Starting From Scratch

After spending time reading horror stories about ordering latex beds online, adjusting layers, return fees, etc., I seriously think that my wife would string me up by my ears if something like that happened to me. Plus, those latex mattresses are very expensive, and I figure I can figure something out to make us both happy. My wife wants me “to go buy a mattress and bring it home!”

So anyways, I’ve about decided that it would be most cost effective to purchase a really quality firm innerspring mattress, and then add 1" SLAB latex toppers as needed. We’re both small-average size, I’m 5’-8", 158 lbs, and my wife is 5’-3", 129 lbs - we’re both side sleepers.

Here in Louisville, KY, we have lots of innerspring mattresses to choose from. Sterns & Foster, Sealy Posturepedic, Simmons, King Koil, Restonic, Denver Mattress, etc… Can anyone suggest a quality firm mattress without a bunch of poly foam? Which would be the best to serve as a firm mattress under a pair of 1" latex toppers?

Hi jwevans01,

It’s probably worth remembering that 90% or more will do very well with their online purchase and in most cases you would never hear from them again. Most of the “exceptions” though will be found on the forums like this which makes the exceptions seem like more than they really are. The knowledge and experience of the online outlet and their willingness and ability to give you good and accurate information will also play a role in this of course and the better ones are very good at matching someone to a mattress that others with similar height/weight and sleeping positions have done well with. Even those who don’t quite get it right will often be able to re-arrange the layers (and/or exchange them if necessary) and end up with a mattress that is much closer to what they need and prefer over the long term than anything they would buy from a more typical outlet.

Having said that though, it’s when someone is outside of the “average” constructions that most people are happy with that it can become difficult to “get it right” … and I can certainly understand your hesitancy. This is why when it’s possible I would tend to buy through a local manufacturer or factory direct outlet where I could actually test a mattress as long as the value is roughly comparable.

I would avoid the major brands you are mentioning mainly because you will find that they either use too much lower density polyfoam in their mattresses or when they don’t their prices are much higher than other options and their value is not very good. Of the ones you mentioned … Restonic tends to have some better value but even here they are not in the same league as a factory direct outlet and they also build them differently in different areas of the country so it becomes important to only buy them from an outlet that will give you the layer details of the mattresses they carry so you can avoid buying too much polyfoam when you think you are buying a higher quality material.

Denver mattress carries 2 latex mattresses which are mostly latex (the Snowmass and the Aspen) which may be well worth testing, are very good value, and may not require a topper to get the feel you like (they are all foam rather than innerspring though). They only have an inch of polyfoam in the comfort layers which is not thick enough to be an issue.

Denver and a few other better options are in post #3 here. I would probably focus my efforts on them either in buying a local mattress which is what you are looking for without a topper or in buying a suitable mattress that would be a good candidate for a latex topper. For example the HD series at Bowles all have a very firm innerspring with little polyfoam and the different models already have different layers of latex on both sides (so not only would you have a 2 sided mattress but you could already have the combination you were looking for).

Hope this helps