TEMPUR-Pedic Contour Elite Review
Side sleepers need a softer surface to help align their spine, and generally shy away from a firm mattress. But if you are a back or stomach sleeper you need the extra support in order to provide the spinal support needed to keep you from waking with aches and pains each morning. TEMPUR-Pedic addresses this issue early in the company’s history in order to meet the needs of their consumers who preferred the firm sleeping surface.
In creating The Contour Collection, they perfected the feel of the famous memory foam embrace with varied levels of firm support for a customized feel. The Contour Elite is a medium firm surface and falls between their extra firm, and ‘softer’ firm choices. As with all their mattresses, it comes with a removable, washable cover created by their patented SmartClimate fiber system that helps wick away moisture and move heat and humidity away from your body while you sleep.
Available in a twin long, queen, king, split king, CA king, and split CA sizes, it is available for use on any of the optional TEMPUR foundations including the UP and ERGO designs.
- Supportive for heavier combination sleepers
- Good motion isolation
- Preferred by stomach to back sleepers
- May be too firm for light bodies
- Pressure points obvious for side-sleepers
- Expensive investment
After 25 years TEMPUR-Pedic is still a leading brand name in the mattress industry due to their constantly evolving approach to innovative technology and its application to their products to meet consumer needs. The TEMPUR foam formula was first introduced as a mattress material in 1992, but evolved from studies done for NASA in the 1970’s to create cushioning for the space program.
Each mattress is created with a ‘comfort’ layer of varying TEMPUR foams, a viscoelastic polyurethane foam that provides an airflow through it’s open-celled design, and the famous soft ‘sinking’ feel TEMPUR products are known for. These foams differ in their softness levels to create a more individualized purchase.
Advances in technology and product availability within the last decade has created a mattress industry competition, but The TEMPUR Company still claims to be a leader in both quality and comfort, and have expanded their line of merchandise to include bedding supplies as well as pillows and stuffed animals. If you are curious to know if there is a marked difference between a TEMPUR mattress and a leading competitor, head down to the nearest showroom and try it out for yourself. In my experience I was unable to tell any difference other than between the price tag.
As with most foam mattress designs, a layering process is used for both comfort and air circulation in mind as air can better move through the spaces provided between layers. The first materials you come in contact with is the quilted SmartClimate cooling cover which both protects the mattress beneath and helps provide air circulation.
The Contour Elite Mattress is 12.5 inches thick, and has four total layers of foam. The First layer is a 1.2 inch TEMPER-HD (high density) comfort layer that weighs 7.1lb/cu.ft. and is supported by a standard 2.4 inch thick TEMPUR foam that weighs 5.3lb/cu.ft. Beneath this comes two more layers totaling 8.9 inches of a general poly foam that weighs approximately 2.0lb/cu.ft. These bottom layers serve as a supportive base layer and also provides additional air circulation and heat transfer control.
TEMPUR-Pedic claims that their products will “change the way you sleep”, and emerged as a forerunner of memory foam sleep products in the 1990’s. A good night’s rest free from aches and pains is something everyone strives to achieve and the TEMPUR line of mattresses focus on the comfort and slow, sinking contouring of memory foam for a personalized rest each night.
A lack of transparency concerning foam densities, and quality, of TEMPUR-Pedic foams has been a source of contention- causing many third parties to take matters into their own hands to find these results. Foam density is important because it is directly related to the quality of the product, and is not an indication of the softness at all. High density foams are a higher quality of foam, and will last much longer and compress less over time than a lighter choice.
The TEMPUR foams used in the Contour Elite are of decent quality, and the densities are considered high in relation to overall foam weights. These should keep memory sinks and poor ‘bounce’ back from occurring, and disperse weight evenly over the life of the mattress. Unfortunately, this quality of foam is only seen in the first 3.6 inches of a 12.5 inch mattress, and the base foam is of much lower quality.
Poor transparency and inconsistent quality can be somewhat problematic for companies such as TEMPER-Pedic due to the advancement of technology and the use of tech based advertising. Many new mattress company startups have been on the rise, offering quality products for a fraction of the TEMPER cost.
As mentioned, despite this increase in competition, TEMPUR-Pedic has managed to stay in the top of mattress production due to their evolving approach to memory foam comfort. In late 2016 and early 2017 they revamped their entire mattress collection to meet the growing needs and demands of their customers without sacrificing the design that made them famous.
When they first introduced the the memory foam mattress in 1992, they literally revolutionized the mattress industry. Spring coil mattresses are known for how they hold the body up, but memory foam allows you to sink into it without sacrificing support. This contouring to body weight quickly became popular and mattress companies around the world took up their own hybridized versions of it.
The Contour Elite falls into the mid-range of firm mattress comfort in this series, and is considered a medium-firm surface, leaning towards the more firm side. As mentioned, a firm surface is preferable to back and stomach sleepers since it better supports the natural curves of your spine, so it is no surprise that this is a very popular mattress with those who sleep in that position. Many reviews claim how well it alleviates back pain, and that it is well worth the purchase.
Negative reviews seem to complain solely of the lack of comfort and time it takes for the high density foam to conform to your body each time you lay on it. Not surprisingly many of these sleepers are side or combo sleepers with low body weight.
Memory foam mattress maintenance is easy, although you should always take care to keep it dry since liquids can easily break down the foam cellular structure over time. Although the zip-off cover does provide some protection, a water-proof mattress protector should be used to help keep your mattress dry and stain free. Since stains or moisture can void your mattress warranty, this is definitely something to consider.
Rotating your mattress is also a must to keep uneven wear or memory foam sinks from occurring over time. In general you should rotate your mattress every three to four months.
A limited, 10 year, full replacement warranty comes with all mattresses sold by TEMPUR-Pedic and their authorized dealers. This warranty covers replacement and repairs on product defects only, and is subject to what your mattress rests upon. Flat, stable bases are suggested as traditional mattress supports, such as box springs, can ruin the integrity of the mattress support. There is also a 90 day sleep trial available to consumers with an approved credit check.
The firmest series of mattresses offered by The TEMPUR-Pedic Company is the Contour line, with the Contour Elite being a mid-range firmness choice for your comfort. Overall reviews do praise the memory foam feel combined with a firm surface for correct spinal support. Complaints surround the overall break-in time of the foam before it softens to your body, and the fact that side-sleepers are not comfortable due to pressure points. Another issue that is common to memory foam mattress surrounds how side mattress support seems to be lacking.
Overall, TEMPUR-Pedic continues to provide the mattress industry with new technology and customization to their consumer base. Their longevity in the industry is defined by their dedicated consumer following and quality products. With the recent increase in competition that focuses on technological consumerism and online sales, I envision yet another change in their marketing strategies to help become competitive concerning cost, or they may quickly lose ground to less expensive, high quality mattress startups.