Buying new mattress? Do your homework.

Hi Phoenix/Everyone,
My husband and I are in our mid fifties and live in NJ. We are ready for a new bed and I came across of your website while searching for the information about mattresses. I found your website very helpful and would like to ask for advice about the mattress type for us.
We both have lower back issues and I have pain in my hip which wakes me up if I am sleeping on that side. We are mostly side sleepers, occasionally on the back. I am 5"9", 155lb and like my bed little softer, my husband is 5’10’, 180lb and in favor of more firm bed. I spend all day today reading the information you are providing on your web and learn a lot about mattress’s type, materials, makes and etc. and feel little confused. I would like the bed with soft top, probably latex and firm middle support, either coil or the other type of supportive surface. Our main concern is quality as opposed to price. Could you please make a suggestion about the possible type of the bed for us and information about factories and show rooms locations in Northern Jerseys, zip 07405.
Thank you,

Hi ilusski,

There are some very good manufacturers near Butler, NJ.with some very interesting and diverse options. Some of them are more basic while some are built with more unusual materials or using more hand built construction methods.

You are probably wise to look at latex simply because is is both very durable and comes in a wide variety of softness/firmness. Depending on the feel you like … I would likely choose between either an innerspring core or a latex core. Which you choose would depend more on how it feels for you as a good innerspring and latex are both good and durable choices. Because of the differences in your preferences, if a single type of mattress doesn’t fit both of your needs and/or preferences, then a side to side split where each side of the mattress can be customized would also be a good choice. Many of these manufacturers would likely include this as an option.

For side sleeping … a typical latex comfort layer would be in the range of 3" with firmer support layers underneath it (either latex or a firm innerspring) or slightly less (about 2") with a slightly less firm support layer or a more contouring pocket coil innerspring. These of course are general guidelines which can be adjusted up or down slightly depending on what your mattress testing shows is best for you.

Some of the local factory direct manufacturers near you are … Fanwood, NJ. (36 miles) Makes a range of good quality innerspring and foam mattresses and 2 “part latex” mattresses. I think highly of them and they are also a member of this site. Jersey City, NJ. (39 miles) Makes a range of hand built innerspring and natural fiber beds. Bronx, NY. (33 miles) Makes a range of hand built mattresses using innersprings, natural and synthetic fibers, and latex. North Brunswick, NJ. (57 miles) They work in consultation with a health professional. Good quality but rather expensive and not the best value. New york, NY. (39 miles) Part of the Zinus group and specializes in various “budget” latex and memory foam hybrids with a “green” theme that is a little exaggerated. Clark, NJ. (31 miles) Makes a range of hand built mattresses using innersprings, various natural fibers, and latex. Highland Park, NJ. (52 miles) Makes a range of “organic” latex, cotton, and wool mattresses. Norwalk, CT. (65 miles) Makes a wide range of high quality mattresses including innerspring, latex, latex hybrids, wool, and cotton.

Some retail direct outlets include … New York, NY. (39 miles) Retail direct outlet for Berkeley Ergonomics which carries an range of high quality latex, latex/innersprings, and microcoil mattresses. NOTE ADDED: They are now a member of this site as well. New Your, NY. (39 miles) Carries a range of premium mattresses including some that are very high end. Not the best value here but included for interest sake New York, NY. (39 miles) Carries a range of quality latex mattresses including “choose your own layers” by Bella Sera and Savvy Rest. Great for testing various latex combinations. (NOTE ADDED June, 2016 … The Clean Bedroom is now closed) New York, NY. (39 miles) Retail direct outlet for Restwell who makes a range of latex and latex hybrid mattresses. National manufacturer of Talalay latex mattresses. It may be worth sending them an email on their site to find the nearest retailer to you as they make a range of quality talalay latex mattresses whose specs are known and they can make a very good blueprint for a DIY latex mattress if you should choose to go in this direction.

I would start with browsing the websites and making a few phone calls to get a sense of what they offer, how helpful they are with giving you information about what they carry that may suit you including prices, and how well you “connect” with what they say. I would then choose the best 2 or 3 and spend most of my time testing mattresses there and using their experience and knowledge to guide you in your testing. The more preliminary work you do on their websites and especially on the phone … the more you will be able to focus your time in just a few showrooms.

If you have questions along the way feel free to post them.

There are some very good and high quality choices here in a variety of different types of construction and budget ranges.


Hi Phoenix,
Thank you very much for your suggestions and information, it is been very helpful.

I am planning to call several places with the questions just like you suggested. I looked at few websites you sent me and read there that they are mostly using Talalay latex.
I was reading the other people postings and they were favoring Dunlop or combination of both mixed in the order to have better support and resilience affect.
Could you please comment on that?
I also came across of DIY abbreviation somewhere, but couldn’t find it again. What is DIY stands for?
Thank you,

Hi ilusski,

There is an ongoing debate in many places about the differences between Dunlop process and Talalay process latex and about which is “better”. In reality … they are just different rather than better or worse and each has its use in certain constructions and designs. Most people prefer Talalay in the comfort (upper layer) of a mattress because it can be made softer and is more “buoyant” feeling. For the middle and/or bottom layers … either can make a good choice. Dunlop will be “more supportive” but less “lively” and Talalay will be slightly less supportive but more “lively”. Dunlop is often used in a mattress which has a 6" latex core because it can be softer with initial compression but firmer with deeper compression than a single Talalay core of the same ILD. Talalay with two 3" layers in the middle and bottom where the bottom layer is firmer than the middle layer is often used to increase the progressive compression rate of Talalay. The most important thing in any layering scheme though is how it works with your unique weight, body shape, sleeping positions, and preferences.

In the end … most people choose based on the different feels between the two materials and which one they prefer. Either material can be used in different layerings to provide good pressure relief and alignment. I personally used all Talalay in my mattress layers because I prefer the slightly more “springy” feel but again this was based on personal preference. Dunlop used in a comfort layer is less popular for most but preferred by some who like a firmer feeling mattress or who like to sink in a little less. Talalay, particularly when it is softer, is closer to the feel that most people are used to in a mattress which uses softer foam in the upper layers.

Testing both will probably show a definite difference between the two different types of latex and make your preferences clear … but if I had to choose based on the most common preferences and based on what people are used to (without testing) … it would be talalay on top and either one below that based on the “design targets” of the mattress layering.

DIY means “do it yourself” and is an increasingly popular method of purchasing a mattress … especially with an online purchase. It means that you can choose the type and ILD (firmness/softness) of each layer in a mattress and to some degree “duplicate” the layering you prefer in your field testing. It involves choosing the firmness of several layers of a standard thickness. These layers are then put inside a high quality zip cover with usually the firmest layer on the bottom, the next firmest in the middle, and the softest on the top and then zipping up the cover. The advantage of this is that if you are not quite right on your choices … you can ship back one individual layer (rather than the whole mattress) and exchange a layer for another firmness to fine tune your mattress at a much lower cost. This type of an online purchase is a very good choice for those that don’t have a high quality/high value local manufacturer within reasonable driving distance of where they live and several of our members offer this type of construction and ship them across the country.


Hi Phoenix,
Thank you so much for your helpful suggestions and websites you sent me.
We went to all of the showrooms and some factories you suggested to visit. After numerous days of traveling and jumping from one mattress to another we finally rejected the inspiring mattresses with the cotton any other natural toppers like" Royal-Pedic", it just too hard and too firm for me.
We were offered to buy latex top in addition, but it didn’t make any sense and we settled on all latex mattress. The last place we visited was Thecleanbedroom store in Manhattan NY. They offered us to try a few latex mattresses and we both liked it more that inspiring.
We liked a couple of mattresses there and especially the multilayered latex mattress from “Green Sleep”. Its name is Vimala Dolcezza Mattress with Dowel foundation (They use some special spring foundation which cost $2370 alone- Is it necessary to have use this foundation?).
The mattress itself has a left and right sided mattress with one side firmer (for my husband) and second side softer (for me). It has three or four layers mattress and two of the middle layers could be customized with different ILD latex for each side ($4598).
The sales person didn’t tell us what kind of ILD was used in that particular mattress (they only had one), he just said that he will order the same one if we are buying.
Please check its details out at
We liked that mattress very much, but price is absolutely unbearable, almost $7000 for king size bed.
I decided to ask for your help again, hoping that you may suggest a similar mattress construction ( without any artificial foam) with some other company or smaller manufacture, where price would be more affordable.
Also, I read in one of your postings where you bought your own mattress, but couldn’t find it again. I know that you use adjustable bed, we don’t need that, but would be nice to look at the website again.
Could you please help me again, my mattress is absolutely killing my back.
Thank you,

Hi Ilusski,

You’re very welcome :). It was probably a bit of overkill but it hopefully gave you a wide range of mattresses to test.

The factories would generally have the best “value” but the showrooms have the benefit of testing various different types of mattress. The Royal-Pedic is a very nice and they make a range of different mattresses that use innersprings and latex as well as all latex. It is not uncommon for natural fiber mattresses to be firmer than people are used to. While all their mattresses are exceptionally high quality … they are also overpriced IMO and I also question the value of having a 7 zone support core where you have to “position” your body to take advantage of all 7 zones and where 2 people with different proportions need to “fit” the zoning in different ways. Good for testing … not so good for buying unless the price is irrelevant to a prospective purchaser. Their topper is also very expensive.

The Clean Bedroom is a great place to test latex mattresses … but every mattress there has much lower value than comparable mattresses sold by many independent manufacturers.

The Greensleep is a very high quality mattress but is also in a higher budget range than many other mattresses that use similar materials. Greensleep says that the Malaysia 600 latex is proprietary to them but in fact the RRIM 600 rubber tree clone is one of the most common clones grown in many latex producing countries. You can see some of the 2011 varieties here. Each country and each area of each country generally chooses a clone for planting based on many factors and there are many hybrids which are more “advanced” than this particular second generation clone.

The mattress itself has 9.5 inches of high quality 100% natural Dunlop latex which can be customized in terms of layering and also side to side but these are not at all unusual options in a latex mattress made by an independent manufacturer and in most cases there is no extra charge for these types of customizations and in many cases every layer can be customized rather than just the middle 2. It does have a very high quality ticking that has wool and silk in the quilting which is hand tufted to the top layer of Dunlop latex. While this certainly adds to the cost … it does not justify the price of the mattress which is well over twice the price of similar mattresses which include organic wool in the quilting/fire barrier but don’t have the silk and may not have the tufting.

The S-300 foundation includes dowels instead of slats which can be “customized” to adjust the alignment for the person on the mattress and is designed to be used with the mattress itself. In the words of The Clean Bedroom … We have found that customers who do not purchase this mattress as a set are slightly disappointed in how it feels without the Euro dowel foundation.. It is rather remarkable to me that someone would be even “slightly disappointed” after purchasing a $4500 latex mattress and then need to spend over $2000 more for the foundation. While there is no argument that the foundation is well conceived and will make a difference … there are many types of latex mattress where the “zoning” is built into the mattress itself and there are also other options in terms of zoned tension adjustable foundations which do not require this kind of expense.

If you look at all the available versions of the Bella Sera for example (not all of which are sold at the Clean Bedroom) you will see that they sell mattresses which use just as high quality Dunlop Latex (which is even USDA certified organic if that is important to someone) which have up to 11 inches of latex and up to 5 layers which can be split or adjusted and all of them are less than the GreenSleep. These are also overpriced IMO.

Savvy Rest as well makes mattresses which use very high quality USDA certified organic Dunlop in 9" and 12" versions where either all 3 or all 4 layers can be both split and adjusted and all of them are also overpriced even though they too are less than the Greensleep. They are also available in Talalay latex which is preferred by many people in the comfort and/or support layers.

I purchased my mattress from here but don’t forget that I had enough confidence to purchase a mattress from an outlet which offered no adjustments or layer exchanges after the fact and where even the shipping for an entire mattress if I had to return the mattress for any reason would have made any trade or exchange impractical. For most people a local purchase from a factory direct manufacturer or if there is not a local manufacturer with the value you are looking for, a “choose your own layer” mattress with a zip cover from an online manufacturer is usually the best option.

For reference … I ordered my adjustable base from here which has the best online pricing for these in combination with the best selection that I know of.

There are several factory direct manufacturers on the list I posted which would have much better value than the mattresses you have tested … although I believe your testing was invaluable to give you a sense of what works for you. Now that you have done some testing … I would do a lot of my research on phone calls to the manufacturers on the list to give you a sense of the prices that are available in mattresses that are close to what you liked in your Clean Bedroom testing.

If you are able to make the trip … custom sleep design makes what I consider to be the most “accurate” zoned mattress anywhere. While they are not the lowest cost either … they are less than the Greensleep including a foundation, pillows, and a mattress cover and can be customized in more ways than any other mattress I know. They would be well worth going through the online customization exercise on their site and/or a trip to test their options.

The 5 members of the site which specialize in shipping mattresses anywhere in the country are in post #21 here should that be necessary.

You’re off to a good start in terms of testing latex mattresses … now some research on the manufacturers websites and on the phone … including letting them know the general mattresses you have tested and finding similar options they may have available and prices … would be the next step before any further testing if I was in your shoes. Then I would choose the one or two which showed the most promise and between them and your online options is where I would likely end up making my purchase … at significantly less than the mattresses you tested.


Hi Phoenix,
I am very grateful for your help and all of the time you are contributing to help and providing resourceful information about the mattresses along with the factories and the retailer’s stores.
I wanted to look into Bella Sera product, as you suggested, but couldn’t find the show room that would be within reasonable driving distance to go and try it.
I called few stores that were selling it along with the Green Sleep mattress, which we liked, to see if they could suggest us construction of the layers in Bella Sera mattress to match the feel of the Green Sleep. But store sales persons told us that it wouldn’t be possible and the two of the beds are very different.
While I was searching for the place to try Bella Sera I came across of the small factory in CT, which had a show room in NY City and no one mentioned that place before on this website or at least I dint see it. They are only making Latex mattresses. Their website is: (now )
We went there and liked their beds, although they are little bit pricey.
What do you think or know about this place? We are ready to buy, but I would like to hear your opinion about the place.
Thank you again,

Hi ilusski,

Healthy choice is actually not a manufacturer but if you look at this thread, you will see some of my thoughts about them and the factory (Restopedic) that actually manufactures their mattress.

Restopedic itself has excellent value … but I wouldn’t say the same about Healthy Choice … especially at their New York prices.


Hi Phoenix,
Thank you for your help before and maybe you could give us one more time your feedback.
Just wanted to update our status on the Mattress Hunt Saga.
We finally made a trip to Connecticut and visited Restopedic Factory and Customsleepdesign. We Liked Customsleepdesign’s beds a lot but price was unbeatable at Restopedic. We bought the bed there, made with three layers from bottom up 6"(ILD 36), 3" (ILD 32), and 2" (ILD 20).
Finally we received it yesterday with one man-driver on the delivery truck, and I don’t want to go into details of getting 300lb king size mattress on the second floor of our house, we were excided.
I was to test it alone (my husband had to leave for one day over night) and night was a total torture.
In the morning, when I pushed myself up and took all of the sheet off, I could see mattress bent Right at the point where my but was resting (I’m 150LB) and I could feel the deep hole there with my hands when I was pushing on that spot. The rest of the bed is much firmer all around.
What is it? Our mattress collapsed after first night?
I waited for my husband to come back and confirm that I am not mistaking, it is the “Hole” in there, he felt it too.
We have no idea what to do…. devastated.
Even if Joe from the Restopedic factory offers replacement (didn’t call him yet), I’m not sure I trust that place.
Do you have any suggestions?
Thank you.

Hi ilusski,

I’m sorry to hear of your troubles … I know how frustrating it can be when things don’t go the way you planned … especially when you’re excited about a purchase.

Even though I’m not there to see it in person … it sounds to me much more like an issue in the foundation or bed under your mattress than an issue of the mattress itself. Latex is very heavy (as you know) and needs a strong firm base underneath it with no gaps that are too far apart in any slats. Even the cheapest foam doesn’t “collapse” in a single night so the odds seem to favor that this is something connected with what is under the mattress rather than the mattress itself.

If there actually was an issue with the mattress itself … I can assure you that any manufacturer would want to hear about it … especially one who has been in business for a long time and has a good reputation like Restopedic. They get their foam from the same places as everyone else and if for some reason there was an issue with the foam then they would want to know about it more than anyone.

So the first thing I would do is check what is under the mattress to make sure there isn’t a weak or broken slat or some other issue which is causing the mattress to follow a sag that is underneath it (rubber is very bendable and will follow any dip that is underneath it).

If this seems to be OK and it is clear that it is a mattress issue (and you can also test this by putting the mattress on the floor) … then the second thing I would do is call Restopedic. They would want to be the first (or I guess the second) to know.

Let us know how it goes … and the the type of base and the condition of what is under the mattress.


Hi Phoenix,
I haven’t been participating for a long time here and am happy to report that we finally bought new mattress from Just got my mattress last Wednesday and so far so good. We paid a little more than I would have like to, but couldn’t find anything else that would fit both of us. We bought “Tranquility” mattress with adjustable top latex pillows.
Thank you very much for all of your help, you are doing a great job there helping people.
I would like to ask you about another favor though. My parents are looking for new mattress and are trying to stay with the lowest price they can find. They live in East-North Poconos PA area, bordering with NY and NJ states.
I wasn’t able to find any local factories; could you please suggest some of the local mattress factories located near Middletown NY or Allentown, Scranton, Stroudsburg, Milford in PA?
Thank you so much again,

Hi ilusski,

Congratulations on your new mattress :slight_smile:

I have heard other manufacturers talk highly of Norwalk which IMO is a high compliment. As you mentioned they may not be the lowest priced … they are certainly high quality manufacturers and I think you made a good choice.

The closest factory directs that I know of in the area you are mentioning are listed in post #6 here. I would make a particular point of visiting Magic Sleeper and I would call first to make sure that John is in and can help you. NOTE ADDED: They are also now a member of this site.

If they are more inclined to travel east, I would visit and talk with Ron. He is also very good to talk with and they also make a range of high quality and value mattresses and they are also a member of this site.

In a more northerly direction your best bet would be Raitens Mattress Factory (see post #4 here for a few comments).

There are some very good choices here both in terms of quality and value. I would do a little work on the phone first and ask a few questions and then decide which was most worth visiting based on your conversation and the distance they would have to travel.


Hi illuski,

I forgot to ask you … what happened with Restopedic?

I know from talking with them that they are happy to “fix” any types of issues if what happened to you was connected to the mattress and I have talked with them about several instances where they went well above and beyond in terms of making sure a customer was happy so I wanted to ask about the outcome of your experience with them.


Hi Phoenix,
I wrote you before and thank you very much for your help. Just to remind you that we bought out bed from Norwalk mattress company in Connecticut at your suggestion two years ago and like it very much.
I would like to ask you for help again. I am trying to locate the local small mattress factories ( with in the states of PA, NJ, NY and CT).
I am looking for new beds for my parents , who is in their mid seventies. I would like to keep the cost of the bed down as much as possible for them, nothing fancy, but good quality bed. We are considering all type of the beds. it can be regular with innersprings or the foam and the latex bed, whichever will feel most comfortable for them.
I would really appreciate if you could provide me with a few companies, so we could visit them and hopefully find the bed.
Thank you so much,

Hi ilusski,

The region you are asking about is too large for me to look for all the forum lists inside it but if you let me know one or two cities or zip codes that I can use as a reference point I’d be happy to provide you with links to the forum lists that are closest.

There are many local factory direct manufacturers in the states you mentioned.

Just in case they are close to the areas you are looking for … the list for the New York City region is in post #2 here, for the Monroe Township area (with some overlap) is in post #7 here, for Connecticut is in post #2 here and the posts it links to, and for Trenton/Philadelphia/Wilmington area is in post #4 here.