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normal Saatva mattress review and analysis

29 Feb 2012 19:47 - 25 Oct 2014 11:20 #1 by Phoenix

Hi BigCTM,

I've started a new thread in answer to your question in post #5 here about Saatva.

After the original analysis that was written here, I was contacted by the manufacturer of the Saatva Mattress who provided me with more up to date and detailed specs and information so this is an edited and updated analysis of the original Saatva mattress analysis and review so it more accurately reflects all the current specs and components (some of which are not yet up to date on their site). I'll list the layers from bottom to top (as supplied by the manufacturer) along with my comments and then provide an overview of the mattress and then comment on some of the information on their site as well. Normally I don't go into quite this much detail but since they were good enough to provide me with the information it's only fair to provide a more detailed analysis.

There is some reasonably good quality/value here ... especially compared to most of the mainstream choices that they compete with or that most consumers end up buying ... but it's also fair to say that there are other similar mattresses in a comparable or better quality/value range that would also be well worth considering. They are also not in the "ultra premium" category which they mention often on their site and some of the mattresses they compare themselves with are not apples to apples comparisons.

Mattress layers and components:

Support components

336 (416 in queen) Bonnell: Bonnell innersprings have been called the workhorse of the industry and they are a strong innerspring that are usually found in low to moderately priced mattresses or in mattresses that need firm and strong support for higher weights. Bonnell coils are made by Leggett & Platt (among many others) and come in a range of coil counts (see the Leggett & Platt range here ). In this case it is the 416 unit which is the second up in the L & P lineup. The center third of the innerspring is also zoned with what they call their Spinal Zone which helps to support the heavier pelvis and helps with alignment.

The innerspring has a good quality 2.5 oz insulator pad on the top and bottom of the springs to keep the foam from sinking into the gaps in between the springs.

The bottom of the mattress has an inch of 1.5 lb very firm polyfoam and on top of the springs there is an inch of 1.5 lb 34 ILD polyfoam to even out the compression and feel of the springs.

It also has steel edge supports which are stronger than edge supports that use just polyfoam.


In the pillowtop there is a 1/2" 1.2 lb 34 ILD insert to prevent Pocketed Unit from making noise or digging into the Non Woven Versare material on the bottom of the pillowtop enclosure.

Above the 1.2 lb polyfoam there is a 713 14.5 gauge pocket coil that has been compressed to 4"
. This is somewhat unusual since normally a microcoil is used when springs are used to replace foam in a pillowtop but this is an actual pocket coil which is compressed which is a more costly component. It would be comparable in concept to a microcoil where independent pocket coils provide the "comfort" of the mattress. This is a very durable and good quality component. It has a foam surround of firmer polyfoam for good edge support.

On top of the compressed pocket coil there is 1" of 5 lb gel memory foam which is also a high quality material.

There is also a 1.8 lb gel polyfoam center third layer which provides additional center zoning which is also a high quality polyfoam. The gel memory foam and and the quilting layers above it are used to even out the compression and improve the feel of sleeping directly on compressed pocket coils in the comfort layers.

Zoned Quilted cover:

1+1/4" 1516: This is a medium density 1.5 lb quilting foam

7/8" Quilt-flex 1210: This is a lower density quilting foam which is ultra soft and more durable and resilient than polyester fiber.

+ .85 FR Thistle (Naturally Inherent Fiber from Wood Pulp): This is an inherent viscose fire barrier which IMO is a safe choice compared to chemical fire retardant methods that are also used as fire barriers.

The quilted panel is stapled with flared staples every 2" into the foam encasement: This adds strength and helps the quilted cover maintain its shape

The organic cotton cover is 40% cotton on the face of fabric. Hypo allergenic synthetic fibers are used in the base and in the backing of the fabric. The damask organic cotton border has same blend. The border is quilted to 1/4" 1.2 lb 34 ILD polyfoam plus .85 FR barrier. This is a cover and border that "contains" organic fibers but is not organic.

The quilted cover: is also zoned in the center with a more closely spaced quilting pattern in the center of the mattress which adds quilting needles in the more closely spaced quilting areas in the center of the cover rather than just removing needles in the head and foot section.

Foundation: this is a foundation suitable for the weight of a waterbed covered with 250 lb test corrugated cardboard with double vertical rails in Full and Queen and 15 cross slats. Covered with FR cloth and organic cotton (same blend as the cover) border matching the mattress. This is a very strong and durable foundation although I am not the biggest fan of a solid cardboard surface that doesn't breath as well as foundations that have open slats (see post #10 here )

Overall Thoughts:

The top layers are the weak link of most mattresses but in the case of the Saatva the padding materials in the pillowtop are high quality materials (the compressed pocket coil, the gel memory foam, and the center zoning gel polyfoam).

The quilting layers would also be relatively durable because they are pre-compressed in the quilting which adds to durability ... particularly under the heavier areas of the body where the quilting pattern is more closely stitched. If anything I would consider the lower density polyfoam used in the quilting materials to be a little on the thick side (a little over 2") and I normally like to see quilting layers a little thinner (under 2") to reduce the risk of soft spots or virtual (or actual) impressions that can affect some people more than others but this is offset by the quilting and zoning of the mattress and therer is certainly less lower density polyfoam than most mainstream mattresses.

There are 3 layers of center zoning in this mattress (the Bonnell coil, the pillowtop, and the quilted cover) so this would add thickness and support to the middle third of the mattress where it is most needed under the pelvis and lower back and reduce the chances and effect of body impressions and foam softening. Although the foam layers would still soften (this is true of every mattress) ... they are also thicker and more supportive under the areas of heaviest weight so the effect of foam softening would be reduced. All the foam is CertiPur certified which is good.

Overall, in spite of the slightly higher amount of lower and medium quality foams in the upper layers of the mattress than I would normally suggest (2" or more is where I would become a little cautious) this is a good quality moderately priced mattress that would compare very well in terms of quality and value with most mainstream brands in higher budget ranges. While they are not an "ultra premium" mattress, they certainly compare well to many more premium mattresses made by many mainstream manufacturers, especially those that use thicker layers of less durable materials such as lower density polyfoam. The 3 levels of zoning would be a bonus in terms of contributing to good alignment and reducing impressions and the effect of foam softening and the breakdown of materials. It also fills a niche for a mattress that has both innerspring support and comfort layers (coil on coil) which are not commonly available online ... especially in this budget range.

Webpage and marketing:

This is the area where they have dropped the ball in my opinion.

On this page they are comparing their mattresses with much higher priced mattresses which don't even have a similar design and are not really apples to apples comparisons. Apples to apples comparisons need to have a common design or a common price range and only two of the mattresses they are comparing themselves to even use coils in the comfort layers at all and all of them use more costly innersprings as a support system. They are also using total coil count as a basis for comparison which is misleading because there is much more to an innerspring than the number of coils in the unit. Pocket coils (or microcoils) in the comfort layers should be compared to other comfort materials and not included as part of a comparison with support layers. Pocket coils compare well with other comfort materials in terms of feel and durability.

There are also some inaccurate statements on their site which can lead consumers to evaluating their mattress as having greater value than it really does in comparing them to other mattress types. These include ...

Given the quality and number of coils we use, our microcoils cost us around 4X the cost of a latex or memory foam layer used in other comparably priced beds.

Bonnell coils are the industry standard for mattresses as they offer support and durability,

However, because of the cost of production, coil-on-coil units rarely, if ever, sell for less than $2500, and are more often in beds in the $3500 plus range.

None of these are particularly accurate.

Microcoils are not more costly than latex or other specialty foams. You can see the Leggett & Platt site here where it specifically mentions that they are less expensive than specialty layers although their coil comfort layer is actually a compressed pocket coil which may be more costly than a microcoil even though it performs the same function.

Bonnell coils are widely used and it would be reasonable to say that some people consider them the "industry standard coil" but there are also many other types of innersprings (some of them less costly and some such as some offset coils and pocket coils that are more costly) in many budget ranges and all of them can offer good support and durability. The most appropriate innerspring in a mattress depends on the design and the budget of the mattress but regardless of the type of innerspring used in a mattress ... a good quality innerspring or any type is not normally the weak link of a mattress.

There are also many innerspring/microcoil (pocket coil) mattresses that are significantly under the $2500 that they claim would be a comparable mattress including some that are made by the same manufacturer that makes Saatva. Some of these use more costly offset coils or pocket coils or other materials in their mattresses along with microcoils with higher coil counts and/or specialty foams (such as latex or memory foam) in their comfort layers or wool in the quilting and sell for well under $1500 .

Comfort Choices and service:

They have three comfort choices which are soft, medium or firm which should suit the needs of a wide range of people but there are more than three types of people when it comes to choosing a mattress so one these three choices may not be ideal for all people. If at all possible I would also test mattresses locally that use microcoils or pocket coils in the comfort layers because the comfort layers contribute the most the the overall "feel" of the mattress and the choice of which type of material is best for you is a personal preference. Like any high quality material (including latex or memory foam), microcoils may not be a comfort material you prefer or even like so making sure you have some familiarity with this type of design and component can be important.

With any online purchase, I would also make careful comparisons with other local mattresses that may be available to you that have a similar design and use similar or better quality materials because there are some very good value choices available in similar styles of mattresses in many areas of the country. I would always start of with local testing and then compare your "finalists" to what is available online based on your personal value equation . "Best value" is always relative to the options you are considering and on what is available to you.

With any online purchase there is always a risk of making a less than ideal choice and part of "value" with an online purchase is the return policy. In the case of Saatva ... returns are low cost and will average less than $100 according to Saatva.

In talking with them I have found them to be knowledgeable and helpful and they provide very good responsive service. They would certainly be able to help their customers choose which of the three comfort levels would likely be best for them.

So overall they are a much better choice than most mainstream options but may or may not represent the best value when compared to other options that may be available locally or different types of mattress available online and their website is not particularly accurate wth some of their claims and comparisons. As with any mattress purchase ... always make sure you make some some meaningful quality and value comparisons based on your personal value equation before purchasing any mattress.

As far as plushbeds ... they are a good quality mattress but their value is not in the same value range as the online manufacturers that are members of this site (which I see you have recognized with your next post). There is a comparison between them and mattresses.net in post #11 here . While plushbeds have better value than many other choices ... there are certainly better options available to members of this site.


Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read this post first.
Last Edit: 25 Oct 2014 11:20 by Phoenix.

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13 Aug 2012 12:16 #2 by Themattressman

I have looked into them quite extensively and have read the forum post that was written about the company and they seem to be a great company, I was emailed back very quickly by the CEO about a question that i asked about the mattress. I was told the ILD was between 30-50 depending on the comfort mattress chosen. I was wondering if you have ever looked into the poly foam provider, off-gassing or have found out how the comfort layers may hold up over time. I am looking for a mattress in their general price range and they look great for the price and for what the product features. Anything more would be helpful.
Thank you

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13 Aug 2012 15:08 - 13 Aug 2012 15:20 #3 by Phoenix

Hi Themattressman,

I switched your post and my previous comments to a new Saatva thread (to keep them together and for easier reference) and also updated my previous comments in the first post of this thread which would still apply as far as my opinions of the relative quality and value of their mattresses.

Comfort specs of the polyfoam (such as ILD) or individual layers are not as helpful without a reference point based on your personal testing with similar combinations of materials because all the layers interact together. Their general firmness descriptions would probably be a better way to make a selection than the "specs" of individual parts of the mattress.

While they may be better value than some of the mattresses they are comparing themselves to (which are all significantly overpriced anyway) and their comparisons are also somewhat misleading, they don't compare nearly as well to other better quality and value mattresses that are also available.


Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read this post first.
Last Edit: 13 Aug 2012 15:20 by Phoenix.

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13 Aug 2012 18:39 #4 by Themattressman

What would be the a better alternative in terms of value?

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13 Aug 2012 22:10 - 13 Aug 2012 22:13 #5 by Phoenix

Hi Themattressman,

That's a pretty broad question and it would depend on exactly what you were looking for because there would be hundreds or perhaps thousands of mattresses that have better value.

You can see here that Leggett & Platt, one of the major manufacturers of microcoils that are used in mattresses (and these are higher quality than is used in the Saatva) promotes them to their customers (the mattress manufacturers) as being less expensive than specialty layers (like latex and memory foam).

If you are committed to using microcoils in your mattress and are only looking at this component as an option ... then all of these are examples of microcoil mattresses from a single factory direct manufacturer out of (many manufacturers across the country that make them) that uses much higher quality components in every layer of their microcoil mattresses (click on the mattresses and then click on details to see what is in them) and have much better value.

An example of even higher quality "microcoil" mattresses that use even better quality components and also have much better value is here .

An example of a larger manufacturer (Restonic) that makes one that uses lower quality materials (like the Saatva) and has better value is here .

Of course I could spend all day looking for many more specific examples but hopefully you have the idea of why I wrote what I did and why I didn't think so highly of the Saatva or in particular some of the information on their site.

Comparing mattresses by materials instead of "marketing stories" and finding manufacturers and better outlets that make this easy is always the simplest and most effective way to find the best quality and value in a mattress.


Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read this post first.
Last Edit: 13 Aug 2012 22:13 by Phoenix.

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14 Aug 2012 13:16 #6 by Themattressman

Thank you for all the information, and time taken to respond. I am looking at both Parklane and Rocky Mountain as options, I am just having trouble deciding on a model and type of mattress. I am a recently separated Army veteran and so is my significant other so beds have been a number of surfaces in the past. We want a combo sleeping mattress, soft yet supportive. Also does Parklane offer any discount as being a forum member?

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14 Aug 2012 15:14 - 14 Aug 2012 15:18 #7 by Phoenix

Hi Themattressman,

Parklane is a member of this site and would be a great choice if you were local to them. They don't offer a discount to forum members but a "bonus" instead. I used them as an example of the types of mattress you were asking about because I knew that they made them. Rocky Mountain mattress is also a member of the site that specializes in online purchases and has the knowledge and experience to help their customers make good choices based on "averages" of people who have similar body types and sleeping styles. They offer a 5% discount to forum members. The list of manufacturing and retail members of the site, which ones focus on local purchases and which on national purchases and the bonus/discount they offer is here .

Generally though ... the "best" first step is to do some local testing to get a sense of the types of mattresses and materials you prefer. In many cases there may be local value that is equivalent to what is available online (in which case you have the ability to test the actual mattress you end up buying which is less risky). In other cases ... local testing can give you a set of guidelines about which type of mattress purchase online may work best for you and help the online outlet to help you more effectively.

If you let me know the city or zip you live ... I'd be happy to let you know of any better manufacturers or outlets I'm aware of that are close to you.


Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read this post first.
Last Edit: 14 Aug 2012 15:18 by Phoenix.

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15 Aug 2012 13:03 #8 by Themattressman

06010, Central CT

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15 Aug 2012 13:04 #9 by Themattressman

I really like the parklane company and products, but can't justify the shipping expense.

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15 Aug 2012 13:56 #10 by Phoenix

Hi Themattressman,

Posts #2 and #4 in here has a list of factory direct manufacturers that are close to you. A look at their sites shows that at least two of them make microcoil mattresses (Sigma and Flybynight which sells the Berkeley ergonomics I linked earlier) and some of the others may as well (a few quick calls will find out). They would also give you the chance to test this type of component against other options to see how it feels for you in "real life".

You have some very good options available to you within reasonable driving distance :)


Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read this post first.

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