Hi Phoenix, I was hoping to get your thoughts on an idea I have had, but in order for it to make sense I will probably have to give you my mattress search history first so you have context.
I am currently sleeping on a queen size innerspring pocket coil pillowtop mattress, and it is “ok”, I am not having any serious back problems or anything. The thing is I am at the point in my life where I can both afford and am willing to pay for better than “ok”.
So I started to look at more expensive mattresses a year ago, and was looking at memory foam, specifically tempurpedic (latex wasn’t even on my radar at that point) tempurpedic was expensive, but I was willing to pay more for a really good bed. I almost bought one too, the main reason I didn’t is because I wanted a california king size (I am fairly tall) and currently my toes can kinda hang off the end of my bed when I sleep. This was another reason for wanting a new bed, one that was long enough. Tempurpedic does have california king size, but for some reason they don’t sell that size in Canada, which is where I live. When I was looking in the local mattress store last year and the salesperson informed me i coulcn’t get tempurpedic in CK, he also showed me some latex beds, which I didn’t even bother to try at that point because I had no idea about them at all. So I put a pin in the whole new mattress idea for the time being.
Fast forward to this year and in the meantime I had been intrigued by this whole latex mattress idea, and being how I am I have been doing significant research about it because I never like to buy anything significant until I research it to death. After reading a lot of your posts I suspect you can relate.
So I started reading about latex, and advantages it has over memory foam, and am now actually very glad that tempurpedic did not have CK size in Canada, as I now firmly believe it would have been a mistake to buy that mattress. After what I have read and after trying a few different types in local stores. I am now quite sure that latex is what I want.
So the question now of course is which one. I have been reading up on different types and different brands (your site has been very helpful for this btw) and i have tried out a few types including both dunlop and talalay types in local stores. I have also been comparing what I can get in local stores to what is available online at places like Sleepez.
I am 6’2" tall and weigh about 220, so not skinny tall, but more broad shoulder and heavy set, not really overweight, but I do have a bit of a gut.
the models I have tried locally were the Greensleep Dolcezza, the Greensleep Vicence (new model not on their website yet), the Sleeptek euro 4, and several PLB models including worlds best bed, beautiful, nature, and pamper.
Before I get to how each one felt I will start with how they compare for the whole quality vs price thing.
Greensleep seems very high quality, but also very high price and likely significantly overpriced. Seeptek also seems high quality thought not quite as good as Greensleep, and it also seems overpriced, but again not by as much as Greensleep.
PLB seems very good quality, and msrp is quite high, but the salesman in the store quoted me a much lower price right off the bat without any negotiating or anything, so I suspect that PLB intentionally has high msrp so that the local dealer can give you a “deal”. The price he quoted me was a LOT lower than greensleep and still significantly lower than Sleeptek, so that price is more reasonable-ish at least for a local store price, but it still can’t compete with online prices.
So now on to my tryouts. I will start with the talalay models. The first one I tries was the PLB worlds best bed, it felt nice, but I could tell right away that it was just too soft, so I switched to trying the beautiful almost right away. The beautiful is very aptly named because that is exactly how it feels, beautiful. Soft, cushy, comfortable. It probably had the best initial feel of any of the models I tried, and I suspect they sell a lot of them because of that initial feel. However good it feel in the store though (and it does feel REALLY good) I am still concerned that it may be too soft support wise in the long term. So I also tried the Nature. That model doesn’t have the wow factor of the beautiful, but it was still quite comfortable, and would prbably have more support. So after trying those two, basically the emotional part of my brain was saying beautiful, and the logical part of my brain was saying nature. I also tried the pamper, but that one just felt too firm, so I dismissed it right away. So for talalay models it would probably be between the PLB beautiful and nature, prob leaning toward nature tho to be safe.
Now on to Dunlop models. I first tried the Greensleep Dolcezza which is their most expensive model, and it was interesting, but there is something about it that doesn’t quite feel right, even compared to other Greensleep models, I can’t quite put my finger on what it is though. So I also tried the Vicence, which is now the next model down, and slightly up from the Vimala I think. The Vicence has 9" of latex and always had a firm lower 3" and a soft uper 3", with the middle 3" being configurable. I tried it with medium firmness in the middle. It felt a lot firmer than the nature, and this even though it was on a flexible slatted foundation, where the Nature was on a more solid inflexible foundation. So it was firmer, and Dunlop latex definately feels different, not worse, just different. I also tried the sleeptek Euro 4, which is still overpriced, but less than the greensleep models. I actually felt pretty positive about this model, it also felt softer and more pressure releiving than the Vicence, even though it was on a firm non flexible foundation. This model has 10" of latex, with top 2" being always soft, and two 4" layers below being configureable, i tried it with firm on the bottom and medium in the middle. In theory it shouldn’t have been that much softer than the Vicence when you take into account the foundation, yet it did feel more comfortable and pressure relieving for some reason, even though the soft layer is only 2" versus 3" for the Vicence.
So this all comes down to various pros and cons of different models and brands, and also possibly buying online. So I have distilled these pros and cons down to these things.
PLB models, fairly reasonable price, tho still not nearly as good as online, very good initial feel vs concern about being too soft in the long term. Also a big disadvantage is you can’t replace layers if you want to adjust, you have to get it right the first time. Beautful has more wow factor, Nature would be the more conservative choice.
Greensleep and Sleeptek dunlop models, more over priced, expecially Greensleep. Vicence feels firmish, but maybe not too much so, I could get used to it. Sleeptek has nicer initial feel, both of these models are configurable, but only certain layers.
Online, very good price, more choice and configuration options, downside is you have to buy blind without trying first, and while you can exchange layers, it is still a hassle, especially with me being in a different country.
This last part is a big dilemma for me, and why I am so conflicted. With the online models being so configurable you have “potential” to get exactly what you need, but you have to know exactly what you need first, which is difficult.
So now I finally get to my idea which I want your opinion on. Here is how I came to this. I was thinking what you are constantly talking about regarding not just price or quality, but the combination of the two. Also remember that I can both afford to and am willing to pay more to get something really good. So when I was weighing the pros and cons of buying locally vs buying online, I realized i was just comparing how much of a lower price I could get for the same thing, then taking into account the disadvantage of not being able to try it first. What if I looked at it the other way, and instead of comparing how much of a lower price I could get for the same thing, what if I compared what I could get if I spent the same amount of money online. I realized if I spent the same amount for an online purchase, I could not only purchase a mattress, but also several extra layers to give me more configuration options. Now I know it seems like a waste to buy extra layers that will go to waste, but think about it. If I were to buy the PLB beautiful, that is 12" of latex which is not configurable, and it may work out, or may not. If I bought for example from Sleepez and got their 13000 model with 4 3" layers, and then bought 2 or maybe even 3 extra layers on top of that, it would actually cost me about the same as the beautiful, but think how many options I would have without ever having to exchange anything.
The more I thought about this idea, the more it appealed to me. I am one of those people who really hates the idea of having to deal with returning or exchanging stuff. I like to make my purchase and do it right the first time and be done with it. If I buy online, sure, I am buying blind, but if I get enough extra layers, I would have so many options that that may not matter at all. And I could do this for about the same price as buying locally. Instead of worrying and stressing about figuring out what I need within a 90 day or whatever exchange window. I would be able to exchange layers as I pleased over the next year without ever having to call anyone or wait for anything to get shipped to me. I could really take my time testing different combinations to get it just perfect.
I would be able to go at least as soft as the beautiful, and I would also be able to go significantly firmer than the firmest mattress I had tried locally, or anywhere in-between. All for about the same price as the beautiful and still significantly less than the price of the Greensleep or Sleeptek models. In addition to all this, if my needs changed in the future. I would already have different layers I could use to adjust.
So your thoughts on this idea? Am I crazy for wanting to spend more money just to have this extra flexibility?