Innerspring/Latex or Latex with Great Return Policy Search (and a Brooklyn Bedding review)

First, thanks so much for your helpful website. I’ve spent days reading on my computer and phone digging deep into old threads, stickies, all about the PPP and the other guidelines and topic threads that Phoenix links to in posts. I have done research on both this site and others so I am familiar with all the tips and recommendations for finding a mattress, but I am still looking for personal recommendations (explanation of why below).

Background: This purchase is unique in that as important as PPP are (and I firmly believe and agree on the points Phoenix makes; mattress comfort is such an individual experience), however, the fact is that I am currently in the midst of medical treatment that limits my ability to travel more than a few minutes from our home, which means that personally testing beds in a mattress store or factory is out of the question this go 'round. I am in the market for a twin bed so that I can spend more time downstairs in the living area with family. But this purchase is going to have to be made without in-store/personal feeling data. I know that is a big hurdle since alignment and support are so subjective, but it is what it is right now.

What is most important to me in my search: Since PPP will be an on-site experience at home, a flexible return policy is ideal (though I am hoping that all my research will pay off and limit any buyer’s remorse and I will get lucky). Quality of materials is important alongside a product made in America. I am leaning toward an innerspring hybrid with latex instead of memory foam. Our main bed is memory foam (more later about it) and from everything I am reading now, it sounds like we have been sleeping on an off gassing nightmare for the last decade (but at least loving it). And the new gel stuff is kinda sketchy to me, seems like chemical goo since I can’t pronounce the ingredients.

An innerspring hybrid appeals to me as I have been sleeping without them for the last decade unless traveling, and I now find most memory foams too soft. My husband’s wedding gift to us about eleven years ago was a Tempur-pedic king mattress. We lived in Lexington at the time (where they were headquartered), so this was before they were marketed to death like now - and the cost was nothing like it is today. Back then there were only two options and the difference was just thickness, not any fancy silly names like now. Perhaps the manufacturing was different back then too because we did not have off gassing problems like my in-laws have had with their purchase a few years ago. I know it’s a minority opinion around here, but we loved the bed. We lived in the Midwest and East Coast so did not have any of the heat problems that others have had. But then we moved to Florida recently and the bed definitely is squishier here no matter what I set the thermostat on (perhaps a function of mattress aging has caught up with us too). Despite our enjoyment of the bed, I have no interest in buying another Tempur-pedic for a variety of reasons… I am a copywriter in real life, so the meaningless buzz words they have been using are frustrating to read. With so many varieties of what seems like essentially the same bed with foam layers swapped around, it seems as though they are trying to confuse people with vocabulary and big mark-ups. The off-gassing now is an issue, and my in-laws bed sleeps nothing like ours, so I suspect they are now cutting corners with material since they went IPO shortly after our purchase which means that the status quo of a good mattress and great customer service is trumped by the bottom line for shareholders. In short, I’m ready for something new with this twin bed purchase.

I am looking for a mattress that comes in a twin size that is made with domestic parts and labor that would be ideal for a 130 pound, 5’2" height, primarily back sleeper with some left side sleeping. I’d like it to last at least 10 years. I’m leaning toward wanting it to be an innerspring/latex hybrid. I have a natural latex sample square en route to our house to text out the feel in hand just to familiarize myself with the material…

I have looked at the power core Charles Rogers beds that are often recommended in hybrid posts, but that version is not made in a twin. St. Regis is the one in their line that is a twin size, that version gets mixed reviews and I just read in another thread (thank you) that that version is made overseas instead of how the power core beds are made (those are the ones with the best feedback).

Re: return policies, I would rather eat $50+ in return shipping or a return fee rather than have to be stuck switching out layers (for example with the SleepEz). So flexibility in returning the mattress is important.

Thanks for any personal recommendations or advice of mattresses that people have enjoyed with these parameters - While I know each person’s comfort level and PPP will differ, I welcome feedback on mattress models people have enjoyed 1) with quality customer service/flexible return policies, 2) that are manufactured in the US with US made components, and 3) that meet the quality guidelines Phoenix and others advocate (i.e. density). Hearing testimonials on those more objective parameters will help considerably given my situation.

Hi BeachMac,

[quote]but I am still looking for personal recommendations (explanation of why below).

I am looking for a mattress that comes in a twin size that is made with domestic parts and labor that would be ideal for a 130 pound, 5’2" height, primarily back sleeper with some left side sleeping. I’d like it to last at least 10 years. I’m leaning toward wanting it to be an innerspring/latex hybrid.[/quote]

I don’t make specific suggestions or recommendations for either a mattress, manufacturers/retailers, or materials because only you can feel what you feel on a mattress or decide on the types of mattresses and materials that you are most interested in trying or that you tend to prefer and there are too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved for anyone to be able to predict which specific mattress design or combination of materials would be “best” for you based on specs (either yours or a mattress) or theory at a distance (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here) that can possibly be more reliable than your own careful testing or actual sleeping experience. What is “best” for you either in terms of a mattress or a manufacturer/retailer can be very different from what would be “best” for someone else.

I can certainly help you narrow down your options by helping you know how and why to avoid the worst ones and with “how” to choose or act as a fact check or answer specific questions you may have along the way but not with which specific mattress, company, or manufacturer to choose.

Two of the more important links in the tutorial that I would especially make sure you’ve read are post #2 here which has more about the different ways to choose a suitable mattress that is the best “match” for you in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) that can help you assess and minimize the risks of making a choice that doesn’t turn out as well as you hoped for that are involved in each of them and post #13 here which has more about the most important parts of the “value” of a mattress purchase which can help you make more meaningful quality/value comparisons between mattresses in terms of suitability, durability, and value.

If you are attracted to a latex/innerspring hybrid then post #2 here may be helpful as well.

When you can’t test a mattress in person then the most reliable source of guidance is always a more detailed phone conversation with a knowledgeable and experienced retailer or manufacturer that has your best interests at heart and who can help “talk you through” the specifics of their mattresses and the options they have available that may be the best “match” for you based on the information you provide them, any local testing you have done or mattresses you have slept on and liked that they are familiar with, and the “averages” of other customers that are similar to you. They will know more about “matching” their specific mattress designs to different body types, sleeping positions, and preferences than anyone else (including me).


I’ve got a list going from reading the archives and then I’ll start making calls to talk directly to suppliers given my limitations right now, but I just thought some members might have already been in this stage of the process and know some companies who match that profile (quality, made in North America, innerspring and latex), so if anyone has any other specific names or recommendations, please pass them on!

And Phoenix, thank you for the innerspring/latex manufacturers that were in the in the post#2 link you shared above as they are great additions to my list. I’ve seen some old threads where you recommend in some geographical areas local companies, so if you happen to know any in the panhandle of Florida, I’m all ears. My guess is that we may be too rural of an area. My spouse will be traveling next month to DC, so there is a chance I could at least have a surrogate in a Falls Church store there to try out some WJS options. We have different physiques of course, but we have always liked the same mattresses at home and while traveling, so that will at least be better than choosing blindly other than my list of specs and the phone calls I will be making. Also, am I understanding correctly from old threads that Berkeley Ergonomics used to be the same mattress as European Sleepworks, but subtle differences now? Both mattress photos and some names (like Alpine) seem the same. And then Sovn Willow looks similar too? Boy, this industry can sure be confusing!

My thanks to all - the threads and archives have been helpful!

Hi BeachMac,

I’m not sure where you are in the Florida panhandle but the better options or possibilities I’m aware of in the Tallahassee area (subject to the guidelines here) are listed in post #2 here and for the Panama City area are in post #16 here and for the Pensacola area are in post #365 here.

Yes … European Sleepworks used to sell Berkeley Ergonomics but they are now making their own line of mattresses that are similar.

The Berkeley Ergonomics mattresses are sold under different names in different stores.

You’re certainly correct about that but if you follow the steps in the mattress shopping tutorial one step at a time you will have the best chance of success. I would always keep in mind that you won’t be able to tell what a mattress will feel like for you or whether it will match your specific needs and preferences in terms of PPP based on specs or descriptions or other people’s reviews or experiences on the same mattress.


Thanks for the links, Phoenix.

And while I know this to be true, given my limitation in traveling during treatment right now, I am unfortunately dependent on gathering information, reading reviews, and calling mattress companies. It’s a shot in the dark without being able to feel the mattress myself first, but it is what it is right now, and thankfully this isn’t for my bedroom… The reviews I know are typically a weak link in the process and not one you recommend on this site given that what mattress works perfectly for one person could be tortuous for another, but I can at least ascertain through reviews which companies have a reputation for customer service/satisfied patrons and a product that is constructed as advertised. The reviews on your site are helpful to me - such as discovering the differences between Berkeley Ergonomics and European Sleepworks. Had I not read the comments on this site, I would have thought based on the photos and older discussions that the two products are the same, when in fact ES has been making some subtle changes and globally across various websites their products seem to not have the same rates of satisfaction as BE after the switch (could be coincidence and a correlation in timing vs. causation, but it is interesting to see). So I am very grateful for the reviews here even knowing they are a very poor substitute.

The good news is that this is not my sleeping bed, and it will ultimately be a guest bed when I am well. So, even though this purchase will go against the grain and is a bit like choosing blindfolded with a pointer (after doing as much research as I can to pick quality materials), I’d rather choose a bed that made 80/100 people happy instead of 10/100 so that statistically the majority of our guests may find a great night’s sleep even though a few may hate it. (There are always hotels nearby, and I can always go to my bedroom! :wink: )

Thanks again, I’ll keep posting back progress as the threads have been so helpful. Have a great weekend!

Just chiming back in for an update… I changed the name of the thread to reflect the shift in my search and prep the space for an upcoming review of the mattress with pictures (since similar threads were a big help for me). I had spreadsheets going researching innerspring/latex hybrid models with natural ingredients (latex, wool, cotton, etc.)… but as any serious reader of this website knows, it is possible to fall into the mattress wormhole and spend so much time reading and learning that your search shifts entirely! :slight_smile:

I had started to narrow things down to Berkeley Ergnomics, but was still a little hesitant since the return policies for most innerspring/latex models are limited and I am unable to travel to a BE retailer to test out the mattress. I was able to stop by a few local mattress stores on my way to a doc appointment this week, but would you believe that NONE of them had any latex in an upper layer or 100% latex mattresses. (Also, who knew the plethora of chains between Destin and Panama City Beach… now that I am on the look out I see chains with S-brands everywhere! I lost count in a 10-mile span, no joke!)

Also, stumbled upon threads talking about the potential for springs and EMF… All new to me, but it ultimately led to me expanding my search to include latex. And after all this mattress research, I realized after spilling some food on the bed and having to remove the cover - which meant looking at our current Tempurpedic mattress in just its sock - that it does in fact have significant body impressions/dips in it (!!) and perhaps this could relate to some shoulder pain I have that comes and goes… And the fact that I often wake in the night with my knees bent and feet flat on the mattress - perhaps to relieve my lower back instinctively? Wouldn’t that be something if I feel even better on a new mattress… For this reason, I decided that instead of treating this as an extra bed in our house, I would order a Twin XL instead of a Twin so that I can start sleeping on the new mattress immediately and if I like it, then have my husband get his preferred Twin XL and we’ll put them together to replace our king. It has been 11 years which seems long for a Tempurpedic given their mixed ratings.

Given the limits of trying mattresses in person and the lack of nearby stores, I started researching the new category of mattresses (Phoenix has a great thread about all of these “Simplified Choice” options) - one hallmark of this category is a satisfaction guarantee/full return option if after a trial period of nightly sleep you are not happy. I would have preferred to buy a 100% latex option, and would have been willing to pay more for that type of mattress, but unfortunately I didn’t see any 100% latex mattress options with the same return policy as the “simplified choice” mattress category. To my knowledge after research here at MU, only the KISS Mattress by SleepEz and the #BestMattressEver by Brooklyn Bedding feature actual latex in the construction for this type of business model. (Update: Forgot to mention that the Nest Bedding Love Bed is also in this category with latex and a sleep trial/100% refund return policy, but it was the most expensive among the three for a Twin XL, and I couldn’t think of a compelling reason to try Nest first given the price differential compared to the others.) KISS Mattress feedback is limited since it is so new, and honestly their marketing does not seem quite as professional… I’m sure they are going to improve as there are growing areas for any new endeavor and Sleep-Ez has such a great reputation on this forum - but my day job is communications, so attention to detail matters to me. I consider online marketing part of telling the “story” of your company and brand. The KISS Logo with the lipstick lips feels a little juvenile to me (though it might be a great fit depending on who their target demo is), the Mattress Facebook avatar has its letters currently chopped/truncated (this would only take 2 minutes in Photoshop to correct), and the choice of the name “KISS Mattress” means that Google searches are a challenge in regard to SEO and customer search experiences looking for reviews can yield non-PG results if you are not careful on what words you choose. This of course has NOTHING to do with mattress quality, and we may even buy a traditional Sleep-Ez at some point for my husband’s twin xl or another room in our house, but those little details did give me pause in my perception of the KISS brand. So this go-round I decided to give my Benjamins to Brooklyn since in addition to having more latex than any other mattress in this category (2"+2"), their communications and marketing person is doing a great job - the hashtag mattress name choice is brilliant, easy to remember, and easy to search. The “story” they are telling by getting their communications right made me feel greater buyer confidence - perhaps the attention to detail that went into such a great branding campaign also went into creating a great mattress. So since details matter to me, it was part of the personal equation for me in making a mattress decision, but this should not matter to most people. Also the Brooklyn Bedding #BME mattress was slightly less price-wise at $475 vs $550 for the KISS Mattress (both prices are before MU discounts); and the Nest Love Bed was $649 so that is why it wasn’t in final consideration given I could try BME for almost $175 less… that said, it may be helpful to another to note that if I was buying a Queen or King, the Nest mattress is actually less expensive than #BME.

So today I made a Brooklyn Bedding order using the “underground” code to get the 5% discount. They have other codes elsewhere, but be sure to use the “underground” code to support Mattress Underground with the commission - this site has been so helpful it seems the easiest way to say thanks. I will report back with photos and the experience. I continue to be grateful for this website and the opportunity to become an educated consumer and purchaser! Thanks again, Phoenix!

Hi Beachmac,

Thanks for taking the time to share such a detailed update … I appreciate it!

As you know I think you made a great quality value choice and I like your strategy of buying half of your split king and then you can buy the other half based on your experience.

Most importantly … congratulations on your new mattress :slight_smile:

I’m looking forward to your comments and feedback once you’ve received it.


Just realized I never updated this thread directly. After my last post, I added some feedback in a different thread about Brooklyn Bedding:

[quote]Phoenix wrote: “Having said that … there are no “standard” definitions or consensus of opinions for firmness ratings… Different people can also have very different perceptions of firmness and softness compared to others as well and a mattress that feels medium for one person can feel like “firm” for someone else or “soft” for someone else (or vice versa) depending on their body type, sleeping style, physiology, their frame of reference based on what they are used to, and their individual sensitivity and perceptions.”

[my response/comment]These words by Phoenix are so true! I’m still in the early days of my BME and the medium to me feels very soft. I’m giving it some time to be fair knowing that BB says 98% of people go with the medium, but I definitely expected it to be firmer, which just goes to illustrate P’s point because what is too soft to me is too firm for another. (My pelvis in particular does not feel supported and sinks down past alignment, but the live chat BB person said it could firm up more, so I’m giving it some time.)[/quote]

Since that post, some new info to bring my experience fully up-to-date:

I gave it some time and ultimately the Medium just wasn’t firm enough for me. I wasn’t sure how much of the issue could be my first experience with latex, and so I chose to return it instead of switching it out for a firmer option. The return process was simple…

Before I resumed my mattress search, I found myself using a REI 3.5 Camp Bed (air inflated) as a topper on our old Tempur-pedic (since I knew the Tempur-pedic was not supporting me sufficiently after reading so much on this forum). This combo has worked really well during a season of life when I am unable to go and test new mattresses in person. It provides the extra firmness I needed… So I learned not to underestimate the help of a topper if you need to squeeze a little more life out of an old mattress - so many posts on this forum helped guide me in that direction. Still on the hunt for a permanent solution, but for now I’ve even purchased a second 3.5 air bed from REI so I have a back up. (The XL is what I keep on my half of the king bed - just under the fitted sheet. I bought their smaller version as the back-up, figure it is a more manageable size to use for traveling some day.) I initially tried the Exped Mega Mat as my back up, it has better reviews than the REI version and is easier to inflate, but it was not as comfortable to me. Again, an example of what other people like better and what costs more isn’t always what will feel the best to your body.

Hi BeachMac,

Thanks for taking the time to share another update.

I’m sorry to hear that your mattress didn’t work out as well as you hoped for but the good news is that you had the foresight to choose a mattress that has a great return policy. I also appreciate your reminder about how the same mattresses can feel different to different people and at least you also have a frame of reference that mattresses that most people would rate as being in a medium range will likely feel softer to you.

It’s good to hear that you found a solution for your mattress with the camping bed as well (at least temporarily). There are also some suggestions in post #4 here that may be helpful with a mattress that has softened or is sagging and is no longer providing the comfort or support that you need.

Thanks again and I hope that when the time comes to purchase another mattress that you will have better success and of course any additional comments or questions you may have along the way are always welcome.