I just found this forum while trying to do research before purchasing a new mattress and thought you all could help. I am going to purchase a King size mattress/box spring. Don't need cheap, but don't want to spend more than I have to either. My big issue is I am retired and spend a great deal of time sitting up in bed, either using my laptop or watching tv. Most people do this in an office or living room, but I do it in bed. So, I spend almost as much time sitting as I do sleeping. Obviously, the mattress develops a good sized divot where my butt is up by the headboard. I don't want a reclining mattress because I sit straighter up usually than those provide and change the angle of my upper body often. I prefer just moving the pillows I use to recline on. So, I need a mattress with very good durable support, yet soft enough, yet firm, to sleep on later. I've had a pillow top that has lasted about 7 years but it has formed sagging where we lay and is also fast losing support where I sit even with rotation and flipping so it is time for a new one. I was thinking one of those "sleep number" ones and just make it really firm when sitting during the day and then changing it softer to sleep at night, but I don't know if people like them or not and how durable they are. Please recommend specific brands that you think would be the best for my situation.
Thanks for all the help in advice in advance!
In general, poly foam will not last but latex foam can and does last longer than innersprings ... especially if you don't go too soft on top. It also has the best combination of qualities that can provide comfort, support, and durability of any foam. Some polyfoams are "close" but you generally won't find them in a mattress without going to a custom manufacturer that uses them (their own brand) or "build your own" and even then it is "unknown" exactly how long they will last as the better ones haven't been on the market long enough to really know. Unless you go in the direction of a "supermattress" that uses natural fibers and different stuffings in their build, you will have some type of foam in your mattress and this will be the "weak link" in how long it lasts and how comfortable and supportive it will be when you sleep. Even here these types of fibers will compress and with the use to which you're putting your mattress they will compress more than usual so I wouldn't think that they would be your best choice, both because they are usually expensive - ultra expensive, and because they may not have the best combination of qualities for what you need.
There are many types of innersprings that are durable and will provide good support but which one is better will depend on what is over them as well as how you normally sleep. I would think your comfort while you sleep is as important as durability for your sitting activities. The gauge is certainly important (12.5 is the firmest you are likely to find) as are the other things you mentioned like working turns (5 - 6 would be good) and the number of coils as well (how much of your weight each coil holds) but each type of innerspring has value in different constructions and any of them may be suitable with the possible exception of pocket coils which are more "individual" and may bear a heavier load from your long periods of sitting. Other types of coils (bonnell, offset, and continuous) are more "attached" to other coils and tend to share the workload more which I think in your case would be beneficial. Having said that, even individual pocketed coils ... depending on what they use and how they're put together ... would likely last you longer than any polyfoam in the top of your mattress.
Of the "S" brands in general, (the biggest mattress manufacturers like Sealy, Simmons, Serta, Spring air all seem to start with "s"), Stearns and Foster (another one that is a subsidiary of Sealy) is generally considered to have the "best" springs but I certainly wouldn't buy it because you can do much better with smaller regional or local manufacturers and because they also have the "dreaded" polyfoam above the springs (unless you go really expensive and you would still be much better off buying eleswhere anyway). So do almost all of the major brands that you are likely to find unless you know what to look for. Even the ones that "say" they are latex usually have polyfoam on top even though most of the outlets where you buy them would like you to believe otherwise. There are also no mattresses that you can buy that do not have something above the springs for comfort and it is important that they do or you will not "sleep so well".
Firm latex foam would be a good choice for the core of your mattress (it would probably last longer than an innerspring) but you will sink into it more when you sit than an innerspring. This may or may not be good or comfortable for you. This is why I was suggesting you test them out to see what they feel like for yourself. In this case it is more a choice about how it feels than it would be about durability.
Side sleeping needs something thicker and softer than back sleeping and sleeping on your stomach (the worst position) needs the thinnest and firmest comfort layers of all so you will definitely need a good comfort layer on your mattress to relieve pressure.
Bottom line is you will need some kind of foam anyway whether it is over innersprings or over other foam. How much foam you need over either will depend on your preference and individual needs but in general side sleeping needs the most. The specific brand that would be the best value would depend on where you live as I wouldn't recommend almost any of the brands you are likely to encounter otherwise or that will be "pushed" on you in most ot the mass merchandise outlets that so many people seem to go to. Certainly none of the "S" brands.
If you let me know the city you live in I may have a few regional or local manufacturers or retailers in my list that sell latex over innersprings or over latex cores that you could test. Their brands (usually only available locally or regionally and almost never in any outlets people would usually go to) are usually the best value outside of "building your own" from an online source. There are also some smaller national brands that are well worth testing.
PS: I bought an adjustable bed and it works pretty well ... and I would certainly say it raises high enough in the back to make working in bed quite comfortable. My other half is a teacher and she does it all the time. No problem with the sheets as they are fitted and hold on quite well. If you did go in this direction you would need special innersprings that can "bend" and latex foam would be much better. The one I purchased was a Reverie which of the major brands goes higher at the head (70degrees) than the others but there are others that go higher yet. They used to make them in a King size but the manufacturers that did seem to have stopped doing this in the last few years as they apparently were too difficult to move ... especially around corners. Now they only come (to my knowledge) in split versions. Mine is a single unit queen size which are widely available.
They even vibrate/massage (laughing) ... and do it in "waves". Some even play music and warm you up (not ours). My other half loves it ... me, I'm not sure how valuable that all is but I have to admit it is "kinda nice" (laughing). Our mattress has a latex core (softer even than most would choose) and it works fine.
Thank you so much for in-depth replies; they are quite helpful so far, although it still sounds somewhat confusing....especially the foam issue. I am in the Kansas City area and yes, I was planning on doing the big outlet shopping for "deals". I have my own 1 ton truck so delivery isn't an issue, unless it is provided free. I usually tend toward a firmer mattress, probably roughly a 7 on a scale of 1-10, 1 being the softest.
Is your Reviera adjustable bed built in line for what I need? If you're the mattress "expert" and you sound like you know what you're talking about, and that's what you purchased and you are happy with it, I could consider it in a queen size. It just seems like an adjustable is just adding the aspect of "more things to break or go wrong" and since Murphy seems to follow me around, mine would probably work until just a few days after the warranty expired. At least with a flat mattress, there aren't any movable parts or motors that can fail.
Give me a couple options in my area for what you think would suit best. If for some reason you cannot post brands, let me know and I'll send my email address.
Thanks again for your help
There are really 3 types of foam and any mattress you are likely to look at will have one of the three. These are polyfoam (made from various chemicals), memory foam (a type of polyfoam that is a "slow recovery" type of foam. Tempurpedic is an example of this but there are many others), and latex foam (rubber foam made from the milk from a tree, a synthetic rubber compound, or a blend of the two).
Of these 3, the rubber (called latex when it is a foam) is the most durable and can easily outlast an innerspring. This is not the case with the other 2. Latex is a more expensive foam so the "S" companies don't like to use it as it cuts into their profits and when they do they charge way too much for it and will often use a worse quality of rubber. They don't usually even use the best polyfoam that is available. Smaller manufacturers don't have as big a supply chain or work with the same expenses or profit level (which are huge in many cases) and will often sell "factory direct" either through their own factory or through retail outlets. They tend to use higher quality materials and will usually produce a much higher quality mattress for substantially less. There are several hundred of these around the US. Some are local, some are more regional, and some are even available nationally.
In terms of having an adjustable bed, this would be a personal choice. We bought one because my other half really wanted one as she likes to mark papers and do her work sitting on the bed. I tend more to your point of view (questioned it's value and the extra expense) but it was a "discussion" I lost (laughing). Having said that once we decided to go in that direction I did do some research into them and the Reverie seemed to have the best value. I bought mine online as there is a wide variance in pricing for exactly the same thing. I personally would have preferred an adjustable slatted foundation that just lays flat but can adjust the "firmness" of the foundation in various areas to help with posture alignment (firms up the hips or softens the shoulders).
Firm is really a relative thing as what some people call firm others call soft and everyone has their own scale. Much of the "firmness" you will feel comes from the support layers (firmer foam or innerspring) and some will come from the comfort layers (upper 3" or so). These upper 3" need to be soft enough ... even with a firm mattress ... to accomodate side sleeping. Here is an example of a "firm" mattress, made by a "higher end" subsidiary of Sealy, that has 3" of "junk" super soft poly foam and another 1" of "so so" polyfoam and some synthetic lofted quilting fiber on top of that and yet it still feels firm to most people (this is a 3.5 on a scale of 1-10 with lower being firmer so about the same as your 7). So this mattress has about 4" of "bad foam" and another inch or so of lofted fiber for a total of 5" of "bad stuff" that will likely form impressions even with normal use in a relatively short period of time. Even the absolute firmest mattresses made by these companies and feel like "sleeping on the floor" to most people will have around 2" of poor quality soft foam over the innerspring. It feels firm because you are feeling the firm innerspring or the insulator pad above it. The top of a mattress is the most important part to have high quality durable foam and yet they rarely if ever do.
You will also notice that their selling price ($1619 queen size if you add it to the cart) is less than 50% of the regular price. This is the "normal" selling price for most "S" mattresses and they have "fake" sales all year long to encourage people to believe that they are getting a good deal and create a false sense of urgency so they will buy before leaving the store. Better mattress outlets or factory direct outlets rarely have sales and any time of the year is usually as good as any another. When they do it is usually for a much smaller discount and for a "real" reason.
Kansas City doesn't have a lot of mattress outlets and seems to be dominated by Mattress Firm (which has nothing I would even look at based on their website) however there are a few that I would go and see.
http://www.justicebedding.com/contact.asp Regional Manufacturer. Services retail outlets throughout the midwest. Makes all latex and latex over springs. Worth calling or emailing to see it they have a retail outlet near you (besides the one listed below that I know of)
http://www.lebeda.com/locations.html Regional Manufacurer. Has latex mattresses in their lineup.
http://www.hawnbedding.com/contact-us Local Manufacturer. Has latex mattresses in their lineup
http://www.eaglesrestnaturalhome.com/ Retailer. Carries Savvy Rest mattresses which are an all latex mattress which you can try and choose your own layering. Savvy rest tends to be very expensive and there are lower cost outlets where you can get a mattress like this and "duplicate" their mattress but they make a good testing ground for various different combinations of latex layers.
http://www.crowleyfurniture.com/contact-us/ Retailer. Carry Justice (see above) and Restonic (a national brand) both of which make latex mattresses. Be a little careful here and make sure you ask specifically if the mattress you are testing out has ANY polyfoam in the comfort layers. Ask this specifically and if it has more than an inch (preferably none) then I would rule it out as it will likely develop impressions and you would be feeling what polyfoam feels like as much as what latex feels like.
Take your time and don't feel "pressured" because you think you may be missing a great sale somewhere. Almost certainly you won't.
Hello,<br>I was so impressed with Phoenix's responses and explanations to Suzy's inquiries, I wanted to jump in to the same issue. I have some pancreatic/liver conditions that dictate sitting up in bed for Sleeping, TV, Writing, etc..is the only alternative. Phoenix made it clear that Latex was the chosen alternative. He went on to explain that recommended smaller manufacturers were available to contact depending on one's locale. I am in Oakland, California specifically and generally in the Bay area in California. Can you provide me with some recommended manufacturers/stores/outlets in my area? As well, if you have any specific bed recommendations, my ears are wide open. I'm 6' tall, 190 lbs. and creaking in at 69 years. I'm considering a full sized bed but am open to smaller or larger if necessary.<br>Thanks for your helpful site and advice!<br>Craig
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