Published on November 5th, 2013 | by The Sleepy Shopper3
Mattress Comparison Showdown: Tempurpedic vs. Novaform
Tempurpedic and Novaform are two lines of memory foam mattresses, the former being the well known industry giant and the latter being a popular discount option. In this installment of Mattress Comparison Showdown, we will compare these two brands to see how they stack up on several things from owner reviews to price and quality in an effort to highlight differences for prospective shoppers.
About the Brands
It is important to note that these two brands effectively target different segments of the mattress industry, with Tempurpedic focusing primarily on luxury buyers and Novaform focusing on discount buyers. However, there is crossover as each vies for portions of the others segment. And, many shoppers in the middle simply want to get the best value or best comfort, and are not necessarily concerned with brand prestige.
Tempurpedic was the first large-scale memory foam mattress producer, and has made its name with higher-end, luxury priced beds. They have been in business since the early 1990s, and can be found in several national and international retail stores, as well as online. The brand claims to be the “most recommended bed in America” and touts customer satisfaction as a cornerstone of their brand image. They also claim that their Tempur material is superior to other memory foams, with better pressure/pain relief and higher temperature sensitivity. As a company, they rank #4 in total sales for all mattress brands, and recently purchased the #2 mattress company, Sealy, as well. (Check out our previous MCD articles to see how Tempurpedic compares to Amerisleep and Serta iComfort as well).
Novaform beds are produced by Sleep Innovations, who is been in the bedding business since the mid 1990s. Novaform beds are sold through discount membership store Costco and online at Costco.com and other internet retailers. The brand focuses on more affordable mattress options with some higher-end features, and on newer memory foam technologies like gel-infused foams.
Tempurpedic vs Novaform Results
To help navigate the potentially difficult comparison process, here is an overview of features and factors comparing Tempurpedic to Novaform. Information was gathered from reviews and specifications on retailer websites, product review websites, and review/survey data from SleepLikeTheDead.com. Pricing and data is current as of November 1, 2013.
|Density||2.5-7.0 lb||3.5 lb|
|Warranty||25 yrs (10 full)||20 yrs (10 full)|
Detailed Tempurpedic vs Amerisleep Comparison
Below, we take a look at each item compared in the preceding table to explain ratings and offer greater insight.
Owner satisfaction is measured as the percentage of reviewers who report being satisfied or very satisfied with their purchase. On average, memory foam beds have satisfaction rates around 80%, and both Tempurpedic and Novaform are right around this average. Tempurpedic reviews typically come in slightly higher, while Novaform’s reviews are slightly lower by 2%. In reviews of Tempurpedic beds, most-mentioned positive aspects include comfort, pain relief and durability. Novaform reviewers tout comfort and good value.
Both beds have similar constructions, with poly foam support cores covered in layers of memory foam. Density for both brands is estimated, as neither provides clear specification information. Tempurpedic beds vary in memory foam density from about 2.5 lbs to 7.0 lbs, with poly cores estimated to be about 2.2 lbs. By line, Tempur beds are as follows: 2.5 lb foam in the Simplicity line; 4.0 lb foam in the Weightless line; 4.1 lb foam in the Cloud line; 4.0-5.3 lb foam in the Contour line; and layers of 7.0 lb foam in higher end models like the Rhapsody, Cloud Luxe, Allure and Grand. Novaform beds have less variation with 3.0 to 3.5 lb density memory foam layers, and 2.0 lb cores. Both brands also use fabric fire barriers beneath the covers, and various blended knit covers.
Responsiveness refers to how fast the foam recontours or adjusts to sleepers’ movements, and how easy it is to move on or exit the bed. Slow-contouring foams take longer to readjust, and can be hard to move on. Higher density foams and those that are more sensitive to temperature tend to have slowest recovery times. Standard Tempurpedic memory foam is a slow-response foam, and about 15% of owners have difficulty moving and getting out of bed, especially with models using denser foams like Contour line, Grand & Rhapsody. Novaform’s lower density foam and shallower profiles result in less complaints of difficulty moving.
Reducing pressure points and relieving pain caused by pressure or misalignment is a key benefit of memory foam in general and both brands do well in this regard. Tempurpedic fares slightly better however, as there are more reports of beds causing pain Novaform which may be due to shallower layers and few plush options.
Motion Transfer/Couple Friendliness
Another benefit shared by most memory foam beds is a reduction in motion transfer between partners. Memory foam absorbs movement, and because there are no springs or bouncy base material, motion is isolated rather than transferred. Both brands do well here with few complaints. However, as far as lovemaking goes, people are torn on whether or not this is a benefit. Beds that are easier to move on (low density, quicker response foams) tend have fewer complaints in this regard.
One common concern of memory foam shoppers is whether or not the mattress will retain body heat. Denser foams are more likely to trap heat as there is less space for air to travel and as they contour more closely to sleepers. About 10% of Tempurpedic reviews complain of sleeping hot (closer to 14% for models with 7.0 lb foam), whereas about 5% of Novaform reviewers complain of heat. In response to complaints that their memory foam mattresses sleep hot, Tempurpedic has said that its own research shows customers are satisfied with the sleeping temperature and the mattresses actually sleep slightly cooler than gel-infused competitors like iComfort (Novaform uses similar gel technology), however reviews and surveys online do not necessarily bear these claims out.
Smell is another concern of mattress shoppers, as bad chemical odors can be unsettling or annoying in the bedroom. Most new mattresses will have some odor after manufacturing, which usually dissipates within a couple days to a couple weeks. The strength of the odor depends on foam density, chemicals used in the foam, adhesives, packaging, and fabric additives. Some odors come from volatile organic compounds (VOCs), some of which are potentially harmful substances. Both Tempurpedic and Novaform have high complaints of odor, with 15% of Novaform reviewers and 19% of Tempurpedic reviewers mentioning strong smells.
Neither brand makes express claims of eco-friendliness or is very open about product ingredients or manufacturing. Novaform’s parent company, Sleep Innovations, says on their website that their products contain no formaldehyde, PBDEs or CFCs. Tempurpedic used to have a similar statement on their website, but this appears to have been removed in recent months. Neither mentions eco-friendly manufacturing or practices.
Tempurpedic beds can be ordered online via their website, and can be bought through numerous mattress dealers in the US with wide availability. Novaform beds can be bought online from Costco.com and a few other retailers, and in many Costco retail stores with membership.
Durability & Warranty
Both brands have 10 year full coverage periods in their warranties, though Tempurpedic’s prorated period is 5 years longer (25 vs 20 years). Tempurpedic’s warranty covers impressions over 0.75” deep, whereas Novaform’s warranty information is limited and depth is unspecified.
In terms of durability, Novaform reviewers have a fairly high rate of complaint (about 15%) expressing significant impressions or loss of support within three years, and SleepLikeTheDead suggests their beds have an average 6 year lifespan. Tempurpedic beds average about 10 years of useful lifespan and 11% report significant early softening or sagging.
Price represents a big divergence in the comparison of Tempur-pedic and Novaform. Novaform’s queen size beds range from $599-1299 at Costco, and queen size Tempur beds range from $1099-7499. To compare to somewhat similar options, the Novaform Serafina costs $799 and has 3” of 3lb memory foam. The Tempur Contour Signature has 4” of 4-5lb memory foam and costs $2699. This makes the Novaform 70% cheaper, which is quite significant.
Top Selling Models
- The top seller from Novaform appears to be the 14” Gel Memory Foam Mattress, retailing for $599 in queen size.
- The top seller from Tempurpedic appears to be the Rhapsody, retailing for $3199 in queen size.
While Tempurpedic and Novaform target two different populations of buyers, seeing how a leading luxury and discount brand stack up against one another can be helpful in determining pros and cons of each type. Tempurpedic beds may last 4 years longer on average, are more widely available, have stronger warranties, and slightly higher owner satisfaction. However, the denser foams can be difficult to move on, are 2-4 times more expensive, and have higher complaints of heat and odor. Novaform beds are more responsive, less likely to sleep hot, slightly less likely to have a strong odor, and are significantly cheaper, but have a shorter lifespan and warranty, and are more likely to develop impressions in the first couple years. Both brands have advantages and disadvantages, and since everyone has unique preferences the ultimate decision of whether Tempurpedic or Novaform is best will be up to individual shoppers.