Memory Works mattress


I think I just made a huge mistake. I went to Macy’s clearance outlet and found a foam Cal. King Mattress for $499. The salesman made a deal too good to be true. He said the mattress retailed at $2800 dollars. It is a Memory Works foam matress. As this is the clearance center there are no returns, and delivery will be in a week.

So my question, after reading the horrible reviews is: is there anything I can get to make the mattress better? Like maybe a latex or denser foam topper?

I’ve read that the Memory Works sleeps hot and doesn’t give any lumbar support and I feel sick to my stomach. I thought I was getting a great deal on an older model but that doesn’t seem to be the case at all.

Please help.

Totally confused

Hi Cup,

I think at $499 it’s hard to call anything a huge mistake … unless of course you bought the mattress based on the price alone instead of its suitability for your needs (pressure relief and spinal alignment) and preferences (things like temperature regulation and the overall response and “feel” of the mattress). Even the highest quality mattress can be unsuitable for any particular individual and a “cheap” mattress with lower quality materials may also work well for a particular individual … at least for a little while until the foam starts to soften. No matter how much or little someone pays for a mattress … the real cost of any mattress that isn’t suitable for an individual can be very high in terms of quality of sleep, pain and discomfort, and it’s affect on your waking life and overall wellbeing. Of course the fake “retail price” is just there to make ongoing sale prices look good and nobody ever pays those prices but it’s also true that the “real price” for the mattress you bought was much higher than you paid.

There are several different models of the memoryworks line and now that you have bought one of them … the first step is to find out how well it works to provide you with pressure relief, how well it keeps you in alignment in all your sleeping positions, and how you like the overall feel of the mattress. Hopefully the one you bought is at least close to what you need for your weight/height/body shape and sleeping positions. Once you know this … you will be in a better position to know what if any changes you may need to make and what your next step may be.

How well a particular mattress may have worked for thousands of others has little to do with how well it may work for you. Our needs and preferences are all unique. While the materials in the mattress aren’t the best quality (4.5 lb memory foam) … they aren’t the worst either and if it “works” for you (regardless of what anyone else may think of it and hopefully you bought one where the memory foam layers aren’t too thick) … then the $499 would have been well spent. If it doesn’t, then you may be able to make a few changes to make it better. The worst case is that at the price you paid … if it turns out to be completely unsuitable for you and there is nothing you can do to “fix” it … at least the mistake was at a “deep discount” and wasn’t as big as it could have been :slight_smile:


Hi Phonix,

Ok, so I did a little more homework…the model is a 2011 Olivewood firm pillow/cushion top california kin, 14 inches deep, according to the salesman. He said it does sleep hot and they fixed the mold/mildew issue with this model. I sleep mostly on the side and back. I am 5’8 and 200 lbs.

I’ve been trying to do some research to find out more about this model and what improvements were made compared to previous years but am unsuccessful. And the new models are different. The cushion top doesn’t look like an almost seperate piece - like the one I bought. The new models look like an solid mattress.

I am hoping to pair this mattress with the Serta adjustable base.

Also at the outlet there is a non-pillow top Memory Works model called Autumn and is firm and the same price. Do you think this model would be better? I’m guessing it’s 12 inches. I just saw it yesterday and didn’t ask the sales person about it.


Hi Cup,

The Olivewood that you have has 4" of memory foam and memory foam quilting as well as 2" of what they call “premium” memory foam which means it has a total of 6" of memory foam in the top layers. There is an “ultra plush” version and a “cushion firm” version and it’s not clear what the difference is because the description of the memory foam reads the same. Either way … this is a LOT of memory foam. It is what is called a Eurotop (as opposed to a pillowtop) which means that it has a separate top layer attached to the mattress but the sides of this separate layer are flush with the main body of the mattress.

The Autumn has 1/2" of quilting foam and 4.5" of “premium” memory foam for a total of 5". This is also a LOT of memory foam although it is slightly less than the Olivewood and if their “premium” memory foam is denser/firmer than the “regular” memory foam (and they don’t give this information) then it would be slightly less risky in terms of alignment. This one is a tight top which means that all the layers are inside the main cover of the mattress.

With memory foam layers this thick … the odds are high that you would sink into both mattresses enough to affect sleeping temperature and they would both be on the “warmer” side.

There are certainly many reports of mold issues with this mattress but of course whether it has been “fixed” or not is open to question and would depend on whether they identified the cause of why this particular mattress was more prone to this than others. They tend not to release this type of information (what the problem was and how they “fixed” it). Usually they just deny it in the first place and claim “wow … this is the first time I’ve heard of this”.

In terms of which one would be “better” … that would depend on the person using it and what “better” meant for that specific person. The Autumn has slightly less memory foam and is probably a little firmer so it seems to me that it may also be a little less risky (although it still has more memory foam than I would personally choose or recommend). Knowing which was “best” for any particular person would depend on the results of personally testing and comparing each for pressure relief, alignment, and preferences but it seems to me that the Autumn would be less risky.


Would the Caramel memory works be a better bet then? It’s a skinnier mattress and has less memory foam. 8" 2 memory and 6" high density poly foam.

Hi Cup,

Only your own personal testing … preferably with the help of someone who is skilled in fitting their customers to a mattress … or an online outlet who has the knowledge and skill to help you make your best choices out of the specific mattresses they sell can really tell you which is “best” for you because this will depend on which mattresses are best in terms of Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and your own Personal preferences which are different for different people.

Having said that … 2" of memory foam would certainly be less risky and would affect the overall performance of the mattress less over time as the memory foam softens (and higher weights will soften memory foam faster than lower weights) … but 2" may not be enough to provide you with the pressure relief you want.

Have you tested any of these mattresses in person? This would be the “best” way to tell which one would be your best choice. While the prices may be right … there is little point in buying on price alone if the mattress doesn’t fit what you need and prefer.


Hi there- I think I bought the same exact mattress as you did. and confused now…just wondering how it is working for you?


I just found out about the mold issue with the Sealy memory foam mattresses today when I went to move my queen size Carina mattress set to make room for a new bed that was delivered today. What a major disappointment this was, and this is not the first one with this bed!!

I decided to replaced the bed, which I got only 7 months ago, because as early as 2-3 months after buying it, t I started having a lot of hip and lower back aches. Since I had a hip surgery earlier in the year, I thought this was the root cause. It took me some months and trying other beds to figure out the problem was my memory foam bed! I called Macy’s to exchange and was told I was past the 90 or days for their comfort policy. So after much thinking I decided to bit the bullet and get a new bed because my back and hip aches were getting worse. Imagine my surprise today when I lifted the top matters of the Carina set and find a larger circular section with mold between the mattresses. I had several good quality beds before that lasted me more than a decade each, and I had never experienced a mold issue with the classic mattresses.

Doing research today I found that many people are experiencing the mold problem, even after them getting replaced once or twice.

Do you have any advice on how to deal with Macy’s or Sealy to get this bed replaced with a non-memory foam bed of equivalent or price? The bed is still under manufacturing warranty and they are going to be sending an ‘inspector’ at the end of the month. Which, btw, I’m not happy to have to store this moldy mattress in my house till them.

Thanks in advance.

Hi Xoleil,

There is no doubt about this and it is a widely reported problem.

I would take a polite but firm, insistent, and “assumptive” approach. What I mean by assumptive is that they are well aware of the issue (even if they claim that your experience is the first time they have heard about it) so I would both “assume” that they know that the warranty exchange is only a matter of when not if and “assume” that they are well aware that it has been widely reported. I’m not sure if the inspector is coming to check for any mattress sagging or for the mold but I would call them and tell them that you don’t want to keep a mattress with black mold in the house for that long for health reasons. If they don’t move up the inspection then I would call Sealy and tell them the same thing and that you need to have the mattress removed as quickly as possible for health reasons and that Macy’s is not being co-operative. I would also let Macy’s know that you want an exchange for another mattress and not just a replacement for the one you have (and once again I would call Sealy if they don’t co-operate).

Once you are authorized to make the exchange … then post #2 here and the other posts it links to will be helpful in terms of how to choose a replacement mattress when none of your options with Sealy are very good ones. In essence what I would look for is a very firm mattress with the least possible amount of polyfoam or other lower quality materials in the upper layers and then adding your own comfort layer with a higher quality topper.


Hi Phoenix,

Thanks so much for the great advice and the quick response! I called Macy’s today and they are working to expedite the removal of the mattress due to the mold situation. And they working on getting the approval to give me replacement with a classic mattress as I no longer want a memory foam bed. I’m much happier today!

Hi Xoleil,

That’s great news :slight_smile:

The sooner it leaves your house the better!