I’m the kind of person who tries to research our long-term purchases as much as possible, and unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of ongoing, updated reviews out there for long-term purchases. It’s the reason I’ve continued updating a review I wrote of deck stain five years ago — sure, it looked great when it first goes on, but was it going to continue to wear well?
Many people are initially pleased with a product when it’s new, but the real questions are these: Will it last, and will I be happy with it one, two, or three years from now? (Or more?) I put an enormous amount of research into replacing our washing machine for the same reason. Our former machine seemed nice and had good reviews when we bought it, but it was a piece of garbage that left visible dirt in the clothes.
Last summer, my husband and I decided to replace our mattress. It was a 20-year-old double-sided innerspring Serta that we had likely kept well past its prime, but it was still comfortable to sleep on… until one day, it just wasn’t anymore. We started to feel the springs when we hadn’t previously.
Starting the mattress-purchase journey was not something I was especially looking forward to, because I was already aware that a lot of modern mattresses simply weren’t made to last. Worse, many of them reportedly develop deep indentations where you sleep, and these “sinkholes” often aren’t covered by the mattresses’ warranties.
A friend of mine has an eye-opening post on her blog detailing her efforts to deal with the dents in her mattress — everything from using aftermarket bed-board products to extra bed pillows to fill in the “holes” that developed. Her post has more than 70 comments from unsatisfied readers who also have sagging mattresses.
This is a serious problem! When you’re spending thousands of dollars on something that you spend hours in every single day, you want a quality product.
Unfortunately, buying a “name brand” also doesn’t translate to quality anymore. For example, Serta, Simmons, and Stearns & Foster are all made by the same manufacturer. Sealy and Tempurpedic are made by the same manufacturer. There are many bad reviews to go along with all of them.
There are a lot of mattress options out there. Here’s what I learned and how we narrowed down our choice.
(And, just like with my deck stain review, I researched all of this on my own, and I purchased the mattress without any kind of outside influence, financial or otherwise. I paid thousands of dollars for this bed, and these are my own thoughts and experiences about it. This is not sponsored content.)
- Innerspring vs. foam vs. airbed
- Single or Double Sided? (Flippable or Non-Flippable?)
- Shopping and buying
- One year later…
- Daughter got one too!
- Addendum: Where to buy?
Innerspring vs. foam vs. airbed
The three biggest choices available for mattresses are these: Traditional innerspring, foam or a foam hybrid, or airbeds. We were solely interested in an innerspring mattress. We like to feel cool when we sleep, and we’re aware that many foam mattresses “sleep hot” and don’t breathe. Our daughter had a memory foam mattress from Ikea through college that lasted three years, at which point the foam degraded to the point that it was no longer comfortable.
Anyone considering a mattress with any amount of foam in it should watch this quick video comparing foam densities.
It’s truly amazing how little time it takes for furniture foam to develop compression dents that simply won’t pop back up once the weight is removed. In fact, we learned that foam degradation is the leading cause of the indentations that plague many modern mattresses.
Remember this video later in this review when you see just how much foam is inside many of the leading mattress brands.
I’m aware that there are a lot of all-foam mattresses out there these days. Just turn on a TV, and you’ll see ads for everything from Casper to Nectar to Purple. I have no experience with any of these brands, but I spent enough time reading foam mattress reviews to see that people are told “sagging is normal” by many of these manufacturers as well as the mattresses wear in.
Between the issues our daughter had with her foam mattress, the “hot sleep” issue, and the potential for the foam to rapidly degrade, we did not consider a foam mattress or a foam/innerspring hybrid. We also did not consider a latex mattress due to the heat/breatheabilty issue, although latex remains firm much longer than foam and is not subject to the same kind of degradation — it’s rubber, after all. You can learn more about latex mattresses here.
We also did not consider an airbed, like Select Comfort. My entire extended family purchased Select Comfort beds about a decade ago — parents, grandparents, aunts. Everyone I’ve spoken to about them has said they would not purchase them again due to issues with parts failing and needing to be replaced. I’ve also slept on one at my parents’, and I’m just not a fan — I like more support than the bed provided.
That left us with innerspring mattresses. My husband and I both like a good amount of support and firmness, and I also believe that an innerspring is built to last much longer than a foam mattress is. Of course, there are options with innersprings too…
Single or Double Sided? (Flippable or Non-Flippable?)
Our former mattress was double-sided, and every 3-6 months, we turn and flip it. I believe that’s why it lasted as long as it did. We began looking at mattresses at a Mattress Firm location in our area, and it quickly became evident that most innerspring mattresses being sold today are single-sided. In fact, the salespeople will likely tell you that “You don’t need to flip mattresses anymore.”
The reason you don’t “need” to flip these mattresses anymore is because they can’t be flipped. They’re typically constructed with a large amount of foam padding to create a comfy “pillow top” above the spring coils. It’s much cheaper to construct the mattress in this way.
More links to read on this topic:
- “Can’t Flip” Mattress’ Rant: Mattress companies make “no need to flip” or “can’t flip” mattresses to save on their own costs, not to give you a better night’s sleep or make your life easier. The introduction of [these] mattresses in 2000 is an insult to consumers who can now expect three to five years out of their new mattress. That’s one third of what can be expected from two-sided mattresses.
- The No-Turn Mattress Scam: A one-sided mattress has fillings such as foam or high loft fibres in the top layer of the mattress. These can’t be turned over because if they were, they would get crushed and potentially not return to their usual shape or feel.
- One-Sided vs. Two-Sided Mattress: What’s the big difference?: When you test a one-sided mattress in the store, it usually feels pretty darn comfortable. But that comfort is fleeting, because the components of the mattress will soon start to degrade…
Single-sided mattresses innerspring typically have multiple layers of foam on top with a set of springs beneath. There are many YouTube videos devoted to taking apart mattresses that have failed within just a couple years of purchase to see what’s inside. Take a look at how many layers of (cheap) foam are on top of the springs in this Sealy mattress!
Then, think about the example of the foam being compressed in the “Foam Comparison” video I shared above, and it becomes evident why these mattresses fail. The foam breaks down, leaving large indentations in the pillow top of the mattress, while the spring coils underneath are largely unaffected.
Because of videos like these, I learned that the foam on top of many of these one-sided mattresses fails within the first couple of years, and the only way to “save” these mattresses are to strip the crushed foam out,and replace it with a new pad and fabric mattress cover.
Here’s a Serta mattress being modified to “fix the dips” — they’re cutting the entire pillow top of the mattress off, removing all of the crushed, permanently-indented foam, and stripping the mattress back down to its coils. It’s amazing how many inches of the mattress’s height are made of foam.
(In fact, there is an entire cottage industry devoted to deconstructing your mattress to increase its comfort, and you can buy a new latex topper and zipper cover for the whole mattress to close it back up and make it look new again. There are mattress forums specifically devoted to the how-tos of this DIY endeavor.)
I watched enough of these “what’s inside the mattress” videos to know exactly which styles and brands I wanted to avoid. We aren’t fans of the “pillow top” feeling anyway — I don’t like feeling like I’m sinking into the bed — but if you are, it’s better to add a freestanding pillow top to a coil mattress than to buy one with it built in. Then, down the road when the pillow top fails, you can remove it and easily replace it.
This may seem like a strange factor, but another criteria for our new bed was that it not have any fiberglass in the mattress cover. You might think “What the heck is that about?” In order to meet flammability requirements, some mattress manufacturers use fiberglass “fabric” in the mattress cover. The trouble with this is that when the fibers break down, they work their way through the sheets into your skin, into the air, and into your home.
There are many horror stories online of people trying to eradicate their mattress fiberglass fibers from their home once they escape the bed, as well as the skin conditions and injuries sustained by being stabbed with thousands of tiny glass fibers.
- The danger lurking in your mattress
- Glass fibers in bed mattresses
- Family forced to leave home over fiberglass mattress
- Fiberglass cover – real issue?
- Thought mattress was giving us bug bites but it was shedding glass fibers
- 38% glass fiber in the outer cover
- Millions of tiny fibers covering pillows cases
We began shopping around for a double-sided, flippable mattress without a pillow top. This isn’t as easy as you might think, as most major mattress store chains do not carry any double-sided mattresses at all. Our search led us to Verlo. Verlo is a smaller company with locations in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado, Missouri, and Georgia. Verlo mattresses are made-to-order, not only in the USA but on-site in the location you purchase from. (They’ll even let you watch your mattress’ assembly if you want!)
We visited the Verlo location in Sleepy Hollow, Illinois and went to test out some beds. Their showroom features both foam and innerspring mattresses, as well as single-sided and double-sided mattresses. We wanted to spend some time testing out the kind of mattress we wanted. We set a budget of around $2000 for our new bed.
We chose the Verlo V7 model mattress. This mattress came both in standard and “plush” models. The plush model features a quilted top with a memory foam layer underneath, but it’s not a thick layer of foam. You can see it in the image above, and because the majority of the mattress features spring coils, it doesn’t have that pillow-top “sinking” feeling. We also liked that the store had a mattress opened up so we could see exactly how it was constructed.
Note that the image above shows the single-sided version of our mattress. The double-sided one has another layer of the small springs beneath the large springs, and another layer of padding to form the bottom plush side of the mattress. The fabric on the exterior of the mattress is Tencel, a plant-based fiber made from eucalyptus. (No fiberglass.)
We learned that Verlo has a comfort guarantee for all of their mattresses too. If we decided the mattress was too firm, or too soft, at any point during our first year, they would pick it up, rebuild it, and return it free of charge. After the first year? They’ll still do it for a nominal charge — our salesman said it is usually around $150.
This mattress also has a 12-year warranty, although the salesman said we should expect “at least 15 years” out of it. We paid $2197 for this king-size mattress. We did not buy a foundation as we already had a storage bedframe for it to sit on.
Another fun detail: Because your mattress is built especially for you, your name will be on the tag when it arrives! This is also helpful to determine how old your mattress is. Our tag notes our delivery date of 8/10/19.
It’s now 2020, and we’ve been sleeping on our Verlo V7 for over one year. We loved it the week it arrived, and we still love it. It’s the perfect mix of firm and comfortable for us. There’s honestly not much else to say! At least once a week, my husband and I turn to each other, and one of us says “I am so glad we got this bed!”
We do turn and flip it every three months, and it has no dents or indentations in it. While I didn’t really expect to see or experience any kind of wear in it after year one, I have friends whose big-name-brand beds were already developing indentations after the first year. This bed is just as comfortable as it was a year ago when it arrived.
As with my other long-term reviews, I’ll keep you posted on our Verlo around this time next year, but we continue to be really happy with it. We have zero regrets!
In fact, about a month after buying this one in 2019, our family bought another Verlo mattress.
Remember our daughter’s Ikea memory foam mattress? After three years, it was compressed, dented, and no longer comfy at all. It wasn’t a great loss, since she purchased it for her college apartment, and it was one of those vacuum-packed rolled-up foam mattresses that was really easy to move.
She was ready for a “real” mattress though, and she set a $300 budget for a Full. Because her budget was not exactly in Verlo range (hey – they’re not inexpensive) we went back to Mattress Firm to look at their lower-priced models. Their least-expensive full-size mattress was $349, and she laid on it and said it was comfortable enough. It was a one-sided pillow top. I asked the salesperson what the life expectancy was for this particular model, and he said “Three years.”
“Yes, three. Maximum. That’s an entry level mattress.”
I said “We just bought a new mattress for ourselves, and that seems really, really short.”
He asked what we bought, and I told him it was a Verlo.
The salesperson was refreshingly honest. He said “I can’t say a bad thing about them. They make a quality product, and they are really the only ones around making flippable mattresses still, so that almost doubles the life.”
I told him that our Verlo bed has a 12 year warranty and they estimated 15 year lifespan. He said “Our best bed here has a 7 year lifespan.” He pointed to it, and the price of that bed was over $4000!
We thanked the salesperson, and I told our daughter I would drive her to Verlo and see if there was anything we could buy in her price range. As it went, the same salesperson who sold us our Verlo the month before was at the counter when we arrived to see what their more budget-minded options might be. He suggested a Verlo V1 in a double-sided flippable model.
The biggest difference between ours and hers (besides the price, of course) is that our model has three layers of spring coils that are individually wrapped so you don’t disturb your partner when you get in and out of bed. Her model features open springs in a traditional style. Hers also has a standard top instead of the plushier top that ours does. Hers has a five-year warranty and an eight-year estimated life span.
She paid $424 for her V1 Verlo, which was a little more than she wanted to spend. However, the day it was delivered, she called me and exclaimed “I LOVE this mattress!” She is a fan of the pillow-top experience, so she is using a separate memory foam topper for the bed, which she’d previously gotten after her first foam mattress began to fail and sink in. A year later, she’s still very happy with her Verlo mattress too.
I’ll continue to update this post annually, but so far… we’re all sleeping well on our Verlo mattresses, and there are no indentations, wear, or damage to report.
Verlo is not the only manufacturer still making double-sided flippable innerspring mattresses. I came across some other manufacturers in my research too. In the interest of helping others, here are some more brands to look into:
- Campbell Sleep
- Charles Beckley
- Escondido Mattress
- Fox Mattress
- Harbor Springs
- Magic Sleeper
- Mattress Makers
- My Green Mattress
- Nest Bedding
- Oregon Mattress
- Quality Sleep Shop
- Texas Mattress Makers
- The Mattress Factory
If you know of others, please feel free to suggest them in the comments.
We had a Verlo for over 20 years. Replaced an old leaking waterbed. Because we too kept the base, they said the warranty was 10 years instead of 20. It still lasted us over 20 years.
We recently replaced it because we were waking up stiff & achy every morning. Well, with the new mattress we had the same problem! It wasn’t’ the mattress that was old and worn out, it was us!
In a way, we still miss that old waterbed. It was cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Coupon Maven says
Glad to hear that your Verlo lasted so long! We are only one year in, but we felt so good about the whole process. I really liked being able to see inside the mattress and exactly how it was built, and we both felt really good about its quality.
Ahh, waterbeds… that takes me back. I had one for a few years back in the 90s. There’s nothing quite like that cool, refreshing feeling in the summer. :)
This is such a helpful article. Thank you SO much for sharing your very comprehensive research. I knew that a lack of ability to flip was impacting mattress life but I had no idea the impact was so severe neither was I aware of how much foam was used in pillowtop construction. Sadly, there is no Verlo in my area so the list of other double sided makers was very helpful.
Coupon Maven says
You’re welcome! Sometimes I wonder if I think things through -too- much, but as I was learning about how differently mattresses are made these days (not only the overabundance of foam that is used, but also materials like fiberglass) I thought it was worth compiling and sharing. I’ve actually had notes started for this post from last year, but I wanted to wait until we’d spent a full year with the mattress to see if it was going to wear well. So far, so good!
I think any smaller manufacturer that is still building mattresses the traditional way is going to be a safer bet than any of the ones available at the mass-market retailers. It’s unfortunate that quality has gone down so much (and the prices haven’t!) I also thought it was really eye-opening that people are actually tackling rebuilding their mattresses themselves & removing the pillow tops if the coils underneath are still good — and that aftermarket supplies even exist to make that possible.
Margaret Harvey says
I had a mattress custom made by Gardner Mattress in Massachusetts because we had a odd size bed. We were so happy with it, when we needed to replace our mattress, we went right back there They do a great job. We love both and have had them for a long time.
Coupon Maven says
Margaret, thank you for sharing your experience with Gardner. I’m sure there are others who may read this and appreciate hearing an authentic review. From their website, it looks like they make a quality product. :)
We bought this same mattress a couple years ago. We love it also! No way were we buying a one side mattress. We have to get our kids over here to help flip though, It’s so darn heavy! I’m getting old and weak and husband is weak from stroke 3 years ago. I know they come and flip for a fee, but I like to spend a little time cleaning before putting everything back.
Coupon Maven says
It IS heavy. I try to rotate/flip on the change of the seasons – whatever week the 1st week of spring, summer, fall, winter are, then I do the rotate-flip. My husband and I do it together by pushing the mattress off the foundation, standing it against the wall, and then grabbing the bottom handles and pulling it up and back onto the bed. It IS heavy, for sure! I can rotate it on the foundation by myself though by grabbing the handles.
Glad to hear you also love yours! When we were laying on them in the store, it felt like the Goldilocks and the Three Bears story – we tried the V5, and I said that one was pretty good, and then we tried the V7, and we both said – this one is just right – and then went to the V9 and both said “too cushy.” What people like in mattresses is such a subjective thing, but as soon as we felt this one, we just kept going back to it and saying “this is the one.” :)
I’m with you on doing the innerspring mattress and am in the market for one so your research is very much appreciated. My daughter on the other hand wanted a foam mattress for college. We went to all the mattress outlets in the area and tried a few out and you can see it give a little when she laid in it (she’s all of 105 pounds). There were quite a few to choose on sale but they were out of stock so we ended up at Ashley Furniture. She tried out a full size one and it didn’t even move. It was double the price at $750 than what we were looking for. Salesman told us it had a ten year warranty and if it sagged more than 1.5 inches in that time, they would replace it with a new one.
Coupon Maven says
I hope it works out for her — at that price, it sounds like it is of much better quality/density than the more inexpensive options (like our daughter’s IKEA foam mattress – which was inexpensive and got her through college but was at the end of its life after.)
Oh, IKEA is a four letter word in our house. My daughter and her friend spent hours on putting together the three drawer dresser we bought for her room. One of the drawers just won’t open and close correctly. Five people have looked at this and no one can figure out why it won’t slide right other than the rails were defective to start with. Too much work to take apart and get a new part. This is the 2nd time we purchased put together furniture from them with bad results. The instructions are getting worse to follow also than in previous products we purchased.
Coupon Maven says
I completely understand. I think IKEA makes some things very well, and others are particle-board “crafts” :)
Jane Mcgrath says
I had a VERLO for 13 years as did a friend. We always raved about it!! I’m so glad I ran across this story because I’m looking
to purchase another. I checked on stores in Colorado and they’re all closed, so I’ll have to contact corporate and see if I can
figure this out. I’m currently sleeping on a $600 foam from COSTCO and while it’s been ok I’m waking up achy after 3 years of use. You simply get what you pay for. The foam is not hot but doesn’t seem to breathe. Wish me luck on a V7.
Karen Knoppe says
We also have had a mattress for 20 years and it was the most comfortable to sleep on until one day last year it wasn’t comfortable anymore (as another person commented). It is a flippable Springwell Chiropractic (evidently you can only find in Canada now) with pillowtop on both sides and it is super heavy, but it was a great investment, it lasted and served us well over the years.
Our replacement mattress will be a V9 Verlo Pillowtop that was purchased today and it will be here later next week. We are both side sleepers so it seemed like the right fit for us…only time will tell. I, too, did a lot of research and after much consideration we ended up going with the Verlo that was referred to us from a couple of friends. I just found your review after we got home from the showroom and it reassures me we made a good choice, only now I am thinking we should have also gone with their flippable option. I will be following your reviews in the future to see how your mattress is still holding up, and can also post my updated comments at that time.
Jane Mcgrath says
I’m sure you’ll be happy with the V9 for years to come!
VERLO is only in the Midwest now and I talked to folks @ corporate and they won’t ship a V7 to Colorado.
Last week I ordered a $3K Temperpedic that I tried at a flagship store in Denver.
I can hardly wait!
I have a foam mattress and, at the time, it suited my immediate needs. I had unbearable pressure point pain in my hips (side sleeper here) and the ‘sinkability’ of the foam removed that. However, in a couple short years that was no longer working and I discovered both hips were shot and needed replacement. It’s been 6 years since the double hip replacement but we still have that foam mattress. Over the approx. 8 years we’ve had it, the sinkability has turned into a body shaped pond where the foam has degraded. Moving around in this thing is a whole upper body workout. Plus, the heat is unbearable … I literally wake up sweating or so clammy I can’t stand it. I have the air cranked, the ceiling fan on and a small tabletop fan blowing on me just to cool me off. With all of this, I am still not getting a good night’s sleep. NO MORE! I came back to this thread to reread your review, visited my local Verlo, ordered the same V-7 Plush, 2-sided that you did. Price was still about the same and I will have it in about 4 weeks. The store only had the firm and soft on display. They sold the plush off the floor. But, I was able to push down on others and determined this is also the one I wanted. One of the longest warranties in the business. If it’s a little too soft or hard, they will, basically, customize it to your liking. Because we are local, it would be a pickup in the morning, rebuild and return to me by evening. I don’t believe we’ll need any after-market pillowtop and, at this stage in our lives, we were completely fine with spending the extra money. I have discovered you can’t put a price on a good night’s sleep!
Another helpful feature … the mattress has arrows that tell you which direction to flip. I think the first flip is side to side. Now on that side, it has an arrow that tells you to flip it top to bottom the next time. Whichever side you’re sleeping, the arrow directs the next flip. No more remembering ‘what did we do last time?’
Pleased with all aspects of the purchase. Can’t wait to start sleeping comfortably again!
Coupon Maven says
I hope that you enjoy yours as much as we do ours. We absolutely love it and don’t regret the purchase at all — in fact, we are thrilled that it sleeps just as comfortably as it did when we got it.
I haven’t slept on a foam mattress with any kind of regularity (stayed on one for weekends here and there at a friend’s cabin) but you are right about the heat. They do sleep hot, and I am much happier as a cool sleeper.
I bought a Verlo in 2008 and slept on it until last fall, 2021. 13 1/2 years! I explored having it remade, and even though it was at the end of the 15 year warranty, Verlo said they would try to remake it. At that time I wondered whether I needed to spend the money on a new Verlo, as my model, the Classic PIllow top (same as the V7!) , was about $700 more than I paid in 2008. On the recommendation of a friend I went with Room & Board have been Goldilocks over here ever since: I bought a Hybrid mattress from (is it okay to name manufacturers, here?) made by Restwell. Caused hip pain/soreness. Exchanged it for a Serene Foam made by the same manufacturer. Still: hip soreness and lower backaches. I have never had any of these problems before in my life!!! I will be returning this second mattress and going back to Verlo. This experiment has cost me months of rest! Thank you for this review.
Would love to see updates
Coupon Maven says
Life’s been so crazy lately, and I do need to do a new post, but I’m very happy to report that the Verlo is just as comfortable and amazing as it was the day it came home. We do flip and turn it every quarter (I remind myself to do this when the seasons change – around the 1st day of spring, summer, fall, winter.) No sags, no dips. Still very, very happy with it! I will try to take photos for a new post the next time I change the sheets. It still looks and feels great almost three years later!
Laura Haines says
I am going to check out Verlo. I am in desperate need of a new mattress I was at Verlo a while back and was confused at all the different types. Is the higher the number, the better? I have back and neck problems and can’t seem to get comfortable
Thanks for the great article.
Coupon Maven says
Kind of – the higher the number, the more features/structure it has. But go try them out – we didn’t look at the numbers as much as wanting to lie on them and see how they felt.
We have Put a down payment on a VERLO 7 but they are not flippable any more
Our Verlo salesperson (13 year employee)
assured us that rotating is far more impt and flipping is not necessary
After reading your info and others reviews I am wonderlng if this is accurate….
What are your thoughts ?
Coupon Maven says
I’m really surprised to hear this as their site still has articles about flippable mattresses on it..? And both of these articles were written and posted this year, 2022:
You can search their site and sort by “double sided” – it shows this option for nearly all models:
and here is the V7 with a double-sided option:
I do need to update this post for 2022, but here’s a one-sentence update: I continue to love it, and it’s still as comfortable as was the day it came home.
I do flip it 4X each year – I remember to every time a season changes.
I just bought a Verlo Mattress in the spring and that is not true at all that they are not flippable! In fact, Verlo provides a 4x a year flipping service for a fee if you can’t handle it yourself. Other mattress brands are not flippable because they have a pillow top only on one side. There is something wrong with the information here. Maybe you misunderstood the salesperson.
Coupon Maven says
Agree – their entire site is showing both single and double-sided mattress options right now. I would find a different salesperson if the one in the store is saying things contrary to what the corporate website says.