Help me decide what type of mattress I should get

I visited a couple of those well-known Houston-area mattress stores and nearly purchased one of those Tempur-pedic, Serta or Sealy “cool gel” memory foam mattress. But after reading about all the nightmares of the support material collapsing and denied warranties I am so glad I didn’t. Then I was so happy to stumble across this site!

My plan is to head over to Texas Mattress Makers to discuss my options, materials, layers, etc., but I figured I’d ask for some preliminary info here if anyone has already done the same research. Here is my criteria:

  • Budget: around $3k
  • Size: split king or two twin XLs (same thing as far as I understand, replacing a king). I am an extremely light sleeper and want zero movement. The sales people talk about the wine glass, etc. but they are wrong. If you are not a light sleeper you may not understand. I will not buy a regular king bed under any circumstances. The split beds will even be in separate frames or supports and have no common point of contact other than the floor below.
  • Material - leaning towards memory foam but not sure because I sleep hot. I want something durable that lasts 10 years or longer. Any recommendations for what materials to get to stay cool?
  • Softness: Both my wife and I like softer mattresses, We tend to sleep on our backs and sides. I sort of sleep halfway between back and side if that makes sense.
  • Other thoughts: I visited Norway a few years back and slept in two hotels. I don’t know what types of mattresses they have but it was so comfortable it was unbelievable. I am thinking of possibly calling the hotel and asking them.

ETA: here is the possible dilemma I feel I am facing - a soft memory foam mattress will feel great but the more you sink into memory foam the hotter you get, so my choices seem to be soft and hot or firm and cool. Any thoughts?


Hi fixfrozenpipes,

In most cases a mattress will soften and break down from the top layers down which are the layers that are most subject to the compression forces of sleeping on a mattress so it’s the upper layers where the quality and durability of the materials are most important not the deeper support materials or components. The deeper support layers aren’t generally the weakest link of a mattress in terms of durability. There is more about the many variables that can affect the durability and useful life of a mattress relative to different people in post #4 here and the posts it links to.

You are certainly heading in a good direction. As you probably know they are a member of the site which means that I believe they compete well with the best in the industry in terms of their quality, value, service, and transparency.

Your budget is certainly high enough to purchase a very high quality sleeping system.

Yes … two twin XL’s and a split king are the same thing.

This is certainly the “best” way to eliminate motion transfer. If you are also using separate mattress protectors and sheets then you would have no common points of contact at all where motion on one side of the mattress can affect the other side. There is more about the pros and cons of split king mattresses in post #8 here and in this topic

[quote]- Material - leaning towards memory foam but not sure because I sleep hot. I want something durable that lasts 10 years or longer. Any recommendations for what materials to get to stay cool?

ETA: here is the possible dilemma I feel I am facing - a soft memory foam mattress will feel great but the more you sink into memory foam the hotter you get, so my choices seem to be soft and hot or firm and cool. Any thoughts?[/quote]

The choices aren’t quite as black and white as you’ve described them and there are many types of memory foam just like there are many types of every type of material and some types of memory foam are more breathable and have less effect on temperature than others than others and some memory foam mattresses and designs can also tend to sleep warmer than others. Where you are in the “oven to iceberg” range will also have a significant effect and I would keep in mind that while memory foam in general does tend to sleep warmer than other materials or types of mattresses … that only a minority of people sleep hot on memory foam (although they are probably a more vocal minority).

There is more about the different ways that can be used to “cool down” memory foam in post #6 here and there is also more about the many variables that can affect sleeping temperature in post #2 here and the posts it links to (including the mattress protector, any mattress pads, and the type of sheets and bedding you use which can have just as significant an effect on sleeping temperature as the type of foam in a mattress).

If sleeping temperature is your most important criteria then thinner layers of more breathable memory foam in combination with other types of softer and more breathable materials or considering other materials or types of foam completely that you find just as “comfortable” as memory foam may also be well worth considering. Your testing along with the guidance of a good manufacturer or retailer about the specifics of their mattresses will go a long way to helping you decide on which of the many options you have available (memory foam or otherwise) will be the best “match” for all of your criteria and the parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you.

I’m not sure how much this may help you because it’s unlikely that you would be able to find out all the detailed specifics of all the materials and components in the mattress you slept on to the degree that would be necessary to “match” it with another mattress because there are so many different versions of every type of material and component that it may have used. Even if you could find out all the information you need there may not be another mattress available here that would have exactly the same design and materials that would be necessary to “duplicate” it anyway. There is more about the different ways that one mattress can “match” another one in post #9 here but this type of “mattress matching” is very difficult and not particularly practical or effective except perhaps in the most general way.


Thanks for all the great info in your response - I saw it earlier but didn’t get around to responding until now. I think I’ll have some thinking to do before I head over to Texas Mattress Makers to figure out what I want. I’ll certainly let them know I heard about them from this website.

It’s a shame more people don’t know about the “proliferation of inferior quality mattresses.” And some of these things sell for many thousands!. Just today I asked a co-worker about the last mattress he purchased. He said that over a year ago he purchased one in the same product line (Serta IComfort) that I nearly purchased. He loved it for about year and then it developed the dreaded “sink hole” in the middle. He fought with the mattress store and finally was able to make an exchange (Serta said it was not a valid warranty claim even though he would roll into the hole and sink more than 6" down), however he says he wishes he just hadn’t gone there in the first place. We both laughed (him possibly nervously) when I suggested that as he was only a few months into his new mattress, he’d probably have another sink hole towards the end of the year.

Hi fixfrozenpipes,

Unfortunately it’s quite likely that if the mattress he exchanges for is also a major brand that he will have similar issues with lower quality less durable materials as their iComfort mattress. Hopefully it will last a little longer than a year next time but it’s certainly a roll of the dice when you don’t know what’s inside a mattress and it’s very likely that he will need to buy a new mattress long before the warranty runs out. At least you won’t have to face the same type of issues that comes from lower quality materials when you buy from a manufacturer such as Texas Mattress Makers that uses higher quality/density and more durable materials and is also transparent and will tell you what they are.


Well I stopped by after lunch today and spoke with a guy I assume is the owner. There was a large number of mattresses available, plus cross-sections or “cutouts” of all different sorts of combinations. They also had different materials and springs available.

Here is what I tried:

  • 100% latex - very comfortable but possibly not enough support and I worried that my lower back may be out of alignment (I am 6’2", 200lbs). But I can certainly see the appeal of latex…if it doesn’t allow your back to sag too much it is great.
  • Latex over microcoils (or maybe it was inner springs, I forget which but it was the “smaller” coils about 1.25" in diameter). This one felt nice and was my 2nd choice.
  • Latex-infused polyfoam over zoned microcoils/springs. This felt good but the “zone” where the hips go uses the larger, less stiff springs. Once again I was worried that maybe it would not support my lower back enough.
  • Latex-infused polyfoam over microcoils/springs. This one felt great and supported well. It was a tough call between this and the straight latex over microcoils. But this one had slightly more of that “memory foam” feel to it. My wife is going to head down to see if she wants the same thing for her half of the split king or if she wants to pick another. The guy there said he will match the height regardless of what she picks.

You might find it and interesting coincidence that the “zoned” version which felt very nice was called the “Oslo” special (see my comment about Norway earlier). When I told them the story they had a laugh and said it was just a name and didn’t mean anything.
All the latex was talaylay latex, BTW.
Thanks again for the info. Let me know if you have any comments or feedback about what I’ve written.

Hi fixfrozenpipes,

Thanks for taking the time to share your comments and feedback about your visit to Texas Mattress Makers … I appreciate it.

As far as I know (I don’t know the specifics of all of their mattresses) none of their mattresses use any lower quality and less durable materials or have any weak links in their design but I would need to know the information listed here about each of the mattresses you’ve tested to make any specific comments about the materials in each of them or the mattresses “as a whole”.

When you are deciding between mattresses that all use good quality and durable materials and components and there are no weak links in any of them then your choice will really come down to which of their mattresses your testing indicates is the best “match” for you (and your wife) in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) … hopefully using the testing guidelines in step 4 of the tutorial … along with all the other parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you.

I’m looking forward to finding out what you end up deciding :).