Mattress FAQs: 13 Mattress Questions & Answers

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Between emails, social, my blog, and other avenues I answer a lot of questions every week about mattresses and sleep. After receiving so many questions week after week I decided to just dive in head first and participated in a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) last week. During the AMA I received some really insightful and interesting questions, the best of which I wanted to pull over onto the blog for everyone to see.

If you’re interested you can find the full Reddit AMA thread here.

And as always, if you don’t see your question answered here please drop me a note via my contact form or a comment below. I’d be happy to answer it.

Mattress Questions List

Click the questions to jump to the individual Q&A below.

  1. What’s the most cost efficient latex mattress in terms of quality?
  2. Can you talk a little about boxsprings vs. platform beds?
  3. What can you tell me to alleviate my concerns about buying a mattress online?
  4. Are hotel mattresses better than normal mattresses?
  5. What’s the best mattress for sex?
  6. Is Tuft & Needle a good buy?
  7. What’s the best way to determine my preferred firmness level?
  8. What is the weirdest mattress you’ve slept on?
  9. How are bunkie boards as a foundation? Can they resolve a sagging mattress?
  10. What are your thoughts on memory foam mattress toppers?
  11. Are memory foam mattresses good?
  12. Do you receive tons of free mattresses?
  13. Have you tried any “safe” or “healthy” mattresses?

What’s the most cost efficient latex mattress (or brand) in terms of quality?

The problem I have with 100% latex mattresses is you basically have 2 varieties. 1) super high quality, but very expensive or 2) low quality, and inexpensive. There just aren’t that many good options in the middle. For this reason, I really don’t find that latex mattresses offer a great value. Most of the new online mattress companies (Casper, Leesa, Yogabed, etc.) doing online mattresses get this, and most of them make hybrid mattresses. Hybrid mattresses combine multiple foams, like latex, memory, Avena, or custom polyfoams. This gives a “best of both worlds” type of a situation. I personally love the Leesa mattress. It uses a top layer of Avena foam (which reacts exactly like latex, except it’s more durable) and a middle layer of memory foam. It’s $890 for a Queen and extremely well made / high quality for the money. Casper is another good option, which you see just about everywhere these days. They use a latex foam top layer and a layer of memory foam also. Casper has less specialty foam than Leesa though, which gives it a bit of a firmer feel for some.

Not about mattresses specifically, but what are your views on box springs vs. platform beds?

Personally, I love platform beds. I got rid of my traditional boxspring about 6 months ago when I purchased my first platform bed. I like their look, the profile, and their weight in the room. Everything about platform beds just works with my style and functional preferences. If you want / need a taller bed having a boxspring still makes sense. And if you don’t have a platform bed as an option using a boxspring is still better than no foundation at all. I wrote a brief guide a few weeks ago about the pros and cons of having a boxspring if you are interested.

What can you tell me that would alleviate my concerns about buying a mattress online?

I totally understand your concerns. You’re in the same boat as most consumers. What gave me the push to make the leap is quite simply the trial periods offered by all of these online mattress companies. They all understand that you really do need to lie on a mattress to know for sure. Which is why they all offer in-home trial periods.

  • Tuft & Needle – 100 days
  • Saatva – 120 days
  • Loom & Leaf – 120 days
  • Casper – 100 days
  • Leesa – 100 days
  • Yogabed – 101 days.

If you don’t like it returns/refunds cost you nothing on all of the above. In most cases they simply will have you donate the mattress to a local charity, so you don’t even have to deal with shipping it back. Once you have donated the mattress they’ll refund 100% of your money. I went through the process with Tuft & Needle, the first mattress I bought…which just was too firm for me. It was extremely easy. Took the Salvation Army a week to come pick it up, they gave me a receipt, sent pic of the receipt to T&N, and my money was refunded the next day.

Are hotel mattresses better quality than normal ones?

That would depend on the hotel. But there is nothing stopping you from purchasing the same mattresses that hotels get for your own home in most cases. Nicer hotels will certainly have higher end mattresses. Better materials and better construction invariable lead to a better night’s sleep.

What’s the best mattress for sex?

There are many factors that make a mattress better or worse for sex…bounce, responsiveness, noise, edge support, durability, comfort, etc. Of all the mattresses I have tested and reviewed my two favorites for sex are the Leesa and Yogabed. Leesa is just an all-around great pick and it does well in every category. Yogabed is also a good all-arounder and has amazing bounce. You can find my full write up here: best mattress for sex. Note: I haven’t added Loom & Leaf or Saatva to the list, but they’ll both be contenders also. Saatva has great bounce, a little better than the Yogabed.

I was looking at the “Tuft & Needle” mattresses? Are they what they claim to be? Would it be considered a good buy?

Tuft & Needle can certainly be a great choice if you like the feel and firmness level. Personally, I wasn’t a fan. But many people do love T&N. The questions I always ask people when they are thinking about Tuft & Needle. 1) Do you like a slightly firm mattress (6.5-7 out of 10 on the firmness scale, where 10 is the most firm) and 2) Do you like a buoyant mattress? IE, very little sinkage and very little hug. You really sleep on top of the foams with the Tuft & Needle. If you answered yes to both of these questions you’ll probably love the Tuft & Needle. Otherwise, there is probably a better mattress for you.

What’s the best way to determine the level of firmness I need in a mattress?

I will admit, this is perhaps one of the most difficult steps. Even going in to a mattress store to try to get an idea of the firmness you like can be difficult. Many times what you think you like in the store with a 5-10 minute lie down you find you don’t like when you sleep on it for an entire night. Unless you know with a fair degree of certainty you definitely want a very firm or a very soft mattress, I would recommend just looking for a neutral firmness. 85% of sleepers like mattresses in the 5-6 out of 10 on the firmness scale (where 10 is the most firm). Chances are high you’re in this group. Almost all of the online mattresses sit in this 85% neutral firmness level.

What is the weirdest mattress that you have ever slept on?

I don’t feel like I have a great answer here. Most of the mattresses I’ve slept on I would describe as fairly “normal”. If I had to pick one it would probably be the Loom & Leaf by Saatva. It has a layer of gel foam, which is something I have never seen in another mattress. The result is an extremely cool top layer.

Do bunkie boards really provide enough foundation for a mattress? What can I do to help improve my saggy mattress situation?

If your mattress is already sagging at 3 weeks I’m doubtful that a bunkie board will be enough. Bunkie boards can offer a little more foundational support than a traditional boxspring in some cases, but it’s not a miracle fix. I would definitely recommend taking a look at your warranty. Your mattress shouldn’t be sagging at 3 weeks. If it’s severe enough you may be able to get a replacement mattress. If that’s not an option you might check out this product. It’s called Mattress Helper. I haven’t had a chance to actually use one yet, but I have heard them discussed and they do seem to get decent reviews.

I have a 4 inch memory foam mattress topper, what are your thoughts on mattress toppers?

Memory foam mattress toppers can be a great temporary solution. They work great if you are trying to extend the life of your mattress by a few years or you have an uncomfortable mattress that you’re trying to soften up or add support to. They aren’t a replacement for a good mattress, but work great if you’re on a super tight budget or are otherwise stuck with your current mattress.

Can any bed be good if it has memory foam?

Absolutely. Many people like the feel of 100% memory foam beds. They certainly have a distinct hug / body contour, but for some it’s a great fit. Many hybrid mattresses use memory foam cores as it provides great support and pressure relief. The memory foam is usually below a layer of latex (or similar cool feeling foam) to help with temperature retention, comfort, and bounce.

Do you receive tons of free mattresses?

I wouldn’t say it’s a ton, but it’s a fair number. I currently have 7 King sized mattresses in a fairly small 1 bedroom apartment. These all were used as part of my review series of each of these mattresses.

Have you tried any “safe” or “healthy” mattress brands like Essentia or IntelliBed?

Unfortunately, I haven’t had an opportunity to try either Essentia or IntelliBed. However, they are both on my list to review. I have heard many good things about Essentia and I’m excited to review that one. Most of the mattresses I have reviewed, including Leesa, Casper, Yogabed, and others are certified CertiPUR-US. This indicates they were made without many harmful chemicals, heavy metals, and have low VOCs. Loom & Leaf is probably the most healthy bed I have reviewed. They use organic materials in many areas of construction, including plant-based foam, organic cotton, and natural thistle as the flame retardant.

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7 thoughts on “Mattress FAQs: 13 Mattress Questions & Answers

  1. I have a new form mattress & bunky board for twin bed, I weigh 300 lbs. Having surgery & need for bed to be a better height for getting up & down. The mattress sinks down to the side board / frame of bed, to low! Bed does have a head board & foot board. What’s the best way of raising bed and know what’s the right height for me, I’m 5 3″. I thank you in advance.

    • Hi Karen, so you have a couple options here. If you want to raise the entire frame, you could simply add a set of plastic bed risers under the legs of the frame. Something like this – http://amzn.to/2pYIsJG

      If you’re looking to raise the mattress, but keep the original frame height, you could add a boxspring or low profile foundation.

      My favorite current box spring by far is the Classic Brands 8″ all wood box spring spring, see here: http://amzn.to/2aX1k3f

      If you want to go with a traditional box spring it’s hard to beat this one. Easy to assemble, great price, crafted by the Amish, just a great all around choice.

      If you want something lower profile I also really like their 4″ foundation, see here: http://amzn.to/2bczygT

      Finally, the most expensive option is the Loom & Leaf box spring. It is a bit pricey at $150 for a Twin size, but it is also the nicest box spring I have tested to date. If you have the extra money to spend and like the idea of a more luxurious boxspring, see here: http://sleepopolis.com/loom-and-leaf/

      When you’re trying to find the right height for your bed, try doing a couple “mock-ups” using couches, chairs, etc. See what it feels like laying on and getting off surfaces at different heights to find the right fit for you.

      Please let me know if there are any other questions I can help with. Thanks!

  2. Odd question for you:

    I have Ehlers-Sleepopolislos syndrome hypermobility type (I have weak collagen and very loose joints), so I tend to sink too far into mattresses and bend backwards. If a mattress pulls me in like quicksand, I partially dislocate ribs, shoulders, and hips when I move and my joints don’t follow. I have restless leg syndrome and narcolepsy, too, so it needs not to be too springy.

    I’m skinny and an average height (117 lbs, 5’5″) and I have a pretty straight figure. I usually sleep on my stomach, but sometimes sleep on my back.

    Would the Tuft and Needle mattress be good enough at letting me lay on top of it rather than in it or do I need to find a really firm mattress? (Sleep Number setting 100 is a little soft for me.)

    I know I’m weird, so thanks for reading this.
    Milla

    • Hi Milla,

      Thanks for your comment.

      First thing first, I do need to tell you that I am not a doctor and have no medical training. So I cannot offer you medical advice. I would strongly recommend you consult your doctor about selecting the right mattress. Doctors have more access and knowledge about specific mattresses that can address medical issues like yours.

      I am happy to help you identify the right firmness though. Unfortunately, I have not tested a Sleep Number mattress, so I’m not sure how firm 100 is. But if it’s on a 1-100 scale, I imagine that would be extremely stiff. Tuft & Needle is a 7 out of 10, which most likely would make it too soft for you. It sounds like you may need something that’s closer to an 8-9 out of 10 firmness.

      I would recommend you look at the Nest Bedding Alexander in the hard firmness, Brooklyn Bedding in the hard firmness, and Loom & Leaf mattress in the hard firmness. These 3 would likely meet your firmness requirements and offer you the support and comfort that your body needs.

      Let me know if there are any other questions. Thanks!
      -Sleepopolis

  3. Hello, Your review of the Leesa mattress was very helpful, thanks! We bought one with your code and are very happy with it. Our only problem is that the slats on our bed don’t seem to provide much support and creak. What would you recommend as a good foundation?

    Thanks!
    David

    • Hey David,

      I’d be happy to help. There are many options in the foundation market. What type are you looking for?

      Just a foundation (no headboard / footbooard)? Adjustable foundation? Wooden slat foundation? Metal / steel foundation? Platform bed?

      Do you have a firm budget in mind?

      Thanks! -Sleepopolis

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