Confused About Mattresses and Shopping For a New Bed?

Confused Mattress

My husband and I have been in the business of both selling and producing mattresses and related products for 47 years.

Our industry has gone the route of the appliance industry. We used to purchase refrigerators that lasted beyond the desire to have harvest gold or avocado green! A few years ago, I purchased a new refrigerator. Within a couple of years, the ice maker stopped working. Guess what; parts for it are no longer available! If I want to have an ice maker again, I need a whole new refrigerator. I’m back to using the ice cube tray. So I’m here to protect your pocketbook. Products shouldn’t be so disposable! If you’re confused about mattresses, I’m going to save you the hassle of buying more than once.

People once expected a mattress to last 10-15 years

The industry as a whole has changed. Over the last 20 years most mattresses have been gutted, and only last 5 years. However, many maintain a 10-20 year warranty. Mattress manufacturers did research on how few years a mattress can last without backlash from consumers. Most stores have no options. Selling only what is offered by the “major manufacturers” is safe.

A major down-spec, and the introduction of the “can’t flip” mattresses, dubbed “no-flip.”

You were told to not turn a mattress over anymore. These mattresses CANNOT be turned over. Most mattresses have an incredible “ahhh” factor when you lie down. This is especially true in the showroom. After all, you’re in the market for a new mattress because the one at home feels bad.

Nearly every day consumers come in and say, “I bought my current mattress only 2 years ago. Now I can’t sleep on it any more because of deep body impressions. The store I bought it from tells me that it isn’t defective. But I can’t sleep on it because it hurts my back.” People think major manufacturers would never purposefully sell products that don’t last. NOT TRUE! These products are designed NOT to last.

A Harsh Reality for People Confused About Mattress Shopping.

In the past, we carried nearly all of the major brands. It seemed that in order to have a legitimate mattress business, we needed to carry the big “S” brands. But they profit on you being confused about mattresses. We had, air type beds and memory foam too. But one by one, we took them off of our floor. The first to go, over 15 years ago, were the air bed (Sleep Number) and the memory foam beds (Tempurpedic). Wow, are we are glad to have made that choice. Initially, we took them off of the floor because of sleeping too hot or waking up to turn over. Only later, did we discover that the toxicity of the memory foam was a huge issue for many people.

In our retail business, which has been in the same location for 47 years, we have always felt the best way to run our store is to give our customers products that will last for as many years as possible. With an honest business philosophy, we have been very successful and have been joined by our three sons and one daughter-in-law.

My frustration is that so much misinformation is being put out there, both by retailers and on the internet, most recently regarding latex. Unfortunately, our industry is not regulated. I wish it were!

We carried latex mattresses from two of the major “S” brands along with others. One is a smaller manufacturer who has been making latex mattresses since the 1930s. More recently, we began importing botanical latex cores directly. Our latex comes from Southeast Asia. We now make quality mattresses ourselves here in Seattle.

Botanical latex is directly from rubber trees. The trees grow in a narrow band near the equator. Unfortunately, there are efforts to dupe you into believing that synthetic blend latex is more durable than 100% botanical latex. After carrying latex mattresses for over 28 years, we know. And we can state categorically, botanical latex is the longest lasting material available for mattresses. Period.

That’s why we branded the purest process as Botanicore™, which we use exclusively.

The last major “S” brand that we removed from our floor was using the Talalay process with synthetics to make the highest end product they carried at the time. They said, “Trust us, it is exactly like the botanical latex.” When 50% of them didn’t hold up — taking deep body impressions within 6-12 months — we removed them from the floor to blaze our own trail and started doing our own research.

The Talalay process used with pure botanical latex is ok for cushioning layers (although Dunlop and Botanicore™ hold up longer) but the best possible core for a latex mattress is the Dunlop process and Botanicore™. This is the tried and true workhorse for the latex mattress.

Blending in petroleum-based latex serves only one purpose (think Hamburger Helper) — to stretch the use of botanical latex. This is the greatest impact of our non-regulated industry. Such mattresses can and often are called “Natural” or sometimes “Organic.” Our experience is that blended latex does not hold up as well as pure botanical latex. The claim is that the Talalay process produces a more consistent product. We’ve found this to be an untrue claim. Pure botanical latex is a more expensive resource than the ingredients in “Hamburger Helper,” and such synthetic blends make it possible to sell a less durable product for more money.

Manufacturers Fight to Keep it Confusing

The nation’s largest manufacturer of latex has inundated the internet with information about the way their products hold up. The statistics have been skewed to show results desired by the testers. The claim is: blended latex holds up better than the true botanical latex. What you don’t see is that the test was done at 158 degrees. Frankly, I don’t feel very comfortable sleeping at 158 degrees! How about you? What the reader will most frequently miss is that the test has been influenced to favor the synthetic latex. However, the test parameters have been relegated to fine print, and the bold headline that blended latex out-performs is prominent in the readers mind. At room temperature, the botanical latex will not break down like the alternative blended foam.

2 thoughts on “Confused About Mattresses and Shopping For a New Bed?

  1. Dawn Kruse says:

    Hi Wanda,
    After reading your post on mattresses, I was wondering if you have any stores in SC? We are in the market for a new mattress, after many years of purchasing S & F flippable mattresses, but have been quite apprehensive in buying a pillowtop version for the obvious reasons of it breaking down quickly.
    Thank you!

    • Blake says:

      We have discussed setting up franchises, but have resisted to this point. We really pride ourselves on our service, and attention to detail. We have concerns about someone other than us running a showroom, and none of us are prepared to move to SC. We can send you any of our mattresses. We have product shipping all over the country everyday. We even have people make our store part of their travel plans, so that we can have their new mattress arrive at their home when they return from vacation.

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