One year ago, my husband and I purchased a firm Serta icomfort memory foam mattress, at Mattress King, a floor model (we now know that’s buying a floor model has its drawbacks). We had been sleeping on a traditional coil mattress for 7 years. Overall, that mattress worked well for us, but we both have lower back pain and the mattress was feeling like it did not respond to our bodies enough–it was getting too soft. I am a side sleeper, and my husband sleeps on his back. We both have average builds and are both in our mid-forties. My husband sleeps hot. I am usually cold at the beginning of the night and then get hot as the night goes on.
We are not happy at all with this mattress. It is simply too firm for me, and my husband finds it too hot. The mattress does not give enough at my shoulders, so I am all scrunched up on my side and my neck and shoulders hurt, especially when I wake.
So we are shopping for a new mattress that will give us both a better night’s sleep, wanting to spend no more than $2000, but we will for the truly right mattress. We find the whole process of finding the right mattress to be overwhelming and frustrating, with so many different materials and names to sort out. We visited Urban Mattress in Fort Collins, Colorado and really liked their approach and products. Our top choice right now is the Sherwood Ambiance Luxury Plush. We also liked the Lumina Radiance Plush for an option with coils, and the Urban Organics Eco Sensation for an all latex option (but this was less responsive to my side sleeping position-I worry that it won’t give enough at my shoulders when I am on my side).
Based on other posts, I am now wondering about the thickness of layers in the Ambiance, and the total latex content. I know in the end the comfort is what matters, but the bottom line is I don’t want to get ripped off.
So for a 170 pound male who sleeps hot on his back, alongside a 135 pound female side sleeper, both with lower back and shoulder issues…what are the best options? With your level of expertise, would the Ambiance be a good option? Or would the full-on latex mattress actually give enough for me on my side and be a better option? We are staying away from all memory foam mattresses because my husband is afraid it will be too hot. But then everyone loves Tempurpedic. And then the confusion sets in again…
Any advice for us, oh wise one?
A hard-working career mom in Fort Collins
Just in case you haven’t read it yet … the first place to start your research is the tutorial post here which has all the basic information, steps, and guidelines that can help you make the best possible choices … and know how to avoid the worst ones.
If your mattress is still in good condition and has no soft spots or sagging then it may be worth adding a topper to provide the additional pressure relief and “comfort” that you need which would be considerably less than a completely new mattress. Post #2 here and the topper guidelines it links to can help you choose the most suitable topper. While there is always some risk involved in choosing a topper that works well in combination with both your mattress and you when you can’t test the combination in person … it also has the advantage of being replaceable so if the topper softens and breaks down before the rest of the mattress (which is likely because the top layers of a mattress or sleeping system are usually the “weak link” of a mattress) then it can be easily replaced without replacing the complete mattress and a topper will also extend the life of the mattress underneath it.
The most important part of choosing a mattress in a showroom is careful and objective testing for PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences). This is the part that only you can decide because there are too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved for for anyone else to be able to recommend a mattress for someone else based on personal information, mattress specs, or theory at a distance and nobody else can feel what you feel on a mattress (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here). The mattress testing guidelines that are linked in the tutorial post along with some guidance from an experienced salesperson can help you decide which mattress is the best match for you in terms of PPP.
There is also some information in post #2 here about the variables that can affect sleeping temperature and a different mattress protector or sheets and bedding can solve many temperature regulation issues.
Outside of careful and objective testing … the most important part of choosing a new mattress is knowing the quality of all the materials and components inside it so that you can make sure there are no weak links in the mattress and make more meaningful comparisons to other mattresses based on the materials and components inside them. A good retailer or manufacturer will normally be able to provide you with the information you need (see this article) and if you can list the specifics of either the Sherwood Ambiance Luxury Plush, the Lumina Radiance Plush, or the Urban Organics Eco Sensation on the forum I’d be happy to make some comments about the quality of the materials inside them or help you identify any weak links they may have in their materials or design (using the guidelines in post #4 here)
Once you have decided on your finalists and are making final choice between “good and good” then you will be in a much better position to decide which of them is the best match for you based on the parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you.
You’ve probably seen this but just in case you haven’t … the better options and possibilities I’m aware of in the Fort Collins area (which includes Urban Organics) are listed in post #4 here.
Thank you so much for the information you provided. We pretty quickly decided against the Sherwood mattress we were considering. I did contact the company and got a nice reply, although they did not reveal the specific contents and measurements of the mattress for “proprietary” reasons.
We have continued to do our research, both online and trying mattresses at retail shops, and are almost decided on a latex mattress from Sleep EZ. We are looking at a 100% natural mattress with soft Talalay on top and then Dunlop layers below. Although we cannot try the actual Sleep EZ mattress in person, we have tried other latex mattresses and are convinced of the comfort and benefits. Sleep EZ appears to be a reputable company, including being a member here, and their return and comfort/exchange policies seem to reduce the risk of an online purchase.
Before we make the purchase, do you have any advice about this company or about the latex layers? Again, I am 5’ 4" and 135 pounds, a side sleeper, and my husband is 5’ 10" and about 170 pounds, a back sleeper. We may do the customized sides and get two half firm layers, and two half medium layers, we figure then we can have options for switching them around. We also are going to upgrade to a king and are deciding between a platform bed and a regular foundation. Any thoughts?
They certainly are a highly reputable company with many years of experience. As you know I think very highly of them and I believe they compete well with the best in the industry. Their component latex mattresses are great quality/value and they provide many options both before and after a purchase and have a very good exchange and return policy as well.
When you can’t test a mattress in person, then the best way to choose the options that have the best chance of success is a more detailed conversation with the manufacturer where you can provide them with the information about your testing and yourselves that can help them to help you make the best choice. They will know more about their own mattresses and matching them to different types of people than anyone else … including me (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here).
As long as both the platform bed or foundation is suitable for a latex mattress (a strong non flexing support surface with slats that are no more than 3" apart and good center support to the floor) then the choice between a platform bed and a foundation and steel bedframe would really be a matter of personal preference. There is more about foundations and a few links to some platform bed sources as well in the foundation post here (including the KD foundation which SleepEz sells which is a good quality choice if you decide to go in the direction of a steel bedframe and slatted wood foundation).