Low Budget, Safe Mattress


I’m a college student on a relatively low budget ($500) looking for a new full mattress. My main concern is off gassing and would like a mattress with as little as possible. I was looking at the Ultimate Dreams Ultra Plush on Amazon and have seen a lot of positive reviews on there as well as here, although I could not find any information on the off gassing. I emailed them about the flame retardant fibers used and they pointed me to Jones Fibers. Does anyone know about them?

Also, I’m probably leaning to a softer rather than firmer mattress. As far as I understand, the lighter your weight the softer you want it, correct? I’m 5’ 3" and 80 pounds so I think something firmer would be like sleeping on a rock. Any other recommendations are welcome as well, I’m in the northern NJ area. Thanks for any help in advance.

Hi zagestone,

The Jones fire barriers contain Boron or Boric acid which are very common and most people would consider them to be safe (see post #2 here). Of course every person may have a different answer to the question of “how safe is safe enough for me”. There is much more in post #2 here and the links it leads to may be helpful for those who want to do more detailed research into the many issues, controversies, and myths surrounding organic, green, safe, and natural materials used in mattresses

You are correct yes. Lighter weights will sink into a foam less and will feel it as firmer than heavier weights. The surface softness though which provides pressure relief should never be confused with the need for a firmer base layer to provide you with the support and alignment that you need. there is much more information about the different needs and preferences of different body types, sleeping positions, and mattress designs in the sleeping style, preferences, and statistics and in the putting the layers together (each section has an overview and includes several more detailed pages).

If you let me know your city or zip in northern NJ I’d be happy to link you to the closest “list” of better options and possibilities in the forum.



Thank you very much for the quick response. The flame retardant fibers seem a lot better than I thought they would be. The other thing is the polyfoam on the Ultra Plush. Is it CertiPur certified? If not I’d like to look for other alternatives with certified polyfoam or none at all. My ideal mattress would probably be 100% natural latex, but I know that’s impossible at my price range. My zip code is 07840. Thanks again for the information, it was exactly what I was looking for.

Hi zagestone,

Yes … it’s both American made (which would normally be fine for me) and Brooklyn Bedding is listed on the CertiPur mattress manufacturers page here*.

ADMIN NOTE: *Removed 404 link|Archived Footprint: certipur.us/pages/for-consumers/find-products/

The better options near you that I’m aware of are listed in post #6 here but I don’t think any of them are particularly close to you. It may take me a couple of days but I’ll have a look in the Hackettstown area and see if there are any reasonable options that may be worth considering that are closer to you.

In the meantime it may be worth calling http://www.unitedbedding.com/ (AKA Ditex and Rex Bedding) who are a wholesale manufacturer in Plainsville NJ. I’m not sure if they make any latex hybrids but if you call and talk to them they could tell you and give you the nearest store to you that carries them as well.


Outside of the lists in the previous post I linked … I took a look around the Hackettstown area and the better options or possibilities I could see (subject to the guidelines here) in about a 30 + mile radius or so and the manufacturers they carry that I would consider include …

http://www.shovlinmattress.com/ Fanwood, NJ. Factory direct manufacturer. Ron is the owner here and he is very helpful and knowledgeable. Makes a range of mattresses with various materials including latex and innersprings is well worth a visit or phone call. Also family owned and is a member of this site which means I believe they compete well with the best in the industry.

www.urbannatural.com Paramus, NJ. Retail store that carries Berkeley Ergonomics mattresses which are a line of high quality latex and latex hybrid mattresses that are good quality and better value than most mainstream mattresses in similar price ranges. They are knowledgeable and transparent and are also a member of this site.

Mattresses- Firm, Soft, Memory Foam On Sale in NJ Succasunna, NJ. Paramount.

http://www.sussexcountymattress.com/ Newton, NJ. OMI (which make some high quality latex mattresses but they are also in a more premium price range so make some careful value comparisons), Paramount.

http://beddingshoppe.com/ Parsippany, NJ. Gold Bond (including 2 sided innerspring) and mLily. Told me he would call his suppliers to find out foam densities.

http://www.hibernatebedding.com/ Bernardsville, NJ. Mainstream, OMI. Savvy Rest (high quality component latex mattresses that are also in a more premium price range), Paramount.

http://theorganicnest.com/ Retailer in Bernardsville, NJ. Carry several high quality latex mattresses and an innerspring/natural fiber mattress made by Land & Sky.

http://www.pamattressfactory.com/# Stroudsburg, PA. Superior Mattress Co.

NOTE: Based on some feedback from other forum members it may not be possible to find out some of the specs you need from Paramount.


Thank you very much for all the information. I think I’m going to go with Ultimate Dreams Ultra Plush. It seems like a great deal and all my qualms about it have been solved. Now I just need to choose a firmness rating for it.

Also, what kind of foundation/base should I get for it? I saw the stickied post, but I’m not sure if I should get the foundation for a latex mattress or foam since the Ultimate Dreams Ultra Plush is a hybrid. Thanks again.

Hi zagestone,

A latex hybrid has polyfoam base layers so it doesn’t need the same slat or grid spacing as a mattress that has latex all the way through or on the bottom. I think the “safest” choice is usually the one that is suggested by the manufacturer but you could probably also “get away” with one that was a little lower cost and had slightly fewer longitudinal wires even though the grid spacing would be more and it may be a little riskier over the longer term.


I am finally getting ready to make the purchase this weekend. I just came across another mattress with a latex top layer for cheaper than the Ultra Plush on Amazon. Do you have any information on the LUCID® by LinenSpa 10" Latex Foam Mattress:


How does it stack up against the Ultra Plush?

I have learned from this site, and I am sure our esteemed expert will chime in here, that the LUCID line is not a great choice, despite their apparent value.

Yeah, it seemed like too good a deal. Thanks for the quick response.

Hi zagestone,

Linen spa is a trademark for Malouf which is a Chinese manufacturer of mattresses, pillows, and bedding products.

They sell some fairly cheap memory foam mattresses that use lower density memory foam that I personally wouldn’t consider and considering that the price of their latex hybrid mattresses is in the same range it would make me cautious about its quality. If I was considering a Chinese manufacturer though I would want to know the specifics of all the foams they used and that they were CertiPur certified in the case of memory foam or polyfoam or had a reputable certification for the latex as well (such as OekoTex).

In addition to this they are also compressed for long periods of time in their transportation from China which ages foam much more quickly and reduces durability and can actually damage latex … Dunlop especially.

Overall … I would be very cautious with these and make sure you get more information … including about their return costs and method of return if it isn’t suitable (because you can’t ship them back compressed the way you received them which means that return shipping would have to be with much more expensive truck freight). They are also a one size fits all choice which means they are much more “risky” in terms of suitability than a mattress that you can choose your own comfort level.


Thanks, I’ll definitely want to avoid Chinese manufacturers. Due to some circumstances that came up, I never got around to ordering the Ultimate Dreams Mattress. I’m finally getting back around to it now. I’m still on an about $500 budget and was looking at the Ultimate Dreams Latex Mattress or the Gel Memory foam that I had not seen previously on Amazon. The Gel is $100 cheaper than the Latex, but how does it compare? They also have a very cheap budget model with Bonnel Coils, would the budget model with a topper compare at all?




Hi zagestone,

The choices you are listing are very much apples to oranges comparisons.

You can see a bit more about comparing memory foam to latex in post #2 here but I would urge you to compare the two materials in person so that you are more familiar with how they generally compare. Any comparison of this type would be partly objective but partly subjective as well and relative to each person’s perceptions and preferences.

The budget saver has a bonnell innerspring instead of polyfoam which would have a different feel compared to a polyfoam support core and there are also some other diffferences as well (such as the Ultra Plush would have a quilted cover while you would be more directly on the latex in the budget saver / topper combo with some softer polyfoam underneath the latex instead of over it). You would also be dealing with two variables instead of one because the comfort layer you chose for the mattress would interact with the topper and trying to figure out how the specific combination would feel to you (one of the two comfort choices in the budget saver along with the ILD of the topper you chose) would be much more unpredictable than only dealing with the single variable of the ILD of the latex itself. There would also be no real price advantage and the budget saver/topper in queen size would be $269 (mattress) + $329 (topper) = $598 while the Ultimate Dreams by itself would be $599 so in price terms they would be equivalent. If you added a gel memory foam topper over the budget saver then the cost comparison between the budget saver/topper would be $269 + $189 = $458 and the 10" gel memory foam mattress with the same layer of gel memory foam on top would be $499 so there would be some advantage but again there would be more unpredictability in terms of how the topper interacted with your firmness choice and you would have an innerspring/gel memory foam hybrid “feel” instead of a more typical memory foam / polyfoam feel.

I don’t know the density of the foam in the budget saver (at this budget level most people wouldn’t be concerned about foam density although it would still be good to find out) so I don’t know how they would compare in durability terms. The only other difference is that with a separate topper you would have the chance to replace it if you wanted a different firmness choice either initially or down the road without replacing the whole mattress.

All of these are very different options that can’t really be directly compared to each other in terms of design and what I would suggest is that you talk with them directly about how they may compare in terms of feel and performance because if anyone would know they would.


I think I’m going to stick to the latex mattress. Ideally I’d like to purchase the natural latex one, but I think the latex one should be fine and is in my budget. The boron flame retardant fibers are a lot safer than brominated flame retardant fibers. I’m assuming it does not contain BFRs? If so I’m just going to go ahead and get it.

Also to double check, it is my understanding that the order of appearance is a 1.5" foam comfort layer, 3" of latex, followed by the 5.5" of base foam, correct?

Hi zagestone,

If you talk with Brooklyn Bedding / Dreamfoam they will provide you with the name of the manufacturer that makes their flame retardant barriers (I believe it’s Jones) so to the degree that Jones will disclose it you could call them and ask what was in it.

I agree with you that boric acid fire retardants are among the “safer” of the chemicals used in fire retardants (see post #2 here which compared the LD50 of one version of a boric acid flame retardant material to table salt).

Yes this is correct.