Very Overwhelmed

I really need some help sorting out my options. My wife and I have had a Sealy Posturpedic for about 10 years now that we always found reasonablly comfortable. More recently we have been waking up stiff and hurting. We are also experiencing some allergy-like symptoms that might be related to the bed. So we are looking at our options. I was surpridsed to see so many affordable memory foam options on Amazon and have been thinking about going in that direction. Went and laid on some Tempurpedics which we did find to be quite comfortable although way too expensive. Experience has shown me that the most marketed products are rarely the actual best products on the market. So here is what I am looking at:

Ultimate Dreams 13" Gel Memory Foam Mattress
I really like the sound of this one since it is compared to the Cloud Lux that we found to be quite comfartable. My concern is will it continue to provide good support for many years to come. I read in this post that you mentioned a longeveity of over 5 years was reasonable. I guess for me I really expect a mattress to last around 10 or more years (more being better). I wonder if that is reasonable. While the plushness is nice if it ultimately compramises the longevity it doesn’t seem like quite the bargain after all. As a side note, I have been trying to evaluate the estimated annualized cost of the mattress. At 10 years this one comes out at about $70/year.

The SilverRest Sleep Shop Luxury Grand 14-Inch also seems like a really good mattress for a great price and one I have been considering. I noticed that the warranty is only for 10 years. From my research, though, is the warranty only covers the appearance of the mattress (that it isn’t sagging) not the supportiveness of the mattress. These memory foam mattresses have worries that they won’t maintain their supportiveness over their life.

With Longevity in mind I started looking at Latex mattresses. they seem to maintain their supportive properties longer and be better for people with allergies. That took me to looking at these:

Ultimate Dreams Latex Mattress or Ultimate Dreams Eurotop Latex Mattress
These both seem like good mattresses and get good reviews. I love the price of the non-eurotop, but I like idea that that we could adjust the feel in the future of the Eurotop and possibly replace it to extend the life of the mattress. When I looked at the contruction of the mattress I realized that there is only 3" of latex foam, which doesn’t seem like a lot. Then I read this forum post about the advantages found in the Aloe Alexis 14". The extra layer of latex foam and the better quality cover sound really appealing. Being that most latex mattress are often about 8" - 10" the 6" of latex plus all the other foam in there sound like it would be a really plush bed. I did notice that this mattress has a foam bottom layer and is not a full latex mattress i.e. the base layer is not Dunlop. How much of a difference do you think that makes? For the Aloe Alexis to match the annualized value of the gel memory foam mattress it would have to last about 18 years or be significantly more comfortable/supportive. I don’t love the idea of spending that much, but I might be willing to consider it if it really was a much better mattress and was a lot better for us. It seems like the guys at Brooklyn Bedding are offering some amazing quality stuff for really good prices. I am open to the idea that I could have totally missed a great option out there. If that is the case please let me know. I will add as a last note that my wife does suffer of rheumatoid arthritis. I know this is a lot of stuff. I guess what I am hoping for is a little clarity and maybe some direction in this decision. You have offered so much help to others. What you are doing is a really great thing.

Hi Horsch,

Just in case you haven’t read it … post #1 here can help cut through the confusion of mattress shopping with some “real” information, steps, and guidelines that can help you know what is important (and what isn’t) and what to look for (and what to avoid) both in terms of mattresses (and the materials in them) and the people who sell them.

All of your choices are good ones except for one which doesn’t “pass” the guidelines I use here when I am looking at a memory foam mattress.

The first thing I would question is that either the weight or the description of the mattress can’t be right. A 7" layer of 5.3 lb memory foam in king size would weigh over 130 lbs and that doesn’t include the cover or the base foam underneath it and yet the weight of the mattress is listed as only 110 lbs. It also says it’s only 10". In addition to this … 7" of memory foam can also be a very risky construction in terms of alignment because memory foam will “creep” over the course of the night (it continues to soften with time under constant pressure unlike more resilient foams) and you may start off in good alignment but as the heavier parts of your body sink in deeper over the course of the night it can lead to alignment issues and the back discomfort and pain that can go with a mattress that doesn’t match the needs of the person sleeping on it.

The foam is also Chinese and isn’t CertiPur certified.

They also don’t provide the density of the base layer (which they may if you asked).

This mattress is what I would call “buyer beware”.

Your other choices are all good ones and Brooklyn Bedding (the manufacturer for Dreamfoam) is an invited member of this site which means that I believe they are among the best quality and value in the country.

The quality of the foams in this mattress is similar to the Tempurpedic Cloud Luxe and I think most people would expect a mattress like this to last much longer than 5 years. As you can read in post #4 here though and the posts it links to … durability is relative to the person sleeping on the mattress and many other factors. What can safely be said is that higher quality materials like those used in the Ultimate Dreams will last longer than lower quality materials. Post #3 here would probably also be of interest to you. the base foam that provides primary support is a high quality polyfoam.

Latex comes in a wide range of firmness levels from very soft to very firm so the firmness/softness of a latex mattress will depend on the firmness/softness of the latex you choose, not on how much latex is on the mattress (although layer thicknesses play a role as well).

A latex/polyfoam hybrid is much like memory foam mattresses which are actually a memory foam/polyfoam hybrid as well because only the top layers are memory foam and there needs to be a firmer support layer underneath it. Memory foam is too soft to use as a support layer in a mattress. Latex is generally more durable than memory foam as well. You can read about the differences between an all latex mattress and a latex/polyfoam hybrid in post #2 here. The closer to the top of a mattress a foam is the more subject it is to mechanical stress from sleeping on it so the deeper layers are less likely to be the “weak link” of a mattress than the comfort layers in most cases. Of course there will be some difference in durability depending on the weight of the person on it and how much they “go through” the top layers and there would also be a difference in performance as well.

I’m not so sure that “annualized value” factors in the quality of sleep which is the most important part of a mattress purchase IMO but in any case there is no way to predict how long any mattress will last for any particular person because there are too many variables that can’t be known. At the end of it’s comfort/support lifespan, you will be far more likely to remember how well you slept on a mattress (or didn’t) over the years than the annualized cost or even the initial purchase price. Some people may continue to use a mattress that has lost its support or comfort for years (and like anything that happens gradually they may not realize it at first or may have other reasons for delaying a mattress replacement) and the “cost” is paid in their overall wellbeing and their ability to rest and recover.

There are many great mattress options and each person needs to decide on which mattress best matches their own personal value equation and nobody else can tell you which is the “best” mattress for you. My goal is to help you exclude the worst choices (such as in this post) and to help you with how to choose rather than what to choose.

Of course some good local testing on similar mattresses and materials can also be an important part of any buying decision so that you are not just buying based on 'theoretical" considerations that may not always end up having the importance you thought they did. The most important part of clarity is likely to come from personally testing mattresses that use different materials. There is no best or worst here or mathematical formula that will be useful when all your choices (except one) and many others you could consider are good ones. When you are down to choices between “good and good” then the objective, subjective, and intangibles hat are most important to you is the only way to decide which is best for YOU.

Nothing can replace personal experience on different types of mattresses so that theoretical knowledge can be translated into personal experience and you have a more meaningful reference point about the differences between your choices. This can come from personal testing or from sleeping on a mattress after you have purchased it. If its the second one and your choice is more 'theoretical" … then it’s always a good idea to make sure you are dealing with someone with the knowledge, experience, and integrity to help you make the most suitable choice based on your best interests … not just on theirs.


Phoenix, thanks for your reply. I’ll be honest I think I am considering the two latex mattresses. You said that the thickness of the two latex layers is a factor, but not everything. Can you expand on that a little? I guess I am trying to whether to go with a 3" latex or splurge with the 6". What factors should weigh into the thickness of the latex? Could I go with a soft top layer of latex and firmer one underneath that? Maybe that is what they do when they ask you what plushness you want? Thanks again for all the great info.

Hi Horsch,

I missed a couple of posts with a 36 hour marathon without sleep as I was trying to catch up on the forum, some research, and some other things that needed to be done and unfortunately yours was one of them that blurry eyes went right past.

I think that post #2 here along with post #136 here and the links they contain along with a more detailed conversation with Chuck should give you more insights into the differences between them.


Just wondering if you have changed your opinion of SilverRest or Lucid as they are now both CertiPur certified (but produced in China).
SilverRest is now selling their memory foam beds under the Best Priced Mattress logo on Amazon. I have communicated with them and found that they are using 4 lb density foam in their top layers, 2 lb soft foam in middle and 2lb firm base.
They also use charcoal and green tea in top layer which I don’t know matters or is just a differentiating marketing tool.

Haven’t really researched densities of Lucid.

Saw that the previous post and review was from Feb of this year, so they both must of got CertiPur in the last few months.

Just wondering as the beds I am looking for are for a 60lb daughter and 90 lb daughter and each bed will be used for about 5-6 years until each goes away to college. Just didn’t feel like spending $400+ for mattresses I don’t need 20 year warranties on.

Thanks in advance for your input.


Hi Fitz,

CertiPur (or another reliable certification) with Chinese or Asian foams are certainly important and a step in the right direction but there are also other things that I would personally take into account. For me … Chinese foams and mattresses have a higher bar to measure up to than North American manufacturers for many reasons because there is much more uncertainty about foam quality and durability and there are many ways to cheapen a mattress or produce a lower quality material and then add a story to it that “sounds good”. It’s also more difficult to validate any claims that are being made.

In the case of both SilverRest and Lucid … I would insist on complete transparency and knowing the accurate foam density of every layer in the mattress … not just the top layer. In some cases you will find higher quality foam in say the top 2" but then lower quality foam (such as 3 lb memory foam) in the layers immediately below this. I would also need to trust that they are providing me with accurate information and not just information that they wanted me to believe. You can see a few examples of some “cheap” memory foam mattresses where the listed specs don’t appear to be accurate in post #4 here and post #2 here (which include Lucid and SilverRest). While Lucid and Linenspa are listed on the CertiPur site (to their credit) … SilverRest isn’t (ADDED: they are now listed as CertiPUR certified).

Besides just the minimum guidelines … when you are dealing with a Chinese manufacturer there are also other factors that can influence or affect the quality of the materials.

One of these is how long the mattress or a foam has been compressed in between its manufacturing and its final sale to a consumer. Foams that are compressed for longer than 30 days or so in shipping and storage can reduce the durability of the materials.

Foam additives are also an issue that I would also be cautious with. When you see “green tea” or “bamboo charcoal” added to a foam there is no way to really know how this affects the quality or the final density of the foam. A foam that has a 3 lb polymer density for example (and polymer density or “pure” density is the main factor in durability) may end up having a final density of 4 lbs when you add a filler or any other heavier material to the foam. Both of these are used to mask the smell of memory foam. While there is good evidence of charcoal (activated carbon) being able to absorb chemicals and VOC’s to a point … even carbon air filters that have much higher levels of activated carbon need to be replaced fairly frequently (see here as an example). How much of the density of a memory foam that uses it is from the memory foam itself and how much is “false density” because of the charcoal that has been added (which can reduce durability and can make the mattress foam stiffer and less responsive)? How do you replace the charcoal in a mattress when it quickly becomes saturated with the chemicals or VOC’s it is designed to absorb?

Green tea is also used to counteract the smell of memory foam and is added to the mattress as a powder. It is an indication of a mattress brand made by Zinus (they produce many brands). While it is usually added in an amount of 2% or so (see the patent information here) … this is still a filler with a story attached, certainly doesn’t add to the durability of the memory foam, and I would question whether it has any other real benefit beside just covering up an odor.

In the world of mattresses … there are cases where you get what you pay for, where you get more than you pay for, and where you get less than you pay for (sometimes much less). Helping to identify mattresses that are in the last group (where you get less than you pay for) are one of the goals of the site so people can have some level of confidence that they are getting what they pay for or preferably more than they are paying for compared to other choices they may have.

There are generally three groups where there are many mattresses where you get less than you pay for.

One of these is mainstream mattresses or any mattress manufacturer which doesn’t disclose the quality of all their materials and components or which uses lower quality materials.

The second group includes some of the so called “organic” manufacturers which have a “story” attached to them which is not always accurate or is misleading and which often carries a high premium compared to other mattresses that use the same or very similar materials but with a more “accurate” story that don’t have the same “premium” attached and are more focused on “fair value” than on the story.

Finally there are the manufacturers that are involved in the “race to the bottom” where price is everything and quality means little to nothing and they will often mislabel their products or make misleading claims that just aren’t accurate in an effort to sell cheap mattresses … often of Chinese origin. In many cases it’s very difficult to trust the credibility of the information they provide because they can say anything they want and in most cases there is no way to validate the information they are providing. You can’t just call China and find out accurate information and there is a higher risk that what you are being told isn’t accurate.

Of course quality is quality no matter where a foam or component is manufactured, and there are certainly high quality foams being manufactured in China and other countries around the world (along with a lot of “cheap junk”)… but for me when you are dealing with materials or mattresses where the claims are more difficult to verify or manufacturing standards as a whole are lower … I take a little more critical look and the “prove it to me” questions become more important.