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General Questions - and Seeking Recommendation Foam vs Coil vs Latex 04 Jun 2012 17:59 #1

  • terminaldawn
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Hello -
This website has provided me with a lot of valuable information. Thanks for putting this together!

I am hoping that someone can provide me with a mattress recommendation, or somewhere to start, then following I do have some general questions as well, if someone would be so kind to answer.

I live in Franklin, WI (Milwaukee County).
6 ft 200 pounds
Wife is 5 ft 4 - 130 pounds
We both sleep about the same. We start off on our backs, and then turn to side, and occasionally stomach. We don’t have one sleep position - it really is a combination of all three. No back or neck issues. However I occasionally have issues with my shoulder, but nothing serious.
I checked out the local stores that have Serta and Sealy, etc... I hated Sealy and found that Serta was nice.
I went to a local store Verlo who makes mattresses locally within their store. We tried their top of the line coil and foam mattresses. I had a hard time deciding if I like the spring coils or the Gel Foam better. Honestly they both seem nice. However it’s hard to tell without sleeping in the bed for a night.

The specs of the 2 Foam mattresses I like are as follows (first listed is top layer, last listed bottom layer, and open cell).

Kodiak
3 inch Gel Foam
2 inch transitional foam
2 inches memory foam
5 inches acreloflex

Sitka
3 inch Gel Foam
2 inches memory foam
5 inches acreloflex

The spring coil I didn’t get the specs on.

The sales guy knows that the foam is made in Philadelphia, however didn’t know the name of the manufacturer.
Is Verlo reputable? Are there any other local places I should be looking for? Is there a particular mattress configuration I should be looking for?

General Questions:

One area of confusion that I didn’t really see an explanation for. I read on this site that Serta and other large name brand companies are not the way to go. I am just curious why this is? Wouldn’t the fact that these larger companies are spending money in R&D mean they would have better tech? Such as the Serta iComort.

I am very confused as to what I should be looking at. I read through the Pro's and Cons of Foam Vs Coil, however I am still very confused. Is one considered typically better over the other?

I have read that Foam has off gassing where as; the coils construction can create magnetic fields impacting ones health. Are these real issues?

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Last edit: by terminaldawn. Reason: changed title

Re: Geneeral Questions - and Seeking Recommendation Foam vs Coil 05 Jun 2012 01:35 #2

  • phoenix
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Hi terminaldawn,

You're asking some great questions and lets see if I can answer them all :)

I live in Franklin, WI (Milwaukee County).


IMO, the first step in looking for a mattress is finding the best outlets that offer a combination of knowledge, selection, quality, and value. This can be more important than choosing a mattress that is sold by someone who either doesn't know or won't tell you the quality of the materials in their mattresses (making it impossible to make any meaningful comparisons between mattresses). Manufacturers and sales people who have been in the industry in some cases for decades and have seen all the "stories" and "trends" come and go and who also know the difference between different types of materials and constructions and how they "actually" perform instead of just repeating the same stories about them are your best friend and can save you endless hours of research and help you focus on the suitability of a mattress for your own unique needs and preferences. Once you have found these outlets ... then choosing a mattress that is the most suitble is a much simpler job.

In the Milwaukee area ... some of the better options that I'm aware of include ...

www.kenmichaelsfurniture.com/ Local factory direct manufacturer with outlets in Brookfield, Milwaukee, and Greenfield. I have talked with Mike here and he makes a full range of mattresses including traditional innerspring/polyfoam, memory foam and latex and has good quality and value. He is also very knowledgeable and helpful and what I call "mattress people". I would certainly recommend a visit and including him in your research.

www.verlo.com/customerservice/stores/WI Regional factory direct manufacturer with several outlets in the SE Wisconson area. They make a full range of mattresses that tend to use higher quality materials and have better value than average. They can also make custom adjustments. They have recently been sold (they used to be owned by Verlo) so the effect of the sale if any is yet to be known.

www.steinhafels.com/findus/index.aspx local manufacturer with various outlets in the Milwaukee and surrounding area. They carry some major brands (which I would avoid) but they also carry two different lines of mattresses which they manufacture themselves which are memory foam or innerspring/polyfoam models (no latex). The knowledge level here may not be consistent from store to store. They told me that they are happy to provide the foam density specs of all their mattresses so that customers can make meaningful comparisons between mattresses in terms of quality/value.

There are several Savvy Rest dealers in and around the Milwaukee area. They sell component latex mattresses which use high quality organic Dunlop and 100% natural Talalay and are a good way to try out different combinations of latex mattresses. They are also in a more premium budget range however so I would make some good value comparisons with other latex mattresses.

www.pennymustard.com/ They are a retail direct outlet with for Claire Bedding which is a wholesale mattress manufacturer and Restonic licensee in Escanabe, MI. and have several stores in and around the Milwaukee area. In my conversations with both Clare bedding and Pennymustard I have found them to be open and helpful about their mattresses and they are good people. Of course each of the pennymustard outlets may have different people with varying levels of knowledge but I would suspect that they would all be higher quality salespeople that are more knowledgeable than most.

biltritefurniture.com/ Greenfield, WI. They carry OMI and Pure Latex Bliss which are high quality latex mattresses but may also be in higher budget ranges so once again I would make some careful value comparisons. I would ignore the major brands they also carry.

A little further away ... there is a member of this site in Beloit which means that I believe they compete well with the best in the industry in terms of their quality, value, service, and transparency.

www.beloitmattress.com/ Local factory direct manufacturer in Beloit, WI and Rockford, IL. Ryan is the owner and again they have great knowledge and service and also make a full range of mattresses including latex, gel foam, memory foam, and traditional innerspring/polyfoam with great quality and value. I would also give them a call and include them in your research and once again pay them a visit if your call indicates that they have some mattresses that you wish to test in person.

Between these ... I wouldn't spend much time anywhere else.

6 ft 200 pounds
Wife is 5 ft 4 - 130 pounds
We both sleep about the same. We start off on our backs, and then turn to side, and occasionally stomach. We don't have one sleep position - it really is a combination of all three. No back or neck issues. However I occasionally have issues with my shoulder, but nothing serious.


There are some general guidelines here about various different height/weight/body shapes and here about different sleeping positions that can help as a starting point but a knowledgeable expert that knows how to fit you to mattresses they make and/or sell is much more accurate than what I call "theory at a distance" and can take into account all the individual differences and preferences between different people.

The specs of the 2 Foam mattresses I like are as follows (first listed is top layer, last listed bottom layer, and open cell).

Kodiak
3 inch Gel Foam
2 inch transitional foam
2 inches memory foam
5 inches acreloflex

Sitka
3 inch Gel Foam
2 inches memory foam
5 inches acreloflex

The spring coil I didn't get the specs on.

The sales guy knows that the foam is made in Philadelphia, however didn't know the name of the manufacturer.


There are basically 3 types of foam which are memory foam (some of which have gel added to them), polyfoam, and latex. Each of these has many varieties. If a foam layer doesn't say latex or memory foam ... then it's safe to assume tht it is just a name for polyfoam. "AcellaFlex" (rather than acreloflex) is a type of polyfoam used as a base layer and in the case of polyfoam and memory foam ... the density (which they don't list) is the most important spec used to determine the relative quality and durability of different polyfoams. AcellaFlex is made by Sleep Innovations (Advanced Urethane Technologies) and is generally a 2 lb polyfoam which is good quality and suitable for a base layer. The rest of the polyfoam (transitional foam) is missing density information, the memory foam is missing density information, and it doesn't say what type of gel foam or the density that is being used (although this would also likely be gel foam that is made by sleep innovations that is using gel particles rather than being part of the memory foam structure itself which is IMO the least durable type of gel memory foam and similar to what is used in the iComfort).

The sales guy knows that the foam is made in Philadelphia, however didn’t know the name of the manufacturer.
Is Verlo reputable? Are there any other local places I should be looking for? Is there a particular mattress configuration I should be looking for?


Yes Verlo is reputable although as I mentioned they have been recently sold. They are better than average value compared to mainstream outlets and larger manufacturers but because they are a franchise outlet ... the quality of information you may get from outlet to outlet may vary although the mattresses are the same. They also have the advantage of being a manufacturer that they can fine tune your mattress the way you want it. I would be looking at the other three outlets I mentioned as well though and you will likely find even better value, knowledge, and service.

One area of confusion that I didn’t really see an explanation for. I read on this site that Serta and other large name brand companies are not the way to go. I am just curious why this is? Wouldn’t the fact that these larger companies are spending money in R&D mean they would have better tech? Such as the Serta iComort.


Most of the R & D in the major manufacturers is seeking ways to use lower quality materials and charge higher prices. They tend to use lower quality materials than local manufacturers at every price point and while they do make some good mattresses ... these are priced much higher than mattresses that use equivalent quality materials made by dozens of local or regional manufacturers. They also tend to do everything they can to make meaningful comparisons virtually impossible and sell their mattresses based on marketing stories rather than the quality of materials that are in them. Major manufacturers have a product called "profit margin" that they sell to their larger customers and chain stores. These higher profit margins come with stories attached that can be used for marketing purposes. Their claims of proprietary materials are for the most part just stories with little basis in fact. They are accountable to shareholders and corporate interests or investments groups (in the cases of Serta and Simmons for example they are both owned by the Ontario Teachers Federation pension plan) and do not have local ownership that sells mattresses based on quality and their local reputation.

They are a much different business model. Would you buy a car that had a painted cardboard shape around it but there was no way to know what was inside and nobody would tell you? This is basically what the major manufacturers do ... sell products based on the subjective "feel" in the highly managed environment of a showroom. They won't give you real information about the quality of what is in the mattress. Even consumer reports threw up their hands in trying to determine how to get the information that can be used to make real quality evaluations of mattresses. While you can get the information if you dig hard enough, do enough research, and know enough people who have taken the mattresses apart ... it always leads to the same story ... poor value.

The Serta iComfort is a classic example of a well marketed mattress that has a great "showroom feel" with poor value. You can see an analysis of part of the lineup in post #11 here .

This video about what is happening in the industry is well worth watching and is an accurate assessment of the industry today.

I am very confused as to what I should be looking at. I read through the Pro's and Cons of Foam Vs Coil, however I am still very confused. Is one considered typically better over the other?


I think that the simplest way to answer these questions with some basic knowledge is to read the overviews in the mattresses section of the site. This will tell you about the different materials used in the comfort (upper layers) and the support layers (lower layers) of a mattress and how they are combined in different ways to create various types of mattresses with different qualities of pressure relief, alignment, and personal preferences. The simple way is to always remember that the two basic functions of a mattress (the first overview) are to provide you with correct alignment in all your sleeping positions, pressure relief, and the preferences that are all about things like motion separation, breathability, and other factors that are purely individual preference and subjective taste. Higher quality materials means that the mattress will keep it's "showroom performance" and qualities longer than lower quality materials.

When you find someone that already knows all this ... you don't need to learn it. If you spend an hour on the site ... you will know more than most of the people who sell mattresses at most larger outlets ... and you will see many eyes roll when you start to ask even basic questions about the quality of materials in their mattresses. There are some guidelines here about what to avoid that will help you avoid most of the mistakes people make when shopping for a mattress and there is an article here about what to look for and how to recognize better outlets .

I have read that Foam has off gassing where as; the coils construction can create magnetic fields impacting ones health. Are these real issues?


For some people yes and for some people no. In general though ... North American polyfoam and memory foam or foam that has been certified by organizations like CertiPur or OekoTex are considered to be safe. There are many Asian and foreign foams that I would consider "unsafe" ... although they are certainly cheaper and are flooding the market with inferior mattresses. TIn spite of their cheap prices ... they are another example of poor value.

The issue of electromagnetic fields is a controversial one just like cell phone radiation and each person can decide for themselves the degree of "safety" that is important to them. I personally believe that the electrical fields that are all around us anyway have a greater effect than mattress innersprings but this is an area that can get very technical and is probably outside the scope of a post like this. For all intents and purposes ... I would consider innersprings as "safe".

The bottom line is this. If we arm ourselves with some basic information (enough to ask better questions and tell when someone knows what theya re talking about) and then find a manufacturer or outlet that knows a lot more than we do and has years of decades of experience ... then the odds are great that we will make a good choice.

If we are buying a mattress from an outlet that knows less than we do (or can learn in a few hours) or isn't able (or willing) to tell you the most basic quality specs about their mattresses ... or that sells mattresses based on marketing tactics such as fake sales ... then the odds are great that we will end up with a lower quality higher priced mattress unless you have the time and patience to dig deep enough to find the information you need to make meaningful quality and value decisions.

I hope this helps ... even though I know it was a very long reply :)

Phoenix
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Re: Geneeral Questions - and Seeking Recommendation Foam vs Coil 04 Jul 2012 01:12 #3

  • ldude916
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We just checked out Verlo in McHenry. Thanks to your site, the manager asked us if we 1. worked in the mattress industry before and 2. were engineers....good compliments.

Anyway, we liked the Kodiak as well (but now I'm rethinking that I may go down to the 'firmer' model with 2 layers instead of 3, because maybe Kodiak will be too soft over the course of the night?)

Here is the information the guy gave us on the lbs.
3 inch Gel Foam - 4 lbs
2 inches memory foam - 4 lbs, open cell structure
2 inch transitional foam - 1.5 D (poly layer)
6 inches acreloflex - 33

With the Kodiak, when I was laying on my side, I felt relief from off my pressure points (mainly hip and ribs) and on my back, my spine felt very aligned(I didn't feel like I needed a pillow under my lower back). However, I always thought that I liked a harder mattress (and always bought them in the past), so I'm worried that if I buy the Kodiak, over the course of the night it will just be too soft/not supportive.

I am really really torn because last weekend we looked at the big box store (before finding this site), we liked the TempurPedic Contour Signature and the iComfort Insight model (no longer considering Serta now)....however today, I was not liking those beds and I really loved the Renewal Refined iComfort and Verlo Kodiak, but my husband liked the iComfort Revolution and the step below Kodiak.

I'm just having a hard time because I went from one extreme to the other. My bones ache a lot because I have a lung disorder, causing me to cough and my spine is always out of whack, my back/shoulders/neck always hurt...I'm just really confused.

We tried the latex Verlo - too springy! We tried the Verlo interspring w/ memory foam on top, but I didn't care for the plushy top on the bed. I suppose I could ask them to change that. Do you think this would be a better option based on my description over 100% mem foam?

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Re: Geneeral Questions - and Seeking Recommendation Foam vs Coil 04 Jul 2012 03:35 #4

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Hi ldude916,

It seems that you are somewhat "all over the map" in terms of mattresses that are quite different in terms of pressure relief, support, and "feel". I'll make a few comments that hopefully will help.

Outside of your sleeping positions (you mentioned side and back but not your stomach?) I don't know your other "stats" (your weight, height, body shape) and I don't know anything about your husband's. There are also a few unknowns about the Verlo gel mattresses (although they would probably easily answer them). Both of these ... and especially your missing "stats" would make a difference in any comments I would make.

But that aside I'll make some more general comments about the mattresses you mentioned.

TempurPedic Contour Signature: This is on the slightly firmer end of the Tempurpedic line and has 4" of memory foam over their 8" base foam. Part of the firmness is that their memory foam will take more time to conform to your body shape but it would be more conforming and softer once your body heat has softened it. This would be a slightly "firmer" memory foam choice.

iComfort Insight: this is one of the firmest choices in the iComfort line with 3" of the gel memory foam (which is also on the firm side) over their base support layer.

It seems like last weekend you were more attracted to the firmer versions of memory foam or gel foam mattresses although not the absolute firmest.

Renewal Refined iComfort: This has softer and thicker layers in the comfort layer and is towards the softest end of the iComfort scale.

Verlo Kodiak: This too has the softest comfort layers of the 3 Verlo gel models. The good thing is that the gel foam is on the surface which can help with cooling. 4 lb memory foam will be softer and less durable than most 5 lb foams and subject to softening more rapidly but this will be slightly offset because it is a little deeper in the mattress which would make it less subject to repeated deeper compression.The 2" of 1.5 lb polyfoam is also quite low density/durability but it also is even deeper and this would help extend it's lifetime. Overall though there is 7" of "softer stuff" in the mattress (although they don't show the softness/firmness of the 2" convoluted layer) and this is a fairly risky construction ... especially when you take any initial softening into account.

So today you are all the way over towards the other side of the scale.

iComfort Revolution: This is their second softest model in the lineup and has 5.75 inches of "soft stuff" on top (4.75" of memory foam and an inch of polyfoam). How appropriate this was would depend on your husbands stats but again the comfort layers are quite thick and this could also be risky. He also liked the middle of the line in the Verlo line instead of the softer Kdiak although this would likely be a little closer to the Revolution with 5" total of memory foam but no extra polyfoam vs the 4.75 of the Revolution. The problem also is that the different memory foams have different properties so they are not directly translatable to each other.

Bear in mind too that whatever you are buying now will go through an initial softening period for the first 90 days or so which is followed by the more gradual long term softening of the foams. If you are "on the edge" of your range for alignment, then any further softening could easily put you on the other side of the support range that is suitable for either you or your husband.

I would also want to know the type of memory foam that Verlo (and Ecosleep who makes the same mattresses and you can see the Kodiak equivalent here ) are using and I would take into account that if it is the version that used gel particles or beads that it's not likely to be as durable as the infused or co-mixed types of gel foam.

My guess without any real reference points or "patterns" of your preferences to validate it is that you may be more "in the middle" and I would suspect that the firmer models of last weekend may be be too firm for you in the long term and you may have been drawn towards them because of your past choices. This would depend on your actual experience though and at this point you are on both ends of the scale and I would test further ... possibly with the help of a good salesperson ... to decide where you really belong.

There would be some "risk" in the softer versions you tried today because they both have thicker comfort layers which could easily allow your heavier parts to sink in a little too far for best alignment. I would pay special attention to this possibility and ask yourself if it even felt a "little too soft" for your best alignment because it will get somewhat softer yet fairly quickly as it is "breaking in".

Gel foam is a little less likely to have "creep" (meaning that over the course of the night you would slowly start to sink deeper) because it gives the memory foam a little higher sag factor which means that it will get firmer with deeper compression faster than other memory foams so this may slightly reduce the risk of thicker comfort layers although they could still be on the thick side. I would be very tempted to test one model down and see how it was for pressure relief because the support and alignment would likely be better.

I would also consider giving Tim at my Green mattress a call to see what he says about alternatives that he makes and whether a trip there would be worth the drive. He is also an "expert" in helping his customers make great choices.

Phoenix
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Re: Geneeral Questions - and Seeking Recommendation Foam vs Coil 04 Jul 2012 16:54 #5

  • ldude916
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Thank you for your thoughts. I am 5'5" 130 lbs and my hubby is 6'1" 190 lbs. We usually don't sleep on our stomachs, unless we're uncomfortable from the pressure points of our other positions. I asked about the gel layer, and they said it was co-mixed with memory foam.

In your comments below, you mention Verlo "Overall though there is 7" of "softer stuff" in the mattress (although they don't show the softness/firmness of the 2" convoluted layer) and this is a fairly risky construction", which is the convoluted layer (mem foam or transition poly layer)? They were 4# and 1.5#...or do you mean the ILD number is not known?

We are going to visit green mattress/quality sleep...it's just far so we have to plan a whole day to go down there.

So I think part of my problem is that our innerspring mattress now is firm support and medium-firm comfort, so in my head I 'liked' that style...however I think mem foam is totally different and I have to get used to the fact that softer may be better for me in terms of comfort layer. I was trying really hard to concentrate on my hips pressure and spine alignment. Another thing that may be taking me to the extremes is that my lung disorder makes it hard for me to breathe (I am on the list for a lung transplant), so I am very sensitive some days and others my bones/muscles aren't as sensitive and it takes a LONG time for me to relax in bed. I think you're right about the "middle of the road" and I appreciate your comments on the 5 lb. versus 4 lb. durability factor, because that was concerning me at Verlo. The fact that Verlo has the 365 comfort guarantee and lifetime comfort commitment (they can replace the layers anytime for a fee rather than buying a whole bed) made me a little more OK with the 4lb. foam. What do you think of those guarantees?

I'll keep you posted on Green Mattress visit, and if you have anything to add re: Verlo based on our body stats, let me know! Thank you!

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Re: Geneeral Questions - and Seeking Recommendation Foam vs Coil 04 Jul 2012 18:06 #6

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Hi ldude916,

In your comments below, you mention Verlo "Overall though there is 7" of "softer stuff" in the mattress (although they don't show the softness/firmness of the 2" convoluted layer) and this is a fairly risky construction", which is the convoluted layer (mem foam or transition poly layer)? They were 4# and 1.5#...or do you mean the ILD number is not known?


This was meant more a a caution so when you are testing this you pay particular attention to spinal alignment in all your sleeping positions (and this would apply to sleeping on your back as well as any stomach sleeping which is not one of your normal positions ... which is a good thing)

The top 5 inches would quality as "soft stuff" because even though there is a range of firmness with memory foam ... it's all "soft" once it heats up and allows for more sinking in than other materials. The ILD of all memory foam is also soft and the differences between them are all degrees of softness ranging from "super ultra soft" to just soft. This is why there is never memory foam used in the support layers of a mattress. Even with 5" layers ... there is some risk with alignment for the "flatter" sleeping positions and depending on what is below it.

The next 2" layer is what they call "transitional foam" which means that it would likely be in the middle ranges of ILD. This could still be fairly soft or it could be firmer. Either way it would be softer than support foam used in the base layers. For some reason I wrote "convoluted" rather than "transitional" and I have no idea why :). Convoluted foam is softer than the ILD that is used to fabricate it so a normal transitional layer would not be as "soft" as it would be if it was convoluted but it's still less than a support foam.

So this means that you have between 5" and 7" of "softer" foam which is why the caution about your testing.

This is not to say that you won't be in alignment because some people sink more evenly into a mattress than others and are easier to "align" with more even weight distributions or body shapes ... only that it would be more "risky".

So I think part of my problem is that our innerspring mattress now is firm support and medium-firm comfort, so in my head I 'liked' that style...however I think mem foam is totally different and I have to get used to the fact that softer may be better for me in terms of comfort layer.


This is one of the more confusing things about mattresses (as you know from your comments) because there are really two "ratings" that apply to each. One is the comfort/pressure relief "softness" and the second is the support/alignment "firmness" and while they are connected ... they are also independent and most people only talk about one which can mean many things. It would be nice if people and manufacturers rated their mattresses in "double" ratings such as soft/firm or medium/medium or even extra soft/ultra firm. This would be a lot more descriptive even though it would still be a relative description ... it would be more meaningful.

I was trying really hard to concentrate on my hips pressure and spine alignment.


I tend to test each of these one at a time because you are trying to sense different symptoms and parts of the body with each. Once you are completely finished with pressure relief ... then you can "switch" to alignment and focus on any strain or tension in your muscles and it also helps to have an "observer" who can tell if you look like you are aligned in all your sleeping positions.

The fact that Verlo has the 365 comfort guarantee and lifetime comfort commitment (they can replace the layers anytime for a fee rather than buying a whole bed) made me a little more OK with the 4lb. foam. What do you think of those guarantees?


I think these are good policies and I especially like the idea of changing out layer for a reasonable charge if it becomes necessary. This is a service offered by many manufacturers that I like and can be valuable.

The choice between 4 and 5 lb is really a tradeoff because many people prefer the feel and response of a 4 lb memory form and you could easily be one of these because of your lighter weight. Most (but not all) versions of 4 lb memory foam tend to be a little less heat sensitive more responsive and softer than most (but not all) 5 lb memory foams. Lighter weights also compress foams less so a mattress wll generally last longer. If I had a choice and there was a cear difference between the two and comfort was an unusually important factor ... I would be tempted to choose a less durable foam that performed better for me. There is also only 2" of 4 lb which has less risk than if the whole 5" was 4 lbs.

I asked about the gel layer, and they said it was co-mixed with memory foam.


I hope that means that it is not particles because particles are also c0-mixed with the memory foam. They are closed today but I hope to confirm that when they are open again. I suspected from this picture that it was particles but it's difficult to tell for sure and they may even have a generic picture.

We are going to visit green mattress/quality sleep...it's just far so we have to plan a whole day to go down there.


I'm looking forward to your report. Tim is great to work with and has some great options available so regardless of what you choose ... it's always better to have choices between "good and good".

I'll keep you posted on Green Mattress visit, and if you have anything to add re: Verlo based on our body stats, let me know!


I think most of this has been covered with my "caution" but if I was in your shoes with your circumstances ... I would tend to trust my body over "theory at a distance" anyway :)

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Re: Geneeral Questions - and Seeking Recommendation Foam vs Coil vs Latex 05 Jul 2012 01:31 #7

  • terminaldawn
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Thread starter here.

After a ton of research I have decided to go with a natural latex due to some of the scary stuff i have seen about memory foams. I just feel safer with going for latex. There is a local store that carries latex mattresses (Ken Michaels, as recommended above) that I plan to go test at. However to keep them honest I would like to cross price a similar product with an online competitor. I will buy local if price isn't too different, however I do want a more natural mattress, and I'm afraid that an online retailer may be a better option for this.

1. What online retailers are recommended for natural or organic mattresses?

2. I came across plushbeds.com, are they recommended or any comparable alternatives?

3. Also one last question, how thick of a comfort layer and total thickness should I be looking for? ( 6 ft, athletic 190-ish male).


Thanks!!!

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Re: Geneeral Questions - and Seeking Recommendation Foam vs Coil vs Latex 05 Jul 2012 04:20 #8

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Hi terminaldawn,

1. What online retailers are recommended for natural or organic mattresses?


Post #21 here includes the members of this site who specialize in online purchases. There is a wide range of different styles, types, and budget ranges among the list but for many (and sometimes different) reasons they are all IMO among the best value in the country and are good reference points for a local purchase.

Plushbeds has good quality mattresses and better than average value but is not in the same "value range" as the outlets in the post I listed. A forum search on Plushbeds (you can just click the link) will bring up more comments and information about them.

The actual construction of a mattress is much more accurate if it's based on local testing with the help of a person who knows all the details of the specific mattresses they sell rather than "theory at a distance". Even for an online purchase, it's always better to use the help and suggestions of the specific manufacturer because they know all the smaller details of their mattresses that can sometimes have a big effect on how the mattress may feel and perform for a particular person. They all have a large customer base which gives them more insight into how each of their mattresses may work for people that are similar in height/weight/body shape and sleeping positions based on "averages" that work for most people.

There are some general guidelines for height/weight/body shape in this article however and some guidelines for different sleeping positions here . These are all based on averages and are meant to give people an idea about how ILD's and layer thickness can work together in how a mattress interacts with different people. There is also some information here about "putting the layers together" (and more detailed information in some of the sub pages in the same section) that may also help give some understanding about how different types of layering and some of the other components can affect the feel and performance of a mattress.

In general though ... it's better and more effective to gather enough information that you have a starting point and so you you can ask better questions and make more sense of the answers than to try to design a mattress based on either personal or mattress specs or what I call "theory at a distance" which is more about "averages" and don't include the many variables that can apply them to specific people.

Good luck in your research and I hope you let us know how it goes ... or of course post any questions you may have along the way.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Re: Geneeral Questions - and Seeking Recommendation Foam vs Coil vs Latex 06 Jul 2012 00:42 #9

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Thanks Phoenix. You are truely kind in answering all these questions.

So I went to kenmichaels and their prices are pretty outrageous (over 4,000) unfortunately so I am going to have to look online. Thanks for providing me the links for alternative companies.

Can you help me to decipher a few things. They had two mattresses that I liked. Honestly I wasnt that impressed with either one, but either i could live with. I was more impressed with the icomfort at big box stores. However I am determined to find a latex matress for fear of offgassing issues with memory foam.


Runner Up.

Flat / Basic Wool quilting - 1.5 inches of Talalay latex (14 pound rating) on each side as comfort layer with a 6 inch layer of dunlop latex (28 pound latex core).

Winner
Jump and Tack Wool Quilting. 1.5 inches of Talalay latex (14 pound rating) on each side as comfort layer with a 6 inch layer of dunlop latex (28 pound latex core). This one also supposedly had an extra layer of quilting in between the comfort layer and the support layer. I couldn't get a straight answer out of the guy so will have to call to see if anyone else knows.

Anyways... What is the 14 and 28 pound rating mean? How can I use these numbers to find a similar mattress?

Also, does the 1.5 comfort layer seem slim to you? Shouldn't there just be a 3 inch comfort layer?

Thanks!!!

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Re: Geneeral Questions - and Seeking Recommendation Foam vs Coil vs Latex 06 Jul 2012 04:51 #10

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Hi terminaldawn,

These were both $4000 ???

That would be outrageous but also strange. When I talked with him about his mattresses ... he quoted me a rough price (queen mattress only) that was a LOT less than this. What was included in this price?

In any case ... the thickness of the comfort layer is relative to the overall design and there are many mattresses that are just a 6" core with quilting on each side (no separate comfort layer because the comfort "area" is the upper part of the support core and the quilting) and many others that would have a much thicker comfort layer on each side. All of this depends on the needs of the person and the design of the mattress. I know that they can use either a 28 or a 36 (firmer) support core and they can also customize the comfort layers both in terms of firmness and thickness.

14 ILD talalay is the softest they make and it is very soft. While this is not bad ... and it is fairly thin so the base layer will "take over" sooner as you compress into the mattress ... it is definitely on the very soft side.

28 ILD is also quite a soft support layer. Support layers usually range from about 28 ILD up to about the mid 40's (very firm). This may be because with such a thin and soft comfort layer that a softer support layer was used to "add" to the pressure relieving abilities of the comfort layer. Once someone has "gone through" the very soft foam on top and into the soft upper part of the support core ... then it would firm up as they went deeper and become more supportive. This is what I call on the site " progressive construction " which uses thinner comfort layers which are "helped" by softer support layers.

This one also supposedly had an extra layer of quilting in between the comfort layer and the support layer


If it was a "quilting" layer then this would have been part of the cover and been above the comfort layers. This is a fairly common construction. This would be similar to say the OMF latex supreme which uses a 6" talalay core with 1.5" of convoluted talalay on each side with 1" of polyfoam quilted into the cover.

If you weren't impressed with either one ... then I probably wouldn't use these specs as a model either. Did you have a chance to try any other options there either with firmer support layers of different comfort layers? While I would need to know your specs and sleeping positions and more precise information about what you experienced when you were testing the mattress in the specific terms of PPP (pressure relief, posture and alignment, and your preferences) to make any specific comments ... it seems to me that this wasn't "the one".

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum

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Last edit: by phoenix.
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