Buying a mattress

Hi Phoenix,

As you know we are just beginning our mattress buying ‘adventure’!
We started at Colton Mattress in Asheville NC. The owner, Mike Emerson was very pleasant, helpful and knowledgeable.

The Pantheon model is the one that ‘felt’ best. I believe that it is their top of the line, other than custom made to order. The mattress appears to be well made with well structured edges, they didn’t sag when we sat on the edge (as you advised as important, Mike did show us a cross sction of how they construct their mattresses)). It is somewhat firm, which would normally not be our choice but with a 3" natural/synthetic Talalay topper it felt just right. Good support but no pressure points. My wife and I are side sleepers and tried your suggested hand under the waist test.
We also looked at a split King size Liggett and Platt ‘Lifestyle’ S-Cape adjustable bed base (massager - seemed loud to us). Also tried a medium latex pillow which we liked.
So, we enjoyed our visit with Mike then talked price. We should have priced each item, Mattress, Topper, Base and pillows seperately but we didn’t. Putting aside that whole discussion about ‘sales’ pricing (the mattress was on sale) Mike did agree to make a couple of reductions on price plus no delivery or charge for tax. The total for the Pantheon, 3" natural/synthetic Talalay topper, L & G Lifestyle split King base (no massager) and one pillow would be $3,999.95 ‘out the door’. More than we wanted to spend, because of we were tempted by the adjustable base (we asked uorselves, how many hours do we spend in bed and what should be the cost to be as comfortably as possible - good qustion!).

I would like your thoughts on our ‘bargain hunting’ pricing (some bargain $4,000!!!). Also a couple of questions. I understand from reading your Forum that Talalay is a method of processing latex. What is a 'synthetic Talalay? Understanding that the ‘feel’ to us personally is the most important factor should we buy a medium support 3" all natural Talalay or is a blend okay? We read in bed every night, if we were to buy the L & G adjustable base would raising and lowering the mattress have an effect on its integrity? Any comments etc. would be appreciated.

We told Mike that we read about his store on your Forum and he said other people had arrived at his door for the same reason. I suggested, gently of course, that it woould be to his advantage to become a Member of Mattress Underground. Further, I told him that you personally have more knowledge than about anyone in the industry, you care very much about what you do for both the trade and the public alike. Your 16 hour days reflect that caring and commitment. Mike seems to be a good guy and he seemed to take my suggestion seriously. We will see.

Thanks again.


Hi Michael,

I would probably tend to find out the separate price of each component … mainly because you may be adding to your cost unnecessarily with the L & P adjustable base. Well over half the cost of your purchase would be the adjustable base. There are other alternatives which may have better value than the S-Cape with the same quality and function … or in some cases better function. I personally bought the Reverie Supreme because I thought it was better value than the L & P S-Cape adjustable. The Reverie Supreme, Ergomotion 400, and the S-Cape are all very similar (massage, wireless etc) except the Reverie has a better massage motor, was quieter (although they all have a fairly noisy massage), and the head raises higher. The weight limits are also higher. The best online pricing I know of for these, and they sell the L & P, Reverie, and Ergomotion (which is also a good value) as well as others is here. If nothing else this will give you a good “reference point”. While we don’t use ours for sleeping elevated or for any health reasons … we do spend time reading or watching a movie or even “lazy working” on the laptop and it’s great to have :).

If you take off the price for the adjustable base (two twins) … then the price for your mattress seems to be good value (although it may have been a “package” deal). As you mentioned … the “ideal” would be a firm enough base layer for good support and alignment and then a soft enough topper or comfort layers for good pressure relief and based on your testing it seems that the Pantheon was “on the mark” for both.

Both Talalay latex and Dunlop latex can be made with either all natural latex (NR) or a combination of natural and synthetic (SBR). With Talalay … the blended is generally better value. It is just as “safe” (both are Oeko-Tex standard 100 class 1 certified which is the “safe for babies” standard), the blended tends to be more durable in lower ILD’s (softer), more pressure relieving, and lower cost than the equivalent all natural version of Talalay. The all natural version is denser (which would make it a little more supportive), only uses NR (natural rubber) rather than SBR (synthetic rubber) and more expensive. It is most attractive to those who want something more natural, biodegradeable, and eco-friendly and are willing to pay more for a slightly less durable product. Both are great materials and each person may choose differently but IMO … the blended Talalay is better value.

With Dunlop the 100% natural would be my choice over a blend because Dunlop has a different cell structure and is a denser material than Talalay which gives it different properties.

There’s more about the different latex options in this article and more detail yet in post #2 here and in post #2 here (for those who want more specific details or are more technically inclined).

Thanks too for letting them know about the site and at some point I hope to have a more lengthy conversation with them.