For the past few years we have owned a California King Sealy luxury plush euro pillowtop (known as Bloomburg, Bloomsbruy, etc). We loved it for the first few months perhaps to a year. Then it started to sag where we slept, creating increasingly unbearable valleys with a hill in between. We recently had it tested and Sealy has approved replacing it or giving us a credit towards another of their mattresses. From this experience and “trying out” memory foam mattresses at the store, we are soured on innerspring mattresses and are interested in either a memory foam or latex foam bed, although this will force us to chip in to buy it as the credit most likely won’t be enough.
I am a side sleeper primarily (roll/move around a bit at night), and so a mattress that is too firm probably won’t work for me. I also prefer my bed on the cool side (although my wife likes it warm).
We are stuck with the Sealy brand for this mattress due to the credit (nearly $1000) and few more years left on the warranty. Suggestions?
I have my eye on Optimum Inspiration or Radiance (Elation is a bit too expensive). I am also interested in any thoughts on Sealy’s Embody latex mattresses (Shelter and Perspective) and Sealy’s comfort series cape coral plush, although I have not had an opportunity to test drive any of these.
Thoughts and pros and cons of these models would be most appreciated.
The biggest issue with all of the major brand mattresses is not so much the innerspring (which are generally good quality) but the comfort layers on the top of the mattress which use lower quality materials and will be the first to soften and degrade. This is likely to happen regardless of whether you choose an innerspring or another type of support layer or component. In almost all cases … the comfort layers on top are the ones that are the most important part of durability and the inability to find out what they are (and when you do, discovering that they are generally low quality) is common in all the major brands.
This thread has a similar theme and may be of interest to you.
If you are “stuck” with an exchange with a brand that has the same problem throughout their lineup (poor quality or poor value) … then the best you can generally do is to buy the mattress with the least amount of polyfoam (or other low quality foam including lower density memory foam which will have the same issues) in the top layers and the firmest foams possible (firmer foams tend to be more durable than softer foams) and then add your own comfort layer in the form of a topper. The topper will improve the durability of thefoams in the mattress and with this type of component sleeping system … the comfort layers would be more durable and if they do wear out before the deeper layers and you lose comfort or support … then just the topper can be replaced without replacing the whole mattress.
[quote]I have my eye on Optimum Inspiration or Radiance (Elation is a bit too expensive). I am also interested in any thoughts on Sealy’s Embody latex mattresses (Shelter and Perspective) and Sealy’s comfort series cape coral plush, although I have not had an opportunity to test drive any of these. [/quote].
You can see my thoughts about the Sealy Optimum series here and as you can see I wouldn’t consider any of them as the best use of an exchange credit because of the lower quality or the “unknown” memory foam in the comfort layers (and in some cases the support layers as well). I would avoid these.
The Embody latex mattresses at least don’t have thick layers of polyfoam on top even though they use the lowest quality of latex (mostly synthetic). If you buy the firmest model of these (the insightful here) and then add a softer topper (if necessary which it probably would be) then at least you wouldn’t have the same issues of low quality polyfoam on top of your mattress. While I would never buy one of these if I was buying a new mattress because there is better quality/value available and because they use a lower quality base layer than I would prefer, … in your circumstances they could make a good choice for a “base” mattress for a topper which together would avoid most of the problems of most of the Sealy lineup and may help you make the best of a bad situation.
The Sealy comfort series is also not a good choice IMO. You can see the Cape Coral layering here and it has far too much lower quality polyfoam in the comfort layers and also has a lower quality base. I think you would be asking for foam softening issues with this and it wouldn’t be suitable for adding a topper (there are already too many thick layers of soft foam on top). If I did choose one of the Comfort series it would be more like this one but even here there is 2" of polyfoam on top (which is still more than you would want) and none of the other materials are very good quality ether.
Phoenix has linked you to my thread. I’m somewhat of a vetern in this game. It is becoming increasingly apparent that the mattress biz is a racket and about all of the major brands are junk.
I’ll make Sealy/Stearns warranty what I have but I’m not certain if We’ll “use it up” or if we’ll save it as a guest bed. I might have Verlo build a flippable or may try air which has proven to work for me.
My “latex” Sealy is so bad it’s pathetic. Last night she yielded part of her side so I could try to ride the middle. The fall away to my “hole” is so bad that I practically rolled right off the ridge…
Sealy Spring free Beachside. Not sure how it compares to the Embody, but it is my understanding that it’s a poly foam mattress with a little latex inside. Had it failed iutside of warranty I’d have certainly had an autopsy performed.
Firm Euro pillow top is what I’m looking at probably a gel series to try to eliminate as much poly foam as possible.
The Beachside was one of the Sealy “Springfree” lineup which is similar to the current Stearns & Foster Luxury Latex lineup.
It had a “smart latex” core (which had various layers of synthetic Dunlop latex) and a mix of polyfoam and in some cases some thinner latex layers in the comfort layers. The polyfoam in the comfort layers (usually 3" or more) are usually the issue with these (unlike the Embody which doesn’t contain any polyfoam in the comfort layers). Many people thought (and were told) they were sleeping on latex with these when in fact they were sleeping directly on polyfoam with all the potential durability issues that can be connected with lower density polyfoam layers in the upper part of a mattress.
I don’t intend to question your esteemed opinions, but perhaps you can help me understand a few points.
Is your suggestion based on the fact that the latex foam will not be a prone to permanent softening/indentations as the memory foams used in these Sealy lines?
Why do you suggest the most firm Embody mattress, instead of a more plush version?
Will the use of a topper prevent the foam in the mattress from becoming permanently indented? If not, why not either select a more plush model (say 5 inches of latex vs 3 inches), and why use a topper at all? If it does prevent permanent indentation, would a firm innerspring be just as sound of a choice as the latex mattress? If we decide on an optimum after test driving the various models, will the topper defeat the purpose of the upper gel infused layer and the pressure/heat molding effect of the vicoelastic material?
I am mainly a side sleeper and need to have a fair amount of cushion below my side (or so I think). Will a 1 inch topper on such a firm mattress suffice?
Is a gel-infused memory foam topper a good choice? What topper do you recommend?
Sorry for all of the follow-up questions, but I don’t want to be unhappy in a couple of years again. Thanks again for your thoughts and suggestions.
I think that questioning any opinions (including my own) is a healthy process because there are too many “expert” opinions on the internet (and other places) that don’t answer the “why” behind the “what” and are more self serving and designed to sell something than they are meant to educate. When ideas make sense to you and fit what I call the “preponderance of the evidence” (there may never be any absolutely correct opinions that fit all circumstances) … then you are in a much better position to make better choices that make sense to you.
All materials including latex will soften, degrade, oxidize, and break down over time so there is really no such thing as a material that won’t develop permanent impressions or soften under weight to some degree or over some period of time (unless you are talking about materials that aren’t suitable for use in a mattress which need the ability to compress and give under weight). The difference is in how long each material will take to do so and how long a mattress (or more accurately the materials inside the mattress) can maintain the degree of comfort and support that matched your needs and preferences in the first place. Latex as a category is the most durable of all the foam materials but even here there are many variables that will determine how long any specific mattress will last for you. There is more about the many factors involved in durability and how long a mattress may last for any particular person in post #2 here.
It may help to think of a mattress as a support layer on the bottom (which provides the the primary support of the mattress), comfort layers on top (which provides the primary pressure relief of the mattress) and then layers in the middle in some cases which are “transition” layers (or sometimes areas in the middle of the mattress rather than separate layers) which provide a little of both (they help with support and help with pressure relief) and make the transition between the firmer support layers and the softer comfort layers smoother and more gradual (rather than “going through” a comfort layer that is very soft and thin and feeling too much of the firmer support layers below it).
There are also differences between synthetic latex (SBR), natural latex (NR) and blends of the two as well as different types of latex manufacturing (Talalay and Dunlop process) which determine their performance and durability. you can see more about the differences between SBR and NR rubber in post #2 here (which has some reference links) and in post #2 here.
As you can see from these links … Synthetic Dunlop latex is not the most durable or best performing type of latex. If you were to choose an Embody mattress that was softer on top … then the upper synthetic Dunlop latex layers of the mattress would tend to soften and wear before the lower layers and when this led to the loss of comfort or support you would need to replace the whole mattress.
If on the other hand you chose the model that used a thinner and firmer layer of this same synthetic Dunlop latex … then it would make a good transition layer (not too soft and not too firm) and you could add a topper that used a higher quality, possibly more suitable, and more durable version of latex (or other material) as a comfort layer to customize your own comfort layer. This way the topper would increase the durability of the synthetic latex in the top of the Embody (the topper would absorb much of the regular compression forces). If the topper used a higher quality latex … it would also be more durable than synthetic Dunlop. In addition to this though … even a more durable version of latex that is soft enough for most people as a comfort layer can soften more rapidly than the deeper layers of the mattress (which are less subject to repeated compression) and if this happens or if your needs and preferences change over time … then all you have to do is change the topper rather than the whole mattress.
In other words … the suggestion of the firmest model (the Insight) was based on which model of the Embody would be most suitable as a base mattress in combination with a “custom topper” for use as a sleeping system which would be more durable as a whole and have more flexible choices and options available to you over both the short and long term.
While it won’t prevent a permanent indentation (nothing can do that over the course of time) … it will significantly lengthen the time it will take for deeper layers to develop soft spots or permanent impressions…
A good innerspring would also make a very durable and sound choice as a support layer in a latex hybrid mattress. While it won’t have the same performance characteristics as a latex core … a good innerspring is not likely to be the weak link of any mattress that has comfort layers on top that aren’t too thin (very thin comfort layers would lead to the the innersprings doing more of the work and this would affect their durability). In most cases … if you take a mattress that has “failed” … you will find the innersprings are still fine and it is the upper layers that are the problem. While it’s true that good quality firm latex would be a more durable support system than an innerspring … it would be rare that this increased durability would be a practical issue in a mattress when it is the comfort layers that are the weakest link. Generally the choice between a good quality innerspring and a latex core is one of performance and preference rather than one of durability (of course to some degree durability would also be an issue depending on someone’s weight and on the thickness, softness, and durability of the comfort layers). They are different in how they feel and respond to weight and compression. You can read a little more about the differences between an innerspring and a latex support system in post #2 here.
I’m guessing you mean any temperature regulating benefits of the gel foam (gel can also add to other qualities of a material such as compression modulus which is how quickly it gets firmer with deeper compression). This would depend entirely on what type of topper you used and on its cooling effect on the overall mattress in combination with all the other components and materials in your “sleeping system”. There are different types of cooling technologies (phase change, thermal conduction, and ventilation and humidity control) and if the topper (along with the mattress protector, sheets, and bedding) had better temperature regulating qualities than the gel memory foam in the optimum it would help with temperature regulation. If it had worse temperature regulating qualities than the gel memory foam in the optimum … it could detract from overall temperature regulation. It would also be worth noting that phase change materials are more effective “at a distance” than thermal conductive materials (which require closer contact). You can read more about the many factors involved in temperature regulation in post #16 here.
If you add a layer above memory foam … it will generally lower the ability of heat to reach the memory foam which will make it less responsive to temperature and firmer (or at least it will lengthen the time that the memory foam takes to soften under the heat of the body which can make it feel firmer). Different memory foams are more or less temperature sensitive so different memory foam formulations will be affected differently and to different degrees. They will all be affected though to different degrees. This can be a positive or a negative depending on the needs and preferences of each person and on the type of surface feel they prefer.
Gel memory foam is just a category of foam with many variations and versions in the category. You can see some of the different types of gel foams in post #2 here. If it is a more durable version of gel (which doesn’t have the larger particulates in it) and you are attracted to the other benefits of gel memory foam (such as temporary regulation of temperature until temperatures even out or the improved durability of some types or the improved support factor that gel can provide) … then they can make a good choice yes. I would base my choices on the knowledge of the supplier of any topper you are considering because if they are knowledgeable they will be able to tell you more about the specific benefits of the types of memory foams or gel memory foams they carry.
Some of the better sources for memory foam and other toppers or components are listed in post #4 here. I don’t recommend specific toppers (except to avoid the use of more thickness and softness than you need so there is less risk to alignment) because the choice of material is a personal preference that is unique to each individual. I would also suggest though that no matter what material you prefer in a topper … that you use the best quality and durability material possible because a topper will be the most likely weak link of a mattress (the top layer which is most subject to repeated compression, softening, and breakdown).
The thickness and softness of a topper that is most suitable would depend on many factory including your body type, sleeping positions, preferences, and on the mattress it was being added to and how much more softness you needed in addition to the pre-existing comfort layers in the mattress to reach your “ideal”.
In very subjective softness terms … you can go by 1" as “a touch to a little” more softness … 2" as “a little to a fair bit” more … and 3" as being a “fair bit to a lot” more. I would first sleep on a mattress without a topper to help decide any degree of additional softness I needed. Thinner toppers would be less pressure relieving (compared to thicker toppers of the same material) but would carry more risk for support alignment because they would put you further away from the support layers of the mattress. The key with toppers is “just enough” but no more.
Questions are always welcome … and if you have them then so will others
So, it has been a few months since we began this ordeal. We bought a gel memory foam topper to try on our exisiting mattress to make sure that we would like it and that it wouldn’t move around, etc., and generally we do.
Sealy has offered to exchange our old mattress for a Valmont (from my research on Internet appears to be the Cooper Mountain as well).
The Valmont comes in an Ultra Firm which has .5 inch hypersoft initial layer in quilting, 2.0 inches of what they call Marvelux, which is supposed to be their most resilient foam, and then 1.0 inch Sealy Foam.
We are also considering the Firm, which my research shows has 1.5 inches hypersoft in quilting, 1 inch supersoft sealy foam, 1 inch sealy foam and 1 inch of high performance sealy foam.
Both are reinforced in the middle third to resist depressions, but I am not sure if that comprises a layer of memory foam, extra coils, or what exactly.
The mattress we are replacing was a eurotop with about 7 inches of foam, probably including a lot of supersoft foam and/or convulated foam, which formed impressions badly and we will never buy a eurotop again. It was comfy for maybe a year, though.
The store we have to make the exchange through does not have either the Firm or Ultra Firm, and if we order one of these we have to keep it. The Ultra Firm has the least chance of future impressions, but we are concerned that even with the topper it will be too firm (for example I put the topper on the floor and took a nap, which over time became uncomfortable as the topper sank to the floor where my body was- it has softened over time). Our fear with the Firm is that it will develop depressions, just like the old mattress.
I believe the Marvelux is 1.7 lb foam which at least is higher quality than most of the foams that Sealy uses and it’s under only 1/2" of Sealy foam so in its price range it’s probably close to as good as it gets.
If this is the Cooper Mountain Ultra Firm then it also has the DSx coils(dual stage) rather than the SS coils (single stage) which are a little better and more conforming.
The layering of the Cooper Mountain Firm is here which uses more and lower quality foams (more to soften and impress) with a middle section or “core support” of memory foam.
I would personally choose a mattress with the least amount of polyfoam rather than more (particularly if the more is super soft or regular Sealy foam) and add a topper using a higher quality material for a comfort layer and the pressure relief you need. In the case of Sealy … less is more IMO.