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.

Memory Foam Off-Gassing and Your Health

As memory foam beds gain in popularity and market share, off-gassing has become a major part of the conversation.  No one wants to cut off their nose to spite their face, and you don’t want to breathe in harmful chemicals to get better support for your back.  I try to pay attention to what I put in and on my body, and can not ignore what’s being said on the internet about my beloved memory foam.  Read on to find out whether you should re-think your memory foam mattress.

What is Memory Foam Off-Gassing?

Memory Foam Off-Gassing

Photo Credit: Brian Fitzgerald

“Off-gassing” is a term for the chemical odor that can sometimes accompany your new memory foam mattress.  Everything naturally gives off a scent, from your neighbor to your apple for lunch, to your new carpet.  The particular scent that most people associate with off-gassing of a memory foam mattress is related to the VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) that are sometimes used in the manufacturing process.  Most of these chemicals are rendered inert (inactive) after the product is formulated, but their smell can remain.

Is Off-Gassing Dangerous?

To be perfectly honest, most of the dangerous chemicals that were used have been phased out in the US and the UK.  These are PBDEs, which include formaldehyde and CFCs.  Reactions to these and other chemicals found in memory foam mattresses can include headache, eye and nose irritation, nausea, or respiratory problems.  These symptoms always abate as the scent from the mattress dissipates.  According to the EPA, finished foams used in bedding do not present a health hazard.

How to Avoid Off-Gassing

There are a few ways to avoid the memory foam off-gassing issue entirely:

  1. Purchase a latex mattress instead of a memory foam mattress.  You’ll get similar support, the same durability, great pressure relief, and if you buy natural latex, no off-gassing.
  2. Ask the store to air out the mattress before it is delivered, or air it out yourself once it arrives.  Unwrap the mattress and place it in a closed room with windows open.  Within seventy-two hours, the smell should be gone.
  3. Buy a mattress that carries the CertiPUR-US seal.  CertiPUR-US tests all the materials in the mattress for VOCs, PBDEs, carcinogens, CFCs, formaldehyde, and other toxic materials.  Good options are Simmons CURV, and Comforpedic by Beautyrest.

My Opinion on Memory Foam Off-Gassing

Since I can’t make it all the way through a post without throwing my two cents in, here it goes: I am not worried about the off-gassing from my memory foam mattress.  Sure, I am concerned about chemicals in my everyday life, but I feel like my memory foam bed is really far down on my list.  We use lotions and soaps every day with a bunch of ingredients that we can’t even pronounce.  We eat foods that have a bunch of chemical flavorings.  I breathe in exhaust from cars, second-hand cigarette smoke, and ahem, methane from my husband.  Even with how sensitive my skin and allergies are, I have never had a reaction to my memory foam bed.  I put a mattress protector on it, and ta-da, no smell.

Source Credit: orangefan_2011 (flickr)

Source Credit: orangefan_2011 (flickr)

In all honesty, I think that memory foam off-gassing is a trumped up issue.  It’s the SAME smell as “new car scent”, which we are always trying to replicate with air fresheners.  That new couch that you bought will have the same smell also.  And don’t even get me started on the yucky chemicals that are in your carpet that no one even thinks about.

The end result is that the government believes that memory foam beds are not toxic.  Many companies, such as Comforpedic, have made huge efforts to make their mattresses healthy and scent-free.  Air it out and put an Encase Mattress Protector on it, and rest your body on a conforming, pressure relieving, comfortable memory foam mattress.

The NEW CURV Beds are Here!

I posted on the new CURV by Simmons beds a few weeks ago, and we’ve finally gotten them listed on the website!  You should really check them out, the product is great, and the price is even better.

Here’s some quick info on CURV beds:

  • They aren’t price regulated.  What does that mean to you?  That we have the lowest prices, guaranteed.  We shop everyone else, and make sure that we’re the cheapest.
  • The two better models have gel memory foam.  What?  A cool night’s sleep for under $1000?  It’s possible.
  • All models come with a ten year warranty.
  • All models work great on adjustable bases.
  • All models are designed and built in the USA.
  • All models are CertiPUR-US certified, meaning that they passed the non-toxic tests, and you can breathe easily.
  • They’re marketed towards the “Millenial” generation, but they’re great for anyone to sleep on every night, for guest rooms, for kids, for RVs, for anything!
  • The queen set prices range from $643 to $888 on our site.  INCLUDING DELIVERY.  You seriously can’t beat that with a stick.
  • All of the models are on the firmer side, with the middle one (the Swanky) being the softest of the three, but still quitre firm.
  • The three models have 1.5″, 2.5″, and 3.5″ of memory foam, respectively.

If you’re in the market for cheap memory foam, then the CURV beds are a great option.  They are the ONLY ones in this price range that are made in the US, most others are manufactured in China.  They are one of the only product lines that has gel memory foam at this price point.  The amount of memory foam in each bed is pretty generous, and the patented form of the memory foam increases air flow and comfort.

The new CURV models are:

  1. Amazing Style (aka The Latest Thing in stores) – This mattress is firm, has 1.5″ of memory foam (without gel), and is 8″ thick.  We have it listed at $643 for the queen set.
  2. Swanky (aka All The Rage in stores) – This mattress has a plush firm feel, with 2.5″ of gel memory foam.  It’s 9″ thick.  We have it listed at $697 for the queen set.
  3. So Chic (aka Vogue in stores) – This mattress has a firm feel, with 3.5″ of memory foam, some with gel.  It’s 10.5″ thick, and we have it listed at $888 for the queen set.

So, check it out, tell your friends, and sleep better for less!

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!

Expensive vs Cheap Memory Foam

Why would you spend $1800 when you can get a cheap memory foam bed for $499?  Good question.  There are differences, and those differences might be important to you.  Or, the $1301 might be more important.  Here’s a comparison to help you out, just remember that this is generalized and each model differs.

Advantages of Cheap Memory Foam

  1. It’s cheap.  And we all love cheap.
  2. Often, they are softer than the more expensive models.  Not always, but generally.  This is because they are made of less dense memory foam, which compresses easier.  The downside?  Less dense foam is also less durable.
  3. Some cheaper models (like our 10″ Gel Memory Foam Mattress) are starting to have gel mixed in with the memory foam, so you’ll sleep cooler.  Yay!

    Expensive Memory Foam

Advantages of Premium Memory Foam

  1. It lasts longer.  Like a lot longer.  Like twenty years, vs five for a bargain model.  If you split up the cost by year, the expensive model may actually be less expensive in the long run than the cheaper model.
  2. Almost all models have gel.  Gel helps you sleep cooler, which is super important when it comes to sleeping.  No one can rest when they’re laying in a pool of their own sweat.  Whether it’s infused in the foam, dispersed as little globs, or as a layer over the memory foam, gel is something that you should really look for, unless you’re freezing all the time.
  3. Foams are denser in more expensive models.  What does this mean for you?  They are a little firmer.  They are way more durable.  They give excellent support.  They don’t get body impressions.  They have a slower “sink”.
  4. Foams are often US made, instead of being imported.  No offense to Chinese memory foams, but the quality control isn’t quite as good as here in the US.  Additionally, the blends aren’t as uniform in feel.
  5. Many brands (such as Comforpedic) are CertiPUR-US certified.  This means that they are non-toxic, don’t harm the environment, aren’t made with formaldehyde, heavy metals, etc.  Also, less off-gassing.

So choose your next memory foam be with an eye on what is going to benefit you the most: Do you want gel?  How long do you need it to last?  Do you want a firmer feel?

Regardless of which model you purchase, know going in that a $499 bed is probably not going to perform like an $1800 bed is going to.  However, if you’re on a budget, you’re better off buying that $499 cheap memory foam bed than a $499 innerspring.  Even the least expensive memory foam is still going to provide better support than a comparably priced innerspring.

Memory Foam vs Innerspring

So you want a memory foam vs innerspring showdown?

I’m sure that you’re well aware of my intense love affair with memory foam, but is it for everyone?  No, unfortunately not.  I’ve had a few customers ask me which is better for them, and I must admit, sometimes its…gasp…not memory foam.

So, to promote fair and balanced analysis, I’ve decided to step back from my pro-memory foam stance, and give you a list of pros and cons of each bedding medium.  Objectively.  I promise.

Innerspring Mattress Pros and Cons

  • Pro: There are a huge variety of different manufacturers, styles, feels, and price ranges.  It’s virtually impossible not to find one that’s comfortable for you to sleep on.
  • Con: Sleeping on metal creates pressure points.  This means that no matter how much padding your bed has, it will still cause you to toss and turn, eventually.
  • Pro: They are bouncy, making them easier to move around on, and better for other…ahem…bedroom activities.
  • Con:  Innerspring mattresses are more likely to sag, squeak, or creak.
  • Pro:  You can find comfortable models for cheap.
  • Con: Innerspring mattresses lose their comfort level over time – it’s not going to feel the same in 5 years as it does now.
  • Pro:  There are many different manufacturers, with many different coil systems, designed for different levels of back support, weight, etc.
  • Con:  There are many different manufacturers, with many different coil systems, designed for different levels of back support, weight, etc.  Totally confusing!

Memory Foam Mattress Pros and Cons

  • Pro:  The back support on a foam mattress is far superior to any innerspring, regardless of coil system or price.
  • Con:  The “sinky” feeling doesn’t appeal to some people.
  • memory foamPro:  Memory foam provides excellent pressure relief, so you toss and turn 80% less, and they increase circulation.
  • Con:  If you don’t opt for a gel version, they can sleep warm.
  • Pro:  The density of the foam makes the bed last for about twice as long as innerspring without developing body impressions, sags, etc.  No creaking or squeaking, either.
  • Con:  They can be difficult to move around on, and get off of.
  • Pro:  No dust mites, mildew, or mold.  Additionally, many brands (like Comforpedic) certify their components, meaning that they are non-toxic and there’s no off-gassing.
  • Con:  They can be more expensive than innerspring, but they do last longer!
  • Pro: You can’t feel your partner moving around.
  • Con: The profile isn’t as high as many innerspring mattresses.

Innerspring vs Memory Foam Recommendations:

If you’re a young person, and like the feel of memory foam, I say go for it.  It will benefit your health and your wallet in the long run.

If you’re an older person who may have arthritis or circulation problems, memory foam may be the better option.  Just make sure that you can move around on it easily.  Additionally, it can be used with an adjustable base down the road, if you need it!  If memory foam is too hard to get out of, or it’s not comfortable for you, innerspring will work too!

If you’re a person on a budget, innerspring may be the way to go.  Less expensive memory foam is less dense and won’t last as long as comparably priced innerspring beds.  They will also sleep hot.

If you’re a couple who like different feels, try out a memory foam mattress.  They are often the happy medium, since each partner is supported according to his or her weight.  Additionally, you won’t get the hump in the middle of the bed, and won’t feel like you’re rolling into each other.

If you like a bouncier feel, or sit on the edge of the bed a lot, innerspring is your option.  The edge support is much better, and nothing bounces like a steel coil!

 

Hopefully this helped you find decipher what is good and not so great about memory foam and innerspring.  The last piece of advice that I have is to try them out.  The feels are very different, and your body may prefer one over the other.  If that is the case, go with whatever feels the best to you, and disregard the rest.  However, if you’re indifferent, remember that memory foam offers superior support, durability, and value in the long run.  Sorry, I just couldn’t resist!!!

Memory Foam for Under $1000? Absolutely!

Breaking News…Simmons is coming out with a quality memory foam line-up that will be less than $1000!

Why brand name inexpensive memory foam is good news:

  • A great night’s sleep has never been more affordable.  Now, people on a limited budget can experience the same quality of sleep and support as everyone else.
  • Cheaper memory foam products used to be hot, and of made of foams with questionable durability and density.  Now, with a major brand offering memory foam in this price point, it will hopefully open a whole new competition of bedding from different manufacturers.  Competition between mattress makers means better quality, and better prices for the consumer!

To get the full story, check out the article on FurnitureToday.com, to hear it straight from the memory foamhorse’s mouth.  Here are a few of the highlights from Simmons:

  • These new beds are made of specially designed memory foam, shaped in a curved pattern to support, soothe, and allow for air flow.
  • Select models will have gel to cool and comfort.
  • All models have 10-year warranties.

Although the new CURV line is designed with the under 35 set in mind, I think that it’s a great option for all ages.  The memory foam line-up was developed by the same people that developed Comforpedic, which we know that I’m in love with.  I think that EVERYONE, regardless of their budget, should have the opportunity to sleep on a quality memory foam bed.

I am so excited about the new CURV line-up, I can hardly stand it.  They are rolling it out in Las Vegas next week, and hopefully it will be available in stores and online within a few months.  Don’t worry, I will surely do a product test for you, with an in-depth review and comparison to similar products.

I’ll keep you updated as more info comes out on the CURV memory foam brand.  Thank you Simmons for stepping up to the plate and filling the void!

A Middle-Aged Sleep Problem: 9 Ways to Fix Your Night Life

I write about sleep a lot.  I think about sleep a lot.  I don’t get enough sleep, a lot.  I usually base my research and posts about either children, or retirement aged people, and tend to ignore my own sleep problem demographic, the thirty to fifty crowd, but no more!  Here’s how it started:

Toddler Sleep ProblemsToday, I was waiting for my 3-year old to wake up from his nap.  It was about time for him to get up, so I let myself do some noisy chores, like the dishes, in hopes that he would wake up.  Every few minutes, I’d check on him, and he’d still be sleeping soundly.  I even went into his room to clean, and he slept right through it.  As I sat on the edge of his bed, dreading the impending crankiness at being awoken, I realized that this kid is getting great quality sleep, and I’m getting next to nothing.  I’ll admit it, I’m jealous of my toddler.

I have always assumed, like many of you, that as we get older, our sleep quality decreases.  I think I’ve even written posts and articles on the topic.  However, there was an article in the LA Times last year that states that if you weed out illness, the sleep you get in your middle age and older is the same as what you got as a kid.  Impossible, I say!

So I did some more research, and found evidence for both sides of the argument.  As we get into our thirties, our sleep is disrupted by work (yes), social events (yes), and children (triple yes).  If we can manage those areas of our lives, then we can get that sound sleep that we enjoyed in our youth, and can stop feeling like zombies all day.  It really is possible.

Some doctors and other experts still believe that our quality and quantity of sleep deteriorate as we get older, due to less melatonin production.  Combine this with the higher instances of illness and stress, and it’s a natural assertion that sleep will suffer.

What can you do?  I’ve given this list a million times, but here it is again with some additions:

  1. If you have kids that disrupt your sleep, figure out how to make them sleep better.  I’m a horrible example, because even at 3, my son is still not sleeping through the night, but I know that it is possible, I’ve heard stories.  It will make everyone more pleasant in the morning, apparently…
  2. Go to bed at the same time every night, and wake up at the same time every Frazzled Sleep Problemsmorning.  This may mean changing your Girl’s Night Out to a Women’s Luncheon, but maybe you won’t have to drink twelve cups of coffee to make it through the next day.
  3. Sleep in the dark.  It’s a novel idea, and it really works.  Use shades on your windows, turn the clock the other way, and don’t leave the bathroom light on.
  4. Keep your room cool – it’s easier to sleep snuggled in a warm blanket, than sweating on top of the sheets.  Try using a fan if you don’t want to keep your A/C on as high.
  5. Reduce the amount of noise in your bedroom.  This may be street noise, the TV, or an offending partner’s snoring; regardless, eliminate it.  Sleep in separate bedrooms, use a white noise machine, make everyone else in the home watch TV in the basement, anything to keep it quiet.
  6. Find a bed that limits motion disturbance.  We all know that I’m a fan of Comforpedic memory foam, but other memory foam products also do a great job, as do Beautyrest mattresses.
  7. Pretend like your workplace is Las Vegas: whatever happens there, stays there.  Don’t let your job stress compromise your sleep, because it will become a vicious cycle (when you are tired, you’re going to underperform, and lose your mental quickness and memory capabilities).
  8. Limit alcohol and food intake right before bed.  A full belly can make comfortable sleeping difficult.  Also, alcohol creates disruptive sleep, as hard as it might be to believe.
  9. Make sleep a priority.  We have all been guilty of putting off sleep to get other things done, please a loved one (why are so many major sporting events on in the evening, until midnight!!!), or to just get some time alone without people wanting you to get them things that they can easily get themselves.  For a week, put all that aside, and focus on sleeping.  See how much better you can feel, and how much more pleasant you can be.

All of this is great, but I am the eternal pot, and you, of course, are the kettle.  I will make an effort to be more conscious of my own sleeping habits, and will report back to you.  Feel free to report back to me in the comments, and tell me what works best for you.  We will get through this middle-aged sleep crisis together.  And if not, eventually the kids will grow up, we will retire (hopefully), and my friends will be more “let’s have mimosas at a Sunday brunch” instead of “let’s ride the mechanical bull at the country bar until 3am” kind of people.  We can all hope.

Gel Mattresses – Info You Need

Every few of years, a new innovation hits the mattress market.  About ten years ago, memory foam was the new “it” thing.  Then came beds that felt different on each side.  Now, gel mattresses are popular.  But what is gel, and what does it do?

gel mattresses

A new pillow with gel layered over memory foam. Coming soon!

A simple online search brings up a lot of retailer websites with gel, as well as a lot of manufacturer websites with gel.  What’s missing is real information about what benefits there are to gel, without the tint of a sales pitch.

Ladies and gentlemen, that’s why I’m here.  After finding little to no research about gel out there, I have searched my own brain to explain these gel beds to you.

  • First, there are two types of gel mattresses.  The first has the gel layered on top of the foam in the mattress.  I have found that this type of mattress is cooler, usually firmer, but always more expensive. The other type is made of gel infused memory foam, with little globules of gel suspended throughout the foam.  I have found that this type is usually less expensive, definitely cooler, and feels more like a regular memory foam mattress (it doesn’t change the feel of the bed).
  • Just so everyone is clear, this gel is not the consistency of gel toothpaste, it’s much firmer.  However, it is softer than the gel that is used in shoe insoles.  The gel that is used in beds is like very firm Jell-O, but it’s also a bit elastic, so it doesn’t break apart easily.  For the gel that is layered by itself in a mattress, it can be sticky if the membrane surrounding it is broken, but it will still maintain it’s shape.
  • All gel is man-made, but it is non-toxic.  There is no smell, no residue.
  • The main reason why gel is advantageous is the temperature factor.  Gel absorbs excess body heat and keeps it away from the body.  It always feels cool to the touch, and can help with warm sleepers, women in menopause, or anyone who likes a cooler sleep.
  • Gel is also very durable, and keeps its form even after prolonged compression.  This feature makes gel mattresses a no-brainer.
gel mattresses

AirCool Memory Foam with TruTemp Gel

Is gel a fad, or is it here to stay?  The number one complaint about memory foam is that it sleeps warm, and gel fixes that without drastically changing the feel, and with virtually no change to the support.  The three factors turn a great night’s sleep into a horrible one are sound, light, and temperature.  Gel could help many more people get a great night’s sleep.

If you would like to see some of our products that have gel in them, check out:

  1. All Comforpedic products have AirCool Memory Foam with TruTemp gel.  This is the type of gel mattress that has the gel suspended in the memory foam.  Lab studies have shown that these mattresses dissipate heat 2.8x faster than the competition.
  2. All Beautyrest Recharge and BeautySleep beds have GelTouch foam in them, which is a gel and polyurethane foam blend.
  3. All Beautyrest Recharge World Class beds have 1/2″ of actual TruTemp gel in the upholstery (not blended with memory foam, this is straight gel).
  4. In addition, the Dartmouth Drive and Trident Collections by Beautyrest Recharge World Class have AirCool Memory Foam with Micro GelTouch layers (this is a blended product).
  5. All iMattress models have iFusion Gel Memory Foam (this is a gel and memory foam blend).  iMattress states that their proprietary blend makes the mattress easier to move around on, as well as cool to the touch.

As we add more gel products, we will keep you updated.  Try out one of our gel mattresses today, and experience some cooler, more comfortable sleep!

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.