I’ve spent a lot of time reading the overviews, tutorials and forum posts over the last week or so, and today my husband and I went to Gardner Mattress and Boston Bed Company, and we’re still not sure what to do. We liked the Latex/Poly hybrid from Gardner (didn’t really like anything from Boston Bed). I’m also considering the Brooklyn Bedding “Best Mattress Ever” and the Kiss Mattress by SleepEZ after reading about them here and after seeing that we like the latex/foam hybrid beds. Below is a little background about us and then some specific questions. I am hoping for some direction in this ridiculously overwhelming process! Thanks in advance.
I am 5’4 (113lbs) and my husband is 6’2 (190lbs). I like to fall asleep on my stomach or side, but usually wake up on my side (sometimes my back). My husband is mostly a side, but often ends up on his back, sleeper. Neither of us have great posture (we sit at desks all day!) and although I do not technically have scoliosis, I have some more than average curveature to my spine. I HATE our current bed: a 4-year old Simmons Beautyrest Classic “Heartwood” Firm Plush (King) from Jordan’s. We only settled on the Simmons after buying and returning several mattresses, including one from Gardner - one of their basic firm mattresses, that felt like concrete. I’ve been sleeping in our guest room lately - our Simmons feels firm, but I feel sag and pressure points pretty quickly and I wake up with awful back pain, feeling exhausted. The bed in our guestroom is a 10 year old Serta Perfect Sleeper “Crystal Magnolia” (Full)- its not perfect but I like it and I don’t wake up with pain. It has a light/airy but firm-ish feel to it.
We are hesitant to try another innerspring mattress - we don’t like 100% memory foam (the quicksand/sinking) or 100% latex (too bouncy). But we both liked the Latex/Poly hybrid bed at Gardner. There are two types, one with a 2" talalay latex top layer and the other with a 3" layer. Unfortunately, the woman working today wasn’t as knowledgeable as we would have liked. She said the beds were exactly the same otherwise with 4" of high density poly form underneath the latex - this didn’t seem to add up, because the (handwritten) tags said “5.5 Q26; 3” Latex" (or 2" latex). (I’m not sure if the “Q26” means anything.) She also wasn’t able to tell me the density of the poly and when I asked about the quilting she said it was cotton, polyester and foam - she she wasn’t positive about foam layer and guessed it was about an inch. [I do plan to call the Sale location on Monday to find out more]
Anyway, I liked the 2" and my husband liked the 3" better - he thought the 2" was way too firm and I thought the 3" was a bit too soft, especially on my stomach - on my side, it was quite comfortable,but i felt a bit like I was rolling forward. Does it make sense - height and weight wise - that he would prefer the “softer” bed? Does it make sense that there would be such a difference in feel between the two beds if all that differs is the 1" of latex? I think I’m pretty confused at this point with what I “like” - I definitely like a comfortable bed, but I do NOT like the feeling of sinking/sagging, maybe I like to feel more like floating?
I’m also really interested in the Best Mattress Ever (Medium) and the Kiss by SleepEZ (I like the long trials (versus 30 with Gardner). The prices are better than Gardner too - but price isn’t a huge factor. The right bed is more important. Can you comment on the difference between these beds and the Gardner beds? The Gardner seems quite “thin” - 6"-8" total versus 10" for BME and Kiss. I read a post you wrote describing the difference between the Kiss (“attractive to those that prefer the more resilient “surface feel” of a Talalay top layer with some of the more contouring and less resilient “feel” of a “memory foam like” layer underneath it.”) and the BME (more springy/resilient) - based on what I’ve described about my preferences above - which does it sound like might be a better choice to try? With these two beds vs Gardner is there any concern with long term durability because they are so new?
Thank you so so much in advance for any advice/insight you might have!!
There is more information about the 3 most important parts of the “value” of a mattress purchase in post #13 here which can help you make more meaningful quality/value comparisons between mattresses in terms of suitability (how well you will sleep), durability (how long you will sleep well), and the overall value of a mattress compared to your other finalists based on suitability, durability, and all the other parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you (including the price of course and the options you have available after a purchase to “fine tune” a mattress or the exchange/return options that are available to you).
While I can’t speak to how any mattress will “feel” for someone else because this is too subjective and relative to different body types, sleeping positions, and individual preferences, sensitivities, and circumstances … outside of PPP the most important part of the value of a mattress purchase is durability and assuming that the materials in a mattress you are considering are durable enough for your body type and meet the quality/durability guidelines here … the choice between different types and combinations of materials and components or different types of mattresses (including innersprings) are more of a preference and a budget choice than a “better/worse” choice (see this article). I certainly wouldn’t assume that innerspring mattresses that use high quality and durable materials and that don’t have any “weak links” (in the comfort layers especially) are any less durable than any other type of mattress. I wouldn’t have any concern with a mattress that uses “less than about an inch or so” of lower quality or “unknown” layers in the quilting layers especially since this isn’t thick enough to compromise durability.
I’m guessing that the “26” is the ILD of the base layer although this isn’t important to know because with a local purchase that you are testing in person your body will tell you much more than specs about whether any particular mattress is a good match for you in terms of PPP. The “Q” could mean Qualux which is a family of foams that in general are a good quality material made by Carpenter (see post #2 here) but of course I have no way to know for sure and I would avoid speculation and find out the density for sure from the manufacturer. If a specific salesperson doesn’t know then I would insist that they find out from someone else that knows the type and quality/density of the polyfoam and any other information you need to know to make an informed choice.
There are many individual specs that can combine together to make a significant difference in the feel and performance of a mattress other than the thickness of a layer (see post #2 here).
Different people can also have very different perceptions of firmness and softness compared to others as well and a mattress that feels firm for one person can feel like “medium” for someone else or even “soft” for someone else (or vice versa) depending on their body type, sleeping style, physiology, their frame of reference based on what they are used to, and their individual sensitivity and perceptions. There are also different types of firmness and softness that different people may be sensitive to that can affect how they “rate” a mattress as well (see post #15 here) so different people can also have very different opinions on how two mattresses compare in terms of firmness as well and some people may rate one mattress as being firmer than another and someone else may rate them the other way around. This is all relative and very subjective and is as much an art as a science.
The first “rule” of mattress shopping is to remember that you are the only one that can feel what you feel on a mattress and there are too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved that are unique to each person to use a formula or for anyone to be able to predict or make a specific suggestion or recommendation about which mattress or combination of materials and components or which type of mattress would be the best “match” for you in terms of “comfort” or PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your Personal preferences) or how a mattress will “feel” to you or compare to another mattress based on specs (either yours or a mattress) or “theory at a distance” that can possibly be more accurate than your own careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in step 4 of the tutorial) or your own personal sleeping experience (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here).
If you can find out the information in this article about the Gardner mattresses I’d certainly be happy to make some comments about the quality and durability of the layers and let you know if I can see any obvious weak links in the mattress that would compromise durability but I would be very surprised if any of the Gardner mattresses had any lower quality materials or weak links in their design. Without this information it’s not possible for me to make any meaningful comments about the quality or durability of the materials in a mattress or the mattress “as a whole”.
There is more about the BestMattressEver and the KISS mattress in post #2 here in the simplified choice mattress topic and both of them use high quality and durable materials and there are no lower quality materials or weak links in either of them in terms of durability relative to any weight range.
The thickness of a mattress is really just a side effect of the design and is also only one of many variables that can affect the feel and performance of a mattress and by itself also isn’t particularly meaningful (see post #2 here). In some cases higher weight ranges will sometimes do better with a mattress that is a little thicker than lower weight ranges but even this depends more on the specific design and combination of materials in the mattress and on how well the mattress “as a whole” matches your specific needs and preferences than anything else.
In terms of durability a mattress is only as good as the type and quality of the materials inside it regardless of the name of the manufacturer on the label or how long the mattress has been sold so I wouldn’t have any concerns with any mattress that meet the quality durability guidelines I linked regardless of how long it has been available on the market.
There is more about the different ways to choose the most suitable mattress (locally and online) that can help you assess and minimize the risks involved of making a choice that isn’t as suitable for you as you hoped for with each of them in post #2 here.
There is also more about the pros and cons of an online purchase vs a local purchase in post #2 here and this topic.
While your own careful testing or personal experience is the most reliable way to know whether a mattress is a good “match” for you in terms of comfort and PPP … when you can’t test a mattress in person then the most reliable source of guidance is always a more detailed phone conversation with a knowledgeable and experienced retailer or manufacturer that has your best interests at heart and who can help “talk you through” the specifics of their mattresses and the properties and “feel” of the materials they are using (fast or slow response, resilience, firmness etc) and the options they have available that may be the best “match” for you based on the information you provide them, any local testing you have done or mattresses you have slept on and liked or other mattresses you are considering that they are familiar with, and the “averages” of other customers that are similar to you. They will know more about “matching” their specific mattress designs and firmness levels to different body types, sleeping positions, and preferences (or to other mattresses that they are familiar with) than anyone else.
You are certainly looking at some good quality/value choices but once you have narrowed down your options to a list of finalists that are all choices between “good and good” and none of them have any lower quality materials or “weak links” in their design and if there are no clear winners between them (which is usually a good indication that you have done some very good research) then you are in the fortunate position that any of them would likely be a suitable choice and post #2 here can help you make a final choice based on your local testing or mattresses you have slept well on, your more detailed conversations with each of them, your confidence about PPP and the suitability of each one, their prices, your preferences for different types of materials, the options you have after a purchase to fine tune the mattress or exchange or return the mattress or individual layers, any additional extras that are part of each purchase, and on “informed best judgement” based on all the other objective, subjective, and intangible parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you.
Thank you, Phoenix. I read through the links you provided that I hadn’t seen before, which were quite helpful. .
I spoke with Gardner and they provided additional information on the mattresses: 3" Latex/Poly Hybrid:
Layers Top Down: 3" 100% Natural Talalay Latex; 5.5" of 2.6 lbs density polyurethane foam.
Quilting: Quilted Knit, cotton with about 1" of polyurethane foam.
2" Latex/Poly Hybrid: They said the beds are the same except that this one has 2" of a denser Talalay latex.
Based on this information, can you comment on the quality and durability between these two? And on the quality and durability as compared to the Kiss and Best Mattress Ever?
I’m still wondering about this from my last post. I’m trying to understand what the Kiss and BME might feel like. I know I won’t actually know unless I try them, but I’d like to understand a bit more so I know which one would be right to try.
Does your description of the Best Mattress Ever as springy/resilient mean it feels more like a 100% latex bed?
2.6 lb polyfoam is a very high quality and durable material (and is higher quality/density than you will find in the support core of most mattresses including the BestMattressEver and the Kiss mattress) although the deeper layers of a mattress will have less effect on the overall durability and useful life of a mattress than the comfort layers. The Talalay latex is also a very high quality and durable material (latex in general is the most durable of all the foam materials) so neither one of these mattresses have any lower quality materials or weak links that would compromise the durability of either one of them for any weight range although of course they will “feel” different.
You can see my comments about the quality/durability of the BestMattressEver and the Kiss mattress in the previous post I linked but neither one of them use any lower quality materials or have any weak links in their design that would compromise their durability relative to any weight range either.
All of these mattresses use materials that are higher quality and more durable than the minimums in the quality/durability guidelines that I linked in my previous reply so it would be reasonable to expect any of them to last 10 years or longer.
There is more information in post #9 here about the different ways that one mattress can “match” or “approximate” another one. Every layer and component in a mattress (including the type, thickness, and firmness of each layer and component and the cover) will affect the feel and performance of every other layer and component and the mattress “as a whole” so unless you are able to find another mattress that uses exactly the same materials, components, and design (which would be very unlikely) then there really isn’t a way to match or compare one mattress to another one in terms of “comfort” or “feel” or PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) based on the specifications of the mattress. When there are more than very minor differences between two mattress then you will find that different people with different body types, sleeping positions, and individual preferences and sensitivities can have very different opinions about how two mattresses compare.
Again … the only way to know how any mattress will “feel” for any particular person will be based on your own actual testing or personal experience. Trying to describe how a mattress will feel would be something like trying to describe how a particular recipe will compare to another one when the person you are describing it to doesn’t have a suitable frame of reference from actually trying something that is the same or very similar (and even then different people will also have different opinions about how two recipes compare as well).
The transition layer in the Kiss mattress would be less resilient or “springy” than the transition layer in the BestMattressEver but how any individual person will experience the difference or which one they would prefer will depend on many variables (and this isn’t the only difference between the mattresses that will affect how they feel) including their body type, their sleeping style, and their individual preferences and sensitivities and the degree that they will feel the differences in the transition or deeper layer in the mattress.
I don’t have any personal experience sleeping on any of the specific mattresses you are mentioning but even if I had tried all of them for an extended period of time my own personal experience or my opinions about how they compare could be very different from yours so your best source of guidance about these types of comparisons will be more detailed conversations with the manufacturers that sell them.
There are hundreds of versions of latex/polyfoam mattresses and hundreds of versions of all latex mattresses that are all very different from each other so there is no specific description that will fit a whole category of mattresses. Having said that … there is more information about how latex/polyfoam hybrids compare to all latex mattresses at least in very general terms in post #2 here.