latex mattress; poly core vs latex core; how cheap is too cheap?

My husband and I replaced our old coil mattress last October. We found a bed that we loved, but the comfort layer depressed more than 1.5" across the middle within a few months. We are not obese (not thin, but definitely average). It is miserable to sleep on at this point. I now realize that the poly foam comfort layer was a bad idea. Fortunately, we bought it at Sam’s Club, and they’ll return anything 100%. Now, we’re looking for a new mattress. We do not have 1500+ for a new mattress. I realize that we might have to stretch to $1000. We spent about $600 on our last one. We do not like memory foam. We really like latex, and we like that we might not deal with impressions with latex like we did with this one. We don’t like to sink into our mattress, both preferring firmer. A bit softer is ok on top as long as there is good support in the core. We’d like one to last at least 10 years comfortably.

We found a mattress with 3.5" of talalay (natural synthetic blend). Top layer is ILD 38. Underneath that is 50 ILD. That is on top of a 1.8 pound density poly foam core (I think 7 inches?). It has a thin bamboo cover on the mattress. It is sold by a local mattress store, made in TN. Brand is Nature’s Way, made by Sterling and Thomas. We can get this for $1049 (queen sized). I realize that the foam core is the cheapest part of the mattress, so is this really overpriced?

We found one on Amazon that has a 2.35 pound HR poly foam base, and 3" of Talalay comfort layer (density can be customized after purchase). The cover has 1.5" of “super soft reflex foam” which worries me. The cover on that mattress looks like the Nature’s Way mattress. This mattress costs $600 and has good reviews from initial buyers.

My question is this. Obviously, these are not high quality latex mattresses. What do you think we can expect from these? Are we really only going to be happy if we shell out $1500-2500 for a full latex mattress? We don’t have to have a luxury mattress, but we do want a consistantly good night’s sleep and a relatively good feeling that we won’t have to buy another mattress for another 10 years.

We live in Lexington, KY. Do you know of any particular outlets close by to check out?

Thank you so much for your help. This has been the most helpful site I’ve found, and I wish I had found you before we bought the last mattress.

I just purchased the Ultimate Dreams mattress on Amazon. Honestly, the 1.5" top layer is the one that worries me the most too. For the price, there will be some compromises on the materials involved and I understood that when I purchased. Overall, I feel that this mattress has really good ‘bang for the buck’ so I took the plunge anyways.

I haven’t gotten my mattress yet (hopefully soon!) but I researched what was best for me, tested, hemmed and hawed, and landed this decision. Informing yourself about the quality, materials (and your SO if applicable) and doing the testing to know what works for you is the easiest (and funnest) part I think. Making the final decision and not agonizing over it is the harder part. :wink:

I’d love to hear what Phoenix has to say about this since I’m planning on lurking here and adding some reviews about my personal mattress experience soon.

Hi needsomesleep (and Coventry),

There are many aspects that determine the quality of a mattress but the least reliable of them is price. The most important part of quality (and durability) is the materials in the mattress and how it is constructed and not the brand name or even more importantly the price. There are many mattresses on the market … and perhaps even the majority … which sell for very high prices and yet include low quality materials that are subject to early softening and breakdown. The weak link of every mattress is the part that will degrade and change most rapidly which leads to a mattress that is no longer suitable for your needs and preferences. This is almost always in the upper layers. This is why it’s so important to know the layers and materials in any mattress you are considering.

If the outlet or manufacturer you are considering can’t or won’t give you this information (or make it too difficult to find out) or have any of the other warning signs listed in this article or if you are not comfortable with an outlet after a preliminary “interview” on the phone along the lines of what is suggested in this article … I would pass them by. The only exception I would make to this is either a no questions asked refund with no costs attached or if you knew more than they did and had the specific information about a specific mattress you wanted to test.

American Bedding (which makes Sterling and Thomas nature’s way) has some better value mattresses but of course the value would vary depending on the specifics of the mattress you are considering and the prices at each outlet.

Here is what I would look at with this mattress.

Is the price for a queen mattress only or for a set. I usually try to get a quote with “mattress only” which makes comparisons more meaningful.

First check the law tag to find out the percentage by weight of the latex. this will tell you whether there is a meaningful amount of latex in the mattress.

Next I would want to know the type of latex they are using (Talalay or Dunlop) and the thickness of the top layer. 38 ILD is usually used for support layers not for comfort layers and this would be very firm. Is there anything over the latex in the comfort layers or the quilting layers.

The 50 ILD layer is unlikely to be latex because it is in the firmness range of polyfoam. I would want to know the density and thickness of this layer as well.

The 7" 1.8 lb polyfoam core is suitable for a base layer (1.8 lbs is the minimum density polyfoam I would consider in a base or support layer of a mattress).

Make sure all the layers add up to approximately the thickness of the mattress.

If this mattress has for example 3" of blended Talalay latex and there are no (or at least only very thin) layers of lower density polyfoam in the mattress … it would be good value. A queen size latex/polyfoam hybrid with a meaningful layer of latex and where there is nothing in the mattress that I would want to avoid is generally good value in this price range. There are many mainstream mattresses with this type of construction and that use lower quality materials (or latex) that sell for much more even at highly discounted “sale” pricing.

This mattress is made by Brooklyn Bedding which is one of the members of this site (meaning I believe they are among the best quality/value available). It uses very high quality blended Talalay latex in the comfort layers (which can be selected for individual firmness levels) and also uses a higher quality polyfoam for the base foam. The 1.5" of supersoft quilting foam is within the amount I would consider acceptable (around an inch give or take). A thin layer of supersoft quilting foam used in the quilting is used to modify and fine tune the feel of the latex in the mattress and create a softer surface feel. With thin quilting layers, the normal softening of polyfoam will not ave a significant effect on the feel or durability of the mattress because the majority of the comfort layer is the latex.

Keep in mind too that if you do decide to go in the direction of the Dreamfoam that all the business members (manufacturers and retailers) of the site offer the forum members a discount/bonus with the purchase of a mattress and in the case of the Dreamfoam it is their shredded latex pillow.

The Dreamfoam actually is a high quality mattress and while it will not have the same feel or performance as an all latex mattress … it will certainly meet your durability criteria.

To make a more meaningful “assessment” of the Nature’s Way I would need to know more about the layers but on the surface it also seems to be good quality/value.

In all of this … the suitability of a mattress in terms of PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and Preferences) are of course the most important criteria because no matter what the quality or value of a mattress … if it is not suitable for your height, weight, body shape, sleeping positions, and preferences then quality and value have little meaning but if either of these “work” for you … they would both likely be in the better value range (and in the case of the Dreamfoam and other business members of the site in the “best” value range).

@ Coventry,

Hopefully my comments to needsomesleep answered your “concerns” about the polyfoam in the quilting but if they didn’t, feel free to post back :slight_smile:


ADDED later: For some reason I missed the question in the original post about local outlets in Lexington.

There are no local factory direct outlets that I’m aware of in Lexington itself but there are some within reasonable driving distance. they include … Regional factory direct manufacturer that makes their own and Lady Americana mattresses with many outlets throughout KY and other states. The closest outlet on their google map would be Owenton, KY. or Local factory direct manufacturer with an outlet in Louisville, KY. Makes a full range of mattresses including gel memory foam, innersprings, and latex hybrids. Good people and committed to making good quality and value mattresses for their local customers.

Furniture Row® Store Locations - Store Hours & Addresses Regional factory direct manufacturer with outlets in Louisville and Florence, KY. They make a range of mattresses including mostly latex and innersprings that are better quality and value than most and their iChoice also has a memory foam option. I would avoid the major brands they also carry. Regional factory direct manufacturer with an outlet in Florence. They make a complete range of innerspring mattresses, a two sided talalay latex hybrid mattress, and a high quality memory foam mattress with good quality and value.

There are also some other possibilities that may be worth some further research that may have some mattresses with better quality/value (and I’ve included the brands they list that I would consider on a “mattress by mattress” basis). Whether I would consider these and which mattresses I would consider would depend entirely on their ability and willingness to provide the details about what is in every layer of a particular mattress so you can make informed decisions and meaningful comparisons. Lexington, Richmond, Nicholasville, Winchester, KY. Pure Talalay Bliss, Restonic. Lexington, KY Restonic Frankfort, KY Therapedic, Boyd Owenton, KY Bowles

Phoenix, thank you so very much for your thoughtful response. This is encouraging! Coventry, thank you for adding your post. It’s nice to “meet” someone who has purchased one of these mattresses. I’d normally never think of ordering a mattress off Amazon, but it seemed like a potentially good deal, and now I’d say that it is.

Yes, thanks. :slight_smile: It was mainly just a combination of feeling the slight anxiety of buying a mattress online and hoping I’ve made a good decision. The last mattress I purchased was horrible so I’d rather not repeat that experience. I did better research this time and chose based on my values.

I’m pretty confident I got a good quality mattress but I will admit some nervousness about a no return internet purchase. I got to test latex over poly in a few showrooms but not having tried the Ultimate Dreams mattress, it’s a bit of a nail biter. It was one of the trade offs that I chose and I’m ever the optimist. I’m also fairly sure any concerns I have will be tossed out the window when the mattress gets here and I’m dead asleep drooling on it. :stuck_out_tongue:

Hi Coventry,

That’s funny :slight_smile:

I hope you wake up for long enough to let us know how you like it once you’ve had the chance to sleep on it for a bit.



We have continued to drag our feet on purchasing our mattress, and are sleeping on our guest bed at this point to avoid our current mattress. I think we’re ready to purchase the one from Amazon that you bought, and I was wondering how you like it, now that you’ve had it for several weeks. Any insight would be helpful. Thanks!

Hi needsomesleep,

I’m not Coventry and you may have already seen this but she posted one of her usual “excellent” reviews about the Ultimate Dreams here.

A search on Ultimate Dreams (you can just click this) will also bring up more of her comments afterwards in other threads as well as many comments from others who have purchased it.

I’m sure she’ll also be happy to update you herself when she sees your post :slight_smile:



Hello needsomesleep,

My husband and I both are very VERY pleased with the Ultimate Dreams mattress from Amazon. My husband and I both sleep through the night now (victory!) and my hips, ribs and arm don’t hurt in the mornings anymore. We have both noticed and talked about how much better sleep in length and quality we are getting.

I can honestly say that so far there have been no problems and much happiness with our choice. The only possible issue (and it’s really not) my husband and I both noticed after we got it is that the sides are squishier than our old innerspring. Since the mattress is all foam, it’s to be expected, but the first few nights I did have some close calls with the edge of the bed. :slight_smile:

Also, I did have to change out my pillows but I’ve a disk pushing on my spinal column so I’m more sensitive to changes with my neck. My husband has had 3 back surgeries and now has a titanium rod in his L5/S1 area and this mattress has worked really well for him. So, while there were minor adjustments (as with any new sleeping surface), we are beyond pleased with the comfort, value and quality of our purchase.

It wasn’t an option when I purchased my mattress, but did you see that Dreamfoam Bedding (makers of the Ultimate Dreams) now offers a zippered option on this mattress on Amazon? Here’s the link. It looks like exactly the same construction but with the zippered cover that will allow you to change out the top layer of latex.

If I was doing it all again, I might go this route since it’s ‘safer’ and has more possibilities for future construction or replacement and is still a fantastic deal. I will say that ordering a mattress sight unseen and untested over the internet was a bit nerve wracking. Even with all the nail biting nervousness, I would happily recommend the Ultimate Dreams mattress (the original) and with the money I saved I was able to get my daughter a very nice playset and myself some nice bedding accessories.

I hope you get some much needed sleep soon and this information helps you in your choice. Please let me know if you have any further questions and I would be happy to help!

Thanks Phoenix

I signed up bec I wanted to know of any local manufacturer. I live in Louisville, KY and I found the info I’m looking for on this post.

Hi alberta05,

I’m glad you found the post with the information you were looking for. Sometimes there are so many posts in the forum that it can be difficult to find the ones that provide the best answers to your questions (and I’m usually more than happy to point in the right direction by linking posts that are relevant).

In case you are also looking for local mattress options that you can test in person … some of the better choices or possibilities I’m aware of in the Louisville area are in post #3 here.