Investing in a memory foam mattress!

Hi all,

I’m in the market for a new mattress. I’ve read the tutorial and some posts here and there. Originally I blindly bought a Select Foam mattress, but got a refund very quickly after I was charged. Chris over at Select Foam gave me the refund and even followed up with me. It seems like Chris knows what he is doing. I can’t speak to the quality of their product as I never had it sent to me.

Anyways, my wife and I decided we will start to actually shop. We live in South Florida (33435). The two of us want a memory foam mattress. We will go to a store soon to check the “PPP” and see if we need soft, medium, or firm. I’m about 165lbs and she is more like 110lbs. She has some shoulder issues so she usually needs a softer mattress (sleeps on her side) and I have hip impingement so I tend to sleep uncomfortably. I’m guessing I need more firm(?) while she needs more soft, but I can’t say with 100% certainty. Once we know what firmness we want I plan to pull the trigger…but the main reason I’m here today is to ask for advice as to where to go. There are bedding barns, mattress firm, city mattress, etc…Also. what memory foam companies people recommend. I read that I shouldn’t be buying name brands but more of locally produced ones (?). So just a little guidance is all I’m hoping for. Anything would be appreciated.

Thanks y’all,



The better options or possibilities I’m aware of in the south Florida area (subject to making sure that any mattress you are considering meets the quality/value guidelines here) are listed in post #2 here.

While I can certainly help with “how” to choose … I don’t make specific suggestions or recommendations for either a mattress, manufacturers/retailers, or combinations of materials or components because the first “rule” of mattress shopping is to always remember that you are the only one that can feel what you feel on a mattress and there are too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved that are unique to each person to use a formula or for anyone to be able to predict or make a specific suggestion or recommendation about which mattress or combination of materials and components or which type of mattress would be the best “match” for you in terms of “comfort” or PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your Personal preferences) or how a mattress will “feel” to you or compare to another mattress based on specs (either yours or a mattress), sleeping positions, health conditions, or “theory at a distance” that can possibly be more accurate than your own careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in step 4 of the tutorial) or your own personal sleeping experience (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here).

Two of the most important links in the tutorial that I would especially make sure you’ve read are the quality/value guidelines that I linked earlier in this reply and post #2 here which has 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”, firmness, and PPP that can help you assess and minimize the risks of making a choice that doesn’t turn out as well as you hoped for.

In its simplest form … choosing the “best possible” mattress for any particular person really comes down to first finding a few knowledgeable and transparent retailers and/or manufacturers that sell the types of mattresses that you are most interested in and that you have confirmed (before your visit) will provide you with the all the information in this article about the materials and components inside the mattresses they sell so you will be able to make informed choices and meaningful comparisons between mattresses and then …

  1. Careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in the tutorial) to make sure that a mattress is a good match for you in terms of “comfort”, firmness, and PPP … and/or that you are comfortable with the options you have available to return, exchange, or “fine tune” the mattress and any costs involved if you can’t test a mattress in person or aren’t confident that your mattress is a suitable choice.

  2. Checking to make sure that there are no lower quality materials or weak links in the mattress relative to your weight range that could compromise the durability and useful life of the mattress.

  3. Comparing your finalists for “value” based on #1 and #2 and all the other parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you.


Thanks so much for your response Phoenix. After going to shop around with my wife we both decided upon a medium/firm memory foam mattress. We couldn’t find any latex mattress while we were out and about on our one day off together. Anyways, I’m looking at buying the Ultimate Mattress from Comfort Custom Mattresses & Marine Bedding Inc. down in FT Lauderdale, FL. My question to the forum is that they make the mattress with a cooling gel top layer, a latex middle layer, then premium density memory foam bottom layer. I can get the mattress in any height I want (she said 8"-10" tends to be the norm). So I’m wondering does the height really matter? Does the height of each layer matter? And is the density of the foam directly related to the firmness of the mattress? Let me know, these guys are a fraction of the cost ($2000 for the ultimate 10" thick king mattress) and they are going to custom make it (plus free delivery). Also, they have been very quick in responding to my emails…I plan to buy the mattress when I go visit in person…I just hoped to have a little more guidance on the questions I asked (thickness, density, thickness of each layer).

Thanks everybody!


The thickness of a mattress or any individual layers inside it is really just a side effect of the design and the design goals of a mattress and is also only one of many variables that can affect the feel and performance of a mattress relative to any particular person and by itself isn’t particularly meaningful (see post #2 here). In some cases higher weight ranges will sometimes do better with a mattress that is thicker than lower weight ranges (see post #14 here for more about the effect of thickness) but even this depends more on the specific design and combination of materials in the mattress and on how well your testing or personal experience indicates the mattress “as a whole” matches your specific needs and preferences in terms of PPP than anything else.

The density of memory foam and polyfoam isn’t directly related to firmness and any density of memory foam or polyfoam can be chemically formulated to have a fairly wide range of firmness levels and other properties (such as resilience, point elasticity) as well. Every layer and component of a mattress will also affect the feel and performance and firmness level of every other layer and component in the mattress and the mattress “as a whole” and there are also many variables that can affect the firmness of a mattress besides the firmness of one of the layers inside it (see post #4 here).

Density is the most important factor in the durability of memory foam or polyfoam but it has much less to do with how it “feels” and you can’t feel the quality or durability of a material when you sleep on it.

Latex is a little bit different and the density of latex is much more closely related to it’s firmness level and if you are comparing the same type and blend of latex then higher densities will be firmer (although this doesn’t necessarily apply when you are comparing different types and blends of latex because Talalay is less dense than Dunlop in the same firmness level and synthetic latex is also less dense than natural latex in the same firmness level as well.

Again with everything that you can “feel” (as opposed to the durability of the materials) the best way to know whether any mattress is a good “match” for you in terms of “comfort”, firmness, and PPP will be based on your own careful testing and/or personal experience.