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Hi jim1274,

From your earlier post which i missed ...
The 1.5" standard is a joke. I took the trouble to put a string across mine, and while you could subtly see the depressions, it was more like .5"...until you laid on it.... Even my fat cat is down in a noticeable hole when he sleeps on it. I did not measure the deflection under load, but it is probably 3 times the amount of when I lay on the middle that is not broken down, still being supportive and like sleeping on a ridge.

This "hits the nail on the head" and is the reason why most warranties are much more of a sales tool than anything else. Foam softening is not the same as body impressions and while softening can happen much earlier in the life of lower quality foams, body impressions are the last stages of foam breakdown. A warranty with the standard body impression exclusion means that long after the foam softens to the extent that it becomes unsuitable for sleeping on ... it is still not covered by the warranty. The most effective way to know how durable a mattress is and how long it will last is to know what is in every layer of a mattress. The weakest link of every mattress is the least durable layer and this is what will determine the life expectancy of the mattress. The closer to the top of a mattress (where it is most subject to mechanical stress) and the thicker this "weak" layer is, the more it will shorten the life of the mattress as a whole.
I might contact "The Sleep Shop" in Appleton and ask if they had an outlet in Highland. If the same outfit and run the same way, a good place from my prior experience.

I perused the Michiana Mattress web site and they did not seem to offer the high quality in general of some other independents. I'd be more inclined to scope out Holder first if any reason to visit a second place after going to my green mattress. Unfortunately, due to the holiday madness, I have not made the trek...yet....

I'd love to hear the outcome of a phone call with The Sleep Shop as I haven't had the chance to talk with them. They don't mention any specific materials that they use in their mattresses and it looks like they may only make more "traditional" and lower budget mattresses using innersprings and polyfoam but a phone call can certainly clarify this.

I also agree with you about Michiana and mentioned them more for reference purposes and completeness than as a "better choice". With the other options you have available ... I doubt that I would make a long trip to visit them. I personally believe that My Green Mattress is one of the better values across the country and it would be difficult to find even a local manufacturer who offers the same quality choices and value.
btw Phoenix, have you heard anything about this new gel foam? I saw a sample of it. It just looked like memory foam with gel swirled into it.

There are quite a few different varieties of "gel foams" (besides the version of gel which is used in buckling column gel layers) and some seem to be better than others based on discussions I have had with various manufacturers. The gel material itself is cooler than memory foam (because it is convective much like a marble countertop feels cool to the touch because it draws heat from your body) and has visco elastic qualities (displaces rather than compresses) and is very durable. It also has a different "feel" from memory foam and alters the qualities of memory foam that use it in various ways. Different gel formulations and combinations are creating a lot of interest among mattress manufacturers (as evidenced by this article) as they are all trying to create branding stories and the perception that their version is better than anyone else. Here is an overview of various general types ...

1. Some are "powdered gel" or particulates which are mixed into the memory foam itself. The idea is that the gel particles or "beads" will stay under a person's body while the memory foam itself "displaces". the downside to this type of gel memory foam is the risk that the gel particles like some other memory foam fillers may shorten the life of the memory foam itself because they are not a part of the actual memory foam structure>

2. Some are actual gel material which is added in very thin layers on the surface. This is often a "swirl" or "just a touch" on top of memory foam. If it is very thin it is more "label copy" because while the layers themselves may change how the memory foam itself acts and feels ... the laters are IMO too thin to take full advantage of the qualities of the gel material.

3. Some are gel material which is poured into pincores that have been punched into the base foam. This allows for thicker "pieces" of actual gel (as opposed to beads) which can compress more deeply with weight. This would appear to me to be a more durable and effective use of the gel (as the "pin core inserts" are thicker and react more independently from the memory foam) but of course it is also a compromise that uses less material and is still a gel and memory foam combination.

4. Some are thicker layers of gel which are laminated onto a layer of polyfoam or memory foam. These use more meaningful layers of gel where the gel itself can act as an actual layer rather than being part of something else. This is probably the best method to take fullest advantage of the qualities of the gel itself but because the gel material is expensive ... using it this way is also the most costly version.

5. There are also more coming out where the gel is actually poured into the memory foam and becomes part of the chemical structure and crosslinking of the foam itself rather than being more of a filler or addition. According to some conversations I have had ... this appears to strengthen the structure of the memory foam and actually make it more durable rather than less and changes some of the qualities of "pure" memory foam. An example that was just introduced by one of our members is in post #1 here and there are others as well.

There is a lot of shaking out still to happen over the next few years as time will tell how each of these performs over the long term. Overall there is a lot of interest and even excitement about gel materials or combinations in general but there is just as much hype as there is fact in the stories that are being told.