Please Check My Thinking

I think I’m about to pull the trigger on a latex bed, but just wanted to run my thinking by here real quick.

First of all I’m 6’ and weight about 240lbs, my wife is 5’ 4" and weights about 160lbs (and just recently found out she’s pregnant if that plays any additional role). We’re both 30, without any significant back problems that I know of, and we both sleep in all positions. If I’m on my side sometimes I roll over slightly on my stomach which seems to put me at both ends of the spectrum. I’m comfortable on my back too with good support and think I’d like to consciously try to be more of a real side and/or back sleeper. My wife agrees she sleeps all different ways. Initially said she was a side sleeper, but noticed recently being on her stomach (that won’t happen after awhile).

Currently we have a simmons beautyrest, so it’s got pocketed coils and we like the isolation. If we happen to be on another spring mattress we notice the movement and appreciate ours. We have a 2" memory foam topper and another 1" quilted/padded topper on top of that. We like the pillow top feel, but I know that firmness underneath is important for me at least. The primary motivation is to upgrade from a queen to a king, but I’m trying to further examine my sleeping habits, and realize lately we toss and turn and my arms fall asleep. I think that would suggest it’s not soft enough, but I almost feel like it’s too soft and not enough support lower. Price-wise our budget is about $2,000 because we’re also buying furniture, and that’s around the level of the iComfort we first saw at the furniture store. Which, btw, we liked the initial feel of, before I ended up here and reading more.

We live in the Dallas area and tried to do some testing locally. First of all we tried The Mattress Factory in Ft Worth, but we drove there last Saturday only to find out they were closed for a week vacation which wasn’t mentioned on their website. We were able to check out City Mattress near by, and then Sleep Craft in Lewisville where we had a good experience. He had 32 and 36 ILD solid core talalay mattresses and brought out a 24 ILD core for us to feel. They were all ok, but didn’t have any sort of soft topper. His theory was that if you have dissimilar materials the softer will wear out faster, it makes sense, but sort of threw me off from what I was hoping to try out. What we really liked there was his hybrid mattress, which was a firm innerspring with a plush removable 3.5" topper, which had 2" of 19 ILD talalay inside. He said that was his most popular seller, but I wasn’t really sure of the details about the spring, it wasn’t pocketed coils and he said it was the old sterns and foster design. We tried the topper on the other mattresses and felt like we sank in too much, however, now I think this is in a large part due to the soft quilting over the medium core, and less about the soft latex in the topper.

I found a place that had Pure Latex Bliss, but they only had the pamper and nutrition models. The pamper was definitely firm (Just 1" of 19 over 40 ILD I believe I read on here). Later I realized from their website it’s a good platform to add a soft topper to. The nutrition was ok and I could be happy with it. These were the first stretchy knit toppers we felt as opposed to the heavier wool quilts. My wife still thought it was too firm, but later said it was soft enough (unfortunately she’s less interested in trying out lots of different mattresses and lying on them for a long time in the stores). My take away was that latex just doesn’t provide the plushness we’re used to. I think there’ll be a bit of a transition period, I’m up for it if it works out better in the end, I just hope my wife can handle the ride along the way.

Now after lots more reading and comparisons Flobeds and SleepEZ are the top contenders without over exceeding our price range. I want to like Arizona Premium Mattress for the price, but I think I prefer the flexibility of the 3" cores. I also think I’ll want 3" for the soft top, due to side sleeping. Where flobeds really has me interested is their convoluted top, which sounds nice and plush. For the record their calculator says med/med for my wife, and ex firm/firm for me. I figured we’d do med/firm on my wifes side to give some flexibility. Price wise we’d just want to stick with the 2 layers + topper, but I’m not sure that’s enough. Unfortunately, I feel like I might need to go up to their vZone to have enough soft depth for my shoulders and hips, and I just don’t think we can spend $3300 right now. I also can’t get excited about the current natural latex sale, I wish there was a discount on the blended to help out with price. While I can see that it’s factored into the price, I think I like that their exchange policy is to buy your additional core for just $75. If I get to keep the old one I feel like I’ll have some more flexibility in the future as well.

So, I keep coming back to SleepEZ and their 10,000 model. I haven’t called and talked to them yet, but I’m thinking we’d have a common soft top. My wife’s side would be soft-medium-firm, and mine would be soft-firm-ext firm, all talalay. That would at least give us enough combinations to try out initially. Does that seem right for our stats? One of my concerns is that the 22-24 ILD soft top isn’t going to be soft enough, but then again it is pretty thick. I’m wondering if we can and/or should ask to customize this to a 19 or lower? I’ll admit I haven’t really thought much about Dunlop like in the deeper layers, am I missing anything, or can I just wait to exercise that variable if we need to exchange a firm layer? If this isn’t soft enough I wonder about the next steps of adding a topper or something, but I guess I’ll still be below the price of Flobeds.

I also wonder if the quilted top may add a more ‘normal’ plushness feel, or will it just firm it up more like I’ve been reading. Also, I know some people prefer to request the stretchy knit, but isn’t that a downgrade in price (and I wonder if you get any credit back)?

How is their mattress protector? On the other hand, is there any reason to go with the thin knit and then get the wool mattress pad from Flobeds?

My last big concern is the foundation. It seems like I’d be paying a premium $380 for a shippable foundation, and that I should be able to find something better/cheaper locally that doesn’t have to compromise to be shipped. I haven’t called mattress stores asking for just a foundation yet, but is that even worth my time? The other tempting option is the Ikea foundation, Sultan Aram (, but I can’t tell how many slats it has or how it’ll compare. It’ll still cost $200. I’m assuming that our new sleigh bed will have slats and that we just put the foundation and then mattress on top of it. I know this latex stuff is pretty heavy, any reason to have it on it’s own feet? That brings up another hypothetical question, eventually if we get an adjustable base (this interest also limits how much I want to spend on a regular foundation) will this fit inside of a sleigh bed? Is the SleepEZ one any good? If you go adjustable base, should the topper be 2 separate pieces? This is the point where even though it’d be a stretch, I wonder if we should bite the bullet and get an adjustable base. I guess the downside is the return shipping if none of this works out and we go back to a spring mattress and maybe a plush later topper.

I’m kind of anxious to move forward so I can get back to other things (not reading about mattresses), and because our furniture is scheduled to be delivered next week. I like this whole idea of customizing, but the other thought in my mind is if i should wait and talk to The Mattress Factory locally. I doubt the do zippable covers, so I’d give up that and cost would probably be at least the same, so it doesn’t really seem any better at this point other than to try it out, but I’m also still a bit bitter that we drove all that way and found out they’re closed. I can’t even call to ask any questions.

Thanks for your help.


Hi jdp83,

It would be better to ask some of your questions of the manufacturers themselves who are much more familiar with every detail of their products and how they interact with different body types and sleeping styles than I am (they each have real world experience with many thousands of customers of many different body types and sleeping styles) which puts them in a much better position to answer more specific questions about the specific mattresses they sell. I’d certainly be happy to give you some general feedback about some of your questions though.

This could be because it is both too soft and too firm. Every mattress needs to be soft and thick enough in the comfort layer to relieve pressure and also firm enough in the support core to hold up your heavier parts and keep the spine in a neutral algnment (stop the heavier parts from sinking down too far). The foam in the upper layers of the Beautyrest has almost certainly softened which means you would “go through” it more and feel the firmness of the lower layers (which could be the reason for the arms falling asleep which is usually … but not always … a sign of not enough pressure relief) and the same foam softening could also lead to an overall feeling of the mattress being too soft and not supportive enough (not holding up the heavier parts well enough).

Do you know the model of the iComfort you liked. They go from firm to soft so knowing the specific model may give a sense of the overall feel you prefer. Bear in mind too that memory foam and latex (as you know) are completely different materials and one doesn’t “translate” into another.

This is true and softer materials in the upper layers of a mattress will soften and wear out faster than firmer materials deeper in the mattress. The other side of this though is that softer materials are also generally more pressure relieving and a combination of both can be used to provide more customized combinations of both relieve pressure and support. Because the upper materials do wear out faster … it can be an advantage to have a separate topper or an exchangeable layer and zip cover so that just the material that wears out first can be replaced. While latex is a very long lasting material, this can be an advantage here as well. Just a single solid core without any softer layer will work for some but not for others … particularly those that prefer a softer or thicker comfort layer.

I’m surprised he didn’t know the details of his springs. It’s probably an offset. They also make many two sided innerspring mattresses which are also a durability plus compared to one sided mattresses. You are probably correct that the comfort layer (in addition to the quilting that you mentioned which is generally thinner than the comfort layers over the innerspring) may have been too thick with a topper and the softer comfort and quilting layers that were already part of the mattress. Keep in mind though that “theory” about the thickness that a mattress “'should” be is not as important as your own personal experience in testing specifically for pressure relief and support. Your testing and what your body tells you is always more important than the “numbers”. The numbers (what I call quality specs) will tell you about durability … not how suitable a mattress will be for your needs and preferences.

If you go to their retail outlet locator on their site … you will find a few places that carry the PLB which would give you a chance to test their other models and also their 2" and 3" topper (which is very soft) on the Pamper. I would call them first though (as with any outlet you plan to visit) to find out what they carry.

@ Flobeds and SleepEz comments

Flobeds is a high quality choice but as you mentioned they are also quite pricey and there is a significant “value” difference between the two. I would also not pay any attention to an “automated” firmness selector without a more detailed conversation to go with it. These are OK as a general guideline … not as a means to make any final choices IMO.

Post #2 here has a general comparison between SleepEz and Flobeds and a search on vZone (you can click this) will bring up some posts with my thoughts about this as well.

In general though … trying to “design” your own mattress based on specs can lead to more confusion and often “paralysis by analysis” without the specific experience and testing of many different layer combinations to “translate” the specs into real life terms that relate to your own unique needs and preferences. In general your own experiences in testing a mattress are more accurate than “theory at a distance” but the additional “risk” of an online purchase can be greatly lowered with a more detailed conversation on the phone. They have the experience with a large customer base to be able to help you much more effectively and you will have a much better sense of whether an online purchase is within your “risk tolerance”. For the large majority of people … an online purchase with layer exchanges can be a great choice and will end up well within the range of meeting your needs and preferences. For a small minority though … they can be more challenging to “get it right”. Bear in mind that if you are close then there are also many options that can make 'fine tuning" adjustments that may be necessary without even having to exchange a layer (protectors, mattress pads, and toppers) as long as the basic choice is close to what you need and prefer.

This thread will outline all the different foundation options that you have from very low cost to higher costs and provide some good sources of both. In most cases … I generally suggest to go with the foundation that the manufacturer recommends but there are lower cost options available for those who want to include a little extra research. Most adjustable foundations would fit inside a sleigh bed but I would measure first just to make sure.

Hopefully this has helped but if you have more questions (or if I’ve missed any other than those that the manufacturer would be in a better position to answer) … feel free to ask.


Thanks for your response, you helped give me some more confidence in this process. I called SleepEZ this morning, and after some discussion with Shawn, went with the 10,000 blended talalay as I pretty much expected. I chose the quilted wool top because we ended up with completely split layers. My wife has soft-medium-firm, and I’ll have medium-firm-ex firm. With my weight he advised against the soft top because it would wear out quicker and start to show impressions after several years. He said he stocks both Latex International and Radium, and that I could choose, but commented that at the moment the Radium was coming in cleaner, less tears, and higher percentage of natural talalay. He didn’t want to say it was quality control, but sounds like the do have waves. I saw somebody else recently questioning the supply.

I decided to wait on the foundation. For now I think we’re going to lay down some plywood on the bed slats in our new bed and give all this a shot. That way if this doesn’t work out (he did advise giving it a full 30 days to adjust to the new type and feel), we’re not stuck with the foundation. I think I might actually consider building something, maybe incorporating the Ikea slats, or using their foundation after I have some more time to look into it. I also called around real quick to get an idea of foundations/box springs at the local places. It sounds like I could actually get a heavy duty thempupedic foundation (MDF top) for like $400, anybody used those? A slotted base would allow for breathability, but an adjustable base wouldn’t breathe either.

Thanks again. I’ll report back how we like it.

Hi jdp83,

Congratulations on your new mattress!

Shawn is great to talk to and always impresses me with his patient and “even” approach.

You made a great choice IMO and it makes sense to go firmer on your side of course with your extra weight.

Everything else being equal … I personally prefer slatted foundations because of the benefits of increased ventilation but like everything else there are always tradeoffs and I also have an adjustable bed … although it does have some gaps where it articulates and is not a completely solid base.

When the time comes … if you can find one of the King Koil extended life foundations or one of the Therapedic heavy duty foundations (bottom of the page) they are both built like a tank.

I’m looking forward to your feedback when your mattress arrives.


I just thought I’d chime in to say that I live near SleepEZ and have been to their showroom a few times now. All their mattresses are displayed on their own slatted foundations. They are quite nice, and as far as I can tell, you can’t tell they are slatted when laying on the mattress.