Restonic, Englander, 45th Street, PLB...

Phoenix, thanks so much again for all the quality info you make available on this site. We visited several shops today and felt like we had better awareness of what we were looking for and what issues to weigh out. We tried out a lot of mattresses, all different kinds, taking our time to feel the support and cushioning of each one.

My husband likes the Easy Rest memory foam mattresses the best. I am not so sure about memory foam mattresses. I thought I liked them at first because they feel very welcoming when I first lay down, but with a little time, I have the sensation that they keep shifting away from me instead of supporting me, resulting in a little bit of a hammock affect.

We both liked the Restonic ‘Dexter,’ which is a traditional spring mattress, and the Restonic ‘Opal Plush’ and the Englander ‘Ecopia Plush’ which are some kind of latex/foam combinations. I was hoping to look up information on the actual contents of these 3 mattresses when I got home, but was not able to find much.

We also tried the 45th Street Bedding latex mattresses and the Pure LatexBliss. My first impression was these kept my spine in a neutral position the best of anything, but they seem like they could feel hard over a longer period laying on them. I also felt like on some of the latex mattresses, I could feel the pinholes, and that was kind of annoying. Our favorites were the 45th Street ‘Woodlawn’ and the PLB ‘Celebrate.’ I would feel like both would probably need some extra cushioning. My husband feels like the latex is hard, like he’s laying on top of the mattress.

Is it fairly straightforward to add the right amount of cushioning on top of a latex mattress, without losing the support of the latex? Or does it get more complicated?

If you have any comments about the relative quality/durability of any of these mattresses, we’d sure appreciate them.

I also have a question about flippable mattresses, in general. It seems like you are getting a better deal because you have two sides to wear out, but in reality, if one side develops a rut and you turn it over, don’t the contents just shift down where that rut is not supporting them when turned over and transfer the rut to the other side? It seems like with repeated turning, that spot would wear out even more from shifting up and down each time? Or how does that work?

Anyways, it seems relatively easy to go into a showroom and narrow down to a mattress that supports your back in a neutral position and feels cushy enough to be comfortable, but the real question is how long will it remain like that? And it’s a huge unknown.

Oh, one other question- are the models of beds in the showrooms exactly the same as the models you get if you buy one, or are they made especially for the showroom? You know, like the hamburgers in the McDonald’s ads vs the one you get when you actually buy one? lol

Hi SleepDeprived,

While Easy Rest uses good quality memory foam in their mattresses … this is one of the risks of a mattress that uses thicker layers of memory foam. I’m not sure which of their mattresses you tested but sometimes thinner layers of memory foam that put you closer to the support layers can offset this. There are also people who just don’t like the “feel” of memory foam regardless of its thickness.

While PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) are a key part of the “value” of a mattress … knowing the quality of the materials inside it are just as important so you can make meaningful comparisons and have a better idea of the durability and useful life of the mattress. This is the job of the retailer to provide this to you and every retailer who sells mattress should be well aware of the importance of providing their customers with this type of information and have enough knowledge to help them understand it. Without this type of information you would be making a completely blind purchase and even though the mattress may feel great in a showroom … there is no way to know how the mattress may feel or perform in a year or two down the road. If you aren’t able to find out the quality of the materials and components in a mattress I would avoid it because the risk of foam softening and the loss of comfort and support is too high.

Both the 45th Street Bedding and the Pure Latex Bliss use high quality materials in their mattresses and there are no "weak links’ in either of them. Of course the quality of the materials has little to do with the suitability of a mattress for your specific needs and preferences. I would tend to avoid buying a mattress with the intent of adding a topper because choosing the best topper is a new variable that can be a little tricky unless you can test the specific mattress/topper combination in person. I would lean towards a mattress that is as close as possible in terms of PPP when you are testing it. Feeling the pinholes in latex would be very unusual (I haven’t heard of anyone who has mentioned this) because latex is so elastic but if a mattress isn’t comfortable for you for any reason then I would tend to avoid it. Latex is much more of an “on the mattress” feeling compared to memory foam which has a more “in the mattress” feeling although both of them can be equally soft and pressure relieving depending on the design of the mattress and the thickness and firmness of the latex or the density and temperature response of the memory foam. All of this is personal preference and I would trust your testing to give you a good idea of the types of materials you prefer.

The Celebrate has 3" of “slow response” latex over 2" of "fast response latex over the support core. Slow response latex is somewhat in between the feel of latex and memory foam and it isn’t typical of most latex which is usually a fast response material.

In concept it’s straightforward yes but the thickness and softness of the comfort layers are important and can be tricky. If the comfort layers are too thick and soft then they can “allow” your heavier pelvis to sink into the mattress too far before it is “stopped” by the firmer support layers so this could lead to poor alignment and lower back discomfort or pain. The goal is “just enough” thickness and softness in the comfort layers for your most pressure prone sleeping position (usually side sleeping) so that there is less risk of spinal alignment issues in your other sleeping positions. Too little softness can lead to pressure issues and too much can lead to alignment issues and it’s the balance between them that is important.

Both the PLB and the 45th Street Bedding use latex which is the most durable foam material available so they would certainly have no “weak links” in terms of durability. For the other two I would need to know the specifics of all the layers in each mattress to make any meaningful comments.

A two sided mattress will be more durable than a similar one sided mattress … even with more durable materials such as latex. The compression forces don’t really reach the bottom of the mattress becasue the foam absorbs energy as the compression forces travel through the mattress and they also spread out (are distributed over a wider surface area) as they go deeper so the lower layers don’t compress nearly as much as the top layers. The softer foam on the bottom is also slightly compressed just from the weight of the mattress so as long as the softer layers aren’t too thick you won’t “shift down” into any soft spots on the bottom of the mattress even if there were any because latex takes longer to develop soft spots than other foam materials.

If the layers on the bottom were too thick and soft then it could affect alignment which is the reason that a two sided mattress is more limited in design because it’s not a good idea to use more than about 3" or so of softer foam on the bottom while a one sided mattress can use the firmest foam on the bottom and then build on top of it using progressively firmer layers without risking having too much soft foam on the bottom. The “feel” of a one sided mattress can be more customized in other words.

As long as the softer comfort layers aren’t too thick then they have a chance to “rest and recover” when they are on the bottom of the mattress and they are only subject to most of the compression forces that soften and break down any material for half the time.

It’s only an unknown if you don’t know the quality/durability of the materials in your mattress. If you know the quality of the materials and components then it’s fairly easy to identify the weak links of a mattress and assess the relative durability of the mattress. If it’s all latex then you know that the risk of foam softening is already much lower than other types of foam. You can read more about the factors that affect durability and the useful life of a mattress in post #4 here.

Generally they are the same although the showroom models will often be broken in with use so when you receive a new mattress it may be a little firmer than the model on the showroom floor.