So I’ve spent far too much time on this subreddit lately reading into reviews and posts about foam density and every time I feel close to ordering a mattress, some post explains the issues regarding that mattress. The important thing to note with me is that I’m a very muscular 245 pounds (6’4"). It seems a lot of the mattresses I’ve been looking into ordering have questionable foam density for long term support of someone my size, including Leesa, Yogabed, etc.
Yesterday I went over to a couple brick and mortar stores to get an idea of what kind of mattress I like, as the last mattress I picked out was when I was 13. The gentleman at the store was great in helping me find what felt best to me, which was a Sealy Optimum gel mattress medium firmness. I also saw that the Sealy memory foam mattresses are of a questionable quality, but it at least gave me an idea of the type of material and firmness I like.
Overall, it seems like the Brooklyn Bedding #bestmattressever seems to be the most recommended mattress in my price range. For some reason however I can’t get over the idea of a latex mattress, and I haven’t seen one in a brick and mortar store to try. I keep reading about bounce. Does it feel like a traditional coil pillow top, or a memory foam mattress? I know I’m not supposed to ask how a mattress feels here, but perhaps I can ask for mattresses in a box of a similar construction to the Sealy Optimum that can are built with the density to support my size?
It’s tough to get an idea of a mattress from youtube videos, especially when the guy doing the reviewing weighs 120 pounds less than I do.
As you probably know from your reading here (and in post #13 here) the three most important parts of the “value” of a mattress purchase are …
Suitability and PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your Personal preferences) which is all about how well you will sleep.
The quality and durability of the materials inside the mattress which is all about the useful life of a mattress relative to your body type and how long you will sleep well.
The “overall value” of a mattress which is all about how a mattress purchase compares to other mattresses you are considering or that are available to you that either use similar materials and components or are in a similar budget range based on suitability, durability, and all the many other parts of your personal value equation that are important to you.
Those that are in higher weight ranges will generally need or prefer firmer mattresses (firmer materials will feel softer because you will sink into them more) and materials and components that are higher quality and more durable (the materials and components in a mattress will soften and break down faster for those in higher weight ranges than they will for someone that is in a lower weight range that doesn’t compress the mattress as much). There is also some information in post #3 here and the posts it links to that should be helpful for those that are in higher weight ranges.
If you choose a mattress that uses lower quality and less durable materials relative to your body type that are “perfect” for you in terms of PPP then the “tradeoff” is that the mattress won’t maintain its comfort and support for as long as it would for someone that is in a lower weight range and you would likely need to replace it sooner.
Latex is certainly a high quality and durable material and is the most resilient of all the foam materials. There is also some general information about how it compares to memory foam in post #2 here but the most reliable way to know which materials you tend to prefer will be based on your own testing or personal experience.
There may be manufacturers or retailers that carry latex or latex hybrid mattresses that are close to you and if you let me know your city or zip code I’d be happy to let you know about any of the better local options or possibilities I’m aware of in your area.
Assuming that the materials and components that you tend to prefer are durable enough for your body type … the choice between different types of materials and components and different types of mattresses is more of a preference and budget choice rather than a “better/worse” choice (see this article).
In the worst case if there are no latex mattresses available in your area then with an online purchase that has a good trial period and a good return/refund policy you can try it in your bedroom instead of a showroom with little risk because the only reliable way to know how you will like a specific material or mattress or whether a mattress will be a good “match” for you in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your Personal preferences) will either be based on your own careful testing or your own personal sleeping experience.
It’s not so much that you’re “not supposed to ask” because any questions are welcome here but no matter how well intentioned someone may be it’s not possible to provide a reliable answer to these types of questions because the answer would be different for different people because of all the unknowns and variables that are involved in more “subjective” opinions. There are also hundreds of different mattresses in every broad mattress “category” (including traditional coil mattresses, memory foam mattresses, and pillowtop mattresses) so a mattress may feel “similar” to one mattress in a particular category but feel completely different from other mattresses that use the same materials or have a similar design that are in the same category but have a different “feel” or firmness level. There is more about the different mattress categories in this article.
There is more information in post #9 here about the different ways that one mattress can “match” or “approximate” another one but every layer and component in a mattress (including the cover) will affect the feel and performance of every other layer and component and the mattress “as a whole” and mattress manufacturers generally try to differentiate their mattress from the mattresses made by other manufacturers and don’t normally try to “match” another mattress that is made by a different manufacturer. Unless a manufacturer specifically says in their description of a mattress that a similar mattress in the same general category is designed to “match” or “approximate” another one in terms of firmness or “feel” (or they are very familiar with both mattresses and can provide reliable guidance about how they compare based on the “averages” of a larger group of people) then the only reliable way to know if a mattress will feel similar to you would be based on your own personal testing or your actual sleeping experience.
If you have the specifications of all the materials and layers in both mattresses you are comparing then making durability comparisons is simpler and more reliable but the durability of the materials in a mattress has very little to do with how if feels or performs because a mattress that uses lower quality and less durable materials can feel the same or very similar to a mattress that uses higher quality and more durable materials in a showroom or when it is still relatively new … it just won’t last as long.
I would also keep in mind that “feel” is so subjective and relative to different body types, sleeping positions, individual circumstances, sensitivities and preferences, or what someone is used to sleeping on and is using as a reference point, that two mattresses that feel the same to one person can feel very different to someone else.
That doesn’t mean that there aren’t other mattresses that would be just as good or even better in terms of “comfort” and PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) as a mattress that you are using as a local reference point … only that they will generally use different combinations of materials and components and if they don’t have the same design then they may not have the same “feel” and you may prefer one mattress over the other.
I would take this one step further and say that it’s not even possible and it certainly isn’t reliable.
While other people’s comments or reviews about the knowledge, service, and guidance of a particular business can certainly be helpful … I would generally avoid using other people’s experiences or reviews on a mattress (either positive or negative) or review sites in general as a reliable source of information or guidance about how you will feel on the same mattress or how suitable or how durable a mattress may be for you and in many if not most cases they can be more misleading than helpful because a mattress that would be a perfect choice for one person or even a larger group of people may be completely unsuitable for someone else to sleep on (see post #13 here). The fact is that the only thing a mattress review will usually tell you is how one person likes a particular mattress which is usually based only on initial or early impressions that are very subjective and little else. I would be very skeptical of anyone who claims that they have some kind of crystal ball that can predict which specific mattress you will sleep best on with any certainty. It just doesn’t exist.
There are also no “standard” definitions or consensus of opinions for firmness ratings and different manufacturers can rate their mattresses very differently than others so a mattress that one manufacturer rates as being a specific firmness could be rated very differently by another manufacturer. Different people can also have very different perceptions of firmness and softness compared to others as well and a mattress that feels firm for one person can feel like “medium” for someone else or even “soft” for someone else (or vice versa) depending on their body type, sleeping style, physiology, their frame of reference based on what they are used to, and their individual sensitivity and perceptions. There are also different types of firmness and softness that different people may be sensitive to that can affect how they “rate” a mattress as well (see post #15 here) so different people can also have very different opinions on how two mattresses compare in terms of firmness as well and some people may rate one mattress as being firmer than another and someone else may rate them the other way around. This is all relative and very subjective and is as much an art as a science.
There is more about the different ways to choose a suitable mattress (either locally or online) that is the best “match” for you in terms of comfort and PPP in post #2 here that can help you assess and minimize the risks of making a choice that doesn’t turn out as well as you hoped for once you actually sleep on your mattress in “real life” but when you can’t test a mattress in person then the most reliable source of guidance is always a more detailed conversation with a knowledgeable and experienced retailer or manufacturer that has your best interests at heart (which would include Brooklyn Bedding) who can help “talk you through” the specifics of their mattresses and the options they have available that may be the best “match” for you based on the information you provide them, any local testing you have done or mattresses you have slept well on and liked that they are familiar with, any special considerations you may have, and the “averages” of other customers that are similar to you. They will know more about helping you to “match” their specific mattress designs or firmness options to different body types, sleeping positions, and preferences or even to other mattresses that they are familiar with than anyone else (including me) so that in combination with your own personal testing you can make the “best possible” choice with the highest chance of success.
The “bottom line” is that you can choose a mattress based on your own careful testing in a local store (hopefully using the testing guidelines in the tutorial) or you would need to rely on the guidance and knowledge of an online retailer or manufacturer in which case the options you have after a purchase as a “backup” to exchange or return the mattress (or in some cases individual layers or components) and the costs involved would become a much more important part of your personal value equation just in case your experience on a mattress is different from the “averages” of other people.
You should not buy a latex mattress without sleeping on it unless you are ok with returning it - because there is a decent chance you will want to. It does not feel like memory foam or springs. If I had to pick, id say it is closer to memory foam because it is somewhat similar in how it conforms to your body (unlike springs) - but it is still very different.
Having said that - I think if you liked the optimum - I would just stick with memory foam. There is no real reason to go with latex if you like the top layer that soft and enjoy the feel of memory foam - unless you are concerned with heat retention. The difference in longevity/durability between high-density memory foam and similarly soft (14 ILD or lower) latex is negligible from what I have seen. And at your weight - all low ILD materials will break down fairly fast. If durability is the main concern - I think the ability to easily replace the comfort layer would be the biggest selling point - so I would look for a zip-cover mattress or a firm mattress with a separate topper.
Also, for your weight - I would go with a thinner memory foam layer (2 inches) and a high density (5+ lb) if durability is a large concern.