First, I want to thank you, Phoenix, for all that you do for mattress consumers! Not only do you provide an invaluable resource for shoppers; you clearly exert a powerful positive influence on the industry. Both are truly remarkable!
I’ve been digging around on the web for about a month, since I finally accepted that my twenty year old innerspring mattress must be replaced. Although I visited many sites, I kept coming back here for trustworthy information and much-needed clarity. So I registered here, and I’m ready to move on to the next step of making this decision.
I loved my Big-S innerspring mattress for many years. Perhaps they were made better back then, or perhaps I didn’t know how much better a mattress could be. Probably both. For the past year, I’ve strategically placed folded blankets under it to compensate for the sag, but that is no longer enough. I’ve dreaded the day when I’d have to replace it, because I thought it would be a roll of the dice, at best. When I learned about how most manufacturers respond to the 2007 CPSC regulation, I was almost ready to give up and sleep on the floor. Now I know that this is an opportunity to get a better mattress than I’ve ever had, because there are actually good products and reliable (non-marketing) information out there.
I’ve completed the steps in the tutorial, except for the one you stress the most, unfortunately. The material that I’ve chosen for my next mattress is natural latex. I’ve looked high and low for any latex mattress in a showroom here in north Mississippi or even Memphis TN with no luck. So I haven’t tried any latex mattresses.
What I have done is try a 3" natural latex mattress topper from SleepOnLatex. I’ve even slept on it, on top of a very firm futon mattress. I thought I preferred a very firm mattress, but that futon proved to me that I’m probably closer to the middle of the firmness range. Even with the 3" medium topper on it, it’s still too firm. On the other hand, I did love the material, just as I’d hoped. Some prior experiences with spongy talalay pillows left some doubt in my mind. I didn’t like them at all. But this dunlop medium topper, although too firm on the futon, made me more comfortable trying to get to sleep than I have been in years.
The brands at the top of my list right now are SavvyRest, FoamSweetFoam (I just like that name better than their new one), Spindle, and SleepOnLatex, in descending order of cost. I’ve learned a lot about each one from their sites and especially yours (sometimes by what is not said), and I’m doing my best to keep it all in mind. All are within budget and check the right boxes for me. However, I’m more comfortable with the middle of that budget range, and I don’t fully understand what might make each one worth more than the one after it.
The front runner right now is Spindle. I haven’t been able to find the value to justify the price at SR, and SOL is losing out because I like the advantages of a 3x3" configuration. FSF is still right there with Spindle in consideration, but as with SR, if I can’t find $400 more value in it, I’m going to have to eliminate them. Besides, I like that Spindle’s foam is made in PA. I have nothing against Sri Lankan workers, but if American workers can produce the same (or higher) quality product at the same (or lower) price, then I’ll support the American workers every time.
I’m leaning toward Spindle’s medium configuration, but I’m not 100% sure I don’t want the firm. I think the top layer of their firm will be much like the topper I tried. But underneath it will be six more inches of latex. Even two firm latex layers will surely give a lot more than this board I call a futon mattress. But I see that I can make a Spindle medium a bit firmer with some layer flipping. And I also see that latex responds differently from mattresses I’ve slept on in the past. I may not need the firmness I’ve always thought I needed.
I’ve always preferred much more firmness than anyone I know, and it’s probably due to poor tone in my core. I could blame it on a herniated lumbar disc or frequent SI joint pain, but those probably trace right back to the poor tone too. I think of myself as a side sleeper, but the truth is that I end up in a 3/4 position almost every time. Is that what people call it? I’m almost on my stomach, but my neck can’t take being flat on my stomach. Anyway, as you can imagine, any concave curvature of the mattress (whether due to age or design) is a recipe for a backache in that position.
So firm has always been best for me. But now, after reading dozens and dozens of pages here on your site, I understand much better about alignment and pressure points. I have to admit that my alignment was terrible, even before my mattress started sagging, and my pressure points are probably playing a role in this 3/4 position I end up in. With the right support layers, I might not need to sacrifice as much on comfort.
I’m 6’2" and 220lbs. I was 260, but I’ve dropping that slowly for a couple of years. Based on Spindle’s calculator, I will likely be happiest with their medium. I’m going to call FSF and then Spindle on Monday. What I’d like to do is go ahead and place the order Monday afternoon, after talking to both. Would you recommend against taking your “optional” route in this case, since I’ve never tried a latex mattress? The alternative is to wait until I can travel to a city that has stores that carry latex. I could really use some better sleep sooner than that, if it’s not too big of an unknown. I really do love the feel of the topper, and that gives me a lot of confidence.
Most of all, I want to ask… Have I missed anything? I plan to talk to them about firmness, my sleep position, suitability of my bed frame, and value vs price (including the TheMattressUnderground discount). I think that’s all that is left on my list to clear up, but I would love to know if I’m overlooking something.
If you read, or even skimmed, all of that, I’m very grateful. There are a lot of factors that I felt I needed to include.