Sagging Sealy Mattress Problem and Resolution

I bought a $1000 Sealy Posturepedic California king size mattresses from Sears in February 2009 (plus the Sealy foundation box springs). The first was a "Spring Blossom" pillowtop, and immediately after we received it, my wife and I would each sink into holes on our sides of the bed. This caused us to wake up with a backache in the morning, so clearly this was not good as we were concerned it would cause us permanent back damage.

We returned that one (yes it was a hassle) and purchased the firmer "Cason Bay" model, thinking it would not have that issue. It was firmer, but we still sank into holes. Neither of us are very heavy. I'm around 175 lbs, my wife is much lighter. Neither of these mattresses displayed this issue when we tested them at the Sears store. We had been putting up with it and were are losing sleep and waking up achy. The middle seemed firmer for some reason, but we could not both sleep there at the same time.

I spoke to Sears customer care repeatedly over the phone and they told me there was nothing they can do.

The Sealy website states clearly that all issues are to be dealt with by the retailer (Sears).
 

I posted a note on www.measuredup.com noting my displeasure and was then contacted via email by Andrea from the "Sears Cares escalation team".

"First and foremost I would like to apologize for your mattress sinking in the middle. I know how it is first hand to roll into the center (talk about discomfort). Please see the attachment as it gives you step by step institutions of how to take pictures of the mattress. You may send the pictures back via email. The manufacture tag has to be attached and no stains should be found in order to consider a replacement. Thank you for your time and have a wonderful weekend!"

I took all the pictures and met all the criteria but after 44 emails including a followup with an Sears "executive case manager" I was told I did not meet the criteria.
 

After that debacle I decided that would boycott Sears and it's owner, K-Mart (Sears Holdings). I suggest that everyone else do the same, as they have horrible customer service.

Here are the pictures showing how much the mattress sags without any weight on it. With weight on it it sagged at least 4" in the butt area.

We suffered with the Sealy Posturepedic mattress for 3 years. I read many stories on the consumer report sites about other people with this same problem. Apparently this is a common issue for Sealy, Serta, and Simmons mattresses.

Fast forward to March 2012. I Finally had enough!

I decided to cut the mattress open,  find out what was sagging and replace it.

How to fix a mattress:

Here's the whole mattress with box springs "before".

I cut the bottom of the mattress cover about an inch in from the edge, My wife convinced me it would be easier to sew back together than if I had cut through the quilted top.

There were a bunch of staples on the sides, but they were easy to remove.

 

Here's the mattress with the quilted cover peeled back. The butt area has solid foam and everywhere else is sculptured. Apparently the solid part doesn't do anything to prevent sagging.
There were three layers of cheesy foam on top of the springs. The top sculptured layer, a 1" layer, and a 1/2 layer. They all seemed to be about the same density.
The bottom layer had stains on the bottom, which I initially thought was dirt, but now I think it's mold from body moisture. The moisture was trapped by the non-porous plastic layer next to the springs and was on both sides of the mattress where we sleep.
Also there was this nice scrap of something by the mold.
Here's the non-porous layer peeled back with the springs exposed. Sides and bottom of the mattress are dense plastic foam.

I never did find anything that would make the center less saggy. I thought maybe the springs are stronger there or the split foundation mattresses gave more support there.

We went down to a local mattress manufacturer and bought two 1" layers of cotton batting, and replaced the moldy 1" and the not moldy 1/2" layers of foam.

They also had several varieties of foam, but they all felt about the same density that we already had.

We then stretched the mattress cover back over the mattress. Initial testing showed the mattress to be firmer, but it no longer feels saggy. Looks fine too. I think carpet tape will do a good job of re-sealing the cuts on the bottom of the mattress, but I have not taped it yet. Time for some testing

Sleep test: Initially it seemed that the issue was resolved but after time the sagging was still present.

2013 update
After more testing I determined that neither the box springs nor the mattress springing were sagging. All of the sagging was due to the remaining cheap sculptured foam layer.

We ended up cutting sections of the old 1" foam layer that were not moldy and that were about 2ft x 3ft and placing them in the saggy sections on each side of the bed between the cotton batting and the sculptured foam section. This feels much better and the sagging is not noticeable now.


Now that we have sliced and diced our Sears Sealy Posturepedic mattress, I can sleep on it without feeling like I am laying in a hole, and no longer wake up with a morning backup.

Questions? I can be contacted here

Facebook / measuredup.com post

I have had a sagging bed issue with my Sears Sealy Posturepedic mattress purchased in 2009. This seems to be an epidemic issue. At that time, Sears replaced one mattress but the second had the same problem and Sears and Sealy were not willing to do anything else. I eventually ended up dissecting the mattress and determined the issue was in the cheap and mold prone (yes the foam was moldy!) foam that they were using. I replaced the 1/2" layer of cheap foam and the 1" layer of cheap foam with two 1" layers of cotton batting from a local mattress factory. I then cut a 2ft x 3 ft piece of the 1" foam and placed it in the saggy area between the remaining cheap saggy sculptured layer of foam and the cotton batting. This seems to have fixed the issue and I can now sleep without laying in a hole and no longer wake up with a back-ache. I have a web page detailing this process. My conclusion is that Sealy (and other manufacturers) are using sub-par foam and that they should replace all the mattresses that they used this foam in.