Budget mattress or mattress surgery?

My story is so similar to others’ here that it may put you to sleep (maybe that’s a good thing on this site). I’m male, 54, 5’8", 160, side and sometimes stomach sleeper, located in San Diego. I sleep alone on a queen mattress supported by an ancient waterbed frame. After 18 satisfied years on a Sealy Posturpedic pillowtop, some sagging, so time to shop. Taking liberal advantage of Costco and Sears return policies, I tried a memory foam and three innerspring mattresses over the course of several months … finally settled on another Sealy Posturpedic pillowtop from Sears, the Cason Bay Ti Firm Euro Pillowtop. Allegedly a $1400 mattress (queen), I got it for under $500 delivered. Felt fine for a while, but after 18 months, the upper foams had broken down so much that side sleep became pretzel sleep. Warranty claim denied because–surprise!–the foam springs back enough when you’re not on it that it doesn’t sag 1.5" (although 3/4" in 18 months seems like a lot). Sought out a chiropractor for the first time and got some relief. Finally decided to try the guest bed with its $100 Goodwill Posturpedic. On a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is cement, this is a 9. I think it’s basically a thick blanket over springs, held up by mites (weighs a ton). Anyway, with a thick non-foam mattress pad on that, I’m sleeping better but not great, and my back is better but not great. Tried a 3" Costco memory foam topper on this one and it was too mushy.

So I’m looking for options. The mattress budget was spent two years ago, but maybe I can invest another $500 if it helps with the sleeping and lower back pain. It seems the custom shops often referenced here start at around $1000 so I haven’t tried them. I’m wondering if there is a decent new mattress in this range or, after reading a couple accounts here, whether I should operate on the almost-new Sealy.

For the buying option, I feel like I need to avoid Sealy etc., so I visited Ikea. The “high-resilience” poly foam Favang ($329 queen) felt pretty good but their twin demo was on a springy wood slat base so it might feel too hard on my waterbed “platform.” The latex Elsfjord ($499) was okay but I liked the feel of the innerspring Hogla ($479) better–they had that on a platform already. I did not notice the thinner, cheaper innerspring Hanestad ($249) while I was there and wonder if it would be just as good; the ability to take it home rolled up is attractive (no free delivery from Ikea).

As for what’s there to work with in terms of a repair, the Cason Bay Ti queen (don’t miss your chance to buy at Sears outlet!) has 736 coils and offers this description:

So, foam and springs covered by cloth, very informative. The actual mattress tag might mean a little more to someone: Polyurethane Foam 81%, Polyethylene Foam 12%, Blended Rayon/Polyester Fiber Batting 6%, Polypropylene Foam 1%, Spring Unit.

Open to other vendors/options including airbeds or waterbeds (not a memory foam fan). Any thoughts appreciated!


Hi sdmrk,

Unfortunately … as you probably know from reading here … your situation with a denied warranty claim because of foam softening and the loss of comfort and support without impressions deep enough to trigger a warranty exchange is fairly common.

Many of the manufacturers and retailers mentioned on the site either in the membership or in many of the lists from around the country have mattresses that range from the lowest budget range to the premium budget ranges so I certainly wouldn’t make the “$1000 and up” assumption.

Doing mattress surgery can be an interesting project but can also involve some time, experimentation and trial and error along with some costs (higher costs if you make choices that aren’t suitable for you) depending on what materials you use to replace the foam in your mattress and on whether you buy a new cover to replace the one you will need to cut open. Whether you are up for the challenges that may be involved is something that only each person can answer but it may be worthwhile at least opening up your mattress so see what is inside it and then deciding whether you want to proceed. Since the springs in your mattress are likely to still be OK … mattress surgery lets you put more of your money into the comfort layers and possibly a new cover but the risk is that if you were to buy a more costly foam layer and it doesn’t work out for you then you would need to buy another one if you can’t return it and the costs can end up higher than if you purchase a new mattress in the first place.

You can see some of my comments about some of the Ikea mattresses in post #3 here.

Only you can decide from your testing how suitable they may be in terms of PPP (posture andalignment, pressure relief, and personal preferences) but I can certainly make a few comments about the quality of the materials in the ones you mentioned that aren’t included in the post I linked.


The polyfoam in this is good quality (2.2 lbs) although the rest of the materials are lower quality (polyester fibers etc) but for a mattress in this price range I would consider it good value (as long as it works well for you). I would try this mattress on the floor or on a firm base because with a mattress this thin you would probably notice a difference if you used it on a firm non flexing platform, slats, or foundation (or at least buy it with the base you found was comfortable as long as it fits in your bed)


This only has 1.5 lb density foam in the top layer (and I would want to know the thickness of the polyfoam) which is low quality for a one sided mattress but it’s also in a lower budget range so for those where durability wasn’t as big an issue it could make a reasonable choice although even the Sultan Holmsta which includes some latex in the comfort layers (although I also don’t consider this to be one of the better Ikea choices either and the thickness of the layers aren’t disclosed) may be a better choice yet.


Again they don’t disclose the thickness of the polyfoam or any specifics about the coil gauge (only the coil count) but it may also be worth considering as a “throwaway” mattress where durability isn’t a real issue.

It may be worth looking at Dreamfoam on Amazon which has some low cost innerspring options (including an innerspring/latex hybrid).

Some of the better options and possibilities in the San Diego area are listed in post #2 here and if you call them some of these and let them know your criteria some of them may also have some low budget options available that would be worth testing as well.



Thanks very much for your reply.

I think you’ve talked me out of surgery. Too many unknowns … as much as I would like to get some value out of that mattress.

One of your posts (can’t find right now) mentioned two products to go under the old mattress, I think, but the links weren’t working. I’d be curious to see what those were. You also mentioned putting boards under the mattress. I could try that, or maybe even a slatted thing like this to “push up” in the middle?

I had seen the extensive San Diego list before, but I guess I stopped too soon when sampling prices. The options are a bit overwhelming!

Thanks for the thoughts on the specific Ikea mattresses, especially the ones not covered in the helpful #3 post. The Favang felt comfortably firm on the springy slats. I was concerned that it would be too firm on my platform. They had cutaways of several of the mattresses on display. Guess I need to head back with a ruler and get more details on the ones I like.


Hi sdmark,

I’m guessing you were talking about post #4 here? thanks for letting me know about the links (I fixed them). I think that both of these or some of the other suggestions in the post would likely work better than the Sultan Laxeby.

I would do most of the “narrowing down” on the phone. If you have a clear idea of your criteria or the options you are looking for … it’s much faster and more effective than visiting them in person only to find they may not have what you are looking for.


Yes that was the post, thanks. That air bladder Mattress Remedy looks pretty cool–I may try that. Oh and I just found a post with pics of the homemade board solution.

Hi sdmzark,

The board solution is a similar concept to the ideas in the linked post. I appreciate the reminder though because I’d been meaning to link LEW’s post with pictures to the post about sagging but had forgotten so I’ve now included a link … thank you :slight_smile:


As someone who is really struggling with a sagging mattress right now, it seems like a mattress sag is a lot more complicated than just filling a hole with some material. The hip area is always the worse, but it’s not that the padding has only worn out in that one spot, although it may seem that way at first, once you fill the spot with something, you realize the whole thing is actually bad, in different degrees all over.

I don’t want to rush into buying my next mattress, I’m worried about making another mistake, but my Simmons has become a torture chamber so that I dread going to bed at night. I have a lot of foam of different types around from making seat cushions and the like and it just doesn’t seem like anything helps. The mattress is already on a solid plywood platform but it’s so thick that doesn’t help. :frowning:

Hi SleepDeprived,

Part of the problem is that when foam softens or fibers compress and pack down that it can lead to the loss of both comfort and support. Adding some height under an area where there is a sag can help to some degree with alignment issues but it may not help with pressure points because if the foam on top has softened or isn’t thick enough and you are “going through” into firmer layers then the mattress has a reduced ability to relieve pressure. In most cases there isn’t really aren’t any good or long term “fixes” for a mattress that is too soft or is sagging unless you remove the cause of the problem (usually the foam or fiber in the top layers) and replace them with more suitable materials.


A few impressions from today’s trip to Ikea. I seem to be ranking mattresses in terms of subjective firmness. See this post for pictures.

Holmsta (coil + poly + latex) - too soft

Hogla (coil + poly) - comfortable, but it looks like 2" - 3" of poly (including the thick cushion top). The salesperson said this is the mattress that holds its shape the best on the showroom floor; others shift or sag.

Fjordgard (high-res poly + latex) - pretty firm, not bad - would it stay firm enough over time? Cutaway shows that poly has large gaps which must be part of what makes it less firm than Favang. The side looks pretty much intact (picture) compared to the Edsele but it could be a newer floor model.

Edsele (thicker all-latex) - firmer that Fjordgard, but can almost feel that it is one piece of foam. The side looked a little deformed (picture)–is that something to be concerned about?

Favang (all high-res poly) - comparable to Edsele in firmness, 1/3 the price

Elsford (thinner all-latex) - firmest of the bunch

I also dragged a latex topper over and put on the Favang. That was pretty darn comfortable. Softer on top than the Fjordgard which is a similar construction (high-res poly with latex on top). Does it matter that the latex in the topper is 80% natural whereas the latex in the Fjordgard is 80% synthetic?

If I had to decide today, I’d probably go with the Fjordgard.

Fjordgard floor model looks good.

Edsele floor model somewhat disheveled.

Hi sdmark,

I can’t speak to the comfort or support of any of their mattresses because comfort is subjective and how well a mattress matches your needs and preferences in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) will vary based on each person’s body type, sleeping positions, and preferences.

I think my previous comments about the Ikea mattresses cover most of the quality information but just to recap … I would tend to avoid 1.5 lb polyfoam in the comfort layers unless budgetary concerns were more important than durability. The risk of foam softening and the loss of comfort and support would be too high for me (again unless durability was not a particularly important issue).

I would be cautious of pocket coils with a coil count of 484 (queen) and they also don’t mention the gauge of the wire. This is a fairly low coil count for a pocket coil which flexes independently and doesn’t have the benefit of being joined to adjacent springs for greater strength and would have larger gaps in between the coils.

Any latex (synthetic or natural) is a more durable material than polyfoam but latex with a higher natural content would generally be a higher performance and probably more durable material than latex that was mostly synthetic so I would lean towards their latex that was the 85% (natural)/15% (synthetic) blend.

Polyfoam in the 2.2 lb range would also be a durable material.

I don’t know what happened to the Edsele although I can certainly see what you mean about the cover (it looks like it’s compressed by the foot protector) but the 85%/15% latex would be the most durable of all the materials in their mattresses under normal circumstances.

The Sultan Fjordgard uses mostly synthetic latex which wouldn’t be my preference if I was choosing latex … but synthetic latex is also a durable material and it also doesn’t have any obvious weak links in the mattress so it also would be a reasonable choice in terms of quality/durability.

The Favang would also make a good base for a topper and while once again my preference would be towards more natural Dunlop latex … the combination would also make a reasonable choice in terms of durability and the advantage of a mattress / topper combination would be that you could replace just the topper instead of the whole mattress if it softens or breaks down faster than the support layer.


Rats, just lost a long reply. I must have hit Quick Reply again instead of Submit.

Main thing is to say thanks of the thoughtful and insightful post.

Good point on the coils. Had some negative personal experience with individual Simmons coils letting my hips sink more than my shoulders.

Looks like a hybrid high-res poly + latex on top might fit my value equation. Went through the San Diego vendor list again as well as the national member list. I see lots of all-latex offerings for well over $1000 (including this list from one member). So far I only see Dreamfoam as a hybrid vendor. Are there sellers I’m missing?

On the Dreamfoam, I don’t get why their mattress has the 1.5" of “hyper flex” (poly?) on top. Also, one review indicates they now use 1.5lb high density poly for the base foam whereas it used to be 2.35. 1.5 is low for a base, isn’t it?

BTW I tried some 2x12s under the Sealy. Didn’t seem to make much difference. The pillowtop is almost 4" so still sinking through the no-longer-resilient foam.


Hi sdmark,

Besides Dreamfoam and Brooklyn Bedding which have quite a number of hybrids … Arizona Premium has some listed here and Bay Bed and Mattress also has component pocket coil / latex mattresses.

There are many people who prefer a less resilient quilting layer above latex (which is quite “springy”) so this is a matter of preference. The hyperflex adds a softer surface feel to the mattress.

A post from a couple of days ago also asked about the change in the foam and you can read some comments in the links I included in my reply in post #18 here.

It’s always worth a try and in some cases it can make a difference but it’s certainly not an “ideal” fix and if the top foam has softened too much then it’s usually time for a new mattress.



Thanks and wow - how many thousand words do you type per day - and starting at 4am? Can’t sleep thinking about mattresses? :wink:

Wish I was in Brooklyn and could try some of their mattresses in person. Kind of surprised that Costco/Sam’s Club don’t offer more in the way of “value” latex hybrid options. I guess they are still mostly focused on quantity and major name brands plus the whole memory foam craze.


Hi sdmark,

I don’t typically sleep more than about 6 hours a day and my day is rather “fluid”. I usually spend about 10 - 12 hours on the forum and when the posts here are up to date (which is always my first priority) then I get to put on the rest of my hats and start my day which usually involves various types of research, phone calls, or work on the site. My typical day is about 16+ hours :slight_smile:

They are actually in Phoenix even though their name says Brooklyn so those who live there are fortunate to have 3 of the members of this site in the area.

Costco and some of the big box stores do occasionally have some better quality latex or latex hybrid mattresses on their sites but it takes some research to find them because if you talk with them they don’t know much about the mattresses they sell. Most of them though are just “more of the same” as you would find in the mainstream stores. Part of the problem is that they don’t always say what’s in their mattresses or in some cases the descriptions can be misleading so it can be difficult to know what you’re really buying.


Interesting…almost worth a trip from San Diego… Also means the online risk is slightly lower if any returns wouldn’t have to be shipped as far.

Hi sdmark,

5 hours or so each way might well be worth a weekend trip or getaway :slight_smile:


Next business: Phoenix Mattress Tours by Phoenix. :slight_smile:

Went by the local Healthy Back yesterday. Did learn that their latex topper is ILD 15, too soft especially when placed on the concrete floor for demonstration purposes. I liked the $2500 “medium” Bliss mattress, their “most popular model,” but the salesperson didn’t know ILDs on the mattress layers. A follow-up phone call identified this as a Bliss Essence, so based on post #11 here, that’s 1" of ILD 15 plus 2" of ILD 24. If I have that right, it’s good to know that ILD 24 or below might be best for me.

I planned to visit A Bedder Buy locally to look at their latex mattresses. However after learning in post #2 here that the “engineered latex” in a Boyd 910 isn’t latex, I’m not sure it’s worth the trip. (I thought $399 for a queen latex hybrid with foundation was too good to be true.)

From the picture of the “Lavendar Latex Hybrid,” the “pillowtop” quilting looks too thick, and even that is a latex/poly mix.

Nature’s Rest and iComfort are out of my price range.

What about the Boyd 933? Is that top layer real latex?

Hi sdmark,

I would probably want to know more specifics about the Lavender latex hybrid because they don’t list the individual layers in order and whether it was too thick in terms of durability would depend on the specific layers of the mattress and in terms of suitability would depend on your testing for PPP.

You can see the layers of the Boyd 933 here. It has 2" of latex in the top layer.


[quote=“Phoenix” post=24656]I would tend to avoid 1.5 lb polyfoam in the comfort layers unless budgetary concerns were more important than durability. The risk of foam softening and the loss of comfort and support would be too high for me (again unless durability was not a particularly important issue).

Polyfoam in the 2.2 lb range would also be a durable material.

The Favang would also make a good base for a topper and while once again my preference would be towards more natural Dunlop latex … the combination would also make a reasonable choice in terms of durability and the advantage of a mattress / topper combination would be that you could replace just the topper instead of the whole mattress if it softens or breaks down faster than the support layer.[/quote]

I"m back. Tax refund is here and I’m finally getting ready to buy a topper and/or mattress.

In trying to balance versatility, durability, and budget, I’m narrowing things down to a polyfoam + latex hybrid. I like the option of replacing the comfort layer. Current options (queen pricing):

  • Ideal: Brooklyn’s Bamboo Bliss 3" Talalay + 8" 2.17 lb “BB HD Foam” $1200
  • Almost affordable: Dreamfoam Ultimate Dreams 3" Talalay + 8" 1.5lb “high density convoluted foam” $899
  • Build Your Own: Dreamfoam 3" Talalay topper $354 + Ikea Sultan Favang mattress 5" 2.2lb “high-resilience poly foam” $329 = $683

I’d be especially interested in feedback on the “build your own” option. At 160 lbs, I don’t think I need 8" of core. I guess I could add a soft “quilting” layer, though I already have a fairly thick mattress pad. Can I achieve something that will serve me as well as a Bamboo Bliss (in terms of comfort and durability) but cost $500 less?