The smaller manufacturers who are more local and exist throughout the US and Canada, produce most of the "off brands" that we mention so frequently. For many people they are the biggest surprise and "discovery" that they will make in their mattress search. If you are fortunate enough to have one of these near enough for you to visit, they may represent the best value of all. They are often manufacturers who have been in business for several generations and have unusually high levels of knowledge about materials and construction methods and incorporate these materials and knowledge into every mattress that they make.
Because they normally purchase their "raw materials" directly and then either sell them "factory direct" or directly through smaller specialty outlets or sleep shops, they can not only use much higher quality materials but sell them at a much lower price. It is not unusual to find mattresses in this group that sell for 1/2 to 2/3 of anything comparable from larger manufacturers. These manufacturers are a joy to speak with and will quite willingly share what they know with you and encourage their employees to do the same. They can also reduce the risk of buying a mattress "sight unseen" to some degree if you choose to purchase from one of these that is far away as they are often very experienced at knowing the type of mattress that may be suitable for you based on the results of your field testing and "duplicating" the one that fit you best using higher quality and more durable materials. Most of them will quite happily custom build a mattress for you that will cost you a comparable amount to the same mattress purchased "ready made". They can usually also make adjustments to their more standard models to fine tune them to your particular needs and circumstances.
These local manufacturers are available in most areas of the country. While they may sometimes need some traveling to get to them or the outlets that carry them, your time will be well spent as they will save you more in the time and effort it often takes to go from store to store to store only to find that you are not much closer to finding exactly what you need. These "undiscovered treasures" are among the most rewarding of mattress purchases if you can find the outlets where they are available.
It is also important to note though that while in general terms these manufacturers and the "off brands" they produce will often represent the best values in North America, there are also a few who aspire to be more like some of the larger regional and national manufacturers and are more opportunistic in nature and more focused on "getting bigger" and increasing profits using similar methods to their larger counterparts than they are in "getting better" and growing as a side effect of their knowledge, value, and service. These few, while far more rare, may be the next generation of "money machines" in the making.
In general though, these smaller local manufacturers are well worth the effort and any extra research and traveling time it takes to find them and test their mattresses. You may discover for yourself why "off brands" can have amazing value.