Tempur mattress review: A super luxe, soft mattress offering a unique sleeping experience

The Tempur Original mattress uses NASA technology for a truly weightless sleeping experience – so how does it hold up in practice?

Tempur mattress review
(Image credit: Tempur)
T3 Verdict

Sitting at the top end of the premium mattress market, TEMPUR's mattresses are unlike any other we've tried. The hi-tech memory foam (originally designed for NASA, no less) melds around the body like butter, enveloping the sleeper. It was slightly too soft for our preferences, but many other reviewers swear by it.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Luxurious feel

  • +

    Top quality memory foam

  • +

    Wide range of sizes and depths to choose from

  • +

    No motion transfer

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Sinking sensation won't be for everyone

  • -

    Can be difficult to move around on

  • -

    Premium pricing

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The TEMPUR Original mattress uses a material originally created by NASA in the 70s to cushion its astronauts during lift-off. Some smart person realised the potential of this clever material for sleep products, and TEMPUR has been using it in its mattresses and pillows ever since. 

The claim is that it constantly adapts to your body to offer custom support, but does it really work? And how does this luxe, high-end mattress hold up compared to the rest of the products in our best mattress ranking? We tested the TEMPUR Original Elite, which falls in the middle of the Original range in terms of mattress depth, and promises a 'medium' firmness. Read on for our full TEMPUR mattress review.

Tempur Original mattress review: Design

All of TEMPUR's mattresses feature what's known as 'TEMPUR Material', a high-density viscoelastic foam that adapts to your body. It claims to respond to your bodys' "warmth, shape and weight", to give a completely personalised sleeping experience.

The TEMPUR Original is available in three depths, the 21cm Supreme, the 25cm Elite (which we tried), and the 30cm Luxe. All three are topped with a layer of TEMPUR Material, followed by a layer of 'Support' material, with a base of 'Durabase technology'. The depth of each layer varies depending on which model you go for, with the Elite and Luxe doubling up the Durabase layer.

If you're wondering exactly what those materials are, we're right there with you. Other than the 'TEMPUR Material', we couldn't find an explanation of the other layer materials, although we'd assume they're all different kinds of foam – there's no springs here. 

Easier to understand is the zip-off top cover, which features on all three models and can be washed at 60 degrees C. There's a raised cool geometric pattern sew on that looks nice but feels unnecessary, or even slightly odd, once there's a sheet on it. There are no handles for maneuvering, which can be frustrating during the initial setup, but shouldn't really affect you in the long run (this is a no-turn mattress). 

All of TEMPUR's mattresses are available in a wide range of sizes. As well as your standard Single, Double, King and Super King, you can also select Small Single, Long Single, and four custom sizes. So with three depths and 10 sizes to choose from on each model, you'll be able to find the perfect mattress for your needs.

Tempur Original mattress review: Firmness

TEMPUR classes its Original mattress as bang smack in the middle of the firmness scale. We found it to be on the softer side of medium, although these things are very much subjective. 

TEMPUR offers a range of mattresses with different levels of firmness. If you want something even softer, you could opt for the TEMPUR Cloud mattress. Or if you'd prefer something firmer, you'd be better with the Hybrid mattress (which adds a layer of Micro Coils and is slightly firmer than the Original), and the Sensation mattress (which is firm). 

Softer mattresses are better suited to those who like to sleep on their side. If you prefer to lie on your front or back, or if you weigh 15 stone or more, we'd perhaps recommend you go for one of TEMPUR's firmer options.

Ultimately, though, it all comes down to personal preference. TEMPUR has a 100-night trial period, so you can give your mattress a proper test run before you decide whether it's for you or not. 

Tempur mattress review

(Image credit: Tempur)

Tempur Original mattress review: Comfort

Now we get to the really important part of our TEMPUR mattress review: how comfortable is it to sleep on? TEMPUR says its mattresses offer a unique sleep experience, and that's true. The sensation of lying on a TEMPUR mattress is different to other memory foams we've tried. It feels firm when you first lie on it, before instantly softening around your body – almost like it's melting. You end up in a shallow but distinct body shaped groove that envelopes you as you sleep.

How comfortable you find the mattress will depend almost entirely on whether you like this sensation or not. Although the foam adapts almost instantly to your position as you as you move around, maneuvering (and getting yourself up in the morning!) is slightly trickier than with a firmer mattress. While this takes some getting used to, the hidden benefit is that it seems to promote a less wriggly sleeping experience, offering a more restful sleep as a result. 

Another plus point is that this means there's zero motion transfer if you have a restless sleeping partner. Similarly, the design completely relieves pressure points – even if you sleep on your side all night, you're not going to end up with an achy shoulder in the morning.

Heavier customers may find themselves sinking too far into this design, and will get on better with the Hybrid or Sensation ranges. We'd also be wary of going for such a soft mattress if you have back or neck problems – it doesn't seem to offer as much support as other mattresses we've tried. 

Tempur Original mattress review: Price

TEMPUR makes luxurious, top quality mattresses with a price tag to match. All models in the range are priced exactly the same for each size and depth, so price won't be a factor in deciding which model to go for. Here are the current RRPs for each of the main sizes, in each depth:

  • Single: £1,575 (Supreme); £1,729 (Elite); £2,149 (Luxe)
  • Double: £2,149 (Supreme); £2,399 (Elite); £3,099 (Luxe)
  • King: £2,499 (Supreme); £2,799 (Elite); £3,449 (Luxe)
  • Super King: £2,829 (Supreme); £3,149 (Elite); £3,899 (Luxe)

However, there's a chance you'll be able to find an offer that'll knock a bit off the price. Head to our roundup of the best cheap mattress deals and our Tempur discount codes for an updated list of the best bargains right now. 

Compared to competitors, TEMPUR sits right at the top end of the market, so picking up one of these mattresses is certainly an investment. However, we'd always say that when it comes to mattresses it is worth paying out for the best one for you – we spend a third of our lives in bed, after all.

Tempur Original mattress review: Delivery & returns 

Delivery is free on all mattresses, although delivery times vary and are typically slower than many competitors (at time of writing, 8-10 weeks). If time is of the essence, you're better heading elsewhere; if not, you'll need to be patient! 

Unlike many competitors nowadays, the TEMPUR mattress is delivered flat rather than rolled up. The delivery people will set it up in your home (good news, as anyone who has ever tried to get a memory foam mattress upstairs will know). As it's not vacuum-packed, it's ready to go from the moment of delivery – no need to wait for it to expand. We're also pleased to report no unpleasant odours, which can be an issue with some new memory foam mattresses. 

There's a 100-night trial, which matches the industry standard for mattresses. There are a few caveats to be aware of with this particular trial. First, TEMPUR requires you keep the mattress for a minimum of 60 nights before returning it, to give you time to get used to the different sleeping experience. The trial is only available if you buy directly through TEMPUR, and you must use a mattress protector to ensure the mattress stays in tip-top condition. 

After those 60 days, if you find for whatever reason that the TEMPUR mattress doesn't suit you, the company will come and pick it up (pickup is free, assuming you accept TEMPUR's offered collection date). There's also a 10-year guarantee, for added peace of mind. 

Tempur Original mattress review: Other reviews

Mattress reviews are tricky: everyone has a different sleeping style, body shape, and firmness preference. So in order to build a clear and well-rounded TEMPUR Original review, we've researched what other customers and testers said about the mattress online. 

Overall, customers seem to either absolutely love the Tempur mattress or not get on with it at all. The positive reviews say these mattresses are incredibly comfortable and a worthwhile investment.

On the flip side, a few reviewers comment that they found it comfortable for the first few months, but over longer periods began developing back, neck or shoulder pains.  small selection also say the mattress lost its shape over the years (it does come with a 10-year guarantee). While we can't yet comment on how well they wear over time, they certainly feel luxurious and well made on delivery. 

Verdict: Should I buy the Tempur Original mattress?

TEMPUR mattresses have an unique feel that tends to split opinion: either you'll love it or it won't be for you. If you're thinking of taking the plunge, we'd recommend taking the time to pick the right firmness level for you, and be aware that these mattresses give a 'sinking' sensation which means they provide a less firm sleep surface. Remember, there's that 100-night trial to make sure you love your new purchase before committing to keeping it.

Tempur Original mattress review: Alternatives to consider

If you like the foam and sinking feel of a Tempur mattress, a great alternative is one of the best memory foam mattresses. To be more specific, the Emma Original mattress tops our list due to its comfort levels, supportiveness and affordability.

The main drawback from the Tempur is its price which is around £1,000 on all sizes. For a brilliant memory foam offering with a smaller price tag, the Nectar Memory Foam mattress is firm, cooling and won't break the bank.

Ruth Hamilton

Ruth is a lifestyle journalist specialising in sleep and wellbeing. She has tested more mattresses than her small flat can handle and will talk at length about them to anyone who shows even a passing interest, and has had to implement a one-in-one-out pillow policy for fear of getting smothered in the night. As well as following all the industry trends and advancements in the mattress and bedding world, she regularly speaks to certified experts to delve into the science behind a great night's sleep, and offer you advice to help you get there. She's currently Sleep Editor on Tom's Guide and TechRadar, and prior to that ran the Outdoors and Wellness channels on T3 (now covered by Matt Kollat and Beth Girdler-Maslen respectively).