Looking for a....mattress! Memory foam I think.

Well, like many others, I am looking for a mattress, and am overwhelmed by the amount of information and advertising that I have found. My head has been spinning for a few weeks trying to research and make the most out of my money.

I currently sleep on an Englander Princess PT bed, but need a new one (as the soon-to-be ex is getting the bedroom suite). So while I was mattress shopping, on a whim I tried some Tempur-pedics and nearly fell asleep on every model that I tested. I really liked the Cloud Series and the Rhapsody, and maybe even one of the firmer ones. I just couldn’t pinpoint which I liked the best, as the memory foam felt so good to me. I liked the pressure relief of the Rhapsody’s HD foam, but also liked the Cloud Series softness and pressure relief as well.

I’m 5’10", 180 lbs, sleep on my stomach with a leg kicked up most of the time I believe.

I tried some iComforts and didn’t like them. The Optimums felt better, but the Tempurs still felt the best, not as “dead” feeling as the Optimums and especially iComfort.

I live in the Birmingham, AL metro (zip 35040), so I guess I should check out Royal Bedding in Pelham. But their memory foam is Sleep Harmony…I don’t know if that is a good foam or not.

I am just looking for recommendations for types of foam mattresses for my size/sleep position, and also alternatives to Tempur (I can afford it, but would rather not pay that much). The sales people all make their argument of how much I spent on my truck, and how much time I spend in it versus the 1/3 of my life that I will spend sleeping, and blah blah blah the mattress is a better investment b/c of the quality of sleep, and I get it, but nearly $3,000 is a lot compared to my current $800 set.

Any and all input is greatly appreciated.



Hi us2k1gt,

As you can see in the steps in post #1 here (and the information it links to) … I think that one of the most important parts of any mattress purchase is who you buy from rather than what you buy. If you are working with a knowledgeable and experienced manufacturer or retailer … they will not only be able to show you the mattresses that “feel good” in a showroom … they will also be able to help educate you about the differences between what works in a showroom and what will work in your longer term experience in the bedroom. They will also help you know the difference between good quality materials and construction that will last and lower quality materials that won’t.

If you are in the Birmingham area … one of the first places I would visit (and perhaps the last) is Royal Bedding. They make some very good quality and value mattresses and the Sleep Harmony/Glideaway memory foam mattresses they carry also use good quality/value materials. I also think very highly of Tom the owner there. The Sleep harmony mattresses may not have the same feel as other memory foam mattresses (how a mattress feels and performs is not the same as quality and you can’t “feel” the quality of the materials in a mattress) … but if one of them does provide you with the feel and performance you are looking for then it would be likely to be much better value.

You may also be surprised that once you know a bit more about different materials and some of their pros and cons … that you may even choose something else completely (or not :))

While many (but not all) of the Tempurpedics use good quality materials … they are one of many memory foam manufacturers that do and as you mentioned they are not good value in comparison to other mattresses (either sold locally or online) that use similar or even better quality materials but have much better value.

You’ve probably seen this already but the list of better possibilities in the Birmingham area I know of are in post #57 here.

The point the salespeople are making is valid IMO. A mattress can be one of the most important consumer purchases you make in terms of its effect on your overall wellbeing. Buying a mattress that doesn’t “work” and affects the depth and quality of your sleep can have a bigger effect on how they feel overall than most people realize. That also doesn’t justify paying more than necessary for what are often inferior materials that don’t last or overpriced mattresses though.

My “best” suggestion is to first read the steps and information linked in the post I linked and then to connect with the “experts” who can help you find what feels and performs well for you in the short term but will be just as good in the long term and who understand the difference between just price (where you get what you pay for or less) and “value” (where you get more than you pay for compared to most or even all of your other choices).

Hope this helps … and feel free to post with any questions you may have along the way.


Thanks Phoenix. I’ll be heading to Royal Bedding first thing in the morning. I’m looking forward to actually meeting with an expert who has the knowledge and experience to fit me to a mattress as opposed to fitting me to their commission. I really appreciate all of the great information you post on your site.

Hi ua2k1gt,

Hopefully Tom will be there :slight_smile:

Just to give you a sense of the type of mattress construction that is often “hidden” from a consumer that can contribute to the durability of a mattress (even though this isn’t the type of mattress you are looking at), I thought I’d use them as an example of some of the types of construction that can add value to a mattress that consumers often know little about.

Innerspring mattress have a layer over top of the innerspring (except for pocket coils) called an insulator. This is used to protect the foam from sinking into the gaps between the coils and even out the surface. There are different types and some of them are too soft and not durable enough so they will sink into the coils which leads to the lumpy feeling that often happens with innerspring mattresses over time. The type of insulator he uses doesn’t do this (he checks old mattresses after many years to see how different materials wear inside over time). He also uses a flexible “net” which further prevents the foam from sinking into the coils. After many years you will see the impression of the net in the insulator but it won’t sink into the coils.

In addition to this … he uses 1.5 lb foams in a 2 sided construction which doesn’t use thick layers of foam (which could create a softening problem). Because the mattress is 2 sided … a foam that would not work well with a one sided construction can be much more durable in a 2 sided construction (it has a chance to rest when the mattress is flippe).

In addition to this … he stretches the foam over the border rod on the edges of the innerspring and then hog rings it to each coil (not just every other coil or not at all). This stretches the foam and compresses it to make it more durable. Many manufacturers will just lay the foam on top and not attach them to the spring unit at all which can lower durability and create shifting and humps and valleys.

All of these types of construction techniques are used by manufacturers that have years of experience and are committed to providing their customers with better quality and value even though they may not realize exactly why their mattress is lasting longer than so many other mattresses that are sold today.

Mattress construction can be very complex and years of experience along with technical knowledge and a commitment to a local customer base combined can lead to much better quality and value mattresses.

I just thought I’d mention this as an example not so much specific to your search but so that others can have a sense of the type of quality and value that can go into even a lower budget mattress made by a good manufacturer beyond just the more “obvious” specs.


Luckily Tom was there today. Great guy, no-nonsense, straight to the point, and very knowledgable about his industry and products. I was really impressed with what they do and the thought he puts into his products. I brought this forum up to him, and he had great things to say about you, and it sounds like y’all have collaborated a number of times on some of his current and/or future products.

That being said, I tried out a couple of the Sleep Harmony memory foams, and they were good. Felt similar to the Tempurs and half the price (and felt more like a Tempur than the Optimums and iComforts). Then Tom introduced me to latex. The first was okay, but kind of springy. In fact, had he not told me it was latex, I would’ve thought it was an innerspring mattress.

But his other latex, the Nature’s Desire I believe, which sounds like you had some input on, felt really good. Initial softness was amazing, and relieved a lot of pressure. It wasn’t springy, had good motion isolation, and fairly good support, although I’m not sure the 7-zone support core is necessary…maybe three zones? Anyway, definitely a quality mattress as it’s all latex, and he said it doesn’t use fillers. It being double sided made it an even greater value.

So, I have determined that I do like a soft feel, but not springy. For memory foam, I like the HD memory foam better than 5 lb. foam for weight distrubution and pressure relief, and the Tempur Cloud Luxe which has the 4 lb on top of HD fits that bill, but doesn’t work for my sleep position/back. The regular 5lb foam felt good to my alignment, but was just missing that nice soft feeling. The Nature’s Desire’s softness felt good for pressure relief, and was comforting to know that it was all latex and therefore less likely to compact like cheap foam would. And while I was reluctantly ready to spend a couple of grand for a Tempur, I really am kind of cheap and would rather not spend that much, which kind of deters me from the Nature’s Desire as well.

But with my new found experience with latex, I think it may be the way to go and I don’t think I am as much of a MF fan as I thought I was. Which leads me to consider a Dreamfoam latex mattress as a compromise between price and support/pressure relief. Can I get that pressure relief, super comfy soft feel, and support all in one, and in a more wallet friendly price? While I absolutely appreciate the features and bang for the buck in Tom’s premium latex mattress, a single sided mattress with a less expensvie core, but still all latex top layer would be more in my price range I think.

Also, I apologize for my post being all over the place :slight_smile:

Hi ua2k1gt,

He is the “craftsman” and has all the experience. I just share a few ideas and with the ones he likes I get to watch him turn them into reality :slight_smile:

You would be able to get a similar balance of the pressure relief and support that you need and given the best possible choices of the Ultimate Dreams they would both be “comfortable” but the feel, performance, and response and some of your other preferences may be quite different because of the different types of materials and layering. These are really apples to oranges comparisons. Both are great value for what they are but just like one latex mattress felt and responded differently from the other when you were testing … mattresses that are that much different would also feel and respond differently even though both may provide you with the “essentials” of pressure relief (comfort) and support (alignment).