Mattress Advice For L.A.


First off, I want to thank you for what you’re doing with The Mattress Underground. Your insight along with people’s experiences have shown me that I have a lot to learn about picking a mattress.

My wife and I are in the market for a new Eastern King Mattress for our platform bed. On your recommendation on the TMU, my wife and I went to Flexus In West Covina, CA (We live in L.A). While we were really impressed with their product, the operation and the people there, there was one huge problem: my wife is extremely allergic to latex. Even after trying out mattresses for an hour or so she began to feel a little itchy. One thing we really liked about Flexus is that we could see exactly what went inside the mattress, whereas places like ‘Macy’s’ and ‘In Bed with HD Buttercup’ kind of hide the ball.

Since you are extremely knowledgeable about mattresses, could you recommend some places in or near L.A. that you trust that make quality hypoallergenic (or even organic) mattresses? My wife and I are both light people (150lbs and 113lbs) and we tend to prefer a medium firm to firm mattress. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You For Your Time And Effort!


Hi 5150evh,

I haven’t seen anything anywhere on the internet or elsewhere (and I have done a great deal of research including medical articles) about latex being a source of concern for type IV latex allergies which are a contact allergy and usually indicate an allergy not to latex itself but to the substances that are used to manufacture it or to the surface proteins on some type of latex. Most “latex allergies” are to gloves and condoms and with latex foam these substances (and the surface proteins that may also be part of the cause) are washed out and with the latex in a mattress there is no contact so allergies are not generally an issue. Type 1 latex allergies on the other hand are true latex allergies and are much more serious and fortunately much more rare and don’t depend on contact. You can read more about latex allergies in post #2 here and the information and post it links to. Post #47 here may also be worth reading and the symptoms could also be from other types of particles in the air.

The only type of foam that has any type of organic certification is latex. Polyfoam and memory foam are all made from chemicals that are synthetic and can be a bigger cause of reactions or sensitivities than latex (although they are not necessarily allergic reactions) and of course any particular chemical could be an allergen for some people. The most common allergy issue as it relates to mattresses is to dust mites in a mattress and latex can actually help with this because it is a very breathable material that helps control moisture and humidity that can in turn help control the dust mite population (see post #2 here)

Synthetic latex doesn’t have any type 1 allergy issues but it can be very difficult to find (most latex mattresses have some natural latex in the material).

Outside of latex … if you are looking for a mattress that uses more natural materials and no foam then you would be limited to a mattress that uses innersprings and natural fibers such as cotton and wool (made without any chemicals and preferable organic) which can be very costly. If you do decide to look at synthetic foams such as polyfoam or memory foam … then outside of allergy issues which are individual to each person (and she may be allergic to other materials or chemicals in mattresses as well) … I would focus on making sure that any foam in your mattress (polyfoam or memory foam) is at least “safe” and has been Certipur certified and that the fabrics have some certification as well such as GOTS (organic) or Oeko-Tex (testing for harmful substances and VOC’s) although none of these are connected with actual allergies.

So I personally don’t know of any materials (other than latex) which I would call “hypoallergenic” because allergies are very individua and I would make these types of choices on an individual “material by material” basis based on any known allergies to materials that may be used in a mattress. While it is not connected to allergies … post #2 here has much more information that can help each person answer the very difficult question of “how safe is safe enough for me?” but this is mostly concerned with issues such as safety, green, natural, organic, and ecofriendly materials and people who may be sensitive to many chemicals or who place more importance on green or environmental issues and not so much to allergies.

Post #2 here has some of the better options and possibilities I’m aware of in the Los Angeles area.



Thank you very much for the informative response, we truly appreciate it.

Since it’s labor day weekend, my wife and I are really trying to pull the trigger on a mattress because of the sales.

We’ve looked at mattresses for a couple of months now and we keep coming back to this Aireloom Bamboo Hybrid mattress at In Bed by HD Buttercup. It’s just under $2,000. However, the thing that’s scaring us off are the widely inconsistent reviews we’re finding all over the web for Aireloom in general. :unsure: There are some really horrific stories of their beds not holding their shape. :blink:, creating huge depressions, people’s backs are hurting, and the exchange process sounds like hell. What’s your opinion on Aireloom?

Please correct me if I’m wrong, but as a general rule of thumb, would you agree that the firmest mattresses (regardless of brand) hold their shape the best over time?

As I mentioned above, my wife and I are both light people (150lbs and 113lbs). We’re both thinking that we should get the firmest mattress we can get, regardless of brand, b/c we think it will last longer. But since I like it a tad softer than my wife we would get a
separate memory foam topper on it to soften it up. That way we won’t have the body depression issues people are having b/c the mattress is so firm, but we can still have some softness with the topper which we can change out every few years.

Finally, out of all of the brands out there, can you give me a top three that you like? We’re both getting a little overwhelmed trying to pick a mattress and maybe if you gave a few recommendations it could help us focus our search a bit. Any help would be greatly appreciated and thank you so much for your time.


I just did some digging around on the MU Forum’s and I can see that you’re not very impressed with Aireloom.

Hi 5150evh,

You can read my thoughts about “fake sales” in post #5 here. Better retailers and manufacturers have good value every day of the year and don’t need to create a false sense of urgency or “fear of loss” to sell mattresses that are already better quality and value than the best sale prices at most mainstream stores.

A mattress is only as good as its construction and the quality of the materials inside it regardless of the name of the manufacturer on the cover or law tag and I’m not “impressed” with any mattress or manufacturer where you can’t find out the specifics of what is in it or identify it’s “weakest link”. Brand shopping is among the worst ways to choose a mattress. If you are able to find out the specifics of all the layers in an Aireloom you are looking at then you would be able to make informed choices and make meaningful comparisons with other similar mattresses that have a similar design and use similar materials. Without this you are making a completely blind purchase … probably overpaying for a mattress compared to others that are similar … and substantially increasing your odds that the mattress you buy will have lower quality materials in the upper layers (which are the most likely weak link of any mattress). There is more about the risks of “brand shopping” in post #12 here.

The quality/density of a material is the biggest factor in its durability although firmness and softness have an effect as well (see post #4 here for more about the factors involved in the durability of a mattress). A firm material that is low quality (low density in the case of polyfoam or memory foam) is more likely to develop soft spots or impressions than a softer material that uses higher quality materials (such as higher density polyfoam or latex). The firmness of a material or a mattress is not the most important part of durability unless the other factors that affect durability are equal.

The mattress shopping tutorial here has all the basic information, steps, and guidelines that can help you make the best possible choice but it will also change how you look at mattress shopping.

The brand of a mattress is not a particularly relevant factor for me. The brands I like the best are the ones that disclose the type and quality of the materials inside them and again … brand shopping is among the worst ways to choose a mattress (although I would avoid any manufacturer or major brand that doesn’t disclose the type and quality of all the materials and components that they use in any mattresses you are considering).


I’m happy to say that my search for a new mattress concluded today in Southern California.

First, I want to give a heartfelt thank you to Phoenix for creating The Mattress Underground. Had it not been for the MU, I most certainly would not have found ‘The Good Bed Guys,’ in Newport Beach.

My wife and I were fairly certain we were going to purchase an Aireloom. However, thanks to the MU, I read way too many horror stories about people’s experiences with sleeping on an Aireloom, it’s durability, and exchanging/returning it. You know what they say, 'when there’s smoke, there’s fire. And at that point I realized I simply was not educated enough to buy the right mattress for me, let alone a good mattress.

A lot of the things that Phoenix preaches on here came true in my 3 plus month search for a mattress in southern California. Just to name a few: First, most salespeople truly don’t know shit about mattresses. It was unbelievable. I had even had one salesperson in particular who even barked at me, “What are doing? Why do you want to look at that?” when I stated I wanted to look at the law tag! And big sales are truly baloney, “This bed is usually $8,000, but for this weekend only it’s $3,000!” Ugh.
So I took Phoenix’s advice and decided to go to a smaller, factory direct, mattress producer.

Enter Alex Ortega from ‘The Good Bed Guys’ in Newport Beach.

Among the highlights:
1.) 100% Transparent: One of the things that scared me the most about buying a mattress is I was never completely sure what was on the inside. That is definitely not the case with “The Good Bed Guys.” Since Alex makes the mattresses right there in his factory, he will show you, layer by layer, what is inside his mattresses. There is absolutely no hiding the ball like with the larger mattress conglomerates.

2.) Factory Tour: Call Alex up and make an appointment to tour his factory (He did for me and my wife on a Saturday). It’s extremely clean and well organized. Again, Alex will show you step by step, everything that goes into his mattresses.

3.) Factory Direct: Alex has been making mattresses for I think 25 years. He actually makes mattresses for a well-known boutique mattress store (I know because I saw the mattress labels for that store on a few mattresses in his factory!). But ‘The Good Bed Guys’ brand is his personal brand that he wants to elevate in the marketplace and it’s the EXACT SAME MATTRESS in the boutique store, at his factory direct price. I saved a substantial amount of money on the exact same mattress that I otherwise could not afford at the boutique store. Really great value to be had here.

4.) Double Sided Mattresses: Alex is a throwback to how mattresses used be to made. You know, the one’s that lasted 20 years? After 9 or 10 stores, I think this was the first place I went to that actually produced a double sided mattress. The whole ‘replace your mattress every five to 8 years’ is your typical capitalistic fallacy like change your oil every 3,000 miles. If you have a well made double sided mattress that you rotate and flip, it should last you a lifetime. That’s the kind of mattress Alex makes.

5.) Uses Green Material: I was really impressed with material. Lot’s of organic cotton, talalay latex, wool, all good stuff.
After all of my research, I know for a fact there are several people like me in Southern California who were/are looking for a guy like Alex Ortega to make your next mattress. After you go to all of the other stores looking for a mattress, you owe to yourself to at least call Alex up and make an appointment to tour his factory. Plus, he’s a good hardworking guy who really wants you to be satisfied with his product.

To be fair, I haven’t gotten the mattress yet to sleep on as it will be custom made. But I will update you in the coming months with my experience sleeping on my Good Bed Guys mattress. But the process up to this point has been excellent.

Hi 5150evh,

Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed account of your experiences and feedback.

You clearly did some great research (along with having some of the “mandatory” poor experiences in some of the stores you visited) and ended up making a great choice. I also think highly of Alex and the other parts of the “family” that they are connected to and they are certainly “mattress people”.

Thanks again for sharing your journey and most importantly … congratulations on your new mattress. You did well :slight_smile: