Retailers - Specialty retailers and Sleep shops

Information About Specialty Mattress Retailers

If your definition of value includes good prices, better quality, knowledge of mattresses and everything connected with them, a variety of choices, local field testing, and great service, then these are often the source of the best value for your circumstances.

They tend to fall into one of two groups. Either smaller outlets that hope to become much larger and emulate a national chain store using all the same methods of their larger counterparts, or those where growth is a side effect of their value and service. It is the latter group that has always been a part of a “mattress underground” in their desire to resist the trends of the industry and this is the group that The Mattress Underground is committed to connecting with consumers.

Quality information about specialized mattress and bedding materials.

Many of these outlets carry larger national brands since the common beliefs connected with heavy advertising have sometimes made it a necessary fact of life to bring consumers into a store, or they could easily go out of business. They tend to focus on “off brands” however that have much greater value and quality than their better known “competitors” and once a consumer learns the truth about where real value lives, they will rarely consider the larger more well-known brands. They also have much greater levels of knowledge about what makes a good mattress and are more willing to share meaningful information and facts with their prospective customers. These are the stores where education and knowledge is their friend as the more a consumer knows about mattresses and the materials in it the more likely they will purchase from one of these outlets. They do not need special sales as their mattresses are already priced at levels that have excellent value and smaller discounts with legitimate reasons are more the norm when they do have them. While consumers may walk into their store looking for something else, they will often walk out with a completely different perspective and end up purchasing a mattress that is much better suited to their needs and with the greater quality and materials used, will last them much longer as well.

These outlets will also often have more in-depth and specialized knowledge of other areas that are connected to both mattresses and sleeping and can be a high-quality source of good information about more specialized materials, ticking, quilting, and bases along with other bedding connected products such as sheets, blankets, or pillows that are often purchased along with a new mattress.

Testing mattresses at specialty outlets.

The common thread behind these outlets is the ownership and staff. They are usually privately run companies that hire staff that either knows their stuff or they will train them until they do. Their training is more about what makes a better mattress than it is about how to more effectively use deceptive sales practices to “close the sale” before a customer walks out of the store. They may sometimes carry a smaller variety of mattresses however what they do carry represent genuine choices and are not a dozen different versions of the same type of mattress wearing different sets of clothes. They have the knowledge to fit you to a mattress rather than simply focusing on short term comfort and feelings in the store.

You will often find owners in this part of the industry that have been around the mattress industry for many years in either retail sales or in manufacturing and many of them are former employees or even executives of larger companies that came to realize the direction of their industry and have a genuine desire and commitment to change it. While all of these of course still need to make a living, they are more motivated by the service and the value they provide than they are “money machines” and they realize that their profits are a side effect how they treat their customers. With many larger outlets, profits based on “stories” are the primary motivation of the business. While these smaller sleep shops are of course also in business to make a profit they do not need to create a sense of urgency through deceptive sales or other practices to do it.

The best of these are a great choice for a mattress purchase.

Need to contact with a Berkleys Ergonomics store in Akron Oh area, thank you

Hi Jamgc,

Berkeley Ergonomics is only distributed through a small group of specialty sleep shops and they are not widespread across the country. The closest one to you that I am aware of is

Hope that helps


I have spoken with Michael, the owner of Design Sleep, a few times. He is very helpful, knowledgeable and very nice! I would highly recommend giving him a call or a visit! His prices are also the best in the country for Berkeley Ergonomics beds :slight_smile:

My wife and I are in the process of purchasing a new mattress. This site is by far the best I have ever ran across. Thanks you Phoenix.

In doing our research my wife found, it is just up the road from us. The place sounds interesting. We plan on visiting them next week. Does anyone have any comments about the place? I see they use mostly European materials and a slat foundation.


Hi Uraburr,

Phoenix can also shed some light on additional places in your area that you might want to also research and visit :slight_smile:

As for Design Sleep, I can share some of my own experiences. I’ve been working with Phoenix for a few months now researching options in the Dallas area that would meet our needs. I am a stomach and side sleeper, my husband is a side and back sleeper- so, we have the challenge of trying to cover all sleeping positions in one mattress. Also, neither of us are obese, but we are not small slender people either. I am ~5’7" 160lbs and he’s ~6’ 225lbs. So, we need a sturdy mattress. To date, our challenge with all the newer mattresses is that we select one we like and we love it for a few months. Then, they start to smoosh, soften, and eventually sag and have body impressions where we sleep. And then I immediately start having terrible back pain every morning. So, we were in need of something rather firm, but with enough cushion in the comfort layer to reduce pressure points and allow my husband to sleep on his side.

I learned of Berkeley Ergonomics (BE) nearly a year ago and have been very impressed with their beds ever since. I’ve consulted Phoenix a good deal on these beds and his thoughts on their construction, materials, quality, durability, longevity, etc… We do believe that they are using very high quality coils and latex that should be very durable for a long time. They have a mix of beds with pocket coils + latex (some also use micro coils) and they have all latex beds as well. Like Phoenix mentioned above, BE sells only through a handful of retailers across the country- Design Sleep being one of them. But, they are all the same product line at each retailer- directly from BE. My husband and I have finally decided on and ordered the “Willow” model in C firmness from Sovn here in Dallas-- this is the “Riviera” model at Design Sleep. We should be getting our new bed in a few weeks and I am most excited about it! We like this model b/c it’s medium firm, it’s conforming, but not soft, it’s just soft enough on the top, and with the flex slats, we can allow a little more contour ability for larger shoulders when my husband is sleeping on his side. So, we’ll see!

Through our process, I actually spoke with Mike (the owner of Design Sleep) a few times earlier this week- he was great! We were trying to work through something with the location here in Dallas and he was a tremendous help. I would highly recommend that you go visit him and check out his line of BE beds. They seem to be very high quality, they have a very good 10 year full warranty- zero sag (none of this 1.5" stuff)! And- Mike has the best prices in the country on the BE beds, so you can be comfortable with that. And believe me, I have the prices from every location in the US that sells them. Mike is the lowest- just a tad below what they sell them for in CA where they are made. And he’s a very nice very helpful guy! I think he’d take good care of you if you found a bed you were comfortable on.

Phoenix can likely help you narrow down what you’ll need based on your size, weight, etc… and again, other places you should also research and visit. But, for what it’s worth, I would have very positive things to say about Mike, Design Sleep, and Berkeley Ergonomics. I can tell you that I have done a TON of research on mattresses, materials, and such this year and I’ve had my eye on BE for a long time. I am very happy to have finally ordered one. Time will tell and I’ll be sure to report back once we’ve slept on our new bed for a few months!

Best of luck!

Hi Uraburr,

I will echo Sleepless’ comments about the Berkely Ergonomics mattresses and about Design Sleep in particular (who I have also talked with and found very open, knowledgeable, and helpful).

The better options I’m aware of that are within a 50 mile radius of Yellow Springs include … Yellow Springs. Retailer that carries Berkeley Ergonomics which are a line of latex and latex/innerspring hybrids which are good quality and value. They are also very knowledgeable about mattress materials and construction and are great to deal with. Local factory direct manufacturer that makes a range of mattresses. Regional factory direct manufacturer. Regional factory direct manufacturer which makes a range of mattresses. Retail direct outlet. They carry a house brand which may be worth investigating. Make sure you check for the amount of polyfoam in the top layer of their latex models as it varies from 1" (OK) to 4" (more than I would want). - This website is for sale! - mattressmartohio Resources and Information. They used to make their own mattresses but unfortunately they no longer do and the they now only carry major brands (which I would avoid) along with Restonic and Solstice which are the only two manufacturers I would consider here but make sure that they can provide you with the foam specs before you make a purchase here.

Hope this helps. You certainly have some good options in your general area.



My wife and I made it over to Design Sleep this week. To say the lease we were very impressed. Mike was friendly and full of information. I was expecting our visit to last 30 minutes or so, however we ended up spending 2 hours. He worked with us to find the right mattress, we ended up with the Riviera and the Euro Slats. Once we receive the mattress and spend some nights on it, I will provide an update for anyone else that may be interested.


Does anyone have any recommendations for a good sleep shop in the Alexandria, Virginia area? We went to a “Sleepy’s” and really felt it was a little gimmickey and very overpriced. We are looking to deal with honest folks, with reasonable prices, and an excellent product. My husband and I bought a King size Simmons beautyrest world class mattress one year ago. Paid almost $2K. Slept on it 1 week. Had to flip it over because it was too soft. Now we sleep on the bottom of the mattress with added padding. It did not seem like the same mattress that we tested in the store. What an expensive mistake. we both now have back, hip and shoulder pain due to a bad mattress. Need to make a new purchase. But want to get it right this time. Please help :blink: Thanks. Kit


This link should help you avoid most of the worst choices when you are mattress shopping and help you with putting time and energy into the better ones. Because of the heavy advertising both by them and the major brands they carry … chain stores like Sleepy’s are often the place where most people buy a mattress when unfortunately these types of outlets are usually among the worst places to go. Sometimes outlets like these do have a few models that may be worth including in your research but the time, effort and knowledge required to find these few (if they have any at all) is usually much better spent at outlets that offer better quality, value, and knowledge about their mattresses and the materials in them.

While there are no local factory direct manufacturers in your immediate area (these are usually the best source of quality and value), there are some better options and post #2 in this thread should help with this.

Sleeping on the bottom of a one sided mattress … even with a topper … is not a great option (as you unfortunately know) because they are not built to work well this way. The good news is that at least you are on the right track to change things for the better … even if it has unfortunately cost you some money. There’s lots of information here that should help you “get it right” (in the mattresses section of the main site and in the forum) but if you have questions along the way feel free to post them.