Optimum Dreams vs online latex for long time mattress seeker

Phoenix, thanks for all the work you do on this!

I’ve been fruitlessly searching for a mattress for months. I came across your site near the beginning of my search, and it’s been very helpful. It helped steer me away from purchasing a Simmons!

A little background, my old Simmons mattress from 1998 recently died. I loved that thing. It was a very simple firm innerspring mattress that didn’t have all the junk the companies put in innersprings today. But a few months back, I began waking every morning with back pain, and it was clear the mattress was cooked. I would have loved an exact copy of the same model, but they don’t make them like that anymore.

I came across your site and turned my attention to memory foam. I live in the DC area and I visited some of the stores you suggested. I settled on purchasing the Embrace Comfort from The Healthy Back Store. I stayed away from purchasing an online bed because in store testing revealed that I did not like most memory foam beds. I felt that I sink in too much and, given that I move around a lot, I constantly felt like I was trying to pull myself out of a ditch of memory foam. The Embrace Comfort seemed to have quick reacting memory foam that didn’t cause these ditches.

When I got the mattress home, I realized a problem: it sleeps hot. I never had a problem sleeping warm before, but I found myself awaking throughout the night due to being too hot. I’m still within the 90 day return window, so I plan to return it. Thats unfortunate because it truly is amazingly comfortable.

I restarted my search, newly armed with a paranoia that any bed with memory foam in or near a comfort layer will make me unbearably hot. I almost committed the cardinal sin of purchasing a Sterns and Foster due to its use of natural fibers and other cool-enabling aspects in its ticking and quilting, when I came across the Dreams mattress in the Optimum Gel Latex line. It was about the firmness I like and seemed like it would sleep cool. It’s on sale at a retailer near me for $1474 for a queen set.

I’ve read what you’ve said about that line of beds in other posts, and you seem to say that it may not be a bad choice for someone with very limited options, such as what occurs when they are returning a mattress and must select another from the beds in the showroom.

I’ve thought about purchasing a latex bed from one of the online retailers you tout, such as dreamfoam, but I’m a little reluctant. When I was testing beds in the Healthy Back Store, I tried their all latex bed and found it very bouncy. This has sufficiently scared me from purchasing a bed that I cant first try out.

So, after that long dissertation, my question for you is what am I missing? What else should I try? Was the bounciness of the latex at the Healthy Back Store unusual such that I should feel okay about pulling the trigger on one? Any help you provide is appreciated!

Hi brosen72,

You’re right that the major manufacturers don’t make the same type of mattresses any more both in terms of the quality of the materials they use in their comfort layers and in the fact that they don’t make two sided mattresses any more. There are still many smaller manufacturers around the country though that still make two sided more “basic” mattresses using higher quality materials.

Memory foam tends to sleep warmer than other types of foam but the type of foam in a mattress isn’t the only factor that can affect sleeping temperature and sometimes even changing the type of mattress protector or sheets you use may make “enough” difference in sleeping temperature, especially if the memory foam is one of the faster responding more breathable types such as yours. Post #2 here has more about the many interacting factors that can affect sleeping temperature that may be helpful or give you some ideas about some of the other things that may be possible solutions outside of exchanging your mattress.

Yes … it uses 3" of continuous pour Dunlop latex (they don’t provide the blend) over a polyfoam support core. The latex would be a durable material and would sleep cooler than memory foam and this could be a reasonable choice for someone in more “average” weight ranges but I would be a little cautious if you are in a higher weight range because I believe the base layer is 1.5 lb polyfoam and if you are heavier weight range that will compress the base layer more then this could become a factor in its durability.

Their latex mattresses use Talalay latex (top to bottom) which is a more “bouncy” or “springy” version of latex than Dunlop (post #7 here has more about the general differences between Talalay and Dunlop). Their support core is also Talalay latex which is also more resilient and “bouncy” than the polyfoam support core in the Optimum you tried. There are many versions of latex and many different designs of latex and latex hybrid mattresses and the amount of “bounce” you feel would vary widely between them but overall both Dunlop latex and polyfoam would be less “bouncy” than Talalay.

These are fairly open ended and very broad questions (much like asking “what should I eat” when there are hundreds or even thousands of choices available) but if you are looking at latex then it may be worth considering Dunlop vs Talalay in either an all latex or latex hybrid mattress and it may also be worth considering a more basic innerspring/polyfoam mattress that is similar to the one you slept on for many years.

There are several options available in the area where you could test both to see how they compare for you. Both Dunlop and Talalay are good quality materials but the choice between them would be a personal preference.


I tried several mattress stores you recommended; I drove nearly all over Maryland and Virginia trying different Eclipse and Therapeadic mattresses! After extensive testing, I learned that Savvy Rest provides the best feeling mattress.

I am considering purchasing from them because they are minutes from my house and they offer unlimited layer exchanges within the first 90 days, but they are uber expensive. So, I’m also considering purchasing from sleepez and have read several posts on the forum comparing the two. I understand from some of these posts, that based on the ILDs, the descriptions of the layers feel comparable (e.g., both companies’s soft, medium, and firm layers feel comparable).

My experience: I generally prefer Dunlop to Talalay. Talalay feels too springy to me, and leaves me feeling that the mattress is pushing me in the position it wants me to be. Dunlop feels like a settle in better.

I tend to prefer mattresses on the firmer side. I’ve slept on soft mattresses before (generally in hotel rooms) and have woken up with lower back pain. (I also have experienced some lower back pain on older mattresses, but that’s probably because they’re shot!) I have had some neck and upper back pain in the past that was likely attributable to significant knots in my upper back that has mostly resolved. Nonetheless, I’m concerned about recurrences, so pressure relief and adequate support are important to me.

At Savvy Rest, I felt a little torn between two mattress. The Medium Dunlop/Medium Dunlop/Firm Dunlop was good, but I thought it might feel just a bit too firm. The Soft Dunlop/Medium Dunlop/Firm Dunlop (top layer listed first) was extremely comfortable, but it left me wondering if it provided sufficient support for my lower back.

Is that lack of support something that should concern me or does a latex mattress, even one with a soft comfort layer, provide sufficient support because of the qualities of latex?

The sales person, after hearing my comments, reconfigured this as Medium Dunlop/Soft Dunlop/
Firm Dunlop (top layer listed first). This felt like it gave greater support, but I thought it a little strange to have a support layer softer than a comfort lawyer, Is that something that shouldn’t be done? Does it cause any durability or support issues?

I reviewed this post (https://forum.mattressunderground.com/t/savvyrest-7-tranquility-topper-vs-sleepez-natural-7000-topper), and it caused me to wonder if I should just go Medium Dunlop/Medium Dunlop/Firm Dunlop with a soft Dunlop topper or even /Medium Dunlop/Firm Dunlop with a soft topper. It seemed that the OP’s experience was that the soft top layer did not provide enough support as part of the mattress, but did provide enough support when it was a topper. I haven’t tried a topper yet, and I won’t be able to try a blended Talalay topper as Savvy Rest doesn’t carry those.

Incidentally, I also tried the Soft Talalay/Medium Dunlop/Firm Dunlop and the Medium Talalay/Medium Dunlop/Firm Dunlop mattresses. The one with the soft top layer was too bouncy. The one with the medium top layer felt mostly great. It seemed to fall between the two all dunlop mattresses, softer than the medium/medium/firm but with more support than the soft/medium/firm. The only problem was that it still felt like it had that tendency to push me where it wants em to be. I’m wondering if this would feel differently (less push back) if it was a topper instead of a top layer. I will have to try this out in a store, but I’d also love to hear what theory says on that issue?

As for cost comparisons (Savvy Rest is having a 20% off sale that ends on Labor Day), here is what I’m looking at. This assumes the mattress layers are all Dunlop, otherwise the Savvy Rest mattresses become more expensive. I also selected the latex and wool topper from Sleepez instead of the topper covered by the thin cotton cover given that Savvy Rest also uses that lovely wool cover for it’s topper.

Item - - - - - - - - - - - - - Savvy Rest (Sale) - - - - - SleepEZ

7" mattress - - - – - - - - - $2349 ($1880)- - – - - - - $1195
3" Dunlop Topper - - - - - $1399 ($1119) - - – - – - $649
7" Mattress + topper - - - $3748 ($2998) - - - - - - - $1844

3" Talalay Topper - - - - - - $1899 ($1519) - - - - - - - -$649
7" Mattress + topper - - - - -$4248 ($3398) - - - - - - $1844

10" mattress - - - - - - - - - - -$2899 ($2319) - - - - - - - $1750

Difference for 10" mattress: $569
Difference for 7" mattress with Dunlop Topper: $1154
Difference for 7" mattress with Dunlop Topper: $1554

If I purchased the 10" mattress, I would consider purchasing from Savvy Rest due to the unlimited layer exchange and the ease of doing so, but there is no way I would purchase the mattress topper combination from Savvy Rest given those price differences.

Hi brosen2,

I think you have a good handle on the many preferences, choices, and tradeoffs involved in deciding on a mattress that is the “best value” for you but I can make some suggestions that may help with “how” to choose even though only you can decide on “what” to choose.

Post #13 here has more about the most important parts of the “value” of a mattress purchase that may be helpful and may give you some different ways to look at “value”.

I would keep in mind that there are different types of support and that support isn’t just related to firmness and that the goal of a suitable mattress is to keep you in good alignment in all your sleeping positions. A mattress that is too firm (or sleeping on the floor as a more extreme example of the firmest sleeping surface possible) would provide little to no support under the recessed parts of the body (such as the waist or the small of the back) and sleeping on a mattress that has comfort layers that are too thick and soft or support layers that are too soft may do a good job “filling in” the recessed gaps in your body profile but may allow have poor support under the heavier hips/pelvis and allow them to sink down too far which would also result in poor alignment. There is more about what I call primary and secondary support and their relationship to pressure relief (which are the two main functions of a mattress) in post #4 here that may be helpful to understand the differences between “support” and alignment.

There are too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved for anyone else to know which mattress is the best match for you in terms of PPP based on specs (either yours or a mattress) or “theory at a distance” and the only reliable way to assess this is based on your own personal testing (using the testing guidelines in the tutorial post) or your actual sleeping experience (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here). Latex has a higher compression modulus (the rate that a foam material becomes firmer with deeper compression) than other types of foam and it also has a high “point elasticity” (the ability to contour to the shape of the body) which are some of the reasons that latex is somewhat unique because it can be both soft and supportive at the same time so the odds are higher that even softer versions of latex would be “supportive enough” compared to other types of foam materials but again your own testing is the only way to know this.

post #33 hereA firmer layer over a softer layer is called a “dominating” layer and is a preference choice that some people prefer. There would be no durability issues with this layering (latex is a very durable material in any combination and a soft layer under another layer would be more durable than a soft layer on the top of a mattress because it would be subject to less compression forces). There is more about dominating layers in and the posts it links to.

Outside of the thread you linked … posts #3 and #4 here has more information about the differences between a separate topper and having the same layer inside the mattress cover. Again though … your own testing and experience will be the only way to know which one is best for you. The separate topper would act more independently and feel softer so it would tend to have less primary support and more secondary support.

I agree that it most people would find the price differences hard to justify when the mattresses are so similar but there may still be some people that for reasons of their own would still consider the Savvy Rest to be better "value. I would also keep in mind that SleepEZ also has a good return and refund policy and Savvy Rest just has an exchange policy. In the end though … when you are down to final choices between “good and good” (see post #2 here) then it will come down to “best judgement” and preferences based on all of the objective, subjective, and intangible parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you.


PS: Your questions have almost turned this post into a mini course on mattress design and theory :slight_smile:

Phoenix, the saga continues, but I’ve narrowed the field considerably!

I returned to Savvy Rest and tried a medium Dunlop/firm dunlop (top layer listed first) with a separate medium Dunlop topper, and it was really good. Although the three layer combo of Medium Dunlop/Medium Dunlop/Firm Dunlop felt too stiff and firm when it was all one mattress, it felt great when the medium Dunlop layer was a separate topper. Even though the layers were the same, when the top layer was a separate topper, it seemed to have more give, as if it was softer but without sacrificing any support. I wonder if it would feel the same way when covered with a sheet. I suppose the sheet would constrain the topper some so that it wasn’t as free and would make the combo feel a little more (but not completely) like it did when the layers We’re all in the same cover.

While the two layer mattress with a separate topper described above felt great, I also tried a three layer mattress with a separate topper: Medium Dunlop/Firm Dunlop/Firm Dunlop with a separate Medium Dunlop topper. I thought this felt even better. It seemed to provide just as much support but had just a bit more give to it.

I called Shawn at sleepez to discuss these two options–two layer with separate topper or three layer with separate topper–and he opined that for my size (5’9" tall, 170 pounds) there probably would be no difference in feel between the two mattresses; the only difference would be three inches of height and the added flexibility that comes from the ability to change layer positions when you have three layers instead of two. I thought I discerned some comfort difference, but it could be that I was merely feeling a difference because I supposed an extra layer should add comfort. The price difference between the two maatresses is about $500, which is not insignificant, but I think it may be worth it if there really is a comfort difference. I suppose I need to return to the store to try out those two combinations again to determine if there is a difference. I’ll keep you updated as to the process and final choice.

By the way, it was incredibly refreshing to deal with a mattress salesman who was of the opinion that the cheaper mattress would be indistinguishable from the more expensive mattress!

Hi brosen72,

You can see some similar comments that talk about the difference between the feel and performance of a separate topper and having the same layers inside the mattress in posts #3 and #4 here and in this topic (just to let you know that it’s not just your imagination :))

This also isn’t an unusual comment and there are many people who either “need” or prefer a thicker mattress. You can read a little more about the effects of thicker layers or a thicker mattress in post #14 here. Some people would feel this and some wouldn’t but it would depend on the person and on the specifics of the layers.

I certainly agree … and I only wish this was more common in the industry :slight_smile: