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Where to get clay-like hard long-lasting memory foam?

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11 Apr 2013 20:52 - 11 Apr 2013 20:55 #11 by Phoenix
Hi brian.r.hamilton,

I think you meant this URL: www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgM38sisM-4 , but thanks, I found it & it is helpful.


Yes ... I did but I linked the video that only had information about Sensus by mistake. I've changed the link ... thanks.

The memory foam on the Sleep Innovations mattress is initially much more supportive than the Sensus. There's just no comparison. When you first lie on the mattress, it still feels like when it was new, & is almost too firm. You wouldn't want to just fall back or certainly not face first onto this mattress! It would seriously be painful! It takes a few minutes for your body to warm the foam before it starts to obviously conform, truly feels like a melting sensation.


I understand what you are saying ... but this is not a factor of it's "support" but a factor of its perceived firmness. It's easy to mix the two up. Memory foam manufacturers use different chemical combinations to create memory foam with different qualities (there's more about this in the links I listed earlier). Visco elastic materials respond to temperature, humidity, pressure, and time. This is like honey or water where if you compress it slowly it is soft but if you slap it then it feels firm. This is why memory foam can be tricky to evaluate because there are many factors that contribute to it's perceived firmness even though if you measure them by ILD alone ... they are all in the soft range of ILD (under 20). Unfortunately the industry as a whole is moving away from the type of memory foam that you prefer and moving towards faster responding memory foam which is less temperature sensitive (has a more consistent feel and firmness levels in a broader range of temperatures). One thing that is consistent though regardless of the specific properties of any memory foam is that its density is the primary factor in how long a particular memory foam will keep the properties that were part of its original chemical formulation (higher density is the main durability factor in other words until you get past about 6 lb density or so when the more linear relationship between durability and density begins to flatten out.

I don't see any similarity between the Foamex products in that video & anything we've tested by Tempurpedic or our Sleep Innovations mattress. The Sleep Innovations & Tempurpedic are very similar. The Foamex products just seem like plain old foam with a little bit of "memory" effect.


Because what each person perceives on different materials can be very subjective and also subject to many personal and environmental variables, layer thickness, and the materials above and below the memory foam ... each person may perceive the same material in different ways. This is just the nature of things in the world of mattresses ... and also by the way why it can be risky to go by other people's perceptions which may be very different from your own.

Our "good" bed, from FloBeds.com, has latex cores that we are in the process of updating. We had 2 replaced via warranty that failed after about 7 or 8 years & are in the process of replacing the remaining 2, likely with firmer versions this time around. However, we want to find a topper, or some combination no more than about 2-3" think, that give us this "molded-clay hard" feel!


This is one of the big advantages of component mattresses like FloBeds where layers can be replaced instead of the whole mattress. If you are looking for a specific "feel" and there is a material that you know has the specific feel you are looking for (Tempurpedic memory foam) ... then it may be best to bite the bullet and by the Tempurpedic. Even if there was another material that felt similar to you ... it can involve so much trial and error to find out which one feels the same to you that it can be less costly to go with what you are familiar with than to experiment.

What specification do you think best describes this profound difference (as we see it)? How, other than by having a sample or video in hand, describe/find the foam that we want? It really shouldn't be as difficult as it has been to find what we want (as I've described above). Very frustrating.


I think it would be a combination of specifications that would all be subject to several variables. They would include response time (slower), temperature response (getting softer with specific temperature ranges but remaining firmer outside of this narrower range to give you the "sleeping in sand or clay feeling"), and density (durability to maintain the feel you like and to create a similar compression modulus which is how quickly a foam becomes firmer with deeper compression) but in most cases you won't be able to find the technical specifications that will allow you to "match" one foam to another to this level of specificity and you would be dependent on either your your own perceptions (testing other foams in person before buying) or the perceptions and descriptions of others (which may not agree with your own because of some of the many variables or even "testing conditions" involved). Again ... this is why memory foam can be much more "tricky" than other types of foam.

The memory foam toppers at memoryfoam.com (from one of your links) are even more expensive than Sensus & the specs that are posted are pretty much the same. I've been to that site & many others like it over the last 10 years. There is no obvious reason I would choose to try that foam other than perhaps your recommendation.


I completely agree with you in your case although the "specs" that any manufacturer lists for their materials are nowhere near complete enough to make exact comparisons between foams. The density of a foam is the major part of its durability but "quality" or more accurately the "qualities" of different foams are not dependent on density. Some of these qualities require more expensive chemicals or additives, more difficult production methods, or higher levels of quality control (to control foaming variances) and these too can lead to some significant differences in the cost of a foam. The cost of foam is not only dependent on its density in other words. My "recommendation" has little to do with how a foam will feel to you or anyone else and for this you are dependent either on your own experience or on the experience of others. In this case ... the return policies of a supplier may be one of the most important parts of the "value" of your purchase so that you can decide in your own experience how close a foam "feels" to what you are looking for. If you get the "feel" you are looking for ... then the advantage of having this feel in a higher density/quality foam is that it will last longer.

There are probably a thousand sites just like this selling memory foam that claim to be like (or better) than Tempurpedic. Of course searching for rock hard memory foam is useless because who would want that? Do you see the frustration?


I don't think they are claiming that their foam is "better" than Tempurpedic because you would first have to define what you mean by "better". In some cases it may be true bu some definition of "better" (for example they use some gel foams that are more costly at a production level than some of the Tempurpedic foams) but I think they are correctly claiming that they have better value than Tempurpedic based on having similar designs, similar foam quality, and a similar feel to most people. There are very few sites that put the time and energy into trying to "match" all the different factors of foam quality/durability, design, and feel. Many sites only make these types of rather misleading Tempurpedic "matching" claims based on the more subjective "feel" of a mattress (knowing that most people won't even make meaningful comparisons anyway and are only interested in price) but use lower quality materials to achieve it and the "feel" that they are claiming is similar. In many cases some of the claims are completely ridiculous and has no basis at all because even the "feel" they are claiming isn't similar and the only thing comparable in some of these claims is that they have some memory foam of some type in their mattress ... even though in many cased it is "junk".

If the price is cheap enough ... there are thousands of consumers that will "swear" that it feels exactly the same because they are so eager to justify a "cheap" purchase, because they just don't know any better, or because for a short time what they purchased will have some similarities to other mattresses until the foam starts to soften and degrade. What often happens then is that someone who is a little more aware buys the same thing based on hundreds or even thousands of "positive" reviews ... mostly written within a fe days of the purchase ... and can't help but wonder why so many people are saying what they are saying when it is clear to them that what they have bought is junk and not similar at all.

Phoenix

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Last edit: 11 Apr 2013 20:55 by Phoenix.

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11 Apr 2013 22:09 #12 by brian.r.hamilton
Thanks, very helpful. We will probably not purchase another piece of memory foam without having it in our hands first. It's just not worth the risk. We've found that price means little in the world of memory foam since none of it lasts very long anyway. I think we're going to try to make our latex mattress firmer to start with & go from there. I can't shake the thought that in the long run what might suit us best is a simple combination of a firm spring mattress with Tempurpedic topper. Time will tell.

I do disagree with some of your comments on user reviews. I think if there are enough reviews on a good site, like Amazon, the truth can be found. It's a lot of work though. I do agree that most users post reviews too soon for many products, especially things like mattresses & toppers. Reading all those reviews led us directly to a mattress that performed exactly how we wanted for a while. Too bad that performance didn't last!

Does anybody make a mattress topper out of sand? So tempting... :-)

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12 Apr 2013 01:20 - 02 May 2016 12:05 #13 by Phoenix
Hi brian.r.hamilton,

I do disagree with some of your comments on user reviews. I think if there are enough reviews on a good site, like Amazon, the truth can be found. It's a lot of work though. I do agree that most users post reviews too soon for many products, especially things like mattresses & toppers. Reading all those reviews led us directly to a mattress that performed exactly how we wanted for a while. Too bad that performance didn't last!


Legitimate disagreement is certainly healthy ... and hopefully will encourage people to look a little deeper into the facts, fictions, and information about conflicting thoughts and opinions. Conflicting beliefs held by people I respect highly has been much of the impetus behind some of the research on this site in an attempt to discover when and how both could be right in the larger context or in different circumstances and experiences.

As you can see in post #4 here and in post #20 here and in post #4 here ... I think the problem with reviews in general (and why I was determined from the beginning to never allow this site to degenerate into a "review" site) is that each one doesn't have the specific information about all the variables that can contribute to the suitability of a mattress (details about the person and the mattress) that would make them more meaningful. Almost everyone has seen reviews where some reviewers are adamant that a mattress is "too firm" and others are just as adamant that the same mattress is "too soft". I have seen reviews that are 95% + positive of mattresses that have many thousands of reviews and are using junk foam that won't last for most people for any reasonable length of time. People in general (and this is an unfortunate commentary on the society we live in where information that is "pushed" at people or repeated enough times becomes believable in the absence of their own deeper or more specific research) often tend to take the easy way out and buy products based on the "approval" or opinions of others ... and in many cases come to regret it. Major manufacturers are well aware of the lack of reliable information about mattress materials or the lack of critical thinking or discernment that is so common in our society today and take full advantage of it.

Hundreds or even thousands of people posting reviews that have no knowledge of mattresses or materials or the "why" behind what they are feeling or believing doesn't make something "true" or even worth using as a guideline for someone else when each person is unique in terms of how they may respond to a particular mattress. 1000 reviews written by people that don't know how to tell foam or material quality or who are really only saying "I got a good deal" says nothing about the quality or value of a mattress either. A mattress that is perfect for one person or even a group of people in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) may be completely unsuitable for someone else to sleep on. Different people with different body types, sleeping positions, and individual sensitivities will also have very different perceptions about the firmness of a mattress and a mattress that is "too firm" for one can be "too soft" for someone else.

I do agree with you that they can have some limited value and nothing is absolute ... particularly in terms of the kind of service provided by a manufacturer or retailer and as a general indication of some of the overall qualities of a mattress or product if a clear pattern emerges above the "noise" (which as you say can take some effort to discern) but this information is often overwhelmed by misinformed consumers posting opinions that have little basis in fact and are mostly self justifying. Misinformation or opinions that aren't supported by any facts or only have personal or individual relevance which are posted many times doesn't make the information any more accurate or true than it would be if it was only posted once.

So IMO ... reviews certainly have some value in some circumstances but reviews about the knowledge, experience, or service of a retailer or manufacturer are more valuable than reviews (amalgamated or otherwise) about mattresses. I certainly don't believe they are more valuable than other more meaningful types of research that involve more specific, detailed, or factual research and personal experience though. Most knowledgeable manufacturers and retailers with many years of knowledge and experience in the industry would share similar sentiments and many have emailed me on many occasions thanking me for bucking the trend and focusing on accurate information rather than being a typical internet forum or "review site" where anyone can say anything without being "challenged" as to the basis for their beliefs or how applicable they may be for anyone else when circumstances may call for it.

This video about reviews is also excellent and well worth watching IMO.

Does anybody make a mattress topper out of sand? So tempting...


Have you considered something like buckwheat hulls?

openyoureyesbedding.com/

Also see some of the posts and conversations here with OYEB (you can just click this).

Phoenix

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Last edit: 02 May 2016 12:05 by Phoenix.

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12 Apr 2013 15:27 #14 by brian.r.hamilton
I tried a pillow filled with buckwheat hulls once. It wasn't uncomfortable, but had an awful smell. I sweat a lot sometimes so I think that enhances any smell, decay, or sprouting!

FloBeds has been treating us very well. Hopefully they'll be able to help us out on our next topper attempt. I really don't know why I didn't given them the chance after the first topper failed, years ago.

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12 Apr 2013 19:36 #15 by Phoenix
Hi brian..hamilton,

FloBeds has been treating us very well. Hopefully they'll be able to help us out on our next topper attempt. I really don't know why I didn't given them the chance after the first topper failed, years ago.


I agree that they are "good people" with good knowledge and experience and well worth dealing with.

They also carry the Sensus memory foam though which doesn't seem to be your favorite but they may be able to suggest other options that are worth trying.

Phoenix

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16 Apr 2013 21:24 - 17 Apr 2013 01:32 #16 by brian.r.hamilton
Another example of why customers don't trust foam sellers! I asked memoryfoam.com how their more dense toppers compared to Sensus. Below is the conversation. Sensus is the only "quality" (dense) topper I have experience with (as far as I know) so I thought asking for a comparison to that would be useful. It didn't work out that way.


Yes, our memory foam is very similar in feeling to the tempurpedic.

On Tuesday, April 16, 2013, Brian R. Hamilton wrote:

Your website says your toppers are more similar to Tempurpedic which we have demoed at stores & feel nothing at all like the Sensus topper. The Tempurpedic is far more solid & "clay-like" in feel. Sensus feels like soft polyurethane foam - nothing special.

On 4/16/2013 1:46 PM, Customer Service wrote:
> Hello,
>
> Apples to apples. It is 5lbs to 5 Lbs just different brands. We use Premier Foam which is a North American Manufacturer.
>
> On Tuesday, April 16, 2013, Brian R. Hamilton wrote:
>
> Hi,
>
> How do your toppers compare to Foamex Sensus 5 pound density toppers (the only point of reference that I have) in feel (firmness, resiliency, support, etc.)?
Last edit: 17 Apr 2013 01:32 by brian.r.hamilton.

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16 Apr 2013 23:04 #17 by g1981c
ok so Energia is not memory foam. i totally blame RockyMountainMattress for my mistake !

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17 Apr 2013 01:30 - 17 Apr 2013 01:34 #18 by Phoenix
Hi brian.r.hamilton,

I see nothing wrong or even inaccurate or contradictory in their replies to you and if anything you may have asked the wrong questions.

I think it's important to recognize a few things ...

First of all your perceptions may be very different from many other people who don't feel the same "clay like" feel when they lie on Tempurpedic memory foam or at least wouldn't describe it the same way you do. One person who feels one thing on a particular brand of memory foam may describe it very differently than another person that tries the very same memory foam because they can be more or less sensitive to the different properties of memory foam or their subjective perceptions may result in different descriptions of the same material.

Body type, sleeping style, and preferences can also affect how people "feel" a particular type of material.

The response of memory foam also depends on several variables including including temperature, humidity, pressure, and time. These variables may also result in a different experience with the same type of memory foam.

The "feel" of memory foam depends on all the layers of a mattress that it is part of along with layer thickness ... not just on a single layer.

In your email questions you were trying to compare 3 different types of memory foam based on certain criteria but your "criteria" didn't provide them with a good indication of your perceptions or the specifics of the type of memory foam you are looking for (or how you feel it such as "I'm looking for memory foam that has a clay like feel").

The first response they provided was as accurate as most people would want to know based on the criteria you mentioned (firmness, resilience, and support). You asked first about the similarity between their memory foam and Sensus based on these 3 criteria and their answer was as accurate in general terms as your 3 criteria make possible. By these criteria they would be similar for most (but of course not all) people.

Don't forget too that there are many people who would perceive that Sensus and Tempurpedic feel very similar. As a matter of fact there are many people who believe that Tempurpedic and 3 lb "junk" memory foam feel very similar (just read the thousands of online reviews that say so).

In your second question you asked how it compared to Tempurpedic in general terms and their reply was that their foam is very similar in feeling to Tempurpedic. This would also be correct for the majority of people because they actually design their mattresses to have a similar feel as the various Tempurpedic models based on their own and customer feedback. Their reply was based on a broad comparison and would also be accurate in most people's perceptions and didn't contradict their first reply.

Memory foam can be very "tricky" to compare to the level of specificity or details of every foam spec in the way you are trying to do and the answers you receive may never be as specific to your own perceptions as you are hoping for.

Email is also not the best way to deal with much more detailed or complex questions (that you may not even realize you are asking) and the answers you get may answer what you actually and specifically asked even though you meant to ask something else. Again ... the answer you receive may be accurate enough for most people based on the specifics of what you are asking but may still not be accurate enough for you based on your own perceptions or based on criteria (a clay like feeling) that you didn't mention.

Memory foam verbal descriptions (and memory foam itself) can be "tricky" because it responds to so many factors, has such a wide range of characteristics that different people feel and respond to differently, and has so many variables that can affect how it feels and performs. As I've mentioned before ... if you are looking specifically for the feel and performance of Tempurpedic as you perceive it and to the level of specificity that is important to you ... then even memory foam that is "close" by most people's description or standards may not feel "close enough" for you and you would probably be better off buying Tempurpedic rather than trusting that someone else's description, no matter how accurate it may be in more general terms, will also describe your own personal experience.

Phoenix

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Last edit: 17 Apr 2013 01:34 by Phoenix.

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22 Apr 2013 16:21 - 22 Apr 2013 16:23 #19 by brian.r.hamilton
I agree that there are differences in perception, but the differences that I'm talking about are absurd & easily felt simply by pressing on the foam with your hand. I guarantee the majority of people pressing on the foams I am comparing will describe the differences I am pointing out in a very similar way.

Flobeds.com sent samples of Aerus & Sensus with the new cores I received last week. Aerus is obviously less dense & appears to be open-cell. Sensus seems to be closed-cell & recovers more slowly. The difference between these in feel are subtle. The difference between either & the memory foam on our all-in-one are huge. Like I said before, you fall face first on that memory foam & you may break your nose. The Sensus & Aerus are soft like most cheap polyurethane foam.

memoryfoam.com made no effort to point out any difference or understand my perceptions. My impression was that they only wanted to fish for what I wanted to hear & sell me what they had - a very typical online experience. I also asked them whether they would be willing to send a sample (I would have gladly paid something & shipping) but they didn't even reply.

Flobeds.com, on the other hand, at least told me what other customers have said about each of those foams when I asked them the same questions. They also sent samples without blinking an eye. In addition, they have now replaced all the latex cores on our good mattress for free (per 15 year warranty, we're on year 12)! Maybe there are honest foam sellers online after all!
Last edit: 22 Apr 2013 16:23 by brian.r.hamilton.

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22 Apr 2013 20:19 - 22 Apr 2013 20:21 #20 by Phoenix
Hi brian.r.hamilton,

I agree that there are differences in perception, but the differences that I'm talking about are absurd & easily felt simply by pressing on the foam with your hand. I guarantee the majority of people pressing on the foams I am comparing will describe the differences I am pointing out in a very similar way.


That's certainly true ... although most people may not pay as much attention to the same things you are focused on and when they sleep on the materials may not focus on the differences in the same way you are. I have seen people who have difficulty telling the difference between two mattresses that use completely different materials (such as memory foam and polyfoam) because they are more focused on subjective "feel" and the differences ... while obvious to most ... are just not apparent to them and what they are focused on.

Flobeds.com sent samples of Aerus & Sensus with the new cores I received last week. Aerus is obviously less dense & appears to be open-cell. Sensus seems to be closed-cell & recovers more slowly. The difference between these in feel are subtle. The difference between either & the memory foam on our all-in-one are huge. Like I said before, you fall face first on that memory foam & you may break your nose. The Sensus & Aerus are soft like most cheap polyurethane foam.


Aerus is typically sold in less dense 4 lb versions but it is actually available up to 8 lb density (and as low as 3 lbs) as you can see here . Sensus also comes in different densities (although I haven't seen it lower than 5 lbs).

The memory foam you prefer is the type which has a narrower temperature range and below this range stays much firmer. As I mentioned this is becoming more difficult to find because the industry as a whole (even Tempurpedic with their newer mattresses) is moving away from the slower response, narrower temperature range, and more closed cell types of memory foam. It may be worth talking with www.foamorder.com/memory.html because I think their memory foam may be slower responding but I would confirm this with them because I don't have personal experience with it. They apparently provide samples as well so you can test it for yourself.

Flobeds.com, on the other hand, at least told me what other customers have said about each of those foams when I asked them the same questions. They also sent samples without blinking an eye. In addition, they have now replaced all the latex cores on our good mattress for free (per 15 year warranty, we're on year 12)! Maybe there are honest foam sellers online after all!


There are many honest mattress manufacturers or foam sellers and I would certainly agree that FloBeds is among them. they are what I would call "mattress people".

Phoenix

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Last edit: 22 Apr 2013 20:21 by Phoenix.

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