Suggestions for a $800 budget

I just finished a trip to a local mattress store today and narrowed my new purchase to a foam bed. I really liked the iComfort series but read here that they are not of high quality.

I was wondering if anyone could give recommendations for a mattress under $800 in a queen size.

I looked at the ultimatedreams mattress and some on They seem like good values.

I am not sure If I should go for a latex or memory foam mattress as the store I went only had one latex mattress that was a latex/memory foam mix.

Any Ideas would be very welcome. Thanks.

Hi transposon,

The iComfort series includes many different variations or models (some people would like some of them and dislike others) … based on the quality of the materials in them … all of them are poor value IMO and you are wise to avoid them. There are also many variations of foam (latex foam, memory foam, polyfoam) and many variations of each one.

A recommendation for a mattress would normally need some personal testing on specific mattresses to know how you responded to different types of material combinations or layering or alternatively a longer conversation with an experienced manufacturer or retailer based on much more specific information about your needs and preferences. Every person has a unique combination of needs and preferences based on their body types, sleeping positions, and personal preferences and how they “match” the specific materials and layering in a mattress. Without these types of reference points … a recommendation will not have much value because there would be no way to know how a particular mattress may work for you even in theory.

There are some step by step guidelines in post #1 here though that can greatly increase your odds of finding the best possible mattress in any budget range.

Yes … both of these are good value and would make good choices as long as the specific mattress or layering you chose was suitable for your needs and preferences.

This is a matter of personal preference (different people will prefer fast response materials like latex or polyfoam, others prefer slow response materials like memory foam or gel memory foam and others yet will choose a combination). No matter what you choose though (and there is no right or wrong or “should or shouldn’t” here) … the highest possible quality materials that your budget allows is important because there are better and worse quality versions of every material.

I would take one step at a time based on the step by step guidelines and if you let me know the city or zip you live I’d be happy to let you know about any local manufactures or better retailers I may know of in your area. If nothing else it may give you a chance to test different components and materials (including latex) to see which ones you prefer as a way to narrow down your choices regardless of whether you make a purchase online or locally.


thanks Pheonix,

I live within the 02143 zip code.

The icomfort models i liked were the genius and the insight.

The only latex model they had was the Embody by Sealy. It was definitely better than the inner spring mattresses but I think i preferred the icomfort series.

I followed step 1 and 2 in the “how to look for and find the mattress for you” post. But without a “real” latex mattress to compare to I don’t want to commit to either latex or memory foam.

Hi transposon,

You are fortunate because you have some great options in your area including some very good factory direct manufacturers.

They are listed in post #2 here and some links to comments and feedback about some of them are in post #2 here.

You certainly have many options to test different materials and combinations and have some good quality/value choices available locally as well :slight_smile:

The Sealy Embody uses what is called “Smart Latex” which is a mostly synthetic Dunlop latex blend which is less costly and less durable than higher quality latex. It also uses interlocking “inserts” of other materials in the latex so it has softer and firmer areas and would not be “typical” of the feel of other latex mattresses that use a higher quality latex (either Dunlop or talalay without the fabricated layers. It would also tend to be firmer than many latex mattresses although latex comes in a wide range of firmness and softness levels in both Dunlop and Talalay so firmness and softness would vary with each mattress.


On your suggestion Pheonix, I went to the boston bed company and tried out a few mattresses.

I liked a few of them like the memory foam/latex hybrids but my favorite was the Natural Splendor.

It consists of

2" 19ILD Talalay
2" 24ILD Talalaly
2" 28ILD Talalaly

6" 1823 Poly foam
1" 1835 Support foam

Unfortunately @1,300 it is out of my budget.

Is there any way I could customize the Ultimate dreams mattress to somewhat mimic this mattress?

I also tried their Natural Comfort mattress but found it a bit too firm.

2" 28IDL Talalay
6" 1823 Poly foam
1" 1835 Support foam


Hi transposon,

The layering of these mattresses and the Ultimate Dreams are very different and I don’t know the ILD of either the base layer of the Ultimate Dreams of the quilting foam that they use so I can’t really make an educated guess at which layer choice may feel most like the Natural Splendor (which seems to have quite soft support layers). My guess is that the support layers of the Ultimate Dreams would be higher than either the 28 ILD of the third latex layer or the 23 ILD of the 6" polyfoam layer. the different layer thicknesses of the materials would also make a difference.

I think if you tell Chuck the details of these layers (and assuming they are correct because 1823 really does seem quite soft to me) that he would probably be in the best position to make an “intuitive educated guess” although it would be very difficult to “translate” two mattresses that were so different. The biggest difficulty is that the choice of comfort layer doesn’t change the deeper layers of the mattress and the base layers are part of how the mattress feels as well. These are very different between the two mattresses so you would be trying to reach the same “feel” through two very different “pathways” and foam combinations which is difficult at best. I think the closest you could likely get would be an educated guess at a comparable and approximate overall feel such as soft, medium, or firm.


I have another concern. I am about 235 lbs 6’4". While the softer mattress may feel good for a few minutes I am concerned that over the long term something firmer may be better for my back. Is this the case?

Hi transposon,

Yes … this is very true and higher weights tend to do better with both firmer support (providing better spinal alignment) and firmer comfort layers (which will feel softer than they would for a lighter person). Firmer materials will also tend to be more durable for higher weights and will last longer.

Comfort (pressure relief)
is what you feel when you go to bed at night (or what most people “feel” in a showroom).

Support (spinal alignment) is what you feel when you get up in the morning (good if you were in alignment and possible back discomfort or pain if you weren’t).

Durability (the quality of the materials in a mattress) is what you will feel a year or two (and hopefully more) down the road as the materials in the mattress soften and degrade. More durable materials will keep their support and comfort for much longer.

Most people know how to evaluate comfort and this is what most people test for exclusively in a showroom.

Support is a little more difficult to test for and there are some suggestions in post #11 here.

You can’t test for or feel durability or quality at all so this why it’s so important to know the details and “quality specs” of all the layers in your mattress. Since higher quality materials and components are also more costly than lower quality of the same type … this also gives you a way to make more meaningful comparisons between mattresses.