Just starting out

My husband and I just started our search yesterday for a mattress and I stumbled upon your sight last night as I began reading up on mattresses. Our current mattress is 15 years old and we were young and stupid when we bought it. ANYTHING feels better than our current mattress, so the comparison is difficult at this point. So, we want to do a better job this time around and get something that is going to be good for both of us for a while. Currently, I wake up every morning stiff, in pain and hobbling out of bed and look forward to finding something that is going to eliviate that. As of now, we tested a few mattresses in the more widely known stores (Temperpedic, IComfort, ISeries), but I am intrigued with looking at locally made mattresses, especially if they are of similar quality. I am just learning about all of the foam components and am trying to figure it out more. I did have a bit of sticker shock with the mattress prices at this point. Although we aren’t making price the only factor as we want to get something that will give us a great night’s sleep, we don’t want to overpay for anything either. So, with that said, I am wanting to go to as many local places as possible. I already looked at the ones under your membership and we will give those a visit. However, can you tell me if there are any others in the 60174 local area - this is the far western suburbs of Chicago? Thanks so much for getting us off running - this is going to be a fairly large purchase for us - one we haven’t made in a while, so we will be researching a lot. We appreciate your help and time.

Hi marie,

Over half the battle when you are shopping for a mattress is knowing which outlets to exclude and which to include before you start looking at mattresses themselves. The better outlets are generally factory direct outlets and local sleep shops that sell local or smaller alternative brands. You will usually find much better quality and value mattresses in these types of outlets in every price range and with every type of material. They also have higher levels of knowledge, experience, and service and are more focused on helping you find a mattress that will “fit” your long term needs and preferences more than they use marketing and sales techniques that do more for their profit margins or commissions than they do for you. This article will give you some guidelines that will help you avoid most of the worst choices when you are mattress shopping and focus on the better ones.

Post #2 and 4 here includes some of the better choices in the Chicago area. In particular I would recommend Quality sleep / My Green Mattress. As you know they are a member here and like all the members were invited because I consider them to be among the best of the best in the country in terms of quality, service and value.

As you may also know from reading the site … chain stores that carry mostly major brands are among the worst places to shop (although they are also the places where most people buy because they are more heavily advertised and visible) and mattresses like iComfort and iSeries use lower quality materials and sell for much higher prices. you can see some of the comments about some of the iComfort models in post #11 here but the poor value would extend through the entire lineup. Tempurpedic uses higher quality memory foam and polyfoam (except in the new Simplicity line which uses one of the lowest quality/density memory foam available anywhere at 2.5 lbs) but there are many other manufacturers that use the same quality memory foam and polyfoam that sell for much less.

Many years ago they were the only truly high quality memory foam mattresses available and this built their name and reputation so that people would buy on brand alone. The perception that they are still the highest quality memory foam mattresses has been continuously promoted in their advertising even though this has not been the case for many years but because there is so little quality information available to consumers that can help them make meaningful comparisons … they will often take the “safe” choice and pay significantly higher prices for these mattresses because they don’t know how to make meaningful comparisons with other alternatives and it can be very frustrating to “wade through” all the competing marketing stories and advertising copy to know what is fiction and what is true. There are also many manufacturers who sell lower quality memory foam mattresses that unfairly compare themselves to Tempurpedic even though they use low quality materials and these are not “apples to apples” comparisons but if an “apples to apples” comparison is made between similar foam quality, density, and layering … then it is easy to see that Tempurpedic is poor value in spite of it’s “mostly” high quality.

Scanning the overviews in the mattresses section of the site will give you the basic information you need to ask better questions and better understand the answers or be able to know the difference between those who are trying to “sell” you and those who are focused on “educating” you and really helping you to make your best choices.

Post #2 here also has some good information and includes a step by step process at the end that can help you find your “ideal” mattress in terms of quality and value as well as one that fits your short and long term needs and preferences.

Good luck in your search and feel free to post with any questions you may have along the way.


Thank you for the response. I completely intend on visiting the Quality Sleep Shop. However, I wanted to find out if there were any others that I didn’t see here that I could check out. I saw that the one in Beloit, WI might be an option too as they are probably the same distance from me as the other. I read about some people being pretty happy with the Quality Sleep shop, but didn’t find much on the Beloit location. Would I find similar products at each??? Is there a difference in what they sell that would help me determine where to visit first? I was surprised that I couldn’t find any other recommendations for other local shops in the larger Chicago area. Did I miss something, or are the options here very limited - although high quality? Also, I looked at the Milton, WI store. Do they only sell traditional spring mattresses?

Verlo Mattress - I have never been in one of their stores, but there is one VERY close to me. I read that you wouldn’t make them your first choice in the Chicago area - how come??? Is it just because their products are inferior?

From reading here last night and today I am excited at the possibility of finding something like the Temperpedic which both my husband and I liked at a better price. We started at the chain stores just to see what the hype was all about with the new mattresses, but sticker shock brought me here.

I will most likely be back here with questions after our visit to the Quality Sleep Shop. Thanks so much!


Hi marie,

There are many outlets in the greater Chicago area but very few that I would spend any time with. The few that were listed in the Chicago thread really are the outlets that I would choose in the area.

But for those that are OK with either lower quality and value, less selection, or with a longer drive there are other options as well …

Store Locations - Room & Board is another possibility in Chicago. their mattresses are made by Restwell in Minnesota but the quality and value is not in the same range as what I’ve already listed.

The other choices you mentioned … Beloit Mattress in Beloit, WI and Gateway mattress (now closed) in Milton, WI compete well with the best in the industry. The Milwaukee area has one other manufacturer that I would consider if you are willing to drive into WI anyway and they are listed in post #2 here.

There is also a Denver Mattress in Rockford. They are a regional factory direct manufacturer which makes a range of good quality and value mattresses including two mostly latex models (Snowmass and Aspen) but they don’t make any memory foam and I wouldn’t consider any of the other brands they also carry.

Other than that … good choices are further away in northern Indiana (post #4 here) and in Lafayette (see post #2 here.

You haven’t missed anything and Chicago is not that different from many other areas in terms of the number of high quality choices (although some areas such as Los Angeles have more). In some areas there are none at all within reasonable driving distance and in these cases an online purchase from a manufacturer that specializes in online purchases and has the skills, knowledge, and experience to help their customers make good choices is generally the best option.

Bear in mind that the major manufacturers and the chain stores and mass market outlets that sell them dominate a huge percentage of many markets and even though they have far lower quality and value … and are far more difficult to shop because they don’t release the type of meaningful information you need to really know what you are buying … they also advertise heavily and because consumers mostly don’t know any better or know how to tell a high quality mattress from a lower quality one … the larger more heavily advertised manufacturers sell huge amounts of these types of mattresses. Most consumers just don’t realize they have much better options and “follow the advertising” or the “special sales” which are fake and only marketing tactics. There are not a lot of higher quality manufacturers or even sleep shops compared to mass market outlets.

Similar generically in terms of materials and similar in overall value but not similar in specifics no. I always recommend calling every outlet you are considering visiting before you go there anyway … even if they are local … and I would tell them about your body type, sleeping style, budget, any material and other preferences you have (such as memory foam like Tempurpedic) and ask them which mattresses they think would be better choices for testing and why. These types of conversations will go a long way to helping you decide if a longer drive is worth the time and driving involved and give you a sense of what to expect when you get there.

Their products and value are better than average … especially when compared to most other types of mainstream outlets. In many areas they are among the best quality and value available. In Chicago though … it’s tough to compete with a manufacturer who is among the very best in the country in quality/value terms so it’s a relative thing even though they are a better choice than most other mattresses available in the Chicago area.

Yes although they use higher quality foams and other materials and have very high quality and value for their budget range which is why they are also a member here.

The two most important functions of a mattress are pressure relief and posture/alignment and everything after that is preferences. these are the targets that should be the “standard” that all the mattresses you test should be measured against. I would avoid the temptation to set any mattress as your standard … particularly Tempurpedic (there are many other memory foam mattresses that people like much more and that also have much better value). Post #2 here talks more about the different needs and preferences that may be important to you.


Hello again. I visited the Quality Sleep Shop this weekend and was pleased with what we saw. I have a few questions about things though. First, you seem to like 2 sided mattresses. I agree, but Tim showed us a one sided mattress witha removable topper that can be flipped. What is your opinion with this set up as Tim said one sided was fine for this set up.? Also, we were debating between the latex topper and the gel memory foam. We liked e memory foam better andTim actually said that latex wasn’t showing/wearing as well recently and that he would recommend the gel memory foam. What can you add to that if anything. So, we are thinking about the Everlasting mattress with a gel memory foam topper. Are you familiar with this combo? He is going to mock up a slightly softer version for us to try as well.

Any info or thought you can provide would be greatly appreciated.


Hi Marie,

Not surprisingly … I completely agree with Tim :). There are advantages and disadvantages to both one sided and two sided mattresses but a separate topper that can be flipped is a good design IMO.

Once again … I would always follow the experience of the manufacturer you are working with. They are the best expert and source of information about the materials they are using because they work with them every day. Manufacturers like Tim are a big part of the source of my information. I’ve heard similar reports in some cases from other sources as well.

I’m not personally familiar with the Everlasting but the specs look very good and it has a high quality coil system and good foam (1.8 in the comfort layer and 1.5 quilting foam) and the gel is very durable. The combination certainly looks good from a quality/value perspective and if it works for your needs and preferences then it would certainly make a great choice IMO.