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Buying latex mattress and Japan 27 Dec 2015 17:28 #1

Hi
I've been trying for months to find a King-sized replacement to our flame retardant filled Ikea Finnvik foam mattress. I came across your website and am grateful for the wealth of information here. I have decided Latex mattress is what we want, but I face two challenges right now 1) trying to find a US company that will ship to where I live in Okinawa, Japan or a local distributor; and 2) knowing the right firmness to buy without being able to test it. I contacted some of the mattress companies including SleepEZ and diynaturalbedding to see if I could get a better sense of latex firmness and I was surprised to hear that firm or hard latex is actually quite hard and feels like sleeping on the floor.

For problem 1) I was wondering whether the members of the forum know of any latex distributors in Japan. The only major company I know selling latex mattress in Japan is Sembella (an Italian brand) but their idea of a king size is two single stuck together. I wouldn't mind it if it comprised of a single ticking that wrapped the two single-latex together, but this is not the case, which means you would feel the gap where the two single mattress are stuck together.

For problem 2) I was wondering if by any chance any members may have had an Ikea Finnvik and switched to a latex and might be able to give me some sense of the firmness that would suit us. I am 5"2 and 110lbs side sleeper and hubby is 6" 202lb and stomach sleeper. We both like the currently "firmness" of the Ikea Finnvik. I've also tried to find youtube videos to get a sense of how much give different firmness latex mattress has when lying on it but to no avail.

Anyways thanks in advance for all your suggestions!

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Buying latex mattress and Japan 27 Dec 2015 19:01 #2

Hi sheesha,

Unfortunately I don't have any knowledge about the Japanese market so I won't be able to help in terms of specific retailers or manufacturers I'm aware of there but the process of choosing the best quality/value mattress would be the same in Japan as it is in North America. 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 Japan would generally be the same as the materials in North America.

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 I believe they are often expressed in kg/sq meter in Japan 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.

I'm assuming that you've read the mattress shopping tutorial here which includes all the basic information, steps, and guidelines that you will need to make the best possible choice ... and perhaps more importantly know how and why to avoid the worst ones.

Two of the most important links in the tutorial that I would especially make sure you've 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).

Off the top of my head I don't know of any manufacturers or retailers that ship to Japan and while it's possible to use an international re-shipping service ... I would guess that the costs involved for reshipping a heavy latex mattress may be prohibitive. I would think that international shipping would also have a prohibitive cost if you needed to exchange a layer or exchange or return a mattress for a refund.

I wouldn't mind it if it comprised of a single ticking that wrapped the two single-latex together, but this is not the case, which means you would feel the gap where the two single mattress are stuck together


How much you would feel a gap in between the two mattresses would depend to some degree on the shape of the mattress and on how closely the top surfaces fit together (which would depend on whether the top surface was square or rounded). There are some comments in post #8 here and in this topic about the pros and cons of a split mattress and some ways that can reduce the feel of any split in between them.

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For problem 2) I was wondering if by any chance any members may have had an Ikea Finnvik and switched to a latex and might be able to give me some sense of the firmness that would suit us. I am 5"2 and 110lbs side sleeper and hubby is 6" 202lb and stomach sleeper. We both like the currently "firmness" of the Ikea Finnvik. I've also tried to find youtube videos to get a sense of how much give different firmness latex mattress has when lying on it but to no avail.


The first "rule" of mattress shopping (and mattress layering) 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 would be the best "match" for you in terms of "comfort", firmness, or PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your Personal preferences) or how a certain combination of layers will "feel" to you or compare to other combinations based on specs (either yours or a mattress) or "theory at a distance" that can possibly be more accurate than your own actual personal sleeping experience (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here ).

I would also keep in mind that there are 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 and some people may rate one mattress as being firmer than another and someone else may rate them the other way around. This is all relative and very subjective and is as much an art as a science.

While other people's comments about the knowledge and service of a particular business can certainly be very helpful ... I would be very cautious about about using other people's experiences or reviews on a mattress (either positive or negative) or review sites in general as a reliable source of information or guidance about how you will feel on the same mattress or how suitable or how durable a mattress may be for you and in many if not most cases they can be more misleading than helpful because any mattress that would be a perfect choice for one person or even a larger group of people may be completely unsuitable for someone else to sleep on (even if they are in a similar weight range) and reviews in general certainly won't tell you much if anything about the suitability, quality, durability, or "value" of a mattress for any particular person (see post #13 here ).

Your own careful testing or personal experience is the only way to know for certain whether any mattress or combination of layers and components is a good "match" for you in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your Personal preferences) but when you can't test a mattress in person then the most reliable source of guidance is always a more detailed phone conversation with a knowledgeable and experienced retailer or manufacturer that has your best interests at heart and who can help "talk you through" the specifics of their mattresses and the properties and "feel" of the materials they are using (fast or slow response, resilience, firmness etc) and the options they have available that may be the best "match" for you based on the information you provide them, any local testing you have done or mattresses you have slept on and liked or other mattresses you are considering that they are familiar with, and the "averages" of other customers that are similar to you. They will know more about "matching" their specific mattress designs and firmness levels to different body types, sleeping positions, and preferences (or to other mattresses that they are familiar with) than anyone else.
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I wish I could be more helpful but unfortunately any help I can provide that would be relevant to Japan would be limited to more generic questions.

Phoenix
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