Buy untried online or ease up on stringent "no foam" requirements? Need helps picking a mattress!

Trying to make this short: we need to replace our 23 year old king mattress.

Trouble is I don’t want any foam or anything synthetic in it.
Based on this requirement alone it seems impossible to find anything in driving distance in our area.
We looked at just about all suggestions for Atlanta that I found on this board and pretty much all include some kind of foam or synthetics in the mattress. Except one higher-end store we visited that we can’t go with because their prices are simply way too high.

Which took us to the “buy online” option. Trouble is this is hard, particularly after I read reviews where people thought they wanted x item online and when they visited in person they ended up with something completely different.

I really don’t want to make a mistake because I know my husband will not want to bother going through all the trouble with the return (he’s the type who doesn’t like complications and “going out of his way” to get “perfect” whereas I am the type who gets really frustrated when I don’t get what i was REALLY hoping to get for my money. This is why I hate internet shopping in general; but today there is hardly any other way as long as most quality merchandise can’t event be found in regular stores anymore.

Below are the traits I am looking for in a mattress coupled with some info about the “sleeping beauties”. :slight_smile: If anyone could point us in any direction for a product online MOST LIKELY to be what we need! I we would greatly appreciated it.

Desired qualities in a mattress:

  1. No synthetic foam of any sort. Not memory, not poly, nothing - anywhere in the mattress.
  2. No synthetic in the ticking. So no need for organic but I do want all natural and well made, for breathability and durability purposes.
  3. That would most likely make it a hybrid: an innerspring coils with some comfort layers made of either natural latex or natural fibers or both (I know, tall order).
  4. Mattrss should not be ALL latex, so no one big latex slab. We found out with our son’s ikea morgongava that “all latex” would mean too many heavy mattresses to flip or move. Latex in the comfort layers only would be fine.
  5. We have a king now but we need to make it 2 twin XLs this time.
  6. Foundation must be high quality to prevent becoming squeaky, which I absolutely hate.
  7. Firmness: we want a firm core with somewhat plush comfort layers. No need to sink into clouds, but some pressure relief on what appear to be increasingly achy backs, would be nice. This is where it gets difficult because I know the plush feeling typically comes from foam. Perhaps a very soft, high quality talalay latex could achieve similar?
  8. Also two sided, flipable.
  9. Wool as FR, no other chemicals.

Price: would be nice not to have to go above 2500 including everything.

To give an idea of what firm, soft and “just right” means to me (husband will sleep on pretty much anything, so I am the fussy one here):

Ikea Morgongava which is made of Dunlop latex (mountaintop origin?) is too firm for me.

Some OMI (Organicpedic) mattresses with talalay latex felt great when I tried them at the fancy store. :slight_smile:

Simmons Beautyrest in medium firmness felt wonderful when i tried it at mattress firm (I am only talking about the feel itself as I would not consider this product anyway given materials used, durability issues, bad reviews and just due to the principle of avoiding the big S-es, in general).

Info about us: I am 41, husband 49.
Husband 6’2", 200 lbs, I - 5’7", 160 lbs.

I am a side sleeper, sometimes almost 3/4th on the stomach, but not quite. I change positions quite often.
I have had some chronic mid-back pain ever since my second child was born. I don’t think it’s exclusively because of our 23+ year old mattress but its age probably doesn’t help my cause anyway.

So what should we do? There seem to be some options out there, in the WWW; but after many hours of research, including all homework done on this site, I still don’t know how any of those choices truly feel, whether it will be what I am looking for or we will get stuck with something “not quite”.

Alternatively, a complete change of framework would be needed and i would have to let go of the “no foam anywhere” exigence.

In that case, we could give a try to the Original Mattress Factory which has been recommended to us by other people we know too. Trouble is they use foam in all of their mattresses.

Reasons I don’t want foams:

Synthetics heat me up and just feel stifling.

I can’t stand knowing that I have things like kitchen sponges in my mattress. I know they tend to get squished and give in sooner rather than later, even the high quality ones. We want this mattress to LAST because we change mattress way less frequently than the recommended 8-10 years. That sounds too wasteful to me.

More likely to be include all sorts of nasty chemicals.

Any advice and concrete recs would be tremendously appreciated. I am in the 'analysis paralysis" stage after so much research and have a hard time picking something online.

When I asked my sister-in-law how they got their mattress, she said: went to the OMF, sat on several, picked the one that felt best and left with a purchase.

I was jealous.

Hi Syracusa,

Have you tried calling all the smaller manufacturers in the Atlanta list to see if they can make a mattress that fits your criteria that you can test in person?

While I don’t have the time to look at all the options in the Atlanta list in more detail or call them … a quick search shows that Room and Board has latex/innerspring hybrid that seems to fit your criteria here (innerspring, 100% natural latex comfort layers, and wool quilting).

Ikea also has one here that uses their 85% natural latex and may be “natural enough” for you (Note: Ikea has discontinued this mattress)
ADMIN NOTE: Removed Footprint to Discontinued Product | Archived Footprint: Products - IKEA

There may be some others as well.

Several of the members here that sell mattresses online and use a combination of innersprings (usually pocket coils) and latex include … Makes a latex/pocket coil mattress with a wool quilted cotton cover. Makes a range of customizable component latex/pocket coil mattress with different options to choose the pocket coils, the thickness and firmness of the comfort layers, and the cover.

Ultimate Hybrid- Pocket Coil/Latex Component latex/pocket coil hybrid with a wool quilted cotton cover with several options to choose the thickness and firmness of the comfort layers.

Latex Mattresses, Organic Latex Mattress, Pocket Coil Mattress - Flexus Comfort and QUADRA-Flex® Pocket Coil Latex Mattress - Flexus Comfort sells one-sided mattress using latex on top and also a two sided pocket coil mattress that has latex and a thin layer of polyfoam in the comfort layers and a polyfoam edge support.
ADMIN NOTE: Removed Footprint to Discontinued Product | Archived Footprint: Latex Mattresses, Organic Latex Mattress, Pocket Coil Mattress - Flexus Comfort

Dreamfoam also sells a lower budget latex/pocket coil here which has 2" of Talalay latex and some polyfoam in the comfort layers (I’m not sure of the specifics of all the layers and components).

Nest Beding Has a latex/pocket coil mattress with a wool quilted cover. makes a latex/pocket coil mattress that can be purchased with or without a latex topper.

While they are not a member here … and and and Bed Mattresses | Berkeley CA | European Sleep Works also have component mattresses that would also fit your criteria for materials and can ship their mattresses across the country.
ADMIN NOTE:Removed 404 page link | Archived Footprint: Makes a wide range of latex/innerspring hybrids. Makes two latex/innerspring mattresses
ADMIN NOTE:Removed 404 page link | Archived Footprint: also makes a line of latex/innerspring hybrids but make sure you can find out the specifics of all the layers of any of their mattresses you are considering.

ADMIN NOTE:Removed 404 page link | Archived Footprint: Best American Made Mattresses & Mattress Sets (Compare Prices)

There is also a list of manufacturers that make innerspring/natural fiber mattresses in post #4 here and many of these also make innerspring mattresses that include latex comfort layers with no polyfoam.

There are only two ways to have a reasonable sense of how a mattress will feel for you. The first is your own personal testing or experience and of course this is the most accurate.

When you can’t test a mattress in person then the second is a more detailed conversation on the phone with an experienced and knowledgeable online manufacturer or retailer who can help “talk you through” which of the options they carry has the best chance of working well for you. They will know more about how their mattresses feel to different people than anyone else (or anyone here) and they provide this type of guidance to their customers every day. The more information you can provide them on the phone the more you can help them to help you make the best possible choice.

If you are still uncertain whether a mattress would be a good match for you after a more detailed conversation then the options you have after a purchase to exchange or return the mattress (or individual components) would also become a more important part of your purchase decision so you can use your own personal sleeping experience to decide whether a mattress is a good match for you with only the risk of the time and effort to return or exchange the mattress or individual layers (and of course any costs involved which I would make sure you are comfortable with before a purchase just in case).


Thank you, Phoenix. I did try to talk to local manufacturers but they all used some kind of foam in their mattresses and I originally wanted to stay away from any of that.

For our mattress purchase, I will change gears completely - after this “all latex” disappointment. I will add more about it on the Ikea Morgongava thread.

Right now, I am actually quite upset that we are stuck with this heat-trapping mattress. :frowning:

Hi Syracusa,

Latex foam, memory foam, and polyfoam are all “foam” materials but there are at least two that I linked in the last reply that don’t use any polyfoam in their mattresses. I thought it was the polyfoam and memory foam that you wanted to avoid … not the latex foam.


Hi Phoenix,

That’s what I thought too - that latex is natural and therefore fine. And perhaps it is - in small doses.

Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that an “ALL latex” bed sleeps hot and is stifling too, just like the memory foam.
It only makes sense considering you sleep on a large slab of compact material, with no air circulation; unlike inner springs that are at least partially hollow and allow the air to move.
When it comes to latex, I fell for the “if-some-is-great, more-is-better” line of thinking. Some soft latex layer might be better than foam layers, but an “ALL latex” bed sleeps hot period.

We now know that we will go with a coil/inner-spring mattress for us - FOR SURE; and will try to get as little foam or latex in it as possible. We will definitely look into the suggestions you made above.

I just hate it that my son is stuck with this “all latex” mattress (return not available, exchange not an option as we don’t want any of their other mattresses).

I am trying now to come up with a combination of natural fiber toppers (maybe a wool pad topped by an all cotton one?) so I can create a breathable barrier between his body and the mattress. I am just afraid that even this might not work because that big slab of latex underneath will still trap lots of heat under his body - and he already is a very restless sleeper who kicks all covers off of him.

I also learned that mattresses with inner-springs and 100% natural fibers (no foam of any sort included) tend to be very expensive if well-made (as you very well put it in the article of Natural Fibers).

I grew up sleeping on a mattress of this type: 100% coil and natural fibers, no trace of anything foam, hand-made by highly skilled dude, sans the “cool” print checkers.

It lasted my grandparents many decades in a row. When problems eventually showed up, another skilled dude came at home and fixed the mattress by cutting it, refilling it, doing whatever to it. They never bought a new mattress.
And they BOTH lived to almost 100. Yes, good ol’ days in good ol’ lands. :slight_smile:

This current mattress search taught me that this kind of sleep experience is no longer available for non-rich individuals and that “mortals” are expected to sleep on foams of all sorts, and change them more or less like socks.

All will involve some kind of problem, whether related to heat trapping, durability, firmness, sagging or some other kind.

To get a decently made, not too hard, innerspring, all natural fiber mattress - seems to be an impossibility nowadays.

Thank you so much again for all your guidance.

Hi Syrcusa,

My reply here in your other topic includes my comments about the sleeping temperature issues and latex that you mentioned here as well. As you can see from my reply there … your comments are certainly not representative of most people’s experience although each person is unique when it comes to both sleeping temperature and to which mattress is the best match for them in terms of PPP and the parts of their personal value equation that are most important to them.

In almost any area connected to mattress design and construction, what works well for the majority of people may not work well at all for others that are in the minority … as frustrating as that may be when you are one of the minority that experience issues that don’t seem to affect most people.

If you decide on a wool topper some of the better wool manufacturers and suppliers that I’m aware of that sell them are listed in post #3 here. I would keep in mind that cotton is much firmer and less resilient than wool (especially when it packs down and compresses) and it may be a good idea to stick to cotton fabrics around the wool rather than a topper with cotton batting.

My previous reply before this one includes this link to a list of some good quality innerspring/natural fiber mattresses.



Thank you for the point on the wool/cotton combination for the topper and the link to topper options. That is really helpful.

This mattress needed a pad anyway (strictly for protection);
for now I have been using a twin quilt as protection (80% cotton, 20% poly - not great), while waiting to decide on the type of mattress pad. But after sleeping on the mattress last night and based on what you commented - an actual wool topper will be the way to go.

Like you said, it makes a difference for most people - and hopefully this is the answer.

In the end, I may indeed be in the minority when it comes to temperature sensitivity to synthetics of all sorts.
I tend to heat up a lot - but the funny thing is that warm natural and breathable materials don’t stifle me like synthetics do. They just feel pleasantly warm.

For example, if I compare a wool blanket with the same level of “fluff” and “thickness” as a synthetic fleece blanket - the first will feel warm and cozy - whereas the second will feel stifling, with a sensation that I can’t breathe. Very different kind of “warm”.

If the wool topper will work well, it should be OK - though overall an overall more expensive bed than I had hoped to get away with for our 9 yo.

At the same time, it has provided a great learning experience for the decision on our own mattress.

Thank you again for the links!

Hi Syracusa,

This is a fairly common experience when it comes to synthetic fibers or fabrics compared to natural fibers (such as wool, cotton, linen, or silk) or even semi synthetic fibers (such as bamboo or other types of viscose/rayon fabrics). Natural or semi synthetic fibers tend to be more breathable but they also absorb and wick and transport moisture better than synthetics which don’t absorb much if any moisture at all and ventilation in combination with moisture transport is the most effective method of regulating temperature.

The effect of different types of foam on sleeping temperature has many variables because there are a wide range of foams in each foam category with very different properties but in very general terms the different types of foam would “rank” from least to most breathable in order from memory foam to polyfoam to latex (with Talalay being more breathable than Dunlop).

Because the synthetic fleece doesn’t absorb moisture … the humidity levels against your skin would be higher and this would have a similar effect to going outside on a day that has high humidity and temperatures “feel” warmer than on days where the humidity levels are lower because the air can’t absorb any more moisture and transport it away from your body to cool it down as effectively.

A wool topper has certainly helped many people to regulate their sleeping temperature (in both directions) and hopefully it will help you as well :slight_smile:



I am wanting to know if you would share what mattress you ended up purchasing?

I seem to be in the same boat as you in that all latex sleeps hot for me. And I purchased a higher quality one than the IKEA. Mine was Certified Latex, with Organic Cotton and Wool cover.

I am now looking at purchasing a pocket coil mattress with latex or some other padding. I definitely DO NOT want any memory foam!

Thanks in advance for your response!

Hi SeaLifeLover,

This is a somewhat old topic so hopefully Syracusa will see your post and share their comments.

In the meantime though … while it’s not always possible to to track down or quantify temperature regulation issues for any particular person on a specific mattress because there are so many variables involved (including your room temperature and humidity, your sheets and bedding and bedclothes, your mattress protector or any mattress pads you are using, and where you are in the “oven to iceberg” range) and some people can sleep warmer on mattresses that most people are generally fine with … there is more about tracking down a potential cause or causes for temperature regulation issues (at least to the degree possible for a specific mattress) in post #2 here and the posts it links to that may be helpful.