First off, fantastic site. I’ve learned a lot from poring through the other posts. We are ready to replace our current mattress, an 8-yr old Spring Air innnerspring with pillowtop. Both DH and I are side sleepers and moderate size: me 5’6" and 155 lb, him 5’11 and 155 lb. We are in our mid 30s and starting to get aches and pains. I get pain in my shoulders and hips and the muscles in my upper back. The joint pain is from sleeping, while the muscle pain I feel get worse during the day, but it doesn’t go away at night. My husband is stiff all over in the back. Lately he has slept better switching in the middle of the night to the guest bed, a 15 year old cheap innerspring with a 2.5" memory foam topper, from Sam’s and with the law tag credit to Sinomax.
I have gone to the area stores and liked the quick lay down feel of the Serta iComfort Revolution, Sealy Embody Prophecy, and Sealy Optimum (not sure of model name). I know from this site that these will be overpriced and moderate quality. Also, you’ve said in other posts that the 4.75" comfort layer of the Revolution is too thick for most people; it feels good in the showroom but will be too soft all night. After reading things here I’d love to look at latex but unfortunately, there aren’t many options here in Parkersburg, WV. There are 5 stores within 30 minutes, and all mostly sell the big S brands. One store sells Englander and its sub brands (http://mattressmax.biz/). Sam’s Club is also an option.
Do you know of any local manufacturers or retailers near Parkersburg WV or Marietta OH? I could possibly drive toward Columbus, OH or Charleston, WV, but these would be 1-2 hours away. We have 3 small kids and we were planning on paying a babysitter while we did some serious lay down shopping, so there are obvious logistical concerns with going too far away.
Since the iComfort Revolution is likely too thick of a comfort layer for us all night, I’m considering the iComfort Insight or Prodigy. Thoughts? I know I would pay more than it’s worth but if it ends up being hard to get to a better value retailer then it might be worth it. The Sam’s price for the Insight is $1166, and Prodigy $2440 delivered after tax.
You’ve mentioned the Aerus 12" memory foam. The Sam’s price is $490 delivered after tax, though I would need to get a foundation for it – and if I go that way I’ll need suggestions. Seems like a great price, but I’m concerned it may be too firm based on a few reviews. Any insight? How long will this last compared to the other brands I can get?
Any thoughts for where to get latex in the area? Or at least to lie down to see how I like it? I know I like the showroom feel of the memory foam but I don’t have experience with latex. Are there any S brands with latex options that my local stores might carry? The Englander Synergy Collection and Nature’s Finest lines claim Laytex(R) but I don’t know construction. I haven’t had a chance to lie down at that store yet, and I’d love to know before I go what I’m actually on.
Englander is an interesting brand and in some cases can have better value than its larger competitors. It is a group of licensees which makes different mattresses in different areas of the country and which also make house brand mattresses for various outlets. The key, like with all mattresses, is to only buy from an outlet which will show their customers the layers in the mattresses they sell so that consumers know what they are buying and can identify the “weak link” (usually lower quality polyfoam) in a mattress that may otherwise use good materials. They do make some gel memory foam mattresses that use gel cylinders but their prices appear to be fairly high.
There’s not a lot available right in Parkersburg or Marietta but out of what I saw there, these may have some possibilities in their alternative brands. Bear in mind I haven’t talked with them so a phone call first to find out what models they carry and a sense of their knowledge, service, and transparency (willingness to show you what is in their mattresses) would be a good idea.
http://www.mattressmax.biz/ Vienna, WV. UPDATE: they now carry White Dove, King Koil XL, Dutch Craft, and Savvy Rest component latex mattresses which may be worth considering.
A little further away your options become much better.
http://www.imperialbedding.com/ Huntington, WV. Factory direct manufacturer that makes some high quality mattresses with better value. They even make their own springs. Well worth including in your research if a phone conversation justifies the drive.
Post #2 here includes the better options I know of in the Columbus area.
The Prodigy also has quite a bit of soft foam in the comfort layers (it’s the same as the Revolution with an additional layer of slow recovery latex). The slow recovery latex though would make it a little firmer than the Revolution in most people’s perceptions. I didn’t include the inch of polyfoam which it also includes in my review of the iComfort mattresses in post #10 here which I’ve now corrected. The Insight may be the best choice of all but it may be a little on the firm side for you and I also don’t think it has great value (it’s basically 2.75" of medium quality memory foam over a polyfoam support core). I would probably order an online memory foam mattress before considering an iComfort unless there was a particularly compelling reason to consider it (such as one particular model being absolutely perfect for PPP and I was convinced that for some reason nothing else would come close).
The Aerus is a good value but it uses medium density memory foam and also has a little lower quality support layers. The advantaqe here is the cheap price and the fact that it is returnable if it isn’t right. It’s difficult to say how long any mattress will last because the biggest factor is the degree of softening each person finds acceptable before the mattress becomes “unsleepable” because of reduced pressure relief or support and this is different for different people. I usually estimate that a high quality memory foam mattress would likely have an average lifespan of 10 - 12 years but this would depend a great deal on the layering and the people sleeping on it. There could be a very wide range between different people who consider a particular mattress to still be OK for either much shorter or longer. A 4 lb memory foam over a lower density polyfoam base would last a fair bit less but longer than the lowest quality 3 lb memory foams. It has good value but it’s also not in the same league as other options.
Englander makes a range of Dunlop latex mattresses but they sometimes add several inches of polyfoam over the latex so knowing the layering is important. Sealy also has a series of latex matresses in their Embody line with either 3, 4, or 5" of latex on top but this is a blended Dunlop latex and is not the same quality as either natural Dunlop or talalay. They are also on the firm side but may give you some sense of latex. Simmons Natural Care also have latex in the comfort layers but they don’t say in their description what type of latex (although it’s probably Dunlop). They use a layer of polyfoam above the latex but in most of them this is less than an inch or so which I usually consider to be “OK”. They used to make a series of models called the natural care elite which were almost all talalay latex but they don’t make them any more. Restonic also makes several latex mattresses in it’s Health Rest line but again in some areas they use polyfoam above the latex and in some areas they don’t. There are quite a few others that make latex hybrids (latex over polyfoam) but the easiest way is to call the local outlets and ask them if they have any latex mattresses … followed with asking if they have a spec sheet that shows if they use any polyfoam above the latex. Ask them to read you the layers one by one until they add up to the thickness of the mattress.
Thanks Phoenix! Sorry for the delay; I’ve had a lot of trouble posting here the past few days. Part of the was the percent sign and part was that I just couldn’t load pages.
I had a chance to go to Mattress Max, the local Englander store. They carry 2 all latex models, one Nature’s Finest / Englander and one Nature’s Legacy made by White Dove in Cleveland OH. The store owner was very helpful and knowledgeable on construction and layering and quickly called the manufacturer to clarify one of the layers. Here’s what he had to say:
The cost of natural latex has gone up dramatically in the last year due to Chinese consumption. Thus, Englander moved away from 100% latex to a latex / foam blend. The Nature’s Finest mattress had 6" 28 ILD latex foam blend over 5.5" 1.8 lb poly foam. There was a 3" quilted polyfoam layer on top, though with the tufting it was compressed to be less. He indicated that the quilting was going out of fashion because more people were realizing that all the quilting fluff did was separate the sleeper from the quality comfort and support layers below. He was planning on selling the floor model then not stocking that mattress again. I forget the price, but I wasn’t impressed with the layers. They will be getting a different model in about 2 weeks. They are going to meet with their Englander rep and get something with a soft top feel but without thick polyfoam quilting. He doesn’t know yet what it will be but will go over the layers with me when they decide.
The Nature’s Legacy / White Dove mattress, model “Whitehall,” was, bottom to top…
6" HD polyfoam, 2.1 lb, 30 ILD
1" HD polyfoam, 1.8 lb, 20 ILD
3" Talalay latex, 32 ILD
2" Talalay latex, 19 ILD
1" Celsian latex topper (described as a latex blend with temperature regulating qualities) – made by Latex Intl
Bamboo stretch cover.
Boxspring: “High Profile Nature’s Legacy foundation” (didn’t ask questions about this yet)
It was comfortable, though I didn’t get enough time on it to get a full opinion. The price was $2999 for a queen. Thoughts on the price and quality?
I called Belpre Furniture and the only model they carry with any latex is Serta iComfort Prodigy. They can order others, like the Springwall Convergence latex blend, but don’t have them in the showroom for me to test.
I looked at the websites for the Columbus options and called them Original Mattress Factory and Mattress Mart of Ohio. There are 2 latex options from OMF. Both are 2-sided flippable. The basic is 9" and the supreme is 12.5":
6” Talatech® Talalay Latex Foam Core - 30-34 ILD, 4.7lb/ft³ Density (Tolerance ±.25lb/ft³) – Per a phone call, this is 40% natural and 60% synthetic
Supreme model also has 2" each side Convoluted Talatech® Talalay Latex Foam Topper – 17-21 ILD, 3.25lb/ft³ Density (Tolerance ±.25lb/ft³)
1.5" foam Quilted Panel Featuring a Premium Damask Fabric Cover – on each side
Thoughts on this construction? I like the idea of a flippable mattress because it seems like that would prolong use due to decreased wear patterns. What about 100% natural vs a latex blend? The salesman indicated that a blend would lead to more consistency and durability. Price is $1289 regular and $1699 supreme for sets with box springs. I assume I would want the supreme because I like a softer mattress.
Mattress Mart of Ohio carries Englander latex. They used to have Nature’s Bounty organic latex but not anymore.
Two of the other Columbus stores are too far for me. The store that carries Carolina Mattress Guild might be reachable. I called them and was unimpressed with the saleslady. She didn’t know anything about layers and specs and said I should just come in and lay on them. The CMG website has descriptions of layers for all their models but no specs. I’m reluctant to drive 90 min each way for just a feel.
I’m no Phoenix and I’m sure you’ll get a better answer soon, but I really don’t care for the HD foam and the price seems terribly high for what you’re getting with the White Dove mattress (not evaluating the boxspring/foundation).
The Englander doesn’t seem to be a very good option either with the 5.5" lower density polyfoam.
You can get a heck of a lot more for your money from a place like Sleep EZ, for example with a return guarantee. The problem is you can’t sleep on it before buying it. Phoenix would give you wise counsel that if you can try out another brand’s latex bed in person that you can approximate online, it can give you some idea. With Sleep EZ during the first 90 days you can also trade out various layers until you get what would work best for you.
My thoughts are very similar to Benjammins comments.
Englander is a licensing group and outside of their standard models … each licensee can build very different mattresses. Restonic is like this as well along with some other brands. In some areas they put thick layers of polyfoam either in the quilting or in the comfort layers above the latex and then call it a latex mattress when you are really sleeping on polyfoam which has all the issues of softening and impressions that comes with lower density polyfoam. If there is only around an inch or so for hand feel that is generally OK because the softening wont present an issue but when there is more than that … I also tend to avoid it. Here in Washington for example … Englander sells mattresses with lots of polyfoam above the latex in some chain stores (and they don’t tell you unless you push and know exactly what to ask) and yet they sell mattresses that don’t have any poly above the latex and are also two sided in a smaller sleep shop (and its made specifically for them). It always depends on knowing what is in the layers.
While the White Dove has better materials near the top of the mattress (the most important part) … it also includes a lot of lower cost polyfoam and it has the price of an all latex mattress. I would certainly consider this in a lower budget range but not at the prices they are charging. Compared to say the Sealy Embody Shelter which uses 6.5" of synthetic Dunlop latex over a polyfoam core, I would probably choose the White dove because it uses better quality latex which would be worth the slightly higher price but neither would be good value and I would tend to avoid them both.
The Serta iComfort Prodigy is a memory foam mattress that has a little latex in it (that’s not bad … it’s just not a latex mattress). You probably already know my thoughts about the iComfort lineup but if you don’t an analysis is here.
The OMF latex mattresses are good value and only have an inch or so of polyfoam in the upper layers. Of course it’s important to know whether they are suitable for any particular individual and they also put their mattresses on an active innerspring (which should be taken into account in terms of how they feel) but they are a factory direct outlet that has good quality and value.
There are more thoughts here as well as post #2 here about natural talalay vs blended talalay but in essence the blended is a little more pressure relieving and more durable (particularly in the lower ILD’s) and lower cost while the 100% natural is denser and a little more supportive but more expensive and a little less durable (at least in the lower ILD’s). Latex International (who makes both thpes of Talalay latex) talks about the difference in their two materials at their Pure Latex Bliss Blissipedia site here.
Mattress Mart of Ohio just recently changed ownership (which was a good thing). They manufacture their own mattresses in addition to carrying some major brands and were making Nature’s Calm mattresses just a short while ago (when I talked with the new owners on April 17th). It appears that they have since discontinued these and the number there now leads to a dental referral service. I’ll have to find out what is happening.
With the CMG mattresses … I also wouldn’t drive very far to test mattresses from an outlet that couldn’t or wouldn’t tell me what was in them on the phone. While CMG may make some better value options (depending on the outlet and the specific mattresses that they carry) … DFW or any outlet that isn’t transparent and tries to get you to go there before they will give you any information just isn’t worth a visit IMO.
Overall … I think that Original Mattress Factory or an online (on the phone) purchase would be your best odds of finding quality and value together and your experience on the OMF mattresses would also be valuable with an online purchase if neither of their latex mattresses were quite right.
I’ll try to find out what happened with Mattress Mart as well in the last month.
I talked with Frank today at the Tuttle Crossing outlet (which is the only one that was carrying the latex mattresses that they were making) and he told me that they are in the process of “redefining” the lineup. He said he would let me know when they were in and if you are in a position to wait they would likely be worth including in your research. The outlet you were talking with should have told you the same thing (that they have other latex options that may be better) but sometimes a particular salesperson may want to sell you what they have more than they want to let you know all your options.
Frank has been around for a long time and is a good person to talk with.
After all the research, I bought a SleepEZ 3" firm / 3" medium / 3" soft blended Tallalay with wool and cotton quilted cover. Night one was wonderful! Well, except I had a sick kid climb in bed with me for part of the night, but that is not the mattress’s fault. I’ll see how it feels over the next month or so, but at this point I don’t anticipate switching layers.
The only concern I have is the slats. I bought the foundation from SleepEZ and the slats are 3.75" apart. I’ve seen advice on this site to keep the spacing less than 3". Is this going to be a problem? Is is worth making extra slats to fit in the gap? That would lower the gap to maybe 1" – is that too narrow for latex breathing?
The foundation that they sell is “supposed” to have closer spacing but for some reason there seems to be some inconsistency in their specs which has been mentioned on the forum as wel as other places around the internet. While the best answer is that it will be “probably OK” (and this would depend to some degree on weight and useage) … my personal tendency would be to add some slats and bring the spacing closer together as long as the rest of the foundation seems to use good quality wood. A 1" spacing is probably closer than you need but in terms of breathability will be fine and of course it will be stronger than wider spacing.
I have yet to get to the bottom of why their (not SleepEz but their supplier) seems to be inconsistent in their specs and quality and I know this is frustrating for SleepEz as well.