Sealy and Simmons are two of the biggest mattress makers in the United States, with histories spanning well over a century, and a domination of the mattress market of today. Given their ‘big brand’ status, it can be hard to decide between the two when you’re out shopping, particularly if you haven’t been initiated into the technicalities of the sleep industry.
I’ve been through this myself – but that was a long time ago; to spare you the trial and error approach I went with, here’s a Sealy vs Simmons comparison that discusses their offerings in some detail, and also highlights the differences of one versus the other.
Sealy Historical Overview
Sealy started out in the two of Sealy, Texas in 1881, when Daniel Haynes, who was a cotton gin builder by profession, decided to make cotton filled mattresses for his friends. By 1889, he had invented a cotton compressing machine which he licensed to other mattress makers to manufacture products with the tag of “mattress from Sealy”.
In 1952, Sealy invented their signature Posturepedic Technology that used triple offset innerspring coils at its core to provide springy and firm back support. Since that time, Posturepedic has been integrated into all of their major mattress series, in conjunction with different types of foams and other comfort and support materials, to cater to the needs of all kinds of sleepers.
Pros and Cons of Sealy
- Traditionally firm, springy feel.
- Relatively simplistic product design.
- Durability concerns.
- Poor motion isolation.
The Big Difference: Support Core
The current iteration of Sealy’s Posturepedic Technology uses triple offset innersprings that are bound together with woven wire. This creates a firm and springy support core which is most suitable for back ache sufferers and/or back sleepers that want a surface which “pushes back” onto their joints and muscles.
The degree of intensity of this “push” is variable based on the model you select. Also, it should be noted that Posturepedic mattresses intensify their support at the center of the bed, which is where most of your body weight will be concentrated. This provides you with a level sleep surface, and also reduces the likelihood of early sagging.
Sealy Product Lines
The Response line is Sealy’s current collection of conventional innerspring mattresses. All models feature a support core consisting of precisely engineered innerspring coils that provide firmness and stability to your bed.
The higher end models (the ones with the Posturepdic tag), use memory foam at the center to provide lasting deep support. Also present, is some cooling gel foam, and a unique cushioning foam with peaks and valleys, both of which ensure optimal cooling and air flow.
You can choose models with different firmness ratings: plush, cushion firm, firm and ultra-firm, with the cheapest model priced around $500.
The memory foam lineup combines multiple layers of memory foam and polyurethane foam to yield a surface that shapes itself to the contours of your body, and cradles you as you sleep.
A modified Posturepedic support core is present in all but the cheapest of models (which rely exclusively on memory foam support): the customary innerspring core is replaced by an amalgamation of firmer polyfoam and memory foam layers, with an especially dense viscoelastic layer present at the top middle portion to support the center of your body mass.
To enhance heat dissipation, special cooling gel memory foam is placed between the layers of the mattress. Models are available in firm, cushion firm, plush and ultra-plush varieties, with a starting price of $699.
The recently created hybrid lineup is a middle ground for those who want a bit of conforming comfort, alongside the traditionally stable deep support afforded by an innerspring core underneath.
The Hybrid series uses memory foam sparingly, in conjunction with the Posturepedic system to achieve this balance. Products are available in a wide range of feels: from ultra-soft to firm, to cater to sleepers with different surface tastes.
This lineup isn’t for those on a budget though, with a starting price of $1,399.
Most products, regardless of the lineup, have high quality, stretchy fabric covers that provide a soft initial feel; the higher end models augment these covers with moisture wicking, cooling and allergen protection capabilities.
Quality and Durability
Sealy proudly proclaims that all of their mattresses are made and manufactured in the United States, which indicates that health, safety and quality standards have been observed to a minimum degree. However, they do not explicitly state the densities of the materials they have used in making their mattresses, which prevents our team from making an assessment as to the longevity of their products.
I have also come across several complaints about fast sagging (within six months of purchase) and even broken springs, which is sufficient cause for concern: based on this, I would advise even slightly bulky individuals to stay clear of them.
Sealy mattresses come with a 10 year limited warranty.
Sealy has priced their mattresses to be more easily accessible to a wider segment of users – while they do offer luxury models, even these don’t exceed more than $2,500. This is because their products have simpler designs: memory foam / polyfoam materials that are focused on conformity and cooling, combined with traditional offset coils that yield pushy, springy deep support.
Simmons Historical Overview
The Atlanta, Georgia based mattress company started out in the 1870s, with the large scale production of woven wire bedspring mattresses. By 1925, the company had expanded across the North American continent, and had created a device for mass producing coils.
These ‘pocketed coils’ were starkly different from traditional innerspring cores where the springs were linked together by wire, and offered far superior motion isolation and conformity. The HQ was moved to Georgia in the latter part of the 20th century, with the focus also shifting in part towards R&D.
Today, the manufacturer has multiple luxury mattress lineups that combine the signature pocketed coil support with various layers of bedding materials to create highly targeted sleep experiences for their consumers.
Pros and Cons of Simmons
- Conforming, spring support with ample motion separation.
- Luxurious feel.
- Durability concerns.
The Big Difference: Support Core
The Simmons product lineups have undergone a massive reorganization as of late, with two major lineups evolving out of the process: Beautysleep and Beautyrest. However, both utilize the hallmark pocketed coil technology that pushed the company into the stratosphere back in the day:
These barrel shaped coils are individually encased in bag-like structures filled with polyfoam. Working together, they yield the springiness you’d expect from an innerspring core, with an added degree of conformity and motion isolation. The latter two features are especially useful for side sleepers who require the bed to contour to their awkward sleeping positions, to minimize joint pain.
Simmons Product Lines
The Beautysleep series is Simmons’ entry level lineup, but its mattresses still manage to offer decent bang for the buck by using the manufacturer’s tried and tested pocketed coil technology in conjunction with multiple layers of polyfoam and memory foam.
While the memory foam used in these mattresses isn’t the bleeding edge of innovation, it still offers a respectable degree of cooling and conformity.
This is Simmons’ luxury lineup, with even the most basic models using more advanced materials than the Beautysleep series. It is presently organized into the following categories (in increasing order of price):
The Silver series is the budget oriented part of the Beautyrest lineup (or as close as it gets to that), yet it still packs enough premium features to keep remain relevant for those who want some semblance of luxury with a (comparatively) small investment.
Beautyrest Silver use multiple layers of proprietary memory foam and polyurethane foam, to provide contouring, pressure relief, and heat dissipation. The center-third of the mattresses has additional pocketed coils to provide greater lumbar support.
The Silver series derives its name from the silver-infused fiber present in its top layer that wicks away moisture, dissipates heat, and stoppers the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew. The starting price of these mattresses is $799.
The Silver series has been introduced in 2017, as a replacement for the similarly priced / constructed Recharge series of old.
The Platinum series serves as the middle ground between economy and luxury: starting at $1,499, these hybrid mattresses use additional cooling materials in the comfort layer to further improve heat dissipation, while also promoting freedom of movement and pressure point relief.
The presence of hundreds of pocketed coils in the base ensures springy deep support that responds to the shape of your body – in conjunction with the memory foam layers on top, this makes for an agreeably lavish experience.
For those who want even more conformity, the ‘Platinum Hybrid’ subseries with its added layer of latex may be worth a look. It also throws the PlantinumICE™ cooling mechanism into the mix, to provide an even greater degree of cooling.
The Platinum series has been introduced in 2017, as a replacement for the similarly priced / constructed World Class series of old.
Exclusive to the luxurious Black series, robust triple stranded Advanced Pocketed Coil® technology is used in these mattresses to yield lasting support and comfort. Premium Micro Diamond™ and BlackICE™ memory foams are incorporated into the various models, which provide both contouring soft support, as well as superb thermal regulation.
These high end comfort and support materials come at a high cost though, with the least expensive model starting around $2000.
Quality and Durability
The manufacturer, in their own words, is committed to continuously testing and designing products based on scientific research, to ensure that you get the best possible sleep from their mattresses, year after year. The mattresses are made in the US, so you can expect at least some degree of quality.
Unfortunately, since Simmons doesn’t describe the densities of the materials that make up their products either, it isn’t possible to ascertain the truth behind their claims. Going by user reviews however, there have been quite a few complaints about deformation after a few years of use, pointing to inferior materials being used in the manufacturing process.
A 10 year limited warranty is available with Beautyrest mattresses, and a 5 year limited warranty is available with Beautysleep mattresses, which is a reflection of their price difference.
In terms of quality and durability then, the Simmons vs Sealy debate does not have a clear winner: both manufacturers’ claims are of an equally dubious nature.
While Simmons does have its dedicated budget lineup in the form of Beautysleep, the real McCoy, which is Beautyrest, is priced slightly beyond the reach of a budget bound consumer – and goes above $5,000 for its most luxurious Black model mattress!
Putting aside the cheapest offerings, the financial comparison boils down how easily you can get your hands on the flagship products of both brands i.e. Sealy Posturepedic vs Simmons Beautyrest. In this regard, Sealy comes out on top, since it prices the Posturepedic models far more affordably as compared to how Simmons does with their Beautyrest models.
Ultimately, choosing between Simmons or Sealy is a matter of selecting your priorities, since there is no clear winner here. For starters, the two offer vastly different experiences because of their distinct support cores:
Sealy goes with firm, traditional offset coils that “push back” onto your body, and don’t offer a lot of motion isolation, whereas Simmons uses pocketed coils that conform to the shape of your body and offer better motion isolation while retaining the springy feeling associated with innersprings.
Then there is the considerable difference in pricing between the two – even though Sealy is cheaper and more accessible, it is Simmons that has more innovative features which yield better cooling, better conformity and even some anti-bacterial protection.
That said, if durability and quality is your primary motivation for spending big, you may want to look at other brands, since both Sealy and Simmons have accrued considerable negative feedback related to rapid deterioration of their mattresses.
However, the added price comes with the benefits of innovative comfort materials that ensure remarkable conformity and cooling (even anti-bacterial capabilities in some cases), and a base consisting of pocketed coils that provides the same spring as Sealy does, but with far better conformity and motion isolation.