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Buying a latex mattress - store or Internet? 11 Aug 2013 15:47 #1

Hello folks,
First of all, I wanted to give a shout out to Phoenix, this website's creator and moderator. Thank you for the great resource.
I now decided to buy a good matress but face the following dilemma - I went to a NJ based manufacturer recommended here (matressfactory) and was super impressed. Great store visit, great info as well as a brief tour of the factory. The matress there is 6 inch latex (talalay ild 36) and 5 inch poly foam. We liked the feel of the mattress. Now, here is my dilemma - on the websites i find cheaper prices (about 1 thousand in savings) plus more latex (As much 8 inches all latex mattress). One example with good reviews is sleepez.com. The other is Brooklynbedding (savings here are 500 dollars and obviously this is also a lot of money). Their total latex is 10 inches all latex! This one also has excellent reviews. The drawback is that I can't try neither of these before buying. I can return them at my cost (100 dollars) which is a consideration.

Has anyone faced a similar choice? Anyone can vouch for either the sleepez or Brooklyn bedding? anyone had a bad experience? Are these comparable?

Phoenix - what would be your recommendation? What questions should I ask? Are these comparable mattresses? The store in new jersey is family owned but everything on the east coast is more expensive due to higher rent etc. so i understand that dynamic of course. 6 inches in latex from the mattress factory is very acceptable, as per this fine website so I am not sure if more latex is necessarily better. Price wise, savings of 500 or 1000 dollars are compelling reasons for me to ask questions.

Many thanks in advance!!!

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Buying a latex mattress - store or Internet? 11 Aug 2013 23:50 #2

Hi Quentin1,

Has anyone faced a similar choice? Anyone can vouch for either the sleepez or Brooklyn bedding? anyone had a bad experience? Are these comparable?


Almost everyone faces a similar choice and you can find some of the guidelines I would use to help you make the choice that is best for you in post #2 here . This may be different from what someone else thinks is best for them because each person can have different ideas about the criteria that are the most important parts of their personal value equation.

Once you have eliminated the worst choices (which you have) then the final choice that is best for YOU depends entirely on all the objective, subjective, and intangible criteria that are most important to you along with how comfortable you are with the added risk of an online purchase.

Phoenix - what would be your recommendation?


I don't recommend what to choose ... only how to choose ... and all of your choices are between "good and good". I think highly of Ron at the Mattress Factory and I'm assuming you have talked with SleepEz and Brooklyn Bedding (both of which are invited members of this site ) and narrowed your options down to the specific mattress you would choose with all three of them.

As difficult as it is ... when you are down to "all good' options and all of them are better than anything you would find at a mainstream outlet and there are no "clear winners", then it's not really possible to make a mistake in terms of quality or value but only you can decide on which of your final three mattress choices is best for you.

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
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Last edit: by Phoenix.

Buying a latex mattress - store or Internet? 12 Aug 2013 03:01 #3

Thanks! I understand your points. Is there advantage to all latex vs 6 inch latex and 5 inch quality poly foam? what should be the height of the mattress? 11 inches seems fine but is 8 inches an ok height for a mattress? What is the min lid I should be targeting from either Brooklyn bedding or sleepez?


Again, many thanks!

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Buying a latex mattress - store or Internet? 12 Aug 2013 04:32 #4

Hi Quentin,

Is there advantage to all latex vs 6 inch latex and 5 inch quality poly foam?


It would be less costly than 11" of latex and with 6" of latex you would have many of the benefits of an all latex mattress (you can see a comparison of an all latex mattress with a latex polyfoam hybrid in post #2 here ) but at a lower cost.

what should be the height of the mattress?


There is really no relevant criteria for the height of a mattress and it's much more important how well the mattress matches your specific needs and preferences in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences). If a 6" mattress worked well for you it would be just as good as another mattress that was 16" that worked just as well as long as the materials were high quality and durable. The height really doesn't matter ... only PPP ... and the design of the mattress and the types of materials and how well if "fits" your criteria are much more important than the height. If you are looking at an all latex mattress you can see some of the potential benefits of greater thickness in post #14 here .

What is the min lid I should be targeting from either Brooklyn bedding or sleepez?


There are no minimum or maximum ILD's because this is also relative to each person and their body type, sleeping positions, preferences, physiology, and sensitivities. I would use either your own personal testing on local mattresses that are similar as a guideline (using the mattress testing guidelines) or a more detailed conversation with a manufacturer you are considering who can use their knowledge and experience with their own designs and your input from your testing to help you make the best possible choice (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here ). They are the "experts" and know more about their own mattresses than anyone else.

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
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Last edit: by Phoenix.

Buying a latex mattress - store or Internet? 12 Aug 2013 06:45 #5

thank you again. i can never learn enough it seems. i've read the suggested links. yes, all latex is the way to go. i am 230 pounds, a weight that asks for an all latex mattress more so compared to lighter folks.

i've searched around but could not find either your Phoenix opinion on an All Latex brooklyn bedding mattress or that of the forum members.

the brooklyn bedding all latex is 10 inch: 1 inch wool, then 3 inch talalay or comfort layer and 6 inch talalay or dunlop core layer.

i'd like to ask the following questions:
1. how would this mattress compare to mattressfactory in fanwood nj in terms of feel? which one is softer or firmer, etc, or about the same. the mattress factory 6 inch talalay ild 36 and 5 inch polyfoam in plush was very comfortable for us and would be the one we'd like to purchase.
2. how does one decide between talalay vs. dunlop? is talalay better for the comfort layer or core layer or both? or it dunlop better
3. the mattress factory has a cotton poly blend cover vs. quilted bamboo cover on the BB all latex mattress. nor does it have 1 inch chemical free wool top layer. how do i evaluate these elements? is one preferable vs. the other?

pricewise, this all latex from BB would still save me a cool 500 dollars. the hardest thing for me/us would be to buy a mattress without trying it first.

many thanks again!

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Buying a latex mattress - store or Internet? 12 Aug 2013 12:47 #6

Hi Quentin1,

i've searched around but could not find either your Phoenix opinion on an All Latex brooklyn bedding mattress or that of the forum members.

the brooklyn bedding all latex is 10 inch: 1 inch wool, then 3 inch talalay or comfort layer and 6 inch talalay or dunlop core layer.


There are quite a number of posts around the forum that comment on all latex mattresses of various designs and they are all a very high quality choice. Of course it's also important to have some level of confidence that the one you choose is suitable for you in terms of PPP and local testing or more detailed conversations with the manufacturer is always important. There are also many of the online members here that make all latex mattresses and they have different options in design and customization and the ability to re-arrange or exchange layers which can also be an important part of your personal value equation. In terms of value all the members here are among the best value available and are knowledgeable and expereienced and I wouldn't hesitate to make a purchase from any of them.

1. how would this mattress compare to mattressfactory in fanwood nj in terms of feel? which one is softer or firmer, etc, or about the same. the mattress factory 6 inch talalay ild 36 and 5 inch polyfoam in plush was very comfortable for us and would be the one we'd like to purchase.


I think in terms of design the mattress from mattressfactory would be similar to the Aloe Alexis although there may be differences in some of the components such as the cover and quilting materials or the type and blend of the latex. Both use high quality materials. Other than that you can compare them in terms of all the parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you.

2. how does one decide between talalay vs. dunlop? is talalay better for the comfort layer or core layer or both? or it dunlop better


I would decide based on personal preference. They are both very high quality and durable materials and are suitable for use in any layer of a mattress. You can read a little more about the different types of latex in post #6 here and a little more about how they compare in "feel" in post #7 here (although I would suggest testing both of them whenever possible because "feel" is subjective).

3. the mattress factory has a cotton poly blend cover vs. quilted bamboo cover on the BB all latex mattress. nor does it have 1 inch chemical free wool top layer. how do i evaluate these elements? is one preferable vs. the other?


The wool would be a "value bonus" for those who preferred to sleep on a thin layer of wool for its temperature control benefits and the extra cost of adding it to the quilting. The quilting includes both the wool and a thin layer of polyfoam and will modify the surface feel and response of the latex underneath it. Some people prefer a quilted cover and some prefer to sleep directly on the latex and like it's more resilient feel without any modification of quilting layers. You can read a little more about wool in the quilting in post #6 here and more about quilted covers in general in post #2 here . Outside of any differences in quilting, a cotton poly blend and bamboo are both good quality covers and you can read a little more about some of the comparisons between cotton and bamboo (which is one of the viscose type fibers) in post #7 here . Ticking fabrics come in a very wide array of different types and quality levels and when you are down to the level of detail that is comparing covers then it's best to ask each manufacturer why they chose the specific cover they did and it's benefits because they will be much more familiar with the specifics of their cover than I am.

pricewise, this all latex from BB would still save me a cool 500 dollars. the hardest thing for me/us would be to buy a mattress without trying it first.


Yes ... the uncertainty and risk of an online purchase vs a local purchase that can be tested ahead of time and the options avaelable after a purchase is one of the factors that each person needs to consider as part of their personal value equation and each person may have a different risk tolerance and place a different value on a local purchase vs an online purchase although both can make a good quality/value choice.

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum

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Last edit: by Phoenix.

Buying a latex mattress - store or Internet? 12 Aug 2013 17:18 #7

Thanks. Another update - I went to 2 all latex NY retailers tonite - The clean bedroom and the Dixie foam. First, the trip to the Dixie store was a disappointment; not impressed at all; super nice sales guy but two mattresses on display were 6 inches each, seemed way too thin for me. The other store is nice- several nice mattresses, including the savvy rest. I was nicely impressed. This was my first time trying an all latex mattress. I find it strange, tho, that the matress is just a big pillow case with 3 layers of latex. It didn't seem "substantial" but was comfortable. Seems simple and I am thinking it should not cost 2500 but what do I know, right. The talalay mattress layer adds 300 bucks; I was also told that the talalay layer will wer out faster than the Dunlop given that it's softer?

Now, my questions if I may
1. Is a 3 layer "movable" or "interchangeable" mattress completely fine or is one piece mattress with mattress cover that does not have a zipper preferable or a sign of a more solidly more stable mattress?
2. Since there are only 3 latex manufacturers, all latex than is pretty " commoditized". This should help comparison shop more easily? I just need to specify the ild for each layer, and the brand talalay or dunlop, and that is it? Or is there a wide differential between or among the recommended manufacturers? Will latex with same ild from various manufacturers feel exactly the same? If all I get is 3 cut latex layers and the zippered mattress cover, what is it that is actually "manufactured" then? They cut the latex only perhaps. Or am I wrong in my observation? Forgive me if I am being insensitive in any way; not my intent.

I like the thought of buying local - I feel I can get good service if something goes wrong? Perhaps it is worth the extra cost. Also, the overall "feel" is emphasized on this forum. So far, my best experience has been with the mattress factory mattress that is 6 inch talalay and 5 inch hr foam. If it feels right, why not go with that? Or am I not doing the right thing and should be considering an all latex mattress from an online manufacturer for essentially the same price or even cheaper. However, I CAN'T TEST DRIVE the mattress. Is this worth the gamble?

Appreciate everyone's thoughts/input. Many thanks!

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Last edit: by Quentin1.

Buying a latex mattress - store or Internet? 12 Aug 2013 22:39 #8

Hi Quentin1,

two mattresses on display were 6 inches each, seemed way too thin for me.


6" of latex works well for many people (you certainly wouldn't bottom out on it) but you also can add a topper on top of it as well if you need some extra softness on top.

I find it strange, tho, that the matress is just a big pillow case with 3 layers of latex. It didn't seem "substantial" but was comfortable. Seems simple and I am thinking it should not cost 2500 but what do I know, right. The talalay mattress layer adds 300 bucks; I was also told that the talalay layer will wer out faster than the Dunlop given that it's softer?


All mattresses are like this ... basically a cover with various layers and components inside it that interact together to create the feel, support, pressure relief, and preferences that you want. Latex layers are among the most costly of all the foams and components that can go into a mattress but they are also among the most durable. You can read a little more about the different types of latex in this article and in post #6 here and some of the factors that affect durability in post #4 here . Softer materials generally soften faster than firmer materials but Talalay and Dunlop in the same ILD (firmness) are both very durable materials.

1. Is a 3 layer "movable" or "interchangeable" mattress completely fine or is one piece mattress with mattress cover that does not have a zipper preferable or a sign of a more solidly more stable mattress?


It would work well both ways and some of the pros and cons of each are in post #15 here . Loose layers provide some options to customize, re-arrange, or exchange layers which can certainly be a benefit either initially or down the road.

2. Since there are only 3 latex manufacturers, all latex than is pretty " commoditized". This should help comparison shop more easily? I just need to specify the ild for each layer, and the brand talalay or dunlop, and that is it? Or is there a wide differential between or among the recommended manufacturers? Will latex with same ild from various manufacturers feel exactly the same? If all I get is 3 cut latex layers and the zippered mattress cover, what is it that is actually "manufactured" then? They cut the latex only perhaps. Or am I wrong in my observation? Forgive me if I am being insensitive in any way; not my intent.


There are many more latex manufacturers than just three ... closer to dozens. Only two of them (at least in the western world) make Talalay latex however (Latex international and Radium) and the rest make various versions of Dunlop. Three of them pour latex in the US (Latex International, Latexco, and Mountaintop) so maybe this is what they were referring to.

there is more about the different types of latex in this article and in post #6 here . There would be some differences in the formulations between each manufacturer but the main differences between then are in the manufacturing method used and blend of natural and synthetic latex that is used.

You can read about comparing ILD's between different types of latex in post #6 here (Dunlop and Talalay are not directly comparable in practical terms). In most cases the ILD between Talalay will be comparable but ILD is only one of the factors that determine the softness of firmness of a foam and by itself can be misleading.

What is "manufactured" is the thickness is the thickness of the latex and the type of cover and how they all go together in specific designes ... just like any mattress (which again is just components purchased from suppliers that go inside a mattress cover in various ways). a mattress really is only as good as its construction and the quality of the materials that go inside it and the label on the cover means little.

I like the thought of buying local - I feel I can get good service if something goes wrong? Perhaps it is worth the extra cost. Also, the overall "feel" is emphasized on this forum. So far, my best experience has been with the mattress factory mattress that is 6 inch talalay and 5 inch hr foam. If it feels right, why not go with that? Or am I not doing the right thing and should be considering an all latex mattress from an online manufacturer for essentially the same price or even cheaper. However, I CAN'T TEST DRIVE the mattress. Is this worth the gamble?


Each person has a different personal value equation which is all the objective, subjective, and intangible factors that are part of every mattress purchase. "Value" depends on what is most important to each person.

The "feel" of a mattress is very subjective and people who choose a mattress based on "feel" alone have a less than 50/50 chance of making a suitable choice in their long term experience (see the study here ). While feel is important of course ... testing for PPP using the more objective guidelines I have suggested in the "read first" post are much more likely to lead to a suitable choice. The choice between online and local (see this thread ) has pros and cons for each and is just part of each person's value equation.

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
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Buying a latex mattress - store or Internet? 13 Aug 2013 14:11 #9

Thanks Phoenix.

based on all the feedback etc., i certainly did not hear an objection to a combo latex and hr foam mattress from an approved local manufacturer. while the all latex mattress might be preferable, there is certainly nothing wrong with the combination mattress and it appears to be a fine choice - especially compared to any big box retailers etc. where you dont know what you are really buying.

it's like picking between good and good (this was the comparison given in one of the posts). both are good and either choice is good.

i think i feel good about the choice i am going to be making. the only thing is that i am thinking about waiting a couple of weeks until Labor Day to see if there is any sale on the mattress i'd like to purchase.

again, many thanks and all the best.

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Buying a latex mattress - store or Internet? 13 Aug 2013 17:38 #10

Hi Quentin1,

based on all the feedback etc., i certainly did not hear an objection to a combo latex and hr foam mattress from an approved local manufacturer. while the all latex mattress might be preferable, there is certainly nothing wrong with the combination mattress and it appears to be a fine choice - especially compared to any big box retailers etc. where you dont know what you are really buying.


I would even take it one step further. A mattress is only as good as the quality of the construction and materials in it regardless of the manufacturer and while I specifically recommend the members of the site because I have come to know and respect them over time and they are all "safe" choices ... they are not the only sources of good quality, value, and service across the country and there are many others that would and will become members here over time as I get to know them better and they also get to know me.

A latex/polyfoam mattress can certainly make a good choice in terms of both quality, value, and performance as long as there are no obvious "weak links" in the mattress.

it's like picking between good and good (this was the comparison given in one of the posts). both are good and either choice is good.


Yes ... the goal of the site is to help each member reach this point so they can make final decisions based on all the objective, subjective, and intangible factors that are part of every mattress purchase that are most important to them. Value is relative to the criteria of each person. For what it's worth ... when I purchased my last mattress it took me two weeks of hemming and hawing and going back and forth to make a final choice because there were no clear winners and the choice kept getting down to smaller and smaller details that were mainly irrelevant and using more "gut feel" than any formula. None of them were clearly better than any of the others.

i think i feel good about the choice i am going to be making. the only thing is that i am thinking about waiting a couple of weeks until Labor Day to see if there is any sale on the mattress i'd like to purchase.


While it's unlikely that most manufacturers or retailers that have good value 365 days of the year will have any special sale on Labor Day ... it's always possible that they may have some promotion with smaller discounts or products in kind just to take advantage of the number of consumers that make purchases around that time so you never know. It certainly can't hurt but I would treat the "massive labor day sales" as a warning sign rather than as an incentive to buy because most of them are "fake sales" (see post #5 here ) meant to create a false sense of urgency, to sell inferior products, or to instill a fear of loss that isn't real.

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum

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Last edit: by Phoenix.
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