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Quality Innerspring in Memphis, TN
I’m in Memphis, TN. I’m 6’ 3”, 260 pounds. I’d like a queen sized mattress, likely firm (to account for my added weight over time), and innerspring for sure because I don’t like the sinking feeling of these gel/latex/memory foam mattresses.
I’ve been through your posts about this area, and the pickin's are unfortunately extremely slim. Baker furniture is literally a 5-minute walk from my home, but they closed years ago, as did the other independent Memphis manufacturer you’d recommended. So I’ve got to find independent manufacturers and which stores have them.
One of my biggest questions is how to evaluate mattress comfort coming from decade old saggy mattress. It doesn’t cause me any problems, but I’ve had other bed guests remark on how not supportive it is. Coming from such a bad bed, literally anything I try (that’s firm) is going to be amazing. I don’t see how to make any meaningful judgements if I’d be super happy with something inexpensive. (is that the answer right there?)
The most helpful thing I found here by FAR was when you made a post with specific stores and specific brands. Once I had an idea about some brands, I could finally move forward with the search. You mentioned Jamison repeatedly, but Bartlett furniture no longer carries them. One store downtown says they carry them, but they’re only open M-F 8:30-4, so I can’t ever visit due to the work schedule.
Symbol is mentioned repeatedly. Sleepy ZZZ’s (extremely well reviewed store) has two models, the Catskill for 200 and the Saranac for 300. They’re both basic models, but there’s no real information on the site and the retailer doesn’t seem to have any more details:
Victoria Furniture carries the Dortmund by Symbol. It’s the only mattress I actually tried out, and it seems perfectly fine. The owner helped with my questions and seemed like an honest person. She had me lay on the plush Symbol mattress beside the Dortmund and noted that I sank down in an improper alignment, but seemed correctly supported by the Dortmund, so she at least knew a little. (And I knew that the plush definitely isn’t for me). What’s strange is that I cannot find the Dortmund on their official website. Victoria is charging 900 with the box spring included. Here is it from another retailer:
The mattress is specifically two-sided, does that make any kind of difference? Should I be worried that it’s not on their website? What makes this mattress cost 3 times more than the next most expensive one I could find from this same brand? I can include the data sheet from the Dortmund’s layers, but it’s like “air flow foam, comfort foam, HD convoluted foam, High density foam” and that seems like marketing buzzwords.
Reviews from Symbol online aren’t bad. There are only a few google reviews, and a few reviews on the bedroompedia site. Do these kind of user reviews have any kind of meaning? How do you get a sense of overall brand quality/durability with these smaller companies?
The next brand is Southerland, which is made in Nashville (kinda cool). There are a lot more google reviews and bedroompedia reviews, BUT they aren’t quite as good as Symbol (several 1-star reviews about the beds sagging). They’re also super cheap compared to the Dortmund, with the most expensive one here being almost half the price.
(Note, Barlett Furniture carries Southerland and the woman on the phone seemed much more informed than at Royal. Their delivery fee is also half the price at Bartlett).
After Symbol and Southerland, there’s an in-house brand from Ashley
I have no idea how to find information on their reviews for the in-store stuff. When I went to the Sleepy ZZZs place, I tried all their Ashley couches and it didn’t seem quality at all. But I have no idea if couch-quality translates to bed quality. I assume this is a brand to avoid but I wanted to throw it out there in case I was wrong.
Finally and most interestingly, there’s the overstock mattress store Sleep Station. When I called they said they don’t really have specific information about what’s in the mattresses, but it does seem like they have the biggest selection of independent mattress brands. Does anything here look good?
I know you say to steer clear of Sealy, Serta, Simmons and all, but if I can get a good discount at this store, would a good deal on a name brand trump retail price for the indie brands?
It’s challenging because I haven’t found SPECIFIC material information about any of the beds anywhere. Nobody seems to know the information you suggest they should, and that seems to be the main way you’re suggesting to make distinctions.
And comfort seems like it’s going to be hard to judge without actually sleeping on it and moving around for a while, so my in-store trials are really just to be sure they aren’t immediately uncomfortable. I can afford up to $1000 to get something that will last, but since I’m basically fine on my super-bad one now, I might not need to spend that. Should I just do a shootout between the Southerland’s at Barlett and the cheap Symbols at Sleepy ZZZs?
Thanks for any help narrowing this search further.
Welcome to the mattress forum .
Thank you for your kind words, and yes we do enjoy taking on some of the larger mattress companies and also of the newer online brands that try to apply mostly the same “tactics” the major companies do.
I know you liked how we used to list cities, etc, etc, but we had to discontinue our listings of potential manufacturers and retailers in various geographic regions (unless they are already approved site members), because of the difficulty in maintaining such lists in a retail landscape that is constantly changing. More importantly, it was creating confusion for consumer-members, who incorrectly assumed that these businesses had indeed gone through the strict qualification and were approved as members of The Mattress Underground. Much of the information in your post confirms the issue... it is difficult to find any detailed information about the materials inside the mattress.
One of my biggest questions is how to evaluate mattress comfort coming from decade-old saggy mattress. It doesn’t cause me any problems, but I’ve had other bed guests remark on how not supportive it is. Coming from such a bad bed, literally anything I try (that’s firm) is going to be amazing.
It is interesting how you pose this question. One thing that usually happens as we age ... fast forward 10 years of sleep on this mattress and your body will react differently to having a mattress without the right support/alignment. There are also many consumers that can get a solid firm mattress for a really low price and it works perfectly well for them. There are some older studies mention that almost 25% of the market will purchase this way it all depends on how close you are your specific level of tolerance. This being said if you can purchase a queen for $500, and not spend &1500 and if you're sure that it will work for you then there is no better answer, IMO.
Victoria Furniture carries the Dortmund by Symbol. It’s the only mattress I actually tried out, and it seems perfectly fine. The owner helped with my questions and seemed like an honest person. She had me lay on the plush Symbol mattress beside the Dortmund and noted that I sank down in an improper alignment, but seemed correctly supported by the Dortmund, so she at least knew a little. (And I knew that the plush definitely isn’t for me). What’s strange is that I cannot find the Dortmund on their official website. Victoria is charging 900 with the box spring included.
Symbol makes many mattresses and they also will manufacture specific beds to meet the requirements of specific retailers, which is probably why this bed is not listed on their website. Their price range is between $300 to $2000 with the very low budget range starting to break down faster because of the low-quality materials but some of their lines are better .. so it's really not surprising, or alarming at all. It wouldn't matter if it was listed on the site, because they don't disclose the details of what is in the mattress anyways. Both of these companies are in the the Top 20 mattress manufacturers Symbol (12th) and Southerland (17th) BUT go down to the rating system we have and you will see that both of these companies have "Two Greens in the TMU rating system. Victoria is 2 sided, which is much better for the durability and longevity of the mattress as you can flip it provided that it matches your style and needs.
As for reviews or other people's experiences in general, they won't tell you much if anything about the suitability, quality, durability, or "value" of a mattress for any particular person (see post #13 here ), and I recommend you avoid considering them as any sort of a reliable indicator of the appropriateness of any particular product for your needs. Every person is different and generally review sites like Bedroompedia, are nothing more than revenue sites ... the higher the commission the better the reviews...its all $$$$....conversions X commission.
Generally, larger brands and the stores that offer their products commonly rely upon the lack of information and state of confusion that they find in most consumers, and they exploit this with general marketing clichés and reviews are now part of the recipe of the marketing cocktail. I'd recommend that you read through the material presented on our site and use it as a reference and learn enough to recognize a product using better quality materials or a retailer that is knowledgeable and honest so that you may trust the information you’re presented.
The steps for shopping for a mattress are clearly laid out in the mattress shopping tutorial here , including all the basic information, steps, and guidelines that can help people make the best possible choice.
Two of the most important links in the tutorial are post #2 here about the different ways to choose a suitable mattress (either locally or online) that is the best "match" in terms of "comfort", firmness, and PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your own Personal preferences) that can help one assess and minimize the risks of making a choice that doesn't turn out as well as hoped for, and post #13 here about the most important parts of the "value" of a mattress purchase which can help with meaningful quality/value comparisons between mattresses in terms of suitability (how well you will sleep), durability (how long you will sleep well), and the overall value of a mattress compared to other finalists based on all the parts of your personal value equation in post #46 .
Outside of PPP (which is the most important part of "value"), the next most important part of the value of a mattress purchase is durability which is all about how long you will sleep well on a mattress. This is the part of your research that you can't see or "feel" and assessing the durability and useful life of a mattress depends on knowing the specifics of its construction and the type and quality of the materials inside it regardless of the name of the manufacturer on the label or how a mattress feels in a showroom or when it is relatively new so I would always make sure that you find out the mattress information listed here so you can compare the quality of the materials and components to the http://www.themattressunderground.com/our-articles/mattress-durability-guidelines-how-long-will-a-mattress-last.html mattress durability guidelines here to make sure there are no lower quality materials or weak links that would be a cause for concern relative to the durability and useful life of a mattress before making any purchase.
I would try to get to Bartlett and lie down on some of the Southerland innerspring beds, or foam, they make some good products, and to answer your other question, I would take a symbol or Southerland over the Big 3 any day....unless the "deal" was just too awesome for the Big 3...but it won't be. See if the people at Bartlett know some of the foam densities or the innerspring gauge, and other details. I'll see if I can find some other info on the Dortmund and whatever Southerland you choose. I think your instinct is best and don't have to complicate it too much.
Let us know when you take the next step, it would be very interesting which way you chose to go.