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Factory Direct Outlets or smaller sleep shops within a 50 mile radius of Philadelphia, PA 02 Dec 2012 23:41 #1

Specifically interested in either a latex or memory foam mattress or possibly a hybrid of both. BTW, could not find info about polyfoam, although I've seen the term used. Can you elaborate please? Thank you.

-Laura

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Re: Factory Direct Outlets or smaller sleep shops within a 50 mile radius of Philadelphia, PA 03 Dec 2012 02:14 #2

Hi howardsbabygirl,

The list of better options or possibilities in the Philadelphia area is in post #4 here .

when you have a specific idea about the general type of mattress or materials that you prefer ... it's usually a good idea to do some initial research on the phone to narrow down the list to those that have these mattresses on their floor and to get a sense of the level of knowledge and experience they each have and perhaps most important their ability and willingness to provide you with good information about the contents of the mattresses they sell.

BTW, could not find info about polyfoam, although I've seen the term used. Can you elaborate please? Thank you.


Polyfoam is the short form for polyurethane foam which is the most common type of foam you will see in a mattress. There are three types of foam (that go by many different names). One of these is memory foam, one is latex foam, and one is polyurethane foam (or polyfoam). All of them comein a wide range of better and worse quality and a range of different softness/firmness levels (except memory foam which is all inside a general range of "soft").

You can read more about polyfoam as it relates to the comfort layers here and as it relates to the support layers here .

Low quality/density polyfoam (and memory foam) used in the comfort layers of a mattress (t least in amounts more than about an inch or so) is the most common "weak link" in mattresses today and the biggest reason for early softening and the loss of comfort and support that is the main reason a mattress needs to be replaced (and which isn't covered by warranties).

Phoenix
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Re: Factory Direct Outlets or smaller sleep shops within a 50 mile radius of Philadelphia, PA 06 Dec 2012 20:27 #3

Hi Phoenix, thanks so much for your thoughtful reply. I visited two of your listings today, Room Service 360 in NE Philadelphia, and Croydon Mattress Factory in Bensalem and thought I should share my experience with you.

The saleswoman at RS 360 didn't have any of the specs onhand for the Magniflex mattresses she showed me, even though she had two catalog-like books she was looking through, that held descriptions of the various mattress models. I was not impressed at all with this, particularly because I went armed with suggested densities and compression factors (ILD's), which she didn't even appear to understand.

Allen/Alan at the Croydon Mattress Factory got a much better vote of confidence from me, listening patiently and responding with appropriate models to show me, after I explained exactly what thickness, construction, and densities/ILD's of mattress I wanted to look at. But he lost points with me when he insisted that any base polyfoam above 1.8 density is considered HR, not HD foam. Even repeated himself when I challenged him on the 2.4 support factor I had read about on this website. But then it did say that HR foam is the most commonly mislabeled, so I guess he was just another example of the misunderstanding of the term. All in all it was a fun and good experience, and he ended up telling me that I had been the most diligent and thorough mattress tester he had seen in quite awhile.

I am glad I didn't order the bed in a box pac bed original for $650 for the queen size. There is no indication on their website that the 2.4 density, 32 IFD base foam does actually have a 2.4 support factor, although they too label it HR, rather than HD, and I really liked the way my body felt cushioned by the 4LB density memory foam layer at Croydon, so I don't the pac bed's 3LB memory foam layer would have been enough for me.

So anyway, now I know that I'm shopping for a Queen size, 8-9" mattress, with a 3" 4LB (12-16 ILD) open cell memory foam layer, supported by a 5-6" 2.5 or better (32-36 ILD) HR foam layer. (38 felt AWFULLY FIRM to me today, even through a 4" memory foam layer, so I don't want to exceed that.) Preferably in a soft bamboo cover/case. Now to find one that's actually in my price range...! :-)

Thanks so much for all your help Phoenix.

-Laura

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Re: Factory Direct Outlets or smaller sleep shops within a 50 mile radius of Philadelphia, PA 07 Dec 2012 04:13 #4

Hi howardsbabygirl,

Thanks for sharing the results of your "Philadelphia" experiences with us.

It seems that you may know more about foam mattress materials ... at least from a technical point of view ... than the merchants you were visiting :)

Magniflex is an Italian manufacturer that has some unusual and in some cases high quality mattresses but of course they also carry a premium price. They use foam from GommaGomma which makes some very high density and quality polyurethane (watergel), memory foam (extrapur) and latex (latexcel) in both slow and fast recovery versions. Magniflex mattresses are also Oeko-Tex certified for VOC's and harmful chemicals which is unusual for a mattress manufacturer which uses polyurethane. It's always important to be able to verify the specs of each mattress you are considering from the retailer though to make sure it has no weak links and to make meaningful comparisons and informed choices and its a shame that they couldn't provide this information.

Allen/Alan at the Croydon Mattress Factory got a much better vote of confidence from me, listening patiently and responding with appropriate models to show me, after I explained exactly what thickness, construction, and densities/ILD's of mattress I wanted to look at. But he lost points with me when he insisted that any base polyfoam above 1.8 density is considered HR, not HD foam. Even repeated himself when I challenged him on the 2.4 support factor I had read about on this website. But then it did say that HR foam is the most commonly mislabeled, so I guess he was just another example of the misunderstanding of the term. All in all it was a fun and good experience, and he ended up telling me that I had been the most diligent and thorough mattress tester he had seen in quite awhile.


Croydon is also a little unusual as well but in a different way. As you can see in my comments here ... they are not as open (or knowledgeable) about some of the materials in their mattresses. Hopefully, as more people ask them they will decide to become a little more more transparent. Some of their mattresses use fairly thick layers of polyfoam in the quilting and I would want to know the quality of these layers because the top layers of foam (either memory foam or polyfoam) are usually the weak link of a mattress.

There are many manufacturers that are not as technically oriented but in some cases they have been making mattresses for so long that they have the experience to tell a good quality foam just from "feel" and its weight and in many cases they have been using certain foams for long enough that they know from the feedback of their customers over many years which foams are more durable and which aren't. Foams are changing all the time though so its still important to know the density of the layers even with an experienced manufacturer ... and it also allows more meaningful comparisons with other mattresses.

I think my overall view of Croydon is that they are better value than most mainstream mattresses but not in the same value range as many of the smaller or local manufacturers.

So anyway, now I know that I'm shopping for a Queen size, 8-9" mattress, with a 3" 4LB (12-16 ILD) open cell memory foam layer, supported by a 5-6" 2.5 or better (32-36 ILD) HR foam layer. (38 felt AWFULLY FIRM to me today, even through a 4" memory foam layer, so I don't want to exceed that.) Preferably in a soft bamboo cover/case. Now to find one that's actually in my price range...!


Well you certainly have it narrowed down :)

I would also keep in mind that there are very few manufacturers or retailers that will know the compression modulus of their foams and I would tend to go by density as a main indicator along with the feel of a mattress. If the mattress has 2 lb polyfoam in the base or better, it will generally be a good quality and durable material. HR polyfoam is much more unusual to find in the base layers of a mattress and it is also more expensive than HD foam. Even Tempurpedic uses 2.2 lb HD polyfoam in their support layers and their base layers will last for a very long time. The comfort layers are where foam quality is particularly important because these are the layers that wear and soften the fastest.

I think you are well on your way. The only other guidance I would give you ... because memory foam can be so varied ... is to use the 4 lb as a minimum guideline but if you come across some 5 lb memory foam that has the performance and feel you want (or gel memory foam for that matter) then I would not exclude these either. In the case of gel memory foam I would want to know the type of gel memory foam they are using (see post #2 here for more information on gel memory foams if you do decide to consider these). You may also want to consider a polyfoam base in the 2 lb density range and higher (so you don't exclude some good quality/value mattresses looking for true HR polyfoam which you may not be able to find.

It's also nice to know that if all else fails that there are some good online choices that will meet your guidelines and your local testing will be very valuable if you do decide to go in this direction.

I'm looking forward to more of your feedback.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Re: Factory Direct Outlets or smaller sleep shops within a 50 mile radius of Philadelphia, PA 07 Dec 2012 23:56 #5

Phoenix, the kind of memory foam mattress I'm interested in would have no quilting at all in the cover. The soft bamboo cover felt really nice, but I'll probably opt for a less expensive knit or cotton cover.

Glad you responded to my post in the other thread about foam by mail. I had no idea that a company might send out a product other than what you ordered. That would certainly be difficult to prove. BTW, how DO we discern that what we have ordered, in the way of density, etc in a memory foam item REALLY is the specs it's supposed to be? Especially with toppers? I mean, do they have some kind of stamp on them stating the specs? Or a tag attached somehow???

-Laura (puzzled now near Philadelphia)

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Re: Factory Direct Outlets or smaller sleep shops within a 50 mile radius of Philadelphia, PA 08 Dec 2012 00:15 #6

Hi howardsbabygirl,

BTW, how DO we discern that what we have ordered, in the way of density, etc in a memory foam item REALLY is the specs it's supposed to be? Especially with toppers? I mean, do they have some kind of stamp on them stating the specs? Or a tag attached somehow???


The best way is to only deal with known reliable suppliers that have a good reputation in the "real" world and are known for supplying what their customers order. Other than this ... you can calculate the volume of the topper (width x height x thickness) in inches and then divide by 1728 to convert the cubic inches to cubic feet. You then take the weight of the topper (and I would weigh it rather than going by the shipping weight which may not be accurate or may include the shipping materials) and divide by the cubic feet and you have the density.


This still may not give you a true indication of the quality because some products have a "fake" density because of fillers that are added to the foam but at least this can give you some idea.

Reliable suppliers are your best safety though.

Phoenix, the kind of memory foam mattress I'm interested in would have no quilting at all in the cover. The soft bamboo cover felt really nice, but I'll probably opt for a less expensive knit or cotton cover.


A good cotton cover may not be so "cheap" depending on the quality of the fabric. Most of the less expensive covers would be some kind of polyester or polyester blend. Knits (regardless of the type of fabric) will be more stretchy and conforming than a woven fabric. Most people prefer an unquilted knit cover with memory foam but there are also many who like the feeling of a quilting layer of fast response foam on top so that the surface is a little more resilient, movement friendly, and a little less "memory foam" like (more of a hybrid feel).

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Re: Factory Direct Outlets or smaller sleep shops within a 50 mile radius of Philadelphia, PA 08 Dec 2012 13:45 #7

www.naturessleep.com/ProductDetails/tabid/157/ProductID/9/Default.aspx

What do you think of this mattress by Nature's Sleep Phoenix? The 8" thickness include a 3" comfort layer, rather than the mere 2" found on their Tobago model. I should mention here that my husband and I are both lightweights. 115lbs and 160lbs. We both sleep on our sides and backs, so we want the extra comfort for our shoulders, but I definitely prefer a firm support layer for my back. (Before I was married I had a basic sleep number bed - no bells or whistles - that I used with a 3" mem foam topper bought from SAMs club - no idea what density, and I liked the 85 setting on the bed. When my fiancé-now husband tried it out, he preferred a setting between 50 and 60., so that's how different our firmness preferences are. However, I always used to sleep on my back on the sleep number - nobody to snuggle up to back then.) :-)

Anyway, I emailed Nature's Sleep requesting exact specs of both layers and am awaiting their reply. I have a coupon they sent me for half off, so I can get it for $650. I also inquired in the email about the possibility of visiting their factory/warehouse in Edison, NJ. I know their products originate in both the US and China, but since they have Certipur-US certification, that makes the materials good, right?

The only question I have left, is, given our weights and sleep preferences I told you about, is a 5" base layer enough support? Should we consider 6" instead for ideal alignment while on our sides? Would a 4" comfort layer in the correct density and ILD also be warranted to cushion our shoulders while side-lying?

I'll let you know as soon as I hear back with the specs. Thanks again for all your time and efforts to help.

-Laura

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Re: Factory Direct Outlets or smaller sleep shops within a 50 mile radius of Philadelphia, PA 08 Dec 2012 21:20 #8

Hi howardsbabygirl,

This would depend on knowing more about the details of the foam. Once they've provided this to you I'd be happy to share any thoughts I have.

since they have Certipur-US certification, that makes the materials good, right?


Not necessarily. CertiPur is only one of the criteria I use for memory foam mattresses (see post #10 here ). It tests for the relative "safety" of the foams. They mainly test for VOC's and certain harmful chemicals in the mattress although they do have some minimal testing for durability as well. In terms of quality though ... foam density is the most important spec ... not CertiPur certification.

The only question I have left, is, given our weights and sleep preferences I told you about, is a 5" base layer enough support? Should we consider 6" instead for ideal alignment while on our sides? Would a 4" comfort layer in the correct density and ILD also be warranted to cushion our shoulders while side-lying?


You can read about the main benefits of using thicker layers and thicker mattresses in post #10 here . An inch of difference though is too small to "quantify" in most cases and the other differences in the foam (such as firmness, density, or type) would probably make a bigger difference than an extra inch of thickness. With your lighter weights though ... the odds are greater that a thinner mattress would be OK and have less risk of feeling like it is getting too firm too quickly. Thinner layers are actually more supportive in the sense of holding up your heavier hips/pelvis but they also run the risk of getting firm too quickly and not being as adaptable or comfortable with different weights and sleeping positions.

A 4" comfort layer in the "correct" density or ILD (or type of memory foam) could also work well (or even a 2" layer of 4 lb memory foam over a 2" layer of 5 lb memory foam (such as in the Tempur Cloud Supreme) but the problem is there is no way to really know for sure what is "correct" for you without testing the mattress or sleeping on it if you make a purchase without testing. I would think you are probably in the range of 3-4" depending on the type of memory foam and base layers used. I would also keep in mind that 5 lb memory foam will usually tend to feel firmer than 4 lb memory foam so an extra inch may be desirable.

For example ... one manufacturer may make a mattress using 3" of 4 lb memory foam over a 5" layer of base foam with a certain cover that they would normally suggest for a certain group of people while another may make a very similar looking mattress that uses 3" a different 4 lb memory foam with a different type and firmness of base foam with a different cover and they may suggest this mattress for a different group of people (although with layering this similar the odds are better that at least the two groups would "overlap").

Because of all the many variables of different types of foam or materials, there is no formula that can be used to know for sure the mattress layering that would work best for you or to do anything more than make approximations. If you are considering an online purchase ... then the knowledge and experience of the online manufacturer that you are working with can be one of the most important parts of the purchase because they will have specific knowledge of the mattresses they make and the materials they use and have many customers with different body types and sleeping positions that they can use as a reference point so they will usually be able to use "averages" to help fit you to the model that has the best chance of matching your needs and preferences. When you are buying online ... the knowledge and experience of the manufacturer or merchant is one of the most important parts of a mattress purchase.

It also may be worth keeping in mind that because they are so commonly available ... many manufactures will have a fairly good idea of which of the Tempurpedic models will most closely approximate the mattresses they make. In these cases ... you can use the Tempurpedic line to get a sense of what some of their mattresses may feel like.

Some of the better online memory foam sources I know of are listed in post #12 here .

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Re: Factory Direct Outlets or smaller sleep shops within a 50 mile radius of Philadelphia, PA 10 Dec 2012 00:20 #9

Ok, I emailed the Mattress Factory on Cottman Ave in Philadelphia today to inquire re: the specs on the mattress at the link below. Still awaiting reply.

www.themattressfactoryinc.com/pd.105/therapedic-10-deluxe-memory-foam.aspx

I'm also still waiting to hear back from both the Nature's Sleep people I emailed yesterday, as well as the Zen Bedroom people I emailed today about the mattress at the link below. I know the memory foam layers is only 2", but for that meager amount of money I could simply buy an additional mem foam topper to add to it. Do you have an opinion Phoenix?

www.google.com/offers/ppo/SELF/UKY5ZDJXCQYVJIF3?loc=db0a8a36771f7cd9&utm_source=ppo&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=dailyppo&utm_content=secondary0&targeting=AJmZVme9Cn9HcbaAlSbaNZI35oZJHpzljcrL-CpstpmNkURzEWjwTEOsA_uE8rZdw6KDa0AgJbCgvOps4GhZ2qP8t4qOCYfCX9t9JdG22Z9WEVh8pVIVzCwvXA1EJnDe4OD1mhvL04ery13SH59Ae7hehE0BZJznvBo5GvB9fZ2MLzDkCM7kOVxzMLcPaF8DPVFk-t_8xwDCMBTElz7n32Z91RqoY_YSN6uDUSnhuEelrj9I42uXu3AWvTbvoniWLXcz5jO_ja82PuqTXKu-4uxaKYUWuPxSIDuuuj0rWc-4B3j49WzVlx-Kj48CLTzIa9qI7xV4Zj0I

The Zen Bedroom FAQ's states that all their memory foam products are fully manufactured in the US. From the processes that create the foams, to the construction of the mattress, mattress toppers and pillows. Can that be true? I could have sworn I read somewhere that their foam was poured in china...?

I also have plans to try out more beds, maybe even over at the aforementioned Mattress Factory, where they seem to have several different brands and models of memory foam, as well as possibly latex mattresses. They claim on their website that they put their lowest price on their price tags and that their staff are salaried consultants, not commission-earning salespeople. They also say if you visit a retailer and the price starts to get lower as you get near the door, run out of that store. So it should prove interesting to see what this experience brings. I will let you know Phoenix.

-Laura

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Re: Factory Direct Outlets or smaller sleep shops within a 50 mile radius of Philadelphia, PA 10 Dec 2012 00:27 #10

Oh, in that other post about the Zen Bed being offered by Google offers, I meant of course, if the specs end up being any good, it might be a value choice for me to simply add a mattress topper for additional comfort in the top layer.

-Laura

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