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alternatives to pure latex bliss near nyc 12 Aug 2012 21:01 #1

I am looking to buy a new king bed after having been on a queen coil bed for 15 years. My wife and I liked the feel of the temperpedic, but hate the fact that you sink in and can't roll around. We also like a cold bed.

We walked into sleepy's and tried many beds. We ended up liking the sealy optima radiant with cool gel. It seemed to have a faster response and was very...cool. But after reading the threads here, we are not ready to spend $3K on this bed. Frankly, I never thought I would pay $3K for a bed, but I am ready to bite the bullet if it means a great bed for the next 15-20 years. I take it the Sealy optima is probably not going to be that bed.

So we walked into a store recommended on Long Island -- the second mentioned retail store by Phoenix. They seemed to really steer us towards the pure latex bliss mattress. We liked the nutrition, which has 6" talalay 35ILD core, 2" talalay 22ILD middle layer, and a Talalay 19ILD top layer. It was a nice feel, albeit a little bouncy. The price tag is just over $3K for the set. This didn't feel as good as the sealy, but we would expect it to be a better bed.

Of course, I said it was over my budget. The salesman then put us on a plb pamper, and added a 2" Talalay latex topper. This seemed to feel just as good if not better. In any case, he said he had a pamper that was coming into the warehouse for another customer, but the other customer decided to upgrade. Therefore, he was going to give a good price on the pamper plus the topper -- roughly $2500. I'm certainly concerned about where this mattress was before. Why wouldn't he just sell it for a better price or return it to the manufacturer? Is this a good price, or can I do better with some other manufacturers?

In any case, I'm also reading about the brooklyn bedding ultimate dreams bed, the rocky mountain bed, the sleep ez bed, and others. It seems that unless you switch to dunlop core or a foam core, you end up spending about the $2500-3500 for an all talalay latex bed anyway. That said, I haven't tried a bed with the dunlop core. I'm also intrigued with the brooklyn bed -- thinking it would be a great value, but where can I try it to see how it compares to the plb in terms of feel?

Finally, i'm also looking to purchase two twin beds for the kids (8 and 5). I would like to give them a little more luxury and long lasting bed than a coil. I'm thinking to do the deluxe dreams for them -- sometimes I get a chance to sleep on it as well.

Any help would be great!

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Re: alternatives to pure latex bliss near nyc 13 Aug 2012 00:47 #2

Hi will10025g,

We walked into sleepy's and tried many beds. We ended up liking the sealy optima radiant with cool gel. It seemed to have a faster response and was very...cool. But after reading the threads here, we are not ready to spend $3K on this bed. Frankly, I never thought I would pay $3K for a bed, but I am ready to bite the bullet if it means a great bed for the next 15-20 years. I take it the Sealy optima is probably not going to be that bed.


As you mention ... it sure is hard to justify their prices/value when you know the materials are no better than mattresses with similar feel and performance that sell for significantly less. Their phase change material is also designed to feel cooler to the touch but this is only part of the "sleeping cool" story and just like temperatures feel higher when humidity levels are higher, the ventilation and microclimate of a mattress is much more important than the actual surface temperature even though phase change materials or materials that are heat conductive can also play a role.

So we walked into a store recommended on Long Island -- the second mentioned retail store by Phoenix. They seemed to really steer us towards the pure latex bliss mattress. We liked the nutrition, which has 6" talalay 35ILD core, 2" talalay 22ILD middle layer, and a Talalay 19ILD top layer. It was a nice feel, albeit a little bouncy. The price tag is just over $3K for the set. This didn't feel as good as the sealy, but we would expect it to be a better bed.


I should make clear that outlets like the ones listed here (and many other posts with local options around the forum) are not "recommended" outlets ... only outlets that have some possibilities in the area but will likely require further (and sometimes frustrating and time consuming) research. Their value and the "ease" of shopping there would depend on the pricing at each outlet, their ability and willingness to disclose the layers and materials in their mattresses, and the service, experience, and knowledge levels of the outlets. In many cases when there are better choices further away that involve a longer drive I will often provide a list of local outlets for those that don't want to travel so far or who are hesitant to purchase a mattress online even though there may not be great value available in the immediate local area.

The only "official" recommendations I make are the members of this site but there are often others that I think highly of that I will make sure people know about as well along with more specific comments. In the case of Long Island area ... the last 5 in the list here would typically be the "best" value I know about in the area for most people and there may be nothing locally that carries anything in the same value range. It will often save both time and money to take a longer drive to visit outlets that are known to have high quality and value along with knowledgeable people and good service compared to the time consuming project of trying to find the best value locally and coming up against many "information" roadblocks.

Having said all that ... The PLB certainly uses much higher quality and more costly materials than the Optimum and is better "value" but of course latex is a fast response material and memory foam is a slow response material so they feel and perform very differently. The choice between fast and slow response is really about preference although I strongly suggest that only mattresses where the quality of the memory foam and base foam is known be considered (and the Sealy doesn't disclose the quality/density of the memory foam or the base foam they use in the Optimum series).

Based on the polyfoam used in the Embody series though (their previous high quality memory foam line) ... the base foam is likely to be in the range of 1.5 lbs which is not suitable for a mattress in this price range.

A "typical" latex mattress thickness would normally be in the range of 8" - 9" (similar to the Pamper with the topper) which is a suitable thickness for most people. Some lighter body types or certain "flatter" sleeping styles may do well with only 6" and those that are significantly heavier (mid 200 lbs range or more) could benefit from going thicker but for the large majority this "standard" thickness range provides plenty of room to create a layering that provides good PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment and Personal preferences) for most people.

King mattresses using blended Talalay or 100% natural Dunlop are certainly available in the $2500 range and in many cases less. There is a list in post #21 here of some of the manufacturers of this site that specialize in working with customers online or on the phone that have a wide range of latex mattresses available of many different types and styles and these can serve as a "value reference" for a local purchase. Local testing can also be used as a helpful guideline for an online purchase as well if the local value isn't "reasonably close" to similar options available on the list (I usually use about 20% as a reasonable local premium because of the lowered risk of local testing).

Therefore, he was going to give a good price on the pamper plus the topper -- roughly $2500. I'm certainly concerned about where this mattress was before. Why wouldn't he just sell it for a better price or return it to the manufacturer? Is this a good price, or can I do better with some other manufacturers?


This could have been a ploy or it could have been legitimate. I would also be concerned because comfort exchanges (if they offer them) are the responsibility of the retailer not the manufacturer of the mattress (comfort exchanges are a store policy). Only warranty exchanges are "backed" by the manufacturer. The PLB line also has high profit margins (which retailers like) and they are also "price controlled" for advertising purposes (which retailers also like) so there would certainly be room for an outlet to come down if they thought it would lead to a sale.

In any case, I'm also reading about the brooklyn bedding ultimate dreams bed, the rocky mountain bed, the sleep ez bed, and others. It seems that unless you switch to dunlop core or a foam core, you end up spending about the $2500-3500 for an all talalay latex bed anyway. That said, I haven't tried a bed with the dunlop core. I'm also intrigued with the brooklyn bed -- thinking it would be a great value, but where can I try it to see how it compares to the plb in terms of feel?


If you are comfortable with the higher risk of ordering online (with the help of very good people who have the knowledge and skill to help you make the best possible choices), then the online list I linked to has exceptional choices and value included in it. Your local testing can also provide some guidelines that can be taken into account in your phone conversations with them about what your best options may be. Your best and closest options in the general area with similar quality, service, and value would would be Dixie Foam and ScottJordan in NYC. Both of these carry all latex mattresses as well. Finding anything else with similar value closer to you may involve some real work and effort and I would do most of my initial research locally on the phone along the lines of this article .

So overall ... if the PLB "fits" your needs and preferences ... it may be among the best available value in your immediate area (assuming you have talked with the other "possibilties"). It's not the best value available though if you are willing to drive a little further or work with an online manufacturer.

All of the online manufacturers you are mentioning are factory direct and the only way to try any of them first is if you are close by their bricks and mortar outlets if they have one. These (including the Ultimate dreams) are not available anywhere else. Most of them list the list the specs of their mattresses (or the choices available) online though so local testing on mattresses where the specs are known can help them to help you make better choices even though what you test won't be the same as what they offer. For example ... if the PLB Pamper plus topper "worked" for you (and you tested it for long enough ... at least 15 minutes fully relaxed ... and objectively for pressure relief and alignment rather than just for "comfort" ... then it would indicate that 3" of very soft latex (1" of 19 ILD in the Pamper plus the 2" 14 - 15 ILD topper) over 7" of very firm latex (40 ILD) is in your range. while the online options may not go this soft (many are hesitant to use materials that are so soft even in latex because of durability issues) ... it would at least indiccate that 3" of soft over firmer layers tends to "work" for you. This is the type of information (along with the details of your body type, sleeping positions, and any known preferences you have) that can help them help you better.

Dunlop latex is also a very good quality choice even though it is different from Talalay in feel. 100% natural Dunlop and blended Talalay are also roughly in the same price range. You can read more about the differences in the pros and cons of latex here .

So if I was in your shoes ... I would talk to the other local options you have on the phone to see what they have available that may justify some time spent with them.

The next thing I would consider is a phone call and/or a trip to the two outlets in NYC (or any of the others in the last section of 5 manufacturers in the NYC list if you feel the drive is worth it and your calls indicate it would be a good idea) that are likely to have the best quality/value in the wider area.

Finally I would spend some time with the list of online manufacturers first on their sites (to get an idea of budget and choices) and then on the phone with the ones that are most interesting to you and talk with them about what your "specs" and testing experiences would point to as being the best choice out of what they offer.

Some or all of your "local" or "further away local" or "online" will give you some very good value choices and the most difficult part at the end may be choosing between some great choices that are all high quality and value.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Re: alternatives to pure latex bliss near nyc 14 Aug 2012 13:53 #3

Phoenix, thank you for your help. Mark at Dixie Foam was extremely helpful. He gave me a number of options -- one of which is 9" of talalay latex which might save me $300-400 less than the plb pamper + topper (comparable all-latex bed), where I am questioning the reason for the discounted pamper bed.

Dixie Foam has very basic cotton covers over their mattresses. Would you suggest a high quality mattress cover with some wool to keep the bed cooler? I feel that other manufacturers have put so much effort into the final cover -- why do they do this? Is this something I should look to improve on the mattress?

I'm also thinking about another option that Mark -- the Cloud Rest -- which has a 5.5" core of 2.8 lb foam, 2 1/4" of 1.8lb foam at 18 ILD, and then a 3" Talalay top. It would save more money. I couldn't really tell the difference between the all latex and this option. I thought the all latex may have been too bouncy, in fact.

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Re: alternatives to pure latex bliss near nyc 14 Aug 2012 15:55 #4

Hi will10025g,

Dixie Foam has very basic cotton covers over their mattresses. Would you suggest a high quality mattress cover with some wool to keep the bed cooler? I feel that other manufacturers have put so much effort into the final cover -- why do they do this? Is this something I should look to improve on the mattress?


Wool is a great material in a mattress cover because it can be used to pass the fire code and it is also very breathable and temperature regulating. It also adds to the cost of a mattress however because wool is more expensive material. It can also be added afterwards though for those who prefer it either in a mattress protector (such as the Dormeir ) or as a thicker wool mattress pad or topper depending on the amount of wool that someone may want on their mattress surface. Many manufacturers (Such as Pure Latex Bliss) offer a stretch cotton cover (or various other fibers) which allows the 'feel" of latex to come through more while while many others add wool to add the benefits or wool with the "tradeoff" (depending on the amount of wool added) of lessening the feel of the latex.

A forum title search on either " cover " or " protect " (you can just click these) will bring up lots more information about the various options that are available in the choice of a mattress cover and protector and the pros and cons of each. Basically wool is very temperature regulating, breathable, water resistant (not waterproof though), but will have a larger effect on the feel of the mattress itself than either the thinner cotton (or synthetic) types of protectors or a knit cotton protector.

I'm also thinking about another option that Mark -- the Cloud Rest -- which has a 5.5" core of 2.8 lb foam, 2 1/4" of 1.8lb foam at 18 ILD, and then a 3" Talalay top. It would save more money. I couldn't really tell the difference between the all latex and this option. I thought the all latex may have been too bouncy, in fact.


This type of construction also uses high quality materials (no "junk" polyfoam) and is an effective way for those who either want a lower cost or don't choose to have a latex core to have the benefits of sleeping on latex. A latex hybrid can be a good and as you mentioned more economical option. Each person has a different "value equation" which means that different factors about a mattress or the outlet they are buying from are more or less important but if you can't tell the difference between the two and if the advantages of using higher quality polyfoam in the mattress outweigh the benefits of using all latex ... then for you this would be a better choice.

Hope this helps. You're in a good place when you have choices between "good and good" instead of "not so great and worse" :)

Phoenix
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Re: alternatives to pure latex bliss near nyc 21 Aug 2012 18:33 #5

i ended up buying from dixie foam. i bought the all talalay 6" mattress and 3" topper. thanks for all the help. i also picked up the two foam beds for the kids.

now i'm in the market for frames and mattress pads. is a lambswool mattress pad the wrong choice for the latex bed? i want to keep cool, but don't want to make this extra extra plush.

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Re: alternatives to pure latex bliss near nyc 21 Aug 2012 19:36 #6

Hi will10025g,

Congratulations on your new mattresses :) You certainly found a good outlet to buy from IMO.

This thread should provide you with some good resources for mattress foundations and bedframes. One of the places mentioned for bedframes is in NYC and is only available there and has some good value.

Post #10 here has some good information about the many choices and tradeoffs involved in mattress protectors, pads, and toppers and post #15 here outlines some good options for protectors for those who are looking just for protection instead of "fine tuning" their mattress.

A thin and stretchy wool protector like the Dormier can be a great choice if you are looking more for protection and want the breathability and temperature control of wool. They will generally make the latex feel a little firmer although the Dormier is thinner and stretchier than most wool protectors and will do this less than most wool protectors.

Thicker wool mattress pads or toppers will reduce the compression of the latex a little more but they will also add some localized softness and pressure relief so they can have the effect of either "firming up" a softer latex or providing some localized softness for a mattress that is a little too firm without compromising support as much as a thicker foam topper.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Re: alternatives to pure latex bliss near nyc 22 Aug 2012 00:14 #7

i will certainly send an update after i get the bed. mark was very helpful and patient so i purchased through him.

mark recommended this pad: www.overstock.com/Bedding-Bath/King-size-Lambswool-Mattress-Pad/3861598/product.html

it looks like there may be some polyester in there. but i like the reviews. i'm also thinking adding a bit more wool will take away the bouncy feeling of the latex but keep the great support and durability. does the st dormier have about the same thickness? if the st dormier is simply better, i'm happy to pay the extra $30.

finally, i saw a few platform bed frames that i thought i would post here. These are all affordable simple slatted beds. It is hard to say which is best, but I"m going to make a few phone calls to make sure the slats are less than 3" away from each other:

www.platformbeds-store.com/p/collegiate-furniture-the-plateau-platform-bed (thinking this looks very sturdy for the price -- good for kids)

www.simplyplatformbeds.com//platform-beds/wood-platform-beds/murrayplatformbed.cfm

www.walmart.com/ip/15019793?adid=22222222227000575767&wmlspartner=wlpa&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=&wl3=14098168270&wl4=&wl5=pla&veh=sem

compare.ebay.com/like/200786774883?var=lv<yp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&var=sbar

www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?sku=18523388&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&gclid=CKf9_ZKf-rECFYVQOgodexoAEA

www.nycbed.com/product/montana-java-pine-wood-platform-bed/

www.westelm.com/products/simple-bed-frame-g421/

i would guess that any of these could be combined with a headboard easily, but please correct me if i am wrong.

any thoughts on these with an all talalay mattress without a foundation?

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Re: alternatives to pure latex bliss near nyc 22 Aug 2012 03:11 #8

Hi will10025g,

The wool mattress pad you linked looks similar to the snugfleece which is one of the choices mentioned in post #3 here (which I should have linked in my last reply). I don't think its the same though because the snugfleece has straps and the one you linked appears to have corner pockets. The listing doesn't mention the weight of the wool which is a good way to make comparisons (the 1" snugfleece has 40 oz per sq yd) but it appears to have good value. You can see the equivalent (at least by pile height if not by weight) in the snugfleece here. The polyester blend backing is used to make it washable because a cotton backing (like the snugfleece elite models) will shrink if they are washed.

The Dormeir is much thinner and is more of a mattress protector than a pad (7.5 oz / sq yd). It has wool inside a cotton cover and is very high quality and stretchy but wouldn't have the same plush surface feel of the one you linked. It's very good quality but they would be quite different in function and feel.

Thanks too for your research and the links to the platform beds. If you get any more information about any of them about slat spacing ... and also making sure that they have center support to the floor in the larger sizes ... it would be great if you could add the information here. As long as the slat spacing is good and there is center support they should work well (assuming they were designed to hold the necessary weight of the mattress and people which shouldn't be an issue). I'll also link your post in the foundation thread so that others can see what you've found as well :)

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Re: alternatives to pure latex bliss near nyc 22 Aug 2012 23:57 #9

Hi will10025g,

I did a bit more research and the mattress pad you linked is made by Denali which is part of Monterey Mills.

They don't list the weight of the wool either but if you do a google search on something like "Denali wool mattress pad" you will see that it is certainly a lower price than most of the other places that carry it and it seems to be good value if it is new and first quality.

Phoenix
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