Atlantan on Quest to Find Great Mattress - Questions

Hello all,

I’m new to mattress buying. I’ve been browsing over the boards for the past few days and learning as much as I can. My girlfriend and I are buying a home (we live in Atlanta), so it’s an ideal time to get a new bed setup. That said, I’ve had issues with mattresses in the past.

When I was a teenager, my mom bought me a Beautyrest mattress. It was OK for a couple of years, but was completely awful after that. My back and / or neck would feel strained almost every single morning, so I began sleeping on the floor. This was much better for my back, but I also found that I woke up more frequently and got a less restful sleep.

A few years ago, I bought an Ikea Beddinge sofabed. I bought it more as a sofa, but found that it was reasonably comfortable to sleep on. Still, I prefer an upgrade.

I’ve had some positive experiences, as well. My girlfriend’s bed is a Stearns & Foster. She bought it 10 years ago for $1500. I’ve found it comfortable and have slept well on it. I’ve also been a big fan of hotel beds. They tend to be firm and supportive, and this has been the best combo for me.

My Attributes

I’ve always been a light sleeper and I roll around a lot. I sleep on my side maybe 75% of the time, but I occasionally sleep on my back (~20% of the time) or even my stomach (~3% of the time?). I need a bed that will accommodate this.

I’m normally hot while sleeping. I turn on the AC, fans, and don’t wear more than boxers, but it’s still normally too warm for me. This seems to hold true regardless of bed, so it’s likely just a personal characteristic. That said, I want a bed that’s not going to exacerbate this. For this reason, I’ve focused my search more on latex beds, as opposed to memory foam.

Finally, I prefer a firm bed, as it tends to be better for my back. That said, I don’t want something so firm that I might as well be lying on the floor. My girlfriend’s Stearns & Foster is comfortable to me, in spite of the fact that it’s fairly soft, so quality here may be more important than anything.

As far as price goes, I’d love to stay under $1,000, but might be willing to push as high as $1,500 for the perfect fit. I will buy either a Queen or King sized mattress. I have the cash to buy what I want, but I’m also an entrepreneur / small business owner, and every dollar I spend is a dollar I take away from investing in my own business, so I prefer not to spend too much.

Some Options

I’ve done a bit of research so far and here are some of the options I’m considering.

Tuft & Needle Five
Tuft & Needle Ten
Casper, The Casper
Brooklyn Bedding, 9" Tri-Comfort Latex
Brooklyn Bedding, 10" Cotton Camilla
Brooklyn Bedding, 12" Bamboo Bliss
Brooklyn Bedding, 14" Aloe Alexis
Sleep Innovations, 12" Gel Memory Foam
Restava, The Ivory
Restava, The Victoria
Novosbed, the Aria (memory foam, but intriguing)

There are a few others, such as Nature’s Sleep, that seem intriguing to me, but that are a bit pricey.

I also drove out to Tucker Mattress Company and talked with the owner there. The reviews on this site are positive, but their prices are on the high-end of the range I’m looking at. Still, I haven’t ruled it out; I just need to learn a bit more to understand the differences between mattresses.


(1) Any feedback on any of the mattresses I listed out?

(2) I’ve been using the membership list here, as well as Certi-PUR list* to find quality companies. Are there any other lists I should be looking at that will help narrow down my search?

ADMIN NOTE: *Removed 404 link|Archived Footprint:

(3) What sort of questions should I be asking companies about the mattresses? What should I ask about layers?

(4) What’s the difference between latex, memory foam, and gel memory foam? I understand a little bit here, but could use a more detailed explanation. I’m mostly thinking of this based on the attributes I listed above (I tend to be hot while sleeping and prefer firm beds).

(5) Any other recommendations to research given everything I’ve mentioned in this post? I’m certainly open to other suggestions, particularly for the latex beds.

Thanks and I look forward to learning more.

Hi Diderot,

You may have already read this based on the choices you’ve mentioned but just in case you haven’t … the first place to start is the mattress shopping tutorial here which has all the basic information, steps, and guidelines that you will need to make the best possible choice … and “how” to make meaningful comparisons between mattresses in terms of their suitability, quality, and “value”.

You may already have seen this as well but once again just in case you haven’t … the better options and possibilities I’m aware of in the Atlanta area are listed in post #2 here.

The only one I would eliminate outright would be the Sleep Innovations which uses 2.5" of 3 lb memory foam which doesn’t meet the quality guidelines I would suggest following in post #4 here.

The most important part of the “value” of a mattress purchase is it’s suitability in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences). When you can’t test a specific mattress in person then the only way to assess the odds that a mattress is a good “match” for you is testing similar mattresses locally (if there are any available that are very similar) and with more detailed conversations on the phone (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here). If you aren’t confident that an online mattress is a good match for you in terms of PPP then the options you have available after a purchase to either fine tune, exchange, or return a mattress would also become a much more important part of your “final choice” and the parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you.

Since the mattresses you are looking at are a mix of latex hybrids and memory foam (hybrid) mattresses … I would also do some local testing to see which of these materials you tend to prefer so you can narrow down your choices of material a little more.

Your weight will also play a factor in the quality/density of the materials that may be most appropriate for you and this would also be a consideration in your choices between them.

The tutorial post includes two links to two lists of some of the better online options I’m aware of.

Most of this is in the tutorial post but they would be in three broad categories.

The first is the questions about which of their mattresses would likely be the best match for you based on the information you provide them in your more detailed conversations. A mattress that may be “perfect” for one person may be completely unsuitable for someone else. This will help you decide which of the mattresses you are considering would be likely to be the most suitable choice in terms of PPP.

The second would be to make sure you know the specifics of all the layers in any mattress you are considering so you can identify any potential weak links (relative to you) and make more meaningful comparisons between mattresses (see this article)

The third would be to make sure you know all the details of any options you have available after a purchase to fine tune the mattress, re-arrange or exchange any individual layers or the mattress itself, or return the mattress along with any costs involved in case your choice doesn’t turn out as well as you hoped.

The more detailed and specific the information you can provide them the more you will help them to help you make the most suitable choice out of the mattresses they offer.

You can read more about the difference between latex and memory foam (or it’s variant gel memory foam) in post #2 here and the links it includes. There is also more detailed information about the many types of gel memory foams on the market in post #2 here and the links it includes as well. The most effective way to decide which materials you tend to prefer would be based on your own personal testing and experience.

I think that other than the comments I’ve made my “best” suggestions in terms of retailers and manufacturers to consider would be in the online and local lists I’ve linked along with following the steps in the tutorial one by one until you decide on your “finalists” so you can make your final choice between them based on your “informed and educated best judgement”.


Thanks for all the help, Phoenix. Really appreciate it!