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Stuck with an exchange at a big brand shop, I need some help please... 05 Aug 2013 20:43 #1

  • RemiRoo
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Hi Phoenix, (And anyone else willing to help us out!)

I've been reading through this forum for a few hours, both this morning and now tonight after going into the mattress store and laying on some beds to see if I can get a clearer idea of what to get... But before I get into that I guess I should start at the beginning...

Last July (July 4th 2012) my fiancé and I went into Sleepys and purchased the "My Side" mattress they had on display there with box springs, mattress cover and bed frame. We went from a queen size mattress my fiancé owned before I moved in with him to a king sized "My Side" mattress. (My fiancés mattress was too firm for my body and I woke up a lot with body aches and pains). We ordered the mattress to come with one side in "Gold" and one side in "Green" as was suggested to us by the machine they have in store to help you figure out which mattress is best for your body type, weight and sleeping style. (I'm 120-30 lbs, mostly a side sleeper-sometimes a back sleeper and my fiancé is a back sleeper-all the time 170 lbs). I was suggested to use the "gold" setting on the my side (which is the softest/plushest color "setting" and my fiancé was suggested the green-one firmness up from the gold). We received the bed on July 21st 2012 and it was great, everything we wanted in a bed. Until about 3 or 4 months later when I noticed my side was "slumping" down a bit. My fiancé felt it was because I slept in the same spot each night-as he was sure to move his body around in placement to avoid any body impressions. Fast forward 3 more months, and he now is noticing his side is beginning to sink in some degree too. By this point my side of the bed was so far down it no longer felt like it was supporting any part of my body and I woke up almost everyday with lower back pain. We decided then to rotate the bed and I began to sleep on his side and he on mine. (Which I felt horrible about because he is heavier than I am so I know the support level for him must have been horrible-but he didn't complain, he was more concerned with my comfort level than his own). We continued to do this until about three weeks ago when we remembered that there was a 5 year warranty on the bed; (for some reason we thought that we couldn't exchange the bed because it had past the 30 day exchange period when we first got it).

So, three or so weeks ago we called sleepys and scheduled to have someone come out and measure the body impressions on the bed in hopes of getting some sort of credit. The lovely man came out to our apartment 2 weeks ago and measured our bed with a ruler. When he was on my side of the bed the ruler he used went all the way down without any help from him what so ever (3 full inches)-my fiancés side went down halfway (1 1/2 inches). He told us we should hear back from sleepys in two weeks, if not, call them. (He also mentioned that the "My Side" mattress had this issue very frequently and due to that, sleepys no longer carried the line... hmmm I didn't like hearing that, as the salesmen my fiancé and I worked with upon original purchase kept reassuring us this was a "top of the line" mattress we were buying). So anywho, after waiting for a phone call I never received I went ahead and contacted them today to see what was going on-worrying no news meant bad news and we'd be stuck with a mattress we hate and are still currently paying off to boot.

Sleepys told me that we will be receiving a credit for the mattress only-as the box springs we purchased (mattress protector and mattress frame) were all in good shape still. The credit is for $2,000 and we must spend in entirety (we were hoping if we found a mattress for, say, 1,500 we would receive 500 back on our credit card, but unfortunately we must spend all of the money). After my fiancé came home from work we headed out to sleepys to try and find a mattress we both liked. We want something we both will like-something soft yet slightly firm but not separated like the one we currently have, as we've noticed the middle of our bed has a weird mountainous feel to it and the firmness is very odd due to the two firmness's meeting there. So we want the same firmness throughout the mattress-no my side gimmicks anymore...

Anyway, after going in the store I became sort of "petrified" that the new mattress we will eventually pick out will sag like the one we have now. We looked at a Sealy Posturepedic Port Cartier Luxury mattress that we both seemed to agree on in the store, (it had a small pillow top for me, as I need it to conform to the space between my lower back an bum when I'm sleeping on my back as well as my sides when I'm on my side) but we decided to "sleep on it" as we sort of rushed into the last mattress purchase we made and well that didn't turn out too well. After we'd come home I read a lot of reviews online for that mattress and the brand itself and hardly any were good... which made me more nervous. I came back here to read up some more on mattresses but we're stuck with sleepys and a lot of what I'm reading to be recommended we cannot get. Is it possible for you to help us out please? We want something that isn't going to sink in a year after its purchase date-something we can get our moneys worth out of.

Any and all help will be greatly appreciated!!!

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Stuck with an exchange at a big brand shop, I need some help please... 05 Aug 2013 21:03 #2

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I feel I should also mention, my fiancés bed prior to us buying the "my side" mattress was a queen sized Sealy Posture Premier X Special Edition Silvermist mattress. He loved it. I didn't (only because of the firmness, not because the brand or mattress in it of itself was bad)... So the one Sealy brand mattress we have had experience with we were happy with. I was just very unhappy with the firmness level.

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Stuck with an exchange at a big brand shop, I need some help please... 05 Aug 2013 21:04 #3

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Hi RemiRoo,

Like some of the other forum members here you are in a difficult situation where you have to exchange one mattress that uses questionable quality materials for another that may also have the same issues. In most cases the problems you are facing is because of the use of thicker layers of lower quality foam in the upper layers of the mattress (which is the weak link of most mattresses) and this is a common issue with most larger manufacturers (who tend to focus on maintaining or increasing profit margins and mattress turnover more than the durability of the materials in their mattresses) and most of the mattresses sold at mainstream chain stores as well (which is one of the reasons I normally suggest avoiding major brands and chain stores).

Post #2 here includes some links with good information and conversations with other forum members in a similar situation that you may find very helpful in choosing a mattress for your exchange (including another forum member who is currently working on a "major brand exchange" as well).

Post #1 here would also be helpful and has the basic information steps and guidelines that can help you make the best choices even though part of it wouldn't apply to you because you won't have to research different manufacturers or retailers because you are limited to a single store.

The key is to make sure the mattress uses high quality and durable materials in the comfort layers or alternatively to minimize the use of lower quality or unknown materials and then add your own comfort layer in the form of a high quality topper.

Hope this helps ... and once you've read some of the linked threads, if you have any questions along the way feel free to post them.

Phoenix
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Stuck with an exchange at a big brand shop, I need some help please... 06 Aug 2013 09:21 #4

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Thank you Phoenix for responding to me!

I read through your suggested posts and understand that in the limited circumstance my fiancé and I are in it would be wise for us to purchase something on the firmer side vs plush and then purchase a pillowtop/mattress cushion of some sort to help soften the mattress. While also being mindful of the "layers" used within the mattress if we should choose to do more of a "plush" mattress purchase; (which, honestly, is what I was hoping to do, as I've never had a good experience with separate pillowtoppers and was the main reason we got rid of the mattress we had previously to the defective one we currently have sitting in our bedroom-it was too hard for my body, and the pillowtops we tried weren't up to par). I also worry buying a firmer mattress with a separate pillowtopper that sleepys sells could bite us in the bum later due to the pillowtopper not being of great quality and then the mattress is too firm to sleep on, but unexchangeable due to nothing being wrong with it other than "I don't like it". We don't have money to spend on the side for a top of the line pillowtopper, so we would be stuck with what sleepys offers for sale (so we could use the credit we have)...

However, in trying to educate myself in the layers used in the mattresses we are leaning towards (that are a little more plush than they are firm) I found I was unsuccessful in trying to locate any website online that gave a point blank description of the layers used. Instead I ran across more generalized descriptions that say things like "luxurious" "soft" "fabulous" and other fancy wordings hoping to dazzle the buyer vs inform them about what they are buying. I also did a few live chats with manufacturers and sales shops to try and see if they would be any wiser as to the materials used in the mattresses they are selling to the public. However, the response I was met with from them all was "there is a description of the materials used listed on the webpage that the mattress is found on". I told them they were mistaken, saying things like "luxurious foam and fibers" does not tell me what specific foam and fiber is used on the mattress-which is what I was after. Pointless...

Do you know of a place I could try to find an honest breakdown in the layers used in the mattresses my fiancé and I are looking into?

We were "leaning" towards the Sealy Posturepedic Santa Ana Plush Mattress (I was curious also if the Sealy Posturepedic Port Cartier Luxury Plush Mattress would be better as that one advertises a Apex™ Encased Coil used vs. the Santa Ana plush mattress using the Posturepedic Classic Coil-everything else used in the two models seem to be the same as far as what's listed on sleepys.com but there is a significant price difference in the king size mattress only price).

We were also looking at the Carolina Radiant Pillow Top Mattress or Carolina Radiant Plush Mattress (to be honest I'm not sure which of these two is the one we laid on in the store. I know it was one of the two). We like this because its got an anti-bacterial , anti-fungal and hypo-allergenic material used around the outside of the mattress (which would be great for my fiancé as he has horribly bad allergies) but we also don't want to be sucked into another gimmicky selling feature.... As far as a listing for the layers used in the mattress there is hardly any useful information provided on .com

any thoughts and opinions would be greatly appreciated!

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Stuck with an exchange at a big brand shop, I need some help please... 06 Aug 2013 09:41 #5

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Upon further searching through this forum I ran across you saying the tag should mention what is in the mattress. So I went in the bedroom and looked at the tag on our be, it says on there:

All new materials consisting of:
Urethane foam 75%
Fiber by-product 15%
Polyester fiber batting 10%
Spring Unit

Do mattress in show rooms have tags on them with this information on them? (I've never noticed before)...
In looking at what is included in my current super saggy/body impressioned mattress, what would you say is in it that is "bad" causing the breakdown and something I should avoid in the shopping for a replacement?

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Stuck with an exchange at a big brand shop, I need some help please... 06 Aug 2013 10:46 #6

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Hi RemiRoo,

I read through your suggested posts and understand that in the limited circumstance my fiancé and I are in it would be wise for us to purchase something on the firmer side vs plush and then purchase a pillowtop/mattress cushion of some sort to help soften the mattress. While also being mindful of the "layers" used within the mattress if we should choose to do more of a "plush" mattress purchase; (which, honestly, is what I was hoping to do, as I've never had a good experience with separate pillowtoppers and was the main reason we got rid of the mattress we had previously to the defective one we currently have sitting in our bedroom-it was too hard for my body, and the pillowtops we tried weren't up to par). I also worry buying a firmer mattress with a separate pillowtopper that sleepys sells could bite us in the bum later due to the pillowtopper not being of great quality and then the mattress is too firm to sleep on, but unexchangeable due to nothing being wrong with it other than "I don't like it". We don't have money to spend on the side for a top of the line pillowtopper, so we would be stuck with what sleepys offers for sale (so we could use the credit we have)...


My first choice would be to buy a mattress where you didn't have to add anything at all and where the quality of the upper layers of the mattress were known and you could verify they were good quality. Unfortunately this is much more difficult when you are shopping for major brands or at a chain store where the quality of the materials aren't usually disclosed ... although some information is known and available for some of them (such as the iComforts). If you did choose to go in the direction of a mattress/topper combination ... then the quality/durability of the topper would become the most important issue. There would be little difference in buying a mattress with thicker layers of low quality materials inside the cover in the upper layers of a mattress (which are the weak link of most mattresses) or buying a mattress with less "questionable" or low quality materials or that used higher quality materials in the upper layers only to add a low quality topper to it outside the cover that will also soften and break down too quickly (except of course a separate topper can be replaced much more easily than a complete mattress).

If there are no high quality toppers available that you can specifically test with a mattress then it's usually better to make the best possible exchange and spend the extra money and buy a topper separately from a different source. Of course this also carries some extra risk in terms of making a suitable choice because each different, type, thickness, and firmness level of topper can feel and perform differently on the same mattress. Some careful testing on mattresses that have similar materials in their upper layers as the topper you are considering and the topper guidelines in post #2 here and the posts it links to can help you make a topper choice that has better odds of success.

In terms of "value" you are locked in to lower value because or the limitations of an exchange so quality and durability would be my primary consideration.

I found I was unsuccessful in trying to locate any website online that gave a point blank description of the layers used. Instead I ran across more generalized descriptions that say things like "luxurious" "soft" "fabulous" and other fancy wordings hoping to dazzle the buyer vs inform them about what they are buying.

Do you know of a place I could try to find an honest breakdown in the layers used in the mattresses my fiancé and I are looking into?


In most cases this type of information isn't available with the mattresses you have available because the larger manufacturers don't like to or in many cases completely refuse to disclose it. In some cases on a mattress by mattress basis this may be available or at least partly available for specific mattresses with more detailed research on the internet (or with a forum search here). It's more common to be able to find out the density/quality of memory foam in a mattress than it is to find out the density/quality of polyfoam in a mattress. If you can't find out the specifics from the manufacturer themselves then the information you find out from other sources may or may not be accurate (depending on where the information came from) and most of the research you do trying to find out the quality/density of materials will lead to frustration and dead ends. This is one of the reasons why I suggest avoiding major brands completely although in your case this may not be possible or practical.

We were "leaning" towards the Sealy Posturepedic Santa Ana Plush Mattress (I was curious also if the Sealy Posturepedic Port Cartier Luxury Plush Mattress would be better as that one advertises a Apex™ Encased Coil used vs. the Santa Ana plush mattress using the Posturepedic Classic Coil-everything else used in the two models seem to be the same as far as what's listed on sleepys.com but there is a significant price difference in the king size mattress only price).


If you look at the description of the Santa Ana Plush here ... you will see that they don't disclose the quality/density of any of the materials in the upper layers and that they are all polyfoam of questionable quality/density. This is exactly the type of mattress that I would completely avoid where there are thick layers of lower quality materials in the upper layers of the mattress.

The Port Cartier is basically the same and has 5.5" of lower quality or questionable materials in the comfort layers and I would completely avoid this one as well. Any difference between the coils is not really relevant in terms of quality because the coils (or any support system) is not normally the weak link of a mattress. Of course different coils in combination with different layers on top of them can feel and perform differently in terms of PPP but the "tech speak" about different coil systems and coil counting is really only relevant to the degree that you can actually feel the benefit of the specific coils in your testing in the mattress as a whole. You can read more about innersprings here and in post #10 here .

We were also looking at the Carolina Radiant Pillow Top Mattress or Carolina Radiant Plush Mattress (to be honest I'm not sure which of these two is the one we laid on in the store. I know it was one of the two). We like this because its got an anti-bacterial , anti-fungal and hypo-allergenic material used around the outside of the mattress (which would be great for my fiancé as he has horribly bad allergies) but we also don't want to be sucked into another gimmicky selling feature.... As far as a listing for the layers used in the mattress there is hardly any useful information provided on .com


I would take these type of questionable claims with a huge grain of salt unless they can provide specific proof that validates them. In most cases these marketing claims are just inherent to the fabrics used in the mattress and you will often see this claim with bamboo fabrics. It's questionable whether any of the inherent properties of the bamboo plant itself are even left by the time it's chemically processed into a fiber that is used in fabrics. In other cases the mattress fabric can have chemicals added to it that provides these benefits but the nature of the chemicals aren't disclosed. The main cause of allergies in a mattress (and other household items) is the waste materials from dust mites and you would be better off dealing with these using a mattress protector and pillow protector or a mattress and pillow encasement or materials that have more ventilation and humidity and temperature control that can reduce the dust mite population in your mattress and your exposure to their byproducts than worrying about the claims of "so called" anti fungal or anti bacterial materials in a mattress that are common to the materials themselves and that are used in many other mattresses.

You can see the layers of the CMG Radiant Plush here and once again you will see that there are 5" of questionable polyfoam in the upper layers of this mattress where the density isn't known. the wool and silk fibers are good quality natural fibers that can do a great job at helping control moisture and temperature but it doesn't say what percentage of wool and silk is mixed into other synthetic fibers and it could be a very low percentage that is used more for "label copy". Because CMG is a smaller independent manufacturer you may be able to find out the foam densities in the mattress if you (or Sleepy's) calls the factory so you can verify that they are at least 1.8 lb density (the lower end of higher quality more durable polyfoam) but they may also not disclose it for these mattresses and if they don't I would avoid these as well.

If a mattress has more than an inch or so of lower quality materials then the risk of early softening and impressions is increased. Since this is unlikely I would look for mattresses that either have higher quality materials where the density is known or a maximum of 2" of questionable materials in the upper layers (which will generally mean a firmer mattress) and then add a topper to this.

Some of the mattresses they carry where the quality of the materials in the mattress may be more available from "outside sources" at least to some degree are the iComfort or iSeries lineup (see post #11 here for some examples) or the Sealy Optimum lineup (see post #48 here ).

It will take some time, effort, care, and research along with careful and objective testing for PPP to make your best possible choice when you are trapped in between a rock and a hard place and forced to deal with a chain store or choose between major brands or other brands where the information you need to make an informed choice is difficult and sometimes impossible to come by.

Phoenix
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Stuck with an exchange at a big brand shop, I need some help please... 07 Aug 2013 15:56 #7

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Hey there Phoenix, Thanks for the quick reply yesterday! (I couldn't get back too fast, as we are moving, and I was stuck packing most of the day yesterday)

Anywho, I was wondering if you could direct me to a good thread on how to pick out a good mattress topper (what materials would be ideal vs. what isn't so good). That way my fiancé and I can try to locate a decent quality topper from sleepys.

Would you recommend getting a topper and putting that on a mattress that has some "plush" to it vs. just being a firm mattress. (not a super plush mattress but not one that feels like your sleeping on the floor without a topper either). Would buying a topper help reduce the breakdown of the "plush" built into the mattress?

Also I was wondering if you could tell me what in my current, not so great, body impressed bed made it break down within a year after its purchase date? On the tag of my mattress it says it contains the following materials...

All new materials consisting of:
Urethane Foam 75%
Resinated Pad - textile
Fiber By-Product 15%
Polyester Fiber Batting 10%
Spring Unit

I figure if I know what's bad, I can look at the tags of the mattresses in the sleepys show room and make sure they don't contain it, and/or have as much of it as my current mattress does.

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Stuck with an exchange at a big brand shop, I need some help please... 07 Aug 2013 21:09 #8

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Hi RemiRoo,

Anywho, I was wondering if you could direct me to a good thread on how to pick out a good mattress topper (what materials would be ideal vs. what isn't so good). That way my fiancé and I can try to locate a decent quality topper from sleepys.


Post #2 here and the other posts it links to will be helpful. The choice of material in a topper is a personal preference but the quality of the material and its resistance to softening and breakdown no matter what it is will determine it's durability. Latex is a durable material in all its forms (you can read a little more about the different types in post #6 here ), the minimum density of memory foam I would consider is 4 lbs (and 5 lbs would be more durable), and the minimum density polyfoam I would consider is 1.8 lbs (2.0 lbs and higher would be more durable).

Sleepy's carries a 2" and 3" Talalay latex topper which is a good quality material and may be well worth testing as a mattress/topper combination.

Would you recommend getting a topper and putting that on a mattress that has some "plush" to it vs. just being a firm mattress. (not a super plush mattress but not one that feels like your sleeping on the floor without a topper either). Would buying a topper help reduce the breakdown of the "plush" built into the mattress?


That would depend entirely on the quality of the "plush" material in the top layers of the mattress. In most cases plush mattresses that use lower quality materials would be a poor choice if the materials are lower quality (which is usually the case) which will soften and break down too quickly. If the plush materials are higher quality then you wouldn't need a topper to go with them because the mattress itself would likely be soft enough without one. The trick is being able to find out the quality of the plush materials in the mattress. the soft low quality materials that are so often used in the upuper layers of mainstream mattresses are the biggest reason for premature softening and breakdown and if there are no options where you can confirm that the comfort layers are both soft enough and high enough quality then I would look for a mattress that minimized unknown or lower quality materials (which would be firm because the comfort layers would be thinner) and then add a higher quality topper.

While a topper will improve the durability of the upper layers of the mattress to some degree ... this wouldn't be a main factor in my decision because when the lower quality materials soften under the topper then the topper will just follow the dips and soft spots in the mattress. If you do go with the topper/mattress combination I would look for a firm mattress that used as little as possible lower quality materials and then choose the topper thickness that would give you the comfort/pressure relief you need.

Also I was wondering if you could tell me what in my current, not so great, body impressed bed made it break down within a year after its purchase date? On the tag of my mattress it says it contains the following materials...

All new materials consisting of:
Urethane Foam 75%
Resinated Pad - textile
Fiber By-Product 15%
Polyester Fiber Batting 10%
Spring Unit


The law tag only provides the percentage of materials based on weight and doesn't give any indication of the quality of the materials or the thickness of all the layers. If you were able to provide the specific layering information and the density of the foam in each layer then it would be possible to know more specifically but in almost all cases it would be too much low quality softer polyfoam (the urethane foam) in the upper layers of the mattress. The polyester fiber batting is probably part of the problem as well (it compresses and forms impressions over time) and the fiber by-product could also play a role depending on what and where it was in the mattress. The spring is the support system and it's probably still in good condition.

I figure if I know what's bad, I can look at the tags of the mattresses in the sleepys show room and make sure they don't contain it, and/or have as much of it as my current mattress does.


The law tag doesn't really provide any meaningful information because it only specifies the type of material not the quality and all materials have good and poor quality versions. If you look at the example of a mattress design here (from Sleepy's website) then you will see an example of the actual layering of a mattress from their spec sheet. This doesn't show the quality of the layers either (which are in lbs/sq ft for polyfoam and memory foam) but it does show the thickness, type, and order of the layers and when you see words like hypersoft, super soft, convoluted supersoft, supersoft activeflex, or activeflex then these are just words for different types of polyfoam and unless they also show the density then it would be safest to assume it's low quality. In this case there is a total of 5.5" of polyfoam in the upper layers of the mattress (with different names) and I would avoid any more than 2" in the upper layers if possible (and even this is more than is ideal) unless you know it's good quality (at least 1.8 lbs density or higher for polyfoam or 4 lb density or higher for memory foam).

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.
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