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Grateful, overwhelmed, stuck in bed... 07 Jan 2016 05:17 #1

  • Adrienne
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Hi, everyone. I've been reading this forum truly obsessively for the last few days, hoping to avoid chiming in with what's surely a VERY redundant thread/question, and I apologise for failing in that goal. Before I start my spiel, I have to say that I'm absolutely blown away by your generosity of time and spirit, Phoenix. You're providing an invaluable resource here and I just can't thank you enough (btw, I'd love to see an anonymous donation option on this site).

I'm almost entirely bed-bound due to protracted illness and over the next few months I'll be spending more time in bed than not. I'm not up to taking advantage of the fact that I have some great local(ish) mattress retailers around here (Santa Monica, CA) and will be ordering online and untested, whatever mattress I choose. Indecisiveness has always been my #1 character flaw and, as you might imagine, this decision process is an utter nightmare for me. At this point, I'm pretty much down to choosing between Brooklyn Bedding's Best Mattress Ever and a 100% latex component mattress from either Flexus or Sleep EZ. I'm admittedly neurotic and so (pathetically) prone to doubting my own decisions after the fact that the whole "simplified choice" thing at BB is inherently attractive. Although I've read Phoenix's thread(s) about the differences between various latex hybrids and all-latex mattresses, I still wonder how much of the all-latex experience/"feel" would be lost were I to go with the #BME. I only know that I like that feel because I loved the latex mattress that my parent had for nearly 25 years (they donated it to charity when they moved a couple years ago, and neither they nor I know any specs for reference). Because I'm also considering purchasing an adjustable bed (likely a Reverie 5d...I think...), that simplified choice price tag is also pretty attractive, but this is such a hugely important investment that I'm willing to spend much more for 100% latex if it's a better choice for my constantly-frustrating, scoliosis and rheumatoid arthritis-beset body.

I'm a 34-year-old, 5'11", 129-pound side-sleeper but, as I've said, I spend loads of hours lying on my back during the day. I'll probably go with the "medium" option with whatever I choose. I know that mattress preferences are enormously subjective--thus Phoenix's policy about specific mattress/mattress retailer recommendations (beyond MU member companies, in general) and my leeriness about the myriad mattress "reviews" I've read online--but (nevertheless) I'm still interested in observations from forum members who've spent much time trying out latex mattresses in showrooms and have wound up going with BB's Best Mattress Ever (also any additional input from Phoenix, of course, however redundant...again, my apologies).

Sleepless night, 5 a.m., no coffee yet, so also please forgive this rambling post. Thank you in advance for any feedback whatsoever.

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Grateful, overwhelmed, stuck in bed... 07 Jan 2016 09:17 #2

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Hi Adrienne,

but (nevertheless) I'm still interested in observations from forum members who've spent much time trying out latex mattresses in showrooms and have wound up going with BB's Best Mattress Ever (also any additional input from Phoenix, of course, however redundant...again, my apologies).


While other people's comments about the knowledge and service of a particular business can certainly be very helpful ... I would be very cautious about about using other people's experiences or reviews on a mattress (either positive or negative) or review sites in general as a reliable source of information or guidance about how you will feel on the same mattress or how suitable or how durable a mattress may be for you and in many if not most cases they can be more misleading than helpful because any mattress that would be a perfect choice for one person or even a larger group of people may be completely unsuitable for someone else to sleep on (even if they are in a similar weight range) and other people's experiences or reviews in general certainly won't tell you much if anything about the suitability, quality, durability, or "value" of a mattress for any particular person (see post #13 here ).

Your own careful testing and/or your actual personal experience is the most reliable way to know whether any mattress is a good "match" for you in terms of comfort and PPP or how closely it "matches" another mattress but when you can't test a mattress in person then the most reliable source of guidance is always a more detailed phone conversation with a knowledgeable and experienced retailer or manufacturer that has your best interests at heart and who can help "talk you through" the specifics of their mattresses and the properties and "feel" of the materials they are using (fast or slow response, resilience, firmness etc) and the options they have available that may be the best "match" for you based on the information you provide them, any local testing you have done or mattresses you have slept on and liked or other mattresses you are considering that they are familiar with, and the "averages" of other customers that are similar to you. They will know more about "matching" their specific mattress designs and firmness levels to different body types, sleeping positions, and preferences (or to other mattresses that they are familiar with) than anyone else.

Once you have narrowed down your options to a list of finalists that are all choices between "good and good" (which you have) and none of them have any lower quality materials or "weak links" in their design relative to your weight range (which they don't) and if there are no clear winners between them (which is usually a good indication that you have done some good research) then you are in the fortunate position that any of them would likely be a suitable choice and post #2 here can help you make a final choice based on your local testing or mattresses you have slept well on, your more detailed conversations about each of them, your confidence about PPP and the suitability of each one, their prices, your preferences for different types of materials or types and blends of latex, the options you have after a purchase to fine tune the mattress or exchange or return the mattress or individual layers, any additional extras that are part of each purchase, and on "informed best judgement" based on all the other objective, subjective, and intangible parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you.

Phoenix
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Grateful, overwhelmed, stuck in bed... 07 Jan 2016 23:00 #3

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Thank you for your characteristically prompt, detailed, thoughtful response, Phoenix. I've never really believed in karma, but if it's in fact a thing, you should totally be drowning in the good kind. Although I'm only now returning to this thread, I've spent the better part of another day right here. I'd been typing keywords into the search bar and hadn't seen the site's index 'til today (to any similarly frazzled searchers reading this at some point in the future--use the index--it'll help you clear a few of your myriad open MU tabs and clear up the quandary in my first post's parenthetical btw).

Hope it doesn't irk you to hear, but I'd still love to hear--and add the requisite oversized grain of salt to--more (super subjective) general observations from BME owners who've had more firsthand experience with 100% latex than I (comparing/contrasting the two or otherwise).

Because of my situation (and my multiple health conditions that will extend beyond these bed-bound months), this is one decision where I honestly can't afford to settle or compromise, and as I've thought about what's keeping me from going with the BME, I've (somewhat reluctantly) recognised that the low price tag is a point of concern rather than a selling point. As you've said, the free return policy is built into the price, so it's even lower in real terms. But BB sure seems to have had us especially indecisive types in mind, knowing that choosing between Talay and Dunlop is tough, that most of us considering different latex densities are hoping to achieve a happy "medium", and that determining which base layer is best suited both for durability/support and to feel the full benefit of the upper comfort layers is downright daunting.

All that said, after my marathon reading sessions here and given my particular circumstances, I can't help but suspect that 100% latex is the better "match" for me. Threads about Sleep EZ's "soft" being equivalent to other retailers' "medium" (as measured by ILDs) have added another wrinkle to my already badly wrinkled thought process, but I understand that a phone conversation with one of the experts from Sleep EZ or Flexus will make the (markedly personally distasteful) idea of a component mattress more of a "simplified choice", and I'll resume my sleep-deprived rambling here ( :blush: ) after I make those overdue calls.

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Grateful, overwhelmed, stuck in bed... 07 Jan 2016 23:32 #4

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Hi Adrienne,

Hope it doesn't irk you to hear, but I'd still love to hear--and add the requisite oversized grain of salt to--more (super subjective) general observations from BME owners who've had more firsthand experience with 100% latex than I (comparing/contrasting the two or otherwise).


Hopefully some of the members here that have experience with sleeping on some version of a 100% latex mattress (and there are hundreds of variations that would be different from each other) and the BME will see your post and share their comments and experiences. My only caution would be that you fully realize just how subjective this really is and that their assessments of how any two mattresses compare may be very different from your own experience (assuming that they are even comparing the same mattresses in the same firmness levels that you are considering).

Because of my situation (and my multiple health conditions that will extend beyond these bed-bound months), this is one decision where I honestly can't afford to settle or compromise, and as I've thought about what's keeping me from going with the BME, I've (somewhat reluctantly) recognised that the low price tag is a point of concern rather than a selling point. As you've said, the free return policy is built into the price, so it's even lower in real terms. But BB sure seems to have had us especially indecisive types in mind, knowing that choosing between Talay and Dunlop is tough, that most of us considering different latex densities are hoping to achieve a happy "medium", and that determining which base layer is best suited both for durability/support and to feel the full benefit of the upper comfort layers is downright daunting.


No matter how much you may agonize over "theory at a distance" ... the only way you will know for certain whether any mattress will turn out to be suitable for you in terms of "comfort", firmness, and PPP will be based on your own personal experience. Assessing a mattress for durability is relatively simple because it's less subjective and all you need to do is know the "quality specs" of the materials in the mattress (and in the case of the BestMattressEver there are no lower quality materials or weak links that would compromise the durability and useful life of the mattress) but knowing how a mattress will feel or perform for you is very different. This is the reason that the return policy can be so important so you can test the mattress in your bedroom instead of a showroom so if it's not "good enough" in terms of PPP (however you may define or experience that) then you can just return it and you have lost nothing except the time you've spent sleeping on it and returning it.

Unless you have a great deal of knowledge and experience with different types of mattress materials and specs and different layering combinations and how they combine together and can translate them into your own "real life" experience that can be unique to you (which would only be a very small percentage of people) ... I would avoid using individual specs such as layer thicknesses or ILD numbers or other complex combinations of information or specifications to try and predict how a mattress will feel or perform for you or how it will compare to another mattress and focus more on your own actual testing and/or personal experience and if this isn't possible then on more detailed conversations with a knowledgeable manufacturer or retailer. While knowing the specs that can affect the quality and durability of the layers and components in a mattress is always important ... when you try and choose or compare a mattress based on complex combinations of "comfort" specs that you may not fully understand then the most common outcome can often be "information overload" and "paralysis by analysis". Even the best mattress designers in the industry are often surprised at what a mattress they design "should have felt like" when they design it and what it "actually feels like" when they test out their new design.

All that said, after my marathon reading sessions here and given my particular circumstances, I can't help but suspect that 100% latex is the better "match" for me. Threads about Sleep EZ's "soft" being equivalent to other retailers' "medium" (as measured by ILDs) have added another wrinkle to my already badly wrinkled thought process, but I understand that a phone conversation with one of the experts from Sleep EZ or Flexus will make the (markedly personally distasteful) idea of a component mattress more of a "simplified choice", and I'll resume my sleep-deprived rambling here ( :blush: ) after I make those overdue calls.


You will also find others that say the opposite and that will tell you that even firmer latex feels softer than they thought it would.

There are no "standard" definitions or consensus of opinions for firmness ratings and different manufacturers can rate their mattresses very differently than others so a mattress that one manufacturer rates as being a specific firmness could be rated very differently by another manufacturer. Different people can also have very different perceptions of firmness and softness compared to others as well and a mattress that feels firm for one person can feel like "medium" for someone else or even "soft" for someone else (or vice versa) depending on their body type, sleeping style, physiology, their frame of reference based on what they are used to, and their individual sensitivity and perceptions. There are also different types of firmness and softness that different people may be sensitive to that can affect how they "rate" a mattress as well (see post #15 here ) so different people can also have very different opinions on how two mattresses compare in terms of firmness and some people may rate one mattress as being firmer than another and someone else may rate them the other way around. This is all relative and very subjective and is as much an art as a science.

The best idea of all would be the "overdue" conversations on the phone.

Phoenix
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Grateful, overwhelmed, stuck in bed... 08 Jan 2016 10:42 #5

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I have been sleeping on a Brooklyn Bedding BME for almost 6 months, after 10 years on an all-latex very expensive Stearns & Foster. So I can give you my own experience, with the stipulation that everyone's different etc.

My stats: female 5'6" 125 lb small frame side sleeper, with some hip, back and neck issues that make me careful about my bedding. When I first got my latex mattress it was a new world of sleeping comfort for me. The improvement was incredible and I decided I'd never go back to innerspring.. Last summer I needed to change bed sizes which was the only reason for discarding the latex mattress. I did a lot of research and ended up deciding on BB based on several factors. I didn't want to have to be my own mattress assembly plant which is what is involved in Sleep-EZ and many other latex vendors who send layers. I liked the ease of ordering with BB, I liked that they offered different comfort levels which were clearly explained in several phone conversations with the company and that the mattress is shipped compressed to be easily handled and set up. I very much appreciated their comfort guarantee and knowing that if it didn't feel right I could easily return it.. What finally sold me was the price. If I could get the same benefits of latex at, literally a third of the cost with an iron clad comfort warranty there didn't seem to be any reason not to go for it.

Six months later I am completely satisfied with my new mattress, which is a queen soft. I truly cannot tell any difference in comfort between my BME and my former latex bed. I have the identical wonderful feeling each night of sleeping on a perfect mattress and I have the satisfaction of knowing I got my new bed at a fraction of the cost of latex. And if the BME doesn't last as long I'm still ok because I didn't pay as much, although I suspect that longevity will be fine.

So that is my real world experience comparing sleeping on latex with sleeping on the BB Best Mattress Ever. I urge you to try it out and if it really doesn't work for you, you can easily return it, get a refund and move forward with latex. However, based on my own experience the BME may very well be exactly what you want and your wallet will thank you as well as your body :)

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Grateful, overwhelmed, stuck in bed... 16 Jan 2016 01:11 #6

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Wow, at the end of a really, really rough day, both of you genuinely, significantly lifted my spirits. I'll sound sappy saying it, but I'm honestly moved by your generosity. As often as I've read them, I haven't ceased to marvel at your responses to hundreds of achy searchers, Phoenix (if one reads enough, it becomes impossible to be cynical about your motives--believe me, I tried). And thank you so much for that feedback about your experience, Pennywise--superlatively subjective, but nonetheless appreciated (*hoping Phoenix isn't cringing too much*).

I finally called Flexus earlier today, and (in keeping with everything I've read here) Henry was terrific. I was in full-blown sleep-starved neurotic babbler mode, but he patiently listened, considered my situation and stats, and recommended a highly personalized configuration, discussing--among other helpful things--the difference between a 7" mattress with a separate, 3" soft topper (zipped up in two separate covers) and a 10" mattress with a Soft top layer (all zipped up in one cover), reiterating the ease of layer exchange should the soft option feel too soft (my main concern--I've always preferred a mattress with plenty of "push back"...then again, I'm in loads of pain 'round the clock and that preference may very well be working against me).

Feeling like going with that configuration would be the right move, but since I last checked in my sister has incurred some major financial expenses for which my mom and I will be footing the bill, and I'm a little less sanguine about that added cost when compared to the widely-lauded BBE (with my personalized configuration, $670 difference). No kind of good if I see the BBE as "my latex compromise" from the get go, but I'm certainly not convinced that that's what it would be at all.

Considering my conversation with Henry, if I were to go with BBE (applying his patient input to the competition :unsure: ), now I'm thinking that instead of the Medium I'd always had in mind, I should opt for Soft, just as I would with the component mattress... But I know it's easier to add a soft topper to a too-firm mattress than to firm up a too-soft mattress... I'm well aware that most people would emphasize Brooklyn Bedding's stellar 120 return policy at this point, but taking them up on it is a way bigger, more daunting, more exhausting proposition for me than it is for the (substantial ) majority of other people, I don't 100% trust myself to follow through and, as I've said (/admitted), I doubt my ability to suss out what "feels good" (most anything will compared to what I've got now) vs. what's right for my blasted, malfunctioning body.

...Seems I'm checking back in too early again since I've yet to have the second of those (woefully) overdue conversations. I'll update accordingly, but I just couldn't put off my thanks.

(...and of course I (very) heartily welcome any further thoughts or observations from anyone, salt shaker in hand.)

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Grateful, overwhelmed, stuck in bed... 16 Jan 2016 05:24 #7

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Adrienne, I forgot to report something else that may help you: I am another soft-but-supportive junkie, and I had tweaked my latex mattress with several layers of softness: a foam pad, an egg-crate extra foam pad and a soft cotton mattress pad!

When I got the BB mattress in soft, I tried it alone then started playing with it as well :) . I bought a very cushy JC Penney mattress pad, and underneath that put on my leftover foam pad from the previous bed. As you point out it's easy to add softness layers and in my case, it took what was already a great mattress into heavenly territory. Also, since my foam pad happened to be a king size I tried it out without cutting it down and a happy accident occurred-- folding down the extra at the sides made the edge seem sturdier!

You have to choose what's right for you but once again, this is the report of someone who seems to be somewhat similar to you and who was in search of something that the BME along with a couple of not-too-pricey add ons has delivered in spades: a great night's sleep!

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Grateful, overwhelmed, stuck in bed... 16 Jan 2016 12:52 #8

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Hi Adrienne,

There really isn't much that I can add to my previous comments unless you have any specific questions and to encourage you to keep talking with the online manufacturers or retailers that interest to you.

There are also some comments about all latex mattresses vs a latex/polyfoam hybrid mattress in post #2 here but both of the mattresses you mentioned would be great quality/value choices.

Once you have narrowed down your options to a list of finalists that are all choices between "good and good" and none of them have any lower quality materials or "weak links" in their design relative to your weight range (which they don't) and if there are no clear winners between them (which is usually a good indication that you have done some good research) then you are in the fortunate position that any of them would likely be a suitable choice and post #2 here can help you make a final choice based on your local testing or mattresses you have slept well on, your more detailed conversations about each of them, your confidence about PPP and the suitability of each one, their prices, your preferences for different types of materials or types and blends of latex, the options you have after a purchase to fine tune the mattress or exchange or return the mattress or individual layers, any additional extras that are part of each purchase, and on "informed best judgement" based on all the other objective, subjective, and intangible parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you.

@Pennywise,

Thanks for taking the time to share some great feedback about your mattress and some of the "fine tuning" you've done :)

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
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