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The search for latex in St. Louis 03 Jul 2013 09:54 #1

  • tismon
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First of all, Pheonix, you are awesome for building and maintaining a site with such valuable info. Thank you.

Second, onto business.

I am searching for a latex queen mattress in St. Louis and I would like to share my experiences up to this point.
I started with your list of direct retailers here .

For convenience, here's the list with comments. Side note, I am pretty aggressive with salespeople as I was one for a time.

Some of the better choices that are near you (St Louis in one direction and Springfield in the other) include ...

www.sterlingmattress.com/ Herrin, IL. Factory direct manufacturer. I have talkes with Mike the owner and he makes mainly innerspring mattresses with higher quality polyfoam and construction methods that make the mattress more durable than the softer lower density polyfoam used by major brands. Also carries Dunlop latex mattresses and memory foam. He is "mattress people" and is committed to making a good mattress at a good price. He can customize a mattress according to the needs of each person and has been making mattresses for almost 20 years.
A bit far, so we're keeping this as a backup

www.maplewoodcustombedding.com/ St Louis, MO. Factory direct manufacturer. Makes a range of mattresses including innerspring, memory foam, and a two sided Dunlop latex set with good value.
The first place that we contacted and went in to test their mock ups.
Although they are open on Sunday now, the gentleman that comes in then is not all that knowledgeable on the materials used and fully admits this.
All of their employees have names that start with "J" so it is a bit confusing. Though Justin was the one that we worked with the most.
They only carry the Dunlop "medium" firmness core and "soft" topper from Latex International (can't find my notes on ILDs, I apologize) stating that they don't use Talalay because their don't have the experience with it. Their methodology is to start with the core and add the toppers and/or foam on top to fit.
Overall, they were nice, but they rarely had the AC running, for being there for so long, the building looked as if it were a fly-by-night operation, and Justin noticeably flinched when I bated him with "Although I've done a fair bit of research, I would still like the help of a professional". Take that as you will.
In the end, their prices weren't bad, but they just couldn't get the mock up to fit us and we were just a bit uneasy while we were there.


www.manta.com/c/mmc1p0w/l-h-meyer-and-son-bedding-co St. Louis, MO. Factory direct manufacturer. Makes mainly innerspring/polyfoam mattresses using higher quality polyfoam and construction methods that make them more durable. Will use other materials including latex on request and can also make custom constructions. Have talked with Scott and he is also what I call "mattress people". His family has been manufacturing mattresses for over 100 years.
Only spoken to Scott on the phone and I can tell that they would probably be great for innerspring, but are lacking in latex.
Similar to Maplewood, they only carry the "medium" Dunlop core from Latex International (must be a hub nearby) and have not ventured into Talalay.
Something that gives me pause is that he said that they make all of their mattress double-sided. After trying it, I can say that this would be great for anything other than Dunlop as the density difference at the top and bottom is certainly noticeable. Chances are, he meant for innerspring though.
He also mentioned that they no longer carry viscoelastic foams as they broke down too quickly and that didn't meet their desire for quality.


www.verlo.com/stores/MO/SC (and others in the area). Regional factory direct manufacturer. Makes a wide range of mattresses of all types including innerspring, memory foam and latex. Was owned by Vymac but was sold in the beginning of 2012 to Marcus investments so I don't know how this will affect their product or service. Hopefully it will remain good.
Next on our list, but we haven't ventured to call them just yet. Their site seems promising, but I am hoping to convince Pheonix to give this branch a call and speak with the "Verlo Craftsmen". If not, I will attempt and post my notes.
Also, updated the url for the St. Charles location
UPDATE: After speaking with a gentleman here, it seems like this may not work for us either.
Despite their BBB F rating , we were willing to give them a shot, but they no longer have any latex on their show floor nor do they have any layers to test out. He stated that they just didn't sell well so their spots were replaced with memory foam. They do have a single XL twin in the back as well as 1" toppers, but this just seems like it would be a waste of time without other configurations to compare. I'm starting to see a pattern for this area.


www.furniturerow.com/shared/locations/index.jsp?state=Illinois Columbia, MO and Springfield, IL (and others in the area). Regional factory direct manufacturer. Also makes a wide range of mattresses including 2 "mostly latex" with better quality and value than the major brands but no memory foam.
A bit too far for the first picks

Cape Girardeau, MO. Wholesale Manufacturer. Makes mainly innerspring and memory foam mattresses, no latex but uses good quality materials. A call should give you some local retail outlets that carry them.
No latex
ADMIN NOTE:Removed 404 page link | Archived Footprint: campbellmattressco.com/

www.stlbeds.com/product/beautiful-latex/ St. Louis, MO. Retail outlet. Carries a range of mattresses including innerspring, memory foam, and latex including Pure Latex Bliss, Savvy Rest, Land and Sky, Anatomic Global, Glideaway, Campbell and others. I would avoid the major brands here but they have good selection and would be a good place to test various layering combinations in latex. Some of these brands may have better than average value.
Planning to try here after Verlo with a grain of salt
UPDATE: See Post #9 for details, but easily the best place in St. Louis to look for latex. It may be expensive enough to send you looking online, but they are very friendly and knowledgeable, and you will walk away knowing what configurations work for you


Again, thank you for this gem of a site. We first tried a gel memory foam mattress from Sam's Club (Night Therapy) due to the price and reviews, but ended up returning it. Soon after, I stumbled across this site and I realized that I had quite a bit to learn before attempting again.

EDIT: We also have the headquarters for Boyd Specialty Sleep here in St. Louis though I don't think that they will be of much help.
I've only been able to find a couple reviews and they seem to all agree with your thoughts from post #3 on another thread

I have somewhat mixed thoughts about Boyd. They are marketed to retailers primarily as a high margin mattress and promote that profit margins of 60 percent and higher (meaning that 60 percfent of the sale price is profit). They are made to look good but use lower priced materials including Chinese suppliers.

They are also active in the Specialty Sleep Association environmental and safety program which assigns levels to a mattress based on how "green" it is and the degree of testing it has passed. Level 2 is the step where all polyfoam products (and viscoelastic or memory foam is a polyurethane product) has to be CertiPur certified (although the Boyd Site says CertiPur testing is part of level 1 ... perhaps because this is the level they have achieved ... but this is not the case).

They also have a tendency to sometimes misrepresent their products (for example calling high density polyfoam that is engineered to feel like latex "engineered latex" to add perceived value to the mattress when it isn't latex at all (although many of their mattresses do have latex). Their gel memory foam is also the particulate type which is my least favorite (they tend not to be as durable as the gel infused type). Since level 1 talks about disclosing all the materials in the mattress ... it would be interesting to know if this includes density information about their gel foams and base foams and I would also want to know specifically if it made by a CertiPur foam manufacturer.

They are also all over the map with their pricing in various outlets with some charging way too much, boyds online direct outlet charging less (although the names are different) and various "discount" or "liquidation" outlets charging even less yet (a google search will bring up lots on places like Amazon and eBay). They are popular with outlets that like to sell mattresses that look like they are more expensive than they are.

So overall I would want more information about the materials in their mattress (including density of the foam) and whether they were certified before I seriously considered them but if they are, then some of their models would would represent better than average value ... at the right price.

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The search for latex in St. Louis 03 Jul 2013 17:09 #2

  • Bedimpediment
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So Meyer and Maplewood only carry medium Dunlop cores from Latex International? That is rather odd because LI only produces Talalay latex foam cores—which they insist are superior to Dunlop!

—Bedimpediment

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The search for latex in St. Louis 03 Jul 2013 21:42 #3

  • tismon
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I'm not really sure of the answer for that. Both places told me that independently of the other, and I don't know much about LI.
Maybe there's something abnormal going on here.

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The search for latex in St. Louis 04 Jul 2013 04:22 #4

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Hi tismon,

Thanks for the great St Louis feedback :)

I would also wonder why they are saying that their latex is from Latex International which primarily sells Talalay. Although they do have Dunlop available and this was even used at one time in one of the early PLB mattresses, I've never seen it in a mattress core outside of PLB. I would ask them if it's natural or synthetic Dunlop and if its natural then it wouldn't be coming from LI.

It's not likely that I'll have the time to call the local Verlo outlet (I'm several weeks behind on calls that I need to make) but I'd love to hear about your experience there. They are usually knowledgeable and have some good value and are transparent about their materials which makes it easy to make good comparisons but they may also not be in the best value range in some cases so I would make sure you make good comparisons.

Phoenix
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The search for latex in St. Louis 12 Jul 2013 16:18 #5

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Hey Phoenix, that's certainly understandable, and about what I thought might be the case given how much you do around here.
I've given Verlo a call and will update the OP to reflect what I've found. The long and short of it is that they won't work for even testing out layers unfortunately.

If you wouldn't mind, could you please explain the "mostly latex" situation for STLBeds? I'm not exactly sure how to approach them on this or if they might try to hide it.

Thank you

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The search for latex in St. Louis 12 Jul 2013 17:36 #6

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Hi tismon,

If you wouldn't mind, could you please explain the "mostly latex" situation for STLBeds? I'm not exactly sure how to approach them on this or if they might try to hide it.


the mostly latex comment was in reference to the Denver mattress latex mattresses which have been replaced by another model. What it means is that most of the layers are latex but that there is also some polyfoam in the mattress but that the polyfoam is in a layer where it won't become the weak link of the mattress (either around an inch or so or less in the comfort layers or quilting or thicker layers in the bottom of the mattress under the latex).

As it relates to STLBeds ... you could tell if any of their mattresses were "mostly latex" by making sure you have the details of all the layers in any mattress you are considering and then making sure that there was no more than around an inch or so of polyfoam in the comfort or quilting layers or that any thicker layers of polyfoam were in the deeper support layers of the mattress underneath the latex layers. "Latex hybrid" mattresses (a few inches of latex over polyfoam support core) often use a latex comfort layer over polyfoam support layers as a way to reduce the cost of sleeping on latex (you can see some comments about a latex hybrid vs an all latex mattress in post #2 here ). I don't keep a specific list of the design of mattresses carried by retailers (which are always changing and would be impossible to keep up with) so it's always important to only consider or test mattresses where you are able to easily find out the type and quality of all the layers in the mattress so you can make sure there are no weak links in the mattress and can make more meaningful quality and value comparisons with other similar mattresses.

Phoenix
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The search for latex in St. Louis 19 Jul 2013 12:22 #7

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Okay, we feel like we are heading down to the battlefield with a winning strategy.

Since STLBeds is the only quality retailer in the area (Boyd is not quality and I don't count Sterling as close) that has talalay anything, and happens to carry Savvy Rest, our game plan is as follows:

-Test out different layers starting with the top, all talalay if possible, and work our way down to see which work for us. Since STLBeds only has 3 floor models with latex, this may be difficult, but hopefully not impossible.
-Get the details of the layers that we want including inspecting any models for polyfoam
-As much as we would love to buy local, the price differences are just too astounding. So we will most likely speak with SleepEZ to investigate how closely we can get a match.
-Hopefully, we can find a bamboo cover as well since they simply feel great

One thing that I can't find through all of this is how blended talalay is formed and what it consists of. I believe that I must be missing something in that I thought the only difference between dunlop and talalay is that the latter is frozen to preserve consistency.

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The search for latex in St. Louis 19 Jul 2013 16:33 #8

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Hi tismon,

Your strategy certainly sounds like a good one to me :)

One thing that I can't find through all of this is how blended talalay is formed and what it consists of. I believe that I must be missing something in that I thought the only difference between dunlop and talalay is that the latter is frozen to preserve consistency.


Blended latex (whether it is Talalay or Dunlop) is made from a combination of natural rubber (NR) and synthetic rubber (SBR) blended together. In the case of Talalay ... the blend is approximately 30% natural rubber and 70% blended rubber. Dunlop can have many different blends that range from about 10% natural and 90% synthetic all the way to 85% natural and 15% synthetic. both Talalay and Dunlop also come in 100% natural versions.

You can read a little more about the various types of latex in this article and in post #6 here .

Phoenix
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The search for latex in St. Louis 20 Jul 2013 20:51 #9

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Wonderful, thank you as always. I had read the article before, but I suppose that I didn't know enough about the market to pay attention to those details. :silly:

After going to STLBeds, I can honestly say that at least for latex, they are the best place to go to in St. Louis. Doug (if memory serves and it rarely does for names) and Zach are both great people and were very helpful. Doug, I believe, is the owner and is very knowledgeable as well as easy to talk to. Zach assists and although he doesn't know quite as much, he is much younger and easily admits when he needs to ask something.

Doug also seems to be familiar with this site and said that he tends to agree with most everything that he has read so far in your articles. I explained a little further about the corporate memberships and how your lists of retailers on top of those help the community.

We spent about an hour and a half trying out different layering configurations as well as talking with the gentlemen about our experiences with other retailers in the area (neither of us mentioned names) and consumer reports on mattress satisfaction. We also spoke about the regulations on fire retardant covers and that since they are not very actively enforced in this area (even with a possible hefty fine of $6000-$8000 (need source) per set), there are some stores in St. Louis that are willingly disregarding the law to save on costs. Again though, he didn't want to share names for obvious reasons.

Here's what we were able to try and found for us (each layer is 3"):

Config 1 (4 layers)
______________________
_________Soft__________ Talalay
____Soft___|____Med____ Dunlop
_________Med__________ Dunlop
_________Firm__________ Dunlop

Config 2 (3 layers)
______________________
____Soft___|____Med____ Talalay
____Soft___|____Med____ Dunlop
_________Firm__________ Dunlop

Config 2 (3 layers)
___________
____Soft____ Talalay
____Med____ Dunlop
____Firm____ Dunlop

Our tell for which configuration worked the best for us was when the rush of comfort and relief washed over us when we tried them. In all of the mattresses and retailers that we've been to and tried, we've each only felt that with one configuration and only at today's visit.

Her's, Config 2 (right): M Tal, M Dun, F Dun
Mine, Config 3: S Tal, M Dun, F Dun
Cost: $3564 for the set

I was really hoping that there might have been something that he could have done with the price, but unfortunately, he wasn't able to sway from the listed price. Though I suppose that such is the case with Savvy Rest. Perhaps they can find a more cost effective supplier in the future such as direct from the manufacturer rather than through a brand, but for now, we will have to go with an online retailer. Though we are big fans of Furniture Traditions and will very likely be back to STLBeds for a few pieces in the future..


Now onto SleepEZ
I've taken a look at Mattresses.net as well and have decided to stick with SleepEZ for reasons that I can't seem to recall (helpful, right?)
It looks like their 10000 line with Blended Talalay would be a good fit since that's the same size that we tried today. Though I will have to look into the chances of swapping out the base layer for Dunlop and keeping the middle as Talalay as well. I'm not sure if this will effect the feel or support from today's trials much or not. I will have to speak with Scott to get his thoughts as well.
Cost: $1923.75 (1640.25 savings)

I was ready with a list of errors that I found on SleepEZ's site to try to bring them to Shaun's attention only to find that I was somehow on an older version. They must have left the old product pages up for historical links and simply added the new ones. Here's an example for any other fools that folly as I have:
Old
New
ADMIN NOTE:Removed 404 page link | Archived Footprint: sleepez.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/51%7B10%7D25%7B6%7D97%7B8%7D21%7B7%7D81%7B12%7D134%7B22%7D136/osCsid/jfin0f7esmc0rcjbt97hb2kfs3

Needless to say, almost all of the errors were gone on the new site. WHOIS checks out as well (GoDaddy domain hosted on Rack Space with all owner info correct and owned until 2017, A+)
The only discrepancy that I've found really is that the warranty page states 20 years, but on the subject in the FAQ , it states 15. Something easily cleared up on the phone.
EDIT: It looks like you are directed to the old pages once you click on "Add to Cart and Configure". So make sure to go back to Home before doing anything else.

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The search for latex in St. Louis 21 Jul 2013 12:45 #10

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Hi tismon,

I was really hoping that there might have been something that he could have done with the price, but unfortunately, he wasn't able to sway from the listed price. Though I suppose that such is the case with Savvy Rest. Perhaps they can find a more cost effective supplier in the future such as direct from the manufacturer rather than through a brand, but for now, we will have to go with an online retailer. Though we are big fans of Furniture Traditions and will very likely be back to STLBeds for a few pieces in the future..


It would be great if Savvy Rest could do something about their prices. They are very high quality mattresses with a very flexible design but they just don't compete very well with other latex mattresses that use the same materials and design .... at least for those that know of the many other options that are available. I can understand a premium in the range of 20% - 25% or so when you are dealing locally vs online and I would treat this as roughly comparable value but it's difficult to justify a local purchase when the difference is much more than this.

Now onto SleepEZ
I've taken a look at Mattresses.net as well and have decided to stick with SleepEZ for reasons that I can't seem to recall (helpful, right?)
It looks like their 10000 line with Blended Talalay would be a good fit since that's the same size that we tried today. Though I will have to look into the chances of swapping out the base layer for Dunlop and keeping the middle as Talalay as well. I'm not sure if this will effect the feel or support from today's trials much or not. I will have to speak with Scott to get his thoughts as well.
Cost: $1923.75 (1640.25 savings)


I'm guessing you were probably talking with Shawn? (it would either be Shawn or Jeremy). In any case ... you can choose either Talalay or Dunlop in any of the layers at your option. They are both very knowledgeable and will give you good guidance although I'm not sure I would make changes to a design that you tested and that worked well for you.

They have been working on a completely new site for some time but I know from my own personal experience that these things often take longer than anyone expects.

Thanks for your feedback and I'm looking forward to hearing about what you end up with.

Phoenix
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