Mattress Shopping Questions

Hi, and thanks for all of your work on this site. My wife and I are looking for a good manufacturer or retailer in Central PA (Harrisburg area) or advice on an online purchase. We’ve been sleeping on a pillow top for years, and have never loved it. We’re late 30s, I’m 5’9" 165 lbs, my wife 5’5" 115 lb. We’re leaning toward latex or memory foam, and seem to prefer the 2nd firmest of most memory foam lines, and medium for latex. We’d prefer latex in theory, but seem to love or hate the feel, and are having a hard time getting dealers to tell us what’s under the comfort layer.

We did travel to Magic Sleeper in Pottstown and liked the feel of their gel foam line (Symbol Mattress, 4 lb foam, 9" or 11") and their own medium firmness latex bed. Unfortunately, they didn’t know the construction of the Symbol below the gel foam, and we learned that the latex bed is only 2" Talalay over polyfoam - not much latex.

Our top online choices are as follows:

  1. Sleep EZ Memory Foam ( 5.5 lb over 6" HR)
  2. RockyMtnMattress - SensusSleep 9" or 10", or Cool Comfort 10")
  3. Sleep Warehouse Mem Foam (Aerus or Sensus)
  4. Sleep EZ 8" Latex (2" Talalay over 2x3" Dunlop)
  5. RockyMtnMattress 9" All Nat Talalay Latex
  6. AZ Mattress Plush Queen Latex Sleep System

Our questions are - How would you differentiate among these (realizing that the memory foam and latex will feel very different)? Would you recommend Aerus or Sensus foam over the other, or is there a difference we should consider?
We seem to like memory foam, but have only laid on it in an air conditioned show room. We don’t sleep overly hot, but that’s still a concern.

Any guidance on how to differentiate would be appreciated.

Thanks again for all the information - we’ve felt like we’ve been well armed when talking on the ubiquitous sales pitches we’ve encountered at the chain shops.

Hi corydetar,

I’m a little surprised that Magic Sleeper didn’t know more details of their mattresses. When I talked with John last they were also making an all latex mattress that used 3" of talalay latex over 6" of Dunlop and had very good value. I’ll have to call them to catch up on what they are currently carrying in terms of both their own mattresses and the other brands they carry. It’s possible that you were dealing with someone there that was less knowledgeable but I would tend to focus on either the mattresses they make themselves or at least on any of the others that they can provide the details of every layer and have comparable value. With any mattress purchase … the most important part to determine quality and durability is knowing the details of what is inside the mattress.

NOTE ADDED: They are now a member of this site. They have changed their lineup since this post and I would consider any of the mattresses they make. They are now only using knowledgeable and experienced family members to staff their showroom.

There are partial specs of the Symbol G-Gel memory foam mattresses here but they don’t list the density of the memory foams that they use. It shouldn’t be that difficult for a retail outlet to find out though.

5 lb Sensus memory foam is a slower response and denser memory foam with a more “traditional” memory foam feel and a wider temperature response while the 4 lb Aerus is a more breathable faster response memory foam and a little less temperature responsive.

All of your listed choices are very good ones but as you know are also very different.

I would suggest first choosing which you prefer between the feel of memory foam or latex in the comfort layers based on your research into the qualities of both and your local testing. If you’re not certain … I would probably do a little more local testing. As you know they are very different and the choice would come down to your preferences and whether you prefer the more dead and “in the mattress” feel of memory foam or the more lively and “on the mattress” feel of latex.

I would then suggest talking to each of them and asking your questions and if you can describe the feel you like and the mattresses you have tried that were “close”, they will also give you their suggestions about which mattress they think would best suit your needs and preferences (within the limits of their designs) based on customers that were similar to you. They all have a large customer base and are most familiar with the specific details of the mattresses they make and are in the best position to give recommendations about which may fit your needs and preferences best. The more specific you can be with any local testing you have done and what you prefer, the more it can help them make good suggestions. Without this they would generally recommend what an “average” person of your height and weight and sleeping positions would generally do best with in the material that you prefer.

Some of the better local choices or possibilities in the area (I’m including Magic Sleeper where you have already been) include … and Pottstown (or Pottsdown), PA. Local factory direct manufacturer that makes a range of good quality and value mattresses including two sided innerspring mattresses and a number of latex and latex hybrid options. Family owned and good people. They also make custom designs and sizes and and they are also a member of this site.

Furniture Row® Store Locations - Store Hours & Addresses York, PA Regional manufacturer which makes a range of traditional innerspring mattresses and also makes two “mostly latex” models (Aspen and Snowmass). They don’t make any memory foam. EDIT: The Aspen and Snowmass have been replaced with their iChoice latex mattress and topper which also includes a memory foam option) Local retailer with several stores in the area. Carries Restonic which makes latex, memory foam, and gel foam mattresses in their Healthrest line. I would call first to find out which they carry. Retail outlet in Lancaster, PA. They carry a wide range of manufacturers including Pure Talalay Bliss, Posh & Lavish, Pranasleep, Organicpedic (OMI), Naturepedic, Savvy Rest component latex mattresses as well as Vi Spring and Hypnos which are more “ultra premium” brands. While all of these manufacturers generally use good quality materials … I would make some careful value comparisons here because some of them may be in higher budget ranges than other similar mattresses.


Hi coreydetar,

I talked with John Santos today at Magic Sleeper and confirmed that they make a whole range of latex mattresses which includes latex over polyfoam (with several different thicknesses of latex), latex over innersprings and all latex. As you know they also carry Symbol and Natura because they have a “name” but their own mattresses are the ones that I would focus on.

John told me that sometimes during busy times they bring in people from other areas of the business to help out and you may have been dealing with a less experienced person that didn’t think to refer you to John. He said if someone goes there and wants to know specific details that are not the “norm” for most people … then either asking for him or making an appointment to see him before you go will ensure that you can have every detail about any mattress you are looking at that is available and probably more than you may want to know (he is a wealth of information) :slight_smile:


Thanks for the information.

We’ll give John a try at Magic Sleeper, and try to test a few more latex mattresses at the outlets you mention.

We’d prefer latex in theory, but seem to like the feel of memory foam better. Unless we feel differently after a little more testing, we’re leaning toward Rocky Mtn’s 9" Sensus sleep. I like the idea of being able to rearrange and change out layers to adjust the feel, and even to be able to change comfort layers down the line. Also, they were exceptionally helpful (and very familiar with this site).

Last question on memory foam: would we see a significant difference in the “warmth” of the mattress with a 3" sensus topper as opposed to 2" each of sensus and aerus? Since we’ve slept on a pillow top in a room without AC before, I think we’d be ok regardless, but that’s the only thing that might lead us toward aerus.

We’ll let you know what we end up choosing, and again thanks for all of your work.

Hi coreydetar,

Memory foam is one of those materials that people either really like … or not so much … and you seem to be in the first category. It certainly does have a unique feel even with all the different versions.

This is a difficult one to answer for someone else because there is such a variance in how warm different people sleep.The Sensus memory foam is a very high quality product and has a more traditional memory foam feel and is denser and more durable but it will be a little warmer (enough for most people to notice) than its Aerus sibling which is more open celled and faster responding. Most people who tend to sleep hot on memory foam can adjust with different bedding … natural fiber cooler sheets … or even a wool mattress protector which adds breathability and temperature regulation to the mattress if needed though. This is all about personal preference. Some people just like the more conforming and enveloping feeling of slower and denser memory foam while others like it to be a little less conforming and a little faster reacting. There’s no right or wrong in this.

One other consideration is that 3" of any memory foam will be a little cooler than 4" of the same memory foam because part of how warm a mattress feels is how much insulating foam there is around you when you sink into it. Overall though the the Aerus would be a little cooler but you would give up the "feel " and higher density/durability of the Sensus. I should also mention that the coolmax cover also helps to reduce sleeping temperature.

In the end … you probably know your own sleeping tendencies better than me and if you don’t have a tendency or an issue with sleeping hot you’ll probably be OK especially with the coolmax cover. If not, there are ways to reduce the sleeping temperature if it’s needed.