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GEL IN MEMORY FOAM 03 Feb 2013 01:20 #1

  • church11
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Phoenix, thanks so much for all you do. think i'm closing in on a mattress. DIY with talallay and my wife's 2" 5 lb. memory foam not working. lay on a tempur cloud luxe last night and by far best of the dozen mattresses i've tried this week. looking at select foam cirrus luxe-es 13,which is supposed to be close to the tempur. read your article on mf and very little mention of gel. read your opinion of 2 kinds elsewhere re durability but don't know if you think gel is a good thing. interested primarily in low back pain relief. is the cirrus the closest to the tempur? a little harder i think. if i get it and it's too hard what could i do to make it softer? love their 90 day return deal. using their site the cirrus luxe 13 is the only one that fits my needs re pressure relief, weight etc. if i choose "softer". weigh 200 lbs,6 ft. tall, wide shoulders,heavyish midsection,male,side side sleeper. have tried 30 or so combinations with 2 3" tal.( ILD medium (28-32) and firm (38-42)) and various cheap polyfoams i had lying around and the 2" mf on different foundations-1st. cheapest sleep # bed(used many dif. levels of firmness), 2nd. a very dense,rigid 5" foam mattress which gives very little(call it "the brick"), 3rd. rigid plywood. problem seems to be aligning my spine and not having it so firm that it hurts my shoulder and/or hip. told you before a futon with a zoned topper works best(old,cheap poly topper,don't know brand or anything else about it). Think i need something like the luxe-soft,plush, relieves pressure,allows me to sink in and be cradled. the tempur luxe seemed to do that. only sleeping on it would tell. this may seem incoherent and i guess you will say only way is to try it. any advice very welcome.
any other mattresses like the luxe with a return policy? or not. aware of the dream foam luxe-like. cheap enough to risk. best mattress at another place was restonic health rest gold hybrid with 1" tempagel- 2 3/4" tempagel, and then a zoned coil system-maybe 12-13" altogether. don't know if any other layers. not returnable so not an option yet if ever.
any advice.?

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GEL IN MEMORY FOAM 03 Feb 2013 03:11 #2

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Hi church11,

read your article on mf and very little mention of gel. read your opinion of 2 kinds elsewhere re durability but don't know if you think gel is a good thing. interested primarily in low back pain relief.


Post #11 here has some links to posts about the more common types of gel materials, some more technical information about thermoplastic gel itself, and some thoughts about the newly emerging gel materials as a group.

interested primarily in low back pain relief. is the cirrus the closest to the tempur?


Yes ... their Cirrus is designed to be the closest of their models to the Tempurpedic Cloud Luxe in terms of feel and in the quality and design of the materials and layers that are used to achieve the feel as well. Of course this would be assuming that the Tempurpedic Luxe has completed it's break in period and that the Cirrus has as well (they will both be firmer until the foams have completed their initial softening).

Unfortunately there is no "formula" that can predict which mattress may be most suitable for your needs and preferences except in the most general of terms and your own local testing along with more detailed conversations with any manufacturer you are considering (who are much more familiar with all the details of the mattresses they make and which ones may best match the body types and sleeping styles of different people) is much more accurate than any theory at a distance I could provide. In general terms this could be a good candidate for a heavier side sleeper that needed or preferred a softer comfort layer. If you have tested the Tempurpedic Cloud Luxe and it worked well for you (assuming it was tested "accurately" and you spent enough time on the mattress fully relaxed) then that points to this being a good choice as well.

What comes through your comments (which are too complex and non specific for me to really gain any more specific insights from them) is that you need a thicker softer comfort layer for your wider shoulders and then good support that will "stop" your heavier parts from sinking in too far past the comfort layers and this seems to be in the range that could accomplish this.

Low back pain relief ... to the degree that any mattress can help ... would be helped by a mattress that kept you in good alignment in all your sleeping positions. This wouldn't depend on the materials as much as the design of the mattress and how well it matched your specific needs and preferences regardless of materials. It is a common myth that one type of material or another is "better' for backs or for back pain when in truth it depends on the mattress design more than the materials used in the design.

any other mattresses like the luxe with a return policy? or not. aware of the dream foam luxe-like. cheap enough to risk.


Some of the better value memory foam options I'm aware of are listed in post #12 here . I think each of them has their return policies listed on their site but if not a quick call will find out for sure (I don't have the return policies in the notes I keep about each one because they are usually easily available). A call to any of them that interested you would give you more information about how any of their mattresses may compare to various Tempurpedic models but Select Foam is a little more specific in their designs in terms of matching the "feel" and matching (or bettering) the quality of materials and the design and layering as well. They have their mattresses side by side with the Tempurpedics at their bricks and mortar store and use this ongoing customer feedback in their designs.

I like some of the Restonic Tempagel mattresses and in some cases they can be better than average value as well (their gel memory foam is good quality) but the only way to know how well they may match another mattress or your own needs and preferences would be through personal testing as well and if you have all the details of every layer then you could make more meaningful quality and value comparisons between them as well.

Phoenix
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Deciding which select foam mattress to buy-almost there 23 Mar 2013 19:46 #3

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Phoenix,thanks so much for your reply. It helped focus my thinking and I realized I had not adequately tested the tempur luxe(or anything else) so I reread many of your articles.. since then I have spend several hours on all the tempur beds at the store on 4 occasions, keeping detailed notes (I spend x minutes (5 to 20) on each mattress,note my level of back pain,etc and do this over and over for 1-2 hours with several trials on each bed),and have narrowed things down. turns out the luxe is not so good for me. As you said above I seem to need a thicker comfort level and good support. the best for me may be the Weightless supreme. if so I would try the select foam featherlight supreme, but am concerned about your recent comments about the 4 lb mf in the top layer as being questionable for the Weightless. Would there be less concern with the Featherlight 2" of 4 lb gel mf over 3" of their foam latex hybrid.
Alternatively I just spoke with someone at select foam who rec. I try the rhapsody-regalis for my ht. wt. wide shoulders. says I need the HD group, 1.5" 8lb gel infused mf over 4 inches 5.3 lb gel foam. or the softer alura-aurora.
I asked if it is better to err on the firmer side than the softer side when ordering from them since:1. the bed will get softer in a month or 2. and 2. it can be made softer with a topper(latex or mf) but trying to make it firmer with a topper doesn't work so well..

the guy says I need a medium-firm bed like the rhapsody. I had been thinking medium soft.
Any thoughts
I'm on my way to test these 2 beds again and would like your thoughts.
thanks, alan

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Deciding which select foam mattress to buy-almost there 24 Mar 2013 02:55 #4

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Hi church11,

I would try the select foam featherlight supreme, but am concerned about your recent comments about the 4 lb mf in the top layer as being questionable for the Weightless. Would there be less concern with the Featherlight 2" of 4 lb gel mf over 3" of their foam latex hybrid.


I don't think the 4 lb memory foam is "questionable" ... it's just lower density than 5 lb foam and would be less durable. At around the 200 lb mark I would begin to take this into account. Having said that ... there is only 2" of it in either version and it's over a higher resiliency foam which means that foam softening and foam "creep" (the tendency of memory foam to get softer over the course of the night) would have less effect than if the layers were thicker or over more memory foam and there are many people who prefer the feel and response of 4 lb memory foam over 5 lb memory foam because it tends to be faster responding and less temperature sensitive. In other words it's really a tradeoff. I wouldn't sacrifice pressure relief or feel just to have a higher density foam but if all other things are equal I would choose higher density or at least minimize the use of lower density. Gel memory foam would be roughly the same durability as the same density in "regular" memory foam (as long as it didn't have large particulates in it which in this case is not an issue).

Alternatively I just spoke with someone at select foam who rec. I try the rhapsody-regalis for my ht. wt. wide shoulders. says I need the HD group, 1.5" 8lb gel infused mf over 4 inches 5.3 lb gel foam. or the softer alura-aurora.
I asked if it is better to err on the firmer side than the softer side when ordering from them since:1. the bed will get softer in a month or 2. and 2. it can be made softer with a topper(latex or mf) but trying to make it firmer with a topper doesn't work so well..

the guy says I need a medium-firm bed like the rhapsody. I had been thinking medium soft.
Any thoughts


They know their mattresses better than I do and would tend to suggest "safer" choices and since 8 lb memory foam is firmer and you are on the edge of being "heavier" this is probably the thinking behind their suggestion (as you said firmer is generally a 'safer" choice). Firmer foams will feel softer to you than they would for lighter people.

Having said that ... this is somewhat of an apples to oranges comparison because the Tempur Weightless Supreme / Select Foam Featherlight Supreme both have a more resilient foam layer under the memory foam which is what provides the "float" feel. It also seems to me to have a thick enough comfort layer for broad shoulders. The foam under the gel memory foam would be quite durable so there would only be 2" of mid density memory foam in the mattress (the 2" of 4 lb gel memory foam) which is not really thick enough to present significant durability issues with softening although it and the layer below it will soften to some degree. I can also tell you from a personal preference point of view (this has nothing to do with quality) that I tend to prefer a thinner memory foam layer over a more resilient layer below it because this is also less "risky" and provides a more resilient and "motion friendly" surface than thicker layers of memory foam. This is why I like for example a thinner layer of memory foam over latex (because it feels like a combination of both).

So my guess is that they are being cautious with their suggestions but what they are suggesting is thicker layers of memory foam in higher density so that it would be more durable than a similar combination that included 4 lb memory foam but what you would lose would be the 'float" feeling of the more resilient middle layer.

This is always a difficult tradeoff and in your case there are two tradeoffs. One is the tradeoff between thicker layers of memory foam vs a memory foam HR polyfoam combination. The second tradeoff would be 4 lb lb memory foam vs 8 lb memory foam which would be more durable if you did decide on an "all memory foam" comfort layer.

If you have confidence in your testing and you are fairly certain that thicker/softer comfort layers don't present an alignment issue for you (and you're not "on the edge" so that some foam softening won't take you over the line), if you are OK with the slightly lower durability of 4 lb memory foam, and you like the more resilient feeling of memory foam over a "float" material ... I would tend to lean towards the Featherlight. If you are uncertain and want the greater "safety" of higher density firmer foams both for alignment and for durability ... then I would lean towards the the Allura / Rhapsody version.

I hope this makes sense and I hope it helps you evaluate the tradeoffs involved in each. There is no real right or wrong here ... just tradeoffs ... and "risk management" :)

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.
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