help with mattress selection

First, thank you so much for making this forum available. It, and the accompanying articles and miscellany, has been so helpful in this process. If only I had known about it 4 years ago when we made our big mattress mistake! But we will correct that now, with your help.

My husband and I are in search of a new mattress. Here are our specs: he’s 5’8, 155 lbs; I’m 5’5, 125 lbs, but currently pregnant. He’s a stomach sleeper, but insists that he can sleep on anything anywhere and that we shouldn’t make any decisions based on him. That said, he prefers to air on the side of firmer rather than softer. I am a combo side/back sleeper (though I’m almost completely on my side these days while pregnant, but plan to get back to my combo sleeping ways as soon as I can). We have a king Simmons Beautyrest with a pillow top (not sure which one, but the layers are listed on the tag if that would be of any use), which we got in 2009. Very quickly, we started getting valleys with a large hump in the middle. Over time, I started having lower back pain, hip pain, and terrible shoulder pain. Since I’ve been pregnant, I decided I can’t take it anymore, so we moved into the guest room, where we both have our own twin Simmons Beautyrest World Class with Florence Pillow Top mattresses. I find this bed to be very firm, moreso that I like. Obviously, this is not a good long term option for us, so we are searching for something new.

We have been to a couple of big box mattress stores locally and tried out a few different options. We started with the Tempurpedic Cloud Luxe. We both found this to be way too soft for our tastes. Of the Tempurpedic line, we found the Rhapsody to be closer to what we can both agree on. But, we don’t like the price tag of Tempurpedics and I felt a little like I was sinking in quicksand on their beds. We also tried the iComfort series from Serta and really liked these. At the first store, we liked the Prodigy, but when we went to another store and tried it again (2 weeks later), we found it to be a little soft and preferred the Insight. I also liked the texture of the top better than the Tempurpedic, but I don’t know how much this matters when you have bedding on top. Reading reviews of the iComfort does not inspire confidence in this line. Too many stories of permanent indentations and loss of support. We also went searching for Latex mattresses to try and only found some options locally at Macy’s, and I don’t think they even had much Latex in them. We tried a Serta (not exactly sure the name, but Macy’s website seems to only list one Latex option from them called Serta Perfect Sleeper Elite Mattress Sets, Stone Creek Ultra Firm Tight Top) and a Sternes and Foster. The Serta was ok, but I didn’t feel like it supported my lower back like the iComfort ones did and the Sternes and Foster was terrible (felt like a traditional innerspring and very firm). Both definitely gave me more of a feeling that I was sleeping on top of the mattress rather than in it, like the memory foam feel.

Lastly, I sleep hot. I know that doesn’t go well with memory foam, so it’s definitely a consideration.

We have seriously been considering the Ultimate Dreams/Dreamfoam options, but we’re not sure what to do. It sounds like their memory foam option is much softer than we’d like (compares to the Cloud Luxe, right?). Chuck told us that they are getting ready to debut a new version that is closer to the Rhapsody. Do you know anything about this? Or would you recommend latex for us? Or should we look into another brand? Thanks again for all your help.

Hi EMC10,

Thanks for the kind words. I’m glad you found us :slight_smile:

Hopefully you’ve read this but just in case … post #1 here is the most important post on the forum and includes the basic information, steps and guidelines that can help you make the best possible choices (and perhaps more importantly avoid most of the worst ones including the major brands you have been testing or any mattress where you aren’t able to find out the quality of what is inside it).

As you can read in mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here … there are too many variables, unknowns, and individual preferences involved for me (or anyone) to help with what specific mattress or even material to choose … but hopefully the information here can help with how to choose.

When you get to step 3 … if you let me know the city or zip where you live I’d be happy to let you know about any of the better options or possibilities I’m aware of that are close to you.

Unfortunately … the law tag doesn’t provide any specific information about the quality of the materials or the design of your mattress … it only includes generic information about the type of materials in the mattress (and every material has very low and high quality versions).

When you have premature or undue softening in a mattress it’s usually about lower quality materials in the upper layers which are less durable and which are usually the weak link of a mattress.

I would be very wary about these because in most cases you would be sleeping on thicker layers of polyfoam above the latex or the latex in the mattress is just a thin layer that is more for marketing or “label copy” purposes. Again it’s important to know the details of all the layers so that you can avoid the use of lower quality materials, especially in the upper layers of the mattress.

As you probably know … Brooklyn Bedding is one of the manufacturing members of the site which means I believe they are among the best quality/value in the country. Although I’ve never tested them … they have told me that their Amazon 13" gel memory foam mattress is similar to the Cloud Luxe just a bit firmer and have also told me that their Cool Luxe is also similar to the Cloud Luxe but perhaps a bit softer and of course it uses much higher quality materials in all the layers. I don’t know when their mattress that is similar to the Rhapsody will be released and I many even find out when a “quick” forum member mentions that they were just listed on their site :slight_smile:

I would also keep in mind that no matter what the quality or value of a mattress that it’s suitability for you is just as important because if a mattress isn’t suitable for you in terms of what I call PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) then it would have little value to you.

I would tend to start with local testing but on mattresses where the information about the materials in the mattresses you are testing is available to you otherwise there isn’t much point even testing them because they would be little help in your selection. Local testing will give you more experience as far as choosing which material combinations you tend to prefer because materials and different types of foam (memory foam, latex, polyfoam) are a preference choice not a “better worse” choice as long as they are good quality for their budget range).

If your new baby will be sleeping on your mattress I would tend to avoid memory foam completely because of some of the risks involved with memory foam and children. Besides potential offgassing issues, memory foam is not suitable for young children IMO because they can get too soft with heat or humidity which can be risky for a baby or young child if they sleep face down and is also not suitable for their support needs because they need a much firmer sleeping surface.

Since you will be sleeping on your mattress for much longer than you are pregnant … I would also consider making a choice that is closer to your “normal” needs and preferences and then you can add a topper if necessary if you need a softer surface while you are pregnant or perhaps better yet a body pillow for the extra comfort or support you will need in the more “awkward” stages of your pregnancy or for feeding your new baby. If you choose a mattress that is too soft because of the “special needs” of the pregnancy then it may not provide the support you need after your pregnancy.


I live in New Orleans. I’d love for some advice about where to go to test out high quality mattresses, especially latex. I feel like I can read all there is on latex, but until I actually test one out in person, I have no idea what it will feel like.

This is a very helpful point. That said, are there other member companies on this site that have a gel memory foam mattress that is firmer than the cloud luxe (maybe in the realm of the iComfort insight level or even beyond)?

I use this pillow: Leachco-Snoogle during pregnancy. We are definitely aiming for firmer rather than softer and I am just using the pillow to provide the extra support I need for now.

Thanks again for all your help.

Hi EMC10,

I personally wouldn’t use any slow recovery foam or “soft” foam (and they would all qualify as “soft” when they are warmer) for a baby and I would also be very cautious with it for an older child that is still growing as well (see post #2 here).

Of course this is about their own mattress but if they would be sleeping with you on a regular basis then I would be very cautious with it in the parent’s mattress as well.

The better options or possibilities I’m aware of in the new Orleans area are listed in post #4 here.

That’s great … I see your already ahead of my suggestions :slight_smile: