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Need a Mattress in Amherst, MA 10 Apr 2012 23:41 #1

  • jvilk
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Hey Phoenix/everyone,

First off, thanks for creating such a thorough and informative website! I found it after an extensive Google search on why the "no-flip" beds that make up most of the stock in mattress chains seem to break down (according to reviews) after such a short period of time, even if the person has a healthy BMI. Then I found a post here where you describe the cheap foam materials that they stitch onto the mattresses, and started my journey into the mattress underground... :)

I think that I have done enough research on your site to know what sort of mattress I want, what my preferences are, and what my price range is. I just need to find a place to purchase it!

Parameters

Below are the parameters I have chosen through following your guide, along with justifications in parenthesis. If anything seems odd (or if I am overly limiting myself), feel free to let me know.
Usage: I'd be sleeping in this nightly.
Size: Queen
Type: Inner spring (I like the 'bounciness', so foam is out)
Mattress Construction: Differential construction (Because it's easier to 'get right')
Coil Type: Offset / Bonnell / Continuous (Since I'm building differential, although I'm guessing I would prefer the offset / Bonnell over the continuous)
Body Type: I'm 5'8" and 150 pounds, so I think I am 'average' body weight and shape.
Comfort Layer: 3"-4". I'm primarily a back sleeper, but occasionally I like to sleep on my side. Not sure what material(s) I will use yet; I was considering using memory foam or latex somewhere in there. I currently lack a measuring device for measuring the width difference between my shoulders and midsection. Considering my body type, I believe that this should be enough to fill in any gaps.
No-flip or two-side?: Not sure! For differential construction, I believe I can add/replace/modify the comfort layers on my own above a base mattress. If flipping helps the durability of the inner-springs (and isn't just a method for distributing the wear on the comfort layers), then I guess I would want a two-sided mattress; I'd flip it however frequently is needed and would just move the comfort layers to the new side. When/if the comfort layers wear down, I would replace them.
Boxspring: No idea if the type of boxspring makes a difference; I imagine they are all fairly similar.
Expected Lifetime: I would like this mattress to last until I get my doctorate and move away (~5 years).
Budget: $1000, which should hopefully include the price of the mattress, boxspring, delivery, and the frame. Is this realistic?

Where To Buy

I'm looking for nearby businesses that sell decent mattresses (outside of the local Sleepy's store). I live in Amherst, MA. I will accept non-nearby businesses so long as they can affordably ship to me; with a differential construction, I should be able to pick up a core mattress and still end up with a decent result even if I cannot try it out first.

From searching this forum, I found two nearby businesses.

Fly By Night
Website: www.flybynight.com
Location: Northampton, MA

Their site only lists a handful of inner-spring models. They have one innerspring mattress listed on their site that may meet my needs.

Buckingham Plush Mattress
www.flybynight.com/Buckingham-Plush-Innerspring-Mattress_p_1765.html#

My thoughts:
  • It mentions that the coil type is "800 14 1/2 gauge steel coils with steel edge support". I'm not sure how this translates into the coil types listed on your site.
  • They do not specify enough detail on the comfort layers. Polyester fiber + cotton + some type of foam. I have a feeling that this may not be soft enough for my body type.
  • I can't tell if the comfort layers are 'baked in', or if I can remove/replace them.

They might probably be able to answer my questions if I call, but I want to see your thoughts.

They also have a cheaper no-flip firm mattress, although I would need to add extra comfort layers. Also, I do not know if the fact that it is 'no-flip' means that it will have trouble lasting for 5 years:

www.flybynight.com/Aristocrat-Firm-Innerspring-Mattress_p_1764.html#


Yankee Mattress Factory
Website: yankeemattressfactory.com/
Location: Springfield, MA, but they have a showroom in nearby Northampton!

Their website isn't terribly informative (seems like an 'old school' business, which is probably good!). I'll have to contact them sometime.

My Questions to You

Since this is such a long post, I figured I should consolidate my questions to you to make this easier for you and so that I don't waste your time further!

  • Any thoughts on the mattress parameters that I have specified? Any comments/suggestions? Am I overly limiting myself?
  • Tell me straight: Am I going to be able to get a mattress/boxspring/frame+delivery that meets my requirements for $1000, or should I heavily adjust my expectations?
  • For differential construction, is it typical/expected to purchase the mattress and comfort layers from different businesses? If so, most mattresses already have some limited form of comfort layer built-in; how does that interplay with extra comfort layers, or should I be looking for a mattress that allows me to remove and replace whatever comfort layer is included?
  • Any thoughts on the two mattresses I posted from the Fly By Night website?
  • Do you know of any other businesses that I should check out?
  • Any other thoughts/advice?

Thank you in advance, and thanks again for providing me with the knowledge needed to smartly shop for a decent mattress!

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Last edit: by jvilk.

Re: Need a Mattress in Amherst, MA 11 Apr 2012 03:07 #2

  • phoenix
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Hi jvilk,

Thanks for the kind comments :) I can see you've done some reading.


Yankee Mattress Factory

They are a factory direct and they make a wide range of innerspring and innerspring hybrid mattresses. They do make a latex/innerspring hybrid although it may be higher than your budget and they also have a microcoil comfort layer model. When I talked with Nick the owner he told me they use very high quality polyfoams in their mattress (even in the quilting layers) ranging up to 2.6 lbs which means that they use much more durable materials than the norm even in their lower priced mattresses. They would certainly be the first place I would visit and you are fortunate they are so close by. NOTE ADDED: They are also now a member of this site.

Flybynight

While I really like the Berkeley Ergonomics at Flybynight ... I'm not as sure about the two you mentioned but they are certainly "interesting".

The Buckingham Plush and the Aristocrat firm both use pocket coils as their innerspring (encased coils and marshall coils are other words for the same thing) which would be more conforming but softer than the other types of coils you mentioned and both use layers of foam and fiber on top that are unknown and fairly thick.

In the case of the Buckingham Plush I would definitely want to know what was in the upper layers of this mattress ...

It has 4" in the quilting with a combination of synthetic fibers and cotton and also has a super soft foam of an unknown thickness and density and under this it has another 2" of super soft support foam of an unknown density. That's a fair bit of soft unknown foam over a fairly soft innerspring along with any fiber that is on top. Overall my thoughts would depend on knowing exactly what was in it and the density of the foams and the details of the fiber in the quilting. The good news here is that being two sided it will help to even out any compression and wear of any fibers and extend the life of any lower density foams.

The Aristocrat has ...

Two 2" pieces of a blend of polyester, wool, and silk and then has layers of support foam where I would want to know the thickness and density as well. This one may be more durable but firmer than the first but again this would depend on the specific details of each one.

These would both be finished mattresses and none of the layers would be removable. Both of them would be possibilities but I would want to have more specifics of the materials in each one.

Since both of them are in Northampton ... I would certainly visit them both ... Yankee because the quality and value is very good and Fly By Night because they also carry some high quality mattresses with good value.

The only other place I would consider including in your research is one other local manufacturer that is also reasonably near you.

www.sigmamattressfactory.com/Home.html They also make a complete range of mattresses using all types of materials. While I know you aren't looking in this direction ... for those who may read this thread who are ... they also make an all latex mattress even though it isn't listed on their site. They will also do custom builds and would also be well worth a phone call or a visit.

I certainly wouldn't spend much time anywhere other than these three.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

Re: Need a Mattress in Amherst, MA 11 Apr 2012 11:58 #3

  • jvilk
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Thanks for your thorough (as usual!) response! I'll try to visit the two places in Northampton this week, and will report back with what I learn. :)

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Re: Need a Mattress in Amherst, MA 17 Apr 2012 00:07 #4

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I've found my mattress!

I stopped by Yankee Mattress Factory today, and was very impressed! They specify the density of the polyfoam used in their mattresses right on the card posted to each mattress, as well as the type of coil. The salesman was knowledgeable about their products (down to the gauge of wire used in the coils) and was able to guide me through the available models in my price range.

I tried three models. I did not take nearly as many notes as I intended, since the choice became quite simple once I had all the facts. All of these are no-flip mattresses.

The first model had offset coils, if I remember correctly. It also had ~3" of 1.8 lb/cu. ft HD polyfoam, which was somehow stitched into the mattress (so it could not be separated or replaced independent of the coils). Very comfortable! I took my time evaluating it on my back and side for ~5/10 mins, and was happy to feel that I would be able to comfortably sleep on my side on this mattress.

The second model was similar (~3" of 1.8 lb/cu. ft HD polyfoam for comfort layer), but it used pocket coils, and the comfort layers could be replaced independent of the coils. HUGE DIFFERENCE in comfort. I could really feel the extra 'give' that the pocket coils supplied; my spine seemed to give a sigh of relief. This model costs $100 more than the first.

The third model was identical to the second model, but it used ~1-3/4" of 1.8 HD polyfoam and ~2" of 1.9 HD polyfoam (if I remember correctly). I did not see much of an advantage over the second model (other than the slightly bolstered durability), considering that it was more expensive. This model costs $100 more than the second.

I ended up purchasing the second model -- a 'Springvale'. I recognize that the HD polyfoam may not be the best choice from a durability standpoint (since the mattress guide recommends using it in combination with a denser polyfoam), but I'm not too worried about it. If the comfort layers sink more than 2", then I can get a replacement under the warranty. I plan to rotate the mattress every 2-3 months. If I am bothered with degradation that is not covered by the warranty, then I can spend some money to replace the layers through Yankee Mattress Factory without replacing the entire bed. They are very up-front about the body impressions being normal and expected, so I know what I am getting into.

I ended up spending a total of $877.58, which covers:
  • Queen 'Springvale' mattress + boxspring: $699
  • Queen Frame: $79.95
  • Tax: $48.68
  • Delivery + removal of my old mattress+boxspring: $49.95

Also, since business is a bit slow this week, they will be able to build everything tomorrow and ship it to me on Thursday. Overall, a very good deal.

Due to time constraints, I was unable to visit Fly By Night. I guess those models will remain a mystery.

Thanks for everything, Phoenix! I'll check in sometime later to let you know how the mattress is holding up. Also, I let the salesman know that you directed me to their store; he had never heard of the site. It would be cool to get them as one of your listed partners.

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Last edit: by jvilk.

Re: Need a Mattress in Amherst, MA 17 Apr 2012 02:33 #5

  • phoenix
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Hi jvilk,

Congratulations on your new mattress :)

The types of polyfoam they are using while they may not be as durable as latex are much more durable than the "typical" models you would find in a chain store even at significantly higher prices than what you paid and as you mentioned in combination with good pocket coils can be really comfortable.

As you also mentioned ... another advantage is that if they do soften to a point that you may need to make adjustments you can do this without having to get a whole new mattress.

I think you made a great choice ... and as always it's nice to see someone else discover the value of some of the better local manufacturers (which they are). One more for the "good guys" :)

Thanks for mentioning the site as well! I had talked with them before but it wasn't a long conversation and may have been someone other than the salesperson you were dealing with. They certainly fit the profile of the type of manufacturers that I really like.

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
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