NAD Reviews Advertising Claims for Simmons’ Memory-Foam Mattresses, Following Tempur-Pedic Challenge

New York, NY – March 14, 2013 – The National Advertising Division determined that Simmons Bedding Company could support certain advertising claims for the company’s “ComforPedic Mattresses from Beautyrest,” but recommended the company modify or discontinue certain claims.

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.
The claims at issue were challenged by Tempur-Pedic Management, Inc., maker of premium memory foam mattresses.
Claims at issue included:

  • “Our Aircool design offers a ventilated edge system along with a breathable mesh fabric, ensuring a cooler, more comfortable sleep.”
  • “The ComforPedic memory foam helps eliminate changes in feel due to room temperature variations.”
  • “Our proprietary open cell formulation helps the mattress breath easier.”
  • “Aircool transflexion core is designed to ensure consistent comfort and support for the life of the mattress while allowing for the mattress to breath easier.”
  • “Unlike traditional memory foam, our Aircool Memory Foam, a better memory foam, is uniquely formulated to dissipate heat for the ultimate in comfort ….”
  • “Aircool design enhances airflow and dissipates heat to help keep you at your ideal sleeping temperature.”
  • “An open cell structure helps dissipate heat and keep you at your ideal sleeping temperature.””
  •  Unlike traditional memory foam, our Aircool Memory Foam, a better memory foam, is uniquely formulated to … provid[e] you freedom of movement and superior pressure relief.”
  • “[As opposed to traditional memory foam] Beautyrest has created a better memory foam…in the ComforPedic Loft …consist[ing] of multiple components working together to be …more supportive, and more comfortable.”
  • “This all-foam mattress conforms to your body’s contours, providing the pressure point relief you need, while also maintaining your ideal sleep temperature.”
  • “ComforPedic memory foam regains its shape more quickly than the leading memory foam.”
  • “… the ComforPedic from Beautyrest mattress provides consistent comfort, leading to quicker recovery.”
  • “It’s more than a better night’s sleep; it’s You Fully Charged”
  • “delivers the comfort and support your body needs to wake up living life fully charged.”
  • “…personalized back support that helps you achieve Proper Sleeping Posture all night long.”

Following its review of the evidence in the record, NAD concluded that the advertiser’s provided a reasonable basis for its “cooling” claims (airflow, breathability) and heat dissipation claims. However, NAD recommended that the advertiser modify its claims to more accurately describe the relative openness of the cells of its memory foam mattress materials versus traditional/leading (Tempur) materials.

NAD also concluded that the advertiser’s evidence provided a reasonable basis for stand-alone claims regarding the ability of its mattresses’ to support and provide pressure relief to a sleeping individual.

However, NAD determined that the evidence did not support comparative superiority claims regarding support and pressure relief as compared to ordinary/traditional memory foam. NAD recommended that any claims that state its mattresses are more supportive or provide superior pressure relief be discontinued or modified to a stand-alone context.

NAD further determined that the advertiser’s comfort claims, including claims that reference feeling “fully charged” and getting a “better night’s sleep” constituted puffery.

NAD found that the advertiser’s evidence regarding its foam’s ability to return to its original shape more quickly than traditional memory foam substantiated the related claims.

NAD also determined that the advertiser’s claims regarding its foams’ feel at different temperatures were substantiated by its supporting evidence. However, NAD recommended that the advertiser’s claim that “the ComforPedic from Beautyrest mattress provides consistent comfort, leading to quicker recovery” be discontinued or modified to avoid the implication that the referenced “recovery” pertains to anything more than the memory foam’s ability to regain its shape.

Finally, NAD recommended that the advertiser’s claims that its mattresses “helps achieve Proper Sleeping Posture,” or “promotes Proper Sleeping Posture” be discontinued. However, NAD determined that the advertiser demonstrated that the design of its Comforpedic mattresses was intended (and developed) to help provide Proper Sleeping Posture. Nothing in this decision precludes the advertiser from claiming that its ComforPedic mattresses are “designed to help promote Proper Sleeping Posture.”

Simmons, in its advertiser’s statement, noted is appreciation of “NAD’s thorough and thoughtful review of Simmons’s advertising” and said the company would take NAD’s recommendation into account in its future advertising.