Newbie Q Looking for Low Budget Friendly Mattress

I have seen so much information and assistance here, and I didn’t even know this all existed! I simply Googled a mattress I was looking at on “sale” at Macy’s and came to this site to find so much more.

So, now that my brain is almost totally fried from all the information, and I can’t even really seem to get it all in line, we have started testing mattress and looking for information and I am not even 100% sure what I am looking for now. We are on a tight budget but really need to replace our mattress so my wife and I decided last night to finally start laying on mattresses and went again today. I didn’t get much information yet from the sales people so I am a little concerned in our places we have searched so far. Granted, Macy’s was just to see what the post I read was about, today we went to a furniture store that makes their own mattresses and has a “sleep center” where they made us lay on a twin bed size thing to measure our pressure points. We originally started with a budget in the mid hundreds but now have moved it up to a little under a grand if we can get one in that range that will fit us. We would really like a foam one so we started in that group.

The one we were pointed to was a 10" foam one seen here: It doesn’t have all the specs I have read to look for in the other articles I have read, but maybe it has what it should and I am just expecting more. It did feel pretty good after a while of laying on it and when I compared to others in there, it seemed to do a better job of supporting and spreading the weight out. The lady said it only had a 10yr warranty and covered .75" of drop, which I have read in some of the other articles but am still not sure if that is normal, good, or bad.

The Macy’s one was the MemoryWorks one I read somewhere else that was not worth the cost. It has a “sale” going right now which puts it in a lower cost category that was appealing but it was not as comfortable as the one above. We also went to Sleepys but left quickly after not getting help and seeing only BIG name brands, which I understand to look away from for better value. :slight_smile:

I just re-read some of the information on the comfort and support layer types and things to look for and saw the support on the mattress we like is only 1.6lb, which didn’t see to be good according to the things I read here. It’s a “bio foam” but I couldn’t find anything here that talked about that, unless it’s the natural stuff the article said was not good for a support layer.

Okay, now that I have that out and am just starting I was wondering if some of the experts could give me some pointers and direction. I can tell you everything about electronics and cars, but I feel like a dunce when it comes to this stuff. My wife is the less patient and caring one, and if she had her way alone, would have bought the one she laid on today.

The details:
I am 6’7" and hover around the 200lb mark. I sleep on my back but occasionally lay on my side. When I sleep, I am like a corpse and barely move when comfortable and out.
My wife is under 190lbs and 5’10". She is a side sleeper and tends to roll from side to side until she gets comfortable. We are looking to start having a baby so side sleeping without moving will be more common.
We live in Manchester, NH and none of the places on the list I read here were around us.

Thanks in advance for reading my post and any help you can provide is so greatly appreciated.

Hi Cheapsk8,

I think the first thing I would suggest is to read post #1 here which along with the information it links to can greatly increase your odds of finding the most suitable mattress with the best possible quality/value in your budget range.

As you will see I put a lot of emphasis on where you buy even more in the beginning than what you buy. The “worst” mattresses at some of the better manufacturers or sleep shops will be better value than the “best” mattresses at some of the mainstream outlets although quality and value have little to do with how suitable a mattress may be in matching your needs and preferences (which is why personal testing is so important).

I’m guessing (from your comments about Jordans) that you are in the Boston area but you will find some links to some of the lists around your area in post #5 here. there are also links to feedback about many of the manufacturers mentioned in the lists in post #2 here. If this doesn’t include a list in your area … then if you let me know your city or zip I 'd be happy to point you towards some of the better options in your area I’m aware of.

Jordans is better quality/value than most mainstream options but they are not in the same quality/value range as many other smaller manufacturers IMO. 1.6 lb polyfoam for example is not the quality of base material I would be looking for in your budget range (more like a minimum of 1.8 lbs).

I suspect you have some great quality and value choices available to you.

Hope this gives you some initial direction to help cut through any information overload (by connecting with experts instead of feeling like you need to become one yourself) and if you have more questions or if I guessed wrong about your area … let me know.


Thanks for the post and information. I read most of those links before but the ones with the places to check were perfect. Someone on here before was looking at Jordan’s and lives in Merrimack which is about 15mins from me. I am about an hour or so north of Boston so those links were better.

We decided to go look at the local places on Sunday but, wouldn’t you know it, all of them were closed. A guess that’s how family owned works, and more power to them. Was nice to see that. Anyways, CA Hoitt, linked in one of the posts, is 1 minute away from me, almost straight down the road, and I didn’t even know it! Unfortunately they have a big GOING OUT OF BUSINESS sign on their door and are closed until the 11th for pricing in prep for closing their doors. This brings me to a set of new questions:

  1. Is it still worth looking at them if they are going OOB? If we are looking at a new mattress and want quality and value, it might be a good time to find one cheaper there, but what about issues regarding servicing and warranty?
  2. After you purchase the mattress, do you wind up dealing with the local shop or the mattress manufacturer more?

And a scenario recently encountered: My friend’s wife manages a local upscale furniture store and has a display Tempur-pedic Contour mattress she is looking to get rid of. It has no box spring/foundation with it and is mattress only. Because of this, there is no warranty, which concerns me. However, she is letting me know she can get rid of it for around 800, a little below what they own it for. Since reading the information on this forum, I have been on the “local only kick”, only wanting to go check out the local factory or furniture shops. Is this mattress deal worth it or should I look elsewhere still?

Will keep checking and will post up what I find/discover from checking the other shops too. Hoping to do some local-ish checking tomorrow or Saturday.

Thanks again for all your help!


If you want an opportunity to check out some Pure Latex Bliss mattresses, Hubbington’s furniture is a NH dealer of them. They have stores in Barrington and Hampton, NH. I was able to lay on four models to determine which I found most comfortable. But the prices were a bit spendy. They did later have a 20% sale making the prices a bit better, and they may even be clearing out the 2012 models now. Consider checking them out.

I used the specs from one of the PLB models that I liked to DIY my own latex mattress (details here) and I’ve been completely happy with it.

-Dan Hall
Raymond, NH

Thanks for the info Dan! I will be sure to check out that place.

Every day I look on here I see more and more information. I never knew there was such a wealth of information and people sharing on mattress topics.

Thanks again! Will be sure to keep on here and update with what I find as well as follow any additional pointers and tips you all provide!

Hi CheapSk8,

I would certainly consider them because to me the quality of the materials in a mattress is more important (and a much more reliable indocator of the durability of a mattress) than a warranty. Genuine factory defects (which is what the warranty covers) tend to show up early in the life of a mattress but the biggest reason people need to replace a mattress … the loss of comfort and support that comes from the softening and breakdown of the materials … is not covered by a warranty. You would still have the warranty anyway but it may be more difficult to deal with any warranty issues because you would be dealing directly with the manufacturer rather than a local retailer. It’s really a matter of the tradeoffs involved but I would personally give it serious consideration yes. You can read more or my thoughts about warranties in post #174 here.

Generally you would be dealing with the retailer who sold you the mattress who would be the intermediary between you and the manufacturer but in this case you would be dealing directly with the manufacturer. In some cases they may suggest another local dealer who can help with warranty issues or replacement.

This could be “worth it” if the mattress matches your needs and preferences and price is a good but secondary benefit. You would also need to add a suitable foundation but this shouldn’t be an issue. The Contour uses good quality materials so if it’s “perfect” for you then it would be good value (and excessive price rather than low quality is the main issue with most Tempurpedic mattresses). If a mattress isn’t suitable for you though in terms of PPP (Pressure relief, posture and alignment, and Personal preferences) and doesn’t provide the quality of sleep you need … then no price is worth it. If it “fits” … then it would be a tradeoff (price vs warranty) that would be worth considering IMO. I would just be careful not to let any influence of “wanting to like it” affect your testing.

I’m looking forward to your feedback.


This is, again, very beneficial information. We will be checking out the place down the road, then, and see what deals they have while going out of business. It stinks, though, that we only found out about them through here, even though they are 1 minute from my house, and when we decide to check them out, they are going out of business. We were excited on Sunday because of the rating they had on here in terms of knowledge and quality.

We are checking out the Tempurpedic tonight, but if it’s not a 100% must have, perfect fit, no other option reaction to it, we will pass based on this. Sounds like we might be able to find a better value and fit through a local place this weekend that would have the complete package around the same price.

Thanks again for my new favorite web forum!

Hi Cheapsk8,

Thanks for the kind words … and I’m looking forward to more of your feedback.


Well, we went and looked at the Tempur and at the local store. My friend’s wife told us about the Tempur and how she loves hers and other tid bits about how no one can copy the foam and true feel of a Tempur because of all the patents. But then we couldn’t get into details on foam layers in the mattress and the density because they don’t have that information. We then laid down on it and tried it out for a bit to find the Tempur Contour is really firm and a little uncomfortable for us. We laid on a couple others she had that felt more comfortable, but didn’t feel like paying 2300 for a mattress.

Needless to say, we passed that up. After getting in our car to meet the same friend for dinner down the road, my wife went, “Ugh. Okay. Honestly? I didn’t like that AT ALL! It was way too uncomfortable.” :stuck_out_tongue: Okay. So that made it easier for us. She kept going back to the one we tried at Jordan’s because of the feel for her.

On Saturday we went to C.A.Hoitt Furniture, which is the place about 1 min from my house. They are going out of business because the owner is retiring and is not handing the company off to anyone. They aren’t in dire straights financially, they just have product they now want to get rid of to close down. I read on some of the other posts to look at the brands like Thermapedic and Natura they carried, and since everything here seems to point to Latex, I decided to see what it was about.

First of all, the prices they had for the Thermapedic memory foam was really good. Compared to the others we looked at, they were at the same price as the Jordan’s one and it was as comfortable, or more. I was actually impressed by it. The sales guy mentioned some of the downsides with Memory foam, some I have read around here, and he also mentioned that it hardens as it gets cold and one of the places around us gets it in small cubes for their mattresses they then have to open and let reshape for several days… :blink: Not sure if that’s true… Little strange, but I digress.

We then checked out an open item Natura they had that was Talalay Latex. It was pretty comfortable and much different than the memory foam. You can really tell the difference in the resilience of the foam when getting up. Also did a “plop” test when I dropped into sitting position and it absorbed the impact well. I forget the details on the layers, but it was a max of a couple inches (1.5" - 2.5" or less) of comfort layer with a bio support layer. From what I read in the other posts, it didn’t seem like something to avoid, and it felt supportive and of higher quality than the others we had tested. It also had a thin wool layer over the top, and I read on here that the wool can become tougher or firmer over time. Given that the mattress was open, and it felt comfortable as it was, I figured I didn’t have too much to worry about regarding a drastic change.

My wife was as comfortable on this bed as she was on the Thermapedic, but she liked the fact that the latex will hold up longer and will be more supportive. It quickly became her “it” mattress. The side sleeping positions were very comfortable, and I had good support in my back arch when laying on my back.

Unfortunately, the price was at the top of our budget, but she convinced me to spend the little extra because of the claimed durability of the latex. It’s a complete set, mattress and matching foundation, it feels like it will hold up well and they had it marked 50% off their last price because of it being open.

It seemed like a good value given the cost and feel along with the materials it’s made of. So now, this may be an odd question, but am I right in thinking I got a good value/deal, or should I rethink the purchase?

Diverting from that, he mentioned, and gave me info on a mattress cover he highly recommended. This is the second time a mattress cover has been mentioned, and coming from a sales environment where the “accessories” are the margin, not the core product, I couldn’t help but feel like these mattress covers are more of a profit piece than a necessity. Can you weigh in on this? I can’t help but be a bit skeptical on the need for one of these.

And finally, after such a long book I am writing, they had a couple pillows. We used a memory foam, latex, and wool one to test some out just messing around. I liked the wool and my wife liked the memory foam. I am going to search around on here for some info on this stuff because I think I remember reading someone else posting about it, but figured I would bring it up here in case you had more insight. :smiley:

After reading so much here, I feel like I can’t make the decision alone because I want to make sure what I get is going to be the best for us. Is that wrong? :stuck_out_tongue:

Hi CheapSk8,

The only way to know this would be to get the specific details about the layers in the mattress (or the model if the details are available online or on the Natura site) and then compare it to other similar mattresses. Normally Natura is on the costly side even though they tend to use good quality materials but at 50% off (if the discount is off their legitimate price rather than MSRP) it could be very good value. If you post the specific model of the layering , the size and price you are paying, whether it is mattress only or for a set and anything else it may include then I’d be in a much better position to give you my thoughts about its value.

A mattress protector is an important part of a mattress purchase IMO to protect the mattress from stains and accidents and it will also protect the warranty (which is void with even the smallest stain or watermark on the mattress). There are many tradeoffs involved though in choosing a mattress protector (there are 3 basic types) and you can read more about these in post #89 here.

Pillows are very much a personal preference item but having said that they are also an important part of your sleeping system. The “best” pillow is one that will keep your head and neck in good alignment in all your sleeping positions and has the “feel” and other characteristics that you like.

There is more about pillows and some links to good information in the pillow thread here.

Of course not … it’s the reason the forum is here :slight_smile:


Well, I took a hiatus from here. Sorry about not following up on everything sooner. We have gone through some major transitions lately so my time has been away from here.

As a follow up, we ended up looking at a few others, including a memory foam by thermapedic, and settled on the latex one. I looked into the Natura and it had a tag of “ImPerfect” on it, which I think is their imperfects or last season stuff. It was just under the 1,000 mark, which was at the top of our budget, but it was comfortable and supportive without us sinking too deep in it. It also included the matching foundation.

Since posting, I read your response and started looking at pillows and mattress protectors. I saw your comment on Malouf Latex Pillows and found them reasonably priced on Amazon. I also found this at BB&B Bed Bath & Beyond | The Best Deals Online: Furniture, Bedding, Rugs, Kitchen Essentials & Moree. It has no real information with it but is fairly inexpensive when compared with other latex labeled pillows. I was thinking about trying out one of these or the Malouf’s (, if I can return either. With the Malouf, they offer various combos of height and plushness. I am mostly a back sleeper but have found myself sleeping some on my side with the new mattress. What combo of height and firm should I be looking at? I think I would consider myself broad shouldered so I was considering the thicker, but thought that might be back for back sleeping, so I defer to your opinions.

My wife likes the memory foam feel for her head so I have been looking at those for her. BB&B has some of those as well, though they seem to be pricier. They have a decent looking Brookstone one, but I am not sure about it: Bed Bath & Beyond | The Best Deals Online: Furniture, Bedding, Rugs, Kitchen Essentials & Moree. Malouf makes a variety of mem foam ones as well, though it’s hard to figure out what might be best for her. She is a side sleeper and will be for the next 5 1/2 months. They have ones like

I am leery about gel infused foam after reading all the information about gel in foam mattresses and how it breaks down.

I also looked at the protectors you mentioned, the Luna seems to have better prices than Protect-A-Bed, and I also saw one by Malouf. Do you have any experience with either? My wife wants to look at the waterproof ones, as the change we are going through is our first child on the way. She wants to make sure that the mattress is safe. I was considering:

As always, I value your opinion and am glad there is a place like this to find information.

Hi CheapSk8,

Congratulations on your “baby on the way” :slight_smile:

The pillow needs to be thick enough to keep your head and neck in alignment in both sleeping positions. If you were broad shouldered and slept only on your side then you would likely need thicker and firmer. If you also sleep on your back then you may want softer rather than firmer so that your head isn’t forced forward when you are sleeping on your back. The fact that it is zoned can also help with this (the middle can sink in deeper for back sleeping). This may be the best compromise and is the one I chose (I’m a side/back sleeper) although only your own experience can know for sure when it comes to pillows (or mattresses for that matter).

I have no experience with the Malouf memory foam pillows so I really can’t provide any meaningful comments about them except to suggest using the guidelines and reference links in post #3 in the pillow thread to estimate which may be best. Preferences play a much larger role in pillows than they do even in mattresses because they are so close to our face which is such a sensitive part of our body and where “feel” can be just as important as performance and alignment. Most good and knowledgeable merchants that sell pillows will have a good sense of which of their pillows may be better for particular needs and body types and may be able to provide enough of their experiences with that particular pillow to help with your preferences as well. If you buy from one that doesn’t, then you would need to go by the description of the pillow, other people’s experiences with them (which may be more helpful than with mattresses because you can see patterns of how they “feel” which plays a larger role in pillows), your knowledge of your own needs and preferences, and some “pillow trial and error”.

I have no experience with either but if I was buying one of the membrane style protectors I would personally lean towards the protect-a-bed only because I like the material options they provide, they are Oeko-Tex certified, have a 4 way stretch knit, and I haven’t heard about any issues with heat (and I have heard a few with the Luna).


Thank you! We are excited, though it means getting affairs in order much more rapidly than originally.

For the protect-a-bed, is this what you are referring to? I am a heater in bed so something that might have temperature issues, as you mention with the Luna, might be a big issue for me.

I totally read all the links you had to “pillow talk” and got excited as I looked at the options. Then I got overwhelmed as I discovered everything that was out there! I am leaning toward trying out one of the latex options. I want to make sure the quality and durability is there, but the Bed, Bath, and Beyond price is pretty good, and local. I have broad shoulders and a long neck, so I am thinking I might need the same requirements you had for yours.

For my wife, I think we might have to go do some trial-and-error testing, as you mentioned, to see what is comfortable for her. We found one last weekend she was pretty satisfied with, but it was around $70 and had no return policy. We have tried about 3 pillows in the past, looking for “the one” and she has been dissatisfied after a couple days with each one, forcing us to return them. Because of this, I can’t see spending that kind of money on a pillow we could get stuck with.

We will do some “test driving” and I will post up our results.

Hi CheapSk8,

They have several models on their site and the Premium is one of them. I would probably lean towards the Elite (which has terry on both sides which may protect the membrane better) or the Therma-A-Sleep which uses Tencel (Eucalyptus rayon) which may be more cooling. I would also keep in mind that there are many reports of Protect-A-Bed complaints about them not honoring the warranty when accidents leaked through and I think that every one of these types of protectors have many complaints that they weren’t quite as waterproof as they claimed to be. These types of protectors tend to be warmer than the other two types (stretch cotton or wool) because they are less breathable … particularly if they are used in combination with other factors that contribute to sleeping warm (less open celled foam, type of quilting, type of mattress ticking, sheets and bedding used, and softer mattresses). I’m not convinced that any of these are as waterproof or as durable as they claim but at least the Protect-A-Bed has few heat complaints or “feel” complaints that I’ve seen.

I have very limited experience with any of these and the protector I use is a Natura that has wool and a similar membrane (which seems to work well although I have had the occasional night with heat issues but there are usually if I’m not feeling well and would be prone to sleeping hot anyway and are not the norm).

I’m looking forward to any “pillow reports” you may have. The more feedback that the members here can provide the more helpful it can be.