Hi, I’ve been researching for what seems like years, lol, on what kind of new mattress to get. I’m 5’7", 130lbs and I currently sleep on a 80% waveless hardside waterbed and really like it (it could be just a little bit firmer). I’m primarily a side sleeper but tend to move around alot from side to side and sometimes my back and stomach. I may have to move where I cannot use my waterbed so I am looking into a more conventional mattress that mimicks my current setup. I have slept on memory foam which I like but detest the chemical smell and off gassing it produces. I see websites touting(green) memory foam but I believe this to be marketing hype from what I read. I am considering latex and from my research believe 100% natural is for me. I know I should go with a firmer core with a softer top and would be able to save some money if I went with a dunlop core but if a talalay core will feel more like my waterbed I am willing to spend extra. I am not sure what ilds to use because of my height and weight( all medium, medium soft, all soft?) I know I will probably need a very soft talalay top. I was also considering a latex core with a memory foam top if I can find memory foam that is not too obnoxious chemical wise (does that even exist?) Oh and I’m in CT. Any help would be much appreciated!
I can sympathize with the plight of having to give up your waterbed. While there is an ongoing controversy about how well a waterbed supports good alignment and back health … in some cases they are a great choice and for those where they work well … there is nothing quite like them. There is an article here which helps to explain why there is such a controversy about them even among “professionals” and why there is truth in both sides of the “waterbeds are good and waterbeds are bad” controversy.
In any case … on to the point of your post.
I think you are wise to test latex because of all the “non water” materials that are available it probably has the best chance of working well for you, although buckling column gel and microcoils in the comfort layers may also be options worth considering.
There are also some much better and some much worse memory foams in terms of outgassing and if you ever do decide to go in this direction …memory foams that are more breathable, have a faster recovery time, and are certified by Oeko-Tex or CertiPur have less of an issue with chemicals and offgassing than those which aren’t. Also in my experience … memory foams that are made in North America or Europe rather than China seem to have less issues with this. Memory foams that are made with MDI rather than TDI (forms of isocyanate which is one of the two main chemicals used to make polyfoam and memory foam) also seem to have less offgassing issues and have a “cleaner” feeling about them IMO. The so called “green” memory foams use a small percentage of plant based oils to replace some of the petrochemical polyols (the other main chemical in polyfoam and memory foam) but they are anything but green. Polyols are about 2/3 of the chemical composition and isocyanates are about 1/3 of the composition of polyfoam and memory foam (and there are many more that are used in smaller amounts) so replacing a small part of the petrochemical polyols (typically about 20% or so) still doesn’t make any polyfoam or memory foam truly “green” and you are right that it is mostly marketing hype … although its a small step in the right direction.
You are a lighter weight so softer latex (probably 19 ILD or less) may work well for you and a typical side sleeper comfort layer thickness which is a good place to start your testing would be about 3". The support layers as you mentioned should be firmer which would typically mean in the range of about 32 to 36 ILD although softer or firmer may work well for some individuals (softer would be closer to a waterbed feeling). Again personal testing is the most accurate way to know this.
It would help me if I knew the city in CT that you lived in because it saves me a lot of time in looking at my own database and on the internet for the best sources around you (I manually check the distance for each possibility after I look to see if what they offer is worth looking at). In the meantime here are some factory direct manufacturers in Connecticut that I know of and which offer latex.
Some factory direct manufacturers or retailers in CT that may offer some better quality / value include …
https://www.comfortss.com/ Branford, CT. I have had some good conversations with David the owner and they are doing things right. They may not be the lowest cost but the quality and value is certainly there. Very much focused on latex (talalay primarily) and has a long history with Latex International in his family. Knows his stuff and has good value. Discourages memory foam but carries it in various densities and will tend towards 1.8 lb and higher polyfoam up to 2.6 lb (which he also likes). Mostly offset coils listed on the site but has pocket coils as well (site is not completely up to date). the Interchange system is a premium mattress for those who want to customize their mattress with a side to side split construction or custom zoning. They are also a member of this site which means I believe they compete well with the best in the industry. Post #17 here also has more about them and some of Nissanman’s posts includes more feedback about their mattresses and their service.
http://restopedicmattress.com/index.html Bethany, CT. Well worth calling as they have some very good value in latex and other mattresses. They are discussed in this thread
http://www.columbiamattressuph.com/index.html Hamden, CT. They make a range of mattresses using different grades of polyfoam (depending on budget range) and also latex and innersprings. They also make their own boxsprings. I haven’t talked with them but they certainly appear to make high quality mattresses and would be worth including in your research.
http://www.norwalkmattress.com/ Norwalk, CT They make a full range of high quality mattresses of all types. They use quality materials and construction and are also well regarded by other manufacturers in the industry.
Mattress Brands Norwalk, Stamford, CT. Carries their own house brand called Terrabed which includes some high quality latex mattresses as well as some alternative brands including Englander, Natural Sleep (Classic Brands), and Symbol, along with some major brands (which I would ignore) and some ultra premium brands as well (such as Carpe Diem). They are knowledgeable about mattresses, service oriented, and open about the materials in their mattress (to the degree that their manufacturers provide them with information). Make sure you make good value comparisons here because some of their mattresses may not be in the “best value” range for most people compared to other choices that may be available but well worth a visit.
http://www.thecleanbedroom.com/ Greenwich, CT. Retail store that carries a number of high quality latex and latex/innerspring hybrid mattresses including Savvy Rest component latex mattresses, Coco-mat, Naturepedic, Naturally Organic, Royal-Pedic, and OMI. Many options available for some premium mattresses but they are also in a more premium price range. (NOTE ADDED June, 2016 … The Clean Bedroom is now closed)
http://www.hcmattress.com/ Westport, Danbury, CT., Mt Kisco, NY., Ridgewood, NJ. Carries their own line of latex mattresses made by Restopedic that are well designed and high quality but also have a premium price. See post #21 here.
http://discountbeddingfurniture.com/index.html Norwalk, CT. Galaxy Bedding, Restopedic.
Shop Affordable Home Furnishings & Home Goods - IKEA New Haven, CT. See post #3 here for more information about their mattresses
NOTE: post #4 in this same thread (just scroll down 2 posts) has three other options in the Springfield, MA general area which is closer to northern CT.
Post #4 here also has some of the better options I’m aware of in the general Coventry/Hartford, CT area
A search on “Connecticut” will also bring up other threads with feedback from other members with some of these outlets.
Hope this helps.
Phoenix, thank you so much for your response! I have tried a pure bliss mattress that had a 2" soft talalay top that felt pretty good and I believe that latex is blended from LI but you are right I think another inch would have been better for me. I would never buy that mattress because I do not really know what else it is made from and I believe that I could get a much better mattress or pieces from vendors like Sleep-Ez, Matresses.net etc… Would all talalay work better for me because it is more"springy" than dunlop even for the core and does 100% natural talalay have more bounce than blended?
Oh I am in Enfield CT about 15 minutes from Springfield MA and 30 minutes from Hartford CT. Thanks again for your help, you are a wealth of information!
The Pure Latex Bliss mattresses are all talalay latex from top to bottom (at least in the models that don’t have an innerspring) which is part of the reason I like them. While they are certainly not in the same value range as many all talalay latex mattresses made by local factory direct manufacturers … they are certainly better value than most so called “latex mattresses” available from many mass market outlets or made by major brands which usually are only “part latex” at best and have a thin layer of latex at worst. Because the specs of the Pure Latex Bliss are known … they can also be a rough guideline for an online purchase.
Many of the members of this site that are listed here make latex mattresses that use different types and blends of latex in a wide range of designs that are available for shipping across the country. In your case however I would certainly take a look at the local manufacturers first because you may find similar value and there is real value in being able to test a mattress personally.
Because you are in the northern part of Connecticut … there are three more to add to the list that are very close to you …
https://yankeemattressfactory.com/ Factory direct manufacturer in Northampton, Agawam, Greenfield, Springfield, MA. They make a wide range of mattresses using innersprings, memory foam, latex hybrids, and microcoils that are good good quality/value. NOTE ADDED: They are also now a member of this site.
http://www.sigmamattressfactory.com/Home.html They are a factory direct manufacturer in Feeding Hills, MA and make a range of mattresses including microcoils. They don’t list it on their site but they will also make a latex mattress and can custom build.
http://www.flybynight.com/ Retail direct outlet in Northampton, MA. They carry Berkeley Ergonomics mattresses which include all latex, along with latex and microcoil hybrids and Pure Latex Bliss, Gold Bond, and Ecosleep as well.
Post #4 here also has several options centered around the Coventry, CT area that may be worth including in your research.
These along with some of the closer manufacturers in the previous CT list should give you some great choices in a wide variety of different mattresses (so you can test for how each type of mattress feels). There is also some very good value here.
This would be more a matter of preference and how each material interacts with your weight and body profile. Different people describe the different versions of latex in many different ways even if the material is the same. I would guess that given your waterbed history that you would likely prefer softer Talalay in the comfort layers but your own experience in actually lying on a mattress would be far more accurate because it’s difficult to know how someone will actually “feel” on any particular mattress. There is very little difference in the feel of blended talalay and 100% natural talalay in the same ILD but for those who feel a difference they would probably describe the natural as being more “springy” or “buoyant” yes. There is certainly a difference between the feel of talalay and dunlop and while most people would describe the dunlop as less lively … there are also some who describe Dunlop as more bouncy and latex as more springy. Again … what each person feels depends on different people’s subjective perceptions and on different combinations of weight and body shape in combination with different mattress layering and ILD so actual mattress testing is the only way to know for sure which “feel” you prefer.
If you have more questions along the way … feel free to post them.
Thank you so much for your help and the links. I,m pretty sure that I am going with a 100% natural talalay with minimal enclosure so I can feel the latex. one quick question is there a big difference between 2, 3" medium pieces or 1,6" piece of the exact same ild for a core? I am thinking the 6" single piece would be a bit firmer but that is just a guess.
There would be very little difference but you are right it would be slightly firmer if was a single layer.
The outer surfaces of a material can act more independently than the inner part of the layer which is “attached” to more material around it to resist and hold back compression but the difference probably wouldn’t be noticeable in a mattress core underneath a comfort layer. Unglued multiple layers are always very slightly softer than the same material in a single layer.
Thank you for all the amazing resources on your site.
I did visit Comfort Sleep Solutions and was impressed, although there wasn’t one bed that felt just right.
The salesperson said that the talalay latex that is a mixture of organic and non-organic is stronger than simply organic talalay. What are your thoughts about that?
Phoenix, could you help me figure out which other stores are most worth it for me to visit based on my location? (My zip code is 06031). I’m willing to drive a bit, but would ideally keep the drive under an hour or an hour and a half. Thanks
Welcome to the Mattress Forum! and I’m glad the information here has been helpful.
There isn’t any certified organic Talalay but there is 100% natural Talalay. They are correct that blended Talalay is generally more durable than 100% natural Talalay … particularly in the softer versions. There is more about 100% natural Talalay vs blended Talalay in post #2 here.
Depending on the direction the better options or possibilities that I’m aware of that are reasonably close to you are listed in post #2 and #4 in the topic we are posting in along with the list for the Poughkeepsie/New Palz area in post #4 here although I would probably stick with the lists that are in this topic.
I don’t keep a record of the individual mattresses that the retailers and manufacturers in the hundreds of forum lists throughout the forum carry on their floor (it would be a bigger job than anyone could keep up with in a constantly changing market) but checking their websites and making some preliminary phone calls to the retailers/manufacturers that are on the forum lists that are in reasonable driving distance is always a good idea before you visit any store anyway. This will tell you which of them carry mattresses that would meet your specific criteria, are transparent about the quality and durability of the materials in their mattresses (see this article), and that carry the type of mattresses that you are interested in testing in the budget range you are comfortable with and that have exchange or return policies that you are comfortable with. Once you have checked their websites and/or talked with the ones that interest you then you will be in a much better position to decide on the ones that you are most interested in visiting based on the results of your preliminary research and conversations.