Latex mattress choices

Hi Phoenix,

I live in NJ (07733). I’m 40 yo 5’10" 180# and my wife is 5’ 1" and 115#. We purchased our last mattress from the Mattress Factory in Fanwood, NJ approximately 11 years ago (back then they were in Garwood). We went there not because we knew any better but because it was close to where we lived and we had a coupon! We purchased their top of the line, king size, double-sided pillow top, innerspring coil mattress. I remember when it was new just getting the best sleep in it. It was very comfortable and it cradled my body.

Over the last few years I wasn’t sleeping as well (diagnosed w moderate sleep apnea) and developed back pain. I currently sleep w a CPAP. More recently, I’ve been waking w a sore neck and sore hamstrings, calves and Achilles’ tendons. I’m
active and I don’t think all of my “ailments” are mattress related.

In any event, we (I) decided it was time for a new mattress. My wife didn’t really have a problem w the old one besides the sleep grooves that developed. I really feel like the whole mattress industry is ridiculously shady b/c of the games the major
brands play w labeling their mattresses different things so you can’t comparison shop. To avoid the headache and frustration, I took a chance on Costco’s Portifino mattress that I believe is made by Sterns & Foster. It’s a really thick, plush pillow
top. I thought that’s what I’d like- trying to get that deep sinking, cradled feeling. Well, it’s way too soft and I’m not satisfied. I certainly never felt like - wow is this comfortable. My wife wasnt impressed either but didnt have a problem w it. I will be returning it to Costco.

My search then took me to (gasp) Sleepy’s, where I spoke to a salesman. I walked into the store absolutely dreading the process I was about to undertake. I explained my issues and I told him some research I did including some on latex mattresses. To my surprise the salesman said what would be best for me Sleepy’s doesn’t carry anymore. He told me about the latex Bliss mattress. He said he purchased the floor model when the company decided to discontinue carrying the brand and he’s very happy.

So I started researching more re: latex. I decided that I want 100% pure latex of at least 10" and would rule out any latex w foam bases, latex combined w other materials, etc. I figure, if I’m going to spend this much on a mattress, it shouldn’t have inferior products mixed in. Besides, the combination mattresses are just as expensive. It seemed like most of the companies around me (The Mattress Factory referenced above and Custom Bedding in Clark, NJ only have blended mattreses- they were also more expensive than others below I found.) The companies I narrowed my search down to were Flobeds, Plushbeds, Savvy Rest, Sleep Ez, and Foam Sweet Foam. I have only been able to see and test out the Savvy Rest. On the Savvy Rest Serenity all Dunlop, I like the firm, firm, medium w wool topper. I also liked the firm, medium, medium w the wool topper, but something in the back of my mind was telling me it may be a tad too soft. My wife likes the firm, medium, soft. She didn’t get to try the wool topper as the dealer she went to didn’t have it. I didn’t like the Talalay topper as it was too soft. I guess at this point I should mention that my wife is mostly a side sleeper/back sleeper and I’m a back and swayback (I think that’s what it’s called) sleeper. Basically, when I’m on my side, the front of my pelvis and most of my stomach is against the mattress, but not both of my shoulders like a true stomach sleeper. If I think about it, it probably looks like I’m arched awkwardly. Probably a reason why I have lower back pain to begin with, right?

Anyway, what should be no surprise to you, and as others have mentioned on the site, is that Savvy Rest is expensive. It also bothers me that there is no return policy. I decided I should weed out some of the other manufacturers to help make my decision easier. I called Plushbeds first as they didn’t seem to have the split firmness mattress option that Savvy Rest has. I spoke to John, who said he is the general manager. He told me they can do the split, it’s typically 15% more, but he
wouldn’t charge me for that. He asked who else I was looking at and then gave me the hard sell. He basically compared his mattress to all the others. He was complimentary of some like Savvy Rest and Foam Sweet Foam. He was more critical
of Sleep Ez. Basically the negatives for each were as follows: Savvy rest- expensive and no returns; Flobeds- way too complicated to construct as you don’t need to tweak every little thing in the mattress to make it comfortable, over $300 to send
back and not certified organic; Foam Sweet Foam- not certified organic materials, warranty sounds good but each layer of latex must have 1/2" deviation, must pay for shipping on warranty claims, and returns cost 18% which could be over $500; Sleep Ez- no organic certifications and their warranty is deceptive as you have to pay shipping costs for warranty claims.

I asked him about the 12" mattresses (four 3 inch layers) some companies offered and he said anything over 10" doesn’t offer more support and isn’t worth the extra money, otherwise they’d do it too. I’d like your opinion on that.

So now I’m at the point where I’m not sure what to do. I’ve read in various posts your thoughts on Savvy Rest (quality materials but expensive) and Plushbeds (good quality materials, but better options out there). I understand your preference for
local dealers that typically offer better prices and more options, but I haven’t been able to find those places or products. My wife went to The Clean Bedroom in NYC but only looked at the Savvy Rest. She laid down on another mattress that she
thought was real comfy but it was over $4500. The Savvy Rest will run us about $3400 including foundation and $550 more for the wool topper if I get it. With that, Savvy rest is offering 2 free any size shredded latex pillows, cotton mattress pad,
and either a latex dog bed or body pillow. I’d go w the body pillow as my dog has a bed he likes. The Plushbeds will run $2,999 w foundation and 2 free standard size latex pillows. All include shipping.

One of the big differences between the two is the Savvy Rest 3-3-3 construction v. the 6-2-2 construction of Plushbeds. I think I remember you commenting how you prefer thinner materials on top. If so, why? The other difference of course, is
that I’ve tried the Savvy Rest and I think I’m good w my decision. I have no idea levels of firmness would be right for me and my wife w the Plushbed. Also, not to mention the whole Dunlop v. Talalay issue. I understand the difference
(firmer/softer) but I haven’t FELT the difference. My wife just wants me to make a decision. Easy for her as her body isn’t as demanding as mine to get a good night sleep. I want to make a decision too, but I want to make sure I’m making the right one- especially if there is no returns.

Suggestions, comments are greatly appreciated. Thanks- sorry for the long post!
P.s.- thanks for the login help.

Hi johnp,

Post #1 here lists the steps that will greatly increase your odds of finding the best possible quality and value mattresses.

The list of the better choices I’m aware of in the New York/NJ area are in post #7 here. It includes The Mattress Factory in Fanwood which is the closest to you (I think highly of the quality and value of the mattresses that Ron is building there) along with two others in NYC that are in reasonable driving distance and that I also included in the “best value” group at the end of the list. You just happened to find one of the better manufacturers the last time you went mattress shopping :).

These are exactly the types of mattresses I would avoid as you can see in the guidelines here.

It’s unfortunate but not surprising that Sleepy’s discontinued these (they don’t tend to keep better quality/value mattresses on their floor). Pure Latex Bliss make high quality mattress that are all Talalay latex and in many cases are also “better than average value” (depending on the price they are being sold at) but they are not usually in the same “value range” as similar mattresses sold at many local manufacturers or better sleep shops (or online).

There really aren’t any “inferior” categories of materials as much as there are materials that are not appropriate for the price of the mattress. There are some good quality grades of polyfoam for example that can be a “budget appropriate” choice in a mattress. The real key is to make sure that the materials in your mattress will provide the performance and durability that you want and are good value in comparison to other similar mattresses. While I certainly agree that an all latex mattress is among the best choices (if the construction is suitable for the person and the value is good), there are many people who want the performance and value of having latex in the comfort layers but use a lower cost support system to keep inside their budget.

These all use good quality materials but there are many differences based on the choices they offer and their relative value. Of these … SleepEz and FSF (which are in the list of our members that specialize in online sales) are better value than the others IMO in apples to apples comparisons for basic component mattresses with customizable layers. SleepEz has a more extensive lineup and offers more choices of materials and layering (including blended Talalay and 100% natural Dunlop which are both among the best latex values for those that aren’t committed to 100% natural Talalay or organic Dunlop). FSF offers organic Dunlop and 100% natural Talalay. This article along with post #6 here has more about the different types and blends of latex.

A forum search on Plushbeds (you can just click this) will bring up more information about them but you can summarize it with "better than average value compared to some other online sources but not in the “best” value range.

You have already “pegged” Savvy Rest as good quality/lower value which as you know I would agree with.

Flobeds is also a little more costly but they also have some unique designs available including customizable zoning so they aren’t an apples to apples comparison with the others and they would also be well worth considering. There is more about their v-Zone system in post #4 here and a forum search on flobeds will also bring up more information and feedback about them as well.

This would be dependent on the person (based on body type, sleeping position, and preferences) and the construction and layering of the 12". It can be a more appropriate choice for heavier weights because it can be more adaptable certain body profiles and sleeping positions and has a greater “range” of compression from soft to firm. It offers slightly more flexibility in layering and allows for the use of firmer foam in some cases where the extra thickness will “act” softer. In most cases it wouldn’t be “necessary” but in some cases it can certainly be desirable.

I personally think his comparisons are deceptive and inaccurate. They also charge shipping on warranty claims (see their warranty here) and warranties are not nearly as important as the quality of the materials in the mattress. They were probably less than complimentary because they don’t fare so well in an “apples t apples” comparison with SleepEz. It’s especially strange that they are making comments about some of the “differences” between their materials when sleepEz offers exactly the same materials as Plushbeds as one of their options (as does FSF).

I prefer comfort layers that are most appropriate to the needs and preferences of the person on the mattress. The term “comfort layer” is a fuzzy definition because all the layers of a mattress compress together and perhaps a more appropriate term would be “comfort zone” which is not specifically “defined” by the thickness of the layers that are on top of the mattress. A layer can be primarily for pressure relief (near the top), primarily for support (near the bottom), or a middle or “transition” layer which can be a combination of both. It all depends on the layering of the mattress and the ILD and thickness of the layers and how suitable they are for the needs and preferences of the person on it. Having said that … comfort layers (or a comfort “zone”) that is too thick for the body type, and sleeping positions of the person can allow the heavier parts of the body to sink down too far and can carry the risk of poor alignment so I prefer comfort layers that are not too thick/soft for the person. What is best in most cases is relative to the other layers and components of the mattresses and to the needs and preferences of each person. Each person “needs” good pressure relief (wheich comes from the depth of the cradle that is formed on top of the mattress and on how well it conforms to the body shape) and good alignment (which means “stopping” the heavier parts of the body from sinking down too far and “allowing” the wider lighter parts of the body to sink in far enough). The layering that produces this is secondary to making sure that your “needs” are met because there are different pathways or layering combinations that can produce similar results.

[quote]Also, not to mention the whole Dunlop v. Talalay issue. I understand the difference
(firmer/softer) but I haven’t FELT the difference. My wife just wants me to make a decision. Easy for her as her body isn’t as demanding as mine to get a good night sleep. I want to make a decision too, but I want to make sure I’m making the right one- especially if there is no returns. [/quote]

As you mentioned … one of the differences is that Dunlop gets firmer faster than Talalay because it has a higher compression modulus. The other main difference is that Dunlop is not quite as “lively” as Talalay. As an analogy … if you can imagine what angel food cake may feel like compared to pound cake (in a similar firmness level) you would probably have a sense of how they may feel to you (even though “feel” is subjective and relative to each person’s definition and sensitivities).

Hope this helps you narrow things down a bit … and I would definitely make sure I had a more extended conversation with both FSF and SleepEz.


Hi Phoenix,
Thank you for your response. I researched some of the other companies in the other links provided and I wasn’t coming up w anything comparable to the Savvy Rest Serenity and the Plushbeds Bliss. It seemed that some had 6" mattresses and others weren’t 100% latex. Those that were 100% latex and of similar thickness to Savvy and Plushbeds were extremely expensive - e.g. Eco line from Magic Sleeper.

Anyway I called Sleepez and I found Shawn (Sean?) very informative. He thought that the 4th layer wasn’t neccessary for me or my wife given our respective weights- but it’s an option if I want to be able to tweak the support in more configurations. However, I am confused regarding their Natural line v. Organic line. I think he said there’s only a difference if you are getting Talalay latex and no difference if getting 100% Dunlop. He said that both mattresses are shipping w the organic cotton cover and natural wool now. Does that sound right? Thanks.

Hi Johnp,

There are two options on the list that sell all latex mattresses in NY (they are in the last group of 5 “better value” choices.

In the end if you are making a local purchase … then the layering isn’t as important as whether it provides you with the best possible pressure relief and alignment because you can test the mattress locally. With an online purchase where you can’t know for certain how well a mattress may perform (except based on the “averages” of other people and by using your local testing as a rough guideline) … then the layering and any exchange options may be more important to allow for more customizing after the purchase and to reduce the risk of an online purchase. all of these are part of each person’s “value equation”. Different designs and types of layering can produce a similar end result for each person.

At Magic Sleeper … the Eco line is made by Natura which make some high quality mattresses but not usually in the same “value range” as the mattresses that they make themselves (although they use thicker layers of wool which is a more costly material).

There are two options in the list I linked in NYC which have all latex mattresses (Dixie Foam and Scottjordan) which may be worth considering and which may have better value than the ones you are mentioning.

At SleepEz … the organic line uses the more costly version of Dunlop which has certified organic latex while their regular line uses 100% natural dunlop. There is very little if any difference between certified organic Dunlop and 100% natural Dunlop except that one has a certification and one doesn’t.

Shawn prefers to downplay the “organic” version because as you can read in the previous post I linked about the different types of latex … when it first came out only the raw materials were certified and there was a law suit about whether it could really be called organic (even though many people on the web were doing so). Latexco which distributes Latex Green Dunlop latex has since announced that the manufacturing of the latex has now also been certified. This means that latex Green has two different types of 100% natural Dunlop … one of which is certified and one which isn’t. There is no meaningful difference between them in terms of performance or quality but the “organic” version(which SleepEz and others use in their “organic” line) is a more costly material because of the expenses involved in the certification process. It would be most attractive to those that valued the certification itself rather than any significant difference between the materials or in its manufacturing.

This is why he said there would be “no difference” even though the Dunlop they use in their organic line is exactly the same more costly material as others are calling their “certified organic” dunlop latex and the Dunlop they use in their regular line is “only” 100% natural Dunlop and less costly because it hasn’t been certified. Shawn tends to under promise and overdeliver and like all better manufacturers and retailers will give you advice that works towards your best interests rather than his profit margin :slight_smile:


Natural Wool and organic wool are not the same, Organic wool can not be washed in chemicals… natural wool is just ordinary wool, more than likely acid washed to strip it of the lanolin… nothing wrong with regular wool (although again calling it natural mean nothing as all wool is pretty much natural) but organic wool would be more costly is that is important.