Thoughts on Carolina Naturals Carolina Radiant Plush Mattress?

Hello –

I am considering buying a Carolina Radiant Plush Mattress/box spring bed. I love how cozy it felt when I test it out in the store. It has springs so I could feel my friend moving on the other side of the bed but other than that it was super comfortable. My concern centers on the longevity of the mattress. The company offers a 15-year warranty but I would rather not have to use it after just a few years. Do you know if the mattress is known to sag? Or if there are other problems with it I should know about?

I didn’t get a ton of information from the web site except that the mattress "features a high density laminated full foam encasement and that the “FR fiber in the quilt has cotton fibers which are treated with vegetable oil containg Boron…to give the fiber fire retardant properties.”

I called Sleepy’s to ask about the mattress construction and was told that the foam is soy-based and that the layers include (from bottom up):

It has a high density laminated foam encasement
1.5" base foam
1.25" high-density convoluted hybrid foam
2.25" of another layer of high density hybrid convoluted foam
1.5" super soft foam

Springs are bonnell construction made from 416 coil- 13 gauge

Any thoughts/advice on this one?
I thank you in advance.

Hi jojo,

One of the most important parts of buying a mattress is to make sure you know the specific quality of the materials in a mattress before you buy it. This is the only way to make any kind of meaningful quality or value assessments of a mattress or have a rough idea of its durability or any “weak link” in the mattress.

Unfortunately the details you listed don’t include any meaningful information about the quality of the materials in the upper layers of your mattress which is the weak link of most mattresses. To evaluate the mattress you are looking at you would need to know the specific density of all the polyfoam in all the layers. If the retailer you are dealing with either can’t or won’t provide this … I would pass the mattress by unless you are willing to call the manufacturer yourself and find out what the retailer should be providing you.

The retailer should also be able to educate you about what the numbers mean but if they have them but don’t know anything about what they mean then you can always post them here and I’d be happy to give you my thoughts about them.

At this point you would be making a completely blind purchase with no way to know either the quality or value, or predict the durability of the mattress.


Thanks. The retailer had no additional information so I wrote to the manufacturer. Will let you know if/when I hear back.

Hello –
I heard back from the manufacturer about the composition of the mattress. Here’s the information I received:

The spring is a Leggett & Platt Bonnell 13 gauge spring with 416 coils in Queen and 520 coils in King size.
There is 1.5" on the top & bottom of the spring of 30 lb compression urethane foam
Then 1.25" of 19 lb compression soft urethane foam
Silk & Wool FR fiber
1.5" of convoluted quilting foam

Does this help you offern an opinion? I"m also looking at a latex mattress (3 layers of different types of 3" latex) and a tempurpedic. I like the latex because it does not have all the chemicals of the tempurpedic. These options are both much more expensive than the carolina but I am willing to pay if the carolina is a poor choice–I am thinking mostly of support and longevity.

Hi jojo,

The innerspring is a Bonnell coil which is a very basic coil that would be firm and quite strong and durable (with the right layers over it and the right insulator). This would not likely be the weak link of the mattress in most cases.

Unfortunately they only gave you the “comfort specs” of the foam layers (their softness or firmness) and not the “quality specs” which is what you really need. Your body will tell you all you need to know about the “feel”, comfort/pressure relief, and support/spinal alignment of the mattress so you don’t need comfort specs when you are testing mattresses in person but you can’t “feel” the quality of the layers which is what will tell you how long the comfort and support of a mattress will last (and loss of comfort and support is not covered by warranty).

Where there is more than an inch or so of polyfoam (or memory foam) in a mattress, what you would need to know is the density of the polyfoam layers … not the softness or firmness. Any quality polyfoam can be made in soft or firm versions so this says nothing about the quality of the foam.

Density is expressed in the number of lbs per cubic foot and with polyfoam would be in the range of 1.0 lbs or so up to about 3.0 lbs or so.

Since higher quality foams are more durable and more expensive as well … without knowing this there is no way to make meaningful comparisons with other mattresses either in terms of value or durability.

Any material has higher and lower quality versions but most latex is a high quality and durable material. Of course it also comes in many different softness and firmness levels so its important to make sure that the layering in your mattress is suitable for your own needs and preferences or what I call PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and Personal preferences). If you are looking at a local option then you can test for this in person and if you are looking online then each manufacturer or retailer (or at least the better ones) will give you some guidance about which of their models or layering combinations would likely be most suitable for you.

Post #1 here and the information it links to will also help you make good choices and give you some good step by step guidelines. It will also hopefully keep you away from most of the lower value choices such as Tempurpedic or any mattress or retailer where you can’t find the information you need to make meaningful comparisons or know what you are really buying or considering.


Hello again and thank you for your thougths on the mattresses.

I tried one out at savvy rest of 3 layers of latex (soft talalay, soft dunlap, firm dunlap) and also talked to shaun at sleepez (recommended here) who suggested that because I weigh 120 lbs, to change the firm layer to a medium one. The soft/soft combination really filled in the arch in my back and was quite cozy. So now I am choosing between latex and the Carolina bed.

I heard back from Carolina Mattress Guild on the density of the layers and the person’s response is below:

The 30 lb. compression foam is 1.2 density.

The 19 lb compression foam is also 1.2 density

The convoluted quilting foam is 1.5 density

She also told me that a mattress should be changed every 6-8 years for optimum support. I was hoping that my new mattress would last longer than that. Is my hope unrealistic?

Hi jojo,

1.2 lb foam is very low quality and 1.5 is low/mid quality.foam and along with the Bonnell coil (which can be good but are less costly than other coil types) this would be a very low cost/quality mattress. There is over 4" of the type of foam here that can cause softening and durability issues and the more rapid loss of comfort and support that goes with it. I would tend to avoid it.

That depends entirely on the materials that are in your mattress. It would surprise me if the mattress you are looking at would last that long even although your lighter weight works in your favor and also allows you to use softer foams. Better quality materials (such as latex) could last twice or three times as long depending on many variables. Post #4 here along with post #2 here and post #3 here and post #8 here talk about the durability of a mattress and how it is relative to each person.


Thanks for your thoughts on this. I’ve decided to go with latex. It is much more expensive but is so cozy (more than tempurpedic) and will last much longer.

Hi jojo,

I agree with you on all counts (cozy and durable as well as more costly) … especially when the design is “just right” for your body type and sleeping positions :slight_smile: