Custom Latex Bed From Unknown Company

Hi all, especially Phoenix,

I just joined this board after having gleamed much of my knowledge of beds from this site. I feel quite knowledgeable on the subject but because I don’t know anyone with a latex bed I still feel rather unsure about it. My dilemma is I have located a supposed direct from factory source, Mattress Express Direct, that can make a custom queen bed for my lady and I for a reasonable price. Because their site, according to whois information provided by godaddy, states the site came up in June 2013, and the fact that no one here or anywhere else has heard of them, I’d like to get your opinions.

The guy I am dealing with from Mattress Express Direct says he works directly with a factory in Arizona, in fact he claims this is the only Latex factory in Arizona. He says that it is Latex International and that they can make me a custom queen bed with the following layers:

  • 6" Dunlop layer 36 ILD
    • 3" Natural Talalay layer 28 ILD
    • 1" Synthetic Talalay layer 22 ILD
    • All layers glued together
    • All in 10" quilted natural bamboo fabric

The total price is $1,750 (shipping is included and there is no tax).

I even spoke, supposedly, with a worker/overseer of the latex factory via conference call.

The price seems good, and was actually a price match after telling him I was planning the DIY approach and that was going to be my cost after going through ebay.

Probably helpful is the fact that I’ve been sleeping on a pillowtop Sleep Number - garabage, I know - on the firmest 100% setting. I like firm as my lower midsection (butt and thighs) are quite large. I stand 6’2" and have wide thick shoulders and weigh 220. My lady is 5’2" 125 and also likes firm (same bed setting) as well. A lot of back sleeping with 35% side sleeping.

Any help on the company or the factory or latex layering would be most appreciated.

Hi firebluephoenix,

Mattress Direct Express is a brand new company and is clearly more of a marketing company than a mattress manufacturer but I did call Joseph (the owner) to find out a little more about them. He told me that he works with several factories (they don’t manufacture their own mattresses) and that he would put me in touch with one of his reps that could answer my questions in a little more detail (he wasn’t completely comfortable that he could answer my questions as completely or accurately as I may want and said he should be able to call me back in the next 24 - 48 hours).

The site itself is more about online marketing techniques and search engine rankings than mattresses at this stage and some of the pages are based on a “fill in the blank” template which doesn’t make complete sense to me (see this page where “latex vs memory foam” is used in the context of describing a specific mattress and if you click on the top menu it brings up a different city instead of the menu information). They also don’t disclose prices or the specifics of the materials (and their price quote page requires more information than I’m comfortable providing just to find out prices) but he also was open when I mentioned to him that the “style” of the site made me very cautious and clearly indicated that I was dealing with marketing people rather than “mattress people”. He also told me that he hoped to add a series of educational videos on the site and he did listen carefully to my initial impressions of the site and the “red flags” it produced for me.

The specific mattress that you were quoted on appears to be good value (although they don’t mention whether the Dunlop is 100% natural or a bend) but there are also many other options in a similar value range (see post #21 here) where you would be dealing with “mattress people” rather than “marketing people” and who are more knowledgeable about what they are selling, have more flexibility and options available in terms of mattress design (such as layers that can be re-arranged or exchanged), have more experience in providing guidance about the most suitable mattress choice, have a physical presence so you know who you are buying from, and have many years of experience in the industry.

I should also mention that what you were told about being the “only latex factory in Arizona” is not accurate. Latex International doesn’t have a factory in Arizona and there are many manufacturers (including several members of this site) of the site that have their own mattress factory make latex mattresses that use latex made by Latex International.

Overall … at this stage I would treat this site with the normal caution that goes with any brand new business where the source of the materials and the knowledge and experience of the people behind the site and who makes their mattresses is not yet fully known.

I will add more information to this thread as I receive it.


Thank you so much Phoenix!

I appreciate you looking into this.

I asked specificially for 100% natural Dunlop and 100% natural Talallay for the first two layers and specificially asked for blended Talalay on top. The quote was for, supposedly, this exact request.

I did look at his site and thought many of the same things you did: no pricing, very few details, and a lot of wiki type information. What really confused me was his 10" latex mattresses are only in two versions both of which only have 9" of latex total. He quoted me, and I double checked with him and the factory guy, that they would put in 10" of latex. :huh:

I actually was told that he won’t accept paypal right now because of an custom order thingy with Paypal that makes them hold it for an unreasonable amount of time, in his eyes.

I will look into that post you mentioned. Thanks.

Do you have any recommendations as far as layering? Because of my heavy middle section my hips tend to sink a lot. However when sleeping on my side because my shoulders are broad I need some softer comfort. Any ideas? Like I said I do overall wake up better on a firm rather than on a soft mattress.

Hi firebluephoenix,

I’m happy to speak to the quality of materials or the relative “value” of a mattress but as you can see in mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here … there are too many unknowns, variables, and individual preferences for me (or anyone) to make specific suggestions about which mattress or layering combinations may be most suitable for you based on “theory at a distance”. The best way to choose a specific mattress or layer combination is through your own personal testing and experience or with the guidance of a knowledgeable and experienced manufacturer or retailer that knows more about the designs, options, and materials they have available and how they might “match” certain body types and sleeping styles based on “averages” than anyone else.

The same post links to several sections of the site which has generic information about layering and mattress design which can give you some insights into some of the “theory” involved but these are only generic and not specific to any individual person.



I had read that before. I was hoping perhaps something had come up since. Thank you.

Any recommendations in the San Diego area? I tried a Sterns and Foster 100% latex at Ortho - wow what a joke, they mean 100% SYNTHETIC latex - that felt pretty good, maybe a little too firm, but obviously for the price of S&F I could get 100% natural and customize it and still not approach that price!

At this point, I am debating on just getting a Banner mattress, Contura extra firm, and putting a talalay latex topper on it, or possibly a dreamfoam hr polyfoam base with dunlop top then adding a talalay topper. The problem I have is time and I REALLY need a new bed soon. Been looking and researching here and in stores for over 2 months. As has been stated here before, I concur, pretty much all the S branded mattresses have garbage quality layers in them but only enough that you feel it but don’t meet the 1 1/2" warranty!

Hi firebluephoenix,

I don’t think that there will ever be anything that can replace either personal testing and experience or the guidance of a retailer or manufacturer that includes their knowledge of the specifics of each of their designs and the feedback from their customers on specific mattresses. There are just too many variables and differences between people for any “formula” to ever replace these IMO.

The better options I’m aware of in the San Diego area are in post #2 here.

Not only does Stearns & Foster use mostly synthetic “smart latex” in their mattresses … for the most part they also include relatively thick layers of polyfoam in the comfort layers which will break down faster than the latex. There have been many examples in the forum of people who experience many issues with them … typically starting at around year 3 or 4.

Yes you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned the warranty exclusions which in the case of major manufacturers means that they are able to avoid the majority of warranty claims.

Is there a reason that you are looking for a mattress / topper combination rather than choosing a mattress that doesn’t need a topper or where you can use a topper as a “backup” for fine tuning in case you make a choice that is a little too firm?

Choosing a suitable mattress can be difficult enough but if you are considering two variables that can interact together in unknown ways without testing the specific combination, then it can be even more difficult to predict how the two together will feel and perform for you.

If you do go in this direction and haven’t been able to test the specific combination together … I would tend to choose a mattress that by itself is as close to your needs and preferences as possible with the “intent” of not having to add a topper at all and then choose a topper (only if you need it) based on your actual experience sleeping on the mattress over the first few weeks or so (after the initial break in and adjustment period is over).