Overwhelmed with choices

Looking for some guidance with a new mattress. The wife and I currently sleep on a 9 year old serta perfect sleeper traditional innerspring mattress with a pillow top. The mattress is still comfortable and everything but it is starting to sag where we sleep with indentions.

I was originally thinking when I went to replace the mattress we sleep on I would go with memory foam but I’m a really hot sleeper and I’ve heard that memory foam tends to trap heat and sleep warm. So with that said I was leaning toward either gel foam or latex. I live in the St Louis area and I don’t think based on my research on here that there are many places to go locally for latex mattresses. It seems my best option is to order online but I would like to try out some mattresses locally to see what firmness level I should be getting, etc.

I’m right at 6’ and I weigh around 230 and my wife is about 5’-9" and weighs around 200. I personally like a pillow top or a soft topper but with decent support under that so I don’t sink in too much. I’ve been leaning towards either dreamfoam or brooklyn bedding because I was hoping to spend around $1000 or so and I’m also leaning toward hybrid latex but I don’t know if these are options we could test locally or not.

Please help!

Hi jermy4,

The best place to start is with the tutorial post, the link for it is in the top right hand corner. In it Phoenix goes over the method for finding the most suitable mattress for yourself. Once you read through a bit, you may want to come back and post your zip code or city to find some of the better mattress dealers in your area.

I have read the tutorial and it is good info but a bit overwhelming. I guess my question is more about which mattresses are better for people who sleep hot like me. Gel foam or synthetic latex? Also is latex better at being soft but also bring supportive? It seems like this is the case based on what I have read. We are both side sleepers and I suspect the hardest part with ordering online is making sure we get the right firmness in the upper layers.

Hi jermy4,

The following post has some information about factors that can affect sleeping temperature:

This post has some more specific info about memory foam and sleeping hot

In short, there’s no universal advice for people who sleep hot.

In terms of what is most supportive, this is where your testing for PPP will indicate what is best for you. Any of the mattress materials can be made very supportive, but which one is most suitable for you is something only you will be able to tell.

The tutorial covers what to do if you’re going to consider online purchases where you cannot test the mattress in person. The advice is give the company a call and seek the advice of their people. They are most familiar with their product and the best to be able to listen to your needs and translate that into the best mattress from their selection. That said, it’s very helpful if you’ve followed the earlier steps at mattress retailers you can try to get a sense of what you’re looking for.

There’s no 1 size fits all advice.

Keep reading through his tutorial. At first it wasn’t very clear, the more I read through it the clearer the picture became. It took me a little while to understand the different materials involved and that “feel” is ones perception and that it can be very subjective. Go out and try some of the major brand mattresses in memory foam as well as latex. Come back here and repost your findings and someone (mainly phoenix) will give you guidance on the materials, the quality, its value and then you can compare them to the Mattress Undergrounds best of the best retailers.

I am replying to this as someone who was completely lost when I started looking recently. I had not even looked at a mattress in about 15 years and was overwhelmed. This site has a great deal of useful information, so do not be afraid to search it. As others have mentioned, the tutorial is a great place to start, and as you will see, I relied on it too.

First, upon realizing just how many different types of mattresses are out there, I held back and did research. In my case, I came home every day and glued myself to the internet just learning about everything I could find. I also took notes, looked through ads, read reviews, and so on. I found it helped me tremendously to have a basic idea of what was out there: hybrid, latex, memory foam, gel foam, innerspring, etc.

Second, Stop yourself from jumping the gun and just getting anything. This is a big decision and you are going to be on it every night for a long time to come. I realized that it had been 15 years plus on the old one, and another week of discomfort would probably be worth it.

Third, Go to a store that carries a huge selection of brands and comfort levels, as well as, most of the materials, such as gel foam, latex, innerspring. Then spend however long it takes trying them all out. Some are easy to knock off the list as soon as you lay on them, and by lay on them, I mean try different sleeping positions. If you are shy, push it aside and flop around like you do at home. Write down the ones that you like, so you can research them more. Make a note of the conditions in the store, such as if the mattress area was cooler or warmer. The same mattress can feel a bit different depending on temp, among other factors. Do NOT buy anything this day. The purpose is to give you a general idea of what firmness and materials you like and do not like. For example, I found I liked cushion firm, but noted to keep in mind that it may feel like another manufacturer’s plush. It also helped get a feel for the differences between latex and foam, because they feel quite different.

Fourth, go to a different store/manufacturer that has mattresses with similar qualities to ones you wrote down. Again, note the temperature and conditions of the display area. I also sleep hot, and the gel mattress felt very cool in the store with the fans blowing, yet the same mattress was noticably warmer in the place that had the heat turned up. Still cool, but could feel the difference. Be aware that room temp is only one factor among many that can influence how “hot” a mattress feels. I learned that, along with a lot on this list, from this site.

Fourth, check the membership page here and try to find a manufacturer near you, then go there. Also, search the web for other’s and try them, if possible. Do not assume that smaller companies are either too high-end or that they are making cheap garbage. What I have found is that they are no higher in price than the big brand names, and in many cases, are actually lower. I also have found that their customer satisfaction, along with their material and build quality, seem to be much higher. Most, if not all, are family-owned businesses, and they take a lot of pride in their craftsmanship. I regret not doing this before, but am doing it with my current shopping for the other bedroom. At the very least, it gives you another option to check out.

Fifth, now that you have a general idea of what you like and do not like, go back out and try them again. By now, you should have narrowed down your likes, and this trip should help shorten that list to 5 or less. Again, do NOT buy anything. So, just to be safe, just to be sure…hold back once you are down to two that you love. And make sure you love them, not just okay…make sure you love them or go back and try again. You may be sick of seeing mattresses, may be sick of reading about them, but do not settle for something just to “get it over with.”

Sixth, go back home and relax. Take a day and don’t even think about mattresses. Watch a movie, do anything to clear your head and have a mattress shopping vacation.

Seventh, go back and try your two favorites out again. Don’t just sit on them…take the time and, again, lay in them how you would at home. Spend, at least, 15 minutes on each one, if not more. Even if one is a brand name and the other a family-owned maker, I would recommend the time investment. After all, whichever you pick, you are the ones who will be using it nightly for the foreseeable future.

Lastly, go buy yourself a good set of sheets while you wait for your new mattress to be delivered. Don’t you dare put on those old, pilled ones you have been using for 10 years:) :cheer:

I am still learning and this is just what I did based on the tutorial. I am sharing what has helped me, but this is your journey to better sleep, so tailor your shopping adventure to suit your needs.

Just started on my new bed journey and found myself in the same “Overwhelmed” camp.
After reading a number of articles narrowed it down to

Current Bed: Traditional Sterns & Foster Plush matters on box springs (about 10 yrs old)
Size: California King
Future Bed Material: Based on info I’m considering Latex Only (of some type)
Split: Yes, need his/hers side
People: Him 6’3’’ 210lb, Her 5’2’’ 160lb
Sleep Style: Side Sleepers (both), on occasion a back sleeper
Current Issues: Arm goes numb, hip pain resulting in tossing/turning for him, her seems to be ok but sometimes complains about bed being too hard
Comfort: Him - Too hot on occasion, Her - ok
Layers: Don’t know how many latex layers (2 or 3?) I need or how to “dial-in” comfort

Would like to purchase online so getting the thickness of the latex layers right plus enough layers to “dial-in” comfort would be key
Can you provide recommendations w.r.t. number of layers and perhaps latex material type?
Given the online purchase would like to minimize the layer return back and forth. While I’ll chat with several manufacturers, I’m wondering if anyone has gone through the process and if they wouldn’t mind sharing so I could benefit from their experience.


Hi zman11,

[quote]Can you provide recommendations w.r.t. number of layers and perhaps latex material type?
Given the online purchase would like to minimize the layer return back and forth. While I’ll chat with several manufacturers, I’m wondering if anyone has gone through the process and if they wouldn’t mind sharing so I could benefit from their experience.[/quote]

There are too many unknowns, variables, and individual preferences involved for anyone to make specific mattress suggestions for someone based on a formula, mattress specs, or "theory at a distance else although I’m always happy with “how” to choose (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here). I would also be very cautious about using the preferences of others as a way to choose a mattress because a mattress that works perfectly for one person may be completely unsuitable for someone else.

The first place I would start is the tutorial post here which has all the basic information, steps, and guidelines that can help you make the best possible and most suitable choices for you … and know how to avoid the worst ones.

@ Nevermore

Great suggestions … thanks for taking the time to share them :slight_smile:


So I wanted to post an update on what I ended up buying and how it’s been working out for the first week.

After looking at several local places that were recommended both the wife and I ended up really liking dunlop latex. I spoke to Neal at spindle a few times and explained what we had tried locally and what our plans were with this mattress purchase and I have nothing but good things to say about spindle and Neal. He was very patient and helpful and I had no qualms about placing an order with him for 2 10" abscond mattresses in twin xl size to make our king bed. The mattresses shipped about a week after I ordered and only took a few days to get to my house from MA via UPS. I did let the boxes sit in my dining room for awhile until I was able to dispose of our old mattress and get my adjustable bases all setup. Assembling the mattresses was easy and I like that I can switch layers later if needed and can also disassemble the mattresses if needed to move them.

I also ended up purchasing a split king Reverie Deluxe adjustable bed from adjustablebeds.org (there were some issues with shipping that you can read about in the adjustable base thread if anyone sees this and wants to know about my experience with them)

Both of my mattresses are soft/medium/firm natural dunlop from top to bottom and we went with the quilted wool covers. These latex mattresses are incredibly comfortable, so much so that when I sit in bed with the head up to watch TV it’s more comfortable than any chair or couch or recliner that I have ever sat in. Neither my wife or I have had any adjustment issues, we are both getting great quality sleep pretty much from the first night.

I’ll be sure to provide another update after a few months when the mattresses are fully broken in and I’ve had more time to give feedback.

Hi Jermy4,

Thanks for the update … and it’s great to see that your “mattress experience” is a little better than your “adjustable bed experience”.

Based on your feedback … it sounds like you hit your sweet spot in terms of PPP :slight_smile: