History of Memory Foam

History of Memory Foam

Memory foam was developed in the late 70’s by a group of chemists at NASA's Ames Research Center. The goal was to create a material that would relieve astronauts of the pressure generated by the g-forces they experienced during lift-off. Their challenge was to develop a material that would provide both support and cushion and prevent the creation of pressure points.

These scientists were successful in creating the first ever visco-elastic polyurethane foam. It had properties that would reduce the effects of g-forces by conforming to the shape of the astronaut’s body and act as a full-body shock absorber. This unique new foam returned to its original state once pressure was removed.

The new substance was temperature sensitive and pressure relieving. The foam softened as it absorbed body heat, distributed weight evenly and quickly adapted to any movements of the body.

1st Generation Memory Foam

Many versions of this 1st generation “memory foam” were extensively tested. The first versions were too brittle and tended to break down chemically after about 2 years. The manufacturing process released unpleasant fumes that were potentially dangerous in the confined areas of a spacecraft. These first generations of memory foam also lacked durability, flaking and breaking apart after only minimal use. Due to this and other issues, memory foam was never actually used inside space shuttles.

Next Generation Memory Foam

NASA lost interest in memory foam and sold the technology. Fagerdala World Foams of Sweden, one of Europe's largest foam producing companies, began experiments in the 1980s to perfect memory foam for consumer use.

In 1991, Tempur-Pedic®, a Swedish Mattress company introduced this pressure relieving material as a line of mattresses to the people of Sweden and received high marks. In 1992, Tempur-Pedic® launched the same products in North America and experienced a similar response.

Because of the success of Tempur-Pedic®, many other foam manufacturers in the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East and China began to develop their own visco-elastic memory foam material to create mattresses and pillows. Specialty bedding made from memory foam has now emerged as a major force in bedding and is a serious challenger to the innerspring mattress.

Innovation and the Future of Memory Foam

Innovation is key in the development of memory foam. Companies are addressing issues such as memory foam's sensitivity to temperature and its performance as a pressure relieving material. We have been fortunate to be able to position ourselves by representing one of the most respected manufacturers of polyurethane foam, not just in America but in the world. Thanks to the work of BASF, our mattress has overcome issues of the foam getting too hard when it gets cool and too hot and gooey when it gets warm. You will love our mattress. It's "just right". We only offer one type of mattress but it is simply the best. Coincidentally, it is also the lowest priced mattress in the United States and is made completely in America.

We have created a page entitled "More about Memory Foam" that contains important information you may find useful.

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Tempur-Pedic® is a registered trademark of Dan-Foam A/S Corporation. We do not sell Tempur-Pedic® products and are in no way affiliated with Tempur-Pedic®. The content on our website as it pertains to Tempur-Pedic® is for comparison purposes only.