The Whole Shebang: Mattress, Adjustable Base, Stores


I need some help with mattress and adjustable base advice. I can’t do a lot of computer time because of wrist pain and EMF sensitivity, although I have done some reading on this forum. I’m hoping to streamline things a bit.

I have a degenerative bone disease in all of my large joints. I’ve had surgeries on my wrists, ankles, knees, and hips including a hip replacement with a very poor outcome. I have severe pain all over and have had to sleep solely on my back for the past 23 years. Consequently, I need LOTS of cushion and comfort layering.

I recently tried an adjustable bed and realized I should have had one of these years ago. Right now I use pillows under my knees, my ankles and a wedge pillow to raise my head. So I’ve decided to spring for the adjustable base, but I don’t have the money to do that AND purchase the ideal mattress I need. So before I get to the mattress, is it just hype that the Leggett and Platt construction, motors and materials are the best of the adjustable beds? I’m more concerned about that than the features. I do wish they raised up higher as I have to spend many days in bed and like to read or watch TV. I do not want something made in China. Any advice?

Now for the mattress. I always gravitate straight toward very soft beds, but most are disappointing. Being hypersensitive, I feel myself going through the soft top layer(s) and then hitting the unforgiving support layers underneath that cause too much pain for me on the pressure point between my replaced hip and lower spine. I also have a lower spine that seems to bow out more than other people’s, and so I carry too much pressure there anyway. I can’t have a surface that stops giving after a few inches.

Unfortunately, I also have allergies and autoimmune disease and want something that isn’t toxic. (Tall order, I know, in my price range.) I tried a latex topper from PureBliss and it was heaven. My problem is what to put underneath it that will still have give, but not be toxic.

I should say that I will not be alive in 20 years, so worrying about that kind of mattress guarantee or thinking about averaging the cost over that time is quite meaningless to me. I would rather replace the mattress in ten years if I’m still here. I really don’t feel I can spend more than $1,000 for a mattress and this eliminates what I believe would be best for me: natural latex.

I live in the Medford/Ashland area of Oregon and there aren’t too many stores here. I think I’ve been to all but one that sells wool beds. Most have only your basics: Sealy, Simmons, Serta and Temperapedic. However, I will be in the Sacramento/Roseville, CA area next week, so if there’s any stores there where I could try some possibilities, I would be extremely grateful to know of them.

I will also be in Reno, Nevada. There is a store there called Mill Ends where you can purchase unfinished foam. I don’t know anything about the brand(s) or where it/they come from, but I’m going to visit them. Unfortunately, the sales people aren’t super knowledgeable as this is really a fabric store, so I don’t even know if they’ll be able to tell me. In spite of Phoenix’s cautions, I was considering putting together my own layers and getting a case that would minimize toxic exposure. I could do this for less than $500 and get the latex topper.

Any assistance for:

  1. Stores in southern Oregon, Sacramento and/or Reno;
  2. Adjustable base manufacturers/models; and,
  3. Most important, decent soft mattress companies in a more modest price range
    would be very much appreciated! :slight_smile:

Thank you!


Hi Shonya,

Unfortunately any of the advice that I can offer will involve some reading and be focused on “how” to choose rather than “what” to choose but hopefully it can help you focus on the most important information in the forum. There are no “shortcuts” that I know of that can give meaningful advice in a few paragraphs.

The most important post on the forum is post #1 here which includes all the basic information, steps, and guidelines that can help you make the best possible choices … and avoid the wort ones. I would “read it like a book” rather than "study it’ like you would a textbook.

The adjustable bed thread here should be helpful in choosing an adjustable bed and for giving you some reference points for “good value”.

The better options or possibilities I’m aware of in the Medford, OR area are listed in post #4 here and in the Sacramento region are listed in post #5 here and the list for Reno is in post #3 here.


Hi Phoenix,

Thanks so much for your reply. Awesome links and true computer time savers for me.

I had already read all the basic information threads, emphasizing the “how” over the “what.” Even though traveling and visiting all these stores is very hard on me, I’m making myself do it specifically because of your website. :wink:

I had already gone to the two in my area you mentioned. One of them is where I tried the Pure Bliss beds. I can’t even come close to affording the mattress, but did fall in love with the topper. It’s the only latex topper I have tried, however. The other place ignored me when I went through, so that didn’t impress me. Still, I laid on all the beds and all those that were out were very firm. Big ouch.

My sense is that I’m likely to end up trying to figure out what I like best and then order something from one of the companies you listed that makes mattresses (the caveat being if I can afford it).

Still, I’ll probably have some questions after I get back from my trip. And I’ll try to continue the reading in the meantime.

Thanks again! And thanks for such a great website! I shudder to think what kind of decision I would have made without it…


Hi Shonya,

When I was looking at beds, me and my wife wanted (though eventually turned down) getting an adjustable bed. The store I trust a lot recommended basically the leggett & platt only, being USA made. In my research, all the adjustable beds by the big ‘s’ companies are rebranded leggett & platt.

We turned it down due to cost. If you can get by with a twinxl bed, the package cost it is quite a bit less expensive. I checked out kijiji at the time to see if we could find a used adjustable bed to experiment and see if we’d even use the features of such a bed, but found them not readily available used. If you do find one, I’m told they are hell to move, so probably want to make sure it’s delivered to where you want it.

Adjustable beds need compatible mattresses, which is usually only an issue with spring mattresses. Also, they likely will make a mattress more firm as I believe they’re a solid base (not slatted wood, which may offer a bit more give). If you need lots of softness, you might need a touch more. Phoenix would know way better than I.

The only other option I know of that can be organic is wool. I have no idea at all if it’d be suitable for you, nor pricing…nor if a latex topper over wool would offer any value without experimentation.

But, as I said, if you can get to a twin xl, the package cost is quite a bit less.

Hi Shonya,

I’m not sure what materials you are able to tolerate and this is a complex subject with issues like autoimmune diseases and MCS (multiple chemical sensitivities) so you would know more than I would about the materials you can tolerate because it’s very individual. Some people don’t do as well with some materials and others do better. As a group … memory foam is usually the least well tolerated and polyfoam is “iffy” depending on the person.

Post #4 here has more information about natural materials that you may do better with but they boil down to natural fibers, latex, and innersprings. You may find an innerspring latex hybrid mattress inside your budget and many pocket coils are fine with adjustable beds. Other innersprings that don’t have a border wire or are specially made to flex with an adjustable bed are also OK. It’s important to make sure that the manufacturer or retailer knows that you are planning to use your mattress with an adjustable bed so that they only show you the ones that are suitable. It may also be worth considering a mattress that doesn’t contain any fire retardants which are available with a prescription from a health professional (and you don’t get charged tax either with a prescription). The size of mattress you are looking for will also play a major role in your budget and larger sizes are of course more costly.

As far as comfort that’s such an individual matter that your own testing will be the most important part of your choice. In general though if you have progressively firmer layers then the transition between the layers will be much more gradual than if you have a very soft layer over a very firm layer. Rather than getting into more technical details though it’s usually best to either trust your own personal testing or if you are considering an online purchase then a more detailed conversation on the phone that includes as much detail about your criteria as possible will help them give you3better suggestions.

With the local manufacturers or retailers on the lists I linked I would spend some time on the phone with them first telling them more specifics about what you are looking for so you can get a better sense of what they have available and their level of knowledge and service and how well you “connect” with them before you go there. this can save you a lot of time and travel.