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

Hi MidwestGirl,

I fixed the link in your post so it would go to the page (the comma was included in the URL) :slight_smile:

A forum search on “Southerland” (you can just click on the link) will bring up quite a few comments about them.

In general though they are sometimes listed at prices which are way too high IMO and sometimes can be better than average value depending on the mattress, the outlet, and their prices.

The Southerland page that you linked to doesn’t really provide any meaningful information about the foam density in any specific mattresses and only mentions the general class of materials that they use which is the same as most other manufacturers. To have a sense of the quality and value of any particular mattress you need to know the specifics (like foam density) of the layers and materials that they use or there is really no way to make any meaningful comments about them. The brand name on a mattress means very little (unless you know that a particular manufacturer always uses good quality materials in a particular budget range and always has good value) but the ingredients in a particular mattress is always the most important part. If you have a particular Southerland mattress in mind and you have the specs for it I’d be happy to let you know what I think of it. It’s not a mattress that I would specifically recommend though unless you tried a particular one and liked it and then wanted to know if that particular mattress had good value. They are all over the map it seems in terms of value so it would depend as much on the outlet and their prices as it would the mattress.

Phoenix

Thanks, Phoenix…this is AWESOME info! While the iComfort may have slightly increased density on the foam, it appears that the Novaform is the better value. I’m ok with spending $500 on the Novaform with the realization that I may have to replace the mattress after maybe 5 years. I actually spoke with a Costco sales rep at my local store earlier today who just bought the mattress herself and she loves it so far. In light of your advice about the Dynasty, it appears that the Novaform will be great for my needs. Now I just need to find a good sturdy foundation. Thanks again for your input!

Hi Phoenix,
I was seriously considering buying an Icomfort that i checked out today. it felt great when i tested it but after reading all this great info i would like to also check out a local manufacturer. I am in NYC 10024.Also i am very concerned about heat retention that’s why i gravitated to the gel.
Also the icomfort seems to have springs where the novaform you were comparing it to seems to be only foam
Many thanks

Hi scooter,

The iComfort models are all foam mattress and you can see some of my comments and analysis of it (except for the most recent additions to the lineup) in post #11 here. Since that time they came out with some of the Refined models which are also all foam and the newest introduction which is the iSeries which uses their Duet innersprings along with their particulate gel memory foam.

There are many parts of the “sleeping temperature” puzzle and some of the various factors are discussed in post #2 here and in post #6 here. It’s actually somewhat strange that Serta didn’t use the gel memory foam in the top layer of many of their mattresses when this is where any cooling benefits of the gel would have the greatest effect. This is probably because of the firmness of the gel memory foam however (only the firmest versions of the icomfort and the iseries have the gel foam on top). This is unlike some of the many other manufacturers who are making gel memory foam mattresses with better and more durable non particulate versions of the gel memory foam who use gel on the very top to take better advantage of it’s cooling properties.

Post #2 here has some of the better manufacturers and outlets in the NYC area and post #7 here also has a more detailed description of most of them.

Phoenix

Phoenix,
i am sorry i misspoke. Thje one I was considering today was the I Series. specificallly the branded the Admiration.
which had springs and retails for around $1200. Do you find this to be overpriced also?
thanks
Scoooter

Hi scoooter,

There are a set of guidelines here which are meant to help people avoid most of the worst choices when they are mattress shopping. The first one is …

1. Avoid buying a mattress made by any of the major national brands such as Sealy, Simmons, Serta, Tempurpedic. While they are not all “bad” mattresses and some may even be good quality, … none of them have good value when compared to similar mattresses made by smaller independent manufacturers. NONE

Serta is one of the major brands this refers to.

In the case of the Inspiration you can see the layers in the mattress here. It’s listed with a different name here but the layers are easier to see. This is the firm version and there is a similar plush version.
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The weak link of a mattress will almost always be in the quilting and comfort layers above the innerspring so lets take a look at what is there …

Quilt - Top of Mattress

FireBlocker: This is the fire retardant layer. All mattresses have to have one.

Pillo-Fill: This is a synthetic fiber which will compress and matt down over time.

1.5" Comfort Foam: This is a lower density polyfoam (Serta doesn't disclose the density of their foams) which will soften much more quickly than higher quality foams

Comfort - Padding Layers

1" Hi IFD Support Foam: This is likely a firmer version of a lower density foam or which will also soften more quickly than higher quality foams.

1" CoolAction Gel Memory Foam: This is their gel memory foam which has gel particles in it. [url=https://forum.mattressunderground.com/t/factory-direct-latex-source-near-nw-indiana ]Post #26 here[/url] talks about the different types of gel memory foams and as you can see particles can weaken the memory foam they are added to. In addition to this ... the "cool action foam" that is the big "selling point" of this mattress is in lower layers were it will have little effect on sleeping temperature (it's not close enough to the body to make a real difference and the foams above it isolate it from body heat).

Buying a mattress with unknown low density foams in it is like buying furniture made with cheap particle board which has a nice veneer to look good and may also function well at first but is not as durable as other types of material. It will look good and perform for a while but will not have the durability that people would hope for. It’s meant to sell on looks and “showroom appeal” alone.

Personally I wouldn’t even look at it no matter what the price ( I wouldn’t want these types of foams in my mattress at all or at least in much smaller quantities) and while they don’t disclose the density of the foams (which is reason enough not to buy any mattress) … the density is low enough (likely 1.2 - 1.5 lbs) that it would only compare to much less expensive mattresses made by smaller manufacturers.

Like all the other major brands … this isn’t a mattress that I would consider and I wouldn’t even get as far as looking at the price of this one in particular because there isn’t a price where I would consider owning it.

Phoenix

Hi Phoenix,

I’m in the middle of trying to find an appropriate mattress for myself and my finance and found this forum. It really is a wealth of information and much appreciated! I’d love to hear some recommendations from you, so here are my specifics:

  1. Me: 5’ 9" around 155lbs. Sleep mostly on my side and my stomach. I must also admit that I move around a ton during the night. Also, there are times during the night that a heard of water buffalo could come tramping through my bedroom and I wouldn’t wake up. However, there are other times when it seems like the slightest noise/vibration from the bed will wake me up. Generally I’m pretty healthy with no back pain, but I do have a slight case of sleep apnea. 44 yrs old.

  2. Her: 5’8" around 160lbs. I’ve seen her sleep on both her back and side. She does have a lot of lower back pain and actually takes medicine to help relieve the pain. My current mattress is killing her. 46 yrs old.

  3. Current location: Charlotte NC

4 My current mattress: I know you are a big believer in buying from a local mattress company to get a better value. I did just that, I purchased some sort of Queen spring mattress with a pillow top from The Original Mattress Company here in Charlotte. Purchase was around 6 years ago. To say the least I am EXTREMELY disappointed with the mattress. If I remember correctly, it was top of the line at the time in their showroom. After about three years or so, it started to form a wedge in the middle Now after another 3 years or so, there is definitely a big indent in the middle and the mattress itself is very lumpy, no matter how much I flip/rotate it. I called them and they said “well our warranty says it has to be greater than 1.5 inches indention”, so needless to say I didn’t get anywhere with them. I will not be giving them any of my money ever again.

  1. My mattress research (so far): I went to a mattress store and spent around an hour or so trying different mattresses. I loved the Tempurpedic Cloud Supreme, when I got on that one I just literally sank right into it and probably could have fallen asleep right there. I also reclined on the Serta iComfort models, and found the Revolution to be my favorite followed closely by the Prodigy. Both beds are around 3000$, which part of me says “really you are going to pay THAT much for a bed?” while the other part of me says (especially as I’m getting older) “hey sleep is important, and I’m willing to pay that much for good quality sleep!”

So being the type of person I am, I just can’t go out and buy things without doing any sort of research. So I looked around online. Costco has a number of fairly nice beds around the 1500-2000$ mark. https://www.bedinabox.com/ has a number of highly rated beds, especially the PacBed. I’m not adverse to buying something on the internet without first trying it, but I’d like to know that it’s the right firmness level to start with.

  1. What I’m looking for: I think I’m done with inner spring mattresses and like to make the jump to some sort of memory foam and/or latex model. In regards to firmness, I guess I’m looking at something on the softer side of the fence. I don’t like beds where you jump into them and it feels like a brick beneath you. I like to float in my bed! :slight_smile: Also, motion from my partner is big for me, I’d like to be able to get out of bed without waking her and vice-versa. Neither of us are particularly “hot” sleepers FYI.

So my questions are:

  1. Are there any good local manufacturers around Charlotte NC? I wouldn’t mind going that route again, but just not The Original Mattress Company!
  2. What sort of bed would you recommend for my fiance and I? As far as memory vs latex, firmness etc for our size. Neither of us are all that big people.
  3. As far as budget goes, needless to say I’d like to get away as cheap as possible, but really it’s more important to me to find the right bed and then worry about the cash later.

Any and all advise would be greatly appreciated! I’d like to purchase a mattress ASAP because she is threatening to like um not sleep over at my house anymore! :frowning:

Mike

Hi mikey,

First the easy part … post #2 here includes the better options around Charlotte.

It’s probably a good excuse to make some more extensive comments about your OMF experience as well because this is an issue that many people face no matter which manufacturer they buy from … and often with much more expensive mattress costing several times what you paid.

While they do have better quality and value mattresses compared to mainstream manufacturers, in the model you likely purchased they still use polyfoam that is more suitable for thinner layers and if you purchased their “top of the line” eurotop mattress … it will have a lot of polyfoam above the springs and this in combination with a queen or king size mattress will make “hills and valleys” unavoidable no matter who makes a mattress of this type. There’s more about this in post #2 here. Did an inspector come and measure the dips in your mattress … and how close were you to the 1.5"? Some manufacturers even have a warranty exclusion of 2" of sagging (with no weight on the mattress) or more before you can make a claim on the warranty.

Higher quality foam in a higher budget range which uses higher density HD or HR polyfoam or latex and much thinner layers of lower density polyfoam (which will soften) or fiber (which will compress) will have less issues with this. While this is unavoidable to some degree in most pillowtop or eurotop mattresses that use thick layers of low/mid density polyfoam in the comfort layers, especially in the larger sizes, it can be reduced with regular maintenance and flipping (for two sided mattresses) and the use of higher quality foams in thinner layers will also make a big difference.

Unfortunately at that time a lot of people were buying these types of mattresses (and still are) with very thick polyfoam comfort layers, pillowtops, and eurotops and either have or are finding out that none of them will avoid this issue. It’s only a matter of time and degree. Only very slowly are consumers starting to realize that this style of mattress is not likely to provide the long term performance or durability they are hoping for. How much this affects any individual person will depend on how close to their pressure relief and support needs they were when they first bought the mattress in combination with the degree of softening and any shifting or compression of materials in the mattress.

If someone buys a mattress that is more in the upper end or middle of the range of their comfort and support needs (in terms of firmness) … then with the inevitable softening they will be more likely to still be in their range for longer and they will be less affected by the shorter term compression and softening of the materials. If someone buys a mattress that is already “on the edge” of being too soft or not supportive enough (the “cushy” showroom pillowtop or eurotop feel that is the basis of so many buying decisions) … then any softening will put them on the wrong side of the line and they may experience the discomfort and pain that comes with this. In some cases with the initial more rapid softening of polyfoam and memory foam (the break in period) where they are already “on the edge” and chose a mattress that was too soft or thick for their needs … this can happen in a few weeks if the polyfoam layers are low/mid density and the comfort layers are too thick.

Because your mattress is two sided … then regular flipping and rotating can help with this (and eastern king size mattresses have the additional advantage that you can rotate them 1/4 turn as well as flipping them) but no matter what manufacturer you buy from … layers of polyfoam and or fibers in low to mid densities that are too thick will compress and soften and develop hills, valleys, and softer spots to some degree even with maintenance. It’s not the innerspring (which is not the weak link in the mattress) but the thickness and type of foam in the mattress. The only good news in this is that the same type of mattress with the same or similar types of materials (and probably only one sided) bought from a major manufacturer would have had the same issues for 50% (or more) greater price. There are many $3000 one sided pillowtop mattresses that use even lower quality materials than OMF and that will develop the same problem.

One other idea is that many manufacturers can rebuild your mattress using higher quality foams and thinner layers using the same innerspring and this may save you some money. I’m not sure if OMF does this but many local manufacturers do. The foams today are resilient enough that they will usually come back enough to be within the warranty exclusion even though they have softened to the point where the mattress has lost it’s comfort and support.

The moral of this story is to make sure you know the quality/density of all the materials and the layer breakdown of any mattress you buy so you can see any possible “weak link” in the mattress and more easily predict if this may happen.

On to the rest of your post …

Bedinabox are good people and I was impressed when I talked with them but they also use low density memory foam (3 lb memory foam) in their mattresses which can soften faster than higher density memory foam. The good news is that they are often more flexible with the “gray areas” of their warranty coverage. The Pacbed also uses only 3" of memory foam and it also uses a very high quality polyfoam support layer which means that softening may be a little less of an issue than if the memory foam was thicker. While I would personally avoid the use of 3 lb memory foam in any budget range … at least it has better value than many other very low density memory foam mattresses in a similar price range that are sold all over the internet. As an example … for not much more … you could purchase rockymountainmattress.com/cottonwood-p-33.html something very similar with higher quality (but still not as durable as 5 lb memory foam) 4 lb memory foam.

There’s lots of information in the “mattresses” section about different materials mattress construction, and layering guidelines. Bearing in mind that the issues in your mattress were not about the inerspring … it sounds like you are headed in the direction of specialty foams which means either some kind of memory foam or some kind or latex. Both have good motion separation in a good construction although memory foam would have the slight advantage here. Latex is more motion friendly and more resilient and supportive. They are about equal in pressure relief and latex is cooler sleeping than memory foam and more durable than even high quality memory foam. It’s also more expensive. I would definitely make a point of doing some local testing of both to see how you feel about both in various constructions.

Link is at the beginning of the post.

That depends on how you feel about the difference between memory foam and latex. This is usually best decided either with the help of a local manufacturer who can help you with testing their mattresses (most accurate) or with the help of an online manufacturer who knows every detail and component of the mattresses you are considering and how each part interacts with the others and with different types of people and sleeping styles. Even small differences in components like different types of ticking and quilting can affect these types of choices and since they know all the options and fine details of their mattresses … they are usually much more accurate with “blind” advice based on what their “average” customers prefer without a specific reference point of mattresses with known materials you have tested.

There are some general weight/height/body shape guidelines here though and some sleeping position guidelines here but it’s always easier and more accurate and effective to work with the person selling a specific mattress and who has years of experience with the art and science of fitting a mattress to a person than to get too involved in “theory at a distance”. The more the person helping you knows … the less you have to know and the overviews will give you enough information to be able to ask good questions and make sure that the answers made sense. With some basic knowledge and the help of an “expert” that is committed to helping you make the best choice of the mattresses they sell … your body will tell you which mattress works best for PPP (pressure relief, posture and alignment, and your preferences … such as motion separation).

The advantage of higher budgets is usually greater amounts of higher performing materials but even more important greater durability. More durable materials are more expensive. Even very low budget materials can perform well for the short term … they just don’t keep their original properties or last as long. Budget is always a personal preference but in the $700 - $1000 range (queen mattress only) or so you can find good quality and durable mattresses and as you move towards the $2000 range you can find more and higher quality materials and great mattresses (that would cost significantly more if you were shopping major brands or in mass market outlets) and as you move into the $3000 range you can find absolutely amazing with more higher quality materials or special features or construction methods. There is little reason to go beyond this (or in many cases the level below) unless you are looking at a “work of art” that has value to you for other reasons than performance and durability.

Given the “extreme” urgency :slight_smile: … the most effective approach is to first scan the basic information the tutorial post and the overviews so you can ask better questions and the answers will make more sense. Next decide on 2 or 3 outlets before you think too much about any specific mattresses. Always phone first and talk with the outlets on the list and discuss your needs and preferences and ask lots of questions about what they make or sell that they think would be worthwhile for you to test. Never visit an outlet before you have talked with them to “scope them out”. Once you’ve recognized the better outlets that you best connect with and who are open about the materials in their mattresses and you’ve narrowed it down to 2 or 3 places that you feel comfortable with their level of knowledge and service … then visit these ones and choose the best at each outlet. This will give you final choices between “good and good” and while it can be difficult to make the final choices … at least all your choices will be better than they would have been if you had been shopping by “following the advertising” or looking for “name brands” that are sold by people who know more about marketing stories than they know about mattresses.

You have some very good choices available … and feel free to post any questions you may have along the way if you come across anything that doesn’t make sense to you.

Phoenix

Hey Phoenix,

Thanks for your input, I’ve been researching just a few options today and I’d like your opinion on them, both from the rocky mountain mattress company:

rockymountainmattress.com/tamarack-12-p-36.html 1,523.90$
rockymountainmattress.com/cloudcroft-12-p-38.html 2,468.90$

Both, according to Rocky Mountain, are on the plusher side of the scale, which is what I’m looking for and thus the reason I choose them. Needless to say there is about a 1K difference between the mattresses and I’m wondering if the cloudcroft is worth the extra price? I do see that the cloudcroft has 4" of the 5lb Bayer Softcel Memory Foam vs the tamarack with only 3.3" of the 4lb foam. The cloudcroft has the latex base vs the tamarack with a memory foam base, so I guess that’s another big difference. How would either compare to the Temp. Cloud Supreme?

The Rocky mountain mattress company is about an hour away from my house and I’m going to definitely check them out, but just wanted to get your opinion beforehand. Thanks again!

Hi Phoenix again,

So I save all my receipts from my major purchases in one big folder and lo-and-behold, lookie here I have the receipt from the Original Mattress Company for my current bed. Quite honestly, I almost cried when I saw it. I paid 835$ plus tax of course on 2/19/07, which makes this mattress a bit over 5 years old. UGH how frustrating is that! I think I started having problems with it like 2 years in I would bet! Now I’m really mad! :angry:

According to the receipt, I purchased the Premier Pillow Top and I know both sides have the pillow top on it. I’ve been religious in flipping/rotating it, but no luck it still is very lumpy and has the big indent in the middle. I’m not a real happy camper right now, I think a mattress should hold up for more than 5 yrs right? Oh well live and learn I guess.

Do you think it’s worth my time and effort to even have an inspector come out? Based on my current experience, I will never buy anything from them again, so should I even bother?

Thanks again!
Mike

Hi mikey,

I’ll answer your last question first :slight_smile:

This is not so much an issue with OMF (who are generally more responsive to warranty claims than larger manufacturers) than it is with every manufacturer that makes a similar style mattress using similar types of foam. They will all have the same problem in a similar amount of time with the same usage so you would be excluding every manufacturer that made a similar mattress. It’s not about construction quality but about the use of certain foams and certain types of mattress constructions. This is why it’s so important to know the materials in your mattress no matter who makes it. The materials determine the quality of a mattress rather than the label.

Some people will be more affected by foam softening than others so for some this can be a major issue (and they probably shouldn’t consider lower density polyfoam pillowtops or similar types of mattresses if foam softening will put them “over the line”). There are many factors involved in mattress durability (and many of them are discussed in post #2 here) but in general with polyfoam … the single biggest one is foam density (and as I mentioned OMF uses higher density foams in their mattresses than major manufacturers in similar price ranges).

This is as much about consumer education and knowing what certain materials and types of mattress construction will always do and how suitable it may be for the long term needs and preferences of each individual than it is about the manufacturer themselves. Weight and many other factors will also play a big role in how long any material lasts. Without knowing the materials in your mattress and knowing what to choose that will last you longer … you could end up excluding almost every manufacturer in the country because they all make lower budget mattresses that use less durable (and less costly) materials.

As far as having an inspector come out … I would probably suggest taking a look at and checking the mattress first to see if it’s worth it.

They will look for an impression that is more than 1.5" without any weight on the mattress. If you have been off the mattress for a few hours … then you can run a string along it from edge to edge (or a broom handle or other light straight edge) and then measure the depth of the impression. If it’s more than 1.5" then you may have a claim. If the dips are only noticeable when you are on the mattress (from foam softening but the foam comes back to under the 1.5" exclusion) … then this is not covered under any warranty by any manufacturer.

Second they will check to make sure that the mattress has a suitable foundation under it. An improper foundation can be a cause of damage and sagging and will void the warranty.

Third they will likely check for any evidence of improper use (such as bent innerspring border wires or other faults that could come from jumping on or bending the mattress etc.). This too will generally void a warranty.

They will look for any stains on the mattress. Stains will also usually void a warranty.

If all of this looks like it would be in your favor … then I would initiate a warranty claim.

The Premier super pillowtop[/url] is the second thickest mattress that they make and while thicker mattresses have more material and are also more expensive … when they include thicker layers of polyfoam in the comfort layers they can also be one of the worst choices … depending on the body type and sleeping habits of the person. Unfortunately many consumers have come to equate thickness with quality when quality is more about whether the materials in the in the mattress are appropriate for the style and budget range of the mattress.
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Often this is a matter of someone unknowingly making a mattress choice (with or without “help”) that just isn’t suitable for their needs and if they believe it’s the manufacturer rather than the materials and type of mattress … they will usually make the same mistake with another manufacturer. Soft cushy mattresses in lower budgets sell well in a showroom and unless they have materials that are in a higher budget range, they will always soften more than mattresses with thinner layers or that use more costly materials that are less prone to softening. Even today this mattress sells for $739 (mattress only queen without the box spring) and this is not a price range where you will find a two sided mattress with a thick pillowtop that is really durable for many types of people. It would generally pay to use thinner layers of higher quality materials in this price range which will last longer but most consumers don’t buy these types of mattresses as much because they don’t have the same “showroom feel” in the lower budgets. If you take a look at a mattress like this for example … it is a similar thickness, only one sided, and more expensive and would likely develop the same issues even faster because of the thick layers of soft and lower density polyfoam in the mattress.
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This is unfortunately the case with every manufacturer even though the mattress you have would have higher quality foams and better value than the Sealy I linked to.

In general the manufacturer of a mattress will be much more accurate in their recommendations because they know the smaller details of their mattresses and the materials in them, how all the layers interact, and most importantly have a database and experience with many customers with many different body weights and sleeping styles and many of them would be similar to you in terms of needs and preferences.

This is particularly true with better manufacturers and outlets and as you probably know I think very highly of Rocky Mountain Mattress and their knowledge and service which is why they are a member here. Having said that … I would still choose a mattress that had less chance of foam softening or at least was more suitable to each person’s height/weight and sleeping style. don’t forget too that a second factor in durability (besides the most important one of foam density) is that softer foams will be less drable than firmer foams all else being equal so leaning towards very soft or plush mattresses that have thicker layers of softer foams means that the durability of the materials becomes especially important. This means I would be looking at memory foam of 5 lbs or higher, the least amount of lower density polyfoam possitle in the upper layers, and even better the use of latex which is a much more durable foam than either polyfoam or memory foam (even though both of these have less and more durable versions).

Having said all that … I’ll be happy to make some more general observations about the materials in each mattress to give you a sense of a few of the many interacting factors that can play a role in the suitability and durability of a mattress. Both of them would have similar “value” even though of course the prices are quite different and the suitability of a particular mattress and how it interacts with each person has little to do with price, quality, or value.

rockymountainmattress.com/tamarack-12-p-36.html 1,523.90$

This has 2" of quilting foam on the top which is a little on the thick side for my personal preferences. I would ask them the density of this foam but in general I tend to prefer quilting polyfoam in amounts s that are less than 2". This type of foam is used to modify the feel of the memory foam below it and to create more surface softness and breathability. In comfort or quilting layers that are 2" or more … it’s important that this is a high quality foam and even then I would consider a model that used less. Quilting a foam will also pre-compress it and reduce the amount of mechanical compression it is subject to so it will be more durable than the same foam layer that wasn’t quilted.

Under this is the 3.3" of 4 lb memory foam. 4 lb memory foam has a “feel” that many people like and can also be more responsive and more breathable but I would also tend towards 5 lb memory foam if foam softening was an issue or if someone’s height and weight put them in the larger group. 4 lb memory foam is not as durable as 5 lb memory foam all other things being equal.

Under this is 3" of high quality convoluted polyfoam. It is a high performance foam with higher density which means it would be more durable than the “other” polyfoam we have been talking about. It’s less durable than latex but more durable than most other polyfoams. Convoluting a foam will make it softer than a normal layer and because it will compress more it will also reduce durability. It is also deeper in the mattress which will increase durability because it doesn’t take up the strain directly. I would prefer high quality convolute though to conventional “soft” polyfoam.

The final two layers are the lumbar foam (a layer in the middle part of the mattress to improve suupport and help prevent the pelvis from sinking in as much) and the base support foam are both very high quality polyfoam and would not be an issue. These are higher quality than you often find in base layers.

Overall … given your history of foam softening … I would be hesitant with this because the foams in the top 5.3" of the mattress are not as durable as they could be and the convoluted foam under them is softer which will allow the upper layers to compress into it more. For many people they would be perfectly suitable “mid range” foams … but for you … they may be too thick and soft and not be durable enough.

rockymountainmattress.com/cloudcroft-12-p-38.html

The top 2" are the same quilting foam as I commented on before.

The next 4" is 5 lb memory foam which is more durable than 4 lb foam.

The bottom layer is tri-zoned latex (Dunlop). The zoning means that this wouldn’t need the lumbar layer (it’s built in to the layer) and high quality dunlop latex is a very high performing foam and moredurable than either polyfoam or memory foam. This would clearly be a much more durablemattress with only 2" that is likely to soften to any real degree. Thinner layers that soften will affect the overall mattress much less.

I should also mention that they have options that don’t have any quilting layers above the memory foam but this comes with it’s own tradeoffs. You would be closer to the memory foam which some people prefer in terms of feel but the quilting foam will modify the slower response of the memory foam and add breathability.

The Sundance for example is the same as the Tamarack except for the quilting foam which is removed.

They also have a completely different line of memory foam mattresses using either 4 or 5 lbs memory foam or a combination of the two (like the Tempurpedic cloud line) … none of which have quilting foam … and which have a unique feature of being able to customize the mattress by re-arranging layers after you have received it.
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This should give you a sense of all the different factors that can be involved in deciding whether a mattress would be suitable for someone’s needs and preferences and also some of the interacting factors involved in its durability.

It will also hopefully give you a sense of which direction I would be leaning and which of the two choices you mentioned I think would have better value for someone where foam softening and durability was a major factor in their personal “value equation”.

This is also why the knowledge and experience of the manufacturer or person you are dealing with can be invaluable (you don’t have to learn everything that is involved in an analysis like this). The more they know both about materials and your specific needs and preferences (such as the importance of durability and foam softening to you) … the more they can help you make the best choice for you.

Phoenix

Hi Phoenix once again,

Thank you again for all your wonderful input it is really helpful.

One thing I must ask is this: do mattress manufacturers intentionally make mattress shopping very difficult? I’m the type of person that likes to get his head wrapped around things and all these different options/materials/latex/foam/inner springs is making my head spin haha!

So I think I’m finally getting the hang of this. For myself, I need something with a higher density memory foam and probably latex because it is more durable. Which out of those two options from the Rocky Mountain Mattress Company, I should probably pick the Cloudcroft if I indeed go with this manufacturer.

Today in my mattress quest (I feel like the knight from The Holy Grail), I stopped by at the Denver Mattress Company and they had two latex mattresses which quite honestly felt about the same to me. Here are the links:

404 | Furniture Row Aspen 1499$

404 | Furniture Row Snowmass 1699$

The major differences between the two is that the Aspen has 4" of Talalay Latex, while the Snowmass has 6". Btw the ILD for that section is 32. From what I understand, the higher the ILD, the firmer it is. Each of the mattresses have 2" of 24 ILD Tatalaly latex on top as well, I guess for comfort?

It also seems that the Snowmass has a 1.8lb high density foam on the top layer for additional comfort.

But it seems my biggest question is the very bottom layer, the 1.8lb layer of high resilient foam. The Aspen has 4" of it, while the Snowmass has only 2". What’s the purpose of this layer? Other than evening it out so that both mattresses are 11"?

Again, thanks for all your help and input!
Mike

Hi mikey,

In the case of the larger manufacturers yes … and they do this in some very specific ways with the intent of making comparison shopping difficult to impossible. Their methods include replacing meaningful information about materials with marketing stories, lowering the specs on their mattress and using a “benefits” story to encourage customers to think that they are actually better, naming conventions that has dozens of names for the same mattresses or in some cases with only minor differences so that the same mattress in different stores is more difficult to identify, and working closely with their largest customers (the larger outlets and chain stores) to make sure that their marketing methods are used instead of real information. this is only part of the story and methods that they use. Don’t forget that the product they are selling to their largest customers is not mattresses but profit margin. Their is an unbelievable amount of “collusion” in this industry among the upper tier manufacturers and outlets.

In the case of Rocky Mountain … I know them well enough to know that their guidance … based on the feedback you provide and the feedback from their customers will help you make the best possible choice (within the limits of the mattresses you are considering and your budget). This doesn’t mean that they or you will never make mistakes … but that your testing, questions and feedback with their guidance and help will tilt the odds much more in your favor.

Between the two … the Cloudcroft would clearly be my choice as to its suitability for your circumstances in spite of its higher price. It would be a more durable mattress and there is less “soft stuff” on top although the comfort layer is still a little on the thick side for ongoing stomach sleeping. Fairly thick layers of memory foam and stomach sleeping is not always the best match and can lead to hammocking although this would IMO be better than the Tamarack alternative. I would make sure in your testing that you tested specifically for alignment in all your sleeping positions.

I have mentioned Denver Mattress and these two models in particular in the forum many times as being good quality and value for a “mostly latex” mattress. This thread in particular would likely have some useful information and answer your questions about the differences between them that may help. Both of these of course are much different from a memory foam mattress and latex is a faster reacting and more “movement friendly” foam that is more durable and supportive than latex. They would be well worth including in your testing and Rocky mountain also has some good choices in all latex mattresses (with latex rather than memory foam in the comfort layers).

Hope this helps but keep the questions coming if you have more :slight_smile:

Phoenix

Hi Phoenix,

The information you’re providing is incredibly helpful!

My wife and I stumbled upon this forum in the process of learning about the iComfort Revolution, which we’d both liked after an initial visit to a mattress showroom. However, after visiting this forum, we’re interested in exploring what local mattress manufacturers have to offer.

We live in Tucson, AZ. You’ve mentioned A1 Mattress Company, which we will visit tomorrow, and we also plan to visit SleepEZ in Tempe. Have you or any forum members had any experiences, good or bad, with either?

Thanks again for all of your advice.

Love this thread! We really liked the icomfort genius in the store today and the next level up can’t remember name. Now I am curious about mattress factories close to us and what product would be similar and maybe even cheaper! Any help would be appreciated. We live in northeast Iowa.

Hi seismick,

You have some great choices between Tucson, Tempe, and Phoenix :slight_smile:

You may have already seen post #4 here which lists the better manufacturers outlets in Arizona (mostly Phoenix) but I made a few updates to bring it up to date.

SleepEz is one of the manufacturing members of this site which means that I consider them to be among the highest quality and value in the country.

A1 has been a manufacturer for over 30 years but while I talked to his niece … Bobby the owner never did return the phone calls I referred to in the post I linked. If you go here … I would focus on the mattresses they make and not the other brands they bring in which will not have the same value as their own. they were bringing in Natura but I’m not sure if they still are since Natura went bankrupt and were bought out by Spring Air / Sommex in Canada.

Hope this helps.

Phoenix

Hi gabodensteiner,

Post #6 here may be of some interest (mostly around Des Moines) and post #5 here (centered around Madison, WI may help as well.

If these are too far away … if you can give me your city or zip code I’d be happy to take a look and see what I know of (or can find) in your specific area. Looking at “regions” unfortunately takes more time than I have :slight_smile:

Phoenix

Hi Phoenix,

Thanks again for all your wonderful info. This whole mattress thing really has my head spinning. I guess there are just too many options from too many different places for my taste! :slight_smile:

So my girlfriend and I went out mattress shopping on Tuesday night to a place called America’s Mattress here in Charlotte. Just to get a feel for what we both like. They only carry the major brands like the “S” brands and Tempurpedic. We both found out that latex, at least on the top layers, is out. It’s just to firm for us. We both like a softer bed (ie memory foam), one that sinks in a bit when a person gets into it. The latex mattresses, at least the top layers, don’t have a whole heck of a lot of give in them, which we both didn’t like. They also seem to transfer motion much more than the memory foam mattresses we looked at.

So the latex mattresses I mentioned above from the Denver Mattress company are definitely out because they are too firm and not giving enough.

We both quite frankly loved the Tempurpedic Cloud Supreme and the Serta iComfort Prodigy or Revolution. We are being dragged into the dark side!!! Help us Obi One! :ohmy: Those beds have a pretty soft touch to them and you just sink right in them when you get into them. But needless to say the Tempurpedic is 3K+, the Prodigy 3K, and the Revolution around 2500$ or so, which is expensive. And of course there is tax on top of that, along with new bedding and other incidentals.

Back to the Rocky Mountain Mattress company. So I’m looking at these two mattresses:

rockymountainmattress.com/sensussleep-p-76.html
rockymountainmattress.com/the-coolcomfort-10-p-78.html

Both the same price of 1100$ for a king, both significantly cheaper than the Cloudcroft at 2500$. Ok in your opinion is it better to buy like a 1K bed that will last you for 5 years, then get a brand new bed at the end of those five years, instead of buying a 2500$ bed that you hope lasts 10 years? I would think buying a cheaper new one would be a better idea because you are getting a whole new bed every 5 years. But that’s just my opinion of course!

So both of those beds have 2 3" layers of high-density Reflex foam in the core, and the top layer is just different. How do those two beds above compare to either of the Tempurpedics or iComfort? Would I need some sort of mattress topper to get more of the feel of the Tempurpedic Cloud Supreme and/or iComfort Prodigy? Or they just don’t compare well?

Again thanks for all your help!
Mike

Hi mikey,

This is the value of focusing on researching a few better outlets outlets that are knowledgeable and will give you accurate information so you don’t have to “re-learn” what they already know.

You may have been the “victim” of some real misinformation here as well. Latex (and most materials except memory foam) comes in a range from ultra soft to ultra firm. Even memory foam comes in a range of temperature sensitivity so while it is all “soft” different versions will “feel” much firmer or softer either with movement or with time.

An even bigger problem though is that America’s Mattress doesn’t even carry what I would call a latex mattress to test in the first place. The Paula Deen line does have some latex in it but they are buried in the mattress and not what you are feeling. This is the type of misinformation that is so common and the reason for the importance of knowing what you are lying on.

The Hydrangea for example (which has some talalay latex in it) looks like this …

Quilt - First Layer: FireBlocker
Quilt - Second Layer: BodyLoft
Quilt - Third Layer: 1" Comfort Foam
Pillow Top - First Layer: 1" Comfort Foam
Pillow Top - Second Layer: 2" Convoluted Talalay Latex
Mattress - Innerpanel
Mattress - First Layer: 1" Comfort Foam
Mattress - Second Layer: 2" Convoluted Talalay Latex
Mattress - Core: 6" High Density Foam Core

So you have 2" of polyfoam and some fiber over the latex. This is too much to get any real sense of what latex feels like.

The Purple Iris is even worse …

Quilt - First Layer: FireBlocker
Quilt - Second Layer: BodyLoft
Quilt - Third Layer: 1" Comfort Foam
Euro Top - First Layer: 3" Convoluted Foam Topper
Mattress Innerpanel
Mattress - First Layer: 1" Comfort Foam
Mattress - Second Layer: 2" Convoluted Talalay Latex
Mattress - Core: 6" High Density Foam Core

5" of polyfoam and some fiber before you even get to any latex deep in the mattress.

The Spanish Moss …

Quilt - First Layer: FireBlocker
Quilt - Second Layer: BodyLoft
Quilt - Third Layer: 1" Comfort Foam
Mattress - First Layer: 1" Comfort Foam
Mattress - Second Layer: 2" Convoluted Talalay Latex
Mattress - Core: 6" High Density Foam Core

About the same as the Hydrangea.

The Dogwood …

Quilt - First Layer: FireBlocker
Quilt - Second Layer: BodyLoft
Quilt - Third Layer: 1/2" Comfort Foam
Mattress - First Layer: 1" Comfort Foam
Mattress - Second Layer: 6" High Density Foam Core

Which has no latex at all (even though it’s included in the latex list on the site.)

So these are the “so called” latex mattresses you laid on.

In other words … unless you know the layers of what you are lying on … it’s not really even worth testing the mattress to get a sense of the material and you are more likely to be misled (especially in a chain store) than you will be helped.

You may end up preferring memory foam but you will only know for sure if you can compare it to an actual latex mattress. Memory foam is the most motion isolating material and latex is next. Both are better than most other materials and components. They are very close in terms of pressure relief and for some latex would be better here and for some memory foam would be the preference. It would depend on the person, the firmness level of the memory foam or latex that was being tested, and on the layering of the mattress. Other than these two properties … they would “feel” very different.

At least these can legitimately be called a “mostly latex” mattress and uses 24 ILD latex (on the firm side of the “normal” comfort range as most people prefer around 19 - 24 ILD) and they only have an inch of polyfoam which would let the latex feel come through much more. Keep in mind though no material is either “firm” or “soft”’ and they all come in a range of firmness/softness levels.

As you mention all of these are poor value and with the exception of the Tempurpedic are also not great quality (and even the Tempurpedic has 4 lb memory foam which will not last as long for a heavier person as it will for a lighter one although for your weights they would be fine). Any material can feel great in a showroom (whether polyfoam, latex, memory foam, or other materials) depending on the layering and firmness level of the materials and layers … but lower quality materials won’t stay that way for as long. If someone knows this when they buy a mattress and are happy with the price they paid … then like everything else this is part of each persons “value equation” and there is nobody who can really say they made the 'wrong" choice … for them.

Your basic assumption here is incorrect. The single biggest factor in memory foam durability is the “unfilled weight” of the memory foam polymer. The Cloud Supreme has 2" each of 4 and 5 lb memory foam. The Sensus is 4" of 5 lb and the Aerus is 4" of 4 lb. This means that in terms of memory foam durability the Cloud supreme would be in the middle. Of course there are other factors involved in foam durability (and many of them are discussed in post #2 here) so the useable lifetime (the length of time a mattress meets your needs and preferences) of each mattress may vary and they may also feel different because of the other differences between different types of memory foam and in the materials used in the rest of the mattress but in terms of foam durability the Rocky Mountain would be both above (all 5 lb) and below (all 4 lb) the Tempurpedic.

To answer your basic question though … if a specific mattress was significantly more comfortable in terms of PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and your Preferences) and was half the price of another one that was twice the price but more durable … then I would tend towards the better performing lower priced mattress. If the higher priced mattress had better PPP … then that’s the way I would go. How you sleep has a significant effect on how you feel and I would put a lot of weight both on how a mattress meets your needs and preferences and on how long it would continue doing so. Of course this is not an exact science and because mattress warranties have no relationship to the useable lifetime of a mattress … it would be very difficult to quantify how long any mattress would last for a particular person except in more general relative terms. I would tend to go with higher quality materials if all other factors seemed to be equal.

These are the types of questions that are better answered by the manufacturer who is more familiar with all the specifics of the materials and components they use and would be in a much better position to tell you how their mattresses “feel” subjectively compared to other well known brands. Feel is so subjective and different memory foams are so different that they are the best ones to tell you how they or their customers have compared their mattresses to other brands (and even here some would say it was “identical” to another mattress while others may say it was “very different” because each person can feel the same mattress very differently unless all the layers and components are identical).

To make things simpler … I would avoid the types of stores and outlets that will do more to misinform and confuse and stay with the better outlets who will tell you what is really in their mattresses or with mattresses where you know the layering in order to make better comparisons … even for testing.

Phoenix

We will be in Ames this weekend so I think we will stop by Midwest mattress. Lebeda is close to us too but I am going we can find something at Midwest. What things should I be looking for to find a bed comparable to the I comfort that we liked.