Stearns & Foster Smart Latex and HyperSoft foam.

My wife and I tested some Stearns & Foster latex beds in Macy’s yesterday. We liked the “cushion firm” Villa Francesca model: 7-inch smart latex core, 0.79-inch smart latex and 2-inch HD foam comfort layer, and 1-inch HyperSoft and 1-1/2 inches of Convoluted HyperSoft quilt layer. I’m guessing that “smart” latex is a synthetic blend, but what is HyperSoft, whether convoluted or not? If it’s just poly foam then it seems that 2-1/2 inches of it is too much to last? The mattress itself is $2500 for a CA King. Is this way over priced?

Another question. We had considered an adjustable bed (e.g. Ergomotion), but unless you only sleep on your back isn’t an adjustable out of the question if it’s not flat?

Hi curmudgeon,

Smart latex is mostly synthetic latex. It’s a good quality material compared to other types of foam but it’s a lower cost version of latex. Hypersoft is a lower density polyfoam which would be a weak link in the mattress and which I would avoid in any thickness more than around an inch or so because of the risk of foam softening and the premature loss of comfort and support (which isn’t covered by warranty unless there are also visible impressions more than the warranty exclusion which is not that common). In the case of the Stearns & Foster luxury latex mattresses you are sleeping more on polyfoam comfort layers than on latex and there are many reports of these types of mattresses having foam softening issues in the 3 - 5 year range … and often sooner. As you may already know from some of the other posts on the forum (particularly the tutorial post here and the mattress shopping guidelines here) … I would certainly avoid this type of mattress and all the major brands such as Sealy / Stearns & Foster both because they are not generally good value and because they don’t disclose the density of the polyfoam they use in the comfort layers which are usually the weak link of a mattress (and they are generally in the 1.2 - 1.5 lb range which are not good quality or durable materials).

You can find all latex mattresses that use much more costly versions of latex (such as 100% natural Dunlop or Talalay latex) in the same price range which have much better value and don’t have the weak links of a latex mattress that uses too much lower density/quality polyfoam in the upper layers.

Most people use an adjustable bed for personal reasons (such as reading in bed, watching TV, or for the other features such as massage) but you’re right that in most cases raising the head or foot would be most suitable for back sleepers who could benefit from raising the head or foot of the mattress. Raising the head can help with things like snoring or acid reflux conditions and raising the foot can help with pressure and tension on the lumbar spine or circulatory issues (much like a pillow under the knees for back sleeping). A small amount of elevation in the foot of the mattress is usually still OK for side sleepers and can help with lumbar tension for back sleeping as well but too much can cause alignment issues for side sleeping and for stomach sleeping it’s not generally a good idea to elevate either at all. There is more about adjustable beds in post #3 here and the adjustable bed thread it also links to.


Thanks for the quick reply. We’re going to try out the all-natural latex mattresses at the Arizona Premium Mattress Co. Their prices sound too good to be true, but we’ll see.

Hi curmudgeon,

As you probably know I think highly about Arizona Premium and they are one of the members here which means they compete well with the best in the industry in terms of quality, value, and service.

They are knowledgeable, open, and transparent about the materials they use and would certainly make a good quality/value choice.


Just came back from a weekend in Phoenix to try out the adjustable, 100% latex mattresses at Arizona Mattress and Brooklyn Bedding. These two manufacturers use different construction methods. AM uses a very soft 2" or 3" comfort layer over a 6" talalay support core, whose ILD varies depending on whether you want soft, medium, or firm. This sounds like the progressive construction method. If necessary, customers can unzip the bamboo and wool cover and exchange the split cores within 60 days.

BB uses a 6" Dunlop core under a 3" talalay comfort layer. Whereas AM uses the same comfort layer ILD, BB pairs different comfort and core ILDs depending on whether you want soft, medium, or firm. Customers can unzip the organic cotton and wool cover to exchange the split comfort layers (not the core) within 120 days to make adjustments. The comfort and core layers are close in ILDs to one another so this sounds like the differential construction method. The medium and firm mattresses we laid on felt similar at both stores in spite of their different constructions.

For a CA King 100% all-natural latex mattress, AM is almost $500 (20%) less than BB when you include shipping. Considering that these two mattresses are similar in materials and overall thickness and in point of manufacture, shouldn’t they be closer in price?

Will a Dunlop core last just as long as a talalay core? Considering that AM’s 3" comfort layer ILD is in the high teens, would a synthetic blend be more durable?

We went to AM on a Saturday and only the “weekend” guy was there. He works on commission and emphasized that if the paperwork didn’t go through him then his commission was in jeopardy. Like if I came back on a weekday to close the deal, he wouldn’t be there and would lose the commission. I thought this was odd and didn’t feel comfortable calling his personal phone rather than the store number to give my credit card info.

We met with Mario at BB the following Monday. He was very knowledgeable and personable and we felt more comfortable dealing with him, but there is the matter of price differential. Any thoughts on these two deals? Thanks for your time.

Hi curmudgeon,

These are two different mattresses with different options and designs.

The closest comparison between the two would be the Arizona Premium Adjustable Ultra Plush with a 3" comfort layer and the BB Total Latex mattress but they are also different mattresses with different options. AP has 3 different core firmness options and two comfort layer options (although they also have custom options). Brooklyn Bedding has a choice between 100% natural Dunlop or blended Talalay (not just Dunlop) and has more options in both the support core and the comfort layer firmness levels. They also have different exchange policies and options with AP focused more on exchanging support layers and BB focused more on exchanging comfort layers. In other words each would be attractive to different people with different criteria that were important to them. The price difference is also less than you indicated although AP is a lower cost.

Both of these are great quality and value and once you are down to final choices between good and good then the one that is the “best value” to you would depend on how you felt after your conversations with each one and on all the objective, subjective, and intangible criteria that are most important to you. There are no “bad” choices here but only you can decide which one is the best “value” for you.

In practical terms yes. Based on other factors that affect durability one may last longer than another in a specific construction (in either direction) but I would treat them as equals. The support core is also not generally the weak link of a mattress.

A differential or progressive design is only a concept and the two designs have fuzzy edges between them. One is not “better” than another and it’s more important that a mattress is a good match for you in terms of PPP than the type of design it uses. Some mattress designs would be difficult to classify as either one or the other. The main difference between them is that a differential design has a more significant “differential” between the comfort and support layers while a progressive design has smaller or more incremental differences between the layers or use part of one layer to “help” another.

You are certainly in a good position where you have final choices that compete well with the best in the country :slight_smile:


We were comparing all-natural latex mattresses: AP’s “King All Natural Talalay w/Free Bamboo Cover Upgrade” at $1720 plus $150 shipping against Brooklyn Bedding’s “10 inch Essence” at $2350 which includes shipping. Both mattresses are 100% natural latex with 3” Talalay comfort layers and 6” cores. (Online the AP mattress lists for $1595 with a 2” comfort layer but the in-store demo had the 3” comfort layer for $1720.) BB’s core is Dunlop while AP’s is Talalay. The AP cover is a Bamboo quilt containing 1-1/2” of wool while BB’s is Organic Cotton and 1” of wool. Considering that the AP mattress is all Talalay and its cover has 1/2” more wool, I would expect it to cost more not less.
AP’s adjustable design is a one-piece comfort layer over a split, adjustable core while BB’s is the reverse: split, adjustable comfort layer over a one-piece, sewn-in core. Adjustable features aside, the main difference in these mattresses seems to lie in the softness of the comfort layer. The BB mattress we laid on had a 32 ILD topper while the AP mattress was anywhere from 18-22, nevertheless the combination of the layers was such that medium felt like medium in both stores, so I am at a loss to explain what I would be getting for $480 more at BB.
Thank you for providing this wonderful forum and taking the time to read all these posts.

Hi curmudgeon,

OK … that makes more sense. I was comparing the blended versions.

As you mentioned the cost difference between them would be more in this case (although the more general comments in my last reply would still be applicable).

Thanks for clarifying :slight_smile:


Hi Phoenix. Just wanted to let you know that I ordered an all-natural latex Split CA King from Arizona Premium Mattress today: 9 inches of Talalay latex covered in a bamboo/wool zippered quilt. With the split I can always replace my old box springs with adjustable bases later on if that becomes desirable. Each twin was $895, an incredible deal. For the mattress underground discount I went with free pillows.

Once again thanks for all the detailed information on this site and your insights.

Hi curmudgeon,

Congratulations on your new mattresses :slight_smile:

As you know I think very highy of Arizona Premium and it sounds to me like you made a great choice.

I’m looking forward to your feedback when you receive them.


We’ve been sleeping on the split CA king, all natural latex mattress from Arizona Premium for about two weeks now and couldn’t be happier. It took a few days to get used to the lack of bounce in the latex compared to our old inner spring, but the superior support it gives is wonderful. It’s all natural so there’s no off-gassing and unlike memory foam, the latex doesn’t sleep hot. We got an excellent mattress and at a great price.

We also decided to bite the bullet and get the adjustable base too. There is an ebay seller, newbedsdirect, who has an unbeatable price. You have to call to get his “ebay discount” but it’s worth it. We got the Ergomotion 400 split CA King adjustables for only $1600 for the pair (free shipping), which would have been at least $2000 anywhere else.

Thanks again for keeping up this site. Without it I’d have never discovered Arizona Premium.

Hi curmudgeon,

Thanks for the update and the information about your adjustable bed purchase. It sounds to me like you did very well.

It’s great to see that the mattress is working so well for you :slight_smile: