Why are TEMPUR® mattresses and pillows the only ones recognised by NASA?
It was TEMPUR® who, after years of development and testing, introduced the world’s first mattress and pillow based on NASA’s original invention. It is because of this breakthrough, continued innovation, unique qualities and worldwide success of our products that we are recognised and certified by NASA and the Space Foundation.
Truly born from space
The TEMPUR® story begins in the late 1960s, when 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 astronauts encountered during lift-off and re-entry, up to 7Gs of force was experienced during the Apollo 16 re-entry. It also had to keep them comfortable, as they would need to be seated for extended periods of time.
NASA’s team of experts eventually succeeded in creating a completely new type of material. They referred to it as ‘slow spring back foam’.
This brand-new material, the likes of which had never been seen before, was a visco-elastic foam and 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 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, Danish scientists, the forefathers of Tempur, began refining the 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 to revolutionise the world of sleep.
In 1991, after enhancing both its adaptability and durability even further, we created and launched the world’s first visco-elastic foam mattress and pillow. At that moment, we rewrote all the rules about how a mattress and pillow should feel – and the kind of benefits it should provide to people.
Recognition for TEMPUR®
We have received a number of accolades over the years, but the ones we hold most dear are those we have received from NASA itself. 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 we do for the benefit of people across the world. We believe in people, and it is through this belief that we were able to develop and introduce to the world the first mattress designed not only for sleep but for health, well-being, comfort and an improved quality of life. We strive to make the world a better, healthier place, one mattress at a time. Many of the greatest inventions in history owe their origins to outer space – from solar panels and GPS, to baby formula and smartphone cameras – and at TEMPUR®, we are extremely proud and eternally humbled to be a part of this legacy.