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An introduction and request for advice 25 Aug 2013 22:43 #1

Hello all!

My name is Brandon. I'm shopping for a new bed and am a little overwhelmed. I found this site and it's been extremely helpful, and I've been doing research for a few weeks now, but thought I'd reach out for a few suggestions.

A little background: I'm about to get married (Oct 1) and need to upgrade my bed. I have a queen size now, but we want to move to a King. I'm a large dude (about 270 and 5'11, though I'm well on my way to getting smaller, targeting about 220). My bride to be is a lot smaller, at about 110, 5'9. She has never had a 'nice' bed, using hand me downs all her life. For the past 10 years, she's been on an old no name inner spring with a lot of sag. It's pretty soft. As for me, I got a waterbed when I was about 8 and used that until 18 years ago, when I got a sleep number bed. I've generally been happy with it until about 2 years ago. It's worn out and I'm guessing the bladders are stretched and uneven now. I know the 'pillow top' is way past it's expiration date. Recently, it's been really bad. I'm not sleeping well at all, constantly tossing and turning and waking up with back pain. To be expected from a bed that old, I guess.

Most of those years, my sleep number was a 50-55, so I'm used to firm. But when it started getting uncomfortable, I tried many different numbers, as low as 30. 40 seems the most comfortable, but I think it may be too soft as I wake with back pain with it set that low.

As for what we want: I can't stand memory foam, and neither can she. We both sleep hot and we both hate the 'molassas' feel of the slow rebound foam. I also don't like any inner spring mattresses that I've had experiences with. They just don't feel right to me. Now that I'm older, I don't like water beds either (neither does she). I don't like the idea of 'hybrid' beds with comfort layers over springs because I've had a lot of family members spend a LOT of money on them only to have them form impressions or sag after as little as a few months. We also want an adjustable frame (she likes to read/watch TV and get massaged. Go figure). That limits our options (as far as I can tell) to another air bed or latex.

We tried some air beds, but she isn't crazy about them. The only ones she liked were very expensive, around $7k with an adjustable frame. That's just too much for us. We might be able to swing $3-$4k, although less is definitely better. Since we have to pay for a wedding and a honeymoon, financing would be a HUGE bonus, but it seems that's only available from the 'big box' places. Am I wrong about that?

Anyway, I've traveled extensively for most of my life and have slept in a ton of beds. The best bed I ever slept on was about 10 years ago in NY, at a boutique hotel where I stayed for 5 months (working remotely). I asked about it, and they told me it was a pure latex bed. They didn't know what brand. It was heavenly, feeling 'soft' but plenty supportive. I didn't feel like I was sinking down into it, but it had a very plush and cloudlike feel. It was easy to move on and easy to get out of.

The problem is that we've been unable to find much latex around here for her to try out. We live in Plano, TX, by the way The closest we came was a hybid bed described to us as inner spring with a thick latex top layer (this was the Lucille by S&F at Ashley Furniture). Immediately, she loved the feel of it, and I recognized it as well, although it wasn't as good as I remembered from the pure latex bed from years ago. I chalk this up to being innerspring underneath. Also, I will not buy a S&F, ever. I'll just leave it at that! :)

So. I THINK I might have it narrowed down to Arizona Premium Mattress Co or Sleep EZ. Both offer latex in king with adjustable bases for 3100-3500, but I do wish there was a way to finance. Also, obviously we can't try it out. I remember loving the latex bed, but of course I don't know anything about the firmness I was using, and she would be going in completely blind. She says she can sleep like a baby on literally anything, and that since she's never had a 'nice' bed, she will be happy with whatever, but we are talking about spending 8 hours a night on it for the next ?? years. It's not a decision I want to mess up.

If you've read this far, THANK YOU. I'm sorry for the novel-length post! If I've missed anything, or if anyone has any advice at all for me, I'd be extremely grateful. Should we be looking at something else? Our priorities in order are 1. comfort (along with proper support so we don't wake with pain), 2. durability/longevity (no impressions, sagging, etc) and 3. cost (we can't go over budget, if financing is available, we could pay a little more, but don't want to start our life together under a pile of debt), Thank you again for taking the time!

Brandon

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An introduction and request for advice 26 Aug 2013 10:06 #2

Hi JazzGuy,

The first place to start your research is post #1 here and the information it links to. This has all the basic information, steps, and guidelines you will need to make the most informed and most suitable choices. I would read the information like you would a good book and not "study" it like you would a textbook. It will certainly give you more meaningful information than 90% of the salespeople that sell mattresses across the country.

I don't like the idea of 'hybrid' beds with comfort layers over springs because I've had a lot of family members spend a LOT of money on them only to have them form impressions or sag after as little as a few months.


Springs are a personal preference that many people prefer but I would keep in mind that the weak link of all mattresses ... regardless of the type of support system ... are the upper comfort layers not the support layers or components. If you take apart an innerspring mattress that is sagging you will almost always find that the springs are fine and it's the softening of lower quality/density foams and padding above the springs that is the problem. This is why it's so important to know the quality of the materials in your mattress ... especially the comfort layers ... because a mattress will generally soften and break down from the top down and if the top layers are high quality materials (which is not the "norm" with major brands) then you won't have softening and sagging issues regardless of what type of support system is used in the mattress.

We tried some air beds, but she isn't crazy about them. The only ones she liked were very expensive, around $7k with an adjustable frame. That's just too much for us. We might be able to swing $3-$4k, although less is definitely better. Since we have to pay for a wedding and a honeymoon, financing would be a HUGE bonus, but it seems that's only available from the 'big box' places. Am I wrong about that?


You can see my thoughts about airbeds here and as you can see I don't think they are a good choice ... and particularly at the prices you are mentioning. I don't see any need to go beyond 3 - 4K (depending on the size, your "comfortable" budget, and your preferences) and there are some great quality/value mattresses available for significantly less than this that would sell for much more if you shopped for mainstream brands. Higher cost certainly doesn't necessarily lead to a better or more suitable mattress in some cases it can be the opposite.

Anyway, I've traveled extensively for most of my life and have slept in a ton of beds. The best bed I ever slept on was about 10 years ago in NY, at a boutique hotel where I stayed for 5 months (working remotely). I asked about it, and they told me it was a pure latex bed. They didn't know what brand. It was heavenly, feeling 'soft' but plenty supportive. I didn't feel like I was sinking down into it, but it had a very plush and cloudlike feel. It was easy to move on and easy to get out of.


Latex is a very high quality and durable material (it's the most durable of all the foam types) but there are many different designs and no matter what the quality or durability of a material a mattress still need to match your needs and preferences in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, pressure relief, and personal preferences). There are many very high quality latex mattresses available across the country either locally or online but the best quality and value is generally smaller independent manufacturers that are either sold factory direct or through smaller independent sleep shops. No matter what the quality or value of a mattress if it isn't suitable for your specific needs and preferences and you can't sleep on it without pain or discomfort it would have little value to you.

The problem is that we've been unable to find much latex around here for her to try out. We live in Plano, TX, by the way The closest we came was a hybid bed described to us as inner spring with a thick latex top layer (this was the Lucille by S&F at Ashley Furniture). Immediately, she loved the feel of it, and I recognized it as well, although it wasn't as good as I remembered from the pure latex bed from years ago. I chalk this up to being innerspring underneath. Also, I will not buy a S&F, ever. I'll just leave it at that! :)


You're wise to avoid the mainstream manufacturers or for that matter any of the mainstream stores or chains. Some of the better options and possibilities I'm aware of in the Dallas / Ft Worth region are listed in post #4 here .

Both of these are members here which means that I believe they are among the best quality/value available but I would always do some testing at some of the better local stores or manufacturers before making any final choices because there may be some great quality/value available locally as well and at the very least you will be more familiar with the types of materials you are considering.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Phoenix.
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