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

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11 Nov 2012 18:38 #391 by Pooswa
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?

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12 Nov 2012 00:40 - 09 Nov 2018 03:46 #392 by Phoenix
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

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Last edit: 09 Nov 2018 03:46 by Administrator TMU. Reason: Updating link to https: status

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12 Nov 2012 13:27 #393 by iBuyer
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 ;)

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12 Nov 2012 13:41 #394 by BensonDubois99
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".

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13 Nov 2012 00:30 - 09 Nov 2018 03:47 #395 by Phoenix
Hi iBuyer,

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


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

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Last edit: 09 Nov 2018 03:47 by Administrator TMU. Reason: Updating link to https: status

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13 Nov 2012 00:45 - 13 Nov 2012 00:46 #396 by Phoenix
Hi BensonDubois99,

Congratulations on your new mattress :)

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

Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
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Last edit: 13 Nov 2012 00:46 by Phoenix.

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13 Nov 2012 10:52 #397 by iBuyer
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.

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13 Nov 2012 11:34 #398 by iBuyer
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.

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13 Nov 2012 12:50 - 13 Nov 2012 13:02 #399 by BensonDubois99

Phoenix wrote:
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.


I didn't ask about the density of the foam. To be honest I didn't study this site in as much detail as you offer. My feeling was that I was dealing with a reputable company, family owned and operated and a mattress with a 15 year warranty. I am glad to hear your input about what you do know about the foam they use, makes me feel better even though I didn't ask myself. They did have a display piece there that showed the different foams used in it.

I got no indication whatsoever that I would have a problem down the road with this company. I was talking to one of the brothers that owns it. He was very low key and really didn't offer much information although I probably didn't ask very detailed questions either. They had so many options there that I was dizzy by the time I was done.

I went with my gut that your recommendation was good based on the incredible amount of knowledge and research you have done. I think Verlo would have been a fine option as well. We were only about 30 minutes away but figured we were happy so we could stop looking finally. They wanted $120 to deliver and Magicsleeper was only $70 for what it's worth. I like that Verlo seemed to only sell what they made. I skipped Croydon although they were closer to me just based on some of the replies I saw here and how they seem a bit cagey giving up information.

I paid $1499.00 before tax, delivered almost 2 hours(he waived the delivery fee when I aked if he could do any better with the price.) That included the base. Also I appreciated how honest the owner was. He flat out said I probably wouldn't need new box springs when we were looking at innerspring mattresses. He strongly recommended more of a platfor base for the Gel type mattress. I had no problem believing him since he didn't try to push a new box spring set on me previously.

I also read sleeplikethedead.com's reviews on many different mattresses which was also helpful.

Thanks again for this site. I will recommend it highly and just wanted to give a little back and tell my story. So far, very very happy with my new bed!
Last edit: 13 Nov 2012 13:02 by BensonDubois99.

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13 Nov 2012 21:43 - 09 Nov 2018 03:50 #400 by Phoenix
Hi iBuyer,

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.


That's very true but there are also dozens of independent smaller manufacturers that sell through better sleep shops that do provide the details of the materials that are in their mattresses and also have much better quality and value and are much more transparent than Serta. Almost every area of the country has these available if you research the retailers along the lines of this article before you begin the process of choosing a mattress. Following the steps outlined in this post will greatly improve the odds of ending up with a much higher quality/value mattress no matter which area of the country you live in and whether or not there is a local manufacturer close to you.

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.


This is actually not accurate and a mattress is exactly as good as the sum of its parts and construction. This also has nothing to do with the suitability of any mattresses for the needs and preferences of each person because it is also true that low quality materials can be just as "comfortable" as higher quality materials ... they just won't last as long. There are also many factors that control the durability of a mattress (that you can read about in post #2 here ). As you can see ... the same mattress will last for different lengths of time for different people but this doesn't change that the quality and value of a mattress is much more definable than the mainstream industry would want you to believe. Even low quality materials (just like particle board furniture) can last longer for different people and may even be suitable for a particular use or budget but that doesn't change the fact that it is still poor value and that choosing a different mattress that used the same lower quality materials (or better) at a lower price and that was just as suitable for the needs and preferences of a particular individual would still be better value.

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.


Again ... these are not apples to apples comparisons and I consider both to be relatively poor value. They don't use the same materials and the Novaform should be selling for lower prices. I wouldn't purchase either of them and there are better quality/value choices available in both budget ranges. All you have to do is make apples to apples comparisons between either of them and other mattresses that use similar materials and layering.

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.


Thank you :)

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.


If a retailer is "confusing" the Serta 10" mattress you are mentioning with an iComfort (or claiming they are the same) then they don't deserve to have the business of an educated consumer (or any consumer for that matter). Like all manufacturers ... Serta makes many different mattresses but any of them can be evaluated by following the guidelines of this site and knowing the details of the layers that are in them. For example ... you will see an 8" Serta memory foam mattress here that uses 2" of 2.5 lb memory foam and 1.5 lb polyfoam as a base layer which is the lowest quality memory foam you will find anywhere and the base layer is also cheap base foam and yet its selling for $799 queen. It should be substantially less and is directly comparable in quality terms to some of the cheapest memory foam mattresses available. You can see my comments about the Serta Roma you are referring to in post #3 here .

If a mattress is an iComfort ... it will say iComfort and the details of the layering of the iComfort lineup are known (you can see an analysis of all of them all in post #11 here ).

Phoenix

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Last edit: 09 Nov 2018 03:50 by Administrator TMU. Reason: Updating link to https: status

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13 Nov 2012 21:49 #401 by Phoenix
Hi BensonDubois99,

Thanks for sharing all the extra details that led you to buying the mattress you did. These types of reviews that include some of the reasons why you made the choices you did can be very helpful to others down the road :)

Phoenix

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14 Nov 2012 12:11 - 09 Nov 2018 03:51 #402 by iBuyer
I went back and read your rather thorough review which I hadn't seen before. Now that I've revisited the store, I find I confused myself with their myriad of names.

The two favorites were from the iSeries, not the iComfort. Our list at that store had gotten down to the iSeries Applause Firm and the Celebration firm, both of which have their new Duet Coil system, not foam, as a base.

As noted by you, we will go to the Williston Mattress Depot to see the Boyd and Natura lines, as well as a latex bed. If you have any idea which models would be similar to the Serta beds, shoot away.

One thing I forgot to add is that the Serta retailer will give us a 30% off anything they sell, in addition to the free pillows and 10% they have this month. So given other monetary constraints this year, that does weigh in on the decision.

So this weekend, we're off to look at the Boyd line and the others they carry.
________________________

Addendum.

It's going to take me longer to research properly than the time I have been allotted to do this (read, hurry up and get us a new bed, NOW). LOL

Now I've become hooked on reading you list here www.themattressunderground.com/mattress-...imit=15&start=15#897

Of course, having something this large and heavy shipped sight unseen is a bit scary.

We are definitely not wedded to memory foam, so I've begun to look at Latex as well.

Given my above likes, could you steer me in some direction as to an equivalent latex mattress? Possibly the best supplier nearer me that does both types. Right now I'm reading the Sleep EZ factory site, and they're some 2000 miles from me ;) Nice site though
Last edit: 09 Nov 2018 03:51 by Administrator TMU. Reason: Updating link to https: status

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14 Nov 2012 13:27 #403 by iBuyer
I just have to say this Phoenix.

I've spent some time this morning reading older threads, then researching the specs and layers of various beds sold in this area. I've begun looking for cheaper support foam that could break down, comparing models. I've learned more about mattresses in a couple of days on your site that I've ever known about them period!

I'm preparing a list of questions, plus organizing my notes, for our next mattress hunt this weekend. Look what you've done to me! I'm becoming a mattress geek trainee ;)


Congrats on maintaining consistency and credibility here. You've won me over.

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14 Nov 2012 16:08 - 09 Nov 2018 03:52 #404 by Phoenix
Hi iBuyer,

One of the reasons I started this site was because my own research quickly showed me how difficult it was to find a way to measure quality and value in any meaningful way and how in the mainstream industry, the quality of materials and construction was secondary and constantly being eroded or incrementally traded away for the sake of increased profit margins all along the supply chain. This is often in response to the demands of investment groups and shareholders at every step for ever increasing levels of profit from leveraged buyouts and to pay for advertising budgets and marketing and for "influence". In most cases ... the product that is being sold by major manufacturers (and many smaller ones as well) to their primary customers (the larger mass market outlets) is not mattresses at all but profit margins. This is also true of foam and component suppliers whose major customers are the larger mattress manufacturers. In both instances ... mattresses are just a means to an end.

The major manufacturers are accountable to their primary customer base which is mostly corporate chain stores or big box stores and much less accountable to actual customers that buy a mattress. The effect of reputation is often secondary to marketing in the eyes (and buying habits) of consumers and they are well aware of this and cultivate it. They know that a few years after a mattress purchase "all will be forgotten" and that in most cases the glitz of "new" mattress lines will overwhelm any dissatisfaction that consumers may have with their old ones and once again their new mattress purchase will "follow the advertising". They also do whatever they can to limit the distribution and exposure of their smaller competitors through pressuring their retailers to provide more floor space and focus more on selling their mattresses (often using various forms of kickbacks or spiff) and less on the smaller manufacturers. They also do everything they can to make meaningful comparisons between mattresses impossible and often sell their own mattresses under different names in different stores to make comparisons more difficult and make it easier for a retailer to claim "our mattresses are not the same and are better than the ones down the street".

Where they don't have multiple model names that make comparison shopping impossible, they will often use controlled pricing under the threat of removing the right of a retailer to sell their mattresses if they sell for less than they are "allowed" to. There is also a great deal of "collusion" inside the industry among the "old boys network" about how they will "split" their market. Of course most smaller retailers give in to this if their livelihood depends on "brand names" and "marketing stories" which is how they were trained and train their employees to sell mattresses. The lure of the high profit margins that are available by selling lower quality mattresses at higher prices can be very attractive and mattresses are among the highest profit margin items of furniture that is sold. Consumers end up paying the price in more ways than just what they pay for a mattress.

Marketing stories have become so effective in this consumer marketplace that it overwhelms any real quality considerations ... especially in an industry that has little interest in providing any real information about how to even know what quality really means. How many people for example even know that the quality of polyfoam is primarily measured in foam density or if they did would know which density is good quality and which isn't? I would guess less than 1% (and that's probably being generous). In this environment, stories that use inflated claims have replaced genuine information as the basis of most buying decisions. In most cases it's the sizzle that's being sold instead of the steak. It also doesn't help that most mattress information sites either have a vested interest (often hidden) in selling a specific mattress, are mostly about google rankings to increase advertising profit, have little knowledge of mattresses and materials and just repeat more "generic" information that is repeated everywhere else, or are so concerned with "stepping on toes" that what they say is so watered down that it has little meaning any more. In the mainstream industry ... marketing stories have replaced real information and every year or two a new "story" has replaced the old one. As an example ... the current "new" story is all about gel foams and all the stories that are connected to them.

I think too that one of the biggest problems is that even consumers that have learned how to look for quality can have a very difficult time because the industry as a whole doesn't provide enough information about the mattresses they sell to make quality information easy to find. They will often buy out of frustration and fatigue because these problems are so endemic in the industry and there is a mattress store on every corner that sells in the same way. How do you find the gems that are different when everything can seem the same? If you ask the majority of retailers about what is really in their mattresses they will often look at you with eyes rolling or as if you are crazy to expect them to know the answers to the questions you are asking.

The top 15 manufacturers currently control about 86% of the industry and the hundreds of others share the remaining 14% (the updated figures are here and it's still increasing). The top 5 control about 3/4 of this. Some of these major players even share common ownership (such as Tempurpedic who just bought Sealy and the common ownership of Simmons and Serta). In addition to this ... most retailers themselves don't understand the concept of quality materials and are dependent on selling mainstream mattresses because these are the names that consumers know about and this is how their suppliers have trained them to sell their mattresses. They have convinced many consumers that "off brands" (meaning smaller manufacturers that don't advertise as much, sell more through local referrals and word of mouth, and that aren't as well known) somehow make inferior mattresses. In some cases this is even true because some smaller manufacturers are more opportunistic and do make poor quality/value mattresses as well and also "sell the story". In some cases their story is even that they sell "factory direct" which may be true in terms of fact but the benefits of their factory direct business model may not be evident as they also use lower quality materials and sell for higher prices than most "legitimate" factory direct manufacturers that are what I call "mattress people" instead of "money machines" or "money machine wannabes".

It always a great surprise for me to find a smaller factory direct manufacturer who is still focused on making quality mattresses with great value and an even bigger surprise to find retailers who understand the importance of providing meaningful information about their mattresses although the number of these is slowly growing. Some "more courageous" retailers will even go as far as only selling mattresses made by manufacturers that provide this information. They make manufacturers "compete" for their floor space based on the real quality and value of the mattresses they make. They do their homework and do meaningful research on what they sell but these are much fewer and far between and they certainly go "against the grain" of their industry. Their integrity doesn't let them do anything else but they can have a more difficult time succeeding in the environment of the industry today.

So I'm looking forward to your questions ... and it's great to have one more "educated consumer" that will be asking better questions and helping to "educate" the retailers about what quality and value really mean. While one site run by one person is only a drop in the bucket ... step by step as consumers learn to ask different questions and become more knowledgeable and "vote with their wallet" ... I believe the industry can slowly change for the better.

In a lighter vein ( see the "story" of our origins here )... perhaps The Mattress Underground (in the larger group sense) really can prevent the "alien takeover" of spineless beings who make poor quality mattresses and help a sick and tired humanity reach it's goal of finding "peaceful sleep and fully functional wakefulness".

Thanks for your comments and for "inspiring" this post and I'm looking forward to your questions along the way :)

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.
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Last edit: 09 Nov 2018 03:52 by Administrator TMU. Reason: Updating link to https: status

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14 Nov 2012 17:28 #405 by Overwhelmedsleeper
Phoenix-

I have read over a lot of the forms here and I am a little overwhelmed as there is so much helpful information here.

My husband and I have had a king pillowtop mattress for the past 8 years. About 3 years ago we had to turn it in for warranty issues as it was sagging SO bad. They did that with no issues, once we took all the necessary pictures and everything and took the mattress back to our home state in Michigan from Kentucky since there wasn't a local distributitor near us. Frustrating but we couldn't afford a new mattress at the time. So we got a replacement free. Well it is having the same issues and now my head and back is hurting daily when I wake up. So we are looking into a memory foam icomfort revolution or something similar (latex maybe after reading your information).

My question is I need help knowing if I am speading our money on the best purchase for our needs.

I am looking at icomfort or Denver Mattress Snowmass Plush Only need Mattress as our bed doesnt allow for anything underneath as we have a bedframe that is solid wood and has drawers underneath. Went to look at Snowmass $1349 plus tax. Think this would be a good fit for us or do you have a list of manufactures that you would have us call for Louisville, Ky area? Also what do you think of sleep number beds? I have heard/seen commericals but havent went to see them myself.

My husband
215 lbs and 5' 10".
Mostly Side sleeper
Retains Heat

I am
145 lbs and 5' 4"
Side Sleeper and am always COLD :)

Any input would greatly be appreciated.

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    • Mattress retailers that qualify to be a Trusted Member pay monthly dues/fees.
    • Mattress manufacturers that qualify to be a Trusted Member pay monthly dues/fees
    More information about the benefits and services that TMU members receive can be found on the Our Services page of this website