Pure Opinion Needed – Pamper vs. Simmons firm

Hello Phoenix,

Hoping for your opinion. I have read a great deal of your posts and that of your members and I understand the various factors and individual preferences that go into choosing the right mattress. That also makes it difficult for you to make specific recommendations based upon an individual’s post.

However, with what appears to be your expert knowledge of mattresses in general, I thought I’d ask a more general question.

Currently look for a new king mattress that is shared with my wife. We are both early 30’s under 5’6 and weigh 140 and 105. She is a back/side sleeper and I’m mainly stomach with a little back and side thrown in. We tested out the pamper and two versions of a “firm” simmons at different stores that has about 2" aircool foam, 1/2" Geltouch, 1/2" Aircool memory, 2" plush comfort foam, and 800 pocketed coils.

So my questions are: based solely on the simmons measurements above and the already known measurements of the pamper, do you think the pamper would be a better mattress for minimizing sagging/indentation, and promoting proper alignment based upon our height/weight. Do you think pamper’s 2" comfort layer would be enough that we don’t sink through it based upon our height/weight?

Overall, is it fair to say the pamper will perform better because it is all latex and not a blend of various foams and springs?

On a side note, what I find frustrating about the “S” brand companies is the same mattress can have 10 different names in various stores and it’s difficult to really research reviews on their quality and performance. The pamper, is at least consistent.

Thanks for your time and info.

Hi Tbrady,

I can’t speak to which mattress would be the best match for you in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) because the only way to know that is your own careful and objective testing (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here). Nobody else can feel what you feel on a mattress.

I can however speak to the quality of the materials. Simmons doesn’t usually disclose the quality/density of the layers in their mattresses but they tend to use low quality materials in the comfort layers and I would avoid them (and the other major brands) completely (see here). I wouldn’t even test a mattress where you know ahead of time that you won’t likely be able to find out the quality of the materials inside the mattress (see this article). You can see an example of the foam quality/density of a Simmons pocket coil mattress here and as you can see (based on the guidelines here) the comfort layers are very low quality/density and clearly a weak link of the mattressand I wouldn’t consider it no matter how good a match it was in terms of PPP.

Latex on the other hand is the most durable type of foam material so the Pamper doesn’t have any weak links in the design. It’s the firmest mattress in the range and would typically work better for those who don’t sleep on their side (although again each person is unique so there are no general rules that would apply).

Hopefully you’ve read the tutorial post here which has all the basic information, steps, and guidelines that you will need to make the best possible choice … and know how and why to avoid the worst ones.


Thanks for the reply Phoenix.

I have read through the majority of those posts and we have spent time testing/researching mattresses the last couple weeks. I know we want a firm to mid-firm and I personally don’t think we will ever know whether a mattress is a good fit until we sleep on it for days or weeks. 15-20 mins on a mattress in a store, might be able to dictate comfort to an extent, I just don’t think is enough to dictate the next 8-10 years of comfort/support. I can lay on the floor for about 30-40 minutes and it’s okay, but I sure wouldn’t want to sleep every night on it. lol

With that said and based upon my reading of your expert knowledge spread throughout this forum about various mattresses, I do believe that the pamper is a good start based on quality alone. Aside from having a mattresses specially made (which is above budget). So I guess that as long as we intitally didn’t find the pamper to be too soft or too firm to begin with, it then comes down to quality and extended testing via repeated use. Hopefully I’m not wrong with that assumption.

Hi Tbrady,

There isn’t any standard definition or meaning or consistency for various mattress firmness ratings between manufacturers and each person can have very different perceptions of the same mattress and what is too firm for one person can be too soft for the next so your own definition of “mid-firm” based on your own actual testing or sleeping experience would be more important than anything else or how anyone else “rates” the firmness of a mattress.

While nothing has perfect results and there are always exceptions … for most people, careful and objective testing using the testing guidelines in the tutorial post can usually do a good job of predicting their longer term experience on a mattress and it doesn’t need to wait for the actual experience of pain or discomfort to know that you may feel pain or discomfort over the course of the night. For example it wouldn’t take longer than a few seconds to know that the floor didn’t have good support/alignment and would likely cause pressure issues as well. On the other hand … testing a mattress for a few minutes in a showroom for the more subjective perception of “comfort” or the “showroom feel” can have lower odds of success than random chance alone (see this study). Careful and specific testing for PPP (again using the testing guidelines in the tutorial) will usually be “close enough” that only minor fine tuning is necessary (if anything is necessary at all) when you actually sleep on the mattress.

While you may still experience some “symptoms” when a mattress is brand new … they will tend to lessen until they confirm your testing experience (assuming you tested a mattress carefully and objectively for PPP) as the mattress breaks in and you adjust to a new sleeping surface. Once a mattress has broken in and you have adjusted to your new mattress and your sleeping experience is more consistent … then knowing the quality and durability of the materials in the mattress is the biggest part of predicting how the mattress will perform over the following years. Higher quality more durable materials will stay closer to their original specifications and result in higher quality sleep for a much longer time before you begin to “tolerate” the mattress instead of sleeping well on it than lower quality materials which may only provide good PPP for a few years (or in some cases only a few months).

Having said that … if you are one of those that is much closer to the “princess and the pea” end of the scale than the “I can sleep on anything” end of the scale or have specific situations or health conditions that may make your testing less reliable or if for any reason you have little confidence in your testing, then the options you have after a purchase and the return or exchange policies of the store will become a more important part of your personal value equation so that if your first choice doesn’t work out as well as you hoped that you still have good options available to you after a purchase if your choice isn’t as suitable as you (and the store) hoped for. While stores that offer return or exchange options build the cost of this into their mattresses (the people who don’t return or exchange a mattress pay for the ones who do) … for some people this kind of insurance can be very important but I would never use a return or exchange policy to replace good testing and I would always choose a mattress as if I had only one chance to choose the “right” one.

It’s also less risky to choose a mattress that errs on the side of being a little too firm because you can always add more pressure relief or “comfort” with a mattress pad or a topper but if you choose a mattress that is too soft then there may be no good options to “fix it” because you would need to remove and/or replace some of the foam or materials inside the comfort layers rather than adding a topper on top of it.

It’s very unlikely that the Pamper would be too soft for most people because it’s one of their firmest choices.


Appreciate the added info. The study was an interesting read. Hopefully we will make the “right” decision by end of the weekend.

Hi Tbrady,

I’m looking forward to finding out what you end up choosing.