Sealy mattress

Hi gmike416,

As you know you are in a somewhat difficult position when you need to make an exchange for a mattress where none of the mattresses in the store have particularly good quality or value.

You are in a similar position to several of the forum members who have been on a merry go round of multiple warranty exchanges (or comfort exchanges) and none of them have been any better than the last. Some of the thoughts in this post and the threads it links to would be very applicable to your situation. This thread and post #6 here and this thread and this thread are also about exchanging a major brand mattress and would probably also be helpful as well.

To recap them though … there are really two directions you can go to make the best of a difficult situation.

The first of these is to choose a mattress that is a good “match” for you in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your Personal preferences) AND where you can find out the type and quality/density of all the materials and components in the mattress (see this article) so you can confirm that the mattress uses higher quality and more durable materials that have much less chance of softening and breaking down relatively quickly. Unfortunately the major manufacturers don’t make this easy because they don’t usually disclose any meaningful information that will help you assess the quality of the materials and for the very few mattresses that do disclose this and may use higher quality materials, their prices are generally very high. Keep in mind not to go by prices to determine quality and durability though because many very high priced mattresses will still have far too much lower quality materials in the comfort layers that will soften and break down much too quickly. The only way to assess the quality and durability of a mattress is by knowing the specifics of the materials and components in a mattress that are listed here.

The second option is much more practical and realistic even though it can also be somewhat challenging and this is to choose a firm or an extra firm mattress which minimizes the use of questionable, unidentified, or lower quality polyfoam or other materials in the comfort layers (less lower density or unknown foam to soften prematurely) and then add your own comfort layer in the form of a topper that uses higher quality and more durable materials and which can also be replaced without replacing the whole mattress if it softens or breaks down faster than the deeper layers or components of your sleeping system. A mattress will soften and breakdown from the top down so the quality and durability of the upper layers is always the most important part of the durability and useful life of a mattress.

Which of these may be best for you or even possible for you depends on the price of a mattress you are able to exchange for, the transparency of the store or manufacturer you are dealing with, and the mattresses they have available for an exchange.

In a nutshell no. There are many members here who have had the same issues and multiple exchanges with Stearns and Foster because they share the same issues with the rest of the Sealy line which is the use of too much lower quality polyfoam (or other materials) in the comfort layers which will soften or break down much too quickly. In most cases the comfort layers are the “weak link” of a mattress and will soften and break down the most quickly leading to the loss of comfort and/or support. Even some of the more “premium” models (such as their luxury latex line) will often have issues around the 3 - 5 year mark because the materials they use above the latex in the top layers include too much lower quality foam.

The Embody latex line would be one of the better options because even though the latex they use is synthetic and lower quality than you will usually find in a latex mattress made by a smaller manufacturer. It is still a more durable material than other types of foam though. Unfortunately their base layers are lower quality foam but if I had to choose between lower quality comfort layers and lower quality base foam I would would choose the lower quality base foam.

Some of the extra firm Stearns & Foster luxury Latex mattresses such as this one that only has an inch of polyfoam on top and this is a little higher quality can also make a good base for adding your own comfort layer in the form of a topper.

If I was to go with the Embody line I would tend towards the Insightful which is the firmest of the line, has no polyfoam on top, and has the thinnest layer of synthetic latex and would also make a suitable base for a topper to add any extra comfort/pressure relief you may need.

If you go in the direction of their other mattresses then I would work towards a choice that had the absolute least amount of polyfoam in the upper layers.

I would tend to avoid the Optimum line because they are not particularly good value and use medium density memory foam (which would also tend to soften over time) but because you are a lighter weight these could also make a suitable choice in the models with less memory foam (and again you could add a topper to add any comfort/pressure relief you need which would also improve the durability of the layers below it). ADDED: some of the newer Optimum latex line may be worth considering because they use latex in the comfort layers which is a durable material although they are not particularly good “value”.

While there is always some risk and uncertainty involved in adding a topper if you haven’t tested the combination in person because the specifics of the mattress itself along with your own body type, sleeping position, and preferences can affect which specific topper would be a suitable choice on any specific mattress … if you do decide to add a separate topper to a mattress then there is more information about choosing a topper in post #2 here and the topper guidelines it links to which along with a conversation with a reliable supplier that can provide you with good information about how their toppers compare to each other or to other toppers they are familiar with that are available on the market can help you use your sleeping experience as a reference point and guideline to help you choose the type, thickness, and firmness for a topper that has the least possible risk and the best chance for success. It also includes a link to a list of some of the better online sources for toppers I’m aware of and a link to the online suppliers that have good exchange/return policies as well.

If a mattress/topper combination is a good “match” for you in terms of "comfort and PPP then it also has the advantage of being able to replace just the topper without replacing the entire mattress if it softens or breaks down before the upper foam layers in the mattress (which is very likely because the upper layers of a sleeping system tend to soften or break down before the deeper layers) or if your needs or preferences change over time and a topper can also help extend the useful life of the mattress underneath it as well.

The retail price of the mattress you are looking to exchange for and the size would make a difference in what you could choose for your exchange but the principle of avoiding or minimizing lower quality materials in the upper layers would be the same and then you would also need to be OK with the added expense of a topper to go on top of it to “customize” your mattress for your needs and preferences.

Hope this helps and if you have more questions or more information you can add about your price range, the size you need, or any material preferences you have (such as memory foam vs latex) feel free to add them here.