Advice for a budget


I have been reading through your site for a couple of weeks now and I must thank you for saving me from overspending on an iComfort. We live in an area with no local manufacturers (zip 16803) to my knowledge ever since Lemoyne Sleeper closed last year.

We have been testing out iComforts and Tempurs as that is all we have had to choose from in stores to test out. We both were drawn to the Tempur Cloud and Cloud Supreme. We also think we liked a Sealy latex (not sure of model), but it was only a twin size, so it was difficult for me especially to get a feel for something I couldn’t stretch out on.

I guess I should list our particulars:
Me: 6’-0"; 205lbs; primarily a side sleeper, some time on back, rarely on stomach
Wife: 5’-4" 170 lbs; same sleep pattern as me
Currently sleeping on a 8-9 yr old serta box spring (queen). I wake up frequently with pain in my hip, lower back, and my arm is frequently asleep to varying degrees. The wife wakes up with a sore upper and lower back. Neither of us has been sleeping well for the last year.

We are trying to keep our purchase under $1000 (we could go a little higher if necessary) if possible as we are in the midst of building a house and don’t have much extra right now, but our constant aches and interrupted sleep patterns from being sore dictate that we get a new mattress now.

With our budget, I know we are rather limited in selection. I am intrigued by the price of the Ultimate Dream (by Dreamfoam) latex mattress on amazon. However I know that my wife would prefer the less springy feel of memory foam based on her comments trying out the beds in town. Would a 2" memory foam topper (such as 2" of 4lb aerus) on top of the Ultimate Dream latex help with that?

Could we use our current boxspring as a foundation (it seems to be in good shape still) and spend a little more on a mattress without it hurting the sleep quality rather than buy a new foundation now? We could always buy a new foundation in 6-12 mos.

I checked out several of your preferred vendors and left a message for a couple regarding their advice for their own lines. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Hi km487,

It’s a shame about Lemoyne because they were the only factory direct in some of the areas that they served. Their website farewell message says a lot about the state of the industry and some of the challenges that are experienced by many local manufacturers.

There are quite a few factory directs within “about” a hundred miles or so but none are exactly local. Still it may be well worth talking to a few of them on the phone and giving them details of your preferences and circumstances to see what they may suggest and to see if your conversation justifies a drive for you. Some of them have very good quality and value in lower budget mattresses (although $1000 is not exactly low budget but more midrange which gives you more options).

Furniture Row® Store Locations - Store Hours & Addresses York and Broomall, PA. Johnstown, PA

Find an Original Mattress Factory Store Greensburg, PA.

I’m hoping this is a “mistake” and that you are sleeping on a Serta mattress on a box spring? I sure hope so because I’d hate to think what it would be like to sleep directly on a box spring for 8-9 years :slight_smile:

It seems to me that there is both pressure relief and alignment issues with your current mattress (or boxspring) based on the back pain and the numbness and joint pain. It’s clearly time for a replacement. The biggest issue for you will likely be “allowing” your shoulders (which are wider with most men but still much lighter than the pelvis) to sink in far enough for good pressure relief and with your wife the biggest issue would likely be “stopping” the hips and pelvis (which are wider and relatively heavier in most women) from sinking in too far for good alignment. Because you both spend time on your back and even some stomach … I would tend towards the “thin” and “firm” end of what is a typical comfort layer thickness for most side sleepers which is about 3-4". I would also tend towards a firmer support layer if you had the choice assuming the comfort layer provides enough pressure relief.

The 1.5" of polyfoam in the quilting of this mattress uses softer foam which would be softer and less springy than the latex but it still wouldn’t be anything like the feeling of memory foam. Adding 2" of memory foam to this mattress in addition to the latex and the quilting foam could also easily make the comfort layers too thick for best alignment. If I were to go in this direction I would likely choose a firmer comfort layer to compensate but it would be a little risky IMO. Bear in mind as well that 4 lb memory foam with heavier weights or areas will soften faster than denser 5 lb memory foam which could lead to either alignment issues or pressure issues (if you “go through” it to a much firmer layer below) more rapidly.

Using the box spring as a temporary measure would probably be OK if it was still very firm with no uneven, softer, or sagging spots but it would certainly change the feel of the mattress and could lead to alignment issues until you have a firm non flexible foundation under a foam mattress (latex or memory foam). Foam mattresses generally do best on a non flexible foundation unless they are built specifically for the flexibility of an “active” boxspring. Another temporary solution would be to cover the box spring with plywood (although this too is not a great idea in the long term IMO because it doesn’t allow the mattress to breathe like a slatted or metal grid foundation). Box springs are generally best with an innerspring mattress rather than a foam core mattress. There are some quite inexpensive foundations that you could purchase for around $200 or less that would be more suitable and wouldn’t affect the performance of the mattress as much. Some examples are here and here.

Your wife may also be OK with an all foam mattress (either polyfoam or latex) depending on whether the “springiness” in the mattresses she didn’t like so much was because of the innerspring or the foam on the top of the mattress. Most memory foam mattresses use polyfoam as a support layer which is the same as what is used in the Ultimate dreams. Of course latex (and polyfoam) is more “springy” than memory foam no matter what the support layers are because memory foam has much lower resilience and if this is the “springiness” she was referring to then she may not like any “instant response” type of foam.

If you are interested in trying out the feel of latex to get a sense of what the Ultimate dreams may feel like there are a couple of local outlets that may carry some mattresses that are worth testing.

Local outlets may require some phone calls (along the lines of this article) and asking some good questions first to get a sense of the knowledge and service levels or each outlet and to know whether they are able or willing to provide information about the quality of the materials in their mattresses. State College. Retailer that carries Noah’s Mattress (lower budget) and possibly White Lotus (they are listed on the White Lotus site) which may have better value other choices in the same price ranges. They are also listed on the Savvy Rest site which makes a “choose your own layer” latex mattress but these are not listed on their own site. Local retailer. Carries Restonic which makes latex, memory foam, and gel foam mattresses in their Healthrest line. I would call first to find out which they carry.

So to recap I would talk with some of the local manufacturers on the phone to get a clear sense of what they offer that may suit you and a sense of their overall level of knowledge and service. If your conversations lead to a clear sense that there are some “candidates” that sound very attractive then I would make the decision if it was worth the drive. I would also confirm that which version of “springiness” your wife doesn’t like (which you may already know) to see if it is worth including latex in your options. Other than this, the online manufacturers that are members of the site are also very good at matching your preferences and needs to the mattresses they make and many of them have options that allow for the re-arranging of layers or even layer exchanges.

This should give you some good choices and directions for your research.

Feel free to post with any other questions you may have along the way.


Thank you for the in depth response. I am very grateful for your dedication to this site and information about mattresses.

We do sleep on a mattress on top of our box spring… not the box spring directly. I’ll attribute that mistake to my lack of quality sleep!

Unfortunately the two local stores you mentioned we are already familiar with. Sleep Happens (Mattress Warehouse) carries the iComforts and Tempurs only. Wolf’s Furniture (where most of our furniture comes from) only carries traditional mattresses.

I will be calling Isoform tomorrow after work to talk to them. They are about an hour away from the in-laws, so it may work out. However, from reading up on them online, it seems that they may not have a ‘showroom’ of any sort to try out the beds even if I make the trip out to them. I’ll know for sure tomorrow. I also spoke with Rocky Mountain today who was very helpful. I will pursue the more local Isoform first as getting a mattress from 2-1/2 hours away is more convenient than one nearly across the country.

Thanks again, and I’ll post the results from my conversations soon.

I see its been a year since I first posted my question. I guess you could say I am picky (or indecisive) when it comes to buying a mattress.

We finally took the plunge and bought the Dreamfoam 13" Ultimate Dreams Gel Memory Mattress. We could not be happier with our purchase one month in. We felt better with less pain after one night of sleep. After two nights our pain was nearly gone. Within the first week all pain was gone and we stopped waking up in the middle of the night.

The bed is slightly firmer than the Tempurpedic Cloud Luxe that it is compared to. However, it is still very soft and comfortable to us.

My concerns about sleeping hot were completely unfounded. It actually feels like it sleeps cooler than our old Serta spring mattress. We still need to pick up a box foundation to replace the box spring. This may change the feel some, but I expect not much.

I want to thank you for your helpful advice and this site in general.

Hi km487,

Thanks for taking the time to write about your experiences and feedback and letting us know what you ended up choosing after a long mattress shopping journey :slight_smile:

It’s great to hear you made such a great choice and even though it’s a “good” month later … congratulations on your new mattress.

Sleeping well on a good mattress is certainly a lot more fun than shopping for one!