I am looking to purchase a new king-size mattress in my hometown of San Diego,Ca. Can someone please share some advice: I am 6’2" and weigh 320 lbs and I have a tendency to very prematurely wear/breakdown mattresses. I am a side sleeper and my wife is also. I was thinking to go firm? I will travel north into Los Angeles or Orange County to make purchases if need be. Thank you. Gerry.
Hi Gerry … and welcome
You didn’t mention your budget range however I am happy to give you some general suggestions.
I would certainly be looking for a very firm support layer since you are above average weight and would have a tendency for your heavier parts to sink into your mattress which could lead to sleeping out of alignment. The materials of choice for a support layer would be either very firm latex (either Talalay or Dunlop with a minimum 36 ILD or higher) or a very firm and high quality innerspring. In latex I would likely lean towards Dunlop since it is denser and more supportive than Talalay. If you have a lower budget … then a polyfoam support layer could work as long as it was higher quality (I would be looking at 2.0 lbs/cubic foot density at a minimum and preferably higher) and also very firm.
Your comfort/pressure relief layer should be made from a durable material since this is the part which will wear out the most quickly. I would recommend latex here as well since it is the most durable foam available and also gives similar pressure relief to memory foam but lasts longer and is more supportive. Normally a good starting point for a side sleeper for a comfort layer would be about 3" and an ILD (a measurement of firmness with higher numbers being firmer) in the range of 19 - 24 ILD however given your higher weight I would consider something a little firmer than “normal” so I would not likely go below 24 ILD as long as that provided you with adequate pressure relief in your mattress testing.
Talalay is often preferred in a comfort/pressure relief layer since it is available in softer versions than Dunlop but in your case Dunlop or Talalay would be a matter of personal preference since both are available in a 24 ILD range. Dunlop is denser and has a higher support factor so it will help to “hold up” your more recessed parts (lumbar area) than Talalay even though a comfort layer is mostly about pressure relief rather than support.
Overall … your mattress should be a minimum of 8 - 9" and you would not need more than 12" (3 - 4" in the comfort layer and the rest as a support layer)
If you are significantly heavier than your wife, then it would be well worth looking at a mattress with a different construction on each side since she will likely need a softer comfort layer and support layers than you will.
There are quite a few independent mattress manufacturers in CA and a few of them that are closer to you are in the list that follows (there are more if you go right into LA itself).
Another option is to work with a DIY (Do it yourself) manufacturer such as several that are members here and if you have tested several mattresses locally and have written down the layering information of the mattresses that “worked” for you, they are very good at using your testing results to design a mattress that is custom made for your needs. They can also make a side by side “split” mattress if your wife’s needs are different from yours.
Let me know if you have any more specific questions but I would certainly start with a few phone calls and then some mattress testing at some of the independent manufacturers that are close to you.
Thanks Phoenix for your advice. I was figuring on a budget of $1000 and I was going to purchase just a mattress w/o boxsprings as i will be using a platform bed. Should I go with a firm innerspring? Any feedback on Kingdom Mattresses? as i can get a great deal on one? Any feedback on Stress-o-pedic Mattresses? Thanks,Gerry
Kingdom mattress is a wholesale manufacturer that is sold through retail outlets. They provide no online information about the construction of their mattresses so a consumer would be dependent on the ability of the retailer to show you the exact materials and specs of their mattresses.
I am a firm believer that brand means little as what is actually in a mattress and how it is constructed is more important than the brand name that is on it. Local independent manufacturers tend to be more open about how they make their mattresses and because they have a shorter supply chain tend to have much greater quality and value which means that they are usually (not always) better sources. They tend not to sell “stories” as much as sell a mattress based on accurate information that can be “trusted”.
My other half owned a Stress-O-Pedic called a Chiro Ultra Plush which is currently over 12 years old and is still being used by her son. It is 2 sided and was flipped on a regular basis and even though it is polyfoam … it still has little in the way of body impressions. This doesn’t mean that all Stress-O-Pedic mattresses are great … only that this particular construction used good materials. It’s the construction and the materials that made it a good value … not the brand. Having said that … I do like the imformation that is on their website and even though they are not a factory direct outlet … they are a regional manufacturer which in general I believe has better value than better known national brands.
If you are planning to put your new mattress on a slatted foundation … I would tend towards a foam support core rather than an innerspring. Having said that … if you do prefer the feel of an innerspring … I would make sure that you “test” it on a similar platform to what you will be using as many (not all) innerspring mattresses are produced as part of a “sleep system” and rely on a functional boxspring to provide the pressure relief and spinal alignment that they are “designed” to provide.
In general … the single most important “rule” you can follow when buying a mattress of any type is to “lean towards” independent and local factory direct manufacturers or a retail outlet who purchases directly from a wholesale manufacturer who provides accurate information about the mattresses they produce and sell and who are willing to help you select or design a mattress that is perfect for your unique needs and will tell you “why” it is perfect without having to sell you on a “story”. They will encourage and give you the “tools” to make accurate comparisons rather than trying to discourage you from comparison shopping for the sake of making a sale.