Central FL new mattress

i’m in 33853. i’ve had a friend mention Bartow Mattress and was wondering if you had any information on them? i’m going to educate myself via this site and then go talk to them. the Tampa and Orlando areas are also accessible to me, so i think i’m going to have some options.

my wife and are on an old spring queen mattress and it’s way past the beginning of the end, so we’re shopping. we went to Mattress Firm and laid on the Simmons Glen Oaks and thought it was comfortable (they quoted $1,710 on a floor model, including tax). we don’t know much about mattresses, but think we’re most interested in a full latex mattress. we’re both side sleepers with lower-mid back pain.

our budget would be in the $1,000 range, give or take a few based on the value.

Hi hickoryboy,

I hadn’t heard of Bartow Mattress so this is one of those uncommon days where I find out about a new local manufacturer that has been in business for a long time that I don’t know about. Thanks for bringing them to my attention.

I called them to find out what they were making and spoke with the lady that answered the phone for a while. She was certainly helpful and knowledgeable about what they were making. They don’t have a website but they have been making mattresses for over 100 years and she said that most of the locals are probably aware of them. They make traditional two sided innerspring mattresses and two sided latex mattresses quilted on both sides with a real working box spring. They also make memory foam but like many smaller manufacturers that have been making mattresses for generations … they are somewhat reluctant to do so and much prefer faster response materials. They are also more than willing to share information about the quality/density of any polyfoam or memory foam that they use in their mattresses.

They don’t build latex mattresses with separate comfort layers because they believe that this defeats the purpose of latex and with the thinner mattresses they use a working box spring to provide some extra flex and softness to the mattress. While I and many other manufacturers don’t share the same opinion (that it defeats the purpose of latex) … it is also one that is held by other manufacturers and there are quite a few that build a similar mattress (6" of latex with a quilted two sided cover on a box spring).

She had a customer so when I asked about their price ranges she said she had to go and our conversation ended a little bit abruptly so I don’t have a sense of their value but they certainly fit the profile of the type of manufacturers that I like and that provide good quality and value although if someone was looking for a layered latex mattress this wouldn’t be available from them.

Overall … they would be well worth including in your research IMO and I’ve added them to my list of local factory direct manufacturers.

Thanks again for bringing them to my attention :slight_smile:


Wow, thanks so much for asking some questions that I wouldn’t know yet to ask. I’ve been reading through the site for a large part of the day, trying to get educated. I’d love to do local business, so I’ll definitely contact them.
As far as my wife and I are concerned, we are both side sleepers and she is thin <110 lbs. and I’m average weight (~165 lbs.). Would the 2-sided latex mattress be something we should consider? We probably value durability and price over other aspects.
Thanks again.

Hi hickoryboy,

Absolutely I would consider it. While I can’t speak directly to it’s value … if the sleeping system (mattress and boxspring) provided you with the PPP you needed (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and Personal preferences) and it uses good quality materials (which it does) and has good value relative to other similar mattresses … then the “design theory” that gets you there is secondary. A single layer double sided mattress has less design flexibility in terms of layering softer materials (for pressure relief) over firmer materials (for support) but if the combination of components meets your needs and preferences then it has the advantage of being more durable because you are able to flip the mattress and alternate sleeping surfaces. Every design has it’s pros and cons which may be more important to some and less to others, but in the end, PPP and each person’s “value equation” is all that really matters.


So, I went and laid down on the 3 mattresses he had in the “show room” (really just the front of the building, nothing fancy, really just a hole in the wall place, my kind of people!). 2 of the beds were polyfoam and the other was the single piece of latex, no comfort layer on any. 1 of the foam beds was a “medium” firmness and the other was much firmer. The latex bed was the single piece of latex on top of a standard box spring. I did feel like the latex mattress was a bit more responsive and supportive, but I really didn’t feel any more comfortable on the latex compared to the foam beds. I did prefer the firmer of the 2 foam beds. I’ll take my wife back to lay on them.

He said that the foam they use is the highest quality possible, because even 1 notch lower in quality just isn’t a very good bed and he didn’t want to sell something that isn’t a good bed. He said that he personally has the exact latex bed that I was laying on and he’s had it for 30 years, with no decline in performance or look.

He said the latex comes from Connecticut and everything else is made and stitched in his shop. He said he likes to get people into a bed that is as firm as possible because of the support it gives. He talked about spine position and when people lay down to test, he steps back to look at their spine (and I did notice that he actually did that when I laid down on each one). He was very helpful and answered any question I had and offered even more info than I asked for. He said that routinely people come in and lay down for 45 minutes or more and some even fall asleep.

Prices - for a queen, with the box spring… Latex - $1,600 and foam - $1,000. How’s that value?

What other questions should I ask? Thanks again for your help.

Hi hickoryboy,

I don’t know the quality/density of the polyfoam (although it certainly seems like good quality is important to them) so its hard to make any meaningful comments about it.

The latex that comes from Connecticut would be from Latex International which makes talalay latex which is one of my favorite materials and as you heard is very durable. I don’t know if it’s blended or natural though which would makes a difference in the cost of the materials and “value”

The price you are mentioning for a latex mattress (and I’m assuming it is 6" of latex with a quilted layer of some kind on each side of the two sided mattress) seems to me to be reasonable value … especially because it includes a box spring that is probably also good quality (and would typically be necessary for a thinner latex mattress) … but the overall value of the mattress would also depend on the type of quilting and ticking that was used on each side and on the type of latex (or polyfoam). They are certainly better value than a mainstream brand but their value in comparison to other smaller manufacturers would depend on all the components of the mattress and how they compared to other similar mattresses.

I also really like that they are “checking for alignment” which is a rare thing to see when most salespeople only encourage their customers to test for some vague notion of “comfort” which can lead to some not so great purchases.

This would be fairly typical of an “old style” manufacturer and is probably why they don’t make latex mattresses with separate comfort layers (which they believe “defeats the purpose of latex”). It is true though that a firmer support layer can lead to better alignment but it may also not provide the kind of pressure relief that can come from softer comfort layers and that some people may prefer.

I would certainly consider them as a good option and would compare them to one or two others to make some value comparisons. I forgot to include any links in my last post and some of the better options in the Tampa area are in post #143 here and in the Orlando area are in post #2 here.


I’m back. Thanks again for the insight.

My wife went by and laid on the beds that Bartow Mattress had. She said she didn’t feel much difference in comfort or feeling between the softer foam and the latex. The firm foam was too firm for her. So her question is why the $1,700 latex over the $1,000 foam. I told her the latex would hold up over time much better than the foam and would probably sleep a little bit cooler. So, we’re still considering that.

On the other hand I was offered, by a friend, a deal for a bed from bedboss.com. I laid down on their bed they have from Bed Boss and it was very comfortable. They’ve had the bed for about a year. I’ve been on the bedboss website and would be interested in the Visco Heir ET or the Visco Select. What are your opinions of Bed Boss and those specific beds, if you have knowledge of those.

I would definitely think that the latex or foam beds from Bartow are more quality material and workmanship, but the kicker is I can get the bed from bed boss for about 1/3 or maybe even 1/4 of the price, based on my friend’s connection to Bed Boss. So, that’s a factor for me.

Hi hickoryboy,

Both polyfoam and latex come in a wide range of softness and firmness levels so this has little to do with the differences between the two materials.

The main differences between the two materials (I’m assuming here that by "softer foam you mean polyfoam rather than memory foam) is that latex is more “point elastic” which means it can shape itself to the body profile better than polyfoam (more pressure relieving), it is more “supportive” than polyfoam (it has a higher compression modulus which means it does a better job of holding up the heavier parts of the body), it is made from fewer chemicals than polyfoam (especially the natural versions of latex), it is more open celled, breathable, and cooler than most polyfoam, it has a more resilient and responsive feel than polyfoam, and it is more durable than most polyfoam. Of course as you mentioned … it is also a more costly material than polyfoam but it is the “standard” for fast response foams that polyfoam manufacturers try to duplicate. If by “softer foam” you mean memory foam then the difference is even more dramatic because memory foam is a slow response material and has completely properties than either polyfoam or latex.

There is more about the different materials that are used in both comfort layers here and in support cores here and there is more information yet about the different types of latex in this article.

As with any mattress … the materials in the mattress means much more than the brand. They are CertiPur certified which means that they have been tested for offgassing and harmful chemicals which is important with mattresses that are imported from China but like with any mattress, I would want to know the specific information about the density of the memory foam and polyfoam that is in any mattresses you are considering. This is the only way to know their quality and value. As you can see from post #2 here (and various online sources as well) … the Visco Heir uses sub 4 lb memory foam which is low quality memory foam and lower than I would generally recommend looking at unless price (they are available in the $600 range for a queen) is a much more important factor than durability. I would also caution that only testing a mattress for a subjective sense of “comfort” that you feel in a showroom can lead to the purchase of a mattress that may not be appropriate for you and it’s much more effective to test a mattress more objectively for your specific needs and preferences or what I call PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and the Personal preferences that are listed in post #2 here).

Comparing lower quality memory foam with latex is not an “apples to apples” comparison because memory foam is a completely different material than latex and the memory foam in question is low quality so it can’t even really be compared to higher quality memory foam mattresses. Latex is a more durable material than even high quality memory foam and iof course is much more durable than low quality memory foam. The choice between memory foam and latex as a whole is really about personal preference and which one better suits your needs and preferences. I would first decide which material you prefer (fast response vs slow response) and then choose the best value in the material you prefer. I would personally first choose the type of materials that I preferred and then choose the best quality/value in that type of mattress that was available. Of course an all latex mattress is more expensive but there are also latex hybrids available which use several inches of latex over polyfoam (just like memory foam mattresses including the Visco Heir are really hybrids with several inches of memory foam over a polyfoam base).

Buying “any mattress” because of price first can easily lead to regret over time because the quality of your sleep is most important and your body won’t feel the price you paid (until the foam softens and degrades) … it will only feel the pressure relief, support/alignment, and the other preferences that are important to you and over time these will be much more important to you than the price you paid.



I thought I’d give an update on our purchase and experience with the PLB Pamper (new w/ ActiveFusion)

Had it 1 full week
Unboxed and setup ourselves (me and the wife), it’s heavy
Looks great, full zippered cover
My wife had yet to lay on the mattress at all, never tested in the store. She thought it was firm when she first laid on it and also thought that may help her with back soreness (she’s about 110 lbs.)
Her sleeping issues is that she wakes up about 6 times a night and it takes her a few minutes to go back to sleep, sore back
My sleeping issues is I toss and turn nearly all night, back and forth, slight sore back, sore neck
1st night - woke up about 30 minutes after we normally do; she woke up 4 or 5 times; I tossed and turned and had some soreness, really no difference, but we still had hope; we knew it would be a significant change from our old, crappy, dilapidated coil piece of junk
2nd night - slept about 45 minutes longer than normal; she slept all night; I felt quite a bit better, didn’t toss and turn as much
3rd night thru now - slept about 30 - 45 minutes longer; we both slept much better; we can still “feel” the firmness and I find myself sleeping on my back which is weird because I’ve never been able to fall asleep that way

One thing I’m not excited about is that it certainly sleeps warmer than our old mattress. My wife likes a mountain of covers and I’ve gotten hot nearly every night. Not unbearable, but certainly noticeable.
The mattress feels sturdy and well made.

We hope this bed lasts a while. Our other mattress lasted about 4 or 5 years before it became noticeably crappy. We had it another 3 years after that, bad times.
We think we need some sort of protector, mostly water protection. I’ve read through threads on this site, but am probably more confused now on what to get.

Hi hickoryboy,

Thanks for the ongoing feedback. the Pamper is the firmest mattress they make but with your back sleeping and your wife’s lighter weight it could work out very well even without any fine tuning. the first few weeks will tell the story but it seemsyou are moving in the right direction in terms of both the initial break in period of the mattress and your adjustment to it.

Latex is the most durable of all the foam materials so there’s no doubt in my mind that it will last much longer than this.

There are many factors involved in the sleeping temperature of a mattress besides the person themselves and the environment of the bedroom (see post #2 here for a synopsis) including the foam itself, the quilting/ticking of the mattress, the type of mattress protector you are using (or not), and your sheets and bedding. When you are sleeping directly on the foam itself with a stretch knit cover without a breathable quilting layer, then this can be warmer than a mattress which has a quilting layer which allows for more ventilation. The advantage is that with a stretch knit unquilted cover … more of the feel of the latex can come through.

There is more information in post #89 here about the different types of mattress protectors and the tradeoffs and benefits of each type.

Since you are sleeping warm … the Dormeir (wool/cotton) could be a good choice. It will help with ventilation and temperature control and is also water resistant.


As always, thanks for the prompt, informative reply.

Would a protector like the St Dormier be used in conjunction with the zippered cover that came with the Pamper or replace that cover?

The St. Dormeir protector cover is used over a mattress encasement. It’s wool quilted into cotton on top and a light stretch cotton terry material on the sides that wrap slightly under the mattress. It doesn’t have enough structure on its own to be a mattress encasement. That PLB cotton cover is pretty nice…you want to keep that on your mattress!

Hi hickoryboy,

Ditto to what danielrhall said :slight_smile: