Which Mattress?

Parent Q&A

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  • Twin XL bed frame, mattress

    (3 replies)

    Hi all,

    My tall teen is outgrowing his twin bed. For reasons of space and cost we are probably limited to replacing it with an XL one. The frame can be minimal but I’d like a decent and chemical-free mattress. IKEA does not carry this size. Does anyone know a good source for this combination?


    Try Famous Foam Factory on San Pablo at Channing — we got an organic XL twin mattress (and frame) for our teen a few years ago here. 

    Did you happen to try Macy’s? I had this exact same issue, and even though I ended up getting a Queen (very basic frame), I was very happy with their selection and prices. In fact, that mattress is way more comfortable than mine! I just don’t remember if they have the twin XL, but worth a look. 

    We bought our mattresses at Nest Bedding in Albany and can recommend them. They’re not cheap, but they were the most affordable chemical-free mattress we were able to find at the time.

  • New mattress

    (5 replies)

    After about 15 years of sleeping on our Simmons Beauty Rest extra firm queen size mattress and box springs my wife and I are ready for a new set. We realize there are many options now which were not available at the time of the original purchase so we would very much appreciate any ideas and/or recommendations of choices people have made in the past several years for new bedding with which they are happy-or perhaps discontent. There is an abundance of stores which sell a variety of mattress options so we would be grateful for some advice on which brands to buy (or not to buy) as well as the better stores to visit. It is a major purchase and we would like to make sure as possible we are buying a quality product from a reputable store. Many thanks for your guidance.

    I bought a Beautyrest comfort firm a few months ago.  From Macy's, on sale.  There are surely better and worse mattresses but I like it.

    I just replaced my 18-year-old Beautyrest mattress with another Beautyrest.  I have found the brand to be solid, and it kept me cool and comfy through my years of perimenopause :) so I'm a fan. You can get Beautyrest lots of places. I've been going to Mancini's in Berkeley on Ashby near the freeway when I need a mattress. I bought both my Beautyrest mattresses there, as well as a couple of kids' bed mattresses. Mancini's has a big selection of all the major brands, a back room with floor models at reduced prices, and they also have their own line of inexpensive mattresses. It's a good place to browse and try out different mattresses at your own speed, and narrow down what you want. They do not pester you or follow you around, but when you ask for help, they are knowledgeable. Free delivery and set-up, including taking away your old mattress. 

    We just purchased an Avocado Green mattress with a 1 year trial period (they just increased it). They are pricey but the first few weeks have been great for us (back and side sleepers, average height). Additionally, for a fee they deliver to your house and take your old mattress away. It was a very easy process.

    We really like our European Sleepworks mattress.  We've had it for about six years and have another in the guest room that we've had for much longer - 15 years +.  I slept on it last night because my husband was snoring so I can vouch that it's still comfy.

    We absolutely swear by European Sleepworks. It's a bit of an investment...but one spends a LOT of time in bed! We have had one for 5 years and got our second (upgraded to a king) that we love. My parents have had one for 15 years, and my dad is a big guy, and the mattress is still practically good as new. Huge fan.

  • Alternative to air mattress?

    (11 replies)

    Has anyone found a good alternative to an air mattress, for a temporary simple/spartan guest bed? Something like a futon (the thinner kind that folds up), or another type of folding mat? Air mattresses don’t work for my mom due to asthma/chemical smells. She’s intrepid and willing to sleep on the couch or in a sleeping bag, but I wish I could provide something a bit more comfortable (that we can still fold away and store--we have no room for a permanent bed). If you have a solution that you like, please let me know what it is and where you got it! Thanks in advance!

    Yes! I used this for months to sleep in my daughter’s room. It folds up for easy storage and there is a cover sold separately. It comes in different sizes. Comfortable and no smell. 

    Milliard 6-Inch Memory Foam Tri-fold Mattress with Ultra Soft Removable Cover with Non-Slip Bottom - Full https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00W67PEY2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_5F8MCbH0M41EF

    I have two of these for guests/car camping: Magshion Sleeper Chair Folding Foam Bed. Super comfortable to sleep on, not too comfortable as a chair, and they do take up some space as chairs or for storing, like they will take up a whole regular closet. Google it and you will find lots of different pricing.

    I've found those tri-fold foam mattress pretty comfortable. Even more comfortable though has been using a camp cot with either a foam pad on it or a camping sleeping pad - the type you get at REI and are only an inch thick. Some are self-inflating w/ air but don't have the chemical smell like the big air mattresses. Here are hyper links to what I'm talking about (I would off gas anything new outside for a while):

    tri-fold foam pad

    Colman camping cot (got ours at Big 5)

    REI camping sleep pads

    I find that with air circulating under the cot it can get cold without a pad and/or a thick blanket underneath. 

    We use a cushion mat that is foldable for guests. For extra padding, she can use a sleeping bag on top of it.
    I got something like this one at Costco, but I don't know if Costco carries them at this time.
    Hope it works out for you and your mom!

    I have the Milliard Memory Foam Tri-fold Mattress that I bought on Amazon. I think it very affordable and durable. Everyone who has used it says it’s quite comfortable. We bought the queen size, and the sheets fit fine around it.

    I've had something for years that does what you want but don't know what it's called. It's made of three segments of foam covered by fabric, one much smaller than the other two. When open, it's roughly the length of a twin bed with a slightly higher area at one end (the third segment, not large enough for a pillow though). When folded along two folds, it becomes a cushion-y chair with a little back. I store it on top of some filing cabinets upside down.

    We have a thick 3 inch foam mattress pad that we take off our bed sometimes when guests want to sleep on the floor. It’s surprisingly comfortable, especially on top of our plush carpet. 

    We have a foam mattress, probably 4-5" thickness, that is tri-fold. We got it from the Comfort Zone store on Gilman St near the freeway, but they're probably available elsewhere too. It folds away easily into the back of a closet when not in use. You can use it directly on the floor/carpet, or perhaps on a foldable futon/frame. You might also want to look into Japanese style tatami mats. 

    The Famous Foam Factory on San Pablo Ave just north of Ashby has very high quality foam mattresses, for a reasonable price, that fold up into thirds making them reasonably storable. I store one under another bed and it makes a great guest bed.

  • European Sleep Works - Yay or Nay?

    (9 replies)

    Considering purchasing a mattress from European Sleep Works in Berkeley...  and would love your thoughts or feedback based on personal experience.  

    Specifically curious to know if you love it and if so why... or if you have had any issues or complaints, what were they.

    Thanks, oyveyenough [at] gmail.com

    Bought mine there three years ago. My partner was reluctant to spend that much on a mattress but has since changed his mind. We're pleased. (Of course, that was in comparison to a smaller, 15 y/o mattress that had been moved many times...)

    We're on our second one - we liked the first one so well that we went ahead and replaced it (@ around 18 years later) with another one.

    I've been a loyal customer for over ten years. We've now replaced all mattresses in our house with European Sleepworks. They are just the most comfortable and longest-lasting mattresses I've encountered. No sagging after a few years. Our oldest one (now in our guest room but used nightly for ten years) is twelve years old and still in great shape. I also splurged for the oxygen pillow for myself and have found it well worth it. Neck pain gone. 

    We bought our king bed there about 5 years ago and LOVE it. We weRe very interested in no chemicals and a locally made option. They checked both boxes. We had a great experience in the store choosing firmness and materials, we even ended up buying a very beautiful headboard made in sacramento from them as well. We always joke that vacation has lost some of its luster because the beds can never compare to our ESW bed!

    We've had ours for almost 15 years and it is holding up well. I was convinced by their sales pitch that having the coils completely separated from each other allows for the most flexibility and that allows your spine to align. I am a wide hipped side sleeper and I used to have terrible lower back problems and it has helped a lot. It was so long ago, I can't remember exactly what we got, I know that we got soft top coils and something firmer on bottom. If I did it again, I might get both layers soft. We also were on the road to becoming parents and althought temperpedic and foam things were of some interest, I was freaked out by sleeping on a bag of chemicals. I started having neck problems a few years ago and bought one of their pillows, which has also been great. I have no complaints and highly recommend, although there are more options now than when we bought ours.

    I bought the Alpine style bed from European Sleep Works about 15 years ago and I still love it! There has been no sagging anywhere on the bed which was a big concern for me because my husband weighs about 225 and I only weigh in at 120. He would create a sink hole in our previous bed which was a high end Simmons Beauty Rest. It's still super comfortable after 15 years but I sometimes think of replacing it with the exact model because it has become stained and I there is no easy way to clean it. BTW - I'm mostly a stomach sleeper and he is a side sleeper. Everything European Sleep Works claims on their website rings true to me.

    Hi - I have had one of the more expensive ones in a firm choice (Nordic II?) for about 15 years.  For the first 5 years I said a little prayer of gratitude to the mattress every single night when I got into bed, it was so heavenly.  Just amazing. For the next 5-6 years I was totally happy with it.  Starting around year 11-12 it started feeling a bit too firm. I got a new oxygen pillow (the pillow I got with the bed was too flat by then).  I got a memory foam mattress topper, which is ok.  The bed still feels really nice when I get in, I just find I need more and more support to side sleep from my pillow as my shoulder can't sink in as well as it used to.  By the way, it's on a standard futon frame, not one of their naturally sprung frames, which would make it feel less firm.  All in all it's been great, but it is expensive. I appreciate not having as much toxic off-gassing as a standard mattress, though it does use some foam, it claims to be natural latex.

    We still love our European Sleepworks bed. We bought the mid-range one, and only the mattress. We still use our old futon slats under the mattress. I can't remember when exactly we bought the bed--probably 8-10 years ago. I still find it very comfortable.

    We've had a bed from European Sleep Works for almost 20 years and love it! We did have to buy a new topper at one point but we still have the original mattress and frame and all are in excellent shape.

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Mattress for two kinds of sleepers

Feb 2014

My partner and I need to get a new mattress but we have very different tastes in mattress comfort. He loves pillow tops; the softer the better. I absolutely can't sleep on them and have massive back pain when I try - preferring quite firm mattresses. I also have a lot of insomnia and have heard fantastic things about the European Sleepworks mattresses but am unsure if they're worth the money or if he could handle them. Has anyone else dealt with this? Whats the answer? Sleep number beds? I'm not convinced they'd be great for either of us, but is there any other option? Anyone make a mattress pad that's pillow top on one side and nothing on the other? trying to make this relationship work!

I was skeptical of the sleep number beds too, but I've had one for a year and I couldn't be happier. The topper part is something you'd have to agree on, but the relative softness or hardness of the mattress is each person's call. And you can adjust it as often as you like, too - I spent nearly a year on a rock-hard setting but recently softened it up a bit after resolving chronic back pain. Sleepy

I've been bed hunting for several months and have decided to purchase one from European Sleep Works because: they are natural and very comfortable, they have models where you can have different levels of softness/hardness on each side, prices are VERY reasonable when compared to other natural beds and are competitive with traditional Sealy, Simmons etc. Remember that you can always purchase a separate pillow top from any place if you need it. My husband is 6'1 and I am 5'3 and our sleep needs are very different which is why we went with ESW. I strongly recommend checking out ESW. Good luck, I know how frustrating this hunt can be. Reva

Best mattresses & where to buy them

Aug 2013

We are planning on buying a king-sized bed and I'm getting lost in a sea of research. We've both had back issues and so we're considering foam. But there are 2 things holding us back: 1) We don't want to spend more than 2K on the mattress. 2) My husband is a hot sleeper already and I worry that it would sleep too hot. So, if you have a foam bed and you love it, what brand/type is it, how much did you pay, and where did you buy it? If you have foam and you don't like it, why and what brand/type is it? I've heard gel foam is cooler--is that true? If you have back problems and have a great bed (foam or not) that you love, what type is it,how much did you pay, and where did you buy it? Thanks in advance! Melissa

I bought my queen-size mattress from Famous Foam Factory on San Pablo Ave in Berkeley 9 years ago and I love it. I'm a hot sleeper too and I find it very comfortable, it does not make me warm. I had a regular mattress before and hated it, it was so uncomfortable. Sorry, I don't have the brand name. And my son has a twin size memory foam mattress, bought from Overstock.com about 4 years ago, delivered folded over in a big box. It's also really comfortable and is now a mantra in our home - mmmm, memory foam. Joanie

This isn't for everyone, and I was skeptical before I got one, but you might look at sleep number beds. I've had mine for about 9 months now, and my back feels great - and I trust it will continue to, because this mattress won't sag the way the others do (eventually). I just got an ad in the mail where I noticed they have options for heat regulation (either bed-wide or per-side) in addition to variable firmness. The beds are not cheap, but it could address the temperature problems and potentially back issues. Check it out. Nancy

Hi, I have a life long back issue with previous disc and neurological problems. For years I slept on a high end McCroskey bed and was always having the mattress and base tensions adjusted. Then my husband bought me a European Sleepworks slat bed (on Shattuck at Ashby) and, although not 'cured' which is not possible for me I mostly get up from bed pain free now. You do have to have the slats adjusted for you when you buy it. I have had this bed for going on 15 years now and it is still great . Also temperature is really steady. I have occasionally slept on memory foam mattresses on vacation and find it really difficult to move around without pain and stiffness plus they are warm. I think this works for me because the slats are adjusted to accommodate my back deformity but that is the beauty of it that it is adjustable for the individual. My husband sleep son the other side and has his own adjustment. It has also survived 4 kids and currently a large energetic dog who sneaks in at every opportunity. Love my bed

We went with a sleep number bed from Select Comfort. This was in 2007 and the bed is still great. I have a horrible time sleeping in hotels because I'm so used to my comfy bed at home. It was $1600 for our King back in 2007, purchased from a Select Comfort shop at Tanforan south of SF. I don't know if that store is still there. It is essentially a really expensive air mattress, but it works perfectly for me and for my husband. happy sleep number owner

I like a firm bed, my husband likes it soft. Last year bought the cheapest foam bed at Costco, I think it is a gel one. It was around $500 for the queen, a month later they had a 4150 rebate on it, which they honored (they do if it's within 2 months of purchase), so we only paid $350 in the end. You need a platform bed for these mattresses, and I got a nice solid wood one from Craigslist for $250, so $600 total.

Best $600 I ever spent. The reviews for the mattress were between people loving it or saying it was to hard. That made me feel better because my back kills me on a soft mattress. My sister has one of the high end ones and I sink deep into it when I lie on it- feels nice at first, but I know it would hurt over time. The mattress is pretty firm - to firm for my husband- but we had a cheap thin 2 inch memory foam topper from our old bed we put on it, and now it is perfect. Just enough softness to make my husband happy, and not enough to hurt my back. The firmness is temperature dependent, so int is more firm when it is cold, and less when it is hot. This is true of all of them.

It does sleep a little hotter than a regular mattress, but it's not crazy hot, and you can regulate that with more or less blankets. Someone recommended putting a cotton mattress cover over it to stop that if it's a problem. But I don't mind it even though I am at that age where I 'run a little hot'. - love my bed

I can highly recommend the beautiful and wonderful mattress I got at European Sleepworks in Berkeley. I think I've had it for 7-8 years, and it still is in perfect shape. It is one of the best luxury items I've spent money on, and I have few things I will splurge on. I am so glad that I decided to invest in such a wonderful mattress. It's great for my back, I think I improved immensely once I replaced my old mattress. Plus, the whole sales and service process was so much easier than your typical mattress store. We definitely plan to get another European Sleepworks mattress when the time comes. K M

Mattress solution for couple w/diff needs

April 2013

Hi - my husband needs an EXTRA hard mattress for his back. I do not; I prefer mine in-between. We need a solution, so that we can continue to share a bed! Do they make queen/king size mattresses with dual-hardness - or should we get 2 twins on a king frame? I have not been mattress shopping for some time.. wondering if any good recommendations out there? anon

I bought my fabulous mattress in 2004 at European SleepWorks and still love it, and my husband does, as well. It was pretty humorous how fast his brand new mattress (when we first met) from a regular mattress store got an indentation in it - in just 3 months. We plan to only buy mattresses at European SleepWorks because our mattress still feels as fabulous as when I first bought it. What was great about it is that you can have different softness-hardness levels on each side. In fact, they told me at the time that if I had a partner come along some years later who preferred a more firm mattress, I could easily change out the padding on the inside of the mattress. It unzips and you can see the inside. And take out the current padding and put in firmer, or softer, padding. At the time I did not have much money, yet it was definitely worth the investment to get a wonderful mattress. Service was also excellent. K M

If you aren't on the tightest budget, I would highly recommend an all-latex bed from the Natural Mattress Store. We purchased ours in Walnut Creek, however they have several locations. You can customize them to have one side of the bed firm and the other extra soft. I'm unsure how the center of the bed would feel, but you can try them out in store and see if it works for you. We came to agreement on a soft bed, however I'm beginning to think I would prefer extra soft for side sleeping. If we need to make a change, they can do that for $100! Amazing, really. They simply change out the firmness/layers and types of latex. My husband thought he would want firm, but realized that latex mattresses feel different than spring mattresses, and soft works like a dream for him. We love our bed; latex is an anti-mite, natural material and lasts upwards of 15 years. Worth every penny! This is what happens when a pregnant woman walks into a mattress store

We bought our mattress at European Sleep Works in Berkeley (http://www.sleepworks.com/mattresses). They have split mattresses; you can make one side softer than the other. Not all split combinations are available (I think there were four different kinds, but you could only match up certain combinations). They will split queen and king beds, but not full.

If you had told me we would spend $2500 on a mattress (including taxes and delivery), I would have thought you were crazy. In the end, both my husband and I comment over and over again that it was the best purchase we ever made because we 'have the best bed in the world' and you do spent a lot of time in your bed. We've never slept in a better bed, even in fancy hotels and when we slept on our friend's Tempur-pedic.

We were originally comfortable spending up to $800 on a mattress, and we looked everywhere-- Macy's and Macy's outlet in Union City, Nordstrom (they only have one bed, but it's nice), Ikea, and normal furniture stores--and we couldn't find a mattress we could both agree on. I wanted a squishy one and my husband wanted a firm one. On a whim, we decided to stop into European Sleep Works and tested all of their mattresses. Honestly, they were a little snobby about us because we clearly weren't their traditional buyers, so they ignored us until we made our final decision (we actually came back a week later once we decided it was worth the money).

In the end, we decided not to split the mattress because even the softest one still had enough support for him because of how the 'ribs' work. It's a relatively soft mattress, but it isn't squishy.

Good things to know: 1. they have a limited number of options, 2. according to the salesperson, they never have sales; the prices are what they are (I liked this, because big stores have these 50% off sales most of the year, which makes me think they aren't pricing fairly), 3. we decided it was worth it to buy the $100 mattress cover (it's elastic and so it doesn't affect how the mattress works) and we're glad we did it (it has worn incredibly well despite washings), 4. our mattress is now four years old and doesn't show any wear and tear at all. Happy we spent the money

I love my sleep number bed from Select Comfort. My husband can set his mattress extra firm, mine is on the soft side. It is one bed (we have a Cal King) with two separate air chambers, allowing for separate firmness. Check it out!

Keetsa mattresses v Euro Sleepwors v Ikea?

March 2012

Alas, the back is telling me it's time for a new mattress. I was a responder to previous queries about European Sleepworks because we do have one of their mattresses which is lovely. But we're not as flush as we once were and not sure can afford to get another. Keetsa seems to be a lower priced alternative - anyone tried them? And Ikea? Seems like their prices are also lower but are they full of toxic chemicals? I hate these kinds of decisions because laying on a mattress for 2 minutes in a store really isn't a good indication of a night's sleep! Achy back in the morning

We were in the same situation- our backs were killing us but we didn't have the funds to spend 2000 or more on a mattress. We went to ikea and bought their 90% natural latex mattress...think it is called the ERFJORD. It is pure heaven to sleep on and only set us back around 900 I think. They recently re-did their mattress line, so the new one will have a fully removable cover, which is great, but I think the price point will still be about the same. We love it and think it is one of the best purchases we've ever made. Good luck! Love my ''cheap'' Ikea latex mattress

We bought a Keetsa mattress a few months ago and we've been really happy with it. It is VERY comfortable. I felt satisfied with the info I read about Keetsa in terms of materials and sustainability, etc. I believe they had a third party assessment that said that the mattress doesn't have any toxic VOC's. That was good enough for me, especially because some of the other brands out there were WAY out of our price range. Getting Some Sleep!

We've had a Keetsa Tea Leaf Supreme for the last 5 years or so and LOVE it. For reference we are firm mattress folks, one back-sleeper and one side-sleeper. It's so comfortable, and it's held up really well, too. And I like that when one person moves around it doesn't jostle the other one - very important when you have different sleep schedules or a tossy-turny pregnant person! It was more money than I'd ever spent on a mattress, but worth every penny. Last year we got Ikea Sultan Huglo mattresses for the kids (springs with foam around them) and I really wish we'd sprung (no pun intended) for Keetsas for them, too - the Ikea mattresses seemed good in the store, but they feel really lumpy and pokey now after a bit of use. Foam Fan

We got a Keetsa and we absolutely love it. No regrets at all. Happy sleeper

Tempur Pedic mattress too hot

May 2011

I have been sleeping on a Tempur Pedic mattress for a few years now, and the comfort has been great. My one complaint is that I wake up in the middle of the night feeling way too warm. I sleep with minimal blankets (just a sheet), minimal PJ's (tank top and shorts), and keep the room at the lowest possible temperature comfortable for my husband (60). Nothing seems to help. At first I thought it was hormones, but whenever I sleep somewhere with a regular mattress, I do not feel so hot. I have an extra mattress pad on the bed- that has not helped. Any advice?
hot at night, but not in a good way

Try a natural latex or wool topper. (they sell a reasonably priced latex one at ikea). We switched to latex for allergy reasons , and were pleasantly surprised that we stayed cool and comfy. Cool sleeper

I had the same problem. The solution is completely counter-intuitive, but it works for me every time. Wear something the fully covers your body from the neck down, except your hands, and that will keep you from getting hot. I wear thin cotton or flannel pajama pants tucked into socks and a long sleeved shirt to bed, even when it's warm. This additional barrier between your body and the mattress sheet makes all the difference. I tried putting a sheet/towel/blanket between the mattress and the fitted sheet and I still got hot. When I want to sleep in regular pajamas or want to have my legs or feet free, I sleep in our guest bed as a treat.

BTW, my husband has never had a problem with the mattress. good luck!

King size mattress that doesn't sag too quickly

Sept 2009

I am about to buy a king-size mattress and am looking for some recommendations for a mattress that doesn't sag too quickly. I have heard that European Sleep Works has good mattresses, and am wondering if they are worth the hefty price, and if you can just buy the mattress or need the whole system. Also curious about the foam/memory mattresses. Do Pillow tops last? Any recs would be appreciated. Thanks! anon

We purchased a European Sleepworks king mattress in 2004 and love it! It's firm, adjustable, and because of the two slat system (one for each side), my husband and I never disturb each other as we get in and out of our sides of the bed. It took a week to get used to the bed but it's been great since then. We are even considering buying one for our son. It's cheaper than Duxiana but I feel just as good. We won't be turning back. As for the pillows, we have never tried them but are considering it as we are happy with the bed. anon

In my experience with mattresses, you get what you paid for. We shelled out the extra $$ for a McCroskey mattress (handmade in SF - yes a locally owned, family business). It is the most comfortable bed I have ever slept on in my entire life. They come with a 10-year warranty and are expected to last 20+ years. They do recommend the box spring, which we bought, so I can't tell you how they are without the box spring. We were initially looking at the McCroskey for our daughter because they are supposedly not full of nasty chemicals. While testing beds for her, I realized I wasn't going to sleep well until I had one for myself. Check them out at http://www.mcroskey.com/index.shtml or better yet, go try one in person. sleeping soundly

I have read a lot about the advantages to sleeping on a foam mattress. The main reason I finally did buy one was to fit the modern bed frame that I found. The king size mattress came to my house via UPS and was easy to get up the stairs. It came rolled up and expands after opening. I found the innerspace brand mattress at www.sleepmodern.com I have been very happy with it. They have memory foam and non memory foam mattresses. The memory foam is more expensive of course. They have a 30 day money back guarantee which is nice, and the mattress ships directly to your house. I would imagine non memory foam would be just fine for the kids. eric

Help us pick a king size mattress!

Aug 2009

Have you bought a king-size mattress in the past 6 months that you love?? We have a medium-firm mattress we bought 7 years ago and never felt comfortable. After sleeping on firm hotel mattresses on vacation, I think that's what we need. But still cushy, maybe with a pillow-top? What brand? What store? Any good deals at Costco that are GOOD mattresses? Consumer Reports is too vague. Help! A-Tossin' And A-Turnin' All Night...

We recently bought a ''Tea Leaf Supreme'' king-sized mattress from Keetsa and we love it. It's foam (supposedly fairly eco-friendly foam, though not the very greenest option out there), so very firm yet soft. I don't toss and turn on it like I did on our previous spring-coil mattress. Plus it comes packed in a relatively small (but heavy) box and you get to watch it expand after you unpack it! Happy Sleeper

We have been shopping for a new mattress since March this year. My husband is the type of person who researches and thinks about bigger purchases much and often and for a long time. Before having made the final decision we have probably been to six different mattress stores to ''test sleep'' (chains and individual stores). In the end we were torn between ''The Natural Mattress store'' in San Rafael and Berkeley's ''European Sleep Works''. Both offer high-end mattresses - this is high-end in quality as well as in price;-).

However, after having come back to the Berkeley store a second and third time, we were totally convinced and made a fabulous decision. The calm and very knowledgeable Sara Ridgway @ European Sleep Works was extremely helpful with finding out what mattress works best for us, our body shapes and weight (did not find a consultation that came close to this anywhere else!). My husband and I both like to sleep medium firm and we always loved sleeping in hotels with high quality mattresses (the ones you never want to get off).

We ended up buying a King Nordic 2 mattress (9'') with two layers of high-grade German coil and natural latex foam, breathable wood-lined cotton cover and a medium firmness that makes me believe I am in heaven! Let me tell you: This mattress has changed our lives and is worth every single penny ... go and check it out yourself. But be prepared that it's not one of the most inexpensive ones. In Heaven

Do You Love your Mattress?

April 2008

My husband and I are in the market for a new mattress. We need something that is comfortable and supportive for our aging bodies--we both wake up too many mornings with joints aching. I'd also prefer something not laden with chemicals, as I tend to be very sensitive to that stuff, plus we'd like something more earth friendly. And to top it all off, we'd really like to keep the cost reasonable so we don't lie in our new bed awake wondering how to pay for it. Anyone out there found the perfect mattress? Thanks! Needs Good Sleep

I love my Tempurpedic mattress. We both love it. Its like the perfect combination between firm and pillowy soft. And no more aching joints! When you first get it, it takes a few days to get used to, but then after that, it is bliss. Every night when I go to bed I say a little prayer of thanks for my amazing mattress. I've had it for a few years no and there is no indentation, no worn in spots. Its just as comfy now as it was 3 years ago. I know people who have had them for longer and they say the same thing. anon

I love opportunities to talk about how getting my bed changed my life. As someone with spinal fusions, I will always have issues. But my bed was making me so stiff in the mornings that I felt much older than I am. We got ours from European Sleepworks in Berkeley. Very natural/organic. That wasn't so important to me, what really helped for us was that they set the two sides of the bed separately. I'm a side sleeper, my husband a back sleeper. We weren't going to find a mattress that we both liked. It wasn't nearly as expensive as some other companies, but worth every penny! happy with my bed

I love my mattress! It's a Simmons Beautyrest - it has a pillowtop, so you don't ever flip it. We've had it for 7 years. This is the first mattress I've ever had that didn't develop sagging or indentations or a ridge down the center, even after 7 years. And we're not exactly tiny little people either - close to 400 pounds on that mattress every night! I didn't think I wanted a pillowtop when we bought it and for the first 3 days it seemed too puffy, but it has turned out to be great, still very comfortable. sound sleeper

Well, I like my mattress - love is pretty strong. It is a Lifekind organic mattress I actually wrote a review of our LifeKind mattress on my blog http://www.earthfriendlyshopping.com/?p=45 I wrote it a few months ago, but everything is still the save Lee

Go to European Sleepworks in Berkeley and try out all their beds. Even if you order a model and do not like it after trying it out at home for a month, they will swap for another one. (Our first one was too firm and we settled on the medium firm.) Knowledgeable staff. For some years now we have been very happy. I also like their wool pellet pillows that you can make fatter or thinner at will. Their oxygen pillows were too firm for my neck but they also come in different thicknesses. Judy

Your title caught my eye. I really love my mattress! There is no question in my mind that when it wears out, or if it is lost in some way, I will immediately by the same again. A good friend felt the same; when her 7-year relationship broke up and he got the mattress, she marched out and got her own post haste. It meets your no chemicals requirement, not sure if it meets your affordable requirement, but we've had ours 7 or 8 years and still love it in a very active way. It is a European Sleepworks mattress. It is the most comfortable thing I've ever slept on, and when I'm travelling I miss it. One thing I love about it is that I can comfortably lie on my back on it, despite my generous derriere. Check them out! anne

My husband and I cannot say enough about how much we LOVE our European Sleepworks Mattress. It was expensive, but honestly the best money spent. The differences between it and a ''standard'' mattress are pronounced. We are getting some painting done, and had to sleep on our guest room mattress for one night and could not believe the difference: we woke up sore and not as well rested. I ''heart'' my mattress

I do love my mattress- after years of suffering from an aching back in the morning, now i wake up feeling great. It's from European Sleep works in Berkeley-not the cheapest, but totally worth it.

I use a foam mattress and love it. I bought it at the foam shop on San Pablo below Dwight Way, I think it's called Famous Foam Factory. I had used a Serta or Sealy mattress before going to foam and was never comfortable. The foam mattress really works for me. Rebecca

yes - a 6 inch organic cotton futon with a 4 inch wool topper. Firm base with a soft topper. Call the good folks at Soaring Heart futon http://www.soaringheart.com/ and you will learn a lot from helpful, low key, nonpushy folks. Note, you'll need a Rx for a chemical free mattress. sleeping mama

We love our mattress from European Sleepworks on Adeline @ Ashby. It has been worth every penny. We paid $1400 four years ago for the queen mattress only, skipped the slat system frame and got an inexpensive slat frame from a futon shop near Solano and San Pablo. The mattress is still in great shape (it's just dealt with my largish pregnant self and held up well). It's heavy so a pain to move. I'm sensitive to chemicals as well, yet for that it never caused a problem. We have occasionally spent nights at some high-end hotels around the country and our mattress is still better than any we've slept on when traveling. neega

YES - we love our mattress! About 6 or 7 years ago we bought a Sleep Comfort mattress - the one advertised on TV by Lindsay Wagner - the one with ''sleep numbers.'' It is essentially a good air matress with two chambers - one for each side of the bed. Each has its own control. We bought the cheapest version - it doesn't display our ''sleep number'' - we just can feel if it is right. My husband had back surgery as a teen and really needs a comfortable mattress - this is it! In theory it will never wear out because it is air! We did call them to get another piece of foam which runs down the middle of the bed - it made the mattress more stable. You can get one on-line I think or at the store in the Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek. Getting great sleep

Hi there, I have slept on a water bed for 30 years and is the only kind of mattress that works for my back and experience pain when I sleep on anything else. They do take a little getting used to in the beginning (especially the ''full wave ones), but are sooooo worth it and they are considerably less expensive. They make them so that you hardly feel the movement and even the full wave ones can be made as firm or soft as you like and you don't have to worry about the chemicals and such that traditional mattresses are made of. How much more natural can you get than to sleep on water?! (no you don't get seasick) They support and conform to your body in any position and one of the best parts (for me) is that they are heated! (also adjustable). Imagine crawling into a cozy WARM bed and being rocked to sleep every night knowing that wherever you move it will be warm. My guests love it and I still giggle with delight almost every night even after all these years. (I'm 60) I know most people probably don't think of a water beds anymore, but the're still out there. The only place I know of the the East Bay is Odds & Ends Water Beds 12491 San Pable Ave. Richmond. 510 233 9097. Food for thought. Happy hunting. Beccarae

I too love my mattress from European Sleepworks, however with one caveat. We also bought their slat system, which I HATE. Each of the set of slats is in a frame and down the middle of the bed where our frames meet there is a ridge. Not only that, I can feel zero difference no matter the position of the slats. I definitely fall into the Princess and the Pea category, but my recommendation is to go with your own base for the bed and splurge on the mattress. Princess

Need a mattress for lower back problems

Nov 2007

I am looking for a new mattress. Does anyone of any suggestions for a good mattress for someone with lowerback problems. If you know how much it costs and a good place to purchase that would be great, too. Rochelle

I absolutely love my McRoskey bed; check out www.mcroskey.com. My chiropractor highly recommended it years ago for my back and I've had NO problems since. McRoskey is a local company with a showroom on Market Street in SF. I just looked at the prices on their website and \x97 yeow! -- they\x92ve gotten a lot more expensive than when I bought mine 10 years ago; a queen size mattress and box spring, with a 10-year warranty, now costs $3700.

I also have a guest bed that everyone who sleeps on it adores. It\x92s a Ther-A-Pedic Medi-Coil 660 Series. In 2002, I bought it fairly new off Craigslist for $200 and it\x92s turned out to be a great deal. I have lots of (paying) guests and everyone always mentions how wonderful the bed is. Many couples have remarked that, for the first time, they don't even notice when their partners turn over. Sweet dreams! Terry

In the Nov 18 Sunday New York Times magazine, there was a really fascinating article whether mattresses and other sleep aids actually improve sleep. The article didn't address the issue of bad back, but there was a lot of information about all the different kinds of mattresses, how they are marketed, and how much of it is actually based in any real science (not much). Apparently, the idea that a hard mattress is best isn't based on anything. It's on the NYT website - http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/18/magazine/18sleep-t.html?_r=1=slogin Ginger

my chiropractor recommended European Sleepworks'' they are pricey but worth it. sleeping comfortably

my husband convinced me to stop at sleep train on our way into the city to buy a mattress at mckroskey. i have a bad back and was determined that the airflex would be the answer to all of my back issues. we left sleep train having purchased a sleep number bed. (we bought one of the lower end models where the remotes are attached with a cord and without their fancy memory foam, we bought a 'healthier' and cheaper foam layer somewhere else.) (and sleep train is does show up that day to deliver your new mattress and take away your old bed. that was beautiful. we didn't have the new sheets washed yet.)

we are a walking advertisement for the sleep number bed: i am a 35 and my husband is a 90. we have been sleeping on this bed for two and a half years and we never wake up with aches and pains. and we spent half as much as a mckroskey costs.

and - the top of the mattress zips off. so when child gets sick and has an accident through that 'waterproof' mattress pad you invested in to protect your nice new expensive mattress - you can zip off the top of the mattress and wash it. happy sleeper

Manufacturer won't honor mattress warranty

June 2007

Hi, Wanted to see if anyone knows the legalities pertaining to this. It almost takes more energy to tell than it's worth, but... I bought a mattress 4 years ago that has ''20-year- warranty'' sewn into it with a little chiropractor symbol. The dip became so bad my back is hurting in the morning. I've tested it, slept on my mom's guest bed and had zero pain. When I stuff a huge couch pillow under the mattress, pain goes away. The mattress co's inspector came out, found there was a problem, the co. sent me a form letter saying ''we heard there could be a problem'', then assigned their local sales guy to me.

The problem is the original retail store went out of business 2 years ago. The sales guy said the factory couldn't deliver from factory to my door, that it had to go through the retailer. In my case, another local retailer would supposedly have to, out of the goodness of their heart, agree to let me drop off and pick up my mattress from their store. He said he called around and nobody would do this. Surprise. Followed by, ''if your back is hurting you probably didn't shop carefully and got the wrong mattress'' and ''our backs change as we get older,'' both my fault. I did shop well, he has no idea how old I am, and the dip in the thing is causing the pain. I tried to deal with the factory directly but they pushed me back off on the sales guy, so I've stopped communicating.

I feel that the factory/employer of sales guys, is responsible, the factory warranty should be good even if the retail store is out of business, and that they can easily swing their truck by my house on one of their frequent trips here. Or give me 16/20ths of today's cost of that mattress. Does anybody out there know if my rationale is logical, what laws apply, and what I can specifically say to them that they will listen to? Secondarily, is it right to take the mattress away, rip it apart and replace the insides, sew it back up, and give me the same one back? Is that what they do? Any help is appreciated. Sleepless in Albany

you need to take the company to small claims court.

I don't know if this will help you, but here's what I would do. If you have a documented warranty and they will not honor it, call 7 On Your Side (Channel 7, KGO) I had a problem with an agency once and after going around in circles and getting nowhere I called KGO one morning....by 4:00 that afternoon a supervisor from the agency called me, apologized, and said the problem would be taken care of within 2 days and would never occur again. It's amazing how a little fear of bad PR can move mountains. I'm so old I remember good customer service

small claims court? local news consumer affairs? (eg michael finney) i haven't tried these things, but they're worth a shot. anon

Good mattress for a stomach sleeper?

Feb 2007

Hi, I have had the worst luck in trying to find a comfortable bed. I know I need good support and I like a firm bed. I tend to sleep mostly on my stomach and sometimes on my side. Right now I have a very good quality (expensive) king bed that I have had for 2 1/2 years and it is rare that I get a good nights sleep...I toss and turn a lot and wake up with a sore lower back and sore neck and shoulders. I have been reading a lot of the the Tempur-pedic bed and was wondering if anyone has tried that bed? Or, does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks Karie

Hi there, I got a tempurpedic bed about 2 years ago. And I love it. I too am a stomach sleeper and had been sleeping on an old mattress. One that was so bad that during my pregnancies I had to switch to a futon. The tempurpedic is great because it sort of molds to your body. So you get support thru your whole body. People who love really soft m attresses might find it a bit firm at first. the other thing is that it takes a few days to get used to when you first get it, so if you decide to try it out, give it a week or so. the other thing is that after two years of two people sleeping on the bed, there are no indentations or any ''valleys''. It just puffs right back out. I highly recommend it. happy tummy sleeper

I sleep on my stomach, too. I bought a Select comfort bed, the sleep number bed! I love it, I love it, I love it. My mother-in-law has the bed you asked about, it's good for a visit; but my sleep number bed is perfect! Both my husband and I sleep wonderfully and still love it after 2 years. Sleeping all night

McCroskey mattress or European sleepworks mattress?

Jan 2007

Seeking opinions on which mattress to purchase--the Mcroskey with the boxspring or the Eurpean Sleepworks with the adjustable slats? Both seem great....but difficult decision. Thanks for any input. Denise

A few years I was also looking for a new mattress and I also called the McRoskey but the prices seemed outrageous. I mean, come on, I was buying a bed, not a car. We bought the ESW and WE LOVE IT. My husband has an arthritic hip and for the first time in 10 years he slept all night. For the money, it is a great buy and you will not regret it. I can't speak to the McRoskey as far as comfort. I am sure it is great. The question is really how much money do you want to spend? sleeping great now

Hi, We purchased a mattress and slat system from European sleepworks this summer and we are very pleased with it. We 'shopped' twice and spent over an hour each time. My husband changed his mind about what firmness he liked in that time, so I think two visits over as many weeks is important for this investment. I have given up on American style spring mattresses. We purchased an expensive one (plush top/ memory foam) and within four years it was a mushy mess with a cave-in center and I was having pressure point issues.So at this point if the sleepworks one lasts 2 x as long it's worth 2x the money. My husband and I had different problems and we're both waking up much happier in the morning. No pressure point issues and no more sore backs (well, I still get a little, but nothing like before in degree or frequency and many days no issues). We took their recommendations and now sleep with a pillow under one arm and bet. the knees (something you can implement w/o the mattress!) and we also got the oxygen pillow. I like the oxygen pillow (it has to be sized to you) except the surface (not the cushiony part) has begun to seem a little hard to me--this is an issue particular to me and my tempurpedic pillow had started to do this to me which is why I switched to the oxygen pillow). So the pillow is fine for my neck, but not so great for my ears/back of the head where I am like the princess and the pea. On the mattress, I still collapse into it and think, 'this is so nice' over 6 months later--and as you can tell, I'm fairly picky. It's a highly personal decision, but I liked the mattress and it was a relief to shop there versus other mattress places. Jessica

We purchased a Mcroskey California King Size mattress and box spings approximately three years ago. They are great and extremely comfortable. I don't think you can go wrong with them. jh

I can't speak to Sleepworks, but I can recommend Mcroskey, highly. We've had one for 12 years, the boxspring/matress combo. Wonderful/Amazing. We have two couples who went out and got them after we did. The key is to test drive in their showroom and get the firmness that is right for you. Plus, SF made...awesome original building on Market...just can't beat it! Dana

My wife and I are about to toss out our 4 year old McCroskey. It's bumpy, lumpy, and sunken in the middle. You might have better luck but it's just about the worst purchase we ever made. Need a New Mattress

2004 - 2006 Discussions

Mattress for co-sleeping with toddler & newborn

Dec 2006

We are preparing to upgrade to a king-size bed so that we can co-sleep with our toddler and newborn-on-the-way. Can anyone recommend a mattress to us? We know that our current queen mattress is a bit soft to be ideal for babies, but we purchased it before we were parents, and didn't initially plan to co- sleep. Aside from firmness, are there any other considerations to take into account? What mattresses have people been happy with while co-sleeping? co-sleeper

After much research, we concluded that an organic mattress was most important. We purchashed ours at Earthsake on 4th Street in Berkeley a few months ago. It is the ''Extra firm'' type, and we added a wool cover. I think the softness/firmness factor is perfect for co-sleeping. It greatly eases my mind that not only our baby, but my husband and I as well, are sleeping on a chemical-free bed. Take a look at the toxic ingredients found in non-organic mattresses. It is shocking to me that so many educated people think nothing of inhaling toxins several hours a day, yet are adamant about organic eating and living. Organic mattresses cost approximately the same as the higher quality new chemical mattresses. I think, all said and done, our mattress, boxspring, and organic bedding was in the $2500 range. Best of luck to you! meg

We have been co-sleeping with our son (now 2 years 3 months old) since day 1 on our simmons beauty rest with plush top (the mattress underneath is extrafirm). Although it has a soft plush top, we put a waterproof mattress pad and a tight sheet over it so it wasn't too soft for baby. Our baby was also swaddled in the miracle blanket (miracleblanket.com) for the first four months and so there was no danger of the baby turning over when he was too young. The individual springs of the simmons beautyrest mattress made sure that when my husband or I moved, the baby did not move with us or there was no 'dip' for the baby to roll into. Works well for us Andi

Where to Buy a Good Mattress?

April 2006

I'm looking for a comfortable, probably firm, queen-size mattress that won't break the bank. Can anyone recommend a mattress store and a mattress brand or model? Also, how do you adequately test it before buying it?

I bought a mattress, etc. four months ago at European Sleepworks in Berkeley. It is wonderful. To anyone able to afford -- or sacrifice to afford -- in the $1,000+ range, I suggest buying the mattress without the slats, etc., which would bring it down somewhat in cost. I bought the whole package and as I waited the month or so for it to arrive, I thought I'd lost my mind, but gosh it is a dream to sleep on. I'd suffered for years on the standard type of mattress. Back to Bed

Tempur Pedic Mattresses

Sept 2005

I am in the market for a new mattress and box spring. I have lower back problems (chronic). My husband has some arthritis in one shoulder that makes side sleeping uncomfortable, yet he is naturally a side sleeper. Lately, we are both stiff and sore when we get out of bed due to what I think may be an overly firm mattress.

We are interested in Tempur Pedic beds. If you have one, did you have specific sleep problems? Did the Tempur Pedic solve the problems? Are any of the copycat memory foam mattresses viable alternatives? Lastly, where did you buy yours and do you recommend that place?

I did look at the archives but many of the suggestions focus on $200 mattress toppers. I really want a whole new bed. Thanks stiff and sore

Try European Sleepworks. They're in Berkeley and make the best matresses I have ever experienced. They're custom made using non-toxic materials. You can customize the matress to you - the people in the store are beyond helpful and you can just go in and flop around on different options. They are Pricey ($2000-$3000) - but in my opinion well worth it. Really, just an experience unlike any other bed. The price is also a little better when you consider that they last for an incredibly long time - much longer than a standard matress (we've been told we can plan on using them for 20+ years.) We bought these matresses for all the beds in our house, including the guest room and for our teenage daughters just because we think they are so fantastic that it was worth the investemnt. Go into the store - 2966 Adeline in Berkeley, they are extremely helpful and informative there, or check out the website at: http://www.sleepworks.com/ Happy Sleeper

I have chronic back and shoulder problems, and invested in a new Temper-Pedic mattress about 6 years ago. It was definitely worth the money. My back and shoulder pain improved dramatically, and I still wake up without pain after sleeping (which had been a problem for years) six years later. Although initially expensive, they last a long time, and are a wonderful product. Anon

We've had a Tempur Pedic Mattress for about 6 years now, and really love it. We bought the whole system with a boxspring, but if you have a platform bed frame, that's not necessary. We purchased directly from Tempur Pedic, either online or via phone, I can't recall. I was pregnant at the time, and would have been miserable without my beloved bed. Our primary reason for the purchase, besides the divine comfort, was because my husband is a tossing, turning, thrashing, sleeper, and I am not. He would continuously wake me up with all his movement. I barely can tell when he moves, except when he robs me of covers. We really notice the difference when we travel. We did purchase pillows and slept with them for a while before getting the bed. Good luck with your decision. sleeping like a baby

Comfortable mattress

Feb 2005

Hooray!! We're finally getting ready to move (larger room/home) and need a recommendation on a good mattress. I don't know if it makes a difference that we want a California King. My husband and I have both had back/neck problems that we can attribute to our past & current mattresses. What I think we need is something firm, but not stiff, and feels soft. I know there is such a thing because we slept on it during our vacation at the Moana Surfrider in Waikiki (anyone know where to get one of those? Seems it's made for their parent company, but I'd like to test it out again at a store and not just purchase it online.) I guess I'm wondering if there's a consensus about what brand makes the best mattresses, as well as where to shop. Thanks for any input. paula

We bought a European Sleepworks mattress 8 years ago and have been in heaven ever since. Since then, my parents, in-laws, 2 friends and brother have all purchased these mattresses. several of us have chronic back issues and we would all spend the money over and over again. They cost $2000-$2500, depending on what you buy. We compared these to other similar boutique mattresses in the Bay Area and we were appalled by what they want to charge for virtually the same product. You can rotate the pillow top, but you never have to flip the mattress. Also, the top of the cover zips off so you can wash it!! We have had to do that once or twice with a toddler who crawls into our bed in the middle of the ONE night we forgot to put the waterproof pad on :-) Happy sleeping!

Jan 2005

Can anyone tell me the difference between a European Sleepworks Bed versus a TempurPedic? Has anyone tried them both? Have you also tried a McRoskey? If so, how do they compare? Are there other beds in this price range we should be considering? We are interested in buying a new bed and wanted some feedback on the beds in this price range. Thanks! Julie

I LOVE my McCrosky mattress. I've had one for nearly 9 years and it is absolutely the best mattress I've ever slept on.

King mattress without bump in the middle?

Dec 2004

We love having the space to stretch out in our king-sized bed--- but after only 1.5-2 yrs a bump in the middle has developed. It's in the section between where my the bulk of my husband's body and my body bulk lay. Now it's been a total of 3 years and I don't think this mattress is holding up. We paid about $1100 for it. We do not have a boxspring as our bed is the platform type that doesn't need one. The bed has a single head to toe support bar running down the middle. Does anyone know if it's the mattress quality or the lack of boxspring that causes this lump in the middle? Or a combination of both? I really don't want to go back to a queen. Should we get a new bed with a boxspring? I was thinking that a king bed with 2 support bars (cutting the length into thirds) may help because then the bars would be under the areas where our bodies are most of the time. Anyone know of such a bed design? They all seem to have just one bar. Another thing: it's the new kind of mattress that doesn't require flipping. However, one day we stood up the mattress to do some work in the room and the next week or so it didn't seem to have the bump, and this tells me that flipping it around would probably do some good, although the bottom-side is not designed to be slept on. Any ideas? Do we need to get a custom-designed bed? Love to Stretch Out

I think that my husband and I have the same crummy mattress as you! I hate that lump in the bed and my husband is also experiencing really bad back pain every night! UGH. We DO have a box spring and I don't think it does on iota of good. I really just think that the problem is that mattresses that ''conform'' to your body don't have the ability to ''spring back'' to life. Thus, the ''hill'' in the middle. I haven't written to the company that makes the mattress, but I'm definitely thinking about it. Other than that, we're planning on buying a new mattress and I'm going for the old fashioned kind of mattress. Good luck to you! need a good night's sleep

No flip is a myth. If you don't flip your mattress, it will get lumpy. If you have a pillowtop, the mattress co. will tell you that it's just what happens with pillowtops. Yeah, it's amazing that products this expensive are made this poorly.... At this point, were I you, I'd start rotating and flipping the mattress and see if it'll even out over the next 3 or 4 months. Sara

Latex foam mattress

October 2004

We are very disapponted with our pillow top mattress, it was supposed to be firm at the core with a soft external finish. It now has two holes corresponding to our bottoms and it's very unconfortable. In Europe latex beds are very popular. I am wondering where is a shop where we can get one in the Berkeley area? Do they change in shape with use? Are they confortable? Are there different qualities of latex? I didn't find infos on the website. Thanks! Barbara

We got our mostly-latex mattress from European Sleepworks in Berkeley. They're not cheap but we like ours. They also have latex pads. Before chucking your old mattress, have you tried rotating and/or flipping it? (Yes, the pillowtop would now be a pillowbottom, but it might be comfortable anyway.) David

I have a 100% latex mattress due to severe allergies (they do not harbor dust mites nor mold) and have been happy with it, though my husband would prefer something more pillowy. I prefer very firm mattresses and ordered a ''firm'' mattress (they came in soft, medium, firm and extra firm) and actually wish I had ordered a medium firmness, it is extremely firm and resilient, I wouldn't expect it to sag or soften, ever.) I will not mention the store where I purchased mine because they were extremely rude in the delivery process (we paid a lot for delivery and they only staff one delivery person and thus required us to help,) and also wrongly delivered Cal king instead of Eastern and tried to not allow an exchange. But, the primo place (not where I got mine) is European Sleepworks, where they have 100% latex as well as other combinatations like latex, cotton, wool, or some with innersprings. Great place to try all the options, but they were too expensive for us. (I did order Euro. Sleepworks adjustable slats foundation and honestly can't tell much difference between those and the regular, rigid slats on our bed. so if on a budget I'd skip the adjustable slats)If you look online there is a futon shop in S.F. that had very reasonable prices for latex mattresses and delivery to the east bay (sorry I don't remember the name.) good luck. happy sleeper

I got my mattress at european sleepworks in berkeley on adeline my chiropractor recommended them and its great - I've had it 7 years now and its as comfy as ever. it helps with mattress wearing that my husband and I are not large people but they can give you good advice that fits your needs. ilona

This doesn't quite answer your question, but if you want a really great bed along the same lines as a latex I recommend a natural latex i.e. rubber bed. I bought one at Earthsake on 4th St. and it is absolutely great. It is by far the most comfortable bed I have ever slept on in the US or Europe! They had a demo. when we bought it about 9 months ago so you can go in and try it out. It isn't cheap, but it's totally worth it. I think the manufacturer offers a sale about twice a year. Jennifer

Where to buy a good mattress?

October 2004

I have heard horror stories from friends about the difficulties they have had buying mattresses around here. Can someone recommend a good place that has reasonable prices? Is there an advantage to going to one of those big mattress warehouses? How is IKEA? Thanks! anon.

I have 2 recommendations: we just bought our kids' bunkbeds at Mancini Sleepworld in Pinole (there's also one in Berkeley, near OSH), and the mattresses were on sale, name brand, and seem to be of high quality. The whole purchasing experience was quick and easy (and I did it alone with my 2 and 4 year olds in tow!).

Secondly, we purchased our own king size mattress and box spring just over a year ago at Fenton MacLaren on College Ave. We were just browsing around at the furniture one Sunday afternoon, and wandered downstairs to discover beds & mattresses. The prices were comparable or cheaper than those we'd researched elsewhere, so we bought our set, and are now very happy with the quality of sleep we're getting! (No more futons for us for a long time!) Again, the staff there was very helpful and nice. Good luck! Heidi

This is what I wrote in the recommendations about my mattress- buying experience a couple of years ago:

''This is how I bought our mattress: I started with a $700 budget for a queen-sized mattress, so Duxiana, European Sleepworks and McRoskey were out of the question for us. I read about mattresses at www.whatsthebest-mattress.com and learned that manufacturers (not the independent high-ends mentioned above) sell the same mattresses, but name them differently at each store so that customers cannot compare prices from store to store. I also learned what to look for in mattress construction. I took my notes and went through the exhausting process of visiting the major mattress stores (Mattress Discounters, Sleeptrain, Mancini's, etc.) and tried out mattresses in our price range. I found most stores were horrendous -- really high- pressured, irritating sales tactics and absolutely unwilling to give a straight answer. Salespeople will bad-mouth the brand their store doesn't carry -- the only stores that didn't use these tactics were Viking Trader on San Pablo (I didn't like any of their mattresses) and Mancini's in Pinole. Also, Mancini's has a chart comparing the mattresses [by the name each store uses for the same mattress]. I ended up spending about $1,000 at Mancini's -- and we're very happy. I couldn't find anything under $900 that I liked. Maybe next time we'll be able to move on up to European Sleepworks! Good luck!''

**The only things I can add to this are that I did look at Ikea and didn't like any of their mattresses. Also, we've had our mattress for about 3 years now and are still very happy with it. What a difference a new mattress made in our lives! (When you're rolling toward the valley in the center of your mattress, you know it's TIME.) Anon

I had a good experience with Mattress Discounters in Emeryville. They have a large selection and are pretty helpful. sleeping well

I bought my mattress, which I love, at the mattress store in Emeryville, near the Home Depot. But I don't think where matters as much as this: mattresses are marked up so much that retailers are willing to bargain. No joke. I made them an offer and they accepted. It was like being at a garage sale! (I'd read about this somewhere and thought, what the hell.) Also, comparing brands from store to store is often not possible; retailers change the names of the mattress just enough to make comparison shopping difficult. Good luck! Anon.

We bought ours at Macy's. After it arrived and we were able to sleep on it for a month, we decided to return it and get a firmer mattress. That's the good thing about Macy's. We are very pleased with the mattress we ultimately ended up with. Yvonne

My husband and I bought a mattress at European Sleep Works (Adeline near Ashby in Berkeley) and have been very happy with it (as well as with the store and salespeople). The mattress is now 7 years old and I expect to go back there when we replace it. They are definitely high end mattresses, priced comparably to high-end mattresses from national brands (Sealy, Serta, etc.), but I really think you get a better quality product. If you aren't looking at the high end of the market, however, it's probably not the right place for you. Carrie

Odd-sized mattress

July 2004

Hi. My parents recently gave us a bed for our son. It is great and has extra storage but it is odd shaped. The dimensions are 32 x 74. We are trying not to spend a lot of money on a new mattress. I was debating a foam mattress since it more likely that can be made to a custom size for less money. Does anyone know of a good place to buy custom mattresses and/or a foam shop? Thank you! lisa

All our mattresses are foam with egg crate toppers, and we're very happy with the combo. We all have bad backs too, so comfort really matters to us. There's a great foam store on San Pablo, and I'm sure they can custom cut something for you. Famous Foam Factory, 1411 San Pablo Avenue Berkeley , CA 94702 (510) 526-2645

Hi, In response to your request for a recommendation on a where to find a odd sized mattress;

I recently purchased a custom mattress online for about half the cost I was able to find here in the east bay (half the cost, including being shipped from phoenix, az).

At first, I was bit reserved about purchasing a mattress online, but I had such a difficult time locating a custom mattress manufacturer here that didn't want to charge an arm and a leg that I decided to check online.

The mattress maker I found had so many supurlative reviews from previous customers, that after talking with them over the phone about my specifications, I had such a good instinct about purchasing from them that I decided to place an order.

All in all, I ended up extremely happy with he quality of the mattress, and the service, and the cost. I would definitely purchase another mattress from them, and feel good about recommending them to anyone. The mattress I decided to purchase was a latex mattress (recommended by my chiropractor), and the company I bought it from is called Mattresses.Net and they're found online at www.Mattresses.Net

--happy to be of any assistance! -m

King-sized mattress for two bad backs

April 2004

Does anyone have a mattress (brand and model) that they really like? We are looking for a king-sized quality mattress that will support two bad backs and will last for many years. Our prior European Sleepworks queen size mattress was fine for about 4 years and then lost its shape and comfort which was very disappointing given how much money we spent on it. What are the pros and cons of foam v. springs? We are worried about spending big bucks on a mattress and then finding out that it doesn't work for us. I have reviewed the prior recommendations about European Sleepworks and Tempurpedic but am interested in other mattresses also. Linda

I bought a Simmons pillow-top mattress at Evolution Furniture (on University Avenue, below Sixth Street in Berkeley), and it is heaven; I have been sleeping wonderfully since I got it a few months ago. I have a frozen shoulder, and it has really helped with the pain. They have several different models you can try out, and excellent prices. I worked with Jenna, a very nice lady. gwyneth

I would recommend McRoskey Airflex Mattress Company in San Francisco. We purchased a new kingsize mattress and boxspring this summer from them and have been very pleased with them. Check out their website at www.mcroskey.com jholter

I have sciatcia and was told by a chiropractor that, no matter the brand, the key is to get the highest number of springs you possibly can. He also specifically mentioned Springwall and King Koil as brands to get but I have had no luck finding either in the Bay Area. If you do find a source for either of these, I'd love to know about it. (Lauren)

Where to buy a Memory Foam mattress

Feb 2004

Hi. I read the BPN's previous postings looking for places to buy memory foam mattress pads and $$$, but I couldn't find anything. I'm hoping someone on the list can help steer me in the right direction. I looked at the mattress pads at Bed Bath and Beyond, but they didn't look that much different than egg cart foam. They had another brand but it was quite expensive. In fact, it was more expensive than the quote I got from Famous Foam Factory in Albany. Someone posted to the list recently about memory foam mattress pads:''Internet prices are generally lower than in stores, and by comparing prices we got a good deal.'' What sites online did you use to comparison shop? Does anyone have a favorite site for this? Another slightly related question is this, does anyone have a favorite website in general that you use to do your comparison shopping? beth

I saw a memory foam mattress pad available on overstock.com. I recently purchased a camera from them, and I am very pleased with it. You can get incredible discounts on certain items, but be forewarned that the cheapest items are usually ''factory refurbished,'' i.e., returned merchandise (that's still in excellent shape). If you don't care about that aspect, it's a great web site. Carrie

I purchased a memory foam mattress pad (queen size) from www.smartbargains.com they run from $30-50 depending on size. Shipping was around $5. We like ours but it takes awhile for the smell to go away. lopez

Re: Comfortable mattress (April 2004)
I recently purchased two 'memory foam' pads to go over our existing matresses. My son had complained that his standard foam matress was too hard, and my husband used to wake up with sore shoulders, an arm which had ''fallen asleep'', or a stiff lower back. We bought a 2'' matress cover for my son, and a 3'' for our bed, and the results have been terrific. Internet prices are generally lower than in stores, and by comparing prices we got a good deal. Helene

Comfortable mattress with good support

Jan 2004

I know there are posts on buying Mattresses on the network, but they are pretty outdated and dont have sufficient info on mattress other than european sleepworks. I am trying to find a mattress that can give good support and be comfortable. I have a 3 yr old that sleeps with us and I am currently expecting. Any advice is appreciated if someone can reccomend the mattress they are happy with!!

We really like our organic mattress that we got at Earthsake on Fourth Street. We've had ours about 2 years, and our son's is over four years old. I think we got ''medium'' firmness (not sure), and both are still very comfortable. We do not have bos- springs. My son's is on a platform, and ours rests on wooden slats. The store has an annual mattress sale, I think in the summer. R.K.

McRoskey Mattress Company in San Francisco is the best place to go for comfortable mattresses. sue

2003 & Earlier

How hard a mattress?

July 2003

I've had ongoing mild discomfort in my middle back (not upper, not lower) and I'm wondering if it could be that our mattress is too soft. It's only 7 years old, and I originally pushed for it because it was so pleasantly soft and embracing. Anyone have evidence or personal testimonials (please no hearsay or plain opinion) as to whether a harder mattress would help me?

Old trick -- try cutting a piece of plywood or particleboard (at least 1/2'' thick if it's particleboard) and sticking it between the mattress and the box spring. This firms up your mattress but is reversible if that's not really the problem. It also typically sets you back less than $10, and if your spouse is happy with the bed the way it is, you can plywood just your side. Sara

Buy expensive mattress for aching back?

Jan. 2003

We desperately need to replace our king-size mattress. Actually, I am the one who thinks we need to replace it. My husband has no problem with our mattress, but I wake up with aching hips and back every morning. Our mattress wasn't cheap (it's a top-of-the line Beautyrest) but is now about 10 years old. I'm scared to death of investing in a super-expensive new mattress and finding out it doesn't make a bit of difference to my comfort. I read the rave reviews of European Sleepworks on the website and am wondering if anyone has anything to add about their recent purchase of a high-quality mattress from European Sleepworks or some other high-end mattress manufacturer. I'd especially like to hear about how you decided which mattress was right for you. Somehow buying a mattress is even more daunting to me than buying a new car--at least you can recoup most of your investment if you don't like the car! Maria

We purchased a bed from European Sleepworks about 2 1/2 years ago and it changed our lives! I was waking up with a terrible backache every day and was spending lots of time at the chiropractor. My husband was the one that pushed me to go the European Sleepworks as I was hesitant to spend that much money - it was the best investment that we've made. I can't imagine ever buying another bed that wasn't from European sleepworks. Believe me, the investment is worth it! kristi

Go buy this bed now! We got a European Sleepworks bed about 4 months ago after having little aches and pains each morning and needing a larger bed since our toddler oftens leeps with us . We tried these beds out on our way to Sleep Train to try ''regular'' beds and my daughter actually fell asleep while laying on one in the showroom! The price seemed high so we went to Sleep Train right away to see how they compared. After trying Every mattress in the Sleep Train showroom, the only one that even came anywhere close to feeling as good as the E.S. bed cost over $5,000. We were told we could get a 40% discount but it still would have cost more than the much more comfy bed at E.S. We immediately went to E.S. and ordered the bed. It was about $2100 but oh, so worth it! It took a month to get but was worth the wait. We opted not to get the pillow top but they have told us they will loan us one to try out and see if we want to add it. Haven't tried it yet. 2 neighbors have the bed with the pillow top and love their beds too (bought within last 2 years). No more aches or pains and sleeping away from home makes us long to get home! Well worth the money!!! nicole

My husband & I just bought Tempurpedic mattress at Evolution on University & 5th. It was less expensive than some of the other high-end mattresses (e.g. Duxiana) but we found them to be as if not more comfortable. As far as your big purchase anxiety, they have a money back warranty (90 days, I think) if you are not happy with the purchase. We found the folks at Evolution to be very helpful too. Ilana

In regards to the question of replacing a king size mattress. I was in the same dilemma a few months ago. Instead of replacing the mattress, I invested in (about $200) a 2 inch memory foam overlay. What a difference! No more aching back or tossing and turning. It's generally the same stuff as the expensive high tec sleep foam mattresses. It takes a few weeks for the slight smell to disappear completely (which it did) and for it to tamp down to it final height but it's like having a new bed. I purchased my foam at the Foam Creations Sleep Shop in Albany on Solano Ave. but any good futon/foam store would probably carry it. You may have to buy sheets a bit deeper than before but generally mine still fit. It's a tradeoff but it definitely made a HUGE difference and I'm not spending thousands on a new bed! Good Luck! Heather

I felt like the princess sleeping on the pea for many years until we bought our mattress at McRoskey in San Francisco. McRoskey is a family-owned company that has been making mattresses in San Francisco for over 100 years.

Now I sleep soundly, wake up w/o aches and pains, and family & friends who've stayed over comment on how wonderful the mattress is. We did have to pay more for it, but it really turned out to be worth it. These things last forever.

You can try out the different mattress and box spring combinations and custom order sizes. As it turned out, after I slept on the one we took home, I ended up deciding that I wanted a firmer mattress instead, and there was no trouble exchanging it.

I can't praise them highly enough! http://www.mcroskey.com/visit.html Natasha

Just so you know, most major matress manufacturers give you 60- 90 days to decide if you like your mattress or not.

We just bought a Simmons Backcare. It was more than we wanted to spend, but after shopping around nothing else felt as good.

Be sure to stick it out for a few weeks w/ your new mattress, though. Like you, I was having hip problems. At first w/ the new mattress it actually got worse, but after two weeks or so the problem totally cleared up. Feels great now. elisabeth

Buy the good stuff! Because of ongoing back pain, which seems to be getting worse as I age, we splurged and bought a European Sleep Works mattress last year. I can report that although I do still sometimes wake up stiff, I get a vastly better night's sleep than I did on our old, saggy mattress. I justified the expense by reasoning that I shouldn't scrimp on anything I spend half my life doing, such as sleeping. You need a new mattress anyway, why not get the best? At least go try them. Your aching back will thank you. Mom with comfy bed

We recently purchased a king size bed from European Sleepworks in May 2002. I really felt like we went out on a limb purchasing an unconventional bed. I had a lot of misgivings about our purchase, and am not sure I would buy another bed from them again. The reasons are not so much based upon comfort as much as their sales approach, the assistance after the sale was made and some sales claims they made.

First, I am reasonably comfortable when I can get sleep. We have a 3+ year old who doesn't sleep well, an 8 month old who nurses every two hours and a 16lb cat(did I mention the husband that snores?).

When we first brought the bed home, both my husband and I felt as if our heads were lower than our bodies. As if we were sleeping on a down slope. I called E.S. and requested some help. They were very reluctant to give us a new tension setting for our slats. After three phone calls, they gave me a new setting over the phone. Turns out that the tension brackets on the slats are very cumbersome to set yourself. There are no markings on the slats to help your determine where to put the brackets for the number setting they've given you. They tell you to use a ruler to help you set the tensions based upon the middle of the slat. Yeah right! The mattress is heavy. Someone has to lift it while your under it fiddling with the ruler trying to reset the tension brackets.

During one of the phone calls I commented on how slick the sales process was, the closing etc. then no follow up with their customers(for such a high end product) or if you have a question or a problem there's only reluctance to help. The sales woman said, ''we hate to get involved in people's sleep problems, it gets so personal''! Boy, if only she knew what my sleep problems were! I just wanted a new setting for my slats.

That said, I still don't know if our slats are TRULY set with our body types in mind. E.S. insist that the bed is customized to fit your body type by setting the tension, but they really don't have a perfected system to tell you the how and why behind it. They don't ask for your height or weight or how you normally sleep(back or side?). And they certainly won't be helpful if you request a new slat configuration. So when I lost the rest of my pregnancy weight I didn't bother to call them for a new setting I just squeezed under the bed and made my best guess!

It would have been nice if E.S. sent someone back to my house to help me reset the tension. I mentioned that I live less than a mile from their Berkeley office, it wouldn't have taken much time/effort on their part(after I paid $2,000 for the bed!).

Secondly, they will tell you that movement(someone getting in or out of bed) doesn't affect the mattress or the other person sleeping in the bed. Not true. Third, they will tell you that the mattress will not ''sink'' if a heavy person is sleeping next to someone who is lighter. Not true.

I hope my comments have helped. Good luck! Maya

This is how I bought our mattress: I started with a $700 budget for a queen-sized mattress, so Duxiana, European Sleepworks and McRoskey were out of the question for us. I read about mattresses at www.whatsthebest-mattress.com and learned that manufacturers (not the independent high-ends mentioned above) sell the same mattresses, but name them differently at each store so that customers cannot compare prices from store to store. I also learned what to look for in mattress construction. I took my notes and went through the exhausting process of visiting the major mattress stores (Mattress Discounters, Sleeptrain, Mancini's, etc.) and tried out mattresses our price range. I found most stores were horrendous -- really high-pressured, irritating sales tactics and absolutely unwilling to give a straight answer. Salespeople will bad-mouth the brand their store doesn't carry -- the only stores that didn't use these tactics were Viking Trader on San Pablo (I didn't like any of their mattresses) and Mancini's in Pinole. Also, Mancini's has a chart comparing the mattresses by name. I ended up spending about $1,000 at Mancini's -- and we're very happy. I couldn't find anything under $900 that I liked. Maybe next time we'll be able to move on up to European Sleepworks! Good luck! Anon

Have you tried a memory foam mattress pad? Or Tempur-Pedic?

Feb 2002

Has anyone tried latex or memory foam mattress pads (to top off the mattress) OR tried the Tempur-Pedic style mattresses which uses the high tech sounding viscoelastic type foam? I saw the pads at Foam Creations on Solano and was wondering if it was worth the price. We have a very hard mattress and the quilted pads that come from Strouds or other linen stores don't add much comfort. Thanks for any input.Anon.

Hi. We bought a foam mattress with a memory foam topper from Foam Creations. We absolutely loved it when we first got it. It was so luxurious and comfortable. One time a friend of mine put her son down for a nap in our bed and fell asleep with him and later told us that the mattress was so comfy that she couldn't fight off her sleep. The problem is that the memory foam didn't live up to what was promised. We were told it would maintain it's memory for ten years. After only three years, we are ready to replace it. I wake up with an achy back and the mattress sags in the middle. Another real downside was that when our son was a new infant, we needed to temporarily replace the memory foam with something more firm because we feared he might suffocate in the memory foam. Also, the foam base beneath the memory foam mildewed pretty severely, even though we were told that if we got one of those expensive mattress covers it wouldn't happen. So now we are regretting our purchase and in the market for a standard mattress/boxspring set up. I think our backs will be happier in the long run. anonymous

We had a similar choice to make a couple of years back, and opted for a 2 inch thick memory foam pad (can't remember the company, but I know they make gloves). It's been great. I think it was about $200, and it was like getting a whole new mattress. The tempur-pedic mattresses are much more expensive, but we've been very happy with our pad. Meri

I did a bit of research a year ago and am happy with my 2-inch mattress pad that I purchased for less than $200, including mattress cover. My mattress was too hard and the pad has made a huge difference. The isotonic mattress topper is made of foam that has 4 lbs/cubic foot density. (the Tempurpedic line is 5 lbs/cubic foot. And some users' reviews claimed it was too hard.) I bought mine at the following web site. I was happy with their price and service. (They also have lots of information on the site.) http://www.healthyfoundations.com/ I also noticed that Costco in Richmond had these pads as well, but I don't know the exact quality/specifics. hae

Latex mattress for daughter's allergies

November 2001

I may have missed some recent discussions about mattresses, but couldn't find much in the archives. We need to buy 2 twin mattresses for loft/trundle bed. Our 4-year-old daughter has pretty bad dust/pollen allergies, and we are trying to create a dust-free room. I'm also interested in buying chemical-free stuff as much as possible. We've thrown out the very old mattresses which we inherited with the bed, and need replacements. There is a bewildering amount of information on the web (mostly from people selling mattresses). I don't think we want conventional spring mattresses (is the toxic outgassing only a short-term issue, or ???). Alternatives seem to be variations of cotton/wool combos, and latex. Sounds like latex allergies aren't really likely with mattresses, but can't be sure about wool. Latex sounds interesting--are hypoallergenic claims accurate? Do they really breathe? Does it mean you don't have to have a dust cover over it? The foam shop on Solano Avenue sells twin size latex mattreseses for about $500 each. Lots of eco-mattresses (cotton/wool) are even more expensive than that. We're willing to spend something more than conventional mattress, but not a small fortune, on something good and long-lasting. Any suggestions? My apologies if this has been discussed recently, and if so, I would welcome any forwarding of past postings. Lori

I had a latex mattress on my bunk bed as a kid and it still remains for me the standard of wonderful comfort against which all other mattresses are judged. Thirty years later it still seems just as good. I presume they breathe, since it's not a smooth surface, has airholes. > fiona

I have a friend who has a latex foam mattress. He has severe allergies to dust, pollen, mold etc. When he bought it, they told him he needed to put it on a slat bed, because otherwise it could mildew on the bottom from the moisture released during sleep. He didn't do it for two years (had it on a platform because he couldn't afford a new frame) and lo and behold, it did mildew. He has since treated it with unscented Lysol, which is supposed to kill the mildew. But I thought I I'd mention that this kind of mattress really does need to be on a slat bed or some other support that *itself* breathes. Otherwise you can risk defeating the whole purpose. Dawn

Foam Mattresses


We recently bought a foam mattress from Ikea for a toddler bed that expands to twin size as your baby grows. I let it air out outside for a day and it has a cover and of course the sheets. The last couple of weeks the comments regarding the foam and possibly inhaling chemicals is beginning to scare me. Can anyone recommend a solution, maybe another mattress pad or a feather bed over the foam? Or should we get rid of it? Thanks for any advice on this one... Alexis

I think that plastic (polythene, not PVC) zippered mattress covers can protect against the outgassing of both foam and conventional baby mattresses, the latter being treated with flame retardant chemicals on which some fungi feed. The Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients (Aug/Sept 2000) article entitled Victory over crib Death by Dr. Lendon Smith made a compelling case for using Babesafe mattress covers (email criblife [at] hotmail.com to obtain more info) and no moisture resistant bedding otherwise Nori

Mattress for someone with a bad back

August 2000

Can anyone recommend a brand of mattress for someone with a bad back in the market for a king size bed?

I don't know if you have the funds to do it, but if you've never tried a Dux bed, you should! They are very expensive, but incredibly well-made Swedish beds. They are warranted for TWENTY YEARS. People leave them to their kids in their wills! You can buy them only at the Duxiana stores (I know there is one in SF). Because we have recently come into a small amount of discretionary income, we went last week to check out the current prices. A king size 7007 (their top of the line model) is around $7,000, depending on whether you want California King (a little cheaper) or Eastern King (a little more expensive). They have two less expensive lines as well, but we felt that the difference bewteen a regular mattress and the cheaper Dux beds was not sufficient to warrant the extra expense. But the expensive one definitely *is* worth the extra money! We decided that if we were going to do it, we'd just go whole hog and do it. Here's their website for more info http//www.duxbed.com/ I definitely would recommend that you go check them out! Dawn

My parents have Tempur-pedic bed. It isn't boxsping/mattress, but made from some space-age foam. It is very comfy to me when I lie on it. My mom got it because my father has bad everthing (back, hips, etc.) and they love it. It is mid-range in terms of cost. I don't know where to tell you to find it, but they have a web site (www.tempurpedic com). Hilary

If you can afford it, get a mattress at European Sleepworks on Adeline. We LOVE this mattress. When I go to sleep with a backache, I wake up pain free. To clarify on the cost of mattresses at European Sleepworks -- I believe the mattress alone is around $1,000 or $1,100 for a King size. Inbal and Kathy

Try European Sleep Works on Adeline in Berkeley. These matrresses are heavenly!! We just got an eastern king. You can adjust each side differently, so your partner can have what they want as well. Prices range from $1700 to 2500 for either Ca or eastern king (we found this about twice the rate of a good quailty American bed, which is not nearly as good for your back). There is another brand, duks or something like that, that is also supposed to be very good, but I have heard thay are about twice this price. -Lisa

I want to second (or third) the European Sleep Works endorsements. I bought my bed there while I was pregnant, and I slept comfortably throughout my entire pregnancy. Dashka

Inflatable Mattresses


Every summer as we visit my mother and stay in her home, our three kids and their cousin struggle with more or less comfortable sleeping arrangements. In previous years one kid had to sleep on a futon mattress right on the (carpeted) floor. In order to improve matters a bit, my mother has been considering other options, such as those thick inflatable mattresses that you see in some catalogs. I would very much appreciate some feedback from others who have given the inflatable mattresses a try either as hosts (ie: are they easy to inflate/deflate/store) or as houseguests (were they comfortable enough for one night? for several nights in a row?) . Thanks! Laura

I find the inflatable mattresses much more comfortable than a futon. They're not hard to put up and take down, though it helps to have an electric pump (many brands sell pumps that are made to work specifically with the mattress). They are not large--maybe half the size of a standard pillow when fully deflated. The big downside is that they can get holes in them. Our 12 year old daughter jumped on our last one and burst a side seam (completely unable to be repaired). So it sort of depends on the activity level of the kids, and location in which the mattress will be used. Good luck! Dawn

we slept on one recently when visiting my father. it was very easy to inflate and deflate with the electric pump (came with it). all three of us (2 adults and one 22 month old) slept on it comforatably. at first it wasn't comfortable, but then we added more air and it was fine. i forgot the brand. it runs around $150.00 i think and is carried at bed, bath & beyond and sold in the hearth and home catalog. Susan

We got a queen size one from REI ($25 or so) almost two years ago for guests and it has been great. I don't think you need to get the really expensive ones. Do invest in an electric pump, though -- much easier than the foot pump. Curryville

I slept on one for a week while staying at my mother in law's house. I didn't tell her this, but I didn't find it very comfortable at all. I would say it's OK for one night but that would be about it. If you move or roll the thing sort of slips on the floor. It also squeaks when you get up (my baby quickly figured out I was on the floor next to his crib which greatly lessened his interest in staying asleep.) They are definitely easy to inflate and deflate, however, and do not take up much storage space. And, I should add, I have a reputation for being somewhat of a princess. Fran

We'd like to put an extra bed in our son's room for house guests, but don't have much extra space to play around with. I've looked at futons, but the frames are all so big that I'm beginning to think we should try to find a comfortable fold-away cot or even an air mattress that can be stored out of place when not in use. How have others solved this problem? Is there such a thing as a comfortable cot or air mattress? If so, where would I go to find one? Any other ideas? Thanks. Holly

air matteress--I highly recommend the AERO BED air mattresses! I think you can get them at Sears but I imagine they are at lots of other places too. Ferdief

King-sized Mattress for Family Bed

Sept. 2000

I know this is a little off-topic but it does relate to parenting, so I'm going to give it a try. We just had a little girl three months ago and she sleeps in our queen-sized bed with us. Unfortunately it's a little crowded in there what with all the rustling around we do when nursing, the care we have to take with the sheets & blankets, etc. We're looking to buy a king-sized bed so that we all can stretch out a little bit but are a bit daunted by the huge and confusing selection of brands and types. Can anyone offer any advice as to a good, reasonably priced king-sized bed? And where to get it?

We're on a modest budget but are interested in good quality. We can probably afford something around $1000-1200. If anyone knows of any such mattress, please let me know! Thanks much! Valerie

King-size bed. We also outgrew our family bed, and finally went to king-size last January. We ended up buying our bed at Mancini's Sleepworld in Pinole, and I highly recommend them. They deliver free, give you a frame, take away the old mattress, if needed (we just asked them to put it in another room), and offer a comfort guarantee, which means if you don't like the mattress you bought, they will exchange it at no charge within a certain period of time. We bought a Serta mattress called the Worthington Plush, and we love it. We got it on sale, so I think it was about $900. If I had known what a difference a bigger bed would make, I would not have waited so long! Good luck. Burleola

I'd look at Mattress Discounters out on Hesperian Blvd in San Leandro (not far up the street from Target). We have bought 5 sets from them. It is NOT a deluxe shopping environment, but who cares? Many of the sets are mismatched or have tiny flaws in them. Here's what we do We go in and lay down on a variety of different mattresses. How else can one decide which one is best? There is nothing wrong with any of the products beyond those I've mentioned. The prices are less because the store does very little advertising and is not a major retailer. I've sent several friends there and all have reported satisfaction. I doubt that you would need to spend $1000 for a bed. Good Luck. Sharon