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Combining firm + latex? 07 May 2014 19:40 #1

Hello! For the past few weeks, I've used your website as a fantastic resource as I've been mattress shopping with the significant other. Having read all of your pages (and taken notes!), I made up an extensive spreadsheet before hitting the stores, so that I would know what I was looking for, and was determined to write down as many specs as possible. As you warned about, there were so many blank boxes on my sheet that I was certain that gaining the information we wanted was going to be hopeless.

Long story short. We wound up at a small local place (Mattress Mart in Portage MI), and had the experience with a wonderful salesman like you describe - incredibly knowledgeable, and very excited to find that I'd done my research - I even pulled a few difficult questions out from this site in order to test his knowledge level vs marketing tactic, and was not disappointed. Larrs had great suggestions, and we ended up trying a few that we really liked. However - my significant other is 6'6 to 6'7. This means we are getting a California King, so price is a concern. We tried a couple from the pureBlissLatex line and really liked them, but the price was far beyond our budget of 2000. I said as much. Our salesman (Larrs) didn't bat an eye, and led us to a very firm King Koil mattress with basically no comfort layer, put a 3 inch, Fast Response Pure Bliss Latex topper on it and told me to "just try it". It was wonderful! Even better- the price for the mattress was 1400, with the topper around 500, allowing us to hit our budget on the mark (give or take for taxes and extra fees, etc).

My question for you is this: before I write a check, what are your thoughts here? I'm pretty confident in the King Koil- he had all the specs presented, and even sent me to a couple sites online for more, and encouraged me to do more research and get a second opinion after some thought. Overall, the supportive nature of the firm mattress was very well matched with the topper, and i felt both comfortable and supported. We checked our alignment too - spot on! Concerning the topper- it has a good reputation and is extremely comfortable. So individually, we are confident in the components and feel that the price is worth it. However, there is not much research on "building" a mattress this way - yet so many of the complaints these days are about comfort layers dying and making their owners miserable. This seems to be a great, cost effective way to avoid that trap. But is this too good to be true?

Now again, I understand from your website that this is simply a method of pseudo-building a mattress tailored to both our comfort level and our price range. The very firm King Koil provides the support layer, with the topper providing the comfort layer that can be replaced as it wears out or our comfort needs change. This seems almost too simple, and it makes me hesitant. Nothing in my research notes indicates that this is a poor decision- your website as well as Sleep Like the Dead continuously emphasize that the weak points of most mattresses is in the comfort layer, and that it tends to kill mattresses for people far earlier than they would like. The weak point that I can find is in the Bonnell continuous coils, and yet they are at 12.5 gauge, which is the best. The polyfoam is 2.5 lb, as you indicate to be high quality, so that is not much of a concern either (beyond that, there isn't much of it). I'm pretty sure the box spring could hold up a house, and in general solidity and durability are pretty good in firm mattresses, as well as in the King Koil line, as i understand it.

I suppose I'm looking for reassurance? Have I interpreted and applied your methods correctly here, in order to maximize quality in the face of cost limitations? So much of what I have read implies "if it seems too good, it is". Yet I can't find a problem. Any advice you can offer would be incredibly appreciated.

Thanks very much for your time! Again, your site is a wonderful resource for those of us facing the monster that is mattress shopping. SleepLiketheDead is great for general data (though their explanations have some flaws), but I found the detailed and instructive information here on The Mattress Underground to be far more useful in practice. Thanks for all you do!

--CL

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Combining firm + latex? 07 May 2014 20:19 #2

Hi crash68,

My question for you is this: before I write a check, what are your thoughts here? I'm pretty confident in the King Koil- he had all the specs presented, and even sent me to a couple sites online for more, and encouraged me to do more research and get a second opinion after some thought. Overall, the supportive nature of the firm mattress was very well matched with the topper, and i felt both comfortable and supported. We checked our alignment too - spot on! Concerning the topper- it has a good reputation and is extremely comfortable. So individually, we are confident in the components and feel that the price is worth it. However, there is not much research on "building" a mattress this way - yet so many of the complaints these days are about comfort layers dying and making their owners miserable. This seems to be a great, cost effective way to avoid that trap. But is this too good to be true?


Their site doesn't indicate that they carry King Koil (only Sealy, Stearns & Foster, Therapedic, and Pure Latex Bliss) but I'm certainly a fan of mattress/topper combinations for a sleeping system where the topper is a high quality and durable material (which yours is), when you can test the combination in person for PPP, and when the mattress uses either higher quality materials in the comfort layers or has minimal amounts of lower quality materials (see post #6 here ). This combination has some of the advantages of a component mattress where you can just replace the comfort layer without replacing the whole mattress when and if that becomes necessary and the topper can extend the useful life of the mattress underneath it. If you can test the combination in person then it doesn't carry the additional risk of having to guess about a topper that would be the best match for the combination of both your body type and sleeping positions and the mattress you are using it on so it can certainly be a great way to customize a good quality sleeping system that works well for you and has no "weak links" in terms of durability.

Now again, I understand from your website that this is simply a method of pseudo-building a mattress tailored to both our comfort level and our price range. The very firm King Koil provides the support layer, with the topper providing the comfort layer that can be replaced as it wears out or our comfort needs change. This seems almost too simple, and it makes me hesitant. Nothing in my research notes indicates that this is a poor decision- your website as well as Sleep Like the Dead continuously emphasize that the weak points of most mattresses is in the comfort layer, and that it tends to kill mattresses for people far earlier than they would like. The weak point that I can find is in the Bonnell continuous coils, and yet they are at 12.5 gauge, which is the best. The polyfoam is 2.5 lb, as you indicate to be high quality, so that is not much of a concern either (beyond that, there isn't much of it). I'm pretty sure the box spring could hold up a house, and in general solidity and durability are pretty good in firm mattresses, as well as in the King Koil line, as i understand it.


All of the components you have listed (12.5 gauge innerspring, 2.5 lb polyfoam, and a Talalay latex topper) are high quality and durable materials and there would be no weak links in the sleeping system you chose so I would agree with you that it would make a good quality/value choice for a sleeping system. If you also have the KK heavy duty foundation underneath this then I would also agree that it would hold up a house.

I suppose I'm looking for reassurance? Have I interpreted and applied your methods correctly here, in order to maximize quality in the face of cost limitations? So much of what I have read implies "if it seems too good, it is". Yet I can't find a problem. Any advice you can offer would be incredibly appreciated.


Yes ... you have "interpreted everything very well and I'm impressed with your research and the approach you took with finding a "sleeping system" that matches all the parts of your personal value equation that are important to you and I'm also impressed with the knowledge and service that you received at Mattress Mart (and I've added a link to this thread to their listing in the Portage list here ). Your experience goes to show that along with some basic research ... who you deal with and their knowledge, experience, and integrity can be one of the most important parts of a successful mattress purchase.

Most important of all ... and assuming you decide to pull the trigger ... congratulations on your new mattress/sleeping system. I think you did very well :)

I'm looking forward to any feedback you have the chance to share when you've had the chance to sleep on it for a bit.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Combining firm + latex? 08 May 2014 03:40 #3

Thank you so much! I think you have clinched it for me, and I will definitely let you know how the mattress is. (Although right now, any bigger space may improve my sleep - two people on a double bed finally resulted in two people now in the living room on a futon, as I just couldn't stand it anymore!)

Thanks again for your stamp of approval - I'm so excited! I will update as soon as we've confirmed things after a few weeks!

--CL

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Combining firm + latex? 08 May 2014 12:14 #4

Hi crash68,

The only additional factor that I would consider is that you may be able to buy a topper that uses the same blended latex material in the same firmness with a functionally similar cover for a little less if saving a little more on the topper is a more important consideration vs buying locally (you can see some of the better sources for latex toppers I'm aware of in post #4 here ).

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.

Combining firm + latex? 09 May 2014 19:22 #5

So far, based on the fact that we are able to try the two together, as well as the sheer quality of services we've received, i think we feel comfortable buying from Mattress Mart.

One last question (hopefully)! I mentioned that I sleep hot, and Laars mentioned the Outlast Mattress pad. Have you seen/heard of this pad, and its effectiveness?

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Combining firm + latex? 09 May 2014 19:51 #6

Hi crash68,

Talalay latex is a very breathable foam so many people would be fine in terms of temperature regulation without any "help" but any soft foam that you sink into can be more insulating than a firmer sleeping surface or natural fibers and can affect some people more than others (depending on where you are in the oven/iceberg range).

An outlast mattress pad contains a phase change material that can both absorb and release heat so it regulates temperature in both directions and can even out sleeping temperature "spikes" at least for a while when you are going to sleep until temperatures even out so the benefits may not last over the course of the night. If you read the reviews for an example of an outlast mattress pad here ... you will see that it certainly helped many people but there are some people that it didn't help as much or not at all. Your mattress protector, sheets, and bedding can also play a significant role in temperature regulation. There is more about the different factors that can affect sleeping temperature in post #2 here .

Depending on the thickness of the mattress pad ... it may also have an effect on the feel and performance of the soft Talalay topper underneath it and on how well the latex can contour to your body.

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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Last edit: by phoenix.

Combining firm + latex? 12 May 2014 17:31 #7

A final check (hopefully final)! We stopped by Sleep Doctor (recommended by TMU) and he and some interesting things to say. The salesman talked about latex density, which isn't something I've found much information when concerning the Pure Bliss latex topper. Also, the one we looked at (King Koil) apparently has offset hourglass continuous coils, which seems slightly incorrect? In my understanding, the offset cannot be continuous coils?

For your final perusal, here are the specs of the bed (which they post on their website):

2013 Exceptional Touch Claremont Firm

Cover: Stretch Knit. Tailormade Tufted to Quilt
Quilt Padding Layers: 1" Superior High Density 2.0lb Polyurethane Foam and Non-Toxic Flame Retardant SafeGuardTM Fiber Quilted to Cover. All Upholstery Reinforced Through Tailormade TuftingTM Process
Interior Padding Layers: Base Layer: Heavy Duty 50lb. Balanced Base Foam. Upholstery: Extra Firm Insulator Pad, 2" eXtra Life 2.5lb. Polyurethane Foam, 1" High Resilience Polyurethane Foam
Innerspring: eXtra Life Performance System, 12-1/2 Gauge Double Offset in ExcellentTM 50lb. Foam Edge Encasement System
Foundation: eXtra Life Performance System, 12-1/2 Gauge Double Offset in ExcellentTM 50lb. Foam Edge Encasement System
Foundation: eXtra Life Heavy Duty Wood Platform Foundation with 3x the Number of Cross beams and an Extra Center Support, Made by the Amish in Iowa
Spring Counts: Twin: 253 Full: 368 Queen: 450 King: 575
Mattress Thickness (Inches): 11"
Warranty: 20 Years Full (20/20)


FINALLY: With a Cal King, should we be concerned about glue seams in our latex topper? I've heard this can be a devastating problem for some toppers, and as this one is 500 bucks, I'd like to maximize the likelihood that this will NOT happen.

Thanks again for being such a wonderful source,

CL

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Combining firm + latex? 12 May 2014 19:02 #8

Hi crash68,

We stopped by Sleep Doctor (recommended by TMU) and he and some interesting things to say. The salesman talked about latex density, which isn't something I've found much information when concerning the Pure Bliss latex topper. Also, the one we looked at (King Koil) apparently has offset hourglass continuous coils, which seems slightly incorrect? In my understanding, the offset cannot be continuous coils?


I'm not sure where the information came from that you thought they are a recommendation of the site because they certainly aren't. They appeared as a "possibility" on one of the forum lists (Midland) but they no longer appear to carry the one manufacturer (Restonic) that would have been worth considering there (and only if the specifics of all the materials were available) so I've removed them from that list as well.

You're right that an innerspring would either be an offset or a continuous coil. Hourglass coils are typically Bonnell Coils and offset and continuous coils are different from each other as well. The density of latex is a side effect of the type and blend or the latex and it's firmness level (firmer latex has a higher density than softer latex). It's really not relevant or important with Talalay latex which uses ILD to indicate the firmness rather than density (which is more common with some Dunlop manufacturers).

Thanks for posting all the specifics of the layers and components in your mattress. All the materials are good quality and there are no obvious weak links in the design.

FINALLY: With a Cal King, should we be concerned about glue seams in our latex topper? I've heard this can be a devastating problem for some toppers, and as this one is 500 bucks, I'd like to maximize the likelihood that this will NOT happen.


All Talalay latex layers in king size will have glue seams (the molds are either twin XL or queen) and this isn't something that would concern me or something you would feel (see post #2 here ).

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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Last edit: by phoenix.

Combining firm + latex? 12 May 2014 19:12 #9

Thank you!!!

To clarify - Yes it was the Portage, MI list that I took that from, so I retract my assertion that it was a "recommendation". However, the family-owned place was very nice, and the salesman was informative and not pressure-filled. However, I wasn't thrilled with the lack of specs in their mattresses, and clearly they primarily focus their sales on Tempurpedic. Concerning the Restonic- they do have "Sleep Doctor" brand mattress that he said were from Restonic, so they may just be repackaged, while being the same mattresses.

Thanks again for all of your advice - it is being put to great use. And my apologies for my plethora of questions - a typically frugal person, I'm not good at spending money on something I feel questionably informed on. In any case, with your wisdom, we plan to pull the trigger tomorrow! An update will be provided in a few weeks.

Hooray! No more sleeping on a futon or double bed! Thank you!
CL

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Combining firm + latex? 12 May 2014 20:02 #10

Hi crash68,

However, I wasn't thrilled with the lack of specs in their mattresses, and clearly they primarily focus their sales on Tempurpedic.


The ability to find out what is inside the mattresses they carry are one of the primary reasons behind which retailers and/or manufacturers I include on the many lists around the forum. Without this information there is no way to identify any weak links in a mattress or make meaningful comparisons with other mattresses regardless of the name of the manufacturer. I often mention specific manufacturers that some of them carry (to the exclusion of the others) when the odds are higher that you will be able to find out the type and quality of the materials they use. Some manufacturers are more transparent than others (see this article ).

You are certainly taking the most effective approach to buying a mattress (choosing a knowledgeable and experienced retailer/manufacturer, careful and objective testing for PPP, and making sure you know the quality of the materials and components inside the mattress which is something that you can't "feel" but is the most important part of the useful life and durability of the mattress).

I appreciate all your questions ... and most importantly, congratulations on your new mattress :)

I'm looking forward to your feedback when you've received it and have had the chance to sleep on it for a bit.

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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