My Green Mattress/Quality Sleep Shop Review

What an invaluable resource this site and the guidance of Phoenix have been to our family! We’ve recommended My Green Mattress, a sub-division of Quality Sleep Shop to our friends, colleagues, and patients, and now believe this to have been a great error. I’d like to share our experience- generally with latex as related to back pain and support, and specifically with this shop- to help others.

We’re a family with numerous members, myself included, in healthcare. When our peanut was big enough for a bed her teenage cousin was rapidly going through a growth spurt and in need of a new mattress. We lucked out and inherited his latex and spring “My Green Mattress” for her. My brother-in-law specifically purchased it because it had no memory foam or polyurethane in it, and it came to us in excellent condition, having been fully encased during prior use… Great mattress for our kid, and we all recommended the shop to my father and mother when they were looking for a new mattress. I accompanied mom to My Green Mattress, curious to see the place myself. Mom’s a healthcare provider and didn’t want poly or memory foams in the bed nor was she interested in a spring system; she has a metal pin and felt funny about having metal in the bed as well. The salesperson was low pressure and recommended the 9" pure Talalay latex “Organic Dreams” model. My parents went back to the shop and settled on this mattress, thrilled that it wouldn’t have any of the chemicals or metals they wanted to avoid. I want to mention at this point that my parents have been very healthy, active and fit their entire lives and never had any back problems prior to receiving their latex mattress from this shop.

The Organic Dreams mattress arrived and immediately didn’t work on top of their curved wood slat base. When they had talked to the owner, Tim, about this when purchasing the mattress, he felt the weight of the bed and short distance between slats wouldn’t be a problem. Nevertheless they felt as if they could feel the slats through the latex. I didn’t understand “The Princess & The Pea” syndrome until I drove in that weekend and happened to try it myself. I found the mattress had a durable but relatively soft tan ticking cover, and looked like it had nice workmanship albeit some wavy sewing lines. After calling the shop a “Metal Free” foundation was recommended for mom, purchased, and delivered several days later. This seemed to improve the situation but within several weeks dad was complaining of lower back discomfort. After purchasing a number of new pillows the lower backaches continued- for both of my parents. They’re not large people at 5’4" 130 lbs and 5’7" 150 lbs, but the medium-medium-medium firmness pure Talalay the shop owner recommended was way too soft. After doing some research we learned that Latex International’s pure Talalay softens ~17% which essentially was making a medium ILD feel soft. Three layers of that is not providing anywhere near the adequate support to keep the spine in alignment and we were surprised this recommendation was made in the first place by the owner. After suggesting “bourbon and Nyquil for a good night’s sleep” to my parents, along with several suggestions about putting a tighter cover on the mattress, Tim agreed to “firm up” the support at their insistence. One of the medium layers was switched for firm latex, for a fee, and all was well after additional pillow changes to suit the new mattress firmness.

Fast forward several months and now both parents were having lower back issues. They felt like the mattress was sagging and when I visited them I felt it, too, after laying on the mattress for ~20 minutes. Mom had seen a colleague who had recommended massages and some physical therapy which was not helping. On the occasions she was out of town she had no back problems sleeping elsewhere. Recognizing that the mattress again was providing insufficient support, Tim suggested adding a firm topper- or spring system to the bottom of the mattress. He indicated that they could try some “mock-ups” of different configurations at the shop but they understood that something feeling comfortable for a few minutes at the store is not always a sufficient indicator of how much the support the mattress will provide- which you’d only know from an overnight trial. With two totally different configurations my parents were starting to feel that My Green Mattress was an experimental endeavor in which they were the test subjects. Sure, the mattress looked nice enough, but both of them were having identical back issues and they needed confidence in a recommendation.

Around the same time our kid’s My Green Mattress was surprisingly leaving some latex body impressions as our large dog liked to hop on and lounge in the same spot daily. I found your website, started doing research on my own, called a number of shops around the country for guidance and spoke with some orthopedic colleagues about how to provide good mattress support and pressure relief. From everything I’d learned- and I’m a researcher by trade- the mattress made for my parents didn’t have sufficient support for the spine. Consensus from many folks I spoke with as well as medical literature differed from the options Tim presented, and also accounted for sleeping preference (stomach, back, side) as part of the mattress configuration equation. Soon enough it didn’t matter as dad was in tremendous pain and could barely move. An MRI confirmed multiple bulging discs in his lumbar and lower thoracic spine- just where mom was having pain as well.

We ended up needing a well-founded solution quickly for my dad so I took it upon myself to build my folks a bed using the data I’d accumulated through actual scientific research. We tried having Tim implement the solution but he wanted us to essentially pay for a new mattress even though his bed brought on these problems for both of my parents. What worked for them was 3" extra firm Dunlop, 3" firm Talalay from the My Green Mattress mattress, and 2" of medium Talalay inside a zippered case. Atop that is a 1" piece of medium pure/organic Talalay in an organic cotton cover. It feels softer than the latex inside since it’s used as a topper. This has provided support and tremendous pain relief for both of my parents.

I have to tell you when we disassembled the My Green Mattress configuration for my parents we found they were sent a Power Stack Foundation made of metal- which was exactly what mom didn’t want- she’d requested “metal free.” The Power Stack was made of 5" wide squares in a grid- which according to this site and elsewhere isn’t especially sufficient for providing support under a latex-only mattress. We opted for tight wooden slats in our new configuration and that is what the mattress needed. We don’t understand why My Green Mattress sells the Power Stack for latex beds, nor do we know why the curved slats were originally stated to be OK. Finally, when we took apart the kiddo’s My Green Mattress to replace the latex that was getting impressions we found that the bottom springs were surrounded with thick poly-foam- exactly what my brother-in-law had specified he didn’t want when originally placing the order. In conclusion we don’t believe My Green Mattress is well-placed to be making recommendations about latex bed support- as related to both latex mattresses and foundation needs. We’ve also unfortunately found them to not be honest regarding what’s in their products. And in experiencing a great deal of difficulty getting a conclusive recommendation, the family also saw alot of up-charging. We didn’t find this to be a fair practice when the initial recommendations that were made were not well substantiated and in fact harmed the health of my parents. To be certain, their original Organic Dreams mattress has now increased in price by 40% the past several years so perhaps the focus is on dollars now instead of science and service.

ProfZ, I have bulging discs in my back also(L4 and L5). I am glad that you were able to help your parents find relief. I am trying to decide whether I should go with an all latex mattress or innerspring mattress to find the most relief and correct alignment. Can you share what you found in your research as far as what is the best mattress for bulging discs? Thanks

Hi ProfZ,

I’m sorry to hear about your experiences with My Green Mattress. They are certainly very unusual and very different from the many other members here (and thousands of others) that have purchased from them who along with me hold them in very high regard. Their quality, value, knowledge, and service and their track record of success is among the best in the industry.

Just for the sake of clarity and balance as well … I wanted to make some comments about some of the comments you made so that others that read them understand not to take them too literally and also understand that while they apply to your parents’ experience that they certainly wouldn’t apply to the large majority of others that deal with them or even that purchase a similar mattress.

While I’m not sure of the specifics of your slatted foundation, it would be unusual for someone to feel closely spaced slats through 9" of latex even if it had softer layers. These types of flexible slats are “the norm” in Europe and used under millions of latex mattresses (many of which would be thinner than the organic dreams) with great success. Although they can change the “feel” of the mattress for some people because they are an “active” layer that responds to pressure … they do provide a suitable support system for a latex mattress. I and most other manufacturers would probably have thought and said the same thing … at least based on “averages”.

The actual percentage that a latex layer softens will vary with the type and firmness of the latex and the amount and depth to which it is repeatedly compressed and different types of fatigue testing and different circumstances and people will also produce different results. The type of softening that you are mentioning would generally happen over a longer period of time and wouldn’t be something that happened quickly. Outside of defective materials (which unfortunately was happening on occasion for a period of time with LI latex) … latex is among the most durable foam materials in the industry and does a better job or maintaining its ILD and firmness than other types of foam materials, some of which can lose 50% or more of their firmness over time (although this would generally be lower quality materials). With polyfoam for example an “acceptable” level for loss of firmness from flex fatigue would be in the range of 25% to 30% and lower quality materials can be much higher than this. Foam softening of less than 20% over the useful life of a mattress would be inside the range that wouldn’t have a significant effect on most people unless their mattress was already “on the edge” of being too soft for them and was enough to take them outside of the comfort/support range that was suitable for them and latex in a suitable firmness range will consistently be less than this over the longer term.

I would keep in mind that any recommendation that is made by a manufacturer would be based on their “best judgement” using the information they have available, the testing of the customer, and on the “averages” of many other customers that they had dealt with over the years and these types of recommendations are always subject to each persons actual experience because a mattress that is too soft for one person can be too firm for someone else with a very similar body type and sleeping positions. This is as much of an art as it is a science and there is no way for anyone to be able to predict which combination of layers would be the best “match” for any particular person with certainty. Even though this layering was too soft for your parents … it would have been too firm for others that are in a similar weight range or had similar back issues.

Support is also often misunderstood and many people believe incorrectly that “firmer is better” or “more supportive” when the real goal is to keep the spine in good alignment and this requires the type of contouring support that allows some parts of the body to sink in more and some parts of the body to sink in less and this will vary on an individual basis. There is more about primary or “deep” support and secondary or “surface” support and their relationship to firmness and pressure relief and the “roles” of different layers in a mattress in post #2 here and in post #4 here that may also be helpful in clarifying the difference between “support/alignment” and “comfort/pressure relief” and “feel” and how they interact together. The suggestions that were made were certainly “in the range” that would work well for many people in your parents’ weight range.

All mattress choices and testing are an “experimental endeavor” no matter where you buy it or which manufacturer you are dealing with. Again I would keep in mind that there are so many unknowns and variables involved and differences between people that nobody can predict for certain which mattress design will work best for any individual person. Outside of actually sleeping on a mattress over a period of time … personal testing is the most reliable way to predict whether a mattress will be a good match for any particular person and taking the time and care to test different configurations and looking for feedback on each of them is a sign of a manufacturer/retailer that has the knowledge and experience to understand this and knows the limitations of any “theory”. This would be especially important when a customer has unusual issues that puts them “outside the averages” for most people.

You may have been one of the unfortunate ones that had defective latex in your mattress (either that or the latex was too soft for your dog’s weight). This was a known quality issue with some of the LI latex and was the source of a great deal of frustration and some lack of confidence in the durability of their latex.

If someone is experiencing back issues on a mattress then it certainly wouldn’t take a medical professional to “diagnose” that a mattress was likely too soft after the fact to be right in a majority of cases but there would also be a smaller percentage of people that would experience the same symptoms with a mattress that was too firm or for other reasons as well. There is more about the most likely reasons for some of the symptoms that people can experience on a mattress in post #2 here and as you can see there can be multiple reasons for the same set of symptoms. If these same professionals were truly knowledgeable about mattresses and the ergonomics of mattress design and construction they would also be the first to also recognize that they wouldn’t be able to predict which mattress would be the best match for any particular person before the fact with any certainty with a high degree of success over time and the odds are high that they would be making worse recommendations and having a lower percentage of success for most of their patients than any experienced manufacturer. The fact is that most of Tim’s recommendations are remarkably accurate and he has an amazing track record of success but nobody is right 100% of the time. Of course if there are medical issues involved then choosing the best mattress can be even more complex and uncertain because a mattress that may work perfectly for one person with bulging discs may be completely unsuitable for someone else with the same medical condition. While a mattress doesn’t cause these types of medical issues … a mattress that isn’t a good match for someone can certainly aggravate the pain and discomfort that comes from them.

It’s great to hear that your solution worked well for your parents although your comment that their problems were “brought on” by their mattress aren’t completely accurate and your suggestion that Tim is somehow responsible for the mattress they chose and should “fix it” for free also isn’t realistic or fair IMO. Free return and exchange policies or the cost of making changes for free are built in to the cost of a mattress and people who don’t need to make any changes are the ones who pay for the ones who do. Manufacturers that have lower margins or who don’t build in the costs of these types of changes into the cost of a mattress for the benefit of reducing the price for the majority of their customers that don’t need to make any changes to their mattress will normally charge a reasonable price to make the types of changes that you were considering. This isn’t unusual at all.

Given their integrity and their service over many years I would consider this to be an “honest” mistake because they would have no reason to provide a foundation that wasn’t the one that their customer requested. While these types of mistakes are certainly unfortunate and frustrating and I understand that they are “one more” reason for you to feel the way you do … these types of “wire grid” foundations are certainly strong enough to provide good support for a latex mattress and they would do a suitable job of supporting a latex mattress over the short or medium term. There also isn’t a consensus of opinion about this between manufacturers and the reason for my caution with these types of foundations is that I have talked with enough manufacturers that have seen the latex impress into the gaps in the wire grid over the longer term that I believed it justified a caution (see post #10 here) even though it may be an “abundance of caution” that many in the industry may not agree with. The power grid foundation also has a tighter wire grid than many other wire grid foundations so it would have less risk than other similar foundations that have a more open grid system. There is no “wrong or right” in this … only degrees of risk based on “best judgement”.

As you may imagine I would completely disagree with your “conclusions” and I don’t think that they reflect their many years of success in helping thousands of customers make great choices (many of which have provided some heart warming comments on this forum). It is also completely unfair to accuse them of being “dishonest” for making one of their rare mistakes and supplying the wrong foundation. While I can understand that you may be somewhat emotional or have strong feelings about all of this because they are after all your parents, I believe that to some degree this may have caused a loss of perspective because some of your comments are somewhat unfair and certainly contradict many years of experience and are based on expectations that would be impossible for anyone in the industry to live up to. They are also just as focused on quality and service now as they have ever been as the feedback from most of their customers clearly indicates.

While I appreciate your comments and I do believe that you believe they are warranted and fair … I also wanted to add my own for some additional perspective so that others who read them will will realize that some of them are based on unrealistic expectations and are somewhat inaccurate in their premise and that your experiences and how you feel about them certainly wouldn’t be the norm for the large majority of their customers.

There are a few examples of some of the many comments and feedback they have received from other members of the forum here and here just to add some of the “other side of the story” as well.


Hi Allianna- I wrote a response for you in the separate thread, “Mattress help” where you also asked about this. Hope it helps you.

Hi Phoenix- Thank you for your comments. It’s clear that people have different experiences, and certainly we can understand the support being provided to a mattress company that pays for its membership on this website. Our goal as health providers and researchers is to help people improve their health. When we use a product that meets that goal or compromises it, we feel it’s the right thing to do to help others.

If a business emphasizes that they are a “green” company that specifically markets organic, custom products in service of people with health conditions and “compromised immune systems,” they have a responsibility to serve customers in a careful and accurate way. The medical profession has a “do no harm” oath, and the FDA has checks and balances to ensure benefit outweighs potential health risks for drugs and devices. Along the same lines, any business that claims it can accommodate health issues must be run by people who are well-educated in that regard and uphold stringent standards so as not to produce products that are detrimental and harm people in any number of ways.

People have legitimate health conditions- allergies, asthma, chemical sensitivities, pacemaker implantation- and for these individuals the need for specific materials- or the omission of materials- in a bed may be a necessity, not something “nice to have.” If our family specifically ordered “no poly foam” and “no metal,” respectively, in 2 separate products across several years we should not have received both products with the content we requested not to have. People with health conditions must be able to trust a company that says it caters to their needs- not find out inadvertently years after using a product for 8 hours a night that it contained the very materials they were trying to avoid.

Latex International was founded 40 years ago and is the world’s largest producer of talalay. If in their relatively recent product history they had known quality problems related to talalay softening more than expected per their product data, the right thing for My Green Mattress to do would have been to recall mattresses containing it. They should have outstanding book-keeping to know which products contained what, and when they were made. At minimum, they could have exchanged our faulty layers for free- and let the manufacturer pay for it, or issued us a refund upon learning that our mattress was affected. If their was a faulty product, you notify your customers and in making it right, you put their health first, adhere to your health-focused mission, and act with integrity.

We do trust our medical education and the experience of medical colleagues. In medicine, attending physicians meet weekly to review cases- over decades a spine specialist has viewed imaging and heard anecdotal information from thousands with a given diagnosis. We trust the guidance of these people. When my dad sought various opinions from colleagues around the country and that of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, the #1 rehab institute in the country, we felt comfortable with their credentials and expertise in drawing conclusions and making appropriate recommendations. When specialized physical therapists with doctoral training who work with individuals with back problems 40 hours per week told my parents they see things like this all the time in otherwise strong individuals with sagging beds, we trust their professional judgment. And when there are peer-reviewed articles with guidance in medical journals on the topic of spinal issues and mattress support we have confidence in the evidence. We are grateful for the guidance- including this site- as all of it helped us build a mattress with firmer spinal support and yielding upper layers for pressure relief for my parents. We truly hope this information can save others the aggravation and severe pain associated with lower back problems, as well as thousands of dollars associated with diagnosis and treatment.

Hi ProfZ,

My support isn’t based on their membership here (I was writing about them and many others before this site even started on another forum) but on their history of helping people and providing great service and on the quality and value of their mattresses. I have frequently supported other manufacturers or retailers in the same way that aren’t members of the site in the face of unreasonable comments that aren’t accurate or are misleading just as I have publicly criticized some of the members here in situations that deserved it because my goal has always been to provide accurate and “balanced” information regardless of membership here. While I realize that it’s an “easy” argument to make that the comments I make are somehow driven by financial gain and that often seems to be the “fall back” position for others that imply that the ability to earn an income from 16 hours a day of work somehow affects whether the information on this site is “biased” … you can see my comments about these types of implications or in some cases “accusations” in post #4 here and the posts it links to if you are interested in the history of the site and why I do what I do and say what I say.

I certainly have no argument with this or any other “apple pie and motherhood” statement but when you move past the generalities that are easy for anyone to agree with then things become a lot more complex and uncertain because products or treatments that can help some people can harm others and having the expertise to differentiate when and where to use certain products or treatments becomes much more challenging … and this is where the mistakes are made. What can “help” some people can also harm others.

If you took the time to look at their history and compare them to 95% of the industry then you would realize that this is exactly what they do … and based on their long term history they do it very well.

The mattress industry is not the health care industry and they are very different. I have two daughters in the health care industry (one is a pharmacist and the other is completing her studies in alternative health and close to going into practice) and from my conversations with them and hundreds of others (I was involved in a field that was related to health care and lectured to many health care professionals and researchers about how to use a certain diagnostic and treatment system in their practice or research) I am well aware of the tendency in the health care industry to look at the world with a narrower focus and lose their perspective of the realities of the bigger world and other industries outside of their domain. The third leading cause of death in the US is from iatrogenic causes (second only to heart disease and cancer) and by an extension of your argument any health professional that makes a mistake or uses the “right” product in the “wrong” set of circumstances and ends up causing any harm should be out of business or somehow is no longer qualified to practice medicine any longer regardless of how successful they have been over the years. This would put the entire health care industry as we know it out of business because every health care professional I have ever known has made many “mistakes” in their career that unintentionally and in spite of “best judgement” ended up causing harm. Mattress manufacturers don’t treat health conditions or make legitimate claims that they do … they sell mattresses. This is a very different industry with a very different set of regulations.

Their mattresses that include polyfoam say so on the description and on the law tag. I don’t know that your brother in law specifically requested “no polyfoam” or whether their request was even understood because this is just hearsay to me (it’s not part of your actual experience or these circumstances) but I do know that it’s likely that they didn’t make this clear because MGM or Quality Sleep would have no reason to avoid disclosing it when their website and the law tag includes the contents of their mattresses and makes the content so obvious. Sometimes these types of “peripheral” comments that aren’t directly connected to the situation at hand are the result of “finding reasons” to support or “add weight” to another complaint being made by someone that they are close to even though there is no way to know what really happened when your brother in law purchased their mattress. I would also keep in mind that they also share the responsibility for their choice if it was so important to them and it would have been so easy to check whether their mattress had any polyfoam inside it.

Having said that … what seems clear to me is that you were provided with the wrong foundation and if they made a mistake then if you had brought it to their attention they would have (and probably still would) correct it. People make honest mistakes from time to time.

Quite frankly your comments here aren’t realistic and really make little sense. Any quality issues that were involved with LI latex were sporadic and occasional (which is one of the reasons that they were so frustrating to many manufacturers) and only involved a minority of each shipment. Defective layers or materials that happen in a minority of occasions are the reason why mattresses (and other consumer products) have warranties … and not a reason for a recall that would put them out of business. In many cases and perhaps even in a majority of cases … consumers that choose the wrong mattress (and yes a consumer is the one responsible for their choice) may believe that a mattress that isn’t “working” is defective when it’s not and they just made an unsuitable choice in spite of the “best efforts” of everyone involved. If every manufacturer recalled every mattress because a minority of them had defective materials (that is outside of their control) or treated the wrong comfort choice or mattress as a warranty issue there would be no mattress industry at all or the price of mattresses would be many times what they already are. This is the type of “loss of perspective” that I referred to earlier and I think if you step back and distance yourself from the circumstances (as health professionals and researchers have been taught to do) you would clearly see this. The mattress industry isn’t part of the health care industry … they sell mattresses which are a furniture product … not a health care product or a “treatment” for a medical condition. The knowledge base and skill set are different.

You may trust their judgement and I have no doubt of their knowledge or intentions or their commitment to their profession and ongoing education but this isn’t unique to your industry and I have seen the other side of the same story when it comes to “translating” their knowledge into a specific mattress and it’s not as rosy as you describe. It’s easy to “draw conclusions” after the fact with the benefit of hindsight but it’s not as easy to predict which mattress will work for a specific person or set of circumstances when you don’t have the same benefit. Mattress manufacturers don’t have a crystal ball … just like health care professionals. The same mattress that didn’t work for your parents could be perfect for someone else in similar circumstances and may have even been too firm. This is the part of the industry that they and you aren’t fully aware of and I wonder if they could even tell you what the ILD of latex means or the pros and cons of different materials or mattress designs when it comes to the smaller details or more detailed specifics that can make all the difference in a suitable mattress. Even their comments about “seeing this all the time with sagging beds” is just a generic “broad brush” comment that isn’t specific to a particular situation or mattress. I see this all the time on the forum as well and it’s often possible to say “your mattress is too soft” but this doesn’t help at all without knowing which layers are too soft or if the issue is with primary support or secondary support or the effect of specific changes in a mattress. As I mentioned in a previous reply this is as much an art as a science.

I hope it can as well but if you continue to treat the mattress industry as part of the health care industry, try to hold people to account for something that they can’t possibly know or predict for certain, react to mistakes without taking the experience, history, or track record of the person making the mistake into account, or make “broad brush” recommendations based on generalities without taking into account the specific and unique circumstances of each person … then you will likely cause unintentional harm even more than you already have. For the most part … your comments are doing a great disservice to a manufacturer that is much better than you seem to be giving them credit for and certainly are in the top few percentage of the industry. If you really were more aware of the industry in general or you took the time to “measure” them against the large majority of the industry based on the same types of research methods you are suggesting then you would already know this.


Hi, Kathy here from My Green Mattress. I’m sorry that your parent’s comfort needs were not met with our mattress. While the vast majority of the time we are able to help people into the perfect mattress, in a very small percentage of orders, when the mattress goes home and is tried for several nights the customer may find it isn’t the right one for them. We do have our 90 day Comfort Guarantee for that reason and would take the mattress back per that policy.

If there is anything additional that we can do to serve you or help resolve this situation more to your liking, please call us at 1 877-737-8237.