Tempur NZ – Your Best Memory Foam Option (Or Is It?)
Tempur NZ: Sold in “big box” retailers around the country like Harvey Norman and Bed Post, Tempur has carved a name for themselves as the ultimate in luxury memory foam mattresses. I visited my local Harvey Norman a couple of weeks ago to check out the Tempur range – a King size mattress was going to cost around $8000 (the cheapest I could see when I looked online later was about $5000 for a Queen).
How did it feel? Do you really need to pay that much for a memory foam mattress? What exactly is it that makes Tempur so great to charge those prices? Is Tempur worth it? I’ll answer these questions (and more) as I take you through your Tempur NZ options.
Here’s what you’ll find inside:
- About Tempur
- Buying Tempur In NZ – Your Options
- What Makes Tempur So Great? (And is it really that great?)
- What About Other High Performance Memory Foam Mattresses In NZ?
Tempur is one of the most recognisable names in mattress retail internationally. Tempur was the first company to take memory foam technology from NASA (who designed it as a pressure relieving material for the seats of space shuttles) and use it in a mattress. They’ve built themselves into an iconic bedding brand whose name is synonymous with quality memory foam mattresses. They can claim to be the “original” memory foam mattress.
These days, the Tempur brand is part of the Tempur- Sealy Group (yes, that NZ made Sealy mattress you’re considering is owned by the same international company). Tempur – Sealy is based in the USA, but the Tempur mattresses you can buy here in New Zealand are made at the Tempur facility in Denmark.
Buying Tempur In NZ – Your Options
While you can view the Tempur range and do your background research on the mattresses on the Tempur NZ website, you cant buy directly from them. To buy Tempur in New Zealand, you need to go to either a Harvey Norman or a Bed Post store. Tempur also sell their pillows in select locations such as Smith and Caughey’s.
Somebody please correct me if I am wrong, but I believe Tempur is the only all-foam mattress brand where you can go to a big bedding store, try, and buy. If you’re considering buying a memory foam mattress and have not tried one before, this will be very reassuring for you.
However, there are some massive down sides to buying a mattress from a store:
- You can only perch awkwardly on the mattress and try to get a feel for it while a sales person hovers around.
- If you buy the mattress and decide it’s not for you after sleeping on it, you’ll be at the mercy of store refund policies. While both Bed Post and Harvey Norman are of course obliged to meet their obligations under the Consumer Guarantees Act, they will not usually accept a mattress return for change of mind.
- Bed Post do say on their website that they may consider offering a refund, but that will be subject to a 10% restocking fee. Imagine: if you’ve spent $5000 (or more) on your Tempur mattress that you decide you don’t like, that’s at least $500 you can kiss goodbye to.
More on how to get around these issues further down the article.
What Makes Tempur So Great?
Tempur have been in the memory foam business longer than any other mattress brand, so they’ve had the most time for research and development. They really play on the fact that they were the first to take the technology from NASA and revolutionise the mattress market. And fair play to them, they have. But are their mattresses any good?
Tempur Mattress Features:
- Removable cover for easy washing. The fabric of the cover is nice… a fairly standard knit. What’s good about it is it has the best quality zip I’ve seen on a mattress cover, it’s a really sturdy zip that moves really easily along its tracks. Tempur call it a “quick refresh” cover, and this means you can just unzip the top portion of the cover to wash it, which is a whole lot easier than trying to take the cover off an entire mattress. To sum up the cover: standard fabric, superior zip, clever design.
- Cool touch panel: zip the top cover off a Tempur mattress and you reveal a blue panel. This is a “CoolTouch Technology” fabric, and it actually feels cold to touch. It’s kind of amazing. This helps absorb excess heat as you sleep: it’s critical for memory foam mattresses to include temperature regulating features to avoid trapping heat.
- Your choice of mattress depth: 21cm, 25cm, or 30 cm. 25cm and 30cm are the most common mattress heights for all foam mattresses. It’s nice that Tempur give you options.
- Your choice of soft, medium, or firm. I liked the feel of the medium the best, the “Sensation Luxe” (this is the 30cm high model). There was a clear difference in the feel of each mattress.
- The comfort layers of a Tempur mattress are made up of 8 – 15 cm of “Tempur Materials“. These are the memory foams of the mattress, and depending on which model you go for, they’ll be a blend of support and comfort memory foams. Tempur claims to have the highest density (read = most durable) materials in the industry. It’s hard to verify this as I can’t access densities from all brands.
- The rest of the mattress is a polyfoam support core, seems pretty standard to me.
Overall, it’s a pretty nice mattress. You can see from first glance that it’s well constructed and looks nice. The cool touch panel is a great feature, and the amount of comfort foams is generous.
When you sit or lie on a Tempur mattress, you’ll find it has that true, traditional, memory foam “sink”. That means it slowly responds to the pressure from your body weight, molding and conforming to your pressure points. This is great for the “individualised sleep experience” Tempur talks about, but because it’s quite a slow responding foam, I felt like I was getting a little bit stuck in it when I tried to move around (not awkward at all, in the middle of Harvey Norman). If you watched the short video above, you get a pretty good idea of how the Tempur foam performs. It contours very nicely, but I find it very slow. My personal preference (and I’m not alone) is for a foam that provides an equal amount of contouring but responds a bit quicker.
So, yes it’s a nice mattress. But it’s not for me, it sinks too much. And I’m not sure the good things about it justify the sky-high price tag.
Tempur NZ Alternatives – Locally Owned High Performance Memory Foam Mattresses
Did you know that there are two local brands that I think are on par with Tempur in terms of performance? Not only are these two great mattress options, there are some pretty game-changing things about them:
- They are a fraction of the price of Tempur (around $1000 – $2000 for a King size. Don’t let the price fool you, these are high quality mattresses, I’ve seen them myself)
- They come with an in-home sleep trial of at least 100 nights (this means you can try the mattress in your own home for more than 3 months before you need to fully commit to it). If you don’t like it, both will act quickly to refund you and arrange for your returned mattress to go to a charity for sale in their stores (Salvation Army, Habitat For Humanity)
- They both offer mattresses with that “customized” feel you get from memory foam, but the foams are faster responding so it’s easier to move
- One is made right here in New Zealand
- The other has partnered with wildlife groups to donate a portion of their profits to kiwi protection
Ready to learn more about them before you buy your Tempur?
Napp is the only New Zealand made memory foam mattress in our market. Made at the A.H. Beard facility in Auckland (where lots of big name mattresses like King Koil are made), Napp uses high quality foams from Australia, and also uses a special technology developed by NASA in their mattress.
Napp is a medium feel mattress, so it’s closest to the Tempur Sensation models in terms of feel. I’ve tried Napp out (I made my parents buy one when they replaced their mattress: it’s that good) and I prefer it over Tempur. You still get that customized, memory foam contouring feel but the foams are way more responsive so you sink in a lot less.
Here are the specs in relation to Tempur:
- Knit cover that zips off (you have to unzip the whole cover). The amazing thing about the cover is that it has been infused with Outlast Technology. This is phase change technology developed by NASA, as a cool to touch temperature regulator. It works in a similar way to the panel inside of Tempur, but it’s right there in the cover.
- Height: 25.5cm. This is similar to Tempur, and Napp contains a similar volume of comfort foams. The comfort foams inside Napp are hygroflex (a high quality and rigorously tested open cell memory foam) and a gel infused memory foam for further cooling.
- When you buy from Napp, you get a 100 night sleep trial. This means you try it yourself, in the comfort and privacy of your own home (actually sleeping on it).
- You get a 10 year warranty, this is the same length as a Tempur warranty.
- You’ll only pay $1280 for a King size Napp mattress, but I think it’s of equal quality.
- You might have noticed that Tempur strongly market their adjustable bases (made in China) for use with their mattresses. Napp offer NZ made adjustable bases. The good news is, if you purchase an adjustable base from Napp, it comes in a bundle with a Napp mattress, giving you extremely good value.
Winkl is a New Zealand owned mattress company that burst into the market last year, and is wildly popular. They offer two mattresses: the Winkl and the Winkl Lux (which as you might expect has more features and a higher price tag). Winkl recently launched a partnership with the National Kiwi Hatchery Aotearoa, to help protect our national bird, which is pretty cool.
I have not had the opportunity to try out the standard Winkl, but I have tried out the Winkl Lux (Winkl have some of their mattresses on the floor for you to try in Citta design stores: phone your local one up and see what’s there. I’m in Christchurch, there’s a Queen size Lux right in their window). It was so nice! It’s a bit squidgier than Napp, but the foams were again quicker at responding than Tempur. If you’re looking at finding a deeply luxuriously softer memory foam mattress, Lux is it.
Here are the Winkl specs:
- Knit cover that zips on and off
- The standard Winkl is 25cm and the Lux is 30cm, so these are on par with Tempur sizing.
- Winkl also contains a similar amount of comfort foams as Tempur and Napp. The foams inside the Lux are of a higher density than those in the standard Winkl, and the 15 year warranty the Lux comes with (which is 5 years longer than a Tempur warranty) reflects that.
- Winkl offer you the longest in home sleep trial in New Zealand: you’ve got 120 nights to try your Winkl out at home.
- A cool feature in the base of the Winkl Lux is that it is zoned for more targeted support. This is something that’s usually only featured in higher end pocket coil mattresses, and it’s not something offered by Tempur.
- A King size Winkl Lux retails for $2050, but Winkl run regular deep discounts (usually 20% off or $200 off depending on the current promotion) so it’s again great value for money.
- Winkl also make memory foam pillows so you can complete your full memory foam bed set when you shop Winkl.