memory foam choices

I am looking at buying a memory foam mattress. It doesn’t have to be a name brand, but I think most of the time you get what you pay for. I tried out and liked a Sealy Optimum Elation, Serta Prodigy, and Temue- Cloud Luxe. We were quite surprised at the cost. I would love some advice and guidance in this major decision. I live in Morehead City, NC and don’t mind a drive to save a few $.


Latex is preferred over memory foam around here from what I have seen. But if you are set on memory foam, I would research the construction of memory foam mattresses and you should be able to replicate even the most high end memory foam mattresses for a very reasonable price. You want to get a good quality foam, usually a foam with a five pound density at minimum. Most memory foam mattresses actually only have five inches or less of actual memory foam and the rest of the mattress is comprised of convoluted foam and regular polyfoam.

If you take the time to search this very forum, you will find some great posts by others as well as myself about memory foam mattresses.

Will start checking it out. Maybe I’m confused. Thinking Tempur-Pedic is memory foam.

You are not confused at all, Tempurpedic is indeed memory foam AKA visco elastic foam. Most of their mattresses are ~ four inches of visco elastic foam over polyfoam. They use convoluted foam for airflow. Pretty simple construction.

Hi Karen,

The first thing I would suggest is to read this article which will help you avoid most of the lower quality and value choices when you are shopping for a mattress. Hopefully it will keep you away from the chain stores and major brands that offer lower quality mattresses at higher prices than either local manufacturers or smaller sleep shops that sell mattresses made by smaller independent or local manufacturers.

The most important first step is to first research and identify any of the better local outlets or manufacturers who have the quality, service, and value that most consumers want but rarely find in the mass market outlets. Once you’ve done this … finding a mattress that fits what you need and prefer becomes much easier. At better outlets you will find people who have the knowledge and experience to help educate you about why certain mattresses would work better for you than others and give you the information you need to make meaningful comparisons between mattresses instead of the more typical “marketing stories” and techniques that are designed to boost commissions or profit margins more than they will help you make your best choices.

Some of the better online sources of memory foam mattresses that can either act either as a “value” reference or as a buying source (if the value is better than any of your local options) are in post #12 here. The manufacturing members of this site who are listed there are particularly good choices.

Surprisingly … this is not the case in the mattress industry. All of the manufacturers you mentioned are particularly low value (either for quality reasons or for price reasons or both) and similar or better quality memory foam mattresses are widely available from local manufacturers and better local outlets or online.

Tempurpedic is a line of memory foam mattresses (which like all memory foam mattresses are all various layers of memory foam comfort layers over a polyfoam support core). Except for the new simplicity line, they use medium and high quality memory foam (4 lb is medium quality and 5 lb or higher is high quality) but they have very poor value compared to others that use the same or better materials and sell for much lower prices. The simplicity line uses very low quality memory foam (2.5 lbs) over an “average” quality base (in the range of 1.8 lbs density). I would not consider a mattress that used less than 4 lb memory foam (except perhaps a very thin layer in the quilting of the cover) unless you are only looking for a “cheap” mattress that durability and how long it lasts is not important to you. A mattress is only as good as the materials that are used to make it and the “weak link” of a mattress is the materials that will soften or break down first.

Unfortunately, there are no local manufacturers close to Morehead, NC and there are also not a lot of great choices in terms of outlets (and I looked in a radius up to Jacksonville). Some of the better possibilities are listed here (along with the brands they carry that may be worth including in your research) but don’t forget that if an outlet can’t or won’t tell you all the layers of what is in your mattress … including the quality of each layer and material … then there is no way to know the real value or quality of a mattress you are considering or how long it may last. Bear in mind as well that warranties are also not an indicator of how long a mattress will last because they don’t cover the loss of comfort or support which is the main reason that a mattress needs to be replaced.

I would phone all of these outlets first (along the lines of this article) and confirm that they are able and willing to give you this information or at least that it is available online before paying them a visit. This will also give you an idea of what to expect in terms of their knowledge service, and value if you choose to pay them a visit. New Bern. Paramount, Park Place New Bern. Symbol Swansboro. Bemco, Park Place New Bern. Imperial mattress.

Bear in mind that these are NOT brand recommendations (which I don’t give because a mattress is only as good as what is in it so the brand is not important) but possible sources of better local value. Finding this value depends entirely on whether the retail outlet that carries them tends to focus on marketing “stories” or on providing good information about their mattresses that makes meaningful comparisons possible. If it takes too much effort to find out the information you want to know or it starts to feel like pulling teeth (meaning the retailer is not fully co-operating with providing the information you want) … then pass them by unless the mattress specs are available online and the value at the outlet you are looking at is particularly compelling compared to other mattresses that use similar materials.

If it does turn out (after some local research) that there is little in the way or quality or value available to you and I was in your shoes … I would consider using local outlets as a “testing ground” only to help you know the type of mattress you prefer and then I would make a purchase from a better online outlet.

I would also suggest that you scan the overviews in the mattresses section of the site to get an idea of the different materials and types of construction that are available and make sure you are committed to memory foam as being the “best” mattress for you and that you know for sure that you want to limit your choices to slow response materials like memory foam which can make a good choice for those who prefer slow response materials and the mattress uses good quality materials, is good value, and most importantly “fits” your needs (Pressure relief and Posture and alignment) and preferences. Some of the pros and cons of memory foam are here.

If you do want to broaden your choices into other premium or fast response materials like latex or are open to ordering online for the sake of having access to much better quality and value than is likely available locally … then post #21 here includes some of the manufacturers that are members of this site that specialize in online and “on the telephone” guidance and ordering and have the experience and knowledge (and the quality and value) to help their customers make the best possible choices.


I also prefer memory foam mattresses. You must try them online as there are many options over there with many discounts and offers. Some provide good discounts and other services like free shipping too. But you have to choose the right one.