Tempur is widely known as the “original memory foam mattress”. If you’ve read any of their marketing material, you’ll see them calling the foams they use in the comfort layers of their mattresses “Tempur Material”. Huh? Is Tempur memory foam? The answer is yes. Tempur is indeed memory foam, and the name Tempur Material is a way to distinguish themselves from all the other memory foam mattresses exploding onto the market.
In this Tempur Memory Foam explainer, I’ll take you through:
- How Tempur Pioneered Using Memory Foam In Mattresses
- What Makes Tempur Foam So Special
- Is Tempur Worth The Price Tag? (Answer: It Depends On Your Situation, I Explain Why)
Tempur Was the First To Use Memory Foam
Memory foam was first developed in 1966 by NASA, who wanted to improve the safety of spacecraft cushions. They originally called it “slow spring back foam” and used it as seating to help astronauts during lift-off.
NASA released its foam technology into the public domain in the 1980s but the process to make the foam was difficult at that time, and only one company Fagerdala World Foams based in Sweden, took it up. They went on to produce the first Tempur Pedic mattress, which hit the market in 1991.
The mattress hit the USA in 1992 and Tempur has been producing top quality memory foam mattresses ever since.
Properties Of Tempur Memory Foam
Let’s take a closer look at “Tempur Material”. Yes, it is a memory foam. But it’s different from memory foam you’ll find from mattress-in-a-box companies. Here’s a short video from Tempur that gives you an overview:
- Tempur Material is a proprietary foam, meaning you’ll only find it in Tempur branded products.
- Tempur is a slow conforming foam: it has that true memory foam hugging feel. When you lie on it, you feel it slowly adapting to your body weight, temperature, and pressure points.
- It is not a fast responding foam: many newer memory foams are moving away from that slow conforming feel, but not Tempur. If this is the feel you are after, they’re actually one of the few brands still offering this.
- Tempur Material is very high density. In fact, it’s the highest density memory foam that I’ve ever come across in a mattress. Tempur material is 85kg/m3 or 5.3 PCF.
- High density foams are more durable than lower density foams, and they cost more to make. This explains Tempur’s higher price tag and why many Tempur owners report they get a a good lifespan from their Tempur mattress.
- Tempur Material is so dense that it would be hard to turn Tempur into a “mattress in a box”. It’s almost too dense for an industrial roll pack machine, which is the machine that compresses your mattress into a box size. This in itself distinguishes Tempur from other memory foam mattresses.
Are Tempur Mattresses Worth The Big Price Tag?
With prices starting at around US$2000, a Tempur mattress will set you back at least double the price of a memory foam mattress from a mattress-in-a-box company. Is it worth it?
The answer is yes if:
- You want the original memory foam technology
- You like the slow, conforming feel of traditional memory foam
- You want to be sure you’re buying the highest density memory foam your money can get, and foam that is of extremely high quality
- You like the idea of memory foam but you don’t like the idea of a mattress in a box
- You want to buy a memory foam mattress in a store and have a wide range of options
- You don’t tend to sleep hot (high density, slow conforming foams tend to trap body heat more than other memory foams)
However, there are also some negative points about having such a high density foam in a mattress:
- It will probably trap more body heat
- You can feel like you get stuck in the mattress when you change positions in the night, as the foam is slow to move
- It will be an extremely heavy mattress to shift around
- Such high density memory foam is very temperature sensitive. It firms up in response to cold, and softens in response to warmth. This means you might find your Tempur mattress has a different feel in different seasons.
For me personally, having tried out a range of Tempur mattresses and three mattress in a box mattresses, I don’t think Tempur is worth it. For me. The main reason is that I find the slow response of the foam difficult. I didn’t like the feeling of being stuck in the bed, or like it was not easy to change position. You might love, that, it is all individual. I prefer a faster responding foam, and there are plenty of options out there that are more suited to my preferences with a similar warranty to Tempur at half the price.