Mattress manufacturers and outlets in Alberta Canada

Hello Phoenix,

Thank you for the in-depth analysis, I am grateful that someone such as yourself would take the time to help me to make an informed decision.

What makes my situation a little tougher is that my girlfriend and I were in a severe car accident a couple of years ago and both of us have had back problems since. As our body weights are a little lighter than average, we have found that foam mattress on the firmer side have tended to be most comfortable for us.

We have checked out about 15 different furniture stores this week, and it seems that almost everyone sells the same stuff (sealy/serta/simmons/kingsdown everywhere). We have found that comfort wise, one of the higher end tempur-pedic foam mattresses felt the best…unfortunately, the $2400 price tag is out of our price range.

I was really hoping that I would be able to find a good mattress for about $1200, but I haven’t been able to find much outside of the brands above. I checked out but unfortunately they don’t carry anything other than mattress toppers (I am located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada so I guess we’re fairly limited here in terms of options).

Based on your experience, would you have any recommendations for best value mattress in our price range?

Again thank you for your thoughtful posts and insight.

Hello Jacko,

I hope you don’t mind that I switched your post to a new topic so that others in your area will have an easier time finding information.

Unfortunately as you say … WalMart and Costco in Canada don’t have much to offer.

There are a few choices I know about in Edmonton however that may be worth looking at …

Novosbed They only sell online (even though they are in Edmonton) however they do seem to have good feedback and have a good return policy (they even pick up a return and its free). They don’t say who manufactures their memory foam unfortunately although it does have a 5.2 lb density which is good. They sell mostly higher end mattresses however they do have a couple of latex/polyfoam and latex/innerspring mattresees which are close to the upper end of your budget and may be worth considering such as or . The owner Daniel is exceptionally knowledgeable and helpful (tell him I sent you). While latex can be just as pressure relieving as memory foam, it is much more supportive and durable and it is one of the highest quality materials that can be used in a mattress. If you are not committed to memory foam it would be worth paying them a visit to see how latex feels to you. They carry good quality foam made by Foamex which is one of my favorite polyfoam and memory foam manufacturers. They may also be worth a visit as they seem to have a few mattresses that are in your budget.

I don’t know if you ever go to Calgary at all but if you do there are two independent mattress manufacturers there who are members of The Mattress Underground (along with TMASC) and make a range of quality mattresses with very good value and which I certainly would recommend. They are … (formerly Labbe Bedding)

Hope that helps a bit.


Just for the sake of completeness, another option worth considering would be Ikea.

For example … this mattress All Products - IKEA CA is a Dunlop latex mattress which is 85% natural latex and 15% synthetic latex and could make a good support core used with a topper. This way you could add a mattress topper which was “customized” for your needs (using either memory foam, latex, or a combination of the two) and end up with a mattress that worked well. The type of topper that you added would be based on your own needs, weight distribution, sleeping style, and comfort preferences. For most people and for most sleeping positions … this mattress would likely be too thin to be used by itself without a topper … at least by “North American” standards.

The other latex models at Ikea are mostly synthetic (80%) dunlop latex blends which I don’t recommend for dunlop latex as it is nowhere near as comfortable or durable as natural dunlop latex. The best dunlop latex uses 100% natural latex however this particular model is close to that. Talalay latex (which they don’t carry) is suitable in either a blended or all natural version as it is made differently than dunlop latex.

I do not recommend the Ikea memeory foam as it is only about 3 lbs density which IMO is poor quality.


Wow, Phoenix.

Thank you for the very specific recommendations. Your thoughtfulness is truly appreciated and I’m certain that others from my area will benefit from this.

My girlfriend and I have read your suggestions and we think maybe increasing our budget for the mattress might not be such a bad idea, especially considering our back problems. If you wouldn’t mind, I’d like to throw some information out at you:

  • I weigh 140 lbs and she weighs 115 lbs. We are both side & back sleepers, and typically prefer firmer mattresses. We were in a bad car accident 2 years ago, and have had some lower back problems since then. We had initially wanted a memory foam mattress because we didn’t think we could afford latex in a King size, but some of the options you’ve found for us are close to our price range and if latex is better I definitely wouldn’t mind cutting our budget in some other areas to accomodate.

Given the above, a few questions I have are:

  1. For our specific situation, what would you feel would be the best overall option for mattress for us from the suggestions you’ve listed? (maybe the Natura??)
  2. How important is the box spring for a latex or foam mattress? The $450 - $600 cost for just box springs from The Mattress & Sleep Company is definitely something that would hurt our budget…does it really matter what kind of box springs we get? And would you have any recommendations for mix-and-matching a good mattress with a lower-priced box spring?
  3. The Ikea suggestion is very intriguing. Hypothetically, if we go with the Ikea mattress, what would you feel would be an ideal combination for topper & boxspring?

Thank you again for everything (from both my girlfriend and I!). If you ever have any auto or home insurance related questions please don’t hesitate to ask as that is my area of expertise.

Hi Jacko,

While only field testing can determine the exact layering that would work best … some general guidelines will give you a good place to begin.

A good starting point for a comfort layer for a side sleeper is typically about 3" in a softer ILD to “fill in the gaps” under the lumbar area and to distribute pressure. The gaps in a sleeping profile when sleeping on the back is less so a good starting point for a back sleeper is about 2". People who are on the thinner side usually also have gaps that are less (their body is less curvy) and so would tend to need a thinner comfort layer. Those who are lighter would not tend to sink in as far into the comfort layer and would typically need a softer material to create a cradle that conforms to their body shape and distributes pressure.

Because of this … a good starting point for you would seem to be slightly thinner than “normal” in the range of 2" in a comfort layer. I would also tend towards softer rather than firmer (because of your lower weight) so while a “typical” comfort layer would be in the range of 19 - 24 ILD (in latex), I would tend towards the lower end of that range … and possibly even lower (a typical memeory foam has an ILD of 15 or even less). ILD (also called IFD) is a measure of foam softness with lower numbers being softer. Most mattresses that use polyfoam in the comfort layers also have a much lower ILD in the comfort layers (even the firmest ones).

The support layer under the comfort layer is the part that holds up your hip area to keep your spine in alignment. This is the part that needs to be firmer. Normally the best materials here are those that have some softness with initial compression (to help the comfort layers form a pressure relieving cradle) and then get firmer quickly with deeper compression. The lighter the body weight the firmer both the comfort layers and the support layers will feel. A typical support layer (for foam) can be anywhere from about 28 ILD up to 44 ILD. Innersprings are not measured in ILD so in this case they would have names that “translate” to softer, medium, or firmer.

So in your case I would be looking for a mattress with 2-3" of a lower ILD in the comfort layer (tending towards 2" if possible) with a firmer support layer underneath it (I would tend towards at least 32 or higher to make sure your spine is in alignment.

When you are testing mattresses … I would pay particular attention to the differences in feel and pressure relief between thinner comfort layers and thicker comfort layers. Knowing the thickess and firmness of a suitable comfort layer is one of the most important parts of finding your “perfect” mattress.

The tranquil has 2" of latex and an inch of quilted polyfoam in the comfort layer. The quilting in the polfoam compresses it slightly so overall this would be the equivalent of just under 3". The wool will make this feel slightly firmer than the ILD of the latex since wool slightly reduces the ability of the comfort layer to conform to the shape of your body. Overall this would seem to be a good place to start.

The Sovn would be similar as it also has a 3" comfort layer however all of it is talalay latex. It also has wool in the quilting but no foam and I suspect that there may be less wool in this one so the comfort layer may be slightly more conforming. It also has an innerspring for the support core which would have a different “feel” from a foam support core. It uses pocketed coils which is a more conforming and slightly softer feeling innerspring than other types.

When you are testing a mattress for pressure relief … it is important to test it in the “curviest” sleeping position (on the side in your case) and relax on the mattress for several minutes. Slightly “bounce” your hips to test if you feel a “sudden” transition to the support layer underneath or if it is a more gradual transition (which is what you want). If the transition is to “sudden” (like feeling a “board” under the comfort layer) … then this could result in hip pressure over the course of the night. Test also if the point of your shoulder is bearing too much weight on your side or if they are sinking in deeply enough to allow the wider torso to take up some of the weight (which is what you want). If you feel the urge to twist your upper body slightly to take some of the weight off your shoulders, the comfort layer may not be quite thick enough or soft enough and this could result in pain, numbness, or tingling in your shoulders and arms over the course of the night.

Once you are satisfied that the comfort layer on the mattress provides good pressure distribution … then test the same mattress for spinal alignment. This is a matter of completely relaxing in each sleeping position and having someone look at the alignment of your spine in each position to make sure it is in alignment. It should be straight on your side and have a natural “S” curve when on your back (similar to its natural curve when you are standing up straight with good posture). Have someone slide their hand under your waist or small of the back to make sure there are no gaps there and that the hand doesn’t slide under too easily (usually indicating a comfort layer that is too thin). Pay particular attention to making sure that the hips/pelvic area don’t sink in too far (indicating that the support layer under the hips is not firm enough).

When you are doing your testing … it usually a good idea to include mattresses with known constructions even if they are not in your price range as this will help you know the overall construction that works for you. The goal is to determine the overall layering that works best rather than only testing mattresses that you are actually considering purchasing.

Bear in mind too that a tighter ticking (mattress cover) or a thicker material in the quilting (such as wool) may affect how far you sink in to a comfort layer (it makes the comfort layer act as if it is slightly firmer).

If you are testing memory foam … make sure that you lay on the mattress long enough to warm it up with your body heat as memory responds to heat and will feel and respond much differently when it is colder than when you have been lying on it for a while.

Hopefully this will help you to discover the overall mattress construction that works best for you. Once you know this it is relatively simple to choose whether to make your purchase locally or if buying a known construction online will save you enough money or provide significantly better quality to make it worth pursuing this option.

If you focus on testing specifically for pressure relief and spinal alignment and seeing the similarities in layering and construction that provide you with both rather than testing based on overall “comfort” or based on just an overall mattress “rating” of firmness or softness (which can be very misleading), your odds of making a purchase that is suitable for your needs and preferences go up dramatically.

Good luck and feel free to post with any specific questions that come out of your testing.