Hello Phoenix! I live on the Big Island of Hawaii and I recently purchased a Serta perfect sleeper Marengo euro top mattress set for $1,250 and I despise it! It’s a little over month old and there’s a 90 day exchange policy on it, but they only sell Serta’s.! Would buying a latex topper help it or will I just be throwing more money away? Is there a dealer here that you recommend I go to to get a decent bed, preferably latex? My area code is 96740. I haven’t had a life since I bought this mattress. UGH! Much Aloha to you…

Hi Kiana Claire,

The better options I’m aware of in Hawaii are linked in post #2 here. I would call each of these to see what they currently have available because what they carry can change.

A mattress is only as good as the materials that are inside it. Unfortunately the attachment you posted to the Serta Marengo is mostly marketing information and has very little information about the layering or what is in the mattress. You can see a little more about what is in it here though.

A few comments …

Product Detail

Fireblocker Fire Barrier System: Part of the fire barrier system
Serta Pillo-Fill: This is a polyester fiber fill. It is subject to packing down and compression over time
Soft Convoluted Foam: This would be low density/quality polyfoam. They don’t provide the thickness or the density information but it would be part of the layers that were subject to early softening.
1/2" Comfort Foam: Low density polyfoam that is subject to early softening.

Top Upholstery

Fireblocker Insulator: Part of the fire barrier system
1" Comfort Foam: Low density polyfoam that is subject to early softening.
1 3/8" Soft Zoned Convoluted Topper: More low density polyfoam.

Support System

532 Continuous Coils Innerspring System: this is the innerspring. Continuous coils are among the most inexpensive innersprings on the market.
Foam Encasement: This is polyfoam that surrounds the innerspring to provide a firmer edge. Also subject to softening if you sit on the mattress and possibly loosening from the edge of the springs

Overall these are lower quality materials but most importantly the comfort layers use the type of foam that is subject to softening much faster than higher quality materials. This loss of comfort and/or support isn’t covered by warranty unless the foam reaches its final stages of breakdown where it permanently loses its ability to rebound and any unweighted impressions are deeper than the warranty exclusion. The mattress will typically need to be replaced long before this happens.

Usually a topper is used to add to the softness and pressure relief of a mattress where the comfort layers are too thin or firm. It can also change the “feel” of a mattress depending on the material you use. It can also extend the life of the materials below it by taking up some of the mechanical compression forces when you are sleeping on the mattress.

The risk of a topper that is too thick and soft used on top of a mattress that already has fairly thick/soft comfort layers (such as the Marengo Eurotop) is that it can make the total comfort layers (topper and mattress) too thick and put you too far away from the support system of the mattress which could risk support/spinal alignment. It doesn’t say the thickness of the soft convoluted polyfoam in the quilting (hopefully it’s very thin) but there is almost 3" of polyfoam (plus the thickness of the convoluted polyfoam in the quilting) so the addition of a topper could be quite risky when it is added to comfort layers that are already that thick and soft.

Since unfortunately you are “locked in” to a Serta (which like most major brands are generally poor value), you may be better off choosing the firmest version of the Marengo (see here) which has thinner and firmer layers of polyfoam and would be a better candidate for a topper. In this case the topper could add to the pressure relief of the mattress with much less risk to alignment, perhaps improve the feel (depending on the type of topper you choose and your preferences), and would also extend the life of the cheap polyfoams that are used in the upper layers. If you do go in this direction … the key would be to add the topper as early as possible because if the cheap foams soften under the heavier parts of your body (hips/pelvis) … then the topper will only “follow” the soft spots.

The “weak link” of a mattress is generally soft and low quality materials in the comfort layers which will soften and/or degrade much too quickly. If you are considering an exchange to another Serta (the firm marengo or any other one they carry) … then knowing what is in it so you can identify the weak link of the mattress is very important.

Hope this helps.


Hello again and thank you ever so kindly for such a quick & helpful response. I think I’m just going to give this bed to my daughter. Her body is younger and can still handle the aches and pains. HaHa. I’m so bad, huh?!
I did find a dealer here who does manufacture latex beds, & I would greatly appreciate your expert advise on which of these would be the most durable. I’m not sure what a “box top” is and if it is better to just have latex in it or a mix of latex and memory foam? Or should i just stay away from “box tops” period? Do any of these fit your criteria of a decent bed for the price they’re asking? If no, should i take a chance & order a bed from the mainland? I’m just afraid of doing that and would need to ship it back there if anything went wrong with it.
Much Aloha and thank you for your time.




Hi Kiana Clare,

If I was forced to make a “blind” purchase … I would choose any of the Island dreams over a Serta but none of the descriptions they provided are complete enough to make any meaningful assessment of their relative quality, value, or durability.

In order to do this … they need to provide you with the information that is on their spec sheets which shows the details of every layer in the mattress and perhaps even more than this (if it doesn’t include specific information about the quality of each layer).

Here is what you would need …

The details of the innersprings that are in two of the mattresses. At a bare minimum this should include the type of innerspring and the number of coils. while there is much more involved in an innerspring, this is not likely to be the weak link of a mattress and in most cases your personal testing for PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and Personal preferences … see post #46 here) will tell you if the innerspring is suitable for you.

The details of any polyfoam that is used as a base layer (two of the mattresses have this). This needs to include the thickness of the layers and most imortantly the density of the polyfoam which determines the quality and cost of the material. they say it is HR which is a specific grade of polyfoam but it’s unlikely that it actually is (most places use this term incorrectly) and they need to provide the actual density of the polyfoam. Density is expressed as a certain number of lbs per cubic foot.

Above these support components there will be various layers of foam or other materials. You will need to know the thickness and type of all the layers above the support components.

If any of these layers are memory foam … you need to know the density (which is the most important part of quality anddurability)

If any of these layers are polyfoam … you need to know the density (just like the base layers)

If any of these layers are latex … you need to know the type of latex (either Talalay or Dunlop) and whether it is blended (natural and synthetic latex) or 100% natural latex (the density of latex is not as imortant as it is with memory foam or polyfoam).

I would also want to know the details of the cover material and what (if anything) it has in the quilting.

Once you know this … you are in a position that you can make meaningful comparisons with other mattresses in terms of quality, durability, and relative value. It will help you know what the “weak link” of the mattress might be. This weak link is the layer or layers which will likely soften or degrade the fastest and lead to the loss of comfort and support (which aren’t warranty issues) that would mean you would have to replace the mattress.

The choice between different types of materials (either a pocket coil or polyaofm in the support layers and the choices between polyfoam, latex, or memory foam in the comfort layers is strictly based on your personal preferences and which one feels and performs best for you when you are testing them. Regardless of which type of material that is in your mattress though … all of them have lower quality and higher quality versions and this is what will determine their cost, value, and durability … not so much the type itself. also every material has firmer and softer versions which have nothing to do with quality but are an imortant part of which mattress may be most suitable for your needs and preferences.

So the spec sheets and additional information along with what you feel when you test for pressure relief, alignment, and your personal preferences on each of the 4 mattresses would be what is necessary to decide which of the 4 is “best” for you and give yu a way to make good comparisons with any other mattresses at other merchants that you may want to test (and where you would need the same information).

Hope this helps