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General bed help - South Dakota 14 Oct 2012 03:29 #1

I did a quick forum search, which found me a topic where you suggested www.comfortking.net/Home_Page.php and bedsbydesign.net/locations/ as places to look locally for a mattress, as I live in Sioux Falls South Dakota, but I have some more questions.

I'm at around a 1500 budget, as you put it, the "midpoint." I've been looking at the Sealy Optimums, but due to my budget am looking towards the bottom end and am having a hard time finding something comparable at these two small places. I want to get the best value out of my bed but can't seem to find something similar, why can't I see through the marketing pitch?

To give some background, I believe my wife and I are both back sleepers, but our bed is so bad its hard to tell. I'm large... 6'4" and about 310lbs, and am looking for something that can help me stay cooler at night. I am honestly open to pretty much any bed that seems to be a good value.

If a specific bed is some killer deal online, I would consider buying online as well.

Phoenix, any ideas?

Others are welcome to contribute too :D

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Last edit: by ZRock.

Re: General bed help - South Dakota 14 Oct 2012 15:04 #2

Hi ZRock,

I did some additional research in the Sioux Falls area and added a couple of retailers to the list in post #3 here .

The 4 manufacturers and retailers that are now in post #2 and #3 would certainly be where I would focus my efforts. both of the two retailers I listed carry gel memory foam and/or other memory foam mattresses.

To give some background, I believe my wife and I are both back sleepers, but our bed is so bad its hard to tell. I'm large... 6'4" and about 310lbs, and am looking for something that can help me stay cooler at night. I am honestly open to pretty much any bed that seems to be a good value.


With your higher weight it becomes particularly important to make sure that the comfort layers of your mattress use high quality materials and that the support layers are firm enough to provide good support. What will work for more "average" weights is not likely to work well for you and your higher weight will lead to more rapid foam softening so foam quality and durability is particularly important in your choices.

I would also consider latex because it is generally more durable than memory foam and it can be just as pressure relieving as memory foam in the right combination although it is a fast response material so it will feel differently. It is also more breathable than other types of foam and sometimes with heavier weights you will sink into the mattress more and this can lead to increased sleeping temperatures because you have more insulating layers around you.

The type of ticking (cover) and quilting layers in the mattress as well as the mattress protector and sheets and bedding you use can also have a significant effect on sleeping temperature and in general more natural and breathable fibers work better than synthetic fibers and materials.

There is more about the many factors that help with temperature regulation in post #2 here .

Some of the best online and "on the phone" sources and manufacturers are listed in post #21 here . All of these are members of this site and I think highly of both their quality/value and their experience and knowledge about their mattresses which can help their customers make the most suitable choices for their needs and preferences.

I'm at around a 1500 budget, as you put it, the "midpoint." I've been looking at the Sealy Optimums, but due to my budget am looking towards the bottom end and am having a hard time finding something comparable at these two small places.


The low end Optimum have a low density base layer which IMO would not be appropriate for your weight. Their gel memory foam is also under 4 lbs. Regardless of whether you purchase locally or online though ... I think it's always a good idea to test some mattresses locally to get a clearer sense of the types of mattresses that work best for you and you have 4 better choices available to you and these would be where i would focus my attention. I would also avoid major brands either as a purchase option or even as a "target" that you hope to match.

The difficulty with even testing a major brand is if you happen to like one of their mattresses ... you would need to match the "feel" by testing another mattress with better quality and value anyway because they don't disclose enough information about their mattresses to even come close to matching them based on specs. The difficulty with this is that matching one mattress to another based on how they feel to you is not very accurate unless they are both side by side in the same store and you can test one immediately after another (our memory for subjective "feel" doesn't last very long and isn't very accurate). Because of this you may as well only test mattresses that have better value right from the start. There is more in post #2 here (and the links to other posts it includes) about "matching" mattresses and the difficulties of using a specific mattress as a "target" instead of a more specific and objective set of criteria.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Re: General bed help - South Dakota 14 Oct 2012 20:08 #3

I really want to thank you for all your help, and especially for your recommendation to go to a local shop. I went to both Comfort King as well as Beds by Design, and both seem to have incredible value.

The all foam beds (which I believe I prefer) started at around $1k at Comfort King for a queen, and BBD had "the same" one for $700. The CK salesman said there is some legal action going on between the two, and like any good salesman, told me that the other place wasn't as good as theirs. When I went over to BBD they offered me $200 off of CK's price for what they said was the same mattress, just because of the competition between them.

Now a couple things that sort of have me worried, first of all, the BBD person told me that the solid foam beds could not be changed at a later time, but any other bed could. When I asked why, he just gave me some general political answer and couldn't really tell me. Is that normal? Secondly, why would BBD be willing to offer such a huge undercut for what they say is the same exact product. Lastly, the sales rep really steared me towards what he called "foam core" mattresses, which they make by just taking out where the springs are in a spring bed and replacing it with a foam "core." Is this just because they have higher margin on it or is there a benefit to these beds?
The two places use different types of latex too, CK uses all natural, BBD uses all synthetic latex. BBD told me the synthetic lasts much longer, is this true?
The other thing that I wasn't sure was HOW the beds can be so much cheaper.

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Last edit: by ZRock.

Re: General bed help - South Dakota 14 Oct 2012 23:49 #4

Hi ZRock,

You seem to be in the middle of a local mini- war :)

I would be cautious though because the word "foam" is like the word "solid" and all it means is a material that has air bubbles in it. There are 3 main categories of foam (memory foam, polyfoam, and latex foam) and each category has a range of versions from low to high quality and all of them have different costs, durability, and performance so you would want to make sure you were comparing apples to apples and that the "foam" layers were the same type, quality and general layering.

BBD person told me that the solid foam beds could not be changed at a later time, but any other bed could. When I asked why, he just gave me some general political answer and couldn't really tell me. Is that normal?


I'm not sure what they are referring to here. Many manufacturers can change out a foam layer unless there is some specific reason that prevents this. Perhaps they use a fire barrier that is glued to the foam rather than part of the cover and the reason is to comply with the fire code.

Secondly, why would BBD be willing to offer such a huge undercut for what they say is the same exact product.


Again ,... only they can answer this but from your perspective I would make sure you were comparing apples to apples and that the type and quality of foam was the same and the layering and amount of each type of foam was similar as well.

The two places use different types of latex too, CK uses all natural, BBD uses all synthetic latex. BBD told me the synthetic lasts much longer, is this true?


You can read more about the different types of latex and their relative cost and performance in this article along with post #6 here . As you can see the "benefits" of each would also depend on the type of latex you are talking about (talalay or dunlop). If you are talking about Dunlop latex ... then synthetic doesn't last longer than natural no.

The other thing that I wasn't sure was HOW the beds can be so much cheaper.


Again this depends on their cost of materials and on the differences in their business models as well. Again though ... from a consumer perspective apples to apples comparisons are the key. For example ... synthetic latex is not an "apples to apples" comparison with natural latex.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Re: General bed help - South Dakota 15 Oct 2012 01:51 #5

You are a fantastic help to these forums...
I suppose my last question is if I enjoy firm mattresses that sleep relatively cool tempature wise, what would be your "ideal" makeup for a mattress custom made in the $1kish price range?

All latex? Latex w/ gel foam on top?

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Re: General bed help - South Dakota 15 Oct 2012 03:06 #6

Hi ZRock,

Your budget limits your selection (how much would depend on the size you are looking for) and of course each choice involves a tradeoff between different competing demands and each person's personal preferences can also be very different so it would depend on what was most important to you (or to me) and on what you were willing to give up to get the features you are looking for.

If temperature regulation was my main priority and cost was not a limiting factor then a super premium mattress such as VI Spring would be my choice. There is probably not a cooler sleeping mattress than a custom built innerspring with layers of natural fibers. Of course for me cost is a factor and I would have a hard time justifying a 5 figure mattress purchase unless I was in the income group where a mattress was more of a luxury purchase instead of a necessity and where I was comfortable buying a work of art as much as I was a mattress. For me though ... any difference in sleeping temperature would probably not justify buying a mattress where the comfort (pressure relief) and support (spinal alignment) and any differences in my other preferences were not enough to justify the higher cost.

At the next level down ... I personally prefer all latex mattresses but this is also outside of your budget range for the least expensive type of all latex mattress I would choose (8" - 9" with a separate comfort layer) and if temperature regulation was my main priority (which it isn't) I would probably use Talalay in the comfort layers at least. If I wanted an extra degree of coolness I would consider the Talalay GL because of the phase change microgel it contains (although I don't think it would be necessary). Sleeping temperature is the result of a combination of factors though and the the comfort layers, the ticking and quilting, the mattress protector, and the sheets and bedding would all be important parts of my choices because they act together to regulate temperature in the entire sleeping system. Each layer of the sleeping system can either add to or detract from temperature regulation. I personally tend to prefer Talalay comfort layers over Dunlop comfort layers in terms of feel but this is personal preference and not because one is better than another.

If sleeping temperature was my biggest priority and I was limited by a $1000 budget ... then I would probably be looking at a polyfoam or innerspring support core with a talalay comfort layer with a cotton or viscose (like bamboo) ticking material with wool quilting and I would use a protector and sheets that enhanced temperature regulation.

If the most natural materials possible was the most important issue to me (which it isn't) along with temperature regulation and I was limited by the same budget ... then the ticking would be organic cotton with a wool quilting and I would probably choose a 100% Natural Dunlop comfort layer.

Depending on the mattress ticking and quilting ... I would also consider a wool mattress pad or topper (instead of wool in the quilting layer or in addition to a thinner wool layer in the quilting) and/or a wool or good quality stretch knit cotton mattress protector and cotton or linen sheets but this would be stretching your budget and probably take it over the limit.

If I was choosing a slow response material as a preference (which isn't my own personal preference) ... then I would either choose a memory foam that was more breathable or a gel memory foam where the gel was mixed with the memory foam as a liquid instead of particles and use a natural cotton or viscose stretch knit cover with a cotton mattress protector and high quality cotton or linen sheets (wool above the memory foam would affect the temperature response of the memory foam which may or may not be desirable). I would also consider a thin layer of lower density memory foam in the quilting because it is generally more breathable and if it is thin enough then the softening of this layer will have less effect on the mattress.

So overall there are many factors I would consider but if you are asking about my own personal preferences in your budget range (rather than the best for you or anyone else) and sleeping temperature and overall performance was my biggest priority then it would lean towards a talalay/innerspring or talalay/polyfoam hybrid with the other choices of ticking/quilting/bedding chosen with a combination of sleeping temperature and comfort/support benefits in mind and subject to whether I could fit them into the budget. I would certainly add wool and natural fibers or viscose if it was possible.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Re: General bed help - South Dakota 15 Oct 2012 03:37 #7

I really appreciate your input.

Now the bed I've liked most so far, and was well within my price range, was a $700 bed with a gel foam comfort layer, and a latex foam core... Synthetic latex, and I believe it was Talalay....

Seems like a rediculously good buy, I'm trying to find the catch.

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Re: General bed help - South Dakota 15 Oct 2012 05:21 #8

Hi ZRock,

It would be great if you had a link. Talalay only comes in blended or 100% natural so if it's completely synthetic then it would be Dunlop.

Either way ... it seems to be good value for a latex/gel foam hybrid (depending on the size you are looking at) if the description is accurate and the store is reputable. It would also be important that it matched your needs and preferences but I'm assuming that you have tested it and it provides good pressure relief and support.

Which brand and model is it?

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Re: General bed help - South Dakota 15 Oct 2012 12:29 #9

They make the beds there, and swapping in the latex core instead of the innersprings was a custom choice... the size is a queen.

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Re: General bed help - South Dakota 15 Oct 2012 13:03 #10

Hi ZRock,

Which company is making the mattress and do you have the layering information (the layers in the mattress and what each layer is made of)?

I'm assuming it's BBD?

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
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Last edit: by phoenix.
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