Home Decorating Once Upon a Mattress

Once Upon a Mattress

Okay, so since I was about 30 and began having back trouble—which I attribute to much lifting of beds, bins, and other silly exploits—I have been in search of the best mattress. I am extremely sensitive, and if I’m on a bad mattress, my back will let me know loud and clear in the morning, if I hadn’t already figured it out during the night. So does this contribute to my almost-obsessive search for the right mattress? You bet it does!

My last mattress search, about 10 years ago, ended with my buying a Tempur-Pedic with an additional Tempur-Pedic mattress topper. We were happy together. I moved this mattress to my postdivorce, midcentury-modern house, but when I moved it to my mother’s house (a mere half mile away), the Tempur seemed to come unacquainted with the Pedic! Somehow the layers of foam de-laminated, creating a very peculiar mushiness around the edges of the mattress. So, with my newly renovated house and a newly renovated life, I felt a new mattress was in order.

In the Berkshires, where I live, there really is no definitive mattress-shopping destination. So I took advantage of a summer vacation to Santa Fe to find a store where I could test drive as many mattresses as possible. This is serious business, and I wanted to have as many options as I could and plenty of time to try them all out before settling on my next bed.

I was predisposed to getting another Tempur-Pedic, so I tried all their versions, and they were fine. But across the showroom I spied Sealy’s new selection of memory-foam mattresses. I ventured over and plopped down on each of their offerings. And, lo and behold, there it was, the last one in the line, where I had that ahhhhhhhh moment. Lying down, rolling over onto both sides and onto my stomach, back onto my back . . .  The all-new Sealy Optimum Elation was THE mattress for me. I listened to the selling points:

  • It has two inches of OptiCool Gel Memory Foam, which helps channel heat away from the body at night—so no overheating, a common complaint with memory-foam mattresses.
  • The contouring layer of OptiSense Memory Foam is a deep, cushy 5 inches that allows the mattress to conform to your body’s shape and weight, making it seem like it was tailor-made for you. Oh, and it absorbs motion, so you won’t be jiggled around when your partner moves during the night.

Then the very helpful saleswoman mentioned that if I was really looking for fabulous, I might want to consider a power base. Hmmmm, I thought, high-end hospital bed? I don’t think so! But I am open-minded, so she handed me the wireless remote control, and off I went. Head up, feet up, head and feet up at the same time, vibrate—this Reflexion Powerbase with Dual “Wave” Massage action was like going to an amusement park without ever getting out of bed!

The bed is now happily installed in my new bedroom, and I am thrilled to say that as I write this, I am happily installed in the bed in the lounge position, which allows me to work comfortably on my laptop without messing with all sorts of extra pillows. The mattress can also be maneuvered into the perfect position for reading, watching Downton Abbey, snuggling with three dogs, breakfasting in bed—you name it!

I have also discovered that I prefer to sleep with my head elevated at bit, and that this nasty cold I’ve caught wants me to sleep practically upright, but it’s actually comfortable—a hidden benefit I hadn’t considered on my initial shopping trip. Another hidden but welcome surprise is the nightlight under the bed that you can illuminate with a button on the remote, which gives off just enough light to see where you are going in the middle of the night.

So, suffice it to say, in the mattress department, I am a happy camper.


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Holly Phillips January 22, 2013 at 11:22 am


Hard to concentrate on the amazing bed with the precious pup in the bed.

Hope to see you at Design Bloggers Conference again.


Ramona January 22, 2013 at 3:05 pm

I would never have thought of the power bed either but what a great idea. It’s not just for those who are ill.

Mary January 22, 2013 at 9:35 pm

*Very* interesting post. I’ve mentally filed everything you have said.
PS I hope you feel better soon. Try Vicks vapor rub (or menthol/eucalyptus equivalent) – it can really help with night time congestion.

Cheralee February 3, 2013 at 10:08 pm

I am not very familiar with all of the options, but if you chose the motorized feature, did you have to take the split mattresses? I wondered if that was a personal choice or if t because of a feature you chose. Thank you!

Bedding Tips for a Beautiful and Cozy Bed - A Burst of Beautiful December 5, 2016 at 1:59 pm

[…] the perma-outline of your body still visible after you’ve been up for several minutes. (Check out Annie’s post on mattress shopping for even more helpful tidbits.) Replace your pillows once a year, or more frequently if you wake up […]


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