What an invaluable resource this site and the guidance of Phoenix have been to our family! We’ve recommended My Green Mattress, a sub-division of Quality Sleep Shop to our friends, colleagues, and patients, and now believe this to have been a great error. I’d like to share our experience- generally with latex as related to back pain and support, and specifically with this shop- to help others.
We’re a family with numerous members, myself included, in healthcare. When our peanut was big enough for a bed her teenage cousin was rapidly going through a growth spurt and in need of a new mattress. We lucked out and inherited his latex and spring “My Green Mattress” for her. My brother-in-law specifically purchased it because it had no memory foam or polyurethane in it, and it came to us in excellent condition, having been fully encased during prior use… Great mattress for our kid, and we all recommended the shop to my father and mother when they were looking for a new mattress. I accompanied mom to My Green Mattress, curious to see the place myself. Mom’s a healthcare provider and didn’t want poly or memory foams in the bed nor was she interested in a spring system; she has a metal pin and felt funny about having metal in the bed as well. The salesperson was low pressure and recommended the 9" pure Talalay latex “Organic Dreams” model. My parents went back to the shop and settled on this mattress, thrilled that it wouldn’t have any of the chemicals or metals they wanted to avoid. I want to mention at this point that my parents have been very healthy, active and fit their entire lives and never had any back problems prior to receiving their latex mattress from this shop.
The Organic Dreams mattress arrived and immediately didn’t work on top of their curved wood slat base. When they had talked to the owner, Tim, about this when purchasing the mattress, he felt the weight of the bed and short distance between slats wouldn’t be a problem. Nevertheless they felt as if they could feel the slats through the latex. I didn’t understand “The Princess & The Pea” syndrome until I drove in that weekend and happened to try it myself. I found the mattress had a durable but relatively soft tan ticking cover, and looked like it had nice workmanship albeit some wavy sewing lines. After calling the shop a “Metal Free” foundation was recommended for mom, purchased, and delivered several days later. This seemed to improve the situation but within several weeks dad was complaining of lower back discomfort. After purchasing a number of new pillows the lower backaches continued- for both of my parents. They’re not large people at 5’4" 130 lbs and 5’7" 150 lbs, but the medium-medium-medium firmness pure Talalay the shop owner recommended was way too soft. After doing some research we learned that Latex International’s pure Talalay softens ~17% which essentially was making a medium ILD feel soft. Three layers of that is not providing anywhere near the adequate support to keep the spine in alignment and we were surprised this recommendation was made in the first place by the owner. After suggesting “bourbon and Nyquil for a good night’s sleep” to my parents, along with several suggestions about putting a tighter cover on the mattress, Tim agreed to “firm up” the support at their insistence. One of the medium layers was switched for firm latex, for a fee, and all was well after additional pillow changes to suit the new mattress firmness.
Fast forward several months and now both parents were having lower back issues. They felt like the mattress was sagging and when I visited them I felt it, too, after laying on the mattress for ~20 minutes. Mom had seen a colleague who had recommended massages and some physical therapy which was not helping. On the occasions she was out of town she had no back problems sleeping elsewhere. Recognizing that the mattress again was providing insufficient support, Tim suggested adding a firm topper- or spring system to the bottom of the mattress. He indicated that they could try some “mock-ups” of different configurations at the shop but they understood that something feeling comfortable for a few minutes at the store is not always a sufficient indicator of how much the support the mattress will provide- which you’d only know from an overnight trial. With two totally different configurations my parents were starting to feel that My Green Mattress was an experimental endeavor in which they were the test subjects. Sure, the mattress looked nice enough, but both of them were having identical back issues and they needed confidence in a recommendation.
Around the same time our kid’s My Green Mattress was surprisingly leaving some latex body impressions as our large dog liked to hop on and lounge in the same spot daily. I found your website, started doing research on my own, called a number of shops around the country for guidance and spoke with some orthopedic colleagues about how to provide good mattress support and pressure relief. From everything I’d learned- and I’m a researcher by trade- the mattress made for my parents didn’t have sufficient support for the spine. Consensus from many folks I spoke with as well as medical literature differed from the options Tim presented, and also accounted for sleeping preference (stomach, back, side) as part of the mattress configuration equation. Soon enough it didn’t matter as dad was in tremendous pain and could barely move. An MRI confirmed multiple bulging discs in his lumbar and lower thoracic spine- just where mom was having pain as well.
We ended up needing a well-founded solution quickly for my dad so I took it upon myself to build my folks a bed using the data I’d accumulated through actual scientific research. We tried having Tim implement the solution but he wanted us to essentially pay for a new mattress even though his bed brought on these problems for both of my parents. What worked for them was 3" extra firm Dunlop, 3" firm Talalay from the My Green Mattress mattress, and 2" of medium Talalay inside a zippered case. Atop that is a 1" piece of medium pure/organic Talalay in an organic cotton cover. It feels softer than the latex inside since it’s used as a topper. This has provided support and tremendous pain relief for both of my parents.
I have to tell you when we disassembled the My Green Mattress configuration for my parents we found they were sent a Power Stack Foundation made of metal- which was exactly what mom didn’t want- she’d requested “metal free.” The Power Stack was made of 5" wide squares in a grid- which according to this site and elsewhere isn’t especially sufficient for providing support under a latex-only mattress. We opted for tight wooden slats in our new configuration and that is what the mattress needed. We don’t understand why My Green Mattress sells the Power Stack for latex beds, nor do we know why the curved slats were originally stated to be OK. Finally, when we took apart the kiddo’s My Green Mattress to replace the latex that was getting impressions we found that the bottom springs were surrounded with thick poly-foam- exactly what my brother-in-law had specified he didn’t want when originally placing the order. In conclusion we don’t believe My Green Mattress is well-placed to be making recommendations about latex bed support- as related to both latex mattresses and foundation needs. We’ve also unfortunately found them to not be honest regarding what’s in their products. And in experiencing a great deal of difficulty getting a conclusive recommendation, the family also saw alot of up-charging. We didn’t find this to be a fair practice when the initial recommendations that were made were not well substantiated and in fact harmed the health of my parents. To be certain, their original Organic Dreams mattress has now increased in price by 40% the past several years so perhaps the focus is on dollars now instead of science and service.