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And so the journey for latex begins 01 Jan 2017 14:05 #1

First off, this site has been very helpful as I begin to search for what I hope is a better night's for many years to come. I have to admit that I am a little overwhelmed though, and so I hope that you guys can point me in the right direction as I go on this journey. I'm ready to do some testing but am unsure where to start. I'd also like to hear some general recommendations based on the facts below. Thanks so much in advance!

A little about my situation and background that may help with recommendations

  • We live in area code (72701) but I'm willing to drive up to 4 hours to test some products. That would mean anywhere as far north as Kansas City, west to Tulsa and OK City, and east to Little Rock

  • My wife and I are both average size (5'6" - 5'7") and weight (135-175 lbs)

  • Her primary sleeping position is on her side, while mine is stomach and then back.

  • I am pretty much set on using latex for the comfort layer, but haven't done any tests yet to know the preferred thickness, or whether I should go with Talalay vs Dunlop. I would like to keep it as natural as possible but understand talalay may be softer in the long run.

  • I also don't know if I will go with latex or pocket coil springs for the support layer or how thick this layer should be either.

  • My budget really isn't set in stone, but I am one who would rather spend a little more money for a product that I know will last and provide years of comfort. I am okay with spending 2k - 3,500 for that.

  • The bed we sleep on right now is a sterns and foster coil spring mattress with poly for the comfort layer that I bought 15 years ago, and the indentations in it are now affecting how my back feels when I wake up. I realize I didn't do the best research back then and went solely for first impression comfort in the store.

  • For this next bed I want a king size mattress

  • If there is anything else that you guys can think of that would help with recommendations, let me know and I'll post that. Thanks again for the wonderful site and I look forward to reading more.

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    Last edit: by Hogwild.

    And so the journey for latex begins 02 Jan 2017 11:55 #2

    Hi Hogwild,

    Welcome to the Mattress Forum! :)

    First off, this site has been very helpful as I begin to search for what I hope is a better night's for many years to come. I have to admit that I am a little overwhelmed though, and so I hope that you guys can point me in the right direction as I go on this journey.

    I’m glad you’ve found the site helpful so far. The first thing I’d advise you to do is read the mattress shopping tutorial here but 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", firmness, and PPP 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 (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).

    Of course nobody can speak to how any specific mattress will "feel" for someone else or whether it will be a good "match" in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP because this is too subjective and relative to different body types, sleeping positions, and individual preferences, sensitivities, and circumstances and you are the only one that can feel what you feel on a mattress ... outside of PPP (which is the most important part of "value"), the next most important part of the value of a mattress purchase is durability which is all about how long you will sleep well on a mattress. This is the part of your research that you can't see or "feel" and assessing the durability and useful life of a mattress depends on knowing the specifics of its construction and the type and quality of the materials inside it regardless of the name of the manufacturer on the label or how a mattress feels in a showroom or when it is relatively new so I would always make sure that you find out information listed here so you can compare the quality of the materials and components to the durability guidelines here to make sure there are no lower quality materials or weak links in a mattress that would be a cause for concern relative to the durability and useful life of a mattress before making any purchase.

    In its simplest form ... choosing the "best possible" mattress for any particular person really comes down to FIRST finding a few knowledgeable and transparent retailers and/or manufacturers (either locally or online) that sell the types of mattresses that you are most interested in that are in a budget range you are comfortable with and that you have confirmed will provide you with the all the information you need about the materials and components inside the mattresses they sell so you will be able to make informed choices and meaningful comparisons between mattresses and then ...

    1. Careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in the tutorial) to make sure that a mattress is a good match for you in terms of "comfort", firmness, and PPP ... and/or that you are comfortable with the options you have available to return, exchange, or "fine tune" the mattress and any costs involved if you can't test a mattress in person or aren't confident that your mattress is a suitable choice.

    2. Checking to make sure that there are no lower quality materials or weak links in a mattress you are considering relative to your weight/BMI range that could compromise the durability and useful life of the mattress.

    3. Comparing your finalists for "value" based on #1 and #2 and all the other parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you.

    We live in area code (72701) but I'm willing to drive up to 4 hours to test some products. That would mean anywhere as far north as Kansas City, west to Tulsa and OK City, and east to Little Rock

    The better options or possibilities I'm aware of in and around the Springdale/Fayetteville/Rogers areas (subject to making sure that any mattress you are considering meets the quality/value guidelines here ) are listed in post #4 here . The better options or possibilities I'm aware of in and around the Kansas City area are listed in post #2 here . The better options or possibilities I'm aware of in and around the Tulsa and Oklahoma City areas are listed in post #2 here . The better options or possibilities I'm aware of in and around the Little Rock, AR. area are listed in post #2 here . I know this is a long list but it will give you a good starting point.

    My wife and I are both average size (5'6" - 5'7") and weight (135-175 lbs). Her primary sleeping position is on her side, while mine is stomach and then back.

    You fall into a “normal” BMI range, so there are no specific “red flags” for any special foam densities besides what is normally recommended in the durability guidelines. When sleeping upon your stomach, you’d want to make sure that the surface comfort of your mattress doesn’t allow too much deflection to accentuate the lordotic curve of your lumbar region, and with sleeping upon your side you’ll want to make sure there is enough surface comfort to allow your hips and shoulders to sink in a bit, but not so much as to affect your stomach sleeping posture.

    I am pretty much set on using latex for the comfort layer, but haven't done any tests yet to know the preferred thickness, or whether I should go with Talalay vs Dunlop. I would like to keep it as natural as possible but understand talalay may be softer in the long run.

    You can find “natural” (100% NR) latex in either Talalay or Dunlop, and the choice of natural, synthetic or blended would be mostly a personal preference rather than a quality issue. You can read more about Dunlop vs Talalay latex in post #7 here .

    I also don't know if I will go with latex or pocket coil springs for the support layer or how thick this layer should be either.

    You’ll be able to determine more about this when you actually go do some testing of these mattresses and see if you have an affinity for the feel of an all-latex product or one that uses springs for the support structure.

    I’m looking forward to learning about your progress and of course willing to assist if you have any other questions once you’ve actually gone out and tried a few products using latex.

    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

    And so the journey for latex begins 17 Jan 2017 19:47 #3

    Phoenix, thanks for the reply. I'm definitely trying to do my homework and read as much as possible. I have looked through the tutorial in depth and went out this weekend to start testing.

    We were able to visit Joplimo mattress (very nice people) but I think it would be harder and more expensive for them to build anything we wanted. They did have a nice selection of hybrid latex and coil mattresses as well as memory foam, but just not what felt like would fit our needs.

    Our next stop was Mountainair Organic beds in Springdale. I was going to make the trip up to a savvy rest dealer, but after looking at Mountain Air's website, and knowing their close proximity I decided to swing by. They may not have had the best reputation on here in the past, but I have to say that I came away impressed with their products and owners. They were very knowledgeable and it sounds like Joyce (owner) has tried various foams from different manufacturers before settling on who she thinks makes the best for her customers. Apparently they used to be a savvy rest dealer, but moved away from that model in order to build their own where they could control the quality of their product better (and honestly probably make more money without licensing fees). Anyway, they are big into helping the customer find the right fit for their body and spent a lot of time with us. She even turned out the lights in the shop to let us simulate sleeping for 20 min. She was very transparent about what they make and where everything is sourced from. It sounds like they get all their Dunlop through Arpico and Talalay through Radium. I honestly think you should consider calling them and include on your recommended list for my area, but you would have to make that determination.

    Alright back to the testing and next question....We want a 4 layer mattress and the configuration for my side was as follows (talalay soft on top, followed by Dunlop soft, Dunlop medium, and Dunlop firm). The respective Ild's are ( 20-23-soft, 24-28-medium, and 31-36 firm). My concern is that as a stomach sleeper, that may be too soft for me. I had also read that 2 soft layers on top may be too much and break down faster over time. Spinal alignment looked about the same when I varied the 2nd layer to Dunlop medium, but for some reason the 2 soft layers on top felt cozier. My fear is that after a short break in period the two soft layers would be too much for my style of sleeping. Thoughts?

    2nd question--I've also called sleepez and spoken to them about a suggested layering. The only problem is their ILD's for the medium layer seem to be a little more "firm" than Mountain Air Organic. My fear is that what I'm testing may not even carry over should I decide to go with Sleepez instead. I would love to test every layer that sleepez had but know that's not feasible. Any suggestions or thoughts?

    Lastly, I will say this for Mountain Air ....their prices are negotiable. Like just about any place nowadays (including sleepez) they know they have to attract certain customers with "deals". I haven't gotten their final quote yet, but feel like they are willing to work with me should I find a better price on a comparable product.

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    And so the journey for latex begins 18 Jan 2017 13:35 #4

    Hi Hogwild,

    Our next stop was Mountainair Organic beds in Springdale. I was going to make the trip up to a savvy rest dealer, but after looking at Mountain Air's website, and knowing their close proximity I decided to swing by. They may not have had the best reputation on here in the past, but I have to say that I came away impressed with their products and owners.

    I’m not sure about “not having the best reputation here in the past” regarding them, as a forum search on Mountain Air turned up only a few results, where I’ve commented that their products seemed to use higher quality materials, but that they are in a higher budget range than some similar latex mattresses, so I would make some careful value comparisons, and that there is some information on their website that is more marketing than factual. But otherwise their materials seem to be good.

    Apparently they used to be a savvy rest dealer, but moved away from that model in order to build their own where they could control the quality of their product better (and honestly probably make more money without licensing fees).

    Yes, they did carry Savvy Rest in the past. Some retailers do choose to create their own small component-style lines, which can afford them the opportunity to create their own different feels and not be “locked-in” to the options offered by manufacturers. There also can be cost-savings measures in buying their own componentry, which may or may not be reflected in their pricing. There is no licensing fee to be a Savvy Rest dealer.

    Anyway, they are big into helping the customer find the right fit for their body and spent a lot of time with us. She even turned out the lights in the shop to let us simulate sleeping for 20 min. She was very transparent about what they make and where everything is sourced from. It sounds like they get all their Dunlop through Arpico and Talalay through Radium.

    It's nice that they took the time to assist you and give you good attention.

    I honestly think you should consider calling them and include on your recommended list for my area, but you would have to make that determination.

    Membership here is a more “organic” process (no pun intended) based upon many factors, and not something that I aggressively seek, but I do appreciate your comments about them. :)

    Alright back to the testing and next question....We want a 4 layer mattress and the configuration for my side was as follows (talalay soft on top, followed by Dunlop soft, Dunlop medium, and Dunlop firm). The respective Ild's are ( 20-23-soft, 24-28-medium, and 31-36 firm). My concern is that as a stomach sleeper, that may be too soft for me.

    You didn’t list the thicknesses of the layers, but looking at the mattress in your photo, and knowing that Mountain Air used to be a Savvy Rest dealer, it looks to be a configuration similar to the Unity Pillowtop, which used 3” layers.

    I wouldn’t know if this is too soft for you, as all I can help with "how" to choose. It's not possible for me to make specific suggestions or recommendations for either a mattress 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 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 ).

    With that being said, generally using 6” of plush latex for the upper comfort layers in considered a bit more of a “plush” configuration and sleep ergonomic research will generally recommend to defer toward a bit of a firmer surface comfort in order to minimize accentuating the forward lordotic curvature of the low back/lumbar area.

    I had also read that 2 soft layers on top may be too much and break down faster over time.

    The uppermost comfort layers of any mattress will tend to go through more mechanical stress and “break down” faster than the deeper support layers – this is true. It is also true that a lower ILD foam will tend to “break down” faster than a higher ILD of the same foam. The good thing here is that you are considering something using very good quality materials, so I wouldn’t have as much concern about durability as I would the appropriateness of the comfort of the product for your particular sleeping style.

    Spinal alignment looked about the same when I varied the 2nd layer to Dunlop medium, but for some reason the 2 soft layers on top felt cozier. My fear is that after a short break in period the two soft layers would be too much for my style of sleeping. Thoughts?

    While I appreciate the photos, unless you were using some sort of a landmark marking system or white-light raster line triangulation, I wouldn’t be able to make any meaningful comments. Of course, these are measuring items used in labs by researchers and not used in sleep shops ;) . While it is extremely difficult to tell, and it would only be a guess, from the photos you supplied (and your feedback about feeling cozier) it does look as if your lumbar region is sinking in more on the more plush product. Also on that mattress photo you seem to have quite a bit of lateral neck flexion and I would have a concern that the pillow you were using for testing to be too thick for this combination, but that could be the way you like to sleep when prone.

    2nd question--I've also called sleepez and spoken to them about a suggested layering. The only problem is their ILD's for the medium layer seem to be a little more "firm" than Mountain Air Organic. My fear is that what I'm testing may not even carry over should I decide to go with Sleepez instead. I would love to test every layer that sleepez had but know that's not feasible. Any suggestions or thoughts?

    You are correct that unless you are using the exact same foam from the exact same suppliers in the exact same configuration using the exact same coverings…it will feel different. SleepEZ uses a variety of sources for their latex and if you phoned and provided them the specifications and the types of latex in each layer, they could do their best to either duplicate what you liked, or based upon your local testing feedback make their own recommendations for what they think would work best for you and your sleeping style. As you may be aware, SleepEZ is a member here, which means that I think very highly of them and that I believe that they compete well with the best in the industry in terms of their quality, value, service, knowledge, and transparency. They are extremely knowledgeable about latex and different configurations, and I would not hesitate to recommend them for your consideration. They do offer a 90 day comfort exchange policy should you find that you need to swap out a layer (Maintain Air has a similar policy for layer swap outs), which is an important consideration with any component mattress system should your initial configuration not turn out as well as you had hoped.

    Lastly, I will say this for Mountain Air ....their prices are negotiable. Like just about any place nowadays (including sleepez) they know they have to attract certain customers with "deals". I haven't gotten their final quote yet, but feel like they are willing to work with me should I find a better price on a comparable product.

    I can’t speak for what Mountain Air offers for pricing policies, and I generally caution others about speaking for the selling policy of a business unless they are part of the ownership, but I can tell you that one of the more distasteful things that members here of the site mention is the large fluctuation that some retailers offer in their pricing. While offers/bundles/deals are common, you can still see the final price and make a logical comparison. Better businesses shouldn’t require a consumer to go out and find a “better price” in order to get a lower price from a store, and should instead offer a good everyday low price that reflects the value of their product and the value of their services. Of course this is my opinion and one of the issues I have with many mattress stores that continually offer “50% off deals” or don’t price their items at all in the showroom. I’m not saying this is the case at all with Mountain Air, and any business certainly can decide to adjust their pricing if they have room to gain your business if they feel the comparison has merit. You simply gave me the opportunity to get on my mattress pricing soapbox! :)

    In general, I would treat retailers or manufacturers that negotiate their prices or have sales with "huge" 50%-70% discounts as a red flag because manufacturers or retailers that sell good quality/value mattresses don't need to negotiate or have "fake sales" with misleading discounts to create a false sense of urgency, and they sell good quality/value mattresses every day of the year at prices that are already very fair and reasonable.

    I’ll be happy to answer other questions you might have as you go through this process as best I can, and I’ll be interested in your progress.

    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

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