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Intellibed ... Review and analysis
I just finished watching this video and it was so full of "partly true" but misleading and hypocritical information that I wanted to write this just to offset some of the fallacies it contains. It is one of the most misleading and hypocritical videos I have seen recently and truly puts me off what could otherwise be a good mattress choice for some people.
I have no idea why so many manufacturers feel compelled (and they are not alone) to put this kind of information in the public domain.
Here are some of the "claims" they make and misleading information they present as fact.
The "errors" start early in the video.
@:27 seconds: They say that there are 4 different types of materials in a mattress ... steel springs, foam, cover materials, and plastic and canvas. This is patently ridiculous.
First of all it's true that most (but not all) springs use steel. No issues with this. To lump all foams (polyfoam, viscoelastic or memory foam, latex, and several other subcategories) together as being a single category is one of the most misleading statements they could make. They then go on to say that "foams" are the common ingredient used in every type of mattress which is also ridiculous because there are many mattresses that use natural fibers and don't use foams at all.
@:55 seconds: Now that they have perceptually lumped all foams together into a single category, they go on to say that "most foams are petrochemical based" and then list all the "negatives" of petrochemical foams. What they want to accomplish of course it to say that any mattress that has any foam except the types of foam they use is "bad" regardless of the truth of the fact that 100% natural latex foam doesn't use petrochemicals and also that many foams that do have been highly tested for toxic chemical ingredients and offgassing.
@1:10: Now they say that they "try to consciously eliminate the use of foam or other potentially toxic materials when making an intellibed". This is also ridiculous because EVERY ONE of their mattresses contains the materials they are condemning.
@1:18: They then go on to say that "we will not use regular petrochemical foam, memory foam, natural latex, or air chambers". Next they say that the reason for avoiding natural latex is because of allergies which tells me that they have no idea that it is the proteins in latex (which are mostly washed out in latex foam) are the major cause of allergies and very different from other latex products such as gloves where this doesn't happen.
@ 1:40: They go on to list the qualities of the intelligel ... which talks about it's strength, safety, and benefits ... all of which I agree with. No issues here.
@2:00 Now they say that when they do use foam they use "soy foam" rather than "petrochemical foam". This is also ridiculous because so called "soy foam" is almost identical with "petrochemical foam" with the exception that about 20% of the petrochemical polyols (one of the two main chemicals in polyfoam) is replaced with a chemically altered plant oil (in this case soy). The rest of the polyols and the isocyanates that are used in their "foams" (along with the other chemicals) are the same. Greenwashing at it's "best".
@2:10: now they say that in some beds thy use a special form of latex which has been processed to remove the protein which causes allergic reactions. What they neglect to mention is that all the other latex that is used in better quality mattresses (especially Talalay but most Dunlop as well) has done the same.
So they really don't like "foam" ... yet they use polyurethane foam in their quilting (what they call furniture grade foam just like most other manufacturers), they lump talalay latex in with all the other foams and yet they use the blended talalay in their top end mattress (just like many other manufacturers), they use polyurethane foam in the additional comfort layers (what they call "soy foam" just like many other manufacturers), and then to top it all off they use a blended polyester (synthetic)/cotton blend for their ticking (unlike many manufacturers who use more natural fabrics in their more "natural" mattresses). That is what I call hypocrisy!
There's a lot more so called information on their video and their site that I could point to but I think you get the picture. It's interesting and somewhat sad how some manufacturers feel the need to put this kind of information out there ... especially when they use the very materials they are talking about. It certainly takes away from the credibility of their company and they do themselves no favors in linking what is otherwise a good material to these kinds of marketing practices.
UPDATE: The video has now been removed but you can still see some of what it was saying in the comments. They are also now offering mattresses that use Talalay latex (which they previously condemned) although all their mattresses still use polyfoam on top of the buckling column gel.
Hey Phoenix. Coming from Phoenix myself. I came across your post here. Very True. I was also recently looking at Intellibed videos. I don't know who that guy is, as he never introduces himself. Which should be the first thing he does. I'd assume hes the owner but I don't want an owner speeling info.
ANyhow, I did find some of what he says in his many videos to be true, and much of it suspect as well. He's clearly trying to sell a product and has very little hard evidence to support his claims throughout 5-6 of his videos. However, the gel tech does seem promising in theory.
I bought a Memory Foam Mattress from Selectabed.com over a year ago to help the arthrtis in my SI joints. It has been pretty decent. I put about 50 hours of research back then into mattresses. Latex vs Memory, density, ILD ratings, resilency, etc.
I was looking at these new Gel Technologies, and have not been able to find much information on them. I mean real actual studies or pressure mapping studies, and not just some old guy speeling out information.
Since you seem to have a good grasp on mattresses, what do you think of the new gel technology? Technogel, Intelli-gel, and a few others.
Is there anything to these mattresses? Any information or studies you have come across? Since Gel is the newest tech, its hard to find good information on them. I can find loads about Memory Foam and Latex, but really nothing about Gel. Also what are you views on selectabed as well? I feel I made a decent choice, but have never been able to get an opinion on someone who knows quite a bit about mattresses.
Thanks for your time Phoenix, and Happy Holidays.
I certainly agree with you about the lack of information about the many different types of gel materials that are available. The gel itself is a very high quality and non toxic material but there are many varieties of it as well. In general they boil down to gel mixed with different types of foam (mostly memory foam but others as well), pure gel materials (which is a great material but much more expensive), and buckling column gel materials such as intelligel and Orthogel (both licensed by edizone). Each type of gel has different benefits when uses as part of a material or as part of the overall layering of a mattress. There is a general but good technical data sheet about gel materials here .
Post #2 here and the posts it links to have more information about the different gel materials and some of my thoughts about them.
Also what are you views on selectabed as well? I feel I made a decent choice, but have never been able to get an opinion on someone who knows quite a bit about mattresses.
You can see my thoughts on Selectabed in post #9 here .
I see they offer a mattress model with talalay latex instead of the soy foam and I called and confirmed the talalay latex can be used upon request instead of the soy foam in their mattress toppers as well.
Is it true that IntelliBed is the only manufacturer of 100% buckling column gel and that all other manufacturers by law are required to use some % foam in their gel?
All of the different types of buckling column gel are made by Edizone and licenced for use by different manufacturers so it would be more accurate to say it was required "by license" than "by law". Edizone doesn't release the proprietary information about the specific differences between them but the Orthogel for example does use a foamed material inside it (see post #7 here ).
They are all very durable materials with the same basic function but they will have a different buckling threshold and have a slightly different feel between them depending on the version and design and on the other layers that are either above or below them. Forum search on Edizone or on Intelligel and Orthogel and Somnigel (you can just click the links) will bring up more information and some feedback about them as well.