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When it comes to memory foam mattresses TEMPUR® is widely recognised as the market leader, thanks to being a long-established brand with proven high quality sleep products. Emerging as a luxury name when memory foam technology became commercially available to the domestic consumer market for the first time, TEMPUR® quickly gained a reputation for high performance mattresses incorporating this type of material. At ERGOFLEX™, we're confident that we offer a viable high quality value alternative to TEMPUR’s® premium mattresses, and are happy to demonstrate this with a like-for-like comparison.
Since ERGOFLEX™ launched in 2006 there has been huge number of newcomers in the memory foam mattress market, particularly from around 2015 onwards. Most of these ‘millenial’ mattress brands offer a similar product, with minor varying approaches to material composition, layers and quality. It’s objectively fair to say that none offer the level of performance found in TEMPUR’s® original range, as they simply don’t employ the same specification grade or density of memory foam or other high quality materials. In many cases the material grade is mid-range at best, despite claims to the contrary.
However, at ERGOFLEX™ we're confident that we in fact do offer a comparable alternative to TEMPUR's® premium mattresses. We know we can go head-to-head with TEMPUR™ on matter-of-fact statistics, rather than loose verbal comparisons that don’t go into specific detail.
Here’s how the ERGOFLEX™ stacks up against TEMPUR® on three of the most important factors;
Composition: The ERGOFLEX™ 5G visco-elastic memory foam mattress comprises of 9cm of our proprietary ACPT™ high-density memory foam, 5cm 'cool sleep™' air-flow system, 9cm high resilient impact-resistant foundation layer, inner cover and breathable, natural TENCEL® outer cover - making a total depth of 23cm. The TEMPUR® Original 21cm deep mattress contains 10cm of proprietary TEMPUR® material resting on base layer of 11cm deep high resilience PU foam - making the ERGOFLEX™ and TEMPUR® mattresses similar in dimension and layers.
Material Quality: The TEMPUR Original 21 and ERGOFLEX™ 5G memory foam mattresses both use a high density impact-resistant PU foam as a base layer. ERGOFLEX™ uses 9cm of our ACPT 5.3lb (85kg/m3) density memory foam top layer, while TEMPUR's mattress uses 10cm of 85kg/m3 density TEMPUR® material - meaning that both mattresses provide a high-performance premium experience.
Price: The TEMPUR® Original 21cm mattress costs £1,839 due to its high-quality material specifications, composition, and household name branding. The king-size ERGOFLEX™ 5G with its demonstrably comparable high performance specification and composition costs just £999.
Two outstanding memory foam mattresses, and one huge difference in price.
Shopping around for a new memory foam mattress? Take a look at our buying guide for some tips on what to look out for.
Memory foam is a technologically advanced type of visco-elastic PU foam. True visco-elastic memory foam mattresses are temperature sensitive and are designed with billions of spherical shaped open cells. These cells are designed to respond to body temperature and pressure points. They shift their form under the weight of your body, shaping to the contours and giving support where it's needed most. Unlike standard foams, as well as its temperature-sensitive qualities, a premium memory foam mattress has an open cell structure which allows air to circulate freely through the material.
However, the term 'memory foam' is often applied to what amounts to wide range of materials with a huge variation in performance. This means that simply calling a mattress 'memory foam' doesn’t begin to indicate crucial information such as density, ILD rating and firmness rating. These are the factors that will tell you how a memory foam mattress will feel and perform over time, and when you’re armed with this information you’re able to make a more informed buying decision.
If you’re considering buying a memory foam mattress from a retailer that doesn’t disclose this information then there’s a good chance that the mattress isn’t quite as highly specified as they would like you to believe. We’ll explain these factors in jargon-free detail below, but first let’s take a look at the basics of buying a mattress.
Memory foam mattresses are typically compatible with the vast majority of bed bases, and it’s likely that the ERGOFLEX™ will work perfectly on your existing base. The ERGOFLEX™ doesn’t require any sort of additional support or suspension from the bed base, so a divan or traditional slatted frame or platform bed base are all ideal foundations for the mattress. If you’ve got a wooden slatted base we recommend that the gaps should be no wider than 3" apart, and we would never recommend placing your mattress directly on the floor – anything you may have read to the contrary shows a lack of real world experience on the part of the retailer.
As with most purchases it is common sense to compare a few different options before making a decision, particularly when it comes to something as closely linked to your health and daily wellbeing as a mattress. Unfortunately, it seems that what should be a simple process is somewhat complicated when it comes to mattresses, thanks to the approach of certain brands. In many cases these days it seems that lots of brands prioritise a glossy, superficial marketing approach above informing the customer as to what they’re actually selling.
It could be perceived that it suits many retailers to make it almost impossible to make a basic consumer comparison between different memory foam mattresses, their specification, and what you are getting for your money because their products possibly don’t stand up to close scrutiny.
We at ERGOFLEX™ have tried to be as transparent and informative as possible in this regard. We truly believe our mattresses offer the best performance, quality, and value for money currently available. We feel if you have something to shout about, it's important to shout loudly - not make it difficult to make comparisons. This is why we have put our memory foam mattress head to head with the TEMPUR® mattress, recognised by all as the pioneer and market leader in the manufacturing of memory foam mattresses.
It's important not to confuse the overall depth of the memory foam mattress with the depth of the memory foam layer itself - as it's this, and only this, which will make it feel comfortable, supportive, and overall, deliver the pressure relieving qualities you would expect from a high quality memory foam mattress.
As well as depth of the memory foam layer it’s vital to know the depths of the other layers that make up the whole composition of the mattress, as well as how they’ll work together. Every ERGOFLEX™ includes 9cms of 5G High-Density 85/kg/m3 visco-elastic memory foam, a depth that has been meticulously researched to provide an optimum level of pressure-relieving body support and work perfectly with the other layers of the mattress.
The density rating of any foam mattress generally refers to the density of the top layer of visco-elastic memory foam, not the entire mattress - as the supporting base foam layer of a true memory foam mattress uses a 'high resilience' or 'impact resistant' polyurethane foam. This should never be confused with visco-elastic memory foam. It's important to understand that the top layer of visco-elastic memory foam is the most-costly to manufacture, and ultimately the most important component in any memory foam mattress composition.
The density rating is a measurement of how much visco-elastic memory foam actually resides within the foam layer of the mattress. The lesser the density, the lesser the raw material content actually making up the memory foam layer, and ultimately the bigger the cells or 'air cavities' as a result. The higher the density of the memory foam layer, the heavier the memory foam will be. And most importantly, the cells or 'air cavities' in the memory foam will be smaller, more tightly packed, and present in greater numbers. This makes them both harder to break down and ultimately indicates the muscular / skeletal support and 'life expectancy' you can expect from the mattress. It is clinically recognised that the higher the density of the memory foam layer, the better support the memory foam will provide.
A high-density memory foam mattress will feel more full-bodied and sumptuous in comparison with lower quality imitations. It is a common misconception that this dictates the firmness of the memory foam. Advanced manufacturers of true high-density visco-elastic foam are able to manipulate firmness ratings regardless of density. Many manufacturers producing low-density variants, such as 50kg/m3, will often make their memory foam feel firmer in an attempt to pass it off as high density. Inevitably the cell structure of mattresses with lower densities will break down much quicker and ultimately cause the memory foam to sag over a shorter period of ownership and use.
The density rating is calculated by weighing a cubic meter of the memory foam, which is why you see ratings expressed by weight, i.e. 85kg/m3. For those more comfortable using imperial measurements, the same calculation applies in that you weigh a cube of memory foam measuring 1 foot in each direction. The density is then displayed in lbs - i.e. 5.3lb.
The ERGOFLEX™ memory foam mattress uses a luxury 9cm deep 5G high-density memory foam layer, with a density rating of 85kg/m3, or 5.3lb.
The best way to understand this is to go by the manufacturers rating. For example, the ERGOFLEX™ memory foam mattress is rated as medium/firm.
However, the difficulty with this is that no independent firmness tests or guides currently exist in the UK for manufacturers to adhere to and benchmark their mattress against others. This makes it difficult to understand comparisons between different memory foam manufacturers products. How soft or firm the foam feels to each of us is a very subjective matter. Each of us has different comfort preferences, which makes this interpretation or rating guide difficult to use in isolation. This is why we also recommend you understand the 'ILD' rating of the mattress to gauge its firmness. The ILD rating of a mattress is explained below.
The density and ILD (sometimes referred to as IFD) rating of a memory foam mattress provides the best indication as to the quality and firmness level you should expect from the mattress.
'ILD' stands for 'indentation load deflection'. Put simply, it indicates how hard or soft the memory foam will be.
This is calculated by measuring how many pounds of pressure are required to indent a 4" layer of memory foam by 25%. The test is performed by applying equal pressure over an area of 50 square inches to indent the memory foam by 25%. The amount of pressure required to indent the foam by 25% of its total depth is calculated in weight.
To make sense of this, and better understand the ILD rating of a memory foam mattress, take this example;
It may take 8lbs of pressure to indent a very soft memory foam by 25%, or 20lbs of pressure to indent a very firm sample of memory foam.
You will often see the ILD rating expressed in a range, i.e. 10 - 12, as opposed to a single number. This is because the ILD rating can vary slightly depending on how the memory foam has been conditioned or the environment it has been stored in prior to testing. Moisture and humidity are two factors that can influence the slight variation in measurement, which is why many retailers display the ILD rating in a range format.
ERGOFLEX™ memory foam mattresses have an ILD rating of 13 - 15, or more accurately, 13lbs - 15lbs - putting them in the category of medium to firm.