Sealy Posturepedic analysis and review

Since I’ve picked a bit on Serta, in my last analysis … let’s take a look at a typical Sealy mattress this time and see what kind of value we can find there. The mattress I’ll choose for this analysis is the Sealy Posturepedic Gervalis Firm but it could have been any Sealy Posturepedic. Bear in mind too that a similar Sealy mattress will go under many different names in different outlets.

From the top down it has FlameGuard as the fire retardant and the description can be found here. That’s a good thing and much better than dousing the mattress in chemicals.

[attachment=1368 alt=“Sealy’s FlameGuard Fire Retardant Description” title=“This is the Flame Guard Fire Retardant description provided by Sealy in 2013”]Sealy’s FlameGuard FR description.jpg[/attachment]

Next, we have 2 layers of 3/4" of hypersoft foam. This is a quilting foam which is used instead of various fibers to create a soft quilted feel on top of the mattress. It is claimed to be more durable and softer than commonly used synthetic fibers that are often used for quilting, however, this is relative and the top of the mattress now has 1.5" of lower density soft polyfoam on top which is exactly the type of foam which is subject to body impressions and foam breakdown.

Next, we have .79" of Sealy intuisoft smart latex. This is typically a continuous pour Dunlop type of latex that uses 2 different ILD’s (a measure of foam softness) of latex. It’s “smart” apparently because of the two different ILD’s or types of foam which helps with conforming to a body shape. It’s made by Sapsa (Sealy’s latex pouring division) and is mostly SBR latex (artificial and lower quality latex). This minimal layer of latex will lead to many sales outlets calling this a “latex” mattress when it is anything but since .79 inches of latex makes little difference in the overall quality of the mattress.

Next, we have 2" of Sealy’s supersoft foam which is an HD (a middle grade of foam) polyfoam usually with an ILD in the range of 4-10. In other words, another 2" of polyfoam which is prone to break down and body impressions. This foam is also promoted here as having an even cell structure which is exactly the opposite of the highest quality HR foams which have an UNEVEN CELL structure as you could be seen on BFFFOAM website which is one of several great polyfoam reference sites (Note added later: We left the footprint to the site but we removed the broken link to the resource).

[attachment=1369 alt=“Sealy’s Supersoft Foam Description” title=“This is the supersoft Foam description provided by Sealy in 2013”]SealySuperSoftFoam description.jpg[/attachment]

Next, we have another 2" of mid-grade foam similar to the super soft but a firmer version.

Finally, we have the innerspring unit which as you can see from the diagram is a 759 coil offset coil type of innerspring which uses 14 gauge wire (average) and has two different “spring rates” so it compresses more easily at first and then becomes more firm after further compression. This is part of all innerspring construction and there are many methods which are used to accomplish this. In this case, the tightness of the coiling is varied. It also has a “core support center” which means they add more foam in the middle to help hold up your hips. They say they use memory foam … a non-supportive foam … to do this but since the memory foam is deep in the mattress where it will not soften with your body heat, it will be a “firm” foam rather than a “shape conforming” foam used in this way. This type of “zoning” with the middle area under the hips is very common and can be accomplished in many ways.

Finally a few “extras” include the straight edge system which means it has a firm edge to sit on but it flexible enough to be used on an adjustable bed. This is usually done by using a firm foam encasing around the coils to replace the usual border rod. It also has bigger handles to help in turning (of course it’s one-sided so can’t be flipped) and it has some rubber on the foundation to keep the mattress from sliding.

So what we have is basically an innerspring of reasonable quality, with 5.5" of low/mid grade polyfoam on top of it with some artificial latex stuck in the middle. Keep in mind too that this is their “firm” model and that the plush versions will have even more of the soft and/or lower quality polyfoam in them.

Now, this mattress supposedly has a “suggested retail price” of $3399 in queen size which I would assume everyone already knows is a joke since I doubt that anyone has ever bought one at this price. So the “50% off sale price” is really the regular price and is $1699. Now, in this case, the mattress has been further reduced and is selling for $1104 as you can see here. An amazing deal right?

Not quite so fast …

[attachment=1370 alt=“Snapshot of archived version of the Sealy Posturepedic Gervalis Mattress” title=“Sealy Posturepedic Gervalis Mattress prices in 2013”]SealyPosturpedicGervalis Pricing+Description.jpg[/attachment]

If you look at the actual materials, you will quickly discover that a mattress with 3.5" of soft mid grade polyfoam on top of another 2" of mid-grade polyfoam with a tiny bit of latex in the mix is not worth buying in the first place at almost any price since this is the exact recipe for early foam breakdown and body impressions that are so common everywhere you read on the web. Even if you wanted this basic “foam over innersprings” construction, these materials are so overpriced that you could purchase a good quality innerspring with either high-quality latex foam or top for a similar price or a mattress using higher quality polyfoam on top of innersprings for even less. Both would be more comfortable if you chose the correct ILD and thickness of foam for your needs and would certainly be more durable and would keep their initial comfort and support levels for much longer.

Where could you buy this? At almost any local mattress manufacturer that builds mattresses that have true quality and value or the specialty sleep shops that sell them … including our manufacturing members. They are all over the country.

If you look at the various descriptions of this mattress and the materials in it at different outlets … you will see the manufacturer’s stories repeated everywhere. If you look at the materials … you will see the truth. It’s just a little more difficult to find.

I picked this mattress because it is a “top of the line” Posturepedic. Unfortunately, almost the entire lineup would fare the same or in many cases worse with a truthful and “materials oriented” review.

There is great value out there. Unfortunately, this is not it.



Thanks for posting this analysis and review. I was considering this exact Sealy model and was being fooled by some of the claims you clarified in your post. I found this site while trying to get some more info on the mattress, and all of the overviews have been extremely helpful. I live in Dallas and have decided to head out to the Mattress Factory next week to see what they can do for me in terms of a latex mattress. I’m sure I’ll be back with some questions before making my purchase.


Hi Chris,

I’m glad you found some of the information here helpful.

If you have any questions along the way I’m happy to help in any way I can.