About to be married, need help buying mattress!

Hello! I have been browsing the site for a few days now, and finally decided to post my own questions/dilemma in the hopes of getting personalized help.

First, the background:

I am getting married next month. My fiancee’s current spring-coil mattress is over 25 years old. My spring-coil mattress is even older than that, if you can believe it.

She is 5’1 and 100 pounds. I am 6’0 and 250.

She doesn’t like mattress that are firm, but she doesn’t like “too soft” either. Personally, I hate firm and prefer soft.

We’re looking for a King size.

We’re in the central Georgia area.

The dilemma:

I am a planner who likes to research things, but there are too many things to research!

  • At first, I was looking into memory foam. The problem is neither of us has slept on a memory foam bed for more than 15 minutes, so we don’t know if we will like it. We also don’t know if we’ll be one of those who “sleep hot” on them. Tempur-pedic is out of my price range, but I have looked at Sera’s iComfort series and Enso’s “The Natural.” I like Enso’s price ($1,300 for a King), and two of my siblings bought Enso’s in the past year and love them. However, I worry about them wearing out in a few years.

  • My father regularly stays at Hilton Garden Inns for business, and told me about the “Sleep Garden System” mattress in their hotels. Natural Form makes them. He says they are nice, but it’s difficult to find reviews on them. And I have no clue how much a King would cost.

  • Lately, I have wondered about going the “hotel” route. I’ve never yet had a bad night sleep in a nice hotel. Hotels like Hampton and Hilton have nice box-spring mattresses on the firm side, and then cover them with lavish toppers and comforters. So, maybe getting a Simmons Beautyrest Elite that’s on the firm side, combined with a down topper from Pacific Coast, would do the trick?

As you can see, I’m all over the map. Any suggestions??

Thank you in advance for the help.


Hi Kevin,

Congratulations on your upcoming marriage first of all! I would agree that it’s time for a new mattress :slight_smile:

I think that the first thing I would suggest is to eliminate the worst choices which hopefully will make it easier to focus on the better ones. The guidelines in this article will hopefully help.

I would also tend to avoid memory foam if you are not certain about how you feel about it. There are several reasons for this. First of all … with larger weights, memory foam may not be as durable as you would hope. If you do decide to go in this direction I would make sure that it was 5 lbs density at a minimum. Secondly … and I’m being diplomatic here … memory foam is not as “motion friendly” as other types of foam and many people rate it lower in terms of the other activities that can happen on a mattress because it can hinder movement. Finally, as you mentioned it can sleep hot for some people depending on many factors including the type of memory foam, the materials over the memory foam, and the thickness of the memory foam layers.

While the Garden Sleep System by Natural Form or SAT bed (self adjusting technology) may be one of the better air bladder mattresses … I would tend to avoid all of them for the reasons in this article. Bear in mind that an air bladder is only a support system and uses the same comfort layers as any other mattress so the air bladder should be compared to the qualities of other types of support rather than by how comfortable they may be because the upper layers are a big part of the comfort of a mattress.

I would also make sure that you are buying from an outlet who will tell you the type and quality of each layer of a mattress you are considering because that is the only way you can know the weak link of the mattress (which layer is likely to soften and degrade first) which will determine the life of the mattress. The heavier someone is the more important that more durable layers are used in every layer of a mattress but especially in the upper layers. This is also the reason I would avoid major brands and chain stores because they will generally use lower quality foams and not disclose the details of the foams and materials they use.

Different weights will perceive different firmness levels of the same foam or material very differently. A feeling of softness is partly dependent on how far someone one sinks into a mattress and heavier people will often feel a firmer foam as being just as soft as lighter people will feel with much softer materials. Because of your weight differential, what is called a “side to side split” construction may work well for you. This is offered by many local manufacturers at little to no extra cost and can “customize” each side of a mattress for different needs and preferences. I would also make sure that you test mattresses together as how a mattress feels can be greatly affected by a sleeping partner … particularly if there is a weight differential.

I believe that by far the best knowledge, quality, value, and service is at local factory direct manufacturers or at smaller sleep shops that carry local or smaller national brands. They will tend to offer mattresses that use higher quality and more durable materials at better prices.

I didn’t know which city you are closest to so I did a search centered around Macon and looked within about 100 miles for factory direct manufacturers or outlets which may offer better value. The list also includes the Atlanta region. They include …

http://griffinmattressco.com/ Local factory direct manufacturer in Griffin who makes more traditional polyfoam/innerspring mattresses in a lower budget range. He uses a minimum of 1.8 lb polyfoam with only thin layers of 1.2 lb polyfoam in the quilting which is higher quality than many major manufacturers use in mattresses with much higher prices.

http://www.tuckermattresscompany.net/ Local factory direct manufacturer in Tucker, Ga. A husband and wife team who make mattresses that also use higher quality materials including latex at lower prices. NOTE ADDED: Oct 23, 2015. Their website appears to be down but their contact information is on their facebook page here.

http://www.realpages.com/sites/mcdanielmattress/index.html Local factory direct manufacturer in Atlanta. They make a range of mattresses including memory foam, latex, and innersprings.

Find an Original Mattress Factory Store Regional factory direct manufacturer with an outlet in McDonough (and many all around Atlanta). They make a range of mattresses which includes memory foam as well as latex and traditional mattresses with good value.

http://verlo.com/ Regional factory direct manufacturer with an outlet in Peachtree city. They make a wide range of mattresses and are transparent about the quality of the materials they use inside them.

http://info.ikea-usa.com/ Store in Atlanta. Makes a range of mattresses including latex and innerspring. See post #3 here for some of the better choices here.

Some local retailers that are in the area and carry mattresses that may be worth considering (depending on their willingness and ability to provide you with the specifics of all the layers and components in their mattresses) and the brands they carry I would consider as a “possibility” include …

https://www.elementsofrest.com/ Atlanta, GA. They sell several component mattresses that use pocket coil modules with different firmnesses that can be used in different configurations and either memory foam or latex comfort layers can also be rearranged and zoned in different configurations as well. Rearranging the individual modules allows for a range of fine tuning options after a purchase.

http://www.mattressbliss.com/ Atlanta, GA. Atlanta Mattress. They carry a range of more premium mattresses including Pure Latex Bliss, Mattress Bliss, Posh & Lavish, and Magniflex along with VI Spring and Hypnos (which are ultra premium manufacturers).

http://naturalsleepandhome.com/ Retailer in Atlanta that carries Organicpedic (OMI) latex mattresses as well as Pure Talalay Bliss (Talalay latex), Naturepedic component mattresses, and Natura. All of these are high quality mattresses that use good quality materials but I would make sure you make some careful value comparisons with other latex mattresses because they are in more premium budget ranges. They also carry Anatomic Global memory foam mattresses and I would make sure you are able to find out the density of all the foam layers in these so you can make more meaningful comparisons with other mattresses if you are considering these.

The Green Pear Organic Mattresses | Alpharetta GA Retailer in Alpharetta that carries Savvy Rest latex mattress which is a high quality component mattress with a zip cover that allows you to choose the number of layers and the type and firmness of each layer but once again I would make sure you make some careful value comparisons because they are in a higher budget range than other similar component latex mattresses.

http://www.naturalmattressmatters.com/ They are a new store in Johns Creek, GA that carries Savvy Rest, Berkeley Ergonomics, Organicpedic (OMI), and Soaring Heart mattresses (see this topic for some feedback)

http://cantoni.com/ Retailer in Atlanta. Carries a private label version of Berkeley Ergonomics (see this topic) and Vi Spring (ultra premium mattresses).

http://www.mattressusaatlanta.com/index.html Retailer in Norcross, Alpharetta, Kennesaw, Gainesville, GA. Carry Pure Talalay Bliss, Southerland, and Park Place mattresses. Be very careful here that you aren’t "steered’ towards major brand mattress which they may promote or to mattresses where they aren’t able to provide you the specifics about what is inside them or belittle requests for information that they may not be happy to provide.

http://mattresssandysprings.com/ Atlanta, GA. American Bedding, Golden

Mattresses & Furniture in Kennesaw, Woodstock and Atlanta GA | Mattress Plus GA Kennesaw, GA. Jamison…

http://www.achooallergy.com/ Atlanta, GA. Royal-Pedic. Pure-Rest.

http://americasgreenstore.com/ Tucker, GA. Talked with her and they carry Suite Sleep latex mattresses and focus on people with MCS and chemical sensitivity issues.

ADSCHEAPER.COM - Best online advertising, affordable internet advertising! Roswell, Lilburn, GA. Jamison

http://www.sitnsleep.net/ Carrollton, GA. Jamison including latex, innersprings, and gel memory foam.

Furniture, Mattresses, Electronics, and Appliances in Cartersville, Kingston and Acworth GA | SAM FRANKLIN'S Home Furnishing Center Cartersville, GA. Symbol.

http://www.discountcityinc.com/index.php Cartersville, GA. Symbol.

There is also some feedback about some of the Atlanta options in post #1 here (thanks Diderot :)).

Your “best” first step may be to think of a mattress as different types of materials which are layered together in different ways to create different “feels” in terms of pressure relief, support, and preferences. These are generally materials that provide pressure relief in the top of a mattress and support in the lower layers. These are the two basic functions of a mattress. The most common materials used in the comfort layers of a mattress are here and in the support layers are here. I would use the local outlets to help you decide which materials you may prefer rather than focusing on brands. Once you know your materials preferences … then it becomes much easier to compare different mattresses by comparing the materials. I would completely avoid any outlet which is either unable or unwilling to tell you what materials are used in each layer of their mattresses. If a mattress uses either memory foam or latex it will say so and if there is a foam which doesn’t say one of these it will almost always be polyfoam in which case knowing the density of the polyfoam used (and most won’t know) becomes very important.

Once your local testing has helped you decide the materials and types of layering that you prefer in general, then the listed outlets are where I would focus my time and efforts (unless a local outlet happens to carry a mattress that uses high quality materials that you like and also has great value). I would do some preliminary work on the phone by describing your preferences, circumstances and “stats” to get a sense of the level of knowledge and helpfulness of each and the mattresses they recommend may be worth trying that use the materials that you prefer and in your budget range. After this you will have a good sense of the shorter list you may want to visit in person and test mattresses.

By focusing on materials rather than brand, you can get to the “overall feel” you prefer using higher quality “ingredients” … and you will be much better prepared to make more meaningful value comparisons between different mattresses.


Wow, I didn’t expect such an in-depth response! It’ll probably help if I break things down point by point.


Good idea. I think the Garden Sleep System is the worst option, if for no other reason than I cannot go to a store or showroom to try out the mattress. You can only order them from Natural Form’s website. To test one out, you need a friend who already has one…or rent a room at a Hilton Garden Inn. Call me crazy, but spending $130+ to rent a hotel room JUST to test out a mattress hurts my frugal head. And then, of course, are the reasons you mentioned in your article.

I actually wondered about that. Will definitely keep this in mind.

And therein lies the rub for me…

First off, thank you so much for the links to factory direct manufacturers. While I don’t doubt for a moment they would provide the best bang for my buck, I have two dilemmas with them…

  1. None of them are really that close to us. The closest is about 90 minutes away. That may not sound too far, but…

  2. We have less than 60 days to finish planning our wedding (we’re having a very short engagement). Taking a Saturday to look for mattresses in Atlanta would be considerably more than a minor inconvenience.

All that to say…

It may be worth it to us to spend a few hundred more for a “major brand” at a local store, since our time right now is so valuable.

With that in mind, are there mattresses from any name brands that are good quality (even if their price might be higher)?

What about Simmons Beautyrest Elite? Two local stores carry them. One has a “Beautyrest Elite Cabo San Lucas” in a King. Another has a “Beautyrest Elite Copacabana”. Each features Simmons’ “900 Smart Response Pocketed Coil”, and the Cabo San Lucas one has a top layer of MicroGel NxG memory foam, which I’ve read here on the forum is good quality.

Do you have any experience with Springwall mattresses? They are a Canadian company, but a local mom-and-pop furniture store exclusively sells their mattresses. They seemed to know a lot about their mattresses, and were proud of the fact they were endorsed by the Canadian Chiropractic Association. They do seem nice, but I can find little information about them online. Their top of the line mattress in the store is a “Springwall Jakarta BPT” that has a coil count of 2,496 in its Queen sizes. It also has 1.5" of pecell foam, 2" of convoluted eurotrex foam, 1" of visco foam…and more (my hand began to get tired writing down notes!). A Google search for “Springwall Jakarta” brings back nothing. The store has other Springwall mattress with 800 and 640 coil counts.

What is your opinion of Enso Sleep System memory foam beds? A local store is selling their “The Natural” bed for a price I like. Is their memory foam good quality? What is its density?

In short…

Any more insight for a guy who may be forced to buy a name brand out of convenience? I still want good quality.

Thank you so much!

Hi typesomethingwitty,

The first thing I would do is to either include or exclude memory foam. That will narrow down your options. I would test local mattresses (just for general feel) that use memory foam in the comfort layers (tempurpedic, iComfort, and many others) just to get a sense of whether this is a direction you want to go.

[quote]1) None of them are really that close to us. The closest is about 90 minutes away. That may not sound too far, but…

  1. We have less than 60 days to finish planning our wedding (we’re having a very short engagement). Taking a Saturday to look for mattresses in Atlanta would be considerably more than a minor inconvenience.[/quote]

Understood. This leaves either local options or an online order. Local options have the advantage of being able to test them specifically for PPP. Online options that use what you like in your local testing as a blueprint for a mattress (where you can choose your own layers to come close to the mattress you liked) will often have much better value and quality but are a little “riskier” because it’s not always possible to create an “exact” match. Depending on your budget range though and the type of materials you prefer … they can often save you more than a few hundred.

Most of the name brands … and many of the smaller national brands that may be available locally … have mattresses that are higher quality than others in their line. Even more important than this though is that the mattress not only has higher quality materials but is suitable for your height/weight and sleeping positions. Even the absolute best mattress in the world may be completely unsuitable for any particular individual if it isn’t layered right for their needs and preferences.

The way to cut through brand issues is to focus on manufacturers or outlets (even locally) that are more transparent about their materials. This way you can minimize the use of lower quality polyfoam, choose higher density memory foam (or lower quality in much thinner layers where necessary), or choose latex (almost all of which is higher quality than polyfoam). These are the three main types of foam used in mattresses. The “emerging category” of gel foams are mostly a variant of memory foam. In general (with exceptions of course) … smaller brands have better value than larger brands but the way to tell is by focusing on the materials and the transparency and knowledge of the outlet you are dealing with. Endorsements … whether by celebrities or associations are really only a marketing tool and have nothing to do with how good a mattress is and “unique” materials in a mattress usually aren’t nearly as unique or proprietary as a manufacturer would have you believe. These too, like using multiple names with very slight differences for the same mattress, are almost always methods of “differentiation” based on stories rather than facts and used to justify higher prices because they make meaningful comparisons much more difficult.

The innersprings in the major brands (or the models that use innersprings as the method of support) are rarely the problem. The biggest issues in the major brands are the foams that are used above the innersprings and the springs will usually be fine long after the foam softens and degrades beyond what is suitable for sleeping on. One strategy is to buy a firm mattress that has the least amount of foam above the innersprings and then buy a high quality topper and use that for the comfort layer. This way if it wears out you can replace the topper rather than the whole mattress. It’s hard to find a mattress though that only has a very minimal amount of higher quality firm foam in the comfort layers. You can read a little more about the 4 main types of innersprings here.

In essence … with the mainstream mattresses that are likely available in local outlets … I would focus on higher density memory foam or latex in the comfort layers (only because the third option of high quality polyfoam is so hard to come by in these mattresses) and then use firmer HD or HR polyfoam, good quality innersprings, or latex in the support layers. This would be the “simple version” of the type of mattress that are most commonly available. Any unknown foam (that doesn’t say either memory foam or latex) will almost certainly be polyfoam.

Springwall is a smaller brand (Canadian as you mentioned) that tends to make more mainstream mattresses but also tends to use higher quality constructions and materials. Of course this will vary from model to model. They use continuous coil innersprings (like many of the Serta models) which are the lowest cost type of innerspring but they use higher quality versions of these innersprings. The one you are looking at has a very high “coil equivalent” which means that it would tend to be both stronger and more conforming than most continuous coils (they tend to be strong and supportive but less conforming types of coil). It would be a very high quality version of a less expensive innerspring. The specs of the Jakarta are on page 19 here. As you can see … it has 2.25" of polyfoam (the foam that doesn’t say memory foam or latex), 3" of memory foam, and .4" of latex. Some of the other “parts” of this mattress (like the flexolator and the cotton pad) are higher quality materials than are usually used for these purposes. I would want to know the density of the memory foam and preferably the polyfoam as well if I was considering this. You can see that the two higher models that use the same innerspring (page 20 and 21) use more latex. This is basically a memory foam over innerspring mattress with a little latex and polyfoam in the mix to “modify” the memory foam.

So overall I would do some initial work on the phone asking things like “do you have any mattresses that have latex over innersprings” or “do you have any memory foam mattresses which use higher density memory foam” or “do you have any latex mattresses without any polyfoam in them at all” and/or other “materials oriented” questions. The ones that are happy to go there with you and answer further questions like “what kind of latex does it use” or “do you know the ILD of the latex” or “what is the density of the memory foam” or “what type of innerspring does it use” or “do you know the thickness and density of the polyfoam in that mattress” and don’t try to force you to walk through their front door before they answer some basic questions and seem happy to go into ingredients with you as far as they can are usually indicators of better quality or more knowledgeable outlets.

So the first step is to roll around on a few mattresses to get a sense of which comfort layer materials and which types of support layers you prefer in general. Then it’s time to get more specific about the thickness and types of layering that best relieves pressure and keeps you in alignment (and feel free to post here if you need help with the “spec” part) and then the final step is to buy the mattress that has the best combination of materials at the best value … regardless of brand.


You write such in-depth replies! Thank you! Let me get right to it…

I like this idea and have been debating it. The problem is we won’t know how we like the final product until we’ve bought all the pieces (the firm mattress and the topper), put them together and slept on them. At least with the other strategies, we get to test drive the mattresses for a few minutes before buying. Just concerns me a bit.

What would you consider to be high quality toppers? Do you have any examples? How much do they generally cost (since I’ll need to know to factor them in when choosing a firm mattress)?

An excellent tip, so I did just that during a shopping trip at Sears today. The Serta iComfort Revolution was there, so I laid down on it. I have to say… I really, really liked it. This was my first time ever laying on a memory foam mattress, so I don’t know if it was the iComfort itself or the memory foam. But I liked it.

The question now is whether or not my fiancee likes memory foam…

Assuming she likes it, too, I can see this being the route we’ll want to go. After BOTH having mattresses older than we are (hand-me-down spring mattresses), memory foam will make us feel pampered.

So, that begs the question: Which memory foam mattress to buy?

  • I know The Original Mattress Factory is one of the manufacturers you recommended. I have read online that the firmness level of their only memory foam mattress (the “Serenity”) is similar to Tempur-pedic’s “Rhapsody” mattress. We could go test out the Rhapsody and, if we like it, plan an afternoon (in the midst of all the wedding planning) to drive to the nearest OMF, test out their Serenity mattress, and buy it if we like it. Or…

  • We could go for one of the mid-range iComforts (either the “Genius” for $2k or the “Revolution” for $2.5k). Considering OMF’s Serenity is also $2k in a King, the frugal part of me might have a difficult time paying the same amount (or more) for the iComfort. BUT, if convenience rules out, are these iComforts at least good quality (even if they aren’t good bargains)? Or…

  • I’ll mention them again since the price is right: The Enso Sleep System. Their “Dreamweaver” mattress, which my sister owns and loves, is only $1.3k for a King. And that’s without any President’s Day sale that may or may not happen next weekend. What are your thoughts on Enso? Do you get what you pay for in this instance?

Thank you again for your help!

Hi typesomethingwitty,

[quote]I like this idea and have been debating it. The problem is we won’t know how we like the final product until we’ve bought all the pieces (the firm mattress and the topper), put them together and slept on them. At least with the other strategies, we get to test drive the mattresses for a few minutes before buying. Just concerns me a bit.

What would you consider to be high quality toppers? Do you have any examples? How much do they generally cost (since I’ll need to know to factor them in when choosing a firm mattress)?[/quote]

I don’t think this is an ideal approach and I would personally buy a “choose you own layer” mattress online than make a blind purchase of this type but if an outlet you are visiting carries an ultra firm mattress with only a few inches of firm polyfoam (maximum) over firm innersprings and also carries toppers that you can test on the mattress (high quality 5 lb memory foam or talalay or dunlop latex) … then this approach may be worth considering as a good alternative to buying a more expensive mattress with thicker layers of either unknown or lower quality materials. 3" of the highest quality toppers such as latex or 5 lb memory foam or even gel memory foam should not be more than about $500 (and preferably less … especially for the memory foam). If the outlet you were using charges a lot more than this then it may not be a viable option there. A firm mattress is not “enough” to do this with (many firm mattresses have more polyfoam than would make this approach successful). It should be “ultra firm” with very little polyfoam in it.

Each material has a range of different “feels” depending on the type and density of memory foam or in the case of latex whether it is dunlop or talalay and the firmness level (which makes a huge difference). I would suggest trying out a range of different memory foams to get a sense of what they feel like as a group (the tempur cloud collection, the tempur contour collection, and the tempur HD collection would make good examples of different types of memory foam along with the icomforts and others) and the range of different feels in the group.

The Revolution has 2 different types of memory foam with an inch of polyfoam sandwiched in between. That’s a LOT of soft form on top of a mattress (risking alignment issues).

Softer latex (in the comfort layers) if it’s available is also a good idea to test to compare the “feel” of latex to memory foam. In the case of latex … different firmness levels will also have a wide range of different feels but they will also have similarities as a group. Latex is much more supportive than memory foam in every level of softness.

Memory foam as a group is a range of “slower reacting” and “temperature sensitive” foams while latex as a group is “instant reacting” foam.

If you were in Macon for example … it may be worth going to a place like this to compare the two materials. Jamison makes a range of talalay latex mattresses (I would call to make sure they carried them) which can be compared to the various tempurpedic collections (using different types of memory foam) and this should give you an idea of the general difference between the two types of foam. both are very pressure relieving but different in their feel. If you are not in Macon … the Jamison site has an outlet finder to locate retail outlets that are near you. It may also be worth emailing Pure Latex Bliss and ask for a list of outlets near you as they also are a great way to test the feel of different types of Talalay latex layering. Badcock also carries a mattress with has 3" of talalay latex over a polyfoam support core and even though it also has 2" of polyfoam over the latex it would also give you a general “sense of latex” to a degree.

Keep a note of the models you like best so you can check the layering afterwards either online or here to see what materials and layers created the “feel” you like in either or both materials.

Yes their memory foam mattresses uses similar materials (HD memory foam which is 7 or 8 lbs and “regular” 5 lb memory foam) and similar layering so the feel would also be similar (but not of course exactly the same). This type of firmer and denser memory foam would be slower reacting than the iComfort and feel quite a bit different even though it would still feel like memory foam (sinking in more slowly). If you did go to OMF … I would make sure to compare their latex supreme to the memory foam.

I would seriously consider testing a few types of memory foam and latex and then going to the next step after you have compared the feel of different memory foams with latex. Because of your weight … I would be VERY hesitant about buying any mattress which had less than 5 lb memory foam. This would exclude all the Enso’s and while the iComfort does use two different types of 5lb memory foam … the Gel memory foam layers would be closer IMO to the durability of 4 lb memory foam and any polyfoam in the upper layers would have a lower durability as well. I know that 4 lb memory foam may feel nicer (slightly faster reacting and not as motion restricting) but it is not a great choice for larger weights.

I would avoid layers that were thicker than you need (in spite of the temptation). The layer thickness that is most appropriate depends partly on your weight (which I know) and also a great deal on your sleeping positions (which I don’t know). If your comfort layers are too thick or the support layers aren’t firm enough … you may pay the price with back issues from misalignment. The closer to the support layers you are the better (with just enough cushioning above the support to relieve pressure in your typical sleeping positions).

I would also test mattresses together rather than separately as it will feel different to both of you (but especially her) when you are on the mattress together.


In case people don’t tell you this often enough: You are extremely helpful! I really appreciate it.

The more I read about a mattresses’ “comfort layers” being the first things to wear out, the more I like and come back to the idea of buying an “ultra firm” mattress with a quality topper we could replace if/when the need arises.

Amongst “name brands”, are there any “ultra firm” innerspring mattresses with very little polyfoam you recommend? Where do you recommend buying high-quality 3" toppers? What brands? (Or should I buy the topper we try at the store?)

More so than buying a mattress that is uncomfortable (“uncomfortable” has no meaning to me…I have been sleeping on a 35-year-old coil mattress!), my worry is buying a mattress that wears out prematurely (due to my weight or any other reason). Because of that, I’ll eliminate Enso’s mattresses and the iComforts from my list.

Does latex have an equivalent “5lb memory foam density” requirement I should look for, if we test latex and decided we like them?

That would be really helpful!

So this is another reason to rule out iComfort’s “Revolution” (besides the foam density)? Laying on it was incredibly comfortable, but even as I was enjoying the “sinking in” feeling I wondered if I really needed to be sinking in THAT much. I could see alignment issues arising.

I am a back (and sometimes side) sleeper. From what I have read, I know back sleepers typically prefer plusher mattresses. My fiancee…I don’t know. As I mentioned originally, we are what most would call old fashioned. I have zero idea whether she is a back, side or stomach sleeper. I will ask her.

We will be doing that this Wednesday. From recent conversation, it appears she doesn’t need/like as soft a mattress as I previously believed she did. This is good, since she is so much lighter than me…“soft” to her will feel super-duper soft to me. But I’ll have a much better idea after Wednesday.


At this point, I am liking the 1) ultra-firm mattress and add high quality 3" topper idea and the 2) OMF’s memory foam mattress (if we like its equivalent, the Tempur-pedic Rhapsody…and if we travel to the nearest OMF one Saturday and like it in person) idea.

But out of convenience and budgetary reasons, and this may change after we mattress shop on Wednesday, I’m leaning towards idea #1. In which case, knowing which name-brand “ultra firm” mattresses are recommended will be extremely helpful!

Thank you again for your time and help, Phoenix.

Hi typesomethingwitty,

Thank you … it always feels good to hear it :slight_smile:

This approach would only be worthwhile IMO if an outlet had both an ultra firm mattress and a topper in the same location so that you could test them together. If one has to be bought separately … there would be no way to test them together until after you had bought it so it would make more sense to buy them both online because your options are much greater and the value would be better.

There are several ways to get to an “ultra firm” mattress with an innerspring which is what you would be looking for. Some involve an ultra firm innerspring with softer foam on top which would be called “ultra firm” because the foam is soft enough that a person would feel the firmness of the innersprings. Another way to get there would involve less firm innersprings but firmer foam on top so that the “ultra firm” feeling came from a combination of both the springs and the foam. The better option would be to choose a mattress with the “firm foam” approach with as thin a layer of firmer foam as possible) as the firmer foam would act as a “transition” between the memory foam and the innersprings.

These are very hard to find because a mattress that is suitable for a base layer would be firmer than most people would even consider buying and may still have more foam of the wrong type or firmness to be “ideal” for the mattress and topper approach. I would use this as a way to buy locally if an outlet had the “ingredients” and if actual testing of a mattress vs. an online purchase was a very strong preference even if it was significantly more expensive than other options. The goal would be to find an ultra firm that preferably had 2" of less of firmer foam (which would become the transition layer). A little more (say 3" of firm foam) would move it away further from the ideal but may still be worth considering. Many manufacturers make a mattress like this but because they are like sleeping on a rock … not a lot of stores may carry them. It is easier to find a mattress like this by asking about construction (do you have an ultra firm innerspring mattress with 2" or less of polyfoam in it that feels like a rock) than by asking for a “name brand” because major brands tend to have many different names for the same mattress (in some cases several dozen).

A similar option that may have more benefits, fewer disadvantages (less unwanted foam) and better value and would give you a more traditional memory foam mattress would be buying a mattress that has removeable and exchangeable layers inside a zip cover. With a mattress like this … there is no unwanted foam and the top layers are just as replaceable as a topper (unzip the cover, replace the layer, zip the cover back up). These type of “choose your own layers” are very popular but they are more common with latex than with memory foam. They also use polyfoam support cores rather than innersprings (like most memory foam mattresses including Tempurpedic and others). The “buy a firm innerspring mattress and a topper” approach would give you a “hybrid” mattress and would be great if you had a preference for the feel of memory foam over an innerspring rather than a more traditional memory foam mattress. Otherwise … memory foam tends to do better with a foam support base. Post #5 in this thread which I just posted earlier today includes some links to some very good options with customizable memory foam mattresses.

[quote]More so than buying a mattress that is uncomfortable (“uncomfortable” has no meaning to me…I have been sleeping on a 35-year-old coil mattress!), my worry is buying a mattress that wears out prematurely (due to my weight or any other reason). Because of that, I’ll eliminate Enso’s mattresses and the iComforts from my list.

Does latex have an equivalent “5lb memory foam density” requirement I should look for, if we test latex and decided we like them?[/quote]

There are 3 “good” types of latex which are all exceptionally durable and would make good choices. The first is made with a process called the Talalay process and uses raw materials that are partly natural latex (NR or natural rubber) and partly synthetic latex (SBR). This is called blended Talalay. Talalay can also be made with all natural latex (no synthetic) and this too is very high quality. Finally there is a second less costly process called Dunlop which is a denser version of latex which is less “lively”, less consistent in it’s surface softness, and comes in fewer softness options (none of which are as soft as the softest talalay). Good quality Dunlop is also exceptionally durable and high quality but in this case I would only consider 100% natural Dunlop and would tend to avoid blended Dunlop. There is more about this in the article here. As the article mentions … the only one of these three that I would hesitate with in terms of durability is 100% natural Talalay in the softest ILD’s (below about 20 ILD). I wouldn’t hesitate to use all other softness levels in any of these three types (NR or blended Talalay or NR Dunlop) and all of them are more durable than even high quality memory foam.

There are 5 manufacturing members of this site that specialize in latex mattresses that either offer a choice of comfort layers or that are “choose your own layer” types of mattresses. Post #21 here has a list and brief description of them if you decide to go in the latex direction instead of memory foam.

Yes … this would be a good reason for most people to avoid it. Typical mattresses sales outlets today cater to the temporary and managed showroom feel of “comfort” rather than pressure relief, support, and preferences tailored to an individual. Their goal is usually to sell you more foam (meaning higher prices and more profit) with a story attached to justify the price rather than a more suitable mattress. There are always exceptions and there may be a few that do well with layers of memory foam that thick but in general mattresses that are bought strictly for comfort and with the idea that thicker is better will only feel comfortable for the shorter term and in the longer term will likely have issues with alignment/support and the premature breakdown of the mattress.

Side sleepers actually need the thickest (plushest) comfort layers because there are more “bony protrusions” such as hips, the pelvic crest, and shoulders that need pressure relief and the “gaps” in the side sleeping profile that need filling in are bigger. Back sleeping needs thinner comfort layers (less plush) and stomach sleeping needs the firmest and thinnest comfort5 layers of all. There is an article here with some guidelines for different weights and an article here with some guidelines for different sleeping positions.

[quote]At this point, I am liking the 1) ultra-firm mattress and add high quality 3" topper idea and the 2) OMF’s memory foam mattress (if we like its equivalent, the Tempur-pedic Rhapsody…and if we travel to the nearest OMF one Saturday and like it in person) idea.

But out of convenience and budgetary reasons, and this may change after we mattress shop on Wednesday, I’m leaning towards idea #1. In which case, knowing which name-brand “ultra firm” mattresses are recommended will be extremely helpful![/quote]

So now I’ve gone and given you an option #3 which may be the best value of all which is a “choose your own layer” in either memory foam/poly or latex with options available to customize both before and after purchase to reduce the risk.

Hopefully this LONG post has given you all the options you may ever need but if not keep the questions coming :slight_smile:


You’re welcome!

Such mattresses exist?? I love this idea. The notion of having a mattress we could open up, her side of the bed having several layers of differing firmness levels and my side of the mattress having its own layers of differing firmness levels is highly appealing. If I wanted it softer and she wanted it firmer, we could swap a layer. I like this idea.

On the list of online resources you wrote in another thread that offered mattresses with interchangeable layers, would one make more sense for me than another? Sleep EZ’s Select Sleep 10,000 latex mattress offers three 3" layers for $1,995 in a King. Overnight Mattress.com offers a wide array of memory foam and latex mattress (although their memory foam only is 4lb density), with their latex offerings ranging from $1,199 to $1,799 in King sizes. But, you can “only” interchange the top layer.

With our different sizes, having my fiancee’s side different from mine could ensure neither one of us would have to make sacrifices.

In one of the other threads you linked to, you wrote:

A King latex mattress from this Amazon seller is $700. Assuming we like the feel of latex (we’ll follow your suggestion to try one out tomorrow night when we’re mattress browsing), this price tag is extremely, extremely appealing.

Two questions regarding this option:

  1. This is probably a “duh!” question, but the $700 is for the mattress only, right? Do latex mattress need box springs? What kind of foundation do they go on?

  2. As a couple who (as you know) is used to sleeping on 30 year old and 35 year old, respectively, coil mattresses, if we like the feel of latex we’re likely going to LOVE this mattress if it’s as good quality as you say. Should I just go this route and forgo the customization* (at higher price points) options in the mattresses we talked about above?

*(The entire mattress would be the same level of firmness (no “his side” and “her side”). We also couldn’t open up the mattress to swap out layers, if the need arose. Is this correct?)

Wow, you must be getting tired of all my questions! Thank you so much.

Hi typesomethingwitty,

I’m happy to answer as many as I can. For every question you have … there will be many more reading (hopefully) with the same question so the more that are asked the more helpful the forum will be. Eventually many of the forum posts will be “revised” and aggregated into articles on the main site so people don’t have to do quite as much searching and the information will be more “categorized” and organized.

Yes, there many manufacturers that specialize in mattresses like this where you can “choose your own layers” and have each side of the mattress made differently. The link in my earlier post includes several like this which specialize mainly in memory foam and post #21 here lists the 5 manufacturing members of this site which specialize in shipping mattresses across the country with different types of “exchanges” available. 4 of these are “choose your own layer” types of mattresses with zip covers … one that focuses on innersprings/latex and the other 3 mostly on all latex layers. There are differences between them in terms of differing levels of customization and different types of standard layering and the “degree of accuracy” that can be achieved but all of them have great value in their price ranges and they are an ideal choice if there are no local manufacturers in an area that offer similar value.

They also give people a chance to become more involved in the design of their mattress depending on the degree of research, testing and “risk” they are comfortable with. Some of my thoughts about the choices and tradeoffs that are involved in buying a mattress this way are in the last part of post #12 and in post #16 in this thread.

Just for the sake of clarity … overnight mattress offers 3 different memory foam densities for the comfort layer of their mattresses (3, 4, and 5.3 lb), 8 different Talalay latex firmness levels, and a gel memory foam option (similar to the iComfort). Any of these can be exchanged for another at no cost after purchase.

The one that would “make the most sense” is the one that is most suitable for your personal PPP (pressure relief, posture and alignment, and preferences) in terms of layer thickness and layer firmness levels. Some general guidelines for different weights are here and for different sleeping positions are here. Of course all of this needs to fit within your preferred budget. Even the best mattress in the world may not be suitable for a particular person because of all the individual factors that make one mattress suitable for one person but not another.

SleepEz and the other “choose your own layer” types of mattresses that are available through the members of this site all offer different designs and degrees of customizing their mattresses. The different approaches involved in going in this direction are to A) either do enough field testing and research into layering schemes and how they interact with different heights, weights, sleeping positions, and preferences that you in effect design your own mattress and tell them what you want or B) go by their recommendations which are based on “averages” that people with similar body weights and shapes, sleeping positions, and preferences tend to prefer or C) a combination of both.

There’s no “duh” questions … only unasked ones :). Yes this is mattress only.

Latex mattresses will do best on a firm, rigid, and supportive slatted or grid base unlike most innerspring mattresses which do best on a shock absorbing type of base like an innerspring or semi-flex base.

If the base is a foundation with wood slats … the slats should be a maximum of 3" apart (preferably less).

If the base is a metal wire grid, then the grid should have a close enough pattern to support the mattress without the latex sinking into the grid.

There’s more about some less expensive options in post #2 here and there’s also a link there to a more detailed post with a wider variety of options.

I think this depends entirely on the many factors in each person’s “value equation”. This is certainly a good option as long as the mattress is suitable for each person who will be sleeping on the mattress but the more customizable options can also be very desireable to many people because they they allow for a much wider range of layering and combinations of pressure relief, support, and preferences. How good is good?

In the end you are at the point where all your options are good ones and they really involve a choice of how many of the benefits that are available to you are important vs the price in time and money they will cost. At least with the online options there’s little travelling involved (except perhaps for some local testing if you want to become more involved in the design of your mattress) and you can do your mattress shipping on the phone talking with some great people who are more than willing to share their skills and knowledge with you while you sip on your coffee :slight_smile:


Glad my questions will (hopefully) help others!

I must be missing something then. Everywhere I look on Overnight Mattress’s website, be it the “What is the density of your memory foam?” question in their FAQ section or the “Item Details” of one of their memory foam mattresses, indicates 4lb density.

Have they changed the memory foam density options they offer, or am I looking in the wrong place?

I went to our local Badcock during my lunch break today. Don’t know if the 2" of polyfoam on top threw me off, or if that’s just how latex mattresses feel, but it felt like a normal mattress to me! I’m assuming this is a good thing. :slight_smile:

I have also confirmed with my fiancee that she does not have a latex allergy, something I obviously needed to know before seriously considering one of the latex options you supplied on Amazon, Sleep EZ or Overnight Mattresses.


We both like the feel of memory foam, and assuming Overnight Mattress still offers 5.3lb and 8lb density options, their “Cool Bamboo” mattress for $799 is really appealing.

It has 5" of foam support in 2.1lb density, 1" of medium (1.8lb) foam support, and then the 3" comfort layer. No added, unnecessary foam layers you’ve warned us readers to avoid. And the 3" comfort layer on her side can be a different firmness than my side. Anything I’ve missed?

Thank you again for your help during this process. Tonight’s the night my fiancee and I will go test mattresses. Hopefully we’ll get a good sense of what we like and don’t like.

Hi typesomethingwitty,

I don’t think that you’re missing something that is on their site but the site doesn’t explain the options that are available very well. I know this because the information I shared about the choices in their comfort layer and how their “exchange after purchase” options work came from a lengthy conversation with them rather than information that was on their site. I also told them (and he agreed) that their site doesn’t do a great job of explaining all the options that they have or how the after sale exchange process works.

I have to correct my previous information as well in terms of their memory foam (after checking my notes) and their memory foam options are 3, 4. and 5.3 lb not the 4, 5.3, and 8 lb options I mentioned. Their 5.3 lb foam is a little “firmer” (at least as much as any memory foam can be firm) than the norm at 18 ILD. I would avoid all 3 lb memory foam options.

If you order a mattress from them that includes this option (such as the ones on this page which show "Firmness Options: 12), then you can exchange the top layer for any of the others at no cost (within their timeframe). They charge you a $199 deposit (to make sure you return the old layer) and ship you the new layer and a paid label for sending back the old layer. Once they receive the old layer back, they refund your deposit.

Their “normal” memory foam recommendation is often the 4 lb because it has the best combination of softness, response, and durability that many people like. Many of the options that they offer (including latex) are newer and their site hasn’t fully caught up yet with their option descriptions.

Latex feels much closer to polyfoam that is in more “normal” mattresses than it does memory foam. It is an instant reacting foam but it is more shape conforming, pressure relieving, and durable than polyfoam of a similar firmness level. Many manufacturers add a layer of soft polyfoam on top of latex to give the mattress a softer “hand feel”, and to fill out the quilting layers with a cheaper material. Because latex can feel a little bit firmer than the lower quality ultra soft top polyfoam layers that many people are used to … it also creates a perception in a showroom that is closer to what many people are used to so a layer of soft polyfoam on top can sell more mattresses to people who go by how the quilting looks (appearances), how the mattress feels when they push down on it with their hands, or who go by initial impressions or somewhat vague notions of “softness”.

Latex allergies are exceptionally rare in a latex mattress even for those who are allergic to latex. There are several reasons for this. The first is that the allergy is typically to certain proteins in latex which are mostly removed in the process of making foam (rather than the latex in gloves or other latex products where the latex isn’t foamed but coated or solid). Secondly the vast majority of those who have a latex allergy are of the “contact” or Type IV variety rather then the much more serious Type 1 variety which can involve the more dangerous anaphylactic symptoms (like those who can get in serious trouble with a bee sting). Latex in a mattress is covered by a ticking and sheets so even those who may be sensitive to the low level of proteins remaining in a foam are generally not affected. Many manufacturers … even those who have been making mattresses for decades … will tell you they have never seen a real case of latex allergy to a mattress in their career. Having said that … latex is so endemic that those who have the type 1 allergy will generally know it (latex is everywhere) and they should certainly avoid all forms of latex in their environment, car, restaurants (gloves used for food handling) etc.

This would be my preferred choice of their models as well for the very reasons that you mentioned (no unnecessary layers of foam and fiber on top which IMO detract from the mattress rather than add to it). Assuming that you would do well with a 3" comfort layer of some type in combination with the support layers which are “standard” in all their mattresses … then they would certainly represent good value and have good options.


Hello Phoenix! We did our mattress shopping/browsing last evening, and here is where we are now:

1) Because we couldn’t test out any latex mattresses to see if we like them (we looked and looked, but only Badcock had anything close), we’ve eliminated latex as an option. We filed this one under the “better safe than sorry” category.

2) We both do like memory foam. Using Tempur-pedic as the test case:

  • I liked both the firmer RhapsodyBed and the softer Cloud. However, I liked the Cloud better.

  • She didn’t like the RhapsodyBed as much as I did, and greatly preferred the softer feel of the Cloud.

3) During my research of the “name brand” innerspring mattresses available for us to test locally, I had zeroed in on Simmons Beautyrest Elite. To my surprise, I liked their plush-firm better than their plush mattresses. To my even greater surprise (since she preferred the softer memory foam), my fiancee preferred the plush-firm, too.

The takeaways:

1) Overnight Mattress’s “Cool-Bamboo” memory foam mattress would be “moderate risk, high reward” option at $800 (mattress only).

Pros: The price is a bargain. We’d be getting only high-quality materials, with none of the “filler” typically stuffed into mattresses. If we choose the wrong firmness level, Overnight Mattress will let us exchange it within the first 120 days. If we like memory foam as much night after night as we did those few minutes in the store, we’ll be pampering ourselves.

Cons: We might not like it night after night. One of us might “sleep hot” on memory foam. A mattress that consists solely of 6" of support and 3" of comfort layer might be so different than what we’re used to, we don’t like it as much as we liked the Tempur-pedics.

2) The “safe” choice would be for us to buy the “Simmons Beautyrest Elite Copacabana Plush Firm” mattress from Sears for $966 (mattress only).

Pros: It’s an innerspring, which is what we’re already used to. We got to try a Beautyrest Elite in person, so we know we like the “plush-firm” comfort layer of Simmons. There’s no chance of either one of us “sleeping hot” on it, like there is with memory foam. To our novice sensibilities, it seems like a very nice mattress we’ll be happy with for the next 8 years or so.

Cons: It’s not as good a mattress, or as good a bargain, as the memory foam.

So, that’s where we are. My fiancee’s preference is the known entity, the Beautyrest. I kind of like the idea of “gambling” on the memory foam.

Thoughts? Comments? Thank you for your tremendous help during this process!

Final Question (updated):

Does this mean, then, that getting the Overnight Mattress’s Cool-Bamboo in 5.3 lb foam would result in a “firmer” memory foam mattress along the lines of the RhapsodyBed we tried?

With her not liking the relative firmness of the RhapsodyBed, and my needing the extra density of 5.3 lb foam due to my size, choosing this option would result in her having a mattress not as soft as she liked, correct?

Hi typesomethingwitty,

OK. If you can find latex to test then this may come back into play but for now it’s off. This leaves memory foam or polyfoam in terms of foam layers used in a mattress.

The Cloud series uses a combination of 4 LB memory foams (which are a little faster reacting and less “stuck in the mattress” feeling but less durable than the denser foams. For someone who is not particularly heavy this is often a good compromise, especially when the 4 lb layer is thinner. For someone who is over say 200 lbs … then the durability issue may be more important and generally I would choose denser foams. Tempurpedic is also a “safe” choice because it is known good quality memory foam but it is also a more expensive choice than other memory foams of similar quality.

This may not be so surprising. The Tempur cloud has soft memory foam over a firmer support core (thinner suppport cores are firmer than thicker). This is soft over firm or "plush/firm. The Beautyrest Elite is also soft over firm. In this case the “soft” is a thicker layer of some low density polyfoam (all 1.5 lb or less) and some 5 lb memory foam over the firm which is the firmer version of their pocket coils. In this case though the lower density polyfoam will not likely be as durable as most 4 lb memory foam and if you get 8 “good” years out of this I’d be shocked.

The tempurpedic cloud is a 2.8" comfort layer over a 5.2" support core. That’s not much different from the Cool-Bamboo in it’s overall construction (3" over 6"). The Bamboo has a choice of 12 options in the comfort layer so you can exchange if it’s not right. Even if you choose softer 4 lb form and it wears out early after a few years … you can replace it with a new layer without buying a whole new mattress. It’s also higher quality foam in the comfort layers than any of the plush/firm Beautyrest Elites (they each have a different mix of foam in the quilting and comfort layers but all of them have IMO way too much soft low density polyfoam). The support core is 2.1 lb polyfoam … a little better than the Beautyrest but just below the Tempur.

In terms of how it feels or how it compares to what you’re used to, it may be the safe choice. In terms of it’s durability and the quality of the foams though … it’s the most risky choice of all of them. With low density foam … the feel that you like (and makes it safe) won’t last nearly as long as higher quality foams.

I personally believe that there are likely better options even locally than either the Tempur Cloud (good quality materials, poor value) and the Beautyrest (the weak link and the reason for poor value is the lower quality foams even though it has other higher quality foams and innerspring as part of the mix).

I would always avoid any mattress where the quality/density of the foams they use are either known low quality or unknown (which means probably lower quality) which for me would rule out the vast majority of major brand mattresses.


Thank you again! You have been saying similar things over and over since the beginning, but I think they have finally gotten through to me…

And therein lies the rub. I’m too frugal to knowingly buy a mattress that costs $166 more than another mattress of better quality and durability! It’d be one thing if I didn’t know the Beautyrest Elite had “weak links” that would compromise the comfort of the mattress in a few years. But I do know. And there’s just no way I can bring myself to knowingly pay more for an inferior mattress.

So a Cool-Bamboo with 3" of 5.3 lb comfort layer over 6" of 2.1 lb polyfoam would actually be more durable than the Tempur-pedic Cloud’s 2.8" of 4 lb over 5.2" of (a tad bit) better support core?

What would be a reasonable life expectancy for the Cool-Bamboo?

In your opinion – due to my fiancee preferring the softer feel of the Cloud’s 4 lb memory foam, due to her being barely 100 pounds, and due to me needing as dense a memory foam as possible due to my size – would getting the Cool-Bamboo with split comfort layers, her’s in a softer 4 lb memory foam and mine in the denser 5.3 lb, be a good idea? Or would we find her side wearing out prematurely?

I think…

…I have finally seen the light. All evidence says that there is a far less chance I’ll be disappointed in the Cool-Bamboo mattress than the Beautyrest Elite. So, I’m ready. Now I just need to figure out the following:

1) Foundation/Box Springs. I had no idea box springs cost so much. Add to that getting a new bed frame (so the box spring + mattress combo isn’t sitting on the floor) and it gets pricier. So…what is your opinion on platform beds that would eliminate the need for box springs?

This one and this one, both from Wal-Mart, cost less than box springs. The former is $105, the latter $169. Would they work with memory foam mattresses? Both seem as though they would properly allow the mattress to breathe.

2) A topper, such as wool. With the wedding approaching, we’ll have wedding gifts coming our way. One of these could easily be a 1" wool topper for our mattress. If we each got a 5.3 lb comfort layer, would a wool topper provide the “soft” feeling my fiancee liked with the Tempur-pedic Cloud? Do such things even go on top of memory foam mattresses? And would 1" of wool throw things off on my side too much (i.e. I sink down too far, putting me out of alignment)?

3) How to order the 5.3 lb memory foam? As you have likely seen, the “firmness” options for the Cool-Bamboo mattress on their website are “half and half”, “medium” and “medium-plush.” You have mentioned numerous times the choice of 12 comfort layer options. How…does that work? How do I choose the 5.3 lb option?

You’ve been such a help. Thank you!

Hi typesomethingwitty,


This is an impossible question to answer in specific terms because there are so many variables involved including the weight of the person on the mattress, the amount of movement on the mattress, the thickness of the layers and what is under and over them, the sleeping environment in terms of heat and humidity and other factors, and the differences in the foams made by different manufacturers and even the differences in various types of similar foams made by the same manufacturer. Once the initial softening process is over as well after the first few weeks … memory foam will soften more gradually over a longer time and how long a mattress is useful to a specific person will also depend on how long it takes for the softening process to put someone “over the line” that makes a mattress suitable or unsuitable for their needs and preferences.

Having said all that … I think a reasonable expectation for a high quality 5 lb or greater memory foam is 10 - 12 years and this could be more or less depending on all the variables. There are many instances of memory foam lasting both longer and shorter than this depending on the use and person. 4 lb foam … especially the newer generation foams … are also high quality and it would be reasonable to expect them to last a few years less all other factors being equal.

I personally would rather use a 4 lb foam if it was noticeably more comfortable and effective for me in a mattress where I could replace it than use a less effective and comfortable memory foam layer that wasn’t as suitable for my own needs and preferences. In a mattress where the top layer couldn’t be replaced … I would put more emphasis on durability.

If I was in your shoes this is probably the choice I would make. She is lighter and foam will usually last longer for lighter people given all the other variables I mentioned previously. Of course I would personally choose latex over memory foam but that’s an issue of my own references and which of the different qualities of latex and memory foam are most important to me … not an issue of which is “best” for anyone else.

In terms of a foundation … there are many different versions of your first link and I think that most of them would be suitable. They are mostly similar but I’ve noticed that some have a wire grid pattern that is smaller and more supportive (I’ve seen from 5 - 11 longitudinal wires) than others and they also come with various different options. There are a wide variety of different prices available through Walmart, Amazon, and Google searches. The one that appears to have the closest spaced grid is here but it’s more expensive. closer spacing would be more important for a more elastic latex core than it would be with firmer polyfoam.

I would avoid the type in your second link (no reinforcement on the legs and I’ve seen some reports that they are more prone to failure).

Most people would add a thin breathable/waterproof membrane type of protector such as Protect-a-bed or Luna (2 of many brands for similar products) to a memory foam mattress because it’s a good compromise between waterproof protection and breathability and they also have less effect on the foam below them. Because memory foam is heat sensitive … a wool protector will isolate the memory foam more from the body heat and the foam underneath will be firmer. It’s advantage is more breathability and a better microclimate but wool in general will create a firmer sleeping surface with a memory foam mattress. Of course this may be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on the mattress and the person. Wool is less pressure relieving than foam even though it will add some local cushioning to various points of the body and because it decreases the ability of softer foam to conform and distribute pressure … the net effect for most will be a firmer mattress.

To order the foam I would just call them and discuss your comfort layer choices (3 choices in memory foam, 8 in latex, and one gel memory foam) and then have them place the order for you. In practical terms of course … the firmest latex options (if you do choose to go there) would not be the likely choice for most people and one of the lower 4 firmness levels would be the most practical. Out of their 3 memory foam options … I would eliminate the 3 lb option and choose between the 4 and 5.3 lb. I would tend to avoid the gel memory foam. This all means that in more practical terms you would be choosing one of half a dozen options. The person I talked with the last time I talked with them was Vladimir and he was very knowledgeable and we had a good conversation.

Hope this helps … and it seems like you are getting very close.


Hello, Phoenix! Thanks again for your help. I’m nearing the finish line…

I called Overnight Mattress and discovered the following:

1) Their “medium” firmness on the Cool-Bamboo memory foam mattress has a 4.5 lb density. (Their “medium-plush” is a 3.7 lb density.)

2) You cannot order their 5.3 lb density online. You have to call to order.

3) To order the entire 3" topper (King size) in 5.3 lb density, it is an extra $113. The man I talked to described this mattress as “quite firm.”

4) To order HALF the 3" topper (King size) in 5.3 lb density and the OTHER HALF in 4.5 lb density (aka their “medium” firmness), it is an extra $150. The man said this is due to the extra work involved.


You’ve said repeatedly 5lb density is recommended for someone my size. You’ve said, in your opinion, that “comfort is king” when you’re dealing with a mattress where the topper can be replaced (otherwise durability is king). I know I would not enjoy a “quite firm” mattress. I know my fiancee wouldn’t enjoy such a mattress given her love of the Tempur-pedic Cloud when we were browsing. And I know I wouldn’t enjoy the $113 or $150 extra to pay for this “quite firm” mattress. (The budget is tight, very tight, due to the upcoming wedding.)

Given all the above…

Is the 4.5 lb density “medium” firmness a good compromise? It fits my budget, it should be soft enough for her, plenty soft enough for me, and the density (hopefully) of 4.5 lb is adequate. And, if it wears out prematurely due to my size, we can unzip the top and replace it.

The only other option that is good quality, that fits my budget, would be re-exploring latex (specifically, the $700 Amazon seller you recommended).

Partly because I imagine ANY good mattress will feel comfortable to me (due to my current 35-year-old innerspring), I am reasonably certain I would enjoy a latex mattress despite never having tried one. And I like that it is $100 cheaper than the Overnight Mattress Cool-Bamboo (though I DO lose the interchangeability offered in the Cool-Bamboo).

Should I reconsider latex, or just turn off my brain and go the Overnight Mattress route?

I am buying a mattress, one way or another, by the end of today. Thank you so much for your help, Phoenix.

Hi typesomethingwitty,

Thanks for the extra details about Overnight Mattress :slight_smile:

Sometimes the final details can be the most agonizing and end up taking longer than the other 90% of the process that gets you there. I know the feeling well!

On a personal level … I think this would be a good compromise. Memory foam and polyfoam go through 3 stages of softening and breakdown. The first is a more rapid process that happens in the first few weeks (say maximum 90 days) of more rapid softening. Different formulations go through this more or less quickly. Once this initial softening period is over … the softening of the foam is much more gradual which is the second phase. The final phase is when the foam actually breaks down enough to start developing deeper impressions.

When you sleep on the mattress … if the first few weeks tell you that it is still suitable for your needs and preferences (hasn’t softened below your threshold or what works and feels good for you) then you are probably “safe” in terms of longer term comfort. While 4.5 lb foam won’t last quite as long as 5.3 lb foam … I think that for me personally it would be an acceptable “compromise”, especially with the ability to exchange it, and there are many people who prefer the less restrictive feeling of the slightly lower density foam. While it isn’t actually softer when you are sleeping and not moving (higher density is usually more pressure relieving once it conforms to your shape), it does feel softer with movement or with initial compression because it responds more quickly.

With that said … when final decisions are down to all good choices (and yours are) … I always encourage people to “trust their gut” and my “job” is done. If I saw something obvious or a glaring error in your thinking that I strongly believed you should take into account then I would certainly say so … but I don’t. You’ve identified the pros and cons of your final choices accurately. Your own experiences and how you approach the different tradeoffs of benefits vs risk is as unique to each person as a mattress itself.

The Benefits of the Overnight Mattress is the ability to exchange the comfort layer if either of you aren’t happy. You have enough time to do this to go through any initial softening period. You have the ability to switch it out for a different memory foam or latex if for some reason you decide that would be a better choice after your experience of sleeping on it. I didn’t ask them this but in looking at the different prices for the different top materials, I would assume that because their latex mattress has a higher price and the only difference is the top layer … the free exchange may only be between the same material and you may be asked to pay more if you switch from memory foam to latex (which would seem reasonable to me or everyone would buy memory foam and then switch to the more expensive material).

The benefits of the Ultimate Dreams is a very high quality and value latex/polyfoam hybrid for the price point … but the tradeoff is that you may not like latex and that you can’t exchange the layers (although you can choose different ILD’s initially).

The difference in price is currently $100 but this is somewhat of an apples to oranges comparison because one is memory foam and one is latex. The difference between the two latex versions would be $500.

So in the end the two main questions become …

Is the greater flexibility of the Overnight Mattress worth the difference in price ($100 if you like the memory foam choices and more if you do decide to switch to latex)?

Is a memory foam choice that I am somewhat familiar with worth passing by the greater durability and different, more instant reacting feeling of latex that is more of an unknown.

Once again … when all of your choices are good ones, I would trust your gut (over your brain :)). That’s where the “best” answer lives :slight_smile:



Once again, thank you for your advice! I wanted to let you (and anyone else who may have been following along) know which choices I made.

The foundation:

In lieu of box springs, which were way more than I expected (and would still have required a frame to get the box springs/mattress off the ground), I went for a platform bed frame. This one from Wal-Mart was only $105 for a King, and with a bed skirt you won’t even be able to see it. And since it’s Wal-Mart, I will easily be able to return it if for any reason it’s not to my liking.

The mattress protector:

Rather than a simple protector, I decided to get an encasement for the entire mattress for the extra protection. As you said, there were many choices in the “waterproof…somewhat breathable” line of encasements, and after a bit of research I opted for this one from SafeRest. Cotton Terry surface (important for my fiancee), doesn’t make noise when you move on it, and it shouldn’t interfere with the feel of the memory foam underneath. Amazon had it for a great price of $59.95 (with free shipping).

The mattress:

After much deliberation (Proof: Read this entire thread!), I chose Overnight Mattress’s Cool-Bamboo Memory Foam mattress in “medium” (4.5 lb density) firmness. With the 10% President’s Day sale, I was able to get a King size for $719.10 (shipping included). The price was the best of all the mattresses I considered, and the 4.5 lb density is a good compromise between the softer memory foam my fiancee prefers and the denser memory foam I need.

In closing…

The 120-Night comfort guarantee Overnight Mattress offers allows me to do something 99% of the population will likely think is silly: Wait to sleep on the mattress until my (then) wife is able to sleep on it, too. In other words, neither of us gets to sleep on it until we’re married and we both can sleep on it, together. I want this to be “our” mattress. So, that will happen in April, which still gives us plenty of time to test the mattress before the 120-day period is over.

Once it’s over, I will come back and update everyone. I have already put a reminder into my phone for the 1st of July!

Thank you, once again, for all your help!

Hi typesomethingwitty,

Thank you for sharing the details of all your choices and your steps along your “mattress and marriage journey”.

I have to say too that your story and the way you are planning to “test” the mattress together is heartwarming :slight_smile:

I also didn’t mention that I also really like the icon you chose … it’s great!

I’m looking forward to hearing about the “rest of the story” after your marriage and a few nights of sleeping on your new mattress.

Thanks again.