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Budget mattress challenge! Shopping in quarantine? 20 Mar 2021 22:12 #1

Hello TMU! I'm opening up some space in my room with a loft-style slatted bed frame and i'm shopping for a budget full-size mattress. I know that testing is a crucial part of the process and that shopping on theory alone is not the best strategy, but i'm living in Toronto under fairly strict quarantine and I don't have easy access to open mattress retailers. I've done a good bit of reading here and I'm aware of the basic principles, but I want to make sure I'm on target to avoid returns/frustrations.

Budget: My budget is in the $400-500CAD range. I can push it a little if it will make a huge difference, but I wont be on this mattress for longer than 2 years. I know that's low, but that's life for a quarantined musician!

Sleep Profile: I am 27, 5'11" and 135lbs (~19 BMI), so I am sadly built without an internal comfort layer :( I'm a combo sleeper - 60% left side, 20% right side, 20% back. I occasionally experience hip soreness after long sleeps on one side, but no other complaints. I sleep long and hot, usually 9h per night with a fan blowing all year round.

Current Mattress: I'm sleeping on a a 10" queen innerspring mystery mattress from sleep country. On top I use a a duck & goose co mattress topper which is actually full size, but it fits the queen.

Here's some mattresses within my budget range:
IKEA - Matrand, $379
7.25" - 2" 3.1lb memory foam), 5" 1.7lb polyfoam. 1 year return policy.
JUNO (goodmorning), $349
2" cooling gel memory foam, 6" support foam. 120 night trial.
DOZY - Davisville, $500
2" gel memory foam, 3" transition layer, 5" poly foam core. No returns, only modifications/exchanges.

Mattresses a little out of my budget:
SILK & SNOW, $675
2" 4lb gel memory foam, 2" 1.8lb transition, 6" 1.8lb base
DOUGLAS (goodmorning), $679
2" cooling gel foam (tested against 4lb memory foam.), 2" "elastex" foam, 6" support foam.

I've also been browsing through the list of GTA factory direct manufacturers that Phoenix so generously put together in 2011. Springmade, Binda Bros, and Fantastic Sleep Shop all seem like options worth looking into. I'm also intrigued by Foamite, specifically the Ecocell Blue Mattress , but I am entirely overwhelmed by all the foam statistics. I appreciate the transparency and the selection though!

With all that said, what are my most important considerations? What are the most obvious things I should be looking for considering my sleep profile?

Being a bony person, do I need to be more or less worried about pressure points than a heavier person? In retail parlance, do I generally want a "softer" mattress? Do I want more than 2" of comfort?

Spinal alignment is important to me as a principle; how do I go about looking for a firmer support layer? Does density play a role in the foam's ability to "push back"?

I guess what I want is confidence in knowing what I'm looking for, and what I should be asking about when I'm calling around to retailers without clear specs on their websites. I definitely tend to over research these things, but I'm not messing around with my sleep! Once I narrow things down, I might be able to get into a showroom if lockdown permits.

I'm sure much of this is available in the articles, but there's a lot of them and some of them aren't very ADHD-friendly. I'd appreciate any tips to help focus my search. Thanks to the TMU crew for this incredible resource, and for all the insights I've already gained on here. It'll be an invaluable asset someday when I look for something more permanent.

Thanks!

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Last edit: by patrowdy.

Budget mattress challenge! Shopping in quarantine? 22 Mar 2021 17:52 #2

Are you located in Canada?

Are your coils poking through current mattress? If no, cut open current mattress and throw everything away except the support base. Go to something like foam by mail website and get yourself some comfort layers. You can wrap everything together with a cover from places like diy mattress (that's a net). If you want extreme comfort google yourself diy air bed.

Hope this helps, everything I mentioned above will cost you way less than $500 USD.

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Budget mattress challenge! Shopping in quarantine? 23 Mar 2021 12:37 #3

hey mark, it's a good thought but i'm planning to downsize to full from a queen to fit the new bed frame. also I'm not really up for a DIY project at the moment, however simple it may be. appreciate it!

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Budget mattress challenge! Shopping in quarantine? 27 Mar 2021 11:53 #4

Hey patrowdy,

Welcome to the Mattress Underground :) ! Thanks for your question.

Hello TMU! I'm opening up some space in my room with a loft-style slatted bed frame and i'm shopping for a budget full-size mattress. I know that testing is a crucial part of the process and that shopping on theory alone is not the best strategy, but i'm living in Toronto under fairly strict quarantine and I don't have easy access to open mattress retailers. I've done a good bit of reading here and I'm aware of the basic principles, but I want to make sure I'm on target to avoid returns/frustrations.

Budget: My budget is in the $400-500CAD range. I can push it a little if it will make a huge difference, but I wont be on this mattress for longer than 2 years. I know that's low, but that's life for a quarantined musician!

Sleep Profile: I am 27, 5'11" and 135lbs (~19 BMI), so I am sadly built without an internal comfort layer

I'm a combo sleeper - 60% left side, 20% right side, 20% back. I occasionally experience hip soreness after long sleeps on one side, but no other complaints. I sleep long and hot, usually 9h per night with a fan blowing all year round.

Current Mattress: I'm sleeping on a a 10" queen innerspring mystery mattress from sleep country. On top I use a a duck & goose co mattress topper which is actually full size, but it fits the queen.


You have done your homework well, patrowdy :) ! Thanks for the hard work and preparation that you've put into your post, and indeed, you have been doing a good bit of TMU reading and have a good grasp of the basics. Thanks too for including your personal stats, budget, and details on your current "mystery mattress". These help us see where you are coming from in terms of your comfort preferences and what mattresses may make good candidates for you. As you know from your research that TMU does not make recommendations outside of our strictly vetted Trusted Member program , but we will help you understand a mattress's durability potential based on component specs when available.

Here's some mattresses within my budget range:
IKEA - Matrand, $379
7.25" - 2" 3.1lb memory foam), 5" 1.7lb polyfoam. 1 year return policy.
JUNO (goodmorning), $349
2" cooling gel memory foam, 6" support foam. 120 night trial.
DOZY - Davisville, $500
2" gel memory foam, 3" transition layer, 5" poly foam core. No returns, only modifications/exchanges.

Mattresses a little out of my budget:
SILK & SNOW, $675
2" 4lb gel memory foam, 2" 1.8lb transition, 6" 1.8lb base
DOUGLAS (goodmorning), $679
2" cooling gel foam (tested against 4lb memory foam.), 2" "elastex" foam, 6" support foam.


Great work on assembling your contenders, patrowdy :) ! As these are all similar in design, let's focus on their commonalities: memory foam comfort layers, polyfoam support core. This combination in an all-foam mattress will feel and support in a much different way than your queen innerspring mattress/ duck & goose mattress topper. Do you have access to COVID-safe showrooms for trying similar versions of these mattresses? Once you identify memory foam as a candidate, we can look further into the models you have tested.

I've also been browsing through the list of GTA factory direct manufacturers that Phoenix so generously put together in 2011. Springmade, Binda Bros, and Fantastic Sleep Shop all seem like options worth looking into. I'm also intrigued by Foamite, specifically the Ecocell Blue Mattress , but I am entirely overwhelmed by all the foam statistics. I appreciate the transparency and the selection though!


There is quite a bit of foam data available on TMU and while it can be a bit overwhelming to digest initially, you will be surprised at how much you'll learn once you test mattresses personally and can experience a "feel" with those numbers. Without specific foam density ratings and other such component specs, there is no meaningful way to gauge a mattress's durability potential. Generally speaking, for a polyfoam support core , an HD/ High Density foam weighing a minimum of 1.5 - 1.8 lbs. per cu. ft. is an acceptable quality, and an HR/ High Resiliency foam weighing 2.5 lbs. per cu. ft. with a support factor of 2.4 or higher is acceptable. Memory foam is almost always used as a comfort material, where its unique pressure relieving qualities are most beneficial. A higher quality memory foam is in the 5 lb. density range or higher and will last longer in that range. A reputable manufacturer or showroom will be happy to share these numbers with you, as they are commonly requested details.

With all that said, what are my most important considerations? What are the most obvious things I should be looking for considering my sleep profile?


You may want to give a quick scan of Phoenix's "Mattress Specifications You Need to Know" , there is a brief list of 5 points that are important to consider before a purchase of any mattress. You will also want a thorough understanding of return/ exchange policies and warranty process in writing for future reference.

Being a bony person, do I need to be more or less worried about pressure points than a heavier person? In retail parlance, do I generally want a "softer" mattress? Do I want more than 2" of comfort?


With your lighter BMI and lack of "internal comfort layer", softer/ more plush comfort materials may be a consideration for your combination sleeping positions. A 3" comfort layer could do the trick. Mattress testing will provide clues to the appropriate thickness as only you can "feel" what you feel while researching.

Spinal alignment is important to me as a principle; how do I go about looking for a firmer support layer?


Phoenix discusses how to test mattresses using your various sleeping positions while making your showroom visits (see article "Testing a Mattress for Support and Spinal Alignment") . Essentially, you'll want to spend some time in each of your sleep positions, relax as much as possible, and listen to what your body is telling you, paying attention to how your body feels in each position. It is also helpful (if possible) to have someone take some snaps as you interact with the mattress, allowing you to see how your spinal alignment appears in each of your sleeping positions. The pics along with any notes that you take (voice notes work well for research) will help you later as you begin narrowing down many choices to fewer ones.

Does density play a role in the foam's ability to "push back"?


Density is an indicator of a foam's intended firmness and can contribute to how your body senses the foam's feel. The numbers are a general measure for how different amounts of the foam's materials vary the foam's firmness and give the consumer a point of reference for comparison. "Push back" is more of a foam's response to the user; different types of foams respond differently and not every foam provides that feel. For example, as memory foam warms to your body's heat, it slowly moves away from you, allowing you to "sink into" the mattress and providing a cradling feeling for pressure relief. An open-cell latex foam such as Talalay latex, however, offers a buoyant, uplifting feel of "sleeping on" a mattress and gives the sensation of "push back" with its natural rubber feel.

I guess what I want is confidence in knowing what I'm looking for, and what I should be asking about when I'm calling around to retailers without clear specs on their websites. I definitely tend to over research these things, but I'm not messing around with my sleep! Once I narrow things down, I might be able to get into a showroom if lockdown permits.


Here is a quick list of mattress shopping questions (also referenced above) that will help you get started with the basics of spec research. These conversation starters will help you with leading manufacturer/ showroom personnel discussions when researching mattresses.

I'm sure much of this is available in the articles, but there's a lot of them and some of them aren't very ADHD-friendly. I'd appreciate any tips to help focus my search. Thanks to the TMU crew for this incredible resource, and for all the insights I've already gained on here. It'll be an invaluable asset someday when I look for something more permanent. Thanks!


Understood, patrowdy; there are many years of research and topics here and its definitely a great deal to process. Hopefully, you'll find some of these basics a good starting point to guide you in the right direction. Feel free to ask more questions, consult with any of the TMU expert members , as well as other TMU consumer subscribers, they are also great resources and love to share their experiences. Thanks too for your kind words on the site; they are much appreciated! Good luck and keep us posted with your research.

Thanks,
Sensei ;)
Sensei(@ TMU Team)
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