18 Year Old Tempurpedic Mattress—what's next?

I currently sleep on a Tempurpedic twin-sized mattress that I have owned since 1995, when it was recommended to me by my surgeon after a major spinal operation. It still feels perfect to me—just the right amount of firmness—but I am dating someone and the bed is too small for us to both fit on comfortably. I’m looking for a full-sized replacement with a similar feel, and my budget is in the $400–700 range.

My understanding is that 18 years ago, all Tempurpedic mattresses were effectively the same. There were not 6 different lines with different heights and types of foam. Does anyone have experience on one of these older Tempurpedic mattresses and have a current mattress that they could recommend or could articulate what I should be looking for in a new mattress?

Any recommendations or guidance would be very much appreciated. I’ve been lurking around this forum for a while now and I thought I would finally try asking my own question.

You should check this bed out:


It is duscussed a lot on this site and many people really enjoy it. Seems to be a great value.

Hi coppercreek,

If you have the Tempurpedic Original then it would have 2.8" of their firmer 5.3 lb memory foam over a 5" polyfoam base.

If you have the Tempurpedic Classic then it would have the same 2.8" of their 5.3 lb memory foam and another .8" of a softer version of the same density memory foam over this and the same 5" polyfoam base layer.

Both of these have been discontinued and the closest they currently have would be the Contour Select which is currently the firmest mattress they make and has 1.2" of the softer 5.3 lb memory foam over 2.8" of the firmer 5.3 lb memory foam over a 6" polyfoam base layer. They rate this as “extra firm” but it’s softer than the original was. You could test this in any store that carried Tempurpedic to see how you think it compares to your mattress.

The Tempurpedic memory foam is firmer, more temperature sensitive, and slower responding than most of the current memory foam on the market but the closest you would likely come in “general” terms would be about 3" of 5 lb memory foam over a 5" or 6" firm polyfoam base layer (assuming that you have the Original 8" mattress) but this would depend to some degree on the specifics of the memory foam that was in the mattress because there are many different types of memory foam even of the same density.

Your budget is very low for a mattress like this and most memory foam mattresses in your budget range would use lower density foams (the Tempurpedic Contour Select is now selling for $2049 in full size).

Of course there are many options that use similar or better quality/density foams and sell for much less than the Tempurpedic and some of the better memory foam manufacturers that sell online are listed in post #12 here and would be well worth talking to to ask them how their mattresses would compare to the Contour Select or which one that was in your budget range may come the closest. If you let me know your city or zip there may be some local options available to you as well that you could test in person to see how close they felt to your mattress.


This is an interesting post. In 2007 I was done with spring mattresses and started my quest for something different. My wife and did not like the Sleep Number beds but I found a shop in the mall that sold Tempurpedic. We fell in love with the original, 5lb memory foam with the poly base. It was the cheapest at I think $1200. The other more expensive Temp. beds felt too soft/less supportive. I built my own using 3" 5 lb Sensus and a 5" slab of cheap poly with a 1.45lb 38 ILD rating and we were in heaven. Until the base broke down over the years. It cost about $350 at the time for the materials.

So my reason for pulling this up was I thought that the base was rated at 40 ILD on the original Temp. bed as when I built ours I could not tell a difference. Do I have this correct?

Hi cbb,

I don’t know what the IFD of the Tempurpedic base layer was but if I had to guess I would say somewhere in the low or possibly mid 30’s … but it would also be a higher density foam so the compression modulus (the rate that a foam material gets firmer as you compress it) would probably have been higher so it could feel firmer than a higher IFD foam that had a lower density or compression modulus.


Boy these 2 words had me reading for a while, “compression modulus”.

Does this mean that for an IFD of say 35 on a low density foam that one should look at a lower IFD of about 30 in a HR foam to have an equivalent/perceived firmness?

Hi cbb,

There are several “specs” that work together that will affect how soft or firm any single foam material will feel (see post #4 here) and some of these may not be available to you so in some cases a lower density foam with a lower compression modulus and higher ILD can feel softer than a higher density foam with a lower ILD. There are many different “versions” of each type of each type of foam or other components in a mattress and every layer and component in a mattress (including the cover) can affect the feel and performance of all the other layers as well (see post #2 here).

So what this means in “real life” is that trying to predict how a mattress will feel and perform using only one of many “specs” or variables that are involved can be somewhat risky or misleading and even the most experienced mattress designers that are familiar with and have a great deal of experience with all the many variables and specs that can affect the feel and performance of a mattress can often be surprised at what a mattress was “supposed” to feel like based on specs and what it “actually” feels like in real life so in practical terms the only reliable way to know how any specific combination of materials and specs will feel like for you would be based on your own actual testing or personal experience. Specs can be a very rough guideline that can help you “find the range” but there are far too many unknowns and variables to use them to find the “best” combination or materials or components that would be suitable for any specific person with any degree of certainty.