FIRST TIME MEMORY FOAM PURCHASE. WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE?

Hi folks, ive been sleeping on a coil spring for my whole life and i know its time to switch. But the only thing making it difficult is my budget. I cannot afford those 1500 dollar name brand memory foam mattresses, so I’m looking to buy online. There seems to be many great ones online, but the reviews are so contradictory. One person will say too soft and one will say too firm.

also, should i go thicker or thinner? is it true that 10" will be softer than a 12?

I have kinda broken it down to a few options here. Please give me your input…

BRENTWOOD 10" GEL FOAM
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F7S6FE0/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=AOUM669GEHO1R

NIGHT THERAPY 10" GEL FOAM
https://www.amazon.com/Night-Therapy-MyGel®-Premium-Mattress/dp/B007TBZW4C

SLUMBER SOLUTIONS 10" GEL FOAM

If you have any other recommendations for my price range, please help.

I am a back and side sleeper. I don’t like the sinking in feeling. I prefer it to be firm for support, but soft on top.

THANKS IN ADVANCE

Hi ttran, that seems a bit high priced for memory foam ($1500) unless it’s tempur brand or something. Not sure what your budget is or what size you’re looking for (king, queen etc). Contradiction on firmness levels for a certain mattress would probably be due to people’s ideals and perceptions rather than major differences in the product itself. Firm for one person may be too soft for another. Typically thicker mattresses are softer if they’re the same material but that may not hold true. Using the brands you mentioned, if Brentwood used a softer base layer foam and Night Therapy used a firmer base foam layer, the Brentwood could actually be softer even if it’s thinner than the Night Therapy. It’s hard to get the details of their foams a lot of times, density and firmness. Even if they disclose the density, it won’t tell you how firm or soft it is. You could have 3 different brands with the same construction in layers - say a 9" base foam and 3" memory foam on top for 12" and if all 3 use different firmness base foam, they’ll all be different.

You mentioned you didn’t like the sinking in feeling, so not sure any of those mattresses would suit you since they’re all memory foam. Regardless of subtle deviations in firmness of the memory foam, that’s what memory foam is designed to do. Starts off firm and with body heat it will ‘relax’ and allow you to sink into it, conforming to your body. You may want to head to a mattress store and try some various types, memory foam, latex etc to find out which style you’re happy with. If you like memory foam, but just don’t like the deep sinking, you might try to find one that has a thinner memory foam layer on top so you get more of the base foam support. Many of those brands make one model though like a one size fits all, so if their firmness doesn’t work for you there’s not a whole lot of altering it. In other words, there isn’t a Night Therapy 10" gel foam soft, medium, firm.

Another option that may be worth checking out is an all poly foam mattress by Dreamfoam called a 12 in 1 here . There’s no memory foam (no sinking), has a zippered cover and 3 pieces of good quality foam (2lb density). It allows you to rearrange the layers at home to find a firmness that works best for you. Poly foam would still be soft on top but without the slow sinking of memory foam. You might want to ask Phoenix to be sure, I think being a forum member here you can get a free pillow bonus with a Dreamfoam amazon purchase. He may have other suggestions if you prefer to stick with memory foam, but of those vendors you mentioned there’s no way of telling how firm or soft they would feel to you.

hey brass, thanks for the reply. I completely get where your getting at which is why it is so hard to buy a mattress online. But everyone locally just seems to be way overpriced. When i say the sinking in feeling, I mean like a really soft top. I’ve laid on a few memory foam mattresses and I love the way it feels. I guess some just have a more plusher top?

I love the mlily serenity mattress, but it is out of my price range.

I will take your advice though on the top layers thickness.

The last option does have a soft, medium, and firm option. So I might try that. But as of right now, I am leaning towards the night therapy because a lot of people say the brentwood is too soft

That dreamfoam looks very cool, but is it cheap foam pieces that you are switching in and out?

Hi ttran,

The first place I would start your research is the mattress shopping tutorial here which has all the basic information, steps, and guidelines that you will need to make the best possible choices … and know how and why to avoid the worst ones.

I would be very cautious about all of the mattresses you are considering and most importantly I would always make sure you know the quality/density of all the foam that is inside any mattress you purchase (see this article).

You can read more about the Brentwood mattresses in this topic and in this topic as well.

Night Therapy is one of the Zinus brands and you can read a little more about them in post #31 and #32 here along with post #2 here. A forum search on “Night Therapy” will also bring up more information about them as well including this post which would be a typical experience with lower density or less durable materials.

Slumber Solutions is a little better option than the first two you mentioned and they are more transparent and list the density of their layers in the Overstock description. They say they are US made but they don’t say whether the mattress is assembled in the US from Chinese foams or if the foam itself is made in the US. Their 3.5 lb memory foam is also a little lower density than the durability guidelines I would suggest using (see here) but overall they are “not bad” although there are better quality/value options available to you IMO.

Some of the manufacturers that make some lower budget memory foam or polyfoam mattresses that may be worth considering are listed in post #2 here. If a latex or latex hybrid mattress is also something that you are interested in considering then posts #3 and #4 here include some of the lower budget latex and latex hybrid mattresses that I’m aware of although these tend to be in a higher price range than less costly materials like memory foam or polyfoam. There is more about how latex compares to memory foam in post #2 here.

This is also completely normal because firmness and softness are very subjective and relative to the body type, sleeping positions, and sensitivity of the person along with what they are used to sleeping on. A mattress that feels “too firm” for one person can feel “too soft” for the next. The most important part of the “value” of a mattress is how well it matches your specific needs and preferences in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) and there are only two ways to know whether a mattress is a good match for you. The first of these is your own careful and objective testing using the testing guidelines in the tutorial post which is the most reliable of all. If you can’t test a mattress in person then the most reliable way to know if a mattress is a good match for you is a more detailed conversation on the phone with a knowledgeable and experienced manufacturer or retailer that has your best interests at heart and can help you choose which of their mattresses is likely to be the most suitable for you (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here). No matter what the cost or quality of a mattress if it’s not suitable for you to sleep on then it would have little value to you regardless of how well it works for anyone else.

If after a more detailed conversation you still aren’t confident that a particular mattress is a good match for you then the return or exchange policy and any costs involved would also be an important part of the “value” of a mattress purchase so you can use your own sleeping experience and perceptions to decide if a mattress is suitable for you (regardless of what anyone else may think about the same mattress) and if it isn’t then you would still have options to return or exchange it. There is also more about the most important parts of the “value” of a mattress purchase in post #13 here.

As Brass also mentioned … if you don’t like the feeling of sinking in or sleeping “in” a mattress then memory foam … especially in thicker layers … may not be the best choice for you and a more resilient material that has a more “on” the mattress feeling (such as polyfoam or latex) may be a more suitable choice.

The thickness of a mattress is only one of several factors that affects the firmness or softness of a mattress but it’s not the most important one (see post #4 here). Every material (such as memory foam) has firmer and softer versions and this along with the thickness of the softer comfort layers will also have a bigger effect than the thickness of the mattress itself. In other words an 8" mattress can be much softer than a 12" mattress that uses different types of materials and has a different design. Overall I wouldn’t pay nearly as much attention to the thickness of a mattress as the other factors that can affect the firmness/softness of a mattress. Once again … besides testing a mattress in person, the only way to have reliable information about the softness or firmness of a mattress relative to other mattresses that are sold by the same manufacturer or retailer would be a more detailed conversation on the phone with someone that was experienced and knowledgeable and where helping you choose a mattress that was suitable for you was more important than just selling you anything they could.

Overall I would follow the steps in the tutorial post, do some local testing to see which types of materials or mattresses you tend to prefer, and make sure you know the quality of all the materials in any mattress you are considering so you have the best possible chance of buying a mattress that is a good match for you in terms of PPP and all the other parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you.

Phoenix

http://www.wayfair.com/Eclipse-Perfection-Rest-10-Gel-Memory-Foam-Mattress-WYF-MOS10GEL-XEC1207.html

this one looks pretty good 3.8lb

or
http://www.wayfair.com/Sleep-Innovations-Inc.-10-Gel-Memory-Foam-Mattress-G-MAT-95625-SINC1006.html

what better quality/value options mattresses do you have in mind? please suggest some so i can look into them before my purchase. As of right now, I am leaning towards the slumber solutions because I dont know else would be better for the price

Hi ttran,

My last reply included this …

…which includes links to some of the better lower budget options I’m aware of.

Phoenix

Hi ttran,

[quote]www.wayfair.com/Eclipse-Perfection-Rest-...OS10GEL-XEC1207.html

this one looks pretty good 3.8lbhttp://www.wayfair.com/Eclipse-Perfection-Rest-10-Gel-Memory-Foam-Mattress-WYF-MOS10GEL-XEC1207.html[/quote]

I would want to know the density of the polyfoam base layer … especially with only an inch of memory foam above it (see the guidelines here). With such a thin layer of memory foam in the comfort layers this mattress would most likely be quite firm because you will be close to and feel much more of the firmer support layers in the mattress. It also only has an inch of memory foam (which is a very small amount) which is one of the reasons it’s in a much lower budget range since there isn’t much in the way of more costly materials in the mattress.

[quote]or
www.wayfair.com/Sleep-Innovations-Inc.-1…-95625-SINC1006.html[/quote]

This doesn’t include any of the foam quality information you would need to assess whether the mattress has any weak links or make meaningful comparisons to other mattresses (see this article).

Phoenix

gotcha sorry. So i guess your saying fork out a hundred or two for a much better quality mattress like this one

10" gel dreamfoam
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009SQK2CI/ref=cm_sw_su_dp

or this 10" dreamfoam latex (dont know much about latex. i will have to research on that)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CP7UDSA/ref=cm_sw_su_dp

seems like dreamfoam is a pretty good reputable company.

i like the 10" gel dreamfoam a lot, but its 500+. i sleep hot which is why i was looking at gel
https://www.amazon.com/DreamFoam-Mattress-Ultimate-Dreams-10-Inch/dp/B009SQK13I/ref=sr_1_21?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1406078373&sr=1-21&keywords=dreamfoam

this 10" regular memory foam looks nice and more in my budget range, but doesn’t list the weight of each layer
https://www.amazon.com/DreamFoam-Bedding-10-Inch-Memory-Mattress/dp/B00EPRCAVG/ref=sr_1_3?s=furniture&ie=UTF8&qid=1406076915&sr=1-3&keywords=gel+memory+foam+mattress

is this mattress a decent choice or should i go with the gel foam mattress in 10" by dream foam?

actually i think i found the perfect one…

11" dreamfoam gel mattress plush version which is what my wife prefers. rather than being too firm

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CP7UDSA/ref=cm_sw_su_dp

It is only a 3lb layer though

Hi ttran,

Unfortunately there are too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved for anyone to make specific suggestions for someone else based on specs (either yours or a mattress) or “theory at a distance” about “which” specific mattress to choose rather than “how” to choose (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here)

Dreamfoam is certainly a reputable company and they are one of the invited members of this site which means that I think highly of them and I believe they compete well with the best in the country in terms of their quality, value, and service.

When you can’t test a mattress in person then a more detailed conversation with a knowledgeable retailer or manufacturer is always your best source of guidance about which mattress would be the best choice for you in terms of PPP (posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences). They know more about their own mattresses and which ones tend to match different body types, sleeping positions, and preferences “on average” than anyone else and they help talk their customers through these types of choices every day.

There is also more about the most important parts of the “value” of a mattress purchase in post #13 here.

As you can see in the foam quality/density guidelines here … I would avoid 3 lb memory foam or any lower quality/density foam in anything more than “about an inch or so” regardless of the manufacturer unless you have absolutely no other options available because of severe budget restrictions or unless the mattress was for temporary or occasional use such as a guest bedroom. Even then I would consider a non memory foam mattress that was in the same or a lower budget range that used more durable materials unless for some reason you are absolutely committed to a memory foam mattress.

You can also read more about all the variables that can affect sleeping temperature (including more factual information about gel memory foams) in post #2 here.

Phoenix

I got ya phoenix. I know how hard it is to choose a mattress.

I’m 5’8" 170lbs, so im not a very big person. i sleep on my back and sides. I get hot pretty easily. I’m sure I can keep looking forever for a mattress. At this point, im willing to take the risk and just buying something online and hoping that it is what Im looking for. I like knowing the added value of weight and density of the memory foam, so that is what I’ve been looking for.

  1. DynastyMattress 10-inch Cool Gel Memory Foam Mattress-Queen Size
    Amazon.com
    -This seems like a great mattress. Well made. Good reviews. Certipur certified. comes with 2 free pillows.
    -2.5" GEL 4LB HD Memory Foam: Sleep Cool Technology Foam. CertiPUR® certified!
    4" Cool Airflow Foam Support, 3.5" High density foam for ultimate support base.
    Made with High Quality and durable 3-layer construction

would you recommend this mattress?

or would you still go with the dreamfoam?

  1. Ultimate Dreams Queen 11 Inch Plush Gel Memory Foam Mattress.
    Amazon.com
    -only 2.5" of 3 LB Gel Memory Foam
    -has option to select plush or firm

  2. DreamFoam Mattress Ultimate Dreams 10-Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress,
    Amazon.com
    -Two Layer construction: 3" of 4lb gel memory foam, 7" core of premium base foam

  3. Slumber Solutions Choose Your Comfort 12-inch Queen-size Gel Memory Foam Mattress
    Bed Bath & Beyond | The Best Deals Online: Furniture, Bedding, Rugs, Kitchen Essentials & Moree
    -Density: 3-inches of 3.5-pound gel memory foam, 3-inches of 1.8 pound polyurethane foam, 6-inches of 1.8-pound base foam

i like this one because it has a soft, medium, and firm setting to choose from before buying.

  1. Select Luxury Swirl Gel Memory Foam 10-inch Queen-size Medium Firm Mattress
    Bed Bath & Beyond | The Best Deals Online: Furniture, Bedding, Rugs, Kitchen Essentials & Moree

-this one is nice, but it only has a 1" top gel layer. This means it will be very firm right?
-Composition: 1-inch 3.8 pound Cool green swirl gel memory foam, 1.75-inch layer of transition foam, 7-inch supportive foam base

Hi ttran,

There are too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved for anyone (including me) to recommend a specific mattress for someone else based on specs or “theory at a distance” (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here). I can certainly help with “how to choose”, how to lower the risks of an online purchase, and how to avoid the worst choices, but the specifics of “what to choose” is up to you and your own “informed best judgement”.

The Amazon listing doesn’t provide all the specs of the mattress you would need to make an informed buying decision (see this article) so I would certainly want to know this before making any purchase. There is also more in posts #3 and #4 here and the posts it links to about Dynasty that I would read before buying any of their mattresses.

There are three key questions you will need to answer before choosing a mattress that are the most important parts of the “value” of a mattress purchase (see post #13 here).

The first of these is “how well am I likely to sleep on a mattress?”. To answer this you either need to carefully and objectively test a mattress in person or if that’s not possible then the most effective approach is to talk with a knowledgeable and experienced online retailer or manufacturer that has your best interests at heart and is more interested in helping you make the best possible choice than just “selling you anything they can” so you can decide on the suitability of any mattress you are considering in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences). No matter what the cost or quality of a mattress … if it’s not suitable for you to sleep on then it would have little value to you.

The second of these is “how long am I likely to sleep well on a mattress before it loses the comfort and support that was the reason that I bought it in the first place?”. All mattresses will soften and break down over time until you cross the thresholds between sleeping well on a mattress (assuming you did when it was new) to sleeping “just OK” to “tolerating it” to deciding that you need to replace it. No matter how well you sleep on a mattress when it is new … if the materials are low quality or there is a weak link in the mattress (see the guidelines here) then foam softening and the breakdown of materials will happen much more rapidly (sometimes in months). There is also little value to a mattress where you don’t sleep well on it for long enough to justify the price you paid … even if you did when it was new.

Finally there are all the other objective, subjective, and intangible parts of your personal value equation that are important to you. This is where you can assess the cost and risk of a purchase and the options you have after a purchase (and the costs involved) if your choice doesn’t turn out as well as you hoped along with all the other factors that can help you make meaningful comparisons between your final choices.

One of the most important parts of the process of making an online choice is your more detailed conversations with each manufacturer or retailer you are considering and without this you are really just “rolling the dice” or “throwing a dart at pictures on a wall with your eyes closed”.

Phoenix

ttran, thought I’d chime in not based on a huge background of mattress knowledge but because I’ve been in your shoes and wrote several of the companies you mentioned. Dynasty, Slumber Solutions, any of the Zinus brands (Night Therapy, BestPrice Mattress, Vivon, Spa Sensations), basically most of the Amazon listings and typical brands of lower cost “bed in a box” type mattresses from Overstock, Wayfair etc are similar. They’re a more affordable product and not necessarily bad but they’re hard to filter through. Like Phoenix said, most of these use 3-3.5lb density mem foam. Some use 4lb or even 5lb, but there’s different qualities of memory foam so one brands 5lb may not be all its’ cracked up to be.

It’s difficult to get the information out of them (I know from contacting Sleep Revolution and BestPrice Mattress, along with their parent company Zinus - and from my email correspondence with Linenspa). Poly foam density can give a better idea of general durability, but it can’t tell how it feels or how firm it is. So it’s a chunk of the answer but not the whole thing. Trying to sort through the sales pitches can be a bear. They use terms like ‘airflow’ foam when more often than not it’s really eggcrate foam. How well it transfers or channels air through the middle of the mattress to keep people cool is debatable since when you’re laying on it, it mashes flat. It’s not exactly a structural air duct inside with forced air flow. They promote huge warranties because the coverage is minimal and there’s no comfort guarantee. Foam softening isn’t covered. Significant body impressions aren’t covered until they’re beyond what most people would find tolerable. The biggest part of the problem is suitability and comfort since most can’t be tried out even for a few minutes in a store.

In my own searches into mem foam mattresses, I started to get sucked into the sales hype. Some brands will say gee, why are you paying x amount for a mattress which is all poly foam with only a couple inches of memory on top? Our mattress xyz gives you a full 5" of the “good stuff” which makes them sound better. The problem with 5" of memory foam is the way memory foam acts. It’s firm(er) (depending on ambient room temp etc) initially. Then when you lay on it, your body heat softens it giving the memory effect. It doesn’t smash flat, so it has some support but will generally continue to sink during the 7, 8, 9hrs you’re asleep. That can end up being a deep cradle with risk of throwing the body out of alignment. Maybe not in the first hour or two, but maybe halfway through the night. More isn’t always better.

I can relate a bit to what Phoenix is saying about the personal value and the risk involved. A family member of mine needed a new bed. Maybe it was beginners luck, maybe it’s because she’s physically smaller than some (around 5ft, 125lbs). She got a Spa Sensations 12" mem foam from WalMart. It had great reviews and I didn’t know what I do now from the months I’ve been a member of this forum. The mattress unpacked properly and swelled up to its’ proper size (some don’t fully expand). From the info I could get from Zinus, it uses 1.8lb density base foam in 2 different firmness layers and a 3rd layer of 3lb memory foam. Still nothing indicating firmness really and everyone has different ideals anyway. Initially it was quite firm on top, 7mo later and it’s a bit softer. This may be due to ambient temps, the difference between 65 degrees and 85-90 degrees (and yes the a/c is running lol). Luckily for her it’s working out great so far. She found good alignment and it’s comfy for her. I gave it a try since I needed a new bed also. It is comfy, in my opinion. However I’m 5’6 and around 190. After laying on it for 20-30min, despite feeling it was comfortable I wasn’t in alignment. I could feel my hips sinking laying on my side and back both. Had I based my decision off the trusted personal ‘review’ of a family member, I could very well have been disappointed. She wasn’t trying to steer me wrong, we’re just very different in physical size and what does in fact work for her, didn’t for me. It’s not a bad mattress, it’s not uncomfortable - it just isn’t supportive enough for me and therefor doesn’t work. For 300-350 depending on sales for a queen, I really wanted to like it. Had I jumped the gun and bought it, I have a feeling I would have been disappointed and rather than saving a few hundred, I would have spent a few hundred on something that didn’t work and had to start over. So far it’s only been 7mo so only time will tell how it continues to hold up for her.

That’s why someone can’t tell you what a good mattress will be. They can only tell you what works for them and despite how trustworthy and sincere they are, what works for them just may not work for you. Which will pretty much be a risk for any online sight unseen purchase. If Phoenix or anyone else were to tell you hey, this a great mattress. It feels incredible… and you found out it wasn’t comfortable for you or didn’t work for you in terms of support (which no one can really know but your own testing), your disappointment will fall on whoever made the suggestion. Just like my family member had no way of knowing that what worked so well for her turned out to be wrong for me. It sounds vague or non committal and when we’re in need of a mattress we just want answers. The best mattress in theory of materials for durability performance, longevity etc could end up being your worst nightmare if it’s too firm/soft or if you sink too deeply and end up with restless sleep or back and neck stiffness. Because there’s every body shape configuration and sleeping habit/position conceivable, there’s no way to estimate how a mattress will work out. Whereas something like car tires, they know roughly the weight range of common vehicles, the forces applied during turning, the friction wear over similar road surfaces. With more stable ‘variables’ they can rely on, it’s much easier to say tire xyz is a 50k mile rated tire. The more constant and reliable the variables, the more consistent the outcome. Mattresses just don’t work like that unfortunately.

If you are considering different mattress types (mem foam to latex), the often repeated advice is to try them in person if possible. I had to go several towns away to get to a mattress store and luckily they had latex beds to try. I’m so glad I did because not being familiar with it, there’s no way to ‘guess’ at what it’s like. That really is the best advice. I’m still amazed how a small piece of latex 3" thick can be easily smashed flat under my hand. Sitting on a ‘test block’ 16x16" by 6" thick, it disappeared beneath me and I thought no way will this work. Laid down on 6" thick in a twin size and felt like being on a pool float riding on top of the water. Had I bought blind, I’m sure I would have gone way too firm for my liking. It’s like trying to describe “silly putty” to someone who’s never seen it, trying to tell them if you pull it slow it stretches - if you pull it fast it will break and snap - you can roll it in a ball, roll it paper thin, press it on a newspaper and it will peel up with a copy of the image on it. No way to really grasp how it can be all those things.

Thanks for the reply brass. Yall both make a lot of sense to me which is why I guess you will always see one reviewer saying its too soft and then the next comes along and says its too firm.

I guess I will just have to take the plunge and just pick of these mattresses and see how it works for me. I will do a review once I get settled in.

thanks again everyone

Hi brass,

Great post … and thanks for taking the time to write it and share your thoughts and insights :slight_smile:

@ ttran,

I’m looking forward to finding out what you end up deciding.

Just as some food for thought … talking with a reliable and experienced retailer or manufacturer that has your best interests at heart and is more concerned with helping you choose a suitable mattress than they are with “selling you” anything they can can be a big part of tilting the odds of making a successful purchase in your favor.

Phoenix

Beautyrest is a good mattress brand for high grade memory foam mattress.

You can check http://reviewkid.com/beautyrest-recharge-world-class-manorville-luxury-firm-mattress-queen/ as well.