Gardner Mattress

This is a review of a Queen Gardner Mattress that we have had for exactly 6 months.

We purchased the ORGANIC ERGO mattress but were debating, at the time, between it and a Kingsdown mattress (A Chardonnay Select, I think). In general, I always convince myself that I love plush soft mattresses but my body and my back suffers quite a bit after getting up after a night of sleep… so we were ready for a firm mattress.

After doing some research on this site and others, we decided that there was a good chance that the Kingsdown would, in time, have its materials deteriorate and wear out. In the showroom it was a nice combination of supportive and plush, but I did not feel that it was likely to be a sustainable mattress in the long run. There was also something about the substantial price reductions that the salesman was happy to offer that was a little suspect. :slight_smile:

At Gardner Mattress, in Woburn, we found that the Organic Ergo mattress offered a very different combination of ‘firmness’ and. ‘softness’ – I felt as though it was relying on great construction and craftsmanship more than layers and layers of foams and materials. It was incredibly supportive and resilient, with a great give to the body. It uses simple, natural materials. We opted for the version with a higher percentage of wool in the top layer, I believe. It is a hand-tufted, pocketed coil spring mattress.
We also decided to get the flex box spring (more on this later) instead of the standard box spring. In the showroom, it felt as though it allowed for a bit more give for the body.

When the mattress arrived, delivery was great. The mattress, the first few nights, felt very, very compact and hard… but I would wake up with the body feeling good. We eventually tried to add a layer or two under the sheet–simple cotton mattress pads, etc.–but there was a sense that the mattress might have been far more firm than we were comfortable with – that it was not comfortable enough, but was really having a great positive effect on my body and back.

Then, two things happened:

  1. I understood something about the boxspring. 2. The mattress truly began to open up and become more comfortable.
    First, the boxspring. I discovered that – on our bedframe at least, which is a four poster with three lateral metal support stands, the boxspring (which, in the ‘flex’ version, has coils) was flexing unevenly. Essentially, it was being very well-supported on the outer perimeter of the frame but, near the center of the bed, was flexing more. This seemed to create a subtle dip in the middle of the box spring that affected the mattress above – I believe that it actually made the mattress a little harder, simply because it created a concave shape that made the coils on the mattress above work in a way that was not purely vertical. Gardner was happy to replace the boxspring for us for free with a standard one and, for me, it made a big difference. The mattress felt livelier, even softer, with consistent, even support at its base. I think that since the mattress in our case is for two people, having a very solid support at the middle of the bed is especially important. Perhaps if your ped frame is different, these observations may not apply.
    Second, the mattress. It truly, truly became wonderfully comfortable. I strongly recommend being aware that it might feel a bit too hard in the first week or so. However, if you do use a light cotton topper like we did, make sure to take it off (!) after a few weeks-- the actual mattress top layers are far more soft and well-made than anything you will buy. And definitely do not bother with any foam toppers. We are turning / flipping the mattress every 3 months.

This mattress is, truly, an amazing thing. Beautifully comfortable, resilient, supportive, with no ‘dip’ in the middle for two people, it has really been a help for our bodies and our quality of sleep. Every time we travel we are so grateful to come back to our bed.
I would recommend the non-flex boxspring, personally. In the showroom, the flex boxspring is displayed in a ‘half-size’ (with the regular one making up the other half) – the idea is that on the same mattress you can compare the difference on the left and right sides. However, these are both on a solid surface (not a bedframe, I believe) and since the flex boxspring is smaller in width there (taking up half the mattress) there is less of a chance of feeling a more ‘give’ in the middle.
I would strongly, strongly recommend the Organic Ergo mattress.
My sense is that some people might be turned off by the word ‘organic’, thinking that it means ‘needlessly expensive’… but here I really believe it is just a question of using natural, traditional mattress materials instead of synthetic foams that do not do well with temperature (in either summer or winter) + fall apart and deteriorate over time. High quality wool and cotton are a good choice in New England and probably everywhere else as well.

Happy to take any questions if anyone has one! Do note that Gardner is one of the shops that as a ‘trusted member’ accept a 10% discount if you mention the Mattress Underground website.

Hi Alonso.

Thank you so much for sharing your experience and overall review of your new Gardner mattress! We’re so happy to hear you had a great customer service and shopping experience, and even more happy to hear that you are experience comfortable, supportive, quality sleep on your new mattress.

NikkiTMU

I had bought a Comfort Support mattress from Gardner 5 years ago, but ended up returning it. See this post:

https://forum.mattressunderground.com/t/i-think-i-chose-the-wrong-gardner-mattress/11805

We could have exchanged, and I was seriously considering the Organic Ergo, but ultimately I was concerned about having to return a 2nd time and just went to my local MattressFirm instead. 5 years later, we want to upgrade to a king bed, so I’m looking at Gardner again. I’m kind of stuck between the Organic Ergo and the Organic Luxe, where the Luxe adds a 1" layer of talalay latex (on both sides so its flippable). Had you considered the Luxe as well? My concern about the Luxe is that while latex feels nice in the store, I can’t be sure it agrees with me until I sleep on it. The Ergo seems like it would do well as a “base”, well constructed, and long lasting mattress that I could add my own topper layers to if needed in order to adjust the feel.

I’ve ordered a 2" medium talalay topper for Latex Mattress Factory to try out on my current firm mattress from Mattressfirm in order to get a feel of what its like to sleep on latex before I commit to buying a whole mattress.

Any comments/suggestions?

For what it’s worth, three years have gone by and I really love the Organic Ergo mattress. Still firm. Really great sleep; we wake up refreshed.

While at first a topper might feel very necessary, my sense is that it is best to only use a relatively thin, simple one.

I never tried the latex version. I tend to like breathable, non-sinking or body-hugging materials but honestly don’t remember much about latex. I think I tried a 100% latex one and it wasn’t for me.

Hope this helps!

Latex doesn’t sink like memory foam. It contours, but then bounces back immediately. I tried both in the store and the latex version feels bouncier, but otherwise it’s very similar to the Ergo.

One thing that was confusing was that I expected the latex to be sandwiched between the springs and cotton/wool batting at the surface, but the salesman said it’s the other way around: springs, then batting, then latex at the surface just underneath the cover. This seems weird because it means that the latex is actually partially compressed due to the hand-tufting. Not that I know anything about building mattresses, but I would have expected the batting to be just under the surface and compressed by the hand-tufting, leaving the 1" latex layer secure but not pre-compressed.

If latex really is the very top layer, it seems that it would be easier customize by adding that myself. The issues are:

  1. I haven’t been able to find anyone that sells latex thinner than 2"
  2. I would have preferred to have a more breathable layer between me and the latex. I could always add something breathable as a final topper layer, but now I’m getting further and further away from the support of the coils.

Talked to a different salesman, and he says the Luxe layers are (from middle out) coils, wool, latex, wool.

@thomase

Sleep On Latex offers a 1’ Latex topper.

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It’s Dunlop, not Talalay.

But maybe the thinner it is, the less that matters. My understanding is that the main difference is that Dunlop is denser/firmer toward the bottom of the mold due to settling. There’s obviously less opportunity for a significant gradient if its only 1" thick.

When comparing a 1" topper of either Talalay or Dunlop latex, there can still be noticeable differences. Similar ILD’s of each can help narrow the gap, as it affects the level of compression. However, the disparity in uniformity between the two materials and the bouncier tendency of Talalay versus Dunlop also play a role and that slight bounce may be noticeable.

While these differences may not be significant for everyone, they might only become apparent through personal testing over time, possibly requiring purchasing both types of toppers for comparison. Knowing the ILD of each, as mentioned it will narrow the gap, but you will not have a deep compression where the increase of the ILD at 65% compression does not exist in a 1" layer the same as it would in a 6" block.

To discern differences more easily, placing two toppers side by side on the same mattress could be helpful, although this might result in half of each topper hanging off the bed during the experiment.

Another option is to use a wool topper between you and the latex. I’ve found that my 3" wool topper doesn’t significantly alter the feel of my mattress. However, it does provide some contouring and pressure relief, especially considering I have a super firm, latex-free mattress. So, while the wool topper doesn’t change the ‘feel’ per se, it does offer additional comfort.

@thomase

Forgive me. I didn’t notice Talalay being specified.

Sorry, that’s my bad. I was thinking it but didn’t actually say it :wink:

I also visited a Verlo mattress and they have a build-your-own setup where you add layers of polyfoam, gel memory foam, and latex (which they claim is Talalay) to the base pocket coils, all in 1" increments.

If it’s really 1" talalay, I wonder where they get it from…

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