My wife and I have been getting about four years out of last three mattresses before our respective sleep “valleys” just became unacceptable. Neither of us can tolerate all foam so we are looking for new innerspring that would hopefully have more durability. I am turned off now by Stearns and Foster and Sealy based on bad experience so have focused on Serta this time in some part because the most recent Consumer Reports mattress review placed the Serta Perfect Day iSeries Applause Firm model at the top of their list of innersprings as a recommended buy (including durability assessment). As a structural engineer (graduate degree), I can relate to quite a bit of the mechanics of mattress degradation however there is such an obvious attempt to obfuscate and withhold critical detailed info about mattress construction that it is very difficult to approach in a truly analytical manner. In the absense of actual data one has to simply take the approach in the Serta line of for example minimizing any use of “Comfort Foam” which is probably not durable. I might also add that my wife and I are inclined to go with a very firm bed because 1) we like firm, 2) the firmer the mattress is the less likely there is to be poor durability low density foams, and 3) we don’t mind adjusting the surface comfort level by adding a memory foam or latex foam topper. So I am looking for recommendations on first the Serta Perfect Day iSeries Vantage Firm (supposedly replaces Applause Firm). The Vantage I believe has 1 inch Pillowsoft Foam, CoolAction Dual Effects Gel Memory Foam, and Serta Support Foam (supposedly HD). What type of durability would one expect from this model and are there better models within the Perfect Day iSeries that we should consider? My wife sleeps hot so I am hoping that the gel foam might alleviate to some degree her concern in that regard. I am about 220 pounds while she is about 150 but we are not seeing much difference in the valley wear patterns we have experienced to date. The manufacturer’s warranty with respect to valleys is a total joke, long before you have an unloaded 1.5 inch measurable valley the bed has ceased to be usable. Climbing up a very noticeable hill (by creeping sideways) toward the middle of the bed to visit one’s mate is not very conducive to marital relations. Any advice here would be appreciated.
The first place I would start your research is the tutorial post here which has all the basic information, steps, and guidelines you will need to make the best possible choice … and know how and why to avoid the worst ones (which would include all the major brand mattresses you are considering).
Outside of testing a mattress for PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences), the most important part of choosing a mattress is making sure you know the quality of the construction and the materials inside it. The information you need to make a meaningful assessment of any mattress or make meaningful comparisons with other mattresses are in this article (and I would print this out and take it into the store with you). The guidelines I would use to assess the quality of the materials in a mattress and identify any weak links in the mattress are in post #4 here. There is also a list of the top 15 manufacturers here and which of them I would tend to avoid and which ones may be “possibilities” if you are able to find out the specifics of what is inside them.
You’re also always welcome to post the specifics of any mattress on the forum and I’d be happy to make some comments about the mattress and the materials inside it or help you identify any potential weak links in the mattress.