What are the differences between Tempur and other memory foams?

This really is the million dollar question to answer and is quite subjective. With numerous models and foams to consider you may need to understand fully what you’re looking for.

castellated foam john ryan

If you start with Tempur the market leader who are charging in the region of £1500 – £3000 for the mattress alone, they are using 85kg density ‘Tempur’ foam which has a firm feel.

Tempur foam isn’t available anywhere else and is patented

They have three main models, the Tempur Original which is the firmest, the Tempur Cloud which is the softest and the Tempur Sensation which is a version in-between the two which is said to have more ‘bounce’.  They have undertaken the original research and development and their prices bare this cost.  Tempur also have a depth measure on their model names such as 22 which indicates a 22cm deep mattress.  Dreams and other authorised retailers sometimes microbrand the Tempur mattress with other suffixes or names.  This can cause some confusion amongst customers as to which model is which.  For example the ‘deluxe’ tag  is usually used on models over 21cm.

The cheaper end of the market, typically selling £200 mattresses, may only be using 40kg density foam, at maybe 2cm depth, with a lower hardness rating which is far softer.  They can offer products at this price because they are probably offering low quality cheaper Memory Foams some of which maybe imported from outside the UK. You then have everything in between.

To make matters even harder to analyse few of the brands offer you the exact densities, qualities or depths of foams used so it really is difficult to assess and compare mattresses. Some will offer a few of the facts and the competitors some different select facts, very few give you all the information, that’s were we differ.

To be able to compare mattresses the main questions you should be asking are

  • How many layers and components does the mattress have?
  • What are the depths of each of the mattress layers?
  • What are the densities and associated firmness ratings for the foams?

There is also the base layer or Reflex Foam to consider which confusingly will have a different density rating typically 30-33kg density. This conversely is firmer than Memory Foam because it has a different chemical composition! Confused? Bare with us!

Memory Foam typically has a density from 40kg (soft) to 85kg (firm) and there is a tolerance in the manufacturing techniques, so an 85kg foam could be any where between say 80kg and 90kg in reality. Reflex Foam is a much denser foam so its firmness is usually measured between 30-33kg, as an 85kg piece of relfex would feel like a slab of marble!


Each brand tries to have its own unique selling point using a barrage of luxury, sumptuous and qualitative descriptions, but bear in mind what you want to know are the hard cold facts which you can then compare them by.

The only sensible way to compare Memory Foams is via data sheets for each of the foams you want to compare.  The difficulty is manufacturers won’t usually release them.  Read our data sheet for all our foams here.

Read on further here for more detail on Tempur.