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Help with Latex Mattress Questions 31 Dec 2016 19:10 #1

  • otisc
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Time to replace my cratering king bed, and I'm going to be getting an adjustable base. I went to a few stores, and everyone wanted to put me into TempurPedic or some sort of memory foam mattress, neither of which I liked. I found this forum, read a little bit about latex, and went back out to feel some.

The first few big box retailers in town were a joke. A couple told me they didn't think they even made latex mattresses any longer. I ended up at Urban Mattress here in Austin, and they were the first people who knew what I was talking about (I later saw them on an Austin list here on this site). After trying a few of their latex selections, my wife and I quickly picked one with a medium firmness.

The mattress we liked was this one: www.urbanmattress.com/mattresses/urban-mattress/virtues-wonder

It features:
Support Layer: 6″ Latex 36 ILD
Comfort Layer: 3″ Firm 36 ILD Latex, 2″ 3lb Gel Memory Foam, Two 1.5″ 2.1lb Foam Layers

Some questions:

1) Would this be a good bed to use on an adjustable frame? Everywhere we go they say every bed they sell works great on them, but I just don't believe it (Denver mattress showed us some mattresses that looked WAY too thick to work on adjustable).

2) Does this mattress seem like a quality latex mattress? Or does the memory foam in the comfort layer detract? Is this a hybrid mattress?

3) Most importantly: the cost. I know latex mattresses are expensive, but the king here is $4299. I guess I could swallow that if the quality were there to last... but since we are going adjustable, and we'll be using two side-by-side twins, the cost will really be $3599 x 2! I know there is some cost to be expected, but $7200 is steep! Can you recommened somewhere I could find a similar product for a more reasonable price? Or is that already reasonable for what they are selling?

I'm not overly picky. Most of the mid-firmness mattresses felt overall just fine to me. Compared to what I have, I'd be happy with pretty much anything new with that is not too firm/not too soft. But since reading about latex, I realize that if I do some research I can get something that will actually last long. But it is all so overwhelming that I just don't even know if the above linked mattress I tested is a great product or some overhyped ripoff.

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Help with Latex Mattress Questions 01 Jan 2017 12:32 #2

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Hi otisc,

Welcome to the Mattress Forum! :)

The mattress we liked was this one:
Support Layer: 6″ Latex 36 ILD
Comfort Layer: 3″ Firm 36 ILD Latex, 2″ 3lb Gel Memory Foam, Two 1.5″ 2.1lb Foam Layers
Would this be a good bed to use on an adjustable frame? Everywhere we go they say every bed they sell works great on them, but I just don't believe it (Denver mattress showed us some mattresses that looked WAY too thick to work on adjustable).

Yes, it would be fine. I usually use the rule of thumb about 12” or so, but with a (mostly) latex product like this you’ll be fine at 14”, but just realize it may not contour quite as finely as a thinner mattress or an all-latex mattress. And you are correct that everyone in the industry is trying to sell you any mattress (regardless of applicability) on top of an adjustable bed base. It’s about taking a $1000 sale and upping it to a $3000 sale – whether or not the mattress really will be appropriate or work well on an adjustable bed.

Does this mattress seem like a quality latex mattress? Or does the memory foam in the comfort layer detract? Is this a hybrid mattress?

The latex is certainly a durable and high quality material, but I would advise caution with the memory foam and the poly foam for durability. At a minimum, I’d recommend 4 lb. for the memory foam (5 lb. is preferred) and 1.8 lb. for the poly foam.

Most importantly: the cost. I know latex mattresses are expensive, but the king here is $4299. I guess I could swallow that if the quality were there to last... but since we are going adjustable, and we'll be using two side-by-side twins, the cost will really be $3599 x 2! I know there is some cost to be expected, but $7200 is steep! Can you recommened somewhere I could find a similar product for a more reasonable price? Or is that already reasonable for what they are selling?

It's certainly not unreasonable for you to want to get a great product and a very good price. And I certainly don’t mind paying a bit extra for the time, service and advice received from a good brick and mortar retailer.

However, a good option for you would be to look online and use the experience and expertise of the members listed in post #21 here who are all very experienced and knowledgeable and specialize in providing the type of help and guidance on the phone that can help you make good choices. There are a wide range of latex options included in the choices there and I believe that all of them compete well with the best in the industry in terms of their quality, value, service, and transparency, especially about latex mattresses.

They’ll know 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 (like at Urban Mattress) 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, options, and firmness levels to different body types, sleeping positions, and preferences (or to other mattresses that they are familiar with) than anyone else. They can also help provide information to you regarding any return/exchange programs available should your purchase unfortunately not turn out as good as you had expected.

I’ll be interested to learn about your future progress and any decisions you end up making. Good luck!

Phoenix
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Help with Latex Mattress Questions 01 Jan 2017 21:21 #3

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Well my next order of business is to go over to another Urban Mattress location and blind-test the mattresses and see if my selection matches with what I liked before. If it does, I may try and negotiate them down a bit, and then just pull the trigger. The price is crazy, but if might really last 15 years, I guess it will pay for itself. I'd like to contact some of the folks on your list and while I'm sure they would do me just fine, I just can't spend serious money on a mattress I will not test in person, it may not work out and then what.

You have great info on mattresses, and I've seen your threads on adjustable bases -- but I still wish there was more info out there. The adjustable base market is almost as convoluted as the mattress industry - with brands having so many model numbers that overlap and then are rebranded under different names. It's just so hard to figure out if you're getting a deal or getting ripped. Even searching for reviews -- Google search results are dominated by hundreds of pages that look like review pages but are really shills for a brand or a store or just click bait. Even YouTube -- I could literally only find one video that wasn't ad-based or promo material that had an actual person reviewing their bed. The industry is really good at flooding the market with their marketing materials so you can't get any real info or grasp on what you are buying.

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Help with Latex Mattress Questions 02 Jan 2017 13:38 #4

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Hi otisc,

Well my next order of business is to go over to another Urban Mattress location and blind-test the mattresses and see if my selection matches with what I liked before.

As you’ve already done quite a bit of initial testing, it is best to pick up where you left off with your last favorite configuration.

I'd like to contact some of the folks on your list and while I'm sure they would do me just fine, I just can't spend serious money on a mattress I will not test in person, it may not work out and then what.

When considering online options, always call, as, “They can also help provide information to you regarding any return/exchange programs available should your purchase unfortunately not turn out as good as you had expected.” Not everyone is comfortable making an online mattress purchase, so it’s nice that you have a local option to consider.

You have great info on mattresses, and I've seen your threads on adjustable bases -- but I still wish there was more info out there.

Just in case you didn’t find this one, here is an adjustable bed base thread with some manufacturers listed. There is more information about choosing an adjustable bed in post #3 here and the main adjustable bed topic that it links to that can help you choose an adjustable bed based on price vs features comparisons and also includes some retailers that you can use as good sources of information about the features of the adjustable beds they carry and as pricing references as well (in post #6 in the main adjustable bed topic). Of course there are many other sources as well and prices can change on a regular basis so I would also include some internet searching in your research. I would also keep in mind that online advertised prices are often price controlled so make sure you call the stores you are considering to find out their best prices rather than just looking at websites. I would consider all the major adjustable bed manufacturers to be closely comparable in terms of reliability so I would use price and feature comparisons to choose between them.

Phoenix
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Help with Latex Mattress Questions 05 Jan 2017 14:14 #5

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My thread disappeared, so I hope this reply gets seen...

We went back to a 2nd location of Urban Mattress and the bed we liked wasn't on the floor. So we tried a few and without even looking at price, picked the Harmony Virtue. This mattress was $1200 for a Twin XL, which was a savings of over $4,000 over the ones we had liked last time.

I quickly whipped out my phone at the store and found this forum's durability guidelines. I was relieved when the mattress we picked fit. Thank God for this website.

The Virtue is:
Support Layer: 6″ 2.5lb 28 ILD Foam Core

Comfort Layer: 1″ soft 19 ILD Latex, 2″ 1.8lb 24 ILD Foam, Two 1.5″ 2.1lb Foam Layers

So, it doesn't have the latex on the support layer, but the foam rates high enough to pass your specs. By the numbers this mattress is also a bit softer than the Wonder mattress above, but that other mattress with a higher ILD also had more top layers.

Overall, I'm very pleased and really have to thank this website. The mattress industry is borderline fraudulent in the way products are marketed and sold, and without the solid guidance of this website, I'd have been lost and probably been ripped off with something that wouldn't last or might not even fit the base I wanted. Thank you so much!

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Help with Latex Mattress Questions 05 Jan 2017 16:11 #6

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Hi otisc,

Thanks for the update!

So it’s easier to see, here are the specs of the two mattresses you were comparing.

The Urban Mattress Virtues Wonder:
Support Layer: 6″ Latex 36 ILD
Comfort Layer: 3″ Firm 36 ILD Latex, 2″ 3lb Gel Memory Foam, Two 1.5″ 2.1lb Foam Layers

The Urban Mattress Virtues Harmony is:
Support Layer: 6″ 2.5lb 28 ILD Foam Core
Comfort Layer: 1″ soft 19 ILD Latex, 2″ 1.8lb 24 ILD Foam, Two 1.5″ 2.1lb Foam Layers

As you’re already aware, replacing the latex core on the Wonder with a HR polyfoam core and also changing the “transitory layers” to less latex and polyfoam help create quite a bit of savings, and also provide a different feel, which you did experience.

Overall, I'm very pleased and really have to thank this website. The mattress industry is borderline fraudulent in the way products are marketed and sold, and without the solid guidance of this website, I'd have been lost and probably been ripped off with something that wouldn't last or might not even fit the base I wanted. Thank you so much!

I know it is sad that the industry in North America in general is not forthcoming about specifications and is lacking in knowledgeable sleep specialists, which makes this site so important. We’re working to educate as many consumers, salespeople and retailers as possible. And our site members help serve as examples of what the industry should be. It’s a big challenge, but one that we’re not afraid to continue fighting.

Thanks for the kind words. And as I’m assuming you purchased a mattress, congratulations on your new mattress! :cheer: Let us know what you think about it after you’ve had a chance to sleep on it for a while.

Phoenix
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Help with Latex Mattress Questions 19 Jan 2017 21:07 #7

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I'd like to add another angle to this discussion on Urban Mattress: what happens when the bed you buy/get delivered feels noticeably different than the demo on the showroom floor? And I mean softer, so not a break-in or temperature issue?

Before I get into describing our (ongoing) buying experience with Urban Mattress (Colorado), let me point out that they are being very responsive to our issue with a newly delivered "Wonder" mattress (called Virtues Wonder in the online description). Without over-examining our perceived difference, they immediately ordered us another "Wonder" without cost, and preserved our right to a future free-swap if the "Wonder" doesn't work out for us. Unlike Ostic, we're not located in TX: we're working through the Urban Mattress store in Centennial, CO. (owners also own a Denver franchise store).

The longer story. Having done the big retail chain purchase of three prior mattresses, we did a good amount of online research - especially Phoenix' site. After wasting a lot of time reading about online mattresses (more than 30!), we decided to look into the local/regional mattress operation after encouragement found on this web site. That led us to a nearby Urban Mattress store where we were pleased to be able to try a good number of beds using latex (one of the things we had a lack of knowledge/familiarity). Like Ostic, we liked the "Wonder" bed. It was also nice that the specs were readily available on the company's web site and a cut-away of the innards was also available in the store.

I should mention that the store buying experience was very laid back and tended towards providing useful information. Free coffee or craft beer was available (yes, it would have kept us in the store longer). I would say that the salespeople hired by this two-store franchise of Urban Mattress are sociable and biased to selling the reduced risk of buying through them. Free swap if the purchase doesn't work out, and a 10-year satisfaction guarantee that was intended to be more useful than typical manufacturer warranties. I'll provide a more in-depth review of Urban Mattress when our buying experience is truly complete (issues resolved) but I can clearly state that they enable there in-store personnel to act and resolve customer issues, not argue about entitlements.

When we took delivery of our new "Wonder" king, it was immediately obvious to both my wife and I that it had a softer feel than the demo we had tried out in the store. This was unexpected as we thought it would be harder initially as it was not yet broken in. We returned to the store the next day to see if we still perceived a firmness difference between the store demo and the unit we received. We did feel there was s noticeable difference, though the store unit was a queen and our purchase dunit is a king, on new foundations. Our home unit also uses a metal frame to put the foundations above the floor, which differs from the store. While we've been told this is not significant we have to wonder about the source of the perceived differences.

While we might have been worried about getting into a conflict with Urban Mattress about manufacturing consistency (unit-to-unit variations) or possible manufacturing errors or differences in foam batches (latex, gel memory foam or polyfoam) or some other variants...they simply asked if we'd like them to ship a different "Wonder."

The manufacturing source of the mattress is local: Old West Mattress (Denver, CO). Urban Mattress basically told us we'd get a new mattress in less than a week, regardless of what was causing the difference. You have ot like that.

Additionally, purchases from them entitles a free swap regardless of reason (no refund). Any subsequent swaps would incur a 10% restocking fee but not the first swap. In our situation they simply augmented our entitlements to not sacrifice the free swap with the exchange of the "Wonder" for another one. Like I said: very customer-oriented.

We had also opted for low-profile foundations with the original "Wonder" purchase, and it turns out my wife did not like the lower altitude. Urban Mattress offered to swap the foundations out while replacing the mattress, without cost.

So while we are still waiting to see if the "Wonder" is truly the right bed for us, I have many positive things to say about Urban Mattress.

I don't see much on this Mattress Underground site that speaks to manufacturing variation, so I don't even know if we should be considering the OEM manufacturer (Old West Mattress) as possibly being in this equation. What I do know is that Urban Mattress will place our returned "Wonder" next to a store demo and see for themselves - along with factory reps being present - if they perceive as significant a difference as we do. While we immediately feel a hammocking kind of difference with less firmness. Perhaps Phoenix will want to comment about that. As I said above, many variables might contribute to why a difference might exist.

The "Wonder" from top down is:
- Two 1.5" layers of poly foam (2.1 lb/cf)
- One 3" layer of gel memory foam (3 lb/cf)
- One 3" layer of latex (firm at 36 ILD)
- Over a support layer of 6" latex (form at 36 ILD)

For people who like to sink into their mattresses more, Urban Mattress makes a variant of this bed with the latex levels being 19 ILD, and call that bed the "Unity."

I should be able to follow-up wiht more info on our experience next week, as we get the replacement "Wonder" tomorrow.

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Help with Latex Mattress Questions 20 Jan 2017 13:47 #8

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Hi denverdoug,

I'd like to add another angle to this discussion on Urban Mattress: what happens when the bed you buy/get delivered feels noticeably different than the demo on the showroom floor? And I mean softer, so not a break-in or temperature issue?

First, I’m sorry that your initial mattress from Urban Mattress didn’t feel quite right to you, but I’m happy that they took the time to get a new one ordered for you and are providing very nice service to you. That’s great news.:)

Yes, you are correct that it is odd for a new mattress to feel softer than a showroom model – firmer is usually the issue. It’s normal for a new mattress to lose some of its "false firmness" as the cover stretches and loosens a little, the foam breaks in a bit, and your body gets used to a sleeping surface that is different from what it is used to (see post #3 here ). This would typically be a few weeks but it can be shorter or longer depending on the specifics of the person and the mattress.

Of course, you are experiencing the opposite situation. Common reasons for this could be that the manufacturer made a “running change” in the mattress composition and the retailer didn’t make the change on their floor model. Another reason could be that the manufacturing facility got a shipment of foam when the ILD range was outside or at the extreme of their range that they specify (this is more common with polyurethane foams as the process is less exact that than for latex in reproducing ILDs). The third issue tends to be a mistake made by the manufacturing facility and an incorrect layer of foam being placed within the product. There could be an issue with temperature/humidity in a warmer environment making the mattress feel a little softer within the transition memory foam layer, but I don’t know that you would be experiencing enough of a temperature difference between the showroom environment and your home bedroom environment, where the showroom would’ve had to have been very cold and the bedroom very warm, to potentially notice such a difference. The most likely culprit would be the polyfoam layers in the quilt or an incorrect layer being used.

Regardless, I’m glad you’re getting a new product shipped out and hopefully this one meets your expectations. That's very good service from Urban Mattress and I hope your "mystery" gets figured out.

Keep us updated!

Phoenix
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Urban Mattress service 20 Jan 2017 15:41 #9

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Phoenix,
Urban Mattress did what they said: delivered a replacement unit (including new foundations) today, removing the original unit. This second "Wonder" mattress is indeed firmer than the first one which was delivered, and more like the store demo we had tried. We will have to sleep in it/break it in before we really render judgement but we remain impressed with Urban Mattress' service orientation. If they share their internal analysis of the returned unit with us - something the manufacturer reps (Old West Mattress) should also be attending - we'll be happy to inform you whether they discover anything about the layer assembly or material quality/variation. As of today though, what we do know is that the replacement is more in line with what we originally expected. We will still have a swap-out privilege to another mattress should the "Wonder" not work out for us. And once again, thanks for providing and participating in the Mattress Underground: an excellent site.

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Urban Mattress service 20 Jan 2017 16:10 #10

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Hi denverdoug,

Urban Mattress did what they said: delivered a replacement unit (including new foundations) today, removing the original unit. This second "Wonder" mattress is indeed firmer than the first one which was delivered, and more like the store demo we had tried. we remain impressed with Urban Mattress' service orientation.

Thank you for the update. It’s always nice to share good news when a retailer “does right” by their customers and rectifies a situation.

If they share their internal analysis of the returned unit with us - something the manufacturer reps (Old West Mattress) should also be attending - we'll be happy to inform you whether they discover anything about the layer assembly or material quality/variation.

As a curiosity it would be interesting to see if they can determine what was wrong (and they certainly would want to know for their own quality control), so I appreciate you offering to share any potential updates.

And once again, thanks for providing and participating in the Mattress Underground: an excellent site.

You are very welcome! I’m glad the site is useful for you. And I look forward to your future updates once you’ve had a chance to test out this mattress for a while.

Phoenix
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