The Sealy Latex Mattress — A Disappointing Turn of Events

Sealy used to make a good latex mattress back in the old days—like ten years ago. The Posturepedic Spring Free combined durability with comfort and the price wasn’t too bad either—three factors that make any mattress a winner. What did they replace it with? Well, it’s now called simply Sealy Latex, and even that stripped-down bare-bones label promises more than you’re actually getting.

To be clear, some large retailers are selling products under the “Sealy Comfort Series Latex” but that name is no longer being marketed by Sealy. You may also find models with the “Sealy Embody Latex” label. These too, have been discontinued, but it is possible that stores are still selling their old inventory. Or it may even be possible that some manufacturers are producing these models under an old licensing agreement. However the Sealy website makes no mention of them, so do not expect them to be produced for much longer in the future.

What’s In This Thing?

The newest Sealy version contains a 6 or 7 inch firm polyurethane foam core topped by more layers of softer polyurethane foam, and a couple layers of synthetic latex foam varying from a half inch to one inch in thickness. Is it OK to call a 10 or 12-inch poly foam mattress with (at most) two and a half inches of latex material a “latex mattress”? I suppose it is legal, but more than a tad misleading. But it is left up to the consumer to figure that out and make the necessary comparisons.

It is still possible that this is a relatively comfortable and durable mattress. A poly core will not last as long as a latex core, but will offer plenty of support to the average sleeper who is not unusually heavy or large. The padding, a mix of poly foam and latex layers, will not stand up to wear as much as all-latex, but it is still good enough. There should be no complaint about a high-quality foam mattress. Just don’t call it a latex.

There is no other Sealy mattress that offers more than 10-20 percent latex at this time. Sealy only offers a polyurethane core on all its foam models under the Sealy brand. If you want higher quality you must upgrade to a Stearns and Foster latex bed.

What Type of Latex Padding?

As mentioned in various articles, there are two kinds of latex — natural latex and synthetic latex. A mattress manufacturer will always let you know if any padding is made from natural latex (from the rubber tree) because it is a selling point these days, and justifies a higher price.

No Sealy latex mattress, past or present, has ever offered all-natural latex as an option. Stearns and Foster does not seem to offer it either at this time. Sealy’s trademarked “Smart latex” is synthetic. It has the breathability and resilience of natural latex but is made from petroleum derivatives. If you desire 100 percent all-natural latex, you will need to go with a different brand than Sealy. If you prefer a blend of natural and synthetic, you can try the Simmons latex mattress or Serta latex mattress. Not many big brands offer 100 percent natural latex. Simmons comes closest with its Natural Care line of latex beds, at 65 percent.

Other Features and Price

All Posturepedic mattresses come with a non-toxic fire retardant blended into the fabric. As far as comfort goes, Sealy offers various firmness levels. Firm, Cushion Firm, Plush and Ultra Plush in their “latex” bed, same as all their other beds. The “comfort levels” in the Sealy Brand Latex is determined by the thickness and softness of the latex foam padding.

The Sealy Brand latex mattress starts at $999 according to the Sealy site, but you can no doubt get one in firm level for about $200 less than that.

As always, Sealy latex mattresses are sold both online and in various large retail stores and smaller mattress stores.

Reviews and Comparisons

Most reviews found online by searching “Sealy Latex” are of models that have been discontinued. The Sealy Embody latex mattress, which is in some cases triple the price of the Sealy Brand latex, and the Comfort Series, both get some decent reviews. Most people who buy foam mattresses, whether polyfoam, latex or memory foam, are happier than those who buy innerspring, for various reasons. However there are still plenty of complaints among these buyers as there are for all mattresses.

Compare to the Simmons and Serta mattress if you are longing for latex. The Sealy may be cheaper but contains less of the material than these other brands.

Also compare to the smaller companies specializing in all-natural latex. It is possible to get a custom-made layered mattress of 100 percent natural if you want the true latex experience.

The Sealy is NOT a latex mattress but is still a decent bed if you are looking for polyurethane foam with at least one inch of latex for surface enhancement. If you are relatively lightweight, have no musculoskeletal complaints or special mattress needs, and are a cool sleeper, this mattress will be fine for you especially when the price is right.

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