Based on what I’ve read on Mattress Underground, I think a latex mattress is right for me. I’m 6’1" and weigh around 185. I lift weights regularly so my mass is primarily muscle. This also means my thighs/glutes are prominent. I went to a local Mattress Warehouse and tried their Bed Match diagnostic test. The test essentially measures how deep various points on your body sink into the “test mattress”. This information is depicted visually on a color scale. Parts that don’t sink in deeply are green. As you go deeper, the colors change to yellow, orange, red… Well, my hips and ass were well into the red region, and my shoulders were yellow/orange. My girlfriend, who also did the test, was almost entirely green. After seeing this, it made sense why I never really felt supported in the middle part of my torso on pretty much any mattress I’ve ever slept on. This lead me to the conclusion that I need a mattress with high “point elasticity” to get the support in my mid torso. First question… is my logic sound here? It seems like latex has the highest point elasticity of any comfort or support layers.
Second question. Assuming latex is the right way to go, I can’t decide between Spindle or Brooklyn Bedding. Spindle seems to have better quality materials, with 9 inches of natural latex. Brooklyn Bedding on the other hand only has 4 inches of latex (natural?) with a bottom layer of poly foam. I’m wondering whether I’ll be able to tell the difference between the two. I’d go with the medium firm option in either case. My main concern is whether my hips/ass will sink deep enough into the Brooklyn Bedding mattress to feel the poly foam layer. I haven’t seen Brooklyn Bedding and Spindle compared directly, so any input on this topic would be appreciated.
Finally, I want to say thank you to Phoenix for creating a place where a typical consumer can come to get educated. I’ve learned a TON since I started lurking a few weeks ago.
While latex certainly has good point elasticity … so does memory foam, pocket coils, and other types of materials as well so I certainly wouldn’t use this as a criteria for choosing a mattress.
Unless you have a great deal of knowledge and experience with different types of mattress materials and components and their specs and different layering combinations and how they combine together and can translate them into your own “real life” experience that can be unique to you … I would tend to avoid using complex specs to try and predict how a mattress will feel or perform for you and focus more on your own actual testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in the tutorial) and/or personal experience. When you try and choose a mattress based on complex combinations of specs that you may not fully understand or only based on a single spec that may not be a relevant or meaningful as you believe it is then the most common outcome is “information overload” and “paralysis by analysis”.
There is more about the bed match system in this topic and you can read a little more about pressure mapping systems in post #2 here and post #4 here. While they can be helpful … I would be cautious about overemphasizing their importance compared to what your body tells you and using the testing guidelines in the tutorial because they can help more for pressure testing than spinal alignment (pressure relief is not the same as spinal alignment and a mattress that does a great job relieving pressure is not necessarily the best choice in terms of alignment).
There is also more in post #2 here about the different ways to choose a mattress (either locally or online) that is the best “match” for you in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) that can help you assess and minimize the risks of making a choice that doesn’t turn out as well as you hoped for that are involved in each of them.
There is also more about the most important parts of the “value” of a mattress purchase in post #13 here that can help you make more meaningful quality/value comparisons between mattresses in terms of suitability and PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) durability, and value.
I’m not so sure that I would assume that latex is the way to go because the choice of materials or different types of mattresses is a preference choice and not a “better/worse” choice. Some people love latex and some don’t and while it’s a very high quality and durable material … not everyone likes it. The only reliable way to know whether you tend to prefer any particular material or type of mattress will be based on your own testing or personal experience.
There are also hundreds or even thousands of different latex or latex hybrid mattresses that use different types and blends of latex in different firmness levels and different combinations of layers and materials and some of them may work very well for you and some of them may not be nearly as suitable for you to sleep on. The design of a mattress is the most important part of how suitable it will be for you to sleep on not the specific materials that it uses.
There is also more about all latex mattresses vs latex polyfoam hybrids in post #2 here.
I don’t make specific suggestions or recommendations for either a mattress, manufacturers/retailers, or materials because only you can feel what you feel on a mattress or decide on the types of mattresses and materials that you are most interested in trying or that you tend to prefer and there are too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved for anyone to be able to predict which specific mattress design or combination of materials would be “best” for you based on specs (either yours or a mattress) or theory at a distance (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here) that can possibly be more reliable than your own careful testing or actual sleeping experience. What is “best” for you either in terms of a mattress or a manufacturer/retailer can be very different from what would be “best” for someone else.
I can certainly help you narrow down your options by helping you know how and why to avoid the worst ones and with “how” to choose or act as a fact check or answer specific questions you may have along the way but not with which specific mattress, company, or manufacturer to choose.
Both of the Manufacturers you are considering are members of this site which means that I think very highly of both of them and I believe that they compete well with the best in the industry in terms of their quality, value, service, and transparency but they are also very different mattresses that aren’t directly comparable.
The BestMattressEver has a 2" layer of blended Talalay latex on top of a 2" layer of synthetic continuous pour Dunlop latex on top of a 2 lb polyfoam support core. There is also some good information about their firmness choices on their page here that can help you decide between their different firmness options and if you are still undecided then you can also select the “help me choose” option when you order and they will contact you to give you a firmness recommendation. They also have a great return policy just in case the choice you make doesn’t turn out as well as you hoped for.
The Spindle mattress on the other hand is a component latex mattress that works in a completely different way. They will also give you good guidance about the combination of layers that has the best chance for success and with component mattresses that have multiple layers you can rearrange the layers to change the comfort and support of the mattress after a purchase. You can also replace an individual layer with a firmer or softer one if you need to or if your sleeping experience indicates that you need a softer or firmer layer than one of the layers you chose originally. With a component latex mattress you can also replace an individual layer if one of your layers softens or breaks down before the others (usually the softer top layer) or if your needs and preferences change down the road without having to replace the entire mattress.
When you can’t test a mattress in person then the most reliable source of guidance is always a more detailed phone conversation with a knowledgeable and experienced retailer or manufacturer that has your best interests at heart (which both of them do) and 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 on and liked that they are familiar with, and the “averages” of other customers that are similar to you. They will know more about “matching” their specific mattress designs to different body types, sleeping positions, and preferences than anyone else (including me).
Evey though these are very different mattresses … when you are down to finalists that are all choices between “good and good” (which you are) and none of them have any weak links or lower quality materials in their design (which they don’t) and if there are no clear winners between them then you are in the fortunate position that either of them would likely be a suitable choice and post #2 here can help you make a final choice based on your local testing or mattresses you have slept well on, your more detailed conversations with each of them, your confidence about the suitability of each one, their prices, the options you have after a purchase to change the firmness or exchange or return the mattress, any additional extras that are part of each purchase, and on “informed best judgement” based on all the other objective, subjective, and intangible parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you.
Is it at all possible for you to test a latex mattress out in person at a local (or semi nearby) mattress store? If so I would recommend it. It has a unique feel and latex, memory foam and innerspring all feel differently. Being used to innerspring/pillowtop type mattresses, I knew sort of what to expect from them. Latex is unique in that while it’s really elastic and seems to ‘squish’ a fair amount sitting on the edge with weight concentrated in one spot, while laying with the same weight/mass spread across the surface it becomes much firmer/supportive.
I can’t say it’s like jello really, only for the fact if you press on a bowl filled with jello using your fingertip, it will easily depress. Do the same thing with the palm of your hand and it doesn’t depress near as far. (latex doesn’t ‘jiggle’ around like jello which is why it may be a bad example).
Initially I thought I would like the denser dunlop but ended up preferring the talalay once trying them in person. Various firmness and layering combinations made for a wide range of ‘feels’ in terms of overall firmness, conformity to my body.
Latex on top of poly foam also had a much different feel to me, I didn’t care for the one I tried, it felt very firm and unforgiving. Which could have been due to the firmness of the polyfoam used, thickness of the latex (which I believe was only around 2", maybe 3") and so on. Please don’t take that to mean that’s what to expect from brooklyn bedding’s latex over poly. Just pointing out that yes in general it can make for a different feel and no way to tell what you would feel specifically. My preferences likely aren’t the same as yours. I just think it would be really beneficial for you to try and test them, actually lay on various options if you can. You may find you prefer something different from what you initially thought like I did.
Thanks for the responses. I did try out a latex mattress at the Healthy Back store before decided to take the plunge and buy the Spindle mattress. I’m happy with the purchase, but my girlfriend finds the bed a bit too firm. Right now, I have the mattress sitting directly on the floor. I read Phoenix’s excellent post on the best foundations for latex mattresses and plan on buying one of the recommended foundations. Before I do, I’m wondering to what extend the foundation will affect the feel of the mattress (compared to having it directly on the floor). Will mattress feel softer?
If your mattress is a bit too firm for your girlfriend then some of the suggestions in post #2 here and in post #3 here may be helpful but I would give your mattress at least 30 days before considering any changes or additions to the mattress so that the mattress has a chance to break in and your girlfiriend has the chance to get used to the feel of a mattress that may be different from what she is used to sleeping on.
A suitable slatted foundation that provides firm and non flexing support under the mattress and that has gaps between the slats that are 3" or less will feel very similar to the floor (which also provides a firm and non flexing support surface) so for most people any minimal flex in the slats wouldn’t likely be enough to make a difference in the firmness or feel of the mattress.
The device you used to test is a totally farce… No machine can choose your comfort level-it is mostly based on what you have been sleeping on before…mostly…the human body adapts to its environment—You will know if you spend a few nights what is right–choose a latex mattress that has exchangeable layers -so you can perfect your comfort at home–savvy rest latex mattress offers 90 day layer exchange–it is available from Ostrows Organic Mattresses… Bethesda Md … free shipping anywhere in US mainland…