Hi, I just yesterday purchased Kingsdown Sleeping Beauty mattress that is called Gabrielle in the store (15.5 deep - just the mattress and lifetime warranty) ... after reading the articles on your site, I am definitely in doubt over my purchase. I can not even find Sleeping Beauty Gabrielle on line - not even on the manufacturer's web site (I know it's a sales trick, so I can't comparison shop). What do you know about this mattress? I think by law you can cancel your purchase within 3 business days ...
As you probably know from reading here ... a mattress is only as good as the quality of the materials inside it and I would certainly want to know the details of what was inside a mattress I purchased so you could make a more meaningful evaluation of the quality and value of your purchase. As you mentioned ... the Gabrielle isn't listed on the Kingsdown site (and as you also mentioned naming conventions can vary from store to store or area to area) and a quick search didn't bring up any information for me either.
I don't know what the laws are in your state about a "cooling off" period when it comes to a consumer purchase (a phone call to the state consumer affairs office would probably tell you this) but I personally would at least want to know more details about what I had purchased even though Kingsdown isn't known for being transparent about what they put in their mattresses.
It will be a good day when the "norm" is for retailers and manufacturers to disclose the "real information" about their mattresses. To use an analogy ... nobody wants to pay "real wood" prices for "particle board".
Unfortunately this is the information on the law tag and says nothing about the specific layers of the mattress, the order of the layers, or the quality of the materials that are used (it only says the type).
These "ingredients" are typical though of the types of mattresses that would be best to avoid because most of the ingredients are polyurethane foam (which usually isn't a high quality/durability material and will soften and degrade too quickly particularly in the comfort layers) and polyester fiber batting which will compress and become firmer under weight over time. This are exactly the type of materials where you see so many people complaining after a very short time about "sleeping in a hole" or the loss of comfort and support because of the use of lower quality materials in the mattress. Unfortunately the loss of comfort and support isn't covered by warranty unless the physical impressions that are permanent in the mattress (when there is no weight on it) are deeper than the warranty exclusion. In most cases warranty claims will be denied because the soft spots are only apparent when you are on the mattress.
The odds are good that the only good quality material in the mattress is the latex but this is a heavier material so based on thickness it would be an even lower percentage of your mattress and is so thin that it probably wouldn't make much difference.
What you would need to make any kind of reasonable assessment of your mattress is the specific details of the layers that are inside it (1" of this, 2" of that etc) and the quality/density of each of the layers ... particularly the polyfoam layers which will be the weak link of this mattress.
Unfortunately the specs they gave you don't include the most important parts which is the quality of the materials they use ... not just the type. In the case of polyfoam ... this is expressed in lbs/cu ft density and is the most important part of what determines a better quality polyfoam.
Kingsdown (or their retailers) is also unlikely to provide this to you and this is the main reason for the first guideline
in this article
which suggests avoiding major brands completely (at least the ones that won't provide you with the most important information you need to make meaningful comparisons with other mattresses). This will help you avoid most of the quality and durability issues that are connected with the use of lower quality and durability materials ... especially polyfoam.
These kind of mattresses are not much more than marketing machines for lower quality polyurethane that is sold at prices that are difficult to justify.
Also, where should I shop for a mattress in the Lehigh Valley area in PA?
The factory direct manufacturers that are within about 60 miles or so (there are others a little further away) are ...
Fanwood, NJ. Factory direct manufacturer. Ron is the owner here and he is very helpful and knowledgeable. Makes a range of mattresses with various materials including latex and innersprings is well worth a visit or phone call. Also family owned and is a member of this site which means I believe they compete well with the
best in the industry
Pottstown (or Pottsdown), PA. Local factory direct manufacturer that makes a range of good quality and value mattresses including two sided innerspring mattresses and a number of latex and latex hybrid options. Family owned and good people. They also make custom designs and sizes and and they are also a member of this site.
Norristown, PA. They have been making mattresses for over 100 years and make a range of two sided mattresses including latex, innersprings, memory foam, and still make old style tufted innerspring and cotton mattresses. I spoke with Red the owner here for several hours and he is knowledgeable and experienced and is fully transparent about the mattresses they make. Would also be well worth a visit.
Some of the retail possibilities closer to you that may have some better quality and value and be worth including in your research and testing (depending on their prices and on their willingness and ability to tell you the materials in their mattresses) include ...
Bath, PA. Talked with Nick here and he will get any specs that are necessary and that he doesn't have. Carries Therapedic, Eclipse, and Eastman house. Has some memory foam and sometimes latex on the floor. Good people and knowledgeable about mattresses and the industry.
Hellertown, PA. Suite sleep, GreenSleep, WJ Southard, Naturepedic, Private label. These are all high quality mattresses and they have many latex options but they also carry premium prices so make some careful value comparisons here.
Doylestown, Paoli, PA. Retailer that carries a range of high quality mattresses including OMI, WJ Southard, Naturepedic, Savvy Rest, SleepTek, White Lotus, and Suite Sleep mattresses. The Savvy Rest is a "choose your own layer" mattress that would be particularly valuable in testing latex layer combinations if you are considering an online purchase even though most of these are also in more premium price ranges.