Looking for the right memory foam mattress near Berkeley, CA

Color me overwhelmed. I have spent hours trying to figure out what to buy. And feel like I’ve gotten nowhere.

I am looking to replace a 15-yr-old memory foam mattress on a hospital style bed. I am a 155 lb side-sleeper. Wife is a 120 lb side, stomach, back sleeper. Have looked at bedinabox, tempflow (online), and a few others, but not sure whether they meet our criteria. Criteria, more or less in order of priority:

  1. Oeko-Tex (preferably) or Certi-pur certified;
  2. not overly firm;
  3. durable;
  4. I am willing to invest in a very good product, but don’t want to overspend;
  5. customizable size (wider than normal split queen).

Because of the last criterion, I doubt it will be returnable. So I want to be able to try the mattress out at a local store in or near Berkeley, CA.

Suggestions for brands, models, and stores will be most appreciated.

Hi BruceB,

The first place I would start (in case you haven’t read it already) is post #1 here which has the basic information, steps, and guidelines that you will need to make the best possible choice.

You have some good options available in the Berkeley area and some preliminary research on the phone should tell you which of them can make a mattress that is custom sized. They are listed in post #2 here.

Almost all of the latex you will encounter will be Oeko-Tex certified and most of the the memory foam and polyfoam that is made in the US is CertiPur certified (although not every store will be listed on the CertiPur site even though the materials in the mattresses they carry are made by a CertiPur certified foam manufacturer).

Since a mattress is only as good as it’s construction and the quality of the materials inside it … I would focus on the materials inside it more than on the brand.

Hope this helps and if you have questions along the way don’t hesitate to post them on the forum.


In another post you mentioned the mattresses by Relief Mart/Rick Swartzberg. I am specifically looking at their temp-flow mattresses. They make strong claims about the “green” qualities of their mattresses and say the emissions are well below the allowable limits of Oeko-Tex et al. Yet they are not certified. Thoughts?

Hi BruceB,

I have one of their bio-green pillows and it had very little odor but smell and VOC’s are very different things (many VOC’s have no odor at all).

Based on their testing results they list here it appears that their total VOC emissions are well below both Oeko-Tex and CertiPur testing protocols but I don’t know how Greenguard’s testing protocol compares to the specific testing methods for CertiPur or OekoTex and there are no individual limits for specific VOC’s mentioned, only a total.

The CertiPur VOC testing protocol uses the standards outlined in “Test Method: ISO 16000 – Parts 6, 9 & 11 – with chamber conditioning for 72 hours” and some of the individual VOC’s have a limit of “below detection” regardless of the total VOC content.

Some of the limits for individual VOC’s with OekoTex testing are .002 mg/m3 but I don’t know the specific protocol they use in terms of the size of the testing chamber or any preconditioning (both of which would affect results).

Having said this, their memory foam is made with MDI rather than TDI and I believe it would compare well to other memory foams on the market in terms of emissions using either CertiPur or OekoTex methods.

I tried to email Greenguard to find out the specifics of their testing and you can see the results here (which means I don’t know the specific criteria they use). In the first post of this thread you can also see that the FTC is also clamping down on “green” and VOC claims and Tempflow/Relief Mart is one of the companies mentioned. In all fairness most of the industry is making misleading claims about how “green” their foam may be, especially in regards to plant based polyols (see post #2 here) so they are certainly not alone in this and to some degree I think the FTC is making an example of them to send a message to the industry (unlike Essentia which deserved a much higher level of scrutiny for the claims they were making IMO).

Overall I would have no qualms about the relative “safety” of the memory foam they use compared to other memory foams (or the relative safety of most of the memory foam made in North America for that matter) and the few memory foams that are OekoTex certified (which is a more stringent standard than CertiPur) tend to be MDI based.


Thank you. That is a very useful answer. I will ask them directly why they don’t get certified.

The below comments may or may not be useful for your mattress search but I thought I would share them in case they were helpful.

A friend ordered a “bed in a box” mattress. After several months he was not happy with the mattress. It began to degrade and for him became painful.

My next comment has to do with low green or in this case low VOC. My experience has to do with paint. I selected a low VOC paint for one of my bedrooms. A comparable sized room took ~1 gallon of high quality paint. The room with VOC paint took three gallons and the paint is not as durable. Now the question becomes is 3 gallons of low VOC better or worse for you than ~1 gallon of regular paint.

Now the paint analogy may not carry over to mattresses but the point is that just because something claims to be green does not mean that those claims carry over to the real world or that it is a good quality product.

Either way good luck in your search. I wanted to like a latex mattress but it just did not seem to work for us.