Challenging the Startups

According to Bloomberg, when Tempur-Sealy decided to design and market its own online only boxed bed, it offered its retailers the option of selling it on their own websites, receiving a share of the revenue. One major bedding retailer turned the offer down. Why? Mattress Firm, which also owns Sleep Train and Sleepy’s, was planning its own entry. On October 1, 2015, over five months before Tempur-Sealy released the Cocoon by Sealy, Mattress Firm unveiled Dream Bed. It was a 10” high latex/memory foam mattress, available only online, shipped rolled-up in a box.

Two Models

The Cocoon has two firmness levels to choose from, Soft and Firm. There are two Dream Bed models: the Original 10” Dream Mattress and the Cool 10” Dream Mattress. The first is latex/memory foam, the second is gel/memory foam. But there is no choice in firmness other than what comes from choosing between the two models.


Both Dream Bed models have woven covers that are breathable. The constituent fibers are not named.

     Original 10” Dream Mattress

The Original Dream Bed is a hybrid of latex and memory foam. The comfort layers are 1½” each of latex and memory foam. This is the same configuration as the Casper Mattress. The latex in the Casper is 3.3-lb. synthetic Dunlop latex, but the type and density in the Original Dream Bed is not disclosed. Neither is the density of the Original’s memory foam disclosed. This may be part of the simple process – not so much information that it confuses the shopper. But one might reasonably expect it to be available on a FAQs page.

The Original has a 7” high support core of high density “base foam” (polyurethane). By contrast, the support core in the Casper is only 5” high under a 1½” transition layer for a 6½” total height. One of two reviewers complained that the Original was “Way too firm” for her, and the difference between this model and the Casper is the transition layer. However, only two reviews is not sufficient to make a fair evaluation (the other reviewer gave this mattress 5 stars).

     Cool 10” Dream Mattress

Mattress Firm lists10½” as the actual height of the Cool Dream Bed, but 10⅝” is more like it.

The support core is 7½” high, ½” higher than in the Original. Without certain details in the specifications, we have to assume the “base foam” here is the same material and density as in the Original.

No latex here. The one comfort layer is 3” of memory foam. The density is not given, but independent reviewers comment on how soft it is, as well as conforming. This indicates that the density is low, close to 3½ lbs. This makes the memory foam more pressure sensitive and less temperature sensitive, meaning that the sleeper sinks in sooner, not waiting for the memory foam to warm up under body heat.

Speaking about warming up and body heat, the reason this model is labeled Cool is the ⅛” coating of gel on the top of the memory foam. The cooling dynamics of a sheet of gel are different from those of gel infusion of foam. But there are still limitations to cooling with gel.

After lying unused all day, the gel has cooled down. How cool depends on the room temperature. When the sleeper lies down, the initial sensation is coolness as the gel begins absorbing body heat. There is enough gel in a ⅛” layer to keep absorbing longer than beads or swirls of gel in foam. And heat will be conducted by the continuity of the gel to unoccupied areas to dissipate, making it more efficient than gel infusion. The real test of cooling in a mattress is whether it is still cool at the end of a long night’s sleep.

One other advantage a sheet of gel has over infusion in foam is its semi-fluid support. However, with only ⅛” of gel, this may be more of a smoothing effect.


Cooling in a mattress is more effective when it includes airflow through the top layers and out through the border. A prime example of this is the Airflow Transfer System developed by Selectabed, a subsidiary of Relief-Mart, which is an option for most Selectabed mattresses and a standard feature for mattresses by Tempflow, Air-Pedic, and Snuggle-Pedic. Dr. Rick Swartzburg explains and shows how this airflow system works in a video.

Memory Foam

Dream Bed mattresses are memory foam mattresses, one model pairing with latex, and the other adding gel. Memory foam is used in mattresses for its conformity, which provides pressure relief and spinal support. How effective is this in the Dream Bed Original Mattress and the Dream Bed Cool Mattress?

The Original is a latex/memory foam hybrid mattress, with a layer of each with equal heights. Since the latex comes between the sleeper and the visco-elastic memory foam, it can mask the feel of the visco memory foam, lessen the effective benefits. This is the same configuration as in the Casper Mattress.

However, the Fibro-Pedic and Soft-Pedic by Selectabed, also latex/memory foam hybrids, have memory foam over a zoned layer of Talalay latex. The memory foam is the closest layer to the user, who gets the full benefit of this material. Meanwhile, zoning of the more resilient latex provides extra support to the heaviest portion of the body.

The memory foam in the Cool Mattress is closer to the sleeper than it is in the Original, and there is twice as much. This means that the user receives more benefit of the memory foam in Cool. It seems that the gel coating might take away from the feel of the memory foam, but with only ⅛” of gel, the detraction might not be noticeable. It is not at the same level as an inch-and-a-half of latex.

It is hard to make a direct comparison with the memory foam in other brands, since Mattress Firm has not disclosed the density of its foams. However, evaluations of independent reviewers indicate that this is low-density foam. Their reason may be that lighter foam would be better for compressing and rolling the mattress. But lighter memory foam also is less durable and generally has shorter longevity. By contrast, the Snuggle-Pedic Mattress, also a compressed and rolled boxed bed, uses 4-lb memory foam, the same as in the top layers of Tri-Pedic mattresses and some Tempur-Pedic models.


At the time of this writing, the Dream Bed has been on the market for more than a year, and the Cool Mattress came out about a month later. There are, as yet, very few customer reviews of these mattresses on the websites of Mattress Firm and its subsidiary retailers, only two for each model. We don’t know whether this is a reflection of sales, just a low response rate, or selectivity in publishing reviews.

This may or may not be related, but there are several questions on Q&A which have gone unanswered for many months.