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First post and some info I've found, also wondering about Suppliers. 10 Apr 2013 21:01 #1

Hello Phoenix and everyone.

You have a wonderful source of information here, thanks so much for making this available!
A year ago I purchased what I thought was a good mattress from www.foammattressdiscounts.com which probably explains very well why I’m here. After my back began to throb with hellish knife pain, I went searching, found your discussion board, and read through your information. I then emailed Foam Mattress Discounts and got the following info to go with what you have already said about their “5Lb” mattresses being something like a combination of 1.7lb support foam and 3.3lb memory foam that they deviously call 5lb foam:
The ild of the memory is ten pounds and the ild of the support foam is thirty four pounds, hope this helps you and thank you for you business.

So I paid $340.00 for the following full size mattress:

2x 3.5” layers of 1.7lb 34 ILD poly foam
1x 3” layer of 3.3lb 10 ILD viscoelastic foam
Unknown mattress pad/bag with zipper that will hold 10” of material in full size.

FBM sells the same thing for just under $200.00 shipped and states that it’s good for about a year. At least I got a mattress bag out of the deal…??

I’m a bit miffed, but life goes on. Nothing about it is 5lbs and I could swear their website used to say it was “5.3lb foam” last year when I first ordered. I see the 5.3lb spec out there all over the place and assumed that it was all the same foam. Wrong, and they have changed their website and here it is:

www.foammattressdiscounts.com/products/Full-Size-5lb-Density-10-Inch-Memory-Foam-Mattress.html

Obviously folks, DON’T BUY THIS. But you knew that.

Now that I ride the lightening every night, I’m looking for a solution PDQ. The problems started when it warmed up here and seem to get better with the A/C cranked so I’m drilling holes in my bed frame because I reinforced it to be solid and completely enclosed the mattress on all sides. If this doesn’t work (and I have no reason to believe that it will) then I’ll be shopping again.

So after researching this I am seeing detailed specs but with radical price differences such as:

FOAM ONLINE
www.foamonline.com/types.php?cartID=23b128b1cde959796d0e6dcefa9d7eff
These guys better be awesome because they are double the price of the other two. Are they the only real deal for the stack-it-yourself foam mattress customer? How can the other guys be selling the same stuff for half the price? What about their “High Resilience Foam” with a colossal 2.5 density and 3lb weight? It has 50% resilience, which I believe is the highest I’ve seen so far. Their memory foam seems inferior, but what if those are real industry numbers and I’ve been duped again. Are these guys hardcore or just not in it to win?

FOAM BY MAIL
www.foambymail.com/lux-hq-foam-sheet.html
I’ve read scary things about these guys on here, but everyone on the other mattress board is totally in love with them. The above link is the spec sheet on their “LUX-HQ” foam. I’m thinking that “LUX” is some sort of brand name and wondering why they don’t list the weight of the foam just like they list density and other specs. What does that indicate? Why are they so much cheaper than Foamonline? This can’t be the same stuff that Foamonline calls Evlon can it? Seems like it either is and the numbers look slightly different due to different rating systems, tests, or variances in product (I keep seeing mention of ranges of ILD, like +- 2 over the whole batch) or it is one of many very close versions of the same spec foam but just different enough to be its own formula/process/product. Does FBM lie about their product or deceptively ship the wrong product? If they were using the same formula or supplier for “Lux” as FoamOnLine is, why is the elongation measurement a full 25% less? If not, why make two foams that are otherwise so close in spec? Not that I’m into stretching my mattresses, but the resilience number on all of these materials is less than your ideal 60%+ anyway, and all of the other numbers line up.

FOAM FOR YOU
foamforyou.com/Foam_Specs.htm#Open Cell Foam Specs
These guys have what appears to be the same foam as FBM but with another variety called “Tough Luxury” that’s obviously made for Rhinoceros beds. FoamForYou does not list weights either but does list all other specs with prices in line with FBM. Unfortunately you must pay shipping, the website is convoluted and hard to navigate, and prices for finished mattresses are higher than FBM despite using what appears to be the same stuff. The Latex is cheap here, but I’m scared of all cheap latex after reading info on your site.

My plan for all of this is to use the Custom Sleep Design site to figure out something close to what I need and then buy in layers so that I can test and make a dog bed out of what I don’t use. When I am satisfied I’ll glue everything together and be done for a long time. I’m not really into Latex because it seems much more expensive and if the suppliers are to be believed, the 2.8lb density foams are good for like 12-15 years, which is great because I’m probably gonna want to make a new one by then anyway. If anyone knows of any other distributors that facilitate the DIY/test and tune style that I’m after, by all means let me know. I don’t wanna have to do this again in a year. 

I really can’t understand why foam mattresses aren’t a dime a dozen. You pay less for hand finished guitars and it’s not like any of this is limited production or takes two weeks to cure. I’ve never seen an industry so ruled by hidden information, half-truths, and outright lies. I would be completely lost if it weren’t for this forum and its information.

THANKS SO MUCH!

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First post and some info I've found, also wondering about Suppliers. 11 Apr 2013 01:27 #2

Hi goneagain,

The first thing I should mention is that I don't recommend being your own mattress designer unless the challenge and experience you will gain is worth the risk you are taking (financially and in terms of the quality of your sleep) and you are prepared for the learning curve and frustration that can be involved in knowing how to put your mattress together without "backup" or guidance. I believe there are much better and less risky ways to purchase a mattress where you can use the knowledge and experience of people who do this every day to your benefit. You can read more about this in post #15 here .

The polyfoam sources that I've listed are sources meant to give the members here some good choices of good quality materials and access to people who can help educate you about different types and quality of foam but you will need to make the same value comparisons as you would if you are buying any other types of material or a mattress using the guidelines on the site about how to recognize better quality and value according to your own personal value equation . I would definitely not make the assumption that price is indicative of quality or value in the world of mattresses or materials.

As you can read in post #2 here and in post #2 here ... I would not personally deal with Foam By Mail and I don't trust that what they describe is what they sell. Each member though is of course free to make up their own minds about who they trust and who they prefer to deal with. My goal is to provide the information so members can make better and more informed choices.

My plan for all of this is to use the Custom Sleep Design site to figure out something close to what I need and then buy in layers so that I can test and make a dog bed out of what I don’t use.


I think this would be a mistake. Latex ILD's don't match polyfoam ILD's and their mattresses are a different design completely than any mattress that uses solid layers and can't really be "translated" into other designs.

I personally would follow the steps I listed in post #1 here to find the best possible quality and value mattress ... and most importantly one that will match your personal needs and preferences ... unless you can sleep on anything regardless of how it is layered. IMO ... theory without extensive personal experience to translate it into something meaningful is just not a great way to go unless it is for the challenge or learning experience alone regardless of the outcome or the costs involved in any mistakes you make along the way.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

First post and some info I've found, also wondering about Suppliers. 11 Apr 2013 12:28 #3

Well I lost my first response.

Thanks for the response Phoenix. I just assumed that you could configure the CSD tool for either poly foam or latex. I have no interest in latex, and I'm thinking I can't really afford to do this the way you recommend right now.

Again thanks, but I just can't trust anyone in this business until I've acquired a chunk of their material and subjected it to a battery of industry standard tests to verify what I am buying.

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Last edit: by goneagain.

First post and some info I've found, also wondering about Suppliers. 11 Apr 2013 17:31 #4

Hi goneagain,

Again thanks, but I just can't trust anyone in this business until I've acquired a chunk of their material and subjected it to a battery of industry standard tests to verify what I am buying.


It would seem to me that you would need to do the same thing with any layers you are buying whether they are part of a component mattress you are putting together or components or layers that you purchase individually and put together yourself. It would be very costly to say the least to send each layer you purchase to a lab for "industry standard tests". All of this would be in addition to the learning curve and personal testing and experience involved to learn how different materials and components interact together and with different body types, sleeping styles, preferences, and perceptions (and most importantly yours). I'm not even sure what tests you are referring to because there are hundreds of testing protocols that can be used to test the various properties or contents of any material.

Do you really plan to send every layer you buy to a lab?

I just can't help but think this is not what you are meaning. It would seem like a huge expense just to build a mattress that will only cost a fraction of the amount you would be spending on testing the materials.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

First post and some info I've found, also wondering about Suppliers. 11 Apr 2013 19:14 #5

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foamonline is tricky - you order one ILD and they send you another then tell you it's your own fault. plus they're slow - they will wait a week after you place the order to even cut the foam, let alone ship it.

foamforyou - i have their 50 ILD luxury foam - it's pretty nice, especially for the money. they have a sister site foamexpress1 that has mattress-sized foam instead of stupid sheet sizes. the prices on foamexpress1 are incredible - but i haven't used that site yet - although it is the same company as foamforyou which i have used.

if you need a 2" or 3" latex sheet you can get it from Brooklyn Bedding for a very good price and fast shipping ( like next day ) - just tell them you don't need the topper cover and they will knock $30 off the price.

if anybody knows a good place ( NOT FOAMONLINE ) to get high resilience foam i will be very interested.

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First post and some info I've found, also wondering about Suppliers. 11 Apr 2013 19:25 #6

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Again thanks, but I just can't trust anyone in this business until I've acquired a chunk of their material and subjected it to a battery of industry standard tests to verify what I am buying.


by all means ask for samples - you don't need to test them - you can feel the quality pretty easily.

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First post and some info I've found, also wondering about Suppliers. 11 Apr 2013 22:20 #7

Hi g1981c,

by all means ask for samples - you don't need to test them - you can feel the quality pretty easily.


Unfortunately ... many of your posts on the forum are based on some incorrect assumptions and partial truths and are promoting "urban myths" more than they are promoting fact. This is not helpful and contributes more to the problems in the industry than it does to their solution. It also leads to me taking a lot of time to post after you to correct your faulty assumptions so that others don't come to believe the same "urban myths". There are already enough sites on the internet that do this where misleading statements or incorrect assumptions or opinions are repeated often enough that they become believable to those who don't know the difference or the facts behind them.

Once again ... as you would know if you had read many of the links I have posted in my replies to you ... you can't "feel" quality by most definitions and even the definition of quality needs to be defined before you make these types of statements.

Quality as defined by density is the single biggest factor in the durability of a foam and while you can weigh the foam to find it's quality (as defined by density) ... what you feel is the result of a combination of chemicals that can formulate many different "qualities" (meaning properties) into any density of foam.

While it is often true that a mattress or foam manufacturer will have a good sense of the quality of a material based on years of experience of working with different types of foam ... very few consumers would have this kind of context or reference point to be able to determine quality (by most definitions) based on "feel" alone.

I welcome your feedback and questions and experiences on the forum but it's really not helpful to promote these types of "myths" when you yourself don't yet appear have the knowledge or experience to know the truth behind them.

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.
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First post and some info I've found, also wondering about Suppliers. 22 Apr 2013 11:56 #8

I just received and started using a nice full sized 3" sheet of Lux-HQ from FBM. Got it in five days, weighed almost 19 lbs, and I calculated the density to 2.62lbs/ft3. If the compression modulus is anywhere near the stated 1.9, then we should be good to go for a few years. I only spent $83, so I'm pretty cool with that. I don't see a problem with them listing "support factor" or compression modulus at 1.90 for all of their foams because they probably use close to the same formula for all of their foams. They may change the density by varying the amount of fibrous material(??) in their pores and ILD in some way, again, not a chemical engineer here, but for the money if they are anywhere near close, I think it will do fine. I'm not worried about the combustion properties of material because I don't smoke in bed, and I'm not in the practice of overloading my electrical circuits or allowing high resistance connections. There are smoke detectors in every room of our house (we rent, the land owner is nuts) so if my mattress catches on fire, I probably set it on fire or I'm already out of the house. If I wanted to test the ILD or compression modulus, I'd just get a 25x25x4" chunk (or whatever the ASTM D 3574 requires), obtain a steal plate that is the correct size (I can't remember, but they can be obtained for cheap) and then put weights on it. After I got weight correct with the plate and weights on top I'd measure the amount of deflection with a ruler. I'm not sure where I'd get a round ball that could do the bounce test, but none of this really matters because if I really cared, I'd spend more money on materials. This leads me to my next question.

If I was going to drop a grand on a real mattress…

What do you think of Carpenter's Qualux product? I have seen this Qualux available online and priced per board foot. I believe it works out to be about $100 per inch at full size dimensions, so king and queen would be more. I'm thinking that I could build a king sized mattress in layers of Qualux with a Sensus memory foam topper for about $1000. I'm thinking it would last a very long time. In the future if FXI or Bayer introduces a higher density memory foam (like Venus) again, I could upgrade this mattress later. I'd pack it all into a wool cover and might build two different setups using two twin sets with the foam "bridge" in between for the ultimate in flexibility. I don't see the point in gluing the layers of foam together and it really frustrates me that companies do this. If it moves, I'll just take the cover off and fix it. Really not a big deal but cutting them to separate takes a couple of hours and can really mess the foam up if you aren't careful.
Just what are the limits of foam as a bedding material? Why go with Qualux if I can do Latex? Isn't it more resilient than any synth poly? Cleaner too, correct? Less allergies? More natural and better for the environment? If I paid $1000 for Qualux, I'd be mad if I could have a better material like latex (even if it's bouncy and I have to get used to that, so what) for less money. What do you see as the next generation of bedding materials? Energia? Drug induced temporary comatose stasis?

And in case anyone is wondering, I used and destroyed a $12 electric knife to separate the bottom layer of mystery foam from my rip-off mattress so that I could sub in the Lux-HQ. It feels much better now. I might add a 1" layer of HD36 in between the LUX-HQ and the existing 34 ILD mystery foam, but it's pretty nice now. No more pain, very satisfied. For now with 3” of 50ILD, 3.5” of 34ILD, 3” of 10ILD low density memory foam. An example of a mattress I might build a few years from now would be 3” of 45-50, 3” 35ish, 2” 14 memory foam, 1” 10 very HD memory foam, and maybe an extra 1” layer of 25ILD in between the 35 and the memory, but still very up in the air and have little idea of what things feel like.
Here are some resource links that I used:
www.pfa.org/intouch/new_pdf/lr_IntouchV3.1.pdf

www.pfa.org/intouch/new_pdf/lr_IntouchV5.1.pdf

www.pfa.org/EFC9_Handout.html

www.pfa.org/jifsg/jifsgs1.html

www.ahfa.us/uploads/documents/foamstandards.pdf

An old FedEx email shows the foammattressdiscounts.com mattress weighed in at 58lbs total with bag and box. Tisk Tisk…

*Also, I'm thinking that compression modulus/support factor is THE most important determiner in the quality and suitability of human bedding materials, but since they have to last, things like elasticity and tensile strength are very important too. I think you can take a bad formula and add worthless heavy stuff to the pore, and come up with a heavy foam. I think this could be the "fibrous material" I read about? If you can add that filler evenly to the whole slab, then you have density. My research indicates that you don't need a $12 million dollar machine to do that, and if you only look for densities, you won't catch this theoretical junk material until your back hurts again.

My assumptions and guesses about FBM:

That $12 million dollar machine ensures quality and accuracy across the whole production lot. If I had to guess, I would guess that FBM might produce high volumes of what I might call medium grade foam with a very wide tolerance in features that could be used to judge the material's quality. They may send you a piece that is in the range of what you ordered and match the less desirable material to a lower price point. I would guess that a batch might have some sheets that came out to 2.8lbs, some 2.6lbs, some 2.3lbs, and some 1.7lbs. They might then grade those and send them out according to what you order. If they wanted to spend money, maybe they could buy a better machine and come up with a more accurate result and thus what could be understood to be higher quality? That might put them in a different price point, and they might not be competitive there. This all just MY guess. I have no idea what I am talking about and I don't mean to make them look bad. They've done great in my book, and are tops in my personal value equation at this time, for my purposes. I'll report later if the foam somehow fails over the next three to five, unless I just want to scratch build a king before then. Once again, I know NOTHING about FBM, or the industry, I am NOT an expert, and all of the prior assertions are my own, from my own research which could be totally flawed.

The material's ability to completely recover from being smashed nearly flat multiple times a day, every day, is what matters most. So, in the 21st century, Theoretically, a 3lb foam with compression modulus of around 2.5 with a disorganized cell structure is what you should look for, and should be pretty awesome foam, if you can get it in your preferred ILD rating. If it doesn't burn, that is great too, and if it's somewhat natural, then you win in every way. I guess we'll have to wait a few years for a super cheap, 100% non harmful, fire resistant, indestructible, antimicrobial bedding material that smells great, weights nothing, and is available in nearly infinite hardnesses. :)

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Last edit: by goneagain.

First post and some info I've found, also wondering about Suppliers. 22 Apr 2013 14:04 #9

Hi goneagain,

If the compression modulus is anywhere near the stated 1.9, then we should be good to go for a few years.


Their listed compression modulus is one of the reasons I don't think they know much about what they are selling. 1.9 is typically the compression modulus of lower quality conventional foam not HR foam in higher densities. Higher densities can also be achieved by adding fillers or fire retardant materials to a foam which leads to a higher listed density than the polymer density of the foam.

What do you think of Carpenter's Qualux product

Isn't it more resilient than any synth poly? Cleaner too, correct? Less allergies? More natural and better for the environment? If I paid $1000 for Qualux, I'd be mad if I could have a better material like latex (even if it's bouncy and I have to get used to that, so what) for less money.?


You can see a brief description of it in post #2 here . It would depend on its density and on whether it was qualux or qualux ultra. It's just polyfoam not inherently healthier, safer, cleaner, less allergenic, or better for the environment than any other polyfoam although there is a range of polyfoam materials that have different formulations and a wide range of quality..

What do you see as the next generation of bedding materials? Energia?


I don't think there is a single direction and this question would probably need a book to answer. Overall ... probably more specialty foams and combination or hybrid types of polymer materials with enhanced properties of various types.

Just for reference ... FBM doesn't make foam. They just buy it and re-sell it.

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

First post and some info I've found, also wondering about Suppliers. 22 Apr 2013 16:00 #10

Right, industry standard requires compression modulus rating of 2.5 or greater for foam to be considered HR.

*I meant latex being better at everything than polyfoam, not Qualux polyfoam*

The HR Qualux cost over $3 per board foot, and I'd like to know your opinion on whether it is more durable than current latex offerings. Is latex the new hotness for it's feel, or does it outlast even the best HR polys? Every place that I see it including FBM ($1200 for 10"), it is much more expensive than even the best poly foams. Until I sleep on the stuff, I won't know if I like it, and I like good old fashioned hot gooey memory foam a lot. I can't wait to try some 8lb, if I can ever find it where I can sample it. I'll only like latex if it is crazy resilient and therefore makes a great firm base. What do you think?

What about this Koosh Natural? They list no specs :(

www.foamite.com/koosh_natural.php

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Last edit: by goneagain.
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