Newbie ... Overwhelmed!!

Hello Everyone,

My husband and I are on the hunt for a new mattress. After doing much research I am very interested in an organic latex mattress, as it is very important to me that we minimize the toxins around us. We are very green and holistic, so it feels like a perfect choice.

However, our budget is not huge and this is an unexpected expense (isn’t it always!) but we will make the best of it. We live in the SF Bay Area and have gone to 2 local stores near us, The Natural Mattress Store and Urban Sleep. We are interested in a 3 layer latex mattress that has customizable sides. It seems that if we go with the OMI at Urban Sleep in Dunlop with top layer of Talalay, it is a few hundred less than a comparable model at Natural Mattress Store.

It seems very important to be able to feel the mattress and lay on it for as long as we want to decide if it’s right for us. The idea of mail ordering a mattress seems like such a hassle that I’m not sure I want to deal with. I’m a very practical, get it now and be done with it, person. I don’t want to have to mail back layer after layer to get it “right”.

With that said though, there seems to be a HUGE savings when ordering a mattress online. I had a friend recommend Flobeds, but price wise they don’t seem any different than what we are looking at in our local stores, so that rules them out for me.

I have come across SleepEZ and Foam Sweet Foam. Both seem to be about $600 less than what we are looking at in the store. However, I’m not sure I want to deal with the hassle of spending hours on the phone trying to evaluate what we like, what would be best for us, etc. To me it seems worth it to just spend the extra $ and be done with it! We are in the habit in our culture of buying time often (eating out, using gas, etc), are we not?

I’m not even really sure what I’m asking, but this is all so overwhelming and it is nice to see a whole forum of people with common interests, wanting to find the best mattress!

Has anyone had great success with Sleep EZ or Foam Sweet Foam? Foam Sweet Foam seems to be very honest about the latex they use on their website. What about Sleep EZ? There is a lot of info, maybe I will just give them a call …

I am in the process of researching about the latex itself, and will find out where Natural Mattress Store and Urban Sleep (OMI) get their latex today. I would very much like to avoid ANY synthetic latex if at all possible. It seems that with Dunlop this is not a problem, but Talalay is always a blend, except in rare cases? If anyone knows, I would appreciate hearing about what latex these stores use, it as it would save me a phone call!

Hi adriennej726,

Latex can certainly be a very good choice but I would also make sure that you are clear about why you are choosing “organic” latex which is a very different thing from “safe latex”. You can read much more about the controversial and “connected but different” subjects of organic, natural, safe, and green in post #2 here which may help you separate some of the fact from the fiction and help you answer “how safe is safe enough for me” or any of the other differences between latex or other materials that are most important to you.

The only organic latex that exists is Dunlop (there is no organic Talalay) and most of the OMI mattresses use Talalay (not organic). You can read a little more about organic latex and the other types of latex in post #6 here so you can decide what to choose based on more factual information instead of marketing and whether what you are looking at is really organic and whether the premium that comes with the organic certification (for those that are really certified) is worth the extra price you will pay. All of the retailers and manufacturers you are looking at are transparent and will tell you what type of latex they are using (organic, 100% natural, or blended Dunlop and 100% natural or blended Talalay) and many of them offer choices between several of them.

There are some very good choices in the San Francisco area and in case you haven’t seen them they are listed in post #2 here.

When you are comparing mattresses it’s important to make sure that you are making apples to apples comparisons between them. This involves the materials in the mattress of course (type and amount of latex, type of cover and quilting and any other components) and making sure they are similar enough to make fair comparisons. It’s just as important though to make sure you take the suitability and features of a mattress into account as well as any design benefits that may be beneficial for you and all the other options that you have when you are dealing with a particular manufacturer or retailer. All of the many parts of a mattress purchase … including of course the “raw commodity value” … are all important parts of your personal value equation.

When you look back on a mattress purchase you will remember much more about how well you slept over the years than you will about any small differences in price. Of course larger price differences between basically similar mattresses (making sure that they are actually similar) would also be an important part of any buying decision. Flobeds is a very high quality and knowledgeable manufacturer that can have very good value … particularly since they recently lowered their regular prices (see post #11 here).

They are both among the best quality and value available and I don’t think that it may be quite as complex as you may think but of course which direction you choose to make a purchase is all part of what is most important to you. Online is a little “riskier” although less so when you have good exchange possibilities and with local choices you have the ability to actually test a mattress for PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment and Personal preferences) before you buy it. the key with this though is that you use objective and specific testing rather than just “comfort testing” which is usually not much more accurate than random chance alone (see this study about the actual suitability of the mattress choices people usually make).

I would make sure you have read the information in post #1 here which is the most important post on the forum and includes all the information, guidelines, and steps you will need to make your best and most suitable choices. It boils down to …

First, spending an hour or two here gathering some basic information about mattresses, materials, and design.

Second, learning what to avoid and what to focus on

Third, research your better options in terms of retailers and manufacturers that have the knowledge and experience to help educate you, will tell you what is in every layer of their mattresses, and help you make better quality and value choices

Fourth, test mattresses at each retailer you want to work with and narrow down your choices at each to the one that is the best 'match" for you.

Finally … choose between what by this time will be “all good choices” (including any online options you are considering that are similar to any “finalists” you have tested locally) where there is little chance of a “mistake” no matter what you choose based on your personal value equation and all the things that are most important to you.

Both of these are very knowledgeable and high quality manufacturers with good quality and value mattresses. SleepEz is a member here which means that I believe they are among the best quality and value in the country and FSF is in the same “value range” along with FloBeds although all for different reasons (value has many components). I personally wouldn’t hesitate to deal with any of them and I would encourage you to talk with any of them. A forum search on SleepEz and on Foam Sweet Foam (you can just click both links) will bring up much more information and feedback about both of them.

You are certainly looking at some very high quality and value choices and there are others you haven’t even considered yet in the SF area (that are also very high quality and value) so if anything you have an overabundance of great choices :slight_smile:

Hope this helps.


Wow, thank you for the abundance of info!!

I will look in to Flobeds as well. I think they are 100% Talalay and I’m not sure if that is the route we will go. I do like that SleepEZ as well as Urban Sleep offer free shipping!

I realize there are numerous stores in a 25 mile radius that we can check out. That’s just too much for me! We know we want 100% natural latex with no springs, and organic covers with wool as a flame retardant.

At Urban Sleep they will rearrange the layers of the OMI duo as many times as possible to find the perfect formula and combinations for you. Natural Mattress Store has more “set” mattresses to choose from. You can customize a mattress, but you won’t know what it feels like until you get it!

I did call SleepEZ and spoke to Shaun. He was very helpful and answered all my questions clearly and straightforward.

One thing the salesman told me about OMI is that they use a special dunlop that is more of a blend of traditional dunlop and talalay in that its slightly softer than regular dunlop but provides support. He said that OMI will not reveal where they get their dunlop. Is there any truth to that???

Hi adriennej72t,

Don’t forget when you are making comparisons that there are two different types of Talalay … one is 100% natural Talalay (not organic) and the other is blended Talalay. Both of these are 100% Talalay because Talalay is is a manufacturing method (like Dunlop) not a raw material and any type of latex (natural rubber, natural/synthetic blends, or synthetic rubber) can be used in the Talalay process (or the Dunlop process).

I would suggest talking to some of them on the phone. The more you do on the phone the less you will need to do in person and the less overwhelming it will be.

No, this is misinformation. The manufacturing method is either Talalay or a variation of the Dunlop process (which has several variants but they are all similar). They get their Talalay and Dunlop from the same sources as any mattress manufacturers. They do make some very high quality mattresses with good materials that are very comfortable but they also have a significantly higher price than many other manufacturers that use the same materials.


Thank you again Phoenix!!

Got it about the OMI, I had a sneaking suspicion about the info on their “special” dunlop.

Hubby and I will be spending tomorrow napping around at mattress stores. Hope to get it figured out soon, as I can no longer stand our bed when I know how good we can have it with a new supportive, comfortable nights sleep!