Wow, unbelievable amount of info here! I can not believe how in depth reply’s from Phoenix are… if I only had time to write novels. My situation: 5’10", 190#; 5’ wife, 140#, both side sleepers; very happy with our 1994 Beautyrest “Quintessence of Silk” IS mattress… but it’s time to replace! (although still in very good condition)
Problem: A few years ago I bought a “Boyd Responda Flex, #508” for a 2nd bedroom. I like it, but wife thinks it’s WAY to firm, “no spring” and is now turned off to any “foam” mattress.
What’s the best approach for getting her thinking that foam is OK? I’m thinking maybe going halfway with something like Denver Telluride (we have a Denver Mattress nearby). I think a SleepEZ 10,000 would fit the bill, but not going to spend that much if she refuses to try it because it’s foam.
edit: after a bit more reading here I think I’ve narrowed things down to:
Bamboo Bliss (more so to this one)
Dreamfoam Ultimate Dreams
After chatting with BB, they said they could split a Queen firmness 6 and 8 since I think my wife will like softer. Any way to guess at the ILD of a 20 year old Beautyrest? My choice needs to be at least as comfortable as what we have.
Foam is a very generic term and there are different types of foam materials (polyfoam, memory foam, latex foam) and each of them have their own pros and cons as well as their own properties and “feel”. The only way I know to help someone change their thinking about anything is to encourage them to to do the research so that they can learn the differences between different materials, hopefully test them out in person at local stores, and make informed choices based on the facts and the pros and cons of each different material.
Excluding all foam materials from consideration because one mattress design was too firm would be like deciding never to eat any fruit because you didn’t like McIntosh apples.
Every material comes in a wide range of softness and firmness levels so softness or firmness has much less to do with the material itself and much more to do with the design of the mattress.
As an example, the Responda Flex you linked has 2" of memory foam over a support layer of firmer polyfoam (unfortunately they don’t provide any information about the foam quality). The memory foam layer is quite thin which means that you would “go through” it more easily and feel more of the firmness of the support layer than you would if the memory foam layer was thicker and isolated you more from the firmness of the support layer below it.
The SleepEz is latex which is a completely different material than either the memory foam or the polyfoam in your Boyd mattress. I would also keep in mind that almost all mattresses you are likely to consider have some kind of foam in the upper layers which is the main part of what you feel on a mattress regardless of the support layer underneath it.
Unfortunately no. The only way to make an estimate of its softness would be your own subjective assessment of your mattress. ILD is only used to measure the softness/firmness level of a single layer not a complete mattress and the major manufacturers don’t provide the ILD of the layers in their mattresses. Even if they did … ILD is measured differently for polyfoam than for latex and ILD has little relevance at all with memory foam because it changes with heat and humidity and time on the mattress. If you wanted a very rough approximation you could test various local mattresses that were “rated” as being either soft, medium, or firm by the store that sold them (as subjective as that may be) and then compare how your mattress feels to you in comparison and approximately where in the “softness/firmness range” you think it may be.
Just my thoughts since your post sounds similar to what I am dealing with.
I like my current mattress a lot. But I need a different size. I think it might be harder when one already has something they like. I find myself looking for something similar. And after a lot of mattress testing I go to bed at night and evaluate my current mattress and realize that it’s really comfortable, supports me well, firm yet supportive (I can’t say that about my 20 year old sofa). But it can’t be a good mattress. It’s a simmons beautyrest mattress and box spring I bought 22 years ago. I added a gel top from costco 2 years ago because I slept for a few nights on a friend’s bed that had one and I liked it.
Have you looked at the latex over coils options?
I’ve been trying out a lot of mattresses lately. I go to stores that have all kinds of mattresses, and I really really want to like the all latex mattress. Not a personal fan of memory foam. But what feels best for me is the latex over coils. (I’m going to high end stores mentioned on this site and not the big box brands)
Is it because it’s better for me or because it’s what I’m used to? That is the thing I struggle with and am not sure how to better test for prior to actually buying the mattress.
My best analogy: I’m an extreme coffee snob. But I visited my parents in Ohio and they have been drinking folgers instant everyday for the last 40 years. I made them my expensive coffee in my normal anal ritualistic way. They couldn’t drink it and treated me like I was the crazy californian that they paint me to be. I couldn’t even get them to try it a second day. I don’t think I could drink folgers unless in my most desperate caffeine deprived state. I’m just hoping I’m not making the same mistake with choosing a mattress.
You may have read this already but the first place I would start is post #1 here which has the basic information, steps, and guidelines you will need to make the best possible choices (including some guidelines about testing mattresses).
Each person has their own preferences and some of the most knowledgeable people I know that could choose any mattress they wanted to prefer sleeping on an innerspring / latex hybrid over any other type of mattress. If a mattress provides you with good PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) and the materials are good quality then the rest is all about personal preferences and I wouldn’t consider one combination to be any “better” than another. It may be because you are used to how it feels or it may be that the response curve of some types of innersprings seems to work better for you … either way it doesn’t matter as long as it works and the materials and components are good quality (especially in the comfort layers which of course would be the case if they were latex).
Most of the manufacturers or retailers mentioned on the site are “high end” in terms of the quality of their mattresses and their knowledge and service but they are certainly not “high end” in most cases in terms of their prices or “value” and they are generally much less costly than similar mattresses made by larger mainstream manufacturers. High quality polyfoam over innersprings (which is a more “traditional” mattress) may also be a worthwhile option to explore if you prefer fast response materials that are less costly than latex. Of course the key would be to make sure that the polyfoam is good quality/density because the “norm” for polyfoam is lower density that will soften and break down relatively quickly compared to higher density polyfoam or latex.
Depending on where you are shopping, in the mattress industry price and value don’t always go together and price also doesn’t have anything to do with the suitability of a mattress. There are many very expensive mattresses that would be much worse quality and value than a mattress that is less than half the price and the most expensive mattress may still be completely unsuitable for a particular person to sleep on.
In the end … everything boils down to PPP and the quality/durability of the materials in the mattress (regardless of the type) which determines how long a mattress will last before the inevitable softening or breakdown of the materials leads to the loss of comfort and support and the mattress needs to be replaced. While better quality and more durable materials or specialty materials (like latex and memory foam) cost more than lower quality or “traditional” materials like most innersprings or polyfoam … I certainly wouldn’t exclude any material when you are testing mattresses until your experience indicates that they are not your preference (or because you are excluding them for other reasons such as preferring more natural materials or because the specific materials are lower quality than you would want in your mattress).
For what it’s worth … I also can’t drink instant coffee because almost every brand gives me an instant headache
Wow, I can’t believe how much info is in the replies here. Well, I did some preliminary mattress hopping to narrow down choices before I get my wife out looking. Just got back from Denver Mattress. I really like the Telluride, seems to have the “bounce” my wife likes in an IS, and the latex I like in the comfort. They did have a Beautyrest I liked for a little less, but no latex and 300 fewer springs. I’m guessing wife will like the Telluride better because it feels “softer”. The Madison was also nice, but seemed the Telluride would be worth the extra bucks.
Simmons also don’t provide the information you would need about the quality of the foam in the mattress to make an informed buying decision and the quality of the materials in the comfort layers of a mattress are the “weak link” of most mattresses. Latex is certainly a higher quality material than any of the materials they list though.
As you mentioned … the quality of the materials and components in the Madison is lower than the Telluride (although I would choose this over the Beautyrest) because the foam quality is likely to be higher.
I hope you have the chance to let us know what you (and/or your wife) decide on.