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Final Push - Mattress Selection 25 Jul 2013 14:37 #1

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So I am on my final push for a mattress decision. I just ordered a new bed to provide a firmer support and eliminate the need for a box spring. We are currently sleeping on a bed "steel" frame with a headboard and it is not he most stable of platforms.

So now that I have the bed on the way I am trying to make a decision on the mattress.

Choice #1 is the Brooklyn Bedding Cloud Luxe. This is supposed to be comparable to the Tempurapedic we liked in testing.

Choice #2 is a latex mattress. We need to go test drive latex but I like the durability and "coolness" (temperature) of the mattress.

Approximately 8 years ago I purchased an expensive, top of the line (or near) Stearns & Fosters mattress I expected to be happy with for a significant period of time. The wife has never been happy with it I just kept expecting more but if I was honest it was never the mattress it was billed as.

I do not want to be in the position of having to shop for a new mattress again in several years so I am trying to find something I will continue to be happy with.

Issues with the current mattress are back pain when lying on the back, some numbness in an arm when lying on your side in a certain position, and tossing & turning all night.

Brooklyn Bedding has been great in answering my questions and there has been no pressure. I like their 120 day sleep option on the memory foam as it relives the issue of buyers remorse.

I am looking for a latex mattress with a similar return option. So far guarantees on latex that I have seen range from - swapping mattresses, swapping layers, $95 return option, or paying shipping both ways. Is there anyone that builds a great mattress that stands behind their mattress with a free return policy?

I do not want to have to return a mattress but I want to be happy with my purchase for the long term...not just the short term.

I prefer to spend less than $2300 for a King Mattress but honestly I am willing to spend more for quality and a good nights sleep. I am tired of tossing and turning all night. At this point a good nights sleep is worth a significant amount of money. As long as the money is well spent and not wasted.

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Final Push - Mattress Selection 25 Jul 2013 16:36 #2

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Hi AMG_Roadster,

Post #2 here about making final choices (once you are down to choices between "good and good" which you are) may be helpful.

I would definitely find a way to test latex locally to make sure that you like it and so you can decide between two very different materials and know whether you prefer the faster response and higher resilience of latex vs the slower response and very low resilience of memory foam (see post #2 here for some comparisons between them).

Issues with the current mattress are back pain when lying on the back, some numbness in an arm when lying on your side in a certain position, and tossing & turning all night.


Both of these are a matter of the design of the mattress more than the materials used. The most common cause of back pain (especially in the lower back) is alignment issues from a mattress that is either too firm or too soft (which is the most common). The most common cause of pressure points and arm numbness is a mattress where the comfort layers are too thin and/or firm although there are other reasons for both of these symptoms as well (for example arm numbness could also be from your sleeping position or from sleeping with your arm extending above your shoulders).

I am looking for a latex mattress with a similar return option. So far guarantees on latex that I have seen range from - swapping mattresses, swapping layers, $95 return option, or paying shipping both ways. Is there anyone that builds a great mattress that stands behind their mattress with a free return policy?


Not with latex that I'm aware of but a few of the memory foam manufacturers in post #12 here offer free returns on some or all of their mattresses (including Brooklyn Bedding, Select Foam, Novosbed, Restava). I would also bear in mind that return policies are part of the cost of a mattress whether they are listed separately or offer free returns.

I prefer to spend less than $2300 for a King Mattress but honestly I am willing to spend more for quality and a good nights sleep. I am tired of tossing and turning all night. At this point a good nights sleep is worth a significant amount of money. As long as the money is well spent and not wasted.


You certainly have some very good options that are inside your budget but of course the challenge with any final choice ... at least on this forum ... is deciding between some great options where there is no "formula" or obvious reason to choose one over the other and your own best judgement and "educated intuition" may play the biggest role. If you are looking at online choices then it will really boil down to your confidence about the suitability of your choice, the relative quality and value of the mattresses you are considering, the exchange or return options you have available if you make a choice that is less than ideal or that you don't like, and any other extras or intangibles that are part of your purchase that are important to you.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Final Push - Mattress Selection 25 Jul 2013 17:18 #3

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Thanks for the input Phoenix.

I believe our current mattress is too firm.

For memory foam I am happy with what I have observed and read about Brooklyn Bedding. That is of course assuming that their Cloud Luxe feels the same as the Tempurapedic that we liked. The challenge is that the test drive was 30 minutes vs. a "lifetime" with whatever mattress we end up with.

I do understand that potential costs/fees can be built into a price. I am happy to pay $50 (or maybe even ~$95) for the "insurance" of being able to return a mattress. I just don't want to be "trapped" into a mattress. My definition of trapped maybe different than others. For example I spoke with the Original Mattress Factory and while they were helpful and may make a great product their only return option is to swap one mattress for another. They only have a single latex option so in my book once you commit you are committed.

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Final Push - Mattress Selection 25 Jul 2013 18:21 #4

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Hi AMG_Roadster,

It's great to see you are including all the different parts of "value" that are part of a mattress purchase and have a good idea of the most important parts of your personal value equation.

My own thoughts are (and of course this may be different from someone else) is that a refund policy at a local store adds too much to the cost of a mattress and people who test more carefully end up paying the cost of returns for those who don't (refund policies and a store's experience with refunds or exchanges are also built into the cost of a mattress). To a lesser degree this also applies to any exchange policies that a local store may offer (where people who test more carefully and accurately end up paying the costs for those who don't). I would personally prefer a lower price than the ability to return or even exchange a mattress but I also have confidence in the accuracy of careful and objective testing (and the ability to choose a mattress that is "close enough" that only minor fine tuning is necessary) that others may not share.

For an online purchase of course things are different because even though many manufacturers can provide some good guidance in terms of how their mattresses compare to well known brands that are available for testing locally ... the partly subjective nature of these comparisons and any differences in materials or design means that some people may not agree that they are "close approximations" even if most people would. This means that any recourse in case of a mistake and the costs involved in a return or exchange for an online purchase would certainly be an important part of reducing risk and add to the "value" of an online purchase.

If a mattress is say $400 less than another mattress that was otherwise equivalent but the cost of returning it was say $100 then even with the return cost I would say it had better "value" because the odds I would need to return it would be fairly small. In some cases if I was confident in my choice of materials (such as latex vs memory foam) and the only question was the design and suitability of the mattress in terms of layering and I had tested something similar locally then I would personally have a good level of confidence even with having no return policy at all and be happy with the ability to exchange layers knowing that the odds would be high that this is all I would need ... but of course this is also part of each person's risk tolerance.

If a manufacturer says that most people would find a certain mattress to be equivalent in terms of feel and performance and they back it up with the ability to return it at no cost then to me this indicates that they have a high level of confidence in what they are saying because if most people didn't agree they would be flooded with returns.

I also agree with you that a big part of the value of an exchange policy is the alternative choices that are available because if there are only one or two similar mattresses available then the choice of exchange options for a mattress that has the materials, design, quality, and value that is attractive to you would be limited and this would mean that I would need a high level of confidence that my testing would predict my longer term experience within a fairly narrow range because the exchange policy at that retailer or manufacturer would have limited value.

I wanted to add some of these thoughts to expand on what you were saying and once again it's great to see someone doing good research and carefully evaluating the importance of all the different parts of their personal value equation.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Final Push - Mattress Selection 26 Jul 2013 17:51 #5

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Phoenix - I would agree 100% that you need to look at the entire price and weigh the likelihood of returning the mattress. In your example of the $400 price differential with a $100 return fee you are of course better off going with the cheaper mattress. That one is a no brainer. However it becomes more of a thought exercise/gamble if the mattress is $200 cheaper but the total return fee is $250.

I was speaking with a friend and he purchased a Dr. Maas bed for a fantastic price (he got a great deal). Now I am very jealous of the price he paid for a mattress that seems to be working well for him after ~30 days. His price was almost 1/4 what I am looking at paying for a quality Gel Memory Foam or Latex mattress.

I am at the opposite extreme than what most people say they are. I would prefer to purchase online vs. local. In almost every case I find the online experience much better and less expensive.

Even if I wanted to purchase a mattress locally I am not finding a combination of price and return policy. For example the Original Mattress factory which is supposed to be a quality mattress has an exchange but not a return policy. I also believe I read that Room & Board sells a quality mattress and they have a good return policy but the reviews on the mattress are not great.

One of the reasons why a return policy is important to me is that I spent a lot of money on a Sterns & Foster mattress. I expected to keep this mattress for a long time. Yet I am shopping for another mattress. I would prefer to not to "waste" my money again.

The new bed is on the way as well as the mattress pad/protector and new sheets. Now I need to make a decision on the mattress. We are going to test out latex to see if it is an option.

If Gel Memory Foam is the winner I am strongly leaning towards Brooklyn Bedding but will make another pass of quality mattress manufacturers/sellers.

I do have a question on the Aloe Alexis by Brooklyn Bedding. Doesn't having an HD foundation eliminate a number of the benefits of going with latex?

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Final Push - Mattress Selection 26 Jul 2013 18:54 #6

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Hi AMG_Roadster,

I would agree 100% that you need to look at the entire price and weigh the likelihood of returning the mattress. In your example of the $400 price differential with a $100 return fee you are of course better off going with the cheaper mattress. That one is a no brainer. However it becomes more of a thought exercise/gamble if the mattress is $200 cheaper but the total return fee is $250.


Thought excercise/gamble is a very accurate way to describe it and these types of subjective or intangible comparisons involve intuitive guesswork and "best judgement" types of decisions more than "better / worse" comparisons that can be quantified more easily.

I was speaking with a friend and he purchased a Dr. Maas bed for a fantastic price (he got a great deal). Now I am very jealous of the price he paid for a mattress that seems to be working well for him after ~30 days. His price was almost 1/4 what I am looking at paying for a quality Gel Memory Foam or Latex mattress.


This brings up another part of the "thought exercise" which is the type, quality, durability, and design of the materials. Any mattress regardless of the materials it uses can work well for a period of weeks or months (or in some cases depending on the type of materials even for a few years) but durability (which you can't "feel" when you sleep on the mattress) is another one of the variables that can have a significant effect on the long term "value" of a mattress. This is where knowing the materials in your mattress allows you to make meaningful quality and value comparisons. For example you can see here that this Dr Maas mattress includes 3 lb memory foam which is a lower quality foam and would be more subject to softening over time than higher density memory foam. The thickness and position of this layer would have an effect on the durability of the mattress relative to each person (see post #4 here about the many factors involved in durability). Lower quality materials are always less costly than higher quality materials but they just don't maintain their original properties as long so knowing what is in the mattress also allows you to factor in durability and the relative cost and "value" of materials into your "value equation".

I am at the opposite extreme than what most people say they are. I would prefer to purchase online vs. local. In almost every case I find the online experience much better and less expensive.


This is often but not always true because of course online retailers or manufacturers don't have the same costs of maintaining a bricks and mortar presence but there is also higher risk as well ... especially with a purchase where specs don't translate well into suitability (unlike something like computers for example where specs are more directly related to performance). There are many local manufacturers for example where the "local value" competes very well with online choices when you make apples to apples comparisons. Once again there is no right or wrong here ... just different criteria between people ... as long as all the parts of a purchase that are important to each person are disclosed.

Even if I wanted to purchase a mattress locally I am not finding a combination of price and return policy. For example the Original Mattress factory which is supposed to be a quality mattress has an exchange but not a return policy. I also believe I read that Room & Board sells a quality mattress and they have a good return policy but the reviews on the mattress are not great.


Mattresses are a somewhat different type of product because what is suitable and "fits" for each person can be so unique. In terms of a mattress itself ... most reviews are written by people who really have no knowledge of the quality or value of what they purchased and using reviews for a mattress to determine it's quality, suitability, or durability are mostly meaningless. You can read a little more about the questionable value of mattress reviews in post #13 here . Because reviews are usually so subjective and have so little meaningful information that can be applied on an individual basis unlike other types of purchases they can be among one of the worst ways to buy a mattress.

One of the reasons why a return policy is important to me is that I spent a lot of money on a Sterns & Foster mattress. I expected to keep this mattress for a long time. Yet I am shopping for another mattress. I would prefer to not to "waste" my money again.


Normally a return policy won't help much with this because the typical issues that come from the use of lower quality materials don't show up during an exchange period and usually happen much later (in the case of Stearns & Foster you would normally see this in around the 3 - 5 year period but sometimes sooner because this also varies widely depending on the circumstances). Of course they can be an important part of correcting a "wrong" comfort choice which show up much more quickly. Warranties (see post #174 here ) are also not an effective way to predict the longevity or durability of a mattress or protect a consumer. The most reliable way to predict the durability of a mattress is by knowing the quality of the materials inside it.

I do have a question on the Aloe Alexis by Brooklyn Bedding. Doesn't having an HD foundation eliminate a number of the benefits of going with latex?


You can see some of my thoughts about this in post #2 here (and the post it links to that compares a latex hybrid with an all latex mattress). If I had a choice and budget was not an issue then I would choose all latex over a latex hybrid mattress but the deepest layer of the mattress is the one that has the least effect on the overall feel and performance of the mattress and on its durability as well and the Alexis would be a good compromise between cost and having a mattress that was all latex. It's much better to use firm polyfoam in the bottom layer than it would be to use thicker layers of polyfoam in the top layer because a mattress will tend to soften and break down from the top down.

I like your term "thought exercise" and that along with "educated intuition", "best judgement", and accurate information is really the best way to assess the most important parts of your personal value equation.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Final Push - Mattress Selection 28 Jul 2013 12:39 #7

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We stopped by The Original Mattress Factory to look at their Latex Mattresses.

The staff was knowledgeable about the product - discussed how the mattress was made, what the ILD was, Dunlap vs. Talay, etc.

However the part of the mattress I was not impressed with was their quilting. They used the cheapest "egg create" foam available in their quilting. Maybe this little bit of foam does not make a material difference in the mattress but I would have a more positive disposition towards the mattress if they had spent a couple more dollars on the foam instead of going cheap.

There were two latex mattresses available. The firm with 32 ILD foam and the soft with 2X ILD (I don't remember if it was 28 or 24). We both found the soft mattress to be too soft. The wife liked the firm mattress I thought it was okay but honestly I preferred the memory foam mattresses we have tested.

So we have made our decision on the mattress and going with a Gel Memory Foam. We liked the Cloud Supreme Breeze from Tempurapedic. So now it is time to find a similar mattress from a quality manufacturer for a reasonable price.

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Final Push - Mattress Selection 28 Jul 2013 13:31 #8

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My final bit of research has opened up a new vendor for me. I now need to decide between Select Memory Foam and Brooklyn Bedding (Cirrus Supreme ES - 11" vs. Cool Supreme). Both manufacturers are on the "Approved" list and both appear to provide good information on their mattresses.

Select Memory Foam has a 90 day sleep guarantee vs. a 120 day at Brooklyn Bedding. The Cirrus Supreme is significantly less expensive than the Cool Supreme.

I can find a number of positive reviews on Brooklyn Bedding. Select Foam I need to start digging into. If anyone has feedback please let me know. I am more concerned with comfort, quality, and durability than I am with price. I will spend the extra money if it is worth it but spending less is good if for the essentially the same quality product.

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Final Push - Mattress Selection 28 Jul 2013 16:15 #9

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Hi AMG_Roadster,

Hopefully some of the forum members that have seen your post will provide their feedback but one of the goals of this site is to help the members reach a point where they have eliminated all their worst choices and their final choices are all good ones and the decision between them is a difficult one that is more about the subjective or even intangible parts of their personal value equation than it is about any obvious differences in quality and value.

Of course I can't tell you what to choose or which is "better" because there are no obvious answers and it depends on all the many tradeoffs that are more or less important to different people and circumstances but post #2 here about making final choices may be helpful.

In terms of quality or value you are in the enviable position that there are no "bad" choices or "mistakes" anymore and I only wish that every consumer that was buying a mattress was facing the same difficulty in their final choices as well :)

Phoenix
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Final Push - Mattress Selection 28 Jul 2013 17:23 #10

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Thanks Phoenix. I searched on the site and had seen your post on deciding between two good choices. Thank you for the great site, all the information, advice and feedback.

I have a St. Dormeirs mattress protector on the way. Based on the reviews I decided to order a set of Bamboo Sheets which just arrived. The new bed is shipping (maybe delivered) this week. So it was time to make a decision on the mattress.

I spent time earlier today search the site for feedback and reviews on Select Foam. What I read was positive. I also spent some time on their sites Select Foam is more open and straightforward on the materials used in the mattress. With the sale Select Foam currently has we are looking at ~35% price difference (assuming they honor the 5% discount along with their sale price). That is a heck of a difference for a mattress that is at least comparable quality.

Now I have not spoken to Select Foam as they appeared to be closed today. Or at least they did not respond to my IM. I traded IM's on several occasions with Brooklyn Bedding and they were very helpful and friendly. That being I have no reason to expect anything different from Select Foam.

I believe I have made my decision and Select Foam is the winner in my case. The plan is to speak with them on Monday, verify the price, and place an order.

I had forgotten on a trip the wife and I had slept on a Memory Foam Mattress at a Marriott for 1.5 weeks and we both slept better than normal. This and my experience with latex today lead me to believe that I the Gel Memory Foam mattress is going to be the right decision.

Now I just need to find Pillows we like. I have tried probably 10 different pillows over the years and keep going back to a thin, cheap, old poly fill pillow. We both liked the latex pillows we tried out today but it is a night of sleep (or a couple weeks of sleep) on the pillows that has always fallen short when I try for something new.

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Last edit: by phoenix.
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