On the Leading Edge of Specialty Sleep

In 2017 Boyd Sleep became the new name for Boyd Specialty Sleep. This was more than a cosmetic change, an aesthetic streamlining of the name and logo. It reflected a real change in Boyd’s product lines. With the inclusion of innerspring mattresses and hybrid mattresses, this was no longer just a “specialty sleep” company.

So, what is “specialty sleep”? Specialty sleep means mattresses without metal springs. When the term was coined, most mattresses had innersprings, rows of steel coils either attached to each other or held in fabric pockets. Non-coil mattresses of the time, waterbeds and airbeds, were indeed specialty items.

Denny Boyd began his business in 1977, first selling, then making waterbeds. Close to a decade later, his company began to make adjustable airbeds. Boyd was an early member of the Specialty Sleep Association.

In 1991, visco-elastic (memory foam) mattresses were introduced in Europe, and the next year they came to North America, and TEMPUR-Pedic mattresses took market share from waterbeds, airbeds, and especially innerspring mattresses. After this, Boyd began making memory foam mattresses and latex mattresses and the company became Boyd Specialty Sleep.

Boyd’s Memory Foam

Two varieties of memory foam Boyd Sleep has had for a long time, at least since before 2011, are MicroTec Gel™ memory foam and RespondaFlex. Boyd still sells mattresses from its Responda-Flex line. Some RespondaFlex memory foam, but not all, is gel-infused. The stated purpose of the gel is cooling.  The Responda-Flex collection is marked as “Discontinued” by GoodBed.

Most, if not all, of the memory foam used by Boyd Sleep is open cell memory foam, which lets some air filter through. MicroTec Gel™ memory foam is ventilated with vertical perforations. Some lower layers have channels cut into them for horizontal airflow. This is to let air flow through the foam for cooling. A newer version of Boyd Sleep’s gel memory foam is called GelFlex.

Though the channels have a different cross section, they work on the same principle used in the Airflow Transfer System (ATS) – a standard feature of Tempflow and Snuggle-Pedic mattresses. ATS is a more effective cooling technology than either or both open-cell memory foam and gel infusion, as demonstrated in this video. That is the purpose of the channels and ventilation in these Boyd Sleep memory foam models.

All of Boyd’s foams are certified by CertiPUR-US as free from toxic substances and low in VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

Other Foams

Base Foam

As is common for foam mattresses, Boyd Sleep memory foam beds have support bases of high-density polyurethane foam. The reason for this is that comfort foams will bottom out if they are soft enough. A firm foam will serve to support the sleeper without being as unforgiving as the floor, because it has some give. This is the same reason higher foam mattresses are generally rated as more comfortable. The middle layers become progressively firmer for graded support.

There are at least two polyurethane base foams used by Boyd Sleep. The first is Reflexa Foam, used in the Classic Series of Broyhill memory foam mattresses. The second is FoamSpring. Channels with a special cross section are cut into this for horizontal air flow.

Engineered Latex

Many memory foam mattresses by Boyd Sleep also have “engineered latex” foam beneath the memory foam. In most cases, it is infused with gel and called GelLux. Although the company does not elaborate on why this material is there, latex and latex-like foams are used beneath memory foam to add resiliency

Since Boyd Sleep uses the term “engineered latex” in their product descriptions, we’ll use it here for them, but with the awareness that some persons question its use.

Covers

Boyd Sleep’s memory foam mattresses are diverse, partly because most are licensed to other labels. This is true not only for the foams and configurations, but also for the covers. Most covers are quilted. Materials used on the covers include IntelliTempphase change materials for temperature regulation, Celliant Fibers to increase blood circulation by converting body heat to infrared radiation, and blends of polyester and cotton.

Memory Foam Collections

One of the early Boyd Specialty Sleep memory foam lines was the Responda-Flex Collection. It has been discontinued. Since 2013, Boyd Sleep has been making memory foam beds for the Heritage Home brands Broyhill and Thomasville. Most of these are under the Broyhill label.

The Cube

In 2015, Boyd Sleep introduced its adjustable memory foam mattress, The Cube. The top one or two layers (depending on the model) each have rows seven blocks of foam. These blocks are firmer on one side than on the other, and can be flipped to adjust the support and feel for the sleeper. They are wrapped in nylon tricot, color coded on each side for firmer or softer. The cover is zipped so it can be opened to make the adjustments. A perimeter wall keeps the blocks in place.

Broyhill Memory Foam Mattresses

Broyhill memory foam mattresses are carried by stores selling Broyhill Furniture, including The Bedroom Store, as well as a number of online retailers and the Broyhill Memory Foam Mattresses website. There are three series: Supreme Gel Memory Foam, Classic Memory Foam, and Adjustable Memory Foam. The first two series constitute the Sensura collection with “Body Dynamic Memory Foam.” Models in the Classic Memory Foam series are currently marked by The Bedroom Store as closeouts, indicating that they will soon be discontinued. This leaves those with gel memory foam and adjustable memory foam, hinting at what Denny Boyd sees as the future of memory foam beds.

One of the early brand names for Boyd Specialty Sleep memory foam mattresses was Luxa Rest. There are no reviews now available for those models.

Classic Memory Foam

“Classic” in the mattress industry usually means older (legacy) designs and styles which still have appeal for some customers. With changing customer preferences and advances in design and technology, remaining time for these models is often limited.

Three models are currently listed in this series: 608 8″ Memory Foam, 610 10″ Memory Foam, and 611 11″ Memory Foam. Each mattress has three layers: open cell memory foam, convoluted comfort foam, and Reflexa foam base. What differentiates the models is the height of the layers.

Using open-cell foam means that air can filter through the layer. This does provide some cooling, but not as much as ventilated foam. The stated purpose of the convoluted foam is to provide “contouring support and strength.” However, convoluted foam has been used by some manufacturers for cooling.

Supreme Gel Memory Foam

Like mattresses in the Classic series, these models bear the trade name Sensura. The names of four models in the Supreme Gel Memory Foam series are on the Broyhill Memory Foam Mattresses main page, but only three are described on the page for that series: 6100 10″ Gel Memory Foam, 6120 12″ Gel Memory Foam, and 6130 13″ Gel Memory Foam. The main page link for the 6140 14″ Gel Memory Foam brings up a message that the link is outdated. Another model in this series, the 6120, is labeled “closeout” by The Bedroom Store.

The key ingredient of these models is gel. The top layer of each model is Gel Enhanced Memory Foam, and the base layer is Channel Vented FoamSpring. The 6110 and 6130 have only three layers, while the 6120 has four. The second layer is convoluted comfort foam in 6100, convoluted memory foam in 6120, and open-cell memory foam in 6130. The third layer in 6120 is high density comfort foam.

Called “exclusive channel venting” in the descriptions, the top gel memory foam layer has special-shaped channels cut into the bottom side. This is to enhance airflow by bringing it closer to the top surface. Air does not have as far to filter though. It may seem that these channels could weaken the layer. That would be more likely if these top layers were only 1” thick, but it is 3” in the 6100 and 2” in the 6120 and 6130.

The Channel Vented FoamSpring in the base is also vented, with the channels opening to the top. This is coupled with breathable covers to foster airflow for cooling. It addresses the limitations of gel for cooling. In this case the concept is that gel will conduct heat as far as the memory foam channels, where it will be transferred to the air flowing through down to the base channels.

Thomasville Memory Foam Beds

Thomasville Furniture lists only four memory foam mattresses on its website with no details in the descriptions – not even mattress heights – but a “find a store” button. However, the Thomasville Momentum series is listed on The Bedroom Store (TBS), and its models on Costco, where the model names do not have “Momentum” in them, but the descriptions do. The models on TBS are Momentum I, Momentum II, and Momentum III.  One correlates almost exactly to the Gel Rest on Costco, but the other two seem to be especially configured for Costco.

Momentum

A key feature for Thomasville Momentum mattresses is the ”Vertically Vented Gel Infused Memory Foam” in the top layer. The gel memory foam has thousands of vertical pores punched through it with the express purpose of air flow for cooling and moisture control. This is what keeps the gel effective in cooling. Heat conducted away from the sleeper by the gel is transferred to the flowing air to be carried further down and out. Otherwise, the gel would absorb the heat until it became too warm to cool the sleeper.

Intuition

The Thomasville Intuition series of foam mattresses, which use gel memory foam, is available only in independent furniture stores and those that carry Ellen Degeneres furnishings. The Thomasville Furniture website shows these under the Bedroom/Mattresses tabs. There are five models, Intuition 1 though Intuition 5. Descriptions on the Thomasville site are skimpy with no details, not even mattress heights. But there is more on store websites (you need a Google or Bing search to find them). The Intuition 5 is 12” high. Although this series is sold all over the country, there seem to be no customer reviews online, at least none found by us.

Customer Response
Mattress Reviews

We calculate our ratings in accordance to our Verified Review Policy.

 

Customer reviews of memory foam mattresses by Boyd Sleep are hard to find. One reason is that most are made under the Thomasville, Broyhill, and Lane brands. Some are sold online and in locations of The Bedroom Store, but most are sold in stores carrying the furniture brands. Therefore, we only get a glimpse of customer response to these mattresses. The Bedroom Store does not have reviews of Thomasville and Broyhill memory foam mattresses posted online.

Costco

Variations of the Thomasville Momentum Series of memory foam mattresses are sold by Costco. Comparing descriptions with those on The Bedroom Store, these appear to be customized for Costco. Besides the Momentum series, Costco also sells the Thomasville Flex Aire Adjustable Air Mattress with Memory Foam.

Out of the customers buying Thomasville memory foam mattresses at Costco, only 20 have posted reviews. This is not much of a sample, but is does give a peek. These customers gave an average rating of 4.15 stars out of 5. Eight of the reviews are for the airbed with memory foam, with a 3.88 average rating, while the 12 reviews of Momentum models (none for the Gel Rest) average 4.33. Of the three negative reviews of the Flex Aire, only one might refer to the memory foam.

GoodBed

True to form, GoodBed appears to be a magnet for customers with an axe to grind. Nevertheless, when it comes to memory foam mattresses under the Broyhill and Thomasville brands, they seem to have a greater percentage of 5-star and 4-star reviews than brands sold on Amazon, Walmart.com, and other sites which collect verified customer reviews. This may be because most of these beds are sold in stores with no online reviews – many of these stores do not have websites or facebook pages. This makes GoodBed the one place they can post a review.

Almost all of the reviews of the Boyd Sleep memory foam mattresses on GoodBed are for all mattresses under the Thomasville and Broyhill brands. For Broyhill, these are all foam models – memory foam and latex. For Thomasville, these could also include airbeds as well. Reviews for Boyd Specialty Sleep also include waterbeds.

There are 17 customer reviews of Broyhill mattresses on GoodBed, and 64 for Thomasville. Only one Broyhill model is named, the 12” Custom Firm, and it has only two reviews. Two Thomasville models (Elite II and Intuition 4) and one series (Momentum) are named. The Broyhill mattresses average 3.24, and Thomasville 3.63.

The GoodBed aggregate is 3.54. However, there are two anomalies.
(1) The overall owners rating (how many recommend the bed) is 85% (4.25 stars), much higher than their ratings for the mattresses.
(2) The overall ratings on issues (Back Support, Pressure Relief, Sleep Quality, Stays Cool) differ from the mattress ratings. For Broyhill this is 3.42, 18 points higher, but for Thomasville it is 3.52, 9 points lower. Both brands scored highest on Stays Cool.

The Aggregate Rating

The overall aggregate rating of all reviews for Boyd Sleep memory foam mattresses, taking into account the number of reviews for each source (totaling 101 reviews/ratings), is 3.66 (73%). This is significantly lower than the 83% rating for Boyd Adjustable Airbeds.

Pros & Cons
Thumb up or down

Memory foam mattresses by Boyd Sleep get their highest marks for sleeping cool. This may be credited by most people to gel in the foams, but the real credit should be for the airflow enhancement through channel cuts, ventilation, and breathable covers. The lowest marks are for back support.

Boyd Sleep Memory Foam Mattresses

Boyd Sleep Memory Foam Mattresses
7.1

Costco and GoodBed

7.1/10

Pros

  • Sleeps Cool

Cons

  • Back Support