Serta iComfort vs. Tempurpedic is a classic example of an older, but tried-and-true, product being pitted against a younger upstart – both vying for market dominance. Tempurpedic dominates as the original luxury foam line, while iComfort looks to cater to people seeking cooler sleep. Together, they are two of the most heavily-advertised and well-known brands around, and each aims to say their products are the best.
For potential buyers, it can all be a little confusing — from high-tech gel to temperature-sensitive HD foams, which ultimately offers the best sleep? Arguing the benefits of gel technology against traditional memory foam may be the wrong dispute altogether, however. Another innovative category, natural memory foam mattresses, is making waves as well, targeting many of the complaints people tend to have with mainstream memory foam lines.
Tempurpedic mattresses are known in the industry as traditional memory foam mattresses. These type of mattresses have been around for some time. Serta iComfort mattresses are comprised of a similar type of foam, but they add gel beads to make the foam feel cooler to the touch. Amerisleep uses an open-cell, plant-based memory foam in their mattresses. Each material has different attributes and properties, which we’ll go over.
Choosing the right mattress for you is important. We spend one-third of our lives asleep, usually in our own beds. Making the wrong choice may result in many sleepless or restless nights. Good, rejuvenating sleep begins with a quality mattress to rest on. There are many things to consider in order to ensure you get great night’s sleep at a decent price.
Tempurpedic Memory Foam Mattress
Tempurpedic sprang to popularity as one of the earliest innovators of memory foam mattress technology. Even with all the hype surrounding Tempurpedic memory foam mattresses, consumer reviews have consistently dinged the company on several major fronts: cost, comfort and usability.
The fan base Tempurpedic developed has served it well and essentially allowed it to price its mattresses far higher than most competitors without sustaining a loss of market share. The company has also done well to draw in new customers through extensive – and expensive – advertising campaigns utilizing traditional media. While this has been successful in keeping the Tempurpedic sales funnel full, it has also contributed significantly to the cost burden associated with buying a Tempurpedic mattress.
As for comfort, some people will never favor traditional polyurethane-based memory foam, regardless of the brand. For one, it is not always usable straight out of the shipping packaging because the mattress must outgas. Outgassing – or airing out the mattress in other words – can take several days or more to accomplish and require a well-ventilated area away from regular living activities due to the smell.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are outgassed throughout the lifecycle of most memory foam mattresses. These carbon-based compounds are associated with many different health problems. Tempurpedic mattresses in particular have been scrutinized for having issues with VOCs. Some customers have complained of adverse health effects as a result of being on or near their mattress.
Another complaint, heard frequently, is that Tempurpedic – and other traditional memory foam mattresses – sleep hot. Traditional memory foams, unlike their plant-based competitors, are often comprised of many small, closed cells. They also rely on body heat to soften and contour to the sleeper, and this can have an insulating effect. This property also means the foam responds slowly to changes, making moving around difficult for some people.
Serta iComfort & Gel Mattresses
Heat is the primary aspect that gel memory foam mattresses target. Gel-infused memory foam such as Serta iComfort is designed to sleep cooler than standard products. In fact, this characteristic is the main selling point for this variety of mattress because otherwise it looks, feels and acts just like its Tempurpedic counterpart. Since its inception in 2011, gel-infused memory foam has shown promise, but the main problem with this newer product is it hasn’t been around long enough for consumers and industry experts to have done many long-term comparisons.
There is enough information on these mattresses to form some solid conclusions, though. The gel, which is supposed to keep the temperature down, hasn’t shown much promise. It will feel cooler to the touch at first, but many consumers have stated the effect doesn’t last long. Once the gel heats up, that heat is trapped against the user’s body. Many customers still complain about heat issues with gel memory foam.
As for outgassing and VOCs, iComfort gel memory foam mattresses do seem to inspire fewer complaints than Tempurpedic mattresses, but are still petroleum-based. Petroleum-based mattresses are likely to produce far more odors and VOCs than plant-based models. Essentially, gel memory foam mattresses are traditional memory foam mattresses, plus gel.
The main element missing from this discussion are the solid benefits of plant-based memory foam in defraying the negative traits exhibited by Tempurpedic and its gel-infused competitors. A handful of upstart companies like Amerisleep have many consumers, and competitors, taking notice of its environmentally-friendly products. But not only are plant-based memory foam mattresses eco-conscious, they sleep just as well or better than traditional memory foam products and are just as durable – all for a fraction of the price being offered by most companies. A two-year study also proved plant-based memory foam mattresses sleep 25 percent cooler than their gel-infused competitors.
If you are worried about outgassing and VOCs in gel and traditional memory foam mattresses, but still want the comfort provided by memory foam, plant-based products like those from Amerisleep are a solid choice. Some people are very sensitive to these compounds and should avoid them at all costs. You may not know if you are sensitive until you come in contact with these chemicals.
Know Your Foam
The most important thing to do when shopping for a larger purchase is to be informed. Knowledge is power. Find out what customers are saying about the companies and products your are interested in. The internet is a very useful tool for this, but don’t just visit the company websites. There are plenty of review sites to look over. With the right information, making a decision will be much easier.
Be sure to consider everything you want or need from a memory foam mattress before making your purchase. You’ll have to live with it, even on it, for years. Rest easy and choose the best mattress within your price range. Sleep is a terrible thing to waste.