Body Impressions: Does your mattress look like a crime scene?
Does the surface of your mattress look like a CSI Crime Scene without the chalk outline? Does it include cavernous body outlined impressions? If you’ve purchased a mattress and foundation in recent years it’s likely a body outline investigation needs to be opened to determine what caused it to sink and wear down so fast. Sure there is no body, but where you and yours sleep the evidence is clear, something went wrong with the mattress and it looks as though there is a body still sleeping in it.
Who did it?
Well of course… you did it, but you are not guilty of your sleeping surface not holding up and failing!
Who is responsible?
The manufacturer. Simply take notice about what is different about today’s mattresses. If you compare them to mattresses of the past, these new mattresses are big, fat, and extremely thick. The reasoning isn’t just about improving the feel, it’s much bigger than that; it’s about the customer’s perception of greater value. By constructing a mattress that is 12, 14, or even 16 inches thick or more, the bed builder can give the illusion of more mattress for the customer’s money whether it’s worth it or not. What they fail to divulge is how stuffing the mattress until the seams are about to burst with low quality inexpensive foam, padding, and fibers is the evidence for the fast failure sagging and body impressions.
What did it?
The fact is all mattresses develop body impressions break down from years of daily use; however the speed at which they fail can be controlled and minimized by purchasing Heavy Duty Mattresses that are built using stronger coil springs and furniture grade upholstery layering for comfort and support. The real problem with today’s mattresses they include the exact opposite. The inclusion of low grade polyurethane (PU) foam fiber and other synthetic materials loft the mattress for customer appeal and short term comfort. These are then layered directly on top of the coil spring unit which in itself is inferior to their predecessors.
- Typical coil spring units measure 6 to 7 inches thick.
- Total mattress thickness of 14 inches
- Remaining 7 to 8 inches- A combination of low density cheap PU foam and/or polyester fiber
One factor for determining foam quality is measuring its density. The mattress industry standard for foam density is not a written standard nor has anyone agreed on what it should be, however it is a fact that it is closer to the 1 pound density mark. This is far below what most professionals recommend as a minimum. (1.8 – 2.0 lbs). To put it into perspective 1.8 is typically considered the very minimum standard for foam density in sofas and chairs which explains most mattress short comings.
Not all one sided mattresses are bad
Contrary to belief all one sided beds are not inferior.
For example: Therapedic’s HD Heavy Duty Medicoil Mattresses. How 1 sided beds wear out or don’t simply boils down to how they are put together. The fact that the bulk of manufacturers (including the major S Brands) and their conversion to single sided designs is the contributing factor to premature wear. The industry wide change eliminated your option to flip your mattress and extend its useable life. Add to this the practice of building inferior beds with less total steel and low grade PU foam and cheap polyester fibers and they have significantly weakened the top mattress surface. This leaves head to toe rotation as the only care option for a one sided mattress.
Long weak warranties replace mattress quality
The mattress industry has a history of not standing behind mattress warranty claims. They often cover their butts by disclosing within the warranty card itself that body impressions are a normal occurrence. Since most customers don’t read their guarantees the door is open for those same people to lose their upcoming fight against a well prepared mattress juggernaut. Most warranties state clearly that before warranty rights can be exercised and exchanged for a new that the mattress they must first have 1½ to 2 inches of compression. By clearly posting this in their warranty card the manufacturer is essentially telling owners that the foam is going to wear out with a huge body indentation that is making your mattress uncomfortable. The warranties go on to say to reduce the speed at which this collapse of material will occur, you should occasionally rotate the mattress from end to end and flip, which of course is no longer an option with most mattresses and brands.
But wait, there’s more…
As if that is not bad enough – many people meet the company’s minimum measurement standards, but end up not getting their mattress replaced under their guarantee because of a stain.
There is a frequent practice that manufactures and dealers which reserves the right to refuse a trouble claim if the mattress has a stain or mark on it. This was originally intended to protect those who handled the mattresses from fluids such as blood and urine. Manufactures and dealers have re-written their own rules and in my opinion abused this portion of the guarantee. They do so by refusing to take back mattresses that have something as simple as a dirt mark or smudge claiming it falls under the guidelines of a stain. This has nothing to do with the beds failure and poses no threat to anyone who must handle it.
Important need to know
Warranties 10, 15 and even 20 years are not an indication of a mattresses life. They are a guarantee against defects. It is unfortunate that there are so many in the industry that does not know what a defect is.