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Serta Icomfort vs Sealy Memoryworks

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04 Sep 2011 20:25 #1 by cheftoni
I've been poring over your site all weekend. There's some very helpful info here--but after a while my head starts to spin. Who knew buying a mattress could be so overwhelming.

Some background. We currently have a Simmons Beautyrest Leydon Superpillowtop. Although this bed is a lot more comfortable than our previous Stearns and Foster rock hard mattress, I don't sleep comfortably. You would think this bed is pretty "cushy" but I still find it quite firm. I'm 52 and I have had chronic low back pain for the past 5 years. I have a hard time finding a comfortable position and I wake up feeling sore from head to toe (rather neck to butt!) I can typically fall asleep best on my stomach, but I'm told that's not good for my back. If I can manage to sleep on my back all night (usually with a little help from Ambien) I wake up with less pain. Side sleeping definitely causes hip and shoulder pain. I've been experimenting with different pillows, but that's a whole different forum, I'm sure!

Several months ago while on vacation in Mexico I had the best sleep in years. I have no idea what the mattress brand was, but I remember a feeling of being cradled in the bed. Also, I have friends who rave about their Tempurpedic mattresses, but I'm not willing to shell out that kind of money. Besides, I have found two memory foam mattresses that feel as comfortable to me as the Tempurpedic model I liked, the Cloud Luxe, for much less money. One is the Serta IComfort Prodigy (I read your post about this one). The other is the Sealy Memoryworks Olivewood Ultra Plush Pillowtop made for Macy's by Sealy.

www1.macys.com/catalog/product/index.ogn...#fn=sp%3D1%26spc%3D7

I like that these two brands claim to sleep cooler than the Tempurpedic mattresses.

I was able to find out that the Sealy Memoryworks has a 4.5 lb density, which I understand is okay--not great, but I can't find any density info on the Sealy IComfort. If I had to choose right now, I'd pick the Sealy for overall comfort, but I'm a little worried that it has a pillowtop.

Can you shed any light on any of this for me? I wish I could just go and spend the night at the store!

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05 Sep 2011 04:40 #2 by Phoenix
Hi Cheftoni,

I certainly understand how confusing it can be ... and unfortunately many manufacturers and mattress outlets take full advantage of the confusion.

I should start out by saying that neither of these two mattresses is likely to be suitable for you and they are certainly not great value, even if they were. The iComfort worked out to about 5.0 lbs however the gel is quite dense and so would tend to raise the density of the memory foam that contained it.

The main reason that both would almost certainly be unsuitable for you is because they both contain far too much soft foam in the comfort layers. The revolution has 5 3/4" of soft foam on top (4 3/4 of this is memory foam and 1" is polyfoam) and this is way too much for anyone who sleeps on their stomach or back. The memoryworks is even worse and has 6" of memory foam on top. Quite frankly I would not recommend either of these mattresses for any sleeping position or for anyone as they are both "overkill" IMO. Even the Tempur Cloud Luxe ... while certainly a good quality memory foam ... would likely be too soft and thick for you.

In general stomach sleepers need the thinnest comfort layer, back sleeping is in the middle, and side sleepers need the thickest comfort layer. It is rare that anyone ... even a side sleeper ... would need more than 4" in a comfort layer. Stomach sleeping is a common source of back issues as stomach sleepers tend to sleep in a "swayback" position, especially if their comfort layer is more than an inch (or at most two) or if their support layer is too soft.

In terms of pillows ... stomach sleepers generally do best with either a very thin pillow or no pillow at all, back sleepers need a medium pillow, and side sleepers need a thicker pillow.

If you could give me an idea of your normal preferred sleeping position or positions and your height/weight I could probably give you a few more specific guidelines as to what type of layering and construction could work for you. While it's clear that you prefer thick soft mattresses ... you can certainly achieve any level of pressure relief you may need (even on your hips and shoulders) with thinner layers than these mattresses.

The foam that is the most "cradling" is memory foam (you would sink in the deepest) and the next most "cradling" would be latex. They are about equal in terms of pressure relief. It is quite likely that the mattress in Mexico was one of these although of course it is hard to know for sure. They would probably tell you if you were to call them.

I am not a big fan of memory foam (especially if it is a thick layer) for back issues and a thick polyfoam comfort layer in a mattress is also not so great for backs and will also wear out too quickly. If memory foam is your preference then the thinnest, highest quality comfort layer that will relieve pressure is usually the best.

Rather than purchasing any major brand ... you would almost certainly get much better quality and value in any type of mattress ... including memory foam ... from a smaller independent manufacturer. If you let me know where you are I'd be happy to take a look and see if there are any near you.

Hope this helps a bit and if you let me know some of your "stats" I'll be happy to go into more detail.

Phoenix

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05 Sep 2011 11:00 #3 by cheftoni
Thanks for taking the time to help me work this out. I am 5'8" and 180 lbs. I have narrow hips and broad shoulders My husband is 6' and 160 lbs. He is shaped like a pole! He says he doesn't care what type of mattress we get and he likes all that we have tried. We are both mostly side sleepers. And I do love that "cradling" feeling. We live in Austin, Texas. There's a mattress store on every corner, but I'm not sure about manufacturers.

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05 Sep 2011 19:34 - 15 Aug 2013 12:00 #4 by Phoenix
Hi Cheftoni,

There are several manufacturers in Austin that would be worth checking out or visiting.

www.sleepworld.net/ He is an independent factory direct manufacturer who carries a wide range of both memory foam and latex. I talked with him this morning and was very impressed with his openness and willingness to share information with me. He also offers good quality and value IMO. I believe that he would steer you in the right direction in terms of finding a high quality and value mattress that was suitable for your needs and preferences.

www.furniturerow.com/locations/locationsByState.jsp?state=Texas They carry a house brand which includes several memory foam and latex mattresses as well as several major brands with their own model names.

www.urbanmattress.com/ Austin. Retail direct outlet for their own house brand (Urban organics latex mattresses), along with a range of mattresses made by Sherwood, Suite Sleep, and VI Springs (ultra premium). Good people who have always been knowledgeable and open about their mattresses when I have talked with them.

While alll of these would likely provide better value than most other outlets ... my first stop would certainly be sleepworld.

Because of your side sleeping and profile ... I would start by testing comfort layers in the range of 3" using either good quality memory foam or softer latex and then adjust up or down from there depending on the material in the comfort layer and the support layers under it. Make sure you test separately for pressure relief and alignment on each mattress as these are two separate (although interrelated) functions of a mattress. The overall feel of a mattress is also important as a preference of course but this "feel" (such as how "cradling" the mattress is) should be part of a choice between mattresses that you know provide good pressure relief and correct alignment rather than the "primary" basis for a mattress choice. Your husband is fortunate as his body type is one of the simplest to accommodate in a mattress :).

If you have any questions either before or after mattress testing ... feel free to post them.

Phoenix

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Last edit: 15 Aug 2013 12:00 by Phoenix.

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08 Sep 2011 15:44 #5 by cheftoni
I visited Sleepworld a couple of days ago. Sadly, the latex mattress I like is $5,000!!! The memory foam is $2,000. The others were way to firm for me. The salesman didn't seem to know much about comfort layers. Maybe I wasn't asking the question right, but he kept telling me the depth of the mattress and when I asked about the top layer, he'd say it's all latex or all foam.

I also went back to Macy's and tried the Olivewood again. I wanted to rest on it for at least 15 minutes as recommended. I ended up falling asleep... 30 minutes later my snoring woke me up. My husband was mortified to hear this, but the store was deserted and the salesman said he'd let me try it for as long as I wanted! I understand what you are saying about this mattress---that it's comfort layer is too deep and that could cause problems over time, but it sure feels good initially!

I'll visit the other stores and let you know what happens.

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08 Sep 2011 16:27 #6 by Phoenix
Hi Cheftoni,

Do you know the name of the mattress that you liked at Sleepworld? When you are "field testing" ... the price of a mattresses that you like makes little difference because the goal is to find out the materials and the layer thicknesses that provide good pressure relief and spinal alignment. Once you know the construction of a suitable mattress, the last step is deciding where to buy a mattress that has a similar construction and if it it is not available locally at a good value ... then you would have the information you need to make an accurate online purchase at a much lower cost.

It certainly sounds like the salesman you dealt with there was different from the one I talked with.

Once you have tested a mattress for pressure relief and then tested it for alignment ... the questions to ask are always similar to (can I see the spec sheet or cutaway so I can find out what is in each layer of this mattress?). If you need more pressure relief ... then a thicker or softer comfort layer would be the next one to test. If you are sinking in to the mattress too much in say your hips and are out of alignment but the pressure relief seems good ... then the next mattress you look at should have a similar comfort layer but a firmer support layer. Every salesperson should have access to the inch by inch and layer by layer description of the materials inside every mattress they sell and be able to tell you which layer doesn't seem quite right for you based on your "lay on bed testing" (instead of simply saying the whole mattress is "wrong"). If they can't or don't ... then you are likely in the wrong store or dealing with the wrong person.

Phoenix

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08 Sep 2011 18:41 #7 by Phoenix
Hi again Cheftoni,

I talked with sleepworld again and confirmed that they have many latex mattresses in every budget. The one that you looked at was 15" of completely organic latex which is why it was so expensive. It has 6" of medium firm organic latex under 3" of medium organic latex under 3" of medium soft organic latex under 2 layers of 1.5" of soft organic latex which are "eggcrate" which makes them softer yet.

15" is certainly nice to have however it is not necessary at all. 8-9" of latex would be all you need and you could find a mattress in this thickness that felt just as good as the thicker mattress. An all latex mattress thicker than this would generally be suitable for those that are much heavier and in most cases are completely unnecessary. I couldn't imagine anyone needing more than 12" although what is in this 12" in terms of layering will of course make a big difference in how it feels and how suitable it may be for a particular person and sleeping position.

What your testing experience is telling me is that a mattress with 3" or so of very soft latex (19ILD or less) in natural or blended talalay would likely work well for you. If this was over a medium middle layer and a firm bottom layer you would be close to a latex mattress that felt good and was well within your budget. Even a 3" very soft latex over an innerspring or high quality polyfoam would likely work well for those that are on a more limited budget. Because you like a thicker softer comfort layer ... you would be best looking at a comfort layer which is effectively about 3-4" over a support core that kept you in alignment (this could be an innerspring ... high quality polyfoam .. or latex ... depending on what felt best to you).

If you really do prefer memory foam as a comfort layer in spite of its many disadvantages (in terms of performance, durability, health benefits, and overall sleeping comfort) compared to latex, then the absolute thickest I would consider would be 4" of 5.0 lb or greater density and probably thinner if possible. If it had a quilted cover (that would slightly reduce how far you sink into the memory foam) then perhaps a little thicker would be OK. This would normally be over a polyfoam support layer.

In your case ... since the mattresses you were looking at previously (Sealy Simmons etc) are at the absolute bottom end of any "natural" scale, I would not be looking for organic materials as this will put you out of your budget. All latex (blended or otherwise) is "healthier" than any polyfoam or memory foam ... even if the polyfoam or memory foam has what they call "green" ingredients (like "soy" based or "plant oil" based).

So what you are looking for in general terms is 3-4" of soft latex (or high density memory foam) over a firmer support core.

To give you an "apples to apples" value comparison ... the "classic 11" at sleepworld would be "similar" to the memory foam mattresses you liked (the iComfort and Memoryworks) but much higher quality and a lower price. It is significantly better value than anything you were looking at. It still has more memory foam in it than I would choose however I wanted to give you a sense of an actual value comparison between an independent manufacturer and a larger outlet.

If I was choosing a latex mattress (or a mattress with a latex comfort layer) at sleepworld ... I would be looking at one of these www.sleepworld.net/latex/ or one of the latex over innersprings or latex/memory foam combinations over an innerspring ... all of which would be in your budget and would cost you 50% more (at least) if it was a national brand being purchased from a "typical" mattress store.

Phoenix

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  • Anonymous
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04 Jan 2012 22:09 #8 by Anonymous
Replied by Anonymous on topic Serta Icomfort vs Sealy Memoryworks
So what mattress did you end up buying? I am having the same problem, tired of sleeping in a pot hole.
chicago

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05 Jan 2012 00:08 #9 by Phoenix
Hi Anonymous,

This thread may help you and includes some feedback about My Green Mattress which is one of the manufacturing members of the site and offers some of the best quality and value mattresses in the country including several latex options.

Sleeping in a pothole is almost always the result of low quality (density) soft polyfoam in a mattress which is why it's important to know what is in all the layers inside a mattress so you can tell where the weak link of the mattress is and have a much better idea of how long it will last. Local factory direct manufacturers tend to use much higher quality materials and construction methods so the "sleeping in a pothole" symptoms that are so common in the national brands are far less likely to happen if they even happen at all.

Phoenix

Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
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23 Feb 2012 02:58 #10 by Immortal216
Phoenix, what are your thoughts on the icomfort renewal refined? My girl has her heart set on it and by laying on it in the store for about a half hour to an hour i thought it felt comfortable as well. The problem is i am doing research on memory foam beds and am coming across a ton of information. I read on one site that is you weigh 200+lbs that you need more than 4"s in the comfort layer is there any truth to that? Also i need to add my girl doesn't like ANY of the tempurpedic beds she claims that they are too firm for her. Thanks.

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