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Re: The Serta iComfort mattress ... what's the buzz 06 Jan 2012 03:15 #196

  • soreshoulder717
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I know I am new here, but from what I have gathered the issue with the iComfort lineup is the foundation...NOT the mattress.
The foundation is poorly constructed with weak material and large gaps which could easily be the cause of the premature sagging. I would advise adding a 1/4"-1/2" piece of mdf wood or buying a platform bed instead, with just the iComfort mattress.

I am deciding between an iComfort Insight on a platform or a Tempur-Cloud on either a platform or Tempurpedic's foundation and metal frame. I have been told by the significant other that I have 24hrs to go, haha.

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Re: The Serta iComfort mattress ... what's the buzz 06 Jan 2012 06:14 #197

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Hi Soreshoulder,

IMO ... the real issue with the iComfort is not the foundation (that's easy to "fix" with a different choice) but with the value of the mattresses they and all other major brands are selling to consumers. None of the major brands would be in business for very long if they began to disclose the quality and accurate specs of the materials that they were using in every layer of their mattress and consumers as a whole both knew about and were able to make meaningful comparisons with the many other options that are available from smaller manufacturers across the country.

In your first post you asked ...

How can I find out the ILD of the polyfoam support layer/base of the major brand names making memory foam mattresses?


Unfortunately in most cases you can't. Not only that but in many cases they won't even tell you even more important information such as the density of the foams they use in each layer (which directly relates to quality and durability while ILD relates to softness/firmness and any quality of foam can be made softer and firmer).

If they did disclose the information that is really needed to determine the value and quality of any mattress and what its weak link might be (the part that wears out the fastest) ... they just wouldn't be able to compete with the smaller manufacturers who sell much higher quality mattresses at lower prices and do business based on local reputation and word of mouth rather than advertising stories ... most of which are misleading at best. The irony is that they have access to the same suppliers and materials as the major brands ... they just use higher quality, better construction methods, and sell them at lower prices all year long without any need to negotiate or haggle to get their best price.

There is no other important product that I know of (including cars) where consumers are willing to pay such a large amount on such a blind purchase with so little even basic knowledge and make their purchase based on advertising stories alone.

In the case of the iComfort insight ... you basically have a mattress with 2 3/4 inches of a 4 lb gel memory foam with particles of gel impregnated inside it which are not a part of the memory foam polymer structure (meaning the risk is good that like all particulate additives it may break down the structure of the base memory foam faster) and this is over a support foam that is 1.5 lbs which is lower quality and normally found in less expensive mattresses. For many it may feel great in the showroom ... but so will many other mattresses and do you really know how long an unknown foam like this will last? Is a very basic memory foam mattress like this really worth what you are paying for it? Have you compared it to other memory foam mattresses that use either the same or better quality materials? Most people that go into a chain store have no reference point with which to tell whether what they are being told about the "benefits" of gel memory foam are true or what the claims are based on. What they are being told is all about perception, differentiation, and profit margin.

I have to admit that Serta has done a great job of marketing this mattress and raising awareness about gel materials in general (which have been in the market for some time) and this is clearly their strong point. They really did hit a home run with their marketing but unfortunately consumers are the "other team". Many other manufacturers including many smaller manufacturers across the country are now also coming out with different versions of gel materials and combinations (including various methods of including it in memory foam) and some of these are almost certainly better than the type of gel application used by Serta. They will also likely sell for a lower price ... but consumers in their advertising induced confusion will probably continue buying a lower quality mattress at a higher price just because the major retailers carry them and like the profit margin they provide.

Almost all high quality memory foam mattresses have a .75 warranty but even this is mostly meaningless because long after a memory foam or even polyfoam is too soft to sleep on it still won't usually have an impression deep enough to be covered by a warranty. Warranties are primarily a sales tool used as a closing technique and/or to alter consumer perceptions of quality rather than a legitimate protection against the most common failures of most mattresses.

If I could get a laminated version from a local manufacturer I would, but there doesn't seem to be any in the Lehigh Valley.(Allentown-Bethlehem PA)


The closest factory direct manufacturers along with some of the retail options and possibilities in the area that I would consider (assuming they are willing and able to provide you with the details of what is in their mattresses) are listed in post #6 here .

It may well be worth a few calls to see what they offer that may "compete" with the iComfort in terms of value and your own comfort.

Overall though if you do decide to go with memory foam or the iComfort you are wise to only consider relatively thinner layers of memory foam because of your back issues. Memory foam is a non supportive material (which is why it's never used in the support layers) and thicker layers can aggravate back issues caused by poor alignment in many cases. It may also be worth testing other latex mattresses at these local manufacturers just to make sure how you feel about it mainly because Sleep Options isn't really what I would call a latex mattress (it has some Dunlop layers).

There are always online options if your local choices are more limited but at least you have a couple of options for comparison that are within a reasonable driving distance or at least worth a phone call before you "pull the trigger" in the next 24 hours or so :).

Phoenix
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Re: The Serta iComfort mattress ... what's the buzz 06 Jan 2012 06:46 #198

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Hi Shari,

The cumulus mattress uses very high quality materials (Aerus 5 lb memory foam is one of the best memory foams IMO and is also one of the most breathable memory foams made because of the VPF process that is used by FXI which manufactures it). They also use very high quality polyfoam underneath it (higher quality than most mattresses in this price range). Overall it is a very good mattress.

I would be a little hesitant in buying a mattress online though ... particularly with some of the issues you are having ... mainly because even the best mattress may not provide what you need in terms of pressure relief, alignment, or preferences. Testing a mattress before you buy it or testing a similar mattress with a similar construction is the only way to really know for certain how well it may work for you.

Novosbed uses Chinese memory foam and while it has what would normally be considered to be a higher density (5.2 lbs) ... there are a lot of chinese memory foams that achieve this density using fillers and the foam will not last. It has not been certified for chemicals or offgassing which I would consider to be important especially with Chinese memory foam.

So of these two I would choose the Cumulus but again ... personal testing of a mattress is an important part of the process unless there is a very low cost return and refund available and I would confirm what their policy is here.

If you let me know what city in Alberta you live in I'd be happy to take a look to see if there are any local options I know about. If you happen to live in Calgary there are some excellent options there including two of our manufacturing members .

While it may be true that your current mattress is too firm ... your symptoms could also very well be aggravated by a pillow that isn't suitable for you and/or your sleeping position. What position do each of you normally sleep in?

Phoenix
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Re: The Serta iComfort mattress ... what's the buzz 06 Jan 2012 11:30 #199

I live in Red Deer, which is a little over an hour either way to Calgary or Edmonton. We are both side sleepers. I tend to sleep with 2 pillows. The pillow under my head is a side sleeper latex pillow and then I have a larger pillow I use kind of like a body pillow.
I am a little hesitant to buy a mattress online, for sure, but I am not sure I would know the right mattress for me even if I was lying on it.

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Re: The Serta iComfort mattress ... what's the buzz 06 Jan 2012 12:45 #200

  • CincyBearcat
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Hey Phoenix,
Your posts are extremely helpful which is why I value your opinion. I have done a lot of research and can not make a decision on what to purchase. Right now, my wife and I are leaning towards the iComfort Genius at Mattress Firm for $1699 for the King Mattress only. She is 5'4" 110 lbs. She is a nurse and former gymnist/dancer so has lower back problems. I am 6'4" 200 lbs. I can really sleep on anything but she has been recommended the foam for her back. She really liked the iComfort in the store as well.

As far as money, we are OK with paying extra for comfort and quality but it is hard to get facts from stores. We live in Cincinnati, OH and Mattress Firm is all I can think to go for the foam. Would you recommend the iComfort or Novaform at Costco, or is there something else we should look at?

Thanks in advance!

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Re: The Serta iComfort mattress ... what's the buzz 06 Jan 2012 12:46 #201

  • soreshoulder717
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Thanks. No back issues though, I have a sore shoulder, hence the username.
Well, if the foam is just under 5lb density with the micro gel beads, I would guess it might be a 4lb memory foam. It felt aslightly easier to compress than Tempur's 5.3lb. foam.(had pieces for comparison)
The Tempur-Cloud does use two thinner layers on top that are different densities, whereas the iComfort uses the 2.75"-3"(it measured three in the store with a tape measurer--the piece)

I am very leary of buying both site and feel unseen. I also am not real interested in shipping back a bed if it does not work for me as opposed to possibly paying a small fee for a local to pick it up and bring a new bed.

I would love to save money, but I would need to be "sure" that an online bed was at least as good if not verifiably better than local big store options. I had, for a very short time, considered the Walmart Aerus bed.....but I believe that is a low quality "throw away" bed.
You mentioned that a bed above was using Aerus 5lb foam.....I thought Aeurs was weighed to 4lb density??

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Re: The Serta iComfort mattress ... what's the buzz 06 Jan 2012 13:00 #202

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I made some calls this morning to Serta....
....The top comfort layer is 4lb foam with the gel beads making up the other 1lb of counted density. This is striaght from the horse's mouth. I am waiting on the ILD(or IFD) of the polyfoam base core of the mattress. I was told they will call me with that information, but we'll see....

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Re: The Serta iComfort mattress ... what's the buzz 06 Jan 2012 16:56 #203

  • jmbramblett
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Phoenix,

I just spoke to a retailer that sells mattresses from Carolina Mattress Guild. This is what their website says about the bed they carry:
Sanctuary from the Natural Living Collection:

Knitted bamboo ticking, silk, and wool fiber naturally regulates your body's temperature allowing faster and deeper sleep cycles

Visco-elastic soy memory foam, or NASA foam, is heat sensitive and reacts to your body's unique profile - providing pressure relief where it's needed most, and support along the rest of your body's sleep posture. The result is a very luxurious, and cradling sensation that results in falling asleep faster, and once asleep - staying asleep deeper and longer.

A layer of ComforLatex provides pressure relief along the surface of the bed. ComforLatex provides a layer of unique latex feeling...as though you are floating on the surface of the bed.

A layer of convoluted natural latex adds to the support and pressure relief of the ComforLatex layer, with convoluted waves that gently cushion and support you

Plush QuiltFlex comfort foam adds just the right amount of soft support and cloudlike feeling so your body is cradled in the quilt of the mattress

Tri-Zone comfort foam layer breaks your sleep surface up into three zones of comfort specifically designed for your upper torso, your lower back and hips, and your legs. The surface is "convoluted" in supportive waves that gently cushion and support you in the quilt.

Thick soy foam core layers provide support beneath the memory foam layer. The soy foam support layers minimize motion transfer between sleepers, so that the person on the left side doesn't feel the person on the right side roll, turn, or leave the bed.

9.0" Coordinated Stability Foundation

This really does not mean much to me and before I drive to see it, I wanted your thoughts. Thanks- Jill

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Re: The Serta iComfort mattress ... what's the buzz 07 Jan 2012 01:06 #204

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Hi jmbramblett,

This is more of a list of general ingredients but it doesn't say the order of the ingredients, their thickness, or in the case of any polyfoam or memory foam ... the quality (density) used. A good retailer should have this information and would normally provide it to you. A mattress that contained memory foam as a main material in the comfort layers wouldn't really be called a latex mattress but rather a memory foam mattress or a hybrid (which can be well worth trying).

Once they've given you this information I would look more closely at the following.

This mattress seems to have a polyfoam support core so I would want to make sure that the density was a minimum of 1.8 lbs or better. A polyfoam support core can be a lower cost alternative to a latex support core for those that want the feel of latex in a comfort layer but are not in the budget range of a latex support core.

It has a mix of memory foam, latex, and polyfoam in the comfort layers and the quilting. I would want to know the density of any polyfoam and any memory foam and I would also make sure there wasn't more than an inch of polyfoam in the upper layers of the mattress (including the quiltflex quilting). I would also want to find out what type of latex they were using (natural or blended talalay or natural dunlop would be the better choices).

The CMG flex line seems to be more focused on using just latex in the comfort layers and would probably give you a better sense of what latex by itself felt like.
ADMIN NOTE:Removed 404 page link | Archived Footprint: carolinamattressguild.com/products/Flex

IMO you are wise to do most of your initial work on the phone and asking questions like this will save you a lot of travel time, testing time, and frustration.

Phoenix
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Re: The Serta iComfort mattress ... what's the buzz 07 Jan 2012 02:22 #205

  • soreshoulder717
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10 ILD on the 3" - 4lb gel bead foam for the iComforts.

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Re: The Serta iComfort mattress ... what's the buzz 07 Jan 2012 04:18 #206

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Hi Soreshoulder,

Thanks a lot for taking the time to call them :).

I have to say I'm impressed and you had better luck than I did. When I started this thread I did some calculations and figured out that it was about 4 lb base memory foam with the extra density coming from the gel to make it just under 5 lbs but it's nice to see that this has been confirmed.

What this also means IMO is that even though the "feel" will be closer to a 5 lb denser memory foam, the durability will be comparable to 4 lb memory foam and possibly a little less because particulates in the foam that are not part of the polymer matrix will usually decrease longevity. This is part of the reason that I believe the iComforts don't have the best value for the prices they are selling. I'm somewhat surprised that the ILD is 10 however ILD with memory foam is not that relevant and will change with humidity and temperature and other factors including the speed of compression.

The higher models also include their Kool Comfort memory foam over the gel foam and according to several sites this is also a 5 lb breathable memory foam (although when I looked at a sample it certainly didn't seem to be the same density as the gel memory foam but this could have been a sample mixup). In addition to this the various higher models also include other foams including slow recovery latex (of an unknown quality but it is not pincored as I have also seen a sample of this) and polyfoam (of an unknown but low density).
ADMIN NOTE:Removed 404 page link | Archived Footprint: nbbeds.com/serta/features/kool-comfort-5.html

I'll also be interested if they provide you with the density of the base layers as well but this wouldn't be as critical and it would almost certainly be HD foam probably in the range of 2 lb density.

Thanks again for getting the information "from the horse's mouth". There's always hope that the majors will see the light and start providing this kind of information about every material they use ... although I won't hold my breath :)

Phoenix
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Re: The Serta iComfort mattress ... what's the buzz 07 Jan 2012 11:18 #207

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Am I right i nassuming that with the Insight, the 3"-4lb gel foam with the beads and the 10ILD would not hold up well and for anyone of some weight(say over 175) would most likely make that 3" bottom out very quickly?
I am only 140lb, but still.....

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Re: The Serta iComfort mattress ... what's the buzz 07 Jan 2012 12:06 #208

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......

As far as money, we are OK with paying extra for comfort and quality but it is hard to get facts from stores. We live in Cincinnati, OH and Mattress Firm is all I can think to go for the foam. Would you recommend the iComfort or Novaform at Costco, or is there something else we should look at?

Thanks in advance!


CincyBearcat,

My wife and I also like the icomfort but after ready the great info from Phoenix, we are a little hesitant buying one. We came across the place up here by us in Yellow Springs, Design Sleep . I haven't made it over there yet, hopefully this week.

Look at this thread , Phoenix gives some other places that are in our area.

I will provide some feedback on Design Sleep after our visit.

Matt

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Re: The Serta iComfort mattress ... what's the buzz 07 Jan 2012 18:21 #209

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Hi Soreshoulder,

I missed this post yesterday,

I am very leary of buying both site and feel unseen. I also am not real interested in shipping back a bed if it does not work for me as opposed to possibly paying a small fee for a local to pick it up and bring a new bed.


I certainly don't blame you here and if I was buying a mattress online I would certainly do some local testing to find a rough "prototype" as a model for an online purchase. I would also make sure I knew what the cost of either returning a mattress was or the cost of exchanging layers (which I believe is a very good option for an online purchase).

I would love to save money, but I would need to be "sure" that an online bed was at least as good if not verifiably better than local big store options. I had, for a very short time, considered the Walmart Aerus bed.....but I believe that is a low quality "throw away" bed.
You mentioned that a bed above was using Aerus 5lb foam.....I thought Aeurs was weighed to 4lb density??


Like all types of memory foam or polyfoam ... Aerus can be made in many densities. It is typically found in 3, 4, and 5 lb densities although they can pour it in other densities as well. 5 lb of course is a higher quality than 4 lb and would be more durable.

Am I right i nassuming that with the Insight, the 3"-4lb gel foam with the beads and the 10ILD would not hold up well and for anyone of some weight(say over 175) would most likely make that 3" bottom out very quickly?
I am only 140lb, but still.....


It's difficult to speak in absolutes because the actual testing done on foam is not usually released and even when it is it doesn't usually relate perfectly to real life experience. Part of the reason for this is that different people stress their mattresses in many different ways and the different sleeping environments can also play a role.

It would be safe to say though that 4 lb memory foam is not as durable as 5 lb memory foam (density is the single biggest factor in durability although there are others) and the odds are also very good that any particulate material that is embedded in foam (even though it increases density) will also reduce its lifespan. Polyurethane foams (which includes memory foams) degrade in 3 different ways. There is an initial more rapid softening over the first 90 days or so ... followed by a more gradual softening over the longer term ... and followed by a more complete breakdown and deeper body impressions.

So whether someone feels like they are "bottoming out" depends on the thickness of the layer (all memory foam is soft but the different densities and types have slightly different levels of softness and speeds of compression and recovery) and on what is underneath it. As the foam softens either initially or over the longer term, a layer that was "perfect" in the showroom can become too soft over time and the qualities and feel of the mattress may no longer be suitable for the person that bought it. In lower quality foams this can happen very quickly. Higher quality foams will take more time to soften and degrade.

Your lower weight would usually mean that any foam will last longer than it will for a heavier person.

Phoenix
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Re: The Serta iComfort mattress ... what's the buzz 07 Jan 2012 18:30 #210

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Hi Shari,

If you are an hour away from Calgary, there is no doubt in my mind that I would put my focus on the 3 manufacturers or retailers there who are members of this site (see the Calgary list here ). I invite some manufacturers or retailers to become members when I have talked with them enough to be completely comfortable with the quality and value they offer and they are also comfortable with the goals and values of this site It also doesn't hurt that when they become members they also offer consumer members of the site an additional 5% discount or a bonus with any mattress purchase.

While they each make different styles of mattresses ... there is some great quality and value available there and they would give you better choices than anything that is available in your local market that I am aware of.

Phoenix
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