Consumer Reports mattress pricing reports that Sealy makes models at a wide range of prices, from $500 for a queen to more than $4,000 for a foam mattress. A plush pillow-top (queen mattress only) can range from $800 to $3,000. See Consumer Reports.
Obviously, buying a mattress can be an expensive proposition and a while back someone mentioned to us that they had purchased a mattress topper and were very pleased with it. It was like sleeping on a new mattress, they said. So, we purchased a Dream Serenity 3" Cool Breeze Memory Mattress Topper at Walmart for $130 and love it.
Memory foam consists mainly of polyurethane as well as additional chemicals increasing its viscosity and density. Higher-density memory foam softens in reaction to body heat, allowing it to mold to a warm body in a few minutes. Newer foams may recover more quickly to their original shape. A memory foam mattress is usually denser than other foam mattresses, making it both more supportive and heavier.
The Dream Serenity comes packaged in a box and upon removal it took about an hour to expand and it fit the bed perfectly and did not slide around. It also came with a cloth cover that fit very well. We have gotten a good night's sleep and there has been no aching back upon awakening.
A common complaint about memory foam mattresses is the unpleasant chemical smell produced by the topper which for some is unbearable.
Memory foam mattress toppers are manufactured using chemicals such as polyurethane, so it isn’t surprising that it emits an unpleasant odor. Even if some other material is used, they still have to be treated with flame-retardants comply with the federal standards concerning flammability of toppers. These compounds are called volatile organic compounds. This off gassing is a well-documented property of the toppers and mattresses.
Also, some wonder if there are health issues related to this off gassing, but most people have reported that they didn’t face any health issues due to their usage of memory foam toppers but a minority of people reported the contrary.
Emissions from memory foam mattresses may directly cause more respiratory irritation than other mattresses. Memory foam, like other polyurethane products, can be combustible. Laws in several jurisdictions have been enacted to require that all bedding, including memory foam items, be resistant to ignition from an open flame.
Manufacturers caution about leaving babies and small children unattended on memory foam mattresses, as they may find it difficult to turn over, and may suffocate.
Short-term exposure to high concentrations of some chemicals in memory foam irritates the nose and throat. The effects of long-term exposure in humans involve the central nervous system, and include headaches, dizziness, nausea, and memory loss. Animal studies indicate that inhalation of some chemicals affects the liver, kidney, and cardiovascular system. The Dream Serenity we purchased did not have any odor at all.
There are some solutions to the smell problem though:
Air it out – remove all the plastic packaging and place it outdoors for a few hours on a non humid and dry day. If you are unable to take it outside at all, just prop it up in a well ventilated room against a chair so that it releases the smell from all sides. Open all windows and turn the fan on.
Baking Soda – after airing out, sprinkle baking soda all over the topper and let it sit for a few hours. The vacuum the baking soda.
Patience – the won’t last long. How long depends on the finishing of the product, the type of foam, the room ventilation or the sensitivity of the person.