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When you’re very young, a bed replacement is simply something that happens to you. Everything is taken care of, and all you need to worry about is adjusting to this new piece of bedroom furniture. However, the parents in that scenario are often very stressed, because purchasing a mattress is not a simple process. So many small decisions, factors, and questions go into getting a good product, and it’s not a situation where you can rely on a single person’s first-hand experience. People are different, with physiological quirks and demands that set them apart from those around them. Just because your neighbor likes his new bed, doesn’t mean you would also enjoy it.
So how does one pick the “correct” model? There are a staggering number of products on the market, each trying to tempt you with product descriptions that promise heavenly comfort, longevity, and health benefits. To the untrained eye, many of these models will look almost the same, with only tiny details making the best ones stand out. And while any reputable manufacturer will offer a trial period (usually lasting between 100 and 120 nights), arranging the replacement is a huge hassle, especially if you end up doing it more than once.
Arguably the best way to navigate the market is through the use of guides and reviews – and that’s where we come in. In this article, we will look at Sealy’s Response Line and figure out how these models perform in a number of important categories, such as durability, temperature neutrality, off-gassing, and more. If any of those terms are unfamiliar, don’t worry – we will explain it all as we go, so that there may be no confusion about what you’re getting into with these products. Let’s get right into it:
Manufacturer Notes – Tempur Sealy International
The Sealy Response Line of innerspring mattresses was created by Tempur Sealy International, a well-known mattress and bedding product manufacturer. The brand is named after the town of Sealy in Texas, where the company was originally founded. Today, they’re one of the largest manufacturers on the market, so you know they can be trusted to deliver quality products. Their most popular brands are Sealy Posturepedic, Bassett, and Stearns & Foster. Within these brands are mattress options that fit a wide range of budget scenarios, so no matter how much money you’re willing and able to invest in a bedding product, they have you covered.
The Sealy Response Line consists of three collections, grouped together by their price range and overall level of design advancements. The Sealy Essentials collection is aimed at people with lower budgets, and the mattresses here are the least advanced of the bunch (as you might imagine). They’re simple but reliable, proving that you don’t need to invest all of your savings to get a good product. The Sealy Performance collection is the “middle of the road” option, broadly speaking. They have average prices compared to the other two collections, and feature some of Sealy’s patented mattress tech, although they’re not fully kitted out. Finally, we have the Sealy Premium collection. They’re the least affordable, but have every possible benefit crammed into them to make up for it. If you are able to get them, we recommend it.
When you browse online storefronts and look at customer reports and such, it is very easy to get misled or scared off. The average length of a customer review and the amount of effort that goes into thoroughly describing the product is typically sub-par. Imagine this scenario: you ask a friend about his new car because you’re interested in getting the same model or something similar. He responds, “It’s pretty good” and leaves it at that. You don’t learn anything in that situation, do you? It’s important to be thorough and present all the facts, but most reviews end up feeling more like first impressions.
So how do you judge the performance of a mattress? There are many factors to consider when trying to narrow down a list of candidates for your bedroom. Depending on who you are and what you prefer, some factors will be more or less relevant, but they’re still worth thinking about. A mattress is something that stays with you for basically a decade, so you don’t want to make the decision lightly. To make sure we’re painting the clearest picture imaginable, we will go over most of these factors individually. Without further ado:
Comfort is a weird thing to measure. For example, if you’re sitting in a chair and you’re hunched over, it may feel relatively good, but it often leads to long-term back problems and general posture issues. When it comes to mattresses, it’s important to make sure that whatever you’re using (or whatever you plan on using) won’t cause health-related problems in the long run. When a mattress is good at support, comfort is a natural byproduct, due to how everything works.
In order to perform well in the support category, the model needs to be able to take your full weight, align your spine correctly (usually depends on your preferred sleeping position) and distribute the weight of your body across as much of the mattress as possible. This ends up alleviating a lot of pain, pressure, and discomfort, which not only helps you relax once you get into bed but drastically reduces the chances of something like neck pain or lower back pain. A model that isn’t supportive puts the brunt of your body weight on a few unlucky joints and pressure points, which is a surefire way to experience constant aches and pains, and damage your health over time.
In terms of support, all three collections have an average or above-average performance. This may depend on things such as your weight, the individual model in question, and your ideal sleeping position. We would recommend avoiding the Essentials collection if you weigh over 230 pounds. Otherwise, you’re fine with any of these choices.
Durability and Longevity
Even the best possible product loses a lot of its value and charm if it quickly degrades and becomes unusable. Dodgy manufacturers may go for the “first impressions” approach, where they focus on the first month or year of usage and let the model decay afterward. The more a mattress costs, the higher the customer’s expectations tend to be when it comes to longevity. It’s only natural that sagging and similar problems will develop over the course of a product’s lifespan, but it’s important to know when this will happen.
Unfortunately, durability is considered a universal downside for the entire Sealy Response Line. It can differ between individual models, but customer satisfaction tends to drop off noticeably after as early as 3-5 years. While this is made up for by how affordable most of these models are, the fair-at-best longevity can put people off.
If you’re unfamiliar with this term, it can sound like language that belongs at a gas station. Have you ever purchased cheap plastic goods from dollar-stores? They tend to come with a familiar, unpleasant rubbery smell that dissipates after some time goes by, or they’re washed or something similar. The same applies to mattresses, to a certain extent. No matter which model you buy from which manufacturer, there will be a period during which the product creates a rubbery, slightly off-putting smell. Higher-quality models will generally create a less intense odor, while cheap and shoddy products will be difficult to deal with. In almost all cases, however, the unwanted odor goes away after a few days.
From what we’ve seen and tested, none of these models reach a point where the smell is annoying or disruptive to your sleep. You will probably notice a faint chemical smell during the first week or so, and then it will go away forever. Thicker models will be slightly more unpleasant, likely due to the larger amount of foam present in the mix.
Temperature neutrality is the ability of a mattress to get rid of body heat emitted by the sleeper. Your body temperature changes during the night, and a lot of body heat can end up being trapped in your bed. If the model you’re using isn’t great at disposing of unwanted heat, you may start to feel like you’re in an oven. The sweat buildup can also be a problem, as you end up not having a single spot on your bed where you can cool off and find a comfortable position. On the other hand, good beds will sleep cool even during summer, and have you feeling refreshed and clean when you wake up in the morning.
When navigating the three Sealy collections presented here, you can follow a simple rule of thumb: the thicker the mattress, the more heat it holds. Still, even the hottest models on the list are quite bearable, and you will almost never wake up sweaty. Just to be sure, we recommend a nice bedroom fan to keep you extra-cool.
Sharing a bed introduces a handful of potential problems. Couples usually have a few extra demands on their list of criteria, because being consistently uncomfortable in bed is a really bad idea for maintaining a stable relationship. There are three main things to consider if you plan on sleeping with a significant other in the same bed:
Motion isolation is the first factor you want to look into if you’re in a relationship. It can be all too easy for one person to rouse the other from sleep accidentally, whether it’s by getting into bed, leaving the bed or simply tossing and turning during sleep. A mattress with good motion isolation prevents this from happening because the movement on one side of the bed is only marginally felt on the other side, if at all. There are differences between collections to take note of here. The Sealy Essentials collection tends to have below-average motion isolation, whereas the other two are noticeably above-average in this department.
Noise reduction works similarly to motion isolation. You want to make sure your mattress doesn’t creak uncontrollably or make wobbling noises during movement. This is extra-important if at least one of the people is a light sleeper. The more expensive you go with the Sealy innerspring models, the less noise you should expect to hear during an average night although even the cheapest models are still passable.
The bed is used for more than just sleeping when couples are involved. Sexual activity is a core part of any healthy relationship, and you want to make sure that your bed makes it even better. Beds that are good for sex tend to be responsive and have a reasonable level of bounciness, while letting both people move around freely, without the feeling of being trapped or stuck. Luckily, all three collections are fairly sex-friendly across the board so you can rest easy (pun intended).
While the price isn’t a direct indicator of performance, it would be silly to claim that the two are completely unconnected. Expensive products cost that much because the manufacturing process and ingredients are costly themselves. If a mattress is expensive to make, and the manufacturer is trustworthy and competent, then that means they’re using special materials to enhance the product. Some would say that a good compromise is the most important thing when it comes to pricing and quality. You will find a lot of talk about “value purchases” online because people have identified that measuring cost-effectiveness is a great way to plan your shopping.
The prices of Sealy Response mattresses make sense when compared to their competition. A model from the Essentials collection will set you back by $290-900 depending on size, which is incredibly affordable. The Performance collection is our value recommendation, as the prices hover between $420-1050, and offer very respectable performance in return. Meanwhile, a pick from the Premium collection can be yours if you invest anywhere between $620-1320 – if you can afford these (and it’s not impossible, this is still quite approachable), we recommend them above the other two collections.
Mattress Maintenance Tips
As we mentioned above, below-average durability is the main downside of owning a Sealy innerspring mattress. Overall, the models perform rather well, but longevity is a concern. To help you make the most of your product, we are including a small list of simple tips on how to avoid damage or spread out the wear ‘n’ tear and get longer effective use:
– Clean your mattress regularly. You want to keep allergens and dust as far away from your sleeping surface as possible. However, be careful when applying cleaning products or dealing with spills – using the wrong substance or applying too much product can damage the foam inside your mattress, weakening its performance considerably.
– Rotate the mattress vertically from time to time. Once every six months to a year is fine for such an approach. The reason for doing this is that you even out the wear on specific parts of your bed. That way, you don’t accumulate all the decay and damage on one part of the bed, which would otherwise create a big problem for you or your significant other.
– When moving your bed around the house, do so very carefully. Before you even buy it, measure your doorways, hallways, and tight spots to make sure the mattress can fit without excessive bending. Bending the model too much can cause damage and void the warranty, so be careful.
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Michael is a professional writer based in Boston and someone who has always been fascinated with the mysteries of sleep. When he’s not reading about new sleep studies and working on our news section, you can find him playing video games or visiting local comic book stores.