TempurPedic a NASA foam? Not quite!
You may have heard of a space mattress created by NASA from a revolutionary material called memory foam and are eager to buy one. Before you do, let me tell you that there is no NASA memory foam and no space bed technology and companies like TempurPedic only use the NASA connection to sell more mattresses.
A form of visco-elastic foam was, indeed, first developed in the 70s in conjunction with the Space Program to help astronauts absorb enormous G-forces at liftoff and re-entry but that’s not what manufacturers are talking about.
When people compare NASA mattresses to the well-known Tempur-Pedic brand, they assume sleeping surfaces made from this revolutionary technology existed in the first place. But this never happened. So why was it never used?
The original NASA foam was never suitable for sleeping because it broke down in time and lacked the comfort needed to make a good mattress. But the Program never intended to use space foam for bedding. Remember, it was developed for astronauts’ seats, not for sleeping.
Once released to the industrial world, progress was imminent. Years of research and development by the Swedish company Tempurpedic did turn this early recipe into a unique material now commonly known as memory foam. Some people still like to call it NASA foam.
Tempur-Pedic does acknowledge, somewhat vaguely, admittedly, the true NASA connection. Their website says:
An imperfect version of TEMPUR foam material was developed for NASA in the 1970s, designed specifically to conform to any individual’s body and relieve the pressure of the tremendous forces of gravity the astronauts experienced during lift off and flight
All companies should be more open in admitting that what we’re sleeping on today is not a NASA product, but rather, a by-product.