Real Life Reviews: Reader Love Letters to Comfortable Mattresses

Apartment Therapy Home Remedies

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Mattress shopping is daunting. It's a major purchase and can often be accompanied by a major sales pitch. A while back, Maxwell took one for the team and spent a year sleeping on a different mattress every month to find out the pros and cons of a whole bunch of different options. Today, I pulled the "lovey dovey" comments from the comment threads of those Year in Bed posts. Sometimes it's a good thing to hear what has worked out for other folks and these readers are die hard fans of a few popular, affordable mattress options...

Natural Care by Simmons

After months of research, I just bought the version of this mattress they sell at Crate and Barrel and am loving it—have never slept so well. Mine is on a DWR platform bed and it works great, plus I feel good about being at least partically organic. Highly recommended! gagicab

My husband and I bought the king size version of this bed mid-last year - after 15 years on a cheap beautyrest. We love it! While searching, my husband was not a fan of the foam beds. So, when the salesman said this had foam...we could not believe it. You can not tell at all. In terms of movement on the mattress as you shift in sleep - you do not really feel a "bounce" back effect. It is a comfortable bed. We love it and highly recommend it. Whichever mattress you buy - make sure to take good care of it...vacuum the top every time you change sheets - helps with the longevity of the mattress. Jen in Chi-town

It was a blessing to sleep on it during my first pregnancy last year. I had severe morning sickness and lower back pain and this mattress was the only surface I could tolerate. Never had a backache since I owned this mattress. It does not really have a bounce back effect but you do feel it if someone moves if you are close enough. It does sink in quite a bit if you sit in it, but sleeping is great. manjari

I have this bed - but in another model and I love it. Have not had any problems with it at all - it's extremely comfortable & there is less movement across the bed when one person moves. It's like a big (supportive) marshmallow. JR123

Tea Leaf, Pillow Plus & Cloud by Keetsa

We have been sleeping on the Keetsa Tea Leaf Classic for the last two years, this one is a step up from the Pillow Plus, but still a mid-range mattress at $1200 for a queen.

We are absolutely in love, it has a memory foam topper that's built in to the mattress, but it is still fairly firm. I like softer mattresses, but they tend to give me back pains, so this fits in as the 'softest firm mattress' we could find.

So far, it's kept it's shape surprisingly well. We are really happy with the quality as well as the 'eco-ness', we didn't notice hardly any off gassing.

We recommend Keetsa to everyone, I especially love how simple their choices are, we had spent hours in mattress stores, and after the 20th bed, it's hard to tell which one you like. Also, their staff is really helpful without being pushy or sales-y, so I felt really good about the purchase afterwards. alexis0012

We have slept on the Queen Keetsa Tea Leaf Classic since Spring of 2008, and love it! My husband came into the picture after I bought it and he enjoys it too. We live in San Francisco, so I tested the mattresses in their showroom, they were very helpful in advising on the mattress types. The install was easy to complete on my own. There was a smell initially, but within a days time the smell was all gone. We are looking to upgrade to a king size bed from Keetsa next year! Janine Lichtenstein

I've had the pillow plus since june 2008. I bought it because i needed a bed ASAP and the store was down the street. I've kept it and loved it because it is a wonderful nights sleep and even three years in, i don't wake up sore. I recommend this to everyone.ksarasara

I have the Keetsa Cloud mattress and foundation that I have slept on for a little over a year and absolutlely love it. I have a bad back and this really has made a huge difference in the sleep I am able to get. I do find it sleeps a bit hot but nothing too distressing for me. walterinbklyn

Tempur-Cloud by Tempurpedic


The Cloud has been otherworldly. Life-changing. I just —- I —- I can't adequately convey with words the amount of love I have for this bed. I can't believe I was initially turned off by its squishiness because I thought I was some kind of hard bed person. Proboscidea

We've been sleeping on it for about 7 months now and it's perfect. I absolutely do not agree that it sleeps hot, BUT we do have the natural topper. We don't have the ergo adjustable base, we just have a basic metal frame and the low profile box spring. I have never slept so well, the ONLY negative we have about this bed is that we can no longer sleep in hotels. I have serious back problems and this is the magic. MyDogistheShihTzu

We have been sleeping on a Tepur-Pedic for 10+ years and wouldn't have it any other way. Unfortunately, the more natural options were not available to us in Alaska at the time, or we would have looked into those. The bed did off-gas a bit in the beginning, but after it aired out it has been great for reducing my allergies.

It was hard to get used to the change from a traditional mattress to a memory foam mattress; it took us 3 weeks to stop waking up sore and achy, but ever since I wouldn't want to sleep on anything else!

~I have even gone so far as to scout out the hotels that offer these type of mattresses so we will get a good nights' rest while traveling.

~I wish we had purchased the adjustable bed base, but we can always add it later. I agree about the pillows, I prefer my "side sleeper" standard allergy free pillow.

~We use an electric blanket to warm the mattress on cold winter nights before we crawl in to it, and conversely on hot summer nights I put a mattress pad o it to keep it cool.

~We LOVE our Tempur-pedic! Dreaming in Lillies

My husband and I bought a TemperPedic bed in 2008, primarily for the non-transfer of motion properties. My husband loved it immediately. It took me about 2.5 months to get used to it—I woke up every day sore for a while. But our salesman said it could take some people a while to adjust, and I did. I realize that the discomfort was my spine "unkinking". After that 2.5 months passed, all the kinks were unkinked, I now sleep like a baby every night, and I wake up every morning feeling fantastic. This bed really changed my life in a great way! bonobokc

IKEA Natural Latex

(was the Erfjord, current Natural Latex option is the Edsele)

My partner and purchased this bed about a year and a half ago and love it. It suits our sleeping needs (he's a stomach sleeper, I alternate between back and side), and we appreciate that it doesn't bounce or squeak like a traditional mattress— there is very little motion transfer.

Indeed, a topper is recommended— we have a 2-inch foam (regular foam, not memory) topper that makes a significant difference with comfort, especially if you're a hot sleeper. Also, when testing the mattress at the store, they usually will have it up on a box spring; drag it down to the floor and try it there, as that is a much more accurate reading if you plan on having just a slatted frame. laramiwha

We have this bed, we've been sleeping in it for about a year. We're both a little heavy and both sleep a little hot. We both like the bed on the soft side. We have the mattress on a king-sized frame we got on sale from West Elm, with a topper.

We are IN LOVE with this bed. It's by far our favorite place to spend time as a family, totally comfortable and cozy, not too hot, doesn't move at all when one of us gets up or moves around. It weighs a TON and can't be moved once it's in place, but who cares? That's the only downside. Frannyo

We bought the Erfjord just three weeks ago. In summer we got an excellent professional advice by ikea's staff and a hint that it would be on sale in fall, so we saved up. As we were used to an even firmer latex mattress and have an adjustable slatted frame it feels rather soft to us. But here in Europe it is not sold as a firm but middle. So far we like it a lot, it is comfortable and never smelled funny, and the thought of lying on an eco-friendly mattress makes our sleep even sounder. morningflower

(Image credits: Melissa DiRenzo)

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