new to forum!

Hi there everyone, this is my first post! I’ve been reading a bit and this forum is a godsend. I was so confused at first. I’m still plenty confused lol but I can see this is a great place to start learning before I make a purchase.

I’m in Canada (Ontario, in the Greater Toronto Area).

Can anyone tell me if I am on the right track here?

I am a stomach and side sleeper. I always start off going to sleep on my side, and usually wake up on my side or my stomach.

I toss and turn throughout the night, but I am the only one in my bed as I live alone, so not sure how much of an issue the motion transfer thing is for me.

I do wake up sweaty at times, so I guess I am a “hot sleeper”?

I have had a history of low back pain and some neck pain. I have always slept on “normal” mattresses (innerspring, I guess?) and my current mattress is a 10 years old and has noticeable sagging. Time for a new one!

So considering all of these factors, I am thinking I would do well with a medium-firm or firm latex mattress, maybe without a pillowtop so I could rotate and flip it.

Does this sound right? And if so, where should I start looking in my area?


Hi sleepyface,

I would say you’re definitely on the right track.

In general … latex is such a durable material that even in a mattress which is one sided … it makes a very good choice.

A pillowtop is generally an extra layer of foam on top of a firmer mattress that also contains some foam and really means a separate “pillow” that is attached to a firmer mattress. The pillowtop itself is not as big an issue as the materials that are actually in the extra “pillow”. If it’s latex (and the pillowtop doesn’t make the comfort layers too thick for your circumstances) then a pillowtop would be fine. In other words the thickness of the top layers as a whole (including the pillowtop or without a pillowtop) and the materials that are used are the most important. A pillowtop can be made a little softer than a “tight top” which has the same amount of material because the pillow acts more as an independent layer (something like a topper but not as much).

While most mattress materials do better with two sided construction … and it will even extend the life of a latex mattress and any quilting fibers or foam that is on top of a mattress … it’s not as necessary with the most durable materials such as latex and would become a “value” choice rather than a “necessary” choice. I would also feel free to experiment with latex comfort layers over latex, innerspring, and higher quality polyfoam support cores depending on your budget and on your preferences.

Combination side and stomach sleepers have a particularly difficult challenge. Side sleeping needs softer thicker comfort layers to relieve pressure while stomach sleepers need the opposite with firmer/thinner comfort layers to prevent sleeping in a swayback position which can cause back issues. The “best” approach is generally to choose the least thick and soft comfort layers that provide good pressure relief on your side so that your are closer to the support layers for better alignment on your stomach.

I’m guessing you already have but a good place to start is the overviews in the mattresses section of the site. I would browse them rather than “study” them with a goal of being able to ask better questions rather than becoming an “expert”. While even this will give you more knowledge than many more “mainstream” outlets, the better outlets will usually have a lot more “accurate” knowledge and experience and with your better questions in combination with their willingness to help someone who has done some homework … you can make much better choices. Of course there’s lots more detailed information on the site if you choose to go in that direction.

There is a Toronto and GTA thread here which has quite a few of the better options in the GTA and some information and feedback from a few members as well. Feel free to post any feedback from your experiences and also to post any questions along the way :).


Hey Phoenix!

Thank you so much for the informative reply.

So I checked out the GTA thread you linked to and then took a trip to Ideal Mattress Ltd. The staff there is very nice, I spoke mostly to Stan.

I tried conventional, latex and quolex (sp?) foam. I hadn’t come across Quolex foam but I guess it’s like hard foam as opposed to memory foam.

I actually liked the feel of one of the Quolex foam beds (the Ideal Aqua), but Stan said that since I am a side/stomach sleeper, Quolex is probably too firm for me.

It is foam core, 8" full core, soya quolex base, 3lbs with a 35 ILD comfort support. And according to my research, 40 ILD is the firmest, correct? So this mattress is pretty damn firm haha… Do you think this is too firm for me? Stan said I would probably end up with some shoulder pain from sleeping on a mattress that firm. I think that maybe I loved the firm feel so much because I have been sleeping on a crappy, sagging mattress for way too long.

Stan also said that foam beds are not that great for “hot sleepers” and that latex is more breathable.

The Ideal Aqua isn’t featured on the website for some reason.

I tried the Ideal Phantom which is here: (4th one down)

Good price for me, $950 for the double mattress only. Any feelings on the soya based foam core?

I also tried out an all natural latex bed (latex base with 1" latex comfort layer, least thick comfort layer they had). This felt very good and supportive, it even felt great without the comfort layer. Stan said it was the firmest latex base possible. For the latex base (made from 100% dunlop latex) and 1" latex comfort layer and organic cotton cover, the price would be $1700 for a double mattress only. I thought this was high, what do you think?

I asked about seeing a copy of the warranty before I buy. Stan advised they do not print out warranties for the latex beds as there is not much that would go wrong with latex aside from rips/tears. Is this a red flag, not being able to see a copy of the warranty before buying?

I am going to go back and try to narrow down my search to one bed. I think the problem is that since my old mattress sucks so hard, all of the mattresses in the store feel great by comparison haha… So I am going to have to lie on each mattress for a longer period of time, to make sure I don’t get one that is so firm it gives me pressure point aches.

Forgot to mention in my original post that I have one of those Ikea bed frames with the wooden slats. It’s got a metal bar down the middle and 24 slats (12 on each side of the bar). Not sure if this would make a difference as to what mattress I should purchase.

The Phantom is a great price but I would be willing to pay more for the latex one I think. Too bad Ideal is not a member of the underground as there is no discount. Do you think I should try to haggle? I can afford it, but $1700 for a double mattress only seems crazy to me!

Thanks again so much for your help, and thank you for bearing with me and my confusion! This is my first time ever purchasing a new mattress.

Hi Sleepyface,

The quolex is actually Qualux which is a very high quality polyfoam manufactured by Carpenter. It is designed to “mimic” latex and is one of the highest quality polyfoams available. if the top layer is 35 ILD … then he is probably right that you would develop pressure problems with this mattress on your side.

He’s also right that latex is more breathable and cooler than polyfoam although polyfoam is usually cooler than memory foam as a whole.

[quote]I tried the Ideal Phantom which is here: (4th one down)

Good price for me, $950 for the double mattress only. Any feelings on the soya based foam core?[/quote]

This looks like a good possibility. The “soya based” foam core is polyfoam which has some of the petrochemical polyols (a chemical used to make polyfoam) replaced with plant oils. Basically it’s another name for polyfoam. They don’t say the density of the base layer but as long as it’s 1.8 or higher and fairly firm for support it should be fine. They say it’s HR (like the qualux) but HR starts at 2.5 lbs and it’s usually only HD which would be fine and they do seem to use some higher density/quality support foams. They also don’t say what the ILD of the latex is but if you test it and it’s good for both pressure relief and support then it would likely be a good choice and the value is good. Dunlop gets firmer faster than Talalay so this would be an advantage for your stomach sleeping. It would be roughly comparable to a mattress like the Sealy Embody Insightful here.

This does seem a little bit on the high side but Canada tends to be more than the US and this is still less than most mattresses that would be in any way comparable in a mass market outlet. They also seem to have a comfort selection system here which may be interesting (unless this is where the all latex you were mentioning came from).

It seems to me that there are some good choices there. Now that you have a few reference points … it may also be a good idea to phone a couple of the other outlets and tell them you are looking at say a “3” latex over HD polyfoam mattress" or a “6” latex with a 1" latex layer on top" and see if they have anything comparable in the same price range.

It does seem very strange that you can’t see the warranty before you buy a mattress. They don’t have to print it out … just let you read it. I have no explanation for this and it seems strange to me.

Spending enough time on each mattress that’s a real possibility is a very good idea. Try to completely relax just like you were going to sleep and give youself enough time for your muscles to completely let go (say around 15 minutes).

If the slats don’t have a gap more than 3" and there is support to the floor in the middle bar then you’ll be fine. If the bar doesn’t have center support to the floor then you can add it (it’s usually a good idea even with a full size when you have a heavier mattress).

I probably would at least try. I would tell them that you know of several all latex mattresses that are less than that (using some of the member sites for reference) that you can have shipped to Canada and use this as a reference point.It never hurts to try.

Overall I think you are well on your way. Now that you have a rough idea of what works for you I would spend some time on the phone talking to a few of the other outlets on the list to satisfy yourself about local prices (some of them also look pretty good) and then go from there.


Hi again, Phoenix

Well, I wrote the information down from the sign beside the Ideal Phatom mattress. It reads:
3" Natural Sri Lankan Latex
1.5" Soya Based Convoluted Air Flow Foam (looks like this isn’t included on the website, not sure why)

…Then it says a bunch of stuff about the foundation, so I guess it doesn’t say what the density is. Though it had a “firmness scale” out of 10 (1 being the firmest, 5 being medium) and the Phantom ranks at a 4, if that helps at all.

Just to confirm, when you say “base layer,” is this another term for “support core?” I think it is, I just want to make sure I’m understanding what I read in the Overview section.

In any case, I will check with them and ask what the density of the polyfoam is. I will also ask what the ILD of the latex is.

Is it okay for a stomach sleeper to have a 3" comfort layer though? Because you were saying I should go for a thinner comfort layer?

He said that for that custom bed, the latex would be from Italy. So I could have a 6" firm natural latex base, and whatever kind of comfort layer I want.

Great idea, I will do that. I will also see if I can read the warranty. Stan said their default warranty for latex mattresses is a 10-year non-pro-rated warranty, which sounds fine to me, but it is not worth anything unless I have a copy in my hand when I buy it, you know?

Do you mean a gap between the slats themselves, or between the slats and the metal bar? Here are some pictures I took of the slats:

The metal bar isn’t connected to the floor in any way. How would I go about adding a support to the floor?

Great idea! And you’re right, it’s definitely worth a shot.

Hi Sleepyface,

[quote]Well, I wrote the information down from the sign beside the Ideal Phatom mattress. It reads:
3" Natural Sri Lankan Latex
1.5" Soya Based Convoluted Air Flow Foam (looks like this isn’t included on the website, not sure why)[/quote]

The Sri Lankan latex is Dunlop and likely good quality (probably either Latex Green or Arpico which are both good)

As you say, they don’t say anything about the 1.5" Soya based convoluted which is polyfoam and it would be nice to know the density of this layer. the convolute (also called eggcrate because of the hills and dimples in the foam) is a way to make foam softer and the theory is that it created air channels underneath the upper layers.

The website description says there is 6" of HR polyfoam underneath the latex. This could be either the convoluted foam and another 3" or it could be an additional 6". The HR foam is probably HD foam and the mattress below it (the ergo-pedic) uses 2.2 lb base foam which is good quality and it’s likely that it’s the same. the firmness of foam is independent of its quality (both low and high quality/density foam can be soft or firm)

Yes … it’s the same thing. One refers to the function (support core) and one more to the position (base or bottom layer).

It’s probably from GommaGomma which is a large foam producer. They have some interesting products and are doing some interesting things. This would give you a chance to try out various combinations but the price is probably higher.

I still don’t understand their reluctance wth the warranty. While warranties are no big deal and mostly a marketing tool rather than protection … knowing the warranty exclusions can be helpful (such as depth of impressions that aren’t covered). The only real way to know the the quality of a mattress is knowing the materials that are in it.

Yes … the gap between the slats. It’s hard to tell for sure but they look like the spacing is OK.

While it’s less necessary to add center support with a double size … it’s still a good idea with a heavier mattress. You can add center support with something like this (one in the middle would be fine).

This would really be a matter of testing to see if a 2" layer would give you adequate pressure relief. Because it’s Dunlop latex (which gets firmer faster than Talalay latex as you compress it more deeply) and because it not really soft, … then you’re probably OK for support but it would depend a lot on your weight and weight distribution. The only way to know for certain is with your own personal testing and lying on your stomach for long enough to let your muscles completely relax and then checking for any pain or tension (swayback) in the lower back.


Hey Phoenix, lonnnnng time since an update.

So I went to Soma Sleep in Toronto. Nice place! The owner John is great, he really seems to know his stuff.

I tried the 6" firm organic latex mattress for a full 15 minutes and it didn’t give me any swayback pain. There is no comfort layer, just the 6" of latex, but it feels good to me.

The mattress in the showroom had one side firm and the other side medium-firm, so you could feel the difference between the two just by rolling over to the other side. Very cool!

The mattress is 100% Dunlop latex from Sri Lanka (Arpico is the supplier, which I remember you said is a good supplier).

Warranty is 20 years total (the first 10 years are non-prorated and the next 10 are prorated).

All certified organic (including the wool).

Price is $2150 which is even more than Ideal’s mattress, but I like this one more and the warranty is more straight-forward and transparent.

It also comes with two free natural rubber pillows!

I think this might be the one! :slight_smile:

In reference to your last post, I am 6’ tall and around 175 lbs. John and I talked about weight distribution and pressure pain and he said he doesn’t think it would be a problem. Also I didn’t feel any pain after testing the mattress.

Hi Sleepyface,

You certainly found some high quality mattresses however as you probably know they also carry a premium price.

I always have mixed feelings in cases like these because on the one hand they certainly carry high quality mattresses and Arpico makes high quality Dunlop and when a mattress “works” then price becomes somewhat of a lesser issue. On the other hand … there are many mattresses with similar construction (6" of natural Dunlop latex with an organic wool quilted ticking) which are much less. Of course you didn’t mention if this comes with a foundation as well and that would also make a difference in the overall value.

If you are happy with the mattress though in terms of how it feels and performs and you are happy with the price you are paying … then you have certainly found a good choice for you.

A 6" Dunlop latex mattress can work well for many people … particularly if they like their mattress a little on the firmer side … and since you seem to be fairly tall and slim it could certainly be a good choice, particularly if you don’t spend much time on your side and/or if you prefer a firmer feel.

I would probably make a few calls and see what else is near you that might be comparable and if this still seems like the best option for you then of course your own personal “value equation” is always the most important part of any purchase.


Hey Phoenix,

It doesn’t come with a foundation, but I already have the Ikea slatted bed base so it’s all good.

I also got the center bedframe leg support you suggested for the bed base.

It is a bit pricey, but the mattress was great when I tested it. Also, John and Tony had answers to all of my questions. I also like that everything is certified organic.

Yes, I have been trying to sleep on my side (with a pillow in between my legs) but I usually end up waking up on my stomach. It’s hard to tell how long I actually spend on my stomach when I’m sleeping. I figured I would get the firm bed because of this, but John suggested that I should still try to sleep on my side, as it would be even better for my back in the long run.

Phoenix, I would like to thank you for all of your help with this. If it weren’t for your website, I probably would have ended up buying some crappy brand name mattress. I will let you know how the mattress is in a month or so!

Hi sleepyface,

I’m looking forward to your report :slight_smile:

I would also give the same advice regarding stomach sleeping. While I know it can be very difficult to change sleeping positions, and a firmer mattress can help … stomach sleeping is certainly the riskiest of all sleeping positions.

It’s also great to sleep without the worry of wondering what chemicals are in your mattress. There is an interesting (and excellent) article here about fire retardants (as one example) that is likely to cause some serious waves … and it’s great to see some of this coming to light.