Our Spindle mattress purchase & some foundation questions.

We intended to buy a latex mattress a while back but gave up due to a combination of insufficient or confusing information, prices of natural latex mattresses, unsure of the best foundation and concerns about the proper firmness of on-line only purchase options. I had subscribed to the foundation thread and saw someone mention they had recently purchased a foundation from the Spindle Mattress company.

So I checked them out.

Spindle sells a 10" latex mattress named Abscond. Actually 9" of latex with a thin soy based foam top layer. The latex is the Dunlop process and can be either natural or a blend of natural and artificial. The prices for a king on the day I ordered were $800 for the blend and $1300 for natural. I found out later those were sale prices.

The web site was well organized and I didn’t spot any inconsistencies or contradictions that had me pulling my hair out when looking at a few other mattress company web sites.

The mattress is available in 3 different firmnesses. Unfortunately, firmness levels are NOT directly comparable between different brands and types of mattresses. That was one of the stumbling blocks I ran up against before.

But Spindle has a page that correlates body mass index with their firmness levels and a method to estimate your BMI. I interpreted this as a way to determine the minimal firmness. So if your BMI matched up with their soft, you should order soft thru firm depending on your preferences. It happens that my BMI falls in their firm range so picking firm was easy since it was the only firmness they recommended for us. That was not a concern since we have always had firm innerspring mattresses but as I said, one company’s firm isn’t the same as another’s. Plus we weren’t sure if a medium might not be better. SOME mediums felt good in store showrooms. So in a way, I was glad our BMI was above their medium firmness recommendations.

I was very pleased that the mattress have to be assembled. It comes as a cover, three 3" thick latex layers and the thin top layer. The firmness and order of the latex layers defined the mattress firmness level. I liked this arrangement because it meant layers could be replaced/exchanged if we ever wanted or needed that. It also meant it would be a LOT easier to get the mattress upstairs when it arrived since the largest piece would weigh less than a third of a complete mattress. Lastly, the accessible layers meant they could be flipped and/or rotated. I may be wrong but that seemed like it could extend the life of the mattress.

It turn out that with the firm mattress, all three layers of latex are identical. So if flipping is a benefit, we will have 6 identical topmost surfaces available.

The layers have 7 zones that vary the firmness slightly. That is symmetrical, i.e. there is no designated top or bottom. The firmness variation is accomplished with slightly different diameter holes thru the latex.

One question I didn’t think to ask at the time was why three 3" layers instead of the more common 3" top layer over a 6" bottom layer for a 9 or 10" mattress? Maybe Phoenix can explain. I suppose its possible that this requires fewer total different components needed to make all firmness levels.

I was a little uncomfortable with them being such a new company (less than a year). That meant there were not much in the way of reviews, plus new businesses are more likely to fold rendering any warranty meaningless. But it turns out Spindle is a branch/subsidiary of WJ Southard which has been making their own and private label mattresses for stores for decades. Spindle is their internet sales arm although none of the products are identical.

And the owner (of WJ Southard and Spindle) says Spindle recently joined the Mattress Underground and should show up in the manufacture member list in the next update. I asked why WJ Southard wasn’t/isn’t a member and he said, WJ Southard sells primarily thru B&M stores and their customers aren’t as likely to visit sites like the Mattress Underground.

When I called to talk about their mattress, I was not sure if I wanted natural or blended latex. After getting the owner’s opinions (which I always take with a grain of salt) I planned to validate what he said before ordering. He said a lot of things I had heard before about blended and said he sleeps on a blended latex mattress. Since the blended cost $500 less, I figured it really must be as good for his (and my similar) needs and ordered a blended latex in firm. During our rather lengthy discussion about latex mattresses one topic was what percentages of synthetic (if that’s the right term) and natural latex are used. He said that the percentages vary and for their firm mattresses, the blend is virtually all synthetic.

I went to bed happy that we finally had a mattress on the way. I had been told the mattress should ship the next day. But something about the order made me wake up around midnight. I realized I never compared my earlier research findings with what I had heard over the phone. So I started to do that. Everything he said matched up with my research which I expected since nothing he said set off any alarms. But there was ONE exception and that was I had not come across info on pure synthetic latex mattresses which an Abscond in firm would be,

I didn’t want to be worrying about it the whole time I owned the mattress, so I called back first thing in the morning and changed the order to Natural latex. I suspect either would have performed and lasted about the same but I went for the peace of mind.

Okay, now to the foundation.

Spindle doesn’t have a KD foundation. They do sell foundations to locals (mostly) but their King foundation would be prohibitive to ship.

So I still need to buy a foundation. Since its upstairs and may need to be shipped, I am leaning toward a KD but would go postal if it started squeaking on me. I understand many of them are prone to that. And most of them have too much space between the slats. And lastly most seem to include a cover that goes over the slats.

So I have questions about the cover.

I understand the reasons for slats opposed to a solid surface is so the latex can breath. Doesn’t a cover negate most or much of that ability to breath? And if so, can the covers be cut to expose the slats without it falling apart?

And since these foundations all are being sold as excellent for foam mattresses, why do 90+% of them have gaps that exceed the mattress manufacturer recommendations for size? Yeah, I get that non latex mattresses can get by with bigger gaps but it makes no sense (to me) they they all don’t have an option of more slats. When I asked one (the most commonly sold) manufacturer if they offered additional slats, either more tightly spaced slats on the positioning strips or just loose, the answer was no, and came with a comment that you couldn’t even make your own slats and add them. That makes no sense to me because the slats seem to just rest on a ledge that runs the full length of the side rails. Is there ANY reason you can’t just roll the ones that came with it out but bunched them up closer and then added more slats at the end. I realize none would then not be held in place by the strip that they come attached to, but couldn’t they just be screwed to the ledges to keep them from moving?

I found a link to someone who made their own foundation and I would not be opposed to having a contractor I know make one like it for me except I would like to have a cloth cover over the vertical surfaces. Is something like that available for purchase?

One option I have is to use TWO XL foundations from Spindle. The MU member who bought one of their foundations was impressed and they have a full 17 slats and small gaps. Spindle offered to sell me two for a good price and pay for the freight shipping (and sending the mattress in the same shipment). I am tempted to do that if nobody sees any downside of bolting them together to make a single foundation. I would worry them making noises if left unattached. Has anyone done that (bolted together)? I need to decide that by Monday morning because the mattress is due to be shipped then (was delayed by my change from blended to natural latex).

Hi HoosierDaddy,

Thanks for taking the time to share such detailed feedback about Spindle Mattress. As they mentioned they will very soon be listed as an “official” member here and I believe they certainly have some great quality and value.

Yes … this can extend the life of the layers. You can also re-arrange the layers if they are all the same firmness (reverse the order) because the top layers of a mattress will soften faster than the deeper layers.

3x3" layers provides more layering and design choices than having only two layers because you can re-arrange or exchange layers in more ways. For some people who are more sensitive or may need more fine tuning with their mattress it can add value to the mattress purchase that is worth any additional complexity or cost vs a similar two layered mattress. You can read more about the potential benefits of having more layers in post #2 here.

As you mentioned … Spindle itself is quite new but they have some deep roots in the industry. I normally wouldn’t consider a new company for membership here but I don’t consider them to be “new” because of their connection to Sleepmaster/WJ Southard and their many years of experience in manufacturing mattresses. They are clearly “mattress people”.

You are right that all latex … including synthetic … is a durable material but natural latex is more elastic and is a higher performance (and more costly) material than synthetic latex has and IMO would likely have an edge in both peformance and durability. Although the testing done by mountaintop foam which makes the latex doesn’t show any significant difference between them … testing and real life don’t always agree so I’m still a little skeptical although I do agree that synthetic latex is still a good quality material. I think that the firmest versions of synthetic latex (firmer than the C3 which is the firmest layer they use) would certainly be less durable and more prone to impressions than their equivalent in natural latex. You can read more about some of the differences between natural and synthetic latex in post #2 here. Unless a limited budget was the most important factor … I would choose natural over synthetic with Dunlop.

The foundation thread here has several KD foundations that have gaps less than 3" and would be suitable for a latex mattress and I haven’t heard any negative feedback about squeeking (which can usually be fixed anyway).

No … a fabric cover isn’t an issue if its breathable and can also be a benefit because it can protect the mattress from any splinters or sharp edges from the slats. It can also enhance the appearance of the foundation as a side benefit.

This is probably because the majority of foam mattresses use polyfoam as the base layer and not latex so they are made to be suitable for the majority of mattresses they are used with at the lowest possible cost. I don’t see any reason that you can’t replace or add to the slats if you secure them to the foundation (although I would probably just buy a slat KD foundation that already had appropriate slats).

I don’t see any problem in doing this and most king size foundations are a split twin anyway that fit together into the bedframe (they don’t make king size wood foundations because they are too big to move around corners or up stairs).

Thanks again for the feedback and most of all … congratulations on your new mattress :slight_smile:


What I was curious about was why 3 layers instead of 2 when they only offer 3 configurations (soft, medium and firm).

Thanks. Sounds like I made the right choice.

I’ve been subscribed to it for many months and following any updates. But there really aren’t that many KD in king (as opposed to dual XLs) with small gaps other than the very high priced ones which are not a good value in my opinion. And some that are listed are no longer available. For example the metal one from US Box Spring has been unavailable for many months straight. I may have overlooked some but the KD from mattress.com (which is local to me by the way) may be the only value one-piece king foundation that has good gaps.

Thanks. On the appearance side, I wasn’t planning to buy a foundation that didn’t have a cover for the sides. I’m glad to hear a cover on the top won’t prevent enough air getting to the mattress.

And if I decide to make or have a foundation made, are there covers for sale anywhere?

Thanks again for this great site.

Hi HoosierDaddy,

A phone call to them will give you more insights into their thinking but 3 layers gives you the ability to re-arrange or exchange more layers which means there are more options to customize the pressure relief and support of the mattress. They would have 3 “standard” configurations but there are also other configurations that having 3 layers would make possible.

It would be very rare to find any non KD foundation in a one piece king size and they usually come in split king. There are none that I know of that are wood. The metal foundation from US Box Spring was never available in either twin XL or king size. If there are any other that are listed that aren’t available then if you let me know I’ll remove them from the list (or re-link them if the page has changed).

The foundations from mattresses.net and US Boxsprings (also used by SleepEz) both have suitable gaps between the slats … and both of them would be relatively local.

I would use a box spring cover which are widely available in different materials and sizes.


I purchased my mattress from Spindle as well a few days after phoenix had his phone conversation, and in a nutshell, I am very happy with both the product and service. So happy that I recommended them to a colleague, and he made a purchase as well.

My initial contact was a phone call. Neal was very good to talk to and very willing to spend time with me to explain how things work, going beyond just the product. I visited in person after work, and he was very friendly and helpful, despite being after regular hours.

They offer 3 configurations of their 3 inch layers on their site:
Soft: soft/med/med
Med: med/med/firm
Firm: firm/firm/firm

ILD range
Soft: 18-22
Med: 27-33
Firm: 34-42

My question: Why not offer more configurations? The reason was that these were the ones that are found to work for the vast majority of people. Neal was very willing to let me test out a different configuration while I was there in person. I was told to take as much time as I’d like to lay down and try the different firmnesses, and he was very considerate to go into his office.

I tried med/firm/firm. He would have sold me that configuration, and I get the impression that it would be fine to phone in with your custom layer requests as well.

Their covers are made in the USA - I think by his family’s business, WJ Southard, in PA - with organic cotton grown in NC. He explained that although the foam used in the cell was of lower density, the cell pattern was designed in a way to compress the foam together, which according to him would make it more durable.

They also offer a two layer, 6 inch version of the mattress for locals.

As for the mattress, it has been very comfortable AND supportive. I don’t think the polyfoam cover detracted from the latex.

As far as bed frames go, Neal mentioned that he saw Bedworks of Maine’s products and thought they were good quality. However, he was quick to add that he had no affiliation with them. He further recommended to look for frames that had a middle support beam with at least 1 leg - I got a queen mattress.

Great price, great products, great personalized service. Need I say more?

Tip for visiting in person: Park on the side of the building nearest to the road you drove in from. Then, walk over to the front. They are located right next to - on the “left” - of a karate school.

Hi zoomer,

Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences and feedback about Spindle. Your description of their knowledge and the service they provide their customers reflects the conversations I’ve had with them as well.

Most importantly … congratulations on your new mattress … I think you made a great choice :slight_smile:



We’ve been sleeping on our Spindle Abscond (king, natural latex, firm) for a while now and it is great.

It was supposed to ship in early September but they made an exception and sold me a foundation despite me not being local. Neal said he doesn’t like to do that because they have to be shipped by truck which has been problematic with damage plus most people don’t want to tie up a half day waiting to sign for a delivery and/or at least want it brought to their door instead of the end of their driveway. That delayed the shipment several days and then the day before it was about to go, Spindle discovered the firm latex they just received did not meet specs (too firm) so they had to wait for replacement latex.

When it finally shipped, it did get here surprisingly quick though; the same week it was shipped from almost the width of the country away. The truck driver was pretty bad at his job and I was sweating him destroying the foundation while unloading. He slid a pallet jack under it but the wheels didn’t make it out the other side and he ripped the pallet to shreds trying to lift it while the jack wheels were sitting on the base. But the foundation came thru unscathed.

The mattress comes in 3 boxes, one for each of the 3 layers. The boxes were basically cubes with the foam layer folded up. The cover was in one of those boxes making it a little overstuffed. It was a nice surprise that the foam wasn’t compressed and didn’t need to recover before use.

It was fairly easy getting the mattress layers upstairs which would be a nightmare with the weight and bulk of a whole mattress. I just rolled the boxes up one at a time. The foundation was two Twin XLs and each one was light enough for two people to easily take up the stairs. One could have done it easily if they weren’t bulky.

There were no instruction but I didn’t look for them anyway being a man. A King is fairly close to square and I decided the cover must fold open to the side because some people might have tall head and foot boards. Wrong. After laying the layers of latex on the open cover in the direction dictated by the zones the foam was too long one way and two short the other.

So I took the latex off and rotated the cover to put the fold at the foot of the bed. I laid the latex back on and it still didn’t have the same dimensions as the cover (long one dimension and short the other). I called Neal the next day and it turns out the latex doesn’t really have an exact dimension since it is flexible (duh). But he confirmed I had the cover and latex in the proper orientation so it was just a matter of compressing the foam one direction to make it match the cover and stretch it the other dimension. It didn’t need a lot and the latex was quite agreeable and it took very little effort. I basically just lifted one edge and made a wave either pulling or pushing slightly at the same time. That way the stretch or compression was even across the layer. We took the time to have each layer EXACTLY the same length and width to eliminate any chance of lines or bulges in the cover when finished.

It was a piece of cake to zip up the cover for a perfectly symmetrical and even appearance with one initial exception. As you zip the cover, the foam gets compressed a small amount (who wants a baggy cover?). That actually results in the edges of the foam being slightly rounded (who wants sharp corners?). Perfect! Except the middle half of the cover base is permanently attached. That length of foam ends up being stretched back toward the head of the bed instead of down towards the ground as the zipper makes the path across the head of the bed. So you have sort of a spoiler effect. Its not much but enough to show thru bedding. But it disappeared after a few nights of sleep.

Since I was not in a hurry, I didn’t mind the shipping delay due to out of spec latex. Everything else about the product and service has been absolutely top notch.

Hi HoosierDaddy,

Thanks for taking the time to share another great update … I appreciate it :slight_smile:


I’ve been looking at the various manufacturers and was attracted by the simplicity of the websites and great customer service of companies like Spindle and Brooklyn Bedding. I’m wondering what folks think about how Spindle’s Abscond (100% natural) compare to Brooklyn Bedding’s 10" Total Latex (configured with the 100% dunlop core).

I’d probably get both in a Medium (med #6 under BB). I weigh in at around 215 and my wife is probably 80 pounds lighter.

For folks that have compared the two, any thoughts on the:

  • difference in covers (cotton for Spindle vs. bamboo/wool for BB)
  • the soy based foam of Spindle vs the polyfoam of BB
  • difference in the latex used by the companies
  • any other difference that might have caught your attention

Are there other companies I should consider? My ideal/target price is $1500. Both of those options retail at a little more than that which I’d rather avoid.

Any guidance is appreciate it.

Hi gonzo,

Just in case you haven’t read it yet … the tutorial post here has all the basic information, steps, and guidelines that can help you make the best choices.

Both of these are high quality materials that use different variations of the Dunlop method of manufacturing the latex foam. Brooklyn Bedding uses 100% natural Dunlop latex that is made in a mold and Spindle uses 100% Dunlop latex (if you choose this option) that is made with a continuous pour method on a belt. In terms of quality they are closely comparable although the continuous pour method can produce latex cores that are a little more consistent in terms of ILD. There is more about the different types of latex in post #6 here.

Outside of your own personal testing (which is only possible if you live near either manufacturer) … the most effective way to choose your firmness options would be a more detailed conversation with each manufacturer. Both of them can provide good guidance about the options they provide that would be most suitable for you (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here).

Both use good quality covers and you can read a little more about some of the differences between cotton and bamboo and a wool quilted cover and a cover quilted with polyfoam in post #11 here. The main difference in the quilting is in the temperature regulating properties and in the “feel” of the quilting. Wool is a more costly material and more temperature regulating than polyfoam and polyfoam is usually softer than wool but both materials can reduce the surface resilience and change the “feel” of sleeping directly on latex.

Soy based foams (or other "plant based foams) and polyfoam are really the same thing (both are versions of polyfoam) except “soy foam” has replaced a small percentage of one of the petrochemicals used in one of the main ingredients of foam (the polyols) with a plant based derivative. You can read a little more about the difference between them in post #2 here but I would treat them as equivalents.

One of the links in the tutorial post (post #21 here) includes the manufacturers and retailers that are members of this site that sell good quality/value latex mattresses online (including both of the manufacturers you have mentioned) and have a wide range of different options and prices. All of these would make good choices for different reasons depending on the criteria of your personal value equation that are important to you.

When you have eliminated the worst options and are down to final choices that are all between “good and good” and there are no clear winners between them, then post #2 here may be helpful in making the choice that is the best “match” for all the objective, subjective, and intangible parts of a mattress purchase that are most important to you.

Once you reach this point there are really no “mistakes” any more in terms of quality or value and your final choice will really be a matter of your “educated best judgement”.


Thanks to all who wrote on this topic. Your questions – and the answers from the all-knowing Phoenix :slight_smile: – have given me the confidence to go ahead with this rather scary project. I mean, who buys mattresses that often? Well, I can answer that myself: the people who make mistakes because they didn’t do their homework and never tracked down the Mattress Underground.
Spindle gets my vote – now all I have to do is decide which one…