Guidance Please

To make a long story short I need a mattress because of my divorce. Through this site/forum I have come to learn about the local manufacturers in my general area (Central NH). I am 6’3" and 265lbs and a sidesleeper with a surgically repaired back that can be touchy at times. I like firm support with a but of comfortable cushioning on top.

I have begun looking at Gardner Mattress Ivory Plush Top: but worry a bit because it is no flip.

Also interested in Portland Mattress Makers Kathadin:

The MaidenMaine/Daly Bros Regal: but question the amount of foam in the cushion layers but like that it is 2 sided

And finally I have spent some time on Jordan’s Mattress Factory Hand Tufted w/ visco topper (4lb foam): I liked this mattress alot but the whole Sleep Lab thing was incredibly hokey, it is put with a foundation not box spring, and if I want to spend to much time haggling with the fool in the white lab coat.

Thoughts on these options. I really need to get a mattress soon as the couch is killing my back and my dog snores.

Hi SRugs,

You have some very good mattresses to choose between.

Gardner uses some very high quality materials and manufacturing methods (such as lace tufting) to keep the ingredients from shifting and add to their durability. While a 2 sided mattress is more durable … if the materials are very high quality such as latex and methods such as tufting are used, then the fact that they are one sided would not be an issue for me. They are making very high quality mattresses which are a little more than other factory direct manufacturers … but worth it IMO. My only concern would be 19 ILD talalay which may be a little on the soft side for your weight but I would let your own testing and preferences be the best guide for this … especially because of your challenges. The thickness would probably be better at 3" for your heavier weight and side sleeping.

Portland Mattress Makers doesn’t show the specs of the Kathadin on their site so it’s difficult to comment but they appear to be good quality latex/innerspring hybrids with good value.

Maidenmaine Regal is a little different because it uses a combination of true HR polyfoam (very high quality) and latex over the luraflex (offset) coils and also use inner tufting so this is also a very high quality and good value choice. 4" of foam for your weight and side sleeping is not out of range at all and it is firmer and also tufted (pre-compressed) so this would also not be a concern for me. The innerspring of this mattress is not particularly low gauge so I would make sure I tested this carefully for good spinal alignment and support.

Jordans would be my last choice because I would avoid the use of 4 lb memory foam completely with your weight. It’s interesting that they call this a “hard” feel and I’d be curious if you found their description accurate because a 14.5 gauge pocket coil with 4 lb memory foam would not typically be “hard”.

All in all … you have some (3) very good choices. If you can get the specs of the Kathadin I’d be happy to comment on it as well.

When you are choosing between good and good … and all of them are good quality and value (especially if you compare them to anything even remotely similar at more typical outlets) … then I would make my selection based on careful testing for pressure relief and alignment/support especially with your back issues (at least 15 minutes and preferably more on each mattress as if you are going to sleep and your muscles have “let go”) . I would also think that the staff at all of these would be (hopefully) very helpful as well in helping you find the combination that best suits you (which I would agree should fit your description of firm support with a thick and durable enough comfort layer to accommodate the side sleeping needs of a heavier individual).



Thank you very much. Your guidance on other posts are the reason I have some good choices.

I am on vacation so I am off to test at least two of these and will post my experiences and ultimate decision for everyone. I will try to get the Kathadin specs.

The Jordan’s mattress did feel a little soft in terms of the innerspring support.

I wish more people knew about the local manufacturers because even the Jordan’s mattress was much higher quality than any of the name brands in their Sleep Lab (I still can’t get over the lab coat thing).

Hello. I as well need some guidance. I am new to this forum and after many, many weeks of searching for mattresses, I have overwhelmed myself. I now have a full size serta that is almost 10 years old. It is way too firm for my liking and my boyfriend refuses to sleep on it. He has a queen majestic sleep “basil” made by Brand Source. It is very plush, which both of us like. We are now moving in together and are looking at purchasing a plush king. I am not trying to break the bank but want something that is comfortable to both. We both sleep on our sides. We like the memory foam mattresses (esp the iComfort) but are a little cautious on buying a foam bed due to some comments on the imprints. I just need help! I have stressed myself out by not being able to decide on anything. We are not opposed to something other than memory foam but just want soft. We live in Wilmington, NC and have looked mainly at the bigger furniture stores (Ashley, Rooms to Go, Room Store) but have looked at a few smaller places too (Beds Plus, etc.). I know there is a Brand Source store about 30min from us but didn’t know your take on them or another option for memory foam. Thank you so much in advance for your help! Your site has really made me more aware of price points, local manufactures, etc. Thanks!


Hi Lindsey,

I know that Phoenix will chime in on your post. By going through some of the forums over the last week on my search I noticed that Original Mattress Factory in Raleigh is seen as a quality local option in NC.

Here is their website:

Hi Lindsey,

SRugs has already mentioned the closest factory direct manufacturer to you in Fayetteville (thank you :)).
Posts #2 and #5 here in the same thread will give you some of my thoughts on OMF and on some of the other local options if they are too far for a “mattress drive”.

The Majestic sleep is made by Serta which means that the value is likely to be on the lower end of the scale. Even worse is that you would be buying something where the layers in the mattress may be completely unknown which means there is no way to know what the weak link of the mattress is or be able to compare it to other mattresses that may use better quality materials and sell for lower prices. This article will give you a few guidelines which can help you avoid most of the traps and pitfalls of mattress shopping.

Some of my thoughts on the iComfort lineup (which I also think is questionable quality and not great value) is in post #11 here.

When you are looking at memory foam or really any “plush” layers in the top of a mattress … it’s also important to make sure that the layer thickness is “just enough” to provide you with the pressure relief you need so that it’s not so thick that it isolates you from the firmer support layers of the mattress which can lead to sleeping out of alignment and some of the back issues that can be a result of this.

Most important of all is to make sure that whereever you buy from that they are open about the quality of the materials in your mattress (will show you the layering and the specs of all the materials) so you can have a good idea of the quality and the real value of the mattress you are considering and be able to make meaningful comparisons.

Good luck in your “mattress hunt” … and feel free to post if you have questions along the way.


Thank you all for your input! Went looking again yesterday including to Costco to research the Novaform and I am still confused. I know your take on the three S’s but this seems to be a contender for me for plush purposes…Any thoughts or experience with this one or something similar?


Thanks to all of you for your input. I have FINALLY made my decision. I am going with a Natural Living (manufactured in NC!!) Energy Plush. Thanks again for your input!

Hi LinidsMarie,

Just to answer your question in the post previous to this (for the sake of anyone else who may read this) … I would not consider the because it has 5.5" of lower density polyfoam of unknown density (likely 1.5 lb or less) which is the type of foam which can develop issues much more quickly than higher quality foams … especially in layers this thick.

Carolina Mattress Guild which makes the Natural Living line including the Energy is a regional brand which is producing some nice mattresses with better value than the larger national brands IMO and I would certainly choose it over the Beauty Sleep.

Congratulations on your new mattress :slight_smile:


PS I see that you deleted your previous post about the Beauty Sleep once you had chosen the CMG mattress (and I already had this window up) so I hope it’s OK that I replied anyway. It may help someone else.

Jordan’s is out of the running because I ventured to Maine today to do some lying down.

I can now tell you that the Portland Mattress Company makes two versions of their Katahdin mattress. One is a pillow top with lighter gauge coils. The salesperson was awesome and he guided me to other version of the Katahdin which was a regular top with almost the exact same foam and latex combo as the Maiden Maine Regal just not a soft top. The coils were 14 gauge giving tremendous support with just enough flex to give great support. After 25 minutes on the bed (10 of which I actually fell asleep for) I felt this would be a great option. High quality materials and quality workmanship which I was able to see as the factory was right through the door off the showroom.

Next stop was Daly Brothers/Maiden Maine. I was on the Regal for about 20 minutes and it was another great experience. Again excellent materials and build quality.

Both mattress are two-sided. Now I am going to head to Gardner Mattress in the next couple of days. We will see who gives the best deal for a great product.

Hi srugs,

Now that’s what I call great mattress testing! The specs of the Kathadin sound very good and I can see why you fell asleep :slight_smile:

A you already know (but for the sake of others who read this) … half the battle of mattress shopping is narrowing down your list of outlets to the ones that are transparent about materials, “know their stuff”, and where you know that pretty much anything they make is better quality and value than what you would find in the types of mass market outlets where most people end up purchasing.

Once this is done (which you did before you even posted the first time) … then knowing that you’ve bypassed all the hype, fake sales, lack of transparency, and misleading information that’'s so common in the industry can make the rest of your journey much less frustrating and more enjoyable. It’s great when you reach a point where you really can’t go wrong.

Thanks for sharing your feedback and your experiences and I’m looking forward to finding out what you end up choosing. Feedback like yours will be very helpful for the many others who will read this and have yet to begin their search.



Well the choice has been made. After spending an hour at the Gardner Mattress Factory store yesterday and going home to sleep on it ( though still on the couch). The experience at Gardner was excellent and my two youngest girls even came away with two small pieces of talalay latex even after they were leaping from tempurpedic to tempurpedic in the showroom.

With excellent options from Portland Mattress, Daly Brothers (Maiden Maine) and Gardner I have chosen to go with Gardner’s Ivory Plush Top (2" of talalay) in queen with a true box spring. I got them to throw in the frame, a very good waterproof mattress pad because of my kids and delivery. So it came out to about a 10% discount.

The best part of this is that they make the mattress the day before they deliver it and set it up. I can’t wait for delivery on March 28th. I told them about this site and your membership section too.

I will continue to contribute and update my sleep on the new Gardner Mattress. Thank you for all you do on this site. I am going to continue to promote it and the really good local manufacturers that people need to discover.

Hi SRugs,

Now that’s one of the better sales techniques I’ve seen. Give the kids some pieces of Talalay as a “bonus” and the sale is assured :slight_smile:

Congratulations on your new mattress! As you know I think highly of Gardner and the quality of their mattresses and I believe you made a great choice.

I’ve talked with them briefly in the past and I appreciate you mentioning the site to them. They certainly fit the profile of the type of manufacturers that I welcome as members.

I’m also looking forward to your updates and once again … thank you for sharing such great feedback.


One week on my new Gardner Mattress and I have slept like a baby with NO back stiffness or aches? I got their Ivory Plush Top with 2" of Talalay Latex. When they brought the mattress the first time the box spring would not fit up the stairs because of an overhang. That was on a Friday.

They were back on a Monday with the split box spring that was made that morning and delivered by 11 AM. No questions asked on the swap out.

Unreal product and customer service, as expected.

Buy local. Thanks Phoenix for this site.

Hi SRugs,

You’re a great example of exactly why “buy local” and “buy from smaller, high quality manufacturers” can make such a difference in terms of quality, value, and service.

If more people would “get the message” … the mattress industry would be very different from what it is!

Thanks again for your ongoing feedback.



We’re going through the same process you are looking for a mattress. We’re looking to replace a too firm Sterns and Foster. We’ve been to Jordans the past couple nights and are close to settling on a Simmons Beautyrest Classic, Super Pillow Top, but there’s something telling me not to do it. I’ve driven by Gardner a ton of times in Woburn and I’m always intrigued by their store.

Which Gardner store did you go to? Their hours are tough to meet during the week for a visit though!!!


Hi bidzer,

You’ve probably seen this but in case you haven’t, post #2 here has a Boston list of local manufacturers that may be of interest. Post #2 here also includes links to feedback about many of the manufacturers listed.