What makes for a quality mattress?
Mattresses are not all that different from buying things like cars or diamonds. Whenever I think of a complicated purchase, these three categories are the ones that come to mind. With cars, you have your choice of several in the same price range. Some lesser brand cars may actually have more desired features than more popular brands for same cost. For buying a diamond, you have to find your balance between color, clarity, cut and carats for the price you pay. You can overpay for one feature (say, color), while another feature can be so bad, that it drags down the overall value. Who wants a colorless diamond, with clarity (inclusions) so bad it looks cloudy? Finding the balance when shopping for cars, diamonds, or mattresses can be trickier than one would think.
It is no secret that there are many types of mattresses…memory foam, foam, air chamber, innerspring, latex, hybrids and others I am not thinking of. Each has its unique benefits, and drawbacks. What is very comfortable for one person, may not be for another. And how do you even know what is right for you, until you have tried it with daily use for many years? By then, the money is already spent – and if you are dissatisfied, it is unlikely you will ever recover it. You think to yourself, if I had just spent a few hundred more, I could have had a mattress that lasted me twice as long.
So not much unlike buying a diamond, you try to strike a balance between the important features that different mattresses of different builds offer. You balance cost of type of mattress you are buying, to its build quality vs others with similar materials. All the while making sure you account for how you predict its comfort will be and how long it will last. You can go cheap and pray for the most comfort possible till your replacement, or spend a bit more and hope the expense pays off.
We gave the Simmons BeautyRest 10″ Memory Foam Mattress-In-A-Box a try. I started by picking one up for my daughter. My daughter’s prior mattress was not only a name brand, but a designer inspired name brand. It was floor model. But, she was 2-years old at the time. We felt it was an appropriate ‘go cheap’ moment (hence buying a floor model…and thinking back now…yuk), as odds were she would probably be out of the house by the time it wore out. It had to be 20+ inches thick. It was super tall with a box spring, and a pain to get a sheet to fit. Then if you ditched the box spring to get a normal height, making the bed was a horrible experience.
So, enough of dealing with those issues. Her new Simmons BeautyRest was quickly delivered, and came in a great box that even had wheels. The box was the height of the width of the mattress, and while a bit heavy and awkward, I (mom) could get it up the stairs in the box without incident (tipped it on its side and shoved it on an angle using edges of stairs to coast on). The mattress itself is so vacuum pressed and wrapped that if space getting it to a bedroom was an issue, it could be removed from box and transported sealed until it reached its destination. Probably best not to open it fully until you are near the bed. I made the mistake of doing that with a very heavy topper once….it isn’t a mistake you repeat.
Now that we were upstairs, my daughter and I proceeded to open it ourselves. Her other mattress was now removed, and because we had removed the box spring prior to achieve a normal height on that old mattress, we were left with a plywood ‘platform’ we had built for it. My personal feelings on memory foam mattresses make me think that closely placed slats, or platform style beds enhance their longevity. If you have an existing box spring, that is fine.
We laid the box on its side, and just slid the vacuum sealed mattress out of the box. It was not difficult to put it in place (still sealed) on the bed. Then we used the included safe cutter to open the plastic cover without damaging the mattress. Once we got the plastic off (no sweat) the mattress expanded to over 9” in under 2 minutes. We found the honeycomb style stitched quilted top to be high quality, soft, and with no flaws. Now that it has been up for a while, it has expanded to its full height of 10”.
Memory foam mattresses generally consist of high density support foam, and then separate layers of varying types and densities of memory foam to create the mattresses’ unique comfort. In my opinion, the 10” Simmons BeautyRest looks to have a 7” layer of support foam, a 2” layer of traditional memory foam, and a 1” layer of gel memory foam (which is said to have cooling properties). If you unzip the cover, you can see all the different layers of foam (pictured).
I have seen in reviews for other types of mattresses that people may complain of ‘off gassing’ of the vacuumed shipped mattresses or toppers. In the past, our low or no-named brand toppers had this smell, but I never quite understood why this was a big deal per se, as off gassing is just temporary if it happens. But I smelled no off gassing with this mattress, nor did my daughter mention smelling anything. So maybe Simmons takes steps to prevent the off gassing.
She has been sleeping on it for a few months now (she is about 140lbs). She is sleeping so much better, and she was the poster child for bad sleep habits. Add to that she was one of those kids where you never knew what position you would find her in if you happened to peek while she was sleeping. With this mattress, she does not toss and turn like she did on her prior mattress. She seems comfortable on both her back and her side. Her prior mattress we had to put on a separate foam topper…but she was so happy with this that there was no need to buy an additional topper to enhance comfort. When I laid on her mattress, my initial assessments of the mattress comfort proved it to be “not too firm, not too soft”. In the past, I was most comfortable on a firm mattress with a memory foam topper. I was very comfortable on this mattress. And not that dogs are necessarily world renowned (re-hound?) mattress critics, but I have noticed that it is much harder to get them out of this bed than her old one! They even sneak on to it during the day when she is off at school.
We also ordered hers with the BeautyRest Sleep Tracker, so we could monitor her (because she has traditionally had difficulty sleeping). I am a sucker for great packaging, and the monitor is so nicely packaged it could be an impressive gift all on its own. Packaging was so nice you almost felt guilty opening it…
The sleep tracker sensor is placed under the mattress, under where the pillow is positioned. You plug the sleep tracker into the processor, and then into a usb wall plug (all of which is included). The quick start guide was so easy to find I actually overlooked it when I opened it all up.
Once you get things set up, it then communicates with the app on your smartphone. It gives you just about every detail you can imagine… and you can set it up to accommodate for other ‘noise’ that may be present in the bed with the tracked sleeper, such as another person, or two adorable dogs. There are also several great instructional videos on YouTube, which convinced us that it was a product that could prove beneficial in getting her a better night’s sleep.
My husband and I recently set our mattress up after asking her how much she liked hers. We can see why she likes it so much.
So far this mattress has proved to be a good value for the money. I know it has enhanced our nights’ sleep, and we actually look forward to climbing into bed at night.