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Mattressless in New Orleans :( 15 Mar 2012 20:05 #1

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Hi Phoenix

I can't believe I found your site! I've been looking for a mattress for YEARS and get so frustrated by it all I give up...then start again-get excited then let down and frustrated again...

I LOVE your idea about using a local company but how do you find them? I live in New Orleans...it seems like the bed stores I've found have all the national brands in them.

I find a bed I like but then go online and hear the horror stories...

Here are some issues that contribute to my mattress needs.
--I have neck issues and sometimes wake up with headaches...
--I live in an OLD house with no central air or heat...so it gets cold and very hot (new orleans hot)

FYI I'm 6 foot and about 175lbs

I've been temporaraly sleeping on a futon for about 4 1/2 years... :(


I went to the "regular" stores I could find and like:
I liked the feel of the icomfort...
I like the feel of a beautyrest upper end spring mattress

I realize why the poor reviews online after finding your site...poor ingredients.

I see you have a leaning toward Latex beds...I didn't gravitate toward them in the stores because they felt bouncy...is that feel adjustable or just a feel of a latex bed...also I didn't want to develop an allergy to latex.

I don't mind making a decent investment in a bed...but I want a good bed and a great night sleep, no pain and not hot! :) Too much to ask?

Also, How do I find a regional manufacturer or a local independent store here in New Orleans...I've looked with no luck. If you have some suggestions that would be awesome.

I visited the national member sites...Sleep Design has a profiling system...is that accurate?

Thanks so much for you help!!!!
Ed

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Re: Mattressless in New Orleans :( 16 Mar 2012 01:49 #2

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Hi Ed,

Unfortunately, the closest local manufacturers to New Orleans are in Baton Rouge and Lafayette and there's not a lot of options right in New Orleans. The manufacturers are listed in post #191 here .

There are also some local retail outlets who carry some brands and models that may be better quality and value than most of your other local choices and I'll post a list of these tomorrow once I've had a chance to confirm that my information about some of them is accurate (I called a few today and some of the website information wasn't accurate). ADDED: These are included in post #4 of this topic .

If Baton Rouge is too far away (although I'd definitely call the first one on the list regardless as they did impress me with their range of selection and knowledge) ... Then an online purchase can make a lot of sense as a source of great quality and value. It would still help to do some local testing to get a sense of what you need and prefer to use as a guideline for your choices. The members of the site that specialize in shipping across the country are listed in post #21 here . They all offer a range of different options but they are all used to giving good guidance about their various options on the phone.

Custom Sleep Design does have a profiling system that they use for their custom zoned mattress which IMO is very accurate yes.

I'll update this thread tomorrow with any local options that may either be worth including in your research or for testing purposes.

Phoenix
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Re: Mattressless in New Orleans :( 16 Mar 2012 10:51 #3

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Thank you very much Phoenix...

Could you comment on this as well?

"I see you have a leaning toward Latex beds...I didn't gravitate toward them in the stores because they felt bouncy...is that feel adjustable or just a feel of a latex bed...also I didn't want to develop an allergy to latex..."

I did like the feel of an upper end (cost wise) beauty rest coil mattress and the i comfort from Serta (gel memory foam)...

Also does room temperature...effect the support of the bed much....sometime the room may be 90 to 95 summer and 40 winter...

The hot is my biggest concern....any suggestions here would be most appreciated! I hear the memory foam, latex, and gel beds sleep very hot...is there a way to minimize this...different layers, wool, or some cooling cover--I saw one company on Oprah?

Thanks again!

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Re: Mattressless in New Orleans :( 16 Mar 2012 15:14 #4

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Hi nola,

I made a few calls around the area to bring my records up to date about what was available closer by. I also talked to Istrouma in Baton Rouge and I've updated the information in the link I mentioned on the last post. My sense is that a trip to Baton Rouge may be worthwhile. When you are looking at local retail outlets which don't make their own mattresses ... their ability and willingness to inform their customers about what exactly is in their mattresses is one of the major differences between better and more knowledgeable outlets and "the rest". If you talk to any of these ... make sure the person you are talking to is willing to find any of the specs of their mattresses that are important to you. I've also listed some of the brands each one carries that may include some better value models. I would tend to avoid any major brands that they also carry.

www.beddingplusmattress.com/mattresses/ New Orleans, Gretna, Harvey, Metairie, Slidell, Covington. Carries Jamison which makes some high quality mattresses.

www.furnituremarts.com/ New Orleans, Gretna, Kenner, Covington, LA. Golden, Restonic.

250pillowtop.com/product/mattresses Metairie. They carry several alternative brands which may have some better value models including Symbol, Golden, Bed Boss. They are more than happy to show you the spec sheets on their mattresses.

There are 3 different "categories" of foam which are memory foam, polyfoam, and latex. There is also an emerging category of memory foam which has gel added to the memory foam. Of these ... memory foam tends to be the "hottest", polyfoam is next, and latex is the coolest of all the foams. Gel memory foam is some cases can be cooler than regular memory foam although there is a wide variety of different memory foams and gel foams each of which has different properties.

Post #2 here has a little more information on what makes mattresses sleep "hot" and how to offset it. As you mentioned ... a wool mattress protector is very breathable and can make a difference but it will also isolate the memory foam more from the heat of the body which can result in it taking longer to mold to the shape of the body or feeling firmer.

Memory foam is also most affected by room temperature and humidity and time it is compressed. Memory foam is only used in the upper layers of a mattress though (it's all considered soft material) and the support level of foam used in support layers (polyfoam or latex) are not affected by temperature.

There is a lot of information about the pros and cons of latex here which includes most of the reasons that many people like it as a material in a mattress. Because it comes in a very wide range of firmness levels and there are also different types of latex and latex combinations (for example over an innerspring or softer latex over a latex or polyfoam support core, or even different ticking/quilting combinations), there is a very wide variety of different feels to a latex mattress. Besides it's ability to relieve pressure in the softer versions ... latex is also the most durable of the foam materials and has many other qualities (such as it's ability to bear weight and support the body) that make it one of the most desirable materials in a mattress. Because latex is rubber though and is a "springy" foam or "bouncy" foam (some people will use other words like "jiggly") ... not all people will like the feel of it and some prefer it in the top layers only or even not at all. Overall though ... good quality latex it is generally recognized throughout the industry and among manufacturers as one of the highest quality and most versatile materials that can be used in a mattress. It is also among the most expensive. How latex feels and how springy or bouncy or pressure relieving or supportive it (or any other material) may be depends a lot on the type used, the softness/firmness level, the weight of the person using the mattress, and any other materials used above or below it in the mattress so there is a wide range of "feels" involved in a latex mattress just like there is in an innerspring or polyfoam mattress.

Latex allergies are generally of the type IV contact type and are a reaction to the surface proteins of latex products like gloves and other rubber products. These surface proteins are mostly removed in the manufacturing of latex foam and allergies are very rare (almost unheard of) to the type of latex used in mattresses. As a matter of fact ... latex can be a real help with the more common types of allergies because it is not a good environment for dust mites to live. Of course if someone has a more severe type 1 latex allergy which involves the possibility of anaphylactic shock ... and can't be near any latex products of any kind or eat in restaurants or the many other life changing adjustments that can come from a type 1 latex allergy ... then it would likely be best to avoid latex in any form along with all the other life changes that are involved with this type of severe allergy whether it is to latex or any other allergen.

Hope this helps in your your search.

Phoenix
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Re: Mattressless in New Orleans :( 17 Mar 2012 18:42 #5

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Hi Phoenix...

Thank you much for the suggestions...I spoke with the group in Lafayette they were very nice and I could tell would be great to work with but pretty far for me...really too bad.

As for the local stores...
I liked the feel Scandinavian Sandmahn...seems to be made of foams not latex...since it is on clearance I think it would be $2000 (or 1800) so no small investment there...what are your thoughts? I'm a bit concerned about the heat.

I also tried the Corsicana...2 were were constructed of gel memory foam and the other was latex and gel memory foam...I like the latex and gel memory foam...do you have any thoughts on quality of this company and components?

The Englander Princes (latex and spring combo) was not set up at the one store so sadly I was not able to check that one out.

The Baton Rough manufacturers are closed on weekends so I'll follow up with them then.

I'm looking forward to hear your thoughts these beds...

-E

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Re: Mattressless in New Orleans :( 18 Mar 2012 00:55 #6

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Hi nola,

My thoughts ... one at a time :). Of course this is limited to quality of materials and identifying "unknowns" because your own testing and experience for pressure relief, alignment, and preferences or the overall feel of the mattress would be most important.

Sandmahn:

Normally, at the regular price, this mattress would be a case of "seemingly high quality but lower value". The store doesn't list the layers but from the May and Company site (aka maymattress), it is using higher quality components although the density and thickness of each layer isn't listed. From the top down.

Strataflex is a lower density "high performance" foam used in quilting which is more durable than the more typical fibers used ... especially polyester fibers. Would likely be thin enough that it isn't an issue.

Memory foam quilt. Again doesn't say the thickness or the density but is likely "medium" quality memory foam in a thinner layer.

Sensus ventilated memory foam. This is a very high quality 5 lb memory foam but it doesn't say the thickness.

Luratex foam core. The Luratex they use here is a hybrid high density 5 lb polyurethane foam infused with a small amount of latex and made by Sleep Innovations. It is a good quality material. Older descriptions of this mattress said this layer was Resilitex which is a HR polyfoam which was a high quality material that had many of the qualities of latex.

Base Foam. This is likely a HD polyfoam which would be appropriate in this layer of the mattress.

Overall ... their floor model price is significantly better than the regular price for this mattress and represents better value but without knowing the particulars of some of the foams that are being used, there are too many question marks and I would hesitate to consider it even at a substantially lower price unless they can be answered (by the retailer or May and Company). It doesn't say the thickness of the layers so it's hard to predict how deeply you will sink into them (which affects heat) but it would likely be less hot than some other memory foam mattresses.

Corsicana:

Without the specifics of the layering ... it's not really possible to say anything about their gel mattresses. I can say however that Corsicana tends to make mattresses in the lower to mid budget range or what are called Promotional mattresses and in this range they often have better value than many other larger brands. Corsicana and the people who own it are very aggressively in the process of expanding their presence through acquisitions of other companies and licenses and are "moving up" the ladder of larger companies. Their gel memory foam is the "particulate" type similar to Serta and Sleep Innovations (which I think is not the best of the gel memory foams) and I don't know the density but as an example here ... they may have some better value if the density is OK.

Englander:

They are a licensing group which makes a very wide array of mattresses of many different types. They have many mattresses which include Dunlop Latex and have a gel memory foam mattress as well (with gel inserts). They typically also have better value than many other national brands but the value of any mattress at any outlet would of course depend on it's specific construction in comparison with similar mattresses. I tend to like them compared to other national brands. A latex and spring combo could be very nice and would likely be worth testing.

I'm looking forward to your Baton Rouge research and I'm pretty sure that's where your best quality and value will likely be if you don't come across some unusually high quality and value locally. I would start with talking to them on the phone (manufacturers tend to be very helpful and informative on the phone and can help you identify possibilities which will save you time if you go there) and then if the conversations seem to justify it ... take the trip to see them.

Phoenix
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Re: Mattressless in New Orleans :( 23 Mar 2012 14:20 #7

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Hi Phoenix

I'm going to try out one of the local manufacturers you suggested tomorrow morning.

The man I spoke with was very nice and busy...like you'd expect from a small business person. This is what he had to say...

The bed I'm going to try out is 6 inch core dunlop with a 1 1/4 inch bamboo cover. He said to try it out and if I like the feel he can make the bed with 6 inches of talalay instead if I wanted.

He also said if I wanted another 2 inches of talalay I could do that as well.

He didn't seem to think the different layers had much effect on things...the latex beds I see online are 9 10 and even 15 inches thick...

I'm 175lb....he didn't think i'd need additional layers...

Do you have any thought on this?

Also about the bed cover...i've read that a knitted cover is better than a weaved cover for the latex beds...does this make much of a difference?

Also do you know much about the www.plushbeds.com they appear to have good reviews for their latex.

Thanks again!
-E

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Re: Mattressless in New Orleans :( 23 Mar 2012 17:54 #8

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Hi nola,

He didn't seem to think the different layers had much effect on things...the latex beds I see online are 9 10 and even 15 inches thick...


He would sure get a lot of very different opinions from a lot of manufacturers and consumers about this. While I think that a 15" latex mattress would be "overkill" in most cases (and in most cases would likely be a mattress that "contained" some latex rather than being a latex mattress), the other end of the range with just a single 6" core would also be on the thin side for most people. 8-9" would be more in the range of "normal" and sometimes a little thicker can accommodate higher weights or different types of constructions that may be more "customized" to a particular person.

A single core doesn't have the same design flexibility to accommodate the "opposing" forces and challenges of pressure relief and alignment through different layering schemes. The "alignment" part is not usually an issue with designs like this ... it's the pressure relief part that can be an issue. There are a lot of manufacturers however that are more "old school" in their thinking and lean towards the "firmer is always better" style of mattresses. In this case ... a single layer of latex ... especially Dunlop latex which has a higher compression modulus than talalay ... can be softer on top and then firmer with compression and is a good choice for those who find a good combination of pressure relief in a single layer (perhaps with a thin layer of quilting material on top or on both sides).

I'm 175lb....he didn't think i'd need additional layers...


I would test specifically for pressure relief and alignment/support and then let your own body be the final "authority" over anything or anyone else. While this may be true ... it would make you an exception rather than the "norm". I personally would have a great deal of trouble sleeping on a single layer mattress that was firm enough for good support without a layer of softer material on top that was thick and soft enough to provide good pressure relief on my side and the "feel" that I prefer. Each person is different though so again ... your own testing is the best way to know and I wouldn't let any other person's "theory" (including mine) override your own perceptions and experience.

Also about the bed cover...i've read that a knitted cover is better than a weaved cover for the latex beds...does this make much of a difference?


Yes ... the ticking and quilting used can make a significant difference in both the cost, performance, and feel of a mattress. This page on the main site goes into quilting and this page goes into the differences a a ticking material can make. In addition to this ... a forum search on terms like "ticking" ... "encasement" "quilting" or a title search on terms like "cover" or "protector" (all without the quotes) will bring up a lot more information about the many tradeoffs involved in the different choices of ticking and quilting materials.

The protector you use on your mattress can also have a significant effect on how well a mattress meets your needs and preferences in a similar way to the quilting ticking of the mattress.

I'm quite familiar with Plushbeds and a search on them will also bring up a fair number of posts that include comments about their mattresses and overall value. Overall ... they use high quality materials, provide good service, and are better value than many other online outlets but not in the same "value range" as some of the members of this site that make very similar mattresses. There are many worse online choices but also a few "better" ones IMO depending on what each person considers part of their "value" equation.

Hope this helps :)

Phoenix
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Re: Mattressless in New Orleans :( 24 Mar 2012 13:40 #9

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Hi Phonix

Do you know of any retailers in New Orleans that sell solid latex beds...I can't seem to find any...I wanted to try a few out to get a feel for feel...

I'm going to try a 6 inch dunlop this morning...

I've called around and they seem to be very elusive.

thanks!
E

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Re: Mattressless in New Orleans :( 24 Mar 2012 14:03 #10

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Hi Nola,

Of the ones I mentioned in the post #4 ... Bedding Plus carries Jamison which makes all Talalay latex mattresses. A call asking if they carry any of the "all latex" Jamison mattresses should confirm whether they carry them. Jamison has the specs of all their mattresses on their website. If you put your zip in the retail outlet finder on the Jamison site ... you will get a list of all the retailers in your area that carry them and if Bedding Plus doesn't carry their latex models ... then the others may.

Englander also makes some all latex mattresses using Dunlop latex so a call to the outlets that carry them asking if they carry any "all latex" Englanders will also confirm if they have them. If they do, then they (and the one you're testing) will give you a sense of the difference between Talalay and Dunlop latex.

Myjustmattress seems to have an outlet in Metairie which is closer than the one I listed in Slidell (I edited post #4). Pure Latex Bliss are also high quality all talalay latex mattresses and all the specs are known as well (I have most of them if they don't). EDIT: that outlet isn't open any more so I once again deleted it.

With the others ... my usual approach is to ask if they have any "all latex mattresses. If they say yes ... then my second question is to ask them if they have all the "spec sheets" because you just want to check to make sure if there is any polyfoam in the mattresses and if there is ... where in the mattress it is. I then tell them that I don't want more than an inch of polyfoam maximum in the upper layers of the mattress (including the quilting). Their willingness to provide this ... even over the phone ... is a big part of whether I would choose to go there. Retailers that are evasive may also try to mislead you about the materials in their mattresses and there is no way to know what you are really buying. No matter how "great" a mattress feels ... the weak link in the mattress will determine how long that "great feel" will last and whether it's worth the price they are asking. The materials and construction of a mattress determine its "value" and how long you can reasonable expect it to last. Without this you are buying blind and it's not even worth visiting a retail outlet where this information isn't available unless you can find it elsewhere for the mattresses they carry.

A look at the law tag on any mattress will also tell you the percentage of materials in a mattress listed by weight ... although it won't tell you where the materials are located. The goal is to make sure you are lying on latex in the top layers with no more than an inch of polyfoam over it so you can get a sense of what latex feels like instead of what polyfoam with latex underneath it feels like.

Phoenix
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