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Narrowing Latex mattress online choices 08 Jun 2012 02:14 #1

  • sleepwalken
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Hello all, I've been researching and reading this forum and others all over the internet about latex mattresses and online choices. Despite the wealth of information, I still feel there is a lot I do not know and still cannot decide on width and number of layers/ILDs, etc. I was hoping that I could get some help on deciding where I should purchase my latex mattress and what sort of layers I should get (6" core/2" topper) or (3"/3"/2") or even go more than 8" (who knows?). Should I get dunlop core/talalay top (leaning towards) or all talalay mattress? I want a firm mattress, so atleast 40 ILD (too firm?) for my base.

This mattress is intended to be a guest bed, but is sort of a run test on whether I should later get one myself when my current mattress fails (most likely), so instead of being very specific to my needs (although it is considered), I need a bed that will generally be comfortable for a wide range of guests, and temporarily will be slept on by my brother (5'8/165-170lbs). As far as I'm aware, most people I know are side sleepers, so I know a soft topper of atleast 3" is ideal, but I've found some options of 6" inch core/2" topper that I'm considering.

So far, internet options include:
flobeds (a bit expensive), sleepez (leaning towards), mattress.net (haven't seen many reviews on this), and mygreenmattress.net (reviews exist?). Any other reputable online sources for latex mattresses (besides the one I found here posted by Phoenix: post 21 that have popped up since?

In addition, I intend to build my own bed frame/foundation using pine wood. I seem to recall a certain material not conducive for latex mattresses regarding slats, but fail to remember what it was. Maybe needed to be prepped or something (sorry, totally blanking right now).

Thank you for anyone who replies. This forum is truly a great resource for mattresses. I've spent hours just combing through it.

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Re: Narrowing Latex mattress online choices 08 Jun 2012 03:54 #2

  • phoenix
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Hi sleepwalken,

While I suspect you may have already seen them ... there are some guidelines here about weight/height/body shape and some guidelines here on different sleeping positions that can help with "averages" in terms of layering. There is also some information here (in the overview and the more detailed pages that are connected to it) about how putting different layers together can affect the feel and performance of a mattress. As you can see there is more than just layer ILD and thickness because every layer of a mattress will affect the layers above and below it. For example ... a 3" comfort layer of a certain ILD with a firm support layer will be "somewhat" similar to a 2" comfort layer that uses the same ILD with a softer support layer. While they will not be the same and there are many other factors that give a mattress its pressure relieving and support qualities besides just the foam that is used ... the upper part of the support layer will "help" the pressure relief more with comfort layers that are thinner. Layer thickness, ILD, ticking/quilting, the type of latex and other variables will all affect how a mattress feels and performs. Even more important there are an almost infinite amount of smaller differences in body shape and sleeping positions that can affect how different people with similar heights and weights can interact differently with a mattress. While most people fall into an "average" range and analyzing different "specs" down to the small degrees will usually do more to confuse than help ... there are also many who are outside of any "average".

While "theory at a distance" can be helpful as a good starting point ... personal testing at local outlets that use known materials and the advice and guidance of a knowledgeable manufacturer or outlet that has worked with many customers and has feedback about the specific materials and combinations that they use are much more accurate than general guidelines that don't take into account every component and material difference in a mattress. Some seemingly small differences can sometimes make a bigger difference than many people suspect.

Since you are more looking for averages though ... it would probably be most helpful to do some phone research and ask the outlets that you are considering which of their specific mattresses they believe would best suit your purposes (suitable for a range of guests you may have). Each may suggest something slightly different based on the specifics of the mattresses they make but you will certainly get an idea of the general range you would be looking at (and as you mention it would likely be in the 6" + 2" or in the 6" + 3" range for a "typical" latex mattress).

If you do a search on the forum you will see some feedback about most of the manufacturers that are listed as online sources in the post you mentioned and they make a wide range of mattresses that have different combinations of features, layer exchanges, materials, and prices. While there are dozens or probably closer to hundreds of online outlets and some that offer good quality and value beside those that are listed ... I have had good conversations with all of these and I believe they are among the "best of the best" (which is why I invited them to become members here). Including many more possibilities would likely lead to diminishing returns in terms of research time IMO.

In addition, I intend to build my own bed frame/foundation using pine wood. I seem to recall a certain material not conducive for latex mattresses regarding slats, but fail to remember what it was. Maybe needed to be prepped or something (sorry, totally blanking right now).


I'm not sure what you might be referring to but I think the idea of building your own foundation is a great idea. I would make sure that the slats are no more than about 3" apart and would make them closer yet If I was building my own (although I'm certainly no carpenter or expert on wood materials). I would also tend towards good quality hardwood (or "strong wood") for the slats rather than materials that are glued or laminated and make sure that there was good center support down to the floor to prevent any sagging over time. The goal is to make sure that there is enough surface area to provide good support for the mattress but also to make sure that it has airflow. I would also tend towards kiln dried lumber to prevent warping over time and would also use a good quality material on top to help protect the mattress above it. Even stronger would be something like this which has two center supports.

If you meant something other than this ... just post it when you remember :)

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Re: Narrowing Latex mattress online choices 08 Jun 2012 12:39 #3

  • sleepwalken
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Thank you for the wonderful advice Phoenix! As you said, I'm basing much of my decision on theory, rather than actual experience and I realize the risk I'm taking regarding that *sigh*. I 've tried a few latex mattresses locally and I loved the feel, but at the time, wasn't all aware of ILDS, talalay/dunlop, etc (and too lazy to make the trek again). I have an idea of what'll work and I'm hoping for the best.

I'm going to make calls to sleepez and mattress.net today. I think I remember why mygreenmattress.net was crossed out earlier (but put back in because of price), no zipcovers! I keep on forgetting all these little things. :oops:

I really appreciate the info about the kiln-dried lumber. Great! I don't think that's what I remember reading, but whatever! I can just go with that. What do you mean re: material to protect the mattress? Are you referring to the type of wood or some other material to drape it over the slats? I know plywood is not recommended. I'm no expert, so any advice regarding woods is always welcome. I'm actually thinking of maybe using these foundations (with the extra support beams) as a template to incorporate into a bed-frame. Now I've just got to think of how to make it easy to disassemble should I need to move.

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Re: Narrowing Latex mattress online choices 08 Jun 2012 17:58 #4

  • phoenix
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Hi sleepwalken,

If you decide to go in the direction of making your own foundation ... I'd love to see the final outcome and any plans that might help someone else go in the same direction.

There are some good value foundations available but it would be a lot more fun to do it yourself for those that have the skills and desire.

The material I was mentioning is just a fabric cover over the foundation to protect the mattress from the wood or any sharp edges. It's not completely necessary if the wood is dry and wouldn't splinter or otherwise harm the mattress but it would be a finishing touch on the project and would add "the look" that can be the difference between functional and beautiful :).

Phoenix
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Re: Narrowing Latex mattress online choices 09 Jun 2012 11:51 #5

  • sleepwalken
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Well, I decided on sleepez, should come in by next week! I got s/m/f, just the standard recommendation, and hopefully it'll do. Everyone's under well 200 lbs, so he suggested that going up to x-firm would be too firm (although I personally was hoping for m/f/x-firm, I think s/m/f is good to start with and then exchange if needed). Mattresses.net currently has a great deal on mattress toppers, will probably get the queen sized for myself.

I will definitely post pictures/plans of my bed once I've finished with it. I've got a week to do it, so I need to hurry. I'm still contemplating whether I should nail down slats directly on to my bed-frame or make it removable (I've seen examples with just glued studs placed apart to keep slats in place, which seem pretty convenient).

Although the slats are not removable, this slatted bed frame is close to what I want. Anyone interested in DIY sturdy bed frames should definitely check it out. Full instructable here :

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Last edit: by sleepwalken.

Re: Narrowing Latex mattress online choices 09 Jun 2012 17:05 #6

  • phoenix
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Hi sleepwalken,

Congratulations on your new mattress :).

I think you made a great choice and with latex ... the "averages" say that the firmness levels you chose would work out the best. Latex has a high compression modulus and resilience and can be both softer and more supportive at the same time than other materials. Unless you like firmer mattresses ... 28 ILD would be on the firm side for most people that were under 200 lbs.

One of the options you could use for the slats would be attaching them with strips of velcro that could keep them in place but would also be removable. This would add to the construction time and may not be as strong as nails or screws but at least you could take it apart again. The frame you linked to looks vey strong and sturdy and would certainly be suitable fora latex mattress. I'd be interested as well what the cost of materials ends up being. You may be inspiring a whole round of DIY foundations :)

There are some slatted platform beds here and here and here and here (Canadian) for reference.

Thanks again for all your feedback and comments.

Phoenix
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