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I'm sick of shopping lol. Narrowed down to three. 07 Aug 2013 17:43 #1

  • bcsteeve
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Hi. Neat forum! Lots of helpful information, although its seems a lot of it just doesn't apply due to where I am (I guess?). A lot of the brands that get recommended a bunch just aren't available.

Anyway, we've been looking for a new set for awhile. Today we spent 6+ hours in the 5 stores available to me. From that, we've narrowed it down to:

1) A $999 pillow top pocket coil by a brand I can't seem to remember, but its apparently done by the Spring Air people. Says "Made in Canada" on it (I'm in Canada, btw).

2) A $1300 Sealy Posturpedic foam bed. No idea where its made.

3) A $1600 Eastman House Davinci. Supposedly made in Canada. The guy says this is a top end bed. I'd never heard of the brand. Googling comes up with very few reviews, and they are all horrible. But we're talking a sample size of like two... so it could just be that its so good nobody's bothering to complain! I don't know.

1 + 2 are from Sleep Country. 3 is from a local family owned shop. All come with a 10 year non-prorated warranty (the Sealy adds 10 extra prorated years). As far as the 20 to 50 minutes we spent on them, they are all comparable for "comfort". So really my question is: is it worth spending hundreds extra for a brand? Can I reasonably expect the more $$ to last longer? By "last", I mean 10 years from now will the $1600 one be more comfortable than the $999 one?

Oh, and before anyone freaks out about the prices... yeah, we get screwed here. I'm sure that $1600 can be had for a grand online in the US and the $999 one is probably available from Amazon for a buck eighty... but that's just not the reality of it here. "Cheap" mattresses tend to be $500 to $1000. "Good" ones are $1000 to $1500. "Premium/luxury" go up from there. The most expensive one I saw today was $8k (and it was no more comfortable than the $1k one).

Anyway, I don't know what kind of advice I can obtain from the above, but thought it might be worth opening a dialogue.

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I'm sick of shopping lol. Narrowed down to three. 07 Aug 2013 18:14 #2

  • AMG_Roadster
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So what about these three mattresses makes them winners?

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I'm sick of shopping lol. Narrowed down to three. 07 Aug 2013 20:12 #3

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Well, I tried every bed (well, except the really low-end ones) In every store available to me. These were the most comfortable, at least that my wife and I could agree on.

And I honestly can't say there's any appreciable difference in comfort between them. So immediately, logic would dictate that the cheapest is the way to go, since the comfort is equal. But that's why I'm asking... can I expect the more expensive ones to be more comfortable 10 years from now? I mean, one can expect that all mattresses lose their integrity over time (otherwise we'd never buy more than one bed), so is it fair to assume the more expensive ones will "outlast" the cheaper one? Or is that a fallacy in logic?

They're all different too. The bottom one is a pocket coil, the mid is a all-foam memory foam type, and the high-priced one has at least some latex to speak of (I've since read there are all-latex, latex-over-foam and foam-over-latex but I don't know what this one is). Each is supposed to have its pros and cons I guess.

All I can really do is lie on them.

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I'm sick of shopping lol. Narrowed down to three. 07 Aug 2013 22:06 #4

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Hi bcsteeve,

But that's why I'm asking... can I expect the more expensive ones to be more comfortable 10 years from now? I mean, one can expect that all mattresses lose their integrity over time (otherwise we'd never buy more than one bed), so is it fair to assume the more expensive ones will "outlast" the cheaper one? Or is that a fallacy in logic?


I wouldn't make this assumption at all and in some cases it can actually be the other way around if thicker layers of lower quality materials are used to create the "showroom feel" that you like. The durability of a mattress is most directly connected to the quality of the materials and layers in the upper part of the mattress. Since you can't "feel" quality .. then the only way to know the relative durability of two mattresses or identify any "weak links" is to know the specifics of all the layers in the mattress. You can read more about the many factors that play a role in the durability of a mattress in post #4 here .

If you haven't read it already ... I would make sure you have read post #1 here which has all the basic information, steps, and guidelines that will help you make the best possible choice before you make any mattress purchase. It will also provide some guidelines for testing mattresses because testing for subjective perceptions of comfort alone has less than even odds of choosing the most suitable mattress in "real life" (see this study ).

If any of the mattresses you are considering are a major brand or if you are shopping in a chain store then the odds are high that you are paying too much and that the upper layers of the mattress are lower quality than you may want to choose or that will provide a reasonable expectation of durability. I would also be very careful about using the length of a warranty as any indication about how long a mattress will last because warranties don't cover foam softening or the loss of comfort and support that is the main reason a mattress needs to be replaced (see post #174 here ).

In the world of mainstream mattresses ... price has very little to do with quality or durability.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

I'm sick of shopping lol. Narrowed down to three. 07 Aug 2013 23:04 #5

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That is a boat load of reading! (it doesn't look at it, but your links have links, and those links have links!)

Thanks so much for the info. You've obviously taken a lot of time and care writing it, and that deserves me doing the same reading it. I am, unfortunately, a very slow and deliberate reader so it will take some time.

From the bit I've read so far, it looks like I really have to throw my full day's "research" out the window. That's going to be a hard pill to swallow for my wife :) she gets very frustrated when we narrow down a decision and then go back on it. But I can already tell from the little I've read, that we went about it all wrong.

The "don't shop at a chain store" is a tough one. I just don't have that much choice available to me! We have Sleep Country (huge), Mattress Mattress (local but huge-wannabees... same products), Majestic Mattress (used to make their own, but now it is 100% from-China imports), IntelliBed (hugely expensive alternative gel product), and Sleepy's (no relation to the US chain). That last one is the only option for a small local shop. That's where the $1600 Eastman House is. They don't carry any "normal" brands, and their focus is more on "natural", "green", and "organic"... buzz words I can't say appeal to me for a mattress. The one high-end bed they had was comfortable.

But then that brings me to the other little bit of reading I'm managed... you seem very biased (for good reason, I'm sure) away from inner-coil. This mattress is indeed inner-coil. It says "latex" on the bed, but I'm not sure what layer that is. I'll need to go back for another look. This time, I'll carefully read your tips about what to specifically look for instead of looking for "overall comfort".

So, thanks. And to be continued :)

- Steven

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I'm sick of shopping lol. Narrowed down to three. 08 Aug 2013 01:04 #6

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Hi bcsteeve,

That is a boat load of reading! (it doesn't look at it, but your links have links, and those links have links!)


I agree that it's probably a couple of hours to scan most of it (and I wouldn't study it because you will get a sense of the most important themes fairly quickly) but it can also save many hours of shopping and frustration and will also lead to the best possible choices. It can save you a lot of money in terms of paying very high prices for lower quality and value mattresses as well as knowing how to buy a mattress that will last much longer (meaning you will be much less likely to buy a mattress that needs replacing in just a few years or sometimes even sooner).

The two most important guidelines can be summarized as ...

1. Never buy a mattress where you don't know the quality of all the layers so you can make sure that there are no "weak links" in the mattress and that the upper layers in particular are good quality and durable materials. A mattress will soften and break down from the top down and the quality and durability of the comfort layers are the most important factor in the durability of a mattress regardless of the type of materials or components you prefer. Foam softening and breakdown that leads to the loss of comfort and support is the main reason a mattress will need to be replaced and the loss of comfort and support isn't covered by any warranty.

2. Deal with manufacturers and retailers that are experienced and knowledgeable about mattress materials and transparent about what is inside their mattresses so you can make meaningful comparisons. These are what I call "mattress people" that are willing and able to tell you what is inside a mattresses and will help educate you with meaningful information instead of marketing stories that are designed to just sell you anything they can convince you to buy. When you know just enough to recognize someone who is an "expert" and comfortable talking about mattress materials instead of marketing stories then you don't need to become one yourself.

With these two suggestions alone the odds are very high that you will end up buying a much higher quality and value mattress that won't soften and break down much sooner than it should.

But then that brings me to the other little bit of reading I'm managed... you seem very biased (for good reason, I'm sure) away from inner-coil. This mattress is indeed inner-coil. It says "latex" on the bed, but I'm not sure what layer that is. I'll need to go back for another look. This time, I'll carefully read your tips about what to specifically look for instead of looking for "overall comfort".


I'm not sure where you read that I don't like innersprings but they are a good durable component and reasonable quality or better innersprings are a support component that is deeper in the mattress and will rarely fail. In almost all cases an innerspring mattress that "fails" will be because of the foam layers above the innerspring not because of the innerspring itself. Some of the most knowledgeable people I know that could choose any mattress they wanted to sleep on prefer an innerspring mattress with good quality foam on top of the innerspring (usually latex) over any other type of mattress. Innersprings can make a very good choice but it depends entirely on the quality of the materials over the innerspring and not so much the innerspring itself.

I'm assuming you are in Kelowna and Sleepy's would certainly make one of the better quality/value choices there. No matter where you shop it's always important to focus on the mattresses where you are able to find out the specifics of all the layers because with some of the mattresses they carry this information may not be available. You can see some of my comments about Geoff at Sleepys in post #17 here .

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

I'm sick of shopping lol. Narrowed down to three. 08 Aug 2013 09:37 #7

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Yes, Kelowna :)

When we went to Sleepy's, I wasn't initially very impressed, but that was my ignorance and bias. First off, I had read a lot of complaints about "Sleepy's" and almost didn't even go in there. But when he said it was a family owned store I was confused, because the complaints were talking about "the Chicago location", or similar, so I thought it was a big chain. That's when they informed me they have the same name as a large US chain and are completely unrelated. Still, I didn't find that out until the end of our visit. The "ignorance" comes from the fact that I figured an all-foam mattress was just a fancy futon... a cheap thing I slept on in college, not a proper mattress for me now. And they seemed to have a lot of these. I guess I was just skipping over anything that didn't look like a plush pillow-top monster like 90% of what you see with a "s" brand on it.

I really did Geoff and, more importantly, myself a disservice. I'll head back there when I get a chance with my eyes open a bit wider.

So after reading a lot of what you wrote (whew!), I'm now feeling my best choices are either finding something at Sleepy's, or perhaps making a trip down to Vancouver and looking at some of the many stores there that I've seen you recommend on other threads. Of course, that's 4 hours each way and the shipping of the mattress would be about $300. So even as I type that, I realize that's probably self-ruled-out.

Thanks again for your help.

- Steven

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I'm sick of shopping lol. Narrowed down to three. 08 Aug 2013 12:14 #8

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Regarding that Eastman House bed... I got the specs on it. Provided I understood everything, from the top on down, it is constructed like so:

"good quality silk and wool blend" on top
A "quilt flex" later beneath
1" of gel infused pure latex (from Latex International. Talalay)
Approximately 3" of "cool comfort foam"
360 degree foam encased "marshall" pocket coil (1160 count for queen)


So it all sounded OK to my rookie ears, and the bed was very comfortable in the showroom. But when I asked him if it was a bed he'd buy... the answer was a pretty quick "no". He said, without any hesitation, that for his money... it would be a full latex bed every time.

But isn't that just a hunk of foam in some fabric? Then can't I just find a foam shop and order it to size and get someone to sew a cover, likely saving me a grand? Or am I missing something on that?

Thanks.

- Steven

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I'm sick of shopping lol. Narrowed down to three. 08 Aug 2013 16:54 #9

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Hi bcsteve:

Regarding that Eastman House bed... I got the specs on it. Provided I understood everything, from the top on down, it is constructed like so:


Eastman House/Eclipse is a fairly large manufacturer (just outside the top 15 in terms of volume in the US) that is generally open about their materials and is often better value compared to some of the major brands. Some comments about the mattress you are considering ...

"good quality silk and wool blend" on top: If this is all silk and wool and not just a small percentage mixed in with polyester fibers then it is a good quality material and natural fibers are very good at controlling temperature and humidity.

A "quilt flex" later beneath: This is polyfoam that is quilted to the cover. It'sgenerally a lower density material and I would want to know the thickness. In general I would avoid a mattress that used more than an inch or so of lower density polyfoam (under 1.8 lbs) in the comfort layers in total because this is likely to become the weak link of the mattress and can lead to softening and foam breakdown and the loss of comfort and support. By itself this would probably be OK (it's probably less than 2") but in combination with any other lower density polyfoam layers I wold tend to avoid it.

1" of gel infused pure latex (from Latex International. Talalay): This is a high quality material that is among the most costly and durable types of foam. There is only 1" of it so assessing the mattress would depend on what else is in it.

Approximately 3" of "cool comfort foam": This is memory foam and I would want to know the density. 4 lbs is medium density and would be a good material and 5 lbs or better would be high quality and more durable memory foam.

360 degree foam encased "marshall" pocket coil (1160 count for queen): This is a good quality innerspring but I would want to know the density of the foam encasement because if you use the mattress for sitting then lower density encasements (under 1.8 lbs) can soften much faster than the innerspring or can sometimes delaminate and separate from the spring. This is used to provide a firmer edge for sleeping and sitting but it is also a cost cutting measure because polyfoam is much less costly than using steel to create edge support.

If the quiltflex layer wasn't too thick and the memory foam wasn't less than 4 lbs (and 5 lbs would be better if you were heavier) then there would be no obvious weak links in the mattress in terms of quality/durability.

So it all sounded OK to my rookie ears, and the bed was very comfortable in the showroom. But when I asked him if it was a bed he'd buy... the answer was a pretty quick "no". He said, without any hesitation, that for his money... it would be a full latex bed every time.


There are certainly many people who would agree with him. I also sleep on an all latex mattress although not everyone prefers latex and some have strong preferences for other components and materials.

But isn't that just a hunk of foam in some fabric? Then can't I just find a foam shop and order it to size and get someone to sew a cover, likely saving me a grand? Or am I missing something on that?


Once you've read the overviews you will see that latex is one of the most highly desirable and durable materials that can be used in a mattress. There are different types of foam (polyfoam, memory foam, latex foam) and most latex mattresses (not all) use different layers of different firmness levels (firmer support layers on the bottom for support like an innerspring and softer layers on top for pressure relief). You can read about some of the pros and cons of latex in this article .

If a foam shop sells latex of the type and thickness and firmness levels that you want then you could certainly do what you are suggesting although you would need to know enough about mattress design and layering to choose the type and firmness levels of the latex layers that was suitable for you in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences). If you choose the wrong firmness levels for your body type, sleeping style, or preferences then you wouldn't be comfortable sleeping on it. The quality of the cover will also play a significant role in the feel and performance of the mattress. In many cases it can save you money buying the same materials in a finished mattress but there are many DIY component mattress manufacturers (the list of some of them that are members here and sell online is in the read first post) which provide a choice of latex layers that can be customized both before and after a purchase and have a good quality zip cover. These are a very popular design and the benefit of dealing with an experienced retailer or manufacturer is that they can give you some guidance about the layering that may be most suitable for you.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

I'm sick of shopping lol. Narrowed down to three. 08 Aug 2013 17:07 #10

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Thanks!

Curious, what do YOU do that you are this knowledgeable about mattresses? Do/did you work in the industry? You seem so thoroughly versed in the matter, to a point I'd perhaps call "passion". It is interesting, as a mattress is not an object I'd typically think someone would be passionate about (passionate on, certainly). :)

Whatever the reasons... I thank you for the resource! It is proving very valuable.

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