Long distance purchase

We live in San Angelo, TX, a long way from reasonable mattress shopping. I have spent hours researching for a new mattress, which is how I came across this site.

First, I want to thank you for the wealth of information on here which has made me an informed shopper.

I have a few questions:

  1. We currently have a 10 year old mattress/box spring set. I am wanting to buy the Ultimate Dreams mattress as it is within our budget and, based on my research, will suit our needs best. Is it really necessary to purchase a new box, or can we get by with the old one?

  2. Because we live so far from a major city, I am doing my shopping online. My husband and I think it would be better to err on the side of too firm for a mattress as we could always add a softer pad if need be. Are we correct in this line of thought?


Hi LikeToHike,

This would depend on the type and condition of the boxspring you have. Different boxsprings can certainly change how a mattress feels and performs. There’s more about this in post #2 here.

Yes … your thinking is on track. If a mattress is too soft and doesn’t provide proper support and alignment … it’s very difficult to “fix” because any firmer materials you put on top will tend to still “bend into” the softer materials below so the effect would only be limited. On the other hand … if a mattress is too firm … it’s much easier to “fix” the pressure relief by adding a softer layer on top and as long as the layer is “just enough” … then support and alignment won’t be compromised.

There is also one outlet in San Angelo that may be worth visiting as a point of reference if nothing else. They are …

Furniture Row® Store Locations - Store Hours & Addresses They are a regional factory direct manufacturer that makes a range of mattresses with better quality and value. They also make two “mostly latex” mattresses (the Aspen and the Snowmass) which would give you a sense of how latex feels and can act as a reference point for testing. The 2" latex layer they use on top of both (and both also include an inch of polyfoam in the comfort or quilting layers) is 24 ILD.


Thanks for the info on Furniture Row and which mattresses to test. Our old one is from there and we loved it for many years, but now hate it and can’t wait to get a new one.

I read what you linked to for the box spring and have a question:

How can I know if this is the case?

Can you tell me what type of box is needed for the ultimate dreams mattress?

If it needs a non flex foundation, could I, in the interest of saving money, just put some boards or plywood on my current box?

Hi LiketoHike,

I also did research for the box spring mattresses and i have the following information:-

A good mattress do not have to be as hard as a board. It should be soft and comfortable to relax, though some people prefer a firmer feel. Spring mattresses are built with most luxurious new cushioning materials and surface treatments. While these mattresses may feel more plush, the core provides necessary support for your body.

Spring mattresses gently supports your body at all points and provide extra support to your spinal cord. While selecting a mattress, we should keep in mind that our body should be able to relax on it with the spine supported in its natural curve. This feature kind of memory foam mattress which can returning to its original shape once the pressure is removed, but it also heavier than other mattresses in some cases.

Hi LikeToHike,

You could test the box spring by firmly compressing it by hand in all areas (with your hands or knees) to make sure that the firmness of the surface is still solid and even. Even if it is though … it will still change the feel of the mattress compared to using a firmer no flex foundation. Whether this is “good” or “bad” depends on whether the sleeping system as a whole provides you with the pressure relief and support you need. It would also depend on how much you could feel the springs through the mattress. Most foam mattresses are designed to be used with a rigid non flexing foundation but in some cases with thinner mattresses they are designed to be used with an innerspring or “active” foundation to provide more contouring and pressure relief because the thinner mattress by itself may not be enough. If you purchase a mattress for example that is designed to be used with a firm non flexing foundation and put it on an innerspring … it may compress too much under your heavier areas and put you out of alignment (and could cause a sore lower back). Putting the same mattress on a firm non flexing foundation would result in better alignment in this case.

Generally the manufacturers recommendation should be followed because they are the best source to know the type of foundation that works best with their mattress. The most common and usually “best” choice though for this type of mattress would be a firm non flexing slatted or “grid” foundation and as I mentioned putting it on an “active” box spring would change it’s performance and allow the heavier areas of your body to sink down more. How much this affected you would depend on your height/weight/body shape and sleeping positions and how they interacted with the mattress. It’s generally “safer” to use a rigid slatted or grid foundation though.

Some of the lower cost foundation options or this type are in the posts that are linked in post #60 here.

There are some people who believe this is OK but my personal preference is towards a non flexing slatted or grid surface because it allows the mattress to breathe and ventilate better and is “safer” in terms of trapping moisture in between the plywood and the underside of the mattress (which can encourage the growth of mold and mildew and other “undesireables”).

@ garaet

The information in your last post is very non specific and vague and isn’t really alll that helpful. It’s typical of the type of information that is found all over the internet and is like saying “if a mattress isn’t comfortable you won’t sleep very well”. Innersprings and box springs are not the same thing although they can both contain various types of springs. Box springs are used under a mattress as either a shock absorber (to prevent damage to the innerspring) or to change the performance of a mattress. Innersprings are part of the mattress itself and are used primarily as the support system of the mattress (although different designs can affect both pressure relief and alignment to different degrees).

If you read the overviews in the mattresses section of the site you will find a lot more specific and accurate information about innersprings and the main functions of a mattresses (pressure relief and alignment) and the different ways to achieve them for each type of person.

Hope this helps


I am not exactly sure what you want me to be more specific on. I am by no means an expert on mattresses or foundations, but am trying to learn enough about it all to make the best purchase for us.

We currently have a Denver Mattress Aspen pillow top (double sided) that sits on “denver mattress company 100% resin treated textile fiber pad wire module unit” according to the tag on the foundation. It was made in March of 2002.

That is the extent of my knowledge about what we currently own.

I am looking at purchasing the mattress from Brooklyn Bedding that is linked to from this website on your manufacturers list. I do not have a clue as to what type of foundation (or what I referred to earlier as box springs) to purchase for this type of mattress, though we would prefer to be able to use the one we currently own if at all possible.

We really would just like to have a good night’s sleep and to wake up without being in pain. A new mattress was not in the budget plans, but being tired and achy most of the time is getting old. Please help me to be educated as to what we can do which is the least costly without sacrificing quality.

Hi LikeToHike,

I think I confused myself and you :slight_smile:

My last reply was to both your post and garaet’s because I didn’t notice they were from two different people and even though it was mostly about your questions I addressed it to garaet instead of you and included my comments about the generic information he posted as well.

I changed it to be a reply to you and your questions and addressed the “non specific” comments I made about the information garaet posted to him. Sorry for any confusion.

If your box spring doesn’t have any obvious weaker or soft areas and provides a good even supportive surface then it would likely be OK at least for a while. My tendency though would be to replace it though since its 10 years old. The post I linked to earlier links to two other posts which have examples of some of the lower cost wire grid or slatted foundations that are available.

Getting a good nights sleep and waking up without pain (unless there are other reasons for the pain than a mattress) is all about choosing the layering that gives you the best PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and Preferences). The overviews I linked to earlier gives some general guidelines about the different types of mattresses and construction that tend to be more suitable on average for different heights and weights and sleeping positions. Quality is always relative to your budget though and lower budget mattresses generally include less costly materials. The goal is always to find the best quality materials in your budget range. Denver Mattress has good value and have some good options and of course the members here, Including Brooklyn Beddings Ultimate Dreams, sell what I consider to be among the best quality and value mattresses available in the country.

If I was in your shoes though … I would either look at Denver mattress again where you can personally test a mattress for pressure relief and alignment (personal testing is usually more “accurate” than an online purchase) or if you are comfortable with an online purchase that has no returns or exchanges (but allows you to choose the firmness of the comfort layer to best suit your needs and preferences) … then the Ultimate Dreams uses much higher quality materials than the “norm” for its price and has very good value. The two latex mattresses at Denver mattress would be worthwhile testing though if for no other reason than getting a rough sense of what 24 ILD talalay latex feels like which you can use as a guideline.

If you would like more options … then post #21 here includes a list of the manufacturers that are members of the site who specialize in online purchases and are very good at helping people make good choices over the phone using a combination of their height/weight/body shape and sleeping positions and any local testing they have done as a guideline. Most of these are in a higher budget range though but most of them also offer either layer exchanges or returns which may be important to you. Which is “best” for you really depends on what is most important to you or what I call your own personal “value equation”.

You are at a place where all your options are good ones and there are really no “bad” choices. It’s just a matter of deciding which of them best fits your budget, the type of mattress you want, your risk tolerance, and how important local testing and exchange/return policies are for you.

I hope this helps but if you have more questions that I haven’t covered … feel free to post them :slight_smile:


I might be able to help a little bit with this. My husband and I recently purchased an Ultimate Dreams mattress. We currently have our Ultimate Dreams mattress on a plywood base (no box spring) since our bed is built with drawers underneath it. I don’t see any reason this mattress couldn’t be on a box spring, slatted base, or a plywood base. Also, the mattress has a kind of ‘no slip grip’ type fabric on the underside so it won’t scoot around on any base you have it on.

The mattress seems to do fine on the plywood base but I’d recommend that you test out a similar plywood/box spring configuration to see if it would fit your specific needs. I think this will prove more important in the long run anyway. I’ve been comfortably sleeping on a plywood base under my mattress for awhile and don’t have any problems at all. YMMV as in most things, so I’d say try it first in a store or wherever.

I’ve read that it’s always easier to soften a firm mattress than to firm up a soft mattress and I’d agree. We tested latex mattresses in the couple stores we tried and made sure to make note of the ‘firmness’ rating they put on many of their display mattresses. He liked a softer mattress than me but since we didn’t get to try out the Ultimate Dreams mattress we erred on the firm side of our equation and went with a level 4 (I think Chuck said this was ILD of 32). We got a Seven Comforts latex topper (it’s amazing! I haven’t found anything similar for the price) from Amazon for softness and we are both very happy.

I hope you are sleeping without pain soon!