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help with finding latex bed 15 Apr 2012 00:56 #1

  • josie
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Hi thanks for such a great site.
Ive been researching getting a mattress for years actually but only tested beds in Macys and such- and just until now tried a latex bed in a showroom. I really need a mattress having slept on a crap pile that has bottomed out long time ago and got 15 years ago for $200.I was stupid then.
So- I think we want to go with latex because of the support, comfort and durability-- but i love natural green stuff too.
The bed both my partner and me liked is a bed that the showroom made and marketed so i don't have any other beds to compare it to.
I liked the Woodlawn at Bedrroms and More in Seattle. It has a 100% botanical base 6" dunlop, and has 1.5 inches of talalay on top and bottom. The dunlop has ILD of 28 and they don't state what the talalay layers ILD is. It was very comfortable .
It had a thin wool underneath , dacron/rayon fire retard, and organic knit cotton cover.
They said there products come from Sound Sleep in Sumner WA. they said they receive the latex cores, and Sound Sleep assembles them for them.
I prefer a knit cover- its softer.... the Natura ones i tested had cotton covers with no knit and didn't like that.

What out there can I compare this mattress to? Maybe the Rogue at Parklane? (but maybe no knit cover?) The Parklane showroom is too far for me to drive and test so to order would be a guess.

I am intrigued with the Ultimate dreams bed on Amazon, but no returns and it is not all latex.

Since B&M makes there own beds (called 45th street bedding, Sound sleep?)), is there nothing to compare it to that would be very similar in feel?

thank you!

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Seattle - help with finding latex bed 15 Apr 2012 03:46 #2

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hi josie,

When I went to visit Bedrooms and more ... I was very impressed with their knowledge and service. Even though they are a retailer ... I personally found they had better value than Seattle Mattress which is a manufacturer although that was some time ago. They are good people. I don't know the pricing of their house brand which they didn't have when I was there so I can't speak to their value but they look very nice.

Sound Sleep is a fairly large wholesale manufacturer that is also a lady Americana licensee and they supply many retail outlets in the area. There's an interesting video about them here.

Have you seen post #2 here ? There are a few other latex options on the list in the Seattle area but the first place I would call is Nick at Slumber Ease. He is a good guy and very knowledgeable and makes some good quality and value mattresses.

Phoenix
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Re: Seattle - help with finding latex bed 15 Apr 2012 04:05 #3

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You are so awesome answering so quick and such
The bed and more bed was 2k mattress only
I've seen others online similar but don't know if as comfortable
I'm sure there's one out there half this and just as good
At same time I like supporting local
If I'm comparing.... And Dunlop ild is 28 , would a mattress of talalay ild of 28 feel similar?

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Re: Seattle - help with finding latex bed 15 Apr 2012 12:10 #4

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Hi josie,

The bed and more bed was 2k mattress only
I've seen others online similar but don't know if as comfortable
I'm sure there's one out there half this and just as good


I'm not sure which size you are quoting for because this will make quite a difference but if you are talking about a queen this seems to me to be quite reasonable. It has a total of 9" of a combination of 100% natural Dunlop in the core and natural talalay for the comfort layers and is finished on both sides which adds to the cost and value of a mattress. While you may be able to find something similar online for a little less, it wouldn't be anywhere close to half of this cost for something similar IMO.

If I'm comparing.... And Dunlop ild is 28 , would a mattress of talalay ild of 28 feel similar?


Talalay and Dunlop will have a different feel to them and react a little differently to compression as well. When a latex core is tested for ILD ... it is compressed to exactly 25% of it's thickness and the weight it takes to do this with a 50 sq in indentor is the ILD. Almost nobody sinks into a layer exactly 25% though and with Dunlop and it gets firmer faster than talalay so if you sink in more than 25% it will be noticeably firmer than the same ILD of Talalay. It is also not as lively or "springy" as Talalay because it is denser and also has a slightly different cell structure. both of these are quite noticeable for most people and will affect their preference of material as well as the pressure relief and support of the mattress Bear in mind too that the layer over the 28 ILD Dunlop core will also play a major role in how the mattress feels.

The only way to really know for sure though it to lie on both to see which you prefer. Many of the Natura's are Dunlop on top (they use both types of latex) and they also use thicker layers of wool as you know so this may also have been part of the difference you felt depending on the model you were testing.

So I would see if you could test both types of latex (and Bedrooms and More does carry both) as well as call and talk with some of the alternative sources around Seattle for different types of mattresses and prices. The only way though you would be likely to come close to cut your cost "in half" would be to use a different support core such as poly instead of latex. This could still be a good choice for a lower budget but of course it would not perform or feel the same as a latex core.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Re: Seattle - help with finding latex bed 25 Apr 2012 17:49 #5

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I guess I didn't know if something similar to the Woodlawn mattress at bedroom and more would be the mattresses at Parklane, sleepez or mattress.net which looks like similar for hundreds less. The Parklane mattresses do not have the knit cover like I like but might be just as comfortable nonetheless. I don't know how great or similar the sleepez are or mattresses.net ones. The risk is not knowing and ordering online without testing it versus hundreds in savings to put towards bedding

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Re: Seattle - help with finding latex bed 25 Apr 2012 19:11 #6

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Hi josie,

There are a few differences in the Woodlawn from the other options you are considering that would make a difference in how the mattress feels and the value of the mattress.

First it is two sided and finished on both sides which means it can be flipped which can extend the life and even out the wear or compression of the upper layers and the wool fiber. Two sided construction is a "value added" option because it has a comfort layer and is finished on both sides which of course costs more than a one sided construction.

It uses an inherent fire barrier which means the wool layer doesn't have to be compressed as much and it is also a loftier wool finish (tack and jump vs quilted). Even though they don't say the amount of wool used ... it appears to use more and the wool also has more loft (which would make it a little softer) and is finished on both sides.

The comfort layers are 1.5" and the closest alternative would be about 2" which would be a little softer if the ILD was similar so this will also make a difference.

ILD is approximate in Dunlop so it may also not be an exact match for either the "soft" or "medium" Dunlop (or Talalay) used in the core layers in the alternatives you are considering. The firmness level of the core layer will also affect the pressure relief properties of the upper layers more when they are thinner.

If you described or showed the specs of the Woodlawn to one of the online manufacturers you were considering and they had this information along with your impressions of the mattress from your testing ... they would be in a better position to recommend the model they make which would be the closest approximation.

At Parklane, unless you were also considering ordering from them without testing the mattress, I would go by how similar it felt with your testing which is more accurate than going by "specs".

I personally place a premium on purchasing a mattress that you have specifically tested and know it works well for you in terms of pressure relief, alignment, and your preferences. While each person will decide for themselves which features they place the most value on, I think a "premium" in the range of 20% for a local purchase compared to a similar layering and construction if that was necessary may be worth the additional "safety" of a known purchase. If the premium was more than that ... then I would probably consider the additional risk of an online purchase. How much additional risk there would be would depend of course on how similar the online purchase was and the options you had to change around the layers or make exchanges after the purchase. This is also just a guideline because of course each person would need to weigh out the pros and cons of their various options based on their own personal "value equation".

Over the very long life of a latex mattress ... and considering the importance of a mattress in your overall wellbeing (it's by far the most important piece of furniture that people own) ... a reasonable premium is a small price to pay for "getting it right".

In the end, if the difference in value (not just price) is small, then I would happily pay a reasonable premium for the knowledge that a mattress was exactly what I wanted.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Re: Seattle - help with finding latex bed 26 Apr 2012 00:03 #7

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Thanks so much for your insightful input!
I researched the other mattress places you mentioned in your threads. Seattle mattress was a little sleazy and the lady there at the time wouldn't answer my questions but asked me questions. They had latex beds with a poly top cover and she said it was more value than cotton... I figured if you go all the way to get latex you should have a good cover as well ( cotton, knit, etc).
I went to mattress depot, they had latex like lady Americana and englander but all had poly cores with only latex on top.
I went to slumber ease factory-- interesting place, but the mattresses did not feel as good as what I remembered from B&M.
The part owner at slumber ease said I shouldn't go with a softer latex like b&m 28ild core...said mattress will sink and not support spine of anyone under 100 pounds ( I'm around 115 pounds, partner 155). They advised ild 34
Another place, soaring heart natural mattress and bedding store also said they quit making anything lass than ild 30 because of returns being too soft at ild 28. They had latex of around 6 inches with 32-40 ild.
Since two places scared me in getting a soft 28 ild mattress, I'm confused what to do since I like the soft feel of the Woodlawn.
Makes me wonder at our weights if it is appropriate and supportive.
While the beds were very hippie and very nice at soaring heart, the mattresses were thinner and had expensive $700 four inch wool toppers and organic wool pads. Very very nice but less mattress.
Thanks for the leads to other stores, I still think I liked the Woodlawn but dont know about the softness.
The poly core and latex beds were ok... But don't think as nice as far as performance of an all latex mattress

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Re: Seattle - help with finding latex bed 26 Apr 2012 01:37 #8

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Hi josie,

I personally preferred the environment and help at Bedrooms and more over Seattle Mattress as well for what it's worth and they impressed me with their knowledge and how they went out of their way to help people (I dealt mostly with the owner's son but I forget his name). They were great. I didn't know about Slumber Ease at the time but I've since had some great conversations with Nick and he also impresses me with his knowledge and willingness to help. They are probably my two favorite places in the Seattle area.

Mattress Depot didn't impress me at all with their knowledge and they also didn't tell me the correct layering that were in their "latex" mattresses which had 2" of polyfoam over the latex besides the polyfoam core under it. Soaring Heart has very nice quality mattresses and while they may not be the lowest cost available ... they are very high quality and the simplicity and flexibility of their design along with their focus on natural and quality materials gives them good value

One of the things I've often come across in talking with probably hundreds of different manufacturers and outlets is the wide variety of differences in construction theory between different people ... all of whom are very knowledgeable but who may have some very different ideas. For example I know of places who don't sell anything less than 32 ILD in their comfort layers while others use comfort layers as low as 14. Same with different ideas about support layers. At first this was very confusing because every one of them had been making or selling mattresses for years and seemed equally knowledgeable and yet they had widely differing ideas about what was "best".

In the end though ... I realized it boils down to how each person interacts with the mattress and what I call PPP which is pressure relief, posture and alignment, and preferences. Your own body will tell you much more than anything else.

I don't think you've mentioned your sleeping positions and that will make a difference in the construction of a mattress that is "best" for you as well. It's important to test a mattress completely relaxed for 15 minutes or so and to test specifically for pressure relief in your most "curvy" position (for most people that's their side). It's also important to test specifically for good alignment in all your sleeping positions in a fully relaxed state just like right before you drift off to sleep so the mattress is holding you up and not any tension in your muscles.

For most people ... 1.5" of softer foam would be on the thin side for a side sleeper but if you use a softer support layer it will "help" the comfort layers with pressure relief. Foam also gets firmer with deeper compression and Dunlop latex gets firmer faster than any other foam so even if the ILD is softer ... once you have compressed it about 25% (where the ILD is measured) it will get firmer much faster and can provide good support. If you were to use a thicker layer of soft latex, then you would likely need a firmer support layer because it wouldn't need to "help" the comfort layers with pressure relief as much. This is the main difference between what I call progressive construction and differential construction . Both can work very well.

You have two things going for you in terms of a softer support core. One is that you're lighter which means you don't need as firm a support core because there's not as much weight to hold up and you don't need the same firmness as heavier people in the support layers. The second is that the comfort layers in the Woodlawn are fairly thin so some extra softness with 25% compression of the support layer can make up for the thinness of the comfort layer without compromising support as you sink in deeper. Dunlop is better at this (getting firmer faster) than Talalay latex (it has what's called a support factor of about 4 while talalay is about 3 and conventional polyfoam is about 2). I should also mention that Dunlop ILD is not exact and that a difference of 4 ILD is not so much when you're talking about Dunlop which has a range ILD across the surface so the ILD is only approximate anyway. Talalay also has a variance but not quite as much as Dunlop.

So while they may be right in the majority of cases and a firmer support core may be "safer" for most people and most mattress constructions ... it may not always be the "best" for any individual or with every type of construction. In the end ... your own testing for pressure relief and alignment (and not just lying on the mattress to see how it feels) will tell you more than anything. If you have no pressure points (usually shoulders and hips) and you are in alignment in all your sleeping positions, and the mattress "feels" good for you in it's response and sleeping microclimate, then this is more important than any theory.

Phoenix
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