Hunting for our new mattress

This is a GREAT website for mattress information and I appreciate your time to help inform the public that would otherwise have no resource to turn to for the truth when faced with such overwhelming marketing tactics in the mattress industry.

Thank you.

We have made an attempt to search for our new mattress but it has been a struggle due to my wife’s general health. The decision to purchase a new mattress is mainly for her comfort. She has back pain and recently suffered an arthritis attach that left her knees swollen, and her unable to move well. She can be on her feet for a limited time and quickly becomes unconfortable / impatient when mattress shopping. I would appreciate any help in narrowing down our options or providing guidance to more rapidly find the mattress she needs.

She is a bit heavy around her hips and midsection. Side sleeper though I wonder if she would back sleep with a better mattress… Restless legs, likes to sleep cool. Likes a “soft” mattress.

I am 6’3", 220lbs, fairly evenly distributed. Mix of side and back sleeping.

My thoughts are to go with latex for comfort, durability, fast response and breathability. Lots of pros…

Mattresses she has tried and liked:

Metro Mattress, Chattam and Wells, San… (something) (I’ll have to look at my paperwork again)
They had a padding cutaway in the showroom. Hard to find information on the net but I believe it is 3" latex over 3" gel infused memory foam over various layers of polyfoam. Separation from the memory foam seems odd as the cooling benefit from the gel would not come into play? Memory foam would not heat up and would stay somewhat firm? I’m guessing that the latex will not breath as well if backed by the memory foam? Seems like plenty of negative feedback regarding this brand.
Started off as very expensive but they are clearing inventory out…
She really liked the feel of this mattress.

Xtreme Discount Mattress , Dutch Kraft, Contour Coil Carrolton Pillow Top
941 foam encased pillow top
2" interfusion gel Contur~Pedic Gel
inner topper cover
Soft Tec micro coil unit 2.5" 1358
8" pocketed coil
1.5" base
20yr NPR warranty
She found this to be very comfortable. Price is not bad. Quality seems good. Just not crazy about the memory foam.

Sealy, Embody Perspective
Has layers of latex but too much polyfoam for the price. Found it to be comfortable.

Jamestown Mattress
Yes, we have one nearby in Lockport NY. Used to be Lockport Mattress. I know that you think highly of the company. Randy was very willing to help but there is a lot to choose from. Especially since they are willing to customize for you. Prices seemed a little high. Wife was looking at the more expesive models but I believe that the prices turned her away a bit.
Wife mentioned liking the Classic 2" visco in euro top (price was reasonable) but wondered if we could get it with a 3" layer of latex. Randy liked the idea (he has a similar setup at home), so he ordered one for us to try. I’m not sure exactly how this will be constructed but generally it will be latex over the 528 luraflex coil unit. The coil unit should enhance breathability if the other construction layers are not restrictions. Should arrive soon so we can try it out.

Brooklyn Bedding
I like the prices and the latex content. But I can’t tell exactly what the wife needs to know what to order… Again, she gets tired of trying mattresses fast.

Any help / advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance!


Hi GearGuy,

You seem to have looked at some good options and some “not so good” options. One of the challenges you will find is if the retailer where you are testing mattresses can’t provide the details of the mattresses you are trying (or if you can’t find them online) … then they have little value in terms of making meaningful comparisons and any time you spend there is often wasted. Worse yet … you may find a mattress like this that “feels good” but there is no way to know what other types of mattresses may be similar except by real time comparisons (because the subjective memory of “feel” isn’t very reliable or long lasting).

With your wife’s arthritis and the connected pressure issues she may face … there may be a tendency to choose a mattress that is too soft rather than “just enough” to relieve pressure and this can lead to alignment issues that may not be as obvious in the store but could become more apparent and important with long term use.

This makes a lot of sense to me for the reasons you are mentioning. You will need some “soft” latex on top … enough to make sure her pressure issues are relieved … and then good support below this to keep you in alignment. The comfort layers will need to be thick and soft enough to provide good pressure relief but not so thick that the heavier parts sink in too far before they are “stopped” by the support layers of the mattress. If there is a larger weight differential between you or your needs and preferences are very different … post #2 here may be helpful.

Because your wife gets fatigued easily … I would do some preliminary research on the phone and only visit retailers that you know ahead of time can provide you with the details of every layer of the mattresses you are testing and have the knowledge and experience to help you make good choices. Without this … there will be a lot of wasted time and trips … and frustration and confusion.

Metro Mattress, Chattam and Wells, San… (something) (I’ll have to look at my paperwork again):

As you probably know … Chattam & Wells is Spring Air’s “luxury” brand. If you are not able to find the layering then unfortunately it would have little value in your research. The only potential value of this is to find out if you like the feel of “some kind” of latex (probably Talalay) in the top 3" (assuming that the latex is on the top) but the gel foam underneath (you can read more about the different types of gel memory foam in post #2 here) will affect the feel of the latex so it wouldn’t be an apples to apples comparison with other latex hybrids without the memory foam. If I was to seriously consider this … I would want the specific details of every layer (including foam density of any polyfoam or memory foam) if you were seriously considering it. It’s not likely that you will find this and Spring Air uses some lower quality foams so I would advise caution.

Most of the gel memory foams are not as temperature sensitive as the older memory foams so this would be true but to a lesser degree. The two main benefits of gel memory foams are any cooling benefits (which are limited to how long it takes for temperatures to even out at which point they become an insulating foam) and that the gel increases the support factor of memory foam (meaning it gets firmer a little faster with deeper compression). Gel can help to offset the tendency of viscoelastic materials to keep on sinking and get softer over time (independent of temperature and humidity). So in some cases the “temperature benefits” of gel are the main part of the design goal (in which case they would be on or near the top) and in other cases the increased support factor is the most useful property in which case they would be a little deeper in the mattress and used for a “transition” layer (no memory foam is supportive or firm enough to be used as an actual support layer).

That’s true. Some of the newer memory foams and gel foams are more breathable than the slower response versions but they would still not be as breathable and ventilating as latex.

I personally wouldn’t consider this mattress (or any mattress where you didn’t know all the specs) for the reasons mentioned earlier and the “danger” is that you may like the mattress and try to duplicate it which wouldn’t be possible because you wouldn’t know the layering to duplicate. There are only three ways to “match” another mattress (listed in post #2 here) and it’s likely that none of these would be possible with the Chattam & Wells. Don’t forget that you can’t feel quality so how a mattress feels and performs has little to do with the quality of the materials. The quality is more about how long it will last and keep its original properties.

Xtreme Discount Mattress , Dutch Kraft, Contour Coil Carrolton Pillow Top:

Dutch Craft is an independent manufacturer that makes some very nice quality mattresses. Of course the value depends on the selling price.

I would want to know the type of gel memory foam they were using (the better ones can be very durable but the particulate types would be less durable than their density would indicate)

I also like the feel of microcoils and they can also be a good quality and durable component.

Pocket Coils can also be a good choice for many people but for heavier weights they can sometimes be a less durable choice because they compress more than other types of innerspring. They are generally still not the weak link of a mattress however and in this case the layering seems good (no obvious weak links in the upper layers depending on the type of gel memory foam they are using).

Sealy, Embody Perspective

The only advantage of this is that you are on top of the latex (no polyfoam layers on top) but not only is there too much polyfoam for the price … the latex is mostly synthetic Dunlop which is the least costly version of latex you will find. I would pass this by

Jamestown Mattress:

The prices may seem a little high because of the materials they are using in the mattress. In an apples to apples comparison they tend to have good value. Some of their mattresses are quite soft and if they provide good alignment they could work well. They use 14 ILD talalay in some of their mattresses which is very soft latex and may be suitable for your wife’s pressure relief needs (depending on her weight) but even latex at this softness won’t be as durable as firmer latex especially for your body weight. I would be careful with thicker comfort layers that were this soft (especially in combination with other lower density foams) both for durability reasons and for alignment reasons. The polyfoam densities in this mattress are also quite low (1.2 and 1.5 lbs) so I would want to know the exact layering and the thickness of the polyfoam layers as well. While it may be good value and lower density layers are more durable in deeper layers in the mattress … I would be a bit hesitant to go in this direction for a higher weight.

Brooklyn Bedding:

They are good at helping people make good choices based on your conversations and on any local testing you have done on “known” materials which makes this less risky but there are no returns which of course increases the risk. Because of your wife’s more unusual needs their Eurotop version may be a good choice because of the additional options it provides. You can see some of its advantages in post #2 here.

I don’t know all the prices of what you are looking at or all the exact layering but it seems to me that you have some good choices available. Because there is no formula which can choose a mattress based on “theory at a distance” that is even close to as accurate as your own personal testing … especially for more difficult circumstances … I would pay a lot of attention to the “best” choice at each outlet you are looking at (based on your personal testing) and then compare all the “best” choices based on the advantages and disadvantages of each mattress and the merchant you are buying from (see post #46 here). This way your final choices will be between “good and good” as long as you have the exact details of all your final choices.

Once final caution is that it’s always easier to make a mattress that is too firm softer but if you choose a mattress that is either too soft in the support layers or too thick and soft in the comfort layers … it’s much more difficult to “fix” (unless you are dealing with a manufacturer that will change out the layers).

Hope this helps.


Ok. Some further information.
The Chattam and Wells was the Cabo San Lucas set for $1520. I have not had luck finding construction details and was turned off by negative reviews of the brad on line. So I was ruling it out.

The Dutch Craft. Contour-Coil line. Model is the Carrolton (or Carrollton) Pillow Top. Xtreme gave me a copy of the ‘specifications’ sheet which is the information I provided earlier. The website was not helpful at finding more details. I don’t even see the Contour-Coil line mentioned. Price was $1399 with the Poplar hardwood foundation.

The Sealy Embody Perspective was a display model for $1148 with foundation. But I would not be interested in a display model from the stories after reading about people having trouble getting warranty coverage on issues.

The Jamestown Mattress Classic Euro Top has the following specs by standard:
528 Luraflex, 14.5 Gauge 6 turn coil unit w/ 6 gauge rim wire
Metal edge guard support on each side
2.0 oz insulator pad
1.8 oz thick polyester fiber pad
1.2 lb polyurethane foam
1.2 lb polyurethane foam - on bottom side
inner panel
4.0 lb visco memory foam above inner panel
Quilted Panels
Fire Barrier
1.0 oz polyester fiber
1.5 lb polyurethane foam
stretch knot fabric
Quilted border, fire barrier

Semi-Flex unit (zero deflection)
10 gauge grid wire w/ 3 gauge rim wire attached to 5 slat woord frame
1.5 oz fire barrier insulator pad
Quilted border
Fire barrier
w/ grey fire barrier
skidproof top panel
10 year warranty

I will have to ask for layer thicknesses. Or maybe measure myself?
Mattress is being modified per the wife’s request. Removing the memory foam and replacing with 3" 14 ILD Latex. Not sure if anything else about the construction will be modified. Unclear if the remainder of the construction would impede breathability.
Zipper Top added free by request.
Price $1499 for the set.
Would you consider this build a hybrid differential design? The latex comfort layer should provide a nice cradle. The coils should provide firmness? Not sure what they mean by a ‘semi-flex’ box spring that also states ‘zero deflection’?
My concern is that the wife might be able to feel the transition layer. Will try it tomorrow.

With all mattresses, we have been mindful of spinal alignment, but I have a little trouble seeing it on her.

Brooklyn Bedding, Ultimate Dreams Eurotop Latex Mattress
The Eurotop you mentioned was exactly the one I was looking at for her. Price seems good at $899 compared to the other options. I would still have to get a foundation from somewhere from what I can tell.

I have not yet had the chance to look at any other online purchase options yet.

Hi GearGuy,

When you are looking at lower density polyfoam … I would want to know the layering details of the mattress from the manufacturer so you can see the thickness of the layers and where they are in the mattress (the layering from top to bottom).

This would be a hybrid in the sense that it uses different materials yes. It could also be called a more traditional innerspring design with innersprings, polyfoam, and latex.

“Differential” construction means a firm support core with a much softer thicker layer on top (with no transition layer in between). Progressive means a series of layers that get progressively firmer from bottom to top (where the difference in ILD between the layers is smaller). All these “definitions” are just general concepts and not exact definitions. Because of the more complex design and all the different types of layers it may be neither and I don’t have enough information about the mattress layers to know which it would be closest to. The “type” of design is just a name meant to give a general sense of different types of construction (like a sports car vs a sedan) and is not nearly as important as how well it works for you.

Yes … the 14 ILD latex is very soft but again … I don’t know how thick the 1.5 lb polyfoam layer is above it and this is what would be closest to your body. Coils provide firmness in a mattress yes but of course how much firmness and whether it is the “right” firmness depends on how your body type and sleeping positions interact with all the components and layers in the mattress not just the innerspring. Everything boils down to …

“Does this mattress provide the comfort/pressure relief and the support/spinal alignment that I need and all the other preferences that I want?”

The semi-flex zero deflection generally means a wire grid foundatation that it has some flex under “shock” but that it has no deflection (or very limited deflection) in normal use. Again … these terms are not exact definitions. You can see an example here.

Alignment is always more difficult to test for than comfort. This article and post #11 here may help. The best way is to use a combination of her perceptions (completely relaxed for at least 15 minutes or more) and your observations (or the salesperson’s) about how close she is to the natural shape of her spine and body profile when she is standing with good posture.