Open Cell Foam Vs Close Cell Foam - A Detailed Comparison

Your mattress is designed to provide you with a comfortable area to sleep and relax on. The materials used will have an impact on how the mattress will feel, so it is important to know the different attributes of each option. This will help you get the most out of your mattress investment and ensure that you can enjoy a bed with the best attributes to suit your needs and preferences.

Open Cell Foam Vs Close Cell Foam - A Detailed Comparison

Memory foam is one of the most popular materials for mattresses. This is mainly because of its confirming abilities that allow the mattress to follow the shape of your body, resulting in a cradling sensation that can make it seem like the mattress is created to fit precisely to your body’s curves. While memory foam can provide you with a highly comfortable sleep experience, it also has its drawbacks that may reduce the pleasure you have while sleeping. Memory foam was originally produced to provide necessary cushioning on NASA aircraft, with its distinctive confirming properties working to absorb strong impact, especially in the event that sudden force is applied. The initial construction of memory foam used as a mattress resulted in heat build-up that caused discomfort, especially for individuals who tended to feel hot and sweaty with long hours of sleep. Technological advances have since resulted in modifications in memory foam mattresses, so they no longer accumulate heat, ensuring the sleepers’ complete comfort.

Open-Cell Foam

Open Cell Foam Vs Close Cell Foam - A Detailed Comparison

Open-cell foam is created with small cells that are not fully closed. The spaces created inside the cells are occupied by air so that open-cell memory foam mattresses are less dense and have a softer feel compared to the closed-cell option. As the air is allowed to fill in the interior of the foam and can move freely through the structure, a memory foam mattress with an open-cell construction will feel cooler than a closed-cell memory foam mattress. This is because excess heat is not allowed to build up inside the foam and is instead dissipated outwards before it can cause discomfort to the sleeper.

Pros

Breathable

The open-celled structure of this type of memory foam results in enhanced breathability compared to a closed-cell construction. As air is allowed to flow freely throughout the foam, the sleeping surface remains cool and comfortable as it prevents the accumulation of excess body heat. This improved breathability is especially beneficial to people who tend to feel extreme warmth when staying in the same sleeping position for the duration of a night. Instead of tossing and turning to avoid a hot spot on the mattress, the sleeper can instead enjoy uninterrupted sleep as the surface maintains a comfortable temperature for long hours.

Reduced Off-Gassing

Off-gassing refers to the release of bothersome smells into the air and is often experienced when using foam mattresses that have been manufactured using harsh chemicals. Open-cell memory foam mattresses do not contain volatile organic compounds or gases that can be released into (and harm) the environment. These mattresses can be used from the time they’re delivered to your home without the need to endure a few days of strong odors. With the reduced off-gassing, the air quality in your bedroom can be preserved and you can enjoy the features of the high-quality mattress without strange smells around you.

Durable

Open-cell memory foam is strong and durable so you can depend on the structure to last for a long time. This construction will not easily shrink or deteriorate even with heavy or regular use. This means you’ll be able to fully take advantage of the premium qualities of the mattress for years to come. The aesthetics of the mattress will also be maintained for a long time with the material’s durable nature.

Softer Profile

Those who prefer a softer mattress will benefit from the less dense structure of an open-cell memory foam mattress. The memory foam provides a more cushioned sensation compared to a closed-cell foam that has a rigid construction, resulting in a mattress that will more easily follow the shape of your body. The foam will allow your body to slightly sink in to prevent pressure spots from forming while ensuring that the surface is still comfortable enough to encourage you to fall asleep quickly.

More Affordable

An open-cell memory foam mattress is generally priced lower compared to a closed-cell option because open-celled memory foam requires fewer materials for its production. A memory foam mattress constructed using open-cell technology will be an ideal choice for budget-conscious shoppers who want a lower-priced mattress that can still deliver premium benefits.

Cons

Reduced Density

Open-cell memory foam has a lower density compared to closed-cell construction, which usually translates to decreased durability and strength. However, technology has allowed mattress brands to create open-cell memory foam mattresses that offer superior strength and durability so there will be no worries about the mattress’ ability to withstand heavy use and abuse for a long time.

Closed-Cell Foam

Open Cell Foam Vs Close Cell Foam - A Detailed Comparison

The closed-cell structure was  used for traditional memory foam. This type of memory foam has a high-density profile that works great for insulation, since air is not allowed to pass freely throughout the material. The closed-cell structure is also resistant to water damage and has durability and strength that can be depended on for years to come. The very properties that make closed-cell memory foam a great insulator, however, limit its benefits when used for sleep products such as mattresses.

Pros

Excellent Insulation

The closed-cell structure of this type of memory foam does not allow air to move through the material. Heat can easily build up within the foam so it can provide an excellent source of insulation when needed.

Prevents Molds

Closed-cell memory foam exhibits remarkable water resistance and creates a watertight barrier that cannot easily be penetrated by liquids. This resistance to liquids contributes to an ability to prevent mold growth, which can be a problem when a foam mattress is exposed to excess moisture, especially for long periods of time.

Cons

May Feel Uncomfortably Firm

The closed-cell structure of this memory foam type results in a rigid build that can be too hard to sleep on. When used as a mattress, the closed-cell memory foam will most likely create an unyielding surface that will feel too firm for most people. Sleeping on such an unwelcoming surface can lead to body pain, especially after several hours.

Can Turn Extremely Hot

A closed-cell memory foam mattress does not allow air to move through the material and instead allows excess heat to build up inside. This can be a huge problem for those who tend to sleep warm and for any user during warmer months. An open-celled memory foam mattress will be a better option for those who want to ensure that the mattress stays comfortably cool to the touch for long hours of peaceful sleep.

Key Takeaways

  • The closed-cell structure was originally used for the memory foam cushioning in NASA aircraft.
  • The conforming properties of memory foam make them an ideal material for absorbing impact to protect astronauts during flights.
  • Open-cell technology is used to make memory foam breathable, so the surface of a mattress maintains a comfortably cool feel.
  • An open-cell memory foam mattress will feel softer, so it’s also a lot more comfortable than closed-cell foam.
  • Closed-cell memory foam mattresses tend to feel too warm and firm, so they may not be the most comfortable surfaces to sleep on.

FAQs

Q: Why is it called “open-cell” foam?

A: This term refers to the way the cells are constructed inside the foam. Each tiny cell is left open to allow air to pass through, resulting in a structure that is less dense compared to a closed-cell foam.

Q: Is an open-cell memory foam mattress more comfortable compared to the closed-cell option?

A: Yes, mainly because the open-cell structure allows air to flow freely through the material, so the mattress stays cool for long hours to encourage uninterrupted sleep.

Q: What makes closed-cell foam beneficial?

A: The closed-cell structure of the foam is not breathable, so it’s a great insulator. It’s also incredibly strong and durable for long-term use.

Q: Which is the softer foam type?

A: An open-cell memory foam mattress has a less dense structure that results in a softer surface, which can feel more comfortable for people to sleep on compared to the rigid feel of closed-cell foam.

Conclusion

The technology used in manufacturing foam mattresses will have a direct impact on your enjoyment, so it is a great idea to get to know the differences between materials. Choosing the one that suits your preferences and requirements will help you get all the benefits of the mattress you will invest in for long-term use.

Sources

NASA – https://www.nasa.gov/offices/oct/40-years-of-nasa-spinoff/memory-foam/

Research Gate – https://www.researchgate.net/publication/292756529_Hypervelocity_impact_performance_of_open_cell_foam_core_sandwich_panel_structures

University if Pennsylvania – https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/why-it-so-difficult-sleep-when-its-hot

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology – https://www.jacionline.org/article/S0091-6749(54)00064-4/abstract

PLOS One – https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0241276

Institute of Physics – https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1757-899X/426/1/012043

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