Memory Foam Mattress Ranking

As we wind down 2012 in the ever evolving mattress industry, it is time to reflect on the good, bad, and ugly in the memory foam category. Here are my rankings for the “S” brands (yes, I know one brand starts with a “T’). These rankings are based on my personal observation, as well as customer and salesperson feedback.

1. Tempur-Pedic® – Is still by far the best overall brand. It was always my best selling and least returned brand, and that continues to be the case. The line has been extended to the point that anyone can afford them, and there are now enough comfort options to accommodate just about any body shape, size, or comfort preference.

I’m not as excited by their latest additions – Simplicity, Tempur-Weightless™ and Breeze. They are not bad products, but unfortunately, they aren’t any better IMHO than their existing mattresses. But more on that in another post.

2. Serta® – The iComfort® line did exactly what they needed it to do, bite into the market share of Tempur-Pedic. The Revolution (now called Savant) felt similar to Temp’s Cloud Supreme and was sold for $700 less, even after the Supreme’s price reduction. From the Prodigy on down, and especially at the Insight and Genius level, they are a solid value for the money. And I must say, they are the best looking memory foam collection of the top brands. They are the most serious threat to Tempur-Pedic dominance in the category. The “cool” gel theme has been effective at creating doubt in consumer’s minds.

3. Sealy® – The Optimum™ line jumped on the cooler mattress theme by taking the gel foam and adding Outlast to the cover. Which in my mind is the most effective solution to any heat issue. The queens start around $1300 and are a pretty good bang for your buck.

4. Simmons® – ComforPedic® took the cool memory foam meme all the way over the cliff. The entire mattress, from the ground up, was designed with a “cool” story in mind. And if the only issue you have is sleeping hot, it may be the best solution short of an air conditioned bed. They have decent price points, and for those that prefer a more responsive feel than memory foam, Simmons wins that prize.


Tempur-Pedic’s competitors have done a good job of sowing fear when it comes to sleep temperature. Rumors that Tempur-Pedic mattresses make you sleep hot abound, making it one of the most successful disinformation campaigns I have seen in my marketing lifetime. All manufacturers have pushed the sleep cooler meme really hard – a non-issue as I have explained here and here. This has been an effective ploy as even Tempur-Pedic reacted with a cooler bed option, much to my dismay. There is ample evidence that heat is not an issue based on customer feedback, and the experience of the original Heat Miser himself, ME.

The downside to all these cooler gimmicks is that you run the risk of creating a mattress that does not provide correct support and alignment. I have watched numerous customers sink into a hammock position on no name memory foam products, as well as a few “s” brand options. Whatever cooling tricks are added, they will not offset the challenges of inadequate support.

The industry continues to change and new products come and go. It seems everyone with even a little warehouse space is in the mattress business. And if they make mattresses, they probably have some version of memory foam. I would always recommend sticking with the top brands. But if money is tight, and a lesser known option feels good to you, go for it. Always make sure you have the ability to exchange the mattress after testing it a few nights. Sleeping 8 hours on a mattress may not feel the same as 15 minutes in a showroom.

Happy New Year!!


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  1. Pat Wright says:

    We are seriously looking at the Climate control Yu Me mattress system. I was wondering if you had any more recent updates on this product that is available through Mattress Firm. Some of the reviews are over a year old and they were helpful but I am interested in a more recent review. Thank you for your time.

  2. says:

    See my reply on the How Cool Is Gel memory foam post.

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