The invention of the memory foam mattress came about in 1966 when Charles Yost, was contracted by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) to create a material that will help astronauts feel comfortable and be protected during space missions.
Originally, how NASA invented memory foam was the sole purpose of reducing the stress created by the effects of G-force for their astronauts. The “G” in G-force stands for “gravitational” and it is the gravitational pull, weight, and acceleration which can cause pressure and strain on the bodies of astronauts. It was with this in mind that memory foam was invented. To appropriately relieve the strain caused by G-force, a foam needed to be invented which would feel comfortable for the astronauts that were being sent into space that could also soak up some of the G-force’s impact.
NASA is predominantly famous for space exploration. They also research flights and have been responsible for creating the first US Satellite, the launch of Apollo 13, landing a robot on Mars, getting a man to walk on the moon, and of course...inventing the memory foam mattress!
Surprisingly enough, although memory foam was created in the late 1960s, it wasn’t ever used as it wasn’t durable enough to withstand most of the pressures of space. The foam and its formula were then sold on to other companies that may have wanted to use it for medical purposes. Even then, it didn’t become a commercial product until much later in 1991 when a Swedish mattress company called Tempur-Pedic released the new and improved memory foam mattress.
Tempur-Pedic has spent some time redeveloping how NASA invented memory foam; the formula developed by Charles Yost in the late 60s wasn’t resilient nor long-lasting which is why it didn’t “take off” (excuse the Space pun!) the way that NASA had first hoped.
The new product was made of visco-elastic and was considered a revolution in new sleeping technology. Visco-elastic had already been used in hospitals, but by combining this idea with some of the formula that was originally developed by NASA, the Tempur-Pedic company soon had a great foam to be proud of that was not only comfortable and durable, but was also ideal for domestic usage.
The memory foam mattress as we know it today is a firm yet adaptable product which is a delight to lie upon. No matter how NASA invented memory foam, the final result is one that people all over the world are benefiting from today. Thanks to the visco-elastic which makes up the majority of the mattress, it can adapt to suit any body shape. The soft yet firm foam moulds to fit your curves and spreads your weight evenly across the mattress, ensuing that you don’t have any aching pressure points when you wake up in the morning, and that you can above all get a great night’s sleep.