Any thoughts regarding Mattress 1st brand

First of all I want to thank Phoenix for all the information and advice he has provided to this forum. I’m currently shopping for a new mattress. My old one is a 1988 Serta, I really need a new mattress. I have been visiting different dealers and sampling their wares. I live in the Cincinnati area. I’ve tried out the ifoam and a similar mattress by Restonic and I’m not sure I really like it. A new retailer in the area carries mattresses by 1st Mattress. The sales rep told me they were manufactured by Serta in Cincinnati. I really liked the plush Royalville and I would appreciate any feedback. This is a traditional spring mattress with a layer of memory foam. I actually liked the pillowtop version better, but my research has generally dissuaded me against any pillowtop mattress. The retailer also carried Serta mattresses, but I didn’t like them as much as I did the ones by 1st mattress. After leaving that retailer, I visited another one that carried Sealy. Even though these mattresses were more expensive, their quality left much to be desired. I apologize for not writing down the information on the spec sheets for the 1st mattress products. I’m going back for a second look in a day or so and I would appreciate any insight that anyone could provide. The only special consideration for me would be that I have scoliosis and a damaged shoulder.

Hi Mr Ambien,

As you mentioned … Mattress 1st is a Serta house brand carried by a group of independent retailers who are part of a purchasing group. The value of any particular model such as the Royalville plush would depend on knowing the specifics of the layering (which being made by Serta is not likely to include the density of any polyfoam in the mattress which means a blind purchase with no way to know the durability of what you are buying). I would put them in the same group of “major brands” that I would tend to avoid because of the likelihood of lower density foams and lack of transparency of the ingredients in them.
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A good set of guidelines when purchasing a mattress includes avoiding the major brands or for that matter any brand or outlet that can’t or won’t show you the specifics of the materials in a mattress that you are considering. One of the “tests” of a better outlet is one who is happy to tell you the specific details of what is in their mattresses and actually wants you to know (so you can make meaningful comparisons) rather than makes it difficult or impossible to find out.

With a damaged shoulder and scoliosis, it becomes especially important to find the best balance between pressure relief (especially in your shoulders) and support/alignment (along the length of your spine) in all your sleeping positions that works best for you. It also means that the help and guidance of someone who will do more to educate you about the real differences between mattresses and how to find a mattress that “fits” your needs and preferences regardless of brand more they focus on trying to sell you something that they carry (and that makes them the most possible profit) can be your best friend. The best of these are usually at local factory direct outlets and local sleep shops that carry smaller local or alternative brands (not major brands that are made locally).

Some of the better choices in the Cincinnati area are in post #212 here.


Thank you for your prompt reply. As I mentioned earlier I regret not making a record of the mattress specifications, something I intend to rectify very soon. To the best of my knowledge they had a “flip book” with each mattress that listed the specifications for each mattress. I was actually very curious as to whether or not this mattress was a bona fide rebadged Serta or a contracted out mattress with custom specifications that really has no actual Serta counterpart. Just like with Kenmore appliances a lot of them are built by whirlpool or another party but their actual specifications can be quite different than an actual branded whirlpool appliance. I hope this clarifies the question I was trying to convey.

I was extremely disappointed when I later (the same day) visited the Sealy dealer. Their mattresses, even at a higher price point, were not even half as good as the mattress 1st models. I had expected a certain degree of parity between these brands and it definitely was not there.

I am a perfectionist and I’ve spent a lot of time on this board. I have actually previously read the post you hyperlinked in your reply. I really wanted to try out the latex mattresses by denver mattress. However, when I went to the store they didn’t carry them and told me the nearest retail outlet which did carry them is almost 3 hours away. I also definitely do intend to visit the original mattress factory near me.

So far the latex and traditional spring mattresses have appealed to me the most, but I haven’t really cared for any of the foam mattresses. I never intended to keep my mattress as long as I have and I am concerned that my ability to discern a good mattress has been skewed by keeping my current dilapidated mattress for far too long.

I’ve also tried restonic, which didn’t really impress me. But once again thank you for your help. Hopefully my experience will aid other members of this board with their mattress questions.

Hi Mr. Ambien,

It is likely that any specifications in their “flip book” would be mostly meaningless because they would likely exclude the specs that are the most important part of quality which in the case of polyfoam is foam density (expressed as lbs/sq. ft.). This is the single most important spec that determines the quality of the materials … and the major manufacturers don’t usually reveal this … even to their retailers. Without this … there is no way that any other specs have real meaning.

There are only two other types of foam that most people will encounter in a mattress …

Memory foam: The density of this is more commonly revealed and once again it is the most important part of quality and durability.

Latex: This comes in different types. Talalay latex is always high quality. 100% natural Dunlop is also high quality. Blended Dunlop is a much lower cost type of Dunlop and it can range from “acceptable” (in lower cost latex mattresses) to “best to avoid” (if it is mostly synthetic).

Gel foams are an “emerging category” and which of these truly have the best quality is yet to be determined for certain but the versions that include the gel as part of the matrix rather than “beads” or “particles” added to memory foam or polyfoam are likely to be more durable and stronger. Again though … it’s very difficult to get accurate spec about this material and expecially the polymer density of the foam that it is added to.

The major manufacturers or brands that are the worst about revealing their meaningful specs are Sealy, Serta, Comfort Solutions (King Koil) and many of the others. Tempurpedic does reveal their specs and use high quality materials but they are significantly overpriced when compared to mattresses that use similar or better quality materials. Simmons do reveal some of their specs and are better than the rest at this but even here their specs are only partial and some of the materials (like the foams used in the quilting layers) are not revealed (although it can be fairly safely assumed they are low density).

Restonic, Englander, Therapedic, and other mid level brands that are licensing groups will often be more open about the materials in their mattresses and generally use higher quality ingredients at similar price points to their larger competition. Here again though … what each licensed factory or retail outlet is willing to let a consumer know varies widely across the country.

All of the larger manufacturers and many of thesmaller ones will make mattresses for specific chains, groups, or even outlets that are different in some ways from their “standard” brands. Even their standard brands come with many names to discourage meaningful comparisons. Some of the differences are small but it gives the outlet a reason to say their mattress is exclusive and to claim that it can’t be compared to the “store down the street”. Even if they could though … without the foam density any comparison is a meaningless exercise.

Again … parity can only be determined with the full specs of a mattress and without this any comparison can only be based on subjective comparisons rather than quality comparisons.

Both of these outlets (like most factory direct outlets that make their own mattresses) either publish or will give you the specs of all the materials in their mattresses. They also have much better value (higher quality ingredients for lower prices) than the larger brands. With both of these … you are not making a blind purchase. Unfortunately though … not all of their outlets (particularly with Denver mattress) carry all their models.

A mattress that is good for you is about the pressure relief and support/alignment that it provides for your unique weight, shape, and sleeping positions in addition to the preferences that you like. An outlet with salespeople who “know their stuff” can help a great deal in making choices that fit your needs (pressure relief and support) and this will leave you to choose your preferences with the confidence that it is more likely to work well for you. the more they know … the less you have to. The suitability of a mattress however has nothing to do with the quality of the mattress. With higher quality materials … the characteristics that make a mattress suitable for you will last much longer. With lower quality materials … the qualities that made it work well in the store will degrade and change far too soon. Even the cheapest materials can look like great quality and feel great in the store. They just don’t stay that way for very long and when they soften and become unsuitable for sleeping … this “normal” wear is not covered under warranty. This is where the transparency and knowledge of the better outlets and salespeople can be especially critical and helpful.

Because Restonic is a licensing group and the quality of the materials that are in them vary across the country, in some areas the factories that make them are much more open. In other areas they aren’t. In general though … while it is still important to know what is in each mattress … their quality and value is better than the larger brands at similar price points. This doesn’t mean that they will impress someone in terms of how suitable a particular model may be for an individual … only that if you were to find one that did impress you in terms of pressure relief, support, and preferences, … the value would likely be better than a similar mattress made by a larger brand.

It would be a surprise if any specs you are given are truly meaningful … but I’m always open to a good surprise :slight_smile:


We encourage you to visit our website at If you have any doubts I encourage you to speak with the sales person at the retail location. As a brand and company we do not hide any details about our products. Again I encourage you to speak with the sales person to talk about the “Mattress 1st” product that you were referring to.

Hi Mattress1st,

Thanks first of all for joining the forum and replying.

I just called 3 mattress 1st retailers and the people that I talked with all told me that they didn’t have spec sheets available and that they had no idea of the layering or foam density that was in the mattresses they carried. If the retailer doesn’t have this readily available for the customers who want to know (since it’s the most meaningful way to determine the quality and value of a mattress) then there is no way to make meaningful comparisons between mattresses and/or identify any possible “weak links” in the mattress they are considering.

It would be great if you could provide this information to your retailers (the layering spec sheets that include the type of foam and the density of any polyfoam and memory foam in the mattress) so that their customers can make meaningful comparisons to other mattresses.

If they had this information on hand (instead of the retailer keeping the customer waiting and having to take the time to reach their rep to even find out if it is available or worse yet not understanding the importance of having this information) it would be great. That way if a retailer says a mattress is “good quality” there is a way to validate it.


Hi Phoenix,

We have this information readily available to all of our authorized “Mattress 1st” retailers. Please note that our retailers may not carry all of the mattresses available in our line. However the retailer has the opportunity to request that information from us. Please have the retailer request that particular spec sheet for the “Mattress 1st” model that you are interested in. I will personally make sure that this is taken care of. Or even better can you provide me the retailer’s contact info that you visited so I can follow up with them. Thank you and I look forward to your response.

Mattress 1st

Hi Mattresses1st,

I’m happy to hear that this information is available (and I’m hopeful that it includes specific layering information and foam densities as well) but unfortunately having it available on a “mattress by mattress” basis through some type of “special effort” on the part of the retailer is still putting hurdles in the way of making this information easily available. If you are willing to provide it anyway … wouldn’t it make more sense to make sure that every retailer that carried your mattresses had the information available in the store about every mattress that they carried?

This way no “special efforts” would be necessary and if you provided it as a matter of course with every mattress it would also encourage them to learn about what they mean so that they can “educate” their customers and help them make better comparisons in terms of quality and value instead of just passing on information that they don’t really understand and where their customer may know more about the materials than they do.

It’s probably safe to assume that the vast majority of your retailers know little about foam quality and that if I called 20 more they would give me the same answers. I didn’t visit any of them (I just called a few to ask them if they had this information readily available and how easy it may be to find) and none of them had even considered the possibility that these kind of specs can be important (although they do now) and would have little knowledge of what they mean.

Is it so difficult to be pro-active and provide all of this information ahead of time about all of your mattresses to all of your retailers?


It would be extremely helpfully if ALL manufacturers put it on there websites…once you learn little bit of knowledge about mattresses it become a task to find out these things out… Extremely frustrating and confusing to the say the least …


Thank you for your response. I will address this with management regarding your comments. We are actually in the process of developing a new website design for I will update this post as soon as I have any new information to provide. Once again thank you for your comments.

Mattress 1st

Hi Phoenix and all customers who are following this post…

We have reviewed this post and all replies with the Mattress 1st management and would like to provide you an update. We are currently developing a new Mattress 1st website ( that will include the mattress build information. We value your opinion and feedback. Thank you.

Mattress 1st

Hi Mattress 1st,

That’s great news and I’m looking forward to seeing the details of the new site when it’s ready :slight_smile:


Love Mattress 1st brand. Also love Serta who makes this brand. I did extensive research on mattresses and laid on many in the stores. I’m very picky and I found Serta best. Then my son bought a Mattress 1st Royalville which is the most heavenly, comfortable mattress I have ever laid on. I like it better than the $3000 and up mattresses I tried! It is great. It has a 10 year warranty, too. It only cost $800 for the set. It has been replaced by a different name but is the plush one I believe and still only $835 for set. It is just a house brand for furniture stores to carry, made by Serta and extremely comfortable.

Hi prairiesun,

Welcome to the Mattress Forum! :slight_smile:

While I appreciate your opinion about these mattresses, it is a perfect example of why I advise people to not use someone else’s opinion, either pro or con, to pick out a mattress or as a reliable source of objective information.

As I mentioned either in this thread, Mattress 1st is a Serta house brand carried by a group of independent retailers who are part of a purchasing group (furniture1st ). The value of any particular model such as the Royalville plush would depend on knowing the specifics of the layering (which being made by Serta is not likely to include the density of any polyfoam in the mattress which means a blind purchase with no way to know the durability of what you are buying). I would put them in the same group of “major brands” that I would tend to avoid because of the likelihood of lower density foams and lack of transparency of the ingredients in them.

Unfortunately, all the major brands (such as Sealy/Stearns & Foster, Simmons, and Serta) tend to use lower quality materials in their mattresses than most of their smaller competitors that will tend to soften or break down prematurely relative to the price you pay and I would generally suggest avoiding all of them completely along with any mattress where you aren’t able to find out the type and quality/durability of the materials inside it (see the guidelines here along with post #3 here and post #12 here and post #404 here ).

It’s unfortunate that Mattress 1st chose not to include any meaningful details about their products in their new web site, even though back in 2012 they said they would review with management these posts and requests for actual data about their componentry when launching that new web site.

There is certainly nothing about Mattress 1st that would give me a reason to consider them, especially when compared to many other choices that use higher quality materials that don’t have any “weak links” in the mattress and are more transparent, and would be a much less risky purchase, IMHO.