Back from the shop and need help!

Thanks Phoenix for answering my other post-awesome stuff.

I have been to a few shops now and have loads of questions!

Am I correct in thinking that to reduce partner disturbance and minimise heat for my husband, that a pocket spring bed is best>and one with no pillow top?

I asked about what the comfort layer is on various beds and was told a layer of latex, foam and a wool cover. Is this next step to ask exactly what materials and the measurements?

One matress had layers of latex, wool and bamboo with no foam at all-thoughts?

Another bed had gel coils on top of the pocket springs-these looked like they’d degrade easily but he swore not.

One had micro-coils so double the number of pocket coils-rubbish or good science?!

Others had 3 zones or 5 zones of pocket springs-good/bad/who cares?!

The beds although the big brand names are all made locally-is that usual that this happens?

OK, that is a lot of questions, I appreicate your help so much.

GSL

This is the bed with the bamboo stuff

http://www.sleepys.com.au/store/Luxury.html

This is one of the gel beds

http://www.sleepys.com.au/store/Ortho-Heaven.html

This is one of the normal beds I liked

http://www.sleepys.com.au/store/Spine-Align-300-Mattress-Medium.html

Thanks!

And one more I just found, that I saw in the store but it was on the spendy side.

http://www.simplythebest.com.au/product.php?id=6

Hi great southern land,

There is a description of the most common types of materials used in support cores here and used in comfort layers here.

In terms of motion transference, polyfoam, latex foam, or pocket coils as a support layer can all work well. Motion transference is really only an issue with mattresses that have innersprings that are “attached together” (are not pocket coils). In the comfort layers … memory foam, latex foam, high quality polyfoam (rarely used in major brands) or microcoils are good here as well. There will be slightly different degrees of motion transference with different combinations of these but none of them would be an issue for most people. Your own experience in lying and moving on a mattress together is the best guide here.

In terms of heat … the more breathable the materials in the mattress and the ticking and the the more air circulation there is on the top part of your mattress especially the better. By this standard, natural fibers are the best comfort layers followed by talalay latex, then dunlop latex, polyfoam, and memory foam. Microcoil springs are also very breathable when used as part of a comfort layer. With foam in general there is some overlap … especially with memory foams … which have a range of different levels of breathability in the many different versions. Ticking and quilting that uses natural fibers are also cooler in general than synthetics.

There is nothing “wrong” with a pillow top itself. The biggest issue is what is in the pillowtop. If they include a lot of low density foam or unknown polyfoam … I would stay away from them. If more durable materials are used … then a pillowtop is fine.

Yes. Any reputable store will have a spec sheet which shows what is in your mattress layer by layer. In a comfort layer (and any quilting in the ticking) … the most important thing is to avoid materials that will soften or break down too quickly because it is the “weak link” in most mattresses. It’s important to know what is in the mattress so you can tell if the materials used are durable and will not soften or break down too quickly. I would avoid most polyfoam unless you are buying it from an outlet or factory direct manufacturer who knows exactly how to tell the difference between “good” polyfoam (rarely used in major brands) and “bad” polyfoam (what you will normally find in mass market outlets and major brands). Memory foam also has different “grades” or densities and once you start going below 5 lbs you are generally looking at a shorter lifespan.

So the issue in this “general” description is the “foam” not the latex or the wool. In general I would avoid any mattress sold by a major manufacturer or major brand which has more than an inch of polyfoam.

There are three types of foam … latex, memory foam, and polyfoam. All foams will be one of these three no matter what name is used to describe it. Of the 3, latex is the most durable (if it is good quality). The wool is often used in the quilting in these mattresses (they allow for air circulation and temperature regulation) and the bamboo is part of the material used in the ticking (likely a cotton/bamboo blend). This is a typical construction for an all latex mattress (if all the layers are latex) which is usually very high quality and very durable. Latex has many benefits and is usually considered to have the best overall combination of breathability, pressure relief, support, and durability of all the different materials … but it is also among the most expensive of materials. Be cautious about using lower quality latex such as synthetic Dunlop latex.

I don’t know what he meant by “gel coils”, do you have a link? There are “gel memory foams” of various types but they are not “coils” which usually refers to an innerspring. I suspect he may have been talking about gel memory foam or buckling column gel (such as the orthogel) on top of innersprings (coils). The spec sheet should clarify this. The gel that is used is very durable but it comes either in combination with or infused in other types of materials (such as memory foam) which may not be as durable as the gel. Buckling column gel only contains the gel itself and would be very durable (if this is what he was referring to).

Microcoils usually have a thin layer of foam on top of them and are similar to an innerspring except they are pliant and have a higher coil count than the coils used in innersprings. Used in the comfort layers they can be quite comfortable and durable.

Zoning is a way to help keep you in alignment and can be beneficial for those whose hips tend to sink in too far in unzoned layers or whose shoulders don’t sink in far enough. More than 3 zones is usually “overkill”. More about zoning is here.

The big brands have many factories and licensees all around the world so they are often made locally even though in most cases the specs and materials used are set by the brand owner. Major brands tend to use much lower quality materials and/or cost more for higher quality materials than smaller local brands that are family or privately owned and have made mattresses for many years. There are also many smaller national or regional brands that are often better value than most of the major brands.

In the end … a mattress has two major functions which is pressure relief and spinal alignment and everything after that is preference (heat retention, motion transfer, overall feel, durability of the mattress etc). While any material can be used to feel great in a showroom in certain combinations … higher quality materials will perform the way they did when they are new for much longer.

Phoenix

PS: I just saw your last two posts with your links so I’ll comment on them tomorrow … after I’ve had some sleep :slight_smile:

Great help, thank you. Please do sleep-I guess you just had Thanksgiving!

What I see from your other posts is perhaps more local independent manufacturers than we have here. I have googled a little and can’t seem to find more than one local company. He is the last link I gave. I just don’t know if the type of independence you descrive even exists here-let alone the ‘build your own’ concept!

Yes that gel bed is a buckling column gel. I am surprised and pleased to hear it wears well. The price…$4500 for a king size ensemble-ouch.

The first link I gave is the all natural fibre bed, which I can now see has advantages for my poor hot DH. I will need to find out its innards next.

I now have more information and can contact the stores again, so thank you.

Slumber well!

Hi great southern land,

The buckling column gel material … like all “pure gel” material (rather than gel infused material) is very expensive and it’s benefits over other types of premium comfort layers like latex are questionable. While it is certainly durable and pressure relieving … I doubt I would go there unless there was a clear benefit for using it that justified its expense.

Mattresses that are made of all natural fibers over innersprings (such as cotton, wool, and horsehair over innersprings without any foam at all) are also quite expensive. They require specialized knowledge and construction methods to make correctly which adds considerably to their expense in addition to the fact that these materials are also more expensive than most foam. They are also generally much firmer than mattresses that use foam and in the “reasonably priced” versions are usually not as pressure relieving as mattresses that use high quality foam. They can be excellent quality and very durable but are not as popular because of the difficulty of giving them good pressure relieving qualities and their price.

Once you start looking at mattresses with foam in them … then latex becomes the material of choice for the criteria you have mentioned (temperature and durability). Your choices would involve latex foam in an appropriate softness level and thickness to provide good pressure relief. This would be over a polyfoam, innerspring, or firmer latex support core. Latex over a pocket coil would be the closest to a “traditional” feel, latex over latex would be the most “premium” version, and latex over high quality polyfoam would be a “budget” choice which would provide much of the benefits of a latex comfort layer at a lower price.

All of these sould have a thick stretch knit ticking to best enhance the natural pressure relieving abilities of latex or a thinner wool quilting in the ticking to add the breathability of wool to the latex (with the tradeoff that the wool may slightly reduce the pressure relieving abilities of latex as it compresses over time). The ticking material should be a natural or semi natural breathable fiber rather than a synthetic.

While an inch or so of polyfoam in the quilting would normally be acceptable … and would feel softer than wool … it is a lower cost and quality material and would not be my first choice. I would prefer the use of softer latex or wool quilting rather than having an inch of polyfoam in the quilting but again this would add to the cost of the mattress.

So to recap … I would be looking for a latex comfort layer … over an innerspring, latex, or polyfoam support core (depending on your budget and overall preferred feel) with either a quilted cover using wool quilting and a natural or “semi natural” blend (organic cotton or a cotton/bamboo blend are the most common), or a thick stretch knit cover without any quilting.

Some comments on the mattresses you mentioned.

http://www.simplythebest.com.au/product.php?id=6

I would want to know the layering of the comfort layers in this mattress.

  • Natural Latex … This is great … as long as the latex is on the top with only the ticking and/or the quilting above it.

  • High density hyper soft foam … depends what they are calling high density. This is polyfoam and would generally be my last choice in a comfort layer unless the polyfoam was a very high quality HR grade or was an HD grade in a lower budget mattress but was firmer (not super soft) and used better construction techniques to make it last longer.

  • The New Generation Visco Memory foam … depends on the density of the memory foam. New generation generally means more breathable memory foam but this is still not as breathable as latex. While memory foam will soften and degrade more quickly than latex … this is especially true with memory foams that are under 5 lbs. The tradeoff here is that some people like the unique feel of memory foam in a mattress. It is great for pressure relief (its main benefit), but so is softer latex and buckling column gel.

  • Cashmere wool … This is a great material to have in the quilting and/or the ticking as it will help sleep cooler and regulate moisture and temperature.

http://www.sleepys.com.au/store/Luxury.html

I would also want to know exactly what the layers are in this mattress as well. In particular

Quilt Layers
• Quilting layers of Cashmere Wool and Silk fibres, and Hypersoft foams combine for luxurious cradling comfort

I would want to make sure that the hypersoft foams (polyfoam) was no more than an inch. The cashmere and silk is great if that’s all they use (no synthetic fibers).

I’d also make sure that the description isn’t missing anything (descriptions will often “forget” to list less desirable materials which is why I would always want to see a spec sheet that describes every layer).

• Wool Blend, Conforma Soft and Pillofoam provides a supportive cushioning effect

Conforma and pillofoam are “words” used for memory foam and/or polyfoam, often zoned in different levels of firmness to match different parts of the body. Remember there are only 3 types of foam, memory foam, latex, and polyfoam. All foams are one of these.

http://www.sleepys.com.au/store/Spine-Align-300-Mattress-Medium.html

Same comments regarding pillofoam and memory foam used in the mattress.

http://www.simplythebest.com.au/product.php?id=6

See comments regarding buckling column gel. Used for pressure relief but questionable value compared to other materials which also offer superior pressure relief for most people unless there was a compelling reason to use it based on personal preference or unusual circumstances.

The most common challenges for most people is keeping the hips “up” (they are the heaviest area of the body and tend to sink down too deeply which can put the spine out of alignment) and allowing the shoulders to sink in enough (they are wider than the hips but there is not nearly as much weight in the upper area of the body so they tend to not sink in enough relative to the hips). 5 zoned mattresses are usually a form of what I call “reverse” zoning which puts softer material under the hips rather than firmer material under the hips which shifts the load bearing area of the mattress to the area under the lumbar curve. This can be both uncomfortable for some people and it can also aggravate the tendency of the hips to sink in too far (think of lying on a bar under the waist or the curve of the back while the upper and lower body are allowed to sink down). The theory is that it provides support for the lumbar curve (holds it up) while it provides pressure relief (softer areas) to the bony protrusions of the hips and shoulders. While it can have benefits in certain circumstances and weight distributions, in general having more than 3 zones (firmer under the hips) is not a good “off the shelf” choice unless you have personally confirmed with testing that it works for you.

While I know little about Australian mattress manufacturers, I did do a quick search and there does seem to be some independent factory direct manufacturers in Western Australia including simply the best which you linked to. While they often don’t show up high in google searches, a search on “mattress manufacturers western australia” or similar terms (and a willingness to go past the first few pages of search results or to go through various lists which will show up and search the results one by one to see if they are really factory direct manufacturers) will usually result in a few hits.

Phoenix

Hi and huge thanks.

I will contact the store I went to and try and get the details from them about the thickness of the various layers.

What is your feeling about stores that offer a return on a bed if you don’t like it?

And what is the truth about mattresses needing to be rotated and/or turned? Clearly pillow tops can’t be turned, and neither can the beds that divide down the middle with different feels on each side.

Will get back to you after more googling and talking!

Thanks

Ok have googled more and can only find companies locally who make entirely foam mattresses, apart from Simply The Best. Others I found seem to manufacture for the big companies rather than custom-made individual orders. Will keep loooking anyway.

Hi great southern land,

To the degree that customers actually take advantage of this policy … it will lower the profit margin of the store so the selling prices of stores that offer this policy needs to be increased. If they are selling mattresses that are more likely to be returned either because of the materials in the mattress itself or because of a sales staff that isn’t as good at fitting a mattress to a customer and who tend to sell based on the profit margin of an individual mattress for the sake of their own commissions … then the average profit margin of the store will need to be increased to compensate for the exchanges.

Some stores will use various tricks to turn comfort exchanges into a new profit center by only allowing exchanges for the same or a higher priced mattress. They may give you credit for the “sale price” of your first mattress but only allow this credit to be used towards a new mattress at it’s “regular price” so their increased profit on the new mattress can compensate for their loss on the exchange. There may also be various fees, delivery charges, or restocking charges involved or “hurdles” you need to jump through to discourage an exchange.

Some stores that offer this … especially chain stores … often use it as a closing tool knowing that even if you buy the wrong mattress, that you are locked in to buying from them and any exchange is limited to what they have to offer (even if there is nothing really suitable for you in the store). The goal of outlets like this is to sell you anything before you can make any meaningful comparisons … no matter how suitable … and lock in a purchase of some type from that store. It will often encourage them to sell you an unsuitable mattress for the sake of a profit just to make sure that they get a sale. In other words … you pay for this privilege in some way or another through an increased price. How much you pay for this or how it is paid for depends on the store itself. When offered by an outlet that rarely if ever needs to do an exchange because they know how to “get it right” the first time … it can help with rare mistakes. When used as a closing tool by a salesperson who wants to lock in a sale … it can be a sign that this is a store to avoid.

Like everything else … the benefit has a tradeoff and the value of the tradeoff depends on the person. My personal belief is that a mattress should be purchased from an outlet that has no sales and offers value every day of the year (or perhaps occasional sales that are for legitimate reasons) and that the best buying attitude should be that you only have one chance at making a correct decision. This encourages the better research into both mattresses and the best places to buy them.

I am in favor of a legitimate and transparent fee attached to this service if it is offered so that the consumer knows the real cost of exchanging a mattress up front and puts more time and effort into buying a suitable mattress from a good outlet with real (no sales) pricing and is not penalized with higher prices on all mattresses. Many independent manufacturers will actually open up the mattress after the sale and make whatever adjustments you may need and others offer a “layer exchange” which can also make adjustments to the mattress after the sale at a low cost. These are more legitimate “comfort exchanges” IMO.

One sided mattresses that use materials that either break down or compress fairly quickly (like most lower density polyfoam or synthetic fibers used in quilting) have been one of the worst trends in the industry … and the fact that it was promoted as a benefit when in fact it was a negative was even worse. Not only can a pillowtop not be turned … but any mattress that isn’t finished on both sides can’t be turned because the comfort layers are only on one side with or without a pillowtop. The only time a one sided mattress is justified would be with exceptionally long lasting materials like latex. The real problem is that when the industry went to one sided mattresses … the prices didn’t reflect that they were using far less materials and that the mattresses were far lest costly to make. It was a profit grab by cheapening the cost of manufacture which was promoted as a benefit without a corresponding lowering of consumer prices.

If these mattresses use long lasting materials then the benefit of a split construction can certainly be worthwhile for many people with different needs and preferences. This is also an argument for a more simple construction with a separate pillowtop which can be turned or replaced or for a zippered ticking where a top layer (the one most prone to softening or breakdown) can be replaced without replacing the whole mattress.

When I have a chance later today I’ll do some quick looking in the Western Australia area to see what I can find. While I don’t know the Australian market or brands, it may give you an idea of the type of outlets that catch my initial attention and may be worth some further research.

Phoenix

Hi again

At the moment I feel like with all the issues you raise that there is no suitable mattress anywhere! So much to consider.

I have a pdf to attch but when I click on ‘add file’ below this box nothing happens.

The email I got back from the bed guy also said this about the second mattress I enquired about:

[quote]Sleepmaker are not willing to supply measurements of the internal foams etc. of the Spine Align. They say it is confidential. But what I can tell you is

5 zone pocket spring bed

A layer of latex, and hyper density foams all treated with ultra fresh

Wool underlay

Poly cotton ticking

Foam edge support

The main advantage the Contempo range has over the Spine align is the pocket in pocket spring. It reduces partner disturbance further plus give that extra support feel. And also the ticking, the bamboo fabric is made from 40% bamboo fibre, which is somewhat antibacterial, so resists bed bugs dust mites and breathable in summer.

[/quote]

Hi great southern land,

OK, here’s a few quick picks that came up on some searching. I haven’t done any research into any of these except a quick site scan and some of them may be well outside of WA (even though the initial search included Western Australia) but may sell online and ship. They at least give a few examples of sites that catch my eye. Many times searches lead to various lists of either mattress outlets and/or mattress manufacturers and these sometimes have some outlets (that may need another search to find an online presence or sometimes a phone number if they don’t have an online presence) that may be worth looking at.

It’s also interesting to see what is a “major brand” in different countries and how what they build is often different from country to country. Focusing on materials though helps to cut through the confusion.

I also noticed quite a few foam outlets as you mentioned but didn’t include these even though some of them may sell latex or high quality foams and/or mattresses.

https://store.bedtek.com.au/

http://www.simplythebest.com.au/about.php
http://www.stuartshouseofbedding.com.au/
http://europeanbedding.com.au/

http://www.omf.net.au/Select-The-Right-Mattress

http://www.backandneck.com.au/mattresses.html
http://qualitysleep.gostorego.com/mattresses.html
http://www.re-upholstery.com.au/content/latexmatresses.html

http://www.ausservice.com.au/mattresscity/index.html?latex.htm~page
http://www.thebedroom.com.au/
http://www.fortywinks.com.au/beds-mattresses/latex-plush-firm-mattress/latex-mattress.html
http://www.australianbeddingcompany.com.au/
http://www.perthbedding.com.au/index.cfm/services/
http://www.thecomfortshop.com.au/mattresses_pillows/mattresses_pillows.php
https://www.mattressesdirect.com.au/memory-foam-natural-latex/

Phoenix

Thanks so much. For your reference in the future I have included some notes about each of these.

[quote=“Phoenix” post=1442]Hi great southern land,

https://store.bedtek.com.au/

No pocket spring beds

Only latex

http://www.simplythebest.com.au/about.php

Will investigate-they came up at the bedding shop I went to.

http://www.stuartshouseofbedding.com.au/

Links to SlumberCare-looks interesting

http://europeanbedding.com.au/

Only latex

Memory foam and latex only

http://www.omf.net.au/Select-The-Right-Mattress

Not in WA

A chain store but near me

http://www.backandneck.com.au/mattresses.html

Latex only

http://qualitysleep.gostorego.com/mattresses.html

Not in WA

http://www.re-upholstery.com.au/content/latexmatresses.html

Links to Town & Country-only memory foam and latex

Not in WA

http://www.ausservice.com.au/mattresscity/index.html?latex.htm~page

Not in WA

Not in WA

http://www.fortywinks.com.au/beds-mattresses/latex-plush-firm-mattress/latex-mattress.html

Chain store but near me

http://www.australianbeddingcompany.com.au/

Not in WA

http://www.perthbedding.com.au/index.cfm/services/

Will investigate

http://www.thecomfortshop.com.au/mattresses_pillows/mattresses_pillows.php

Not in WA

https://www.mattressesdirect.com.au/memory-foam-natural-latex/

Links to Town and Country above.

Ok so some good leads to follow.

Can you let me know how to attach a pdf too?

Thanks!

Phoenix[/quote]

Sorry me again, with another question!

I want to be able to go into a shop now and ask the right question. I am starting to figure it out but still need some help refining it!

“I want to try a pocket spring matress, that can preferably be turned over and rotated, without a pillow top. I want a talalay latex comfort layer of _____ thickness, with a wool or natural quilting, with a natural blend cover.”

Where I am still scratching my head is about the comfort layer-how thick it should be as a minimum/maximum. Can I reasonably expect that a mattress even exists that is simply pocket springs+talalay latex comfort layer, with no other foams?!!

Help and thanks

Hi great southern land,

A quick answer tonight before I go to bed and then a more detailed answer tomorrow.

Perfect question request.

Yes … this is a popular and good quality configuration and it certainly exists. While only actual testing can really nail it down exactly a good guideline is …

Side sleepers @3"

Back sleepers @2"

Stomach sleepers @1" or a little more.

These thicknesses can go up or down depending on the softness/firmness of the pocket springs and individual weight and body shape. Softness/firmness of the comfort layers will also vary based on weight and body shape (heavier weights generally will choose firmer latex) and also different preferences and sensitivity to pressure in various areas of the body.

Because pocket coils are “conforming” … then they will help with the pressure relief job of the latex comfort layers more than other types of innerspring so a little thinner for side sleepers may work as well.

A friend of mine who is a mattress design “geek”, is one of the most knowledgeable mattress people I know, and could design and build any type of mattress he wanted to, sleeps on a pocket spring with latex in the comfort layers and wool in the quilting and no other foams. He loves it!

More to come tomorrow :slight_smile:

Phoenix

Hi great southern land,

I am a great believer in simplicity, in spite of what must seem to many to be a rather complex subject. To cut through the confusion it helps to focus on what I call PPP. This includes focusing on the two basic functions of a mattress which is Pressure relief and Posture and alignment, and then making choices that best fit your Preferences (such as temperature regulation, motion transfer, overall liveliness, sleeping “in” or “on” a mattress, natural or synthetic materials, durability, and others). All of these can either be tested for in a store or chosen through basic knowledge of the materials in a mattress (in the case of natural materials or durability). All of these come from a combination of materials, layering combinations, and construction methods that go into a mattress but the “final result” of everything is always PPP.

In essence (and in the simplest of terms) … a mattress has two basic components. One of these is the comfort zone which is the top few inches of the mattress. This is primarily responsible for pressure relief. The second is the support system which is the layers under the comfort zone. The first needs to be thick and soft enough to relieve pressure for your individual height and weight distribution, sleeping positions, and pressure sensitivity. The second needs to be firm enough in the right places to hold up your heavier parts so they don’t sink in too deeply and lead to an unnatural curvature of the spine.

The comfort zone will usually be made of one or a combination of 6 “comfort” materials listed here but in most cases this will be one of the 3 types of foam which is latex, memory foam, or polyfoam. Of these 3, polyfoam is the one to avoid in any amount more than an inch unless it is being purchased from an outlet which is an expert in polyfoam mattresses and only uses the more durable grades or construction methods that are suitable for a comfort zone and that the price reflects the cost of a lower cost material. Polyfoam can be a good choice for a lower budget but only when purchased from an “expert” in mattress materials and when the type of polyfoam being used is known. Other than that … foam choices would be between memory foam or latex.

The support system will usually be one of 5 choices listed here and of these 5 … it will realistically be a choice between an innerspring, polyfoam (again in a grade suitable for a support core) or latex. Each of these have a different feel and the price should also reflect the different costs between the materials (latex being the most expensive with an innerspring and polyfoam being less than latex)

So in essence … you have a comfort zone which is usually made of one or more of three common foams (with the occasional “other” material sometimes included) on top of a support system made of one or a combination of three materials (with the less desirable air or the less common water being alternatives).

The weak link in almost all mattresses is the comfort zone so this is where it is most important to use the most effective and most durable materials.

Once you know the basics … which is the reason for the overviews in the mattresses section of the site, then for most people its time to go shopping.

There are really two approaches to mattress shopping. One relies on your own knowledge and it can be daunting, confusing, and time consuming to learn enough to actually “design” your own mattress. The other relies on the knowledge of the person or outlet you are buying the mattress from who already has the knowledge to design a mattress. Your best friend in mattress shopping is a person who is an expert in the different properties of the different materials used in a mattress, is transparent about what is in the mattresses they are selling and why they are there, and is more interested in fitting you to a mattress than they are in selling you a mattress which has the highest profit margin or is the “easiest” to sell. Your “least best” friend is the person who will tell you that the materials in their mattresses are “proprietary” or who for any reason is less than transparent about what is in the mattress either because they don’t really know or they don’t want to tell you.

There are no real “secrets” in mattress materials or construction … only stories meant to make you believe that some type of material is somehow “proprietary” or better than the same material used in another mattress. Those who rely on stories, confusing naming practices, or marketing techniques rather than expert knowledge about mattress materials and who have a greater desire to make the sale than they do to find the best mattress for your needs and preferences are the places which will do more to confuse you and discourage meaningful comparisons than they will to educate you and encourage you to make better choices.

These experts, including the owners and (hopefully) staff of most good sleep shops and independent manufacturers, who have the knowledge and integrity to educate you and show you how to make meaningful comparisons and choices, would do poorly in most chain store outlets where their knowledge and integrity would steer most customers away from lower quality materials and the higher profit margins of the mattresses that use them. They would likely spend much of their time in the managers office being told they are selling the “wrong” mattresses and that their sales profit margins are too low.

If you stick to the “rule” of never buying a mattress where the materials inside it are “unknown” or where the person selling it either can’t or won’t tell you what is in it, then most of the worst choices in terms of “brand” or “outlet” are automatically eliminated. What is left are the places to put your time and energy.

I just checked and there seems to be a minor issue with the forum template which I will have to investigate and fix. For now though, if you put the point of your cursor on the very bottom of the “add file” box (so it is an arrow instead of a hand) then when you left click the file upload window will appear. From there it is just a matter of selecting the file and uploading. I also changed the file size limit from 150K to 500K. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

This is a typical reply from a “major brand” whose existence depends on advertising and differentiating themselves from other mattresses which use the same or similar materials. “Full disclosure” with these companies would force them to compete based on meaningful and factual value comparisons of their mattresses which would dramatically reduce the effect of their advertising, sales techniques, and profit margins. Instead they rely on marketing techniques and stories to discourage comparison and maintain the ability to use “unknown” or “proprietary” lower cost materials that have a good story attached but use lower cost materials.

An alternative to this is to become your own “expert” to make up for what most of the industry can’t or won’t tell you. This can be time consuming and frustrating.

The “best” approach IMO is to do enough basic research into materials and mattresses to be able to tell when you have found an outlet that validates what you have learned and where you can trust that what they tell you is based on their knowledge and willingness to help you make the best choices for you rather than the choices that will make the most profit for them.

If you find an outlet where someone knows mattress materials and mattress construction … is more motivated in finding you the right mattress than they are in making the sale … are happy to share what they know and educate rather than sell you using various techniques … can translate your circumstances, preferences, and “lay on mattress” testing into the layering that is best for you … and has enough confidence in their own product to show you how to make real value comparisons based on the cost of the materials in and construction of a mattress, then you have found a place that is worth spending your time and probably spending your money. The rest will only do more to confuse or require so much time and effort into learning the truth behind what they are telling you that the whole mattress shopping experience becomes an exhausting chore and whoever happens to be “in the lead” or “in front of you” when you “give up” in frustration and exhaustion will make the sale.

Phoenix

Thanks again, it has been useful to distill the information down to something I can say to the bed store [I should just pay for you to come here!].

The bed store I have been emailing just sent this this info about the Simply the Best bed ‘d’amour’:

[quote]Just following up with some details I found on the d’amour mattress

Micro pocket springs with piano wire technology

Minimal partner disturbance and motion transfer

Pillow top contents

50 mm plush zoned natural latex

30mm hyper soft quantam foam

25mm new generation memory foam

Foam box construction

Quilting contents

25mm health guard high density quilt

350 gram cashmere wool

Insulator panel

Coolmax super soft knit ticking

This is the better specificationed mattress of the three, it has the memory foam and coolmax fabric on top that sets it aside from the other two,

[/quote]

Translation??!!

Thanks

Hi great southern land,

OK … here’s the translation.

Piano wire technology in this case means tempered high carbon steel or spring steel. Micro means the coils have a smaller diameter so that more of them can fit in the mattress (more conforming) which gives the higher coil count. Pocket springs are individually pocketed coils which are not attached to each other (move independently) and are more conforming than other innersprings. Coil gauge (thickness and firmness) unknown. Seems to be a good quality innerspring. 7 zones are overkill IMO and a negative (you have to “fit” the zones) more than a positive.

2" of unknown latex. Likely 100" natural Dunlop which has a firmer middle zone. ILD unknown.

1.2" of soft polyfoam. Unknown density and probably the “bad” stuff.

1" unknown memory foam. Typically “new generation” means more breathable and faster reacting. What is the density (the key to its quality and durability)?

This is firm polyfoam used around the edges of the innerspring to keep the coils together and stiffen up the edge. Polyfoam may be subject to softening and breakdown. Density and ILD unknown.

This is 1" of “treated” polyfoam of unknown density and quality. HD usually means 1.8 lbs or more but this is often misused and it could well be lower.

About 12 oz. Total for the whole quilting or a measurement per sq meter?

Usually an insulator means a pad put over the coils to insulate them from the foam above and prevent the foam from sinking into or molding to the innerspring and to adjust the firmness. In this case though in the quilting it probably means the bottom quilting fabric.

Engineered fabric that helps to wick moisture away from the body and encourage evaporation to help with heat issues.

Overall … probably good springs … some high quality latex (probably Dunlop) … but too many unknowns, especially unknown polyfoam and unknown density memory foam. Nothing particularly special here.

Phoenix

Hi again, and thanks again

I went to 3 more shops today. It is super frustrating because they simply don’t know what is inside the mattresses. They all say that the manufacturers themselves don’t give out the information.

I asked to see pocket spring, turnable, no pillow top with a latex comfort layer. Guess what - they had nothing that fitted this description. None of them sold beds that can be turned over. Some can be rotated. Pocket spring was fine, but none had a latex only layer-they all had latex with something else. None could tell me what type of latex or form or density or the measurements.

The one I found most comfortable was http://www.thomaspeacockandsons.com/products/gel.html

I am at a loss because I am being told what I want does not exist, and then no-one can supply me with any detailed information. I simply don’t know what to do now.

One other issue that arose was latex matrresses. The lady said they are 100% no partner disturbance and cool to sleep on. Now I am confused as I though pocket springs were going to be bext for these two issues.

Arghhhhh!

Thanks
gsl

This was another one I liked but it has some memory foam in the comfort layer, and I worry about my husband getting too hot. Again, there was no information available about it innards.

Hi great southern land,

I can imagine how frustrating it is for you. It almost seems the state of affairs down under is even worse than here in North America. The major manufacturers here also don’t supply the information about what is in their mattresses (one of the reasons I don’t recommend them) … at least in most cases … but the smaller local manufacturers are happy to provide this information. At least here … if there isn’t a local manufacturer or outlet which are happy to let someone know what is in the mattress or if the local value isn’t so good … then there are always online outlets and manufacturers that supply good quality materials and value. Unfortunately I know very little about the overall market in Australia.

The only type of mattresses where partner disturbance is really an issue is a non pocket coil innerspring (Bonnell coils, offset coils, or continuous coils). Memory foam and latex are very good in this regard in the comfort layers and latex, polyfoam, and pocket coils are also very good in the support cores. Pocket coils are certainly the best of the innerspring types for reducing motion transfer but they are not the only material that reduces motion transfer. None of these should present motion transfer issues.

In terms of heat … memory foam is the most likely to cause an issue for some people although there are more and less breathable versions of memory foam. Latex in either the support core or comfort layer and polyfoam in the support core usually does not present a heat issue.

Gel comfort layers are very pressure relieving and durable and shouldn’t present a heat issue but I would also want to know what type of foam was underneath (or over) the gel and how thick the gel layer was. It can also be more expensive than other comfort layer materials so it is often used in thinner layers. If there is polyfoam underneath it (or over it) … the closer to the body the polyfoam is the more important it is that higher quality polyfoam is used. Latex would be better.

I would certainly consider the manufacturers on the list I posted that use foam support cores and not limit your search to pocket springs … although there certainly should be latex over pocket spring construction in Australia as it is not so unusual.

Over the next few days I’ll take a look when I have a chance to see what specific mattresses I can find that will reduce motion transfer, sleep cool, and are durable. All latex though would certainly have all these characteristics so I would look seriously at these. In the meantime let me know if you have any other links to mattresses that are possibilities and I’d be happy to do any “translations” you may need.

Your last post didn’t have a link to the memory foam mattress you were looking at.

Phoenix