Revolutionizing Memory Foam Mattress Design
The first memory foam mattress was put on the market in 1991 in Sweden by Fagerdala World Foam as the Swedish Tempur Mattress (this came from the name “temper foam” that NASA engineers called the foam they developed because it was temperature-sensitive). It was a layer of memory foam on a thicker layer of firm polyurethane foam. Because of its pressure relief, it quickly became popular in Sweden. The next year, Tempur-Pedic was started in Lexington, Kentucky to sell the Tempur Mattress in North America, where it also became popular. Since then, Tempur-Pedic has been the standard to which other memory foam mattresses are compared.
The New Design
The original Tri-Pedic, introduced in 2005, was designed to correct common problems with memory foam mattresses. These were:
- Too firm when cold
- Hard to change position
- Too soft when warm
- Too hot
All four of these problems were attributed to the 5.3-lb. density memory foam top layer. The denser the memory foam, the more temperature-sensitive it is. This is what gives it memory. As it warms up, it softens. Since it warms more under the larger body parts, that is where it sinks in more. This way it conforms better to the body – less pressure on large joints, more support for smaller ones. This can be seen in pressure mapping of memory foam mattresses.
1. Too Stiff
Before the memory foam warmed up, it was stiff. Not only is denser memory foam more temperature-sensitive, it is less pressure-sensitive. The solution was to split the top layer into two layers, with 4-lb. memory foam in the top layer and 5-lb. foam in the next. Since it was more pressure-sensitive, it would begin to conform as soon as the user got into bed. Then as it warmed up, it conformed more closely to the body.
2.Hard to Move
The 5.3-lb. memory foam had a memory long enough that the sleeper rested on ridges and hollows after moving. The 4-lb. foam is more resilient than the denser foam. It takes less time to rebound when a sleeper moves, making it easier to change one’s position.
3. Too Soft
As the denser foam becomes warmer, it becomes softer, letting the sleeper sink in more. Some sleepers benefit from this, since it cradles them. But side sleepers may find it harder to breathe. 4-lb. memory foam does not sink in as far.
4. Too Hot
As the 5.3-lb. memory foam absorbed more heat, it could not dissipate it well because it was too dense. The 4-lb. memory foam did not absorb as much heat, and it dissipated the heat more quickly. Therefore it did not get as hot.
Then 5-lb. memory foam put into the second layer for the benefit of greater conformity, even as the top layer was cooler and initially responsive. Since the new mattress had three layers instead of two, it was called the Tri-Pedic.
This new design had an impact. It was cooler than Tempur-Pedic mattresses and more responsive when the sleeper got into bed. After a while, Tempur-Pedic adopted the concept of lighter memory foam on top of denser memory foam, and this became the standard for memory foam mattress construction. The closest Tempur-Pedic mattresses to the original Tri-Pedic mattress was the TEMPUR-Pedic Cloud.
From One Model To A Series
Both the Tri-Pedic and the TEMPUR-Pedic Cloud branched out. The Tri-Pedic Mattress became the Tri-Pedic Series, and the Cloud became the TEMPUR-Cloud Collection.
The Tri-Pedic Series has three models: Tri-Pedic Gold, Tri-Pedic Platinum, and Tri-Pedic Diamond. They differ only in the thickness of the top layer. In each model, the middle layer is 2” of 5-lb memory foam, and the support base layer is 6” of HD polyurethane foam.
The 9” Tri-Pedic Gold is the lighter and firmer version of the original Tri-Pedic mattress. The 4-lb. memory foam top layer is only 1” high. The Tri-Pedic Gold is equivalent to the TEMPUR-Cloud Prima, which is now replaced by the TEMPUR-Adapt Medium. The cover is Kool-Flow fabric.
The 10” high Tri-Pedic Platinum is the original Tri-Pedic Mattress. The top layer of 4-lb. memory foam is 2” high. The cover was originally stretch cotton, but now it is Kool-Flow. The Tri-Pedic Platinum compares to the TEMPUR-Cloud Supreme, now replaced by the TEMPUR-ProAdapt Soft.
At 11” high, the Tri-Pedic Diamond is the highest Tri-Pedic memory foam mattress. The 3” thickness of the 4-lb, memory foam top layer makes it softer than the other two models. It is comparable to the TEMPUR-Cloud Luxe (now TEMPUR-LuxeAdapt Soft).
Besides the foams, the three models in the Tri=Pedic Series share two more key features – the Kool-Flow Cover, which is standard, and the Airflow Transfer System, with is optional.
The Kool-Flow Cover is made of Selectabed’s Kool-Flow fabric. This is a thick, knitted soft blend of bamboo-derived Rayon, polyester, and Lycra. It has knitted-in vents for enhanced breathability. It is also a component of the Air Transfer System.
Airflow Transfer System
Developed after the designing of the Tri-Pedic Mattress, the Airflow Transfer System (ATS) is an option (at $500) for this series as well as for several other Selectabed mattresses. Besides the Kool-Flow cover, the top layers are ventilated for vertical airflow and the top surface of the base layer is channel-cut for horizontal airflow. This facilitates better ventilation than open-cell memory foam by itself, or vertical ventilation without the horizontal channels, as demonstrated in this video.
Warranty and Sleep Trial
Tri-Pedic memory foam mattresses are covered by a 30-year warranty. The sleep trial is for 120 nights. The sleep trial is for 120 nights. During the sleep trial, the mattress can be modified for better results, such as firmer or softer.
We calculate our ratings in accordance with our Verified Review Policy.
Tri-Pedic mattresses are not sold on Amazon, so there are no verified customer reviews of them there.
The company has an average overall rating on Yelp of 4.5 stars. One reviewer rated the Tri-Pedic Platinum 4 Stars, which would have been 5 Stars except for a minor glitch in follow-up.
There is a 5-Star verified owner’s review on Beds.org. Tri-Pedic also received a very favorable writer’s review on Space Daily.
Verified customer reviews processed through Reseller Ratings are linked on Selectabed’s site. These are for any and all Selectabed mattresses, and most reviews are for customer service. Five reviewers name Tri-Pedic mattresses. Three reviews name the Platinum, and one names the Diamond. All are rated 5-stars.
Some customer comments are:
- “My daughter has had her Tri-Pedic for many years and loves it. After sleeping on her bed I had to have one too!”
- “We spent less money than we would have spent at the other store and bought a truly quality product.”
- “My husband…loves the comfort.”
- “It is everything we thought it would be and are extremely happy with it.”
- “My husband used to have a back ache and some hip pain in the morning with our old mattress. Now he can get up without any pain.”
- “With the custom modifications to my mattress I sleep so solid… like a rock!!!”
The weighted aggregate average for Tri-Pedic mattresses is 4.86 Stars (97%).
Then there are in-kind endorsements. The Sleep Disorders Center of Alabama uses Tri-Pedic and Fibro-Pedic mattresses on the beds in its clinic. And Tri-Pedic mattresses were “chosen by the State Department as the only Memory Foam Mattress offered for all of the U.S. Embassy housing around the world!”