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Caught in the loop - Restored 03 Mar 2013 12:30 #1

NOTE: This is a thread that was accidentally deleted and manually restored from a backup. The posts are all shown under Phoenix but I have indicated who they were originally from in each post:

Caught in the loop 13 Dec 2012 13:50 #1

From: TD-Max

Some time back in the late 90's I hurt my back. Nothing that I ever had treated, I just deal with it. Initially it was pure hell as it was tweaking my ciatic nerve. I could not get confortable in any position. It got to the point where I a grown man started to cry. Went shopping for a bed, wanted a Sterans and Foster, but bought a Restonic Wool Splendor dual sided that I could afford. Taking out the old hand me down King Coil it was obvious that it was junk. First night on the Restonic I actually giggled. That Restonic served me well for a few years, but as mattresses do it started to crap out. Restonic's policy was to REPAIR not replace. I asked what I was supposed to do in the mean time and they suggested that maybe my dealer could loan me one. My dealer is an hour from our house and I was not going to play that game so I bought a Therapedic and sent the Restonic off for repair. This one still exists in our spare bedroom. So the Therapedic served us for 3-4 years and it crapped out. Under warranty so we go to look at replacements and of course our model is discontinued so I decided that I would pay the $400 to upgrade to the best that they had. I never liked that one so I sold it to mother-in-law for the $400 extra that I had paid and bought a Stearns and Foster. 3-4 years and the stearns is junk. Dealer approved warranty based on pictures that I sent. Shopped hard this time and decided Latex foam was the way to go. Sealy Beachside Latex was the replacement, swapped and it was OK. I never really fell in love with it like the old Restonic, but it was decent. 3 years almost to the day and it's junk. Pics easily show the sags. Dealer says no problem come start trying out while we fwd pics to Sealy


I'm 6'1" and 220# I carry a good bit around the middle. I am a back sleeper and when things are going good I stay in one spot which may be part of why I am hard on matresses. I just don't know where to turn. Do I try the Latest Sealy Smart Latex or go back to inner spring? Do I stay in the same loop (warranty with no cost) or do I take my warranty bed and hand it down and buy something else? In our area there are not a lot of high end mattresses to try out. I think the only Sealy latex is the exact same model we have on closeout. I've been pretty patient through all of this, but my patience is wearing thin.

I do have to say that through the last warranty a slaesperson at Verlo has been exceptionally helpful knowing full well that I was getting warranted elsewhere. I'm leaning heavily towards having one built at Verlo. At least then if/when it goes bad they can open it up identify the problem and fix it...


I should add that I have 3 known beds that I sleep well on:

1) Serta portable air bed. Yes the cheap portable bed in a bag

2) Flexsteel Majestic Air 2 sofa sleeper. This is a 3" "prison mattress" with a 3" air top

3) The old restonic-it's decent, but has a much firmer center where it does not get used. Apparently restonic did not replace the foundation, only some layers.

Both of the air beds I use at the cabin and I hit the ground running in the morning. The Sealy I wake up in pain and need to roll on my side and arch my back to get mobile.
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Last edit: by Phoenix.

Caught in the loop - Restored 03 Mar 2013 12:35 #2

Re: Caught in the loop 13 Dec 2012 18:26 #2

From: Phoenix

Hi TD-Max,

Unfortunately your story is not uncommon.The saddest part of all is that what you were sold as a latex mattress probably had more polyfoam in the comfort layers (the weak link of a mattress) than there was latex and this is the reason it failed or softened beyond the point where it could continue to meet your needs and preferences. This is the most likely reason that the sides are softer than the middle in your Restonic (they have softened under weight and compression).

This is the norm with most major brands who in almost all cases use way to much lower quality polyfoam in the comfort or quilting layers and while it may have some latex in the mattress, you are usually sleeping on fairly thick layers of lower quality/durability polyfoam with latex underneath it.

This is the reason it's so important to know every layer of your mattress so that if someone is selling what they say is a latex mattress that you know the type of latex (there are different types), what is in every layer besides the latex, the thickness of the latex layers, and where the latex layers are located in the mattress.

I'm 6'1" and 220# I carry a good bit around the middle. I am a back sleeper and when things are going good I stay in one spot which may be part of why I am hard on matresses. I just don't know where to turn. Do I try the Latest Sealy Smart Latex or go back to inner spring? Do I stay in the same loop (warranty with no cost) or do I take my warranty bed and hand it down and buy something else? In our area there are not a lot of high end mattresses to try out. I think the only Sealy latex is the exact same model we have on closeout. I've been pretty patient through all of this, but my patience is wearing thin.


Sealy "smart latex" is mostly synthetic Dunlop latex which is about the lowest quality (and least costly) latex you can buy even though the Sealy prices are not exactly cheap. You can see here an example of a top of the line Stearns and Foster (owned by Sealy) "luxury latex" mattress which has a "smart latex" core but if you look at the upper layers over the core you will see that out of the upper 6 3/4" of the mattress that only 1 3/4" is latex (intuisoft is latex with a slightly higher natural latex content than smart latex) and the other 4" is polyfoam. In this case you are sleeping directly on 2.5" of lower density and durability polyfoam even before you reach a thin layer of latex.

This is one of the many reasons to avoid major brands completely (you can see some mattress shopping guidelines here ) and as you can see ... #1 is to avoid the major brands completely.

The most effective way to find the most suitable mattress for you with the best quality and value is to follow the steps in post #1 here .

Verlo is one of the regional factory direct manufacturers that is well worth connecting with for better quality and value and if you let me know the city or zip you live in I'd be happy to let you know of the better options or possibilities I know of in your area.

The steps basically boil down to ... gather some information about mattresses and materials, eliminate your worst choices, find the local experts, test mattresses and different materials, then make your final choices between "good and good". Your final option is to order online using your testing experiences as a guideline if you happen to be in an area where there is little in the way of good quality and value available locally.

If you only shop with merchants that can tell you the details of every layer of a mattress you are considering ... you will avoid mattresses with the same weak links and avoid the durability issues you have been facing.

I'm guessing that your air mattresses are pumped up fairly firm and this along with your weight would be a clue that a firm support layer (to keep you in good alignment) along with "just enough" of a softer comfort layer (and not as thick and soft as would be suitable for a side sleeper) so that you are not too far away from the support layers would be your best choice. If the materials are all high quality instead of lower quality comfort layers that are probably in your previous mattresses ... you will have a mattress that is much more durable and keeps its comfort and support for much longer.

Phoenix
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Caught in the loop - Restored 03 Mar 2013 12:38 #3

Re: Caught in the loop 14 Dec 2012 05:15 #3

From: TD-Max

Thanks for the reply. I'm in central WI and dealing primarily in Wausau 54403 but am willing to travel a bit to say the Milwaukee, Eau Claire, Appleton, or Madison area or even the Minneapolis/St Paul if necessary.

I'm financially capable of moving on and purchasing outright provided I can morally justify it. Personally, I think that would be letting Sealy off the hook, but I guess if that's what it takes we'll just have one heck of a nice name brand guest bed. It would seem that this would be a good use of it, but I'd never get the satisfaction of making them warranty it again.

The Restonic is a plush. It was "repaired" by Restonic and is quite nice again although a bit bouncy by design. There is a perceptible ridge in the center, but relatively minor. My thought is that they replaced layers and not teh springs. Somehow I got swept up in the pillow top notion and I think this is the wrong way for me UNLESS the comfort layers are firm. I believe your notion of needing firm is correct. I do need to make consideration to my partner. She is much lighter than I and of course much more curvy. Add to that she is a side sleeper. To date she's been a real trooper simply stating: just buy something that works for you and I'll deal with it.

I've given serious consideration to air beds, but they seem to be as much or even more of a racket than conventional. What I see as a solid approach to any bed involves a zip open top so that the comfort layers can be easily accessed and changed or replaced.

My lean is towards Verlo and having them do a latex bed with multi layers of quality foam. Possibly do a no flip/no spin setup where her side is a bit softer up top.
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Caught in the loop - Restored 03 Mar 2013 12:44 #4

Re: Caught in the loop 14 Dec 2012 16:15 #4

From: Phoenix

Hi TD-Max,

If I was in Wasau, I would also be leaning towards Verlo which is the only local retailer/manufacturer where I would buy a mattress. They are certainly better quality/value than any of the other options you have in the immediate area and they also offer the ability for a comfort adjustment within the first year.

Some of the better "possibilities" in the Eau Claire area are in post #3 here but I'm doubtful that I would go to any of these over Verlo (a few phone calls about the specific construction of the mattresses they offer would confirm this).

The better possibilities in the Green Bay / Appleton area are in post #2 here and if I was going to travel outside of Wasau, this is the direction I would probably go (after a few phone calls of course).

Milwaukee also has some good possibilities listed in post #2 here

The Minneapolis list is in post #2 here and there are also some good possibilities here but of course they are further away.

I'm 6'1" and 220# I carry a good bit around the middle. I am a back sleeper and when things are going good I stay in one spot which may be part of why I am hard on matresses. I just don't know where to turn. Do I try the Latest Sealy Smart Latex or go back to inner spring? Do I stay in the same loop (warranty with no cost) or do I take my warranty bed and hand it down and buy something else? In our area there are not a lot of high end mattresses to try out. I think the only Sealy latex is the exact same model we have on closeout. I've been pretty patient through all of this, but my patience is wearing thin.


I think it's likely that no matter what you choose with Sealy/Stearns & Foster that if the mattress by itself is the basis of your choice that you will end up with the same issues in about the same amount of time because they will all have the same weak links . The best option for an exchange would be to choose a mattress with a good quality support layer/component and the best quality and firmest comfort layers possible with the least amount of polyfoam and then add a topper for the comfort/pressure relief you need. This would extend the life of the foams on top of the mattress and the topper would be replaceable if it wore out faster than the rest of the mattress. This type of "component" sleeping system takes advantage of the fact that the top layers wear out faster than the deeper layers and makes the least durable layers replaceable .... and the least durable layers are also higher quality and will last longer. A good example of this type of "base" mattress would be here which only has 1" of polyfoam in the upper layers. while it's still not ideal (in terms of the value of the materials because the latex is still synthetic) ... it is much better than any option where all of the comfort layers are built into the mattress itself.

I do have to say that through the last warranty a slaesperson at Verlo has been exceptionally helpful knowing full well that I was getting warranted elsewhere. I'm leaning heavily towards having one built at Verlo. At least then if/when it goes bad they can open it up identify the problem and fix it...


Yes ... they are certainly a better options than any of the mainstream brands IMO. There may be better value in some of the smaller manufacturers but all of these make better choices than what you have already experienced.

Hope this helps.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Phoenix.

Caught in the loop - Restored 03 Mar 2013 12:46 #5

Re: Caught in the loop 16 Dec 2012 16:07 #5

From: TD-Max

So it looks to me like I shop Sealy/Stearns for what feels best and then look to break free from the loop. Found our last recept from 3 yrs ago and it says 5-1/2 yrs left on warranty so looks like the next one will fall outside the warranty. Not sure, but my guess is that I have a 25yr warranty with a 10 yr full then 15 prorate?

So I try to shop Sealy/Stearns online but when I go to Sealy it always takes me to Sealycanada.com I see Sealy proback series etc but it looks to me that this may be a Canada model?
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Caught in the loop - Restored 03 Mar 2013 12:49 #6

Re: Caught in the loop 16 Dec 2012 16:45 #6

From: Phoenix

Hi TD-Max,

The Sealy website is here but it has very little information about the specifics of any of their mattresses.

In general ... warranties have exclusions for impressions which means that if the materials soften but the permanent impression isn't deep enough then this is considered to be "normal" and not a warranty issue. You are fortunate to have managed to get a warranty exchange because most warranty claims are denied (the impressions aren't deep enough without any weight on the mattress or because of stains or other warranty exclusions).

As you know ... the length of a warranty has little relationship to how long a mattress will last or the ability to do a warranty exchange for a mattress that has lost its comfort or support.

The Sealy Proback is Canadian and as you can see here ... its goal is to "restore both retail prices and gross margins for retailers while reinforcing the value of product and the Sealy brand in the mind of the consumer. " In other words to have a story that justifies higher prices and margins. They are still very unlikely to provide any information about the quality of the materials they use except in the most generic type of way.

If you do exchange for a Sealy ... with the intention of adding a topper ... the key is to minimize the lower quality foam in the upper layers of the mattress to the degree possible.

Phoenix
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Caught in the loop - Restored 03 Mar 2013 12:50 #7

Re: Caught in the loop 16 Dec 2012 17:14 #7

From: TD-Max

Stearns Romona Firm is what I am looking at right now, but I doubt that I'll find one to try.
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Caught in the loop - Restored 03 Mar 2013 12:53 #8

Re: Caught in the loop 16 Dec 2012 18:26 #8

From: Phoenix

Hi TD-Max,

It has some alternative names you can see here and there may be more as well. It shouldn't be too hard to find under its various guises..

As you can see here ... it has 5.5" of polyfoam and another 1/2" of fiber before you reach any latex or the innersprings.

Phoenix
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Caught in the loop - Restored 03 Mar 2013 12:54 #9

Re: Caught in the loop 17 Dec 2012 07:21 #9

From: TD-Max

I'll start looking at the gel series and see what they have to offer. I did call one store that I like and they have a floor model Quail Meadow that has both plush and firm sides to demo.

Any way to determine what warranty should have come with my Stearns and Foster Swanwick? It seems Stearns has a 25yr full on most models, but it's looking like mine is only being treated as 10 yr.
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Caught in the loop - Restored 03 Mar 2013 12:55 #10

Re: Caught in the loop 17 Dec 2012 11:59 #10

From: Phoenix

Hi TD-Max,

Any way to determine what warranty should have come with my Stearns and Foster Swanwick? It seems Stearns has a 25yr full on most models, but it's looking like mine is only being treated as 10 yr.


The warranty will be on the law tag as two numbers with a "/" between them. The number before the "/" is the non prorated period and the number after the "/" is the total warranty period.

Phoenix
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