In Search Of Sleep's Mattress Thread

Hi All,

First, Phoenix, thank you so much for this site/forum. Have learned a fantastic amount so far and will no doubt be making an infinitely more informed/better purchase decision as a result. That being said, still have a few questions for you/others as I embark on this mattress search that I would love some help with!

A little about me:

Height: 6’1
Weight: 180lbs
Side (80%) / Back (20%) sleeper

In a situation where I need to purchase two mattresses. One for a guest bedroom which I will be using for a short period (so I can use this as an evaluative mattress), and a second for my permanent residence.

Was in Palo Alto today and went to two stores (Natural Mattresses and McRoskey) to try out mattresses following the evaluation guide. My impressions:

Natural Mattresses

Personal favorite: “Awareness – Firm.” The specs on that mattress:
10" Mattress w/ 9" Latext in 3" layers. Extra firm organic Dunlop latex as a base layer, medium organic Dunlop latex as a middle layer, and All Natural Talalay latex on top. Cost for a Queen: $2,800.

Tried a few of their spring/latex offerings but they did not compare favorably on the PPP scale.


Was hoping to be able to walk out saying “not worth it” but unfortunately I did like one quite a lot (more than my favorite from Natural Mattresses.)

Personal favorite: McRoskey CLASSIC
Mattress: Extra Firm (7.5" high), Box Spring: Firm (8.0" high) – tried same mattress without box spring and did not feel as much pressure relief (does that make sense? or do I not know what pressure relief feels like). Cost: $4800 While I can afford this, I am wary as to whether it represents the best value.

My questions going forward:

  1. What is your feel about the value represented by either of the options above?
  2. Are there any comparable online models that you would suggest based on the two mattresses above? Am thinking I could conceivably use an online as the evaluative guest mattress and then purchase a second for personal use after that experience.
  3. Is it worth it for me to make a trip to Bay Mattresses? (Will probably entail about 4-5 hours of driving), or any other Bay Area locations?

Thanks again!

Hi insearchofsleep,

The “value” of a mattress purchase is always relative to the other mattresses you are comparing it to but in this case you are comparing two very different mattresses that are much more of an apples to oranges comparison. There is more about the most important parts of the “value” of a mattress purchase in post #13 here but these mattresses are so different that “value” comparisons will need to be based on how they compare in terms of suitability (PPP), durability, and on the other parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you rather than on trying to make comparisons based on the type of materials or the “commodity value” of the materials which wouldn’t be particularly meaningful.

This uses high quality materials but if they are claiming that the Dunlop is organic then I would want to confirm that it was GOLS certified because while organic Dunlop doesn’t feel or perform any differently than 100% natural Dunlop … there is an extra cost involved because of the cost of the certification (see post #6 here). There is no organic Talalay if an “organic” certification is important to you. There are certainly no lower quality materials or weak links in this mattress in terms of durability. Based on the materials it would also represent “fair value” IMO because while it would be a much better choice than most of the mainstream mattresses that most people end up purchasing in a comparable budget range … it is also in a higher budget range than other similar mattresses that use similar materials and have a similar design so whether the “value” of a local purchase that you can test in person was “worth it” to you compared to similar mattresses that can be purchased online would depend on your risk tolerance and on the parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you.

Every “active” component or layer in a sleeping system (including an “active” box spring) can affect the feel and performance of every other layer or component and the mattress as a whole and if you test a mattress that has a box spring and it’s a good match for you in terms of PPP then you would need to purchase both of them together as part of a single “sleeping system” if you wanted a sleeping system that was the same as what you tested. I normally make “mattress only” to “mattress only” comparisons but with an active box spring where you have tested them together I would consider it to be an essential part of the sleeping system and would compare the set to other mattresses. With a rigid non flexing foundation or platform bedframe that doesn’t have any flex then any similar non flexing support system would be fine so you are “safe” comparing the mattress only.

Like any mattress purchase … I would want to know the specifics of all the materials and components in this mattress before I purchased it so I could make sure there were no weak links in the design and have a better sense of the advantages of purchasing the mattress that uses these specific materials.

I would also need to be able to identify a specific reason that was very compelling to me to justify that a mattress in this budget range was so much better than other mattresses in much lower budget ranges and that would also be just as suitable and durable a choice would be “worth it” to me. In this budget range, how you feel “about” the mattress may also be just as important a part of it’s “value” to you as how you feel “on” the mattress (see post #2 here)

Post #21 here includes the members of this site that sell online and many of these sell latex mattresses that use different types and blends of latex with a range of different features, options, designs, and budget ranges (including several that have a similar three x 3" layer design that are in lower price ranges) but only you can decide if any additional risk or uncertainty of an online purchase would be worth the price difference. If you are planning to use one of the mattresses that you purchase as a guest mattress though then as you mentioned you could use your first purchase as a guideline for the second (because a good match in terms of PPP wouldn’t be important for a guest mattress) and this along with the options you would have available to rearrange or exchange layers would certainly be tempting to me because you could do some meaningful testing at home instead of a store and the normal risks involved with an online purchase would be much lower.

I would at least call Bay Bed and then make a “best judgement” decision about whether to visit them based on how you feel after your conversation. They certainly make some great quality and value mattresses that also have good options available after a purchase to fine tune the mattress but it would depend on how much you wish to test an innerspring/latex hybrid and you are really the only one that can make these types of “should I” decisions.

I would take the same approach with the other options you have available in the Palo Alto area and decide whether to include any of the other options in your research based on how you feel after you talk with them on the phone because there are several other component latex mattresses available in the area that may also be in lower budget ranges.