Mattress Dilemma

I just recently found this site but wish I had known about it before buying a mattress. In March, my husband and I bought a Tempurpedic Cloud Supreme. It had to go back in mid April because it caused me to have extreme heat issues and I don’t think it was firm enough either. We ended up with a Simmons Comforpedic Loft Ultimate Plush. It was supposed to be cool memory foam and it felt firmer than the Tempurpedic. I was told by the salesman that if I liked the way it felt in the store I would be happy because it would not change at all. We have had it three months and we are both sleeping in the guest room. It is like sleeping in a warm hammock. Absolutely no back support. A mattress inspector came to look at it and it had sunk almost an inch. Even worse, he had just come from another house that had the same mattress with the same problem. Even though it wasn’t enough for Simmon’s warranty to kick in, the furniture store said they would fix it by letting us swap for something different. They are letting us pick outside of the Simmon’s mattresses. Their suggestions are the Shifman Cambridge Spring pillow top mattress ($3099.00) and the other Shifman is a non pillow top spring mattress called the Hampshire ($2339.00). I’m not sure about their content. The other mattresses are Kingsdown. One is the Crown Empire Euro top (3199.00) and the other is the Royal Elegance pillow top ($2099.00). I feel like these are our only choices in this store because we don’t really want to go over what we already spent (3199.00) which is too much for what they have. I need to know what you think our best choice would be between these. If you think they are all bad then we are going to attempt to get our money back. It is a shame to spend that much and just have to “settle” for something you don’t want or trust. If we were able to get our money back what would you suggest? I am 5’6 and 150 lbs. my husband is 5’ 11 and weighs 165. He is a back sleeper and I am a mostly side but sometimes back sleeper. I have deteriorating disks in my back and hip and knee pain. I love the sound of latex but don’t know if it is right for us or if it could be found in our area even if we could get our money back and look elsewhere. We live in Kingsport Tennessee. We would appreciate any help you could give us. I just want a good nights sleep.

 Thank you very much!

Hi Akirk70,

Unfortunately, without knowing the details of the layers in the mattresses … I am working “blind” and there is no way to really assess the relative quality or value of a mattress. This would also be true for any customers who shop for brands or at outlets where the quality of the layers in a mattress aren’t disclosed. This is one of the main reasons that I put so much emphasis on transparency and the willingness of a manufacturer and/or an outlet to tell their customers what is in their mattresses. Marketing stories that only talk about “potential benefits” without disclosing the materials that create those “benefits” are mostly misleading and even when they’re not they give no indication about how long those benefits or the mattress itself may last before it loses it’s comfort or support (which isn’t covered in any warranty) or it’s real “value” compared to other mattresses that use the same or similar materials.

On the assumption that you are dealing with … I went to take a look at the models they carried and the only information on the site is the brands and in some cases the models they carry but no information about what is in them. With the exception of the Shifman, they are all mainstream major brands which don’t disclose meaningful iniformation about the contents of their mattresses and brands that I would tend to avoid completely. The very few models they make that in some cases may have better value they don’t seem to carry (such as the Simmons Natural Care).

This leaves the Shifman which in most cases (depending on the model) uses higher quality materials and construction methods but also carries a “price tag” to go with it. Here again … knowing the “value” would depend on knowing what was in it. At least they would be two sided which will extend the life of the mattress. I would also take a look at the law tag which could give you a clue about what was in it even though it would say nothing about where the ingredients were located which is also an important part of estimating how a mattress will wear over the long term (the upper layers of a mattress are the most subject to wear and premature softening).

Hopefully … Grand Home Furnishings would be able and/or willing to give you a layer by layer breakdown of the mattresses you are considering (at least to the degree that their supplier makes this possible which is often an issue as well). To them though this request may seem completely “off the wall” even though it is something every consumer should be provided about every mattress in a store. This information needs to include the density of any polyfoam or memory foam in a mattress which is the most important “quality spec” and the one that is most often excluded from descriptions.

In general terms and based on probabilities … the Shifman would probably have the best quality but you are in their lower range and there would likely be some “suspect” materials in it as well so it’s still really not possible to know this for sure. It’s like buying furniture that looks and performs great when it’s new but that has cheap particle board hidden behind the veneer which is waiting to break down much more quickly than an identical piece of furniture in look and function that uses MDF or better yet real wood and will last much longer.

If you do decide to go in the direction of a refund (assuming that is even a possibility) then some of the better choices in or near Kingsport include …

Furniture Row® Store Locations - Store Hours & Addresses Johnson City, TN. This is the only factory direct manufacturer that is close to you. They make a range of mattresses including two mostly latex models called the Snowmass and the Aspen but don’t make any memory foam. Their own mattresses have good quality and value but I would avoid the major brands they also carry. NOTE: The Snowmass and the Aspen have been replaced by the iChoice which has latex and memory foam options.

Some of the retail outlets near you that have “possibilities” (bear in mind that finding better quality and value here would depend on finding out the “quality specs” of the mattress layers and that not all outlets are able or willing to provide this) are in the following list with the brands that I would suggest focusing on that may have some better value. I would also suggest calling these to “interview” them first along the lines of this article to get a sense of what to expect if you go there. Johnson City, Kingsport, TN. Jamison, Restonic, Southerland. Johnson City, Kingsport, TN. Advanced Sleep Concepts, Englander. Kingsport, TN. Southerland Bristol, VA. Symbol, Springwall, Bed Boss. Greeneville, TN. Pure Latex Bliss (Talalay latex) , Park Place. I have talked with Joe here and he is very knowledgeable about materials and mattress construction and would be well worth including in your research. Greeneville, TN. Jamison, Symbol. Very helpful smaller outlet with good staff.

So overall … if you can find out more about the layers in the mattresses you are considering for an exchange it would be very helpful (even if it’s only law tag information). Most often though, getting this information can be like pulling teeth … even though it’s one of the most important parts of mattress shopping and should be easily available at every outlet that sells mattresses.

Hope this helps a bit and let me know if you find out any more.


Thank you so much for your quick reply! I know what you mean about knowing the content, but don’t think they will tell me, or at least not honestly. It is Grand’s and they have always had a good reputation for making things right. That is why we bought there. However, they seem to have changed some. They keep telling me things about the mattresses and I go home and look them up and find out they aren’t true. I don’t know if they are being dishonest or they just don’t know what they are talking about. I suspect it is a combination. They told me the Shifman Cambridge was all hand sewn and hand tied coils. I looked it up on the Shifman site and it is listed under their cheapest line and says machine quilted and such. I don’t feel like I can trust them at all. You didn’t say anything about the Kingsdown, does that mean you don’t recommend any of theirs? I saw some clearances models of theirs that I believe we’re called “Sleep To Live” and had different series numbers on them.
I also wondered about a store in Chattanooga Tn. I found it online and it is called Martin Furniture. It says they have 100% latex beds made by Dutchcraft. I can’t find any details about price or anything. I wondered if you knew anything about them.

Hi Akirk70,

I think the lack of meaningful information is likely to be a combination of factors but the “source” of it is the lack of willingness on the part of many manufacturers to even tell their retail outlets so they can’t in turn tell their customers.

Kingsdown is one of the “offenders” yes and I don’t recommend them at all unless for some reason you are able to find out the specifics of their mattresses and even then you would find out that they would not compare well to many other alternatives. An example of Series 6 that Sleepy’s used to list the materials (but not the quality of the materials) is in post #13 here to give you an idea of how horribly overpriced they can be. Post #232 here has more comments about this. The are also a few instances on the forum such as post #23 here where someone cancelled an order because of what they discovered here and the retail outlet offered them a significant discount (still profitable of course) not to cancel. They are a good way to buy polyfoam (or any other materials that may be in them) at inflated prices.

I would also really want to know the details of any of the “cheaper” Shifman line which include polyfoam in the mattress (which can be seen on the law tag).

Yes these are the types of smaller manufacturers I generally recommend including in your research. Martin’s Furniture isn’t listed on the Dutch Craft site but these “retail outlet finders” are often not up to date. A forum search on “Dutch” (you can just click the link) will bring up more references about them but the basic gist of it is that they are a good option to include in your research and the odds are greater with manufacturers like this that you can find out all the layers in your mattress (in this case hopefully the “all latex” is for real but a quick look at the law tag will confirm if there are any other materials) and that the quality and value will be higher.

Martin Furniture seems to be in Murfreesboro and there may be quite a few more options if you are OK with driving 100 miles or so. There is a Nashville list in post #7 here (and I’ve added Martins to it as well … thank you) and an Atlanta list in post #2 here (with probably the best choices in the general area), a knoxville list in post #2 here, a Huntsville list in post #2 here, and a Birmingham list in post #57 here just in case you go to any of these areas in your “travels” :slight_smile:

I wish I could be more help in making an “exchange” selection but in the absence of meaningful information it is really just a roll of the dice. If you are able to choose a mattress which is significantly less than you paid and have a refund for any difference (instead of a full refund which of course would be best) … then a mattress which has the thinnest and firmest possible comfort layers (which would also be the least expensive) and then adding a high quality topper is also a “reasonable” option.