I’d like to relate my recent experience with purchasing a latex mattress from an eBay vendor. Pardon the length of this post but it’s been a long and interesting journey aided in no small part by the information available in this forum and I hope it provides research and purchase help to others. Much credit goes to forum member Kopavi who provided inspiration via a similar review and photos here:
Some background: after a couple of months of mattress research, I had a pretty good idea of what kind of mattress my wife and I wanted. She’s about 5’4" and 130 pounds and I am 5’11" and 240 pounds. We both prefer softer mattresses and really dislike very firm mattresses. Having checked out a few latex mattresses locally, we learned we liked latex and would be comfortable on something similar to the Beautiful model from Pure Latex Bliss. It was supportive for both of us but still soft and comfortable. By way of comparison, we started with laying on the PLB Pamper: much too firm! Their Nature model was better but still too firm. Their World’s Best Bed felt wonderful to both me and my wife but didn’t have enough support for me because my spine was misaligned when lying on my side. The same was true of the Pranasleep Wahe Guru Luxury Plush.
We already owned a Pure Latex Bliss 3" all-natural queen Talalay latex topper which is rated at 14 ILD (nominally 17 ILD) and very comfortable. We wanted to incorporate it into whatever latex mattress we ended up with. So the PLB Beautiful became the benchmark mattress to which I determined to get close. In last year’s model, it’s a 12" blended Talalay latex mattress comprising a 6" support layer of 36 ILD topped with 2" of 24 ILD and finished with 3" of 19 ILD. After almost considering trying to replicate that mattress with our topper and the Dreamfoam Bedding Ultimate Dreams mattress from amazon.com with a chosen 24 ILD comfort layer (and I think it might have been close!), I decided on an all-latex mattress.
After lots more research, I decided to buy factory second latex layers and a new cover from the eBay store of Mattresses 24/7. I almost bought a complete mattress from the well-regarded vendor who supplies Mattresses 24/7 with their latex but decided the risk/reward of buying from Mattresses 24/7 was worth it. After several messages back and forth with Valerie (seller mattresses247 on eBay) inquiring about her products and purchase options, she eventually gave me her phone number and suggested I call her to save time. I did and we spoke for about 30 minutes. She listened and then she offered her advice about what I might consider purchasing. I placed my order that day in her eBay store.
Her firmness ILD ratings are soft 22-24, medium 30-32, firm 38-40 and extra firm 44. I ordered a 9" queen Talalay latex blend mattress in three split layers, with layers of firm, medium and soft, all split. I also ordered a 12" 4-way stretch soft cotton zippered mattress cover. My intent was to place the three 3" split layers and my 3" queen topper inside the 12" cover. I figured I’d start with my wife and I both on three base layers of F/M/S plus our topper and see how we liked it. If that was too soft for me (and I expected it would be), I could switch my side to F/S/M, or me to F/M/M and her to F/S/S or one of the many other possible combinations. If necessary, I could return one or more of the splits for a different firmness and have only to pay the shipping.
The mattress and cover departed Tempe, AZ via UPS and arrived in NH one week later. It was shipped in one large box weighing 100 pounds (the two pieces each of firm and medium layers) and a smaller box weighing 50 pounds (the two soft pieces and the cover). The heavy duty cardboard boxes were in perfect condition when received and clearly marked with the layers that they contained.
I wrestled the boxes upstairs and removed the contents which were wrapped within black plastic sheeting and then over-wrapped with clear heavy duty plastic. They seemed to be vacuum-packed only a little bit, perhaps because all six of the latex pieces were only 30"x80" each and didn’t require much compression for shipping. Once out of the plastic, the latex pieces were a little unwieldy but manageable.
One of my biggest concerns about buying latex “seconds” online was the condition they would be in. It turns out I had little to worry about; I’m quite happy with the condition of the latex I received. One of the bottom layers had a small dirty spot on it as if it had touched a warehouse floor. Another had a very small red spot on it; it appeared to be something like red marker or maybe even a small spill from a red beverage. One of the middle sections had a very small chunk missing from it; I placed that side down but it would never have been felt when lying on the bed, regardless. There were some other very minor voids and visual imperfections but even my PLB topper has those. The latex was a creamy white color…not yellow, had no seams at all, and had only a very slight sweet latex smell. Each piece had a sticky paper label identifying its firmness but there were no markings to indicate the manufacturer of the latex.
The 4-way stretch cotton knit cover is similar to the cover on PLB mattresses and toppers, though the weight of the PLB cotton is definitely heavier. Like the PLB cover, it is unquilted with no foam or wool comfort layering which is what I wanted, so we could be closer to the latex. It zips fully around three sides with a heavy-duty zipper and is attached at one end, in the middle through about half its width; i.e. the top does not completely separate from the bottom.
After putting the bottom two layers in the cover, I was certain that only one more 3" layer was going to fit and that I had been mistakenly sent the 9" cover instead of the requested 12" cover. I was wrong. The top 3" layer went on next and then our 3" topper came out of its own cover and into the bed. The mattress cover was zipped up all the way around with little effort. The finished mattress looked great. I added on a St. Dormeir wool mattress protector, made the bed and then laid upon it. Ahhhhh…I done good! It felt pretty close to how I remember the PLB Beautiful but not as soft as the PLB World’s Best Bed. I’m very happy.
After sleeping on the mattress for a week, I am totally satisfied with its quality, comfort and support. Sleeping on my sides, back and stomach are all comfortable and my body is well aligned. My wife, who is considerably lighter than I am, is also quite comfortable and happy with the mattress. It doesn’t seem I need to adjust the layers at all, though I may experiment a little anyway.
I am quite satisfied with the purchase experience and value as well and can recommend mattresses247 on eBay without reservation. If you’ve been considering such a purchase, make it with confidence. But of course, do your homework first (you already are if you’re in this forum), and know as much as possible what you want regarding number of and firmness of layers. If you do your research and know what you need, the savings and value is great and the risk is low. Including our existing topper, we paid less than half of what we would have paid for a PLB Beautiful and saved at least 30% off of what we would have paid for a very similar mattress from the well-regarded online latex mattress vendor.