Memory Foam with the cooling technology question

In regards to the Memory Foam Mattresses with the airholes. Are these a good quality? Also, how do you feel about buying a bed on Ebay?

-Kevinn reg

Hi kevintravers,

This would depend on who made the memory foam (is it certified) and on knowing the density of the memory foam. The single biggest factor in the quality of memory foam is the density. Airholes are one method of making memory foam a little cooler by encouraging greater airflow but there are different applications of this and some are better and some are worse (laying on top of an airhole and blocking it off does little to promote airflow unless the air has another way to escape).

In most cases I would be very hesitant unless I knew the details of the seller (beyond just ebay feedback) and the real source of what they were selling. There is usually no way to really validate the seller or the source of what is being sold on ebay and I don’t think that most people could really tell the difference between defective, used, returned product, or factory seconds from new product in the short term or by a visual inspection. If price is the only consideration and someone is willing to “roll the dice” on quality or source … then ebay may be a good way to go. In the same way … some people are OK with buying a used mattress (although I’m not). Many ebay products are misdescribed and there is no way to really for certain unless you know the source and you know and trust the person who is telling you where they came from.

In most cases I would be very hesitant to buy there unless the “unknowns” were an acceptable part of my “value equation” or unless I had reliable information about the vendor and the product source.

PS: I saw this was posted twice so I deleted the second one :slight_smile:


This is the mattress I was referring to in regards to the airholes.
Does this appear to be good quality to you?

However my wife and I absolutely loved the icomfort mattress when we laid on it at a JC Penny store. What is the best alternative at the best price. I really like the gel foam.


Is this mattress a close match to that of the icomfort mattress. I found this on overstock. Please let me know if you think it is a good deal and what you think about it

Thank you


Hi Kevin,

This line in the description says everything that I would need to know to not consider this mattress at any price

The “gel foam” on top is the worst I have seen (memory foam with gel particles that is the lowest density I have seen yet) and the base polyfoam (1.5 lb density) is also lower than I would consider with lower quality comfort layers.

It in no way compares or is even close to either the quality or design of the iComfort (which is a much superior mattress even though I don’t think it has particularly high quality components or good value for its price range either) and unless you are looking at a “throwaway” type mattress and have absolutely no expectations of longevity I personally would not consider it. To be blunt … I would call this “junk” and the price for me would be no bargain because I wouldn’t spend this much on something that was that low quality. “Mattress-in-a-box” is a registered trademark of Zinus and this is probably one of their lowest quality offerings.

[quote]This is the mattress I was referring to in regards to the airholes.
Does this appear to be good quality to you?[/quote]

This is another cheap Chinese memory foam mattress but I don’t know any of the specs (except the 4 lb memory foam density) or whether the foam is certified or whether the 4 lb density is the actual memory foam density or the filled density (meaning that many manufacturers add heavier materials to their memory foam which gives it a false density and reduces the durability of the material). I do know however that Sarah Peyton mattresses are widely available at dozens of merchants that sell cheap Chinese memory foam mattresses and if I wanted to buy one (which I wouldn’t) I would pay a few dollars more and buy it from an outlet that I knew and was familiar with (such as Amazon for example) rather than from an unknown ebay merchant. Mattresses like these without more specific information are a complete roll of the dice and reading the feedback gives a clear indication that depending on the person and your tolerances for the mattress softening you may be looking at a lifespan measured in months.


Can you tell me what is the closest mattress to the icomfort with a much cheaper price tag please

Hi Kevin,

Unfortunately it really isn’t possible for someone else to know which mattress may feel like one of the iComfort lineup (which has a range of very different mattresses) for you because each person interacts with and perceives each mattress very differently depending on the many variations of height, weight, body shape, and sleeping positions and which of the mattress layers contribute the most to what you are feeling. The only way to know for sure is through your own personal testing. Even then though it is usually better to test for what I call PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and Preferences) rather than trying to exactly duplicate another mattress from memory. If a mattress provides you with the pressure relief and alignment you need and you like the way it feels and responds and it has good value, then that would be my choice.

The easiest way to find the mattress that is best for you is to first find the local outlets which are most likely to have the best value and the knowledge to help you make the best selection inside your budget. These are usually factory direct outlets which make their own mattresses or local sleep shops that carry smaller local or alternative brands. If you let me know the city you live in I’d be happy to take a look to see if I know of any that may be within a reasonable distance.

If there are no local outlets with the value or choices that work for you, … then it would probably be worth the risk of looking at online outlets. The best way to do this is to use your local testing on mattresses with known layering as a guideline for your purchase. If you can describe the layering of the local mattress you prefer and the specifics of how it felt to you in terms of PPP, and if you choose an online outlet that is good at matching your needs and preferences and testing results to one of the mattresses they make, then your odds of online success go up dramatically. Without dealing with someone who has this knowledge and will give you accurate information about the materials in the mattresses they make … an online purchase can be quite risky in terms of long term satisfaction.

I would also not set up an expectation that a very low budget mattress will duplicate the quality or feel or durability of a better quality mattress except perhaps for a very short time. Low quality materials can make a very comfortable mattress initially or in a showroom … they just don’t usually stay that way for very long. I see dozens if not hundreds of online outlets trying to compare their low budget and clearly lower quality mattresses to Tempurpedic for example and trying to convince people how much they will save for the “same” mattress when this is just not the case. While it’s certainly possible to buy a mattress that has similar quality to Tempurpedic at lower prices … these are not found in a budget range of a few hundred dollars.

Some better value online choices for memory foam mattresses are in post #12 here.

The other option is to choose a mattress that seems suitable for you from a big box store such as WalMart, Costco, or Sams Club that has a great return policy. This way you can return it if you don’t like it and try another option without any risk (with many low cost mattresses … the cost of shipping it back for a refund if you don’t like it can be almost as much as the mattress itself and is often prohibitive.

Overall though … the best odds of success are with a high quality local manufacturer or sleep shop if there is one close by. A foam shop that sells polyfoam and memory foam and will put together the layers you prefer and put a mattress cover around it can also be a good lower budget choice with good value.


I actually have a memory foam mattress/system from rockymountain mattresses. I can say that theirs are not so good. The reason why is they send it in pieces. I like the mattress to be all one. The one I have is a system with different layers. The cover is holding it together, and it moves and also is not so comfortable. I would not recommend separate pieces. I thought I read something you posted that was from costco that compares to the icomfort. Could you send me the ones that are closest from the warehouse stores such as costco.



Hi kevintravers,

Rocky mountain actually uses very good quality materials in their mattresses and have good value. My own personal preference with an online purchase would be to use exchangeable layers where possible (unless you know exactly what you want) so that the risk of an online purchase can be reduced and the mattress can be fine tuned but I also understand that this is part of a tradeoff and may not be other people’s preference as glued layers have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. This is not a matter though of how “good” the mattress is as much as how well it fits your personal needs and preferences.

Costco certainly has mattresses that have better value than the iComfort IMO and they also have options that would work well in terms of pressure relief and alignment for different people but they would be different from the iComfort in terms of how they felt because they use different materials and different layering.

You may be referring though to the Novaform which also uses a lower quality version of the gel memory foam that is made by the same company as the gel memory foam in the Serta (Sleep Innovations). For some people it may feel similar to one of the softer iComfort models but the materials used are lower quality which of course is also offset by a lower price.

Sams Club also sells the iComfort with a $200 gift card, a gel memory foam mattress that is Serta Branded made by Sleep Innovations, and a Night Therapy gel memory foam mattress that also uses a gel particle version of memory foam. While only the iComfort would be “like” the iComfort … I think it would be fair to say that the different prices would reflect the different quality of materials used even though in most cases they don’t provide any specs. for some people some of these lower prices versions may feel similar to one of the iComfort models.

With the lack of specific information about these mattresses … the reviews may give you at least some sense of what they feel like although like most reviews it’s clear that one persons “soft” is another’s “firm” and how people describe the same mattress varies greatly.


Thank you for your replies. I saw this on the internet and would like to get your opinion:


Ps - is Bragada a reputable company. I found them to be pretty good as well.

Hi Kevin,

I like Olejo and I actually bought my adjustable bed there (they have perhaps the best prices on the internet for adjustable beds). They are good people and some of their products have very good prices.

When you are buying online though … the first thing I look at if I am buying an “unknown” mattress is the return policy or the ability to make exchanges in case I get it wrong. In their case the return policy involves paying shipping in both directions and a possible 15% restocking fee which may be higher than the price of the mattress itself.

If you had tried this particular mattress (or any of their mattresses) in a local outlet (and you could search for one on the Eclipse site) and knew you liked it in spite of the 3 lb memory foam it contains … then you would know going in that you liked how it felt and you would also know that the odds are that it would not last very long. In this case the return policy wouldn’t be so important and a site like theirs can be a good place to buy a mattress that you have tried elsewhere. They carry many mattresses that may be available locally.

If you are making an unknown purchase though of a low budget mattress that you haven’t tried … then sites like Costco, WalMart, and Sams Club are good because they allow a complete refund if you don’t get it right.

Amazon also has some very good choices but their return policy can also cost you some money if you don’t make a suitable choice. There is a lot of confusion about just what their return policy is because they ship many of their mattresses compressed through UPS but if you return it, it has to be shipped through common carrier which is much more expensive and their large items department handles the returns. In this case they deduct return shipping from your refund and the charge for large item shipping is 5.99 per lb and an additional fee of 4.99. This means that a 100 lb mattress would cost $603.98 to return. When I asked them (the large items department) about this they told me that the return fees would be “capped” to about 20% of the cost of the mattress … assuming that the mattress was in pristeen condition and being returned within the return timeframe. It may be worth talking to them to confirm this to see if they provide the same information because I would want to know for sure before I ordered a compressed mattress through them. They also told me that sometimes they will offer a refund of $50 and let you keep the mattress rather than losing money on a return and then you can sell the mattress for what you could get on Craigslist.

NOTE ADDED on august 7th, 2014: I called the large items return department again to confirm this once again and either the original information they provided was wrong or their policy has changed. If you return an Amazon fulfilled mattress within 30 days then the cost involved would be .75 per pound (NOT $5.99 per pound) with an additional $4.99 so the cost of returning a 100 lb mattress would be $79.99. They will arrange for a pickup but the customer is responsible for wrapping the mattress in plastic or some kind of covering (they suggested that even large garbage bags taped together would be acceptable).

Assuming that the returns are really capped at 20% of the cost … then there are some better choices for inexpensive mattresses there but it takes some digging to find the ones that use CertiPur certified or at least North American made foam. Some of the descriptions are also wrong and this can be verified by doing some calulations based on the shipping weight and memory foam layer thickness and densities. It really is a jungle out there :dry:

Bergad is a smaller manufacturer that actually pours their own foam. At its best it is good quality and they use MDI formulations which I believe are superior to the TDI that is more common in North America (and less toxic). I notice from the feedback though that there were periods of time where their foams developed cracks which are an indication of either poor formulation or poor quality control and would be considered a manufacturing defect. Overall though … even though they are one of the few North American foam manufacturers that are not CertiPur certified … they seem to make good quality memory foam with attractive characteristics (such as breathability, response time, and temperature range) most of the time and their base layers are also high quality. I believe their refund policy excludes shipping in both directions (to you and back again). At their best they have good quality and value and I only wish they would certify their foams which is the only real barrier I have in listing them as a good possibility although they would likely pass the CertiPur tests.

NOTE ADDED: These comments were about Bergad and not Bragada. Bragada is a different company that also makes a range of memory foam mattresses but I would make sure that you can find out the quality/density of all their foam layers which aren’t listed on their site so you can make more meaningful comparisons with other mattresses. I would also be aware that their return policy requires a customer to pay for the return shipping which would be through common carrier which can be costly.


Hi Phoenix,

Is Bergad the manufacturer for Bragada I believe they do certify (Not sure though) Can you please comment on these beds.


Hi Kevin,

Bergad is not the supplier for the Bragada mattresses and they are not connected.

Bragada has a new line of mattresses which use CertiPur certified foam and is American made. Some of their mattresses use 3 lb memory foam which I would personally not consider and some use higher quality materials. Their gel memory foam appears to be the infused type which I prefer over the particle type like the iComfort.

Their refund and exchange policy requires that the customer pays return shipping which means that the price for a mistake would be quite high.

The value of some of the models appears to be fairly reasonable however there are some models which IMO use too much memory foam and could be risky in terms of alignment



So if I am looking for a memory foam mattress with gel foam. I would want a gel infused memory foam mattress. And please let me know what I am looking for in terms of thickness of the base foam.



Hi Kevin,

The support layers in a memory foam mattress are an important part of the performance and feel of a mattress and the thickness, quality, and firmness level that would best meet your needs depends on your height, weight distribution, your sleeping positions, and the thickness of the layers and the type of layers above it as well.

If you have an open and transparent manufacturer that truly has your specific interests in mind and that knows how to “fit” the mattresses they make to each person with a “reasonable” degree of accuracy, then they are the best people to answer this question. This is why I usually recommend either purchasing a mattress from a manufacturer who is what I call “mattress people” or from an outlet that offers a good refund or exchange policy to compensate for any mistakes you may make in your choices.

The base layer needs to be firm enough to keep you in alignment in all your sleeping positions and flexible and adaptable enough to adjust itself to all your different sleeping positions. People who are heavier tend to need thicker and firmer base layers to prevent the feeling of “bottoming out” or to prevent the mattress from feeling too firm. All of this also interacts with the type and thickness of the upper pressure relieving layers. A “typical” layering would be in the range of a 2-1 ratio (say 3" of memory foam over 6" of support foam) in terms of base foam thickness compared to the comfort layers as a starting point but there are so many variables in both people and mattress materials and construction that this is only a starting point for for a “typical” memory foam mattress that uses a single layer of memory foam over polyurethane support layers.

There are no exact “rules” because each person has many differences in their weight distribution, their sleeping positions, and in their preferences (how they want a mattress to “feel”) and the source of your information about any specific mattress, the knowledge and reliability of the people who are giving it to you, and your options if you make a mistake are more important than going by a specific standard that may apply to someone else but not to your own circumstances.

Thinner base layers will be firmer than the same foam in thicker layers and are also better able to deal with heavier weights. Thinner comfort layers will also allow you to feel more of the qualities of the foam or materials below them. The best thickness and softness of the comfort layers will also depend on your height/weight and sleeping positions and your own testing will always be more accurate than “theories” which can be a good starting point but not an “ending point” or a great basis for a final choice that is most suitable for you. In essence … you will need to trust or not trust the knowledge and openness of the person who is advising you and the source of the information about how suitable the specific mattress you are considering will be for you. Without this … return policies are one of the most important factors because the odds of making a mistake are considerably higher. You can see from reviews that what is “one way” in terms of firmness, support, and feel for one person is very different for another.

So my goal is to help point people in the direction of what factors to consider and “how” to make better choices rather than to make specific choices for them. I personally believe that local manufacturing and/or better educated sleep shops that carry alternative brands are usually the best choices where the odds of making good quality and value choices are much higher than anywhere else.

If you do want to make a purchase online though … then asking good questions (about materials, their recommendations about the mattresses you are looking at, and the policies of the outlet if you make a mistake in your choice) and using your best judgement about the accuracy of the answers will also help tilt the odds of making better choices in your favor.

So you are looking for one of the hundreds of “gel memory foam mattresses” where the person you are taking to when you are looking for information is clearly knowledgeable about the materials in their mattress and also about how to fit a mattress to your needs and preferences. As you say I would tend towards the gel infusions rather than the particle infusions or towards versions where there are “cylinders” of gel foam placed inside the memory foam rather than particles. I would also ask good questions about the support layers of the mattress and whether the person selling it believes it would be suitable for you.

Without the help and knowledge of someone who knows the specifics of the mattresses they sell and the ability to help you make your best choices based on their knowledge of how their mattresses are made and the materials it contains … you are at the mercy of their refund policy which would be my most important consideration unless I knew for sure (through research or specific local mattress testing) that the mattress I was buying was exactly what I needed and wanted and that the value was appropriate to what I was paying.

One final comment is that if your preference for “gel memory foam” is based on your testing with the iComfort … it is worth noting that unless your preference was for the Insight or the Goodnight refined models (which are the only ones where you are actually lying on gel memory foam) that the feel of all the other iComfort models have less to do with the gel memory foam than they do with the materials above and in between the gel memory foam than with the gel memory foam itself which is only part of the “mix”. Every one of their mattresses except the insight and goodnight refined has at least 2" (and mostly more) of either “regular” memory foam or other foams in the comfort layers either above the gel memory foam layers or immediately below it (besides the support foam) which are as much or even more responsible for how they feel as the gel memory foam itself. It’s also worth noting that as with all materials … the different versions of gel memory foams do not have the same specs, feel, or properties and that the layers they are combined with also have a significant influence on the performance and feel of your mattress.


Hi Phoenix,

The icomfort I was basing it off of is the refined. (Of course I cannot and do not want to pay that much) However, that is the best feel for me. I like to have a plush feeling on the top (not too too soft though) and a firm feeling on bottom/middle. My weight is 170 and my fiance is about 115. We are looking for a memory foam mattress with gel infused foam in the comfort layer, and I would assume I would want a good base foam for support.

With my descriptions perhaps you might have a suggestion of what would be a good fit for myself with the characteristics described above in a cost efficient manner.

Thank you in advance,


Hi kevintravers,

There are 3 very different models of refined which you can see here but I’m guessing you probably mean the renewal refined which is the most common since the other two are newer and less common.

As you can see (and assuming that this is the one you meant) … the comfort layers have 2" of 5 lb “regular” memory foam on top, 2.75" of gel memory foam under that (which has less “memory” and is firmer), 1.5" of gel infused conventional polyfoam under that (which is completely unknown as to what it’s specs may be), 1" of Serta Support foam under that which would probably be a mid density (1.5 - 1.8 lb?) firmer polyfoam, and then their base layer of polyfoam which would likely be in the 2.0 lb range and probably in the range of about 32 - 36 ILD although the ILD is just a guess as well.

The biggest “contributor” to the feel of this mattress would be the layers closest to the top but all of the comfort layes will “modify” the rest.

So you have about 2" of “softer” memory foam over 2.75" of “firmer” memory foam over 2 separate thinner “transition” layers over the base foam. the degree to which each of these layers will affect your perception of the mattress will depend entirely on your weight distribution, how far each part of you sinks in to the mattress, and on whether you are more sensitive to pressure issues or alignment issues.

So without actually lying on a mattress … there is no way to know how this would compare for you to other mattresses that use different layer thicknesses and different types and combinations of materials and foams and which layers are most dominant in how it feels for you.

In general terms though, this mattress is “rated” as the fourth softest in the lineup and would be somewhat similar to mattresses that used a couple of inches of softer memory foam over 2-3" of firmer memory foam and with transition layers in between the memory foam and the base foam (or at least a base foam that reacted in a similar way to your specific weight and sleeping positions). To be more specific than this without knowing the exact details of every layer of both the Renewal Refined and a mattress you were considering as a possibility would be impossible. It seems though that you like mattresses that are soft on top although not the very softest available.

Because “duplicating” this by specs (which aren’t known) is impossible … the alternative is trying to duplicate the feel by personal testing of mattresses at local outlets. Failing this … I would tend towards mattresses that used 2" of softer memory foam over 2-3" of firmer memory foam over a base foam that was not ultra firm (@ 36 ILD or less) and hope that this came close and that the foams you chose … whether they were memory foam or gel memory foam … were similar in feel to the iComfort foams. I would also end towards slightly thinner layers of memory foam than 4.75" that has “transition” foam under it because the thickness and softness of this layering could easily put you out of alignment either initially or when the foam softened, especially if you sleep in positions other than your side. For example … the Tempurpedic Cloud Luxe also has 4.75" of memory foam on top with softer memory foam over denser and “firmer” memory foam over a base layer and is their softest mattress and may not be suitable for many if not most people.

This is about as close as you can get with an online purchase. Bear in mind as well that any memory foam mattress will become softer over the first 90 days or so of use during the break in period but this can be more or less depending on how the foam was constructed. this softening could lead to thicker layers of memory foam that are firmer at first and keep you in good alignment becoming too soft for good alignment after the first few weeks.


How does this look :

Hi Kevin,

Easy Rest is a local manufacturer based in Portland, OR (that is the kind of manufacturer that I like) and that sells to retail outlets only. To my knowledge though they only produced 4 and 5.3 lb memory foam (CertiPur certified).

I called them to ask about this listing and the lady I talked to said she would have to talk to the owner but to her knowledge they don’t use 7 lb memory foam (gel or otherwise) but even though it’s not on their site … they do make mattresses with gel memory foam (which uses particulates). They are also either in the process of setting up an affiliate warehouse in Tampa (where the ebay listing says the item is located) or it is already set up. She thought the listing was “curious” and was just as mystified as I was.

A quick search indicates the mattress comes from Mattress DR in Florida (their BBB listing is here).

She said she would either call or email me if she could verify the legitimacy of the listing and the accuracy of the details. I personally don’t know of any 7 lb gel memory foam and if there was I would think it would not be in a “budget” mattress although there are new versions coming to market all the time and gel memory foams don’t usually list their specs.

I’ll post here if I receive any further information which could also help in knowing how the mattress may feel (7 lb memory foam that was gel impregnated would likely be quite firm feeling).


Hi Phoenix,

My fiance really likes the top support to be somewhat of a plush feeling, which I kind of like too. However, we both like the mattress to be a firm support system. I found this mattress and it seems to have all that we are looking for. However, I would like to get your opinion to see what your valued input is.

Thank you,