Sign In

The Pros and Cons of a Tempur-Pedic or Memory Foam Mattress

Updated
Tempurpedic mattress

There is nothing quite like a good night's rest. Unfortunately this level of beauty sleep often comes with a price. Although Tempur-Pedic mattresses have a reputation for being among the priciest solutions to a good night's sleep, over 7 million people have made that choice and are resting easy, content with their memory foam beds. But before you consider this expense, here's the lowdown on Tempur-Pedic reviews, materials, prices, and user satisfaction.

Know Your Memory Foam Mattress

Unlike conventional innerspring mattresses, Tempur-Pedic mattresses are made of memory foam. This foam is derived from visco-elastic polyurethane that promises to provide support to sleepers' heads, shoulders, hips, knees, and feet while keeping spines in proper alignment. Resting in a comfortable position all night long promotes sound sleep, and ensures that people wake rested and without aches and pain.

However, it's hard to draw precise price comparisons between Tempur-Pedics and other mattresses on the market. For one, innerspring mattress vendors make different mattresses for different stores, so it's hard to choose just one to compare. Secondly, not all memory foam is the same. Some manufacturers measure mattresses by indentation load deflection units (ILD): the higher the number, the denser the foam. Tempur-Pedic products usually clock in at 14-15 ILD. The Signature Sleep Memoir 8" Memory Foam Mattress in Full ($199 with free shipping, a low by $100) has a 9 ILD.

Unfortunately, this density measurement isn't usually noted in advertising. Tempur-Pedic competitors such as the Novaform Serafina Gel Queen Memory Foam Mattress ($979.49 with free shipping, a low by $1) may not be dense enough to provide proper support, especially for the above-average sized American. However, more dense memory foam does not necessarily result in greater customer satisfaction: around 80% of memory foam bed users are satisfied with their product, whether sleeping on a high-end mattress like Tempur-Pedic or a cheaper knockoff.

Consumers should also be aware that a memory foam mattress isn't all memory foam. Usually, there are at least two layers: the top or comfort layer is memory foam. Beneath that there's a support layer that typically has some spring to it. For example, some 12" mattresses may have only 2" of memory foam.

A Mattress That Costs the Same as Your Daily Coffee for 10 Years

A general rule of thumb is: the more memory foam, the more money. The top-of-the-line Tempur Grandbed Queen mattress sells for $7,499, while the more reasonably priced line of Tempur-Weightless Supreme in Queen runs $2,399; others cost less. The company also offers a new, affordable line of mattresses to compete with models from vendors such as Ikea and Costco; the Tempur-Simplicity Queen costs $1,099. Yes, these mattresses are pricey, but if we assume an average life of 10 years, the Weightless Supreme only costs $0.65 a night — less than the cost of a morning paper and way less than a wake-up latte.

memory foam layers

Memory Foam Pros and Cons

However all is not perfect with memory foam mattresses. The most common consumer complaint is heat retention: 10% to 14% of respondents reported that their memory foam beds retained an uncomfortable amount of body heat. Only 3% to 4% of those who slept on inner-spring mattresses complained of such an issue. As a result, the industry has begun tackling this problem by innovating. Tempur-Pedic competitors such as Serta have incorporated support gel to help mattresses breathe better. Yet Tempur-Pedic has not added gel to its mattresses.

Speaking of heat, a number of Tempur-Pedic users found their mattress to be more firm than expected upon first use, though the foam softened and became comfortable as it absorbed body heat. Remember this when test-driving such a mattress. And even once you've found a comfortable mattress, pay heed to its weight. Foam mattresses tend to be heavier than their inner-spring counterparts, meaning they're harder to flip and rotate, though sagging seems to be less of a concern for memory foam owners. While Tempur-Pedic beds do tend to soften with age, only 8% to 12% of users report premature sagging.

Besides not sagging, another advantage to memory foam beds is how quiet they are: they don't creak and whine every time a sleeper rolls on his side. They also tend to isolate motion, so a wave action initiated on one side doesn't flip the other sleeper out of bed.

Tempur-Pedic Offers Fantastic Warranties

When it comes to warranties, Tempur-Pedic leads the market. The company offers 25 years of coverage, with the last 15 pro-rated. It also offers a 90-day trial period on beds bought directly from the company, though it excludes ancillary products like bed frames, cushions, and pillows, and the customer is responsible for return shipping. In fact, buyers can truly rest assured that Tempur-Pedic will be around to live up to its warranty.

Are Tempur-Pedic Mattresses the Best Memory Foam Mattress?

Given that customer satisfaction is fairly evenly distributed among memory foam sleepers regardless of brand, it's hard to substantiate the claim that Tempur-Pedic provides a better night's sleep than some of its less expensive competitors. However, those who own a Tempur-Pedic mattress tend to be very loyal to the brand.

In light of price point, it seems reasonable to suggest testing out a less expensive memory foam mattress from Ikea or Costco to start. Both offer more affordable memory foam beds. From there, check out the new offerings from Serta. And if a Tempur-Pedic is a must-have, it's smart to give the less expensive Simplicity line a try first.

This feature has been updated since it was originally published last year.


Related dealnews Features:
Contributing Writer

Tom Barlow is a freelance journalist specializing in lifestyle and consumer issues. In addition to DealNews, his writing has appeared on many websites, including Forbes.com and Aol’s DailyFinance.com.
Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
You might also like
20 comments
tbarlow
Updating Tempur-Pedic™ Alternatives:

There are off-brand companies that have essentially reverse-engineered some of the name brands like Tempur-Pedic ® and Serta iComfort™ for up to 40% less.
Select Foam™ has combined the best of Tempur-Pedic® & Serta iComfort™ into a single mattress collection.
Select Foam vs. Tempur-Pedic Mattresses

Pay attention to densities, firmnesses, and thicknesses of the foam types. Also inquire as to how the reaction time is [ too slow= potential to get stuck in hole, too fast= is it even memory foam, look for something in the middle.] Mattress cover tickings should be breathable, and a PCM [PHase Change Material] is ideal.
bestseeker
I have and love http://www.amazon.com/...ode=as2&tag=besterynet-20"

Much cheaper than tempurpedic, and the stand on the same page is rock solid and has plenty of room underneath.
sethmer1
We spent 4k in 2008 for what we felt was a great Tempur-Pedic mattress. Four years later we learned that our mattress had been recalled and stopped production of our brand. After contacting the company they said that the replacement mattress was only 3400 and after jumping through every hoop they presented, we were sent a new mattress. After, having the mattress for a year, my wife and I are both having terrible back problems. Back problems that we had in 2007 and were relieved by out mattress, and have now returned with the replacement. Tempur-Pedic is fast to explain that they will not have a replacement for our current horrible mattress. So, expecting our mattress to be great for 20 year (warrentied) we spend a large amount of money. The warrenty does not guarantee satisfaction. Be ware, we cant even afford to buy a comfortable bed.
John624
The Tempur-Pedic brand is an excellent brand and US success story. Thankfully there are other memory foam mattress brands that are not expensive and have the added benefit if being cooler than a Tempurpedic that runs hot. There are a few brands to choose from but I went with a US Made Bragada mattress and I love it. Purchased the Milan in July 2013 and my back pain is gone and I sleep so much better. To compare most any Tempurpedic brand here is a buying guide http://www.ebed.com/...-tempurpedic-comparison.php looking at both brands. (I saved over $2,500!!) I hope that helps and you start sleeping as well as me! - John
Bjn1859
We had ours for 8 or so years now. I love it and miss my tempur pedic so much when I'm away from home. Money well spent. One thing you must know is your love life will suffer greatly. The bed will steal all your energy while in the act of love making. I'm forty one and I'm thinking about replacing it I'm wasting so much energy to achieve that magical point without any help from springs and gravity. My wife agrees too.
Zaylyn
ALERT! Tempur-pedic foundation defect! We have received THREE sequential Tempur-pedic queen 5” foundation replacements in 2013, all with defective ribs or horizontal wood strips/slats. One or both dislodge from the foundation box, making the foundation unstable. If you hear a creaking noise in your Tempur-pedic foundation, check for a broken rib by running your hand along the side. If the rib or wood strip/slat has dropped below the level of the foundation frame, it is broken, and you should contact Tempur-pedic customer service for a warranty foundation replacement. We have solid steel slats bolted to the bed sides with center feet, as recommended by Tempur-pedic, so our bed support for the foundation and mattress is not an issue.
cayenne523
Hey William Amantia looking to blame someone for your health problems and make a buck doing it? It's called life William. You should have checked out the product before you bought it. You are talking about getting an attorney and want us to believe you threw out an expensive mattress after having it 10 days? Come on William.
WILLIAM AMANTIA
TEMPUR-PEDIC MATTRESS COMPLAINT
After owning a Tempur-Pedic for 8 years we became disgusted with the pain from the sagging, so I called the co. about its 20 yr wty. Surprised and pleased that they replaced the mattress - until the first night sleeping on the replacement! The off gasses were suffocating and caused extreme and violent coughing from my wife, who has COPD, and me who 3 yrs ago had 1/2 lung removed from lung cancer. I called the co. and they told me the gas release is normal, and that we should use it for a few days, roll around on it to release more gas ( and presumably cough and suffer more!!); and put on baking soda ea. day for 3 weeks. BS - I threw it out after 10 days and bought a Beauty Rest Black. Wonder if the lung cancer and my wife's COPD was from sleeping on the orig. mattress for 8 Yrs? I will contact attorney's to pursue it - be warned before you spend the ridiculous money just to get sick!!!
Rosa-M
I definitely agree that it is important to pay attention to density and what you are actually paying for when it comes to memory foam beds. I was looking at Tempur-pedic beds when mattress shopping, but the prices and mixed reviews made me hesitate. For example, the "more affordable" Tempur Simplicity mentioned above uses only 2.5 lb density foam which is quite subpar for the price (still over $1k). After shopping around and checking reviews, I ended up going with the Liberty model at http://www.amerisleep.com, which was a better value with higher-density 4.5 lb memory foam and similar guarantees. Heat hasn't been an issue for me, and one year in I am pretty impressed with how much more comfortably I sleep compared to my old spring bed.
mlwebster
Read the article on this website ~ http://news.softpedia.com/...-Kill-You-76887.shtml
I have suffered adverse health conditions, ie. bronchitis and asthma, since buying my Tempurpedic 4 years ago. I tracked the purchase date to the date of my first bronchial attack to the emergency clinic visit to the first prescription of my inhaler that my doctor prescribed for me. This all happened within 6 months of purchasing my Tempurpedic bed! After talking with several other people, I have found that I'm far from being alone with these problems. Do your research before buying a memory foam mattress! I'm now shopping for an organic mattress and hope to get my health back. Buyer's beware of memory foam mattresses!
AJay17
http://www.bedinabox.com is the way to go. I've had mine for 6 years and is the most comfortable mattress I've ever slept on.
helenya
Do not buy this bed I have two of them a medium support and strong support and I have slept on both these beds and wake up with the worst back ache ever, this is a waste of money
joe8612
get a standard firm mattress and put a high quality 2 inch memory foam topper on it. Very nice.
jestech
I'm not a fan of my Tempur-Pedic and regret buying it. However, it should be noted that I have severe back problems having had 2 prior surgeries, one which was unsuccessful. I have the Rhapsody model, which is one of the most popular.
The mattress offers good support, but it just too "hard". If I had to do it again, I would've gone with a softer model that used a softer top layer of memory foam.
dealguy
I own the Tempur-Pedic AlluraBed. It almost completely eliminated shoulder soreness I was having and back problems my wife was having when we woke up. It literally changed our lives. It cost as much as a used car, but I'd never even consider another bed, having previously owned the Westin Heavenly Bed (not memory foam) and the DWR Sonno Prima Mattress (memory foam).

It's got two minor downsides besides price. It does run warm. Tempur-Pedic's optional mattress cover is horrible under your sheets, like Saran Wrap. (Don't buy it.)
ABgBdWlf
Sealy not serta sorry.
ABgBdWlf
Serta is now owned by Tempurpedic.
DavePDX
In addition to the pros and cons listed in this article, people with allergies may want to obtain a sample of foam before purchasing a bed. I discovered, after purchasing a TP bed, that I am very allergic to the foam material and broke out in a rash after sleeping on one. Covering the mattress or airing it out did not help. I found that this was a common complaint from some allergy sufferers by searching on line. Fortunately, the dealer allowed exchanges and I was able to trade for a more traditional mattress that eliminated the problem.
Stubenville
I'm a big guy and I find memory foam mattresses to be great for sleeping but downright uncomfortable if you like to sit up in bed and read. After a few minutes you find yourself sinking into a hole! I ended up sending back a memory foam mattress at the end of the trial period in favor of a conventional innerspring mattress.
Leave a comment! or Register