We’re kicking off our Mattress Facts series to explore amazing graphene. This is the first of three articles that will explore a mattress component that we have knowledge about because we use it in our factory. It’s intended to share interesting and useful information about materials or production processes, not to sell you products. Enjoy Mattress Facts on us, and not about us.
Graphene is considered to be the next big thing. It’s been heralded by scientists as a super-material that, once producible on a large scale, can have applications that will dramatically change and improve our lives.
And that’s no hype. From brain activity studies and cell therapies to batteries, cell phones and dialysis, graphene can revolutionize our world in the relatively near future.
But what is it exactly, and why is a mattress company talking about it?
What’s the science behind graphene?
Let’s put on our scientist hat for a minute and nail down the basics on this super strong yet very flexible, highly conductive and totally awesome mineral and material.
It begins with carbon – number 6 on the period table as one of the most abundant elements on the earth and essential for life. Graphite is one of three naturally occurring forms of carbon -- the others are diamond and charcoal – found in metamorphic rock in South America Asia and some parts of North America. It is a commonly found mineral consisting of hundreds of thousands of layers of graphene. Graphene is basically a single layer of graphite, or bonded carbon atoms in a honeycomb lattice structure.
So why do I want it in my mattress?
Graphene has unique attributes that make it a wonder material that can be used in many applications in the medicine, electronics, sports and food and energy industries.
It’s also found its way to some consumer goods in our daily lives, including innovative uses in textiles and foams that offer some great benefits when it comes to mattresses and sleep.
Here are the most important ways graphene in your mattress works for you and can improve sleep:
Thermal conductivity – Graphene’s thermal conductivity makes it very effective in heat dissipation and moving heat away from the body to maintain a comfortable sleep temperature throughout the night. Sleeping hot is one of the most common causes of disrupted sleep and poor quality of sleep. Check out this short video on thermo-regulating foam.
Electric conductivity – Carbon’s intrinsic electric conductivity allows carbon fibers in a mattress to help the body discharge accumulated static charge. Some experts say this can promote deeper and more rejuvenating sleep.
Anti-bacterial – Good sleep quality is more than just about comfort. A hygienic sleep environment is part of sleep health. Activated carbon fibers have antibacterial properties and can be found in a variety of bedding products from sheets and pillows to mattresses.
There are many published studies on graphene showing it has strong cytotoxicity to bacteria – in layman’s terms, its ability to damage or kill certain bacteria. Global research pushes forward to explore the applications of graphene to fight bacteria, and there’s even technology being developed to use graphene flakes to kill bacteria on implanted medical devices.