Lost on what bed to get

New guy here and happy to find this site full of information! Some information about us: I’m 5’11 and 175lbs and the wife is 5’3 and 135 lbs. I suffer from lower back arthritis and neck pain and am a warm sleeper. GF suffers from fibromyalgia. I’m a side sleeper but often wake up on my stomach. The wife can sleep in all positions but prefers stomach. She tends to snore on her back. Currently we sleep on a queen Serta Perfect Night memory foam (medium) that is around 10 years old. We are def noticing a crater in the middle and am need of a replacement. We will be stepping up to a Cal King. With my current bed, i’m finding that if i lay on my side too much, my hip starts to hurt so I adjust my position quite a bit.
Wife prefers a firm bed. Firmer the better it seems. Here is the thing, as a side sleeper, i’ve always read a softer bed is better for me. However, we just returned from vacation, and the AirBNB had a cheap amazon 11" memory foam mattress that was firm/hard. Well thats been the best week of sleep I’ve had in years. I woke up with zero pain and the wife loved it too. So that got us to where we are at now…mattress shopping.
We like in small town Iowa, so finding mattress stores are scarce. We went to Ashley furniture last night and tried out some beds. Our top choice was Stearns and Foster Estate firm bed. However, the bed is $3k and a coil bed. My problem here: I’m looking to spend a max of 2k and its almost a requirement to be a bed in a box. To fit a King/Cal King down my basement, I needed a boxed bed. I also feel there is prolly a lot better value for the money out there.
With this information, what would would recommend? Latex beds are very appealing. DIY beds and beds you design on Dreamfoam and SleepEZ are very appealing but I’m scared of making the wrong decsion. A return policy is a must.

Thanks for your time!

You could call the AirBnB and ask which Amazon mattress they have. If you slept that good it’s probably worth asking.

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I tried but she said she orders alot of different ones for her AirBNBs and couldn’t tell me the exact one.

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My current, new mattress is really firm but with a topper, and we love it. You could test some of the recommended manufacturers, if there are any close, and see if you can find something close to the Amazon mattress.

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Navigating the world of mattresses can be a bit daunting, especially with the myriad of choices available. Given the detailed information you’ve shared, let’s address some of the critical points.

First, your current Serta mattress, despite showing signs of wear after a decade, might suggest that a spring mattress has been a good fit for you both. Since it has worked for this long, a similar mattress style might be something you’d want to consider, especially with the known comforts of familiarity.

Your recent Airbnb experience is intriguing. While vacation environments tend to differ from our day-to-day (leading to potentially more relaxed sleep), it’s interesting that a firm memory foam mattress, especially given the circumstances like fibromyalgia and sleeping warm, served you both so well. But, numerous factors, including room temperature, sheets, or even the sheer relaxation of being on holiday, could enhance sleep quality.

As for the Cal King vs. Regular King, it might be something you haven’t fully considered. Given both of your heights, a regular king could be a better fit, providing more width for you two. It measures 76 inches wide by 80 inches long, in comparison to the Cal King’s 72 inches by 84 inches. Plus, regular king bedding is often easier to find.

With moving to a larger size, it is worth noting king-size mattresses can develop a noticeable ridge in the center, primarily because this area is less frequently slept on compared to the sides. This uneven wear can be a natural consequence of different parts of the mattress experiencing varied levels of use. Although it’s a common characteristic of large mattresses, there are measures you can take to mitigate this issue. One maintenance tip for king mattresses is to periodically rotate them. However, note that a king mattress isn’t perfectly square. If you turn it 90°, you’ll have an overhang of 2 inches on both sides. Even if this rotation is temporary during maintenance, it can help reduce the prominence of the ridge over time. This is an advantage of standard king size over a Cal King.

One thing that caught my eye was your interest in the Stearns and Foster Estate firm bed. If that mattress felt just right, it might be worthwhile finding its specific model name. With some dedicated research, you could potentially find out its exact construction and materials. Armed with that information, you might be able to find a similar mattress online that fits within your budget.

With a $2k budget, there’s a fair bit of flexibility. Fortunately, many online brands offer great products with reassuring return policies. Some brands even allow post-purchase firmness adjustments. You might find that a hybrid mattress, which combines springs with foam or latex, could provide the balance of support and comfort you’re seeking. However, the online experience isn’t for everyone. The key is to choose a route that minimizes buyer’s remorse. Feeling confident and content with your purchase is crucial. Any regret or second-guessing can undeniably affect your sleep.

I understand the value of testing mattresses firsthand. If you’re located near Lebeda Mattress in Iowa, they could be worth a visit. While I don’t have personal experience with them, factory-direct businesses often offer a blend of quality and customer service that’s hard to beat. Maybe someone on this forum has more insights about them.

As for latex mattresses, on the other hand, they have their charm and following, but they aren’t universal in appeal. Making the switch from spring to latex can feel different, possibly needing some adjustment. If you’re considering this route, The Earthborn Bedroom in Fairfield, Iowa could be a starting point. They operate by appointment, so it’s worth visiting if you have genuine interest in buying from them, respecting both your time and theirs.

DIY mattresses might sound intriguing and might offer the customization you’re seeking, but they come with their own set of challenges. There’s a lot of trial and error involved, so it’s good to be prepared for that journey.

Regardless of the path you choose, your approach to this decision, marked by thoughtful consideration and research, is commendable. I’m confident you’re on the right track to finding the good sleep solution. Wishing you all the best in finding a comfortable mattress.


I have to agree with @DLX. Their explanation is quite remarkable. I would only add something I have spoken about to others in various forums when it comes to “hotel” mattresses. Dlx touched on this a bit. When on vacation, particularly when you have a mattress at home that has lived it useful life, almost any mattress that performs even slightly better, is perceived to be a g-dsend. Plus with an AirBnB mattress, you dont know how long it has been in use. Where you will be getting a new mattress, not broken in or slept on ever, so it may not feel quite the same.

Typically, on vacation or work trip, you are tired and beat up from the traveling. You are generally running around all day to take in all the sites or business meetings and the like, so by the time you get back to your room, you are exhausted. That bed quite frankly is your only relaxing salvation place. While that airbnb may seem like a winner short term, @DLX advice is should be well considered. Go with what you know. You were good for a long time with your Serta. I am not necessarily buy a Serta or not buy a Serta. There are many reasons to believe that mattresses from 10+ years ago may have more stamina than some of the “branded” mattresses of today. That is where some of our trusted members come in.

I would bet that most of the members, local manufacturers places, and a few online BnB’s may be able to produce or stock something close to what you are used to, with long term results knowing what you old serta had under the hood.

Good luck on your search!

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Nice explanation. I was thinking we’re usually outside more while on vacation getting fresh air and sunlight, which helps with sleep quality. I like tracking my sleep with sleep.com

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Anyone try Oura ring or Whoop sleep trackers? Im about to get an Oura


Thanks for the detailed response!
So today, we were able to find a dealer that sells latex mattresses. After sitting on some, we came away very impressed. We actually both preferred the firm latex hybrid ones that had a pillow top. It was soft enough for some comfort and seemed to offer alot of support. We also loved the edge support the ones they offered. However our fav one is completely out of our budget…it was a Posh & Lavish Relax with a 2" true latex pillow top. With a price of $6600 lol. If we could find something comparable online within my budget, I’d be happy. A couple others we liked were a Hemingway Boca Key and a Therapedic Bravura. I’m not at all familiar with these brands so I’ll need to do some research. With today tho, I think we are completely sold on a latex hybrid! The turn-off on the dealer we went to is that they dont offer any sort of sleep trial.

Hemingway is a decent nice mattress. They are made by
They make several quality brands, such as Millbrook, Hemingway and Natural Dreams Talalay and a few others. Perhaps they have something that may be in your profile preferences and price range.

Well that’s good to hear. The Hemingway we liked is very much in my budget so I’ll def consider that!

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Hi kaisersoze and welcome to the Mattress Underground :slight_smile:

Any mattress you choose will be based on your Stats (height, BMI, sleeping position(s) and any underlying health conditions) - thanks for providing those! - and your PPP (Posture & alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences). As you and your wife have lower BMIs, you have a lot more choice in the type of mattress that will be most comfortable and supportive for you both. As you can see by comparing the Mattress Specifications You Need To Know to the Mattress Durability Guidelines, latex is one of the most durable materials you can have; if you decide on a foam mattress, we suggest any foam in a potential mattress has no more than an inch or so of lower grade foams (for memory foam no lower than 4 lbs/cuft for normal range weights, and 5lbs/cuft for higher range weights) and if polyfoam is used, with at least 1.8 lbs/cuft density, just to ensure you have support.

Thanks to @DLX for the great explanation, and also to @batmannorm and @Cheri for the feedback! It would be best, as you are open to different mattress types, for you and your wife to do some in person testing at local showrooms, if possible,
to get a ‘short list’ of materials and mattress types that feel best for you. Once you have that you have the option of a local manufacturer, or taking a look at the Trusted Members. Like SleepEZ or DLX among others; these have all been vetted for quality, transparency in materials and construction, excellent customer assistance, good sleep trial periods, and generous exchange and return policies.

If you do see any specific mattresses you are considering and have questions on, please feel free to post here and we can possibly comment on their suitability and supportiveness for your sleep profiles!

~ Basilio