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Berkeley Ergonomics questions and looking for opinions 01 Mar 2021 13:29 #1

First of all, thank you to everyone for sharing your insight on these forums.

I've been mattress shopping for a few weeks now. This weekend I tried some boutique stores instead of the big box stores. The number one option for me right now is the Berkeley Ergonomics ("BE") London, which is nearly the same as the BE Malmo but has a layer of memory foam instead of latex. Both are on honeycomb pocket coils (1908 total).

I am a 185 pound mid-30s male side(70)/back(30) sleeper. I use a CPAP. I live in Alberta.

At the store, I tried the malmo and found that I still had some pressure on my shoulder when lying on my side. The rep swapped the 2" latex layer for a 2" memory foam layer and it had just enough sink that I no longer had the pressure feeling. I really liked it.

I also really love the idea of a modular mattress. I have never wanted a mattress that will last for 10-15 years because in that time my body, health, and preferences are going to change. I like that the BE allows me to swap just one layer to change the feel of the mattress.

The only other mattress I've tried (in a store) and really loved is a Tempurpedic. But I sleep hot and have been told they are hotttt.

BE reviews are generally very good (except that one crazy troll??) but I still have a few questions:

1. Is it worth getting a high end mattress like this if I'm going to put a layer of memory foam on it instead of their gourmet latex?
2. Is it worth going high end if I'm getting pocket coils with a foam layer? With that foam layer, does the spring quality matter a bit less?
3. The price is $2799 CAD for just the mattress. Thoughts on that? I don't imagine BE ever really goes on sale.
4. I don't really care about natural materials and all that. I care about comfort and price. Natural materials seems to be a big part of BE's marketing. Am I wasting money on that when I could buy a better mattress with more synthetics? Or are BE's materials of better quality even setting aside their naturalness?
5. The box spring at the store is $800. Seems crazy to me. I'm probably just gonna get a cheapo since I don't think it matters as much. Bad idea?

Would really love to hear from anyone with the same mattress or any BE mattress, especially if you've had it for some time.

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Last edit: by urvgotti.

Berkeley Ergonomics questions and looking for opinions 01 Mar 2021 16:53 #2

I'm interested in feedback about the Berkley Ergonomics, as well. I'm wondering if they are well suited to a plain platform base. That said, I'm much smaller at 120 lbs and tend to sleep on my back and stomach.

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Berkeley Ergonomics questions and looking for opinions 02 Mar 2021 07:32 #3

I'm interested in Berkeley ergonomics as well. I like thier use of microcoils with latex with support coils.

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Berkeley Ergonomics questions and looking for opinions 02 Mar 2021 19:08 #4

Hi urvgotti,

It sounds like you've done some good in person testing of mattresses, which is great! I'm not a mattress expert and don't have any personal experience about Berkeley Ergonomics mattresses, but hopefully I can give you a few things to think about and provide some links that might be helpful in your research.

Here are a few other forum threads that have discussed Berkeley Ergonomics mattresses (you can find more using this forum's Search function):

www.themattressunderground.com/mattress-forum/mgm-f/22703-vispring-leesa-legend-or-berkeley-ergonomics-oslo
www.themattressunderground.com/mattress-forum/index/22557-new-to-group-new-to-mattress-buying?start=10#82702
www.themattressunderground.com/mattress-forum/index/22521-split-king-ca-king-latex-mattress-adjustable-frame
www.themattressunderground.com/mattress-forum/index/20537-deciding-between-berkeley-ergonomics-models-oslo-and-malmo

Many of your questions are about whether the price of the BE London is worth it. That's a difficult question to answer, because so much of that is dependent on your personal values. Can you buy a quality mattress for less? Absolutely, especially considering that natural materials aren't part of your personal value equation. Natural (especially organic) materials are more expensive, and you will generally pay a premium for mattresses that contain them. I understand your hesitation to buy a mattress that is charging a premium for a characteristic that you don't care much about - but it also sounds like you find this mattress more comfortable than any other you've tried so far.

You mention comfort being your primary consideration. A question you are probably asking yourself is - will you be able to find a quality, less expensive mattresses that is as comfortable as the London? Difficult to say, but it seems worthwhile to try as many memory foam / hybrid coil mattresses as you can, to see if a high-quality but less expensive alternative exists. If you are unable to find one that you find as comfortable as the London, then you have your answer on "is it worth it", since your primary consideration is comfort and it wins in that category.

Related to quality/value - you may want to familiarize yourself with durability guidelines related to memory foam:
www.themattressunderground.com/our-articles/mattress-durability-guidelines-how-long-will-a-mattress-last

It's nice to know that the London has a zippered cover, so if the memory foam is the weak link, you can replace just that layer.

On the foundation - make sure whatever foundation you purchase meets the requirements set forth by the mattress company (most mattress warranties will depend this). For instance, you'll often see requirements regarding how close together the slats should be. The type of foundation required will vary depending on the mattress construction category and to some extent, the brand/retailer. I'd recommend asking the mattress retailer about this before deciding what foundation to purchase. You may find the following post helpful in terms of researching foundations sold by Trusted Members of this site:

www.themattressunderground.com/mattress-forum/index/23074-what-kind-of-foundation-to-choose

All the best, and keep us posted on how you're getting along!
Emily

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Berkeley Ergonomics questions and looking for opinions 02 Mar 2021 22:16 #5

Hi urvgotti.

Welcome to our Mattress Forum. :)

It is great that you have been able to go out and do some in-person mattress testing.
As Ebs offered much valuable input and pointed to good resources I'll just reinforce a few things along the way and add a few more considerations you may wish to look at while assessing your options.

I am a 185 pound mid-30s male side(70)/back(30) sleeper. I use a CPAP. I live in Alberta.
At the store, I tried the malmo and found that I still had some pressure on my shoulder when lying on my side. The rep swapped the 2" latex layer for a 2" memory foam layer and it had just enough sink that I no longer had the pressure feeling. I really liked it.


Thank you for sharing your stats with us but you’d need to use your height to calculate your BMI to have a baseline for the thickness comfort you may need. Depending on your BMI it may be that 2” of comfort layer may not be thick or soft enough for your needs. So there may be a little more to your pressure points of the Malmo latex version.

In terms of how much thickness/softness you need I’d keep in mind that side sleepers have deeper gaps to "fill in" and need a deeper cradle to relieve pressure so the gaps are filled in and help spread the weight over the mattress. This is to say that you’d need to "sink IN" to the comfort layers more and maybe 2” of latex is just not enough thickness for you. Generally, comfort layers need to be a little softer and/or thicker than for back or stomach sleeping positions. In general, a good starting point for a good comfort layer for a side sleeper is 3" and then depending on weight, body shape, preferences, and the firmness of the support layers, to go up or down from there. Most side sleepers will fall in the range of from 2" -4".

You may find that the BE memory foam version can also result in pressure points as the memory foam comfort often changes during the course of the night. What starts off as being comfortable, when you lie on a memory foam mattress for long enough, it will start to soften with heat and pressure and become semi-solid and it will "melt" under pressure.to the point where you’d start to bottom out on the springs below. As ebs mentioned, with the memory foam version, I would also keep the durability guidelines in mind

The only other mattress I've tried (in a store) and really loved is a Tempurpedic. But I sleep hot and have been told they are hotttt


While memory foam does a very good job at forming a cradle around your body and helping with pressure relief, it will generally be the least breathable and most insulating of the foam comfort materials, so the temperature can be an issue. If you do choose memory foam, you’d want to make sure that you don’t choose something with so much memory foam on top that you sink in too deeply. One of the reasons people drift to “natural” materials are more temperature neutral as opposed to manmade/synthetic counterparts.

Some of the factors involved in how “hot a mattress sleeps” are how closely the foam conforms to your body (the more closely it conforms around you the more insulating it is), how soft or thick the foam in the comfort layers are (the softer/thicker it is the deeper you will sink into the more insulating materials), the type of quilting used in the mattress (natural fibers allow for more airflow and humidity control which translates into better temperature regulation), the type of ticking (cover) used (natural or more breathable fibers such as cotton or viscose or even some of the more breathable synthetics will wick away moisture and ventilate better and humidity control is a key part of temperature control), and on any cooling technologies used in the mattress such as ventilating and moisture-wicking materials, heat conductive materials, or phase change materials.

In addition to this ... the mattress protector you choose along with your sheets and other bedding and what you wear when you sleep will also have a significant effect on temperature regulation because they can either add to the insulating effect or to the ventilating and moisture-wicking effect of your mattress. Bedding made from natural fibers or viscose materials (like bamboo) will also tend to be cooler than synthetic fibers and linen sheets along with silk are probably the coolest of all the natural fibers for those where the sleeping temperature is a main priority. In many cases changing the mattress protector, sheets, or bedding to cooler versions can make "enough" of a difference for many people who would otherwise sleep hot on a mattress.

There is more about the many variables that can affect the sleeping temperature of mattresses/sleeping systems in post #2 here that can help you choose the types of materials and components that are most likely to keep you in a comfortable temperature range.

1. Is it worth getting a high-end mattress like this if I'm going to put a layer of memory foam on it instead of their gourmet latex?


This mattress is finished off with 100% organic cotton ticking & French sheep wool, which is great for temperature and humidity regulation. These are the uppermost layers that come in contact with your skin and affect the temperature microclimate but some of this is offset by the memory foam and you’d need to run everything by your personal value equation and what is most important to you (including the price of course and the options you have available after purchase if your choice doesn't turn out as well as you hoped for)..

2. Is it worth going high end if I'm getting pocket coils with a foam layer? With that foam layer, does the spring quality matter a bit less?
3. The price is $2799 CAD for just the mattress. Thoughts on that? I don't imagine BE ever really goes on sale.


While there is no doubt in my mind that the materials BE use in their mattresses would last that long and stay consistent in their feel over the long term, I wouldn't pay premium prices when I can find something similar at a lower price point. Even the "lower" BE prices are a fair bit more than equivalent mattresses using the same materials made elsewhere, especially as you are thinking of getting the a memory foam version. But all is dependent again on personal value equation

4. I don't really care about natural materials and all that. I care about comfort and price. Natural materials seems to be a big part of BE's marketing. Am I wasting money on that when I could buy a better mattress with more synthetics? Or are BE's materials of better quality even setting aside their naturalness?


While you are correct that “a big part of BE's marketing” is focused on natural materials BE's higher prices are reflecting higher-quality construction and materials (which would mitigate the heat issues that many memory foam mattresses have), are handmade, and are backed by many certifications.

5. The box spring at the store is $800. Seems crazy to me. I'm probably just gonna get a cheapo since I don't think it matters as much. Bad idea?


As ebs previously mentioned...If you aim to get a less expensive box spring, you may wish to check with the store that it does not void the mattress warranty.

Once you’ve had the chance to go through the readings mentioned in this thread let us know if any other questions arise.

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum

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Last edit: by phoenix.

Berkeley Ergonomics questions and looking for opinions 03 Mar 2021 14:55 #6

... you’d need to use your height to calculate your BMI to have a baseline for the thickness comfort you may need. Depending on your BMI it may be that 2” of comfort layer may not be thick or soft enough for your needs...

Generally, comfort layers need to be a little softer and/or thicker than for back or stomach sleeping positions. In general, a good starting point for a good comfort layer for a side sleeper is 3" and then depending on weight, body shape, preferences, and the firmness of the support layers, to go up or down from there. Most side sleepers will fall in the range of from 2" -4".


Phoenix, You mention BMI as a guide. Are there any rule-of-thumb guides for this? My BMI is about 21, and I am a generally a back and stomach sleeper... occasionally, I sleep for a while on my side, and I don't want it to be painful to do so. That said, I think sometimes a mattress can drive my position, instead of the other way around. Sometimes I fall asleep on my back and wake up that way; sometimes I wake up on my stomach. What do you think a good range of thickness and firmness in a comfort layer should be?

I was looking at a mattress like the BE, but I might be concerned about the lack of zones in the springs. I think I need a bit more firmness below the hips to prevent lower back pain. I haven't ruled out full latex.

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Berkeley Ergonomics questions and looking for opinions 03 Mar 2021 15:12 #7

Thank you ebs and phoenix! Really appreciate your insight.

Ebs: Thanks for those links. Thought I had seen all of the BE posts on this forum but there were a couple I missed. I appreciate that the question of value is very personal so I don't expect anyone to fully answer it. I guess I was more looking for a red flag or someone saying that it is an absolute rip off at that price. Given the high quality components, I'm not opposed to paying for the mattress. I'll also be sure to ask about the foundation if I buy.

Phoenix: I'm 6'1 so my BMI is around 25. Yours is not the first comment to suggest 2" of foam might not be enough. I have a proposed plan I'll discuss after addressing your other comments. Your info about the effectiveness of memory foam is super helpful. I'm definitely going to get some higher end sheets for this thing so I'll keep your other notes in mind too.

What I'm thinking now: 1. Two inches of foam is likely not enough for long term comfort. Especially memory foam. 2. If I'm paying for a premium mattress, it might be worth investing in all premium materials. New Plan: I'm going to see if I can get the malmo as is (with the 2" latex topper, preferably in firm), and then add a memory foam layer on top of that. That way I get some extra foam layer for ensured comfort, and I get the latex that would be much more expensive to buy separately or replace later. Adding a memory foam layer shouldn't be too expensive and will be relatively easy and cheap to replace over time.

Would that make sense? I still haven't ruled out other mattresses and will make another day of trying out different options in the next week or so.

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Berkeley Ergonomics questions and looking for opinions 04 Mar 2021 22:02 #8

Hi urvgotti.

You are very welcome!

Your new plan is the best of both worlds and has good chances of success for your 25 BMI. It also has the advantage that if your needs and preferences change over time you can replace the topper with something more appropriate. Because nothing is 100% sure until you've had a good chance to test it in-store (or even better sleep test it for a while), you can wait a bit with adding the topper to give your body the chance to readjust and get used to the new mattress as is. Once you've had the chance to sleep on it for a while you'll have a few more data points to help decide the topper thickness/softness. I'd make sure to let the BE rep of your plan and ask for some input.

Given the right comfort/support configuration, is reassuring to know that you invested in good/quality materials and that you'll sleep well for a long time before needing to reassess your sleeping environment.

Once you've had the chance to try out a few more options, let us know how it went and if you have additional questions.

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum

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