. Manufacturers produce non-standard sizes only for individual orders. For example, the size is 190x130 cm, which cannot be attributed to either a one-and-a-half-bed or a single-bed mattress.
The height of the side is another indicator by which PU foam mattresses can be classified. Products with a height of 5-10 cm are considered thin. Models with such low sides are made either for sofas, armchairs, folding beds, or for babies. The standard mattress height starts from 15 cm.
Density and hardness
This cellular filler has two main indicators: density and stiffness. The ratio of these two values affects the quality of the material, while density is a more significant indicator in comparison with stiffness. The higher it is, the better the mattress, which is based on this material, and the stiffness indicator may be low.
Density and stiffness depend on such indicators as the permissible load on one berth and the service life of a product based on PPU.
The cheapest mattresses have a hardness index not higher than average, the service life of products that include such a filler is no more than 3 years, and the permissible load on a berth is no more than 90 kg. The second group includes mattresses with a slightly higher average hardness, while the service life of such products is 5-7 years, and the load increases to 110 kg per berth. Good quality products have a service life of about 10 years, their stiffness is above average, and the permissible load increases and reaches 140 kg.
Various mattress fabrics are used as a cover for polyurethane foam products. Most often it is jacquard, knitwear, coarse calico, polycotton and in more expensive models a membrane:
- Good quality fabric has cotton in its composition . Thanks to him, the fabric acquires such a quality as breathability. Compared to cotton, synthetic fabrics have a lower rate of breathability, with the exception of some types of expensive fabrics.
- Jacquard fabric is durable and sophisticated in appearance. It contains both natural and synthetic fibers. Synthetic jacquard is resistant to friction, stretching and denser than knitted fabric, but inferior in comfort.
- For children's mattresses, coarse calico or polycotton is used . These fabrics contain cotton fibers, thanks to which the fabric is well ventilated.
- The membrane is a non-woven fabric with high water-repellent properties. In addition, this fabric is very resistant to high temperatures, has high air permeability and crease resistance.
Mattress companies focus primarily on consumer preferences. For children, covers are usually brightly colored. The range of colors intended for the mass consumer does not differ in a wide range. But this is not really necessary.
Mattresses are mainly purchased for beds installed in bedrooms, which are already decorated in a certain color scheme and therefore bright colors will not come in handy. The most popular color is white. Ideal for almost all bedrooms with any style. Sometimes there are models with a light gray cover. In exclusive models, the cover can be black with an interesting pattern.
For medical institutions, manufacturers produce models with covers in dark shades. Burgundy, dark green and emerald are the most popular shades for these institutions.
There is a rating of models from different manufacturers:
- In the first place is the Askona Basic High hard mattress with a side height of 21 cm, produced by Ascona. The model can withstand a maximum load of 110 kg. Jacquard fabric at the base of the cover is abrasion and washable resistant. For ease of transportation, the mattress is rolled up and weighs 9 kg.
- The second place is taken by the mattress from the same company Askona Comfort Plus . In this medium hardness model, polyurethane foam is used in combination with an independent spring block. It is located on the surface and around the perimeter. Maximum permissible load 110 kg.
- The third place is taken by a mattress from the Consul company . The Consul Philon model with a medium degree of rigidity and high density PU foam can withstand a load of up to 120 kg. For ease of transportation, it is rolled up. The cover is non-removable.
- The Vegas Hit 4 model with a removable cover and a maximum load of 120-130 kg is produced by the Belarusian Vegas company. The embossed zonal surface of the mattress has increased elasticity on both sides of the model.
- The Relax Eco 1 mattress with a low degree of rigidity is equipped with a polyurethane foam block 14 cm thick. In this mattress, the load on the berth is no more than 90 kg. A distinctive feature of this model is a cover impregnated with a solution that prevents the fabric from burning.
- The most affordable model Dreamline Classic Roll Slim with a medium degree of rigidity and a side height of 10 cm is suitable not only for beds, but also for sofas, folding beds, couches. The maximum load on the berth is 100 kg. Universal model, but with low orthopedic effect.
How to care?
In order for the mattress to serve for a long time, it must be properly looked after. Any model needs to be periodically turned from one side to the other. This rule is relevant not only for models with different surface rigidity, but also for options with the same degree of rigidity of both surfaces. Turning over is necessary to restore orthopedic properties.
To extend the service life, polyurethane foam mattresses need ventilation. To do this, it is necessary to remove the product from the base of the bed and position it in such a way that air access to both surfaces would be free. It is best to use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust from the mattress.
If you accidentally spill any liquid, you can wipe off the stain with a mild detergent and dry naturally without using an iron or other heating devices.
Most of the reviews from people who bought mattresses with polyurethane foam are positive. Many people note the convenience of transporting such mattresses, thanks to which they manage to save a certain amount. Most buyers note that a small smell disappears rather quickly when unpacking a new product and does not appear during further use. Many agree that sleeping on mattresses with polyurethane foam is convenient and comfortable, there is no hammock effect, and the possibility of a spring that suddenly stuck in is excluded.
For information on how to choose the right mattress, see the next video.