Custom Sleep Design

Hello all,

I am taking the unusual step of posting a caution about one of our members. NOTE: See post #11 in the thread where this caution has been removed.

As many of you know … Custom Sleep Design is a recommended member of this site and they manufacture a premium mattress that is unique in its design. It is customized through a type of zoning and layering that allows it to “fit” the needs and preferences of the people on the mattress very accurately. Because of its design … it also allows for the exchange of layers or zoning sections which can customize the mattress to finer degrees than is possible with other designs. This zoning and custom design is part of the reason for its higher price (there is a lot of “wasted materials” because full layers of the same type are not used in the top layers and the exchange of layers can lead to a lot of “extra” latex layers being used before a customer reaches their final configuration).

When I first invited them to become members here … I had had many conversations with Bob over the last several years (before I started this site) and had come to think highly of both him and the mattresses he was producing and even though they were in a higher price range than many of the choices here … like the other members here their “value” IMO was among the best in the country. Even before this site was started … they had supplied many customers with some great “custom designed” mattresses.

They were a young company less than 5 years old however which means that they could be subject to growing pains and cash flow issues that come from growth that would already be solved with more established companies. As they grew … these issues have become more apparent but worse yet they have led to a rather serious decline in their communication with their customers as they sought to “gain time” to meet their commitments. This has led to some frequent instances of over promising (as a delay strategy) and under delivering (when reality repeatedly caught up to them). While I certainly understand the pressures of any new business, I don’t understand lack of communication even if it is just to pass on news of longer delays. Good communication is part of a premium manufacturer IMO and they have fallen short here.

I have kept in touch with them on a regular basis during their challenging times and because of this I know there has been no risk of a consumer losing money and that there are specific plans in place to correct these cash flow issues so common to younger companies that will allow for better delivery time of their mattresses and exchange layers. These strategies and plans however have taken longer than they expected and even though some parts of them have already happened and resulted in some partial improvement … they have not yet been fully implemented and there have still been some extended delays which is rather distressing to me (a post today for example about a member here that has been waiting over a month for an exchange and 4 months after a purchase still hasn’t reached their final configuration).

I had a conversation today with Bob who indicated that next week, the next step in these plans should happen and result in significant improvement however “next week” has been promised on several occasions before. I also told him that I believe he needed to do something for the people who had purchased his mattresses that bought and paid for premium service including delivery times and layer exchanges and haven’t received it … no matter what may happen from this point onwards. In effect … they have received less than they paid for IMO and it would be reasonable for these customers that were caught in CSD’s challenges to be offered some type of rebate.

Normally I wouldn’t make a post that was this specific in terms of what I believe is necessary now but I think that the ongoing pattern of poor communication and less than promised performance justifies it.

So until “next week” is reality … I would suggest that the members here avoid making a purchase from CSD until the plans are confirmed to be reality and that once again they can go back to under promising and over delivering. For those who choose to make a purchase because of the quality and design of the mattress they make … I would make sure that part of the purchase agreement is a specific commitment to delivery times and any necessary layer exchanges and a specific price adjustment if they are not able to live up to the commitments they make at the time of the purchase. I also believe that those who were caught in these circumstances should be offered a meaningful rebate to make up for the lack or performance and service that was part of the reason for their purchase in the first place.

None of this diminishes my belief in the quality and value of the mattresses they make and sell … but part of their value is the service they provide as well and if this is not up to par or involves unreasonable delays that the customer didn’t initially agree to … then the price they paid needs to be “adjusted” IMO to make up for what they received.

Bob also told me that he has hired a new customer service person that will officially start next week (and a second will be added soon as well) who will make sure that any customers that have been left waiting for a mattress or a layer exchange are called and told what the “real” expected time frames will be.

I look forward to the time when things are back to what they should be with a premium manufacturer who offers premium service (and the type of service they offered when I first knew them and for some time after) … and hopefully that will be next week. Until it is reality though and not just a promise, I wanted to post this caution for those who are considering a purchase and to let the members here who are affected by these circumstances know what I have suggested be done to make up for the lack of performance, service and communication they have received.


I am unfortunately one of those individuals who has fallen through the cracks with Custom Sleep Designs. Bob is one of the nicest and well-intended people you will ever have the pleasure of doing business with, however, all that you say is true regarding delays in getting replacement foam and not answering emails in a timely manner as though to buy time. He does stand behind his product and wants customers to be happy, but right now it is a frustrating process. There is a lot to like about his latex foam beds and he is very knowledgeable, but we have waited for months to get foam exchanges on several occasions over the past 16 months and still don’t have what we need.

Hi preinhardtece,

I’m sorry to hear this … and I can imagine how frustrating this must be.

Are you currently waiting for an exchange and how long have they told you it would be?


Are you returning your 5% referral fee on all the unhappy people you recommended, would seem like the right thing to do.

Hi jerry123,

Normally I would just delete your post both because it is only meant to be disruptive and because you and your four other (so far) re-registration attempts from The Organic Bedroom since JoeyTOB’s initial registration have been banned from the forum for repeatedly violating the rules and for personal attacks.

In this case though I thought I’d just answer you even though your post … like so many of the others … is just meant to be disruptive and continue your personal vendetta against the forum. It’s sad really that a business owner needs to resort to these types of childish tactics and it certainly calls into question your business ethics.

In any case … just to answer your question directly … Custom Sleep Design has never paid a referral fee.

Even this though is beside the point and your posts are reflective of the type of thinking that puts their energy into finding fault in others and lacks the ability to think through what they say before they say it as a way of scapegoating and avoiding their own difficulties rather than looking in a mirror.


Even if a referal fee is received who cares. The information on here makes it worth it IMO. Besides we all pay bills. Phoenix’s time is important as im sure Jerry123’s is as well.

Right on 2006Moy-

There are some things on this site that I absolutely don’t agree with. That being said, overall, I find the information that Phoenix provides to be very useful and informative. Does Phoenix have an agenda? IMHO, yes. The agenda appears to one that is based on going above and beyond to help all of us make informed and educated decisions on a fairly substantial purchase.
For that, many thanks to Phoenix for having the patience to answer the same questions over and over again.

I personally have learned a lot. I will be making my purchase this weekend and will report on what I end up with in an effort to help others as they shop.

Thanks for all of your guidance


Hi 2006moy,

Thanks for your comments :slight_smile:

I think that most people (but not all it seems) understand that any project that requires 12 - 16 hours a day 7 days a week also needs to earn an income to support it. While most of the mattresses that are purchased as a result of the information on the site are not from members here (there are only 21 of them currently spread very thinly around the country and I “point to” value wherever I see it regardless of membership) … the time where the site will produce a “livable” income is probably not that far away and the site’s potential is certainly promising.

I’m looking forward to the time when that happens and both I and my family will celebrate when it does (and take a day or two off as well). I’m also looking forward to being able to pay others to wear some of the hats I currently need to wear such as the webmaster duties that I’m certainly not as good at as others who are much more skilled and knowledgeable that I am in that area.

I make no apologies for designing a business plan that produces an income without the requirement of any advertising on the site and has the potential to support the time and effort that goes into it and the improvements that are still to come :slight_smile:


Thank you Phoenix!! I actually searched the post you mentioned and it appears this person was “banned” for pointing out you did get a lead fee and for disagreeing with you and saying it was unethical to recommend to people to use retailers time with the intention of purchasing online. As someone who just posted on how much time you spend I would imagine you woule support these small retailers not spending time with people unless they are honest what they were doing and did have a real intention of buying. Also the recommendation itself is not fair to your users as latex from different counties fell different… if someone actually tried a Savvy rest with latex from india then bought a sleep ez with a different ticking and Sri Lanken latex it just does feel the same. I think that is what this very nice gentlement pointed out that you became offended with.

Hi Dahl,

Thanks for the kind comments :).

I missed your post while I was answering the previous poster or I would have replied sooner.

A website like this thrives on legitimate disagreements and differences of opinions because it encourages deeper research into the facts behind them. There are few absolute “rights and wrongs” and many “it depends” in the world of mattresses and one of the things that has always been a trigger into my own deeper research is the differing beliefs and opinions of many knowledgeable and experienced manufacturers and retailers whose opinions and knowledge I greatly respect … even though they certainly don’t all agree. The learning curve never stops.

I think the key is as much as possible to outline the reasoning behind the differing ideas so that each person can decide for themselves which may be more appropriate to their circumstances and their “value equation”.

I’m looking forward to hearing about your experiences and your final choice and any of the reasons behind them that you are willing to share.

Sorry again for missing your post earlier.


I am happy to report that as of yesterday … the cash flow issues that led to some lengthy delays and to this caution have been completely resolved and that any remaining outstanding issues will now be quickly dealt with.

In addition to this … Bob has assured me that their delivery times promised at the time of an order will be met or bettered and that any layer exchanges will now be completed within 2 weeks or less of the initial request.

It’s great to see that they can now go back to the way things were for most of their history and that there are no more barriers to their growth and success and the kind of service that is expected from a premium manufacturer.


PS: I have removed the “Caution” from the thread title but the thread will remain as part of “history”.

Have been interested in this thread. I am in NYC looking for an all latex mattress but am looking for a showroom as I am leery about ordering off the internet sight unseen. I am particularly interested in hearing whether Custom Sleep Design is really over their problems. Any new feedback in January or February of 2013? Thank you in advance.

Hi Nycmom7,

Yes … their issues were basically cash flow issues connected with growth (which are typical of many businesses as they grow past a certain point) and these issues were resolved at the time of the December post.


That’s great! I will take a ride up to Westport in the next week or so. Do you know how they compare in price to Savvy Rest or Sleep EZ? I can’t get prices until I put my husband’s measurements in to their algorithm and he is out of town. Thank you.

Hi Nycmom7,

They will provide prices and details of all their options with a phone call (you don’t have to go through the measurements).

While neither SleepEz or Savvy Rest has a mattress with 11" of latex in it … it is less than the Savvy rest 12" mattress and more than the SleepEz 12" mattresses.


Thank you! Will let you know what I end up doing. Am very informed (my husband would say obsessed) from reading your mattress forum!

So, we ordered the queen sized custom zoned mattress from Bob at CSD on the Monday of President’s weekend. He told us it would take about 3-4 weeks, which it did. Good expectation management. Also, I probably held the order up because I could not decide on a foundation – adjustable or not.

As luck would have it, we got the delivery the night before we would be gone for the better part of 2 weeks. I live in NYC so Bob and a helper came and did the installation, which was painless for me. I am so glad I decided to pay for CSD, which was about the same price as FLO mattress but more than SleepEZ. To have Bob set it up, and not try to do this myself (by ordering off a website only business like SleepEZ was more than worth the premium.

So, now that we have had one full week of sleeping on the mattress, I can report that I LOVE it. I am definitely sleeping so much better. I used to be a light sleeper, and wake up several times a night (from my husband moving or whatever) and not be able to go back to sleep easily. I am sleeping through the night many nights, or waking once only – a huge improvement. Bob also gave us low profile latex pillows to help keep our spines aligned which really are great as well. The jury is still out for my husband who may need to have his side tweaked a bit – he is not sure (but I think he is sleeping better too).

I am sold. I will be buying another mattress for my vacation home and have recommended CSD to friends.

Hi Nycmom7,

Thanks for taking the time to bring us up to date.

It’s great to hear you did so well and I have confidence that either with a normal adjustment period or with some tweaking that your husband will have the same smile on his face as you do :slight_smile: