And The Winner Is…

There are two kinds of mattress company on the market right now. The old school kind of company (like Stearns & Foster) tends to have a variety of different products on offer that caters to different people with different tastes. They know that people like to have a choice, and they cater to their various demands.

The newer kind of company (like Puffy) however has only really been around for a few years – they’re one of the many online “mattress in a box” brands. These companies usually only have one product that caters to what the majority of people who like a “happy medium” prefer.

Today we’re going to put the Puffy head to head against Stearns & Foster’s range of products to see which brand comes out on top. We’ll look at the materials that are being used inside their various products and answer some frequently asked questions too.

We’ll conclude by giving you our overall opinion and provide you with a recommendation of which brand you should choose.

Let’s get started.

Similarities

  • Both brands create high-quality products
  • Both are very supportive
  • Both provide cool sleeping surfaces

Differences

  • There’s only one kind of Puffy
  • You can customize the firmness of Stearns & Foster’s products
  • The Puffy is a pure foam product, Stearns & Foster’s products are not

Construction Comparison

In this section, we’re going take both brands apart layer by layer to see what kind of good stuff (or not so good stuff) you’re getting inside. These are all hybrid mattresses, which means that they are going to use various materials layered on top of one another to create their final products. With this kind of design pattern, they can create mattresses that have lots of different strengths and fewer weaknesses.

Puffy Construction

Let’s take a look at the Puffy first, it’s one of the most advanced mattresses on the market in terms of materials – but it only has two layers inside of it (which is unusual).

The reason it can be such a successful product with a dual layer design is because of the amazing properties of the top layer – Comfort Cloud.

Comfort Cloud

Comfort Cloud is a very special material that has taken Puffy over 4 years to create. It has been specifically designed from the ground up to improve upon standard memory foam to solve some common issues that the material is well known for.

The most obvious issue that many people have with normal memory foam is overheating. The reason memory foam overheats is the same reason it has the contouring properties that it is so famous for – which makes it a very hard problem to solve.

Memory foam is made up of lots of little cells of air that are completely enclosed. During the night body heat will enter a mattress, and in a memory foam product, the heat gets inside these cells. When the heat is inside the cells the problems start to occur…

Because they are enclosed the hot air cannot ventilate out into the bedroom which causes hotspots to form underneath the sleeper.

Comfort Cloud has been created in a different way to memory foam, and it doesn’t use a cell-based design pattern. This means that there is no possible way for the air to get trapped and cause heating issues. In fact, the opposite is true, Puffy has intentionally made Comfort Cloud to be one of the most breathable materials on the market – and they succeeded. It’s one of the naturally coolest materials we’ve ever seen.

Comfort Cloud on its own is already cooler than the coolest memory foam on the market, but Puffy wanted to go one step further.

They created their own kind of special cooling gel called Cooling Cloud that is a little different to standard cooling gels. Cooling Cloud doesn’t try and make the sleeping surface as cool as possible – instead, it aims for an optimum temperature. The material does this because if Cooling Cloud tried to be as cool as it possibly could be – then the mattress would possibly be a little too cool for comfort.

The only downside to Puffy not using a cell-based structure for Comfort Cloud is in terms of the contouring capabilities of the material. It was designed to mimic memory foam as closely as possible, and it does a good job – but memory foam is better. The difference in contouring is very small, and while you might notice it if you’re coming from a memory foam product, it’s unlikely to bother you.

There’s one final benefit that Comfort Cloud has over memory foam – the speed at which it contours.

Memory foam mattresses can take a little bit of time to fully activate its contouring action – because it needs heat to soften the cell walls. As Comfort Cloud doesn’t use a cell-based design it doesn’t need heat to contour and it happens almost instantly. If you currently sleep on a memory foam mattress you’re going to love this when you first get into bed – the difference it makes is very noticeable.

High-Density Support Foam

The second and final layer in the Puffy is made from a high-density support foam. It’s a strong base that stabilizes the Comfort Cloud layer above, and while it’s a high-quality material it’s incredibly boring – let’s move on.

Pros And Cons

Pro

  • Very cool sleeping surface
  • Quick contouring action
  • Great value for money
  • Reputable brand
  • Very supportive
  • Extremely Comfortable

Con

  • None

Stearns & Foster Construction

Because Stearns & Foster have 4 different products on the market we’re going to need to do things a little differently in this section. Below we’re going to talk about various different materials you’ll find in many of their products – but just remember that not all their mattresses will have all the materials below inside of them.

Cooling Gel Memory Foam

This material is one of the ways that memory foam mattress manufacturers came up with to combat the cell-based overheating problem we mentioned above.

You might be surprised to learn that despite the name, cooling gel doesn’t actually cool anything down (except the sleeper). Instead, it works by spreading the heat out.

Cooling gels are an excellent thermal conductor, which means they don’t want to store heat – they want to distribute it. By adding a cooling gel to a memory foam mattress when body heat enters it is absorbed by the gel before it gets into the cells. The gel then shares the heat with the other gel in the mattress and distributes it as evenly as possible.

Because the heat is now spread out there are no more hot spots in the mattress, and while the same amount of heat is in the product – the sleeper feels cooler.

It’s a clever way to keep memory foam cool, and it works very well.

InteliCoil System

Every product that Stearns & Foster sell at the moment has this layer as the base section. It’s made from several individually wrapped coils that are completely disconnected from one another – which is important.

Independently wrapped coils are often confused with old school innerspring mattresses that have literally been around for hundreds of years – but they are completely different. In an innerspring product all of the coils are connected to one another, and when you push down on one coil the surrounding coils will compress too. The shape that this makes in the mattress is very general and does not represent your body shape accurately.

Independent coils on the other hand only compress when they have pressure directly applied to them. This makes the shape that is formed in the layer much closer to what your body actually looks like, and it’s much more supportive.

Innersprings and independent coils provide entirely different levels of performance, and they shouldn’t be confused simply because they are both made from metal.

Hybrid Pillowtop

On some of Stearns & Foster’s products you’ll find a hybrid pillowtop section. This is an unusual and advanced form of pillowtop that actually has small super soft coils inside of it. It’s a great design that gives the product an exceptional amount of loft to it. You feel like you’re being cradled by the mattress while floating on top of it at the same time.

Advanced Adapt Foam

This is a special kind of memory foam that Stearns & Foster have put a decent amount of time and money into developing. It’s nowhere near as advanced as Comfort Cloud, but it’s a noticeable improvement over standard memory foam.

The main difference that this foam has over normal memory foam is the speed at which it contours. As we mentioned earlier, memory foam takes a little time to contour properly because the cell walls need to soften with body heat.

We’re not entirely sure how Advanced Adapt Foam works, but we imagine the cell walls are thinner. Either way, it works well and the amount of time it takes for the contouring action to take place is significantly shorter than standard memory foam (but still much longer than Comfort Cloud).

Pros And Cons

Pro

  • Quality materials
  • Cool sleeping surface
  • Great levels of support
  • Cooling gel memory foam
  • Independent Coils
  • Great pillowtop

Con

  • Could be cheaper

Firmness Comparison

The Puffy is only available in a single firmness level – medium firm (or 6.5 out of 10 on the firmness scale). This is the most popular level of firmness and most people reading this will love it (unless you know you’ve got specific tastes).

Stearns & Foster, on the other hand, allows you to customize the firmness of your mattress, ensuring you get it in your personal Goldilocks zone of “just right”.

Price Comparison

Stearns & Foster’s products are much more expensive than the Puffy. Even their cheapest product costs over $500 more.

Because Stearns & Foster’s products are usually sold through third-party retailers their price lists are not available on their website – which makes this a tough section to compare. However, we’ve found prices for their various queen sized products to give you a rough idea.

  • Puffy Queen: $950
  • Stearns & Foster Estate Queen: $1,499
  • Stearns & Foster Lux Estate Queen: $2,499
  • Stearns & Foster Lux Hybrid Queen: $2,499
  • Stearns & Foster Reserve Queen: $3,499

Which Bed Sleeps Cooler?

All of Stearns & Foster’s products are cool sleeping surfaces. The combination of cooling technologies in their memory foam layers and the coiled section (which is mainly free-flowing air by volume) works exceptionally well.

However, the Puffy is much cooler than any of their products. In fact, it’s cooler than almost any other mattress on the market.

Remember that Puffy couldn’t use a normal cooling gel in their mattress because it may actually be too cold – instead, they had to make one that aims for an optimum temperature…

It’s going to be hard for any product to sleep cooler than a mattress that makes sure it’s not too cold – so don’t hold the loss of this section against Stearns & Foster too much.

Which Bed Would Be Best For A Side Sleeper?

Quite honestly, both are excellent.

The medium firm nature of the Puffy combined with the adaptive contouring properties of Comfort Cloud promotes optimal spinal alignment.

Similarly, you can have a Stearns & Foster product as firm or soft as you want it (we recommend medium firm for side sleepers). This combined with the memory foam layers and the independent coil system makes all of their products great for side sleepers too.

Should I Buy A Puffy Or A Stearns & Foster Bed?

If these products were more similarly priced, we think we’d have a really hard time choosing between them – but they’re not.

We don’t think that an extra $500 for the very cheapest Stearns & Foster product is worth any additional performance that it may provide (which would be slight).

There’s no doubt that Stearns & Foster make great mattresses, but we think that they’re just a little too expensive considering the state of the current market with new brands like Puffy providing the same (or better) performance at a much more reasonable price point.

Conclusion

So there you have it, that’s what we think about Stearns & Foster and Puffy.

We wish Stearns & Foster would reduce their prices slightly, as we’d love to be able to recommend their products – they’re brilliant.

But until they do so, they’re not providing a level of value for money that we find to be acceptable, and we’re going to struggle to find situations where we recommend them. Because of this, the Puffy is the winner today.

Sweet dreams.

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