My wife and I need help finding a mattress for cosleeping.

Phoenix, first of all this site is incredible. I devoured the overviews you have here, and it made me feel much more confident going into the stores and rebuffing the hard sale tactics of the workers there.

My wife and I are upgrading to a queen size mattress, but more importantly we have a 2 month-old baby who is sleeping in the bed with us. Our current mattress is a fairly plush model with a pillow top, and it has developed some fairly large divots where we sleep. Our baby rolls a bit toward us whenever we lie down, which isn’t safe for him, and makes it harder for my wife t sleep and to feed him at night.

At the store, we tried several firm and comfort firm mattresses from the big name brands (which was all that they had available). None were perfect, but I think our favorite was the Iseries firm called “applause”. Second choice was stearnes and foster estate series luxury firm.

Of course, I haven’t been able to find the construction specs of these mattresses, but I imagine they use too much foam and charge way too much for their durability. So two questions for you, if you don’t mind…

1- Do you know of any good outlet suppliers in our general area? We’re in Maryland, zip 20902.

2- From your list of subscribed sales sites (which look great), could you recommend something we might like that would have the firmness on top to keep our baby safe and comfortable?

Thank you so much!

Hi GameMasterXO,

There is a list of the better choices in the DC corridor that I’m aware of in post #2 here.

If you are co-sleeping … it becomes especially important to choose materials that are as healthy and “safe” as possible (in terms of possible toxins or offgassing as well as performance) not only for adults but for babies and infants as well who have less developed immune systems and who need a firmer sleep surface. There is lots of information and links in this thread about mattresses and children which should help (even though they are mostly about mattresses for children and not as much for co-sleeping).

In general I would avoid memory foam completely and I would focus on more natural materials such as latex, innersprings, and natural fibers (in the quilting and ticking).

The iseries applause is an innerspring mattress which also contains synthetic low density polyfoam which will soften much more quickly than higher quality materials and it also contains memory foam which I would avoid. I would never suggest a mattress from a major brand which doesn’t disclose their materials and which are generally poor quality/value components. The 1.5 “comfort foam” and the "Hi IFD “support foam” are both lower quality/density and would be subject to early softening.

There are many Stearns & Foster “luxury firm” models in the Estate series (as you can see here) but I would also avoid all of them because they all use layers of polyfoam and/or memory foam in the upper layers which again would be the weak link of these mattresses because the polyfoam will soften and degrade faster than higher quality materials.

I personally wouldn’t even take the time to test mattresses where you don’t know (or can’t find out) the type and quality of the layers in it because even if you like the “feel” of one of these they won’t tell you much about your needs and preferences when it comes to other types of materials.

To recap though … I would choose materials that are safer which means innersprings, latex, and natural fibers. If your mattress does use polyurethane form … I would make sure that it was CertiPur certified.

I would choose a mattress that is a little firmer in the comfort layers than you would otherwise choose if you were sleeping without the baby. You can always add a topper (either foam or wool which is great for ventilation, humidity control, and temperature regulation) if it is a little bit too firm but children generally do better with a firmer mattress than adults. This doesn’t mean something that is “rock hard” but I would “err” slightly on the side of firmness rather than softness.

I would avoid mattresses that use a fire barrier where the manufacturer can’t tell you what is in it or what type it is. A wool fire barrier or a viscose/silica fire barrier would be the two “safest” choices IMO.

I would avoid the use of glues in your mattress unless you can confirm that the glue that is used is a water based non toxic and non offgassing glue.

Personal testing would be important to make sure that a mattress you are considering matches your needs and preferences for PPP (pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and Personal preferences) even though “just enough” in terms of pressure relief is the goal. Which type of mattress would be best for you will depend on your body types, sleeping positions, and preferences and because there are so many variables between people … there isn’t a “formula” that can “input” your specs and come up with a “perfect” layering. Most manufacturers and better sleep shops though are good at helping you make good choices and will help educate you about the benefits of the different choices they carry. I would make sure you call them first to talk about your criteria and get a sense of the general level of knowledge and service you can expect if you decide to visit them.

As a backup … there are also some good online options available to you if you find that your local options are not quite what you want in terms of either value or materials. They are listed in post #21 here. One of these (Cozy Pure) has a bricks and mortar store about 4 hours away from you but they make some very high quality premium mattresses that would certainly fit the bill (and are customizable) if they are inside your budget.

Hope this helps and if you have more questions along the way feel free to post them :slight_smile:


Have you thought about just getting a co-sleeper? I had the Arm’s Reach co-sleeper and really liked it. It was close, safe, and made sleeping easier.

It does sound like you need a new mattress anyways but I thought I’d throw out another option. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the response, Phoenix. We went to one of the outlets from the dlc area list (mattress, and they were very nice. He didn’t really know what I was talking about with polyfoam, though.

We tried 2 Therapedic mattresses that we liked the firm feel of. The first was a therapedic Oxford. I found it online, and the first major details I found indicated polyurethane as one of the main components, which worried me.

The second was a “ultimate”, 2 sided mattress. I couldn’t find it at first, but I think this is it:

Again, I can’t find component details, but he was offering the ultimate to us for 1000, shipping included, as a Veteran’s Day sale, which is a pretty great deal considering the stie lists a queen set at 1650.

Anyway, I wasn’t going to drop the bullet without confirmation that therapedic is a good company. Thanks for your help!

Hi GameMasterXO,

The most important part of buying a new mattress is to pay less attention to who makes it and much more attention to what is in the mattress. The “brand” of a mattress is much less important than the type and quality of materials that are in it and knowing these and only dealing with retailers that can tell you is one of the most important steps you can take.

The steps that are listed in post #1 here will give you much better odds of buying a high quality mattress that is suitable for your specific needs and preferences (such as co-sleeping and perhaps the use of more natural materials if that is your preference) than any type of “brand shopping”. As you can see … finding the better retailers or factory direct manufacturers in your area (or online) that can provide you with the information about their mattresses that you need to make meaningful comparisons can be one of the most important steps in mattress shopping and should come before starting to choose a specific mattress. Choosing a mattress that is sold by a retailer than can’t inform and educate you about the materials in their mattresses will only end up being wasted time because you will never know what you are buying and will be rolling the dice in terms of quality and value.

We tried 2 Therapedic mattresses that we liked the firm feel of. The first was a Therapedic Oxford. I found it online, and the first major details I found indicated polyurethane as one of the main components, which worried me.

Not only is it important to decide if you are comfortable with polyfoam … it’s also important to know the specific quality and safety of any polyfoam that is in any mattress you are considering. Safety can be known by making sure the polyfoam is CertiPur tested (and many people wouldn’t choose it anyway for a baby) and the quality and value of a mattress can only be known if you are dealing with a retailer who can tell you the density of the polyfoam in the mattress (unless you can find the same information online or from other sources and this can be a frustrating and time consuming search). I would never consider any mattress where you can’t find out the details of the type and quality of the materials. The better retailers will understand the importance of providing this to their customers (even though these are in the minority) and will make finding out this information easy for you.

Therapedic is a licensing group of factories and different factories supply different areas of the country and may have different specs for the same mattress. Some retailers have a better relationship with their local factory and make a point of finding out the details of the materials that are in the mattress. Others don’t. Again … brand means very little when you are mattress shopping since the materials determine the quality and value of the mattress. The knowledge and experience of the person that sells you the mattress and that you work with is either the best friend you will have or the most difficult obstacle you will have to overcome.

So if you are seriously considering either of these two mattresses and are comfortable with polyfoam … then I would make sure that the retailer can give you the specific quality specs that you need (and I usually recommend talking to them before you visit to make sure they will do this ahead of time) and if they either can’t or won’t then I would pass them by or at least pass on any mattress where they don’t have this information available. I would also be skeptical of most of the sales you see because good quality and value mattresses are available every day of the year.

I’m glad you didn’t pull the trigger on any mattress that is a blind purchase before posting here. There are far too many people who are doing this (probably the majority of consumers that don’t know how to find out the quality of a mattress) and end up buying a mattress that is lower quality and higher priced than it should be and certainly than they would want.


I called the store, got the manufacturers number, and called them. Here are the details he had for me.

1- 1 and a half inches of polyfoam in the top layer of the bed. He said this is certipur, but still that seems like a pretty large amount.

2- Another inch of foam in the lower layer. He’s not sure about the certification here.

3- Fire barrier is “all-natural wool”.

4- No glues used, according to the associate I spoke with.

So, I am of course worried about what seems to me like a large amount of polyfoam in the mattress. But we loved the feel, it’s double sided, and the other materials seem alright.

Does 1000 for bed, box spring, delivery, and bed frame seem like a good deal, or is the amount of foam too much of a deal breaker?

Hi GameMasterXO,

I’m not sure which mattress you are describing because it doesn’t match the descriptions of the Therapedics that you linked earlier.

In order to really know the quality/value of a mattress though you will need more specific information than this.

The first piece of information you need is a spec sheet of all the layers and components such as the one in one of your previous links here (the two sided Therapedic). The description you provided only includes 3 layers (the 1.5" quilting polyfoam, the 1" of polyfoam, and the wool). This is only about 3" or so (depending on the thickness of the wool) of the contents of the mattress. You will need them all (and they need to add up to the thickness of the mattress).

The second and perhaps most important information you will need is the quality/density of the foams used or details about the other components in the mattress. Knowing the density of the foam in a quilting layer that is in the range of 1" or so (and I would call 1.5" "in the range) is not as important if it is the only polyfoam layer in the upper layers of the mattress and is over a higher quality foam. Because it is generally already soft, if it softens further it won’t niormally have a major impact on the mattress. If however it is over more polyfoam or other materials that have a higher risk of softening or degrading more quickly … then in combination with these other potentially lower quality layers, foam softening can become an issue. Lower density polyfoam is also cheap and the price of the mattress should reflect this. If the foam or other materials in the upper layers of the mattress softens or degrades … the resulting loss of comfort and support is not covered by warranty. This “foam quality” information is completely missing in the information you have and yet it is the only way to determine what the “weak link” in the mattress may be.

Finally … if your mattress uses materials where higher levels of “safety” may be an issue (such as for a baby) … then the information about the certification of all the materials can also be important.

Overall … this is not nearly enough information to evaluate this mattress and I would want more information about the quality of the materials before I considered it. Even the lowest quality materials can feel just as comfortable initially as higher quality materials. They just don’t stay that way for long. The durability of a two sided mattress is better than an equivalent one sided mattress with the same foam layers but the information about the quality of the materials is still important.

Comfort is what you feel when you first lie on a mattress. It is often connected to the pressure relieving qualities of a mattress and is the easiest to “feel” in showroom testing.

Support/alignment is what you feel when you get up in the morning (either with or without back pain or discomfort). since this is more difficult to test for in a showroom … post #11 here has some helpful guidelines.

Finally, quality determines what the mattress will feel like in a year or (hopefully) longer down the road depending on how fast the materials in your mattress soften and/or degrade.

Beyond this … all the other preferences including the relative safety and other qualities of the mattress can be added to your evaluation beyond just the “essentials”.

I personally wouldn’t consider buying a mattress where the information about the quality of the materials was either missing, not available, or was too difficult to find. Retailers need to have this type of information readily available if they want to validate anything they say about the quality of a mattress. There are too many good options where this information is available and that can provide you with everything that you need and prefer in a mattress to consider buying a mattress where you are making a completely “blind” purchase IMO.


Yeah, I couldn’t get the details I wanted out of them, so I’m switching to looking at your store partners on the site.

My favorite so far, in terms of price and friendliness on the phone, is

I’m looking at their 7" and their 9" latex beds. Both have an organic wool and cotton 1" top layer, which sounds good for baby safety. However, reading your information on this site, I’m a bit worried about using natural fibers in our comfort layer. My wife shifts frequently at night (especially now that she is nursing the baby in bed), and I sleep predominantly on my side, and you listed both of these as potential red flags in terms of comfort when using a natural fiber top layer.

The more expensive 9" bed adds 2" of talalay latex to the comfort layer, so would that help to offset the potential negatives to using only natural fibers in the comfort layer?

Secondly, the sales associate said that their core layer is generally 32 ILD. If I went with the 7", that should be the only determinant of firmness, besides the wool/cotton 1". With the 9" bed, they offer a 26 ILD or a 35 ILD topper.

I would love to go to a store to test what firmness feels right, but:

1 - I haven’t had much luck finding pure latex beds in any of our local stores.
2 - I definitely haven’t found any 1" wool layer beds to test out.

So, I love the sound of this company, love their prices, love their customer service, but I’m worried that I’ll buy the bed, without a chance to test something comparable, and find that it’s either too soft, making the baby roll around, or too firm for us to sleep comfortably.

Sorry to be a pest, but any suggestions on trying a comparable mattress, and on whether the 7" or 9" might be our better option, considering our sleep habits where natural fiber beds are concerned, would be much appreciated!

Hi GameMasterXO,

I wouldn’t consider wool to be a “red flag” and as a matter of fact it would be more of a “green flag” because it is a very high quality fiber and IMO is much preferable to synthetic fibers.

Thinner layers of wool that are used as a fire barrier will have some effect on the feel of the layers under it (it can soften firmer layers or firm up softer layers depending on the amount and type of the wool layer itself) but this is neither “bad or good” and simply a part of the overall design and performance of the mattress. Fairly thin layers of densified wool can slightly reduce the compression of softer foam underneath it to a degree but the firmness/softness and thickness of the foam will have a bigger effect on how it feels than the wool. I would certainly prefer a wool quilting that is used for a fire barrier than other types of fire barrier and it certainly wouldn’t make the mattress “hard”. Thicker layers of wool (thicker than what is in the mattresses you are looking at) can even provide a cushioning effect for pressure points (although thicker layers will become firmer as they compress over time but they will never compact down to the same degree as cotton batting and will maintain resiliency because of the nature of wool fibers). I certainly hope I didn’t leave the impression somewhere that wool is an “undesirable” material because it certainly isn’t IMO. It’s a high quality component that is part of what provides the overall feel and performance of a mattress and does what it does (especially controlling humidity, ventilation, and temperature control) very well :slight_smile:

This would be “in the range” of an “average” core firmness but how firm this feels will depend on the other components as well and what each person considers to be soft or firm. The firmness of a mattress is a combination of the ILD’s of the layers in the mattress, the thickness of the mattress thinner layers or mattresses are firmer than thicker layers or mattresses, and the rest of the components (such as the ticking and quilting) and how they all interact. In addition to this … different people can have very different definitions or reference points for what is firm or soft depending on what they are used to, the type of softness they are most sensitive to (there are different types of soft depending on whether someone is more sensitive to support or comfort softness), their perceptions, and their body type and sleeping position.

There are several of the outlets in the DC list that offer latex mattresses that may be similar. Ikea for example has a 7" Dunlop latex mattress (which is partly synthetic) with a compressed wool layer in the quilting although they don’t provide information about the ILD of the latex. A few phone calls that describe what you are looking for will provide some latex options even though none of them will be exactly the same as Rocky Mountain. Savvy Rest for example also has a 6" Dunlop latex mattress with a wool quilted cover (and a 9" as well) where you can choose the firmness of the layers.

I suspect the 1" is the pre-compressed height of the wool rather than the actual compressed height. Wool density (such as oz/sq ft) will usually give you a good idea of how much wool is used but in most cases wool layers that are used for fire barriers are in the range of 1.8 oz/sq ft and are needle punched which means they are compressed. You can see some good information here about wool used as a fire barrier.

This is part of the risk of an online purchase and in most cases it’s a good idea to have a more detailed phone conversation with the manufacturer or retailer so that they can give you more information about how others of your general height/weight/sleeping position and circumstances have interacted with the mattresses you are considering. They will know more about how each mattress “works” for different people than anyone else. You will need to provide them with your body type information along with your normal sleeping positions and any other information that is relevant for them to have better odds of “fitting” you to the model or mattress that they offer which has the best odds of being suitable for your needs and preferences. It can also be important to know what options you have if an online purchase is “wrong” and you need to make adjustments or an exchange because this is also part of the “value equation” of an online purchase.

You have some “testing” options locally and perhaps even some purchase options but if these don’t “fit” what you are looking for either in terms of construction or value then you also have some good online options as well (including Rocky Mountain of course) but I would have a more detailed conversation with any of them that you are considering so you have some degree of confidence that the mattress you are considering along with any return/exchange policies they offer are within your “risk tolerance”.