Aieee, so many choices. Best bang for the buck?

It took me months of research to buy my last car. Mattresses are even harder to shop for! Last time around I did a “cheaper pedic” build it yourself. I’m wanting to move up to a king size bed.

I have a steel 14" platform with headboard attachment coming from Wal-Mart (booo!) right now. But haven’t decided on a mattress or foundation.


Side sleeper
Prefer a semi-firm to firm mattress. The Tempurpedic Aullura bed I laid on felt perfect…just not the price.

I don’t mind building it myself, but having a hard time pulling the trigger on anything. I’m in a smaller town in TX and don’t have a factory close by (that I know of, zip is 75503). I can go to Dallas no problem.

I’d like to keep the bed under $1600. I’ve been looking at latex, but none of the sites (even the recommended ones) seem to make it easy :frowning: I’m not opposed to memory foam, I quite like the one I have now.

Right now I have a regular box spring, a 6" foam base, a 3" probably 4lb foam, 2" 4lb foam and a 1" super light top layer. I do get some…bounciness in certain activities that is helpful. Requires less effort if you know what I mean.

I’d like to get the bed a little higher. Right now It’s a 9" box spring and a 12" mattress. I’d kinda like it another foot up.

The cheaper the better. Being able to order online is a huge plus, as I really can’t travel to pick up a mattress right now. Does a foundation help with bounciness any? Like if I get a regular box spring, will a normally dead foam mattress become more springy? Does latex have more spring?

I’m still reading dozens of threads on here, but still can’t decide :frowning:

You folks, Phoenix in particular sound like you know your stuff. Where and what should I be looking at for the best bang for the buck? I’d be tickled with a $800 mattress if it’s 90% as good as a $1600 for example :smiley:

Hi BrunoPuntzJones,

I think the first post I would read is post #1 here. This will outline some steps you can take that can greatly increase the odds of finding the best mattress with the “best bang for the buck” … for you.

The key in this is the “for you” part because mattresses are as individual as people and each person has a different idea of what “bang for the buck” really means. Buying either the cheapest, the best value, or the most expensive mattress would all be money misspent if the mattress didn’t fit your needs and preferences. The goal is always to find the mattress that provides the pressure relief and support/spinal alignment you need and has the other preferences you want and are important to you. This can be done in any budget range but of course in higher budgets you will find better quality and more durable materials or more complex designs for those who need or prefer them. All of this is a series of tradeoffs between the pros and cons of every choice … including price.

As you can see from the linked post … the first step is to eliminate the worst choices … the next one is to gather some basic information so you know about the differences between different materials and types of mattresses … the next step is to research the better “local” outlets so you can begin to test the materials and the types of mattresses that you have been learning about and decide on which combinations of materials you prefer in “real life” … and the final step is to choose the one that best fits your needs and preferences at each manufacturer or retailer you are working with and make a final decision between them.

If your local retailers or manufacturers don’t have the type of value that you want (and there are not a lot of great choices in Texarkana that I could see) or if they can’t tell you the details of what is in their mattresses (and I would interview them first along the lines of this article) … then you can either go further away to the ones that are more open and transparent and have better value or you can work with some of the better online retailers or manufacturers. You can still test different types of mattresses at local retailers to get a better sense of the general types of mattresses that you prefer (such as slow response comfort materials like memory foam or gel foam or fast response like latex or polyfoam and an innerspring support core or a polyfoam or latex support core).

At this point you will know the type of mattress that you generally prefer and you could either call the retailers or manufacturers that are further away to make sure they carry the types of mattresses that you are considering at a reasonable price or you could work with one of the recommended online manufacturers and go by their guidance and suggestions that “on average” would be suitable for your body type, sleeping style, and any other feedback that was important based on your local testing. They are all very good to work with and are well worth talking to on the phone once you know the general types of materials that you prefer.

Of course your other option would be to do it yourself without the guidance of a retailer or manufacturer but since you have a “model” that you know you like you should be able to approximate it to some degree (depending on how much you know about the details of the foams you purchased last time).

The manufacturers that are closest to you are in the Little Rock area in post #2 here and in the Dallas/Fort worth area in post #4 here.

The members of this site that specialize in online sales and will work with you on the phone to help you decide between the models or options they carry are in post #21 here. If you are considering memory foam … then there are a few additional options in post #12 here.

If you do decide to go on your own without the help and guidance of a manufacturer or retailer and just order the materials that you believe may be close to the mattress you have now … then there are some suppliers of various materials listed in post #4 here that you could talk to that can supply the layers or components you want.


Thanks a ton for the pointers, had read almost all of them. Seems I can’t really find exactly what I’m wanting, so may have to piece together?

I really, really liked the Tempurpedic Allura bed. Would like a clone of it. Looking online, I find that it is:

One Approx. 2" pillow-top TEMPUR-HD Comfort Layer (7.0 lb/ft3 density)
One Approx. 2.8" TEMPUR Support Layer (5.3 lb/ft density)
Two Approx. 4.3" AirFlow System™ Base Layers (2.2 lb/ft density)

I’m thinking of a 2" 7lb 14ILD “plush” memory foam layer (I can’t find anyone that has this product/topper?) Or a 2" 14ILD latex topper

Then a 3" 5.3lb memory foam layer or 3" latex 24 ILD.
Then 6" of firm (33ILD) latex base. Or 3" latex 33ILD and a 3" basic foam base (like 44ILD?)

How do you think that looks? Throw it all in a good cover. Trying to mimic the Allura bed, best bed I’ve ever been on. But don’t want to swing almost $7k for a king.

Hi BrunoPuntzJones,

The materials you are considering are certainly high quality but they would not be anything like the Allura which uses completely different materials. Slow response memory foam is nothing like fast response latex and polyfoam and latex also have a very different feel and performance.

You can read more about the challenges involved in trying to match a mattress in post #2 here and post #2 here goes into even more detail yet about the difficulties involved trying to “match” one mattress to another … especially with memory foam which has hundreds of variations.

As you can see … to match the Allura with your own choice of materials would involve knowing the exact specs of the Allura layers (which aren’t available anyway) and then you would have to choose similar materials with the same specs made by different manufacturers which would also be a real challenge … even if you knew the specs of the Allura.

I should also mention that ILD has little meaning with memory foam (except as a rough comparison to one property of other types of memory foam) because the ILD of memory foam will vary with heat, humidity, length of time it is compressed, and the speed of compression. 14 ILD with memory foam is not the same as 14 ILD with Talalay latex.

If I was looking to match the Allura … I would work with one of the manufacturers that makes and sells memory foam mattresses that are listed in post #12 here. Select Foam has specifically designed their lineup to match the different Tempurpedic models (including the Allura) and Rocky Mountain mattress can do custom layering and may also be able to help you “match” the feel of the Allura to some degree. Both of them would be well worth talking to.


Hi BrunoPuntzJones,

I was looking around the Texarkana area and there is a manufacturer that is local to you that would be well worth including in your research. I wanted to talk with them first before I listed them and had a chance to do so today. They are … I talked with the owner Wayne here and they make innerspring, latex, and memory foam mattresses that use good quality materials and have good value. I was somewhat surprised to find a manufacturer that I didn’t know about. They are a mom and pop manufacturer that doesn’t have a website. They make mattresses and upholstered furniture and they also make a lot of mattresses for trucking companies but will supply consumers as well. He is knowledgeable and helpful and very much in line with the thoughts and ideas that are on this site but they don’t have an actual showroom where you can test mattresses so they usually suggest some local testing to get a sense of the type of materials that you prefer and they will use your testing along with body type and sleeping position to make suggestions about a mattress and the type of materials that would suit you best.

Thanks for “inspiring” some local research that uncovered them :slight_smile:


Thanks guy. I’ve been out of town on business so haven’t had a chance to check here or do anything else really. I’ll try to take a look or talk to them tomorrow, thanks a ton!

Ok, I’ve decided on a latex mattress. I haven’t talked to the Fincher folks yet.

I swear I read somewhere on this site that 5" of a comfort layer is recommended. Am I way off on that?

Say if I wanted a 9" mattress, I’d need a 5" comfort layer and 4" support layer. I really wish I could find that part of the site again, I’ve looked :frowning:

Hi BrunoPuntzJones,

There is more information about different types of mattress layering here along with some height/weight guidelines here and some sleeping position guidelines here. I would use these as general guidelines only though and avoid the temptation to design a mattress or decide ahead of time what may work best for you because there are so many interacting variables involved that “specs” can become overwhelming.

They are meant to give you some sense of all the interacting factors and the general ideas that are involved so you can have more meaningful discussions with the person you are working with. I would let your body choose the mattress with the help and guidance of an “expert” rather than feeling like you need to become an expert yourself before you decide on a mattress.

The only “specs” that are really important to know are specs that tell you about the quality of the materials in a mattress and more knowledgeable manufacturers and some better retailers will help educate you about this as well so you can make more meaningful comparisons between mattresses in terms of durability and value. Your body and your testing will tell you much more than specs about which mattresses provide you with the comfort/pressure relief and support/ spinal alignment that you need than any specs or “theory”.