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Have settled on a latex, but now need recommendations 05 Sep 2011 11:24 #1

Phoenix, thank you for the all the information you have provided on mattresses. I've been in the process of shopping for a mattress for over a year now. I've been close to buying one on several occasions, but then back out at the last minute because I feel I'm being ripped off.
And now that I've stumbled across this site, I think I've made the right decisions the past year by not buying. It just never felt "right."

Anyhow, as the subject indicates, I'll be going with latex (have liked them all along for all the reasons you have been stating). I'm predominantly a back sleeper (180lbs.) and my wife (135lbs.) is predominantly a side sleeper.

I've done my due diligence in terms of researching the online vendors you suggest (leaning towards mygreenmattress 2 sided natural talalay king for 2499, Organic Dreams). It's quite pricey though, so am trying to determine the differences between the Natural Escape and Evergreen. Their illustrations of the inside of the mattress are identical...I think the only difference is the cover. Can't they just make it easy to compare????

But I'm also interested in any local vendors in my area of Boston, MA.
I can only find one, and it's Gardner Mattress. Do you know anything about them?
Custom Sleep Design is in CT, and probably about 1.5 - 2 hours away from me, so a bit too far.

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Have settled on a latex, but now need recommendations 05 Sep 2011 20:52 #2

Hi Noblerise,

It's nice to see someone who has done their "due diligence". While as you know sometimes everything can seem very complicated at first ... once the basic patterns of "how to look" and "what to look for" fall into place ... things get much simpler :).

Some of the better independent factory direct manufacturers and retailers in and reasonably near Boston include ...

www.spindlemattress.com/ Acton, MA. they are a factory direct manufacturer that offers component latex mattresses that use 100% natural continuous pour Dunlop in your choice of layering with a wool quilted cover. They are very knowledgeable, have long term "roots" in the industry, and would be well worth talking to or visiting if you are within driving distance of Acton. There are more comments about them in post #6 here and in this thread . They are also a member here which means I believe they compete well with the best in the industry in terms of quality, service, and value.

www.gardnermattress.com/products.asp Salem, Newton, Woburn, MA. They are a respected manufacturer that makes a range of mattresses that use high quality and durable materials including innersprings, latex, memory foam, and hybrids and include old fashioned two sided tufted innerspring/natural fiber mattresses. They have been making mattresses for over 80 years and are knowledgeable and completely transparent about the materials they use. They are also a member of this site and would be well worth including in your research.

www.worleybeds.com/ New bedford, MA. They are also a factory direct manufacturer that makes a range of mattresses of all types including 2 sided all latex. Good quality and value and they have been making mattresses for over 50 years. Knowledgeable and good people.

www.themattressmaker.com/ Brockton. MA. Makes a range of standard mattresses as well as memory foam, latex, gel foam and anything else. Uses high quality materials and has very good value. Focuses on educating customers about what makes a good mattress and is very knowledgeable and helpful. Will also custom build.

www.jordans.com/ Reading, Natick, Avon, MA; Nashua, NH; Warwick, RI. Regional manufacturer which has their own house brand which includes some "partly latex" models. Better than mass market outlets but not in the same range as some of the better local manufacturers.

www.bostonbed.com/ Boston, Cambridge, Framingham, Burlington, Stoughton, Lynn, MA. Company owned Factory direct outlets for Therapedic. Gel memory foam, latex, and traditional innersprings that use good quality materials and have good value.

www.factorydirectma.com/about.html Dracut, MA. Retailer that carries a range of Therapedic mattresses including memory foam, innerspring and latex hybrid mattresses.

www.yelp.com/biz/bonnie-foam-rubber-and-products-allston Allston, MA. Foam supplier that will also make a mattress to your specifications from HD or HR polyfoam, 5 lb memoryfoam, or Talalay latex with a simple cotton cover. Call first to confirm their hours which may be shortened.

ecinindustries.com/index.htm Fall River, MA. Makes a range of mattresses including latex, memory foam, traditional innersprings, and a gel memory foam line on the way. They will provide foam density specs if asked but not as a "normal" practice. They are mostly wholesale manufacturers but they do have a factory direct outlet attached to the factory.

bedworks.net/index.php Cambridge, MA. Makes a range of futon mattresses but also manufactures a line of memory foam and polyfoam mattresses (all foam) using high quality materials in both the comfort and support layers (5 lb memory foam and 2.6 lb HR polyfoam). Also makes a line of platform beds.

theorganicmattress.com/ Retailer in Sudbury, MA. Carries a range of latex and innerspring mattresses that use natural or organic materials including WJ Southard, Greensleep and VI Springs. They are all very high quality mattresses but also carry some premium prices so make some careful value comparisons here.

www.furnature.com/ Retailer in Watertown, MA. Carries Savvy Rest natural Talalay or organic Dunlop latex component mattresses although I would make some careful value comparisons because while they use great quality materials they are also in a higher budget range than other similar mattresses.

www.cardis.com/main/index.php S Attleborough, Swansea, Braintree, Hyannis, MA. Raynham, N Dartmouth, Fall River, Plymouth, Falmouth, Orleans, MA. Carries the Spring Air Nature's Rest latex and latex hybrid mattresses.

www.gladstonefurniture.com/index.html Orleans, Hyannis, MA. Carries their own private label line that includes one and two sided innersprings and memory foam. They will provide foam densities on request.

www.flanaganmattress.com/ Hyannis, MA. Sells innersprings (including two sided) and memory foam from Symbol, Gold Bond, and Therapedic and has component latex layers available as well. Knowledgeable and experienced and some good value here as well.

www.donsmattress.com/home.html Medford, MA. Small manufacturer that appear to make old-fashioned innerspring mattresses that are tufted and use cotton and horsehair. Custom sizes. Hand-tied box springs.

There is also a smaller list for the Springfield, MA area in post #4 here .

At My Green Mattress , the evergreen uses 1" of HD polyfoam in the quilting while the natural escape uses wool in the quilting (instead of the foam). The "see inside" link for the natural escape has an incorrect description that makes them look identical. Other than that they are the same. The organic dreams uses all natural talalay for the core (middle) layer rather than blended talalay which is a more expensive and slightly more "elastic" material than the blend used in the other two. Because of the thicker comfort layer ... this one would be well suited to most side sleepers.

You and your wife may do well with a similar construction as it happens. A back sleeper would normally start testing with about a 2" comfort layer while a side sleeper would normally start testing with a 3" comfort layer but your wife is much lighter which means that 2" may be all she needs for good pressure relief (depending on how "curvy" her profile is). If this is the case ... then either the evergreen or the natural escape may be very suitable. The evergreen would have an "effective" comfort layer slightly thicker than the natural escape because of the foam in the quilting. I particularly like that they are all 2 sided which will increase the life of even long lasting materials like latex. Tim the owner here is very knowledgeable and helpful and his advice will also help you.

You have some very good options available and there is no doubt in my mind that you will be able to find a high quality and value mattress that works well for both of you.

If you have any other questions ... feel free to post

Phoenix

PS: If you end up purchasing from one of the manufacturing members here ... don't forget to let them know you are a member here so you can receive your 5% discount :)
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Re: Have settled on a latex, but now need recommendations 06 Sep 2011 13:22 #3

Phoenix,
Thank you for your response, it is greatly appreciated.

Isn't it counterproductive to have an inch of HD poly in the cover (a la the Evergreen from mygreenmattress) of a latex mattress? Won't that layer break down/depress long before the latex layer that would be underneath? Isn't it better to have closer contact with the latex in order to take advantage of its' properties?

Which leads me to other questions. The Adjustable Plush on mattresses.net appears to be a great value with 5.6" core and 2" comfort (not natural talalay, it's a blend). And there's also a natural talalay option that's only $200 more and comes with the bamboo cover. BUT, is 7.6" inches of latex sufficient support? I'm thinking I read somewhere that 8.5" total should be a min. starting point for thickness. Both come with 1.5 inches of pure, natural Joma Wool with Tack and Jump. Does this amount and type (wool) of covering take away from the very qualities that latex offers, similar to my concerns with 1 inch of HD poly? I do not want to experience a "pooling" effect on any new mattress where the top mats down.

I also have interest in the "Natural" mattress from mattresses.net. It's all natural talalay with a 2" soft comfort layer, and a 6" firm core. This seems to be a decent value for all natural and organic, but I don't necessarily need a natural core...a blend will suffice.

But I also still have an eye on the Organic Dreams from mygreen due to the 3" comfort layer (based on your suggested parameter that a side sleeper would normally start testing on a 3") , but the price.
And technically the "Organic" 10000 from SleepEZ is quite similar to the Organic Dreams at 3 layers of 2.8" natural talalay, and due to the choice of layer construction, could be used a two sided mattress.

With all that being said, and having set up a spreadsheet for comparisons, the mygreen Natural Escape seems to be standing out at a total latex thickness of 9" (2" nat talalay on each side of a 5" blend core). And the fact that it is two sided may make it a run away favorite. In your estimation, what would your expectations of additional useful life of the mattress be? Mygreen states options of soft, medium, or firm. So would that mean every layer has to be the same, or do they do different layers in different firmness levels?

I'm getting there....my funnel is getting smaller! Next thing will be test some out again with everything I've learned here before finalizing a decision.

Thank you.

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Re: Have settled on a latex, but now need recommendations 06 Sep 2011 20:46 #4

Hi Noblerise,

An inch of higher quality polyfoam is usually the maximum that I would consider or recommend as part of a comfort layer. When the polyfoam is part of the quilting and only an inch ... it gives the mattress a softer feel and helps to create a slightly thicker comfort layer. In the quilting ... this layer is sewn in to the ticking and the quilting itself compresses the foam so because of this and because the polyfoam used is higher quality than the major manufacturers use ... it does not have the same risk of depressions. It is also two sided and turning your mattress over will allow each side to rest and compress evenly which also extends the life of the mattress. The advantage is that the feel and performance of the mattress can be fine tuned at a lower cost than using wool or latex in the quilting and that this "fine tuning" when done correctly will not lead to the body impressions which are mostly the result of much thicker layers of lower quality polyfoam which are usually used in the major brand mattresses.

7.6 inches would be fine in terms of support however this mattress has a 2" comfort layer. For a back sleeper ... this is normally great however a side sleeper will often need more. This can be achieved by using a slightly softer core where the top part of the core layer will act as part of the comfort layer but will get firmer once it is compressed firmer. A thicker comfort layer (say 3") in other words could use a firmer core while a comfort layer that was slightly less than what was needed would use a slightly softer core to get the same "performance". This is essentially the difference between what I have called a "differential" construction (thicker comfort layer over a much firmer support core) and a "progressive" construction (where the comfort layer is a little thinner and "uses" the top part of a softer support core to help with pressure relief). They can be equally effective but different methods of layering a mattress. www.themattressunderground.com/mattresses/putting-the-layers-together.html gives an overview of the differences and there is a more detailed page about each basic construction method in the sub menu.

I know that Ken at mattresses.net will put together whatever you may wish however there would not likely be a significant difference in pricing between the natural core and the blended core since the natural is a "special" and the blended wouldn't be. He (like most of the manufacturers on this site) will work with you however to manufacture whatever you may want.

The organic dreams is quilted on both sides and so is "designed" to be used on both sides. It costs more to finish a mattress on both sides than it does on one side. While the 10000 could be used on both sides ... it is only quilted on one side. In a "differential" construction (which is the easiest to "fit" to a person) the comfort layers and the support layers act more "independently" so if someone needs 3" of a certain ILD in their comfort layer ... having a 3" comfort layer over a firm support core is simpler to predict in terms of its performance. The same "effective" thickness of a comfort layer can be achieved using a 2" comfort layer and a softer support core but it is a little more difficult to design as the progressive resistance (or support factor) of the support core becomes more important. In other words ... if I was a side sleeper ... I may typically use a 3" soft (19-24 ILD) talalay latex comfort layer over a much firmer (say 36 ILD support core). To get a similar feel with a 2" talalay latex comfort layer ... I may use the same ILD in the 2" comfort layer but use a 28 ILD support core underneath it. Part of the "art and science" of mattress construction is knowing how the different materials act independently and how they interact together. Each layer affects every other layer in different ways in different constructions.

All these mattresses that you are considering would have a very long useful life which I would expect to be 15-20 years and quite possibly longer depending on each person ... the use of the mattress ... and the maintenance of the mattress. The weak link of every quality mattress is usually in the comfort layer or the quilting. Wool and foam can compress and even the highest quality latex will start to break down over a longer time. When it is only the very top layers of a mattress (either a quilted cover or a top comfort layer) that need "replacing" after long term use ... it is not too difficult to purchase a new cover and re-use the deeper layers which are still in good condition and only replace the comfort layer or the quilted cover.

The different firmness levels of the evergreen are referring to the different firmness levels of the comfort layer that are available.

While I realize the temptation to try to make a direct comparison of mattresses based on "price per inch of latex" alone ... keep in mind that the different layering, construction, and the type of quilting and ticking will also play a significant role in both the performance and cost of a mattress. When you are comparing several mattresses ... all of which have great value ... it is more important to focus on which one will be best suited to my own unique needs than to try to find the last little bit of "savings" based on just the latex cost per inch alone. This is where your field testing can play a big role. What you discover in your field testing in terms of the types of construction and layering that works best is the "best" basis for designing your own and purchasing online.

Hope this has helped but feel free to keep the questions coming

Phoenix
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Re: Have settled on a latex, but now need recommendations 07 Sep 2011 17:06 #5

Hi Phoenix,
Thank you for your response, it is truly appreciated. I've certainly learned a lot in the past several days.

I've really been paying attention to my sleeping habits the past week or so, and have realized that when I wake up in the morning or during the night, I'm on my stomach. I typically fall asleep on my back, but must obviously flip over.
And I asked my wife if I'm a sider, backer, or stomacher, and she quickly replied I'm a stomach guy.

So that conflicts with what I had originally described myself as, a backer.

And with my wife being a sider, I'm assuming from what I've been reading in all your support that we're now in a worst case scenario with our sleeping habits and getting a latex that will suit the both of us, sans a custom mattress with two different builds for each side. For some reason, I'm not enamored with that option...would rather just get a happy medium mattress.

Vitals again...me, 6'2" - 180...her, 5'7" - 140

My brain is beginning to get numb again...any suggestions?

Thank you,
Noblerise

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Re: Have settled on a latex, but now need recommendations 07 Sep 2011 18:54 #6

Hi Noblerise,

In terms of a (hopefully) happy compromise ... 2" in the comfort layer with a relatively firm support layer could work. The thinnest firmest comfort layer that provided pressure relief for your wife would be best for you. For example ... if she was able to achieve good pressure relief with 2" of 24 ILD latex (on the thinner firmer side of what would be typical for a side sleeper) ... this would be better for you than a thicker softer comfort layer.

Also this comfort layer should be on the firmest possible support layer that was "good" for your wife. A softer support layer would help "make up" for the thinner comfort layer for her pressure relief needs but would be "worse" for you as it would allow your hips to sink in further.

One further suggestion would be a "zoned" latex core which is firmer under the hips. This could help both of you. While the built in zoning in a single slab of latex does not have a lot of difference between the zones ... every little bit would help. Dunlop latex in the support core may also help as it gets "firmer faster" (has a higher support factor) than talalay latex. If she is comfortable with Dunlop in the comfort layer as well (if it provided good pressure relief in spite of it being "firmer" than Talalay) ... then this too could work to your benefit.


A side by side split would use the same thickness of layering but different ILD's in each layer so the overall mattress height would be the same across the width of the mattress (just in case that was your concern).

Field testing would certainly be the most accurate way of confirming if there was a "happy medium". I would strongly suggest that you go to Gardner to test 2" latex comfort layers over "firm" cores (either latex or innersprings) to get a clear picture whether a 2" comfort layer of a certain ILD over a firm core will work for both of you. While innersprings have a different feel from a latex core ... both can give you a clear picture of how a 2" latex comfort layer will work over "something firm" and would help you to know whether 2" is the "happy medium" that you are looking for.

One other suggestion for stomach sleepers that works well if it is possible is to use a thin pillow under the hips while sleeping on your stomach as this will help with alignment and help prevent back issues that can come from this sleeping position. It is worth "training yourself" if possible to use the pillow when you change positions onto your stomach while you are sleeping.

Just to re-iterate though ... actual field testing of mattresses with known constructions will help you "zone in" on your needs more accurately than the more "general" suggestions that I am able to make. Test separately for pressure relief and alignment for each of you rather than going by the "overall feel" of a construction. Once you have a reference point from your field testing ... it is easier to make more specific suggestions of what type of adjustments in thickness or firmness is needed in which layers. Armed with this more specific information ... buying online can be much more accurate.

Phoenix
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Re: Have settled on a latex, but now need recommendations 07 Sep 2011 21:29 #7

Thanks Phoenix, you rock.
Hopefully will be able to get out and do some field testing this weekend, and will report back.
Noblerise

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Re: Have settled on a latex, but now need recommendations 08 Sep 2011 06:21 #8

Hi NobleRise,

I'm looking forward to your "report" :)

Phoenix
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Re: Have settled on a latex, but now need recommendations 14 Sep 2011 11:10 #9

OK, so my wife and I tried out some mattresses at Jordan's furniture this past weekend. We both liked soft comfort layers without any foam or wool "plushness" in the quilt. The foamed/wool quilted covers made them too soft/springy in our opinion. Meaning we liked more direct contact with the comfort layer.
The Natura line was beyond humorous...they had their EcoSanctuary Plush set (mattress and box) going for $5300! Their next one in line was the EcoRestore for $3997! The EcoRestore had 1" convoluted over 2" talalay over 4" dunlop. This one was "comfortable," but not ideal for us. I definitely sank in too much. Plus it is a complete ripoff when compared with a similar construction from any one of the online vendors this site recommends. Great marketing and look though. Organic this and organic that, blissful sleep without destroying the earth...:woohoo:

But I'm a stomacher and she's a sider, so I knew I would ultimately need some sort of a custom mattress.
Not going with a " custom zoned" mattress (customsleepdesign), just because I think it's a bit of overkill and too expensive. With that being said, customsleepdesign was very helpful and forthright. Just wasn't for me.

So my search has ended with the 8" special from SleepEZ (2" nat talalay over two 3" layers of nat dunlop). This one wins because of the thinner comfort layer (2") along with the ability to customize the next two x 3" layers. So we're going with soft for the comfort layer and then firm/xfirm for me and med/firm for her in the support layers.
Other vendors that I considered did have 2" comfort layer options available, but their support layer couldn't be split or there was only one support layer to begin with. And those were definite drawbacks with our opposite sleeping habits.
And probably most important, if we have issues with the layers, we can exchange for a flat fee. I had always liked the idea of a zippered cover for layer swap outs in the future if needed.

I must admit I had been seduced by the uber expensive and highly marketed mattresses that are out there for the past year or so (was always drawn to Natura), but luckily found this site which effectively reset my thought process on getting a new mattress.

Phoenix, please feel free to poke holes in my decision making if you believe I may be heading in the wrong direction. I certainly won't be offended! Your thoughts and suggestions would certainly be appreciated.
Haven't placed the order yet...need to delay a few days for I'll be traveling all next week and don't want it to arrive with nobody home.

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Re: Have settled on a latex, but now need recommendations 14 Sep 2011 14:23 #10

Hi NobleRise,

IMO ... you have done exactly what I would hope everyone did more often. Some research to help the misinformation consumers are exposed to in their search for a mattress and which helps them understand what they are looking for, some field testing that helps them understand the basic construction that suits them best, and then some meaningful comparisons which help them recognize which mattress and which mattress source has the fine tuning and the value which is best for their own circumstances.

While it can sometimes be a little daunting for those who don't have access to accurate information and don't know how to "break through" all the misleading stories and horrible value that is out there ... IMO it is worth the few hours of research and field testing that it can take to make such an important purchase. The mattress we purchase ... and the quality of our sleep ... can have a major effect on our waking lives and our health in general and is one of the most important purchases we make ... even though many people may not recognize this. Most of us also don't have the luxury of paying twice what something is worth without batting an eye or even worse ... without realizing that they are.

The goal of this site is not to make the "final decisions" about which mattress is the best since there is a subjective element to the preferences and final choices that each of us will make in finding our perfect mattress. I do hope however to help with the objective, experiential, and practical elements of that choice so that consumers can make their choices in an informed atmosphere without pressure and with the knowledge they need to help them understand the facts behind those choices rather than just the hype.

Since you've done all of this ... I certainly wouldn't "poke holes" in your final choices ... especially when I believe they are good ones and your potential purchase is from a reputable and high value manufacturer and outlet.

Congratulations :)

Phoenix
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