Need Wisdom: Slightly Dissatisfied Tempurpedic Contour Purchase - should I exchange?

Thrilled to have found this Website…and can use some highest end, technical advice.

Purchased a Tempurpedic Contour two months ago. I like the stiffness, but my wife finds it a bit rigid. Both of us find it ghastly warm (we’re very hot sleepers + live in Louisiana).

We’re still in the $250 return window, and am debating what to do. The reseller- Home Furniture ( - is very willing to work with us to finding a suitable alternative. They recommended stepping up the Cloud ($500) more, with claims it keeps the core temps considerably lower.

There’s also the iComfort, which - after reading this site a bit - it’s clear is not the way to go.

Should I grin and bear it on existing, noting this is ‘what it is’ re: memory foam? Pay up for the Cloud? Alternative traditional?

They carry a good range of Tempurpedic, Serta and Simmons.

Thanks so much for your time, wisdom. I am grateful for it!

Hi pslieber,

The Contour is one of Tempurpedics least conforming and firmest mattresses. While you have given me little to go on in terms of your body types and sleeping styles … in general men weigh more and are less curvy than women and women are also more sensitive to pressure. Lower weights and more curves generally point to the need for thicker softer comfort layers. Sleeping positions would also play a role because side sleeping also does better with thicker/softer comfort layers while back and stomach sleeping needs thinner firmer layers.

The Tempur foam is in the “warmer” less open celled range of memory foams and there are other more breathable and cooler memory foams and gel foams available. Lower density memory foams are generally more breathable and a little faster responding and feel softer partly because they respond more quickly (don’t need as much time to soften with body heat and pressure). The down side of lower density foams though is that they are less durable and even though many prefer the feel of lower density memory foam … if you are over about 200 lbs or so then the difference in foam softening may become a factor. Of course there are also higher density memory foams that are made to be more open celled and faster responding and these would be more durable but they don’t carry any. The depth to which you sink into any material will also affect heat.

Post #9 here talks about some of the many variables in different memory foams.

So again in the absence of more information that may be more specific to each of your needs and preferences … the Cloud “should” be a little cooler and should also be a little softer for your wife. Which of the Clouds may be best though would depend on each of your body types, sleeping styles, and “sensitivities”. As a general rule … if you do decide to go in the direction of one of the Cloud models … I would tend to choose the one with the thinnest memory foam layers that satisfied her need for pressure relief which would likely (again depending on your stats) increase the odds that it would be better for your support and alignment. This means that your best odds may be with the Cloud or the Cloud Supreme. Bear in mind too that memory foam will go through a more rapid initial softening period over the first 90 days or so and how a model on the floor feels compared to how it will feel in long term use will depend on how much of this softening period it has gone through.

The good part about the Tempurpedics is that they use high quality foams and tell you the density/quality of the foams they use even though they also have a much higher price and lower “value” than other smaller brands that use equivalent quality materials. With the other majors (like Simmons and Serta) … it is often much more difficult to find meaningful information about foam quality and density which means you have no way to know how they would compare. I would avoid any of the Simmons that use their lower 3.5 lb memory foam even though it is cooler and more breathable. The iComforts as you know have their own issues with some of the foam layers and the fact that they particles in the gel memory foam will tend to lower the durability of the gel memory foam. They have a mix of better materials in their mattress along with worse ones (the weak link) but again the “value” is missing.

The alternatives at Home Furniture seem to be limited to a few Simmons pocket coils, the Serta iSeries and iComfort and their lower end house brand so as much as I don’t like to say it because none of the brand options you are mentioning are great ones … in the absence of a refund and starting over (which would be my first choice if it was possible) … and since you are already into a good quality mattress, then it may make sense to stick with a Tempurpedic if you can find a Cloud model that works better for both of you.

Hope this at least help you to figure out some of the competing factors in your choices.


My sincere apologies for not being clearer on body type, sleep patterns, Phoenix et al.
I’m 6’2’’ 170, my wife 5’2’', 110. We’re both pretty athletic, thin-esque folks, who prefer to sleep on sides.

My wife tends to toss and turn a fair amount in bed. I have Crohn’s Disease (an irritable bowel disease), making it difficult to get comfortable and stay asleep.

I selected the Contour as I thought the firmness would help my body heal faster/recover (I also do Thai kickboxing), likewise get the rest I need that comes so sparingly with the health stuff. The Tempurpedic made sense for not feeling her toss/turn, also keeping me staying comfortable and asleep when it comes.

Neither has really happened as much as I’d like. The heat issue is a biggie; we’ll wake up sweating…not helped by living in Louisiana. Lighter blankets assist, but to an extent. She says the bed hurts her.

Thus, your comments - which I’m grateful x 1000 for your time, thoughtfulness of reply, checking out Home Furniture’s site - are so wonderfully appreciated. I’m hesitant to start over even with a refund because - as you pointed out - the Tempurpedic’s are clearly highest quality and we probably want to stay in the memory foam arena. If it takes another $750 to get to what we hoped, that sounds the way to go…even it hurts the wallet. (At least we’re financed for five years, no interest.) I’ll look at the Cloud, Cloud Supreme as suggested.

Again, thank you so very much!

Apologies - couple more quickie follow-ups to your advice:

  1. Which of the mattresses - Cloud vs Cloud Supreme - has thinner layers? (I’m having trouble discerning this from Tempurpedic’s Web site where only height seem listed.) It seems the salesperson believes the Supreme cools better…?
  2. Should I have other options (to start over, per relayed info), what would you suggest (zip code 70806)?

Again, thank you x 1000!

hi psliebr,

The Cloud has 1.2" of ES (4 lb) and 1.6" of Tempur (5.3 lb) for a total of 2.8"

The Cloud Supreme has 2" of ES and 2" of Tempur for a total of 4"

Part way down the page on each description is a “details” tab and if you click on it you will see the layering of each mattress.

There are two or three “competing” factors at work here. A thicker layer that you sink into more will generally be warmer because there is more “insulation” around your body. On the other hand … with the Cloud Supreme the upper 4 lb layer is thicker and more breathable so it would be a little cooler. Which is cooler would probably depend on the body type of the person on it. With the Cloud there is less memory foam to sink into but less of it is the 4 lb more breathable memory foam. With the Supreme there’s more memory foam to sink into but more of it would be the more breathable 4 lb foam. In addition to this … lower density foam is also less conforming so the insulating layer of foam doesn’t “fit” quite as closely around the body as higher density foam (once it softens up).

So the Cloud would have the cooling advantage of having less foam to sink into while the Supreme would have the cooling advantage of having more breathable less conforming foam next to the person. Which was cooler would depend on the person and whether cooling effects of the 4 lb foam offset the depth of the “cradle”. Heavier people that sank more deeply into both the 4 and 5 lb layers of the Supreme may find it a little warmer for example.

There’s a discussion in post #6 here about cooling down memory foam.

All the Tempur foams are warmer than many other types of foam used by competing manufacturers who have put a lot of effort into introducing cooler sleeping memory foam and this is one of the driving factors behind the current popularity of the many gel memory foams that are being introduced.

I certainly understand this but just to clarify my previous comment … Tempurpedic hasn’t been by itself in the “highest quality group” for quite some time so although it is certainly high quality foam … it is not alone in this group by a long shot. Their marketing has created the perception that it is the highest quality memory foam but there are many competing foams of equal density/quality that are also cooler, more breathable, and less motion restricting than Tempur foam in the same density range. They are also significantly less expensive. There are also lots of low quality/density memory foams on the market who like to misleadingly compare themselves to Tempurpedic but if you know the density of a foam and it is American made then it is likely very comparable to Tempurpedic in the same density although the characteristics of the foam may be different (response rate, temperature sensitivity, breathability etc).

This is an area that Tempurpedic has lagged behind and ironically enough … their new Simplicity line uses some of the lowest density/quality memory foam available anywhere (2.5 lbs). The cooler gel memory foams in particular are eating into Tempurpedics market share in a big way and other companies like Serta (iComfort) have out marketed them and they are now paying the price because they didn’t seem to see the inevitable coming. There’s an interesting article here about this.


Thanks again for the educational points, wonderful clarity, Phoenix.

It sounds as if Cloud v Cloud Supreme is a matter of personal preference (on softness) and/or body type (with heavier individuals affected more by the Supreme’s heat at lower levels). Unfortunately my retailer doesn’t carry Simplicity.(Ugh.)

What other lines would be comparable in quality in breathability? (You mentioned the Aero in your linked thread.)

I have to admit; this is all so overwhelming…especially realizing - post-purchase - one got it WRONG. :dry:

Apologies - I’ve discovered your post on alternative, online offerings. Thank you very much!

Hi pslieber,

I think yesterday was my day for skipping over some posts or questions in various threads :slight_smile:

Besides the online options you “discovered” … there are also some factory direct manufacturers options in the Baton Rouge area that also use high quality materials including memory foam in their mattresses.

Local manufacturing can be the best of both worlds because you can actually test the mattresses in person and the quality and value is usually much better than any other options in the area. For those who don’t have good quality local manufacturers in their area … then online options can also make a lot of sense and make provide the same kind of quality and value for everyone else.

You’ll find a list of them in post #191 here.


Thank you again so much, Phoenix. Home Furniture was willing to do a no-cost swap (sans $250 restock) to jump from Contour to Cloud (again, your advice was so appreciated!), likewise gave us a 2-for-1 on Cloud pillows. A pretty fair resolution across the board, I believe.

Thank you again for your wisdom + insights. I feel so much more empowered in making this second decision, likewise now possess a slew of useful info on local manufacturers for future purchase and to pass along to friends/co-workers.

You’re doing a wonderful service for so many people; we’re all so grateful for it!

Hi pslieber,

I’m happy to see that your problem was resolved and I also think that it was a fair resolution :slight_smile:

I like the Aerus memory foam (made by Foamex/FXI) because they use a method called VPF (Variable pressure Foaming) that uses a vacuum to create a more open celled foam (in a way it’s similar to the difference between Talalay and Dunlop latex).

All the American foam manufacturers though are capable of producing high quality foam and are using various methods to create cooler memory foams though both chemical means and mechanical means to “open up” the memory foam cells. This also creates a faster responding memory foam that is less motion restricting (which is one of the the “other” major complaints about many memory foams along with offgassing and smell). Most of the North American foam manufacturers (although not all) are listed on the CertiPur page here* along with several Chinese manufacturers that have been certified as well (although I would personally still prefer a North American source).

ADMIN NOTE: *Removed 404 link|Archived Footprint: & replaced with latest CertiPUR list

Many of the new Gel memory foams are also cooler although gel absorbs heat through convection (like putting your hand on a cool marble countertop) rather than ventilation. They need to be on or near the surface though to be most effective.

In general … if you are looking at an American made foam that is marketed as “cooler” then it generally will be at least to some degree and in combination with other “cooling factors” can help offset one of the most common complaints of memory foam which is heat retention. In some cases a manufacturer may not provide information about their foam sources (even when they do provide the “quality specs”) for competitive reasons but they will usually be happy to give you good information about how their foams perform. They are much more “troubled” and affected by returns because they are in more direct contact with consumers and their local community and their business depends primarily on local reputation rather than advertising so they will usually try to be as accurate as they can in describing the properties of their mattresses.


I had aerus foam by foam ex. It would get hot as hell. In a few minutes I was sweating. Just a 250 thread count all cotton sheet on that foam and no comforter or anything on top. Lots of lengthy posts but little practical help.

Thank you again for all the terrific advice, patience + help.

Now three days into the Cloud exchange, and I can honestly say there’s a noticeable temperature difference over the Contour. My wife likewise commented how it’s nice not to wake up in sweat for the first time in months (versus baking on the Contour).

We have you to thank for a better night’s sleep. :slight_smile:

Hi pslieber,

That’s great news!

And thanks for the kind words :slight_smile: