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Best OMF mattress to buy to add a topper later? 29 Apr 2013 21:04 #1

I'm trying to follow one of the seemingly tried and (mostly) true methods for purchasing a mattress, just getting a basic, firm inner-spring mattress, and playing with toppers on top of it. The main reason being I'm concerned about any pillowtop wearing down early, rendering the mattress much less desirable.

For the mattress, I'm looking at the Original Mattress Factory models: Orthopedic Luxury Firm, Orthopedic Extra Firm, and Orthopedic Ultra Firm. But am interested in looking at other OMF mattresses that may be better.

I don't know how familiar with those mattresses people are. I am about to email OMF to ask for more information on them, there web site doesn't seem to provide the relevant information for what's the best mattress to put a topper on. Recommendations I've seen on this site, I think the most important info is how much polyfoam is in the upper layers?

Here are the mattresses web pages in case I'm missing something:

Luxury Firm: originalmattress.com/orthopedic/comfort-choices#orthopedic_luxury_firm
Extra Firm: originalmattress.com/orthopedic/comfort-choices#orthopedic_extra_firm
Ultra Firm: originalmattress.com/orthopedic/comfort-choices#orthopedic_ultra_firm
Note added later: Links to discontinued products have been removed

Laying on the beds at the OMF store (without the benefit of having the toppers handy), I was pretty happy with the Luxury Firm. I thought that bed was really good, until I tried the mattress with the pillow tops... But I don't think I want a pillowtop because I'm worried about it breaking down.

I looked at the mattress cut-outs they have at the stores, and it looked like the Luxury Firm had more padding than one of the other two (forget which), but (just from sight) it was only a little bit. It may have been a half-inch to an inch...

Thing is, if I get a Luxury Firm, I could even sleep on the mattress without a topper. But, I'm wondering if one of the other two would be much better with a topper in the long run because they would have less upper layer padding that would wear out? And, it would save me a little bit on the amount of money I'd have to spend on more widths for the toppers? But, a comfortable mattress over the long term takes some preference over saving some money on toppers.

I think the Luxury Firm has the word luxury in its name because it has the extra padding, but I'm not sure...

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Last edit: by Phoenix. Reason: Removed links to discontinued products

Best OMF mattress to buy to add a topper later? 29 Apr 2013 22:06 #2

Hi levander,

OMF is one of the better quality and value regional manufacturers and best of all they are completely transparent about the quality of the materials in their mattresses which is one of the most important parts of shopping for a mattress. They also use higher quality materials in their lineup than most larger brands.

You can see a few examples of the construction of their mattresses in post #32 here . Some of their pillowtops use some very high quality HR polyfoam which can be a very durable and long lasting material that approaches latex in some of its performance specs.

The best way to buy a mattress / topper combination is to carefully and objectively test the specific combination in person for what I call PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and Personal preferences). If you can test the two together it can be a very flexible design for a sleeping system because you allows you to choose the quality and performance of both the support layers and your comfort layers individually and also allows you to replace the topper if it softens or breaks down faster than the base mattress (which will often or even usually be the case) without having to replace the whole mattress.

Without testing the combination itself though ... you would be introducing a variable that would have some risk attached to it in terms of making the best topper choice. The "best" topper will also depend on the specifics of the mattress you are using it on and particularly the details of the top layers in the mattress and how they interact. All the layers of a sleeping system will affect every other layer to different degrees. In these cases (where you haven't tested the specific combination) ... the best option would be to sleep on the mattress itself until it had broken in and you had completed any adjustment period to a new sleeping surface and then choose a topper based on the topper guidelines in post #2 here and the posts it links to so you can use your own personal experience to choose the best topper.

In general I don't recommend buying a mattress this way where you have to deal with several unknowns or variables unless you are forced to because of a situation like a comfort exchange where good quality and value is not available in the store you are forced to deal with in which case it's generally best to buy a mattress which minimizes the use of lower quality/density polyfoam in the comfort layers to the degree possible and then add your own comfort layer with a high quality topper. While this is not the ideal way to make a purchase and it's usually more effective and better value to buy a sleeping system that you can test in person or online that doesn't need a topper and already uses high quality materials in the first place ... a least the extra risk in these "exchange" situations is offset by the even higher risks of the alternative which generally involves buying a major brand mattress that uses low quality comfort materials that will soften and break down much too quickly.

If you do decide to go in this direction ... then knowing which mattress to buy that would be most suitable for adding a topper would depend on knowing the details of all the layers inside it but typically it would involve the purchase of a very firm mattress with thin comfort layers which would provide the primary support you need and then adding the thickness and softness that your testing indicated would be most suitable for your comfort layer (with a little bit of allowance for some initial foam softening). If you buy a mattress that is already close to your comfort preferences and already has some softer materials in the comfort layers ... then a thinner topper would be more appropriate to take into account the part of your comfort layers that are already part of the mattress itself

Hope this helps.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Phoenix.

Best OMF mattress to buy to add a topper later? 30 Apr 2013 00:16 #3

About an hour ago I emailed OMF about what layers are in the mattresses and how wide each layer is. They, understandably, haveN't gotten back to me yet.

Phoenix wrote: While this is not the ideal way to make a purchase and it's usually more effective and better value to buy a sleeping system that you can test in person or online that doesn't need a topper and already uses high quality materials in the first place ...


I did go to the OMF store and try the mattresses. I was pretty happy with the Orthopedic Luxury Firm. Then ai tried some pillowtops... They have 3 pillowtops in the Orthopedic line. It was the one in the middle of the range (just below their "Eurotop") that I was like "ohhh, this is good!"

But, I didn't want to buy it because I've seen several people mention pillowtops always go bad well before the supportingy layers do.

I've seen people in other forums say point blank, "do not buy a pillowtops because it will not last more than a few years."

Do you disagree with this advice?

The other reason I was thinking of getting a firmer mattress and adding a topper is I thought it would be neat to be able to switch toppers occasionally. Like maybe buy one lates topper and sleep on it for awhile, then buy a wool topper (that I'm thinking I'd also need 1" of latex with) several months later. So every four moths or so, I could switch out the top comfort layer. I'm aware almost as much research for buying a topper would be involved as there is in buying a mattress.

Phoenix wrote: Without testing the combination itself though ... you would be introducing a variable that would have some risk attached to it in terms of making the best topper choice.


Yes. And this risk, under the terms of the OMF comfort policy, would be $175 + possibly $45 for delivery + taxes. The additional risk would be return shipping for any topper I buy. I am fine with this risk as long as I'm making a decently I formed purchasing decision. Although it would be nicer to drag the topper into the OMF store, I don't think this is going to happen for a few logistical reasons.

Phoenix wrote: The best way to buy a mattress / topper combination is to carefully and objectively test the specific combination in person for what I call PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and Personal preferences).


Yeah, think I saw that earlier. I'm gonna look around the site, pretty sure I saw that defined somewhere. I wanna do that when I go back to the OMF store. All I did was lay on theneds for a little while and wonder about how it feels. It would be nice to have specific things to look for.

Thank you so much for your help Phoenix.

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Best OMF mattress to buy to add a topper later? 30 Apr 2013 10:14 #4

Hi levander,

About an hour ago I emailed OMF about what layers are in the mattresses and how wide each layer is. They, understandably, haveN't gotten back to me yet


It wouldn't surprise me if you didn't receive a reply ... or at least didn't receive a specific reply. The question you are asking could take an employee many hours of research to look through their spec book at the details of every mattress they make and even then without the specific order of the layers the information would not be all that meaningful. They may almost need to re-write all their spec book to extract the information you are asking for which of course is not something they are likely to do.

Email is usually best for questions that are more "black and white" or much less complex or time intensive and can be answered in a quick reply. With more complex questions or questions that have an "it depends" in the answer (which is most mattress questions) that a customer may not realize ... it's usually much more effective and faster to talk with manufacturers or a knowledgeable employee on the phone to help them clarify or narrow down the more detailed specifics of your questions that you may not realize are part of it and to help them "translate" an answer to the level of knowledge or understanding of the person who wants the information.

But, I didn't want to buy it because I've seen several people mention pillowtops always go bad well before the supportingy layers do.
I've seen people in other forums say point blank, "do not buy a pillowtops because it will not last more than a few years."
Do you disagree with this advice?


For the most part yes ... but not in every case no. It depends entirely on what materials are in the pillowtop. A pillow top is just a method of construction and is like a topper which is attached separately to the mattress in a way that it provides a little bit more independent compression and response. This more independent response means that the "feel" and performance of the pillowtop is less dependent on the layers below it and it can "act" a little bit softer. A topper is even more independent than a pillowtop construction and would "act" a little bit softer yet so if a pillowtop is "bad" because of how it acts more independently ... then a topper would be worse yet. But of course it isn't.

The reason that most people talk about pillowtops going bad (or toppers for that matter) are because in the mainstream market a pillowtop usually uses lower quality and fairly thick layers of lower density polyfoam which will soften and breakdown fairly quickly compared to higher quality materials. If a topper used these same materials it would "break down" even faster but of course a topper can be replaced and a pillowtop can't.

You can read more about many of the factors that are involved in the durability of a mattress in post #4 here and the other posts it links to but in essence ... this is good "practical" advice but only because in most cased the materials in a pillowtop in most mainstream mattresses will soften and break down much too quickly. If the pillowtop materials (or the materials in a topper) are higher quality ... then a pillowtop wouldn't be nearly as "problematic" but this is much less common and you would need to know the details of all the layers in the mattress (including the pillowtop)..

As you will read in the post I linked ... the top layers of a mattress are the most subject to the mechanical forces of repeated compression while you are sleeping and tend to be the weak link of a mattress but if these materials are higher quality this can make up for the additional stresses of using them in the top layers. Firmer materials will also be more durable than softer materials because they won't compress as much which is also a durability factor.

Overall ... the suggestion to avoid pillowtops completely would be good "general" advice which would increase the odds of buying a more durable mattress if you were shopping for most major brands or at most mainstream stores where you can't find out the specifics of the materials in the mattress. For those who know how to tell higher quality materials from lower quality materials and are able to find out the details of all the layers in their mattress though ... then a pillowtop construction (or adding a topper) would be much "safer" if you knew that the materials inside it were more durable and higher quality and a pillowtop can be a good option in these cases.

This is also the reason that in an apples to apples comparison (using the same materials and layer thickness) a topper will be less durable than a pillowtop (which is why topper warranties are usually less) which in turn would be less durable than the same layer inside the mattress cover which in turn would be less durable than the same layer that was inner tufted or quilted to remove the "false loft" in the layer and reduce the degree of repeated compression it was subject to. On the other side of the coin ... a topper will also absorb some of the compression forces of sleeping which will add to the durability of the layers below it.

The other reason I was thinking of getting a firmer mattress and adding a topper is I thought it would be neat to be able to switch toppers occasionally. Like maybe buy one lates topper and sleep on it for awhile, then buy a wool topper (that I'm thinking I'd also need 1" of latex with) several months later. So every four moths or so, I could switch out the top comfort layer. I'm aware almost as much research for buying a topper would be involved as there is in buying a mattress.


The ability to exchange the top layer if it wears out faster or if your needs or preferences change (or even for experimentation) is certainly one of the advantages of a mattress / topper sleeping system. These advantages are shared by mattresses which have zip covers and exchangeable layers to some degree with the difference being that with these you would be somewhat limited to exchanging a layer for another one that was a similar thickness. If you have a good idea of how one topper (or upper layer) feels and performs on your mattress ... it will also become easier to "predict" how a different material may feel and perform as wewl on the same mattress because you would have a reference point that was based on your personal experience. The first time you add a topper to a mattress is the riskiest.

Yes. And this risk, under the terms of the OMF comfort policy, would be $175 + possibly $45 for delivery + taxes. The additional risk would be return shipping for any topper I buy. I am fine with this risk as long as I'm making a decently I formed purchasing decision. Although it would be nicer to drag the topper into the OMF store, I don't think this is going to happen for a few logistical reasons.


The risk would involve the topper more than the mattress itself because if you have a "base" mattress that is suitable for a topper you can fine tune and change its feel and performance by changing the thickness, type, or softness of the topper without having to change the mattress itself. The first time is the most difficult and risky because you don't yet have a "mattress / topper reference point that applies to your own experience so the best way to choose is to sleep on the mattress by itself and then use your actual experience to decide on how and how much you want to change the pressure relief, secondary support, and "feel" of the mattress itself.

Yeah, think I saw that earlier. I'm gonna look around the site, pretty sure I saw that defined somewhere. I wanna do that when I go back to the OMF store. All I did was lay on theneds for a little while and wonder about how it feels. It would be nice to have specific things to look for.


The "read first" post here that is pinned at the top of the forum has links to some testing guidelines that can help you test more specifically and objectively for PPP. While nothing is absolutely certain to be an accurate predictor of your actual long term sleeping experience ... subjective testing for feel probably has lower odds of making a good choice than random chance alone ( see this study ) because most people's tendency is to make choices that are often contradictory to their own long term interests based on the subjective feel of a mattress in the managed environment of a showroom. More specific and objective testing that has specific "targets" in mind will substantially improve your odds of making the most suitable choices.

Hope this helps.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Phoenix.

Best OMF mattress to buy to add a topper later? 30 Apr 2013 16:01 #5

Lots of great info in your post Phoenix, I'm reading and digesting (most) all of it. I'm just quoting the parts I have questions about.

Phoenix wrote: Hi levander,
It wouldn't surprise me if you didn't receive a reply ... or at least didn't receive a specific reply.


They responded to my email with a voicemail asking me to call them. When I called them, I let them off the hook easy and told them I understood it was difficult for them to tell me exactly the widths of the layers, so could they just give me a general idea of the differences in the 3 models I listed above. Basically:

Orthopedic Extra Firm - the cotton layers they use have been compressed in a quilting machine. And they use fiber pads instead of polyurethane ones.

Orthopedic Ultra Firm - similar to the extra firm, but the overall mattress height is 0.5" thinner, so I guess there's just less padding

Orthopedic Luxury Firm - the cotton hasn't been compressed and they use polyurethane pads instead of fiber pads

If I went the topper route, I'm guessing the extra firm or the ultra firm would be better options because of the lack of polyurethane and that they compress the cotton.

Interesting, the smallest pillowtop, named the Orthopedic Pillow Top has the exact same total mattress height as the Orthopedic Luxury Firm. They're both 12.5" high. In the OMF store, the Orthopedic Luxury Firm did feel softer than the Orthopedic Pillow Top. I realize there are other factors, but this is consistent with what you were saying about layers in a pillowtop "acting" softer than regular layers, even if the contents are the same.

Phoenix wrote: The reason that most people talk about pillowtops going bad (or toppers for that matter) are because in the mainstream market a pillowtop usually uses lower quality and fairly thick layers of lower density polyfoam which will soften and breakdown fairly quickly compared to higher quality materials.


Polyfoam is the same as polyurethane?

Okay, this definitely makes the pillowtops at OMF sound more interesting. I may call them back tomorrow and ask them what's in their pillowtops?

If they say polyurethane is in the pillow tops, is this a warning sign that it will break down? Or are there additional specs I should ask for?

Phoenix wrote: This is also the reason that in an apples to apples comparison (using the same materials and layer thickness) a topper will be less durable than a pillowtop (which is why topper warranties are usually less) which in turn would be less durable than the same layer inside the mattress cover which in turn would be less durable than the same layer that was inner tufted or quilted to remove the "false loft" in the layer and reduce the degree of repeated compression it was subject to. On the other side of the coin ... a topper will also absorb some of the compression forces of sleeping which will add to the durability of the layers below it.


Okay, this is great broken down info.

This has also gotten me thinking about price. The OMF pillow top I'm interested in is $950. The OMF firm mattresses I'd put a pillowtop on are both priced at $700. I was thinking I'd get about 1 topper (based on toppers I've looked at) for the price difference between the mattresses.

But since the toppers won't last as long as they would if they were in a pillow top, I'll actually be buying more toppers...

There's a lot of math involved, but how I just did it quickly in my head, if 2 pillowtop mattress last 7 years each for a total of 14 years, I'd be spending about the same as I would with one mattress that I would spend if I got one firm mattress and 4 different pillow tops over that same 14 years...

Math:

$950 (for the pillowtop mattress I like) * 2 = $1900
$700 (for the firm mattresses I like) + 4 (4 toppers) * $300 (estimage price of each topper) = $1900.

This math does make the pillowtops sound cheaper to me.

I'm thinking the math comes down to just how much I want to play with toppers. And whether I think it's worth the time and extra money to get them....

My plan now is to call OMF tomorrow, ask them what's in their pillowtop I like. It's the Orthopedic Super Pillow Top that I like. If this info doesn't sound good, then I'm back to toppers. If it does sound good, I go back into the OMF store and do your PPP test on the Super Pillow Top. If it passes that test, right now I'm thinking of just going for the pillow top mattress.

But, I need to think more about how much I want to play with toppers.

Any ideas on specifics I'm looking for in what layers are in their pillowtop? I can certainly get the name of the material. Anything else?

Phoenix wrote: subjective testing for feel probably has lower odds of making a good choice than random chance alone (see this study) because most people's tendency is to make choices that are often contradictory to their own long term interests based on the subjective feel of a mattress in the managed environment of a showroom. More specific and objective testing that has specific "targets" in mind will substantially improve your odds of making the most suitable choices.


You realize this is an argument for going the topper route? Well, the topper route if you don't work it out that you can try various mattresses in-home for a while...

When you get into these scientific studies though, the scientists are always disagreeing about something. And you can get into, "what kind of people do they get for these scientific studies that have time to participate in these studies"?

Consumer Reports did a survey that they say had different results: Link

Panelists who took beds home for a month-long trial rarely changed the opinion they formed after the first night. On the whole, their opinions were the same as those of our in-store testers, about 75 percent of whom told us, in a recent subscriber survey, that trying out the mattress beforehand helped them sleep better.


But both the study and what Consumer Reports says are both definitely something to think about.

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Best OMF mattress to buy to add a topper later? 30 Apr 2013 17:55 #6

Hi levander,

Lots of questions ... and what I call "rough math" which I've also used sometimes just to wrap my head around concepts (see post #2 here and post #26 here for examples) even though the math may not translate quite so accurately into real life experience where subjective factors can play a bigger role than objective factors alone. One of the things that fascinates me about mattress design is the combination of intuitive and analytical processes (or right and left brain thinking) that it can involve.

Polyfoam is the same as polyurethane?


Yes ... just the short name.

Okay, this definitely makes the pillowtops at OMF sound more interesting. I may call them back tomorrow and ask them what's in their pillowtops?


Good idea ... especially the one or two you are most interested in.

If they say polyurethane is in the pillow tops, is this a warning sign that it will break down? Or are there additional specs I should ask for?


As I mentioned in the previous post ... not by itself no. It would depend on the quality of the polyfoam (and on the other factors that are involved in durability that I linked earlier). You can read more about the different types of polyfoam in comfort layers in this article and support layers in this article but the most important spec that differentiates lower quality from higher quality is density. HR polyfoam is a high quality and durable material and even HD at 1.8 lbs or higher in an appropriate construction and design can last a long time compared to most of the mainstream mattresses people are buying.

Any ideas on specifics I'm looking for in what layers are in their pillowtop? I can certainly get the name of the material. Anything else?


Hopefully the links will give you the information you need but what you are looking for is the layer by layer breakdown of the mattress that includes foam density and the thickness of the layers. This can then be evaluated objectively by foam density and quality and subjectively by all the other factors that are included in durability (linked earlier). the tradename of the polyfoam (or ecofoam or plant based foam or any of the other types of polyfoam) doesn't matter much because they are all roughly comparable and density is the single biggest factor in durability with all of them.

You realize this is an argument for going the topper route? Well, the topper route if you don't work it out that you can try various mattresses in-home for a while...


That would depend on the objectivity and specificity of your testing. It does go to show that "on average" people would do better in their choices in terms of how well a mattress really matches their real life needs and preferences and based on how they usually test mattresses (for only a few minutes or based on subjective factors only or by pushing down with their hands etc.) by throwing a dart at a wall that had mattress pictures on it with their eyes closed.

Consumer Reports did a survey that they say had different results: Link


I don't know a single person with any knowledge at all that thinks that either of the mattress reports that Consumer reports has done is anything but industry sponsored and meaningless fluff. They have done an incredibly poor job helping people to evaluate mattresses and it is one of the worst excuses for a buying guide I have seen ... especially coming from them.

The 75% that are happy is relative to a mattress that needs replacing so the bar it has to "beat" is very low ... although there certainly is truth IMO that good testing will improve your odds of making a good choice.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Phoenix.

Best OMF mattress to buy to add a topper later? 02 May 2013 11:59 #7

Well, I just got off the phone with the local OMF factory store. I didn't call a sales-only store. I called the actual store that has the factory in the back behind the sales storefront. Was very disappointed how they handled the call. The salesman kept wanting to lecture me on how important it was to flip the mattress to ensure durability, how I should come into the store and try the mattresses (even though I told him I did that a few days ago), and stuff every 16 year old should know about a mattress.

However, he was responsive to being pressed. He came back and said what was in the pillowtop was two 1" layers of poly foam. That the ILD was 15. And that he had a spec he wasn't sure what it meant that said the density was 1.5. When I asked if there was any way I could find out the grade and weight per cubic foot of the polyfoam, he said no because he would have to make a few calls to find out.

Looking at this Mattress Underground article: Link , I'm wondering if that 1.5 number for the density was actually the weight per cubic foot? And that puts it on the regular conventional side of the line between regular conventional and HD density polyfoam.

Which means I should not buy it?

I'm just surprised because it's not just this forum that says really good things about the materials used by OMF. But the 1st time I call to get specifics, they are using some not so great materials.

Specifically I was asking about the Orthopedic Super Pillowtop model and what was in the pillowtop layer on top of the mattress.

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Best OMF mattress to buy to add a topper later? 02 May 2013 14:49 #8

Hi levander,

It seems to me that you weren't dealing with the most responsive person at OMF. They have been much more helpful when I've called them.

He came back and said what was in the pillowtop was two 1" layers of poly foam. That the ILD was 15. And that he had a spec he wasn't sure what it meant that said the density was 1.5. When I asked if there was any way I could find out the grade and weight per cubic foot of the polyfoam, he said no because he would have to make a few calls to find out.


I guess that neither he nor you realized that he had already answered this question by giving you the density of the foam (1.5 lbs). This only covers 2" of the foam though and the other layers are probably a different density. ILD information is not important with a local purchase because this is a "comfort spec" not a "quality spec".

Looking at this Mattress Underground article: Link, I'm wondering if that 1.5 number for the density was actually the weight per cubic foot? And that puts it on the regular conventional side of the line between regular conventional and HD density polyfoam.


Yes ... density/quality of polyfoam or memory foam is either expressed in lbs/ft3 or in kg/m3.

Which means I should not buy it?


Density is one of the most important parts of assessing the quality/value/durability of a mattress in the context of its price range (see post #4 here and the posts it links to) but you can only evaluate a mattress if you know the details of all the layers and components ... not just 2" of it. All the layers and components interact together and will affect each other both in terms of performance and in terms of durability.

I'm just surprised because it's not just this forum that says really good things about the materials used by OMF. But the 1st time I call to get specifics, they are using some not so great materials.


OMF uses higher quality materials than major manufacturers and have better quality and value in every budget range. The suitability of a specific material is also relative to the price of a mattress, its firmness, and on how and where it is used in a particular design.

Specifically I was asking about the Orthopedic Super Pillowtop model and what was in the pillowtop layer on top of the mattress.


There are more layers in this mattress than the information you have been given about 2" of it and I would be tempted to talk with someone else there that was more willing to provide you with all the information you need about the quality of all the layers. Only then can you make meaningful quality and value comparisons.

In a perfect world ... the salesperson would have the knowledge and experience to help you "translate" the specs and help you use them meaningfully as part of comparisons to other mattresses but you are also welcome to post them here once you have them if you'd like some feedback :)

Phoenix
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Best OMF mattress to buy to add a topper later? 02 May 2013 20:39 #9

Phoenix wrote: OMF uses higher quality materials than major manufacturers and have better quality and value in every budget range. The suitability of a specific material is also relative to the price of a mattress, its firmness, and on how and where it is used in a particular design.


I've heard this so many times now, I'm wondering why bother wasting the time looking into it. But I'm thinking I'll call them tomorrow if I have time and harass them some more about layers.

Phoenix wrote: There are more layers in this mattress than the information you have been given about 2" of it and I would be tempted to talk with someone else there that was more willing to provide you with all the information you need about the quality of all the layers. Only then can you make meaningful quality and value comparisons.


The reason I only asked about the pillowtop is because that's what everybody mentions around the internet, "if you get a pillowtop, it will wear out!"

I'm not educated in mattress design, but I am an engineer so it's not quite as foreign as it would be to most people.

It seems the only thing you could to make a layer that's not dense enough last longer is make the layers below it softer, so they could absord some of the shock on the low density layer. But if you've made the lower layers softer, you've (probably) made them less durable as well and just made the problem worse?

There not much in terms of discussing mattress layer quality on the internet. This site's articles are easily the best I've found. There was a guide on some stobel.com (that I can't find now, it's probably on my history on my iPad upstairs) that said up to 1.3 lbs density is low grade. 1.8 lbs to 2.3 lbs is mid-grade... This 1.5 lbs density OMF is using doesn't sound blatantly irresponsible, but it's definitely sounding in a grey area to me.

And I'm back to thinking about toppers, even though I've now got my heart set on just buying a bed, having it over and done with, and not having to mess with toppers...

The thing is, I don't think I'm as picky about some people about these mattresses. I want to get something that as good a fit as possible, and I am picky about durability. But I've slept really well on various mattresses when I haven't been at home. I'm thinking it may be easier for me to find a topper I like than it is for a lot of people. And I already know the materials I'm interested in: latex and wool.

Phoenix wrote: In a perfect world ... the salesperson would have the knowledge and experience to help you "translate" the specs and help you use them meaningfully as part of comparisons to other mattresses but you are also welcome to post them here once you have them if you'd like some feedback :)


I'm such a nerd, I probably will look into the layers of the OMF mattress. Do you know the layers other mattresses worthy to compare too, or are you suggesting I find them? That's okay if you are suggesting that, but I thought most manufacturers are really opaque? Wouldn't it be hard to get that info from them?

I'd like to compare them to worthy Stearns & Fosters mattresses, because that's what my Mom and sister are convinced is the gold standard. I've been telling them what I've been reading, but they are so brainwashed by the marketing... my comments become meaningless.

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Last edit: by levander.

Best OMF mattress to buy to add a topper later? 03 May 2013 00:37 #10

Hi levander,

The reason I only asked about the pillowtop is because that's what everybody mentions around the internet, "if you get a pillowtop, it will wear out!"


I don't know the details of their specific mattresses but I believe that some of their pillowtops use much higher quality foam over the lower density foam which is why I would want to know the rest of the story (see post #32 here ).

It seems the only thing you could to make a layer that's not dense enough last longer is make the layers below it softer, so they could absord some of the shock on the low density layer. But if you've made the lower layers softer, you've (probably) made them less durable as well and just made the problem worse?


Actually this isn't correct. The layer below won't affect how much the foam above it compresses although you would sink into the mattress more "in total" than if the lower layer was firmer (the lower layer just adds to the compression of the top layer). This is just like a spring (forgetting for the moment the hysteresis of any foam) and if you put one spring above another they will compress twice as much as either of them individually with the same load. I you put two springs in parallel with the same load ... each of them will compress half as much. Some of the compression forces would be absorbed by the top layer (through hysteresis) before they reached the lower layer which would increase the durability of the lower layer but the top layer would compress just as much and would be subject to the same forces regardless of what was below it. The only way to add to the durability of a layer using another layer is to add something on top of it that reduces how much it compresses. Other methods that can increase durability include quilting or tufting the layers which removes the false loft of the foam and pre-compresses it so its firmer and less likely to soften or take a set.

There not much in terms of discussing mattress layer quality on the internet. This site's articles are easily the best I've found. There was a guide on some stobel.com (that I can't find now, it's probably on my history on my iPad upstairs) that said up to 1.3 lbs density is low grade. 1.8 lbs to 2.3 lbs is mid-grade... This 1.5 lbs density OMF is using doesn't sound blatantly irresponsible, but it's definitely sounding in a grey area to me.


That's kind of funny coming from Strobel who told me that their top layers on their DIY site here was 1.5 lbs along with the polyfoam in their commercial mattresses (and it was like pulling teeth to find that out from them over a series of phone calls). 1.5 lb polyfoam used appropriately in a good lower budget design (especially two sided) can make a relatively durable mattress. It also depends on other factors and if the 1.5 lb polyfoam is deeper in the mattress or is firmer rather than softer it will last longer (and this is a good place to save money in a lower budget mattress).

The thing is, I don't think I'm as picky about some people about these mattresses. I want to get something that as good a fit as possible, and I am picky about durability. But I've slept really well on various mattresses when I haven't been at home. I'm thinking it may be easier for me to find a topper I like than it is for a lot of people. And I already know the materials I'm interested in: latex and wool.


Being closer to the "I can sleep on anything" end of the scale certainly makes it easier than being closer to the "princess and the pea" end of the scale and increases the odds that "average" choices will work well for you.

I'm such a nerd, I probably will look into the layers of the OMF mattress. Do you know the layers other mattresses worthy to compare too, or are you suggesting I find them? That's okay if you are suggesting that, but I thought most manufacturers are really opaque? Wouldn't it be hard to get that info from them?


OMF has a "spec book" that they can look up any of the specs that you ask about. They are much more transparent than most manufacturers which is typical of smaller independent companies. I don't keep a record of any specific layers in mattresses no (which would take an army of people to keep up with) but I would only deal with manufacturers or retailers that provide foam density information about their mattresses and there are certainly enough of these that you wouldn't need to deal with manufacturers who don't provide this (which is most of the larger brands). I don't believe this is "nerdy" information but "essential" information with any mattress purchase.

I'd like to compare them to worthy Stearns & Fosters mattresses, because that's what my Mom and sister are convinced is the gold standard. I've been telling them what I've been reading, but they are so brainwashed by the marketing... my comments become meaningless.


I don't think there are any "worthy" Stearns & Foster mattresses (in value terms anyway) and you won't get this information from S&F or any of the larger brands but if you are able to get some inside information you will discover that their foams are much lower quality in every price range and the "best" polyfoam they use is in the 1.8 lb range and this is only some of the foam used in their better mattresses. They are mostly 1.5 lb or less.

I know people who regularly take them apart to see what is inside them as a "hobby" (and part of their research) and they are constantly amazed at the low quality of what they find.

Phoenix
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