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Re: The Serta iComfort mattress ... what's the buzz 16 Aug 2012 02:32 #361

  • phoenix
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Hi bitz424,

As strange as it sounds ... there really is no such thing as a "memory foam mattress". There are only memory foam hybrids or combinations. The reason for this is that memory foam is only used as a comfort layer for pressure relief and is never used as a support layer in a mattress. While it's true that "memory foam mattress" is a term that is commonly understood to mean "memory foam comfort layer over a polyfoam support layer" it could also mean memory foam over an innerspring or memory foam over air or memory foam over latex. All of these would be versions of a "memory foam mattress".

The choice between the different types of pressure relieving materials or components (you can see the more common ones here ) is really a matter of personal preference and there is no "better or worse". They are simply different and each has it's own strengths and weaknesses. When you are a heavier weight however ... it becomes more important that no matter which one (or combination) you choose that it is higher quality and more durable so the performance and feel that you need and prefer will last longer. The reason for this is that a heavier weight will stress all materials more and they will not keep their original properties as long (in the case of foam they will soften sooner than a lighter weight sleeping on the same material). While high quality latex is more durable than high quality memory foam ... for those who prefer memory foam over other comfort layer materials the durability may not be the most important part of the picture and both can last a relatively long time. Because latex and memory foam are the two most common premium foams ... there is also an article about the pros and cons of memory foam here and another one about the pros and cons of latex here . In the end though ... only you can know which one you prefer ... but at least you will know that you may have more choices available than you realized.

The reason for the thinner layer suggestion is because of the risks of stomach sleeping. When you sleep on your stomach ... the heavier parts of your body which is the hips/pelvis will tend to sink in more deeply and this can result in a swayback position which puts the spine out of alignment and can cause stress, discomfort and pain in the lower back. Thinner layers of softer materials in your mattress (and all memory foam is considered relatively soft) will put you closer to the support layers of the mattress which will "stop" the excess sinking of the heavier parts of the body. Stomach sleeping is a 'flatter" sleeping position and doesn't have the same need for thicker pressure relieving layers as side sleepers which have more "protruding parts" such as the hips and shoulders which need to sink in more deeply to prevent pressure issues. "How thin" though would depend on the person's body type and the combination of materials that are used with the memory foam so that you will sink in "enough" to relieve pressure on your stomach but not so much that the spine is allowed to bend beyond it's neutral position. It really means "thinner than you would use if you were a back or side sleeper".

The first goal with all mattresses is that they provide you with what I call PPP which means Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and Personal preferences. The first two of these are what you "need" and the last is based on the many preferences people have in a mattress. There is much more about all of this in the overviews in the mattresses section of the site and more detail yet in the more detailed pages in each section. These include some general guidelines for weight and height and sleeping positions and also how different constructions will affect these guidelines and this can help answer "how thick, or "how thin" but as tempting as it is to want to design a mattress based on "theory" ... the truth is that there are so many individual variations of body types and sleeping positions not to mention preferences that these can only be guidelines and that only your own experience (preferable with some good help and guidance) can really tell if a mattress is right for you.

This is the main reason that finding the "experts" and the better manufacturers or outlets that offer the knowledge, quality, value, and service that can help you find your "best" choice based on your personal criteria is much more important than knowing the theoretical specs that might work for you. None of us is "average" in every way and the guidelines are based on averages. The information in the mattresses section is meant more to help you ask better questions and even more importantly to be able to tell the difference between someone who is trying to"sell" you a mattress based on marketing techniques that will contribute to their commissions or profit margin more than it will help you make your best choice and someone who has the knowledge, skill, and integrity to "fit" you to a mattress that will match your needs and preferences. This is where the better outlets excel and because they are more focused on education and the materials in their mattresses ... they will also generally have much better value. There are a lot of $3000 mattresses being sold in mass market outlets that contain materials that would be more appropriate in a mattress that costs less than half the price.

So the overviews (and I would scan them and not "study" them) will help you be more informed in the choice of your mattress, help you ask better questions and better understand the answers, and help you give better feedback to the "experts" so they can help you more effectively.

You have many good choices within a reasonable distance. The first step before you begin to start deciding about "which mattress" is deciding on "which outlets" you want to visit and work with. Some research on their websites and some phone calls to ask them some questions about what they offer and how they may fit the needs and preferences you know about will help you decide which of these outlets are the ones that you want to visit and work with.

Hope this helps.

Phoenix
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Re: The Serta iComfort mattress ... what's the buzz 16 Aug 2012 11:07 #362

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Thanks so much for all the info and links. I have some reading to do!!! Also, just so I'm clear on your previous post you think 5-8lb density for the comfort layer?

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Re: The Serta iComfort mattress ... what's the buzz 16 Aug 2012 12:01 #363

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Hi bitz424,

Yes ... memory foam is too soft to be used in the deeper support layers or support components of a mattress (where other types of foam and innersprings are used along with air and water) so you will only find it in the upper layers (comfort layers) of a mattress. The density of memory foam is the biggest factor in it's durability so I would make sure that there was no memory foam in a mattress you were considering that was less than 5 lbs density. A combination of 5 and 8 lb density would be better yet but is also more expensive.

Density is measured by how much a cubic foot of material weighs and is not directly connected to softness or firmness. Higher density can be either softer or firmer and lower density is the same and can be either softer or firmer.

The types of mattresses that would be similar to what you are looking for in terms of design (but not recommended because they are much more expensive than other similar quality mattresses) would be the Tempurpedic Contour collection which uses 5.3 lb memory foam over a polyfoam support core or better yet the HD collection which uses a combination of 7 b and 5.3 lb memory foam over a polyfoam support core. If you click on each mattress and then click on the details tab you will see the layering of each mattress.
ADMIN NOTE:Removed 404 page link | Archived Footprint: tempurpedic.com/TEMPUR-HD-Collection/TEMPUR-HD-Collection.asp

Phoenix
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Re: The Serta iComfort mattress ... what's the buzz 22 Aug 2012 22:55 #364

What a great site. Lots of valuable information. I am in the market for a new mattress and wanted ask if there were any local manufacturers in the Pensacola , Florida area. I am looking for a non inner spring mattress. If you have any recommendations that would be great. Thanks

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Re: The Serta iComfort mattress ... what's the buzz 23 Aug 2012 04:44 #365

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Hi wcbuz2,

The only factory direct manufacturer that is close to Pensacola that I know of is ...

mattressworldmobile.com/default.asp Mobile, AL Local factory direct. Makes a range of innerspring mattresses with latex, memory foam, and microcoils with good value that I would consider. They don't appear to make any all latex though.

There is also a small wholesale manufacturer in Mobile that sells through local stores within a 100 mile radius of Mobile.

www.manta.com/c/mml9q6r/phillips-tanner-enterprises Mobile, AL. They specialize in innerspring mattresses ... one and two sided including innerspring/memory foam (using 5 lb memory foam) and will soon be making an innerspring/latex mattress as well. A phone call to Alisa will give you the names of any local retailers that carry them.

There are also a few retail outlets that may have possibilities as well ...

www.floridamattresscenters.com/ Navarre, Pensacola, FL. They used to be a factory direct outlet for Carolina Mattress Guild but no longer carry them (and CMG went bankrupt and closed their business in Dec, 2014) and carry several alternative "better value" mattresses including Pure Latex bliss, Sherwood, Classic Brands, Innomax, Boyd, and Octaspring as well as several major brands which I would avoid. They also used to be a liquidator so I would make sure that any mattress you purchase here has the factory warranty and not their own but having said that they appear to be knowledgeable and have some good value available.

www.mattressoutletllc.com/ Pensascola. Retailer that carries Jamison, Therapedic, Octaspring, Park Place. They are apparently dropping the Jamison line.

www.sleeptightfurniturezz.com/ Crestview, FL. Retailer that carries Jamison, Pure Latex Bliss

www.roomstogo.com/furniture/Mattress/_/N-8fk Mobile, AL. They offer some of the larger name brands that I generally recommend to avoid, but have some Therapedic and Bedgear products.

jj-furniture.com/browse/mattresses/all-mattresses/50 Mobile, AL. Has Restonic.
ADMIN NOTE:Removed 404 page link | Archived Footprint: jj-furniture.com/browse/mattresses/all-mattresses/50

Foley, AL
ADMIN NOTE:Retired Website | Archived Footprint: goodmorningmattressfoley.com/

www.goodmorningmattresscenter.com/ Mobile, AL. Retailer that carries Jamison Mattresses which makes a full lineup of all types of mattresses including latex and memory foam.

Phoenix
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Re: The Serta iComfort mattress ... what's the buzz 31 Aug 2012 18:37 #366

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Hi I am back, just wanted to thank you for all your help. I am so fortunate that I found your site. You were a huge help as it is so confussing going into stores. We like our mattress we bought and so far all is good. Just wanted to thank you so much again for your patience in answering questions, some probably a bit ignorant !:) Wish everyone could find your site before they go out and get a mattress. Thanks loads!! Mopeede

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Re: The Serta iComfort mattress ... what's the buzz 31 Aug 2012 22:13 #367

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Hi Mopeede,

You're very welcome ... and thanks for the kind words :)

I hope you enjoy your Natura for a long time to come!

Phoenix
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Re: The Serta iComfort mattress ... what's the buzz 02 Sep 2012 13:12 #368

I was looking at the Insight IComfort from serta and and the Apple Valley Memory Foam mattresses, but then I stumbled onto your website, and now not sure what type of mattresses I should get. I tend to be a side sleeper, sometimes sleep on my back. I am 5'4" and 181. I do wake up with a lot of low back pain, and i am currently on a spring coil mattress. So if you could give me some places i could look at mattresses, and names of mattresses so i can do some research I would appreciate it. I live in austin, tx.

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Re: The Serta iComfort mattress ... what's the buzz 02 Sep 2012 14:46 #369

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Hi sashay,

The first thing I would suggest is to read this article which will help you avoid most of the lower quality and value mattresses that are sold by most of the largest brands and mass market outlets.

The tutorial post here has a step by step process that will greatly increase your odds of finding the best possible mattress that will fit your needs and preferences in both the short and long term and will help you connect and recognize the "experts" with the experience and knowledge in your area that can help you make much better choices.

You can see the quality specs of the Apple Valley mattress here (click on the "specs" tab)

Comfort Type - Memory Foam
Support Layer - 6" foam 28 ild 1.5lb
Comfort Layers - 2" memory foam 2.5lb
Mattress Height - 8"

As you can see ... it uses some very low quality foam. 2.5 lb memory foam is close to the worst density/quality memory foam you can find anywhere and 1.5 lb density base polyfoam is also on the lower end of the spectrum but may be more appropriate in this budget range.

You can also see the quality of the materials used in the iComfort line and some thoughts about them in post #11 here . They use lower quality materials than I would consider in a mattress in this price range.

Post #2 here has a list of the better factory direct manufacturers and retail stores that I'm aware of in the Austin area.

Hope this helps :)

Phoenix
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Re: The Serta iComfort mattress ... what's the buzz 02 Sep 2012 21:49 #370

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Phoenix,

Thank you for all of the helpful advice on this site. It's very informative, although there's a lot to take in. My wife and I are upgrading from a queen to a king and were trying mattress today; I just stumbled upon your site as I was trying to find more information on the iComfort mattresses. Currently, we have a Tempurpedic :oops: - I don't recall which one exactly - it was the most basic one offered about 5-6 years ago. My main complaints about it are (i) it's really hot and (ii) sometimes I wake up and my arms are completely numb, and (iii) in the last year I've been having a decent amount of neck pain. I'm 5'8 140lbs and primarily sleep on my side, and my wife is 5'0 105 lbs and sleeps on her stomach. I'm definitely grateful I found this site; any guidance that you have would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Bob

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Re: The Serta iComfort mattress ... what's the buzz 03 Sep 2012 00:00 #371

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Hi HurricaneBob,

Currently, we have a Tempurpedic - I don't recall which one exactly - it was the most basic one offered about 5-6 years ago. My main complaints about it are (i) it's really hot and (ii) sometimes I wake up and my arms are completely numb, and (iii) in the last year I've been having a decent amount of neck pain.


This would have been the firmest model they offered at the time and while it may have been a little on the firm side even at the time ... it may have been "just in your range" of pressure relief. Over time our needs can change and as the top layer of memory foam softened ... you may not be 'going through" it more and feeling more of the firm layers below the memory foam (in other words it isn't "cushioning" you as much).

The original Tempurpedics and other memory foam mattresses of the time slept hotter but technology has advanced and while memory foam in general is still more of an "in the mattress" feeling and can act as an insulator more than other more breathable forms (suchas polyfoam or latex) ... they are also generally more breathable and cooler as a grooup than they were. There are also other elements that can contribute to the temperature regulation of a mattress which includes the cover and any quilting, the mattress protector used, and the types of sheets and bedding that you use.

In general, natural fibers are more breathable and temperature regulating than synthetics and a wool or stretch cotton mattress protector can also make a difference over the breathable/waterproof membrane types which are breathable but not to the same degree as natural fibers. With wool for example ... you have a water resistant layer that is very temperature regulating but it is also a little thicker and may have a bigger effect on the feel of the mattress. Everything is a tradeoff. Some of the ways that are being used to cool down a memory foam mattress for those who like the feel of slow response materials are in post #6 here .

The most effective way to find your best mattress is to follow the steps in post #10 here .

Finding the better local manufacturers or sleep shops in your area that have the knowledge to help you make your best choices for your needs and preferences (including temperature regulation) and that make or sellhigh quality mattresses with good value can be a more important first step than trying to find a good mattress but not knowing where to go or who to believe.

If you let me know your zip or city ... I'd be happy to let you know of any better outlets or possibilities I know of in your area.

Phoenix
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Re: The Serta iComfort mattress ... what's the buzz 03 Sep 2012 01:15 #372

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Thanks, Phoenix.

I live in Boca Raton (South Florida), so I was thinking of checking out Schrader in West Palm - people on here seem to have had good experiences there, although I'm not sure how they compare on pricing.

I was at El Dorado Furniture today as well and I noticed that they were carrying Verlo foam mattresses; I think that this may be a relatively new development as Verlo's site doesn't list any places in Florida.

Also, I travel for work a decent amount, and I will say that I probably sleep best in the Marriott beds - I've checkout out their website and it seems they have several different options. I'm not too sure what the differences are there among the models that they offer on their site.

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Re: The Serta iComfort mattress ... what's the buzz 03 Sep 2012 01:28 #373

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Hello Phoenix,

I'm hoping you can help me too.

I spent the day looking at memory foam beds. The first place I stopped at was at a smaller local furniture store. They had a gel foam mattress that I really liked. It was the Violet 10" made by Englander on sale for about $1000. I did some more shopping and ended up at big retailers but they were all over $2000+ and out of my price range. The last place I stopped at was Mattress Firm and really liked the iComfort Insight. This is also going for about $1000 on sale right now. Regardless $1000 is more than I'd like to spend, but I'm at a loss for any more ideas. I have been doing research for a few weeks now and due to back problems it seems like a mid-firm/firm memory foam would be the way to go. I also think I need the gel because I'm a hot sleeper.

I live in St. Paul, Minnesota. Do you have any suggestions for cheaper 'cool' (gel) foam beds that compare to these models or local manufacters that would be good to look into?

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Re: The Serta iComfort mattress ... what's the buzz 03 Sep 2012 12:28 #374

Thank you for your informative website. I happen to see the site when I was web surfing the Serta iComfort. I did not realize all the different components that make up a mattress and the various materials that are used. After your crash course in mattress construction, I am going with a 100% latex mattress w/foundation from one of your recommended manufacturers.

Thanks again,

Tom

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Re: The Serta iComfort mattress ... what's the buzz 03 Sep 2012 15:19 #375

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Hi Tyrus,

Any of the members of the site would certainly make a great choice :)

The only thing I would suggest is some local testing in various places that have latex mattresses available to get a sense of different combinations and versions of latex mattresses so you have a clearer idea of your needs and preferences (unless of course the manufacturer you are looking at is already local in which case you can do your testing there).

It's great to see when people do some initial research and "bypass" the advertising and sales techniques that are the driving force behind so many lower quality and value mattress purchases.

Phoenix
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