The Serta iComfort mattress ... what's the buzz

Hi Bftiedt,

The iComfort is a line of mattresses that includes 7 models and every model in the lineup is very different from the others. They also have completely different combinations of layering and materials that are used in the mattress. Some have the gel memory foam on top and some have regular memory foam on top and there are also different types of materials and combinations of materials in the mix which each produce a very different feel.

To use an analogy … trying to match one mattress to another is a lot like trying to match one loaf of bread to another.

One of the ingredients in bread is flour and there are hundreds of different types of flour such as corn flour, rye flour, cake flour, whole wheat flour, rice flour etc just like there are hundreds of different types of memory foam (including many different types of gel memory foam). Each of them have their own characteristics and each of them can produce a different type of bread (or mattress) in combination with other ingredients.

Just like flour is only one of the ingredients in a loaf of bread … memory foam is only one of the materials in a memory foam mattress. You also need the recipe and the rest of the ingredients and the proportions to make bread (or a mattress). With bread … how the final loaf feels and tastes depends on how all the ingredients combine together. It’s the same with a memory foam mattress and how all the different types of materials and layering combines together results in how the final mattress feels and performs. The more layers there are in a mattress … the more difficult it can be to match … especially if you don’t know all the exact details of each layer.

Also like bread … different people have different tastes and ideas about what type of bread they prefer and their descriptions about a loaf of bread may be very different. One person may say “this is too salty” and another may say “it’s not salty enough”. Mattresses are the same and different people will describe the same mattress or softness and firmness very differently (often depending on their body type and sleeping style along with their individual preferences and what they are used to).

The only common factor between all the different memory foam mattresses is that they all use at least one layer of slow recovery memory foam of some type and how a “memory foam mattress” performs and feels will depend on the combination and proportions of all the materials and components in the mattress.

So trying to match one mattress to another depends on either knowing the exact recipe of the mattress (all the details of every layer in the mattress) and then matching these exact same materials in another mattress which is very unlikely. Different mattresses and manufacturers use different types of materials and the mattresses you are describing only provide a general description (such as they contain flour without saying the type) and don’t provide the details of the type of memory foam or the other layers or the proportions that are used in either the mattress you want to match or the mattress that you are hoping matches it.

Without this information … you are completely dependent on the descriptions of others (or the knowledge of the person who is selling the mattress) who may only be paying attention to one part of the mattress (such as how chewy a piece of bread is rather than how it tastes or how soft or crispy it is or how healthy it is etc) and not the part of the description that may be most important to you. They may also have a very different idea of things like soft and firm than you do. Even this doesn’t give you any information about the quality/durability of the materials in the mattress or it’s value … only how they may feel for others. Good and poor quality materials have more to do with how long the materials will keep their feel and performance more than how they will feel.

This means that you would need to guess based on your best sense of any reviews that specifically compare the mattress you are thinking about to the mattress you liked or, if you are lucky enough to be buying from someone who is more knowledgeable about both mattresses, to use their knowledge of how the mattresses may compare and hope that their descriptions and comparison are the same as or similar to what yours would be. This also isn’t too likely at a big box store.

In the end … when you buy a mattress from a big box store you are mostly dependent on trial and error and hoping that you will get “close enough” to satisfy what you are looking for and on the fact that if you roll the dice and lose … that at least you can get a refund.

In terms of quality … all the mattresses you are considering use lower quality materials. I would probably be looking at using mid quality materials which means 4 lb memory foam or higher and a 1.8 lb polyfoam support layer or better (many in this price range will use lower quality 1.5 lb polyfoam in the base). In this price range you would also usually be looking at basic two layer mattresses (using a layer of memory foam over a base layer) rather than multiple layers of different types of foam and materials and more complex layering so any similarity would be accidental (just like two very different bread recipes may taste similar or have a similar texture even though the recipes are different).

You can see more about the Serta Roma here.

The Novaform tends to use memory foams in the 3 to 4 lb range so knowing the density of the layers is important before you buy.

Normally your “safest” bet would be to look at either local manufacturers that sell factory direct or better sleep shops that sell mattresses made by smaller independent brands and then test the mattress in person so that you can tell from personal experience how closely it matches the feel of the iComfort model you were testing and who can also tell you the quality of the materials in the mattress so you at least have some idea of how long it may last.

Of course none of this means that a mattress that you buy from a retailer with little knowledge online may not feel good for you … only that it won’t likely “match” the more complex layering of the iComfort model you liked except through a fortunate accident.

If you let me know the city of zip you live in I’d be happy to point you to some of the better possibilities I’m aware of so you can find the best possible value in person.

If I was looking for a memory foam mattress online … I would be looking at one of the sources listed in post #12 here where you can use their more extensive knowledge about their mattresses to your benefit and make sure you are buying the best possible quality for your limited budget.