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Polyurethane Foam vs. Tempur

Polyurethane Foam

Polyurethane foam is a blanket term that includes any foam that is synthesized using polyol and diisocyanate. These include but are not limited to: memory foam, high resilience foam, and high density foam. Since polyurethane foam can contain additives, a manufacturer that comes up with a new formula can name the new foam whatever they like.

Many memory foam mattresses are a combination of polyurethane foams, layered from dense on the bottom to less dense on the surface layers.

Polyurethane is a synthetic blend of organic compounds and has a tendency to off-gas. If you are susceptible to lung issues, please do additional research on the quality of foams before purchasing.

Pros: Many different types of foams exist under the polyurethane umbrella -- some are excellent for bedding and offer different firmness varieties!

Cons: Off-gassing and durability problems with lower quality foams.


Tempur material is memory foam manufactured by Tempur-pedic. Tempur-pedic owns the original formula of memory foam developed by a NASA contract.

Tempur-pedic offers a variety of mattresses from firm to plush that use varying degrees of Tempur material along with higher density foams.

The main difference between Tempur and other types of memory foams that have been developed by competing foam manufacturers and mattress makers is the blend of substances in the memory foam.

Pros: Tempur material is the 'original' memory foam and has been refined by Tempur-pedic's scientists over the years specifically for mattresses whereas other types of memory foam may not have been as well developed.

Cons: Like other memory foams, Tempur material is a polyurethane foam blend and prone to claims of off-gassing.

Learn More About Polyurethane Foam

Learn More About Tempur

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Material Scores

Overall Score:
Polyurethane Foam: 9.4/10
Tempur: 9.4/10

Polyurethane Foam: 9.4/10
Tempur: 9.4/10

Polyurethane Foam: 9.5/10
Tempur: 9.3/10

Polyurethane Foam: 8/10
Tempur: 8.8/10

Polyurethane Foam: 8.1/10
Tempur: 8.1/10

No Odor:
Polyurethane Foam: 8.4/10
Tempur: 8.4/10

General Support:
Polyurethane Foam: 9.5/10
Tempur: 9.1/10

Polyurethane Foam: 8.5/10
Tempur: 8.5/10

Price Value:
Polyurethane Foam: 9.5/10
Tempur: 8.5/10