I have moved from frustration to elation. I did my homework by reading everything I could on this site; I followed instructions; I asked questions; and in the end I got exactly what I wanted and needed, realizing that when I began my search I didn’t really have any idea what that might be. By spending some time on this site and elsewhere, I learned how to cut through the noise and misinformation the mattress industry puts forth, and I became a reasonably well-informed buyer. All because I stumbled on this website.
When I began searching, I just wanted the best mattress I could find. My old mattress was horrible despite costing thousands of dollars. My past experiences were so unsuccessful that I avoided looking for a mattress for a couple of years, until I could wait no longer. I thought the best approach would be to just buy whatever they use at the Ritz Carleton or the Four Seasons, and I was willing to drop well over $4,000 on a mattress to get high quality. I learned that what they use at those hotels is not really high quality; in fact their mattresses are mediocre at best, and way overpriced. I also learned that natural and organic considerations we far more important than I realized at the beginning of my search (seriously, who would want to spend 1/3 of their life with their face planted in synthetic chemicals?). This site taught me what goes into mattress quality, which is the most essential consideration. It took a while for me to learn what goes into quality, but if I had a single piece of advice for anyone buying a mattress - other that diligently reading The Mattress Underground - is that a buyer should be focused on quality of the mattress materials above all else. I also discovered that there is some character out there who goes by the name of Phoenix who spends countless hours giving away knowledge and advice, a sort of “mattress brahmin” who somehow finds higher purpose in mentoring strangers in the mundane but invaluable ways of matching their needs with the best product for their peaceful and healthy sleep (and for the many other wonderful things people do in bed!).
I tried out a number of local stores in the Washington DC area but with regret, as much as I wanted to support local stores, did not end up buying locally. I particularly thought Savvy Beds in Vienna VA was outstanding. I wish I could have supported them, and was willing to pay a 20% premium to do so (a guideline mentioned elsewhere in this forum), but when it came time to purchase, the price difference was substantially more. As my final choice I selected a 100% natural all talalay latex bed, king size, 44 firm 6" core and 3" 28 medium comfort layer in a natural bamboo cover. I had an excellent experience buying by phone on a Sunday from Arizona Premium Mattress Co (www.mattresses.net). The total tax-free price delivered, including two king size latex pillows for free for mentioning The Mattress Underground, was $1,870. I also bought a split king Leggett & Platt S-Cape adjustable bed from Atlantic Beds, which also provided superb phone service on a Sunday as Michael walked me through the measurements of my existing frame and many other details. The L&P came to a total tax-free price including shipping, white glove delivery and set-up, and removal of my old king mattress and foundation, of $2,110. All told the complete package came to $3,980 for the L&G king size adjustable bed and the 100% talalay mattress, which was less than I had originally been willing to spend just for an inferior mattress. The time spent on this sight let me to the high quality bed I needed, and saved me thousands of dollars to boot. Not bad! Again, many thanks for all the help.
PS: My main house in Washington has six bedrooms, and my weekend house in Annapolis has four bedrooms, for a total of 10 bedrooms. I now plan to replace all the beds in the other nine bedrooms with 100% talalay, so this experience and the knowledge I gained will translate to a total of 10 healthy and comfortable bedrooms over the next few months. Many people will benefit from the time and knowledge shared on this site. Keep passing it around!