Between a rock and a hard place....

The information and advice on your site is astoundingly helpful and thorough.

Unfortunately, we found it only AFTER purchasing a king-size Kingsdown MySide (level 4: firm on both sides). We have slept (read: tossed and turned) on this mattress for 2 weeks, and our zombie state is not sustainable. We paid $3100 (taxes in) to grumble out of bed each morning with a laundry list of complaints including sore hips, low back pain, numb arms, headache, overall joint pain, and lack of quality sleep. I feel so foolish to have spent top dollar on a new mattress that is torture to sleep on and is more like a “tuffet” than a mattress. It feels like an ancient futon!

We purchased it at a big box sleep store in Canada and now we are facing our “comfort guarantee” exchange. The sad news is that we are limited to choosing from the brands available at the store.

Those are:


Having read the reasons why we should stay clear of these brands as well as the pages about mattress components, we are now fretting about what course to take.

Is it possible for you to recommend the “least of the evils” when faced with this situation? Do we choose a basic pocket coil mattress and then spring for a good quality latex topper for the top of it? Is there a brand or line that is “less bad”? I feel like the biggest mistake we made was too many layers of poor quality foam that are too far from the support layer. We are bigger people (6’, 220lbs and 5’8" 190 lbs), both slide sleepers, one with rheumatoid arthritis.

We are grateful for an educated perspective on our dilemma…

Hi Goldfish_7,

Unfortunately you are not the only one that found the forum that was facing the same difficult choice (See post #66 here and two other posts that are linked there as well). Part of the difficulty as well is that one of your options may be choosing a less expensive mattress that has a good support system (on the firmer side because of your weights) with as little in the comfort layers as possible (reducing the possibility of lower quality foam softening and degrading) so that you can add your own comfort layer in the form of a topper that uses more durable material, offers choices in terms of firmness level and thickness, and can be replaced separately if it wears out or softens faster than the mattress support or transition layers. Because this type of mattress is generally less expensive and the store may not offer toppers that you want … you may be trading a more expensive mattress for a less expensive one and any difference may not be refundable so this may also need to be taken into account in your choice. In other words … what would they offer you if the mattresses you wanted to use underneath a topper is only half the price of what you paid.

The choice is made even more difficult because of the lack of information that is available about the materials in all the brands they sell and the ingredients of the mattress (or the lack of them in the case of the polyfoam comfort layers) are much more important than the brand when you are trying to choose the best possible base to use underneath a topper.

If you could let me know the store you are dealing with and they have information about what they offer available online I’d be happy to take a look and see which option or mattress may be the “least bad” choice available to you. This would be based on what was in the mattress rather than the brand itself (there really isn’t a major brand that is “less bad” so much as specific mattresses they make that may be more suitable for what you need).


Phoenix, if no one has sent you a “You’re Awesome!” balloon yet today, let me be the first.

Those posts were very helpful. We hadn’t really considered the loss of value on a swap. Hmmm…

We purchased the mattress at Mattress Mart. Unfortunately, there is VERY little information on their website, except their flyer ad showing the “on sale” mattresses.

How naive we were…

I will go into the store and make a list of all of the sets offered. I’ll post back in the next few days.

With thanks…

Hi Goldfish_7,

I’m looking forward to hearing about what you find out and the details of their exchange policy.

Hopefully it will be possible to track down some of the layering information about the mattresses they sell either from information they provide or by matching it to the same mattress with the same or a different name.


Hi Goldfish_7,

I’ve had a long list of bed issues (that I won’t go into here) but in 2010 I bought a Kingsdown firm mattress (“Live to Sleep” 200 series, red label… I believe it was the firmest you could buy at the time) and I was able to resolve my pressure point issues by adding a 3" firm latex layer on top of my mattress. I went into that purchase needing a firm mattress & knowing I could always make a firm mattress softer but I couldn’t make a soft mattress firmer.

To help you make a comparison with your situation, I’m 5’1 and 120 lbs with a lot of back/ hip issues. I can now sleep on my back, side, & stomach with this combination of mattress and topper. The latex relieved my pressure points without giving up the firmness I need in a mattress to keep my spine inline. I needed the “firm” latex layer because I sank too far into the soft & medium firmness layers. When I say “sank too far” it may have only be the difference of an inch or so but on my smaller frame it was enough to cause a lot of lower back and hip problems. I believe the latex layers are also available in extra firm and super firm now.

As Phoenix pointed out, it is much easier to change out a topper than a whole mattress. If you went the topper route, you would have the ability to purchase (2) twin XL toppers (one for each of you) in different firmness/ material if necessary.

Not trying to sway you one way or the other, I just wanted to share my experience and wish you luck. I’m sure the thought of spending even MORE money probably makes you queasy.

Hi MM40,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with the Kingdown and improving it with a topper. It is a good suggestion, and one that we are considering. I really liked your idea of 2 twin size toppers. I would not have thought of that!

Mostly, it is just comforting to know that we are not the only ones who have blindly climbed into this boat. So frustrating and expensive, so thanks for commiserating! Glad to hear that you solved your dilemma and are now sleeping… I am looking forward to that!

OK, we have been on our return visit to the mattress store…

Essentially, we had purchased one of the most expensive beds in the store, but the policy is that we can only exchange for the same price or higher and we don’t get a refund of the difference for a lower-priced mattress. SO, we will lose money in the deal, but at this point will sacrifice that for a good night’s sleep. It didn’t help that we went in on pre-Black Friday night and the prices are now ridiculously low (but they are still making money!)

Here are what we sized up as options:

Simmons Beautyrest BLACK (Belair) “Pocket cable coil, 850 for queen, evolution coil design, foam-encased surround system, 3/4” Renew Transflexation Foam, Beautyfill fibre with silk 1" NXG foam, 2"transflexation luxury firm foam, 1/2" transflexation energy foam; Triton foundation" KING: $3199

Kingdown Fusion 432 “High profile fabric encased coil twice tempered posturized centre, third full body surround foam encasement. 22 oz. gel hollow fibre 1/2” high density foam, 1" high density foam, 1/2" blue-tek gel visco, 2" solid firm foam, exclusive 22oz. cool comfort fabric, high profile power-stack foundation. 1350 coils in a Queen. KING: $2499

Kingsdown MYSIDE Firmness Level 3.

To sum up, we are on a Kingsdown MYSIDE Firmness Level 4 right now. It is painfully too firm, but unsupportive at the same time. (think pressure points AND low back pain coupled with teeth that no longer meet!) The Fusion felt more “springy” in our test which we liked compared to the “thudiness” of the MySIDE. There is no pillow top, which I am seeing as a plus now. We are considering the advice of MM40 who told us the story of how they added latex onto their too hard Kindsdown with some success. I am leary of spending MORE money, but also leary of purchasing a bed that doesn’t offer enough support that I have no way of firming up.

To end this on a fun note, we did have ONE great moment in the mattress store tonight (with my 11 and 12 years-olds in tow). My husband was laying on one mattress while I was on another. The sales gal asked my husband how things were going and he replied loudly, “The Saks was pretty good in the row behind”. I heard something else entirely, as did the sales clerk who really didn’t know WHAT to say. My kids just looked at each other in horror… I didn’t realize there is a bed called the “Saks” by Kingsdown…

Hi Goldfish_7

Neither of these mattresses are choices that I would normally consider because they both have too much lower density polyfoam and/or memory foam in them. Worse yet they don’t give you any real details about the type or quality of the materials which is really the only meaningful way to make a choice (although you can assume that most of them are low such as NXG memory foam which is 3.5 lbs and most of their polyfoam would be lower density as well).

The best choice as we talked about before would normally be a much lower priced firmer mattress that has much less polyfoam or low density memory foam in the upper layers (the weak link) where you could add a topper for your comfort layer but this doesn’t seem possible with the choices you have so you may just have to choose a mattress that will have some of the “issues” I usually warn against because they may be the only choices you have.

Are these really the only two options available to you? I have such a difficult time suggesting either of them but if I had to I would reluctantly choose the Kingsdown (and add a topper if it was too firm). I don’t like the idea of losing the difference between the $3100 you paid and the $2499 of the Kingsdown though. Do they also sell toppers that you could include in your exchange?

Are you really SURE these are the only exchange options you have? Do they have any mattresses that have at least some latex in the comfort layers to improve durability?

At least you haven’t lost your sense of humor in all of this :slight_smile:


Hi Phoenix,

I hear you on ALL of those points. There were other mattresses, but in a much lower price range. I’m not sure I could have slept on something, knowing I had lost $1600 in the exchange, and had to buy a $300 topper for it!

We asked the question about latex in the comfort layers, and the only mattress that had ANY latex was the Simmons Beautyrest Black Belair. Of all the mattresses in the store, we were comfortable on this one and lay on it for quite a while. So, we went with it. All of the Kingdowns felt like tuffets.

Our hope is to make this mattress last 3 years, and save over those 3 years for a good one at the local mattress store that is literally 7 minutes from our house. I think reading all that you have taught has made us reasonable in our expectations for this mattress. Hopefully we get 3 years! We do have the fallback of adding some more latex on top.

So, we have learned a very expensive lesson. Luckily, our kids have been along for the ride, and this is now a part of their education, so hopefully they will grow up to be smarter mattress shoppers than their parents!

We are very grateful to you for sharing such a valuable resource via this website! I read through your posts just amazed by how meticulously and respectfully you answer everyone’s questions and in such a timely way. So, THANK YOU!

Hi goldfish_7,

I think you did as well as possible given your circumstances.

If this mattress also includes latex (which I don’t see in the layering information they provided) then the news would be even better because this will improve the durability of the mattress comfort layers even though there are other foams in the mix. Some of the old Beautyrest Black models (like the Carmen here) had a layer of “progressive support latex” and some (like the Desiree here) didn’t. If yours has latex is should be included in the ingredients listed on the law tag. Model names vary by retailer and by country and the newer versions of the Beautyrest Black (in the US at least) use different proprietary names for their foams including latex which they now call “independent response technology”.

I’d be curious to know if your mattress does include latex (and at that price I think it should)

Thanks for the feedback and keeping us up to date … and I agree that “tuffets” may not be the best sleeping surface :slight_smile:


Hi Phoenix,

Just to follow up now that we have received our new, new, NEW mattress. Crazy.

So, it is a Simmons Beautyrest Black Bel-Air from Mattress Mart in Canada.

One tiny tag says:
70% Polyester
30% Micromodal

The law tag says:
Polyurethane Foam
Visco Elastic Foam
Polyester Fibres
Rayon Fibres

Most telling is what I would call the “build” tag that probably should have been removed before we got the mattress. Here’s the scoop from that:

Support: Celestra
Poly 1: 3/4 FM 3LB AVENA
Poly 2: 3/4 FM 3LB AVENA
Poly 3: Silk

2: 91149x 2PF28
3: 91143x 1" NXG

91146x 1/2PF55

I don’t see the word “latex” anywhere. This after the sales pitch about how this mattress has latex in the comfort layer (including the sample “layers” that you can touch showing latex with 2 other types of foam). Maybe I’m missing it in the lingo, but my skeptical view says no. Buyer beware!

All of this aside, we are actually sleeping very well on this mattress and starting to feel human again after months of torture tuffets. Thanks for accompanying us on the journey. We learned A LOT and will benefit in the years to come from your hard work and diligence.

Hi Goldfish_7,

Well it’s certainly clear to me that your mattress doesn’t have any latex in it.

The Avena is a higher density good quality polyurethane foam with “latex like” qualities so perhaps this is the “source” of the marketing “claim”. It also has holes in it (punched after it’s poured) which could also create the impression that it’s latex (latex usually has pincores in it which are part of how it is manufactured).

Thanks for posting the "ingredients … and if they specifically claimed that the mattress contained latex … I would bring the law tag to their attention to see what they said. This kind of stuff is way too typical in the industry today.

It’s good to see that the mattress is “working” for you and it seems you have at least made the best out of a difficult situation :slight_smile:

Thanks again for all your input and questions.