Stearns & Foster vs. Sealy Mattress Comparison 2022 : Which Is Better?

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In another showdown between two of the biggest names in mattress history, we’ve got what seems like similar companies with a few key differences. They both boast a long history of creating mattresses, but which one has your next perfect mattress? Let’s take a look.

About the Brands

Sealy Recap Full Review

What To Like

  • has memory foam, hybrid, and innerspring choices
  • full range of firmness options
  • most options are affordable
  • lots of comparable accessories

What Not To Like

  • no options for heavy sleepers
  • some models are thinner than average

Stearns & Foster Recap Full Review

What To Like

  • variety of firmness options in different types of mattresses
  • reinforced edge support
  • budget, mid-range, and premium options in memory foam and innerspring/hybrid
  • excellent motion isolation

What Not To Like

  • below average durability
  • more expensive than comparable mattresses

Stearns and Foster And Sealy Comparison

Both companies have a long history of business, but they do have some differences. Before we get there, let’s look at how they match up.

How are Stearns and Foster and Sealy alike?

The companies have some similarities in mattress philosophy and logistics.

Mattress Philosophy

Both companies have been in business for a long time. They’ve seen mattress trends come and go, and they continue to make mattresses that help everyone get a better night’s sleep.

One way they craft mattresses is by using comfort materials around springs. Memory foam might be all the rage on the internet, but these companies are still offering innerspring and hybrid mattresses as well.

The difference is the use of comfort materials to ease the body into the support layer (coils). The top layers are foam or pillow top materials that better conform to the body. In the past, the body interacted with the support layer of the mattress and adjusted to its shape. Even if the mattress was labeled as “soft,” the body still matched the terrain of the bed and not the other way around.

The big thing in mattress disruption might be offering a single one-size-fits-most mattress. While some companies have done that well, both Stearns and Foster and Sealy have stuck to their model of providing customers with different choices. Choices allow you to choose what bed makes you the most satisfied.

Edge Support

Both companies have put a lot of effort into reinforcing the edges of all their beds, even the memory foam models. Edge support is vital if you’re going to sleep near the edge of the bed (hello, partners) or if you use the side of the bed to sit for any reason.

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Poor edge support makes you feel like you’re tumbling off, but with both of these companies, reinforced edges fully hold your weight sleeping and sitting.

Motion Transfer

Not everyone sleeps like the dead. In some cases, people sleep like they’re at a disco competing with John Travolta for best moves.

If this is your partner, first, we are sorry. Second, both of these companies have taken steps to reduce the amount of motion that makes its way from your partner’s side of the bed to yours. Less movement equals better sleep. Good news for you.

Most of the models have foam and/or individually pocketed coils so that the effects of motion aren’t so rapid throughout the mattress. It helps deaden the movement, so your side stays quiet. The all memory foam options are already great at that, too.


Both companies offer accessories designed to complement your new mattress. Stearns and Foster makes three different bases you can purchase along with your bed at a third party retailer.

Sealy makes foundations, including adjustable bases, bedding, crib mattresses, and even pet beds. If you need to redo your whole set up, including kicking Sparky off your bed, you an outfit everything from Sealy.


We understand that for some customers, it’s important to support companies who keep their production within the United States rather than outsourcing to countries abroad. Both of these companies manufacture in the United States and have long histories of producing mattresses in the country. Stearns and Foster goes all the way back to the 1840s while Sealy was founded around 1881.

Purchasing and Showrooms

Neither Stearns and Foster nor Sealy have direct ordering options. Many mattress companies have moved to the direct to customer model, but these companies still use third-party retailers to get mattresses to customers. This model is good and bad.

It can be bad because mattresses sold this way are often more expensive, at least on the sticker. Retailer mark-ups can be pretty high sometimes, so you have to keep an eye out for that. Stearns and Foster uses a minimum pricing model, so retailers don’t have a lot of wiggle room for how much they can negotiate the price with you.

The good news is that if you have shopped with a retailer before, chances are they carry one or both of these mattresses. You can purchase your mattress with someone you trust.

You can also shop around for price, warranty, and bundle deals. Even though you won’t find Stearns and Foster for a super deal price-wise, you can negotiate warranties and bundles directly with the company.

You’ll probably be able to get a better deal with Sealy by shopping around and negotiating since retailers have a bit more flexibility with the pricing.

Another useful feature of this model is that you can find these mattresses in stores nationwide. If you’d rather try out a few different mattresses before purchasing (whether in-store or through an online retailer), it shouldn’t be difficult to find showrooms in your area.

How are Stearns and Foster and Sealy Different?

Their mattresses have some similarities, but the models look a little different.

Stearns and Foster Estate

The Estate collection is Stearns and Foster’s budget line. The outside material is Prima Cool fabric, a material that wicks away moisture and helps keep the mattress at the ambient temperature of the room.

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Adaptiv-foam and PrimaSense gel foam provide the comfort layers, working together to conform to your unique curves and keeping your temperature at a comfortable level. Underneath Intelli-coils give structure to the mattress but reduce motion transfer through the individual wrapping.

Stearns and Foster Luxe Estate

The Luxe Estate collection uses all the materials above, but the mattresses are also hand tufted for a softer feel and more durability. It also increases airflow and feels like a personalized mattress. The added pillow top layer also increases softness and “hug.”

Stearns and Foster Luxe Estate Hybrid

If you like the response of inner springs, this model uses everything above but adds bouncier coils along with the comfort materials for a very supportive mattress with excellent, reinforced edges.

Stearns and Foster Reserve

This one is the premium collection. It uses everything above, even hand tufting, and adds two different kinds of adaptive foams for better back support and comfort. Some models use Latex instead of foam to improve durability.

Gel touch foam wicks away moisture and prevents heat from building up in the core of the mattress. You get a more refreshing night’s sleep, even if you usually sleep hot. Hybrid pillow tops preserve the ultra-soft feel of a conventional pillow top mattress but increase edge support so you can use every inch of the bed and sit comfortably.

Sealy Response

The Response line is their innerspring option. It uses a cushion layer on top of individual coils to conform to the body (instead of the other way around) and ease it to the support layer. This model is an updated version of the conventional innerspring mattress and should help you get a very supported night’s sleep. It comes in three different firmness levels.

Sealy Conform

The Conform line is their memory foam option. It uses the same cushion layer for comfort and contouring, but instead of springs, there’s another layer of dense memory foam for support. It has a traditional memory foam hug and is the best model to protect against motion transfer.

Sealy Hybrid

The hybrid line is the best of both worlds. It gives you a bit of hug on the top with the comfort materials. It uses more layers of foam, but the core support is a layer of pocketed micro coils. It has response feel between an innerspring and the memory foam without losing any of the support or contouring.


Stearns and Foster warranties will depend entirely on the retailer where you purchase the mattress. There’s no information on their website about a company warranty, so be sure the check the terms where you are buying your new bed.

Sealy offers a ten-year warranty for mattress defects. They will replace the mattress if it experiences significant sagging, tears, or other types of wear outside the natural lifespan.

Customer Service

Stearns and Foster doesn’t have a traditional customers service line because you will deal exclusively with the third party retailer. Sealy’s customer service is quick and helpful, which is nice when you’re dealing with warranty information. It also seems to be located in the United States.


Here’s the most significant difference between the two companies. You’re going to get some variations because of third party retailer markups, but the average cost of Stearns and Foster is going to be more than Sealy.

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Sealy budget models start at around $500 for a queen from their innerspring lines but can go up to as much as $2000 on average for a queen in their luxury foam line. Stearns and Foster starts nearly three times as much for a budget mattress at $1500 on average for a queen. From there, it’s not uncommon to find queens in their premium line at $3500 or more.

And The Winner Is…

Sealy! Buy Online Now

We’re confident in recommending Sealy as the best choice based on our analysis of key factors that an average, discerning mattress shopper would care most about. Both companies are very similar, but Sealy has comparable options at a much lower price for the same quality and construction. We are big fans of spending money on health and wellbeing, but it isn’t always necessary to pay more. In this case, we don’t feel like you get more when you spend more for Stearns and Foster

We also like that we have more specific information about the warranty and that we have more flexibility with pricing through Sealy. Plus, the accessories line is an excellent option.

  • Quality – Tie
  • Price – Sealy
  • Reputation – Tie
  • Sleep Trial – Tie
  • Warranty – Sealy
  • Customer Support – Sealy
  • Product Selection – Tie

For sleepers with specific needs…

Side Sleepers: Choose Sealy

Here’s why. Sealy’s memory foam mattresses and their softer options in innerspring and hybrid should give side sleepers the kind of contouring needed to prevent pain in the shoulders and hips.

Stomach Sleepers: Choose Sealy

Here’s why. Sealy’s firm options, particularly in the hybrid mattress, give stomach sleepers support so that the back doesn’t accidentally overextend. Also, reinforced edges allow stomach sleepers to use the entire bed to get comfortable.

Back Pain: Choose Sealy

Here’s why. Sealy’s firm options should give back pain sufferers the support they need. The comfort materials in all of Sealy’s mattress styles contour and relieve pressure in the spine and lower lumbar region.

Heavy People: Choose Neither

Here’s why. These are durable mattresses, but neither is rated for heavy sleepers. The weight will interact with the support layers more quickly and lose the contouring benefits of the comfort layers. We recommend finding a mattress with a higher weight recommendation, such as Ghostbeds or Winkbeds Plus models.

Couples: Choose Sealy

Here’s why. Sealy has a lot of options for mattress styles and firmness levels. The hybrid options reduce motion transfer while retaining responsiveness that’s good for couple’s activities.


Sealy’s models offer a lot of value for the price. While we love a few of Stearns and Foster’s models, we can’t justify spending more when you can get a comparable model mattress for a lot less. The value of Sealy outweighs Stearns and Foster when we get down to it. Be sure to shop around and negotiate to take full advantage of Sealy’s lower price point when you’re out shopping with a third-party retailer and be sure to check out some authorized online retailers.

Do you negotiate big-ticket purchases like a mattress? Give us your best tips in the comments below or share your biggest negotiation win.

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