Help before losing mind: Mattress aims for our variables

Hello Experts!

First off, thanks to those who keep this website alive. Choosing a mattress is so difficult, I think I am losing my mind figuring this out. I am not the richest guy in town, but I do want to spend as much as I can on getting the RIGHT mattress so I have saved up. I am looking for a mattress for myself and my partner. We are moving from a furnished to an unfurnished place soon and we want to buy a mattress once moved, since we cant take a mattress on a plane. This means we have a small window to test mattresses out, so I want to get as much of a good idea as possible of what we need BEFORE testing so we can make a quicker decision.

About us:
My budget: 2000 Canadian Dollars (will consider stretching if necessary).
I’m 5’9, 165lb, age 31 and she is 5’4, 155lb, age 25.
We’re both 90% side sleepers.
She gets hot easily when sleeping.
We’re both fidgety, so we move around a bit in the night too, in which we accidentally wake each other up most nights (this is big in our decision making).
She is a nurse (does 12 hour shifts), we both hit the gym around 2-3 times a week, though I wouldn’t call ourselves “athletic”.
We would prefer something on the firmer side but for side sleepers, so finding that balance may be tough. So…

What I THINK we should aim for:
Size: King or Super King?
Firmness level: 4
Top layer: 2-3” Talalay Latex (ILD 9-20)
Support layer: Dunlop Latex (ILD 28-35)

From what I understand, it is better to go to local independent suppliers for getting the best value for YOUR needs. Only most of these sell the foam itself and not an actual mattress as such. I could give some DIY a try but wouldn’t say im confident. I am also not sure what brands are good either so…

My questions:

  1. While I’m fairly confident that Talalay as a top layer will fit our needs, the layer/s under it I am not. Any suggestions there?

  2. Is it better to look at local independent places OR a sale (black friday etc.) with some of the bigger brands? E.g Purple, Simba, Temper

  3. Most obvious question is are my aims a good match to suit our variables?

I will keep looking at posts on here (seems to be mostly solved by phoenix haha but pls notice me senpai) in order to figure this out the best I can before testing

I am the last thing from an expert. In fact I’m a newish member and am a tummy and slide sleeper. You certainly need something softer for the side sleeping, as you’ve suggested. And latex is a good choice since your partner sleeps hot… so do i.

If you are doing all latex, you will need a firm foundation. Either platform or slats 2.5" apart or less. If king or super king also with something down the middle lengthwise There are experts here, even industry ones, including MFC Canada.

Do you like a very firm feel underneath? If not, maybe a medium firmness for the foundation beneath the top 2-3" Talalay.

No matter what, make sure there is a comfortable time-window when you can return the mattress for a refund or an exchange.

Good luck.
hesster

Hi hester,

Cheers for that i’ll definitely keep all of that in mind. When you mention something down the middle what does this mean? I have seen with one brand called “healthy back” that you can get a “split king” but I’m not sure what that means exactly, is there an actual object in the mattress through the middle or is it technically just splitting the materials down the middle

Daudi,
what I mean is this. If you have a wide bed and you are using slats and not a platform bed, for structural integrity you would need some extra structural support. If you click on this link: https://kdframes.com/ and scroll down to “Platform Beds: View All”… don’t click on anything, just look at the pic. The slats are horizontal and there are some extra supports right down the middle of the frame. That’s what I mean. No slats even on a queen will give enough support without a crosspiece or 2.

hester

HI Daudi, and welcome to the Mattress Undetround :slight_smile: glad too have you here!

I am looking for a mattress for myself and my partner. We are moving from a furnished to an unfurnished place soon and we want to buy a mattress once moved, since we cant take a mattress on a plane. This means we have a small window to test mattresses out, so I want to get as much of a good idea as possible of what we need BEFORE testing so we can make a quicker decision.

My budget: 2000 Canadian Dollars (will consider stretching if necessary).
I’m 5’9, 165lb, age 31 and she is 5’4, 155lb, age 25.
We’re both 90% side sleepers

Good thinking, doing the ‘leg work’ in finding a new mattress that will be ready for your new apartment! You have a fairly generous budget for your mattress. Keep in mind, any mattress you finally decide on will be based on your Stats (height, BMI, sleeping position(s) and underlying health issues) - thanks for providing those! - and your PPP (Posture & alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences). If you haven’t, you may want to read the Mattress Shopping Tutorial as well as the Mattress Specifications You Need To Know and the Mattress Durability Guidelines to get an idea of how different mattress materials hold up over time.
with the BMIs of you and your partner, and no pertinent health issues, you have many sleep system options that can provide both comfort and support…let me answer your questions in order:

Size: King or Super King?
Firmness level: 4
Top layer: 2-3” Talalay Latex (ILD 9-20)
Support layer: Dunlop Latex (ILD 28-35)

While I’m fairly confident that Talalay as a top layer will fit our needs, the layer/s under it I am not. Any suggestions there?

Latex is one of the most durable mattress materials, and you have decided on Talalay latex for a top comfort layer…Talalay and Dunlop latex have quite different feels, and if you’ve been reading the forum I’m sure you have read the comparison: Talalay is ‘bouncier’ and can be compared to angel food cake whereas Dunlop is more like pound cake. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer…either can be used for the lower layers of the mattress, depending on how it feels for you both and how well it supports you.

Is it better to look at local independent places OR a sale (black friday etc.) with some of the bigger brands? E.g Purple, Simba, Temper

The reason we recommend local manufacturers as opposed to the big brands is basically, most of the major mattress manufacturers base their business on ‘volume, volume, volume’. They have large advertising budgets and are aimed at broad demographics for comfort and support options, and they tend to not be transparent with the construction and materials of their components, often using proprietary names for the components themselves - which often make it impossible to assess the durability, and can hide inexpensive ‘filler’ in their mattresses.The salespeople are often given limited info on their products and may not even be trained in how to asssess sleepers needs in any useful way.

They can also offer deep discounts, because again, volume…but if the mattress ‘wears out’ after a couple years, the savings may end up not being savings at all. Not that you cannot find a good mattress from the major retailers, but it can be very difficult to research before you ‘take the plunge’. If the price is ‘too good to be true’…it’s probably exactly that. Sales are also used to clear out old stock before new lines are introduced; price is many times not a good thing to base your purchase on. A local manufacturer looks at satisfying each individual consumer and has the knowledge and experience to assist you in finding a perfect match.Their name ‘rides’ on each and every sale and they can answer questions more fully, and also take greater care in construction than a ‘volume’ manufacturer does.

Size: King or Super King?
Firmness level: 4
Top layer: 2-3” Talalay Latex (ILD 9-20)
Support layer: Dunlop Latex (ILD 28-35)

Most obvious question is are my aims a good match to suit our variables?

Not sure the scale you are thinking of - assuming you mean ‘firmness 4’ with 5 being maximum? A Talalay comfort layer with ILD of 9-20 will be extremely plush, and you both may sink in too far and bottom out on the support layer below which can cause aches, pains and even alignment issues. The Dunlop support layer should be properly supportive, but you may want to consider more of a medium firm comfort layer on top, as you want it to be ‘on the firmer side’. In a properly supportive mattress, laying on your side, your back should look the same as if viewed from behind while standing.

A DIY mattress can certainly give you the ability to ‘ultra customize’ for your specific needs, but it can take a good deal of effort to ’zero in’ on the right combination by switching around, or exchanging layers. Not being confident on achieving your goal with a DIY is a good indication you may not want to wade in to such a project - definitely not for the faint of heart!

One way to proceed would to visit any local showrooms you have access too, to potentially try a few mattresses - Dunlop or Talalay, all latex, hybrid, etc. - to determine what you do and don’t feel comfortable on, which can help you decide on a suitable, similarly constructed mattress online. A good local manufacturer will take you and your partners Stats and PPP, along with what you are aiming for - depending on their experience they can even try to ‘match’ the feel of a big-brand mattress. As far as suggesting where to purchase your mattress, where are you moving to? You are in the UK at present, correct? With shipping costs being what they are, knowing the destination of the new mattress will help us to make some suggestions. How long until you move? Let us know and we can see how we can give you a little guidance.

~ Basilio

I was not expecting such a thorough response so thank you ever so much for that!

Yes it is a shame that this particular market is oversaturated with rip off products and as a consumer you really have to spend so much time doing the leg work to make each buck really count

As for firmness scale, since i made this post and have done more research I have found that this number doesnt really mean anything or at least isnt a consistent scale unlike ILD.

This was very useful thank you. I think its especially important for her since shes a nurse that does 12 hour shifts so support is a bit more important. Based on your recommendation to maybe rethink on the firmness side of things, i think i may have found a good match for us. They seem to be reputable and their latex has been rated highly among other users on here. They don’t do talalalalalay but based on what you said, i think Dunlop will be fine as the soft layer, as its rated at 20 ILD. Link below to the one I’m thinking would be good:

Opted specs:
King, 8"
2" 20 ILD
2" 30 ILD
2" 30ILD
2" 40ILD

They also offer wool covers which to my understanding is better for temperature regulation (she sleeps hot). Though I’m not sure if there will be any noticeable difference between their organic and Joma wool? price difference between them is high so I presume their is a noticable benefit. Saying all that, I’d like to place linen sheets over it anyway so maybe the cover doesn’t matter?

In any case, I may try these guys out. Who knows, maybe they will have a floor sale with those specific specs at the time of moving to Vancouver! Have a good few months yet so theres time to do more research, which answers your other questions :slight_smile:

Hi Daudi,

Glad to hear you are researching further, you’re on the right track!

Yes, ‘firmness’ is a very subjective concept. A mattress that’s too firm for sleeper A is not firm enough for sleeper B. Definitely not a concrete data point. If someone states their mattress is ‘7 of 10’ firmness it indicates it’s on the firmer side but that’a all. ILD( indentation load deflection) is an industry standard measurement of how much weight it takes to compress a 4” square piece of foam by 25%. Unlike, say, memory foam, latex density does not have a direct correlation to it’s firmness.

As I said a DIY project is a bit more involved of a process. If you and your partner prefer a firm feel, the 2” 20 ILD comfort layer may be too soft; the 40 ILD support is also good, but with 2 x 2” layers of 30 ILD you won’t be able to switch them around to ‘dial-in’ the comfort level as you would with different firmnesses of latex layers…but as Nature’s Embrace allows 2 exchanges within 6 months of purchase you have some room to experiment. You might prefer the 6” firm or extra firm support with one or two 2” comfort layers of 30 ILD which would be supportive and provide a firm feel, for example, if your initial configuration does not work out. As far as the cover, wool acts as both a breathable layer as well as being a fire retardant; whether cotton & wool or Tencel fabric, the cover is fitted and zippered to keep the layers firmly in place as well as allow you to be able to switch layers around if desired, and you can put your linen sheets over this. Joma wool is simply a higher quality organic wool option, which should help your partner sleep cooler.

Since you are moving to Vancouver, (congratulations, a very beautiful & interesting city!) there are several of the Trusted Members of the site located in Canada, such as @MFC who have the Presto customizable organic latex mattress as well as DIY components; @Sunshine Mattress Co. has an 8 and 11” modular customizable latex mattress; @Dormio also carries a number of latex mattresses you may want to look at; and @SnugSleep and @Takasa both offer a range of organic bedding, and @CBH Wood Furniture has a selection of bed platforms and frames.

I wish you success on finding your new sleep system, and hope the move goes well…please drop in and let us know your experience with your new mattress once you have had some time on it!

~ Basilio

It has been some time and much has happened since I last responded on here. Apologies for not replying sooner. Super long story short, we are now moving to Toronto in a few weeks, as I got a job offer I can’t refuse haha. This has however made things more difficult for us, as part of my job requirement is I need a car, which has now stripped our mattress budget down to 1500 CAD…

After reading your latest response and other threads about people having aches and pains from 20 ILD comfort layers, I’m now thinking a better start off point would be:

Queen Size
2x2" or 1x3" of 30 ILD Dunlop
2x2" of 40 ILD Dunlop

In light of this, I am now trying to figure out what suppliers to go to about testing/ purchasing mattresses around the Toronto area. Any suppliers in particular you would recommend for what we’re after with our kind of budget? We just don’t have the funds to go any higher, due to the car and the move in general, but we also don’t want to buy something that’s just going to break down after a year of use i.e throw money down the drain

Appreciate your help as this is all a headache to navigate on top of everything else going on right now haha

Dan

Hi Daudi,

Apologies for the late response! Great news about your new job, sorry to hear it’s straining your budget.

Unfortunately with all the upheaval in business over the last few years, we can’t provide geographic listings of retailers and manufacturers. I will say, Trusted Members of the site Arizona Premium, though located in Arizona, ships to Canada; they have a lot of experience with latex and latex DIY Builds; Dormio is also in the Toronto area; Sunshine Mattress has a few modulate latex mattresses, and Takasa can provide quality fair trade and organic bedding, when you finally get moved in to your new place.

I wish you much luck and ‘smooth sailing’ on the move. Please let us know what choice you make for your new sleep system as well!

~ Basilio

Hi there,

We have worked with Obasan mattresses for years, and their factory is located in Toronto. All organic latex. Their regular line may be a little above your price point, but if you scroll down to the bottom of their site, under the ‘Company’ heading, tap on ‘Second Chance’. They occasionally offer factory seconds here. They are worth a look since you will be in that area!