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Old 12-23-2013, 12:09 AM   #1
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Default Mattresses: No More Mysteries

Hello all. I am starting this thread to help clear up some of the confusion regarding mattresses. I worked in the industry for many years on the sales side and hold many qualifications and certifications pertaining to bedding and residential/commercial furniture. Please feel free to ask any and all questions and I will help in any way possible.

Mattresses are one of the most confusing products for a person who is not in the industry to shop for. There are many misconceptions and lies leveled at mattresses. To make things worse, all the big manufacturers have different label names for each retailer. Sealy will spec a model and sell it to Haverty's as a "Unicorn", Ashley Furniture as a "War Horse", and Macy's as a "Kentucky". This makes comparing models impossible unless you take a hard look at the spec sheet for each individual bed. Once you have "apples to apples" specs for a single manufacturer, the only difference is the cover(also known as the quilt), price, and services offered by the retailer.

Most people, as did I before entering the industry, don't think a queen set should cost more than $500. That simply isn't true. Mattresses are one of the best consumer values on the market. Just think about how many cars you will buy in the next 10-20 years. Think about how much furniture you will buy in the next 10-20 years. Think about all the clothes you will buy in the next 10-20 years. If you buy a quality mattress set, you will only buy 1 every 10-20 years! For most people, the same can't be said about the previous categories.

You don't need all those new clothes, new cars, and new furniture. You do need a proper nights sleep though. This is a quality of life issue, as well as a personal health issue. Notice I said proper nights sleep and not good nights sleep. It is possible to get a good nights sleep, but not a proper nights sleep. It is not possible to get a proper nights sleep, but not a good nights sleep.

We all sleep, no one here is a zombie that I know of. When you go into a deep state of sleep it is call Rapid Eye Movement, most commonly known as REM sleep. This is the most restorative part of the sleep cycle. With a quality mattress set, you will go into the REM cycle sooner and remain there longer. This is a major reason why you feel so much better when you wake up and have a much easier time waking up when you are sleeping on a quality mattress set.

Another major factor is your body's spine and muscles. When sleeping on a quality mattress set, your body gets proper support from your head all the way down to your feet. This is essential to keep your spine straight. It also allows you muscles to relax and relieves tension from them. This is a really big deal for people with back problems and other injuries. Something else a quality mattress set does is allowing blood to flow freely by eliminating pressure points and bringing needed oxygen and nutrients to your whole body. When your blood isn't flowing freely, your body will toss and turn in your sleep to relieve the "back up".

For the children, we've all heard it before. In this instance it is true. Children also need quality sleep sets. I can't tell you how many times I've heard the phrase, "I don't want to spend much, it's just for my kid." Completely wrong. Children are growing along with their spine and other bones, so it's best to keep them straight and allow the spine, bones, and muscles to relax while they are asleep. Also, getting more REM sleep keeps their mind alert so they can soak in all the learning they are doing on a daily basis. All of this is compounded further when you consider a child sleeps on average many more hours per day than an adult. It is extremely important to put the same kind of money in your children's mattresses as you do in your own, maybe even more important.

Notice how I have been saying mattress set or sleep set? Mattresses and box springs/foundations are designed to be used as a set. All of the big manufacturers will void your warranty if not used with a matching box spring/foundation. They do this for a good cause. The box spring/foundation supports about 50% of the weight on the mattress and not using the proper one will wear out the mattress 68% faster. Always buy the matching box spring/foundation when you buy a new mattress. Not buying the matching box spring/foundation and buying a new mattress to use on your old box spring/foundation would be like buying a new car and installing the shocks from your old car on it. I doubt anyone here would do that.

In my opinion, the biggest reason to not spend much on a mattress set is simply the average consumer doesn't WANT to buy a new one, they NEED to buy a new one. Most folks can relate to this when buying a new set of tires. You don't want to buy the new set of tires, you need to buy the new set of tires, so you buy the least expensive set that will fit your vehicle. Things we want to buy, like cars, firearms, and furniture, we have no problem spending the extra money for quality. Funny how the human mind works isn't it? Hopefully this thread will make you WANT to buy a quality mattress set when the time comes. Having a quality mattress set has changed my life and I sincerely hope that everyone reading this has the same opportunity to live a better life through better sleep.

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Old 12-23-2013, 01:13 AM   #2
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This first topic comes from some questions asked in "The Highlight of My Day" thread. I will be discussing the differences between memory foam and latex when used in a mattress set. There have been many claims regarding these materials, some true and some outright lies. Hopefully this will clear up some of the things people are told about these materials.

Just like any other product, there are winners and losers. Buyer beware, there are many lower cost memory foam and latex offerings on the market. They are not the same as the top tier offerings. They will use sub-standard formulas and feature much less density in the materials. Density is measured by taking a cubic foot of material and weighing it. Some manufacturers will add other material to increase the density, don't be fooled, it is outright trickery. You always want to know the density of just the memory foam or latex. Quality sets will use different densities in layers. This helps support the heavier parts of your body and the lighter parts equally. It is known as zoning and is also used for comfort. For instance, the base layer will be really dense for support, and each layer going up will be less dense(softer) for comfort.

First up is memory foam. We've all seen the Tempurpedic commercials touting the benefits of memory foam. Lets get a few things straight first. Number one, no Astronaut ever slept on memory foam in space like the ad leads you to believe. Memory foam, which I will abbreviate to MF for this discussion, was used by NASA to protect the sensitive equipment from the violent forces of the shuttle lifting off. It was used as sort of a protective cocoon to keep the equipment from getting damaged. Second, it makes no difference where the MF was produced. The Tempurpedic ad talks quite a bit about how their MF is Swedish. Swedish MF is no better/worse than North American MF. What matters is the formula and the density of the MF. In other words, pay no attention to where the foam is made.

Some of MFs biggest complaints in the past have been the mattress was hard as a rock and that they slept like the surface of the sun, extremely hot. Great strides have been made to address those issues. I believe Tempurpedic to be the best of the MF manufacturers. They have released many mattress sets that are soft and super soft, even pillow tops recently. They have also fixed the heat issue. MF sleeps hot because of it's cell structure. It has an open cell structure, whereas latex has a closed cell structure. An open cell structure traps heat and sends it right back to you, making you sleep hot and sweat. Tempurpedic has put air flow chambers in with the layers of MF which make the heat go down through the mattress and out to the side. Because of these improvements, sleeping on a Tempurpedic no longer means sleeping on a really hot slab of granite. Their formula and density is way superior to any other manufacturer. The only manufacturer to come anywhere near Tempurpedic is Sealy's top tier MF offerings.

Next up is latex. Latex is not advertised extensively like MF is, so a lot of people don't know about it's benefits in mattress sets. Unlike MF, latex is a closed cell material, therefore it does not trap heat and make you sleep hot. It comes in many densities and can be ultra firm to super soft, including pillow tops. There are two kinds of latex, natural and synthetic. The best kind of natural latex is called Talalay, which is only produced in two places in the whole world. The advantage of Talalay over regular natural latex is it's consistency and lower risk of allergic reactions. It is much more expensive to manufacture though and some inconsistency is still to be expected. When I refer to consistency I mean how the mattress set that was delivered to your home feels compared to the one you fell in love with at the retailer and purchased. Synthetic latex is made in a lab and has many advantages. It is almost 100% consistent, has no allergic reactions associated with it, and is much less expensive to produce. The best latex mattresses are Sealy's top tier offerings and all Stearns & Foster offerings. Stearns & Foster is owned and made by Sealy, it is their luxury division. Jamison also has great top tier latex models, but they are significantly more than a comparable Sealy or Stearns & Foster latex mattress.

Neither MF or latex have any health benefits over the other. The only real difference is comfort level when comparing top tier models between the two materials. MF tends to feel like your are "in" the bed, and latex tends to feel like you are "on" the bed. It's all about how you feel when laying on the mattress set. In fact some models use both materials, and some of the finest innerspring models use one or both materials. Generally speaking the top tier models will both carry a 20 year warranty with full replacement. 10 years non-prorated and the second 10 years prorated. Both models are extremely heavy, hundreds of pounds, and really unwieldy due to the composition of the material so professional delivery from the retailer is highly recommended.

I really hope this has cleared up some of the confusion and mystery surrounding non traditional mattress sets. With a top tier MF or latex sleep set, you really can't go wrong once you decide what comfort level is appropriate for you. As a testament I will offer this. I preferred a latex set, so that is what I got. I love it without any reservations. I got each member of my immediate family a set of their choice, and they all chose latex. I fully believe in both MF and latex, take some time and try them both at a retailer to find out which material you prefer, you won't be disappointed.

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Old 12-24-2013, 10:14 AM   #3
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When we got here to Az. We bought a new bed, a Simmons with a memory foam pillow top. They threw in 2 mem foam pillows plus an extra top foam coverlet. Since we got this bed, the only time I have a sleepless night( like right now) is either bad dreams or lots of pain...
Your thoughts since your the expert?

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Old 12-24-2013, 11:49 AM   #4
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I'd like to know the truth about the mattresses needing to be thrown out after 7 years, and all the bugs and mites increasing the weight of the mattress?

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Old 12-24-2013, 12:32 PM   #5
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What ever happened to all those mattresses on top of cars. You know the ones with Oklahoma Licenses plates headed to California?

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Old 12-24-2013, 12:39 PM   #6
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We bought a Novaform brand memory foam mattress from Costco. That was roughly 18 months ago and so far its great. It was on sale at the time, I don't remember the exact price but I know it was under $1,000. We had heard many concerns about MF but so far its great, feels the same as day 1 which I can't say about my last few traditional mattresses.

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Old 12-24-2013, 01:33 PM   #7
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I'd rather sleep on the ground with a rock for a pillow than pay $1000 for a mattress.

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Old 12-24-2013, 06:21 PM   #8
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I just recently bought a mattress set. It took hours and trying dozens of beds just to narrow it down to two mattresses. I never knew they were so expensive.
I have one of those MF things and I sleep much better now than with the cheap $300 mattress I had.

It nearly killed me to spend that kind of money.

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Old 12-24-2013, 07:05 PM   #9
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I'll pipe in. I bought a TempurPedic bed, king size, Cloud Luxe model. It was damn near $5,000. You read that right, 5k. I wanted the 'firm' version but my wife wanted the middle version. I went with the wife's want. I loved the thing, it's great.

Fast forward 1.5 years and here's the deal...there is a hard hump in the middle were nobody ever sleeps. My side, once I'm on it, will slope to the edge. Feels like I could roll off. My wife's side, fine. When nobody is on the bed it expands to be flat, no visible sunk in spots, but, when you lay on it you can tell I'm heavier than her and my side is squished. The warranty says they will put a straight edge on the bed to see if there is any 'sinking in' and if it goes beyond a certain point the give you a new bed. As I said, it puffs up straight but it isn't when you lay on it. Any fool could tell you that. Also, sex on this thing is not easy. You sink. There is no leverage. It's like a cat walking on hot marshmallows.

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Old 12-24-2013, 11:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrFootball View Post
When we got here to Az. We bought a new bed, a Simmons with a memory foam pillow top. They threw in 2 mem foam pillows plus an extra top foam coverlet. Since we got this bed, the only time I have a sleepless night( like right now) is either bad dreams or lots of pain...
Your thoughts since your the expert?
Simmons Beautyrest is a great bed. My issue with Simmons high end offerings is they are either really good or really bad. When they were really bad, they always switched them out until the consumer was satisfied that they had gotten a good one. Sometimes it took one replacement, other times it took multiple trys. They have real problems with production consistency.

MF in pillow tops is for comfort and is typically soft. Your support is coming from the pocketed coils and other upholstery layers over the springs but under the pillow top.

MF pillows are great. I sleep on Tempurpedic pillows myself. Many people buy great mattress sets, but forget about the pillows. They are what is keeping your neck aligned properly and they further reduce tension from your shoulders.

The top coverlet was most likely a mattress pad. They are crucial when using a mattress set, especially a high end set that costs a pretty penny. All major manufacturers will void your warranty if there are ANY stains on the bed. They say it's because of all the diseases going around today and they don't want to expose their service techs to them. I believe it's an easy way to avoid warrany claims. Believe me, they will check. A mattress pad prevents stains and is washable, the nice ones guarantee nothing will go through it, and if something does go through it they will replace the mattress.

Some other great reasons to use a mattress pad are: 1)We lose about 40,000 skin cells every night. Dust mites feed on the cells and cause allergies; 2)We sweat out about a cup of fluid every night. This fluid not only stains the bed, it soaks down to the inner upholstery layers and eventually renders them ineffective; 3) We all get sick. What if you throw up/spit up in bed; 4) Kids for obvious reasons; 5)Spills of whatever you are drinking/eating; and my favorite 6) SEX.
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