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Having a hard time picking out a latex mattress 17 Jul 2017 23:23 #1

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I've been researching mattresses for the past few months and I'm having a ton of decision paralysis. I've decided to buy a king size latex mattress. I need help narrowing it down from there.

I'm a 30 year old male, 225 lbs, 5'10''. I sleep by myself although my boyfriend may be moving in with me. He's about the same height and 160lbs. Over the past year I've lost 125 pounds. I used to be 330-350. I'm still losing a ton of weight and my goal weight is 165lbs. I'm mostly a side and stomach sleeper. I've preferred softer mattresses in the past.

I'm looking for a king sized mattress. I'm moving away from a 12 year old worn out pillowtop innerspring mattress that is now causing me lower back pains (and if I sleep on my side the arm I sleep on falls asleep). Unfortunately there are no local mattress stores here that carry a full latex mattress, only ones that have a 3'' core, so whatever I buy online needs to have a good return policy.

What would be a good latex softness/firmness/ILD number for me? Just to give people an idea, even though it's memory foam, I tried out Tempur-Pedic mattresses. I've tried following the suggested tips for mattress testing as possible. I want to say that the Tempur-Pedic Cloud Luxe Breeze was the most comfortable in-store. The others put pressure points on my rib cage when stomach sleeping or shoulders when side sleeping. It was hard for me to test though as the freaking salesman and his manager wouldn't give me five damn minutes alone. They kept bothering me even though I asked for some time to test out the mattress. Of course they didn't get a sale as I hated their high pressure sales tactics. I know firmer is better for any sort of back pain. Knowing that experience though which ILD and combination of latex layers may work out good? I feel a bit overwhelmed in picking out a latex mattress. Also, what sort of thickness? At least 9''?

As far as budget goes the absolute max I can spend is $3k, although ideally I would love to spend under $1.5k. What are your suggestions?

Thanks!

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Having a hard time picking out a latex mattress 18 Jul 2017 11:59 #2

  • phoenix
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Hi ritaelyn,

Welcome to the Mattress Forum! , and congratulation on your weight loss! :cheer:

I've been researching mattresses for the past few months and I'm having a ton of decision paralysis. I've decided to buy a king size latex mattress. I need help narrowing it down from there.


I know it can get quite confusing with so much information available from a myriad of online sources, so I’ll do my best simplify things for you.

I'm mostly a side and stomach sleeper. I've preferred softer mattresses in the past.


Post #2 here has some generic guidelines for different body types and sleeping positions, and the first part of post #2 here also has more information about couples that have a larger weight differential. (most of these are in the tutorial post but I thought I'd highlight them here as well).

Generally, stomach sleepers will benefit from a very supportive mattress with less surface deflection, as you don’t want to accentuate the forward (lordotic) curve of your low back. Side sleepers generally have to deal with the widest differential in dimensions between shoulders/waist/hips/knees, so something with a bit of surface contouring is desirable. Between these two “extremes” would probably be a comfort for you to explore, with sleep ergonomic researchers having you defer first toward deep support and then focus on “just enough” surface comfort to “get the job done”.

I'm looking for a king sized mattress. I'm moving away from a 12 year old worn out pillowtop innerspring mattress that is now causing me lower back pains (and if I sleep on my side the arm I sleep on falls asleep). Unfortunately there are no local mattress stores here that carry a full latex mattress, only ones that have a 3'' core, so whatever I buy online needs to have a good return policy.


The loss of comfort and some support would be normal for a product of this age, so it’s certainly understandable that you wouldn’t be sleeping as well. Most online all-latex manufacturers will have a good return/exchange policy, and some of the component-style all-latex products allow for layer returns/exchanges as well. If you provide your zip code, I can see if I am aware of an all-latex offerings for you to test closer to home.

What would be a good latex softness/firmness/ILD number for me? Just to give people an idea, even though it's memory foam, I tried out Tempur-Pedic mattresses. I've tried following the suggested tips for mattress testing as possible. I want to say that the Tempur-Pedic Cloud Luxe Breeze was the most comfortable in-store. The others put pressure points on my rib cage when stomach sleeping or shoulders when side sleeping.


Unfortunately, there would be no way for me to determine via an online forum what combination of materials, ILDs, thicknesses and order of layers would be most appropriate for you, as there are entirely too many unknowns, personal preference and variables that are unique to each person to have a formula or to allow me to predict what you may or may not prefer. There is no "theory at a distance" that can possibly be more reliable than your own careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in step 4 of the tutorial) or your own personal sleeping experience (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here ).

I think that you’ve already gone over some of it , but just in case, make sure you go through the mattress shopping tutorial here . You may also wish to read through the five steps to picking out a mattress here .

The materials you’ve considering (latex) are quite durable and good quality, so it would be more about finding a comfort that agrees with your needs.

Considering a component-style latex system, where the layers can be rearranged (and even split on the left and right side), might be desirable for you as you continue to lose weight, as it allows you the ability to rearrange the order or even change comfort layers as your BMI changes.

I know that one of the advantages of trying mattresses locally is that you can try many different types and styles and combinations of materials and components and firmness levels and compare them to each other in "real time" based on your actual experience rather than just "theory" instead of trying one online mattress at a time and not knowing how it compares to the other mattresses that you could have tried or purchased instead, although a memory foam comfort is very different from latex, as memory foam has a high hysteresis and is quite “dead” feeling, while latex is more resilient and tends to have more of a “bounce” to it. Both materials are quite point elastic.

Local testing will also give you a much better sense of the many different types of materials and components that are used in mattresses and some reference points about the types of mattresses (see this article ) and general firmness levels you tend to prefer which can help you narrow down your choices regardless of whether you end up purchasing locally or online.

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 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.

A good online retailer or manufacturer will generally make suggestions that they honestly believe have the best chance of success based on the information you provide them when you talk to them on the phone because this is in both your own and their best interests but again ... at the end of the day the only way to know for certain whether any specific mattress is a good match for you in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your own Personal preferences) will be based on your own careful testing and/or your own personal experience, so if you can't test a specific mattress in person then the options you have available after a purchase to either exchange the mattress or individual layers or components or return the mattress for a refund (and any costs involved) would generally become a more important part of your personal value equation (as you mentioned), just in case a mattress you purchase doesn't turn out as well as you hoped for.

When considering a latex mattress online, a good place to begin your search would be to use the experience and expertise of the site 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 and 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.

It was hard for me to test though as the freaking salesman and his manager wouldn't give me five damn minutes alone. They kept bothering me even though I asked for some time to test out the mattress.


I know that can be annoying when salespeople are commission-driven and taught to treat customers in that manner. :angry:

I know firmer is better for any sort of back pain.


“Back pain” can come from many different sources. There is some information about the many different pains/symptoms that people may experience on a mattress and some of the most common causes behind them in post #2 here that may be helpful, but the most common reason for lower back pain is a mattress that has comfort layers that are too thick/soft or a support core that is too soft (or comfort layers that are just plain worn out).

Also, what sort of thickness? At least 9''?


The thickness of a mattress is just a side effect of the design and by itself isn't particularly meaningful because whether a thicker or thinner mattress would be better or worse for any particular person will depend on the specifics of the materials (type, firmness, etc.) and on all the other layers in the mattress. Thickness is only one of many specs that are used to make different mattresses that perform and feel differently and that makes a mattress suitable for one person and not another. There is more about the effect of thickness in post #14 here .

One of the main benefits of a thicker latex mattress (or any mattress that uses similar materials) is that it can be more adaptable, especially for heavier weights and multiple sleeping positions. It will compress from softer to firmer more gradually which means that there is more "range" of compression without the mattress becoming too firm for heavier weights (or parts of the body). A thicker mattress can also be part of a specific design that requires it such as some types of zoning or layering that needs more layers to accomplish the design goal of the mattress. It can even just be a matter of preference rather than "need".

In the large majority of cases, 8" - 9" of latex is easily enough to include the combination softer layers (or sometimes sections) for pressure relief and firmer layers for support that most people of average or even higher weights would need. In some cases, people that have higher body weights (I know yours is shrinking) or larger body types may choose more than the "average" thickness and may prefer the feel and extra adaptability of say 12" of latex. Thicker mattresses can also use firmer materials because thickness and softness are very related and work together. These are all good questions to ask the manufacturer or retailer of a mattress so they can discuss the differences between the different options they have available in terms that are more specific to the layers they use or options they provide.

Thickness and softness work together and because thicker layers (or mattresses) can have a greater range of compression and are more "adaptable". It's also possible to use firmer top layers in a thicker mattress and still have good pressure relief because of the greater range of compression of the thicker mattress which can create a mattress with a firmer "surface feel" but that still provides good pressure relief and adapts well to the body contours.

One other benefit of a thicker mattresses that have multiple layers that can be rearranged or exchanged is that there are more layering combinations possible for changing and fine tuning the performance and feel of the mattress but in many cases this wouldn't be necessary and in some cases can lead to a level of complexity that can make predicting how the layers interact more difficult (see post #2 here ).

So the overall thickness of a mattress that is either "needed" or "preferred" would depend on the combinations of the layers and components that are needed to achieve the design goal of the mattress and provide the PPP that can best match each person and their unique body type, sleeping positions, and preferences.

While this is a bit of reading, I hope it helps get you started with your search for a latex mattress.

Phoenix
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Having a hard time picking out a latex mattress 19 Jul 2017 21:22 #3

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Thanks Phoenix! Your really in depth response has been really valuable. I live in Las Vegas, NV and I've called several stores and none of them seem to carry a full latex mattress.

A followup regarding the mattresses is I'm considering buying a king size Ikea BRIMNES bed. Looking at the slats in person they look really flimsy and they only seem to have the bowed ones. Would their slats typically work on a really heavy 150-200lb latex mattress? Or should I look into replacing the slats or making my own? I don't want to get a foundation as I hate the extra height and hate having the mattress becoming off centered from the foundation.

Thanks again!

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Having a hard time picking out a latex mattress 19 Jul 2017 23:02 #4

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Hi ritaelyn,

Thanks Phoenix! Your really in depth response has been really valuable. I live in Las Vegas, NV and I've called several stores and none of them seem to carry a full latex mattress.


You’re most welcome! Subject to confirming that any retailer or manufacturer on the list is completely transparent ( see this article ) and to making sure that any mattress you are considering meets your specific criteria and the quality/value guidelines here ... the some options or possibilities I'm aware of in and around Las Vegas are listed in post #2 here . Las Vegas Luxury Beds has Savvy Rest latex mattresses, and Kaylee’s Family Mattress might still carry Pure Talalay Bliss (you’ll need to phone them to find out).

A followup regarding the mattresses is I'm considering buying a king size Ikea BRIMNES bed. Looking at the slats in person they look really flimsy and they only seem to have the bowed ones. Would their slats typically work on a really heavy 150-200lb latex mattress?


I’m not aware of a weight capacity for this product with the luroy or lonset slats, but Ikea does have latex mattresses that the Brimnes is designed to hold. While the entire weight of the mattress is distributed over the slats and not concentrated on just two or three, I do share some concern with their slat construction and it would simply keep an eye on the amount of deflection the slats experience over time or if they delaminate or become concave, at which point you’d want to replace them with a new slat insert. Of course, you do have the option as you stated of cutting your own 1” x 4” slats and creating your own deck using flat pieces and that would work well, keeping to a space of no more than 3” between the slats.

Phoenix
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Having a hard time picking out a latex mattress 22 Jul 2017 17:35 #5

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Thanks! Sadly Kaylee’s Family Mattress has closed. I'll check out Las Vegas Luxury Beds.

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Having a hard time picking out a latex mattress 23 Jul 2017 05:03 #6

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Hi ritaelyn,

Thank you for the confirmation on that. I've updater the Las Vegas listing.

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