Stuck and need to exchange a "big brand" mattress

Hi mermla,

Normally that would be a good thing :slight_smile: Many of the most expensive mattresses are only more expensive because they have more material in them than many people need (and in many cases much of this is also lower quality).

[quote]Now I am confused…I have laid on an Insight before and felt that it was like laying on concrete. Then online, according to which site you read, the Insight has a higher comfort level than the Genius.
Today, the Insight did not feel like concrete…I liked it very much. The Savant and Prodigy felt too soft for me. The Insight is the first in the line up, right? I like the idea of a topper… I may be able to use my credit for a Tempurpedic mattress topper, although they are 3 inches. My husband would love this, although I think its too much cushion for me.[/quote]

Yes … the Insight is the entry level and has the 2.75" of 4 lb gel memory foam on top of the polyfoam support core. This would be firm for most people. The Genius has 2" of very firm polyfoam in between the gel memory foam and polyfoam which makes it firmer yet (the 2" polyfoam layer is firmer than the support layer) but it’s also low quality so if you lie on a Genius where this layer has softened then it could feel softer than the Insight. The insight would make a good base for a topper but unless you can try the actual combination and test it for PPP then it’s usually a good idea to sleep on the mattress first and then use your actual sleeping experience as a guideline for choosing the type of topper that adds the amount of extra softness you want (you can see some guidelines for choosing a topper in post #2 here and the posts it links to).

You can read a little more about graphene in the wikipedia article here. It’s quite a remarkable material with many uses but its use in mattresses is fairly new. The reason it’s added to memory foam is because it has a high level of thermal conductivity which in theory can help memory foam sleep cooler although memory foam is still an insulating material and thermal conductive and phase change gels or other materials added to memory foam still tend to have a temporary effect and are only cooling till temperatures equalize and after that are not as effective for temperature regulation over the course of the night as moisture wicking materials and good ventilation. You can read more about temperature regulation in post #2 here and the other posts it links to.

Over time information about the quality of the materials in the Inception will likely become available but if he knows (and isn’t just guessing) then it would be great to know the density of each layer in the mattress. The gel memory foam in the iComfort series is about 4 lbs (medium density/quality) but I don’t know the density of the memory foam in the Directions mattresses … although I suspect it would be reasonable quality or better (as I mentioned previously I believe that the dual effects gel memory foam is 5 lbs which is good quality but I don’t know this for certain and I don’t know the density of the graphene gfx memory foam). I normally don’t chase down the specs for major brands because it’s too time consuming and usually requires some good contacts that can find out and they aren’t good enough value anyway to make it worth the time but as I come to know them I’ll certainly put the information on the forum because there are many people who shop for major brand mattresses and don’t realize they are not very good value.

I hope you are testing specifically for pressure relief and alignment following the testing guidelines (rather than just how comfortable the mattress is) but assuming that you are I’m looking forward to hearing about which mattress you end up exchanging for.


Hi Phoenix,

I wasn’t able to get to Albuquerque to try the Iseries Jubilance this past weekend, but I am hoping to get there this weekend.

However, in thinking about hybrids, I revisited the beautyrest Truenergy beds today. I recall liking Noelle, but refused to buy it because Simmons did not offer a comfort exchange on those models.

What are your thoughts on these beds compared to the Iseries hybrids?

I still like the Temp weightless select model, but feel that it is not one of their higher quality foams. Doesn’t that bed feel more like latex?

And of course, my husband’s favorite is the Rhapsody. The bed that stands out for me from my trip to Lubbock was the Icomfort Inception. Obviously I need to narrow this down.


Hi mermla,

Simmons doesn’t release the foam specs of their mattresses and while eventually they tend to leak out (sometimes correctly and sometimes incorrectly) … each time they change their model lineup and the proprietary names of the components and materials they use they may or may not also change suppliers and foam quality so there is really no way to know for certain exactly what is in their mattresses without having specific and verified information from the manufacturer themselves. Without this information there is really no way to make a meaningful assessment of their mattresses or make meaningful comparisons with other mattresses other than their subjective “feel” which has nothing to do with the quality or durability of the materials they use.

The only way to know or assess any mattress is with confirmed and reliable information about what is in them and if a manufacturer doesn’t want the public to know there is really no way to know if any information that becomes available is accurate or how long it will stay accurate.

For example Simmons used to call their memory foam NXG (which was 3.5 lbs or low quality) and NXG advanced (which was 5.5 lbs and high quality) but now their new lineup uses their new Aircool terminology and the memory foam may or may not be the same. They have also never listed the quality of their polyfoam although it is usually 1.5 lbs or less with few exceptions. As you can see … the Noelle here uses 3.5" of foam that is a complete unknown in terms of its quality or durability.

Tempurpedic also doesn’t release any information about the Tempur Float material. You can see some speculation about it here and it’s probably a good quality HR polyfoam but once again without knowing the specifics there is no way to make any meaningful assessments about the mattress other than the fact that their history indicates that they carry a very high price relative to other similar mattresses that use the same or better quality materials.

There are even some strong indications that the quality of some of the materials in the Tempurpedic mattresses has been recently reduced but since they are removing references to the density of their foams all over the internet (and most of the references that are still there use the old specs that used to be fairly widely available) there is no way to know this for certain either except through “alternative” means.

For example the Tempurpedic simplicity line uses very poor quality/density sub 3 lb memory foam over a polyfoam base layer that is probably in the range of 1.5 to 1.8 lbs and yet they carry a price that is similar to memory foam mattresses that use high quality memory foam and polyfoam materials in all the layers that are made by other manufacturers. The quality of these is so low that I wouldn’t even consider them as a reasonable option based on quality alone regardless of the label on the mattress.

To the degree that you don’t know what is in a mattress you are really making a blind purchase and while they may be comfortable and supportive in the showroom … there is no way to really know or even guess how long they will stay that way.

It’s a little like comparing two pieces of furniture one which is made of good quality real wood and the other that is made of cheaper particle board with a nice veneer. They will both perform exactly the same functions when they are new but one is much lower quality and less durable and certainly won’t last very long while the other one may last for generations.



I finally made it to Albuquerque to try the Iseries Jubilance, and, you were right, it felt just like the Icomfort Prodigy. It felt a bit soft for me.

I don’t know where this leaves me…choosing the best of all bad options.

I also tried the new Tempurpedic air mattress…I never paid attention because I thought it was expensive, but turns out its about what my credit is. I would only consider this so my husband could make his side soft and I could firm up the lumbar area…but I question the quality of this mattress.

I like the Temp weightless Supreme, the Icomfort Insight, the Icomfort Directions Inception, and the Temp. Contour Select.

Meanwhile, being that my husband has been deployed for 5 months, I rolled onto his side of the bed and it felt firmer!!! It felt like it did when we purchased it and I loved it. Now I am sleeping on his side. If I could only enjoy that feeling on a mattress that would retain that feel and level of firmness!!

I have to choose and just don’t know which to pull the trigger on. I will have to use my credit in the store…perhaps buy a topper or twin mattresses for my 3 kids, but after reading your blog I don’t want to purchase mattresses for them from theses companies.


Hi mermla,

That’s exactly the reason why the durability of the upper layers of a mattress are so important so that once you are past the initial break in period that the mattress will maintain its comfort and support for longer.

I think the previous posts (and the other threads I linked) have all the information you need to make the best possible choice (unless you have any specific questions) and I’m looking forward to finding out what you end up choosing.

Basically your choices involve either …

  1. Choosing a mattress that has good PPP based on careful and objective testing and that doesn’t have a weak link of more than an inch or so of lower quality or unknown materials in the upper layers. This primarily involves personal testing along with making sure you know the details of all the layers so you know any “weak link”

  2. Choosing a very firm mattress that minimizes any low quality or unknown layers and then adding a high quality topper as your comfort layer using your experience on the mattress and the topper guidelines to make the best possible choice. This involves primarily choosing a mattress based on it’s design and the quality of the materials with it’s “comfort” being secondary (it will likely be too firm) and then adding a comfort layer based on your experience and using your “best judgement”.

  3. Choosing a mattress that works for PPP based on careful and objective testing but where there is 2" or more of unknown or low quality materials which would involve taking the risk that in a relatively short time your experience with the Comforpedic may be repeated.


HI Phoenix…
I am afraid to “pull the trigger”…however I am running out of time on my exchange policy. I am enjoying sleeping on my husband’s side of the bed which feels firmer, so I went back to the store to try and find a similar feel in the temp or icomforts. This time I gravitated toward the prodigy.
As for Tempurpedic, I couldn’t find the comparable feel.
Any thoughts?

Hi mermla,

I don’t think there’s much I can add to the information I’ve already mentioned or linked to unless you have specific questions that I can answer.


I have narrowed down my options to Temp Rhapsody or Contour Select.

The Contour Select is listed as “extra firm”…Rhapsody is “med firm”.

I laid on both and the contour select actually felt softer. Is this because of the higher density foam layer in the Rhapsody? I like the Contour Select but feel that the Rhapsody is better quality and will hold up better long term because of the high density layer. However, will the contour select be more supportive and “sink” less over the course of the night?

I am most concerned about “softening” and support under my hips.
I understand neither is good “value”…now I am focusing on comparing them in terms of quality…I know they are both good quality, but does Rhapsody edge out the Select? Or will it soften more?

Hi mermla,

[quote]I have narrowed down my options to Temp Rhapsody or Contour Select.

The Contour Select is listed as “extra firm”…Rhapsody is “med firm”.

I laid on both and the contour select actually felt softer. Is this because of the higher density foam layer in the Rhapsody? I like the Contour Select but feel that the Rhapsody is better quality and will hold up better long term because of the high density layer. However, will the contour select be more supportive and “sink” less over the course of the night?[/quote]

Softness and firmness can be very subjective so different people will have different perceptions of what feels soft and firm. Memory foam is temperature sensitive and also changes in softness depending on humidity, movement, and the length of time the material is compressed so this can also affect how it feels. You can read more about some of the different qualities of memory foam that can affect how “soft” it feels in post #8 here.

Higher density memory foams tend to have a higher compression modulus (the rate that a foam gets firmer as you compress it more) so they will “allow” you to sink in a little less over the course of the night than lower density memory foams but any density of memory foam can use a combination of chemicals that can change any of its specs and how it performs.

[quote]I am most concerned about “softening” and support under my hips.
I understand neither is good “value”…now I am focusing on comparing them in terms of quality…I know they are both good quality, but does Rhapsody edge out the Select? Or will it soften more?[/quote]

Once you are past about 6 lbs or so then any increase in the density of memory foam would be subject to the law of diminishing returns and I would consider any memory foam of about 5 lbs and higher to be a very durable material. The thickness of the memory foam in the comfort layers and some of the other factors that are part of the design of a memory foam mattress can also make just as much difference in the longevity of a mattress because the useful life of a mattress is not just about the durability of the materials themselves but is also relative to each person. There is more about the factors that affect durability and the useful life of a mattress in post #4 here.

I would put both the Rhapsody and the Contour select in the category of a “durable” mattress and the useful life of each will depend more in individual factors than on the durability of the materials themselves. The Rhapsody would likely feel softer once you have spent more time on the mattress because 7 lb memory foam can take more time to warm up and become softer.

In “theory” … the higher density of the top 1.2" in the rhapsody will be a “little” more durable but in practice both have 4" of high quality memory foam in the top layers so any difference between them in terms of durability in real life is not likely to be meaningful.


OK Phoenix I did it…I took the plunge and switched my very soft mattress for a Temp Contour Select…I went with that one because it was an “even exchange” …I did not want to fork out any more money for the Rhapsody.
I have been sleeping on it for a few nights now, and am a bit panicked. I do like it much better than the Comforpedic Advanced…my hips do feel very supported.
I like that I don’t “sink in” too much…I don’t feel “trapped” in a hole that I can’t get out of. However…this mattress is hard. I do realize that I like the firm support, but desire a teeny bit more of a plush comfort feel. I don’t know how much it will soften…so I have a question.
Should I consider using my comfort exchange to switch out for a Contour Signature, which has a little more comfort layer, or purchase a 1inch mattress topper to put on top of this mattress? I remember thinking in the store that the contour Signature was too soft, but I realize not that once I hit the support layer it might be enough. I am a side sleeper. I think the Contour Select in the store was much more worn in than I realized.
The contour signature is the model in between the Rhapsody and Contour Select…but the support layer was thinner, so I felt it would not be supportive enough. I do like the support in the Contour Select, but it feels so hard!!


Hi Mermla,

Some of the suggestions in post #2 here may be helpful.

I would give it a month or so to give the mattress time to break in before making any exchanges or adding a topper.

If after a month or so you do decide that you need a little extra softness then exchanging for the Contour Signature may be a little less “risky”. Both the Signature and the Select have 4" of 5.3 lb memory foam in the comfort layers but the top 1.6" in the Signature is the softer formulation so not only would it be softer but you would be a little closer to the polyfoam support layers (less memory foam to sink in to) than you would if you added an inch of memory foam to the Select which may be a little less risky for alignment than having an extra inch of memory foam on top of the Select (which would be a total of 5" of memory foam). In addition to this you can test the Signature in person to make sure it works well for you and that you like how it “feels”. There are many different types of memory foam that each have a different feel and response (even if they are the same density/quality) so you wouldn’t know how your mattress feels with a specific memory foam topper until you’ve had the chance to sleep on it. In other words … adding a topper is a little bit more of an unknown.

Of course the downside to upgrading to the Signature is that it’s more costly than adding a topper.

So which one is best for you would depend on whether the lower cost of adding a topper was worth the added risks to you.



I have been sleeping on the Temp Contour Select for a month now, and although it has softened up, it is still to hard for me.

I think this leaves me to either the Contour Signature, which has a softer top comfort layer, or the Cloud Select, which will feel a bit softer and a bit less like “sand”. My husband loves the highly conforming sinking feeling, but although I think I prefer a more “cushioning” feel. I don’t mind the sinking, because it is a very thin layer, but once the sinking stops, to me it feels hard.

I also like the Weightless supreme, because of the bouncier feel. This is the opposite of what my husband prefers, but he is more flexible than I am apparently.

We both feel that this bed is much more supportive than the Comforpedic Advanced. However, in that bed when I was on my back, my butt sunk a bit and that was more comfortable on my lower back. It somewhat tilted my pelvis up. But on my side, my hips sank.

In this bed, the Temp Contour Select, my hips are nice and elevated and supported when I’m on my side, but on my back, the foam fills in that space and almost makes me feel as if my back is arched.

This is why I think the Cloud Select or Contour Signature might be the best match, plus the Cloud is an even exchange money wise.

Hi mermla,

I think you’ve have some good clarity and outlined the pros and cons of each choice well.

Now comes the hard part which is choosing which of your options has the best odds of working well for you in real life.

If I was in your shoes I would do some very careful testing of all of your options (with both of you on the mattress and using the testing guidelines) and then let your body decide.

With memory foam I would test each mattress a little longer than the normal minimum of 15 minutes (after you are fully relaxed) because it can take a little longer for memory foam to warm up and soften.