About Swedish Tempur-Pedic Mattresses

By Lillian Downey

  • Overview

    Swedish Tempur-Pedic beds, mattresses and sleep systems are widely popular the world over. They feature a technology first crafted by NASA, and then painstakingly perfected over a period of years by Swedish researchers from the Tempur company. Tempur-Pedic mattresses are known mainly for their anti-allergenic properties and their support for those who suffer from back and joint pain, however, they are also marketed as a luxury item.
  • History

    Swedish Tempur-Pedic mattresses are made of something called viscoelastic memory foam. Viscoelastic memory foam is a soft, cushion material originally developed by NASA scientists to help pad the astronauts as the extremely high g-forces caused by space flight pushed them into the back of their seats. A company called Tempur World purchased the rights to work with the formula, and spent millions upon millions of dollars in their Swedish research lab perfecting viscoelastic memory foam for home use. This research began in the 1980s and still continues today.
  • Science

    Viscoelastic literally means "doesn't change shape" or "returns to its shape." Made from polyurethane, the experts at Tempur describe the cells as "open" cells that deflate and flow and change with your natural movements, then deflate and flow back when pressure is removed. It is almost like solid water. The difference is that viscoelastic foam actually absorbs impact and pressure rather than displacing it. When you hit water, energy flows out in the form of a splash. When you hit a viscoelastic mattress, the impact is absorbed.

  • Benefits

    The main attraction of the Tempur-Pedic mattress is that it claims to completely support each part of your body, adjusting itself automatically based on the pressure and heat given off by your own mass. The cells of the foam actually move and change shape, contouring your body and its natural curves. Because no pressure points are created, a person can maintain a comfortable sleeping position for the duration of sleep with no or little tossing and turning. Additionally, this material has promising benefits for those who suffer from allergies. Unlike cottons and other common bedding materials, Tempur-Pedic foam does not support the growth of bacteria, mold or organisms, such as bed bugs and dust mites. It is also free of some of the chemicals of many traditional mattresses, like CFCs and formaldehyde. Finally, because viscoelastic foam does not transfer motion at all, one person can move and get in and out of bed without disturbing the other person sleeping. Tempur has a famous commercial where a glass of red wine is placed at the corner of the bed, and an adult jumps up and down on the mattress while the glass remains perfectly still.
  • Purchasing

    Tempur-Pedic products can be purchased from the company's official website, or from online and in store retailers worldwide. Pricing for a mid-level queen bed ranges from $1500 to $3000. Tempur also carries accessories like beds, mattress platforms, pillows and sheets. The company offers payment plans to credit-worthy customers.
  • Accolades

    Tempur-Pedic mattresses are endorsed by the Arthritis Foundation and carries the Good Housekeeping seal of approval. It is also a Consumer's Digest best buy.
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