March 3, 2015 - Marshall Coyle


Click the link below to read the 2016 Consumer Reports Mattress Ratings:

Click here to see the ratings

Bed Value / Bedding / Casper / Estate Powercore / Mattresses / Misc Bed / Pin and Needle / Saatva / Sealy / Serta / The Mattress Underground / Tuft and Needle "charles p rogers" Shifman / Kluft / Saatva / Sleep Like the Dead / St. Regis / The Mattress Underground /


  • Joseph M. Prospero says:

    Thank you for your very helpful web site. The two most essential activities in our lives are eating/drinking and sleeping. It is unfortunate that the producers of these essential products do their damndest to obfuscate and confuse. Your perform a great service.

    • Marshall Coyle says:

      Dear Mr. Prospero,

      Letters like yours are better than the steroids and pain killers that keep me at my keyboard as many days as I can. Similar websites proliferate in the food industry usually written by people who have a passion similar to mine. We all have to eat and sleep. You can define the whole issue in one word, “greed”.

      The focal point of the greed in the mattress industry is one or more versions of polyurethane foam. Apparently the most potentially harmful is visco elastic foam, most commonly known as memory foam because, unlike natural latex, it tends to remain compressed and return slowly. It memorizes your shape and for fifteen minutes or so, at least long enough to make a sale in a busy store, a buyer might like the feel. The issue is that actual sleeping on the substance involves it absorbing your body heat, soaking it into the billions of bubbles or balloons that make the cell walls. The heat actually melts the plastic foam that is also a wonderful insulator. Your body parts make a temporary mold that often captures your perspiration, and when it is time to move or roll over, extra energy is required on your part because the melted foam tries to trap you in place.

      As negative as that sounds, there is one unstoppable advantage to the mattress makers. Laughingly low cost. A careful shopper determined to buy a slab of memory foam to sleep on can easily find it as an unbranded item at a big-box store for a few hundred dollars. Sometimes as little as $99. This has opened floodgates of, forgive the expression, “Snake Oil Peddlers” ranging from the dozens of newby websites retailing from $500-$1,000 and appealing to the ignoranti with credit cards ready for the next “Better Living Through Chemistry”, (DuPont is a major supplier of the chemicals), to huge public corporations with stock values in the billions. The high stock value has been attained by selling something not much different than the Amazon $199 mattress, however, in a fancy showroom with a price tag often north of $5,000.

      Mattresses actually reached their peak value about 100 years ago when the first practical pocketed coil innerspring units appeared, and about when I was born and some South Asians discovered how to foam the sap of the rubber tree and vulcanize it like a tire. A resilient sponge called latex foam reached the market, has needed precious little change in the 87 years, and is the ONLY padding that I sleep directly on and/or recommend. The glacial innerspring market waited until about 2013 for the next major improvement but now a well-informed shopper can get a hybrid latex innerspring mattress that provides as close to perfect sleep as an appliance can, costs less than most of the chemical set mattresses, and lasts for decades.

      Have a Happy New Year

      Suckers, and that is how I feel about anyone who knows about latex and buys something else, still like to put their trust into materials that revolutionized the mattress business around the time of the American Civil War. Fibers like animal hair from horses,cattle, goats and sheep, excelsior (wood shavings), and lately I note that we are importing Coir fiber a waste product in South Asia that remains after the rest of the coconut is used. The only natural fiber that I would sleep on,and/or recommend when suitable, is good felted cotton fibers. All of the other fibers are placed loosely in the mattress and spend their lives being compressed into a mat. Cotton fiber can be “garnetted” or compacted into a felt like substance that is very strong and durable. Unfortunately, it is much more costly than synthetic foams so you see precious little of it, but where it is used, there are no complications from chemicals.

      I leave out beverages as if everything but water (or mother’s milk)disappeared from the planet, life would go on, maybe better.

  • Marshall Coyle says:

    Dear Mary,

    Please humor me and fill out a survey as I request as the only doorway to my knowledge. Simply leave out the answers that are not relevant and note in any of the comment boxes how the mattresses will be used. My top of mind is that if I visited and had to sleep on either of your choices, I would not be a return guest. I suggest that you revisit my blog and read the article about hotel mattresses. I am sure that you will find it helpful, and make my remark about not ever returning understandable. I do not think that you want to follow the regimen that high end hotels use, but there are happy compromises and your choices are, to put it gently, close to the least best.

    Marshall Coyle

  • David says:

    Dear Marshall,
    I so appreciate your reply! Will be filling out a survey soon. Just wanted you to know that we actually bought a Sleep Number bed 2 months ago. Been on the fence about it ever since. Since finding you here it helped me over the fence. Got my refund and it’s going back! At least I can say their Customer Service rep took good care of me. More to follow soon,

  • David says:

    My wife is recovering from breast cancer and is to avoid soy products as it stimulates growth of estrogen. This might sound like a stupid question but here goes. I found a bed made by Englander that has a soy based foam rather than petroleum based (it also has latex foam). Any chance the soy based foam could somehow stimulate estrogen growth? You’re the man so I figured if anyone might know it would be you. Thanks!

    • Marshall Coyle says:

      Dear David,

      As over-informed as I seem to be, the hormonal question is beyond me. The “greenwashers” who have been diverting inexpensive and nourishing food to make a noxious substance acquire an aura of “natural” is just another “harmless” scam. But this one is not harmless. By diverting poor peoples food to make rich people’s mattresses is having a very negative effect on poor Mexican farmers. These campesinos scratching a living from tiny mountainside plots suddenly can not compete with American competition. American factory farms have been overproducing the beans and dumping surplus in Mexico at below home prices. Poor farmers get poorer and some of them head north. The real irony is that the sole and only reason that the soy oil is used in mattress foams is to fool consumers. Yeah, a healthy synthetic. It is pure bullshit. The amount of the plant oil, corn or soy, must max out at 30% for the process to work. The formaldehyde and a cocktail of up to 51 other Dow, DuPont, Cargill, and other really bad chemicals are mixed with petroleum, liquified natural gas, liquified coal, and a dollop of Soy. The outcome is a nice spongy material that I, far from alone, feel that it can kill people if inhaled long enough, or just on teh wrong day. So, as far as I am concerned, if we were talking about Mrs. Coyle, who has had her own brushes with cancer, I would not let a cubic inch of this awful stuff in my home.

      In a nice world where nice people drain sap from organically fertilized hevea trees and when they have collected enough, use machinery to whip it up into a real froth. The froth/sponge is heated to 200 degrees + f for one hour and this leaves a sponge with desirable properties. After a bunch of washing with natural soap, it is ready to be slept on. Now, of course, we do sleep on naturally cool latex foam. Not latex layered with some noxious chemical foam, just nice pure layers of latex resting on top of a newly created innerspring that my wife calls “transformational” for the way decades old pains have disappeared. Kluft, Aireloom, Charles P. Rogers, Shifman Brothers, McCroskey, are just some of the places that make and sell the real stuff.

      You can get a top rated queen innerspring with latex, latex,and another layer of just latex over a fabulous coil core for way under 2K, so why in heavens name would you want a memory foam at any price. Do you like sleeping in a warm damp tub that gets firmer as the night grows longer? There has to be some charm somewhere.

      You might want to send in a survey, and drop me a note when you do. It will go to the head of the line.
      when we were first married, we slept on a wonderful Englander latex mattress. It was six inches thick and came with a superb purpose built very flexible coil all steel box spring. Englander Red Line. This was about half a century before today’s latex hybrids. Now, a major difference is that the coils are inside the same bag. But these coils are taller, and much more conforming to one’s shape and the latex is stratified and layered very intelligently, not just one big core. That was the best then, and the latex hybrid we are lucky to own is the best now.

      If you send in a survey, don’t forget to simultaneously write to me.

  • chris says:

    Hi Marshall,

    My wife and I are looking for a new mattress/boxpring. WE currently have a 2 year old Icomfort Savant- piece of junk. Already huge sink hole in middle of bed. We are both stomach sleepers (I know trying to change positions). We recently went to a local store (6 day mattress) and tried out a mattress from Northwest Bedding- the Ultimate Life 100.. It brags about 12 3/4″ gauge coils. We liked the feel and definitely prefer the firm. Definitely want to stay away from any memory foam and latex prices scare us. What would you recommend for durability/longevity in a mattress? Any familiarity with Northwest Bedding.

    • Marshall Coyle says:

      Dear Chris,

      If you want this kind of one-on-one expertise, you have to request it through the survey/questionnaire provided on every single page of my blog, many in more than one spot. I can not answer such questions re:comfort/price without comprehensive knowledge of the person or persons that will will be using whatever I recommend.

      Marshall Coyle

  • L Maslonka says:

    Five months since my Charles P Rogers Powercore Estate 9000 arrived.
    Thanks a lot for your info & advice. Very happy with this mattress. My shoulders & back no longer hurt. And no long even think about the bed when I go to sleep.
    Only problem, is the thickness & weight. Can not lift corners for sheets. Have resorted to poking under edges. Bought extra deep pocket sheets

  • Marshall Coyle says:

    Dear Sherry
    If you subscribe to CR you should be able to read current issues on the web. Here is one from a site that collect such information: or for further research on the Sleep?Comfort:

    I have devoted the last five years of my fast vanishing life to writing essays for anyone to read on the internet at and for diligent readers who can not find the answers searching through my essays, I offer a free one-on-one virtual shopping trip. Actually, not quite free, you pay with your labor. You have to read at minimum the essay titled “Mattress 103”, and if it does not point you in the exact direction you need, your next step can be to take advantage of the questionnaire survey that you noticed but chose to ignore.

    When you do fill out the questionnaire, and wait patiently, you will be rewarded with intelligent selections, mattresses with the proper qualities to give you and your in-pain husband the quality of sleep available to smart shoppers. None of my selections are based on advertising. The only advertising that has ever been more untruthful than the stuff Tempur-Sealy and Sleep Number have been foisting on the public since tobacco ads used to tell us how healthful it was to smoke. Now, instead of billionaire tobacco companies paying off congress, we have billionaire specialty mattress companies promoting their questionable synthetic petroleum based foams. Sooner or later the big dollar guys will lose, but right now, the ads you see are invitations to spend your nights inhaling Volatile Off gassing Chemicals. Think Formaldehyde. That is one of least noxious of the sixty or so used in making the foams that make the airbag sleep number feel like something to sleep on. Serta-Simmons uses safer foams than Tempur Sealy, but safer does not mean “safe”.

    If you get around to asking my help the proper way through the questionnaire, be aware that I will only recommend innerspring, and only innersprings covered with safe foams, the safest being 100% natural latex.

    From someone who has had his share of back surgeries and decades of PT, believe me, I do know what kind of support is required to make a mattress that will soothe, not exacerbate your pains.

    I will look for your survey in the next few days, and if it doesn’t show, I wish you the best of luck. Do yourself a favor, stay out of the sleazy chain shops, or Raymore and Flanagan. A department store will cost you more up front, but with the crap that the major brands are now turning out with once good names, you will be glad to get the needed service from a Macys or similar. If I get an opportunity to make suggestions, if it is possible to suggest one of the very nice small and reliable factory direct, I will. You save at least half, and more important, you will get a grief free purchase..

    Marshall Coyle

  • eugene says:

    Hi Mr. Coyle,

    We both are side sleepers (sleep apnea issues) and looking to firm memory foam since we’ve tried many inner spring mattresses already and not happy. We heard memory is good for those of us with joint and bursitis issues.

    I’m looking for a good foundation to purchase, we have a very nice 4 post wooden bed but they told us the slats are not close together and need a better place to put the memory mattress on top. Do you recommend a place that makes good foundation for memory?



    • Marshall Coyle says:

      Dear Eugene,
      I will get back to you by email in a couple of days when my energy levels are a bit higher. Been slowing down as of late. I do not like to post personal information such as will be necessary to properly answer your mail with straight and honest recommendations. I strongly suspect that the reason your experiences with innerspring are not just the fault of the mattresses. When two of you suffer from Apnea, it is close to 100% that your combined weight is well over 400# and that was not taken into account in your previous shopping. You can write me as I suggest to all at: with any personal information that might help me to help you. Meanwhile, why don’t you take the time to read the quote below from WikiPedia. You will see why you should think a lot longer before you take recommendations from “hearing”. I “Hear” this kind of false stuff all the time when I read the the phony websites that get paid by the foam makers to push their chemical petroleum based memory foams. When you write to me, or if you write to me, please include the name of the site or sites where you “heard” and if they do not take money under the table, I will tell you to believe what you “heard”
      Marshall Coyle


      Emissions from memory foam mattresses may directly cause more respiratory irritation than other mattresses; however mildew and house dust mites may not occur as frequently, so asthma attacks may be less frequent and severe.[9]
      Memory foam, like other polyurethane products, can be combustible.[10] Laws in several jurisdictions have been enacted to require that all bedding, including memory foam items, be resistant to ignition from an open flame such as a candle or cigarette lighter. US bedding laws that went into effect in 2010 change the Cal-117 Bulletin for FR testing.[11] There is concern that high levels of the fire retardant PBDE, commonly used in memory foam, could cause health problems for users.[12] PBDEs are no longer used in most bedding foams, especially in the European Union.
      Manufacturers caution about leaving babies and small children unattended on memory foam mattresses, as they may find it difficult to turn over, and may suffocate.
      The United States Environmental Protection Agency published two documents proposing National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAP) concerning hazardous emissions produced during the making of flexible polyurethane foam products.[13] The HAP emissions associated with polyurethane foam production include methylene chloride, toluene diisocyanate, methyl chloroform, methylene diphenyl diisocyanate, propylene oxide, diethanolamine, methyl ethyl ketone, methanol, and toluene however not all chemical emissions associated with the production of these material have been classified. Methylene chloride makes up over 98 percent of the total HAP emissions from this industry. Short-term exposure to high concentrations of methylene chloride also irritates the nose and throat. The effects of chronic (long-term) exposure to methylene chloride in humans involve the central nervous system, and include headaches, dizziness, nausea, and memory loss. Animal studies indicate that inhalation of methylene chloride affects the liver, kidney, and cardiovascular system. Developmental or reproductive effects of methylene chloride have not been reported in humans, but limited animal studies have reported lowered fetal body weights in rats exposed.[14]

  • TOliveira says:

    Greetings Old Bed Guy! What a blessing to get advice from someone who has so much experience and knowledge. I am overwhelmed by choices and prices. I haven’t been impressed by much. I once stopped by a Dux store, they were amazing and felt like a cloud but were the price of a small car! I went to the sears outlet but was not too impressed. I recently was introduced to the Aireloom mattress in a “outlet” store. Id felt amazing but from the reviews I have read, there are many complaints of sagging after a short while. My husband and I want a firm mattress with a cloud soft pillowtop but can’t pay $3000 for a king mattress. We also want something not made from harsh chemicals so as “natural as possible”. What do you recommend? And where to purchase in southern California? Thank you for your insight.

    • Marshall Coyle says:

      Dear Mrs. Oiveria

      Thank you for your compliments. From your letter, I get the idea that you really have not spent very much time reading my essays on bed buying tips, but it is there for you to read and become a lot less overwhelmed.

      By one of those coincidences, Consumer Reports sent out a press release yesterday, maybe as you were typing, that discusses a $7,600 Duxiana mattress that compares unfavorably with a $1,500 Charles P. Rogers Estate Powercore. Actually, in my experience, most mattresses with suffer the same fate with this unique series of mattresses. Two of the top four Consumer Reports innerspring mattresses in the country are from Rogers. Here is a link to today’s latest Consumer Reports specific tests,

      Marshall Coyle

  • Jane Marsh says:

    Hi OBG! I just found your website and am I glad I did! You are so right that mattress buying is fraught with peril. Thank you!!! Here’s my story: After years of great sleep on my Spring Air, I purchased a Beautyrest Recharge Kentwood from Sears 1 1/2 yrs ago; it started to sag within a few months. The warranty when I bought it in Sept 2013 was 20 years. I successfully filed a warranty claim with Sears and can now exchange the mattress only (for a fee of ~$80). Interestingly, now all the Beautyrest mattresses at Sears have 10 year warranties. Gosh, I wonder why that is (she said sarcastically…)?!

    I do not want to exchange for another Beautyrest, I recently used Sleep Like the Dead to narrow the field among the brands and models were sold at Sears. I am willing to pay a little more to improve my chances of getting a mattress that will last 10 years (seems like a fool’s dream these days!!).

    After looking at your site and learning about hybrids, I scanned the Sears inventory for hybrids that I might exchange my sagging Beautyrest for. There are some. But the only Sealy Hybrid Trust (which has higher CR ratings than most other mattresses –which I learned on your website) I could find was $2500 and part of an adjustable bed (that adjusts its shape like a hospital bed). I am still at a loss. I am discouraged and wary of making any decision. Do you have any advice for me? It’s so hard to find ratings for any of the models on the Sears website; I assume that’s b/c any one mattress is called 100 different things depending on where it’s being sold. Thank you for any help you can offer. Sincerely, Jane

    • Marshall Coyle says:

      Sealy Posturepedic Hybrid Trust Cushion at $1275 is Consumer Reports Rated at 71. Sears should have an analog and this heads and shoulders above the Simmons ReCharge. It is also an excellent value. It lacks the wonderful pure latex cushioning that you would get with the other best rated mattress from CR, and does not cost any less with current discounts on offer on the latex hybrid. You could gird up your courage, and try for a refund. It is not unheard of, then you could get a real latex hybrid with factory direct quality. You also might find, as a last resort, the highly ranked by CR, Beautyrest ReCharge Hybrid Jeffreys Bay. You also might have to visit a Sears retail store and deal with a human. Their website is no better than they are. They buy for $X and sell for 2X+and give too little attention to how good or bad the merchandise is. This is partly because Sears is having serious drops in sales and income, and older experienced help are changing employers as fast as they can.

      Simmons supposedly has made improvements to their ReCharge line. In a better world, you would get a refund and buy a Charles P. Rogers Estate Powercore that tied for first place, and owns the “Best for back Sleepers” title. The Sealy that is displayed on the adjustable bed is also supposed to be sold with foundations. It is double duty. If it saves you any money, by keeping your existing foundation, it is a clone of Sealy. You should revisit the Consumer Reports mattress tests published in the OBG blog. Link below is live.

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