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Help decide between Dreamfoam's 13" Gel Memory Foam vs their 10" Latex 21 Apr 2013 19:47 #1

  • ehuesman
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Hi folks,

Since this my first post, I would like to thank Phoenix for starting this forum, and the people for contributing to the wealth of information. Because of the information here, I feel confident I have narrowed things down to a choice between "good and good" - to steal Phoenix's line, lol.

Quick stats: I am a side and back sleeper at 5'11"@185 and my wife is a side sleeper at 5'8"@140. My major complaint about our current bed is that although it felt very soft and plush in the very beginning, it quickly developed body indentations and became uncomfortable (it is a Simmons Beautyrest Exceptionale inner-spring pillowtop). I know now that pillowtops are extremely prone to these problems.

I am trying to decide between two of Dreamfoam's mattresses that are sold on Amazon, the 13" Gel Memory Foam and the 10" latex .

I've went to the local big box and tried the Tempurpedic Cloud Luxe and Supreme, so I have a general idea what the 13" gel memory foam will feel like. I really like the plushness of those mattresses. Obviously, I couldn't try them overnight, so I am a little worried about the sinking "creep" that may happen through the night, and the resulting feeling of confinement, difficulty moving, and sleeping warm because of excessive cradling. I don't know if "creep" is a problem only with low-quality memory foam, or inherent to all memory foam. I am also a little worried about body indentations, again not sure if the quality of the memory foam makes it a question of "if" or only a question of "how much" the indentations occur.

Because of these concerns, I am considering the latex mattress (I understand it is just a comfort layer and not 100% latex). Unfortunately, I do not know of anywhere where I can test a similar mattress, so I am trying to imagine how the mattress will feel. I am concerned primarily about it feeling too firm. I emailed Chuck at Dreamfoam and he told me the 13" Gel Memory Foam is probably comparable to their latex in a level 8 (about ILD 19).

If the two mattresses have the same "plushness", what will the differences be in how they feel? It's probably my lack of imagination, because I've read the whole "sleeping in" versus "sleeping on", but I'm not sure how that applies to mattresses of equal plushness. Wouldn't you sink the same in both mattresses if they were equally soft?

Compared to the memory foam, could I still expect more durability from the latex mattress if I was choosing one with an ILD that low?

Too complicate things further, I've also bookmarked the 10" Latex Cotton Camilla on Brooklyn Bedding (same company as Dreamfoam). Here's the link for info The option to exchange comfort layers seems to be the real major reason to pay more money for this mattress. Is that a fair assessment? I am confirming with Chuck, BUT it appears I am limited to a level 3 (ILD 36) or a level 6 (ILD 24). If that is true then I will pass on that model. I want a soft mattress.

I know I've included a few questions, but thank you in advance for any assistance or insight anyone can provide. I did use the search function, but couldn't find exactly what I was looking for.

Thanks - Eric

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Help decide between Dreamfoam's 13" Gel Memory Foam vs their 10" Latex 21 Apr 2013 21:15 #2

  • phoenix
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Hi ehuesman,

I don't know if "creep" is a problem only with low-quality memory foam, or inherent to all memory foam.


"Creep" ... or the tendency of any material to "relax" internally and become softer and deform with constant pressure over time ... is inherent to many solid or polymer materials. It increases with temperature and as materials get closer to their melting point which is why it is more obvious in viscoelastic materials which change phase with heat and "flows" with pressure to some degree. Even concrete is subject to increased internal strain and creep with constant pressure over time. Foam creep is one of the reasons why a memory foam mattress with thick layers of memory foam can be risky regardless of the density of the memory foam.

I am also a little worried about body indentations, again not sure if the quality of the memory foam makes it a question of "if" or only a question of "how much" the indentations occur.


"Indentations" are not as big an issue with memory foam as the softening of the material and the loss of its slow response properties without accompanying indentations. This is why many memory foam warranties can safely have a .75" warranty exclusion in terms of height loss because they would rarely tend to lose height beyond this point even if they become softer or lost their "memory foam like" qualities in the areas where they are the most stressed.

Because of these concerns, I am considering the latex mattress (I understand it is just a comfort layer and not 100% latex). Unfortunately, I do not know of anywhere where I can test a similar mattress, so I am trying to imagine how the mattress will feel. I am concerned primarily about it feeling too firm. I emailed Chuck at Dreamfoam and he told me the 13" Gel Memory Foam is probably comparable to their latex in a level 8 (about ILD 19).


Because they work with their own mattresses every day ... their assessment would be more accurate than anyone else's but I would also bear in mind that comparing memory foam to latex is really an apples to oranges comparison and very subjective because latex responds primarily to pressure while memory foam responds to pressure, heat, humidity, and time (creep) so the variables that can result in how a material "feels" for any person or the "type" of softness that someone is most sensitive to and how time dependent their sense of softness may be can be very different. Each person may have a very different opinion of how a particular memory foam may compare to a certain ILD of latex so these would be "rough" comparisons.

If the two mattresses have the same "plushness", what will the differences be in how they feel? It's probably my lack of imagination, because I've read the whole "sleeping in" versus "sleeping on", but I'm not sure how that applies to mattresses of equal plushness. Wouldn't you sink the same in both mattresses if they were equally soft?


Again ... I would keep in mind that how a mattress or material feels is subjective and will vary by person depending on all the variables of how each material responds, environmental factors (more in the case of memory foam), and also on body weight, sleeping position, personal sensitivities to different properties of each foam, and the physiology and sensitivity of each person. I would also keep in mind that the two don't have the same "ILD / IFD" (softness at 25% compression) even if on a subjective and more perceptual level they may have a similar "plushness" (however that may be defined). Even at the same level of "plushness" because of the phase change and sensitivity to heat of memory foam to different degrees ... it would still be a more "in the mattress" and closely conforming or "surrounding" material than latex.

Compared to the memory foam, could I still expect more durability from the latex mattress if I was choosing one with an ILD that low?


That would depend on many factors which you can read about in post #4 here and there is no easy or simple answer to this. Durability is relative to each person and also depends on the firmness and softness of a material and on many other factors and on the loss of a certain property which leads to a mattress becoming uncomfortable for someone or the loss of comfort and support. For one person the loss of "slow response" may be the determining "durability" factor while for another the loss of support that was marginal for them in the original design would put them over their line while for another one yet the loss of pressure relief could be the factor that leads to the need to replace a mattress. In practical terms ... durability is not about the outright "failure" of a material (which rarely happens) but the gradual loss of certain properties that will affect the mattress as a whole in combination with all the other changes that are happening at the same time and at different rates.

In general terms ... latex as a category is more durable (maintains its original properties) longer than memory foam but I don't know of any statistical information that compares specific ILD's of different types of latex to specific memory foams in terms of some specific definition of durability.

An example of how difficult durability comparisons can be is the use of thin quilting layers of say 1.5 lb polyfoam which by itself would normally be considered a less durable material (more subject to rapid softening). In an appropriate mattress construction though ... the softening of a say 1" layer of 1.5 lb quilting polyfoam would have little effect on the properties of the mattress as a whole and could be part of a very durable design and construction for many people.

So having said that this is really not possible ... if someone was over 200 lbs then I would begin to lean in the direction of avoiding the use of memory foam that was under 5 lbs and I would also tend to avoid latex ILD's that were in the teens in most types of constructions or in thicker layers that are more likely to have a bigger effect on a mattress as a whole. The logical extrapolation of this based on my own "gut feel" is that latex in ILD's in the teens would be less durable than most 5 lb memory foam in layers that were the same thickness and position in the mattress for most people and in designs where the thickness of the layer would have a significant effect on the feel and performance of the mattress as a whole. As much as that may seem like hedging ... it's probably as close as I could get to a meaningful durability comparison and even that may not be objectively accurate by some definitions of durability or in some circumstances.

Too complicate things further, I've also bookmarked the 10" Latex Cotton Camilla on Brooklyn Bedding (same company as Dreamfoam). Here's the link for info The option to exchange comfort layers seems to be the real major reason to pay more money for this mattress. Is that a fair assessment? I am confirming with Chuck, BUT it appears I am limited to a level 3 (ILD 36) or a level 6 (ILD 24). If that is true then I will pass on that model. I want a soft mattress.


I personally would place high value on the ability to exchange a layer in any circumstances where someone isn't confident that their comfort choice may be the best one or when lack of the ability to test similar mattresses leads to the type of uncertainty where there was any worry or concern about the suitability of a choice. Of course each person may have a different personal value equation and a different balance or sense of importance concerning the tradeoff between risk and exchange options after a purchase. I personally would consider the lowered risk of a layer exchange option to be a significant part of the "value" of a mattress in these cases. The mattresses on their own site have more liberal and lower cost exchange options than their Amazon mattresses that also offer them but each one also has other tradeoffs involved in their choice (such as more limited or simplified comfort choices).

So overall ... these are the types of questions that only each person can decide on for themselves based on their own comfort level with the risks and benefits of each of their choices and options. The only thing that someone else can really do is to help make sure they know the choices and tradeoffs they are facing and then get out of the way while they "weigh and measure' each one by their own criteria.

FWIW ... when I was making my own final choices between about 5 different "final options" ... it took me weeks of hemming and hawing and getting down to smaller and smaller differences that in the larger picture probably weren't all that important except in the context of somehow making a final choice and pulling the trigger. I think that any of my final choices would have been just fine ... even though they would all have been different in some respects from each other. In other words ... it wasn't any easier for me to make final choices than it is for many other forum members here so I can certainly understand the process you are going through :)

Phoenix
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Help decide between Dreamfoam's 13" Gel Memory Foam vs their 10" Latex 21 Apr 2013 23:08 #3

  • eperkine2
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My first post here as well so thanks to Phoenix and everyone for making mattress shopping a little less difficult! ;)

I was trying to decide between the Latex and the 13' gel memory foam from Ultimate Dreams myself. I figured my first decision should be between memory foam and latex so i went to the local mattress shop and laid around for a bit! I was surprised by how much more i enjoyed the "springyness" of the latex beds. Before I tried the latex out I was almost dead set on going with memory foam. Glad I took some time just to get a feel for what the differences are. I emailed the Ultimate Dreams rep chuck, who answered all of my questions right away and helped me decide what firmness I needed. I'll be ordering the Latex this week!

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Help decide between Dreamfoam's 13" Gel Memory Foam vs their 10" Latex 22 Apr 2013 00:52 #4

  • phoenix
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Hi eperkine2,

I'm glad to see you had the chance to do some local testing so you could make the choice based on your own personal experience instead of trying to imagine how latex feels.

I'm looking forward to hearing about your choice and of course your feedback once you've received it.

Phoenix
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Help decide between Dreamfoam's 13" Gel Memory Foam vs their 10" Latex 23 Apr 2013 01:44 #5

  • ehuesman
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Well I was able to go to a couple local stores and although I don't feel like I am any closer to choosing a mattress, I did learn something. I now know that I prefer the feel of a latex comfort layer over memory foam. I had never lain on a latex mattress before today, so I just wasn't able to comprehend how comparing it to memory foam was like comparing apples to oranges. I was amazed at how soft and comfortable I felt without having to sink into the bed.

The bad part was that I could not locate any local stores that had a latex comfort layer over a poly foam core. What I was testing out was latex over latex, memory foam over latex, and latex over coils. It only took me a couple seconds to realize my preference was in that order.

Obviously latex over latex is more expensive, and I am not sure it is in my budget, although I have renewed my searching around the net. I'm just not sure how closely latex over a poly foam support core will feel like the latex over a latex support core. If I was confident the feel could be simulated, and that I would only be giving up durability, it might be worth the trade off. At some of these prices, I could buy three or four latex over foam mattresses for the price of one latex over latex. Even if it only lasts half as long and has to be replaced, it could represent a significant cost savings.

Another issue is that the store ( The Natural Mattress Store ) where I was able to do the majority of the testing did not have the ILD of the different mattresses, only the subjective ratings of Extra Soft, Soft, Medium, Firm, and Extra Firm. So I'm not sure how that helpful that will be if ordering online.

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Help decide between Dreamfoam's 13" Gel Memory Foam vs their 10" Latex 23 Apr 2013 04:07 #6

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Hi ehuesman,

You can read about some of the differences between latex/polyfoam hybrids and all latex mattresses in post #2 here .

The closer to the surface a layer is the more effect it will have on durability so different base layers would have less effect on the durability of a mattress than the middle and upper layers ... although they will certainly affect the feel and performance of the mattress.

Another issue is that the store (The Natural Mattress Store) where I was able to do the majority of the testing did not have the ILD of the different mattresses, only the subjective ratings of Extra Soft, Soft, Medium, Firm, and Extra Firm. So I'm not sure how that helpful that will be if ordering online.


It would at least be a rough guideline that would be helpful as a reference point in any conversations with online manufacturers if you know the layering that worked best for you (layer thicknesses and softness/firmness rating).

If you are in the San Francisco area there are many good latex options available there as well that are listed in post #2 here .

Phoenix
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