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I've overanalyzed everything and am royally confused (in Boston) 31 Oct 2013 10:40 #1

  • Ivy76
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Hi. I'm new to the forums. However, I've been doing research on mattresses for a couple of months now, following all of the guidelines that are posted here on this site. I've looked at and laid on so many, they are all starting to look and feel the same (except for the very cheap mattresses). At first, I thought I had the spec and material information down pat (that's on this site) and was well-armed to make a decision. But now I'm just royally confused. I can tell the difference, obviously, from laying on a tempuredic or all-latex or all-foam, etc. But I'm finding it next to impossible now to tell the difference between the coil mattresses that have multiple layers of various materials all throughout them. I know what I don't like (all memory foam, all latex). I guess I'm an old fashioned person who like the springiness of a coil mattress, and I realize I need all of the layers throughout for stabilization and alignment, and the comfort layers. I would like a pillow-top type of mattress I believe.

It's getting to the point where I just wish someone could give me a few options of actual mattresses, as well as a couple of local retailers in my immediate areas that I can look at. Spindle is on the member list, but it looks like they do all latex only. I just don't feel I'd like that. I started with Saatva online-wise ... I'm not against getting a mattress online, but I am VERY NERVOUS about it without lying down on it first. Now, I'm just too nervous to do anything for fear of making the wrong decision.

I'm a few miles south of Boston on the south shore. I'm in my early 40s, 5'6, 140, and have a BMI around 24. I have no health issues. I know I don't want a very firm or extra firm mattress. I like soft and cradled, but not so soft that a few short years from now the bed will be sunken in or have bad indentations. My budget is $1500 or so ... I can be a little flexible. Just not $2500+! Currently, I have the Stearns and Foster "Dewsbury" mattress and foundation that I bought in 2000 (so mine is going on 14 years old) for about $1700. I knew nothing about mattresses when I bought it. I put a 2 inch memory foam topper on it a couple months ago from Bed Bath and Beyond just to make it softer and get me through a few months until I could find a new matterss. It helped a lot, but now I feel like I'm just sinking down into the top layer of my mattress. And I don't feel my spine is aligned, and I don't feel I'm waking up feeling that rested. The Stearns and Foster always seemed fine for the first many years (honestly, I didn't know better when I bought it), but it always seemed a little too firm, and especially in the past 3 years MUCH too firm. I don't know what changed with my body these past couple years. I just started waking up with pressure points, and the mattress felt too hard. I like the "Beautyrest Black" mattress at Jordan's furniture, but it's $2500-$3500 for a queen. Just insane! I'm not concerned about being too hot or too cold. The memory foam topper has been warmer than just the mattress alone, but I'm not a hot person, and I live in New England, so it's just not an issue for me. I don't care about flame retardant (even though maybe I should). I don't want the offgassy smell or tons of chemicals. I'm not married to a brand name. But I don't want to buy from a cheezy retail store--even a big one. They've all talked down to me. Also, I will have another person in this new bed (a guy, 6'0, 220, no health issues). We tried a few, and he feels like I feel--doesn't want too firm, doesn't want too soft, but wants a VERY GOOD mattress that will last. Innersprings. Not Tempurpedic or memory foam or all latex.

Help. :(

PS: This site has been (and will prove instrumental) in whatever mattress I choose. I'd make a 'donation' if there were a button to do that.

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Last edit: by Ivy76.

I've overanalyzed everything and am royally confused (in Boston) 31 Oct 2013 11:10 #2

  • panspermia
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I just want to tell you ... I feel your pain! I haven't even visited stores yet, I've just spent two days on the internet, and I'm exhausted! With all the invisible factors that take time to show up, and all the factors that are personally variable, this has got to be the hardest thing to shop for, harder than a car or a house.

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I've overanalyzed everything and am royally confused (in Boston) 31 Oct 2013 12:25 #3

I also agree! I have been doing some research for about two weeks now and I am beat! My eyes hurt :blink: I am really glad to have come across this website, it is very informative, so informative that I am also confused :huh: I am thinking about purchasing from Saatva, I like the idea of having all natural products, but I am still unsure. I think I would prefer the innerspring mattressess (not completely against the latex or memory foam, just not too sure about them yet), but I just do not know where to start! I live in South Florida, so the idea of a mattress (memory foam) causing extra heat is a big concern for me, I do not need anything making me any hotter :) First of all I am starting to think it is MIP (Mission In Possible) to get a king size for under $1200. I do not have any back issues, I sleep on my side mostly and on my stomach. I would just like some direction on a mattress that is made of all natural products, that will last for a good couple of years. Any information on where to begin would be Greatly Appreciated! Please and Thank You!

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Last edit: by Jin. Reason: Gratitude

I've overanalyzed everything and am royally confused (in Boston) 31 Oct 2013 13:41 #4

  • phoenix
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Hi Ivy76,

I would probably pay much more attention to your personal testing on different types of mattress than on the technical specifications of different materials and let your body tell you which mattress works best.

PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) is the single most important part of any mattress purchase because without this any mattress you purchase would have little value.

Outside of this it's also important to make sure that the mattresses you like the best use high quality materials ... especially in the comfort layers ... so that you have some reasonable assurance that what you are buying will have a reasonable useful lifetime.

Outside of this ... everything is less important and more of a preference issue than a "better worse" issue.

If you follow each step and the testing guidelines in the tutorial post here to the best or your ability then you will have less chance of being overwhelmed by mattress specs and "theory".

You are fortunate to be in the Boston area where there are some very good options which are listed in post #2 here and post #2 here has some links with more feedback about many of them.

If you have read the tutorial post already ... which step are you "stuck" on?

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

I've overanalyzed everything and am royally confused (in Boston) 31 Oct 2013 16:30 #5

  • Ivy76
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Thanks. I'm stuck on #4 -- where you put the layers or component together. I think I'm worry too much about the technical aspects.

I know I want an innerspring / coil type of matress, so that's pretty straightforward, but when I get to the layer above that and then the most important comfort layer(s), it just seems like there are so many differing opinions on what those layers should look like and be composed of that it's overwhelming.

Anyway, one of the members on your list is in Brockton, MA--that's a 10 minute drive for me. I'm going to head over there this week and try a few more mattresses and this smaller type of place (vs.Jordan's Furniture in Avon--which is wonderful, and where I've bought all of my furniture, but is very expensive).

I know you get what you pay for, it's just ridiculous that these are so marked up. They know everybody needs one, so they stick it to you.

Anyway .... :) ..... thanks. I'll let you know what I find out this weekend and what I decide -- hopefully here in November. It gets to the piont when you just need to make a dang decision, you know?

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I've overanalyzed everything and am royally confused (in Boston) 31 Oct 2013 19:55 #6

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Hi Ivy6,

Thanks. I'm stuck on #4 -- where you put the layers or component together. I think I'm worry too much about the technical aspects.


The steps in the tutorial post here are simpler and more experiential. I would read the pages you are using like you would a good book rather than study them like a textbook so that you can recognize when someone has the knowledge and experience to help you and already knows what you would otherwise need to lean. The pages you are reading are meant more as basic guidelines that can help you understand the concepts rather than being specific suggestions.

I know you get what you pay for, it's just ridiculous that these are so marked up. They know everybody needs one, so they stick it to you.


While "you get what you pay for" this may be true in some cases ... there are many other cases (especially in the mainstream industry) where you get much less than you pay for ... which of course is one of the reasons for this site :)

Anyway .... :) ..... thanks. I'll let you know what I find out this weekend and what I decide -- hopefully here in November. It gets to the piont when you just need to make a dang decision, you know?


I absolutely understand!

To keep it simple I would keep in mind that your own personal testing for PPP is the most important part along with dealing with retailers or manufacturers that can tell you the specifics of each layer of a mattress so you can identify any weak links or lower quality materials that may soften or break down too quickly and make more meaningful comparisons.

After that almost everything is preference.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

I've overanalyzed everything and am royally confused (in Boston) 01 Nov 2013 07:46 #7

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I'm going to try and visit both Mattress Maker (in Brockton, MA) and Worley or Gardner (in New Bedford and Worburn, MA) tomorrow. Whichever one I don't get to this weekend, I'll hit next weeked. I don't think I can stomach going back to Jordans' sleep lab. In the meantime, I looked over the national / online members' sites. It seems like most of them offer all or mostly latex mattresses -- like exclusively, or at least feature-wise ... like this is the way to go. If I didn't know any better (which I don't) ... are most people pretty much buying all-latex mattresses these days? I know comfort is subjective, but is this the 'new thing'--an all-latex bed? Since I haven't looked for a mattress in 13 years, maybe I'm being a dinosaur in thinking that I need --and people still buy--an innerspring / bouncy mattress with comfort layers on top?

Also, a question about a latex bed and foundation--can they fit and sit in a regular, traditional queen metal frame? Or do latex beds need a special, block or platform type of frame?

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Last edit: by Ivy76.

I've overanalyzed everything and am royally confused (in Boston) 01 Nov 2013 08:18 #8

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Here's a perfect example of why I'm thoroughly confused:

I go on the Gardner Mattress site, and I look at their graphics for construction and materials. For the "ivory plush top", they list layers above the core coils of:

- Air loomed insulation pad - 1/2 inch
- Crown insulation pad - .5 inch
- 1.2 inches of custom felt (FELT ??)
- 2oz of dense polyester
- 3/4 inch poly topper
- 9oz cotton ticking
- 2 or 3 inches of talay latex (ok, at least I've heard of that before)
- 5/8 quilited damask cover

Most of the stuff on this list I've either never heard of or is not listed in the general tutorial on this site. This Gardner mattress has 9 layers of stuff on it. Sounds .. great, but COMPLICATED. And no idea what the quality of materials is other than the talay latex (I guess).

Is it differential? what's the ILD of the latex? Where are the natural fibers in this mattress and what are they? There's no memory foam in this mattress? What are these "pads" they mention. There's no pillow top. I'm just thoroughly confused. I'm going to go see them, but I guarantee when I get there tomorrow, they're going to throw out terms I've never heard of. I'll leave there even more confused.

This is why people just go to Jordans and spend $3500-$5000 on the Beautyrest Black and be done with it. Because at least it looks and feels great. I mean, after all,l I got 13 years out of my supposedly now sub-par Stearns and Foster Dewsbury.

I'm so upset about this today, I've just had it! :( I'm going to visit Gardner, and if I can't find anything there, I'm just going to order from Saatva, the heck with it. You could literally spend a year looking, reading, driving all over the place, ordering something, and then weeks or months later still having it not be right. So, I'm just going to order something decent, and forget it. Frankly, this is ridiculous.

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Last edit: by Ivy76.

I've overanalyzed everything and am royally confused (in Boston) 01 Nov 2013 09:37 #9

  • paisley
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It’s not that you are being too analytical. You are simply looking for a spring bed without too much very low quality foam. The reason you are not finding it is not because of you, it is because they are few and far btwn and that’s the reason there aren’t many suggestions for such mattresses nor have there been many people who have posted “I found one!” but they are out there. you are fortunate to have indie mattress companies in your area. As for your experience with your long lasting mattress, yes, there are quite a few I’ve read online who have said the same, and of course, those were all bought 15 years ago I'd be willing to be its case of 'they just don't make them like they used to’, which is insane to me because why doesn’t someone just make one? Man, I’m baffled. Unfortunately the stories of people having the opposite experience to yours are much more prevalent and those are from people who have bought mattresses in the last half decade, so that’s what’s out there.

Just keep doing what you’re doing, write down what the guy says, list the materials here. Lie down on a bunch of beds, of the ones you like I would ask which materials are *better* than another and take the best of the lot because if you are looking a spring bed you are in for it a bit of a ride. The problem is also of course that because the manufactures don’t list the density it’s impossible to even *guess* which is better than another. I also wish someone would have been able to post links to a mattress without crappy foam over springs, i hate to say it, but i have yet to find one in my area under $1,500 and found one at $2k and I didn’t even LIKE it! Lol.

Lower your expectations in every way that you can. For example, how long it will take to find one (longer than you think), how many stores you’ll have to visit (expect to visit 10 and if you only visit 8, you’ll be pleased) and how long the mattress will last (I’ll be elated if I find a 7 year mattress) I literally just put in a quote for shipment of a mattress from the UK cuz they make mattresses with cotton, wool and horse hair over the springs instead of foam (and I do love foam). Lol. Find the *best* you can but don’t expect perfection. And try some latex, if you like it, you're in luck, but if you find you do not after trying quite a few, don’t try to make yourself like it, it will frustrate you even more.

Maybe you could think about getting something that you actually *will* put a topper on to extend the life of whatever mattress you find, that way you'll find something with less foam and the topper might help from creating profound dips (but then topper shopping is another nightmare). Quite frankly, that last bed you posted about doesn’t sound half bad! Hopefully phoenix can chime in on those materials. Look for the best even if it’s not ideal, add a topper, keep expectations down, try latex (it’s not for everyone).

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Last edit: by paisley.

I've overanalyzed everything and am royally confused (in Boston) 01 Nov 2013 10:01 #10

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Thanks Paisley. I think the 'old me' from 14 years ago is just not understanding that mattresses have changed a lot in the past 10-15 years. The chain stores out here seem to have mostly overpriced box springs, and all of the other stores seem to have latex and memory foam. I think my Stearns and Foster foundation is a box spring. I've pretty much been told those are non existent now--not how they're made anymore.I think I'm also not going to be comfortable at all buying a mattress online. I'm just not. I need to see it, touch it, and lie on it. I am so gun shy about Saatva, that I'm going to pass on that. I'm not sold on the overall quality of the matress (even after seeing their specs), and I had an online chat with them today about their foundation quality (a N. American Spruce box), with no springs in it whatsoever, no steel support bars at all, and they couldn't tell me how many wooden slats were in it. It just doesn't sound like something that would hold up if two adults were on this mattress and box spring long term. I'll pay $2000+ at a local retailer before I spend $900-1200 at Saatva. The extra money to deal with someone in person, who knows what they're talking about, and I can see their face, and try the mattress live is worth it to me.

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