Lessons Learned: Reliving Maxwell's "A Year in Bed"

Lessons Learned: Reliving Maxwell's "A Year in Bed"

Jason Loper
Mar 9, 2013

John and Yoko famously had their bed-in, in which they spent two weeks in bed as a way to promote peace. Fast forward to 2010 and our own Maxwell Ryan spent a year in bed to promote better sleep. OK, he didn't actually spend an entire year in bed — but he did spend a year testing a new mattress in his own home every month. Let's look back at his findings...

As Maxwell pointed out at the beginning of this series of posts, "Bed shopping rarely leaves room for much testing, and too often we buy beds after reading the promotional literature, getting carried away by the marketing (TRUMP bed anyone?) and, perhaps, lying on the bed for a few minutes, but how many of you actually get to really TEST a bed over a good period of time before buying it?" With that, he set about testing mattresses in his own home.

Maxwell's Top Ten Mattresses:

  1. Danny Seo Natural Care Mattress by Simmons As a friend of Danny's Maxwell was initially reticent about reviewing his mattress. What if he didn't like it? What if it got a bad review? All that worry over nothing! It turns out that this was the top ranking mattress, getting high marks for its sleep experience, construction and price. It doesn't look like Danny Seo-branded mattress is available today but Simmons still produces a Natural Care line.
  2. NaturaLatex Tranquil by Natura This mattress actually tied for first place in Maxwell's ranking. While he didn't initially have a positive experience with foam mattresses, this one proved to be just right. Maxwell rated it as "excellent" for sleep and "very good" for construction and price.
  3. The Hastens Excelsior II While this mattress reviewed well, at just over $13,000 it's an investment piece.
  4. Savoir No. 2 Bed - "The Savoy" What's it like to sleep on a $15,000 bespoke mattress? Excellent - but not at first. Maxwell reports, "You have to get used to this bed. For a $15k bed, we were both amazed at what a lumpy first impression it made. The horsehair topper settled big-time over our thirty days."
  5. The Royal Sovereign "Concerto LS" Maxwell reported an excellent sleep experience and very good construction but the $5,000 price tag kept this mattress from ranking higher.
  6. The Keetsa Pillow Plus Maxwell was impressed with this eco-friendly mattress from a small, family-owned company. The sleep experience was excellent, construction was very good and, at about $700, the pricing is pretty reasonable.
  7. The Biltmore Bed by Charles P. Rogers While this mattress provided a good night's sleep, its coil, foam and cotton/polyester didn't win Maxwell over for sustainability or naturalness. At just under $800, however, the pricing is very good for a traditional mattress.
  8. TEMPUR-Cloud Supreme w/ Adjustable Base Although not a fan of memory foam mattresses in general, Maxwell did report that he had a good sleep experience on this one. The true selling point of this bed might be the adjustable base, especially if you work/watch TV in bed. While Maxwell didn't use it much, his young daughter loved the feature.
  9. Embody Memory Foam by Sealy Maxwell initially found the squishiness of this memory foam mattress quite comforting — although he had spent the previous month on a very firm mattress — but he quickly noticed that he overheated due to lack of air circulation.
  10. IKEA Sultan Erfjord After sleeping on a $15,000 mattress, how does it feel to sleep on an affordable option from IKEA? Not bad. But not great either. This mattress felt a little too firm to Maxwell. Once he added a pillow topper, his sleep experience improved considerably.
So, what do you sleep on? Give us your opinion in the comments below and let's all help each other get a better night's sleep.

(Images: Maxwell Ryan)

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