Stuck in a Rut with Sleepys

Thank you for this informative site!

Only wish I had the knowledge I gained in a short amount of time (a few days) – prior to purchasing my current mattress. But, unfortunately, I am desperately short on time to resolve my current situation to become a real mattress expert. Hence, this hearfelt plea for HELP.

By way of background, I purchased my King sized mattress from Sleepy’s almost a year ago. I decided to go with a GS Stearns CFPT (SF9332). At the time, it “seemed” to be a “better quality” choice compared to the other choices at the store; which, in my opinion, weren’t all that great. I was “sold” (as you correctly pointed out in another post) on the marketing of their product (silk, wool, cashmere, hand tufted outer quilt, Talalay Latex, Mongolian Horsehair, wrapped titanium coils, liquid injected foam edge). When I tried the mattress in the store, it felt really good, comfortable. I made sure to try it on several occasions/locations and by laying on it for a good 15-30 minutes each time. So, $3150 later, the mattress was now mine.

I’m not entirely sure what went wrong. It didn’t start right away. Everything seemed fine. What I do know is that I have not been able to sleep on this mattress for the Past 3 months, as I was waking up (in the morning and in the middle of the night) with major hip and lower back pain. I knew it was the mattress when I was walking around fine (with no discomfort) after leaving the bed. I also started to notice that my sleeping area was starting to give out under me (if that makes sense) and not as pliable as the other side (which doesn’t get as much use). I am a side sleeper (with a tendency to hug the edges) and I am not a lightweight (heavier in the hips/butt). Instead, I’ve been sleeping on a $70 self-inflatable mattress with a 2-3" foam topper; and sleeping more comfortably than when I was on the $3,150 mattress.

I have two theories. First, I mistakenly gave the store the wrong model number when ordering the mattress; instead ordering the more firm model; as I now know there are two types of pillow tops (Cushion Firm European Pillow Top and Luxury Firm European Pillow Top). I know, sounds crazy, but perhaps might explain why I was in such pain (from being too firm?). I remember the first night sleeping on my mattress noticing how much more “firm” it felt. But, then explained it away as being new and probably needed to be “broken in”. Second theory is that the mattress (whether the correct model or not) is defective. Also, I didn’t realize until reading some of the posts here that I was supposed to rotate the mattress every few months. Could be another theory for the mattress failing?

In any event, here I am. I went back to Sleepy’s and they are graciously willing to let me buy insurance (an offer they had for a while and which has since expired since purchasing my mattress), for a mere cost of $250, (which also includes old mattress removal and delivery of the new one) to replace my existing mattress for a FULL $3150 credit towards getting a new mattress from them. This offer is only good up to a full year of my original mattress delivery, which is approximately 10 days from now. No pressure!!! There is a small part of me that just wants to try and fix my problem (either by topping my mattress with something to make it good again), rather than having to go through this excrutiating process all over again!!

So, in the very short time I’ve been reading some of the posts here, I now know that buying a cookie-cutter mattress from a national retailer is a BIG NO-NO, as you pay for what you don’t get!! Hindsight is indeed 20/20. But this is my conundrum – if I go elsewhere, starting over, I will be $3150 out-of pocket – not chump change. Also I just don’t have the funds to now buy another, better quality mattress (even if I know ultimately it will be a better investment in the long run). If I take the offer from Sleepy’s, I know I am left with choosing between several hyped-up, inferior mattresses.

In one of your (many) posts, I thought I saw something to the effect of narrowing the choices between good and good. Given that I now know my choices are between less inferior and more inferior, I want to make sure I have the lesser of the two evils, if you know what I mean. The choices are pretty slim for me (I’ve looked at the mattresses at Sleepy’s in the NY/NJ area). As much I want to, I don’t like the feel of Tempurpedic. Even the softest one, feels like concrete. I find a lot of Sleepy’s stock to be comprised of either Tempurpedic or memory foam mattresses. There are very few “conventional” (innerspring) choices and even those are “infused” somehow with foam, etc.

So, here are the three I’ve narrowed down, based on feel and comfort. To test comfort, one of the salespeople told me to lie on my right side – which is not my sleeping side (smack in middle of the bed) with my ankles touching, my knees up and forward, and my right shoulder pressed against the mattress. I was advised by the salesperson that if I can “endure” this test, without feeling any major discomfort, the mattress would be a good fit for me. So, that’s what I did. The “best” choice so far based on all the above: Simmons (YIKES …I know quintessential “cookie cutter”) Beautyrest Legend Plush (SI3197). Spent a good 45 minutes lounging lying on it and another 15 min. (at another location) in the 'test position" above. Second choice, GS Stearns Luxury Plush (SF9341). I know you may be thinking, why would you go back to the same brand you’re replacing? Again, I’m not entirely sure what went wrong. Also, this model is not a pillow top. Another salesperson told me that pillow tops are made for very, very, very thin people. He said pillow top mattresses only offer a minimal amount of comfort (roughly 2") between you and the beginning of the support portion. Also, I do need to try the “test” on this mattress again, as I may have started to feel some tingling in my fingers and a twinge in my lower back when I tried it the first time. Third choice (which really isn’t much of a choice), is the Simmons ComforPedic Phenom. I only tested this mattress briefly, as the store was closing. However, if I “had to choose” a foam mattress – this seemed really comfortable. However, interestingly enough, yet another salesperson told me that their company is gearing themselves towards selling these foam-type of mattress in the foreseeable future. Then, he laughed saying these type of mattress are simply “oversized sponges”. So, I’m not sure the quality in these foam-type of mattresses is worthy of my $3150 credit. I’m pretty sure they are made in china. I checked to see if they have any latex (the crowd favorite in your forum), but they don’t have any except maybe 1 or 2 that (even) they “can’t sell”. The first two choice are around the price range I initially paid, as I’m trying not to get “suckered” into shelling out any more $$ for mattresses that are definitely not worth it. However, if there is some other product I’m missing, that is a little bit more, I wouldn’t mind the extra cost, as long as I knew the quality was better than what I have to work with at the moment.

I thought I should point out that each salesperson I encountered, since reading this forum, could not tell me foam density and layer make-up in any of these mattresses. I wanted to laugh out loud, because your posts were right on the money, when you described how their eyes would be shifting from side to side. That’s exactly what happened :slight_smile:

Well, that’s it, in a very long-winded nutshell! I know your credo is not telling people what to do but, merely guide them along in making the correct decision that is best for them. So, I would appreciate any and all information and thoughts you have regarding my dilemma and in assisting me in choosing the “best of the worst” from the only store option I have!

Looking forward to your thoughts,

Hi bbmouse,

I’m sorry to hear about your circumstances and unfortunately you are in a similar position to many other members that have come here after buying a major brand mattress and have been “caught in between a rock and a hard place” where you don’t have any great options available to you.

While it’s possible that you ordered the wrong mattress (you could check the law tag to make sure) or that you have a defective mattress (which would be a warranty issue if any visible impressions are more than the warranty exclusions) … the most likely possibility is that the issues you are experiencing are connected to the use of lower quality materials in the comfort layers that have softened enough that you have crossed over the threshold between sleeping well on a mattress and sleeping on a mattress that is no longer a suitable match for you in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences). Unfortunately the loss of comfort and support that is the result of foam softening isn’t covered by mattress warranties (see post #174 here). This can happen quite quickly if the mattress was already “on the edge” of being too soft for you when it was new so that even a relatively small amount of softening could take you over the edge (see post #2 here).

There are some suggestions in post #4 here that may be helpful (and I would make sure that the support system isn’t contributing to your issues by sleeping on the mattress on the floor) but if a mattress has soft spots, is sagging, or is too soft, then a topper would generally be a partial or temporary solution at best and at worst could make the issues worse because a topper will just follow the soft spots or layers underneath it.

If the cause of your issues are the mattress itself then post #2 here has some strategies and suggestions that you can use to make the best possible exchange and help you make the best out of a difficult situation.


Hi Phoenix,

Thank you for your prompt response and for understanding my predicament. In a very short amount of time, this forum has made me “see the light”! I can promise you that when I shop for my next mattress (which may be sooner than I ever anticipated), I will NOT be buying from the run of the mill scam artists and most definitely will not be purchasing mass produced crap!

(Sigh) Now that I got that out of my system …In reading your response and the some of the helpful links, I see where my only shot at salvaging this situation would be taking the opportunity from Sleepy’s (which will soon expire), even if it will cost me another $250. I will exchange my GS Stearns Cushion Firm European Pillow Top for an even firmer mattress. No pillow top. No foam or any comfort materials in the immediate upper levels of the mattress. The firmer the better. Once I make the exchange, I can then buy a separate comfort topper to suit my build and comfort preferences. (Latex being the most popular choice in this forum). The challenging part will be my ability to pull off matching an appropriate comfort topper to my ultra firm mattress. I would need to try different toppers with the new (firmer) mattress in order to get the best combination of PPP. Challenging, but doable? I want to hit a mix and match homerun!! I would appreciate any recommendations for such toppers based upon the details provided below and where I might locally find and try such a wonderful addition.

Additionally, I thought I would share a few more details regarding my situation. I am 5’6 and over 200 lbs. My sometimes sleeping partner is roughly the same weight, and a few inches shorter. I note that as I’ve been sleeping on the 2-3" foam topper on my $70 self-inflatable mattress, there are times I wake up in a sweat. Although, I can recall that happening even on my GS Stearns mattress. I guess the older I get, this is happening more often. The weather also has a lot to do with (living in the NY/NJ area). I should also mention that I use a platform (probably made of lacquered ply wood). The slats are very close together (less than an inch apart). It is solid though.

Here’s my question: Given the direction of mattresses I believe will net me the best long-term results in this given situation: The firmest, no bells and whistles, no frills mattress. Would you stick with a coil mattress as the base to add the latex comfort topper to; or, exchange for a Tempurpedic or some other like foam brand (since they all seem pretty firm to me) as the base to add a better latex topper to? Although, I realize by suggesting any form of foam, Tempurpedic, memory foam, etc. selected from the only store option available, will be most likely be comprised of layer upon layer of inferior materials just waiting to collapse under my weight.

Thank you Phoenix, your assistance is invaluable to me (and to countless others).


Hi bbmouse,

It’s certainly challenging but also very “doable”. Post #2 here and the topper guidelines it links to should help you choose a topper that works best for both you and the mattress you end up choosing and if you choose a supplier that allows you to either exchange for a different firmness level or return the topper then the risk of making a mistake or the trial and error process would be lower as well.

There is more about all the variables and the different types of materials that can affect sleeping temperature in post #2 here but in many cases just changing your mattress protector or your sheets and bedding can make “enough” of a difference.

This sounds like it would be suitable for any mattress that is designed to be used on a solid non flexing foundation so you should be fine here.

The weak link of a mattress in terms of durability will tend to be the comfort layers and not the support layers of the mattress and the type of support material or component would be more of a preference issue than a durability issue. It would boil down to how you feel about the “feel” of an innerspring vs other types of support cores (such as the polyfoam that is used in most memory foam mattresses). The “feel” of an innerspring is familiar to most people and they can certainly make a good choice but I would also test the mattress for motion isolation if that is an issue for you because some types of innersprings that use helicals to join the coils together can transfer more motion than others and more than pocket coils or foam support cores.

If you decide to consider any of the Tempurpedic mattresses I would choose the one that works best without a topper. Tempurpedic uses good quality materials in their mattresses and their biggest issue with them is not so much the quality/durability of the materials as the fact that they are not good value compared to other mattresses that use the same or better quality materials that sell for much lower prices. They would be an example of the first “exchange” strategy (buying a mattress that is suitable without a topper and uses good quality materials in the comfort layers). Because you are in the 200 lb range … I would tend to minimize the use of 4 lb memory foam which is a suitable density for most people but will be less durable for higher weights. This means that I would tend to look at the firmer mattresses in the Cloud series (which use less 4 lb memory foam) or in the Contour series (which uses 5 lb memory foam or higher which is a more durable material). I would also be aware that memory foam can sleep warmer than polyfoam or latex and while the Tempurpedic Breeze mattresses may sleep a little cooler than their other mattresses … the gel tends to have temporary benefits over the course of the night and once temperature equalize then some people may still have temperature issues if they are closer to the “oven” end of the “oven to iceberg” range. The advantage of a Tempurpedic (if you can call it that) is that you wouldn’t lose much or even any of your credit compared to choosing a less costly mattress.

I would also consider looking at some of their other higher priced mattresses that are closer to your credit to see if you can find out the specifics of the comfort layers because while some of these may be overpriced as well if you were buying new … they may use higher quality materials in the comfort layers and also be worth considering as a “stand alone” option … but only if you can confirm the quality of the materials inside them.

Sleepy’s also sells toppers so you could test specific mattress/topper combinations in person to get a better sense of the type of topper that would work best for you with one of their firmer mattresses or use it as a reference point if you decide to buy a topper somewhere else.


Hiya Phoenix,

Thanks ever so much for your suggestions. I feel so much better about my situation now that I know my ultimate decision will be well informed and based upon credible knowledge.

Here’s where I am on my exchange options: I’m leaning away from innerspring mattresses and am now more focused on a foam mattress from either tempurpedic or Simmons (ComforPedic Phenom). I took your advice and geared my attention to the tempurpedic models you suggested by visiting three different stores and trying the models available on display: tempur-cloud supreme ($3.099), tempur-cloud elite (roughly $3800), tempura-cloud lux breeze ($5,399). I also tried an older model tempur-cloud supreme breeze ($3800), although I didn’t spend too much time on the mattress, it felt a little too soft (even for me)? I also tried the tempur-contour rhapsody luxe ($4100) and the Simmons Phenom (roughly $3000). All the prices are for the king mattress only.

I know I initially said I wouldn’t even consider a tempurpedic, as they felt like sleeping on concrete, but I actually priced a no frills, ultra firm king size mattress and my $3150 credit would barely cover the cost of that mattress, let alone the additional cost of a good topper I would need to buy separately. SLEEPY’s didn’t have any I could really try. And, the two tempurpedic lines (cloud and contour) you recommended seemed really good, as long as when I sat or lay on them they had a little bit of give, even “cushy” feel. I note that cloud supreme breeze maybe felt a little too firm? And, the cloud elite had stark edges that I slid off of, but otherwise felt nice. Again, hard to tell what a “real sleep” will feel like.

You were “right on the money” when you said the tempurpedic was not a great value. So based on the above, my final decision which must be by this Sunday, needs be “right on the money”. As I never owned or slept long term on any tempurpedic, my concern is the break-in period and, of course, the breaking down of the materials and the sleeping temperature. However, as you can see there’s still quite a money difference to some of the options I’ve tried. I’m willing to try other stores if there’s another model I haven’t yet tried. I note that I was only able to try the one contour (above).

Phoenix, your continued assistance and guidance is so greatly appreciated.


Hi bbmouse,

I would be very cautious with the Simmons mattresses unless you can find out the density of the foams in the comfort layers because it may use lower density materials than I would be comfortable with. The Phenom for example has between 2" and 4" of “aircool” memory foam in the top layers and if these are lower density memory foams than they would be a weak link in the mattress so I would only consider the 10" plush model which at least only has 2" of memory foam to help minimize the possibility (and risk) of having too much lower quality/density memory foam in the upper layers of the mattress.

If you are considering a Tempurpedic or any mattress that uses relatively good quality materials in the comfort layers already then I would choose one that is the best match for you without a topper and I wouldn’t try to choose a firmer model that needed a topper.

Tempurpedic tends to be a “love it or hate it” type of mattress. Some people like sleeping on a material that has a more “in the mattress” feel and don’t mind that memory foam can sleep warmer while others wouldn’t consider it at all. If you have never slept on memory foam or a Tempurpedic before then I would spend more time than the minimum 15 minutes on a mattress that I would normally suggest so you have a better sense of how the mattress feels when it has a chance to warm up a little.

It may also be worth trying the other Contour models or the Tempurpedic weightless models which use thinner layers of memory foam over a more resilient high density polyfoam which has a little more “spring” in it and which some people prefer because it can make it a little easier to change positions on your mattress.

Again just as a reminder I would either choose a mattress that was OK all by itself if you can confirm that the quality of the comfort layers are acceptable or I would choose a mattress that had the least possible amount of “unknown” foams or other materials in the comfort layers (which would probably all be in the firm or very firm range) to minimize the risk of lower quality/density materials and then add a topper to one of these to add your own “comfort layer” where you can choose the type and quality of the material.


Hi Pheonix,

Thanks so much for your response and even more so for your wisdom and guidance (and patience :blush: ).

I spent a good while yesterday at a Sleepy’s showroom/training center, where they had a lot more Tempurpedic models than the other stores I visited previously.

After lying for a considerable amount of time (perhaps 45 min. – 1 hour on my back and side) on the Contour Elite ($3199), and Contour Rhapsody Breeze ($4199) – which I believe is very similar to Contour Rhapsody Luxe ($3899) in firmness, I feel more inclined to go with the Rhapsody Luxe. Once I experienced the Contour series and then went back to try a few Cloud mattresses (which I had initially liked), I found my inclination toward them changed: either they felt a little too soft or I felt sunk in – they were a bit low (11" - 11.5").

With regard to Contour Elite (which is just a tad more firm (according to their chart) than the Rhapsody Breeze/Luxe. Although it initially felt tough, I didn’t feel the rigidness once I was on my side (close to 45 min.). However, when I was laying on my back I could feel some resistance in my upper back and felt my pelvic/hip area “tweak” just a bit – perhaps because I’m not used to sleeping aligned? Also, I noted that my upper back became really “warm” around 20 min. in to my laying on it, despite its “SmartClimate System”, which according to the salesperson only feels cooler when you move around. A little confusing as Tempurpedic is primarily known for ensuring you “sleeping in place”. Also, the salesperson told me that the Tempurpedic adjusts to room temperature. It was “freezing” in the show room. I actually had to use a light sheett to stop my teeth from chattering. So, I’m not sure how that theory would work in my home, which I keep considerably warmer, along with having a down comforter (in the winter), etc. When I similarly experimented on the Rhapsody Breeze, I could feel the temperature of the mattress was a bit cooler – could also have something to with that area of the showroom was much cooler than where the Elite was located. Even so, once on my back, I began to feel my upper back start to get warm. When I brought this issue up to the salesperson, she recommended I get a “wicking” mattress protector (they sell for roughly $200) to go over their mattress cover. The other issue, which has them going back and forth today is whether my $3150 store credit will afford me the same Tempurpedic rights as it would a “brand new” customer (min. 30 night use and 90 day return policy).

As I wait for their response, in the meantime here are the facts:

The Contour Rhapsody Breeze is $4199 + approx. $200 (dry “wicking” mattress protector). I also don’t like the fact that it does not have the new (more convenient) top “zipper” on this mattress, which will make it extremely hard to get their mattress cover on/off. Out-of-pocket to me (mattress/protector): $1269.00.

The Contour Elite is $3199. Out-of-pocket to me (mattress/protector): $253.00.

The Contour Rhapsody Luxe is $3899. Out-of-pocket to me (mattress/protector): $802.00. According to their chart, the Rhapsody Luxe and Rhapsody Breeze are the same in firmness. They are charging $300 more for the “breeze feature”. Also the Luxe has the convenient front zipper.

And, here’s the other monkey wrench, while trying the mattress, I realize I really like their Ergo adjustable bases, which I already figured out will not fit into my current king platform set-up even with the slats removed only because of the way the base is constructed, where the base is much smaller and pedestal-like than the top portion (upon which the mattress rests). Also, I note when I initially gave you my platform bed configuration, the information was not entirely correct. The slats are actually wider, roughly 3" apart. I note the Rhapsody King is roughly 200 pounds, where as my current GS King mattress is consdierably less?. In your opinion, if I don’t go with the Ergo base/component, will my platform bed hold up under the Rhapsody weight?

There actually may be a way to remove the entire platform/base section from my headboard unit (more like a wall unit – it actually takes up the entire wall approx.12’ wall) because I believe they are separate pieces joined by the heavy duty screws into the wall unit itself. As far as I know, the Ergo adjustable bases would comprise of two long twin components (39x80 each and weighing roughly 106 pounds each). Add this to the weight of my headboard/wall unit), I’m a little afraid all that weight, plus human weight, will crash right through my bedroom floor and directly into my living room below :ohmy: The remaining and least favorite option if I am indeed able to remove the platform/base section from the rest of headboard-wall unit would be to go with a Queen sized mattress/Ergo adjust base instead, which would most likely lighten the load. I realize there would be a size differential but, perhaps it’s time to downgrade.

I feel like we are finally seeing a light to this very winding tunnel.

Again, your comments and insight are so very much appreciated.


Hi bbmouse,

While I can’t help you decide on which mattress is the best match for you in terms of PPP (I can’t feel what you feel or see you on the mattress) or which one would be the best “value” for you for an exchange (which would depend a great deal on which one was the most suitable for you and how comfortable you are with any additional costs) … I can certainly add a few comments that may help.

This isn’t unusual because it can take more time for the higher density memory foam in the Contour series to soften with body heat but once it softens they are often “soft enough” although each person will have their own preferences which will also depend on their body type and sleeping positions.

This is fairly typical of any higher density memory foam mattress with a relatively thin cover. While the cover may wick moisture … the moisture really has nowhere to go because the part of the mattress that is under you isn’t exposed to the air. If you move around then the moisture can evaporate but this may not be meaningful if you are sleeping in the same position for longer periods of time.

Memory foam is a temperature sensitive material and while different types of memory foam can be more or less temperature sensitive than others … all of them will be affected by temperature to some degree. If you sleep on a memory foam mattress for “long enough” for your body heat to soften the foam underneath you then the room temperature will make less difference to the foam directly underneath you (although the foam will take longer to soften in colder rooms) but the parts of your mattress that are more exposed to the room temperature will tend to be firmer when you change position and will once again take a little longer to soften underneath you.

The effect of gel in memory foam will vary depending on the percentage of gel and how the gel is added to the memory foam but in most cases the effect of gel is more temporary and will only stay cooler until temperatures equalize after which the insulating properties of the memory foam will become more dominant and become warmer. There is more about gel memory foams in post #2 here.

There is more about different types of mattress protectors and their effect on sleeping temperature in post #89 here. The effect of the mattress protector they are suggesting would depend on which type it was. Your sheets can also have a noticeable effect on sleeping temperature and natural fibers (such as cotton or linen more linen) or semi-synthetic fibers such as bamboo or other viscose fabrics will tend to wick or store moisture better than synthetic fibers such as polyester. In many cases the mattress protector and sheets you are using can make “enough” of a difference for many people that would otherwise sleep warmer on memory foam but there will still be some that will tend to sleep warmer on any type of softer memory foam. There is more about all the variables that can affect sleeping temperature in post #2 here and the posts it links to.

I don’t know the specifics of your platform but in general terms if it has a firm non flexing surface with good center support to the floor it would generally work well in practical terms but this may not be “good enough” for Tempurpedic and I would also be aware that Tempurpedic specifies a solid surface foundation in their warranty (see here) and they are rather vague about their other requirements except to say that you may need to “prove” that your foundation is suitable for their mattress if you ever have a warranty claim if you use any foundation other than theirs. At the very least it’s clear that you would need suitable solid surface support system. If you have an adjustable bed with a solid surface then there would be no doubt that it would be suitable by their standards.

If you do decide to go with an adjustable base then there is more information in post #3 here and the adjustable bed thread that may be helpful because there are some better value options than the ones that Tempurpedic sells that have very similar functions but aren’t “branded” as a Tempurpedic.

It seems like you are making some good progress with your research although I know that you have some “difficult” choices to make.


Hiya Phoenix,

After all your support, wisdom and guidance, I wanted to give you the update on my final choice (What I’d really like to do is give you a big hug) :lol:

I’m going with the Tempur-pedic Contour Rhapsody Luxe (King) which will be delivered this weekend!! YAY! And, I also decided to get the Ergo Plus base and KG Bedgear Dri-Tec Mattress protector (to wick away moisture).

I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome with SLEEPY’s – the people I dealt with we’re terrific and a pleasure through this entire ordeal! Without their accommodation, giving me a FULL credit on the GS mattress almost a year after I bought it, I would have had zero buying power anywhere else. And, because I’m a first time TP customer, I now have 120 days to love love love my new mattress, otherwise, TP will take it back and issue me a FULL refund – not credit (minus $175) for the mattress. If I decide TP isn’t for me, the base will be mine, which is fine, as I can then use it with any another mattress.

Again, kudos to you for being the sound of reason.


Hi bbmouse,

That’s great news!

I’m looking forward to your feedback when you receive everything.

<<<Virtual hugs are good too!>>> :slight_smile: