The ZoneActive™ 5-Zone Foam Topper by Serta is a clever solution for the frequent problem of uneven pressure distribution when sleeping. When you lie down on your mattress, your body is not perfectly flat. No matter which position sleeper you are (back, side, or stomach) certain parts of your body are heavier and/or protrude more than others, which causes them to create more pressure. Side sleepers generally experience this the most, as the differences in width between the human frame at the neck, shoulders, waist, and hips, can be significant. This often causes the widest parts (the shoulders and hips) to experience excessive pressure as they cut deeper into the mattress, while the thinner parts (the head, neck, waist, and legs) experience little to no pressure. This can lead to waking up with a sore hip or shoulder on the side you are laying on, and sometimes an arm or leg being “asleep” from lack of blood flow. On the flip side, this can cause a sore neck or lower back where your head and waist are unsupported and bent unnaturally for hours. Back and stomach sleepers can experience the same issues, but usually to a lesser extent. For back sleepers, the hips and butt still contain more weight and therefore cause more pressure, while the arch of the lower back is unsupported. For stomach sleepers, the midsection is the center of gravity and the weight tends to cause the thinnest part (the waist) to bend into the mattress overextending the arch of the lower back.
With the advancement of mattress technologies and sleep analysis, mattress companies including Serta soon realized this common issue. The ZoneActive™ 5-Zone Foam Topper by Serta was one solution designed to address it. Here’s what Serta has to say about it:
- This specially engineered foam topper features five zones of alternating comfort and support that work to evenly distribute your body’s weight. This strategic design helps to reduce pressure build up at the key areas of the shoulders, arms and hips for a more comfortable sleep with less potential for tossing and turning.
The basic idea is to lower the density, and therefore the pressure, in the areas that have a tendency of experience excess pressure. By doing this, the key areas like the shoulders and hips rest on a portion of mattress with more give. This allows them to sink in further and experience less resistance, and therefore less pressure. On the flip side, this brings the neck, waist, and legs closer to the mattress, so they receive more support from the denser portions of the mattress. As a result, weight and pressure is more evenly distributed so that each part of the body receives a little pressure, rather than some parts receiving a lot and some part receiving none. This creates a much more comfortable and even sleeping surface.
With the ZoneActive™ 5-Zone Foam Topper, Serta is essentially manually counteracting the pressure disjunction that results from the uneven distribution of weight and shape of the human frame. This technology was a solution for a very common problem, that since its invention has become widely accepted and used in various interpretations during innerspring mattress design. Even in some non-innerspring mattresses, such as memory foam, different density materials have been staggered in this way for essentially the same purpose. Recently, high-quality memory foams and other such materials have achieved the ability to automatically react to pressure points to distribute weight more evenly, but for innerspring and less expensive mattresses, zoning is still a viable solution.
The ZoneActive™ 5-Zone Foam Topper is just one more way Serta solves subpar sleep.