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11" Pacbed Original from Bed in a Box.com

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05 Mar 2012 01:57 - 05 Mar 2012 02:14 #1 by Lawsonmh15
Like most of you, the time has come to buy a new mattress so I began doing research a few weeks back and liked the customer satisfaction and durability ratings I found at sleeplikethedead. I also liked the reviews I read at the bed in a box site (no surprise there) so I figured I would ask if anyone has purchased this bed and how they like it. Also, if there are better alternatives available for the same money or less. Currently they're running a promotion (which of course ends tomorrow) where I can get a queen with the pluragel the foundation and two pillows for $924. Compared to a tempurpedic, the price is friggin awesome. Compared to aerus and the others, pretty high. I just had two little girls so funds are tight and if I'm going to spend the money, it damn well better be worth every dime so any and all insight and experience will be greatly appreciated.

I need to pull the trigger sooner than later as the current "bed" has springs coming through the bottom and one coming through the top on the wife's side (she's SOOO not happy) and the bed as a whole, is just shot.

Edit: Just read some of your OP's and it appears I didn't give enough info...

Me: 6'0" tall and fluctuate in weight from around 200-250lbs depending on the season. Just coming out of hibernation so I'm tippin' the scales closer to 250. I'm about 80% back and 20% left side. Blue eyes, dirty blonde hair and I'm a pisces.

The Wife: Buxom lass with a bit of an attitude. She's 5'6" and working off some baby-weight so she's tippin the scales at about 170, but typically weighs in around 140. She's a big-time side sleeper, not much tummy-time (buxom remember) and a bit of time on her back.

Hope this helps as it's all I've got...
Last edit: 05 Mar 2012 02:14 by Lawsonmh15.

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05 Mar 2012 04:27 - 05 Mar 2012 04:38 #2 by Phoenix
Hi Lawsonmh15,

Me: 6'0" tall and fluctuate in weight from around 200-250lbs depending on the season. Just coming out of hibernation so I'm tippin' the scales closer to 250. I'm about 80% back and 20% left side. Blue eyes, dirty blonde hair and I'm a pisces.

The Wife: Buxom lass with a bit of an attitude. She's 5'6" and working off some baby-weight so she's tippin the scales at about 170, but typically weighs in around 140. She's a big-time side sleeper, not much tummy-time (buxom remember) and a bit of time on her back.

Hope this helps as it's all I've got...


That's probably plenty ... except of course the time of day you were born and the length of the middle toe on your left foot. :)

On a more serious note ... their memory foam models use 3 lb memory foam which is on the bottom end of the quality/durability scale for memory foam. Once you are over 200 lbs ... then memory foams that are 5 lbs or higher are a much better choice. Even 4 lbs or higher would be a much better choice in a very low budget mattress although I would question the wisdom of this as well. To their credit they do use higher quality polyfoam in their support core under the memory foam.

Promotions of one type or another tend to be "ongoing" and are nothing special. they are an ongoing way to create a sense of urgency.

Their regular memory foam mattresses are in no way comparable to a quality memory foam mattresses which use higher quality materials. Their FAQ is very misleading and inaccurate although it is true that lower density memory foams will often be faster responding and less temperature sensitive. Many types of memory foam have these same qualities though at a higher density.

Gel memory foams are an emerging technology and there are quite a few variants ... some better than others. They don't list the density of the gel foam but they do say it is an infused type which would indicate that it would probably be more durable than a similar density memory foam without the gel. I am also guessing that it is infused in low quality memory foam.

Given the lower density/quality of the memory foam in their regular models ... I would personally be very hesitant in purchasing this mattress.

Some guidelines for buying a memory foam mattress are in post #10 here .

There are many better and less risky choices that use known better quality materials and some of them are in post #12 here .

My personal tendency is to avoid materials which are either unknown or where someone I trust hasn't seen the specs and can validate the durability of the materials.

Phoenix

PS: I would also tend to look for a local factory direct manufacturer where you can actually test the mattress you are buying and where you can count on high quality materials and good value. This may be particularly important because with your weight differential you may have very different needs from each other and it may either be worthwhile considering a side by side "split" construction (each side layered differently) or be able to test a mattress to make sure it is suitable for the both of you. If you let me know the city you live in I can take a look to see if there are any that I know about.

Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
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Last edit: 05 Mar 2012 04:38 by Phoenix.

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05 Mar 2012 23:57 #3 by Lawsonmh15
Thanks for the info, but going based solely on foam density, the wal-mart mattress would be a far better buy. Nonetheless, I've read through some of the reviews on the wal-mart site and some of the reviews state that it goes from extremely firm, to extremely mushy inside of a year or two. What would cause that??? I also read on sleeplikethedead that people tend to be moving away from the higher density foam and it is decreasingly becoming a factor in durability. Is there any truth to that?


If you had ~$1K to spend on a mattress and foundation, where would you go? I've looked into the local dealers and factories (of which I only know of Denver Mattress and Innomax locally and neither seem willing to deal on their price and considering SS can sell to wal-mart who resells for less than $400, I'm having a REALLY tough time justifying their $1300+ price tag for the mattress alone. I don't know anything about the mattress industry aside from what google tells me and google says there's some HEFTY markup in said industry. I have a 16mo and 6mo old daughters who seem to be fairly needy in the cash dept. so price is definitely a factor. That being said, even $350 is hard to justify if I'll be re-buying in a year or two... It's weird too as I've read reviews about Tempurpedic's needing replacement after 5 years and I can't tell you how pissed I'd be if I was out a few grand after 5 years of use...

Here's where I'm at brother. You seem to know your shit so if you would be so kind as to tell me what you'd personally recommend, in my budget, I'd be happy to take a gander and maybe give it a go.

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05 Mar 2012 23:59 - 06 Mar 2012 00:21 #4 by Lawsonmh15
Nevermind, it found itself
Last edit: 06 Mar 2012 00:21 by Lawsonmh15.

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06 Mar 2012 00:17 - 06 Mar 2012 00:18 #5 by Lawsonmh15
Last edit: 06 Mar 2012 00:18 by Lawsonmh15.

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06 Mar 2012 03:07 - 07 Nov 2014 03:04 #6 by Phoenix
Hi Lawsonmh15,

what happened to the rest of my thread???


Sometimes the session times out when there is a long period of time that elapses from the start to posting and then the reply starts a new thread. I put it back together again :)

Thanks for the info, but going based solely on foam density, the wal-mart mattress would be a far better buy.


That depends on which WalMart mattress you're referring to but there are certainly choices at WalMart that I think have better value than the PacBed (such as the 4 lb Aerus either there or better yet at Sams Club). If you're comparing apples to apples ... the single biggest factor in foam durability when you are comparing memory foam to memory foam remains polymer density (the density of the polymer before any fillers are added).

Nonetheless, I've read through some of the reviews on the wal-mart site and some of the reviews state that it goes from extremely firm, to extremely mushy inside of a year or two. What would cause that???


I'm not sure which mattress you're referring to as having comments about softening but you would see some comments like this about almost any memory foam (although more about worse ones than better ones). One of the best references for the importance of density though is the PFA (polyfoam manufacturers association) which represents the actual manufacturers of the foam although there are many others if you start to read the more technical information that is available. There is an article here on density. Foam softens primarily because of a combination of the foam itself along with the mechanical forces that are compressing it (height, weight, movement etc) and the materials above and below it will also play a role. All polyurethane foam (including memory foam) goes through an initial softening period for the first few weeks ... followed by a more gradual softening ... and finally starts to break down (forms impressions). The speed of this depends on the foam, the person, and the circumstances.

I also read on sleeplikethedead that people tend to be moving away from the higher density foam and it is decreasingly becoming a factor in durability. Is there any truth to that?


Sleep like the dead correctly says that people are using more lower density memory foams but this has nothing to do with durability but with the other characteristics of lower density memory foam which tend to have less motion restriction, greater breathability, less temperature sensitivity, and a softer feel and initial response (although they are less pressure relieving and conforming than higher density). There are many newer memory foams which have these characteristics at a higher density but they are more expensive so since price "rules the roost" and people generally don't know or at least discover the effects of lower durability problem till later ... there are a lot of poor quality foams being sold today by people who are initially "happy". SLTD also correctly makes clear that higher density also equates to greater durability. The best choice IMO of memory foam is higher density memory foams that are CertiPur certified and I would add made by a North American or European company (although there are several CertiPur manufacturers listed on the site that are Asian).

So in essence ... polymer density remains the single biggest factor in memory foam durability. There are other factors (such as the use of different chemicals and polymers) but these are secondary.

If you had ~$1K to spend on a mattress and foundation, where would you go? I've looked into the local dealers and factories (of which I only know of Denver Mattress and Innomax locally and neither seem willing to deal on their price and considering SS can sell to wal-mart who resells for less than $400, I'm having a REALLY tough time justifying their $1300+ price tag for the mattress alone.


I would personally buy latex over a high density polyfoam in this budget range partly because it's more durable but more importantly because I prefer latex over memory foam ... but that's my personal preference. I would also go to a local manufacturer or to a place I trusted would tell me what is in their mattress. If I was buying memory foam ... I would tend to go with one of the manufacturers I listed in the last post or with a box store that had a full refund if I didn't like the mattress or it wasn't suitable for my height, weight, and sleeping positions (but again I would make sure that the mattress met the memory foam guidelines I also mentioned in the last post). Sleep Science (assuming that's who you mean by SS) is not listed on the CertiPur website which is one of the criteria that I would use to buy any memory foam.

Most local manufacturers don't deal on their pricing because they are already much lower than anything comparable in a mass market outlet or major brand that uses the same quality materials. There may be more local manufacturers near you that are worth a trip although it's possible that Innomax and Denver are the only ones depending on where you live. Don't forget too that brand means nothing and every manufacturer makes mattresses that use better and worse quality materials. Comparing materials rather than brand is the only way to make meaningful comparisons between mattresses.

You are right that there are some huge markups in the mainstream industry which is why I recommend avoiding all major brands and chain stores and focusing on factory direct manufacturers and smaller brands which have far greater value and quality. They are also much more likely to help you make better choices that are suitable for your height/weight/sleeping positions/preferences and tend to put your long term satisfaction above their profit margin. They also don't normally have the gimmicky sales and sell for the same (much better) price every day of the year.

I have a 16mo and 6mo old daughters who seem to be fairly needy in the cash dept. so price is definitely a factor. That being said, even $350 is hard to justify if I'll be re-buying in a year or two... It's weird too as I've read reviews about Tempurpedic's needing replacement after 5 years and I can't tell you how pissed I'd be if I was out a few grand after 5 years of use...


Even Tempurpedic has a very wide range of durability depending on the mattress and the person sleeping on it. There is no memory foam that is as durable as latex though but Tempurpedic is in the upper tier of quality in memory foam and durability (although it's by no means alone in this upper tier and many others have better value).

Here's where I'm at brother. You seem to know your shit so if you would be so kind as to tell me what you'd personally recommend, in my budget, I'd be happy to take a gander and maybe give it a go.


My goal on the site is to give people the knowledge and information about how to make better choices both in terms of materials and outlets. Once you have narrowed down your choices ... then the best person to make specific recommendations about a mattress is the person who is most familiar with their specific mattresses and the materials and layering they use. they have a large "databank" of how each mattress relates to the needs and preferences of people who are similar to you (assuming that your needs and preferences are in the range of "average" for your height, weight, and sleeping positions).

There are some guidelines here about different heights, weights, and body shapes and some guidelines here about different sleeping positions.

The most accurate way to know what type of mattress works best for anyone is to actually lie on mattresses that have a known construction (where the outlets are transparent about what is in the mattress). This can also help you with a rough "blueprint" for an online purchase if the mattress you are testing doesn't have the value you are looking for.

As a general guideline for you though ... I would recommend the most durable materials possible and if you are committed to memory foam ... then I would recommend 5 lb or higher foam or using 4 lb foam knowing that it will be less durable. Since you are a back sleeper primarily ... you will need a thinner comfort layer (typically 2-3") than someone who sleeps primarily on their side. Foams of a certain firmness level will also feel softer to you than someone who is lighter so a firmer foam for you may feel similiar to a softer foam for your wife. You will also tend to need firmer support layers for good alignment/support than a lighter person.

For your wife ... since she is a side sleeper ... she will need a slightly thicker comfort layer (typically 3-4") and softer foams than you to accommodate her side seeping. She would probably do OK with a 4 lb memory foam. A good option may be a thinner layer of 4 lb over 5 lb foam to compromise between her need for softer and yours for denser weight. There are some choices like this in the memory foam list I mentioned previously.

So my first choice would be to buy a "known" quantity from a local outlet that had good quality and value (factory direct or a sleep shop that sold alternative brands).

My second choice would be to do some local testing to use as a guideline for an online purchase with the guidance of someone who knew how to fit a mattress to different people rather than just selling you whatever you are willing to buy. Failing this type of guidance from a knowledgeable online manufacturer ... then a big box store like Walmart, Costco, and Sams Club can also be a good choice as long as you have a rough idea of what would work for you and i you happen to choose a mattress that doesn't "fit" your needs and preferences then you can get a full refund.

Phoenix

Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum
Last edit: 07 Nov 2014 03:04 by Phoenix.

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07 Mar 2012 00:42 #7 by Lawsonmh15
The wife and I took a spin on a couple of TP's tonight and really liked both the cloud supreme and cloud luxe. Can you recommend a good substitute for either of those? We both thought the cloud was a bit soft, but I'm feeling inundated with options and since you are a mattress scientist, I can't think of a better person to ask. We also liked the iComfort with gel if that helps...

Lastly, would the bed I linked in the previous post fit the bill?

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07 Mar 2012 01:00 #8 by Lawsonmh15
Just read through the density link you provided and am now a bit confused as the cloud felt too soft and unsupportive (which seems odd since it's the cheapest but from what the article says, the softness is due to a higher density) which goes against the rule of higher density equating to being more expensive. This is nuts...

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07 Mar 2012 03:29 - 08 Nov 2018 19:09 #9 by Phoenix
Hi lawsonmh15,

Just to keep things a little simple ... I'll go through a few of the "specs" of memory foam and how they work. I could give you some very technical links but they will probably do more to confuse than help :)

First of all ... I would completely "delink" density with everything else except durability. Polyfoam (and memory foam) density has little to do with softness or firmness. It's primarily a matter of how much material is in the foam and the composition of that material vs air content. The primary benefit of density is durability. Higher density memory foams in the 5 lb range and higher will be the most durable, medium density memory foams in the 4 lb range will be less durable but may be preferable for some people because of the differences in how some of them feel and perform, and I would avoid any memory foam that is less than 4 lb density unless you are in the lowest budget ranges because of potential durability issues. Ultra high density memory foams in the 6 lb range and higher may be slightly more durable yet but the benefits of greater durability begins to level off above this range.

Any density of foam can be made in either softer or firmer versions so you could have low density firm or soft and high density firm or soft foam.

The polymer density of memory foam or it's "pure" density before any fillers or other materials are added is also important. Fillers can be added to memory foam to alter it's performance and properties, increase fire retardancy, lower the cost, ease of manufacturing, or for many other reasons and can increase the density and give it a "false density" but can also lower the durability of the memory foam. These fillers can include silica, carbon black, calcium carbonate, various clays and even gel particles, all of which can give the memory foam a higher total density than the polymer density of the foam before the fillers are added.

In the case of memory foam there are also other factors that are independent of density.

Breathability: this is determined by how open celled the foam is. The more the cells are open ... the easier the air moves through the material which can make the foam faster reacting. While it's true that in general ... lower density tends to have more open cells ... this is only a loose relationship and high or low density foams can be either more or less open celled. More open celled foams that allow for more air circulation tend to sleep cooler.

Viscosity/elasticity ratio: Viscoelastic or memory foam is partly viscous (meaning it flows away from pressure like a liquid) and partly elastic (meaning it compresses under pressure, stores energy and bounces back). Any density of memory foam can have either more or less viscosity or more or less elasticity. In general though .. the chemicals that give the foam more viscous qualities (memory foam like) are heavier so lower density memory foams tend to have less "memory" and tend to be faster reacting.

Temperature sensitivity: Viscoelastic foam goes through a transition from elastic to viscous within a certain temperature range. Foams that are more temperature sensitive will be firmer when they are cooler and softer when they are heated by the body or the environment. Humidity also plays a role here (higher humidity softens it). Memory foams that are less temperature sensitive will tend to have less of a range of softness and firmness. foams that are more temperature sensitive will be both firmer and softer depending on the degree of softening and transition into viscosity from elasticity.

Softness: This is determined by the formula of the foam, its temperature sensitivity, and of course is also dependent on body and external temperature, humidity, and time spent on the foam. Some foams have a range of very firm to very soft while some start off softer and never get quite as firm. All memory foams, even the ones that are firmer than others (they range from an ILD of about 8 to about 18 although ILD is not that significant with memory foam), are considered to be soft foams and the biggest variable is how long it takes for them to get soft. This is why memory foam cannot be used as a support material in a mattress (it's only used in the top layers) and there is always a different material used under the memory foam to support the weight of the body. Memory foam is a slow responding pressure relieving material only. Because memory foam is time dependent and also depending on the speed of compression ... It takes more pressure to press down on memory foam that it exerts coming back up and ILD is measured after a time delay which is another reason it can be so misleading with memory foam.

Response rate: Like any liquid ... firmness and softness will depend on how quickly you compress it. If you press quickly on water or honey for example ... it takes "time" for it to flow away and will feel firmer than if you press it much more slowly. Denser foams tend to be "slower" in response although the other factors mentioned previously can modify this as well.

Pressure relief: This is connected to both softness and density because higher density foams can "melt" into shapes that more closely fit the body which means they distribute weight better and lower the pressure around pressure points. They can take more time to "melt" though so with initial compression or with movement they can feel much firmer. This is why Tempurpedic says that their 7 lb foam is the most "conforming" even though their 4 lb foam is the "softest" (gives more with initial pressure).

These are just a few of the factors that can be included in a foam's composition and which results in different memory foams that "feel" very different ... even if the density (durability) is the same.

Tempurpedic for example has two versions of their 5.3 lb foam one of which is softer feeling than the other. In general ... their 4 lb memory foam feels the softest ... their 7 lb foam is the next softest feeling, and their 5.3 lb foam is the firmest. The 7 lb foam though ... because it is denser ... can feel firmer until it softens.

The denser memory foams are also more expensive in general to produce so tempur 7 lb foam is more expensive than their lower density foams and this will be reflected in the price of their mattresses (along with the thickness of the memory foam layers).

The thing to remember is that you want a memory foam with your preferred "feel" in the density that is appropriate for you. If you use a density that is to low ... the foam may feel great for a while but it won't last and it will lose it's feel much faster.

Typically memory foams are described by density (which translates into durability), breathability (how open the cells are and other methods that are used to make it more breathable which results in cooler or warmer sleeping foam), temperature sensitivity (the range of temperatures it is most sensitive to and how soft or firm it becomes in certain temperature ranges), response time (how quickly it adapts to new shapes and how much of the "sleeping in wet sand" feeling it may have), and the overall feeling of softness or firmness (a general impression that most people would share based on a combination of many of these factors)..

So the link you provided earlier was a 4 lb memory foam which IMO would not be suitable for you in a layer that was 3.3" thick. It would lose its properties far too quickly. I would also not recommend any of the cloud series unless you were willing to trade the feeling for lower durability. In the same way I would not recommend the iComforts partly because the gel foam has a polymer density closer to 4 lbs and partly because the "softer" models use comfort layers that are rather thick and you would be risking good spinal alignment (although the showroom feel is nice). With memory foam ... thinner layers are better than thicker layers and I be very careful with memory foam layers more than 4" thick.

At Rocky Mountain I personally would look at their regular memory foam mattress and the mattresses they list in the component beds section such as which may be a good option as it only has 2" of 4 lb density and another 2" of 5.3 lb density and the layers (both memory foam and support layers) can be re-arranged to change the feel and support levels. Another advantage to this type of layering is that a single foam layer can be replaced without having to replace the entire mattress.


If you want a mattress that is made to "resemble" the tempurpedics and that uses similar quality foams ... then some of the options in the online memory foam list here may be worth considering.

Many manufacturers claim that their mattresses will "duplicate" a tempurpedic at very low prices but while similar quality memory foam mattresses can be purchased at significant savings ... the cheapest memory foam mattresses are usually not worth considering and their "comparisons" to tempurpedic can be very misleading.

Everything is a matter of tradeoffs and there's nothing "wrong" with buying a lower density memory foam for the sake of either price or "feel" as long as you realize that you would be giving up durability and don't "buy into" misleading comparisons. There is more about the different ways one mattress can match another one in post #9 here .

Phoenix

Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum
Last edit: 08 Nov 2018 19:09 by Administrator TMU. Reason: Updating link to https: status, removed link of a former member

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07 Mar 2012 20:21 #10 by Lawsonmh15
Thanks again for all the help. I truly appreciate the time you've spent helping me with the process. Which brands and models would you recommend to get a similar feel to the tempurpedic cloud luxe or cloud supreme? What have the members tended to go with in the past? I am not one to be guilty of fanboydom so the manufacturer is irrelevant.

I love the idea of the coolcomfort customization. Is there a member discout through the forum? I would imagine there are a couple manufacturers you are familiar with whom have a sterling reputation for customer service and more importantly, offering a quality product. Thanks again

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