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Help me replicate my dream Aireloom mattress! 12 Nov 2011 01:16 #1

  • craezie
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I'm a newbie to this board, and also a newbie to eyes-open mattress shopping! We've been in a cycle of buying medium to high end S brand mattresses that never turn out to last, and are never buying an innerspring mattress again. So I have been going to all of the stores and trying all of the non-spring mattresses available. The only mattresses we had found mutually acceptable for comfort was the Sleep Number i5. Then today we went to Sit N Sleep just to try them all again, and we found the Aireloom Chiffon. It is like a dream come true, until we find out the $4400 price tag. So I am looking for an alternative that would be similar to this all latex mattress. According to them, it has 3" of soft Talalay latex comfort on top, 3" medium density Talalay latex in the middle, and 6" of high density some other type of foam for the core. In typical mattress store fashion, I have no idea what the ILD ratings are for the foam or anything else. The bamboo cover is also really nice.

I really, really, REALLY want a mattress like this, but I also want my kids to be able to eat for the next 2 months. Our original budget was $2500 for a king mattress and low profile foundation. Any ideas?

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Re: Help me replicate my dream Aireloom mattress! 12 Nov 2011 02:45 #2

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Hi Craezie,

The first thing I would suggest ... just to help you avoid most of the traps and pitfalls of mattress shopping and help "point you" in a good direction ... is to read this and the links that it connects to.

While the Airloom Chiffon is certainly a very nice mattress ... almost any local independent manufacturer that offers a variety of latex will make a similar mattress at about 2/3 the cost or less. The 6" layer according to the description at Sit n Sleep is Dunlop latex (which is a different type of latex which is denser and tends to be firmer than Talalay). In addition to this ... unless you are very heavy (over about 250 - 300 lbs) you will likely do just as well on 8-9" of latex as you will on 12". While it may not duplicate "exactly" the construction of the Chiffon, it can certainly have just as good pressure relief, support, and overall comfort, durability, and quality ... including a high quality natural quilted ticking ... or perhaps even better.

The first thing I would do is visit any good local factory direct manufacturers that are near you that make latex mattresses. If you let me know the city you live in I'd be happy to take a look and see if I know of any that are near you.

If there are no local manufacturers within reasonable driving distance that produce a similar mattress with much better value ... then I would order a similar mattress from an online manufacturer who makes latex mattresses and can make suggestions as to the construction and layering (you can normally choose your own layers) that would come very close to what you are looking for. Several of these are members of this site.

All in all, your budget is good enough to purchase an all latex mattress with at least the same or higher quality and a similar feel and including a foundation.

Just as a reference (in case there are no high value manufacturers near you that make latex mattresses) ... a very similar mattress with 12" of latex (which again you are not likely to need) and where you can choose the type of latex and the firmness of each layer is here . Sometimes it's just a matter of avoiding the chain stores and other "mass market" outlets and looking at local or independent manufacturers :)

Phoenix

PS: I should mention too that its almost always the cheap soft polyfoam above the innersprings that are the weak link in mattresses rather than the innersprings themselves which will almost always outlast by several times the foam that is above them. With latex, which is the longest lasting of all the foams, durability is not an issue.
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Re: Help me replicate my dream Aireloom mattress! 12 Nov 2011 03:16 #3

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THANK YOU. The Sleep EZ beds look very good, and so affordable for an all latex bed -- especially since they include delivery, which most local places are charging extra for. I am not sure which densities or foam type I would want to get close to the bed we tried -- I am guessing medium/ firm/ xfirm/ xfirm might be close. I also did a google based on your suggestion for latex custom mattresses in my area, and found www.foamsweetfoam.com which is 5 minutes from my house in Lake Forest, CA. Are you familiar with the manufacturer? It looks like their mattresses are similar to Sleep EZ except substantially more expensive (plus the 8% sales tax on top of that). I do like to support local businesses when competitive, though.

I think that we will want to stick with a 12" mattress, as my husband is a large man over 250 pounds, and I am not nearly as heavy as him but still tend toward plump.

One more thing I found is a "Plushnumber" bed from plushbeds.com. I couldn't find any info for a bed like that on here. Are you familiar with that bed? Since we liked the feel of Sleep Number i5 (air bed with 2" "synthetic latex" comfort layer) second best to the talalay latex, we thought that might work for us. It seems like it is in between, since it is an air bed with a talalay latex topper. The price is very affordable compared to the other beds we are looking at (2000 all inclusive).

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Re: Help me replicate my dream Aireloom mattress! 12 Nov 2011 17:25 #4

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Hi Craezie,

Yes I am familiar with Foam Sweet Foam and have talked with them several times. I consider them to be "good people", very knowledgeable about latex, and that offer a quality product at a good price. They make mattresses that are very similar to SleepEz in terms of layering and value in most of their configurations but their 4 layer model is a few hundred more ($2699 in King) even though this is still good value compared to most alternatives. I would certainly recommend a visit there as it would give you a chance to try latex layering to see what you prefer and which comes closest to the layering that works best for you.

Another manufacturer that is a little further away but is also a member of this site and offers very high quality and value is www.flexuscomfort.com/mattress.php . They would be well worth a phone call to talk about what they have that may be suitable and/or close to your preference and worth a visit if they have a 12" model on the floor that you could test. I would also consider testing various combinations of a 9" latex mattress here ... especially with a zoned Dunlop latex support core as you may well be surprised at how well this works for you because of the higher sag factor of Dunlop and its more supportive nature (or not of course :)).

A quick search on "Los Angeles" (without the quotes) will bring up a couple of lists of manufacturers in the general LA area with a few comments about each however to save a lot of time on researching, calling them, and travel, I would tend to focus on Flexus, Foam Sweet Foam, and online options unless any of the others catches your eye and you want to make a few phone calls and ask a few questions just for the same of comparison.

While there are mentions of plushbeds on the forum ... it was in reference to their latex mattresses rather than their airbeds. I would tend to stay away from airbeds completely ... especially with your weight ... and before you make a decision to go in this direction it may be worth reading this . Even though they may be "comfortable" in a store environment ... they are IMO among the worst possible choices for a mattress support core because air is an "all or nothing" material with no progressive support. The only time I would consider them is for someone who slept in only one position (which is very rare) and even then they are not great value and other choices in a support core will do a far better job. The $2000 "all inclusive price" includes a mattress for $1600 with only 2" of latex and another 2" of polyfoam (which is likely what their "pressure relieving comfort material" is and I would avoid completely) and a support core which is far inferior, less durable, and less supportive of the natural alignment of your spine over the course of a night than an appropriate 6" latex core. You would be far better off getting a 8-9" "all latex" mattress which would be far more suitable ... especially with a heavier weight ... than an "air bladder with foam" mattress ... especially if it included polyfoam in the comfort layers IMO.

Phoenix
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Re: Help me replicate my dream Aireloom mattress! 23 Nov 2011 16:34 #5

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Finally returning to mattress shopping -- I had been putting it off due to a round of colds going through the family. However, as this is to be our Christmas present, I need to get it going!

We went to Foam Sweet Foam to try the mattresses. I am agonizing more than ever over the decision. We are in 100% agreement that latex is the way to go, but none of the mattresses there (and they have at least 20 configurations to try) felt quite "right". The best in house configuration was the soft-med-firm-xfirm natural talalay, followed by the med-firm-firm-xfirm natural talalay. We liked these best because of their plush nature. HOWEVER, we both thought on these that there was something missing in terms of support. While they offered great pressure relief, somehow I think that after sleeping I might get a backache from a little too much sag. We LOVED the way the organic dulop mattress felt in that regard--they were so nice and supportive. However, even the soft-med-firm was too firm in the comfort layers. I think this issue is so important to us because while we are heavy, my husband is "triange" shaped with very broad shoulders and I am hourglass shaped so we both get pressure points when side sleeping. We also tried their cheapest blended model, and neither of use liked those at all--they just felt "off", offering neither the comfort nor the support we wanted.

So we are debating between FSF and ordering through Sleep EZ. The natural talalay is similar in price at both and the natural Dunlop is less at Sleep EZ (being that it is their cheapest yet FSF's most expensive). I think that our ideal might actually be a combination of both types, more similar to the original Aireloom bed. We tried that bed again and it still seems divine. IF I can find a company that offers a mix, would a bed with 2-3" soft talalay, followed by 3" medium talalay or dunlop, and a firm or xfirm dunlop core work out? Can you see any pitfalls to this arrangement? Finally, where would we get a mattress like that? We are sticking with the 12" after trying them out--it is more comfortable, and we figured out that if we moved our platform up we can get away with just the 12" mattress and no low profile foundation like we have now. The 9" would be too thin.

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Re: Help me replicate my dream Aireloom mattress! 23 Nov 2011 20:09 #6

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Hi craezie,

You may be surprised to learn this but there is only 9" of latex in the Aireloom you are looking at and this would account for much of the "difference" you are feeling compared to 12" of latex.

I have to give the person at Sit n Sleep credit first of all for taking the time to research the mattress. He looked at his spec sheet and the law tag (at my request) to find out the layering and even phoned the Aireloom rep to find out the ILD's but the rep was not available for a few days.

In any case ... here is the layering.

There is about an inch or so (possibly slightly less) of polyfoam in the quilting on the very top. This is within the maximum I normally consider acceptable in a latex mattress. While I would prefer to have wool in the quilting layer if a firmer layer is on top of the latex ... this is OK since the quilting needs to have something in it to quilt to.

Underneath this is 3" of Talalay latex. While he didn't know the exact ILD ... it would likely be quite soft somewhere between 19 and 24 would be my guess although it could be outside of this range.

Under this is another 3" of Talalay latex which is probably firmer ... perhaps in the range of 28 - 32.

Under this is 3" of Dunlop which would be the firmest layer of all.

Finally under this is 1" or so of very firm "base foam" which is an ultra firm layer of polyfoam often used on the bottom of a mattress for stability and to make it easier to handle the mattress. This makes little difference in the feel or performance of the mattress. This would conform to the law tag which shows 88% latex and the remaining 12% is polyfoam (a little on top and a little underneath).

If you are testing thicker mattresses (like the 12" you tested) then what happens is that the pressure is spread out over thicker layers and you will sink in more deeply into the mattress as a whole while you will also sink in slightly less deeply into the upper layer of the mattress. This results in a feeling that is slightly less comfortable in terms of pressure relief (the top part doesn't compress quite as much) but also has a feeling that it is too soft that comes from sinking "down" deeper into the mattress as a whole. This sinking "down" feeling comes from the support layers which as you mentioned feel too soft. This has more to do with having 12" of latex instead of 9" of latex which completely changes the feel of the mattress.

The closest layering pattern at foam sweet foam would be 9" of latex with softer on top and then increasing as you go down. This would be something like soft medium firm, or medium firm xfirm, or even soft firm xfirm. The wool on the top of this in the quilting would be very roughly equivalent to the 1" of quilting foam in the Aireloom quilting. The bloc foam on the bottom of the Aireloom wouldn't really make much difference and can be ignored.

In general ... 9" of latex is all that most people need and actually has a better feel for most people. It allows the upper layers to be more pressure relieving while the lower layers are more supportive. It would be rare in most types of layering schemes that more than this was necessary unless there was a specific reason for it such as certain types of zoning or very heavy weight and then the layering should take this into account with a much firmer layering underneath the comfort layer.

The reason that the foam sweet foam Dunlop is more expensive is because it is actually organic (certified) rather than just 100% natural. While the actual material is not "better" between the two ... the process that is involved in certifying the latex is long and the certification itself and what is necessary to achieve it results in greater cost ... even if the actual material and "purity" is exactly the same.

So I strongly suspect that 9" of latex ... with perhaps a "side to side" split (each of you may do best with different layering) with either all Talalay (with 3" layers each with increasing firmness levels to take into account the need for support for both of you) or with a Dunlop support core (either two 3" layers of Dunlop or a single 6" core would be fine here) under a Talalay comfort layer and then quilted with wool will be much closer to the feeling of the Airloom than almost any layering scheme which uses 12" of latex. Of course you could also use the exact same layering (in ILD's which feel similar) which is 3" talalay over 3" talalay over 3" of Dunlop but this would not really be necessary and the ILD's would play an important role here in how closely the "feel" matched the Aireloom.

You could also choose a non quilted cover with 9" of latex and then use a wool mattress pad instead of having wool in the mattress itself.

So I would highly recommend 9" of latex in all with appropriate layering patterns for your testing and then use a higher foundation to get the height you want.

I would also consider a call to Flexus to see what they have in this type of layering (soft Talalay over a thicker firmer layer of Dunlop totalling 9" of latex and possibly zoning in the support layer to help keep the hips up a little bit).

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Re: Help me replicate my dream Aireloom mattress! 28 Nov 2011 20:15 #7

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THANK YOU. You have really gone above and beyond, especially in getting up the information on Aireloom for us. While I would have liked to visit Flexus, but it is quite a drive through some gnarly traffic to get there, and I have 3 little ones to care for! So I have taken your advice, and just ordered the 3 layer 10,000 series mattress from Sleep EZ. They were able to do a mix with the talalay on top and dunlop core. I am really hoping that we will in fact be sleeping easy in a week or so! And we stayed on budget!!!

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Re: Help me replicate my dream Aireloom mattress! 29 Nov 2011 01:15 #8

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Hi Craezie,

Thanks for the kind words and congratulations on your new mattress :)

I hope you have the chance to give us a report when you've had the chance to sleep on it a few nights.

Phoennix
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