mattress choice comparison

Hi cbcb,

Yes … the only information that is available or visible to any other members is your user name and what you post. I am the administrator of the site so I personally can access any information you provided when you registered but this is not given to anyone else for any reason.

Post #1 here has the most simple and effective steps I know that will lead you to the best possible mattress for your own unique needs and preferences. The most important things to remember is to test specifically for pressure relief, support/alignment, your other preferences, and to make sure you know the layering of any mattress you are testing so that you can identify any potential weak links. The post I mentioned has links in it to help you with all of this.

Other than that … it’s always much easier and more effective to work with people who are “experts” and already know this information and will help explain it to you in ways that make sense to you than to try to become an expert yourself. They will already know what you would otherwise need to learn to make the best choices. The information the post links to and the overviews will give you a clear idea about who really knows their stuff and has your best interests at heart vs. who is more focused on marketing or promotional information and is more concerned with selling you anything they can and their profit or commission.

Post #4 here may also be well worth reading.

This is not so much a matter of material as it is the design of a mattress and the firmness of the layering and materials that are in the mattress. Every material has softer and firmer versions and designs so a mattress that uses softer or thicker layers in the comfort layers than what you have been testing (which provides the primary pressure relief) and suitably firm materials in the deeper layers (which provides the primary support and alignment of a mattress) would be the direction I would go. Both latex and memory foam (and any other type of material) comes in a wide variety of designs and softness/firmness levels that provide different levels of pressure relief and support/alignment. Finding the best design for you that provides you with your basic needs and preferences (pressure relief and support/alignment) along with the other preferences of feel and performance that can come from the materials themselves is the goal of testing. Outside of your basic needs (pressure relief and alignment) … everything else is a matter of preferences that are unique to you along with knowing the materials in the mattress so you can reasonably assess its durability and make meaningful comparisons with other mattresses that are similar to assess their “value” relative to other mattresses. The “job” of a good sleep consultant (and most in the industry are unfortunately not that knowledgeable) is to help and educate you about all of this as it relates to the mattresses they sell.

An adjustable bed can make a great choice but in most cases they are an option rather than a necessity. You can read more about my thoughts on these in post #3 here and the link it contains to more information in the adjustable bed thread. Using pillows outside of under your head and neck can certainly make a difference in your sleeping comfort and support (under the knees for back sleepers, under the pelvis for stomach sleepers, and between the knees for side sleepers) but this will not replace or be the same as the function of an adjustable bed.

When I was testing mattresses I went to some of the places I was testing half a dozen times or more. Anyone who suggests an iComfort is focused more on “showroom feel” though than they are on the quality or value of the mattress because they won’t be able to tell you the quality of the materials inside it and without this information quality is a meaningless word. No matter how a mattress feels in a showroom in terms of comfort and support … if the materials don’t have good quality they won’t maintain their comfort and support for the long term and the loss of comfort and support is not covered by any warranty. many of the listings in this forum are “possibilities” and I will usually list the manufacturers I would consider there. You would never see the iComfort or Serta included in the mattresses I would suggest in any retailer listing either for testing purposes or for a purchase.

All the suggestions are always subject to finding a knowledgeable person at the outlets that are listed and no matter where you buy or what is listed anywhere … if you are dealing with someone who can’t tell you the details of the specific mattress you are considering (and you are not inclined to spend a lot of time doing research that your salesperson should be doing on your behalf) I wouldn’t spend any time even testing it because it will cause more confusion and frustration than it will help you make a good choice. No matter where you go … I would only test mattresses where the quality details of what is in that specific mattress are readily available to you. The iSleeporganic mattresses use some good quality materials and I believe that they will also provide you with the specific details of all the layers that they use.

Diamond is a regional manufacturer that is making some better than average quality and value mattresses but once again … if the retailer can’t tell you the specific details of the mattress you are considering (and doesn’t phone the manufacturer to find out what you need to know) then I would pass that mattress by … at least at that store … and only consider it at a retailer that can provide you with the information you need to make informed choices.

Sherwood is another regional manufacturer that is making some good quality and value mattresses. Once again though ts important to know the specifics of the layering so you can make more meaningful quality and value comparisons with other mattress. This includes the thickness of the layers and the specific quality of every layer (especially including any memory foam or polyfoam in the mattress). Solid gel materials are very high quality and very durable as they mentioned and much more costly than other types of foam (such as memory foam) that only infuse some gel into the foam. They are also more costy than latex. Whether they are 'worth" the additional cost over other high quality materials would depend entirely on whether the benefits of that specific mattress in terms of PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and Personal preferences) justified the extra cost. Their mattresses that use solid gel are significantly less than others that use an inch of a similar material and are much more costly (such as the Technogel mattresses here) which have an inch of solid gel in the top layer and the rest of the mattress is polyfoam. The questioin to ask is does this mattress provide the type of PPP that justifies its cost over other mattresses that use high quality materials that are less costly. Only each person can answer that question based on their personal testing and “value equation”.

So what you are looking for is a layer by layer outline of the mattress along these lines …

1 1/4" layer of engineered HD foam with 3/4" soy-based gel poured into it: What is the density of the HD foam used as a base?

1" or 4.7 lb soy based gel infused memory foam: This would generally be a good quality material but it would depend to some degree on the type of gel memory foam being used

1" of 4 lb soy-based memory foam: This is a medium quality/density memory foam but is also deeper in th mattress which would improve its durability.

NOTE: I’m not clear on which of these two layers is on top of the other.

Unknown thickness of 2.0 lb polyfoam support core: This is a good quality material and suitable for use as the support layer.

Based on these specs … there are no “low quality” materials in this mattress (with the possible exception of the polyfoam that is part of the gel topper but this is thinner so any softening would have less overall effect on the mattress). I would want to know if the gel memory foam is infused together as a liquid or if it has particulates (see this post about the different types of gel foams). there are no obvious “weak links” however.

If this layering is correct and subject to confirming the missing details … this seems to be a reasonable choice based on quality but its value would depend on how it performed and matched your needs and preferences compared to other mattress that did the same.

This thread (someone that was happy with their choice) and post #6 here (from someone that wan’t as happy) may also be worth reading.

Hope this helps …