PostureSense Memory Foam Mattress

Dear Phoenix,

I have found your website immensely helpful so thought I would post on your website to ask you a few questions.

I recently visited FoamOrder’s store in San Francisco to look at locally manufactured memory foam matresses. I have found Tempur-Pedic mattresses, especially their Contour Signature mattress, sold in other local stores to be very comfortable. If price were no concern, I would buy that mattress for the level of pressure relief and overall support that I prefer. However I do think that they are grossly overpriced as you have mentioned in your prior posts.

FoamOrder had a few different memory foam mattress options. The one we liked was their “Deluxe” version which had a 4’’ layer of 5.3 lbs memory foam (called PostureSense) and 6’’ layer of V34 polyfoam (they mentioned that its ILD was ~34). However they mentioned that their memory foam was made in China and did not have any certification such as CertiPUR. I don’t think they use foam from US manufacturers such as Foamex. It is considerably cheaper than the Tempur option.

I have a few questions regarding FoamOrder mattress, the Tempur mattress I liked and SelectFoam’s comparable options:

  1. Do you know if the PostureSense memory foam is a good quality product that will also be durable for the long run?

  2. The Tempur Contour Signature also has a 4’’ layer of 5 lb memory foam but the Tempur representative I called told me that its top layer has 2’’ layer of “open cell” memory foam that makes it slightly less firm / faster conforming than the next 2’’ layer of memory foam. You have also mentioned something similar about the 5lb Tempur memory foam variants in your previous posts. Is there a way to replicate that with other mattress manufacturers? I am not sure how the two 5 lbs memory foam layers are different in the Tempur mattress. FoamOrder sales rep told me that they can custom build mattresses but he had no idea what was in the Tempur Contour Signature. I don’t think the PostureSense 5 lb foam is as differentiated as the Tempur foam but thought I would check with you.

  3. FoamOrder also had a “Classic” mattress with a 3’’ layer of 5 lb memory foam and 7’’ layer of D34 polyfoam. The sales rep told me that the D34 is just a less durable version of V34 but has the same ILD. Otherwise this bed felt the same as the “Deluxe” one with 4’’ layer of memory foam and the V34 polyfoam. It was also quite a bit cheaper than the deluxe version. Can you help me understand what the difference between “D34” and “V34” polyfoam is if the ILD is the same?

  4. FoamOrder claims that its 6" or 7" polyfoam base is made of a 3 lb foam that is superior to Tempur in terms of durability. What do you think about this claim?

  5. FoamOrder’s deluxe version also had an “Edge Support” feature that makes the edges of the mattress more firm to make it easier to sit on the bed. How is this achieved and does it impact the quality/durability of the mattress in the long run?

  6. You have mentioned that SelectFoam has mattresses that map to Tempur’s various models. Since I would have to order them online without actually experiencing them, I was wondering what you think is a better choice. Ordering a mattress from FoamOrder that seems to come close to the Tempur Contour Signature but does not quite feel as comfortable. FoamOrder’s PostureSense also is not made in the U.S. and is not independently certified while SelectComfort claims to use foam made in the U.S.

I appreciate any help and guidance you can provide. As a reference, I tend to sleep on my stomach and my wife tends to sleep on her side. San Francisco generally stays cool in the evenings so not very concerned about sleeping “hot”.

Hi lessac,

I have talked with Alan on several occasions and he is certainly knowledgeable about foam. For those customers that don’t want to use the memory foam they generally use he has told me that they also have access to other foam suppliers. I don’t know the source of their polyfoam. Almost any good quality memory foam mattress made by smaller manufacturers is cheaper (in the same quality materials) than Tempurpedic.

the manufacturers themselves would have more knowledge about the materials they use than I do but I’ll certainly be happy to answer what I can.

Alan has told me that they have had good luck with it but it doesn’t meet the criteria I would generally use when choosing memory foam because it’s not CertiPur certified (see post #10 here) (EDIT: this has now changed … see post #10 here). While I have no specific knowledge of its relative durability (although I would consider his opinions to be accurate) if the foam has a polymer density of 5.3 lbs (unfilled) it would be a durable memory foam similar to other memory foams of this density.

There are only 3 ways to “replicate” the feel and performance of a mattress and they are listed in post #2 here. Because Tempurpedic makes its own foam and there are hundreds of varieties of memory foam in any density … replicating it in terms of feel and performance based on the material specs wouldn’t be possible because only they use their particular versions of memory foam. You can read about some of the many variations that are possible in different memory foams in post #9 here along with post #8 here. That means that the only way to “match” their mattresses would be through side by side “real time” comparisons between a Tempurpedic model and another mattress in the store or with a mattress that had been specifically designed and tested to “match” the feel and performance of a particular Tempurpedic model.

ILD is only a measure of softness or firmness and has nothing to do with the quality of a foam. Both low quality and high quality foams come in a range of ILD ratings. The main factor in the quality or durability of polyfoam is density although there are other factors involved as well. The specific chemical formulations used to make the foam (there are many different formulations) have more effect on its performance and cost and to some degree can affect durability as well. For example higher quality foams also tend to have a higher compression modulus (they get firmer faster with compression) and higher resilience so they would still be more costly than another foam that was a similar density but didn’t have the same performance qualities. The V 34 is a higher quality, more durable, and more costly polyfoam than the D 34 because of how it is made not because of any differences in firmness between them. You can see on their site that both the V series and the D series come in different firmness levels. Firmness is also a secondary factor in durability because firmer foams don’t compress as much with weight so the mechanical wear and tear is less.

I think it is accurate … although the support layers of a mattress are not typically the “weak link” of a mattress anyway. The layers which are stressed and compressed the most are the upper layers of a mattress and this is where the quality of materials is even more important and the layers which will have the biggest effect on the overall durability of the mattress. Tempurpedic uses @2.2 lb polyfoam in their base layers in most of their mattresses which is not as good quality as 3.0 lb polyfoam (assuming both are polymer or “unfilled” densities).

&This would be a better question to ask them but as far as I know they use a wedge of firmer foam around the edge of the memory foam in the mattress. Sleep Science does the same thing. I don’t think it would have a major effect on the durability of the mattress in either direction but if you sat on the edge a lot and if the quality of the polyfoam wedge was higher density then it could improve it.

Which is a better choice would depend on your risk tolerance and comfort level with an online purchase vs a local purchase but as you mentioned they are specifically manufactured to “map” to the Tempurpedics, they meet the criteria I use for a memory foam mattress, and they are very good quality and value IMO. Since they have a free return policy (they cost nothing to return including shipping if you aren’t satisfied with the mattress) the usual risk of an online purchase is greatly diminished. This lets you test a very close approximation by testing the Tempurpedics. As you mentioned they also use American Foam manufacturers that are CertiPur certified.

Hope this helps.