I find picking a mattress a chore, as so many are almost identical. When I come across a pairing without much in common I’m overjoyed that’s why I like Sealy and Tempur so much. However, as they’re so different in their construction, which is better? We plan to put them together in a Sealy vs Tempur showdown to see which one excels.
Should I Buy Sealy or Tempur?
Let’s go over some basics with Sealy and Tempur. Both brands have more than one mattress option, so today’s picks are the Sealy Olympia Geltex and the Tempur Sensation Mattress. The Tempur then comes with three options within one mattress model. The Tempur Sensation Elite is up for review here, as it’s the middle-ground version of the model.
Choose Sealy If:
- You want gel with a bit of bounce
- A thick mattress appeals to you
- Back support is essential
- You want to feel weightless
- A 5-year warranty is fine
- You don’t need a sleep trial
Choose Tempur If:
- You need a 10-year warranty to feel satisfied
- A 100-night sleep trial is a must
- You want a cover you can wash
- Price is no obstacle
- You only want foam, no springs
- You like the idea of NASA-developed material
What Makes Up This Pair?
These mattresses are quite different but they both have a layered construction and play to their strengths with different tactics. Let’s break them down bit by bit and examine what’s going on with the pair.
Unfortunately, Sealy doesn’t give a layer-by-layer look at what’s in the Olympia Geltex. There are lots wrapped up in there including several cooling technologies, but it’s impossible to tell if it’s additives, foam, a type of coil or whatever else.
There are only three things that are for certain, so that’s what’s covered down below.
Endorsed by the British Allergy Foundation, the top cover on this Sealy mattress is made to keep you allergy-free as well as sweat-free. Not only does it help keep dust, mites and dead skin away, but it helps you stay cool and dry at night.
It’s also breathable, so your body heat isn’t trapped on the surface and has room to pass into the mattress.
Geltex is a Sealy-made foam that’s breathable and supportive. It helps you feel weightless and relieves pressure across your entire body. As it’s a gel, there’s also something of a bounce to the mattress but it’s not distracting or excessive.
The Sealy mattress contains 1,000 pocket springs deeper within it. These add the medium-firm feel you expect in this mattress, and they also hello airflow. The coils are open which lets the hot and cold air cycle in and out of it neatly.
Sadly, we don’t know whether there’s a lot of foam or Geltex blocking airflow through the springs. If there is, it’s got cooling technology in it anyway, which will be detailed later in the article.
The elite version of the Tempur has three internal layers, along with the cover, that the manufacturers give some detail on. For people who want to know exactly what goes into their mattress, this is excellent.
A Washable Cover
Mattresses aren’t easy to clean. They’re big and heavy, extremely deep and take forever to dry. The Tempur makes it easier by letting you remove the cover and wash it promptly in your machine. It can withstand 60-degree temperatures, so ensure you don’t surpass that. It would also be a good idea to let it air dry rather than sticking it in the tumble dryer.
Right under the cover, there are 7 centimetres of comfortable, breathable foam that can keep you cool and provide a soft, luxurious feel. It’s spongey enough to sink into, though you won’t sink in and be cradled like you would in memory foam. Instead, it’s more of a snuggly, squishy feel.
Dynamic Support Technology
There’s a denser foam in the middle that provides the medium-firm support you’re expecting, and it stops you from sinking too far into the comfort layer. This support layer is 4 centimetres deep and there’s still some give to it so you won’t’ feel like you’re sleeping on a harsh slab.
As the name would suggest, the Durabase is a durable base that’s 14 centimetres thick. It’s a mixture of comfort and support and compliments the other layers well. It’s not too hard, but it won’t let you sink too far into the mattress. either.
These mattresses offer:
- Sealy: 30 centimetres
- Tempur: 25 centimetres
The Tempur mattress is also available thinner and thicker, too, with more or less the same construction. The depth above is for the Elite version, the one that’s the focus today.
As you can see, the difference between the Sealy and Tempur is somewhat substantial—and you should also note that the luxe version of the Tempur mattress is the same depth as the Sealy. This doesn’t add much, only some extra-base technology and thicker other layers to add more support and distance between you and the base.
This is the same for many mattresses. Thicker mattresses mean you don’t feel the more uncomfortable parts of the mattress as much. It also means you’re further from your bed frame, so you won’t feel discomfort from that, either.
The thickness makes the most difference height-wise, though, for people who like to sleep up high or people who can’t afford to. Shorter people with weak joints may find a thicker mattress difficult as there’s a little jump to the floor when you get off of it. Weak joints may not handle this very well and start aching.
If joints and short legs are your worries, it’s best to go with the Tempur Elite rather than Sealy, or a thicker version of Tempur.
Sealy and Tempur are medium-firm, though they feel different thanks to their construction.
With Sealy’s Geltex material you feel weightless, so although you have that medium-firm support, it’s almost like there’s nothing under you. At the same time, the gel distributes your weight evenly which supports your spine and joints exactly the way they should be.
The even weight distribution and medium firmness make the mattress function like something firmer. Although the mattress is medium-firm by default, you almost get a custom amount of support based on how your body weight is distributed. There’s never anything too soft or not supportive enough under you.
There’s nothing special about Tempur’s firmness. The supporting technology provides that medium-firm feel you want, alongside the base. The top foam is enjoyable, even luxurious, to sleep on.
You won’t feel any illusion of extra support or firmness from this one, although it may seem softer than it really is. This is thanks to the plush comfort material on top that stops you from feeling the hardness in the layers below.
Neither mattress goes out of its way to add extra edge support, but they both handle the issue with their construction as it is. With the Sealy mattress, the gel distributes your weight evenly, even at the edges, therefore supporting you no matter where you lie.
Over on the Tempur, the second and third layers of foam are solid enough to stop the edge from sinking too far down, so there should be no issues when sleeping on the edge there, either. It would be nice to see some particularly dense foam around the edges, but the mattress performs well enough without it.
The Tempur mattress has no motion transfer by default. It’s all foam, which absorbs every movent with ease. No matter how hard you move you’re highly unlikely to disturb your partner. There’s a slight bounce to the mattress, but it’s not enough to cause an extreme disturbance.
Sealy’s mattress performs almost as well, but there are both springs and gel so they both cause a slight wobble in the mattress. Again, this is light, so it won’t wake your partner but there is slightly more motion transfer than found in the Tempur mattress.
Breathability and Temperature
When it comes to breathability the Sealy is a clear winner. It has active cooling, where all the Tempur has is breathability.
As mentioned earlier, Sealy has several cooling technologies—Tencel and Purotec spring to mind. Unfortunately, how this work is largely a mystery.
It’s more important that the technology works, you could suppose, without having to know the nitty-gritty details. The technology paired with breathable gel and a moisture-wicking cover bonds together to deliver a mattress you shouldn’t overheat on.
Foam often sleeps warm and there are some visco-elastic cells in Tempur’s comfort layer. Memory foam is visco-elastic foam, and that sleeps hot, so this doesn’t mode well.
Luckily, all of the foam layers are breathable and while there are viscoelastic cells in the mattress, it’s not actually memory foam. This should be enough to keep you cool but not overly so.
It would be nice to see some active cooling, especially since the Tempur mattress is so pricey, but so long as you’re not overheating then this mattress is faring better than many.
Sealy vs Tempur: An Overview
Throwing the elements above together makes evaluating them as a whole much easier, as well as determining who they’re best for. Let’s take a look.
- Fantastic pressure relief
- Creates a weightless feeling
- Suitable for almost everyone
- Contains active cooling technology
- Great for people with allergies
- No sleep trial
- Short warranty
- Not great if you have short legs, joint issues and a high bed frame
You need to be sure with Sealy. You have no time to try it out, so there’s no getting a refund if you don’t like it. If there’s something wrong with the mattress you’re covered, but that’s only for five years so you’d better discover any faults quickly.
Once you determine you like the mattress and it’s fault-free, then you’ll be fine—no matter who you are.
The Sealy mattress’s Geltex is an excellent feature to have, as it makes this mattress suitable for almost anyone. People of higher weights usually need a firmer mattress so it can support their weight, but you’ll be fine on Sealy if that’s you. Your weight is spread evenly so you don’t sink too far into the mattress, making it feel too soft.
You won’t find any specific zones, designed to cradle your shoulders or anything, so even heavily muscled people with big shoulders can sleep on the mattress with no problem. You’re getting adequate support, which usually is found better in a firmer mattress.
Another group that can avail of the mattress is those with back pain, who like heavier people, need something firmer. The gel relieves all pressure while supporting your whole body, so it’s excellent for dealing with aches and pains caused by something that isn’t solid enough under your back.
Best of all, this mattress is excellent for allergy-prone people thanks to the anti-allergy cover on it. Just wash your sheets regularly, wipe down your mattress when you do, and you’ll have no issues.
Sealy’s mattress really excels in inclusivity, functioning for almost all sleepers. The only people it won’t suit is those who have:
- A high bed frame
- Joint or mobility issues
- Short legs, or a need to jump down a little to reach the floor
If you have all three, you may end up hurting your joints when clambering out of bed every morning. So long as you don’t have those then you’re good to go so long as you’re absolutely sure you want this mattress.
- Machine washable cover
- Soft, luxurious feel
- Provides the exact firmness that it states
- Comes with a sleep trial
- Great for people with night sweats
- No active cooling
The TemoTempur mattress is fantastic at comfort and provides medium-support well, but it’s not the best for the groups that Sealy suits. There’s no hidden additional firmness that makes it suitable for people with back pain, and certainly not for those of higher weights.
If you’re heavier you’ll sink right into this mattress, making it feel soft rather than medium-firm. That’s fine if you like a soft mattress—dive right in. You’ll certainly get that cuddly luxury as the foam moulds to your body and you sleep snugly on it. Just be sure you’re okay with losing some of that support.
The mattress is, however, highly suitable for people who sweat a lot at night. So, menopausal or pregnant women, take note. Tempur doesn’t outright state that the cover wicks moisture, but it will hold that moisture and the bacteria found in sweat.
You can wash away anything it holds with ease, so you never have to worry about it forming an unpleasant odour over time.
If you find that the mattress doesn’t have enough benefits for you or doesn’t live up to your standards in another way, that’s fine. You’re covered by a 100-night sleep trial so as long as you make the return by then, you get a full refund. Make sure you wash the cover before you send it back!
It’s unfortunate that there’s only one major benefit of this mattress unless you adore that soft, plush foamy feel. It’s quite pricey, and pricey mattresses usually have several forms of active cooling, hypoallergenic properties and sometimes antibacterial properties.
The Tempur mattress isn’t bad in any way—it’s definitely highly durable, well-made and has that washable cover perk. Still, it fell slightly flat in areas where it should’ve excelled.
This is an easy comparison to make when it comes down to it. Tempur is fantastic if you want a snuggly mattress you can nestle into, that also lets you wash the cover—but that’s about it. If you want something more versatile and need back support due to back pain or excess weight, then Sealy is the perfect pick for you.
Once you’ve got your base needs met you can’t go wrong with either mattress. They’re both well-made, durable and perform their duties in support and comfort well. Evaluate all the criteria, see what your preference is, then you can make the choice that’s right for you.