Under construction

I split information on mattress into two pages.
1. This one about specific mattresses, and
2. Mattresses in Home and Garden with general information on construction methods, composition (chemicals etc.), polyurethane foam vs latex foam.

Other Manufacturers/Prices | Types | Problems with memory foam | Mattress Firmness | Green Mattresses

Construction

A bed usually consists of two parts:
A. A foundation box springs or platform
  They're rarely box springs now but v-shaped steel modules that form a grid.
  See Foundation or Box Spring? | Sleepinglikealog.com
B. A Mattress

Mattresses are generally composed of two main sections
1. A support section on the bottom
2. A comfort section on the Top 
3. A fabric cover (ticking)  The covering over comfort section may have some padding also.
Foundation - A box spring or platform that the whole thing sits on. Usually 8 inches.
  
There are several types:
Support
  Innerspring - Wire coils or interconnected springs
  Foam (Polyurethane or latex) 
  Adjustable air like the Sleep Number beds
Comfort
 - Innerspring mattresses traditionally had a quilted batten fabric
     that is frequently synthetic.
 - Foam mattresses usually have one or more layers of a less dense foam on the top.
     They frequently have a memory foam top layer
 - Hybrid mattresses are innersprings mattresses with a foam comfort section
   Air beds have a foam confort layer

See:
types in the general mattress page

Both innerspring and foam mattresses got good scores in the
 2015 Consumer Reports tests 
The top rated mattresses got scores as follows:

Innerspring * -  67-71  $500-$1,500 Sealy, Charles P Rodgers, Denver
Memory foam  -   64-70  $500-$1,500 Novaform (Costco), Serta, Spring Air
Adjustable Air - 72-74 Sleep Number $800-$3,000
* Inner spring variations can include special layers of cushioning,
 a pillowtop layer above a denser foam layer.
  "Hybrids" have one or more layers of foam on top of the springs. 
Consumer Reports Reviews.
 
Top Rated Mattresses 2015 | SleepLikeTheDead.com
 Satisfaction (sample size)
 81% Memory Foam (7,142)
 80% Latex 
 78% Airbed
 72% Hybrid
 64% Innerspring

Other Review Sites:
Mattress Reviews | SleepSherpa.com
 - They like The Alexander Signature Select Mattress | Nest Bedding 
 
Which Natural Mattress is Right For You? | Mama Natural
She likes the Essentia  Dormeuse Fior

Best mattress and beds for Side/Back/Stomach Sleepers Reviews 2016 | NerdSleep.com 

You can spend $30,000 or more for a mattress.
Kluft luxury beds are hand-stitched after being filled with cotton, Joma wool, and latex. Great for hot sleepers - the unique design lets hot air flow away from the body.

Considerations and features in selecting a mattress

  • Type: Innerspring, foam or adjustable air. /li>
  • Both inner spring and memory foam can have infused gel for cooling.
  • Dual firmness - Different density foams on the left and right (available on kings and queens). Like some at the Natural Mattress Store
  • repositioning the layers to change the firmness like the Natural Mattress Store
  • Inner springs can be either independent coils, so compressing a few has minimal effect on adjacent coils, or interconnected wires.
  • Some foam mattresses can be vacuum compressed in a box that will fit in the back of your car, like the Essentia and KEETSA.
  • Adjustable mattresses with articulating head and foot like The Sealy
  • Traditional innerspring mattresses will not work as well with adjustable mechanism to rais the head and/or feet underneath, because they do not bend as well. Hybrids with smaller springs will be ok.

Some Mattresses Examples:
Prices are for Queen sized beds.
Note: Many manufacturers keep the construction details (e.g Indentation Load Deflection (ILD) values,

Sealy Posturepedic Hybrid Trust Cushion | Sealy - $1,275 (Top rated innerspring at Consumer Reports)
see also Sealy Posturepedic Hybrid Series - Trust Mattresses | TheMattressFactoryInc.com

Mattress Height: 11.5"
Cover
 ForeverFlex™ Body Hugging Stretch Fabric
Comfort section:
 1" OptiCool® Gel Memory Foam with CoreSupport* Center Zoning
 2" SuperSoft ActiveFlex
 * CoreSupport Center™ - The center third of the mattress is designed
   to provide you with the support where you need it most.
Support Section 
  Apex™ HS Titanium Individually Pocketed Coil 
  Coil Count: 825

Novaform 14" Serafina - $1,575 (Top rated foam at Consumer Reports)
Mattress thickness: 14"
Cover: Quilted, plush cover
Mattress cover is not removable for washing; spot clean only;
  follow all manufacturers' care and use instructions
Comfort section
  Top layer: 3" of gel memory foam for cool, cradling comfort
  Middle layer: 3" of air channel foam for enhanced air flow
Support section
  Base layer: 8" of base foam for long-lasting support


Duxiana Dux 515 - $8,000 is one of the most expensive mattresses.
Top Pad - 

Support
  3,288 interconnected springs (queen)

Casper $850
Mattress thickness: 10-11"
Cover: 

Polyester/Polypropylene Zipper Cover
Comfort section
   Latex Foam top
    Memory Foam middle
Support section
  6.5" Polyurethane Foam


The Alexander Signature Select Mattress | Nest Bedding $799
Top rated at Sleep Sherpa

The Love Bed | Nest Bedding $799

Mattress thickness: 10-11"
Cover
  1.5"
Comfort section
   2" convoluted 4lb gel foam
   2" visco foam
Support section
  8" 2.0 density convoluted 


Green Mattresses
These are mainly mattress using natural latex foam rather than petroleum based polyurethane foam.

Note: Some people are allergic to latex.

Beware of what some manufacturers call "organic mattresses", they may have some organic cotton, but that's all.

See The Mattress Underground: Shopping for a Latex Mattress (1/1)

Companies:
Note: The mattresses listed below are only a sample of the choices available for each manufacturer.
See others below

Essentia Organic Mattresses & Natural Memory Foam Mattresses
Essetia has what they call a natural memory foam:
We mix Hevea milk, the milky white sap of the rubber tree, with essential oils like grapefruit seed, cone flower essence and jasmine essence. Plant extracts and water are added to help




Essentia Energie Opus $3,787
firmness 3/8
Comfort layer
  3" 5.25lbs Density* Natural Memory Foam.
Support Layer
  5" Seven zoned natural latex support layer. (Dunlop process

* Essentia uses Lbs rating for density and it is not clear how this relates
  to ILD used by other manufactures.

Essentia Classic 8 $2,875
firmness 5/8
Comfort layer
  2" 5.25lbs Density Natural Memory Foam..
Support layer
  6" Seven zoned natural latex support layer. (Dunlop process)
Essentia Dormeuse $5,225
firmness 4/8
Comfort
 2" 6.25lbs Density Natural Memory Foam.. Molded for added support.
 2" 5.25lbs Density Natural Memory Foam.
Support
 4" Seven zoned natural latex support layer. (Dunlop process)


Essentia Dormeuse Fior $5,725
Mama Natural likes it.
Firmness 2.5/8
Cover
  Bucaneve Wrap - Thin protective liner to reduce friction wear.
Comfort layer
  3" Molded 6.25lbs density Fior formula.
  2" 5.25lbs density Natural Memory Foam..
Support layer
 3" Seven zoned natural latex support layer. (Dunlop process)
Essentia Mattress Reviews | SleepLikeTheDead.com
The Natural Mattress Store - Serenity - $2,200 (Queen)
Comfort Layers:
  1" of soft Talalay latex 
  3" Talalay middle layer which is either soft, medium, firm or extra firm.
  Dual firmness (left and right) available 
Support Layer:
 3" Dunlop latex layer 

The Natural Mattress Store - Melody - $1,600 (Queen)
10 inches
Comfort Layers:
  2" of soft Talalay latex - Soft or Medium
  dual firmness available $100
Support Layer:
 Medium or firm Pocket coil springs

The Natural Mattress Store - Unity - $1,300 (Queen)
9 inches
Comfort Layers:
  1 1/2" of soft Talalay latex  Medium or Firm

Support Layer:
 Medium or firm Pocket coil springs

The Natural Mattress Store - Enlightenment hybrid with springs $2,600
13 inches
Comfort Layers:
  3" of soft Talalay latex  Medium or Firm
  dual firmness available $100
Support Layer:
  2" Medium Tallay 
 Medium or firm Pocket coil springs

HeveaPUR®* 9" Organic Mattress Denver Mattress Company $550-$2,400
9 inches
Cover:
 GOTS† Certified Organic Cotton Ticking Quilted to GOTS Certified
 Organic Wool with GOTS Certified Cotton Backing
Comfort Layers:
3" 14 ILD GOLS Certified Organic HeveaPUR®
Support System:
6" 32 ILD GOLS Certified Organic HeveaPUR®
† GOTS - Global Organic Textile Standard
* HeveaPUR® is a memory like foam derived Hevea Brasiliensis tree.

Breckenridge HeveaPUR Euro Top - Denver Mattress Company $1,849 - $5,097

Quilt Layers:
  Double Knit Ticking 
  1 1/2" of 1.8lb Density Convoluted EF Foam
  1" EF Foam
  Natural Rayon Fire Barrier
Comfort Layers:
  2" of 1.8lb Density Convoluted EF Foam
  1/2" Feather Soft HeveaPUR®
  1 Fiber Pad
Support System:
  Coil Density: 726 (Queen) Zoned Coils
  14.5 Gauge Twice Tempered Steel


Sleep Number Classic C4 $1,700
10 inches
Comfort Layer: 
  2" foam
Support Layer:
 Air Chambers
 
 
 
Sleep Number Performance P6 $2,800
12 inches
Comfort Layer: 
1" Pillowtop
3" PlusFit®  foam
Support Layer:
 8" Air Chambers
 
 
 
 

Other companies:
Naturepedic Natural & Organic Mattress, Luxury Organic Mattress & Organic Bedding
Organic Mattresses, Natural Latex Mattresses, and Organic Bedding | Savvy Rest
Natural Latex Beds | Nest Bedding
Build your own with a 6 inch 100% Natural Latex Mattress Core from SleepOnLatex.com - $599 for Queen
and 1.5" KEETSA Latex Comfort Layer $189-twin, $209-Queen


Other Manufacturers/Prices
Major manufactures (Sealy, Serta, and Simmons) make almost identical mattresses to be sold by retailers who re-name the particular models, so it is difficlut to do comparison-shopping.

Tempur-Pedic, Stearns & Foster and Sealy, which both make spring and foam mattresses. All are owned by Tempur Sealy International.

Most mattress dealers will bargin.

Higher price mattresses have more padding with foam, wool, silk or a down blend. Prices for Queen (2011):
MfgTypemattress
only
Set
GenericMemory Foam$699-1,300 
Tempur-PedicMemory Foam$1,500
IsotonicMemory Foam$935$1,070
Select ComfortAir + Foam$500-2,300$900-2,700
NautilusAir + Foam $1,600
FloBedsLatex Foam$699-1,550
KitMemory Foam$380 
Dux coil spring$3,500
Simmons Beautyrestcoil spring$900-1,800
Sealy Posturepediccoil spring$700-1,100
Serta Perfect Sleepercoil spring$560-900
Economycoil spring$180
2009 Consumer Reports Subscriber survey:
Foam Pad (Queen Prices)
Helathy Foundations says that "visco-elastic memory foam, which provides a a far greater level of cushioning, support and pressure relief in comparison to standard or "eggcrate" foam pads."

Matress Size
                 W       L
 Crib            28"    x 52"
 Twin or single  38-39" x 74"
 Full or double  53-54" x 75"
 Queen           60"    x 80"
 King            75-76" x 80"
 California king, 72"   x 84"
 
Thickness

New mattresses designs add extra padding and have greater thickness. This will require deep pocket sheets to fit correctly.

* STANDARD DEPTH: 7 to 9 inches
*  DEEP MATTRESS: 10 to 15 inches
*     EXTRA DEEP: 15 inches to as deep as 22 inches
Deep Pocket Sheets are required for mattresses over 14" deep.
Sheet pocket sizes
7 inches to 14 inches (standard),
15 inches (deep),
and 16 inches to 22 inches (extra deep). 
 
Mattress Firmness -

Back Pain:
Traditional wisdom was that a firm mattress was best for your back. This was when soft mattresses allowed sag so your back was curved. What you want is a mattress which allows you back to rest in a normal position. You want it to avoid sag but to be soft enough for your shoulders and hips to sink in when on your side. New mattresses use things like independent coils, multiple density layering and memory foam to avoid sag and still have form fitting capabilities. A medium firm mattress is usually best.
If you sleep on your side you need a softer mattress to allow your shoulders and hips to sink in. If you sleep on your back (better for people with back problems) a firmer mattress will work.

There are pros and cons to waterbeds. If you lie on your stomach, the water bed allows you to increase the sway or the sag of the back.
Claims that a mattress is "orthopedic" or "medically-approved" should be viewed skeptically. There has not been extensive medical research or controlled clinical trials on the topic of mattresses and low back pain.
See:
Choosing the Best Mattress for Lower Back Pain - spine-health.com
Mattresses for Back Pain - Back Pain Center - EverydayHealth.com
Supportive Bedding - back-shop.com
The AlluraBed by Tempur-Pedic - The Healthy Back Store

Indentation Load Deflection (ILD)

  • Soft 20-24
  • Medium. 25-29 Recommended for those who enjoy a softer feel.
  • Regular firm. 30-34 Recommended for those who like a good firm feel, but not extra firm. Usually recommended for those who weigh less that 150 pounds.
  • Extra firm. 35-39 Recommended for those who like extra firm support.
  • Ultra firm*. 40-44 Recommended only for those who insist that they enjoy sleeping on the floor.
(ILD - Pounds to compress a 4" thick sample to 3" (25%))

Consumer Reports found that most mattresses advertised as firm were actually Medium or Soft.


Types

Coil Spring Mattresses
In Consumer Report tests, a higher coil count or firmer mattress didn't necessairly reduce sagging.


Type of Foam
See:
Latex Foam Rubber and Flexible Polyurethane Foam (FPF) at Polyurethane Foam Association (PFA)
Rubber Facts (Word Doc) at Monmouth Rubber Corp.

Memory Foam:
Memory foam is essentially made from the same chemicals as polyurethane foam, but it has added chemicals to it that change the way it feels.


Foam - All foams are basically open-cell.
Polyurethane foam, latex foam, and PVC foam.

Density - Technically the weight per unit of volume (specific gravity). Density is commonly misused to mean the hardness or softness of a material, specifically in our case, sponge. Many times someone will ask "What is the density of the material?" What they really mean, in most cases, is "What is the hardness or softness?" The correct term for the hardness or softness of a piece of cellular rubber is compression deflection.

Compression Deflection - Correct Measure of hardness. The weight required to compress a 1 cu. in. cube 25%. ve. Different companies use different kinds of Visco Elastic foam also called memory foam, slow recovery or Swiss Foam. They seem to be based on the foam developed by NASA (see below), but I haven't seen any comparisons. e.g. Isotonic uses something called Conform and ViscoLux. HealthyBack uses a foam from Obus Form

Visco-Elastic Memory Foam (memory foam):
From abed.com

Developed for NASA to relieve extreme G-force pressures. Memory Foam molds to your body contours to help prevent tossing and turning during the night. When you lie down on this amazing material, the heat and pressure sensitive foam reacts to your body's weight and temperature, so that it molds to your exact body shape. This means that whether you sleep on your back, stomach or side, your weight is evenly distributed and your spine remains in a neutral position.

Tests have shown that these mattresses actually improve sleep and increase the level of deep sleep, so you wake up more alert, refreshed and better rested. Recommended by over 25,000 medical professionals worldwide. Naturally treated cover protects you from harmful allergens, resists dust mites, and removes easily for washing.

Problems with memory foam:
There are 3 problems with most memory foam mattresses: no air circulation, Odors and toxic chemicals.
Note: Some memory foam mattresses claim to eliminate these thru various means; latex, different fire retardants, ...

No air circulation:
One problem reported with these mattresses is they do not breath and can be too warm in the summer. I got the following response from abed.com regarding this:

From: "Roseanne McArdle, sleep consultant" <Roseanne@abed.com>
To answer your question regarding humidity, what the article is referring to is the need to sleep on a bed that does not make you sweat. Our foam beds such as the Dormia and the Wellington have Joma wool filling quilted into their covers and this allows for the air circulation your bed needs to have to help regulate your body temperature and keep you from overheating. Latex foam also is well known for helping air to circulate and keeping heat away.
See: Mattresses and Sleep, a pseudo-technical discussion of sleep by a company selling memory foam mattresses

Odors:
About 15% of people who buy a memory foam mattress report a noticeable odor. For most people, this is a just a minor annoyance that dissipates within a few days to a few weeks and accounts for less than 2% of returns according to Sleep Like The Dead. However, a small percentage of people may report respiratory irritation and other symptoms like nausea and headaches.

Around 2005 there were reports of toxic chemicals in memory foam mattresses and a class action law suit was filed.
Virtually all commercially available mattresses made today are filled with petroleum based foam and then soaked in a pound or more of fire retardant chemicals. These mattresses outgas formaldehyde as they age, which is a known carcinogen. Fire redardants, made of chemicals called Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), build up in our bodies like the banned PCBs and have been associated with neurological damage and cancer."
Source: Organic Mattresses | DAXstores.com
See:
Toxic Mattress Chemicals | Are Memory Foam Mattresses Safe?
Should You Ditch Your Chemical Mattress? | Mother Jones
CR4 - Thread: Memory Foam or Foamy Memory?
Chemicals in Mattresses and Pillows Linked to Many Illness
Memory Foam Mattresses: Benefits and Disadvantages | WebMDd

Comforpedic by Simmons uses a new advanced level of memory foam called, NXG. In its manufacturing process, the foam is created in a VPF (variable pressure chamber) which removes the notorious, yet, unavoidable chemical irritants from the product.

Latex Foam:
From: abed.com Derived from the have brasiliensis, or the rubber tree, latex is the most naturally durable cushioning material available. Latex is harvested in much the same way as maple syrup from the maple tree. The milky white latex is converted into a mattress or pillow in special molds and undergoes four rinsing processes to eliminate odors.

Health Benefits Latex is antimicrobial and dust mite resistant, making it perfect for pulmonary allergy sufferers. It's ecologically-friendly and has no chemical properties or detrimental impacts to the environment.

Additional Benefits Designed for breathability with an open-cell structure and special "pin core" construction, latex allows for ventilation of body heat. It also keeps moisture from building up next to your body. Aluminum core pins transfer curing heat into the foam. As a result, thousands of "pin-core" air-channels enable natural ventilation of the final product. Types of Latex:
Talalay latex - Has less resistance, bouncier, and is more for soreness or those who have or seek relief from pressure point problems.
Dunlop - When all else is equal dunlop is firmer, denser, and may provide extra needed support.

Some companies allow you to select the material for each layer. Some people will combine Talaly and dunlop in different layers.

Blended latex will have a percentage of natural latex mixed with a petroleum based material called SBR that will off gas.

Latex vs Polyurethane Foam:

Latex vs Polyurethane foam:
Latex lasts longer up to 20 years. More exact pinpointed support than memory foam. Does not release the harmful chemicals Made with a much cleaner and less energy intense process Latex is more expensive
See:
Choosing between Polyurethane Foam, Memory Foam and Latex Foam | SleepOnLatex.com
Latex Mattress vs Memory Foam Mattress - Latex versus Foam Mattress Comparison

Spring vs Foam:
At Spring Mattress vs Memory Foam Mattress -| Essentia they list Natural foam as best in a bunch of categories, but they leave a "?" for spring in categories like durability, low VOC, sleeps cool, because they don't know what kind of topping is on spring mattresses in general.

Dealers
Green Mattress Stores in the SF bay area:
Essentia - 1799-D Fourth St, Berkeley
The Natural Mattress Store - 1243 Sutter St, San Francisco, (415) 614-2220
  135 University Ave., Palo Alto, (650) 321-8700
  1345 Newell Ave., Walnut Creek, (925) 933-1990
  135 University Ave., Palo Alto, (650) 321-8700

Nest bedding - Nest 367 9th st, San Francisco -415-701-8002
  835 San Pablo Ave, Albany,

Other Bay Area stores:
KEETSA Eco-Friendly Mattresses
  68 Division St, San Francisco   2117 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

Others:

Organic Mattresses - Toxin Free Natural Latex | stlbeds.com
My green mattress 
Coyuchi 
Organic Mattresses | Dax Stores

Foam Pads (Queen Prices)
Helathy Foundations says that "visco-elastic memory foam, which provides a a far greater level of cushioning, support and pressure relief in comparison to standard or "eggcrate" foam pads."
KEETSA Latex Comfort Layer 1.5" $183
Obus Form Memory foam Pad 1 1/4" 4 zone egg crate with holes for better breathability $100 from Healthy Back
Isotonic Topper Pad 2" 4 lb/ft3 memory foam with a quilted cotton cover -$145 at Healthy Foundations
Novaform 2" heat sensitive memory foam at Costco $128
2" memory foam with white goose down cover at Bed bath & beyond $329
Carpenter Sublime Comfort pad (1 3/4" memory foam with comfort tips/fingers ) from Bed bath & beyond $45
Regular Egg Crate Foam at Bed Bath & Beyond $25
Gel-Medex - Medical mattress pad - 3 1/2" 4 gel compartments plus foam. $220

Mattress stores:
Best (Service, quality, price, ...) per Consumer Reports:
Costco, Tempur-Pedic Store, Sleep Number (Select Comfort), Sleep Train, Macy's, Mattress Firm
Others:
abed.com
mattress.com
Sleepy's
Big John's - Boston MA Healthy Back
Back Be Nimble Healthy Foundations
VitalityWeb.com

Manufactures
Duxiana
Tempur-pedic - Brookstone
FloBeds Latex
Foam-Fabrication.com
FoamByMail.com
Select Comfort
ComfortDirect Air Bed
Simmons
Sealy
Serta

See Also:
See Mattresses in Home and Garden for construction methods, composition (chemicals etc.), polyurethane foam vs latex foam.
Berkeley Parents Network Recommendations
Mattress Complaints: It’s Going to Be a Bumpy Night - The New York Times
3 Ways YOU CAN GET SCREWED Buying a Retail Mattress
Mattresses and sleep
Mattress Review: Best Mattresses - ConsumerSearch
Mattresses and Sleep, a pseudo-technical discussion of sleep by a company selling memory foam mattresses
Back Pain and Injuries.

last updated 1 Jan 2016