These two branded mattresses are certainly the two most iconic names ever in the mattress business. Also, the top selling mattresses of all time. However, there are many notable differences between these two products. I am told that in the early 60’s that Simmons Beautyrest commanded over 50% of all mattresses sold. Beautyrest is the mattress brand that made the pocket coil famous. Simmons did not invent the pocket coil, but certainly put them on the map in North America. Sealy, on the other hand rocketed out of a small town in Texas by the name of Sealy Texas to overtake Simmons with their Posturepedic brand of mattresses in the late 60’s. Sealy used a knotted offset coil to help them take over the former market leader Simmons Beautyrest. As with all market leaders, Sealy has lost some of the Posturepedic sizzle of late is currently being challenged by the likes of Tempurpedic, Serta IComfort, Serta Perfect Sleeper and a rejuvenated Simmons Beautyrest. Kind of like Kellogg’s Corn Flakes vs. Post Toasties, there are now literally hundreds of specialty cereals to choose from that are diminishing the two market leader’s market share.
Let’s get down to the details of what differentiates Beautyrest from Posturepedic. As mentioned before, the basic difference is the type of innerspring that both brand is built on. The pocket coil has gone through many iterations at Simmons. Pocket coils are now offered in various heights, gauges of wire, cabled coils etc. The basis of a pocket coil is that it is designed to reduce surface movement (marketed as motion transfer reduction), better surface conformability and excellent deep down support. A pocket coil is literally encased what looks like a bag. The coil itself is formed in a barrel shape, which generally is more supple on the surface, with variable increased resistance as the coil is deflected. The coils are not connected on the surface like the Sealy coil or most standard bonnell type coils.
The Sealy Posturepedic uses a completely different type of innerspring commonly known as an LFK. This unit is referred to by Sealy as a triple offset coil due to the fact that three sides of the coil are flat on three sides on the surface of the unit. The coil itself is not knotted on the surface like the original Sealy offset design. The coils are connected on the surface by what is called helical wires. This does not allow as much independent surface action on the surface of the coil and can contribute to more motion transfer. Simmons pockets are foam encased with the use of conventional high density urethane laminated in a bucket configuration. Sealy uses a styrene foam insert in the side and ends to give their mattresses edge support. I prefer the bucket conventional urethane buckets that Simmons uses due to the fact that styrene foam is not very conforming and tends to give their edges a harder edge feel. Also Simmons is now inserting openings in their foam encasement to accommodate better airflow.
In conclusion, both are nice products, but I do think that Simmons Beautyrest is a little more forward in their design. I am also somewhat biased, because I prefer the feel of a mattress with a pocket design in contrast to the LFK type innerspring unit Sealy uses in the Posturepedic. I suppose it is really a matter of what type of mattress you prefer, but in general Simmons Beautyrest offers a larger variety of choices than Sealy.