Help With Mattress Selection

First off I wanted to thank you all for your help and for putting this site together as I have learned a lot from reading on this site. My wife and I are obviously in the market for a new mattress. We began our shopping experience at the big box stores (Mattress Firm, etc.) just to get a feel for what we like. After laying on a lot of beds, we think that we like foam (mostly have tried memory, have not tried latex yet, but want to). We REALLY enjoyed the Sealy Optimum Radiance mattress. However, I have not been able to find any detailed information about the foams used in this bed. They simply use their jargon on the website like “Opticore foam” etc.

Does anyone know any more specifics about the comfort/core specifications of this bed? We are planning to go to some local stores similar to what are recommended in the articles on this site, and I would like to be able to be slightly more specific than just ‘foam’ when we go to try mattresses. I was hoping to find out more about the Radiance specifications to help guide us.

Secondly, does anyone have any recommendations for stores in the Charleston, SC area? We are going to be visiting Charleston bedding as well as Charleston Mattress tomorrow.

Thanks very much in advance!

Hi bggarric,

You can find my thoughts and most of the specs on the Sealy Optimum lineup (including the Radiance) in post #48 here. Like all the major manufacturer mattresses it can take some digging to find some of the specs and none of the retailers that sell them even seem to care that they have no clue about the quality of the materials that are in the mattresses they are selling. In the end though, finding all the specs for major brand mattresses just ends up with the same “poor value” outcome for the time and effort it takes to find them … but at least it’s nice to know what you are testing when you can.

Some of the better options I’m aware of in the Charleston area (including Charleston Mattress and Charleston Bedding) are in post #2 here.


So I have a conundrum. We have shopped around at some local spots and have our search down to 2 mattresses we like. We still really like the way the Sealy Optimum Radiance feels. We have been quoted $912.49 for the Radiance. This price includes everything including taxes, delivery, platform, bed frame, and mattress cover. This would come with a 10 year warranty. (This is a 'Big Box bed coming from a Big Box store, however despite my education from this site, we still preferred the feel of this mattress over any others we have tried)

As stated in other posts the Radiance is a 10" Mattress with 2" of 3.7lb gel foam over 2" of 4 lb memory foam over 6" of 1.5 lb poly.

Our other mattress that we like is made by Golden Mattress Company. It is a very comparable mattress called the Cool Gel Euro Top (nearly identical specs wise). This mattress would cost $1075 including taxes, platform and delivery.

This bed has 3" of 4lb gel foam over 8" 2# poly.

Ultimately, the GMC mattress felt a little firmer and also felt a little more supportive while the Sealy felt more comfortable (I’m a side sleeper) but I still felt as if I had enough support.

Ultimately, I’d like to know if either of these beds are terrible at this price point. I realize that normally a Sealy would not contribute much value, but with all of the ‘freebies’ and the price of everything out the door, I can’t help but feel like it is a decent price for what is provided.

I also feel like the GMC bed is a nearly identical bed specification wise with less ‘freebies’ and a bit more expensive.

Any thoughts? My only concern with the Sealy is that it felt a bit softer than the GMC going from the GMC to the Sealy. I am concerned that this bed may end up being too ‘soft’ for me especially after the break in period.

While I feel more comfortable on soft beds, I am not 100% sure I actually sleep better on them. Our current mattress is a pillowtop that my wife brought with her when she moved in and I have not slept well on it. I have been traveling a lot lately, and have actually slept very well in the hotel rooms on what I consider to be ‘firmer’ mattresses.

Hi bggarric,

What size are you looking at?

Sealy Optimum Radiance:

I would be very hesitant to buy a mattress based only on subjective feelings of “comfort” which will change once the mattress has broken in and over time after that. I would also be very hesitant to buy a mattress with 4" of 4 lb or less memory foam over a questionable quality base foam (1.5 is relatively low quality base foam material). While the “showroom feel” of a mattress like this can be great … it won’t last over time and the loss of comfort and support that comes from the softening of the foam isn’t covered by a warranty (which are mostly about marketing and protecting the manufacturer against claims not protecting the consumer and they have little to nothing to do with the useable life of a mattress). This is a lot of low/mid grade foam which will be subject to softening initially and over time. Even low quality foam can feel great initially or in a showroom … it just won’t stay that way for nearly as long as higher quality materials or a more suitable construction. This may be OK for someone with lowered expectations for durability or who was lighter than average.

Golden Cool Gel Euro Top:

While this has an inch less of memory foam … it also has a much higher quality base layer and it would also be a much less risky construction because there is less memory foam to soften over time and the base layer will be more durable as well.

I certainly share your concerns about a softer mattress that uses lower quality materials and I would also choose a mattress that was a little on the firm side because you can always “fix” a mattress that is too firm but there is little you can do when a mattress is too soft (or quickly becomes that way).

Their relative value would depend on the size you are considering and their suitability would depend on whether 4 lb memory foam was suitable for your weight or on how much of it there was in the mattress (less can be better).

Hope this helps



Thanks for your response. I understand what you’re saying and actually have been conveying some of these concerns to my wife. We are looking at King sized mattresses, and our budget is admittedly low for our expectations (we ideally would not like to go over $1000 as we are both students).

I am 5’ 10" 160# and my wife is 5’ 7" 125#

I cannot find many reviews on the GMC mattress which makes me hesitant (I realize reviews are extremely subjective and rarely offer good info). We have considered some of the cheaper online beds that are better quality but are scared to order something that would be difficult/impossible/expensive to return.

I am also looking at one of the Sealy Optimum mattresses.

I have it narrowed down to two king size mattresses.

Any thoughts on the Sealy Optimum Elation vs the Glacier from Parklane Mattresses.

I’m finding very few reviews on the Elation.

Thank you.

Hi bggarric,

I certainly understand your hesitation about an online order.

There are several online choices listed in post #12 here which are among the better online choices available and are also very good at providing guidance over the phone. I use these as a “value reference” as well. I would suggest talking with a few of them (especially the ones that are members here) and telling them about what you have tested, what they may have that is similar (or better) and about their exchange or return policies as well. At least that way you would have some good value reference points and you would know what was available to you and how you felt about the potential benefits of an online order vs a local purchase .

You would probably be much clearer about which direction you were most comfortable with that way and would feel better about whichever direction you chose to go. I generally use a guideline that if an online purchase of a similar or better mattress is about 20% or so less in an apples to apples comparison then I would consider it to be roughly equivalent value (making up for the additional risk of an online order).

If the local premium was less than about 20% … I would more strongly consider a local purchase. If it was more than about 20% or so I would more strongly consider an online purchase … particularly if some of the other benefits (customization, layer exchanges or mattress returns etc) made them less risky.

Out of the ones you are looking at locally … I would certainly be leaning towards the Golden. Your lighter weights means that 4 lb memory foam will be more durable than it would for higher weights and as you mentioned reviews are not only mostly subjective but can be very misleading as well because a mattress is only as good as the quality of the materials in it. In many cases reviews (outside of reviews for the service provided at a retailer) are more like the blind leading the blind (see post #44 here) because most consumers have no idea of how to tell the quality of a mattress they purchased and in most cases everyone just follows everyone else over the cliff.

In any case … a few calls to some of the online retailers will likely help you no matter which direction you decide to go.


Hi aaenglish,

I switched your post to a new topic to keep me from mixing them up :slight_smile:

As you can see from post #48 here which has the details of the Optimum lineup and in the mattress guidelines here … I don’t think very highly of the Optimum lineup in terms of quality/value and like all of the major manufacturers I would tend to avoid them completely.

Parklane on the other had has some of the best quality and value in the country which is why they were invited to become a member of this site.

There would be no doubt in my mind which one I would recommend.


PS: It may be a good idea to switch your username to just the part before the @ to keep email harvesters from adding you to their spam lists. If you contact me at the contact link on top of the page I’d be happy to change it for you (it can’t be changed by a user).