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France/Swiss retailers, or shipping abroad 09 Aug 2015 07:49 #1

Hi all,

Thanks a lot to Phoenix and others for this fantastic site. It's taken me MANY hours, but I've read through all the wonderful info linked at the top of the website. After so many years of misinformation, I finally feel (starting to be) able to make an educated mattress purchase.

I'm a back sleeper, but also like to read sometimes on my stomach or side (secondary priority). I prefer firm but not hard mattresses, sleeping on top of (dislike sinking "in") the mattress, bouncy/resilient, and cool since I sleep hot. I'm male, about 5'6" and 150 pounds.

Given these, I'm thinking about a hybrid latex mattress with latex (preferably Talalay) comfort layers, and core layers of good-quality springs or HR/HD polyfoam. Wool quilting or maybe pad could be an option. I would probably use cotton sheets to cool.

Based on the forum threads, if I were (still) in the States, I'd probably try Brooklyn Bedding's BestMattressEver either in firm or medium. It seems to have excellent quality & value, and to be very well-reviewed with a great trial period and customer service.

The major complication is I am living in France for the next 5 years or so. Are there any retailers and/or manufacturers, e.g. affiliates of those here or otherwise trustworthy with the customer's best interests at heart, in France or Switzerland that are recommended by Mattress Underground? Online purchases of a known high-quality manufacturer (which?) could also be an option.

Otherwise the other possibility to consider would be to get a BB (or other) mattress and ship it abroad. I'm not sure how much this would cost, but I would be willing to do it if it's the only way to guarantee a mattress of sufficient quality & value. I tend to buy a lot of well-reviewed U.S. products and ship it over here for that reason. Also being able to comparison shop in the States often lets me buy cheaper, offsetting the shipping cost, though usually this is for comparatively lighter items like electronics etc.

My main concern is that I've read that folks who didn't unwrap their compressed mattress immediately had problems with the mattress not fully expanding (which seems a general issue with BB), so I'm worried the 1-2 weeks of compression while shipping might be fatal. Also I guess it would rule out any possibility of return since it probably wouldn't be cost effective to ship it back to the U.S. (and re-ship replacement), not to mention the difficulty of packaging it up first.

Any suggestions on the best approach to take? The irony is this new education has ruled out the possibility of just picking out a mattress from a big-box furniture store here, as I would have done in the past :)

Thanks a lot!

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France/Swiss retailers, or shipping abroad 09 Aug 2015 10:26 #2

Hi efg,

Welcome to the Mattress Forum! :)

The major complication is I am living in France for the next 5 years or so. Are there any retailers and/or manufacturers, e.g. affiliates of those here or otherwise trustworthy with the customer's best interests at heart, in France or Switzerland that are recommended by Mattress Underground? Online purchases of a known high-quality manufacturer (which?) could also be an option


I personally know little to nothing about the Swiss or French market and the language barrier, distance, and different time zones along with my own time limitations makes research there much more difficult but the same basic information, steps, and guidelines in the mattress shopping tutorial would be the same in any country.

Just like in North America ... I would focus more on materials and components than on brand names, avoid larger mainstream manufacturers or chain stores, and focus more on researching and finding smaller local or regional manufacturers that sell factory direct (or online) or through better stores that are more knowledgeable, experienced, transparent, and informed. They tend to be more responsive to their local reputation and customers' needs than they are to higher profit margins along a longer supply chain, advertise less, and tend to use higher quality and more durable materials in their mattresses at each price point. They tend to "educate" their customers rather than simply try to "sell" them whatever they are willing to buy.

The only caveat is that in North America the foam density guidelines for polyfoam and memory foam that I would normally suggest are expressed in lbs/sq ft while in Europe they are often expressed in kg/sq meter so you can use the online density converter here to "translate" them. With latex it would be the same process of finding out the type and blend of the latex so you can make more meaningful comparisons with other mattresses.

The transparency of the retailers or manufacturers you are dealing with is always one of the most important criteria I look for so you can find out all the layers and components in a mattress and identify any lower quality materials or "weak links" that are in any mattress you are considering (see this article ).

The same factors that are involved in the value of a mattress purchase in North America would also apply to any other country as well. The most important part of value is always comfort and PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) which is all about how well you will sleep on a mattress. Second is the quality and durability of the materials in the mattress which is all about how long you will sleep well. Third is how the mattress compares to your other finalists based on all the other parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you. There is more about the most important parts of the value of a mattress purchase in post #13 here .

While finding these can be somewhat of a challenge because they are often not as visible through the "noise" of advertising done by larger manufacturers and retailers ... it is usually well worth the effort.

Otherwise the other possibility to consider would be to get a BB (or other) mattress and ship it abroad. I'm not sure how much this would cost, but I would be willing to do it if it's the only way to guarantee a mattress of sufficient quality & value. I tend to buy a lot of well-reviewed U.S. products and ship it over here for that reason. Also being able to comparison shop in the States often lets me buy cheaper, offsetting the shipping cost, though usually this is for comparatively lighter items like electronics etc.

My main concern is that I've read that folks who didn't unwrap their compressed mattress immediately had problems with the mattress not fully expanding (which seems a general issue with BB), so I'm worried the 1-2 weeks of compression while shipping might be fatal. Also I guess it would rule out any possibility of return since it probably wouldn't be cost effective to ship it back to the U.S. (and re-ship replacement), not to mention the difficulty of packaging it up first.


There would be no problem with compressing a mattress that uses good quality materials for a few weeks during shipping to Europe. BB did have some issues with a small number of their mattresses not expanding to full size but this wasn't related to the time it was compressed and was related to the gluing and compression process itself and only applied to a very small percentage of their mattress that were made over a short period of time. It has also been resolved.

I don't know which of the members are able to ship directly to Europe so you would need to email them and ask. You could also use a re-shipper but I don't know which ones would be reliable or the costs involved.

There is more about the different ways to choose a suitable mattress (either locally or online) that is the best "match" for you in terms of PPP in post #2 here that can help you assess and minimize the risks of making a choice that doesn't turn out as well as you hoped for once you actually sleep on your mattress. The most significant disadvantage of shipping a mattress to Europe is be that you would effectively lose the ability to exchange or return the mattress (or individual layers in a component mattress) just in case the choice you make doesn't turn out as well as you hoped for and whether this would be a good idea would depend on your confidence in the suitability of the mattress, your risk tolerance, and on how it compares to the other local and online choices that are available to you that wouldn't involve shipping overseas.

You would certainly have some good quality/value choices available to you in both countries but it may take a little bit of research to find them.

I'm looking forward to finding out what you end up deciding ... and of course any comments or questions that I can help with along the way. I also hope you have the chance to let us know about some of your discoveries and of course if any of the members here have more knowledge of mattresses or manufacturers or any better choices that are available in France or Switzerland I'd welcome their input as well.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by phoenix.

France/Swiss retailers, or shipping abroad 09 Aug 2015 14:34 #3

Hi Phoenix,

Thanks a lot for the quick and detailed reply.

Definitely all the things you say are true. A major complication, besides the language and time issues you mention, is that the online resources here are much lower. Much of France & Switzerland consists of rural areas, and so for example it's much more difficult to find information online. Also while some of the products can be of high quality (food, wine, clothes, etc in France; watches, chocolate, etc in Switzerland), others can be inferior.. Namely while there are no doubt high-quality boutiques, unfortunately there are also many businesses (small and large) whose products are simply lower quality -- unfortunately discovered with experience. So it becomes crucial to discern them, which is not so easy particularly without internet resources. And of course, there are also big box stores here with their fake "50% off" sales.

For shipping a U.S. product, I'll try to inquire about the international shipping costs. I thought I had read a thread by someone who didn't unpack their BB mattress for a week (due to frame not arriving yet), and then it did not fully uncoil so BB had to replace it. Some unexpected issue like that (which normally would not be a big deal since easily exchanged), and not the shipping cost itself which is a known quantity, is probably my biggest concern with this approach. If I did go with BB, would you recommend firm or medium based on my preferences? I really hate soft mattresses, and I read a couple posts where folks with firm preferences felt their medium was too soft.

Are there any well-known, good-value global manufacturers that you or others would recommend? This might be the best option for me, then I could order online or at least in confidence. German or Italian (anything in EU) would also work well. Major brands like Sealy, Tempurpedic, etc are also sold here but as you emphasize of course they are poor value. However given the cost of international shipping, maybe buying these here would equalize the field as long as I could be sure what product I'm getting. There is also IKEA but the quality is very low.

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France/Swiss retailers, or shipping abroad 09 Aug 2015 15:12 #4

Hi efg,

Namely while there are no doubt high-quality boutiques, unfortunately there are also many businesses (small and large) whose products are simply lower quality -- unfortunately discovered with experience.


The simplest way to "bypass" any mattresses that contain lower quality materials that doesn't require experience and regardless of the size of the manufacturer is to make sure you only deal with retailers or manufacturers that are completely transparent about the type and quality/durability of the materials and components in their mattresses and to just avoid the rest.

I thought I had read a thread by someone who didn't unpack their BB mattress for a week (due to frame not arriving yet), and then it did not fully uncoil so BB had to replace it.


This would have been one of the few that were affected by the production issue I mentioned which they corrected as soon as they discovered it ... not because of how long it was compressed.

If I did go with BB, would you recommend firm or medium based on my preferences? I really hate soft mattresses, and I read a couple posts where folks with firm preferences felt their medium was too soft.


You may have seen this already but there is some good information about their firmness choices on their page here that can help you decide between their different firmness options. If you are still undecided and you can't test a mattress in person then the most reliable source of guidance is always a more detailed conversation (either on the phone or with their chat system) with a knowledgeable and experienced retailer or manufacturer that has your best interests at heart (such as Brooklyn Bedding) who can help "talk you through" the specifics of their mattress and the options they have available that may be the best "match" for you based on the information you provide them, any local testing you have done or mattresses you have slept well on and liked that they are familiar with, any special considerations you may have, and the "averages" of other customers that are similar to you. They will know more about "matching" their specific mattress designs or firmness options to different body types, sleeping positions, and preferences or even to other mattresses that they are familiar with than anyone else.

Are there any well-known, good-value global manufacturers that you or others would recommend? This might be the best option for me, then I could order online or at least in confidence. German or Italian (anything in EU) would also work well. Major brands like Sealy, Tempurpedic, etc are also sold here but as you emphasize of course they are poor value. However given the cost of international shipping, maybe buying these here would equalize the field as long as I could be sure what product I'm getting. There is also IKEA but the quality is very low.


Unfortunately it's not possible to make specific suggestions or recommendations for someone else either for a mattress, manufacturers/retailers, or a combination of materials or type of mattress because the first "rule" of mattress shopping is to always remember that you are the only one that can feel what you feel on a mattress. There are too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved that are unique to each person to use a formula or for anyone to be able to predict or make a specific suggestion or recommendation about which mattress or combination of materials and components or which type of mattress would be the best "match" for either or both of you in terms of "comfort" or PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) or how a mattress will "feel" to you based on specs (either yours or a mattress) or "theory at a distance" that can possibly be more accurate than your own careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in step 4 of the tutorial) or your own personal sleeping experience (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here ).

I can certainly help you to narrow down your options, help you focus on better quality/value choices that are available to you either locally or online, help you identify any lower quality materials or weak links in a mattress you may be considering, act as a fact check, answer any specific questions you may have along the way that I am able to help with, and help with "how" to choose but only you can decide which specific mattress is the best match for you based on all the parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you.

I would also be very cautious about brand shopping because you are buying a specific mattress not the brand and all manufacturers have access to the same or similar components and materials. Most of the more heavily advertised and most commonly available brands that you would probably recognize are the ones I would tend to avoid anyway and many of the better manufacturers are smaller and are only available locally or regionally (or online). The name of the manufacturer on the label also won't tell you anything about whether a specific mattress would be a suitable choice for you in terms of PPP or whether there are any lower quality materials or weak links in the design that would affect the durability and useful life of the mattress. There is more about the risks of brand shopping in post #5 here and post #12 here . Outside of making sure that a mattress is a good match for you in terms of PPP (or that you have good options after a purchase if it isn't or if you aren't sure) ... in terms of assessing the quality and durability of a mattress I would focus much more on the type and quality/durability of the materials inside a mattress than I would on the name of the manufacturer on the label (see the quality/durability guidelines in post #4 here )

Some of the mattresses at Ikea use good quality and durable materials that would be worth considering and some of them use lower quality and less durable materials that I would avoid.

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum

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Last edit: by phoenix.

France/Swiss retailers, or shipping abroad 27 Aug 2015 11:30 #5

Hi Phoenix,

After a lot of research, I’ve come up with the list of options at the bottom (hyperlinked in English where available; foreign websites are translated automatically by Google Chrome if you have it). They are approximately ordered by price for 160x200 cm, which is roughly a queen size here.

All have 100% latex cores of 18-20 cm (7-8 in), plus 2-4 cm (1-2 in) of padding/cover. Most are 100% natural latex, with the exceptions of (a) and (f). I’m not actually sure why those two are not all natural since they’re more expensive than lower models, maybe since they’re thicker versions of (b) and (g) respectively so are designed to be stiffer for heavier folks. I assume all are dunlop since not stated. I believe Sapsa is continuous pour but I don’t know about the rest.

The candidates basically fall in three price ranges:
- High — (a), (b): Pirelli is the most expensive presumably due to the brand name, as it's viewed as the top mainstream latex brand in Italy. Cost is 1800-2100 Euros.
- Medium — (c), (d), (e): Sapsa, Deloran, and Permaflex are also brand names, with Sapsa I believe being the latex supplier for Pirelli (but has licensed the Pirelli name, so I believe is less well known by comparison). Cost is 1320-1400 Euros.
- Low — (f), (g): “Effeto Casa” is a house brand of “Beds R Us / Offerte Materassi”, an Italian vendor that also sells the other models I'm considering. Thus it’s cheapest at 800-865 Euros.

I visited my local furniture stores and they had in-house versions of Pirelli, but different models so I couldn’t test or compare them in any meaningful way. This brand was the most expensive of the makes in the store. Unfortunately they didn’t have any of the other brands listed. This probably means I'll have to buy online without testing (risky, I realize).

All else the same, I prefer natural latex which I believe has a better bounce, so Pirelli (a) and Effeto Casa (f) are deprecated for now. Meanwhile Deloran and Permaflex are similar in cost and features to Sapsa, so might as well go with the best-known (and hopefully highest quality) brand name.

Thus the ones I’m leaning most towards are, in approximate descending order:
g) Effetto Casa 100% Natural (18+2 cm): 800 Euros
c) Sapsa Biomaterasso (18+4 cm): 1320 Euros
b) Pirelli PN18 (18+4 cm): 1800 Euros

All three have similar gross features, so the Effeto Casa seems to have the best bang for the buck. Sapsa also seems a good value if it is continuous pour Dunlop (not sure if Effeto Casa is), and if the brand brings better build quality, reliability, features, and possible resale value (in say 5 years). It does have a couple extra features, such as being double-sided with wool for winter, and cotton for summer; Effeto Casa seems to be one-sided cotton. Also Sapsa may be less risky given that I’ll likely have to buy sight unseen, and returns would be nearly impossible. The Pirelli is much more expensive than Sapsa which doesn’t seem to have any justified reason, unless it uses higher quality latex. It seems unlikely the build quality, features, etc are much higher than Sapsa, since Sapsa was a past (and maybe still present) manufacturer.

Would you agree with the above analysis, or are there any obvious features, caveats, nuances, etc that I’m missing? Unless you think it's likely Pirelli really is much higher quality (in which case I would be very interested in considering it), then I would try to decide between Effeto Casa and Sapsa. Is there one you think would make more sense to buy? The cost difference is not a showstopper as I expect to amortize over many years of usage. In fact, given how much time one spends sleeping, I’d be happy to pay more just so long as I get additional benefit from a better product. Unfortunately I may have to buy without trying due to my circumstances.

Any thoughts you have would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks a lot,
E.



a) Pirelli PL20 (20+4 cm), not 100% natural: 2110 Euros
Vendor (Italian): www.offertematerassi.it/prodotti/materassi/materassi-in-lattice/materasso-pirelli-pl20-detail.html
Manufacturer (Italian): www.pirellibedding.it/materasso-riposo/materasso-pl20-0000733.html

b) Pirelli PN18 (18+4 cm): 1800 Euros
Vendor (English): www.bedsrus.eu/en/products/details/1482/17/mattresses/latex-mattresses/pirelli-pn18-100-natural-latex-mattress.html
Manufacturer (Italian): www.pirellibedding.it/materasso-riposo/materasso-pn18-0001723.html

c) Sapsa Biomaterasso (18+4 cm): 1320 Euros
Vendor (English): www.bedsrus.eu/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&Itemid=58&category_id=56&product_id=1319

d) Deloran Delice (18+2 cm): 1400 Euros
Vendor (English): www.bedsrus.eu/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&Itemid=58&category_id=56&product_id=1354
Manufacturer (Italian): www.dorelan.it/materasso/delice-sfoderabile/

e) Permaflex Premium (18+2 cm): 1400 Euros
Vendor (English): www.bedsrus.eu/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&Itemid=58&category_id=56&product_id=1343
Manufacturer (English): www.permaflex.it/en/latex-range/premium-2.html

f) Effetto Casa Best (20+2 cm), not 100% natural: 865 Euros
Manufacturer/vendor (Italian): www.offertematerassi.it/prodotti/materassi/materassi-in-lattice/effetto-casa-the-best-lattice-100-7-zone-h-22-cm-detail.html?showall=1

g) Effetto Casa 100% Natural (18+2 cm): 800 Euros
Manufacturer/vendor (English): www.bedsrus.eu/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&Itemid=58&category_id=56&product_id=1313

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Last edit: by efg.

France/Swiss retailers, or shipping abroad 27 Aug 2015 11:43 #6

I forgot to add that I could also consider IKEA. I see a natural latex mattress model Morgongava (I believe models are globally available):
www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50272121/
but I'm not sure if it's 100% latex. It costs about 800 Euros here. There are other models not listed as "natural latex" that are cheaper.

The major benefit to IKEA is I might be able to test it out.

E.

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Last edit: by efg.

France/Swiss retailers, or shipping abroad 27 Aug 2015 14:44 #7

Hi efg,

I would use the information in the previous posts I linked about the risks involved in all different ways to choose a mattress and about the most important parts of the "value" of a mattress purchase" to help you decide on which of the mattresses you are considering would be "best for you" in terms of comfort and PPP (which is all about how well you will sleep on a mattress), quality and durability (which is all about how long you will sleep well on a mattress), and overall "value" of a mattress purchase (which is all about how your finalists compare to each other based on all the other parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you).

While I can't speak to anything you can "feel" or on whether a mattress will be a good match for you in terms of PPP (which is the most important part of the "value" of a mattress purchase) because there are too many unknowns and variables involved and the only way to know this would be based on your own careful testing or personal experience ... I can certainly make some comments about the quality and durability of the materials in a mattress you are considering.

If you can "translate" the European specs into specs that are used in North America and then list the specifications of all the materials and components of any mattress you are considering from top to bottom (see this article) and post them on the forum I'd certainly be happy to make some comments about them and help you identify any lower quality materials or weak links in the mattresses you listed.

If you aren't able to translate them into North American specifications then if you can list the specifications that you have available ton the forum hen time permitting I'll try and "translate" them for you so I can make some comments about each of them that may be helpful.

I would also keep in mind that in terms of durability a mattress is only as good as the type and quality of the materials inside it regardless of the name of the manufacturer on the label and I certainly wouldn't use prices as a reliable indicator of the quality or "value" of a mattress purchase because you will generally find that there can be a wide range of prices for very similar mattresses depending on the many variables that can affect pricing with any particular manufacturer or retailer (see post #14 here ).

The Ikea Morgongava in North America uses a blend of 85% natural rubber and 15% synthetic rubber which is a good quality material and there are no lower quality materials or weak links in the mattress so it would be well worth considering but of course you would still need to do some careful testing to make sure that it's a good "match" for you in terms of PPP and that it compares well to the other finalists you are considering in terms of suitability, durability, and value. A forum search on " morgongava " (you can just click the link) will bring up more comments and feedback about it as well.

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum

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Last edit: by phoenix.
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