I am so glad I found this site. I am currently searching for a new foam mattress and value is very important to me. I searched the big brand name mattresses and was falling for the “gel” concept. I also have been looking at a brand made in Canada called Essentia. VOC is important to me. I live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and would like to know if you have any information on good manufactures close by. I’m looking for a queen and I’m wondering if I can use my current box spring that I have for my low quality foam mattress I would prefer not to order online but if you can suggest something that I would never want to return I would consider it. Thank you for helping to make sense out of all the incorrect info out there.
I just found your other site recommending Dallas/Fort Worth mattress manufacturing. I purchased a foam bed from them in 2006 when they first starting making them. It was latex and unfortunately within the first year it started showing indents of where we sleep. I love the foam but my husband is having a horrible time with it now waking up with pain not to mention how unsightly the huge bump in the middle of the bed is.
I want to purchase another bed from them but want to be assured that I’m not going to run into the same problems. I noticed in the other thread you mentioned that you had yours somewhat custom made. This may be cheating by asking you to specifically give what your criteria was but you know so much more about this than I do. Another question I have is how long can one reasonable expect a mattress of this quality to last? Thanks.
I had quite a few criteria and many options in terms of where I purchased but in the end they offered a mattress ticking that had quiltable latex and a type of down alternative quilting that I wanted to experiment with. The value was good (even with shipping added) but this was also the case with many others and the final “piece” that made me go in that direction was the ticking/quilting combination that I wanted to try. Having said all that … the quilting on my mattress has also compressed and this may also be what has happened with yours (although in my case it was expected because I knew that this type of quilting will do that over time).
To avoid this (at least in a latex mattress) you would need a different type of stretch knit cover on the mattress that wasn’t quilted with thicker layers of fibers that are prone to compressing over time. If this (or something else) was an issue I would talk with Peter to see what he suggests.
If your mattress was using latex foam then the foam is likely still fine although the upper layers may have softened somewhat over 6 years. If the mattress uses any non latex foam … then it may have softened more and could also be part of the issue. How long a mattress lasts depends on the materials that are used, the layering of the mattress, and the “weak link” in the mattress along with how it interacts with the people who sleep on it. There’s more about the many factors that affect the durability of a mattress in post #2 here. Because of all the variables involved in both the mattress construction and the people sleeping on it … a mattress that may only last a few years for one person or couple before one or both feels it is no longer suitable for them may be perfectly suitable for a dozen years or more for another.
Before you consider Essentia … I would read this thread along with this thread (where they answered a few questions on the forum but then disappeared when the questions became tougher and a little more direct).
Thanks for all the info Phoenix. I scratched Essentia off my things to do list and called Peter. He was very nice and for a small cost will redo my cover. I think I have the Barrington as it’s the only latex mattress advertised on his site. Since my mattress is 9 - 10 inches thick overall I’m thinking that with the core being 6" my top layer of foam is 2" on each side. On his web site it says the topper is 19 -28 ILD. Since he’s going to take the cover off the mattress I’m thinking of having him replace that 19-28 ILD with something that won’t break down as easily. Most everything I see regarding foam mattresses talks about pounds rather than ILD and I’m not sure how that transfers. I’ve read where a person wants 40 lbs foam and I’m thinking I would like 4" on each side. Am I making sense and do you think this is a cost effective fix? I’m sure I will be charged more than the initial quote but if it’s within reason I’m willing to pay. I still need to chat with him about a different kind of cover.
I believe that the ILD numbers on the site is the range that they would normally use in a mattress and would not relate to the specifics of your mattress. 19 ILD is soft and 28 is medium in a comfort layer and this is the range that people will usually choose to have in their comfort layer.
The comfort layer is the part of a mattress that provided the pressure relief and using too firm a material here may not be a great idea or very comfortable for you to sleep on. The comfort layer may also not be the issue that needs “fixing”. Latex is the most durable type of foam and before I considered changing out the layer I would make sure that it was the problem.
I don’t know where you read about the “40 lb foam” but if this refers to density there is no such thing and if it’s referring to ILD then it would be very firm … and almost certainly too firm for a comfort layer. 40 ILD would be used in a firm support core … not in comfort layers.
4" on each side may also be too thick in a two sided mattress.
I would tend to discuss and work with Peter to identify what the problems may be (both in terms of the “sagging” and in terms of your husbands support needs) and on how you may want to adjust the performance of your mattress before you decide on what to change besides the cover. There are many variables involved such as height/weight/body shape and seeping positions and even small changes to a mattress (much smaller than what you are suggesting) could lead to new issues rather than solving the ones you have. I would definitely use the experience of the person making the mattress to guide you rather than trying to re-design the mattress yourself.
The foam in your mattress is likely still fine and it would be much more cost effective to use what you have (assuming that it’s still appropriate for your needs in terms of pressure relief and alignment) than to buy a completely new mattress.
The first step is always to accurately identify exactly what the cause of any problems are so you are “fixing” the right thing and not creating new problems in the process
Hi Phoenix, great site. I have been doing a lot of reading but this is my first post.
Rico I am very interested in what has happened to your Barrington latex mattress as I also live in Dallas and that is as one of the few local all latex options. I haven’t been there to look at it yet but plan to.
Phoenix, could a huge bump really come from compression of the quilting material? Are the cotton and wool covers used by most of the online vendors better at this? At least with those you have the option of buying another cover.
Nice that they are willing to work with Rico on fixing it, although if it is that bad and it has a 15 year non-prorated warranty, maybe they should be doing it for free.
Hi Algernon. I think that it’s very possible that the bump in the middle is really each side compressing leaving indents where we sleep. I want you to know that I love my mattress all in all. I would never go back to a coil mattress. I have had two back operations and I need the firm support my mattress provides. On the other hand my husband (who hasn’t had severe back problems) thinks it’s too hard. I really don’t mind paying a little bit to have it reconditioned…compared to the price of a new mattress it’s a pittance. It’s so rare to have a business owner not try to weasle out of a warranty that Peter is a breath of fresh air. Wish you luck with whatever you decide to purchase.
Thanks for all the advice. I appreciate it and will do as you suggest.
This is a fairly common phenomenon with a mattress (especially larger sizes where there are areas that are not compressed as evenly) that uses thicker synthetic fibers or softer less durable foam (like polyurethane) in the quilting or comfort layers. Part of it is the shifting or migration of the fibers, part is the compression of the fibers, and part is the softening of the foam in the quilting or comfort layers. What happens is that these layers either compress (all fibers will do this to different degrees and it’s a “normal” part of this type of construction) which can “firm up” the layers below them or in the case of soft foam it will soften which can lead to soft spots even if the “valley” isn’t noticeable with no weight on the mattress. Regular maintenance which includes flipping (if the mattress is two sided) and rotating (end to end or in the case of a king size 1/4 turns) can help even out the uneven wear to various degrees.
While this is normal and should be expected to some degree with these types of materials … for some people who choose a mattress that is on the edge of being suitable for their pressure relief and support needs … this can affect the performance of a mattress to the degree that they go “over the line” of the “range” that is suitable for them. For others who choose a mattress that is more in the middle of their range in the first place … the changes in the mattress makes less difference to their comfort and support and they can use the same mattress for longer before foam softening or fiber compression becomes an issue.
The reason manufacturers use these types of materials is because latex is often firmer and more resilient than people are used to and a softer material on top will lower the resilience (or what some people call pushback) of the surface and create a feeling and pressure distribution they are more used to. The “fix” for these types of problems is to use either a thinner stretch knit ticking which doesn’t compress (and allows the feel of the latex to come through more) or to use fibers which don’t compress or break down as easily or as much over time (such as wool). All of these involve tradeoffs between various competing factors and design goals in a mattress.
Thinner quilting layers that use fibers such as wool are much less subject to this type of compression although it will still happen to some smaller degree. Wool will usually compress about 30% and then remain resilient and if it is a thinner densified layer (such as that used for a fire barrier) or certain construction techniques are used … then much of this compression has already happened or will be prevented. Some of this will also depend on the construction, type, thickness and amount of wool (medium wool is more suitable for toppers and mattress covers than finer wool like merino).
So thick layers of synthetic fibers or softer less durable types of foam can be expected to develop more of this issue over time to differing degrees depending on the size of the mattress, use of the mattress, whether it can be flipped, the body types and sleeping habits of the people using it, and the type, amount, and thickness of the materials in question. The tradeoff is the benefit of how they feel and perform (at least for a while) and cater to the preferences of many people who are used to or prefer this type of feel and of course the lower cost of synthetic fibers and cheaper less durable foam.
Warranties have exclusions that account for the degree of expected compression in a mattress and don’t cover any softening of a mattress. They have little to do with the expected useable lifetime of a mattress. The advantage of a local manufacturer is that they are usually happy to “fix” any issues at a reasonable cost or even rebuild a mattress completely at a very reasonable cost even if an issue is not covered by a warranty. They are more responsive to their local customers and community and more dependent on their reputation rather than accountable to their shareholders or corporate ownership and dependent on their advertising. They look more to find ways to keep their customers happy in other words … even when they don’t “have to”.
Thanks for the detailed explanation Phoenix. It makes perfect sense when you explain it like that.
Thanks also for your reply Rico and I’m glad they are taking care of you. You are right that that kind of service seems to be rare these days – much easier to sell you a new one.
I’ve had some frustration with my 6 year old W Hotel Heavenly Bed that has sagging (which has been significant for at least 2 years) and I am committed to making a better or at least more informed choice this time if possible. I have learned a lot reading this site and think I am on my way.
Well here’s an update to what’s going on with my mattress.
My first contact with Peter went well. He was very nice about having it refurbished. The thing of it is those mattresses are heavy! I talked to my husband about it and neither of us wanted to load it into the truck in 100 plus degree weather and take it to the factory. So I emailed Peter and told him we would like to wait until it cooled down. Peter sent me an email saying that for sixty some dollars he had a college student who would pick it up and deliver it when it was done.
That sounded good to us and I emailed Peter and asked if the student would pick up during the week and I never heard from him again.
I waited several weeks but as it got closer to the time frame that we wanted it done in I wanted to confirm everything and set up some definite times. I emailed Peter early one morning, waited until 11:00am to hear from him and when I didn’t I called him. I told him we seemed to be having a hard time connecting and he said something about having sent me an email telling me about vacations etc…
Peter went off the hook! He went into a 5 minute tirade that not only surprised me but came as a total shock. After he quit ranting I told him I didn’t say he hadn’t sent an email only that I hadn’t received an email and he calmed down some. We set up a semi date on having the work done.
I hung up reeling and not feeling good about the entire conversation. Maybe he was having a bad day…maybe I contacted him too many times, maybe anything but I’m not taking the mattress in. I’ll just wait and buy from a different company.
Thanks for all the info though Phoenix.
What a strange scenario!
Of course I don’t want to be in the middle of a situation I don’t have personal knowledge of but I talked with Peter today (who is in Hawaii on his vacation) and told him about your post and your experience. He was as surprised or “shocked” as you were and couldn’t “connect the dots” between his memory and what you experienced. Rather too than me going into a “he said she said” scenario as well … he said he would email you and hopefully talk with you when he returns to clarify or resolve what happened in the hopes it was a misunderstanding.
Regardless of what the outcome between you turns out to be, the direction you decide to go, or whether you are “satisfied” … I hope that at least the “sour taste” between you can be removed.