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advice on mattress selection: innerspring vs latex (natural or synthetic) vs latex (w/coconut) 08 Sep 2015 06:36 #1

I would appreciate any help/pointers that could help me choose a mattress.

Some background info:
Height: 2 meters (6ft 6in)
Weight: 115kg (255lbs)
Sleeping on the back, sides, belly. Restless sleeper.

We're renting a really nice and spacious apartment. It was furnished - so the original bed and spring mattresses came with the apartment. My guess is, that they are at least 10+ years old. After sleeping on these for the past 2+ years I'm waking up every morning in agony (seriously) and since the owner isn't going to replace these, I have to.

I was trying out different mattresses in furniture stores - the problem is that every mattress feels heavenly compared to what we have at home.

It was suggested that I get either an innerspring or a latex mattress.

The innerspring which is highly locally regarded and recommended is about 515 EUR (size 100x200cm):
www.matrace-vegas.sk/vegas-ortopedicky-tastickovy-matrac-model-20-66
They don't have an english website - but basically it's a german innerspring system (Vernestet S300) with 296 springs/m2 density, covered with about 1cm latex-infused-coconut-board and 3 cm (1 inch) synthetic blend latex (20%natural/80%synthetic). Warranty on the mattress is 3 years as a whole and 20 years for the innersprings... I tested it in the store, it was ok, nothing fancy, seemed quite well built.

Since I'm not that eager to get an innerspring mattress... I looked into latex mattresses.

I found this one that claims to be 100% all natural latex:
www.spime.cz/matrace-prirodni-latex-multizone-hard (sorry once again no english site)
Latex core is produced by Artilat:

ADMIN NOTE: Removed 404 page link | Archived Footprint: artilat.be/downloads/MayanGreen_4pag_lr.pdf

I found more certificates for this mattress:
artilat mayan green ,
certificate 1
certificate 2
certificate 3
certificate 4
The one I picked has 90kg/m3 density, 18cm height and is multizone (7 zones). The price comes to about 474 EUR for size 100x200cm. I'm testing it out in the store on Friday - but I'm not sure they'll have this hardest firmness in-store. You can pick between 70/80/90kg/m3. Warranty is 6 years.

I also found a monozone version of this 100% all natural latex:
www.spime.cz/prirodni-latexove-matrace-monozone-hard
Same specs: 90kg/m3, but the thickness is only 15cm (3 cm smaller than the multizone version). And it is 400 EUR (vs 474 for the multizone).

Then I looked and saw that they also offer a 20%/80% natural/synthetic blended latex:
www.spime.cz/latexove-matrace-settal-extra-hard
Same producer ( www.artilat.be ), 70kg/m3 density (that's as high as this one goes), 14cm thick. This blended version is only 227 EUR for size 100x200cm! Warranty is 3 years.

Now let me say, I searched long and hard among the local furniture/mattress sellers... and basically they all use either Artilat.be as their supplier or some unknown suppliers. Their only blended version is 20%natural/80% synthetic. And the 100% all natural "mayan green" version is pretty much the only all natural latex mattress I could find locally. So basically this is what I have to work with. Most of the stores are pushing some visco/memory foam mattresses or some latex/foam mixtures... which I am not interested in. I want to pick either all-latex, or innerspring.

So I have a number of questions:

1..) The most obvious one is - is it really worth paying 474 EUR for 100% all natural latex compared to 227 EUR for the 20%natural/80%synthetic blended latex? I don't have any more spec data then the densities, 90kg/m3 for the hardest all natural (18cm thickness) vs 70kg/m3 for the blended (14cm thickness). I know that I should want the best for us, but since we have to buy two mattresses - that means the difference is 454 EUR for the cheap blend vs 948 for the all natural. Almost 500 EUR difference. Am I to expect that the all natural will feel twice nicer, or last twice longer?

I haven't tested them yet - I will do so on Friday. But the sales guy already told me on the phone, that I won't feel much difference in the store. He was of course pushing the all-natural mattress, claiming that the synthetic blend will start "crumbling" in about 5 years compared to the all-natural, which might last even 10 years. But given the price difference, do I really care if the synthetic blend will last only half the time the all-natural will?

2.) How would a high density (let's take the 90kg/m3 all natural) latex mattress compare in firmness to an innerspring mattress? My worry is that the all-latex mattress would feel too soft even if I picked a high density one. Or am I completely mistaken?

3.) Given the similar price point (500 EUR) for the innerspring and all-natural latex - which one would people recommend? Once again, I sleep on all sides... often I fall asleep on the right side, then sleep on my back, then turn around and sleep on my belly... I am a very restless sleeper (which is probably also a result of having a terrible mattress at the moment) - the point is I move all around. And I'm a fairly big guy (2 meters, 115kg).

4.) Is there any benefit to getting a multizone latex mattress compared with a monozone mattress? When I sleep on my back, my feet are almost hanging off the bed (bed height is 2m, and my height is 2m)... whenever I see a nice picture of a multizone mattress that tries to explain how it benefits the spine when sleeping on a side - they show a smallish person who nicely fits in those zones... However, will I really fit in those zones?

---
So basically I'd like to be able to get the best price/comfort/usefulness ratio. The problem is, that I can only try these mattresses out in the store for a few minutes, they don't allow you to take an in-store mattress home and test it for a few nights. And since I am ordering an atypical size (100x200cm) they don't let you exchange it if you're not happy with it - since the typical size is 90x200, which means they have to custom order 100x200 size and they don't sell too many of these.. And since the latex and innerspring are sold by different stores, I can't even compare them side by side...

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

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Last edit: by AdminTMU. Reason: Updating link to https: status and Removed Page Not Found Link (404 Error)

advice on mattress selection: innerspring vs latex (natural or synthetic) vs latex (w/coconut) 08 Sep 2015 17:37 #2

Hi jairocon,

I'm assuming that you've read the mattress shopping tutorial here but two of the most important links in the tutorial that I would especially make sure you read are post #2 here which has more about the different ways to choose a suitable mattress (either locally or online) that is the best "match" for you in terms of "comfort" and PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) that can help you assess and minimize the risks of making a choice that doesn't turn out as well as you hoped for and post #13 here which has more about the most important parts of the "value" of a mattress purchase which can help you make more meaningful quality/value comparisons between mattresses in terms of suitability (how well you will sleep), durability (how long you will sleep well), and the overall value of a mattress compared to your other finalists (based on all the parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you).

I don't have any particular knowledge about the European market so I won't be able to help in terms of specific retailers or manufacturers I'm aware of there but the brand name of a mattress isn't particularly important anyway because outside of how suitable a mattress is for you in terms of PPP, a mattress is only as good as it's construction and the type and quality of the materials inside it (see this article and the quality/durability guidelines it links to) regardless of the name of the manufacturer and the mattress materials that are used in Europe would generally be the same as the materials in North America (see post #5 here about "brand shopping").

The only caveat is that in North America the foam density guidelines for polyfoam and memory foam that I would normally suggest are expressed in lbs/sq ft while in Europe they are often expressed in kg/sq meter so you can use the online density converter here to "translate" them.

I would tend to look for smaller local and regional manufacturers/retailers or online manufacturers/retailers that are completely transparent about the type and quality of all the materials that they use in their mattresses so you can make more meaningful comparisons between mattresses and identify any lower quality materials that could be a weak link in any mattress you are considering.

While I can't speak to whether any mattress is a good "match" for someone else in terms of "comfort" and PPP or what you will "feel" on a mattress ... I can certainly speak to the quality and durability of the materials inside it. If you can provide the information listed here about the type and quality of the materials inside any mattress you are considering (or the equivalent European specs which I can probably translate for you) I'd certainly be happy to make some comments about the quality and durability of the materials and the mattress as a whole.

The innerspring which is highly locally regarded and recommended is about 515 EUR (size 100x200cm):
www.matrace-vegas.sk/vegas-ortopedicky-t...y-matrac-model-20-66
They don't have an english website - but basically it's a german innerspring system (Vernestet S300) with 296 springs/m2 density, covered with about 1cm latex-infused-coconut-board and 3 cm (1 inch) synthetic blend latex (20%natural/80%synthetic). Warranty on the mattress is 3 years as a whole and 20 years for the innersprings... I tested it in the store, it was ok, nothing fancy, seemed quite well built.


The "coconut board" you mentioned is probably coconut coir which is being used as an inslulator layer on top of the innerspring. While most types and blends of latex are a high quality and durable material relative to other types of foam (whether it's Dunlop or Talalay or made from natural or synthetic rubber or a blend of both) one of the exceptions is that some blended Dunlop latex that is "mostly synthetic" latex and contains relatively high levels of filler can tend to break down and develop soft spots or impressions fairly quickly. In particular ... and based on anecdotal feedback and on my own personal experience ... I have seen some of the Artilat blended Dunlop layers break down relatively quickly so I would make sure that you can confirm that there are no fillers in any of the blended Dunlop layers that are made by Artilat and I would be somewhat cautious about their blended latex. If the latex in this mattress is a good quality material and there are no other "missing layers" in the mattress then there would be no obvious weak links in the mattress in terms of durability.

I found this one that claims to be 100% all natural latex:
www.spime.cz/matrace-prirodni-latex-multizone-hard (sorry once again no english site)
Latex core is produced by Artilat:
artilat.be/downloads/MayanGreen_4pag_lr.pdf
I found more certificates for this mattress:
artilat mayan green,
certificate 1
certificate 2
certificate 3
certificate 4
The one I picked has 90kg/m3 density, 18cm height and is multizone (7 zones). The price comes to about 474 EUR for size 100x200cm. I'm testing it out in the store on Friday - but I'm not sure they'll have this hardest firmness in-store. You can pick between 70/80/90kg/m3. Warranty is 6 years.


While I can't speak to whether any mattress will be a good "match" for you in terms of PPP ... if the only materials in this mattress are 18CM of 100% natural Dunlop then there would be no lower quality materials or weak links in the design in terms of durability and if your careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in the tutorial) indicates that it's a good match for you in terms of PPP and it also compares well to your other finalists based on all the other parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you then it would be well worth considering.

I also found a monozone version of this 100% all natural latex:
www.spime.cz/prirodni-latexove-matrace-monozone-hard
Same specs: 90kg/m3, but the thickness is only 15cm (3 cm smaller than the multizone version). And it is 400 EUR (vs 474 for the multizone).


I would make the same comments about this mattress as well and if there are no missing layers or materials in the mattress then it also wouldn't have any weak links in terms of durability.

Then I looked and saw that they also offer a 20%/80% natural/synthetic blended latex:
www.spime.cz/latexove-matrace-settal-extra-hard
Same producer ( www.artilat.be ), 70kg/m3 density (that's as high as this one goes), 14cm thick. This blended version is only 227 EUR for size 100x200cm! Warranty is 3 years.

Now let me say, I searched long and hard among the local furniture/mattress sellers... and basically they all use either Artilat.be as their supplier or some unknown suppliers. Their only blended version is 20%natural/80% synthetic. And the 100% all natural "mayan green" version is pretty much the only all natural latex mattress I could find locally. So basically this is what I have to work with. Most of the stores are pushing some visco/memory foam mattresses or some latex/foam mixtures... which I am not interested in. I want to pick either all-latex, or innerspring.


I would be cautious with this mattress for the reasons that I mentioned earlier in this reply. I have not had particularly good experiences or feedback with the blended "mostly synthetic" Dunlop latex from Artilat.

1..) The most obvious one is - is it really worth paying 474 EUR for 100% all natural latex compared to 227 EUR for the 20%natural/80%synthetic blended latex? I don't have any more spec data then the densities, 90kg/m3 for the hardest all natural (18cm thickness) vs 70kg/m3 for the blended (14cm thickness). I know that I should want the best for us, but since we have to buy two mattresses - that means the difference is 454 EUR for the cheap blend vs 948 for the all natural. Almost 500 EUR difference. Am I to expect that the all natural will feel twice nicer, or last twice longer?


I can't quantify or predict how "nice" any mattress will feel for someone else because this is very subjective and you are the only one that can assess whether any mattress feels comfortable or is a good match for you in terms of PPP.

Unfortunately there is no way to quantify how long any mattress will last for a specific person or predict exactly when you will decide to replace it because it is no longer suitable or comfortable for you (because this is the only real measure of durability or the useful life of a mattress that really matters) because there are too many unknowns and variables involved that are unique to each person but if a mattress is well inside a suitable comfort/support range and isn't close to the edge of being too soft when it is new (see post #2 here ) and meets the minimum quality/durability specs that are suggested in the guidelines here then it would be reasonable to expect a useful lifetime in the range of 7 - 10 years and with materials that are higher quality and more durable than the minimum guidelines such as latex (in the top comfort layers especially) it would likely be in the higher end of the range or even longer.

There is also much more detailed information about all the many variables that can affect the durability and useful life of a mattress relative to different people in post #4 here and the posts it links to.

having said that ... I would consider the risk of premature foam softening or breakdown for their mostly synthetic Dunlop to be much higher than for the 100% natural Dunlop.

2.) How would a high density (let's take the 90kg/m3 all natural) latex mattress compare in firmness to an innerspring mattress? My worry is that the all-latex mattress would feel too soft even if I picked a high density one. Or am I completely mistaken?


This is much too broad a question to be able to answer with any specificity outside of your own personal experience because it would depend on all the specifics and layers in the innerspring and latex mattresses you are comparing (including the comfort layers and the cover) and on the specific firmness of the innerspring and the latex. Both innerspring mattresses and latex mattresses have hundreds if not thousands of different designs that come in a very wide range of firmness levels and the density of latex isn't always a reliable way to compare firmness levels between different types and blends of latex so the only way to answer this about any how any two specific mattresses will compare for you will be based on your own careful testing or personal experience.

There are also no "standard" definitions or consensus of opinions for firmness ratings and different manufacturers can rate their mattresses very differently than others so a mattress that one manufacturer rates as being a specific firmness could be rated very differently by another manufacturer. Different people can also have very different perceptions of firmness and softness compared to others as well and a mattress that feels firm for one person can feel like "medium" for someone else or even "soft" for someone else (or vice versa) depending on their body type, sleeping style, physiology, their frame of reference based on what they are used to, and their individual sensitivity and perceptions. There are also different types of firmness and softness that different people may be sensitive to that can affect how they "rate" a mattress as well (see post #15 here ) so different people can also have very different opinions on how two mattresses compare in terms of firmness as well and some people may rate one mattress as being firmer than another and someone else may rate them the other way around (especially if they are comparing completely different types of mattresses). This is all relative and very subjective and is as much an art as a science.

3.) Given the similar price point (500 EUR) for the innerspring and all-natural latex - which one would people recommend? Once again, I sleep on all sides... often I fall asleep on the right side, then sleep on my back, then turn around and sleep on my belly... I am a very restless sleeper (which is probably also a result of having a terrible mattress at the moment) - the point is I move all around. And I'm a fairly big guy (2 meters, 115kg).


The first "rule" of mattress shopping is to always remember that you are the only one that can feel what you feel on a mattress and there are too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved that are unique to each person to use a formula or for anyone to be able to predict or make a specific suggestion or recommendation about which mattress or combination of materials and components or which type of mattress would be the best "match" for you in terms of "comfort" or PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) or how a mattress will "feel" to you or compare to another mattress based on specs (either yours or a mattress) or "theory at a distance" that can possibly be more accurate than your own careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in step 4 of the tutorial) or if you can't test a mattress in person then your own personal sleeping experience (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here ).

I or some of the more knowledgeable members of the site can certainly help you to narrow down your options, help you focus on better quality/value choices that are available to you either locally or online, help you identify any lower quality materials or weak links in a mattress you may be considering, act as a fact check, answer many of the specific questions you may have along the way that don't involve what you will "feel" on a mattress, and help with "how" to choose but only you can decide which specific mattress, manufacturer, or combination of materials is "best for you" regardless of whether anyone else has the same criteria or would make the same choice.

4.) Is there any benefit to getting a multizone latex mattress compared with a monozone mattress? When I sleep on my back, my feet are almost hanging off the bed (bed height is 2m, and my height is 2m)... whenever I see a nice picture of a multizone mattress that tries to explain how it benefits the spine when sleeping on a side - they show a smallish person who nicely fits in those zones... However, will I really fit in those zones?


Various zoning systems can be very useful and worth considering for people who have more challenging circumstances or sensitivities, body types that are more difficult to "match" to a mattress, or who have a history of having more difficulty in finding a mattress that works well for them. There is more about zoning in this article and in post #11 here .

Having said that ... there is no guarantee that any particular zoning system will be a good "match" for you and the only way to know for certain whether any mattress will be a good "match" for you (whether it is zoned or not) will be based on your own careful testing or personal experience.

Phoenix
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