Exchanging for a new mattress

Hello all (And Phoenix),

I guess I’ll just shuffle into line with the other guys who bought a mattress THEN found this website lol. I’ll spare you the gory details and make it quick.

I purchased a queen size Beautyrest Truenergy Bryanna Plush Eurotop from Mattresses Unlimited after testing other mattresses for several hours laying on them in the store and researching them (as best I could; mainly using the SleepLikeTheDead website). It felt great in the store and going to bed even now, but throughout the night and especially if I sleep in, I noticed the coil support system doesn’t hold my hip area up to make my spine straight when I’m on my side, nor can it hold my stomach up when I sleep on it. I very rarely sleep on my back and that’s the position it feels best in. So usually I wake up with an aching lumbar. If I do sleep in, I just end up tossing to my opposide side and end up frustrated and just get up. I contribute that mainly to my weight which is about 300 and I’m male, single sleeper; I don’t fault the mattress; it’s just something that I couldn’t see in the store because you can’t sleep on them for a full 8 hours to try them :slight_smile:

It feels to me the opposite of what this site and others describe SHOULD be the case; there isn’t enough memory foam in the comfort layer for me to sink in on my side and it’s not as giving for a comfort layer for me with the regular foam below the aircool foam even though it is thick. And the support layer, the coils, I don’t believe are a thick enough gauge, winds, or whatever to support my type size and body so it’s too soft. It probably would feel better if I didn’t have the extra weight and had stronger core muscles, but alas, I’m stuck for now and I don’t want to wait 6-12 months for me to go on a regimen just so I can adapt to this bed.

They are letting me comfort exchange it and I can pick from any mattress in their store. My question to you guys is, based on the selection that they have, what is best in materials/construction for my body type, sleeping position and all that? I know the comfort, support and other properties of the mattress are up to me but I just want help on choosing the best mattress from a structural/technical standpoint.

The mattresses they have that I have seen are: Simmons regular line, Simmons Beautyrest (Which all use the same coil system so I don’t think that will be a good fit; even the firmer ones), Sealy Optimum, Sealy Posturepedic, Stearns & Foster, Tempurpedic, and a few others that are the $500 and below type.

On their website (https://www.mattressesunlimited.com/catalog/mattresses), they have other brands which I think are local/regional and that you guys might approve of; tell me if you like any of these and if they have any mattresses which might suit me: Nashville Bedding Co., Enso sleep systems, and Southerland. I haven’t seen a lot of these in the store so hopefully I can test one before I buy one.

The Bryanna was about $1600 and I would like to not have to go past $2000 for my budget. I’m not dead set against any support or comfort layer with the exception of water or air. Anything spring, foam or latex I’ll take a look at so feel free to throw anything at me. But I would like an honest opinion of the Tempurpedics, Sealy Optimums (Foams, construction etc) and any of the other ‘big’ brands if you don’t mind, if you have that info also. I know you guys like the local businesses but I would like a complete picture. If anything, just as a comparison so I can make an informed choice. I have read some of the other posts but the advice given was personal to that individual and what they could get at their stores which is why I made my own post.

Hi mister,

Typically side sleepers need thicker/softer comfort layers than other sleeping positions and heavier weights also need thicker but firmer comfort layers to relieve pressure. In addition to this … with heavier weights it is especially important to use the highest possible quality materials in the upper layers of a mattress because they will soften and degrade much more quickly than average.

Support on the other hand comes primarily from the firmness of the deeper support layers in combination with the thickness of the comfort layers (how far the heavier parts of your body are allowed to “travel” before they are stopped by the firmer support layers).

You can see the partial specs of the construction of your mattress here.

As you can see it has 3.5" of foam in the comfort layers (2.5" of memory foam and 1" of polyfoam) which may be suitable for your needs in terms of thickness but the problem is that all of the materials are probably too soft which means that you would go through them more and require the “help” of the layers below them (in this case the innerspring) for pressure relief. In this case … your support core is the softer innerspring (higher gauge) which would assist the pressure relieving layers more but for your weight would compromise alignment. In addition to this … the comfort layers also use low quality/density materials which will soften more quickly than if you used firmer higher quality materials in your mattress.

Combination stomach/side sleepers also need the thinnest/firmest possible comfort layers which “just barely” meets your pressure relief needs and the a firm support core to prevent the alignment issues that come from sleeping in a swayback position on your stomach. As you know this mattress is not a good choice for your body weight and sleeping style and your experience of alignment issues would be “expected” on this type of mattress in combination with your body type and sleeping style.

So what you have is a mattress that overall is probably soft enough in the upper layers for pressure relief but too much of the softness comes from the support system so it is compromising your alignment. You would probably do better with firmer comfort layers (which will be softer for your higher weight than they would be for a lower weight and better for stomach sleeping) and then a firmer support system underneath this to provide better alignment (in all your sleeping positions). The firmer foams on top would lessen the amount you would sink in and go through them and then the firmer support core would help “stop” your pelvis hips from sinking in too far. You would also need higher quality more durable materials in your mattress (avoiding low quality/density polyfoam and memory foam as much as possible) to have a reasonable expectation of durability with your higher weight. Even if the mattress was “perfect” for you … the softer foam will soften further much too quickly. If you did choose a Simmons (which I wouldn’t anyway) … then their firmer lower gauge innerspring would be a more suitable choice.

In looking at what is offered by Mattresses Unlimited … there seems to be very few good choices available to you. You are in a very similar position to the poster here from yesterday and to the forum members in post #66 here and the other posts it links to.

These posts will give you some good suggestions about what may be possible when you are “between a rock and a hard place”. Unfortunately there are very few good options that I can see at Mattresses Unlimited.

Nashville Bedding (AKA Southerland): is their low cost promotional line.

Simmons: If you were to choose one of these I would make sure it was the firmest of the pocket coils (and pocket coils may not be the best choice anyway for your weight) and the least possible amount of foam on top and then use a topper to create your own comfort layer. These types of mattresses would be labelled “extra firm”.

Enso: These are memory foam mattresses that use lower density memory foam which would not be suitable for your weight. They also have listed prices that are much higher than other retailers that sell these same mattresses.

Sealy and Stearns & Foster: You mentioned that they carry these and there may be some options here (in terms of extra firm mattresses that use much thinner layers of lower quality foam in the comfort layers and would be suitable for a topper) but their website doesn’t mention them so I don’t know what they carry.

Tempurpedic: While the best of these are good quality … they are also not great value and much more expensive than other memory foam mattresses that use similar quality materials so you may be trading up in price. If you choose one of these I would make sure you avoid any of the lineup which uses less than 5 lb memory foams (avoiding the Cloud line for example which uses 4 lb memory foam) because again they will not last long with your weight.

Southerland: These have some possibilities in their mattresses that use latex layers in various thicknesses over polyfoam. Unfortunately they are also priced at much higher prices than they should be IMO (and higher than other retailers that sell them). Perhaps their prices are just “starting points” for negotiation. These may be good choices (assuming that the one you choose has the construction that best matches your needs and preferences) because at least they use high quality materials in the upper layers of the mattress. if you do go in this direction I would make sure that you choose the firmest comfort and support layers possible and test the mattress carefully in the store for alignment (along the lines of post #11 here) because they don’t list the details of the firmness of the layering and also don’t list the density (quality) of the polyfoam layers underneath the latex.

If you know the details of the Sealy and/or Stearns & Foster mattresses they sell then there may be some possibilities there as well that are “less bad” than some of the other choices that they have available. The firmest of the Stearns & Foster luxury latex (with the least amount of polyfoam) may be a good base for a high quality topper.


Thanks for the info about the Truenergy and my sleeping style; confirmed what I had suspected. Honestly I wanted to choose a soft comfort layer (Combined with what I thought would be a “last longer” spring system to support my structure as opposed to foam etc) because I was scared of going too firm. I came from sleeping on a bedroll essentially which I layed on the floor and swore I would never get a firm bed after being on the floor for that long and enduring the crackling shoulders and pain spots. Now I see I may have to rethink that theory.

I found out some more info for you but I’m still digging. I talked to a rep to get more info; Mattresses Unlimited is about to be bought by Sleep Outfitters (At least in this area) and their catalog is changing. I tried to get a hard copy but they don’t have any and the website I gave you that has the catalog is out of date, so I apologize for that. I should have known though because they still have the Simmons NxG mattresses up there and those have been out of rotation for quite some time now. Anywho, I go to Sleep Outfitters site and surprise, their catalog isn’t even up yet. So I went to the largest Mattresses Unlimited which I knew would have the most models to get a better idea and here’s what I found so far (Now mind you I haven’t had time to get all the models and specs but I will work on that).

I found out they cannot order just anything from any company, it has to be what they carry (So if I want the Southerland Talalay; I’m out of luck). They no longer carry Enso. The only Southerland line they carry is Sleep Expressions and I talked to the rep about getting info on foams/densities etc and he said to call him tomorrow so he has more time to dig them up (Coincidentally that is the only “Local/Regional” company they carry; and their prices as you said are pretty high. They want about $2100 for the 12" Gel mattress but I haven’t figured out what all is in that). They have Sealy Posturepedic, Sealy Optimum, Simmons regular line, Simmons BeautyRest,Tempur-Pedic, Stearns & Foster and the throwaway mattresses as stated earlier.

Since I first posted I tried out some of the firmer beds even though as I said I was against them due to my side/shoulder sleeping. I always thought the Stearns & Foster beds were “Grandparent” beds but they actually don’t feel too bad and some are on par for price with my Bryanna bed so it would be close to an even swap. The Optimums feel nice also (Radiance and Inspiration) but I’ve read your posts about them and how you disapprove but at this point, I have to pick something from their store that they have on the showroom. I tried the firmer BeautyRests and I can tell they use the same coils as it does feel firmer but my back knows those beds by sight now and ached within minutes of laying on them.

As for the Tempur-Pedics, you said to stay away from the low density foam correct? Tempur doesn’t specify at least on the brochures and documentation in the store what their densities are. And the bad thing is, only the Simplicity models are in my “Even trade” price range but those I think are just single layer slabstock cut foam blocks basically. No layering or anything fancy. I think the highest density is the Contour am I correct? Because when I layed on that, it felt like a brick for the first few seconds then slowly molded meaning it is very high density. And if you flicked the foam that you weren’t laying on it gave a thumping sound like hitting something much harder than a bed. Naturally the stuff priced close to darn near $3500-4000 felt the best (Rhapsody, Contour and others). You said to stay away from the Cloud right?

Hi mister,

A mattress is always a combination of soft (comfort layers) and firm (support layers) together rather than one or the other. There is certainly nothing wrong (and for most people its a necessity) with having a comfort layer that is thick and soft enough to relieve pressure but these need to be a bit firmer than average for you (firmer foams will feel softer to you) and it also needs to be high quality (durable) over a very firm support core (to hold up the heavier areas of the body). The thinnest firmest comfort layers that relieve pressure on your side would be best for alignment on your stomach. The advantage of choosing a mattress that has the thinnest and firmest possible comfort layers over a very firm support core is that you can then add your own comfort layers and with a separate comfort layer it can be replaced without replacing the entire mattress (the upper layers will generally soften and wear out faster than the deeper layers in a mattress).

Hopefully they will be able to provide the specs but price aside it’s too bad that they don’t have their latex mattresses because they would be a more durable choice than polyfoam.

Most of the Stearns & Foster mattresses would not make great choice because of the low quality/density polyfoam they use in the comfort layers but the ones that are rated as Ultra Firm with minimal polyfoam in the upper layers may be worth considering as a base for a topper.

The Sealy Optimum is somewhat of an unknown in terms of the densities of the memory foam layers (except the gel foam is 3.7 lbs which is low) but the base foams in the lower two models are low density and in the top 3 are higher density. I would avoid them because of the risk of buying a mattress with low density memory foam.

The Tempurpedic Simplicity line uses very low quality memory foam (2.5 lbs) and I would avoid it completely. The Cloud series uses a combination of 4 lb and higher density memory foams and I would avoid these as well. The contour collection uses 5.3 lb memory foam or higher density which are higher density memory foams and I would go in this direction if you chose a Tempurpedic … but as you mentioned the value is not good here.

Overall I would try to find the firmest possible mattress they have with the least amount of polyfoam in the top layers and then add a high quality topper such as latex (or perhaps 5 lb density or higher memory foam) for the comfort layer


Ok Phoenix,

Finally got (some) specs for the Sleep Xpressions line from Southerland. Like pulling teeth which I wouldn’t think for a local/regional company would be a problem for them but oh well.

The three beds they gave specs on are as follows:

Comfort Layer: 3" layer of 5 lb. Memory foam
Support Layer: “Progressive core comprising three levels of firmness” whatever that means

Revive Gel:
Comfort: 3" layer of 5 lb. Gel Visco foam and a 2" layer of “Luxury Foam”
Support: “Progressive core comprising three levels of firmness”

Harmonize Gel:
Comfort: 2" layer of 3.5 lb Gel Visco foam and 2" layer of “Luxury Foam”
Support: “Progressive core comprising three levels of firmness”

That is all I could find out; everyone elses beds, well you know the story with those…

And I know you said that the Sealy Optimum Inspiration model and above (3rd model from the bottom above Destiny and Radiance) had higher density foams and multi-layer core but those higher models feel almost as soft as the Truenergy and I’d be afraid that I would have the same issue.

Hi mister,

While they may be regional … they are also fairly large (I believe they are #15 or so in the country).

Like most major manufacturers you are only getting partial specs and the ones you really need are missing. The retailer is the one who should be “pressuring” the manufacturer to provide them.

Some comments.

Comfort Layer: 3" layer of 5 lb. Memory foam:
This is good quality memory foam.
Support Layer: “Progressive core comprising three levels of firmness” whatever that means: Firmness is a “comfort spec” which you don’t need because you can test for this in person (you only need firmness levels when you are ordering online). They should be telling you the “quality specs” which is the density of the polyfoam in the support layers and which they’ve left out.

Revive Gel:
Comfort: 3" layer of 5 lb. Gel Visco foam and a 2" layer of “Luxury Foam”:
The gel is good quality (although they don’t mention the type of gel as in particulate or mixed in as a liquid) but the Luxury foam is polyfoam and I would want to know the density … especially when it is in the upper layers which are more subject to softening.
Support: “Progressive core comprising three levels of firmness”: Same comment as in the Revive.

Harmonize Gel:
Comfort: 2" layer of 3.5 lb Gel Visco foam and 2" layer of “Luxury Foam” The gel is edging into the lower densty range here and it would depend on what type of gel it was. Same comments as previously about the “Luxury foam”
Support: “Progressive core comprising three levels of firmness” Same comments as before.

These unfortunately aren’t enough to really know what you are buying (or exchanging for). I would tend to pass by the ones that had questionable foams in the comfort layers (such as the “Luxury foam” unless I could confirm the density. The base layers are more likely to be OK and are not generally the weak link of the mattress if you are forced to choose a mattress with incomplete descriptions.

Quality and firmness/softness are completely different. Both low and high quality foams (including memory foam) come in firmer and softer versions but higher quality foams will keep their original specs for longer. Firmer foams are a secondary durability factor but you will find these in any quality of foam. Foam density is the most important “quality spec” with both memory foam and polyfoam.


Phoenix I have some good news; after many issues with getting the new mattress they are just going to refund me the full purchase price so I’ll be free to choose anything I want again. What are the places you recommend for mattresses in the Nashville area of TN? I have seen some lists on here but want to know if anything has changed or updated since. Thanks.

Hi mister,

That’s great news … maybe they just got tired of all the questions you were asking and decided a refund was the easiest way to deal with you :slight_smile:

In any case … the better possibilities in the Nashville area I’m aware of are listed in post #7 here.

As with all mattress purchases … these are possibilities that may have some better quality and value but it’s always important no matter who you are dealing with to make sure you can find out the details of every layer of a mattress you are considering so you can make meaningful comparisons.

While starting over again is never the “ideal” … I think in your case its about the best outcome that could have happened!


By chance I noticed this thread. I also checked the mattress OP bought (bryanna) and I found it comfortable. Would it work for me?
I weigh 210 pounds
height 6 feet 2 inches
side sleeper
low back and neck chronic pain
thanks so much

Hi richardb,

As you can see from the guidelines here … I wouldn’t recommend considering any major brand including Simmons.

No matter how they may feel in a showroom, when the quality of the materials are low, the softening of the foam can lead to the loss of comfort and support far too quickly and this isn’t covered by any warranty.

The most effective way I know to find a mattress that is suitable for your needs and preferences and with the best possible quality and value are the steps (and the linked information) in post #1 here.


Thanks for the info phoenix I’ll look into those. I notice some of those sites in that post are no longer functional but I guess I can search around.

Hi Richard,

Like Phoenix said, make sure you do research on what goes into the mattress so you can tell how durable and how long its life will be. I believe that’s the main reason he says to stay away from the ‘S’ companies (Sealy, Simmons and Serta) due to the lack of information as to how they make their mattresses (Tempur makes good mattresses with durable materials; the problem with them is poor value. You’ll pay around $3,500 for a queen set).

That being said, I chose the Bryanna before I found this site and before I researched a lot more into mattresses as I should have before hand. It’s not a bad mattress to me (I’ve had it for almost 4 months and if I pull the sheets off there is no sign of my impression in the mattress; it is still flat and smooth) but my problem was that it wasn’t as supportive as I would like for my spine due to my weight etc. That is mainly due I believe to the thin gauge of the spring support system as noted in the posts above. For your weight it may be fine but just remember, it felt nice to me in the store as well and I laid on it for a good half hour in all my positions. The problem only started creeping up in the morning hours (around 7-8 hours) and especially if I slept in with it for an extended period of time like on weekends. My spine was not aligned and this caused pain in my lower/mid back.

A side note, I noticed you said you had neck pain which is mainly caused by the pillow you use not so much the mattress. I sleep on my side as well and I have a tendency to pile up too much on my pillow which lifts my head too high. Likewise if you don’t support it enough your head will droop below the spine line. Both of those will cause pain. If you have to fold over your pillow to plump it up its time for a new one. I was almost folding mine into 4’s before I finally got tired of it and bought new ones.

Hi mister,

Thanks for the heads up. There have clearly been some changes in the area market fairl recently and I’ve removed several and added one. If I have a chance tomorrow I’ll take a look in the area and see if anything else shows up as a possibility since I’ve last looked.


Hey Phoenix,

Thanks for continuing to update the list. I noticed that you said you prefer Jamison and DutchCraft. I’m just wondering what it is you saw in them that you like that makes you choose them.

My low back and neck pain come from injuries I sustained. I had it for last 6 years going to be 7 years soon. So my neck pain is not coming from pillows although it could be made worse by them.
What about sleep number beds? Phoenix what do you think about them.
If so, what models in sleep number beds would suit me.

Hi richardb,

I don’t think highly at all of airbeds and in general I think they are a waste of money. You can see why in this article.

If you did decide to buy one, they are widely available in most areas of the country and I would buy the one that provided the best possible PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and Personal preferences) in your local testing.

While I don’t think particularly highly of any of them … Sleep Number is probably among the worst of a poor value group. They are like the “Tempurpedics” of the airbeds with the highest profit margins and the most advertising but the worst value.


[quote=“Phoenix” post=10482]Hi richardb,

I don’t think highly at all of airbeds and in general I think they are a waste of money. You can see why in this article.

If you did decide to buy one, they are widely available in most areas of the country and I would buy the one that provided the best possible PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and Personal preferences) in your local testing.

While I don’t think particularly highly of any of them … Sleep Number is probably among the worst of a poor value group. They are like the “Tempurpedics” of the airbeds with the highest profit margins and the most advertising but the worst value.

I have not bought a sleep number bed.
I guess I am out of choices with nothing left to choose from

  1. Sealy serta simmons are out since they dont disclose what there mattresses have
  2. tried tempurpedics - did not work
  3. Tried talalay latex bed - slipped off the surface. dont like the feeling
  4. Tried a all natural dunlop mattress not the costco one- worst possible feeling with the pushback coming in 1minute after laying on bed. Cried all night from pain
  5. now sleep number is out
    I got nothing to look to.

Hi richardb,

Sometimes who you buy from can be more important than the mattress that you buy. If they have the knowledge and experience to work with their more “challenging” customers and circumstances … they can be the most important part of finding a mattress that suits your needs. It may even be surprising what is in the mattress that ends up “matching” what you need because there are so many variations of each type of mattress and each of them may be suitable for one person and not another.

Up till now… you have been more focused on the type of mattress to buy rather than the manufacturer or retailer you are working with. Your experience with the Costco mattress and another Dunlop latex mattress is an example of this where one appeared to work well but the other didn’t yet they were both the same material.

So if I was in your shoes … I would spend some time on the phone with some of the options you have available locally in the Dallas Ft Worth area (listed in post #4 here) and then work with the three or four that seemed to best understand what you were looking for and your criteria. I would choose the best “fit” at each of these and then narrow your choices down between them to the one that is the most suitable for you based on your personal “value equation”.

I think that if you focus more on who you are working with and less on the “type” of mattress that may (or may not) work best for you that you will end up with the best possible choice and you can finally get the mattress that will provide the quality of sleep and rest that you have been looking for.


Phoenix you forgot about me :frowning:

Why did you pick Jameson and Dutchcraft over the other manufacturers; are any others good to look at in my area as well? Did you find any more places here locally to update that list with?

Hi mister,

I certainly haven’t forgotten about you :).

As a matter of fact the (so far) about 10 + hours of research and conversations that have gone into gathering information to update the Nashville area over the last two days have been the single biggest block of time that I’ve spent on anything since your post.

The short answer to your question about both Jamison and Dutchcraft would be the same as many other smaller manufacturers … they tend to use higher quality materials and are more transparent about what they use than many other manufacturers. They are both privately owned and more responsive to their local customers and retailers than many other manufacturers.

Of course the value of any of their mattresses and your ability to find out the materials that were in them depends on the retailer you work with … but they have good potential and the odds of finding better quality and value with these types of manufacturers that “fit the profile” of the better manufacturers are much higher than with more mainstream brands.

More to come … probably later tonight or tomorrow … about the results of my Nashville research so far.

One head with only 2 hands can only juggle so many balls … and I haven’t figured out yet how to add more hours to the day :slight_smile:


Hi Mister,

Some of the results of my Nashville research are now listed in the updated post #7 here. They are the results of looking at over 40 different retailers in about a 40 mile radius (I don’t think I missed any but of course it’s possible I did) and conversations with several of them so far.

As I gather more information I’ll add more updates to the information there.

Of course your “in person” feedback on any of the merchants listed would also be valuable.