Thoughts on my pending mattress purchase

Okay. Ever since I spent one night at a hotel equipped with memory foam mattresses, I’ve realized it is time to upgrade. I have concerns about the chemicals used in memory foam as well as concerns that it would sleep too warm in my apartment, so I’m pretty well locked into the idea of buying a latex mattress.

Big kudos to Phoenix for maintaining such an informative site. There is a ton of information here. Before finding this forum, I was groping around in the dark. Now I see the light.

I’m planning to purchase a full size 100% natural latex mattress. I’ve visited some of the stores local to my area in NYC. The best shopping experience I’ve had was at Clean Bedroom. Louis, their sales associate, was very helpful. None of the hard-sell tactics…just helpful and informative. I tried three different latex beds (actually both halves of three different beds). The one I liked best was the Naturally Organic Oyasumi with a 6" medium support layer and a 2" soft comfort layer.

Although I would like to support a local business, I’m finding the price tag a little too much to swallow. Actually…more than a little too much to swallow. The mattress without foundation is $2530. Add sales tax and the total comes out to $2754.54.

I also spent about twenty minutes on the phone with Ken Hightower of the Arizona Mattress Company (aka Ken can build a mattress with similar specs (all dunlop latex 2" soft topper, 6" medium core, natural joma wool, bamboo stretch knit cover) for $1295 plus shipping which he estimates will be about $140 to NYC. I came away from that phone conversation very comfortable that this is a quality person with whom I’d like to do business.

I also visited some other local business and have spoken with other online retailers. The closest to the mattress from Arizona Mattress I have found is Their 8" botanical bliss mattress seems very similar at $1599 though not exactly what I would get from the other two companies. Also, their sales manager really tried to put the hard-sell on me when we spoke. That’s kind of a red flag to me.

In short, it certainly appears the best option is to buy the built-to-spec mattress from Arizona Mattress. I can’t imagine there’s any way Clean Bedroom will come close to the price Arizona Mattress is offering. I would love to support a local business, but I can’t afford a $1000 price premium for this.

If anyone has any suggestions or additional thoughts on this (aside from brow-beating about buying from an online retailer), I’d love some feedback.

If I were you I would call Louis and ask him for his advice, I think he would understand the sitution and he would really appreciate you being upfront with him about this. That way if he can do something fine if not you were upfront. One thing to mention is usually a Queen pure latex is about the same price as a full since latex sheets are queen sized and a full is cut out of the queen layer, so if you have the space you may want to consider that upgrade.

Thanks, JoeyTOB. I will call Louis tomorrow and let him know where things stand. As for the size, being a NYC apartment with my bedroom serving dual purpose as office and bedroom, I don’t have the space. Maybe I should tape out a chunk of the floor just to make certain I can’t make a queen size work.

Hi teaguejb,

As you probably know … I think highly of Ken and Arizona Premium. He is a great source of information and is very knowledgeable about both latex and the industry in general.

I would also find it very difficult to justify that kind of local premium as well and would be going in a similar direction as direction you are.

I think the advice that joeyTOB gave you to talk with Louis is good and the only thing I would suggest is not so much to ask Louis for advice about what you should do … but to ask what he may be able to do to make the local premium a little more palatable. While he may not be able to come close enough … at least he will have the chance.

Don’t forget too that Ken is a member of the site so if you let him know you are a member of the forum you will receive an extra 5% discount on your purchase.


I decided to order a built-to-order mattress from Arizona Premium. I’m getting their adjustable ultra plush built with specifications very similar to the Naturally Organic mattress I saw at Clean Bedroom.

I did contact Clean Bedroom again to explain my situation. They were, once again, very professional and friendly about it. Unfortunately, they were only able to take off a token discount of 10%. I expected that would be the case, and the associate did say he was appreciative that I called to speak again.

Now I’m just looking forward to receiving the mattress in 3-4 weeks. I will post again then.

Hi teaguejb,

Congratulations on your new mattress :slight_smile:

You made a great choice IMO and best of all it was based on some good research and on what was important to you.

I’m looking forward to your feedback once you had the chance to sleep on it.


Okay. After having slept on the new mattress for three nights, I’m ready to give a review.

On 8/21, I placed an order with Arizona Premium Mattress for an 8" natural (not organic) latex mattress with bamboo fiber zippered cover. I requested a 2" soft dunlop comfort layer over a 6" medium dunlop support layer. The quoted lead time for shipping was 3.5 weeks. The mattress shipped exactly when APMC said it would ship.

When the mattress arrived, it was well-packaged and much, much easier to set up than I had expected. I had a friend help me carry it into the bedroom. Once we got the package open and the mattress unbound, it just flopped into place. My friend said, “that’s it? That’s all we have to do?” Super easy.

The build quality of this mattress is apparent instantly. Very well sewn cover with wool quilting. The materials appear to be very high quality. I’m really glad I went with the bamboo upgrade. The fabric feels terrific.

Sleeping on the mattress feels outstanding. I wake up feeling much more refreshed than I have in a while. The only trouble is that I hit the snooze button at least three times more than I would normally.

I do have one question. I’ve never slept on a mattress that didn’t require some repositioning during the night (except the one time I slept on a memory foam mattress…but I had imbibed a fair amount of hooch that evening). Should I expect to not turn over or reposition myself at all during the night? I’m not turning nearly as much as I did on my old mattress, but I do wonder if maybe I got the softness specs almost-perfect instead of dead-on perfect. Also, it may be that I just need to spend more time adjusting to my new mattress. Thoughts?

The answers to my questions won’t change the fact that I’m very glad I went with natural latex and that I’m even happier I decided to buy from Arizona Premium Mattress Co. Ken and Greg were nothing but helpful and pleasant. I’m a happy, well-rested camper.

Hi teaguejb,

Thanks for a great review :slight_smile:

Some changes in position is actually an important part of healthy sleeping to stop any blood from pooling and to ease any stress from sleeping in the same position all night. Most people will actually change position more than they suspect during the night. The key of course is that any changes in position are a natural part of sleeping instead of a response to various issues such as pressure issues (stopping circulation) or alignment issues (causing discomfort or pain).

How many times a person will change position can be very individual depending on their individual makeup and physiology, emotional state, health, environment, stress, age, and other factors but most people will change positions (not just move) more than 10 times a night. Less is generally considered better than more overall but either extreme is not considered to be ideal and the range varies somewhere in between “tossing and turning” to “not moving at all”. There is an interesting study here about sleeping position changes that were recorded on video and the positions that the participants “reported” that they slept in.

If you were well rested and woke up without “symptoms” then then the odds are good that you “hit the nail on the head”. Of course there is usually an adjustment period both for the person and a break in period for a new mattress mattress but this can range from next to nothing up to a few months. For most people it is on the shorter end of the scale if there aren’t other complicating issues involved.


After almost deciding on the Oyasumi Med/Soft Mattress at Clean Bedroom, I stumbled upon this post and REALLY like the idea of saving $1,000. I just have two questions: how is the mattress from Arizona Mattress company faring almost a year later? AND, I’m puzzled by the dramatic difference in price? Why, and how, can the Naturally Organic Oyasumi be priced so much higher than the one at Arizona Mattress? Is it a difference in quality? I definitely want the best for my money, but I also don’t want to needlessly spend an extra $1,000 at the Clean Bedroom when a extremely similar mattress from Arizona can be had. Any thoughts, tips, or comments would be appreciated. I would like to make this purchase asap - a good night’s sleep awaits!!

Hi Pea,

While I’m not teaguejb so I can’t answer your question about their specific mattress (and hpefully they will see your post) … I can tell you that if a mattress has the same materials as another mattress that they will fare the same way.

If you are comparing one mattress with the same design and materials (the same amount of 100% Dunlop latex and a similar cover) then the quality would be the same. One of the basic themes of this site is that a mattress is only as good as its construction and materials no matter which manufacturer’s label is on the cover. If you identify the materials in one mattress and they are the same as the materials in another mattress (type and blend of latex and type of cover materials and quilting) then the mattresses are the same quality/durability although they may still “feel” very different.

I would also keep in mind though that latex comes in a wide range of different firmness/softness levels and while a mattress may use the same quality of materials … if the materials or layers in one are firmer or softer than in the other (and this is measured in ILD in the case of Talalay and by ILD or density in the case of Dunlop latex) then the feel and performance of each mattress will be different and one may be more suitable than the other in terms of what I call PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and Personal preferences). The goal is to “match” or better the quality of the materials but also to make sure that a mattress that you are considering is suitable in design for your specific needs and preferences in a mattress and that a mattress that you have tested in person is close to a mattress that you are considering in terms of its feel and performance.

Different manufacturers have different sources for materials, have different business models, different business structures to support, use different marketing methods, and operate on different profit margins. All of this is part of the cost of a mattress and this is also the reason that the manufacturers that have been invited to become part of this site (such as Arizona premium Mattress) are among the best in the country in terms of quality and value and others that sell basically the same mattresses aren’t.

The key is always to make apples to apples comparisons both in terms of the quality and type of materials and the suitability of a mattress design and the softness/firmness of the layers for your specific needs and preferences.


Hi Phoenix,

Thanks so much for your response. Unfortunately, after speaking with both places again today, I am more confused than ever! The Clean Bedroom would not give me the ILD numbers to correspond to the mattress I liked, saying that it is irrelevant and unavailable and that only people who sell “mixed” or non-organic latex speak in terms of ILD numbers. This seemed suspicious to me as I was under the impression that ILD numbers are in fact a standard and should be available. Of course without the numbers for the mattress that I know I liked, I am still left unable to make a direct comparison to soft and firmness levels.

Ultimately, I am certainly inclined to trust your recommendation of Arizona Premium Mattress, but it is still hard to make such a big decision without ever having seen the mattress - and because there is so much greenwashing out there. And now I’m even less inclined to trust The Clean Bedroom because it seems weird that they wouldn’t release ILD numbers.

I also visited the Clean Bedroom, and I’m not sure they are trying to be deceptive about the ILD numbers as much as that they just don’t know. I’m not sure where you live or what store you visited, but I had actually gone online at one point to use the Clean Bedroom’s live chat function, and the original rep I spoke to had absolutely no idea what I was talking about when I used the term “ILD.” Her first response to me was that the configuration was “soft, medium, firm, firm.” When I said I was specifically asking for the ILD of their latex, there was a very long pause and she typed back, “Impression Load Deflection.” I laughed to myself and said yes, that’s what it stands for…can you please provide the info? Another very long pause, and she finally admitted that she didn’t know and would have to have someone get back to me.

To their credit, I did get an email response, probably the next day, but the response started with the statement that the rep didn’t understand why I was asking for the ILD of the entire bed, since she couldn’t provide an ILD for a mattress comprised of several different layers of latex. Once I explained that I was asking about the individual layers, i.e., what is the ILD range
for your firm, medium, soft, etc., she did provide the info.

A long-winded response to your experience, but my point is that I was not incredibly impressed by their online support/knowledge of these beds. That being said, I did find them somewhat reluctant to divulge even the configurations of their beds, fearing that people would find a bed they liked, determine the firmness configuration, and then order the bed elsewhere.

While I disagree with the comment that only people who sell “mixed” or non-organic mattresses refer to firmness in terms of ILD, several people, including Phoenix, have pointed out that ILD is less important than the subjective feel of the mattress. While I did not end up buying from the Clean Bedroom, it was very helpful to test the mattresses in the showroom, as I was reluctant after my first latex mattress experience to buy anything else that I couldn’t actually test out in person.

Best of luck in your search!

Hi Pea,

Just to add to rockalicious2013’s comments … I agree with this because when you are testing mattresses locally the ILD numbers don’t mean anything. They are a “comfort spec” which has nothing to do with the quality or value of a mattress and there is no real reason for a manufacturer or retailer to provide them when your body and good testing will tell you everything you need to know about the comfort and support of a mattress. In many cases they don’t even know because some Dunlop latex is manufactured to density not ILD and then it is assigned a subjective rating such as soft, medium, or firm. In many cases they could also be a legitimate part of a proprietary design that they don’t want to be copied.

This depends a lot on the type and manufacturer of the latex because both Dunlop and Talalay latex can have ILD numbers assigned to them even if they aren’t “mixed” with each other or other foams or materials. In a local purchase though … ILD is not necessary and even good retailers may not know it and it’s mostly used in online purchases to give an indication of the relative firmness or softness of a layer.

If they do provide this it would be entirely at their discretion (if they know it) and not providing it would certainly not be deceptive or indicate a lack of transparency or knowledge (although they certainly should know that ILD was a measurement of softness/firmness).


Hi All/Phoenix -

Just wanted to follow-up on the post above…

In the end, we decided to go with certified organic latex from Arizona Premium Mattress. While the mattress was exactly what I ordered (I ordered the certified organic and it included all the proper labels, etc.), medium core, soft topper, in Dunlop, my general thoughts for others facing the dilemma of ordering online vs. from a store is that in retrospect we should’ve bought what we tested in person. It does seem that the one item a person should really try out before purchasing is a mattress. Even though it would’ve cost more, I wish we had just gotten the one we had tested here in NY, as the one from Arizona Premium Mattress is significantly firmer than the equivalent we had tried in a showroom (which is certainly not the fault of Arizona Mattress, it’s just they have a different standard than the Oyasumi.

Which leads me to my questions: what to do now? I already have a wool topper that sort of helps, but what are my other options for softening a firm latex mattress? I’m sure part of this is just not being used to latex, but it does feel very firm against my lower back and hip bones. Another point is this: the cover fits VERY tightly and in fact it looks as if the topper itself is too long. Would it be wrong to cut a few inches off the bottom of the topper so that it fits more loosely in the in cover, therefore it won’t be so taut on the surface of the bed? Also, is it worth investing/switching to a different latex topper (extra soft) or can I work with what I already have?

And finally, I had a sheet directly against the mattress, under the wool topper, and when I took it off after three weeks of being against the mattress cover, it had a very strong and pungent chemical/rubber odor. Is this normal? And will it go away? I haven’t noticed odors in the air in the bedroom otherwise, but obviously when you are buying organic the whole point is be chemical free.

Thanks for your help, Phoenix (and others). Despite not being entirely satisfied with my decision (which is not at all to blame Arizona Premium Mattress) I learned a lot through the process…


Hi Pea,

I don’t think it’s the standard that is different as much as the design. There are many factors that contribute to the feel and performance of a mattress besides just the ILD of the latex layers and ILD (or density in the case of Dunlop in many instances) is only one of them. This is also why the options you have available after an online purchase can be an important part of the “value” of the mattress.

It’s a good thing that the mattress you purchased is too firm rather than too soft because you have many more options available to fine tune it. Post #2 here has some suggestions that may be helpful.

The dimensions of the latex are probably correct but latex is very easy to stretch when you pull it and it “sticks” on the layers below it so I would “wave” it into position so that the layer isn’t stretched beyond it’s normal measurements. The cover is designed to be tight and this helps the mattress keep it’s shape. It will loosen to some degree as you go through the initial break in period.

It may be worth exchanging the top layer (depending on the density or ILD that you have) but this would depend on identifying exactly what you are trying to correct, how much it needs correcting, and on the specifics of your mattress and the options you have available. I would also make sure you had slept on the mattress for at least several weeks (which it seems you have) before making any changes and eliminated any of the other options that could be contributing to what you are feeling. the most effective way to decide on any changes that may be necessary and the options you have available is with a more detailed conversation with the manufacturer.

The odor is the smell of natural rubber and this is normal for Dunlop yes. It’s not a “chemical” odor but just part of what natural rubber smells like. It can be longer lasting than the sweeter smell of Talalay but it will dissipate over time.

If some of the other suggestions aren’t effective and depending on exactly what you are looking to change and the degree of change that is needed … then either exchanging a layer or adding a soft topper can both be effective in softening up a mattress that is too firm.