Costco sleep innovation mattresses

Recently purchased the “pure comfort deluxe” mattress by sleep innovation - novaform. It seems a bit soft. Would you suggested trying the gel mattress which is supposed to be firmer? How dense is the foam in these mattresses? I see conflicting specs online. Is it 3 or 4? Does the gel make the foam feel denser and more high quality like?
We went with costco because of their great return policy. Any other suggestions of for a memory foam or latex mattress on a budget?

Hi sleepseek,

The Costco site doesn’t list any of the density specs for the Novaform or the foam layers underneath the memory foam layers which makes it impossible to predict how it may feel to any particular individual. Much of the feel of a memory foam mattress depends on all the different layers (not just the memory foam top layer) and how the layers interact together and with the individual body weight and shape. The memory foam layer on the gel mattress however is thinner and it has a “textured” foam underneath it (usually indicating some type of engineering such as convoluted foam or similar) which is typically “softer feeling” than a firmer support foam. The memory foam itself may feel firmer initially but like all memory foam will soften with body heat. This indicates that it may actually “feel” softer than the pure comfort deluxe (which they don’t sell anymore) in actual use but as I mentioned this will depend on the body type and how much you are “going through” the memory foam and feeling the layers underneath it.

Overall … without personally testing a mattress … you are dependent on the descriptions of the layers used to try to get a sense of how it will feel and without this information then the “safest” way to tell how it feels is to actually buy it from an outlet with a great return policy (like Costco). These types of purchases are an “all or nothing” purchase and even the reviews of others can be very misleading because you don’t know how they are “defining” soft and firm and how their own body shape and weight is interacting with the mattress. One person’s soft can be another person’s firm.

What is clear though based on rough calculations of the shipping weight of the gel foam toppers is that the density of the topper is around 4 lb which means that it is mid quality memory foam and certainly won’t last as long as a higher quality memory foam … and of course like all memory foam it will soften over time.

If you are looking for an online purchase of actual higher quality memory foam and a mattress construction that has options and choices that can help “customize” a memory foam mattress to your needs … then this thread may help a bit.


Thank you. I appreciate your help.
The people at sleep innovations claim the gel mf is much firmer…
The like “this thread” did not work.
Thanks again

Hi Sleepseek,

I realize that they claim that the gel memory foam is firmer … but this is relative to what it is compared to. It’s somewhat analogous to saying that “high salt” water like in the Dead Sea is “firmer” than fresh water. You may float higher but it can not reasonably be called “firmer”. There is no memory foam which can reasonably be called “firm” in actual use which is which is why all memory foam needs an actual firmer support layer underneath it. It is certainly true that denser memory foams can feel firmer on initial compression (and the gel in the memory foam is actually denser than the memory foam itself which increases the overall density and initial “feeling of firmness” of the layer) in actual use it becomes softer with heat. Some lower density memory foams can be firmer (actually stiffer) than higher density memory foams when they are “colder” but then become even softer and less “memory foam like” than higher density memory foams as they warm up.

The thickness and density of the memory foam and how it interacts with each individual and the layers above and below it in actual use will have more to do with whether it feels “firm” to each individual. There is also no such thing as “supportive” memory foam which again is why it is not used in the support layers of a mattress. These are all relative terms and IMO very misleading.

When these types of claims are actually backed up with meaningful and specific information that can also be validated with actual experience rather than just by “stories” designed to differentiate different foams by “sounding better” … then I would pay a little more attention to the “claims”. For now … gel memory foam is more about the story than it is about the facts.


I have had a few people mention about the like button which apparently is connected to whether someone is logged in to facebook when they click it. It sometimes keeps logging in and out in an endless circle when the “clicker” is not logged in. If this is what you meant, I’m till trying to “fix” it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention :slight_smile:

Just spoke to the company again.
they say the base foam is 40 ild on both mattresses
the difference is that the gel is 2.5 inches vs the 3 on the deluxe. Also the gel beads give it the feel of higher density foam which is firmer. They said its 10-13 ild vs 9-12 on the deluxe. Do you think this will be firmer for longer or can the gel still end up being softer?
Thank you!

Hi again sleepseek,

First of all … way to go for getting the information :). While translating it can still be helpful and we would certainly need more information to “guess” how each may feel to you … at least you are making choices based on something that can be “measured”.

The ILD of memory foam is mostly meaningless since all memory foam is very soft (most of it under 15 ILD). Because all memory foam is temperature sensitive (softens with heat) to differing degrees … the ILD will also change with heat and humidity so an ILD rating with memory foam really means little. Even with types of foam where ILD means something (like polyfoam or latex foam) … a difference of 4 ILD is about the threshhold that most people can feel much difference.

The important number with memory foam is density … not ILD. This is the most important indicator of quality. Second its temperature and humidity sensitivity, third would be how much “memory” it has (how fast it comes back) and fourth would be how breathable it is. The last three are somewhat interconnected and say more about how it feels and performs rather than about actual quality. There are many other “specs” with memory foam but these are the most important in actual use.

How firm a memory foam mattress actually feels in use has more to do with the specs of the memory foam (as above), the thickness of the memory foam layer, the body weight, shape, and weight distribution of the person on the mattress, and the layers above it (the ticking and any quilting) and below it (the support layers). Since support layers are usually polyfoam, then ILD becomes important. Density of polyfoam is also an indicator of quality (you will usually see from 1.8 to 2.4 density in the polyfoam used under memory foam). Any density polyfoam can be made to be a certain ILD so density and ILD in polyfoam do not go hand in hand.

Heavier weights, more curvy bodies, and side sleeping positions usually need a thicker comfort layer (the memory foam). If the memory foam layer thickness is not enough … then you will “go through” the memory foam and feel the layers underneath it more. If it is too much … then you will sink too deeply into the memory foam with your heavier parts and end up out of alignment. Denser memory foam will also tend to “hold you up higher” than lower density memory foam although again … all memory foam in use will gradually allow you to sink in deeper over the course of the night unlike polyfoam and latex. Both of these (The Deluxe and the Gel) would likely have about 4 lb memory foam and a memory foam with gel and one without that are the same density will feel about the same in actual use with only minor variations.

Because the gel memory foam mattress has a thinner layer of memory foam on top … you will feel the layer below it more. In this case … the next layer down is not the 40 ILD layer they were talking about but the 2.5" of “textured” foam below the memory foam. This would likely be some type of convoluted foam which is much softer than 40 ILD. How much you felt this layer would depend on your personal “stats” and sleeping positions and the heat of your body and the room around you. It is a “transition” layer between the memory foam and the firmer 40 ILD base layer and would have a great deal to do with how the mattress felt for YOU.

With the Deluxe … the thicker 3" memory foam is directly on top of a 40 ILD base layer because it doesn’t have a softer transition layer. Because the memory foam is thicker (and will feel softer to most as long as they don’t go through it) … it may feel softer to many. If you “go through” the 3" because of your own sleeping positions, body weight, shape, and weight distribution … then the mattress would feel very firm indeed even though the layer on top may be thicker. How it felt would depend entirely on how deeply you sink down into the whole mattress and how deeply you sink in to or “through” the memory foam. This is why what can feel firm to some would feel very soft to others.

To really be able to make a more meaningful comparison accurately for any individual (even in theory) … you would first need the actual density of the 2 memory foams (which we don’t have but are guessing are both 4 lb) and the thickness of the layers (which we have). Next you would need to know the thickness and ILD and density of any transition (middle) layers (which we don’t have) and whether it was a flat foam or textured or convoluted on top (the texturing or convoluting would make the actual ILD softer than its “rating”). Finally you would need the thickness, density, and ILD of the base layers.

In addition to the mattress specs … your own weight, weight distribution and shape, and sleeping positions would need to be known and some mattress testing and feedback with about 2.5 - 3" memory foam mattresses of a similar density and known middle and lower layers would be important.

When all of this is known … then “theorizing” about how a mattress may feel to you becomes a possibility.

In other words … it is all about how every layer of the mattress interacts with every other layer and with you and your sleeping environment. Just knowing about the memory foam itself will only give you a little piece of the puzzle.

Because most side sleepers or average to heavier people would feel more of the transition layer under 2.5" of gel memory foam (especially because it is only 4 lbs) … it would feel softer (because of the softer transition layer) than those who “went through” the 3" layer of the Deluxe 4 lb memory foam which has very firm foam under it. Those who didn’t go through the 3" of the Deluxe and feel the very firm foam underneath it as much would likely think the Deluxe was softer.

Of course all of these are less durable and will likely soften more … and more quickly … than higher quality and density memory foam so how it feels for the first few days will change over the course of the first few weeks and/or months of use.


The company says the middle layer is the same density (2 lb/40 ild) as the base foam. The mattress weighs about the same so it sounds true.

Also, can you suggest a pillow that won’t hurt your neck when sleeping on a memory foam mattress. Because you sink in the pillow which was great with my old mattress hurts now…
Thank you!

Hi Sleepseek,

If the “transition” layer is 40 ILD but “textured” … it would likely feel a little softer if it was convoluted or had “channels” in it. It would depend on what they mean by textured.

Costco has primarily 2 brands of memory foam.

Sleep Innovations (which includes the Novaform brand) and Sleep Science. While Sleep Innovations is CertiPur certified … the Sleep Science is not.

Sleep Science is made in China and when I talked with them (someone “higher up” that I was referred to that was supposed to know the answer to my questions) they were not helpful at all in terms of any testing on their memory foam except to say “it was tested in China”. He also told me that they use the same chemicals as the “other guys” from Dow, BASF, Shell, etc but that of course means nothing when it comes to whether their foam actually offgasses. I really wanted to like them but the guy actually hung up on me when I asked him if the results of the testing was actually available. Hopefully … he doesn’t represent the culture of the company itself and they are more consumer friendly than this particular person. I mention this because these are really the only memory foam brand choices at Costco at the moment (besides “name brands” with poor value and one Zinus mattress (Body Therapy) which uses 3" of 3 lb memory foam which is very low quality).

There are other “big box” options available however. Have you looked at some of the mattresses at Walmart and/or Sams Club. They also carry memory foam mattresses from different brands which IMO may have better value than the Novaform you are looking at (such as the Aerus memory foam) and also have a great return policy. If there are any local manufacturers near you … this is also usually a source of better value and if there is then you could tell what a mattress feels like to you by actually lying on it. This is really the only way to know how it will feel to you.

There are so many variables in memory foam mattresses (which is why Tempurpedic and other brands makes many models which can suit some but not others) it is usually best when buying online from a big box store with a great return policy just to choose one that you think may work best since the “fine details” that can make a difference are not usually available to the degree you need to really know for sure. If the comfort layer looks “about right” and the support layer also looks “about right” and you know the density of the memory foam (which is a big part of quality and durability) then the return policy becomes the most important part and replaces really knowing what it will feel like before you purchase.

None of these mattresses in this budget range will “duplicate” the feel or durability of Tempurpedic or any other higher quality memory foam mattresses so its more about buying a memory foam mattress that works and feels good for you within a limited budget.

There are some good “pillow sites” on the web with very good information about pillows in general. They are a very important part of a sleeping system and spinal alignment. In general terms … side sleepers need firmer/thicker pillows to prevent the head from sinking too much which can cause misalignment and soreness in the neck and upper body area. Back sleepers need a slightly softer/thinner pillow that will support the cervical/neck area. Stomach sleepers do best with a very thin/soft pillow or no pillow at all. The type of mattress you sleep on and how deeply you sink into the comfort layers will also play a role in the type of pillow that is best. The deeper you sink into a mattress … the “thinner” a pillow you will typically need.

Pillow materials are a matter of personal preference and are typically made of similar materials to mattress comfort layers (latex, polyfoam, various natural and synthetic fibers, gels, feathers etc). For the same reasons that I like latex in the mattress comfort layers (a combination of softness, pressure relief, and support) … I believe that it also makes a particularly high quality pillow … assuming the pillow fits your sleeping position … but of course what works well for me may not work at all for someone else.

Some good information about pillows is here (makes customized pillows), here (latex pillows made by Latex International), here and here Pillow Loft Guide : Sleeping Positions – Back, Side, Stomach : How To Choose the Right Pillow Thickness


Thanks for all your help!

I’ve tried two different memory foam mattresses and while i’m happy with the feel, I wake up with neck pain, should I look at an alternative pillow or assume the the memory foam doesnt work for me? I looked at the pillow sites you provided but I’m trying to get more of a sense if its normal to have to change pillows when changing from an inner spring mattress to memory foam. Are there particular pillows that work beter with memory foam?

Hi Sleepseek,

When you are switching to a mattress which is softer and your shoulders sink in more … it wouldn’t be uncommon at all to need a different pillow (likely thinner because your head isn’t as far off the mattress). The type of pillow that is best would depend on your sleeping position and the thickness and softness that had a good combination of comfort and kept your head and neck supported and in alignment. Misalignment of the neck or “twisting” of the neck can certainly lead to neck pain.

Is there an odor to the mattress? For some people even offgassing below the level of the CertiPur testing can cause some symptoms including dizziness, headache, tiredness, strange dreams, breathing issues, sore throat, or achy joints or neck. I happen to be one of those and am sensitive to some memory foams (including a Novaform topper I tried from Costco) but not others.


thank you
any suggestions of a good thin pillow?

Hi Sleepseek,

If anything, I think that pillows are probably “harder” to fit than mattresses because preferences and feel, and even moods, weather, sleeping environment and time of year play an even bigger role and this is a personal choice for each person. Some people have a “menu” of choices that they can choose according to changing preferences.

The objective part is that the cervical spine (neck) needs to be supported in its natural alignment. Side sleeping needs thicker (to hold the head up and fill in the larger gap between the side of the head and the mattress and support the head and neck), back sleeping needs a little thinner and possibly with some additional thickness, contouring, or firmer zoning under the neck), and stomach sleeping needs very thin or none at all (just enough softness for comfort but not enough to hold the head up and bend the neck back or sideways).

Multiple sleeping positions may need to be “in between” or be adaptable or adjustable such as pillows that can be “shaped” or “scrunched” (unlike solid foam pillows). The goal is to support the neck and head so that the cervical spine is in alignment and supported when completely relaxed. Larger body frames or firmer mattresses where the gap between the sleeping surface and the head and neck need more loft or firmness for side sleeping. Back sleepers and to a lesser degree side sleepers often choose an anatomic pillow which is either shaped higher or firmer on the edges and lower or softer in the middle to help fill in and support the natural curve of the neck.

The subjective or preferences part is how it “feels” while it supports you and keeps your head and neck in alignment and this is very subjective and individual.

Temperature is also an important part of pillow choices and more breathable materials and materials that can wick moisture and humidity away from the skin will tend to be cooler than materials that are less breathable and moisture wicking.

How soft it is, how “scrunchy” it is, how hot/cool it is, how “dead” or “lively” it is, how firmly it keeps your head in place, how it feels against your skin, and even how noisy it is (as in buckwheat hulls), how “natural” it is, and how it smells are all part of the choices that each person makes (and often remakes many times because needs and preferences can change over time and with changes in external conditions) :slight_smile:

Some of the options for materials includes down, feathers, memory foam, shredded memory foam, wool, cotton, latex, shredded latex, silk, flax seed, kapok, buckwheat hulls, millet hulls, various synthetic fibers, gels, water, and various zoning options, shapes, variations, and combinations of all of these.

Most pillows come with recommendations for the sleeping positions they are best suited for but as long as it does what it has to do … the rest is sometimes a “lifetime” adventure … and for some people changes as often as their moods :).

Part of the fun (or sometimes frustration) of pillows is that its as individual as our taste in clothes … and as long as we get the basic “size” and shape and firmness right so that the neck and head is in good alignment in all our sleeping positions over the course of the night … the rest is all about our preferences.


PS … now that I’ve got all that out of the way so I can deny I ever made a pillow recommendation to anyone … a good thin pillow might be down because its really soft and flattens more than most materials.