Ultimate Dreams

Hi Phoenix,

Thank you for the website, very informative. It kept me from making a mistake and buying an inferior mattress from Sleepy’s.

I am looking for a new mattress, and think I have decided on a latex one. I am in Albany NY by the way, not much up this way regarding latex (saw your list on an older thread). Though, I was able to test an Englander latex model, a Nature’s Finest Miraval Pillow Top model. Has a Bamboo/Lycra stretch knit #170 cover, quilting is multi needle quilted to a triple layer of bio-based ultra foam plus a layer of “Firesafe” fibers. Pillow top is 1" of natural latex with base being 3" of natural latex duvet laminated to a 7" high density bio based “Perma-Support” foam base. The firmness/comfort seemed to be what I liked (but is it appropriate for my back health?). The ILD was told to be 17.5 - 20.5. I am 6’, 185lbs single guy, mostly side/stomach sleeper, have a herniated disc (C something) and am now experiencing Sciatica at night. May be due to my current mattress, which is a 12 year old refurbished matress with a dip in the middle. So…thus why I need a new mattress.

I think I have narrowed my mattress search down to the King Ultimate Dreams on Amazon ($749 + 8% tax, free pillow).

As you know, the U Dreams mattress has the 3" of Talalay on top of the 5.5" HD foam. The quilting though is 1.5" of reflex foam, would this “reflex” foam be high quality? I thought in the comfort layer that no more than 1" of foam is recommended? Cost certainly is attractive here and also you have the ability to work with Chuck initially on the firmness.

Anything I am not considering? I would suppose that the Mattress could be dialed in to reflect the comfort of the Englander model that I tested and liked? But, as 17.5 - 20.5 ILD is considered soft I am also wondering if this would be appropriate for my back issue. It is said that medium/firm should be firmness selected for someone with a back issue. That would put the ILD in the 25+ range, yes? I know you are not a doctor and as such, etc…



Hi danuhoh,

The quilting layer in a mattress is part of the cover and can serve many functions but in the case of polyfoam one of these is to provide a softer hand feel and lower resilience to the mattress. These are generally softer foams and as long as they are thin enough they will modify the performance and feel of the layers below it (which is one of the reasons they are there) but won’t be thick enough to have a major effect on the durability of the mattress as a whole when they soften. If a quilting layer softens … it will generally allow the layers below it to “come through” more and because they are already soft by design … as long as they are thin enough then further softening won’t affect alignment.

The “guideline” I normally suggest is around an inch or so. Once you get into the range of 2" or more (either in a quilting layer or in the comfort layers … then if the material softens (or in the case of fibers compresses) then it can have a larger effect on the feel and performance of the mattress and in the case of foam softening can begin to affect alignment as well because they can allow the heavier parts of the body to sink in too far before they reach the firmer support layers. In other words they can cause the sinking in to be uneven.

So in the case of the Ultimate Dreams … they are in the “inch or so” guideline where foam softening wouldn’t present a real issue. They can also vary the quilt patten to make it either firmer or softer for an “in between” softness rating. In some cases … if the latex layer underneath it was on the firmer side … then the softening of the quilting layer could even increase the perceived firmness of the mattress slightly as the firmness of the latex would “come through” more. The type of foam they use is a special quilting foam that is resistant to tearing and is usually a “high performance” polyfoam.

You could use other mattresses that you have tested as a guideline but bear in mind that every layer of a mattress and the types of materials used will affect the overall performance and feel. The specs on the Englander for example are very incomplete in terms of thickness and ILD of all the layers and it would also have a different (possibly thicker) quilting layer. They also use Dunlop latex which is also a good quality material (especially if it is 100% natural) but will feel and perform differently from Talalay latex. It also doesn’t list the firmness of the support layers and in addition to this … I would question the ILD ratings of Dunlop when they are listed in the range of high teens or low 20’s. While it’s possible that this is accurate … it is also possible that it is listed as having a softer ILD range than it really is (a lot of the Dunlop has ILD specs that I don’t believe are accurate and the knowledge of the retailer is often important for finding out what it really is).

All mattresses need to have a combination of firmer layers and softer layers so a single rating (such as “medium firm”) is never accurate and often misleading because it is more about the overall “feel” of the mattress (each person may “rate” this differently and the same description will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and store to store) and not about the specific softness/firmness of the comfort and support layers. Support has two components and each would need to be a different softness/thickness so a separate “rating” for each would be much more accurate. For example “soft over firm” or “medium over ultra firm”.

The deeper layers of a mattress provide the primary support which “stops” the heavier parts of the body (hips/pelvis) from sinking in too far which can leads to a pelvic tilt that puts the spine out of alignment. Secondary support comes from the comfort layers which has a dual purpose of providing pressure relief and also filling in the gaps in the sleeping profile and helping to maintain the natural alignment of the spinal curves. If this layer is too thick and soft, it can allow the heavier hips/pelvis to “travel” too far before it reaches the support layers and again lead to misalignment.

These layers interact so the support layers or “deeper zone” of the mattress will “help” the comfort layers to different degrees and the upper comfort layers or comfort “zone” (or the transition layers in between) can modify the primary support of the mattress as well.

So the goal is to have a comfort layer that is thick and soft enough to relieve pressure and fill in the gaps for secondary support along with a support layer that is firm enough to stop the hips/pelvis from sinking in too far. The firmness of the comfort layer or zone will generally have more to do with pressure relief than with what people typically call “support”. If the lighter wider parts (such as the shoulders) are not “allowed” to sink in far enough or the heavier parts are not “stopped” quickly enough … you will sink into the mattress unevenly and the end result of a mattress that is either too firm, soft, or thick in some of the layers will be misalignment (poor support). You can see a diagram of this here.

For your back issue (or any back issue) the “ideal” is to use a combination of layer thickness and layer softness that allows your unique body type to sink in evenly and maintain its natural alignment in all your sleeping positions. This involves a combination of materials that “allow” some parts to sink in enough (primarily upper body and shoulders), “stop” some parts from sinking in too much (primarily lower body hips/pelvis), and “filling in” the gaps with enough resilient material that the natural curves of the spine are maintained and supported with “just the right amount” of firmness (such as the lumbar curve of the lower back). In addition to this … the overall depth you sink in can either increase of decrease the amount of pressure/support under the lumbar curves and if someone is used to a softer level of secondary support then a lower resilience and less “support” under these areas can be more comfortable for some (which is why a polyfoam quilting layer is often used over latex).

All of this is part of the “art and science” of mattress theory and construction and the most accurate way to know this for any specific person is either through personal testing with the help and guidance of someone who has the knowledge and experience to help you make the most appropriate choices or online with a manufacturer who knows how all the layers of their mattress interact with each other and with different people, body types, and sleeping positions and has a customer base that can be used as a reference point to help “match” different people to others that are in the same general range of needs and preferences. In the case of Dreamfoam and the other online providers of this site … they are very good at this.

Their “default” firmess level for the 3" latex layer is 28 ILD which is firmer than what would be typical for a latex comfort layer that had no quilting but also takes into account that erring on the side of firmness is always a good idea (a mattress comfort layer can always be softened with a mattress pad or topper) and also that the quilting would make the 3" latex comfort layer thicker/softer than sleeping directly on the latex so a “latex equivalent” if you were directly on the latex would be a softer ILD.

In a comfort layer that was thinner … then a softer ILD may be appropriate depending on the softness/firmness of the support layers while with a thicker comfort layer … then a little firmer may be better (again depending on the body type and the firmness of the support layers).

The bottom line of all of this more complex explanation is really to re-inforce the importance of working with a manufacturer for more specific recommendations that can be more accurate than what I call “theory at a distance” which doesn’t take every layer and component into account and doesn’t have a reference point of a specific mattress (where all the details are known) or customer base that can be used to “match” each person’s needs and preferences as closely as possible.

You may have seen this already but some possible latex and latex hybrid options in the Albany area are in post #4 here which may provide a more accurate reference point than the Englander…


I’ve been lurking for some time, and after having read some of the other forum posts I’ve just now decided to go ahead and order one of these Ultimate Dreams mattresses myself. I must admit it feels rather strange to pull the trigger on an internet purchase for an item such as this, and without all of the excellent information on this site I don’t think I could have taken the leap. I’ll report back on my impression of the mattress once I’ve completed the entire process and slept on the new bed for a bit.

Hi LilFonky,

Congratulations on your new mattress and on your “new and unusual for you” method of buying a mattress :slight_smile:

I think it’s a little easier to be “braver” when there is so much good feedback about various online options available on the forum and I’m looking forward to hearing about your thoughts and experience when you’ve slept on it for a bit.



Thank you for your feedback, it is appreciated and has given me more to consider. Feeds my OC…:wink:

Question, I see you have referenced Imperial Bedding before; it appears their materials are up to snuff (maybe like a Gold Bond)? Any idea if they use HD foam?



Hi danuhoh,

Imperial Bedding is a mid sized privately owned manufacturer that fits the profile of manufacturers that make higher quality and value mattresses. They actually make some of their own springs and also use some high quality foam (see here) in their mattresses.

Like all mattress purchases though … while the odds would be much better that they used higher quality materials in their mattresses at each price point … it’s still important to know the quality of the materials in a mattress you are considering. In most cases … small or mid sized privately owned manufacturers are much more open about this (although there are certainly some exceptions) and are much more willing to provide meaningful information about the quality of the materials in their mattresses. They are more focused on providing quality to consumers than they are on marketing stories.

So overall … they are a good “possibility” and a much more likely source of higher quality and value mattresses.


Hi again-

I made a quick unboxing video to give everyone an idea of what to expect when ordering an Ultimate Dreams mattress from the Dreamfoam store. These are just initial impressions, but for anyone nervous about buying an unknown quantity, hopefully this will help cement your expectations. I just set it up today, so I’ll post more thoughts once I’ve slept on the bed for a few days.

The link: http://youtu.be/-xv-nsXagng


Great video! I am sure it will help alot of us in deciding the firmness. It was good to see how a level 5 reacts when you were laying on it.

Please let us know how it sleeps when you have a chance.



Hi LilFonky,

I’ll add my thanks for posting a great video and for your feedback :).

I think it will help many people on the Mattress Forum!


Well we’ve got two nights sleep on the new mattress and so far so good. The second night of rest has gone better than the first. I think there was some initial wanginess to the foam that was due to our having slept on in before it was entirely expanded. It’s totally sleepable on the first night but I think the mattress didn’t reach full height until day 2. I was initially slightly worried because if I hit the mattress hard with my butt or sat up too fast, I could feel myself bottoming out ever so lightly on the bed slats. This feeling went away a few hours later and it’s now entirely gone.

The mattress seems pretty supportive, although it still feels softer than I expected. I was on the fence between a 4 and a 5 in firmness. In our correspondence, Chuck explained that the only difference between the two grades was in the thin foam quilting layer directly beneath the bamboo. The latex layer and urethane base are identical between the two mattresses, so we went with the softer top. If I could do it over I might have gone with the 4 (and frankly I’m even curious about the 3), but so far I’m pretty satisfied. The mattress is warm but not suffocating, and definitely an improvement over my previous mattress. If you’re indecisive on the level of stiffness you want, I think that the guidance from others on this forum to err on the side of firm is good advice.

I’ve only got two nights on the mattress, and I slept quite well last night so it may just be that I’m adjusting to the new bed, and I expect I’ll be over the transition in a week or two. I’ve got a new, more closely spaced set of bed slats with a center tatami coming that should arrive today, and I expect that will change the feeling at least a little as well. The overall impression is good, the purchasing experience was great, and the mattress is certainly an excellent value.

Also, the free pillow is fabulous. At first it feels sort of like it’s filled with packing peanuts, but like the mattress it takes some time to fully expand. By day 2 the texture evens out, and the pillow has plenty of loft and springiness. I’ll be ordering another one soon.

Hopefully this will help ease some of the uncertainty of shopping on the internet for a mattress of this type. As time passes, I’ll try and add any new observations and developments to let everyone know how things are progressing.


Pulled the trigger today on the purchase of this mattress, king size. We’ll see how the process goes and the end result, that being sleeping on a new mattress. I’m sure it will be a huge improvement over my 12 year old refurbished mattress…

I will keep you posted!



Hi danuhoh,

Congratulations on your new mattress :slight_smile:

I’m looking forward to hearing about your experiences as well when you’ve slept on it for a bit.



Thanks very much for the vid and for sharing your experience so far! You just helped me make my decision. :slight_smile:

Sunspot and danuhoh-

Cheers! Be sure and post your impressions here, as I’m curious to know how your experience matches up with mine. I’m about a week into my new bed and sleeping nicely in spite of what appears to be trouble with my bedframe. (See here for details:https://forum.mattressunderground.com/t/unusual-bed-sag-with-new-mattress ) I’ll post the results of my troubleshooting efforts as well. Good luck!

Hi sunspot,

Congratulations on your new mattress :slight_smile:

I’m also looking forward to your comments when you’ve had a chance to sleep on it.


Just an update to revive my thread…

So I pulled the trigger and purchased the king size Ultimate Dreams mattress. Speaking with Chuck and taking into consideration my personal info, I decided to go with a level 7 firmness. It is stated that level 6 is the slightly softer side of medium so level 7 is closer to “plush” if referring to a traditonal store mattress.

Received it today, all rolled up like a big cigar! Unpacked it and it is currently “expanding” as is needed. So far my impression is favorable; build quality seems top notch and customer service (Chuck and timely delivery) has been great.

Will report more once the mattress has had a chance to expand.



Just an update…

I have been sleeping on the new mattress for a number of days now, absolutely love it!

Since I had to buy new everything; here is my new setup:

Ultimate Dreams King mattress firmness level 7
Malouf high rise 14" base
LL Bean Pima Percale Sheets
LL Bean comforter
Various pillows, including the free latex one that came with the mattress

I, like everyone else who orders, was concerned with the firmness level. For me, 6’, 185lbs, side and stomach sleeper, the firmness level 7 works perfectly as I wanted it a little softer. Once and awhile I do sleep on my back; when I do I think I get the slightest sensation of bottoming out in the hip/butt area. Not sure, and like I said very minimal so it is not an issue at all, especially since I rarely sleep on my back. Anyway, not positive about this so I need to determine further.

So, all and all, super happy with my purchase. Thanks Phoenix for starting the site and providing the wealth of knowledge; it has really proven beneficial.



Hi danuhoh,

Thanks for the update and also for your firmness choice and height/weight sleeping position information (which may help others in a similar situation to you).

It sounds to me like you have a great “sleeping system” and best of all you made some good quality/value choices that are working well for you :slight_smile: