Memory foam, the space aged material that has revolutionised the mattress industry, was developed in 1966 by scientists working for NASA. It is made from polyurethane with a polyol-an alcohol formula that contains hydrogen –oxygen- and a diisocyanate- a chemical that has carbon, oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen- added to increase its viscosity and density. Naturally the exact measurements are a trade secret.
As the polyurethane is mixed with the polyol and the diisocyanate small cellular bubbles form, which is what gives memory foam its incredible properties. Once the mixture is made it is poured into a mould and allowed to set. It dries within minutes and can then be trimmed and shaped.
Although they first tried to commercialise memory foam not long after it was first invented, it wasn’t until the 1980s that they improved the mixture, and consequently the final product, so that it was suitable for mass production. In 1991 the first memory foam mattress was made available to the public. It was soon proving its worth, sending ripples throughout the mattress world. Within a few short years, memory foam was the acknowledged leader in mattress technology, becoming the first choice for anyone who wanted a great night’s sleep.