The first place I would start your research is the mattress shopping tutorial here which includes all the basic information, steps, and guidelines that can help you make the best possible choices … and know how and why to avoid the worst ones including the major brands and any mattress that contains too much unknown or lower quality materials (see the guidelines here).
Two of the most important links in the tutorial that I would especially make sure you’ve read are post #2 here which has more about the different ways to choose a suitable mattress (either locally or online) that is the best “match” for you in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) that can help you assess and minimize the risks of making a choice that doesn’t turn out as well as you hoped for and post #13 here which has more about the most important parts of the “value” of a mattress purchase which can help you make more meaningful quality/value comparisons between mattresses in terms of suitability, durability, and value.
[quote]I tried the casper bed at the NYC showroom today and it was WAY TOO firm for me
I also tried the new Tempur-FLEX Supreme today which I really enjoyed - I thought that was fantastic bed (I also tried the Beautyrest “Legend” which is some fake Sleepy’s model but I have to say I also really liked strictly because of the softness)[/quote]
I would make sure that you are testing mattresses very carefully for PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) using the testing guidelines in the tutorial and not being “faked out” by the showroom feel of a mattress. One of the most common mistakes that many consumers make when they are buying a mattress is making a choice that is too soft for their body type and sleeping style which can lead to sleeping out of alignment and lower back pain and discomfort. You can always soften a mattress that is too firm by adding a softer topper but it’s much more difficult to firm up a mattress that is too soft without then the only effective solution is to replace it.
I’m not sure who “everyone” may be but I would be very cautious about using other people’s experiences or reviews on a mattress (either positive or negative) as a reliable source of information or guidance about how you will feel on the same mattress or how suitable or how durable a mattress may be for you and in many cases they can be more misleading than helpful because a mattress that would be a perfect choice for one person or even a group of people may be completely unsuitable for someone else to sleep on (see post #13 here).
I would keep in mind that there are no “standard” definitions or consensus of opinions for firmness ratings and different manufacturers can rate their mattresses very differently than others so a mattress that one manufacturer rates as being a specific firmness could be rated very differently by another manufacturer. Different people can also have very different perceptions of firmness and softness compared to others as well and a mattress that is firm for one can feel like “medium” for someone else or even “soft” for someone else (or vice versa) depending on their body type, sleeping style, physiology, their frame of reference based on what they are used to, and their individual sensitivity and perceptions. Different people can also have very different opinions on how two mattresses compare in terms of firmness as well. This is all relative and very subjective and is as much an art as a science.There are also different types of firmness and softness that different people may be sensitive to that can affect how they “rate” a mattress as well (see post #15 here). In other words you will always need to test a mattress or sleep on it in person for you to assess how firm or soft it feels to you or how it compares to another mattress regardless of whether it feels firm or soft to someone else or how anyone else may “rate” it.
You are the only one that can feel what you feel on a mattress and there are too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved to use a formula or for anyone to be able to predict or make a specific suggestion or recommendation about which mattress or combination of materials and components would be the best “match” for you in terms of PPP or how a mattress will “feel” based on specs (either yours or a mattress) or “theory at a distance” that can possibly be more accurate than your own careful testing or personal sleeping experience (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here).
When you can’t test a mattress in person then the most reliable source of guidance is always a more detailed phone conversation with a knowledgeable and experienced retailer or manufacturer that has your best interests at heart and who can help “talk you through” the specifics of their mattresses and the options they have available that may be the best “match” for you based on the information you provide them, any local testing you have done or mattresses you have slept on and liked that they are familiar with, and the “averages” of other customers that are similar to you. They will know more about “matching” their specific mattress designs to different body types, sleeping positions, and preferences than anyone else.
I’m not clear which category you are referring to because the mattresses you mentioned in your post are in several different categories.
While it’s not possible for anyone else that doesn’t have extensive experience on any mattresses you are considering (such as a knowledgeable and experienced retailer or manufacturer that sells them on a daily basis) to make specific suggestions … if you are looking at online mattresses the tutorial includes several links to lists of some of the better online options I’m aware of (in the optional online step).
The better options or possibilities I’m aware of in the New York City area (subject to the quality/value guidelines I linked earlier in this reply) are listed in post #2 here
I would make sure that you include the quality and durability of the materials as part of your decision making process because several of the mattresses you were considering include too much “unknown” or lower quality and less durable materials that would likely be a weak link in the mattress and I would tend to avoid them regardless of how they may “feel” in a showroom or when you sleep on them.