I too am struggling with mattress related questions.
My wife and I are in the market for a quality mattress. We have health issues that complicate the choices and would appreciate any guidance you could offer. We are older (early 60’s), I have lower back problems, and she has had hip replacements. I am 5’11"- 180 Lbs she is 5’5" - 135 Lbs. We are reasonably fit and are primarily side sleepers.
Our buget is <$3,000, if possible. After reading your very informative and well written articles I am leaning toward a latex mattress. I am in S. E. Michigan, 48162.
The closest independent manufacturer to you that I know of is Banner Mattress in Toledo.
They carry a Talalay latex mattress which has 1" of 14 ILD talalay over 2" of 19 ILD talalay over 5.5" of 32 ILD talalay with a quilted ticking. This would certainly be suitable for many side sleepers as it has 3" of latex in the comfort layers over a firmer core. In a queen size it is under $2000. This would certainly provide good pressure relief which would be particularly important for your wife especially and would be well worth testing to make sure that it provided you with good support/spinal alignment as well which would be important for your lower back issues.
Their latex mattress comes in one model only (is not customizable in terms of firmness and layering) but it would seem close to the type of construction that could work for you.
I talked with several of their outlets and discovered that some of their salespeople knew little about their mattresses while others were much more knowledgeable about the components and materials in their mattresses. The one that I talked to that was most informative and knowledgeable was the outlet on Monroe St where I talked with Kathy.
There are other manufacturers in Michigan including buismattress however they are unfortunately not as close to you and most of them are in Western Michigan.
furniturerow is a regional manufacturer that also sells factory direct and makes a latex mattress (although it has 1" of polyfoam in the comfort layers which is the maximum which I generally would look at) and they have an outlet near Toledo as well.
I hope this helps and if you have more questions feel free to post.