>

Welcome to The Mattress Underground FORUM! :cheer:
The first place to start your research is the Mattress Shopping Tutorial
Select the Search Forum tab below to gain access to answers to many mattress related questions.
Select the Ask An Expert tab below to reach out to any of our Expert Members for guidance and advice.

Welcome to The Mattress Underground FORUM! :cheer:
  • Page:
  • 1

TOPIC:

Buying a latex, non-wool mattress in the Berkeley area 25 Mar 2015 14:34 #1

Hello,

First, thanks so much to Phoenix and everyone for providing this forum -- it's an incredible resource!

My wife and I are looking to purchase a new mattress, and would appreciate some help in deciding on our next steps.

Background constraints: I'm 6 feet / 170-180 lbs, she's 5'2" / 130-135 lbs. For an extra challenge, she has chronic muscle pain (legs / back / shoulders / neck ... the works) and has found that both wool and memory foam in mattresses cause her allergy problems (even Oeko-Tex certified memory foam, even long after unpackaging). Also, she spends a fair amount of time sitting in bed and with her electric blanket. So, we're pretty much restricted to mattresses with latex comfort layers and which use hydrated silica, boric acid, or no flame retardant. We're located in Berkeley, across the bay from San Francisco. We're both mixed back/side sleepers.

So far, we've been to European Sleepworks (sleepworks.com) and Nest Bedding.

At European Sleepworks, everyone was super helpful but there was definitely nothing that worked for both of us. All their mattresses come with two choices for the comfort layer (soft / firm) and two choices for the base layer (soft / firm). We agreed that out of the options the soft-over-firm was the best. However, while my wife liked the Nordic HDM and the Alpine HDM (the Nordic a bit more than the Alpine), in both of these, when lying on my back, my butt sank in deep while the rest of me didn't, so I ended up with terrible lumbar arching. On the other hand, their Latex HDM/Latex Classic were "ok" for me (basically it was so firm that I didn't sink in too much and had ok posture, though my lumbar arch was pretty much floating totally unsupported above the mattress surface), and totally unusable for her. We did at least learn that wool was definitely out -- we spent a few hours trying out mattresses with nice clean cotton sheets, and she's still itching two days later.

At Nest, most of their mattresses either had memory foam (which is how we learned that it was definitely out), or had similar issues to the ones at European Sleepworks -- with one exception! The Pure Latex Bliss "Nutrition" was pretty good for both of us, for both back and side sleepign. Not perfect -- she ranked it in second place after the Nordic HDM, and when back-sleeping I still felt like my lumbar was somewhat unsupported. For me it was though probably the best non-memory-foam mattress we've tried (and the only one I could seriously consider sleeping on long term).

But, it's $3400 in queen size, and if that one is good then it seems to us that there's almost certainly something similar to it that would be even better. And quite possibly cheaper as well! But how do we find it? Just randomly walking around to different show-rooms doesn't seem like a very effective use of time at this point, given how few hits we've had so far. The Nutrition is three layers of Talalay latex (with a hydrated silica barrier): 3 inches of 27 ILD, over 2 inches of 19 ILD, over 6 inches of 36 ILD. I don't really understand the logic behind this medium -> soft -> firm construction, or why it seems to work for us -- does anyone have any idea? What kinds of mattresses should we be trying that are similar? And what's our best strategy at this point -- are there any other local stores that are likely to have similar things in stock, or should we start talking local custom-build places like Famous Foam, or...?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Buying a latex, non-wool mattress in the Berkeley area 25 Mar 2015 15:21 #2

Hi njs,

It's unusual to see a reaction to wool when it's used in a quilting layer and covered with another fabric such as cotton so it's unfortunate that your wife is one of the very few because there are certainly some great benefits to using wool in a mattress quilting (including temperature regulation and as a natural fire barrier).

But how do we find it? Just randomly walking around to different show-rooms doesn't seem like a very effective use of time at this point, given how few hits we've had so far.


The better options and possibilities I';m aware of in the San Francisco/Berkeley/Oakland areas (subject to the quality/value guidelines here ) are listed in post #2 here .

There is also more about the different ways to choose a mattress (either locally or online) that is the most suitable "match" for your specific needs and preferences and how to identify and minimize the risks of making a choice that doesn't turn out as well as you hoped for that are involved in each of them in post #2 here but the most effective way to confirm that a mattress is a good match for you in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) is based on careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in the tutorial post). When you are at step 3 of the tutorial (deciding where to visit) I generally suggest first calling the retailers/manufacturers that are of interest to you based on their websites or what you know about them and talking to them about your criteria and the type of mattresses you are looking for and the results of your testing so that you can narrow down your options and spend your time visiting the ones that carry mattresses that meet your general criteria.

There are also manufacturers (including Berkeley Ergonomics) that carry mattresses with "split" layering so that each of you can have a different firmness level on each side of your mattress

The Nutrition is three layers of Talalay latex (with a hydrated silica barrier): 3 inches of 27 ILD, over 2 inches of 19 ILD, over 6 inches of 36 ILD. I don't really understand the logic behind this medium -> soft -> firm construction, or why it seems to work for us -- does anyone have any idea?


This is called a dominant layer and there is more information about it in post #33 here and the posts it links to. I wouldn't focus too much or get "locked in" to the more "technical" specifications of a mattress design though and would tend to rely more on your own personal testing because general design concepts that work for one mattress (such as dominant layering) may not "translate" well into other mattresses that also use a dominant layering in a different design that may not work as well for you as the specific mattress you tried.

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

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last edit: by Phoenix.

Buying a latex, non-wool mattress in the Berkeley area 26 Mar 2015 00:27 #3

Hi Phoenix,

It's unusual to see a reaction to wool when it's used in a quilting layer and covered with another fabric such as cotton so it's unfortunate that your wife is one of the very few because there are certainly some great benefits to using wool in a mattress quilting (including temperature regulation and as a natural fire barrier).


Yeah, we were really surprised and disappointed -- she thought the sheet and everything would be enough to protect her, but apparently not!

There are also manufacturers (including Berkeley Ergonomics) that carry mattresses with "split" layering so that each of you can have a different firmness level on each side of your mattress


Right -- but aside from the "Nutrition", the only mattresses that she's liked so far have been coil springs + latex, and the only ones that I liked even a little bit were pure latex. I think melding those would be rather a challenge :-). And just in case it wasn't clear, we aren't actually eliminating any mattresses at this stage based on the wool thing -- every mattress we tried except for the "Nutrition" failed miserably on pressure/posture grounds for one or the other of us.

(And unfortunately Berkeley Ergonomics has nothing to do with the city of Berkeley -- they're 400 miles away! -- but looking online their offerings seem roughly similar to European Sleepworks's?)

the most effective way to confirm that a mattress is a good match for you in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) is based on careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in the tutorial post). When you are at step 3 of the tutorial (deciding where to visit) I generally suggest first calling the retailers/manufacturers that are of interest to you based on their websites or what you know about them and talking to them about your criteria and the type of mattresses you are looking for and the results of your testing so that you can narrow down your options and spend your time visiting the ones that carry mattresses that meet your general criteria.


Yep, we've studied the tutorial and many of the other pages here carefully :-). I guess my question at this point is really about whether we can narrow down what we're looking for at all. We've spent two afternoons already going to two different places that had met our initial criteria, tried ~30 different mattress configurations, and out of that found only 1 that was at all acceptable to us -- and it was a relatively unusual build at a very high price point.

So one possibility is that this is just a fluke and we should keep working our way down the list of local high-quality latex mattress sellers, and eventually we'll discover some more options. But what I'm wondering is whether there's some way to narrow down our focus based on what we've experienced so far. That's why I mention the technical details of the mattress that worked -- not because I want to get "locked in", but because maybe it provides some clue for what kinds of mattresses we should be looking at. I worry that if we continue on the rounds like we've been doing, we'll just see another 30 that are basically the same as the first 30 without making any progress, whereas if I could say "we think other 'dominant layer' mattresses are especially worth trying, do you have any of those?", or "coil springs don't seem to work for us, show us your pure latex ones" or whatever, then that would make those screening phone calls much more productive. But, I don't know whether either of those statements would actually be good guesses based on what we've experienced, or if they'd just be superstition/"lock in". I'd definitely appreciate any thoughts you (or anyone else) has here!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last edit: by njs.

Buying a latex, non-wool mattress in the Berkeley area 26 Mar 2015 09:10 #4

Hi njs,

(And unfortunately Berkeley Ergonomics has nothing to do with the city of Berkeley -- they're 400 miles away! -- but looking online their offerings seem roughly similar to European Sleepworks's?)


Berkeley Ergonomics has dealers across the country and European Sleepworks used to be one of them and carry them before switching into making their own line that is very similar so I "reverted" to old information when I replied to your post. They would be close equivalents but of course they also have wool quilting.

Yep, we've studied the tutorial and many of the other pages here carefully :-). I guess my question at this point is really about whether we can narrow down what we're looking for at all. We've spent two afternoons already going to two different places that had met our initial criteria, tried ~30 different mattress configurations, and out of that found only 1 that was at all acceptable to us -- and it was a relatively unusual build at a very high price point.

So one possibility is that this is just a fluke and we should keep working our way down the list of local high-quality latex mattress sellers, and eventually we'll discover some more options. But what I'm wondering is whether there's some way to narrow down our focus based on what we've experienced so far. That's why I mention the technical details of the mattress that worked -- not because I want to get "locked in", but because maybe it provides some clue for what kinds of mattresses we should be looking at.


If there have only been one or two mattresses that you've liked then there isn't really enough to identify a pattern except in very general terms which would include that you seem to do better with firmer mattresses than her so you don't sink down as much (so a split design may be useful) and describing your restrictions and general criteria and the two mattresses that each of you liked to give a general sense of what worked best for you even if it wasn't ideal.

I don't think that the technical details will be as useful as the "comfort" or "performance" details and a more general description of the materials and components or the types of mattresses that you tend to prefer because a mattress that that has some of the same technical details can still be very different and you may end up trying to describe a mattress in increasingly complex terms that can become overwhelming either to you or a dealer you are talking to. To use a somewhat poor analogy it would be like testing a car that had a V8 engine and liking it and then looking for other cars with V8 engines when it's really power or acceleration that you are looking for. I would focus on the performance and "feel" characteristics (soft on top and firmer support etc) and on the general types of mattresses and materials you would prefer (or are excluding) rather than the more specific design features that seemed to provide it in a particular mattress that you liked.

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

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Buying a latex, non-wool mattress in the Berkeley area 07 Apr 2015 16:52 #5

Thanks for shopping in my stores. One of the reasons I decided to carry the Pure Latex Bliss is because there is nothing out there that feels like them. I wish you all the best in your search.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last edit: by Phoenix.
  • Page:
  • 1
Moderators: NikkiTMU
TheMattressUndergounf
TMU
TheMattressUndergounf