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Buying a mattress with no good showrooms nearby 23 Jun 2016 19:33 #1

First, I want to thank you, Phoenix, for all that you do for mattress consumers! Not only do you provide an invaluable resource for shoppers; you clearly exert a powerful positive influence on the industry. Both are truly remarkable!

I've been digging around on the web for about a month, since I finally accepted that my twenty year old innerspring mattress must be replaced. Although I visited many sites, I kept coming back here for trustworthy information and much-needed clarity. So I registered here, and I'm ready to move on to the next step of making this decision.

I loved my Big-S innerspring mattress for many years. Perhaps they were made better back then, or perhaps I didn't know how much better a mattress could be. Probably both. For the past year, I've strategically placed folded blankets under it to compensate for the sag, but that is no longer enough. I've dreaded the day when I'd have to replace it, because I thought it would be a roll of the dice, at best. When I learned about how most manufacturers respond to the 2007 CPSC regulation, I was almost ready to give up and sleep on the floor. Now I know that this is an opportunity to get a better mattress than I've ever had, because there are actually good products and reliable (non-marketing) information out there.

I've completed the steps in the tutorial, except for the one you stress the most, unfortunately. The material that I've chosen for my next mattress is natural latex. I've looked high and low for any latex mattress in a showroom here in north Mississippi or even Memphis TN with no luck. So I haven't tried any latex mattresses.

What I have done is try a 3" natural latex mattress topper from SleepOnLatex. I've even slept on it, on top of a very firm futon mattress. I thought I preferred a very firm mattress, but that futon proved to me that I'm probably closer to the middle of the firmness range. Even with the 3" medium topper on it, it's still too firm. On the other hand, I did love the material, just as I'd hoped. Some prior experiences with spongy talalay pillows left some doubt in my mind. I didn't like them at all. But this dunlop medium topper, although too firm on the futon, made me more comfortable trying to get to sleep than I have been in years.

The brands at the top of my list right now are SavvyRest, FoamSweetFoam (I just like that name better than their new one), Spindle, and SleepOnLatex, in descending order of cost. I've learned a lot about each one from their sites and especially yours (sometimes by what is not said), and I'm doing my best to keep it all in mind. All are within budget and check the right boxes for me. However, I'm more comfortable with the middle of that budget range, and I don't fully understand what might make each one worth more than the one after it.

The front runner right now is Spindle. I haven't been able to find the value to justify the price at SR, and SOL is losing out because I like the advantages of a 3x3" configuration. FSF is still right there with Spindle in consideration, but as with SR, if I can't find $400 more value in it, I'm going to have to eliminate them. Besides, I like that Spindle's foam is made in PA. I have nothing against Sri Lankan workers, but if American workers can produce the same (or higher) quality product at the same (or lower) price, then I'll support the American workers every time.

I'm leaning toward Spindle's medium configuration, but I'm not 100% sure I don't want the firm. I think the top layer of their firm will be much like the topper I tried. But underneath it will be six more inches of latex. Even two firm latex layers will surely give a lot more than this board I call a futon mattress. But I see that I can make a Spindle medium a bit firmer with some layer flipping. And I also see that latex responds differently from mattresses I've slept on in the past. I may not need the firmness I've always thought I needed.

I've always preferred much more firmness than anyone I know, and it's probably due to poor tone in my core. I could blame it on a herniated lumbar disc or frequent SI joint pain, but those probably trace right back to the poor tone too. I think of myself as a side sleeper, but the truth is that I end up in a 3/4 position almost every time. Is that what people call it? I'm almost on my stomach, but my neck can't take being flat on my stomach. Anyway, as you can imagine, any concave curvature of the mattress (whether due to age or design) is a recipe for a backache in that position.

So firm has always been best for me. But now, after reading dozens and dozens of pages here on your site, I understand much better about alignment and pressure points. I have to admit that my alignment was terrible, even before my mattress started sagging, and my pressure points are probably playing a role in this 3/4 position I end up in. With the right support layers, I might not need to sacrifice as much on comfort.

I'm 6'2" and 220lbs. I was 260, but I've dropping that slowly for a couple of years. Based on Spindle's calculator, I will likely be happiest with their medium. I'm going to call FSF and then Spindle on Monday. What I'd like to do is go ahead and place the order Monday afternoon, after talking to both. Would you recommend against taking your "optional" route in this case, since I've never tried a latex mattress? The alternative is to wait until I can travel to a city that has stores that carry latex. I could really use some better sleep sooner than that, if it's not too big of an unknown. I really do love the feel of the topper, and that gives me a lot of confidence.

Most of all, I want to ask... Have I missed anything? I plan to talk to them about firmness, my sleep position, suitability of my bed frame, and value vs price (including the TheMattressUnderground discount). I think that's all that is left on my list to clear up, but I would love to know if I'm overlooking something.

If you read, or even skimmed, all of that, I'm very grateful. There are a lot of factors that I felt I needed to include.

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Buying a mattress with no good showrooms nearby 23 Jun 2016 22:57 #2

Hi Raethynn,

Thanks for the kind comments ... I appreciate it :)

I loved my Big-S innerspring mattress for many years. Perhaps they were made better back then, or perhaps I didn't know how much better a mattress could be. Probably both.


While 20 years is much longer than the norm for any mattress ... they were certainly made to be more durable 15 - 20 years ago than they are now.

I've completed the steps in the tutorial, except for the one you stress the most, unfortunately. The material that I've chosen for my next mattress is natural latex. I've looked high and low for any latex mattress in a showroom here in north Mississippi or even Memphis TN with no luck. So I haven't tried any latex mattresses.


I'm not sure exactly where you are in Northern Mississipi but post #7 here and the forum lists it links to (including Memphis) will hopefully give you some options that are relatively close to you where you can test some latex mattresses.

Jamison in a regional manufacturer that supplies some stores in your region and since they make a range of latex and latex hybrid mattresses.it may be worth checking the store finder on their site here just in case there are any stores that are closer to you that carry any of their latex mattresses.

The brands at the top of my list right now are SavvyRest, FoamSweetFoam (I just like that name better than their new one), Spindle, and SleepOnLatex, in descending order of cost. I've learned a lot about each one from their sites and especially yours (sometimes by what is not said), and I'm doing my best to keep it all in mind. All are within budget and check the right boxes for me. However, I'm more comfortable with the middle of that budget range, and I don't fully understand what might make each one worth more than the one after it.


There is more about some of the factors that can affect the price of a mattress relative to different manufacturers or retailers in post #14 here . One of the biggest factors is generally the type, amount, quality, and cost of the materials and components inside it. Some types and blends of latex are just more costly than others and the mattress cover and quilting materials can also make a difference in the cost.

There is also more about the different types and blends of latex in post #6 here and there is more about some of the general differences between Talalay and Dunlop in post #7 here .

Having said that ... Savvy Rest is in a higher budget range than most other similar component latex mattresses that are sold online so they probably wouldn't be the best value choice for most people unless you were making a local purchase and testing a mattress in person before a purchase was an important part of your personal value equation.

I'm leaning toward Spindle's medium configuration, but I'm not 100% sure I don't want the firm. I think the top layer of their firm will be much like the topper I tried. But underneath it will be six more inches of latex. Even two firm latex layers will surely give a lot more than this board I call a futon mattress. But I see that I can make a Spindle medium a bit firmer with some layer flipping. And I also see that latex responds differently from mattresses I've slept on in the past. I may not need the firmness I've always thought I needed.

I've always preferred much more firmness than anyone I know, and it's probably due to poor tone in my core. I could blame it on a herniated lumbar disc or frequent SI joint pain, but those probably trace right back to the poor tone too. I think of myself as a side sleeper, but the truth is that I end up in a 3/4 position almost every time. Is that what people call it? I'm almost on my stomach, but my neck can't take being flat on my stomach. Anyway, as you can imagine, any concave curvature of the mattress (whether due to age or design) is a recipe for a backache in that position.

So firm has always been best for me. But now, after reading dozens and dozens of pages here on your site, I understand much better about alignment and pressure points. I have to admit that my alignment was terrible, even before my mattress started sagging, and my pressure points are probably playing a role in this 3/4 position I end up in. With the right support layers, I might not need to sacrifice as much on comfort.

I'm 6'2" and 220lbs. I was 260, but I've dropping that slowly for a couple of years. Based on Spindle's calculator, I will likely be happiest with their medium. I'm going to call FSF and then Spindle on Monday. What I'd like to do is go ahead and place the order Monday afternoon, after talking to both. Would you recommend against taking your "optional" route in this case, since I've never tried a latex mattress? The alternative is to wait until I can travel to a city that has stores that carry latex. I could really use some better sleep sooner than that, if it's not too big of an unknown. I really do love the feel of the topper, and that gives me a lot of confidence.


While your experience with the topper certainly raises the odds that you will like latex ... I would probably see if you can try some latex mattresses locally just to confirm that you like the overall feel and performance of latex better than other types of materials or mattresses.

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 won't just sell you anything they can convince you to buy) 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.

Most of all, I want to ask... Have I missed anything? I plan to talk to them about firmness, my sleep position, suitability of my bed frame, and value vs price (including the TheMattressUnderground discount). I think that's all that is left on my list to clear up, but I would love to know if I'm overlooking something.


There is more about the 3 most important parts of the "value" of a mattress purchase in post #13 here 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 suitability, durability, and all the other parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you (including the price of course and the options you have available after a purchase if your choice doesn't turn out as well as you hoped for).

There is also a list of some of the better sources for online component latex mattresses in post #3 here .

Once you have narrowed down your options to a list of finalists that are all choices between "good and good" and you have confirmed that none of them have any lower quality materials or "weak links" in their design relative to your weight range and if at this point there are no clear winners between them (which is usually a good indication that you have done some good research) then you are in the fortunate position that any of them would likely be a suitable choice and post #2 here can help you make a final choice based on your local testing or mattresses you have slept well on, your more detailed conversations with each of them, your confidence about PPP and the suitability of each one, their prices, your preferences for different types of materials (or different types and blends of latex), the options you have after a purchase to fine tune the mattress or exchange or return the mattress or individual layers, any additional extras that are part of each purchase, and on "informed best judgement" based on all the other objective, subjective, and intangible parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you.

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
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Last edit: by Administrator TMU. Reason: Updating link to https: status

Buying a mattress with no good showrooms nearby 08 Jul 2016 16:33 #3

Phoenix,

Thanks for all the good information, as always! I did more research, including reading all of your comments and links. Then I called Neal and Scott. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted a full quilted cover and overall a mattress that looks and holds together like an actual mattress. In other words, the DIY option slowly faded in popularity for me. I know I could have gotten a third party quilted cover, but it might have been baggy on someone else's latex cuts or otherwise not as nice as the ones from Spindle and FSF. So it really came down to those two companies.

Neal was very helpful, and I certainly recommend that folks give him a call. I would have ordered my mattress from him except for a couple of personal preferences that have nothing to do with the quality of his products. It actually pained me a bit to not support such a customer oriented business.

First, I wasn't sure I'd ultimately like a feel that is somewhat closer to that of Talalay. Spindle's CP Dunlop has characteristics that lean somewhat in that direction, as I understand it. Particularly, one sinks in a bit more. Neal was quick to suggest that if I particularly like the "sleep on" feel of traditional molded Dunlop, I probably should look at those options first, although he did give me plenty of details about how his mattresses would compare to the others I'm considering.

Second, I realized that a 10" mattress will not come up to the bottom of my headboard. Between that and noticing how firm latex gets when it's on a wood foundation, I decided that four layers would be ideal. That's when I called Scott, who was also a pleasure to talk with. By the end of my conversation with him, I had my decision made. In fact, My FSF queen size 13" 100% natural Dunlop latex mattress shipped out today! I'll have X-Firm, Firm, and (2) Medium layers that I can move around to get just the right support for my picky back.

BTW, Scott and I agreed that you're amazingly generous and helpful!

I'll report back here in a couple of weeks... :woohoo:

Raethynn

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Buying a mattress with no good showrooms nearby 08 Jul 2016 17:07 #4

Hi Raethynn,

Thanks the update with all your comments and feedback ... and for letting us know what you ended up deciding.

As you know I think you certainly made a great quality/value choice ... and congratulations on your new mattress :)

I'm looking forward to another update once you've received it and have had the chance to sleep on it.

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.

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