It was TEMPUR® who, after years of development and testing, introduced the world’s first mattress and pillow to be based on NASA’s original invention. It’s because of this breakthrough, the continued innovation, unique qualities and worldwide success of our products that we’re recognised by NASA and certified by the Space Foundation.
Truly born from space
The TEMPUR® story begins in the late 1960s. Back then, NASA scientists and engineers were tasked to create a new material to use in seats for spaceflight.
It needed to absorb the intense G-force pressure astronauts encountered during lift-off and re-entry. It also had to keep them comfortable, as they would be sat in their seats for long periods.
NASA’s team of experts eventually succeeded in creating a completely new type of material. They referred to it as ‘slow spring back foam’, although it later became known by a much more punchy name: ‘memory foam’.
A brand-new material, the likes of which had never been seen before, this memory foam had both the high-energy absorption and soft, pressure-relieving properties NASA was looking for.
Perfecting for sleep
In the early 1970s, knowledge of this unique new material reached our Swedish founders. They realised this NASA memory foam would make perfectly supportive and comfortable cushions for healthcare and medical purposes and started importing it to help improve patient comfort and support.
In 1988, our Danish scientists began producing and refining that original material. After two years of extensive testing, in 1990, TEMPUR® Material was born. Later that year, in a breakthrough moment, one of our scientists realised this material’s potential for sleeping on.
After enhancing both its adaptability and durability even further, in 1991 we created and launched the world’s first memory foam mattress and pillow. That’s why some even refer to it as the NASA mattress and pillow. In that moment, we rewrote all the rules about how a mattress and pillow should look and feel – and the kind of benefits it should provide to people.
Recognition for TEMPUR®
We’ve received a number of accolades over the years. But the ones we received from NASA rank among the ones we are most proud of. We have been inducted into the United States Space Technology Hall of Fame and are certified by the Space Foundation.
In 1998, we were even recognised by NASA in an official ceremony. The text presented with our award read:
“In recognition of [TEMPUR®’s] significant contributions to transferring aeronautical and space research technology into the private sector to save lives, promote economic opportunity and help improve the quality of life for humankind.”
To this day, this quote continues to inspire us to aim high in everything that we do for the benefit of people across the world.
A legacy of achievement
Many of the greatest designs in history owe their origins to outer space – from solar panels and GPS, to baby formula and smartphone cameras – and at TEMPUR®, we’re extremely proud to be part of this legacy.
TEMPUR® proudly represents one of humankind’s great achievements, and when you sleep on a TEMPUR® product, we hope you’ll feel proud too. Every TEMPUR® mattress, pillow or accessory represents a ground-breaking innovation – and we will continue to create what we believe are the best sleep products you can find.