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Amazon- SleepBetter 05 Oct 2016 10:11 #1

Hi Phoenix,

I ended up trying a simplified choice mattress and will be returning for a refund (was worth a shot... will try to give more feedback when time allows). I came across what appears to be a relatively new latex mattress by SleepBetter on Amazon and reached out to them... they can customize the layers with different types/blends of latex and ship a completed mattress roll-packed. I'm interested in an all-natural talalay (they use Radium) with 9" of latex and they can do it for a great price.

According to their Amazon page, SleepBetter is essentially a subsidiary of Carpenter Co.- was wondering if you were aware of their background and the relationship (if any) to the Merrick Group mentioned elsewhere in the forum. The rep on the phone sounded pretty experienced with latex and was very patient/friendly, but still doing a little due-diligence since there doesn't seem to be a lot of info out there.

As for the configuration, I'm probably going to do 6" of 33 ILD which Radium considers a "firm" core (39 ILD is "extra-firm") with 3" 23 ILD on top of that. During testing/research in the past, I found the Radium NR to have a denser, more supportive feel vs. Talalay Global NR (or blended)... I was also considering a Dunlop NR core of about 31 ILD/80 kg3 (Latex Green), but would rather do the talalay if it will be supportive enough. At one point, I checked out the Berkely Ergonomics NR talalay mattress with only a 28 ILD zoned core (and 2" comfort layer), and that was nearly supportive enough for my 6', 225 lb frame (side sleeper), so I'm estimating the 33 solid core will be "dense" enough. The layers will also be adhered (unlike the BE), which should also provide a slightly firmer feel. I know only I can determine how a mattress feels for me, etc., but I'm mentioning the above just in case you think any elements would/should be of concern given my height/ weight/ sleeping position... so really to get some reassurance from you on my logic :). The Dunlop would probably be "safer" from a support perspective (not sinking in too much) with a softer layer on top but even though I'm a decent size, I'm not an NFL lineman and would prefer the talalay (and feel 39 ILD would be way too firm).

Thanks,
Manimal

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Last edit: by Manimal. Reason: grammar

Amazon- SleepBetter 05 Oct 2016 14:28 #2

Hi Manimal,

It looks like Sleepbetter is the manufacturer and as you mentioned is part of Carpenter who registered the trademark but I suspect that Sleep Better Source itself which sells the mattresses on Amazon is probably an independent person (someone named Richard answers most of their questions) or business that is buying their mattresses from SleepBetter and selling them on Amazon. Other than that I have very little knowledge about them and I don't know if they have another local or online business outside of Amazon (possibly with a different name). I doubt that they are connected to SleepBetterStore that was part of the Merrick group which are both out of business as far as I know.

The mattress itself uses a blended Dunlop base layer and a blended Talalay comfort layer which are both good quality materials and there are no lower quality materials or weak links that would compromise the durability or useful life of the mattress although the blended Dunlop is a less costly material than 100% natural Dunlop latex or talalay latex and blended Dunlop also has a lower compression modulus (is less "supportive") than 100% natural Dunlop as well..

I'm not sure whether they offer a blended Talalay latex base layer because they only mention having 100% natural Dunlop (certified organic) as an additional option that is available with an up charge although you may have already confirmed that this is available in talking with them.

It appears that they are buying their latex from Latexco which sells blended Dunlop, 100% natural Dunlop (including certified organic) and Radium Talalay latex to mattress manufacturers in the US.

As for the configuration, I'm probably going to do 6" of 33 ILD which Radium considers a "firm" core (39 ILD is "extra-firm") with 3" 23 ILD on top of that. During testing/research in the past, I found the Radium NR to have a denser, more supportive feel vs. Talalay Global NR (or blended)... I was also considering a Dunlop NR core of about 31 ILD/80 kg3 (Latex Green), but would rather do the talalay if it will be supportive enough. At one point, I checked out the Berkely Ergonomics NR talalay mattress with only a 28 ILD zoned core (and 2" comfort layer), and that was nearly supportive enough for my 6', 225 lb frame (side sleeper), so I'm estimating the 33 solid core will be "dense" enough. The layers will also be adhered (unlike the BE), which should also provide a slightly firmer feel. I know only I can determine how a mattress feels for me, etc., but I'm mentioning the above just in case you think any elements would/should be of concern given my height/ weight/ sleeping position... so really to get some reassurance from you on my logic :). The Dunlop would probably be "safer" from a support perspective (not sinking in too much) with a softer layer on top but even though I'm a decent size, I'm not an NFL lineman and would prefer the talalay (and feel 39 ILD would be way too firm).


While I can certainly help with "how" to choose ... It's not possible to make specific suggestions or recommendations for either a mattress, manufacturers/retailers, or combinations of materials or components because 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", firmness, or PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your own Personal preferences) or how a mattress will "feel" to you or compare to another mattress based on specs (either yours or a mattress), sleeping positions, health conditions, or "theory at a distance" that can possibly be more reliable than your own careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in step 4 of the tutorial) or your own personal sleeping experience (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here ).

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 and the different options they have available to different body types, sleeping positions, and preferences or to other mattresses that they are familiar with than anyone else.

I don't know how knowledgeable they are or how much experience they have in providing online guidance to their customers but a good online retailer or manufacturer will generally make suggestions that they honestly believe have the best chance of success out of the options they have available based on the information you provide them when you talk to them on the phone because this is in both your own and their best interests but once again ... at the end of the day the only way to know for certain whether any specific mattress is a good match for you in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP (or how it compares to another mattress) will be based on your own careful testing and/or your own personal experience.

When you are making an online choice that you can't test in person then the options you have available after a purchase to either exchange the mattress (or individual layers or components in some cases) or return the mattress for a refund (and any costs involved) would generally become a more important part of most people's personal value equation just in case a mattress you purchase doesn't turn out as well as you hoped for. I would especially make sure you know the costs involved in any layer exchanges or returns (including shipping costs in one or both directions) because these can sometimes be substantial which can certainly affect the "value" of a mattress purchase and the risk involved in buying it.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Administrator TMU. Reason: Updating link to https: status

Amazon- SleepBetter 06 Oct 2016 14:45 #3

Hi Phoenix,

It was actually Richard who I've spoken with a few times now... our conversations have left me with the impression that this isn't his first rodeo with latex and his patience/attitude/advice have been on par with the best manufacturers and owners (members of this site) that I've spoken with over the past couple years. Like other experienced manufacturers/owners such as SleepEZ, mattresses247, Flexus, Arizona Premium, he generally recommends the Radium blended talalay in the comfort layer and feels it's more durable... he also feels the Latexco blended dunlop core will be somewhat more consistent and durable over time vs. all-natural dunlop, though I realize that's probably even more arguable than the talalay. Their base mattress is a great value and just by looking at the Q&A posted on Amazon, I could see there were options for customization.,

As mentioned, I was interested in 9" of all-natural (NR) talalay and have come to the conclusion that I want as much real latex- not SBR or fillers- in a mattress as possible. At this point, I feel Radium is the best "expression" of that when it comes to talalay and like how they have extra certifications such as Cradle-to-Cradle, which are not easy to obtain.

Even the ticking/encasement on the mattress could be customized and I really like the tencel/wool channel-quilt option they have (rayon is mixed with the wool, helping to keep the FR layer thinner). I'm not a fan of 'tack and jump' quilting and hope Brooklyn Bedding might reconsider the "survey" they've been referencing for many years now where people (who were probably "S" brand customers that didn't know any better) preferred that design.

After confirming the mattress can be returned for a full refund (less a small processing fee) I decided to go for it today. I'm not going to list the price but think Richard will give everyone a fair price for any customizations... I will say it's the lowest price by far I've seen anywhere for a completed Talalay mattress (even considering blended talalay) which is really what I've been searching for, not to mention the price is well below any kit/component mattresses available currently. I've been on this search for quite a while now and even though the component setup with blended talalay didn't work out previously, still feel that latex is the way to go, so hoping this new venture is successful.

Thanks,
Manimal

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Last edit: by Manimal. Reason: typo

Amazon- SleepBetter 06 Oct 2016 15:10 #4

Hi Manimal,

Thanks for the update.

Even the ticking/encasement on the mattress could be customized and I really like the tencel/wool channel-quilt option they have (rayon is mixed with the wool, helping to keep the FR layer thinner).


I think you may have misunderstood this. The fabric in the cover may be rayon but it's unlikely that there is any rayon mixed in with the wool although there may be some polyester fibers mixed with the wool to help pass the regulations. It's also possible that they are using an inherent rayon/silica/polyester fire barrier in addition to the wool if the wool wouldn't pass the fire regulations by itself.

Even the ticking/encasement on the mattress could be customized and I really like the tencel/wool channel-quilt option they have (rayon is mixed with the wool, helping to keep the FR layer thinner). I'm not a fan of 'tack and jump' quilting and hope Brooklyn Bedding might reconsider the "survey" they've been referencing for many years now where people (who were probably "S" brand customers that didn't know any better) preferred that design.


This would be a preference choice. They have been making mattresses for many years and based on their experience with different types of cover and quilting materials they have come to believe that a thin layer of quilted polyfoam on top of latex has a "feel" that more people prefer compared to other types of cover options although of course not everyone will agree with this and as you know there are many other cover options that are used by different manufacturers.

After confirming the mattress can be returned for a full refund (less a small processing fee)


I hope that you also confirmed any shipping charges that may be involved in returning the mattress as well.

In any case it sounds like you made a good quality/value choice ... and congratulations on your new mattress :)

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

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Phoenix.

Amazon- SleepBetter 06 Oct 2016 17:07 #5

Hi Phoenix,

Regarding the cover- I was just a little loose with the explanation and do realize it's unlikely the wool and rayon are "mixed"... the actual surface material is tencel fabric which is a heavier gram weight than the bamboo they have (probably more durable with a nicer hand feel per Richard), so I'd imagine the rayon either backs that or is a separate layer underneath the thinner (vs. wool only as the FR) wool layer... or, as you mentioned, there could be an inherent sock underneath the tencel/wool cover. Whatever the case may be, I liked the sound of it :)

The only thing I still find somewhat perplexing is the way Latexco (and manufacturers they supply) lists ILD's outside the official Radium targets (rounded to the closest whole number). I was happy to hear that the NR core was 33 (a target they have listed) but apparently there's a 26 ILD (not listed) in between the 23 ILD and 28 ILD. I figured either they added a new target or Latexco is using the actual measured ILD's from which each piece is cut (?) In any event, I'm out to Richard to confirm since I don't want to end up with a comfort layer that's a little too firm.

Regarding the BB cover- it's not so much the 5/8" polyfoam in the quilting but the "tack and jump"... I think they'd do well to at least offer a channel type design which in my opinion often has a nicer and more consistent feel (and aesthetic) without the "tacking points"... they also tend to have good ventilation characteristics and go well with adjustable foundations. A good example would be the new Pangea mattress which also uses 5/8" quilting foam. That said, I realize it's just my opinion/ preference and one of many elements they would have taken into account when designing the mattress. I should probably also mention the BME is not the simplified choice mattress I currently have and will be returning so these are just remarks from the bleachers, if you will.

The "processing fee" I mentioned is inclusive of shipping charges and would likely be well under $100 (probably around $50) if things don't work out as hoped. Even if it were significantly higher I'd probably still take the risk but obviously happy it's so reasonable.

Thanks and I'll be sure to post feedback after I've slept on it for a bit.

Regards,
Manimal

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Amazon- SleepBetter 06 Oct 2016 17:43 #6

Hi Manimal,

The only thing I still find somewhat perplexing is the way Latexco (and manufacturers they supply) lists ILD's outside the official Radium targets (rounded to the closest whole number). I was happy to hear that the NR core was 33 (a target they have listed) but apparently there's a 26 ILD (not listed) in between the 23 ILD and 28 ILD. I figured either they added a new target or Latexco is using the actual measured ILD's from which each piece is cut (?) In any event, I'm out to Richard to confirm since I don't want to end up with a comfort layer that's a little too firm.


Radium's target ILD's here come directly from Radium. There would be little point in having a 26 ILD target because the variance for each target ILD is +/- 2.5 ILD so 26 ILD would already fall inside the range for the N6F which could be anywhere between 25 ILD and 30 ILD and the increment would be too small for people to feel any difference anyway. I suppose it's possible that they are "hand picking" layers that have an average ILD (an average of 15 measurements over the surface of the core) in the bottom half of the N6F range.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Administrator TMU. Reason: Updating link to https: status

Amazon- SleepBetter 06 Oct 2016 18:34 #7

Hi Phoenix,

So Richard confirmed there is in fact an N6M in between the N6S and N6F- whether those are handpicked or if Radium did in fact add another firmness along the way, it makes sense to me since the 23 (22.5) might feel quite soft to a lot of people and having something in the mid twenties without going all the way up to 28 (which they use in a support core) may be the sweet spot for those concerned about going too soft or firm.

At any rate, Richard has been nothing but patient and a pleasure to deal with... I have a feeling this (apparently) new venture is going to work out well for him and wonder if he could even come up for consideration on your membership list in the future.

Thanks,
Manimal

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Last edit: by Manimal. Reason: typo

Amazon- SleepBetter 07 Oct 2016 08:13 #8

Hi Manimal,

I checked with Radium in Holland and they aren't making anything in between the N6S (which covers the range between 20 ILD and 25 ILD) and N6F (which covers the range between 25 ILD and 30 ILD) so it sounds like they hand picking a specific firmness range that is centered on 26 ILD.

It's great to hear that you enjoyed working with Richard and I'll certainly make a point of talking with him. While they are still too new to qualify for membership ... it may be a possibility at some point in the future.

Phoenix
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Amazon- SleepBetter 07 Oct 2016 14:56 #9

Hi Phoenix,

Thanks for confirming- I also realized after posting yesterday that they have a 25 on the blended but the gap is larger between the low/high 20's (especially with the range on the 28 even tighter) vs. the NR, so I agree it wouldn't make much sense to have an 'official' 26 NR.

Richard felt the difference in feel would be negligible vs. the 23 NR, especially taking softening into account, so it's probably a "safer" choice for me overall. As long as it feels "soft enough" but still supportive, I'll be content..

Thanks again,
Manimal

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