Mattress Dilemma NYC - Innerspring/memory/latex

We’ve been sleeping on the same old crappy, cheap, extra firm, $99, 4-5 inch, foam mattress from Ikea for over 10yrs. Since we were young, we never knew what we were missing and slept just fine. Now we are in our 30s and value our sleep more than ever and want to make sure we do it right. After visiting Raymour and Flanigan and Macy’s and being hounded by the pushy salesman who make telemarketers look slick we are a bit confused to say the least. We tried iComforts, Beautyrests (Black series) that felt decent in the showroom and other Sealy/Simmons/Serta/Hotel Collection beds as well. We also tried a firm latex mattress at Craigsbeds. Lying there on a mattress in a showroom for 5-10 minutes I feel is inadequate to judge durability, comfort down the line and quality, specially when those sales clowns are breathing down your neck. I’ve decide to turn to the internet. What we are looking for is something that will last at least 5 years, something around medium - medium firm with good support (we are side and stomach sleepers and occasionally back), cool (we both sleep ‘hot’) and we don’t want to feel like we are being cuddled by the mattress like the plush memory foams do. We are against innerspring as the ultimate nightmare for us would be to deal with depressions. sagging, and springiness. Memory foams sound great in principle, but afraid of sleeping hot even with the new cooling gel (and all the marketing that goes along with it) and also heard of early sagging and mildew issues. Latex seems popular here and sounds like a good option but afraid it might be too firm, might sleep hot, and is expensive, plus latex is so much more confusing to understand with the synthetic vs. natural, talalay vs. dunlop, foam over latex or latex over foam or pure latex. Perhaps a decent priced latex mattress with a memory foam topper is the ticket? We are looking to spend under $1500 and are in the NYC area. Although we would really like to try out a mattress before purchasing we are not against the idea of ordering over the internet, provided we can try out at least some latex beds to get more of an idea of what they are like in general. Thoughts? What would be helpful is specific stores in the NYC area and/or recommended internet retailers…

Hi Manny,

The first place I would start your research is post #1 here which has all the basic information, steps, and guidelines that can help you make the best choices and “reset” the way you look for mattresses. It will also help you avoid most of the worst choices including the major brands and any mainstream or chain stores you have been looking at.

I completely agree that 5 - 10 minutes of testing for “subjective” comfort is one of the worst ways to buy a mattress and the odds of success are less than random chance alone (see this study). More accurate and objective testing though following the guidelines in the post I linked can increase your odds of making a good choice in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) significantly.

You also can’t “feel” the quality or durability of the materials in a mattress because low quality and high quality materials can feel the same in a showroom … but of course low quality materials don’t last as long and soften or break down much more quickly. Without knowing the quality of all the layers and components inside a mattress there is no way to assess the durability of a mattress. There is more about the factors that can affect the useful life of a mattress for any particular person in post #4 here.

While the “feel” of an innerspring and its 'springiness" is a personal preference … most innersprings are not the weak link of a mattress and most innerspring mattresses that 'fail" are because of the quality of the foam above the innerspring. In most cases the innersprings themselves are still fine.

Latex comes in a wide range of firmness levels from ultra soft to ultra firm so the “firmness” of a latex mattress would depend entirely on its design. There are some latex mattresses that are so soft that they would be “risky” in terms of alignment for most people. You can read a little more about the different types of latex in this article and in post #6 here and post #6 here.

You can also read more about the combination of factors that can affect the sleeping temperature of a mattress (including memory foam and gel memory foam) in post #2 here.

The first post I linked has links to a list of the members here that sell online and have some of the best value in the country and there is also a link to some of the better online memory foam sources I’m aware of as well.

Post #2 here includes some of the better options and possibilities in the New York City area and post #7 here has a more categorized list with more detailed descriptions of many of them as well.


Thank you Pheonix - this was very helpful. We did check out a few stores in the NYC area, and tried out a Savvy Rest Serenity, OMI/OrganicPedic Terra and Green Sleep Ergo at the Clean Bedroom and then a latex mattress at Dixie Foam. Both stores had exceptional service and knowledge, and the were friendly, honest and non-sleazy. The Organic Bedroom is certainly more upscale. We loved the feel of latex compared to anything else, even if it was in a s showroom. We loved the OrganicPedic and GreenSleep mattresses, they were both exceptional. However, the prices of the Savvy Rest, OrganicPedic and Green Sleep though were very high at $3k-$5k. At Dixie foam, we liked a Talalay ILD 36 6 inch mattress with a 3 inch ILD 17 Talalay topper built in, which we found very comparable to the other three mattress, specially the OrganicPedic. The were considerable less expensive than the other three options also. My question is - how do they (Dixie) stack up vs. the competition in terms of durability? And second, we are a stomach sleeper and stomach/side sleeper. Will the soft top ILD 17 Talalay toper potentially cause problems, although the core of the mattress is ILD 36?

Hi Manny,

They are both latex so would be very similar in terms of durability because all latex is a very durable material although softer materials will be less durable than firmer versions of the same material and this holds true for latex as well. You can read more about the factors involved in the durability and useful life of a mattress in post #4 here. none of these latex mattresses would have any obvious “weak links” or low quality materials.

The “ideal” in a mattress is “just enough” softness and thickness to relieve pressure in your most pressure prone position (usually side sleeping) so that there is less risk of alignment issues in your other sleeping positions. I can’t see you on the mattress or feel what you feel so your own careful and objective testing using the testing guidelines would be the best way to tell.


Thanks again. So at least I now know I will probably buy from Dixie. I didn’t use the testing guidelines exactly when trying out the mattress, but I’m probably just going to chance it with the 6 inch 36ILD talalay + 3 inch soft 17ILD talalay topper. I am about 140lbs, 5’9 if that helps. I also have the option of getting 6inch in 40ILD talalay as the base with the 3inch soft topper- would that reduce chances of spinal mis-alignment? I ask because both options seemed comfortable at the time.

Hi Manny,

I think with your weight, the thickness and the softness of the comfort layer would probably play a larger role in your alignment than any difference in firmness between the 36 and 40 ILD base layers.