Can't flip a pillow-top mattress?

Sueb20March 14, 2008

I keep wondering if I'm missing something, so I thought I'd ask this wise group! We bought a pillow-top mattress about 6 years ago. Loved it. But now, even w/ a quilt on top of the bed, you can see our "body indentations" on the top of the bed. Because the pillow top is only on one side of the mattress, we can't flip it -- right?? So we're stuck with these imprints on top of our mattress until we can justify buying a new one?? Had I realized this from the beginning, I wouldn't have gotten this kind of mattress. Or is there a solution I'm not thinking of?

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I can't flip mine. We rotate it fairly often, but it's a no flipper for sure.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 8:31PM
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we have the same problem. Bought ours in 2002. Last week I called Simmons and told them about it. They are sending out an inspector and if they determine that it is failing, i.e. body impressions, they told me they send out a replacement comparable to the original. They are scheduled to come mid April.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 8:40PM
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I heard you are suppose to rotate a pillow top. I dont have one, but I would think you would still end up with the impressions. But I am curious if you religiously rotated the mattress. Its good to know so people are aware this could be a problem.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 8:57PM
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This same thing has happen to us. The new mattress don't get flipped. I bought a Sterns and Foster in 2004 and I paid $1,800.00 for it!! It has body indents and we are not big people. My DH weights 165 and I weight 110. I can feel the dip when I lay down.

I read the warranty and it says that impressions of 1.5" are more are covered by the warranty. But... you need to provide the stupid law tags that everyone immediately rip off as soon as they unwrap the mattress. I filled out a warranty on-line when I bought the thing but I don't have those stupid tags!

I think I will call anyway to see what they have to say.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 9:19PM
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I have the same problem. Bought an Englander latex mattress for about $2000. Loved it the first 2 months but it now has indentations. Rotated it religiously every 30 days as recommended. Warranty only provides for indentations greater than 2 inches. 2 inches would be very deep!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 9:42PM
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Depends on how it's measured. Have you looked on their website to see if they have guidelines on how to measure for yourself? Simmons does and their is very simplistic. A yard stick and ruler to measure. From what the lady told me is what often happens is the individually wrapped coils just fail to do their job sometimes. She said it happens and when it does they are happy to honor their warranty. We'll see.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 10:28PM
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I have the S&F that I paid way more than the $1800 for. It was a replacement for one that was defective and moldy. I have an indentation in that has been there since only after about a month. I haven't done anything about it because it was you-know-what to get the first one replaced. I have slept on every side of the bed there is, but there is still only the one place with the dent. I recently thought about checking into having it replace simply because I'm tire of it, and my back and legs are beginning to be affected. I may try to contact the manufacturer for a replacement under warranty. The only problem, I don't want the same bed - oh well.

thanks for this thread!!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 10:29PM
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This is why it's better to buy a regular mattress and add the topper of your choice. How about flipping it and adding a new topper? It will make your mattress thicker, but it's cheaper than buying a whole new mattress. Hopefully your sheets will still fit.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2008 at 2:32AM
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Well, I'm glad I'm not stupid or crazy. (Well, I still might be. LOL.) Oceanna, good idea about adding a separate topper on the other side, but I have a hard enough time finding sheets to fit already.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2008 at 7:57AM
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They the mfg's seem to be making them all that way, cost effective (I guess) save $$ making it one sided, stupid, stupid, stupid!!! so glad we purchased ours right before they started this, and put nice thik memory foam toppers on our beds instead!! next one I buy I will search the internet until I find the right kind a flipper....

    Bookmark   March 15, 2008 at 9:31AM
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I have a double pillow top mattress (pillow top on both sides) and it requires flipping and rotating, which I do on a fairly regular basis. Even so, we still have indentations that are deep enough for the warranty to apply, however we have removed the tags so the warranty is invalid.

On another note, this is a replacement mattress. The former one was the same and we had the same problems. The warranty was honored (tags still attached). It was a very difficult process and the inspector went over the mattress very carefully. If there was even the slightest blemish (tear in fabric, little stain, anything at all) they weren't going to honor the warranty.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2008 at 9:48AM
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Like susieq, we purchased just before they changed this and we have the pillow topper on both sides. The salesman wanted us to buy one of the new no flip ones and every time we go to flip it I wonder why I didn't get a no flip, but now after reading this, I'm glad I didn't.

I'm surprised you have trouble finding sheets to fit. All the sheets I buy now are way too deep and our mattress is quite thick.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2008 at 10:41AM
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What a hassle....glad I read this, I will avoid a pillow top. That was a good suggestion to flip it anyway, is it just a regular mattress on the flip side?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2008 at 10:45AM
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We have a S&F Cushion Firm that is only 3 years old and paid around $2200 for it. Bought it from Raymour & Flanigan. They've sent someone out here twice to measure the indentions only to say they are not deep enough (> 1.5"). The bed is far from the quality I associated with S&F and is not what I thought it would be at all. My sister has a S&F that is 20+ years old and it has NO indentations. As far as a pillow top, is it possible to remove it? I am not sure how they are sewed on.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2008 at 12:41PM
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Boy they sure do push the S&F mattress at our local Levin's Furniture. The sales person raved about S&F and that's why I bought it. I never expected to have indents after only 3.5 years of sleeping on it.

On another note. I bought a Sealy for the guest room 5 years ago. It is a pillow top and I laid on it for awhile while at the store and it was comfortable. I learned later from my parents who were visiting and sleeping on the mattress that it is noisy when you move. The pillow top makes a crunchy noise when you move. This is something I did not notice at the store.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2008 at 1:01PM
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I have a Sealy pillow-top (about 3 years old) and we were rotating it. My husband weighs 220+, I weigh 120 lbs. I was sinking so deep on his side that I had to stop rotating (didn't want him to flatten my side as well) so now if I roll onto his side its like falling off a cliff! I hate it.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2008 at 1:06PM
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I just had to chime in here cause we have the same problem and here is how we are dealing with it for now. The first thing we did out of desperation to get out of the indentations was to flip the pillowtop mattress over and put our bedding back on and try sleeping on it just like that. Well the bottom is made out of some sort of scratchy material and it wasn't super comforatable but better than the indents I have to say. So I wouund up ordering a 3" memory foam topper online and have put it over the bottom side of the mattress. It was great for a few months, but it is starting to feel different now too. Talk about desperation and wasted money!!! Are ya'll really serious that you can't buy a plain old flippable mattress anywhere anymore??? Cause that was my plan, to get one of those and then put whatever kind of toppers I want on it!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2008 at 3:27PM
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I bought a mattress topper, forgetting that I had a pillow top, which they recommend not putting a mattress topper on. So, like I'msoconfused, should I flip the mattress and sleep on the firmer side? Are the coils symmetrical? I have hip pain.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 11:36AM
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Guess what we just bought yesterday!!! :(

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 4:40PM
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So interesting! I wonder if S&F's quality is suffering. I have an S&F in my guest room, and my mother has said it's the only mattress she's ever slept in that allows her to awaken pain free (i'd give it to her, but she's several states away). On the other hand, i have a newer S&F in the master, and i'm not finding it to be as comfortable as that older one in the guest room is (if they weren't two different sizes i'd swap them). Odd ...

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 7:36PM
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Funny - we have an enormous pillowtop and I absolutely adore it. Ours is a King Koil brand, and we've had it for close to 5 years without any sagging problems at all.


    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 10:35AM
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Our king size pillowtop zips off, and can be drycleaned. We flip/rotate the foam that is under the pillowtop, which we can replace for different firmnesses, therefore one side of the bed can/is firmer than the other, then we put the pillowtop back on and zip it back up.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 11:23AM
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I don't have more to say than what's already been said, except I have to vent with these. We bought a $2600 pillow top king. We dumped it a year later. My arm was falling asleep because I ended up in an indentation deep enough that it would cut off my circulation. I'm 5'10 and 140 lbs, so I'm not overweight. They came out and found that it was 1/8 NOT INDENTED ENOUGH to replace. Oh please! We lost $2600. So we bought a plain old Simmons Beautyrest for about 1/2 that and the same thing happened. It's the pillow tops. I hate them. We bought a tempurpedic and finally feel good. I would definitely never buy a pillowtop. Buy standard and add a topper of choice and you can replace those as needed. We had a regular bed for over 10 years and it never, ever had a hump in the middle or major indentations.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 12:32PM
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We just put a memory foam topper (1-1/2") right on top of our pillowtop about 2-1/2 years ago. We didn't have indentations, but it just wasn't soft anymore. No problems, and the bed feels great. It really helps since we bought the mattress a little bit too firm.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 1:51PM
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Bought a pillow top for my son who is off at college. I didn't realize until it was delivered, that it only had one side! I thought it was odd, until I started reading this thread. It was not a cheap mattress, but I was thinking it was, because of the funny backing. Now I feel better after reading here. :)

We have a Tempurpedic and it is starting to break down on my side of the bed after 5 years. I weigh more than DH and sleep on my side, whereas DH sleeps on his back, so I put more dead weight on my side. When the weather is warm, the mattress "melts" and gets uncomfortable for me. In the winter, it is perfect.

To make matters worse, the first time I tried to take the washable cover off, the zipper broke. I wrote TP to ask about a replacement and they sent me a link to BUY another. I thought they would replace it free. I am not about to buy another (it was expensive), so now we have no cover on our mattress. I just replaced it with a mattress pad instead.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 4:32PM
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We have a S&F, it's about 11 years old, it's a pillowtop, and you can flip it...It sounds like their quality went downhill....we have some depressions, but not bad ones....I guess I won't replace it anytime soon....We only paid $350.00 for it, my DH's cousin works at the factory and he got it for us....I guess it's the one thing in my life that was a bargain!!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 5:36PM
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Phobie Privett

I think it's called "job security"! If they know the mattress will fail in 5 years or so, you'll have to buy another or sleep on the floor!! :) I really believe they make them with NO intention for it to last 20 years like the good ol' days!
That's why I bought a locally made mattress for my girls, no advertising so the price was CHEAP, they are very comfortable and if they last until they graduate, YIPEE for me!!!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 9:51PM
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We were mattress obsessed a few weeks ago when DH couldn't sleep on our new mattress with a plush top, a warranty replacement for our Simmons pillowtop with deep body impressions. The new mattress was definitely firmer than the old, but we didn't want another pillowtop. So we bought a 2" latex topper and now we are happy. It's like having a pillowtop that you can rotate and flip as needed. The foam topper is on the firm side but still has a nice give to it, and it looks like it will last a long long time. Mattresses are definitely designed to be replaced after 5-10 years max. I think the toppers are the best solution.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 8:05AM
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I have a double pillow top mattress. I have had it for 4.5 years and I have only slept on it for 1.7 years. I have only slept in this bed as a single guy, so I slept in he middle of the matress as expected. Now I am married and living with my significant other. We try to sleep on the sides but we just roll into the grand canyon of an ident in the middle. Which is always funny in the morning. I paid about $1400 for the matress, and it has plenty of life. I just really hate the indents. BTW I have indents in the middle on both sides. I love the feel of pillow top or double pillow top matresses. But since this is a common problem I won't buy them again.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 9:13AM
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Same problem here so we bought a 4 inch,5 pound viscous foam topper, plopped it on, bought deep sided sheets and it's pure heaven and total comfort. Viscous foam is the same as Temperpedic without the brand tag. I have purchased six of these toppers on Ebay at 1/8 the cost of the name brand yet exactly the same. Google viscous foam and learn what depth and density would be best for you.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 11:08AM
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Not sure the problem. Our pillow top is on both sides. Using a sharpie marker we numbered head/foot both sides 1/2/3/4 we turn up and or over to the next number every few months.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 11:34AM
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In the 70's I slept on a S&F mattress and thought it was the best mattress ever...I slept so soundly on it. Once the kids came along we just couldnt afford one...they always seemed to be double or more the price of a decent Sealy or Simmons. Well, I finally got my Stearns and Foster not quite 2 years ago. It is not a pillow top, but I can't figure out if my aches and pains every day are from the bed or just getting older.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 1:34PM
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I learned long ago "no pillow top". We actually had our last mattress made the old fashion way with springs and various depths of cotton batting with cotton cover. Friends have a Temperpedic - we helped them move about 2 years after purchase and it was indented too.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 1:57PM
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Ok, all those who purchased the topper for your mattress.....was it already indented when you got the topper?? Did it help level out the indents?

Our S&F is only 2 1/2 yrs old, and the indents are awful. So wondering if a topper would help the problem. Being able to flip the topper seems to me like it would help. Our mattress is 17" deep, so adding another 4" with a topper would make it 21" deep. I already have trouble climbing into bed now.

I called S&F about a claim, and they said we needed the original receipt, and need to file a warranty claim with the store where we bought it. Well, we can't file a claim without the original receipt. The store is unwilling to look it up for us even though it's not been that long since we bought it, so it seems we out of luck. Paid lots of $$ for the darn thing, and I just hate it. DH wants to get a Tempur Pedic, but I'm reading they do the same thing.

Would appreciate your opinions on the topper. Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 2:50PM
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I have replaced 2 mattresses by using the warranty policies. Call the place you bought it. They have a record of the purchase. They will handle the warranty issue.

They come out and depending on the rep, they will measure, our guy measured down into one of the "button looking spots". He took a string with a "weight" (12" paperclip thing) on one end and stretched it across the mattress, then measured from the string to the bottom of the "button".

Full refund towards new mattress was given.

The first time, they didn't even come out.

We have a king sized bed, so it's almost square, we rotate it 1/4 of a turn.

I should add, we did not even have pillow tops. Remember your bed is functional, to help you get rest, not to be some sort of luxurious feeling. Buy the firmest you can get, and add a latex (not memory foam) topper to it after you purchase it. That will give you the softness you need. All the fluff and luxury comes from the bedding. Not the mattress.

Sorry, not trying to rant, but as someone who has successfully exercised the warranty twice, you need to get them out! You paid a lot of money and bought into the promises made by the mattress company.

Good Luck!

And if anybody wants legit mattress info, check out this guys blog. Not just trying to sell mattresses, he is the best in a confusing world of mattresses:

Here is a link that might be useful: Mattress Blog

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 4:39PM
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Joyce, ours was indented quite a bit and you never felt it with the four inch viscous foam and that was four years ago. It still feels wonderful.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 5:45PM
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Bee: thanks for the "shove" to go back to the retailer. I just keep hitting my head against the wall with them. They seem unwilling to help. Lesson learned....KEEP YOUR RECEIPT!

yayagal: thanks for the info on the viscous foam topper. I'm definitely going to try that in the interim.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 6:30PM
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yayagal: found this it similar to the one you purchased?

Here is a link that might be useful: mattress topper

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 6:40PM
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Anyone notice that this thread is six years old? LOL I am glad it got bumped up because I am still mattress shopping. Definitely will not be getting a pillow top.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 8:54PM
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dedtired... another one here that will be calling Raymour and Flanigan to complain about mattress indentions. I have my own bed, and figuring this will be the last mattress I own, I was willing to pay the extra bucks. Although happy with my old pillowtop (completely flippable) for the last 20 years I decided to go with a conventional mattress. Two months after I bought it when I went to rotate it I realized there was NO BOX SPRING... it was just a "BOX". Figured it was a mistake but there on the receipt was "mattress and box" not box spring. Called the store and got a buyer beware lecture. Since I really didn't like the non-pillowtop I was able to get them to exchange it for a pillowtop, which of course was only pillowtopped on one side. Smart move on the manufacturers part, your new mattress lasts only 1/2 as long.

Love, loved, loved it, until the indentations started. Don't feel I should have to pay any more to buy a mattress topper, which will probably start "failing" in a year or two and then I am back with the indentations. I am going to complain since I see it has happened to many others.

Why do I always get the feeling that I am getting "taken" every time I buy anything lately.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 3:27AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Regarding the paperwork/receipts: when we had a mattress delivered many years ago, one of the delivery guys suggested keeping all the paperwork between the mattress and box spring, so it will never get lost. Works like a charm even though I have never needed to make any claim. I do know where all the paperwork for every mattress set is!

Ded, too funny-I never noticed the dates when I started reading!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 3:31PM
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Joyce the one on Overstock should serve you very well. Follow the directions for laying it flat when you open it up and then you're good to go. You won't regret the purchase. Actually I paid twice as much, you got a good deal.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 11:59PM
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you can't flip them. and that's exactly why the pillow top mattress was developed. the manufacturer doesn't want you to be able to prolong the life of the mattress; they want you to buy a new one.
i've played along with this sorry game for the last time. i found a custom mattress shop near me and i'm ordering a mattress with NO synthetic fibres. just wool, cotton and horse hair. i plan to use a foam topper under the sheets -a pillow top of my own making. and when it breaks down, i'll get a new topper. BUT, the mattress will still be in perfect condition. and when i die my kids can move my mattress to their house.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 1:33AM
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Yes, I noticed the thread's age when it first got bumped. But I guess mattresses still cause such problems it does not hurt to get it going again.

I went the custom factory route, too. The one near us makes double-sided /flipable pillowtops. And I needed to get the thick, higher quality foam to please my joints. It is pricey to get those better quality frames (no saggy sides after 12 years on our previous mattress from them!) and real, well-built box springs that last through several mattress' lives. But when the inferior products don't last, the beds quickly get uncomfortable and it does not save money to have to replace everything more often.

One money-saving idea is to ask about scuffed or mismatched sets. I got a $300 twin box spring for $50 because it was supposed to have had a scuff mark on it (I have never even found the supposed scuff). Plus we got a free waterproof pad ($80 value) just because I asked if they would throw it in.

Another upside to my company's custom route is that if you desire a mattress that is no longer in their listed lineup, they can still make one for you. So if your old design was comfortable, it isn't necessary to go with something different the next purchase.

The one downside of the double pillowtop, quality-framed mattress, is that they are heavier, making them more difficult to flip! I have done it many times by myself, but it easier with someone else to help.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 4:02AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Could people who have gone the custom route please share their sources? Thanks.

I will search now on google, but recommendations are almost always better!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 10:54AM
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I have to say I love pillow-tops. I had one (I think a Sealy) that by the end of 15 years did have a dent. Last year I purchased a Simmons with a firmer top (one side only) and have regretted it. It's comfortable enough, but nothing "snuggles" like a soft pillow top. This one already has a slight dent! Fortunately, I live alone so am the only one in a queen-size bed and can shift sides to minimize the problem. I tried a couple of different "toppers" on this one to make it softer, but they didn't work - kept sliding around and felt weird. Do the foam ones work better? I'd be willing to try....

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 11:18AM
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As for the custom mattress a town not far from us had a bedding store that offered this service. They are no longer in business.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 11:45AM
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Our mattress is a double pillow top (both sides have the pillow top). Are these not available anymore? The last mattress we bought for the guest room is a pillowtop and NOT flipable. What a mistake THAT was :( Can you buy any double sided mattresses anymore?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 2:24PM
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It is always weird when these threads pop back up out of nowhere. But this is serving to remind me that our mattress is now 12 years old! Might be almost time for a new one!

We ended up using a featherbed topper for a while, which really didn't hide the indentations after the initial "fluffing" each week. Finally the feathers starting poking me so I got rid of it. At the moment, our comforter is so thick you can't see our lumpy mattress!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 8:25PM
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we flipped ours after 2 years and it is like heaven to sleep on it now. WE figured if we didn't like it we could always flip it back. What do you have to lose.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 9:34PM
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Just purchased a Novaform gel mattress from Costco. Queen was about 350$ At 14", it made the bed too high, so we replaced the old box spring with plywood. A friend has one and loves it, and has great reviews online. We got it for guest room, but just might get a king for our bed. Tried it out last nigh...felt great.
I would gladly pay 4-5k for a mattress if I knew it was perfect, no return hassle and would last ten years. After more than one bad experience, I am thrilled to give this a try.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 1:14AM
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We have an actual mattress factory in our town --- a real one, not a retail giant called that--- it has been here for about 75 years. (They will custom size a mattress for antique beds and used to offer a horsehair fill.) When we bought all new mattresses from this company the owner came out to our house to inspect and measure the beds to confirm the size, and brought samples of firm, medium and soft. When I asked if they had any pillow top models he told me that was basically a scam. The filler material in the pillow top is not extra, it is stuff that should have been in the mattress. By not covering the back of the mattress you cannot flip it to distribute wear. And since you cannot do that, you shorten the life of the mattress by about half. We bought out mattresses, flip them regularly and there are no indentations whatsoever in any of them.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 7:57AM
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It's way past time for me to get a new mattress. I'm not sure if there is a difference between plush and pillow top. My current one is a Sealy Posturepedic Devotion Plush, and it doesn't look like it's available anymore. It's one-sided so all I can do is rotate it. It's got depressions, but they took a while.

I really like the soft feel. I slept once on a memory foam mattress and I hated it. I'm willing to get a firmer mattress and add a top cover if I can cheat the wear yet have a plush feel. I don't even know where to start with this. Latex? Sounds gross, but researching mattress covers they are $300+.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 9:57AM
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The mattress building company we purchased our double-sided pillow top mattress from is Southern California based. Although they ship, (or used to) you really do not want to purchase a mattress without trying it out. I provided a link to show what options could be available from a local mattress manufacturer, that are not generally offered from the regular mattress retailers.

Here is a link that might be useful: A Custom Mattress Manufacturer

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 2:30PM
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We just flipped our pillow top mattress for a few weeks. It wa a little harder than we would like but better than sleeping in the ruts created in the pillow top. After a few weeks we flipped it back. The pillow top flattened out evenly so as of right now we have a comfortable bed again.

We never buy a pillow top again.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 5:05PM
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Based on Consumer Reports recommendations, we bought the Costco Novaform Serafina. I was skeptical of a memory foam-gel mattress. I had had a memory foam pad once and it slept hot.

I love this mattress! It is not hot and the firmness is good. Costco's super return policy was also a factor in the purchase.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 12:21AM
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Holly- Kay

I have to have a soft mattress but I also need support. Many years ago I tested a memory foam and it felt like I was resting on wet sand, it was horrible. Two years ago I saw an ad for Tempurpedic Cloud collection. I went to a local mattress store and it felt wonderful, soft yet firm if that makes sense. I no longer wake up with aches and pains. It was expensive but I haven't had a bad night's sleep since it was delivered. The only thing I would change is that I got the model that has the electric motor to raise your head for reading in bed. It wakes my pupster up so I don't use it.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 9:01PM
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