Mattress Toppers – Like Putting Lipstick on a Pig

Buying a mattress topper to extend the life of your mattress is a common solution for many people who are uncomfortable on their bed.  In some cases, it can be a lifesaver.  In others, it is like gluing your shoe back together – it makes it usable for a while, but things quickly go back to the way that they were before.

Polyurethane Mattress TopperWho Should Buy a Mattress Topper?

Really, only people who have a NEW mattress that they are just not comfortable on should purchase and use a mattress topper.  Their new mattress will still have adequate support, and that support will still benefit the sleeper even through a topper.  If you have a mattress that is less than 5 years old, isn’t sagging, and is just too firm, then by all means, purchase a topper.  DrSnooze.com does carry toppers, though they are not currently available on the site for nationwide shipping.  If you are interested in purchasing one, give us a call at 855-377-6669, and we’d be happy to help you.  We have memory foam and latex toppers only, of high quality.  For more info on buying toppers, skip ahead to the “What to look for in a mattress topper” section…

Who Should NOT Buy a Mattress Topper?

Everyone else.  No, really.  If you have an old mattress, and are trying to make it more comfortable, just buy a new mattress.  The reason why your back hurts is the lack of support.  A topper does not offer any additional support, just comfort and pressure relief.  Your back is still going to feel as sore, even with a new topper.  If it’s a price issue, take a look at some less expensive yet supportive and comfortable mattresses like the Beautysleep Mount Laurel or the Perfect Sleeper Huxley Plush.  Many stores also offer financing, like our No Credit Check financing from Progressive.

I have heard of customers that just get so sick of mattress shopping, and are so confused by all the different beds and stores out there, that they just give up and buy a topper to make their current bed last longer.  People, procrastination isn’t going to help you.  Not only is mattress shopping going to be equally as horrible in a few years, but there was a reason why you went shopping in the first place: your mattress is worn out, and needs to be replaced.  Find a reputable dealer, that employs a salesperson that is both knowledgeable, and that you like.  Then spend an hour with them, and really decide what is best for you.

Mattress TopperWhat to Look For in a Mattress Topper

  • High density foams, such as memory foam, or latex foam will last the longest and offer the most pressure relief.  Good quality American made products, however, may cost as much as a new bed, so be prepared.
  • Stay away from those “egg-crate” polyurethane foams.  While they are in every bed every made, they are usually placed under a few layers of breathable material.  As a topper, they are right up against you, and will trap heat and make your bed into a sauna.  Additionally, they aren’t the most durable, so while cheap and easy to find, plan on replacing it in as little as 2 weeks.
  • Gel foams will keep you cool and comfortable, but are usually a bit firmer than other toppers.  They last a long time, but are pricey.
  • Yes, there are still down toppers.  No, I don’t like them.  They are bird feathers, you know.  They start to smell after a while.  The quills start to poke through the fabric and into your skin.  They cause some people overwhelming allergies.  You have to fluff them up EVERY DAY.  And really, it’s just gross.  Buy synthetic, buy foam, fill your bed with styrofoam peanuts, lay in 2″ of marshmallow fluff, whatever floats your boat, but please, don’t buy a down topper.  Yuck.

A topper can extend the comfort of your mattress for a period of time, but will not affect the support at all.  An old, tired mattress will still make you feel old and tired after sleeping on it, even with a topper.

iComfort vs Comforpedic: The Smackdown

I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about the differences between iComfort by Serta and Comforpedic by Beautyrest.  Sure, both are gel memory foam beds, but what are the real differences?

I have set aside my obvious love for Comforpedic to learn about the iComfort, and to give an honest evaluation.  And I must admit, I was surprised by some of the features and reviews of iComfort.  Check out the comparisons:

AirCool with TruTempConstruction: Memory Foam with Gel

iComfort calls their foam “Cool Action Gel Memory Foam”, which is memory foam infused with Serta’s Micro Support Gel.  Comforpedic calls their foam “AirCool Memory foam with TruTemp Gel”, which is memory foam infused with TruTemp Gel.  I couldn’t find any info on either company’s proprietary formula, meaning that I can’t compare the amount of gel that’s actually in the foam.  So, we’ll call this one a draw.

Pressure Relief

Like all memory foam, both of these manufacturer’s beds offer exceptional pressure relief.  Memory foam, by design, evens out the pressure and holds the body in it’s most natural position, allowing for muscles to relax.  Both the iComfort and the Comforpedic do this well.  This category is also a draw.

Increased Targeted Support

iComfort advertises that their “MicroSupport” beads gather in areas that need extra support, like the small of your back.  Comforpedic makes no such claim, they advertise increased support over the entire bed.  Edge: iComfort.

Comforpedic Air Flow Diagram

Temperature Regulated Sleeping Conditions

Due to the gel that both manufacturers blend into their memory foam, all of these mattresses will have a cooling effect, and will be cooler than other types of memory foam.  In lab tests, Comforpedics have proven to dissipate heat 2.8 times faster than the competition, but the word “competition” is never defined by manufacturer.  Therefore, we can’t be sure that iComfort was tested.  Comforpedics also have ventilated edge support and mesh borders, which are designed to increase air flow.  However, because of the I’m scoring this one as a draw.

Warranty

Both iComfort and Comforpedic have 25 year limited warranties.  Both are 15 year full replacement, and 10 years pro-rated.  Score: Draw

In-Home Trial

Both companies offer an in-home trial, Serta iComfort’s is 120 days, Comforpedic is 365 days.  According to the Serta website, you can return the bed for a refund, less a 15% disposal fee, and a $200 return shipping and handling charge.  These fees and charges are the same in the case of exchange also.  Comforpedic’s exchange has no fees, and in the case of www.drsnooze.com, we only charge the return shipping fee of $176.  Comforpedic does not offer a return for refund program.  Both companies mandate that you must sleep on the mattress for a minimum of 30 nights.  Due to the lesser exchange fees, and the extended exchange period, I’m giving this round to: Comforpedic.

Ease of Movement

Comforpedic claims that their proprietary formula allows for easier movement on the mattress.  According to review site SleepLikeTheDead.com, they give iComfort a C- in ease of movement, and give Comforpedic a C.  Slight advantage: Comforpedic

Adjustable Bed Friendly

Both manufacturer’s entire line-ups are adjustable bed friendly – this one’s a draw.

Latex Options

Serta offers iComfort Directions, which is a sister line to the iComfort.  These mattresses have latex layers in them, in addition to memory foam.  Comforpedic does not offer latex in any of their mattresses.  If you’re looking for latex and memory foam, iComfort wins this round.

Firmness Predictability

According to SleepLikeTheDead.com, 14% of iComfort owners state that the feel of their mattress at home is significantly different than the firmness that they felt on the floor sample in-store.  There is no data on the site regarding Comforpedics, but I will tell you that I haven’t heard many complaints about different feels between home and store, definitely much less than 14%.  Edge: Comforpedic.

iComfort and ComforpedicOwner Satisfaction

Again, according to SleepLikeTheDead.com, 81% of iComfort owners are satisfied with their purchase.  83% of Comforpedic customers are satisfied with their bed.  While these numbers are close, Comforpedic wins this round.

Price Comparison

I did my best in trying to compare specifications and layers, but it’s difficult to find exact layers and densities of the iComfort beds.  From the information that I found, I deciphered that “Renewal Redefined” by iComfort is closest to the Restored Spirits/Enlightened days”.  Both of these beds in a queen size set are priced at $2499 by the manufacturer.  I also figured that the iComfort “Genius” is closest to the Comforpedic “Advanced Rest/Alive”.  The Genius is listed in a queen set at $1599, while the Advanced Rest/Alive is listed in the same size at $1299.  Serta’s iComfort line seems to be price regulated, as every site that I went on had the exact same pricing, with no available discounts.  Comforpedic is not as stringent – some sites (ahem), run sales with discount codes, or gives a lower sale price when the item is added to the cart.  For example, that Restored Spirits/Enlightened Days on www.drsnooze.com pops up in the cart at $2157.17.  Due to the fact that even the regular price is better with Comforpedic, I’m giving them this round.

So, really, they are pretty even in many ways.  Overall, there were five draws, two votes for iComfort, and five for Comforpedic.  Both mattress line-ups are similar, and I can honestly say that going with either one wouldn’t be a bad choice.  The only factor that I didn’t evaluate was feel, since I don’t have an iComfort to sleep on.  However, since this is such a personal decision, it’s probably better that I left that out.

If you’re trying to decide between iComfort and Comforpedic, hopefully this comparision is helpful and informative.  Let me know in the comments which one you chose!

A Latex Mattress Can Help You Go Green

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Nowadays, there is so much emphasis on going “green” and returning to more natural ways of living.  I’ll admit, it’s important to me too, and I buy organic produce and meats, prefer real sugar to sweeteners, and dress in all natural fibers like cotton and wool.  We don’t use chemical cleaners in our home in favor of vinegar and citrus, and we’re looking into purchasing a hybrid vehicle.  Usually, all this natural stuff can be significantly more expensive than the traditional man-made items.  Do you need to spend $5,000 on a specially made organic mattress?  Not when you can get a great latex mattress for less than you think.

Organic BedsWhether it’s an allergy issue, product sensitivities, or you just like the idea of knowing what is in your home and on your body, the next step to purifying your life might just be your mattress.  It can be hard (and ridiculously expensive) to go out and find an all organic mattress (and they might not be too comfortable either).  While we don’t have an all cotton or all wool mattress, we do have choices that can be healthier for the environment, as well as healthier for you.  Check it out:

  • We have a variety of latex mattresses from Nature’s Way and King Koil Contour Response.  These mattresses have no coils, they have a base foam instead, with layers of latex atop that base foam to add support and comfort.
  • Within the King Koil Contour Response Collection, the Opulent and the Essence are all latex.  They have a 7″ Dunlop (man-made) latex core, with Talalay (natural, as in Latex Mattressfrom the tree) latex padding layers.  The Glorious, Harmonious, and Lavish have the same Dunlop core and Talalay padding, but they also have memory foam padding layers also, which is a man-made polyurethane foam.
  • Some of our mattresses, such as the Renaissance Euro Box Top, have bamboo covers.  Bamboo is soft, resilient, breathable, and renewable.
  • If you don’t mind man-made, but don’t want all the toxic chemicals, Comforpedic may be your brand.  Their entire line-up of memory foam beds are CertiPUR-US certified, which indicates that there are no toxic or questionable materials within their mattresses.  They are also great because they last for so long (they have 25-year warranties), you won’t have to replace (and throw out) the mattress for almost twice as long as a regular bed.
  • Concerned about polyurethane foams?  There may be some off-gassing, it’s just part of the process.  However, King Koil’s Everlast foam (which is in almost all of their beds) is 58% soy based, so it’s a more natural polyurethane than is offered by other brands.

There are many options to try to rid your life of unhealthy chemicals and processes, and more are coming out every day.  We will keep you updated as we get new “green” beds in.

Pillows: Down, Fiber, and Foam

Ever think about pillows?  We all know that sleeping on a tired, old mattress can make us feel, well, tired and old. A worn out mattress can be the source of back pain. But what about an old pillow? Or a new pillow, that we bought at a discount retailer for $5.99? Did you know that your pillow can affect your head, neck, shoulders, and the upper quarter of your back? So if you’re spending $700 on a new mattress, why are you going to use that same old pillow?

Your neck needs proper support too. Here’s a guide to the terminology of pillows, and what you should be sleeping on.

Memory Foam – like beds, pillows can be made of memory foam also. They tend to beMemory Foam Pillow thicker, and are slow reaction. If you like them really soft and squishy, then memory foam is not for you. If you like a firmer pillow, like to tuck it between your head and shoulder, then this is the perfect pillow for you. They are also dust mite resistant, and usually last for 3-5 years. A good example is the Dough Memory Foam.

Latex Foam – like memory foam, latex is dust mite resistant, and have a 3-5 year life. However, latex is a quick reaction foam, so these pillows have bounce and buoyancy. Latex PillowThey usually come in different densities, which are outlined below. Latex is ventilated, and will not sleep hot. Check out the Zoned 100% Talalay Latex Latex Pillow.

Fiber – these are the ones that you get for $5 at the discount stores. It’s the traditional pillow fill, which gets lumpy over time, and offers questionable support. I know you’re used to them, but why? If you must, get one that won’t clump, and will offer better support, like the Gelled Microfiber Pillow.

Down Pillows – really think about this one. They are goose feathers. Feathers. From an animal. Besides the gross factor, they harbor all types of insects, dust mites, allergens, etc. They offer no support, the feathers poke through the pillow case, I could go on and on. But I won’t, just PLEASE throw them out.

High Loft vs. Low Loft – loft refers to thickness. A high loft pillow is going to be thicker, and designed more for side sleepers. Low loft is going to be thinner, perfect for back and stomach sleepers, and smaller people.

High Density vs. Low Density – also known as “plush” vs. “firm”, this refers to the softness of the pillow (foam). A plush feel is going to be softer, while the firm is going to be more stiff. This is more a personal preference, but keep in mind that a plush latex pillow is going to be VERY soft, and may not offer enough firmness for side sleepers.

Plan to spend between $100-$200 on a pillow. If you buy quality, it will last you for at least three years. A good pillow can make the difference and help you wake up pain free, which is a lot better than not being able to move your head…