Cheaper but just as good alternative to Sealy Elation

Hi TheholyLancer,

This type of calculator doesn’t exist and to do this you would need to know the raw material cost of every material that is used in the industry (which is information that wouldn’t be available to you anyway) and then you would need to keep it up to date with all the new materials that are constantly being introduced and all the price changes that happen over time and then somehow incorporate it into a calculator that could also take into account the different amounts of each material in different mattresses and the cost of manufacturing that specific mattress which would all be overwhelmingly complex.

Even if someone was able to do this and keep it up to date it would only identify the “commodity value” or “raw material cost” of a mattress and wouldn’t identify the most important parts of the “value” of a mattress purchase anyway. It would be somewhat like buying clothes based on the cost per pound or the price per yard of the fabrics rather than their function and how well they fit you, how they feel, or how well they match your “style” or preferences or like buying a computer based on the cost of the raw materials or the components used to manufacture it without taking into account the function of each component or the more meaningful specs of the computer such as the amount of memory, the type and size and speed of the hard drive, the clarity of the monitor and many others and how they all work together along with knowing whether they were appropriate for the intended use of the computer.

There are some very generic guidelines here that can give you some sense of what to expect in different budget ranges (although this can’t possibly include all the possible variables or factors involved in manufacturing a mattress so it’s not particularly useful on a more specific basis) but there is more about the most important parts of the “value” of a mattress purchase in post #13 here that can help you make more meaningful comparisons between mattresses in “real life” terms that are much more practical and relevant to your actual experience and the reasons you are buying a new mattress in the first place.

Your answers to the three most important questions when you are buying a mattress will determine the value of a mattress purchase and will always boil down to …

  1. How well am I likely to sleep on this mattress (suitability)?
  2. How long am I likely to sleep well on this mattress compared to other mattresses I’m considering (relative durability)?
  3. How does this mattress purchase at this retailer or manufacturer compare to the other mattresses I’m considering or that are available to me at other retailers or manufacturers based on the first two criteria along with all the other parts of a mattress purchase that are important parts of my personal value equation (relative value)?

I would read the tutorial like you would a good book and avoid trying to “study” or memorize the information like you would a textbook. While there is a great deal of information available on the site that can act as a “fact check” when it’s needed or may be of interest for those that wish to go much deeper into every detail of how mattresses are made or designed … for most people getting overly involved in all the information about mattress theory and design or trying to decide on what is the “best” mattress or materials without the reference points that can only come from actual testing or personal experience that can help you “translate” the information into something that is meaningful to you will quickly become overwhelming. Too much information can quickly lead to information overload and paralysis by analysis which can lead to just as many poor choices as having too little information in the first place. As long as you have “enough” information to identify the more knowledgeable retailers or manufacturers that already know what you would otherwise need to learn and you can better recognize the difference between marketing information designed to “sell you” and relevant information designed to “educate you” then the tutorial has done its job. Researching who to deal with is the step before testing mattresses in the tutorial and the knowledge, experience, and transparency of who you choose to deal with can be one of the most important parts of a successful mattress purchase.

While there is no specific definition of progressive or differential constructions … neither one is nearly as important as whether a mattress is a good match for you in terms of PPP and to know this with any certainty you would either need to test a mattress in person or sleep on it regardless of whether it was closer to a more complex progressive design with multiple layers or a differential design with only two layers (or even a mattress that used a single layer of material). Some of the comments in post #2 here and post #2 here about getting overly involved in mattress theory and design or mattress specs may also be worth reading.

The better options or possibilities I’m aware of in and around the San Jose area (subject to the value guidelines I linked earlier in this reply) are listed in post #2 here.