I'm going to purchase my first mattress soon and have been doing research on Sealys, Simmons, Serta, memory foam, toppers, latex, have read articles online and in Consumer Reports, went to a mattress store today, and I had absolutely no idea there was so much to know and how many options there are! Hopefully with some research I can get a great mattress that will provide great sleep. I'm also thinking more about quality of sleep, initially I was planning on buying a cheap mattress but having done some research I think it makes more sense to get a quality one to improve my sleep.
I have a number of questions and I tried to do searches on the forum here but have not been totally successful in finding what I'm looking for.
1. How do you distinguish between coils and upholstery? When I go back to a mattress store and try out different ones should I try to determine the ideal coil number for me, and then try to find different mattresses with that number of coils with different kinds of upholsteries, some soft, some very thin? I'm confused because more coils is supposed to be firmer, but then a person just gets a feathertop upholstery which negates the firmness... so I don't see how these play together. It says in the Buying Guide that the upholstery is for comfort and once you fall asleep it is the number of coils that determines the support, in which case why wouldn't the most coils be the best? Or do you have to determine it based on how your back feels in the morning?
2. What's the purpose of mattress toppers? It seems that some use them to make cheap mattresses more comfortable, but wouldn't it be a pure comfort issue since its not increasing the support of the bed any (or is it?)?
3. How reputable are memory foam mattresses sold online on ebay? Eg, see the following one:
It's being comparted to a Temperpedic, is 5 pounds density, which sounds pretty good for a foam mattress, and there is a 10 year warranty and 60 day money back guarantee. It's also an ebay power seller.
4. I found some inexpensive mattresses online, a Sealy Backsaver alone for $220 and a 390 Bonnel innerspring coil system for $200. How do I determine the quality of these, can I look at number of coils, manufacturer warranty, etc?
Thanks for any input!
Hi! I can absolutely relate - four months ago I knew we needed a new mattress. I had no clue what adventure my husband and I were about to embark upon.
First of all, try out the Temperpedic style mattresses in store. A friend of mine swears by hers, but I have read many different opinions. For some people, they sleep HOT, and you really do sink into them. Once you are settled in, it's hard to roll around and move. My husband and I tried a few in the stores - they were not for us. Try out any bed you are seriously considering for at least 15 minutes. Lay on all sides. Also, any bed you try in store is going to feel completely different after a full night's rest. I would check on the return policy - doesn't hurt to check with the BBB either. It's pretty easy to look up any company online. I think there are a few ebay companies listed as well - I know they hold records of many online companies. I'm sure you've already read customer reviews on the store. :-)
Take your time on this decision and research this site as well as the old forum (http://legacy.whatsthebest-mattress.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=wtb-mattress). You may have done all this already - I just know how helpful it's been for me.
Mattress toppers are used as an added layer of comfort. I didn't think it would make much difference, but a 1" soft latex topper (20ILD) REALLY did help quite a bit. Toppers on innerspring mattresses: pillowtops. They are really finicky things - most people seem to get body impressions in them after just a few months. The PU foam collapses pretty quickly and the comfort level with it as well. Many people suggest buying a firm mattress and building your own comfort layers: memory foam, latex, cuddlebeds, intelligel, or just plain convoluted foam. When you consider the expense of a plush or pillowtop mattress vs a plain old firm one, you actually have money to spare to build your own layers. Then, if these collapse, you strip the top layers and start again instead of throwing out the whole bed or performing mattress surgery! I am really impressed by the people who actually take apart their innerspring mattressess and rebuild them! However, I would not want to do it. Yikes!
I'm not sure about coils and upholstery. I got frustrated with the reviews on innerspring mattresses and started to look for alternatives (love the latex!). However, latex is not for everyone. It seems to be a good split with any type of mattress - memory foam, latex, innerspring, waterbeds, airbeds - it really depends on your own comfort level and what feels good to you. I know this is ridiculously unhelpful, and I struggled with this, but it's true. Not everything is going to work for everyone. I'm the type of gal who goes to Consumer Reports, reads what needs to be read, and makes a decision from there. If you are looking into investing in your mattress and truly making an informed decision it's going to take time and probably some frustration. My husband and I are still perfecting our bed, but oh it's so nice!
All I can do from here is offer encouragement - you are not alone in your confusion and frustration. I'm sure a few other members of this forum will also reply, hopefully with more helpful answers. Hang in there - it's worth it!
We spent about four months recently to see if we wanted any of the alternatives (foam, latex, innerspring) and we went to a ton of stores and sat on and stretched out on a ton of different mattresses plus we did blinding hours of online research. We talked to all of our family and friends. Prices were rediculously high - at least a grand for the lowest of the low ends of all makes and models. It was interesting to watch mattresses go "on sale" at the big chain stores at 1/2 off from a very inflated list price. We learned about coil counts and coil "turns" and enclosed coils and continuous coils and then we moved on to all the different tops like Euro and Pillow (cheap padded covers over the core that seem to fail in months or less). We did pretended sleep testing in stores of memory foam and latex and the amazingly over priced tempur-pedics.
From reading a ton of online testimonials we learned that a buyer shouldn't pay much attention to mattress warranties because they all seem to have little weasel words built in so that most anything you do will void the warranty and even the manufacturers seem to suggest in their literature that regardless of warranty claims a mattress should probably be replaced within five to seven years or "when you notice that you are not as comfortable as when you made the purchase." We learned that only about 60% of innerspring buyers were happy with their mattresses - even after just a few weeks or months while 80% or more of latex/form buyers were happy but NO mattress of any kind scored near 100% satisfaction.
We wanted a bed that would allow us to adjust firmness easily but we didn't want an air chamber type - we have one in our rv and it's okay for camping but not something we want in our home bedroom.
Anywho, after all that time invested in our research we chose the mattress that hardly anyone seems to respect - the waterbed mattress in a hard side bed frame and our latest model is even better than the three others we have slept on for over 22 years. Compared to all other mattress types they are inexpensive, easily adjustable for firmness, gently heated or comfortably cool depending on thermostat setting with no springs to fail or foam to permanently indent. New models can be completely waveless and extra firm (but never hard) so if you think you have looked at and tested all mattress types please consider giving a modern and recently designed waterbed mattress a critical look. We're both older and my wife suffers from multiple and permanent back conditions and we both consistently sleep through each night on this type mattress. To give a complete picture we combined the waterbed mattress with a semi-firm three inch thick 4.3 Cloud9 foam topper - this morning was like every other morning - we both went WOW what a comfortable bed!
Best of luck with you qwest for the "perfect sleep platform" - It's a very individual and personal decision and we are very glad to have found the perfect solution for us.
Am doing research to get a mattress and I thought the above few threads gave some great advice. I'm thinking about the following possibilities (all mentioned above) and have some questions:
1. get a firm mattress and buy top layers that can be changed.
I am confused about this because does that mean that I just choose the firmest mattress without regard to comfort because I am going to use a topper? How do I know if I am going to like the topper and is there a place to try those out, or do I just go on recommendations and order it online?
2. Where do I get a foam mattress? I went to a local highly rated mattress warehouse and the selection was all Simmons, Serta, and Therapedic, with one King Koil. I didn't see any foam or latex or the kind of stuff discussed here.
3. The last poster raved about a waterbed, and adjustable temperature and firmness, which sounded good, plus he added an additional layer on top. Again, where would I find this to try?
I am thinking about getting a queen (have a full now). I live in eastern MA.
Here are some suggestions for local mattress makers that make incredibly high quality mattresses and if you were to compare them to the S brands that you are focusing on you will find that the cost to quality ratio is MUCH higher with these folks.
Gardner Mattress ( www.gardnermattress.com ) - I recommend that you visit their showroom in Salem. Their sales staff is incredibly knowledgeable. Spend at least 15 mins lying on the mattresses the way that you would sleep. If you decide to buy - haggle, haggle, haggle.
Worley Beds www.worleybeds.com in New Bedford great products same story as Gardner.
Mystic Bedding in Medford www.mysticbedding.com is a small shop with innerspring options but no full mem foam or latex
The Mattress Maker www.themattressmaker.com in Brockton.
When you are dealing with the S brands the unfortunate reality is that the materials they use, especially the foams, are not the highest quality and can breakdown much faster than one of these smaller label mattresses as they use higher quality materials and really take the time to craft a product.
I have been to Gardner and Mystic and their products are very nice and much higher quality than even the best of the S brands as I looked and tested those too.
My 2 cents...
o The core structure should support your weight so that your spine does not sag/stretch. Front sleep needs a firm mattress... if it's too weak, you'll feel it right away since your spine does not bend that way. Back sleep can tolerate some sag, but a little can become too much. Side sleep is the trickiest... requires a pillow... keeping the spine level while the hips and shoulders sink a bit. Once you know what you're looking for, you'll begin to feel it right away. Don't let the surface cushion confuse your evaluation of core support. Find core support first for your body weight and sleep positions.
o The surface structure should contour to your body, imparting some support to distribute your weight to the core structure. Lay on a floor and all of your weight is on a few bearing points. You want a surface structure that contours to your body to help spread those bearing points over a greater area for pressure relief.
o The surface should be comfortable, cushion, and breathable. Too much cushion can get in the way of moving around, collect heat, and breakdown prematurely with body set.
The rest is how they do it and for how much... design, materials, quality, durability. I feel that a good quality, middle-of-the-road innerspring mattress that functions right is better value than an expensive 'luxury' mattress that can be over-built and over-priced. Find a store that feels sensible from the minute you walk in the door... they will have a decent selection worth looking at. Like-Wise, at the first sign of mattress non-sense, walk out... it's not worth your time trying to find a decent mattress in a store that is only there to move ridiculously over-built over-priced mattresses.
Start with the mattress you are sleeping on now. Identify what works and what doesn't and why. Try some props for cause and affect. You'll soon discover what you are looking for in a mattress.
Don't blindly spend a lot of money thinking that will be a solution.
Hope this helps!
Thanks for the great responses.
Are you familiar with the Newton and Woburn locations of Gardner Mattress? They are closer to me but I could also go to Salem.
Any opinions on toppers, should I consider getting a really firm mattress and then using a topper to try to combine the best of both worlds, that is good support + comfort? Is this possible? I almost always sleep on my back but probably turn a bit during the night.
Also, is there any way to search this forum by just the topic threads? The search functionality doesn't seem that great and I don't want to answer questions that have already been discussed.
I'm in the Los Angeles area. do you know any good, local, trustworthy manufacturer's out here? trustworthy is key. we visited a few small stores selling mattresses in LA, but they were just saying anything to get you to buy from them and not the guy down the street. i would not mind buying from a local trustworthy source if I could find one...
In Covina you have Flexus Mattress Co. ( www.flexuscomfort.com ).
Also www.customcomfortmattress.com - higher price with superb quality - 7 showrooms including w. Hollywood and Pasadena.
www.royal-mattress.com again in Covina
Hope those help as they are all good manufacturers.
I'm in process of checking out their websites. I like the fact that flexus comfort makes double sided flippable mattresses. that is very hard to find.
what experience do you have with any of these manufacturers? have you purchased anything from any of them?
so this is interesting. I read imjays post above and it sounded interesting and I was going to ask him which waterbed he bought, but looking at his profile it says he is a 'banned user'.
does anyone know why?
i slept on type of waterbed for years and found it very comfortable, it was the kind with 6 or 7 large tubes in it filled with water that were set into a mattress like container. it looked like a mattress, but there were no foams or springs, it just held the tubes. but it was old and we inherited it from a friend so when we moved we left it behind and i figured it wouldnt be that hard to get a new mattress.
how i wish i had held onto that mattress..little did i know the hell that mattress shopping is...
Jordans did have a waterbed like the one you were mentioning at their Nashua store. It was just to the left of the front window in their hokey "Sleep Lab".
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