Attack of the Memory Foam Clones!

I have been waiting for the day that foam beds take up the majority of floor space for mattress retailers. That day is at hand. Visit any major mattress retailer and you will see a variety of non-innerspring options from latex to air to memory foam to hybrids. I would suspect in the coming decade, you will see innerspring mattresses playing only a supporting role in the mattress sales/selection process.

While Tempur-Pedic is still by far the very best on the market, the me-toos are catching up. All the S-brands have launched and/or relaunched products in hopes of grabbing a piece of this growing market. Sealy has the Embody, Serta the iComfort and Simmons has the ComforPedic. Each has its merits. You should sample a few before making a decision.

Another interesting trend to note is that the S-brands are introducing stripped down memory foam options in the lower price points. I’ve seen Serta and Sealy with queen sets well under $1,000. I will not necessarily vouch for the long-term quality or comfort, but for a child’s bed or a rarely used guest bed, these may make perfect alternatives to some of the poor quality and uncomfortable innerspring options in the lower price ranges.

Considering what you might find in the $599 – $899 range in innerspring mattresses, even a stripped down memory foam option may be a better value if you have a tight budget. Always buy from a retailer that will allow you to test the mattress and return or exchange it just in case. The trial needs to be a minimum of 30 days with memory foam because there will be a longer conditioning period with memory foam and certainly some adjustment for the person who will sleeping on it as well.

There are a bunch of new players pushing foam beds, but I would be really careful with the unknown brands. Certainly give them a test if that is all that fits your budget. Just like there are a whole lot of cars and a wide range of quality and prices, the same goes for memory foam. A bed that comes shipped in a small square box and takes a week to expand into a queen size, will probably not support you properly or even be comfortable. Just because something claims it is memory foam, does not mean it is even close to Tempur-Pedic quality. But that does not mean there aren’t some usable and affordable alternatives that might work for your sleeping needs.

The most important thing to remember is that no matter what you select, it must align your body properly and be comfortable. If it does neither, do not buy it no matter what brand or how big of a sale the retailer is currently having.

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