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

Hi Meg,

There is a saying I like …

The reason I’m quoting this is that you may not have made the best choice in terms of quality and value but it may also be too late to do anything about it. If you have the ability to change it without an undue penalty under the policies of where you bought it … I would. If you don’t … then you have bought a mattress that may not last as long as others you could have purchased or where you may have paid more than you needed compared to other higher quality/value mattresses but you hopefully tested it and for the moment it meets your needs and preferences and you “love it”. So if nothing can be done … and for as long as it continues to meet your needs and preferences (and this is impossible to predict for any individual because foam softening will affect different people/mattress combinations differently) … I would sleep on it and enjoy it for as long as you can. When the time comes to change it … whenever that may be … then go in a different direction for your next purchase.

The price you paid is not a major expense for most people and in this budget range I wouldn’t put too much energy into buyers remorse. We’ve all made purchases that weren’t the best we could have made but the “best” thing to do is just to learn from it and change the process next time if nothing can be done.

For the moment … you will be sleeping well on your new mattress and until that changes and unless you have other options … I’d just enjoy it :slight_smile:

Phoenix

After reading the 26 pages of this discussion I am very happy I didn’t cave and buy the I-comfort @ sears yesterday. Any good matress manufators around the Hartford CT area?

I have started the matress search and I am trying to stay under 2500.

I am 5’11 200lbs and a back sleeper
Girlfriend is 5’5 130lbs and a side sleeper

:cheer:

Like many others I liked the iComfort but am clearly being guided by the forum to look for a local company to make a better bed at a greater value. Any recommendations near Edmonton, Alberta?

As well, what would I be looking for in a latex that has that softer feel for a 5’10" 180lbs side and back sleeper?

much appreciated

Hi Freefalling,

Post #2 and #4 here includes several manufacturers in Connecticut and in southern Massachusetts (around the Springfield area) that are all within reasonable driving distance.

You have some very high quality/value choices available :slight_smile:

Phoenix

Hi 780guy,

Post #136 here includes the better options in the Edmonton area that I’m aware of.

There are some general guidelines for height and weight here along with some for different sleeping positions here and there is more about how different types of construction and layering can affect both of these in this section of the website.

Building a mattress by “specs” can be amazingly complex and frustrating however and local testing with the help and guidance of someone with the knowledge and experience to help you make good choices will be more effective and “accurate” (and far less frustrating) than what I call “theory at a distance”. In other words … finding the “experts” is much easier than learning how to design or look for a mattress based on specs and becoming one yourself. Having just enough information to know when someone knows what they are talking about and be able to ask better questions (and scanning the overviews in the mattresses section will be all you really need) is usually the simplest approach :slight_smile:

Phoenix

I’d just like to say thanks to Phoenix for all of the information on this site and for taking the time for putting it all together. I was about 24 hours away from purchasing an Icomfort and was looking reviews when I stumbled across this thread. That lead me to all the articles on the site and I began to research my purchase all over again.

I just pulled the trigger on a 10" latex mattress from sleepez with custom layers for my wife and I.

Thanks again,

Mike

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the kind words … and congratulations on your new mattress :slight_smile:

You certainly made a much higher quality and value choice than the iComfort. I’m glad you found us before you pulled the trigger!

Phoenix

Hey guys great info and great site. I have a question for anyone who could help. I have absolutely fell in love with the way you sink into an icomfort bed but im not in love with the price point . I am trying to get as close to that feel as I can and stay in the $500-700 price range. I know I’m asking a lot but its what I have to spend . I have a Costco close by and plan on looking at the novaform to see how it does. Anyone on here tried both?

I also have a SAMs club close but and they have a serta select trump memory foam mattress for $389. While it is much firmer than the icomfort is is a lot less ( I know I may be sacrificing longevity ) . It has crossed my mind , maybe we could get this mattress and then add a gel memory foam topper to it to try and accomplish the icomfort “sinking” feel I love so much .

I also know there has to me "no name " or private label manufacturers that are comparable to the specs and feel for less . If anyone knows of any that would be great.

I look forward to hearing what you guys have to say, especially Phoenix . Thanks again

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.

Phoenix

2 of the beds that give me the feel I’m looking for are the icomfort insight cushion firm and the sealy optimum destiny firm. Those are the type of comforts I’m looking but in a cheaper brand maybe private label? I’m going to try and lay on the novaform and see how it compares .

Also my zip code is 37188. I’m about 20 mins from downtown Nashville.

Does naming those 2 beds help any?

Thanks again for the help

Hi Bftiedt,

Both of these mattresses would at least be easier to “come somewhat close to” because they have a more simple construction. In both cases … they have “about” 3" of memory foam over a thicker base layer of polyfoam. In both cases the memory foam is “in the range” of 4 lbs and the base polyfoam is in the range of 1.5 lbs.

While there are still many variations of memory foam (either with or without gel) … and the variables of the differences between different foams can’t be taken into account and the firmness of the polyfoam layers underneath the memory foam may also be very different (and this has a significant effect on how a memory foam mattress feels) … at least the odds of “somewhat” matching a mattress with a similar layering based on more general descriptions is a little higher.

Post #7 here has a list of some of the better Nashville possibilities that I’m aware of. I would call them and say something along the lines of …

I’m looking for a lower cost memory foam mattress that has about 3" of 4 lb memory foam or better over a good quality polyfoam base layer (preferable 1.8 lb density or better) and that sleeps relatively cool, has a somewhat firmer feel, and is in the $500 - $700 budget range. Do you have anything similar to this that I can test.

If they say yes then the next step would be to ask the name and model of the mattress they believe would “fit” your description (so you can confirm that they are not just trying to get you in the store and don’t really have a mattress that fits your description).

If this conversation is promising … then I would go there and test the mattress to see how well it meets your needs and preferences.

Phoenix

Hi Phoenix, thanks so much for all of the great information. I didn’t read through all 26 pages, but did scan through quite a bit of the info. My husband and I have been toggling back and forth between the Beautyrest True energy Kailey due to the plush feeling with the gel foam, but recently discovered we may like the icomfort savant or revolution. now we are doing our research and came across this blog. We like others, are not happy with the price of $2200 - $2500 for a mattress, but are not aware of mattress companies in Indiana we could work with to get a better product or cheaper price. What would you recommend? Thanks!!!

I was calling around to local stores today to see what kind of mattress they sell so I can test them out and I asked about the Icomfort to see if they had any in stock to test out … The salesman said that they know longer carry them because the gel in them will just adjust to your body tempature so It doesn’t have any cooling affect… anybody have heard of this?

Hi Pooswa,

While the iComforts aren’t really worth considering or even testing anyway because you won’t be able to match them to a mattress that has better value and uses better quality materials … the story that is being “provided” by the salesman is only partly true. You can read more about the main cooling technologies used in mattresses at the end of post #4 here and as you can see the heat conductive gel used in the iComfort can help until the temperature difference evens out. It can be a piece of the larger sleeping temperature puzzle in other words but no material or technology by itself is the whole puzzle.

You can also read more about various different gel foam materials in post #2 here. While they can all play a role in how cool a mattress sleeps (along with many other materials that have cooling abilities) … there are many other factors involved in regulating your sleeping temperature on a mattress including the type of foam layers or materials used in the mattress, the ticking and quilting materials, the mattress protector you use, and the sheets and bedding, as well as the environment, and how deeply you sink into the mattress. Each piece of the puzzle either adds to or takes away from the overall effect of the mattress and they all combine together into the overall ability of the sleeping system to ventilate and regulate humidity and temperature.

Phoenix

Great site, and obviously valuable due to your knowledge of the subject.

I look at a lot of different sites in a lot of different areas, because it’s nice to measure and average out opinions.

I recently looked at the iComfort, Applause Firm I think it is. Background. We were advised against buying our Kingsdown 3/4 system, because the retailer said the newer Blend model would be a better match. Fast forward 3 years, he was right. They also don’t sell them anymore. Since Serta is now number 1 and pulling away, I can only imagine they got a better deal. At any rate, our bad choice was not their fault, so I returned to them.

We tried out many models and brands. Our favorite traditional mattress was the Perfect Sleeper. A little firmer than we used to get, probably due to our age (and maybe a few extra pounds)

Our favorite model in the store, was the new iComfort Applause Firm.

We are in Vermont, where I know there is a manufacturer at the Southern end of the state.

I just guess I was surprised by the continued negativity towards the new Serta line. Yes, there may just be better and more local. But I usually prefer to read reviews that say something like “While the Serta is a good quality line, you might try XXX or XYZ, which we feel is a better value” Something like that. I can understand fully if a review determines a product just plain sucks. But for us, we don’t see it that way at all. Trust me, we’re in Vermont, where everyone thinks everything made anywhere else sucks :wink:

I went into a Sleepys weeks ago and asked if they had the Icomfort. The salesman got a bit defensive about why they dont carry it and how every manufacutere wants to be in Sleepy’s, etc. So got a wierd vibe. Then while searching for a bed that my wife and I could both live with we looked at MySide mattresses. I did a search online when I got home and stumbled upon this site. THANK YOU for all of the information here!

So after visiting a few department stores it seemed the only mattresses we liked were the Icomfort and Simmons Comforpedic. At Boscovs the king would have been over 3000 in either model.

Decided to hit some of the local manufacturers suggested here. We went to Posttstown Magicsleeper. We couldn’t settle on a mattress and even the custom ones that had different choices for each side. My wife liked the Symbol Response G the bst. Not sure how it would compare to the various Icomfort models but it is obviously made to compete with it, looks almost exactly the same. I was going to go to Verlo too but we liked this one mattress, they had a latex version too but we liked this one the best. It was $1500 for a king. The only downside was that we had to wait a week for delivery but well worth the wait. The last two nights of sleeping on it have been tremendous! I hate feeling like I am overpaying for something and this site really helped me wit hthat. Now I feel like I got a good deal and good quality. It has a 15 year warranty. The guy said he would work with me if I didn’t like it since I was hesitant to switch away from an innerspring style mattress.

Anyway, so far I am very happy with my purchase and this seemed like the best thread for my input since we seemed to like the Icomfort best and didn’t like the price of it. The Symbol Response G had a 9" and 11" choice. We got the 11".

Hi iBuyer,

I know there are lots of review sites all over the internet but from the time I started this site I wanted to provide more of an analysis than reviews so that consumers would have a way to measure and compare the quality and value of the materials that are used in mattresses which is really the only way to make meaningful comparisons between mattresses. You can see some of my thoughts about reviews in post #4 here.

I’m not sure if you mean the “continued negativity” about the Serta (and for that matter the other major brands as well) on this site or if you mean on others as well but it is with good reason. they use many low quality materials in their mattresses and then sell them at premium prices that would be typical for much higher quality and more costly materials. Based on meaningful comparisons of the materials in their mattresses … Serta is not a good quality/value line and it would not be helpful for me or in line with the goals of the site for me to say it was when the evidence indicates otherwise. The goal here is to call a spade a spade and not to “give in” to the more generic and rather meaningless descriptions that are so common all over the internet.

Serta certainly hit a home run with their iComfort line in combination with their marketing and being the first to create a buzz and popularize gel foams but that certainly doesn’t mean they are good quality. Even the lowest quality materials in the right layering can be very comfortable in the managed environment of a showroom. The problem is that low quality foams don’t stay that way for very long.

Quality in a mattress is definable and quantifiable and for me to provide the same generic and “no offense” descriptions that so many other sites do would make this site redundant very quickly. The goal here is to provide more meaningful information that is more relevant and factual for those who want a more accurate way to “measure” quality and value than the marketing information and opinions that are meant more to “convince” and sell mattresses more than educate and inform .

Would you buy a piece of furniture that you knew had nice veneer over low quality particle board if its price was the same or more than a similar piece that was made of good quality real wood throughout if they both had similar functions and performance ? Would you call it good quality or value at that price?

Phoenix

Hi BensonDubois99,

Congratulations on your new mattress :slight_smile:

Did you happen to ask about the density of the memory foam layer used in the Symbol? Was the price you paid for a mattress only or for the mattress/foundation set?

I know the base layers use a good quality 1.9 lb polyfoam and the gel foam is G-Flex which is good quality gel memory foam made by Flexible Foam but I don’t know the density of the memory foam layers they use.

In any case … it is better quality/value than the equivalent Serta and since it also meets your needs and preferences or PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and Personal preferences) … I’d say you did well.

Phoenix

Appreciate the honesty Phoenix, and I also appreciate the wealth of knowledge you have on the subject.

No question, I don’t enjoy paying top dollar while getting something that’s inferior. Unfortunately, not everyone has a local manufacturer nearby, and some of the prices do get out of hand.

There’s always a better product, and sometimes, products aren’t as good as the sum of their parts. Sometimes, they turn out better. I know many people, including myself, that have had mattresses for many years, that didn’t wear out or cause sleepless nights, and those were major brands.

The only direct comparison I can make with foam beds is between Novaform and the iComfort. Without question, I’d much rather pay the lower price. But having been on both, I would never purchase the Novaform.

I’m a bit particular with what I buy, and have always cherished informative sites such as this one that offer great information. Kudos to you for sharing your wealth of knowledge. I still have limited choices here, but at least you’ve done a great job of making me more informed.

Appreciate the site.

As I was looking around our area for some of the names you’ve mentioned on this site. I came across a local Serta retailer. Seems there is product confusion, surprising no?

They are selling a 10" memory foam mattress, queen size, for $534. A 10 year non-prorated warranty on this item. I suspect that this is the product seen at Sam’s Club and Amazon, not their newer iComfort products.