Tempur-Pedic (R) Clones Proliferating
Tempur-Pedic (R) has driven the growth of the memory foam bedding industry over the last 10 years. And as Tempur-Pedic (R)'s sales figures have grown so has the rise of the Tempur-Pedic (R) "clone" industry. You can find these Tempur-Pedic (R) "clone" beds everywhere you look - they are offered from everyone from the largest bedding manufactures (Sealy, Simmons, Serta) to the smallest, most obscure online retailer house brands. As Thomas Bryant, Tempur-Pedic (R) president and CEO, told attendees at Furniture/Today’s Bedding Conference, “It is often said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” he said. “If that’s the case, then we are very flattered.”
Some companies have taken this to an extreme and are copying the entire Tempur-Pedic (R) line-up with their in-house versions of the Tempur-Pedic (R) classic, deluxe, CelebrityBed, and even Tempur-Pedic (R)'s new grand bed.
Our advice on these "clones" - you really need to have to look closely at each particular "clone" to see what quality of foam you are getting. The "clones" made by the S's (Sealy, Simmons, Serta, ...) tend to be priced fairly closely to Tempur-Pedic (R) and so you don't get a big cost savings - and the memory foam they use isn't usually specified. So you don't know the quality of the memory foam or its track record for wear and comfort. Given the low cost savings by going to these models, you might consider staying with the proven quality and feel of the Tempur-Pedic.
The more seductive "clone" options are the Tempur-Pedic (R) look alikes that are offbrand or housebrands that are 1/2 the price of the original Tempur-Pedic. The biggest deals are those beds made from imported foam - usually from China. What is the quality and feel of these beds? Hard to say - there is such a variety of quality of foams available from China. Some are pretty poor, but we've seen very nice Chinese foam as well. Our advice? Don't buy these types of beds sight unseen. If you can, try to find a retail store in your area where you can try them out and compare how they feel to the Tempur-Pedic (R) originals. In our tests of these types of beds at mattress trade shows we came across a wide variety of feels of Chinese memory foam. And we did find some of the higher density Chinese memory foams to have a nice feel. If you do go with a Chinese memory foam bed, make sure you get a good money back trial period and a good warranty in case the foam doesn't end up performing as you hope. And make sure you buy from a company with a proven track record for customer service - that way, if you have problems, you will have the best chance of getting your problem taken care of.
Overall, we have liked a select few of the inexpensive, Chinese, Tempur-Pedic (R) "clone" beds we have tried out. But we all agreed that none, as yet, has come very close to really capturing the unique melting feel of the original Tempur-Pedic (R) foam.