Paralysis of analysis -- opinions appreciated!

Hi all,

Been doing a lot of lurking on this site as my husband and I prepare to buy a mattress. Here’s what is up.

We want to buy an inexpensive queen mattress, preferably with a latex layer as sleeping cool is very important to us. Our ideal budget is $800, but we are willing to spend up to $1100. We expect to use the mattress for 5-10 years before relegating it to the guest bedroom and upgrading to a king. We’d like the mattress to have a reasonable lifespan so that it could eventually be used for this purpose. We are both in good shape, weighing only 120lbs and 160lbs respectively.

We have tried out beds in mattress stores and really enjoy the feeling of latex over springs. We were even able to spend a week trying out our friends’ latex over innerspring mattress while they were out of town, so it’s safe to say we like that. However, I haven’t found a latex innerspring mattress in our price range. Most of our top picks are polyfoam or latex over polyfoam, but we did not find a latex over polyfoam combo to try, so it’s hard to say if that will be good for us.

All that said, we are currently sleeping on a 20+ year old Sealy pillowtop with a hot memory foam topper. It’s an awful bed, but we still manage to sleep through the night without waking up at all and without chronic pain, so I really feel like just about anything will work. As I said in the title…paralysis of analysis!

Our main contenders are the Tuft & Needle, the Casper, and the Dreamfoam UD. A big sell for those mattresses is price point and free or inexpensive returns.

We’ve slept on a Tuft and Needle before and found it comfortable, but a bit firm. I know they have updated their foam since then, so this may have changed. With a latex topper this may make the most sense? Casper is a solid contender as well, but I’ve heard it can sleep a bit hot due to the memory foam layer. As noted, we have a memory foam topper right now that is fine, but this may change come summer. The Dreamfoam UD (natural) seemed to be a strong contender, but I was really turned off by all the Amazon reviews that mentioned early sagging or extreme hardness of the latex layer. The UD with talalay doesn’t seem to have these issues, but I’d prefer the natural latex and heavier polyfoam, and the $99 shipping/restocking fee is not something I want to deal with if the mattress isn’t right.

Any input is much appreciated!

Hi natinaut,

It would be reasonable to expect that any mattress that meets the guidelines here and was well inside the range of comfort/support that was suitable for you in terms of PPP and wasn’t on the edge of being too soft for you initially (see post #2 here) would have a useful life that would meet your 5 - 10 year criteria (and most likely closer to 10 years than 5).

Post #2 here includes some latex/innerspring hybrids that may be of interest but most (although not all) of them would be in the upper end of your budget range or higher.

Posts #3 and #4 here also include some of the lower budget latex and latex hybrid mattresses that I’m aware of.

There are also some other types of lower budget mattresses listed in post #4 here as well.

You can see some comments about “one firmness fits all” mattresses that includes Tuft & Needle and Casper in post #3 here and the rest of the topic. A forum search on casper tuft needle (you can just click the link) will also bring up all the forum posts that mention both of them.

The Dreamfoam Ultimate Dreams latex is a little different than the other two you are considering because they use Talalay latex in the comfort layer (which is a higher quality material) and they also allow you to customize the firmness level of your mattress as well. They also have other options (such as the Eurotop) that allow for comfort layer exchanges so you can exchange the comfort layer in your mattress for a firmer or softer version without having to replace the entire mattress if your sleeping experience indicates that you need to.

Although this can be a good strategy if you can test the mattress/topper combination in person before a purchase … you can see my comments about choosing a mattress with the intention of adding a topper in post #2 here. In general I would avoid this approach because of the uncertainty involved with two purchase choices instead of only one and choosing a topper that would be suitable in terms of PPP for a specific person on a specific mattress can sometimes be almost as difficult as choosing a mattress in the first place. I would generally focus on choosing a mattress that is likely to be a suitable match without a topper(again unless you can test the combination in person) and then use the option to add a topper as a “backup” strategy in case your choice doesn’t turn out as well as you hoped for rather than a “primary” strategy.

It’s unlikely that this would sleep hot for most people with the top layer of latex because latex is generally more breathable than other types of foam. Most sleeping temperature issues would be with either memory foam mattresses or with mattresses that are in a softer range where you are sleeping more directly on the foam materials because any type of foam will be less breathable and more insulating than natural or synthetic fibers that are sometimes used in quilting layers. It would also depend on many other factors as well including where you are in the “oven to iceberg” range. There is more about the many variables that can affect temperature regulation (including the type of mattress protector you use along with your sheets and bedding) in post #2 here.

I’m not sure which reviews you are referring to and most of the neutral or negative reviews about the Ultimate Dreams Natural talk about the firmness/softness of the Dunlop latex being different from what they expected (which is always subjective and relative to the body type, sleeping positions, perceptions, or preferences of each person) or are from people that didn’t read the description of the mattress (they somehow thought that this was an “all latex” mattress) but regardless of whether it is Dunlop or Talalay or uses natural or synthetic latex or a blend of both, latex is one of the most durable materials in the industry and wouldn’t have any significant issues with sagging unless a mattress included defective materials or unless the support system under the mattress wasn’t suitable.

At your weight … the 1.5 lb firmer polyfoam support layer in the UD latex hybrid (with the Talalay comfort layer) wouldn’t be a durability issue.

I would also be very cautious about using mattress reviews (positive or negative) as a reliable source of mattress research or information and in many cases they can be much more misleading than helpful (see post #13 here).

There is more about the different ways to choose a mattress that is most suitable for you (either online or local) and how to minimize the risks involved in each of them in post #2 here.

Post #13 here also has more about the most important parts of the “value” of a mattress purchase that can help you make more meaningful comparisons between mattresses and help you choose between your “finalists”.



Thanks so much for the helpful response. I’ve gone over all the things you mentioned and done some more looking. I’m thinking we will be going with a latex over polyfoam at this point. We will look into latex/innerspring or all latex once we upgrade in several years.

I think at this point the Casper is out. Non-toxic/natural materials is very important to me, so I will have to look into the details of the Dreamfoam beds to find out what their latex is like for each bed. The Bamboo Bliss from Brooklyn Bedding also looks like a good option, though it’s definitely at the top of our price range. Will the 3’ of latex be enough at our lower weights? How long would you expect either one to last?

Such a hard decision! I don’t understand why the Bamboo Bliss and UD Talalay range so widely in price for what seem like very similar mattresses (other than amount of polyfoam).

Hi natinaut,

Post #2 here and the posts it links to has more information about safe, natural, organic, “chemical free”, and green mattresses and mattress materials that can help you sort through some of the marketing information and terminology that you will encounter in the industry and can help you differentiate between them and decide on the types of materials you are most comfortable having in your mattress and help you answer “how safe is safe enough for me”. These types of issues are complex and are generally specific to each person and their individual sensitivities, circumstances, and specific criteria.

They would be a much more reliable source of specific guidance about “comfort” issues and choices but a mattress with 3" of Talalay latex in a suitable firmness level can certainly make a very good choice in terms of PPP for most people as long as they prefer the feel of Talalay latex over other types of comfort materials. The top 3" to 6" of a mattress (depending on your body type and sleeping positions which will affect how deeply you sink into a mattress) are the layers that will tend to have the biggest effect on what you feel on a mattress.

There isn’t a way to quantify exactly how long any mattress will last for a particular person and when the gradual loss of comfort and/or support over time will lead to someone no longer sleeping well enough on a mattress and deciding to replace it even if it would still be suitable for the other one or for someone else (see post #2 here). The only meaningful durability comparisons that it’s really possible to make is in comparison to another mattress where you can say “this mattress is likely to be more durable than that one” without attaching a specific number to either one.

Having said that … if a mattress meets the guidelines listed here and you are well inside the range of comfort and support that is suitable for you when it was new then it would be reasonable to expect that for most people it would last in the range of 7 - 10 years before they decided to replace it. If the quality/durability of the materials is higher than the minimum guidelines listed (such as using latex in the comfort layers) then it would be reasonable to expect that for most people it would last for 10 or more years before they decided to replace it although this will be different for different people.

In most cases all the mattresses made by the same manufacturer would be in a similar value range and price differences between different mattresses would generally tend to reflect the differences in the cost of manufacturing and the different materials and components in each mattress along with the cost of any differences in the return or exchange policies although the margins in higher budget mattresses are often a little higher as well.

The Dreamfoam mattress that is closest to the Bamboo Bliss is the Ultimate Dreams Eurotop and you can see a comparison between them in post #16 here.

The Ultimate Dreams latex is similar to the Eurotop in terms of the materials inside it except it uses a thinner polyfoam support core and it uses a less costly cover and doesn’t have the ability to exchange the comfort layer after a purchase which provides the option of changing your firmness choice after a purchase without having to replace the entire mattress which can lower the risk of making a firmness choice that isn’t as suitable as you hoped for.

Which of these would be the “best value” for you would depend on the parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you and whether the benefits of a higher budget mattress (either in terms of higher quality or higher performance materials or components, greater durability, or more flexible options after a purchase) were “worth it” to you.