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  • David Perry

Sealy, Simmons see mixed results in CR testing

HIGH POINT - Top bedding producers had praise - and some criticisms, too - for the recent mattress test ratings released by Consumer Reports, the influential consumer products testing group.
     Sealy and Simmons each had mattresses that scored well and that scored at the bottom of the lists in the full performance ratings. The ratings were released online several weeks ago and published in Consumer Reports' May issue, now on newsstands,
     Sealy beds took the No. 3 and No. 6 positions on the ratings of six innerspring beds, while Sealy beds took the No. 3 and No. 5 positions of the six beds tested in the memory foam category. The No. 3 ratings were good enough to win those beds "recommended" status as "fine performers."
     Simmons beds took the No. 1 and No. 4 positions among the six innerspring beds tested, and the No. 6 position among the six memory foam beds tested. The No. 1 ranked bed was rated a "CR Best Buy."
In its statement on the ratings, Sealy said:
     "It's good to see Consumer Reports continue working to help consumers tackle the mattress shopping experience. We were pleased to see our Sealy Posturepedic and Stearns & Foster brands recognized for quality and value but disappointed to see a product like the Embody Insightful included in the report, which is no longer available and could create some consumer confusion.
     "While durability was taken into account in the review, we hope Consumer Reports takes more of a 360- degree view of this category in the future. For example, at Sealy, our lab uses almost 20 individual tests to simulate real-world conditions and long-term durability, which have been devised over 130 years of experience to provide products that offer the comfort, durability, and support that consumers have come to expect from our portfolio of brands," Sealy said.
     Simmons issued a statement saying it was "pleased with Consumer Reports' ranking of its Beautyrest Glover Park Firm Pillowtop mattress as a CR Best Buy and the top conventional innerspring mattress and top ranking mattress overall. Our flagship Beautyrest product line embodies Simmons' firm commitment to consumer- driven innovation and product excellence. This outstanding ranking further underscores Simmons' longstanding leadership in the industry as the innovator of the Pocketed Coil, having sold Beautyrest mattresses to satisfied customers for over 85 years."
     Simmons also noted that its low-ranking memory foam bed has performed well in the marketplace.
     "We as a company respect the integrity and independence of Consumer Reports," the company said in its statement. "However, mattress comfort can be difficult to test. The consumer feedback our company has received on the Comfor- Pedic from Beautyrest model in the study varies greatly from CR's deduction. The ComforPedic Loft Crestwood model passed Simmons' rigorous testing, earned a 25- year warranty, and is backed by a 365 Day Confidence guarantee. Even with such aggressive consumer protection, its return rate has been very low. In addition, it provides solutions to other issues consumers have had with memory foam mattresses which were not part of the Consumer Reports test protocol.
     "Simmons has recently launched its new Comfor- Pedic line since the testing performed by CR, introducing cutting-edge technology, style and comfort," the company continued. "We happily invite Consumer Reports to test a model from the updated ComforPedic line. We are fully confident its rating will match that of our legendary Beautyrest products."
     Serta officials had no comment on the Consumer Reports ratings. Serta beds ranked No. 2 on the innerspring list and No. 4 on the memory foam list.

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