Latex Recommendation in NW Michigan?

Hi PhilinNMI,

This is one of those situations where the “type” of specs can make a difference in how likely or essential it would be for them to provide a printed list.

The “essential” specs should always be revealed on a phone call IMO. These include the types and/or density of materials in the mattress. It’s important to me that someone doesn’t have to spend travel time (even if they are local) to test a mattress that has materials that would exclude them from consideration even if they are comfortable. It should also include information about the thickness of any “questionable” materials which may be fine in thin layers but better avoided in thicker layers.

They also would include “value” specs which should also be revealed although this may be in a more general way. These include some basic information such as the amount of different materials that are used. For example this would include whether it has 10" of latex in the mattress or whether it has only a couple of inches mixed in with other materials. It would also include the details about the type of quilting/ticking used. It may also include any relevant information about construction methods such as hand crafting techniques (tufting or side stitching) and details such as whether the mattress is one or two sided which add to the cost and value of a mattress. They should also be able to confirm the budget range of the mattress (or if it’s within your budget range) but may not give you a specific “quote”. This will give you a sense of the relative value range of the mattress and whether it is (or should be) within your general budget range although it may not give you a complete sense of why a mattress costs what it does and you always need to think in terms of “ranges” rather than specific prices. This type of information will prevent you from visiting an outlet and testing a mattress that may not be within your budget or in the value range that you are looking for no matter how high the quality or value of the mattress.

Finally there are the “non essential” specs which includes the specific layering and the ILD’s of the materials which creates the specific performance of a mattress and is part of how well it may “fit” the needs of a particular individual. More general questions in this area such as …

Do you have models that are likely to be more suitable for a side sleeper or a stomach sleeper? or

What is the basic difference between the different models? or

How do you decide which mattress is best for my specific height/weight and sleeping positions?

… are more legitimate and also test the knowledge of the person you are talking to. Answers like …

“Just lie on a mattress and buy the one that feel best for you” without taking into account the type and quality of materials that create the feeling, how long it may last, or even disregard an obvious alignment issue on a mattress that may be very comfortable in a showroom but not appropriate for long term use may be a sign of lack of knowledge or willingness to provide the essential specs of a mattress.

While many manufacturers or outlets may disclose these types of specs (and these can be used as reference points) … the specifics of this type of information may be proprietary to a particular manufacturer or mattress and they may not want to provide this information that has taken them years in some cases to perfect. This is sometimes a legitimate form of differentiation. These are the type of specs that may be important for an online purchase but are fairly meaningless for a local purchase because they are based in “theory” and actually testing a mattress will tell you more about how a mattress interacts with you than knowing the specifics of the layer thicknesses or the ILD. For an online purchase this is much more important because they provide a way to “predict” which mattress may be most suitable for an online purchase but for a local purchase they can do more to confuse and encourage focusing on “non essential specs” when the focus needs to be on what is actually experienced on the mattress regardless of the specific layering or ILD.

So questions like …

Is there any polyfoam or memory foam in the mattress or quilting?

How thick are any polyfoam or memory foam layers and where are they in the mattress?

What is the density of the polyfoam you use in the various layers?

What type of latex do you use and is it blended or synthetic?

What type of ticking/quilting is used?

What is the total thickness or percentage (from the law tag) of latex in the mattress?

What is the general price range of the mattress (making sure it’s in your budget range)?

These are all either quality questions or value questions to make sure that the quality of materials used is what you want and that the general value range of the mattress is reasonably competitive with other choices you have available (bearing in mind that the foam layers may only be part of the reason that a mattress costs what it does).

Questions like asking for the specific ILD’s and thickness of each individual layer are nice to have but are not essential in any way for a local purchase where what you feel on the mattress is always more important than the specific ILD’s or the thickness of the layers. There are even many outlets that recognize this as a “warning sign” of their own which can indicate a customer that is so focused on specs that they can become paralyzed with indecision and not be able to make a good decision without going into levels of detail that do more to confuse than help or never be happy with any choice. A sense of “urgency” in a consumer may also be a warning sign to a better outlet or salesperson although it may be welcome to those who may be more likely to say what you want to hear or may sell you anything that they think you will buy because a decision needs to be made quickly.

This type of “non essential” information is more “optional” rather than “essential” and I would consider it a bonus (which many manufacturers willingly provide). They can also be a way to confirm that the materials in a mattress “add up” to the total thickness of a mattress if you are dealing with someone who doesn’t seem quite willing to provide all the specs that you really do need without “missing” a few layers.

I personally would tend to do my initial questioning verbally (I avoid emails or printed information in my initial conversations) and my questions would be partly about the mattress (essential specs) and partly about getting a sense of who I was dealing with and their level of knowledge and service. I would rarely ask for written information over a phone call unless there was a specific reason to have it and the outlet was happy to provide it.

So hopefully you have been able to get answers to the more general and “essential” questions over the phone which is an important part of deciding if a trip to visit them is worth the time. Your request for printed or faxed specs may have “triggered” a concern that he may be dealing with a customer who could be too “spec” oriented and more likely to make a “spec” decision than a more accurate “experience” decision. I don’t know if this is the case of course or what information he wasn’t willing to give you but this wouldn’t be uncommon.

If not … as you say … then there are always other great options … including the Ultimate Dreams latex/polyfoam hybrid and some of the many other choices that are available (post #21 here has a list of the members here which sell online).

The Ultimate dreams is a mattress only price yes and like all the members of this site … I believe they are great value. They will customize the comfort layer with the ILD of your choice but of course the tradeoff and part of the reason for the price is that there are no refunds or layer exchanges and of course the importance of this is part of each person’s value equation".

You would generally need a firm non flexible slatted foundation for a mattress of this type. The specifics would depend on your budget range but there are lots of options from very low cost to much higher cost. Post #47 here includes an extensive discussion of many options. Post #4 here and post #13 here, and post #2 here, and post #7 and onwards here all have links to some very good choices in any budget range.

Post #2 here also talks about the different types of foundations and box springs and which may be most suitable for each type of mattress.