First of all, I’m so thankful my husband and I found this site! It’s been incredibly helpful in our search to replace our 8-year-old Serta pillowtop mattress (an expensive uneducated mistake). Your level of expertise, Phoenix, is quite impressive! Thank you for sharing it with all of us.
Now our dilemma. After lots of research on this site and field testing, we are leaning toward latex. We thought we wanted all latex but were thrown a curve-ball today. We live near Peoria IL and noted a few of your recommended stores from a previous forum post (thanks so much!). We visited Verlo Mattress Factory today and was impressed with their knowledge and love the fact that they make the mattress and will adjust layers as needed for the life of the mattress. After we left, I’ve come up with more questions and thought maybe I could find answers here. I assumed their all-latex beds would have layers of Dunlop and Talalay but they only offered 100% Talalay. Are there any disadvantages to this? We really like the feel of it but didn’t love the price so much. We liked another mattress that was an innerspring with several inches of latex (we can’t remember if it was 3 or 4 inches) topped with an inch of polyfoam. I need to double-check this but am pretty sure they use high quality foam. The more I think about it though, the more I wonder: is there a reason to put foam on top of my beloved latex? Are there disadvantages to this as well? Also, the bed was $2000 for a king size. Is that a reasonable price for what we’d be getting? Another mattress we liked was another innerspring with multiple polyfoam layers varying from firm to soft. All those layers make me nervous. They said they could replace one of these layers with an inch of latex but would that give us the qualities of latex we like so much or be a waste of the additional fee?
I’m not opposed to trying one of the online manufacturers in the membership list but my husband is a little nervous to buy something that he can’t try out first…and something we’d have to haul up the stairs ourselves.
Appreciate any and all input!
As you can see from my reply to a similar question here … the choice between different types of latex is a matter of personal preference. Different types of latex have different properties and a different “feel” and some people prefer all Dunlop, some prefer all Talalay, and some prefer a combination of the two.
You can read more about the pros and cons of a quilting layer on top of latex in this article and the last part of this post. There are many people who prefer sleeping directly on latex while others prefer the surface feel of a softer less resilient polyfoam or the benefits and feel of natural fiber in a quilting layer over the latex. The key is to make sure that there isn’t more than “around” an inch or so of lower quality materials in the comfort layers of a mattress so that they don’t become a durability issue.
I would need to know the details of all the layers and components and whether this was a mattress only price to make any meaningful comments or assessment about how it might compare to other mattresses in terms of “value”. It would depend on the details of the mattress, on the cost and quality of the components and materials, and how they compared to other similar mattresses. There are some mattresses for example that use some very high quality European pocket coils with fairly thin latex comfort layers such as Berkeley Ergonomics that are certainly much better than average “value” even though they are in the same price range or higher than the mattress you are looking at. In general terms … Verlo is certainly “better than average” value but not in the “best” value range although value is not just about the “commodity value” of a mattress and also includes all the other objective, subjective, and even intangible factors that are the most important part or your personal value equation.
Again … it’s really not possible to even “guess” what someone else may feel on a mattress when the details about the layers or design or the thickness of the latex they would be adding isn’t known. Every change to a mattress would make some difference in how a mattress feels and performs because every layer affects every other layer to some degree but the nature of the change or how someone else would perceive it is very subjective and would vary from person to person based on body type and sleeping style as well as individual perceptions. The question is too general and I don’t have enough information about the mattress or reference points about your own perceptions to give a specific answer other than saying it would most likely change how the mattress felt.
I personally would be hesitant though about buying a mattress that I hadn’t tested or where I was unsure of how it would feel (either online or locally) unless there were good options available after the purchase to exchange the mattress or make adjustments to the individual layers that had a good chance of success in terms of matching your specific needs and preferences. Your conversations and experience with each manufacturer or retailer your are dealing with and their confidence that they could “fine tune” a mattress if your initial choice wasn’t the best one for you would likely be a big part of your confidence with a particular choice as well. The better your options after a purchase the more it can lessen the “risk” of an “unknown” purchase whether it’s online or locally.
Again though … to make any meaningful comments about a mattress I would need to know the details of its construction and the materials and components inside it.
Thank you so much for your quick response, Phoenix!
I called Verlo today to get more details about the components of our top 2 picks. The man I spoke with is the franchise owner and a craftsman so hopefully he knows what he’s talking about. I still have a few questions/concerns though. He told me the specs of the innersprings on both mattresses were the same but the wire gauge was a manufacturer secret and that he didn’t know even though he’s tried to find out. He did know that they were a “heavier weight and double tempered” and had 5.5 turns. It seems odd to me they don’t know the gauge. Should this weigh much in our decision?
Their website doesn’t really give any details on the different models but here’s what he told me: The first mattress I mentioned in my last post is called the Majesty which has an innerspring support (my guess is Bonnell but I didn’t think to look into it until after I spoke with him) and 2 1" layers of flexible 1.5 density precompressed polyfoam. The soft polyfoam layer is 17 ILD, the firm one is 36. It’s topped with an inch of cotton. He said the 1.5 density is fine because it’s only on the top 2 inches of the mattress. Is that correct?? Would swapping in a 1" layer of latex be a good idea to improve the durability if it’s an issue?
The other mattress is called the Grandeur Elite which is the same innerspring support as the Majesty, then 3 inches of 5 lb. Talalay latex with ILD 24 under an inch layer of HR memory foam and quilted cover of polyfoam. This is the one we’re leaning towards since we’re concerned about the foam density of the Majesty. It’s of course one of their more expensive mattresses - $2000 including a box frame. If the quality of the foam in the Majesty isn’t a concern we’d seriously consider it since it’s about $800 cheaper (also including a box frame).
Our heads are spinning at this point over all these details but I want to get a high quality mattress this time around! Thanks so much for your assistance thus far.
It wouldn’t for me no. Innersprings have many “specs” (see this article and post #10 here) and only comparing them by one or two is mostly meaningless. The most meaningful comparison between innersprings would probably be their total weight (the amount of steel they use which would be a main part of their cost) but this also wouldn’t take into account the many differences in how different types of innersprings feel and perform and it’s not a “spec” that any manufacturer provides. Innersprings are also not usually the weak link of a mattress which is normally the upper layers. Like you though it seems odd to me that the basic specs of an innerspring are a “manufacturers secret” and I would at least want to know the type of innerspring they used.
I’m not so sure I would call it “fine” but he is correct that lower density foam in thinner layers has less effect on durability than the same type/quality of foam in thicker layers. The layers above any lower quality foam layers will also affect and extend their durability to differing degrees if they absorb some of the compression forces. If the top layers of a mattress contain more than about an “inch or so” of lower density polyfoam then I would be cautious so this is just over the amount that I would normally prefer to see in the foam layer that is closest to the top of the mattress if the mattress was one sided. If the mattress is two sided then this would be a much more durable design. you can read more about the factors involved in the durability of a mattress in post #4 here.
Latex would certainly be more durable than polyfoam in the top layers but it would also change how the mattress feels and performs so I would want to test it with the specific layering and materials you were considering to make sure it was suitable for your specific needs and preferences before buying it (and some manufacturers won’t make a custom design unless you agree to buy it first).
This would be a much more durable construction because latex in a top layer is more durable than polyfoam. There is no such thing as HR memory foam (HR means high resilience and all memory foam is low resilience) and they may have been wanting to say HD (meaning high density) but this isn’t a number and different people have different ideas of what they consider as HD in memory foam. It’s only an inch which is within the guidelines I normally suggest is OK for unknown materials in a quilting layer but it would still be nice to know its density. This mattress doesn’t have a “weak link” that I would cause me any concern although I would still want to make value comparisons with other similar mattresses (latex/innerspring hybrids) because the cost may be on the high side (although they would probably still compare well with most mainstream mattresses).
A good manufacturer will also provide you with meaningful durability information that isn’t so much focused on “selling you” as it is on “educating you” and they would know that 1.5 lb polyfoam is not nearly as durable as latex but that it is also less costly which is why you see it in mattresses that are in lower budget ranges.
Thank you, Phoenix! We’re feeling much better thanks to your guidance. We very much appreciate your time and expertise.