"Major" Brands Sealy Optimum?

Hi Dymnd,

Unfortunately you are in a similar set of circumstances to several others that have posted on the forum (needing to exchange a mainstream mattress for another mainstream mattress). This is a difficult position to be in but there are some better approaches that can help minimize the “damage”. Some of my comments in post #2 here and in post #4 here to forum members in similar circumstances may be helpful.

As you can see … the main goal is to either choose a mattress where the materials are both known and better quality (although this can be difficult or impossible to find out in many cases with major brands) or to choose a mattress which has the least amount of questionable or unknown materials (this mostly involves using the least amount of polyfoam in the upper layers) and then add your own comfort layers as a topper where you can choose the quality of the material. this approach has several advantages. The first is that you can choose any type of comfort layer that you wish in any type of material. the second is that it takes a more modular approach to your sleeping system where the modules can be replaced. The upper layers of a mattress are usually the “weak link” of a mattress and the ones that will soften and degrade the fastest resulting in the loss of comfort and/or support. This softening is not covered by any warranty. If the upper layers are replaceable … then if they wear out faster than the rest of the mattress (which is likely) … they can be replaced without replacing the whole mattress.

An example of the first approach would be trying to exchange for one of the Sealy Optimum line in the hopes that it uses better quality materials. Unfortunately … there is no way to know this for sure unless the specs of the materials they use are available and they don’t release all the specs to the consumer. Even the retailers that I’ve talked to don’t know the density of all the memory foam that Sealy uses in the Optimum. Based on their history however … they would either be lower quality or higher quality and overpriced. I’ve updated the information about the Optimum lineup in post #48 here which may help somewhat if you choose to go in this direction.

The differences in the mattresses you are mentioning would come from differences in the memory foams they use along with any difference in the polyfoam cores they use. The Optimum line replaced the Embody line (although both are still available) and if you go here and click on each model, you will see that the Embody line uses several different types of memory foams including 2.5 lbs, 4 lbs, 5 lbs, and 7 lbs in various combinations. The Optimum lineup is likely similar and the “why’s” behind the different feels will make more sense as more of the specs of the mattress become available over time (if they do).

The Elation has a 5" memory foam middle layer and is the softest of the lineup (for most people) but the feel of a mattress can be changed with the use of different types and densities of materials along with different thicknesses of the layers.

So overall there are really 3 things you can do.

  1. Make sure the foundation itself is not the issue. If you have a more rigid no flex foundation then the middle area shouldn’t be substantially different from each side. This may happen over time though because the sides are used more than the middle and foam will generally go through an initial softening or “break in” period over the first few weeks and this may be what is happening for you. so this may have less to do with the foundation than with foam softening. How much this initial softening will affect each person will depend on whether the softening puts you outside your tolerance range in terms of pressure relief and support. If you were on the edge of your support needs when the mattress was new … then this initial softening may have put you over the line and made the mattress unsuitable or less than ideal for you … even though it may still be fine for someone else who was more in the middle of their range when the mattress was new (like your husband).

  2. Exchange for another mattress (like the Optimum) that you can confirm uses better materials which are more appropriate for your needs and preferences and that will also be more durable and suitable over the long term. I would also take the initial softening into account so that what meets your needs and preferences in a showroom won’t end up outside your range once again when the breakin period is complete. After the initial breakin period … softening is generally more gradual over a longer period of time.

  3. Exchange for another mattress which is as firm as possible and uses the least amount of polyfoam (or memory foam) in the comfort layers and use this as a “base” for a topper of your choice. This will take some research into the layering of the Stearns & Foster lineup to discover which model would be most suitable. there are many online outlets which provide the layering of each model (although they don’t provide quality/density specs). For example … this site lists all the specs of the Stearns & Foster lineup and in the Luxury Collection the Josette Ultra firm (3" of polyfoam and 1/2" of memory foam) would likely be the best option for this approach, in the Estate Collection the Twila (4" of polyfoam) or the Felisha (3" polyfoam and 1" of memory foam) would be the best, and in the Luxury Latex collection the Villa (only 1" of polyfoam but has a mostly synthetic latex core which is more expensive than an innerspring) would be the best choice. These would be a way to make the best out of a difficult situation and build a “component” sleeping system.

If you have other choices available for an exchange besides the Optimum lineup or the Stearns and Foster lineup … then the same general ideas would apply to these as well.

Hope this helps.