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Brooklyn Bedding Latex Mattresses 27 Sep 2013 11:05 #1

Hello again,

The high number of good reviews posted here and elsewhere, as well as the selection and pricing of their mattresses, has me looking at Brooklyn Bedding instead of purchasing a mattress locally. But now I have some new questions. I've emailed their salespeople, but your answers have been much more comprehensive and helpful, Phoenix. I hope you won't mind if I direct a few more questions your way.

I am overweight and have back problems, and thus am concerned about the long-term durability of the mattress (weight loss is not a quick process, and if you can't stand up straight in the morning due to a lumpy mattress, you're not going to be doing much meaningful exercise). Which material do you think would work better for the support layer, the 7" of 2.17-lb HD foam used in the Aloe Alexis, or the 6" of latex used in either their Essence or Total Latex mattresses?

As I understand it, there are no confirmed cases of latex mattresses triggering latex allergies, thanks in part to the production methods and in part to the materials separating latex from human. Do you think the choice of natural or blended latex has any bearing on this? What about the smell from natural latex? I ask because the salesperson suggested the Essence mattress due to my allergy concerns, but then even the best salespeople aren't entirely unbiased. This brings up the related question: what about latex pillows?

Brooklyn Bedding's mattresses have a layer of wool. I am allergic to wool, and so the salesperson suggested replacing that with a "reflex foam" layer. Thin foam, in my experience, tends to compress to nothing under me. Would you consider this to be a point of concern, or a non-issue? Also, will reflex foam make the mattress hotter?

Finally, how do they handle return shipping? I don't have any industrial presses lying about, so there's no way I could compress the mattress or comfort layer the way they do at the factory. So if it turned out that I had to return something, what would I do? I did address this question to the salesperson, but he missed it in his first reply.

Thank you once more for all your help! And I'm glad you get a referral fee -- you certainly earn it!

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Brooklyn Bedding Latex Mattresses 27 Sep 2013 12:24 #2

Hi Djehuty,

The high number of good reviews posted here and elsewhere, as well as the selection and pricing of their mattresses, has me looking at Brooklyn Bedding instead of purchasing a mattress locally. But now I have some new questions. I've emailed their salespeople, but your answers have been much more comprehensive and helpful, Phoenix. I hope you won't mind if I direct a few more questions your way.


Not at all ... but my comments will be more generic in nature because they know much more about the specifics of their mattresses than I do. I would never purchase a mattress online based on email communications and I believe that a more detailed conversation on the phone is an essential part of the process. Email is good for very simple questions that have "black and white" or "single sentence" answers but these are not the norm in the world of mattresses where most questions have an "it depends" in the answer and voice communications can help you with more detailed or nuanced questions that you may not realize even need to be asked or that can't be effectively dealt with through email conversations.

I am overweight and have back problems, and thus am concerned about the long-term durability of the mattress (weight loss is not a quick process, and if you can't stand up straight in the morning due to a lumpy mattress, you're not going to be doing much meaningful exercise). Which material do you think would work better for the support layer, the 7" of 2.17-lb HD foam used in the Aloe Alexis, or the 6" of latex used in either their Essence or Total Latex mattresses?


Latex is more durable than polyfoam but the weak link of a mattress isn't normally in the support layers anyway so both of them will be durable choices and the other differences between them may be more important factors in your choice. You can read more about the relative durability of a mattress and the combination of many factors that can affect its useful life post #4 here . You can also read more about some of the differences between an all latex mattress and a latex/polyfoam hybrid in post #2 here .

As I understand it, there are no confirmed cases of latex mattresses triggering latex allergies, thanks in part to the production methods and in part to the materials separating latex from human. Do you think the choice of natural or blended latex has any bearing on this? What about the smell from natural latex? I ask because the salesperson suggested the Essence mattress due to my allergy concerns, but then even the best salespeople aren't entirely unbiased. This brings up the related question: what about latex pillows?


I'm not so sure there are no confirmed cases and it would also depend on the type of latex allergy you are referring to. There is more about latex allergies in post #2 here but for the vast majority of consumers latex "allergies" (or more accurately latex sensitivities that are connected with gloves, condoms, balloons or other types of rubber that you come in contact with) are not an issue with mattresses. For someone who had a true type 1 latex allergy I would avoid natural latex but this is very rare.

You can read more about the smell of latex in post #2 here but all latex you are likely to encounter in north America has been tested to OekoTex standards for harmful VOC's and substances in the mattress.

Latex pillows would be the same as mattresses and again would depend on the type of allergy.

Brooklyn Bedding's mattresses have a layer of wool. I am allergic to wool, and so the salesperson suggested replacing that with a "reflex foam" layer. Thin foam, in my experience, tends to compress to nothing under me. Would you consider this to be a point of concern, or a non-issue? Also, will reflex foam make the mattress hotter?


That depends on the thickness of the reflex layer but if it's in the range of an inch or less and only there for the surface feel of the mattress then it won't have any significant effect on the useful life of a mattress. Once any polyfoam in the upper layers is in the range of 2" or more then I would want to make sure that the density of the polyfoam was high enough to prevent early softening or breakdown (the durability of polyfoam depends on the density used). Most quilting foam is quite breathable although it won't regulate temperature as well as wool or other natural fibers. There is more about the many factors that can contribute to temperature regulation in post #2 here .

Finally, how do they handle return shipping? I don't have any industrial presses lying about, so there's no way I could compress the mattress or comfort layer the way they do at the factory. So if it turned out that I had to return something, what would I do? I did address this question to the salesperson, but he missed it in his first reply.


This depends on the specifics and on he mattress you are referring to. Layer exchanges don't need to be compressed and can be exchanged through courier. Complete mattresses however require shipping with a common carrier (truck freight). For the mattresses that have a free return they look after the common carrier freight charges. For the ones where you pay for return shipping the return would be more costly but they will help you find the best or least costly option for a return. For this type of question they are a much better source of information than I am and I would suggest a phone call with them (so they can deal with the specifics of each of their mattresses).

Thanks for your questions and kind comments as well ... I appreciate it :)

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Phoenix.

Brooklyn Bedding Latex Mattresses 16 Oct 2013 10:57 #3

An update, and a question:

I purchased the Aloe Alexis mattress, in firmness level 5 (layers of 32 and 28 ILD latex). Mario, the Brooklyn Bedding salesperson, was very helpful. He even arranged a different cover for the mattress, in order to avoid any complications with my wool allergy. So far, my experience with Brooklyn Bedding has been entirely positive. If it would be helpful, I will write up a full review when all is said and done. Oh, and I received my Mattress Underground discount -- many thanks!

Now, the question. I find, to my surprise, that the mattress is too soft. I based my selection on similarity to the latex mattresses available locally, and thought I'd chosen well. I find that I sink into the mattress more than I expected, especially at the hips and shoulders. This causes upward pressure in the small of my back, which in turn causes fairly significant back pain. There are two remaining choices for firmer comfort layers: 36/32 ILD, and 44/36 ILD. Which level of firmness would be most likely to eliminate this problem? Or, given the degree to which I sink into this mattress (when I sit down on it, I sink in to a rather surprising degree), is it possible I should have ordered a different model?

I have asked Mario about this, but you have been so very helpful and knowledgeable, so I'd like your advice as well, if you don't mind.

Thanks again! :)

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Brooklyn Bedding Latex Mattresses 16 Oct 2013 18:51 #4

Hi djehuty,

Now, the question. I find, to my surprise, that the mattress is too soft. I based my selection on similarity to the latex mattresses available locally, and thought I'd chosen well. I find that I sink into the mattress more than I expected, especially at the hips and shoulders. This causes upward pressure in the small of my back, which in turn causes fairly significant back pain. There are two remaining choices for firmer comfort layers: 36/32 ILD, and 44/36 ILD. Which level of firmness would be most likely to eliminate this problem? Or, given the degree to which I sink into this mattress (when I sit down on it, I sink in to a rather surprising degree), is it possible I should have ordered a different model?


Out of curiosity what is the mattress you were using for a reference point?

The Aloe Alexis is a particularly good choice because it has more options for customizing both before and after a purchase than their latex hybrid mattresses that have only a single layer of latex.

The level 5 uses 28 ILD over 32 ILD and the first thing I would suggest is to change the order of the layers so that the 32 ILD is on top which will increase the firmness of the comfort layers and see how much difference that makes.

Beyond that ... they are much more knowledgeable about the specifics of their own mattresses and the options they provide than I am and to even to hazard a guess about a layering combination I would need a more detailed conversation on the phone that included much more information including your weight, body type, sleeping positions, and preferences which of course isn't possible on a forum. I wouldn't mind making a few comments however in terms of how your mattress might compare to the reference point you were using.

Latex is very point elastic which means that it can compress in the specific area of compression with less effect on the area around the compression and it's not unusual at all that people who haven't slept on it before are surprised or comment on how much they sink into the latex when their weight is more concentrated in a smaller area such as with sitting. Sitting on latex is very different from lying down on it where your weight is more evenly distributed and it has a combination of softness, contouring, and support that is one of its strengths.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Phoenix.

Brooklyn Bedding Latex Mattresses 16 Oct 2013 19:21 #5

I just did an exchange with Brooklyn Bedding on my Aloe Alexis and I am very pleased with the whole process.
I had 32 over 36 (Level 3) and found it great for stomach sleeping, good for back sleeping but a little too firm for side sleeping.
The idea was to change to the Level 5 but I choose to stay with the 28 over the 36; this gives more when I side sleep but doesn't sink so much when I back sleep.
Of course, I am just pointing out how flexible the bed is and the guys at BB as well - they just want a slice of Latex back, it isn't important which two you keep.
Good luck finding a good fit, I'm sure they can help.

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Brooklyn Bedding Latex Mattresses 17 Oct 2013 19:17 #6

Phoenix,

As a reference I was using Restonic Elevate mattresses, the only latex mattresses sold locally. I know they won't be the same, but the ILD numbers were similar, so I made a guess at a mattress slightly firmer than the most comfortable one I tested (to allow for breaking in).

Switching the layers around is an excellent suggestion, and something that never would have occurred to me. I wouldn't have thought the order of layers would make a significant difference. I'll try that tomorrow. It's also good to know that sitting on the mattress and nearly landing on the platform isn't too unusual. I won't let it worry me henceforward. :)

And jefmoody, thanks, it's good to know that this process is likely to be painless.

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Brooklyn Bedding Latex Mattresses 17 Oct 2013 23:02 #7

Hi Djehuty,

As a reference I was using Restonic Elevate mattresses, the only latex mattresses sold locally


Which of the elevate models was your "target" (and thanks again for providing the specs of each of them here )

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
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